#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #QandAs : Lillian White’s Journey – Karen Kelly @karenlindakelly

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

lillian White's Journey

Today I’m on the ‘Lillian White’s Journey’ blogtour, organised by Love Books 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 :

MT7A3994inKaren lives with her husband Dave, children Charlie and Maggie and devoted collie Baxter. A successful blogger, volunteer radio presenter, mum and homemaker she first began writing over 20 years ago alongside her chosen career path as cabin crew. Her writing style is unique, creative and humorous generating laughter, empathy and some escapism in this ever-serious world we find ourselves entwined in. As well as travelling the globe, she’s lived overseas, worked in the fitness industry and ran a pub and these life experiences have certainly given her the inspiration to write the way she does. Lillian White’s Journey, her debut novel, was launched to a sell-out audience and was a great success with raving reviews on Amazon, social media and from professional book bloggers. She is currently working on a sequel and is aiming for a trilogy in this series. She also has other #WIP including a series of children’s books.
If she’s not running around like a headless chicken, she can be found with a large G&T and a bucket load of crisps!

Synopsis :

Front cover-layout-CMYK (2)On the morning of her wedding, Lillian White awakes with a hangover from hell, a naked stranger and no recollection of the previous night. As her eyes become focused the panic sets in as the once intimate, romantic Bridal Suite resembles the aftermath of a wild, drunken party. Unread messages flood her inbox from her soon Husband-to-be but with only hours to spare, can she still go through with the wedding?

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 had a great career as cabin crew for many years and used to write short stories alongside this path. One particular piece of writing grew and grew and as years went by i had a fully typed manuscript. I was introduced to a copy-editor, the first person to read my work (aside from my husband), who offered great support and encouragement giving me the confidence to take it to print.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I honestly don’t remember a specific book as a young child but as a young woman I would lean towards Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella. More recently I’ve been reading Liane Moriarty, Shari Lapena and one of my favourite reads is The Forgottn Daughter by Renita D’silva – i couldnt put it down!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Amanda Prowse. I’ve met her once and she just oozes charm and character. A gorgeous, warm, fun, and incredibly talented lady.

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 would love to spend time with Sam, Lillian’s close friend in my novel. She’s honest, takes no prisoners and is great in a crisis.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
When i come up with an idea or synopsis i mentally take it to bed with me and jot down notes the following morning. Sounds crazy but it works! I look forward to climbing into bed and thinking ..what happens next?

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha ha – no they’re safe, although, if something dramtic happened i might turn it upside down, squeeze the life out of it then kick it around a few times so they wouldnt recognise it! I do have a creative mind and frequently come up with a synopsis for a book although i don’t always act on them.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
A pantser for sure. Words and directions come fairly easily and as my typing speed is 65-80wpm, when i’m in the zone, there’s steam coming off my keyboard!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t worry about logistics, just write! Don’t compare your writing style to others just be you and let the words flow. Do have a fresh pair of eyes look over it – not family or friends – use a professional, seriously, it will be worth it in the end.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I am working on a sequel to Lillian White’s Journey but also have a differnt genre book synopsis i would like to persue. I’m writing a book of short fun-dittie type poems based around The Menopause and I do have a series of childrens books that I really should address. Watch this space!

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

“V&Ms, Vodka Martinis, they always get me into trouble. I take a peak under the covers just to be sure. S**t i’m sure! There’s a naked, curly blond surfer guy lying next to me bearing no resemblance to my forthcoming husband. He’s tanned, he’s toned and he’s gorgeous. I’m dead!”

Lillian White Graphic 3Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Karen Kelly.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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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 #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #QandAs : The End of the Road – Anna Legat @LegatWriter @darkstrokedark @crookedcatbooks

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

End of the road tour(1)

Today I’m on the ‘The End of the Road’ blogtour, organised by Love Books 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 :

P1040507 (3)Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from satire to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Synopsis :

EafPfDYXsAAOrWbThe fight for survival has begun.
All-out war spins out of control, and it doesn’t discriminate. Governments fall, continents are obliterated, deadly viruses consume everything in their path, and what’s left of humanity is on the run. Caught in this global refugee crisis are a few unlikely survivors.
Tony, a philandering London lawyer, escapes the doomed city and his own murky past as he evacuates to the continent.
A hapless flock of Belgian nuns prays for a miracle as they watch their city turn to rubble.
Bella, a naïve teenager, thinks she is going on holiday when her father drags her across the globe to New Zealand.
Reggie, a loyal employee of a mining corporation, guards a hoard of diamonds in the African plains, fending off desperate looters.
Alyosha, a nuclear scientist, has been looking for the God-particle in Siberia, but now the world is at an end, he wishes to return home to Chernobyl.
A pair of orphaned children are cowering in the Tatra Mountains, fearing the sky will fall in on them.
Will they find an escape route before it is too late? Or are they doomed to fail?

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! 🙂
Thank you for having me, Stefanie!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I have been many different things in my long and illustrious “real-life” career. I read law at university and qualified as an attorney in South Africa, working in the legal field for more than fifteen years. I then had a change of heart and took a postgraduate course in primary education in New Zealand. I spent twelve happy years teaching youngsters how to write stories, and sometimes how to count and play cricket. But ever since I was a little girl in the depths of the Polish countryside, I would do little other than make up stories in my head. I travelled extensively and lived in many exotic locations, but the greatest amount of action would always happen on the pages of my books.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I adored Jules Verne. His sci-fi adventure stories inspired me to come up with my own. I read all of his books. When I got older, in my teenage years, I absolutely fell in love with the dark, moody writing of Dostoyevsky. I suppose it reflected the state of my own mind.
Later in life I went through various stages and genres. I discovered Stephen King and Anne Rice in my mid-twenties. I had a long heroic fantasy stage, reading David Gemmell like he was going out of fashion.
Ruth Rendell has been my writing idol for many years. In her heyday, she was the pioneer of the modern psychological thriller, incisive and brilliant at getting into the psychopathic mind. It is thanks to her literary influence that I choose to write crime fiction over other genres.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
The aforesaid Ruth Rendell. I would ask her what she did to achieve such authenticity in portraying the criminal/psychopathic mind. Did she allow herself to go into the darkest corners of her own soul or did she research in other ways?

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 would love to invite Georgie, the heroine of my debut novel, Life Without Me. She helped me break onto the publishing scene. I owe her quite a bit and would like to thank her. Also, we are quite similar so we would have a lot to talk and laugh about. It would be a very laid-back tête-à-tête.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I always light a candle when I start writing. I have no idea where this ritual originated, but now I struggle to get down to writing when I run out of candles. They are the top of my shopping list.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Oh yes! Life, the people I meet, the experiences I go through provide endless sources of inspiration. I watch, observe, dream and collect personalities and events to develop them into plots and characters. However, I do not caricaturise people. My characters are composites of all sorts of individuals I have come across in my colourful life and travels.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a plotter who often gets carried away and strays into uncharted territories. I let the characters and events take over and have been known to change the direction of travel as well as the final destination of some of my books. They do tend to come to life and force my hand.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do read. Read, read, read.
Don’t become a clone of other writers no matter how much you admire them. Develop your own style. Be unique.

