#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : From The Deep – Kateri Stanley @sal_writes @BurtonMayers

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

From The Deep

Today I’m on the ‘From The Deep’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

From The Deep Kateri Stanley author picKateri Stanley is a pseudonym for the multi-genre fiction writer. Since being a child, Kateri has been inspired by the wondrous mediums of books, music, TV and film. After working in the healthcare industry for eight years and studying for an Arts and Humanities degree, she made the decision to move cities in the West Midlands and live with her ever-suffering partner and their felines. Her debut novel Forgive Me was published by indie press house, DarkStroke Books in 2021 and it reached #1 in the US Horror Fiction charts on Amazon. She is currently working on her third novel, Bittersweet Injuries and would love to pursue a full-time career in writing.

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Synopsis :

From The Deep Kateri Stanley author picJulian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called “The Culling”, the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation.
The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They’ve been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail.
Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole.
As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.

Purchase Links:
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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! 🙂
Thanks for having me!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m Kateri. A dark fiction writer from the Midlands in the UK. I write under a pen name, not my real name. It still feels weird to type Kateri when it isn’t my actual name. I’ve been writing since I was young and I loved the idea of becoming a storyteller. My Mom says that if I don’t write, I’ll end up in a mental hospital (dark joke) and she’s right. It’s linked to my state of mind and I think it is for many of us creatives. Musicians, acting, singers, artists, film making and so much more.
I became an author last year (2021) when my first novel Forgive Me, a sci-fi horror was published by indie house, DarkStroke Books. I’d been working on the story for years and during the pandemic, I managed to grab some time to polish it off. Originally, I was querying the story with literary agents. I received rejections or no responses and then I turned to independent publishers. I found DS, thought the books they published were suitable for this story and I submitted it to them. A week later or so, I signed a contract! Since then, my debut novel has become a no.1 bestseller on Amazon!
My second novel, From the Deep – a dark mystical thriller was published by Burton Mayers Books (another indie press house) on 3rd May 2022. About a local fisherman who is dealing with the shock of the deaths of his colleagues. His hometown is under public scrutiny due to a fishing practice which splits the nation. The Culling is loosely based on the real-life practice of the Grindarap (from the Faroe Islands) where pilot whales are slaughtered for food consumption. There’s a killer among the town, but who is it?

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up? 
Hannibal by Thomas Harris, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman –I consumed all of these books as a teenager and I’ve reread several times as an adult.
I also love reading non-fiction, On Writing by Stephen King, it’s part memoir, part writing advice and I can read over and over again. If you’re a dark fiction writer like myself or a King fan in general, I highly recommend you check it out. He’s very funny, and very honest.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
/

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
If it was out of my second novel, From the Deep – it would have to be Frank Blothio, the former fisherman and animal rights activist. He has his head screwed on properly, I adore the way he debates. He’d have a lot to say and to tell me. He uses his brain in order to educate others, not his fists compared to the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty who use violence and intimidation to get their point across. Not many people from Drake Cove like him because he publicly criticizes their culture and the use of The Culling. A practice where the locals (Drake Covians) slaughter whales for food.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Music. I have something playing in my ears whether it’s a Spotify playlist or a YouTube video playing. It helps me to concentrate. I don’t like silence.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
/

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
/

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Write, see what happens. Dive in. You won’t know unless you explore. As the late and great Anne Rice said. ‘Go where the pain is. Go where the pleasure is.’ And I agree with her.
Don’t be pulled in by those ‘how to write’ videos on YouTube. It’s one person’s opinion and there are so many on there, and they all say different things that clash with each other. Find your own voice.

What are your future plans as an author?
I’m currently working on the first draft of my (hopefully) third novel. It is a supernatural drama with religious, historical and romantic elements. There are cameos from famous (and infamous) people from world history. There’s been a lot of research for this one. Psychology, counselling, incel culture (not very nice), and The Divine Comedy…

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is the opening of From the Deep which sets the tone of the novel and gives you a taste of what it is like to live in Drake Cove.

Prologue

Ian Copton decides to head out on his boat, Serenity. After the fallout from today’s demonstration, his job had been cut short due to a potential danger. The authorities never said anything about the amount of rubbish protestors left behind. It was a sure way to drive anyone holidaying in Drake Cove to demand their money back. But this is the world nowadays. Emotions are more important than rationality and steel hard facts.
“A load of bullshit,” he whispers, dangling the rod over the edge.
Ian waits for several minutes until he senses a pull before reeling in the line. Pierced by the sharp hook, the fish flaps helplessly. He clasps his hand around its head, rips the hook free and drops it into the bucket by his foot. Ian repeats this several times until Serenity shakes, violently.
Ian reluctantly resumes his fishing, hurling the line back into the water, muttering swear words under his breath. If it wasn’t for his choice of career, people wouldn’t be able to eat fish at all unless they fetched it from the sea themselves. The consumers didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, heave a heavy net and come home stinking of fish guts.
There’s a sudden pull on the fishing line. Ian frowns, trying to yank the rod, twisting the coil, but he can’t shift it. He must’ve hooked a pretty big one. He uses his full weight to pull the line in but it doesn’t budge. Then Serenity shakes again. The line goes slack.
Fuming, Ian peers over the side with his flashlight and sees something. His blood runs cold as his brain explodes with hectic possibilities. Before he can process some sort of strategy, it springs out from the water, seizing his fishing rod, dragging him overboard.
The ice-cold water munches at his limbs and he kicks out at the figure, his palm tightening around the handle of the rod. He hears an angry squeal when the rod splits in two. Then a pain erupts in his chest.
Ian breathes out, water races into his lungs like a tidal wave, suffocating him. He remembers seaweed circling his head and a pair of large, piercing eyes glaring back before the darkness finally engulfs him.
~
Herb Clarke kicks several coffee cups across the sand, mumbling about the mess. Alone time with his thoughts and the fresh sea air always got his creative juices flowing. His current worry is marketing his book shop whilst coordinating everything else. He hadn’t grown up in the social media age until his niece showed him the mechanics. Now, he’s all over it, taking pretty decorative pictures, hoping the attractive graphics would inspire any literature loving customers to empty their pockets. His niece mentioned something, a popular social media platform the younger generation lapped up like milkshakes. But he’d read enough scathing stories to know it wasn’t for him. How would it generate sufficient interest to sell books? What could he do to stand out?
Herb continues with his walk until he sees a murky frame lying on the sand. He squints, trying to get a closer look, thinking it’s a heap of black bin liners. Then he notices…the outline of an arm, and leg.
“Oh my God,” he utters, jogging over when he realises it’s the body of a man. It’s someone he knows too.
“Ian?” Herb asks.
The man’s clothes have darkened from the water. His golden hair has whitened and it clings to his grey skin. Herb touches his shoulder, turning the man to find a metallic spike lodged in his chest. Ian’s eyes bulge out of his head. The fishing line is lashed around his neck, penetrating his skin. The hook is embedded in his face, right down to the bone. The repulsive smell of dead flesh hits Herb’s stomach.
The police station’s only a half an hour walk away, ten if he drives but he can’t leave the body. Herb’s shaky fingers jab at his phone screen, missing the correct numbers now and then as he makes the call. When someone answers on the other end, Herb has to carefully piece his words together like a puzzle.

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

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 #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #QandAs : Bonds #Bonds – Marie Anne Cope @MarieAnneCope

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

Bonds Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Bonds’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s 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 :

Marie Anne Cope Author PhotoMarie Anne Cope is an author of contemporary and paranormal fiction. She grew up in Manchester, moving to North Wales in 2005, where she lives with her three cats, Jasmine, Texas, and Stoker.
She writes for women who want to read gripping stories that combine strong female leads with powerful, provocative storylines, which take them to the edge of their comfort zone.
Marie has always had an interest in the darker side of fiction—particularly in crime and the supernatural—but it wasn’t until her mid-twenties that she began taking a serious interest in writing. She published the first novel in her dark paranormal BONDS series in 2013 and followed it with the second and third novels in the quartet, BROKEN BONDS in 2015 and BONDS RE-BOUND in 2018. The journey ended with ETERNAL BONDS in November 2021, the Kindle edition reaching number one in both the Vampire Suspense and British Horror Fiction categories, as well as number three in Contemporary Fantasy Fiction.
The BONDS series is set against both contemporary and historical backdrops, following the story of the complicated and unusual relationship between Becca Martin, a reluctant witch forced to face up to who she is and accept her gift of the Craft, and Antony Cardover, a man who traded his soul for the chance of vengeance and paid the ultimate price – eternity bearing a vampire curse.
BONDS was a finalist for the 2020 Golden Stake Literary Award at the International Vampire Film & Arts Festival, as well as a quarter-finalist for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Marie has published two collections of dark short stories under the series title TALES FROM A SCARYGIRL. The first volume, entitled DARK AND SCARY, moves from the realms of the supernatural into the borderlands where folklore and superstition meet real-world fear, while volume two, entitled DARKLY SINSITER, delves into the darkest vaults of the human psyche, daring the reader to question what lies beneath the surface.
DARKLY SINISTER came out on Hallowe’en 2020, with the Kindle edition reaching number one positions in the Horror Short Stories, British Horror Fiction and British & Irish Short Stories categories, as well as number two in Psychological Thrillers.
Under the pen name M A Cope, she has also published her first children’s book called THE MISFITS. The story follows an unlikely group of supernatural misfits as they embark on an adventure that teaches them it is okay to be different from who they are expected to be; the important thing is to be happy in their own skin.
Marie is working on several other projects at the moment, including a screen adaptation of BONDS and a contemporary romance novel called CHASING RAINBOWS.
At the heart of everything she writes is a simple aim – to tell stories that captivate the reader.

