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Messages - churlishfellow

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Looking for feedback, contact me through my website

Looking for feedback, contact me through my website

Looking for feedback, contact me through my website

Looking for feedback, contact me through my website

Good books, I think you'll enjoy them!

As always, ready to give out free ebook copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Happy reading!

"One could get to the pool by descending a long set of winding stairs or by falling through a trap door the queen had installed in front of her throne in the Big Comfy Chair Room. On days when she was particularly cranky, she would pull a tiny, secret lever hidden inside the cushion of the Big Comfy Chair (which served as her throne) and whatever poor citizen was standing there, going on and on about how their ought to be a law preventing left-handed pencils would suddenly find the floor beneath his feet vanished with nothing but a long, terrifying drop to the pool far, far below.

Her record for most grumbling citizens dropped into the pool in a single day was twenty-two."

-excerpt from the forthcoming fourth Somewhat Silly Stories book

I'm excited about ongoing conversations with a New York literary agent. I've been working hard for the past 2 years on these fourth books (now starting a fifth - same sort of story, but more for grownups due to some naughty words) and I can't explain how delighted I'd be to find someone things my work is worthwhile enough to farm out to publishers.

Then again, if it all falls through, you can find me curled up into a ball in the corner, quietly sobbing.

The fourth book in my Somewhat Silly Story series is nearing completion! This time, evil has arrived from beyond the skies and Sir Nathan must fight back against an enemy hidden in plain site. Look for Sir Nathan and the Tentacles of Terror, coming soon.

Like so many self-published authors, getting reviews can be the most difficult chore while trying to spread the word about your work. Contact me for free copies of my e-books in exchange for honest reviews. Thanks!

The Book Corner / Re: recommendations for 9-year-old girls
« on: January 08, 2014, 12:24:29 pm »
Around the age of 9, my son loved the Warrior Cats series, as did my friend's daughter when a similar age. There's definitely something magical in that series with the animals as characters that intrigued them both, and there are plenty of books to be read.

The Book Corner / Re: Recommendations for great Sci-Fi and Fantasy
« on: January 08, 2014, 12:20:25 pm »
I always, always, always recommend Varley's Gaea Trilogy when talking sci-fi. Very original and quick off the gun to show you whether or not it's something you'd like. It starts with Titan


Would you trust this "man"? Mond Thewten, Crown Prince of the Planet Flobblob, from the forthcoming fourth Somewhat Silly Story.

Twas the night before Higgledee Piggledee Eve, when all through the land,
No Evil was stirring with Sir Nathan on hand.
The children were dressed like their favorite dentist of choice,
And speaking in snarling pirate-like voice.

The Hobnobber Squirrels danced in Huckle Nut Trees,
Hopping from branch to branch with sure-footed ease.
Princess Abbey was seen in her best fancy gown,
Hoping to dance with Prince Thomas in best fancy crown.

When out on the street there arose such a din,
The Hero stepped forward wearing an unsettling grin.
Away to the door he flew in a rush,
Undid the latch and bade everyone, "Hush!"

The moon on the crust of purple polka-dot snow
Gave false peace and quiet to the scene down below.
When, what to his distrustful eyes should appear,
But a slobbering demon with one giant ear.

Twas a cloaked old imp, so tricksy and foul,
Knight knew in a moment who was under that cowl.
More rapid than PigWiggles, imp's threats as he yell,
And he snorted, and snarled, as loud as a bell.

"Now torture! Now theft! Now disaster and doom!
Oh, Pain! Oh, sadness! Oh, explosions and boom!
To the top of the tower! To the top of the wall!
Now agony, agony, agony all!"

And then, in a twinkle, Sir Nathan's sword the knight held,
About honor and goodness at the imp he yelled.
As the beast on the street did turn around,
Knight's weapon held high, down the stairs he did bound.

He was dressed all in armor, so shiny and bright,
Even in darkness, the Hero, he shone in the night.
A bundle of weapons the imp had flung on his back,
He looked fierce and mean, set to attack.

His eyes, how they glowed, his teeth jagged and rough!
His nose like a radish, all ugly and tough!
His twisted little mouth was drawn up in a grin,
And the beard of his chin was tangled and thin.

The stump of a club he held tight in his grip,
The end covered in spikes so to bludgeon and rip.
He had slimy skin and a shaking big belly,
That shook when he laughed (he was really quite smelly).

The imp laughed one more time, then went straight to work,
And lunged at Sir Nathan, his attack quite berserk.
And laying his club aside the helm on knight's head,
And giving a shout, the imp was sure Hero was dead.

But to his surprise, the knight was quicker than he,
Sir Nathan struck his fat gut, and once on each knee.
And I heard him exclaim, as the foe he did smite,
"Happy Higgledee Piggledee Eve to all, and to all a good-night!"

"Girls will like this book as equally as boys will.   When your child has devoured the book, and willing to part with it, sit down and read one of the better new children’s authors debuting in 2012."

This reviewer also wrote, "... Mark Simon Smith has crafted a clever tale that produces laughter, groans, and everything in between." Groans? My work here is done.

Hello from chilly Wisconsin! The freezing temperatures are making me long for a Stephen King-esque dome to get dropped around my home town - at least until March. Thing how warm and toasty we'd be - nothing like a little anarchy to keep one warm under the dome.

Just wanted to post a quick note that Kindle copies of my books can be made available as a reward or prize for fund-raisers and other charity events. Contact me for more information.

