Book Shelf: The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane

“The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane” by C.M. Millen

**Throwback to 2016** – From the time Thomas and Lillian were born I read to them nightly before going to bed; leading to some time in 2017 when we all decided to discontinue doing so. Their tastes in what interested each of them had solidified by this point. We all continue to be heavy readers, reading daily.

Another book we really enjoyed. A wonderful fiction based on the monks of the Middle Ages from Ireland who established monasteries throughout much of Europe and parts of the Middle East. The monasteries were the place where books were made. The monks carefully translated and copied the great written works of antiquity. – Camilla

US Amazon – https://amzn.to/2wna0he

*********************************************************************************

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla

(The above are amazon affiliate links.)

Meet the Author: The Flowers of Time by A.L. Lester

Today we travel to rural Somerset in the UK to chat with A.L. Lester about how chickens, plotting, Kew Gardens, growing up on a horticultural nursery, making butter-lamps, Roobard and Custard, and an inability to quit come together as part of their past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Ally and I write as A. L. Lester. I live in rural Somerset in the UK, on the edge of the Quantock Hills with Mr AL, our two children, a variety of chickens and animals and an unsuccessful permaculture vegetable garden.

In which genre do you write?

I write queer, paranormal, historical romance.

How many published books do you have?

Three, with a fourth coming out in April.

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

I’ve always written, but I didn’t hit my stride and find a publisher until 2017.

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

I’m not sure I have any interesting ones…I can never remember the difference between it’s/its and I loathe plotting. But they’re not interesting quirks, per se, more irritating ones, I’m sure my editor would say!

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

Dachshund. Morris the Emotional Support Dachshund is my real life mascot.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Empty of people wanting me to brush their hair or find their socks or remember whether they’ve paid the gas bill.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading a really fab gay historical romance by Lillian Francis called Under the Radar. It’s set on a WW2 submarine and the details are amazing.

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

· I can pluck a chicken in twenty minutes

· I have no sense of smell

· I used to run a farmer’s market stall selling eggs.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

My most recent book is called The Flowers of Time and is a romance between a lady botanist and a non-binary explorer set in the Himalayas in the 1780s. The idea was jump-started by a picture of some 1920s plant-collectors from Kew Gardens. I grew up on a horticultural nursery, so I felt very drawn to the whole botanical thing.

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

I knit, I home educate my frighteningly articulate twelve year old, I care for my life-limited eleven year old.

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?

Dorothy Dunnett. I’d want to ask her about her historical research for the Lymond series.

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

That I’m non-binary. The Flowers of Time is basically me working that through!

What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?

I’ve got a really nice circle of online friends from social media.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot or to help you remember something if writing a memoir?

Erm. I made my own butter for the butter-lamps in The Flowers of Time. I separated the milk, made the butter, clarified it and then used it with a wick for light.

At this stage in your life, what advice would your young self give to your more mature self?

Be less bothered about what other people think about you – just crack on and be yourself.

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

Roobarb and Custard would probably be most realistic if I’m perfectly honest. Slapstick comedy and a dog and cat creating chaos.

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

Very much so. I believe very strongly in reincarnation and karma. Not karma in the ‘instant payback’ kind of way, but I believe that we get back what we put out, eventually, and that life is a series of learning experiences. If you don’t learn a lesson the first time the opportunity arises then you are presented with more opportunities to learn as you go through your life.

I think this is why I find questions like ‘what one thing would you change about your life if you could’ so hard. I wouldn’t change anything, really, not even the bad stuff, because it’s all shaped me in to the person I am and given me the life I have today.

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

· Why did you kill that chicken?

· Why do you keep digging a hole out of the corner of the garden and getting stuck down that badger hole?

· Why do you only jump on the bed when you’re muddy?

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

Probably my inability to quit, even when that would be the best thing to do. I just keep plodding on and a lot of the time it doesn’t occur to me that I could give up!

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

Rural places with lots of trees and streams. But I don’t mind too much where, so long as it’s in nature somewhere. I love Exmoor and the Quantocks, which is where I grew up. Similar places really resonate with me.

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

In the morning, sunny but not hot, somewhere I could sit outside in nature with a pot of coffee and write, without interruption.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a romance set in the 1970s between a disabled farmer and a disgraced stockbroker. I’m about ten thousand words in and I’m aiming to have it finished by the end of March.

Tell us about your most recent book.

