Author Blogs… telling their story

An interview with the lovely Rachel Dove

where she answers 10 questions about her new release….

‘THE LONG WALK BACK..!’

1. I know you’ve wanted to write this book for a long time, so… what was your inspiration for The Long Walk Back?

In today’s political climate, I was always struck by the personal stories behind the war, and a story started to form. If I hadn’t gone into education and writing, I think I would have gone into medicine, as it has always intrigued me and I love medical dramas and reading journals etc. Part of my teaching job involves healthcare dealing with autism etc, and having two children with additional needs means that I always keep abreast of developments. One day, I had a notion of a wounded soldier, and it grew from there.

2. How and when do you find time to write?

I write every day, even if it’s just editing, researching or scribbling details down. I work every single day in some capacity, and I get antsy if I don’t. I write when the kids are at school normally, and when they are still in bed on a morning or late at night. I have been known to write in my car or at the side of a football pitch too, whenever I get chance really. I make time, although now I work from home full time it’s a lot easier. People who work full time and still write a book a year are my heroes. I couldn’t do it!

3. Which character in The Long Walk Back is your favourite?

Cooper without a doubt. I normally identify with my female characters more, but Cooper is a stubborn, sexy, pig headed alpha mate with a soft heart. I love him very much as a character.

4. Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?

Grace and Marlene, two of the lovely ladies from The Chic Boutique on Baker Street are real people, my grandmothers, but other than that, no not really. I try to create completely new people.

5. Do you ever become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting go of them. Or, are you happy to let them go and move onto the next project?

Yes, definitely! Cooper is very special to me, and I could have written him forever. I am currently writing the last book in the Westfield series, and I will be very sorry to say goodbye to the village and its characters.

6. Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

Tricky, because it has been different for some of my books, but I definitely think characters are what comes to mind first. They have to be fully formed in my head before I write, and I use character profiles to keep track of them.

7. How long does it take you to write a book and what sort of research do you do?

On average from start to finish from idea to first draft I would say about 6 months, I have books planned which I haven’t started working on yet, but they will be percolating away in the background. I research by going to places, asking professionals, reading books, and talking to people who have been in similar situations. For The Long Walk Back I did the most research, in terms of medical conditions, dosages of medicines, asking professionals for advice. I wanted to get the story right and not glorify war or one side over the other. That’s not what the book is about.

8. What part of writing a novel do you find most challenging?

Deadlines! I am a terrible one for thinking ‘ah, it’ll be fine’ and playing around with things when really I should be applying bottom to chair and hammering the words out. I need to work on my self editing and do this better in 2018, although with deadlines I generally hit them give or take a few days! School holidays knock my work out of whack as we don’t pay for childcare now, and made a pact never to again for the sake of our boys.

9. Can you described the moment when you realised you were a ‘real’ author?

That’s a tricky one, as there have been many amazing things happening in the last couple of years. Stephen King says “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.”

I got my first check for a magazine readers letter a good few years ago,  after learning about them on an assignment with my writing course with the Writers Bureau, and I still have the letter. I never stopped, and now I have a folder full of letters like that. Writing is not about money, but the first acceptance does spur you on to the next. The best part for me now is saying ‘I am a writer’ proudly when someone asks what I do, rather than just saying teacher. I have my two dream jobs.

10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read. Read about what is selling, read about the world, and devour books. Devour every genre you can stomach, and find out what you love, what speaks to you, and what makes you happy. Enter competitions too, and take that shot. I always enter competitions even now, because without them, I might never have been published. The practice alone is worth the fear!

 

If you would like to read ‘THE LONG WALK BACK’ here’s the buying link:

http://mybook.to/thelongwalkback

 

 

 

An Interview with Kirsty Ferry

Here Kirsty answers questions about her new book….

‘A Little Bit of Christmas Magic’

Where did the idea of this book start? What led to it being written?

It’s linked into the first Rossetti Mysteries book, ‘Some Veil did Fall.’ I loved the historical characters in Veil, and  desperately wanted them to have more of a story. I couldn’t really do a follow-up for them, but a prequel sounded ideal. I also love the idea of a traditional Victorian Christmas, and of course a good Christmas ghost story like Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’. So that’s how it ended up as number 4 in the series, a timeslip, and has Christmas Present. Christmas Past and Christmas Yet to Come in it!

