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Why Rachel isn’t Bitter at all!

Bitter Edge Book Cover Bitter Edge
DI Kelly Porter #4
Rachel Lynch
Crime Fiction
Canelo Escape
Release Date: 25th February 2019

DI Kelly Porter is back, but so is an old foe and this time he won’t back down... When a teenage girl flings herself off a cliff in pursuit of a gruesome death, DI Kelly Porter is left asking why. Ruled a suicide, there’s no official reason for Kelly to chase answers, but as several of her team’s cases converge on the girl’s school, a new, darker story emerges. One which will bring Kelly face-to-face with an old foe determined to take back what is rightfully his – no matter the cost. Mired in her pursuit of justice for the growing list of victims, Kelly finds security in Johnny, her family and the father she has only just discovered. But just as she draws close to unearthing the dark truth at the heart of her investigation, a single moment on a cold winter’s night shatters the notion that anything in Kelly’s world can ever truly be safe. Don't miss this gripping crime thriller featuring a phenomenal detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

Interview with Rachel

Questions for Authors: choose from list

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
    The crime genre is something that has fascinated me since I was a teenage reader. It’s something about the ancient battle between good and evil that captivates me and urges me to create my own protagonists and antagonists. I think my approach is unique because the protagonist remains the same (Kelly Porter) but the plot line changes dramatically from one book to the next to keep readers attentive. I’ve tackled subjects such as sex slavery, teenage drug abuse, domestic abuse, PTSD and aristocratic angst, and each book can stand alone.
  2. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
    An idea can come from something as simple as climbing a mountain in the Lakes, or visiting a waterfall; and that becomes my next backdrop. The baddies and their dark deeds come as I’m writing.
  3. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
    My research never stops. I’m always reading about police procedural methods and forensic science, as well as criminal psychology and profiling. Before I start, I guess I spend around four weeks planning what shape the book might take, but this could be in the form of day dreaming about it on a train journey into London.
  4. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
    The best resource available is the internet. It’s quick, quirky and I can pretty much find out anything I need to from there. Occasionally, I’ll refer to a history book (I used to teach the subject), or check a map of the Lakes. I also like talking to people and I interview police officers regularly.
  5. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
    Police officers, in my experience, are more than happy to chat about what they do. It’s one of the most satisfying elements of my work, because they share their instincts and passion for solving a riddle.
  6.  How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
    Before publishing with Canelo, my biggest achievement was finding my agent: Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, in 2016. Before that, I reckon my work had been rejected at least fifty times.
  7. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
    No.
  8. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
    It depends what you’re trying to achieve. If you want exposure then you need a team behind you and so the first thing I would recommend is reading the Writer’s and Artist’s Yearbook and getting an agent.
  9. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
    No!
  10. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
    I’m digital only until my books are released in paperback later this year, so I’ve never done one, apart from Twitter. Generally reviewers are lovely on Twitter.
  11. What do you read when you are ill in bed?
    Cookery books!
  12. What is your favourite genre?
    This question is a bit like I approach art: it has to touch me, so if I connect with it; any genre. It might make me laugh, cry, recoil or dream about it, but it has to grab me else I’ll put it down.
  13. If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

    Living author- Stephen King. Dead author- Thomas Hardy
  14. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?
    I have developed my own style through hundreds of edits and good old fashioned hard work. If I tried to be like anyone, else I would fail. I reckon I wrote about a million words (ten books) before I produced anything any good.
  15. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?
    Ben Elton
  16. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

    No. It wouldn’t be convincing.
  17. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?
    Lost them!
  18. Do you have any pets?
    1. If so, what are they?
    2. And what are they called?
    3. Do they help you write?
  1. Yes, a dog, she’s called Poppy and she’s a border/Jack Russell cross. She watches me write and guards my door! She scared the life out of me one day when she started barking and scratching the door- she’d seen something in the garden. I let her out, after tutting loudly and probably swearing like Kelly Porter, and she caught a squirrel! Oops. Instinct: it can’t be tame

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

Twitter: @r_lynchcrime

Previous Books: Dark Game, Deep Fear and Dead End

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Animals and Farms – what’s not to like? The author explains

ReInventing HillWilla Book Cover ReInventing HillWilla
Hillwilla Trilogy #3
Melanie Forde
Literary/Women's Contemporary
Independently published
(November 4, 2018)

