The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Tina Frisco

Enjoyed Don Massenzio’s interview of Tina Frisco.

Author Don Massenzio

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with California author and blogger Tina Frisco.

You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at

Now, please enjoy this interview with Tina Frisco:

Tina 4aDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I aim to do both, because both are needed for books to sell. But I won’t compromise originality, so at times it becomes a bit of a juggling act. I write because I enjoy it and am compelled to so. Writing is my life’s blood. And like most writers…

View original post 932 more words


7 Lessons I Learned Writing 200 Stories in 200 Days

We can all learn something from Gregg Savage here…

The Daily Tales of Gregg Savage

200 stories. 200 days. Over 800 hours of writing.

I must have learned something in that time, right?

Part 1

The Monster of Self Doubt

1. Doubt comes and goes in waves.

200 days ago, I decided I was going to write and publish a story every day for the next year, and I am yet to exorcise the monster of doubt whispering sweet-nothings into my ear whenever my mouse pointer is hovering over the publish button. There must be someone out there who doesn’t enjoy these stories, right? Someone who thinks – and, maybe even hopes – this project is a waste of time? Someone who is asking themselves what right this clown from rural Australia has in claiming he is some kind of author? I then realise I, in fact, do not enjoy all of my tales (my least favourite being tale #152 – The Tale of a Hermit…

View original post 2,036 more words

Friday Roundup – 25th May

Thanks to the writers and bloggers below for their useful tips.  There’ll be no Friday Roundup next week, as I’m taking a week off starting tomorrow and hopping over to the Island for some R&R.  Apart from a scheduled ‘Saturday Sale’ tomorrow I’m not about much next week as I want a break away from the computer to focus on my family, so I’ll see you all again soon.  x

1.  Personal Growth & Success for these 7 major blogging mistakes:

7 MAJOR Blogging Mistakes to Avoid!

2.  Lizzie Chantree with 3 marketing tips:

3.  David Kudler with some info about giving books away for free that authors could find useful:

4. AnnMarie McQueen on ‘A Writer’s Path’ gives 7 ways to boost your book sales:

7 Ways to Boost Your Book Sales

5.  Reedsy’s guide on how to self-publish a book:

6.  Ali Luke at Pro Blogger advises how your blog can gain more comments:

7.  Randy Ingermanson asks ‘Why publish your novel with a traditional publisher?’

8.  Sheila M. Good for these new places to submit your writing:

New Places to Submit Your Writing

9.  Janice Wald for these tips on promoting a book on  Goodreads:

10.  Janice Wald at Author Marketing Experts with 13 pre-order strategies to increase book sales:

Winner of May’s ‘Share Your Short Story’ Contest

Hi all, this month I read a story by Phill Slater, and I had to pick it out as a winner.  I had read some years back about a ‘waiting room’ that we go to after death, some of us to recover from illness, and others to look back over their lives.  Maybe Phill had read the article too, and felt inspired to write his story.  Anyway, congratulations Phill, I enjoyed ‘The Waiting Room’.  

Read Phill Slater’s story here

Here’s your laurel, Phill, to add to your story.  Please let me know if you would like me to add your story to a free anthology I am putting together.  Also I’m not sure if the link you gave me is working properly.  Perhaps send another one in the comments?


And the runner-up is Tallis Steelyard’s entertaining story ‘A Magic all of its own’.  Who would have thought I’d pick a story featuring haemorrhoid cream (but I did!)?

Read Tallis Steelyard’s story here

Here’s your laurel Tallis (Jim Webster!) to add to your story:


I’ll start up another ‘Share Your Short Story’ in the autumn,  as unfortunately interest seems to have waned.  The free anthology will therefore be delayed until probably next year.

Please do check out the two other lovely stories submitted during May which I have listed below:

Ayesha Marie:

Gigi Sedlmayer:

Good Old Marks & Sparks


Another blow to the retail industry.  That Great British bastion of the high street, Marks & Spencer, has already closed 21 stores with 14 more in the pipeline, and there will also be another 65 stores closing where sales are down and charges are high, causing a reduced profit.

