#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #Excerpt : Game of the Gods – Paolo Maurensig , translated by @AnneMilanoAppel @WorldEdBooks

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

Game of the Gods BT Poster One

Today I’m on the ‘Game of the Gods’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Paolo Maurensig was born in Gorizo, and lives in Udine, Italy. Now a bestselling author, he debuted in 1993 with The Lüneburg Variation, translated into over twenty languages. His novels include Canone Inverso, The Guardian of Dreams, and The Archangel of Chess. For his novel Theory of Shadows, he won the Bagutta Prize. A Devil Comes to Town, previously published by World Editions, is a brilliant, satirical novella about literary publishing. Game of the Gods is Maurensig’s latest novel and was awarded the prestigious Premio Scanno 2019 Literary Award.

Synopsis :

Inspired by the true story of Indian chess master Malik Mir Sultan Khan

Game of the Gods CoverThe story of a lowly servant who, for an instant, becomes a king.
In 1930s British India, a humble servant learns the art of chaturanga, the ancient Eastern ancestor of chess. His natural talent soon catches the attention of the maharaja, who introduces him to the Western version of the game.
Brought to England as the prince’s pawn, Malik becomes a chess legend, winning the world championship and humiliating the British colonialists. During World War II his skills as a refined strategist eventually drag him into a strange game of warfare with far-reaching consequences.
Inspired by the unlikely true story of chess master Malik Mir Sultan Khan, Game of the Gods is a fascinating tale of karma and destiny, by the author of the multimillion-copy bestseller The Lüneburg Variation.

Amazon

Excerpt :

FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF NORMAN LA MOTTA
1

In 1965 I was in the Punjab, sent by the Washing- ton Post to cover the developments of a difficult diplomatic negotiation that was drawing India and Pakistan towards the abyss of a bloody conflict. At the moment, however, the situation seemed to be at a standstill: news was scant and no one could predict how much longer the respite would go on. For some weeks I had been staying in a hotel in Delhi, along with about thirty col- leagues from other countries. The air was heavy, electric—monsoon season was coming up—and we reporters spent the day formulating hypotheses, drinking beer, and playing cards.
The waiting became more and more enervating day by day, and by then I had reached the point where I could no longer stand that state of vitiating dejection. Fortunately, I found a way out of it. What drove me into a seemingly fruitless venture was a comment overheard in passing while we were at the table. The speaker was a Belgian journalist, a veteran, known for his many years of experience in “oriental matters.”
“The weak point,” he said, “the one that will suffer the greatest repercussion from this conflict, will be the border that passes through Mittha Tawana.”
And it was the name of that place, about sixty miles from Delhi, that made me decide to go in search of a certain individual who had been the center of a scandal about a decade ago in New York. Finding a man who has been missing for years in a region as vast and populous as India is already a difficult undertaking in itself; it becomes hopeless on the eve of a war. Yet I felt confident.
To get a clear idea of the circumstances, how- ever, it is necessary to go back in time. The man I was looking for was an Indian who in the mid- Fifties had unwillingly been thrust into the bleak limelight of world attention, suspected of having defrauded an elderly American billionairess, a blind woman, moreover, in order to gain possession of her assets. What drew my attention to that grotesque affair at the time was the prestigious name of the accused suspect: Malik Mir Sultan Khan.
“It must be a coincidence,” I’d told myself. The name was, in fact, also that of an idol of my youth. As a boy, like so many of my peers, I had been a chess enthusiast, and I had my chosen darlings; among them, Sultan Khan had been my favorite. The fact that he came from mysterious India, traveling under the protection of an authentic maharaja, had only fueled my adolescent fantasy.
Finally, the surprise: it was the very same person! There was no doubt whatsoever. The confirmation had been handed to me by a brief press release: the Sultan Khan who had been pilloried by the scandalmongering press had been a great chess champion in his youth. But for readers eager for risqué details, that fact had gone unnoticed.
At the university and later in the years to come I had tried to reconstruct the life of that individual, with the intent of writing his biography. With that story in pectore, I had subsequently even entertained the idea of winning a Pulitzer. But his tracks had been completely covered, and although I’d sent dozens and dozens of letters to the editorial offices of various chess magazines, I got nothing in return. Then, after vanishing from London even before the Second World War, he reappeared again, after ten years, more than three thousand miles away, in the city of New York.
At the time I’d been elated. It didn’t seem possible to have found him again after such a long absence. All I had to do was wait for the clamor around his case to quiet down so I could go see him and have him tell me his life story personally, word by word. But things did not turn out the way I had hoped, because, once the curtain had been lowered on the tragicomic episode featuring him as protagonist, Sultan Khan disappeared again.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Sleepless – Louise Mumford @louise_mumford @HQstories @HarperCollinsUK

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

About the Author :

DGQCxAhALouise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.
She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.)
In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.
Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.
Her debut thriller, SLEEPLESS, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020.

Social Media Links:
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

Synopsis :

1p-cq3rwDon’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.
Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.
So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.
Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.
But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…
An unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller for fans of The One, Behind Her Eyes and Girl A!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : Frank Penny and the Last Black Stag – Jeremy Elson @ElsonAuthor @FrankPennyBooks @EyriePress

– ‘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 ‘Frank Penny and the Last Black Stag’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

MFpdRoZj_400x400Jeremy Elson is the author of the Frank Penny series of adventure books for young adults.
Jeremy is a home educating parent himself, and Frank Penny was borne out of his desire to bring to life a home educated child, as well as tell a straightforward and compelling adventure story.

