Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Céline Schmink and Paris-Memphis

Céline Schmink
Today Promote Me Please welcomes musician Céline Schmink to answer five curly questions  about her new album, PARIS-MEMPHIS.

Q. Paris-Memphis is the title of your second album, a follow-up to La ballade d’Anissa, but a departure in style. Why the change of focus? Is it a natural progression, or the desire for the albums not to be too-closely compared?

A. I think my debut EP “La ballade d’Anissa” was really a “sui generis” project. Its aim was not really to show my own style but to tell a romantic and dark lovestory through 3 songs. You don’t see my face on the cover, only a black tutu, a dance class atmosphere… Speaking of “La ballade d’Anissa”, many artists and singers as Diego Baeza, Vassilis Babaniaris (Greek rock star) and others said “The songs are a journey in vintage Paris and French cabarets”. Three songs (“La ballade d’Anissa”, “Alexandre”, “Vivement l’été”) have gained good reviews in Europe and Australia, the song “Vivement l’été” has been featured in a film, but I didn’t feel Myself when singing them on stage. I’ve been a dancer, I really like to dance while singing and finally “La ballade d’Anissa” was so quiet, so zen with long bridges! If I like romantic artists as The Cure or French singer Daniel Darc, my roots are in USA where I’ve spent the happier part of my youth in California. My fav sound is Chris Isaak’s one. I do like Nashville and Memphis, my mother was a folk singer in the early 70’s and my father is a big fan of Elvis. They took me to Graceland when I was 12… “Paris-Memphis” is about all the dreams I had when I was this little French teenager boring in Paris but spending her holidays in the USA! I was in hurry to take the plane every summer! Those dreams helped me to build myself and mould my character (I’m such a creative and free person). I couldn’t write about myself and my past without talking about them! “Paris-Memphis” is a tribute to road trips and American bluesy music. The album is partly folk and partly indie rock with a bluesy attitude and a very “Americana” soul, maybe it’s not so true… but with my French ears and my Parisian soul, that’s what I feel inside!

Paris-MemphisCéline Schmink's new album
Q. What themes did you use to give Paris-Memphis its album unity?

A. The main theme is the travel. The second theme is the metamorphosis. The first track (Bêtes d’orage) was produced in a Parisian rock style, the second one sounds as Californian rock and is about Isadora Duncan’s tragic life. The dancer makes the link between France, where she lived and died, and the USA. And then all the other songs sound more and more Americana genre. The third theme is love, of course. When you are on the road for a long time, it transforms you! And you meet so many people… All those people teach you something with their lives, stories, heartbreaks.... That’s also the idea that gives the album its unity.

Q. Is there a stand-out track on Paris-Memphis for you, or did you aim for an even blend of music?

A. Yes, the stand-out track is really “Bêtes d’orage”. All the songs have been produced with real musicians (from Paris and Los Angeles), but “Bêtes d’orage” also has got an electro-mind. It’s very Parisian rock. The music video has been created in a humoristic spirit, what helped me to be guest in some funny TV shows as the famous JJDA show on French channel IDF1. The music vid is starring great French actor Jean Masini (who recently went viral with the John Lewis’ Christmas advert).

Q. Your studio albums being so different, did you choose to use a different range of backing instruments?

A. Yes, totally. “La ballade d’Anissa”, my debut EP has been totally produced with electronic music. As it was very dreamy and atmospheric music, it was not really a problem. I wanted to give a vintage and romantic touch and that’s what I did. But for “Paris-Memphis” it was another story! I wanted real musicians and traditional instruments as acoustic guitar, fiddles, autoharp, pedal steel… The music tracks have been recorded in California by musicians working in majors. The mix and the mastering have been made in Paris.

Q. Your career so far has spanned a number of disciplines. What is your primary focus? How do you see yourself?

A. Rhythm is my primary focus! You can find rhythm everywhere, in music, dance, books… I make music my priority but I’m not always focused on singing myself. I love to write songs for others singers too. When I’m in USA, I notice how complete professional artists are. Most of them can write, compose, sing, dance. I even know some singers that can make up themselves when are at a TV show… Here, in France, being complete sounds like a double-trouble! People don’t like it because they have the feeling that when you do everything, you can’t do anything well! What’s definitely false! Because the most you work in different artistic disciplines or spheres, the most you increase your inspiration and creativity. When you work in the artistic ground in France, you must be familiar with this question:
“And, do you have a real job?”… No comment! I work in arts since my younger age. I’ve been dancing for contemporary companies, I’ve been a dance and a butoh teacher, then I wrote my own books and built a gesture method and worked for many magazines as a journalist and, finally, I came to the music by writing for other singers. When I was 15, I’ve been a model for a while and an actor… Finally, at 40, I realise I’ve spent 25 years winning my money with these different arts. Excepting shootings all those arts have one thing in common: the pen! To me writing a song, a music, a choreography or a book is, before all, a pen affair! I see all these disciplines (writing songs, articles or books, composing a music, creating a choreography…) as a same movement of life, an ongoing, unbroken movement. I write the lyrics, the music, the video’s scenario, I’m also able to create myself the cover and sometimes the flyers for my concerts when small events. It’s a set, an Everything.  


