– ‘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 ‘Tally and the Angel’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
My school life was spent in a girls’ boarding-school specialising in classical ballet and on leaving I danced professionally, touring Europe, for 4 years. After that I ran my own ballet school in Athens, Greece and simultaneously volunteered as a veterinary nurse, as my love of animals is the driving force in my life. I returned to England with my horse and my cat, and now live on a smallholding in Shropshire with various farm animals and a constant stream of pets.
I started writing while in Greece and completed a Creative Writing Course with the Writers’ Bureau. The same year, I won an annual competition in the Writing Magazine for an adult Fairy Story.
On my return to England, I wrote two children’s books, but my new life, caring for Highland Cattle, sheep, hens and pets, coupled with extensive global travel, meant that writing for publication took a back seat. I continued my love of writing with a daily journal and amusing travel blogs of each trip.
I am now writing full time and TALLY AND THE ANGEL is the first of a planned series. Their next adventure takes place in Canada, in North Yukon and the third in Japan. I intend them to have adventures in Greece, Egypt, Peru, Africa – anywhere I have been, really.
My first book THE GRACEFUL GHOST is shortlisted for the UK Selfies 2021 Award.
When Tally discovers her pendant is home to the Angel Jophiel, she knows life will never be same again. But what good is an angel who won’t appear in front of others? Especially when she needs to convince her friend Balvan she knows where the kidnapped children of India are being held. Will Jophiel help Tally and Balvan escape the kidnappers’ clutches, or will they all perish?
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?
I spent my school life in a ballet boarding school and danced professionally for 4 years before opening my own ballet school in Athens, Greece, which I ran successfully for 16 years. I have also worked as a veterinary nurse (helping to assuage my desire to be a vet) and a medical rep, and in my youth had part time jobs as a kennel maid, a nanny and a rep for an ink company. In my entire chequered career, writing ticked along in the background
I have always loved it and wrote all my life without realising I was forming the basis for a writing career; I wrote weekly letters to my mother from the age of ten till she died. I always write a journal and I used to be the one cheering the loudest when the English teacher set us creative essays for homework. I even used to write some of my classmate’s essays for them, I enjoyed it so much. But it was a friend in Greece who encouraged me to ‘start writing’ when I was telling her about a scenario I had been imagining while I was out riding my horse one day. “Write it down,” she said, and it became the basis of my first book (unpublished).
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I loved Enid Blyton and her adventure and boarding school stories. A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six are my earliest memories. I still have the books, along with two other, very precious to me, books: Poopy, The Dancing Doll by Lucille Steven and Mokey (after whom my dog is named), the Deep Sea Donkey by Grace Couch.
Then I loved C S Lewis and his Narnia series followed by Tolkein’s the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, both of which I have read 19 times!
Now I read a wide range from children’s to adult though my preference is fantasy.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
There isn’t one particular writer. I appreciate and value any advice I’m given by any writer, whether established or not. We’re never too old to learn and there’s always so much to learn.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own books, I would love to have tea with Jophiel, the Angel. He is so wise yet humble. He has a wicked sense of humour, and he would be able to tell so many tales.
If I were to choose from someone else’s books, it would be Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. He captured my heart from the first time I read the book at 13 years old. He’s so strong and yet down to earth.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I am a creature of habit! I like to start at my desk in the morning, while I’m actually writing, then sit on my sofa, with my feet up, to edit. I have a set alarm on my phone called “Screentime” which goes off every 20 minutes to remind me to look away from the computer for 20 seconds at something 20 feet distant (to avoid eyestrain and headaches). I get so engrossed that it feels like it’s going off every two minutes!
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No one in my life needs to be worried! I may take traits, habits or features but mix them up so much that no one character resembles anyone I know.
I honestly don’t know where the ideas come from. They are like sparks. They come from a casual word, a slight incident, or even a song. They just seem to froth up in my mind like a beer poured too fast.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I used to be a pantser and admit that I prefer that method. However, my editor insists on a chapter breakdown before I start writing so I’m having to learn to be a plotter. I’m not sure it works as I change so much as I go along.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do attend as many courses, lectures, online sessions as you can. There’s so much to learn. Let experienced people read your work and guide you (not your mum, brother, sister, best friend!) but Don’t let anyone steal your confidence. Keep writing, no matter what.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I have so many books planned, I wish there were more hours in a day! The sequel to The Graceful Ghost has just gone to my editor and another four books are lining up in that series (The Amberwood Hall series). Also the second book in the Tally and the Angel series is at first draft stage and another four are planned.
Then, this morning, I had an idea for a YA story which I can’t wait to start! How do I split myself into three, please?
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
From Tally and the Angel:
Horrified, Tally and Balvan gazed down, their throats closing as they breathed in the stench.
“It’s like every bit of rubbish in the world,” Tally whispered to Balvan, who nodded, his face pinched with dread.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Eleanor Dixon.
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!