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Synopsis :

Layout 3A four-century-old secret. A vampire curse.
Can she uncover the truth about her family before it destroys her?
Following the death of her grandmother, Becca Martin comes face to face with an ancestor she is unaware of; an ancestor who threatens her very existence.
Antony Cardover bears a vampire curse, and he will stop at nothing to sever his ancient bindings.
As she uncovers the dark truth about her family, can Becca embrace the legacy she now bears?
Or will the mistakes of the dead return to kill her?
If you like A Discovery of Witches and The Vampire Chronicles, you will LOVE Marie Anne Cope’s BONDS series.
Step into a world of magic, mystery and mayhem, buy BONDS today!

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?
(In addition to my author bio)
As well as being an author, I run my own accountancy business and am also a qualified yoga teacher, although I haven’t gone back to teaching following the pandemic. I care deeply about the plight of the planet and changed my buying and eating habits to reflect this. I have also started growing my own fruit and veg. I only have a small garden, but I am looking to expand what I grow to provide me with some vegetables all year round. It’s definitely a work in progress!
I have been an avid reader since I was a child, ever since my mum brought my twin brother and sister home from the hospital. Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter were my go to authors, but as I grew older, I read through the contents of the children’s section of the library quickly, forcing the librarian to introduce me to more grown-up books. Her selection as my first foray into this area was Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews—I loved it!
I’m a big fan of the theatre, with Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Blood Brothers being shows I will see time and time again. Pre pandemic, I probably went to a concert a month, feeding my wide taste in music. My first concert post Covid was Corinne Bailey Rae, closely followed by my all-time favourite Bryan Adams (17 May). Plus, I’m going to see Anastacia later this year.
This isn’t everything about me, obviously, but I feel I best move on to the writing!
I haven’t always written, which I know is unusual for an author. I did dip my toe in the water at primary school when I penned, and graphically illustrated, my version of Jaws. My teacher was horrified and rapped me on the knuckles with a metal ruler and told me never to write anything so horrid again. And I didn’t, not a word, not for over 15 years. Lucky for me, the voices in my head became too overpowering in my mid-twenties and I put pen to paper once more, penning short stories—some of which were published. But it was my attendance at a wedding and the discovery of a stone sarcophagus at the back of the church that changed my course as the storyline for Bonds revealed itself to me during those nuptials.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up? 
As a child, Enid Blyton was my sanctuary, with the Famous Five and the Ring O’Bells Mystery being particular favourites. I’ve even watched the recent drama series on children’s television based on Malory Towers—I loved it!
As an adult, I err towards thrillers with James Patterson’s Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series being favourites, along with Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series, John Grisham, Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels, amongst many others.
But I am not faithful to one genre.
I love anything by Kate Morton as she has the ability to draw you into her novels, so it’s as if you are following the main characters around. I’ve recently discovered Veronica Henry, falling instantly in love with her stories and style of writing. I love Nora Roberts, Erica James, and Julia Quinn (of course).
My all-time favourite author is Jeffrey Archer, a true storyteller. His Clifton Chronicles blew me away. His writing makes me feel like I’m curled up on the sofa with a huge mug of tea and a fleecy blanket, and Kane and Abel will always be one of my favourite novels.
My other favourite is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I believe to be the greatest love story ever told.
I could go on for pages about the books and authors I like!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Stephen King, because it was On Writing which gave me the kick in the pants to give it a go.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Oooo, this is a hard question because there are several I would invite, but if I have to pick one, I will go with Kay Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwell), but I would ask her to cook dinner, as I am dying to try her Italian cooking. I find her a fascinating character with far more to her than shown in the novels. I would also like to get underneath why she is so hard on herself.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I do! I always write to music, the choice dependent on the book. Whilst writing the Bonds series, it was Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell III that kept me company. For Chasing Rainbows—the novel I’ve just completed—it’s been Natalie Imbruglia’s White Lilies Island.
I also like to burn an incense stick—white sage, Nag Champa, and dragon’s blood being my favourites. Plus a steaming mug of coffee.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, including the deep dark recesses of my mind. Bonds was inspired by a stone sarcophagus I saw in an old village church, whereas Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay quartet of novels gave me the confidence to write Chasing Rainbows. For short stories, however, the voices in my head always provide the inspiration.
As for whether people in my life should be worried… maybe. 😉

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I have a pretty specific process whilst writing a novel, which is why I only produce a book every few years! Plus, I write longhand which slows everything down. I am trying to embrace technology more, but I struggle to create through a keyboard; I find my Mont Blanc fountain pen and notebook much more conducive.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
The best advice I can give is to write your story in its entirety, from start to finish, before you review it. If you stop and review after each chapter, you’ll never finish, as you’ll just keep reviewing it over and over. It’s best to get it all down. Once it’s written, the reviewing and editing can commence.

What are your future plans as an author?
You’ve seen me mention a novel called Chasing Rainbows in my answers above. Well, this is my first foray into the contemporary fiction genre, and it is the first of a series. I’d never thought I’d be able to write in this genre, but it’s the most excited I’ve ever been with any of my writing. I’m taking this as a good omen!
I’m not leaving the darkness behind, though. I’m also writing a spinoff from the Bonds series, called The Headhunter, which centres on the character of Ellie Lawrence and her life after, and before, she met Antony Cardover and Becca Martin.
I’ve also written a screenplay for Bonds, which I want to bring to fruition, as it’s always been a dream to see Bonds on the silver screen.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Here’s a teaser from Chapter 2 of Bonds…

‘B…E…C…C…A…’ A voice carried on the wind, making her jump. She whirled round, expecting to see the priest, but there was no one there. Becca continued to walk across the churchyard, tripping every so often on the uneven ground and upended graves. Her gaze remained fixed on the barren tree ahead of her, her conversation with Father Michael forgotten. Something was drawing her to this place and she felt powerless to stop it.
She stopped not far from the tree. The ground here was black as though recently burned. A small moss-covered stone marker was the only thing to break the harshness of the earth. She felt a slight tremor under her feet and her skin erupted in goosebumps as though someone had brushed past her. She shivered.
‘B…E…C…C…A…’ A warm breath caressed her left ear and she screamed, losing her footing. The crows, roused from their slumber, rose into the air again, circling the tree, their cawing echoing through the air. Becca spun round and stumbled away from the tree and the dead ground around it. Her mind was whirling. Had she really heard her name or was her mind playing tricks on her?

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

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 : Murder in the Cards – Gina Cheyne

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

Murder in the Cards

Today I’m on the ‘Murder in the Cards’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Murder Gina Cheyne Author PicGina has worked as a physiotherapist, a pilot, freelance writer and a dog breeder.
As a child, Gina’s parents hated travelling and never went further than Jersey. As a result she became travel-addicted and spent the year after university bumming around SE Asia, China and Australia, where she worked in a racing stables in Pinjarra, South of Perth. After getting stuck in black sand in the Ute one time too many (and getting a tractor and trailer caught in a tree) she was relegated to horse-riding work only. After her horse bolted down the sand, straining a fetlock and falling in the sea, she was further relegated to swimming the horses only in the pool. It was with some relief the racehorse stables posted her off on the train into eastern Australia to work in a vineyard… after all what could go wrong there?
In the north of Thailand, she took a boat into the Golden Triangle and got shot at by bandits. Her group escaped into the undergrowth and hid in a hill tribe whisky still where they shared the ‘bathroom’ with a group of pigs. Getting a lift on a motorbike they hurried back to Chiang Rai, where life seemed calmer.
After nearly being downed in a fiesta in Ko Pha Ngan, and cursed by a witch in Malaysia, she decided to go to Singapore and then to China where she only had to battle with the language and regulations.
Since marrying the first time, she has lived and worked in many countries including Spain and the USA.
For a few years Gina was a Wingwalking pilot, flying, amongst others, her 64-year-old mother standing on the wing to raise money for a cancer charity. She was also a helicopter instructor and examiner and took part in the World Helicopter Championships in Russia and the USA.
She became a writer because her first love was always telling a good yarn!
Under the name Georgina Hunter-Jones she has written illustrated children’s books such as The Twerple who had Too Many Brains, and Nola the Rhinoceros loves Mathematics.
She now lives in Sussex with her husband and dogs, one of who inspired the Biscuit and Pugwash Detective Series about naughty dogs who solve crimes.
Murder in the Cards is the second in the SeeMS Detective Agency series.

