Tag Archives: author

Author Interview – Karen J Mossman – Ghostly Writes Anthology 2019

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There are a whole host of authors in the Ghostly Writes Anthology 2019, available to download from 31st October! Today, I welcome Karen Mossman onto my blog, to have a chat and find out more about her and her writing. We met on the Ghostly Writes Anthology group, so all I know is that she lives in North Wales!

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 tend to get an idea, then play around with it in my head for a while, which could be weeks sometimes. Once I have a sense of it, I’ll start writing. Sometimes I just write scenes and then put them all together at the end. So definitely not planned to perfection!

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

 No, absolutely nothing. As long as I have my lap top, I can let my fingers do the walking. Although on occasions I like to sit down with an empty page and just write and see what magic appears out of my pen.

I love a pen too!

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

  1. I love to craft, I go through craft like genres of writing. At the moment I am crocheting.
  2. I’ve started giving talks to clubs and groups, one about books and the other about growing up with parents who fostered.
  3. I lived all my life in a big city, and now I live in a rural area by the sea.
  4. I’m always on a diet, and if I’m not, I should be!
  5. I once ordered Sir Alex Ferguson out of a lift in anger, then realised who it was. He was very gracious. (Ex manager of Manchester United.)

 Great answers!

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

  1. My kindle with unlimited battery, or some books.
  2. A pen and paper.
  3. My dogs for company.
  4. A swimming costume
  5. Knickers!

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

Any books that I haven’t read before as I’m not a fan of re-reading a book unless it is acceptable. So I have at least five on my Kindle and they are:

  1. The Anglesey Murders: Visit from the Devil by Connor Jones.
  2. Just Rose by L. T. Marshall
  3. Silent Night by Sahara Foley
  4. Falling for Kate by J. M. Rally
  5. Unveiled by J. M. Northup

 

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

 I’ve never been a fan of meeting famous people. I would be far too intimiated and they would have better things to do than bother with the likes of me! So I would choose my mum and dad to have dinner with, simply because they have been gone for nine years now, and in that time questions have arisen that I will never have answers too.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I have two on the go. I am rewriting my novel The Secret from first person point of view to third, as suggested by my publisher.

The other is called Crossing Serbia, it was a short story that I’m expanding into a novella. It is about a Tanya an aid worker during the time of the break up of Yugoslavia. While she is working with people trapped by war, she gets kidnapped by insurgents. A group of British soldiers are sent into rescue them and its about their journey across a war torn country. So, a politcal romance.

 

They both sound fascinating. Finishing up, please share with us your published work…

I have just entered my story to the halloween edition of Ghostly Writes, which is where I met you. In previous editions, I have entered stories I already have. This time I’ve used a story that I wrote some time ago but never did anything with after the first draft. It’s based on a true story, the haunting of a house where someone I know lives. I must say, I’m thrilled with how it turned out and can’t wait to see it in print.

I have four novels and nine novellas as well as stories in anthologies. They can all be seen on my website (https://karenmossman.weebly.com/)

 I’m also a lover of stories, so maintain the Magic of Stories website (https://magicofstories.net/) where I share my own stories and those of others, including many true stories. Apart from that, I review every book I read on Karen’s Book Buzz Blog.  (https://karensbookbuzz.wordpress.com/)

Thanks so much for joining me, Karen. You can also find Karen’s work on Amazon via her Author Page https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-J-Mossman/e/B00JJY69OO

and for our friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Karen-J-Mossman/e/B00JJY69OO

Don’t forget to look out for more author interviews, showcasing the talented authors contributing to the Ghostly Writes Anthology 2019!

 

 

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature & Book Fayre – Meet the author – Nicola Beechsquirrel

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I first met Nicola at my first book fayre in Llandeilo in 2015 when she arrived at my table and proceeded to unload my first three paperbacks from her rucksack for me to sign. Since then, she saw Tribal Unity Wales dancing at the Lampeter Food Festival and is now a valued and much loved member of the dance tribe. She’s beautiful on the inside and out, and I’m blessed to call her friend. Here’s what happened when I interviewed her….

