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

Today we welcome Milo Denison to Meeting the Authors as we travel to Dublin, Ireland by way of Seattle, Washington. We’ll learn how career changes, an old typewriter, Ernest Hemingway, and a wolf play a role in Milo’s background and writer’s life. Grab your travel gear and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

To keep it short, I’ve worked in technology, photography, customer service, coffee, and numerous other jobs. I tend to say, I’m good at everything but not great at anything. however, the career changes have given me something to use in my writing.

I am originally from Seattle, WA but currently live in Dublin, Ireland.

In which genre do you write?

Mostly non-fiction.

How many published books do you have?

Two

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

As a child. I used to sit down at my grandmother’s old typewriter and write out stories. I would also write plays and have the neighbor kids act in them.

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

I don’t think I have one. I have my writing system but it is not quirky in any way.

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

A wolf. Even though they are pack animals, I feel drawn to the lone wolf lifestyle. And they are cute and fluffy, and it makes me want to hug them. Except for the whole part where, if I did, one would bite my face off.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Depends on my writing mood. I have an office I usually write in. It is very clean and organized. No pictures and stuff. I can’t work in a disorganized or not clean workspace.

Sometimes, however, I will write from a coffee shop. I find that tuning out the people around me with a cup of tea or latte, a good way to write as well.

What are you currently reading?

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Fascinating book. Coming from many years in the business industry it makes me envious of the people who work or worked for Pixar.

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

I’m a photographer. I shoot families, headshots, stuff like that. I also act a little so you might find me in a short film showing up at an occasional film festival.

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?

Jack Kerouac. I wouldn’t ask him anything, and we wouldn’t be drinking tea or coffee. I would just love to hang out in a quiet pub or bar, have a drink, and converse with him on all things.

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

That I have terrible grammar. Personally when I’m writing everything looks great, then when letting people read what I just wrote, or stepping away and going back to it, I see all the errors I make.

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?

I’ll use music a lot. If I’m writing about something that happened I’ll play music relevant to the era or the situation. If not, I’ll play something that gets me into the right mindset. For example, today I was writing a story about a situation that happened to me 15 years ago, and I was playing the music that I would have been listening to at the time.

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

I journal but I’m very inconstant about it. I generally only journal when I’m feeling down about something. Or when I can’t think of anything to write about, I’ll journal to keep the brain juices flowing.

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

I don’t know if I have one specific. I have quite a few things that have happened that I’ve really enjoyed. Usually, these are around travel and the places I’ve been and people I’ve met. Zimbabwe and the animals for example. Or, the time I went to a Thai masseuse and thought I was supposed to strip naked but found out I was supposed to leave my shorts on when the girl came in and looked shocked.

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?

The tradition I picked up when doing theatre that I still do is I like to get to a venue well in advance before anyone arrives. Then just spend a few minutes on stage and just silently absorb the space.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Fun.

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

GI Joe probably. It was super fun, action, and adventure. Although, Allura from Voltron was a hottie. So maybe Voltron.

If you write non-fiction or memories, what character would you invite into your story and why?

This might be a cliché answer, but probably Earnest Hemingway. He lived such as fascinating life that to bring him into one of my stories would be fun.

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

Avengers Endgame. Because everyone else is watching it and felt I needed to be in the loop.

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

He is probably there to offer some type of hallucinogenic that we would take before going on some adventure together.

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

No. If they did I would be super pissed right now.

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

My desire to see the world. I’ve met some amazing people as I have moved around, seen some amazing places, and had experiences I never would have had if I didn’t have a desire for travel.

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

Since I’m originally from the US, I’m going to say, New Orleans. Great history, fantastic music, and wonderful food.

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

Probably for a hike in the Cascades.

Tell us about your most recent book.

“How to Manage Your Manager: All the Credit, Half the Work”

A satirical look at being successful in a corporate environment told from the point of view of one who has done it.

Thanks Milo for stopping by Meeting the Authors. It was great having you here! –Camilla

Where to Buy:

Milo Dennison’s Website:  https://www.milodenison.com/

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J3ghCh

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

Connect with Milo:

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/milodenison/

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: The Truth Waits by Susanna Beard

Today we are joined by Susanna Beard as we travel to Marlow in the UK where we learn how dogs, swimming, Margaret Atwood, and falling down a crevasse fit together in Susanna’s life. Grab your swimsuit and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m Susanna Beard, and I live and work in Marlow, a beautiful town on the river Thames, not far from London, UK. I have a background in PR and marketing and started writing fiction around five years ago – I’m now writing almost full time. I have two little dogs, who get me up and out in the morning and keep me company while I’m slogging away and two grown-up sons, one in London and one nearby in Henley-on-Thames. I love tennis, skiing, my family, my dogs and my garden. I once fell down a crevasse!

In which genre do you write?

I write psychological thrillers.

How many published books do you have?

To date I have two published: Dare to Remember (2017) and The Truth Waits (2018). There are two more in the offing! (Watch my space)

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

When I was seventeen, I told my father I wanted to write a novel. He said: “You can’t write a novel – it’s far too hard. You have to do tons of research, and it’s much more difficult than you think.” I wasn’t hurt, because I know he had great respect for novelists; he just thought people like us didn’t do that. But it stayed in my head, and throughout a successful career in PR, I always knew that one day I’d give it a go. I suppose I don’t like being told I can’t do something!

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

I swim regularly for fitness, and as long as I can get a lane on my own and get into a rhythm, I work out my plot issues as I plough up and down. I don’t know if that’s a quirk, but it works for me!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

It looks like where I’m sitting now – my office! It has loads of natural light, white walls, pictures of my boys, books and magazines, and two little dogs snoozing in their beds. My desktop is at exactly the right height, I have a proper back-supporting chair, a cup of tea always on the go and in the winter it’s warm as it’s right next to the airing cupboard.

I sometimes crave a beautiful view, like the sea, or a wonderful wild countryside scene, but then I think I’ll just sit and look at it and not get on with the writing. Though last summer, when the weather was beautiful for days on end, I took everything into the garden and wrote and wrote. Being outside (in good weather) is the best!

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. Brilliant.

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

I walk my dogs, twice a day, by the river or on the common, or anywhere in the countryside. I swim, play tennis, socialise and have as many holidays as I can possibly afford! Oh, and I read lots of other people’s books, usually ones that are much better than mine, because they give me something to aspire to.

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?

It would have to be Margaret Atwood. I think she’s fascinating, and she has a lovely sense of humour. I’d love to hear what she thinks about what’s going on in the world today, and where she thinks it might take us. I think she’s very prescient.

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

I’ve learned that I can actually stand up in front of people and talk confidently – something I would have run miles from before I wrote my first book. I actually like it now! I would never, ever, have thought I would.

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

This weekend I’m going to an event called Crime Scene Live at the Natural History Museum. You become a detective for the night and work with actual forensic scientists to solve a murder mystery! I’m so nervous, and so looking forward to it! (I’m taking my son, who’s cleverer than me, and will undoubtedly show up my agedness). I’m hoping to get inspiration and some practical understanding too!

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

No – I do neither. I had a diary at school but was hopeless at putting interesting things into it (it was a good record of the weather in certain years though). I’m much better at writing novels!

