10 Statements – Ian Probert

Guardian pic

Ian Probert has been scribbling down words ever since he learned to spell the phrase: ‘Once upon a time…’. He is the author of Internet Spy, Rope Burns and a bunch of other titles. Internet Spy was a bestseller in the US and made into a TV film. Rope Burns is a book about why books shouldn’t be written about boxing. Ian has also written things for a shed load of newspapers and magazines. When Ian was a student he used to write lots of letters to the bank manager.


Find me…

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/716683635030173/

Twitter:  @truth42  https://twitter.com/truth42


My personal motto:

You’ve gotta be in it to win it.

10 statements
  1. A typical work day begins with… a two-and-half mile walk across Waterlow Park. Frozen ponds, dogs, harassed parents. These are the sights I see.
  2. I lose track of time… when I’m playing musical instruments. I play clarinet and classical guitar. Very seldom at the same time.
  3. I have always… tried my hardest to be perceived as normal. But the harder I try the less I’m believed.
  4. I have never… flown a plane, skied, eaten frog’s legs, cheated on my wife.
  5. Home means to me… a concept by which we measure our sofa.
  6. I am inspired by… Bill Nelson, Egon Schiele, Modigliani, Peter Blake, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Howard Devoto, Ian Curtis, H R Todd, my daughter, my father.
  7. I would like to meet… nobody at all. I’ve met them all.
  8. My worst character trait… A bad temper that is inadequately masked by an apparently sunny disposition.
  9. My best character trait… Well I shouldn’t say this but others tell me I’m generous. I, however, am aware that material generosity is merely a means of obscuring the fact that one is unable to be emotionally generous.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Always take a photo with a person in the foreground.”


Johnny Nothing

Genre:  Children

Johnny_Nothing Cover

Review:  Johnny Nothing


“Great new kids book alert! My two are in hysterics reading Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert (and I am too).” Jane Bruton, Editor of Grazia

“Oh, Wow! Dark, sordid, grotesque and hilarious are only a few words I can conjure up to describe this hilarious book.” Lizzie Baldwin, mylittlebookblog

Critics are comparing Ian Probert to Roald Dahl. And Johnny Nothing we have a modern successor to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

Johnny Nothing is best-selling author Ian Probert’s first ever children’s book – although adults are enjoying it too. The story of the poorest boy in the world and the nastiest mother in the universe, the book is earning rave reviews. Children and grown-ups are all laughing at this incredibly funny kids book.

Take a look for yourself:


To celebrate the paperback launch of Johnny Nothing we are offering a free Kindle copy of the book to the first 100 people who Tweet the following message:

@truth42 I’m reading Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert. http://geni.us/3oR8 #YA #Kindle #kidsbooks

The first ten readers who answer the following question will also receive a signed print of one of the book’s illustrations.

Q: What is the tattoo on Ben’s arm?

Send your answers to truth42@icloud.com


Amazon http://geni.us/3oR8

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/johnny-nothing/id908777441?mt=11

Book promo http://youtu.be/xaWO4tR4oj0?list=UUzLRcpNMLRKKtJhes1s1C7w

WordPress http://ianprobertbooks.wordpress.com


Bill had a shaven head and was wearing a blue tracksuit. He was almost seven feet tall and built like an outdoor toilet made of brick. Bill didn’t realise this but he was a distant descendent of Neanderthal Man. He had only one eyebrow – one long bushy eyebrow that reached right across his forehead. He looked like what you might get if you force fed a member of Oasis with a half-tonne black plastic sackful of steroids.
And if you were brave enough to be present when he took off his tracksuit you would discover that his back was so covered in hair that he was able part it with a comb. If Bill had had more of an interest in fashion, he might even have considered giving it a curly perm and perhaps a few extensions
On his right arm, Bill had a tattoo which simply read ‘Bill’. This was in case he woke up one morning and forgot who he was. This was actually less unlikely than you might imagine because standing next to him was his twin brother. His name was Ben and he was identical to Bill in every way except that the tattoo on his arm read ‘Bin’ (the tattooist was either South African or not a very good speller). He was wearing a red tracksuit.
Bill gave Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie the tiniest of smiles and managed to grunt ‘hello’. Ben gave the couple exactly the same tiniest of smiles and also managed to grunt ‘hello’.
The two men were standing protectively close to Johnny. They were so large that in the confines of Johnny’s bedroom they looked like giants, which they were. They were so enormous that each of them had their own postcode. They were so gigantic that they had their passport photos taken by satellite. They were so humungous that you could spend all day thinking up rubbishy jokes about how big they were and never adequately describe just how indescribably, earth-shatteringly ENORMOUS they were. By no stretch of the imagination could you call them small (unless, of course, you were a lot bigger than them).
The pair of Goliaths were having to stoop slightly so as to avoid head-butting the ceiling, which actually even looked a little scared itself. They were a terrifying sight. Even scarier than a school trip to a Weight-Watcher’s nudist camp.
There was a long, pregnant silence in the room like this:

