Author Interview Medium Wave

  • How long have you been writing?

I have been writing fiction all my life.  I love stories, the places your imagination takes you. I discovered a flair for words, read voraciously and trained as a journalist. I tell many different stories in different ways, every day. My main journalism is as a radio broadcaster – listening to the stories which people tell. I once interviewed a man on Death Row in Florida, his eyes flat and dead, his body corpulent, and his crime horrific. He had a copy of a Stephen King novel, face down on his bed, dog eared and battered. It was no surprise.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

Horror, the supernatural and paranormal because there are no rules. Exploring the dark side – facing our fears, exploring the unknown – and, this is what really fascinates me – WHY we believe. What is it about the human psyche which attracts us to believe in ghosts, an afterlife, and dark forces? What are we looking for? Has this horror industry created a faith which is more attractive than conventional religion? And how do many convince us that the dead can speak? Do we find that ‘proof’ of an afterlife makes us accept the reality of our lives and ultimate death easier? Whether it is a search for comfort from grief, which I understand and worry could be exploited, or a desire to see or experience what happens after death – we are drawn to it. Horror allows us to visit dark places with that icy thrill of ’what if that is true?’ Horror is a way of safely plumbing the dark depths of fear from the pages of a book. Wonderful.

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

Humor and satire. There are elements of these in my book Medium Wave. A satire on the modern media and those who work in it. I enjoy sharp humor and enjoy making people smile. I tend to observe people and like to sketch a pen portrait of who they are.

I would also like to write the screen play of Medium Wave and have great fun imagining casting the characters. I have Tom Hardy down to play Bert Brookings. If he is free.

  • Please tell us about your book.

 ‘Medium Wave’ by Rose Zolock, published by Caffeine Nights. Available on Amazon and everywhere Book, eBook, Audio Book.

‘This thing has no defined shape. Whatever energy exists within it, it cannot settle on a shape. The strands of darkness curl out and then wrap back inwards. The bulk of the shadow becomes concave, then bulbous, the height building in on itself but lacking any skeletal structure to wrap itself around. There are no eyes, no clearly defined head shape. It is creating itself from darkness, like a swirl of ebony ink dropped into a vat of putrid water, spreading silently….’

Becky Moran has built a career claiming to talk to the dead. A successful clairvoyant medium, a Cambridge graduate with her own radio show ‘Medium Wave’ and a team dedicated to crafting the celebrity myth – because Becky Moran is a fake.

Until, one night, something supernatural, inexplicable, breaks through live in air as she is broadcasting. Becky Moran discovers the paranormal is real, the dead can indeed speak and she is being pursued relentlessly towards a battle for her very survival.

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

I love the anti-hero, Bert Brookings. He is a self-proclaimed healer from Wales, likes unicorns and runs a lucrative business on line and is big in America. He emerged after a great deal of research into this industry. I enjoyed his anger and arrogance and ultimate madness. I also scared myself stupid by creating an entity which is attached to him. I think Hugh Jolly – Becky Moran’s business partner – is my least favorite. He is venal, detached and self-serving if not exquisitely dressed (‘A Gucci Whore and proud of it!’)  He has a love of vodka, too. He has a lot to answer for. He is multi layered , fabulous to create but, like a rattle snake, he needs watching.

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Learning that being a journalist meant I had some new writing techniques to learn. Even a lifetime of reading fiction had not seeped me in good fiction techniques. I enjoyed earning about point of view and show don’t tell, but spent a great deal of time kicking myself hard on each shin until I got it right.

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

I have a skull, encrusted with diamanté which sits by my computer. It looks a lot but says nothing. I imagine I feel its boney reproach when I struggle to hit the mark and its skeletal grin when I do. I write for hours. Phone off, time evaporates. I then edit and leave it for a day or two, then shape it some more. I have been known to forget to eat. I write at all times of the day and fuel myself with coffee.

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

Over a year. Then I had it professionally edited. That’s when I learnt so much.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

My own editing technique is described above. I chose a professional editor who specialized and had a track record in my genre. That was the best investment I made. Those techniques were honed and I learnt a great deal. I would ALWAYS recommend hiring an editor before you pitch for an agent or publisher. Find an editor you like and respect. Even if your mother and book club love it or you are going to self- publish – get a professional eye over it.