Promote Me Please blog is associated with Affordable Manuscript Assessments

It is open to anyone with a family-friendly creative endeavour to promote. Comments are welcome. To read other interviews at Promote Me Please, choose from the menu on the right of this post.

The direct url for this interview is http://tinyurl.com/promoCeline

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Karen Tyrrell and Jo-Kin Battles the It

Today we welcome author Karen Tyrrell to Promote Me Please to talk about her new book; Jo-Kin Battles the It.

This post is part of a blog tour, so read on below for more about the schedule.
For now though, here are our questions and Karen's answers.

    Q.1.Jo-kin is an interesting name for a character. Has anyone misheard it as “Joe King” or “Joking”?

Yes I hope so.  Jo-Kin aka Josh Atkins is a play on words. Josh is indeed the Joking boy, the king of jokes.

 Q.2.    Who is your favourite character in Jo-kin Battles the It and why?

Well, it’s got to be Jo-Kin the main character, the super science geek, the day dreamer and wannabe hero. He’s everything I was as a kid, great at science, a pale faced dreamer, terrible at sport … and bullied by the cool kids. But Jo-Kin learns how to be a Super Space Kid … and saves the galaxy.

  Q.3.    Who, or what, is the It?

The deadly It is the arch enemy of the Super Space Kids and their nemesis. The Its name is also a play on words. I’ll let you work that out when you read it. The It has a major flaw which is his downfall in the end.

Q.4.     Can you give us five words to describe the tone of Jo-kin Battles the It?

Buzz Words magazine reviewed Jo-kin Battles the It these are their 4words…
    “Brilliant, action-packed, humorous, creative.” 
     My extra word is page-turner.  

  Q.5.    Can we expect a sequel soon?
Yes, it’s almost finished. Still working on the title and the illustrations but it will have ‘Lord Terra’ in the title. Super Space Kids #2
 I promise this one will be even funnier and more exciting.

Thanks, Karen! To buy Jo-Kin Battles the It, check out BUY HERE.

To follow the blog tour, check out the following schedule.

Jo-Kin Battles the It Blog Tour
21 Oct Alison Stegert http://ali-stegert.com/2015/10/21/blog-tour-jo-kin-battles-the-it/ How to Write KIDS Sci-Fi
23 Oct Robyn Opie http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com.au/ Review
25 Oct Rebecca Sheraton http://www.rebeccasheraton.com/blog Imagine!
26 Oct Sandy Fussell http://www.sandyfussell.com  How to Promote your Book  
27 Oct Jill Smith https://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com/ Review          
            Melissa Wray http://melissawray.blogspot.com.au
28 Oct June Perkins http://gumbootspearlz.org Interview
29 Oct Sally Odgers http://promotemeplease.blogspot.com.au  Story behind Jo-Kin!
30 Oct Kate Foster http://www.katejfoster.com/blog How & Why Sci-Fi?

Jo-Kin Battles the It Book Giveaway
Win a signed copy of Jo-Kin Battles the It OR one of four eBooks of Jo-Kin Battles the It OR signed artwork from the illustrator, Trevor Salter.
 For a chance to WIN please like Karen’s Super Space Kids book series page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SuperSpaceKids and
Please leave a comment on any of the above Blog stops 19-30 Oct.
 Winners announced in November. Good luck J
 Where to buy Jo-Kin Battles the It
Jo-Kin Battles the It is available direct from the author, from Amazon, LSI, Fishpond and book shops such as Riverbend in Brisbane, Dymocks: Penrith, Carindale, Garden City. Angus & Robertson: Victoria Point & Post Office Square, Mary Ryans Milton.
 MORE stores coming soon.

Promote Me Please blog is associated with Affordable Manuscript Assessments

 It is open to anyone with a family-friendly creative endeavour to promote. Comments are welcome. The permanent url of this interview is http://tinyurl.com/KTPROMOTE. To read other interviews at Promote Me Please, choose from the menu on the right of this post.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Kellie Wallace talks about Her Sweetest Downfall

Her Sweetest Downfall by Kellie Wallace
Today we welcome Aussie author Kellie Wallace to Promote Me Please. Kellie agreed to answer five questions about her novel Her Sweetest Downfall.

