Month: June 2012

Housewife with a Half-Life on the shelf in Dubray Books in Bray. Also available in paperback in Hughes & Hughes around Dublin as well as on Amazon in ebook & paperback.

Self-published book in a bookshop

Housewife with a Half-Life on the shelf in Dubray Books in Bray. Also available in paperback in Hughes & Hughes around Dublin as well as on Amazon in ebook & paperback.

Delighted with this photo! Also delighted that Housewife with a Half-life has recently received this lovely 4 star review on Goodreads:

From: Nick Lowe

Recommended for fans of Ben Elton,Douglas Adams, Robert Rankin and Terry Pratchett. The author combines humour and sci fi with the ordinary hum-drum of the life of a housewife. Highly enjoyable and original read. I look forward to more.

Head above Water: A mother’s writing retreat

It’s been busy here lately hasn’t it? All Housewife with a Half-Life and liveliness but it will become a little quiet here for a while. I’ve been awarded a writing retreat in Cill Rialaig, a writer’s and artists retreat of six cottages at the edge of the world, overlooking the sea in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Ballinskelligs in County Kerry. Ballinskelligs looks over the Skellig Islands, the site of an early Christian monastic settlement. It is a similar monastic tradition that permeates the Cill Rialaig site. The individual cottages are stone, have no TV or internet and the setting is isolated and tranquil. My retreat runs for 8 days. 8 days! As a mother of four children aged almost 12, just 10, 7 and 4, my thoughts have not been my own for many years and my ideas are seams hewn out of the rock of the everyday prosaic, sandwiches, homework, housework. This unprecedented quiet might in itself be overwhelming who knows?

I aim to work on my second literary novelThe Exhibit of Held Breaths. At the heart of this story is an exhibit – then another – which changes the ordinary life of the reluctant creator and the people of the town. I will look at how the drive of the artistic, or the passion (I can’t think of another word) takes its hold over the individual and how belief in an artifact can take over groups of people (my psychology degree & fascination with social psychology stepping in here).

But who knows? Focusing on that is what I aim to do but I can imagine that the silence and the freedom of thought will take me by surprise. Who knows what might come of it this retreating?

Note: I will post a photo when I get back, for now, I’ll let you imagine, the stone cottages, the cliff, the sea relentless and the gulls hanging above the brine.

What a wonderful launch!

The lovely Colette Caddle and myself.

What a fabulous evening we had yesterday (22nd June) at the book launch of Housewife with a Half-Life! With a warm welcome from Don and Chris at Hughes & Hughes, Dundrum, a wonderful turnout, a super speech and reading by lovely author Colette Caddle it was a wonderful occasion. General chit chat and refreshments followed as I took part in my first signing.

I’d like to thank all those who came along and those who weren’t able to make it and sent messages of support. There was a wonderful crowd there and the books were snapped off the shelves. What a wonderful feeling for a writer used to beavering away at home to be recognised as an author. Here are a few more pics of the evening.

Lovely author Louise Phillips

and for those on Facebook, you should be able to access the album here. More pics will be added as I gather them. Thanks once again to everyone who attended, or

Hazel K. Larkin and Maria Duffy joined me.

who has read, reviewed, tweeted, shared, talked about the book and is helping to spread the word of my A.B. Wells endeavour across the universe!

Head above Water indeed! An author, a husband, four children and a self-published debut novel.

Hughes & Hughes Launch of Housewife with a Half-Life Fri June 22nd: All welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookshop launch of Housewife with a Half-Life and Mid-Summer Tweetup!

I want to invite you all to the real life bookshop launch, signing & reading of Housewife with a Half-Life taking place in Hughes & Hughes Booksellers, Dundrum, from 7pm onwards on Friday next 22nd June.

Housewife with a Half-Life will be launched by the super bestselling author of twelve books, Colette Caddle! There will also be a wine & nibbles reception and I’ll be reading from the book in a felted dress, created by artistic sister Sharon of Feltcreative.