Social Media Link:
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Synopsis :

Murder Gina Cheyne Author PicDeath is the rule, survival the exception in 1960s Soho bridge circles.
When the SeeMs Agency detectives play bridge online in 2020, they don’t expect their opponent to die during the game and yet a post-mortem the next day proves Brian Deliverer was dead halfway through the night. Can a dead man play bridge?
Employed by Brian’s daughter Karen to investigate his death, the team are led back to a notorious 1920s murder and to a missing teenager from a Sussex village in the 1960s.
Should they tell his daughter the terrible truth behind her father’s death even if it costs her everything?

Purchase Link:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thank you so much for hosting me, I really appreciate it too and I hope your blog readers enjoy the post. I love doing this sort of thing and I love writing. Thank you, Gina.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was brought up in the house of my grandmother, Heaven, a widow, and a Strolling Player. Everything in Heaven’s house was drama. If you woke her accidentally in the morning you were not naughty, but the wickedest little girl alive who would surely not get to Heaven.
Even though her husband died five years before, she still wore black from her lace cap to her lace up Victorian boots and had periodic episodes of wailing, until my father said he would leave the house and take his children on to the streets rather than put up with that. Then she wailed in private.
Something about this house must have given me a taste for writing, as all through my career as a helicopter pilot I continued to write. I edited two helicopter magazines and I wrote books about flying. However, I always longed to write fiction. Finally, when COVID came I settled down to write and produced my first novel, The Mystery of the Lost Husbands, closely followed by my second, Murder in the Cards. Both detective stories, they follow the SeeMs Agency detectives as they try to find first lost dogs, then lost husbands and finally a teenager lost in the 1960s.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Tintin. If I feel like cheering myself up or just having a giggle, I will pick up a Tintin book. I don’t know if it is just because I am thrown back to childhood or if I just have a childish sense of humor but I do love reading Tintin cartoons.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Kamila Shamsie. I think she has such a nice calm way of writing books that are seething with emotion and pain. She seems to be able to see life from a broad perspective and I so admire the way she is able to show big events from an unusual perspective and in a way that allows the reader to make their own judgements.

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 like to have tea with Miranda, one of my detectives from the SeeMs Detective Agency and her crazy dog. She loves people and spending time with her makes them feel happy, partly because she is interested in each individual person she meets, but partly because she has what the Spanish call allegre: a person who makes you happy. The English translation is cheerfulness, but it is more a person who has that ability within them to make others cheerful.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I do like to do WORDL before I sit down to writing. Even if I get Phew, it is fine, although if I do better than Phew, I think this will be a good day for my brain and a good day for writing.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No body need be worried: I don’t write about real people I know, although I have tried to in the past, but I found I made them flat and uninteresting, so I prefer to imagine the reality.
However, some of my ideas do come from real life. For example, the idea behind Murder in the Cards came from the 1920s murder of a man across a bridge table. The man played badly, his wife criticised him, he slapped her, she went and got his gun and shot him dead. She was not only acquitted but got $30,000 in insurance money. Clearly the judge was a bridge player.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Both, I think. I usually write the end first, then write a plan up to the end from the beginning, and then often change the whole thing. However, the fact that I already have the end in mind when I write helps to keep the clues coming and to give them a sense of purpose.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do take time to read your own writing carefully. It sounds obvious but on my first few (unpublished) books I actually found them too boring to read over more than once. That should have told me something!
Do let other people read your work and listen to their opinions. They may be wrong, you should use your judgement on that, but they are a clear pair of eyes looking into your work and they will have questions about things you think are obvious.
Don’t hurry to publish your books before they are ready. It is too tempting to get out your books when they still have inconsistences and typos. I recently read a very good book from an author who had not taken the time to reread her book and consequently got names of her major characters mixed up. She also didn’t seem to know the meaning of various words she could easily have researched. If she’d done those things, she would have changed the book from good to excellent, and no doubt, sold a lot more.

What are your future plans as an author?
To write more books in this genre and to experiment with other genres. I love writing, I love researching and I love experimenting.
Perhaps one day I will write the story of my extraordinary grandmother, Heaven, and her crazy house. When we lived there, there was an unexploded bomb buried in the roof. which no one knew about, and inside, with my aunt, her son, my two brothers, my parents, me and my eccentric grandmother there was another explosive situation.

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is from Murder in the Cards and is set in 1963 in Jack’s Club in Soho. Fran is a teenage runaway who is making a living by playing high stakes bridge and using Polari (a gay language used before 1967) to give cheating signals to her partner, Bev. Bev has just bid diamonds.

Jack, watching the game, could already imagine a leer forming on Tank’s internal face. Of course, there would be nothing visible; Tank and his partner played poker in the club far more often than they played bridge. Tank had the king, queen, jack and two little diamonds. Although he only had a count of seven, his partner would certainly have something, and they would have enough to get the girls down. Tank loved playing with green molls, and anyone could see the girl Fran was an innocent for the plucking.
‘Oh … three clubs, I think,’ said Fran, her eyes hardly flickering over the winding ring on her partner’s finger.
‘Pass,’ said Mr Ruby.
Jack imagined Tank’s annoyance. He was no doubt hoping to play with diamonds as trumps, given the hand he held. He wondered what tricks that clever little innocent was pulling tonight.
‘Five diamonds,’ said Bev.
‘Double,’ said Tank.
Fran spent a lot of time deliberating, almost speaking then holding back, thinking. Tank loved it. You could almost hear her little brain ticking over, he thought. She’d got herself in too deep for sure. He was going to put a big, big bet on this one. He might even get the girl, as well as the money, for the night.
‘Seven no trumps,’ said Fran.
Tank almost wet himself in delight. There was going to win big tonight. He pushed all his money into the centre.
‘Double,’ Ruby said.
‘Redouble,’ said Bev.
Jeeezzus! Did those bitches never learn?
Behind him and unseen by any of the players Jack made a signal for Clinton to send over the security, discreetly. Whatever the outcome of this game, the amount of money involved meant emotions were going to be charged.

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

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 : The Sky Turned Black – John Steele @JohnSte_author @silvertailbooks

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

The Sky Turned Black

Today I’m on the ‘The Sky Turned Black’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

John Steele B&WJohn Steele was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1995, at the age of twenty-two he travelled to the United States and has since lived and worked on three continents, including a thirteen-year spell in Japan. Among past jobs he has been a drummer in a rock band, an illustrator, a truck driver and a teacher of English. He now lives in England with his wife and daughter. He began writing short stories, selling them to North American magazines and fiction digests. He has published four previous novels: Ravenhill, Seven Skins, Dry River and Rat Island, the first of which was longlisted for a CWA Debut Dagger award. John’s books have been described as ‘remarkable’ by the Sunday Times, ‘dark and thrilling’ by Claire McGowan, and ‘spectacular’ by Tony Parsons. The Irish Independent called John ‘a writer of huge promise’ and Gary Donnelly appointed him ‘the undisputed champion of the modern metropolitan thriller’.