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

Apart from falling down a crevasse? I went to Australia and swam with whale sharks (they’re humungous, bigger than my sitting room and the biggest fish in the world), and also with manta rays and wild dolphins. It was the most fantastic experience; I’ll never forget it.

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 listen to Moondance by Van Morrison. It always lifts my heart, and makes me dance around the kitchen.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Not much – I’m just a big kid myself!

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

Ooh Tom and Jerry – all that dashing about and finding ingenious ways to confound Tom.

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

I saw The Favourite with one of my favourite actors, Olivia Colman. I thought it was brilliant, and I loved her portrayal of the mercurial Queen Anne.

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

“Hola conchita! Would you like a fajita?” (He’s going door-to-door selling Mexican food).

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

What IS it about fox poo that you find attractive?

Why oh why do you scratch holes in my carpets?

Why do you have to roll in the dirtiest, smelliest places you can find?

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

Determination, without a doubt. I think there are many wonderful writers, better than me, who are deterred by the many unexpected challenges of writing and publishing. You need resilience and determination in spades.

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

Cornwall (a western county in the UK) – it’s so full of wonderful things: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Fowey, St Ives, Pastow, Tintagel, Roseland, Philleigh, I could go on! (Don’t go in high summer though, go in spring or autumn when it’s quieter).

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

I would go and sit somewhere (safe) on an African reserve, in the shade by a waterhole a couple of hours before sunset, and watch as the animals come and go. It would be warm and sunny, with a light breeze, and I would have a hat, plenty of water, binoculars, mosquito spray, and a comfortable seat on a Land Rover (to make a quick escape if necessary). I would hope to see all sorts: lions, giraffes, hippos, warthogs, jackals…and…and…

Tell us about your most recent book.

The Truth Waits is a psychological thriller partly set in Lithuania. It follows Anna, a successful businesswoman who finds the body of a young girl on a deserted beach in Lithuania. She is compelled to uncover the story behind the tragedy, despite concern from her partner, Will. Everything points towards sex trafficking, but as she searches, her own deepest secrets start to surface.

Why Lithuania?

Because it has the most beautiful, unspoilt, mysterious beach on the Baltic coast (on the Kuronian Spit). It’s miles and miles of sand, swept into strange patterns by the wind, without cafes or bins or rubbish or people, with a dark, lowering sky and a horizon that goes on for ever. The perfect place to put a dead body!

Thanks Susan for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was wonderful learning more about you. I’m a huge Van Morrison fan too! And, now I’m left wondering about this whole falling down a crevasse incident!! It seems as if it all turned out okay! –Camilla

Book Blurb:

Anna has everything worked out – a successful company, all the comforts she needs and no ties. But when she stumbles across the body of a young girl on a deserted beach in Lithuania, everything changes.

Anna is compelled to uncover the story behind the tragedy, despite concern from her partner, Will. Everything points towards sex trafficking, but as she searches, her own deepest secrets start to surface.

When Will disappears without a trace, Anna is pulled further into the murky world of organised crime. Time is running out for them all, and there’s a killer out there who will stop at nothing.

Where to buy:

The Truth Waits is in all good bookshops and on:

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J0NnCH

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

Connect with Susanna:

Website: https://www.susannabeard.com

email: [email protected]

Twitter: @SusannaBeard25

FB: @susannabeardauthor

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: Eat, Pray, #FML by Gabrielle Stone

Today we welcome Gabrielle Stone as we travel to Los Angeles, California and we learn how a unicorn, romantic love, Dee Wallace, being a foodie, and Robin Williams all play a role in Gabrielle’s life and how this book came to be. Pack your travel bag and let’s go ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m an actress/director born and raised in Los Angeles. I’ve always loved poetry and creative writing but I never considered myself a writer. That has changed considering I have a book out now. 2017 was an absolute tornado in my life and the only thing that got me through it all was writing it all down…in this book!

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

I didn’t really realize I wanted to be a writer. My circumstances that prompted me to write Eat, Pray, #FML more or less happened to me. A shocking divorce after finding out my husband was having an affair with a nineteen-year-old for six months. Falling madly in love with someone new, only to be broken up with forty-eight hours before we were getting on a plane to Italy. Everyone in my life kept saying “you can’t write this stuff,” so, I did.

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

I am a serious foodie. If I didn’t care about the shape my body was in, I would literally out eat most of the men in my life. I definitely didn’t hold back on my Europe trip (and paid for it when I got home). For the record, I regret nothing.

What is the most beautiful memory you have of something shared between you and your mother, Dee Wallace?

That’s a tough (but great) question. There are so very many. Were best friends. My mother has been the one constant in my life that has always shown up for me no matter what. So while we have a million light hearted and beautiful memories it’s the times where she had to help me pick up the broken pieces that truly matter the most.

For one, taking care of me when my father passed. I write about how strong she was at handling that whole situation in the book. When my high school sweetheart was killed in a car accident. My divorce. I don’t know how I would have ever made it through any of it without her.

What is the most inspiring advice your mother has shared with you to date?

-Again, THERE’S SO MUCH. If I had to pick one, it would probably be to not be a victim. If I hadn’t learned to not succumb to the victim-ness in situations I probably would have lost my mind a long time ago. It has shaped me into who I am and how I handle situations. This is the reason I am as strong as I am.

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

A unicorn. Cause I’m freaking magical.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

I wrote Eat, Pray, #FML in a leather bound journal on my Europe trip. There were days I wrote in cafes, on beautiful balconies, in the Gardens of Versailles, long train rides, incredible restaurants, and beautiful beaches. Because of this I would say that anywhere with rich culture and beauty is my ideal space. I think I definitely got spoiled in that sense 😉

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?

Robin Williams. What Dreams May Come is one of my all time favorite films. He had such a light about him that was inevitably taken over by the dark. He was one of the true geniuses of our time.

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

Writing this book quite literally uncovered every deep rooted belief I have carried with me since I was a child. My fear of abandonment, how I handle intimacy, not feeling okay by myself. I have never learned or healed more than I did while writing this book. It was like therapy for me.

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?

This entire book is a collection of strange and ridiculous experiences that happened over a few months in my life. A divorce, romantic love story, a last minute solo adventure, sex, mistakes, growing, traveling to seven different countries by myself, and learning how to love myself. Every single thing on this adventure lead me to something I needed to either heal or learn. I came back from that trip an entirely different human, in the best way possible.

What do you miss about being a kid?

LITERALLY EVERYTHING. The simplicity of life, mostly. Not having any inhibitions or fear of being judged for things. Being a kid is one of the most pure and innocent times in our lives. I was always in such a rush to grow up and get older. While there are things I love about being an adult and my current life, I definitely miss not having a care in the world. And being able to eat whatever I wanted.

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

Don’t let anyone dim your freaking light.

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

Ha! What a fun question. Probably Rugrats. I was obsessed. Or The Berenstain Bears. I had every book and VHS.

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

MY ENTIRE BOOK. From the moment I found out I would be taking this trip on my own, I knew it was all happening for a reason. I have always been scared to be by myself–the Universe delivered a clear way for me to go force myself to deal with that head on. Every single decision I made on that trip lead me to exactly where I needed to be. Every person that crossed my path crossed it for a reason. If I hadn’t have made certain decisions things would have ended up so differently, and I would not be where I am now.

