Posted by: Debrah Martin | April 1, 2016

True or False

April 1st

I’m not writing on the subject of self-publishing today, but on the subject of deception since April Fool’s day is all about that – and so is Patchwork Man, the book I was honoured with a BRAG Medallion for. Patchwork Man was my first real foray into the world of self-publishing. I navigated the intricacies of the CreateSpace dashboard and the mysteries of KDP to get it out into the world – learning a number of things along the way other than about self-publishing. they were these:



  • Always have faith and pride in yourself and your work. Anything you create is akin to a child to you. It’s hard to see something you’ve created in such a way come under fire from critics, but its unbelievably gratifying when someone ‘gets’ what you were trying to say through it. My BRAG Medallion was the most amazing ‘high’in this context and I’ve learned that old adage – “you can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but never all of the people all of the time” is very true – but then who ever expects to be perfect?
  • Success isn’t necessarily measured in numbers or £s or $s. As I progressed in my self-publishing career I’ve come across a lot of ‘authors’ and marketeers who feed off self-publishing authors, and propound the benefits of selling short, swiftly produced books from ready-made plots and so on. These are neither substantially-written, substantially-plotted, or – even – substantial! Recently I read a Linked In forum post from an author bewailing the fact that it seemed increasingly difficult to find readers for ‘intellectual’ novels – i.e. real books. If you’ve written a ‘real book’ – and all that are privileged to have been awarded a BRAG Medallion are ‘real book’ authors – be proud. Define your terms of success in terms of quality not quantity.
  • Self-publishing isn’t a quick-fix to getting a book out there. It should be part of a carefully planned, professional executed process, and a medium for your voice and what you have to say. Say it with conviction, fervour and patience – it’s a long road to the top, but tread it with style.


There are a lot of other lessons I’ve learned along the way, and I’m privileged to be teaching some of them from the 13th April here, but I’ve also recorded some of them in the book I’m releasing in just a few days time: Write, Publish, Promote. If that interests you, have a look here and also scan down to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the book details repeated. I have some special bonuses for pre-orders and you’ll find them detailed on the page the link will take you to.

In the meantime, here’s a little bit of Patchwork Man and some deception – maybe? Now here’s the challenge on April PatchWorkMan-NEW-3DFool’s day – are you being fooled, or is this really a true extract from the book? Enter the BRAG Medallion competition by clicking on the link here and following the rules which are outlined on the site and you could be a winner too. You’ll have to comment TRUE or FALSE on the excerpt below – TRUE if you think the excerpt is accurate to the book. FALSE if you don’t. The rules are outlined at the end of this blog too.

And here’s a bonus from me, tell me what makes you decide one way or another in a private email ( and I’ll add you to my mailing list and personally send you the link to grab a free Kindle or ePub copy of the sequel, Patchwork People as well as your BRAG Medallion entry if you’re correct! (TIP: sign up to get a free copy of Patchwork Man HERE: and it’ll be easy to get it right!).

Lawrence is being initiated into his brother, Win’s, gang at the children’s home …

“…The stairs down to the cellar in the Governor’s block were invariably flooded, sometimes by as much as two feet, depending on how much it had rained recently. The most common initiation was to wade through the water at the bottom of the stairs and go into the cellar and wait in the pitch black with the door locked on you for however long one’s examiners determined. There were other initiations, but this was mine. I went firmly down the steps, determined not to show any fear. Anyway, Win was one of the examiners so my big brother would hardly let anything bad happen to me, would he?

Logic does not withstand anxiety. Once I reached the bottom of the steps and the dank stagnant water reached above my knees, my courage was already failing. When the door swung shut and I heard the dull echo of the bolt being shot across the outside, pitched into the dense black of the bowels of the building, my imagination ran riot.

When there is no light, we rely on our senses. Sounds become louder, smells stronger, sensations more intense. So it was for me. I stood stock still and counted, trying to ignore the cold and the dark. I got to three hundred before my nerve broke. I stopped counting and that was my downfall, because then I listened. In the stifling black, at first I heard only the swish of the water around my legs and suffered its numbing cold. I stood very still, biting my lip and determined not to waver. Slowly other noises reached me. The creak of a pipe that sounded like a footstep – even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear a footstep under water, then the hollow drip of something into water – more like a subdued splash than a drip.

The book I’d most disliked at infant school had been the Pied Piper because the thought of all the rats following him, plague-infected, sharp-toothed, evil-eyed, swarming everywhere, had made me shudder. What if there were rats down here? What if the drip was the sudden immersion of a rat body as it dropped into foul water and swum steadily towards me? How many droplets had I heard? Five, ten, twenty. How many had there been whilst I was counting? There could be thousands of rats steadily making their way towards me – an army of gnawing, scratching vermin. My heart skipped a beat and turned into a drum pounding irregularly in my chest. My skin crawled with fear – the sensation of a thousand small bodies covering me in a rancid blanket of fur and limb and teeth. I shivered and panic rose further still. A wave of icy cold followed by nauseating heat swept over my body like fever, leaving me trembling uncontrollably and wanting to scream, scream, scream but no noise came out. I suffocated, voice paralysed like it is in a nightmare, but this was no nightmare – it was real. My legs were so cold from the freezing water, I knew I’d wet myself but I couldn’t feel it. All my being was fixed on not being overcome by the rats and consumed by their yellowed spike teeth and scrabbling claws. I opened my mouth again and this time the terror poured out just as light flooded in and blinded me.

‘Kenny?’ It was Win. I scrambled back up the stairs on all fours, feet slipping on the rickety steps and hands grabbing at anything within reach. Win hauled me up the last couple and I stood retching and panting in the middle of the group. ‘They shouldn’t have left you in so long. I said only five minutes – not half an hour. You OK?’ I nodded wildly, teeth chattering and stomach rolling over and over; so relieved to be out – even though wet and stinking – and away from whatever had been down in that cellar, I would have danced and sung, and even shared my coloured ink pen with him if he’d asked. ‘That’s all right then. You passed by the way. You’re one of Win’s Winners now – get it?’ He nudged me in the ribs and grinned delightedly at his gang’s name…”



Stay tuned in if you’re interested in learning more about WRITE, PUBLISH, PROMOTE  and grabbing yourself a bonus offer before it even comes out, have a look HERE and see how.

Find out more about me and my books on my website:

or follow me on Twitter and Facebook

And download Patchwork Man, the first in the Patchwork Trilogy HERE if you haven’t already done so.





And do stop by the BRAG Medallion Honorees site here to meet more BRAG Medallion authors.

Here are the rules for the BRAG Medallion giveaway:

  • Prize and book giveaways starts April. The winner of the $50.00 Amazon Gift Card will be announced on April 5th
  •  Click on the indieBRAG Website starting April 1st and comment to enter your chance to win a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card!
  • Each author is providing a print copy or e-book in the book giveaways. Be sure to visit their websites and comment on their post to enter a chance to win a copy of their book.


–         The chance to enter for the prize and giveaways ends April. The winner will for the Amazon prize will be announced on the indieBRAG  Website on April 5th. And each author will announce the winner for their giveaways on their sites at the date they choose.

–         You must be 18 years or older to participate in the prize & giveaway.

–         Giveaway is open internationally.

–         Winner has 48 hours to claim prize and giveaway or a new winner is chosen.



All images courtesy of Creative Commons or the author.  


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