The Flowers of Time is the third in my Lost in Time magical universe. It’s a paranormal-historical-romantic suspense set in England and the Himalayas in the 1780s. It’s a love story between Edie, a determined lady botanist and Jones, a non-binary explorer. They travel across the mountains searching for rare flowers and trying to work out what killed Jones’ father three years before. There are monsters and yaks and a dog and mysterious caves and kissing. You can find it on all the major ebook platforms!

It was great having you be a part of MTA, Ally! I listened to the clip of you reading a chapter, and what a lovely voice you have. Captivating! All the best to you! –Camilla

Blurb:

Jones is determined to find out what caused the unexpected death of her father whilst they were exploring ancient ruins in the Himalayas. She’s never been interested in the idea of the marriage bed, but along with a stack of books and coded journals he’s left her with the promise she’ll travel back to England for the first time since childhood and try being the lady she’s never been.

Edie and her brother are leaving soon on a journey to the Himalayas to document and collect plants for the new Kew Gardens when she befriends Miss Jones in London. She’s never left England before and is delighted to learn that the lady will be returning to the mountains she calls home at the same time they are planning their travels. When they meet again in Srinagar, Edie is surprised to find that here the Miss Jones of the London salons is ‘just Jones’ the explorer, clad in breeches and boots and unconcerned with the proprieties Edie has been brought up to respect.

A non-binary explorer and a determined lady botanist make the long journey over the high mountain passes to Little Tibet, collecting flowers and exploring ruins on the way. Will Jones discover the root of the mysterious deaths of her parents? Will she confide in Edie and allow her to help in the quest? It’s a trip fraught with perils for both of them, not least those of the heart.

Where to buy Flowers of Time: http://books2read.com/flowersoftime

The first book, Lost in Time,  is currently free for the next few days as part of a bundle the publisher has put together collectively for people stuck at home. They are mostly queer romance: https://www.jms-books.com/free-c-440/

Flowers of Time booktrailer:

A.L. Lester reading an excerpt of The Flowers of Time:

Social Links:

Website: http://allester.co.uk

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CogentHippo

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

Find books: https://allester.co.uk/lost-in-time/

**************************************************************************

Here are a few suggestions on how to further support this author:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Latest News: February 2020 Meet the Author Interviews with Most Views

Meet the Author Interview with Most Views for February 2020:

#1: Mud and Glass by Laura Goodin

Meet the Author Interview with Second Most Views for February 2020:

#2: A Very Important Teapot by Steve Sheppard

Meet the Author Interview with Third Most Views for February 2020:

#3 Bowing to Elephants by Mag Dimond

Top Three Countries With the Most Traffic to Meeting the Authors in February 2020:

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, Founder & Host

Here are a few suggestions on how to further support these authors:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for more suggestions. Thank you!

Meet the Author: The Twelve Man Bilbo Choir by Peter Staadecker

Today we travel to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to chat with Peter Staadecker about how Canada’s mountainous West Coast, mushroom picking, Cape Town, South Africa, vervet monkey thieves, being an unwilling soldier, and photography set the scenes of Peter’s past and current life.

Have you lived there in Toronto your entire life?

Not yet. I moved there in 1981 thinking it would be temporary because Toronto is flat and I missed the mountains. All these years later, it’s still flat, it’s still temporary. I’m still here.

Why are you still there?

Ask my wife. I would have liked Canada’s mountainous West Coast. My wife is from France. She says the West Coast is too far from her mother and family.

And you still believe Toronto is temporary?

Don’t trample on an old man’s dreams.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. Africa back then had (and still has) some very wild spots. One night four of us were camped in Botswana by the Chobe River under nothing but mosquito nets when a pride of hunting lions walked through the camp. We had thought our campfire would keep them away. It didn’t. Another night, vervet monkeys stole freshly baked bread right off our campfire. We had thought the fire would … I’m not even going to finish that sentence. One monkey also stole some crucial antibiotics out of our parked car. We had detoured three days from Botswana into what is now Zimbabwe to get those precious antibiotics for a sick friend. The monkey thief sat out of reach in a tree, calmly watched our tantrums far below, opened the childproof lid with ease, poured the pills onto the ground, and took off through the trees with the empty bottle, the childproof lid and an enamel mug.

There are also wonderful mountain ranges in Africa. Did I mention mountains?

I’ve had jobs as varied as mushroom picking, salvaging a sunken yacht, being an unwilling soldier, etc. I studied and became a mathematician, worked in business and am now retired with time to write.

