Friday, 29 February 2008

Two Days in Tehran - Book Launch

Two Days in Tehran is based on a real life journey and a bloody revolution that changed the face of Islam, sending out shockwaves that still affect the world three decades later.

Release date: 4th April 2008

Greg Alexander sets up the ultimate adventure vacation company ... and accidentally treks into the bloody revolution to overthrow the Shah of Iran.

Not only does Greg face treachery on either side of the bitter struggle for power and survival, he soon finds that he can't even trust the seemingly innocent western travellers in his own party.

His life and those of his passengers swing in a precarious balance as Greg tries to make sense of the murky and muddled politics, alliances and feuds of the Middle East and navigate the twisting road to safety.


As part of the
Words 2008 festival author, Michael J Hunt, will be launching his new novel, Two Days in Tehran and signing copies of the book.

Location: Santos Coffee Shop in Mesnes street in Wigan, Lancashire, UK.

When: 10.00 until 2.30

All invited to this free event.

More information

Thursday, 28 February 2008

First Chapters - A Free BeWrite Books sample

At the start of 2007, BeWrite Books offered more than one hundred titles - covering crime, historical, adventure, thriller, humour, psychological, gay, 'cerebral' SF and noir fantasy, YA and literary fiction - and it is committed to releasing at least another dozen exclusive titles per year.

This free pdf download introduces fourteen BeWrite Books authors - some well known; others, talents whose names are only now emerging.

Download the pdf here

We also have some paperback versions of First Chapters remaining, if you'd like us to mail you a free print copy, please send your address to us using the email link on the right (contact us).

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The London Book Fair

April 14th-16th 2008

The London Book Fair is the world's leading spring publishing event for the trading of rights, bookselling and book production services and brings together over 23,000 authors, agents, scouts, editors, publishers, wholesalers, booksellers and librarians from over 115 countries over its 3 day duration.

The London Book Fair is the ideal location to learn about the global publishing industry and London - an international publishing hub and cultural centre in itself.

It is a place to do business, network with peers and clients, meet new contacts, learn about latest developments and have an enjoyable experience.

To register as a visitor, and for more information on The London Book Fair

BeWrite Book's publisher, Cait Myers, will be attending LBF. If you wish to meet up for a chat, please do get in contact either by leaving a comment below or by email.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The Fact and Fancy of Historical Fiction

Publishers, with their obsessive desire to pigeon-hole novels, see a clear distinction between historical fiction and fantasy … but author Hunter Taylor thinks they’re missing a vital point.

In her book, ancient history is where fact and fancy meet on equal terms.

Hunter’s firm belief is that the supernatural must be accepted as an integral part of early medieval life to accurately recreate the times of which she writes and the mindset of those who populated the forests, villages and towns of a bygone era.

Before the line between reality and myth had been drawn, war raged between the new religion and the old – and she calls on her own rich heritage as well as painstaking historical research to bring to life times of bloodstained reality and magical legend in her remarkable debut novel, Insatiate Archer.

Hunter’s family heritage is rich in ages old Celtic and Native American tradition and a store of folklore and intimacy with nature helped create the book’s unforgettable heroine, Susanna.

In her extensive and unfettered research, she found that the deeds of the mighty were carefully written down on parchment and calfskin, but the lives of everyday folk were recorded in poem, song and fireside stories that rang with their own truth.

Reality lay somewhere between documented history and magical legend in the misty past when witches and their public burnings were both equal facts of life.

This realisation led to the development of her complex and unforgettable lead character Susanna, whose startling, differently coloured eyes mark her as a sorceress, and who is a high priestess of the secret and sacred druidic groves, struggling to embrace the best of Christianity. And the deep-rooted superstitions and unholy terrors of those dark times also created the monstrous Yellow Curate who will stop at no evil to rid the world of Susanna and her kind.

Hunter’s seamless blend of 14th Century fact and myth produces a breathtaking odyssey through a land in the birth pangs of change, where Susanna is never more than a footstep ahead of the sadistic cleric obsessed with her destruction.

But the book’s mirror-true reflection of life in a cruel age where illiteracy and misunderstanding ruled is not the result of insightful and open-minded research alone; much is instinctive and drawn from the author’s inherited feeling for the times and people recreated in Insatiate Archer.

As a former military journalist, Hunter – who is now a full-time author and lives with her husband in Texas – also weaves into her work personal family folklore and a closeness to nature inherited from ancestors rich in the wisdom of ages.

