What Goes Down by Natalie K Martin **Weekend Blitz Guest Post , Review & Giveaway**

It is a great pleasure to introduce Natalie K Martin to Books, Life and Everything as part of the celebrations for her novel, What Goes Down. She is sharing her experience of self-publishing with us today. There is also the chance to win a £10 Amazon Giftcard, a Stag necklace and a copy of the book. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post. First though, here's more about What Goes Down:

WHAT GOES DOWN is an emotional, must-read novel of love, loss and second chances. Set in the present day and late 80’s, WHAT GOES DOWN deals with relationships touched by mental illness, and is perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse and Julie Cohen.

Seph Powell has all she ever wanted: a close family, loving boyfriend and her dream career. A gifted artist with a highly anticipated exhibition just weeks away, her life seems to be perfect. Until a man she's never met claims to be her real father.

Laurel and Tony Powell are devoted parents. Having worked hard to provide everything for their daughter, they’ve created an enviable, picture-perfect family. Until Laurel's ex-boyfriend, Nico, comes back into their lives. 

In the summer of 1987, Nico stole Laurel’s heart with promises of adventure and excitement. But when he disappeared without trace, he left her as a single, teenaged parent. Now, twenty-five years later, he’s back and keen to meet the daughter he left behind.

But Nico’s sudden reappearance shows that nothing is quite as it first seems. And as long hidden truths are exposed, everything Seph thought she knew about her life begins to unravel.

Welcome to Books, Life and Everything, Natalie. We can't wait to hear more about your journey as an author and self- publishing, so over to you!


5 Reasons aspiring authors should self-publish. 

When I self-published my first novel, Together Apart, it sold a whopping 43 copies in the first six months - hardly setting the world on fire. But it led to me getting a publishing contract and since then, I've sold over 100,000. What Goes Down is my third novel, and I've gone back to my self-publishing roots. It's a tough road, but it can be done successfully and it completely changed my life. If you’re looking for reasons to take the plunge, these might help:

1. The book world has changed. Once upon a time, the only way to get published was to submit to agents. You needed to have the good luck that your manuscript landed on the desk of someone who liked it and was willing to pick it up. Nowadays, you can publish for free to an immediate audience of millions of potential readers, worldwide. Say what you like about the eBook, but it has definitely shifted the balance of power and if you're an aspiring author, why not use it?

2. You can still get the glory by self-publishing. Oh, yes you can. One of my good friends, Brooke Harris, got her USA Today Bestseller stamp for the Harte series and another writer I know just signed a humongous six-figure-plus deal, and she started out self-publishing too. If becoming a bestseller is your dream, then it’s a very attainable one.

3. If you’re going to do it, do it properly. The reason people are scared about failing with self-publishing is because there are always books that barely make a dent in the charts. If you don’t want to become one of them, then it’s worth investing a little bit of time and money. Find a good editor and cover designer, and shower your Book Baby with so much love and plush stuff it wouldn't look out of place in a Waterstone's window display.

4. You get to stay in control and keep all of your earnings. I’m a hybrid author, which means I have contracts for some books and self-publish others. I’m lucky enough to still have a degree of control over aspects of my contracted books, but with self-publishing, you’re the boss. You decide the title, the cover, the price - everything. And, what’s more, whatever you earn is yours.

5. Why not? Seriously, why not? My motivation for self-publishing was that I had manuscripts gathering cyber-dust in my laptop and I ate up valuable time wondering what if? There was no reason for me not to publish it, and even if you don’t become a bestselling author, there are a million more reasons to publish than not to. Interacting with fans, seeing your book sell in different countries and the friendship between other authors and bloggers are just a few.

My Thoughts

What Goes Down takes you on a journey into surprising territory. When I first started to read it, I anticipated a fairly typical romance story and how the central character, Seph, learnt secrets from the past. However, it is much more than that. The most impressive part is how it deals with mental health issues, in this case, bi-polar and takes you into the mind of the person who is living with it. You get to see the greater effects it has on all those around and the implications for each new generation. To put it simply, it is in fact, a very clever book. The issue creeps up on you and then suddenly, you realise just where the author is taking you. Sensitively done, you feel empathy for all those involved.

  When I got used to the swapping between the present day with Seph's story and the 1980's when her mother was young, I found both timelines to be illuminating, the past casting light on the present. You get to see different points of view and to realise that the viewpoint of the person with bi-polar might be unreliable. It is a well-paced story and definitely worth a read.

In short: a contemporary story which tackles mental health issues in a sensitive and life affirming way.


About the Author 

In 2014, Sheffield born Natalie K. Martin left her corporate job in London to experience the world - heading off on travels that took her as far as Cambodia, India and Thailand, and changed her outlook on life for good.  Whilst in India, she self-published her debut novel, Together Apart, which became a No.1 bestseller on the Amazon charts. Her second novel, Love You Better, became a bestseller on release in October 2015.

Never one to shy away from tough subjects, Natalie's books tackle issues that are relevant and relatable to the everyday woman, and all feature true-to-life characters - people who could easily be your mum, sister, or best friend. This is what she calls: Contemporary Fiction with Love. Natalie's books have been featured in The Daily Mail, Woman's Own, Pride Magazine and Female First. She has been interviewed on radio including BBC Radio Sheffield and Manx Radio, and has also written articles for Kindred Spirit Magazine, Do What You Love and Your Wellness Magazine.

A trained Yoga Teacher with a love of surfing, Natalie's backpack is now taking a short but well-earned rest. These days, she can be found in the historical city of Ulm in Southern Germany, where she's settled with the charming Bavarian man who swept her off her feet in India. Natalie is represented by Jon Elek at United Agents.

You can follow Natalie here: Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook
 Book link: Amazon UK

 Thanks to Lynsey James, her publishers at HQ Digital and Jenny at Neverland Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the Tour.

Giveaway (UK only)
To be in with a chance to win a £10 Amazon Giftcard, a Stag necklace and a copy of the book, follow the link below and good Luck! (one winner). 
 a Rafflecopter giveaway


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