14 Nov 2014

The people behind the scenes: My editors

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Since my usual editor, Deborah Wall is travelling the world and spends her time teaching English to people with even greater need of her talent than me, I had to find someone to replace her before I was able to publish “Conditions“.

Wanda profile pic

Wanda Hartzenberg is an avid reader, ( On Goodreads she is currently listed as:
#18 top reader #1 top reviewer #12 best reviewer)

she is head of several review groups (Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewers on Facebook for example https://www.facebook.com/groups/328607697211329/ and WaAr Reviewer Reward Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1395755427335631/ ).

She has also co-written The Struggle of Me and released her short story Suicide Song.

Wanda advised me on my writing style, the plot holes and the missing details, criticised characters and specific scenes and gave me some good suggestions as how to resolve some of the issues that needed attention. Years of writing and reading experience paid off and our exchange was incredibly fruitful and inspiring for me.

Feel free to contact her on  email: wandahart@vodamail.co.za
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/WandaPanda
her website http://authorsallies.com/
or via twitter, her username is WandPand 

Armed with Wanda Hartzenberg’s annotations and corrections I went to David Lawlor, an Associate Editor of The Herald newspaper in Ireland. David has written three historical fiction novels, Tan, The Golden Grave an A Time of Traitors, set in the 1920s during the Irish War of Independence and following the character Liam Mannion. He is a talented author  and I know him originally from reading his historical novels – here is a link to an interview with him about The Golden Grave. He is also an active blogger historywithatwist.wordpress.com and has become a good online friend. 378344b681016d439abdb1cc95ee7c03 He ‘s recently taken up editing (see http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/editorial-services/) and he sample edited three chapters for me  – fast and with impressive results – before presenting me with a reasonable quote. Obviously thanks to Wanda’s help the novel was in a good shape. I’ve been shopping around on the Internet long enough to know how much editing can cost, just on a grammar and punctuation level. David made also excellent suggestions (I didn’t take all of them, so don’t blame him if there’s something you didn’t like in “Conditions” ). This is the reference I wrote for him:

I knew David’s high standard of writing from reading and reviewing his novels and took him up on the offer to sample edit the beginning of my new book. I was very impressed with his engagement with the story and the characters and with the quality of his suggestions, just on the comparatively little that he had read of the story. His subsequent edit was thoughtful and incredibly helpful and highlighted some minor and some larger areas that needed improvement. Reading his detailed suggestions and opinion of the novel motivated me highly to go back and make changes, adding scenes and dropping what wasn’t needed.  It’s been a very stimulating and productive experience and process. David has a great way with words and knows how to deliver a very honest critique and keep your enthusiasm at the same time. His services were competitively priced and his turn around was fast and efficient. I learned a lot from the experience and can only recommend him.


His editing services: http://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/editorial-services/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.lawlor.9404
Twitter: @LawlorDavid
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7059828.David_Lawlor
Blog: historywithatwist.wordpress.com

1538883_10152169929789903_1791016517_nI must once again mention my amazing cover designer Daz Smith (link to an interview with him) who effortlessly put together covers that have been complimented on from day one. http://www.nethed.com/book-covers/

Contact details:
email: darryl@nethed.com
website: www.nethed.com
phone: 07766655631
twitter: @remoteviewed
facebook: www.facebook.com/eightmartinis Flikr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dazsmithpics/ Book Marketing2time-to-let-go-cover-large(r) Luck of the Wassersteins518b+tsOd9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Last but not least I must mention Alice Trego, who also offers editing services and can be contacted via email alicetrego@me.com
Her website alicetregoedits.com is still undergoing construction work.
I can thoroughly recommend her services. Alice helped me with my newest bookalice-d-trego “In Search of a Revolution” as beta reader and made some excellent suggestions for the book and my writing. 

 

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10 Apr 2014

New Release and Review: “Memento Mori” by Katy O’Dowd

1 Comment Book Reviews

21795048“Memento Mori” by Katy O’Dowd is an excellent, inspired and unusual Victorian period piece about the Lamb family and about O’Murtagh, a female assassin in London in the 1850s. It is a playful portrayal of organised crime in London in those days, and in the novel the crime comes in many forms and shapes: pick pocketing, prostitution, smuggling, extortion, murder and deceit.
Told in two main narratives, the book follows not only the Lamb family after the father’s ominous death, but it also follows the fate of a 5 year old girl from the 1830s onwards. She is presented with a memento mori from her mother by a stranger and survives as orphan on petty crime and trickery.
The plotlines are brilliantly interwoven and all is told in wonderfully authentic style. The book is playful and entertaining, yet historically accurate, authentic and convincing.
O’Murtagh is a great character with her coldness and ambiguous feelings, and many other players in this gem of a book are equally fascinating and colourful: An Abbess, the Lamb brothers and some of O’Murtagh’s lovers and victims. 
The rivalry, plotting and scheming mostly play out with some unexpected twists and surprises, while some plot parts are more obvious and deliberately put in place for us to enjoy watching as they unfold for the characters in the story. There are also some mechanical inventions and a clever raven that add to the magic of the book. 
The memento mori theme from the well chosen title is beautifully put in all the right places to add an element of sentiment and nostalgia into the story.
All comes together in a great ending for this hugely enjoyable and accomplished piece of art. Very well done.

Take tea with the Victorian Mafia – organized crime has never been so civilized

Revenge is a dish best served cold. At the Lamb residence, it is also served on fine bone china.

The untimely demise of Thaddeus Lamb leaves his son Riley in charge of the vast Lamb empire, which imports tea, picks pockets, extorts, and keeps men warm on cold winter’s nights. And so the Lambs grieve for their father in the best way they know how… Retribution.

Hired by the new head of the Fox Family, a position recently vacated by another untimely demise, the assassin O’Murtagh is tasked with the utter destruction of all the Lamb Family’s business associates. They learn the hard way that there is no better hit man than a beautiful woman with tricks and weapons up her finely coiffed sleeves.

Treachery and deceit abound in the streets of London, and no one is safe. Honestly, it’s enough to make anyone drink. Would you care for one lump or two?

eBook Buy Links  5311518

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Memento-Mori-Katy-ODowd-ebook/dp/B00JG3NQ4O

Amazon Smart Url: http://bookShow.me/B00JG3NQ4O

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21795048-memento-mori

Author bio:

Katy is an arts and entertainment journalist and has worked for Time Out, Associated Newspapers and Comic Relief and her articles have appeared in The Times (London), Metro (London) and many other arts and entertainment publications, paper and online.

Alongside writing with her Dad under the pen-name Derry O’Dowd, whose first book ‘The Scarlet Ribbon’ was chosen to launch the History Press Ireland’s fiction line, she writes under her own name. ‘The Lady Astronomer’, a YA Steampunk tale was released by Untold Press in 2012.

Katy reviews for the Historical Novels Review and the British Fantasy Society.

Link to my previous feature on Katy

and my feature on her joint project with her father

Connect with Katy: [Webpage][Twitter][Goodreads]

Links:

Katy blogs at www.katyodowd.com

Twitter: @katyod

Facebook: www.facebook.com/katy.odowd

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5311518.Katy_O_Dowd

Contact:

katy@pictureandword.com

Excerpt

Snip. The jewelled secateurs caught the soft light thrown by the candles. Snip. Dark orange on green. Snip. Tiny white blossoms fell to the stone floor. Snip, snip.

Carmine Fox took an orange in her gloved hand and turned it over, this way and that, examining the pitted skin and running a finger along the bumps and grooves in the fruit.

In an alcove, the huge Brass Lady statue gleamed, her beautiful features painted buttery gold, eyes looking blindly at nothing at all.

Carmine’s dress swept the floor, not a mourning dress as you might expect, having lost her father, but rather dove grey and lavender picked out with black trim along the panel, cuffs, hem, and bustle. Her hair, long and coiled, was the color of Grip’s wings, as were her eyes. The muted tones of her dress made her sallow, or maybe it was just the lack of light.

Years of water and living things within the man-made lake had given the huge cathedral style glass ceiling and everything beneath a greenish hue and made the walls bleed rust.

She looked up from her study of the orange and threw it across the room, faster than the eye could see.

The woman standing in the shadows caught the orange, her arm shooting up to stop the fruit, as it nestled in her palm.

“Oh, brava.”

O’Murtagh stood silently before Carmine Fox who walked toward her, the secateurs dangling lazily from her hand.

“Quiet little thing, aren’t you?”

Fox peered at her intently, taking in the pale face and brown eyes framed with a veil of auburn hair.

“Well, quiet suits my needs. Feel free to eat the orange, which will be sweet and ripe. Ah, but how could such a thing grow here you wonder?” She paused. “It didn’t, of course, there is a vast orangery in the house, but I like to be here to prune, the setting eases my mind.”

O’Murtagh made no move to peel the fruit; instead she put it in one of the many pockets of her skirts.

Carmine Fox shrugged. “No matter. When you come to eat the orange, you will find it as I say. But now, we have other matters to discuss.”

She walked back to the table where the plants stood and put the secateurs down.

