#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #QandAs : Dueling Fates – Stephanie M. Allen @StephMarieAllen @btwnthelinespub #Fantasy #FairyTales

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

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Today I’m on the ‘Dueling Fates’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Author PicStephanie M. Allen graduated from California Baptist University in 2009 with a B.A. in English and a desire to share her imaginative stories with the world. She loves to write fantasy, particularly centered around young adults. Aside from writing, Stephanie loves to read, ride horses, and sing. She currently lives in Wyoming with her husband and two children.

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Synopsis :

Title: Dueling Fates
Publication Date: June 30th, 2020
Genre: Fairy Tale / Fantasy
Publisher: Liminal Books

Dueling Fates CoverIn the world of Erez, three kingdoms share a tentative peace. In the far west, Princess Isemay yearns for much more than frilly dresses and etiquette classes. While her twin sister, Alena, prepares for life as a monarch in a neighboring kingdom, Isemay roams the woods with her loyal cheetah, hunting dagger strapped to her belt. It’s only when two surprising visitors arrive at the castle that Isemay must come to terms with her royal future – and a secret magical heritage. Now engaged to the king of the east, Isemay prepares for a position she never wanted.
After saying good-bye to all that she loves, Princess Alena travels north in trepidation – fully prepared to marry a spoiled prince she does not desire and usurp the throne from his insane father who does not deserve it. But when tragedy strikes at her wedding ceremony and she is wrongfully imprisoned, she can only hope that her hurried plea for help will reach her father in time.
Frantic to save her sister – and against the wishes of her betrothed – Isemay joins the army sent to free Alena. A mysterious encounter with a dragon in disguise leaves her with a warning that her life is in danger – but can it save her from the battle to come?

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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! 🙂
My pleasure 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I think I’ve always thought of myself as someone who likes to tell stories. I had such a vivid imagination as a child and played “make believe” well past the “normal” age. I started writing my stories down at the age of 12 and it grew from there. I liked to write fan fiction when I was in high school. The original idea for Dueling Fates hit me when I was 20 and it evolved from there. One fun fact about me that has nothing to do with writing is that I love to sing and act. I have been involved in many theatrical productions over the years and I auditioned for The Voice twice (I didn’t get on the show but I would’ve chosen Adam Levine if I had!).

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I have always loved fantasy novels. Though I venture into other genres, that is always my go to. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis were my favorite books when I was younger. Today, I tend to pick up YA novels quite frequently, especially the ones that have fantastical or paranormal elements, though I love dystopian and sci-fi as well. Some of my favorite authors are Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, and Cynthia Hand.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to sit down with J.R.R. Tolkien and ask him how he conceived the world of The Lord of the Rings. Until he and C.S. Lewis began writing their now famous novels, fantasy wasn’t even close to the genre it’s become today. Tolkien was a master of descriptive details and world building, even more so than Lewis. If he were still alive and I had the opportunity, I would love to spend hours just picking his brain and discovering how he developed the LOTR world.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I can only pick one character?? Let’s see…I think I would love to sit down with Erik, the phantom from The Phantom of the Opera. I have long been fascinated by that story, particularly the rumors that he once existed in some form! I think it would be amazing to explore below the Paris Opera House, find his “lair” and sit down with him for a meal. I don’t think I’d be comfortable inviting him to my house. He might find ways of adding secret passages or something.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have some interesting habits and rituals for writing. For each book, I create a Spotify playlist that I add to as I write. I don’t usually listen to it while I’m sitting at my laptop typing but I refer to it and change it often. It’s kind of my outline for each novel. I find I always need something to drink while I’m writing, whether it’s flavored water or some kind of diet soda. Lately, I’ve had a lit candle near me while I work. I find it soothing for some reason.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha ha, maybe! No, I’m just kidding. Honestly, a lot of my inspiration comes from reading novels and watching movies. My self-published series, The Harmony Saga, was originally inspired by Avatar: The Last Airbender and Unearthly by Cynthia Hand. But sometimes, an idea just hits me. When Dueling Fates became a whisper of a thought, I was driving home one night. I had this idea of twin princesses who had been separated. The story evolved from there into what it is today. I couldn’t really tell you what inspired the thought. It just…ghosted into my mind.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am DEFINITELY a plotter. Aside from my Spotify playlists, I always have a general outline either written down on a sticky note or on a Word document. I don’t plan out every little detail. I like to let my imagination take over as I’m writing, allowing for true inspiration. It’s true that sometimes, I find myself writing parts of the story that surprise me. Sometimes, the characters react in unexpected ways and during those times, I go with the flow. But for the most part, I know what my beginning, middle, and end is and I stick to it.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I think the biggest piece of advice I can give is never quit. It took me a decade to write Dueling Fates and then six years of writers conferences, query letters, rejections, and rewrites before I finally found a home for it. I also went the self-publishing route with my Harmony Saga, which taught me a lot about the editing and publishing process. If you’re serious about becoming a published author, look into attending writers conferences. You’ll meet so many wonderful authors and have the opportunity to meet agents and editors who give fantastic advice.

What are your future plans as an author?
For right now, my focus is completing the Dueling Fates trilogy. After that, I have some ideas for future novels with series potential. I might delve into the romance genre a little bit. I would love to write a novel based on ancient Japanese culture. I’ve also considered writing a novel based on ancient Egyptian culture as well.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Sure! Jordan is my favorite character in this story and this is one of my favorite quieter, though important, moments in the book. He is speaking with Isemay, one of the twin princesses. This conversation isn’t a surprise for the characters or the readers at this point in the story and I just love the sweetness of this moment:

“I was going to speak to your father first, but since he approves heartily of my intentions anyway…” He smiled. “I wanted to ask you something while we were alone. I don’t know how many opportunities I will have with all of the coming events.”
Isemay looked down at the grass, absently running her palm across the tops of the blades. She sighed deeply as she plucked a tall stalk out of the dirt. “As you wish, your Majesty.”
“You know you don’t have to be formal with me. I would very much like for us to be closer than that.”
“Very well, your…Jordan.” Isemay smiled, her green eyes sparkling. “What did you want to talk about?”
He took a deep breath, thinking he might as well get straight to the point. “Have you thought about the phoenix song I sent you?”
“How could I not?” Her voice was so quiet that Jordan barely heard her whisper. “Yes, I have,” she said more loudly.
“I have given this a great deal of thought for a long time, much longer than my advisors would’ve liked. And I must be completely honest with you, they have some…reservations with my choice.”
He heard her swallow.
“But I can no longer deny what I feel.” He echoed her swallow. “I long for a partner. Someone whom I can trust with both my kingdom and my heart. And I believe that you are a woman who is not only beautiful, but intelligent, kind, compassionate, and loyal.”
She gasped. “You…flatter me, Jordan. I’m not –”
“But you are. You are those things and more.”

