October author of the month is….

Sara Pascoe author of “Ratchet the Reluctant Witch”

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A little bit about Sara…

“I came to writing after a career in various aspects of psychology. I worked as a therapist, did research, and also worked in public policy. I was very lucky in having a lot of great adventures from teaching Chimpanzees language to working in the US Congress. I’ve always enjoyed writing, taking courses and submitting work over the years. Need 2 Know books published my self- help psychology book in 2012, and I started publishing my fiction in 2015. Originally from the US, I now live on the Southern Coast of England where we run a B&B for English Language students, and I write.”

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to become an author, as much as having the desire to write- like an itch!. I have always enjoyed writing, mostly expressed through technical or academic writing in various jobs. Meanwhile, stories spun in my head and I tried on and off over the years to write fiction. But it wasn’t until I could reduce my work hours as a psychologist that I was able to devote enough time to really get going.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“From everywhere. It’s a little like being a scavenger. Stories will pop in my head, and occasionally start as dreams. But when I think about it, I can see how things I’ve experienced or have seen, have woven themselves into the seed of a story. Then, instead of collecting rubber bands or other possibly useful things I seen on the ground (and further embarrass my husband, although that was part of my vows), I collect ideas, facts and incidents from anywhere. I have a file for each of the stories I’m working on and add things to them all the time.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“I wrote my first two books, in tandem, over about two years. I found it refreshing to go back and forth between Ratchet the Reluctant Witch and Oswald the Almost Famous Opossum. And I did a lot of research for the historical aspects of Ratchet. But both of these books had been incubating for about ten years before I finally got to give the writing my full attention!.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“Not strictly speaking although I get more done if I write first thing in the morning before other things can demand my attention. There have been some periods of time when I put in very long hours writing and revising.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“Doing it solo. You don’t typically have folks at hand to bounce ideas off. The internet is a goddess- send for contacting friends and writing buddies, but it’s not the same or as immediate as turning to the desk next to you and bugging a co-worker. And folks who are willing to read early drafts are priceless.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I walk. Quickly and deliberately. And I bother other people’s dogs. There is a wooded path at the end of our road where a lot of people walk their dogs. It’s perfect. There is quite a bit written about how rhythmic, physical tasks, like exercise or doing the washing up help people puzzle things our, and this definitely works for me.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“I always go to a professional designers for the cover. This is the advice I’ve read many times for self- publishers and I agree. It’s a very crowded market and the cover is crucial. I usually have an idea and what I think might work, or the ideas I’d like represented. You tell the designer about the story (they don’t necessarily read the whole book.) Then you go back and forth with the designer until you agree the sketch of the cover, after which they do the final version.

The title…ah, now that’s another story. In fact, I need to rename “Ratchet!” Help! All ideas welcome!

My titles for these first two books developed naturally from writing the books. But it turns out that in the US, “Ratchet” is slang for a nasty, trashy girl. It’s very negative. So, I am changing it, and will change the title as required, Then I will re- release it with a focus on the American market. Any ideas for a new spiky nickname for “Ratchet” are much appreciated! (It can start with any letter.)

If someone gives me the idea I use, I will credit them in the book.

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Two things: 1) Have patience! It all takes longer than you might think. 2) As much as you can afford it, get professional input, especially for the editing and the cover. I recommend getting professional input for the structural editing- how the story is put together, plot holes, unnecessary and distracting characters, and so on. And you really have to get the manuscript professionally copy- edited and proof- read before you go to print. It truly is impossible to edit your own work, especially at that level of detail.”

Which writers inspired you?

“Many writers and books have added to my life, and have made me wish I could write like them. Recently such writers include: David Sedaris, Junot Diaz, Jennifer Clement, Andrea Wolf.”

What are you currently reading?

“Prayers for the Stolen” by Jennifer Clement. This is about life in Mexico for a girl from the countryside. All the men have left to earn a living in the USA, and the girls must make themselves ugly to reduce the chances the drug dealers (narcos) will steal them for their own purposes. Fighting poverty, scorpions and the oppressive heat, you go with Ladydi (named after Lady Diana) on the horrendous adventure that is her life. Beautifully written. A real page turner, and eye opener.

The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science by Andrea Wulf. This is a thrilling adventure story. It’s also the true story and biography of a young man who persevered against financial and social setbacks (and insects and snakes!) to fulfil his drive to explore the world and study the natural world. Humbolt was friends with Goethe, Darwin and others- you are privy to their conversations and projects together. Beautifully written, this is another real page turner. It reads like a novel. Amazing.”

Links…

If you would like to purchase any of Sara’s books here are the links.

Amazon UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ratchet-Reluctant-Witch-Sara-Pascoe/dp/1785450654

Amazon US- https://www.amazon.com/Ratchet-Reluctant-Witch-Sara-Pascoe/dp/1785450654

Social media…

Website- http://www.sarapascoe.net/childrens-books/

Twitter- @PascoeSara

“I would just like to thank Sara for taking the time to answer my questions. :)”

I hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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September author of the month is…

Pauli Murphy author of “Rufus and the flying carpet”

rufus and the flying carpet

A little bit about Pauli…

Pauli is a wannabe Gyroplane instructor who felt passionately that he wanted to write animal adventure stories for children of all ages and fell to doing this recently. He enjoys writing immensely and is already writing book two.

 

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I became an author immediately following an “Akashic Records Reading” Skype session with Robin Clare in October 2013.”

Where do you get your inspiration from

“My inspiration came from and continues to come from my Elemental Guides, those Spirit Guides that we all have, who specifically assist with our connections with Nature. I could go into great detail about that, but perhaps this is not the time in respect of your needs, just now!”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“It took me two years to get the first book written and published on Amazon, Kindle and also as an Audiobook.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“My routine consists of setting down the basics of the inspiration I might receive, following each early morning’s 20 minute mediation.”

I don’t get that inspiration everyday, in fact it is occasional and irregular but when I do receive it, it fills me with Love and Joy and I cant wait to put it into words.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“ I’m not finding anything hard about the writing actually. Whilst that might sound arrogant, I continue to remain laid back, as advised by my Spirit guides and allow intuition to govern my actions. Everything happens in its right time.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“Go and do something else and focus on something positive.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“The title was inspired, as is all writing by my Elemental guides. The cover design was purely Ellie Grant’s (the illustrator) first piece of gorgeous work, which when I first saw it, it simply had to be the cover picture.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Just start writing straight away, from your heart, when inspired. Don’t worry about anything. When you have time (and we all do), when you are not feeling inspired go and do something else, anything else and don’t doubt that the inspiration will return when the time is right.”

