15 Oct 2015

Edgar, a character from my forthcoming novel CONDITIONED

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condiotioned-twitter-ad-oct16Edgar has only a compratively small part in the book but has a significant role in the wedding – he is Best Man. He is an attractive bodybuilder from Brazil, a personal trainer, a friend and love interest. 

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Edgar’s sexual orientation is the subject of speculation in Conditions and in CONDITIONED we’re still none the wiser. What better place for this to come under the microscope than at a wedding, where they tend to pair off single people as best as they can. Grounded, focused and serious, the wedding and his duties as Best Man are a big honour for him. Will he survive the wedding without coming under scrutiny? What is beneath that pretty facade.

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Our Brazilian hunk, too, has a story to tell.

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Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

Find CONDITIONS:

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

CONDITIONED dives back into the world of gardener Charles, his friends and the state of his mental health – one year on. We meet loner Simon and his battle with the outside world, co-dependent Martha and her abusive husband Clive, neurotic poet Catherine on the verge of getting married, Tony, who finds his strange brother Charles a challenge, psychic Elaine looking for a new direction in life and quirky widow Sarah Roseberg who has a go at sorting out all of their problems.
CONDITIONS aimed to sensitise readers and make them think about tolerance and acceptance.
CONDITIONED wants readers to look beyond their attitude towards Conditions and examine what we all do and what we can do to overcome our challenges. The sequel is another snapshot of this circle of friends. Some will have improved their lives, others will not.

Conditioned (Conditions Series 2) is available for preorder via these links to your local Amazon store: 

http://smarturl.it/Conditioned

http://bookShow.me/B015PMCFEG

Connect with Christoph

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

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

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family. The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside. Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast. Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

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14 Oct 2015

First review for CONDITIONED from an ARC

4 Comments News

The Conditions Series is easily the work closest to my heart. Conditions was my first ever novel and I packed it with the things that I knew and that I wanted people to know about. I am delighted to find the sequel CONDITIONED resonated so well with this reviewer:ReconditionedHalf

Conditioned by Christoph Fischer is a well-written thought provoking story that does not disappoint. I have been following this author’s works for years and enjoying his stories, including this one that tackles all aspects of the human condition without glossing over. The characters from the prequel, Conditions, are revisited but this time I love how it starts with a wedding invite instead of centering on a death and funeral. The wedding and related events (involving a hospital emergency room and more than one of the plot’s characters) with all the multifaceted relationship issues unfolded at a fast pace making this a very easy engaging read. Without retelling the story let me say this, Fischer can write and tell a compelling story that engages and entertains. This one in particular takes it a step further in getting the reader to think, about tolerance and being judgmental. He challenges us to look at ourselves, beyond the façade of social machinations and opinions that separate and divide, into the depth of our humanness and how we all struggle to overcome the hard situations life throws at us. This story looks at the group of friends and doesn’t bring it to a neat and tidy happy ending for all, and that’s real, it isn’t how life goes. Some of us learn, grow, change, and shine, others continue to act out the same-old, same-old, and don’t seem to ever learn. It’s a really good read that resonates authentic. This is where Fischer shines.

Conditioned (Conditions Series 2) condiotioned-twitter-ad-oct16

CONDITIONED dives back into the world of gardener Charles, his friends and the state of his mental health – one year on. We meet loner Simon and his battle with the outside world, co-dependent Martha and her abusive husband Clive, neurotic poet Catherine on the verge of getting married, Tony, who finds his strange brother Charles a challenge, psychic Elaine looking for a new direction in life and quirky widow Sarah Roseberg who has a go at sorting out all of their problems.
CONDITIONS aimed to sensitise readers and make them think about tolerance and acceptance.
CONDITIONED wants readers to look beyond their attitude towards Conditions and examine what we all do and what we can do to overcome our challenges. The sequel is another snapshot of this circle of friends. Some will have improved their lives, others will not.

Find Conditions (Book1) on your Amazon site: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

Find Conditioned (Book 2) on your Amazon site: http://smarturl.it/Conditioned

http://bookShow.me/B015PMCFEG

Why #alcoholism #domesticabuse and #codependency ?

It would be an exaggeration (maybe) to say I have been through all of those myself. But, it is something I know more about than I would care for.