Q1. Can you come up with a brand new logline/high concept that shows us your book in 25 or fewer words? 

During the height of the London Blitz, can one woman fight against all odds to achieve the one thing she wants most in the world?

Q.2. A word about the title. Which came first, the title or the plot? 

The plot came first. I had originally thought of something entirely different within the same time frame and the story evolved from there. The title Her Sweetest Downfall was a last minute decision right before publication!

Q 3. Who is your favourite
character in your book and why? 

That's hard! But I am biased when I say I love my MC Viola Craft. She embodies the woman of the 1940s: hard working, beautiful, tough, with a little hint of weakness. She is stronger than she believes and she's one of my characters I enjoyed creating. She's the type of woman I would love to meet. Actresses of the Golden Age inspired her creation, brutality of Bette Davis, the beauty of Rita Hayworth and the charm of Carole Lombard.

4. What other books by Aussie authors do you enjoy? 

I can't pinpoint just one. There are so many. Nora Roberts is an international author I enjoy. She is someone I would like to strive to become. She has an amazing catalogue and impressive reader base.

Q.5. Now, pretend you're a huge fan. Tell your best friend why he or she must totally buy this book. 

If you want a historical fiction novel surrounding forbidden love during the turbulent time of war, this book is for you. With strong characters and emotional themes, Her Sweetest Downfall will be a favourite in years to come.

Okay! There you have it. Now, to find the book itself you can check out Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can find Kellie on Goodreads and Facebook.

If you've enjoyed this Promote Me Please interview or if you'd like to showcase your own artistic endeavour, please leave a comment for Kellie. And don't forget to check out her book. Anything inspired by the Hollywood heroines of the '40s has got to be worth a look. The direct url to this interview is http://tinyurl.com/KelliePMP

Promote Me Please is an initiative of the Affordable Manuscript Assessments service.  Affa's now on YouTube!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Roger Boutwell talks about Eric; the pensioner who became an assassin

Today we welcome Roger Boutwell to Promote Me Please. Some time ago I read Roger's first novel; Conscious of Guilt. It has stuck in my mind very clearly as one of the most unusual crime thrillers I've read. Now Eric, the pensioner assassin rides again in a brand new book and Roger agreed to answer five curious questions about Eric Brand Revisited.

 Eric has to be one of the most unusual hitmen in the history of literature Can you describe him in five words?
     Vengeful, Meticulous, Persistent, Fearless,                      Purposeful.
How did the idea for Eric and his unlikely new identity come to mind?
Having been an avid reader since early childhood I was looking for a new challenge in my retirement. So I decided I would attempt to write a book. I was never any good at English or Grammar at school so I didn’t hold out much hope of completing a book. As I had worked for twenty years in Hospitality Management I thought maybe I could write about the Tourist Industry. I stumbled around and never got to grips with the subject, when I came across a quote on the net which stated that one of the most read genres was Crime fiction. Over the years I have read reams of Crime non-fiction, so here was a subject that immediately enthused me. Abuse and crime against the elderly is on the increase so my central character had to be someone I could relate to, hence a seventy year old pensioner. I developed Eric, an ordinary guy, father to an only son and daughter-in-law and tenderly caring for a chronically ill wife. I had to have something truly shocking to dramatically alter his life. And then came the horrific murders of his loved ones which were the opening scenes in the book. At this early stage I thought the book would consist of a long detailed story of Eric hunting down and slaying of all the individual killers. I put myself in Eric’s position, and yes I would have wanted revenge if someone had murdered my son. On the other hand I’m not saying I would turn into an assassin. As the plot progressed Eric turned out to be very efficient at tracking down his son and daughter-in-law’s killers, and also efficient in the cold calculating way he eliminates them. No guilty conscience here but a feeling of power from the gun which he acquired from a trip into the crime underworld. Here he was earmarked as a possible killer. Then there’s the approach by a stranger for Eric to kill for monetary gain which came at the lowest time in his life. Now alone and with no family responsibilities he dramatically slips into the macabre world of an assassin.

Thinking about other books in the same genre can you suggest a few which might appeal to the same audience?

I have read very little crime fiction, most notably, such as the likes of Childs, Patterson or Baldacci; books from these authors I have read tend to deal with FBI and CIA agents and would require some intimate knowledge of these organisations. I found the plots to be all very similar and in most cases they failed to hold my interest; perhaps I should have persevered and read more. Some of my readers have commented, “Conscious of Guilt” is not your “run of the mill crime fiction novel”. I prefer to read non-fiction crime but one of my favourite authors is Jeffery Archer; a great storyteller.

The sequel to Conscious of Guilt is Eric Brand Revisited; did you always plan to write a sequel?

