Danny Breslin

How it is…

Crystal Healing in Paperback

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Hiya, Marion McGeough asked me to let you know that the first of her books Crystal Healing & the Human Energy Field: A Beginner’s Guide is now available in paperback. So….Crystal Healing & the Human Energy Field: A Beginner’s Guide is now available in paperback. There you go.

(You do know I’m not getting paid for this don’t you?)

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

November 21, 2013 Posted by | Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Me & Gus on Amazon

Roof-of-World

Defining moments in your life…erm…I think I just had one. I went onto Amazon to check if I’d had any more reviews and I noticed that Me & Gus on the Roof of the World is on there in paperback. I thought it would take longer for them to get it on as they said 5-7 working days.

I know it’s been on Kindle for a while but with the paperback coming out it feels like I’m finally an actual published author. Does that sound strange? People can actually hold a book that I have written in their hands, actually turn the pages! It just seems a bit more real.

Seeing it there just seemed to take my breath away….AGAIN!

Okay so you can get it on Amazon UK here and Amazon.com here.

If you are new here, haven’t read the eBook version and don’t know the story then have a look at the outline. Still unsure? Check out what others are saying on the testimonials page.

Tell me the defining moments of your life, Something that happened that changed everything. Something that even when it happened you knew it would stick in your memory as “That was the day that…”

Me & Gus on the Roof of the World out now in paperback and on Kindle

 

 

November 4, 2013 Posted by | Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Danny Breslin in Paperback

Roof-of-World

I have just approved the proof copy for my book Me & Gus on the Roof of the World so it will be available on Amazon in paperback in 5-7 business days, BUT! If you can’t wait that long then here is a link to Createspace where you can buy it right now this instant!!!

Check it out: https://www.createspace.com/4493665

If you have never read it, because you don’t have an ereader – or some other flimsy excuse, then now is your chance to get your hands on a real live paper version. Find out what everyone’s been talking about in the book that is…

“so funny you won’t be able to catch your breath!”

Even if you have read the kindle version get the paperback anyway, read it again and display it proudly on your bookshelf so the whole world knows you have great taste in literature.

 

November 1, 2013 Posted by | Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Communicating in English

I don’t like to boast (yeah right) but I think that having friends from all over the world is something worth boasting about. Inspired by my friend in India, Meenakshi (who is more proficient in English than I will ever be, despite my being born on these shores), I have written a few thoughts about speaking and writing in English as a second language.

Oh, and a big, big shout out to the girls in MJs class at the University of New Delhi. Stars of the future.

Spoken English

English is the universal language; it is a common link that enables the world to communicate easily and effectively. If fate had decreed it could have been French, but a quick visit to your history books will tell you why it isn’t.

When speaking English, if it is not your first language, it is important to listen to it being spoken by natives. The BBC World Service on the radio is a great example of English being spoken properly. Similarly, the BBC provides a news channel on many televisions around the world. Listen to how they pronounce the words. (See below for the example about the pronunciation of the word ‘water’.) Take note of the accent, the inflections, the rhythm. Take note of how they shape the words with their mouths, something you can practice in front of the mirror – just don’t get caught doing this or people might think you’ve gone mad!

You might think it strange when I write about the shape of the mouth when speaking, but it is important. Using French as an example, they speak using their lips to form the words a lot more than we do; our language is guttural in a similar way to German, the sound comes from our throat. After all, modern English descended from Old German brought over by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians in the 5th century.

I have noticed Indian people, that I have spoken to, have pushed their tongue to the roof of their mouth to form a harder sound on some words. They also pronounce the letter ‘V’ as ‘W’ and vice versa (or should that be wice wersa?) For a ‘V’ as in video, the bottom lip should brush against the top teeth. For a ‘W’ as in water you should pretend you’re kissing a fish. Oh yes, and for a softer sound on the ‘T’ in ‘water’ the tongue should, at most, gently meet the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth, not strike it like a bell.  