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In my youthful, hedonistic days I drank a lot and I saw some close party friends of mine lose control over their drinking and recreational pleasures.
Many also clang on to very unhealthy and literally damaging relationships. I sat with some at lawyers, police stations and A&E, only to see them return to their torturers.

I, too, stayed for far too long in one relationship that was, although not physically violent, very volatile and emotionally draining and abusive.images

Looking back I can see that it could easily have become more destructive had we stayed together.
It took me years to recover and to trust people again.

I wanted to portray the thought and behaviour patterns that hold people in their self-made prisons, which is why I added some of the characters in the Conditions series.

I keep witnessing very bad relationships and have learned just how wide-spread a problem they are. Unless we all speak up and make it part of what is openly discussed and acknowledged, victims of abuse will think they are alone in this and have no hope. Unless we share what we know, witnesses to these relationships will not recognise them for what they are and will not know how to provide help and support.

The Conditions Series touches upon those issues (amongst others), hoping to bring them into the mainstream and the wider conscious.

Help is available 

http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

http://www.thehotline.org/

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol/Pages/Alcoholsupport.aspx

Conditions 51OSxd6QQeL._UY250_

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.
Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

CHRISTOPH FISCHER 922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_o

Short Biography:

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. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015, his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and his thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hlC

21 Oct 2014

Guest post “Why does an author write a certain book?” and “Conditions” by Christoph Fischer #asmsg

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Today I’m re-blogging my post on Dianne Harmann’s website  who asked me on her blog why I wrote Conditions timthumb

 

Christoph, why does an author write a certain book? Is it from personal experience, something that has always interested them, or something they’ve thought about?

That’s a very good question and particularly relevant to “Conditions” which is the first novel I wrote. As many first novels do – it reflects experiences and thoughts from my life. (Possibly too many, in fact, I cut a lot of paragraphs that had little to do with the story).Conditions Book by Christoph Fischer

In “Conditions” I wrote about a dispute over material issues at the time of a funeral. The significant personal experience leading to this topic was the death of my father 18 years ago. Friendly relatives advised us children to get an independent advisor on how to split the estate and create records of who got what etc. – as to prevent future arguments and resentment. The three of us declined the offer because we were too grief struck to care. However, I didn’t want to write a memoir or tell a story as it happened and so in my book I explore characters that do care and argue over material things at the time of a family bereavement. That scenario was much more interesting to explore exactly because it bears no resemblance to my own experience.

As much as I would like to be a writer with a specific brand, a successful repetitive formula and bestselling series, I need to be involved with the topics of my books in order to get to the end of a story and often switch genres, as the ‘muse’ takes me to different places:
I have written Historical novels that explored the life and times of my ancestors. I used what I knew about them and what I found out about the eras and places during my family research. Then I wrote a contemporary novel about Alzheimers’ Disease, which affects so many people these days. FunPhotoBox1142911044zyytrv

So, yes, all three apply to all of my books. Personal experiences inspire me but I need to have a strong interest in the subject that goes beyond anecdotal writing. Researching facts and working through the issues is important for me, too. Writing in that regard can be a learning curve for me and a mental process. A large portion of the editing process is dedicated to then make these heavy books more palatable.

Since my teens I’ve had friends or acquaintances who suffered with mental conditions, whether it be ‘regular depression’ or more obscure illnesses. Some were good friends, others I couldn’t relate to as well as I would have liked. However, those people kept popping up in my life and taught me a few things by sharing their thoughts and experiences with me. Observing them and witnessing some ‘naturals’ who knew intuitively just how to handle any type of ‘difficult’ people has always filled me with particular admiration and aspiration. Looking back now, I think it was always a given that my first novel would have mental health and being different as one of the main themes and that my characters would mostly be oddballs and ‘misfits’.

30 years ago many of these disorders were not diagnosed and people were branded as odd or as having ‘learning difficulties’. Nowadays we have labels, help systems and functioning treatment plans in place at least for some of them. I believe, however, that we all (myself included) still have a lot to learn about accepting and integrating ‘different’ into society, which is why I decided to publish “Conditions” instead of keeping it in a drawer. PhotoFunia-14075f83

I hope “Conditions” can help raise awareness and, as one kind reviewer phrased it, that it
“put a lovable face on a stigmatized group, and …[leaves reader]… feeling hopeful that with love, understanding, and proper medical care, mentally ill and autistic people can not only lead a full life, but enrich our world with their creative gifts.”

