The Aurora Stone, by Alana Grieg

An Elvish girl with changeable eyes will lose her family through the void. Three companions she will travel with. They will be identified by their gems. To get back what was lost, the Aurora stone must return to its home. In no more than a year and four days must this quest be completed, or the realms will be pulled into the void and lost.” 
An ancient prophecy, a special gift and an epic adventure awaited Evangeline of Hermoria. On her 18th birthday Eve’s whole world is turned upside down. Learning of her long-lost twin brother and the prophecy, she alone must fulfil. Eve sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. Battles are fought and friendships made, as Eve journeys through the realms of Orea.
All the while a great evil is on her tail. It’s aim? To stop the prophecy coming to pass at any cost!
Will Eve fulfil the prophecy and save all of Orea from the void?
Will she ever find her twin brother?
One thing Eve knows for sure, she will fight to the death and beyond to save her friends, and all that she holds dear.
After all darkness cannot survive where there is light.

My review:

☆☆☆☆☆

I read this book after being drawn in by the cover. It tells the story of a young elf, who must fulfil a prophecy, starting on her 18th birthday. What follows is a quest of darkness against light.

The author does so well, painting a wonderful picture of fantastic realms, intricately detailed. The supporting characters are not just there to make up the numbers. There is depth to them, which the author does well to embellish. Caleb is particularly good. Flawed, yet worthy.

This book would really appeal to the YA market. But not just that. It will appeal to many other readers, who want to become lost in a tale of evil versus good. There is darkness and plenty of action, some of it bloody. However, the story is told with a real gentleness. The author draws you into her world, and worlds beyond.

A great debut, from an author who hopefully has more stories to come.


Author Interview, Zizi Cole

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing my good friend, Zizi Cole

Her debut novel, Sweet Nightmares was released at the weekend. I’m currently reading it, captivating me from page one.

Hi Zizi. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi Phil! I’m really excited to be here. I am a mother of two wonderful little boys. I live in a small town in Missouri, USA. Before I started writing, I was a preschool teacher for a few years, then I went back to college and received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources.

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

It was actually a recent development. I mean, I have always loved writing and everything to do with books. When I was a teenager I started a book, but I got stuck and put it away.

  • What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would love to be a bestseller. My biggest dream though is to be able to quit my muggle job and be a full-time writer.

Join the club mate!  

  •  Which writers inspire you?

Oh goodness, there are so many. I would have to say that Laken Cane is one that I look up to the most. She is a great writer, and a fantastic person.

  • So, what have you written?

When I was younger I used to write poetry that I had published on poetry.com. I wrote my first full-length novel, Sweet Nightmares. Sweet Nightmares is the first book of the DAMNED series.

  • What are you working on at the minute?

I am currently working on the second book of the DAMNED series, Sweet Visions. I also am developing an idea and doing research on another book that is a dystopian type book. I don’t want to go into too much detail on it yet.

  • Why do you write?

I need to. I have noticed that writing tends to calm my soul. It settles my mind, unless the characters are running rampant. When I was a kid, my cousins and I would sit around and tell stories for days on it. We would keep the story line the same and did character building and setting scenes. The stories would get pretty intense.

  • Where do your ideas come from?

They just come to me. I can be doing anything an idea will hit me. I was in the shower when I got an idea for a vital part of Sweet Nightmares, which was obviously inconvenient. I try to keep a minimum of one notebook with me at all times in case an idea pops up. I tend to get most of my ideas while I am at my muggle job.

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

I am definitely a see where an idea takes me type of writer. I have problems plotting or making outlines. Occasionally I will write down points that need to happen or will happen, but I rarely follow it exactly.

  • How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I am getting really creative in ways that I need to start to torture and maim people. *Disclosure- Any torture or maiming that is do is strictly fictional. No one was hurt in the process.*

Lol. That’s funny. I can’t wait to get to the gory stuff….

  •  What is the hardest and easiest things about writing?

The hardest thing is definitely coming up with the blurb. You aren’t supposed to give too much information, but keep it exciting and readable. I also tend to have troubles, well forget more or less, that the reader can’t see my characters the way I do and I have to describe them a little better. The easiest is writing the story.

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

I always read when I have time. I actually am currently reading Unknown by Phil Price. I have several favorite authors. Laken Cane, Joanna Morris, Elda Lore, Jeaniene Frost, Karen Robards, Laurell K. Hamiltons (her earlier stuff), Shannon Mayer, Wendy Knight, Suzanne Collins, Pippa DaCosta, and so many others. I know I’m forgetting some. I love reading, especially new authors. They are full of so much potential.

