Tuesday 28 February 2017

Final Tally for February

So the final tally for February is in! 51 pages, 27,271 words and 12 chapters! Not the best month, not the worst either and as they say, every little helps!

Keeping Up With Blogging [CC]

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Monday 27 February 2017

Drawing Inspiration From Life - The Creative Process


Something a lot of people will ask you when you're a writer is: where do you get your ideas? How do you know what's a good idea and what's a bad one? What inspires you? I've always had a simple answer for those questions and I think a lot of people wonder if it's just an answer, or if it's true. I'm here to say that for me at least, it's true. Life inspires me. From other pieces I've written you know that I draw a lot of my inspiration from things happening around me, to me, or to friends and family. From books I read, and stories I hear and films I watch, and so one. And while that's perfectly fine and normal, as a writer you have to be careful that you don't fall into the trap of drawing too much inspiration from other people's stories, life events and the like.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with life - yours or other people's - inspiring you. It's what you do with that inspiration that matters. Taking a random stranger and turning them into a character that matches their body and facial features is one thing. You'll also be rounding that character out with aspects that probably won't match up with the real life person's personality and all of that. Taking someone you know and making them a character is a completely different thing. Especially if that character has all their personality traits as well as their physical appearance. It's possible to do it, but it is frowned upon for obvious reasons. That's not the same as taking someone's name with their permission and using that for a character. I've done that before, as a way to thank a friend who supported me through the beginning of my writing journey.

The key word there though is: permission. The other thing to remember is that it was just their name. The character I created was nothing like them, nor did they share any other traits. They knew their name was being used and they were very pleased with it. I think the rule of thumb when doing this, is just that, asking permission. After all a name does not make a character. It's what else goes into it that draws the clear distinction.

People will often ask me about finding ideas and my answer is always the same. That the ideas come from so many different places, but are formed using a healthy sense of imagination. Though considering I write about crime, death and murder, some may consider that to be less than healthy! My point is, that as a writer, you will most likely also have that sense of imagination. I've always been good at making up stories and while becoming an author wasn't a lifelong dream of mine, now that I'm doing it, I can't imagine what else I could've done. Some of that has to do with the way my life has turned out. I was going to be a doctor before my health got in the way, but then when faced with the prospect of doing nothing with the rest of my life, those sparks of imagination lit a fire in my mind and I've not really looked back since.

Life has been a source of inspiration for so many creative outlets. Whether that's the author's own life or someone else's. Think about it, books, movies, plays, art, music and the like have many cases of telling a story because of what happened to someone, something, or an event that took place in the world. And in capturing the imagination of the creators themselves, many pieces of work have been born that have defined cultures, time periods, events and such like. So when I say that life inspires me, I know I'm not alone there. It's just about captivating that moment and turning it into what you see in your head.

So when people ask: where do you get your ideas? My answer may seem simple, or like a brush off but it's not. It's just that I look at the world with my writer's eye and see things that can come from the seemingly mundane task of people watching from my office. I think having a healthy imagination makes you view the world differently. And it's something I am very proud and pleased to have. So when you're wondering how to create your next story, remember that life itself can be the source of so much fiction, even with a grain of truth. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding her and her books.

Saturday 25 February 2017

Interview with A. J. Kohler & Review

I'm excited to welcome Anthony Kohler to my blog today for an interview and a review of his book, Repeat, which can be found below. Here's a bio about Anthony:

A.J. Kohler has done insurance sales, collections and even, for ten years, the practice of law. Colorado winters were never enjoyable, and skiing and other winter sports always seemed like nothing more than a waste of time and money. This is heresy in Colorado, of course, so when A.J. retired, he headed south for a warmer climate. He now lives on the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona, in the heart of the Sonoran desert, and can honestly say that his heart goes where the saguaro grows. He happily grows many kinds of cactus in the garden, and in the desert, learned (the hard way) that gardening can be a blood sport. The lovely, if short-lived, blooms ensure that he donates blood regularly. Writing and editing was a late career move. He’d been told for years that he should write a book, but it was only after moving to Tucson that a framework and then a story began coming to mind. A.J.’s first published novel was written in 2010 and polished/self-edited/rewritten for three years before being accepted for publication. By the time it was published, two more novels had been completed and were going through the rewrite and polish stage. They have now been published by the same publisher. A.J. has become a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the use of the English language — some of the people he has edited for would call him a grammar Nazi. Repeat is his fourth novel. A.J. currently lives outside of Tucson, Arizona with a partner of the opposite sex and one sweet long-coat Akita female with issues, who thinks and acts, at mealtimes and just before her morning walk, as though she is still the puppy she was eight years ago.

