Monday, 29 October 2018

Welcome Pam Robertson



I'm delighted that Canadian author Pam Robertson has taken time out of her busy day to be the guest on my blog today. 




Pam has worked as a teacher, soldier, and celebrity chutney chef. She gets her kicks writing about fearless characters, some with supernatural tendencies, despite being afraid of walking through the woods in the dark. Pam has had short stories, several chapters in best-selling self help books, magazine articles, a series of three journals, and books published. If she disappears from the internet occasionally, it’s probably because she is making a mess of the kitchen, or working on a large number of partially completed quilt projects. 

Pam's latest novel, Border Pieces - a Morgan Winfield Novella is due for release on the 30th October and if the synopsis is anything to go by, it is definitely one to add to your 'to be read list.'




 "As a 40ish Canadian Spy, Morgan may not be exactly what people expect, but she is who she wants to be and doing work she is good at. From her beautiful apartment in Halifax, she is assigned to work with an Irish spy she hasn’t seen in a few years, Jake Rory. Morgan is attracted to Jake, there is no question about it, and she has to remind herself more than once to stop looking at him so closely. 

They set to work, putting a stop to assassins in Nova Scotia, and then heading to Fort McMurray to find that there are more than just embers of discontent after the raging fire of 2016. 
Morgan is not a movie style spy. She doesn’t show up for work in 4-inch heels or Spandex. She prefers jeans and t-shirts. She’s a good shot in a firefight. She is serious about getting the job done, and doesn’t do well when there is a lot of down time, especially when she is forced to rest after a serious incident. 

While Morgan is recovering, she visits Wales and her cousin to explore her family tree and uncovers the source of her uncanny intuition. She is just getting the hang of being back at work when a terrible shock sends her into a tailspin and she suddenly retires, with plans to write a book. But, with her publisher saying her book is not quite ready, an unexpected offer for her apartment and a call from the agency pleading for her to return, she soon finds herself in a renovated bunker in London, England ready to help covert operators around the world. 

This is the first book of Morgan’s adventures with two more stories currently planned." 

Pam was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing process and offer some advice to budding writers.

Does writing energize or exhaust you? 

Depends on the day, honestly! When I first started writing Border Pieces, the novella introducing Morgan Winfeld, it just came out of me like crazy. I wrote 10,000 words over a long weekend and it really set the foundation for the book, and that level of progress also spurred me on to keep going. However, writing is cognitively demanding to me, too so I can feel physically drained after a long session, or several sessions over several days in a row. 

What are common traps for aspiring writers? 

There are lots. Thinking that your friends will buy your book, and that they are the only people you need at a book launch…people posing as publishers or agents when they are in no position to claim that and have no experience in the industry…writers thinking they can edit their own work…and being convinced that writing a book can be done for free. 

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? 

Yes. My first novel and short stories were published under a pseudonym because I thought I needed to keep my writing separate from the other work I do. It’s much more difficult, of course, to be an indie author writing under a pseudonym because you’ve got to build a brand under that name and absolutely nobody knows who that person is. 

Do you aim to be original or deliver a story that readers want? 

It’s an interesting balance. Certainly when you are writing fiction and want a large readership, an author better deliver what readers want. At the same time, I’m not interested in recreating what other authors have done…so my goal is to be original, and create a story that once readers hear about it, they can’t wait to get their hands on.

What was your hardest scene to write? 

Without giving something away here, the hardest scene was a turning point with Jake. I wrote it, and then took it out of the book because I felt like it took away too much from Morgan’s story to leave it in there, but I needed it available as a reference and part of the backstory. So, the scene is on my computer and firmly implanted in my head, but it’s not in the book.  

Finally, do you believe in writer's block?

I know people who are absolutely convinced they have writer’s block, and yet when you dig down there are usually one of two things going on: either they aren’t clear on what they want to write about (they’ll write to a certain point and then not know what should happen next), or they start to doubt their abilities as a writer. The first is remedied by getting clear on the message, and deciding where the book should go. To help, you can try writing from a different character’s perspective; or write about the end and then work backward to the middle; or “interview” the characters and get them to help you as a writer. These exercises don’t necessarily make it into the book; they are simply meant to get the writer writing again. 