“You have come highly recommended.” Her heel tapped on the black and white tiled floor. “I have been told of your merits, misdeeds, and probably know more about you than your own mother, whom I believe has been dead a long time. But that doesn’t interest me, your skills do.”

O’Murtagh nodded imperceptibly.

“This is not a pretty tale, but then I suppose these things never are.” Fox sighed and smiled, pacing the room, warming to her tale and the task ahead.

“Tell me, O’Murtagh. Do you believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?” Fox waved her hand airily. “We are not here to talk about the philosophy of doddery old men falling asleep and drooling into their beards. I mean vengeance, retribution. Honor, even if it is only the kind to be found among thieves.”

Fox stopped pacing, abruptly, and O’Murtagh could feel the heightened tension in the room under the still water.

“There is no need for you to know everything, but know this,” Carmine resumed talking and walking, “I am not sorry that my father is dead. Vile man. He made my mother’s life a misery. Drove her to her death. I had this statue of her made. You know, I talk to her as I prune.” She gazed fondly at the Brass Lady.

“But he didn’t do this alone. No. Rather he was fuelled by his once great friend turned great enemy. Interesting that they should have died in the same week, is it not? Thaddeus Lamb and my father climbed the tree to the gold at the top, from ragged boys to prosperous men, branch by branch to the prize at the end. Suffice to say there was a falling out and my father the Fox did everything in his power to bring the traitor Lamb down.”

Carmine went to the Brass Lady, and standing on tiptoe, ran her hand down the statue’s cold cheek.

“My mother would have hated to see this. Hated to see what he made me. But my father not only left me his riches, he left me his hatred. After my mother died, all I heard of was how he was going to get his revenge. Now that he is no longer here, it is up to me to see this thing through. You do understand, don’t you?”

“I do.”

O’Murtagh’s voice was so quiet that Carmine Fox wasn’t sure she had heard her in the first place.

“I suppose you do, why would you be in your line of work otherwise?”

The assassin kept her brown gaze on the woman who had hired her, but held her tongue.

“Very well. Your job then, is to take the family down. Not directly, but by hitting them where they will hurt the most. Trade routes, business associates, and so on. My father left a diary full of any information you should need. I shall release the names of four people to you when the time is right. None of this shall be traced back to me, and if you should fail, I will make your life one long misery.”

“I have no doubt.”

“Good. So,” Carmine Fox rubbed her hands together, almost gleefully, “Thaddeus Lamb, the Head of the Family is out of our way. I have been told that other factions are gathering like vultures over the rotting corpse of what remains and that the Lambs–when they are able to act–will find other matters to occupy their time. Such as a nasty little turf war. At which point we shall have progressed to a point where we will be able to muzzle them entirely.”

She laughed, and O’Murtagh, seasoned as she was, felt the small hairs on her arms raise and her skin became as pitted as that of the orange in her pocket.

Fox pirouetted, her skirts spreading out and then settling.

“None of it shall ever be traced back to me,” she delighted in her glee, before quietening. “Then I can get straight to the heart of things.”

O’Murtagh’s place was not to ask. She was being paid handsomely and had more time than she cared for to do these jobs. Nor was she squeamish, her body-count was impressive. Though she stopped short at children, babies, and pregnant women.

“Now, my dear.” Fox clapped her hands together. “Time for tea. Would you care to accompany me back to the house?”

04 Apr 2014

New Release & Review: “The Reluctant Jesus” by Duncan Whitehead

1 Comment Book Reviews

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Today I am thrilled to present an outstanding book, a novel that literally saved my Christmas spirit single handedly last year with its irresistible humour.  I have been sitting on this review for far too long. Finally, the book has been published.

A wild and romping comedy from Duncan Whitehead, the author of the best selling and award winning novel, 
The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club (2013 Reader’s Favorite International Book Award Winner and Gold Medalist)

 

“The Reluctant Jesus” by Duncan Whitehead is a hilarious satire set in 1999 New York and depicts the story of Seth Miller. A regular Jewish guy with a good life discovers that he is the second Messiah, son of God. At first he turns the job down but reluctantly he changes his mind.
The story is told with a dry witty voice that lets you know from the first page that you are in for a real comedy treat. Playful and entertaining, the characterisation of God, Jesus, Satan and Irma Miller, Seth’s mother are very accomplished. God calls, Satan emails and Virgin mother Irma Miller knows passive aggressive as good as any Jewish mother would.
The story is based on a clever idea and told in a manner that should not offend religious people more than Ephraim Kishon or Woody Allen do. I dislike using the phrase in reviews but I laughed out loud throughout the read and it cheered me up tremendously during a very trying time in my personal life.  
Whitehead is a great story teller – you never quite know where the plot is going although the strength lies much more in how it is told than what is told. The book is full of great observational and situational humour, showing someone who knows, likes and draws human nature with great skill, even when describing Satan or God. I have read the author’s award winning “The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club” and expected this new book to be good, but Whitehead proved to be more than a one trick pony, not relying on formula or repetition. With The Reluctant Jesus the author shows his versatility and delivers another great piece of entertainment.

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Duncan was born in England in 1967. 
After a successful career in the military where he served in British Embassies throughout South America and saw service in the Gulf War he joined the world of super yachts as a Purser aboard some of the world’s largest private vessels, working for many high profile individuals, being fortunate enough to visit some of the world’s most luxurious and exotic places. 
Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment, the book, a thriller, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, set in the leafy neighborhood where he lived. 
His passion for comedy saw submissions to The Onion and a stint performing as a stand-up comedian.
He is a former boxer, representing the Royal Navy and an English under 19 team as an amateur and is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language as well as a former accomplished children’s soccer coach.
In 2011 Duncan returned to South America, spending six months in Brazil and a few months in Paraguay before travelling to the Middle-East and Europe before returning to the United States. 
He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, gets by with Russian and Arabic and lists his hobbies and passions as cooking, the Israeli self defense art of Krav Maga, Esgrima Criolla (The South American Art of knife Fighting)and the deadly pressure point martial art Dim-Mak.
Duncan has written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of web sites both in the US and UK. 
As well as his other activities he performs volunteer work, as a hospice visitor.

AN ACTOR’S LIFE ON AMAZON

 

 

The year is 1999 and the millennium is fast approaching. Baseball fan and thirty two year old confirmed bachelor and architect, Seth Miller, is content with his life, as long as the Yankees win and his mother stays away from his Greenwich Village apartment. Seth’s life though, is turned upside down when he is informed by his overbearing and overprotective mother, that he is actually God’s youngest son; and by default the second coming of Christ. 

Initially convinced that his parents are crazy, his thoughts of their committal to a suitable care facility are superseded when he receives an unsolicited telephone call from God himself. With Armageddon fast approaching, and due to some poor editing and proofreading of the Bible, Seth must assume the role of Christ and fight God’s corner in the ‘Final Conflict’ between good and evil. Despite his initial reluctance and attempts to shirk his new responsibilities, God is insistent and Seth is cajoled into undertaking the role of Messiah. 

With his best friend, and chief follower Bob Nancy, Seth embarks on a calamitous sequence of miracle doing and disciple gathering, all of which fail to inspire the legions of followers expected by God, but leads to a bout of food poisoning for a troop of visiting boy scouts and a suspected attempt on the life of Mayor Giuliani. 

God, a somewhat nonchalant character, is far more preoccupied by the lack of IT and administrative support he is receiving in heaven, than actual events on Earth; and is already planning to move on to other planets that he and Lucifer are in the process of developing for ‘future projects’.

Enter Maggie De Lynne, as Seth’s second disciple and love interest, who adds her own perspective to Seth’s predicament; which is only compounded when a just as unsuitable anti-Christ, suffering from IBS and with a penchant for dressing up as cartoon characters, visits his apartment. 

Throw a ‘gangsta’ rapping guardian angel and Walter the talking cat – who used to be quiet as a mouse – into the mix, and the scene is set for a hilarious tale of one man’s reluctance to save the world and join the family business.

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19 Nov 2013

Melodie Ramone: “After Forever Ends”

2 Comments Book Reviews

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“After Forever Ends” by Melodie Ramone is an absolutely charming and enchanting love story. Told by Silvia, an old widow it is the tale of her love to her husband Oliver, whom she meets at the age of 15 and whom she loves ever since.
Their wonderful, sweet, honest, romantic and deep love for each other crosses the paths of a few other significant people, not least Oliver’s twin brother Alexander and Silvia’s sister Lucy. This is the story of their life in Wales, their struggles and their ‘forever’.
The book is written in a most enchanting style and leads us through the stages of the couple’s life in wonderful detail, thoughtful, humorous, inspiring and heart-warming. 
I can’t stress enough just how beautiful this book is without crossing the line into unnecessary drama or kitsch. The romance is heart-felt, realistic and magic at the same time as Ramone has created very likeable characters that are not always totally perfect but are trying to be. Although the book begins with Silvia at an old age and being widowed it ends on a positive note and left me happy and cheerful. It is a credit to this author to have handled the sadness as well as this and bring happiness to a time when forever has ended.
I am massively impressed with this effort and urge you to see for yourself how lovely this book is.

