#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Heiress’s Pregnancy Surprise – Donna Alward @DonnaAlward

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘The Heiress’s Pregnancy Surprise’ 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 :

ah2ds5uwWhile bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers.
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict. You can visit her on her website and join her mailing list.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter 
Instagram

Synopsis :

l9ieD3HwA VIP assignment …
an unexpected consequence!
Ex-SAS officer Jacob Wolfe’s latest job, as aristocrat Charlotte Pemberton’s bodyguard, is pushing him to his limits. Never one to step over the line, he’s determined to ignore their intense connection. Until a single dance leads to a forbidden kiss… and Jacob is tempted to break all his rules. But their resulting night together has an unexpected consequence…

Purchase Link:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

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?
Thanks for having me today! I’ve always been a bit of a writer, but after my second child was born, I had a bad case of postpartum depression. When she was about a year old, I was doing better but really looking for something that was just for me. My sister said, “You’ve always wanted to write a book, so why don’t you?” I did, and I loved the process so much I kept at it until I finally sold my first novel in 2006.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I spent many afternoons on our sunporch with LM Montgomery, the Bobbsey Twins, and oddly enough, my parents’ World Book Encyclopedias.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
For advice…hmmm. I would love to spend time with Elizabeth Gilbert. I met her a year and a half ago and loved the workshop I did with her. Being able to hang out would be something else entirely. 😊

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Judy Plum from Pat of Silver Bush (LM Montgomery). She’d have me laughing but also stuff me full of tea and goodies.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I actually have fewer rituals now than I used to! And sometimes they change. For example, last summer was gorgeous weather-wise, and so I would write a little in the morning in my office, then around 2-3 p.m. I’d head out to the deck, when the sun wasn’t direct and too hot. It was the perfect work environment. After another hour or so, my husband would join me and we’d read for a bit before flashing up the grill to make dinner.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No one needs to be worried – ideas come from everywhere and quite often from a brainstorming session with my friends.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a pantser! I generally have the basic idea for the book and a bit of a handle on the characters, but I sit down and type “Chapter One” and go.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Absolutely! Write because you love it and edit like you’re selling it. Loving it will get you through the hard times and feed your creative soul. But being willing to revise and change will help you succeed in the market. Also, if you’re planning on self-publishing, hire an editor and cover artist. This is not the time to DIY.

What are your future plans as an author?
So many plans! Right now I’m finishing up the HEIRS TO AN EMPIRE series, and also republishing a big chunk of my backlist. In addition, I’m working on something VERY different that has been super fun and exciting.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This scene happens at a party during Fashion Week in New York. Charlotte is attending with her bodyguard, Jacob…who turns out to be a wonderful wingman and friend when she runs into an ex…

It was good to slip out of the crowd for a few moments and head to the slightly quieter ladies’ room. She locked herself in a stall and took three minutes to deep-breathe. There were others in the room, and their conversations came and went, and when Charlotte finally felt slightly restored, she flushed the unused toilet and unlocked the door.
At the mirrors she touched up her hair and lipstick, then let out a huge breath and prepared to face the party again.
Outside, wearing a broad smile, was Mark Church, holding two glasses of champagne.
She stopped. Tonight was the first time she’d thought of him in months, and now here he was. “Mark.”
“Hello, Charlotte.”
Oh, the way he said it was so warm and familiar. It made her remember the good times, but the memories were quickly tainted by the reminder of his betrayals. She’d been young and foolish, but trusting him had taught her a valuable lesson. So she smiled because it made sense to let bygones be bygones. “I didn’t realize you’d be here tonight.”
“I managed an invitation.”
Of course he had. That was how he operated. And now, some of his clients were the highest-paid models in the world. It burned that she had to maintain a cordial relationship, but the truth was, it was good for Aurora to not burn any bridges.
He offered her the glass of champagne. “How about a toast to old times?”
She took it and lifted an eyebrow. “I was twenty-two and very, very green,” she said, a veiled way of saying she’d been naive and foolish.
“Maybe we’re both older and wiser now?” He smiled his charming smile, and she smiled back. Politely. Thankfully, she felt nothing but regret and relief seeing him now. No lingering attraction, no pain. Just regret that she’d been so gullible and relieved that it was truly behind her. Now if she could just extricate herself gracefully…
She saw Jacob out of the corner of her eye and waved him off with a subtle flick of her hand. He paused, but his eyes never left them. Suddenly she was glad of it.
“Cheers,” Mark said, and touched the rim of his glass to hers.
She drank because not to would have been even more uncomfortable. The bubbles fizzed on her tongue and she swallowed, wondering if the alcohol would help her relax.
“I haven’t seen you since…” He frowned. “Since the charity event in London.”
“Six years,” she said, pasting on the smile that she’d worn all damn day.
“Amazing how we keep missing each other, in all that time.”
It wasn’t amazing at all. Charlotte generally stayed on her side of the Atlantic. And rekindling anything with Mark wasn’t on her agenda.
“Isn’t it?
“You’re looking gorgeous. Even more beautiful than you were then. I take it that’s an Aurora design?”
“Of course.” She cradled the champagne glass. “I wouldn’t wear anything else.”
“It’s very timeless. I mean, your mother would look smashing in it.”
And there it was. The subtle little dig, the slight criticism that had always turned her off. “I’ll be sure to tell her you said so. Now if you’ll excuse me…”
She went to move away but he reached out and grabbed her wrist. They were close enough now she could smell the booze and knew he’d been drinking for a while, though he hid it well. A wave of revulsion rolled through her. She hadn’t forgotten that Mark Church was the kind of man who would say whatever he needed to get what he wanted.
“Let’s get out of here and go someplace quieter,” he suggested, his dark eyes meeting hers. “For old times’ sake.”
She pulled her wrist away just as she became aware of Jacob coming forward. “What a kind suggestion, but no thank you.”
He slid closer. “Come on, Charlotte. We were good together. Let’s see how it—”
“Ah, there you are.” Jacob’s voice was measured and calm. “I wondered if you’d been held up.” His eyes smiled down into hers, and then she watched as he turned his icy gaze on Mark. “And you are?”
Mark, being the idiot he was, straightened his shoulders and lifted his chin, which still left him a few inches shorter than Jacob. “Mark Church.” He didn’t ask Jacob his name, which seemed totally in character.
“Nice to meet you. Charlotte, darling…” Charlotte nearly rolled her eyes at his deliberate overplay of “darling” in a very posh Londony type of accent. “Shall we get back?”
“Of course.” She was so grateful for the save.
They’d just started to move away when Mark stepped forward again. “Charlotte, remember what I said. We’re both in town all week.”
Gross. As if she’d hook up with him again after all this time. But she didn’t have to worry. Jacob let go of her hand and stepped up to Mark, face-to-face, and Charlotte wanted to laugh at the sheer difference in their physiques. Mark’s expression turned to one of childish defiance.
“Not cool, Mark. I’m standing right here. And I recall the lady saying no. That’s all it takes, right? No?”
“Sure, mate.” Mark replied in a fake accent that made him seem even more ridiculous.
Charlotte took Jacob’s hand again, so very grateful he was with her despite her protests that she didn’t need a bodyguard.
And when Mark muttered a word that equated Jacob to a particular piece of anatomy, Charlotte wasn’t so sure Jacob wouldn’t turn around.
Instead Jacob laughed and shook his head. “All booze and no brains,” he muttered. “And not worth it. Unless you want me to.”
“I don’t want a scene,” she said back. “But thank you, Jacob. I don’t think I need a bodyguard, but I’m awfully glad you were my wingman tonight.”
He stopped and faced her, and there was something different in his expression. Something softer and more personal.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Donna Alward.

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!