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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

 

#BlogTour #DamppebblesBlogTours @damppebbles / #QandAs : The Quality of Mercy (A Lady Evelyn Mystery #5) #TheQualityOfMercy #LadyEvelynMysteries – Malia Zaidi @MaliaZaidi

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

The Quality of Mercy banner

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

About the Author :

Version 2Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford.
Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

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Synopsis :

The Quality of Mercy coverAfter years spent away, Lady Evelyn is at long last back in her home city of London and she has returned with a rather controversial plan. The Carlisle Detective Agency is born, and it does not take long for the bodies… ahem, cases, to start piling up. With her friend and assistant Hugh, Evelyn embarks on the quest to solve the crimes. Yet the London she encounters is not the London of her coddled youth, and she is forced to learn that there is more to discover than the identity of a murderer. It isn’t only her city which reveals it is not what she always believed it to be, but the people she encounters as well. Secrets are revealed that have her thinking twice about everything she thought she knew about the society in which she grew up.
Evelyn’s love for her hard-won independence confronts her with yet another mystery, whether she is ready or willing to give up any of it for marriage. And then there is the arrival of rather a familiar face in London, one Daniel is none to pleased to see. Evelyn must find not one but two murderers, as well as make a decision that could determine her future. From the mansions of Mayfair to the dark alleys of Whitechapel, can Evelyn catch the killers before another life is taken?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
B&N
Book Depository

Publishing Information:
Published in paperback and digital formats by BookBaby on 25th August 2020.

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 the opportunity to appear on your blog! I am the author of a series of historical mysteries, the latest of which is called The Quality of Mercy. The books are set in the 1920s with Lady Evelyn, the amateur sleuth, as the protagonist.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I grew up partly in Germany, and we read a lot of books by the author Astrid Lindgren, who also wrote Pippi Longstocking. When I moved to the US and was a teenager, I read the Harry Potter books and was really interested in the fantasy genre for a while. I kind of wish I still was, it’s great escapism, but these days I read a lot more mysteries, nonfiction and literary fiction. One of the best books I’ve read this year so far was Circe by Madeline Miller.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Oh, interesting! Sometimes I feel you can get insight into an author’s mind when reading his or her book. When people who know me read my books, they will definitely recognize some of my own philosophies in my protagonist. I would be curious how Stephen King’s mind works, though his books tend to be a little too scary for me. His mind might be a frightening place!

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own book, I think I would like to meet Hugh, lady Evelyn’s assistant. He is one of the characters that took on a life of his own. I intended for him to play a small role in one of the books, but he really grew on me and I didn’t want to give him up. In terms of other books, I wouldn’t mind a chat with Hermione from the Harry Potter books. I feel we would get along well and have lots to talk about.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I wouldn’t say I have rituals, but I make a habit of writing around the same time every day. I like to be alone or in a quiet space when I do so. If I try to work in a café for a change of scenery, I get distracted, because I love to people watch (you never know who has the potential to be turned into a character!).

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Haha, that’s a good question! I don’t think they need to worry, but some people might wonder why my search history includes questions such as: How to poison someone slowly…

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Before I begin a new novel, I create a very rough outline. I am mostly concerned with a few key events and the characters at that point. As the story progresses, I flesh out the outline. It sounds like I am working a bit in reverse that way, but it’s worked for me so far. I can totally understand writers who prefer to plot everything out ahead of time, though. Everyone has their methods.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
One of the most important and probably fairly unoriginal tips I can offer is to read A LOT. Don’t just read in the genre in which you want to write but widely and across the board. In my opinion, exposure to different styles of writing and different techniques is the best teaching tool. If you’re serious about writing, I also recommend really building it into your routine as much as you can. Life is busy, but writing every day, even if it’s just half a page, even if it’s rubbish, is a good way to keep the momentum going.

What are your future plans as an author?
I hope to continue writing books in the Lady Evelyn series, however, I also have a few other, more contemporary projects in the works. Keep your eyes peeled!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
There may or may not be a wedding in this book…

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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

 

 

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Who Killed Patrick? – Syl Waters @waters_syl

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

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Today I’m on the ‘Who Killed Patrick?’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Most people know crazy cat ladies are a ‘thing’, but I’m a proud crazy guinea pig lady! I love fun in the sun and plenty of cocktails. My happy place is flip flops. I write stories to keep me company – my characters ensure I’m never lonely and always smiling (when I’m not tearing my hair out!)

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

3-Im1TEMSun, sea and… murder in Fuerteventura!
Boring. Going nowhere. That was Tarah’s life in the UK, before she moved to Fuerteventura to start a new adventure. But things came unstuck quicker than she’d planned. A dead guest on the holiday complex she manages threatens to pull apart her hoped-for dream life.
If she wants to keep her job and save the reputation of the business, she’s got to find out what happened to Patrick. Did he die of natural causes – or was he murdered?
Tarah’s pet guinea pig, Mr Bob, has a knack for sniffing out trouble and he suspects foul play. The mission is on: Who Killed Patrick?
With the assistance of Mr Bob and Diego, a local plumber, Tarah turns amateur sleuth to find out the truth.
Can Tarah and Mr Bob find the murderer before it’s too late? Will they be able to save the business and protect their blissful new life?