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

Yes, Medium Wave is Book One of Three.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read, write, rewrite. Know your genre. Be patient and work hard. Be prepared to have your submissions ignored or rejected by literary agents and publishers. Believe in your work. Be prepared to edit some more. Enjoy the process. Read and never stop. Target your submissions to the right Literary Agents and do EXACTLY what they say they want in their submission entry rules. I spend a lot of time praying, on my knees, for recognition. I just stopped short of doing any spell incantations.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

This book is for those who love horror and a narrative which takes you to some very dark places. This book is a gripping story with a pace which grasps you from the start and will not let you go. The elements of the paranormal include a Mirror with something hidden behind the glass, a haunted Lancaster Bomber from World War Two and something very malicious pursing a woman who has fooled the world she can hear the dead speak. The book takes you inside the world of Radio and Television and a close knit team which create the myth. A touch of humor and satire and a paranormal journey which will also explore Near Death Experience, Medium Wave is original horror.

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

Stephen King. I missed seeing him speak by a day in Washington DC about two years ago – I had to get a train to New York and have regretted that ever since. I am his constant reader and would just like to thank him for the stories.

Edgar Allan Poe – to ask how deep his personal horror really was.

Daphne Du Maurier – to discuss the sheer brilliance of her story construction and ability to write across genres with words and characters you never forget.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I had always had an interest in the paranormal and have interviewed many who claim to have psychic gifts. I hardly ever believed them. I know the media well, so it made sense to combine that with a paranormal journey where you can decide what you believe. I also wanted to see how many fears of my own I could face and if I could actually scare myself. I could and I did.

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

I am working on Book Two in the Medium Wave series. All the research is done – I base much of the narrative on real documented hauntings or places or objects with a paranormal history. All I will say is that if Medium Wave scared you, Book Two may well leave you reeling….

Medium Wave

Becky Moran has built a career claiming to talk to the dead. A successful clairvoyant medium, a Cambridge graduate with her own radio show ‘Medium Wave’ and a team dedicated to crafting the celebrity myth – because Becky Moran is a fake. Until, one night, something supernatural, inexplicable, breaks through live on air as she is broadcasting. Becky Moran discovers the paranormal is real, the dead can indeed speak and she is being pursued relentlessly towards a battle for her very survival.

‘This thing has no defined shape. Whatever energy exists within it, it cannot settle on a shape. The strands of darkness curl out and then wrap back inwards. The bulk of the shadow becomes concave, then bulbous, the height building in on itself but lacking any skeletal structure to wrap itself around. There are no eyes, no clearly defined head shape. It is creating itself from darkness, like a swirl of ebony ink dropped into a vat of putrid water, spreading silently….’

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About Rose Zolock

Her Irish grandmother first told Rose about the Banshee when she was just a small child. How the wailing sound of the spirit of the dead and dying could be heard when someone was about to pass.

It was family folklore that the women in the family had ‘the touch’, the ability to see spirits and other dimensions. Rose listened and grew up fascinated by those who claimed to have supernatural or psychic abilities.

Rose does not claim to have those powers. Take her to Venice in February when the mist swirls over the canals, walk by her side along the darkened streets of Greenwich Village in New York City in high summer, listening to a ghost walk tour guide tell the stories of death, murder and the unexplained – Rose would say those stories and our belief in them gives her a power to see into the shadows within our imagination.

As a journalist, Rose takes every opportunity to explore and investigate strange stories, myth and folklore. Living in rural Yorkshire, with a rich library of ghost stories and literary tradition, Rose also has a sceptical and forensic insight into those who peddle the stories which feed our imagination but of which we have yet found no proof. She has listened to the debunkers who argue against those believers who are convinced that sand the dark side exist.

Rose’s mind is open. Is yours?