What do you do when you’re not working on your books?

You mean aside from time for books, house, garden, wife, children, pets, etc.? It depends on the season. Right now it’s still winter, which is cross-country skiing time if I’m free. For those that don’t know cross-country skiing, if you do it right it’s like flying. Unfortunately, I often plummet. I recently put up a video clip of myself x-country skiing, here https://vimeo.com/393348449. It shows both the flying and the onset of the plummet stage. The clip also contains some of my photography—another hobby when I get time.

What have you been reading recently?

Last year, I was bowled over by J.L. Carr’s “A Month in the Country.” I’ve reread it three times to analyze it and to steal the secret sauce behind J.L. Carr’s magic.

And the secret is?

I don’t know. Each time I read it, I forget that my goal was industrial espionage; I become an entranced reader all over again. I’ve given up trying to analyze it.

Another thing that bowled me over recently was an award acceptance speech by the late poet/musician/singer Leonard Cohen. You can see a video version at

It’s a wonderful example of a poet using language to put a spell on his audience.

Did you like the movie version of A Month in the Country?

For me, the magic is in the book, not the movie.

Did you always write?

Not before the age of about five. But after that, yes. I tried to publish a magazine when I was about ten. I sold one copy. Since then I’ve written occasional journal or newspaper articles and published four books.

What genre?

My first book, and the one I’d like to focus on today, is called “The Twelve Man Bilbo Choir.” The closest genre it approximates is historical fiction. Specifically, it’s based on an actual historical event, but it fictionalizes the event and transports it into modern times.

How did you get the idea for it?

Toronto has no mountains—did I already mention that—so, I started sailing on Lake Ontario. As a sailor, I became aware of an 1884 sailing tragedy that set a legal precedent for much of the world. Three men and a cabin boy survived a shipwreck in the Atlantic. They were adrift in a lifeboat for 24 days. The digits 2 and 4 look so harmless in print, but think about it: twenty-four days. I won’t spoil the story by revealing the key events that took place during those 24 days. The survivors were rescued and returned to Britain. The British Home Secretary took an interest in the events. He decided to bring two of the men to trial in spite of the public support the men had received. Again, I won’t reveal details for fear of spoiling the story. What I will say is that I discussed the trial with my teenage boys. I told them why, although the case was controversial, I supported the judge’s ruling. I found to my surprise that my boys were totally opposed to the judge’s ruling.

Fair warning: do NOT EVER, ever, ever find yourself shipwrecked with my teenagers. They are savage little so-and-so’s. You have been warned.

Anyway, I couldn’t get the case out of my mind, so I wrote the book. I was delighted to find it shortlisted for the Kobo-Rakuten Emerging Authors prize. I’m also delighted that copies are held in the USA by library of The National Registry of Exonerations and by the Equal Justice Initiative.

What advice would your now-self give to your younger-self?

Don’t camp where lions hunt. That’s stupid.
If you like the smell of freshly-baked bread you’ll be at peace with all creatures.
If you like the taste of freshly-baked bread you’ll hate vervet monkeys.
Also, find out in advance where your future wife refuses to move to.

It was great having you be a part of MTA, Peter. I very much enjoyed your sense of humor and wish you all the best with your books! –Camilla

Where can readers find your books?

Two of the books, including “The Twelve Man Bilbo Choir”, can be found on kobo.com in epub format

All the books can be found on Amazon sites world-wide in Kindle format, and in paperback wherever Amazon sells paperbacks

Most bookshops can special-order the paperback versions

Some New Zealand and Oz readers use a paperback ordering service called https://www.bookdepository.com/

Connect with Peter:

My photography is at https://gallery.staadecker.com
My blog on photography, writing and random musings is at https://blog.staadecker.com
My publishing website is at https://publishing.staadecker.com
My author Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/staadecker.books/
On twitter I’m @PeterStaadecker

**************************************************************************

Here are a few suggestions on how to further support this author:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Meet the Author: Beyond the Margin by Jo Jackson

Today we’re traveling to rural Shropshire in central England to chat with Jo Jackson about how an orphanage in Egypt, views of Wenlock Edge, a large wildlife pond, the Israeli secret police, Wembley Stadium, and spending the night in the Gaza strip come together as part of Jo’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Jo Jackson. I am the author of two books, ‘Too Loud a Silence’ published in 2016 and ‘Beyond the Margin’ published in 2019. Originally from Birmingham U.K., I now live in rural Shropshire with my husband and dog. Our three children are grown up, married with families and careers of their own. My own career was as a nurse, a midwife and ultimately as a family psychotherapist.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Even as a child I enjoyed writing and English was a favourite lesson. My first book was typed, illustrated and bound by my junior school and put in the school library. I read it out in the school assembly as a very proud ten year old.