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter Elson Author
Twitter Frank Penny Books

Synopsis :

nRVdVIVQPower is not for the weak or faint-hearted.
If Frank, Cas, Gabby and Anya want to find the next two guardians of the Simbrian and keep them safe, they need to journey across the dangerous borderlands and into the dark and shadowy world of Kzarlac, sworn enemy of Byeland.
Ruled by the fearsome Etamin Dahke, Kzarlac is no place for four naïve teenagers. Keen wits and a large helping of luck are no guarantee they will succeed and return safely.
Driven by their desire to protect the delicate peace that has existed since the time of Kester, their quest is about to take a deadly turn, and the exposure of an unconceivable secret may make Frank regret ever having started.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : A Cornish Promise – Terri Nixon @TerriNixon @Piatkusbooks

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

Cornish Promise BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘A Cornish Promise’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Terri Nixon Author PicTerri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn — North Hill — 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.
Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.
As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice.
Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book.
Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Twitter
Website

Synopsis :

• Paperback : 432 pages
• ISBN-10 : 0349423997
• ISBN-13 : 978-0349423999
• Dimensions : 12.6 x 3.6 x 19.6 cm
• Publisher : Piatkus (3 Dec. 2020)

A Cornish Promise CoverWelcome to Fox Bay Hotel, where family fortunes rise and fall …
1929, Cornwall. Fiona Fox, youngest child of the celebrated Fox family, is a devoted volunteer at the local lifeboat station, giving all her free time and her energy to the selfless crew. But when she seizes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do more, she sets in motion a chain of events that sparks danger and intrigue at Fox Bay Hotel.
The stranger she brings into her family home provides an unsettling presence over Christmas, and when visiting ‘Hollywood Royalty’ is drawn into the web, Fiona has to decide how much her promises are worth after all.
But the glamorous visitors have their own secrets, and their own reasons for hiding out at Fox Bay. As those reasons become apparent, Fiona must choose between betraying a close friend, and keeping her word… And lives are at stake whichever way she turns.
Set against the dramatic Cornish coastline, this tale of secrets and strangers will delight fans of Rosie Goodwin and Evie Grace.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Trethkellis Lifeboat Station, Cornwall
December 1929

Fiona Fox wiped her condensed breath from the window of the lookout station and leaned on her crossed arms, straining for sight of the Lady Dafna. Beside her, the lamp flashed out its Morse-coded message to the 40-foot lifeboat fighting the tide in pursuit of the floundering cargo ship: vessel rounded headland south. A moment later the lifeboat’s own lamp signalled back, and Fiona’s practised eyes decoded it: the Dafna would change direction and follow the path of the stricken ship, to pick up any survivors.
Since October the coast had been battered by wind and rain that surpassed even their usual ferocity, and today was no different; the sky seemed to skim the surface of the sea like a lowering grey blanket, and the rolling, heaving water dragged it down until the two became one. December rain lashed at the window of the lookout and dripped through the leaking roof, but Fiona remained in her place while the coastguard tracked the lifeboat’s progress with the telescope. As usual he’d forgotten she was even there, which suited Fiona perfectly.
She’d arrived today, just after the call had come down from the lookout station, and had immediately joined Geoffrey Glasson, the coxswain, in rousing the sea-going crew, running from house to house, knocking on doors and yelling through letter boxes before returning to the station with eight men at their heels, along with the women; wives, sisters and daughters who formed the willing shore crew. She had watched with envy as Glasson pulled his oilskin over his head.
‘Can’t I come out this time?’
Glasson’s head popped out of the oilskin and he wrestled his beefy arms through the sleeve holes. ‘Not in a month of Sundays, maid. Anyone joins us today it’ll be Barry.’ He’d nodded at the retired helmsman, who still spent most of his days here, then held out his arms, and Fiona had sighed, unsurprised, and slipped a cork life jacket over them. She’d left him to secure it, then hurried down to the slipway to assist with the launch itself. It never failed to thrill her, watching the Lady Dafna’s bow plunge from the slipway into the water, and when the tide was high, as it was today, the spray drenched everyone within shouting distance. Icy water had soaked her from head to toe as the petrol engine coughed into life, and she’d watched, her heart in her mouth as always, until the lifeboat had stopped rocking and begun powering through the waves.
At just sixteen, and the youngest of the women who supported the boat, she was often given the grunt-work to do; cleaning and sweeping puddles of water from the station, fetching water to boil for hot drinks, and picking up and re-hanging oilskins that were often dropped where they were shed. She didn’t usually mind it in the least, and for a few minutes today she’d contentedly helped Barry Hicks re-coil the heavy, wet ropes before growing impatient to see what was happening at the sharp end. She’d taken a quick look at the others, to check she’d not be missed, and run up here to the lookout to watch Pasco Penberthy communicating with the Lady Dafna. She could have watched for hours as the Morse code flickered between them. It was like magic.
The latest information sent, Pasco seized the telescope mounted in the wall at the front of the lookout station, and swung it towards the jutting headland. ‘They’m away,’ he muttered.
‘Good luck to them.’
Pasco jumped and turned to her. ‘What are you still doin’ here, miss? They’ll want you down there sharpish, and ready. And fetch Tam Rowe, just in case. Go on!’ He made a little shooing gesture, and Fiona grinned.
‘Alright, I’m going. But can I come back after?’
‘You’ll be bored. Better off running back home to your posh ’otel.’
Fiona gave him a look he clearly recognised, because he winked, and deliberately turned his back on her to forestall further conversation. She stepped back outside and pulled her sou’wester lower as she turned into the bitter wind and hurried across to Doctor Rowe’s house. By the time she was at the door he already had his bag in hand and was dismissing the two patients who were waiting to see him.
‘Saw the signal,’ he said grimly. ‘Had a feeling I’d be called today.’
He strode away towards the station, leaving her to hurry after him. Rain drenched the rough path down to the beach, and as she splashed through puddles Fiona blinked away the drops that ran into her eyes, and blew them off the tip of her nose, but instead of taking up her place in the shelter of the station, she went straight past and onto the beach, ignoring the exasperated shouts of the women who watched her pass. Since they were all volunteers, the only person Fiona answered to was Mr Glasson, and he was out with the boat, so let them shout. The Lady Dafna had not yet come back into view, and there was no telling how long it would be before she did, but Fiona meant to be here, on hand and ready to help drag her ashore.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : Baghdad Central – Elliott Colla @AbuMrouj @bitterlemonpub

