About Me

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My name is Richie Earl. I'm a forty-something Indie Author, writing YA fantasy novels. I have self-published two books in the Tales of Finndragon Series: The Legend of Finndragon's Curse and Return to Finndragon's Den. In creating One Thousand Worlds in One Thousand Words, I hope to give other authors some valuable exposure, and help them find readers and success.

Friday, 28 June 2013

The Beginning (Of The End)

This is my first post for several weeks due to some personal and family problems. These came at a time when my blog tour had just started and as a result, I have been unable to devote much time to promoting the tour. It's nearly over now, and I must pay special thanks to all my wonderful hosts. Your kindness and support has been very much appreciated.

The 10% giveaway hasn't really taken off and it probably wouldn't be much of a prize, as sales have been very slow. Again largely due to the fact that I have done very little promotional work myself. So I will be running a new competition from this blog. Details to follow.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Guest Post - Author Nonnie Jules

This is a first for me today. So please welcome author Nonnie Jules to my humble blog, as she tells us all about herself and her excellent book, The Good Mommies' Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters. With two daughters myself, this is something that I must read.

Hi! My name is Nonnie Jules and today is the first day of the "(ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS" Blog Tour and I'm elated that Richie Earl's, My Name's Not Earl Blog is the first stop we're making.  This tour is scheduled to run June 3 - June 17 and will include author interviews, Twitter interviews, guest posts and book reviews.  There will be e-book giveaways and a grand prize of a $25 Visa Gift Card, to be awarded at the end of the tour.

A little about myself:  I am a Mother of two daughters, one adult and one teenager.  Both are what I refer to as my "Angel Daughters". I have been married for a very long time (will not disclose just how long as that will give way to my age, and we definitely don't want me to give away that secret, right?)  I was born in Houston, TX but now reside in Shreveport, LA where my family moved to when I was a wee little toddler. It is quiet and peaceful here and allows my mind to wander in many directions which leads to much success in my writing.

I began writing poetry as a young girl.  I dabbled in it in grade school and by the time I was in high school, I had amassed a collection which I will one day publish.  From poetry my writing evolved into longer, full-length stories.  I tend to write from life situations and things that I see going on in the world, some good and unfortunately, some bad.  I always write with the concept of teaching in mind, and with that, always hope that I have left the reader with something learned.

My first published piece of work, "THE GOOD MOMMIES' GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS", 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can't Help But Love! hit Amazon on May 17, 2013.  This book took me 17 days to write but a whole lot longer to publish since I was new to the publishing world.  I must admit, the self-published process, albeit a great way to get your work out quickly and very inexpensively, is not something I'm looking forward to again, but I should get prepared as my next project (a children's book entitled "KIRSTEN AND THE BIG BLUE TREE"), is due for release at the end of June, 2013.

My reason for writing "THE GOOD MOMMIES' GUIDE..." is because any time someone meets my daughters for the first time, it never fails that I get asked two questions:  1)  "How did you do it?" and 2)  "How can I do it?".  So one day, a friend of mine suggested I put all those answers in a BOOK.  That turned into 100 of my top tips that I actually used, and still use today.  Yes, although I have a young adult daughter, it is my belief that you never stop instilling those core values and beliefs.  That is why they stick so well.

What you will find when you read "THE GOOD MOMMIES' GUIDE..." are real-life situations with a tip (and maybe even a Bible scripture) to effectively deal with each and every one.  Topics range from bullying to dating and curfews to peer pressure.  There is absolutely no subject untouched in this guide (and if you think of some, do let me know so that I can include them in Volume 2).  There will be those days when you will want to grab a cup of lemonade, hit the hammock in the back yard and read this book from cover to cover (and have at it, because this is TRULY A GREAT READ!).  Then there will be those other times, when you are so busy with life, but still need a tip on a particular topic right away. At that very moment, you will be able to go straight to that topic as each chapter is alphabetized.

Here is an actual tip from "THE GOOD MOMMIES' GUIDE..." 

