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What’s on the Menu at LisMel Publishing in 2019?

Lisbon Tram with graffiti

Website Development:

An update of our website is the task at hand at the moment.

We’ve just changed our WordPress theme and also added some additional plug-ins and widgets to improve the functionality and the aesthetic for our site visitors. We appreciate your feedback on your user experience on our updated site and any comments you have are most welcome.

As always with all things technical, this remains a work in progress.

The overhaul of the website was overdue given that our primary focus has shifted to creating and publishing content rather than reselling books online. We designed our previous website to function foremost as an ecommerce store, but this is no longer our primary aim and has enabled us to experiment with a broader range of magazine style WordPress themes more suited to our needs as content creators and distributors.

Website Content:

The site will showcase our in-house publications like Russell’s self-published first novel Eye of the TimeGate and provide a platform for our upcoming publications and other projects. Visitors will be able to engage and follow these projects on our blog posts and on The Swamp Podcast  we‘ve embedded as a live feed on the site.

We’ve also added Disqus onto LisMel Publishing site to facilitate the engagement with our audience and provide an improved mechanism for audience comment and feedback.


We plan to upload a series of short stories by Russell over the next few weeks including, The Butterfly Breeze, that was in part a prelude or off-shoot of Eye of the TimeGate. He is working on the second book in his TimeGate time travel series, which we plan to publish early next year. TimeGate fans can follow this publishing journey on The Swamp Podcast and The Swamp – New Adventures in Pop Culture website.

I’m also working on a few writing projects this year including LisMel, an interactive family history project that will also hopefully provide the research material I’m collating for my own first novel. The goal is to have LisMel ready for publication as an eBook later this year, and a first draft of the novel.

The Swamp Podcast:

Having updated and revamped the LisMel Publishing website, it seemed only natural to experiment with new a podcasting platform and recording process for The Swamp podcast show at the same time! We’ve moved our podcast hosting across to Anchor from Soundcloud to take advantage of Anchors integrated recording and marketing distribution channels.

Russell is finishing the post-production editing of the second part of a two-part year in review podcast we recently recorded. The episode should go up on Anchor later next week.

Again, we would welcome and value any feedback and comment from our audience on the quality of the recordings and ease of download with our migration to the Anchor platform experiment. Any feedback and comment on The Swamp’s  content and entertainment value is also appreciated and welcome.

Here’s wishing all our readers, visitors and listeners a happy and prosperous 2019!



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Eye of the Timegate -eBook on smashwords

Readers can also purchase Russell Forden’s epic new science fiction novel Eye of the Timegate as an eBook available in multiple formats at Smashwords.

Smashwords is a major publisher and distributor of eBook publications for indie authors. It also a brilliant platform for authors wanting to self publish and market their work. Especially for anyone seeking a serious alternative to Amazon for ethical, political or literary reasons.

You can listen to Smashwords founder Mark Coker’s Smart Author Podcast to understand more about the self-publishing revolution and his reasons for establishing the Smashwords platform for independent authors. In the show’s first episode Mark shares his acute insights on future trends in the publishing industry.

Smashwords Smart Author Podcast

Episode 1: Seven Publishing Trends (24 min.)

Here is a copy of Russell’s author interview on Smashwords;

Interview with Russell Forden

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in a little suburb east of Melbourne, Australia. It was green, it was hilly, and a great place to explore as a kid. My parents provided a very stable environment, and my other five siblings meant life was rarely dull. However…it was a working class family, and I discovered as I got older that my aspirations were more middle class, and this created a divide that I’ve lived with since. I suppose my idyllic childhood made me sentimental and nostalgic, and that seems to have fed into the subject of my latest novel, which is a time travel yarn. My ‘outsider’ status within the family means I favour stories about outsiders, and the novel is full of them.

When did you first start writing?

I’ve always written stories, since I was a child. The first ‘serious’ writing I did was in the late eighties when I started writing film scripts. From there I went to writing a young adult novel, then some internet blogging, then songwriting, then finally, this latest science fiction novel.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

I was reading a biography of the French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, and the author made a whimsical suggestion about going back in time to visit the poet, and that got me thinking about a time travel program that benefited scholars and other academics, rather than the military and rich people, etc. Also, I always liked the TV show Stargate, but was annoyed that they didn’t further pursue the time travel possibilities inherent in the concept, so I thought I’d try using a similar concept I called ‘Timegate’. When I think of time travel, my first thought is always to visit the time of Jesus Christ and check out how that played out for real, so that’s an important part of the novel. The rest is throwing balls and characters up in the air and trying to make them stick!

What motivated you to become an indie author?

The awesome availability of online resources for indie authors. I never really set out to be an ‘indie’ author – It would still be nice to be a mainstream author (more money and prestige!) – but maybe I’m just too impatient (or not talented enough?) for that.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

Getting lost in the moment as you write, being totally immersed in your characters and story.

What are you working on next?

The next project is actually a spin-off from this novel. I had a lot of material left over that I wanted to develop into another story, and so that’s what I’m doing. There was a story-line in the original draft that made it too unwieldy, so I omitted it. But I like the story and characters, so I want to give them a chance to shine on their own. Also, it makes good business sense to give the readers more of the same (assuming they like the first book!).

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh Ursula Le Guin times a thousand! Her writing is so sympatico with me, I’ve adored everything she’s ever done. There isn’t room here to gush enough about her, so I’ll just keep it at that. Some other faves are Philip K Dick, Michael Moorcock, Isaac Asimov and Tolkien. Outside of scifi and fantasy, I love Dickens, Austen, Twain and other classics authors. I’m getting into steampunk at the moment, and I’m about to tackle China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station. Be fearful for me! I don’t read much modern mainstream stuff.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I’m a complete pop culture crunchy nut, so music, film, TV, internet, etc, then rinse and repeat. I’d travel more if I had the money. I’m also part of a political group that advocates for co-operatives.

How do you approach cover design?

Not sure if there’s a specific ‘approach’. My cover designer, Alexander, happened to have a portrait in his folio that caught my eye, and so I had him develop it for the cover of my new novel, Eye of the Timegate. The image of the girl fit a number of scenes from the book, and I had Alex add the ankh necklace and alter her features to better fit the character she’s based on. I must say, the final product has polarised people – especially along gender lines. Guys seem to like it, but girls don’t (so far!). Which is a pity, coz I put a lot of effort into making it ‘female-friendly’. If readers stick it out and get near the end they will discover the scene the cover’s based on and, hopefully, be pleasantly surprised. There’s definitely a surprise there based on who the woman is actually looking at. I’m not telling!

What are your five favorite books, and why?

Oh I love this question! The Dispossessed, by Ursula Le Guin. It’s a beautifully constructed vision of an anarchist ‘utopia’ (some might call it a dystopia – Ursula called it an ‘ambiguous utopia’), and a fascinating story of a physicist’s trials coming up with a special unified theory of everything. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, because it was my introduction to magical realism, and an astounding piece of writing. Persuasion, by Jane Austen, because it’s my fave Austen, and I love the theme of second chances contained within it. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, because it’s simply the Great American Novel. An Alien Heat, by Michael Moorcock, because it’s a delicate flower of a ripe, rotting future society that always blows my mind.

What is your e-reading device of choice?

Kobo Glo. I love my ‘glo’!
Published 2017-11-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.