Which writers inspired you?

“ A A. Milne ( Winnie the Pooh), Beatrix Potter, Alfred Bestall (Rupert the bear), Abraham Hicks, Bashar, Kryon.”

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“Michael Connelly’s Angel Flight” , which is a detective thriller.”

Links…

If you would like to purchase any of Pauli’s books here are the links

Amazon UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rufus-Flying-Carpet-Book-Beginning-ebook/dp/B017WD4CVA

Amazon US- https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3APauli%20Murphy

Social Media…

Website- http://paulimurphy.com/

“I would just like to thank Pauli for taking the time to answer my questions. :)”

I hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura x

 

 

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August  author of the month is…

Rosa Temple author of “Natalie’s getting married”

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A little bit about Rosa…

Rosa Temple began writing romantic comedies and chic lit because of her passion for what she calls the “early chick lit films”, like: Sabrina, Barefoot in the park and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

She honed her skills as a ghost writer, gaining experience writing romantic novellas, both sweet and on the slightly steamy side. In her notebooks, she constantly jotted down story ideas of her own and she eventually completed her first novella “Sleeping with your best friend” and now, the full length novel, “Natalie’s getting married”.

Rosa Temple is a Londoner and is married with two sons. She is a reluctant keep fit fanatic and doer housework and insists that writing keeps her away from such strenuous tasks. She spends her days creating characters and story lines while drinking herbal tea and eating chocolate biscuits.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“Mostly because I love to make up stories! I read and wrote a lot from a very young age but never took it seriously. When I had children, I’d tell a bedtime story every night and mostly they were stories that sprang into my head at the time- I wish I’d written them down. 🙂 But I first started writing “seriously” after becoming a ghostwriter and loving the idea of creating new worlds, characters, plots etc that I decided I’d like to publish something on my own.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“My stories are usually about people, relationships, stories that are true to life (but with a comic slant)- so I guess my inspiration comes from people, places and experiences I’ve come to know about. But very often, just like I used to make up stories off the cuff to tell my children, an idea just pops into my head out of nowhere. I start writing and the story gathers momentum as I go.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

” That varies depending on the ideas and the time constraints. But I just recently finished writing my Christmas novel and that took six weeks- which is pretty fast for me. I work pretty quickly on paid jobs but when it comes to my own books it seems to take forever!.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“I tend to just go with the flow and write when the mood takes me. I usually write fiction in the early hours before everyone wakes up, and do my paid jobs in the afternoons. I tend to go back to my own writing later on in the day and continue late into the night sometimes- as long as the ideas are still flowing!.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“I always strive to write a story that resonates with the reader so I guess the hardest thing for me is questioning myself and wondering if my book will be good enough.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“It doesn’t happen a lot- thankfully. I think I get writing fatigue rather than a block, meaning I just don’t feel motivated and want to concentrate on all the other million and one things that life throws at you. When that happens, I just let it. I know I will come back to my writing at some stage- the important thing is not to force it because then you can never really write at your best.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“I usually have a working title for the book and then when it is written I decide what to actually call it. Very often the working title sticks. Titles seem to just jump out at me but I tend to run them by a couple of people to get a reaction before I’m 100% happy with it. As for covers, I usually have a broad idea but I’ve now found a brilliant graphic designer who puts my ideas onto paper and I’m hoping my next covers will be a lot more exciting.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Be honest, And by that I mean, write the story that speaks to you and makes you passionate about wanting to see it through to the end. Does that make sense? I hope so :).”

Which writers inspired you?

“I have a very eclectic taste in writers. I love anything from Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Alice Walker. I read anything from thrillers to a range of new authors in various genres. I’m not sure how that helps with me being a writer of romantic comedies but reading good writing inspires you to become a better story teller in whatever style you write in.”

What are you currently reading?

“I’m working on a series of three books about a character called Magenta Bright. I’ve begun writing and I know what will happen in each adventure of Magenta’s life so I cant wait to bring all three out in the early part of 2017.”

Links…

“If you would like to purchase Rosa’s books here are the links.”

Amazon UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01AC6XY72

Amazon US- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AC6XY72

FeedaRead- https://www.feedaread.com/profiles/9136/

Google+- https://www.google.com/+RosaTemple

Social media…

Blog- Rosa Temple Writes- http://rosatemplewrites.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/RosaTempleWriter/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/RosaT_Author

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14071311.Rosa_Temple

“I would just like to thank Rosa for taking the time to answer my questions. :)”

I hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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July author of the month is…

Wendy Hobbs author of “Claudia Quash:The spell of Pencliff”

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A little bit about Wendy…

Wendy gave up her legal career as a property lawyer to follow her dream of becoming a children’s fantasy author. Her debut novel “Claudia Quash: The spell of Pencliff is a young adult fantasy book that is also being read by adults that enjoy an original fantasy.

It has received 31 amazing 5 star reviews on amazon, reached number 13 on kindle and the audiobook was selected by iTunes as a “New and Noteworthy”.

Wendy drew inspiration for the story from her daughter, also called Claudia and Tenby’s (Pencliff) award-winning beaches, the Tudor Merchant’s House, St Catherine’s Island (St Agatha’s Island) and The Ghost walk which all feature in the story.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I used to be a lawyer and decided that I wanted to try something creative, so I gave up my legal career and concentrated on my writing.”

Where do you get you inspiration from?

“I am inspired by my daughter, Claudia and the doll’s house that she received one Christmas.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“The first book probably took 3 years to write, but the second book will be much quicker.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“I find it easier to write in the morning.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“Getting started.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I do something creative, like painting pictures or drawing the characters in my book.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“I used my daughter’s name, Claudia and Pencliff is based on Tenby a town that I holiday at in West Wales. The cover design was based on the final battle that took place in the dungeons of the castle in the book.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“I would probably advise them to write part- time, as I do find it quite lonely.”

Which writers inspired you?

“Roald Dahl.”

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.”

Links…

“If you would like to purchase Wendy’s book here are the links.”

Amazon UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spell-Pencliff-Claudia-Quash/dp/1909129712

Amazon US- https://www.amazon.com/Spell-Pencliff-Claudia-Quash/dp/1909129712

Social media…

Website- http://www.wendyhobbs.com/

Twitter- @WendyFHobbs

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaQuash/

“I would like to thank Wendy for taking the time to answer my questions”

I Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next time.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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June author of the month is…

Jenny Hale author of “Summer at Oyster Bay”

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A little bit about Jenny…

When Jenny graduated college one of her friends said “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day”. Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to her.

