Tag Archives: author interview

Meet the Author – D Hart St Martin

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I haven’t done many interviews lately, but I’m excited about this one! May I introduce you to D Hart St Martin, a wonderful, magical writer from the US, who has kept me transfixed for many years with her Lisen of Solsta series. She’s also written a paranormal romance called ‘Soul Doubt’ which will keep you guessing until the very end.

Welcome Hart! Lovely to have you with us. Let’s start with an easy one…

How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I mostly pants my way through. I used to put every scene on 4 x 6 inch cards. That way I could play with them. But the more I write, the more I enjoy the challenge of letting it come as it comes. That is not to say that I don’t make notes. I make copious notes, and I’ve finally learned how to organize the “clutter” of them in a notebook (along with diagrams of various settings for individual scenes or chapters). My notebook is my little bible.

I love my notebooks! Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I get up in the morning, and after giving a nod to social media on my phone, I sit down at my kitchen table with my computer and attack the assignment for the day. I have my water and often an apple with me, and I work for a couple of hours. My cat, Calypso, often reminds me to pet her by rubbing against my leg and chirping at me. Of course, I must obey.

Our feline friends love to help, don’t they? So, aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I watch way too much television.

I’m a political junkie (one of the reasons I watch so much television).

I have a sister who’s a much better writer than I am.

I’m a tree hugger.

I’m a lousy housekeeper.

I’m going to add no 6, you’re always way too hard on yourself…and who needs housework? Too many better things to do, IMHO. Another question, if you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

My computer, my cat (if one can dare to call her an “item”), a deck of cards since I’m assuming a cell phone would be out of the question, some way to listen to music (maybe I’d take that cell phone after all), and a way to charge the computer.

And on said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

The Lord of the Rings, Dune, the Harry Potter books (I’m counting series as one book), Octavia Butler’s two Earthseed books. And my own Lisen of Solsta series because I keep promising myself to pick it up and read it as a reader, not its creator.

 

Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

J.K. Rowling. I’d love to ask her questions about how and when certain aspects of Harry Potter’s story became clear to her.

 

Tell us about your current writing projects?

I am in the middle of rewrite of book 1 in a new YA fantasy series. The book is called Into the Forsaken Forest. Fifteen-year-old Mari Spencer (her name rhymes with “sorry” and she’s an apology in motion) lives in a rural town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Her mother is a first-class narcissist who can see no good in Mari. One day Mari sneaks into a mysterious forest of sequoias where she meets a woman who transports her to a different world. I’m exploring my own psyche in this one, giving Mari both my attributes and my flaws as honestly as I can. It’s a huge risk, but if I succeed in resolving some of her issues, I’ll be satisfied.

Sounds exciting, you must keep us posted as it develops. Tell us about your books and where we can find you and them.

 My web site is a good place to start. https://dhartstmartin.com  Links to all my books on Amazon as well as descriptions of them are there.

To learn about my Lisen of Solsta series of 6 books, go to https://dhartstmartin.com/lisen-of-solsta/

I also have a paranormal romance called Soul Doubt which you can discover here https://dhartstmartin.com/soul-doubt/

Thanks so much, Hart. I look forward to reading more of our books very soon.

 

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Meet Mabh Savage – pagan, author and herbalist

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For my second interview from the WitchLit group on Facebook, I was contacted by Mabh Savage. Her two beautiful books are published by Moon Books, and she’s been a contributor to many of their anthologies. Join me in welcoming her to my blog…

Welcome Mabh! Tell us about your writing…

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I change tack constantly! I have a very busy mind and as new ideas pop up, I find I have to adjust what I have done already to allow the new bits to fit in. It’s like doing a complex dot-to-dot puzzle where the dots you’ve already connected keep shifting. I’m never 100% sure what the finished picture, or book, is going to look like. So, I do plan but I nearly always end up with something wildly different to what I imagined in the first place.

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

With up to three children and three cats around the house at any one time, my ritual is pretty much grab what scraps of free time I have and splurge something out onto a page! An odd thing I’ve started doing recently is putting the cooking channel on the TV in the background. I have no idea why this helps me concentrate. Maybe it’s the contrast of something else that’s creative but entirely different to writing. Other than this, in the day I write by tea; in the night I write by wine and this is when most of the poetry happens.

Until we moved to Wales, I too used to write with the ‘aid’ of children and cats….now it’s just cats!

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I’m a huge sci-fi geek. I love Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Blake’s 7 and more recently, Stranger Things and the entire Marvel Defenders collection. I adore a good box-set binge!

