Becoming a Rhino: How to deal with Rejection, An Article by Gerry McCullough

Good job Gerry never gave up else we would not have any of her wonderful books and stories.

Susan Finlay Writes

I often hear from people who want to write a book but don’t know how or where to begin. Or from people who have already written a book that’s ready for publication but don’t know how to get it published. I recently began a new blog series, Writing and Publishing Tips From Authors Around the World, to help writers.


The eighteenth contributor is U.K. author Gerry McCullough and she’s here to talk about dealing with rejection.

Becoming a Rhino: How to deal with Rejection by Gerry McCullough

I’ve been writing since childhood, with the encouragement of my primary school teachers, but it was when I was in my teens that I started sending things off to publishers/ magazines, and piling up the rejections. PG Wodehouse once said that he had enough rejections to paper the wall of his study. By the time I had a study, I had enough rejections…

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Life Ain’t No Bed of Roses

Check out my good friend John Holt’s writings here.

Jane Bwye

John Holt’s meanderings – they make me want to laugh and cry at the same time. Welcome again, John, for my final author spot before I hike off to sunny Africa until the spring!

john holt books

Once again my great friend Jane has done me the great honour of featuring me on her web page. The last time she actually gave me a topic to write about, “Challenges”. That made things a little easier. This time, however, she just took me to the deep end and threw me in. No life jacket, no life belt, and me a non-swimmer. “Write what you like,” she says. “Just get on with it.”

So what to write about? My views on world affairs perhaps, that should be good for seventeen words or thereabouts. “Looking at what is happening in the world I would say that we are in big trouble.”

So much for world affairs, so…

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Sunday Surprise

Tricia is a very talented writer who should be getting way more attention and success than she currently receives. I love the Spellbribgers series as well as her other books and best of all I’m lucky to be able to call her a friend.

Barbara G.Tarn - writer

And it’s a guest!  Again from Strange Portals, another fellow author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Tricia Drammeh!

Darksummonsb1Where do you live and write from?

I live in New Hampshire with my husband, four kids, and two cats. I wish I could say I write from trendy coffee shops or from an office overlooking a beachside paradise, but the truth is I write from my living room amidst the noise and chaos.

Why do you write?

I can’t imagine not writing. Creating entire worlds and people to inhabit them is an incredible thing.

When did you start writing?

I wrote poetry in high school, but didn’t try to write a novel until I was in my late thirties. I guess I’m a late bloomer.

firebound kindle coverWhat genre(s) do you write?

I write a little bit of everything. My Spellbringers series is young adult fantasy. Better than Perfect is romance. The…

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Tricia Drammeh

An awesome series by an equally awesome author.

Reading Recommendations

meTricia Drammeh

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest release is Firebound, book two in the Spellbringers Series. It falls under the young adult paranormal romance heading.

Quick description: The story follows two main characters—Rachel and Alisa. Alisa is an ordinary human, but her best friend and boyfriend are both Spellbringers (wielders of magic). She struggles with feelings of inferiority, and at the same time, fights to maintain a sense of independence as her relationship with her boyfriend progresses and becomes more serious. Rachel is new to the magical world and has to hide her true nature from her family. In order to protect her brother from dangers he isn’t aware of, she forges an alliance with evil. She’s afraid to confide in her friends, so she tries to handle her problems on her own, which only serves to put everyone around her…

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Shadows & Light : an interview with Andrew Scorah


Today I’m very pleased to welcome fellow author Andrew Scorah to Writers with Vision to talk about the recently published anthology Shadows & Light & the importance of helping victims of domestic violence.


Welcome Andrew, it’s great to have you here. Before we get into Shadows & Light would you please be so kind as to tell my blog readers a bit about yourself (family life, education, how you got into writing that sort of thing)


Andrew: Thank you for having me, I currently live in Swansea with my partner, Lisa, our kids and a couple of mad dogs. At school, I wasn’t very scholarly I’m afraid, left school without taking any exams. I did love English though, and had a thirst for knowledge, but the stuff I wanted to learn was not taught in any of the classes, who wants to learn about Pythagoras theorem when you can learn about ancient society’s like the Sumerians, all we got taught in History was about the Tudors. I always had my head stuck in one book or another. I used to write when I was a kid, and wanted to be a proper writer, whatever that is, but life got in the way. I did not come back to it until my forties when I saw a call to submission sent out by Matt Hilton, for an anthology of action stories based around the old pulp novels of the 70’s and 80’s. Lisa persuaded me to send a story off, I did, and it was accepted. The rest as they say is history, without the Tudors, he he.




