Another Round At The Crow Bar #42 June 2020


Hello friends and fans!

Welcome to my 42nd newsletter – June 2020!

On A Personal Note

The month of May … yes, well – perhaps the less said about that, the better, right? Anyway – current disturbing and annoyingly apocalyptic affairs aside, I’ve some really exciting news for you in the audiobook department this month!

Current Writing Projects 

I’m sorry to say that although I was at home for a number of weeks, I didn’t write much if anything at all in that time! I know, I know – I’m disappointed too! Although I didn’t do any actual writing during the last month, I haven’t really done much goofing off either! As you will see, I did a lot of marketing-related work – and you probably know by now that there’s a lot more to being a writer when it comes to being an indie writer!

I did manage to do some work on a media project called “The ABC’s of Bigotry”, which is still in progress – although I managed to make some significant progress on it. Considering that my subject is current politics and events globally – which generally make me feel like filling a sick-bucket, you might understand why it is I tend to chuck this one back in the drawer every so often, being too disgusted to even carry on looking at Facebook! It’s just too awful out there for words!

Meanwhile, I’ve also started editing the last of my dad’s completed works, a novel called “Only Yesterday”, which he finished sometime in the 1960’s! It was his second novel, written after “A Way Of Life“, and is set sometime in the 1960’s as well.

Thank goodness for Google Drive’s OCR function, otherwise I’d have had to copy-type all 352 pages word-for-word, and I can’t tell you how much I despise doing that! At least once I’ve finished copying all the text from the processed OCR documents (one per page), I can start the editing process! More news on that as it happens!

Marketing – The Dreaded “M” Word! 

I’ve been keeping myself occupied with the other side of being a writer – marketing! As much as I hate it, it’s still one of those things no writer can do without. Still, I’m happy to report that things are looking better on that front.

In order to attract more views and attention on social media, I had to create some more attractive marketing images for my books – which although a repetitive process once I’d developed the template – was actually quite pleasant! I’ve included just four below for your enjoyment!

While I was at it, I also created the new header image for this newsletter! To be more exact, I created a template and then used this to create a new header image for each month for the rest of the year! This means the header image will change for each coming month, just so that each subsequent newsletter looks different in the shares than the last – to avoid it getting stale and mistaken for the previous month’s issue!

Also while I was at home during the pandemic lockdown, I set about making new book trailer videos for all my books! This wasn’t an easy task as there are 29 of them, and it took me several days to complete all of them! You can browse through all of them on my website video page.

In the meantime, I discovered that Bidorbuy – a local equivalent to America’s Ebay – has an eBook selling capability, and created an account there. I’ve posted some of my book there, with links to my website in the about blurbs – so that if visitors don’t want to buy from that platform they can also be directed to my website where they can find alternative purchasing options! Interestingly enough, this one act alone has helped to drive more local traffic to my website from Bidorbuy! Sly, eh? 😉

As usual I can attribute my marketing tweaks, improvements and strategies to my beloved wife Wendy who shares her pearls of marketing wisdom from her experience in online social media marketing as owner of DarkLady Marketing!

Also under the marketing section, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, you’ll have noticed I’ve been sharing a lot of new book trailer videos! That’s right, I made those too, almost one for each book!

In the last week of May I hit on the idea of inviting other writers to guest-post on my website! So far I’ve posted two articles forwarded by interested authors – you will find them listed below.

Publishing

Under recent releases this month, these are the six books I’ve released so far this year!

 

Audiobooks

Until now I’ve been working to get as many of my books and stories also published in audiobook format – and until now, I’ve had little to no success on that point. The best I’ve managed until recently, is to get my short stories included into anthologies that were also made into audiobooks – the only two known examples so far being “SEE THEM ALIENS!: An anthology of what waits during the Area 51 Raid” and “All That Remains“. Despite those successes, I still hadn’t managed to get a single story of mine released as a standalone audiobook! That is, until recently!

As I mentioned in my post “Coming Soon! “Blachart” – the Audiobook!” earlier in May, I’m still eagerly awaiting the release of “Blachart” as an audiobook! The end of May came and went, and I’m still waiting! Of course, there’s bound to be some backlog at Audible due to the chaos sown by COVID-19, so I suppose patience is a virtue!

“Blachart” is my very first dedicated audiobook title – that is, an audiobook containing only my own story and not an anthology with others by other writers!

I will announce it as soon as it comes out!

