Meet the Author: Celeste Three is Missing by Chris Calder

Today we travel to Markfield, England to chat with Chris Callaghan about how sprinkling a bit of humor, becoming an accidental author, being hospitalized in France, learning shorthand and typing, being an aviation nut, Charles Dickens, Downs Syndrome, and India come together as part of Chris’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Chris Callaghan and I write as Chris Calder. I am probably the oldest author you will interview — put another way, I ‘m gifted with more Life Experience than most. I live in Markfield, a village close to Leicester, in England. Another fact: I really do not take myself too seriously.

In which genre do you write?

Usually light thrillers. “Light” because I don’t do gratuitous gore, also I like to sprinkle a bit of humor into my stories. And sometimes subtle (I hope) comments or observations. An example: In Celeste Three is Missing, there are two FBI agents who appear as agents Spencer and Marks. In the text they are referred to as Marks and Spencer. As a US citizen you may not have heard of them; Marks and Spencer is an upmarket store chain here.

How many published books do you have?

Four to date, three thrillers, the fourth not. It is called My Brother’s Keeper and is about a Catholic priest who has been ordered to help other priests with problems. But he has problems of his own.

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

I’ve always loved writing but became an author by accident. Already retired and living in France I was diagnosed with Cancer. After surgery I was recovering in hospital but because my French language skills were poor at the time, I was unable to communicate with the people around me. Frustrating! So I picked up a pen and drafted the bones of a story based loosely upon my experiences whilst owner of a small engineering business. It was called PAYBACK and was published a year later. There have been four more books since. No longer retired, I have just changed professions.

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

The humor thing — perhaps gently teasing the reader who has to be ‘tuned in’ to spot it.

What would you choose as your mascot and why?

A very tame tiger. As a child at a hill school in India I was twice privileged to see tigers in the wild. Wonderful creatures, sadly they no longer inhabit that part of India. They were wiped out by poachers many years ago.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

A shambles. Desktop pc and keyboard in my bedroom. At age sixteen I was sent, kicking and screaming, to a place that taught shorthand and typing. My mother had to be obeyed! That was in 1954, many years before the internet was conceived. Thanks, Mum, you were right!

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

I have been an aviation nut all my life and had been following the progress of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic craft since its inception. It is likely that in the near future something similar will be taking wealthy joy-riders around the world. That thought led to a ‘what if’ moment. What if the space plane disappeared? How? Why? Who would be on board?

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

Writing (love it) and marketing (hate!) keep me from getting under the feet of my long-suffering wife. Now elderly, I am content to keep writing and to stay alive. She reads two or three books every week and is an invaluable, wonderful help to me in my writing. I like to say that we have a marriage made in heaven: she reads, I write; she cooks, I eat.

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

Charles Dickens, who through his writing did more to combat social injustice and child exploitation of his time than any philanthropist or politician. I would tell him what a mess the world is in now and ask how he would fix it, so that I could pass his wisdom on to our politicians.

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

Our youngest (of seven children) is called Christian. He was born with Downs Syndrome, dislocated hips and no right heel. All the fixable stuff was done early; he is one of five residents in a wonderful, well managed care home and he is always happy. Here’s the thing: Christian is now 33 and every time he has needed anything it appeared, somehow. Here’s just one example: when he was 17 and due to leave his special needs residential school, we were already too old to manage his daily needs. Unable to find him a suitable home, we had begun to despair. The only available places were in mixed mental and geriatric care homes — not suitable at all. Then we had a phone call, totally out of the blue, to tell us that our local authority was constructing a care facility suitable for five young adults just a few minutes’ walk from the house we lived in at the time. And that’s where he has lived happily ever since. We have never needed to wonder how his special needs will be met. As they say, “Go figure”.

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 know the story well enough to deal with any questions on the book. But now that you mention it, I would relax beforehand by listening to Faure’s Requiem, preferably the Sanctus. Divine, literally.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Unquestionably, the carefree life. Ironic that I appreciate now, something that at the time I did not realize I had. C’est la vie!

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

1.) I was born in India just before WW2, raised there in relative comfort and lived through the Partition of that country in 1947.

2.) I can still read and write Hindi passably well, a language based on Sanskrit.

3.) All my life I have had an almost telepathic relationship with my pet animals. Spooky, and inexplicable.

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

Write, dammit. Don’t wait until you are in your seventies; by then it’s almost too late.

Where can readers find an extract from the manuscript of your book?

If you are considering buying a book by an author whose work you are not familiar with, there is no better way to assess it than to read an actual extract from the manuscript, even if the book comes highly recommended. As an author who is also a reader I prefer always to do that if I can, to get a feel for the story and for the author’s style. You can find a short extract here, or visit my website, https://www.chriscalder.com.