Thanks Christoph. Here’s some information about and links to his books:

The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)

In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.

On Amazon:  http://smarturl.it/Weissensteiners THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS

On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8

On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/OtmyZh4Dmc/?autoplay=1

B&N  http://ow.ly/Btvas

Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TNTSeb
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy 17834808

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/95jvSpHf5a/

B&N http://ow.ly/Btvbw

The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)

The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen.  Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.

Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pAX3y

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pAX8G

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TBEI
Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/mB2JZUuBaI/ 18468588

Time To Let Go:

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/BtKtQ time-to-go-books2 big

On Goodreads:  http://ow.ly/BtKs7

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TTLG

Conditions

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.
Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/C0ZqX

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CONDITIONSCFF

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/C0Ziw

Short Biography: 023

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. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel “Time To Let Go” in May. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

Amazon: http://ow.ly/BtveY

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/christophffisch/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106213860775307052243

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=241333846

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

 

 

– See more at: http://dianneharman.com/blog/happen-in-your-family/#comment-1011

27 Nov 2013

Martha Emms : Portrait of Our Marriage

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PORTRAIT OF OUR MARRIAGE

Memoirs of Love, Family, the Internet, and Obsession

“Portrait of Our Marriage” by Martha Emma was an unexpectedly emotional and gripping reading experience. Like Nick, the narrator and many of her friends in the book I fell in love with the idea of that perfect and happy marriage, the man of her dreams: dead sexy, considerate and loving. 
Like her I led myself to believe that it was her overreacting and would have given her exactly the kind of advice all the friends in the novel gave her.

This fictional memoir is particularly apt in its portrayal of the subtle changes and nuances of ‘normal masturbation’ to actual porn addiction. Written with raw honesty and often explicit detail this novel takes no prisoners and calls a spade a spade, particularly when letting the women of Nick’s support group talk, scenes that do however work particularly well and let the readers sigh with relief in the same was as the women of said group. The book dares to look at sexuality and marital relations with an honesty that many don’t. It may be uncomfortable for some but I feel the direct approach is needed to discuss the problem with enough depth.

I feel rather mesmerized by the experience of this book. The journey takes us from happily ever after to first minor issues, bigger shame, drama and conflict to all out facing of the truth where denial is only possible for the addict.
If you wonder what it might be like to live in such a marriage that started so promising and needs so much work this book is for you. Insightful, thought provoking and powerful this is a must read.

Interview with the author:

What made you decide to write about porn addiction?

You might say it haunted me in my dreams, LOL. I had watched an episode of, The Oprah Show, years ago. It was an episode dealing with pornography addiction. Told from the mans point of view, it covered what they were going through and how it affected their lives. I looked at the men and thought that they looked normal, clean cut, not like they would be perverts in any way. That night I had a dream. It was as if I was watching a movie, and a woman was reviewing her life as she viewed pictures on a digital display device.  I kept having different dreams, which revealed different times in this woman’s life. After a while I began to think it must have some meaning. Then again, later on The Oprah Show, I watched as she interviewed Joel Osteen. He commented, in not so many words, that sometimes God sends us messages in strange ways and we should listen to those messages. That he wants us to succeed and not give up. I know it may seem strange and I’m not saying God told me to take this story on, but I felt like I must be having these dreams for a reason.

Do you find people are open or too prudish to discuss/ read about it?   198628_164770633661800_1840551591_n

I received comments and reactions from both, people who are open to read and discuss the story and from those who have called me horrible names and are actually hostile about it.

Tell us a little about the history of the book. How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?