Social Media Links:
Twitter

Synopsis :

John Steele B&WHIS BIGGEST CASE YET. BUT IT COULD BE HIS LAST…
NYPD officer Callum Burke is on a routine drugs raid when he bursts in on a scene of monstrous horror – and two killers about to get away.
The men are caught but they won’t talk. All the cops learn is that they’re Russian and extremely dangerous which means this could be the start of a savage new gang war.
Callum Burke is assigned to the investigation. It’s Manhattan in 1997 and the city is being cleaned up. The pressure is on.
But when Callum discovers there might be more to the Russian involvement than just criminal gangs, he finds himself in deeper trouble than he’s ever known…

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 was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the bad old days of the ‘Troubles’. My mother was – and still is, in her late eighties now – a voracious reader. I always got a couple of chapters of Charlotte’s Web or James and the Giant Peach before bed when a child. My father could spin a story, and they both influenced me greatly. My last novel, Rat Island, and my latest, The Sky Turned Black, are NYC-set crime stories heavily influenced by my time living in the city.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved Charlotte’s Web and Roald Dahl. Also comics: Batman, and the British horror comic, Scream. I now enjoy Harry Crews’s work and, as much of his stuff is out of print, have picked up copies of his novels here and there. His first, The Gospel Singer, is getting a new Penguin edition this year so I can’t wait for that.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Harry Crews was willing to put everything on the page, and I’d love to chat with him about the integrity of his work. Richard Price is superb at portraying urban life on the darker side. I’m a big fan of the comic book writer Garth Ennis: he hails from the same part of the world as me and I’d love a session in the pub with him. I’d also like to read the novels of film director S. Craig Zahler – I love his movies and would be interested in reading some of his work.

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 think Mattie Ross, in Charles Portis’s True Grit, has got to be one of the greatest literary heroines of all time and I look forward to the day my own daughter reads the book. She’s just a fantastic, flawed character – judgemental, cranky, self-righteous; but dogged, stoic in the face of great danger, and burning with an inner passion to see justice done. I can relate to some of her background, too.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have to write when and wherever I can as I work full-time and want to be around for my family as much as possible. I can’t afford to have rituals, or even warm-up time, really. I look forward to the day when I can, though!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Back to Harry Crews again. He wrote an essay titled Climbing the Tower, in which he confessed how he believed we all have the capacity to do terrible things and each day can be a struggle to control these dark urges. I wouldn’t go that far in terms of myself, but I do think crime writers tap into the darker side of their psyche. You have to be careful, though. I bought a book for research, Practical Homicide Investigation by Vernon J. Geberth. Geberth is a former NYPD homicide detective and the book is used as a text on police training courses. But it’s illustrated with real crime scene photographs, which I foolishly didn’t realise when I ordered it. There are images in that book I can never unsee.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I was a devout pantser until now, but I am currently writing a third Callum Burke novel, The Devil Gave Them Voices, and I tried to loosely plot out the majority of the book before starting to really write. I thought it would make it easier to write with the pressures of work, family etc., but I have ended up ditching much of what I plotted and flying off in a different direction anyway.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I’d say I’m still a novice writer myself! Start with short stories. When you do start a novel, you have to be tenacious – stubborn, really – to complete the work. Make sure you’re writing something you believe in and can live with for months or years.

What are your future plans as an author?
I had a ball writing Rat Island (2021) and The Sky Turned Black which is out now, so I want to finish the book I’m currently writing, The Devil Gave Them Voices, set in the same milieu. After that, who knows?

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
This is a moment in my new novel, The Sky Turned Black, when protagonist Callum Burke has chased a violent drug dealer into an alleyway in Brooklyn. He’s waiting for another narcotics cop, Lee, to join him and is puzzled at the dealer having disappeared.

“The alley was lined with the rear of various stores. There were a couple of shutters, lots of locked doors. A bank of trash cans. What looked like a couple of hiding holes where some buildings were shorter than others. He pulled the Glock.
There was the radio. He could call for help. Lee must finish his lap of the block in a minute, see the alley and follow Callum in.
He took a step, his breath still harsh.
Another step, another breath.
Then he couldn’t breathe at all and 6’4 of criminal terror and rage was barreling into him, driving him against a steel door. It felt like his ribs were making to crush his lungs. His head reeled. His limbs lost it for a second. The Glock hit the ground.”

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

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 Heretic’s Daughter #TheHereticsDaughter #IsaacAlverez – M Lynes @MLynesAuthor

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

The Heretic's Daughter BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘The Heretic’s Daughter’ 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 :

Photo on 13-10-2016 at 12.31Michael writes historical fiction and won a prize for his debut novel, Blood Libel, at the 2020 Emirates Literature Festival. Sophie Hannah called it, ‘immensely gripping,’ and the Historical Novel Society said, ‘Lynes knows his history and tells the story with verve.’ He is an alumnus of the Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course.
The Isaac Alvarez Mysteries are set in turn of the 16th century Andalusia. A febrile time: the Catholic monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand, had just ended the Moors’ 700-year domination of the region. Religious tensions between Catholics, Jews and Muslims are running high and the Inquisition is determined to drive out heresy. Isaac struggles with his religious identity whilst trying to protect his family and keep King Ferdinand happy.
Isaac’s first investigation was published in January 2021 . The second, The Heretic’s Daughter, was published in May 2022. He is hard at work on the third book in the series and planning the fourth. Michael is originally from London but currently lives in Dubai with his family.

Website

Synopsis :

HD_FINAL Draft copy 2Seville, 1498. As the Inquisition’s grip on Andalucia tightens, Isaac and Isabel are forced to choose between family and faith. Can their family survive the consequences?
Isaac seeks revenge on Torquemada for the murder of his wife and best friend. But he’s not the only one who wants The Grand Inquisitor dead. The King commands Isaac to investigate. If Isaac stops the assassination, he saves the man he hates. Fail and he loses the King’s protection: the only thing keeping a heretic like Isaac alive. After a perilous journey to Granada, he confronts both Torquemada and the truth about himself.
Conflicted by her father’s heresy and distressed by his quest for vengeance, Isabel sets out to discover the truth. Feeling abandoned by her father, the trail takes her to the darkest places in Seville. She is unnerved by a shocking revelation and a surprising discovery about her real feelings. Can Isabel use what she has unearthed to save her father and their family?
The first book in the Isaac Alvarez Mysteries, Blood Libel, won a prize at the 2020 Emirates Literature Festival.

Amazon

Q&A :

Michael Lynes writes The Isaac Alvarez Mysteries under the pen name M Lynes. The first
book in the series, Blood Libel, won a prize at the 2020 Emirates Literature Festival and
was published in 2021. The second book, The Heretic’s Daughter, has just been published. He’s working on the third instalment which will be available in 2023.

Why did you decide to write about late-medieval Andalusia?
I’ve always been fascinated by periods of immense social and political change. And turn of the 16th century was an extremely turbulent time in Spain. I thought it was a very rich period to set a series of historical mysteries in. I was really drawn to the period after learning some of the human stories after a visit to Andalusia in 2013. I wanted to explore what that meant for a specific family, so I created the Alvarez family. Isaac, the father, is a lawyer working for King Ferdinand. He is a converso – a Jew forced to convert to Catholicism – the so called ‘True Faith’ of the time. But in his heart he remains a Jew. He is forced to become an investigator to protect both his faith and his family. His daughter, Isabel, is conflicted by her father’s heresy. The first book, Blood Libel, tells the story of the Alvarez family’s fight for survival focusing very much on Isaac’s point of view. The second book, The Heretic’s Daughter, which was recently published, continues the story in Granada and focuses more on Isabel’s view of events. There’s even a romantic sub-plot. I’ve been really pleased by the reviews for this so far.

Wasn’t this a very violent time? How do you capture the reader’s interest?
Some of the characters are blood-thirsty and cruel but there are also acts of great kindness and sacrifice. The reader spends time with each member of the Alvarez family getting to know them as individuals and, I hope, empathising with their situation. Their moral dilemmas are set in far more dangerous times than our own, but I think their concerns are universal and have contemporary resonance.
I tried hard not to make the two central antagonists in Blood Libel – Alonso and Torquemada – pantomime villains. I spent a lot of time in their heads looking at it from their point of view, which wasn’t always a comfortable place to be. They believed that the Inquisition’s mission was to save souls. They saw themselves as shepherds protecting their flock and ensuring that as many of them as possible would get to heaven. Were they misguided and did they do great damage to many families? Absolutely. By putting the Inquisition’s side of the story, I hope the reader will get a more nuanced, three-dimensional view. But I certainly don’t downplay how unjust and repugnant the Inquisition was.

What’s the biggest challenge in writing historical fiction, and what’s the best part?
If you write historical fiction then you do a lot of research. I’m still trying to persuade my wife that I desperately need to return to Andalusia to do some more ‘research’ into the wine and food of the region. But once you start writing you need to let a lot of the detail go. I found that very difficult in my early drafts where I was guilty of trying to show off how much I knew. Hopefully, I’m better at that now as otherwise it can become very boring for the reader. Now that I’ve got an established world and set of characters it is fun thinking about what they might do next. And I’m at the point where they surprise me, which makes writing really enjoyable. I think of the characters as just people who loved, laughed and worried in much the same way as we do. They just did it in a very different context, particularly religiously.