No, I did in fact write several endings to the book but none sounded right or appealed to me. I didn’t want to kill Eric off, or have a soft finish. I thought there was another book left in Eric, hence the lead-in-to-a-sequel ending.

Can we expect more novels in 2016?

I’ve been asked this often, I’m not so sure about continuing with another episode of Eric but I am considering another book, perhaps something entirely different. I’m working on several plots at the moment.
My new website…www.rogerboutwell.com
I’m not really into social media and don’t utilise it as I should, I think it’s a younger person’s thing. '

I realise I’m probably showing my age. I’m also on LinkedIn.

Thank you, Roger.

Promote Me Please blog is an initiative of Affordable Manuscript Assessments and is open to anyone with a creative endeavour to promote.

The custom url for this interview is http://tinyurl.com/rogerboutwellspeaks .

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sofia Goodsoul Talks about Frog Todd

Today we welcome Sofia Goodsoul to Promote Me Please to talk about her new picture book, Frog Todd. As usual, we presented our guest with some curious questions.

Frog Todd is a brilliantly-coloured picture book. What inspired you to produce it?

In recent years, the problem of bullying in schools has become widely recognised, especially by teachers. But this issue in preschools and kindergartens, in my opinion, has been overlooked. I have been working as an emergency kindergarten teacher over 10 years, and have observed hundreds of cases of this behaviour when relieving in early childhood settings. As a teacher, I recognise our important educational role in guiding a child’s social and emotional development and wellbeing. Calling or twisting other students’ or teachers’ names is one of the forms of bullying, which has to be addressed as early as possible to avoid further complications in children’s lives. I was searching for acceptable literature for young children on this issue with a little success, when came to a decision to create FROG TODD.

Some publishers discourage rhyming texts.  texts. What has been the reaction to this one?

You are absolutely right Sally. The problem with rhyming books for publishers is a complication in selling copyrights to foreign publishers. It’s not easy to translate rhyming texts into other languages, and as a result the publishers don’t want to deal with rhyming books. I faced this problem with FROG TODD as well. It’s when I decided to become a self-publisher. 

Will you tell us something about the illustrating process?

With my pleasure Sally. As a self-publisher, I incorporate multiple roles. One is finding the right illustrator for the book. I went through hundreds of portfolios and test designs before finding a talented and very experiences children’s book illustrator Marina Kite. Together with Marina, we designed the book’s illustrations. I developed the very explicit instructions for Marina describing what I see on each page of the book. She came up with lots of great ideas, and as a result: “Frog Todd is a brilliantly-coloured picture book.”J

Are you planning more outings for Todd?

You are not the first person to be asking about my plans on Todd’s further adventures. I am considering to team up Todd with his new friend Lily and sending them on their new adventures around Australia. Todd will be carrying his tricky sticks, which assisted him in the story.

How long did the process of producing Frog Todd last?

Writing FROG TODD was the fastest part of the whole publishing process, which is very complex, taking into account my first experience in this industry. The most interesting and time consuming part was illustrating and designing the book. All up has taken around nine months from writing to printing. It’s interesting to notice that some people compare publishing a book to the childbirth process.

Thanks, Sofia, for this look at the genesis of a picture book. The tinyurl for this interview is 
http://tinyurl.com/frogtoddIf you have enjoyed it, feel free to comment.

Promote Me Please blog is associated with Affordable Manuscript Assessments but is open for anyone who has a creative project to promote. To ask about an interview, click the AffMssAss link above. Contact information is on the landing page. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Katie Stewart and Famous Animals

Today we welcome Katie Stewart to Promote Me Please. Katie answered five curly questions about her brand new book... FAMOUS ANIMALS

Hi there Katie! 
Q1. Famous Animals is a tempting title. Are the animals in this book real ones or does it include fictional heroes?

A1. The animals in this book are all fictional. There are plenty of books about real animal heroes, but these heroes are all based on famous humans, using a pun of their name. So there’s characters like ‘Felix Mendelsswan’ and ‘William Snakespeare’. It’s a humorous book first, informative second.

Q.2. How did you get the idea for writing about famous animals?

A2. I was taking part in the ’52-Week Illustration Challenge’ on Facebook. One of the themes early this year was ‘Italy’. There were lots of illustrations of pizzas and piazzas, but to me Italy is opera and opera is Pavarotti. I’m not much good at drawing people, but I love drawing animals, so I played around and eventually drew a portly rat, which I called ‘Pavaratti’. After that, I thought it would be fun to paint a whole lot of animals with names similar to those of people that are well known. The actual writing was very much a second thought, but I enjoyed researching both the animals I’d used and the real famous person. I’d never heard of some of the animals I ended up using.

