– ‘The Magic Of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Dark and Fluffy Volume II’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
I am married with one teenage son and have always been a keen reader and writer since being young. I was born in Lancashire but have lived in Lincoln for over 30 years.
Several years ago I decided to take my writing seriously. I completed an OU course in creative writing and a Writers Bureau course. Initially I concentrated on short story writing, and when I turned fifty this year, I self-published my first book, Dark and Fluffy.
I love writing short stories, but my main goal is to have a novel published. Ten years ago, I started the first book of a trilogy of novels called The Little Servant (The Wait’s Son). I am still working on this, but now I have a serious intent to get this finished this year.
My favourite genre is medieval fiction, Bernard Cornwell is my favourite author. I also like to read Edward Rutherford, Stephen King, and Dean Coontz.
Following on from Dark & Fluffy, this collection is a further nine short fiction pieces. The title Dark & Fluffy II, reflects the general styles of the stories/prose in the book. Some are a bit darker, and may be a bit uncomfortable to read, Death by Testing and The Broken Arrangement fall into this category. Others are happier, feel good pieces like The Disney Club. Whatever your preference, I’m sure you’ll find something that will grab your attention.
Q: How did you become an author? Was it always a childhood dream or …?
A: It has always been my dream to become an author. As I child I was always reading, I loved getting lost in stories. I also did a lot of writing. I won a school prize at aged 10 for a story I wrote on the theme of The Flower Market, following a school trip to Amsterdam. My class was shown a picture of several animals ‘visiting’ the market and were asked to write a story that included these animals. I was the only one to tell the story from the animal’s viewpoint, rather than just describing what the animals saw. From my point of view, I became an author last year after self-publishing Dark & Fluffy. I finally had a chat with myself after turning 50 and decided that it was now or never!
Q: Which authors did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
A: The first books I really loved to read were Enid Blyton books, The Magic Faraway Tree was my favourite. Then I discovered A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula le Guin and this book really helped me to escape from a difficult time I was having at home. Another firm favourite is Tove Jansson, and the Moomin stories, which is a passion I’ve recently re-ignited due to the recent launching of special editions of these books. Into my teenage years I discovered Stephen King and he remains a firm favourite. The first book of his that I read was Pet Semetary. I was very sceptical, and intrigued, about how someone could write a whole, scary, based on a dead cat…! I was hooked after reading that book. I was always interested in medieval history, so this was sated by Bernard Cornwell and Edward Rutherford. I think David Walliams is the modern day Roald Dahl.
Q: Why the short stories/prose and not a full length novel?
A: I am currently working on a trilogy of books set in the 12th century, and I am aiming to finish book 1 this year. When I started to write my book in earnest, earlier this year, I re-discovered a collection of short stories that I had written on my PC. Once I had re-discovered them, it was literally like they were sat on my shoulder nagging me to let them see the light of day. I found they distracted from me working on my novel, so I decided to publish them and then that would clear my mind to concentrate on my novel.
Q: Where did you come up with the ideas for these short stories/prose?
A: I always have a large list of ideas for short stories, or a list of titles that I then fit stories around. Every month on my blog, I do a 500 word flash fiction piece. Myself or a follower, pick a title then I either do a bit of research on the literal meanings of the words to give me ideas, or I tend to just wait a while, mull it over when I have a minute to myself and something normally pops into my head. I never seem to be short of ideas. If anything, I have so many ideas, that the biggest problem is finding the time to write everything that I want to write.
Q: What do you enjoy about writing?
A: I love the idea that I can create something. Something that hopefully I can share with others who may get some enjoyment out of it. It is a cathartic process for me, ideas build up inside me and it’s a kind of release once the story is written. I’m also quite a solitary person, I do like my own company, so writing satisfies that element of my personality.
Q: What are your future plans as an author? Another book in the same ‘genre’ or …?
A: My main focus this year is to complete book 1 of my 12th century trilogy this year. I have been writing this book on and off for 10 years, and self-publishing Dark & Fluffy has given me the confidence to pursue this. I hope to publish this book the traditional way, i.e. with an agent and a publishing house. This is my ultimate dream.
I will also be self-publishing Alternative Histories later this year, a book that takes pivotal moments in history and looks at what-if scenarios. I have already showcased this idea in Dark & Fluffy II, in the story Queens of England. This is a story based around the idea of what could have happened if Queen Elizabeth I had not executed Mary Queen of Scots.
Looking further into the future, I will be self-publishing a novella called The Rue Stone. I have already self-published this as a short story, in the first Dark & Fluffy, and I have had lots of feedback all with a common thread; people felt a bit short changed after finishing the story and they would like to read more. I’ve taken this feedback, which I agree with, on board, and will now work on this to extend it into a longer format.
After that, then it will be back to books 2 and 3 of my trilogy, The Little Servant.
Interwoven with completing these books is an idea I have for a novella called A Tale of Two. This will be a story of two people, a man and a woman, who have an affair. The story will be told in two distinct parts, one from his point of view and one from hers.
The Magic Of Wor(l)ds