Meet the Author: The Butcher’s Daughter by Jane E James

Today we welcome Jane E James as we travel to Cambridgeshire countryside to learn how a farm, a huge bay window, long country walks, a rescue donkey, and the Yorkshire Moors are a part of Jane’s life. Get your walking shoes on, let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a best-selling author, creating chilling reads that appeal to fans of psychological thrillers, mysteries and dark fiction. I love to weave tense and haunting tales that stay in the reader’s mind. All my books are standalone novels.

I recently signed a two-book publishing deal after my 2nd novel, The Crying Boy (a compelling suspense thriller inspired by actual events) became an overnight best seller on Amazon, knocking both Stephen King and Dean Koontz off the top suspense spot.

When I’m not writing (or reading) I enjoy living ‘the good life’ in the
Cambridgeshire countryside with my ‘all-action-super-hero’ hubby. Rebecca, Carrie, The Woman in Black and Wuthering Heights are among some of my favourite reads. You can catch up with me on facebook and twitter. But make sure you bring Monster Munch and wine…

In which genre do you write?

I am a writer of psychological thrillers, mysteries and dark fiction.

How many published books do you have?

Three standalone novels and a short story

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

As a girl, I loved all things books and would read for hours. The progression to writing was a natural one. Sadly, I didn’t receive much encouragement, even at school. My English teacher accused me of cheating and failed an essay of mine, claiming my writing was too advanced for my age. It was a set-back, but I didn’t let it put me off. The opposite was true. It made me want to prove everyone wrong.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I still work full time (on a farm, would you believe?) so I sacrifice most of my spare time to write. Luckily for me, my all-action-super-hero-hubby is in the army reserves so is away quite a lot and therefore I get plenty of time on my own to write.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

I lost my little dog a month or so ago and still miss him dearly. Not having a dog curled up around my feet while I write feels alien to me. He was very old, almost blind and completely deaf and I would choose him as my mascot.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Old-worldly. A library full of dusty books, leather furniture and a huge bay window overlooking parkland and woods. My actual space is very different although I do have a wonderful view of the countryside. Nothing but fields.

What are you currently reading?

Poison Orchids by Sarah Denzil and Anni Taylor. Sarah is a friend of mine and I am a big fan of her work.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

In the winter I like to curl up in front of a log fire with a glass of red wine, that sort of thing and go on long country walks. I am a country girl at heart and always have been. I am most at home in muddy wellies, no make-up and a checked shirt. But I can glam up when needed. Lol.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I don’t even have to think about this one. I would have afternoon tea on the lawn at Manderley with Daphne du Maurier and I would ask her who she based Rebecca on.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

I’ve toughened up since I wrote my debut novel. When I got my first bad review, I was so upset I didn’t want to get out of bed but now I cope much better. In fact, I welcome all kind of reviews as I think they lend authenticity to your ratings.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene?

For The Butcher’s Daughter, I visited slaughterhouses and butcher shops to get a sense of what these places are like. What I saw and heard there changed my mindset forever. As a result, I became a vegetarian and after reading the first two chapters of my book, hubby quickly followed suit.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? Has this helped with your published writings? If so, how?

No to all the above. I am a note taker and take a little notebook with me everywhere. I keep it by my bed, with me at work, and even in the loo!

What is the most amusing, crazy or inspiring thing that has ever happened to you

Hubby adopted me a rescue donkey for Xmas and I was so touched, I cried for days. He’s a keeper. So is my donkey, Billy O.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

I am usually a bag of nerves beforehand. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it…I don’t listen to music, that would put me off, I just keep rehearsing what I am going to say and remind myself that people are nice and want me to do well.

What do you miss about being a kid?

A sense of freedom and lack of fear. I used to ride wild ponies, climb trees and swim in rivers. I think I was always a bit of a loner though and would tramp the countryside for hours on my own with a trusty dog or two. I miss my parents too. You never get over the loss of them. I would give anything to go back for one more day.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

I would be Muttley from Wacky Races. People tell me I laugh just like him. I have included the link below so you can judge for yourself.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?

Most of my female characters are not that nice, or they are nice but end up doing terrible things. The males tend to fair better! Hmm difficult one. I think I would have to choose Venetia from The Long Weekend. Poor kid. If I were to become her for a day, I would make that day count and make sure she had the nicest time possible to make up for all the bad stuff that happened to her.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

Mama Mia 2. Again! It’s my go-to feel good movie. Love a good singalong.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

WTF? Okay roll with this one, Jane. Oh, I know. He would say ‘You did everything penquinly possible amigo,’ then hand me some tortilla chips.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?

No. I am afraid I do not. I think life is what you make it, made up of good choices, bad choices with some good and bad luck thrown in. Although my work often contains supernatural elements, I am not a believer.