She said: “I am on every page in my own right, but I am there in the presence of everyone who nourished or influenced me. My grandmothers are there with their store of homegrown remedies and old family tales. My Celtic father, with his never-ending humor and great creativity, is there. The people with whom I trained in the Army are there. My travels around the country and the globe are there. All the experiences of a lifetime – and the lifetimes of those close to me – come together.

My childhood was filled with the kind of history in which the story is set, with a strong oral tradition in tales of adventure and mystery. My father was Celtic Scots, and family lineage also includes direct ancestors who were Native American as well as old Germanic and Irish blood lines

“This heritage of folklore and harmony with nature was a tremendous source of inspiration as I wrote of times shrouded in myth and of people close to the earth, independent in their ancient beliefs and facing a changing world. Although my story is set six hundred years in the past, the circumstances and characters felt very close to home. I could feel part of them.

“I could understand that, in their world, there was little if any distinction between the real and the supernatural. For the book to recreate this (what is to us) strange balance, it must honour fantasy as well as cold fact and include elements of both forms of the prevailing reality.”

The result is that Insatiate Archer’s mystic heroine, Susanna, is a flesh-and-blood woman of her time, but one who readers can understand and identify with in the materialistic 21st Century.

“Susanna first came to me in the early 1980s while I was serving with the Army in Germany,” Said Hunter. “Through the years, she evolved from a slightly fairy-tale being into a real presence, strong-willed and adventurous.

“In the early 1990s, while living in New York City, I saw a revival of the musical, Camelot. It occurred to me then that of all the people in the Arthurian legends, the character of Nimue was largely unexplored. She is usually portrayed as conniving, a thief of Merlin’s magic who seals him in a cave and leaves him there. She did not seem so to me. I saw her as a highly intelligent young woman, assertive and independent. She became the ancestor of Susanna.

“So the character of Susanna is original, although it has been said that all writing, no matter how the author may deny it, is to some degree autobiographical. I confess I did not see this as I was writing the novel. When it was completed and had sat the shelf for a time, I took it down and read it again. And it was there – me and my family ghosts.”

Hunter’s title is taken from poet Edward Young’s 18th Century Night Thoughts: “Insatiate Archer! could not one suffice? Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain.”

Hunter explained: “When I saw the quote on an old gravestone in Norfolk, Virginia, marking the resting place of a mother and her two children, it seemed to sum up the losses suffered by Susanna in the book; The harsh impersonal randomness of life itself.

The intertwining of historical fiction and setting with elements of fantasy came about as a result of my reading King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, the King James Bible, and Playboy magazine. These may appear to be wildly divergent sources, but they all played a role in the conceptualization. Our modern lives tend to become bogged down in mundane detail. I believe that real life today – as well as in days of old – is something of a combination of fact and fancy, of the ordinary and the extraordinary. So even in the 21st Century, we can understand the touches of fantasy that make my book a more accurate mirror of life in the medieval times of which I write.

I have been interested for some time in the idea and the history of the manner in which women were persecuted as witches. This goes hand-in-glove with the struggle between the old religions and Christianity.

“The unicorn has a part to play in the book; a creature that’s been associated with Christ and the early Christian church, the older nature-based religions, and belief in gods and goddesses. The image of the unicorn has been found in such widely divergent localities as ancient China and on the royal seal of England. You may have noticed that even in cyberspace, it’s one of the most popular avatars in chatrooms and forums. It’s almost like a genetic memory.

“But to ensure historical correctness I researched histories of religions, witchcraft, ancient myths and legends. For instance, one seemingly fantastic episode in my book is based on an event actually documented in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain.

“As between forms of religion, I have no doubt about this blurred line between fact and fantasy in history. I feel that recognizing this in a novel accurately reflects the mindset of those who populated our world in olden days. I’m sure my ancestors would agree.”

Hunter’s passion for writing goes back to early childhood and, ever since, she has always translated her thoughts into words on a page.

She said: “I cannot remember a time when I was not serious about writing. I believe it would be truly traumatic for me if some circumstance should keep me from it.

“My earliest memories are of a love of words; reading, and the enchanting experience of writing. As a child, I haunted the public libraries and read incessantly.

“I remember reading the same lyrical passages again and again, savoring the way the words were constructed to evoke an emotion, a scene, or a thought. I loved John Steinbeck, and Jack London; Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Hardy; and later, Tony Hilllerman. And I cannot read enough of Erica Jong.

“So I have always known I wanted to be a writer. It was a question of arranging my life to allow me to write; family responsibilities had to come first for many years. I don’t believe I had early successes or failures in writing, just in getting to a point in my life where I could devote myself to writing.”

