#BookBlitz #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksTours / iNostalgia #XmasPromo @inostalgiauk

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

iNostalgia Blitz

Today I’m on a bookblitz, organised by Love Books Tours, to promote the ‘iNostalgia’ Xmas promo. This means you can get 3 titles for only £25 in their online store for a limited time. To help you choose I have some ‘basic’ information of each book available for you.

Belle_Vue_front-squareFifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images.
Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories.

around-manchester-1950s-cover-e1522217575779Around Manchester in the 1950s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 200 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 50s and share your memories with friends and loved ones.

around-manchester-1960s-coverAround Manchester in the 1960s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 250 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the swinging 60s and share your memories with friends and loved ones.

1960s-MerseysideBookCoverThere are many unmissable images from the Swinging Sixties in Clive Hardy’s brilliant book Around Liverpool and Merseyside in the 1960s.

around-manchester-1970s-coverAround Manchester in the 1970s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 300 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 1970s and share your memories with friends and loved ones.

around-newcastle-and-tyneside-1970sThe 180+ images, many never published before, come from the fantastic archive of the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal, and the Daily Mirror. The majority capture the life and times of Newcastle during the decade, and there are others showing wider Tyneside. Along with the text, they give a taste of what it was like to live in the region during that unique period.

Changing_Faces_Cover-squareFifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images.
Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories.

Don’t forget, you can purchase all these wonderful books in the iNostalgia store with the wonderful Xmas promo of 3 titles for only £25 for a limited time. Happy reading!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #QandAs : Mink Eyes #MinkEyes – Dan Flanigan @_DanFlanigan @KeriBarnum #CrimeFiction #Thriller

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

MinkEye

Today I’m on the ‘Mink Eyes’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book 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 :

lkJbkPQR_400x400Dan Flanigan is a novelist, poet, and playwright, as well as a practicing lawyer. His novel, Mink Eyes, is set in 1986 and explores the “greed is good” dynamic and the cultural tensions and gender complexities of that era. It is a modern hero’s quest in mystery-detective form. In addition to developing a screenplay version of Mink Eyes, he has published a book of verse and prose poetry, Tenebrae: A Memoir Of Love And Death, and Dewdrops, a collection of his shorter fiction. He has also written the full-length plays–Secrets (based on the life of Eleanor Marx) and Moondog’s Progress (based on the life of Alan Freed).

Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

mink-eyes-updated-front-coverTitle: Mink Eyes
Genre: Thriller / Noir / Crime Fiction
Publication Date: March 10, 2019

The year is 1986–the tarnished heart of the decade of greed.
Private detective Peter O’Keefe, a physically scarred and emotionally battered Vietnam vet, is hired by childhood friend and attorney Mike Harrigan to investigate what appears to be a petty mink farm Ponzi scheme in the Ozarks. Quickly O’Keefe finds himself snared in a vicious web of money laundering, cocaine smuggling, and murder–all at the behest of a mysterious mobster only referred to as Mr. Canada. Also caught up in Mr. Canada’s illicit network is the exquisite Tag Parker, who seems to dance between roles as the woman of O’Keefe’s dreams–and his nightmares.
From start to finish Mink Eyes delivers classic noir crime fiction at its finest. In a category filled with formulaic and predictable characters and plot lines, reviewers are calling Mink Eyes absolutely “unique and unexpected.”