Hi Nicola! Let’s start with a general 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 write non-fiction based on family history material, which can involve a lot of research. I don’t usually work to a plan – just have a loose idea of what needs to be done and get on with it. If one line of investigation dries up, I take up another.

I love research! I wanted to be a BBC researcher. Anyway, do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

My writing ritual is unimaginative and basic – switch on the computer, sit down and contemplate my documents to see what needs doing. Tea and biscuits are usually involved somewhere during the process!

Nothing unimaginative about tea and biscuits, in my opinion. Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

Ah, that would be telling! I like to keep a certain air of mystery!

Ha ha! I knew you were going to make this tricky! Okay, if you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

My desert island items would probably be a well-stocked sewing kit, some pens and paper, my comfy bed, a bag of clothes, and a guitar so I can practise chords. This is probably cheating though as the overall total of items is a lot more than 5!

Good choices though. On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

I would find it hard to take just 5 books – there are so many that I want to read! Anything by Carole Matthews would be good to relax with. I would also take Charmian Hussey’s “The Valley Of Secrets” for the sake of its marvellous descriptions of landscapes and plants, and if I can also take the three volumes of Helen Dunmore’s “Ingo” series which I’ve not yet read, that would be a good mix.

They all sound wonderful. I shall check them out. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

If I’m allowed to travel back a little way in time, I’d like to have dinner with Marija Gimbutas, the archaeologist who wrote all those marvellous inspiring books about Stone Age Goddess cultures in Europe.

That would be fascinating, wouldn’t it? On to your current writing projects, what are you working on?

I am currently researching the historical background to my grandmother’s writings concerning a holiday she took in Burma in the early 1900s. It’s a fascinating task!

Other published work…

My list of published work is growing steadily! Currently it consists of:

“Memoirs of  a Twentieth Century Homesteader” by my grandfather, Lawrence Nowell, for which I compiled a historical background and various accompanying notes; “Grannie’s Own Picture Book” and “Granny’s Own ABC”; both written and drawn by my grandmother, Ivy Hindley; “Tales For Grandchildren”, by my mother, Olive Cole; and “The Old Woman Who Spun Clouds”, a childrens’ story by myself. And most recently, hot off the press, “Tongas, Doongas and Lilac Blossom”, an account by Ivy Hindley of her trip to Kashmir in 1913.

Thanks so much, Nicola, for taking the time to share with us, and thank you for reading this post. You can find Nicola on Facebook if you’re interested in purchasing a book, or come along to the Literature & Book Fayre, part of Lazzmatazz on 2nd June in Llandovery. See you on Sunday!

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Colin R Parsons

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Welcome to my blog and an interview with another Welsh author. I’ve met and chatted to Colin at a couple of book fairs, so I’m delighted to have him on my blog today. Colin is from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales and writes books for children and teenagers in a number of genres including Science Fiction, Steampunk and Fantasy. Welcome, Colin…

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 literally start with a sentence and go from there – no planning or destination in mind. I did exactly that recently and ended up with a 17k short story, which I’ve just delivered to my publisher along with another seven stories. It’s a bit unorthodox, but I can’t write any other way. Each to their own, I suppose.

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

My computer screen or notepad must have something on it – a title, or sentence or even just a word. I can’t start anything with a blank piece of paper or white screen. It’s too daunting. Once I’ve got something then it evolves by itself.

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

I’m partially colour-blind so that hinders me in some respect. Most people don’t know that about me. I need to walk so that I can set things in motion (literally and figuratively). I used to cut the heads off chocolate Easter bunnies and place them carefully back on, just to see the reaction on my kids faces when picked them up. I hate swimming. I sing the Thunderbirds theme in my head when I pass big trucks on motorways, with over eight wheels.

Brilliant! I might start doing the Thunderbirds one! Moving on, if you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

My specs. A lifetimes supply of notepads and pencils. An indestructible solar panel, to power my fridge. 50 years supply of chocolate and Liquorice toffee.