As it’s my debut launch as A.B. Wells I’d like to (dun)drum up as much of a crowd as possible so it would great if you could come along, bring a friend, a whole book club even! Everyone is welcome and I’d love to meet online friends for real. I also want to support as much as possible Hughes & Hughes and in particular Chris, Don & Vicky who have been terrific. Here’s their official launch writeup. And here’s the display they’ve put up for me in the shop. 

If you can come please RSVP to housewifelaunch@gmail.com or comment below.

Looking forward to an evening of fun and chat!

Housewife with a Half-Life Blog Tour

For the next week or so I’ll be travelling round various blogs talking about my self-publishing adventure, finding the time to write when raising a family of four young children, why I’m forging two separate identities as a writer as A.B. Wells for my sci-fi self and Alison Wells for my literary trad publishing side and other topics. Paul Carroll, Louise Phillips, Mariam Kobras, Martha Williams, Rebecca Emin, Vanessa Gebbie and PJ. Kaiser at the Tuesday Serial are hosting my musings and interviews. Here is the full line up.

Housewife with a Half-Life Book Tour

13th June: Paul Carroll Writer

14th June Louise Phillips Writer

15th June The Happy Author on the Porch (Mariam Kobras’ blog)

18th June Writing on a Wet Rock Martha Williams’ blog

19th June Ramblings of a Rusty Writer Rebecca Emin’s blog

20th June Vanessa Gebbie’s Blog  Vanessa Gebbie’s blog

21st June Tuesday Serial Tuesday Serial

I hope my experiences can be of interest and help to you. We start out today on Paul Carroll’s blog. Paul is a up and coming writer from Dublin. My post today on his blog is How to Make Time to write a novel.

Indie Author Giveaway Hop

I am taking part in the Indie Author Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Krazy Book Lady.

The dates for this hop are June 13th to 19th.

Housewife with a Half-Life paperback

The prize options are a signed paperback copy of Housewife with a Half-Life

Housewife with a Half-Life Kindle Edition.

OR a Kindle edition of Housewife with a Half-Life

You can read more about the book here.
All you have to do to enter is comment below and say if you would like the ebook or paperback. For extra entries you can:
Like my Facebook Page
Follow me on Twitter
Follow this blog by email signup
Add my book to your To Read shelf on Goodreads
Just say in the comment which of these things you have done.

Any comments made before midnight PST on 19 June will count, and a winner will be picked on 20th June.

This is an international giveaway.

Click here for the rest of the blogs on the hop and enjoy!

Official Release of Housewife with a Half-Life Paperback and Comp!

Hooray! It’s paperback day!

When I released the ebook of Housewife with a Half-Life I was delighted with the response but many of you kindly said that you’d like to buy the paperback version. I’m happy to now pronounce Housewife with a Half-Life formally available on paperback.Cheers! Clink Clink!

You can purchase Housewife with a Half-Life on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes and Noble and the Book Depository among other retailers. On 22nd June Hughes & Hughes will host the real world launch of the book, they did this lovely write up with a downloadable invite if you are in Dublin that day.

Winner of the kilt competition is D.J. Kirkby. Please tweet or email me your contact details!

LAUNCH COMPETITION OF CURIOUS AND THRILLING DOMESTIC ITEMS!

To celebrate today’s launch you can be in with a chance to win the following:

PRIZE 1:

Fairly Dave has a Temporal Toolbelt with mysterious dimensions! His toolbelt carries many devices as well as an inflatable mattress for sleepovers across the galaxy. Every man fighting adversity and evil Geezer creatures should have one!
PRIZE 2:
A hug for every occasion when you’re saving the universe. Our loveable character Fairly Dave (who has luminescent emotions) carries The Book of Hugs with him in his Temporal Toolbelt and refers to it in sticky situations. A hug can salve most the effects of housewife disintegration and even sort some temporal anomalies.
PRIZE 3:
Scales fit for a Housewife with attitude! Susan Strong is the perfect mother or at least she tries to be. These scales can help you bake life saving apple pie or (moon) rock buns.
PRIZE 4:
Make eggs in the shape of stars! Susan Strong has four year old twin boys Pluto and Rufus whose temporal hopping bunk bed causes chaos. These fried egg moulds are desirable for any space travelling family.
To possibly win the prizes you can do any or several of the following:
1: Comment here, saying which number of prize you’d prefer
2: On Facebook. Go to my Facebook page and like A.B. Wells and share the book release posts. I will make a note of Facebook folk.
3: On Twitter. Tweet or Retweet (from @alisonwells) book tweets or links to this blogpost and comp. Use the hashtag #HWHL. I will make a note of tweeters.
4: Hire a rocket and scratch my book news on the surface of the moon.
This competition is open until Friday evening. Winners will be announced Sunday 16th. So keep posting and tweeting!
Sincere Thanks
I’d like to thank many people, my husband and my children who are interested and supportive of my writing (most of the time!). I’d like to thank Andrew Brown of Designs for Writers, who’s cover has been a big hit and very eye-catching. I’d like to thank Sarah Franklin for editing, for the writers who beta read and proof read and provided expertise, talent that inspired me from my early days online and to all the people who helped with spreading the word with the blog splash last time round to those who are going to do a book tour this time. (Details in the sidebar). A special mention to Rebecca Emin, Vanessa O’ Loughlin, Marc Nash, Claire King, Martha Williams, Rachel Carter, Catherine Ryan Howard, Calum Kerr, DJ Young, Penny Goring, Dan Holloway, Louise Phillips, Paul Carroll, Mariam Kobras and Vanessa Gebbie. There are many other super people who have shared kind words on blog and twitter and you are not forgotten either. I simply don’t have the space to list you all.
As opposed to the mania of the ebook launch and subsequent race up the charts, I wanted the paperback launch to be more of a slow, sustainable thing. I want to reach out to anyone who has enjoyed my posts or writing and thank you for helping me to develop as a writer by your comments, feedback, links to interesting posts. I want to connect also readers who simply buy the book and curl up somewhere to read it and enter it’s world. Housewife with a Half-Life has been described thusly “This is a laugh out loud funny but also touchingly heartwarming read from an author whose lightness of touch has defined her as ‘something of an alchemist’ in literary circles.” As well as a book about the juggles of life, trying to do the right thing, hanging on to your identity while saving the universe, I tried to bring across in Housewife with a Half-Life some of the wonder of the being a part of this astounding universe.

Cheers! And Thanks!

Who would you like to see in a kilt competition and paperback launch!

It’s my blog, so let’s have a pic of Euan McGregor in a kilt.

Join me tomorrow Tuesday 12th June for the online paperback launch of Housewife with a Half-Life. Stop by to find out who has won the signed paperback and to enter the other competitions for book and other domestic fun prizes. Thanks so much for your good wishes and support! If you’re on Facebook like A.B. Wells to find out about other comps, posts and giveaways and the real-life 3d launch in Dublin.

Housewife with a Half-Life is available on ebook  Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Who (or what) would you like to see in a kilt competition to win signed book prize.

Fairly Dave is the very loveable spaceman character in Housewife with a Half-Life. Here is when Susan Strong first sees him:

“He was wearing a random outfit that consisted of a biker jacket, a t-shirt with the logo “42 – not as bad as you think” and a kilt. His legs, of which there were definitely just two, were truncated by a pair of purple iridescent Doc Martens. His hair was, well, the stuff of nightmares. I don’t want to name names, but let’s just say that the lead singer of Status Quo would have been the ideal poster boy for this gentleman. There was a ponytail, a receding hair line and a shiny pate that Susan had a compulsion to draw a question mark on.”

Later we go on to learn that he is extremely tall and that he has luminescent emotions. Parts of his body (ahem!) light up in different colours when he feels, angry, scared, loving or guilty.

It seems that Men in kilts are very popular. When googling, I found this interesting and amusing site for window cleaners in kilts. I love their 100% clean guarantee! and their No Peeking! sign. (Giggling women alert).

There are many films with Men in Kilts (hopefully Housewife with a Half-Life will be too :-)). Braveheart and Four Weddings and a funeral are some of the most well known. For my part So I Married an Axemurderer with Mike Myers and A Life Less Ordinary (EUAN MCGREGOR!!!) are among my favourites.

