Author Interview Vicious Rumer

How long have you been writing?

As long as I can remember! I became obsessed by stories from a young age, and that quickly evolved into telling my own. I still have a collection of the books I wrote as a teenager – they’re in a box on top of the wardrobe and, every once in a while, I get them out and have a good giggle.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Anything with a little dash of horror. I think horror is a great genre because it’s a feeling. You can inject it into any story to give it fresh dimension and an element of danger. That’s what I did with Vicious Rumer, which is sort of a film noir-ish thriller with horror elements that, hopefully, give it a unique texture.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Comedy. It’s the hardest genre to get right because humour is so specific. If it’s wrong, it’s so wrong. Get it right, though, and it’s like fresh air. You can’t get enough of it. I’d definitely like to try my hand at comedy at some point, but it’d definitely be a horror comedy!

Please tell us about your book.

Vicious Rumer is a fast-paced, twisted thriller that takes a look at obsessed and how it can affect our lives. It’s about Rumer Cross, who believes that she’s cursed so anybody who gets close to her dies. Oh, and her mother was a mob assassin in the ’90s, which may or may not be relevant!

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Would it be a cop out to say Rumer is my favourite? The book is told entirely from her POV, so I’ve spent the better part of two years inside her head. (Yeah, lots of weird stuff in there.) I love that she’s determined and aggressively goes after what she wants, no matter what. Least favourite… that’s a horrible question! Rose, who works for a detective, is sort of a cow. I enjoyed making her is unlikeable as possible.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Finding the right balance between reality and the supernatural. Rumer believes she’s cursed, but does that mean she actually is? I swung both ways throughout writing, and it was a fun challenge to find that balance. With a little help from my editor (hi, Craig!), I think I finally managed it.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Coffee! Or an enormous cup of tea. It’s also important that I find the perfect music for the book, which can take ages. When I started writing Vicious Rumer, I began listening to Stevie Nicks, and pretty soon I couldn’t write without Stevie on. She provided the soundtrack for Rumer’s story. (I’d recommend listening to her while reading Vicious Rumer, too!)

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

The first draft took eight months, which is quick for me. I just sped through it. I sort of discovered the story as I went along, and I was hooked on that feeling of discovery. I went on the journey with Rumer and I loved every second of it – even when I hit a couple of narrative roadblocks.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

Read, re-read, re-read some more. Decide I hate it. Leave it alone for a month or two. Then go back with fresh eyes. I’m also a terrible fiddler, so I’ll often edit as I go along. That means the first draft is usually pretty strong, but it also means it takes twice as long. I love language and I want the prose to really sing, which is almost impossible during the initial writing stage.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

It’s definitely standalone… until I decide it isn’t! My first book, Sentinel, was the first in a dark fantasy trilogy. I wrote Vicious Rumer in between books two and three of The Sentinel Trilogy, partly because I found the idea of writing a standalone so appealing after the juggling act that is writing a series! That said, the more I think about Rumer and where her story might go after this, the more I think maybe a sequel would be fun. Maybe I’M the one who’s cursed!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write, write, write. Then write some more. Write so much that you get back ache and you develop a caffeine addiction (not that I’m speaking from experience here). Write because you can’t NOT write, even if you hate what you’re laying down. If you want to be an author, you have to keep training that muscle until you discover the best way to tell the stories in your head. Also, write for you. It’s a simple one, but try not to second guess what you’re writing. It may be that nobody ever sees your book, so always write for yourself.

Why should everyone read your book?

Because I’m genuinely proud of it and I want people to meet Rumer. I want people to try to figure her out, and perhaps even empathise with her a bit. Also, I tried to write something that was thrilling and breakneck and kept you guessing. I basically tried to write a page-turner, and I really want to know if I succeeded! So please read it and let me know.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Daphne du Maurier. She was before her time in terms of her portrayal of women, and I’d love to find out what she thinks of Rumer. Stephen King, because the guy’s a walking brain and I’d love to pick that brain (um, that came out sounding a bit gross). And Robin Jarvis. He’s my favourite author of all time, and the author responsible for me first putting pen to paper. Although I’d be terrified he’d hate me, so maybe it’s best not to meet your idols…

What inspired you to write your book?

I’ll level with you: Rumer is me. She’s obsessive and believes really horrible things about herself. That’s sort of how I am, too. Writing Rumer was a sort of spiritual exorcism. I got to have a conversation with myself through a character. So there’s that. I was also inspired by the question: can we ever change? Rumer’s world is very set in stone, but what if it wasn’t? I wanted to play around with that.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m currently finishing up the final draft of Splinter, the third and final book in The Sentinel Trilogy, which is being published by Peridot Press in July. So that’s exciting. But even more exciting/terrifying is the thought of starting something new. I’ve spent the better part of the past six months editing, and the thought of plunging into a new project is thrilling – although I’m terrified I won’t be able to come up with something I feel as passionately about as Vicious Rumer. Wish me luck!

 

About the Book

‘An exhilarating read’ – SFX
Rumer Cross is cursed. Scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency, she lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.
Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached and self-reliant. But when she’s targeted by a vicious mobster who believes she’s hiding an occult relic, she’s drawn into the very world she’s been fighting to avoid.
Hunted by assassins and haunted by her mother’s dark legacy, Rumer must also confront a terrible truth: that she’s cursed, because no matter what she does, everybody she’s ever grown close to has died screaming.

 

Author Bio

Joshua Winning Sentinel Shoot 2014

Joshua Winning is an author and film journalist who writes for TOTAL FILM, SFX, GAY TIMES and RADIO TIMES. He has been on set with Kermit the Frog, devoured breakfast with zombies on The Walking Dead, and sat on the Iron Throne while visiting the Game Of Thrones set in Dublin. Jeff Goldblum once told him he looks a bit like Paul Bettany.
In 2014, SENTINEL – the first book in Joshua’s SENTINEL TRILOGY – was published by Peridot Press. The second book, RUINS, followed in 2015. Joshua’s short story DEAD AIR appeared in SPEAK MY LANGUAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF GAY FICTION and Joshua’s new novel, VICIOUS RUMER, will be published by Unbound in 2018. He also co-wrote ’80s teen horror CAMP CARNAGE.

Author Interview Coming Darkness

How long have you been writing?

I wrote poems on and off since college, but it wasn’t until about 10 or 12 years ago that I started writing stories.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Urban Fantasy/Fantasy. I like writing about the fantastic. I like not having to be constrained by anything other than my imagination.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Maybe Romance? Just to prove that I could do it!

Please tell us about your book.  

Kai is thrown off balance when Lucifer disappears, and his life begins to spiral out of control. In the past, he never cared that he was looked down upon and called Lucifer’s pet. But with Lucifer absent, he’s left to navigate a world that doesn’t respect him. Since the only true currency is respect, he must gain it the only way his enemies will understand, through blood.

Archangel Lucifer has lived in a pleasant bubble of spoiled excess with his vampire lover, Kai, for centuries. When the other Archangels come to him with a problem — Heaven is gone and their Father is missing — he refuses to get involved because not only is it not his problem, but it’s probably some elaborate ruse they’ve cooked up to lure him back into the fold. When he’s personally attacked, he finds that he’s wrong on both counts. There are other powerful gods at work, gods who believe the current creation is flawed and must be destroyed.