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

Baghdad Central BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Baghdad Central’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Elliot Colla Author PicElliott Colla divides his time between Washington DC and the Middle East. This is his first novel. He teaches Arabic literature at Georgetown University. He has translated much contemporary Arabic literature, including: Ibrahim Aslan’s novel, The Heron, Idris Ali’s Poor, Ibrahim al-Koni’s Gold Dust, and Rabai al-Madhoun’s The Lady from Tel Aviv.

Website

Synopsis :

Baghdad Central CoverBaghdad, November 2003. The occupation forces have disbanded the army and there is no police on the streets of Iraq. Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is a mid-level Iraqi cop who deserted his post back in April. Captured by the Americans and imprisoned in Abu Ghraib, Khafaji is offered one way out, helping the authorities rebuild the Iraqi Police Services. But it’s only after US forces take his daughter Mrouj that he figures out a way to make his surrender palatable, and even rewarding. Soon, he is investigating the disappearance of young translators working for the US Army.
Khafaji finds himself a collaborator living in a volatile world of shifting alliances and new warlords. Luckily for him, the old consolations of whiskey and love poetry can sometimes still work their magic in the new “liberated” Iraq.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Tuesday–Wednesday
25–26 November 2003

“Confirmed. Three of Diamonds!” A voice cuts through the throbbing in Khafaji’s head. He’s lying on his back, his arms tied, his legs tied. He can hear, but he can’t see. There’s a soft ache where his eyes used to be, and his sinuses feel like someone set them on re. His head is wrapped in a wet sack. His clothes are drenched. Hours go by. Every now and then, his body begins to shiver uncontrollably. Sometimes there is nothing to listen to but his heaving breath and pounding pulse. Sometimes there is loud thumping music. Then it starts again. He hears them come in without saying a word. He feels their fingers, but cannot stop them. They tip his feet up. They tip his head down. Slowly, carefully. Suddenly, he is in the Tigris. Suddenly, he is drowning. Water floods his sinuses and fingers probe his stomach and chest. And then he is drowning again. And drowning again. Each time he comes up, he is not sure if he is inhaling or exhaling or even breathing at all. The hood comes off, and it goes back on. He can feel the pain in his head, but he cannot see a thing. Darkness falls.
Hours later, Khafaji wakes to another voice. He is on his side now. On concrete. “We got him, sir. Not a face card, but a high target. We got the right intel and the right luck. Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” More people come and go. Another voice when he drifts off, another voice when he comes to. American voices. He goes to sleep, but the pain never does.
“What’s the reward on this bitch? What? Get on it, Sergeant.” It is not the shouting, but the shivering that wakes him up. The floor beneath Khafaji is ice. His clothes are gone, his skin feels warm, even hot. Between his ears, a knife slices through his mind.
“Good morning, you fuck. We know who you are. Mr Chairman, right? I’m gonna call you Chairman Fuckin’ PUC, since it’s easier to say than your hajji name. You may not be America’s Most Wanted. But you’re in the deck, Bitch. You belong to us!”
Khafaji feels a shoe by his ear. He feels someone breathing. A hand pulls at the cloth over his eyes. A new voice. “What the hell happened to this PUC’s face?” A long pause. The man hums for a moment then shouts to someone else, “Something’s not right.” Khafaji listens to the sound of boots crossing the room.
“You don’t understand a word I’m saying to you, do you? I’m gonna smoke your PUC ass.” A sudden kick to the kidneys, and Khafaji falls into another dark dream.
At some point, the blindfold comes off, and cold water slaps his face. Only now, gasping for air, does Khafaji feel the tape over his mouth. His screams come out in mute heaves. There’s not enough air in this room to fill my lungs.
His naked body shakes like it belongs to someone else. His skin twitches each time it remembers the frozen concrete. He tries to control his sobbing, but he can’t. Gradually, his tears just stop and things begin to loom out of the fog. A bare room. A metal door. Walls of paint peeling from cracked concrete. A standard-issue metal desk. Two standard-issue metal chairs and a wooden one. Fluorescent lights that blink and pop at random. Missing ceiling tiles. All somewhat familiar. Even an office man like Khafaji knows this kind of room. He’s just never seen it from this angle before.
An American walks up sideways. Like a crab, his arms a pair of ragged claws. He reaches out and snaps something. Khafaji’s legs spring free. Then they begin to throb and ache. He unbinds Khafaji’s hands then fastens them again in front. When Khafaji begins to roll his shoulders, the blood pours in. A thousand sharp needles turn muscle and skin into meat. Even so, his fingertips are numb. Khafaji looks closely at the man in front of him. A face like a dish that was broken and glued back together again. The American unfastens the gag and smiles intimately. Like they’ve met before. Khafaji knows the look. Two other men walk up and grab Khafaji by the shoulders. They heave him onto the wooden chair. Beneath his weight, it creaks and settles. Someone throws a dirty blanket over his shoulders, and Khafaji manages to pull it around his body.
Only when Khafaji hears the voice offering him a cigarette does he realize there’s someone else in the room. An Iraqi.
“Happy Eid, you son of a whore. You like American cigarettes? Virginia tobacco? I know you do. You say you hate those Americans, but you love their cigarettes more than anything else in the world.” Someone lights a cigarette and sets it on Khafaji’s lips. He takes a drag. When the smoke hits his gut, he coughs. The nicotine begins to set in, though not soon enough. The pain, now dulling, recedes to the background.
The voice is familiar, but there’s something off. Khafaji can barely make out the short bald man in the corner. From Mosul, by his accent. Italian suit. Spotless shoes. The man must never have to walk on our streets. A leather smell. Cologne. His face is almost famous.
But there’s something puzzling. Why is he showing his face? Then it sinks in. He doesn’t care. To take his mind off the pain, Khafaji studies the man’s face. Pink #esh. Hairless, except for eyebrows. Loud blue eyes. Minutes go by before he realizes the Mosuli is talking to him.
“…and this is just the start, you piece of shit. When we nd your brother, we’ll bring him in. And the rest of your family too. Want to know how we’ll treat them? You’ll get to see. You’ll get to watch.”
“Where’s my daughter, you cunt?”
From behind, someone slams Khafaji’s face into the desk and shouts, “You need to be more respectful.” Hands tear the blanket off and throw it on the ground.
Khafaji coughs and gags. A plastic cup of water appears on the table in front of Khafaji, and he swallows it in one gulp.
“I will.” When Khafaji speaks, the sound of his own voice stuns him. Weak and distant. Floating in mid-air, like it came from somewhere else. Like a child shouting from a locked room. Suddenly he wants to look at himself in the mirror.
The American nods at the Mosuli, and the two men leave.
Khafaji sits alone with his thoughts again. The blanket just beyond his toes.
Nazik appears behind him and whispers in his ear:
There is no Mutassim I can call
And there is no Saladin among us.
We sleep at night, and wake at dawn wounded, Stabbed, killed.
How do we make peace with tyranny?
How do we shake hands with Satan?