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Children’s Fate (The Meonbridge Chronicles #4) – Carolyn Hughes @writingcalliope

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Children’s Fate’ blogtour, organised 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 :

um7FlUfQCAROLYN HUGHES was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.
She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.
Children’s Fate is the fourth novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fifth novel is under way.
You can connect with Carolyn through her website www.carolynhughesauthor.com and social media.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Synopsis :

tApZ3WawHow can a mother just stand by when her daughter is being cozened into sin?
It’s 1360, eleven years since the Black Death devastated all of England, and six years since Emma Ward fled Meonbridge with her children, to find a more prosperous life in Winchester. Long satisfied that she’d made the right decision, Emma is now terrified that she was wrong. For she’s convinced her daughter Bea is in grave danger, being exploited by her scheming and immoral mistress.
Bea herself is confused: fearful and ashamed of her sudden descent into sin, but also thrilled by her wealthy and attentive client.
When Emma resolves to rescue Bea from ruin and tricks her into returning to Meonbridge, Bea doesn’t at first suspect her mother’s motives. She is happy to renew her former friendships but, yearning for her rich lover, Bea soon absconds back to the city. Yet, only months later, plague is stalking Winchester again and, in terror, Bea flees once more to Meonbridge.
But, this time, she finds herself unwelcome, and fear, hostility and hatred threaten…
Terror, betrayal and deceit, but also love and courage, in a time of continuing change and challenge – Children’s Fate, the fourth MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLE.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

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?
Hello, I’m Carolyn and I write historical fiction. (Sounds like a meeting for Writers Anonymous!) I’ve been writing all my adult life, but have come to publication only relatively recently when I am, alas, quite old…
I was born in London, but have lived most of my life in Hampshire. After a first degree in Classics and English, I became a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. It was fun for a few years, but I left to become a school careers officer in Dorset. But it was when I discovered technical authoring that I knew I’d found my vocation. I spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the Government.
Although I’ve written creatively on and off all my adult life, for years work and family were always my main focus, and it wasn’t until the children flew the nest that I realised writing could take centre stage. Even then, although I’d written several short stories, and one and a half contemporary women’s novels, my writing was rather ad hoc, and my tentative attempts to approach agents met only with rejection.
I took a few short writing courses at local colleges but then, in 2009, thinking a Masters degree in Creative Writing might give my writing more substance, I enrolled at Portsmouth University. It worked! I wrote the historical novel that became Fortune’s Wheel, set in 14th century Hampshire. I enjoyed being back at university so much I then read for a PhD at the University of Southampton, and the result was another historical novel set in the 14th century, The Nature of Things. By then, the historical fiction bug had bitten me, and I realised there were many more stories to tell about the world I’d created for Fortune’s Wheel, and the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series was born. I have now written four CHRONICLES: Fortune’s Wheel, A Woman’s Lot, De Bohun’s Destiny, and Children’s Fate. I am currently writing the fifth book in the series.
I am, by the way, self-published, under my own imprint, Riverdown Books.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I think I read all sorts of books when I was a child but it’s rather too long ago to remember. As an adult, I used to read lots of “women’s fiction” and “literary fiction” but, these days, although I do read historical fiction, and I also enjoy psychological thrillers, my favourite reads are definitely British crime novels, such as those by Anne Cleeves, M.W. Craven, Elly Griffiths and Angela Marsons.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
To be honest I can’t think of anyone. But I will mention Ann Swinfen, another writer of historical fiction – among them two series, the Oxford Medieval Mysteries and The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez – who was a good friend of mine, and the person who convinced me that I could also be a writer and be published. Sadly, Ann died two years ago, and is greatly missed by all her loyal readers. But for me, I doubt I would have embarked on my journey to publication without her wise advice.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
It would be interesting to invite one of my characters for “tea”, as she’d be highly baffled by what she was drinking! Especially when she discovered the leaves for the tea were grown and harvested thousands of miles away on the other side of the Earth. I wonder what she’d make of that? Anyway, I suppose the one of my own characters I’d like to chat to would be Alice atte Wode, the “matriarch” of Meonbridge, simply to try and understand what it was really like to live in 14th century Hampshire. Although she’s illiterate – she’s a peasant – she has a wealth of experience about so many aspects of village life and I feel she could give me real insight into the behaviours and mores of the time. How fascinating that would be…

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
No! I’m not a terribly disciplined writer so, when I feel the “writing itch” coming on, I simply switch on my laptop and write wherever the opportunity presents itself, in my office, or on the kitchen table, or on my lap in a comfy chair. That applies whether I’m writing novel chapters or a blog post, or editing a draft, or engaging in social media. Though sometimes I do just write in pencil on a paper pad, especially when I’m at the early stages of a novel, outlining or initial drafting. What I do do is drink tea almost all the time, mostly decaf. But really I don’t have any particular routine…

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I really don’t know, which everybody says, I’m sure! With Fortune’s Wheel, the original spark came from the draft of a novel I’d scribbled in my twenties (I never throw anything away…). That draft wasn’t much good, but the setting (rural Hampshire) and period (14th century) appealed to me. Research soon suggested that the 14th century had a rich social history, and I thought the period after the Black Death might be interesting. So I had a timeframe, a setting and a context… The original main characters – Alice, Margaret and Eleanor – then somehow “presented” themselves to me. I honestly don’t know how that happens – it just does. The plot simply evolved from wondering how people would have coped in the aftermath of something so devastating as a plague that wiped out half of your friends and neighbours, and possibly most of your family. For each of the sequels, I’ve had a think about which characters I want to “narrate” the story – and whether I need any new characters – and then I develop storylines that are pertinent to those characters. In the latest book, Children’s Fate, history also played a part, with the storyline turning at least partly on the return of the Black Death. The truth is that characters and plots do just sort of evolve, seemingly without all that much input from me… How weird is that?!
And, no, no one need be worried by my creations because none of my characters are based on anyone I know.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m basically a “planner” and not a “pantster”, or rather a bit of both. I couldn’t write a book without having some idea of its structure and broad content. Once I have a broad concept for a novel, I write an outline of the whole story, a summary of each chapter, sometimes down to scene level, depending on how much I already “know”. The book’s ending is usually fairly vague at this stage, but I will have some idea of what will happen.
At the same time as the “plotting”, because my stories are very much character-focused, I have to clarify in my mind the motivations, anxieties and transformations of my characters. Of course, when you write in series, by the time you’re on to book 4 you know your characters quite well. However, the whole point of a story arc is to have your central characters change or develop in some way as a result of the events you put them through, so it’s important to revisit your understanding of “who they are”.
The third thing I have to do is research any story threads I don’t know enough about. Because Children’s Fate is the fourth set in a “world” I’m already familiar with, I don’t have to research everything from scratch but there is always something I don’t know…
Anyway, once I feel I sufficiently understand the characters and have a storyline with a reasonably workable structure (and I’ve also done “enough” research), I start writing the first draft. As I write, I follow the outline, but not at all slavishly. Nothing is set in stone. I expect change. The plan is just a framework, which I expand and round out with description, character interactions and dialogue as I write.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Just write! You have to practise, practise, practise, to learn how to plot, how to draw engaging characters, how to write convincing dialogue. To hone your writing skill. Writing makes you a better writer, though not of course if you are not self-critical or unwilling to accept criticism from other people. So write, and somehow get your work in front of other people, by which I don’t mean agents and publishers but other writers and readers, who will give you an honest opinion. And, talking of readers, you must also read yourself. Lots! So you can learn what works and what doesn’t, and then emulate the best techniques yourself.

What are your future plans as an author?
I am currently writing book 5 in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. I know there will be a sixth book, and possibly a seventh. That might then be the end of the CHRONICLES but we’ll see…
I have another completed novel, which I wrote for my PhD in Creative Writing. It’s called The Nature of Things and is again set in the 14th century. The book is structured as seven novellas, spanning the entire century, and history drives the plot to a greater degree than it does in any of the CHRONICLES. For example, the poverty and famine of the early 1300s and King Edward I’s concerns about public disorder are significant to the first novella. The appalling weather and resulting famine are key to the second. However, although it is complete, the book does need some work so I’m editing it alongside writing the next CHRONICLE, and I’d like to think it might possibly be published next year…
I also have an idea for a new series set in the 14th century, called provisionally MEDIEVAL HEIRESSES, following the lives of women who, for the lack of a male heir in the family, inherited their father’s estates or business interests. I have three novels in mind, with the main characters based on real women. So, I have plenty to keep me busy!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
A snippet from Children’s Fate…

When Bea awoke, it was still dark. She strained her eyes to see, but was certain the sky beyond the shutters was showing no sign of brightening. She often woke before dawn and, rarely able to find sleep again, she’d lie still, listening to the snorts and snuffles of the other girls, and waiting for the church bell to ring Prime. Yet, only moments passed before she realised this was not her bed. It was much softer than the one she was accustomed to, and much larger. As she gradually regained her wits, she knew she was still in the house of Master Marchaunt. Indeed, she must be in his bed, for she sensed the bulk of someone lying next to her, and the snuffling was not that of a maid.
In the dark and silence, she could hear her heartbeat throbbing in her ears, and a dizziness dulled her senses. She shook her head to clear it, and tried to remember what had happened, how she’d got here. Yet she couldn’t. Of course, she knew what must have happened, but could recall neither when nor how she’d left the warmth of the hall downstairs and come up to the bedchamber, nor anything of events between that moment and this.
It occurred to her she should feel both frightened and ashamed, yet somehow she felt neither. She remembered Master Marchaunt talking to her earlier in the evening, enjoying their conversation. He’d wanted her to stay. What’s more, despite her protests, she’d wanted to…

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Carolyn Hughes.

Giveaway :

Win a $15 / £15 / €15 Amazon Gift Card (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.

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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!