You can also practice softening your accent, make it more neutral. This is something I have to do depending on the company I am with at the time. If I am with my friends in my hometown then my accent can, at times, become difficult to follow for people who weren’t raised in the same area.

Practice when you are speaking a foreign language is vital. When I was at university I did a module entitled Community Language; as there is a large Pakistani community in the local area we were taught Urdu. That allowed me to communicate in Hindi and Punjabi too, although I could never make any sense of Guajarati. With them using chai instead of hai, I couldn’t figure out why they kept saying ‘6’ (in Hindi, ‘chhe’) at the end of so many sentences. The point is that this part of the course was discontinued in the second year and, without constant practice, the language I had learned slowly faded from my memory. Now I only remember the swear words.

In my book Me & Gus on the Roof of the World (shameless plug there!), one of the characters I met in China I nicknamed Hollywood because it was obvious that he had learned his English from watching American movies. Please don’t do this! Americans, I’m sure, are lovely people but they have been mercilessly slaughtering our language since the Mayflower dropped anchor. I read somewhere that within fifty years they might all be speaking Spanish; good, then let our Iberian amigos grind their teeth instead.

 Written English

Writing in English is, in my view, a lot more difficult, even if you can speak it fluently. This is because it is governed by rules of grammar, rules that many natives of Britain themselves have not grasped.

One critic of my book sent an email and scolded me for playing fast and loose with my sentence structure. I admit that I did over extend some of my sentences but that was deliberate. I wanted to create a flow for the reader so it was as if they were hearing the tale told to them, rather than using Short. Sharp. Sentences. that  might have broken it up. Indeed, some of the reviewers of my book have commented that it made them feel as if they were sitting in a pub listening to me tell the story.

This storytelling tradition has been passed down since before writing was even invented. It is a gift learned from my father who was originally from Ireland, a lyrical people. He could spin a yarn that would mesmerise the listener. His jokes would stretch on, involving different characters and would be so rich in detail that you would never guess it was a joke until he hit you with the punch-line.

Yet rules are there to be followed, and although you can bend them to a certain extent to suit your style (e.g. Roddy Doyle), it is best to avoid straying too far and breaking them altogether. Ignore grammar and your sentence structure will fall apart, this will confuse the reader and drive them away.

The best advice I can think of is to read widely, practice and be creative. Decide on your target audience, who are you writing for? Tailor it accordingly. More than that, who is that one person that you are writing for? Can you describe them in detail? Writing solely for this one imaginary person who represents your entire audience will keep you from trying too hard to please everyone.

Oh yes, and one last thing: avoid using big words to sound clever when just a small one will do. Remember, discombobulating can be disconcerting!

October 3, 2013 Posted by | Stuff and Nonsense, Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Great Reviews

It seems a few of you actually enjoyed reading my book Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, so much in fact that they have left some really great reviews on Amazon which I’ve put on my testimonials page just to show off. Here are some of the latest ones:

Brilliant, I couldn’t put it down!

I literally couldn’t put this book down. Whenever I had a spare moment, I found myself reading with anticipation to find out what happened next. Me and Gus on the Roof of the World is Danny Breslin’s first person account of a truly unforgettable trip of a lifetime to the Himalayas. Unexpectedly, much of the “unforgettable” “trip of a lifetime” parts of the story come from Danny’s experience with falling seriously ill with altitude sickness and eventually overcoming it. Firstly, I really enjoyed the story. And wow, what a story it is! Danny takes you right there along with him on his amazing journey, from the initial suggestion of the trip all the way through the planning, the excitement, the nerves, the travel, the arrival, the people, the emotions and the experiences, to the sickness, the delirium, the paranoia, and the hospitals. It really is a remarkable story, and reading it makes you realise how lucky Danny is to be here today to tell it! Mostly I enjoyed the way Danny told his story. He is such an excellent story-teller that for the best part of the book I honestly felt like we were mates, and he was telling me face to face over a pint and a packet of crisps in the pub. He is also incredibly funny. I lost count of the number of times I chuckled out loud. What was particularly impressive is that Danny’s humour never wavered neither in his story-telling nor evidently during what was clearly a terrifying ordeal. I would truly love to know what the “nagging nurse” made of him! I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Me and Gus on the Roof of the World for so many reasons and I thoroughly recommend it. This book has a bit of everything; travel, trauma, tenderness, humour (actually it has a lot of humour) all told by a genuine, down-to-earth, all round top bloke. I know that altitude sickness is no light matter, but thank you Danny for sharing your experiences in such a light, entertaining, and refreshing way. Gina4Star

Great Storytelling!