I’m the same with reading too. Once I get into a fictional series, I get completely absorbed and need to get the next book, at any cost. I recently re-read all the Pratchett books again, and am looking forward to starting on The Dresden Files for another session of self-imposed hibernation.

I suffer from chronic and occasionally severe anxiety and depression so I have a real interest in mental health and ways to cope and even thrive with mental health conditions. I write about this a bit on my blog, and lots of my poetry is about struggles with mental health.

I’m an amateur herbalist and I have a column at PaganPages.org every month called Notes from the Apothecary in which I examine the magical and medical qualities of different plants.

I play music and sing, and have lots of different influences from traditional folk to prog rock! I have a few tracks on Sound Cloud and hope to add to those soon.

Lovely to know your creativity goes beyond writing to music too, fabulous. And you can’t beat a good Sir Terry binge:-)

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

A replicator! Ha ha, I guess 3D printing isn’t quite there yet so… My guitar, my Irish whistle, a pad, a pen and a special blanket which helps me sleep.

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Ooh that’s a hard one. If it’s not cheating, I’d take the Elfin Diary, to keep track of days and also because it’s full of fascinating info. I’ve had one nearly every year for over 20 years. If I was in the middle of a series, I’d have to take the next book(s) in that series then just sit rocking with fiction withdrawal when they ran out. The SAS survival handbook would also be useful on a desert island! Maybe sack all that off and I’ll take the Earthsea books by Ursula Le Guin. I don’t think I could live without them.

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

I have crippling social anxiety so the thought of having dinner with someone I don’t know it’s absolutely terrifying. I wouldn’t even go on a blind-date. I would very much have loved to have met Stephen Hawking though. He seemed like such a warm, funny person as well as incredibly intelligent and insightful about the universe.

7 Your current writing projects?

I’m currently working on a book about Lugh; his mythology and also how he is revered in modern Paganism. In the realms of fiction, I’ve been working on a science-fiction/magical cross-over for some time. There are elements of artificial intelligence and also inexplicable universal energies. The protagonist is a scientist who is trying to make sense of the weird events unfolding around her. My eight-year-old boy wants me to write a children’s book, so I’m thinking of re-working some Celtic myths and legends for younger readers.

How exciting that you’ve such varied projects in mind. Good luck!

8 Other published work and links….

My first book was A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors which is an exploration of the relevance of Celtic culture in modern society. It’s told through the voices of many different people from all walks of life.

My latest book is Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft and this looks more specifically at following a magical path inspired by Celtic spirituality and with the influence of Celtic deities.

I’ve also contributed to the following anthologies:

Essays on Contemporary Paganism

Paganism 101

Pagan Planet

Naming the Goddess

iPagan

Every Day Magic

The Seven Ages of the Goddess

The Celtic Goddess

My main website and blog is at http://www.mabhsavage.com and I write for paganpages.org every month too. People can follow me on twitter @mabherick and I’m on Pinterest, Facebook and tumblr too.

Thanks so much, Mabh for your honest answers, allowing us into your writing life and thinking processes.

Check out Mabh’s books, and pop back for more interviews, writerly discussions, dance, healing and plant based recipes. Why not sign up for the newsletter and receive a FREE short story as a welcome. Bright blessings xx

Meet DJ Martin – plant lover, herbalist and author

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I love getting to know new people, so I put a call out on the Witch Lit group on Facebook to see who would like to take part in blog swap interviews, to find out more about each other and our writing. Deborah, or DJ as she prefers to be known, was the first person to respond and without knowing it, we have a blessed shared memory in common. You can read my interview on her blog here http://www.authordjmartin.com/posts/interview-with-a-witch-wendy-steele/

Welcome DJ! Let’s start with your writing…

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

Non-fiction is planned so tightly about all that’s needed after outlining is to put things into coherent sentences and add punctuation. Fiction? I do loosely plot but the characters write the story. I know the beginning and end, but they generally change things to suit themselves, so how I get from “Once Upon a Time” to “The End” can be a surprise.

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

It’s not so much a ritual but a place – both physical and head-space. I can’t write fiction on the days I’ve been buried in accounting work (my day job), even if there’s time to do so. I can’t switch gears that easily anymore. When I do write, I have to be comfortable, which means lounging. There are spots in the loft of our house and outside on our deck that are reserved for writing. There’s always a cup of coffee nearby, as well as one or two of our four cats. (Maks is supervising from a nearby sofa as I write this. Curled up. With his back to me. Shhh. Don’t tell him sleeping isn’t supervising.)

I too find it tricky switching gears these days….

  

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

Apart from the fact I don’t like to talk about myself?