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

Somewhere out of the country, by the water, on a sunny day with a light breeze. Preferably with lots of pasta and lots of wine.

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

Eat, Pray, #FML is available now exclusively on Amazon in paperback and ebook! I love hearing what people think, during and after the read, and love sharing it on my social media, so please tag me and the book so we can see and share!

Thank you Gabrielle for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was wonderful to learn a bit about your background and the parts that come together for the role of your life.

I am a huge Dee Wallace fan. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, the most memorable role for me of your mother, is the mom in the movie E.T. I loved that movie as a kid! It was not until about 7 years ago that I re-discovered Dee through a friend. I have been inspired and moved by her ever since through her newsletter and blog talk radio. And, her newsletter is how I heard about your book! Good stuff! –Camilla

Synopsis:

A year and a half into our marriage, I found out my husband had been having an affair with a nineteen-year-old for six months. I filed for divorce and left.

Two weeks later I met a man, and we fell madly in love. It was a fairy-tale romance for a month and a half, and he convinced me to join him on a romantic month-long vacation in Italy. Forty-eight hours before we were supposed to get on a plane, he told me he needed to go by himself. I was devastated. So, I had a decision to make. Either stay home and be heartbroken, or go travel Europe for a month by myself. And staying at home heartbroken? F%*k. That.

What does a woman do when her life has fallen apart and her heart has been ripped out and stepped on twice in two months? She goes on a wild adventure, makes some bad decisions, and does a sh*t load of soul searching. But most importantly? She finds out how to love…herself.

This is so not Eat, Pray, Love.
This is Eat, Pray, #FML.

Where to buy and connect with Gabrielle:

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

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2J1egXc

Website: https://www.EatPrayFML.com

Social Media:
@gabriellestone
@eatprayfml

Book Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8m2K2LJJPE&t=3s

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 Authors: Story of a Country Boy by Val Portelli

Today we welcome Val Portelli as we travel to London. No, wait, Kent. No, London … Well, you get the idea. While there, we learn how unicorns, a freak accident, Elvis Presley, and a hot air balloon come together to create the magic that is Val’s writing world. Slip into your quirkiness and let’s get going ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

As well as having several books both traditionally and self-published, I’m a writer of short stories who gains inspiration from the most unlikely places, (which is author-speak for procrastinating on Facebook.) I act as referee between the characters currently living in files on my laptop, who demand their story be next, and the long-term residents of my 100,00-word book, who sulk because they have been neglected.

In between writing, I breed unicorns, (Twinkle insisted on coming along,) and we live in a very old house which has a London postcode, but comes under Kent, purely to confuse your pin map.

In which genre do you write?

I like to experiment so I’m gradually working my way through most of the fiction categories, especially with my short stories. Is there a genre called ‘Quirky?’

How many published books do you have?

Five and a bit. I have a short story included in an anthology, a book I co-wrote with another author, one which is being withdrawn as I’m in the course of republishing it, and three others which sort of makes six. Anyone got a calculator?

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

I had my first rejection letter aged nine when I naively submitted to a woman’s magazine. The editor took the time to send me a personal, hand-written encouraging letter, which with hindsight, was a lovely thing to do.

My authorish (a word my spell checker has been instructed to let me use) career really took off about seven years ago following a freak accident. Bed-bound and stir crazy I started writing seriously to ease the frustration, resulting in my first book being accepted for publication.

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

I tend to go to bed around 4.30 a.m. and find the peace and quiet of the early hours is a good time for writing. The only distraction is chatting on social media to the other side of the world who are just waking up. I turn back into a human around midday, but only after three or four coffees. Until then a grunt is my only vocabulary.

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

You’d probably guess ‘Unicorn,’ and you’d be right. Perhaps because we share an affinity in being both shy and confident. A second choice would be a tiger; my father talked about seeing them when he was in Burma, and passed on his love of them to me.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

A desk and comfortable chair on a veranda looking out to sea, with the background hush of waves undulating on the sand, warm sun, a gentle breeze and invisible minions auto-replenishing my every need. Sorry. I got carried away for a minute.

What are you currently reading?

I tend to read mostly Indie published books these days, including beta reading for fellow authors. The traditionally published one I’ve just finished had around sixty reviews, nearly all 5*, and nothing less than 4*. To me it scraped a 3* so it might be politic not to mention the title and author.

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

Write short stories. I love socialising but logistics make travelling difficult now, so I don’t get out as much as I’d like to.

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?

Elvis Presley. I’d ask him where was the key to lock him in with me, and leave the rest to your imagination.

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

That I’m actually quite good at it. Friends and family always said I was, but I’ve only just started to believe them. Marketing is another matter, but I knew that anyway from my earlier career.

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

I’ve kept a personal diary since I was very young. Some of the original entries were only a few words, ‘Went to school, raining, had math exam,’ but over the years they developed as I tried to make them more interesting. It was probably a good grounding for my books and stories, and I still keep one today. They are also useful for solving disagreements over which events happened at what time.

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

I was in a hot air balloon and listened carefully to all the safety instructions. Trying to take a picture of the sky I didn’t realise we were descending, and was standing with both hands on the camera when we literally came down to earth with a bump. Whoops.

What do you miss about being a kid?

I’ll tell you when I stop being one.

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

‘Delivery for you lady. One chocolate bar and a new hat as ordered. Sorry it’s a bit late; the traffic between the South Pole and Mexico was horrendous.’

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

I no longer have dogs, but I do have foxes visiting every day. I’d ask Chico if it was possible to bang on the dog flap a little more quietly at three in the morning when he’s demanding chicken.

I’d ask Rosie if Chico is faithful (I think he is.)

I’d ask them both if they could explain to the local supermarket that the fortune I spend on cheap chicken wings is actually for them, not me.

Chico and Raj 

Do you have any trailers for your books?

Pending republishing, ‘Changes,’ isn’t currently available, but this is the trailer.

Tell us about your most recent book.

At the moment, ‘Story of a County Boy’ is my latest release. Here’s the blurb:

The hard-hitting story of a naive young man’s journey as he escapes from a traditional, old-fashioned family life, and discovers the seedier side of London in the 1960s.

How much will he gamble to achieve his dream of becoming a major player in a very different environment?

With each re-telling, the legend evolves.

I made it 18+, not because of excessive sex or violence, but younger readers might find it hard to understand what was accepted as normal behaviour at that time.