This eventually gave birth to an even longer post-natal silence, which, in the interest of preserving the rain forests or the battery on your Kindle, I shan’t demonstrate.
The four grown-ups eyed each other nervously. Bill and Ben looked at the Mackenzies like they were looking at insects that could be squashed into pulpy insect juice any time they so desired.
The Mackenzies looked at Bill and Ben like they were looking at two giant skinhead Neanderthal bully boys who had just appeared from nowhere in their recently and unexpectedly decorated council flat.
Johnny looked a little scared.
Finally Billy Mackenzie managed to get his mouth working a little and spluttered: ‘Who are you?’ And then: ‘What do you want?’
There was another long silence – let’s call it a pause – while Bill and Ben looked at each other as if trying to decide who was going to answer. Finally Bill spoke: ‘You the boy’s parents?’ he demanded in a voice that sounded like an angry rhino with horn-ache. Although if he was clever enough he would have realised that this was a rhetorical question.
There was yet another long silence (you’ll be relieved to hear that this is the last silence you’re going to get in this chapter) before Billy Mackenzie mumbled ‘Yes’.
‘We’re Johnny’s bodyguards,’ continued Bill. ‘We’re here to make sure that everything’s hunky dory.’
‘Hunky dory?’ Mrs. Mackenzie suddenly found her voice. ‘What do you mean ‘hunky dory”?’
Now Ben spoke: ‘What my brother means to say,’ he explained. ‘Is that we’ve been – how shall I say – contracted – to make sure that this young feller’s affairs are in order.’
‘Get out of my house!’ interrupted Mrs. Mackenzie, suddenly feeling a little braver, although she had no idea why.
Bill and Ben looked at each again for a moment. They did this almost as much as your mum looks in the mirror. Or you dad looks at websites that he shouldn’t be looking at. ‘First of all,’ said Bill, ‘This isn’t a house – it’s a flat.’
‘And second of all,’ said his brother. ‘We ain’t going nowhere. And neither are you.’
‘Johnny who are these men?’ Mrs. MacKenzie asked her son, ignoring the two giants.
‘I’m sorry mum but…’ Johnny started to speak but Bill cut in like a pair of scissors that chops sentences into bits.
‘…What the young feller means to say is that the fun’s over.’
‘The fun’s over?’ repeated Felicity MacKenzie numbly.
‘That’s right,’ continued Ben. ‘You’ve had a right old time. You’ve been spending his money like it’s your own. You’ve been ripping the poor young feller off. And we’re here to put a stop to it. From now on things are gonna be different.’