While she didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed for several years, two children and hundreds of thousands of words later, Jenny completed a novel that she felt was worthy of publication. The result was “Coming Home For Christmas”, a heartwarming story about friends, famiy and the magic of love at Christmas.

The rest as she says is history.

When Jenny isn’t writing she is a mother to two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I’ve always gravitated towards writing growing up. I kept journals faithfully, I was on the school newspaper staff and I wrote poetry but writing novels didn’t occur to me until adulthood. I just sat down one night and tried it. Then I read a lot about writing and wrote a second novel. That novel was Coming Home For Christmas”.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“I get my inspiration from a lot of things, but generally from places, people and music.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“It takes me about three months to write my first draft.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“No. Currently , I don’t write full time so I set a goal of 1,000 new words a day and then scramble to get them.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“Getting time to write with a full time job and while raising two children.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I’d better knock on some wood!, but I haven’t ever gotten it!.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“The publisher comes up with both.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“It takes time. It’s a slow process. Be patient.”

Which writers inspired you?

“I love Jill Mansell, Harriet Evans, Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella to name a few, but I’m inspired by writers of many works.”

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“I’m in between books at the moment! Hoping to get my writing/ editing finished so I can start a new one!.”

Links…

“If you would like to purchase any of Jenny’s books here are the links…

Amazon UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jenny-Hale/e/B00FZ2HARO

Amazon US- http://www.amazon.com/Jenny-Hale/e/B00FZ2HARO

Social Media…

Website- http://itsjennyhale.com/

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/jennyhaleauthor

Twitter- https://twitter.com/jhaleauthor

“I would like to thank Jenny for taking the time to answer my questions.”

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next time.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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May author of the month is…

Mandy Baggot author of “One wish in Manhattan”

mandy baggot

A little bit about Mandy…

Mandy Baggot is an award winning writer of romantic comedies, chic-lit and contemporary romance. In February 2016 her romantic comedy “One Wish in Manhattan” was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists Association Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Mandy has won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK Festival of Romance and has scooped Top Ten Reads/Book of the Year places from a number of UK book bloggers.

She was traditionally published by US publisher Sapphire Star, Harper Collins digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse and most recently digital fiction specialists, Bookouture, a great story is never far from her fingertips.

Mandy also writes blogs and short story anthologies and is also a regular speaker at literary festivals, events and women’s networking groups.

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags!

Mandy has also appeared on ITV’s Who Dares Sings and has also auditioned for The X Factor.

Mandy is also a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.

Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire with her husband, two daughters and cats who are called Kravitz and Springsteen.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I’ve always had a love of writing from when I was a child. I used to write stories involving my friends and TV stars of the day. I don’t think I ever thought I could actually be an author. It’s almost like a fantasy job isn’t it? For a long time I worked as a secretary, writing at home when I wasn’t busy at work. I self published my first four books, having got rejections from almost every publishing house there was. Crunch time came when my daughter started school and I had no childcare in place for the summer holidays. I left my job, was there for my girls and started to write from home. I was still self- published then, Crazy, but it had a happy ending luckily! “

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Absolutely everywhere! I don’t purposefully go out looking for the next idea for a book but it seems just leaving the house makes all manner of things happen. I get inspiration from stories people tell me about their lives or their friends lives (names are changed to protect the guilty!). Train journeys and restaurants or cafes are great places to pick things up!. Most of the basis of the stories come from my imagination though. It seems to be vast!.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“I used to say six months! Now I’m writing two books a year for Bookouture. I’ve has to speed the process up a bit! The latest summer book was written in three months.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“I think I’m  meant to but it never works like that! I write when my children are at school but, as an author you have to maintain the business side of your business too, so I have to do a lot of interviews and social media work to keep my books visible in the market place. I could happily spend all day on Twitter chatting but I think it might take longer to write the book than three months. I do whatever it takes to meet my deadlines so if I’ve had a bad week I will knuckle down the next and so on.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“Definitely the edits. No one likes to see the crossings out, virtual red pen and “suggested changes” on their baby! Edits are essential though and they do make the book come together. Authors can get tunnel vision and it is good to have a fresh perspective on things you don’t often see yourself.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I don’t often get it. I hope I don’t jinx myself now. If I do have a bad day and the words aren’t flowing I tend to write myself out of it. I will write, anything, even if I end up deleting it all, just to get me to a place I’m happy with.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“Ah titles! I do love a title! And I do like to make them up myself. We had a bit of a battle over the title of my latest summer book. I had my heart set on something else but Bookouture weren’t so keen on it. In the end, they are looking for the title that is going to hit the spot with the majority of readers and make them want to buy the book. We also have to think about those keywords for Amazon. How can I argue with that? They absolutely know what they’re doing so I’ve put my faith in them. As for the covers, I have a little brand going on now with my Bookouture books and I LOVE it. Fun, romantic, feel-good fiction is what you’re going to get and I think the covers deliver on that.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Just keep your passion for writing and keep the faith in your own voice. Publishers are always looking for that different ingredient that makes you stand out as a writer. You might be writing romantic comedy that uses similar and popular themes but what will make you, you is your unique writing voice. Don’t try and be anyone else but you.”

Which writers inspired you?

“I get asked this a lot and I always give the same answer. My lovely friend, Talli Roland was a real inspiration when I was starting out. She was the absolute queen of getting her name and her books out on social media. She’s traditionally published and self- published, just like me and real proof that hard work and self- belief can pay off. She is a FAB writer- my-go-to for fresh, fun fiction, although she’s heading over to the dark side soon I think! I like a bit of dark too!”.

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“At the moment I’m currently reading Helen J Rolfe’s What Rosie Found Next. I’m only a few chapters in but it has a rather hot hero who has just got out of the shower! I know I’m going to love it!”.

Links…

If you would like to purchase any of Mandy’s books here are the links…

Amazon UK- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mandy-Baggot/e/B003MENHL0

Amazon US- http://www.amazon.com/Mandy-Baggot/e/B003MENHL0/

Social Media…

Website- http://www.mandybaggot.com/apps/blog/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/mandybaggot

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/mandy.baggot

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2968625.Mandy_Baggot

“I would like to thank Mandy for taking the time to answer my questions”

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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April author of the month is…

Holly Martin author of “Snowflakes on Silver Cove”

Holly Martin

A little bit about Holly…

Holly lives in England. She has had many glamorous jobs over the years from working in a bingo hall and in a bank.  She was also a teacher and later moved on to do historical workshop in schools across the country which required dressing up in a range of weird historical costumes. But the long journey around the UK and many hours on the M25 gave her lots of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 6 years and was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance 2012. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sounlounger anthology in 2013. Holly won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I love writing the kind of stories I like to read, I always have ideas for stories in my head so its great to write them down and that people like to read them.”