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

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Hi Melody, thanks for taking the time for this little interview.

Hi, Christoph! Thank you SO MUCH for inviting me! I’m really excited to be doing this.

Tell us a little about yourself. I was surprised to find you live in the US but your book is so convincingly set in England and Wales? How did you decide on the location?

Well, I’m Scottish on my father’s side and Welsh on my mothers, so the locations were a natural choice. I’m familiar with the area that the twins in the book are from, which is right on the border between England and Wales. Quite honestly, it’s the happiest, most magical and beautiful place I’ve ever been, so when I decided that my story would be a positive one, Powys was the first place that came to mind.

Have you always written?

 I have been writing since I was about four years old. I used to make up little poems and stories before I could even write them down.

How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?  

After Forever Ends is based largely on my own experiences in life, or of experiences based on people who have been very close to me. I wrote it huddled under a blue blanket one very cold winter while I was living in New York. It was a dark part of my life where I was facing both inner and outer demons. I was unsure of the future and looking back at my past and trying desperately not to be bitter about my situation. A lot of things went into it; my homesickness for the UK and a little house that sits in Wales, missing friends who had left this world too soon, dealing with the passing of a relative I thought of as a mother. As I pondered all of this, and much more I won’t bore you with, I began to remember the good that was in my life. All the people, the places, the conversations and the laughter, and I decided to take those memories and change names, switch locations, and jumble circumstances. When the book boils down, it’s about 90% autobiography. And then I was reading it back to myself and I realized I had lived a wonderful, bumpy, spectacular, absolutely wonderful life. So I wrote some more and when I was done, I had After Forever Ends on a memory stick.

How much of the storyline was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?

I had nothing set in my mind at all. I just started telling the story at the day I met my high school boyfriend and went from there. I really let myself bounce around the memories the whole time I wrote. Nothing was planned or contrived. It was written how it happened, with a couple of embellishments for creative measure. 

I am amazed to hear this.  I would never have known. Tell us a little about your writing and editing process.

My writing process is erratic. It begins with a voice. Yes, as schizophrenic as that sounds, it always starts with a voice, like somebody whispering in my ear. And if I pay attention to them, they soon begin to infiltrate my dreams. Sometimes I will be watching them as if I am seeing a film, sometimes I will be them, but I start to get a clear vision, literally, of the world they live in, and an emotional knowledge of their lives. And then I just sit in the still with my computer and wait for them to tell me their story. I just type it as fast as I can, then go back and fill in the blanks, if they leave me any.

What is your writing environment like? Can you tolerate music or noise or are you a reclusive writer?

It really depends. I live in a house that is generally chaotic, so I often listen to music, but not music. Not exactly. Let me clarify. I tend to put on the headset and listen to Hindi chants or Buddhist chants. Certain ones, especially Ek Ong Kar and The Green Tara Mantra. They help clear my head, help me focus, and help me see more clearly what my goal in the story is. Other than that, I do prefer it to be quiet. Or, sometimes, I will play the same film over and over and over. I won’t even be paying attention to it, it’s like a hum in the background, but I just keep hitting repeat for hours. I did that with a ongHong Kong cinema film while writing After Forever Ends. I must have played it over two hundred times.

Which of your characters was most fun to write?

All of my characters were fun to write, but I especially enjoy Oliver. He was the most challenging character, because I couldn’t quite get into his head. See, I think of my characters as real people and when you “meet” Oliver, he comes off as completely sane and reasonable, but he’s really not. He’s way off his rocker. He doesn’t think like a normal person, his perceptions are different, so you just have to sort of accept him and not put any standards on him. But the thing about Oliver is, he is hysterically funny if you pay attention to him. I think he’s the funniest character in the book, but he’s subtle, too, so you have to watch him. Funny, I should use the word “watch”, but if you read the book you will know exactly what I mean.

Who would play them in a film?

I look for people who would resemble my characters and I have to say for Silvia, I’d go with Mandy Moore if she could do an Edinburgh accent. I’ve kind of fallen in love with her since I wrote the book and realized she looks a bit like Sil. She’d have to die her hair red and make it curly, though. For the twins, I’d love to have Ioan Griffudd, since he looks something like them in the face and he’d have no problem nailing the Welsh accent, being as he’s Welsh. I don’t know how tall he is, though. Lucy…physically speaking, I’d pick Isla Fisher.

Are you like any of the characters?

I am more like Silvia than I’d like to admit and enough like her to be proud that we’re the same on many levels. Silvia’s a lot more attached and insecure than I am. That’s really a big difference between us. I am fiercely independent and she has a deep need of people. It’s one of the things I like about her, though, her endless capacity to receive and return love.

What is your life like?

Well, I live in a big, ugly yellow house on a shady street in a historical district with nothing other than cute little white houses on it. I have two daughters, a husband, and a couple of pets. I wake up in the morning and immediately check my computer for e-mails, then tweet, then check my Writing Group, then I think about making coffee. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Most of my days are busy. My girls are home schooled, so we do a lot of that, and I take them to their music lessons and out shopping. We go to Sonic a lot for drinks. I like to cook and I do a lot of different things in the kitchen, hence my reputation for being a “Certified Kitchen Witch”. When I’m not cooking or cleaning or teaching or being a taxi, I like to paint and knit. And read. And write, of course. My days are always busy and almost never boring. I have a very busy, quiet, happy life. I have a lot of peace, which is something I didn’t have when I was young. I’m lucky.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Wow. You know, my favourite books are the really old, dry ones that I read when I was young. I am not a subscriber to the modern concept that a story should be told in 300 pages or less. Screw that. I love Tolkein, Alcott, and Lawrence. Those stories they told were real. Absolutely real and raw and dirt and messy and they were long, but once you read them, you actually lived another life. You came out of them with somebody else’s experience and wisdom and you were a better person for knowing the characters. Those are the kinds of books I want to write. The kind that change your mind and get into your soul and stay there forever.

As far as films, I’m a big fan of Hong Kong Cinema, but not the karate genre, per se. I love Hong Kong drama. My all time favourite film ever is a Hong Kong film called “Anna Magdalena”. But as far as American cinema, I just like movies that have meaning, or are funny. It’s always nice to just laugh.

Music…well, that’s a whole other subject! I listen to everything from opera, standards, and jazz to Iron Maiden. It depends on my mood. 

What are your views on independent publishing?

Well, I’ve been in the publishing industry on and off since I was twelve years old. I made a very intentional decision to self-publish. It wasn’t born of the frustration of being rejected by traditional publishers. I know full well I can be traditionally published, because I’ve done it under a different name. However, I didn’t want to be told what to do. I didn’t want my book to be gutted. It was so personal and so special to me that I wanted it how it was. I didn’t want it to be necessarily polished or perfect. I wanted the reader to have one of two experiences as they read: to either be the person Silvia, the narrator, was speaking to, hearing her voice as she rambled, watching her remember her life and tell it in her own words, or to be an eaves dropper on the train with them. My goal was to tell the story the way my own grandmother would have told it to me. I didn’t want anybody touching that, so I didn’t let them. I have every intention of doing the same thing with my next book, too. Every story has a soul and every author has the right to tell it the way they want. I like to do things my own way without a lot of aggravation. I’m very punk rock that way. 

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

My best qualities are my sense of humour and my inner strength. I’ve been through a lot in my life and it’s made me empathetic and passionate about everything and everyone. I’m kind. My odd qualities? Oh, my, there are many! I don’t look at things in a traditional way…at all. I believe only in possibilities and never in limitations.

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

My favourite animals are bats. I think they are so cool and so cute! My favourite colour is emerald green. My favourite outdoor activity? Well, I’m not very outdoorsy, but I do like campfires and starry skies.

What would you take to a remote island?

BOOKS!

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

Joey Ramone. I’d love to have made my world famous pot roast for him, as a thank you, before he passed away. We’re no relation, but I’ve always been a fan.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I’m currently doing some freelance editing, but I’m working on novel #2 as well. I don’t really like to talk about my works in progress, but once it’s ready to rock I’ll be posting on Twitter and on my blog.

 

Links:

Amazon:  http://bookShow.me/B009ODTG86

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6540025.Melodie_Ramone

website 

twitter username melodie_ramone
About this author

I’m a wife, mother, keeper of fuzzy critters, author, speaker and certified Kitchen Witch. When I’m not creating Culinary magic, I can usually be found writing stories, reading books, relentlessly tweeting, knitting or delving into fringe Physics. Super geek? Oh, yeah. 

What else? Well, I’m funny and quick tempered, older than I look and young enough to be able to fall on roller skates and still move the next day. I’m short. I have curly, red hair. My favorite color is emerald green. I like Japanese Anime, rainy days, cats, kids, and any movie that includes Simon Pegg. 

I’m obsessed with the Science of Physics, particularly Particle Physics, although in the last few years I am drawn more and more toward Astronomy. I’m fascinated with Outer Space and what’s going on out there. Hubble and the Mars Rovers have sparked a passion in me that goes back to the first time I saw Star Wars. And that was a long, long time ago. I’m a curious person by nature. I want to know everything about everything, I want to see it. I want to understand it so I can understand the origins of our universe. But, then again, I want to understand everything in general. 