Fast- forward twenty years and inspiration was ignited when I returned to England after living in Egypt for two years with my family. Events there – abandoned twin girls, an orphanage, and a situation that for me was never resolved became the inspiration for my first novel. I still have the handwritten manuscript that I wrote at the time but career and family took over and it lay unfinished.

On retirement I joined a writing group and the story that had lain dormant for thirty-seven years was rewritten and became ‘Too Loud a Silence’. I set it in Egypt with a backdrop of the Arab Spring with a backstory based thirty years earlier. It was a story I needed to write for those little orphaned girls and for me. I then went on to write ‘Beyond the Margin’, three years later.

What is your favourite writing place?

I am lucky to live in a house in rural Shropshire with stunning views of Wenlock Edge from every window. My favourite writing place, in summertime is sitting with my laptop beside a large wildlife pond in the garden. I share the space with birdsong, mallards, moorhens and their chicks all busy foraging among the reeds. In winter you’ll find me in the conservatory or curled up beside the log burner. I love nature and it inspires description in my writing. My best time to write is early morning and I witness many beautiful sunrises.

Tell us three interesting facts about yourself.

– Driving home from Egypt in a car with Egyptian number plates we were stopped and made to get out while the car was searched by the Israeli secret police. They thought my husband, myself and our 3 blonde haired children, aged 4 – 11 may be Lebanese terrorists!

– We were once marooned on a small island off the coast of Taiwan for 5 days because of a storm. Eventually we were taken back to the mainland by boat, through mountainous seas – and survived to tell the tale!

– I have stood on the seats of Wembley Stadium singing ‘We are the champions’, after watching my son lift the FA cup with Everton in 1995.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

My most recent book, ‘Beyond the Margin’ arose out of two short stories I had written. Within my work as a family psychotherapist I was privileged to meet many people whose lives were lived on the edge of society. The novel is a tribute to their courage and resourcefulness. I used the setting of a timber yard because I walk above one almost every day with the dog. The ordered rows of tree trunks and the quiet of the place in the evening when work has ceased inspired me. I began to write the novel when I was in Ireland for a month and the wild scenery in the west seemed the perfect backdrop to the story.

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

I have a wonderful life! I paint, I study philosophy, I read, I garden, I walk and travel in both the UK and distant places in the world, Africa and India being particular favourites. We have lots of friends and seven grandchildren all of them a joy.

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

That I have the ability to deeply touch people emotionally through my characters and writing.

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

Spending a night in the Gaza strip, with my family, in the home of a very kind taxi driver who generously made the offer when we found ourselves stranded at the border. We have the fondest memories of him and his family and the wonderful Palestinian hospitality showed to us that night.

What do you miss most about being a kid?

Playing out in the street until it was dusk.
Lying in bed, reading a book until lunchtime on a Sunday morning.

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

‘”I know I look ridiculous but climate change is real. Don’t let anyone pretend it’s not.”

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

My brother and I were always told, ‘if you start something, you finish it’. This message has stayed with me and fuels my determination. The other thing is I am always positive. I like people and see the best, not the worst, in them.

Describe your perfect solo date.

Somewhere in the tropics where I could walk through the rainforest and enjoy the songs of the birds and hear the call of the monkeys.

Tell us about your most recent book.

‘Beyond the Margin’

‘Its strength lies in its authenticity. A gritty bitter-sweet narrative that kept me turning the pages’. ‘Emotionally raw and brutally honest’. ‘A stunning piece of writing – and one of my books of the year’. These are just a few of the phrases used by reviewers of my most recent book. My thanks go to all of them for their encouraging words.

It was incredibly interesting learning more about you and your writing, Jo. I immensely enjoyed our interview.  You have had some amazing and wild adventures. Wishing you all the best! –Camilla

Blurb: Beyond the Margin

Is living on the edge of society a choice? Or is choice a luxury of the fortunate?
Joe, fighting drug addiction, runs until the sea halts his progress.

His is a faltering search for meaningful relationships.
‘Let luck be a friend,’ Nuala is told but it had never felt that way.