What are you working on now?
I’ve just completed The Heretic’s Daughter which I’m really excited about. I think the cover design by Jennie Rawlings, (http://www.serifim.com) is stunning. I’ll be particularly interested to hear from readers about how they feel about the ending of the book. There are a lot of changes in store for the Alvarez family. This book naturally leads on to the third instalment which I’m hoping to get started on very soon and publish in early 2023.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 / #QandAs : Descent of a Broken Man #DescentofaBrokenMan – Ashon Ruffons @lifethrufiction @TimesDreadful

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

Tour Banner(1)

Today I’m on the ‘Descent of a Broken Man’ blogtour, organized 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 :

AuthorAshon Ruffins is a native New Orleanian and a military Veteran. He earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, while also holding certifications for several other professions. He loves the art of storytelling in all genres and believes the best lessons in life can be told through fiction. In his spare time, he likes to read, enjoy movies and develop recipes. Descent of a Broken Man is his debut novel.

Dreadful Times Press | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Synopsis :

Title: Descent of a Broken Man
Publication Date: February 11th, 2022
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Dreadful Times Press

CoverJames Corbin is an ambitious high school history teacher who resides in the lively, yet dangerous city of New Orleans. He suffers from severe depression and anxiety and is on a downward spiral, unwilling to seek the help he desperately needs. His troubles are compounded by a lack of progress in his professional career, his disintegrating marriage, and lack of respect from his peers. While his struggles threaten to cripple him, the city is marred by a series of brutal religious murders.
However, it’s soon clear that there is not only one, but two murderers wreaking havoc on the city. While police chase the murderers, James focuses on his quest for professional success and self-worth from his research. Unfortunately for him, the research leads to the discovery of a nefarious essence, which unlocks a darkness and brings James face to face with a monster of his own. Within some people, there is something… off. Something dormant. A terror that, if found, will leave a path of pain in its wake.
TW: Depression/ Mental Health

GoodReads

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?
Sure, I’m from New Orleans, La and i’m a husband and a father. I’ve always been a fan of art and it many different forms. Music, paintings, books and my favorite, the culinary arts. I’m also a huge mental health advocate. I’ve seen some horrific things in life up close and personal. I used writing to work through some of that trauma and give me an outlet. Later, stories begin to develop in my mind and I realized that telling stories about the trauma of the human expirience from the perspective of an African-American put me on my path of becoming an author.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Even as a kid I enjoyed horror. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was my favorite. Any book I could get my hands on about werewolves was a must read and of course, Curious George. Who doesn’t love Curious George. Now, as a grown-up, I enjoy the King of horror, Steven King. I love Dan Brown and his way of blending fact with fiction and the way he structures his stories. It pushes you to keep reading to see what happens next. Other than that, I enjoy indulging in the work of indie authors and non-fiction history books.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
That is a great question. It’s also a very hard one to answer. If I have to pick only one, I would have to go with Dan Brown. I would ask him how does he know when his factual research is interesting enough to blend with the story he wants to tell? The reason for that is because I write and warn about the true truama of the human expereince and I believe the best book I can write would have that perfect blend that would speak to readers on a deeply personal level.

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 Priestess Nadia from my novel Descent of A Broken Man. She is strong, smart, wise, and tells you exactly what’s on her mind. Nadia has a wealth of knowledge. I’d love to pick her brain. It would be interesting topics of conversation.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
In a perfect world, I would be able to carve out two hours at my desk with just my laptop, my two monitors and a glass of Scotch. However, I have a full time job, a wife, and two little ones who depend on me a lot. I’m also the cook in my home. So, they come first. I write when I can fit it in. Sometimes on my cellphone and very late night weekends. They are well worth it.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
This is a great question. So, we all have different experiences in life. A woman’s daily experience is different from mine as a man. Same applies to me as an African-American, compared to others. So what trauma can I warn against using the most compatible horror plot I can come up with. The human experience gives me my ideas and yes, the people in my life should be worried. LoL.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a hybrid. I plot out my main characters, their background, the story I want to tell and then my antagonist. From that point I just go with the flow and do my reasearch as I go.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Sure. Write. Write every chance you get. Write about what intriuges you. What facinates you. Write about what you are curious about. That will lead to you reading more on those topics and that will provide all the motivation you need to create the stories you want to tell. Don’t quit!

What are your futureplans as an author?
Descent of a Broken man is book one in a three book series of Uncovered Darkness. I’m currently working on book 2 and eventually book 3.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
What will it take? What will it take for you to become desperate? To become hopeless, after things fall apart? All while dealing with something you don’t fully understand, determined to show those around you that you are capable. Can you stay in the light or will you step into darkness?

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

Giveaway :

Click the link below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon e-gift card! (International)

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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 #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #QandAs : How To Spot A Psychopath #HowToSpotAPsychopath – MQ Webb @marswebb1 #TBRPress

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

How to Spot A Psychopath Week 1How to Spot A Psychopath Week 2

Today I’m on the ‘How To Spot A Psychopath’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s 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 :

MQ Webb Author PhotoMQ Webb has always believed in the transformational nature of words, and a medium to utilize them. How to Spot a Psychopath is the first book in the Oscar de la Nuit Psychological Thriller series.
Born without a Middle name, Q is such an undervalued letter of the alphabet, only appearing with u, so thought they would give it some respect by acknowledging it in their name.
A fascination with human behavior and motivation led them to study psychology. They once worked in a building that was converted from a gaol and is a marketing consultant for NFP’s, universities, and the public sector.

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Synopsis :

MQ Webb Author PhotoCould you tell… Would you?
When four-year-old Mia Edwards goes missing on a play date, everyone suspects Jessica Green knows what happened, especially Mia’s mother, Holly…
But Jess won’t tell anyone.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Oscar de la Nuit, is perceptive and determined to save Jess from the same regret and secrets he lives with.
Oscar thinks he has Jess figured out, but will she lead to Oscar’s redemption, or will she be his downfall?

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 always written. When I was about eight years old, I handed in a 28 page story to my teacher at the end of the year, much to her amusement… thinking back she was probably wondering if I really expected her to read the whole thing hehe. I got serious about writing when I went on maternity leave. I was planning on going back to work but my daughter was born with a condition called craniosynostosis, which meant that her skull had prematurely fused together and she required a complete skull reconstruction, so I wanted to be there with her due to risks of the condition, (she’s now four and a half and is doing well) so I kept writing and stayed with her.

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, but my absolute favorites were spooky stories like RL Stine. Now, I love psychological thrillers, and my long-running inspiration probably comes from Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice—what a concept!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Great question! So many brains I’d like to pick. Anne Rice, for the complexity and humanity she brought to the horror genre. Chuck Palahniuk and Stephen King, for craft, because I’ve read fantastic, actionable writing advice from both. And Liane Moriarty because she is the balance queen of the plot/character scales!

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Will Graham from Thomas Harris’s ‘Red Dragon’ because he seems like he’d have some interesting schemas about the world.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t really have rituals or habits while writing (at least that I’m aware of) except maybe sipping coffee as I write. I always have a stack of notes beside me or on my screen as I’m writing.
Never mind… I’ve just been informed that my HUGE notes board counts as part of a ritual.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)?
A lot of my ideas develop by finding a character with a strong voice or motivation and exploring how they might react in a given situation. Some believe ‘The Silent Patient’ inspired some of the ideas behind ‘How to Spot a Psychopath’ but funnily enough I hadn’t read until after the 3rd or 4th draft, (I’ve since discovered it’s a great book).
It was actually inspired by a Ted Talk I’d heard from Susan Cain, the author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ which got me thinking about the power of choosing not to say anything in a situation where you’d expect someone to be screaming from the rooftops, proclaiming their innocence.

Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Maybe! Though I did give them some tips on the kinds of things to look out for… so maybe not 😉

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m definitely a plotter, but in an agile process kind of way. My characters surprise me and force me to shift things around all the time!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’t)?
Write. Get comfortable with uncomfortable feedback, it will make you a stronger writer.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Believe in your work and don’t be embarrassed to get others involved (beta readers, editors, the cat if it likes listening to tricky paragraphs)!
There will be drafts—get the story out and refine it later.

What are your future plans as an author?
Developing more of the Oscar de la Nuit series. I’m also have some stand-alone psychological thriller / suspense novels in the works.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on
my blog, please?
She’d caught Oscar’s attention as soon as he saw her. Jessica Green, fingers laced together under her chin like a locked puzzle. She didn’t fit the typical killer profile. Suburban journalist with a four-year-old and a husband.