After watching The Oprah Show and continuing to have dreams I began to research online about porn addiction. Back at that time, most everything I found on the internet was from, by, and for men. Very little was from, by, or for women.  I began writing it as a screenplay. At that time my youngest son was an actor and I had been reading scripts for years. So I thought I could write one. I found out it is not that easy. I could not write the story the way I wanted.  So I decided to join a writing group. But then I needed to know how to get personal information about how this addiction affects women. I wanted to capture all the emotions of a couple going through this. Well, one day while shopping I noticed that either on purpose or by accident, people had left their real estate, and carpet cleaning business cards on some of the shelves. Not having money for a research group, I decided to copy their idea but in a bit different manner. I typed up some notes asking if women had any experience with a loved one being addicted to pornography.  I asked if they would share their experience with me as I wanted to write a book from a woman’s point of view but needed real information. I left my address and phone number on the notes. I honestly didn’t think I would get any response. But I did. I received about sixteen letters. Out of all the input, eight were very in depth and when I read them I was drawn in and felt like I understood what they had gone through. At that point I felt I had what I needed. Between my dreams, research, and the personal information from 8 women, my story was born. As I wrote, the characters in my story seemed to have a life of their own and I felt like I knew them.

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

Even though I had dreams, it wasn’t a complete story. So no, nothing was fixed, not even the ending. The dreams were fragments and the information shared by the eight women was very personal.  I wanted to make this story as real as possible in honor of them.  Between the research on how men felt, what affect this addiction could have on women and a marriage, I tried to weave a story together that would take the reader through years of a marriage and the progression of this addiction.

How did you research for the book?

I researched for a couple of years online. I went to all kinds of pornography addiction sites. From the professionals who offer help, recovery programs, religious groups who offer counseling, to all kinds of different columns where men wrote into for help. I also watched any show on TV that had any kind of episode dealing with porn addiction. But I would say for the main character, the input from the eight women was the most important and naturally the woman in my dreams.

Which of your characters was most enjoyable to write?

I think Gina was. She is kind of a mouthy character who says what’s on her mind and thinks about it later.

Who would play them in a film?

I’ll leave that to the reader’s imagination!

Are you like any of the characters in the book?

In some ways, just a tincy bit. I think all writers put a pinch of themselves in the characters they write.

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

I used to be very active, love dancing, skiing, hiking, bike and horseback riding, but after a knee replacement and some health issues I have slowed down some.  I enjoy traveling, my family, my cats, pet rescues, reading, cooking, baking, gardening, and writing.

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

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk,is one of my favorite books, it was the first book I read that I couldn’t put down. I didn’t want it to end. His characters came alive on the pages. I also, really liked the Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. I have many favorite authors though – Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, Robyn Carr, Jill Shalvis, Debbie Macomber, Lawrence Sanders, Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Jodi Thomas, Constance O’Banyon, and Bobbi Smith just to name a few. I enjoy all their books 🙂  I love all kinds of music except opera. One of my favorite movies is, Back to The Future, because we get to see the father realize his dream. What can be, what can happen when you don’t give into fear. I enjoy comedies, adventure films, crime drama, and yes, romance.

What are your views on independent publishing?

I think it is awesome. It gives creativity so much more of an opportunity to be shared.  Some say it opens the floodgates to too fast, unedited trash being published, and that may well be true, but people will weed through the trash. Ultimately, it offers all who wish to write a chance to get their story out there and my thoughts are, the more people write and read, the better.

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

For the best,  I guess they might say I care, share, and always share what I know. Oddest? Well, it’s not a quality but I do have a lot of cats. I won’t mention how many because it adds new meaning to the phrase “crazy cat lady”! Many of them are cats no one wanted because of odd tics and strange personalities. But they still deserve to know love.

What are your favorite animal/ color/ outdoor activity?

I love cats, dogs, horses, and birds, especially pigeons. I like wolves, elephants, and almost all wild animals. I do not like snakes or spiders though.  I have different favorite colors each day, depending on my mood. I love the outdoors and nature. I used to have a large RV and traveled with the family. I enjoy traveling and researching all the historical sites and hiking in our national parks.

What would you take to a remote island?

Is there a limit? Am I on a remote island paradise with a beautiful home, pool, and bar or am I going to a remote island that I may end up stranded on? If I’m going to be visiting a luxury resort type place, I would pack clothes, books, my laptop, and personal items. But if I’m going to be roughing it, I would take: A knife, an ax, matches, a tent, sleeping bag, blanket, canteen, Australian Tea Tree Oil, iodine tincture, toilet paper, a toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, a hat, hair brush, change of clothes, first aid kit, batteries, radio, flashlight, vegetable seeds, a fishing pole with hooks, & protein powder.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

I would love to have dinner with my Mother, because she passed away and I miss her. If there was any way to spend more time with her it would be a dream come true. She was an amazing woman. She was kind, patient, gentle, generous, and thoughtful. Everyone who knew her loved her.

