Mannethorn’s Key, an Interview with Simon Lindley

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This week, we’re talking with Simon Lindley about his new epic fantasy Mannethorn’s Key.

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I speak Japanese and lived there for a while teaching English. I also sing and play lead guitar in a blues band.

 

How did you get into writing?

I have been writing fantasy fiction since the age of six. My first manuscript, The Magic Skates, published and released by my grade-two teacher, never made the bestsellers list. However, being a full-time daydreamer, I have endeavored to one day change that.

 

What are you currently working on?

I have two books on the go. The first, of course, is polishing up Book Two in the Key of Life trilogy. The other is new project that I am quite excited about, a contemporary fantasy entitled Gaia’s Assassin. It’s dark, a bit dystopian, but I feel it’s quite unique from the work we’re seeing in those genres.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

Ha! Well, that’s like asking me where I got the inspiration to walk. It’s been floating around in my head for a while. Yet, ironically, Mannethorn’s Key, I guess, was incubated by a father’s story-telling,

When I was a young lad, Dad read all the good stuff to the kids. He had the voices down perfectly – a great narrator. C.S. Lewis, A.A. Milne, Kenneth Grahame and, when we were old enough, Tolkien, which were our versions of PlayStation! Well, Tolkien did it. I was hooked.

When I had a daughter of my own, I was determined to provide her what my father had me. Some tales eventually formed into manuscripts; others were forgotten after the telling, but I needed to tell stories far more than my daughter needed to listen to them. I knew then that I was a writer – just not a good one. Concepts and outlines came and went, and she grew up faster than the books.

I tabled serious writing for years until I revisited my earlier work about a decade ago. What I found was disastrous. Oh, the shock.

Of course, by that time the Greats had found their way onto my bookshelf, and my thoughts were heavily influenced by Feist, Donaldson, Hobb, Eddings, Brooks, etc.

All the inherent failures in life played a huge role in keeping me away from writing and drawing me back. Failure became my talisman. Interestingly, the books that spawned my imagination were those that embraced such discord. I wanted my work to be equally unafraid, to walk off the precipice when required, the characters not only flawed and real but breaking the molds of epic fantasy stereotypes. Adversity and overcoming ill choice became the core of my writing. The Key to Life is the epitome of this mindset. I elected to drag my characters to suffer alongside me! In a way, their journeys and struggles reflect my own. Failure is powerful. From it, we learn to live fuller lives.

Tell us more about the main characters in your new novel.

Bartholomew Waxman is a washed up, thirty-something, former derivatives broker who’s lost everything from his own doing. Fallen recently from the lowest rung in his life, he has a choice to either rebuild or perish. Blessed with an amazing mathematical gift, a skill he flagrantly exploited until blowing up in his face, he is a culmination of years of bad choices – but redeemable, if he trusts a deeper voice.

 

Who is your favorite writer and why?

I have several, but one of the most influential, I would have to say, was Stephen R. Donaldson, father of the fantasy antihero, in my humble opinion.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

Lord of the Rings (all three as one), Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series, and Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I mull. I write. I mull.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

Critical. We all have to be more of our own promoters if we hope to succeed as career writers in the new age of ebooks.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

I’ll let you know once I have a few more of them! But yes, they are incredibly important. Criticism as much as acclaim is key to becoming a better writer. I don’t get my nose out of joint when someone offers me such a gift. Take it. Cherish it – the two stars as well as the five stars. Readers are helping we authors improve. Remember – two ears, one mouth. I’ve learned to listen in earnest.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Never turn your back on honest feedback. If you think you know it all – quit. You know nothing.

 

What are you reading now?

I’m rereading Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy (so good), and I’m halfway through Cloak of Two Winds by Jack Massa

 

What’s your next step?

Writing!

Find out more about Simon Lindley here.

Silent Song, an Interview with Jaci Wheeler

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This week, we’re talking with Jaci Wheeler about her new fiction novel Silent Song.

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

I’m Deaf. I also can’t ride a bike. I have this thing about not being able to sleep unless my sheets are cleaned daily.

 

How did you get into writing?