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I love writing Lucifer. I love exploring his character. I love finding three dimensions and creating a character out of a cultural figure that is entirely one-dimensional. I love Kai and exploring the nuances in his character. I don’t have least favorite characters. I even love my villains! I have characters that are more challenging to write, and I think they stretch me as an author, but none are my “least favorite”. I can find something to love about each and every one.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I started out with three characters: Kai, Lucifer and Roberta. The hardest part was finding which story I wanted to tell. I had more than one false start, and took the story in different directions until I solidified the current story line.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

My routine is pretty much “butt-in-chair”. There’s nothing more to it than sitting down and writing. I prefer to write in a quiet room, I’ve tried writing to music but it’s distracting. Sometimes I can get away with the TV being on, but the preference is silence.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

From conception to “The End” about ten years give or take. It wasn’t every day for ten years however. I wrote a bit, put it down for months, wrote some more, put it down etc. Also during much of that time I had no idea where it was going or what the themes were etc. It wasn’t until the last 5 years or so did I get serious.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

I have my character arcs and the overall theme/arc. When I start editing I’m checking to make sure I’ve followed those arcs and solidified the theme. I’m also checking for continuity, making sure the physical characteristics of a character are the same throughout. If I’ve left a species name or a place name TBA, during the editing I make sure to fill that in. At this point I’m also filling out scenes for clarity, looking at sentence structure and word choice, and adding description if necessary. Once that’s done, and I’ve read it a few times looking for errors and checking for cohesion, I send it off to betas to see how the story reads. The next steps depend on their feedback.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Yes. Right now I’m looking at three books for the foundation story and then stories within the universe.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

In no particular order: believe in your story; write what you love; read what you love; educate yourself in the art of storytelling; learn about the pros and cons of indie vs traditional publishing and do what’s best for you.

Why should everyone read your book?

In general, Coming Darkness is a grand story with no easy resolutions, which I think makes it an intriguing read. It’s a story about free will and what that means. How life is a series of choices, some big some small, and how the characters are defined by those choices. I believe people will enjoy getting to know characters with more shades of grey than black or white. I think they’ll also enjoy a different Lucifer with different motivations. He was so much fun to write, and writing him that way it gave the story a more sinister villain, which I believe they’ll find interesting as well.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Lee Childs, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman

What inspired you to write your book?

I wanted to tell a different Lucifer story. I didn’t know what until I hit upon the idea that he’d never been to Hell which became the basis for my story and the character.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Yes, the second book in the series tentatively named: Dreaming in Shadow.

  1. There are dark things moving in dreams, no one is safe.
  2. The Rendering is approaching, and Kai doubts he will survive.
  3. Roberta is both more comfortable in her life as a slave but also less stable.
  4. Lucifer chafes against a prophecy that claims he has come to Hell to rule and to lead the charge of demons back to earth.

Coming Darkness

Archangel Lucifer lives a comfortable life of self-imposed exile with his vampire lover, Kai. When the other Archangels come to him with a problem — Heaven is gone and their Father is missing — he refuses to get involved because not only is it not his problem, but it’s probably some elaborate ruse they’ve cooked up to lure him back into the fold. When he’s personally attacked, he finds that he’s wrong on both counts. There are other powerful gods at work, gods who believe the current creation is flawed and must be destroyed.

Kai is thrown off balance when Lucifer disappears, and his life begins to spiral out of control. In the past, he never cared that he was looked down upon and called Lucifer’s pet. But with Lucifer absent, he’s left to navigate a world that doesn’t respect him. Since the only true currency is respect, he must gain it the only way his enemies will understand, through blood.

Purchase from Amazon

Author Bio

They say it’s never too late to find and pursue your passion. Turns out they’re right. Although Susan loved to read, she didn’t start writing until she was in her late 40’s. A stint in grad school helped her hone her craft, and now she happily spends her days making up stories and figuring out how best to emotionally (and sometimes physically) torture her characters.

Social Media Links

Website: http://susanaliaterry.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsusanaliaterry

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@susan_alia

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/SusanAliaTerry

Creativia Author Page: http://www.creativia.org/focus-passion-and-purpose-fantasy-author-susan-alia-terry.html

 

Author Interview She’s Bad News

 

How long have you been writing?

Since I was about eight years old! I was always obsessed with books, and had a lot of Ladybird books when I was younger. So I used to make my own, by folding sheets of A4 paper and writing my stories on one side, and illustrating them on the other.

What is your favorite genre to write?

Currently I love to write women’s fiction. I enjoy writing stories that are uplifting, with relatable heroines and plenty of laughs.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

People have told me I should try writing crime fiction which, I admit, would be an interesting genre to explore. Maybe it’s something I’ll consider in the future! Other than that, I’ve had a YA idea in my head for many years, so hopefully soon I’ll finally sit down to write it.

Please tell us about your book.

She’s Bad News is about Bella Brown, an aspiring reporter still living in her small hometown, who wakes up one day to find she has super powers. Seeing as her journalistic dreams have yet to be fulfilled, she decides to use her abilities for a bit of career progression. Bella decides to keep her ‘P-Word’ a secret until she’s managed to find out just where her powers came from, but she soon finds out that leading a double life is not easy.

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?Oh, and she’s an overnight superheroine. So there’s that.

As for my least favourite, Tom is a prime candidate, along with Bella’s boss, Layla. But I don’t want to spoil anything.

Predictably, my favourite is probably Bella! And not just because I envy her super abilities. Bella sticks to her goals despite the obstacles that get in her way, and persists even when she thinks she’s failing. She’s also funny, resourceful and daring! Yes, she has her faults, but hey, who doesn’t?

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The most difficult part was probably the editing, having to cut the initial word count down by a big chunk and, inevitably, lose some scenes that I really liked. I did several rewrites to get it just the way I wanted, but I always had to cut chapters and, in some cases, characters (sorry, Cameron!) When it comes to editing and rewriting though, after a while there comes a point where you have to be cruel to be kind.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I don’t have a set schedule (but I’m trying to maintain one at the moment!) Strangely, I seem to do my best writing when I have limited time. Targets and deadlines work well for me. I have a full-time job, so I fit my writing around that, going to the cafe nearby for an hour or two before the working day begins, or having a writing session in the evening. I always keep a notebook with me at all times should inspiration strike (and it usually does at the most inconvenient moments). That’s the one thing I always need to have!

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

The initial first draft took me a month. After that, I did several rewrites and each took a good 4-6 months! I wrote a few versions of the novel before settling on the final. There was even an earlier draft in which Bella lived in London, but I didn’t fall in love with it and instead returned to Bella as a small-town heroine as she was in the original story.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

When it comes to editing, the first step for me is the Red Pen of Doom. I get a printout of the manuscript and sit down to scribble all over it. (I’ll admit, it’s a bit old fashioned but it’s therapeutic!) I’ll read through, taking into account any feedback I’ve received, and note what needs to be removed or changed. Once that’s done, I’ll start a new Scrivener file and begin writing a brand new draft.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

At the moment Bella’s story is a standalone novel, but I have been thinking of writing a sequel (and I even have ideas for the plot!). However, I’m currently enjoying working on other projects, so any plans of revisiting the town of Hartleybourne wouldn’t be for a while yet.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Also, if you want to write, write what makes you happy. Don’t write something because you think it’ll be the next big trend; write for you.