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

Of course everything happens for a reason. The best example I can give you is my answer to your earlier question about the most inspiring thing that has ever happened to me. The moral: Learn to appreciate truly what you have been gifted. The secret of life is acceptance.

It was great to have you be a part of MTA, Chris. It certainly seems as if you’ve had an interesting life so far! I adore what you shared about your son. Just beautiful. Wishing you all the best and here’s to much success! – Camilla

Book blurb:

The sensational Celeste Three, the world’s first earth-orbit passenger-carrying plane, takes off with six passengers on a routine flight from its base in Arizona, the only place it can land on its return. The craft disappears without trace. On board is Viktor Karenkov, billionaire oil magnate who has used his wealth to evade prosecution for a murder he committed years earlier.

Gregory Topozian, the murdered man’s friend, has been waiting for a chance to bring Karenkov to justice. With dogged determination and considerable ingenuity, he conceives an audacious plan. Getting the craft down in total secrecy is key. And someone has to pay the huge costs involved.

Where to find the book:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celeste-Three-Missing-Chris-Calder-ebook/dp/B07VNKPYCM

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Celeste-Three-Missing-Chris-Calder-ebook/dp/B07VNKPYCM/

Connect with Chris:

Website: https://www.chriscalder.com

Twitter handle: @CalderAuthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chris.calder.549

Instagram: chriscalder80

Author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/chriscalder

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

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: Shadow of Justice by Jess Faraday

Today we travel to Edinburgh, Scotland to chat with Jess Faraday about how family time, outrageous stories, a standing desk, martial arts, a mohawk, Scooby Doo, being supernaturally patient, and monsters fit into the journey of Jess’s life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi Camilla! I’m a writer and editor living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In which genre do you write?

I write historical mysteries, many of them with LGBTQ main characters and themes.

How many published books do you have?

I have four novels, two novellas, and a short story collection. I’m currently working on novel number five.

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

Whenever my family gets together, we spend a lot of time cracking each other up with funny or outrageous stories, complete with different voices and getting up and acting out the different parts. It was only a matter of time before one of us started writing stories. Actually, Julian May (a distant cousin) beat me to it. But, like I said, it was only a matter of time.

How did you figure out that it was what you should be doing?

At some point I realized that no matter which job I was doing — and I’ve had a lot of different jobs — I always hurried through my work so I’d have time to write stories at the end of the day before going home.

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

I can’t sit still. I work at a standing desk, and work out all of my plot kinks while running or walking the dog.

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

I have two mascots: my dog and cat, who curl up near my feet while I write, and hang out with me in the back yard while I run through my martial arts routines.

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

I’m a keen runner and martial artist. Before the pandemic, I ran 10K and half marathon races and was a member of my local taekwondo club. Now I do my taekwondo in the backyard. =)

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

Recently I decided I was bored with my hair. I had a very nice stacked, angled bob, but I’d had it for a while. So I went to my regular salon. The woman who usually cuts my hair had left, so they asked if I wouldn’t mind working with a newly-qualified stylist. He looked about 16, had sleeve tattoos and the sides and back of his head shaved. I was feeling adventurous, so I said “Sure!”

I explained to him what I wanted and showed pictures. “Oh, like mine?” He asked, pointing to his own hair. “No,” I said. “Nothing like yours.” I showed him the pictures again. He nodded and went off.

Suddenly there’s a buzzing noise, and before I know it, he’d mohawked me on my left side. We looked at each other, wide-eyed. Then he glanced over at his boss. He looked very worried.

“It’s all right,” I said. “It’s only hair. It’ll grow back. But perhaps you could leave a bit more on the other side so I’m not completely bald.”

In the end, it turned out to be one of the best haircuts I’ve ever had. I tipped generously.

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

Oh, hands down the original Scooby Doo. It was in reruns by that time, but it’s still my most favorite kind of story: humorous ghost and monster tales that turn out to be greedy humans in the end.

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

I’m really enjoying How to Get Away with Murder right now. Viola Davis is incredible, and the storytelling is absolutely astounding.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? 

I believe that events have causes — usually complicated chains of interlocking events. Sometimes those chains of events make great stories.

But do I believe that there’s some Great Plan? No.

Things happen, people react to them, other people react to the reactions, and sometimes this creates unexpected results. Sometimes those results are serendipitous, and these are the chains of events that make great stories.

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

I am almost supernaturally patient. This is really important when it comes to getting everything right. It can be maddening to go over and over the same story until everything is exactly right. But it’s one of the most important parts of the process.

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

All of Scotland is gorgeous, but I really, really love Edinburgh, with its rolling green hills, cobblestone streets, and centuries-old buildings.