Some things I never will. I will never understand hate. I will never understand ignorance. I try to let them wash past me, but sometimes it’s hard. I think, in some ways, it’s why I write. So I can leave behind a world I don’t always understand, one I sometimes find too painful to stay in, and create my own universe. One that parallels this one, one that is similar, but one which I, ultimately control. One where everything, at least to me, makes sense.

In short, I’m a happy person. I’m not perfect and I’m not entirely sane, but I don’t pretend to be. In the end, when I look back at my life I will see an amazing smear of color. All the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the strength and weakness that was me. I’ll see all I did and all I failed at. And I will sigh and I will say that I lived. I really, truly lived. I was real. I wrote books. And that, I think, will be good enough for me.

 

11 Nov 2013

Author profile SHANE O’NEILL and his new release FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

 

 

Regular followers of my blog will know that I read little Horror. So it is with particular pleasure that I introduce one of those gifted writers that made me enjoy their work and go back for more. So far I have read and reviewed four of Shane’s work [I have attached the reviews at the end of this feature].

Here is the new book

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

[RELEASED TODAY]

and an interview with Shane. 

 

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

 

A war rages on around us every day. The struggle to save all mankind. The ultimate evil.

The battle for souls has raged since the truce that followed the First Great War of the Angels. God has struck the ultimate blow and sacrifice to gain the advantage and defeat His fallen angel and estranged son, Lucifer. As Lucifer stands at the foot of the Cross that drains the last ounce of life from Christ and eradicates man’s sins, he realises that his work must begin anew.
In time, he comes to understand that his only chance to win this battle will be to destroy the institution of the Catholic Church to turn man against God, once and for all. He searches for more than a millennium for the candidate to see his plan through to an end and finally discovers the one that can cast that final blow.

 

 

Interview with Shane:

Tell us a little about yourself as a writer and a person.

The writer has been in me for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid I wrote poems and short stories. It is what I have always wanted to be, though I have taken my time with my project. I wrote the first parts of it all the way back in 1984, about 50k words that will appear in one of the much later books. Then in 1992, I started the project proper. It took me thirteen years to write Reckoning Day and a first draft that is over 350k words long. I immediately followed it with Bound By Blood and The Gates Of Babylon, which I have since broken up into separate books owing to the length of the originals. I try and write in a way that engages the reader on every page. I want my readers to see everything as though they are standing there in the middle of it all. Many people have told me they do indeed feel this when they’re reading my work. Also, I want my reader to feel everything that each of my characters are feeling, and I go to great pains to achieve this.

As a man, I am someone who is devoted to those he loves, though circumstances in my life have often kept me apart from my loved ones. I am dedicated in the things I do, passionate over the things I care about and I try always to consider the feelings of others, whatever the situation.

What is it that fascinates you about Dracula? Is there a particular thing? When did the obsession begin?

The whole ethos that surrounds Dracula captivates me. I was sucked in from a young age with Christopher Lee’s portrayal of him on the big screen. His Dracula terrified me with his bloodshot eyes and long fangs, yet I was forever drawn to him. I watched all the other vampire/horror movies of the 1950’s and 1960’s, hooked on the adrenaline rush one gets from watching these at such a young age.

My interest, and yes, obsession, with Dracula grew over time when I discovered the real Vlad III Dracula who lived in the 15th Century. I collected and read so many texts over the years that I felt as though I knew him. Of course, historical texts lack a feel for who he was and the novels I read that attempted to create this, fell well short of who I saw him to be. Therefore, I made it a vocation to bring him to life in my books, but as a combination of both.

I do strive however to distance my character from Bram Stoker’s. The only similarity they share is their name. It irks me when people call my work a new take on an old legend, because it is nothing of the sort. This is an entirely new concept that bears little or no resemblance to the Stoker classic.

What made you decide to write such historical accounts of Dracula and when did you begin to write the other stories?

I began writing Reckoning Day, a part of the story based in the late 20th Century. After every three chapters I was going back in time to 1476 to the time of Dracula’s death. Initially, I wanted to give an origin and a background to the vampire in the story. When this part of the story continued to grow, I separated it and turned it into a book in its own right. Using the premise of Lucifer trying to ascend again to Heaven through the destruction of the institution of the Catholic Church, I had so much scope to work with. I put Dracula behind the scenes of every major event in the 16th Century where the influence of the Vatican was harmed or compromised. This allowed me to write about Martin Luther, Niccolo Machiavelli, the Borgias, the Tudors, and many of the great kings and popes of the day.

But I wasn’t satisfied with that, and after writing the section of the story from 1476 to 1612, I wanted to go back further in time to Dracula’s birth. I had planned to write about ten chapters and put it in at the beginning of the existing book, but 300k words later, I had only reached the halfway point in his life. I was, and still am, so in love with that period from 1431 to 1456 and the combined histories of the Romanias, Anatolia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary that the words just continued to flow. That will now become three books. I still have to cover the period from 1456 to his death twenty years later.

Tell us a little about the history of the books and your writing. How long did it take you to write and publish?

I have answered this question, in part, already. As I mentioned earlier, the first book I wrote – Reckoning Day – took me thirteen years to complete. It is a huge book though and will probably become 3 separate books at some point. I had a representative at that time who was well connected in literary circles around New York. She showed Reckoning Day to several of the publishing houses and well-established agents there. At the time, Kostova’s The Historian was due for release and the popular opinion was that it would not be a good time to have two Dracula novels competing with each other at the same time. I did have a couple of offers though, which I rejected. Some people have scorned me for doing this, but in hindsight it was the correct decision. The one publishing house I rejected certainly would have made my name well known. But had I chosen that route at that time, I’m not sure my concept would have evolved as it did and therefore I am happy with where I am today.

In 2006, I wrote the two large tomes that have now become Chronicles #1, #2, #3, #6 and #7. Over the next six years I re-wrote these between six and ten times, refining the story and bringing it all together. I released the two vampire books, #6 and #7 in December, 2012 and am now releasing #1 this week.

What is the easiest about writing and what is the hardest?

The easiest aspect for me has always been writing the story. Whenever I have sat down to write, the words just flowed for me. The hardest and most tiresome part will always be the editing process.

What is your favourite scary movie?

Definitely The Omen. An absolute classic.

What are your next projects? Have you written anything else?

Aside from The Dracula Chronicles, I will only be writing horror shorts for the foreseeable future. Those shorts are part of a series called Tales Of The Black Sabbath. In these, I explore the darker recesses of the human psyche.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

Life is very busy with work and getting my books out there. Norway isn’t the easiest country to make it as a foreigner, but I do have many good friends here.I work in mental health for the local authority. The greatest pleasure I have is time with my son, or with my daughters when I’m in the UK. Otherwise, I like being out in the countryside or enjoying a coffee with friends.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

Yes I’ve met and read books by some very good Indie authors. Some examples would be Luke Romyn, Katie Jennings, Ashley Fontainne, Travis Luedke and John Dolan. I hear this guy, Christoph Fischer, is really good too.

 Lol. Thank you. What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

Ugh I don’t really know. Maybe that when I love someone, it is absolute. On the negative side, I’m always re-stacking the dishwasher after people as it drives me nuts when everything just gets thrown in there.

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

I’m a dog person myself and used to keep German Shepherds. I love those dogs. My favourite colour would be purple, closely followed by green. I love many outdoor activities, but walking out in the woods or in the wilds would probably be my favourite.

What would you take to a remote island?

The woman of my dreams, my vinyl collection and my laptop.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

Oh, what a question. There are so many amazing people out there that I’d have loved to have had dinner with and chat to. Sadly, some of them are no longer with us. I wouldn’t mind having Marg Helgenberger around for dinner, though I’d probably be too busy staring at her to say much of anything.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

At the moment I’m working on the final draft from my 3rd editor for Chronicle #2, The Path To Decay, which I hope to release in December and then it is on to the final re-writes of Chronicle #3, The Gates Of Babylon. I also want to release a couple more of my horror shorts over the coming months. Busy, busy, busy. I try to keep all the information updated on my website www.draculachronicles.co.uk

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

I just want my readers to know that my primary objective is to entertain you. Nothing gives me more pleasure than mails and correspondence with people who have been wowed by what I have written. The Dracula Chronicles will introduce you to a fascinating world, engaging you with characters some of you may already be familiar with, and others that you won’t have heard of before picking up one of my books.

These stories are historical novels of Gothic horror, full of political intrigue, religious corruption, great battles, tragedy and romance. The premise is built completely around true historical events, which I manipulate to integrate my concept, though without deviating from the true course of these events. I also use myth and legend where necessary and I have filled one or two holes that historical texts do not give full clarification to. With all these elements combined, it makes for a captivating series of reads.

 

Shane the Author

 

Shane KP O’Neill is the writer of The Dracula Chronicles, a new and exciting series adding a new dimension to the Dracula myth. He has begun the series with a later Chronicle to give his readers the vampire first. The series then continues on with Chronicle #1, For Whom The Bell Tolls, to take you back to the beginning. 