Websiterosezolock.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rose.zolock.9

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RoseZolock

Trailer – https://www.facebook.com/rose.zolock.9/videos/178767199514397

Book Spotlight The Ghost of Glendale

The Ghost of Glendale

At twenty-four years old, Phoebe Marcham is resigned to spinsterhood, unwilling to settle for anything less than the deep love her parents had shared. That is, until adventurer Duncan Armstrong rides into her home wood, larger than life and with laughter in his eyes and more charm in his little finger than anyone she’s ever met before. Far from ridiculing her family ghost, Duncan resolves to help solve the mystery which has left Simon Marcham a spirit in torment for two hundred years.

Purchase from Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2DKo8yB

Author Bio

Natalie is a published novelist and short story writer whose addiction to the books of Georgette Heyer and love of The Regency have been the inspiration for her latest book, The Ghost of Glendale.

Working on the premise that you never stop learning, she goes to any and every writing event and workshop she can. In addition she attends The Write Place Creative Writing School in Hextable in Kent, one of the rewards for which is an abundant supply of cream cakes to celebrate the frequent successes of its students.

Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She lives with her husband in southeast London.

 Social Media Links

Blog: https://nataliekleinman.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NatalieKleinmanAuthor/
Twitter: @NatKleinman

Book Tours: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Two

The story continues … Hattie is used to her deceased husband Gary dropping in and out of her life. His timing might not always be great, but at least he’s still around. Although – when Hattie tentatively tries a spot of dating – his interference isn’t entirely welcome.

Best friend Cat is lapping up her new relationship with teacher Jamie, but ex-husband Stewart isn’t prepared to fade into the background.

Hattie’s mother Rachel faces a daunting battle, one she doesn’t want to burden family and friends with. But there’s someone waiting in the wings who might be more than a shoulder to cry on.

Gary still doesn’t know what his mission on earth is, and spirit guide Clarence isn’t offering any clues? Will an encounter with another provide him with answers, or put Hattie in an impossible situation?

Prepare for more laughs and tears in the second instalment of a trilogy which takes a darkly comic look at life … and the afterlife.

Warning: Cliffhanger ending

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About Audrey Davis

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, less farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’
After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in May/June. After which she might have a wee lie down …

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

Twitter- https://twitter.com/audbyname

Book Tours: Taken

About the Book

A gripping thriller full of twists you won’t see coming… The next serial killer read from the author of Missing and Hunted. Perfect for the fans of Angela Marsons and Jeffrey Deaver.

It’s been two years since mass murderer, Giacomo Riondino, disappeared after killing Greta Alfieri… Dr Claps, devastated and guilt-ridden by Greta’s death has been on a man-hunt for Riondino ever since. Meanwhile, an American girl disappears on the 382nd step of the Cerro trail in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

No one saw her disappear. Who took her? And how?

When the US authorities contact Claps, he is certain that it must be Riordino. But, unlike Riondino’s other victims, the girl has disappeared into thin air…

Will Claps solve the puzzle, or will he lose his mind in the process, blinded by his own obsession?

Author Bio

Monty Marsden, a Tuscan by birth, grew up in Milan, where he studied medicine and still works. He lives in the province of Bergamo, with his wife and four children.

Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2Hx51v0

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

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

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

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Book Tours: Behind a Closed Door

What if everything in your life was a lie? An emotionally tense story of love, loyalty, betrayal and revenge. Perfect for the fans of Louise Jenson.

DUBLIN – For the past two years Jill Ryan has tried to keep her darkest secrets deeply buried and remain relatively anonymous. Haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her life together, Jill soon realises that the last person she can trust is herself.

KILKENNY – Only Heather Martin knows the lengths her husband will go to teach her a lesson and Heather has had enough. Faced with the impossible choice of saving herself or staying to care for her ailing father, Heather has a choice to make. But does she have what it takes to survive?

When Detectives Louise Kennedy in Dublin and Tony Kelly in Kilkenny begin to investigate, their dark discoveries collide unravelling a complex web of secrets that stretch far and wide.

Author Bio

Having lived and worked in the UK and Dublin since college, Adele now lives in her home town in Co. Wicklow with her husband and two teenage daughters. She writes overlooking the Irish Sea and is an active member of the Wexford Literary Festival committee.