I first saw Edinburgh years ago, while my husband and I were visiting his brother’s family in Aberdeen. At that time, I told my husband that if he ever had the opportunity to find work there, he wouldn’t even have to ask. My bags would be packed by the next morning.

It took many years, but it finally happened. We live here now, and I’ve never been happier.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on my first monster story with actual monsters in it! It’s a blast!

Unfortunately, it’s a different kind of story in every other way, as well, and it’s a bit of a challenge to bring it to heel. This story is actually teaching me how to write stories like that. The process is slow and there’s a lot of stopping and starting over, but…I’m patient and a good student. It’s going to be excellent.

Tell us about your most recent book.

My most recent book is a short story collection called Shadow of Justice. It is eight interconnected novelettes featuring 19th century constable Simon Pearce. There’s also a personal/romantic arc that connects the stories.

It was wonderful to have you on MTA, Jess. I was fortunate to visit Edinburgh in November of 2000. I didn’t get near enough time there, yet, what I saw took my breath away. I’m adding your book to my list. Sounds really interesting and I love the cover. All the best to you! – Camilla

Where to find the book:

Shadow of Justice is available from all of your favorite e-tailers, and also in paperback.

You can find it here: https://books2read.com/u/meg6zY

Also, check out the other fantastic stories from Blind Eye Books!

Connect with Jess:

https://www.jessfaraday.com

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jess.faraday

Twitter: @jessfaraday

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

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: Top Interviews with Most Views for April 2020

Interview with Most Views for April 2020:

#1: Nightmare Asylum and Other Deadly Delights by Sonia Kilvington

Interview with Second Most Views for April 2020:

#2: Maria and David Marvin of Scintilla

Interview with Third Most Views for April 2020:

#3 Wishes Under a Starlit Sky by Lucy Knott

Interview with Fourth Most Views for April 2020:

#4 The Lilith Trilogy by Kim ten Tusscher

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

Thank you for taking the time to read more about these authors and book bloggers, and for sharing the interviews on this website. A great deal of work goes into these interviews by all involved. 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: Being Greta by Maxine Sinclair

Today we travel to Norfolk County in England to chat with Maxine Sinclair about how sign language, Batman, table tennis, Cliff Richard, ballet, Hitler, being over-prepared, and having a sense of humour come together as part of Maxine’s current and past life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Having moved around most of our married life, we came to Norfolk in 2005 and I love it here – I’m not moving. (Hubby misses hills, but I think they’re overrated.) I am a sign language interpreter by day and a women’s fiction novelist by night: a bit like Batman but without the outfit.

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

I kept a diary in my youth and then wrote terrible angst poetry inspired by several cases of unrequited love. I then didn’t write for many years (busy with family life) until a few years ago when I took an online writing course. At the end of the course you had to plan out the first three chapters of a novel. And I didn’t stop.

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

Haven’t flown in years and I don’t intend to through fear.
I have a bronze badge in table tennis and a grade two in violin.
When I was four I didn’t know if I wanted to marry Cliff Richard or be him.

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

My latest book, Being Greta, was inspired by over thirty years of being in and around the Deaf Community. Deaf people live in a world where people can hear and they constantly find themselves having to adapt to fit in. Greta’s story is about trying to make it in a hearing world, but ultimately hers is a love story.

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

I took up ballet at the age of forty-two and completely fell in love with it. I do two classes a week, plus pilates and yoga. I’m blessed with wonderful teachers.

If you could have a fantasy tea with a person from the past, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Hitler. I want him to talk me through his beliefs and convictions. My father was an Austrian Jewish refugee and his father was killed at Auschwitz, so it’s a part of my personal history.

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

I would listen to I Can See Clearly Now as that song oozes optimism. I’m one of those who enjoys public speaking and I’d have notes and will have rehearsed repeatedly in front of the mirror. Over-prepared is my middle name.

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

Penny-Dog – ‘Why won’t you let us put a collar on you?’
Winnie-Cat – Why do pat my face in the night when I’m asleep?
Turbo-Tortoise – Where are you?

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

Last night we wanted something comfortingly familiar so we chose…Kindergarten Cop. Don’t judge us.

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

I think my sense of humour has served me well and I try to channel it into my writing. I’m also quite an optimistic person and that comes in handy when submitting manuscripts to publishers.

What are you currently working on?

I have just finished editing my latest novel, Summer Sparks. It is the story of a fifty-something woman who is living a colourless life until her long-time husband ups and leaves. She is heartbroken and in pieces until her bubbly best friend whisks her away on a life-changing summer working abroad.

Tell us about your most recently published book.

My most recently published book is Being Greta.

Greta is a young deaf woman in a hearing world. Trying to find happiness despite a controlling boyfriend, Olly, and a disapproving mother, she (drunkenly) applies to feature in a television disability arts documentary where her head is turned by the attractive sign language interpreter, Connor.

