Author interview with Ayse Hafiza

 

Hi All. Another week, another interview.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Ayse Hafiza, author of the Azrael and Jinn Series books. A new and exciting genre that, as of today, seems an untapped area of storytelling.

Hi Ayse, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, thank you for having me. I am a Londoner born and bred and previously worked in Central London in the commercial world, which I believe informs my style of writing. I’ve travelled loads in my career and for leisure, and I’m happily married. My family has lots of authors in it, so I feel that becoming an author was fated for me. I’m living in Istanbul with my husband, and kicking off my author plans, getting them into action which feels really empowering. I’m pioneering a new genre of Spiritual Horror with an Islamic twist which is very exciting and gaining a lot of interest.

 

  1. When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

It wasn’t really until I was 27 or so. A friend and I were recounting our experiences of family members trying to set us up and introduce us to suitable young men (cringeworthy). She said we should write about our experiences in a chick-lit novel, and the idea really resonated with me. I wasn’t concerned with genre at that point, but I was determined that I should write. I think when you’re working in the city you tend to get blinkered, and all pursuits outside of supporting your city career can seem like a distant dream. I was so passionate about the idea, I think I overwhelmed her and got to first draft pretty much on my own. I was researching traditional publishers, but I think I didn’t really give her a chance to make a contribution and somehow I excluded her from our joint project so it died a death (on a hard drive somewhere). It will be resurrected at an unknown future date. I got an understanding then, of how the traditional model worked, and how to work towards cracking it, but that conversation was the point at which I set my intention, knowing I would be a writer. The next question for me, was when in my life would it happen?

    2.    What are your ambitions for your writing career?

So, I’m pioneering a spiritual horror genre with an Islamic twist, which means that I’m writing horror which is different to the normal werewolf, vampire stories that we all know and love. Having an Islamic twist is really about having a new voice on the market with different characters. I genuinely feel that I have stories to tell, and stories that will linger in people’s memories. That’s what I love, when something impacts me and I feel that it permeates my consciousness and makes me consider my behaviour. I believe in the law of attraction (if you say it, it’s going to happen) so my ultimate stretch-goal is to see my stories on the screen, that would be the climax of this for me.

    3.   Which writers inspire you? 

My ultimate has got to be Rumi. His Mathnawi was one of the best birthday presents I ever received, who doesn’t love Rumi? And by extension, Paolo Coelho, who makes Rumi’s work more relevant in the modern day. The King (Stephen King) and Edgar Allan Poe whose stuff is super dark. I’m re-reading Brothers Grimm right now, which is just fast paced short stories and fun, and I re-read Arabian nights recently because I love stories with Jinn in them and fantastical tales.

4.   So, what have you written?

What I’m most well-known for, are two series of short stories which I am releasing this year, that’s the Azrael Series (stories which feature Azrael, the Angel of Death) which are available on Amazon. The Jinn Series, which are stories featuring Jinn (Jinn are more commonly known as demons, genie). I’m looking forward to releasing the rest of the Jinn Series books later this year. I’ve also written screenplays before, which is a great skill to have, as you constantly have to think visually, and that’s rubbed off onto my writing. My first short story is called The Afterlife of Abdul. As with all short stories, there is one climatic event which is a car crash, and it’s the moments during the crash which really make the story, the emotions and the visual aspects. One of my reviewers said they loved the contrast between perception and perspective, which was a great compliment. I like playing on the visual and contrast elements in my writing. I’ve got some novellas in the pipeline for next year too.

5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I’m about half way through a novella ‘The Walls of Istanbul’ that I plan to release next year, I want to get to first draft before I start thinking about another project. It’s a story about a Jinn community trapped underground in Istanbul. Galian, the hero Jinni, desperately wants to escape, having been trapped for millennia. He possesses Elif, a little girl, and fights Porciana, the witch who trapped the Jinn. It’s got all my favourite elements, Jinn, a Witch, dark blood magic, innocence in form of Elif the little girl, a creepy doll, and demonic possession. It’s a real recipe for mayhem.

6.   Why do you write?

It’s cheaper than therapy. On a serious note, because I love it, I get really obsessed by my characters and the process. It doesn’t feel like work. I have my nose to the keyboard and the hours tick by.