Anoroc #Anoroc – Bryan M. Kuderna @BKuderna , an #Interview #QandA

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-q&a

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing my own interview with Bryan M. Kuderna, author of ‘Anoroc’, to promote his book.
Before I let you read my Q&As, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

cr=t 0%,l 0%,w 100%,h 100%As a child, books were my gateway to every corner of the world. The library was my time machine. Biographies allowed me to have an intimate conversation with every hero or villain who caught my attention. As George R. R. Martin so eloquently put it, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
I joined the universe of authors as a writer for the sports column in my high school newspaper, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I merged my passion for writing and financial education in 2016 with Millennial Millionaire – A Guide to Become a Millionaire by 30. Once I tired of the professional, daily grind of a non-fiction life, I sought an escape. For the first time in my adult life, I explored the make-believe. My brother bought me the Harry Potter series and said we’d go to Universal Studios after I finished it. I learned more and more from fiction, as I allowed myself to relax and see beyond the evening headlines.
The quarantine of 2020 offered an ideal opportunity for me to pick up my pen and paper and create a mythical planet in need of healing, Anoroc. I created characters, Beeker, Dak, and their friends who come of age with the energy of youth and willingness to do what’s right when the time calls for it.
I look forward to writing the rest of my life. I hope that someday you will too!

Author Links:
Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

418nrIiB8cL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_From the author of Millennial Millionaire, comes Bryan M. Kuderna’s fiction debut, a coming-of-age fantasy novel you won’t be able to put down!
Beeker is trying to find his way in life, no longer a kid, but not yet an adult, when his single mother decides it is time for a change. He and his little brother, Dak, leave the comfort of their home in the Plains to go and live in the Mountains with their beloved Uncle Dobo, a founder of the Militia and renowned war hero.
The rapidly growing population of Anoroc leaves their species, Chigidies, scrambling for sparse resources, particularly the most valuable commodity of all – Painite.
Beeker, Dak, and their generation can no longer plead ignorance to the tumult overtaking Anoroc. But, at what cost will it come?

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

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 always loved writing. I used to be the sports editor for our newspaper in highschool, and the business manager for The Signal while studying at The College of New Jersey. After a few years in the “adult world”, I felt I had so many unique stories to share as a financial advisor and that writing a book would be a great way to provide financial literacy with the masses. I started writing my debut, Millennial Millionaire- A Guide to Become a Millionaire by 30, in 2014 when I was 26 years-old.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I started really reading probably around age 14. From then on, up until just a couple of years ago, all I read was non-fiction. I loved picking up biographies of famous athletes, leaders, war heroes, and other icons I could emulate. I don’t recall why, but I recently dove into fiction and now I’m hooked. I love the escape, stretching my imagination, and learning how to think about things from completely new perspectives.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’d have to say Dan Brown. I always appreciate authors who can take the real-world, create some fiction, and seamlessly tell the story. I can’t imagine the amount of research he must go through, and then to write an excellent story, it’s incredible. Same with Erik Larson and how he can bring history alive.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I’d prefer coffee over tea, but from another author, I’d have to say Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t want to meet the greatest magician of all time. If it was from my own book, I’d say Uncle Dobo from Anoroc, there’s endless lessons to be learned from such a heroic legend.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
No particular habits, I just need a place that’s quiet and peaceful. It used to be the Ocean Township Library, pre-pandemic, in this nice room they had with a fireplace and windows looking out to the park. Now it’s just my at my home office with a cup of coffee and classical music.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
They better be worried, haha only kidding. But the majority of my ideas do come from personal observation. All of the characters, scenes, and items have some relevance to the people I know and places I’ve been. Some other details in Anoroc come from my favorite history, ancient philosophy, and Latin rooting.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
So my first book, Millennial Millionaire, had a strict outline. Now my foray into fiction, Anoroc, was much more off the cuff. Different sub-plots and character traits popped into my mind in the middle of the night and then I’d fold them in the next day.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do just write. It’s easy to keep waiting for the perfect time or get intimidated by the monmumental task of writing a book, but the quicker you get to just writing, the easier it gets and the better you’ll get at it. Don’t lose track of your story. What I mean by that is, my first book had an outline, my second book didn’t really have one, but I still used a calendar and character index to track everything that was happening. If you go completely off the cuff, it’s easy to get lost or accidently repeat what was said ten chapters ago.

What are your futureplans as an author?
It’s a new year and I’m pretty much taking things in stride at this point. 2020 was an insane year, needless to say, but personally I was able to have my best year yet for my company, complete my Master’s degree, greatly expand my podcast (The Kuderna Podcast), and publish Anoroc. So, I’m taking a quick breather, reorganizing life, and seeing what piques my interest next. But I can promise there is room for sequels, both in my non-fiction and fiction world. Probably a second edition of Millennial Millionaire will come next.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Who wins the playground brawl, Beeker of Hoofa?

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Bryan M. Kuderna.

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!

#BlogTour #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n / #QandAs : The Captive #TheCaptive – Deborah O’Connor @deboc77 @ZaffreBooks #UnlockTheTruth

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Captive 14.11

Today I’m on the ‘The Captive’ blogtour, organized by Compulsive Readers.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

GeChM_3r_400x400Deborah O’Connor is a writer and TV producer responsible for well-loved programmes such as ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’ and ‘A League of Their Own’. She lives in North Yorkshire with her husband and daughter. Deborah’s first novel was the bestseller My Husband’s Son, followed by The Dangerous Kind. The Captive is her third novel.

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Synopsis :

41FPv6z8f-L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_The cage is installed in Hannah’s kitchen. Small, the size of a shopping centre parking space. A bed, a basin, a table and chair. A hatch and metal drawer through which to exchange food and other items.
Then there’s him. Always there on the edges of her vision, no matter how hard she tries to block him out.
Every day, the same thoughts run through Hannah’s mind:
What if he speaks to me?
What if he hurts me?
What if he gets out?
In a near-future justice system Jem, the murderer of Hannah’s husband, arrives at her home to serve out his twenty-year sentence in a cell. There it’s hoped he will learn the true cost of his terrible crime.
But Jem tells Hannah he’s innocent, and not only that, her husband had been lying to her. Soon Hannah begins to question everything she thought she knew. Was Jem wrongly convicted? Or is he simply a desperate man, willing to say and do anything that might grant his freedom?
Only he can unlock the truth. Only she can set him free.

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

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 am a writer and TV producer and I live in North Yorkshire with my husband and daughter. I’ve always written and have many failed novels in drawers. Then Faber started offering novel-writing courses and I was lucky enough to attend one taught by Louise Doughty. During it I started writing my first novel, My Husband’s Son.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
We had no books in the house when I was growing up but the local library let you take out 10 books per week which I did (and read). I had a serious Famous Five addiction that then progressed onto reading novels that were completely inappropriate for my age: Virginia Andrews, James Herbert and Stephen King were my favourites. Now I read anything and everything.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Jane Harper. I want to know how she consistently manages to produce such gripping and well-written novels and how she so expertly weaves place and geography into the DNA of her books.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Duchess Day Radley from ‘We Begin At The End’. She stole my heart.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I tend to listen to the same music over and over again, drink Diet Coke and eat chocolate.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I get a lot of ideas from the news, real stories that I then try to twist into something else. My idea for The Captive came out of our flat being burgled and then watching the film ‘Capote’ a short while later – the two things kind of mushed together in my head.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Both. I tend to have a very rough idea of the story and then figure it out as I go.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do keep going, I and every writer I know has faced serious rejections, sometimes over and over again. Perseverance is everything. Do read lots. Don’t give up the day job (writing doesn’t pay as much as you might think!).

What are your futureplans as an author?
I want to keep writing novels but I also want to move into writing TV drama. Some of the most exciting and innovative stories are being told there (not in film) and I want to be part of that. Creatively its such an exciting time.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

The man who had murdered Hannah’s husband was due to arrive at midday.
Half an hour, and her home would no longer be her own.
She’d tried to keep busy all morning – cleaning, washing up, doing laundry – anything to take her mind off what was about to happen. Now though, she found herself adrift, stranded in a corner of the kitchen with nothing to do but wait.
She curled her hands in on themselves, tightening and squeezing. Still, they trembled.
I do not want him here.
The urge to scream was overwhelming.
Slowly, she approached the barred cage now fixed to the wall in the middle of the room. The cell was small, the same footprint as a shopping centre parking space, and yet they’d managed to cram in a bed, basin, screened toilet, cupboard and a table and chair. A hatch and metal drawer through which to exchange food, dirty dishes, commissary items and any post the prisoner might receive had been incorporated into a section to the left of the cell door.
The prisoner.
No one could be sure why he did it – he’d entered a not guilty plea – but the consensus in court was that it had been a mugging gone wrong.
She ran her fingers across the steel bars. A harsh metallic noise ricocheted around the room. Heart jittering, she considered the door. Despite regular practice, she’d yet to master the lock. It was strange. She was expert at fashioning the tiny sugar-paste flowers and fondant animal figures that sat atop the bespoke cakes she made for a living but this, a key so large it looked like it had been found at the bottom of a prop drawer and a bulky government-issue deadbolt, had her beat. Fear, it turned out, could do that to a person.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Deborah O’Connor.