Goodreads

Amazon

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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 have wanted to be an author since high school. I was deflected by many things including alcoholism, cowardice, day job,and the difficulty of getting past the gatekeepers. For example, i had a a publisher of my novel clear back in the 80s and also enjoyed a staged reading of one of my plays in New York. The publisher went bankrupt. And trying to get anywhere with serious theatre back then was close to impossible without a commitment I was unwilling to make even if I had understood what it might entail. I gave it all up until many years later. But if something like this is embedded deeply enough within you, it seems that it won’t go away and keeps rising up.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I don’t recall reading very much as a young child. When I really plunged into reading, as an “older” child and young adolescent, I immersed myself in sports-oriented fiction and the many books written back in the 50s and early 60s about youth gangs and young hoodlums trying and sometimes succeeding in “getting straight.” Later, I engaged with the Classics. Today, I don’t read as much as I would like to. I buy a lot more books than I read, which are sitting on my nightstand waiting patiently to be opened (I am told there is actually a Japanese word for that). But when I do read, it is likely be a philosphical work (right now I am reading This Life by Martin Hagglund) or returning to old friends like Shakespeare, Joseph Campbell, Yeats, Joyce. Of more contemporary writers, my “influences,” though I don’t really dare to compare myself to them, are Robert Stone, E.L. Doctorow, Ross MacDonald, and a bit of Elmore Leonard.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
“Picking brains” always reminds me of that scene—was it in Raiders Of The Lost Ark?—where they are forking up and eating the brain of a live monkey. That aside, it would be Shakespeare or Yeats. And the question, simply—how do you do that? I doubt the answer would be helpful but it would be worth a try.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Yevgeny Bazarov from Fathers and Sons. I have always felt a deep affinity for/with him. He has been a cautionary tale for me. I think his example helped me avoid his fate, although I have been very close to it many times.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I often have to “get out of the house” when writing—mostly to a coffee shop, sometimes to a place like the Rose Reading Room of the New York Public Library, to be among the gruff but freindly ghosts of so many great writers and scholars who labored and created there. At home, I often have the television on, usually, and oddly, either to Bloomberg or to a true crime show, sort of Muzak with, in the case of true crime, direct or subliminal plotting possibilities.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
So far I have come up with them from incidents in my own life or snatches from the lives of others, in each case radically transformed by imagination. For example, my story On The Last Frontier was wholly imaginary but sparked by a brief encounter and conversation with an elderly waitress in Juneau, Alaska who, I am sure, had a much tamer life than did Katie, my heroine. If it is a detective/mystery thing like Mink Eyes, I have to do a lot of interstitial research (e.g. types of weapons or the methods of coroners and the contents of autopsy reports, how one dies of a heroin overdose, etc.) to make sure I am portraying something that could happen in the real world, as I have no desire to write fantasy. And I think all the true crime shows I watch might bear fruit in later O’Keefe books (truth may not be stranger but to me is far more fascinating than fiction).

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
A combination. I start out with something that has in my mind a rough beginning, muddled middle, and possible end, but then I let things go from there. I think it’s like a road trip or a stroll around an interesting city. You set out with a provisional route and destination but then let the journey make its own way.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I am still a “novice writer” so I have no faith in my own advice, but here it is: Be honest with yourself about your talent, and not just the negative side. If you think your work is good enough, don’t let the gatekeepers get you down; find a way; but think hard before you give up your day job. And “Don’ t follow leaders, watch your parking meters.”

What are your futureplans as an author?
If time allows me, I want to write more O’Keefe (Mink Eyes) novels, another book of poetry, another triptych “collection” like Dewdrops, a novel about the Alamo (yes, sorry, can’t help it, but it will be “special,” I promise), and a novel called Goose Chase, capturing a group of Boomers who have grown up together and now are poised for flight, fight, failure, or fulfillment in the mid-1980’s (“Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.” Dante, Inferno, Ciardi translation). And, sorry to admit it, if I get really desperate, a memoir. (Wow, I’d better get to work.)

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

“Hey, Kelly,” said the witch.
“Who’s that?”
The witch cackled. “Guess who? Trick or treat.”
Kelly watched them walk past and off down the street, trying to figure out who it was.
“I don’t know who that was. Next year I wanna go out trick or-treating with my friends. Can I do that? Will I be old enough then?”
“We’ll see next year. That’s a long way off.”
He supposed this would be the last time he would trick-or treat with her. Another letting go. Letting go, and letting go, and letting go again. That seemed to be what being a parent was mainly about sometimes. He remembered that he had begun to go trick or treating without his parents by age eight or nine. But everything was so different now. Brownies laced with strychnine. Razor blades in caramel apples. Real goblins and demons stalked the night these days, and the wolves had emerged from the forest and were hunting in the streets.
They had entered a cul de sac of only a few houses. She had forged ahead of him about ten yards. “Look, Dad,” she said, pointing across the street. An executioner, much taller than the other trick-or-treaters, in black hood and cape and brandishing a bloody ax, marched slowly, portentously across the street toward her. O’Keefe started to laugh, but the laugh caught in his throat when he saw the executioner bearing down on her with what seemed like harmful intent. The blade of the ax looked so real. Something in his body told him to move very fast.

