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Crazy Mind Interview

Interview with author and blogger Steve Costello

Steve Costello is an author and fledgling blogger although he had over five thousand engaged followers when he sent up a motivational blog back in 2000. His passions are many but in particular he loves to use fictional writing to introduce matters relating to human beings and their spiritual nature. We interviewed Steve recently.

How relevant are your personal experiences (such as of sleeping in bomb shelters and the travels/stays in Germany, Greece, Turkey, UK, the Netherlands, Devon, France) on the unearthing of a long-hidden secret in your book ‘Beyond the Pyre’?

My personal experiences are all a part of my life path and they have led me to believe strongly in humanity and the absolute love that resides in all of us.
Sleeping in a bomb shelter was a frightening experience that felt very personal at the time until I realised that I was a lucky one; I had the luxury of a shelter and others like me did not. Those thoughts began to hurt.
I met several groups of people ‘The News’ would describe as coming from both sides of the conflict. We all shared love and hope, we all had families who we loved, we all hoped for peace. None of us were concerned with politics; we saw that as a warning flag that could bring harm, fear and division.
Wherever I have travelled I have seen the same; poverty and corruption exploited by fear. Lies told by politicians and secrets held to achieve their own agendas also creating division and fear of other albeit innocent groups, a minority of whom chose to defend themselves in ways that only exacerbate negativity.
Perhaps The Secret in Beyond The Pyre was placed there to highlight how the threat of something terrible might come about by exposing a “closely guarded secret.” Alternatively, it may be there to say, “go ahead, expose that secret and show the world that the stories are hearsay.” Whatever it does, it creates an “us and them” and denies the universal love that exists between us.

How long did you take to conceptualize the story for ‘Beyond the Pyre’?

Many aspects of the story have always been with me and fermenting until I put fingers to the keyboard in December 2014. Writing and editing was complete by March 2016. Although I found a publisher quickly, the process took fourteen months to publication.

Who inspires you on the character of ‘Catharine’ and the woman who looks exactly like Catharine?

I have a sign close to my desk, “Warning, writer at work. Innocent bystanders may be written into the story.” All of my characters are developed from people I know, have met or have seen in passing. Often I just know that a person or part of them has to form a character. Although they are unaware, Catharine is a mixture of two women I know. The woman who looks exactly like Catharine is another aspect of the same personality.

Which part of the writing process challenges you the most?

I love the writing process. It’s the most natural thing to do. Of course it has its challenges but I believe in Positive, Dynamic Solutions. There is always a way to overcome a challenge.

How did you imagine the setting in your book ‘Horando – Going Home’? If this book has been chosen to be made into a film/movie, where and which two locations (scenes) would you choose to shoot for the trailers?

If Beyond The Pyre or Horando – Going Home were selected by a film-maker I would be thrilled. There are three settings in Horando. One of these is the place where the children who feature in the story live. Their home consists of locations on the Greek island of Rhodes, and The Yorkshire Dales in The UK. The other two locations are purely fantasy although if pressed, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some areas would be places I have visited on my travels. In the early part of the story, four children and a small herd of horses are pursued through a cave from their world on earth to Horando. Maybe tricky to film but this would be a very atmospheric and thrilling trailer. For the final scene of Horando, I would choose The Pic de Bugarach, the highest summit in the Corbières mountains in the French Midi. Bugarach has an uninhibited 360° view which would give complete security for the finale that needs to take place. Despite the magic, I am only aware of one character that can fly. With a cloudy sunset this would be a perfect trailer and it would be a considerable way into the movie before any viewer realised where the trailer came from.

More info:

Twitter: @SteveCostello8


Kirsten Nairn offered the latest in the #SynopsisThursday series,
scroll down and read her synopsis for A Sorry Affair.

You can follow #SynopsisThursday on Twitter through @SteveCostello8 .

Thanks to the authors who have offered their work, ‘as soon as it’s ready.’

Your support is much appreciated. Namasté

Send in your own synopsis by Wednesday to be included on Thursday. The first received each week will be given top place priority and additional Twitter, Facebook and other SM exposure, no strings attached.