I’ve always written as a form of therapy, but several years ago when my kids were doing ABA therapy and having a hard time I started writing stories to keep my mind busy so I wouldn’t worry about them. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had written three books.

 

What are you currently working on?

I am working on about 4 different books right now. (I can never write one book at a time.) I’m writing a phycological thriller, a novella for my OCS series, a Contemporary novel about a Woman MMA fighter and then a companion novel to Silent Song.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?

The Shower is always where I get my inspiration. I had gone to see a performance of Cinderella and they added a twist to it. I found it to be refreshing and empowering to women and the next day I was in the shower and an idea just hit me for a modern reverse Cinderella story where she saves the hero and gives him a better life.

 

Tell us more about the main characters in your new book.

The book I’m writing at the moment is a Female Fighter who fights in order to support her family. She doesn’t want to be rescued from her life, she is the only hero in her story.

 

Who is your favorite writer and why?

Geez, I have so many! My top three favorites are Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, and Lois Lowry.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

Pride and Prejudice, The Giver and Anne of Green Gables.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I always take a long shower before I write. It’s where I always get my best Ideas. Then I lock myself away with loads of junk food and just write until I can no longer move. I’m not a sprint writer, I’m a marathoner.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

I know both are very important, but I have to be honest in saying I’m not very good at either. I really do enjoy connecting with my readers and social media has been a huge way for me to do that.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Yes, I do. I appreciate the time every person takes to leave a review. Even the bad ones, I try and find something constructive to take from it. Some reviews don’t have anything constructive, but the ones that do I take to heart and try to use them to make me a better writer.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

To just write. Write whatever comes to you, whatever inspires you. Don’t think too much about it, because that’s when you get stumped. If you find yourself blocked, go out and try new things. New foods, new places, and then just allow the story to come to you.

 

What are you reading now?

I’m a huge reader and always looking for book recommendations. After Reading Silent Song a blogger recommended Dangerous to Know & Love. so that’s what I am just starting now.

 

What’s your next step?

I just write whatever book I’m feeling at the moment. It was my MMA fighter book, but now that I’m back marketing Silent Song I’m leaning more in that direction so I think I’m going to take another shot at writing another ASL book, as exhausting as it is to write in two languages I find it so freeing!

Find out more about Jaci Wheeler here.

Indipenned, an Interview with Mel Small

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This week we have an interview with Mel Small, founder of Indipenned. Mel tells us about his experiences as a writer, how he came up with the idea for Indipenned and what he and the Indipenned Team are doing to promote the work of independent authors.

 

Why did you decide to become a writer?

I’m not sure I did. It was more of an accident really. Over the years, I’d had lots of ideas for novels, but wasn’t confident that I could translate those ideas into a novel of seventy thousand or eighty thousand words.  On top of that, there’s the amount of effort involved in writing a novel and finding the time when you have a full-time career and a number of entrepreneurial endeavors to occupy you too.

It’s a long story, ironically, but I only started writing after a series of circumstances, including me coming up with an idea for a much different version of Sherlock Holmes whilst also realizing my reservations over word count would go away if I wrote short stories.  The short story thing seemed quite apt given the majority of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories are written in this format

My final jolt to put pen to paper, or rather thumbs to phone screen and fingers to keyboard, came during a conversation over a few beers in a Sheffield pub.  During that pre-match conversation, ahead of Sheffield Wednesday versus Middlesbrough FC fixture, another Boro fan told us about a book he was writing.  I mentioned my Sherlock Holmes idea and we went from there.  Over the next months, my fellow first-time author emailed me chapters of his novel and I sent my short stories in the other direction.  We then provided feedback on each other’s work, adding the odd gag here and there.

I’ve not realized this before, but me becoming an author seems to have been predestined by a penchant for alcohol.  Subconsciously, I must have known it was a worthwhile endeavor that would one day reap its rewards. Perhaps my fondness for drinking responsibly is also why the characters I write about also like the odd tipple.

How long did it take you to write your books?

Given, in the full-time career I mentioned earlier, I’m an IT Project Manager, I drew up a plan. This wasn’t particularly detailed, I just set myself the goal of writing a short story a month.  Each story weighs in at about twelve to fifteen thousand words.  As it was, I did a lot of writing when I was away on holiday and managed to come in slightly ahead of schedule.  I do that a lot. I’m very good project manager… *wink*

Why did you decide to go down the independently-published route?