What are your future plans as an author?
I will continue writing and experimenting more widely with new and diverse genres. A Conspiracy of Silence, book 5 in my DI Marsh detective series is to be published in October this year. This will be followed by new cozy crime mysteries next year.
The End of the Road is a dystopian novel and I would like to develop this genre further, possibly into a time-travel or alternative history series.
I love black comedy and satire. At the moment I am working on a humorous magic realism novel, Paula Goes to Heaven. I have been working on it for quite some time, rewriting and repositioning it, but I hope I am nearly there. Some novels take for ever. Others just write themselves.

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This extract belongs to Bella’s story. Bella is a young woman who has travelled with her family to New Zealand to escape The End of the Road:

They have been sailing for weeks, heading north-west and following the stars. Their waka is alone, all others having gone their separate ways, either by accident or by design. Kauri says that Africa is the safest place to head for. Small Pacific islands will sooner or later all be under water. They must head for the African continent with its high mountains, vast plains and rich vegetation. The chances are that people there have no reason to fight any wars and that there is peace and quiet in Africa. Bella has heard it all before, but she doesn’t correct him – she lets him live in hope.
The meteorite shower takes them by surprise. Flaming missiles plunge into the waves and stir the ocean all the way to its unreachable, unexplored depths. Geysers of steam, ten times the size and pressure of Rotorua’s hot pools, rise and syphon their white fury into the sky. The whanau huddle up together, but they are torn asunder and hurled into the raging waves. Mother Pomare flies out like a white albatross, her arms outstretched, her white hair splayed. Kauri is no match for the missiles from outer space – he tries to hold on to his children, but they are snatched from his arms and flung into the waves; he follows them, dives in and disappears.
Nothing remains of their waka, nothing but splints of ancient redwood. They are tossed in the sea and animated by the assault from the heavens above. Smoke blots out the sun; it erodes the screams for help in Bella’s throat and burns her eyes. She is pulled into a whirlpool of water and fire, and then spat out onto the oily surface dotted with the debris of their boat. Very quickly the sky quietens, and in its image, the sea settles to a steady, rocking motion. Beneath the flapping waves, sharks begin to circle.

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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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 #FrolicBlogTours @frolicblogtours / #QandAs : Harlem Rhapsody #HarlemRhapsody #TheVolunteersSeries – John Nuckel @JohnNuckel

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

HarlemRhapsody-tour-schedule

Today I’m on the ‘Harlem Rhapsody’ blogtour, organised by Frolic Blog 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 :

John-Nuckel-lgJohn Nuckel grew up in the welfare apartments of a middle-class town. “I’ll meet you there,” he’d always say to his friends. Couldn’t have them seeing the two-bedroom apartment in which he lived with four siblings and his mom.
They didn’t have much food, the furniture was charity, the TV a small black-and-white. He went to bed hungry many nights. What they did have was a mother with a creative spirit. They had music—her record collection was bigger than all of theirs combined. And they had books. A new book every two weeks. John devoured them.
The ingredients to develop “John the author” were tossed in the pot at an early age. The old-school music—Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw. Reading “grown-up” books before he was ten—Dickens, Swift, Hemingway, Chandler, and too many more to list. He’d finish a novel then go hop the fence to the schoolyard to see what his buddies were up to, back behind the handball courts.
The Rector series was John’s first trilogy and included The Vig, Grit and Blind Trust. John is currently working on his latest series, The Volunteers, which started with Drive and continues with his latest novel, Harlem Rhapsody.
John currently lives in New York City.

Website
Twitter
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Facebook

Synopsis :

HarlemRhapsody-cover-flatIn the days of prohibition and the Harlem Renaissance, Owney Madden, gangster and Cotton Club owner, has a plan to defeat the tyranny of Tammany Hall.
He’ll whack mob kingpin Arnold Rothstein.
Harlem Rhapsody follows this turbulent era (1927-1937), from Duke Ellington’s debut at the Cotton Club, to the unsolved murder of Rothstein, and the machinations of a secret organization, the Volunteers.
Based on true events and real people (The Belle of Broadway; Titanic Thompson; Lucky Luciano) Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in The Volunteer series about Teddy Roosevelt’s band of men who, with financial assistance from J.P. Morgan and John Rockefeller, fight to take down corruption and Tammany Hall.

Purchase links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Indiebound 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’ve worked in the financial industry for my entire career. I came to writing late in life and it has taken me over. I’ve always been an avid reader and I was the go-to-guy to write a business proposal or opening statement. I could turn a phrase. I finally sat down and wrote a book. It took five years and it receievd some acclaim so there was no turning back.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I was always encouraged by my mother to read as much as possible. We didn’t have much so books were an inexpensive escape. I read everything. As a young kid I was reading Dickens and Swift. They were passed down by my mother. As I got older I would read every thriller I could get my hands on. I would go through two or three a month.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
F. Scott Fitzgerald. I would ask him how he used the same words as I but made them sound so magical. How can he write a paragrah about a simple ordinary thing and make me weep reading it?

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 would choose Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. It would be a glass whiskey, not a cup of tea.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I usually think about what I want to write for a week or so, start writing feverishly, then change just about everything I thought about.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No worries. I’ve been concentrating on historical fiction lately. Not that there isn’t anything to fear about the past.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I write a formal outline than change most of it as I go along. I’m a big, “hey, that would be cool” type of writer.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Keep writing. Don’t pay to be published.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m going to continue with the historical fiction series I’m working on now, The Volunteers. I’m well into the next one. Nazi spies in NYC before WW2!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in the Volunteers series. It takes place during the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance. The most vibrant, creative and violent time in the history of New York. There are gangsters, showgirls and great music. What’s not to like?

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

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 : A Good Match For The Major – Josie Bonham @BonhamJosie

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

3lqgFS_c

Today I’m on the ‘A Good Match For The Major’ 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 :

twqKBEngJosie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.
Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.
There is more information on her website.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
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Synopsis :

_xYoPWtcPride meets prejudice – can love blossom?
Beautiful young widow, Lady Eliza Wyndham, is determined never to remarry after a disastrous first marriage. The undeniable attraction that fizzes between her and Major Nathaniel Overton terrifies her. She rejects his advances.
With his pride badly dented, Nat vows to forget Eliza until he finds her in danger from an old adversary of his army days. His protective instincts are stirred and he steps back into her life, but will Eliza be prepared to accept his help?