As filming continues, the cracks deepen in her relationship with Olly. Will she stay with him or succumb to Connor, a man who signs her own language?

And should she undergo a cochlear implant to be able to fit in with the people around her? Or should she embrace her deaf identity, follow her heart and determine her own future?

Whichever route she takes, it’s not always easy being Greta…

It was lovely to have you on MTA, Maxine. I am fascinated by the topic and characters of Being Greta. My daughter has a chromosome deletion (called 18p-), with some of her peers being deaf. She has partial loss of hearing in one ear, too. It sounds like you’ve touched on some hot topics! I also love the song, “I Can See Clearly Now”, it’s one of my favorites. Wishing you all the best! – Camilla

Where to find the book:

Being Greta is available at Amazon – www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1790608384

Also available are my first two novels that focus on the lives of a group of adult ballet dancers as they journey to win a local talent competition.
Dixbury Does Talent – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1520195214

Return to Dixbury – www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0779XM7ZZ

All books are available in ebook and paperback and are part of Kindle Unlimited.

Connect with Maxine:

Amazon author page – https://www.amazon.com/Maxine-Sinclair/e/B06XFXZNMC/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Website – www.maxinesinclair.com

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

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 Roommates by Rachel Sargeant

Today we travel to Gloucestershire, England to chat with Rachel Sargeant about how a fortune teller, mother-and-baby group days, riding a bicycle, speaking German, life in student halls, swimming, coffee shops, going to the theatre, and Captain Hastings are a part of Rachel’s current and past life.

Tell us about yourself.

Hello, Camilla. Thank you for inviting me to Meeting the Authors. My name is Rachel Sargeant and I’m a full-time author, living in Gloucestershire, England. Brought up in Lincolnshire, I have also lived in London, Shropshire, Germany and Wales and like to feature places I know in my writing. My psychological thrillers are published by HarperCollins and I also have a police procedural published by them. My historical fiction title, based on the 1915 Gallipoli diary of my husband’s grandmother, is self-published.

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

Right from the reception year at primary school, writing was my favourite school activity. But I drifted away from it in my teenage years when I had to do homework and exams. Twenty years ago I returned to it for the craziest reason. For a bit of fun at a party, I had my palm read by the fortune teller who had been hired in to provide entertainment. She was most insistent that I give writing a go – so I did. The very first short story I wrote won Writing Magazine’s Annual Crime Short Story Competition. That palm reader knew her stuff!

What are you currently reading?

The Mothers by Sarah J. Naughton. This book takes me back to my mother-and-baby group days. How I used to envy the yummy mummies with their immaculate clothes and sleeping-through-the-night babies. This story is about five such mummies. As the story progresses and we see something of their home lives over a three-year period, it turns out that maybe they’re not so yummy after all. When one of the husbands disappears, we smell something decidedly off among the Yankee candles and aromatic supper parties.

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

I can’t ride a bike.

I have practically no sense of direction.

Oh dear, those two facts are quite negative, aren’t they? A positive one is that I speak German. Sort of.

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

I got the idea for The Roommates when I started attending university open days with my children. The atmosphere of my student days came flooding back and I decided a university campus would make a great setting for a novel. My son and daughter ended up having a brilliant time at their chosen university and they had hilarious tales to tell of life in student halls. However, because I’m a psychological thriller writer, I saw real potential in a dark and twisting story that featured lead characters who were away from home for the first time.

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

I love swimming, visiting coffee shops and going to the theatre.

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

Captain Hastings, the great chum of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, would be my guest for afternoon coffee. I’m hopeless at small talk so wouldn’t know what to ask him, but I suspect he would be a great raconteur with tales to tell of his travels in South America and of his exploits with Hercule. I could just sip my drink and listen.

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

I’d love to be Tegan from The Roommates. She’s witty, feisty, entrepreneurial and she has fabulous hair. I’d spend the day bombing about in her open top Mini Sport.

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

The last time I went to the cinema was on my daughter’s birthday to see Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman in Black. As that was several years ago, it’s fair to say I’m not a big movie buff. However, now that the cinemas are in lockdown, I really want to go again and will make it a priority when next we have the chance. There are so many things I hope never to take for granted again.

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

The British seaside on a summer’s day. Sunshine, beach and ice cream. Perfect.

Tell us about your most recent book.

The Roommates is a psychological thriller set on a fictional British university campus during freshers’ week. Four new students, each hiding a secret from their past, find themselves sharing a flat. When one of them suddenly disappears, the others must trust each other and work together to find out what has happened. Little do they realise the danger ahead.