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

I am not a quitter. I first wrote The Butcher’s Daughter ten years ago as a screenplay and it came close to being optioned, but in the end the producer decided to go with another project that became a big hit. Was I gutted? Of course, I was. But I didn’t give up. I turned the story into a novel instead.

What’s your favourite place to visit in your country and why?

The Yorkshire Moors. When I was a child, I spent most of my summers in Yorkshire or Wales (my mother was Welsh, and dad was a straight-talking no-nonsense Yorkshireman). I set The Crying Boy in Yorkshire and The Butcher’s Daughter in Wales. The Yorkshire moors are one of the most beautiful and most haunting places on earth.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day,weather, place, etc.

A picnic in the woods in springtime with a good book and a chilled bottle of pinot grigio.

Tell us about your most recent book.

My latest book, The Butcher’s Daughter was published by Bloodhound Books on May 13th . It is a tense and haunting psychological thriller with some horror elements thrown in. It is my favourite piece of work to date and took two years to complete as it went through several re-writes.

Thank you Jane for joining us on MTA. It was great having you here and learning more about you and your writing style. –Camilla

Book Blurb:

When Natalie Powers returns home for the first time in thirteen years, she must convince everyone she has fully recovered from the mental illness, which has seen her institutionalised for most of her young life.

But instead of being welcomed back, Natalie enters a baffling world of deception. She must fight her way through the lies in order to discover the truth about her mother’s sudden disappearance sixteen years earlier. To do this, Natalie must also try to make sense of the hazy memories from the past that continue to haunt her.

In the village of Little Downey, everybody appears to harbour a mysterious secret, including her father, Frank, the village butcher, who refuses to discuss the circumstances surrounding Natalie’s mother’s disappearance, but who can Natalie trust if not her own father? Especially when it becomes clear her protector and confidante, Dr Moses, is not all he appears.

Meanwhile, a spate of unexplained clifftop suicides has seen the seaside resort go into decline. Are the villagers somehow involved or is something more sinister at work?

Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Natalie must make sure her own frailty and self-doubt does not catapult her back to the mental institution before she can uncover the truth…

Where to find the book.

Waterstones and other online bookstores as well as Amazon.

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2zpZOlX

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Ny84Zk

Connect with Jane E James:

www.janeejames.com
https://www.facebook.com/janeejamesauthor/
https://twitter.com/jane_e_james

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Latest News: July 2019 – Meet the Author Interviews with Most Views

Meet the Author Interview with Most Views for July 2019:

A Daughter’s Truth by Laura Bradford

Meet the Author Interview with Second Most Views for July 2019:

Story of a Country Boy by Val Portelli

Meet the Author Interview with Third Most Views for July 2019:

How to Manage Your Manager: All the Credit, Half the Work by Milo Denison

Top Three Countries With the Most Traffic to Meeting the Authors in July 2019:

Thank you for taking the time to read more about these authors and sharing the interviews on this website. A great deal of work goes into these interviews by the authors and by me. Deep gratitude! –Camilla

Meet the Author: Villa of Sun and Secrets by Jennifer Bohnet

Today we welcome Jennifer Bohnet as we travel to  the Mediterranean coast in the depths of Finistere, Brittany in France discovering how a quirky cottage, a utility room, the Cote d’Azur, Coco Chanel, and Ernest Hemingway have roles in Jennifer’s life and imagination. We’re stepping into the jazz age with this one, let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Villa of Sun and Secrets was published by Boldwood Books on 8th August.

In which genre do you write?

I write contemporary women’s fiction – sometimes with unexpected themes.

How many published books do you have?

Villa of Sun and Secrets is my 13th!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Ooh this is fantasy right? I’d have one of those lovely wooden cabins you can buy now built in the garden and have it kitted out with lots of bookshelves, an old fashioned wooden desk with a leather top, comfy Lloyd Loom chairs, a bean to cup coffee machine and a really comfy dog bed for Django our collie and Gus our cat to snuggle up together in. In real life my writing space is in a converted room at the back of our quirky cottage that doubles up as a utility room.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading two books – one is a non fiction book about writing –  The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr which I have to say is fascinating and informative. The novel I’m currently reading is Rosanna Ley’s, Her Mother’s Secret which is set in Brittany where I live but much further down off the coast of Morbihan.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I read, walk with my husband, Django our collie dog and Gus the cat, in the countryside around our cottage and I like having friends to lunch. But I mainly write!

If you could have a fantasy date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I’m fascinated by the history of the Cote d’Azur in the late 1920s and 30s so I’d like a party in the Provencal Hotel, Juan-les-Pins with guests from that period. Cole Porter, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Picasso and all their friends. I’d interrogate them about what it was really like to be down there during the jazz age – lots of questions about the supposedly wild parties that were held. And then I’d write my definitive Riviera novel using all the gossip they’d told me.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? 

I keep thinking I ought to start a journal – or at the very least a gratitude diary but somehow I never get around to it.

