The Fault by Kitty Sewell #TheFault #KittySewell @honno @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Q&A

The Fault by Kitty Sewell #TheFault #KittySewell @honno @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Q&A

The Fault

The Fault - cover

Chilling thriller set on Gibraltar – at the heart of The Rock are secret tunnels, hard to navigate and even harder to escape. Sebastian is a civil engineering prodigy and his latest project is his most ambitious to date: to build a new city on the sheerest face of The Rock.

His fiancee, Eva, a diver, is entranced by the penisula’s hidden depths and concerned that her lover doesn’t push himself beyond human limits in his desire to see his dream realised.

Mimi, still in her teens, is desperate to spread her wings and chafing at the limits placed on her movements by her overprotective older brother. When Mimi gets into a relationship with a neighbour intent on fighting the new development, Sebastian’s precarious mental health spirals out of control putting them all in danger.

When Mimi is lost amidst their twists and turns the race is on to find her before the water rises.


Hi Kitty,

Can you tell us about any research you carried out for The Fault?

All my novels are set in interesting and/or exotic locations. Either I have already lived there (like the Canadian sub-Arctic in Ice Trap) or the place fascinates me and I spend time there to immerse myself in the atmosphere (like Ladakh and Dharamsala in India for Cloud Fever) I find out every little thing about the place, and the really interesting facts and aspects get worked into my writing somehow.

In The Fault, I had to research everything about Gibraltar, the tunnel system, the Neanderthal findings, the diving treasures, the people and their fascinating history, their quirky language, the battles that took place there going back millennia. You have to knock on a few doors and explain you need information for a novel, so you can’t be shy. I had to find out a lot about structural engineering to make Sebastian Luna a credible genius. I can build the darned bridge myself after all that!

Where do the ideas for your plots come from?

Normally my plot ideas come to me at night, in that twilight state of half sleep. Plots need to be developed however, so from an initial idea I do a lot of thinking and trying out the plausibility of the plot strands and its resolution.

Do you have any rules for writing?

My best rule is discipline. Don’t let more than two days go by without sitting down to serious writing. How many hundreds of thousands of novels never get finished due to lack of discipline and perseverance? Don’t join that sad lot.

My second rule is, start your novel with a bang, a passage that will totally capture the reader (including prospective publishers)

Let interested friends and family read your work and really listen to their comments, especially the negative ones. Immersed in your writing you really benefit from outside perspective, bringing glaring inconsistencies to light.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Time for developing something worthwhile is limited, so stop faffing about worrying about appearances, your body shape, getting a tan, getting hooked on TV series, what your buddies are doing when you are not around, etc etc.

Practice that guitar, study, stay fit, meditate, learn a new language, develop your painting and sculpting ….write that novel… In other words: be grateful for your talents and develop them.

Do you have any advice for first time writers?

Start with short, short stories. Go on a course or do a workshop. Buy Robert McGee’s “Story” and Sol Stein’s “Stein on Writing” and read them (you can get them on audio, so you can listen to them all day and get immersed in their wisdom and brilliance).

We’d love to know more about your writing space. What’s it like?

Ha ha… Did you ever see Tracy Emin’s sculpture My Bed? Mine is not quite that bad, nor dirty, but I do a lot of writing propped up on pillows. I don’t recommend this appalling habit. Sometimes I write sitting on my sofa with a view of the incredibly lush botanical bonanza that is my garden, the Mediterranean in the background. Sadly, I cannot write out of doors where I am most happy.

What hurdles have you had to cross?

The hurdles of life certainly inspire my writing. Discovering that my (then) husband had sired a child he  knew nothing about, was personal hurdle in my life and marriage and it inspired my first novel Ice Trap. The fact that I was writing from a deeply personal experience clearly made the story so much more poignant and real, making the novel a bestseller. I think all the hurdles in my life have had their hand in my writing. Escaping a tyrannical and psychopathic father, made it easy to write Mimi in The Fault (in her case a mother). I just had to remember the hurdles I had to cross in my gradual transformation from rebellious and troubled teenager into a thinking and balanced woman.

The best hurdle to tackle in your path to become a writer is to have psychotherapy. Finding out what makes you tick will help you create believable characters with depth.

Can you tell about any movies or music that have inspired your writing and how they inspired you?

I was very inspired by South American music in my youth, a favorite being Atahualpa Yupanqui, who sang his astonishingly beautiful poetry and played wonderful guitar. I had the privilege to once sing and play guitar with Joan Baez, at a workshop during the Toronto Folk Festival. I was totally in love with that era’s music with its meaningful lyrics, some of which actually spoke to your soul. Also very moved by my own country’s (Sweden) balladeers, such as Ulf Lundell and Evert Taube. I am more inspired by art and sculpture where my writing is concerned, the act of sculpting is akin to sculpting prose with words.

Movies rarely inspire my writing.

What are your five favourite novels?

I often read psychological suspense novels, because it is good to see what the competition has to offer. I also learn a bit from plots that surprise me, and certainly what not to write. I blow hot and cold with Ian McEwan’s novels but I was very impressed with Enduring Love, absolutely brilliant! I learned a lot from it about plot. Peter May’s Hebrides trilogy was superb. Couldn’t put them down.  I thought the recent Apple Tree Yard was the best I had read in ages and ages. A book that stayed with me for a long time was Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls. Some say it was badly written. If that is the case, it wins hands down for emotionally connecting me to a work. It inspired and informed my novel Hector’s Talent for Miracles, a story set partly in the Spanish Civil War. Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man was my favorite for many years. I don’t dare to reread it, just in case it disappoints.

Do you have any quirky approaches to writing (for example, I know of one writer who, in her first draft of her first novel, hadn’t decided if her main character was going to be male or female so used ambiguous names such as Sam, Alex, Charlie etc).