It was wonderful to have you on MTA and to learn more about you and your writing style. I love that you returned to writing due to a fortune teller reading your palm. That’s pretty wild! All the best to you, Rachel. – Camilla

Back cover copy:

THEY LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE
University is supposed to be the best time of your life. But Imo’s first week is quickly going from bad to worse.

YOU SHARE EVERYTHING
A stalker is watching her flat, following her every move, and Imo suspects that her new roommates are hiding dark secrets…

BUT DO YOU TRUST THEM?
When one of them suddenly disappears, the trauma of Imo’s recent past comes hurtling back to haunt her. And she begins to realise just how little she knows about the people she lives with…

FOUR ROOMMATES. FOUR SECRETS. ONE DEVASTATING LIE.

Where to find the book:

The Roommates is available in paperback to order from all good bookshops and in ebook from all platforms, including Amazon.

Links to Rachel’s Books:

The Roommates – https://bit.ly/TheRoommatesRS

The Good Teacher – https://bit.ly/TheGoodTeacherRS

The Perfect Neighbours – https://bit.ly/ThePerfectNeighboursRS

Gallipoli: Year of Love and Duty – https://bit.ly/GallipoliRS

Connect with Rachel:

Website – https://www.rachelsargeant.co.uk/

BookBub – https://bit.ly/RachelSargeantBookBubfollow

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachelSargeant3

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

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

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

Book Shelf: tapestry of fortunes

tapestry of fortunes by Elizabeth Berg

Stepped out of my usual genre with this one … again. I was pulled in by the cover. It’s an incredibly beautiful cover. Truly enjoyed this tale of 4 women confronting life. It felt as if I were on the journey with them. Loved it. – Camilla

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

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

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 Lilith Trilogy by Kim ten Tusscher

Today we travel to Enschede, a small city in the Netherlands, to chat with Kim ten Tusscher about how traveling, nature, the Northern Lights, the Narrows in Zion National Park, dog sledding, a costume designer, being a go-getter, and trusting her inner voice fit into the plot of Kim’s current and past life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Kim ten Tusscher. I’m a writer from the Netherlands. I
live in Enschede, a small city near the German border. I’m going to tell
you more about my stories in the following questions, but before that,
let me tell you some other interesting things about myself.

I love to travel and explore. I’m most happy when I’m camping surrounded by beautiful nature. I have slept near a thunderous waterfall, my tent was almost taken down by deer and I’ve camped in places where you can only see a faint light in the distance. I have been husky sledding and seen the Northern Lights. I’m so fortunate that I’m able to do that. And the best part is, I can use all these things in my stories. Lilith goes dog sledding, other characters hike like I did the Narrows in Zion National Park and sometimes I just smell the Icelandic sulfur when I write. Am I weird that I like that smell?

I grew up in a family with two elder brothers. I remember us all sitting
around the dinner table when we were younger. Doing all kinds of things: drawing, making puppets out of clay, painting. I still do those things when I find the time.

Also nice to mention: I have been involved in several movies and series as a prop and costume maker. I made flags for Born of Hope, costumes for Ren – The Girl with the Mark and for A Royal Love. I love the movie world, but not as much as I love writing. That’s why I never went on building a career as a costume designer.

This love for costumes, movies, and stories came together when a friend and I started Hunter’s Prey. She is the singer of a band and wrote a song for a story of mine. We started a crowdfunding campaign and made an epic video clip. You can watch the end result here:

In which genre do you write?

I write epic fantasy. I like my stories to be a bit dark. You might have
a clue who is the hero and who is the villain when you start the story,
but I assure you that will change when you learn more about my
characters. The line between good and evil gets very blurry.

How many published books do you have? What are you currently working on?

I have published nine books so far. Four of them have been translated
into English: City of Illusions (a stand-alone) and the Lilith trilogy.
My translator is currently working on book number five: Blood. That is
the first part of The Tales of the Downfall. It will be released later
this year.

At the same time, I’m working very hard to meet the deadline for my
tenth book. It’s called Storm, which means exactly the same in Dutch as it does in English. It is the final part of the Tales of the Downfall.

Where did the idea for The Tales of the Downfall come from?

Soon after I finished the Lilith trilogy back in 2012 the fans asked me
if I was going to write another story about Lilith. At first, I said I
would never do that. I liked the fact that the readers could have their
own ideas about how her future would be. And I was already invested in another story at that time.

But the fans kept asking me that same question again and again for
years. I finished the series I was working on and started to think: What
would have happened to Lilith? How can I continue her story? And so the ideas came and I started writing this new series with her as the main character.

It was an awesome decision. This story has so much depth and has learned me so much more about the world I created. It’s a tale about war and deceit and despair, but also about hope and working together and looking past prejudice. I’m writing the final chapters at the moment and I’m having so much fun with it.

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

You might have heard about plotters or pantsers? Plotters think through the whole story before they start writing, pantsers make up the story as they go along.