Even in uniform, Hunter was armed with a pen. She said: “I trained as a military journalist and wrote for military newspapers, magazines, radio and television for more than twenty years. I also read as much literature as possible, and took every writing, poetry, literature and English class I could find at nights and on weekends, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles.

“I even took leave to attend longer courses. I once camped at Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and lived in a tent to study Shakespeare. I also commuted weekly from Germany to England over a period of several weeks to attend another Shakespeare course, and from Germany to Spain to complete a creative writing workshop.

“I think the way to hone writing skills is simply to write as much as possible, trying different styles, subjects and venues. And it helps to have really good editors interested in your work, such as my editor at Fort Carson, Colorado, Sam Sears, and the people at BeWrite Books who helped me to fine tune Insatiate Archer.

“My training as a soldier gave me the background and discipline necessary to focus on my mission and to develop an attitude of ‘failure is not an option’. These are things that serve me well in all areas of my life. All writers need a sense of discipline and mission to complete the long and arduous task of completing a novel.

“One thing I have learned that I will share: you cannot write after all your work is done; your work is never done. If you try to write in your so-called ‘free time’ you will never write. You have to learn that the dishes will wait, the laundry is patient, dust is non-toxic and sandwiches are nutritious. All else can wait, but your Muse cannot. If you ignore her, she will become bored and desert you.”

Life revolves around writing for Hunter, but it doesn’t fill every waking hour. She said: “I stay very busy, which I like; I have a low boredom threshold. I am an instructor at Central Texas College, I am pursuing doctoral studies at Union Institute & University, I write every day, I design and conduct writing workshops for disadvantaged populations, I am involved in animal rescue efforts and I am active in my church.

“In my free time I say hello to my husband … seriously, I’m blessed with a life-mate who understands my drive, and helps me to find time for all I feel I must do. Soldiers don’t have a lot of opportunity to make lasting friends in the Army, because of the frequent moves. But the friends I have made have always known that I write; for me, writing is a normal state – and my husband and my family have always been there as an inspiration.

“I have traveled a long and often bumpy path, and each hardship has made me stronger. Many years ago my Celtic grandmother said that when people find happiness in their lives they feel a need to give something back, and that each of us has been endowed with our own special gift, one that we can share. It may not seem to us a very special blessing; we are accustomed to it, and we may take it for granted.

“Writing is my gift and my passion, and is what I want to share. Writing is my way of honoring the many blessings in my life.”

Insatiate Archer is the first in a trilogy of linked novels. Hunter is currently at work on the second, set two centuries later with a descendent of Susanna’s as protagonist. Again deeply researched hard fact and documented myth and magic will be interwoven to recreate a lost age in which reality had a less rigidly defined definition.

Interview by Alexander James

Interview first appeared in Twisted Tongue Magazine

Read an excerpt from Insatiate Archer

Watch the book trailer for Insatiate Archer

Click here for Hunter Taylor's biography

Monday, 25 February 2008

Young Nigerian poet Tolu Ogunlesi wins Swedish Scholarship

Congratulations to poet Tolu Ogunlesi, who has just been notified that he has been awarded a prestigious guest writer grant. This is a huge acknowledgment of the hard work Tolu has put into his poetry and prose and also his amazing talent.

He was unanimously chosen from a number of hopefuls by the selection committee at The Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden. The Guest Researcher’s scholarship allows him a three month stay at the institute. The committee said: ‘we were all enthusiastic about your writing, both poetry and prose.’

NAI press release

Friday, 22 February 2008

Words Festival 2008

26 letters in the alphabet,

tens of thousands of words,

1 Leigh & Wigan Literary Festival, showcasing some of the best use of words in the region.

The 5th Annual Leigh and Wigan Words Together Literary Festival

Monday 24th March - Saturday 5th April

Tuesday 1 April, 6:30pm

Waterstone’s Local Author Evening

Waterstone’s, Grand Arcade, Wigan

A special event organised by Waterstone’s. To celebrate the wealth of creativity in Wigan, Waterstone’s will be hosting a local author evening. There will be talks and demonstrations by several local authors and a chance to meet and support the local literature scene. Free refreshments will be provided.

Featuring: BeWrite Books author, Michael J Hunt, will be doing a sneak preview reading of his soon to be released novel Two Days in Tehran.

£1. Tickets from Waterstone’s, Wigan.

Friday 4 April, 10:00am - 12:30pm

Book Launch by Local Author Michael Hunt

Michael J Hunt will be upstairs at Santos to sign copies of, and talk about, his new book, Two Days in Tehran (BeWrite Books) about a party of travellers caught up in the 1978 revolution when the Shah of Iran was deposed. Michael Hunt is Chair of the Words Festival Committee; he also runs novel writers’ support groups that meet in the Santos Coffee Bar. Michael’s first two books, published by BeWrite, and available on Amazon, are Matabele Gold and The African Journals of Petros Amm.