Marks & Spencer was formed in 1884 when Michael Marks, a Polish refugee opened a market stall in Leeds, with the slogan ‘Don’t ask the price, it’s a penny’.   In 1894 Marks went into partnership with Thomas Spencer, a former cashier from the wholesale company, Dewhirst.   In 1904 Marks & Spencer opened their first shop in Leeds.

However, times have changed, and the majority of us are now shopping online.  The big M&S shop windows stretching a good length down the high street will rapidly become a thing of the past, as now less space is needed.

But what of the mainly middle-aged shoppers thronging the famous M&S food halls and trying on good quality M&S clothing in the fitting rooms?  I am one of those middle-agers, and love a trip to M&S on a Saturday.  Most of my clothes are bought there; they last many years.  We go up to the café on the third floor for a green tea every week, and Sam might buy a pair of jeans as we walk through the Menswear Department towards the café.  My sons know to buy me a M&S voucher for birthdays or Christmas if they are stuck for ideas.

There are not many shops left in Bury St. Edmunds that cater for ladies of a certain age who do not want to visit stores for teenagers and end up looking like mutton dressed as lamb.  I suppose shoppers have been cutting back on spending for some time now, and this is reflected in not only M&S’ dwindling profits, but also in the closure of Maplins Electronics (Sam’s favourite shop, now no more), New Look, Mothercare, and Toys R Us amongst others who have already gone down that sad, slippery slope.  The death knell has tolled for retail.

M&S is an institution – it cannot die!  My cousin who lives out in the Middle East has an M&S in Riyadh.  He tells me that sometimes on family shopping nights, single men are not allowed in, and so he gives money to one of his girlfriends who buys what he needs!

Message to my US friends – has M&S made it across the pond?

Sam says that perhaps the age of the shoppers at M&S has something to do with failing profits, but I don’t agree.  What is wrong with a shop catering for people over the age of 45?  We’re entitled to buy clothing just as younger people do.  Sam in his wisdom also says that these older people are dying off, and that the younger ones are shopping online, but there are always new middle-agers ‘coming of age’ every day.  I suppose they have already been conditioned to shop online though…

The featured free image here that I found on Pixabay is of Exeter High Street in Devon.  It’s typical of any UK shopping centre, but if this retail calamity continues, will we have a high street just full of cafes and phone shops? I fear this will be our destiny before too long.


Irish History Quiz – Part 1

Sounds like an interesting book, Frank.

Frank Parker's author site

2018-05-10 (1)I’m planning a live launch of A Purgatory of Misery next month. I created a Facebook event and have been putting up daily posts about Irish history.

I was going to repeat them here but I hit on a better idea. A quiz!

If you know the answers it won’t take you long. If you don’t, you will find them over on the event’s FB page.

Unfortunately it’s not interactive. I’ve researched several quiz widgets but WP requires me to upgrade to the business version in order to install them.

Here are your questions. You can enter your answers in the comments if you want to show off.

  1. Workhouses were introduced into Ireland by the 1838 Poor Law (Ireland) Act. How many were built in this  first phase?
  2. The book launch is to be held in a former workhouse. It is one of how many additional workhouses that were…

View original post 179 more words

Busting Out All Over


Following on from yesterday’s post on the Royal Wedding, I’ve noticed over the years how wedding dresses have changed from modest creations such as the one I wore on my wedding day back in October 1980.  The top half of my dress finished at the neck, and there was not a heaving cleavage in sight (not that I’ve got one anyway, thankfully).  The dress itself has been sitting gathering dust in my loft for nearly 38 years and it’s a bit yellowed, but here it is:


The last time I wore this was when it was pristine white and I was 22.  It’s a bit sad to see it in this kind of ‘Miss Havisham’ state, but needs must for this blog…

Anyway, to get back to the point, nowadays I never see any wedding dresses that finish at the neck.  Quite a lot of today’s brides seem to have mounds of wobbling flesh busting out over ‘dresses’ with bodice tops that would be better served as an undergarment.  Is this kind of dress suitable for a church wedding, or am I just old-fashioned?  In some foreign countries I’ve been to, all shoulders must be covered if you enter a church.