Links

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

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2EMCq7n

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2HvfxD1

iBooks: https://apple.co/2EZ1Cqs

Follow Adele O’Neill

Twitter: @Adelesbooks

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Book Tours: The Torcian Chronicles

The Torcian Chronicles: Defiance

Mesham sits dejectedly in a tiny garret above an inn, as the lands of Torcia fall to the magically-enhanced army of the infamous Mivirian Horde. One of the last surviving ancient warlocks of Torcia, Mesham knows he is marked for death.

The Torcian king knocks on Mesham’s door later that evening and offers him the chance of rejuvenation in return for a seemingly impossible mission into the heart of Mivir. Mesham reluctantly agrees, only to realise the evil of Mivir has spread to the very top of the Torcian government.

As Mesham undertakes his quest to complete the mission, he finds himself hunted by his king, by the mighty Torcian warbands, and by the Horde.

But he cannot fail, for the fate of Mesham’s beloved Torcia rests in his hands.

Purchase from Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2lDC4nR

Author Bio

P.J. Reed – Writer of warlocks and other magical creatures.

P.J. Reed is a writer and poet from England. She holds a BAEd from Canterbury Christ Church University and an MA from Bradford University. She has been widely published in anthologies and collections.

P.J. Reed currently lives in Devon, with a handful of teenagers, one feral cat and a dog called Fizz.

Social Media Links

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Book Excerpt Nature of the Witch

Book Excerpt

Thanky ou to Majanka for letting me visit her blog on my blog tour. This extract is taken from a part of the story where Kiera is beginning to feel more confident with her powers. Here she is sneaking out of the house to perform a spell that she can’t tell anyone about, especially Jack who is charged with trying to protect her.

Before she slipped on her shoes she held them out in her hands and whispered, “Give me silence, like a fall of snow that no one should hear me wherever I go.”

Then she scattered some small stones across her duvet. She had enchanted them earlier in the day so that, hopefully, they would give the illusion to anyone who entered the room that someone was in the bed. The bed still looked empty to her, but then it probably only worked on others so there was no way for her to know.

She opened her bedroom door and peered out. It was 11 o’clock. She wondered briefly what Jack had decided to do and felt guilty. She didn’t like lying and she wished she was seeing the New Year in with him. As she thought of him a smile crept to her lips. After her first impressions of Jack, who would’ve thought she would actually enjoy his company?

She didn’t meet anyone as she left the house. The living room was in darkness so perhaps Jack had decided to go to bed. Outside it was cold and she pulled her coat tighter. She had a strong urge to turn back and crawl into her cosy bed, but she bowed her head against the wind and strode quickly forward. If she didn’t do this tonight she would have to wait another year.

The words in her book played around in her mind, ‘do not be fooled by the beauty of this flower for it carries a darkness within.’ She would need to be careful, what exactly did that mean? What could the plant contain?

She glanced around at the thick black that surrounded her. Her only light came from a soft, patchy glow, emitted from the few stars that managed to escape from behind the clouds; the same clouds which had blocked the sun all day now did the same with the moon, which meant she could only see a couple of feet in front.

The cold bit at any exposed skin from her nose to her fingertips. Despite the added layers she was wearing it seeped into her clothing. She shivered and moved a little quicker across the frosty grass, which should have crunched under foot but remained eerily silent due to her spell.

She’d had a last minute change of plan. She had spent the week researching into local ancient trees and had picked out a location, but whilst shooting with Jack she’d had a change of heart. As they were leaving she had spotted an oak tree hidden between the other trees.   She wasn’t entirely sure of its age and she hadn’t found it listed anywhere as an ancient tree. However, one thing Mags and Kitto had both taught her was to trust her intuition, and her intuition told her that this tree was old. She felt sure that it could help her.

Kiera wasn’t the only one moving silently through the darkness. He had no need of spells. He had learnt to be as one with the night many moons ago, at a time when the earth was much younger. He didn’t need to see Kiera to know where she walked, he could smell her. He smelt the blood in her veins and his body shuddered in anticipation. It had been so long since he had tasted the sweetness of a witch’s blood, there was nothing like it. He knew he should wait. It wasn’t time yet. After all, she wasn’t fully trained, so there would be no fight, and the battle was half the fun. But the waiting was getting harder, especially at times such as this when she was so close.

Witches thought they could harness nature when, in reality, he was nature. He and his kind were the embodiment of nature, in all its savagery. There were none more powerful. He had proved that before and he would prove it again.