How did you create your heroine? What drives her?

Ailsa is a minor character in a contemporary novella I’ve written, and she seemed perfect to use for this book. She is a wedding planner, and is all for happy endings and love stories. I just needed to give her a reason to be at work on Christmas Day and to have her own reasons to wish herself back into the Victorian era – which works out very well for her in the end.

Are any of your characters based on someone you know?

No, at least not knowingly! Maybe one or two character traits sneak in unawares, but nothing that singles anybody out – I think I’d lose a lot of friends if I started putting them in books. One of my friends has been used as ‘character’ on a couple of occasions, and certain very thinly disguised elements of her life fall into at least two books –  and trust me, she is no longer friends with the author!

Who is your favourite character and why?

I think I have to go for Ella, my historical heroine. If she wasn’t so alive to me, then I wouldn’t have written Veil, I wouldn’t have written this book, and Veil would never have had sequels. I think Ella has been hovering around my imagination for years, but I’m not quite sure where she came from.

What’s next… what are you writing now?

I’m working on edits for the third book in my new Hartsford Mysteries series. It’s trebled in size since I initially sent it off, and has changed from a contemporary novella to a full-blown dual timeline novel with a hint of ghosts. Then I have four more novellas sitting with the panel at the publishers, so hopefully I’ll get to work on one of those at some point if they are accepted. And I’m playing around with the third book in another series, the first one of which came out at Halloween. I’m only a couple of thousand words into it, but I’m sure it will sort itself out eventually.

All about Kirsty…

Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale ‘Enchantment’.

Her timeslip novel, ‘Some Veil Did Fall’, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, ‘The Girl in the Painting’ in February 2016 and ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ in March 2017. October 2017 saw the release of ‘Watch for me by Moonlight’,  ‘A Little Bit of Christmas Magic’ and ‘Every Witch Way’, again, all published by Choc Lit. The experience of signing ‘Some Veil Did Fall’ in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!

Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes prove rather interesting.

You can find out more about Kirsty and her work at www.rosethornpress.co.uk, catch her on her Facebook Author Page or follow her on Twitter @kirsty_ferry.

Buying Links – find your way from my Choc Lit author pages

http://www.choc-lit.com/productcat/kirsty-ferry/

 

 

 

 

 

An evening with Choc Lit’s very own, Morton Gray..!

where she talks about her new book ‘THE GIRL ON THE BEACH’

Good morning, Morton, tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Worcestershire, U.K. with my husband, two sons and Lily the little white dog. I won Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition with my novel “The Girl on the Beach” in March 2016. The novel is e-published in all electronic formats on 24 January 2017. It is a contemporary romantic suspense novel set in the fictional seaside town of Borteen.

Could I ask, how long have you been writing and working toward the goal of being published?

Having delighted in the written word for as long as I can remember, I guess you could say since I learned to write, but, as with many writers, life and work got in the way for a long time. In 2006, I entered a short story competition and, unexpectedly, won. After that, I began to wonder whether I could write a novel. I soon discovered how little I knew and enrolled on courses to learn how to write the many stories in my head.

Can you describe the time you realised you were a ‘real writer’?

Tantalising glimmers of possible publication success appeared when I began to shortlist in novel competitions. One shortlisting for the former Festival of Romance New Talent Award in 2014, gave me the opportunity to meet you, Lynda, when you were shortlisted too.

I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme (NWS) in 2012, the scheme allows a critique by a novelist for every year you are a member and I began to see more encouraging comments in these reports as I progressed. It is all a learning curve.

I guess I’ve taken my writing more seriously since I began to get favourable responses from those reading my work.

I love the cover for The Girl on the Beach, but what was the inspiration behind it?

 My novels tend to start from a spark of an idea. This one was born after a friend, who runs an art gallery in Worcester, held an art competition at my son’s high school. This, combined with a couple of headlines on a news website gave me the start of the story, which I began to scribble on the back of an envelope on a journey down the motorway. (I hasten to add that my husband was driving).

How did you come up with your story concept?

The wonder of writing for me is the unfolding of a story, almost as if it is downloaded from the ether. It feels like the story concept finds me, rather than me coming up with it.