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy – Sarah Rodi @sarahrodiedits @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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

Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy

Today I’m on the ‘Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

M8aqSiwV_400x400Sarah Rodi has always been a hopeless romantic. She grew up watching old, romantic movies recommended by her grandad, or devouring love stories from the local library. Sarah lives in the village of Cookham in Berkshire, where she enjoys walking along the River Thames with her husband, her two daughters and their dog. She has been a magazine journalist for over 20 years, but it has been her lifelong dream to write romance for Mills & Boon. Sarah believes everyone deserves to find their happy ever after.

Social Media Links:
Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

M8aqSiwV_400x400Her tempting enemy
is a chink in her armour!
Viking shield maiden, Svea Ivarsson, would far rather face Saxon warriors than be on the run with the fiercely captivating Lord Ashford Stanton, protector to the Saxon King. Reaching Ash’s family castle, Svea must swap her chainmail for life as a Lady. She can wield a sword like an expert, but no training has prepared her for craving the touch of her greatest enemy…

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 Sarah Rodi, I’m 41, married to Chris and we have two girls. I’ve worked on magazines for 20 years, sourcing, writing and editing stories, but I’ve wanted to write romance for Mills & Boon for even longer than that! It’s always been a passion of mine. Over the years, I’ve joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme, been on various writing retreats, kept on submitting and pitched to the Mills & Boon Editors at the RNA Annual Conference… and in 2021, they accepted my first book, The Viking’s Stolen Princess. This month, my second book, Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, is out.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I still love reading Mills & Boon Modern and Historical romances – you can’t beat them. You know what you’re going to get, and you experience that feeling of falling in love when you read them. As a young adult I loved the Making Out series by Katherine Applegate – and I’ve saved them all for when my girls are older. Maybe I’ll read them again too!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Sharon Kendrick. She has written over 100 books for Mills & Boon and I would love to do the same. I’d also love to speak to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical Hamilton. Have you seen it? It’s incredible. It really speaks to you. I’d love to understand how he went about learning the history, writing the words, getting the emotion in there…
Jane Austen too – as she had the best characters and ideas, didn’t she?

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 have my heroine, Svea, in Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, over for tea. The name Svea is of Scandinavian origin and means ‘spear’. This was apt, as my Viking shield maiden’s feisty personality smashes everyone’s ideas of how a woman should look and behave. Her non-conformity in terms of how she dresses and how she acts, in addition to her prowess on the battlefield, makes her a character to aspire to, and one who becomes more complex as the truth about her past unravels…
I also have a major crush on the Icelandic actor who plays Sigtryggr in The Last Kingdom… he can come to tea any time!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I work full time on magazines, so my writing time is in the evenings after I’ve put my two girls to bed. I switch on the kettle and pour myself a nice cup of coffee and open up a large bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk. I like to read over what I wrote the night before, to get me back into the story, before starting to write. I also light my wax melt burner and use the Devonwick Viking scent… it helps to get me in the mood!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My characters aren’t based on real people, but a turn of phrase or the way someone moves or reacts can inspire a thought, or a characteristic for my characters and my story. I did fall in love with Brand and Ash, the heroes in my first two books, – and perhaps there are elements in Anne and Svea, the heroines, that are like me. I guess you can’t help but put some of your personality into them. I like visiting historical places, such as Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, Lindisfarne in Northumberland or Viking Bay in Kent for research.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I like to know the outline of my story before I begin and where it’s going, but that’s about as far as it goes. When I start to write, that’s when the characters take on a mind of their own and the ideas really start to flow, so I guess I do pant my way through my books, especially the raunchy bits!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Never give up, despite any rejections you might get. Every “no” comes with useful feedback, helping you become a better writer. Go on as many courses as you can, join writing groups and talk to people, join the RNA, apply for their New Writers’ Scheme and don’t miss the conference. Always make time to write. Enjoy the journey and adventure you’re having trying to achieve your goal.

What are your future plans as an author?
My second novel, Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, is out this month. I’ve just written book number three and submitted it to my editor, which will be out later in the year, and I’m about to start number four. The dream has always been to write for Mills & Boon and I should love to continue to do so.

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

‘So, what do you think?’ he asked, giving her a playful nudge.
‘Of what?’
He pointed to the sea. ‘A late-night swim.’
‘What?’ She laughed nervously.
‘You can swim, can’t you?’ he asked, goading her.
‘Of course I can,’ she said. ‘Actually, I’ve wanted to swim since we got here, but I wasn’t sure if it was the done thing here in Braewood. In Kald, we swim all the time.’
‘Well, you’ll be pleased to know we do too.’
‘Even at this time of night?’
He shrugged. ‘We need to wash all this flour off. And at least no one else will be around to see. We’ll have the place to ourselves.’
When they reached the sand Ash began to pull off his boots, and then his tunic. He stopped when he realised Svea was just standing there, her eyes wide, staring at his large muscled chest, chewing on her bottom lip. A look of confusion crossed her face, and he stilled. Was he making her uncomfortable? That was the last thing he wanted to do. He’d thought they were having fun. He’d thought they both needed this. But perhaps his large body was off-putting—especially covered in its tapestry of scars.
‘I can’t swim in this dress. I’ll sink!’ she said, turning her attention away from him and focusing on her skirts.
Well, she wasn’t saying she didn’t want to go in…
He looked her up and down and realised she was right. She could go in naked, but he had a feeling she wouldn’t agree to that.
‘Here,’ he said, passing her his discarded tunic. ‘Put this on.’
She gripped the material tight, holding it to her chest. She still wasn’t sure, and he wanted to
reassure her.
‘It’s just a swim, Svea.’
‘Then turn around,’ she said, and he grinned.
He had known she wasn’t one to shirk a challenge.
So he did as he was told, even though they were cloaked in the late-night darkness, so he could barely see her anyway. He listened as she tussled with her gown, and then heard it drop to the sand. The response in his groin was instant. Damn. What he wouldn’t give to turn around, stride over to her and take her bare body in his arms. But he knew he mustn’t. He had said it was to be ‘just a swim’ and
he would stick to his word.
He knew he had to take this slowly. He couldn’t be sure what Crowe had done, or just how badly it
had affected her. It made him feel sick, just thinking about that man laying his hands on her. He guessed he had caused her some serious damage, given the way she held herself, the way she behaved, and he needed to build her trust—especially where her body was concerned.
‘Ready,’ she said, stalking past him and running into the water.
The material of his tunic barely reached the top of her thighs, and the sight made him harder. He followed her, laughing. The thought dawned on him that he would follow her anywhere…

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

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 #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #QandAs : Broken #Broken – Anna Legat @LegatWriter @SpellBoundBks

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

Broken Book Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Broken’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s 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 :

Anna Legat Author PhotoAnna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magic realism 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 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
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Synopsis :

Anna Legat Author PhotoWhat if you lost the memory of who you are?
What if you had to pick up the loose ends of life that wasn’t yours?
What if you had to fight somebody else’s battles?
What would YOU do ?
Camilla’s life will never be the same after her beloved son Christopher is sent to prison .
Father Joseph’s faith is sorely tested when a deranged psychopath uses the sanctity of the confessional to gloat about his most heinous crimes.
Both Camilla and Joseph are paralysed by doubt and inaction.
But then their lives collide…
BROKEN explores where it takes a stranger to break through one’s bindings and inhibitions in order to do the right thing.
It is a story of a mother’s love for her son and a priest’s blind adherence to the seal of confession.
It is a story about Fate’s intervention.