I’m somewhere in the middle. I called myself a traveler once. When I go
on vacation, I always prepare. I look up things worth visiting, make a
travel plan, pack cloths fit for what I think I will encounter. But my
trips never go as planned. I will see the highlights and will arrive at
the final destination in time. But between start and finish, I get
distracted. The weather is different than I imagined so I have to change the plans, I find a path that looks very promising and I want to follow. And some attractions may be closed.

This is how I write. I start with a plan, but some things just don’t
work out the way I thought they would. Other paths are way more
interesting and the local people (my characters) are not who I thought
they would be. I explore the story the same way I would explore a new
place. With expectations, but open-minded to better opportunities.

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

I have always been keen to prove to myself and the world that I can
achieve things. I am a go-getter, I think it’s called in English. I know
what I want and I won’t stop until I reach that goal.

It’s a trait that is very useful for a writer. Writing is lonely and it
takes a long time to finish a story. Especially before your work is
published you have to have a clear picture of what you want to achieve.
If not, it’s easy to get distracted and not finish.

You have to give up many things to meet your deadlines. When I’m finishing a story, I’m not very social for the people in my surroundings. At those times there is only one thing I’m doing: writing. And I even gave up a steady income to improve my skills to succeed as a writer. I do believe I have it in me to do this.

This may sound like I am overconfident, but I am not. There are many times I doubt all my decisions. I suffer from imposter syndrome like most people who create things. But my go-get attitude prevents me from giving up.

What advice would your more mature self give to your young self?

Trust your inner voice. I have been paying too much attention to people who I thought would know how to do things. People who said I should be using a pen name. That you have to plot a story because that’s how to write a cohesive one. That you have to write short stories first to learn the craft. I could come up with more examples.

But I can’t plot, I can’t write short stories and I wanted to publish under my own name. And all these so-called good bits of advice put doubt in my heart. Was I really doing it right?

Well, with ten books written and published and many fans I know I am doing something right. In hindsight, all these doubts did cost me a lot of energy. Energy that I should have directed towards something more constructive.

I would want to say to me (and to you): believe that you know how things work for you and what is the right path for you. This is your path to walk and not somebody else’s. It’s a good thing to have mentors, but be picky.

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

I would invite Robin Hobb to a tea date. I really admire her writing skills and love the characters she created. I read her books when I’m in the final stages of my own stories and during editing. Her stories are packed with details without becoming boring. I sometimes skip too much. So reading her work while editing my own, gives my stories the right balance of what to describe and what to leave out.

What would I ask? I’m not sure I would be able to ask anything. Big chance I would be star struck and I even might run.

Actually, I met Robin Hobb once. It was on a fantasy festival in the Netherlands and if it wasn’t for a colleague writer, I wouldn’t have been brave enough to go to her. But my colleague knew I wanted to thank her for the inspiration she gave me and the lessons I learned while reading her books, so he dragged me to her table. I gave her one of my own books as a present and we exchanged a few words. She is such a lovely person, so if I can get my nerves under control, it will be an awesome tea date.

Tell us about your most recent book you’ve published.

My most recent story in English is the Lilith trilogy (Bound in Darkness, Broken in Twilight and Born in Light). It is the story of Lilith, a Dragon shape shifter. She was kidnapped when she was a baby and given to a sorcerer to use in the war he is fighting. I think you can understand what damage a fire breathing dragon can cause. Lilith has burned down cities and villages for years and killed thousands of people. The story starts when she decides to run away. She dreams of a peaceful future. To achieve that, she has to defeat her master. But if she does, she may end the world…

When I started to write about Lilith I wanted to create a story without the typical good versus evil plot I see in many fantasy books. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read a good hero story from time to time, but as a writer, I’m not interested in flawless protagonists and evil villains. I love to explore the greyness that everybody has inside them. In the right – or should I say wrong? – circumstances everybody is able to do horrible things and even the villain tries to save his world. The conflict is where their personal goals clash.

Lilith’s story is one of trust and finding your own path in life. Of still seeing the good, when everything goes dark. Standing up for yourself is often the bravest thing you can do. So will Lilith succeed and at what costs?

Did I make you curious?

It was wonderful to have you be a part of MTA! I absolutely adored our interview, Kim. I’m also a go-getter who lets the imposter syndrome sneak into my thoughts a bit too often. I’ve befriended it though, not letting it slow me down. I have two friends who live in the Netherlands and it’s on my bucket list to visit some day. Wishing you all the best! – Camilla

Book blurb:

Being trained as a lethal weapon isn’t enough to stay safe… Lilith needs to be stronger than a dragon to escape.

