Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood Is Wrong – book launch

14 Nov

After much to-ing and fro-ing, the book launch for Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood Is Wrong is set for Saturday 24th November at the Virgin Money Lounge in Glasgow, on the corner of Royal Exchange Square and Queen Street. (Here’s a handy map.)

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My Top Ten Films

13 Nov

I’m not much into vlogs, but one thing I do enjoy watching on YouTube is videos about films – best ofs, worst ofs, critiques, techniques. I watched the recent(ish) Mark Kermode documentary, Secrets of Cinema, too, and very much enjoyed it (apart from its obsession with Moonlight, which still doesn’t appeal to me at all).

filmklappe-1078812_960_720In short, I’m an armchair cinephile, which is great because an armchair is a very good place to watch films from. So I thought I’d share with you a list of my top ten favourite films (as they stand now), and what I like about them, and hope that it doesn’t reveal anything too disturbing about my personality.

There will be everything from rom-coms to cult classics to Cold-War-era sci fi; films everyone has seen, and probably some that you’ve never heard of. The oldest film on the list harks from the 1930s, the newest from 2010. This will be a long read, so grab a coffee, or alternatively a pair of sunglasses and half a packet of cigarettes, and let’s hit it.

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Robin Hood’s first review – and it’s a goodie!

6 Nov

The lovely Bob White, chairman of the World Wide Robin Hood Society (based, appropriately enough, in Sherwood, Nottingham) has just written a review of Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood Is Wrong.

You can read the whole review here, but (as is my prerogative as an author) I’ve quoted my favourite bits below.

Robin Hood silhouette transparentKaren Murdarasi’s new book pulls no punches and tells it like it is! The 90 informative pages are jam-packed with revealing facts and comparisons about the many discrepancies in the popular story and it’s all brightly written in a succinct and engaging style.

Robin Hood silhouette transparentIf your curiosity gets the better of you and you really want to delve into the murky world of Robin Hood’s authenticity, then Karen Murdarasi spells it all out in this enjoyable new book.

I’m sure your curiosity get the better of you, so you can pre-order the book now on Amazon or Waterstones (or your bookshop of choice). It will be on sale from 22nd November.

If you’re in or around Glasgow, look out for details of WEYKARHIW book events, which I will be posting soon.

Are you feeling lucky, punk?

31 Oct

Because if you are, you could enter my Twitter prize draw to win a copy of Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood Is Wrong before it’s released! And five runners-up will win an .epub copy. Enter by retweeting this tweet and following @kcmurdarasi. See the terms and conditions, if you’re having trouble sleeping.

On the other hand, if you’re not feeling so lucky, there’s a more certain way to get your hands on a copy. Everyone on my mailing list will receive an .epub copy when the book is released on 22nd November (or as soon after that as I manage).

But what if you don’t feel lucky and you still want a paperback copy? Then you can pre-order it, like everybody else, can’t you? Do I have to do everything for you? 😉

The Beauty of Tunisa

24 Oct

A lovely photo post, and a good reason for posting it: at the start of the month I was visiting a friend in Tunisia – a new country for me, and a whole new continent, as I had never been to Africa.

I can’t say I fell for Tunisia the way I did for Albania and, to a lesser extent, Greece, but it was fun, and had some beautiful sights. And the Roman ruins! Oh my word! I’ve never seen such well-preserved Roman buildings. And there was even pre-Roman stuff! So from that point of view, I was in my element, even if my Arabic is a little less polished than my Latin 😉

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Robin Hood is in the shops! (kind of)

11 Oct

9781916490901I have been feverishly scanning the internet for signs of my forthcoming book, Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood Is Wrong, and it is now listed as available for pre-order on Amazon! It doesn’t show my uber-stylish cover yet, but that should follow in due course.

You will be able to get copies from me, of course, by dropping me a line using the contact form to the right, or by coming to a book event (more details to follow), but it you prefer the convenience of Amazon you can pre-order now. You can pre-order from your local bookshop, too, or ask your local library to stock it. Speak to them; people who work with books are generally nice. (Except the baddie in my current novel, but that’s another story – literally.)

creat-work-earn-front-coverMy other news is that Create Work Earn has just been published. This is a book about freelancing and creativity. It’s compiled by Vivienne K Neale, but I have a chapter on portfolio careers. What is a portfolio career? Read the book and find out! (Or you could just Google it; it’s not hard.)

Miss_rabbit

Miss Rabbit – the ultimate portfolio careerist

The wonderful, awful business of being an author

8 Sep

As I obviously have oodles of time on my hands, trying to finish a novel (The Sarcophagus Scroll) while simultaneously preparing a non-fiction book for publication (Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood is Wrong), this must be the perfect time to host a question-and-answer time on AMAfeed (Ask Me Anything).