Q.3. Did you do any market study (for example a poll of potential readers) before deciding on the best approach?

A3. Not as such, no. I did show a few of my pictures to people I knew and got a very positive response and lots of encouragement to carry on. I also asked on a forum I’m a member of, for ideas of famous people I could turn into animals and they really enjoyed the challenge and were a big help. I had intended the book to be entirely pictures. The consensus on the forum (Kindle Users Forum) was that a small piece about the animal and a small piece about the person next to each illustration would enhance the book and make it better for children. In the end, I think I’ve come up with a book that will appeal to both adults and children. Adults will definitely enjoy the puns.

Q.4. You have a clear interest in animals. Would you tell us about an important animal from your own life?

A4. I do love animals. We have a menagerie at home – three dogs, three cats, two budgies and a rabbit. My favourite, though, is my Golden Retriever, Annie. She was a present from my husband for our twentieth wedding anniversary (hence the name, Annie, short for anniversary) and she’s a big, lolloping lump of love on four legs. I first saw her when she was two weeks old. We’d gone on holidays and as we pulled into the driveway of the house we’d rented, I saw a retriever on the verandah of the house next door and said, ‘If I had a dog, it would be one like that.’ I wasn’t allowed to have a dog. Farmers don’t have pet dogs…or so my husband insisted. Unfortunately for him, there were nine tiny puppies in the back garden of the house next door and no fence to stop our three children falling in love with them. He spent the entire two weeks saying, ‘No, we can’t.’ Then on the last day, he told me to choose the one I liked best. He’d bought one for our anniversary in four weeks’ time and the owner had promised to bring it up to Perth for him to pick up. Annie messes the house with her big, muddy feet, drops hair everywhere, eats the cats’ dinner whenever she can and constantly hides our socks and shoes in the garden, but I love her to bits.

Q.5. Pretend you're a reader and you've just got your claws on this excellent book about Famous Animals. Write a brief email to a friend persuading him or her to buy a copy.

A5. Gee, that’s a hard one. I guess it would go something like –

How’s things? How are the kids? Is Amy still crazy about animals? You should get the new book by Katie Stewart. Amy would love it! It’s called “Famous Animals” and the illustrations in it are really funny. Each one is an animal pun of a famous person, like Aristurtle and Sir Winston Churchmouse. Some of the puns might go over Amy’s head, but there’s a bit about the real person and a bit about the animal as well so she’ll understand. It’s like a history book, a book about animals and a joke book all rolled into one. Not too expensive either. You might not be able to find it in your local book shop, but it’s available at all the online bookshops or your bookshop can order it in. I highly recommend it. It’s really different. You’ll enjoy it just as much as she will.

 Thanks, Katie! Best of luck with the book which I highly recommend to anyone who loves animals and who has a slightly offbeat sense of humour.

Promote Me Please blog is a companion site to Affordable Manuscript Assessments and to Prints Charming Books. Our brief is to give creative people and their work the promotion they deserve. At Promote Me Please, interviewees get a permanent unique url so their interview never gets lost among those that follow. The direct url for this interview is http://tinyurl.com/Katiefamous

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Amanda Greenslade talks about Myra and the Magic Motorcycle

Today at Promote Me Please we welcome Amanda Greenslade to answer five questions about Myra and the Magic Motorcycle, the first book in her new Myra series.

Myra and the Magic Motorcycle

Amanda Greenslade
Q.1. This is the first in the Myra series. Apart from a fast-paced adventure, what else will Myra deliver to readers?

A.1. The Myra books are about getting to know the world around you, diversity and the betterment of society. They are designed to tell a fun story while at the same time open some doors for discussion with children. Discussion topics that can spin off from Myra books include things like geography, science and problem-solving, as well as more specific social issues. The first book touches upon financial hardship, for example.

Q.2. Myra’s method of transport is unusual. Where did you get the idea for it?

A.2. My husband is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, and I endorse the use of fun things that appeal to kids to get them interested in reading. For boys especially I think motorcycles are a draw-card. I was inspired by The Magic Schoolbus series, but I wanted a 21st century Australian setting and a heroine who is not the usual Anglo-girl-with-pigtails stereotype we see in most mass market children's books.

Q.3.  Will you tell us something about Myra’s feathered sidekick?

A.3. Myra is very brave and curious. Diver the kingfisher is sort of like Myra's voice of caution in her subconscious. He is a fun gimmick for children to find on almost every page, a comic relief sidekick and a character Myra will be able to rely on and talk to and share all her secrets. 

Q.4. What was the most challenging part of bringing Myra to publication?