What is the most crazy and inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

The most crazy thing I’ve – we’ve – ever done has to be getting on our bikes and riding down through France  – and not going home. It has also turned out to be the most inspiring for my writing.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

My Old Lady starring three of my favourite actors – Maggie Smith, Kristen Scott Thomas and Kevin Kline. It’s set in Paris and has a brilliant script.

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

I’d ask Django 1. Why do you bark when there is nobody at the door? 2. Why do you steal my washing off the rack? 3. Why do you take up so much room on our bed every night. (Of course I already know the answers: because he’s an attention seeking collie puppy!

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

I love beaches and the seaside out of season. The old Port of Roscoff up on the north coast of Brittany is a favourite place to visit in winter.

Thank you Jennifer for being a part of MTA! Congratulations on your 13th book being published! I love that you and your husband went on a bike ride and never went home! HA! Brilliant! And now I’ve requested the Science of Storytelling and My Old Lady from the library. I adore Maggie Smith. All the best to you! –Camilla

Blurb for Villa of Sun and Secrets

Carla Sullivan’s 50th birthday is fast approaching when her whole world is turned upside down. Discovering her feckless husband is having yet another affair and following her mother’s death, she is in need of an escape. Finding an envelope addressed to her mother’s estranged sister Josette in the South of France gives Carla the perfect plan. Seizing the moment, she packs her bags and heads to Antibes to seek out the enigma known as Tante Josette. But as the two women begin to forge a tentative relationship, family secrets start to unravel, forcing Carla to question her life as she has always known it.

Where to find Jennifer’s latest book:

It’s available in all formats from Amazon and other book stores.

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Zz56G5

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZwHbau

Links:

Website: http://www.jenniferbohnet.com/index.html

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/JenniferBohnetNewsletter

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/@jenniewriter

Amazon.com author page: http://amzn.to/299rvVv

Facebook Author page:  goo.gl/PDKQ8D 

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: Best Intelligence by James Gault

Today we welcome James Gault as we travel to Bize-Minervois in the South-West of France, discovering how the local social group, Emily Bronte, being tone deaf, and the Western Isles in Scotland add a different twist to James Gault’s life and writing style. Leave your superstition at the door and let’s get this plane in the air …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Scot who worked for some time in Prague and I now live in a little village called Bize-Minervois in the South-West of France, near the historic town of Carcassonne, retired from work and enjoying the sunshine and writing.

In which genre do you write?

I have to own up to this – I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to genres. My first fiction book was a comic novel for teenagers (Teaching Tania) then I wrote a philosophical novel (Ogg), but my last two books were political thrillers (The Redemption of Ann Petrovna and Best Intelligence), and the one I’m working on now is a tragic love story with some political content. I don’t recommend this scatter gun approach, but I write what comes into my head, based on what is concerning me, and making money or even creating a following is not a big concern for me.

How many published books do you have?

4 novels, one book on literature and several English Language textbooks

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

More than 60 years a ago, as a kid. In my previous careers I’ve always written something – letters to specialist magazines, articles, textbooks (as a teacher) or just reports on the work I was doing before that (It and management) When I retired, I found time to write more or less full time.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I have a kind of obsession about being DIFFERENT. I don’t see the point in doing just what others have done before you.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

I’m not in any way superstitious – so I don’t have any idea. I guess that makes me a bit boring?

What does your ideal writing space look like?

A big big table where can I leave a mess but still find things – I’ve got a great ability to concentrate and shut things out when I’m working, so the actual physical environment doesn’t have much effect on me.

What are you currently reading?

Just finished rereading Of Mice and Men and started a detective novel by a Scottish author called William McIlvanney, who was a teacher at my old school and became a top name in Scottish Literature.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I’m on the committee of a local social group here in France for mostly ex-pats and do most of the IT for them.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Emily Bronte, and I would ask her if she really did have an affair with the Brussels professor on whom she based the character in Villette and to whom she wrote all those ‘love’ letters?

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

How hard it is to market yourself. I was brought up as a Scottish Presbyterian where the worst thing you could do is to boast, and I feel guilty talking about myself.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot?

??? I’ve had a quiet life. The strangest things happen in my head.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? 

No, I am lazy. I just trust that inspiration will always come when I need it.

What is the most inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

Two very best things – my first published book and winning a prize for a short story I wrote. Sorry, that’s not a very imaginative response from a writer but there it is.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? What do you do to prepare yourself?

I’m tone deaf, so music doesn’t work so much for me. I just rehearse what I’m going to say over and over in my head, and then of course I say something completely different.

What do you miss about being a kid?

My gran. She was the one I would always go to with my problems ( and I had a lot then).

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

I would be Dennis the Menace from the Beano – I like to stir things up and cause mischief.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?