And onto the interview:

1 - What made you want to be a writer?
I’m not entirely sure. I do remember trying once, back in grade school, to write a novel, but all I can really say about that is that I’m awfully happy that the effort didn’t survive. I’ve said for years that I wanted to write a book, but it took a long time for me to actually do so.

2 - What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
Generally science fiction/fantasy and the occasional mystery along with some World War I and II history.

3 - What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
Plan? What’s that? [insert smiley face] I usually have an idea where a story is going, but that is a far cry from planning the story. Actually, until the one I’m getting ready to start shopping around, my books have been written in disjointed pieces that I later had to assemble in order and fill in and smooth over the joins.

4 - How does your average writing time go?
As the spirit moves me. I spend a lot of my free time editing other people’s books, so when something in my brain produces a scene on a book I’m working on, I write it. Otherwise I make myself productive in other areas.

5 - What book/character of yours is your favourite?
My current book, Repeat: A Love Story For The Ages is definitely my favorite book, but it’s a bit too personal for me to claim either protagonist is a favorite character; he is largely modeled on me or on what/who I would hope I could be if something like that story happened to me. Likewise the female protagonist is modeled on a dear friend for whom I would have the same hope. Them aside, my favorite character is probably Amy Youngston from my first three books. She’s a serious toughie, almost endlessly capable and determined to do what she sees as her duty at any cost but with a deep core of caring and compassion that she has to keep well-hidden from any but her closest friends..

6 - If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?
It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve written in front of a large-screen TV, in a quiet study, or wherever the urge finds me and there’s a computer.

7 - What attracted you to your chosen genre?
Chosen genre? Pardon me while I chuckle. My first three (No Third Choice, No Other Choice and Ripped in Two)are mystery/thrillers. My current one, Repeat: A Love Story For The Ages, is being marketed as a romance, although it’s not really genre romance and I usually characterize it as a love story for men and a war story for women. The one I’m getting ready to shop around, Tales of the Rhadamantha, Vol. 1: Amaranna is a magical fantasy. I don’t worry about genre; I write the story that comes.

8 - How have other writers influenced your own writing?
I’m sure they have, but I’ve no real idea how.

9 - Do you prefer to type or hand write?
I work on a computer in a word processing program. I have to; my style of self-editing, rewriting and revision doesn’t really lend itself to anything else. Change a word here, insert a sentence there – I can’t conceive of doing it any other way.

10 - Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
Oh, definitely a playlist. It’s lengthy, horribly varied and extremely eclectic: ABBA, Shania Twain, North Sea Gas, Dierdre Reilly, Victoria Police Pipe Band, the Brothers Cazimero, Χάρις Αλεξίου, The Tenors, Celtic Women, Trijntje Oosterhuis – I could go on, but that, I think, touches at least the farthest bases. I have wide-ranging tastes.

11 - Do you have any hobbies?
Target shooting — pistol, clay bird (shotgun) and soon, rifle. I used to be heavily into photography, but it’s getting harder and harder to work with film and digital doesn’t satisfy the same way.

12 - What's your favourite kind of scene to write?
One I can see distinctly in my mind’s eye. The more clearly I see it, the more I like writing it.

13 - Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
Excuse me? [insert smiley face] I already have books in three very disparate genres. Not sure I want to go much farther than that.

14 - What does your writing space look like?
Oh, God, don’t look. It’s a mess that I regard as quasi-organized and my partner considers close kin to a total disaster. I’ve got a couple.

Repeat: A Love Story for the Ages
Paul and Angelina are old friends who dated in college, briefly, years ago, and recently reconnected via email. During their correspondence, they realized that they both regretted not taking up with each other back then, especially given their difficult and tumultuous first marriages after college.