Purchase Link

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! 🙂
It’s lovely to be here. Thank you very much for inviting me.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve always dabbled with storytelling and was often accused of daydreaming as a child. I would make up stories in my head when lessons got a bit slow. Later I would scribble the start of novels in notebooks but never finish them. That all changed when my sister persuaded me to do a free online course on creative writing with the Open University on Future learn. With encouragement from my sister and niece, who is also an author, and armed with a smattering of craft advice I decided to write a novel. Half way through I discovered the Romantic Novelists’ Association and was lucky enough to get a place on the New Writers’ Scheme. That gave me the push I needed.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I read everything I could get my hands on. My first reading adventure was Thomas the Tank Engine. I read most of the Enid Blyton books and was addicted to Rupert the Bear. I loved the Narnia books. Favourites of mine were Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, the Chalet School Series, the Nancy Drew series and many more. When I ran out, I would read Mum’s books and so was introduced to authors like Jean Plaidy at a very early age. Later I developed a taste for Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Wilkie Collins. Now I read historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, contemporary and historical mystery, crime and cosy crime. It’s perhaps not surprising that my Regency Romances tend to have a good dash of mystery, suspense or even thriller in them.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Susanna Gregory. Her Matthew Bartholomew medieval sleuthing series is absolutely brilliant. I would love to write a full on Regency mystery and some advice on how she builds her characters and keeps the pace of each story just right would be great.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Oh, it would have to be Eliza Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Such a clever girl and I’m sure she could tell me an awful lot about life in the Regency era.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I tend to be rather chaotic, although I like to claim it’s organised chaos. The jury is out on that one.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
The slightest thing can spark me off. Being in the middle of an edit that needed finishing didn’t stop a post on the Regency Reader blog sparking a story idea that compelled me to write it down and even rough out the first page.
I don’t consciously use any details or characteristics of people I know but I had a shock when I realised the hero in my first completed manuscript had the exact same eye colour as my husband.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I have strong pantser tendencies but I do like to do a rough plan of at least the beginning of a novel before I start writing. It changes a lot but it gets me on my way. I find that if there is a suspense subplot that does need a bit more prior planning. I also like to think about what makes my characters tick before I look for the best situations to put them in.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Make sure you understand point of view and spend some time with your characters, it doesn’t have to be for long, before you start writing.

What are your future plans as an author?
I love writing Regency romance so I will carry on with that, starting with finishing the Reluctant Brides series. The new story idea may well spill over into a second series. I may also have a try at writing crime.

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Eliza has her future all mapped out. She flees to London with her sister to avoid the unsettling presence of Nat but he has promised to spend some time with an army friend – in London. Sparks fly when they meet and Eliza tries hard to persuade herself that Nat is just another fortune hunter. Anything is better than falling in love again, but is it already too late for Eliza to protect her heart?

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

 

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 : Deadly Wishes – Rachel McLean @rachelmcwrites

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

FaSg8xvE

Today I’m on the ‘Deadly Wishes’ 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 :

b1W-RY-QMy name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.
What does that mean?
In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.
Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?
My books aim to fill that gap.
If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub. I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
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Instagram

Synopsis :

FRDFGMAkMeet Zoe Finch, West Midlands Police’s newest Detective Inspector. She’s outspoken, ambitious, and damaged. And she’s working a case that could make her career, or cost her everything…
Fresh from the success of the Canary investigation into depravity and corruption at the highest levels, Zoe has attracted attention. Not least from Assistant Chief Constable Bryn Jackson.
But when Jackson is brutally murdered on the night of his retirement party, Zoe is dragged into a case that’s deeply personal.
All the evidence points to the victim’s downtrodden wife, who has secrets of her own. But Zoe begins to suspect all isn’t as it seems. Could Jackson’s death be linked to the Canary case? And what is her new boss, DCI David Randle, hiding?
Seeking out the truth will force Zoe to confront her own past and put her career, and her team’s lives, on the line.

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?
I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pen! I loved writing stories in primary school but then had the creativity drummed out of me in secondary school and switched to more humdrum writing. In every job I’ve had I’ve been the person people go to when they need something written.
My first nonfiction book came out about ten years ago but have been working on fiction on the side, and published my first novel in 2018. Deadly Wishes is my first crime novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing about my home city of Birmingham for the first time.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As I child I loved Nancy Drew – her mysteries always gripped me and were unputdownable. Now I love crime and thriller authors like Angela Marsons, JD Kirk and Sharon Bolton.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’d love to talk to Angela Marsons about her DI Kim Stone books and how she developed the character. Kim is so damaged but so strong, and I love reading about her.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Definitely not David Randle, who is a lying DCI in my book! I guess I’d like to have a coffee with my protagonist DI Zoe Finch (she doesn’t drink tea, thinks it tastes like dishwater) and get to know her better.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I like to write at the library where I can’t be distracted – and I have a Spotify playlist, mainly classical, that I listen to, to get me into the zone.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Haha! No, they don’t. Ideas really aren’t an issue for me – they pop into my head and I carry a notebook everywhere to write them down. If they’re still going around in my head a few days later I’ll start developing them to see if they’re good enough to turn into a book. I currently have ideas for six more DI Zoe Finch books so finding the time is more of a challenge!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I prepare a detailed outline before I start writing, and it makes the writing so much easier.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t worry about how good your first draft is. It’s better to have something to edit than nothing at all. And learn how to craft a great story by writing lots of short stories. Creating a story that readers engage with is much harder than refining your prose, and isn’t given enough attention.

What are your future plans as an author?
I have ideas for at least six more Zoe Finch novels and am currently working on book 2, Deadly Choices. It’ll be out in September, on my 50th birthday. I thought it was as good a way to celebrate as any.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This excerpt is from early in the book, when Zoe is searching the house of the victim, Assistant Chief Constable Bryn Jackson, for documents that might identify a suspect. She goes to a storage room and finds the victim’s wife, Margaret, also looking for something. Margaret leaves and then Zoe works though the boxes…

The letter at the back was on softer paper, not as yellow. It was only two weeks old. The writing was clear, in bright blue ink. Zoe thought of the woman downstairs writing this and hiding it so recently. She smoothed it out, the gloves numbing her fingers.
Zoe felt a flash of adrenaline course through her. She gripped the paper, then forced herself to relax her grip. Her breathing had picked up.
She straightened, hitting her head on the ceiling. She looked back towards the door. This was what Margaret Jackson had been looking for.

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

 

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!

 

Justice Gone #JusticeGone – N. Lombardi Jr #NLombardiJr , 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 N. Lombardi Jr, author of ‘Justice Gone’, to promote his book.
Before I let you read my Q&As, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

N_Lombardi_2N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Social Media:
Facebook
Goodreads
Website

Synopsis :

WINNER OF FIVE AWARDS
2020 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD
NEW YORK CITY BIG BOOK AWARD 2019
2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARD
NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCY AWARD – Best Legal Thriller of 2019
SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2019 READERS’ FAVORITES AWARDS
Chosen by Wiki.ezvid.com among their list of 10 Gripping and Intelligent Legal Thrillers

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Justice Gone coverAn act of police brutality hurls a small town into a turmoil of rage and fear, igniting a relentless witch hunt and ending in the trial of the decade.
When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.
A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.
Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.
Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Waterstones
Kobo

The courtroom scenes are wonderfully written…the characters are well described and the author paints a picture of each in the mind of the reader…Strong plot, strong characters and a strong writing style that I really enjoyed. This one is a definite “thumbs-up.” Strongly recommend! I look forward to reading additional works by N. Lombardi, Jr.
– Kim M Aalaie, Author’s Den

One of my favorite suspense novels of the year. It will make you question the legal system.
– The Eclectic Review

The courtroom action is excellent, trimmed to the most gripping parts of the trial, with plenty of emotional impact…a fairly realistic portrayal of the way small-town US society works…a fast-moving story with plenty of dramatic moments, and a big twist in the final pages.
– Crime Review