I’m guessing you’re going to smuggle something else into that fridge;-) On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I am Legend by Richard Matherson. Airbourne by Kenneth Oppel. Lord of the Rings in one edition by J RR Tolkien. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Because I love them.

 

Great choices. Neil Gaiman’s book is a relatively new read for me and I loved it. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

That’s difficult. Maybe, Angie Sage author of the Magyk series.

 

She’d be great fun, agreed. Your current writing projects?

The Gamer, which is with a publisher as I speak.

Wintercode, which I worked on a while ago, but never finished.

A series of adult magical detective books called Killian Spooks Mysteries.

 

Exciting times! Thank you so much for chatting, Colin. Please list any other published work and links to find them and you…

Wizards’ Exile – (Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie due soon).

The Man with the Black Shoebox and Other Strange Stories (Thunderpoint Publishing out 2020)

Amaya’s Imagination (my first picture book) by Haus of Clare. (Amazon since March 2019)

You can find all Colin’s books via his author page here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Colin-R.-Parsons/e/B0034Q4XS2

and for our friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Colin-R.-Parsons/e/B0034Q4XS2

And on his website http://www.colinrparsons.com

 

If you’re in mid Wales, it would be lovely to meet you at the Literature and Book Fayre on 2nd June in Llandovery. Come along and check out a host of Welsh authors.

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Lazarus Carpenter

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I met Laz last year at the Llandysul book fair. It was a magical fair in a beautiful setting, and I spent a good chunk of it chilling out with him. He’s far more than an author. He is the creator of Lazzmatazz, but I’ll let him tell you about himself. Welcome, Laz…

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 have an idea and it will develop as a picture in my mind. I am a very intuitive writer and tend to narrate my stories as a character and as such am a real part of it (in my mind anyway). Planning is based around, knowing where I may start and indeed end, but the middle has to evolve within my character’s journey. As an example I wanted to write a story about Crach Ffinnant who was a prophet, seer and interestingly a dwarf, riding with Glyndwr. Little is known about him yet much is known about Glyndwr, so some research and a little creative imagination and he became alive after six hundred years. I wanted him to have been an apprentice and serve a prophecy related to Glyndwr. So I created his life. In the Prophecy I created scenes of the Middle Ages and loosely made it fit historical facts and Crach began his magical journey. I do not have any particular time of writing nor pattern, simply I will binge and finish three chapters at a sitting then perhaps nothing for a week or so and so on. The follow up to the Prophecy, Rise of the Dragon took six months to complete from beginning to proofing. Thanks to winning first prize in a writing competition in February 2018, I now have a formal publisher, published two books in my series and contracted for further volumes. I can sit on a rock, look at the sunset and instantly story-tell, it just flows and that is how I write. When I am in the zone, little thinking but a tremendous amount of story flow!

Cool, do you have any writing rituals? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I can write anywhere but I do like my desk with the window to my side and the amazing views of the valley. I tend to use my laptop for everything nowadays but always have a pencil and paper around to jot ideas as I work. A few cups of coffee is helpful but time of day is not important. My only ritual is recognizing my ‘mood to write’

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

I am also a musician and singer/songwriter and have been playing for forty years. I have done a bit of acting which I really enjoy and also some performance poetry. I have been qualified as a hypnotherapist for thirty years and occasionally do comedy hypnosis shows. I adore dogs.

You’re a great story teller too, if I may say so. Different questions now, iIf you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

I would want 1. paper 2. pencils 3. Knife 4. Pillow 5. Fishing Rod

I love that authors need pencils and paper! On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

‘Course in Miracles’ because it has always filled me with inspiration and is a source of grand inner thought when quiet.

‘Survival Manual’ because I am going to need it.

‘Christmas Carol’ (Dickens) will remind me of my childhood and father reading it year after year. It would help with any sense of loneliness but, I am quite content with my own company.