When Angelina is killed, she is offered a choice of what to do next and opts to have both of them return to when she and Paul first arrived at college and do it over again … while remembering what happened to them over the years. They make many changes in the way they live their lives and find true happiness together. Although they don’t repeat those mistakes they made before, they definitely find new ones to experience and explore.

My Review: 5 stars

This seemed like an interesting concept. Two people miss connections in their first go of life and then as Angelina's life ends, she gets the chance for a second go around. Both of them sent forty years into the past with the majority of their memories and the tag line is right, it is a love story for the ages! I was hooked from the first page and loved every page of the book. It was hard to put it down and did not disappoint, and is an author I will be watching from now on. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good tear-jerking romance!

You can follow A. J. Kohler on Facebook.

Check out the blog every Friday for an interview, review or guest blog! If you want to be interviewed, or do a guest blog for Joey's blog you can contact her here.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Questions From Readers - Feburary 2017 [CC]

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Monday 20 February 2017

The After Process - Making A Name For Yourself


So, you've written your book, you've edited it, you're proof-read it, it has a cover and a release date and all of that jazz. And now what do you do? Press publish and hope for the best? That's the problem you see, once you hit publish, people will buy it right? Well, no. If they dont' know it's there, then how will they know to look for it? Classic paradox and a mistake a lot of writers make. We've talked about promotion and you have a lot of options, but if you're indie (and even if your traditionally published) you're gonna have to get out there and tell people about your book. The hard work has only just begun. Welcome to the after process!

Now, I know people say that the hard part is writing the book, and it's definitely not easy, but well, there's that part and then there's the whole editing process and then well, there's this part too. Basically writing and publishing a book is a lot of hard parts rolled up into a cliff of hardness...or something. There's a metaphor that got away from me! My point is that now you're published, more hard work begins. You're always going to be promoting and the hard part is that you'll also be writing too. Yes that first book is a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but unless you plan on being a one-trick pony, you're gonna write a second, and a third and so on. So how do you juggle doing the writing and the promotion when there's always another big thing to aim for? I may only be a small fish in a very big pond, but I have some tips of what I've learnt over the past fifteen or so years.


One of the things I learned first was that it's not always what you do, or how you write, sometimes it is who you know. I don't mean that you'll sell tons of books just because you're Facebook friends with a best-seller, your book will have to be the best it can be for that to happen. However, having contacts means that you can ask for help, and they can, hopefully, reciprocate and spread the word about your release. This is true for your first release all the way up to your last release. Having contacts who are also authors makes it so much easier to know which promotional companies are worth your time and money, which things work and which things don't and it's always good to have some contacts in your own genre. That way you can all cross-promote and everybody is happy.

I say this meaning that there's no such thing as too much promotion when it comes to a new release, whether that be in other writer groups, reader groups, adverts of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest. It's true, though you do need to be careful not to spam the same group of people over and over because all that does is annoy and get yourself unfollowed, or reported to Facebook or the like. Engaging with a promotional company, running a release day event and doing a blog tour? That's not too much and can be the difference between getting noticed and your book passing people by, so in that regard it's better to go for as much as you can, than to tone it down. This is your book we're talking about! The thing you've been working on hard, and you want it to do well, so you gotta do the promotion to get it noticed.

One thing I wish I'd known earlier on in my career was about the wide net of indie authors and the book blogs who support them. There are a bunch of bloggers who will take that chance on a new author and will help promote you. Whether that's with a review or an interview or anything like that. These bloggers are listed on a number of sites. The one I've found that works best is here. Now I'm not going to say that it's not hard work contacting them, nor will I say that everyone you contact will say yes, but it's a daunting task, and the ones that do say yes, because there will be some, they will possibly be the difference between visibility and being passed over.


Yeah, I know, you *just* finished researching all that stuff for your book, and then you had to research editors and cover art and all of that, but it holds true for promotion too. Basically it holds true for every step of the writing journey. Yes, sometimes your contacts will be able to help you find a promotion company, but first you gotta be sure what companies and what kind of promotion works best for your chosen genre. Adult books are marketed differently than young adult. Crime is different than fantasy and so on. You need to be researching to make sure you're looking in the right places to make your mark otherwise you're going in blind and that's never a good idea.