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

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 / #PromoPost : Starchild Book 2: The City of Souls – Vacen Taylor @VacenTaylor

– ‘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 ‘Starchild Book 2: The City of Souls’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

0yZyY0EAVacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements. A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).
Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018. The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.
Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.
She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.
In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.
What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

Social Media Links:
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter

Synopsis :

OcPWXvVAA gripping forest adventure full of mystery, betrayal and courage.
When a new sealer boy joins the journey, Mai, Long, and Akra are confident their challenges have come to an end. But as they embark on their journey once again, they find themselves having to escape from the clutches of dangerous enemies.
They travel to Naroan – the forest lands of the soulbankers, the regulators of life and death. Against the backdrop of rules and suspicion, the children are challenged with unravelling the mystery of the Silvershade, which has been calling to Akra from the moment he arrived in the forest city. But Long is tormented by his doubts – he must face a deadly power from the Underworld before it takes him into the darkness.
Will the dark pebble take Long along a road of no return? Or will his friends find a way to help him?

Purchase Links:
Odyssey Books
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Giveaway :

Win all 4 books of the Starchild Series by Vacen Taylor (Open INT)
*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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #GuestPost : Too Many Heroes #TooManyHeroes – Jan Turk Petrie @TurkPetrie

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

Too Many Heroes BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Too Many Heroes’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Jan Turk Petrie Author PicThe author Jan Turk Petrie lives in the Cotswolds, S.W. England.
She is the author of the fast paced Nordic thriller series: the Eldísvík novels. All three of these novels are set in 2068 in a fictional city state just below the artic circle.
‘Until the Ice Cracks’ – the first of the trilogy was published in July 2018.
Volume Two – ‘No God for a Warrior’ was published in November 2018
The third and final volume – ‘Within Each Other’s Shadow’ was published in April 2019
The ebook boxset – The Eldísvík Trilogy was published in August 2019
Jan’s fourth novel – ‘Too Many Heroes’ – a gripping new post-war thriller set in the East End of London was published in August 2019.
She is currently working on her fifth book – ‘Towards the Vanishing Point.’
A former English teacher with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, Jan has also written numerous, prize-winning short stories.

Twitter

Synopsis :

• Paperback: 294 pages
• Publisher: Pintail Press (23 July 2019)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1912855976
• ISBN-13: 978-1912855971

Too Many Heroes Front Cover

Where can a wanted man hide in a country full of returned war heroes?
It’s 1952 and Frank Danby has been looking over his shoulder for the last ten years, forced to lead an itinerant life, getting work wherever he can while trying to keep one step ahead of the police.
Returning to London, he finds a job in an East End pub, where he becomes entangled with Grace, the young and beautiful wife of the landlord. Then the law comes knocking. Facing a justice system prejudiced against him, Frank must find a way to escape the gallows.
Too Many Heroes is a gripping period thriller, exploring love, belonging and betrayal in a country still recovering from WW2. A must for fans of the post-war novels of Philip Kerr, Kate Atkinson and Sara Sheridan.

Too Many Heroes Back Cover

Amazon

Guest Post :

Ten Things About Me

Before becoming a writer, I was an English teacher in inner city London. For a time I worked in a specialist unit for teenagers excluded from mainstream school and later taught English as foreign language to overseas students of all ages.
Aside from writing, I’m a visual artist and maintain a studio in the Cotswold town of Painswick. I’ve exhibited in London and all over southern England. Most of my large, semi-abstract paintings are in private collections.
Until recently I lived on a smallholding with my husband. We kept a flock of rare breed sheep as well as hens, pigs and goats. I have a certificate in animal husbandry and have delivered lambs and bottle-fed them when it was necessary.
I like to challenge myself in my writing and always try to come up with something original. I enjoy writing thrillers with a difference.
My first published novels – the three volumes that make up The Eldísvík Trilogy – are Nordic noir thrillers set fifty years in the future.
‘Too Many Heroes’ is, by contrast, a period romantic thriller set in the 1950s.
My next book – due out in 2020 – begins in the 1930s and is a psychological thriller with literary leanings.
I’m a big fan of Margaret Atwood, Kate Atkinson, Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut and Jennifer Egan because I admire authors who are prepared to take risks in their writing.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#OneDayBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Eve’s Christmas – Julie Butterfield @juliebeewriter