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 became an author (well, maybe not an author, but definitely a writer after a fashion) as soon as I became a reader. I wrote “books” from an early age, usually shameless and pale imitations of my favourite writers, and I personally illustrated them by copy-tracing pictures from my father’s encyclopaedia. There were a few harder images which I actually cut out and glued into my “books”. (sorry, Dad).
Writing has been my escape throughout my extensive travels when I would find myself suspended between my old, familiar worlds and the new, alien ones. When you are a newcomer in a new unfamiliar world, writing about what you know keeps you grounded and sane. I wrote my first serious novel when I lived in total isolation and obscurity, jobless and teetering on the verge of depression, in the touristy town of Rotorua in New Zealand. That book was personal and cathartic, and will probably only be published after I’m dead (if at all).
Although I was always planning to be a writer, I actually trained to be a lawyer and spent many bemused years practising law. Originally I dreamt of studying Russian literature, or archaeology, or philosophy, or journalism. My parents greeted all of those ideas with disdain, but they said they would support me if I went for something sensible, like law or education. Indeed, after years in law, I requalified as a teacher and spent another decade doing … something other than writing books. But I never stopped dreaming of becoming a writer.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I loved Jules Verne and read all of his books from my school library. Some of them I read more than once. If I saw a new cover for the title I’d already read, I would try it again just in case Mr Verne had added something new to the story (I didn’t realise he was long dead). When I ran out of Verne’s books, I immediately embarked on writing follow-up stories featuring his characters who I could not bring myself to say goodbye to. I think nowadays you’d call that fan-fiction.
I don’t read Jules Verne as a grown-up, but I will watch every adaption of his books, including animations. They just take me back in time to happier days.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
So many of them for so many different reasons, but perhaps I should mention Ruth Rendell. I love her suspense and psychological thrillers, especially those written as Barbara Vine. I would ask for some tips on balancing pace and action with introspection and tension building. She was a master at getting into the villain’s head without losing compassion for the victim and compromising her wider social awareness.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
For tea? Hm… There are a few characters I’d love to have a word with but I’m not sure I’d want them over for tea. So for tea – it’d have to be afternoon tea with Belgian pastries and chocolates – I would invite Hercule Poirot. And maybe Miss Marple could join us. I imagine it would be a very pleasant afternoon and I could rake their brains for a tensely plotted murder case.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Oh yes! Who doesn’t? I start with a lot of pacing and thinking; sometimes I think aloud – that’s a euphemism for talking to myself. Then I scour Twitter and online news for the purpose of procrastination. I make coffee and light a candle. Sometimes I add an incense cone so that my brain can bathe in aromatic fumes while thinking. I open my manuscript and promptly return online to check if anything new has occurred since I last looked (which was only some ten-fifteen minutes earlier). I make a fresh coffee as the old one has gone cold. I re-read and edit my previous chapter. Then I have a quick glance at my emails – you never know I may have been awarded a CBE for services to literature and need to respond to that quickly (can’t make the Queen wait!). At long last, if I have any time left before the dog walk, I write my next chapter. That may explain why my chapters are getting shorter.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Yes, but not unduly. I do borrow real-life events and model my characters on people I know, but if I am to be brutal by creating a nasty, evil personality in my story who is then promptly killed, the character will be so drastically altered that its prototype will be unrecognisable. I also mix and match people’s characteristics so nobody in my books is a faithful replica of a real person.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a plotter who invariably becomes a pantser as the story unfolds. My storylines (as tightly-plotted as they are at their conception – following my aforesaid endless pacing and thinking) tend to go off the piste and meander through various detours, gaining unexpected (to me) twists and turns along the way. Usually they end up in the place I originally planned but getting there is another story altogether.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
My biggest mistake at the start of my writing journey was overwrought prose which I kept re-editing and “improving” endlessly. I tried too hard to be original. I devised too many and too fancy similes, metaphors and other linguistic features that caused my story and my pace to be lost in the jungle of words. And then I read Hilary Mantel’s advice which boils down to this five-point plan:
1. Keep your hand moving
2. No crossing out
3. Forget grammar
4. Forget logic
5. Embrace the scary
Can’t argue with Hilary Mantel.

What are your future plans as an author?
Okay, so this is my three-point plan:
1. Write
2. Write
3. Write
But seriously, I want to continue with my existing crime fiction projects, but I also want to diversify a little into other genres, such as alternative history thrillers or black comedy, and just some genre-defiant writing that I will simply enjoy writing.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Put yourself in the shoes of a mother whose son is a convicted criminal. He’s her baby boy and she will never accept his guilt, not even when the evidence stares her in the face.
Put yourself in the shoes of a priest who is bound by the seal of confession. He hears the confessions of a dangerous psychopath, and he feels tainted by the man’s evil acts as he continues to harbour his secret.
Deep down the mother and the priest are paralysed by inertia. Wouldn’t you want to put them out of their misery? The question is how.

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

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

The Clifford-Mackenzie Crime Series: Crossfire #Crossfire & Fair Game #FairGame – R.D. Nixon @RDNixonAuthor @HobeckBooks , 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 an interview with R.D. Nixon, author of ‘The Clifford-Mackenzie Crime Series’, to promote this series.

About the Author :

Terri Nixon Author PicTerri Nixon is an author of historical fiction, family sagas, and mythic fiction
R.D. Nixon is the side of her that argues a lot, and writes crime / thrillers
She was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to a small village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.
She now lives in Plymouth, and works in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

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Synopses :

Crossfire (The Clifford-Mackenzie Crime Series Book 1)

51gClI4SuELTo what depths would you sink to protect your own?
Hogmanay 1987
A prank robbery has fatal consequences.
Five Years Later
Highlands town Abergarry is shaken by the seemingly gratuitous murder of a local man. The case is unsolved.
Present Day
Ten-year-old Jamie, while on holiday in Abergarry with his mum Charis, overhears a conversation. To him, it is all part of a game. But this is no game and the consequences are far more serious than Jamie ever imagined.
Old wounds are about to be reopened.
Struggling PI team Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie find themselves involved by a chance meeting. How deep into those wounds will they have to delve to unravel the mystery?

Amazon UK
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Fair Game (The Clifford-Mackenzie Crime Series Book 2)

FINAL Fair Game CoverIt’s autumn in Abergarry.
The nights lengthen, the weather turns, and the atmosphere darkens as the community is rocked by a brutal roadside murder: a loan shark’s ‘bag man’, Craig Lumsden, is found bludgeoned to death in his car in the early hours of the morning.
The season for murder.
The case seems simple enough. and the fingers quickly point to the most obvious suspect. But things are rarely as simple as they seem…
A murder that’s too close to home.
Too close for comfort, and definitely too close for complacency for private investigators Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie. Delving into the case brings at least one of them face-to-face with danger… Will life in Abergarry ever be the same again?

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

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

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Thanks for inviting me onto this ace blog, I’m thrilled to meet your readers! My real name is Terri Nixon, and I also write under the R.D name to separate my two different genres of writing: Terri writes historical family and community sagas, R.D writes contemporary crime. The R and the D are my sons’ initials (Rob and Dom.)
I’ve been publishing stories and books since the early 2000s, although I did write the very first draft of the Clifford-Mackenzie series in the mid 90s. My first publication came as a result of winning a competition I’d entered (incorrectly) at the very last minute, and then not finding the email from the comp organiser telling me I’d won. Bit of a miracle all round, really! I’ve now published sixteen novels, plus contributions to some anthologies and other short story collections.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I read books the way my friends watched TV. We spent long periods of time without the tellybox, at various intervals, so I’d lose myself in the usual Enid Blyton collections, Malory Towers, and the Pullein-Thompson pony club books. I was also a huge fan of Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings series, and I still love those. I read my first Stephen King book (Firestarter) when I was about 13, and have feasted on his work ever since, but it’s interspersed with PG Wodehouse, Terry Pratchett and Walter Scott. I think Jennings was sort of Wodehouse for kids really, with very similar language and the same kind of innocent shenanigans you just want to be part of!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Stephen King, for his absolute nailing of character, particularly the kids of a bygone era. And for his flawless portrayal of small-town mentality and people’s darker selves. He’s not afraid to muddy the people we’re supposed to root for, and bring them to the very point of losing our sympathy. That’s a gift I’d love to share.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Ooh, good question! There are so many brilliant characters I’ve come to know – been reading books for a loooong time! I think I’d like to get Louis d Pointe du Lac (from Interview with the Vampire), sit him down, and find out how much of what he said is true: when the books turn to Lestat’s point of view he says Louis had been lying about lots of things, and embellishing the story to suit his own tragic viewpoint. But then, can we trust Lestat either? Maybe I’d just put the two of them in a room together, and just eat cake and watch from behind the curtain, while they thrash it out!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
While I’m plotting I like to play the Zen, untimed version of Bejeweled, but on silent mode. It’s a mindless, instinctive action (with some VERY pretty and deeply satisfying explosions!) and while I’m playing I tend to talk myself through what I’m thinking about, or any problems I’ve encountered. It’s a double-edged sword too, because it also means I get some truly stratospheric scores in the game!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Haha! Never say never, but at the time of writing this I’ve only put people in my novels who’ve said they’re happy to be in them! I did write a cathartic short story once, that put my school bully exactly where I wanted them though. Ideas themselves come as a result of playing the long game; sort of like chess, where I’m thinking several chapters/scenes, or even books, ahead. For one of my series the timing worked out so well that I was actually still able to sow the seeds of the finale of book 3, into book 1, which was in the final edit stage after typesetting. That’s never happened before or since, so I have to cast my mind as far ahead as I can, and think about how something might have started. And no, no-one needs to be worried… at the moment! 😉

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m very much a plotter; I think you have to be to a degree, for any series if you want it all to hang together naturally. Having said that, although the big plot points are usually picked out in advance, to give me a structure, when it comes to actually crafting the individual scenes they might go in any direction, and frequently do! I’m always ready to switch directions though, and follow a path that might suddenly become apparent, but that I hadn’t necessary planned for. Plantser? That covers it, I suppose!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Everyone has a different way of working, so all I can do is to pass on something I’ve learned over the years: don’t get too bogged down in preparation, or even research. You can plan, and make notes, and learn an admirable amount about your subject/time/location, but you want your story to come to vibrant, singing life. That won’t happen until you breathe some soul into it. So just… start writing! Learn as you go, whether it’s research you have to do, or getting to know your characters.
Another thing is that you can’t please everyone, all the time. Your style will be what it should be, so if one person says they don’t like the number of characters you have in your story, at least one other person will say they love them. Listen to advice, not opinions. (Unless someone says you’re absolutely ace, then listen to that one!)