The more he thought about the witch the more he liked his plan. Tonight was the night, there would be no more waiting. He would rip off the witch’s head to show the Gwithiaz before he slaughtered them too. He could almost taste the blood on his lips and he quickened his pace.

Nature of the Witch

Many years ago, magic prevailed in Britain. It was a time when chosen women followed a path forged by Mother Nature herself; a time of witchcraft, of the brotherhood of the Gwithiaz and of the terrifying Creatures.

This has all passed from memory a long time ago. But now, magic has returned. Kiera is the first witch the world has seen in centuries, while Jack must learn the ways of the Gwithiaz. They must not only master their crafts, but also overcome their differences and work together if they are to survive the dark enemy that lurks in the shadows.
In the rugged Cornish landscape where it first began, the two face the dreaded Kasadow: an ancient evil that has awakened and is ready to destroy them, and their magic, once and for all.

Purchase Linkhttps://t.co/tZGe3wZfY5

Author Bio

Helen lives in the UK with her husband, two children and one diva-like cat called Tiger. Helen, like many others, was captivated in her childhood by books from the likes of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton and any books which took her to new worlds and showed her places of magic and mystery. She has enjoyed writing and creating her own magical worlds from a young age. She is currently writing the second book in the ‘Nature of the Witch’ trilogy which will be out soon.

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Book Excerpt Vicky and Lizzie’s First Period

Book Excerpt

The children filed out of the theatre.

Jody was swarmed by inquisitive students in the corridor. They hushed their questions at her, eager to get the gory details on the Layla Quick case.

Vicky and Lizzie walked arm in arm, envious of the attention their ginger friend was getting.

‘Look at that tiny bottle of vinegar,’ Vicky whispered as Mr Parker ran ahead of the line, ‘They’re all over her.’

Lizzie shook her head and pretended to spit at her. ‘Bitch.’

‘Hey Vicky,’ Henry said, walking up alongside them. ‘You think she’s telling the truth?’

‘Who, Jody?’

‘Yeah, man.’

‘She’s a prissy little tattle-tale, mate,’ Vicky smirked, ‘Half the stuff that comes out of her bitch mouth is chicken bollocks.’

‘Yeah, and most of what goes in, so I’ve heard,’ Lizzie said.

Henry scrunched his face in confusion. ‘I don’t get it. Nobody saw it happen.’

‘Yeah, man.’ Vicky descended the IT corridor stairwell. ‘Who do you think they’re gonna believe, anyway?’

Henry took a deep breath. ‘You know, I think Jonnie and Sam are planning something.’

‘What, that gay boy and his four-eyed boyfriend?’ Lizzie giggled. ‘The only thing they’re planning is how to set up their Gruntr profiles.’

‘Nah, straight up.’

They reached the ground floor corridor.

‘They’re, like, bunking off and spying on Pondie.’ Henry said.

‘Pondie? The woodwork teacher?’ Lizzie didn’t believe a word of what Henry had to say. ‘Are you on crack, or something?’

‘Swear down,’ Henry said, ‘Something ain’t right.’

‘Oi! Williams!’ Jonnie called out from behind the trio. ‘You chatting up White Jizzie again, fag?’

Henry turned around as the girls giggled at Jonnie’s remark. ‘Leave me alone.’

‘Yeah?’ Jonnie cackled, evilly. ‘You wanna fuck me more than her, dont’cha, mate?’

Henry stopped in his tracks. ‘You’re a prick, mate.’

Jonnie barged past Henry, knocking him into the wall.

‘Oww!’

‘Turd.’

Vicky turned away from the commotion and whispered to Lizzie. ‘You know what we should do, right?’

‘What?’

‘We should totally start a rumour. We can sue the school.’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘Look what’s happening with Layla and Mr Galigan, man,’ Vicky giggled, giddy at the prospect of some easy cash and sympathy. ‘What do you think?’

‘Could do, I suppose.’

Lizzie wasn’t fully on board with the idea. She couldn’t connect the dots in the same way her friend was doing.

Vicky opened her mouth before Lizzie had a chance to shoot down the idea. ‘If we do it together, we can be each other’s witnesses.’