Yeah, it's boring and yeah money is always tight, but that's why you need to know your budget and make sure your money stretches as far as it can. There's no use not doing your research and landing on the first promotional company you find if they do something that costs all your budget when if you'd shopped carefully you'd have been able to stretch it to more. The idea is that promotion will cost you some money. It's just a fact of life. You can only get so far on the kindness of friends and the like. Knowing how much you can spend, helps you consider your options better. It's just that simple.

So those are my five tips for how to get your name out there. Some of them work better than others, but the majority of them work well together. My advice is just that, advice, born from my own experience in the writing world. Your mileage may, of course, vary, and that's okay.

Follow Joey on Tumblr, Facebook or here on her blog to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding her books.

Friday 17 February 2017

Interview with Cindy Smith

Today I am pleased to welcome Cindy J. Smith to my blog for an interview. Cindy is a poet and I am delighted to have the chance to interview her. Here's a bit about her in her own words:

I am Cindy J. Smith and I write poetry.   I was raised in a small town in Upstate New York (I have NEVER been to NYC). I live in western Indiana with my husband, Dave. I drive a truck over-the-road with my husband to keep from being a "starving artist".  In my free time in the truck, I read.  If you ask anyone who knows me, I am kinda partial to coffee, purple and jasmine.  I am not sure why anyone thinks that.  I love dragons, jokers, fairies and big cats! I have four poetry books published at this time; Voices In My Head, They Won't Shut Up, Rhymes Through Time and Words On The Wind. My children's book, Caesar And The Bluebells, is being reillustrated and should be back out soon. More of her poems appear in eight anthologies as well as several books by fellow authors.

Let's get onto the interview:

1 - What made you want to be a writer? 

To be honest, being a writer was not something I chose to do, it chose me.  I have been rhyming since I was a toddler.  Letting others see my work, however, was harder.  It happened because of my daughter and her desire to see my poems published.

2 - What kind of books do you read for pleasure? 

I love to read and my "go to genre" is Horror.  I enjoy classic literature and have recently found that SciFi can be really good.  About the only things I don't carae to read much of are erotica, westerns and romance novels.  I am willing to try anything if asked.

3- If you had the chance to write anywhere, where would you choose?  

If I could write anywhere, I would choose a rocky shoreline.  I love being in nature and I think that would give me so much inspiration.  The waves crashing, bringing ideas from other places and offering them to me. 

4- What attracted you to your chosen genre? 

I like poetry because you can say anything and it is not considered confrontational.  People will either see themselves or ignore the truths you are saying.  They don't usually become hateful over a poem. 

5- How have other writers influenced your own writing? 

I am most influenced by Dr. Seuss actually.  I love how he was able to teach life lessons when you weren't looking.  Any topic he could put to rhyme and make understandable.  It is my wish to be like him, to help people open their eyes and really see what is in front of them.

6- Do you prefer to type or hand write? 

I type mostly.  My handwriting is so bad that more often than not I can't even read it!   Typing them on my laptop gives me the ability to find and share my poems at a moment's notice.

7 - Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?  

I have branched out a little recently.  I have written a few short stories and I participated in NaNo this year.  I actually did finish the NaNo but the work itself is not done yet.  I do need to finish it.  I believe poetry is where I will stay though, full sentences are hard.

You can find Cindy on Facebook, Goodreads and her website.

Check out the blog every Friday for an interview, review or guest blog! If you want to be interviewed, or do a guest blog for Joey's blog you can contact her here.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Life Of Joey - February 2017 [CC]

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Monday 13 February 2017

Spoonie Writer: Avoiding Stress While Writing


When you're chronically ill, one thing your doctor (and lots of other people too) will tell you is to avoid stress. If you're like me then you know that avoiding stress isn't all that easy. I mean sure you can work to your limits and you can work out what makes you more stressed and avoid that, but it's kinda impossible to avoid all kinds of stress. Like right now, I have a bunch of stuff going on with my health, but I also have to get a certain level of work done as well. It would be impossible for me to just not let myself get stressed because my stressors are constant and out of my control. If you're a spoonie, you'll also know that stress exacerbates your condition and that makes you more stressed as you're unable to do what is needed of you.