The most important advice (which you’ve probably heard a million times already!) is to read and write as much as you can. Just keep writing. If you’re thinking about writing a book but are also considering all the reasons why you can’t – ignore them and just do it. Write a first draft, and keep writing – don’t keep going back to edit and make it perfect, that part comes later. The feeling of actually writing ‘The End’ is amazing.

Why should everyone read your book?

Because it’s fun, it’s a bit quirky, and it explores the idea of a regular person getting super powers! If She’s Bad News gives people a couple of hours of fun reading it, then I will be immensely happy. That’s all I want!

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose? Secondly, I’d like to meet Gina Kirkham. Her debut novel, Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong, was released last year and I love it. She’s a wonderful author, a former police officer, and is absolutely hilarious. Her book and blog posts have made me laugh and cry; she sees the funny side even in times of such sadness and her writing is so uplifting. Plus, if she’s anything like her character Mavis Upton, meeting her would be so much fun.

And my third choice? Jayne Fisher. In the 1970s, Ladybird Books published the Garden Gang series, which Jayne wrote and illustrated (at the age of nine!). As a child in the 80s I had all of these books, which sparked my ambition to become a writer. I wanted to be a young author like Jayne, so I wrote and illustrated stories too. Sadly, I don’t know if she has written any books since, and I would love to meet her to find out what she’s doing now, if she still writes, and of course, to say a huge thank-you!

Hmm, that’s a tricky one! Firstly, I’d choose Stephen King. I love his books (well, I’m still working my way through his many novels and recently finished Pet Sematary), and I’ve also read his memoir, On Writing. The advice in it is fantastic, and he seems very down to earth and realistic. I’d love to chat about writing and his love for horror.

What inspired you to write your book?

I’m a huge fan of comic books and have always wondered what it would be like to have amazing powers. It’s one of those big questions we all ask ourselves sometimes, isn’t it? Like, if you won the lottery, what would you spend it on? If you had super powers, what would you do? I thought it would be a great concept to explore. I also read a lot of women’s fiction, and wanted to combine my favourite genres and write a women’s fiction novel with a superhero element. And so it began.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Right now I’m working on the rewrite of my second novel, which is quite different to She’s Bad News. After that, I’ll go back to working on the first draft of book three. It has nothing supernatural or strange in it, which is a first for me!

AUTHOR BIO

Elle Spellman is a writer and comic book geek living in Bristol, UK. She’s been writing since a very young age, spending her childhood afternoons penning stories about fictional adventures, and illustrating them too.

Now, Elle writes contemporary fiction with kick-ass heroines and a little bit of magic. Her other interests include running, red lipstick, the paranormal, and all things Batman.

LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0784ZKW1Y

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0784ZKW1Y

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36688258-she-s-bad-news

Twitter: @capesandcorsets

 

Author Interview Times and Places

  • How long have you been writing?

Throughout the nineties and a couple of years beyond, I wrote a diary and so have a record of what I was thinking and doing every day. I think this discipline helped develop my writing skills, but, besides a few poems and one short children’s story, I only really started writing about five years ago: again children’s stories. I wanted though to write a novel: “Times and Places” is the result!

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I like Jonathan Coe’s style of strong observational humour tinged with plenty of pathos, even a little light gothic horror. I have tried to write similarly, though his books are more political, mine I think more spiritual… I’m not saying mine is as good!

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

For the immediate future I can’t see myself writing anything other than children’s stories and humorous, thought provoking, accessible novels. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with knowing what you like as a writer and focusing on that, at least initially. A lot of top authors stick to what they know – Stephen King and horror, John Grisham and legal dramas. I do though admire writers or any artists who successfully try new genres… perhaps one day, but I’m not ready for it yet… articles maybe?

  • Please tell us about your book.

Fergus and Sylvie are a late middle aged couple who lost their 24 year old daughter a decade previously. Fergus has grown anxious in the intervening years and they take a three week cruise to help him relax. In fact, his vivid imagination and a series of bizarre events only bring his anxieties to a head. The book allows me to observe cruise life and the eccentric characters – to love and loath – who inhabit it, and there’s lots of that observational humour and pathos, as well as exotic destinations.

In alternating chapters we flash back to important moments in Fergus and his daughter’s life: these take place in a range of “times and places”, including the Isles of Scilly, Slovenia and (my home area) the Chilterns. I also take Fergus to Lancashire on retreat to think through his feelings and his faith, but the story asks rather than answers spiritual questions and readers can make up their own minds. Overall, I hope the natural settings in my story provide a softly spiritual feel to a poignant, humourous read.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I think I would choose Fergus himself as my favourite. He is both deep thinking and deep feeling, slightly detached from the world, and a little vulnerable. I don’t have a least favorite character: the joy of a cruise ship is that, along with the novel’s main protagonists, I was able to create a whole host of colourful side characters, most of whom are very likeable, but a few less so – a trio of boorish men, cruise staff who try too hard to sell extras – but even they add to my overall story, so I regret nobody.

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Two chapters of my thirty two chapter book describe Fergus’ visit to that silent retreat. While I knew what I wanted to say and so these chapters were not difficult to write, the decision to include them was quite tough. They are accessible, maintain the humour and leave readers free to think Fergus quite deluded if they so wish… but they do crank up the spirituality and I knew that this wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea and that the rest of the book would work without them. For me though, those chapters are at the heart of the story and so I bit the bullet and kept them in: some things are worth the risk!

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I need nothing except my PC and quiet. I wrote “Times and Places” in about five months: hours and hours writing at weekends and lots of time writing in the evenings after work too. But I found that, once I started, I became immersed and time flew, though every now and then I would get stuck and several hours would pass just on one sentence. That was frustrating. Then of course came months and months of editing…

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

From first word to publication day took 26 months.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I completed my first draft and reread it on screen several times, performing what I naively thought was a fine tune, before printing it out. In fact this was just the start. My Mum was an English teacher and remains an avid reader, so I showed it to her and then polished it through a number of versions before I showed it to a handful of friends. One in particular came back with very helpful comments and – I think then seeing how serious I was – my Mum cranked up a gear in terms of her scrutiny of the text. Three or four more versions followed before I finally sent it to The Book Guild. Then the copy edit/proof reading stages began. I still made a few textual changes, but was amazed how inadequate my punctuation had been, so most edits were simply lots and lots and lots of commas, and breaking up a few longer sentences, or changing words I had used twice in quick succession. Finally I signed off the proofs. I can still see sentences I could have tweaked, perhaps should have, but eventually you have to let it go!