Thank you Val for being a part of Meeting the Authors. It was loads of fun getting to know you and learning about your magical unicorn writer’s life. – Camilla

Where to Buy:

Amazon Kindle US: https://amzn.to/2YdqRf0

Amazon Paperback US: https://amzn.to/2X7sEpt

Amazon Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/2JhZRVx

Amazon Paperback UK: https://amzn.to/2RwV7Pd

I post a short story every week on my Facebook author page which you can read here:

www.facebook.com/Voinks.writer.author

My blog is mainly short stories with occasional news, chat and writing related posts:

www.voinks.wordpress.com

The publishing company web site is a showcase for the works of myself and other Indie authors, (as you can see these Unicorns get everywhere.) ?

www.quirkyunicornbooks.wordpress.com

All my books are listed on my Amazon author pages:

www.amazon.com/Voinks/e/B01MVB8WNC

www.amazon.co.uk/Val-Portelli/e/B01MVB8WNC

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: A Walk in Wildflower Park by Bella Osborne

Today we welcome Bella Osborne to Meeting the Authors as we travel to The Midlands, UK and learn how finding the humor in the darker moments of life, board games, biscuits, Scooby-Doo, and conversations in the toilet weave into Bella’s writer’s life. Grab the large bag of popcorn and get comfy ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been jotting down stories as far back as I can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that I finished a full length novel. Since then I’ve written four best sellers and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

I live in The Midlands, UK with my family who thankfully, accept me as I am (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

In which genre do you write?

I write romantic comedy with a bit of a punch. My stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. I like to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weave these into my stories.

How many published books do you have?

A Walk in Wildflower Park was out on 27th June and it is my fifth novel.

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

Apart from feeling guilty that I’m not writing or marketing my books I can usually be found trying out new recipes to the dismay of my family, getting beaten at board games by my daughter or expanding my gin knowledge with friends and family.

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

I can get through an alarming amount of biscuits. I also learned that I loathe editing. I love writing the first draft when it’s all new and fresh and exciting but rereading my book for the tenth time makes me want to set fire to it.

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

I met Katie Fforde, bestselling romance author and president of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, in a toilet and during our conversation I proceeded to jump up and down with excitement as I told her that an editor had just asked to see my full manuscript. Thankfully it all ended well – the manuscript went on to be my debut novel and Katie didn’t take out a restraining order.

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

Scooby-Doo! I loved that programme. It had a great mix of fun and mystery and who didn’t want to be part of a cool gang that went around in a van?

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

It was ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ on Netflix and it was hilarious. I chose it because I’d heard good things about it and it was a different take on the classic romcom. As a writer of romantic comedies I see this as essential research not an opportunity to veg out on the sofa with a large bag of popcorn (although, obviously I did that too).

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

Why do you have to join me in the toilet?
Do you know that none of the other cats play fetch?
You know I don’t eat mice, right?

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

Planning. I am a huge planner and this comes in very handing for plotting my novels. I spend a lot of time getting to know my characters and working out the plot before I start to write. It also means I have a legitimate excuse for indulging my post-it note obsession.

Tell us about your most recent book.

It’s titled A Walk In Wildflower Park – a feel good summer read.

When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn’t be falling for?

Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.

Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…

Thank you Bella for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was great fun learning more about you and your writer’s life! – Camilla

Where to buy:

It’s available in paperback from Sainsburys and all good bookshops from 27th June 2019 and also online:

Amazon Kindle US – https://amzn.to/2J4d83F

Amazon Paperback US – https://amzn.to/2Nb1CJ8

Amazon Kindle UK – https://amzn.to/2ZFWPRd

Amazon Paperback UK – https://amzn.to/2J3mXis

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-walk-in-wildflower-park-wildflower-park-series

Connect with Bella Osborne:

Website – www.bellaosborne.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/osborne_bella

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bellaosborneauthor/

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: The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

Today we welcome International Best Selling author, Phaedra Patrick, to Meeting the Authors. We travel to Saddleworth, in the North West of England and learn how stained glass, library shelves, aristocrats, Howard Hughes, and a local cricket pitch come together to form Phaedra’s curiously quirky writer’s life. Grab your library card and magnifying glass. Let’s go sleuthing …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi. I’m an International bestselling writer who lives in Saddleworth, in the North West of England. It’s a pretty, very green area with lots of hills, but is only 12 miles away from the bright lights of Manchester. I firstly qualified as a stained glass artist before gaining my professional marketing qualifications and working in communications.

I enjoyed my first real writing success when I entered and won several short story competitions and my work is now published in twenty-two languages worldwide. I am the winner of the ‘Prix des Lectrices Milady 2017’ in France, and two of my books have been optioned as films in the USA.

In which genre do you write?

I like to call my work ‘curiously charming fiction.’ It’s commercial and feel-good, about everyday people and their life journeys. If you like heart-warming, quirky stories, you’ll probably like my books.

How many published books do you have?

The Library of Lost and Found is my third published book and I’m currently writing number four. My publisher in both the UK and US is HarperCollins.

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

I was around eight years old and I remember visiting my local library and thinking that, one day, I’d like to have a book on the shelves too. However, I didn’t think people like me became writers. I come from a town that’s one of the most deprived in the country, and I convinced myself that all authors were aristocrats. Because of these beliefs, I didn’t tell anyone about my ambition, and it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I finally decided to give it a go. I wrote seven or eight novels, until one got picked up for publication, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.

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

I’ll let you into a secret here, but when I’m stuck for words I walk around and around a local cricket pitch talking into my phone. It may make me look a little crazy, but it works. I also sit in a small shelter at a local bowling green when no-one is around. The fresh air helps to clear my mind and sets my ideas flowing again.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just started to read The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. I’ve always been interested in the business side of books, as well as writing them.

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

I’ve always been creative and originally studied art at college. I got so fed up of shopping for clothes in stores and finding them to be too big or small, that I’ve started to make my own dresses. I find cutting out the fabric to be therapeutic. I also paint, walk my dog and make sure I catch up with friends for lunch and chats.

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’ve always had a fascination with Howard Hughes. It’s a shame he’s probably best remembered for his mental health issues and shutting himself away from society for many years. In his time, he was an aviator, film director, inventor, pilot, and business magnate. I’m sure his illness could have been better diagnosed and helped today. I’d ask him about his life story and how his health issues affected him.

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

I was surprised to discover how tenacious I am. I’m kind of a quiet, gentle person, but when it comes to writing, I can be totally determined. I think it’s the main difference between people who write, and people who are published authors. It’s that continuous pushing forward through all the rejections.

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

One day at work, in my old job in marketing and communications, my friend and I heard that Will Smith was going to be attending a lunchtime premiere at a cinema in the city. Our boss wasn’t around that day, so we took a long lunch break and waited for him. Will’s limo pulled up and he headed straight over to us to shake our hands. It was years ago now, but I’m still excited by it.

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 usually have a chat to the hosts of the event, grab a glass of water or wine, nibble a biscuit and I’m good to go. I’m very low maintenance.

What do you miss about being a kid?

A world without social media. I find it to be both a blessing and a curse. When I’m trying to write, I hate how my hand is so tempted to reach for my phone, and I miss the simplicity of the days when you had to knock on people’s doors, or speak to them on the phone. On the plus side, writing can be very solitary, so social media provides a connection with the outside world. Being able to liaise with bloggers, readers and fellow writers across the globe is amazing.

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

I always had a soft spot for Scooby Doo! Daphne was so glamorous and we both have red hair, so she was a bit of a role model for me. I think a day spent solving mysteries with Scooby, Shaggy, Freddie and Thelma would be great fun.

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

I have a thirteen year old son, so it was Avengers Endgame. We worked out that we’ve actually seen all twenty-two of the Marvel movies. My favourite in the series is Iron Man. The script and story are brilliant, and Robert Downey Jnr eats up the screen.