Your inspiration and motivation for the Shadows & Light anthology is very clear from the book’s introduction, but please could you tell us a bit about it for the benefit of people who haven’t got their copy yet?


Andrew: Women’s Aid is a not for profit organisation who help protect survivors’ of domestic abuse. They provide shelter and support, and help with starting new lives away from abusive partners. I was having a chat with my fiancée, who works for the organisation as a support worker, and discussing various ways to raise money. I thought, well I’m a writer, why not see if I can put a book together. I sent a call out to other authors, not expecting to get any real response, but I was overwhelmed, the support has been tremendous.






There is a section in the book about the foundation and work of Women’s Aid but we must not forget that men can be victims of domestic violence too, although they probably find it a lot harder to admit to. Do you have any idea what organisations/support is available to men who find themselves in this situation? (A link or two would be good here)


Andrew: Yes, that’s true, men can be victims also. Male victims of domestic violence can and are frequently victims of abuse in the home, either at the hands of their female or, in the case of same-sex relationships, their male partner. Abuse is a control issue – abusers believe they have the right to manipulate, control and humiliate another person, and this belief is not only held by some men but also by some women. Victims of domestic abuse can find it difficult to let other people know what’s happening and to seek help. Men may be afraid that they won’t be taken seriously, or that they’ll be criticised or ridiculed for ‘letting’ a partner abuse them. Many abused men are reluctant to leave the family home in case they are later denied contact with their children. There are organisations out there like, ManKind Iniatiative-ManKind (click the link to go to page)  Also Men’s Advice Line-Mans Advice, and ESTEEM-ESTEEM.








As a man do you find perpetrators of domestic violence contemptible, pitiful or both?


Andrew: In all honesty, I feel nothing, to say I feel anything would imply I had a degree of care about them, and I just don’t they are so far beneath me. Care and feelings are reserved for their victims.






How did you set about finding contributors for the anthology? Did you have any preconceptions about it? How did you feel when contributions started coming in?


Andrew: At first I had no idea how to go about it, so I just posted on my Facebook and in the groups, Andrew Vachss though I asked him outright and after jumping the hurdles he came onboard.




How is Shadows & Light doing so far?


Andrew: It’s not doing as well as I hoped but at the same time better than I thought it would, still early days yet.






Did you have to turn away any contributions and if so, why? Will there be a second Shadows & Light anthology in future to accommodate people whose stories did not make it into this one?


Andrew: I only had to turn away a couple of people, one because it was too near the knuckle in regards to violence towards women, and even though I had asked for stories, a couple of people sent in poems.




I have written scenes involving domestic and spousal abuse and found them difficult although, or perhaps because, I was not writing from personal experience. Do you find it a difficult subject to write about, if you have ever done so?


Andrew: So far, I have not done any domestic violence scenes in my books. It would not be a problem though, as I feel I have a good understanding of the aspects of DV. Anything else I need I can get from my partner who works for Women’s Aid and is also a qualified Counsellor specialising in trauma.






I would think the answer to this question is pretty obvious, but what do you want people to take away from reading this book?


Andrew: The book in itself is for pure entertainment, but with the information about the psychology of domestic abuse, the different kinds of abusers, at the end, maybe someone will be reading it and think wow, that’s me, that’s my life. Then hopefully, they’ll get the hell out of Dodge, and high tail it for the hills as fast as their feet can take them.




Can you share some links to social media connected with combating domestic violence?


Andrew:  Here are a few links for your readers-Women’s AidSouthallBlack Sisters a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1979 to meet the needs of black (Asian and African-Caribbean) and minority ethnic women. Hideout Women’s Aid have created this space to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it’s happening to you. Freedom Programme The Freedom Programme is a domestic violence programme which was created by  Pat Craven and evolved from her work with perpetrators of domestic violence.