Abandoned at five years old, survival means learning not to care. Her only hope is to take control of her own destiny.

The intertwining of their lives makes a compelling story of darkness and light, trauma, loss and second chances.

Where to find the books:

Both books are available from: https://www.Amazon.co.uk in paperback or kindle

Stepping into Books on Amazon

Direct from Jo’s website http://www.jojacksonwriter.com and

Shropshire bookshops, libraries and Waterstones

Connect with Jo:

Facebook: Jojacksonauthor

Twitter: @jojackson589

**************************************************************************

Here are a few suggestions on how to further support this author:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Meet the Author: The Piccadilly Street Series: Mrs. Murray’s Ghost by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Today we travel to North Gower, part of the greater Ottawa area in Canada, to chat with Emily-Jane Hills Orford about how country life, an antique spinet desk, playing the piano, needle-art, journal writing, Barbie dolls, being a dreamer, haunted houses, and ghosts come together to haunt Emily-Jane’s past and present life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a retired music and creative writing teacher. Ten years ago, my better half and my muse (my dog, Duke) moved to the country in a little town called North Gower. It’s actually part of the greater Ottawa area (Ottawa being the capital city of Canada). I love country life. I have an antique spinet desk sitting in front of a large picture window that looks out onto our wooded front yard and my birdfeeders. I enjoy watching the wildlife while I sit at my writing desk, feeling a little like Jane Austen (although Jane Austen wouldn’t have used a laptop, even if she did write on a spinet desk like I do). In the spring, summer and fall, after my daily writing ritual, you’ll find me outside, walking Duke or having Duke help me putter around the yard, taking care of my gardens. I’m always involved in something creative, whether it’s writing, playing the piano or composing music or working on my needleart and collage paintings. When I’m not writing, however, I’m thinking about writing, plotting new stories in my head.

In which genre do you write?

Several genres, actually. I started my writing career writing creative nonfiction and memoir and I still enjoy writing a few short memoir stories. More recently, I’ve written raw, real-people drama (“Gerlinda”), historical fiction/fantasy (“Queen Mary’s Daughter” winner of the 2019 N.N. Light Book Award) and “King Henry’s Choice”), cozy mysteries (“Spring”, “Summer”, “Autumn”, and “Winter”), and Middle Grade fantasy (The Piccadilly Street Series: “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” (finalist in the 2019 N.N. Light Book Awards), “Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure” and “Mrs. Murray’s Home”), which not surprisingly includes a lot of memoir and creative nonfiction narrative.

How many published books do you have?

25

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

As soon as I could hold a pencil in hand and write a few words. I come from a long line of storytellers, but as the youngest, I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. So, I wrote.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

I have a lovely antique spinet desk that I’ve positioned in front of a large picture window overlooking our forested front yard. I feel a little like Jane Austen when I sit at the desk to write, the only difference being Jane Austen would have used a quill and ink at her spinet desk, while I use a laptop.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished reading John Grisham’s “The Guardians” – I love his masterful storytelling narratives and I’ve started reading Tricia Mingerink’s “Midnight’s Curse” – a charming fantasy re-writing the fairy tales of old.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

“The Piccadilly Street Series” is part memoir (memories of growing up in a haunted house) and part fantasy (dreams and imaginings of a young girl). I have fond memories of a certain old Victorian mansion and the ghost that continues to haunt it. As a ten-year-old girl, moving into a haunted house was terrifying at first, and then fascinating, as the ghost turned out to be quite friendly.

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

In the spring, summer and fall, I’m in my garden, in the winter I’m writing about my garden. I also enjoy walking my dog, reading, playing the piano or composing music and working on various needle-art projects. I always have something on the go.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary?

Yes, I journal. Every morning, first thing, before life gets complicated, I sit at my antique spinet desk and write (cursive, long hand in a quaint little book with its own title on the spine: Diary) what happened the previous day, who I saw, what thoughts I have on various current topics in my life or in the news. I’ve chosen first thing in the morning to journal because if I leave it till the end of the day, I usually make the excuse of being too tired to write anything.

What do you miss about being a kid?

I miss my childhood home and the time I could spend creating my own little fantasies and acting them out with my Barbie dolls. My Piccadilly Street Series has the main character, Mary (who was really me as a child) frequently playing with her Barbie dolls. It may surprise some people today, but in the 1960s when I was 10 (and the setting era of this series) girls played with Barbie dolls until they went to High School – I know I did. It was tragic to pack away my dolls that last summer before starting High School. Today, it seems, girls give up playing with dolls about the age of 8.