 

  • I’ve been dancing since Mom taught me to waltz when I was a toddler standing on the tops of her feet. I love to dance and was, during the disco era, a professional dancer, as well as a disc jockey in a nightclub. (No, that’s not how I got my nickname. That came earlier.) I’ve even been a member of a clogging troupe.

 

  • Strangely, for a dancer, I don’t listen to music very often. I get caught up in the music and can’t concentrate on work; or start dancing around and forget to do whatever chore I’m supposed to be doing. Even classical music makes me lose track of time.

 

  • I’m a homebody who’s waiting for someone to invent and perfect transporter technology. I love to visit far-flung family and friends, and see new and different places, but prefer my own bed to anywhere else. I usually want to make a U-turn almost as soon as we leave the house to go to the airport.

 

  • I’m a huge baseball fan. That takes precedence over virtually anything else on the telly during the season. But I don’t actually watch It’s on in the background while I’m reading or doing other things. I’ll look up when the announcers get excited about something; or check the score at chapter’s (or chore’s) end.

 

  • Apart from having sports on in the background, I don’t watch much television at all. Therefore, I’m horribly out of the loop when friends discuss the latest television series…or even movies.

 I loved dancing on my Dad’s feet, always makes me smile when I think of it. Lovely insights, thank you.

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

Sunscreen! 😉

If you count people and cats as things, then my husband, the cats, a fully-loaded e-reader, coffee (one of the four major food groups) and a pot to make it in, and dark chocolate (also one of the four major food groups). I don’t need much if I have those and the basic necessities.

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

 For an avid reader, that’s a really tough question!

 A plant identification book specific to the island. Which ones can I use for what, and which should I avoid?

  1. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, to make myself feel better about being stranded.
  2. Any of Nigel Tranter’s fiction. He wove Scottish history into fascinating stories.
  3. One of the Harry Dresden Files, if you won’t let me take the entire series. Jim Butcher tells a good tale and makes me laugh.
  4. One of the Iron Druid Chronicles (or the entire series…). Kevin Hearne is just as good as Butcher.
  5. Cheating and adding one: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (second in the All Souls Trilogy). History and Witch Lit! (But I’d still like to take all of them!)

I’ll definitely look up Nigel Tranter for a bit of historical fiction, thank you…

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

 

Living or dead? If dead, Barbara Jordan. She was my heroine growing up. (I’ve never minded a well-behaved ghost.) If living, Sir Patrick Stewart. (Not just because of his Star Trek connection, but there is that.) His life has taken some interesting turns and I think it would be fun to talk about them. His public persona is intriguing and, like all public people, I’m curious as to whether the private person is the same.

 

 7 Your current writing projects?

I’m working on Fudge’s story. Fudge is the familiar to the protagonist in The Ogre’s Assistant series. He’s over 2,000 years old so it’s magic woven in with history. Or is that history woven in with magic? While I thought I was finished at the end of Transformation!, another Ogre’s Assistant book is floating around in the back of my head. I’ll probably get around to plotting that out in the next couple of months when I need a break from Fudge.

 Also perking in the background is a book about herb usage throughout history – both magical and medicinal. The research is pretty much done but I can’t figure out how to make it interesting to anyone but me. Perhaps someday the proverbial bulb will light, and that book will get written. If not, I learned a thing or two.

  

8 Other published work and links….

 

First, and easiest, is my website http://www.authordjmartin.com

 

 

Amazon US: http://amazon.com/author/deborahmartin

 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0046UDSM2

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authordjmartin

 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authordjmartin

 

Thank you so much for joining me DJ. Lovely to discover more about you and your books. Check out Deborah’s books via her author pages and her website.

For more author interviews, posts about the writing process, dance, healing and plant based recipes, do visit again soon. Bright blessings xx

Jessie Cahalin – author of ‘You Can’t Go it Alone’ and instigator of Books In Handbag

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Author and blogger, Jessie Cahalin, is visiting my blog today, sharing with you all her writing routine and five things you may not know…