– ‘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 ‘Eve’s Christmas’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

_9vlVk7v_400x400Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Website

Synopsis :

OcPWXvVAWorking for a department store where Christmas arrives in August, Eve prefers her own festivities to be low key with nothing more complicated than an oven ready turkey and frozen peas while she spends the day in her pyjamas. Unfortunately, this year her husband has invited his best friend to visit, the glamorous and sophisticated Abby, and Eve reluctantly decides that she needs to inject a little sparkle into their laid back and slightly shabby Christmas. So the celebrations are upgraded to include champagne and canapes along with homemade gravy and organic turkey and plans are made for a Christmas that looks as though it has emerged from the pages of a glossy magazine.
But even the best laid plans can go wrong and as Eve struggles with her mini Yorkshire puddings and an interfering cat, she is suddenly faced with an unexpected guest and an explosive secret that threatens to put her vision of a perfect Christmas in jeopardy.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Giveaway :

Win a Paperback copy of Eve’s Christmas (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions – UK 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.

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #GuestPost : The Unlikeliest Backpacker – Kathryn Barnes #KathrynBarnes @HornetBooks

– ‘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 Unlikeliest Backpacker’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Group Tour.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Pix_KB2ColourAspiring writer, entrepreneur… adult. The one vocation Kathryn has successfully nailed so far is Daydreamer. Her varied ambitions and overall life trajectory has taken a bit of a turn of late. A born-and-bred Londoner, Kathryn is discovering there is more to life than the corporate rat race. It began with a six-month trip through South America whetting her travelling wanderlust, which led to the decision to quit her job as a management consultant.
More recently she upped the adventure ante, swapping city life for the wilderness, on an ambitious walk hundreds of miles along America’s Pacific Crest Trail. The plan raised eyebrows from all who knew her – an uncharacteristic leap for a girl who refuses to sleep on the floor. The results were both brutal and awe-inspiring.
Kathryn has never been an ‘outdoorsy’ person. But the simple, reflective, time spent in the natural environment left a deep imprint. She still (reluctantly) resides in London, but the mountains are calling. She may even camp again. Someday.

For the latest information about Kathryn visit:
Website
Instagram

Synopsis :

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You reach a certain age. You have a lifestyle many would envy. Still, something doesn’t feel right. Life’s become routine. You sense there’s more out there to experience and explore. There’s an urge gnawing away inside you to do something different. But what?
Before Kathryn Barnes knew it, plans had snowballed – she’d quit her city job and flown to America to begin living life in the wild, walking hundreds of miles along the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Unlikeliest Backpacker chronicles Kathryn and her husband Conrad’s life-changing journey as aspiring long-distance hikers. With Canada eye-wateringly far away, they had to learn to backpack while surviving everything the famous trail threw at them – mosquitoes, mountains, malnutrition, and many, many, miles. How hard could it be?
Very hard, as it turns out! But also deeply rewarding. Kathryn’s entertaining memoir proves that you don’t have to be special, or an experienced adventure junkie to disconnect from the modern world and play out the journey of a lifetime.

Amazon

Guest Post :

Tantrums, Tears, and Wonder on The Pacific Crest Trail

Kathryn Barnes recalls the challenge of writing a daily blog whilst hiking through America’s immense wilderness. Kathryn’s blog has since been transformed into an inspiring pacey novel, which details the story of her great adventure.