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

No, I want this to be a one off. Though I do hope to start a second novel with a different subject in the next few months. I have some ideas…

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Start writing. Some people feel they have to have a fully fledged book in their head, or at least a complex plan and outline. This puts them off. Perhaps in the past you did, but now it is easy to edit what you have written. The key is to start based on an initial idea and then see how you go: you can polish the text and fine tune (even perform major surgery on) the plot later, if necessary you can start again, but you’ll never write a book unless you start.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

There is something in it for everyone: humour, romance, pathos, spirituality, the natural world, even light gothic horror. I think, above all, it provides food for thought and I believe most people have their reflective moments. But don’t worry! As I’ve said, I was determined my book left it to readers to reach their own conclusions, you can enjoy the book whilst reaching very different ones from Fergus. I believe my book is quite unique, I can’t think of anything too like it, so I hope people who enjoy a thoughtful, poignant read will give it a try.

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Representing older fiction I’d choose Emily Bronte or Thomas Hardy because, in Wuthering Heights and Tess, they wrote the two classics I genuinely enjoyed (I must read more!) Representing children’s literature would be Road Dahl (I so nearly did meet him once) because he had fantastic imagination and saw the world in a unique and colourful way. Then, representing modern fiction, it would be Jonathan Coe, though nervously, because I like his books a great deal … I once profoundly admired a musician and, when we fleetingly met, he or she didn’t profoundly admire me: in a flash their music was ruined. I’d hate the same to happen to “What a Carve Up!”, “House of Sleep”, “The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Simm” and many others…

  • What inspired you to write your book?

It’s a mix of four things:

I went on that silent retreat and it was eye-opening to experience what happens to the mind when it is taken out of the busy world. Things were clearer and I became aware of the mental junk that I was carrying around. Of course it is tough to hold on to such perspectives for long once you leave. Anyway, I wanted to send Fergus there to think his own issues through.

Then, I went on a cruise and, as I’ve said, it struck me as an ideal setting for a novel: trapped with people you wouldn’t usually mix with, travelling between exotic destinations on a beautiful ocean, the cruise company an open goal for satire too.

I lost my father many years ago and it still hurts, I wanted to try respectfully to explore how much more painful it would be to lose a child, even an adult one. Fergus reflects on all the tragedies there have ever been, remembering countless: “photos of innocent, cheeky little faces staring out of newspapers, taken before some wickedness befell them.” Somehow this helps him put the death of his adult daughter in context, as he reflects how “she had lived and she had lived well… nobody could ever take that away”.

Finally I love wildlife and the natural world, I wanted to share some of my favourite places, and the animals I’ve seen which inhabit them.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m really just trying to market “Times and Places” at the moment, though I am still writing short stories, the latest was “The Juggler of Poisonous Frogs” for my goddaughter’s seventh birthday! However I do have very initial ideas for a second novel, so I’m hoping there will be one…

Times and Places

Ten years after his daughter Justine’s death, an anxious Fergus embarks on a cruise with his wife. On board, he meets a myriad of characters and is entranced by some, irritated by others and disgusted by one. These turbulent feelings, combined with a sequence of bizarre events, only lead to his increased anxiety.

In a series of flashbacks, Justine enjoys an ultimately short romance, a woman concludes she killed her and an investigating police officer is drawn into her idyllic world. Fergus, haunted by poignant memories, withdraws in search of answers.

Back on the cruise, Fergus reaches breaking point, fearing he has done something terrible. By the time the ship returns, his world has changed forever.

“Times and Places” spans Atlantic islands, the Chiltern countryside, Cornish coasts and rural Slovenia, all of which provide spectacular backdrops to a humorous and moving tale of quiet spirituality.

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Author Bio

Keith was born and brought up in the Chilterns, to where he returned after studying French at university in Aberystwyth and a subsequent spell living in west London. He has a love of nature, both in his native Buckinghamshire countryside, but also in Cornwall and wherever there is a wild sea.

Keith has been lucky enough to spend time living in France, Spain, Belgium, Serbia and Croatia, as well as being a regular visitor to Germany, and languages were the only thing he was ever half good at in school. Since graduating he has worked in government departments, but between 2005 and 2008 he was seconded to the European Commission in Brussels and, thanks to a friend from Ljubljana he met there, has travelled regularly to Slovenia, getting to know that country well.

Keith’s other great love is music and he plays classical and finger picking blues guitar, though with persistently limited success. He has always enjoyed writing, including attempts at children’s fiction, and in 2016 he began work on his first full book with “Times and Places” the end result: an accessible, observational story, mixing quiet spirituality with humour, pathos and gothic horror, and setting it against a rich backdrop of the natural world.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KeithAnthonyWS


 

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Book Tours: The Belch Park Field Trip

  • How long have you been writing?

About fifteen seconds, why? Nah, just kidding. I’ve been a screenwriter for nearly twenty years. I’ve been a novelist since October 2016. The Belch Park Field Trip is my fifteenth book, so I’ve produced one full length novel per month, roughly.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

Satire, without question. I’m a natural born piss-taker. That said, I’m multi-genre within the satire label. I’ve written satirical humor, horror, thriller, crime, romance and slapstick farce. I’m about to do with same with sci-fi.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Sci-fi. I’d say most of my author friends write fantasy and sci-fi, two genres I’ve not dabbled in too much. I’m not really a fan of Lord of the Rings and stuff like that. You probably won’t see me write about goblins and fairies. That said, some of my favourite films and books have been sci-fi (Robocop, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Firefly, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy etc) and so my venture into sci-fi doesn’t seem so annoying (haha!). In fact, I hope my desire to do something different within the sci-fi genre may give it that edge, that certain something that makes it stand out from the others.

  • Please tell us about your book.

The Belch Park Field Trip is the third book in the Chrome Junction Academy series. The series is very sharp satire, starting with crime – Let’s Kill Mr Pond is about two twelve-year-old boys who plot to murder their teacher. The second book, Vicky & Lizzie’s First Period, is a South Park-esque musical about a nasty rumour the girls start about their teacher. The girls are in the same class as the boys in the first book.

Now, we have the third book, where the kids are going on a field trip to a theme park. The really bad kids have been sent there because the school inspectors are coming in. So the principal wants them as far away from the building as possible.

Belch Park is fundamentally a screwball, madcap comedy farce. It’s a lot like a cartoon, and it can be enjoyed by young adults and probably teenagers. I think of it as The Goonies meets Jurassic Park, but instead of dinosaurs, there are roller coasters and attractions. It’s a cute and funny underdog story at its core. When Henry and the gang from CJA get there, they discover that their rival school – a notoriously vicious south London Roman Catholic bunch – are in the park as well.

So, there’s no end to the opportunities of chaos and destruction.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

My favourite character… hmm, there are probably two.

Henry Williams, the lead, is an inch shorter than is allowed to go on the rides. He’s a bit of a dweeb, and so has to think resourcefully to get what he wants and prove himself. He’s the underdog.

Also, without question, the “lead” of the rival school – a nasty piece of work named Pearce Grobbelaar – is at once sycophantic in front of the nuns, but flips on a dime when he’s with his friends. It’s meant to be farcical, and Pearce was an absolute joy to write. That’s probably because he extrapolated the mischievous and narcissistic tendencies I have. It’s always fun to write the bad guys, isn’t it? But I never, ever think of my bad guys as bad guys. I try to see the human and good in all the characters. It makes them far more interesting to me.