Life on a llama farm, set in remote “Seneca County,” West Virginia, transitions from contented to chaotic in this final novel in the Hillwill trilogy -- all under the watchful eye of canine guardian Ralph. Five years after we first met northern urban transplant Beatrice Desmond, she is finally adapting to her mountain hollow among the wary “born-heres” and is more open to the blessings in her life. She has developed a rewarding mother-daughter relationship with troubled local teenager Clara Buckhalter and is inching toward marriage with dashing, but complicated entrepreneur Tanner Fordyce. Meanwhile, Clara sets off on a productive new path, one that would have been unthinkable had Beatrice never come into her life. All of that progress is suddenly jeopardized by Clara’s scheming mother Charyce. Ultimately, the upheaval touched off by Charyce’s schemes serves as the catalyst for new beginnings for the Seneca County misfits (even Ralph).

Questions for Authors:

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

There’s been no set time-frame for thinking through novel ideas. Once an idea seems to have legs, I set up a “fermenting file,” which will collect odd bits of research (90 percent of it never used) and random notes to myself. My initial idea may change dramatically even before I start writing, as well as during the writing process. I’ve published four novels now (and am currently working sporadically on two at the same time) and with every one, I start out knowing how the novel should begin and how it should end. So far, that certainty has not changed. It’s that large space in the middle that gets tricky. After the first few chapters, I inevitably get stuck. This is probably because my novels are so character-driven and the characters start having minds of their own and taking me places I didn’t anticipate going. If I let them talk to me, without my losing control completely, the workflow changes halfway through the novel. At that mystical halfway point, I suddenly know how to get to that previously envisioned final chapter. Suddenly, I’m able to chart out six or seven chapters at a time. The main challenge then becomes keeping up with the flow. I may still get stuck occasionally, but nowhere near as profoundly or frequently as in the first half of the writing process.

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

The research time frame varies with every book. My first two books were non-fiction, ghostwritten with a deadline and overall subject area someone else proposed. That was a much more structured process than for fiction writing. With both of those non-fiction projects, I had six months to deliver the draft. In both cases, I spent four of those months researching and two months writing. Although there was some spillover, the research and writing phases were largely segregated.

With fiction, there’s much less compartmentalization. Reinventing Hillwilla required the least amount of research time of any of my books. Even though I wrote it as a standalone, it is, after all, the third in a series, with the same venue and same principal characters. So those characters were well-developed by the time Chapter 1 ended up on paper. Nevertheless, there were lots of facts I had to check — for example, about the legal system, about the exotic locales Tanner visits, etc. And before I plunked Clara in the middle of Wellesley College, I trekked up to Massachusetts and chatted with students to get a better sense of the current campus culture. That way I had something firmer than memories of my own college years, and I learned about some key changes in campus venues and dormitory life.

One final comment about research… My most valuable research tool is bald observation. A favorite pastime is to park myself, solo, in a restaurant, in a region that will be the venue for part of a novel. Then I shamelessly eavesdrop on conversations at nearby tables. I’ll make mental notes of vocabulary choices, pronunciation, phrasing. At one point, I overheard a local speak about the need to “ponder” something before finding the solution to a problem. That verb struck me as downright eloquent, uniquely West Virginian. And you’ll hear it coming out of Ben Buckhalter’s mouth.

  • What is your favourite genre?

My favorite genre? Hmmm, depends on my mood. I’ve certainly had my cop-shop whodunit phase, cozy mystery phase, family saga phase, biography/autobiography phase and period novel phase. Literary novels are a constant, however. Especially those involving flawed, complicated characters with dark pasts. Not surprisingly, those are the kind of novels I want to write, too.

  • If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Recommendation of a living author? When it comes to wordsmithing chops, the first name that pops up is Alexander McCall Smith, author of the Botswana lady detective agency series and the Scotland Street series (my favorite), among many, many others. That man can string words together so eloquently, combining both economy of language and lyrical flow, he just makes my jaw drop. He also has a talent for delicately tweaking certain social trends, without coming across as preachy.

As for dead authors, oy, so many. If I focus on economy of language, John Cheever and Emily Dickinson come to mind. Both could pack so much into so few words, in very different ways. Both had an appealingly dark sense of irony, too. Writers who stretched my brain — but made that painful effort worthwhile — include such greats as Shakespeare, Goethe, Rilke, Eliot. I’m sure I’m forgetting others who had a major influence on me.

  • Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

No, I’ve never tried to imitate another writer’s style. But I’m sure I’ve subconsciously absorbed elements from other authors. Perhaps because I spent most of my professional life as a nonfiction ghostwriter, it’s really important for me to speak in my own (unique, I hope) voice as a novelist.