‘War and Peace’ because I have never read it and will have plenty of time on a desert Island.

‘Conversations with God’ (Donald Walsh) because if there is a God, then I will have plenty of time to converse and find out why I ended up on the desert island to begin with. As long as I was not responsible for sinking the ship of course!

Fascinating choices, thanks for those. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

This for me is a no brainer, because it has to be Peter Dinklage. We would be discussing his forthcoming role as Crach Ffinnant, now he has finished Game of Thrones. I did not have him in mind at all as I was inventing the character but he would be just the ticket if ever my series hits the screen. It is a dream, but then so was getting a publisher on merit of my work, not my pocket. But I did after over thirty rejections on the manuscript, so anything is possible, even dinner with Peter Dinklage.

Absolutely! Why shouldn’t we see our book as a movie? So what are your current writing projects?

I am half way through writing book three in the Crach Ffinnant series, ‘Ravens and Dragons’. There are plans for further books related to his adventures during the Welsh rebellion of the 1400’s.

Excellent, thanks so much for joining me, Laz. I’ll add below the places where folk can find you and your work.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/LazarusCarpenter?fbclid=IwAR0od5TMDffGpyKCCFs_7mTQtPazTd2rdtOScOveJxBz74gRgp4Rlj0Cr_0

http://www.lazaruscarpenterauthor.com

Crach Ffinnant – The Prophecy  – Words Matter Publishing 2018

Crach Ffinnant – Rise of the Dragon – Words Matter Publishing 2019

Ballad of Penygraig – Self published with LULU 2015

 

Don’t forget, if you’re in Wales, you can find Lazarus and myself at Lazzmatazz 2019 in Llandovery.

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Stephen Greenhalgh

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Welcome to the second of my author interviews, showcasing the talented authors at the Literature and Book Fayre on 2nd June in Llandovery, as part of the Lazzmatazz 2019 festival. I first met Stephen wearing a different hat, as the sound guy and compere at the Lampeter Food Festival. For the past four years he has handled Tribal Unity Wales’ music requirements for us in the main marquee. He’s recently published, so let’s give a warm welcome to a new author.

Lovely to have you with us, Stephen. Let’s start with your writing. 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?

It’s all roughly mapped out, but a story doesn’t flow properly if you don’t allow it to shift slightly as you write.

And do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I generally lie on the bed with my laptop on my knees. I do enjoy a Jack Daniels if I’m writing in the afternoon with no responsibilities later in the day.

I’m a laptop on my knees writer too. Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

I love to play guitar and sing. I meditate regularly. I love Roleplay games. I sometimes pretend I’m a spaceship. I love random adventures.

And you’ll be singing at the Lazzmatazz festival, so check out the timetable folks. Stephen will be performing on the Friday. A different kind of question now…If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

An unlimited supply of JD. My fiancé Beth. My laptop so I can write (and solar panels for power.) My son, if it were a short term stranding, (cause I wouldn’t want him to get bored. A sat phone to call him with if it were to be longterm.) And access to the complete stock of Ann Summers (if it were just me and Beth.)

Brilliant answers! I should add sunscreen to the list if I were you! Moving on, on said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Supposing I had access to my own books on a laptop for continuity checks I would take:

The Silmarillion, really enjoyed it, will definitely read it again.

The Illiad for the same reasons.

The Odyssey again for the same reasons.

The Complete collection of Terry Pratchett because he’s absolutely brilliant.

A random recommended scifi or fantasy book from a friend.

Cool. I had to look the first one up…that’s going on my birthday list, and you can’t beat the Discworld novels for escapist reading. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Not fussed, don’t really do star struck. Mind you, I’m sort of easy if the famous person is paying for dinner in a nice restaurant.

I love you’d go for the food rather than the company! So, tell us about your current writing projects?

Love Island Two – Realms (Book four)

Thanks so much for joining me today, Stephen. Please share your published work and where we can find it:

Love Island Two – Beginnings:

http://www.stephengreenhalgh.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/theloveislands/

Make a date in your diary and come along and join the fun in Llandovery, for a weekend of art, craft, music and books.