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

I’m working on two stories right now, The sequel to Portrait of Our Marriage, and a story about pets. I will be self-publishing these and will promote via all the social networks when they are available.

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

My name is Barbie Herrera, but I write under the pen name Martha Emms, in honor of my mother and aunt. My mom had dreams of me someday becoming a writer. She wanted me to write from my heart. My aunt on the other hand, hoped that if I became a writer I would write to get people talking, stir the pot. I believe my first book accomplishes both.

I am a strong proponent of Just Label It, and am against genetically modified foods. I’m also a supporter of the No Kill Coalition. I believe the unnecessary, inhumane killing of countless animals in this day and age is horrific and shameful. I was raised an Air Force brat, and as such, I have a strong belief in supporting all our military men and women, and their families. We must never forget that the freedoms we enjoy are not free.

An avid reader I enjoy a variety of genres. I also enjoy nature, love the beach, music, animals, and my family.

I would love people to read my book, a dream all authors share. It really is a journey. There are parts that are fun, sexy, compelling, and shocking. I hope that readers will be drawn into Nicky’s life. I truly want them to feel the experience and for that reason I don’t describe her. Other than brown hair there are no definitive descriptions of her. Almost every book today dealing with women describes them as the perfect sexy woman. And I’m not saying that Nicky isn’t all that but, I want women to identify with her and not be distracted by her looks. I want them to see her as they want her to be. Every one of us, no matter what we look like or what we believe in, can feel pleasure, be hurt, know frustration, feel trapped, experience betrayal, and know pain. I want women to feel like they could be Nicky. That this could be their story. What would they do?

FB Author   http://www.facebook.com/martha.emms 

FB Book  FB Author   http://www.facebook.com/martha.emms 

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TWITTER https://twitter.com/barbiesway

BLOG  http://marthaemms.blogspot.com

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Amazon print http://amzn.to/RM3C1Y

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09 Nov 2013

“The Missing Half” by Brooke Powley

1 Comment Book Reviews

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“The Missing Half” by Brooke Powley

is a powerful literary gem that deals with the tragic issue of child abduction.
At age 2 one of two twins is abducted in Cornwall and for ten years her mother campaigns and fights for publicity and police action to find her missing daughter, never giving up.
The book is written in several narratives, adding multiple dimensions to the search and the story. It would be difficult to give away too much without spoiling the experience of the book.

At the beginning of the book it is mainly the mother, Alice, who writes to her missing daughter and tells her exactly how the tragedy occurs and what happens immediately afterwards.
The account is moving, honest and includes a lot of statistical and basic information on child abduction. We learn about the ordeal and the many psychological aspects of the unique situation.

Later on different narratives bring in more perspectives and add extra dimensions to the story and the book reads like a psychological thriller, although I would say for the majority it reads like great literary fiction.

This book is an excellent but somewhat emotional experience, often very sad and melancholic, so keep the tissues handy, but definitely worth the time. It is thought provoking and an amazing literary debut.

 

Interview with the author:

2005 1

 

Hi Brooke

Please tell us a little about yourself as a writer and as a person? How did you come to writing? IS this your first book / published work/ written work?

I grew up in the Lake District as the oldest of three children. Reading has always been my passion and as a little girl you would usually find me buried in a book, or spending my pocket money in the local bookshop. I went to university in Nottingham and after graduating in 2008,  returned to the Lake District and took some time out of my career to focus on being a full time mum to my then very tiny baby.  Some years went by; I returned to work part-time, my daughter started full-time school.  Last Christmas, my partner bought me a kindle. One day, I said to him that writing a book to publish on kindle surely couldn’t be that difficult. He raised his eyebrows, and replied ‘I bet you can’t’.   ‘The Missing Half’ is the result!

 

Why did you decide to write about child abduction? How did the idea for the novel come to you?