How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?
I plan, I plot and lose the plot to rather assertive characters. At first, they remain quiet when I map out their lives on a large sheet of paper.  As time passes, the characters remove the post-it notes, screw them up and knock on my door.  I do argue with my mischievous characters quite a lot. I only listen to them if they speak nicely and explain why they won’t behave.
Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?
Where do I buy writing trousers?  I read about some power trouser designed to help the elderly to walk (not joking) – my gran would have loved these. Come to think of it, I have bought lots of jogging trousers since I started this writing malarkey, but I don’t think they I powered with words.
I start the day with posts on social media then switch off the Facebook and Twitter to begin writing.  I switch on social media for a couple of minutes at a time as a reward.   Eleven O’clock signals time for tea followed by some stretching exercises.  My aim is to write throughout the day. Blog posts and website updates are completed in the evening.
Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.
Embarking on my writing and blogging journey was not something I planned to do.  My husband published my manuscript on Amazon to force me into action.  I am glad he did this, as it has opened a fabulous new world for me. I am an accidental blogger and author.
My late father worked for Leeds United. Don’t get excited, he wasn’t Billy Bremner.  Many decades ago, Dad manufactured one of the stands at the ground and (pardon the pun) part of it is still standing.
Billy Bremner: not Jessie’s dad. Can you spot her novel?
Ever since I watched Out of Africa and heard the lines, ‘I had a farm in Africa.’ I have longed to own a farm in Africa.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to toil on the land. I want to sit in Blixen’s house and write stories with the pen she received from Denys Finch Hatton.  In truth, I fell in love with the setting.  I know I would be able to write in that vast, golden brown setting where solitary trees present umbrella silhouettes. If I have trouble writing then I say, ‘I need a farm in Africa.’
Right, time to get back down to earth. I ‘ate cream buns!  I mean I hate cream buns because they make me sick. Once, I went on an exciting visit to the Bath Pump Room Restaurant for afternoon tea and it wasn’t pretty. I discovered an intolerance to cream. This was NOT the Jane Austen experience I had imagined. I should have listened to Austen and said, ‘I would rather have nothing but tea.’
Finally, I confess that I do not possess many handbags.  I clear out my wardrobes, in the name of thinking time, when I need to avoid a task.
If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?
Ready for the desert island adventure. I’m Jessie, get me out of here!
I assume I am glamping on this desert island.  Can I stay in a house like the one on the beach in Death in Paradise?  OK. I’m settled and have removed my shoes.  I have my holiday handbag bursting to the seams with some smuggled items. My husband has just asked he if is allowed on the island too.

Firstly, I’d cram my manuscript, which I haven’t written yet, in my handbag.  This would force me to get on with the dreaded editing. I would read the entire thing aloud to exercise my voice. I would take an old-fashioned camera with lots of film because I fear there is no electricity. I’d need the photos for my tweets and memoirs.

I would like to take my tiny radio, if I could get a reception, because the batteries last for years.  I love radio 2 and Radio 4. Alternatively, I would take my guitar, bought when in primary school, and work through the beginner’s guide.

I almost forgot the essentials. Paper! I’d need reams and reams of paper. I would need to learn the art of tiny writing like the Brontës so I could fill every scrap of paper.

On a desert island, I may as well make the most of opportunities. I would take snorkelling gear to I could enjoy the underwater world.  Would I need a shark alarm?

I would have to smuggle an album of photos to remind me of people, favourite places and seasons.  I’d miss the beauty of the seasons on a desert island.

On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

I feel I should say the Complete Works of Shakespeare but what about Shakespeare’s sisters?  I love the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women because there is such a range of texts I could enjoy.  An anthology of poetry would also be useful.  A collection of classic novels would place me in good company. I would also take The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer.  I haven’t read the book, but the title intrigues me.  In addition to novels, I would take books about art history.  I am interested in art but would love to study the history in more detail.  I need to have visual material to make me reflect as well as words.

Stranded like a fool, I have my holiday handbag bursting to the seams with some smuggled items.

Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Having read Judith Barrow’s ‘A Hundred Tiny Threads’, I researched the suffrage movement in Leeds.  I discovered a woman called Leonora Cohen involved in the campaign, and I’d like to speak to her.  I’d invite Leonora to dinner to get an insight into what happened in Leeds.  I am also interested in how working class women got involved in the campaign.  Perhaps I could also invite my great grandmother to see how she would have viewed the whole situation.

 Your current writing projects?

I never stop blogging about my world and am always writing something. At the moment, I am writing some flash fiction.  I plan to write another book in the Sunflower Series.  Judith Barrow has suggested I write the prequel to You Can’t Go It Alone.  I will need to research into Cardiff back in the forties.  Some plot ideas have been surfacing, but I haven’t written anything down yet.

Other published work

You Can’t Go It Alone, Jessie Cahalin

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Book links:

UK:                             http://amzn.eu/cz1jQgl 

US:                             http://a.co/iDjcGSH 

 

About Jessie Cahalin

I’m the proud author of ‘You Can’t Go It Alone’ and creator of Books in my Handbag Blog. I’m thrilled to be visiting another blog made in Wales.