7.   Where do your ideas come from?

A lot of the dialogue comes from conversations I’ve had with people in past, little nuggets of wisdom that I’ve gleaned. Sometimes family members. Funnily enough, one of my reviewers for ‘Mr Time’ messaged me and asked me if he was a relative, which was very perceptive as I modelled that character heavily on male family members. Sometimes the places I’ve travelled generate inspiration, or news stories for example, ‘Confessions of a Witch’, which I am releasing later this year, is based in Africa and London. Africa I’ve travelled to, and know the lay of the land. The story stems from Adam the little African boy, whose body was found in the Thames by a morning jogger. That, sadly was a real life event. Even old dilapidated buildings, where I can imagine the sort of people that had lived in them. Inspiration comes from anywhere really. Sometimes from my dreams, but mainly when I have a character on my mind who won’t shut up and let me sleep. I often wake up exhausted, but with direction for the story I am writing. Most writers have similar experiences in their dreams, but I think it’s an expression of passion.

8.   Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I tend to think of the story and loosely define the main plot points, writing them down into what I know will be the main document. When I feel I have the backbone of a story, that’s when I start. I am a pantser, and make it up as I go, but I think that allows for the character to speak to me. Then I get to know them and can tell how they feel, how they think, and what’s going to happen next. Having believable characters and knowing them inside out is the mark of a good story, and often one that will stay with the reader. I’m a people watcher, and body language and psychology always interest me. It helped me in my city career, so for me it’s easy to know what people are thinking and knowing how they will act next.

9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I don’t know if I’ve evolved. Essentially, I think it’s more that creatively I’ve challenged myself. My first story was about death, which is where a lot of other horror stories end. In ‘The Afterlife of Abdul’, it was the mid-point. I think it’s more that I let myself take risks, and the conditions need to equal the risk being acceptable. What pressure do the circumstances create? And is it believable? Or is my character going to do something which doesn’t make sense, in which case all integrity is lost.

10.   What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Hardest thing is sticking to the self-imposed deadlines. It’s too easy to move stuff around and not give it the right level of importance. Also, you really need to have a plan, and that goes beyond the writing and impacts the marketing. If you don’t have a plan, you can just throw stuff up onto kindle and watch it wallow around the 3 millionth sales mark, in which case you end up giving it away for free, which feels rather deflating. You need to have a plan to catch readers. It’s so very important to have a strategy. The easiest thing is to spend all day at home, not physically speaking to anyone, but you won’t get bored as you’re so focused on nailing the story and getting the characters right. It’s great to feel like you’ve had a full day which you’ve really enjoyed.

  11.   Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Yes, I constantly have my head stuck in my kindle, normally when I should be asleep. My favourites are really too many to mention. I tend to enjoy the classics, and JK Rowlings, Dan Browns, Ken Follett. See, now I’m name dropping.

12.   What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The main advantages of self-publishing are that there are no barriers to entry, you just get on with it. Creatively, you are in charge of the whole process, but at the same time it is your business, you have to make it work. The disadvantages for self-publishing are that you have to push it, no one is going to do anything for you. It is incredibly tough getting it off the ground. You have to get your head around the I.T, and the upfront costs is your time to write (you’re not living off a juicy advance). Plus, you have to pay the copy editors and cover designers, etc. You have to network and get the contacts. I’d still choose self-publishing over traditional. Once you have an author platform you can court the traditional market, as you have something established, but at that point it’s a question of whether you want to part with the lions share of earnings to cover their fees and what will you get in return. Traditional is good if you’re a celebrity and/or you know nothing about marketing, as in reality sales are the net result of marketing. Also, if you are willing to go through the heartbreak of getting rejection letters pile up again and again, then traditional is for you. Although I would caution that in either game self-publishing or traditional you need to be less sensitive to rejection and that’s not easy but it is a life lesson.