This is a total fantasy but I would choose the character Michael from The Redemption of Anna Petrovna. The novel is set in a post-communist country where corruption permeates all the business and ruling classes, and this character is the fixer who makes everything happen for the powers that be. He is also the one that gets the girl. He is nothing like me, but it would be nice to be so successfully manipulative and get away with it for just for one day.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

It was a recent Star Wars movie I went to with my grandkids – The reaction of the children was more entertaining than the film, to be honest.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

It’s too bloody hot in this country – Got any free space in your fridge, pal?

Do you believe things happen for a reason? 

I believe events are a result of certain preconditions which logically lead to them. I also believe that often we don’t understand these preconditions, but I don’t turn to fantasy to replace them. Like I said before, I’m a bit boring.

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

The ability to concentrate although it drives my wife crazy.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

In my home country of Scotland, any of the Western Isles (on a day when there’s no rain) for their beauty and tranquility. Here in France where I know live, Avingon during the festival in July for the music and drama.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day, weather, place, etc.

I’d do something I used to do but I’m too old now. I’d take a little private plane from our local airport and pilot it myself to one of the Scottish Islands and enjoy a few days in the sun and on the beach before flying back.

Tell us about your most recent book.

The most recent is Best Intelligence. It’s political thriller with a big surprising twist at the end. The hero is a cynical Glasgow policeman who leaves his job and moves to France because he feels he is wasting his time. But he picks up a pretty girl hitchhiker and finds himself mixed up in a web of mystery and intrigue.

Thank you James for being a part of MTA. It was wonderful to learn more about you. I have a quirk about doing things different also and I, too, don’t say half of what I practice saying when speaking in front of others – HA! All the best to you! –Camilla

Where we can find it the book:

The e-book and paperback are available on Amazon at:

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NyDGOf

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZrMCYd

My other novels are available at:

mybook.to/OGG

mybook.to/TEACHINGTANIA

mybook.to/ANNAPETROVNA

Author facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jgaultbooks/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/James-Gault/e/B004JJOXW4

On-line literary magazine at www.voxlit.com

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: Life Giver by Lisa Lowell

Today we welcome Lisa Lowell as we travel to rural Silverton, Oregon USA to uncover how a pre-electric typewriter, Powell’s Bookstore, sign language, the dragon of Hindu legend, and elements of magic work together to create Lisa’s current and past experiences. Put on your dancing shoes, let’s dance our way through this one … 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been writing since I was six because my grandmother had this fascinating pre-electric typewriter and I would tangle up the arms just playing on it. I grew up in a family of artists, and rather than compete with them, words became the paint across my pages. I grew up in rural southern Oregon, amid rivers, forest and waterfalls.

It was idyllic and yet I couldn’t wait to get out and see the world. I got scholarships on the basis of my writing and went to university as far away from Oregon as I could get. I traveled to Europe and spent a few years teaching there, as well as doing student teaching in Washington DC, but I always came back to Oregon.

I married a wonderful man I met at church, and we adopted three children. They’re grown now and since my husband has Parkinson’s, I need to do something close to home, so I revived the writing. We still live in rural Silverton, Oregon, but a lot closer to Powell’s Bookstore (google it), which is still idyllic.

In which genre do you write?

I dabble in sci-fi and historical fiction, but most of my present work is pure high fantasy. I need to be able to have some element of magic in whatever I write.

How many published books do you have?

At present, two of my Wise Ones series have been published, but by the time this interview goes to press, my third book, Life Giver will be out (June 9). All nine of the books in the series have been accepted for publication and they’re all written. I just have to tighten up the prose and get my cover artist (sister Paula) to do each cover. That usually takes a year. I also have one book I self-published on Kindle, back before I had a publisher. It’s called Prince of Samaria, and is an historical fiction set in ancient Babylon and Egypt.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

I was writing before I actually knew what that meant, but by the time I was in my teens, I felt that call because of all the wonderful books I was reading. I wasn’t in direct competition with my very talented siblings, and writing isn’t an ‘observable’ art, so no one was judging me at home. I used my own illustrations to help with concepts, setting and characterization. Andre’ Norton, Patricia A. McKillip, David Brin and Anne McCaffrey influenced much of my desire to write fantasy and science fiction. They got me through those gloomy teen years where I set down my roots as a writer.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I dance while I’m revising and editing. Sometimes I’ll have my headphones on and the music just begs me to dance to the writing. Because I know sign language (deafness runs in the family and I’m going deaf) I add sign to my dance and I’m also telling the story I write in signs.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

My avatar is the dragon of Hindu legend, Tiamat. She is a three headed destroyer and a character I integrated into one of my Wise Ones stories, I liked her so much. She represents me because she has three personalities, like me. Wild, outgoing artist, cool and logical thinker, calm and gentle mother.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

My ideal writing space is a mess. It’s got a plate of carrots and hummus on one side, a glass of water, headphones and post-its festooning all the flat surfaces. The headphones aren’t in use because everyone that will normally be all loud in the house, aren’t home right now. My ‘writing playlist’ is coming from the speakers, (which is saying something because iTunes never works well for me). I can look out the window and see the gardens and directly across from me is the wall with my sister’s painting. I have chocolate kisses squirreled away in the shelf behind me, and the biggest adjustable leather chair to sit in. My mouse and big 17” screen and keyboard are actually clean.