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!

#BlogTour #FlyOnTheWallPoetryTours @fly_press @kenyon_isabelle / #QandAs : On Borrowed Time #OnBorrowedTime – Graeme Hall @hongkonggraeme

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Launch_Reviews - Graeme Hall Blog Tour(1)

Today I’m on the ‘On Borrowed Time’ blogtour, organised by Fly On The Wall Poetry Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

1RnHF0Io_400x400Graeme lived in Hong Kong from 1993 to 2010 and still keeps a close connection to the city. His first novel was set in Hong Kong and Shanghai over the period 1996/97 and most of his writing comes from his love of that part of the world. Graeme first visited Macau in 1993 and he quickly became fascinated by the oldest European settlement in Asia. His short story collection, ‘The Goddess of Macau’ was published in August 2020 by Fly on the Wall Press.
He has won the short story competitions of the Macau Literary Festival and the Ilkley Literature Festival, and his writing has been published in anthologies by Black Pear Press and the Macau Literary Festival.He is an active member of the Leeds Writers Circle whose members have been a constant source of advice, support and encouragement. Graeme lives in Calderdale, West Yorkshire with his wife and a wooden dog.

Synopsis :

Title: ‘On Borrowed Time’ by Graeme Hall
Pages: 246
Format:
Paperback – 14th December 2020
Ebook – 14th December 2020
Price: £7.00
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-5272-7131-1
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-5272-7138-8
Paperback available from Amazon, and all major retailers
Ebook available from all major retailers

graeme standard front coverOn Borrowed Time is set in Hong Kong and Shanghai over the period 1996/1997 – including the handover of Hong Kong to China. The novel explores the choices that people have to make; in particular between doing what is easy and what is right.
In Hong Kong, Emma Janssen discovers the truth behind the death of her brother four years earlier. Meanwhile, in Shanghai, a PhD student meets a woman with an unusual degree of interest in his research. These storylines converge at the time of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, and Emma finds that she has to choose between revenge or the future happiness and safety of both herself and those close to her.
While being a work of fiction, On Borrowed Time is rooted in the author’s own experiences of living and working in Hong Kong from 1993 to 2010, in particular the final years of British rule and the transfer of sovereignty back to China.

Q&A :

Hi

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?
Well, I’m something of a cliché…having a mid-life crisis and decding to give it all up to write a novel. I’d had a successful career in intellectual property law but I’d reached that stage in life where I felt that every day I spent in the office was a day wasted, and a day gone that I was never going to get back. Like so many people I’d had a dream of writing a novel, but one of the first things that I did after stopping work was to go on a short story course run by Ebba Brooks at the University of Leeds Lifelong Learning Centre. That drew me into the world of short stories which culminated in the collection The Goddess of Macau published by Fly on the Wall, but the idea of the novel was always there and worked on in parallel.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I read a lot of science-fiction – Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham were particular favourites – and I still do enjoy some sci-fi, but these days I read a very diverse selection ranging from genre fiction to Booker novels. You can see that from the last three books that I’ve bought: Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando”, which I’ve always wanted to read after seeing Tilda Swinton in the film adaptation, some Scandi-noir crime with Ragnar Jónasson’s “The Darkness”, and then the latest indie from Dead Ink – “Cat Step” by Alison Irvine.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
There are probably two I’d love to talk to: David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami. I admire Mitchell for his ability to write page-turners with intellectual depth. Books that appeal to both general readers and the critics. Murakami I love for his general weirdness and I’d like to know how he makes the surreal seems so plausible.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
This is such a hard question! I think I’d go for Nicole Diver from F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, if only because she has what for me is one of the most heartbreaking lines in literature when she says to her husband: “Think how you love me,” she whispered. “I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight.” I’m not sure she’d be a tea person though, it may have to be a cocktail or a glass of champagne.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Does procrastination count as a habit? I usually have music on while I’m writing. Nothing with voices though, that’s too distracting, but Bach keyboard music is perfect.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
From all over the place really. There was even one short story the idea for which came from a dream. Mostly though it’s a mixture of general themes and topics that concern me, combined with places I know and want to write about. Mind you, although the story is fictional, a couple of characters in On Borrowed Time are based on real people (who have been warned!).

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Sadly I’m a pantser. I really wish I could plan better, it must be so much more efficient, but I find that it is only by the act of writing itself that I learn who my characters really are, and that in turn drives the plot, and sometimes changes the plot from any plan I had at the start!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Find a supportive writing group. People you can share your writing with and give you honest feedback. I’ve been a member of the Leeds Writers Circle for years now and would never have achieved anything without them. The other advice, of course, is to read as much as you can, and then read even more.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m currently working on a second novel which is to be set in Macau around 1949/50, and will in large part be about the generosity of Macau and its people who took in so many refugees from China after the Communists won the civil war and established the People’s Republic.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
On Borrowed Time is set around the handover of Hong Kong to China back in 1997. When I started writing it one of my concerns was the future of Hong Kong under Chinese rule and the possibility of political repression. To my distress some of the things that at the time were only fears and anxieties have come true sooner and to a greater extent that I could have imagined. But my central character, Emma, did know what was coming and said as much in one scene:

‘We can’t just let these bullies get away with this sort of thing,’ Emma continued, animated now and looking around the room. ‘That’s what they are – bullies. Thugs. You’ve got to stand up to them or they’ll just think they can do what they like and they’ll just carry on like that – or worse. That’s what happened to me at school; I used to get picked on because of my hearing. At first it was just words – the other children liked to think I was stupid, I got called a retard, a spastic and so on – but then it got worse, became more physical. They liked to play this game where they would creep up behind me, quietly so that I wouldn’t hear them, then pull my hair or hit me in the back. It went on for ages until Pete … until someone showed me how to stand up for myself.
‘School playground or Chinese politics, it’s just a question of scale. Give one person power over another and the one thing you know for sure is they’ll abuse it. It’s the mentality of these people that really pisses me off. The way they push everybody else out of the way to get what they want. It doesn’t matter to them who they hurt in the process, the lives they ruin and destroy, the little people they trample over. And what do we do about it? Nothing. We might just as well sit at home and watch TV all day. Let them do whatever they want while we eat pizza and soak up mindless pap.
‘And what about after the handover? It’s all very well when it’s somewhere else. Somewhere far away that doesn’t affect us. But soon they’ll be here, and you can bet they’ll be in charge no matter what any agreement says. Bit by bit, they’ll change things. I expect we won’t notice it at first. “Look,” we’ll all say, “everything’s just the same,” and people will relax. Then there’ll be some small changes, but that will be okay, we’ll tell ourselves, “We can live with that, the important things haven’t changed.” Who knows, we might even believe it. But slowly, bit by bit, everything will be different and then what are we going to do about it? Say that we shouldn’t create a stir? We don’t want to upset people in case things get worse? But it will get worse. You know what they say about frogs and boiling water? Drop a frog into hot water and it will try and get out, but put a frog in cold water and slowly bring it to the boil … Well, that’s what will happen to Hong Kong unless we stand up and do something.
‘And Lily’ – Lily was looking down at her hands – ‘what about your nephew, what future is Thomas going to have? Don’t you want him to live in a place where he can feel free to do and say what he likes? Pursue his dreams and ambitions in whatever way he wants? Or would you rather he lived a life where he was always having to watch his back? Making sure he doesn’t say the wrong thing? Doesn’t upset the wrong people? Come on, everyone, isn’t that why we’re all here? Otherwise why bother? Let’s just give up now and do something else with our lives.’

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Graeme Hall.

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!

Benjamin Jones: The Call of The Shaman #BenjaminJones #TheCallOfTheShaman – Asa Rodriguez @Thegodwithin1 , an #Interview #QandA

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-q&a

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing my own interview with Asa Rodriguez, author of ‘Benjamin Jones: The Call of The Shaman’, to promote his book.
Before I let you read my Q&As, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

asa-rodriguezAsa was born in Argentina in 1981. He was born in the LDS (Mormon) religion. When he came to United States, where he resides now, he suffered many obstacles after his father died of painful pancreatitis in a Houston, Texas, hospital. Years after struggle, he moved to Utah state with his two little brothers and loving mother. Now he lives in Provo, Utah, and enjoys the deeper understanding of the human experience in life. He enjoys meditation, exercise, painting, research, healthy eating, among others.

