Spread the Rumer! How to support Vicious Rumer

3D-Rumer NO BGYour support for Vicious Rumer, which is OUT NOW!, has been truly overwhelming. Between your pre-orders, shares, reviews and lovely words, my shrivelled little heart has been warmed and renewed over the past few months.

A lot of you are asking just HOW you can help to keep spreading the Rumer, so here’s a handy post to give you an idea of what you can do…

If you do even one of these things, from the bottom of my chest cavity, THANK YOU!

Write a review!

The number one thing you can do to help spread the Rumer is leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. That instantly pushes the book up those sites’ mysterious algorithms, thereby letting even more readers know about it.

Don’t worry, a review can be as short or long as you like (sometimes the one-line reviews are the best!), and it doesn’t have to be a work of critical genius. If you fancy leaving a review, here are the links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vicious-Rumer-Haunted-Hunted-Cursed-ebook/dp/B07CGVDQVW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39291901-vicious-rumer

Thank you!


Share these!

If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or even THE MOON, why not spread the Rumer by dropping one of these lovely quotes on your page?


Use hashtags!

Firstly, if you Tweet or Instagram about Vicious Rumer, THANK YOU. You’re amazing and I owe you a shiny bauble (or at least a social media follow) in return.

If you ARE sharing stuff about the book, please consider hashtagging that mofo to the heavens.

The biggies: #ViciousRumer #RumerHasIt

Others you can try: #YAlit #booknerd #amreading #bookworm #bibliophile #bookstack

And be sure to @JoshWinning so I can retweet you.


 Get arty!

The fantastic artist Eli Allison created this really rather brilliant (and only a little bit disturbing) graphic novel-style panel based on the first few chapters of Vicious Rumer. If you like it, show people! And if you’re an artist, why not do a little doodling yourself and chuck the results at me on Twitter! For now, though, really do go check out Eli’s site. She’s phenomenal.

Vicious Rumer(Click for hi-res)


Email your buddies!

Yes, some people still use email to catch up and stuff. So if you enjoyed Vicious Rumer and you’ve been meaning to email Cousin Gerald in Austin, Texas but you keep putting it off because, y’know, Cousin Gerald can be a bit weird, HERE’S AN EXCUSE TO DO SO! (I mean, I’m sure Cousin Gerald is great, but seriously, what is with that goatee?)

Tell Cousin Gerald this: Vicious Rumer is a YA thriller with witchy elements. It’s a bit Jessica Jones, a bit Lisbeth Salander, and follows a badass teenage girl who’s thrown into a world of gangsters and the occult. HE’D BE MAD TO MISS IT.

And share this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vicious-Rumer-Haunted-Hunted-Cursed-ebook/dp/B07CGVDQVW/


Retweet these!

Lots of lovely magazines/readers/authors have tweeted about Vicious Rumer (some of them even when it was going by the name Killing Rumer), so pay them back by giving them some support (and a follow!) and retweeting these.

If you tweet, be sure to @JoshWinning and use the hashtags #ViciousRumer and #RumerHasIt so I can find you!


Share banners!

Want more banners?! Well, if you insist… My good friend and amazing designer Louise Brock created this awesome postcards featuring one of Rumer’s more choice lines of dialogue. Do you love it as much as I do? Feel free to share far and wide!

Josh_Postcard_3

 

Top 10 tips for crime thriller writers

FF 1As part of my blog tour to promote my new book, Vicious Rumer, which is available from Unbound here, I came up with 10 essentials for crime writers over at Female First. Check out their website here and read on below for my tips…

Decide what sort of crime thriller you want to write. It sounds straightforward, but genre can be flexible like plasticine; and that’s especially true for the crime genre. Are you writing a murder mystery? A gangster thriller? A heist story? A serial killer potboiler? A mixture of all four?! Knowing what sort of thriller you’re writing enables you to play around with tropes and shape something genuinely surprising.

Don’t JUST make it about crime. Sure, crime is an integral part of the plot, but the best thrillers have a lot more going on than that. Gone Girl is about mistrust and marital crisis. Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is about injustice and vengeance. Aside from a juicy crime plot, what do you really want to write about?