I just wanted to get my book out there. I didn’t find the prospect of sending a manuscript to various literary agents and publishers only to hear nothing or, at best, receive a templated rejection letter particularly appealing.

Fortunately, I came across an independent publisher in my home town called Sixth Element and they turned my writing into very professional-looking books.  They are very particular in what they do and place a lot of emphasis on the product they output. Personally, I wouldn’t have thought much about the type of paper that needs to be used, the look and feel of the cover, and such things. After spending so much time writing, I think it would be a crime if readers were put off if your book wasn’t formatted quite right or didn’t have a particularly engaging cover.  Finding someone to guide me through the publishing process was a godsend really.  In the beginning, I didn’t even know that the description on the back of a book was called the blurb. I’d the heard the word but assumed it was some sort of slang.  I could have googled all of what was involved, but what price your time and the cost of the mistakes you may make? To my mind, it was much better to pay 6e to do things like proofreading, type setting, and cover design.

The other benefit of the independent-publishing is that you retain control.  You have a copy of the ebook to send out to reviewers.  If, like I did, you go down the route of an offset printrun, rather than print on demand; you also end up with a pile of books you can sell at a reasonably good margin. Obviously, there’s financial outlay for all this so you need to be pretty confident in your work, unless you have money to burn, that is. The project manager in me set myself some success criteria. Namely, that the project, i.e. the two books, would be cost neutral.  I’ve achieved this with a few quid in the bank and a couple of boxes of books in hand.

So, you didn’t attempt the traditional publishing route at all?

After the first book had been published, I did send an extract to the literary agents Curtis Brown.  I very much like the concept of independent publishing, however I also quite like the idea of an advance for my next book in the form of a big bag of cash and my version of Sherlock Holmes being on the telly. As it was, I got a rejection. To quote them, “While we enjoyed reading your submission, I’m afraid we couldn’t find an agent here who felt strongly enough to take it further and therefore we are not able to offer you representation for this project.”

I wasn’t that disheartened by their response.  If anything, it was quite encouraging. I may be getting this spectacularly wrong but I can’t help wondering if some of this failure was less about the writing and more about their thoughts on how my book sat in the current marketplace.  Since entering the world of literature I’ve come to know several authors and there is a feeling, perhaps an understanding, that the big publishing companies feel a lot more comfortable about selling books that are similar to what has already been sold. This is a phenomenon I like to call the Fifty Shades effect.  How many times do you see descriptions of books saying, “Girl on a Train meets Advanced Hygge for Vampires”?  This is fine.  If you are unaware of what’s outside the mainstream then you are probably not going to lose much sleep over it.

They only people who this really affects is those independent writers who are trying to do something different from the norm.  This is not to say I’m one of these.  I’m not saying putting Sherlock Holmes in a provincial town in the North East of England is particularly ground-breaking, but I’m told it is funny, so someone somewhere is missing out on a bloody good laugh.

Obviously, an untapped wealth of independently-written literature is a much bigger issue for those writers who are trying to advance the art form and, in doing so, expanding both people’s minds and our culture and society.  Let’s face it, someone has got to do something.  It would be a crying shame if a thought-provoking classic work of literature was missed because it fell just outside the zeitgeist.  I mean, that book could lead to the film that drags Tom Cruise’s career out of its current death spiral. What price that?

How have you found life as an independent author?

There’s no pretending it’s easy.  Writing a book is one thing, but that’s just the start of it. Then you have to let people know about it. It’s not like I expected to write a book and instantly have a bestseller on my hands (honest), but it’s nice if a good few people do read what you’ve written.  Even better when you get some feedback from those who like it.

This is one of the reasons I came up with the idea for Indipenned.  I thought it would good if there was a platform specifically designed to support and promote independent authors.  Those of us who have chosen the independently published route are competing against the big publishing companies and their marketing budgets.  A lone gun indie is always going to struggle in that skirmish.  That’s what makes the occasional success story, such as Andy Weir’s The Martian, so newsworthy.