‘I’ve had enough of this,’ said Mrs. MacKenzie. ‘Nobody speaks to me like this in my house…’
‘Flat,’ corrected Ben.
‘Nobody speaks to me like this in my flat. Billy, call the police!’
As usual Billy MacKenzie did as he was told. He reached into his pocket for his mobile phone. Before he had the chance to even turn it on the gigantic frame of Bill was towering over him.
‘That an iPhone?’ asked Ben.
‘Erm… Yes,’ said Billy, who could only watch as the huge man took it from him and with one hand crushed it into a chunk of buckled metal and shattered touch screen.
‘I think it’s broken,’ said Ben. ‘You ought to take it back to the Apple store. Tell ‘em that you’re not getting a decent signal.’
‘Right!’ cried Mrs. MacKenzie. ‘We’re leaving! You’ll be very sorry you did that. I’ll fetch the police myself!’
Now the giant frame of Bill was standing in front of her. He was holding something in his hand that looked a little like a child’s toy space gun.
‘Know what this is?’ he asked. Although once again he wasn’t clever enough to recognise that this was a rhetorical question.
Mrs. Mackenzie regarded the object for a moment. Then she shook her head. Whatever it was she guessed that it was not intended to provide pleasure, happiness or fulfilment. Anything that has a trigger and a barrel and goes ‘bang!’ seldom does.
‘Come on Billy!’ she said. ‘We’re leaving!’
Bill stood in front of her blocking the doorway. ‘Not so fast,’ he said, not so slowly. ‘It’s called a Taser. See this little trigger at the front? If I press this it’ll give you a small electric shock. It won’t hurt you…Well not too much anyway.’
Bill raised the object and gently touched Mrs. MacKenzie on the arm. There was a loudish bang and a flash of blue neon light and Mrs. MacKenzie collapsed groaning to the floor. She was conscious but wasn’t able to move her arms and legs
‘Oh my gawd!’ said Billy Mackenzie bravely charging out of the room in terror. He got as far as the stairs before there was a second flash. He, too, crumpled to the floor. Bill dragged him back into the bedroom by the scruff of his neck.
Johnny Nothing got to his feet and stood over his two parents. He looked anxious. ‘Are they… Are they… OK?’ he gasped.
‘Don’t you worry yourself,’ smiled Ben. ‘Give em a few minutes and they’ll be right as rain.’
‘But they’ll think twice before they try to run off again,’ said his brother.


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10 Statements – Marigold Deirdre Dicer

Marigold's avatar

Marigold’s avatar

I’m an avid explorer of all things fictional. I like all mediums, but if I could only pick one I’d pick books.

Born and raised in Brisbane, Australia, I can’t stand the cold and love lounging about with a good book. I also love travelling (my major financial indulgence) and I always try to travel to places with colourful history and mythology.

I graduated uni with a science bachelor, went to work in the mines for five years, and now I’m back at doing a postgrad course to become a high school teacher.

I like my cozy mysteries to be about the mystery, and my paranormal fantasies to be about the magic. I will give most books a try, and am currently accepting indie books in exchange for an honest review. Please check out my blog for details.

I’ve been writing for ten years and have just self-published my first novel, a new adult urban fantasy called The Black Swan Inheritance. Please check it out! Also, if you would like to receive a free copy of my ebook in exchange for an honest review, I will be very happy to comply. Please email me at nogaku89@gmail.com


Find me…





Google Plus

Amazon US Book:

Smashwords Book:

Kobo Book:

My personal motto:

Work out what makes your happy, then work out what you’re willing to do to get it.