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #PromoPost : Human Resources – Robin Triggs @RobinTriggs @FlameTreePress

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

Human Resources BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Human Resources’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Robin-Triggs.0Robin was raised in a Bradford library but now lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and freshly-minted small person. Trained as an archaeologist, he now works as a proofreader when not wrangling tourists at the Bodleian Library.

Synopsis :

Human Resources CoverThe sequel to Night Shift, praised by Crime Review and Cemetery Dance.
Antarctica. A city on the edge of nowhere.
Anders Nordvelt is chief of security in this frozen land, so, when a prominent member of a dissident group is murdered, it is his job to find the killer. Unsatisfied with the obvious explanation, Anders keeps pushing until the body of a colleague turns up in his apartment.
Could Anders really be the killer? Why does he half-remember wielding the knife? And why are the whispers of a fabled Human Resources black-ops team getting ever louder? As for Anders, he’s about to enter a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a ruthless killer.

Amazon

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #QandAs : The Kidney Killer #TheKidneyKiller – MM Hudson @milesmhudson

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

Kidney Killer BT Poster

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

About the Author :

Miles Hudson Author picNotionally, I’m a school physics teacher. I’ve worked in a variety of schools in north-east England and started recently as the PGCE Physics tutor at Newcastle Uni. I also write a whole load of textbook materials for schools, my biggest titles being A Level Physics books for Edexcel exam board courses.
And I’m the inventor of the Best Fit Line Ruler. I ran a small business making and selling those but after ten years and 50,000 rulers, I’ve stopped making them.
I have a major passion for writing fiction. My future-set series of novels, starting with 2089, is about a gently post-apocalyptic, Orwellian future England. You could say ‘sci-fi’, but it’s not really lasers and spaceships; ‘dystopian’ catches the themes well.
I’ve also developed a great series of detective novels featuring the duo Penfold and DS Tony Milburn. Based in Durham City CID, DS Milburn and his civilian foil, the kiwi surfer, Penfold, solve cases that take in high stakes such as murder and big heists, but in a very cerebral way. Holmes and Watson for the 21st Century, if you will.

Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

The Kidney Killer CoverA kidnap, a theft, and a murderous moon-worshipping cult: Detective Sergeant Milburn has his work cut out to solve several cases that all appear at once.
Milburn’s job is trickier as both victims are friends with his girlfriend. He desperately needs to solve the cases but has to keep his personal involvement secret. With the clock ticking down on the fate of the second missing woman, the pressure ramps up.
Penfold, the detective’s enigmatic surfer friend, is called on to help investigate. His puzzle-solving genius helps sift real clues from red herrings. The struggle for leads is constant, until it becomes clear that Penfold and Milburn are, in fact, central to all the crimes.
This is the second Penfold mystery novel, set in Durham in the north of England.