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?
What a big question to begin with! I think how I became an author is to write a book, edit it and then finish it! I only really think of myself as more of an ‘author’ now because I have written more books and so I feel less of a fraud.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I absolutely adored Enid Blyton. I’m not sure that’s so PC nowadays, but as a child I don’t think I saw any of what we see now. What I saw in the Famous 5 and Secret 7 was a bunch of kids having adventures and fun and I loved that.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I read the autobiography of Dame Barbara Cartland and felt like it was a how-to book on how to be a writer and live your life in a writerly way. She was such an accomplished author and business woman, way ahead of her time. Perhaps her romantic novels aren’t to everybody’s tastes, but she knew her market and she knew how to sell.

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 invite Tamika from Who Killed Patrick? She is such an insane bitch and I would love to get into her head and find out how she can live her life not giving a damn. I think people who can live in their own bubbles are quite remarkable. I am way too sensitive to ever be like that, but I can’t help wondering what it must be like living a life where you always come first.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have to write early morning. I get up usually at 4.30am-5am and I have to start straight away. If I don’t, the day is gone, and too much of life noise gets in the way for me to escape to my world. I have to turn off my email and phone and ‘be there’. I also have to have the first sentence in my head, without that, I can’t start.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Totally. Unless they’re reading this, then of course not!
I am like a human sponge. I eavesdrop, start conversations with random strangers so I can pillage their life details, and use everything else in-between. I collect crazy news stories and keep them for future reference. I find most things in this world are so unbelievable you don’t really need to make much up – it’s likely already happened!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I like to have a rough outline what the point of the story is. Then I like to get some subplots and twists in, maybe some ideas I’d like to raise with the reader for them to think about and for me to explore. My books are never about just one thing, there’s always different layers and perhaps different cultural reference points that have happened or issues I’m thinking about. I don’t like to shove it down the reader’s throat, but I’m always delighted when people pick up on those and it resonates with them.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do write. Don’t be overly critical. Do make time for yourself and your dreams. Don’t think it will wait until tomorrow. Do write today. Don’t read a book and compare and think you’ll never be like them. Do be yourself and make the time to find your own voice.

What are your future plans as an author?
Eternal Forever will be published in September. This is another cozy mystery, but it’s unconventional. Eternal Forever is a digital legacy management agency who look after your online profile when you die. They’re the first in the UK. Despite being tipped to be a hot prospect, the start-up’s in financial trouble. Them helping out their pop star client Jessie, who’s on the run in Spain after the murder of her manager, is something they probably shouldn’t get into – but they need the cash and she’s their biggest client.
It’s a different twist on the cozy murder mystery scene and I love the exploration of our online identities and what it means to be alive – and dead – in the digital age.
I’m also currently writing Mr Bob 2 which is scheduled for publication in Spring 2021. That has a lot of eco themes because I’m concerned about what we’re doing/ not doing to our planet. It features Mr Bob and Tarah again, but some of the characters are so awful that they’re downright brilliant!

Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Here’s the context: The main protagonist Tarah, has been called by Pauline, a guest at the holiday complex she manages. Pauline has woken to find her husband, Patrick, dead.

Pauline is in the lounge. She’s sat on the beige sofa, her hands grasping a cup. The curtains are drawn. The standing lamp emits a warm glow on the shiny white surfaces. The paramedics and Jorge are in the bedroom trying to resuscitate Patrick. Pauline and I sit looking at each other, listening to the noises emanating from the bedroom. It’s all in Spanish. There’s a lot of grunts and shouts and feral sounds. My stomach twists and empties and shoves itself back inside my throat as I realise there’s a dead body just beyond the wall.
‘Do you understand what they’re saying?’ Pauline says to me, her eyes red.
‘I think they’re trying to get him to breathe again…’
Pauline’s face erupts into an avalanche of tears. I cross the room to sit next to her, put my arms around her and hug her as closely as I can. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. I know nothing about death.
‘They’re doing their best,’ I say as soothingly and gently as I can. I can’t tell her everything will be all right, because I’m fairly certain from what I can hear and translate, things are not all right, things are far from all right.

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

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 Second Mrs Thistlewood – Dionne Haynes @DionneHaynes_UK

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

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

About the Author :

HrteDf_0Dionne is a retired doctor, living in Plymouth with her husband. She has a passion for history, the great outdoors, good food and life in general. With her medical career now well behind her, she is enjoying a second career as an author.
In 2015, Dionne finished writing her first novel The Provenance of Lilly, but after careful reflection and consideration of some harsh criticism, she decided not to put it into print. Instead, she worked hard at honing her writing skills, and published her debut novel, Running With The Wind, in 2019. She is currently working on a sequel which will form Book One of The Trelawney Wives series.
Dionne graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School in 1992, and started her medical career in the Royal Air Force. In 1998, she left the military to have her son, and worked in General Practice and Occupational Medicine. The opportunity to retire came in 2014 and Dionne did not hesitate to take it, relishing the opportunity to delve into history books and begin her writing career. Although no longer practising medicine, her medical background has some influence in the plotting of her stories.
While keen to maintain historical accuracy in her writing, Dionne creates stories from real events with sparse recorded details, allowing her imagination to take over and tell a tale of what may have occurred.

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

7dpTw7hIRegency England. A land of oppression and social discontent.
Arthur Thistlewood is fighting for a revolution. Susan Thistlewood is fighting for freedom. From Arthur.
Battered and bruised by her violent husband, Susan finds comfort in food and books. As Arthur’s legal property, leaving the marriage seems an impossible dream — until a chance encounter with a charismatic Bow Street Runner. In the sanctuary of an inconspicuous London bookshop, the Runner’s easy manner and unexpected generosity compel Susan to pursue a life without her husband.
But will the Bow Street officer provide a key to Susan’s freedom? Or will he place her in the greatest danger of all?
Inspired by true events from the Cato Street Conspiracy of 1820, this is a tale of courage, determination, and love.