What are you currently reading?

At present, I’m reading the final revisions of my editor on Life Giver, which published on June 9. Before that I was doing my annual reading of Battlefield Earth, and at school I’m reading Outsiders to my class of English 7th graders.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I’m a workaholic, so I never relax. I play piano, sing, dance, draw, and clean my house when I’m upset. When I must, I grade poorly written essays by 13 year-olds and do some cooking. I rarely pursue my hobbies which include gardening, going for long walks, dabbling in genealogy and teaching sign language.

If you could have a fantasy tea date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

A fantasy tea would have a crowd, I’m afraid. I would want to invite Isaac Newton and Einstein for intellect, Tolkien and JK Rowling for creativity, Leonardo DaVinci, Jesus Christ and Mahatma Gandhi for culture and maybe my mom, just to keep me from being nervous.

I would not have much to ask because with that for a crowd it would be very entertaining just to listen to them talk to each other. I might introduce everyone and then ask one open ended question like, ‘What are you doing right now, creatively?’ I figure that would get the ball rolling and I could listen in and just enjoy the conversation. I’m an introvert and would bask in their ideas.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

I’ve learned that I’m not a weirdo, at least in the writing community. All the writers I’ve met have strange ideas and odd habits. They’ve all come into their art in ways that are driven and almost manic. They too have grown more confident and improved their skill without having to be embarrassed by their gifts. I’m not alone in seeing the flaws in my writing and never being satisfied, no matter how many times you revise and edit. I’m grateful for the endless ideas others share and how it stimulates ideas of my own. I’ve learned that I love being a writer, instead of being ashamed of it.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done to help create a scene or plot?

I once asked a friend if I could make a noose and pretend to hang her. It was research for book #2 of Wise Ones and I was afraid that if I googled it, I’d see the real thing and the therapists would be sent to me, putting me on suicide watch.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? Has this helped with your published writings? If so, how?

My journal is more of impressions I get when I read scriptures. I used to keep a journal, back when I was a teen, but I cringe now at how selfish and self-centered I sound, so I don’t bother reading it. When I was in fugue states, I was depressed and wrote my stories, not journaling. The two are almost opposites. A journal is for when you have nothing to write.

What is the most inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

I did my student teaching in Washington DC, three thousand miles from home. While I was there in the parking lot of my apartment building, I ran into an old friend from Göteborg, Sweden. She too was there to study and we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in years. It was as if God wanted us to meet up and remind ourselves of our friendship.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? What do you do to prepare yourself?

I listen to Sia’s Elastic Heart and spend quite a bit of time praying. For me, public speaking is teaching mode, and I’ll have to be flexible (Elastic Heart) and inspired (praying) in order to not sound like a teacher. Outside of teacher mode, I get so nervous my hands shake and I cannot read what I’m looking at, so that’s where prayer comes into it.

What do you miss about being a kid?

I miss the days when I could go out into the fields behind my house, climb a tree or lay down in the tall grass and read or draw or daydream. My mother would stick her head out to call us in for dinner, shouting because she figured we were nowhere near, but I would pop up in the grass just feet from the door and smile at her.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

I would love to join Calvin and Hobbes on his adventures. He had the intellect of Oppenheimer and the whimsy of a child. What a fun combination. I hope I keep that myself.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?

For me, I would want to be Mohan, the dragon. First of all, his innocence and curiosity would appeal to me. I would go see how things had changed in the Land, and then I would fly up and have a chat with Owailion. Why was he being such a doofus? He needs to change his attitude and come rejoin the world. Besides, he needs to explain what was written on those runestones.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

The last movie I watched was Aquaman (I don’t get out much) and I went to that only because my husband insisted. It was his thing, not mine. I don’t like movies much because they don’t have closed captioning and so I cannot follow them very well. I’ll wait until it comes out on Hulu, and only if it is a movie of a book I’ve read.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

I’d say, “How do you do? Come in!” He would say, “I am in need of magical help because obviously some wicked witch has cursed me. No one wears sombreros any more.” Magic, I can do.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?

I believe God has a hand in all things. He lets us fight our own battles and do our own thing, but He needs us to be in the right place at the right time to help answer prayers.