I do occasionally talk to my characters to see if they like me and if we could have a friendship or relationship (that can be disappointing). Sometimes I pretend I am one of the characters, usually female but not always.

Houses are very important to me, and every one of my novels have an unusual house, or as in The Fault, an apartment. These dwellings become like a characters in themselves with a history and a personality.

Modesty aside, I think my ability to create very atmospheric setting has a lot to do with my relative success as an author.

Thank you Kitty

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Published in paperback and ebook formats by Honno Press on 18th July 2019.


kitty sewell


Kitty Sewell was born in Sweden, and has had four successive nationalities, living in the Canary Islands, Central and South America, Canada, England, Wales and Spain where she now lives in the mountains of Andalucía. She is a successful sculptor, and bestselling author. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and she has been short-listed for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award, the Wales Book of the Year, Winner of the “People’s Choice” BBC Radio Wales Prize, and the Bertelsmann Book Clubs International Book of the Month. She also writes as Kitty Harri. With Honno she has published Ice Trap (2005, later bought by Simon & Schuster) and Hector’s Talent for Miracles (2007) as Kitty Harri.


The Oshun Diaries @DianeLEsguerra @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #Q&A

The Oshun Diaries @DianeLEsguerra @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #Q&A

The Oshun Diaries

The Oshun Diaries Cover

High priestesses are few and far between, white ones in Africa even more so. When Diane Esguerra hears of a mysterious Austrian woman worshipping the If a river goddess Oshun in Nigeria, her curiosity is aroused.

It is the start of an extraordinary friendship that sustains Diane through the death of her son and leads to a quest to take part in Oshun rituals. Prevented by Boko Haram from returning to Nigeria, she finds herself at Ifa shrines in Florida amid vultures, snakes, goats’ heads, machetes, a hurricane and a cigar-smoking god. Her quest steps up a gear when Beyoncé channels Oshun at the Grammys and the goddess goes global.

Mystifying, harrowing and funny, The Oshun Diaries explores the lure of Africa, the life of a remarkable woman and the appeal of the goddess as a symbol of female empowerment.


Doesn’t this book sound really atmospheric.. AND there is a book trailer too HERE : ) I love a good book trailer.

Hi Diane,

What inspired your to write Oshun Diaries?

My desire to share what I’ve learnt from Oshun, the goddess of love and female empowerment, and her amazing high priestess.

Which Authors inspired you to write?

While I admire many, many writers I can’t think of one that has ‘inspired’ me as such. The urge to write, to express my creativity, was so great it just burst out of me!

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece of advice would you give yourself ?

Live in the moment: enjoy the actual process of writing – the wonder of creativity; worry less about how others will judge your efforts.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Just do it!

What are your writing routines?

If I haven’t been able to write for a while I become agitated. As hard as I’ve tried I’ve never been able to achieve a set routine. I write when I’m in the mood – which, thankfully, is quite often

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Seeing clients as I’m also a psychotherapist – but I’d rather be travelling.

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Well, as this is a memoir I guess I’m the main character. I’d love to say Angelina Jolie, but Olivia Coleman would be a more likely candidate!  I see Beyoncé as Oshun.

How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

I tried about thirty agents before one agreed to represent my first book. An agent is always the best bet as many publishers won’t touch unsolicited material. It then took her about six months to find a publisher.

How did you deal with them when you started out

For a number of years I made a living as a play and scriptwriter so I learnt pretty early on that rejection is part and parcel of being a writer – and it’s ongoing. It comes in many forms – a lousy review is kind of rejection, too. I taught myself to build up rejection resilience. Something the writer Harold Pinter said after his first play was thoroughly panned by every theatre critic in London has always inspired me: ‘Even though they all hated my work I continued to believe in it myself.’

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

Like many writers I have a rebellious nature. I went to eight different schools before the age of eleven and hated every one of them – then left home at sixteen!

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Alternatively Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 30% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOUROSHUN

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Diane Esguerra is an English writer and psychotherapist. For a number of years she worked as a performance artist in Britain, Europe and the United States, and she has written for theatre and television. She is the recipient of a Geneva-Europe Television Award and a Time Out Theatre Award. She is previously the author of Junkie Buddha, the uplifting story of her journey to Peru to scatter her late son’s ashes.

She lives in Surrey with her partner David.





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*Ts & Cs –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Dead & Talking @DesBurkinshaw @Rararesources #Q&A

Dead & Talking @DesBurkinshaw @Rararesources #Q&A

Dead & Talking

Dead & Talking Kindle sleeve FINAL DES

If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do?

When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations.

The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead – if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else.

Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved – because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they?

Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.

Author Q&A

Dead and Talking - DES DARK


Hi Des, and welcome to my blog

Q1: What inspired you to write Dead & Talking?

I was in Hamburg watching the world go by on my way to a wedding in Sweden, and the basic premise occurred to me as I sat outside the same hotel the Beatles once stayed in. Once I had decided the premise, I spent six months researching various aspects of World War 1 and developed the plot from there.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Funny you should say that. My background is TV and various friends who’ve read it have all said it would make a good series. I’m not so sure. But if I had to pick an actor for the part of Porter, I’d say Martin Freeman

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

I got 3 before I decided not to bother. All 3 agents I approached read my letter and sample and called in the book. All 3 said variations of the same thing: it’s great, very funny, great plot, terrific thriller – but which shelf would it go on?  I realised I had written something cross-genre and decided it wasn’t worth waiting for an agent – for this book anyway. Those three rejections took 4 months to pick up. I employed an editor, got beta readers to give it the once over and employed a proof-readers. That’s pretty much what a publisher would have done for me anyway.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

I’ve been a collaborative writer since I was 17. Everything I’ve done (millions of words) has been edited, sub-edited and re-written. I’m used to it and think it often makes work better to have someone really go through it. I’ve had stories spiked.