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GoodReads

Synopsis :

51cXKEUYXPLIs Darkness Falling upon The Face of The earth??
Ben, a 12-year-old orphan boy, must discover himself, what happened to his parents, his shamanic powers and legacy. He might be the reincarnation of an ancient demigod, a Wolf Boy hero emerging from ancient Sumer (Sumeria). But this quest won’t be easy, because there will be dark forces, ghouls, necro creatures, curses, and much more against him.
In this quest, joined by his friends, he will also be guided by visons of his father, a great shaman. And he will have to recover a sacred artifact called ‘The Sphere of Truth and Wisdom.’ This orb holds the wisdom and magic of all shamans past. This orb also holds the capacity to open a portal into the spiritual world.
Benjamin Jones is an orphan boy who does not believe in his magic at first, but, through patience and commitment to a cause bigger than himself, he will begin to explore the miracle of life. And that is exactly the hidden magic in each of our lives. This is the message of this story.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
I just want to thank you for the opportunity to express myself and talk about my work in your blog. And I also want to thank your readers for taking the time to read this.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My name is Asael Rodriguez, but I’ve been called Asa all my life and I kind of prefer it. It is shorter and easier, don’t you think?? 🙂
I was born in a beautiful city, called Mar del Plata, with a lot of tourism, in the country of Argentina, South America. Growing up, I always valued learning and knowledge. I used to study English language and science on my own, just for fun and because I was really curious. I used to buy book lyrics with Michael Jackson’s songs and translate them with my faithful encyclopedia dictionary.
But I also liked books (not as much as now) and video games. I was always amazed and inspired by the great creativity that authors and video game makers had. That was truly interesting to me. Besides, sometimes I needed a break from school work and from the other kids. Yes, good memories.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Well, “Around The World in Eighty Days,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Lord of The Rings,” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “Don Quixote.” These were a few that I really loved growing up. They always transported me to other worlds, and I would get lost there. I used to love that feeling.
Now as a grown up. I would say the same books, but I would add “The Lies of Lock Lamora,” “The name of The Wind,” and, of course, “Harry Potter.” Actually, both The Lord of The Rings’ books and Harry Potter’s books inspired me to write my first YA fantasy/mystery novel titled “BENJAMIN JONES – The Call of The Shaman.”

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Oh, wow, that’s a good question. There are so many. It’s hard to choose. Specially because, to me, many creative geniuses have brought humankind so much empathy and expansion of mind, deep insights and ideas. And that is what good literature should bring: Empathy, Emotional connection, Freedom to create ideas to inspire us.
I think I would have to say Lewis Carrol, author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (or “Alice in Wonderland”). I think I’d be honored to try and understand the great ideas the author had, and how he pieced his ideas together as a process.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I love tea. And I would invite the main character of my fantasy novel. His name is Benjamin. Ben for friends. Ben is an orphan boy who has to go on this great journey to become a shaman and discover his magic. He is the reincarnation of an ancient demigod. And he is also cursed. He battles a lot of darkness inside him. I would be interested in expanding my understanding of all that, on how the darkness of people can be turned into light, into great magic or the magic of love.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have heard now in the community of writers that many listen to music while writing. And others even listen to audio books while writing. I cannot even imagine that for me. No, I have one habit while writing: Silence. I push myself. If you push yourself daily, then Writer’s Block does not exist.
I would like to add that early morning I meditate. To me, focusing entirely on my slow breathing gives me a lot of energy and the great capcity to concentrate easily on my writing in the day. That is something I cherish in my life. Meditation. And also good nutrition to keep me full of energy and mentally able to give 100%.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha ha that’s a good one. But I would say that I am an observer of people. I keep to myself, but I like to learn from what other do, be it my family or my neighbors. When I write I find safety and pride in knowing that I’m basing my character’s movements in real actions and in real ways of feel.
But the truth is that I base my characters’ personas, at least some traits, on me. I give them my curiosity, or my strength, or my empathy, or my habits, or something that I can really expand on in my writing. So, if I want to explain the way my character thinks or feels, it becomes easy, because I only have to explain about myself.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Well, I would say ‘a pantser.’ But I also am a perfectionist at heart, so I like to plot certain scenes based on what my character’s troubles or dilemmas are. I like to give the scene or chapter a little rationality or structure to better engage the reader and not lose their attention.
But definitely, for me, spontaneity and going with gut instict is the most important thing when it comes to creating an adventure. So, this always goes first.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Yes. I think many writers try too hard to please the reader. One thing to understand is that the most important when writing is not the reader, but the characters. Put all your focus on the characters you are creating, and make them believable; but also make them yours. Your creation first must please you. And if you do this, the reader will connect to your passion through your well-crafted character.

What are your futureplans as an author?
My aim always is to share my books with the world. I have studied and practiced the craft of creative writing on my own for close to twenty years before I published my first book. Day in and day out sitting behind my computer desk. Also taking my laptop with me everywhere. Missing parties and many social gatherings for my passion. I have personal files with short stories, long ones, poems, philosophic and spiritual prose. So I want to share my creative talents with as many people as I can. And have ideas to do so.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Yes. A rebirth. A reincarnation. A lowly orphan boy who goes on a journey of magic and self-discovery. But also a lowly boy who will become much more than that. Maybe a demigod who battles darkness and evil beyond human comprehension?? Maybe a curse will help him discover the darkness within himself?? Maybe 😉

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Asa Rodriguez.

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!

My Friend Jackson #MyFriendJackson – Christopher D. Ochs @ChristophrDOchs , an #Interview #QandA

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-q&a

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing my own interview with Christopher D. Ochs, author of ‘My Friend Jackson’, to promote his book.
Before I let you read my Q&As, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

o60anNxn_400x400Christopher D. Ochs’ foray into writing began with his epic fantasy Pindlebryth of Lenland: The Five Artifacts, recommended by US Review of Books. Several of his short stories have been published in the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group and Bethlehem Writers Group anthologies and websites. Using his skills learned with the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild, he crafted a collection of mirthful macabre short stories, If I Can’t Sleep, You Can’t Sleep. His latest work is a gritty YA urban fantasy/horror, My Friend Jackson.
His current literary projects include:
short fiction in BWG’s and GLVWG’s upcoming anthologies, and Firebringer Press’ next entry in their Eternity series;
a sci-fi/horror novel Sentinel of Eternity;
a prequel novella and a second novel in the Pindlebryth of Lenland saga.
Chris has too many interests outside of writing for his own damn good. With previous careers in physics, mathematics, electrical engineering and software, and his incessant dabblings as a CGI animator, classical organist, voice talent on radio, DVD and anime conventions, it’s a wonder he can remember to pay the dog and feed his bills.
Wait, what?

Website
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Blog

Synopsis :

51mOuDEwcELAn ancient guardian chose her. Neither the guilty, nor the innocent, nor she are safe.
Fresh out of the Projects, Jasmine Price’s days are filled with emotional, physical, and cyber abuse at the hands of her new school’s queen bees. With her parents mostly absent, Jasmine latches onto Bibi, a grandmotherly figure from Tanzania, and her beloved pet chameleon, Jackson. Rivalries, jealousies and hatred escalate the violence toward Jasmine to a murderous level, until a monstrous force intervenes on Jasmine’s behalf with deadly consequences. When she discovers the secret behind her unholy avenger, Jasmine takes the offensive, becoming a merciless force more terrifying than her worst tormentors. But choices have consequences. Some more horrific than others.
Can Jasmine untangle her life and reclaim her identity, her life—her soul—from her inscrutable guardian, while eluding the police and those who seek revenge?