Win a paperback by commenting here on your fav person in a kilt.

So, to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback of Housewife with a Half-Life, just say in the comments below who you would like to see in a kilt (doesn’t necessarily have to be male) or who’s your favourite movie person in a kilt. Keep the comments funny and clean!

The competition is open until midday GMT on June 12th, the day of the paperback launch of Housewife with a Half-Life. I will draw a winner at random and announce soon after.

And just to let you know, if you’re on Goodreads, enter the draw for a free copy of Housewife with a Half-Life (ends June 11th).

There will be another super competition on the day of the launch when you can win some of the following prizes related to items and episodes in the book! Don’t forget to visit the blog and share the competitions with your friends. Thanks!

Fairly Dave has a Temporal Toolbelt with mysterious dimensions!

A hug for every occasion when you’re saving the universe

Scales fit for a Housewife with attitude!

Make eggs in the shape of stars!

#FridayFlash Further chronicles of Mars (in tribute to Ray Bradbury)

In tribute to Ray Bradbury

In the long years of silence he waited, not knowing he waited. Ears that had been turned to him closed, the dust lifted and fell. He looked through the clearing for signs. He saw nothing, heard nothing without knowing he wanted to see, or hear. But his hands sought the gravel instinctively as he stood, sentry to the silence, to the stillness, to the waiting. He dug, unearthed.

There is a special kind of loneliness that might trigger a metal tear. There became a feeling in him, his long arm, his fingers, digging. There was a sound, Soi, Soi, another sound, Spi, Spi. His fingers in the soil as red as blood tingled. Fingers.

Followed then, a sense of what was old and over. Echoes. Flash memoryDeletion…Rebooting.

Sleepy Hollow. Yes. Humphrey Rock. Bonneville Crater.

Dust devils, this whirlwind of fire sand. Soi, Soi, Spi, Spi, Sil, Sil.

His fingers leapt. Sicila, they said, hot springs, fumeroles, microbial life. Life.

Precipitated then, a sense of what was possible and probable. Opportunity. Opportunity.

It was the judder and tug he needed, he opened his eyes, looked with his long metal eye. Spirit. I am Spirit.

In the long years, all the orbits, the moons of Phobos and Deimos, spinning.

In the long years of silence. Not knowing but now knowing, sentient, conscious. He remembered. Sol, Sol, Soil, his name, Spirit, his lost companion, Opportunity. Mars explorers.

For the last time he waited for the Transit of Earth, that tiny marble tracing across the sun. If there could be a metal tear… He had been stranded in the loose soil, in the red dust and they prayed for him, there was a memorial. He did not know that but their love had been evident, he felt their efforts, reaching out.  He watched the marble cross the sun and disappear. He might live forever, he might see it again.

First he travelled Olympus Mons, named for the home of the old  gods. Down he went into the caves named by the Earth men for their loved ones. The final ray of the sun through the gathering dust. He disappeared into the caves to begin.

So many years, Opportunity retrieved perhaps, oh joy then, or conjecture, (that is all the Earth men have). They wonder where life began and where it ends and can it start again.

In the caves he began for love, for the Earth people who had sent him there, that Rover mission for their constant attention and their prayers. What would he make, his long arm capable of lifting rocks, making monuments, pyramids in the shape of the descending sun? Monuments already existed on the surface in the memory of souls lost in human atrocities. The twin moons were named after Fear and Panic, the lackeys of Mars, that god of war. Now. No. New. Not Fear, Not Panic, Not War.

In the long years, he spoke, he built, he became. And in the dark caves a new secret, hidden from flyby probes and the imagination of men. In these new caves, names for the loved ones, Bradbury, Clarke, Rover, in these new worlds, old landscapes, terraformed pastures and glades and the enduring sea and under that miraculous water not sand, not dust, not yet, not ever. Instead the red Martian rocks, deep hue, deep hewn, everlasting. To the sound of the water on rock, Spirit thought and unravelled his infant imagination and began, and began and began.