‘But they’ll believe the teacher, not us.’

‘That’s why we need more than one of us there, you know.’

Lizzie shot her friend a look. ‘You’re not serious, are you?’

‘Sure, why not?’

‘Are you actually?’

‘It’ll be a laugh, right? Just need the right teacher to do it with.’

Lizzie looked at her shoes. ‘You’re mental in the head.’

‘No, no!’ Vicky grabbed Lizzie’s arm and pulled her closer as they walked. She whispered in her ear. ‘We’ll start a rumour and see what happens.’

‘Yeah, but who we gonna do it with?’

‘We could do it with a girl teacher?’

‘No, that won’t work,’ Lizzie thought aloud, ‘girl teachers don’t do nasty stuff like that.’

‘True.’

Mr Bloom, the handsome technology teacher, made his way past. He squeezed through the line of children heading to their first class of the day. ‘Excuse me, guys. Thanks.’

‘Hi, sir,’ Vicky said with a smile.

‘Hey, Vicky,’ Mr Bloom slowed down and walked with her. ‘Did you do that homework I asked for?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Good. You too, Lizzie?’

‘Yes, sir. Of course I done it.’

‘Good, I’m expecting it period three tomorrow.’ Mr Bloom pushed past a couple of boys and sprinted up the corridor.

The boy he accidentally knocked was Jonnie. ‘Sorry, excuse me, please!’

‘Fuck your Dad, sir!’ Jonnie shouted after Mr Bloom. He ignored the boy. It was quicker and less work to pretend he hadn’t heard the utterance.

Vicky and Lizzie chuckled to each other, knowing they’d lied to Mr Bloom. They turned out of the corridor and entered the school playground.

The sports hall loomed at the far end, adjacent to the technology annexe.

‘You seen the way Jonnie talks to the teachers?’ Vicky asked Lizzie. ‘He’s such a prick. I dunno why you like him.’

‘I told you, he’s fit.’

Vicky slung her arm around Lizzie’s shoulders. She pulled her close as they crossed the playground. ‘It’s not just about looks, though, is it?’

‘No, but—’

‘—You just wanna shag him, don’t you?’

‘—Eww, no! That’s gross!’

‘Hey, don’t act all innocent, princess! I’m your best friend, you know! I know you better than anyone!’

Lizzie pushed Vicky’s arm away and shuffled her rucksack back over her shoulders. ‘Shut up. At least I don’t fancy his mate with the glasses.’

‘I do not fancy Sam Bright!’

‘You do too.’

‘I don’t!’ Vicky stopped in her tracks. She flicked her long, blonde hair over her shoulder and blew Lizzie an exaggerated kiss. ‘I’m far too gorgeous for speccy Sam Bright. Mwah!’

‘We both are. Mwah!’

Vicky and Lizzie hooked their pinkies together – the Hopper and White version of a classic high-five. The pair finished with their silly little motto.

‘Sisters! Forever.’

Vicky & Lizzie’s First Period

Bloody Hell!

All together now…
There were two girls called Vicky & Lizzie
Who kept the Academy busy
Causing trouble and mirth
For all they were worth
Sending teachers right into a tizzy
They kicked-off a false, nasty rumour
That one of the staff was a groomer
For everyone knows
Gossip spreads out and grows
But the school didn’t quite see the humour
Would Vicky & Lizzie regret
All the damage they caused? Nah, not yet
Scheming, conniving
The girls kept on vying
A dangerous precedent was set
Vicky & Lizzie delivered a blitz
On a school at the end of its wits
Did they care? Did they f**k
They were common as muck
Those nasty, vindictive young s#!ts
This might cause upset and uproar
It’s a musical satire, what’s more
For the first time ever
We promise you’ve never
Read anything like this before
So pick up your copy today
Of a story about which you will say
That I wanted to barf
But so hard I did laugh
Vicky & Lizzie have just made my day!

Purchase on Amazon

 

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

Join Andrew Mackay on Facebook for a virtual launch party tonight for a selection of author takeovers and giveaways.

17:00 – 20:00 CST  which is  23:00 – 02:00 GMT (14/15 Feb)

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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

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