Are any of your characters based on your life and experience?

My characters are purely fictional, but it is inevitable that snippets of my experience leak into the books. For example, my heroine in “The Girl on the Beach”, Ellie, hates opening birthday presents and I have a little of this phobia. I’d much rather give presents than receive them.

Who is your favourite character and why?

My favourite character is Ellie Golden, my heroine. She is a survivor and a fiercely protective mother.

Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting go of them, or are you happy their story is told and you can move on to the next project?

I have so many stories to tell that I am happy to move on to the next book. Having said that, other characters in “The Girl on the Beach” have demanded their own story, so you are likely to see those characters in the future.

If you could be any of your characters, which would it be and why?

 I guess it would be Mandy Vanes, the heroine’s best friend in “The Girl on the Beach”. She is more carefree than I’ve ever managed to be, but is it all an illusion? I’m writing her story at the moment…

What is your writing process? Which comes first, the story, the characters, or setting?

The characters come first, followed by the setting and then the story unfolds. If I am in the flow, it is as if the characters are speaking to me, sometimes so quickly that I can’t write fast enough. I adore the alchemy of this process. I tend to write long hand in notebooks, usually in cafes, as it’s too distracting at home. I type up my words when I get back.

Are you a meticulous plotter or do you just let it flow?

Before my writing journey began, I would have predicted that I would be a plotter, as I like organisation, process and logic, but to my surprise my best work is achieved when I just let the words flow. In this way, you could almost say that I act out of character when I’m writing.

How would you describe your writing style?

My books unfold as I write them, so I hope that my readers get the same experience. Beyond that I think I’ll have to ask for answers on a postcard when people have read the book.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I like to write a first draft quickly, usually in a month. Following this speed write, I need to undertake research for details, examine the way the story is written and the elements I need to discard or move around. I’m often writing more than one book at the same time because of the way I write.

What kind of research do you undertake?

I prefer to get the main bones of a story down before I undertake detailed research, mainly to avoid a huge dump of information and to focus the research I undertake. I will mainly be researching detailed things about an occupation or something that happens in the story beyond my own experience.

What part of writing a novel do you find most challenging?

I love the first draft. The thing I find most challenging is carving up my ideas and deciding what to keep and what to discard. Some of my favourite bits of the first draft are often red herrings for the final book and sadly have to go.

Have you used beta readers, and if so, do you recommend them?

I had two main readers for The Girl on the Beach. One read the novel when it was a raw first draft and the other when it was more polished. My confidence in my work can be quite fragile at the early stages, so I’d say choose very wisely who sees your work and always be specific about what areas or aspects of your work you want an opinion about.

What can your readers expect when they read your book?

Hopefully, they can expect to unravel a mystery alongside my hero and heroine. In ‘The Girl on the Beach” Harry doesn’t remember Ellie at all, but she is sure she has known him before, but in those days, he was not called Harry Dixon!

Can you tell us what you are writing now?

I am writing three books, all centred around my fictional seaside town of Borteen. One is the best friend’s story from “The Girl on the Beach.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Learn the craft of writing, read lots, write lots. Try different genres, different writing styles and approaches, so that you can find your own particular way of writing and voice.

Do you think being a member of an association, such as the Romantic Novelists’ Association is beneficial to new writers, or is a local writing group more helpful?

I would have to say both. My membership of the RNA New Writers’ Scheme was undoubtedly crucial in my success in winning Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition, as I had benefitted from the critique of another writer.

Equally, my local writing associations with Sue Johnson’s Pershore writing class, the RNA Birmingham chapter and the little group of writers I meet with monthly provide an important sounding board and help with maintaining morale for those times you believe everything you are writing is rubbish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you ever experience writers’ block? If so, how do you get past it?

I don’t tend to get blocked when I’m writing, more unsure how to proceed on some plot points. I find a coffee with a friend, a shower or even ironing free my mind, indeed anything where I can’t focus on writing, because my subconscious then does the job itself.

 

Blurb For “The Girl on the Beach” by Morton S. Gray

Who is Harry Dixon?

When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.

For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …

But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.

 

Biography for Morton S. Gray

Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K.