The Programme was primarily designed for women as victims of domestic violence, since research shows that in the vast majority of cases of serious abuse are male on female. However, the programme, when provided as an intensive two day course, is also suitable for men, whether abusive and wishing to change their attitudes and behaviour or whether victims of domestic abuse themselves.


The Freedom Programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help them to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess.


The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.






Do you have any other writing projects on the go at present? If so would you like to tell us about them?


Andrew: I’m working on a series of horror stories at the moment featuring the ghost of a puritanical warrior from the 1600’s. Malachai Reuben has been sent back to earth because hell is empty and all the demons have come out to play. I will also be working on my PI character from Shadows and Light, Frank Ballard. Also on the go, is my action thriller, The Omega Sanction, which is nearing completion of first draft.




Where can my readers find you on social media?


Andrew: You can find me on Facebook hereAndrew Scorah FB and on Twitter here@andrewscorah




Last, but by no means least, important where can my readers get their hands on a copy of Shadows & Light?


Andrew: Shadows and Light is available in all good Amazon stores, both in Paperback and E format. Shadows and Light and Amazon UK Shadows and Light




Thanks for being here. I’m very privileged to have been involved with the project. I really hope that it helps.


Andrew: Thanks for having me, and thank you for supporting this project.


This is a project  designed to raise awareness of a serious social issue and we need this post and book to go viral in order to stick two fingers up to perpetrators of domestic violence. PLEASE share, tweet and reblog as much as you can and any sales of the book would also be very welcome.







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Getting to Know the Author: Tricia Drammeh

Tricia is a brilliant author and a good friend.

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David Menon – an author to watch

David Menon

I’ve never really been one for politics. Sure I know who the main politicians and world leaders are and the messes they make of the countries they claim to represent. I have a basic grasp of several political issues but I would be lying if I said my knowledge was more than basic. During my time at Coventry University I dated a mature politics student who had the unique ability to bore anyone within earshot ad nauseum with his views. I suspect that this was what deterred me from looking further into these issues. After all Rob thought he knew it all.

Recently however I was privileged to “meet” someone who not only has a sound grasp of the political issues of the day, but who has the ability to weave them into suspenseful political thrillers built on characterisation and his ability to state more than one side of an issue in such a way as his own opinions are not forced down the reader’s throat. David Menon gives his readers the facts in such a way as to allow them to make up their own minds. This is a rare ability as most political writers make no secret of their own stances and leave little space for readers to decide for themselves.

THE WILD HEARTIn his novel The Wild Heart Menon delves deep into the troubled past of Northern Ireland and the complexities of the Peace process without prejudice. He sums up all sides of the arguments and explores the menace of divided loyalties and treachery, along with the vengeful consequences of long held grudges. His protagonist, Ian Taylor, has kept himself to himself and has indulged in some less than savoury actions as a result of the death of his lover. But Ian has now met someone else and while the relationship is by no means central to the story it serves as a kind of emotional and moral compass. Ian’s sexuality is a minor factor as whoever he was involved with would mean a lot to him, which is why he is reluctant to involve his new partner, Mark, in discussions about his past. At more than one point Ian faces danger and, in truth, is wary of exactly which side he is now on and who he can trust, but he and Mark show incredible spirit and courage, I am incredible surprised and, indeed, disappointed that David Menon has not yet found the acclaim he richly deserves.

You can get your own copy of The Wild Heart  from Amazon.

But this is not Menon’s only political thriller.

He has also written the DCI Sara Hoyland series of political thrillers.

OUTSIDE THE RAINThere are, as I understand it, three or more DCI Hoyland books. So far I have read only the third Outside the rain.  This excellent fast-paced book will make you breathless as there are more twists and turns than a labyrinth. Outside the rain deals with the Israeli-Palestinian issue relating back to the Holocaust and anti-semitism throughout history alongside the growing distrust of Muslims in this post 9/11 society. It features security services a bombing as well as the false arrest and imprisonment of a man based solely on mistaken identity when in fact the real perpetrators are at large and far more dangerous.

DCI Hoyland uses her personal loss through the bombing as her drive and determination to get to the bottom of things. She also embarks on a new relationship with the intended target of a failed assassination attempt which might compromise her, but she shows determination and humanity throughout and is a character to be reckoned with. I simply can’t wait to read more about her.