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?
My original career was physics teacher, but I’ve moved out of the classroom to be a full time writer, for five or six years now, and I make most of my salary from writing physics textbooks for schools. In the last few years, I’ve transitioned more and more into writing fiction, which is way more interesting than writing textbooks! The Penfold detective series started with The Cricketer’s Corpse, and the new one is The Kidney Killer, published on 5th November.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I read a lot of sci-fi as a teenager. Since then, I’ve moved through the classics, especially Dickens and Hardy, to a point now, where I very consciously and deliberately read a diverse and eclectic, almost random, range of books. If you look at the book reviews I’ve put on my website you can see what a bizarre range it is!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Currently, I’d probably say Cory Doctorow. His activism, including as presented in his fiction, very much reflects the political and philosophical ideas I’m interested in right now. How one can turn consideration of ideas like these into successful novels is something I’m wrestling with at the moment.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
The hero of my detective novels, Penfold, is a total polymath, with an unbelievably colourful life history. Any conversation with him would be interesting in the extreme.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I spend most of most workdays writing at my computer. So I try every day to wander into town for a cappuccino, really just to get out of the house every day. I don’t write in the coffee shop, it’s an escape!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I’m not really sure I can identify the wellspring for the actual story ideas. In terms of characters modelled on people I know, the answer is ‘not really’. Most of my characters will have some aspect of people I’ve met, including myself – I don’t think it’s realistic to try and expect that this wouldn’t be the case. But none of my characters are identifiable as any specific person I know.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Very much a plotter. I begin any novel with a brainstorming notebook, which also includes other preparatory and research elements, like maps, and timelines, and character backstories. By the time I get to the computer keyboard, the story is pretty much totally planned, even half written, in handwritten scribbles in the notebook. So the actual typing goes relatively quickly when I get to it.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Read as much as you can, and read widely.
Write all the time, whether it be little scraps of phrases and word play all the way through to full books.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’ve actually got two fiction series, both of which have new books coming out. I mentioned the new Penfold detective story above, but my dystopian future series, which started with 2089, has the sequel to that one out in February. That’s called The Mind’s Eye and will be followed, probably in 2022, by the prequel to that series called, The Times of Malthus. Squeezed in there somewhere along the way will be another case for Penfold and DS Milburn.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
In The Kidney Killer, we meet a serious criminal mastermind, who will give Penfold and Milburn the runaround in many future stories. But can your blog visitors identify who it is before they get to the big reveal at the end of the book?

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

Kidney Killer Graphic 4

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 / #Excerpt : Second Chances – P.D. Cacek @PDCacek @FlameTreePress

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

FINAL Second Chances BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Second Chances’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

P-D-Cacek.0The winner of both a Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Award, P.D. Cacek has published over a hundred short stories and five novels. Cacek holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Creative Writing from the University of California at Long Beach and has been a guest lecturer at the Odyssey Writing Camp.

Synopsis :

Second Chances CoverThe sequel to Second Lives, praised by Publishers Weekly as “a rewarding exploration of the emotions felt both by those confronting their own deaths and those left behind to mourn.”
It has been four years since the first Travelers came back, and in that time their numbers have grown. There is still no explanation for their existence, but for the most part they have been accepted into society and given special protection under the law. There are those, however, who see these Imposters as a threat to both their lives and their faith. The True Borns believe in “One Body, One Soul” and will do everything and anything in their power to put an end to the Travelers.

Amazon

Excerpt :