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 grew up in New york city, but by the time I graduated university, wanderlust had possessed me. I worked as a groundwater expert for many years in many countries on over three continents. While in Kenya, I fell in love with a local woman, but it didn’t work out. I was so heartbroken that, as a catharsis, I wrote my first novel, Journey towards a Falling Sun. I obtained an agent, but after more than ten rejections from publishers, I gave up. I never aspired to be an author in any case. It wasn’t until a decade later, when I found myself in Laos and found out about the secret war that took place in the fifties and sixties, with the suffering caused by carpet bombing and millions of unexploded bombs still in the ground, that I wrote The Plain of Jars. Still occupied with my career, it took another eight years before I wrote Justice Gone. It is only now that I consider myself a full-time author.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
That’s an easy question – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
John Grisham, the reason being that I admire the way he incorporates social issues into many of his legal thrillers.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
In Justice Gone, there is a blind lawyer, Nat Bodine, and he also appears in my newest manuscript (just completed), and he probably will play a part in other novels that follow. I would like to sit down with him and ask him how he overcame his obstacle of being sightless to become a successful and astute lawyer, and what experiences he’s had that have led to his strong convictions on justice.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
/

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas come from what’s happening out there, whether historical or current events. I don’t write about people I know.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am more of a panster, a combination of both. I start out with a plot, yet I often get flashes of revelation that direct the course of the story.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
/

What are your future plans as an author?
At the moment, I’m still very much interested in the justice system, particularly those occasions when it doesn’t work the way it should. While a great system on paper, it relies so much on the characters of the people charged with implementing it, from prosecutors and defense lawyers, right down to the juries. I just finished a manuscript involving a young deaf woman who cannot speak and who is on trial for murder, and whom Nat Bodine defends in court. I also have three other stories planned: one about how race plays a role in the justice system, another about a woman who gives birth to a still born baby but is accused of infanticide, and the third about a thirteen-year-old boy sent to adult prison for life for murder, all these cases being handled by Bodine, a crusader of justice.

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

Chapter 4

The city council had no choice but to call an emergency meeting with the mayor. All but one of the council members, despite the late notice, were able to make it. The police chief was summoned, and the head of the Bruntfield Police Union also insisted on being present. They didn’t meet in the public hall, but rather in the private chambers in the back where they sat around an oval walnut table, nearly all of them dressed in white buttoned- down short-sleeve shirts, except for the chief who was dressed in uniform, and one councilman dressed in a suit and tie.
“So now we’re national news,” the mayor announced despondently. He was a short man with a very round body, his features reminding one of a genial uncle in a TV sitcom. He had a buzz cut hairstyle and distended cheeks. Despite his almost comical looks, he was well liked by the people, and now deep in his second term. “Care to tell us how that happened, John?”
John Garson, Chief of Police, Bruntfield Township, squirmed uneasily in his chair. His embarrassment looked incongruous when compared to his reputation and his mien, a well-built man, his chiseled features bearing the epitome of moral integrity, his hair cut in an austere style that radiated a combination of duty and pride; a dedicated officer of the law. “Officers Puente and Fox responded to a call of vandalism and approached a man who fitted the description that was consistent with the 911 call. From what I know at this point, and that may change, is that the suspect resisted arrest.”
“Was he armed?”
“As far as I know he was not, mayor.” “Were there other officers involved?”
“Yes, backup was requested and two units responded.”
“Is it safe to say”—and now the mayor’s voice took on a mordant tone—”that allegations are going to be made that these men, six officers in total, used excessive force on an unarmed man, considering he’s dead as a result of this confrontation?” “More than likely, Your Honor.”
“An unarmed homeless man, who just happens to be a goddamned war hero!” exclaimed the mayor, slapping his hand on the table. “Purple Heart, Bronze Star!”
The silence that followed was not surprising.
“A man dies while being apprehended, and we aren’t even sure if he committed this petty act of vandalism. This looks bad. Like hooliganism. A goddamned war hero for Chrissakes! Thank God it wasn’t a black man!”
A chuckling snort was heard from the far side of the table.
“You got something to say, Ray?”
Ray Miffler was the leading property developer in Bruntfield, and his inputs into town planning were significant. But he typically contributed next to nothing on any other issue. And he was a smartass too. His angular face opened into a wily smile. “It could have been worse…could have been a woman. Imagine, six burly cops?”
The mayor instantly regretted giving this man any attention and didn’t wait for the idiot to finish before he shouted, “He had a prosthetic foot for God’s sake! No more flippant comments, Ray, or we’ll throw you out of here!”
The mayor then redirected his attention back to Garson. “Do you know these men, John?”
“Of course I’m familiar with them, it’s a small force.”
“Chief Garson,” injected a middle-aged balding man with a bushy red mustache, wearing wire-rimmed spectacles; Brad Wilkinson, also the Superintendent of Bruntfield School District, “have any of these men been implicated in any similar situations, where, I mean, excessive force was suspected?”
“Of course, we checked that first thing, and there had been some complaints against three of the officers. It was quite a while ago, before I came.”
“And what is the status of these men, are they still on the job?”
“As of this moment, yes, but I am considering full suspension pending the outcome of this meeting.”
The police union boss fidgeted in his chair. Bushy salt-and- pepper hair, puffed up in a style dating back to the fifties, jowls that hung like slabs of beef, his tremendous paunch half-hidden beneath the table, he made clear his position. “That wouldn’t be acceptable to us. Paid administrative leave is more what we have in mind. It’s not the first time this has been done pending an investigation…almost standard…remember, innocent until proven guilty.”
“So how else are we going to respond to this!” the mayor demanded.
Abe Norson, small-headed but handsome, with a fashionably trimmed van-dyke, the owner of Bruntfield’s Ford dealership, spoke up. “I think at the very least we should hold an inquiry.” Wilkinson couldn’t suppress himself. “Inquiry?” he blurted.
“A man is dead, I would think a grand jury would be more appropriate.”
The mayor looked directly across from him. “Burns?” Alexander Burns was the sixty-four-year-old city attorney.
The only councilman wearing a full suit despite the heat wave. His black, thick-framed glasses sat perched upon a hairless rectangular-shaped granite face, his wide mouth horizontal, his little eyes revealing nothing. “I’m afraid I concur with Councilman Wilkinson. We need to demonstrate that we’re on top of this and that we take the matter seriously…a grand jury would serve that purpose.”
The beefy police union rep immediately responded. “We would be vigorously opposed to that.”
“I advise grand jury proceedings,” Burns countered. “But no indictment.”
“Excuse me,” Wilkinson blurted. “How can you say ‘no indictment’? We have to hear the evidence first, or am I off- course here?”
“It’s the DA’s ballgame. Isn’t that right, Louis?”
Louis Pimply, a deputy DA, a wiry man in his early thirties, responded. “Most of the time, yes.”
“Any witnesses, John?” the city attorney asked.
Garson put his head down, signaling an unpleasant reply. “Four. And then there’s a videotape…from the bus depot.”
“Is it in police possession?”
Garson nodded his head affirmatively. Burns looked at the deputy DA. “Louis?”
“The DA’s office does have the final say as to what evidence can be admitted.”
Miffler spoke up. “What about this homeless guy? Any history of violence? Prior arrests? Minor infractions?”
Garson answered. “He was cited for loitering, sometime last year.”
“Is he of right mind?” Miffler continued, “I mean, you know,
these vets sometimes come home a bit looney…was he involved in any treatment for that matter?”
“Ah now, Ray has an excellent point there,” Burns said. ”Let’s look at the supposed victim’s background and see if we can find anything to show he wasn’t just a complacent citizen, but someone whose actions were, say, unbalanced, and therefore threatened the well-being of the responding officers.”
“There were two letters,” Garson disclosed, “that we believe
he intended to mail. Stamps were on them, but I guess he forgot to mail them. They were both addressed to the New Hope Trauma Recovery Clinic in Manhattan.”
“That’s a start,” Burns said.
“So, we are aiming at no indictment, precluding a trial?” Wilkinson asked in disbelief, causing a fit of murmuring among the council members.
Burns held both his hands out to grab everyone’s attention. “A trial can last months, even a year or more, do you really want that constant publicity?”
Norson, the car dealer, raised an important point. “Don’t you think that when it’s announced that there’ll be no trial, the public outcry, which no doubt there will be, will cause harm to our standing in the eyes of the people?”
“Of course, there will be a hell of a hullabaloo,” Burns admitted. “But you’ll see, it won’t last long. The public will just get tired of the whole thing and the dust will settle, in less than a year I imagine. But a trial…we’ll be in the headlines continually.”
“Let’s put it to a vote,” the mayor suggested. “Inquiry, or grand jury with no indictment.”
After fifteen minutes of discussion, votes were cast. Grand jury, no indictment, was the final decision. It seemed a sensible decision. But then again, none of them could be expected to have predicted the future.