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

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 am a Jack-of-all-trades. I’ve had jobs ranging from dishwasher to church organist, from electrical engineer to software developer. I dabble in computer animation, music composition and voice. Lastly, I should mention I am a fan of anime (google “Voice of Otakon”).
My first (terrible!) piece was a Hardy Boys’ knockoff attempted at the age of 12. I stopped when my brothers found it and laughed their butts off. But the drive never fully went away — I’d share short stories with friends, and even penned a few comedy skits that aired on local NPR and college radio stations.
But my first serious publication, Pindlebryth of Lenland, was bookended by two medical emergencies. In 2011, I was admitted with a liver infection that was about to go septic. After being discharged, I suffered terrible insomnia. Already sleep deprived from the hospital, I was having waking dreams (or hallucinations, take your pick). By the second day, I realized I had the makings of a good story. So I just closed my eyes, and watched the film – for six days and nights. To crib a biblical reference, on the seventh day I rested. After a good night’s sleep, I captured the story into an outline, and began writing. Fast forward three years, when I was diagnosed with cancer. Sufficiently motivated, I rushed to complete and edit the novel. With time not on my side, I chose to self-publish. I quite literally pushed the publish button the day before surgery. I have been a cancer-free author for 6 years since!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I devoured every book about dinosaurs I could get my mitts on. In high school I lived and breathed three authors, each with one book I reread several times: Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey), H.P.Lovecraft (At the Mountains of Madness), and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Sirens of Titan). In college, Herbert’s Dune demonstrated how great an epic could be. When I finished writing Pindlebryth, I devoured Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind in less than a week.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Other than the three authors I revere above, I’d add Jonathan Maberry. I’d ask his guidance on becoming successful through self-publishing. Though self-pubs no longer have the stigma of poor quality, it is by no means an easy task for self-published authors to get noticed.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I don’t drink tea, unless I’m fighting the flu, it’s terribly cold, or both. On such a night, I think I’d have Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files) for tea and a gnosh. First, he’d spell away the flu for me, then I’d ask his advice on a few spells… Not for me, you understand — but for Darothien, my Lemming sorceress in Pindlebryth.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Yes, all of them bad … but I’m working to improve! The habit I first need to re-establish is to stay off social media until I complete my writing for the day.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
The world is safe from me! I write about dastardly deeds, so I don’t need to do them.
As for the sources of my books, other than Pindlebryth, the ideas come while I walk, or drive. In either case, they often come unbidden when my subconscious taps my shoulder and says, “Hey! How about this?”
I am a firm believer in Stephen King’s advice in On Writing – pounce when two unrelated concepts collide in your mind. I will also take a walk (or pace around the house, much to the confusion of my dog) when I need to resolve a problem or fill in details for a story.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I lean toward plotter, but how strongly I lean depends on the length and complexity of the story. I tend to write short stories with the hook, characters and resolution solidly in my head. I adjust the story on the fly as I run into consequences that I had not anticipated. But as the story brings in more characters, more scenes, more subplots and twists, I stop and outline. The detail of the outline increases with the story’s length. At some critical point, I even have resorted to writing character sheets: their hopes, their fears, their loves and hatreds, their quirks, their aspirations, their needs.
But I am not a slave to the outline. I will tear it apart along with previous writing, if need be. For example, two-thirds through Pindlebryth, I had the epiphany “He’s not the ‘Big Bad’… This guy is!” Fortunately, there was not a lot of rewriting involved. My subconscious had been leaving hints in the previous chapters, pointing to the other character all along.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Master writing short fiction first. Don’t choose the Great American Novel as your first project. Short stories demand a brevity, a sharpness, an immediacy of storytelling. Learning those disciplines will help make your GAN a must-read.

What are your futureplans as an author?
Now that I’ve got my weird tales for three anthologies (Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity (Feb 21), Writes of Passage (Mar 21) and An Element of Mystery (Oct 22)) out of the way, I am diving back into my first sci-fi/horror, Sentinel of Eternity. Gho-o-o-osts … in … Spa-a-a-ace!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Happy to!

Jasmine quick marched, weaving through the obstacle course of garbage cans, dumpsters, and scampering rats. Backtracking from a dead end and trying to keep her bearings in the labyrinth of brick, she hoped the next street looked familiar. It didn’t. She tried the next side street that promised it would point her in the right direction.
Gotta get back to the bus route before something else sends me down another detour.
Halfway down the latest alley, her ears pricked up at the sound of a footstep. Before she could turn around, her world went blinding white with pain.
Jasmine doubled over in the back doorway of a Chinese food joint, gasping for air between two dumpsters reeking of rotting meat and burnt soy sauce. Her ribs were aflame and the back of her skull felt like it had been split by a jackhammer. She reached for her searing scalp, and her backpack tumbled off her shoulder, clanging against the dumpster.
“Bitch, I told you to stay away from Caleb. He’s mine!”
Jasmine gathered her rubbery legs underneath her to stand, steadying herself against the nearest dumpster. Her vision returned, rippled with wet blurs that might have been tears, snot, or blood.
In the long shadows cast by distant streetlights, Nevaeh’s face burned out of the darkness, livid with rage.
Jasmine’s abs clenched, trying to squeeze behind her spine, when she recognized the signs of a girl prepped for a throwdown. Earrings gone. Hair tied tight behind her head. Face slicked with a sheen of Vaseline to deflect blows and scratches.
What the hell do I do now?
The oversized heavy steel ring emblazoned with a prominent gold initial “C” no longer hung from her necklace. It was on the middle finger of Nevaeh’s fist. A tuft of Jasmine’s frizzy hair dangled from it.
That ring—it ain’t her bling, it’s Caleb’s.
The tendons of Nevaeh’s knuckles quivered, taut as bridge cables. She shoved Jasmine backward against the wall with her free hand.
Jasmine whimpered as her head thumped against brick. The world’s loudest gong clanged in her ears. Her legs buckled, helpless against the ground that seemed to spin under her. She kept her eyes glued on Nevaeh’s burning scowl, the only thing that kept her consciousness from tumbling upside-down.
Jasmine’s accusing stare only infuriated Nevaeh even more.
“Can’t you take a fuckin’ hint? Don’t you know you ain’t wanted, ho? Our team don’t want you. Caleb don’t need you. And I sure as shit want you gone!”
Nevaeh raised her fist again. “Die, bitch!” Putting her full weight behind it, she swung, aiming Caleb’s ring straight for Jasmine’s face.
A glistening blur of dark umber shot out from behind the other dumpster. It wrapped around Nevaeh’s head, and a muffled scream flooded Jasmine’s ears. Nevaeh clutched at the glistening slimy blob, but her attempts to claw the suffocating mass away from her face proved futile.
A split second later, Nevaeh’s whole body snapped away like a rag doll.
Caleb’s heavy steel and gold ring clattered on the asphalt.
Nevaeh’s strangled gurgling made Jasmine’s gut twist. Somewhere beyond the dumpster came a slurping rasp, as if from a giant bowl of ramen. The sound of tearing cloth and rending flesh was followed by the sickening crack of bone.
Jasmine curled into a ball, raw terror forcing her knees into her chest. Her feet twitched with every shallow ragged breath. She clamped her head between her hands, but the horrific sounds still reached the spinning pit of her darkest fears.
The dull murmur of the streets had reclaimed the alley, and her sense of up and down returned. Righting herself against one dumpster, she wiped the stinging sweat and tears from her eyes and squinted into the murky light.
What the fuck just happened?

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Christopher D. Ochs.

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!

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Chroma – Oscar Wenman-Hyde @WenmanHyde

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Chroma’ blogtour, organised 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 :

mvMxDE6AOscar Wenman-Hyde is a writer living in Gloucester, UK. Born and raised in the quiet towns of North Devon, Oscar would spend the majority of his time as a child writing and directing short films with his brother and neighbours. From here, Oscar’s passion led him to explore all aspects of his creativity, by graduating with a BA Hons in Songwriting at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. He now finds joy in all mediums of writing and although he has worked and trained in many areas, he is always inspired by film and remains grounded in storytelling.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram oj_scriptwriters
Instagram Oscar Wenman-Hyde

Synopsis :

1DOcGJoQWhen Riley watched Chroma, the latest movie by Armani Manora, he had no idea how much his life was about to change. Riley’s parents, Jean and Paul, are currently getting divorced, and they have managed to keep the situation hidden from Riley, until now.
They were unaware of the effects this was having on Riley’s emotional and mental well-being, and as tensions rose at school and at home, he was visited by a voice in his bedroom. Before too long, he began a journey that was not only dangerous, but eye opening.
Chroma explores the rapidly changing family dynamic throughout divorce, and how a child’s imagination can take them to unknown places. It is emotional, insightful and a moving story which not only teaches us how to be an adult, but how to be a child.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