So how do I avoid extra stress? To be blunt, I don't. I just make sure that when stress is a big part of my every day life, my work load reflects that. In that regard I am very lucky. I don't have a day job as it were and that means if I need to take some time, I can easily without it having a long term effect on my employability. I've spoken recently about juggling the life of an indie author as well as keeping up with the admin aspects of my job, but when you're living spoon-to-spoon it's hard sometimes to keep up which only adds to the stress load.

One of the ways I try to make sure that I don't set myself up for more stress, is I plan. I plan almost to the point where it seems a little too micro-managed, but in doing that I'm able to work around days when I'm just not well enough to be banging out a chapter and focus instead on other little jobs that need doing. Or resting if that's what I need. I talk about having yellow days (those are my days off) but I don't always use them. It's part of being in touch with how much I can do depending on the level of my health right then. That didn't come easy to me, it's taken me the majority of my life to work out how to balance between doing enough and doing too much. And there are still days when the pacing fails and I push too hard and on those days, I end up paying for it.

But back to the subject at hand. Avoiding stress while writing can be as simple as plotting out your day, your week, hell, even your month. It's what works for me and of course that doesn't mean that it will always work for everyone, but for me it's enough to keep me focused, on target and helps me avoid that pit of despair where I feel like I didn't get anything actually done! That's another stress I've come across. The fear that because I took a day off due to ill health or a flare, or even just because mentally I needed it, that I'm going to fail and never get back into the rhythm. You'd think that after over fifteen years of doing this I would realise that I always get back into the rhythm, but I never said I wasn't complicated!

My advice to anyone who's in the same boat is simply to try and work out what stress you can't avoid, accept that it'll be there and work through it as best you can. The next step is to work out if there are stressors that you *can* avoid. What are they? And how do you go about avoiding them? Whether that means timetabling your work days or it means have a to-do list where you cross everything off once it's done. Or something completely different. The idea is that you find what works for you and you work with it to make your writing life as easy as possible.

Writing brings it's own stress. There's the worry of deadlines, writer's block, promotion and all the rest of it rolled up into one big ball of stressors, but it doesn't need to be something that stops you from being able to continue in that world. Writing was, is, and always will be my escape and my passion. I just had to get organised to get to the point that I could happily continue doing it without paying for it later and starting that chain of events that sends me to bed stuck in flare hell. What works for me may not work for you, but don't be afraid to try new things and to see what does work. After all, the point is that you write, and the less time you spend in bed or in pain unable to do that, the better.

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook, or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.

Friday 10 February 2017

Interview with J. A. Belfield & Review

I am joined on the blog today by J. A. Belfield, a fellow indie author who writes paranormal urban fantasy and erotic romance. I have been lucky enough to review one of her books and that'll be included in the post! Here's a little blurb about her:

J.A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with the best husband in the world, aka Mr B, a couple of back-chatting but pretty cool kids, two pooches she treats likes the babies of the house, and a scrawny cat that likes to vomit in unnecessary places.

Now onto the interview:

1 - What made you want to be a writer?

My honest answer is: I was a bored housewife who daydreamed a lot, so I decided to turn my daydreams into something readable, as a way to pass the time, to stop myself going crazy with all the swirling thoughts in my head. Two years later, I was published. ☺

2 - What kind of books do you read for pleasure?

Whatever takes me fancy at any given time. I've read thrillers and crime (Val McDermid, Jeffrey Deaver, Martina Cole, etc), and PNR (Keri Lake, Rachel Vincent, Aimee Laine, etc), some 'adult titles', and a whole, whole lotta YA (favourites are Brigid Kemmerer, Victoria Scott, M. Anjelais, David Arnold, Rachel Cohn & David Levithan as a team .... There are too many to list).

3 - How does your average writing time go?

I have a very limited creative span. Some guys can write for an entire day and put down thousands of words. I'm on the opposite end of the scale. I can only write in the morning, pre-breakfast (before any distractions kick in), and my word count is usually from 500 words (on a not so good day) to 1500 (on a decent day). Occasionally, I'll shock the heck out of myself and go over that higher limit, but not often. And I'm very strict about family time, so I NEVER work weekends for my writing. ☺

4 - What attracted you to your chosen genre?

The stories in my head. ;)

5 - Do you have any hobbies?