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

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 #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #QandAs : The Last Lemming #TheLastLemming – Chris Chalmers @CCsw19

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

The Last Lemming BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘The Last Lemming’ blogtour, organised by Random Things 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 :

Chris Chalmers Author picChris Chalmers was born in Lancashire and lives in south-west London. He’s been the understudy on Mastermind, visited 40 countries and swum with marine iguanas. His first novel, ‘Five To One’, was winner of a debut novel competition and nominated for the Polari First Book Prize; his latest, ‘The Last Lemming’, is out now in paperback and ebook. He has written a diary for 42 years and never missed a night.
Click on a reading from ‘The Last Lemming’, or a Five-To-ONE-MINUTE-MOVIE for a 60-second intro to the main characters and themes of ‘Five To One’. Or search ‘chris chalmers novelist’ on YouTube, for clips of Chris reading from his other books, poems about Christmas Eve and butcher’s shops, and fox cubs dancing to ABBA. (Yep, it’s as high-brow as that.)

Blog
Twitter

Synopsis :

• Paperback: 334 pages
• Publisher: J.Mendel Books (20 May 2020)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0993323944
• ISBN-13: 978-0993323942

The Last Lemming Front CoverTV naturalist ‘Prof Leo’ Sanders makes it to his deathbed without a whiff of scandal — then confesses his career-defining wildlife discovery was a hoax.
A National Treasure shattering his own reputation on YouTube is enough to spark a media frenzy, and the curiosity of part-time journalism student Claire Webster who makes him the subject of her dissertation.
Her investigations lead to Prof Leo’s estranged family, and a high-flying advertising guru he also slandered in the video.
Ultimately Claire uncovers the truth behind the discovery of the Potley Hill Lemming — the first new species of British mammal in a century.
It’s a mystery spanning four decades; a tale of greed, obsession and long-forgotten murder at a lonely beauty spot.

‘A revered TV naturalist with a guilty secret, a cute critter, a brand of stout and a lovelorn personal trainer all collide with tragi-comic results in this witty whydunnit. The Last Lemming combines pathos, humour and mystery to irresistible effect.’
– Suzi Feay, literary critic

The Last Lemming Graphic 2

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’m originally from Lancashire but have spent most of my life in London. I’d been working as an advertising copywriter for fifteen years when I decided to go freelance and try and write that novel I was always talking about. Never really expected to finish it. Eight months later I’d written Dinner At The Happy Skeleton. You could have knocked me down with a feather.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I grew up on Dr Who books (like Sarah Waters). Now I mostly read contemporary fiction. King of the Badgers by Philip Hensher and Capital by John Lanchester are big favourites. But I struggle to find things I really like, and that’s what drives me as a novelist. Consciously or not, I’m trying to write the books I want to read.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Out of curiosity, any really successful thriller writer. It’s not a genre I’d attempt because my brain isn’t twisty enough, but I’m in awe of people who do can it well.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Glory, from my novel Five To One. More than any other character, she’s the one people tell me they love. She has a heart of gold and she’d be the perfect guest.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I won’t let myself succumb to rituals. The only way to write a book is head-down, bum-on-seat, no excuses. I usually start about 8am, break from 11 till 2 for gym and lunch, then work through till Channel Four news at 7pm. I aim for a thousand words a day and that’s usually about right.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
If I look hard enough at almost anything I’ve written, I can usually trace it back to my own experience, however loosely. I’ve travelled quite a lot so I only
ever write about places I know; I’d just been to the Galapagos Islands when I wrote my second novel, so making sure that was in there somehow was a key criterion! … And FYI I only know lovely people, so of course they’ve nothing to worry about …

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Plotter. I’d like to be the kind of writer who dives in regardless. But the idea I could get 30K words in then not have a clue what happens next scares the pants off me.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
In total contradiction to the above: dive in! Nothing is as daunting as a blank page, so get something — anything — down. It’s far easier to work with something than nothing.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m currently on the fourth draft of my next novel, Fenella Woodruff’s Fair Share (title TBC). Likely publication summer 2021.

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Those chirpy TV pundits … You never know what’s going on beneath the surface …

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

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 : Homeward Bound – Richard Smith @RichardWrites2

– ‘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 ‘Homeward Bound’ 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 :

OfBnvHGcRichard Smith is a writer and storyteller for sponsored films and commercials, with subjects as varied as caring for the elderly, teenage pregnancies, communities in the Niger delta, anti- drug campaigns and fighting organised crime. Their aim has been to make a positive difference, but, worryingly, two commercials he worked on featured in a British Library exhibition, ‘Propaganda’.

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Website

Synopsis :

LFkfpHNUHomeward Bound features 79-year-old grandfather George, who didn’t quite make it as a rock star in the ‘60s. He’s expected to be in retirement but in truth he’s not ready to close the lid on his dreams and will do anything for a last chance. When he finds himself on a tour of retirement homes instead of a cream tea at the seaside his family has promised, it seems his story might prematurely be over.
He finds the answer by inviting Tara, his 18-year-old granddaughter, to share his house, along with his memories and vast collection of records. She is an aspiring musician as well, although her idea of music is not George’s. What unfolds are clashes and unlikely parallels between the generations – neither knows nor cares how to use a dishwasher – as they both chase their ambitions.