The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age. Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee’s portrayal of him on the big screen. It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there. An avid lover of history, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years. It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject.  He built a concept and premise where he could accommodate both Dracula the vampire and Dracula the man.

Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests. He reads a lot of books from a wide variety of authors though his main interest lies in the horror genre.  His love of books is matched only by his love of the countryside and of course, his family.  As an added note, he has lived and travelled all over the world. He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval Europe. Anywhere he travels, he likes to search out locations with an historical interest and will always hunt for the ruins of an old castle before heading to the beach.

Amazon

US –  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00A75SM4O

UK –  http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00A75SM4O

Website  www.draculachronicles.co.uk

Blog  www.draculachronicles.co.uk/blog

Twitter @ShaneKPONeill

Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12341417-shane-o-neill

Youtube  http://www.youtube.com/user/DraculaChronicles

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

 18342958

 “The Lamb of God” by Shane KP O’Neill tells the story of Dracula from the beginning, literally, the creation of the world. Telling the story of the biblical genesis but with slight alterations this is instantly captivating and fascinating. The story of Christ and finally the 15th century history and family genealogy Vlad Dracul are portrayed in one dramatic history lecture that leads up to the birth of Dracula.
As fan of history I hugely enjoyed this re-telling of the biblical gospel and O’Neill’s take on the Dracula story. Clearly familiar with the historical facts and the times he paints a great picture of how one would have to imagine the story. Written with an authoritative voice and in appropriate prose the short novel shows a creative idea executed with expertise and skill. A great accomplishment.

 

 

16217523The Dracula Chronicles: Bound By Blood – Volume 1” by Shane O’Neill is an excellent Dracula story. Combining the myth with history and significant events in the development of the Catholic Church the book has a lot to offer.

The story begins with one battle in a long winded struggle by Vlad III Dracula, Voivode of Wallachia to re-gain his throne and power. Close to victory he gets wounded and strikes a deal with Lucifer. Dracula is to gain eternal life in exchange for playing a significant role against the Catholic Church.
The books then follows Vlad III Dracula doing just that: In the Italy of the Medici’s and Machiavelli, the Court in London and in a Germany just before Luther’s reforms.
These historical elements in the book are really well done and make this an enjoyable and intelligent read that easily surpasses most Vampire and Dracula stories. There is a competence and power in this writing that makes the story feel very real, despite the paranormal aspects. 

The characters are well developed and the dialogue runs very smoothly. The paranormal aspects of the story are what I expected to like the least but they too are written with care and attention to detail. I often feel that as Vampires are the flavour of the season many writers make details about their Vampires and the life they lead up as they go along, leaving the reader with a lot of confusion and inconsistencies. O’Neill has avoided such downfalls and never lost my attention or trust. The book is powerful, competent and very engaging. 
Highly recommended for all fans of the genre but particularly for those who also appreciate literary quality.

 

15 Oct 2013

NEW RELEASE: THE BLACK EAGLE INN

1 Comment News

b3-full book

THE BLACK EAGLE INN

BOOK 3 OF THE THREE NATIONS TRILOGY

was released this weekend.

The book has already been featured on several book blogs

Devilwinds (Release Post)

Tattle Tale Blog (Long Feature)

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Release Post)

Hotchpotching (Release Post)

UviArt (Long Interview)

MarthaEmms (Interview)

Tazzis Place (Release Post)

Iyana Jenna (Interview)

 

The Book also charted in Historical Fiction / German and the first reviews have come in. Here are some excerpts:

 

Brilliant Historical Fiction: Fascinating and Entertaining

impeccably researched historical events with a personal perspective,

the best way to engage the readers and make history real

Christoph Fischer knows how to write amazing stories.

how did Germany recover, not just economically and physically, but philosophically and culturally?

a riveting story of a family, set against the backdrop of the changing political landscape of wartime and post-war Germany

***

an allegory of the old Germany

a really great historical novel in best traditions of James A. Michener and Errol Lincoln Uys, that delivers a historical narrative through character exploration; a fascinating journey into a less-explored territory. Highly recommended.

***

a candid snapshot into the psychological make-up of people

A very honest and ruthless book with an incredible story

***

a brilliantly authentic period narrative while also being a juicy melodrama complete with family secrets and sibling rivalry. This is first-class historical fiction.

I was blown away by the detailed recreation of time and place. At the same time, I found myself lost in the emotional life of Anna Stockmann and her compelling journey of self discovery.

 

http://bookShow.me/B00FSBW2L6

 

A New Germany?

Can a leopard ever change its spots and can a Nation ever change? Is Germany trying to take over the European Union in militant fashion as some people claim? Are Germans always rigid, organised and pushy? Did Mussolini’s fascism stem from a reminiscent ‘Roman’ megalomania? Is there something inherently unchangeable in the makeup of a Nation?

Confronted with often harsh stereotypes of Nazi-esque Germans in film, television and conversations abroad it seems that a certain image sticks to us Germans in the view of other Nations. I left the country 20 years ago and often see the Germans from the outside perspective with similar eyes and cringe at some innocent remarks by my compatriots and their sometimes only misunderstood behaviours. Yet some of these stereotypes can reinforce undifferentiated ideas about German mentality and politics.

My book is by no means a glorification of the German nation. As much as I love my place of origin I am happy where I live now. By having written a somewhat political book about post-war Germany I hope to paint a more balanced and more complex picture about its past and its people. Like every country in the world Germany should remain a work in progress of continuous development and improvement.

download Molly author pictureP1080444

 

10 Oct 2013

P.C. Zick: “A Lethal Legacy”

1 Comment Book Reviews
18529710
“A Lethal Legacy” by P.C.Zick was a real surprise-find and treat for me. Knowing this superb author from her award nominated environmental novel “Trails in the Sand” I was not prepared for a psychological thriller so incredibly well written and breath-taking.
The powerful and to me entrancing narrative follows two cousins through their lives as teenagers and young adults, their first amorous affairs and their marriages. While writer Ed envies his good looking cousin Gary the women and the ease in his life, Gary is struggling with his concealed homosexuality and would probably happily trade with Ed who has all the qualities that Ed’s father would appreciate.
I felt myself deeply engaged in the minds of these two men and was eager to find out where the story was leading, how the men would develop and if or how their many intriguing issues would be resolved. The powerful writing kept me almost entranced with the story and made for some compelling reading.
Gary’s grown up daughter Kris re-appears in his life and gets re-acquainted with her father. Ed tells her (and us) more of the missing pieces of his and Gary’s past. In small segments we learn more about the failed marriages and the friendship between the two. The narrative strands work extremely well together to keep the suspense and explain what needs to be told. Family secrets and background information add spice to the story and fairly late into the book a murder pushes the plot even further.
I am truly amazed at the author’s versatility and the quality of the writing. This reads more like it is coming from an experienced thriller expert rather than from a newcomer to the genre. I found the depth of the characters, the continuous tension and the easy flow of the narrative outstanding and must give this book a very enthusiastic 5 stars.
Interview with the author:
5989135
Welcome back to the blog. What made you decide to write/ publish a thriller after writing/publishing environmentally themed books?
 
Actually I wrote A Lethal Legacy in 2000. It was my second novel and an experiment in writing technique. I wrote it in first person, but the main character is a man about fifteen to twenty years older than me. I tried to keep it suspenseful yet thoughtful so I made Ed, the main character, a writer.
 
I understand You wrote the book ten years ago.Tell us a little about the history of the book.

There’s bits of truth interspersed. An event with some family members gave me an idea. I had a cousin who was similar to the Gary character although I extrapolated the details of my cousin’s life from small little tidbits. He was the only son of my dad’s brother and wife. He had two marriages (one to Miss America 1973 who’s now on the 700 Club as a host) that ended abruptly. One involved the removal of his son as a young child. My cousin ended up dying in San Diego in 1992 with a dear friend who called my aunt and uncle with the news. The friend was with him when he died and he was male. My aunt and uncle refused to go to his funeral even money, time, and health were not issues. They told the rest of us my cousin died of lymph node cancer. Then the son he hadn’t seen in fifteen years showed up at my aunt and uncle’s and started bilking money from them. The police even suspected that he tried to kill my aunt with an overdose of phenobarbital. I had to do something with this story. My aunt didn’t die until a year later and in the meantime she had her will changed to disinherit her grandson. Who couldn’t resist writing that plot?

What was your motivation to write A Lethal Legacy? Do you have a particular message you would like to convey?

Many things occurred in the lives of the people I just mentioned that involved greed and a concentration on the outward trappings of a successful life. In fact, the first title of the book was Greed.

How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?

I loved writing the sexy, seductive Kristina. She is the vamp I’ve never been in real life so it was a hoot to let loose with her. I also intimately understood Ed’s character. He tried so hard to please everyone around him, but he couldn’t until he started loving himself. 

How much of the stories was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?

Not much really changed in the way of plot. However, I do remember moving the scenes around quite a bit to get the flashback part right. I had two people read the first draft, and they didn’t get it or understand the plot. I went away to the beach for a few days and holed up in a hotel room with the surf beating outside my balcony. I moved the pieces around the board and came up with the right mix. When I reissued it this year, I didn’t do much of anything but work on grammatical things.