I love drawing, when I get the chance, but I mostly turn the pictures I create into colouring books (which I publish under the name Jenna Lyn Field), and I love colouring (hence the creation of the colouring books ;)), and reading (OBVIOUSLY!). And when I'm not doing any of those, I generally just love chilling with Mr B and my pooches, either in the house or heading out for strolls because those moments are where most of my smiles come from. ☺

6 - What's your favourite kind of scene to write?

Action or romance scene. The romance scenes often come to me the strongest before I begin writing a book, mostly because they help me with defining a character. I see them more clearly when they're stripped back to their rawest.

7 - What does your writing space look like?

Chaos! LOL

Jem Stonehouse, a housewife with a neurotic husband bent on keeping her in line, dreams about werewolves in, what she believes, is a bid to escape boredom.
Sean Holloway is a werewolf, living a charade within the human race, whose mind drifts to a bond he shares with a woman he hasn't met — at least, not in this lifetime.
Apart, the two are safe but live unfulfilled lives.
Together, they'll become prey to rival packs just as they have been for hundreds of years.
When their worlds collide, and not for the first time, instinct takes over. Dreams become reality. Futures are uncertain. To keep history from repeating itself, Sean must teach Jem about his heritage, convince her of her role, and win her love.
Can Jem accept her destiny before it's too late, or is her inner wolf buried too deep to save her future with Sean?
My review: 5 stars
Paranormal Romance isn't my usual genre, but the blurb of this book drew me in and I picked it up. I was floored by how much I enjoyed it! Jem faced with dreams and a husband who is borderline OCD and abusive, suddenly starts to get fixated on the name 'Sean'. As the book moves between the dreams she has and her everyday life, it starts to become apparent that Sean is more than a figment of her dream life. The story will have you turning the pages, desperate to find out if Jem will find Sean, and if true love will prevail despite the obstacles in their way. I very much enjoyed it and would recommend it to all paranormal romance lovers, and even those who don't usually read the genre!

You can follow J A Belfield on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Check out the blog every Friday for an interview, review or guest blog! If you want to be interviewed, or do a guest blog for Joey's blog you can contact her here. 

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Finding An Editor [CC]

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Monday 6 February 2017

The Trials Of An Indie Author - Juggling Writing & Admin


It's been a while since I wrote on this topic, and I thought that for today's Monday post I would touch on juggling both writing and admin work. For a long time now I've been using the Sticky Notes function of windows and have been plotting out my days that way so that I have one thing that needs doing every day. It includes things like book writing, admin work, booktube videos and all the rest. Some days I have a bunch to do and others I leave empty in case I overrun another day.

It really has helped me in getting both organised and juggling the work and the admin duties of being an indie author. I've spoken before about wearing several different hats because of being indie, a piece you can find here, but it's only really been since I got organised that I realised just how much of my time is spent working.

The way I do things now is to stick to the plan. On days when the writing portion of my workday has been easier then I try and get some admin duties done. On days when I have events or other promotional stuff going on, I'll lean off the writing and focus solely on that side of my job. I can easily record a booktube video and edit it, but then on the day it's uploaded, I need to allot a period of time to add the captions before it's published. I balance the two roles pretty well in my opinion, but it can have an effect on how much writing I get done and being that the writing is the best part for me, it can be hard to motivate myself to getting the admin side done at all.

Like today, I was supposed to have a completely admin day, but it didn't work out like that. I wasn't one hundred percent yesterday so I only managed to write two pages of the chapter that was yesterday's work. Today was supposed to be a green day (I colour code, who'd have thought?!) which basically means anything that needs doing that isn't writing has to get done. I have some guest blogs that need putting up ready for when they get posted and I need to chase up a few emails and answer interview questions.

Except now it's a purple day too, so I need to find the time to do a video (done), write a blog piece (doing) and answer some interview questions and chase the emails and then I still need to find time to write those pages. It's gonna be a busy day! The plus side of it is it's not a whole chapter, and I'm pretty sure how it's going to go. My only reason for not doing it yesterday was that my pain levels were creeping up after an earlier start than planned.