Least favourite? Hmm… I guess the park’s resident mind-reader/charlatan who occasionally pops up. His name is Rip Fandango, and is kind of the Obi Wan-Kenobi of this book. He advises Henry to man-up and kick his adversaries in “the bit between the balls and ass” – the barse. I’m planning a series for Rip Fandango in the future, but in Belch Park he’s limited. I couldn’t do as much as I would have liked with him, so he’s more of a story point and symbol of Henry’s failing than an actual character at the moment.

But Rip Fandango will get his own series. Mind-reader extraordinaire. A satire, essentially, on all these televangelists we see now. The Cris Angels and David Blaines of the world will get skewered…

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The hardest part of any book is starting. The first sentence has to smack the reader in the face, grab their throat and never let go. I think I’m pretty good at that. Belch Park starts with a none-too-subtle homage to Dr Strangelove, one of my favourite films. I’ve painted the school inspectors as Nazis (they are from a government body named HEiL – Higher Expectations in Learning) Whenever the name is mentioned, everyone does a Nazi salute. It’s silly, but it amuses me – and if it makes me laugh, a gag usually stays in.

Belch Park was an unusual process for me. I wrote the first draft quickly. I took six days. But… it was full of swearing and nasty stuff. Essentially, though, it just got me to the end. The second pass was a bit like writing the book all over again. Stripping out the extreme cursing and being more PG-rated and inventive with it. I dialed down a lot of the violence and contentious moments. Moreover, I tweaked the story points so that every character had an arc to follow – something personal to achieve within the story. And, of course, I made it very ironic.

I’ve not done with so much with the fourteen books that came before it.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

As long as I have a beginning, middle and end – and a sort of soundtrack – I’m good to go. When I get ideas, I let them bake for a few days. I create a soundtrack for it and daydream the movie trailer in my head.

Let me explain.

For Belch Park I had Love Roller Coaster by Red Hot Chili Peppers and a number of other theme park related songs on my phone. I’ll go out for a walk and just imagine certain scenes to the music, as if it was a movie trailer. Once that happens, the characters take shape and some of the visuals help me form the beginning, middle and end. One of the first things I saw in the imaginary trailer were:

A girl holding on to her restraint, flying off the back of a roller coaster.

A fat kid vomiting, and everyone getting covered in spew on the same roller coaster.

A mega-drop tower suddenly had the harnesses break free, and everyone screaming and holding on to them as the ride plummeted.

A tiger climbing a launch roller coaster.

A food fight in a restaurant

Stuff like that. All came from the “trailer” – and so, it was just a matter of working those ideas into the story.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

First draft takes about five or six days, clocking in at 60k words. I write really, really fast. The self-edit before I push it to my content editor takes about two days. I produce a book a month this way. What’s curious is that I don’t write every day. I prefer to do twelve hour bursts of around 15-20k words (with breaks, usually for smoking)

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

Yes, it’s very simple.

First Draft Complete (6 days ish) > Walk away and let my subconscious work on it (2 days) > Tidy up first draft (2-3 days) > Send to editor, and let her line/proof edit (3-4 days) > Go through edit notes (1 day) > Send to my proof reading team (3 days) > Get the notes back and fix the errors (1 day) > Send to ARC team and let them read it (1 week) > Release.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Yes, it’s the third book in the Chrome Junction Academy series. I must stress, though, that all my books can be read as a standalone. If you’ve read all my stuff, you’ll be rewarded with easter eggs and stuff. All my books are set in Chrome Valley. Characters from different books run into each other all the time. Names and organisations are mentioned… the prolific whale reader will get lots out of it!

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t listen to anyone – just start typing. If you’re serious, you’ll write. If you’re not, you won’t. The more you read and write, the better you’ll get. Embrace feedback – especially the most brutal feedback you can find. I’d go so far as to sending your book to someone who hates you personally, and seeing what they think. The last thing you want is for people to rub your back and say “ohh, it’s great” because they don’t want to offend you. That will kill your author career in a heartbeat – why? Because you’ll make the same damn mistakes over and over again.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Because they’re a lot of fun and will evoke a range of emotions. You’ll laugh, puke, cry and gasp – usually in that order. A reader may not like every book – or any book – heck, they may love it. But they’ll never forget it. I’m all about pushing boundaries and exemplifying free speech and non-restrictions of ideas. You won’t have read anything quite like it before.

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

George Orwell – one of the UK’s most brilliant minds and satirists.  Douglas Adams, for being brave enough to write something as inventive as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Carl Jung, the psychologist, purely to pick his brains. All three are dead, though, so the chances of a meaningful get-together are limited.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I write for a lot of reasons. Belch Park was unusual because I wanted to flex my farce and chaos muscles. It’s the definitive adventure book set in a theme park, as far as I’m concerned. I think readers of all ages will get a thrill out of it. I’m not aiming for much more than that with this book. It’a a bit naughty, and a bit vicious and just a hell of a lot of fun. And very relatable, in my view.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Yes, I’m working on a family-friendly sci-fi satire series. I’m not going to expatiate on it too much, as I’m in the “movie trailer/daydream” phase right now. I can tell you that it will be out April 2018. That there will be at least three of them. It’s my most mainstream effort yet, and I am absolutely in love with it.

If anyone reading would like to be kept abreast of my work and forthcoming releases, they should join Chrome Valley Books on Facebook and follow me at Amazon.

Facebook.com/chromevalleybooks

My author page at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Mackay/e/B01MDKTJ2Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1519573133&sr=8-2-ent

We’re also looking for more ARC readers, too. There’s never a shortage of awesomeness to consume. Potential ARC readers should email jo@chromevalleybooks.com and ask to be included. We just ask for an honest review. The gang is growing and growing, and my readers and fans are a great bunch of people.

The Belch Park Field Trip

IT’S A JUNGLE IN THERE!

Henry Williams has never been a leader.
Or stood up to the bullies.
Or kissed the girl of his dreams.
In fact, he’s never stood out from the school crowd.
Mind you, he’s only twelve years-old.
And a foot shorter than his classmates.
All that will change today, though.
The school inspectors are visiting Chrome Junction Academy.
The principal needs to get rid of the cream of the cr@p!
He would have preferred to send them to another galaxy far, far away…
Instead, the obnoxious, high-on-energy-drinks brats are off to…
BELCH PARK!
Roller coasters! Mega-drop towers! Ghost trains! Ferris wheels! Bumper cars!
No end of opportunities for fun, thrills and spills!
The perfect place to run rampant and enjoy themselves…
But wait!
South London’s notorious Our Lady of Sacrifice Roman Catholic school is also there.
They’re Chrome Junction Academy’s natural enemy.
Oh bugger
NOW IT’S WAR!
Limbs will break…
Dares will result in irreparable damage…
The innocent will be caught in the crossfire…
Even the park may not survive
Henry’s destiny awaits…
Chrome Junction Academy’s underdog must step up… and grow a pair.
He’ll have to ensure the safety of his friends.
Fend off the bigger, badder kids.
and get them out of Belch Park in one piece!

Purchase from Amazon UK

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About Andrew Mackay​

Some authors are afraid to cross the line.

Me? Oh, I’m glad you asked! I make “the line” my starting point…

My brand is satire.

I hop between genres like madman on crack because my razor-sharp literary knife is hungry for political and social commentary. One genre just can’t cut it (if you’ll forgive the pun.) I’m obsessed, I tell you!