In the meantime however, while waiting for the release of “Blachart”, Brandon from Moon Books also sent me the first 15 minute preview of the next book in the series in line for recording: “Demonspawn” – also narrated by the amazing Nigel Peever – and all I can say is “WOW!” This is truly EPIC, and I’m so grateful to Brandon for all his kind assistance – and to Nigel for his creativity and interest!

Reviews

This month I have two great reviews to show you – this time from two different reviewers! “Dust” received a glowing 4 star review from UK writer and reviewer Lee Hall on May 04! Also, out of the blue, “Space Sucks!” also got a brilliant review from Reader’s Favorite on May 07!

Dust! The final frontier, for one unfortunate crew anyway…

“Captain Stuart Flane is back and is called in again to investigate yet more strangeness in what is becoming a fun and mysterious version of X-Files in Space. And by X-Files, I don’t mean government secrets and the truth being ‘out there’, as much as these stories are ‘out there’! Like most of Engela’s works, this book, like the others in the series, represents the better episodes of the X-Files or even the Twilight Zone in places. And by that I mean the good stand alone episodes that make you think and keep you interested until the end!

While Captain Flane has seen it all in terms of the strange and macabre – he’s even been chased by superiors with golf implements and lived to tell the tale – this latest mission will leave you guessing all the way until the final stages. An unmanned ship arrives with zero trace of a crew apart from an abundance of dust being left in their absence. It’s well written, fun and all around a good read to take one away from the mundane of life if only for a while.

4 Stars – another fun read from Christina Engela whom I must thank for the copy in exchange for a review.” – review by Lee Hall, UK writer & reviewer, May 04, 2020.

Follow Lee and his activities on Twitter.

Space Sucks! is a little collection that packs a big punch

“The rise of science fiction as we know it stemmed from short stories published in feature magazines by authors like Asimov, del Rey, and van Vogt. Short stories are an ideal medium to convey snapshots of imaginary worlds while limiting exacting details that would detract from the main focus of the story. Christina Engela’s Space Sucks! is a collection of various science fiction scenarios that, though common enough to be familiar to readers, still offer a unique perspective tinged with the author’s sense of humor.

From first encounters to interstellar emergencies, Space Sucks! by Christina Engela manages to pique the reader’s imagination with concise prose and descriptive language. The dialogue may be a bit awkward at some points, especially in the first story, but it does not sufficiently detract from the reader’s enjoyment of these stories. The stories themselves just get better as they go, with A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion, I. Mac, and Beyond all being exceptional reads. Beyond in particular stands out as the epitome of what science fiction has always aimed to be: a literary mirror that highlights human circumstances in fictional situations and puts current themes and norms into perspective. A Really Bad Day In The Life of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion also deserves mention as being a concise but highly action-packed and enjoyable read.

Space Sucks! is a little collection that packs a big punch, enough to leave readers in an imaginative stupor after reading each of the stories it contains. 4 stars.” – Eduardo Aduna for Readers’ Favorite, May 09, 2020.

You can also see all my previous reviews here.

Currently Available Titles

I now have 29 unique titles available in 4 series (not including books I’ve been the editor for, and my 16 free promotional items)! My books are available in three different formats: EBooks, Paperbacks and Audiobooks. Click the links or images below to view titles available in these formats.

Communication

Below are links to a few of my most recent posts on my website since my last newsletter:

If you want to see more, just click on the category links below:

Anyway, let’s move on to some more news!

Interactions

  • Fan Mail, Reviews & Honorable Mentions

I display my Fan Mail, Reviews & Compliments with pride, gratitude and humility. You’re always welcome to have a look.

  • Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions

I have the following hate mail to show you this time:

    1. This comment arrived on May 7 from some idiot who wasn’t even on my ‘friends list’ on Facebook before I started cleaning out ‘covidiots’ – goodness only knows what set him off.

I’m rather proud of my hate mail, and you can review my collection here – but be forewarned, don’t do it while eating or drinking, or you might choke while laughing!

  • Interviews

All my interviews are linked to from this page. If you would like to do an interview with me about my work, please do get in touch!

In Closing

Well, that’s all for this time, folks! 🙂

Thanks again for all your support, friendship and interaction!

Remember to stay home, observe all necessary precautions – ignore fake news and conspiracy theory crap, and stay safe!

Feel free to email or message me via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you have any comments or questions!

Until next time, keep reading!

Cheers! 🙂


If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.

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