“Okay. I’m off to do my homework”, I huffed reluctantly, sparking my headlight as I turned away from the campfire, darting into the tent before the mosquitos could join.
It was day 62 of living in the wild, deep within Washington State’s Glacier Peak Wilderness. Beyond the nylon shelter, the sound of an icy-cold creek crashing off the ridge above pierced an otherwise ghostly grove of old-growth firs. The dense smell of trees coated in moss, damp dirt, and fungi now felt comfortingly familiar.
Earlier that day, America’s vast wilderness had continued to punish and reward. My husband Conrad and I had tackled 14,000 feet of elevation change. Winding up steep mountain passes, through lush meadows, down tight switch-backs descending into deep green valleys below. We crossed perilous, glacial-fed streams, soaking our t-shirts to fight off the heat. On our backs, helping to make our feet increasingly swollen, were 30-pound mega-packs, which we hoped contained all the supplies we needed to stay alive. Twenty-three miles of Sound of Music-worthy scenery later, we called it a day.
I was exhausted. I felt the same every day. When was it going to get, well, easier? My stomach rumbled with the common pangs of discontent, never fully satisfied. Yet, as tempting as it felt, I couldn’t disappoint my future-self by failing to record that day’s wanderings. How could I risk forgetting a single moment of what I would later come to recognise as the greatest adventure of my life? Even if I didn’t appreciate that part quite yet.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) runs the entire length of the United States. It begins at a wire fence designating Mexico, leads 2,650 miles along America’s mountainous western backbone, and arrives at a conifer-lined border with Canada. Each year thousands of hikers secure permits in an attempt to conquer the trail. Many fail to make it the entire way. Yet romantically, these (mostly) young, fit, determined souls approach the trail with fantasies of the impending months away from their real lives, immersed in nature.
Conrad and I were not those people. We had both reached our thirties without carrying a fully-loaded backpack, let alone walking more than 10 miles in a single day. We had no idea what we were in for. It was farcical really. But the motivation came from an urge to do something. Life wasn’t working out too great in the hostile corporate world, we needed a time-out, and spurred on by the idea of a challenge we rather randomly decided to walk a 950-mile section through Oregon and Washington. I’ve always hated camping. I feared being in the woods after dark. Our families naturally ran bets over how long – in days – we’d last.
Before departing for America, I created a blog to keep our family posted. I thought of it as a courtesy, enabling them to track who was currently winning in the betting stakes. As much of the trail passes through isolated terrain, I decided to use the WordPress app to draft daily updates on my mobile, adding photos for upload whenever we reached a strong enough signal. Hunched over the tiny phone’s screen each night, threating the battery might die any moment, I often cursed myself for making this commitment. But I kept it up, fearing Mum would panic if the updates suddenly stopped. I also loved receiving comments on posts – sometimes from complete strangers, providing a sense of connection from afar.
I certainly never intended my messy, grammatically challenged blog would be transformed into a book, but after returning home to London I found myself unable to let go. I’d stare at photos for hours knowing the trail was still out there. And with winter drawing in, our surrogate wooded home would soon be covered in impenetrable snow. So far away, I felt compelled to keep it close. To keep its memory alive.
The Unlikeliest Backpacker spawned from my attempt to record the summer’s memories for personal posterity. I never expected anyone else would be interested, let alone want to publish the finished product. From my little flat in Bermondsey I spent long, grey months transporting myself back to a wonderous land of big blue sky and endless horizons. I got to re-live the miles of physical hardship, revel at the epic sights, smile at the memory of the generous people we met along the way, and at the mixture of tantrums and tears (often of laughter) our amateur shenanigans brought to the mountains. No two days on the trail were ever the same. Never had I felt so alive.
New to writing, I found the process a perfect tonic for the winter blues, “cathartic” as they say. Though based on the blog, the book is more intimate and personal. With time for reflection, I was able to look deeper, and to show emotion that I felt uncomfortable sharing on social media. The blog was, after all, a heavily sanitised version of events, a version aware of online scrutiny and paranoid about giving too much away in “real time”. The book allowed me, somewhat irrationally, to be my most honest self. I could include people and events I dare not blog about – mostly out of concern for my Mum – and without the heavy use of photographs beside the text, I was charged with bringing the trail to life by sparking readers’ imaginations.
I hope to return to the trail one day. Sure, this dream may prove a little tougher to facilitate with the baby that followed this past April, but there’s still over 1,700 miles left to discover. An absurd bucket-list item for the girl who vowed she would never camp again…
Back in the tent, by the time I finish chronicling the day’s absurd ramblings Conrad is snoring besides me. I steal a solitary moment to honour our achievement (we’re still alive after all), before deciding to add another pair of socks to fight off the frigid August air.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#5DayMiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : A Song For Bill Robinson – C. E. Atkins @Chanatkins

– ‘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 ‘A Song For Bill Robinson’ 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 :

8S_6X6MQChantelle Atkins was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to reading, writing and music and writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling. Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love. Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life and has now been developed into a 6 book series. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere and award-winning dystopian, The Tree Of Rebels, plus a collection of short stories related to her novels called Bird People and Other Stories. The award-winning Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was released through Pict Publishing in October 2018. Her next YA novel A Song For Bill Robinson will be released in December 2019. Chantelle has had multiple articles about writing published by Author’s Publish magazine.

