Friday, 20 December 2013

Pre-release teaser for book 8, due out end January, 2014

“A torrent of warm blood flowed over her cold fist, soaking her soul in the gentle embrace of a warm bath.” 



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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

PAINTED RAIN by Gemma Pol



Congratulations, Gemma for your wonderful award winning short story. 

Gemma is a year 10 student at my local Great Lakes College, Tuncurry, NSW, Australia. Her story has just won the prestigious Patrick White Indigenous Writers Award.






 Painted Rain
by Gemma Pol

I hesitantly opened my eyes, adjusting them to my bland surroundings. I could hear light droplets of rain staining the faded concrete outside my apartment window. My mind was bare, and my life was meaningless. Frankly, getting out of bed seemed pointless. I lived for nothing; in fact, I did not live at all. I simply just existed.

I finally forced myself to crawl out of bed when my phone would not stop its excessive buzzing. When I answered, the lifeless voice of the DVD shop owner mumbled about the tragic romance movie I had borrowed two months earlier and had failed to return. I agreed to take the DVD back that day, realising this would be the first time leaving the apartment in almost two weeks. I made a double shot espresso to go and headed out of my lonely door.

I walked down my favourite lane, even though it meant taking a longer route to the shop. The lane was always soundless and empty, like me. I think that’s why I liked it so much. My isolated footsteps echoed down the lane and sent shudders up my legs. I tried to remember the last time I didn’t feel so sorrowful and alone. Not since my mother passed away. I imagined her playing piano. When I was a cheerful child, she would play for hours. I imagined her beautiful melody, so sweet and enriched with warmth. 
 
The music was getting louder, and then I realised I wasn’t imagining at all. I followed the angelic tune to the abandoned creative arts hall. It shocked me that a structure so gloomy and colourless could be the home of something so vibrant and magical. I peered through the slight crack in the door to see an elderly man at the piano. He had hair as grey as rolling storm clouds and ancient-looking skin. I delicately widened the door and it made the slightest creak. The man looked up to face me, but his eyes were still wondering, searching even. He was blind.

“Hello? Who’s there?”

I considered not answering, just closing the door behind me and walking away. But something about the whole situation made me feel as if this was no accident, maybe even fate or something. 

“Sorry, Um… My name is Ava, and I just heard you playing and well…”

He faintly laughed to himself. “I’m Noah, why don’t you take a seat dear?”

I smiled, for the first time in what seems an eternity. A chord captivated the emptiness in the room, in me. Noah’s fingers glided along the piano, like butterflies slicing through thick air. I couldn’t believe that someone with such an unfortunate disability could create music so encouraging and joyous. The song faded and the room was silent again. 

“Do you play Ava?” Noah croaked.

“No, I don’t. My mother used to. I used to sing to her music, but it just doesn’t seem right without her,” I explained, completely satisfied with my reason.

“I know how you feel Ava. It was something that only you and your mother shared, something too precious and too private for anyone else to hear. But you see Ava, you have this beautiful gift, a gift given to you to share. And your mother is watching you, just wishing for the day you sing again. Today can be that day.”

Noah raised his hands to the piano once again. He let his fingers roll along the keys and his emotions pour into the music. He made it look effortless. My mother was a truly amazing pianist, but Noah, he was different. He played to vanquish his impairment, to show it doesn’t control him. He was so grateful of every day, every moment and every song. He saw the beauty in the world, even though he could not see.

Something changed in me that day. Right then and there, an influx of relief empowered me. I began to sing, before I even realised I was. The lyrics, my voice; everything came rushing back like storm water racing down a dry river bed. When the song stopped, so did I, but I knew the river would never be dry again.

Noah had an unbelievable impact on my life. He made me remember all the beautiful things in life I had forgotten. The grass was greener, the sky was bluer and music was richer. Rain no longer stained the concrete… It painted it.



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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Paperight.com

Paperight.com is clever. They’re turning copy shops into books shops. Effectively, anyone with a photocopier in a tiny village in some poor country with a simple agreement with Paperight, can print out my pdf books and sell them retail for a fraction of the price of a normal print book. I still get a good royalty and my books get read by people who wouldn’t normally have access to them. Poor, remote area students in third world countries now have access to school books at a fraction of the price. Gotta like that.


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Monday, 2 December 2013

Interesting Review of Urban Hunters series

Pinky's Favorite Reads writes an interesting review of my Urban Hunters series. Check it out here for a different perspective.