A Sorry Affair is a romantic novel by Kirsten Nairn which examines the complexities of relationships and the heartache which can often accompany love. The story is told from the perspective of the three main characters, Mack and Jen, the archetypical golden couple, together since they were students and Abbi, who Mack finds himself drawn to, and eventually falling in love with. He ends up unintentionally in love with two women.

The idea for the story began as a simple question. What does it feel like to be the adulteress? To be the other woman? The sympathy, understandably, is always directed at the innocent party but what if there are two innocent parties? What if you are the ‘other woman’ and are completely unaware that you’re involved in an affair?

The story is considered initially from the view point of Abbi, the ‘other woman’ and focuses on how she feels. She meets Mack by chance and is immediately drawn to him. There is an innocence and naivety to her and the possibility that Mack is in a serious, long term relationship would never have occurred to her. Abbi would never consider having an affair with anyone, married or otherwise and because of this she feels utterly wronged. Everyone, including her own family and friends blame her and they can’t understand or believe that she had no idea that Mack has another girlfriend, another life. The most difficult thing for Abbi though is that she’s in love with Mack. She saw a future for them which has now been destroyed. She’s heartbroken and suffering the pain and loss of a failed relationship, but has no one to speak to, no one to support her.

Mack’s side of the story is perhaps more difficult to understand and to empathise with. He’s in love with Jen. She’s perfect. They’re engaged, they’re happy and it has never occurred to him that they wouldn’t be together for the rest of their lives, and yet for no reason he can fathom, he enters into an affair with Abbi. He realises, too late, that he has risked everything.

Mack’s immediate loss and helplessness are apparent, but ultimately the story examines the long term and wider reaching consequences of his actions. The impact on Abbi and Jen, on Jen’s family and his own family and the loss they all experience.

Later, as the story concludes with a twist, it becomes apparent how much hurt he has caused and the monumental mess he’s made of everyone’s lives. Not only has the future life they all imagined for themselves been changed forever, but he has a child, who may never be a part of his life unless he can prove he will never make the same mistake again.

My hope is that the reader will connect with all the characters and in doing so, be faced with the dilemma as to where their sympathies lie and to ask themselves what they would do in a similar situation.

Kirsten lives in Scotland with her husband, two young children and the usual array of pets that seem to accompany small children. She studied science at Edinburgh University when dungarees were in fashion and Dexy’s Midnight Runners could still cut it with the young ones. She should have studied Art and English and blames her guidance teacher whose words ‘what career would you have?’ still wring in her ears.

#SynopsisThursday – 31 August 2017

This week MJ Goodman shares her work with The BTP community. Click on the Amazon link when you reach it and read the wonderful reviews.
Messages From The Soul is a diverse collection of eclectic heartfelt poems that explore the very stuff of our dreams and fantasies. It touches on our hopes, longings, losses and at its heart explores the universal truths of the human condition that is totally relatable to any reader.
I started writing poems about 15 years ago after a (now friend) therapist suggested I express my emotions through the written word.
Messages From The Soul was released on 31st July 2017 and has already received five star reviews on both Amazon in U.K. the USA and on the publishers website.
I love writing and that is something that will never leave me.

Bloodlust, The Shifting Sands of Home and These Foreign Fields are just a few of the poems included in the book and they are written just as the title indicates – Messages From The Soul.

Born in Stamford, Lincolnshire in the 70s, M.J Goodman has moved around in the UK and lived abroad with her service family. Finally in her twenties, she put down roots in Gloucestershire where she started her writing career as an absorbing hobby. She lives in Gloucester with her husband Peter.
Find MJ Goodman

24 August 2017 from Austin Macauley authors Deborah L Pearson and George Roberts

From Ten Down To Three

by George Roberts

In 1986, James collapses after a game of football at school. The cause is diagnosed as a tumour on the brain. Although treatment is successful, James will never be the footballer he was. The story of James continues on into his thirties as he falls in love, starts a family and becomes, in a modest way, a hero.