In a world torn apart by battle, being the only dragon shape shifter known to mankind should be an advantage. But in the hands of a cruel sorcerer, Lilith lives her life in terror. She is scarred by the war she is forced to fight and haunted by the thousands she has burned to death.

But even her deepest fears aren’t enough to keep Lilith in her cage.

Being hunt down by the uncompromising Kasimirh and his followers, Lilith tries to build a new life in hiding. If she fails to stay out of their hands, they’ll return her to a life of terror.

But if she defeats them, the consequences could be even worse… The whole world might come to an end.

Kim ten Tusscher’s books are renowned for the rich characters and the twisted plot. You’ll love this epic fantasy series by one of the best dark fantasy authors of the Netherlands. Click the BUY button and get your copy of this exciting, fast-paced story now!

Where to find the books:

You can find the books on Amazon and in Kindle
Unlimited.

Book Trailer:

Connect with Kim:

website: https://kimtentusscher.com/en.php

social media links:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/554104335409940/
https://www.facebook.com/kimttee/ 
https://www.instagram.com/kimtentusscher/

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

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 Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw

Today we travel to the east of Scotland, near Edinburgh, to chat with Charlie Laidlaw to discuss how the University of Edinburgh, Eddie Calvert, being a street actor, visiting 19 countries, becoming a journalist, having thick skin, Charles Dickens, and a swimming pool each play a role in Charlie’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

​I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries, after which, surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

​Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

​I am married with two grown-up children and live in east of Scotland near Edinburgh. And that’s about it.

In which genre do you write?

Literary fiction.

How many published books do you have?

Three – The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, The Space Between Time and Love Potions and Other Calamities.

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

I’ve always been a writer, from primary school. I wrote my first “novel” in my early teens and, by the time I was 21, I had written three more. All were gibberish. But I then became a journalist and learned how to write lucidly. Writing is a trade, and you have to learn it…there are no short-cuts.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

My actual writing space looks exactly like a desk, with a computer on it, because that’s what it is. My ideal writing space would involve lots of sun and a swimming pool.

What are you currently reading?

The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris, the fourth in the Chocolat series. It’s a masterclass in descriptive writing, and told through multiple first-person narrators.

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

I don’t know! I find that odd ideas come to me, and the trick is to figure out why they came to me, and how can I use them. Inspiration only ever comes in small chunks…you have to take that first idea and then ask “what comes next” over and over, until you have a plot and story for a book.

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

Worrying about not writing or marketing my books. I do worry too much!

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

Writing is a deeply personal thing. It’s just you against a blank computer screen, and the blank screen often wins. But writing becomes very public when your book is published – and it can then be judged. The surprising thing I’ve learned is that I don’t much care if someone doesn’t like my book…I have a thick skin I didn’t know I had.

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

The final full stop. Writing a book is a lengthy marathon, and it’s always good to finish. In my case, I’m just finishing book four so will have that final full stop in the next few weeks…but then it’s back to editing, editing, editing!

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

I don’t keep a journal or diary. My life is not interesting enough to write it down. But I do always have a notebook with me, even in bed, so I can write down even the smallest of ideas. Every budding writer should do the same, because an idea forgotten is a great novel lost.

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

Being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, and being given an armed bodyguard by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in Beirut (not the same person with a gun).

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

Why did you pee on the floor? Why did you pee against that chest of drawers? Why did you pee on that chair?

What are you currently working on?

A novel inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. My books are all, in their own way, about the choices we make and how that impacts on our future. A Christmas Carol sums that construct nicely.

Tell us about your most recent.

The Space Between Time follows Emma from childhood into adulthood. On the face of it, she appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy. Ultimately, she finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

It was great fun having you on MTA, Charlie. Thanks for adding some laughter to my day. I’m adding ‘The Space Between Time’ to my ‘to be read’ list. Sounds like a wonderful story! Wishing you all the best! – Camilla

My book can be found at:

All 3 books can be found at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=the+things+we+learn+when+we%27re+dead&crid=31ZWYTBBAWLMH&sprefix=the+things+we+learn%2Caps%2C145&ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_19

Connect with Charlie:

W: www.charlielaidlawauthor.com

T: @claidlawauthor

F: @charlielaidlawauthor

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

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: Top Interviews with Most Views for March 2020

Interview with Most Views for March 2020:

#1: Tina Hartas of TripFiction

 Interview with Second Most Views for March 2020:

#2: Love Earth Now by Cheryl Leutjen

Interview with Third Most Views for March 2020:

#3 Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas

Interview with Fourth Most Views for March 2020:

#4 The Twelve Man Bilbo Choir by Peter Staadecker

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

Thank you for taking the time to read more about these authors and book bloggers, and for sharing the interviews on this website. A great deal of work goes into these interviews by all involved. 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 Runaway by Linda Huber