*DON'T BE JEALOUS OF HER OTHER MENTORS.  BE GRATEFUL.  I find it a little funny when Moms are jealous of the time that their daughters spend with other women who also love them.  It could be a mentor, a grandmother (who Mom didn't have a great relationship with herself), an Aunt or one of your daughters' friends Moms.  Although some moms may not view it the same as I do, I think this is a wonderful thing, especially since you have taught your daughter the importance of loving other people.  Let's face it, we live in a world where everyone won't love your child, so when you find somebody who truly does, don't be jealous of them, be grateful FOR them.

Although there are very serious tips in this guide, the tone is so that some of these tips will have you truly LAUGHING OUT LOUD!  This is not your old fogey "HOW TO" guidebook of old.  This is one that you will treasure for years to come, and also appreciate the wealth of information found inside.  The book is now on Amazon during the tour for only $.99.  You may buy THE GOOD MOMMIES GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS here.  It makes a great gift so at this price, purchase as many e-books for friends and family who are raising daughters, or definitely tell them how to go get it.  At Amazon, you may even TAKE A PEEK inside the book before purchasing.

Well, that wraps up my time here and I would like to thank Richie Earl so much for his graciousness in allowing me to drop by and share with all his readers.  Richie, you are #1 in my book (and you know my book is numbered, right?)

Before I go, let me leave you with a bit of information.  I love hearing from my readers, so I can be reached at any time via:

Twitter:  @nonniejules
Facebook:  Nonnie Jules

Goodbye and remember:  as long as you keep reading, I will keep writing!  Follow my blog "WATCH NONNIE WRITES" at the blog listed above! Thank you!

For a chance of winning a copy of The Good Mommies' Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters, enter using the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Finndragon's Amazing Amazon 10% Giveaway!

Well, after much sweat and too many tears, The Tales of Finndragon - 1500 Years in the Making Blog Tour starts today, Wednesday May 15th. I have gone to great lengths in organising and planning this tour, and I'll be glad when it's over, so I can finally get some sleep. The Legend of Finndragon's Curse, will be on sale at just 99c/77p until the end of May. During the tour, my second book, Return to Finndragon's Den, will be published on May 29th and both books will be released in print.

There will also be a US version of The Legend of Finndragon's Curse available shortly, giving readers in North America the option of reading the new version or the original. I have Scott-Robert Schenkman to thank for 'translating' it for me. He has put in many hours, and if you are thinking of offering different versions of your books, it would be worthwhile talking to Scott.

There will be giveaways of ebooks on most of the participating blogs and I'm running an original and exciting competition. The first prize will be 10% of my 2013 Amazon royalties, with 5 runner-up prizes of signed copies of both my books. There will be 10 questions spread across the blogs I visit, with the answers to be found in one or more of the blogs or in my books.

Details of how to enter will be posted during the tour. So make a note of the questions and your answers.

Please support all the blogs who have been kind enough to host one of my stops. Each and everyone of them have been absolutely brilliant.

Here's the schedule, which is subject to change as there are a couple of blogs yet to confirm dates.

May 2013

Wednesday 15th
Orchard BookClub Guest post - Gwayne's Story
Saturday 18th
TheIntrepid Book Moth Review :The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse
Monday 20th
SecondBook to the Right Review: The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse
Wednesday 22nd
Orchard BookClub Review: The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse
Friday 24th
Rabid Readers Too Review: Return to Finndragon’s Den
Sunday 26th
The Big Nerd of Three Review: Return to Finndragon’s Den
Lily TheNovel Nerd Review: The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse
Monday 27th
SecondBook to the Right Review: Return to Finndragon’s Den
Tuesday 28th
Blood SoakedLips Review: The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse, Character Interview
Wednesday 29th
Aside from writing Indie Author Month
Thursday 30th
Orchard Book Club Review: Return to Finndragon’s Den

June 2013

Saturday 1st
Wednesday 5th
Orchard BookClub Interview
Saturday 8th
Three Nerds and a Book Club Review: Return to Finndragon’s Den
Tuesday 11th
Thursday 13th
Zoe’s Corner Guest post
Thursday 20th
Thursday 27th
Woman on the Edge of Reality Thursday Throng Interview
Friday 28th
Blood Soaked Lips Review: Return to Finndragon’s Den

The first stop is at Orchard Book Club where you can read my guest post, from the point of view of Gwayne. He's a young apprentice wizard and descibes how the Kingdom of Morgannwg became cursed.. 