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

Mary, the main character in the Piccadilly Street Series. She was, after all, me as a child. So, to become Mary would be like stepping back into my own childhood and living again in the grand old Victorian house with its bats and the ghost and my many dreams and fantasies.

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

Definitely. I believe ghosts visit me for a reason. The ghost of my childhood connected with me, but not the others in the family. Whenever a loved one passed away, they always visited me at least once more before moving on. It’s sometimes scary, but also reassuring. After Dad passed away, he came to me in a dream and gave me a smile and a wave before walking into a large building. He was reassuring me that all was well. When my heart dog, Misty, passed away, he came back one night when I was asleep, I could hear him sniffing around the bed as he always did. He was just reassuring me that he was okay and he was still with me.

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

I’m a dreamer with what my grandmother always described as a vivid imagination. It’s those dreams and the imagination to go with it that has helped me pursue my writing.

What are you currently working on?

A cozy mystery set in the prairies, following the mystery of an unrecorded piece of music in the original hand of none other than Johann Sebastian Bach.

Tell us about your most recent book.

The Piccadilly Street Series consists of 4 books: 2 have been published; book 3 is set to be released February 2020, all loosely based on my experiences growing up in a haunted house with a real ghost and a lot of dreams accompanied by a vivid imagination.

It was incredibly interesting learning more about you, your writing style, and the story behind The Piccadilly Street Series. Wishing you much success, Emily-Jane! Thank you for being a part of MTA! –Camilla

Book Blurbs:

Mrs. Murray’s Ghost: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 1 –

Mary’s family has moved into a huge Victorian mansion. She loves her gigantic new house, especially her room. But then she begins to meet the house’s other residents. Mrs. Murray was murdered in Mary’s new house. At first she tries to scare the new residents away, but there seems to be a force connecting the ghost to Mary. Even the stranded Brownies, the little people who live between the walls, feel that connection. When Mary becomes deathly ill, the Brownies and the ghost team up to try to rescue her, only to encounter a witch and her evil minions. Time is running out. They must rescue Mary from a fever-induced dream world before she is trapped there forever. As well as being a fun read for young readers, the story gives an historical perspective to childhood, as it dates to the 1960s. It also deals with some very current issues, specifically bullying.

Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 2 –

There is a hidden treasure in the grand old mansion on Piccadilly Street, in a place called London, but not the real London of English fame. There’s also a lot of mystery and a murder that’s been unsolved for decades. But it’s the treasure that captures Mary’s interest. Mary lives in this house along with her family, her Brownie friends and a ghost. When the ghost reveals her secret about the hidden treasure, there’s no stopping Mary, her Brownie friends, or her enemies from searching for this treasure. Why the intrigue? Apparently there’s a little bit of magic connected to this treasure. And so the adventure begins. Who will find the treasure first?

Mrs. Murray’s Home: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 3 –

Home is where the heart is, or so they say. It’s also been said that a home is a person’s castle. But home is also with family and friends. Mrs. Murray longs for home, the family home, a castle an ocean away. The Brownies also crave for home, the same castle Mrs. Murray considers home. And Granny? Mary’s Granny hasn’t been home since she was Mary’s age. It’s time to visit the homeland, Scotland. Mary’s excited to tag along with Granny, Mrs. Murray and the Brownies. And then there’s the witch. The one they thought they’d killed. And the treasure. The one they had found. And it all ties together, for better or for worse. Join the adventure in book 3 of the popular “Piccadilly Street Series”.

Where to find the books:

Available online and in bookstores:

 

Connect with Emily-Jane:

http://emilyjanebooks.ca

https://www.facebook.com/realpeoplestories

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1732544.Emily_Jane_Hills_Orford

**************************************************************************

Here are a few suggestions on how to further support this author:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

 

Meet the Author: A Very Important Teapot by Steve Sheppard

Today we’re traveling to Bampton in west Oxfordshire to chat with Steve Sheppard about how bingo, prison, Yackandandah, and cricket come together as part of Steve’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and brought up in Guildford in the heart of the Surrey stockbroker belt but, having failed to meet any stockbrokers, I moved to west Oxfordshire 23 years ago, where I now live with my wife, Anabel and the latest in a long series of recalcitrant cats in a quintessentially quirky, not-quite-Cotswold village called Bampton. This is of course the UK we’re talking about as nowhere else in the world can legally describe itself as not-quite-Cotswold. There used to be a son living here too, but apparently he moved out three months ago.