Anyway, whether I am superhuman, or thrive on challenge, or am simply mad, I have scheduled the Ask Me Anything for Tuesday 11th September at 2.30pm, UK time. You can post your questions before then (and I can answer them), but they won’t show up until Tuesday afternoon.

If you know anyone who’s curious about the business of writing professionally, encourage them to pose a question for me. If it throws up anything interesting, I may post the link again once the Q&A has closed.

Thérèse of Lisieux: No credit where it’s due

27 Jul

The latest edition of Premier Christianity magazine features my article on Thérèse of Lisieux, a French nun who had the quickest canonisation of anyone in the Catholic Church up to that date. (Canonisation is being declared a saint, in case you’re not up on the lingo.)

This the article that I mentioned was bumped from the magazine because of Billy Graham’s death, and then leapfrogged by my later article on Richard Wurmbrand. But Thérèse would have loved that. She was self-effacing to the point of being completely self-negating. Her ‘little way’, as she called her philosophy, was about denying every self-focussed impulse, however justified it seemed, and instead living a life of sacrificial love for others, to the greater glory of God.

I found the story of Thérèse of Lisieux challenging. The first challenge was learning how to spell her name, of course. But more seriously, her absolute denial of self makes you question your own ‘reasonable’ level of selfishness. When she was dying of a painful illness, those who didn’t know her well thought that she couldn’t be seriously unwell, because she was so uncomplaining. I am not that uncomplaining, to put it mildly.

I didn’t agree with Thérèse on everything. I think she took self-negation too far, to the extent that she thought it might be wrong for her to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation (specifically the scent of flowers). But there is undeniably something to strive towards in her determination “to appear happy, and especially to be so”, despite the worst of personal circumstances.

You can get a copy of Christianity magazine for free, but if you subscribe at the moment you get the first year at half price (making it less than twenty quid for the whole year), and you’ll be entered into a draw to win £200-worth of Christian books!

Of course, if you want to follow Thérèse’s example, you’d better hope that you don’t win the books. But don’t worry, if you do win them, you can just give them away. 😉

Smashwords summer sale

5 Jul

It’s now July, which means that finally the date on the calendar matches the gorgeous weather. (Yes, I’m very much a hot-weather person.) It also means that the Smashwords summer/winter sale has started!

It’s called the summer/winter sale to include readers on the other hemisphere as well. I’m not sure if I have any, but if I do – hello!

The Smashwords sale means that you can get a huge number of ebooks for 50% off, 75% off or free – and mine are free! It includes Leda (YA adventure) and my short story collections A New Year’s Trio (romance) and Office Life (and Death) (humour), as well as the single short story Running for Cover (romance). It doesn’t include Augustine: The Truth Seeker or Patrick of Ireland: The Boy Who Forgave because I don’t control their pricing.

If you haven’t read any of my work yet, or one of these is missing from your collection, go ahead and download it before the end of July. And if you already have all of these (you wonderful person!), why not point this offer out to a friend instead?

Here’s to reading on sun loungers!

What do you really believe?

4 Jun

First of all, welcome to my new subscribers who have come over from the newsletter! (And if you’re thinking, “what newsletter?”, there’s a sign-up button just over there. ➡)

My latest article for Christianity magazine is in shops now. This one is on Richard Wurmbrand, because poor Therese of Lisieux got bumped due to the death of Billy Graham. Fortunately, I can be fairly sure Therese wouldn’t mind – you’ll see what I mean when her article finally comes out.

Richard Wurmbrand, despite having a name that looks very Germanic, was actually Romanian (the “W” is soft, in fact). He is best known for having been horribly tortured and imprisoned for many years because he was a Christian pastor under the atheist communist regime, and he wouldn’t preach what he was told, report on his parishioners to the secret police and generally be a good boy. When he finally got out of the country, he exposed what was actually happening in ‘tolerant’ communist Romania.

I get the impression Wurmbrand would have been quite a difficult man (he’s dead now – died in 2001), stubborn and strong-willed – but God made excellent use of these virtues that could easily be vices. (I can’t help thinking about what the people I write about would have been like in real life – which ones you’d invite to a dinner party, and which ones you’d just send a Christmas card to.)

This article is to tie in with the 50th anniversary of the founding of Release International, which works with and for persecuted Christians around the world, and was inspired by Richard Wurmbrand. They have also brought out a 50th-anniversary edition of Wurmbrand’s book, Tortured for Christ. I suppose I should recommend that you get a copy, but I’m not going to; it’s pretty horrific in places, and things read can’t be unread. Get In God’s Underground instead. It’s also by Wurmbrand but it’s more informative and less graphic.

Wurmbrand was pretty quotable, and the title of this post refers to something he wrote:

“A man truly believes not what he recites in his creed, but only the things he is ready to die for.”

I hope never to have my beliefs tested by facing death or torture (sorry, Therese), but if it ever did come to it, I hope that I would be found to truly believe the things I say I believe. So what do you believe?