Archive | January 2012

Website Launch and Gigantic Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of my new website “The Weird Writing World of S.M.Johnston” I’m having a giveaway.

Firstly I’d like to thank and acknowledge my great friend Evie who is responsible for this amazing creation. I look at code and tremble, where as Evie owns it and bends it to her will. She is beyond awesome. Secondly, I’d like to thank my fellow YAtopians Chanelle Gray, Kelley York, Sarah Nicolas, Kelley Vitollo and Wendy Higgins who have donated prizes for my site launch giveaway.

So, the giveaway. Up for grabs is:

Note – this is not all the prizes for one winner. There will be a winner for each prize and you can win more than one prize, so extra entries help.

To enter you must be a follower of this blog and promote the competition either via a blog post, twitter post or Facebook status. But there are ways you can get bonus entries:

  • Subscribe to posts via email +1
  • Follow me on Twitter @S_M_Johnston +1
  • Follow Evie’s blog +1 (and see who made this awesome website)
  • Follow my group blog YAtopia +1
  • Follow my group blog’s Twitter @YAtopia_blog +1
  • Follow Chanelle’s blog +1
  • Follow Chanelle on Twitter +1
  • Follow Kelley York’s blog +1
  • Follow Kelley on Twitter @elixing +1
  • Follow Sarah’s blog +1
  • Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarah_nicolas +1
  • Follow Kelley Vitollo’s blog +1
  • Follow Kelley Twitter @KellyVitollo+1
  • Follow Wendy’s blog +1
  • Follow Wendy on Twitter @Wendy_Higgins +1
  • Follow Leigh’s blog. +1
  • Follow Leigh on Twitter @Leigh_Fallon +1
  • Pre-order Wendy Higgins’ debut novel Sweet Evil +1 (cause I’ve had the pleasure of being a Beta reader for her and it’s awesome beyond belief). You can find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
  • Follow DJ’s blog.
  • Follow DJ on Twitter @LifeinFiction.

So to enter include:

A comment on what books you would buy if you win the e-voucher and a note of which critiques your interested in (everyone is entered for all other prizes)



Follower confirmation:

Promotion confirmation:

Entries (if you have a + for a pre-order or email subscription you will need to email me your receipt if you win):

Entries close on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, at midnight. So feel the love and get your entry in.

post signature

Something is coming

Something is coming.
Something will be revealed


There will be prizes
Come back to Down Under Wonderings on 1 February to find out what is being unveiled and what you could win.

Deadly Hemlock Cover

YA writer, geek and self-professed probably fodder in the event of a zombie apocalypse, Kathleen Peacock, wonderfully gave Australian bloggers a sneak peak at her Australian/UK cover for her novel Deadly Hemlock. DH will be released in July.

Here’s five things I love about this cover:
  1.  The red coat. Apart from the contrast of colours being gorgeous, and the fact it ensures it’s not a clone of other covers, the link to Little Red Riding Hood is so much fun.
  2. The Wolf in the branches. OMGoodness! How awesome is it.
  3. The colour of the sky – it’s so iridescent and eye catching.
  4. The fact we can’t see Mac’s face – it allows us imagine her ourselves. I love that.
  5. The author name – why don’t I have a cool surname like Peacock.

If you want to find out more about this cover came into being you can read an interview with cover designer extraordinaire Nick Stearn who worked on the artwork, here.

Thanks so much Kathleen for sharing this with us and I look forward to seeing Deadly Hemlock on the shelves and reading it.

Take that Writer’s Block

I’m back from my blogging vacation. And I’ve got a question for you all.

Have you ever found yourself staring blankly at the computer wondering where the words have gone? Well here’s some tips for battle an author’s enemy – writer’s block:

  1. War Words – I am so addicted to these now. You and your writing buddies set up a time to be online together. It can be on facebook, via email or on a community forum like inkpop. You set the start time in minutes (as in :30) and how long you’ll write for (fifteen minutes), write like crazy at the start time then post what you wrote in the time with the word count and get feedback from your buds.
  2. Relocate – get off your butt and write outside, preferably AWAY from internet access. If you don’t have a laptop then you can write the old fashioned way (and I don’t mean lug a typewriter with you.)
  3. Meow – Written? Kitten! is a website that allows you to be rewarded with a new picture of a kitten for ever 100, 200, 500 or 1000 words you write depending on your preference. You will get to see pictures like this and this  because images are randomly selected from Flickr’s “most interesting” photos matching the tags “kitten” and “cute.”
  4. Create a writing play list and then listen to it – keep a note pad handy because those creative juices are often stimulated by melodic sounds.

And if you are still stuck after those, try google fun cat pics. It won’t cure your writer’s block, but it’s a lot of fun.


What’s you’re cure for writer’s block?