You can get your own copy of Outside the rain and David Menon’s other books here.

premade exclusive book cover 271 ebook (1)David is also responsible for Sorceror (make no mistake, there is no magic or boy wizards in this tale so don’t let the title and what it suggests put you off.)  It is the first in the Superintendent Jeff Barton series and pitches him against a gruesome discovery of human remains at a now disused care home for boys. The investigation leads to horrific discoveries of torture, sadistic sexual abuse and murder. Anyone who feels empathy with the villains in this piece can only be of their ilk as they have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

GYPSYThere is also Gypsy. Danny, a successful BBC correspondent, returns to his hometown of Matlock on assignment, but he has a hidden agenda; to discover the truth about the murder of his best friend, Nigel Slater, thirty years before. This brings him in contact with an old flame and her husband, who was his childhood nemesis, and now has serious problems of his own. Danny is forced to confront things he would sooner not have known. Danny’s sexuality is not the be all and end all, although some narrow minded readers might view it as such. The story and its revelations is far bigger than any of that.

Check out David Menon’s Amazon page and discover a writer whose pen is dipped deep into political conviction.

David is a terrific writer whom I am also privileged to call a friend and I wish him every success in the future and hope that one day he gets the acclaim he truly deserves.

I really look forward to hearing more from this exceptional author in future.


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Very Inspiring Blogger Award


I would like to thank Gerry McCullough for nominating me for this although I think she deserves it way more than I do. We all know Gerry and her wonderful books Belfast Girls, Danger Danger, Angel in Flight and The Seanachie:Tales of Old Seamus are worth a slice of anyone’s time and money.


Check out Gerry’s blog at


Now the bit I am not so sure about. I have to tell seven things about myself. Here goes nothing.

  1. 1.    I have had Type I (Insulin Dependent) Diabetes since the age of 4 so grew up knowing no different. When I was diagnosed meal times had to be dead regular (same time every day) and portions carefully controlled so friend’s parties and school dinners were far from fun.  Thankfully nowadays Insulin is so much more effective so I can now eat more or less what I like provided I keep a check on my blood glucose.


2)                     I have a younger sister, Teresa, but thankfully, although I don’t see her that often, we get on far better than sisters Helena & Celia in my Lynchcliffe series of novels. I gave her a copy of Divided Loyalties: Lady Lynchcliffe’s Story for Christmas.


3)         Not a day passes when I don’t think about my late partner, David, who died on 23 September 2008. I like to think he would be very proud of me for what I have achieved with regard to my writing. It was a difficult time but I got through it.


4)         I like writing fan fiction and have written several Downton Abbey stories which can be read at.

I have made friends through this.

In further keeping with my Downton obsession i am an official Facebook Abbey role-player. I play Lady Maud Strallan, the late wife of the very delectable Sir Anthony. It’s great fun to play. I would rather play that than any of the other pointless games I get invited to on Facebook so take note. NO GAMING REQUESTS PLEASE.

Sexy RB75). I have no qualms in admitting that I have rather a thing for actor Robert Bathurst. He is simply gorgeous and so talented. I love him in Downton Abbey where he plays Sir Anthony Strallan. I belong to a couple of online fan forums. I also love him in the little known comedy series Joking Apart.

6) I collect autographs and have done since I was quite young. I have albums full of celebrity signed photos and letters. I haven’t got Robert Bathurst yet but my collection does include illustrious names such as David Bowie, David Jason, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dame Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins, Hugh Bonneville and my all time favourite singer Joan Baez.

7)  I have no children by choice. The idea of lumbering around looking like an overfull pedal bin for nine months while puking everywhere turns me right off the idea of motherhood and I must be the only woman who just does not understand the appeal. Therefore I resort to what would be mankind’s best invention, if only people would use it, Contraception.  Amazing how difficult teenage girls find it to take a pill every day.


I have nominated my friend Tricia Drammeh for this award. You can check her out here.



Her YA fantasy novel The Claiming Words is well worth a read. You can also learn more about her at my recent blog interview.

I have also nominated Malika Gandhi whose wonderful debut novel Freedom of the Monsoon charts the lives of five friends in the years leading up to the Partition of India. A very absorbing and evocative read.

You can check out Malika’s blog at



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Hello world!


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