13.   Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

People get stuck in the ‘aspiring author’ stage for too long. In any other industry it’s          called procrastination, that sounds really harsh but there is a distinction between aspiring and brainstorming. As a writer, I believe it’s important to get to first draft, and not judge your work before you get there. Then at least you have a basis to work from. It’s normal to be antsy about the first thing you write, I was so precious about ‘The Afterlife of Abdul’. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to stop being so pedantic, I would have saved myself years. It was only peer reviews that gave me confidence. If your first draft is locked away you’re robbing yourself of the opportunity to grow. Also, some people think, no I can’t be a writer until I’ve done this expensive Faber course, or whatever. The only way to hone your craft as a writer is by writing more words and   reading more, development will come. The courses and all that good stuff can come later, when you have a piece that you want to analyse with your group. If you want to do it, sit down and make it happen, the techniques will come.

  14.   How do you relax?

Generally with a good movie and popcorn, but I lose interest if I can guess the script         which tends to happen 80% of the time. My husband is always shocked and I constantly  get questioned if I’ve seen the movie before. I’m not a good person to watch movies with.

  15.   What is your favourite book and why?

Again too many, and I think the answer to this will change, based on my mood, but right now I’ll tell you that I love to re-read the Great Gatsby every so often. I love the picture painted of Old/New money and the social distinctions it brings. The aspirations that drive the characters. Most of all, I love the moral ambiguity of Daisy Buchanan, I love moral ambiguity as a theme. My Jinn in my most recent story ‘The Walls of Istanbul’, is undergoing something similar. Female characters with moral ambiguity are always fascinating. Lady Macbeth wanted the crown and didn’t care if her husband killed the      King to get it. Even Elizabeth Bennett changed her mind after she saw Mark Darcys                house, although no one ever talks about that, a little subtle coincidence that Austin          cleverly threw in.

Thank you Ayse, for a very interesting, in-depth delve into your world. I will be sure to check out your works in the future.

Check out Ayse’s links below:

facebook

twitter

goodreads

Author interview with Beverley Hollowed

 

Hi World. Another week, yet another great interview.

Today I’m very lucky to be speaking to Beverley Hollowed, author of Beautifully Unfinished, which is her 12th released title.

Hi Beverley, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born and bred a true Dubliner. I live there with my husband Brian and my two sons. I am a full-time writer/mother/domestic goddess. I love anything creative, which includes writing, drawing, crocheting, jewellery making and designing my own book covers. I also love Karaoke. I am a dreadful Karaoke Queen.

  1. When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I think I always wanted to be a writer. I started off writing poems and short stories. Then I discovered Sweet Dreams books, and that’s when I fell in love with books. I wanted to write my own Sweet Dreams. I was about eighteen when I started writing my first proper full-length story, but back then I had no idea how or where to get it published. I gave up writing when my boys came along, but the longing to write never went away until finally I gave in and started writing again about four years ago and wrote Forever and Always.

2.   What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Well, I write mostly because I have a story to tell. Yes the NYT Bestseller list would be awesome. I think all authors would love to achieve that, but for me, I love when my stories touch someone. I would like to think that one day, people will be talking about my books, and saying to their friend, “Oh my god, you have to read this book.” That for me is the goal.

3.   Which writers inspire you?

I love Sylvain Reynard. I love the Gabriel books. I love the writing style and the buildup of the story. I also like Cecelia Ahern, Shelia O Flanagan, and Sinead Moriarty. But if I am honest, I think reading 50 shades pushed me into trying to write again, so maybe it was EL James that inspired me.

4.   So, what have you written?

My first book was Forever and Always, which I released in December 2012. Since then I have released eleven more full-length books, included two series. I also wrote a short story called Changing Hearts an anthology for charity, which was only available for a limited time. I will be releasing the story as a novella over the next couple of weeks. My latest release was in June, it was called Beautifully Unfinished, and was probably my hardest story to write because of the subject matter. Forever and Always is probably my favourite though, as there is a lot of me in that book, and I still can’t ready through it all without crying, especially chapter 10. Plus it was my first fictional baby.

5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I have several WIP at the moment, but right now I am working on two books. One is called A New Normal. It’s the story of Grace, who has to learn to live again after losing her husband in a car accident. I recently lost both my mom and dad, and I learned that after you lose someone you love, the normal you know is gone forever, and you have to find a new normal. That is what this story is about, learning to live after loss. The other one is called Loving Noah. It’s primarily a romance, but it also deals with how hard life can be with a child with special needs. As I have a son with special needs, so it’s something close to my heart.