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

I would ask my little terrier – Why on earth do you bark so much? What are you actually saying? Why do you wag your tail and bare your teeth at other dogs, at the same time? It’s very confusing.

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

Somewhere hot. I’m like a lizard that needs to soak up sunshine. I am only truly happy if I can wear sandals, so I would choose Croatia or Spain. I like the weather in the early evening, when it’s still hot but the sun is setting a little. An ice cold glass of white wine and a fine cheese board would be perfect.

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

The Library of Lost and Found tells the story of volunteer Librarian Martha Storm whose discovery of a mysterious book of fairy stories sparks the journey of a lifetime. It’s available as a paperback, ebook and audio in the UK, and can be found in Waterstones, other bookstores, Amazon, Kobo, Google Books and Apple Books.

Thank you Phaedra for stopping by Meeting the Authors. Quirky curiously charming fiction is right up my alley. Once I discovered you and your books about a month ago, I requested all three of your books from our local library.

I’ve just finished The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and I thoroughly enjoyed Arthur’s journey. Just brilliant! Looking forward to reading The Library of Lost and Found! I’m so excited and thrilled that our paths crossed and I got the opportunity to interview you here. It was wonderful to uncover a few of the clues that lead to your curiously charming writer’s life! – Camilla

The Library of Lost and Found

A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime. Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people―though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.

All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend―her grandmother Zelda―who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.

Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heart-warming reminder that even the quietest life has the potential to be extraordinary.

Learn more about Phaedra and her books: 

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

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fg50Mz

AU Amazon: https://amzn.to/2WQ0vOG

Website: www.phaedra-patrick.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/phaedrapatrick

Facebook: www.facebook.com/phaedrapatrick

Instagram: www.instagram.com/phaedrapatrick

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: A Single Woman by Maggie Christensen

Today we welcome Maggie Christensen to Meeting the Authors as we travel to Australia on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and learn how teaching in the sun, a mortar board, ironing, and happily ever after come together to help Maggie create the heroines and heroes of her stories. Grab your iron and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

After a career in education, I began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations. I write about mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them – heartwarming tales of second chances.

In my mid-twenties, I was lured from my native Glasgow to Australia by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’ and a poster of a sexy man wearing swimmers, gown and mortar board. Once there, I worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management.

Now retired, I live with my husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. My days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – my idea of heaven!

In which genre do you write?

Mature Women’s Fiction – heartwarming stories of second chances.

How many published books do you have?

Eleven, one of which – A Brahminy Sunrise – is a novella. I write the sort of books I enjoy reading. My heroines are all in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s –women who have life experiences to draw on. They are real people – ones I hope my readers would like to become their friends.

Although all my books can be read as standalone, many of my characters reappear in other books, like old friends. My books are set in places with which I am familiar – Florence on the Oregon Coast, where my mother-in-law lived for many years, Scotland where I grew up, Sydney where I lived when I first came to Australia, and Queensland’s Sunshine coast where I live now.

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

I always wanted to write but became caught up in work – writing course materials, conference papers, reports and submissions. It was only when I was close to retirement that I made time for my true love – writing fiction.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

I share an office with my lovely husband who is also a writer – he writes non-fiction. Our desks face each other and I often ask his help when I’m searching for the right word. When I get stuck on a plot, I can often find answers by doing ironing – a task which I hate – or moving to write on my laptop in another part of the house.

What are you currently reading?

I’m making my way through Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters books. I discovered her through her latest book, The Butterfly Room and love her writing.

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

Read – I’m a voracious reader. And I enjoy walking along the beach with my husband or having coffee with him overlooking the ocean or the river. I also volunteer at our local library and select and deliver books to the housebound.

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

I’d love to meet three of my favourite authors who have inspired my writing – Liz Byrski, Joanna Trollope and Marcia Willett. I would ask them for any advice they have to offer.

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

Girl in a Café – I discovered the DVD in our library and saw it featured Bill Nighy who I like. It’s a great movie.

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

In my late thirties, I was teaching in a regional college of education which was being amalgamated with another some distance away. I did not want to move and was worried about losing my position so was madly trying to find a position in the city and buy a house there. It was when I did make the move that I met the man who became my husband. – my own Happy Ever After story.

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

Perseverance. Once I start something, I don’t give up.

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

Any place on the ocean. I love where I live close to several beautiful beaches.

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

A Single Woman – This is the third in my Scottish collection and while it can be read as a standalone, it is a sequel to Isobel’s Promise

“The thoughtful and touching story of the developing relationship between two rather damaged people.”

Thank you Maggie for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was most lovely learning about the pieces of your life’s puzzle and how they fit together perfectly for you and your writer’s life. – Camilla

A Single Woman Book Blurb:

Isla Cameron, headmistress at an elite girl’s school in Glasgow, is determinedly single, adroitly avoiding all attempts at matchmaking by a close friend.

Widower Alasdair MacLeod is grieving for the wife he lost two years earlier, struggling as the single father of two teenagers, and frustrated by the well-meaning interference of his in-laws.

When a proposed school trip to France brings Isla and Alasdair together, they find a connection in the discovery that each is suffering the loss of a loved one, but neither is interested in forming a relationship.

As their friendship grows, Alasdair struggles with his increasing attraction to the elegant schoolmistress, while Isla harbours concerns about the complications a relationship with him would bring.

Can Alasdair overcome his natural reserve, and can Isla open her heart to love again?

Learn more about Maggie and her books:

Available on all digital platforms: books2read.com/ASingleWoman

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Rkpw3r

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

UA Amazon-Kindle: https://amzn.to/2FeMljW

Website: https://maggiechristensenauthor.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaggieChriste33

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maggiechriste33

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120020.Maggie_Christensen

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2Lt8fkL

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 Authors: Torn by Vengeance by Sally Brandle

Today we welcome Sally Brandle to Meeting the Authors as we travel to the Seattle, Washington area to learn how herd animals, Pink Panther, a lake view, and a twenty year sales career come together to create the prescription for Sally’s life as an author. Check your teeth in the mirror and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

You’ll find me as the crow flies, or gelding trots (in deference to my 29 year old trail riding pal), about 25 miles south of Seattle—shackled to a laptop, pounding until the wee hours-or the crack of 2 PM ish. I’m one of those horribly unpopular early risers.

In which genre do you write?

Romance in the sweet heat, clean (without intimate scenes), double shot of suspense variety. Not quite a six-pack of Red Bull, but I’ve kept unsuspecting readers turning pages past their beddy bye time. No gratuitous violence, but the villains get their just desserts, and as a former pastry enabler, I’m not referring to palmiers.

How many published books do you have?

Two so far. The Hitman’s Mistake opens the six-book Love Thrives in Emma Springs series. Book 2, Torn by Vengeance, released May 22nd. Book 3, The Targeted Pawn, will release on March 18, 2020.