Are you like any of the characters in the book?

I believe I’m in a little bit of all the characters. The two Townsend brothers are very similar to my father and his brother–they were very easy to write.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My husband and I love to be outdoors as much as possible. We have a small pleasure boat and spend summer weekends on the water. We also kayak and golf. My husband is a master gardener so we have an abundance of produce in the summer that I’m put up by either freezing or canning. We eat well all winter long. I lived in Florida for thirty years before marrying my husband in 2010. Then I moved to Pittsburgh, but we get back to Florida two or three times a year.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. I also love Carl Hiassen’s books about wacky Florida. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is probably one of my favorite books. When I was a high school English teacher, I taught that book along with Steinbeck’s The Pearl. It was amazing to turn teenagers on through reading.

What are your views on independent publishing?

I fought it for a long time. My first three books were independently published. Then I became disillusioned with the publishing world when I realized if I could only be Madonna’s maid for a year–then I’d be able to sell a book. Then when I came out of my period of pouting, the revolution in indie publishing was occurring. I love it, but I want all Indie Authors to put out only their very best writing so we can gain respect.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

I love the work of Darlene Jones, Revital Horowitz, Christina Carson, and so many others. However, my queue on my Kindle is packed so I’m sure there are many more left to discover.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

My best quality would be my sense of humor I suppose. My friends tell me all the time they laugh the hardest with me. My oddest quality? I like my underwear to match my clothes and just don’t feel put together when they don’t match.

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

I’m a lover of wild animals as long as they are left alone to be wild. I love burgundy and kayaking is my favorite outdoors activity.

What would you take to a remote island?

My husband.

Who would you like to invited for dinner and why?

I would invite Carl Hiassen because he’s so funny and breaks all the bounds of decency with his characters. I then would bring back Thomas Jefferson so we could sit around and talk about the stupidity that’s occurring in Washington right now. And then I’d like to round out the table with a few of the wonderful people I’ve met through my blog and books, but I’ve never met in person. 

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I’m just finished putting together the diary of my great grandfather. He wrote the journal about his experiences as a Union soldier during the Civil War. I added historical tidbits to round out the piece. I’m quite proud of it. I’m also working on my next Florida environmental novel called Native Lands. I began the book several years ago, but then got busy on other projects. I’ve pulled it out and gone through it. Right now it’s on my coffee table in a three ring binder waiting for me to read and flesh out. It’s merely a 300-page outline at this point. My website, www.pczick.com, contains all the information about my books.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

Very simply, I love to write. I love to write about the human condition, but I also like to have a deeper meaning evolve. I believe that our future depends on us living lightly on this earth and taking responsibility for making it a better world.

Find Lethal Legacy on Amazon:

http://bookShow.me/B00F1Z74TE

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18529710-a-lethal-legacy

The official website:

www.pczick.com

30 Aug 2013

Newsflash: Review Bonanza for THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS

Comments Off on Newsflash: Review Bonanza for THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS News, Review

THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS

In the last week this book drew in a staggering 10 new reviews:

922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o

Here are some highlights from the reviews. Thanks for everyone who has helped promoting the book and put the word out there. This is a very exciting time. {Sebastian also had more reviews but that will have to wait for another newsflash}

Historical Fiction at its Best!!

“The Luck of the Weissensteiners” by talented Author Christoph Fischer is classified as a fictional novel but words can barely describe how much more it is than that…his style of writing is seasoned, well-researched, captivating, and true-to-life. It brings back memories of my first encounter as a young school girl with the heart wrenching plight of the Jewish people when I read “The Diary of Anne Frank”.

Author Christoph Fischer has such an incredible gift. He is able to quietly and softly bring his reading audience into the lives of his characters and touch their hearts in a memorable and profound way.

This touching novel has certainly left its mark on me. Early in the morning…I eagerly rose to read a few more chapters before I started my day. In the evening before bed time, I engaged in the same activity with not wanting to miss a word in this captivating epic story with plenty of historical facts and authenticity to make every word penned remarkably believable and enticing. I was so expertly drawn into the story line in this incredible novel that I felt mesmerized by the cast of characters depicted…how their lives were intertwined and how their stories unfolded. This historical novel is such a wonderful and enjoyable read. Thank you to Author Christoph Fischer for sharing his talent with all of us! Simply put…I loved this book!

*****

An encapsulating read,

A very interesting read

It is a touching and moving tale with some wonderful characters and great storytelling.

The story is well developed and will draw a reader very quickly inside the pages

and an overwhelming sense of reality in this book.

An exceptional page-turner and many historical readers will enjoy this gripping novel.

Nicely put together! A credit and a craft to the author.

***** 68681_10151109627282132_490312403_n

A truly beautiful historic suspense,

An astounding and epic story about the harrowing experiences of a Jewish family during World War Two.

Christoph Fischer’s wonderfully descriptive writing style gives an authentic feel of the era.

I found myself feeling real concern for the superbly drawn characters as they desperately try to avoid being detected by the Nazis.

*****  Molly

A little difficult to get a hang of at first, but good later on,

In Christoph Fischer’s “Luck of the Weissensteiners” you get … a great new perspective to yet another war story.

… becomes a nail biting drama as the war comes to its end. I am glad I persisted with the book. I felt moved by the story and just loved the ending when everything is being tied up.
I really enjoyed some of the great characters that came in later, particularly a tough and ambiguous Hungarian Countess, or the late love interest for the widowed father Jonah. I cared for all the characters, even some of the bad ones were becoming soft and it made me realise just how difficult it had to have been for all these people, regardless of their agendas, and how many possible outcomes for these people there could have been.
Fischer tells a good story and does so without much stereotypes and predictability. Some parts were intense but overall it was a pretty good read.

****  704801_10151110620882132_1411199247_o

A Jolt to my Ethnocentricity,

Reading Christoph Fischer’s The Luck of the Weissensteiners presented another view of that period through the camera lens of people living in Eastern Europe. The book shows people from all the different perspectives before, during, and after the war. It’s an eye-opening read to learn that the United States wasn’t the center of this war. In the lives of these ordinary folks, the United States played an almost peripheral role.

Through it, all one family stands strong.

This book’s retelling of the history of this period in Europe is personalized through the characters that represent a cross section of the lives impacted by the atrocities of war. Jews, Gentiles, Germans, Slovakians, lesbians, and traitors all point to one direction. War never makes much sense when the individual lives of its victims are examined. Neither side wins when people are persecuted for their religion, political beliefs, nationality, or sexual orientations.

Christoph Fischer has written an important book for its historical perspective. He personified the vagaries of war through the fictional characters.

As long as genocide exists in the world, we must do as Fischer has done in his novel – remind us, and remind us again, that our faith, our color, our language, and our life choices should matter not a wit. In the end, it’s our integrity and how we treat others that matters the most.

Thank you, Christoph, for writing this important book to remind us never to repeat the mistakes of the past.

***** 14708_10151107403537132_1439408697_n

Historical Fiction at it’s best,

It is hard to say a great deal about this book without giving it all away. No, it isn’t an ‘easy read’. But it it a literary gem in a huge field of historical fiction, many of which I don’t get past the opening chapters. It is insightful, historically accurate, and informative. One I started, I couldn’t put it down. A fantastic read for all ages.

I am looking forward to starting the second book in this trilogy.

****

TLOTW SLider

 

 

About this author

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria, which has led to his interest in the concept of Nations, individuals and communal culture, some of the central themes of ‘The Three Nations Trilogy’.
He moved to Hamburg, London, Brighton and Bath, where he is still resident today.
The Luck of The Weissensteiners’  is his first book and was published in November 2012.
‘Sebastian‘ in May 2013.He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Christoph Fischer on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/TheLuckOfTheWeissensteiners?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sebastian/489427467776001?ref=hl

Profile on Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16177343-the-luck-of-the-weissensteiners

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17834808-sebastian

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1372133796&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Weissensteiners-Three-Nations-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00AFQC4QC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361292311&sr=8-2&keywords=luck+of+the+weissensteiners

http://www.amazon.com/Sebastian-Three…

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1372133835&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Weissensteiners-Three-Nations-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00AFQC4QC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361292346&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sebastian-Thr…

 

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luck-of-the-weissensteiners-christoph-fischer/1113932211?ean=9781481130332

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sebastian-mr-christoph-fischer/1115243053?ean=9781484156001

 

 

21 Aug 2013

“There’s Nothing Wrong with Claudia” by Brenda Kearns

2 Comments Book Reviews

ClaudiaCoverEnglish2.8X4

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH CLAUDIA

Claudia does not like being different. She does not like being outside on windy days. And she does not like being able to float—because floating causes nothing but trouble. 

All Claudia wants is to be the same as everyone else…until the day there’s a major disaster at her school, and the only one who can possibly make things right is a very clever girl who knows how to float!