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 really enjoyed making up stories when my son was a toddler (he’s 21 now!), but in those days life was hectic and I had neither the commitment nor time to write any of them down. As the years passed, I started dabbling with writing children’s stories but never felt they were worthy of publishing. My ambition to write novels for adults then surfaced, and that yearning intensified. Six years ago, I wasn’t happy in my job so when my husband suggested trading my medical career for a new career in writing, I wrote my resignation letter there and then.
It was a long steep climb from that point. My first attempt at a novel was reasonable, but not publishable, so I invested time and money in a writing course which was a good decision! Since then, my creativity has been unleashed and I can’t keep up with my ideas for stories.
Most of my working life was as a doctor. I served in the Royal Air Force, continued in General Practice after that, but later moved into occupational medicine and related roles. Although I fell out of love with my medical career, my medical background often influences a plotline or scene.
In my spare time, I love being outdoors. My husband and I enjoy visiting historic sites and exploring the coast and countryside. I have a habit of stopping suddenly and frequently to take photos, especially of butterflies and flowers. Other interests include attending theatre shows and sports events.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I loved the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series. I read every one of them and still have the complete collection stored in my loft in a battered old suitcase! As a teenager, I devoured all of the Winston Graham Poldark books and EV Thompson’s historical fiction. I also loved the classics and read a number of Dickens novels, Jane Austen and books by the Brontë sisters.
These days I read widely across genres, but my favourite authors are historical fiction writers and include Philippa Gregory, Lucinda Riley and Kate Furnival.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to sit down with Lucinda Riley and learn about her plotting techniques – especially for The Seven Sisters series which spans seven books. I’m currently working on the first book in a series and have spent many hours working out how to connect threads through the different novels. It’s a tricky thing to do because sometimes a character takes me in an unexpected direction when I’m writing, and I have to make sure it will work with subsequent books in the series.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I do like to work in a quiet room and without interruptions – unless it’s someone bringing a cup of tea! I often spend 3-4 hours at a time at my desk, absorbed in writing, and I don’t like being pulled away when words are flowing freely. I also like to use a desk diary for planning my working day. My current diary has a page to each day and beautiful nature pictures on every page. The pictures are surprisingly stimulating to keep me working through my lists, so perhaps that has become a ritual, as I already intend to use a similar diary next year.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Most of my ideas are triggered by something I read. The Second Mrs Thistlewood was inspired by a tiny paragraph in a history magazine. I was on a plane and midway between London and Venice when the idea struck! The paragraph referred to the Cato Street Conspiracy, a plot to murder the British Cabinet ministers and not as well-known as the Gunpowder Plot. Arthur Thistlewood was the leader of the Cato Street Conspiracy, and the short article made a passing reference to his wife. That set me thinking about a scenario where his wife convinced her violent husband of her support for his murderous intentions, but her true feelings were quite the opposite.
Sometimes I use traits that I’ve observed in family and friends to bring the characters to life, but no one need worry. At least, not yet!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I need to know where I’m going with a story. It’s easier to write a planned chapter, but sometimes a character will take an alternative route to the one I had planned.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
How about these?
Do follow a dream or ambition to write.
Don’t be put off by the scepticism and negativity of others. It’s a wonderful feeling watching a blank screen or sheet of paper fill with words.
Don’t expect to publish your first attempt at a novel. It takes a long time and a lot of words to find your own style, voice and genre, not to mention something other readers will enjoy.
Do be prepared to commit time. My first novel took two years and was not published. My second took eighteen months to research and write, then it was edited, rewritten and published. Of course, not everyone wants to publish – some authors like to write for the sheer pleasure of the experience – but if you do intend to publish, it can be costly both in time and money. When you hold your own book in your hands, every minute invested is repaid with indescribable joy!

What are your future plans as an author?
I plan to have another book out towards the end of the year. It’s set in the early seventeenth century and is the first of a series, bit also works as a sequel to my debut novel Running With The Wind. The second of the series will be released next year, and hopefully the third too. I also have a novel set in the Tudor era which needs a little more work but may be ready for release in 2021.
And there are plenty of book ideas to follow those…

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, I like that question! I’d invite Alinor from Philippa Gregory’s Tidelands. Alinor is a peasant woman, abandoned by her husband to raise two children. She’s a strong, determined woman and a midwife with a knowledge of herbal remedies, but as was common for the time (1648), there were whispers that she was using witchcraft. I can’t imagine how terrifying that must have been and would love to speak to her about the shift in attitudes of the local women from wanting her to deliver their babies to demanding she be ducked in a river and tried for use of sorcery. I would also like to delve deeper into what motivated her to strive so hard to make ends meet and listen to her talk about when she fell in love with a man who was considered out of her reach.

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 section you can use. To set the scene, Arthur Thistlewood is growing increasingly violent towards his wife, Susan. Susan wants to leave the marriage but in Regency England, divorce was rare and difficult to achieve. She’s determined to find a way to leave him, but fears the consequences for her stepson. The extract begins with Arthur speaking to his son:

‘I hope to have splendid news for you within the next few days.’
‘What news, sir?’ asks Julian, eyes bright with expectation.
‘Thanks to a worthy contact or two, I expect confirmation of a place at Charterhouse.’
‘What’s Charterhouse?’
‘A school. It’s time you had a decent education. Your stepmother has performed well, but her breadth of knowledge is limited.’
I clamp my lips together and work hard to keep my expression impassive.
‘If things were different, I’d oversee your lessons, but I’m occupied with affairs of my own and cannot commit the time required for a proper schoolroom, therefore you must go away to learn.’
Julian’s face drops.
I place the tip of my index finger beneath his chin and force him to look at me. I want him to understand this change will be good for him. ‘Charterhouse has an excellent reputation.’
Although we’ve heard tales of bullying at such institutions, Julian will fare better there, for neither of us is without bruises these days.
Arthur is oblivious to Julian’s disappointment. ‘I see a glorious future for you, son. I hope you’ll continue your studies at Oxford or Cambridge before embarking on a career that will improve the lives of our fellow countrymen.’
‘What type of career, sir?’ Julian asks, his voice cracking.
‘Perhaps law, or politics?’
Julian hangs his head. ‘I had hopes for an office apprenticeship. I’m competent with numbers and my handwriting is tidy.’
‘You want to sit at a desk all day, hunched over a page of numbers? Has your stepmother turned you soft?’
Arthur pounds his clenched fist against the solid oak table top, causing us both to jump. I study scars left in the wood by the previous occupants of this house. There are deep gouges and black scorch marks, and I wonder if they appeared during happy family gatherings or volatile confrontations.
Julian clears his throat. ‘Just a passing thought, sir. We must all do our bit to help those who are less fortunate and a career in politics would achieve that. My stepmother has often said I should use my knowledge for the greater good.’
The boy is a wonder. For several years, we have supported each other against Arthur’s volatile moods. My heart will fracture when he goes away to school. But with Julian absent from the house, it will be easier to leave Arthur and not worry about the repercussions for my stepson.
‘Thank you for securing this opportunity, sir. I promise to work hard at my studies and make you proud.’
Arthur’s eyes are alight with pride and Julian forces a smile.
Arthur excuses himself from the table. Julian waits for creaking sounds to announce Arthur’s ascent of the stairs. He rises from his chair and hesitates long enough for me to see tears in his eyes, then hurls himself at me and clings tightly.
‘Will you be safe here without me?’ he says.

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

 

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

#BlogTour #CompulsiveReaders @Tr4cyF3nt0n / #QandAs : The Lies You Told #TheLiesYouTold – Harriet Tyce @harriet_tyce @Wildfirebks @headlinepg

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

The Lies You Told - blog tour poster

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

About the Author :

harriet-tyce-author-picture-Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh. She did a degree in English Literature at Oxford University before a law conversion course at City University, following which she was a criminal barrister for nearly ten years.Having escaped law and early motherhood, she started writing, and completed the MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia. Blood Orange was her first novel, and The Lies You Told is published this month. She lives in north London with her husband and children, and two rather demanding pets, a cat and a dog.

Synopsis :

51vO+pmYI0L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Can you tell the truth from the lies?
Sadie loves her daughter and will do anything to keep her safe.
She can’t tell her why they had to leave home so quickly – or why Robin’s father won’t be coming with them to London.
She can’t tell her why she hates being back in her dead mother’s house, with its ivy-covered walls and its poisonous memories.
And she can’t tell her the truth about the school Robin’s set to start at – a school that doesn’t welcome newcomers.
Sadie just wants to get their lives back on track.
But even lies with the best intentions can have deadly consequences…

Amazon

Q&A:

Hi

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

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I did English at university and I always loved reading but I ended up training as a criminal barrister and I did that job for nearly ten years. I gave up when I had children and a while later I started writing. Crime fiction has always been my favourite so it was inevitable that I would end up writing crime, I think.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I used to love books by Joan Aiken and also all the Chalet School series by Elinor M Brent-Dyer. I now read a lot of crime and also reread The Lord of the Rings most years. I don’t know why it’s my comfort read, but it really is, along with Georgette Heyer and Jilly Cooper.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Gillian Flynn is someone I would love to talk to about her work, ebcasue she’s so good. And it would have been great to discuss writing with Ruth Rendell – her Barbara Vine books are brilliant and truly dark psychological thrillers.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would like to have tea with Francis Crawford of Lymond who is the hero of the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. He is a superb hero and hugely attractive.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Coffee and hours faffing on social media! Not that I’d call that a ritual. I might be more productive if I did!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha! I couldn’t possibly comment… No, inspiration can come from any number of sources. Things I overhear, stories I read in the paper – it all adds up to a story in the end.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I plot a lot to start and then when I start, the characters have a tendency of taking over and making the story going off in different directions! But I keep to the general direction I’ve laid out – I usually know where it’s going to end, even if I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get there in the first place…

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Keep on going. I think that’s the best advice I can give – don’t give up it, even if you have to abandon individual projects and start again, just keep on going. And read as widely and as much as you possibly can.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m currently planning my next novel, another psychological thriller, and I’m very excited about it because it’s going to be set largely in my home town, in Edinburgh, and I’m really looking forward to writing about a place that’s so close to my heart.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
There’s a scene with a stuffed owl that I absolutely love and that I had a huge amount of fun writing – keep an eye out for it!

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #RandRBookTours @RRBookTours1 @Shanannigans81 / #QandAs : Penance – Edward Daniel Hunt

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

Tour Banner

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

About the Author :

Author PicEdward Daniel Hunt has an undergraduate degree from the University of New Haven and a graduate degree from Lesley University. His short stories have appeared in the Scarlett Leaf Review, Down in the Dirt Magazine and Adelaide Literary Magazine. “Hit Men Have Feelings Too” was named a finalist in Adelaide Magazine’s 2018 Literary Award Contest for Best Short Story. His short story “Pieces of the Puzzle” was named a finalist for Best Short Story in Adelaide’s Magazine’s 2019 contest. Much of his early work and social life was spent in restaurants and bars, as evidenced by his writing. He is a member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime New England. Adelaide Book Publishing has recently released his crime novel Penance. He lives in Old Orchard Beach, Maine within walking distance to the beach.

Website

Synopsis :

Title: Penance
Publication Date: April 2, 2020
Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Crime Fiction

book-cover-1Penance is the first book in a series of crime novels featuring retired Boston homicide detective John Gilfillan. This story is about the race to find Lori Doyle. Ten years ago, Lori, as a teenager, witnessed a killing. Today, she has established a new life for herself and her daughter in Maine under an alias. Unbeknownst to her, all that’s about to change, as some are seeking her out to do her harm and some to do her good. A page-turner to keep you in suspense until the end.

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!
Thank you for the invitation!