So getting those 3 rejections was no problem, but it made me realise (and the early readers have proved me right) that there’s nothing in my book a contemporary audience can’t handle.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

The big writers who’ve always been a part of my life are Jane Austen, Conan Doyle, Douglas Adams, Roald Dahl, Raymond Chandler, PG Wodehouse, Dickens, Maupassant, Zola,  Greene. If you include re-reads, then I must have read 400 books by that list. I’m serious.

However, in the last 10 years or so I have been very influenced by Christopher Fowler, Ben Aaronovitch, Michael Connelly, Henning Mankell, Harlan Coban and Phlip Kerr.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

I must write for at least an hour each day, but it can be as much as 5 hours if my other responsibilities are covered.  I like to start the day by hiding out at the back of a coffee shop with my laptop, but have a great space I can hideaway in at home too.

That is my routine. Write every day.

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

When I was 16 I wanted to write books but had no idea how to do that, so set out to become a journalist. I eventually ended up at The Times before moving onto the BBC. I thought being a journalist was the same as being a novelist. It so isn’t!  However, the experiences I’ve had as a journalist, very few get to have, so it helped in the end. I’ve been to post mortems, been shot at, interviewed the rich and famous, interviewed famous criminals, met war veterans and seen people die.  So my advice to my 16 year old self would be – it’s okay to start writing a novel now, but if you can bring yourself to wait a few years, it’ll be a lot better.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Write. But it’s not as easy as it looks.

Q9: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

I’ve been writing for a living since I was 17! My first interview was with Michael Palin of Monty Python. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited since. Even when I was in TV, I was writing thousands of words a week. But I am a musician and composer, which I do for fun, so I guess if I had to choose, I’d be a full time film composer. There are samples of my instrumental and group work on my website

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I’ve sat side by side with both Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, and played piano with them – Macca in his studio in Rye, Brian at his house in LA. My job takes me to interesting places.


Thank you Des it’s been fun X

Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government.

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too.

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in.

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again.

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky.

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire.

He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax).

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school.

Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.

 Facebook-XperiaDes Burkinshaw  logo_thumb800@DesBurkinshaw




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Worldwide entries welcome.   The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


The Sentinel’s Alliance @rogersonsm @Rararesources #Book3 #SilentSeaChronicles #Selfpublished #Q&A

The Sentinel’s Alliance  @rogersonsm @Rararesources #Book3 #SilentSeaChronicles #Selfpublished #Q&A

The Sentinel’s Alliance

The Sentinels Alliance ebook complete

As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath.

Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose them to their biggest fear and he risks leading Tei and her people into danger, and jeopardising the safety of both their islands.

Under Farrell’s guidance treaties are forged, but is the newly formed Silent Sea Alliance enough to defeat the invaders and stop their bloodthirsty quest to destroy magic forever?

Author Q&A

The Sentinels Alliance author photo 2018 (2)


Hi Suzanne,

Q1: What inspired you to write The Sentinel’s Alliance?

The idea for this book series, Silent Sea Chronicles, came about a long time ago. Growing up, I was always concerned with how man was destroying the world and its precious resources and wildlife. That idea morphed into a magical island dying because of man’s disregard and the people losing their connection with their home

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

I normally get stuck on these types of questions, but today I’ve been hit by inspiration. I looked at those actors and actresses who maybe looking for their next big show after Game of Thrones finished and thought they would be perfect to feature in the Silent Sea Chronicles star studded cast!

Tei – Sophie Turner (played Sansa Stark)

Brogan – Kit Harington (played Jon Snow)

Farrell – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (played Jamie Lannister)

Callisa – Emilia Clarke (played Daenerys Targaryen)

Jaconn – David Bradley (played Walder Frey)

Kelbrin – Stephen Dillane (played Stannis Baratheon)

Of all of them, I think Emilia Clarke was born to play Callisa.

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

I sent Visions of Zarua to a few agents and got rejected before realising the book wasn’t the best it could be. I rewrote the novel with a dual time and at that point decided to publish it myself. Two years later, a Czech publisher contacted me and wanted to publish the book, so I was delighted to accept their offer. That would never have happened without me self-publishing. I do like the idea of being a hybrid author, so I might send my next book to agents and see what happens.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

The best way to deal with rejection is to have a list and when one rejection comes back, send the piece of work out to the next person on the list. That way there is always something happening, and that one rejection is not the end of the world.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

David Gemmell inspired me to write fantasy. I loved his characters and the way he made everyone matter in the story no matter how small their part. Making that connection with the reader is something he’s made me want to strive for.

Robin Hobb’s world building is amazing and so is G. R. R. Martin’s.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

I don’t have a set routine, it’s more like juggling. This year I’ve had several projects on the go at once, so I have to slot in the most urgent jobs first. I’ve been writing and editing book 3 – The Sentinel’s Alliance, working on edits to an audiobook for Visions of Zarua with my very talented narrator, Guy Barnes, I’ve been working on chapters of a new book that I recently pitched to agents at a writing festival. Plus I am a member of 3 different writing groups which meet and critique each other’s work every 4 to 6 weeks. There is never a moment I’m not busy with something!

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Just get on with it. Don’t wait for the right time, anytime can be the right time to write. Pick up a pen, open your notebook and see what happens.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Go for it.

It’s important to meet other writers so things like adult education classes can be great – that’s how I met my writing friends and beta readers. Also it’s good to learn the craft by entering short story competitions where you receive a critique. They can be a very helpful way to learn how to improve your writing.