Purchase Links:
B&N
Amazon
Waterstones
Ink@84

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 in my eighth decade and the greater part of that has been spent making films. That’s meant TV commercials and documentaries and later, with my own company, public relations films, internal communications, education, training  . . . all sorts of things. The trick was always to find a new way to catch people’s imagination and give them a new perspective on what they may already think they know about. I used to joke it was propaganda until two of my films turned up in a major national exhibition called ‘Propaganda’! So I’ve written hundreds of scripts but I’d always wanted to write a novel, and it’s taken this long to free myself from writing for others to write for myself.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I remember the librarians in my local children’s library would say, ‘What, back already?’ because I would devour Arthur Ransome and Wilkie Collins at a rate of knots. As a teenager, I remember my mother’s reaction when she saw me with Anthony Burgess’ The Wanting Seed that she must have thought unsuitable, and my secret copy of Lady Chatterley was discovered and taken from me. Then life, and 100% commitment to work, meant I became a summer holiday-only reader. That left me with a quick browse of the library before going away or at the airport, and it means I can end up reading almost anything. Not very helpful, I know but that’s how it is!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would listen to anyone because we all have stores to tell and experiences we can share and learn from. But advice? It’s dangerous to give and even more dangerous to follow! We have to follow our own instincts and take the chances when we can.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
The thing about fictional characters is that they all have character flaws and their own traumas. Why would I want them at a party? Anyway, they’ve got enough to contend with in their own stories, so they don’t want to be getting caught up in my real life dramas!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I discovered I need a discipline in order to get anything done. I need to get out of the house and away from distractions – preferably the Reference section of a library – with the succour of a coffee and Danish en route to get me started. And I will stay at work until my laptop battery dies – even if I’m composing using pen and paper (as I always do for first drafts). The computer battery is my time clock!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ideas can come from anywhere any time. The starting point is invariably something I’ve witnessed or feel strongly about. But who experiences it depends on how I see the idea developing. From a germ of a story, I work out what character traits are necessary to make it believable. The characters then shape events and the events shape the character. Whatever characters I create, I always look back and ask myself, ‘Would I or would anyone react in this way? And if they would, what elements of their character do I need to make clear to the reader so that those reactions come across as genuine?’
Should anybody reading my book worry it’s about them? Not really. I want my characters to be real, and to be real I have to believe in them, so I’m inevitably going to be influenced by people and incidents I’ve experienced. The odd reaction, mannerism, figure of speech. But is any one character based on a single person? No. It’s my imagination extrapolating from life. If you think it’s you, it means I’ve succeeded in making the characters believable. But it isn’t you! Or me, before you ask!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I have a beginning and an end when I start writing, with the outline of a lead character and maybe a couple of key incidents along the way, but what exactly will happen in order to get to the end, who he/she will meet on the way and how those characters will flesh out and develop, I don’t know at the outset. An editor, after reading my first three chapters, showed me the complex plot matrix from a major novel and suggested I did the same. I think she must have thought I hadn’t got a proper grip on the structure and direction for what I was writing. So I tried, for her, but I couldn’t do it. I find my characters grow as the story grows. Natural responses to incidents open up character traits I hadn’t considered at the start and those lead into consequences I might never have considered at the outset. So rather than shoe-horning characters into a structure, I have a basic outline and develop the characters to determine the route to the finish. We grow together! Plus as scenes unfold, I can sense where twists and suspense need to be added. I got that from making films. I used to watch the audiences at my rough cuts and see where were gripped and when they fidgeted, so understood ebb and flow. I can’t do that in advance when writing. Only as the action develops do I get a sense for when something needs to upset and challenge the characters!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I’m still something of a novice writer. I have only Homeward Bound. So I’m not really in a position to be a sage. In that I came really late into writing a novel and had been doing a full-time job up until then, I suppose I can give some hope. I can sympathise with those trying to write and hold down a job. If it’s as demanding and full on as mine was, it’s almost impossible. In my experience, you need a concentrated period to write, without distractions. You have to live the events and the characters, and spending a day in the real world makes that almost impossible. Perhaps detach yourself for a couple of weeks – though if you have family and commitments, that’s hard too. So my only tip is not to give up, keep filing away those ideas, then when you get a chance to settle on writing, at least you have the material to hand. And I prepared myself when I knew I was close to really doing it by taking writing courses and looking for professional editorial services. An independent person to read what you’ve done is vital. Friends won’t want to do it – nor want to jeopardise your friendship by being brutal! Get a professional who can help you take it forward and ready to publish.

What are your future plans as an author?
Well, while I was writing Homeward Bound, I had another idea that I have now converted into a first draft, full manuscript. After I’ve done this blog I should go back to it and see if it’s any good! I’ll then spend the next six months rewriting it. And In the meantime, I woke up in the night with another idea that I’ve scribbled down on a notepad in the bathroom – I haven’t looked at it since but I’m hoping when I do, I can decipher it and it’ll make the germ of a third novel.

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

“Do I have to stop loving music because I’m old and decrepit?” seventy-nine year-old George asks his nineteen year-old granddaughter Tara. “I didn’t stop loving music when the sixties ended. The decade, or mine. Nothing’s new. Things get changed, sometimes improved.” He pauses before adding ruefully, “But not often.”

George’s daughter wants him to move to an old folks home, but he believes he’s too young, he can cope, and he has his music. He has been a musician all his life, but never made it to the big time. Tara is heading off to uni in London and lodging with her grandfather looks ideal. But can a uni student follow her course and have a social life under the subtle eye of her grandfather, who is getting frailer, even if he doesn’t like to admit it? Might they muddle through together?
Thus the stage is set for a tale of family, generational differences, deceit and music references!

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

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

 

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#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #QandAs : Rosemary or Too Clever To Love – GL Robinson @gl_robinson

– ‘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 ‘Rosemary or Too Clever To Love’ blogtour, organised by Love Books 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 :

I’m a product of a convent boarding school in the south of England in the 1950’s and early 60’s. You can probably guess I received an old-fashioned education. I learned a great deal about the humanities and practically nothing in the sciences. I understand Latin, speak French fluently and my German isn’t bad. I read the Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English when I was 16 and Shakespeare is an open book. But the only science I remember is the ditty: Miss Cummings (our teacher) was a scientist, alas she is no more, for what she took for H2O (water) was H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). Not bad, eh? Words to live by.
I met my American husband while working in Brussels (Belgium). Then we moved to Bonn (Germany). I had three children in a foreign tongue. If you want to know how to say “push” in French and German, ask me!
I’ve lived in the USA for over 40 years, have seven grandchildren and the same husband I started with. We live in a small town in upstate New York but nowadays spend the winter in Florida. I need to sell lots of books so we can buy a waterfront condo! (laughs ironically).
I love my garden, telling my grandchildren stories and eating desserts. I’d give up a steak for a Key Lime Pie any day!
I began writing Regency Romances just under two years ago after the death of my beloved sister who was in the convent with me all those years ago. We used to read them under the covers with a torch after lights out. My books are dedicated to her.
I’ve so far indie published three. The third, Rosemary or Too Clever to Love, just came out at the beginning of May. I’m writing a fourth and editing a trilogy I wrote 18 months ago. I plan on publishing them over the summer.
I love Regency Romances and they’ve always been a guilty pleasure. I was a French professor, and I tell you, after a day of teaching Existentialism, you need a bit of sprigged muslin and some polished topboots to clear your head.
But more than that, I think they fulfil a need for order and calm that is so lacking in our lives today. You know that Almack’s is only going to allow entry to men in white britches; you know young ladies may only dance twice with the same man at the ball; you know the couple is going to get together, no matter how mismatched they appear, or how many obstacles are in their path.
There is something soothing about it all. Of course, it’s escapism and it’s often silly, but it’s always satisfying.
Having been a teacher for 30 years, I find I can’t get away from the urge to provoke discussion. Plus, I belong to three Book Groups. I’ve therefore included Discussion Topics at the end of my last two novels. I hope my readers will have fun with them.