 

 

 

Lazzmatazz 2019 – Literature and Book Fayre – Meet the author – Angela Fish

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Welcome to the first of my author interviews featuring authors taking part in the Literature and Book Fayre, part of the Lazzmatazz 2019 festival. I first met Angela last year when we both had a table at a book fair in the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. It was a really warm day, and we took turns minding each others tables so we could nip outside for a breath of air! She writes delightful children’s stories, beautifully illustrated, perfect as gifts for boys and girls.

Welcome Angela! Lovely to have you here. Let’s get started

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 generally have a good idea/plan of the overall story, but things always change! With my WIP the characters just will not do what they’re told and keep challenging my plans for them!

It’s always exciting though, isn’t it? Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I’ve never been able to stick to a fixed time for writing, it’s when the mood takes me. I might go days without writing a word, and then suddenly I’ll have a few days where I can write up to ten hours a day. I used to love having my cat on my desk, but sadly she’s no longer with me and her son prefers the garden. Apart from that, the only ‘quirk’ I have is that I only write with a pencil, until it’s time to move on to the computer.

I love a pencil! So, aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

Mad about cats – they always seem to know when there’s a vacancy at my place.

Left my blood on the portcullis of Castell Coch, Tongwynlais, when I was about five (lived in the village and often visited. Ran up the drawbridge too quickly, fell and bumped my head.)

Hate flying.

Love gardening and cooking.

Absolutely useless at drawing!

I too have a tendency to acquire cats…we have four at the moment! If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

Sunscreen/specs/notebooks/pencils/cats

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

Almost impossible to pick just five (and I’d probably read them too quickly!) but if pushed:

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Classic from my childhood

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos-Ruiz-Zafón. A book about books! Fabulous other-worldly mystery.

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore. Her last novel. Wonderfully written and thought provoking.

Any of the poetry books of Seamus Heaney. Just love the way he handles words and the pictures he paints with them.

Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolien. What an imagination!

Great choices, though it is hard to pick just five. Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

David Attenborough

I’m with you on that one. His eloquence and affinity with the natural world could be the beginning of saving our planet. What are your current writing projects?

I’ve almost completed the first draft of a novel that explores the nature/nurture question through the lives of two girls who have their sons on the same day. Over the course of the next twenty years, their lives follow different paths but intersect occasionally, as do the lives of the boys. The impact of their backgrounds and experiences shapes much of what they do and the decisions they make but how much of a part does fate/luck play?

I’m also about halfway with a novel for children, which uses myths and legends from around the world, and moves between the ‘real world’ and a magical one. Essentially, it’s about making friends, bullying, the transition from junior to senior school, and the relationship between the heroine and her grandmother, who supports her on her quest.  Oh, and of course, it has cats!

You’ve been busy! They both sound great. To finish, do share your published work.

Ben and the Spider Gate                    (Book Guild)

Ben and the Spider Prince                              “

Ben and the Spider Lake                                “

The Captain’s Favourite Treasure      (Matador)

 

Hard copies via my website: www.angela-fish.com

Ebooks via Troubador bookstore: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/

Thank you so much for joining me, Angela. Been lovely to chat and finding out more about you and your writing. See you in Llandovery on the 2nd!

 

 

 

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.

 

Are you ready to Save the Cat!?

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I belong to a fabulous group on Facebook called Witch Lit, for readers and magical creators, who enjoy poetry, songs, short stories, novels, in fact all things magical. I was recommended this book by Laura Perry, one of the other admins on the group, which arrived two weeks ago and hasn’t left my side for more than twenty four hours! Here’s my review and then you’ll know why…

The best ever self help book about writing a novel!”

‘Save the cat! Writes a Novel’ is the best self help book about writing I’ve ever read. As soon as you begin to read, there’s a feeling of excitement as this tried and trusted recipe for successful novel writing is explained by Jessica Brody. Originally an idea by the late Blake Snyder, a Hollywood screenwriter, Jessica, one of his pupils who had used and succeeded with the original method, has created a concise, straight forward, easy to use guide to creating a great novel.