There will also be the first question of the competition.

I hope the tour will be fun and enjoyable, giving everyone the opportunity to get involved. I'd love to hear from readers, writers and bloggers, and will be available to answer questions throughout, although I can't guarantee an immdeiate response. I've still got to get up for work every day - that's what pays the bills!

As you can see, there are some free dates in June. If you're a book blogger (however large or small) and want to host a stop, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Your Starter For Ten

There's just seven days until my first ever blog tour starts and I'm crapping myself, for want of a more appropriate phrase. I've spent weeks planning and emailing, seeking out hosts and reviewers. I've completed interview questionnaires and written guest posts, and planned what I hope will be an original and successful competition.

Apart from giving ebook copies of The Legend of Finndragon's Curse and Return to Finndragon's Den away on each stop, I have something bigger in mind. I'm going to give 10% of my 2013 Amazon royalties away as a first prize. I don't know if anything like this has been done before, or if it will be tried again, but I've never been afraid of trying something different. There will be a runner-up prize of signed copies of both books.

I want to make this competition interesting and exciting. There will be ten questions, relating to Tales of Finndragon or myself, spread across the blogs I visit. The answers will also be found in the blogs or in my books. To allow time for everyone who wants to enter, the competition will run until the end of November.

Has this been tried before? If you know of any similar competitions, please let me know.

I'll post the full schedule of the Tales of Finndragon - 1500 Years in the Making Blog Tour shortly - watch this space.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Has Beanpole's Team Fallen Victim to Finndragon's Curse?

The Crafanc Chronicle can exclusively reveal that Billy Beanpole and his team have not been seen for a week. The last time we had any communication from Billy, his team had located the Needle's Eye and were closing in on Finndragon's Gate, our reporter Susan Snoop reports.
The only clue appears to be a rope, which can be seen dangling from a cliff.
A police spokesperson stated that a crack team of Crafanc cavers have been brought in to search for the missing team.
"We have spared all expense in bringing in a specialist team of volunteers," said PC Percy Plonker. "We're sure that there is a logical explanation, but we're not ruling out the possibility that the curse has struck again."

There has certainly been some strange goings on in Crafanc y Ddraig recently. Other headlines in the Chronicle this week are:

"Large Black Cat Spotted on Taff Trail Was Just a Badger."

"Unusual, Unexplained Orange Glow Seen Over Old Steelwork Sites."

"The Paraglider Who Claims to Have Been Attacked by Huge Bat-Like Creature, recuperates in Hospital."

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Needle's Eye Located

Amid great excitement, the Crafanc Chronicle can today exclusively reveal that Billy Beanpole and his crack team think they've cracked the location of the rock which looks like the eye of a needle. The Chronicle would also like to apologise for any lack of grammar in this post which is being written on a portable communication device.
Beanpole's team only had the following verse, extracted from Richie Earl's fantasy novel The Legend of Finndragon's Curse, to go on.

Ye shaft cast through a needles eye
Touches ye creeping claw of fate
When ye moon is full in ye northern sky
And points to olde Finndragon’s gate

"We scoured the mountains for 6 days without a trace, until Dai Dipstick spotted this tall rock with a hole right through the top of it," Beanpole said excitedly. "He was so excited that he nearly soiled himself!"
Dipstick explained, "It was a stroke of luck, to be honest. If I hadn't had that curry last night, I never would have seen it. I was just looking for a place where I could have a good sh...."
In the interests of good taste, the Chronicle is not able to print the rest of Dipstick's interview.
Beanpole is currently leading his team in search of 'the creeping claw of fate.'

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Blog Tour On Track

I can't say that it's been easy, but at last I feel like I'm getting somewhere. The dates for my blog tour are filling up fast and I now have over ten confirmed hosts. Would it have been easier to have a blog tour service manage it for me? You bet, but would that have made the tour more successful? We'll never know, but at least I've been in control.

This week I've been preparing both books for paperback with Lulu. Now I'm no whizzkid when it comes to these matters, but I think I've done okay. Converted .doc to PDF, selected page size, mirrored and set the margins, added page numbers. Then it was time to inset Lulu's ISBN bar code and I just can't do it! Guess I'll have to ask my cover designer, the brilliant Gemma Newey at Dark Phreak Arts for her help again.