Synopsis :

Rosemary Front Cover Clean in JPG (1)The Ugly Duckling meets the Gothic novel: a plain governess, a romantic Miss, a stern but handsome guardian, involved in a midnight chase, a woman dressed in britches and a gloomy castle. Throw in a bit of Vivaldi and some French philosophy, and you have it all!
If Rosemary can’t control her wayward pupil and prove her worth to her guardian the Earl, her future is bleak.
When Marianne’s father dies, she and her governess Rosemary are forced to go and live with her guardian the Earl of Tyndell. The Earl has strict ideas about how young ladies should behave. He isn’t impressed by the romantic notions Marianne has absorbed straight from the pages of a Gothic novel. And her governess is not only dowdy but perfectly ready to put him in his place, especially regarding his ideas about the education of women. But when the Earl’s interest in Rosemary blossoms just as Marianne falls in love with the last person he would ever agree to her marrying, where will it all end?
Read Rosemary or Too Clever to Love to see how this tangle is sorted out.
In spite of its light-hearted and often humorous tone, this charming novel raises questions about women’s education and philosophy. Book Group discussion topic have been included at the end.

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! 🙂
It’s my pleasure! Thank you!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ll tell you I was born in 1947 – so you can do the math! I’m British by birth but have lived in the USA for over 40 years with my American husband. I have three American children and seven grandchildren.
I started writing novels (I was an academic so I wrote that boring stuff before) just under two years ago, when my sister died. She and I were at boarding school in a convent when we were young and we would read Regency Romances under the covers after lights out. She died unexpectedly and I didn’t get back to England in time to see her. The day after her funeral, I sat up in bed and a whole Regency story came to me. I’m sure it was her and she was helping me grieve. I started writing in bed that morning and I haven’t stopped. I’ve written eight novels – 7 Regencies and 1 contemporary crime. I’ve indie published three so far.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a small child I loved Wind in the Willows, then from about the age of 11, Georgette Heyer. I still re-read her books. The convent was very old fashioned (needless to say!)so for school we only read stuff written before 1850 – Beowulf in the original Anglo-Saxon, Chaucer in the original Middle English, Shakespeare and all the classic early 19th century authors. It was a French order so we learned French and Racine and Molière. You can see why I became a languge and literature professor! 40 years ago I discovered Barbara Pym – a midcentury British author who is vastly underrated. She wrote short, ironically funny novels about women. Wonderful stuff! Nowadays I love Kate Atkinson and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I also love the enormous tomes of Canadian writer Robertson Davies, who died in 1995. His stuff is also ironically funny but very learned. But I like Lee Child, too. So in other words, I have a very eclectic taste.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Yes, probably Kate Atkinson. She is able to describe characters exactly with a minimum of words, and I love her way of warping time in her novels. I wish I could do that.

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 invite Count Alexander Rostov from A Gentleman in Moscow. He’s an aristocrat who lives through the end of the Czarist regime and the Boshevik Revolution, under house arrest for 30 years in a hotel in Moscow. He never loses his sense of humor or sense of what is right. Plus he’s obviously really attractive and has charming manners! That’s always a plus!!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
No. I can write any time, anywhere. Anywhere I can balance my laptop.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Apart from my contemporary crime novel which I’m querying (with a marked lack of success!) I write Regency Romances, which have little to do with real life nowadays, so no, you won’t find yourself in my next book! I suppose I do absorb people’s characteristics and they come out here and there, because human nature is much the same as it always was – the desire for love or friendship, or hate or revenge, or simple dislike. I also give my books a very real historical background. My most recent (to be published in about 2 months) talks about child labor laws. But they ARE Romances! Light and fluffy!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m definitely a pantser. I do write down a vague outline of the plot, but once I’ve done that I usually don’t look at it again! I know where I’m going, but I never know how I’m going to get there. I never know what my characters are going to say till they say it! My books write themselves, really.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just do it! Let it go even if you think you need yet another re-write. You’ll learn more that way. Also, try to write books in series. People like series. I wish I’d known that when I began!

What are your future plans as an author?
I have four novels to put out over the next year. One is a stand alone and the others are a trilogy. I’d like to work a bit more on my crime novel, too. See if I can mix up the time line, à la Kate Atkinson!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Background: Marianne, a young woman with romantic illusions, has been abducted by the man she thought loved her. He is getting revenge on her guardian.

“You must be mad!” she cried! “My uncle will kill you! You won’t be paid to marry me, or have my fortune, because you’ll be dead!”
“This is not the pages of a novel, my dear,” the Baron replied silkily. “If your uncle kills me he will be tried for murder. Your reputation will still be in tatters; my death and his execution would not change that. This is not the Middle Ages, nor is it France. We do not exonerate honor killings. No, Marianne. You had best accustom yourself to the idea of being my wife – if I decide to have you – and making the best of it. You may as well start now.”

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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#BlogTour #MeerkatPress @MeerkatPress / #QandAs : Road Seven #RoadSeven – Keith Rosson @keith_rosson #KeithRosson

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

RoadSeven-TourBanner

Today I’m on the ‘Road Seven’ blogtour, organised by Meerkat Press.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

RoadSeven-AuthorPhotoWithBio

Website | Twitter

Synopsis :

RoadSeven-CoverRoad Seven follows disgraced cryptozoologist Mark Sandoval—resolutely arrogant, covered head to foot in precise geometric scarring, and still marginally famous after Hollywood made an Oscar-winner based off his memoir years before—who has been strongly advised by his lawyer to leave the country following a drunken and potentially fatal hit and run. When a woman sends Sandoval grainy footage of what appears to be a unicorn, he quickly hires an assistant and the two head off to the woman’s farm in Hvíldarland, a tiny, remote island off the coast of Iceland. When they arrive on the island and discover that both a military base and the surrounding álagablettur, the nearby woods, are teeming with strangeness and secrets, they begin to realize that a supposed unicorn sighting is the least of their worries. Road Seven will mark the third of Rosson’s novels to be published by Meerkat Press.