  • Do you have any pets?

Do I have pets? Is accounting boring? The numbers are down to a precious few these days: one soft-eyed English setter who looks a lot like Ralph (but was born years after Ralph); one English cocker spaniel with the swagger of a rhinoceros and a great sense of irony; and one gray barn cat who has staff.

  1. If so, what are they?

Over the years, my life has been blessed by llamas; a string of English setters, one Old English Sheepdog (hmmm, there seems to be a pattern here of English-bred dogs), one mutt; one ginormous Newfoundland; a bunch of rescue and feral cats; a series of fancy long-haired cats (Himalayan and Birman); one Peruvian guinea pig (whom I named Fash, short for Fascist Pig); and two parakeets, who got me through the terrible five-year era when my childhood family was dogless.

  • Do they help you write?

Yes, my pets help me write. I can’t remember how many dog-walks have freed up writer’s block. Mainly, my animal companions have safeguarded my sanity, which fiction-writing constantly undermines.

Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A?

If you’re interested in pictures, you need look no further than the cover of Reinventing Hillwilla. My current setter Finnegan ably stepped up to portray the spectral Ralph. But, yes, I had to bribe him with treats.

Author Details:

Melanie Forde is a veteran writer, ghosting in diverse formats—from academic white papers to advertising copy. Under her own name, she has published numerous features and commentaries about the natural world, as well as the first two novels in the Hillwilla trilogy (Hillwillaand On the Hillwilla Road). She lives in Hillsboro, West Virginia.

Connect with Melanie:

Website:  https://bit.ly/2Aokmfm 

Facebook: https://bit.ly/2LLPOsj

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Vnr2TS 

Twitter: https://bit.ly/2C0dJjA 

Purchase Reinventing Hillwilla on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QkqLgH 

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Which Testament?: Extract

A Testament to Murder Book Cover A Testament to Murder
A Murder Will Follow Mystery Book 1
Vivian Conroy
Cosy Crime
Canelo
18th February 2019

Book Blurb: Suspenseful from the first page to the last, A Testament to Murder is perfect for fans of And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Crooked House A dying billionaire. Nine would-be heirs. But only one will take the prize...  At the lush Villa Calypso on the French Riviera, a dying billionaire launches a devious plan: at midnight each day he appoints a new heir to his vast fortune. If he dies within 24 hours, that person takes it all. If not, their chance is gone forever. Yet these are no ordinary beneficiaries, these men who crossed him, women who deceived him, and distant relations intent on reclaiming the family fortune. All are determined to lend death a hand and outwit their rivals in pursuit of the prize. As tensions mount with every passing second, retired Scotland Yard investigator Jasper must stay two steps ahead of every player if he hopes to prevent the billionaire’s devious game from becoming a testament to murder…

A 1920s murder mystery to keep you guessing

“Anna!” Kenneth ran up to the figure in white who was cutting a few roses at the back of the garden. “I didn’t see you at breakfast. I was worried that you had left anyway.”

She didn’t look at him as she reached out for another soft yellow rose, resting it in the palm of her hand a moment, before cutting it and putting it with the others in the basket on her arm.

“Anna?” Kenneth studied her tight profile. “Is something wrong?”

“Of course not. I had breakfast in the kitchen earlier with the other servants. I was only at dinner last night because Mr Bryce-Rutherford wanted to make his revelation.”

“He can’t let you eat with the servants. You’re not like them.”

“How would you know?” Anna asked, but he saw the smile tugging at her lips.

Encouraged, he continued, “I’ll ask Uncle Malcolm if you can eat with us every day. I bet he’ll think it’s a great idea. He must like you. He doesn’t have any people around him who are…” Young, fresh, breathtaking. “Who can cheer him up. I think he needs that. He thinks he’s dying. But perhaps he isn’t. Perhaps he’s only depressed because everything is so sad here and everybody treats him like an invalid. We could make things different for him.”

“You honestly think he isn’t dying?” Anna asked. A frown hovered over her eyes.

Kenneth shrugged. “I would feel ill if everybody treated me like I was ill all of the time. Theodora with her things that he has to eat because they are good for him. And that darkened room. He needs to do something fun.”

Anna held his gaze. “Can we take him on our boat trip?”

Kenneth suddenly saw his whole boat trip where he would impress Anna with his skills and his strength ruined by the presence of a nagging old man. Or worse even, an old man who would look at him with knowing eyes, smirking at the schoolboy trying to win a woman of the world.