10 statements
  1. A typical work day begins with… procrastination, usually involving the internet. I’ll sit down at my laptop intending to work, and then somehow I end up on Facebook, WordPress, Goodreads…
  2. I lose track of time… when reading a good book. The sensation doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I’m a little spooked. Even when I’m wasting time, I have a good sense of how much time has passed by habitually checking my watch. Somehow, some books suck me in and I sort of ‘wake up’ and panic because I have no idea if I’m meant to be somewhere.
  3. I have always… daydreamed – all kids are encouraged to imagine, I just never stopped. My favourite thing to do is nothing, because then I can think, dwell, and explore inside my head. Whether it was as a passenger in long family journey by car, during particularly dull assemblies at school, or a quiet moment at home, daydreams are powerful, supportive imaginings. I love being able to create inside my head.
  4. I have never… done something I thought could be dangerous. I am a boring person, and that’s the way I like it. Having said that, my perception of danger has changed as I’ve gotten older, which is part of the reason I quit my job in the mines, and why I am now afraid of heights.
  5. Home means to me… family, although the city I was born and raised in will always feel like home. I love my mum, my dad, and my little brother. As long as I stay connected to them, I know I’ll be alright.
  6. I am inspired by… moments of peace. If I’m struggling with something, I go for a walk. The action really does ‘clear my head’. Every time I felt I’d run out of ideas, I’d go for a walk through the neighbourhood and come back with renewed creativity. Maybe it has something to do with getting the blood flowing to brain, or maybe it’s because when you are walking, you can’t just flick on the TV or check your phone. There are no distractions in a quiet neighbourhood, only inspiration.
  7. I would like to meet… Leiah Cooper from soireadthisbooktoday.com, my friend, fellow blogger, and editor! I have no idea when I’d be able to get to America, but I promise when I get over there I’ll make a beeline for her house.  🙂
  8. My worst character trait… My shyness. I’ve always been shy, and I recognise that if I were more outgoing I’d be professionally more connected, but I accept who I am. I don’t actually want to change it, but I know an outgoing personality could open up more doors.
  9. My best character trait… I like to think it’s my honesty, but that can sometimes be a flaw. I like to think I’m a kind person, but it doesn’t always work out that way. I aspire to kindness – I suppose that’s my best trait.
  10. The best advice I was given… “No one gets through high school unscathed.” My dad told me that, after I’d finished high school. I pass on that little gem  to anyone who will listen, and one time this guy told me that high school was the best days of his life. I told him I didn’t believe him, but he was adamant about it. I actually feel really sorry for him. If high school’s the best days, then everything’s goes downhill after that!
    Yeah, I didn’t really like high school. I have no regrets though, because I’m happy with the person I’ve become, and that couldn’t have happened without all the experiences I had. BUT if someone gave me the option to do it all again, I would run like hell. I do not want to be a teenager again!


The Black Swan Inheritance (Book 1, The Black Swan series)

Genre:  Paranormal, New Adult



Review:  The Black Swan Inheritance

10 Statements – Emily Guido



Emily Guido is a new Paranormal Romance Author. A true romantic at heart, she was inspired to start writing “Charmeine” because one day she got an idea of two characters that needed to have their story told. When Emily writes, it is similar to you or I watching a movie. She pictures the characters in her head going through vivid descriptions of each scene. There are so many nuances going through her mind that she cannot type fast enough.




Emily Guido is a new Paranormal Romance Author. A true romantic at heart, she was inspired to start writing “Charmeine” because one day she got an idea of two characters that needed to have their story told. When Emily writes, it is similar to you or I watching a movie. She pictures the characters in her head going through vivid descriptions of each scene. There are so many nuances going through her mind that she cannot type fast enough.
The Light-Bearer Series consists of Charmeine, Mactus, Accendo, Seditious, Ransom, and Conundrum. These novels are the continuation of the wonderful adventures of the inhabitants of The Castle Charmeine! Come and join in on this addictive journey of Angels and Vampires who are light and dark of the universe.
Emily is currently writing Conundrum the Sixth Novel in The Light-Bearer Series.
Pursuing her Master of Business Administration, Emily works for a Fortune 500 company by New York City.
The Light-Bearer Series is a YA, PNR, Paranormal Romance, Vampire, Angels, Action and Adventure, Historical.


Where to find/follow Emily:

Website:  http://emilyguido.com/
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5764521.Emily_Guido
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/Emily__Guido
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/thelightbearernovelist
Charmeine” First Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”
Mactus” Second Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”
Accendo” Third Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”


My personal motto:

“Pay it forward.”