Missing children is always something you follow, subconsciously, as you grow up.  Madeline McCann went missing a couple of months before I spent a summer living in Beijing. At the time I was a young woman of twenty-two with no children of my own. As the BBC is banned in China, thoughts of the missing toddler weren’t more  than ‘isn’t it horrible’. After having my daughter child abduction, however rare, became a real possibility. I took Ava on a month long tour of the USA on my own when she was twenty months old and I was all too aware that particularly the blonde haired, blue eyed girls, were a real risk. 

I wanted my story to be something that people can relate to. Losing a child is every mother’s worst nightmare. I asked myself, as the UK news have shown more and more children going missing over the years, what you would really do, if that were your child? Alice was the first character that came clearly to my mind. The rest took a lot more planning!

You set your book in a range of places though the main location is Cornwall, can you tell us why?

We actually took our family holidays to Perranporth every summer when I was a child – my parents, younger brother and I. Those who know me will say that I have a razor sharp memory for all things useless!  I haven’t been back to Perranporth for fifteen years, but I can remember it so vividly in my mind. It seemed the perfect place to set the novel – a quiet sleepy little village. To make it easier on myself I set the abduction in one of the years I’d been there myself. It’s such a wonderful part of the country. Looking at the images reminded me that I really do need to head back there sometime soon, but unfortunately my razor sharp memory still recollects those awful drives from the Lake District!

Did you need to do much research for the book?

I did a lot of research on government legislation relating to missing children and how it had changed over the years, which took a lot of time and energy.  I also focused a lot on the statistics for missing children in the UK and the USA.  Some of the facts were chilling, and it was quite heavy going particularly when you realised how lax legislation has been in the past and how easy it would have been to change.

Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?

If anything, I’d say I’m probably most like Richard.  Richard is a family man, and family comes first for him before anything else. He is also resilient, hard working, has a good humour and most importantly, isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes is right. 

Did you have any say in the cover art and who was that process?

The cover is something I had the idea of right from the start. I wanted it to entice the reader. The cover depicts Grace, on one of the last days she has with her real family looking out to sea in a pale pink cotton dress.  The picture is actually one of my own, taken by me of my daughter Ava in California when we were on our grand USA tour.  I decided that the rhetorical question on the front would add depth to the title. I had my editor format the picture so it was suitable for kindle and print editions. I have to say, I think the picture makes a great cover, though I’m probably a bit bias!

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

The highs:  Becoming lost in your world of characters and stories, receiving positive feedback, celebratory cake, the sense of achievement when it’s all over, seeing the book for sale on Amazon and people stopping me in the street to offer congratulations!

The lows: Late nights, the editing process and finding the time to fit it all in around a busy life!

How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?

At the moment, I’m focusing on marketing ‘The Missing Half’ alongside my normal job and everyday life.  I haven’t started writing book two, but it’s in the forefront of my mind and I hope to start it in Autumn and have it ready for release in Spring 2014 – so watch this space!

What do you do when you don’t write?

I must admit I have a busy life. Between school runs and a taxi service to various after school clubs, normal ‘work’ three days a week, getting out and about on my mountain bike, keeping my flock of backyard hens in check, running a toddler group, reading and running my website –  I’m not entirely sure how I manage to fit in writing!

Which are your favourite books and authors?

J.K. Rowling – The Harry Potter books are my all time favourite. The Time Travellers Wife is another of my top books.   I read a lot of Diane Chamberlain, Dorothy Koomson, Jodi Picoult and I mostly read general mainstream fiction.  However, I’ve read a fair few Indie authors recently – D.J. Kirkby and Charlotte Castle and also a few debut novels and the standard is very high.  

What would you take to an isolated island?

Books – lots of books!  Can I take my hens?! We currently have five – all different breeds .  Hen’s are great foragers so they’d live happily on an island. If I had fresh eggs and books then life would be good! Of course, it goes without saying I’d take my family, and any other close friends I consider to be handy enough to build us a Swiss Family Robinson kind of tree-house!

What is your next project?

Book Two! It’s as yet unnamed with no concrete plot (really selling it here, I know).  But as soon as school is back in full swing, a normal routine is up and running and those cold, dark nights creep it then I’ll be on it!

 

my website is: www.brookepowley.com
author profile on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brookepowleyauthor
author profile on goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7151546
twitter link: @powleybrooke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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