– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Behind The Mask’ blogtour, organized 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 :
I’m a lifetime bookworm! From reading to my children to now creating stories of my own, books have always been a large, important part of my life. Those who have read my stories have enjoyed them, so I finally decided to inflict them upon the world in general. Some of them are ghostly tales, combined with loveable characters and interesting situations which make them ghost stories with a difference. However, I also write children’s stories, the first of which, ‘Robin’s Ring’ is published and I’m working on another Robin story. My new series, The River View Series, presents mild mysteries with a difference – and are set in my beloved Herefordshire.
Much to our youngest daughter’s disgust, I love old buildings, castles, mansions, historical places, especially ruined buildings and they are often the inspiration for my stories.
My retirement from my job as a teaching assistant has given me the opportunity to indulge my love of writing and I ask for no more than to give pleasure to my readers. When not writing, I’m making cards, singing in a ladies’ choir, doing Family History and all sorts of other things. I am married to Tony, a retired teacher, and we have six children and seven grandchildren. We live near Nottingham, England.
• Publisher : Samona Publishing (11 Mar. 2021)
• Language : English
• Paperback : 274 pages
• ISBN-10 : 1999310756
• ISBN-13 : 978-1999310752
Gary Roper is a man behind a mask. His wife, Daisy, knows what’s underneath that mask, and finally manages to run away, to establish a new life at River View, working for Lucy Baxter. Roper is determined to find her, but in the meantime, he has to toe the line to his boss, gangster Terence Johns. The many faces of Roper are employed on his journey to find his wife, leaving chaos in his wake. In her place of security, Daisy finds firm friends and a new love, unaware that he, also, wears a mask…
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hello, I am Jeanette, a retired teaching assistant. I’m married to Tony, a retired teacher, and we have six children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. We live halfway between Nottingham and Derby.
I’ve always loved writing and over the years I’ve written memories of events in my childhood, many, very long letters, which my parents and grandmother loved, and so on. I really enjoyed the three-year course I took (at the age of 50) to become a teaching assistant because of the writing involved, which was the part most of my fellow students hated! Although I loved my work, I found it somewhat frustrating, trying to help children write stories when I’d found it very easy to write them when I was at school, and found myself wanting to write the stories they’d been asked to do! I connected with the brother of two of my old school mates over the facebook group of the school we’d been to and we talked a lot about writing because it was a mutual interest. We joined a poetry group, then a fast fiction group and each step led us both towards writing a full-length book. I wrote my first one in 2010, quickly followed by three others and a book for children. At that time I had no thoughts of publishing; I felt at the age I was, I didn’t want another career as I’d retired by then, and also felt I didn’t have enough years to wait for a publisher to be interested in me, being well aware of other people’s experience. Then we discovered it was possible to self-publish; David used Lulu and I decided on CreateSpace, which is now Kindle Direct Publishing. I first published in 2014, but it was the fourth book I’d written. David and I supported each other throughout our ventures and I’d published five books by the time he died in Jan 2016. I have now published 12 books for adults and 3 for children. So it seems I do have another career after all.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Inevitably, I grew up on Enid Blyton. My favourites were the Famous Five Books and the ‘Mystery’ books. I loved how inventive she was with adventures and also adored the idea of a private island. I’ve read so many books as an adult; I can’t possibly remember them all! I enjoyed ‘nice’ books, such as Rebecca Shaw’s ‘Village’ series, Christine Marion Fraser’s ‘Island’ series, but also, the Angelique books by Sergeane Golon, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon series, Mary Stewart, Barbara Erskine, Tolkien, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry P and so on. More recently I like Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Kate Mosse, Simon Toyne, Santa Montifiore, and many others. None of these are crime, but I love many crime writers too. We’d be here all day if I named them all!
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’m so lucky that I’m in touch, through the magic of Facebook, with many authors, and most of them are very willing to help with advice; they’re such lovely people. I assume you meant writing advice, but I’ve found, since taking on writing a series about crime (for goodness sake, why?) that I already have a wonderful ‘go to’ writer when I need to know anything about police procedures, and everything connected, and that’s the lovely Roger A. Price, who is an ex-detective turned crime writer. He’s always patient and helpful, which I’m so grateful for.