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

I’m definitely on the equine end of the spectrum. Totally a herd animal, which is odd for a writer. I collect friends (if you believe one of them). I’m happiest staying in touch with past coworkers, neighbors, crafters, and being the facilitator for a barn troll support group. A former boyfriend (heavy on the former, as I’ve been happily married for 31 years) once told me when I was angry he could see my ears pin. In all fairness, the dude tried my patience. My horse would’ve kicked him.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Clean. Organized. Oh, wait, that would be a fantasy. I’m blessed to live on a lake and view flowers, cormorants, eagles, and osprey. Intersperse jet-skis and boats during summer days and you get the idea of my suburban oasis.

What are you currently reading?

The Invention of Wings

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

I trail ride my horsey buddy, Lance, work in my yard/garden battling shot weed, dandelions, and grass, and watch a bit of television. I grew up running home to catch episodes of “Dark Shadows”. My oldest son introduced us to “What We Do in the Shadows.” We’re enjoying the series, the movie I could’ve skipped. I’m not really a vampire type, but the werewolves vs. vampires scene on top of the building in the second or third episode had us snorting. The humor’s a bit dark-go figure.

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

I worked for several decades in sales. Part of my success came from asking questions before I struck, er, I mean suggested a product. Researching specific plot points required I phone a weather forecaster in Texas, a Duck’s Unlimited representative in Montana, a railroad engineer in Oregon, and a few more. They provided expert, quirky, and unique information. I’d like to officially thank them here. Thank you!

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

My real name’s on the wall at a local museum for volunteer recognition. The wonderful artists, volunteers, and wealthy supporters I met over a twenty year timespan appear in a book I’ve drafted. An interesting tidbit is that the people who had lots of money, but had to work for it, were down to earth. The ones born with bucks, or trying to infer they had (newly acquired) mega bucks, rated high on the arseometer scale. IMHO

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?

Spending twenty years in sales and as a museum volunteer prepped me for public speaking. I do check my teeth in the mirror. If there’s spinach within twenty feet, it’ll seek out my incisors.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Being able to jump onto the back of a horse without a mounting block. That’s about it. I live a charmed adult life and try to share our home and what I’ve got with friends. We’ve had 14 exchange students, along with raising our own two sons. I relived childhood through them umpteen times and I have a few scars as proof.

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

The Pink Panther. I want to tag along behind the cool, calm, feline. I lived in a sorority house in college. Saturday mornings my house mother would join me at 8 AM in a quiet living room to watch the show. We were the only ones awake.

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

We watched Castles in the Sky, about an Englishman inventing radar. Hubby and I like to be entertained while we learn. We need to see Endgame on the big screen soon, before we hear every freakin’ character’s final lines.

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

Curiosity pushes me to explore intricacies of settings, careers, and personalities, etc. Reviewers often note that my attention to detail drops them into the story. Hopefully they land on their feet, because there’s a bad guy lurking somewhere…

Tell us about your most recent book.

My second book, Torn by Vengeance, resonates with me personally, as I finally felt comfortable telling an uncomfortable episode I experienced in the 1970’s. At fourteen or fifteen years old, a friend and I jumped aboard a jet boat with some older guys we’d just met at the local cruising hot spot-an island in the middle of a wide, polluted river.

When they cut the engine far from shore, they had other plans beside a boat ride on a hot day. Our bad experience ended without us getting physically hurt, and I kept that tone when I wrote it into Vengeance. Decades later I can still recall the shock and then moments of fear. I upped the ramifications in the story when my heroine and the creepy boat driver she encountered in her past, meet again ten years later.

I’m seeing positive reactions by romantic suspense readers of clean romantic suspense stories, and I’m proud to publish in that genre. If you’re interested in a story with a tenacious heroine, sizzling attraction, and a shadowy villain with a grudge, then I hope you’ll enjoy Torn by Vengeance.

Thanks for joining us on Meeting the authors Sally! It was great learning about the chemistry that creates your writing life! – Camilla

Torn by Vengeance

Look over your shoulder, he’s watching.

Corrin Patten is solidly on a path to make partner in a prestigious Seattle law firm when an anonymous threat from her past turns deadly. She can handle circumstances necessitating a temporary move to the backwater town of Emma Springs, but its charming physician is another matter, as she’s issued a permanent moratorium on men.

Dr. Kyle Werner revels in trust from patients he regularly treats in a community he’s never wished to leave. Yet, Emma Springs lacks one thing, a woman to share his perfectly bucolic life. He’s read about pheromone attraction, but never experienced desire until meeting Corrin. They make an unbeatable team, but convincing her that his interest is sincere while they dissect layers of deceit requires the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel. Can they defeat the wealthy stalker bent on mistaken revenge against Corrin and destruction of the peaceful Montana setting? If you thrive on tenacious heroines, sizzling attraction, and a shadowy villain with a grudge, you’ll love this prescription for thrills.

Watch for The Targeted Pawn, Rane and Elon’s story of smoldering romance, calculating villains, and rescued animals featured in another escape to Emma Springs.

Where to Buy Torn by Vengeance:

Series title: Love Thrives in Emma Springs

Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/2WR6piF

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2InlynO

Amazon EU: https://amzn.to/2WLte7f

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012840931763

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sallybrandle

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sallybrandle/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sallybrandle/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18116238.Sally_Brandle

Sally’s Blog link: https://smpauthors.wordpress.com/author/sallygfrog/

Website: https://www.sallybrandle.com

Tome Tender 5 Star Review excerpt:

“From the start, feel the darkness of well-aged evil, as the suspense builds somewhere just out of our view. Then feel the lightness of that tentative dance of romance as two people find that special attraction, tiptoeing around the obvious …..” https://tometender.blogspot.com/2019/04/torn-by-vengeance-by-sally-brandle-love.html

Also available: The Hitman’s Mistake opens the six-book Love Thrives in Emma Springs series.

Book 1 The Hitman’s Mistake: https://amzn.to/2Koe1HA

Book 2 Torn by Vengeance: https://amzn.to/2IoRFU9

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 Authors: Blood List by Ali Carter

Today we welcome Ali Carter to Meeting the Authors as we travel to King’s Lynn and uncover how owls, poetry, crime, and two handfuls of dogs and cats add to the list that make up Ali’s crime thriller writer’s life. Let’s hope you’re not on the list …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Surrey (UK) in 1958, and moved to East Anglia in 2003 spending a few years in Cambridgeshire, but am now settled just outside King’s Lynn with my husband Bruce, 5 dogs and 6 cats. (Yes I know the dog/cat thing is a bit mad!)

I originally found some success in writing poetry in the 80’s and 90’s, but inspiration for my debut thriller came after the Shipman case hit the headlines in 1999/2000, and after a few years pondering, 2006 saw the beginnings of ‘Blood List’ when the dark and deeply psychotic G.P. ‘Charlotte’ was born.

The full story took its time to complete though, as three quarters of the way through there was a very long period of writer’s block between 2008 and 2018. It was an author friend who finally persuaded me to pull it out of the laptop and finish it, for which I’ll be eternally grateful. At the time of writing, the sequel is about a third of the way through, and I sincerely hope it won’t take another twelve years for this one to come to fruition!

Aside from my writing I am a proud mum to two grown up sons, and also a mega proud nanny to an adorable granddaughter – although at only 5 she won’t be reading ‘Blood List’ anytime soon!