If a writer is stuck because they are doubt their abilities then there are lots of things they can do, but they’ve got to apply discipline to make it happen. They might need to address issues around self-esteem, or they might need to confront the fear that is cropping up (fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of being publicly acknowledged as a writer). Or, maybe it’s true that their writing really is not up to snuff. Joining writing groups and associations can help a writer assess their own writing and see what others are doing. Those groups can also be a safe place to test your writing, though you’ve got to find the right group. I’ve seen groups try to totally change the way someone writes because they have this “ideal” about what writing is, even though not everyone wants to sound like, say, Margaret Atwood. 

Border Pieces - A Morgan Winfield Novella is available from Amazon in both print and ebook formats. 






Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Welcome Rosemary Kind ...

I am delighted to welcome Rosemary Kind as a guest on my blog today.  



On Facebook Rosemary describes herself as having ‘A discomfiting habit of taking on projects that other people consider to be verging on the insane.’ She says that sums her up rather well. Whether developing the Entlebucher Mountain Dog Breed, or maintaining a blog which has run every day for thirteen years, she relishes a challenge. She ran the short story download site Alfie Dog Fiction for six years, building it to be one of the largest in the world, before concentrating solely on book publishing to give her more time for her own writing.



She has written ten books so far, covering both fiction and non-fiction. Her most recent novel, New York Orphan has firmly established her historical fiction credentials and will form the start of a series. She is currently writing both the second in the series as well as a prequel, the latter of which will be available as a free introduction.  New York Orphan is available to purchase from Amazon.

Rosemary has had a passion for books and writing since her first memories. She cannot imagine a life without both.





For more information about Rosemary and her books visit her website: www.rjkind.co.uk or her author page on Amazon by clicking on the links.  Rosemary is a member of Promoting Yorkshire Authors. You can find her publishing company at Alfie Dog Fiction.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Welcome Rosie and Stuart Larner

I'm delighted to welcome Rosie and Stuart Larner onto my blog today.  Together they write under the pen name of Rosy Stewart.  They have just released their novel, Hope; Stories from a Refuge.



Rosie is a retired social worker and lecturer in Health and Social Care.  She was co-leader of a West Yorkshire Drama Workshop that welcomed participants of all ages and abilities.  She has directed and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, and writes prose, poetry and plays. 

Stuart is a chartered psychologist, and worked in the National Health Service, and was mental health expert in XL for Men magazine.  He writes plays, including The Dilemma Advice Show, What Matters is What Floats, poetry and stores. 




Hope tells the stories of diverse individuals and their triumph in the face of adversity, and is  told through the eyes of Sue Barlow, the manager of a women's refuge.  Sue has learnt through experience that conventional support systems and policing are not always enough to prevent a tragedy. 

Following a brutal attack on one of her recent residents, Sue joins forces with Jade, a young police sergeant, and Nine a reclusive Russian I.T. expert to track down the abusers. 

Hope: Stories from a Women's Refuge is available to purchase from Amazon


Stuart's previous novels includes the novel Guile and Spin, a compelling and unforgettable story of cricket.  He has also written a Young Adult epic poem, Jack Daw and the Cat, and The Car, a sonnet sequence with illustrations, describing the human condition in terms of the mechanical components of a motor car. 








More information about Rosie and Stuart and their novels can be found by visiting their websites:


http://stuartlarner.blogspot.com/

http://slarner5.wixsite.com/hope

http://twitter.com/StuartLarner




Sales Links:

Hope:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hope-Stories-Womens-Rosy-Stewart-ebook/dp/B01BJ5Q6H0/

 Guile and Spin:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guile-Spin-Stuart-Larner-ebook/dp/B00DUE35C8/

Jack Daw and The Cat:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Daw-Cat-Stuart-Larner-ebook/dp/B005ECTXES/

The Car:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Car-sonnet-sequence-illustrations-ebook/dp/B01M0ACPNV/


Thursday, 26 July 2018

Welcome ... Toni Bunnell

I'm delighted to welcome Toni Bunnell onto my Blog today.