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?
Of course! So, even though I’d like to say I’m an author, because that sounds much more intellectual than the truth, I’m mainly a screenwriter. My debut novel ‘Chroma’ was adapted from a screenplay of the same name, and whilst I would love the script to have been made into a film, I realised that I was just sitting on such an important subject, which if I read, growing up or even now, it would have helped me so much to come to terms with my parents divorce.
So, because of this realisation, I decided to get to work on the novel! It was a wonderful experience, and just from writing the book I learnt so much about my own psychology. I’m not going to lie, at times it was tough to bring up all of those emotions from when I was a child, but it was necessary in creating a narrative than can offer insight as well as closer on the much disregarded subject of divorce, especially from a child’s perspective.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I’ve had to answer this question a lot recently and it makes me feel increasingly guilty, but the truth is that I’ve read hardly any books! When I first started writing Chroma, I started to worry that I was doing it wrong, so I quickly read two books by Ethan Hawke called ‘The Hottest State’ and ‘Ash Wednesday’ and they blew my mind!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to pick the brain of Richard Linklater. At this point, I have dried out YouTube for all interviews on the main, so the next step can only be to actually speak to him! His use of dialogue and his loose structures within his movies, continuously inspire me and help shape me into the writer I want to become.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
As self-indulgent as this might sound, I’d want to invite Riley from my own book ‘Chroma’, because we are so similar and our parents’ divorce affected us both on such a deep emotional level. I’d just want to talk to him to tell him that everything will be ok, it’s not the end of the world, even if the walls do feel like they’re caving in, and just be able to speak to him in the way that both of our parents should have.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t actually, but I do often forget to eat, drink, or even move! Sometimes I will sit at my desk for eight hours or more which never ends well!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
They don’t need to be worried, but they do need to expect that one day they may be written about. There’s the famous writing term which states that you should write what you know, however, I don’t necessarily agree with that, to me, it is much more about writing what you can feel. If you are writing from the heart and connecting to something on an emotional level, it is hard to go wrong.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m both, sometimes I plot and sometimes I go with the flow! It all depends on the story and its complexity, if it is related to my life or something I have experienced it is easy to discovery write, but if it is the other way around, I’ll tend to plot out first just to be sure.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t write with the idea of selling, or the idea of money, or success, write because you have a story that has to be told and then with a bit of luck, the fortune will come on its own.
Do open yourself up to your own stories. In a way, sometimes writing can be scary, because you can discover yourself on the page, or reveal emotions that you thought were buried, but in order to create sometime real and something honest, you must open up every ounce of yourself to the page.
Don’t rely on other’s to guarantee your success, create your own luck, release and publish your own projects. Do it for passion and whatever comes your way will be from your own back.
Do collaborate, trust and share your ideas with friends, family and fellow writers. It is the easiest way to road test an idea, and don’t be scared of someone stealing an idea. Whilst there may be some rare cases where this actually happens, proper writers are too busy with their own projects to worry about stealing, and if they do, just promise yourself to write something better. Always strive to be better than the last idea.

What are your future plans as an author?
I don’t know what my plans are as an author. I know for sure that I’ll definitely write more books, but I’d never do it for the sake of it, the story has to be right, and I have to have a reason to tell it within this medium.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure, here is a short excerpt from part three of the Prologue ‘Riley’.

Riley knows all about Zombies, Killer Space Wizards, Aliens from the nethersphere, and Emma Stone’s physical attributes from her starring role as Mystique, in the all-female version of X-Men, and yes, Beyoncé as a bold mind reader in a wheelchair is as strange as it sounds. But right now, for the first time that he can remember, none of that is on his mind, because at the bottom of the stairs leant against the front door is his mother, in a certain level of conflict that he hasn’t seen since Luke Skywalker found out who his real father was.
Riley pushes the pop culture references as far out of his mind as he can and watches the pain engulf his mother, anchoring her down into the depths of her own emotions as her sadness continues to tear open an already infected wound. But for Riley, a fresh wound is only just opening, for the first time in his life he is seeing something that he has never seen or even thought of. His mother’s outward appearance shows him that she isn’t the woman he thought she was. To Riley, she doesn’t seem strong at all, she’s sat against the door with her head in her hands, crying in conjunction with the rain fall against the windows.
The mirrored response from the weather is overwhelming for Riley. He debates going downstairs to comfort her, but he is more worried as to how he would even do such a thing. As after all, he’s only eight-years-old, and he hasn’t learnt the life lessons he needs to get through a situation like this, but then again, neither has Jean or Paul.
Sadly, like millions of other people around the world, they have to make it up as they go along, but much like the water rushing from Jean’s swollen eyes and the rain outside accentuating every beat, it only forces Riley into a frame of mind that he tries so hard to hide from.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Oscar Wenman-Hyde.

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!

#BlogTour #DamppebblesBlogTours @damppebbles / #QandAs : Cooking for Cannibals #CookingForCannibals – Rich Leder @richleder @LaughRiotPress

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Cooking for cannibals banner

Today I’m on the ‘Cooking for Cannibals’ blogtour, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

RL B&W Light hat leaning against churchRich Leder has been a working writer for more than three decades. His credits include 19 produced movies—television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Longridge Productions, and Left Bank Films—and six novels for Laugh Riot Press.
He’s been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, an indie film director, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a wedding guru, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the UNCW Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, was grist for the mill.
He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three fabulous children.

Social Media:
Twitter 
Facebook
Website 
Instagram

Synopsis :

largeFountain of youth? More like murderous medication!
Carrie Kromer pushes the boundaries of science, not her social life. The brilliant behavioral gerontologist’s idea of a good time is hanging out with her beloved lab rats and taking care of her elderly mother and the other eccentric old folks at the nursing home. So no one is more surprised than Carrie when she steals the lab’s top-secret, experimental medicine for aging in reverse.
Two-time ex-con Johnny Fairfax dreams of culinary greatness. But when his corrupt parole officer tries to drag him from the nursing home kitchen, the suddenly young-again residents spring to his defence and murder the guy—and then request Johnny cook them an evidence devouring dinner to satisfy their insatiable side-effect appetite.
As their unexpected mutual attraction gets hot, Carrie and Johnny find themselves caught up with the authorities who arrive to investigate the killing. But even more dangerous than the man-eating not-so-senior citizens could be the arrival of death-dealing pharmaceutical hitmen.
Can Carrie and Johnny find true love in all this bloody madness?

Cooking for Cannibals is a dark comic thriller with a heaping helping of romance. If you like fast-paced plots, unconventional characters, and humor that crosses the line, then you’ll have a feast with Rich Leder’s wild ride.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Publishing Information:
Published by Laugh Riot Press on 14th January 2021.

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Totally my pleasure. Delighted to be here!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Here’s what my bio says:
“Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than three decades. His credits include 19 produced movies—television films for CBS, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Longridge Productions, and Left Bank Films—and six novels for Laugh Riot Press.
He’s been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, an indie film director, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a wedding guru, a PTA board member, a commercial real estate agent, and a visiting artist for the UNCW Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, was grist for the mill.
He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three fabulous children.”
I think that’s a pretty accurate picture of me. Anyone interested in hearing more about my somewhat unorthodox life choices can reach me at rich@richleder.com. I’ll email back. Always. Really.
As far as become a writer, I believe I’ve always been one. When I was boy playing in dirt with plastic soldiers and Tonka Toy tanks, my army men had backstories. Friends at home. Dogs. Hobbies. Favorite foods. They’d read each other letters from their wives and girlfriends. Who does that when they’re six years old? Writers, that’s who. I wrote skits and directed neighborhood kids in them for other neighborhood kids and their parents. We performed in the garage. The garage door was the curtain. I wrote a play in high school. But when I went to college, where it dawned on me that people were writing the movies I was watching…that was that. I was going to live my life as a writer.
So I spent a full decade in New York City, working in restaurants, studying screenwriting at The New School, and playing in rock bands. Then we moved to Los Angeles, where I got lucky and worked as a screenwriter for close to 15 years. That fabulous time was followed by 20 years in North Carolina writing movies and novels. A reasonable run, overall.
So, I don’t know when I actually became an author. Somewhere in there. But, like I said, I think I was born that way.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a boy, I read all the Hardy Boy books and most every book ever written about sports. As a grown-up, I read plenty of Donald E. Westlake, John D. MacDonald, Janet Evanovich, Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, Chuck Palahniuk, Tim Dorsey, and Christopher Moore because they’re incredible writers and I work in their general neighborhood. But I also read lots of Richard Ford, John Irving, Stephen King, Michael Chabon, Tim O’Brien and many others because they’re wonderful writers and storytellers. When my kids were little, I read every Harry Potter book out loud with a dozen different character voices. And I love Dr. Seuss. Who doesn’t?