A.4. Finding the time while I am rearing two young children and running a business full time has been difficult, but it's the promotion part now which will be the greatest challenge, as I have limited time and resources to put behind it. I frequently sacrifice on housework, sleep, lunch and other personal matters to get through my day. Apart from this I have not found it difficult to publish Myra because I have ten years experience in editing and book design, and publishing books and ebooks is what we do here at Australian eBook Publisher. We have expert editors, illustrators, designers, publishers and marketers all under one roof here in Brisbane and we've published or helped people to self-publish over 300 books. 

Q.5. What advice do you have for writers launching series?

A.5. It's a bit early for me to have advice on this, as it is still early days for me. Certainly I think we've done the right thing designing a brand for the series and numbering the books clearly. Subsequent books for us now will be easier and faster to produce as we will utilise the same formula and the same design files over and over. Now I need to find time to write the next book! :)

You can buy Myra and the Magic Motorcycle and find out lots more about the series at Myra Books

Thanks for visiting Promote Me Please, Amanda.

Promote Me Please is an initiative of Affordable Manuscript Assessments 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Meet Daniel Wicharz

Daniel Wicharz
Today, Promote Me Please welcomes our first guest in the online finance business. Daniel Wicharz, who lives in Germany, agreed to answer five curly questions about credit, especially as it applies to artists.

Q.1. Briefly, what is your experience in the online payment business? ­ 
A.1. I work in the online and payments industry since 2008. My experiences are driven by my work for PayPal and Skrill. 

Q.2. People in artistic fields often have unreliable or uneven incomes. For them, a line of credit makes sense for use when between payments. What would you advise is the best option for such artists? ­ 
A.2. In general a credit itself can be useful especially for people who need to buy something straight away without having the time to finance an item like for instance a vehicle or an expensive instrument. The issue of debt itself is not so big in Germany. Here most people do pay their card balance fully at the end of the month. 

Q.3. What are some features to look for in a credit card? ­ 
A.3. A card needs to A) protect the consumer and B) help him to make payments quickly and remotely. With 3Ds for Mastercard and verified by Visa most cards nowadays protect on the one hand side the consumer, but also on the other hand side the seller from fraud. 

Q.4. What advice would you give someone looking for a reliable means of online payment? ­ 
A.4. I would for sure advice to look for a provider who can give you control over fraud tools. Thus you can influence your risk appetite and boost your conversion rate the way you like it. I think fraud settings should totally be in control of the seller. Given you have a high margin like for instance an online game publisher you can accept a certain amount of fraud and you can set soft fraud checks in order to boost conversion. But if you sell for instance jewelry with a high basket size and perhaps a lower margin, you are probably better off setting strict fraud settings protecting you and perhaps lower the conversion rate a bit. 

Q.5.You see the credit/online business from a different angle. Do you have any expert opinions to share? ­ 
A.5. Online payment dominates the way we pay and becomes increasingly important, even offline. More and more people use for instance mobile devices that are NFC enabled to pay. So I think that online payment options will spread also to “real” physical store locations. This will increase the consumer experience and also tackle fraud, tax evasion and theft.

Thanks, Daniel!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Blog Tour... Harry Helps Grandpa Remember, by Karen Tyrrell

Hello, and welcome back to Promote Me Please. Today, we meet author Karen Tyrrell who talks about her new book, 

Harry Helps Grandpa Remember. 

Scroll down after the interview to read more about Karen's blog tour, more about the book, and to enter a giveaway.

Q.1. The first children's book I remember reading about short term memory loss was Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge. I thought then, and still think now; this is a horribly difficult subject to tackle because any recovery of memory is necessarily of very short duration.
How did you address this problem in 

A.1. As dementia can advance at different speeds for individuals, Harry is aimed at families where it’s still possible to communicate with the affected member, and reassure children to not be afraid of such behaviour and not to give up trying to interact and communicate, and be more patient and open.
I showed the realism of dementia through my Grandpa’s character depicting his emotional and behavioural state. At the same time I showed how we can treat our loved-ones with respect, humour, compassion and a sense of hope.

Q.2. How did the idea of writing Harry Helps Grandpa Remember come to you?

A.2. Harry Helps Grandpa Remember is based on my experiences caring for my dad with memory loss and my father-in-law with Alzheimer’s using coping skills. Harry shows how Grandpa improved his functionality and felt better about himself. These tried-and-true practical coping skills and memory boosters are highlighted throughout the book.  Strategies which improve well-being and quality of life. My young nephews use these same strategies with their Grandpa when they visit too.

Q.3. How did you settle on the level for the book? It's the kind of subject that could slot in at any level from picture book right up through YA.

A.3. I wanted to pitch at an age-level reaching a wide cross section of the community. I chose a picture book to deliver a visual and emotional message in partnership with the text. The positive messages are as much for adults as they are for children. I’ve included a teacher section on preventative brain health as well as tips on slowing down the dementia process.