I hail from Yorkshire in the north of England but now lives in Wales. I love to travel the world and collect cultural gems. I search for happy endings, where possible.  Great coffee, food and music give me inspiration. I adore books, bags, writing and photography. Having overcome my fear of self-publishing, I am now living the dream of introducing the characters who have been hassling me for decades. My debut novel, ‘You Can’t Go It Alone’, is a heart-warming tale about the challenges women still face in society.  The novel has light-hearted moments and presents hope.  As C. S. Lewis said, ‘We read to know we are not alone.’

Contacts

Visit Jessie’s website at http://www.JessieCahalin.com

Connect with her at:

Facebook         https://www.facebook.com/people/Jessie-Cahalin/100016975596193

https://www.facebook.com/JessieCahalinAuthor/

Twitter             @BooksInHandbag

Contact her at: jessiecahalin@aol.co.uk

Thanks so much for joining me Jessie! Lovely to find out more about you and your writing.

Follow my blog for more interviews, writerly stuff, dance, tried and tested plant based recipes and magic.

 

 

 

Lisa Shambrook – author of ‘The Surviving Hope’ novels and ‘A Symphony of Dragons’

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Today I’m welcoming Lisa Shambrook to my blog, another author who lives near me in Wales who I’ve met and chatted to at book fairs. You can meet her on 22nd September at the Narberth Book Fair and 29th September at the brand new Llandysul Book Fair, hosted by Cheryl Beer of Parlour Press Publishing.

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I wish I could have a writing routine – time set aside to write, but life is just too complicated for that! I write when I have time and I tend to plan. My first novel Beneath the Rainbow had no outline, I wrote as it flowed through my head, and edited thoroughly after to iron out the creases and fix the plot. Subsequent books, though, have all been well outlined and plotted. I like to have a scene list to work with, but that doesn’t mean I stick to it – any author will know that their characters evolve, and they, very purposely, throw curve balls at you! I absolutely love it when my characters take the lead and tell me, in no uncertain terms, that they’re going to do things differently to how I expected. It spices up my writing nicely!

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

 It might sound odd, but I’m a bit of a squirrel… I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and acorn cups are my stim. So, when I settle to write I have an acorn cup which I can smooth my thumb over and into while I mull over words and prose.

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

 The first thing is my acorn cup addiction and I really do carry them everywhere with me; each of my jacket pockets hold one or two, they’re placed strategically all through my home, and I make a bee line for oak trees!

Secondly, I love the stars and the moon and often find the theme threading through my writing. My Dad used to star gaze with us and Orion is always my first point of call when gazing up into the night sky.

I can’t bear seeing books abandoned, so I repurpose damaged and broken books into gifts in my Etsy store Amaranth Alchemy – breathing new life into old books…

I’m an observer. I like the small things – they need to be noticed. Every word I write in a novel is important, and is placed for a reason. I like details.

Lastly, I’m very partial to Fry’s Turkish Delight and Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

I’m going to count my family (hubby and three kids) as my first item – I don’t care if that’s allowed or not, I’m choosing them anyway! I’d want my laptop, but if there’s no electricity and there’s a strong chance there’d be no electricity on a lost desert island, then I’d want notebooks, lots of empty ones, and a pen or two, or three. I’d also like my bed, I hate camping and being uncomfortable, so my bed. And lastly, my camera – no doubt there’d be beauty to photograph and I love beautiful things!

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

I’d take The Lord of the Rings – Tolkien – in one enormous book, The Hobbit – Tolkien, His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman, The Dark is Rising Sequence – Susan Cooper, and The Old Kingdom series – Garth Nix. But if I was limited to only five physical books, it would be Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom: Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, Clariel, and Goldenhand.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Oh, wow, so many to choose from! I’ll be honest, I can’t actually choose between Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan.

 

 7 Your current writing projects?

I’m writing The Seren Stone Chronicles – ‘Centuries beyond post-apocalyptic, the landscape of Wales has turned into a whole new country – and the rumble of dragons has returned…’

I’m ready to begin writing the third book in the trilogy, and hopefully book one will be out in 2019.

 8 Other published work and links….

 

Beneath the Rainbow – Freya won’t let anything stand in the way of her dreams – not even her death. Now her family will need to uncover the clues to her secrets before it’s too late.

 

Beneath the Old Oak – Meg’s mother is having a breakdown, and Meg can’t cope. Seeking to escape bullies and overwhelming anxiety, she discovers an old oak tree whose revelations begin to change her life. Due for release by my new publisher BHC Press 16th October 2018

 

Beneath the Distant Star – Jasmine knows her very existence reminds her mother of something her sister will never have—life. Jasmine struggles to become her own person, and her fragile relationship with her mother shatters. Due for release by my new publisher BHC Press 11th December 2018

 

A Symphony of Dragons – A lyrical collection of seven stories featuring enchanting worlds of fantasy, contemporary fiction, romance, steampunk, and more that will let the song of dragons lead you…

 

Human 76 – Fragments of a fractured world. Follow Ghabrie on her desperate quest through a stark post-apocalyptic world to find her lost sister. A unique book of short tales from myself and 13 other authors.