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was never much of a student in grade school or high school. Most of my report cards had comments about not living up to my potential or being an under-achiever. I came from a family with a strong focus on education including one sister off to Harvard, a father with a doctorate who was an Assistant Superintendent in the School Department, a mother who was a substitute teacher occasionally etc. I never had much interest in school but I liked to read and remember going to the library long before I started school. I also liked to write and can remember trying with a friend to write a “Hardy Boys” rip off in grade school and also getting some positive feedback on a short story or two in high school. It wasn’t until college that I became serious about writing after a professor was very encouraging and kept telling me I could do something with it. At that time I did send off a few short stories to The New Yorker and other magazines and got form letters back telling me to go way and not to bother them or something like that. In my twenties and thirties I wrote a depressing novel about a heroin addict that my mother, who was always very supportive, typed on her Royal typewriter. I never submitted it anywhere because I decided it was too depressing. I stopped writing in my thirties or early forties for a number of reasons including being widowed with young children who were rightfully the priority and never having much me time during those years. No regrets, it was just the way things were. I always rationalized that I would get back to writing when things slowed down. They never did.
In 2014, one of my favorite authors died at the age of 71: Kent Haruf. [Best-selling author of Our Souls at Night, Plainsong, Eventide, etc.] It was a wake-up call. An a-ha moment. It was now or never. I bought a new laptop just for writing. [Still using it] and have been writing continuously ever since. I began getting some short stories published. Two of them have been finalists in short story contests. The general plot for Penance, my first novel to be published has been floating around in my head for years and I knew it had potential so I was more relieved than surprised when it got accepted for publication.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
The usual Hardy Boys Mysteries and my sister’s Nancy Drew’s as well as many westerns and bios. I also read all of my grandfather’s Horatio Alger books with titles like “Pluck or Luck” and “Sink or Swim”. By my middle school years I was reading whatever my parents were reading Harold Robbins and Erle Stanley Gardner. Today when I’m writing I don’t have much time for recreational reading but I always have a stack of books next to my bed. Mostly writers I have met and admire like Bruce Coffin, Tess Gerritsen, Dick Cass, Hank Phillippi Ryan and always anything by Richard Russo or Dennis Lehane.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
The late Kent Haruf but of course that’s not possible. His books were gentle slices of life with great characters. I would also like the opportunity to talk to Dennis Lehane whose writing style I think has influenced me.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Donald Sullivan [Sully] from Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool. [Paul Newman played him in the movie.] He was a likeable scoundrel who had as many good qualities as bad. He was torn between enjoying his life as it is and the realization of how much damage he had inflicted on his son and others in the past, and realizing he still might be able to make amends in some small way. Sully was deeply flawed but could still be generous , loyal and kind when called upon. I don’t think he would stop by for a cup of tea but a cold beer and a shot of Irish Whiskey might tempt him. He’s funny and smart, and any conversation would be memorable.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I am very undisciplined but tend do my best writing early in the morning with the tv on the morning news shows.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I think all fiction writers are influenced by their life experiences and relationships as well as what’s going on in the world around them. The homicide in the beginning of Penance was based on a unsolved homicide I had heard about many years ago but all the details were creative license. The massage parlor depicted in several chapters of Penance was based upon one here in Maine that had been raided and closed down by the FBI before I moved to Maine. The topless coffee shop mentioned by a prison inmate in my current book in progress “96 Tears” is based on a donut shop near Augusta, Maine that featured topless waitresses but was burned down by a jealous boyfriend. Unfortunately I never got to visit the coffee shop. [For research purposes.] And yes many of my charactors are thinly disguised versions of people I know or have met but ussually they don’t reconize themselves.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a pantser, but I didn’t know it. After I started going to various writer’s conferences and workshops, and heard and read extensively about developing outlines and detailed backgrounds for each character I felt extremely lacking. My style then and my style today hasn’t changed. I get an idea in my head and I just start writing. I write so many pages in a day and the next day reread and revise them. and then just keep going. I have a pretty good idea of what the book’s about and how it begins and how it ends but all that can be subject to change if I get a better idea. I didn’t know I was a pantser until best selling author Tess Gerritsen described herself as one at a conference I attended. Since then I have heard several other famous authors say they were pantsers so I am in good company.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Seek feedback wherever you can get it. Join and become active in writing groups and associations. They are great for sharing advice and providing opportunities to have your work critiqued. Early on an agent read one chapter from Penance and told me not to worry I would get published. That kept me going for some time. Also try to get published in some of the literary magazines. I’m not a short story writer but in seeking feedback, I submitted chapters from Penance to various magazines. At first I wasn’t successful but did get some positive and negative feedback. Finally a kindly editor took the time to tell me that my submission was very well written but it wasn’t a short story. If this was a chapter from a novel, it works very well. Based on that I tweaked each chapter I sent out giving them a beginning, an ending, and less detail. Shortly after that they started to get published.

What are your future plans as an author?
I always say “10 books before I die”. I’m working on my second and can describe books 3 and 4. Wish me luck!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Penance has a little bit of everything including several concurrent love stories, multiple homicides, dysfunctional family relationships and a bit of mystery or at least confusion. The story moves back and forth from Boston’s underside to The coast of Maine. If you can believe that one last homicide can make for a happy ending than this book is for you.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Edward Daniel Hunt.
Good questions, thank you for having me. Ed Hunt.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Blog Tour Organized By:

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

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Secure The Shadow – Marion Grace Wooley @AuthorMGW

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

UKUqRRxs

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

About the Author :

zocFj7g8Marion Grace Woolley is known for dark historical fiction including Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran and The Children of Lir. She balances writing with her work in international development and her hobby as a piano tuner. Marion currently lives in Rwanda.