Social Media Links:
Website/blog
Facebook
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Amazon Link

Synopsis :

47xoFQ5wTensions are building on the notorious Holds End estate.
The local community centre is fighting for survival and the murder of 15-year-old Lewis Matthews remains unsolved…
Wannabe teenage singer, Bill Robinson, just got out of hospital after surviving a vicious attack. He thinks he knows who attacked him…and why. When a violent feud escalates between him and local thug Charlie McDonnal, Bill vows to find the killer and help save the community centre by taking part in the local singing contest.
How can music bring a shattered community together? And can Bill keep his own demons at bay long enough to win the singing contest and find out who killed Lewis Matthews?

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’m a mum of four who works as a dogwalker, and also own my own community interest company called Chasing Driftwood Writing Group. We run adult writing groups and workshops and after school writing clubs for children. As a child and a teenager writing was my entire life and I was pretty obsessed with it. The time to write eroded a bit in my twenties due to having children and working as a childminder but it came back with a vengeance in my early thirties when my then youngest child started school. I started writing and finishing books from years ago and then discovered a self-publishing platform called Autharium. They were a really good cross between self and trad publishing, with lots of support of and marketing of their authors and I learned a lot from them. Unfortunatley they went under and I then put my books with a similar platform called Pronoun which was also excellent but which also went under! I am now signed with an indie collective called Pict Publishing and I also help out behind the scenes with graphics, blog posts and author q and a’s etc. It’s an all women group of authors with some really diverse reads available!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I was obsessed with Watership Down and The Animals Of Farthing Wood and I credit those books for inspiring my very early attempts at writing books! I then moved on to gritty teenage reads such as those by SE Hinton and I fell massively in love with The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger. I also became a Stephen King fan in my teens and I am still a huge fan now. These days I adore Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac, but also indie authors like Kate Rigby and YA authors like Amy Reed, whose book Nowhere Girls is a must read!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
It would be Charles Bukowski because I find his words and his poetry inspire me all of the time. He has a fantastic piece called, So You Want To Be A Writer? Which is something I go back to again and again. I have a tattoo of one of his quotes on my arm and would like more. I just love everything he ever said, so I would love to talk to him if he were still 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?
It would probably have to be Elliot from Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature, because out of all of my characters he is the most positive and optimistic with such a lovely way of looking at the world and at people. I think he would cheer me up and make me laugh.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I tend to write all my first drafts into a notebook which I will carry around with me until it is done. From then, I write onto the laptop in the evenings when my youngest child is in bed. I do like to have a tea or coffee on the go, or maybe a glass of wine or cider depending on what day it is! Other than that, I also like to have music on, as it really inspires me and quite a lot of my books have soundtracks to them. So I will have YouTube on normally and I’ll either play songs I’ve picked for the book or I will try to find new music that might inspire new things. At the moment I am massively into a Canadian band called Mother Mother.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas come from so many places and yes people in my life should be worried sometimes! Usually snippets of people I have known creep into my characters, either in their situations, mannerisms or back stories, but not enough so that anyone I know would suspect a character is based solely on them. Ideas for plots come from weird places usually. The Mess Of Me was inspired largely by own battles with body image and The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series was actually first written by me aged 12, and inspired by The Lost Boys film! With This Is Nowhere, a family mystery about a fragile young man returning to the home town he ran away from, it was his character and his relationship with his father that came to me first, and then the plot built itself around that. The Tree of Rebels, a YA dystopian was inspired by stories I saw on Facebook about Monsanto owning seeds and patenting seeds. Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was another book where the character came to me first and the plot evolved from him, and this next book A Song For Bill Robinson, was originally penned by me aged 16 and was sort of inspired by the film The Commitments!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m both. It depends what comes first. Usually it is the character, so then they will tell me their back story, their family situation, their struggles and what they want and that will enable a plot to build. Sometimes it is the plot first and I will always try to plot a book as much as possible in a notebook before I start writing it. Having said that, usually what happens is I start writing and everything changes and I make it up as I go along, because I think the characters are always in charge.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t make excuses about not having the time to write. Hardly anyone has the time to write! You’ve got to want to write so badly and feel fit to bursting if you don’t, and then you will make the time and never look back. Don’t let negative people put you off. There will always be eye rolls and sighs and people who never support you but that’s usually because they have their own issues. Ignore them and do it anyway. Do be supportive of other authors. There is a lot of take, take, take in the writing community sometimes and people can be quite rude and unappreciative as well. We are a community and kindness can go a really long way to helping people who are struggling.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I am working on Parts 5 and 6 of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series. They are both written but need lots of polishing up over the next year or so. I have finished the sequel to A Song For Bill Robinson and hope to release that maybe 6 months afterwards, and I am writing the first draft of the third book in this series. I also have another rough draft of a YA book written but sat there waiting for me to get too, and I started a YA post-apocalyptic series which is very ambitious and keeps getting sidelined! I will just keep writing and wriitng and putting out books. I also have another short story/poetry collection planned. I hope to get better at marketing them all!