Try to keep warm, or at the very least, get your own dome.

For children and the young at heart, the Somewhat Silly Story series uses colorful descriptions and absurd humor to hook the reader.

For example, while sorting through and organizing my notes, I compiled just a partial list of foes Sir Nathan, the Hero of Mariskatania, has faced:

- Foul-Tempered Army of Mungsquat
- Flatulent Bean Gobbler of Flapdoodle
- Apocalyptic Goose of Destruction
- Face-Eating Blob Monster of Nasty Tempers
- Duckling of Annihilation
- Gargantuan Gastronomical Gerbil of Poof

Fear not ... he persevered in each and every battle, returning unscathed to keep the land he loves so dearly safe.

-Mark Simon Smith

The Book Bazaar / Re: If Your Children Don't Read These Books, Evil Wins
« on: November 26, 2013, 07:38:57 am »
An excerpt from the upcoming fourth Sir Nathan book:

"He was hideous looking.
He was covered in slime.
He would have easily won the ugly contest held every summer at the Happyfest Hullaballoo Summer Fair and taken home the prize of gallon bucket of dragon spit, which every one knew was useful for soothing sunburn, clearing up pimples, and erasing ugliness.
He looked exactly like Farmer McSkooble, if the farmer happened to be wearing what looked like an angry squid on his head.
His title was Gore Master of the Third Advanced Pioneer Outrageous Violence Squad, but those that knew him just called him Grayson. Those that didn't know him and STILL called him Grayson often found themselves wondering how they had suddenly come to be ejected out of a comfortable space ship into the very cold, very unbreathable nothingness of outerspace.
Grayson the Gore Master was a little quick to anger.
It certainly wasn't helping his mood any to be wandering around on a strange planet and capturing slaves instead of warm and snug in his bed of green slime aboard his ship. Invading a new planet always made him grumpy."

The Book Bazaar / Re: If Your Children Don't Read These Books, Evil Wins
« on: November 19, 2013, 09:29:16 am »
Absurd, whimsical humor and colorful descriptions are the tools I use to encourage even the reluctant readers to pick up a book. I've heard from parents of such children telling me they had a difficult time getting their son or daughter to put the books down when it was time for bed.

"This is a great book for young readers, whether it’s a read-aloud, or just a read-alone."

Sir Nathan and the Clammy Calamity got 7 out of 5 stars! Yes, you read that right.

The Book Bazaar / Re: If Your Children Don't Read These Books, Evil Wins
« on: November 12, 2013, 12:00:10 pm »
"Author Mark Simon Smith has created an absolutely delightful and inventive story filled with plenty of laughs. Sir Nathan is a lovable hero with more enthusiasm than sense who you can't help but root for despite his instinct to smite anything and everything in his path with his Sword of Power."

Yup ... nailed it.

The Book Bazaar / Humorous Fantasy Adventure for Kids - just $0.99!
« on: November 07, 2013, 08:50:46 am »
The Somewhat Silly Story series is composed of three fantasy adventures filled with colorful adventures and absurd humor, written to encourage even the most reluctant 'tween readers.

"This book is a good read for children aged 8 - 14 years. Fantasy stories always motivate children to think on a different plane and be more original and creative while expressing themselves in their writing." -

Sir Nathan and the Search for Queen Gobbledeegook
Sir Nathan and the Troublesome Task
Sir Nathan and the Clammy Calamity

The Somewhat Silly Story series is a set of humrous fantasy adventures written to encourage kids to read, alone or with their parents.  One particular goal is to encourage the reluctant readers.

I am currently running a Kickstarter project to help with the promotion of these books. Part of the money raised will go towards paying for paperback copies which I donate free of charge to public and school libraries.

For a small donation to the project, you'll be rewarded with ebook downloads, just in time to use as gifts for the holiday season!

Please check out the link below and learn more about Sir Nathan and his epic adventures in the land of Mariskatania.

<merged with existing thread.  Please, one thread per book.  Bookmark this thread so that you can find it again, thanks!  --Betsy>

Writers' Cafe / Re: Creating a Book Cover: Software Recommendations?
« on: March 30, 2012, 07:19:01 pm »
There's quite a bit you can do with Inkscape, which is free.  A great vector-path program with pretty powerful text editing capabilities.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Paperbacks and how to promote for better sales
« on: March 30, 2012, 07:16:38 pm »
I've been finding bloggers who will do reviews and post them to help drive mention of the books.  Goodreads has some good groups for mentioning books.  Also, just plain old footwork in taking your work to local bookstores - I got 3 to carry my book just this past week.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why do we still love children's books as adults?
« on: March 30, 2012, 07:14:40 pm »
I agree with many of the books listed here as those I'm drawn back to every so often, but more so, as an adult, I've been reading some of those books that I just never did as a kid.  You know, those stories that maybe used to get assigned in school but don't anymore or those classics that maybe my parents read as kids but I didn't.  The Narnia stuff comes to mind.  Tom Sawyer.  Gulliver's Travels.  Wizard of Oz stuff.  I eagerly await the day my 9 year old son will show interest in all of Heinlein's pulp fiction stuff and Douglas Adams.

Now writing my own children's 'tween stuff, I'm trying really hard to bridge that gap and create something that parents will enjoy reading with their kids, but that's a tough nut to crack.  The many great authors listed in this thread are great inspiration. 

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