PART ONE
IMPOSTERS
October 2017

* * * *

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Eva Steinar looked down at her hands, folded peacefully in her lap, and realized with something close to shock that they were her mother’s hands. She’d had beautiful hands once, everyone told her so – small and graceful, the fingers long and delicate, the pale skin smooth and soft. But that was a long time ago and now her hands were old and wrinkled, dotted with age spots and crisscrossed with the tiny scars she’d gotten over the years.
Just like her mother’s.
She should have been more careful with her hands.
She should have been more careful with everything.
She should have paid more attention.
“But I don’t understand,” she said, because her husband hadn’t said a word since the doctor explained what he thought happened. “Curtis was fine.”
“No,” the doctor said, “he wasn’t, and I don’t think this was as sudden as you’d like to believe.”
Eva squeezed her fingers together until the work-reddened skin turned an ugly shade of yellow.
“Curtis is my son,” she said, looking up to meet the doctor’s eyes. “I would have known if he was sick.”
The doctor met her eyes. “I spoke with the counselor at your son’s school and she said both you and your husband were made aware of Curtis’s increasingly bizarre behavior.”
Eva shook her head. “The woman has always been against Curtis. She’s intimidated by his genius.”
“Mrs. Steinar, I am reasonably sure neither’s the case. Ms. Gates is a qualified adolescent counselor who is simply concerned about—”
“Keeping her job.” Eva couldn’t believe the vindictiveness of the woman. “I know Ms. Gates and she’s a bitter, angry woman who fabricates problems and manipulates parents into believing them. If she was good enough she would have been a real counselor with her own practice. I mean, it’s high school for God’s sake, why do they feel they need a counselor in the first place? A school nurse was all we got when I was in school.”
When the doctor looked like he was about to say something, Eva lifted her right hand to stop him. Her fingers throbbed as the blood rushed back to fill them. “You have his charts so you know Curtis was given the Stanford-Binet intelligence test and scored one hundred and sixty-four. I gave him the test myself.”
The doctor lowered his chin. “You did?”
“Yes. I found the test online and printed it out and gave it to Curtis. It didn’t take him long to finish. He’s gifted, a genius, and geniuses don’t think or behave the way – other children do.”
She’d almost said ‘the way normal children do’ but knew the doctor would have jumped on the word for all the wrong reasons. Curtis wasn’t normal, Eva knew that. Dear God, why would he be normal? He was above normal; he was a genius.
The doctor sat back, nodding in defeat Eva thought.
“I see. But geniuses generally don’t walk into a school’s science lab during lunch hour and kill a half dozen rats and guinea pigs, claiming they’re alien invaders.”
“What?” her husband said. “Jesus, the school didn’t mention that. They just said he’d passed out and was brought here. He…Curtis killed them?”
It was the first time her husband spoke since the doctor asked them to sit down and Eva wished he’d remained silent.
“It was the movie,” she said quickly, before he could say anything else.
Both the doctor and her husband looked puzzled. “What was?”
“What…they said Curtis did. He watched a movie last night on his computer. What do you call it, streaming? Yes, he was streaming this movie on his computer and I happened to look in when I passed his door.” Eva rolled the unexpected shudder out of her shoulders. “It was…very violent and Curtis was just sitting there staring at it. He didn’t even hear me when I called.”
The doctor made a note on the open file in front of him. “Did you try to get him to turn off the computer?”
Eva clasped her hands over her purse again. She’d tried. Once she noticed what he was watching – how could they show things like that? – she all but ran to his bed and touched his shoulder. She hadn’t yelled or shouted because Curtis was sensitive to loud noises, but she had run and somehow forgot he didn’t like sudden movements either. And it scared him, must have scared him because he never would have hit her otherwise. Curtis was a good boy, a genius.
She’d scared him and he just reacted. It was her fault.
Thank God for makeup and a husband who wouldn’t have noticed a broken jaw let alone a slight bruise below her right eye.
“Of course I did,” she said, “and he turned it right off.”
The doctor wrote something else. “But you think those images stayed with him?”
Eva didn’t like the direction the conversation was going. “I suppose, but it’s the movie’s fault. They shouldn’t show things like that to impressionable children.”
The doctor took a deep breath and Eva felt another shudder weave its way up her back.
“No, you’re right, they shouldn’t, but most impressionable children only have nightmares. They don’t confuse what they saw in a movie with reality the way Curtis did.” He set the pen aside and tapped his fingers against the file. Eva found herself watching his hand. It didn’t look like a doctor’s hand, although she had no idea what a doctor’s hand might look like. The knuckles were too big. “Ms. Gates also mentioned he’d had trouble concentrating in class.”
“Geniuses get bored easily,” Eva said to the doctor’s hand. “The teachers don’t know how to keep him stimulated.”
“And there have been some anger issues.”
“Hormones. He’s a teenager.”
“With paranoid delusions. Has Curtis been having trouble sleeping?”
“No.”
“Yes.” Eva stopped looking at the doctor’s hand and glared at her husband. “I hear him sometimes at night, walking back and forth and talking to himself. It’s more than just hormones, isn’t it?”
“Yes, Mr. Steinar. Once Curtis was stable and coherent, I asked a colleague of mine to speak to him and we both feel Curtis is experiencing sudden-onset adolescent schizophrenia.”
“What are you talking about?” Eva demanded, but neither the doctor nor her husband seemed to notice.
“I’m very sorry, but it’s not as dire a prognosis as you may think.”
“He’s not sick!”
“I knew something was wrong,” her husband said. “I knew it. What can we do?”
“Did you hear me? He’s not sick!”
“I think the first thing we need to do is get Curtis on an antipsychotic drug regimen. There are some wonderful second-generation drugs that have fewer side effects and—”
Eva stopped trying to be heard. Instead she went quiet and listened and nodded and when her husband asked question after question she kept quiet and listened and nodded again. The doctor was wrong. The doctor’s colleague, whoever it was, was wrong. Her husband was wrong. All of them were wrong and when she got home she was going to call their lawyer and sue Ms. Gates for starting the whole thing.
There was nothing wrong with her son except that he was too bright, too advanced for any of them to recognize. Curtis was a genius and geniuses were different.
“You’ll have to make sure Curtis takes his medication every day, Mrs. Steinar.”
Eva nodded again and stood up. “Of course I will. Can I see my son now?”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #Excerpt : The Beach Party Mystery #TheBeachPartyMystery – Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram

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

Beach Party Mystery BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘The Beach Party Mystery’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Peter Bartram Author PicturePeter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.
You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from www.colincrampton.com.
Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

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Synopsis :

• Paperback : 282 pages
• ISBN-13 : 979-8689870687
• Publisher : Independently published (28 Sept. 2020)
• Product dimensions : 13.97 x 1.8 x 21.59 cm
• Language : English

The Beach Party Mystery CoverMurder stalks the beach party…
Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show.It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death.As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea?The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.