I’ve seen people’s wedding photos where the bride and bridesmaids are all well-rounded (to put it mildly) and I’ve had to nod and smile and make the right comments while inwardly feeling quite revolted by the sight of all the flesh on display.  I would love to know what vicars think when they’re trying to do their job and there’s a pair of huge bazoomas in front of them!

The wedding dress I did like at the time was Kate Middleton’s, now the Duchess of Cambridge, whose modest V neckline and simple style was so elegant.  Meghan too had a very stunning dress, although as I said previously I didn’t think much of the ‘boat’ shaped neckline.

When did this horrible fashion for wedding dresses with no proper tops to them begin?  If you look at photos of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress in the 1950s or as I stated above – Kate Middleton’s more recently, there’s no dresses these days to compare with them.  I know they cost a fortune, but their style could be copied quite cheaply.  They both had lovely lacy sleeves, no bare shoulders, and they were MODEST!!  Everything was covered up, just as it should be.

What do you think?  Should wedding dresses reveal acres of female flesh, or should modesty prevail?


Your Vote Will Make A Difference!




My latest (as yet unpublished) novel ‘A Marriage of Convenience’ has the chance to be made into a cine-book if it gains 1000 votes by the end of August.

So, can I ask a favour please?  I’d love your vote to help kick-start my new campaign!  Thank you so much!  You can also read an excerpt by following the link below:

Here is the pre-order link, which will be available until July 6th.  The book will be at a reduced price of $0.99 /£0.99 before reverting to its normal price of $2.99 on July 7th.

Thoughts on ‘That’ Wedding and The Royal Family

The Paparazzi and Press ensure that the Royal Family are never very far from our TV screens or the front page of our newspapers.  Harry and Meghan would have probably preferred a no-fuss quiet wedding in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor, but as well as the hundred thousand people outside in the streets, the whole world was watching them via the wonders of satellite TV.

No, I wasn’t one of the hundred thousand in the streets of Windsor, but I did manage to watch the wedding on TV and enjoyed it very much.  It was a welcome break from the traditional service, and more modern and multi-cultural to reflect Meghan’s mixed-race ancestry I expect.  I particularly liked the gospel choir’s rendition of ‘Stand By Me’.  I was quite surprised at Meghan’s dress – stunning but quite plain and free from adornments, not even a necklace.  I didn’t like the ‘boat’ neckline design at all, but it was so much better and more elegant than that huge creased meringue of a dress that poor Princess Diana had to wear on her wedding day.

I do tend to follow the Royal Family’s escapades on news bulletins, although I don’t read newspapers.  Sam and I were in The Mall for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  I’ve always had much respect for the Queen, who has remained scandal-free and has never failed to carry out her royal duties to the best of her ability. Even now she is over 90 years of age she is still a working royal.

Some of the other younger members of her family have not quite managed to live up to my expectations, and seem to take advantage of their wealth and power.  However, I must say that Princes William and Harry have tried really hard to rectify the general public’s opinion of the Royal Family; also Princess Anne is another one who carries out her duties with minimal fuss.  Had Princess Diana lived, she would have been proud of her sons.

Which family we are born into is a lottery we have no control over.  The two young princes are doing a sterling job, whether they had wanted to do it or not.  Yes, they have been born into privilege but have both enjoyed careers in the Services before being called on to perform their royal duties.  One of those duties of course is to produce an heir.  Whether the now Duchess of Sussex at 36 decides to have children is not too much of an issue, as her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge has kindly produced three.

Prince Harry is fortunate to have been allowed to marry the woman he obviously adores, even though she was previously married to a film producer and divorced in 2013.  Had his father been allowed to do the same thing back in the 1970s, Joe Public could have been spared years of scandal and misery.  Still, it kept the Paparazzi in business…