Social Media Links:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Synopsis :

uMnSrd5oIn 1824, a young man buttons up his redcoat and goes to war. Amidst the blood and devastation, he discovers a magical power which can save memory from the ravages of time.
1867 and a woman, living above a watch shop, meets two men who will change her life forever. As she ventures further into a world of séance and mysticism, she must decide whether to trust her own eyes.
In the present day, a rebellious artist finds herself photographing stillbirths for a living. At Little Angels, it’s not about what you can take from a picture, but what you can give.
The story of three lives, spanning the history of photography and our relationship with mortality.
Secure the shadow, ere the substance fades.

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?
Hi, sure.
I’ve always been an avid reader, and enjoyed writing stories growing up, but it wasn’t until I moved to Rwanda as a sign language researcher in 2007 that I made a serious attempt at writing a novel. Back then, books were quite hard to find, I didn’t have a telly or a radio, and the internet was too slow to stream movies. There really wasn’t much to do in the evenings, so I thought I’d take a shot at writing a novel, just to see whether I could make the word count. Once I discovered that I could, it became a bit of an addiction, and I’ve been writing ever since.
I still live in Rwanda, where I currently work with organisations helping those who survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and in my spare time I’m trying to build the first Rwandan piano with my friend Désiré.
I now have a bookshelf and the internet is fast enough to stream movies, but I continue to write novels now and then.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a very young child, I think Puddle Lane took the prize. They were short fairy tales that had a page for the adult to read and then a short sentence for the kid to read. My dad always made me read out loud before he’d turn the page. So, I have fond memories of learning to read with him.
In my teens, I was a Fighting Fantasy, Terry Pratchett and horror buff. I loved Shaun Hutson, Stephen King, anything with blood and gore.
Nowadays, I read a lot more non-fiction. Yuval Noah Harari, Peter Frankopan and Bill Bryson, but also a lot of fiction, usually more on the literary side like Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Madeline Miller, but also some silly stuff like Yahtzee Croshaw. He wrote an entertaining story about the world being taken over by man-eating strawberry jam.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Not so much. I feel like I know what I’m doing nowadays. I’ve kind of got to that stage where I realise the things that bug me, and I find difficult, are mostly the same things all writers struggle with. There really isn’t a magic answer to a lot of things, like character development and plot block, we’re all just stumbling through it the best we can.
I’ve been very lucky in that my family used to take me to the Cheltenham Literature Festival most years, so I got to sit and listen to a lot of the greats, like Ken Follet, Philip Pullman, Lionel Shriver and Ian McEwan. I was able to hear a lot of their advice first-hand.
A lot of other writers have made their brains freely available to pick, or at least leaf through. Aristotle, Stephen King, Adrian Magson and many others have written books on writing. In Stephen King’s case, literally On Writing.
Being a writer is pretty solitary. You’re the only one who can hear those imaginary voices in your head and tell the story you dreamed up. Sure, you can discuss it with people, but that doesn’t get it written any quicker. You sort of learn to become quite self-reliant.

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’ve been rather smitten with Alicia Gris from Labyrinth of the Spirits recently, but I’m not sure how much tea we’d get drunk. Just a very dark and enjoyable character. I’d like to see her perform her fountain pen trick on a buttered scone.
Anybody a little bit magical would be entertaining company. Howl, if I could pluck him from his moving castle, or Chrestomanci. I’m a sucker for a smoking jacket.
There are just too many to choose from.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
No. I’m useless at routine, and whenever I try to stick to one, the universe usually has other ideas. Writing is a chaotic process, so I prefer to embrace the chaos.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Neil Gaiman did a good interview where he said, ‘never ask a writer where they get their ideas.’ Honestly, I don’t know. You can have an idea any time of the day or night. Riding on the bus, walking across a park, staring at your navel. There are hundreds of ideas all over the place. The question is, which one is going to make it to 100,000 words?
That’s always the issue. Not every idea has the longevity to be interesting for more than a couple of pages. Most stories are a hotchpotch of lots of different ideas, and when you start to run thin on ink, it’s time to throw another idea in there and keep writing. Usually, you need a collection of ideas to produce a full-length novel.
But many of those ideas come to you once you start writing. Stories are fluid. Half the fun is discovering the story as you’re writing it, which means new ideas can ambush you along the way.
If I were a memoirist, I’d write about people I know, but as I write fiction, I’m wholly devoted to those I make up. For me, fiction is escapism, I’d hate to pollute it with reality.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
One hundred percent pantser. Usually by the seat of.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Nothing more than other, much more famous, writers have said: read a lot, read as widely as you can, expect the first few stories you write to be dreadful, but learn from them.
To paraphrase Labyrinth of the Spirits: ‘Writing is a profession that has to be learnt, but it’s impossible to teach.’
Grammar can be taught, sentence structure and plot construction can be taught, but what makes a story work – that’s more art than science, and it just takes time.

What are your future plans as an author?
I’m currently working with a fantastic group of actors to turn my epic The Children of Lir into an audiobook. It’s been wonderfully creative and a real treat to be part of something so collaborative. I’m also self-narrating The Tangled Forest, a collection of dark fairy tales I wrote a few years back. That’s proving more of a challenge. Despite having written the book, I’m actually finding it pretty tricky to read out loud. In between, I’m doing a little light research for another novel, set in ancient Akkad. So, lots of fun things on the go at the moment.

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

Reuben took a piece of white paper and a brush, painting its surface with silver nitrate. Then he placed the silhouette over the top and took it into the hallway, exposing it to the full force of a carbon arc lamp. As he did so, the paper began to darken until it was the same black as the silhouette. He peeled the top layer away to reveal Bella and Archie, their outline wedding-white like fallen snow.
“A photogram,” Reuben explained. “The earliest form of photography. From photo, meaning light, and gram, meaning drawing. A light drawing.”
“But why did you choose to make one of–”
“Watch.”
As they stood looking at the simple play of shadow on sun, the white image began to fade. At first, just the edges started to fray. Then, piece by piece, the entire picture began to turn black. Archie and Bella, and their archway of ribbons, darkened until there was nothing left of them.
“Gone,” Reuben whispered, looking down at her. “How do you feel?”
“Better, I think.”
“A life that might have been, but never was. Captured for a moment, then returned to history.”
“A clever trick.”
He kissed her gently on the cheek.