She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen, the plot of which closely resembled an Errol Flynn film. As with many authors, life got in the way of writing for many years until she won a short story competition in 2006 and the spark was well and truly reignited.

She studied creative writing with the Open College of the Arts and joined the Romantic Novelists’ New Writers’ Scheme in 2012.

After shortlisting in several first chapter competitions, she won The Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition in 2016 with her novel ‘The Girl on the Beach’. This debut novel is published on 24 January 2017. The story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Previous ‘incarnations’ were in committee services, staff development and training. Morton has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina Acupressure Massage and Energy Field Therapy.

She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

www.mortonsgray.com

Twitter – @MortonSGray

Facebook Page – Morton S. Gray Author – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/

Purchasing links for “The Girl on the Beach” at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/

WENDY CLARKE

Today I’m talking to Wendy Clarke as she releases her Christmas short story collection, Silent Night. I asked Wendy to tell me all about her hero’s and heroines..!

Here’s what Wendy had to say…

Christmas Through the Eyes of Someone Else

 

What’s the perfect Christmas? It could be spending time with family and friends or having a quiet time in front of the TV with a box of Cadbury’s Roses and a Christmas Special of Only fools and Horses. Maybe it’s none of these but the chance to jet off to somewhere warmer and leave behind the hubbub of the festive season. Whatever your idea of the perfect Christmas, it’s sometimes nice to view this special time through the eyes of someone else.

‘Silent Night’, my collection of short stories previously published in national women’s magazines, has an assortment of main protagonists: male, female, old and young. It has been an adventure experiencing different Christmases through these thirteen characters’ eyes and It’s one I’d like to share with you.

Let’s start with the male POVs. The first character I’d like to introduce you to is Andrew from the story ‘Project Christmas’. There is no excitement for this young man in the lead up to the big day, just sadness, as the previous year he lost his wife. He wants to make Christmas for his children one that Paula would be proud of but it’s not an easy task. The hardest thing when writing this story was getting the level of emotion right – too much and it would become maudlin, too little and Andrew would appear uncaring. I hope I managed to get the balance right. How he copes at this difficult time, is by viewing Christmas as a project but will he succeed in making his children happy?

‘Is everything okay, Andrew?’ his sister asked. ‘Where are the children?’

Andrew stared dejectedly into his beer. ‘I sent them upstairs. They kept trying to help but you can see what happened.’ He swept an arm around the room in explanation.

‘I see.’

‘I thought I could do it, Beth, but I can’t.’

 

Another young man whose Christmas is about to change, is John from the story, ‘A Christmas Present Called, Abbie’. Estranged from his wife, John has reverted to bachelorhood and his Christmases usually involve a pint or two with his mates. Not this year. This year, he is going to have to look after his young daughter Abbie while her mother is in hospital. Will seeing Christmas through the eyes of a seven-year-old help him to grow up?

‘Where’s the tree?’

I broke from my thoughts and looked at Abbie, standing in the bay window, staring out into the street.

‘It should be here.’ She spread her arms wide. Her stare accusing.

‘I don’t have a tree.’

‘Why not? It’s Christmas.’ Abbie folded her arms and waited for my answer.

A particular favourite of mine is rock musician, Callum, from ‘A song for Christmas’. To him, everything is a joke but his girlfriend doesn’t think that playing the fool makes Cal a good role model for her young son, Ben. Finding himself unexpectedly on his own, and with a tour coming up, Callum is finding Christmas a dismal prospect. But a sense of humour is important – especially to a little boy who has fallen ill.

 

Chris did a drum roll that was so loud I jumped.

‘What’s up?’ he said. ‘You’ve looked like a wet weekend… all wet weekend.’

I strummed my fingers across the strings of my guitar and stared out of the window at the rain that continued to fall from the December sky. The fields outside my house were as grey as my mood.

‘Nothing’s up.’

‘Come on, Callum. We need to lighten the mood. Arm wrestle? Bubble gum blowing competition? Pin the tail on the sound recordist?’

I tried to smile but my heart wasn’t in it.