I have been many things in my time, including Bingo Manager, Estate Agent and Prison Officer, not forgetting many years selling unwanted goods and services to uninterested buyers. I now sit in the corner of an office four days a week making lots of coffee and trying to explain how offices used to function with just a Gestetner printer and one phone between ten people. I spend hours answering questions along the lines of: Was the whole world in black and white or was that just television? To which the answer is of course Yes.

I’m also on course to be the world’s oldest active cricketer, although active is an entirely relative term.

In which genre do you write?

Comedy fiction; in particular, as I have so far written just the one book, comedy spy thrillers, although I hope to branch out once I’ve written a couple more books in a series that has begun with A Very Important Teapot. The first draft of Book 2, as yet unnamed, although with a working title of Bored to Death in the Baltic, is almost finished. There may be some serious editing to go through, although hopefully I won’t have to knock 20% (20,000 words) off it like I did with Teapot.

How many published books do you have?

One, A Very Important Teapot, published by Claret Press, London in October 2019. Despite being older than Methuselah, I sincerely hope it won’t be the last (see above). I’d like to spend my life writing full-time but my bank manager does not currently think that is possible. Hopefully though, not too far hence.

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

I’ve always been a writer (probably inspired by my older brother) but it has taken me 45 years to actually turn that into an actual book. I had some poems published in an anthology back in 1972 but stopped writing poetry for good in my early 20s, advisedly as none of them were particularly good. Some weren’t awful though. My collected poetical works disappeared during a house move in the mid-nineties and the world is not a poorer place for their loss. Since then I have written short comic pieces, trivia, tomorrow’s fish and chip paper, for captive audiences (work mags, cricket clubs, drama groups, unfortunates like that). Over the years I’ve started several books that were intended to become full-length but always ended up 15 pages long. Good at starts, it’s the middles and ends that defeated me.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

It would look nothing like what it actually looks like, which is currently a small corner of the dining room with a wonderful view of a shed and the kitchen cooker. However, my son’s ex-room is being turned into a writing and music den. Somehow the room is smaller than it used to be, but at least I’ll have a bigger desk and a proper chair (and a view of the roof of the aforesaid shed).

What are you currently reading?

I only have about 20 books currently in my to-read pile. Mainly I’m reading Mick Herron. I only discovered him late last summer, so my research must be atrocious. I pride myself on my snappy dialogue but I am absolutely an amateur in that respect compared to Mick.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

I was on holiday in south eastern Australia in March 2017. Literally on the flight home, I said OK, I‘m going to write from now until the end of the year and see where I get to. Don’t worry about an A to Z plot (I always managed to convince myself I couldn’t come up with a full-length plot), just do it and see. The result was A Very Important Teapot and, surprise surprise, it is very largely set in south eastern Australia. I even went to Yackandandah (yes, it’s a real place) and its folk festival, which feature heavily.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? 

No, although I did for many years through my 20s and into my my 30s. Think how many potential books those millions of wasted words equate to.

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 wouldn’t listen to a song. I’d go to the toilet a lot instead.

How do you prepare yourself to discuss your book?

I’ll let you know. I have a library event coming up in Carterton, Oxfordshire on 24 July.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Not having to answer the phone. Who the heck had a phone back then? And I mean a landline. In a house. It was a novelty when we had one installed. All my mates came round to marvel at it.

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

I already have. Dawson is me, well for the first few chapters anyway. Except that he has more hair.

A giraffe knocks on your door and is wearing a bowler hat. What does he say and why is he there?

Well, clearly he’s a wrong delivery from a company called Animazon. In case that’s a confusing answer, you may wish to read http://stevesheppardauthor.com/short-stories/giraffe …. And actually, he doesn’t say anything but he does eat some toothpaste.

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

1. How the heck do you manage to sleep so much?

2. How the heck do you manage to sleep so much?

3. How the heck do you manage to sleep so much?

What are you currently working on?

I am currently desperately working on a title for Book 2. I set the titular bar pretty high with A Very Important Teapot. I need to find one before it gets published. I never expected this to be a thing. I’d come up with A Very Important Teapot almost before the metaphorical ink was dry on the first page.