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, that’s a hard one! I’ve read about so many really great characters over the years. But perhaps I might be allowed to be invited for tea by Lucy and Kenny Baxter instead of me inviting them? For two reasons – one, because they live in the gorgeous old farmhouse I once lived in and I’d love to spend some time there again, and two, because Lucy is an amazing cook! But if I went to River View for tea with them, I’d like Tom, Sheila, Joseph, DI Dan and Linda Cooke and DS Grant and his wife, Jenny, to come too. In face, I’d love to meet all the characters in the River View Series, so it would have to be a garden party!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
No rituals! But I am prone to nibbling while I write, mostly chocolate or sweets, which I’m trying hard to stop doing because I’ve put on so much weight and my teeth are objecting to it too.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha ha! No, so far my people are safe! I admit there are one or two ‘real’ people in the River View series which are cameo roles and included with their permission. I generally find most people are happy to be put in a book and some even ask if they can be a murderer! (None of them want to be victims, strangely.) I think most writers hate to be asked how they get their ideas because often we don’t really know. I suppose in my case, my stories are often inspired by buildings – for instance, my Castell Glas Trilogy was inspired by Gwych Castle, which I fell in love with quite a few years ago, long before ‘I’m a Celebrity’ had anything to do with it, ‘Rosa’, was inspired by Blickling Hall in Norfolk, ‘Bell of Warning’ by ruins of a drowned village off the Norfolk coast, ‘The Ghosts of Roseby Hall’ was inspired by a ruined mansion in Derbyshire and the first one of this River View series was inspired by a the whattle and daub farmhouse I lived in when I was a teenager.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m both, really. If I get an idea, I will think around it for a while, sometimes weeks, until I know what the story is going to be about. Sometimes, when I begin to write, I only have the beginning and the end and some idea on what will happen throughout the story to bring it to the conclusion. I don’t write notes and I don’t use a story board, I keep it all in my head. To a certain extent, I go with the flow while making sure my desired events happen, but in between, my characters often do what they want. And sometimes, they will insist that some of the planned events come out differently. But as long as it all makes sense in the end, I don’t mind. I do keep notes of the names of my characters and if a timeline is needed, I’ll do one, but I write those things as I go along.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t trust any publisher who wants you to pay. If you want to be conventionally published, don’t give up, keep trying. Whether you try for publishing or whether you publish yourself, put as good a quality product out there as you can. Get a good editor and have several proof readers; relying on one proof reader isn’t enough. Also, don’t be put off, after you’ve published, by the one-star review. Remember that we can’t please all the people all the time. Oh, and if you self-publish with Amazon but you dream of having your books in a shop in the UK, don’t use the free ISBN they will offer you. Buy your own.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I try not to look too far ahead, but at the moment, I’m writing River View book 6, which I hope will be out by the end of the year or early next year. Then I’ll be doing book 7, which I intend to be the last book in the series – unless another idea comes up. But I think it’s better to finish a series than to continue flogging a dead horse. I have some other ideas I may try after that but I’m reluctant to talk about them in case they don’t actually happen.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Yes, indeed. This is from Chapter 10:
It took half an hour or so to cut the hedge and a further twenty minutes to clear away all the cuttings. She tidied the trimmers away in the shed and went into the house to have a drink of cool water. Then it was back out to the shed where she gathered her gardening gloves, a lightweight fork, her trowel and a plastic bin and began work on a bed at the side of the house. Humming quietly to herself, she pulled out the weeds that had dared to appear between the busy lizzies with the help of the fork. Reaching the other end of the bed, she stopped to admire her work, when a shadow fell over her. She looked up and her heart leaped into her mouth when she saw Gary Roper standing by her.
“What – how did you get in? What do you want? I’ll call my husband!”
“Call him – I don’t care! I got some information the other day – do you want to know what that was?”
She stood up. “Not really, but I think you’re going to tell me. Have you found Daisy?”
“No, I haven’t found Daisy,” he spat. “I found the taxi firm that took her to the station.”
“And?” She held her breath, knowing what was coming, dammit.
“I found out that you lied to me. They picked her up from here – this posh house of yours. So, you lied when you said you hadn’t seen her, didn’t you?”
She said nothing. His large stride took him to her and he grabbed her arms, his fingers digging into her flesh. “Didn’t you?”
Trying not to cry out at the pain, she nodded. “She came to me because you had brutalised her. She couldn’t take any more. You should be in prison, you brute!”
He punched her, full in the face. She felt her nose crunch and screamed as she fell to the ground.
“I told you what would happen if I found out you’d lied to me, police or no police!” She curled in pain as his foot met her stomach. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him pick up the fork. In fear she murmured: ‘Oh, God, no!’ and the moment of agony propelled her into oblivion.
Roper was shocked when he saw what he’d done in his blinding temper. Eying the woman bleeding at his feet, he took off, running as fast as he could. He’d found his way into the garden from the field behind the house and that was the way he went, pushing through the hawthorn hedge, oblivious to the vicious scratches. His scalp prickled as he heard the loud, unearthly keening of an animal – was it a cat?
He ran across the field, scaring the sheep grazing peacefully, and over the fence into the lane beyond where he’d parked his car.
Hardly had he gained the driver’s seat, when he slammed the car into gear and was off, scattering small stones as the tyres spun, trying to grip the road. He had to get home, fetch his stuff and leave. As soon as the woman was discovered, they’d come for him. He had every intention of not being there when they did.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Jeanette Taylor Ford.
Thank you so much for having me.
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!