What is Indipenned.com?

As I mentioned previously, Indipenned is a platform that promotes the work of independent writers.  We think there are a lot of independently-minded book lovers out there, who are happy to journey outside of mainstream publishing in search for less formulaic and more imaginative literature.  We want to help them by providing an online destination crammed with quality independently-written books. The basic idea is to make publishing more about informed choice and less about the deep pockets of publishing company executives.  Indipenned is for wolves not sheep.

To achieve this, we have created an online bookshop that is exclusive to independent authors, along with a number of facilities that will help writers improve and promote their work.  Each writer gets their own area of Indipenned which provides a showcase for their books and allows them to promote their work by posting short stories blogs, news items and notifications of upcoming events such as book launches and signings.  Indie authors can also collaborate and share their experiences of independent-authorship by posting knowledge articles.  My writer area is linked here.

There are websites that provide similar facilitates to Indipenned, however that number reduces when you remove those sites who also serve mass-marketed literature. Perhaps the thing that sets us aside from the rest is our secret algorithm, which uses a number of factors to determine the prominence with which books are displayed on Indipenned.  It’s not for us to decide what is good and bad.  However, if we’re honest, when it comes to the books we actively push, we do favour the ones with cool engaging cover artwork. This is one of the areas where writers and publishers need to help us by producing the best possible book.

The technology which facilitates self-publishing has removed many of the barriers for authors looking to get their work published.  A reasonable level of IT literacy will allow you publish an ebook.  A little bit more effort and a willingness to navigate the vagaries of print-on-demand gets you a paperback. Therein lies a paradox.  Whilst technology has made it a lot easier to become a published author, it has also created a crowded marketplace (I’m not really sure I like that word) in which it is a lot more difficult for writers to be discovered. If we’re honest we haven’t quite figured this paradox yet ourselves, but we have a whole host of ideas to try.  These start with our algorithm which is designed to encourage the cream to float to the top.

How is Indipenned doing?

It’s growing steadily.  We’re hoping to affect big changes and that doesn’t happen overnight.  What is particularly encouraging is the feedback we have been receiving from the authors we’ve been working with in these first few months.  It’s a long road, but nothing has deterred us from expecting spectacular things.  We want to transform the world of publishing and find some classic pieces of literature along the way. When it comes to unearthing that literary classic, we’re not managing our expectations down at all. We’re looking for Charles Dickens and a couple of Brontë sisters on a voyage to Jupiter type thing. Seriously though, if we were to play a part in helping a modern-day classic get the attention it deserves, it would make all the hard work we’ve put in to Indipenned worthwhile.

What have you been doing to make indie authors aware of you?

In these early days our focus is very much on social media. Indipenned is a social network, however we a still have presences on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  We’re also building up the content on the website.  This starts with getting some great books in our online bookshop.  We are very happy with what we’ve been able to achieve in this respect.  The next thing is to publish some free-to-view content.  Some of our authors have started the ball rolling in this respect by posting blogs and I am going to add to that by serialising a novella I have written in the short story section. It’s a brand-new Sherlock Holmes story that, in the first instance, will be exclusive to Indipenned.  I’m quite proud of this in that two stories are told. Clearly, there’s a mystery to solve, however, similar to the Sir ACD originals, Watson is also an author and The Darlington Substitution also describes some of his travails as he makes his early forays into the world of publishing.  I thought that quite clever.  Hopefully, a few other people will too and my story will help make Indipenned a compelling place to visit for both readers and writers. To let people know about the story we’re also pulling together a blog tour that will coincide with the first episode being published, early next year.

One of the other initiatives we’re working on is book reviews.  Indipenned already allows readers to post reviews, however we’re pulling together team of reviewers to provide feedback to the authors who have listed books in our online bookshop.  If a book is in our bookshop and the author sends us an ebook then we will take a look at it.  Actually, one of the great things that has happened is authors sending us signed paperbacks for Facebook competitions.  These will get reviewed too, before the lucky competition winner gets their booty.

This is just the beginning.  We have all sorts of weird and wonderful plans and have hardly scratched the surface.

What are your next plans as an author?