 

You can find links to all my books on my website: www.lisashambrook.com/books and my blog is www.thelastkrystallos.wordpress.com Publishers website https://www.bhcpress.com/Author_Lisa_Shambrook.html Etsy Shop Amaranth Alchemy https://www.etsy.com/shop/amaranthalchemy

 

Thank you for joining me Lisa and I love and agree with so many of your answers! Getting to know other authors really helps on those long, cold, wet days when it’s just you and a restless, unhelpful WIP!

Join me again for more interviews and writing tips. Bright blessings xx

 

Carol Lovekin – author, feminist and flâneuse

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Today, I’m blogging my interview with Carol Lovekin, an author who lives in my nearest town here in West Wales, whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet and chat with at book fairs over the past couple of years. Carol is published by Honno Press, a Welsh based women’s press based in Aberystwyth. Carol will be at the Narberth Book fair on 22nd September and Llandysul, hosted by Parlour Press Publishing on 29th September.

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I’m a plotter. The idea of writing a book without a plan terrifies me! It’s hard enough with one, frankly. I write a detailed outline. That said, I’m up for the challenge. If plot, characters &/or other factors (editor?!) suggest tangents, I’ll go with them. It’s part of the excitement of conjuring a story. Characters in particular have a way of knowing where they need to go.

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I have magical, writing earrings! They’re odd – an amber one & a moonstone. Until I lost one of each original pair they were favourites. Rather than abandon them, I paired them up & gave them a role. And I do like a tidy desk. I can’t work in a mess.

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.
I’m a trained ballet dancer.
I hand write in pencil on unlined artists’ sketch pads.
I can swim underwater for (almost) the entire length of my local swimming pool. Working on those last three metres!

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 59.

I don’t do even numbers.

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

Knife. Flint. Huge box of pencils. Big box of paper. Teapot.


5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee. My favourite book. Immaculate writing & a superb indictment of racism in America.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve loved it since I was fifteen &
 read it every year. Where my love of the Gothic novel comes from. (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier vies for this slot, for the same reason.)

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Sublime writing; a beautifully constructed novel & a moving exposé on the reality of war. 

Possession A S Byatt. Insanely good writing & the best dual narrative novel I’ve ever read. 
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman. I love her take on magical realism. The writing is lush; it has an indefinable quality to it.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?
 
Dame Judi Dench.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

One project at a time for me. I’m currently editing my third book. It’s like wandering through a vast wild wood. Luckily, I have breadcrumbs.

 Website: carollovekinauthor.com
Twitter: carollovekinauthor.com

Thank you so much for joining me Carol. You can find Carol’s books on Amazon here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-Lovekin/e/B01ADAWMPC/ref

or for friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Lovekin/e/B01ADAWMPC/ref

Join me soon for another author interview; a peep into a modern writer’s life.

 

Meet author Jane Risdon

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I joined a new group on Facebook Writers Authors and Readers, administered by the wonderful Anna Maria Shenton, and met a whole host of kind and supportive authors. Jane Risdon was one of them. Knowing she was launching a new book, I invited her over for a chat so you can meet her and learn more about her writing as well.

Hello Jane! Welcome!

Hello Wendy, thanks for asking me to chat with you on your blog.

No problem, lovely to have you here to share more about your writing.

 

1        How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I never plot. I have an idea, possibly from a name which comes to mind, or an experience will trigger something, possibly a news item – whatever – and I will sit down and start to write. It comes from the ether I guess. If I get a name, the story often comes with it and it writes itself.

I usually write Crime/Thrillers but with Only One Woman (Women’s Fiction), the way the book came about is different. Christina Jones – my co-author – and I are old friends. We share a past. My now husband was a lead guitarist with a band in the late 1960s, and Christina was employed as their Fan Club Secretary. We’ve always wanted to write together but never got round to it. I moved house in 2012 and was looking through memorabilia from my husband’s band and also from musicians we’d subsequently managed during our career in the International Music Business. I came across fan letters, photos, old diaries, and touring schedules etc., and thought I’d write a story set in the late 1960s. I was going to write a crime story but it turned into more of a romance and about life back in the Swinging Sixties. Christina is a Romance author and so we’d found the perfect way we could write together.

This time I sat down with diaries for reference and the names came quickly for my creations – Renza and Scott – and from then on it wrote itself as usual. When I’d done with my part, I passed the baton to Christina and she wrote her character, Stella.