I write straight-up humor and farce, horror, crime, romance… all under the banner of satire.

My novels often contain a ruthless commentary on society, delving into the darker machinations of modern life. They can be uproarious, funny, outrageous and shocking. Make no mistake, though. They are this way for a reason, and always come equipped with a sense of humanity and wit.

My influences include John Cleese, Tom Sharpe, Kurt Vonnegut, James Patterson, Hunter S Thompson, Douglas Adams, Imogen Edwards-Jones, Michael Frayn, Chris Morris, Jerry Sadowitz, Christopher Hitchins, Bill Maher, George Carlin, Jordan Peterson, Pat Condell, and writer/director Larry Cohen.

My obsessions include (and are essentially limited to) obscene amounts of: smoking, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sex, debating, daydreaming and writing about himself in the third person.

Website – https://chromevalleybooks.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/chromevalleybooks

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Andrew_CVB

Author Interview Miss Mary’s Daugther

1) How long have you been writing?

Encouraged by my publisher father, I have written stories all my life…which is quite a long time.

2) What is your favorite genre to write?

Modern historicals, twentieth century I suppose, though I enjoy writing romances. It depends on my mood.

3) Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Detective fiction

4) Please tell us about your book.

My new book goes back to the Victorian era, so a little earlier than the previous ones. It is set mainly in Cornwall, with some visits to London and is about a dysfunctional family with secrets in its past.

5) Which character was your favourite, and why? Which character was your least favourite, and why?

That would be telling! I have my favourites …so will my readers, so no spoilers. I leave the choice to them.

6) What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Sitting down at the computer to write! I always enjoy the research necessary and often I end up looking up things I don’t need to know, so the answer is, stopping the research and getting on with the writing.

7) What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I don’t have a routine as such, but work according to the dictates of the day. Some days I don’t write at all; others I work flat out all day. When I go into my study I usually put some soft piano music on, which tells my brain it’s time to get to work.

8) How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

That’s a difficult question to answer. The short answer is a year, but often the ideas have been brewing in my mind for far longer than that.

9) Can you tell us about your editing process?

I edit as I go along. When I start work each day I call up what I was working on the day before and work through it again, hoping to move on seamlessly to the next bit. It doesn’t always work, but at least I’m never faced with a blank sheet of paper. Of course the whole book needs to be edited when it’s finished and parts may need to be rewritten, but editing as you go along is usually very productive.

10) Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

No it’s not. This will be a stand-alone, one off.

11) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

If you really aspire to write, then that is what you must do. Sit down and write. There’s no other way to do it and procrastination isn’t only the thief of time, it’s the thief of a good story!

12) Why should everyone read your book?

No book suits everyone. If the book has caught your interest, from the blurb or the jacket, then give it a go. I hope I’ve written about characters who come alive and live with the reader long after they’ve reached the final page.

 13) If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Jane Austen, Lloyd C Douglas and Cynthia Harrod Eagles

14) What inspired you to write your book?

For some time I had been considering writing a book set in Cornwall, and gradually the ideas came together. You can’t wait for inspiration or you’d never write anything. Find something that interests you and then build a story round it.

15) Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I am, but it’s not ready for discussion yet. All I can say is that I’m back in the twentieth century and as so often happens, my characters are living in interesting times.

Author Bio

Diney Costeloe is the bestselling author of The Throwaway Children, The Runaway Family, The Lost Soldier, The Sisters of St Croix and The Girl With No Name. She divides her time between Somerset and West Cork.

About the Book

After her mother’s death, twenty-year-old Sophie Ross is left orphaned in London.

With no money and little chance of an income, she tries to get work as a governess to avoid destitution. Now alone in the world, she only has the company of her erstwhile nursemaid and faithful friend, Hannah.

But unbeknown to Sophie, her mother instructed Hannah to post a letter to Trescadinnick House in Cornwall upon her death. The letter will be the catalyst that changes Sophie’s life forever as she learns of her mother’s romance, marriage and then ultimate rejection by her own father and the estranged family she left behind in Cornwall.

The Penvarrow family welcome Sophie and Hannah into their fold, but tensions rise and family secrets are revealed as Sophie attempts to rebuild her life and find happiness.

Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2EOzFyM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FVTi

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2BcXsJc

iBooks: https://apple.co/2BJzqq3

Follow Diney

Website: http://dineycosteloe.co.uk/

Facebook: @dineycosteloeauthor

Twitter: @Dineycost

Follow Head of Zeus

Website: http://headofzeus.com/

Facebook: @HoZ_Books

Twitter: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus

NetGalley:

http://bit.ly/2F5vGNi

Author Interview Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café

  • How long have you been writing?

I wrote a short story in 1979 and it became a novel in 2012! I guess that life got in the way there. I never thought that I’d write more than one novel. Then someone asked me why a character did something in that story and I realized that I could write a prequel to explain it. The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve picked up the pace since then; I now have 7 novels, 2 books of short stories and a piece in a collection of Historical Fiction.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I love writing Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, often involving a chase, a love story or the triumph of one person against the odds. I try to include as many of the above as I can in every story.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’d love to try my hand at Fantasy. After Game of Thrones, which I found via the T.V. Series, I’d like to have a go at some sort of epic saga but with a more Sci-fi angle to it.  Maybe dabble in magic or special powers. Everything I’ve done up to now has a basis in science, it would be fun to explore the alternatives.

  • Please tell us about your book.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café is the first in what I hope will be a series. At about the same time, in 2016, I had an idea for a short story about a murder on a space station and I was challenged to write a female character. I wanted to do something a bit more light-hearted and thought that I could combine the two. A fish out of water lady, escaping from her past life with the only person she could trust, ends up on a space station and discovers a secret. It’s all a bit Miss Marple meets Agatha Raisin, with dry humour and excitement, I hope. I wrote a short story, which went down well; I was encouraged to develop it into a novel. It was my NaNoWriMo project for 2016 and was first published in June 2017.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Andorra Pett is a great character to work with. She’s feisty, a bit clumsy and accident prone. She can snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory. Underneath it all, she is cleverer than she realizes. Having three daughters gave me some clues to develop her personality, I wouldn’t say it’s them but there are bits of them in her.

I hate writing villains in general, being basically a nice person, I struggle to get the motivation and reasoning that allows someone to justify doing bad things. In Andorra Pett, there were a couple of people who right from the start were difficult to write. I don’t want to give the plot away but they took a lot of effort to fit into things, especially as it wasn’t clear what their role would be, even though I knew they had to be there.