“There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia” by Brenda Kearns is a wonderful and magic book for children that I would highly recommend.
In the story Claudia is unhappy with her special gift, talent or curse to be able to float, for which no cure can be found.
Only her grandfather keeps assuring everyone: There is nothing wrong with Claudia.
The book is a wonderful plea for acceptance of all of one’s qualities. What may appear as a weakness could turn out to be a strength and a blessing.
The symbolism and the many possible readings of this story work on many levels, which is amazing for such a short story. Floating could be a metaphor for the ability to rise above things, for being light hearted and free or being able to go with the flow of the universe?
This book, being read to a child by an understanding adult as the grandfather in the story, can bring children a greater understanding of the gift that is being different, should help them to accept themselves for what they are and also allow them to enjoy the beautiful drawings and the cute characters.
A very impressive achievement

Brenda -1

 

Interview with Brenda Kearns

How did you come to writing?

It was an accident, actually. I was a science teacher on maternity leave, and was looking for an excuse to avoid cleaning the house. I was also looking for an excuse to get out of the house. I was bored, bored, bored. So I took an eight-week night class on creative writing. It was a blast! I had so much fun that I decided to try writing for a living, instead of teaching.

Is this your first book or have you written before?

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia was my second book. While I was taking that eight-week course, I wrote an early chapter book—Sleepover Zoo. That wasn’t leisurely, relaxing writing—I wrote like a chipmunk hopped up on caffeine. I felt like I had to justify the rather drastic career change that I was considering, and early chapter books were in demand at the time, while I’d heard that editors already had a glut of picture book submissions in their slush pile. Luckily, Scholastic Canada agreed to publish Sleepover Zoo. That gave me the confidence to write There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia. I figured I’d better have a backup plan, so I also started sending out query letters to every woman’s magazine that I could find. I sent out 365 queries that first year—and received 365 rejections. I stunk at writing query letters!

What made you decide to write for children?

Well, I had two kids. Then I had a third. Then I adopted two. Then I adopted two more. I’m constantly surrounded by kids, so it seemed like a good idea to write things that might distract them so I could get a few minutes of peace.

When did you first have the idea for this book?

My oldest daughter was three at the time. She was very energetic, and my former mother-in-law was convinced that there had to be something wrong with her. Leah loved running, she loved biking, she loved climbing onto counters, she loved crawling under tables…she did not want to sit still and listen to a bunch of boring adults talk about their boring lives. I found myself saying, “there’s nothing wrong with Leah,” a lot. That spawned the idea for the book!

What is your main message in this book?

The things that make you different aren’t necessarily flaws or weaknesses—with the right attitude, they can be your strengths! (also cod liver oil tastes terrible, and grandpas are cool)

How long did it take you to write this book?

SleepoverZooCover

Ooooh, good question…I worked on Claudia off and on for about three months. I got it to the point where I was fairly happy with it, then tucked it away to “chill” while I got the magazine writing rolling and started the next picture book, Parrots and Popcorn. When I went back to Claudia a few months later, I hated it! It was completely wrong! Aaarrrggghhh! So I picked away at it for, oh, probably two more years before I really felt good about it.

What do you find the most challenging aspect of the writing process and what the most enjoyable?

The toughest part for me is simply starting a new project. It isn’t actually writer’s block that holds me back. It’s a vague “jumping over a big mud puddle” feeling. I’m always hoping things will go smoothly, hoping I’ll enjoy the process and hoping the end result will be something worth reading, but there’s that annoying, whiney little voice in my head that makes me question whether or not I can actually do it. Oddly, I never worry about whether or not I can write something worth reading while I’m in the midst of a project—I only worry before I start.

The most enjoyable part? That’s the part I call tweaking (I’d call it editing, but that sounds too much like work). Once I have that first draft in place, I’m in heaven! I love to move stuff around, change how sentences are worded, change plot lines, find spelling mistakes and dumb phrases that need to be knocked out…Tweaking is fun, because the pressure is off at that point. I’ve finished the first draft—now I’m just playing with it and making it better.

How comfortable do you feel writing for young adults?

I’m a bit weird—I have an aversion to writing about sex, drugs, violence, vampires and all of that other gripping stuff that teens seem to like. I’m drawn to books that make me feel good and make me laugh, and I really can’t imagine writing something that would make me feel depressed or stress me out. So while I love writing for young adults, I focus on early young adults and my work is laced with humor.

Tell us about your other books

Parrots and Popcorn is a picture book about a girl, Kara, who’s upset about her upcoming birthday. What she wants is a real magic show and a puppy. Instead, her brother is going to do some fake magic tricks in front of her friends, then he’s going to pull some plain old presents out of his magic hat. The night before her birthday, Kara gets hold of her brother’s magic hat and starts experimenting, trying to see if she can actually make it work. She quickly discovers that she’s a lot better at magic than her brother—and she gets a lot more for her birthday than she’d expected!

PopcornCoverEnglish4.2X6

Sleepover Zoo—the early chapter book that I mentioned—is about a 6th grade girl who moves into a new neighborhood and tries desperately to hide her family’s weirdness from the kids at school. Toni wants to fit in and feel normal, yet her family runs a wild bird care center in their house, so it’s like living in a zoo. When Toni gets cornered by one of the popular girls and has to have a sleepover, things go downhill fast!

 

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet is an early young adult novel. It’s about Monica, a 14-year-old who desperately wants to spend August at a science camp far away from her idiot sister and weird little brother. Trouble is, Monica’s being dragged into the wedding party of her crabby old great aunt who lives in England—and if she wants to earn the science camp trip, she has to keep her siblings in line for the entire time they’re in England, plus convince her crazy Grandma to move into a nursing home. It’s a fast-paced story with lots of laughs (fair warning: no sex, violence or vampires).

How do you write? What is your writing environment like?

I love my office. It’s a small room with soothing green walls, a huge wooden desk, a bookshelf, and a comfy chair and love seat for my kids to use. Very zen. Our Great Dane uses up half of the love seat, so my kids often end up sprawled out on the floor. There have been times when five, six or all seven kids are scattered around in there yakking while I work. It’s a great room—everyone gravitates toward it.

 

I don’t really have scheduled “writing times.” I do an hour or so before my kids get up, then once they’re at school, or busy playing, I write until lunch. After lunch, I write until supper. Then after the younger ones are in bed, I write until bedtime (or until my brain goes on strike and I have to stop). As long as there’s no music playing, I can write. Kids talking, tractors running (we live on a farm), the TV blaring…nothing really distracts me except music.

 

How many rewrites did it take you?

 BK00013045

I never rewrite…I tweak! That makes the whole process feel less intimidating and less painful. I just tweak and tweak and tweak until I can’t see anything else that I could possibly do to fix the bloody thing. I picked away at There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia for about two years. Of course, if that was all I was doing for two years, I would have gone bat crap crazy. I’d also started writing health articles for Women’s World and First for Women—and I was working on Parrots and Popcorn—at the same time.

Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?

My books are all self-published ebooks (even Sleepover Zoo is now an ebook, since the rights reverted back to me from Scholastic a few years ago). So that makes me the editor as well as the writer, which is scary. The thought of a reader finding errors in my books makes me cringe. So, when I think each book is ready, I send it to a freelance editor (Laura Backes is amazing) and ask them to be as critical as possible. It’s money well spent. I wouldn’t trust myself to self-publish without having a second set of eyes (official Editor Eyes) combing through the thing, first.

Another thing that helped was that I had all four books translated into Spanish and French. I didn’t do it to improve the books’ quality, specifically—I just got the wild idea to offer each book in three languages, and I can rarely dissuade myself once I come up with a wild idea. Well, the Spanish and French translators were spectacular, plus incredibly thorough. While doing their translations, one of them found two grammar issues that I hadn’t noticed, and the other one found a couple of typos!

Who are your favourite authors / influences?

I like anyone who makes me laugh, and I love clever, witty writing and smart, but flawed main characters. So Linda Urban (A Crooked Kind of Perfect) Karen McCombie (An Urgent Message of Wowness) and Louise Rennison (Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging) are great picks for me. Ever read Edward the Emu? I have that one memorized. And anything by Dave Barry, of course!

What is your favourite book?

Oddly, the book that I found completely absorbing, read multiple times and still remember vividly wasn’t actually a funny one (sorry, no chance of consistency with me, I guess). It’s David R. Palmer’s Emergence. I still have my original 1984 copy, here, in my office. My kids know they’re not allowed to touch it, because it’s so old it’s starting to fall apart. I’ll be putting it in my will—whichever kid sticks around and takes care of me when I’m old and frail will get it!

What would you take to a lonely island?

A boat with a working motor and lots of gas. I’d have to get home fast before my kids trashed the house. It never occurs to them that dirty dishes can actually be put into the dishwasher.

Who would play your characters in a movie?

Can I pick George Clooney? He’s a cutie—and a good actor. He could play a floating girl, don’t you think?

What are your next projects and where would we be able to hear about them?

I hope to have I Want To Go Home available by March, 2014. It’s a middle-grade novel about a 14-year-old girl (Allie) who’s already been in 17 different foster homes. Every time Allie and her younger siblings get tossed into a new foster family, she plays games (like lying about their mom’s drinking, and pretending counseling is helping) to get back home. Things backfire when they get placed on a farm with a savvy foster mom who doesn’t fall for Allie’s sneaky moves. I Want To Go Home is about Allie’s difficult, yet sometimes humorous journey as she struggles to decide if where she was born is truly where she belongs.