Saturday 5 April, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Networking Event

This is where writers can receive up-to-date information regarding all aspects of publishing and meet other local writers. Towpath Community Press will display their most recent books and the international publishers, BeWrite Books, will offer a free paperback, ‘First Chapters’, which features an exclusive selection of their published work. This is your opportunity to meet local and national writers and publishers.

Featuring: BeWrite Books authors; Michael J Hunt, Sam Smith and Carol Thistlethwaite. Plus BeWrite Books team members; Cait Myers and Alex Marr.


Saturday 5 April, 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Hear the Word

Derby Room, Turnpike Centre, Leigh

Please join our local writers and poets and share your poetry and prose at this open-floor event. If you want to share your work with an audience for the first time, or even if you are experienced, then come along and join in.

Featuring: BeWrite Books authors; Michael J Hunt, Sam Smith and Carol Thistlethwaite.


To download the complete Words 2008 programme (pdf), click here.

More events featuring BeWrite Books authors can be found here.

Exhibition 5 March - 5 April Hannah Lobley - Paperwork

Words Programme
Monday 24 March Day of Folk
Tuesday 25 March Tyldesley Writers’ Open Day & Workshop
Tuesday 25 March Visit by poet and performer Steve Morris
Tuesday 25 March Alan Hayhurst - Jack the Ripper; His True Story
Tuesday 25 March Orchestration of Waves by John Togher & Paul Bibby
Wednesday 26 March Jim Eldridge - Scriptwriting Workshop
Wednesday 26 March Life in Wigan - Rafiki and the Traveller’s Project
Wednesday 26 March Rosie Lugosi Unwigged
Wednesday 26 March Robert Lloyd Parry: One man show and storytelling event
Thursday 27 March Author visit by Ian Gray
Thursday 27 March Leigh and Atherton Writers Social Evening
Thursday 27 March Open Floor Poetry Extravaganza
Friday 28 March 24 Hour Arty People
Friday 28 March Towpath Press & Local Authors
Saturday 29 March George Alagiah
Saturday 29 March The Wigan Launch of ‘Bookcrossing’
Saturday 29 March The Poetry Picnic
Saturday 29 March Calligraphy for Adults
Saturday 29 March Poet Chris Tutton
Monday 31 March Author visit by Geoff Lee
Monday 31 March Vincent Smith - ‘The Love Poems of Thomas Hardy’
Tuesday 1 April Waterstone’s Local Author Evening
Tuesday 1 April Author visit by Dr Cecil Helman
Tuesday 1 April Sheila Aspinall and Sandre Clays
Thursday 3 April An Afternoon with Stuart Maconie
Thursday 3 April Martin Gurdon - Writers’ Workshop
Thursday 3 April David Gaffney - Powerpoint stories
Friday 4 April Jon Oxendale - A One-Man Under Milk Wood
Friday 4 April Author visit by Ferzanna Riley
Friday 4 April Book launch by local author Michael Hunt
Saturday 5 April Networking event
Saturday 5 April Hear the Word
Saturday 5 April Willpower Youth Theatre

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Time to Vote

Erin Aislinn's site is now open for voting on the Book Cover of the Year (2007).

A vote for Marta Stephen’s Silenced Cry, published by BeWrite Books would be much appreciated. Silenced Cry won the August 2007 book cover of the month and is now hoping to take the grand prize of book cover of the year and of course it is the best of the bunch!

Details from the site:


(voting closes on APRIL 15th)

We've had so much fun picking monthly winners last year. Now it's time to see who is the best of the best.

Select your favorite among these beautiful book covers, click on the e-mail link for your choice, and you will be automatically entered to win the book with the MOST votes, whether or not you voted for the winner.

Your e-mail will be used only to notify you if you win. It will not be otherwise propagated.

Awarded copies may be in e-book or paperback format.

Only one vote per e-mail address will be considered.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008


Welcome to the BeWrite Books blog.

We will be bringing you information about our new acquisitions, latest releases, authors, events, press releases, excerpts, interviews, awards, book trailers; you name it we hope to provide information about it here.

We’d love to hear your comments about our books and what we do: feedback is important to us. So please do post any comments and questions you might have.

BeWrite Books have been publishing English language novels and poetry books since 2002 and we now have over one hundred and twenty titles in production. All our books can be found in paperback and eBook formats on our online shop. They can also be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, WHSmith, Waterstones, to name just a few outlets.