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Monday, 14 October 2013

New Release BOWELS OF HELL book 7



Entombed and doomed to digestion down the bowels of hell itself, Billy and Amber must escape or die. 

The orphans, abandoned again, must set aside their differences and put into practice what Billy has taught them. Or starve. 

And is the honeymoon over already? Can the Bullies save their relationship with Mel?
“WOW! Hauntingly hypnotic. Good enough to set to music. A wickedly graphic conclusion. Loved it.” Anne, Australia
“It’s really clever. Very exciting. I love the way you’ve ended it.” Jack, Australia
“One minute his chilling descriptions are giving me the shivers and the next, I’m laughing out loud!” Ethan, USA
“By far the best in the series, cliffhanger at end is driving me crazy” Andrew, UK
URBAN HUNTERS is laugh–out–loud, gut–churning, heart–wrenching storytelling at its best. Unlike anything you’ve ever read, in typical Taaffe fashion. Hilarious as usual. Always surprising. Wonderful!
Find your favourite book store at Bunya Publishing.
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Thursday, 3 October 2013

First Look at book 7 BOWELS OF HELL

Big day today- all the editing is in so I'm doing final re-writes, copy editing, formatting and hopefully, all going well, I'll be uploading book 7 to Amazon this afternoon- available tomorrow. The image shows how I have to write it in HTML code to do a professional job of converting it to mobi, epub and pdf. So if you can read it, you're one of the first to see it, after my Facebook post.
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Monday, 23 September 2013

Cobar and Burnam

Do you remember the howls of laughter when Mallee and Pindaari arrived back at camp after Billy challenged them to retrieve a crystal from the crystal cave? That was the Tea Cosy chapter in Four Small Stones. How much do these two fellas remind you of Cobar and Burnam cracking up laughing about what Billy did to them? I had such fun writing that scene. Did you like it? 

Comment on my Facebook page if you like-



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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Book 7's New Title

Introducing book 7's ghastly new title and blurb, all due for release in about 2 weeks.

 
BOWELS OF HELL
 
Entombed and doomed to digestion down the bowels of hell itself, Billy and Amber must escape or die.

The orphans, abandoned again, must set aside their differences and put into practice what Billy has taught them. Or starve.

And is the honeymoon over already? Can the Bullies save their relationship with Mel?



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Friday, 13 September 2013

Book 7 Title


Settled on a title for book 7 and committed to it. Spent two whole days developing artwork based on it for the launch. And then in an odd moment doing something completely different I thought, nah, boring. It was TOTEM. It’s relevant to the story and the series, but nah, boring. Not intriguing enough. Not enough to make you want to buy the book to see what the story’s all about.  

So it was back to the drawing board. I came up with five alternatives with one an absolute stand-out. It’s rough and raw and totally in your face. I love it. Can’t wait to show it to you. Two weeks at the most I reckon so stay tuned. Best Blogger Tips

Monday, 9 September 2013

Book 7 is Finally off to the Editors!



Since finishing writing book 7(20th August), it’s spent 15 working days(nearly 3 weeks) in review and re-writes. That’s the stage where my wife, Karin, reads over it. She does a full read to get a feel for the story. We discuss anything lacking and I re-write those sections. During all this I’m re-reading and tidying up here and there. It’s amazing what I find. Paragraphs that waffle, or don’t get to the point or even make a point very well, stand out at this stage. I enjoy re-writing them so they read so much better.
I print another copy and Karin reads again, this time at a much slower pace, checking spelling, colloquialisms, grammar and punctuation. I’m doing all the same again myself.
By this stage and after an initial read, Karin’s seeing things she didn’t see before. Bits where I’ve set up the story or where I haven’t. We discover opportunities for characterisation and plot. All this adds a richness and a depth to the story. It draws out emotions, the good the bad and the ugly.
Time to send out copies for my editors. I’ve got four. You read that right, four! They’re all different and all bring something new to the table. One is amazing with grammar and punctuation. Another sees the big picture with plot and characterisation. Another writes a bit of a review on each chapter giving me amazingly important feedback. Another picks up odd things the others missed. Some give me zero feedback, others flood me with it. They’re all incredibly important to the success of this series and I couldn’t possibly send out the story without them. They’re the difference between a 4 star and a 5 star review. Between amateur hour and professional.
Next is formatting preparation(internal and external), writing the back cover blurb, cast of characters and the glossary. I’ll break some of that down for you over the next couple of weeks to give you an idea of what is involved. By then the editing will be back and it will be back to re-writes again, before final formatting and uploading to eBook sellers, printers and reviewers ...  

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