Q9: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Not writing! I can’t imagine that! I would be doing some rubbish job I hate and I would probably be a very unhappy person to be around. If I break from writing for even just a few days, I’m sure I get withdrawal symptoms

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I used to be terrified of flying, but now I love the idea of visiting other countries and wish I had more time and money to explore the world and its histories.

Thank You Suzanne


Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Facebook-XperiaSuzanne Rogerson       logo_thumb800@Rogersonsm


index Suzanne M Rogerson

1454549184-1454549184_goodreads_misc Author Profile        foto Website




Author Profile




Author Profile


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To celebrate publication day, all three books of the Silent Sea Chronicles series are 99p today!

The Lost Sentinel #1 Silent Sea Chronicles

The Sentinel’s Reign #2 Silent Sea Chronicles


Storm over Babylon @jennifermacaire @accentpress @Rararesources #Book4 #Q&A

Storm over Babylon @jennifermacaire @accentpress @Rararesources #Book4 #Q&A

Storm over Babylon

Storms Over Babylon

The Time for Alexander Series Book 4

From the scorching plains of Persia to the opulent city of Babylon, Ashley and Alexander continue their sensuous and passionate journey through history.

Alexander the Great is now king of Persia and Greece – but his reign will be short.

Time-travelling Ashley knows when her husband will die. She’s determined to cheat Fate and save Alexander and her children, even if it brings the gates of time crashing down.

Following Alexander on a tour of his new kingdom, she plans her moves and bides her time. She must, however, convince Alexander to abandon his crown and his kingdom.


Author Q&A

Storms - Macaire_author pic


I was really excited to hear more about Jennifer on this fourth book!!! of the series!

Q1: What inspired you to write Storms of Babylon?

Storms Over Babylon is the 4th book in the Time for Alexander series. It’s the pivotal part of the series, where the actual history of Alexander the Great comes to an end. Alexander, as everyone knows, died in Babylon, leaving his kingdom with no heir. The resulting wars split Asia apart. But since my book is science fiction, things don’t quite go as planned.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

I think that Sophie Turner would do very well – she has that icy cold stare that would do well for Ashley!

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

A ton – so many I could have wall-papered my bedroom. Now, that would have been depressing! Luckily I’m a pick-yourself-up and get-on-with-it type of person.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

Was sad for a day or two, then got back to writing and sending queries. Life is too short for dwelling on things you can’t change.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

Ray Bradbury, Diana Gabaldon (of course!), and Dorothy Dunnett.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

Routines are for sissies ! – (just kidding) – my routine is getting enough coffee to keep me wired, making sure nothing is going to burn in the oven (that’s a live and learn thing), and trying to remember to stop and eat once and a while.

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Don’t plan on earning a living writing books. Just write because you love it, don’t stress about the small stuff, and don’t drink too much coffee.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

I’d say “Read, read, read! Then think of a story and write it down – and most of all – finish what you start!”

Q9: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

I’m working as an assistant for an orthodontist and I do translating as well – so when I’m not writing, I’m at work.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I grew up in the tropics. I lived in Samoa, in the Pacific, and on St. Thomas in the Caribbean. I’m fond of beaches, coconuts, and salt water. I don’t like tarantulas, sand fleas, or hurricanes – all of which go with the island life! Now I live in France, in a city, but I painted my bathroom blue and added fish, a pirate ship, and mermaids!


Thank you for your questions – they were fun! And thank you for hosting me on your blog!

Thank you Jennifer it’s been fun X

Jennifer Macaire lives with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.


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Instructions For Failing In Love @Blondewritemore #Q&A #selfpublished


Instruction For Failing In Love



What would you do if your late husband left you a list of instructions on how to fall in love with someone else?

Pippa Browning is faced with this exact dilemma, three years after the death of her husband, Dan.

Buried at the bottom of a drawer are a collection of notebooks full of Dan’s advice on how to live without him.

Pippa’s notebook is red and contains his instructions on how to fall in love again.

But Dan does n’t just want Pippa to fall in love with anyone – Dan’s crazy suggestion is that Pippa should date his handsome friend, Mikey Stenton, a known thrill-seeking ladies’ man.

Reluctant to follow Dan’s advice, Pippa enters the world of dating. She embarks on a humorous journey of self-discovery, with the help of her children and two best friends.

It isn’t long before Pippa is finding it hard to ignore Dan’s instructions and Mikey Stenton.

Is Mikey really the man that everyone thinks him to be? Or was Dan right, and Mikey’s simply been misunderstood?

A heart-warming romantic comedy about motherhood, friendship and finding love, the second time around.

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I first became aware of Lucy through her amusing blog posts and then progressed to following her on social media platforms! I am forever screaming why hasn’t this women got a book deal!!!! So I was so happy to hear she was heading into the world of self-publishing and her book baby is HERE!

Q1: What inspired you to write Instructions For Failing In Love

In the second year of our marriage, my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma; a cancer of the lymphatic system. At the time we were both 27 years of age. He went through many rounds of chemo and radiotherapy and he endured a lot of gruesome tests, scans and consultations. It was the most frightening year of our life together. We drank a lot of hospital tea, Googled the hell out of his illness, scared ourselves witless with what Google returned, relocated to Wales to be with his family, tried to carry on with normal life whilst he went for chemo, went to the pub a lot and laughed when we felt like crying. Twelve months later he got the all clear. He’s alive and well today and in 2013 he ran the London Marathon to raise money for the cancer charity he supports.

Mad as it sounds but the idea for my debut novel, Instructions For Falling In Love Again, started back when our life was in turmoil. But, I wasn’t ready to become a writer back then so I locked it away at the back of my mind.