Q4. Did you choose your own illustrator and, if so, how did you go about the selection process?

A.4. I chose my own illustrator, Aaron Pocock, who I worked with on another picture book Bailey Beats the Blah, coping skills to lift a child’s mood. I won a RADF grant through Arts Queensland and Logan City Council. Aaron’s illustrations are bright, bold, super appealing to kids with almost a 3D effect. 

 Q5. In your opinion, how far should we go in realism in a difficult subject like this one? I've noted that most literature for public consumption (that is, not specifically for those families affected) soft-pedals the whole issue...

A.5. In Harry Helps Grandpa Remember I show Grandpa’s emotional and behavioural state before and after dementia developed as a well as the effect of coping strategies have on his overall quality of life. Grandpa’s dementia symptoms are shown realistically by his actions, emotions and words i.e. his  grumpiness, forgetfulness and lethargy. Without giving away the ending, there is an overwhelming message of the importance of family relationships, love and hope.

 Thank you Karen for your thoughtful replies to our questions. Promote Me Please wishes you well with your new title, and tips a metaphorical hat to you for tackling a difficult subject with grace and dignity.

Now read on for news on the other stops in the tour. Remember, you can catch up with earlier stops as well as the later ones.

Harry Helps Grandpa Remember Blog Tour
WOOHOO! Harry Helps Grandpa Remember   is now on Amazon world-wide as a print Book and as an eBook.
Harry is about the special love between a little boy and his grandpa who was Alzheimer’s. Harry will do ANYTHING to help his grandpa remember. A heart-warming story, full of humour and HOPE.
ISBN: 9780987274083
To celebrate, Harry will be visiting these sites:
Harry Helps Grandpa Remember Blog HOPS
22 June: Harry Helps Grandpa Remember  Now on AMAZON www.karentyrrell.com    
23 June: Spilling Ink Interview http://ali-stegert.com/
24 June: Buzz Words Review http://diannedibates.blogspot.com.au/
25 June: Robyn Opie Interview www.robynopie.blogspot.com
25 June: Jackie Hosking Review www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com
26 June: Blog on Author Platform http://charmaineclancy.com/
29 June: Sally Odgers interview http://promotemeplease.blogspot.com.au
30 June: Jill Smith Review https://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com
30 June: June Perkins Interview http://gumbootspearlz.org/

Blog Tour Book Giveaway

Please leave a comment on any of the sites above for a chance to win a signed print copy or 5 eCopies of Harry Helps Grandpa Remember. 6 Copies to be won. 6 Winners announced 3 July.

Good luck

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Xander Demos and his New EP

Today we welcome metal guitar virtuoso, Xander Demos, to Promote Me Please, to talk about his new EP.  You can read Xander's bio after the interview.

Xander Demos
Q.1.  Hi, Xander. The new EP sounds exciting. Does it follow on from the themes of Guitarcadia or does it break new ground?

XD:  Thanks for having me…yeah, the new EP is going to be really exciting, and I think that anyone who loved my first, Guitarcadia, will really enjoy the new one.  And, for those who haven’t checked out Guitarcadia yet, the new one will stand on its own.  As far as themes go, I’m always intrigued by sci-fi and otherworldly themes.  So, there is a little of that on the new EP.  I’m really excited, because this release will have more vocals than the last album.  There are going to be 4 vocal tracks this time!  I can’t wait for everyone to hear the Judas Priest cover, and most likely, first single, “Judas Rising.”  The vocals on that track are unbelievable!  I’ll leave it at that, for now.  I don’t want to give too much away, but I know people are going to sit up and take notice, when they hear that one.  The new EP is going to be a perfect blend of music, in my opinion: 2 vocal covers, 2 vocal originals, and 2 original instrumentals…what more could you want?

Q.2. How do you judge the best time to launch a follow-up to an acclaimed album?

XD:  It’s hard to judge, really.  Things have been so busy for the past couple of years, since the release of Guitarcadia, that the greatest challenge was finding time to record, quite honestly.  Some personnel changes also delayed things.  Deciding whether to do a full band project, or just come out with another “solo” project delayed things, too.  But, I think people have had enough time to digest the last album, and it’s definitely the perfect time to release something new.  I just can’t wait to hear people’s reactions to the new stuff.  I hope I can get out and visit some different cities and play some of the new stuff live, too.

Q.3. Briefly, describe the new EP. What's its title and had did you arrive at the tracks?