With very little pre-amble, the book dives straight in, asking you questions about your book idea or the WIP you’ve started (or completed.) One of the beauties of this book is that it suits plotters or pantsers. If you want to organise and plot with precision, you can use this book from the word go, or if, like me, you’d already written the book, but wanted it to be the best it could be (or wanted to see how close to the perfect book you’ve managed to get yourself), then you can use it at this point to.

Having already studied another novel writing book, I managed to get the majority of the points mentioned in the book, but not necessarily in the right order or to the degree I needed to press the points home. With my newly fashioned ‘Beat Sheet’, I’m working my way through my book, crafting and sculpting to make it flow better and keep the reader hooked with every turn of the page.

This book will not write your story for you. You need a good story to start with, but be assured, if you follow this ‘Beat Sheet’, you’ll have the best possible structure for your book.

The book guides the writer through Beat Sheets and Story Genres, and you think ‘Wow, this is so simple when you read it like this.’ While you’re basking in the sunshine of knowing you’re onto a winner, Ms Brody gives you more! ‘Pitch it to me!’ gives you all the info you need to create fabulous, unforgettable loglines and concise, exciting synopses. …And then there’s even more! ‘Save the Author!’ is all of her FAQs, beautifully answered to give you the most detailed yet manageable ‘big picture’ you’ll ever need.

I paid £11.99 for the paperback of this book, and in only two weeks, I’ve more than had my money’s worth. I recommend anyone writing their first novel to read this book…in fact, every story teller should read it!

You can purchase Save the Cat! here…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Save-Cat-Writes-Novel-Writing/dp/0399579745/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Save-Cat-Writes-Novel-Writing/dp/0399579745/ref

If you’re interested in magical reading or writing, come and join our Witch Lit group for books and more https://www.facebook.com/groups/1055104057875422/

Press the newsletter link on this blog for monthly updates about books, dance, plant based food and all things magical. Bright Blessings xx

 

Zoe Murphy – author and poet

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I met the fabulous Zoe Murphy at the first Llandysul Book Fair, organised by Cheryl Beer of Parlour Press Publishing. A new poetry anthology was being released during the day, and we, authors and public, were treated to poets reading their work.  As another Welsh writer I didn’t know well, I invited her to have a chat, and tell us more about herself…

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 am a complete Pantser. I always have a rough idea of plot and characters, but I very much make it up as I go along which isn’t always productive if I’m honest. The book I am writing now has evolved and changed in so many ways and that’s because I am interested in too many things! But, I have finally set my cap with what I am doing, and I’ve adopted a more methodical approach by planning my characterisation and chapters. While I like to feel like I’m free when writing, I have had to concede and have some kind of organised chaos.

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

 I think I am quite eclectic when it comes to my writing time and rituals and I don’t have a set ritual really. However, one thing I always do, is listen to music. I have specific playlists which get me in the zone and are almost a soundtrack to my book. Music has been my saviour and it really helps and inspires my writing process.

 

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

  1. I am also a performance poet and I was part of a TV programme called ‘Ugly Lovely: Poet on the Estate’ in 2014. Poetry wasn’t a great love of mine but it is now.
  2. I used to be a Street Dance teacher and absolutely love Hip Hop and 90’s R ‘n’ B.
  3. 80’s movies particularly Brat Pack films- Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Teen Witch!
  4. I avidly watch trashy reality TV such as TOWIE, Love Island…(guilty pleasure.)
  5. Gin (especially ones that have flavours or pretty colours.)

 

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

want with you?

  1. Pen
  2. Paper
  3. Picture of my children
  4. Mascara
  5. Kindle

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

 

This is a hard one!