When he ran the London Marathon, to celebrate 10 years in remission, back came my memories from when he was sick and so did the idea for a novel. My husband started carrying a little red notebook to record his training schedule. He also left  us all instructions on the fridge and creating wall planners to get us all organised. So, I decided to start writing Pippa’s story.

Q2: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Not everyone will like your work. Some will and some won’t. Writing is subjective and getting hung up on this is a waste of time.

Q3: What would you say to someone who wants to write?


Q4: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Talking a lot and making people laugh. I think laughter is so important.

Q5: What are your writing routines?

I don’t really have one. All I know is that when a story comes to me I will binge write it in a few weeks. When I am writing I lock myself away in my head and drive my family crazy. I have been known to leave social gatherings, baby showers and shopping trips after getting an idea to write about.

Q6: Why did you decide to self-publish?

I always knew my writing path would be different. I had an inkling I would end up going in a different direction to others.

Becoming a Featured Romance author on Wattpad and my Roxy Collins series gaining 70,000 followers and 250,000 reads in 3 months, gave me some confidence to start out on my own.

This was fuelled by a lot of positive rejections from literary agents and publishers.

When I was suffering from anxiety and my life felt bleak I knew I had to let the light back in. Writing is my light. The day after I decided to go for it and self-publish, I won a competition run by Emma Mitchell and Sarah Hardy. The prize was a free proofread and blog book tour. It was like the universe was now on my side. Weirdly everything fell into place at an alarming speed. I met my book designer two days later and within a week I had my amazing book cover.

Self-publishing has brought the light back into my life. This is not about climbing the best seller charts. For me, it is about putting my art into the world and getting to talk romance with readers.

I now have eyebrows too 🙂 (see question 10)

Q7: What writing tools do use, and which one could you not live without?

  • The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Akerman & Becca Puglisi.
  • 10 Steps to Hero by Sacha Black.
  • Writing friends

Q8: Which authors inspired you to write?

Nicola May. She’s shown the world what self-published authors can achieve and her books are excellent.

Q9: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Pippa should be played by Jessica Biel. I think she’s naturally beautiful and even in old clothes she would still look amazing.

Mikey should be played by Liam Hemsworth. A handsome bad boy with a secret good heart.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

At the start of this year I lost my eyebrows and chunks of my hair due to stress. Up until this point I thought stress was something other people suffered from.

My life was filled with anxiety and dark feelings. It didn’t feel like I was in control anymore. So, I decided to change my life. I listed out all the things which were making me unhappy. One of them was letting my writing gather dust in folders after being showered with rejections. It felt like I was writing for my electronic folders. This was making me depressed.

So, I decided to be brave and grabbed control of my life. In one month I found another job (after nine years in the same role), got rid of my company car, went on holiday with my friends and sent my book to an editor.

By the start of May my eyebrows were coming back and my hair had stopped falling out. It is now June and I can’t believe how I have transformed my life.

Thank you Lucy x



Lucy Mitchell lives in South Wales with her husband, two teenage daughters, a giant Labrador and a gang of unruly cats. She lives in a house with two front doors (which challenges a lot of door-to-door sales agents) and drives a little white car (at a snail’s pace) called Fabby.

When she’s not working or writing, she can be found listening to audiobooks in a muddy field with her dog or sat outside her local pub in the sunshine enjoying a glass of wine.

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The Kompromat Kill @FailsafeQuery #SpyThriller #Q&A

The Kompromat Kill @FailsafeQuery #SpyThriller #Q&A

The Kompromat Kill


When a British Diplomat is kidnapped in the heart of London, followed by a brutal double-assassination in Chelsea, MI5 braces for the threat of deep sleeper cells coming alive.

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…

Tense, absorbing, and insightful, The Kompromat Kill is a gripping thriller leaving you breathless at the pace of intrigue, cleverly unravelled in a dramatic finale.

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I Read The Fail Safe last year and became a MASSIVE fan of Michael’s writing! So when the chance came up for some Q&A to help promote the publication of The Kompromat Kill I was first in the queue.

My review of The Fail Safe can be found HERE

Q1: What inspired you to write the book?

I was keen to follow up from my first novel, and provide a high octane novel incorporating some of the same the same characters, but taking the storyline from the failsafe query, on a new journey but keeping the golden threads of the agencies, politics, and ground operators. Hopefully, it will be seen as an insightful step forward. The novel can be read as a stand-alone, or as a follow on from the failsafe Query.

Q2: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Learn from, and listen to other authors, and read lots to learn the tips and genius ideas that many authors have. Then create your own voice and style which I hope I have. The keep learning through reading, doing online research or attending courses

Q3: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Play about with it – learn online and from courses about creative writing and all the tips that readers love to see in a novel. Write as if you are a reader wanted to be entertained, and wanting to turn the page at every chapter end – leave them if you can on a cliff-hanger. But have your own natural style.

Q4: If you weren’t writhing what would you be doing?

Climbing mountains and planning scientific exploration ventures across the world – age has suggested to me that writing is now a better career for me !

Q5: What are your writing routines?

Absolutely zero routine! I have a full time day job, a family with children, and a hectic life with social and sports that stops routine – I spend the first 3 months thinking and plotting a spy novel, creating linkage maps of characters and plots, then I create an outline plot with sub plot – plus more research and thinking. I like to intertwine topical political events, with current geo-political threats, and then build a story line and a character arc that merges the strategic politics with the frustrations and conflict of the ground operators. Then I’ll write for 5 or 6 months grabbing time at home wherever I can. The final 3 months is editing and preparing for publication.

Q6: Why did you decide to self-publish?