Where do you get your ideas from?

“Everywhere, a picture, a conversation, people watching, a line from a song, the news, things that happen to me or my friends. Most of the silly things that happen to me or my friends end up in my books.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“About 6 to 8 weeks for the first draft and then about another month editing with my editor.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“Not really, I write best at night and I usually find reading over what I have written the previous day helps to get me in the right frame of mind.”

What’s that hardest thing about writing?

“I suppose trying to write a book which everyone will enjoy, its tricky a what some people will love other people wont and if you try to write something everyone will love, you’ll end up going mad.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“Go for a walk or a swim. Have a break, read a book, read over the last few chapters to get me back in the mood. If I’m still stuck I’ll try to write a different scene later on in the book and come back to that scene later on.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“My editor normally has some great ideas for the book title and we discuss different ideas together. The covers come from our fabulous cover design team. They are given a brief by my editor and they will try to create something wonderful to match that brief.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Just write everything down, ideas for a scene or a conversation because that idea might develop into a story. It might be rubbish but you can edit rubbish, you can’t edit nothing.”

Which writers inspired you?

“I love Sarah Morgan, her books are such an addictive read, with wonderful characters and passionate chemistry.”

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“I’m reading two books right now. An advanced copy of Trivial Pursuits by Aven Ellis, I love her stories, they are funny, sweet and have wonderful heroes. I’m also just started reading A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh. It’s so beautifully written, I can’t wait to read the rest.”

Links…

If you would like to purchase any of Holly’s books here are the links…

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Holly-Martin/e/B00DTUNB5E

Social Media…

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

Twitter: @hollymartin00

“I would like to thank Holly for taking the time to answer my questions”

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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March author  the month is…

Trevor Williams author of “What happens at Christmas”

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A little bit about Trevor…

I’ve been writing for years and years and it’s only in the last three years and started writing romantic comedy and I’m loving it. I  spent my working life travelling around the world promoting an English language school and now it’s fun drawing on those memories . I live in rural Devon with my Italian wife and quite a few books have leafy lanes and thatched cottages in them.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I suppose its something I’ve always wanted to do. Don’t forget that I’m really old- I’ll be 67 this year and my childhood was spent with my nose in books, rather than aimed at a screen. I’ve always loved books. My first attempt was a handwritten (and with very questionable spelling) adventure story called “The Lake Dwellers”. This was shamelessly based on Arthur Ramsom’s “Swallows and Amazons” and I still have it. 44 pages of handwritten script in pencil. As far as I can work out, I was probably 12 when I wrote that. After that writing in the evening after work has always been my hobby and my relaxation.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“I wish I knew. My most recent book, “What happens at Christmas” was sparked off one day on a walk across Dartmoor. We went through a little village just as the postman in his van was delivering letters. I think that was what pointed me in that particular direction. My first book, “Dirty Minds” is easy. That came from a newspaper article, predicting that erotica would sell well in the wake of the “Fifty Shades” Phenomenon. I sat down and wondered if I could also write a dirty book about people trying to write a dirty book. I do a lot of cycling to stay fit and I do a lot of thinking on long rides. I think getting away from computers and televisions is good for stimulating the imagination.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“I tend to binge write. I can go weeks on end without doing more that doodling a few ideas on a page until the inspiration comes. Once I’ve got it, it all happens pretty quickly. Normally I can write an 80,000 word book in as little as a month if I’m firing on all cylinders.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“I always write at my desk, on a desktop computer with a keyboard because I’ve got a dodgy back I get up every hour or so and make myself a cup of tea or wander round the garden, but fundamentally when I’m in the zone I’m sat at the screen. I much prefer to write on “let’s make a start and see what happens” basis, but my editor at Harper Collins prefers me to prepare a fairly detailed synopsis in advance. Inevitably when I start writing that story strays a bit from the plan but I am finding it a good discipline to try to pre plan stuff a bit more.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“Without question the writing is the easy part. The hardest part is finding a publisher. Of course nowadays more and more people are self publishing, but when I started out that wasn’t an option. On a practical level one challenge I face is that my main characters are normally female and I’m a man. It takes a bit of work (and loads of queries to my wife) to get under the skin of you lot.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I normally have two or three ideas on the go at the same time. For example I am currently 12,000 words into a new book set in the Alps, but I am thinking seriously about another based in Venice. So if I get stuck on project A I can always spend a bit of time on project B. Then if all else fails I get the bike out.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

” That’s normally down to the editor/publisher. I tend to supply a working title and a few suggested alternatives for them to kick around. Harper Collins do some great cover designs and my editor is great at coming up with titles. Sometimes I object but normally she gets it bang on.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Make sure you aren’t doing it for the money. Remember the old saying that the only kind of writing that makes money is ransom notes. Do it because you love doing it. The trick is to find a genre and a subject that you enjoy writing but which will also prove commercially popular. If you love say beer mats don’t automatically assume everybody will share your love. So what I’m saying is that if you want literary success, there are bound to be some compromises along the way. Be flexible because the day you get a publishing contract, your editor will expect it.”

Which writers inspired you?

“I’ve always had a weird mixture of literary tastes. I read a lot of non fiction mainly history. For some strange reason I love writers as different as Emile Zola and JP Donleavy. Hemingway does it for me, as does Hilary Mantell. Wolf Hall is quite amazing. Tom Sharpe was another great writer. Funnily enough, although I’m now writing romantic comedy, I rarely read romantic comedy.”

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“I’ve just finished an amazing little book called Across the Piave by Norman Gladden. He was a first world war Tommy who went all the way through the blood and mud of Flaunders and Picardy before ending up in equally bloody northern Italy in 1918. It’s a fascinating story of an unassuming shy, man in a street, transposed into the midst of the bloodiest war ever fought. Really, really powerful. Before that it was The Girl with the dragon tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. So like I say very mixed taste.”