In From Ten Down to Three George Roberts examines fate as events happen in James’s life that leave him questioning whether things are meant to be or are simply coincidence. A phone call made in error lead to him finding love. A bang on the head reveals the presence of the tumour. Saving a young woman’s life leads to an unexpected encounter.

From Ten Down to Three is a delightful read full of wit and a dash of tragedy

Passage of Destiny

by Deborah L Pearson

Two young people, will be inseparably linked through an amazing chain of events that will take them on an incredible journey of discovery, laced with intrigue, secrets and love plus an overflowing amount of adventure, visiting unimaginable places, encountering extraordinary creatures and terrifying horrors.

The book starts with both the birth of Melanie and the death of her parents James and Selemie; Melanie is left in the care of her adopted parents along with a bad tempered, black and white tom cat called Austin, who is no ordinary cat, but is in fact Melanie’s guardian, known as a watcher and turns out to be a shape shifting alien. She is eventually told the truth about her real parents and the special gifts she’d inherited from her mother, after a supposed chance meeting with a man called Vian and his two cousins Tarak and Raan. Eventually a romance blossoms between Melanie and Vian.

Vian and his cousins are here to escort Melanie back into the fold, with Austin’s help but to their surprise and utter disbelief they are introduced to Max, and sense almost immediately that Max was no ordinary friend. Max having been brought up in foster homes throughout his entire life trusts no one except Edna, his adopted grandmother who runs a boarding house. He had always sensed a deep rooted connection to Melanie after meeting her at Edna’s but he could never understand why, until it was much too late, from that moment on, his fate was sealed, and both they’re lives would never be the same again.

Max eventually makes an unlikely friend and ally in Raan the youngest and more powerful of the three visiting aliens, who loves everything earth has to offer, as all at once, Max and Melanie are their gradually drawn into friends’ world, but they do not go alone, as a host of friends go with them on this unforgettable journey: Lynnette, is a French born interpreter / translator, Sarah who has a degree in Theology but works as a model, and finally Edna, Max’s highly eccentric and downright unpredictable grandmother, who on a good day is described as the antichrists version of Miss Marple. Both Melanie and Max are eventually introduced to Taban, Melanie’s deceptively illusive and highly secretive uncle, who like Vian, Tarak and Raan are a race known as the Escenii, and it is from this moment that the story takes an unexpected journey, taking them to a serene picturesque alien world known as Munastas, where various shocking and upsetting secrets are revealed.

This is a modern day Science Fiction novel filled with everything you could wish for: Romance, intrigue, humour and kidnapping, and with it, a group of mad cap humans and aliens enjoy!


Thoughts of Time‘ An Anthology collection to absorb, revisit and enjoy. by Jenny Dunbar

In Summer Linen, Jenny Dunbar contrasts “The citrus hay days, apple dawn and wood warm,” against “the glass edged ice horn of the winter visitor who made old, hunched creatures of us all.’’

The poem highlights the main themes of the collection; the passing of time, and the sublime power and beauty of nature. With time comes memories; love, laughter, and contemplation echo through the poems. In, Last, Dunbar questions, “Where were you as the world tipped?

The city spewed. The last tree split.”…

Check out Jenny’s YouTube Trailer

Graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Jenny followed a career in the performing arts. Writing has always been part of her life and she now divides her time between the landscapes of Languedoc and Northamptonshire, both of which she finds conducive to her writing. This is her first poetry anthology. She has written three novels and is currently working on a trilogy of short stories.

Thoughts of Time is available on Amazon, Smashwords . . .

#SynopsisThursday is an opportunity for authors to tell the world about their books.

Here’s how it works.

You send a synopsis and link to your current or forthcoming book in 500 words (or less if you prefer), and I will present it here. In addition, I will promote the first one I receive each week (for seven days) on my social media accounts which are steadily growing.

No catches, that’s it, send a synopsis today.