Danny is a great story teller! I felt like I was sitting on a stool in the pub listening to him tell his story real-time. He brings everyone to life and creates so clear of a visual you can actually see the adventure unfold. Though he easily could have died on this adventure, his humor never wavers.  He had me snickering and snorting throughout the book! Denise Hisey

Great read!!!!

Well what can you say, both amusing and touching, written with a vision which almost puts you with the author on his travels, you can almost visualise the scenarios (good job you can’t smell though). Looking forward to further tales. Pen Name

 

Not bad eh? So if you haven’t read it yet, then just pop along to your local Amazon site and download it to your e-reader, or tablet with the kindle app. If you are a complete Luddite and don’t have the sort of gadgetry I’m talking about then you are going to have to wait a few days until it comes out in paperback – see how good I am to you? In the meantime you can have a glance at the outline.

If you have already gone through it and you weren’t too disappointed with it then please give me a (kind) review on Amazon/Goodreads etc. or better yet tell your family, friends and followers about it with a blog post.

If you want to talk to me about this or anything then drop me an email: dannybreslin@mail.com – and keep it clean!

September 25, 2013 Posted by | Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, Reviews, Travel, Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Paperback Writer

Roof-of-World

Okay, biiiiiiiiiiig news my friends. Within a few short days my book “Me & Gus on the Roof of the World” – the greatest adventure of modern times – will be making the leap from an eBook to an actual, solid, hold in your hand proper book! HOORAY!!!!!

Too many people have told me that they don’t have an ereader and don’t understand these new fangled gosh darn things, I thought what the hell? Let’s get it out there in paperback and then there can be absolutely NO EXCUSES! for not reading it. Actually I’d like to apologise to my pal in Mexico gina4star who went to so much trouble to get the digital copy. Sorry mate!

I’ve been through it again and edited it, changing a couple of things but only minor stuff. A bit of syntax correction is good for the soul, so I’m told. Anyway, I’ll let you know when it’s available on Amazon.

 

 

September 20, 2013 Posted by | Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Feeling appreciated

This is going to sound a bit corny, no scratch that – a lot corny. It’s as corny as somewhere with an abundance of corn – Nebraska or somewhere like that. I’m not apologising though.

Courtesy pickthebrain.com

Courtesy pickthebrain.com

Some writers might ply their trade for no other reason than they want to be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Some may write to make themselves famous, maybe get a street named after them or something.

My motivation is a little bit simpler. If what I have written can make one single person’s day that tiny bit brighter then I have won. If I can make somebody giggle, chuckle chortle, guffaw or just plain laugh out loud then the time I spent writing has been worth it. If what I have written can put a smile on a stranger’s face…

I told you it was going to be corny didn’t I?

I was sent a link to another author’s hubpage, Christopher Antony Meade, I blogged about him the other day. Have a look at what he wrote about me and then you will have some idea why I’m such a happy little fella today:

http://christopheranton.hubpages.com/hub/Introducing-a-new-and-very-talented-writer-and-his-first-brilliant-book

Now, my friends, can you do me a favour? Hit the comments button and let me know if you’ve read my book Me & Gus on the Roof of the World yet and, if you have, tell me if it made you smile.

If it made your day, then you have made mine.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

EBook offer – price slashed!

Me & Gus on the Roof of the World is on sale with the price cut in half for a limited time, or an unlimited time or just a time as yet unspecified. So if you haven’t got a copy yet then now is the moment to get yourself over to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, or any of the other Amazon sites serving various locales, and hit the BUY NOW button.

