29 Apr 2011

Freddie Fuggins Comes Alive is now published & available on Kindle

Freddie Fuggins Comes Alive is published and available on Amazon Kindle

Story outline:

Freddie Fuggins is a thoroughly practiced and popular teacher whose life is full of routine, until early one morning he enters his classroom and hears a voice. Putting the experience down to overwork or his winter ailment he quickly dismisses the ghostly young voice, but it persists. Succumbing to his new found friend Freddie embarks upon a journey of enlightenment and delight that challenges his values, professionalism and way of life; a journey after which Freddie will never be the same.

Watch this space and I’ll keep you posted, oh and don’t forget to tell all of your friends too!

Want to buy it?

Here are links for Amazon Kindle:

USA/Canada -  Freddie Fuggins Comes Alive

UK - Freddie Fuggins Comes Alive

Germany - Freddie Fuggins Comes Alive

Thanks for visiting

6 Mar 2011

Web site up and running...

Good morning,

Just a short post to let you that my new web site is up and running.

It is here: http://paulstrettonstephens.com/

Check it out, see what you think and feel free to make any comments.



8 Feb 2011

Glossary or no Glossary that is the question?


It was suggested to me that with a piece of fiction that introduces characters of another world there should be a glossary. I must say that my initial reaction was to say that I thought that the writing should introduce the characters. After this suggestion I spoke with others and I spoke to someone that said, “I would include a glossary and then it is there for those who need it and if others don’t want it they just won’t access it.”

So my question is to you all: Do you say yes or no to a glossary of characters?

If yes, would you put the glossary at the front or at the back?
What do you think?
All thoughts appreciated.


7 Jan 2011


Hey, have you ever started something, got it going well and BANG! You have another idea?

That happened to me just before Christmas and I thought that there are two ways of dealing with this. I could either make a note of it for a rainy day, along with a thousand others, or I could put my current writing project (of 60,000 words) on hold and pursue the idea.

I chose the latter, hey it was Christmas. I planned for the idea to be a short story all the way, whatever a short story is? I read a few versions of a definition on the internet the other day and there are many claiming to define what constitutes a short story. By the way fell free to comment and correct me if you know the real definitive posture on this; I’d be really interested. Anyway here goes: From what I gather in the USA it can up to 10,000 words, in the UK 5, 000 words or in Australia 3,500 words. Confusing isn’t it. Well what the hell I don’t know what territory I’m in now because I’m approaching 11,000 so where does that leave me?

Well a search on answers.yahoo.com from someone called ‘Tyler’s mate’ suggested the following:

50-1,000 words - cameo

1,000-10,000 words - short story

10,000-40,000 words – novella (SO THAT PUTS ME HERE, RIGHT)

40,000-200,000 - novel

200,000-700,000 – epic

And then I came across this on AskVille By Amazon.com:

Here are the answers to your question according to author Lee Masterson:

Lee Masterson is a freelance writer from South Australia, and offers on-line tips for the business of writing, how to get published, and other questions to do with writing. She also writes science fiction novels.

Short Story ~ 1,000 - 7,500 words
The ’regular’ short story, usually found in periodicals or anthology collections. Most ’genre’ zines will feature works at this length.

Novellette ~ 7,500 - 20,000 words (Ah, SO I HAVE ONE OF THESE!) 
Often a novellette-length work is difficult to sell to a publisher. It is considered too long for most publishers to insert comfortably into a magazine, yet too short for a novel. Generally, authors will piece together three or four novellette-length works into a compilation novel.

Novella ~ 20,000 - 50,000 words
Although most print publishers will balk at printing a novel this short, this is almost perfect for the electronic publishing market length. The online audience doesn’t always have the time or the patience to sit through a 100,000 word novel. Alternatively, this is an acceptable length for a short work of non-fiction.

Novel ~ 50,000 -110,000
Most print publishers prefer a minimum word count of around 70,000 words for a first novel, and some even hesitate for any work shorter than 80,000. Yet any piece of fiction climbing over the 110,000 word mark also tends to give editors some pause. They need to be sure they can produce a product that won’t over-extend their budget, but still be enticing enough to readers to be saleable. Imagine paying good money for a book less than a quarter-inch thick?

Epics and Sequels ~ Over 110,000 words
If your story extends too far over the 110,000 mark, perhaps consider where you could either condense the story to only include relevant details, or lengthen it to span out into a sequel, or perhaps even a trilogy. (Unless, of course, you’re Stephen King - then it doesn’t matter what length your manuscript is – a publisher is a little more lenient with an established author who has a well-established readership)

Remember, these word counts are only estimated guides. Use your own common sense, and, where possible, check the guidelines of the publication you intend to submit your work to. Most publishers accepting shorter works will post their maximum preferred lengths, and novels are generally considered on the strength of the story itself, not on how many words you have squeezed into each chapter.