He said quickly, “I think that would be too dangerous. The sea could be rough and rock the boat. What if he fell out of the boat and drowned?”

Anna’s eyes were a deep endless blue. “Yes,” she said slowly, “what if…”

Here outside the house her smooth skin didn’t seem so porcelain-like but had more of a tan, a healthy glow, blending out her freckles. Her hands moved with quick determination as she chose just the right rose to snip off and put in her basket.

One threatened to slip off from the top of the bunch and she grabbed it. “Ouch!” She retracted her hand and a drop of blood sat on her fingertip. She stared at it with a pained expression.

Kenneth pulled out his handkerchief and offered it to her. She used it to dab at the blood, leaving a bright red stain on the handkerchief. She smiled at him as she handed it back to him. “Thank you. How clumsy of me.”

Kenneth put the handkerchief back in his pocket and studied the blue skies above. “We could go boating now. Uncle Malcolm doesn’t need you right away.” He said it in a blunt, confident tone.

Anna looked doubtful. “I promised to bring in these roses and arrange them for him in a vase.”

“Theodora can do it. There she is.” Kenneth pointed at the drab figure in grey which had come out of the house and stood on the terrace.

“She doesn’t like me,” Anna said. “I don’t know why. I take good care of my patient.”

Kenneth shrugged. “Some people think they can do everything better. That’s just the way they are. Let me take the basket to her. You go get a cardigan or something. It can be chilly on the water.”

Anna suddenly laughed out loud. She handed him the basket and the cutting tool and then threw her arms up in the air and cheered. “Ken, you’re a doll.” She ran off around the house to where the kitchen entrance was.

Kenneth stood motionless, his cheek burning as if she had leaned in and kissed him there and then. He thought she might have wanted to do that if Theodora hadn’t been watching them.

He turned to the woman with resentment clawing at his stomach. That ugly old witch had to ruin everything for everyone. If anybody ought to die here, it ought to be her.

He carried the basket to her, holding the tool out like a weapon.

Theodora was studying the view and only noticed him at the last moment. She yelped and clutched her hands together. “Kenneth! What are you doing?”

“Here are some roses for Uncle Malcolm. I thought you would like to arrange them in a vase and take them up to him.” Kenneth held the tool and basket out to her. “He’ll appreciate all the trouble you go through for him.”

Something lit in those dull eyes over the long, forever sniffing nose. She said in a surprised tone, “That’s very kind of you, Kenneth.”

He shrugged. Her eyes made him uncomfortable as if she could see right through him. “I think you care very much for him. And he needs that.”

The eyes lit even more. “Yes, he needs that.” Theodora ran a finger over the soft petals of one of the roses. “Even if he will never admit it.”

Kenneth pulled back his shoulders and repeated something he had heard his mother say to her friends, “A man will never admit he needs a woman.”

Theodora nodded. “How true. You’re extremely intelligent for your age.” She cast a long loving look at the roses and then turned away. Before she entered the house, she called to him, “Remember one thing though: Anna can’t swim.”

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Armed with cheese and chocolate, Vivian Conroy sits down to create the aspirational settings, characters with secrets up their sleeves, and clever plots which took several of her mysteries to #1 bestseller in multiple categories on Amazon US and Canada. Away from the keyboard, Vivian likes to hike (especially in the Swiss mountains), hunt for the perfect cheesecake and experience the joy in every-day life, be it a fiery sunset, a gorgeous full moon or that errant butterfly descending on the windowsill.

Twitter: @VivWrites

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What happened in France: The author’s story

What Happens in France Book Cover What Happens in France
Carol Wyer
Women's Fiction
Canelo Escape
28th January 2019

Book Blurb: She stood and took her place in front of the camera... It was now or never”

Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.

With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye.

Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish…

This heartwarming romantic comedy of friendship, family and laugh-out-loud adventures is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

I write in two different genres: crime fiction and romantic comedy and ordinarily, I’d say crime fiction requires a lot more research. I spend weeks on the internet checking details and facts and also speaking to experts in Forensics or those in the police force. However, given What Happens in France hinges around a crazy game show set in France, it required a substantial amount of research in the form of applying for auditions and then actually be selected to get onto a few televised game shows, as well as several weeks driving around France, learning about the regions in the book. It took almost two years in total to gather all the information I needed.