Right now friends are trying to restrain me with cries of “What are you doing Danny? Writing this book took so much out of you. It has dimmed your eyes, gnarled your fingers and made crooked your back. Why would you virtually give it away?”

I push them aside “I know what I’m doing!”

If you’re new to this blog and you’re thinking “What is all the fuss about?” Or “Who is this Danny Breslin?” Or “Did I leave the iron on?” Check out the outline to Me & Gus on the Roof of the World.

So funny you won’t be able to catch your breath!

Read the critically acclaimed true story of a man’s struggle to survive and find a decent cup of tea…
What is a man who is afraid of heights doing in the Himalayas?
A dream trip turns into a living nightmare in which a not-so-hardy traveller faces danger at every turn. A tale of altitude sickness, daring escape attempts, organ harvesting Tibetan Gangsters, facing a Chinese Army firing squad and some of the world’s most dangerous toilets!
Me & Gus on the Roof of the World has action, adventure, belly laughs and pandas…what more do you want from a holiday?

If you want to know what others are saying about Me & Gus on the Roof of the World then take a look at the Testimonials page!

So download Me & Gus on the Roof of the World right now, if not for me then do it for yourself.

August 14, 2013 Posted by | Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

New page for my blog

If you take a look at the top right-hand corner of this page…no, the right-hand corner —> you will notice that I have added a testimonials page. Go and have a look if you like…WHOA!!! Wait a minute! Finish reading this first, you’re so impatient.

It seems that every review that I have had for Me & Gus on the Roof of the World so far on Amazon and Goodreads has been five stars: hooray!!!

Even Bones is happy for me!

Even Bones is happy for me!

 

Perhaps you think that I’m boasting but I promise you I’m not, I have put these reviews on the testimonials page because I want to thank the brilliant people who have written such kind words. Okay and to show off a bit. hehehehe

If you have read my book and have the overwhelming urge to comment about it or put a review on Amazon or Goodreads then I will paste it on to the testimonials page and stick in a link to your blog. Cheers!

August 12, 2013 Posted by | Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Big News

I promised earlier in the week that I would have a couple of snippets of news for you. In fact it could very easily turn into another of those good news/bad news posts.

Let me give you the bad news first. That little rogue Bones (that’s him in the sidebar) of the once famous blog known as Bones Diary has decided that he has better things to do with his time that get chased around the house by his dad for using his computer. The fact that his dad – that’s me by the way – is using it all the time, and he barely gets chance to get his paws on it, is besides the point.

Bones has decided to call it a day and close down his blog for good.

Now despite his failings as an obedient family pet I have to admit some of the stuff he wrote wasn’t too bad. I don’t want it to go to waste so I’m asking you what you think. Should I create a Best of Bones’ Diary page on my blog with a few of his puppy posts on there or, like me, do you think “nah, he’s a little git, who wants to read that rubbish”? Perhaps I could turn it into an eBook and flog it; I could get a decent dog with the proceeds – only joking Marina, I know you love him.

Let me know what you think?

The good news is that I’ve started on my next book. This one is another true story about my travels and features a trip to South Africa to see my mate get married. It takes place about a year or so before the events that I told you about in Me & Gus on the Roof of the World.

I’ll probably do a more detailed outline for you in a few days, like the one I did for Roof of the World, but I promise there will be some more hilarious and hair raising moments to get your teeth into.

Up close and personal encounters with various wild animals, the missus getting attacked by a monkey, tickling a lion’s belly, and chasing a wolf as it headed for some tourists. There are also accounts of baring my behind to some farmers from the window of a train and a brief but savage fight between me and a Zulu warrior who was apparently still pissed off about Rorke’s Drift!

Right, I’m off. Just hit the comments button and let me know what I should do with Bones’ Diary. Cheers!

Bones

Bones

August 8, 2013 Posted by | Writing Your First Book | , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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