Have you published with Lulu? Or is Createspace a better option? I'd love to hear some words of experience.

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Search is on to Find the Cursed Kingdom of Morgannwg

The legend of Finndragon's Curse has long since been believed to be a myth, except by a small group of locals in the town of Crafanc y Ddraig. Recently there has been fresh discussion. First @DerekTheWeather revealed new evidence suggesting #Finndragon never cursed the Kingdom of Morgannwg, claiming that a tsunami had caused the kingdom to sink into the earth 15 hundred years ago.

Derek's claim comes in light of a book written by Richie Earl, who says his information comes from a reliable source. In his book, The Legend of Finndragon's Curse, Earl describes the events which led to the kingdom being swallowed up.

The local newspaper, The Crafanc Chronicle, has today revealed there is a crack team of archeologists being put together at no expense. This super team will investigate the hills and mountains surrounding Crafanc y Ddraig, searching for any evidence that the mighty kingdom ever existed at all. The team is being headed up by ex-collier Billy Beanpole who is very excited to be involved in the project.

"I've been out of work since all the mines closed down," he said in an excited state of excitement. "There's not much call in the valleys for ex-miners these days!"

The Chronicle understands that Beanpole and his team will start their quest on the foothills of the Brecon Beacon National Park. "The first thing we need to find is a rock that looks like the eye of a needle," he said.

Meanwhile, local historian Ivor Egghead scotches the idea and claims that the legend is just that. "If there had been a castle around here, there would be lots of evidence, but none has ever been found," he told one of our reporters. "This project is a complete waste of tax-payers money!"

Egghead, though doesn't think Derek's theory holds up to inspection. "There's no way a tsunami could have caused the kingdom, if it existed, which it didn't, to sink into the earth. We're at least 20 miles from the coast! Derek is out of his depth here, he should stick to forecasting the weather. Actually he always gets that wrong too!"

When asked about Earl's book, Egghead dismissed it as a 'load of old codswallop' saying that it's a 'pure flight of fantasy.'

The Crafanc Chronicle will bring all its excited readers any breaking news as it happens.

Friday, 12 April 2013


Over the past two weeks I've contacted over 70 blogs looking for hosts for my upcoming blog tour promoting the release of my second novel. So far I've had nine responses and I'm sure that there'll be more, but it has taken up an awful lot of my time.

Today I came across a great blog offering free blog tours. I had already sent Forever YA a request, but then found a post on Goodreads. So if you write in this genre and you're planning a tour, make them your first stop. It could save you many hours of your precious time.

Then I came across something that made me sit up. I have spent hours searching twitter, Goodreads and Google for book bloggers, particularly YA to host a leg of my tour. I have lived in a small South Wales valley town all my life. Wales has a population of approximately 3 million and Merthyr Tydfil about 50,000. So almost all of my connections on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter are from other parts of the world.

So to find someone from my home town was quite a surprise. Robin Jones has a story to tell on his blog SmallTownBoy. He tells about his addiction to heavy drugs which very nearly cost him his life and how he has since managed to turn his life around. Now he is trying to write a book about his life and is looking for some practical help and advice.

Merhtyr Tydfil has a rich heritage. It is the home of the railway - Richard Trevethick's steam locomotive made the first ever journey on a track and started 500 yards from where I live. It was at one stage the steel producing capital of the world and an industrial giant. Times change and sadly for Merthyr not always for the better. The town suffers from the same economic and social problems as many other towns across Wales, the UK and probably many other towns and cities across the world.

If Robin's story can help to inspire other young people who find themselves in a similar situation, then it is a story that must be written.

You can follow Robin's story on his blog and follow him on twitter. Let's give this SmallTownBoy some support! It might just save a life.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

I've Got It Covered!

Well it's been a good week and a bad week for me.

I've been trying to enlist some book bloggers for my planned tour, but have had very little success. Over twenty contacted (primarily YA blogs) and only one reply! But at least they said yes.

I've also tweeted and posted on Facebook. So what am I doing wrong?