I hear that Phil Price guy is pretty good….. I’ll have to interview him soon…

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

One of the main advantages of being self-published is that you set your own deadlines and can work at your own pace. You also have complete control of the book. The disadvantage of being self-published is that you have to do everything on your own, and you have to pay for everything that a publisher provides. I feel very fortunate that I was able get signed on with a publisher. I feel that it will help my books get more exposure and they are getting the best treatment.

  • Do you have any advice for other budding authors?

What I tend to tell people is to just start writing. Don’t force it, don’t stress. Just write what is on your mind and before long, you will be writing stories. It’s a lot of work and can be discouraging, but it is worth it.

  • How do you relax?

I read, listen to music or watch a comedy on television. I also like to play with my kids. They are always entertaining.

  • What is your favourite book and why?

That is probably the hardest question you have asked so far, haha! My favorite series is the Rune Alexander series by Laken Cane. It is a kick-ass series that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I love it. It gives you the full experience of emotions.

  • Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

I would have to say Rune Alexander because honestly, she’s a bad-ass. I love the fact that she is self-sufficient yet has her flaws as well.

Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I’ve enjoyed talking to you.

Many thanks Zizi. It’s been a pleasure to delve into your world. Best of luck with Sweet Nightmares and all future projects.

Zizi’s links can be found below. Check back soon for more…….

https://twitter.com/zizicole

https://www.facebook.com/authorzizicole/

https://www.amazon.com/Zizi-Cole/e/B06Y682JNW

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16600193.Zizi_Cole

Author Interview, A.J Griffiths-Jones

 

Welcome all. Thanks for dropping by again.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing A.J Griffiths-Jones

Hi A.J. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

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

From a very early age. I used to write plays for my cousins & I to act out at family gatherings and, in my teens, I used to fill exercise books with stories that I’d made up.

    2.   What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I am interested in writing across a wide spectrum of genres from Victorian crime to cookery books. I love challenges and writing out of my comfort zone enables me to push myself to new heights. Ultimately though I would like my work to be adapted for film or a T.V. series.

    3.   Which writers inspire you?

I love the characters created by Alexander McCall Smith, the imaginative stories told by Kazuo Ishiguro & the timeless genius of Charles Dickens. I never tire of reading anything by these authors.

    4.   So, what have you written? My first book (published in May 2015) was ‘Prisoner 4374’, the autobiographical tale of convicted poisoner & Jack the Ripper suspect, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream. I am immensely proud to say that it won the ‘Jack the Ripper Book of the Year Award 2016.’ I have also written four cosy mysteries, ‘The Villagers’, ‘The Seasiders’, ‘The Congregation’ and ‘The Circus’ (due to be published next month). I am also a regular feature writer for ‘The Dagger’ a true crime magazine.

   5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I am currently researching a second Victorian crime book and from May, I will be writing the final book in my mystery series. I generally work on two books at once.

   6.   Why do you write?

Writing is my passion. In 2014 I suffered a stroke and was unable to work. Writing has given me my life back and inspired me to explore new avenues which I might never have dared to do had I not become a published author. It’s taught me not to take anything for granted.

   7.   Where do your ideas come from?

Anywhere & everywhere. I am always jotting down ideas for new books, sometimes I simply wake up in the middle of the night with a thought or storyline, and of course I’m also inspired by historical crime and mysteries. If there’s a story, I’ll find it!

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

I always run through the plot in my mind like a screenplay before I commence writing. This process usually takes about a month. This ensures that when I actually come to put the work together, I can see my characters clearly, hear them speaking, know how they interact with each other and how they live in the environment around them. If I’m working on a period setting, I always research the era thoroughly too.

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

I’m learning to listen to my readers. Reviews show that my work is becoming more and more popular as my most recent books come out & I’m becoming more confident in my work as time goes on.

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

The hardest thing for me is actually switching off. I’m a terrible insomniac & sleep very few hours. Sometimes I have to listen to my body and take a break. The easiest thing is creating my characters. Once the scene is set, they just seem to fall into place, which I’m very grateful for.

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

I read at least one book a week, sometimes more. I’ve recently discovered Scandinavian crime writer Camilla Lackberg and I’ve been enjoying her thrillers immensely. I’m also a big fan of Paulo Coelho, the morals & lessons beneath his stories are quite moving.