I met some extremely interesting characters during auditions and on shows who gave me the inspiration for some of those in the book although I never met anyone like ballet dancer Oscar, owner of the show-stealing pug, Biggie Smalls.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I use the internet all the time and am a member of various crime writer groups where I can post questions for the experts in the group, but for this book I drew on my own experiences. This is how I invariably write romantic comedies. If a character does something in one of my humorous books then the chances are I’ll have tried it out first. One book saw me doing a zip wire, belly dancing, eating locusts, zorbing, and diving with sharks, while another saw me take up stand-up comedy. This book was a breeze by comparison although I did have to go one those game shows and make an idiot of myself. (Again!)

  • How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Goodness, I could paper every wall in my house with all the rejection slips I’ve received over the years.

My first efforts were children’s stories aimed at teaching 3-5-year-olds French. It was back in the days, before you could do everything online, when you had to plough through the Writers and Artist’s Handbook to find agents or publishers you thought would be interested in your work, write an accompanying letter, then remortgage your house to pay for the printer ink and stamps so you could post your weighty manuscripts to them.

When I turned my attention to the adult market in 2010, things had changed and I submitted to various publishers online. After nuerous rejections, I gave up. I didn’t want to wait years to get it accepted. I’d only intended writing the one book, Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, because it was on my bucket list. I had no idea it would be the start of a new career for me. I looked at self-pubbing and I was given the chance to self-publish it with FeedaRead for a very tiny fee, I chose that route. I also published it with Smashwords and Amazon and could never have imagined how well it would have performed. Five months after publication, I found myself featured in Woman’s Own Magazine as a best-selling author and following that, a small publishing house took me on. The rest, as they say, is history and I now write for Bookouture/Hachette and Canelo. What Happens in France is my 18th book to be published although I’ve managed to write a further four books since I completed it which are yet to be released. 

  • Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

Although I chose the self-publication route, I wish in many ways I’d been more patient and waited for a lucky break with a publisher.

The workload involved in self-publication is huge. You not only have to write, edit, format, design covers and get your book published, you have to market it. I found marketing took up all my time and prevented me from writing further books.

I would agree it is imperative to build an audience before you self-publish or approach a publisher. I ran a humorous blog (like Amanda Wilson in my debut novel) for over a year, writing posts daily until I had several 1000s of followers. When I launched my debut novel, I held an all-day virtual party on the blog with games, competitions and jokes. I spent all day and night, chatting to the virtual guests. That party sold copies, got reviews and propelled Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines into the limelight and gave me the start I needed. Without my followers and the friends I made online, that wouldn’t have happened.

Publishers like to see you have an online presence – that you are committed to your brand, if you like, and are active on social media. It is something that every author should continue to keep up, no matter what stage they are at in their career. Your readers deserve interaction and social media gives them that chance.

  • Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

If you’d asked me this 3 years ago, I’d have said an emphatic no. The first 7 years, I made a dismal amount of money, in spite of success with my first novel and my non-fiction humorous book, Grumpy Old Menopause which not only won The People’s Book Prize Award but saw me sitting on the BBC Breakfast red sofa, chatting to Bill Turner and Susanna Reid about it. Even with the air time and further magazine exposure, I still only brought in enough to pay for a decent holiday. The turning point came in 2016, when I signed with Bookouture. Because they’re a digital publisher (like Canelo) they can turn around books faster than a traditional publisher. So in theory, the more you can write, the more you can potentially earn. 2017 was the first year I earned sufficient to actually pay household bills. It came at the right time because my husband is now retired, and we live off his pension, so my writing income is a real boost.

  • What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

Not so much on a blog tour but in my early days when I did my own publicity, I managed to secure several radio interviews during the launch of one of my books. I had all the times and dates written down in my diary (very professional) and had agreed to be interviewed on a popular radio show in the USA. The interview was to take place by phone and I was very excited about the opportunity to chat to new, potential readers in the United States. On the actual day, I suddenly realised I had agreed to be on a show that would be broadcast live at 2 a.m. my time not 2 p.m. as I had thought. It was too late to change the date and I didn’t dare tell my husband, Mr Grumpy, who goes to bed punctually at 9.30 p.m. every night and does not like being kept awake, so I stayed awake and tiptoed downstairs at quarter to two in the morning to wait for the phone to ring. I was frightened to talk loudly and wake up my family, so I whispered to the presenter who kept telling me to speak up and then halfway through the interview, Mr Grumpy turned up in a foul mood, shouting, ‘Who the f*** Is on telephone at this time of the morning. Tell them to f*** off’ Unfortunately it was a live broadcast and the listeners got to hear every word. To cap it all, he grabbed the receiver from my hand and shouted a few more obscenities before putting it down. I emailed my apologies but I wasn’t invited back on the show!

  • Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Alison Kervin OBE and author of The WAGS Diary (2009) and WAGS at the World Cup WORLD (2010) I picked up her first book from a ‘living bookcase’ while on holiday and it had me in stitches from start to finish. When I finally put it down, I decided I wanted to produce something that entertaining. I spent the next few months writing my first novel and emailed Alison to tell her she had inspired me. She replied with a very encouraging email. Had I not read that book, I doubt I would have had the confidence to start writing.

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

Twitter: @carolewyer

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How Many Years to Write?

Two Thousand Years Book Cover Two Thousand Years
The Empire Saga #1)
M. Dalto
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Independently published
Publication date: December 11th 2018

Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique? TWO THOUSAND YEARS was actually inspired by Billy Joel’s song of the same name. When I first heard the song many years ago, the lyrics themselves told a story that needed to be told. It referenced battles and true love, and my romantic, fantasy-loving mind started concocting a story all my own. In fact, the initial draft used song lyrics as its chapter titles.
  2. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time? TWO THOUSAND YEARS actually took me over 20 years to start writing. I had first heard the song when it was released in 1993 and didn’t sit down to draft the story until 2014. Otherwise I rarely plan out my stories- I start writing when the ideas come to me, which also means I have a lot of unfinished projects to juggle.
  3. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote? I confess that Google is my main source when it comes to research. I do consider what the internet provides me with a sound mind and a grain of salt, and if there’s more I need to know I’ll visit my local library.
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted? In the months that I had queried it, TWO THOUSAND YEARS was sent out to 12 agents, and all agents rejected it. No requests for partials or the full manuscript- just flat out rejections, if I received a response at all. I gave it a break for a while until I had seen a friend have her book release with The Parliament House, so I reached out to her for her insight on the publisher and her process as a while. I think I submitted a week or so later, received a request for my full manuscript a month later, and a week after that received my contract.
  5. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up? Not an eBook as we know them on Amazon, no. I did have my work out there on Wattpad though. I felt having that exposure, building that following, and receiving that feedback was the most beneficial aspect to my publishing journey. You want to know, someway, somehow, if your work can be received by an audience. I chose to use Wattpad for that, and I know there are others who go the route of beta readers and critique partners. Whatever you choose, make sure a decent pool of readers have given you feedback on your work, and it will help make things more relatable when looking for a publisher.
  6. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist? If you can get yourself out there and build a following for yourself, do it. It doesn’t necessarily need to be self-publishing either. I, personally, had an audience on Wattpad before I began my publishing journey, and sometimes making your brand is as simple as joining the writing community on Twitter. But I definitely think it’s something that an aspiring novelist needs to do- it’s not easy, maintaining your presence before, during, or after you’ve been published. It takes effort, but it also pays off when you realize you have those fans and followers who want to know more about your work and continue to support you through the processes.
  7. What do you read when you are ill in bed? I actually read all the time, and though taking a sick day for myself is rare, I do read when in bed whenever I can. With my schedule, it’s really the only time I can find for myself to read.
  8. What is your favourite genre? Fantasy, for both writing and reading. I’ve always been a fan of using my imagination, and the Fantasy genre is the best outlet for that, at least for me.
  9. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre? Recently I think it’s been Sarah J. Maas. Ever since I fell in love with her A Court of Thorns and Roses series, she has been an inspiration not only as an author, but for a fanbase. To affect so many people as she has through her writing alone is definitely something I hope to on day strive for.
  10. Do you have any pets? I do!

If so, what are they?  He’s an 11-year-old corgi

And what are they called?  His name is Loki

Do they help you write? If lying under my desk while I’m at my laptop constitutes as help, then sure!

What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing? He’ll jump up on the edge of my chair and nudge my arm if he thinks I’ve been writing for too long, and/or believes he requires more attention than I’ve been giving him.

Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A? Sure!


Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37534507-two-thousand-years?ac=1&from_search=true
Purchase: https://amzn.to/2RxDUIbhttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-thousand-years-m-dalto/1129581675?ean=2940156091058https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/two-thousand-years

AUTHOR BIO:

M. Dalto is a fiction author of adventurous romantic fantasy and her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, won one of Wattpad’s Watty Awards in 2016. She continues to volunteer her time as an Ambassador, where she hopes to engage and inspire new writers. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.
Author links:

 https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/https://www.facebook.com/MDalto/https://twitter.com/MDalto421https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17495218.M_Dalto





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