I'm not giving up though. I could look for a paid blog tour service to do all the work for me, but I just don't like that idea. I'll exhaust all my other options first. Time to track down some more suitable blogs and this time I'll send 50 emails.

I've also devoted much of my time to finding a professional cover designer for my first novel. The Legend of Finndragon's Curse. I found a great website - Freelanced - where there is no shortage of artists, illustrators and cover designers.

However, I was fortunate enough to come across Gemma Newey at Dark Phreak Arts on a Goodreads thread. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Gemma, who was quick and professional. She immediately grasped what I was looking for and produced some excellent covers within a day. She then tweaked and tweaked, until she met my exact demands and this is what she came up with.

But not only that, she has designed ebook and paperback covers for my second book, Return to Finndragon's Den. And all at an incredibly competitive price. I can't recommend her highly enough, and what's more, if you tell her that I referred you, you get 10% off her already unbeatable prices. You'd better hurry though as offers like this can't last forever.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Time To Throw Off The Cloak Of Invisibility

After 15 months of disappointing sales, The Legend of Finndragon's Curse continues to flounder in the overcrowded sea of indie novels, ranked 170,000 in the UK and 720,000 in the US. I have built up a prescence on Twitter and Facebook, used Amazon's KDP select free promotional days and had articles in several newspapers. Although I haven't had huge amounts of reviews, several have been glowing from readers who don't know me. I have even had the offer of a publishing contract from a small press, which is as yet unsigned. So I know that I have written a book worthy of being read.

I write in UK English and realise that this may not suit my American readers. Scott-Robert Shenkman is someone that I have connected with on Goodreads and has become a friend. He has kindly agreed to 'translate' both books into US English and so I will have two versions of each book available.

So why doesn't anyone want to read my novel?

I have done a lot of soul searching and realise what many other indie authors have already discovered. Nobody knows that I exist and will never know unless I can make myself visible.

I've had enough of shouting on Twitter to followers who are trying to do likewise. I know that I won't sell books to people who are trying to sell theirs. Don't get me wrong, I have made some fantastic friends who have been very supportive. They have been forthcoming with some great, unsolicited advice. They are quick and eager to retweet my shouts, but I now know what a noisy place Twitter is.

So what am I going to do about it?

The first thing that I have to do is get a professional cover designed. Okay, that's something that I should have done before ever publishing, but like many other struggling writers I have a very small budget. I've had several already, but I realise that the cover is my shop window, no-one is going to look inside unless they like what they see. So I'm going to make sacrifices elsewhere and find the cash.

Second, I need to get the book in print. Lulu or Creatspace? that is the question.

The third is going to be a blog tour. A few months ago I didn't even know what that was, but now I am going to plan one. I can't afford to use any Blog Tour Services, so I am going to have to go it alone. But I am not going to plan any old tour. You may think that I'm being over ambitious, but I'm going to  aim for something big. Something taking in as many stops as possible: 50, 75, 100 - who knows how many? And it's going to go on forever. Well maybe not that long, but certainly for quite some time.

My next book is almost ready for publication. Return to Finndragon's Den is the second and final book in the Tales of Finndragon series. Hopefully, I've learned from the experience of the last 15 months and can generate some interest before its release and for some time after.

My research into blog tours tells me that I have to have giveaways and prizes, that seems to be standard practice. But I don't just want to give away a few ebooks and a Kindle Fire or two, I'm thinking of something bigger. More details to follow.

I have started to make a list of book blogs, particularly but not exclusively Young Adult and Fantasy. I don't want to rule any out however small. I want to help start-up blogs and those with only a few subscribers and hope that we all mutually benefit.

If any book bloggers read this post and want to get involved, please contact me. I don't need a sales pitch, if you are kind enough to host a stop on the tour, I'd be delighted to drop by. All I ask is that your blog is suitable for young adult readers.

I'd also love to hear from indie authors who've been on blog tours. How did it work for you? Did it have a great impact on sales?

Also, if you are a cover designer and would be interested in creating two stunning covers, please get in touch. As I mentioned earlier, I really don't have much of a budget. There are many excellent designers out there and I'm looking for someone who is competitively priced. I'm even willing to negotiate on a share of the royalties.

Here goes...............