What’s your MacGuffin? That term was coined by screenwriter Angus MacPhail to describe an object or goal that drives the plot. In The Maltese Falcon, the MacGuffin is the titular priceless artefact. In my book, Killing Rumer, the MacGuffin is an occult relic called the Crook Spear; but what is it and why does everybody want it? Those questions keep the action clipping along.

Write what scares you. Clearly, a thriller is nothing without thrills, so think about the things that get your heart racing. If you suffer from claustrophobia, trap your character in a coffin. If you’re scared of the dark, smash all the lightbulbs in your character’s apartment. By writing something that puts you on edge, you’re likely to illicit a similar response from your readers.

Who’s your hero and what drives them? Lisbeth Salander. Sam Spade. Clarice Starling. The crime genre is crammed with memorably flawed and fascinating heroes. What makes yours unique? Think about what shaped your character. Is she headstrong because she’s always had to fend for herself? Is he emotional because he’s lost so much? What is unique about your hero’s reaction to the plot’s sinister events and why are they so determined to uncover the truth?

Spend time brainstorming the title. An eye-catching title is the first battle for any book. Study the titles of books you love and ask why they work. For my book, I brainstormed a dozen different titles before I settled on Killing Rumer, which hopefully asks a question readers want to uncover the answer to. Then consider potential taglines: a title and a tagline should shake hands with each other. Chris Carter’s recent book, The Caller, played with a clever pun: Your life is on the line. If puns aren’t your thing, perhaps there’s a quote in your book you can use.

How will technology factor into the story? In a world of iPhones, CCTV, dictaphones and countless other technological doohickies, how is your story affected by modern life? How does technology limit or enable your character’s actions? Of course, you could eradicate that problem by writing a historical thriller instead, but that could open a whole new can of worms…

Don’t just read crime thrillers. Draw from everything and everywhere. Inspiration often comes from surprising places, so while it’s good to get a sense of genre by reading books similar to the one you’re writing, be sure to read around. Watch TV and movies. Read comics. Learn how to write different types of people and study why a story does or doesn’t work.

Speaking of, what makes your story different? This is particularly important when it comes to selling your book, whether that’s to a publisher like Unbound or to a potential agent. What’s the hook? Why should people shell out for it? What’s the inherent value of your story? If you’re able to pinpoint exactly what makes your story unique (its USP: Unique Selling Point), that’ll make talking about it to other people a lot easier.

Have fun! This crime stuff can get pretty dark, so don’t forget to bring a little levity to proceedings. Even The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo threw in a few snippy one-liners to relieve the tension, and lightening the mood in places can actually have the added effect of making the dark stuff more impactful. Frollo’s line in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is especially apt: “Wait between the lashes. Otherwise the old sting will dull him to the new.”

 

Killing Rumer: we’re a month in!

Josh_Postcard_3

Hey everybody! How was your summer?! Over here at Camp Killing Rumer it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. The campaign to get the book funded launched on 1 August, and since then loads has happened. You lovely people pledged your support in huge numbers – as it stands, the campaign’s at 59% funded with 128 (I must say, rather beautiful) readers having contributed to Rumer’s story.

To all of you I can only say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. This character means so much to me, and you’re bringing Killing Rumer closer and closer to being an Actual Genuine Book. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Had a busy month? Here are some things you may have missed…

  • The first review of Killing Rumer went live! The lovely Lynn at Book Reviews By Lynn got a very sneaky early review copy of the book, and her glowing review is up over here. In short, she said: Joshua Winning has written an intriguing crime thriller with a kick-ass heroine. I love his fast paced writing style, and the story flowed beautifully. He is one of only a handful of male authors who I have added to my favourite authors list and I can’t wait to see what he will come up with in the future.
  • Rumer joined Twitter! You can follow her here.
  • We have postcards now! You can get your hands on an extra special set of postcards (designed by the brilliant Louise Brock) when you select the ‘Awesome Extras’ pledge. (Already pledged but want the postcards? You can upgrade your pledge by logging in, at no extra cost.)
  • A few new pledge levels have been released! ‘Be Part Of The Story!’ gives you the option of having a character named after you. And with the ‘Superfan Special Collectable’, you can own a signed copy of my very first draft of Killing Rumer, complete with editorial scribbles (ooo, hello behind the scenes jiggery pokery).
  • I blogged! I wrote about the 5 women who inspired Killing RumerCheck it out over here. I also revealed a little bit about why I wrote the book in the first place – take a peek here.