People often say they wish they were as organised as I am. It's something that I've always found helpful. If I know what I'm supposed to be doing then I know when I'm done, right? It makes sense to me to work out how to juggle by making lists and a rainbow timetable because then I don't have any horrible surprises or missed deadlines. I'd put it down to being a spoonie, but to be honest I was like this before I really got sick so I think it's just part of who I am.

In the end, I find it easier to work to a list, and in keeping it nice and organised, things don't get missed and the end of the day isn't a rushed hell hole, but of course, your mileage may vary.

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Friday 3 February 2017

Interview with Devorah Fox and Review.

I am happy to welcome Devorah Fox to my blog today for an interview. Devorah writes thrillers and fantasy books, and I'm pleased to say that I'll be including a review in this post. With any further ado, let's get down to the interview.

What kind of books do you read for pleasure?

These days I don’t choose my pleasure reading. I know so many authors and I try to respond to their need for a beta reader or someone to read their book and review it. I also belong to two book clubs and I try to keep up with the monthly selections.

What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I do start with something of a plan. I have an idea of who is going to be in the story and where it’s going. However, at some point the characters take over. Like actors in a stage play, they toss the script aside and make up their own lines. It’s all I can do to try to keep up. Some of my favorite characters began as scene-stealers.

What book/character of yours is your favourite?
I like Detour’s Archie Harlanson because he was modeled after my late husband. However, I continue to be intrigued by King Bewilliam, the lead character in my literary fantasy series, The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, and by Will Mansion, the Zen Detective. Even though their stories are in different genres and set in different times and places, both King Bewilliam and Will Mansion chronicle the struggles of someone driven by circumstances to set out on an entirely new life path.

Do you prefer to type or hand write?
Increasingly, I prefer longhand which is very strange because my penmanship is awful. However I recently read about a study that showed cursive fosters good left and right brain connections better than printing or keyboarding. 

Do you have a writing playlist? Or do you prefer silence?
I listen to music all day long, a Pandora station of jazz fusion instrumentals. However I do make playlists for my novels and share those on social media. I like to think that they help to convey the tone of the books.

Do you have any hobbies?
Sometimes I paint. Our local art center sponsors Whine, Wine, and Design workshops. We socialize, eat snacks, sip BYOBeverages, and get step-by-step instruction from an acrylics artist. I’ve made six paintings. I’m running out of wall space to display my creations.

Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
Actually, I did. After finishing “The Redoubt,” Book Four in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam literary fantasy series, I took up writing thrillers and mysteries: “Detour,” “The Zen Detective,” and the Mystery Minis “Murder by the Book” and “One Bad Apple.” They’ve been as well received as the fantasies.

What does your writing space look like?
It’s the messiest spot in the house. Stacks of folders and paper-clipped pages, PostIt notes stuck everywhere, pens of all kinds within easy reach. There’s hardly room for the little dragon figurines and the gargoyle.

It's February, 1993, and trucker Archie “Super Man” Harlanson is traveling to New York's Hudson Valley with misgivings. He's eager to see his girlfriend Debbie, but her elitist parents? Not so much. When he ends up at the family home, he figures the hardest part will be surviving the onslaught of relatives arriving to celebrate the birth of Debbie's nephew. That is until the US President announces his plans to hold a campaign event nearby and the town is caught up in the media frenzy. When Archie stumbles on a deadly plot against the nation's leader he finds himself butting heads with skeptical local law enforcement, the FBI, and the White House security team, and dodging the would-be assassins who now have him in their sights, all while trying to keep his head down in a household crazy with new-baby fever.

My Review: 5 stars

I've not read anything from this author before but was happy to pick up a copy and see what she was like, and I was not disappointed! The book starts pretty clearly with Archie reviewing a new truck for a magazine. He sees himself as something of a wannabe journalist and his hope is this review will lead to big things. His motto is: If there's a road to it, I'll find it. A motto that comes in handy throughout the story. It starts a little slow, but soon picks up when Archie spots a few things that strike him as off. Intertwined with the thriller aspect, there's the love story between Archie and Debbie - will he ask? I found the book enthralling and loved it. It was well-written, the scene set beautifully and told in a way that had me turning the pages. Great read and highly recommended!

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Be sure to check out the blog every Friday for a new interview and review from other authors.

Wednesday 1 February 2017