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Pretty much everyone on that list above because they tell the best stories I’ve ever heard—almost as good as my Dad’s stories.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Just so hard to narrow it down to one. Okay, okay, I’ll do it. I would like to have a formal Chinese tea with Fu Chen from my Kate McCall Crime Caper series. I’ve been writing him for 10 year and know him quite well, but he still, to this day, surprises me. And there’s still so much mystery about him. I don’t think he’s told me the truth about everything. I have so many questions for him.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I wish I did. I think it would be cool to say I had writing rituals. But I don’t. I sit down and try to write sentences I love and then string those sentences together to tell stories that grab me and don’t let go.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha! My wife, the awesome Lulu, read Cooking for Cannibals, walked down the hall to my office, and said, “Who are you?” So, maybe not worried, but aware that strange shit is always in running like a movie in my mind. Why? Where does it come from? I don’t know. Tiny little droplets of ideas germinating in my head for years suddenly appear before my eyes, and announce that they are ready to become a fun and funny ride.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Plotter. I must have a map to give me the courage and confidence to begin the journey. Though I surrender to the irrefutable fact that journeys are living things, predisposed to change without warning, on a whim. To which I say, no problem, let’s rework the map a bit.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Read everything and never stop reading. Write what you love with all that you’ve got. Those are two good ones. But the one I live by is: Write Anyway. No matter what you’re hearing in your head, write anyway. I’ve been telling myself that for 33 years. 50-plus screenplays and seven novels later I can say without hesitation it works for me. Write anyway.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m three quarters of the way through Gottiguard, the fourth and final Kate McCall Crime Caper, a hilarious murder mystery series set in New York City. Kate is a way-off Broadway musical actor who inherits her father’s PI business after he’s found brutally murdered in an insurance company elevator. In each book, she solves her new case while she tracks her father’s killer. She uses the eccentrics in the brownstone she lives in and manages and the melodramatic members of her histrionic acting troupe to help her with her cases—like a crazy kind of Mission Impossible. They’re funny books, yes, but they’re also rocking good mysteries. You won’t know whodunnit until the very end.
After that, I have four standalones waiting in the wings wondering what in the world the delay is, why aren’t I writing them yet. I do so love dark comic thrillers, so I’ve got three of those. And one magical romantic comedy.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure. Here’s a teaser from the scene where the fixer is trying to break the alibi chain of Carrie Kromer, the book’s leading lady. Cab driver Joe Cabot is part of Carrie’s chain:

The Prius arrived. Eduardo slid into the backseat and pointed his untraceable Glock 19 semi-automatic handgun at Joe Cabot’s head.
“Thank you, Jesus,” Joe said without a trace of irony. “Perfect timing. Just what I needed. Nobody in this godforsaken city needed this more than me. What do you want? Money? Sex? Nuclear codes? The inside dope on some inside dope? I write movies, mister, and you are a gift from the Hollywood gods. I’m Joe Cabot. Who are you? No, wait, don’t tell me yet. Let it build. Dramatic tension’s a good thing.”
He was forty-eight years old and had been knocking on Hollywood’s door with a stack of spec scripts for twenty-five years without so much as a sniff of the action—not one agent willing to hip-pocket him, not one producer angling for a free option, not one down-on-his-luck director offering to buy him a cup of coffee. He’d been a lost LA soul for more than a decade. A cab driver who told himself he was still a screenwriter. A screenwriter who’d surrendered to living the low-level life of a sad-sack cab driver. He’d been drowning for years in the Hollywood riptide and now the gods had thrown him a screenwriting rope.
Eduardo leaned forward, noticed a dozen or so word game magazines haphazardly tossed onto the front passenger seat, and leveled the Glock at Cabot’s face. “Drive, Joe. Drive like your life depends on it.”
“Love it.” Joe pulled the Prius into traffic and followed Eduardo’s directions to a secluded-restricted entrance of the concrete-channelized Los Angeles River. The gate was locked with a heavy chain.
“Get out of the car and push it open,” Eduardo said. “It’s dummy locked. If you run, I will shoot you in both legs and drag you into the river myself.”
“I’m not going to run. I wouldn’t miss this for all the money in the mint,” Joe said.
The cabbie got out of the Prius and did as instructed, re-dummy locking the gate behind them. He got back in the car and found Eduardo’s eyes in the rearview mirror. “Awesome. They shot Grease here. Chinatown. Terminator. Point Blank. Buckaroo Banzai. Now what?”
Eduardo did not sense fear. He did not sense insanity. He sensed some kind of irregular relief, as if this were the end of a dark day rather than the beginning of one. Or some odd sort of eagerness, some bizarre form of enthusiasm, like the threat of violence—being shot in the legs as he ran for his life, for instance—was reason to rejoice. He even sensed some off-the-wall variety of impatience. Impatience! In all the years he’d been fixing insufferable situations around the world, he had never experienced a problem so excited to be solved.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Rich Leder.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

dpbt 2

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Becoming Alfie – Neil Patterson

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘Becoming Alfie’ blogtour, organised 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 :

ghi-w3qwBorn in South Essex close to the River Thames and directly East of London, my childhood was peppered with memories of the mighty river itself.
We would swim, fish and discover hidden treasure in the tidal mudflats with the fragments of clay pipes we found taking us back to another era. It was here that my inspiration for writing was born. I began to keep a diary of my observations from life and documented my feelings and thoughts.
My wife was twenty two and I was twenty four when we migrated to Australia with a glorious expectation. The sun was shining, the people were friendly and Sydney Harbour simply magnificent. Together we were committed to making the most of this opportunity beginning the next step in our lives. Everything was new which gave me endless writing opportunities that I recorded in my diary which had spilled over into a number of books. We travelled around this incredible country meeting people from all walks of life and from many nationalities. We lived and worked in a variety of capital cities enjoying each and every experience. All this was tremendous fodder for my writing.
I began to write short stories and poetry, none of which I sought to publish. By my fifty second birthday I was able to finish working and focus full time on my writing, the results so far are The Alfie Norrington Series with Becoming Alfie the first in the series of four. I hope that you enjoy reading Becoming Alfie as much as I did writing it.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
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Synopsis :

1oeVf0FQAlfie Norrington was born into poverty in London’s East End in the first minute of the twentieth century. His life was a battle. From the Brick Lane markets where young Alfie pilfered and pickpocketed, to the trenches of Flanders, Alfie fought every step of the way.
Almost killed by a trench bomb he battled to recover and while in a military hospital Alfie made a promise that dramatically change’s his life. A true East End hero, Alfie begins his journey away from poverty armed with a robust moral compass and an open heart.
Becoming Alfie is the first in the Alfie Norrington series. It follows the life of a man who positively influenced thousands of people. The world needs more individuals like Alfie Norrington, that give much more than they take.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Q&A :

Hi

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 was born in Essex and migrated to Australia with my wife of four months almost 40 years ago. I worked in Sales and marketing for an I.T. company leaving them to retire early after 30 years or so. Since my early adolescence I have written in my diary (it is had a good number of volumes now!) and from my late twenties I have written poetry and short stories. Once I retired I began to focus on writing a book,which was my dream. That book has become four books in the Alfie Norrington Series the first of which Becoming Alfie was published in late September.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Anything written by Enid Blyton was my favourite as a child. I have a wide range of authors that I read including John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffery Archer, biography’s, particularly autobiographies. I read almost anything which may also include the Yellow Pages if there is nothing else to around. A few years back I read and loved James Herriot’s books and around the same time I discovered a London based writer called James Herbert. He wrote about massive rats spewing out of the sewers of London and killing vast numbers of people. Those two genres couldn’t be any further apart!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Charles Dickens would be my go to mentor. He was prolific in his writing and the manner in which he created his characters with so much depth, so many quirks and idiosyncrasies, I love . If it were possible to talk with him about both these points and his writing in general I would be completely gobsmacked!

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Some say that Jesus Christ was a fictional character, if that is the case imagine the array of questions I could ask him.”You really walked on Lake Galilee?” However, sticking to the topic Vito Corleone would be a magnificent late afternoon guest. A number of questions spring to mind “So Vito, can I call you Vito? So, what is it like to take the life of another?”
“Tell me Vito, has there been one act of violence that you regret?”
“So Vito, what would your Italian Mama say today about your behaviour?”
“Really Vito, you enjoy it when one of your capo’s slaps you around the chops?”
This could go on forever but, if the above really happened, I would be dead.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Oh yeah, probably too much in reality. When I am writing I rise at 6.30am precisely, face East and whistle the first verse of Jerusalem. Actually, I am not that bad, I think. I am almost totally incommunicado. I don’t answer phones, ignore email, refuse to talk to my wife, become a recluse and drink a little too much wine each evening. This pattern only lasts for a week, then I go back to normality, whatever that may be, until the next creative burst.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My beautiful dog, Harry H and I, walk each and every morning around the abundance of coastal tracks, lake walks and surf beaches where we live. My stories, characters, the plots, the next chapter, the villains, it is all hatched on our morning walks. I record these thoughts via my phone, by writing them down at times and I even have an old Dictaphone that has joined us on the odd occasion. These morning walks are inspirational as the combination of nature and solitude really helps me in defining aspects of each story.
Note. Harry H the beautiful, old Border Collie, passed away after a short illness 9 days ago. He was deep into his thirteenth year. I miss my little mate something terrible but continue our walks, dearly wishing that he were wagging his tail beside me.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a panster, but a panster that at least writes down some sort of plot, it’s just that I write all around and over it. No shame in that!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Never give up. Trust your instincts. Be your biggest fan. Embrace the concept of selling your books. Try not to listen to your detractors. Be brave

What are your futureplans as an author?
To continue to write stories that entertain. They need to be easy to read, engaging and have “page turn-ability” . I want to publish one or two each year.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
OK. Look out for Alfie’s love interest, her name is … well, you will find out if you read Becoming Alfie. She is a nurse and they fell head over heels until … it made me cry when I read it back after writing it.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Neil Patterson.

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!