Let’s move on now to the female protagonists. For my first example, I’ve chosen Bella from the story, ‘On My Own’. In this story, my protagonist is fed up with her Christmases being organised with military precision by her husband. Tired of always being the one to fit in with other’s arrangements, she decides to carry out her threat to spend Christmas in the coastal cottage she’s seen advertised in a magazine. When her husband refuses to come with her, she goes anyway. I wanted to see how Beth would grow when she broke out of the claustrophobic constraints of her marriage and the result surprised me!

 

I add the tinsel to the branches and do my best with the lights. Without Ryan’s precise input, or anything suitable to stand on, the strings of bulbs are rather bunched up and when I switch them on, they remain stubbornly unlit. The wind whines in the chimney and rattles at the sash windows. Looking at the angel leaning tipsily from the top branch of the tree, I discard the rest of my tea and open the Chablis instead.

 

My final example is from the story, ‘Do You Believe in angels’. The style of this story is more like a folk tale and is written from the point of view of a girl who lives in a cottage in a wood with her grandparents while her father is away fighting in the trenches. She longs for a tree with an angel but her grandfather has other ideas.

Where there should be an angel, there is only a branch of pointed fir. Her grandfather had told her that all angels were needed to look after the young men on the battlefields.

‘When will father come?’ she asks.

Her grandfather’s eyes narrow and her grandmother touches a finger to her lips. ‘Hush child,” she says, drawing her close so that the brooch at her throat presses against her cheek. ‘Hush.’

 

So now, you too have seen a little of Christmas through some of my characters’ eyes. There are nine other protagonists in my collection and I hope this has left you wanting to see Christmas through their eyes too.

Wendy Clarke – Biography

Wendy Clarke is a writer of women’s fiction. Her work regularly appears in national women’s magazines such as The People’s Friend, Take a Break Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly. She has also written serials and a number of non-fiction magazine articles.

Wendy has published two collections of short stories, Room in Your Heart and The Last Rose and has just finished writing her second novel.

Wendy lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex and when not writing is usually dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!

Links:

If you’d like to read ‘Silent Night’ order here

or copy and paste link below:

 

https://wendyswritingnow.blogspot.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/wendy.sargent.376

twitter.com/WendyClarke99

 

 

CREAM TEA with MANDY JAMES..!!

Well, seeing as I’m sat here drinking tea and eating scones with Amanda James in the beautiful cornwall…

I thought I’d ask her a few questions about her new book… SUMMER IN TINTAGEL which was released on the 16th July 2016.

 

cream-tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Mandy and thank you for inviting me to tea…. the scones are delicious…!! 

For the purpose of our readers, would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I used to be a teacher but left the profession in 2012 after 15 years. I really loved working with the children, but I had always wanted to be a writer and decided that it was a now or never moment. So glad I did. I have four novels published already, Summer in Tintagel is my fifth.

12622539_639144006225025_1346684372159513664_o
How long have you been writing and working toward the goal of being published?

I was bought a typewriter when I was eight after much nagging and never really stopped after that. I decided to take it up seriously thought around 2002 and wrote my first novel then – that became Dancing in the Rain. I was teaching full-time so it took ages before I was actually published. It was a short story in 2010.

Can you describe the time you realised you were a ‘real writer?’

It was when I got the email to say I had the short story published, and then later when I had my first novel accepted. I didn’t think it would ever really happen, but it did!

It’s an amazing feeling isn’t it…??
So, this is your fifth book… can you tell us what the inspiration was behind SUMMER IN TINTAGEL?

The inspiration for Summer in Tintagel came from a walk along the cliff tops at the ancient Tintagel Castle. As I stood on the edge looking onto the rocks I thought how easy it would be to step off and end it all … if a person was so inclined. I’m not, in case you were wondering! Then the ideas kind of came to me from there. I visited Tintagel Castle again later and the sketchy parts became easier to see, bold and exciting. I thought that whole area was the perfect setting for a novel – full of history and mystery. I liked the rugged landscape and the history and mystery of the area.

teacup

This tea is lovely by-the-way and served in such appropriate cups..!! And yes… another scone would be lovely..!! 

 

 

scone

 

With Strawberries…. well… I don’t mind if I do….!! 

 

 

 

So… Would any of your story be based on your life and experience? Who is your favourite character and why?