I spoke to a few authors who suggested it was great fun and gave better control. So I decided to dabble, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I enjoy creating my own marketing images and campaigns, formatting for kindle and paperback, typesetting for print, and planning marketing ventures. It really is a great journey to take the novel through from plotting to writing, then publishing with all the frustrations and drama it entails.

Q7: What writing tools do use, and which one could you not live without?

Very simple really – a laptop with office 365, a desk, a plotting book, and some great marketing software. I really need the software – else it’s back to the written word!

Q8: Which authors inspired you to write?

Tom Clancy, Wilbur Smith, Len Deighton, John Le Carre, Graham Greene.

Q9: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

For Sean, I think Tom Hiddleston or Luke Evans, and for Jack, probably someone like Michael Kitchen

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

I work in cyber security and am a passionate rugby union fan and former coach of youth and children – I love all sports and represented Wales at Athletics and cross country in my youth.

Thank you Michael X

The Failsafe Query - Author Pic

Michael Jenkins served for twenty-eight years in the British
Army, rising through the ranks to complete his service as a major. He served across the globe on numerous military operations as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

His experiences within the services involved extensive travel and
adventure whilst on operations, and also on many major mountaineering
and exploration expeditions that he led or was involved in.
He was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical
Society for mountain exploration and served on the screening committee
of the Mount Everest Foundation charity.

He was awarded the MBE on leaving the armed forces in 2007 for his services to counterterrorism.

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I will be back next month with a review of The Kompromat Kill and I can’t wait!

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Solstice Sizzle @LillianaRose2 @Rararesources #Book2 #PaganPleasure #Q&A

Solstice Sizzle @LillianaRose2 @Rararesources #Book2 #PaganPleasure #Q&A

Solstice Sizzle (Book 2)

Solstice Sizzle ebook

Johan Rogers is a sharpshooting family lawyer who is close to burn out. This is affecting his ability with the Magiks and his once reliable skill as a medium. On a whim, he’s come south to Edi’s shop, Crystal Sands, for a break over the summer solstice. He’s looking for fun, nothing serious, and definitely no commitment.

That’s how things start with the stunning Nova. But then a side of him he’s repressed to be a lawyer begins to emerge. Can he get a handle on his emotions, or will Nova help him to realize his full potential with the Magiks?

Nova McGinnis is struggling to find her unique skill with the Magiks. She’s been repressed too long, and despite Edi’s help, her ability is erratic at best. It’s been nearly a month of trying and she’s made minimal progress. Frustrated, she sees Johan as the perfect distraction.

It was meant to be just a summer love affair, but things are developing into something more lasting. Will a hot love affair prevent Nova from discovering her Magik ability, or help her?


Author Q&A

Solstice Sizzle - lilliana rose photo


As a best selling Amazon Author, I was keen to learn more about Lilliana,

Q1: What inspired you to write Solstice Sizzle?

I’m writing a series, Pagan Pleasures, which is centered around some of the pagan celebrations in a calendar year. One of these is the summer solstice, so this became the source of my inspiration for the book, Solstice Sizzle. This along with my fascination with psychic abilities. I enjoy metaphysical theories, and I drew on my experiences, and knowledge to inspire this story, and make up the characters and their HEA.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Chris Evans would look great as Johan. Mila Kuinis would be fabulous as Nova.

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

I haven’t counted. A lot of publishing houses never actually got back to me, so I had to assume their response was a ‘no’. It just got to the point where I was more focussed on sending my books out into the world, and then writing the next book.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

Chocolate, red wine, and friends! Then I would go and write my next book 🙂

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

I’m going back to my childhood favorites with this list! I really enjoyed books by May Gibbs, CS Lewis, and Enid Blyton.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

My main routine is to go to my favorite cafés, get a coffee, and sit and write for a few hours. I get my best work done out in a café, while drinking a flat white soy!

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

To follow my intuition more than the advice out there. Each author’s journey is different, and it is about finding what works for me.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Go for it! Initially when starting out, try and make writing a habit, and write every day no matter what. Join some groups and connect with other writers. Work out who your audience is that you’re writing for, and above all have fun.

Q9: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

I would be teaching!

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I’m a Reiki Master!

Thank you Lilliana,

Lilliana is an Amazon Bestselling author, who writes romance in the subgenres of contemporary, paranormal, steampunk, and rural. She enjoys helping characters overcome problems, or issues, and the misunderstandings that often plague relationships, to help them fall in love. Whether it city heels being replaced with country work boots, or some magic beyond this world, or cogs and gears and corsets, each story shows how love can prevail.

Solstice Sizzle, is the second book in the Pagan Pleasures Series.


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Children in Chains @lomace @AccentPress @Rararesources #Q&A

Children in Chains @lomace @AccentPress @Rararesources #Q&A

Children In Chains

Children in Chains Cover

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.

When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.

Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?


Author Q&A

Children in Chains - Lorraine Mace


I am on the blog tour for the third book in the series, so I was excited to get to know the author prior to reading the next book.

Q1: What inspired you to write Children in Chains?

Children in Chains deals with one of the worst crimes I can think of – trafficking children. I had to carry out a lot of upsetting research to make sure my facts were correct, but the more I delved, the more determined I was to bring to bring this hideous slavery to light. The reviews so far say I’ve dealt with the difficult topic with sensitivity. I hope that’s the case.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Ewan McGregor

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

Oh wow! For my crime novels, very few. I was lucky and my series arrived in the right place at the right time. However, outside of the D.I. Sterling novels, I’ve had so many rejections I lost count years ago.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

I made voodoo dolls of the editors and stuck pins in them. Not really!