There are other exciting things in the works, including a series of guest blogs around the internet, all to help get Rumer’s name out there.

So yes, you’ve all been fantastically supportive over the past month, and I’m so, so grateful. If you want to help even more, please do share this link with your book-loving friends and family members: http://unbound.com/books/killing-rumer Why not chuck them an email today?

Here’s to hitting 60% and beyond!

Pre-order your copy of Killing Rumer here!

5 reasons I wrote Vicious Rumer

 

  • Because I’m an outsider. Sure, I’m white, I’m male, I’m relatively tall (or something) in a ridiculous society that values those things, but I’m also a nerdy gay guy who grew up feeling, for the most part, misunderstood and a little bit weird. That’s why Rumer is so important to me. She’s an extreme version of me – my dark twin; the twisted sister I never had. (I actually do have a sister, and she’s nothing like Rumer.)
  • Because I wanted to write about mothers and daughters. In Killing Rumer, Rumer’s mother is dead, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t write about their relationship. In fact, the fact that her mother is dead only complicates Rumer’s relationship with her even more. How do you argue with a dead person? Or figure out who you are?
  • Because I had an idea that terrified me. That idea was: what if you could transfer all of your bad karma into your unborn child? That’s what Rumer believes happened to her, and it’s a pretty horrific thing to believe about yourself. I wanted to explore how that belief shaped her and influenced every decision Rumer’s ever made.
  • Because I wanted to write something with no easy answers. Is Rumer cursed? Why does a gangster want her dead? Is it possible to change who you are? Is something true just because you believe it? They’re all questions I chucked around while writing Killing Rumer. There may be answers, there may not, but that’s sort of up to you to decide.
  • Because it was fun! There’s tons of dark stuff going on in Killing Rumer, but it’s also a gleefully lean thriller with loads of twists, funny characters and crazy set-pieces. It was an absolute blast to write (I scribbled the first draft over a feverish eight months) and, hopefully, that also makes it a blast to read.

Pre-order your copy of Vicious Rumer here!

5 women who inspired Vicious Rumer

1. Nancy from The Craft
I had a picture of Fairuza Balk (actually, the one above this text), aka Nancy, on my desktop all the way through writing Killing Rumer. It’s not so much that Rumer is like Nancy – rather, I wanted Rumer to possess the same dark humour and edge-of-crazy personality as Nancy. They’re both outsiders, slightly unhinged and believe in something dangerous. Also, they both have black hair.

2. Stevie Nicks…
…and Crystal Visions, the compilation of her biggest hits. That album both inspired, chilled and nursed me through Killing Rumer – so much so that I, of course, HAD to make Rumer a fan. I’ve been a little bit obsessed with Stevie ever since I saw a tiny indie film from 1998 called Edge Of Seventeen, and her music is perfect for Rumer; ethereal, weird, haunting. It has it all and then some.

3. Holly Hunter in Top Of The Lake
Shocking revelation – I’ve only seen the first episode of this (ducks). I know I know. BUT the thing that really made me sit up in that first episode was Holly Hunter and her ghostly silver hair. Without her, I wouldn’t have created one of the main characters in Killing Rumer – the image of Holly’s wise-but-wary loner stuck with me throughout writing and I couldn’t be more grateful.

4. Daphne du Maurier
Nobody writes women like Daphne du Maurier. Strike that, nobody WRITES like Daphne du Maurier, and I’d be an idiot to try to, but she’s been a literary hero of mine ever since I devoured Rebecca as a teenager. Killing Rumer is nothing like that book (I mean, what is?), but it certainly inspired me to tackle writing in the first person, something I’ve never attempted before. If I failed, I blame Daphne.