10 statements

  1. A typical work day begins with… making a list and prioritizing them!
    Wouldn’t everyone like to get what they planned to get done… done? I would!  I have to make lists.
  2. I lose track of time… when I am talking to someone.
    Talking is an art form. Not everyone can be easy to talk to. I am from the South, and I suppose I love chatting and getting to know people.  It’s not being nosey, just being hospitable.
  3. I have always… loved STRONG COFFEE!
    Coffee or even cappuccino is my great bad love! I remember Mom roasting coffee beans and barely crushing them for cooking in her Greek boiler. Her coffee was legend!
  4. I have never… been an actor on television.
    I love acting.  I have been in several plays and musicals. It’s always been one of the greatest, nerve-wracking experiences I have ever known.
  5. Home means to me… PJ’s and rest!
    I love relaxing with family and/or enjoying a good book while I sit in my easy chair.  It’s Heaven to me!
  6. I am inspired by… people who are nice for no reason at all.
    Have you even been taken off guard by someone who is nice to you? Sometimes I hear a ‘Thank You for Shopping With Us!’ and I am taken aback.  In the South that is common, but here in NYC area, not so much.  Not that they are bad people, it’s just that everyone is so incredibly busy and rushing to go someplace.  So when I hear a phrase like that . . .  it makes me smile and think of a simpler time, my home.
  7. I would like to meet… Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Martin Luther King, and tons more too!
    Well, of course I would love to meet the Authors and Leaders I idolize. It would be nice to share a cup of coffee with them and get to know them!
  8. My worst character trait… I worry a lot.
    I am a worrier extraordinare!  I worry about everything and everybody! It’s not good, I know.  I frequently calm myself with deep breathing and can’t the Serenity Prayer over and over again.
  9. My best character trait… I always try to be kind.
    That’s just the way I was raised.  My Mom said, “NO ONE is better than you, Emily!” That’s what I live by every day.  I try to do something nice every day, whether it be big or small.
  10. The best advice I was given… the Golden Rule.
    All goes back to those days when I grew up.  I was fortunate to be able to lay in my yard on the green grass and look up at the clouds and wonder . . . dream . . . hope . . . and love. The Goldren Rule isn’t a religion, of course, but it should be inscribed on everyone’s heart.


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10 Statements – Sandra Danby

Sandra Danby Author © Simon Cooper

Sandra Danby Author
© Simon Cooper

Since she can first remember, Sandra Danby has loved reading. Hardback, paperback, e-book, new or pre-loved, borrowed from the library and friends, magazines and newspapers, she reads them all. She grew up on a small dairy farm at the bleak edge of East Yorkshire where England meets the North Sea. At the age of four she was making magazines full of her own stories. When missed by her mother, she was usually found in a corner with her nose in a book. She devoured everything from the Famous Five and Secret Seven to Swallows and Amazons, from Little Women to George Orwell and Mary Stewart. All this reading led her first to a degree in English Literature in London, then to journalism. Now she writes fiction full-time… and still reads at every spare moment.

Ignoring Gravity by Sandra DanbyIgnoring Gravity, Sandra’s debut novel, is about two pairs of sisters, separated by a generation of secrets. Rose Haldane is confident about her identity. She pulls the same face as her grandfather when she has to do something she doesn’t want to, she knows her DNA is the same as his. Except it isn’t: because Rose is adopted and doesn’t know it. Finding her mother’s lost diaries, Rose begins to understand why she has always seemed the outsider in her family, why she feels so different from her sister Lily. Then just when she thinks there can’t be any more secrets… Ignoring Gravity is to be published by BNBS Books, a new crowdfunding publisher, which has set Sandra the target of achieving 250 pre-orders in order to win a publishing contract. Pre-order now, and help her win the deal!

The sequel to Ignoring Gravity, Connectedness, again features Rose Haldane. Sandra investigates the nature of identity and the role our family history plays in making us who we are. Controversial artist Justine Tree confronts the truth of her past when she asks Rose to find her lost baby. The story sweeps from the wild windy coast of East Yorkshire to the hot streets of Malaga, Spain. Will Rose ever discover the truth and is Justine telling her the whole story?

Sandra’s flash fiction stories, all under 500 words, are published online at Ether Books where you can read them for free. Ether is an app for your mobile which enables you to read stories by new and best-selling authors while you are on the move. Many stories are free. As well as short stories and flash fiction, you can choose from poetry, biography, essays, travel, sport and recipes. Featured writers include Hilary Mantel, Maggie O’Farrell, Louis de Bernières, and Sir Paul McCartney.

the milk of female kindness - cover 13-12-13Childless author Sandra was surprised to be asked by Australian editor Kasia James to participate in an anthology of writings about motherhood. The Milk of Female Kindness: an Honest Anthology about Motherhood is available from Amazon and includes one short story and one flash fiction by Sandra, inspired by our relationships with our own mothers.