6.   Why do you write?

I always say writing in not what I do; it’s who I am, but I guess I write because it’s my escape. As I said before, my youngest son has special needs, and life can be hard and often very stressful. Writing gives me an outlet to live a thousand different lives, in a thousand different places. Well, that and the voices in my head tell me to….hehehe. All my best friends live in my mind. Sometimes we fall out, and I get writer’s block from hell. In all honesty, I think writing is just in my soul. It’s all I want to do. It’s what makes me happy.

7.   Where do your ideas come from?

From anywhere really. A song, a scene from a movie or TV program. Very often they come from dreams. Forever and Always was a dream, so was Finding Scarlet, (and considering Finding Scarlet is about a girl left for dead by a serial killer, I sometimes wonder if I need professional help lol)

8.   Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I start with a fact file, giving each character a name, age, job title and backstory. Then I try to write a plot, but I almost never stick to it. More often than not, the character does their own thing, and I am like, okay if that’s where you wanna go.

9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’m not sure, I would like to think that I have evolved a lot. I do like to challenge myself. A couple of my stories have difficult subject matter, but I will always try and improve my writing. I will listen to constructive criticism,

10.  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

The hardest part, that’s easy, publishing. The editing, proofing, formatting, and uploading it to Kindle or whatever platform, oh and writing a blurb, they are a nightmare. The easiest part for me is the developing the character. Sometimes I forget they aren’t actually real people because they feel real to me. Once I have a clear picture in my head, I get lost in writing the words and that’s the part I love the most.

11.   Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I used to read five to six books a week. Now I am nowhere near that limit, but I do try to read when I can, but it can be hard when you are writing so much. My favourite author is Sylvain Reynard. I am very much a fan girl, and would love the chance to meet Sylvain someday. I also love Shelia O Flanagan, Cecelia Ahern and Sinead Moriarty.

12.   What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

Well, the advantages of self-publishing are you work to your own time frame. You have complete control over every aspect of your book, and as I am a control freak, this is huge for me. The disadvantages are you are doing it all on your own. You have to depend on friends to help get the word out. My ideal would be just to write the story and then give it to someone else to do the rest, well I say that, but like I said, I am a control freak, so I would probably be climbing the walls worrying about things I can’t control.

13.   Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

First thing always is, don’t read negative reviews. You are gonna get them, we all do. Not everyone will like you, and that’s fine, just remember that it’s one person’s opinion. Secondly, keep your inner circle small. Networking it very important, but the book world is a little like high school, and it can get very bitchy. So have a couple of friends you truly trust, that have your back. Thirdly, don’t rant on any social media platform. We all feel like doing it from time to time, but I think authors that rant, or are constantly negative are destroying their brand. Finally, don’t get sucked into bitching. I have a saying, “someone else’s monkey, someone else’s circus.” Just don’t get involved, because there is always two sides, and you are always gonna piss someone off.

14.   How do you relax?

I love to watch Grey’s Anatomy, I have watched it from the start about a dozen times now. When I want to chillax, I stick on some Greys and put my feet up. I also like to crochet, and I like designing covers. (I may need an intervention). I love to listen to music, and I drive my family nuts singing. My favourite thing I guess is to hang out with my hubs, who is also my bestie. We have been together since I was 19, so that is 23 years now, which is odd as I am still only 21..shhhh

15.  What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is PS I love you (hated the movie). I read that every summer. It makes me cry every single time I read it, and that to me is the mark of a good book. It was the first book I read that was set in Ireland, and I knew where the places are she was talking about, so it made it more real for me.

Thanks Bev. It was great speaking to you. You’ve given us a real insight into what makes you tick, what inspires you, and what you dream about!

Please check out Bev’s links below:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Beverelyhollowed2012Author/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Bevhollowed

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bevhollowed/

Tumblr http://thegreatromantic.tumblr.com/

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

 

 

 

Brave the shave

Gemma Tucker

Gemma is having a short back and sides, all for a worthy cause. Please check out her page. All donations are very much appreciated.

Author interview with Catherine M Byrne

 

Hi. Another week, another interview

Today I’m very lucky to be speaking to Catherine M Byrne, author of the Raumsey Series.