5. Joan Jett
Alright, maybe not quite as ‘kooky cool’ as Stevie Nicks, but her song ‘Bad Reputation’ is anthemic for a reason (and not just because it’s the Freaks And Geeks theme tune). Those lyrics and that guitar really helped get me into ‘angry teenager’ mode for the book’s all-important flashbacks. Without them, Rumer wouldn’t be half as badass.

Pre-order your copy of Vicious Rumer here!

Killing Rumer is 25% funded!

Logo

Newsflash from the Killing Rumer campaign – we’re 25% funded! Yes, we’re a QUARTER of the way there! Slow-mo high fives and tears all round.

Thank you so much to everybody who has supported the campaign so far, whether pre-ordering a copy, sharing on social platforms, or lending words of advice/comfort (delete as applicable) when my nerves wobbled. I’m overwhelmed and grateful.

So, yes, we’re at 25% and it feels good (music cue: James Brown), but there’s still 75% left to go. Want to help with spreading the Rumer? Here are some handy tips:

  1. Share share share! If you have the time to email or message one person who likes quirky crime thrillers and kick-ass heroines to ask them to support the book, that would help HUGELY. One-on-one messages are the best way to tell people about the campaign, and be sure to include this link: https://unbound.com/books/killing-rumer
  2. Tweet/Facebook/socialise to your heart’s content. Use the hashtag #KillingRumer and @ any of your book-loving buds. If you can share this banner, you might catch a few eyes (in a non-violent way): https://www.dropbox.com/s/dkoo0uxa3fldugq/Logo.gif?dl=0
  3. Upgrade your pledge. If you ordered the ebook but you’ve decided you really want a paperback as well, that doesn’t mean pledging twice. To upgrade your pledge, simply click on the new reward you want, and rather than being charged twice, you’ll only pay the difference for the new pledge: https://unbound.com/books/killing-rumer

Once again, from me and Rumer, thank you thank you thank you!

Pre-order your copy of Killing Rumer here!

Help get my new book Killing Rumer published with Unbound!

Logo

For the past few years I’ve been beavering away at a secret book project – and today I’m dragging it kicking and screaming out of the closet!

Killing Rumer is a quirky thriller about a teenage girl tipped into a world of gangsters and the occult. It’s dark, weird and (hopefully) funny. It’s about belonging and friendship and loneliness. It mixes The Craft with The Maltese Falcon, Jessica Jones and Final Destination. (See. Weird.)

So here’s the thing. Today, we’ve launched the Killing Rumer campaign over at Unbound. If you’re not familiar with Unbound, here’s the deal: it’s a UK publisher in which authors help to raise the funds to publish their book. We spearhead a campaign and ask fellow readers, friends, family and coven members to help get the book published by pre-ordering a copy – and perhaps signing up for some of the awesome bonuses that go with helping an author fulfil their dream.

I’ll be honest, I have no fingernails left and I’m comfort eating chocolate until I’m sick but that’s OK because WE’RE LIVE. This is not a drill! Klaxon and loud fireworks ahoy!

But yes, I need your help. Want to support Killing Rumer and bold new fiction? Here’s what you can do:

  1. Share this link: http://unbound.com/books/killing-rumer
  2. Post this logo (and a link to Unbound) on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dkoo0uxa3fldugq/Logo.gif?dl=0
  3. Email/text friends who love reading, kick-ass heroines, twisty mysteries and even twistier narratives.
  4. Pre-order! If Killing Rumer sounds like your sort of book, you’ll be helping to get it published by pre-ordering your very own copy. There are loads of cool bonuses, including naming a character, having your own name appear in the book (as a thank you) and you can even choose to let me loose on your manuscript. Be afraid.
  5. Write about Rumer! If you have a blog, please feel free to post about the Killing Rumer campaign. I’m happy to answer Q&As and write for you, just get in touch via https://joshuawinning.com/contact/

So that’s it. We’re off. Rumer’s ready to take her first steps into the world. Here’s hoping she makes it to the finishing line. My fingernails really can’t take any more.

Pre-order your copy of Killing Rumer here!