Links…

If you would like to purchase Trevor’s books here are the links…

Amazon UK-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Happens-At-Christmas-Williams-ebook/dp/B015TV032Y

Amazon USA-

http://www.amazon.com/What-Happens-At-Christmas-Williams-ebook/dp/B015TV032Y/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Social media…

Website

http://www.tawilliamsbooks.com/

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/TrevorWilliamsBooks

Twitter

http://www.twitter.com/@TAWilliamsbooks

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/GoodreadscomTAWilliams

“I would like to thank Trevor for taking the time to answer these questions for me”

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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February author of the month is…

Marcie Steele author of “That’s what friends are for”

Mel-0001 headshot (1)

A little bit about Marcie…

Mel Sherratt writes about murder and mayhem, but she also writes under the name of Marcie Steele. She’s a romantic at heart and has always wanted to write about characters who were not necessarily involved in the darker side of life. Coffee, cakes and friends are three of her favourite things, hence her first book, Stirred with Love. The second, That’s what friends are for, was published in December 2015 and she’s writing a third to be published in April 2016.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be anything else. I was always writing stories as a child and into my teens. So it was a natural step to try my hand at something longer.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Everywhere. It can be a magazine article, a line from a song, something I hear in the supermarket, talking to friends. I have far too many ideas to ever write out- which can be very frustrating at times.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“It takes about four- six months. That’s writing a first draft and then doing several rounds of edits before I’m happy for anyone else to see it. So the first draft I send off is usually my fourth or fifth draft.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“I try to write or edit 2000 words first thing every morning when I’m fresh. There’s never a time when I’m writing one, I’m usually editing another and vice versa. So to fit it all in, If I’m editing, I’ll then continue editing for the rest of the day. If I’m drafting a book, I’ll add more to the 2000.

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“The fear of not being able to write another one. Also if I’m editing I want to be writing again. If I’m writing I want to be editing.”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I don’t get writers block but I do get days when the words just don’t come as planned. Now I’ve realised that this is because I haven’t worked out the plot enough in my head to write it, so I do something else. Away from the writing is when ideas form, so I have to trust my instinct. I find that I get up the next day with everything sorted and I have to quickly write notes to get it all down. When I then sit down to write it out it all flows again. “

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“Titles come to me everyday. It’s the same as finding inspiration- I can hear a line from a song, read an article, hear a news clip and I’m off writing in my notepad. I find I need a title before I start a book as it’s this that first dictates the storylines to me.

For my self published books, cover design is very much a collaboration between my designer and me. I give her a few ideas of what I’m after, a few examples of other covers I like and the blurb for the book. For my books with my publisher, Bookoture, I don’t have a say, but they are awesome at designing top notch commercial covers with a distinct brand.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Yes, keep at it, improve and hone your skills. Writing like any trade needs plenty of practice and if like me at first you don’t succeed try and try again. You’ll also need to grow an extra layer of skin because this is a fickle business to be in.”

Which writers inspired you?

“There were and still are lots. Earlier it was authors such as Marian Keyes, Lisa Jewell and Adele Parks. Now its Rowan Coleman, Fionnualla Kearney and Talli Roland.”

What are you currently reading?

“The girl you lost by Kathryn Croft.”

Links…

If you would like to purchase “Stirred with love” or “That’s what friends are for” go to…

Amazon UK-

Stirred with love

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stirred-With-Love-friendship-romance-ebook/dp/B013C7TPKS/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51EIu6n5PIL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR104%2C160_&refRID=1PZ78G2R8Q8NWXSWMSGM

That’s what friends are for

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thats-What-Friends-Are-friends-ebook/dp/B017HWLP4S/ref=la_B005WJ5UT0_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453723937&sr=1-1

Social Media…

Twitter

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/MarcieSteeleauthor/

“I would like to thank Marcie for taking the time to answer the questions for me”

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura x

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January author of the month is…

Nicola Marshall author of “Sleep Peacefully”

nicola marshall 

A little bit about Nicola…

I was born and raised near Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England where I still live with my fiancé and our cat Harry. I possess a weakness for chocolate and white wine and I am a sucker for a good rom-com (What woman isn’t?)

I am a self- confessed daydreamer and admit to spending best part of the time with my head in the clouds. I would like to see the world and dream of owning a home overlooking the sea.

I enjoy travelling and like to take inspiration for my writing from some of the places I have visited so far, including Australia which I fell in love with.

I am a keen reader and have always held a secret dream to write my own novel but never really told anyone about it. So when I took the plunge and did I think I may have shocked quite a few people.

The idea behind my debut novel, Sleep Peacefully came to me in the early hours one morning. The vision I had for the story was so strong that I had to get out of bed and start to write down my thoughts. At that point I never imagined it would end up as a book for sale around the world.

Sleep Peacefully is currently receiving some fantastic reviews and feedback. Due to its success I am now writing my second novel due to be released in 2016.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. Even back in primary school my teachers would look forward to reading my stories. As a teenager I would write short stories just because I loved doing it. I’ve always had a very vivid imagination and have enjoyed reading from a young age too”.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Lots of places. My inspiration can come from the simplest of things even from people that I meet in everyday life. I got a lot of inspiration for my debut novel “Sleep Peacefully” from areas I have been lucky enough to see. I have visited Australia twice and went to some beautiful and amazing places whilst there. I really wanted to feature them in the book as they inspired me massively.”

On average how long does it take to write a book?

“Sleep Peacefully took me about a year but that included a break that I took for a couple of months. I found the writing didn’t take too long it’s the editing and proofreading that takes up the most time. Some days I saw myself writing for a couple of hours, only to go back and re write the whole lot the following day.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“In all honesty no. I would love to say that I am an organised writer with a carefully thought out routine, but I’m not. Ideas for the story tended to come to me late at night. I could sit in front of a computer screen all day and it was only once I got into bed that the visions would become concrete and I would have to write them down. It became a regular occurrence for me to be wide awake, sitting in my PJ’s and jotting down thoughts into the small hours of the morning. Hopefully when I write the next one I may be a little more organised, but I seriously doubt it.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“For me it’s definitely the self belief. I think it takes real guts to put your work out there for the world to see, especially when you are an unknown author. I almost didn’t publish, but everyone I knew was pushing me to do it. In the end I decided that I had put too much time and effort into the novel for it to not be seen. I was a nervous wreck on the day I published but once I got my first five reviews it made it all worth while.”

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

“I suffered from writer’s block regularly. It was literally like slamming into a brick wall. The best thing to do is to force yourself to walk away and focus on something totally different for a while. Try your best to put the book to the back of your mind and soon you will be back into the swing of things.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and book cover design?

“I pondered over a lot of titles before I came up with Sleep Peacefully. I think the title ties the aspects of death and dreams together well, which is what I wanted. I worked with an American company who edited the book. They also did cover designs. I had a good idea of what I wanted on the cover and it only took a few drafts before we came up with the final version.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Go for it! If it’s something that you are passionate about then life is too short not to at least give it a go. Be prepared to work hard, particularly if you are self publishing. It’s not easy and there is a lot of competition out there. I found that writing was the easy part but you also need to put time and effort into marketing and making people aware. Remember not everyone will love your novel, you do have to develop a thick skin and understand that that’s ok.”