I rarely change tack, but I do edit as I go so before I begin writing I always go through the previous days writing and tweak. But no, I don’t think I’ve ever changed anything basic, except that I decided to make Only One Woman a romance and to leave all the dead bodies for another day.

I love that it is the muse that inspires you, Jane.

2        Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

Not really. I like to sit down with a cup of tea. Sometimes I need liquorice to nibble, but mostly I just decide to write, and off I go. Tea sustains me. Clothes don’t matter. Often I have the BBC News on in the background or my husband plays his guitar, song-writing or messing about beside me as I write. He is the first to read it all, and gets to comment as I go along.

3        Aside from writing, what makes you tick?

Wow! That is a question. You’d have to ask ‘himself,’ who knows me so well. I guess I am curious and always anxious to learn. I love reading, walking, photography, astronomy, history, architecture, science, music – you name it. Curiosity I guess makes me tick. In order to write better Crime stories I’ve undertaken 7 Forensic Science and Criminal Justice Courses to that I am up-to-date and accurate with my bodies, crime scenes and investigations. I am that curious!

I too love learning. It’s handy for research but it has a joy of its own.

4        If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

I would need access to the internet via a computer.

A good supply of liquorice.

Radio with a great signal.

My husband with his guitar.

All my photographs.

 

5        On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Cripes! I have no idea. I love books, I am surrounded by books and I have no idea which I could pick if forced. Perhaps the full set of Encyclopaedia Britannica to help my research when writing.

 

6        Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Having spent most of my life working in the International Music Business I have had dinner with many famous people. Frankly, there are few people I could stand for that long, but I suppose – if dead folk count – Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Sir Patrick More, and living at time of writing, Professor Brian Cox and Doris Day.

 

7        Your current writing projects?

Goodness me, now you are for it! I have three books (to date) in my MI5 Officer series, Ms Birdsong Investigates, almost ready to go to my publisher – actually book one is in with them but they are not publishing anything new until the winter, and so I have time to complete the other two, possibly more in the series.

 

For some time I have been writing about Bollywood and the Indian Mafia – The White Haired Man – based on real life. I must get back to it when time permits.

 

There’s also a novel about the Music Business and our life working in it, but again that has been started but time has been short due to the promotion etc., of Only One Woman. This book was entitled LaLa Land a long time before the movie came out with the same name, so I guess I need to think of a new one.

 

I have about 50 short stories which I am compiling for my own anthology – some of which have appeared in numerous anthologies for other publishers, in online newsletters and magazines. It’s about time I put them into my own anthology. It is all down to having the time…

 

The response to Only One Woman has been amazing, fabulous reviews and a solid fan base has emerged, and they have been asking for a sequel. So ideas for this have been floating around my head, even as I was writing my parts for the current novel, I was thinking about a sequel. I am not sure if Christina is up for it as she has her own books for which she has a huge following. She is an award-winning, best-selling author of romance and has deadlines to meet. And, as I said, our publisher is not taking anything which has not been scheduled until winter. Christina has a book which has to be finished soon for a September publication deadline. Our publisher has not mentioned a sequel to Only One Woman so who knows!

 

It would be fun to take Narnia’s Children, Renza, and possibly Stella, beyond 1969 and tell the story of their lives as the band become famous, perhaps to the present day. Only One Woman is not only a love triangle, but an authentic representation of life in the grooviest decade of the 20th century with the Cold War, social changes, the amazing music and fashions of the era, and the way it all shaped the lives of not just our characters, but a whole generation. My Generation.

 

Only One Woman is published in Paperback and Audio Book on 24th May 2018 for stores and libraries.

It sounds like a busy year ahead, Jane but I wish you good luck in all your endeavours and thank you so much for dropping by.

 

If you would like to know more about Jane Risdon and Only One Woman, here are some links including the e-pub and Kindle Paperback buy links:

 

Jane Risdon Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8

 

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook/JaneRisdon2

 

Author Blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

 

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

 

Only One Woman Amazon UK/USA/Australia (so far):

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

 

USA:  https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

 

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/B075D88JBP

 

Only One Woman Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RenzandStella/

 

Only One Woman Blog: https://onlyonewomanblog.wordpress.com/

 

Only One Woman YouTube Playlists:  For Renza and Stella each

https://www.youtube.com/user/AccentPress/playlists?view=1&view_as=subscriber&shelf_id=0&sort=dd

 

 

 

 