Hi Catherine. Thank you for giving up your time for us. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

1.     When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

I have always wanted to write. When I was six, my teacher asked us to take a little poem we liked to school so that we could recite it at the Christmas treat. I found something, and I also wrote something. I guess mine wasn’t very good, but the teacher was very tactful. ‘They’re both lovely,’ she said, ‘but we’ll only have time for one each. I think we’ll have this one.’ As you can guess, she did not choose the one I had written! When I was eight, I started drawing cartoon strips and my characters had balloons coming from their mouths, with their words. In my teens I wrote songs lyrics and poems. None that were ever performed, I might add. Then life got in the way, and I became an artist in my spare time. I have only been writing seriously for the last ten years. I have had a few shorts published in women’s magazines, but I really want to write novel.

2.     What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would really like to become better known further afield. My books sell well locally and are well reviewed, but as I self-publish, I need to up my marketing technique.

3.     Which writers inspire you?

That’s very hard to say, I read such varied work and my preferences change with the years. I used to like horrors – not any more. Then murder mysteries. I’ve kinda gone off them now. However, I still love Peter May and Anne Cleeves. The funny thing is, I seldom read family sagas, yet that’s the category I seem to have been slotted into with my own work.

4.     So, what have you written?

Apart from my short stories, I wrote a murder mystery, Gone in the Morning, (but you won’t find it anywhere, because it still lies in a drawer in my house). As I was writing, I realised just how little I knew about police procedure, so I gave up on that.

I was the last baby born on the now deserted island of Stroma, just of the north coast of Scotland. The members of my writing circle constantly tried to persuade me to write something about the island. Someone had already written a factual book, and anyway, I wanted to write fiction. Okay, I had the place, now for the plot.

Then the story fell into my lap. A woman from Canada got in touch with me on the net. She was doing her genealogy and her grandparents came from Stroma. However, as far as she knew, her grandfather did not emigrate to Canada with his wife and children. So what happened to him, when did he die, where was he buried? Unfortunately we were never able to find out. She did tell me the story of her grandparents as far as she knew, and with her permission, I used them for the basis of my novel. No one seems to know what really happened to the character on whom Davie Reid is based, but I hope he’d be happy with the life I gave him.

It was a help that I also had the many stories of island life and shenanigans passed down to me by my mother and grandmother, and the book, Follow the Dove, was an instant success locally. There followed number two, The Broken Horizon, three, The Road to Nowhere, and four, Isa’s Daughter, will be published later this year.

I have a blog, which I get to occasionally, I have written some poems, and a book of shorts, Gone with the Tide.

I have sold stories to My Weekly magazine.

I have written a novella, contemporary woman’s fiction, set in the mountains of Berridale, not far from where I live.

5.     What are you working on at the minute?

I have just finished ‘Isa’s Daughter.’ Now I would like to write a psychological thriller, so I’m twirling ideas round in my brain.

6.     Why do you write?

Because I have to, otherwise I’ll explode.

7.     Where do your ideas come from?

Everywhere. Dramas are being acted out all around us all the time. All I have to do is take one, tease it out, ask the question, what if? Eventually a story is there just begging to be written.

8.       Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I have a vague idea of a plot, but everything changes. I had an ending in mind for Isa’s Daughter, but my characters refused to bend to my will, and took me in a completely different direction. I love it when that happens

9.       How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’ve certainly evolved since my first attempts at writing. I go by the belief that writing is a constant learning curve. I still attend workshops and seminars, and go to hear established writers talk where possible. (I live in a rather remote area) My work needs much less editing now than previously, and I am happy to help others along the way.

Since first attending the AGM of the Scottish Association of Writers in 1999, I have won several prizes, commendations and have been short listed both for short stories and chapters of my novels.

In 2009, I won second prize in the general novel category for ‘Follow The Dove’ and have since written two more novels in the series, ‘The Broken Horizon’ and ‘The Road to Nowhere’. I have attended an Arvon Foundation course and a Hi-Arts writing program, receiving positive feedback on my work from both.

Last year I came second equal for the best self published novel in a competition run by the Scottish Association of Writers.

10.     What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

Marketing, at least for me. But if we’re speaking about the process of writing, it must be plotting. Once I have the plot, however, I let my characters take over and lead me where they will. The easiest thing is umm, listening to praise for my work! I find that real easy!