Yes part of the story is based on my own experience. A few years ago I went with my daughter to see a psychic. It wasn’t the first time I’d done this over the years, but this experience topped them all and certainly gave me something to think about. We sat across a table from each other, in the very ordinary sitting room of a very ordinary house, while the psychic, Maureen shuffled a Tarot pack and then I chose a selection of cards. She turned the cards and said random things that could really apply to anybody, then she started telling me the names of members of my family.
By this stage I was trying not to let my mouth gape open, just nodded here and there, not really trusting my voice. Maureen also told me that I had some lovely vegetables growing in my garden and commented on which ones. She said, ‘Ooh, you’ve some lovely tomatoes and cucumbers there.’ I managed to nod. Then she said, ‘You like to feel the earth under your bare feet while tending them too, don’t you?’ I often did walk around the garden without shoes, still do. As you can imagine, I was gobsmacked to say the least. I asked her how she knew – she said, ‘Well I can see you there in the garden.’ She said it as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world. That really freaked me out I can tell you!
To answer your second question – because of this experience, I was able to create a character in Summer in Tintagel called Morganna, who happens to be a white witch. Maureen wasn’t of course, nor was she remotely anything like her in appearance or personality, but they are very similar in their abilities. I really enjoyed incorporating a little of what I experienced into the scenes between Morganna and my main character, Rosa. My favourite character? Hmm it is a tie between Morganna and Rosa.

 

white witch of narnia

 

I love ‘white witches’, in fact I believe my family are descendants of the Romany’s. I’d love to know if it were true and of course everyone loved to read about the ‘white witch of Narnia’, didn’t they?
Have you ever become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting go of them, or are you happy their story is told and you can move on to the next project?

stitchYes I do! I really loved writing Cross Stitch, the sequel to A Stitch in Time so I could go back and visit Sarah and John! Sometimes I know that the story is done and would be spoiled by a sequel. It is hard to leave the characters, but I always leave them happy with their lives.

If you could be any of your characters, which would it be and why?

If I really had to choose I would be Sarah Needler because she is a time traveller. I’d love to pop back in time on a regular basis and have a chat with historical characters.

I must admit… I loved both Cross Stitch and A Stitch in Time… great books. I believe that A Stitch in Time has 81 x 5 star reviews… so WELL DONE..!!
Are you a meticulous plotter or do you just let it flow?

I am definitely not a planner! I have the basis of a story and then sketch out the characters, jot down a vague idea of where they are going, and then I let them lead me. They often take me down roads I had never dreamt of travelling!
What part of writing a novel do you find most challenging?

I think it would have to be the beginning, middle, and the end… No, seriously, I often find it is the middle because I know where the story starts and ends; it is the middle that can become a bit tangled or saggy. Better than a soggy/saggy bottom I suppose? It is normally around the 30,000-ish mark.

 

Have you used beta readers, and if so, do you recommend them?
Yes I have and I think they are invaluable. We all get too close to our work and can’t or won’t see the problems! If you can get an honest and constructive beta reader then I would say go for it.

What can your readers expect when they read your book?

I hope they can enjoy an exciting read full of mystery, intrigue and love set against the rugged coastline of north Cornwall.

Can you tell us what you are writing now?

I am about to start a rewrite of a suspense called Cast Away Stones. It’s about a young woman’s search for her birth mother. However when she finds her, she wishes she hadn’t. I might have exciting news concerning that soon

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I think the main thing I would say to new writers is to learn from rejection, take on board what is said and come back stronger. Get a writing buddy that’s honest and perhaps join a writing group. Having said that, getting published and then moving on to the next step in your career has a hell of a lot to do with luck. Don’t give up if your luck is out sometimes. Just keep believing in yourself, try your hardest and never ever give up.

cross
Do you think being a member of an association, such as the Romantic Novelists’ Association is beneficial to new writers, or is a local writing group more helpful?

I think both are helpful, but I have never had direct experience of a local group. I think the RNA is invaluable to new writers and the New Writers’ Scheme in particular can make a huge difference to a writer’s chances. The support of everyone in it is phenomenal too.

 

 

 

So… for anyone wanting an amazing summer read…. then I suggest that SUMMER IN TINTAGEL would be a perfect read, on a lazy summers day…!!

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CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW…. FROM AMAZON..!

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