10 facts about me:
1  Yorkshire-woman and proud of it!
2  Twitter novice, just finding my way. I’m sure I’m missing loads of tricks.
3  Live to write… not write to live.
4  5ft 1in tall… the only time I feel small is when I want to get that book off the very top shelf in the bookshop.
5  Big tennis fan, go Andy Murray!
6  Lover of trees… and green. Nature in tooth and claw.
7  Want to go to… Australia.
8  Will never again… go scuba diving. Terrifying!
9  Don’t go often enough… ski-ing.
10  Love… sitting in the garden on a sunny afternoon with a good book.

You can connect with me at:

Writing blog  –  http://sandradanby.com/

Sandra’s blog about her life in a quiet valley in Spain  –  http://notesonaspanishvalley.com/

Facebook author page  –  https://www.facebook.com/sandradanbyauthor

Twitter  –  @SandraDanby

Pinterest  –  http://www.pinterest.com/sandradan1/

My personal motto:

“If you want something doing well, do it yourself!”

10 statements
  1. A typical work day begins with… tea and more tea.
  2. I lose track of time… when I am writing, when I am reading, time just seems to disappear.
  3. I have always… been a multi-tasker, lots of irons in the fire and balls being juggled.
  4. I have never… jumped out of a plane. I don’t do heights.
  5. Home means to me… my wonderfully comfortable bed and crisp white sheets.
  6. I am inspired by… people who succeed in life despite illness or disability or the rubbish that life throws at them, very humbling.
  7. I would like to meet… Andy Murray. I’m a tennis nut, what can I say.
  8. My worst character trait… impatience.
  9. My best character trait… perseverance.
  10. The best advice I was given… “If you think it’s finished, it probably isn’t. Keep polishing until it gleams.”

Buy / pre-order / read links

Buy The Milk of Female Kindness at Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/

Pre-order Ignoring Gravity here – www.britainsnextbestseller.co.uk/

Read Sandra’s flash fiction for free at Ether Books – http://catalog.etherbooks.com/Authors/1037

To download the Ether app – http://www.etherbooks.com/


10 Statements – Topaz Winters

02 B&W

Topaz Winters is a fourteen year old singer/songwriter and author.  When she is not staying up until four AM on a steady diet of coffee and cheesecake, writing her heart out, she can be found exploring musical frontiers with her eccentric collection of band mates or playing with her Japanese Spitz puppy, Hachii. Topaz’s debut novel, Frozen Hearts, drops in January of 2014, and her debut album, Falling Star, later on in the same year.  Topaz does not yet know her path in life, but she is stopping to smell the roses on the way.

You can connect with me at:


My personal motto:

“This love is brave and wild enough.” It’s a lyric from a song I love, and it serves to remind me that if I love something enough to fight for it, then that love will always be enough to achieve it.  🙂


10 statements
  1. A typical work day begins with… stretching luxuriously, lying in bed for another half an hour trying to work up the motivation to get up, and finally forcing myself out of bed and drinking my coffee in order to wake up properly. (This is assuming we’re talking about weekends here, considering I’m still in school and don’t have the leisure of a “real” work day!)  😉
  2. I lose track of time… when I’m reading, singing, or writing. My family has learned not to disturb me when I’m in one of “those moods” – generally because when I’m interrupted, I tend to trail around with a vacant look on my face and require a question to be asked three times before I comprehend it!
  3. I have always… been a hopeless romantic.
  4. I have never… published a novel. Yet.  😉
  5. Home means to me… no specific place, really – just the feeling of belonging, and being loved unconditionally.
  6. I am inspired by… people who achieve their dreams despite impossible odds stacked against them.
  7. I would like to meet… oh gosh, so many people. The list is endless; I can’t choose just one.
  8. My worst character trait… I’m ridiculously sensitive. Sometimes I take critiques way too personally and I have to remind myself that no, I’m not a terrible writer – I just have some things to work on, just like the rest of the millions of other writers in the world!
  9. My best character trait… I’ve never been one to let things hold me back from doing what I really want to do. If something is important to me, I will never give up until I find a way to make it happen.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Life doesn’t owe you anything.”