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

As I don’t plot, I never know who the bad guy (pardon my gender type) will be until I get to the end. In this book, I had several suspects, right up to the moment when the real killer revealed themselves. And it was as much a shock to me as I hope it is to anyone reading it. In the end, I find it easier to let my characters choose among themselves.  They seem to know what’s going on better than I do most of the time.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I do most of my writing in the early mornings, an unfortunate legacy of my job is the inability to lie in. I was always on call, so to speak, when I wake up I get up. A cup of herbal tea and I’m good to go. I’ll try and do 2,000 or so words before breakfast. I might do more later if I have a good idea. I keep a notebook and watch/listen for inspiration. I also walk on the cliffs near my house; it’s where things often pop into my head, it’s like strolling in a store filled with inspiration.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

Andorra Pett took a month to enlarge the short story to 70,000 words. That was largely thanks to NaNoWriMo giving me a focus. Most titles take a little longer, as I have the tendency to hop from project to project as I get ideas. But I reckon to complete three books a year, all around the 80,000-word mark

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I’m lucky to have a fantastic team. I have an editor, a formatter and a team of beta readers. My work gets an edit, a beta read, a second edit, a format, a third edit and a final check before it goes on sale. I also have a great cover designer.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

When I finished Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, I realised that there was a lot more that Andorra could get up to. I actually started the second story, Andorra Pett on Mars while I was writing the first. That one is being edited at the moment and will hopefully be out in April. I also have ideas for several other adventures. The third, Andorra Pett and her Sister, is about a quarter written and Andorra Pett takes a Break is more than an idea. And that’s before I start on the prequels and spin-offs which will inevitably come to mind.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Get some words down on paper (or screen), it doesn’t matter what they are (to a certain extent), you can always edit them, but only once you’ve written them! And try to get into a routine, once you are, it will all flow and cease to be a chore.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

I write about familiar themes, principally conspiracy, love, loss and redemption. Not necessarily in that order.  The idea is not to blind people with the Science, it’s there to complement the Fiction. Putting people in unfamiliar settings and seeing what happens is a great way to engage, it’s a thing that we can all relate to. The greatest compliment I have been paid was “I’m not usually a fan of Science Fiction but Ribbonworld (one of my other novels) is a thriller that would work in any genre.”

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Isaac Asimov, Frederick Forsyth and Charles Dickens. They have all influenced me and my work; they were all masters of creating a setting, drawing you into the lives of real people, providing action and excitement.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

There was room in the world for someone like Andorra Pett, she had an interesting story to tell. You can never have enough amateur detectives. And who knows, one day the situations I’ve devised for her to exist in might be as normal to us as flying to Spain is now.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m always working on something, I try to write new stuff but keep getting sidetracked with sequels, prequels and spin-offs from my existing catalogue. So at the moment, I’m working on a sequel to each of my Sci-fi and steampunk series, more Andorra Pett and some new projects, which are all exciting me. In 2018, I hope to have an online course available, giving you my method of creating a realistic Sci-fi or Steampunk world. Featuring examples, video and exercises, I hope it will show you just how easy it is to construct a setting for any type of speculative fiction.

Watch my website, www.richarddeescifi.co.uk for news, free short stories, extracts and a weekly post. . I’m also on Facebook as RichardDeeAuthor and I’ll be ramping up my twitter presence @richarddockett1

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café

Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict café. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn!
She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past.

But the café holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not. And being accident prone doesn’t help. The more you try to pretend that you know what’s going on, the worse it gets.
Andorra’s plans for peace and quiet get lost amid the revelations and skulduggery and she soon realises that the fate of the whole station lies in her hapless hands.
In space, you can still trip over your feet; the question is, will you land upright?

Universal Purchase Link – https://www.books2read.com/u/4XoQ6e

Author Bio

A native of Brixham in Devon, Richard Dee’s family left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986. Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich. In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as H.M.S. Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority. Richard was offered part time working in 2010, which allowed him to return to live in Brixham, where he took up writing and blogging. He retired in 2015, when he set up and ran a successful Organic bakery, supplying local shops and cafés. The urge to write eventually overtook the urge to bake but Richard still makes bread for friends and family. Richard is married with three adult children and two grandchildren.

He can be found at www.richarddeescifi.co.uk

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/@RichardDockett1



 

Author Interview All Systems Down

  • How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first book fifteen years ago. Although I never published it, I got a lot of interest in the book after it was a finalist for a big writing award. But I was graduating college, and I let it drop. In the interim, I worked as a journalist, started my own business, sold it, and finally started writing again. Now that All Systems Down is coming out in February, I’m devoting myself to writing full time.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

Thrillers with a pinch of science fiction. But not so much that it affects the sense that everything in the book could happen today.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’d love to write a Western. No one reads Westerns, but there’s something charming about an Eastern lawman who heads out to the open plains to swap gunshots with outlaws. Maybe I’d put in a twist at the end. Betrayal. Reversal of fortune. Enemies become friends, friends become dead.

No? Well, that’s why no one writes Westerns anymore.

  • Please tell us about your book.

At its heart, All Systems Down centers around one man, Brendan Chogan. He’s out-of-work and trying to support his wife and children. But when banks shut down, the electric grid collapses, and satellites fall from the sky, he’s forced to make tough choices to keep his family safe.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Lieutenant Kelly Seong is my favorite character. She’s salty, smart, and a pain in the ass. Scenes from her point of view came easy.

I don’t really have a least-favorite character.

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Probably the rewrites. It was difficult cutting 30,000 words in one day. I mourned. Then I rolled up my sleeves and did what my publisher needed me to do.

 

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I walk my kids to school, come home, get a second cup of coffee, and write until mid-day. That’s the idea anyway. Sometimes I just drink coffee and browse the Internet with self-loathing.

 

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

I wrote it over a couple years. The process was slow at first, since I was writing on evenings and weekends. Now that I’m full-time, the process is faster.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

The two main types of edits I went through were structural edits and line edits. Structural edits came in the form of my editors telling me to hack off large chunks of the book and completely rewrite them. All of Act III got cut and rewritten, for example.

Line edits were a bit easier. Every sentence and paragraph came under the scrutiny of multiple editors who made the pages flow red with ink. But the gratification was more immediate than with structural edits.

I don’t love editing, but it made the book strong, and I’m grateful to all the editors who helped craft the final product.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

All Systems Down is the first in what I imagine will be a three-book series.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write a good book, then rewrite. Then rewrite again. It hurts. Keep doing it.

Write a good query letter. Don’t send it. Read as much as you can about querying. Edit your query a dozen times, and finally put it out there. Target only maybe ten agents at a time.

Know that if you’re a first-time writer, you’re also your own marketing department, no matter the size of your publisher.

Try to get as many people to read your book as possible. It’s not about money – you’re not going to make money early on. It’s about exposure. Give away your first chapter. You can read mine at http://cyberwarbooks.com/all-systems-down-ch-1/

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Not everyone should read my book. But if you’re a fan of Michael Crichton or Tom Clancy, odds are you’ll enjoy All Systems Down. It’s a fast-paced thriller that explores how society falters when cyber war takes down the power grid. And, so far, it seems that a lot of people like what they’ve read!

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Harper Lee, because of her impact on modern American writing.

Jules Verne, because he’s the grandfather of science fiction and he’d probably give me some great ideas.

Mark Twain, because he’s snarky and smart, and I’d like to buy him a beer.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

Real-life events. North Korea really does have an army of hackers, Unit 101, based in China. Russia really has crippled the banking infrastructure of its foreign adversaries. Iran really did sneak malware into American Dams. And our power grid… maybe I shouldn’t even tell you.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on the sequel to All Systems Down. It’s far from complete, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a lot of fun to read.

