Sep 27, 2012

The Final Countdown

I got some amazing news yesterday. Locked Within is now available on Kindle through and It's on sale at a special low introductory price so if you like your ebooks or just want to get it early, this is the perfect time.

You can also now pre-order the print edition on, though for some reason they're listing it as out of stock instead of not-yet-released.

This is my last blog post before the real work starts on promotion for Locked Within's print release.

So here's how things are going to go for the next several weeks.

I'll start off in October with a series of blog posts about how I've gotten along on my journey to publication, from my earliest daydreams as a child to the long hours of revision and doubt that made me wonder whether I'd make it at all.

Following from that I'll discuss some of the sources of inspiration I've had, including samples of music from the playlists I listened to while writing the book. That should take us up to the end of October.

I'll have a couple of blog posts then in early November, to round things out before the release date, in which I'll talk about how I've felt about this journey and the places it's brought me, the challenges I've faced, and how I feel coming out the other end.

In November, starting November 6th I'll be hitting the virtual road on the Locked Within Blog Tour, sharing thoughts on mythology, history, and the subject of reincarnation, as well as giving a couple of interviews. I've been in touch with my hosts to confirm dates, though I can still fit in some extra dates if anyone would like to have me.

As well as the real-world book launch on the 8th, there'll be a virtual book launch on Twitter on the 9th. I'll come up with a hashtag for that and spread the word. The book launch is looking set to be very well attended but I know there are a lot of people who can't make it and I'd like to do something to give everyone a chance to come together.

The Blog Tour will wrap up on the 30th, and that night I'll host an online chat for people who've read the book to discuss it and ask some questions if they like. There will also be a prize up for grabs, but more on that later.

Things are going to get really busy from here on out. Wish me luck!

Sep 25, 2012


A really awesome thing happened while I was making preparations for my book launch.

Well, several really awesome things.

First, one of my favourite college lecturers from the English Department in UCD, has agreed to speak at my book launch to officially launch my book. Second, I've been able to get in touch with some of my old teachers from school and they will hopefully be able to attend the launch.

The idea that people who have been a major part of my education will be at the launch of my first book is amazing. These are people who have watched me grow, who have seen the seeds of my creative spark and desire to tell stories, and nurtured it.

I didn't have the best time in school. I often performed poorly in class, except for the odd occasion where I did well writing a short story. I had a very high reading age, as much as 4 years ahead of my actual age. So I became bored in school and gave in to daydreaming frequently. I was also a victim of bullying throughout pretty much all my time in school. It's kind of strange, then, that I got along better with my teachers than my fellow students.

But, a few teachers stood out and nurtured what good they saw in me. I was a pretty average student, in all. Never really excelled academically. But these people gave me more than good grades. They taught me to believe in my gifts and dare to dream I could be more.

Having them at my launch is like a rite of passage. In front of the people who most constantly worked to help me discover my calling, I get to stand up and enter this new chapter in my life. That's pretty amazing to me.

Did any of you have teachers who helped you get through the drudgery that is school? Have you kept in touch with them at all? Do you think they'd be happy to see how you've turned out?

Sep 20, 2012

Locked Within Book Launch

We're getting closer and closer to the big day. With the official release date of Locked Within set for November 6th, I am having my book launch on November 8th. All going well, it will be held in Hughes and Hughes in Dundrum. It should start at 6:30pm and there'll be plenty of food and drink provided.

This is the perfect time to pick up a copy of the book. Launches are a fun night out in and of themselves as far as I'm concerned, and I'll be there signing books for everyone.

I've got a public Facebook event set up if anyone wants to add themselves that way.

The launch is open to anyone who wants to come along, so please drop in to say hi, and bring some friends!

As well as the launch, there will be a lot of other things going on in October and November to celebrate the release of Locked Within, not least of which is the release of the Kindle edition in October. I'll be posting here on topics like reincarnation, the urban fantasy genre itself, and sharing some of the music I used as inspiration while writing the book.

Beyond that there will be a blog tour throughout the month of November, starting on the 6th and continuing on. I'm still looking for more hosts if anyone would like to have me. I'll also be hosting a virtual book launch on Twitter on the 9th, and towards the end of the month I'll be organising a private chat for people to ask me questions about the book, the setting, the characters, and the rest of the trilogy.

If anyone has any topics they'd like me to discuss on the blog, let me know and I'll see what I can do. It's going to be a busy time for me and I can't wait! I'll publish a schedule for the various posts and online events soon.

Sep 18, 2012

Paid Reviews Scandal

A quick announcement before my main post. The Kindle edition of Locked Within will be available in October, a month before the release of the paperback edition! It will start at the special introductory price of $1.99 so if you prefer your Kindle to a paperback, or want to get the book early, this is the time to get it.

I'm a little late talking about this issue. I've been sitting back and taking it all in, because to be honest, I wasn't aware there were businesses out there that offered authors the chance to pay for positive reviews. But I've done my research now and I think it's safe to say it's not something I want to do.