Today we travel to Lake Constance in N.E. Switzerland to chat with Linda Huber about how being a physiotherapist, the Brownie Guide Book, a 1940’s drowning, the magic of childhood, cutting her own hair, and Agatha Christie play roles in Linda’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Scotland, but came to Switzerland over half a lifetime ago intending to stay for a year – and here I still am. After working as a physiotherapist and then retraining as an English teacher after a back injury, I was lucky enough to be able to transform my hobby of the past thirty-odd years – writing – into my ‘job’. I’m hybrid published, with both traditionally and self-published books – nine psychological suspense novels as Linda Huber, all set in the UK, and five feel-good novellas set right here in Switzerland under my pen name Melinda Huber. Nowadays, I live on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance in N.E. Switzerland, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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

I can tell you that exactly: I was seven years old and in the Brownies, looking through the Brownie Guide Handbook for a first badge to do. I decided on the Writer’s Badge, wrote the required little story and thought, ‘Wow. This is cool. This is what I want to do.’ Long story short, I’ve never stopped.

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

If I tell you that I’ll be giving away the entire plot, so I’ll tell you about an older book, The Cold Cold Sea.

One day back in the late nineties, I started to research my family tree. This was before the internet was helpful with things like that, so first of all I wrote to various relatives asking for info. One of them, an elderly distant cousin, sent diagrams of several families on her branch of the tree. One showed a mother and father with three children. The first two children had names and dates, but the third name, Agnes, had one word beside it: drowned. I was dumbstruck. In the 1940s, a little girl in my family had died, and I’d never known she’d existed. Then I started to wonder… how do parents cope with a loss like that? How do they react, what do they tell the other children, how can their world carry on? Then I thought: what if they don’t cope? And that was the beginning of the idea for The Cold Cold Sea. (I found out later that Agnes had drowned at a swimming pool, aged eleven. Isn’t that tragic?)

What are you currently reading?

Ninety-nine per cent of the books I read are some form of crime fiction. However, at the moment I’m reading Helen Pryke’s Innocenti Saga, a trilogy about the fictional Innocenti family, all the way from the Great Plague to the modern day. It’s set in Italy and the UK, and it’s mesmerising.

What do you miss about being a kid?

The magic. The feeling that the world’s in front of you and anything is possible. The endless summer days with freedom to play. Knowing my parents would always take care of me. Santa Claus. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go back, just for a day?

List three interesting facts about yourself.

1. I cut my own hair. (I bought a Flow-Bee decades ago to cut my kids’ hair. Neither would let me anywhere near them with it, but I started doing my own, and I haven’t been to a hairdresser for over twenty years now.)
2. I write my shopping list in a mixture of English and German, depending on what I’m thinking and who I’m with at the time.
3. I collect pottery sheep.

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

I would choose Agatha Christie, and I’d ask her how she came up with plots for the dozens of books she wrote. She must have been a phenomenally imaginitive woman; I’d love to be able to think like that!

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

Yesterday I watched an Agatha Christie film on TV, which is probably why I immediately thought about her for the last question. It was Evil Under The Sun, with Peter Ustinov. I’ve seen it already and think I watched it again for the distraction; at the time of writing we’re in week 3 of Corona lockdown here in Switzerland, and the world isn’t a happy place.

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

Our Shiva is sadly no longer here, but I would have LOVED to ask:
1. How come you’re always hungry?
2. Why is rolling in something totally disgusting the best idea ever?
3. What do we have to do to make you sleep an hour or so longer in the morning?

Tell us about your most recent book.

It’s The Runaway (psychological suspense). Nicola, her husband Ed and their fifteen-year-old daughter Kelly move from London to the seaside town of St Ives. It’s supposed to be a fresh start for the family, but things don’t go as Nicola had hoped…

It was lovely to have you on MTA, Linda. I also miss the magic of childhood. What a lovely thought. Wishing you all the best, and take care during these strange times! – Camilla

Blurb for The Runaway:

Keep your secrets close to home…

Bad things happen in threes – or so it seems to Nicola. The death of her mother-in-law coincides with husband Ed losing his job and daughter Kelly getting into trouble with the police. Time to abandon their London lifestyle and start again by the sea in far-away Cornwall.

It should be the answer to everything – a new home, a new job for Ed and a smaller, more personal school for fifteen-year-old Kelly. But the teenager hates her new life, and it doesn’t take long before events spiral out of control and the second set of bad things starts for Nicola.

Some secrets can’t be buried.

Or… can they?

Where to find the book:

At the moment it’s an ebook on Amazon, with the paperback coming later in the year. (NB – my books are all written in British English)

Connect with Linda:

Amazon Author page: viewAuthor.at/LindaHuber
Website: https://lindahuber.net/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorlindahuber/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/linda.huberch/

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

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