11.      Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I always have a book on the go, although I do most of my reading in bed at night. As already stated, I love Peter May, especially his Hebridean series. Ken Follett is another favourite of mine, and Jodi Picoult. I read a lot of Ian Rankin and John Grisham. I also try to support indie authors by reading someone new at least twice a month, and if I enjoy a book, I will look for that author again.

12.     What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The main advantage is having total control of your books. If you want to change anything, you can. Apart from that, you don’t have to tailor your work to fit in with any particular genre. Initially I was turned down by traditional publishers because my books are not strictly family sagas, neither are they romantic historicals. I believe they are so much more. What are they? Publishers need you to be definite, to almost write to a template, and to write what’s in vogue at the moment. I’m not happy doing that, I want to write what flows from my mind.

The main disadvantage is not having access to adequate marketing.

13.     Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

Read good books, and keep writing. Develop a thick skin and listen to whatever advice you’re given. Remember, if one person says something, it’s a personal opinion, but if two or more say the same thing, then take it on board. And, above all, never give up.

14.    How do you relax?

I walk my two dogs or have a glass of wine with my friends.

15.     What is your favourite book and why?

I’ll have to say, Gone with the Wind. Maybe because it’s the first book that left a lasting impression on me.

Many thanks Catherine for a look into your world and works. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Be sure to check out Catherine’s link below:

https:// www.catherinebyrne-author.com

https://www.facebook.com/FollowTheDove/?ref=bookmarks

http://isabellacatherinebyrne.blogspot.co.uk/

 

The Sister, a review

 

I purchased this book after spotting the striking cover on the internet. After reading the blurb I decided that this book was right up my street. I won’t spoil the story for would be readers, giving away too much of the plot for you.. My review is based on how the book made me feel. First off, it’s incredibly well written. The author has a real knack for conveying human emotion, to the point where my eyes were misting over reading the unfolding yarn. Little things, like a character kicking the bottom of the door because it always sticks just added to the descriptive narrative that Jensen paints. It’s not a happy story. In fact, as the pages turn, dark clouds loom over The Sister. It’s not scary in a ‘jump out of your skin’ sense. However, cold dread seems to ooze from the book as one nightmare rolls into another. The twist at the end is a real bolt of lightening, bringing all the loose ends together from a story told in the here and now, along with the past.

 

I cannot wait to read more from Jensen. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes well crafted, darkening thrillers.  Or to anyone who just loves books.

☆☆☆☆☆

 

Author interview with G.S Tucker

 

Welcome all. Another week, another interview.

This week I’m very lucky to be speaking to G.S. Tucker, author of The Aurora Stone, which hits the virtual shelves as we speak. She is originally from London heading to The West Country as a young child. She then headed north, to the land of mountains and heather, to snare herself a Highlander. After successfully doing so, she headed back down to The West Country, where she resides with her family, enjoying the sea air and the occasional parrot.

Hi Gemma, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

1.     When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?

That is an interesting question. It was never my intention to write a book. I have always considered myself an avid reader though. It was actually a friend of mine, Beverly Hollowed. She is also an author and was completely convinced I had a book in me. About a month later I began to have a reoccurring dream. It drove me crazy, so on the fourth night I got up and wrote it down and the opening of The Aurora Stone appeared on the page. You can imagine once I shared it with Beverly, there was no way she was going to let me leave it there. So I carried on writing. I have truly surprised myself!

2.     What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I am not by nature and ambitious person. My only wish for this title is that people enjoy it. If it does well then that’s a bonus. Books have always been a huge part of my life and I have very rarely found one I didn’t enjoy. This is my contribution to escapism.

3.     Which writers inspire you?

There are too many to list! Because I read all genres it is difficult to pin-point who is better. I think every author has their own magic. I do love J.K Rowling. I love her style. Stefanie Meyer is another of my favorites. Her work, especially The Host was just so gripping. I couldn’t put it down. I love Beverly Hollowed’s work. She has this way of writing romance that makes you totally believe the characters are real. Recently I discovered Darcy Coates, I literally love the way she weaves a story and have had a reading marathon over the last few weeks. Just amazing! The author my late father introduced me too as a pre-teen was James Herbert and I still love his work. It still scares me! He gets right under my skin and makes me really think.