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

Giveaway :

Win 3 x Paperback copies of Secure The Shadow (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Punishment – Paul Clayton @Claytoncast

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

MK3MvAeo

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

About the Author :

S0DR2dXcClayton is an actor best known for his appearances as Ian Chapman in five series of the awardwinning Channel 4 comedy Peep Show and as Graham in two series of the BAFTA winning comedy Him and Her. Other credits include Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Holby City as well as This is Alan Partridge, Doctor Who, The Crown, Vera, Wolf. He is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
His previous books are So You Want To Be A Corporate Actor? and The Working Actor and he is a regular columnist in The Stage.
He is a proud patron of Grimm and Co, the children’s literacy charity, based in his home town of Rotherham.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Instagram

Synopsis :

vQWKxdScWhat do you do when you are an ex-soap star down on your luck and running out of money?
For Daniel Maple, a chance meeting in a nightclub presents him with an offer he finds hard to refuse…
But crime makes you pay.
And someone, somewhere, wants you punished.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

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

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve been working as an actor for 22 years in theatre film and television and I also work as director in theatre and across the world directing corporate events. A couple of years ago I was commissioned to write a book about this and I followed it up with a book about acting. It’s always been my ambition to write the type of book that I love to read which is a page turner with a couple of good twists, so that’s what I set out to do with The Punishment.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I remember having the Narnia books read to us when I was in junior school and then buying them all to read for myself and I always remember a book called “The Otterbury Incident” by CS Lewis which had a fabulous villain. An English teacher at grammar school introduced me to the work of Roald Dahl when I was in the fourth wall and I remember devouring book after book of short stories. It was great fun later to be in Tales of the Unexpected television.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would have absolutely loved an hour in the presence of Ruth Rendell. To me her plotting is beautiful and her writing has her simplicity and readability about it that hurls you into the story without you ever realising it. How she manages to make the mundane menacing and delve into the psychological torment of her characters in a very human way was something that always fascinated me and kept me turning the pages whenever I was reading one of her books or a Barbara Vine.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
That is a brilliant question. I think I might want to invite Miss Marple or Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I think they’d be interesting conversation, but it might be a wasted opportunity not to invite somebody magical, so I’m very tempted to issue an invite to Severus Snape or Sirius Black.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
As a freelancer the one thing I relish is not having a routine. Turning up on a film set for your first day of shooting, even though you’ve done it many times before, can make you feel like the new boy. One of the most difficult things for me to get into the habit of as a writer is to make sure that I do it every day whether I want to or not. I need a cup of coffee on the desk and I need a word target to hit. I’m very good with deadlines, but I’m not very good at making them myself.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
The Punishment is based on an incident that happened to me as a young actor, but in real life I took the easier “say no” route. Finding out how to dispose of bodies, blow things up, and do rather unpleasant things in a butcher shop were all rather fabulous to research, but I think I can honestly say I won’t be trying any of them out on a personal basis.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a great person for having a to-do list and because my life doesn’t really have a routine, I try to plan as much as possible. Asked my partner about when we’re going on holiday!. Having planned the outline of “The Punishment” on a writing retreat in France, I then surprised myself during the writing of it as to how much it departed from what was planned. I found I rather enjoyed the surprise element and my second book which I’m about halfway through writing now, has surprised me even more.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
If you want to learn to act, then you’re probably best to talking to an actor. If you want to learn how to change a tap, then have a good chat with a plumber. If you want to write, or improve your writing then chat to a writer. I had the brilliant Jane Wenham Jones as a mentor to bounce things off, and it was on a retreat led by her, that I got the book started. Set yourself achievable objectives. Don’t just say I’m going to write a book by the end of the year. How many words you going to write by the end of next week? How many by the end of the month? Smaller objectives are much easier to reach.

What are your future plans as an author?
People have been very kind about “The Punishment” and it’s been a great joy hearing how people were shocked by the twists and read well past their bedtime in order to finish it. I thought writing a second book would be easier, but it isn’t. They say write about what you know, but this time I tried to stretch that a little bit. My second novel, provisionally titled “The Hoax” is about a toxic friendship. It was inspired by something I read in a newspaper, but I tried to use bits of my own experience to colour the story, and hopefully keep people turning the pages.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
The extract is just one of several examples of behind the scenes secrets that pepper the story. People have found them fun, and readers also find it fun to spot which soap the hero is actually in. All of it is based on truth. It’s just had a bit of colour added.

At this moment in time London was less of a concern than getting away from this godforsaken Highland outpost.
“South. I suppose I just want to get as far south as I can.”
“Then let’s see what we can do for you, Mr Plinge. I’m sure I’ll be able to help somehow.”
On arrival at the desk she’d asked for my name, and with an imagination frozen by a night sleeping under a fir tree, I’d given her the name that actors have used for centuries when playing two parts in a play, and not wanting to be credited for one of them.

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

Giveaway :

Win 5 x E-copies of The Punishment (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

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

lillian White's Journey

Today I’m on the ‘Lillian White’s Journey’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

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

Synopsis :

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

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

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

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I had a great career as cabin crew for many years and used to write short stories alongside this path. One particular piece of writing grew and grew and as years went by i had a fully typed manuscript. I was introduced to a copy-editor, the first person to read my work (aside from my husband), who offered great support and encouragement giving me the confidence to take it to print.

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

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

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would love to spend time with Sam, Lillian’s close friend in my novel. She’s honest, takes no prisoners and is great in a crisis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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

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

End of the road tour(1)

Today I’m on the ‘The End of the Road’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

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

Website
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Synopsis :

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

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

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

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

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

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

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would love to invite Georgie, the heroine of my debut novel, Life Without Me. She helped me break onto the publishing scene. I owe her quite a bit and would like to thank her. Also, we are quite similar so we would have a lot to talk and laugh about. It would be a very laid-back tête-à-tête.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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