Amazon

Excerpt :

The story so far…
Colin Crampton, crime reporter on the Brighton Evening Chronicle has been tipped off that there’s been a murder at Embassy Court, a posh block of flats on the seafront. The tip-off has come from Detective Inspector Ted Wilson, Colin’s only trusted contact in the Brighton police. Ted has warned Colin that his boss – Detective Chief Superintended Alec Tomkins – has tipped off Jim Houghton, Colin’s rival crime reporter from the Evening Argus. Now read on…

The cops had strung up a blue tape across the stairs leading to the upper floors of Embassy Court.
They’d posted a uniform plod to stop people sneaking under the tape.
I took the lift.
Brighton’s cops never think of everything. Fortunately.
Ted had told me the murdered man was on the second floor. Flat number 27. It wasn’t hard to identify the apartment. A couple of the forensics team were outside the front door doing something with a doormat.
I strolled up and said: “You won’t get any footprints off that.”
A forensic guy with mournful eyes looked up. “If you knew what we’d found on doormats, you’d never wipe your feet again.”
I didn’t wipe my feet. Instead, I pushed in through the door. I could hear raised voices coming from a room off to my left.
Ted yelled: “And I say you can’t sit down there.”
Jim Houghton said: “My leg’s giving me gyp. If I don’t sit down, I’ll fall down.”
I stuck my head round the door and said: “Don’t count on me to pick you up.”
Jim turned an evil eye on me and said: “How did you get up here?”
“Same way as you, I expect. In the lift.”
I moved further into the room. “Where’s the corpus delicti?” I asked.
“What?” Ted said.
“He means the stiff,” Jim added.
“In the bedroom, back of the apartment,” Ted said. “But you can’t go in there. Tomkins is examining the body.”
“He gets all the fun,” I said. “Who’s the unlucky devil?”
“One Claude Winterbottom,” Ted said.
“With a name like that, he’s well out of it,” I said.
“Occupation?” Jim asked.
“Being dead,” I said.
“Before that?” Jim grumbled.
Ted harrumphed. “Some kind of investment consultant as far as we can make out. But we’re still looking into that.”
“How did he die?” I asked.
“Bludgeoned,” Ted said. “Around the head.”
“What with?” Jim asked.
“We haven’t found the murder weapon yet. But whoever did it, wiped the weapon clean with Winterbottom’s handkerchief. Left the bloodied snot rag beside the body.”
“Strange to have left that when he took the weapon with him,” I said.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #QandAs : Bloodstock #Bloodstock – Rod Humphris @Rod_Humphris @Rats_Tales

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

Bloodstock BT Poster 1

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

About the Author :

Rod Author PicIn his office you will find Rod typing, flanked by two enormous dogs, and surrounded by the ephemera he has collected on his travels.

“I always read. Since I can remember. First Asterix, then Willard Price, then Conan Doyle, then everything else. I’ve had a paperback jammed into my back pocket most days of my life. I remember wanting to write a book when I was about 12 and wanting to put everything into it.
I’ve read every kind of book, but the ones I love most are stories of adventure, so that’s what I write. I’ve put thousands of hours into learning to do it well. It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve developed my own voice and my own style. I spend so much time with Si, my main character, that he seems as real to me as anyone I know. In some cases, more so. I’m happiest and most productive when travelling about in my battered old truck with a canoe on top and a dog in the back.”

Rod Humphris is the winner of N. N. Light Best Fiction Award, 2016.

Synopsis :

FINAL Bloodstock Cover ImageAfter what feels like a lifetime of mayhem, Simon Ellice returns to the Hampshire village where he grew up. He enjoys the solace and tranquility of rural life, working on a farm and getting to know the lively locals, but suddenly Si walks right into a deadly mystery. Old friends are going missing and then turning up dead. Someone from the City is spreading their evil tentacles and Si dives into London’s underworld to uncover a conspiracy of poisoning, murder and pagan ritual that threatens those closest to him. Written with Humphris’ razor-sharp style, this is Simon Ellice’s darkest and most challenging adventure yet, touching on themes of sacrifice and objectification, that threaten the very foundations of our civilised world.