I remember a story of a man who took his two sons hiking on a ridiculously long hike up a mountain. One of his sons got stung by something and was going into anaphylactic shock, but it was nine miles back down the trail and he had to carry his boy. His other son had to carry the packs and it was too dark by the time they were coming back down. The younger son, who was about six, led the way and insisted they needed to take a right turn, not the left down the trail. The father was too busy praying that his son would live to get off the mountain to argue. Then he heard the cries of someone else on the mountain and they stumbled into three little girls who had wandered off from their camp to gather wild flowers and were now lost. The father then had five children to get off the mountain. In the end, he managed to get them all down and to the medics, but when he collapsed at home he heard a voice. “I could not answer your prayers. I needed you to answer theirs.” That’s why his son was stung. That’s why he was led on the wrong path. God was using him as an instrument to help others.

We cannot always understand why things are happening, but we need to have faith that it is for a reason. Witness the meeting in Washington DC with my old friend Karin.

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

Why must you sit there, even though you know you’re not supposed to? What is so fascinating about that (garbage, crotch, pile of nasty). Where is my phone and why did you feel a need to chew on it?

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

I am not a procrastinator – which technically is the lack of a personality trait, but it is part of me. I get things done. I’m not weighed down with fear, indecision or reluctance. I barge in and get it done. In that way, I’m like Rashel, the female MC in my latest book. I admire it in her, but it gets her into trouble too, just like me.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

I’d love to go back to Washington DC once again and finish exploring. Do you know how many museums are involved in Smithsonian? I love to explore the memorials, museums and sites, not because I love politics. I love history and art. The city simply oozes with those things, and I love to learn. It’s like Disneyland for grownups. I couldn’t see it all in the four months I was there.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day, weather, place, etc.

I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been on a solo date before. I went on a solo trip through Europe, which was great fun. I went through all the museums and small villages I could see on my Eurorail pass, and without the tourist guides. I distinctly remember sailing among the islands outside of Göteborg and wondering why it was July and the sun wasn’t setting. It could have been California, except it was so cold I had on a jacket.

I remember taking a camera and photographing Michaelangelo’s David’s hands. You could distinctly see the veins and those carefully manicured nails. I was there the year after the Wall fell in East Germany and I picked up a piece of rubble (I can only assume) from it, complete with vandalized paint. That’s the kind of date I’d like to take again. It took two months, so it might not feature as a date, but that’s what I’d like to do again.

Tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it.

My most recent book is called Life Giver. It is book #3 of the Wise Ones series. In this book Yeolani, who is a reluctant, irreverent magician, learns from all the ways he can mess up, that he has something to give, despite himself.

One thing you should know is there are nine books in the series and they’re all written and accepted for publication. I wrote them backwards. The one that is now #9, Sea Queen, was the first because it started out as a simple story about how a girl became a queen and all the adventures that would take her through that transformation. When everyone read it, they enjoyed it but wanted to have the backstories of all the other characters. So each book in the Wise Ones focuses on one of the other magical people and how they came into their power.

Thank you Lisa for being a part of MTA. It was incredibly interesting to learn more about you, your history, and your writing life. Here’s to your continued success on this writing journey! –Camilla

Book Trailer for Life Giver

Where to Buy:

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZgkeYQ

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KG7GWG

Lisa Lowell’s Books on US Amazon: https://amzn.to/31ReqGS

Social media

www.magicintheland.com

https://www.facebook.com/vikingauthor/?ref=bookmarks

Book Trailer for Talismans

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: Poppy’s Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain

Today we welcome Heidi Swain as we travel to Norfolk county to discover how a Sunday Times Bestseller, having a structured day, gardening, and Wind in the Willows integrate into Heidi’s to-do list. Grab your needles, let’s get clicking …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Heidi Swain and I live in the pretty county of Norfolk just a few miles south of the fine city of Norwich.

In which genre do you write?

I write commercial fiction for Simon and Schuster. The more commonly known description – women’s commercial fiction – isn’t always accurate as I know some pretty burly truck drivers who are more than happy to settle down with my books after a long day of driving!

How many published books do you have?

I’ve had eight books published in the last four years and my Christmas book for this year, The Christmas Wish List, will be out in October. My fifth book, Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells became a Sunday Times Bestseller – the pinnacle of my writing career so far!

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do? 

I would love to be Jemma. She runs The Cherry Tree Café in Wynbridge in partnership with her best friend Lizzie Dixon. Lizzie is the crafting expert and Jemma is the baking queen. Jemma features in practically all of my books and yet I have never written her story. She’s a character I admire greatly – ambitious, competent, approachable, supportive and a great mum, wife and business woman. I love her vision, drive and enthusiasm for life. She’s a real go-getter! If there’s a problem Jemma can always fix it and she’s so creative. If I could be Jemma for a day, I’d spend my day in the Café, enjoying the company of the customers and batch baking sweet treats.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

How disciplined I am. Writing two books a year – one for the summer market and the other for Christmas – I have to be very organised and stick to a schedule otherwise I’d never hit my deadlines. I have a weekly planner which even lists the hours I’ll be writing and when I’ll take a break. I know it wouldn’t work for everyone, but I thrive on having a structured day. I’m never happier than when I can go to bed with everything ticked off the daily to-do list!