It's a touchy area. I mean, reviewers get perks. They get free product, often before anybody else. Advertising companies always talk-up the product and its manufacturer, so this seems like a natural progression. Okay, so a free copy of a $6 ebook in exchange for writing one review isn't in the same league as $1,000 for 300 positive reviews from a series of dummy Amazon accounts. But it's easy to see how the concept of "I give you this book, you review it for me," escalated to what we've seen.

I know there's a lot of outrage over this. But I don't share it. Not because I condone the activity, but because the Internet is changing the nature of self-promotion so fast that it's easy to make a mistake. That, and I have the utmost respect for anyone who can hold up their hand and admit they slipped up.

Last Thursday I asked for people who could review my book or offer an author endorsement blurb. I'm not asking for anything people are unwilling or unable to give. If someone doesn't like my book, I would never want them to say they did. I mean, really, how can I become a better writer if I don't find out where my weak points are?

That's what it all boils down to, for me. If I get good reviews, that means I've done something right and I've earned them. If I get bad reviews, that means I have something I need to improve. If I get no reviews, it just means I have to make more of an impression next time, one way or the other. No matter what we do in life, we must never stop learning. Once you assume you know everything you need, you close yourself off from the greater world and any hope of reaching something higher than where you are.

In my relatively brief experience with the publishing industry, I've found it to be full of the most supportive and enthusiastic people I've ever met. Not one person has tried to put me down or stop me achieving my goals. That's an amazing thing. So many industries are full of people who want to get ahead by preventing others from competing with them instead of improving their own product. We shouldn't let publishing turn into that. We should embrace the fact that we're in an industry that loves to teach and learn.

I hope for good reviews. But I'm ready to learn from bad. Of course, I intend to follow the advice of many wiser people than me and not respond to any negative review, but I want people to be honest. So in November, when you're reading Locked Within, whether you love it or hate it, tell the world, and keep reviews honest.

Sep 13, 2012

Galleys, Reviews, Blurbs

Last week I got to see the galley pdf for Locked Within. Seeing the words "Copyright 2012 Paul Anthony Shortt" was incredible. This just gets more and more real!

So now that the galley proof-reading is done, the book can go to print and it looks like everything's really moving ahead.

What I need to do now is get working on finding people to review the book and established authors who'll read an advance copy and give me a short blurb to go on the Amazon page and WiDo's website, as well as my own blog.

So if anyone would like to provide a blurb or a review, whether on your own website or on Amazon or Goodreads following the book's release, please let me know and when I have the ARCs I'll get in touch.

Sep 11, 2012

Rolling With The Punches

With just under two months to go before Locked Within hits the shelves, I've been kept pretty busy with publicity plans and proof-reading. In between the moments of madness, I've had time to reflect on the path which brought me here. If anyone asked, I'd say I've been incredibly lucky and there are people who've had a much harder time than I have.

But yeah, sometimes it's been hard. A lot harder than I've let on. There've been setbacks along the way. And times when I've wondered if I should just pack it in. But I've always believed you've got to take those knocks if you want to get ahead. If you take a step back every time you get hit, you'll never win, you just end up backed into a corner. I try to remind myself of that whenever life throws me a curve ball.

The further mangle this boxing metaphor, here's something from Warren Zevron:

How do you guys get through those rough patches?

Sep 6, 2012

Red Ribbons Book Launch

Last night I went to a book launch with my wife Jen and our friend Ellen Brickley. It was for Red Ribbons, the debut novel by Louise Phillips.

A missing schoolgirl is found buried in the Dublin Mountains, hands clasped together in prayer, two red ribbons in her hair. Twenty-four hours later, a second schoolgirl is found in a shallow grave – her body identically arranged. The hurt for the killer is on.

The police call in criminal psychologist, Kate Pearson, to get inside the mind of the murderer before he strikes again. But the more Kate discovers about the killings, the more it all feels terrifyingly familiar.

As the pressure to find the killer intensifies there's one vital connection to be made – Ellie Brady, a woman institutionalised fifteen years earlier for the murder of her daughter Amy. She stopped talking when everybody stopped listening.

But what connects the death of Amy Brady to the murdered schoolgirls? As Kate Pearson, begins to unravel the truth, danger is closer than she knows...

Tell me that doesn't grab you!

Great turnout

It was Ellen who invited us along with her, knowing that I needed to see a proper book launch in person to help me prepare for my own.

Ellen and I, waiting to get our books signed
It was a fun night out, despite the fact I've been battling a bug that's been doing the rounds. We got our copy of the book signed and briefly chatted with Louise and a couple of other guests. I think Jen and I may have to fight it out to see who gets to read it first!

Congratulations to Louise, and wishing you every success.

Sep 4, 2012


This will be my first year going to Octocon, Ireland's largest sci-fi and fantasy convention. Every year in October, Octocon plays host to a number of authors and other guests, presenting a series of panels and other events.

This year, I've been invited to attend. I'll be starting off with a reading from Locked Within on the Saturday, just before lunch, and following that by being on a number of panels covering a variety of topics from religion in science fiction to LGTB characters.

I'm really excited about this and hope to see plenty of people there!