Disturbing times ahead …
November 12, 2012

There are always moments of crisis or change in our lives and often they produce insights and inner knowledge we didn’t have before. They change us – maybe indefinably to those who are the onlookers of our lives, but subtly and irrevocably to us, the intimate viewers of our own landscape.  I call these exciting, but disturbing moments, transformations because they do transform us in some way. And transformations do not have to be earth-shattering or mind-boggling. The most significant ones are often quiet realisations of a tiny part of the bigger whole, because that’s exactly what we are most of the time – a part of the whole.

And so, obviously, I write about transformation in my books. Maybe the transformation is frivolous and fun – changing a shrinking violet into a gaudy sunflower as they read and laugh at my embarrassingly naïve antics in ‘Are you the One?’ (You can do that too here:

Buy Are You The One? Here 

Maybe it is gaining confidence from defining a route forward by taking on board

the ideas in ‘The  Strategy’ – which by the way can be downloaded free from Amazon:

Download the Strategy here:

on 1st December – but be quick about it, and please leave a review as a thank you …

However, some transformations are massive, and create a massive impact in the lives of not only the person transforming, but those around them too. I want to introduce you to one such massive transformation that has and is taking place in the lives of a small minority of the population but nevertheless one that makes us question many of our principles and attitudes and sometimes find ourselves and our empathy sadly wanting. I have written a book about it, called Chained Melody which will be published in January 2013.

Some very talented people have taken beautiful photographs of it and they will be on display in Bournemouth Library, and Flirt Café Bar, also in Bournemouth from the 18th to the 25th January 2013:


And some very brave people will be telling and showing what that transformation meant for them as a result:  Transsexualism.

Have a look at the links and find out a bit more about another life, lived in what might seem like another world to the one you inhabit, but which is actually only just next door.

What spurred on a very hetero heterosexual to write a book about it?

This from Shakespeare:

‘For such as we are made of, such we be.’

Twelfth Night Act 2 Scene 2 line 3


‘There is no darkness but ignorance.’

Twelfth Night Act 4 Scene 2 line 41


To take ourselves out of the darkness of ignorance, we have to experience something new and often disturbing – to have our own transformation.

Here we go – the back cover blurb fom the book to get you going, and next week a little sample of what’s inside the cover:


‘Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, chaos is being yourself.’ – Emil e M Cioran

Can the flutter of a butterfly’s wing cause a ripple in the world, so big it can change not just one life – but many? Chaos theory says it can, claim the theorists. Two men, two lives, one seemingly small incident, but it changes one man’s whole view of himself and the chrysalis transforms into a butterfly whose fragile wings cause shockwaves beyond those imaginable in the lives of the people around him.

Set in the 1970-80’s, the hurricane whipped up by this butterfly’s wings brings not only dramatic change at a time when the sexual revolution was already under way, but death, damnation and forbidden love. Transsexual transformation, the nature of love, and finding a true self from within are all set against a backdrop of life in the permissive eighties – and a suspicious death which creates the test of whether true love really exists or whether the chains of social convention will keep it forever imprisoned.

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And please do talk back – I love a good conversation …

Debbie Martin


Self-publishing palaver
July 19, 2012


The future, so everyone says, so I’ve decided to try it out with my second dating and relationship book. The first was published the traditional way last February and you can have a lag on me with it here:


But this time, I’ve decide to try out the megalomania route (total control!) and self-publish  – so here we go: the first book I have to try to upload on to e-book and Kindle myself- yikes! How is a non-techy going to cope with that, I wonder?

Best to write myself a step by step guide …Then I thought maybe everyone else might find that helpful too, so here goes with Part One: Kindles.

Part two will appear next week when I hope I have the cover design back and can complete the full works (unless I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer frustration of failed formatting when Word wants to do something opposite to what I want).

Typesetting basics: Kindle

In your word document, use:

  • A common serif font like Helvetica or Book Antiqua Times New Roman and Century are also recommended by some.
  • Use 11 or 12 point single space regular as a minimum. Use 18- 20 point for headings. Remember that readers can make the font bigger themselves when reading.
  • Put a single space after a full stop.
  • In dent paragraphs with em dash or 5mm.
  • Don’t have a blank line between paragraphs.
  • If using  dash, use space en dash space.
  • Avoid ‘widows and orphans’ (the stray word left flowing onto a new page all on its own – ahh!) by editing carefully.
  • Spaces sections with a blank line   or a blank line ornament  blank line e.g


  • Page numbering isn’t needed, but for reference purposes , centre a footer staring at the first page of the body of the text numbered at the first page following on from the title pages –e.g. maybe this might be 7 by the time the title etc  pages are passed/
  • No headers/ footers or left/right paging are required.
  • Drop the chapter numbers and title a few lines and use 18-20 point regular or italic but not bold.
  • Use hard return to ensure lines c don’t concertina (shift return).
  • Typically, you need         –      A cover

–          A title page

–          A dedication page (possibly)

–          A cover page

–          A copyright page

–          A contents page

–          A map page (possibly

Now you see how you may have reached page 7 before getting to the guts of the book for     the page referencing above.

  • Convert to Kindle using the app if using Indesign (on Amazon).
  • Download Kindle onto your computer and trial your layout.
  • When the layout is good, upload it, check it again and then publish it.

To publish on Kindle you will need:

  • The set up an agreement with Amazon.
  • Choose the royalty level in three currencies.
  • Follow the options and agree the contract.
  • Publish and wait three days for amazon to do their stuff.

Promotion and pitching:

Pitch your book at a lowest price possible as there’s more opportunity in gaining large numbers of very low priced sales than less numbers of higher ones. Amazon will give you the opportunity to have freebie days too – when anyone can download your book for free. Don’t worry that you’re giving it away. The more people who get it and like it, the more sales you’re likely to make later.

Some other tricks:

  • Get people to rate it for you. The more often it’s rated at 4 and above, the better it’s odds in the algorithm that Amazon applies to ‘recommend’ it to purchasers of other similar books. This is based on sales and ratings. The more of each, the more Amazon promotes it for you – neat – huh?
  • Ask everyone you know on Facebook to buy it.
  • Have a twitter account active and promote it on there – especially on the freebie days.
  • An editor/copy editor are a must: what you put on there is the finished product, so make sure it is finished to a high standard first.
  • ISBN’s – all major book stockists recognise self-published ISBN’s and won’t touch them. Save yourself some money and don’t buy one unless you’re determined to see this book in print too.
  • Set your price low. The mentality of internet sales is low price = bulk sales.

So, now it’s time for me to have a go! Next week I’m going to turn it into an e-book, rather than a Kindle so it’s available for free download to my lucky Amazing weekend attendees:

See www.singlesthatmingle.co.uk for all the information about this – 9th to 11th November.

Now that was all very serious stuff wasn’t it? And not a creative bean in sight, so now I’m going to write some more of Chained melody, where the plot thickens …

More to follow next week …

Follow me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Debbie-Martin-author-and-writer/290947497649847

and on my website:


where you’ll find lots more to read and information when my books are published.

Debbie Martin