Meerkat Press | Indiebound.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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?
Let’s see. I live in Portland, Oregon, with my wife, our kids, and our three-legged dog. My journey to becoming a published novelist happened over a long stretch of time. I started out writing punk zines as a teenager, and by the time I stopped in the early 2000s, I’d made twenty-some issues of my zine, AVOW. Around then I made the leap to short stories, and then ultimately started tackling novel-length ideas with some seriousness. By the time my first novel, The Mercy Of the Tide, came out, I’d been writing for decades, really. It was definitely a process.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
You know, I’ve got a joke that I want to be a literary author so bad, but I’m physically incapable of NOT putting a ghost or robot or monster in my stuff. I grew up on a healthy diet of Stephen King novels, Marvel comics, and punk music, and I think all of those sensibilities, tempered with decades of writing pretty regularly, have informed my work. Nowadays I read the gamut – when there’s time – from literary fiction to horror to crime to whatever. Give me a story collection and I’ll be happy.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Not really, honestly. There are certainly authors I would absolutely love to talk to. I’d be enthralled if they talked about their process or whatever, but as far as hard and fast advice, I think I’d just rather read their books. I pretty much know that I’m capable of writing novels at this point, even if that belief flags sometimes.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Whenever I get this question, I always think of the grizzled, hard-as-hell detective Claire DeWitt, in Sara Gran’s fantastic crime novels. Gran is definitely a person I’d like to have a beer with.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
With the pandemic barreling down the nation – our county has just now entered Phase 1 of reopening, and we’re currently facing a spike in new cases, so who knows how long it will last – and the fact that my wife and I took in a pair of foster kids right before the country essentially shut down, I find myself with very little time these days. Writing is such a high-wire act of sustained concentration for me, and if I can’t sit down and get in that headspace frequently, and for some amount of time, it just doesn’t work for me. I’m not really one of those “write for five minutes when you have time” kind of people. Hopefully in the fall, school will be somewhat open and I’ll have some stretches of unbroken time to work. When I do, I’m very precise about formatting my stories and novels in a particular way before I start writing.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
One novel started after reading a biography of Joan of Arc. Another started after getting handed a few prompts in my writing group. Yet another started with being enamored with local myths and legends. It’s all over the map, but the impetus usually comes from somewhere outside me first, causing some snag in the brain that won’t let go.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a pantser, though I’m working on a project now that I’ve written an entire synopsis for, which is a first for me. I usually just plow ahead, and as I go, it opens up ideas the following chapter or two.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I think it’s pretty universal. Read a lot. Write regularly, if possible. Be willing to show your stuff to people, and be willing to accept their critiques without getting defensive – other people can see the fault lines in your work that you can’t. Lastly, if you’re planning on getting published, prepare for rejection, and cultivate the ability to shrug it off. It’s just part of the process.

What are your future plans as an author?
Road Seven comes out in July. My story collection, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, comes out in February of 2021. It’s been a dream of mine to have a collection out, and I’m profoundly grateful that Meerkat Press has had enough faith in my stuff that they’ve been willing to out four of my books over the years. Meanwhile, I’ll be writing when I can. Have a number of novels I’m pecking away at. We’ll see how it goes.

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

And what happened next?
What happened next really was the ten-million-dollar question, wasn’t it? And ten million was being conservative, when you considered the advance he’d gotten for The Long Way Home, the years of significant royalties, the translations, the options and profit points on the movie, the advances for the other books he would later write, the generous fees for speaking engagements, the write-offs, even the emasculating acts of his later years in which he’d slump hungover in his little booth, signing books and promo glossies at sci-fi and comic conventions, diminished as his star would later become. But yeah, ten million was on the slim side, and all of it—the whole thing, his whole blessed, magical, fucked up life after that point—hinged on what had really happened in that dark cement box of a bathroom in Bumfuck Nowhere, Montana, after he smoked that joint. What had happened there, and what happened in the scraggly snow-dusted copses of scrub pines and blackberry bramble out behind the rest stop, and in the mostly empty parking lot, and later in the deep, dark woods.
He remembered staggering around the bathroom for a while, just feeling the kettle drum of his nerves jangling, alternating between outright panic and a feverish euphoria that quickly sputtered out and was very different from a heroin high. He walked to the sinks and gazed slack-jawed at his face in the dented mirror covered in half-peeled stickers and marker scrawls. He spent some time examining the whitened vistas of his eyeballs, trying to discern patterns in the red silken threads of veins buried there.
His heartbeat sang in his sour mouth. He gripped the counter and sneered.
Marnie, he decided, was wrong for leaving him. Don Whitmer had lost a valuable employee. He would eat stew from the bowls of Dieter and Julian’s skulls. He tapped a fingernail against his canine and marveled at the sound of it. He spent a lifetime spitting in the sink, trying to get rid of the chemicals abrading his gums, his tongue.
And honestly, maybe he was the one that broke the light above the mirror. Maybe he did. But at some point—days, minutes later—he noticed that the only light in the room was the single bulb on the ceiling, flickering in its steel cage. His limbs continued to weigh him down and he slowly began to sink toward the floor, an ice sculpture melting. He grinned and watched himself in the mirror.
And then something skittered behind him and he stood up, his hands slapping at the wet countertop.
But there was nothing there.
Just the entrance door, the dented garbage can with its a grim tide of paper towels ringing its base. His breath was ragged, his blood so loud he thought he might be able to hear it moving inside him; he gazed down at his hands again and became lost within the parchment-fine skin, the blued veins.
When he looked back up, he saw a little man standing behind him in the mirror. Sandoval screamed, childlike and breathy. The man—for lack of another word—was maybe four feet tall, as khaki-colored as a pair of pants, mouthless and nude. As smooth as a thing culled from wax. Thin-limbed and bald, it tilted its head almost inquisitively. While the eyes themselves were as black and lightless as any sea-bottom, the flesh ringing the eyes writhed with movement. These circles of roiling, putty-colored flesh. Sandoval breathlessly screamed and hoisted himself up on the counter, his ass soaked in sink water, and the little man ran away on hind legs suddenly grown multi-jointed, its legs hooking backward like an insect. Fast, so fast, but somewhat hobbling, too.
Watching the thing move made his eyes itch. He screamed again.
The little man ran into the far stall, the one Sandoval had just smoked in. The door clapped shut and slowly drifted halfway open.
Sandoval crouched on top of the counter, piss now warming his thighs.
A hand with too many knuckles reached out over the top of the stall door and slammed it closed. Bang. Then opened it and slammed it closed again. Bang. The bright sound of metal against metal. Bang.
Oh, long, knuckled fingers.
Too many knuckles.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Then the hand pushed the door open and the little man’s waxen head peered at him around the edge of the doorway.
The flesh where a mouth would be began to grow thin. Translucent, the skin of bubblegum. The coils of flesh around its eyes squirmed. The skin of its mouth finally tore open to expose the black cave of its mouth and the light bulb on the ceiling exploded with a febrile pop! The room was flung into darkness.
Sandoval screamed and hopped to the floor. He slammed against the door, found the door handle and flung it open and staggered outside.
The world was frozen and blue.
The parking lot was scoured in a watery cobalt illumination, as if God had put a scrim over the moon. A pair of big rigs sat hulking in the gloom at the far end of the lot. He heard a bang inside the bathroom, something metallic buckling and scraping across the cement floor, and hot piss again sluiced its way through his jeans and then turned icy. He stumbled toward the parking lot because his lizard brain told him that beyond the parking lot was the inevitable human river of the highway. Cars and their headlights and their drivers. People. He stumbled toward the ineffable tide of life out there beyond the parking lot, there on the highway, he could hear it, hear it like his own blood in his head, like his own heart, the highway, of course, that’s what he wanted, he wanted to be among them, people, he didn’t understand how he could’ve ever not wanted to be among them— His foot hooked over his other ankle and he fell.
He shredded his palms, the back of his hands a cold blue, and when he looked up at the sky, it was not pinpricked with stars or scudded with a veil of clouds but was instead lit now with a disc of light. That disc of dark blue light. A light so large that it seemed to block all else out, to span from treetop to treetop on each side of the lot, and where had it been only seconds ago? And then the blue became white, white as chalk, as fresh paper, a light so bright that as he put his hand up to cover his eyes—and he was truly screaming now, yes, definitely, something integral cracking inside his throat—he could see the delicate framework of his bones beneath the skin, the black latticework of his own bones laddered below the pale flesh.

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

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