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

‘No one understands anyone,’ he reminded her. ‘We shouldn’t even try.’
She faced the view and he felt her shoulders relaxing. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘It’s all right.’
‘I just care about Adam. I don’t want to see him get hurt. I should just mind my own business though. It’s no business of mine who you kiss.’
Bill nodded, suddenly not caring. He gulped from the bottle and felt the familiar recklessness spiralling through him. He recognised it as a tingling in his bones and across his skin. The sensation of being too weighted, too held down, growing and swelling in his small human body. The prickle of restlessness in his shoulder blades, which wished to unfold and set him free. He pictured himself unfurling wings from his back and rising up above the decking and out over the tops of the trees.
‘Do you fancy him though?’
Bill ran his tongue around his mouth and savoured the bubbles. He found her question both tiring and inviting. He pictured Adam in his head, with his rectangular face and freckles. He had intense green eyes that were sarcastic and dark. He was taller and broader than Bill, though still a lanky teenager like they all were, still growing into his adult form and working out who it would be. He had a way of pushing his lips out and frowning when he was in deep thought, and he swallowed a lot too, and he thought about things before he said them. And he was awesome at art.
‘I suppose I do,’ Bill told Summer. ‘But maybe not in the way you think.’
‘I shouldn’t even ask, should I?’ she sighed. She hung over the railings and stared down at the ground and he had the sense that he was letting her down, and that soon she would make her excuses and leave him. And he still wanted to kiss her.
‘You’re fearless,’ she told him then, looking up with strands of hair escaping her hat and falling across her face. He thought how round her cheeks looked, how dainty her chin. He liked the way she dressed like a madwoman, a spectrum of colours and textures and shapes.
He sipped from the bottle. ‘Yeah?’
‘Yeah,’ she said. ‘Nothing scares you. Charlie McDonnal doesn’t scare you.’
‘Not as much as he should.’
Summer kept her eyes on his. ‘Being on stage and singing in front of everyone doesn’t scare you. Being gay doesn’t scare you, nor does everyone thinking you’re gay.’
He took another mouthful and looked back at the sky. The sun was nearly gone. It was a melted pool of deep orange on the other side of their world.
‘Maybe what scares me is bigger than all of that.’
‘What d’you mean?’
‘You know. Everything.’ He gestured to the big wide world and grinned. ‘All that waiting for us. Zero hour contracts and generation rent.’
Summer snorted in amused appreciation. ‘Yeah.’
‘Food banks and pay day loans. A boring, mundane life where the same thing happens, day in, day out. Holds End is full of lives like that.’
She nodded sadly. ‘The kind of life your mum escaped from.’
He looked at her sharply. ‘Yeah.’
‘You’re gonna escape too,’ she told him.
‘Yeah,’ he agreed, wistfully. ‘I’m gonna fly away.’

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

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!