Which writer’s inspire you?

“I love Jodi Picoult’s work. I also like Rachel Abbott, who is a true inspiration to any Indie Author. She has done an amazing job and is still going strong.”

What are you currently reading?

“Im currently reading Girl Number One by Jane Holland. I love psychological thrillers that keep you guessing and I’m sure this one wont disappoint.”

 

Links…

If you would like to purchase Nicola’s book go to..

Amazon Uk- http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sleep-Peacefully-NC-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00WRBVYL4

Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Peacefully-NC-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00WRBVYL4

Social Media:

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/pages/NC-Marshall/687071924758804

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nc_marshall

Website: http://www.ncmarshall.com

“I would like to thank Nicola for taking the time to answer the questions for me”

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading.

Laura xx

 

 

 

 

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December author of the month is…

Darcie Boleyn author of “Wish upon a Christmas cake”

darcie boleyn

A little bit about Darcie…

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it- especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I always wanted to be an author. As a child I read and wrote all the time. I entered writing competitions. However I went off to university at nineteen then life became busy and my writing took a back seat until 2010 when I decided to try again. Since then I haven’t stopped writing.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Everything inspires me. It could be a song on the radio, a comment from my husband, something one of my children says or does, something I see when we’re in the car, a title that pops into my head a line that a character says or even a book I’m reading. I always carry a notebook and my iphone and whenever inspiration strikes I make notes to refer to later.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

 “I started Wish Upon a Christmas Cake in the summer of 2014. I wrote about 40,000 words while I was on holiday. I finished writing it just after Christmas of 2014, then edited it before submitting it early 2015. I recently finished writing my second book and that took about eight months in total but there were times when I was working on revisions for the first one, so I wasn’t working on book two without breaks.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

 “I write whenever and wherever I can, although my most productive time seems to be early morning straight after breakfast. I make a cup of tea or coffee, read over my notes and the previous scene, visualise the scene I’m about to write, then off I go!”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

 “Being my own worst critic, I have to force myself to just keep writing and not to edit every scene too harshly, or I just wouldn’t make progress. It’s far better to get the words down while they’re flowing then edit later.”

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

 “Stop. Breathe. Read over my notes. Make a drink.If that doesn’t work I take the dogs for a walk or have a shower (for some reason that helps get my thoughts flowing).If I really can’t get over the block, I leave the writing there for the day and pick up a good book. Usually sleeping on an idea for a night or two allows my subconscious to work it through then I can’t wait to get writing again.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

 “The title is usually a result of a discussion between the author and publisher to create the best title for the story. My cover was provided by Carina UK’s very talented cover artist and I’m thrilled with it!.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

 “Never surrender your dreams. It is possible to do this. Read, write and read some more. Make lots of notes and try to put aside some time for writing everyday. If you write regularly before you know it, you’ll have a draft of a story. It will need editing and developing, but that’s part of the process that every author goes through. Not many authors get it right first time, so try not to be disheartened if you are rejected at first. I had lots of rejections and some revise and resubmits. Not on WUACC but on the other stories I wrote. I have tried to learn from every rejection and to make my writing better as a result. Rejection hurts but getting that first acceptance makes up for it!.”

Which writers inspired you?

 “This is a difficult one to answer because I read lots of genres. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Stephen King, Philippa Gregory, Adele Parkes and Sophie Kinsella are just a few authors who’ve inspired me over the years. More recently, I’ve been incredibly inspired by the authors I’ve interacted with on a regular basis, especially the Carnia UK authors; they’re a fantastic bunch. I don’t want to name individuals, in case I miss someone out, but I’ve read lots of their books and been inspired by how talented they are. To be writing alongside them, as well as seeing my book featured with theirs on various websites, is something that makes me pinch myself everyday. I feel very lucky indeed!.”

What are you currently reading?

 I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. My husband bought it for my birthday in August. It’s very good and I’m really enjoying it. I have and enormous TBR pile- on my bookshelf and on my kindle. I’m afraid that I’m addicted to ‘one click’ and I keep downloading books…”

Links…

If you would like to purchase Darcie’s latest book go to…

Amazon UK-  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wish-Upon-A-Christmas-Cake-ebook/dp/B0150UO9XS

Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.com/Wish-Upon-A-Christmas-Cake-ebook/dp/B0150UO9XS

Social Media:

Twitter- https://twitter.com/darcieboleyn

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/people/Darcie-Boleyn

Blog- https://pinkinkladies.wordpress.com/darcie-boleyn/

“I would just like to thank Darcie for taking the time to answer the questions for me”

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month.

Happy reading

Laura xx

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Novembers Author of the month is….

Sheryl Browne author of “The rest of my life”

sheryl browne

A bit about Sheryl…

Heartache, humour, love, loss and betrayal. Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction.A member of the Crime Writers Association, Romantic Novelists Association and short listed for Innovation in Romantic Fiction.Sheryl has seven books published and two short in Birmingham City University Anthologies.Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith travel fiction buyer.The Rest Of My Life comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Q&A time….

What made you want to become an author?

 “A policeman. Haw! Haw! I joke, although I am rather inspired by men in uniform. Actually I think I fist started writing about the time I took leave of my senses. Well you have to admit it’s a bit of mad thing to do, especially in today’s publishing climate. Honestly? It’s a case of “I write therefore I am” with me, I’m afraid. I simply have to do it. Writing has always been my passion since way back when a kindly English teacher gave me 22 out of 20 for an essay, bless him. I started writing novels in my early twenties. I was a single parent back then and had taken compassionate leave from my job to nurse my mum through early onset Alzheimer’s. Naturally, there came a time when she needed more medical care than I could give and found I badly needed an emotional outlet, so I picked up a pencil- an actual pencil then and started scribbling. It turned out to be a real catharsis, but not in the gloomy way one might expect. Amazingly, I found I was reflecting on the humour and love we’d shared and out popped my poignant rom com style of writing.

I write in two genres, romantic fiction and psychological thriller. I do have a dark side therefore (beware!) but I think those thrillers still tend to look at the fragility of love, life and relationships so perhaps the two genres are not so far apart.