Author interview – Annette Mardis

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Happy Monday! Today I’m interviewing author Annette Mardis on my blog. photo As a girl, Annette dreamed of being an astronaut, but she stank at science and math and became motion sick riding the bus home from school. So she went with her second choice—newspaper journalist—and stuck with it for more than three decades. After years of ignoring well-meaning people who said, “You should write a book,” she finally did. And then she wrote a few more. When she’s not working, Annette usually has her nose in someone else’s novel or her gaze glued to sports on TV. She has three totally spoiled pets, enjoys being the designated sightseer on her husband’s Harley, and volunteers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of diva dolphins Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tale films. Read on to find out more about this author…

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan? I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. Sometimes I’m not even sure where I’m going until I get there. I also lie in bed at night and work out the plot and even individual scenes. I’m also pretty good at self-editing, so I do revisions as I go along.
2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers? No. I’m a former newspaper reporter and editor, and working in a newsroom is a lot like trying to concentrate in the middle of a train station. So I learned to just sit down and get to it, no matter what else is going on. Not feeling well? Too bad. Deadlines won’t wait. It’s either produce or do something else for a living. I think that discipline serves me well now. I do need to sit where I can put my feet up, so I usually take my laptop to the living room couch or the massage chair in my sunroom. My dogs often are barking and my bird is screeching, so conditions are never ideal. But I don’t need to lock myself in a quiet room to write.
3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? I love my husband, my family, and my pets. I’m a big sports fan, especially NASCAR, baseball, and football. I enjoy being the “designated sightseer” on the back of my husband’s Harley. I also volunteer at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and love talking about marine life, especially dolphins, and conservation with guests.
4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you? A phone, lantern, extra batteries, knife, and, oh yeah, a boat.

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why? A survival guide for obvious reasons; a Bible for inspiration and comfort; a dictionary to study to pass the time; a journal to record my thoughts; and a romance novel because I enjoy them.

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with? Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (and her husband, Mark Kelly) because of their service to our country and because they’ve worked so hard to overcome the crazed actions of a would-be assassin. She’s a model of courage and persistence.
7 Your current writing projects? I’m working on Shore to Please, book 3 in my Gulf Shore contemporary romance series. I’ve also written a middle grades children’s book that I need to do more work on before I start another round of submissions to agents and publishers.

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The Shore Thing, Book 1 in the Gulf Shore series — Danielle Dani”Davidson vows to just say no to workplace romances after her first post-college job is soured by a messy breakup with a manipulative coworker at a fish hatchery. That’s just one reason she doesn’t trust any man with her heart, let alone one who swims with sharks for a living. So why can’t she get cameraman Evan Sanders out of her mind?

Evan is twice shy, too, after an alluring but self-absorbed colleague at Gulf Shore Aquarium takes a bite out of his heart. Thought he’s dead set against dating anyone else he works with, he’s intrigued by Dani’s shyness and tempted by her intelligence and low-key sexiness.

Sharks, a stingray and an orphaned baby dolphin help bring them together, but will Dani’s inhibitions and Evan’s career aspirations ultimately tear them apart?

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Shore Feels Right, Book 2 in the Gulf Shore series — Once a pariah among her coworkers, marine biologist Monica Sims has spent months reinventing herself as she seeks redemption. A history of failed relationships leaves her leery of romantic involvement until she meets Cosby Williams, the new co-owner of Nauti-Toys watercraft rentals.
As things heat up between them, Gulf Shore Aquarium responds to the stranding of a group of pilot whales. When a billionaire bachelor lends his private plane to the rescue effort, Monica catches his eye — and an obsession is born.
How will she cope with the unwanted attention? And will her past sins come back to doom her newfound happiness with Cosby?

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Getting Her Money’s Worth — Life often has been unkind, and sometimes cruel, to Allie Charles, and she’s determined not to be shortchanged and to live in the moment whenever possible.

She and close pal Shelby Martin want many of the same things: romance, fun, good friends and satisfying work. After meeting on a softball field on a frigid fall evening, they enjoy many adventures together: watching the piranha feeding at the National Aquarium; overturning their canoe in the deepest, blackest part of a river; getting stuck thigh high in mud on a golf course water hazard; winning tacky prizes at skee ball machines in Ocean City, Md.

Only one woman will see her heart’s desires fulfilled, while the other faces the biggest challenge of her life. This touching, poignant and funny story will make you laugh, cry and go for the gusto in your own life.

Thank you Annette Mardis for sharing your books and those things that are important in your life apart from writing.

Contact Annette

Website: http://www.annettemardis.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMardis
Twitter: @AnnetteMardis48
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Mardis/e/B00E5UHPMM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/annettemardis/
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Shelbypie
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=221177296&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic
Google+ https://plus.google.com/+AnnetteMardis/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx6WNGA94bQ