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

Reading would be the most obvious answer, but I’m also a very keen gardener – I gardened professionally for a while when I was younger – and I love getting out and walking in the local woods. I always start my day with a wander around the garden to see what’s grown, which flowers have bloomed and if anything needs my attention. I love that moment in spring when the urge to get my hands in the earth takes over and I rush off to the garden centre for seeds to sow. It’s all very Wind in The Willows! I’ve also learned how to knit this year and although I’m not very good, if it’s raining you’ll probably find me with the needles out, clicking away.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

The last movie I watched was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I’ve seen it probably a hundred times, but it was on TV early yesterday evening and as soon as I heard the opening few notes I knew I wasn’t going to budge from my armchair. I’m a huge HP fan and it doesn’t take much to get me talking about all things Hogwarts! I went to boarding school but the feasts were nowhere near as good!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

A small room of my own would be wonderful! A desk, bookcase, comfy armchair and a view of the garden would be enough to keep me happy. Up until my daughter went to Uni last year I was perched on the edge of the dining table and had to pack away at the end of every day. Since she’s been gone I’ve taken over the desk in her room and it has been bliss. Not my ideal writing space, but a place I can leave set up at the end of the day. By the time you read this it will be the summer hols and I’ll be back at the dining table and cursing the lack of space and privacy!

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

I have a little black rescue cat called Storm. She was born in an air conditioning shaft in Norwich as was the runt of the litter no one wanted. Lucky for me because she’s absolutely gorgeous! If I could ask her three questions they would be…

Where do you go at night?
What’s the appeal of the bottom shelf in the airing cupboard?
If you could ask me three questions what would they be?

She’s always popping up on my Instagram account so keep your eyes peeled for her posing.

Thanks Heidi for being a part of MTA. It was wonderful to learn more about you and your writing life. I have seen Storm pop up on instagram just recently when she didn’t return home! So happy that she finally made her way back to you! All the best to you for continued success! –Camilla

Heidi Swain:

Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi Swain gained a degree in Literature, flirted briefly with a newspaper career, married and had two children before she plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously.

A lover of vintage paraphernalia and the odd bottle of fizz, she now writes feel good fiction with heart for Simon and Schuster.

Her debut novel, The Cherry Tree Café was published in July 2015 and since then she has had a further six books published, becoming a Sunday Times Bestseller in 2017. She is currently celebrating the release of her 2019 summer title, Poppy’s Recipe for Life while working on her next project.

Heidi is represented by Amanda Preston and lives in Norfolk with her wonderful family and a mischievous cat called Storm.

Poppy’s Recipe for Life

Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life but her dreams are finally within her reach.

She’s moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square, close to the local community garden, where she can indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles. She may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his steely exterior belies.

But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger brother soon threatens her new-found happiness and as the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for …

Where to Buy:

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Hg66IY

UK Amazonhttps://amzn.to/33U56UO

Heidi’s Books on UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MraxFd

Connect with Heidi:

Website: http://www.heidiswain.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Heidi_Swain
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterHeidiJoSwain?ref=hl

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Latest News: June 2019 – Meet the Author Interviews with Most Views

Meet the Author Interview with Most Views for June 2019:

Spirits of Vengeance: The Stone of Spirits by Andrew John Rainnie 

Meet the Author Interview with Second Most Views for June 2019:

Back Home by Tom Williams

Meet the Author Interview with Third Most Views for June 2019:

Saints and Curses by Alexis Lantgen

Top Three Countries With the Most Traffic to Meeting the Authors:

Thank you for taking the time to read more about these authors and sharing the interviews on this website. A great deal of work goes into these interviews by the authors and by me. Deep gratitude! –Camilla

Meet the Author: With Face Aflame by A. E. Walnofer

Today we welcome A. E. Walnofer as we travel to Southern California to discover how white-barked aspen trees, plantar calcaneal regions, Jane Austen, and The Black Swan replenish and massage Walnofer’s days. Grab your tea and get comfortable.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in Southern California, but wish I was established in the Pacific Northwest where the mountains are green and the rivers actually have water in them.

In which genre do you write?

Historical fiction

How many published books do you have?

Two, but I got an idea recently that just might turn into a third! I’ve actually got 47,000 words of another story written but I’m rethinking it before I surge forward with it.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

Before I could read or write, I was composing stories. My mom recorded me on a cassette tape telling a tale when I was three. It’s pretty cute!

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

Hmm…well, when I’m writing, I spend A LOT of that time at the computer telling myself to focus instead of going into the kitchen to get something to eat. Pretty inspiring, huh? 🙂

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

Never considered this before. Can I choose a tree? They’re not sentient, but they’re beautiful and replenish our oxygen supply. Yeah, I’m going to say my mascot is a white-barked aspen tree with green leaves that flutter in the breeze.