My favourite places are Norfolk, Cornwall and Cumbria, I have a major aversion to flying and a bit of an addiction to cake – oh and plotting murder!

In which genre do you write?

Definitely psychological crime thriller. I’ve always had a deep fascination for this area so it felt natural to write in the same genre as the books I love to read. The only problem with this is I tend to constantly compare my work to other more experienced writers, especially my favourite authors, and then the doubting gremlins start rabbiting away inside my head!!

How many published books do you have?

Just the one at the moment – ‘Blood List‘ is my debut thriller which was published by Matador in October 2018.

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

I’ve always loved writing, even as a child at school I enjoyed writing stories. As a teenager I dabbled a bit with poetry, and in the late 80’s and 90’s had some success with this. Some were published, I won a few competitions and even came runner up in an ITV breakfast show competition back then.

However the book came about after the serial murderer Harold Shipman came to light in 1999/2000 – it shocked me to the core and fascinated me at the same time. I couldn’t get my head around the fact he was a regular G.P., (M.D. for overseas readers), someone you should be able to trust. He murdered over two hundred of his elderly patients. I then wondered ‘What if?’ What if a female G.P. was to be a serial killer, why would she be one and who would her victims be…?

I wanted to flip the gender. The bookshelves are full of aggressive male antagonists, I wanted to write about a mad, bad and dangerous to know anti-heroine, one that was of the coldest and hardest variety. My inspiration was further ignited when I spent a few days in Cumbria’s Lake District in 2003, it’s one of the most beautiful, peaceful places on earth, and I knew it was the perfect setting for my character to wreak havoc!

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

Judging by what I read of other authors on social media, I honestly think I’m the only writer who edits as she goes along, I simply can’t do it any other way and wouldn’t even try. I still do edits at the end of course and proof read like crazy, (I also have a professional editor), but I still have to do it as the story unfolds or I’d lose all my plots, timelines and continuity. (All the authors I know think I’m crazy to work like this by the way!)

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

Oh definitely the owl, the Tawny owl especially – I absolutely adore them. I’m also a night person so they really fit my personality. You’ll often find me tapping away at ridiculous hours because that’s when the house is at it’s most quiet. With five dogs and six cats it can be quite noisy and hectic during the day!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Well in theory a lovely old fashioned study full of books, a big old oak desk and huge chair, with owls statues everywhere and one or two (sleeping) dogs at my feet. (I do actually have an abundance of varying sized owl statues all over the house!) In reality I tend to sit on the sofa with legs up and my laptop on a cushion across my thighs, although I have treated myself to a new laptop holder thingy which I’m waiting to be delivered.

What are you currently reading?

At the time of writing this I’m just about to start ‘The Killer You Know‘ by S.R. Masters. Looks excellent and has jumped to the top of my TBR list after reading a very exciting blog review.

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

Well there’s a lot of grooming going on in our house with all the dogs and cats to keep tidy, plus reading of course. I also like to get together with local author friends. We meet for coffee, cake and booky chat, talk over our current W.I.P., events, marketing and promotion, and of course what we’re reading. I love to see my granddaughter as often as I can as well, and of course her mum and dad!

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?

​Hermione Norris (actress) – she’s amazing! If in my wildest dreams ‘Blood List‘ could ever be dramatised on T.V., my question would be;- “Hermione will you please play Charlotte?!”

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

​I’ve learnt to let go of the plot reins, or maybe just not hold them so tightly. No matter how diligent I am about planning out the story, my characters will always take control and change it! Usually at 3.00 a.m.

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?

I laid on the floor with my shoulders up against the shower glass in our en suite. I needed to see where my eye line fell in order to create a realistic scene description in the sequel to ‘Blood List.’

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary?

No not now. I used to as a teenager.

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

​About thirty five years ago when I was writing poetry I was standing at the sink washing up and looking out of the window at the back garden. My mind was empty, (let’s face it I was bored rigid washing up), and suddenly I saw typewritten words appearing in my head sentence after sentence typed on a traditional typewriter.

These weren’t ‘thoughts’ and the words were nothing like the poetry I was writing at the time, it was much more old fashioned. Virtually a whole poem appeared and I had to dry my hands really quickly to get down on paper what I’d ‘seen,’ and then finish it off in the same period style. It was the quickest poem I’d ‘written’ . . . and it never happened again.

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

A lot of deep breathing and walking about.

What do you miss about being a kid?

No responsibilities and lots of free time.

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

Not a cartoon but if I can change the question slightly . . . I would absolutely love to be trapped in the ‘Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe‘ book by C.S. Lewis. I actually did climb into my mother’s wardrobe and push her fur coats out of the way after watching the T.V. series in 1967. Sadly there was a back to that wardrobe and not one snowflake.

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

D.I. Fran Taylor from the sequel I’m working on right now. She gets to work with D.C.I. Harry Longbridge again, (from ‘Blood List‘), when she arrives in Kirikdale two years after Harry retires. Their working partnership at Canon Row, (London police station), ended suddenly seven years previously when Harry was transferred to Kirkdale for his last five years of service.

Fran and Harry ‘have history,’ and she calls him back in because the original case was his – but she also wants to see him again. I wanted to be a police officer in my teens, but in the 70’s being 5′ ft 1″ wasn’t acceptable. It would be like a second chance to do some detective work, just a small snapshot – (plus I love Harry!!)

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

​I honestly can’t remember the last movie I saw, but recently binge watched all five series of ‘Line of Duty‘ and am now a hopeless addict like millions of other LODites!!

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

“Time for some fun lady you’ve been working too hard – let’s party!”

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

Yes I definitely do but can’t think of an example right now, maybe invite me back another time?!

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

Well as you know I have 11 so I’ll choose one question each for three of them!

Keelan (Golden Retriever) “Why do you howl all through any T.V. programme’s theme music?”

Lissa (Persian cat) “Why do you insist on sitting on top of the water filter jug?”

Shumi (Shih Tzu) “Why do you ask to go out but when I open the door, run away from it into the lounge and sit in front of the treat tin?”

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

Being very detail orientated. I’m a bit of a perfectionist which is probably why I have to edit as I go along. If I’m going to do something it’s got to be to the best of my ability or I won’t do it, and I need to see that all the time in my writing. I think it’s useful because it means my characters and plot are believable, and I won’t skimp on the research. If I can’t find the info, I’ll wait till I can rather than make it up or leave it out which would ruin the book.

This is why ‘Blood List‘ had a ten year delay – and there’s an interesting story here. Some information I needed centred around the detailed abilities of a Cessna light aircraft and an exceptionally long flight. I simply couldn’t find out the nitty gritty detail I needed in 2008 to push on with the story, and had to stop until last year when I was persuaded to dig out the MS and research for weeks until I found the information.

It was only for a couple of paragraphs but it was crucial to the story, and crucial (to me) to get it right. It was a good job I hadn’t been tempted to wing it, (pun intended – haha!!), because at a W.H. Smith book signing, a lady who bought a copy, (and was also an author), asked me if I ever got writer’s block. I told her about the Cessna and she said… “Well I’m very glad you waited until you could find out that specific information.” I said;- “Oh no don’t tell me you’re a pilot?!” She replied;- “No – but my husband is and he’ll probably read it too. He would rubbish your book if it was badly researched or just plain wrong!” You can imagine my relief!