If the rejection came with some advice, I generally took it and tried to improve my work. If it was a generic rejection, I swore, stamped my feet, threw a hissy fit and then got back to writing again.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

For a crime writer, this might surprise you, but my first ever writing inspiration came from reading Georgette Heyer as a teenager. She had the most amazing touch with characters, settings, dialogue and plots – in fact everything that is essential if we want to captivate our readers.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

I am involved in so many writing activities via my ‘day job’ that I have to fit in my own writing as and when I can. I try to write between 1,000 and 3,000 words a day, but don’t always achieve that. However, I won’t go to bed unless I’ve written at least 500

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Give myself easier writing targets. Getting down 500 words a day is much easier than trying to cram 3,000 words into a time slot that isn’t really long enough.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Advice #1: Do it! Open a page on a computer, buy a notebook, scribble on your study walls, but get those words down – and don’t listen to anyone who tells you to stop.

Advice #2: Buy a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing and follow his advice about not showing your early drafts to anyone.

Q9: What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

I cannot imagine a time when I wouldn’t be writing. Even when I’m on holiday and nowhere near my laptop, I’m still writing in my head, making up dialogue and planning new plots.

If I really had to find something else to do, I’d open a small restaurant as I love cooking.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I am a grandmother and seriously hope my grandsons never read my books. It’s bad enough that I have shocked (and horrified – Mum writes about stuff like this?) my children, without doing the same to the next generation.

Thank you Lorraine, I can’t wait for the third book in the series to appear in my inbox

When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER’S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER – HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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De Bohun’s Destiny @writingcalliope @Rararesources #Q&A #selfpublishing

De Bohun’s Destiny

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How can you uphold a lie when you know it might destroy your family?

It is 1356, seven years since the Black Death ravaged Meonbridge, turning society upside down. Margaret, Lady de Bohun, is horrified when her husband lies about their grandson Dickon’s entitlement to inherit Meonbridge. She knows that Richard lied for the very best of reasons – to safeguard his family and its future – but lying is a sin. Yet she has no option but to maintain her husband’s falsehood…

Margaret’s companion, Matilda Fletcher, decides that the truth about young Dickon’s birth really must be told, if only to Thorkell Boune, the man she’s set her heart on winning. But Matilda’s “honesty” serves only her own interests, and she’s oblivious to the potential for disaster.

For Thorkell won’t scruple to pursue exactly what he wants, by whatever means are necessary, no matter who or what gets in his way…

If you enjoy well-researched, immersive historical fiction, with strong female characterisation and a real sense of authenticity, you’ll love De Bohun’s Destiny, the third Meonbridge Chronicle, set in the mid-14th century, in the turbulent and challenging years that followed the social devastation wrought by the Black Death. Discover for yourself if, in Meonbridge, it is Margaret or Matilda, right or might, truth or falsehood, that wins the day…


Author Q&A

De Bohuns Destiny Author Photo


I was excitied to see the blog tour for another historical fiction novel and wanted to learn more about Carolyn

Q1: What inspired you to write De Bohun’s Destiny?

Because De Bohun’s Destiny is the third book Meonbridge Chronicle, I feel I really need to tell you what inspired the series. When I had to choose what to write as the creative piece for my Masters in Creative Writing, I looked for inspiration among my old scribblings, and rediscovered the fading draft of the beginnings of a novel I’d written in my twenties. Set in 14th century rural England, it was about the lives of peasant families. The novel’s plot wasn’t terribly good, yet I was quite drawn to its period and setting and, a few days later, I drafted an outline for the novel that eventually became Fortune’s Wheel. That was my first “inspiration”. The second – the storyline – came from reading about the 14th century. Catastrophic events affected every part of its life, including terrible famines, the start of the Hundred Years War, the plague that we call the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt. So, plenty of background there for interesting storylines…

Such events as these would have meant (as they do in every century) huge changes to people’s lives, at all levels of society. But I’m mostly interested in how events affected the lives of ordinary people, and I wanted to write – and still do – about ordinary lives within the context of these big social changes. So, for Fortune’s Wheel, I chose to write a story about the aftermath of one of the greatest catastrophes of all time, in terms of the havoc it wrought to populations, the Black Death, and I chose to set it in an area I know well, the Meon Valley, in southern Hampshire.

So that was what inspired the first Meonbridge Chronicle. But what happened next was that, having written that first story, I found that I’d grown to love the characters of Meonbridge so much that I simply had to go on writing about them! The second and third books continue the story of Meonbridge’s people through the eyes of a different set of characters (though still familiar to those who’ve already read Fortune’s Wheel). A Woman’s Lot was inspired by my wish to explore further the particular problems, such as widespread misogyny, that women faced at the time, and De Bohun’s Destiny sees all the folk of Meonbridge having to face the terror of a different sort of outside threat – not plague this time, but the ill deeds of dangerous and ruthless men.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Mmmm, I’m not too sure about this, mostly because, to be honest, I don’t know very much at all about actors. If I cast about online for suitable images, I have to reject most because they somehow don’t have quite the “right” look, by which I mean they’re too “modern-looking”, though I’m hard-pressed to define exactly what that is!! Anyway, I’ll have a go…

In my first two novels (Fortune’s Wheel and A Woman’s Lot), Eleanor Titherige has a major role, and is certainly one of my favourite characters. I think for her I might choose Rose Leslie. Red hair is important and Eleanor is not conventionally “pretty”, so while Rosie Leslie has a lovely face, I do feel that she somehow has the right natural sort of look that I think of for Eleanor.