What are you currently reading?

I recently finished “London” by Edward Rutherfurd. Wow, what a massive and amazing book! I got the ebook version so my wrists wouldn’t break after a half hour of reading. I highly recommend it for any Anglophilean history buffs.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I work as a physical therapist assistant all week long, which doesn’t leave much time to write because there are always more upper traps and plantar calcaneal regions to be massaged.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Perhaps this answer isn’t very original, but I’d love to talk with Jane Austen. She was such a clever and talented woman.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve experienced to help create a scene or plot?

Oooh, I like this question. I wish I had some hilarious or crazy story to answer it with. I’ll simply say that last fall, my husband and I went to the UK to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The whole time I was there — walking on the ancient walls of York City, gazing on the site within the Tower of London where Lady Jane lost her head, sipping tea at a 500 year old pub called The Black Swan, sampling 20 different cheeses in the Yorkshire Dales — I was trying to imagine what it was like to be there way back when. To be in a place where you can feel the wind in your face, smell the scent of the trees, run your fingertips over the moss covered rock walls, instead of just imagining it, is a magical experience and helps you formulate details for your stories to make them come to life.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do? 

I think I’d have to be Madge from “With Face Aflame” so I could sing beautifully to a crowd of people, and so that I could understand her heartache a bit better.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? 

I don’t necessarily think things happen for a reason, but I see how we can learn and grow because all sorts of things happen.

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

I’m fairly in tune with what’s going on with the people who are around me — whether it’s at work, at the movie theater or in my own kitchen — how they’re all interacting with each other verbally and non-verbally, how they’re feeling about themselves and each other. That has served me well because it helps me write scenes where a lot of emotion or meaning is conveyed through a simple look or a two word sentence between characters.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

Oh my goodness. There are so many places I want to go or want to return to. I HAVE to go back to Yellowstone before I die. Everyone should see that place. There are lots of places in Washington State and Oregon that I want to visit. Then there are national parks in Canada that are calling my name. Pretty much any lush place with temperate weather and gorgeous trees is on my list.

Tell us about your most recent book.

“With Face Aflame” was published in April, 2018. Set in England in the 1680’s, it’s a historical, body-positive, coming of age tale about a young woman with a large birthmark on her face.

If you’re in to poetry, visit my site at aewalnofer.com and get your fill of it there. Thanks for reading about me and my work!

Thank you Aimee for joining us on MTA. It was incredibly interesting to learn more about you. I’m a tree lover and adore the sound of the aspen leaves blowing in the wind! I love that your mom recorded you telling a story. I did that too when my kids were younger. I’m so happy I did this as these are beautiful memories to have. All the best to you! –Camilla

Here’s the blurb:

Born with a red mark emblazoned across her face, seventeen-year-old Madge is lonely as she spends her days serving guests and cleaning rooms in the inn her father keeps.

One day, she meets an unusual minstrel in the marketplace. Moved by the beauty of his song and the odd shape of his body, she realizes she has made her first friend. But he must go on to the next town, leaving her behind. Soon after, while she herself is singing in the woods, she is startled by a chance meeting with a stranger there. Though the encounter leaves her horribly embarrassed, it proves she need not remain unnoticed and alone forever.

However, this new hope is shattered when she overhears a few quiet words that weren’t intended for her ears. Heartbroken and confused, she flees her home to join the minstrel and his companion, a crass juggler. As they travel earning their daily bread, Madge secretly seeks to rid herself of the mark upon her cheek, convinced that nothing else can heal her heart.

Set in England in 1681, With Face Aflame is the tale of a girl who risks everything in hopes of becoming the person she desperately wants to be.

Where to buy the book:

US Amavon: https://amzn.to/2KIZLYT

UK Amavon: https://amzn.to/2KU4W7c

It’s only $2.99 on Amazon and if you belong to the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, you can read it for free! My first novel, A Girl Called Foote, is also available on Amazon for $2.99, so feel free to check it out, too!

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Book Shelf: Fearless Flyer – Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine

Fearless Flyer – Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine by Heather Lang

Beautifully illustrated and wonderful book! We learned about Ruth Law and how on November 19, 1916 she took to the sky to fly from Chicago to New York in one day. Something no one had ever done. Especially not a woman.

“When I was a little girl I used to dream of flying, not with terror ….. but with wonder and delight. I would be a swallow flying south, or an eagle swooping down from the clouds, and then, all of a sudden, I’d wake up, just a little girl ready to cry because she had no wings.”

“I could anticipate what would happen to the motor by the sound of it.”

“To become an aviator one has to dismiss all fear.”

“The sky was my limit and the horizon my sphere. It’s any woman’s sphere if she has nerve and courage and faith in herself. She’s got to have faith in herself.”

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/31LE680

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/33HszrY