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

I don’t have experience of being self-published, as I’ve been lucky enough to have been offered contracts by two very good publishers. I would imagine that the down-side of self-publishing is the amount of time that one would have to dedicate to marketing.

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

I believe that there is a reader for everyone. Don’t be disheartened by negative reviews or comments about your work, just strive to improve. Get yourself out there and somebody somewhere will love your work.

  14.  How do you relax?

I love cooking, experimenting with new recipe ideas and hosting dinner parties. I also grow all my own vegetables which is great fun. I swim two to three times a week and I also love travelling. As soon as we return from one holiday, the map comes out and we plan our next trip.

  15.  What is your favourite book and why?

I have a few firm favourites, but I’d say the one that I love the most is ‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova. It has just the right mix of historical and supernatural fiction to sweep you away to another realm.

  16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

Precious Ramotswe from ‘The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ by Alexander McCall Smith. She’s hilarious, always getting up to mischief & using her skills of detection to find out people’s secrets. She’s also a kind, bubbly woman, the kind you’d want fighting your corner, something that I always strive to be.

Thank you A.J for a lovely chat. Quite inspirational I may add. I wish you the best of for the new release.

Stay tuned for more author chats.

Here are A.Js links:

https://www.facebook.com/AJGriffiths-Jones-Author-Page-400960520088267/

https://twitter.com/authoraj66

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13931915.A_J_Griffiths_Jones

 

Author interview, Chloe Hammond

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Chloe Hammond

Hi Chloe. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

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

My primary school teacher read us a poem when I was seven, about dragonflies, and I was enthralled by how the words painted such a clear picture. Reading and writing don’t come easily to me, but after that I was addicted, and playing with words became my favourite pastime, after reading.

2.   What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I have a dream that I can afford to support myself and my husband and pets from my writing, and we live in a lovely little home by the coast in France or Spain- I love the sun. I write a book a year or so, which while whisking my readers away on an adventure, also opens doors in their minds to new possibilities. I have a little separate annex where I offer writers retreats, offering peace and support for fellow writers. I have views over fields of sunflowers and vines, over a pretty town, and in the distance, the sea.

3.   Which writers inspire you?

Barbara Kingsolver brings huge social history issues to the fore, by telling stories about the minutiae of ordinary people’s lives; Terry Pratchett told so many truths about this world and real people in his stories about made up worlds and peoples. He took the ancient route of retelling old stories, which access the lessons in them that we’ve forgotten. Finally, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who explores ancient folk and fairy stories, tracing their oldest roots, before Grimm and Disney prettied them up, and explores the essential truths they contain that we women, especially, benefit from learning.

4.   So, what have you written? I have only been writing properly for about three years, since I developed anxiety and depression, and it has to fit around a full time job, house renovation, husband, etc, so I haven’t written as much as I would like. I self-published my first novel, Darkly Dreaming, Book 1 of The Darkly Vampire Trilogy about 18months ago. I’ve also had two poems accepted in two Cake and Quill charity anthologies.

5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I am working on Darkly Dancing, Book 2 of The Vampire Trilogy, and really hope to be able to publish it for Halloween this year. I am also polishing a short zombie story for Stirling Roberts Publishing’s competition, and really hope it will win a place in their anthology.

6.   Why do you write?

I love words. I love the way I can have a day dream or nightmare, and imagine an exciting story, then with carefully placed symbols I can encourage you to experience those same, or at least very similar, feelings. I studied creative writing as part of my degree twenty odd years ago, but after graduation it was always something I was going to do tomorrow, when the timing was perfect, so I could sit down and plan it all, and write the perfect literary masterpiece. By setting up such grand plans I didn’t write at all, apart from the occasional poem to make sense of my own feelings. When I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I recognised I had to allow my creative side to breathe again, so I just started writing. I didn’t worry about it being perfect, I just wrote what I enjoyed writing, honed that to the best it could be, and hoped other people would enjoy reading it.

7.   Where do your ideas come from?

Symptoms of the anxiety and depression included lots of terrifying nightmares, largely about vampires. I started writing these scenes, and then created the story around it. Once I did, my characters introduced themselves to me, and quickly developed lives of their own, and very demanding personalities!

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

No, it was planning to do all the plotting and outlining which became a big hurdle for me. I start each writing session with an approximate idea where I want the story to go, but Rae and Layla will come along and totally take over so the story gets a whole other slant I wasn’t expecting.