Beyond The Pyre – Les Deux from Pamplona

If you were in the story, you might call Les Deux the archetypal bad guys of Beyond The Pyre. Sadly, by the time you had reached that conclusion you would be too late, possibly dead.

Les Deux wouldn’t stand out in a crowd, at least not until your path crossed theirs and I really hope that they won’t have the pleasure of your company because seriously, that pleasure would be all theirs and you will probably be reduced to a physical and psychological wreck.

If you think that sounds extreme and without too many spoilers getting in the way, here is a partial résumé.

  • Present during key crusader events (1st to 4th crusades) such as the storming of Jerusalem and the gates of Constantinople.
  • Respected by Simon de Montfort the 13th Century leader of the crusades against the Cathars and other minority groups who upset the pope by choosing not to follow Catholicism.
  • Feared by people on all sides of the Cathar crusades.
  • Les Deux were probably responsible for the famous phrase; ‘Kill them all, God will know his own.’ Unfortunately a number of people have laid claim to this and verification is difficult because it was originally claimed over eight hundred years ago by a number of kind people.
  • Les Deux are amazing leaders who get ‘everybody’ to do their bidding. Terrible team workers.
  • Enemies of Elionor and Louis in the 13th century
  • Friends to Catharine and Ben in the 21st century; at least Catharine and Ben thought they were.

Would you give them a job? Sorry to be so rude and answer for you, despite your reservations, yes you probably would.


Change is inevitable

Go with it

Grow with it

Dance with it


Paid Writing Opportunities

You can get opportunities in your Inbox every week thanks to Jan Jacobs at I have been on Jan’s mailing list for a few years. He is responsible, never fills your inbox with junk and if you are quick enough, these opportunities are always genuine.

10 Magazines that Pay for Short Stories (Up to $1,500 or More)

These magazines pay very well.

    Keep Reading…    
LiisBeth Pays $2,000 for Feminist Articles

They want entrepreneurship to be a viable and flourishing career choice for all, regardless of gender, gender identity, race, class, and able-ness.

    Keep Reading…    
7 Websites that Pay $50+ Per Post

A variety of websites in need of quality writing.

    Keep Reading…    
The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award: $38,000 Grand Prize

The world’s biggest short story contest is now open for submissions.

    Keep Reading…    

The 2017 Guide to Manuscript Publishers

Detailed reviews of 134 traditional book publishers. No agent or previous publishing experience required.

Check out Marc Guberti if you really want to build a successful social media or blogging platform.

This young person is already way above the majority with his knowledge and experience. He is worth every second of your time and he shares much of what he does freely.


Readers’ Favourite

Monthly Book Giveaway

One of the best ways to obtain new readers and reviews is to giveaway some copies of your book. To that end ‘Readers’ has created the Readers’ Favourite Monthly Book Giveaway! If your book is on Kindle then you can create a Kindle Gift for your book. When you do it will generate a Gift Claim Code that you will place in the form below. Your book will then be displayed on our Monthly Book Giveaway page. Your book must be on (US version of Amazon) to participate in the Monthly Book Giveaway.

The giveaway receives premium advertising placement on the left side of every page of their site used by visitors and readers. This ensures that it will be seen by the countless readers, authors, agents, publishers and journalists who visit their site, driving quality readers to the Monthly Book Giveaway page and providing you with great advertising for your book!


Coming Soon . . .

  • Beyond The Pyre, character pen portraits – Ben and Louis
  • Forthcoming novels by Steve Costello
  • Guest Posts
  • Apps that help

Feedback . . .

Comments relating to this blog or other aspects of my work are welcomed. I am also happy to consider collaboration with other authors. If you would like to know more about me, send me a message at

Wishing you Peace, Love and Happiness always

Steve Costello

Experience shouts, we should listen

I am almost at 10,000 posts since I began blogging four years ago and at least half of those are book promotions. It is one of the reasons that I began blogging four years ago as I wanted a platform to promote my own work as well. When I look at those posts in retrospect, […]

via Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Twitter – Tagging and Pinned Tweet to spread the word. — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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