4.     So, what have you written?

I actually haven’t written anything besides my new book. It’s all very new to me.

5.     What are you working on at the minute?

I haven’t started it yet but I do have a plot outline for another book based in the same universe as The Aurora stone. All I can tell you at this stage is it is a tri world book. So I have no idea if I can pull it off. I guess we will find out.

6.     Why do you write?

I write to escape I guess. When I am writing I am away from everyday life. To be able to become totally immersed in another world for a few hours is amazing, and to be able to create that world myself is an added bonus, I can go anywhere! My imagination is a bit out there as you will discover if you read my work.

7.     Where do your ideas come from?

The idea for The Aurora Stone came to be in a rather persistent re-occurring dream, I have always had very vivid dreams. I no longer watch horror movies because of it. The second one I am about to start was born from a character in my first book. I find her unique position in the story lends her to have a story of her own,

8.    Do you work to an outline or plot or do prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I try to have a plot. I didn’t with The Aurora Stone until the last third of the book, and that was just to make sure I tied up the loose ends, not leaving a massive plot hole. I have tried to plot my new work in progress but I seriously doubt I will stick to it. The idea will remain the same but the structure of the story most likely will not. I find plots restrictive. I am the kind of person that wakes up a 2am with a great idea for a chapter and puts a note in my phone for the morning.

9.     How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I have more confidence in myself. I fell I am able to take an idea and mold it now, whereas before I always believed I couldn’t. Writing is such a fluid creative outlet. It is difficult to say how I have evolved this early on in my writing carrier.

10.     What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

For me it was putting too much pressure on myself. You hear people talk about writer’s block and I can totally understand where they are coming from. If you over think it you just can’t write. I also found the editing really hard going. I got quite cross with myself for making silly mistakes.

11.     Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read on average five books a week. At the moment I have The Cursed Child to start and I am super excited about it. I have just finished the divergent series by Veronica Roth. I love it. She has a great imagination. I have so many authors that I love. My new favourite, I only discovered her a few weeks ago, Is Darcy Coates, I really wanted to read some horror/thrillers and I found her on my Kindle. I have read five of her books and she is definitely on my list now.

12.     What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing     against being published or the other way around?

That is such a hard question. I would say that self-publishing is great as you make your own choices and timetable. There are so many channels now that it is possible for a self-published author to make it into the shops.

It is really hard work self-publishing. You have to do all your own promotion, because if you don’t get it out there no one else will. With a publishing house you need an agent which you have to pay for and then hope that a publishing house will take your work. That sounds very defeatist and I don’t mean it to. If you don’t have the funds for that rout, self-publishing is a way to share your work and maintain complete control. It’s about finding the right path for you and your book.

13.     Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

If you have an idea, go for it. Don’t second guess it and never throw ideas away. Think about your motives for wanting to be a writer. I personally am not in this for fame and fortune. If that is your motivation that’s cool, just don’t let it be the only reason. Write because you want too or need to. Write because it’s all you think about and you have a million ideas in your head that keep you up at night. Beverly Hollowed once said to me, being a writer, is part of who you are, I really believe that. Above all else enjoy it. It’s a creative art not a test.

14.     How do you relax?

I read, or I go out for walks with my children. I have a pet parrot and I spent time training him which is always an experience! My oldest son love to bake so we quite often make things at the weekend together. I also love movies. Fantasy and Sci-Fi are my favourites but I do watch action and girly rom-coms to.

15.      What is your favorite book and why?

My favourite book is Forever and Always by Beverly Hollowed. It is the best love story I have ever read. I cry every time I read it and I have two copies, so I read it a lot! I love the characters. They are so relatable. I actually tried to have a conversation about the male lead in the book with my husband, because I was heartbroken by a scene he was in. My husband had no idea who I was talking about. I got that immersed in the story I believed the characters were real. Now if that is not a sign of a great book I don’t know what is.

 

Wow! That was great. Thank you so much for your time.

Check out G.S Tucker’s new book, The Aurora Stone, available on Amazon. I expect lots more in the future from this emerging talent.

Here are her links:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

https://www.facebook.com/Author-GS-Tucker-971799062842818/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/littleGemz84?lang=en