I suppose therein lies an irony.  The thing that prevented me becoming an author for many years was the thought a good idea for a story may not translate to an eighty thousand word novel.  My idea to work round this by writing short stories resulted in me writing twelve short stories of one hundred and sixty thousand words in total, which have a story arc running across them.  I’ve been told my books “read like a novel” and one person described them as an “episodic novel.”  So now I’m writing a couple of novels.  I’d rather not say too much about these books at the minute other than one is a dystopian end of the world thing and the other is something I’m calling a black romantic comedy. Both do involve people talking in pubs.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I think perhaps the most important thing is to keep yourself honest.  More people start writing books than finish them (ahem). If you want to be one of those authors that gets their work into print, then you need to have some sort of discipline. Personally, I keep a word count across all the projects I’m working on. If I have a bad week when I don’t get much written, I make a concerted effort to better and perhaps recover this the following week.  It took me twelve months to write my two books and I was a much different, hopefully better, writer at the end of that period.  That was fine for me, because I had an amateur chronicler in the form of Doctor Watson narrating my books.  It wasn’t my style that was changing but his.  I’ll admit to not having a lot of experience of this, but is seems safe to assume if it takes much more than a year to write a novel then there will be a lot of rework involved to ensure consistency.

Other than that, the only other advice I would offer is for independent writers and independently-minded readers to get themselves over to Indipenned.com and let’s see if we can make a few changes for the better.

Heartless, an Interview with Alena Des

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This week, we’re talking with Alena Des about her new romance novel Kings Series Book 3: Heartless.

 

Kings Series Book 3 HeartlessTell us something unexpected about yourself!

I am originally from Turkey, but I’ve been living in the US for a long time.

 

How did you get into writing?

I started writing to escape the stresses of my daily life. And, what a great joy that was. Soon I was creating portals with the witches, fighting the demons in the Underworld, flying with the Drakons to alternative universes, creating hypnotic spells with the vampires. I enjoyed every minute of it. It turned out to be the perfect cure for my stress.

 

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on my fourth book in the Kings series.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Calliope Jones series?

Samuel was a side character that I had created long before and now, he simply demanded to be on the front line. So, in a way, I had already met him. I just needed to discover what he was up to.

 

Tell us more about the main characters in your new novel.

Samuel, the Vampire King is arrogant. He is ignorant. He is in denial. In the past, he has lost the one woman he thought was meant for him. Worse, he has lost her to another. He doesn’t trust anyone. And, he’s pretty sure he doesn’t need her replacement.

But, for whatever reason, he needs Diana, her human blood, to keep his sanity. He can easily slip into his old ways of being a blood-sucking, vicious vampire. It will take a lot of challenges for this couple to find a way to accept one another and fight the darkness that is looming on the horizon.

 

Who is your favorite writer and why?

J.R. WardIn the paranormal literature, I would say J.R. Ward. I just love the worlds she creates, with so much complexity and detail that I can simply visualize each scene.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

Such a hard question. It is almost impossible to name just three. Probably my top books would be those in the following series: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Tairen Soul, and Black Dagger Brotherhood.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I try to update three times a week. But, apart from that, I have none. I don’t need silence, isolation etc. I can pretty much write everywhere and anytime.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

I am really terrible with utilizing social media and, unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand to reach readers in some other way. I am aware social media is crucial. But, am I make the most of it? Definitely, no.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Yes.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Just write but be willing to take criticism and learn. It gets better with practice. It gets better if you learn to listen. This is an advise I keep telling myself.

 

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Suzy Wright’s Fire Chronicle series.

 

What’s your next step?

My next step is to work on my Drakon series. This is an alternative universe book and so far, it includes three alternative universes merged into one huge book. I want to turn that into three books, one for each universe.

The Cost of Survival, an Interview with J. L. Stowers

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This week, we’re talking with J. L. Stowers about her new scifi novel, The Cost of Survival.

 

The Cost of SurvivalTell us something unexpected about yourself!

I enjoy exotic gardening. My most recent accomplishment was growing a pineapple … I live in Idaho. So this was quite the feat as we are about as far from a tropical climate as you can imagine.

 

How did you get into writing?