9.   How do you think you’ve evolved creatively

I can see the difference in my own writing between when I first started, and my more current writing. It flows more easily and is richer, even too me as the writer. Like any skill set it develops and strengthens with use.

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

I hate marketing and self-promotion. It does not come naturally to me at all. One day I will earn enough to hire someone to do that side of things for me. However, I do love chatting with readers and other writers, either face to face or online, if that was all that I had to do, I’d be delighted.

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

I am utterly addicted to reading, I read every day. When I lived in France for 6 months in the 90’s I couldn’t find any books in English initially, so I ended up reading the sports pages in a week old Broadsheet newspaper, and I hate sports. Eventually I found a shop that sold the classics for 99p, so I ended up reading a lot more classic literature than IO would have otherwise. I love Deborah Harkness, she’s my favourite fantasy author, Pratchett and Kingsolver as I said above, and some of the old American classic authors, like Zora Neale Hurston who writes like she’s in the room talking to you. The books I like best are the ones that offer more than just a story.

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

I’m a bit of a perfectionist; I wanted my cover art, website, etc, to be exactly how I wanted them. I hate it when people don’t quite have the same vision as me, and they insist on doing things there way, not mine. Self- publishing allows me to do things exactly how I want them, so everything reflects the inner vision I have for my ‘brand’, even if it does take longer. It’s a huge amount of work, and a steep learning curve; I’ve spent a lot of money getting a good website designed, but I’m learning new skills every day, and one day I hope to pass them on to others with my writers retreat. I may even open my own cooperative publishing house if I ever feel confident enough. I have been offered a couple of deals with small publishers, but turned them down in my determination to do it myself and learn all the lessons for myself. It may be slower this way, but it’s thorough!

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

Just write. Don’t worry about getting it perfect; just get some words onto the page. You will slash and burn pages and pages later, and add and expand, and cut and paste, and change tenses and names, but first of all you need to tell yourself the story. If you worry about getting the first draft perfect, you’ll overwhelm yourself. Think of it like baking- the pummeling and kneading are essential parts of the baking process, as is resting, but you need the dough, mixed, in the bowl first.

14.  How do you relax?

Reading, cooking, and cuddling with my husband, rescue dogs, and fat senile cat while we binge on box sets like Game of Thrones, Catastrophe, and Broadchurch.

15.  What is your favourite book and why?

One? You can’t ask me to choose one! One of my favourites is the Book Thief because the delicacy of the language describing brutality and love is exquisite.

16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

Pratchett’s Esme Weatherwax, she is one of society’s odd balls, like me, but she doesn’t give two hoots. She has her best friend, and her pets and she’s happy. I would love to be able to not care what people think in that way, it makes you much happier. I’m far too sensitive, and have to constantly monitor myself so I don’t tie myself in knots trying to please other people. I also love the idea of being able to out poker hardened sailors simply by scratching my ear.

Thanks Chloe. I love your writers retreat plan. Definitely going to steal that idea. I wish you the very best of luck.

Check back soon for more interviews. Here are Chloe’s links:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Darkly-Dreaming-Book-Vampire-Trilogy/dp/1518834388/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456321659&sr=8-1&keywords=darkly+dreaming

Amazon USA: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017EY1OKY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&tag=readers02-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B017EY1OKY

Small independent online bookstore Mineeye for non-Kindle users:

http://www.mineeye.co.uk/shop/fiction/darkly-dreaming/

Website: http://www.chloehammondauthor.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/chloehammond111

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22449499-darkly-dreaming

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

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Darkly-Dreaming/750124258345038

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/chloehammondauthor

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/chloe-hammond/91/8b6/b50

Google plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102826869219440784952

Author Interview, L.B Stimson

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing L.B. Stimson

Hi L.B. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

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

I’ve always had an inclination towards writing since I was a child. I have an old notebook full of poems which I’ve never shared, maybe someday. I have a college degree in cultural anthropology, but I’ve spent most of my professional career in the communications field in business/education writing. After a life/career change I finally realized writing, in a close tie with photography, is what truly gives me fulfillment, so I decided to take the plunge with the launch of Redwood.

2.   What are your ambitions for your writing career?

To be honest, I hope it creates a source of steady, additional income. My goal is to entertain, even though my writing tends to naturally fall into the dark side of human behavior. I’d like to be remembered as a writer who created memorable characters, each with his or her own frailties and strengths.