My very first bestselling debut, however… Um, well it didn’t sell. I think the agent who’d hailed it as such went off in search of Prozac. I’d love to tell you about it but, unfortunately I eventually tossed it in the bin. I can tell you the title. It was called Loose Screws! Hmmm? Not so sure about that now. Silver linings and all that, though: my book, Warrant for Love- now published was based on that first book or rather what I could remember of it, mostly that hunky policeman in his bite-the buttons-off blue uniform.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 “I think most authors draw on life events and the emotions around them, looking at the inner and outer conflicts people might be dealing with. In The rest of my life for instance, the inner conflicts and demons both Adam and Sienna were dealing with needed careful handling. Sienna’s mother struggled with bipolar disorder. Anyone who has experience of it, but still, careful research was called for, as with depression linked to post- traumatic stress disorder which Adam acknowledges he has but doubts that anyone can help him with.

Somebody to Love turns around a single father (a policeman! Sorry, I cant help myself) who has a special needs son, therefore a lot riding on any relationship he enters into. Again, I do have experience of special needs but I find talking to other people coping with such issues is paramount, followed up by whatever research I feel necessary.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

 “Hmm? I suppose that depends on how inspired I am and how much research might be necessary. If I’m not inspired, it simply doesn’t happen. However, once I’m excited by an idea I can get the first draft down in maybe three months. Getting that draft to what I consider to be a publishable standard, though that can take anything up to nine months. In my experience your first draft is never ready for publication. I try to rest it for a while and then got back to it with fresh eyes. That’s when plot holes and typos jump out at me. Unfortunately not all of them! I would advise people to get their work edited and as polished as possible before submitting or self publishing. Sometimes you are just to close to your work to see where the plot might be sagging or where you’ve made thundering great blunders.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“I tend to try to get on top of my social media commitments in the morning and then go back again in the evening. The trouble is I like to talk! And I cant resist reading blogs, book reviews and other author news. After a bit of a traumatic year (my partner needing some hospital care- he’s doing fabulously now!), I’ve decided I really need to apply myself to allocating specific time slots. Mornings are more productive for me, so it’s click… off with the internet and write, write, write. If anyone catches me talking too much, please slap me.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“Writers block! I mentioned allocating specific writing time above. I find it’s all too easy to fill my headspace with all those endless things I need to be doing on the promotion and house fronts. Yes they do need to be done, but in allocating the time to write, I somehow give my subconscious permission to let the ideas germinate and grow. Does that make sense?”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“If my chapters are being particularly stubborn and not talking to me at all, dog walking really helps. While I’m walking I find my tends to wander in the direction of my plot without having to force it and ping- I get lightbulb moment. Also, as I mentioned I write in two genres. If one book is seriously stalled therefore, I’ll turn to the other and inevitably the characters from book one will then start clamouring for attention.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover?

“Ooh, I’m glad you’ve asked me that. Berni Stevens at Choc Lit designed the gorgeous cover for The rest of my life and I swear she psychic. She plucked an image right out of my head. If you take a look at the video below, which I made way before the cover was designed, you will know what I mean. Spooky. For the record I adore my cover! In regard to covers generally I look at other covers in the genre and try to reflect the genre along with the story.

Titles I struggle with. If they don’t pop into my head immediately, I’m floored which I find excruciatingly frustrating as I need my title in place to tell the story. Nuts, I know but its one of my quirks along with having the characters names in place. I mean you cant write about a nameless person, can you? Hopefully, I do eventually come up with a title that hints at the story. If the publisher wants to change it that’s always fine by me. As long as I have a title in place to write, I’m happy.”

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

“Based on my first answer above, never throw away your first manuscript! It might need work but as you write and learn, taking on board constructive criticism, you can fix it! Seriously, I’d advise a new author to climb on board social media platforms immediately. You can learn so much from other writers, connect on twitter/FB and read author blogs, join online writing groups, ask for guidance on where to obtain editorial advice or enlist a beta reader. The most vital thing in my opinion though, is to read- lots. To quote Stephen King: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Which writers inspired you?

“In regards to my romance writing, Marian Keyes is a huge inspiration for me. Water Melon was the first book I read by this author and I’ve been addicted ever since. I adore Marian’s writing. Her books tend to deal with modern ailments, but are always written with the compassion and humour I so admire. For my psychological thrills I turn to Martina Cole, who’s ability to write gritty, believable characters I’m in awe of. For me, the magic of Martina Cole’s books is her fabulously unique way of leading us seamlessly into the heads of her characters: real flesh and blood people we can identify with and get to know. Fabulous stuff.”

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“Ive just finished Ava Marsh’s “Untouchable”. You can find my review on Amazon. Briefly, it features an intelligent woman with a psychology degree who chooses to change her career and become an escort- essential sex scenes therefore, but handled really well. I found it a riveting, powerful and different read and applaud the author for tackling a subject that some would shy away from.”

“I would just like to thank Sheryl for taking them time to answer my questions and answering them so brilliantly”

Links…

You can purchase all of Sheryl’s books on Amazon.

Twitter: @SherylBrowne

Facebook: Sheryl Browne Author Page

Website: sherylbrowne.blogspot.com

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next time

Happy reading

Laura xx

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October Author of the month is….

Christie Barlow author of Misadventures of a playground mother

christie Barlow

A little bit about Christie…

Christie has been a piano teacher for the past 15 years. She also had a successful career in the Civil Services and managed her own jobcentre.

 Once she had her first child Christie took a career break and became a successful wedding planner  and also appeared on Tv on the BBC programme “Bank of mum and dad” and appeared as their wedding planner.

Christie wanted to teach her children a valuable life lesson and wanted to show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams.

She wrote “A year in the life of a playground mother” so she could prove this to her children.

“A year in the life of a playground mother” is now an Amazon number 1 bestseller in the Uk and in the USA.

Q&A time…

What made you want to become on author?

“Once hitting my mid-life crisis (but dodging the tattoo and the fast car) and after wholly dedicating my life to my children, they asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up!

I found myself answering “I’ve always wanted to write a book”. I wanted to show my children whatever you wanted to do in life if you put your mind to it, you are capable of doing anything. So the idea was born.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“My inspiration for my first two books came from what I know best- my four children. They are all at various stages of their education and this is where I became fascinated with the everyday politics and dynamics and superficial friendships of primary school mothers. My book is based purely on comedic scenarios of mothers that occur in everyday life. All the characters are most definitely fictional but I wanted readers to find the books immersive and actually start believing these fictional characters are real, when in fact its pure fiction. This just exemplifies my characters and style of writing. My characters aren’t based on specific people but of course I have drawn on my own experiences over the years, what writer doesn’t?”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“My first book A year in the life of a playground mother took approximately twelve months to write. My second book The misadventures of a playground mother took me approximately six months to write and my third book which will be released next spring has taken five months. I seem to be getting quicker!”