I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember. Stories came naturally to me throughout my childhood. As I grew older, they became more developed. I finally feel as though my stories have matured enough to be sent out on their own.

 

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the rest of the Genesis Rising trilogy. I’m really excited about the overall plot and can’t wait to share it.

 

Where did you get the inspiration for Calliope Jones series?

I spend a lot of time asking myself, “What if?” The Cost of Survival was inspired when we were trying to conceive our son. We had a difficult time becoming pregnant and it was emotionally exhausting. I also have several friends who’ve struggled with fertility issues over the years.

This caused me to ask the question, “What if women weren’t able to have children anymore?” Then, The Cost of Survival was born.

 

 

Tell us more about the main characters in your new novel.

I really love Walt Marshall. There’s a lot of me in that man. He’s grumpy, has a general distaste for people, and doesn’t like being told what to do. On the surface, he doesn’t generally seem very pleasant. However, Walt is also incredibly likable. I like to think the bitter side of all of us can relate to him in some way.

Early on in The Cost of Survival, we start to learn about why Walt is the way that he is. Throughout the book, the reader gets a better understanding of his behaviors and motives. By the end, you’ll be happy you met him. I know I was.

 

Who is your favorite writer and why?

J. R. R. TolkienHands down J. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit was my gateway into in-depth stories that crossed over and examined human nature in ways we never considered. My father started reading it to me when I was 8 years old. We read The Lord of the Rings as well. From that moment, I’ve been a lifelong fan. I also greatly enjoy the works of Piers Anthony. I devoured book after book of his throughout my youth. I still have them all too. I’d say I have about 40 of his books. My oldest child just turned 10, which is when I discovered Piers Anthony. So I’m very excited to start sharing these with him.

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Incarnations of Immortality series. I know that’s more than 3… but there’s no way I could narrow it down any further than that.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

Right now, with young children at home, I can’t rely on any specific ritual. As soon as the kids give me a moment, I’m working on my craft. I will say that I do my best writing with a Pepsi and something to munch on by my side.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

Marketing and social media are extremely important. They help me reach my fans.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

I do. I’m thankful for each one. I also read every email sent my way. I feel that it’s a great way to hear what my fans think and make sure I’m on the right track.

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Keep at it. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. And when I say that, I’m not just talking about how long it takes you to write your book. You have to prepare for a marathon both mentally and physically. Writing and publishing a book is remarkably similar. You prepare by constantly trying to improve upon yourself. And when you cross that finish line and press “Publish” it’s exhilarating.

 

What are you reading now?

At the end of a long day, I really enjoy a good laugh. I recently read the first Space Team book and am looking forward to the next one.

 

What’s your next step?

My next step is completing the second book in the series, The Price of Freedom.

Downside Up, an Interview with Jane Thornley

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This week, we’re talking with Jane Thornley about her new mystery novel, Downside Up.

 

Downside UpTell us something unexpected about yourself!

When I was in Dublin last June, I spent a lot of time trying to connive my way up to the Georgian rooftops.

 

How did you get into writing?

I’ve always written stories. I remember trembling in class as I was called upon ( every single time) to read my stories aloud to the class.

 

What are you currently working on?

DownPlay, the next episode in the None of the Above series

 

Where did you get the inspiration for None of the Above series?

I’ve always wanted to fly ( as in with wings) and climbing roofs seemed the next best thing

 

Tell us more about the main characters in your new novel.

The main character is Jenna, an adventure journalist who is called back to a LONDON following the sudden death of her uncle. Though the death is considered accidental by the police, Aunt Clair is screaming murder. Jenna sets out on her old childhood refuge above the streets to seek clues and ends up discovering more about her neighbors than she ever counted on and gets stalked by a killer in the process.

 

Who is your favorite writer and why?

I have too many to choose and they change according to my mood!

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

I’m a former librarian. Choosing would be like declaring a favorite child.

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

I write six hours every day starting at the crack of dawn.

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

Very, very, very important.

 

Do you read your book reviews?

Every one twice

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

Read widely, write with abandon, and then edit like crazy.

 

What are you reading now?

Virginia King’s Selkie series ( addictive)

 

What’s your next step?

Keep writing this series while continuing my Crime by Design series

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