3.   Which writers inspire you?

I am blessed to have met a lot of authors since starting this journey who are daily inspirations with their drive, creativity, and willingness to encourage and share ideas. I am generally inspired by writers of long ago–Flaubert, Ingalls-Wilder, Le Fanu due to the challenges they faced technologically to get books into print. I admire their commitment to seeing their art to fruition. More recently, I admire those well-known authors, who can keep churning out works, such as Stephen King and the story behind J.K. Rowling’s success–which teaches us to never give up on ourselves. Am I inspired by one-hit wonder authors? Not too sure, I’d like to envision that sort of success only with more books following to give this career longevity.

4.   So, what have you written?

My first attempt at a full-length novel was my personal story about my conversion to the Catholic faith. Storms of My Faith-How Battling Satan Brought Me to Christ started out as a blog/diary. I have posted excerpts on my web site. It is a deeply personal story and I am still toying with the idea of releasing it in full as an e-book.

5.   What are you working on at the minute?

I am currently working on an extension to Redwood. I had not initially planned for the book to continue into two or even three books, but I love the characters and I wanted to continue their journey. However, I haven’t yet coined it as a “trilogy” because if a reader picks up the second book, there are enough references to Redwood to offer insight into the second book’s plot. I have submitted a children’s early reader series to my publisher (the one cheery thing I’ve written). I am also working on a couple of other books: one is a YA story that chronicles the journey of a young girl in early 1800s who ends up with amazing, supernatural abilities. The other book involves a family caught up in lies, revenge, murder, and includes a paranormal twist.

6.   Why do you write?

One of the main reasons I write is because it clears away the imaginary stories I’ve always had clogging my mind.

7.   Where do your ideas come from?

That’s a difficult question. The story idea for Redwood was born in the wine aisle at Target. I was looking over various labels and happened to mention a recent ghost visitation to my fiancé and well, there you have it. On a more personal level though, my story ideas come from a wild imagination, my abilities to interact with the departed, and my interest in history.

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

I am obsessive about creating timelines and family trees for my characters. Redwood takes place over the better part of 100 years and so to remain historically accurate when mentioning Prohibition, World War II, and even architecture and wine production, it was important to me to remain as historically accurate as possible. I get caught up in research and if I think I’ve missed a date, all writing comes to a stop until I’ve resolved the questionable date. I sketch out various plot ideas if I am not sure where the story is going. And, I do mean sketch, the only way I can process these thoughts is with a pen and paper.

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

I’ve definitely evolved when it comes to creating imagery. I work to make sure I “show” and do not “tell.” I think this is particularly important when creating scenes that involve ghosts. I want to make sure I respect my reader’s imagination and hopefully cause their imagination to run wild.

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

The hardest thing for me is remaining confident in my abilities to create an original, engaging, enjoyable story. The easiest thing for me is creating characters caught up in family lies.

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

I must admit, since I embarked on serious writing, I have spent more time reading the past couple of years than in year’s past. One of my favorite classic books is Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert. Another book that influenced my Redwood characters is A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. Lately, I’ve been immersed in reading Sheridan Le Fanu, I absolutely love the poetic style of his ghostly writing.

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

I feel blessed in that after two rejections from publishers for Redwood, I was offered a publishing contract with an Indie Publisher (KCL Publishing). This has been a wonderful advantage for me because while any author still has to pound the concrete and social media sites to market their work, I haven’t had to involve myself in the details of setting up the Amazon particulars for selling. That being said, I can also imagine the other side and the flexibility a self-published author retains. I enjoy having a partnership with my publisher as that extra responsibility I feel towards them for believing in my book/talents keeps me on point with writing and marketing.

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

Trust your instincts, stay true to your style, and write. Read other authors in your chosen genre, but don’t compare yourself to them. I’ve been studying the use of phrasing and descriptions by Le Fanu because I tend to write with a poetic style myself. Do not let a rejection letter send you into self-doubt, writing is an art and art is subjective.

14.  How do you relax?

Photography is my go-to creative outlet. I also spend a lot of time walking at the river bird watching, (at the ocean when possible), and you can always find me in a cemetery.

15.  What is your favourite book and why?

One of my all-time favorite books is Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson. It is the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker who was captured by Comanches as a child and went on to be the mother of Quanah Parker, a noted Comanche leader. Growing up in Idaho, I was surrounded by Native American history and this story took hold of my imagination and heart. I recently picked up the book again and noticed that the novel begins with Psalm 91, I happen to reference this exact Psalm in Redwood (coincidence)?