Toni Bunnell is a musician, a wildlife biologist, a broadcaster and a writer of songs and stories. Toni lives in York, has run York hedgehog rescue centre for 28 years and has written two books about hedgehogs: The Disappearing Hedgehog and Rescuing the Disappearing Hedgehog. 






Toni has also written a non-fiction book on Music Therapy, published by M&K Update, as well as several works of fiction. She lectured at Hull University for over sixteen years and has appeared on television many times, including on Love Your Garden, Countryfile, and in June 2015, The One Show. 

Her passion for writing developed following the loss of a close friend and resulted in a book of poems: A Life Well Lived. 



Her most recent works focus on the gothic and supernatural. The Nameless Children is Part 1 of The Soil Chronicles and is followed by the sequel: The Dead Space. 







For more information about Toni and her books visit her website: www.tonibunnell.com  or her author page on Amazon by clicking on the links.  Toni is a member of Promoting Yorkshire Authors

Saturday, 21 July 2018

7 Days to Go!

The 3rd UK Indie Lit Festival takes place at the Kala Sangam, St Peter's House, Forster Square in Bradford on the 28th July.  Have you got your ticket yet?  And, if not, why not?



With over 30, yes THIRTY attending authors representing a mixture of genres and poetry there is something for everyone to enjoy.  There is also an International table with some amazing books from across the Globe, and several will be joining us via video link in the international hub.   Not only will there be signed books to purchase, but there are readings and workshops.

The Tombe Dance Group will also be performing at the Festival, so don't delay pop over to Eventbrite and download your ticket now.




So if you've dreamed at writing poetry or a novel, come along and chat to our authors who I am sure will be happily to offer advice on how to get started.   I look forward to seeing you there.




Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Summer is ...

Writing conference and Book festival Season!

I enjoy visiting book festivals and taking part in writing conferences, but I must confess, my enjoyment diminishes somewhat when it is this hot!  I am not a hot house flower, but someone who prefers the cooler weather of autumn and I have no objection to crisp frosty mornings either!

I am delighted to be one of thirty attending authors at the 3rd UK Indie Lit Festival, once again being held in the Kala Sangam Arts Centre in Bradford.




The event takes place on the 28th July from 10.00 to 5pm. No matter what your reading preference, there is something for everyone including an International hub with USA best selling author Kendare Blake and DL Gallie from Australia, appearing via video link.



There are workshops, readings and a Prize Draw. Best of all, it's a free event, although you do need a ticket available from Eventbrite or the UK Indie Lit Festival website.




On the 12th August you'll find me on the Sheffield Authors stand at the South Yorkshire Festival being held at Wortley Hall, nr Sheffield.  This promises to be a fun day out for all the family with craft, garden and book stalls.  There's even free donkey rides and face painting to keep the child entertained.  Once again, this is a Free event, but there is a small charge for parking, which is limited, so be sure to get there early!


If you live near Bradford, Sheffield or Barnsley, do come along and say hello.  You may just find that elusive Christmas present for someone with the most discerning taste!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Wishes and some exciting news ...


I'm delighted to have been invited to take part in Hull University's three day English Literature Festival organised by The National Collaborative Outreach Programme. The Festival starts on the 6th February 2018 and is aimed at raising aspirations of students aged 13-18 across the Humber region by increasing their knowledge of careers in writing, publishing, illustrating, marketing, public speaking and much more.  A selection of panels and workshops are planned and full details will be available shortly on the website: www.force-higher.co.uk and on the Twitter feed @Force_HE  #ELFHumber2018.

I am also looking forward to being part of the Bradford UK Indie Literature Festival, which is returning for a third year on the 28th July, and is once again being held in the fabulous Kala Sangam in the centre of the city.  This is a free event, with 40 authors in attendance, so there is sure to be a book to suit all tastes.  Details on how to obtain a ticket are on the UKindieLitFest website.

Kala Sangram, Bradford


As it is the holiday season, I have reduced the price of the Kindle version of my romantic suspense novel, The House on the Shore, until 3rd January 2018.  You can download a copy from Amazon for only 99p/99c instead of the usual price of £2.99/$2.99.




2017 is drawing to a close, so I would like to thank everyone who has attended an event or purchased a book and who has supported me in anyway, a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.  I hope to see you again in 2018.