It was such fun learning more about you, Steve. Love your sense of humor and the fabulous short story you wrote about the giraffe. Wishing you all the best, with much success on this book and future books! –Camilla

Where to find the book:

A Very Important Teapot is available everywhere. Obviously on Mr Amazon (.co.uk and .com) and all other online retailers in the UK, including Waterstones, Foyles, WH Smith etc, as well as many abroad (that’s abroad from where I’m sitting, obviously). Any bookshop can get it for you although only those in my immediate part of Oxfordshire will actually have it siting on their shelves. You can get it, signed if you want a damaged copy, from me via www.stevesheppardauthor.com.

Amazon UK:

US:

Kindle too!

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46690093-a-very-important-teapot

Publisher: https://www.claretpress.com/idk

Blurb

Dawson is going nowhere. Out of work and nearly out of money, he is forlornly pursuing the love of Rachel Whyte. But Rachel is engaged to Pat Bootle, an apparently successful local solicitor who has appeared from nowhere.

Then, out of the blue, Dawson receives a job offer from his best friend, Alan Flannery, which involves him jumping on a plane to Australia to “await further instructions”. But instructions about what?

This is the start of a frantic chase around south eastern Australia with half the local underworld, the police and the intelligence agencies of three countries trying to catch up with Dawson.

What is Flannery’s game?

Why has Pat Bootle turned up in Australia?

Who is the beautiful but mysterious Lucy Smith?

What is the teapot’s secret?

What has folk music got to do with anything?

And how do guns actually work?

Dawson’s life will never be the same again.

Connect with Steve:

http://stevesheppardauthor.com/

Twitter: @stevesheppard2

Facebook: @AVeryImportantTeapot

**************************************************************************

Here are a few suggestions on how to further support this author:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Latest News: A Break from Author Interviews

I’m late with posting this. However, I’ll be taking the month of December and beginning of January off from posting author interviews. Since the website launched in May 2019, we’ve shared two to four interviews per week.

2020 will see many more author interviews, along with the addition of book blogger interviews. I’m quite excited  about adding this new feature of interviewing book bloggers.

Stay tuned for an announcement as to when the contact form opens for book bloggers and authors to submit for interviewing.

Until then, I’ll be busy launching and marketing my latest book, ‘Words of Alchemy’. This beautiful book has just been published, with the official launch happening in mid January 2020. Here are a few fun photos of myself and the proof book.

Please let me know if you would like to help spread the word about the book or if you are aware of any bloggers who would like to host a guest post, interview, excerpt, or has time to review the book. Go here to learn more about the book …

Words of Alchemy

I deeply thank you for supporting this website and the authors interviewed! Here’s to a wonderful, successful, prosperous, and joyful 2020!! –Camilla

 

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

Meet the Author Interview with Most Views for November 2019:

#1: Butterflies by Lily Hayden

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

#2: Stella’s Christmas Wish by Kate Blackadder

Meet the Author Interview with Third (Tie) Most Views for November 2019:

#3 The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie

Meet the Author Interview with Third (Tie) Most Views for November 2019:

#3 Rogue’s Holiday by Regan Walker

Top Three Countries With the Most Traffic to Meeting the Authors in November 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, Founder & Host

Here are a few suggestions on how to further support these authors:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for more suggestions. Thank you!

 

Latest News: Support the Authors Interviewed and Meeting the Authors

Meeting the Authors has had an incredibly successful beginning. The website launched in May 2019 with interviews from the get go. It has been a pleasure to meet such a wide and diverse group of authors from around the world.

Thank you for being a part of the MTA launch and thank you to those who have asked how you can help. Here’s to many more fun and quirky interviews in 2020! – Camilla


(Lovely Word Cloud Created From Content On This Website)

For those interested in helping to support this website, here are a few suggestions:

  • Comment on the interviews that you enjoyed reading
  • Follow the MTA website – Follow Meet The Authors on WordPress.com
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • Leave a comment here sharing your thoughts
  • Follow the MTA instagram account – http://www.instagram.com/MeetingtheAuthors – @MeetingtheAuthors
  • Like the MTA Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/MeetingtheAuthors
  • Buy a Coffee for the founder and host of Meeting the Authors – Camilla Downs

Buy Me A Coffee

Authors are not charged to be interviewed on this site. They have worked incredibly hard creating these books. Writing the book is only a piece of the process. The book must be edited and designed and formatted for printing as a book. There’s no relaxing once the book is ready to be birthed to the reading world! Marketing the book and keeping the momentum must be stepped into vigorously. This is my small way of helping.

Thank you for the support for the service this website provides!