16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

I admire the fortitude and self-reliance of Mary Ingles from James Alexander Thom’s novel Follow the River. Mary was a young mother who was kidnapped by Shawnee Indians from her settlement in Virginia (near where I now reside). I see I am getting back to another Native American theme, but I’ve always been fascinated by the history of America’s native population and the small bloodline I have to them according to my family history. Much of my family’s history takes place across the expanse of America’s Wild West and this is most-likely influencing the setting of the YA novel I mentioned–the now abandoned silver mines of Arizona.

Thanks L.B for an in depth look into your world. It has been a pleasure talking to you.

Check back soon for more interviews.

L.B’s links are below:

http://stimsonink.wix.com/stimsonink  amazon.com/author/lbstimson

Twitter: @stimsonink

https://www.facebook.com/redwoodnovel

Author interview, Emma Slaughter

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m chuffed to be interviewing Emma Slaughter.

Hi Emma. Welcome. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name’s Emma, I’m 33 years old, so only just an adult in Hobbit years!

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

I don’t think I realised as such. I never ‘wanted to be a writer’ as in planned it, I just got a story in my head one day that refused to leave until I had written it down, and it spiralled from there.

   2.      What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’m realistic. Very few writers become successful enough to do it full time, much less have a comfortable living off of it. I’m satisfied if I reach people with my writing, no matter how few people that may be. Although the successful writer bit is always a dream, even if it is a pipe one!

  3.    Which writers inspire you?

I used to say people like Stephen King and Jo Rowling, Stephen for the sheer volume of quality work he produces, and Jo for the fact she was one of the rags to riches success stories that every fledgling writer dreams of. Now it’s those I have made friends with online – David Mccaffrey, Chris Trebault-Blay, Rob Enright, Donna Maria McCarthy – real authors who make such an effort with fellow writers. They make you feel like you are part of a community.

   4.    So, what have you written? Only one novel so far – Lonely As A Cloud – a diary from the point of view of the last human being alive, and her journey to find other survivors, interspersed with mother nature explaining why the human race had to be wiped out. I did write poetry when I was a young angsty teen but they were God awful.

   5.    What are you working on at the minute?

I’m currently editing my second book – The Ghost Lights.

    6.   Why do you write?

Because I have stories to tell. Also because it helps my anxiety and depression.

   7.    Where do your ideas come from?

Some from real life, some from noticing a gap in certain subjects (for example there are few books post-apocalyptic that have just one survivor) and some spiral from reading an unusual fact about something. For example The Ghost Lights is inspired by the lights that are left on at all times in a theatre. In reality this stemmed from the fact the lights were gas powered, so a light left on helped prevent the build-up of gas leading to explosions. The fiction was that the light was left on for the theatre’s resident ghost. Although there are no ghosts in the book!

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

A mismatch of methods. I usually start writing from an initial idea, and then if I find it’s stalling a little I will work out a rough outline so I know where to go next.

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

I’ve become more disciplined…for the most part. I’ve also learned how to look at my work objectively, and to ignore reviews. Bad or good, it’s somebody’s opinion.

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

Easiest thing is writing when you have got into the right mind-set. In fact it’s hard to stop when the inspiration hits. The hardest thing can be the opening line.

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

I read a lot! I don’t have a favourite author per se, I just go to the library every couple of weeks and pick up a dozen books.

  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 about self-publishing is that you don’t have to wait for a publisher to decide whether your book is marketable, and that you have total creative control. Paradoxically this is also the negative – unless you have the money you have to rely on yourself (or possibly some nice friends) to edit, develop a cover, format the book properly and above all market it.

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

Never stop. Even if you think your work is never going to be popular it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you touch one person with your story.

  14.  How do you relax?

I craft. Cross stitch, paper-craft, jewellery making, mixed media…you name it I do it.

  15.  What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have one! So many books, so little time.

  16.  Which character from any book you’ve read, would you like to be and why?

That’s a hard one! I’ll narrow it down to two – Mr Jingles from The Green Mile purely because I’d love to do nothing but roll a spool and eat peppermint candies all day, and Peeves from Harry Potter cos he looks like he has some fun! Sorely missing from the last book I think.

Thanks Emma for a nice chat. You’ve opened my eyes to the joys of being a mouse.

Check back soon for more interviews. Here are Emma’s various links. Check her out:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Slaughter/e/B0165V3EBE/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14246287.Emma_Slaughter

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