Copyright 2002 Lee Masterson

Lee Masterson is a full-time freelance writer from South Australia. She is the editor-in-chief of Fiction Factor (http://www.fictionfactor.com) - an online magazine for writers, offering articles on the craft and business of writing, tips on getting published, free ebook downloads, author interviews, paying market listings, and much more! She is also the managing editor of the AuthorsDen newsletter. In what little spare time she has, Lee also writes science fiction novels.

Sources: http://www.writetoinspire.com/article1120.html

So I have either a Novelette or a Novella? Anyhow I won’t worry too much about the word count for now. I just really enjoyed taking the detour. Now don’t get me wrong here the main project was going fine but the detour was a relaxing activity, a holiday and now it’s almost done save for the revisions. I am supremely satisfied with it. I’m so satisfied with it that I’m going to create my first script from it. I know screenwriting is a different animal and I’m up for that challenge so if anyone has any words of wisdom out there to help along the way I’d appreciate them.

Well that just leaves me to wish you all a very productive and successful 2011.



12 Dec 2010

A Great Book for New Writers

Hello, I’m just coming to the end of this marvellous book ‘Get Known Before the ‘Book Deal’. Whilst I have already gotten some of the tools and techniques underway to create a platform, the book did two things for me. Firstly it reinforced what I was already doing and enabled me to tweak a couple of things for the better, and secondly it encouraged me to write, write, and write some more.

What I really wanted to say is that this is a much needed book for anyone thinking of starting writing, or for someone who has started and just doesn’t know where to go with it. I can highly recommend this book.

Paul Stretton-Stephens

Writing to feed eyes and minds

20 Nov 2010

Golden Nuggets

Today I’ve found a couple of ‘Golden Nuggets’ that I’d like to share. The first is that I’ve just seen that author Nick Hornby is setting up a writing school for kids. How good is that? The school is accessed through a secret doorway at the rear of a Dickensian style shop selling all things Harry Potterish; you know jars of human snot and that sort of thing. Check out the story here.

The second nugget I want to share is regarding those interested in making movies. I found out that Amazon Studios in conjunction with Warner Bros are holding competitions for budding screenwriters.  Check this out here.


31 Oct 2010

Getting the genre right...

Getting the genre right

I’ve been pitching my book at the Young Adult market, I’ve even joined YALICHAT, and online community organisation for YA authors, aspiring authors and publishers and literary agents. I’ve subscribed to full membership and eagerly wait to see what will transpire?

Having just had an avid reader in the house who has read the script so far, I’m assured that I’m aiming primarily at the right audience. In addition, I’m, told that the story will also appeal to a number of segments of adults. That would be a nice bonus.

I’ll book mark this post and revisit some time into the not too distant future. I say not too distant as I am NOW researching Literary Agents and Publishers and any assistance on that front would be gratefully received.



2 Oct 2010

I've just read that Author JK Rowling hints at more Harry Potter books

I've just read on the BBC that the author JK Rowling has revealed she could write more books in the Harry Potter series.
Evidently she told Oprah Winfrey that has more books inside her head.  JK also mentioned that she was turned down many times before her first work was published.

Related stories

And this is the part that I like in the article.
She had great 'Faith in her story'
She said "I did really believe in it. I just thought, 'no, this is a good story'. "But for some reason I can even remember being quite pleased with it. I know it sounds masochistic but I was even quite pleased with the rejection letters. I just had faith in the story."
I particularly like this part because, although I haven't been published yet. I too have great faith in the story.  I can even picture it in print, on screen and as a Playstation type of game with merchandise to follow.
Read the full BBC article here or see clips of the interview were released on www.oprah.com 

1 Oct 2010

Not been on lately, busy rewriting

Hi, I’ve not updated lately for two reasons. Firstly I’ve had a bit of an eye infection, don’t know why but it sure does give you time to think about the plot, characters and general development.  The second reason is more exciting. I’ve just had some great feedback from the review of the first 125 pages and I’ve been busy rewriting parts and that has meant, enhancing some areas, adding more description, reviewing concordance etc. It has been a thoroughly refreshing exercise.

More soon...

8 Sep 2010

Book Location Holidays?

I have heard of going on a book location holidays twice now in a week.  One person had booked a holiday to Venice Italy in pursuit of locations from a recently read book. Evidently the lady wanted to visit the area the book was set in and go visit the cafĂ©, plazas etc.  Similarly the other person wants to do the same sort of thing in Edinburgh.  This intrigued me.  Both were so taken by the vivid descriptions of the locations in their books that they actually planned to go and visit them.  Then I was talking to a relative in Nottingham and they said that many years ago when Alan Sillitoe’s book Saturday Night and Sunday Morning came out that many people visited the industrial area where it was set.

I had a quick look on the Internet to see if these people were alone and whilst I didn’t specifically find the best book location holidays, I did come across this article in the Times, The best movie location holidays.  The article outlines places where movies were shot on location such as James Cameron’s  3D Avatar,  which was set on Kauai Island, Hawaii.  And presumably will visit just because it was the location.

Interesting!  It just goes to show the impact an author can have on someone through their words.