– ‘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 ‘The Dog Walking Club’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
I’m a golden-retriever-loving granny, who enjoys walking by the sea or in the woods, who eats too much chocolate and gets over-excited when the Welsh team plays rugby.
Writing-wise, I am an experienced freelance writer – published in The Guardian, Christian Herald and various other magazines and newspapers – with an MA in Creative Writing (Trinity College, University of Wales). My short stories have been published in Cambrensis (the now sadly-defunct short story magazine of Wales) as well as in several anthologies including Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe (Parthian) and Catwomen from Hell (Honno). I am also the author of several non-fiction books published by Hodder & Stoughton, Scripture Union and Kevin Mayhew.
I have self-published two novels, This Time Last Year, and The Dog-walking Club.
I enjoy speaking about my writing to various gatherings and the media, and am an active blogger, facebooker and tweeter.
Every dog walk brings new drama into the lives of these dogs and their people. A supermarket shelf-stacker, a stay-at-home dad, an elderly widow and a freelance photographer sound an unlikely bunch of friends but they have one thing in common: they all walk their dogs in Beauville Park at roughly the same time each morning.
And that’s enough for Angela, bored organiser without a cause, to get them together to form the Dog-walking Club.For Jock the Scottie, Benji the spaniel, Pixie the boxer, Mitzi the poodle and Bassett the … all sorts, walking each day with their friends is a dream come true. And it changes the lives of widowed Sybil who’s spent a lifetime hiding her secret sorrow, hopeless-with-women Jon who’s wandering almost unwittingly into an affair, freelance photographer Jemma who is at every wedding but her own, and Maggi who is frantically trying to save money to visit her family in Australia.
And for long-suffering Angela a nasty shock turns into a new start in disguise for her and her husband – and their love life.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
It all began with our church newspaper. I started doing the children’s page and then gradually became more and more involved until I was editing it and, on finding myself with gaps to fill, writing it. Then one day the opportunity arose to interview a touring evangelist. The woman who normally did the interviews was busy so I was volunteered to go along to a coffee shop and meet him.
I arrived first and was sitting quietly when the door burst open and a loud American voice shouted out, ‘The kingdom of God is approaching now!’
I glanced around to see if there were a back door I could use to escape. There wasn’t. Anyway this unpromising beginning led to me ghost-writing the autobiography of an American cop from NYPD. In time I sent the first three chapters to Hodder; they phoned me the next day and said they wanted to publish it. That was the first and last successful publisher submission I made …
From there I took to writing fiction, which is where you find me today.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Then Little Women and What Katy Did. Today anything by Fredrik Backman or Katie Fforde.
Is there an writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I think probably Katie Fforde. She manages to write stories that in many ways are predictable, but I still want to read them. I want to know how she does that. Actually I think I know the answer: by making her settings so beautiful and unique, and characters so lovely, that you want good for them. But why then aren’t they trite?
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Jonathan Goldman from brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido, because I fell in love with him in 1982, and I was disappointed in him in 1998.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Does procrastinating count as a habit?
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Yes. But Alison, my heroine in This Time Next Year is definitely not me. No matter what anyone says to the contrary.
Ideas come from all sorts of places and people but most of all from inside my head.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Pantser is a newish word to me but it describes me very well. I may have a vague idea where the story will go i.e. it will have a happy ending, but how it gets there is a mystery to me until I write it.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Believe in yourself. If you have someone who encourages and supports you hang on to that person and listen to him/her. Don’t put yourself or your writing down. I am guilty of that and know how damaging it is. Even my first reaction to this question was: who am I to give advice?
What are your futureplans as an author?
I am in the middle, almost, of a sequel to This Time Next Year. Also hoping to publish my third novel, Tabitha’s Table, some time this year. I have another completed novel that I like to think of as more literary but totally unsellable. That may be published one day. Also plans for a sequel to Tabitha’s Table.
But most of my time at the moment I seem to be spending trying to get to grips with Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the rest with a view to doing more promotion and marketing. And failing.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Liz Hinds.
Win a set of reusable beeswax wraps, three metal straws with a carrying pouch and cleaner, and a face wipe, all in pretty doggy fabric (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!