  1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden- I could read this book over and over and over. Evocative and rich in detail. Beautiful story.
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood- The fact that the majority of the book is from a female perspective and it was a bit of a different approach to the dystopian genre.
  3. Lucky by Jackie Collins- Pure escapism.
  4. The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson- This introduced a really cool magical power and an original take on fantasy fiction. Could read it over and over.
  5. My Grimoire

 

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

 

Anjelica Houston- Incredible actress and I’d like to ask about her Dad too as he has directed some of my favourite films.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

 

I am currently on the second book of a fantasy series I am writing set in Wales and involving witches and Welsh/Norse mythology. The first in the series is called Promise: Unearthed and I am to launch the first two instalments in February 2019.

I am also writing a Creative Education book as I am a lecturer and I have a passion for creative teaching techniques and would like to provide some inspiration for fellow teachers.

 

8 Other published work and links….

 

https://zoetryweb.wordpress.com/ My blog

 

https://www.facebook.com/ZoeMAuthor/ FB page for links and news

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1404242866503911/ Poets on the Hill FB page.

 

Promise Novels:

 

Promise Unearthed

Seven

Released Feb 2019

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to come and share, Zoe. It’s been lovely having you.

For more author interviews, book reviews, writerly musings, dance, plant based recipes and magic, visit again. Bright blessings xx

Book Review – Pushing Madness by Hart St Martin

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I’ve been reading this series for the past three years, following Lisen and her family, eagerly anticipating the next book. Here’s my review of the final book…

A fitting finale

This is the final book in the Lisen of Solsta series, and what a finale!

Once again, Lisen and Korin are separated, duty coming before their personal relationship, as they endeavour to prevent Garla and Thristas going to war. Sixteen years previously, a young, naive eighteen year old Lisen fought her first battle in these lands and she now prepares for another, though she hopes she can prevent it from ever happening.

The lives and fortunes of the main characters over the past sixteen years are recalled, tying up loose ends for the reader, while the story moves on to its ending. There’s suspense right from the beginning, though I have to confess to skipping a little in my eagerness to reach the climax of the story of the House of Ilazer.

The final chapters resonate with magic, power and courage. No spoilers, but a memorable and visually dramatic conclusion is a fitting finale for this enjoyable series.

 

The Lisen of Solsta series is imaginative, exciting fantasy fiction. Here’s my review from 2015, of the first book Fractured, to give you a taster…

From a Californian beach, Lisen Holt is transported to a different world, one she knows but does not yet remember. In the haven of Solsta, with the help of Hermit Eloise, the facts of her birth and childhood are drizzled into her consciousness. Her Destiny is laid before her, requiring her acceptance and this is the underlying theme running through Fractured. This is the beginning of Lisen’s journey from carefree Californian teenager, living with Mom and Dad to talented hermit and necropath and the heir to the throne of Garla.

I really enjoyed this book! Once into her writing, St Martin writes a great story. In a very short time I cared about Lisen and was interested to see how the story would unfold. With the story beginning from Lisen’s point of view, I was caught out and had to back track a couple of times when the point of view changed, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment and read easily from then on.

I loved the characters of Ariel and Lorain and can’t wait to find out how their relationship progresses! There are instances when the same story is told twice from two different points of view which, for my taste, was not necessary and one would have sufficed. I started to skim a bit where Lisen visited the same thoughts, as I was eager for the story to continue so maybe there was a little too much repetition of similar ideas.

This book is about a real young women, faced with a real situation. I felt for her as she battled with weapons training on the journey to Halorin and loved Jozan for supporting her. Her reticence using gifts she has not thoroughly explored is genuine as is her determination to help others, not considering the cost to herself. The final scenes of the book are testament to the mental and physical pressures she has been under as she attempts to come to terms with a new, strange life.

I have no hesitation awarding 4* and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

You can find both books via the author’s pages here https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Hart-St.-Martin/e/B0099S9GWW/ref

and https://www.amazon.com/D.-Hart-St.-Martin/e/B0099S9GWW/ref

 

To pop back for more reviews, interviews, writerly musings, dance, plant based recipes and magic. Bright blessings xx