When it’s available, I’ll be posting the news on my Facebook writer page (www.facebook.com/BrendaKearnsWriter) and also on my blog (www.brendakearns.com/blog). So if anyone would like to subscribe to one of those, I can keep them posted (I only put a blurb on the Facebook page once or twice monthly, and I post one blog monthly, so I won’t clog up your e-mail in-box!).

My website:

www.brendakearns.com

Blog:

www.brendakearns.com/blog

 Twitter 

@Brenda_Kearns

AMAZON:

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia

http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Nothing-Wrong-Claudia-ebook/dp/B00DEP5BY8/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Theres-Nothing-Wrong-Claudia-ebook/dp/B00DEP5BY8/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-11

Parrots and Popcorn

http://www.amazon.com/Parrots-and-Popcorn-ebook/dp/B00CX7PMUG/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Parrots-and-Popcorn-ebook/dp/B00CX7PMUG/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-7

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

http://www.amazon.com/The-Washed-Face-Toilet-ebook/dp/B00C5K3I8O/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-Washed-Face-Toilet-ebook/dp/B00C5K3I8O/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-2

Sleepover Zoo

http://www.amazon.com/Sleepover-Zoo-ebook/dp/B00C5K44GY/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sleepover-Zoo-ebook/dp/B00C5K44GY/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-10

 

BARNES & NOBLE

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/theres-nothing-wrong-with-claudia-brenda-kearns/1115695875?ean=9780991811441

Parrots and Popcorn

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parrots-and-popcorn-brenda-kearns/1115536392?ean=9780991811434

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-day-i-washed-my-face-in-the-toilet-brenda-kearns/1115228290?ean=9780991811427

Sleepover Zoo

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sleepover-zoo-brenda-kearns/1115228289?ean=9780991811403

 

*These books are also available through Apple’s iBookstore, Sony’s Reader Store, Kobo, Copia, eBookPie, eSentral, Scribd and Gardners.

 

GOODREADS:

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18085293-there-s-nothing-wrong-with-claudia

Parrots and Popcorn

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18006889-parrots-and-popcorn

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17792466-the-day-i-washed-my-face-in-the-toilet

Sleepover Zoo

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17792499-sleepover-zoo

 

 MY REVIEW OF SLEEPOVER ZOO

“Sleepover Zoo” by Brenda Kearns is a lovely story for young adults.
As the title implies there is a sleepover involved, concerning several young girls. There is a long build up to the actual sleepover because of classroom ‘politics’ and worries by the girls about their image.
The location for said sleepover houses animals of all kinds and our heroine is worried that this will lead to ridicule rather than admiration.
The book does well in describing the worries and concerns of teenagers and it has some great revelations and a wonderful message. The description of the house with all the animals is often hilarious and entertaining, as it might be educational.
Once again Kearns has written sensitively about an important matter, the connection of humans with nature and animals. One party guest in particular has a steep learning curve. The characters are lovely, sometimes amusing and certainly very real.
This is a beautiful book that stands out from the many supernatural and superpower helpings of the genre.
Just right.

 

MY REVIEW OF THE DAY I WASHED MY FACE IN THE TOILET 

“The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet” by Brenda Kearns is a fun read concerning a teenage girl who is plagued by her two eccentric siblings on a family trip to England. 
The book is full of hilarious episodes and colourful characters. A hyper or slightly autistic brother, the diva sister, a difficult great-aunt or the demented Grandmother.
Besides the comedy however the story touches on some serious issues such as the care for the elderly and what to do with problem children. The book remains light hearted with some uplifting moments and great humour.
As with all good young adult fiction there is some food for thought and a message for tolerance and acceptance.
Highly recommended.

 

 

 

13 Aug 2013

“Red Gone Bad” by Lucy Pireel

2 Comments Review

 

Red Gone Bad cover_image_600x800

A collection of twisted fairy tales

Little Red Riding Hood finally takes her life into a direction which suits her, but not so much her friends, nor the wolf.

The miller’s daughter tries to strike a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, but forgets one detail.

Snow White is as black as night.

And Cinderella cleans house in a most definite way.

If you like to read stories in which the twists keep you on the edge of your seat and heroines get what they deserve, you might just like this anthology.

Here’s a link to what a reviewer had to say about this book.

 

And here is my humble opinion:

“Red Gone Bad” by Lucy Pireel is a great selection of short fairy tale stories, some modernised or updated, others twisted and altered in original ways. With these changes the book makes for thought-provoking and also very entertaining reading.
My favourite is probably the ending in Cinderella. Lucy’s characters are more believable without straying too far from fantasy and fairy tale territory. There may be mobile phones in Little Red Riding Hood but there is also the wolf from the original.
Cleverly put together and well written this is certainly worth your time.

 

INTERVIEW WITH LUCY

 

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Hi Lucy, thanks for joining us today. Tell us a little something about yourself as both a person and an author:

Well, I am a woman, a mother, a walker, talker, author, reader, grower of tomatoes, yoga instructor and like to help others as best I can.

What made you decide to be a writer? Have you always written?

I don’t think I decided to become a writer. My son wanted stories, but not the kind he could get from existing kiddie books, so I made some up. And then some more, and then I started to write the stuff which isn’t suitable for kids. Got published and here we are.

What kind of books do you write?

The kind I like to write. I don’t keep to any one genre. When I get an idea, that is what I write.

How did you come up with the idea for this book? (Red Gone Bad) How did you decide to modernise these four fairy tales?

Again my son. He wanted fairy tales but not the Disney, sappy kind. So I fished out the original ones from my library (I used to have a collection of old, original fairy tale books), which are kind of gruesome and then thought, “Hey, I could twist those around to something that suits my fantasies.

Would you say you have a central message? Would you classify the theme as feminist or is that too limiting? Do you like the term? Is it outdated?

Oh, wow. You know, never thought about a central message. So I’ll have to answer your first question with no. Feminism is not only limiting, but constricting too. And I indeed do not like the term. Think it is outdated and overrated.

Did you plan the stories before you wrote them or did the characters and plot surprise you?

They surprised me and the characters kind of took the stories to where the are now.

Tell us about your relationship to fairy tales?

I have always loved them and even collected them.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

Cinderella

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?

Again Cinderella.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

Bjork’s Human Behaviour

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDbPYoaAiyc

Are you like any of your characters? How so?

No, sometimes I wish I were.

What is your writing environment like?

Noisy. 🙂

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

I love the idea that I have control over everything. I’m a control freak and the idea of someone else having the power of changing my work to suit their needs … Ugh!

So, I loved, or rather love, each and every moment of it. My high was seeing my first book available and its first sales. Lows? You know, my glass is always half full. I do not believe in lows.

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?

The writing. Least favourite? Eh … I could say editing, but that wouldn’t be entirely true, because the perfectionist, miss never satisfied, that I am actually likes finding the faults and correcting them. And you know what? When my work comes back from the editor and I see his remarks? I’m happy to be able to improve my work even more.

What is your advice to new writers?

Just sit down and write down what comes to mind. Never mind plot, or continuity, that first draft is the foundation, all following drafts take care of proper plot and continuation.

Who are your favourite independent writers?

Wow, shoot! Erm, I have read a few pretty good books from some amazing authors. And I don’t distinguish between indie and trad authors. When you’ve published you are an author, or writer. Write a good book and you’re in the good book as far as I’m concerned.

What is your favourite book?

Without doubt The Unbearable Likghtness of Being.

What books are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Division of the Damned by Reg Jones

The Shade by Tara S. Wood

How do you handle criticism of your work?

I think very well. I take into account what the critique is, professional opinion of a proper editor? Great! Personal opinion of a reader? Even better, because it tells me what works and what not for a certain kind of people.

What are you working on now?

Several projects. I am working on a paranormal romance, erotica novel, a collection of short, dark stories and a vampire novel as well as a mythological paranormal mystery.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?

We aim to please. 🙂

 

Blog

http://lucypireel.wordpress.com/

 

Goodreads page

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6536994.Lucy_Pireel

Amazon page

http://www.amazon.com/Lucy-Pireel/e/B009L692V2

Site

http://lucypireel.com/

Smashwords page

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LucyPireel

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/LucyPireel

AuthorsdB

http://www.authorsdb.com/component/content/article/8-authors/874-lucy-pireel

Google+

https://plus.google.com/u/0/105731497321102858244/posts?partnerid=gplp0

 

Buy links

Red Gone Bad

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260239

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Gone-Bad-ebook/dp/B00AFVTYDS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355398578&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AFVTYDS

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Red-Gone-Bad/book-SAmNyEi0MkiakJ2Hbaz4Nw/page1.html?s=AB25tS9ms0aRbYNKr-P3ZA&r=1

http://itun.es/i6DW8YP

Bound

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bound-ebook/dp/B00BAEGUHC/ref=la_B009L692V2_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362227168&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Bound-ebook/dp/B00BAEGUHC/ref=la_B009L692V2_1_2?ie

 

 

 

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