What are your future plans as an author?
R.D. Nixon has one more book to write in the Clifford-Mackenzie series, then the field is wide open so it’ll be fun to see what happens next in the crime writing. I’ve had a plan to write a psych thriller based on the university campus where I work, so I might explore that a bit.
Terri Nixon has a brand new series of dramas coming out with Piatkus, beginning this December with (working title) Tyndall’s Folly. They’ll come out over the next 3 years, and I’ll be writing as R.D in between.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Fair Game. Clifford-Mackenzie Crime Series book 2.

Three Sisters, Glen Coe, Scotland. Thursday 15th November 2018

He stared out into the darkness beyond his windscreen, icy hands jammed between his knees, but reluctant to leave the heating on in the car; if there was ever a time to risk flattening a tired battery, this wasn’t it. The quarter-moon played fitfully with bulging clouds, occasionally outlining the menacing volcanic peaks that rose all around, and the time dragged on, but still there was nothing else out there except the rain.
For the millionth time since he’d arrived, his glance was pulled to the tyre lever nestled in the semi-darkness of the passenger seat footwell, inviting him to pick it up and admire its weight. For the millionth time he looked away again. No violence here, not tonight. He’d been a fool, that was the long and short of it, but there was a faint hope that he might buy himself some time, at least, and faint or not, he was going to grab it.
Popular in the daytime, even at this time of year, this beauty spot was always deserted once darkness fell, but the road that cut through the glen was still one of the main arteries from Glasgow, and several cars had passed by since he’d arrived. Another set of headlights lit up the rock face of the mountain, this time from the Fort William direction, and a car slowed. He sat up straighter, feeling sick, but the driver had only wanted to peer more closely at the famous Three Sisters mountain formation before carrying on up the winding road out towards Rannoch Moor.
The nausea remained, and he twisted the ignition key and buzzed his window down to let in some fresh air; rain blew in with it, and he welcomed the cool spray on his burning face as he thought over what he would say when Kilbride’s man finally turned up. Kilbride wasn’t an idiot, nor would he send one to collect his dues; he knew he’d get what he was owed, eventually, and that the interest alone would keep a roof over his head for months… Of course he’d wait. He had to.
The next car did not pass by. It slowed and turned in to the tourists’ viewing point, and as the terrified man watched it creep slowly closer, his hand, acting independently from conscious thought, dipped down into the footwell after all and tested out that tyre lever’s considerable weight. He slipped the lever inside his jacket, and yanked the zip back up just as the BMW Roadster drew up behind his own car.
The Roadster’s window whined down, and the face that glared out belonged to Craig Lumsden, Kilbride’s top enforcer, who bent and examined the back seat of the man’s car through the rear window. He appeared satisfied no-one lurked there.
‘All right, get out.’
The man did so, watching warily as the BMW circled away and returned to park more neatly next to him. He held the tyre lever tight against his side beneath his jacket, and hoped his movements didn’t look too obviously stilted as a result. ‘Where’s Kilbride?’
‘He’s not likely to be coming out here himself, now, is he?’ Lumsden got out of the BMW and studied him across the bonnet. A police issue nightstick was hooked into his belt, and sour bile crept once more into the back of the waiting man’s throat. The solid presence of the tyre lever should have been a comfort, but he found himself wishing he’d left it where it was; before he could even draw it into the open, Lumsden would have that baton out and extended, it would be just the excuse he needed.
He lifted his chin. ‘I need to talk to him.’
‘He doesn’t do talking,’ Lumsden said. ‘Not once the agreement’s been signed.’
‘Well if he wants his money he’s going to have to.’ He sounded stronger than he felt, even over the Beamer’s running engine, and that in turn bolstered his confidence. He met Lumsden’s eyes with something approaching calm.
Lumsden smiled, looking more shark-like than ever in the headlights as he passed in front of his car and came closer. ‘Are you going to bring your account up to date, or am I going to have to remind you who’s in charge here?’
‘If I can’t talk to him, maybe I can talk to you? Look, if you’re prepared to wait, I could cut you in…give you extra, when I’ve got it, to keep for yourself.’ He could feel the sweat, both on his palms and cooling on his temples as the wind blew into his face.
Lumsden studied him for a moment, then shook his head. ‘William said you’d try that one.’ He unclipped the nightstick in a disturbingly leisurely motion and flicked it to full length. ‘Now—’
‘Take my car!’ He hated the harsh desperation in his voice, but couldn’t hide it.
‘That pile of shit?’
‘You can tell Kilbride I never turned up, and then—’
‘Shut up.’
‘I’ll not even report it stolen.’
‘I said shut up!’
He did. He watched the debt collector, feeling all his muscles tense to the point of aching, and wondered where the first blow would land. He folded his arms tightly across his chest and felt the outline of the tyre lever under his right hand, but there was still no way he could draw it out before the stick put him out of action.
Kilbride’s man was still watching him, his face all shadows in his car’s headlights, rain falling on his lashes, but he didn’t blink. He gave that smile again, the one that elongated his mouth but touched no other part of his face, then he stepped back and made his way around to the open door of his car.
‘It’s your lucky night,’ he said, twirling the stick. ‘I was just instructed to pass on a message, should you prove difficult.’
‘Whatever he wants.’ The man followed him, all caution fled in his relief. ‘What is it? Tell him I’m getting the money together right—’
‘You talk too much. And back off – you’re crowding me.’
‘Sorry.’ He stopped a few feet away and quashed the urge to ask again what the price of his reprieve would be.
Lumsden seemed to be thinking hard about his next words. Trying to recall the exact message from Kilbride? Or maybe he just enjoyed screwing with people’s heads. His phone beeped, he ignored it. Then he shrugged.
‘Mr Kilbride says that if I go back empty-handed, he’ll take something of yours to the value. Or possibly a teensy bit more.’ His smile was thin as he laid his hand on the door of his car, then he turned away. ‘Isn’t it traditionally accepted that the sons must pay for the sins of their fathers?’
The clang of the tyre lever hitting the ground, some unknowable time later, brought the man out of the howling tunnel into which Lumsden’s words had driven him. He stared, numb, as the steel bar bounced twice on the gravelled ground and came up against the sprawled leg of Kilbride’s debt collector, and then he dropped to his knees, vaguely aware of the sting of tiny stones through his jeans.
Hands clenched on his own thighs to keep from touching anything, he forced himself to look at Lumsden, slumped half in and half out of his car, and he wasn’t sure whether he was hoping for a sign of life or not. But there was nothing. Lumsden’s head lay twisted on the car seat, where he had been struck down even as he scrabbled for safety. Streams of blood pooled in the open eyes and ran in rivulets down over cheekbone and jaw; the rain diluted it and sent it moving faster, dripping into the open mouth and staining the teeth.
The killer—he was no more or less than that now—stood up and stumbled away from the two vehicles, until their light no longer illuminated the blood on his hands. How often had he hit Lumsden? Once? Twice? More? Christ, he couldn’t even remember. And what now? What if someone had driven by, while he was lost in the throes of whatever it was that had consumed him, and seen what was happening? Taken his number plate? Taken photos, or even a video on their phone?
He tucked his hands under his armpits and sat on the grass at the edge of the viewing point, staring up at the lumpen masses above him as if they held all the answers. But even the skittish moon abandoned him as he watched, and the Sisters were absorbed into the black void above them. As another car passed by, he belatedly came to his senses; there was no chance he would have been Lumsden’s only appointment tonight; no-one would come out here for one lousy collection. The next car might well be the next pickup.
He stood up again, on shaking legs, and gingerly picked up the tyre lever from the puddle of rain and blood in which it lay. He laid it quietly back in its footwell, and, leaving the BMW untouched and its engine still running, he drove home.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up these books and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, R.D. Nixon.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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