For the current book, De Bohun’s Destiny, the central (though not the only principal) character is Matilda. She has very dark hair and is said to be handsome rather than pretty. She’s also a bit of a minx. A quick look online brings up Rachel Weisz, who has a good look for Matilda – again not “pretty” exactly, but a lovely face, the right colouring and suitably sensual-looking for the character of Matilda. Sadly, though, I do have to say that Rachel might now be a little too old to play Matilda, who is only 25, so a Rachel Weisz lookalike might have to be found…

Finally, a character who appears to a greater or lesser degree in all the novels to date is Agnes and she is supposed to be conventionally pretty – “the loveliest maiden in Meonbridge” she’s called. I don’t know this young actress, Gabrielle Wilde, at all, but she does look just right for Agnes, so I’ll suggest her!

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

Before I wrote the first Meonbridge Chronicle, I had written one and a half contemporary women’s novels. I sent the completed one out to a few agents – I can’t remember how many, but let’s say half a dozen, but none of them were interested. Perhaps it simply wasn’t good enough! When the first Meonbridge Chronicle, Fortune’s Wheel, was completed, I did submit it to a number of agents (again, say, half a dozen) and also to a small publisher. The publisher was very complimentary but didn’t in the end take the book, and neither did the agents…

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

Naturally I was very disappointed! With the contemporary women’s novel, I accepted that it probably simply wasn’t good enough! A writer friend had read it and came back with lots of feedback that reinforced my view. But I was much more confident about Fortune’s Wheel, despite the lack of interest from the agents! I’d written it for my Masters in Creative Writing and my tutors had said the book was good, and I believed in it myself. Which is when I decided not to bother any more about trying to get a traditional publishing deal but simply go down the self-publishing route, albeit with help from a publishing company, SilverWood Books.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

I can’t honestly say that any writers have particularly influenced me. I’ve admired many authors over the years, though by no means all of them have been historical novelists. I usually cite the late William Trevor as my “favourite” author, because he was such a master storyteller, writing both novels and short stories. His brilliance for me lies in the deeply insightful pictures he drew of the lives of ordinary people. I would love to be able to emulate him. Of historical novelists, those whose style I have perhaps mostly closely followed include Susanna Gregory and Bernard Cornwell. Gregory’s mediaeval mystery novels achieve a wonderfully naturalistic portrayal of 14th-century life, and Cornwell (in his mediaeval fiction) portrays so well the lives of ordinary people caught up in the sweep of major events.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

I don’t have any! I’m not a terribly disciplined writer, so when I feel the “writing itch” coming on, I either go into my office (I worked from home for most of working life, so I’ve always had an office…) and switch on my computer, or else just get out my laptop and write whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself. That applies whether I’m writing novel chapters or a blog post, or editing a draft, or engaging in social media. What I do do is drink tea almost all the time, mostly decaf, and sometimes I’ll listen to music – though it’s more likely to be Chopin rather than anything “mediaeval” – I don’t know why… But really I don’t have any particular routine…

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Perhaps just to be more bullish about my creative writing, to believe in myself as a writer, and certainly to share my writing with others, instead of keeping it more or less a secret. To be honest, it never occurred to me until I was middle-aged that I might make novel writing a career. I got on with making a more conventional career, first in the computer industry, then later as a technical writer. I loved my work, and found it very satisfying. I wrote creatively in my spare time, and enjoyed that too. But it was only after my children left home that I wondered if I could ever have my stories published. I don’t really regret the career I had but in some ways I do wish I’d thought about the possibilities of publishing when I was younger. Of course it’s easier to publish now, with the option of self-publishing, but you still need to believe in yourself, and you need to gain validation from others, by sharing your work and getting feedback on it. That’s my advice to myself!

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Just write! You have to practise, practise, practise, to learn how to plot, how to draw engaging characters, how to write convincing dialogue. To hone your writing skill. Writing makes you a better writer, though not of course if you are not self-critical or unwilling to accept criticism from other people. So write, and somehow get your work in front of other people, by which I don’t mean agents and publishers but other writers and readers, who will give you an honest opinion. And, talking of readers, you must also read yourself. Lots! So you can learn what works and what doesn’t, and then emulate the best techniques yourself.

Q9: What made you chose this genre?

I’ve already mentioned how I came to write historical fiction in ‘What inspired you to write the book?’. It was an easy choice to make. I’d long been intrigued by the mediaeval period, for its relative remoteness in time and understanding, and, I think, for the very dichotomy between the present-day perception of the Middle Ages as “nasty, brutish and short” and the wonders of the period’s art and literature. I wanted to know more about the period, and, through writing an historical novel, I’d have the opportunity both to discover the mediaeval past and to interpret it, to bring both learning and imagination to my writing, which is I suppose what all historical novelists do. It seemed an exciting thing to do! So that was it – historical fiction it would be…

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

When I was at university in Leicester (sometime back in the “Middle Ages”…), I was Director of the Arts Festival, then a “gown & town” affair. It was fabulous because I got to choose which musicians and artists to invite! I’d learned to play the cello as a teenager, and I was much in love with cello music, although I truly wasn’t a good cellist. So imagine how thrilled I was when the wonderful French cellist Paul Tortelier agreed to come with his daughter, Maria de la Pau, to give a recital and to have lunch with me on the day of his performance.

Thank you Carolynn

CAROLYN HUGHES was born in London, but has lived most of her life in Hampshire. After completing a degree in Classics and English, she started her working life as a computer programmer, in those days a very new profession. But it was when she discovered technical authoring that she knew she had found her vocation. She spent the next few decades writing and editing all sorts of material, some fascinating, some dull, for a wide variety of clients, including an international hotel group, medical instrument manufacturers and the government.

She has written creatively for most of her adult life, but it was not until her children grew up and flew the nest several years ago that writing historical fiction took centre stage in her life. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Portsmouth University and a PhD from the University of Southampton.

De Bohun’s Destiny is the third novel in the MEONBRIDGE CHRONICLES series. A fourth novel is under way.


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