Do you have a specific routine when writing?

” I drop the children off at school and then take my mad cocker spaniel across the fields. I usually settle down to write mid- morning and finish just before the afternoon school run”.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

“Writing fiction is certainly a lonely job and ninety- five percent of that time is spent on my own tapping at the computer with only my mad cocker spaniel named Woody for company”.

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I don’t know it hasn’t happened yet!”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“I work with a fantastic team at Bookouture and once the book is written we work together on the title and their fantastic illustrators then design the cover”.

Any advice for anyone who wants to become an author?

” My advice would be to go for it- anything is possible. We all have self- doubts when writing, but keep going and believe in yourself. Write a little every day, that way there will always be continuity and make sure you read lots of different varieties of books and always find time to read.

Just remember you cant please all of the people all of the time and some people will not like what you have written. Surround yourself instead with positive people and those that believe in you and love your work. Remember, it is better to create and be criticised than to create nothing and criticise”.

Which writers inspired you?

“I love a whole variety of writers. My favourites include Carole Matthews, Marian Keyes, Cathy Bramley and as a child I loved Enid Blyton”.

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“At the moment I am currently reading a book called Addicted by Nigel May. Nigel is most definitely the new Jackie Collins of 2015”.

“I would like to thank Christie Barlow for taking the time to answer these questions for me :)”

Links…

If you would like to purchase any of Christie’s books they are available to purchase on Amazon.

Christie’s website: http://www.christiebarlow.com

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

Until next month

Happy reading

Laura xx

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September author of the month…

Tracie Banister author of “Twin Piques”

tracie banister

 

A little bit about Tracie…

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favourite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara.

Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned. (Like all good divas in the making she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills.

Her career as a personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full time.

“Twin Piques” is her third Chic Lit release. The pet psychic character in this novel was inspired by Tracie’s rascally rescue dogs. She’d love to know what goes on in their heads!

Q&A time…

What made you want to become an author?

“I cant remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I always revered the written word. When I was a kid, I had a word-a-day calendar, enjoyed flipping through the big dictionary my grandmother had sitting on a stand in her living room, couldn’t wait to enter every spelling bee at school! and I was always obsessed with books and reading, which led to me scribbling down my own stories.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“I get ideas everywhere- from friends, the internet, TV, magazines. I never know what will provide a springboard for my imagination. There is a little bit of me and my life experiences in every story I write- these can show up in character quirks, places I’ve visited or relationship dynamics. For example, I’ve always been curious about what goes on in my dogs heads, so thought it would be fun to explore that with a character who’s pet psychic and that’s how Willa in Twin Piques was born.”

On average how long does it take you to write a book?

“It really depends on the book. I am a very slooooow writer who edits as I go, so the first draft phase is quite intense and time consuming. Fortunately, that approach results in me having very polished manuscripts that don’t require major revisions. Shortest time its taken me to complete a book- seven months. Longest time- two years.”

Do you have a specific routine when you are writing?

“I am a creature of habit and things have to be so in order for me to be able to concentrate and write. I always write at my desk in my office (I loathe laptops!). I must wear my special “writing sweater,” an old navy cardigan, even if it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s essential that I have a glass of Perrier nearby. (I’m convinced that the carbonation stimulates my imagination!) I burn eucalyptus oil in my office quite a bit as there’s something about the aroma I find soothing and now I associate that scent with “creative time”. Oh, and I always touch the head of my Shakespeare paperweight every day before I start writing. For inspiration, for good luck, I have no idea; it’s just part of my crazy routine!.”

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

“For me, the hardest thing is dealing with my inner critic, who sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, “idiot, there’s a continuity problem in the last chapter you wrote!” or “This scene you’re struggling with is never going to work, so give it up!” She’s a pretty big pain in my behind, but she’s almost always right. :).”

What do you do when you get writers block?

“I don’t think I’ve ever had writers block per se, but I’ve definitely experienced writer’s burn out. I’m a perfectionist and I can get very frustrated with myself when my stories don’t turn out the way I want them to. At times like these, I have to step away from the computer and recharge my batteries by hopping on the treadmill, going to a movie or chatting with a friend.”

How do you come up with the title of the book and the cover design?

“I never title my books; I have friends and family members pitch me ideas, then I go with the title that makes a “Ding ding ding!” sound go off in my head. (it’s all very scientific!). Twin Piques was the brainchild of fellow author Jackie Bouchard. I love word play and thought this title was so clever, plus it really conveyed the essence of what the book’s all about.

As for my cover design, I always have a concept that I pass on to someone who actually has talent in the fields of art and graphic design. I was very fortunate to have the services of cover artist Lyndsey Lewellen for Twin Piques. She brought my creative vision to life and added some wonderful touches of her own that really brought the design together.”

Any advice for anyone who want’s to become an author?

“Make sure you’ve got a polished, professional looking product before you query or publish. If you decide to go indie, invest money in a cover artist, have the book proofread by several people and do several rounds of edits until you’re sure your book is the best it can possibly be, write a snappy blurb and build buzz for your book via social media and your blog in the months and weeks leading up to your release. Also and this is really important, have realistic expectations about your book. Finding readers takes a lot of time and effort. It’s a marathon, not a race! So don’t get discouraged if you don’t sell zillion books and hit the bestsellers list right out of the gate. That rarely happens. Just hang in there, keep writing and doing everything you can to spread the word about your books and you will eventually see results.”

Which writers inspired you?

“My number one author inspiration throughout my life has been Jane Austen. I consider her to be the mother of Chic Lit as she was the first to combine romance with comedy, Austen’s characterisations were so detailed and vivid they practically jump off the page and no one has ever written wittier dialogue.”

What are you currently reading at the moment?

“I’m about 40% into “Secret of the painted lady by Christina A Burke”, which is a cosy mystery with a Chic Lit vibe. Christina’s voice grabbed me on the first page; her characterisations are fantastic, her dialogue is snappy and fun and her writing is fast paced, so I’m able to blow through several chapters with ease. I’m really enjoying this book and cant wait to find out whodunit and which of her potential love interests the heroine ends up with. (I know who I’m rooting for!).”

“I would just like to thank Tracie Banister for taking some time to answer these questions for me :)”

Links…

If you would like to purchase Tracie’s latest book it is available on amazon.

Social media…

Tracie’s blog: http://traciebanister.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister

Twitter: http://twitter.com/traciebanister

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tlbani

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5448518.Tracie_Banister

Hope you have enjoyed this page.

 Until next month.

Happy reading

Laura xx

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