XD:  Haha.  Well, I guess I kind of jumped the gun a little on this one, since I talked about it earlier.  Like I said, the new EP will be 6 tracks: 2 vocal covers, 2 vocal originals and 2 original instrumentals.  We’re covering tunes by Judas Priest and Accept.  Some of the original material has been around for a while, but it’s being re-imagined and newly recorded.  The tentative title is Runways and Waterways, but that could change before the release.  We’re hoping to have it out by early summer.  It’s still being tracked, and I’m hoping to have CJ Snare from Firehouse, doing some mixes again, as well as JK Northrup.  Both are great friends, and do amazing work.  I also talked with Michael Wagener about doing a mix.  He’s the all-time god of metal mixing, so it would be a thrill to have him do a track, too.  We’ll have to wait and see. 

Q.4. Recording or live performance? Which give you the best experience?

XD: While I love recording, I’d have to say that the live experience is the best for me.  I love that instant feedback and gratification.  There’s no feeling like stepping out on stage, in front of a sold-out crowd, and just having them go nuts.  We played several incredible shows this year with Metal Church and Stryper, and both crowds were sold out, and just insane.  Can’t wait to get back on stage..stay tuned for live dates!

Q.5. Please list three other albums or performers whose fans would enjoy your new EP.

XD: Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare
        Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance
        Dream Theater – Images and Words

Choosing just three was tough, but I think that should give everyone an idea of what to expect.  Thanks again for having me!

It was a pleasure. Now, to read more about Xander and his music and to see where to find him on the net, scroll on down.
Xander Demos homepage



Xander at Youtube

Xander Demos Biography

 Xander Demos is one of today’s premier shred metal guitarists. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, he currently fronts his own band, XDB and has performed as a member of national tribute act, James Rivera’s Sabbath Judas Sabbath, as well as playing in Rivera’s solo band and Pittsburgh cover band, Raised On Radio.  Xander performs in excess of 100 times a year, and he is active in recording collaborations with artists all over the world. Xander plays guitars from Suhr, McNaught, Brian Moore and Conklin, with whom he has endorsement deals.  His endorsement from these guitar companies is a testament to his impressive skills and his deep commitment to playing the best guitars in the world.

Xander's style ranges from the beautifully melodic to the jaw-droppingly insane. His playing encompasses much of what he has learned and absorbed from other players over the years; artists like Shawn Lane, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker, Neal Schon, Michael Romeo and John Sykes. One constant in his music is a focus on strong guitar melodies. In 2012, Xander released his debut solo CD, Guitarcadia. Mixed by CJ Snare of Firehouse, the album was named among the Best Albums of 2012 by Hair Metal Mansion.

Recently, Xander has been making quite the name for himself and his solo band by appearing as support for acts like Symphony X, Stryper, Metal Church, Adrenaline Mob, Buckethead, UFO, Lizzy Borden, Kip Winger, Neil Zaza and Dio Disciples, as well as performing at Rock Harvest II, Wolf Fest, Skull Fest I and II and NAMM Metal Jam, alongside members of Anthrax, Whitesnake, King Diamond, Dio, Queensryche, Alice Cooper, and many other metal greats.  Named the 2013 AND 2014 Iron City Rocks Pittsburgh Music Awards Guitarist of the Year, Xander’s playing appears on several releases from other artists: Ged Rylands (Ten, Tygers of Pan Tang,) Derek Buddemeyer (Down Boys Records) Modern Superstar and Liberty ‘N’ Justice’s long awaited “Cigar Chronicles,” also featuring George Lynch (Dokken) Jeff Labar (Cinderella) and Jerry Dixon (Warrant.) He was included on “Guitar Feast” a compilation of international guitarists.   His latest single release, “Dancing Through Daggers” was mixed by JK Northrup of King Kobra/XYZ fame, and it was featured on the Guitar Wizards compilation CD with members of KISS, Poison, Guns N Roses, Whitesnake, Dio and more.  Xander was also nominated for 3 awards at the 2nd Annual International Music and Entertainment Association Awards in 2014.

In addition to these accomplishments, Xander is an avid animal lover.  Always looking for projects that will aid these beautiful creatures, Xander is donating a portion of his album sales to the ASPCA.

Xander plays: V-Picks, the Fractal Audio Axe-FX Ultra as well as Hughes and Kettner amps, Matrix Amplification, Mission pedals, ISP Guitar Systems and Suhr Guitars, Amps & Effects, McNaught Guitars, who completed production of the first Xander Demos Signature Guitar, Conklin Guitars and John Dixon Cases. Many of Xander's guitars are outfitted with EMG pickups and accessories. He exclusively uses the FloydUpgrades tremolos or the GraphTech LB-63 piezo-equipped Floyd tremolo.  He also is endorsed with Rock-N-Roll GangStar Apparel, Lampifier Microphones, JH Audio In-ear monitors, and INTEX Cables.

 Thanks again, Xander.

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