About All Systems Down

Pak Han-Yong’s day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean military, he’s labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure.
And with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.
Brendan Chogan isn’t a hero. He’s an out-of-work parking enforcement officer and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now there’s a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting him.
Brendan must do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.
In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.
Strangers whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage.
For fans of REVOLUTION, Tom Clancy, and Thom Stark’s MAY DAY, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is a riveting cyber war thriller that presents a threat so credible you’ll be questioning reality.
Read a sample chapter.
 

Author Bio

Sam Boush is a novelist and award-winning journalist.

He has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a mid-sized marketing agency. Though he’s lived in France and Spain, his heart belongs to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Tehra, two wonderful children, and a messy cat that keeps them from owning anything nice.

He is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.

ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is his first novel, with more to come.

Author Interview Ashael Rising

  • How long have you been writing?

I wrote a little as a child and teenager but didn’t really take it seriously and let it fall away while I pursued other interests. I started to write properly in the summer of 2014 after taking a career break to care for my children.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

Fantasy. I love pretty much all of the subgenres and play about with them in different pieces, but I am a fantasy fan through and through.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’d like to try and write a courtroom drama at some point, as my other great love is Law.

  • Please tell us about your book.

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of those taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Ashael meets Iwan in the forest, neither realise that she is the one the Zanthar are looking for. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on her shoulders.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Bhearra is my favourite character, she’s the sort of person I want to be when I grow up! Daven is my least favourite – he’s the worst of the Zanthar and the main villain of the story.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I don’t have a particular routine. I have three young children at home, so I’m generally trying to squeeze writing into five minutes here and ten minutes there. I prefer to work in quiet conditions, but I rarely get the opportunity.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

About eighteen months for the first draft, interrupted by spells of not working on it. Three months to get it into better shape before submitting it to my editor. Another three months or so for structural edits, copy edits and proofreading. In total, I would say around 2 years, but some of that work was with my publisher.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I write the first draft, then get beta readers and my critique group to look it over. I collate all the feedback and read over the story myself before deciding what big changes need to be made. Then I do a structural pass, making any big changes. After that it’s tweaking; cutting unnecessary words, rephrasing for clarity, adding in sensory details and physical descriptions. One more proofing pass and I’m ready to submit.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Ashael Rising is book one of The Vessel of KalaDene series. At the moment, I intend for that to be a trilogy but as a discovery writer, it is possible that the story will grow bigger than planned.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read everything you can get your hands on and analyse it – the good and the bad. You can learn a lot about writing from critiquing other people’s work. Be persistent. Be kind to yourself. No matter what, keep writing.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

There’s magic, strong female characters, a focus on female friendships, magic, love, tragedy, revenge, magic, fantastical creatures, active gods and did I mention magic?

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Stephen King, Terry Pratchett and Kate Mosse.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

The story came from a dream I had about ten years ago, where I was a warrior fairy. One image from the dream stuck in my mind and became the seed that the book grew from. The act of writing was inspired by my husband.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I am currently working on the sequel, Ashael Falling. I hope to have that submitted to my publisher by late spring/ early summer. I also have two novellas underway, a few short stories and a serialised story that I’m collaborating on with a wonderful fantasy artist which should launch this spring. You can get more details of everything I’m working on by visiting my website: www.shonakinsella.com

Ashael Rising

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of those taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Ashael meets Iwan in the forest, neither realise that she is the one the Zanthar are looking for. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on her shoulders.

Purchase on Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Ashael-Rising-Vessel-KalaDene-Book-ebook/dp/B01MRCASMU/

Author Bio

Shona Kinsella is the author of Ashael Rising, (Unbound, 2017) the first in her series, The Vessel of KalaDene. She is also one of the editors of the British Fantasy Society’s fiction publication, Horizons. When she is not writing or wrangling her three children, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.

Social Media Links

www.shonakinsella.com

www.facebook.com/ShonaKinsellaAuthor

www.twitter.com/shona_kinsella

Giveaway

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Book Spotlight No Ordinary Girl

How long have you been writing?

I guess I’ve always been a secret writer, just needed a push to put myself out there

What is your favorite genre to write?

This is a tough one, I love dark crime and horror that’s the type of book I would pick up, I’m not fluffy  but I’ve just completed a YA fantasy which will follow soon, so I guess I like most genres except historical fiction.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve tried them all

Please tell us about your book.

I wanted to create a piece that was face paced and full of action, with a graphic twist that would make your toes curl. So with my love of crime and horror, No Ordinary Girl was birthed.

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I love Aimee the main character, I had read so many stories about weak women and I didn’t want to portray women that way, so therefore even though Aimee suffered brutality at the hands of monsters, and is broken but her pain gave her a determination to seek revenge.

-I even like my bad guys, is that wrong?

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Writing is the easy part it’s the technical side, I struggle with.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I don’t really have a routine, I just crave some quiet time in a busy household with three loud demanding daughters. Hence notes and scraps of paper dotted in every room.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

6 to 12 months.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

I have an editor, I would be lost without her.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

At the minute No Ordinary Girl is a stand –alone, due to working on other projects, although I wanted to leave it open so I could write a follow up, in the near future.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Be true to yourself. Follow your heart and your dreams!

Why should everyone read your book?

Why not, if you like a dark read this book is for you.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

James Herbert for his spine chilling style, Stephen King for all the obvious hair raising reasons, Richard Laymon with his ruthless endings.

What inspired you to write your book?

Writing has always been a hobby hence my laptop being crammed with many manuscripts, but I think the real reason is I was fed up of reading lots of waffle and  filler in many books, so I wanted to create something raw and straight to the point.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I certainly am,  I’m just tweaking my next dark novel before publication and I’m  also exited to reveal that I have ventured out of my genre with a YA fantasy novel that is sat with my editor at the moment.

No Ordinary Girl

What started out as a night of celebration for Aimee soon turned into a nightmare. Snatched by cruel, sadistic monsters – the worst creatures mankind has ever produced – she’s thrown into a metal container, among other victims too frightened to make a single sound.

The game-keepers force everyone to play. They deliver torment and pain in equal measure. Every hunter has their own agenda and reasons to maim and torture.

Detective Johnson is one step away from catching the killers. Wrestling with his instincts as a father to serve justice his own way, this is no ordinary case for him. Can he stop the vile sadists before they damage more young girls, as well as his own daughter?

Aimee’s ordeal within the compound brings her to the conclusion that she’s no ordinary girl. But can she hang onto her sanity long enough to escape? And will she find a different way to play?

This crime thriller will keep you riveted. It’s no ordinary story.

Please note: contains graphic content.

Purchase from Amazon  – http://amzn.to/2sjxG2k

Author Bio

Cheryl Elaine was born in Germany but moved to Northern Ireland as a young child. She then moved to Yorkshire where she spent most of her childhood and this is where she currently resides with her husband and 3 daughters.

Cheryl Elaine is an avid reader and enjoys watching horror movies – the more gruesome the better! She enjoys travelling and socialising but also loves spending time at home with her family and her ever expanding menagerie which currently includes 2 dogs, a budgie, 2 fish and a rat called Rocky!

 Website – www.cherylelaine.co.uk

Twitter – @CherylElaine15

Insta  – cherylelaine15

 

Giveaway

Win 1 of 3 x Signed copies of No Ordinary Girl (Open Internationall)