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

Anywhere with lakes or rivers, trees, hills and valleys. The Broadland area in Norfolk and the Lake District in Cumbria where ‘Blood List‘ is set, are my two favourites.

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

A luxury river boat trip on a beautiful sunny day, with a butler seeing to lunch, drinks etc. and my current read (plus one spare).

Tell us about your most recent book.

Blood List‘ is a psychological crime thriller where you know from the start who the killer is. It’s not a police procedural or a ‘who dunnit?’ It’s a why, where and a how ‘dunnit.’ There’s still a great deal of mystery however as well as plot twists and shocks. The antagonist is the star as opposed to the hero(es), yet my readers tell me they love her character despite how evil she is! Although having said that, maybe some people will feel sorry for her past history, present dilemma and mental health issues. Charlotte is self medicating, ruthless and on a mission – if you’re female, young and attractive you’d better watch out! ​

I love to keep in touch with my readers, so if you’d like to drop me a line I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you Ali for being a part of Meeting the Authors. It was interesting to learn about the varied aspects of your writer’s life! –Camilla

About the book:

Think the Lake District is a lovely place to visit? Think again. A Psychological & Chilling Thriller set in and around the fictional town of Kirkdale in Cumbria. One by one the young women of Kirkdale are being found grotesquely murdered, with no clues as to why.

Lying between the great lake Kirkwater and the base of Kirkby Pike, although beautiful, Kirkdale isn’t exactly the most exciting place on the planet. But after young reporter Jenny Flood moves into the relaxed Cumbrian town, it sets a catalogue of events in motion that brings this comfortable community to its knees.

When middle aged G.P. Charlotte Peterson discovers Jenny has followed her from Bradenthorpe, six years after a fling with her philandering doctor husband Miles, it stirs deeply buried mental health issues from her youth. In the run up to the Kirkdale country show, the arrival of this third and most recent adversary triggers the already edgy and emotionally scarred Charlotte into finally stepping over the edge. Her longing to destroy Jenny has been on a slow and very resentful burn for years, now the reality of achieving that presents itself as a genuine possibility.

Can journalist Andrew Gale protect new colleague Jenny, girlfriend Gina and her best friend Molly from the psychotic GP’s insane agenda? How will sarcastic ex Met. Officer Harry Longbridge deal with Andrew’s continued interference?

Then there’s the unexpected arrival of an American mystery woman. And just who is on the Blood List?

Find our more about Ali and her book:

Blood List is available in paperback from all good high street stores and the following websites.

Troubador Publishing: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/crime-and-thrillers/blood-list/

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IKuYJ2

If you’d like to keep up with all things ‘Blood List‘ including joining Ali Carter’s book club and advance notification of signing events, visit the website: https://www.alicarterauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alicrimewriter

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thevizionista/

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: The Inheritance by Anne Allen

Today we welcome Anne Allen as we travel to Devon, with a long stop in Guernsey beforehand, as we uncover how psychotherapy, a wise old owl, and fey intertwine with history to form the drama of Anne’s writings. Grab your flashlight and magnifying glass. Let’s investigate …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a late-comer to writing, having spent most of my working life as a psychotherapist. I see it as my ‘third-age career’ and one I wish I had come to a lot sooner! Although my current home is in Devon, I have moved around quite a bit, much to the annoyance of my three children, I suspect.

The longest and happiest stay was in Guernsey, which became the focus of my novels when I started writing thirteen years ago. The first, Dangerous Waters, was published in 2005 although I did not realise this was the start of a series.

In which genre do you write?

The genre is a mix of family drama, romance, mystery and an element of historical, particularly in my last three books which are dual-time.

How many published books do you have?

Seven

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

Ah! I’d love a wise old owl which would use his wonderfully expressive eyes to let me know if he approved of what I was doing – or not. I could spill out my thoughts and wait for the blink!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

It would be a lot bigger than the one I have now! I’m using a small single bedroom overlooking the street of Victorian terrace houses and ideally I would love a proper study cum library, with book lined walls, a huge desk, lots of storage for all my files and a gorgeous sea view. Near enough to hear the sound of the waves breaking on the shore. Bliss!

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 would love to have coffee with one of my favourite authors, Barbara Erskine, who has written so many time-slip books, beginning with Lady of Hay 30 years ago. I would ask her if she is ‘fey’, able to sense spirits or ghosts as they form a large part of her stories and I’m beginning to include them in my own books. I would also ask her if she would mind reading one of my books and give me an honest opinion.

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

That I can finish things I start!

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

The most inspiring thing that has ever happened to me was winning a 500 word True-Life story competition in Prima magazine which encouraged me to write my first novel. The prize was £500 worth of M & S vouchers with a two-page spread in the magazine. I realised then that writing could put food on the table!

What do you miss about being a kid?

The freedom to just ’be’: not having adult responsibilities like the need to earn money; the long school holidays to enjoy as I wished with my friends – going out on our bikes for the day or going to others’ houses to chat or play; the pleasure of going to the library each week and bringing home 3 or 4 new books knowing I had plenty of time to read them.

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

It would be Jeanne Le Page, my heroine from Dangerous Waters, who returns rather reluctantly to her birthplace of Guernsey. Further on in the story, her life picks up and she becomes close to a man, Nick, who I, for one, fell in love with! I would like to spend the day with him on his boat, cruising round the island.

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

I do. Some years ago I was on course in Glastonbury, trying to make sense of my life after my husband had died suddenly, leaving me with three small children. Most of the others on the course were women from Guernsey and we hit it off instantly.

Over the weeks we became good friends and two sisters invited me and the children over for a holiday and I fell in love with the beautiful island. A year later we moved there, in spite of a restrictive housing policy. A few years later I met a local man and we were together for about 10 years. I returned, reluctantly, to England after our breakup, but the memories were still strong and led eventually to The Guernsey Novels.

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

Stubbornness. After receiving rejections from agents, I decided to publish under my own imprint, Sarnia Press, and haven’t looked back.

Tell us about your most recent book.

‘The Inheritance’, a dual-time story set partly around Victor Hugo when he lived in Guernsey, and partly in the modern time. The connection between the two is Eugénie, a young widow who comes to the attention of Hugo and begins work as his copyist, and her great- great- great-granddaughter, Tess, a young doctor who inherits her house. The story handed down through the generations is that Eugénie and Hugo were extremely close and perhaps he was the father of her child, born after her re-marriage. Eugénie’s story is told through her diaries and interwoven with Tess’s life 150 years later.

The book is available as an ebook through all retailers and as a paperback from Amazon and bookstores.

Thank you Anne for joining us at Meeting the Authors. It was incredibly interesting and wonderful to learn the clues that come together as part of your writer’s life. –Camilla

BookTrailer:

The Inheritance

To Buy: https://books2read.com/GuernseyNovels

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

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2F1q4Gg

UK Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Wzz0h1

US Kindle: https://amzn.to/2K9jUbd

The Inheritance Website: https://www.anneallen.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author-176883759173475/

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 coffeeBuy me a coffee