Amazon

Screenshot_2020-11-01 Rat's Tales Independent Publisher Artisan Storyteller

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?
How did I become an author? I became an author because I read a book. Well, I read hundreds and hundreds of books. Hang on – before that, I was read to. We were one of those families where our parents read us a chapter of a book last thing before bed. And the house was full of books. Okay, that happens to lots of people and they don’t become authors, so why me?
What is a book? Looking back to my boyhood, and thinking about what a book is to me now, it’s the same thing; a present pleasure and an opening of the world to me. I loved reading because it was fun, and having all those ways of being, thinking, living, loving brought into my head has been an essential part of my experience of being human and alive. Does it sound as if books are important to me? They are, and they have been since I can remember being me.
I think it’s quite natural to want to do something you value so highly. But also, I have the right kind of brain. My brain likes words. I have good verbal reasoning. You can give me a dense paragraph of legalese and I can read it and tell you what it says. Perhaps, even what it means. The sense, I mean, not necessarily specific terms. The same is not true for numbers, or shapes or sounds or lots of other things in the world; but my brain is comfortable with words.
And if I have any musical sense, it works in words. The rhythm of them, the beat, the assonance, resonance and dissonance. I really love words, really. And they all feel related to me. Give me any word, whether I know it or not, and it will set off a whole chain of associated sounds and roots and similarities in my head. Words have worlds of meanings that lie under their ‘meaning’. And somehow those meanings connect down into my emotional centre. Books, words move me easily. Reading Jane Eyre when I was a boy, really did make me cry.
And another thing: writing a book is really hard. That’s very attractive. However well I do it, I feel that I’m only just at the beginning. Each new book is a challenge to be more present, more engaged, more committed. To work harder to do better. What I actually achieve – that’s for others to say – but I get up and go at it like it really matters, and to me it does. That is very good for me; energising.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Many books are engraved on my brain. The first I remember was Parlicoot Finds a Playmate, by Alex McLeod. I loved Asterix too. Then Willard Price’s Adventure series – proper reading. Alister Maclean, what a great writer. HMS Ulysses, what a wonderful book. And, because no one suggested that any particular book was or wasn’t for me, I read Vanity Fair and The Way of All Flesh and Ivanhoe, all kinds of things. If I didn’t know a word, I would guess and carry on reading anyway. Sometimes I would look them up later, but often my guesses were close enough, or got better. Occasionally I get tripped up now by words that I decided what they meant when I was a child, and I still do. Same for pronunciations. Now I know taciturn is tassiturn, but it used to be tackiturn for me and it stuck for years. Who really cares anyway?
Now I read less and less as my head isn’t big enough. When I’ve got whatever book I’m currently writing loaded into it, there’s not enough space for another book. I read odd things that don’t compete. I’ve tried to read The Master and Margarita a couple of times and I think it’s great, but it takes up too much space. The voice is too strong. At the moment, I’m reading the Ramayana, a retelling by Nalgit Nagra. The energy and freedom of his writing is superb. I’m really, really enjoying it.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Hemingway is an obvious choice, but he’s written a lot on writing. I find that when I’m learning from someone about how to do something, it’s often not what they say, but how they are, that is most helpful. I’m a great believer that either we choose lines of work because of who we are, or that the work itself shapes us. Or both. Either way, may I please join Robert Louis Stevenson and Modestine (the donkey) walking through the Cevennes? Drinking brandy and eating cold meat, sleeping under canvas and getting lost in byways. I just want to be with him and absorb what he is/was/has. How he moves and speaks. Not just what he says, but what he doesn’t say.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Ah, well there could be a lot of easy answers to that. Right now, I’d like to have tea with Jean Francois Dedome, Dominus of St Benarres. He’s ex-foreign legion a quasi-monk, and one of the few men Si is physically frightened of. A man of great certainty, great faith, and great innocence.
But the truthful answer, of course, is Si himself. I’m worried the world might implode though. Or I might. He’s so much me-and-not-me at once. I would genuinely be scared of meeting him. I don’t know what I would find out about myself. Or perhaps if we met, he might vanish and that would be absolutely terrible. Or, as he’s a lot stronger than me, I might vanish. But, also I would be desperate to meet him. I am in love with him; that’s the truth. I know he’s a man, and fictional, and a shit in many ways. Oh dear.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not really. I do staring into space quite a bit. And when my brain starts to hurt, I get up and walk about. Usually with the dogs. That almost always helps. And when I’m really stuck, I walk about saying out loud to myself what’s happening, who’s who and what’s supposed to be going on. That helps too, though I try not to do it when there are other people within earshot. I try to stop when it’s good, not when it’s bad. But sometimes that can’t be avoided. When I’m really working hard, often I dream about the characters, and that helps.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I’ve had a couple of people read some of my work and say, ‘I thought you were quite a nice person until I read that’. It seems to be an occupational hazard. Ideas usually come to me from the feeling of places in the beginning.
Bloodstock came from the feeling of being in a clearing in a wood not far from me. The essential magicness of the place, especially in the summer. I lay on the grass there reading Robert Graves’s White Goddess and the place became filled with thoughts and images of women with knowledge and certainties bourne of centuries of secret power. (yes, I meant bourne as in rising water, not born)
Intention, the book I’m working on now, comes from the feeling of standing in the chapel of Loarre Castle in Northern Spain. A beautiful, austere space with alabaster windows, a simple altar, no pews. And trapdoors for quick escape in case of attack. Christian knights would pray there in the 11th century before going out to die on the plains below. I stood there and had feelings about praying there with my brothers before going out to die, and there was the feeling that is central to the book.
And, if you’re interesting, I will collect you. Writers are a species of vulture. We file away phrases and connections and emotions and ways of moving and everything, and then those things leak into whatever we write, whether we intend it, or not.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Plot? There is no such thing as plot, only character! Well, sort of. If all is going well, I know where I start, and I know where I end and then I set off. As the characters develop, they direct the journey in between. And the endpoint informs who they are. In reality, it’s usually a big mess for a lot of the time and I just have to live with the mess until it stops being a mess.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
If you can’t write great stuff, write shit. The shit gets better, and anyway, it’s not always easy to tell one from the other until later. But write, just write. Doing it teaches you to do it. All the things about how to do it are interesting and useful in a way, but also completely useless. You have to write exactly what you want to say in exactly the way you want to say it. It might be good, or it might not, but nothing else will do.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m going to move to the south of France and live in a villa like Somerset Maugham, and then I’ll really be living like a writer. Or I might buy Polly (Si’s yacht; she’s real, her name is Velacarina) and spend every day writing under an awning on deck before swimming ashore for supper in a beautiful beachfront bar. Actually, I just want to stay in my room and finish this damn bloody book before I get much older, and have done with it. And then, of course what will happen is I will start another one and that will drive me mad too. A plan? That would imply that I’m in charge; I’m clearly not.

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

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

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!