Category Archives: Novelist

Interview with F. J. McQueen

F. J. Mcqueen’s book. ‘Out Damned Spot!’ is out on the 14th April 2016.  I asked her a few questions.   Can you tell me a bit about your soon to be published book please? …

Source: Interview with F. J. McQueen

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Interview with James Silvester

Last year James Silvester wrote a guest post for my blog.  As part of my blog event I asked him a few questions.   Your debut novel seems to be doing very well.  Could you tell me a bit about …

Source: Interview with James Silvester

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My Urbane Publications Blog Event

Sadly, that’s the end of my Urbane blog event.  I really hope you have enjoyed reading the guest posts, interviews and reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed organising it and I would like to thank all the …

Source: My Urbane Publications Blog Event

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Guest Post by John Simmons

I now have a second guest post by John Simmons. ~~~~~ The sum of reading and writing Reading, writing, arithmetic – somewhat bizarrely called the three R’s. I always inclined towards the first two,…

Source: Guest Post by John Simmons

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An Interview with Author, Carol Salter

Carol signing

A little bit of bio – who are you, where do you come from and where are you based?

I’m Carol M Salter. I was born in Margate and because Thanet remains in my heart, I have returned to live here.

Who is your favourite author of all time and which book do you wish you had written?

That’s a difficult one because it depends what genre and which format. When I began reading I couldn’t get enough of E. E. Doc Smith, a classic Sci-Fi writer up there with my other favourites of Asimov, Bradbury & Niven. When I moved to fantasy McCafferty & Tolkien were my favourite, then I moved to fantasy humour and Pratchett became my master. For paranormal/Sci-Fi romance I have all 37 of Connie Suttle’s kindle novels.

Have you a writing routine? Do you write a la Cartland, dictating to a minion whilst lying on a chaise longe sipping champagne? Or, is the reality a garden shed or a corner of the living room?

I work full-time so a writing routine isn’t possible. If I’m writing something new it’s anywhere I can sit down. It might be in bed at the end of a long day, or 15 minutes in a cafe waiting for an appointment. If it’s a finished draft I’m working on, I have to be disciplined and spend several hours at a time either during the evening or at weekends.

When were you first gripped by the writing bug – was it a gradual realisation or always a burning ambition?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and I started with poetry. By the time I left school I’d written enough poems to fill a book. I didn’t start writing novels until forced to sit while my son played with pre-school friends at our local play place. Once I started, I found I couldn’t stop; it’s a bit like an addiction. I’m at the point where I’ve had to stop writing new pieces until I’ve decided what to do with my earlier novels. It’s very hard because I could and do write every day if time permits.

Which authors, if any, were influential in fuelling this desire?

My desire to be published was there from the first page I wrote, but desire alone wasn’t sufficient to drive and support my confidence in times of doubt. Without Tara Moore’s support, guidance and interest I don’t believe I would have continued striving for publication.

When did you make your first serious foray into writing and what did you write?

My first novel, started at the play place, was Rainbow of Destiny. It’s an off-world story about a female courier with a unique ability to mind-bond with animals. I loved it but the 4 publishers I sent it to didn’t. I was heart-broken and I think I would have stopped writing then if I hadn’t met Tara who inspired me to continue.

Has your style of writing changed significantly since then?

I looked over my first novel, written on paper in the dark ages, a while back and was horrified at how complicated my sentences were. I tried to put too much information into each one. I’m not sure why?

If you could go back, would you do anything differently?

I wouldn’t have spent 5 years of my life trying to get an agent or publisher interested in my work. I know I’m not the next literary giant. I won’t make them gazillions so I’m probably not on the same planet as them. I wish I knew that then instead of breaking my heart a bit more each time the rejection letter landed on the mat. My heart still squeezes in my chest at the thought that my work may never pique their interest.

We all know the world of traditional publishing can be brutal in its rejection and fragile egos are routinely shattered. Have you ever experienced this? How did it make you feel? How did you cope with it

I think I’ve answered some of this question above. How did I cope? I licked my wounds – again –  and decided I needed more support to manage the rejections. I started the Inspiration writing group 4 years ago because I couldn’t believe there weren’t other writers experiencing the same soul-destroying letters as me. I knew they were standard letters, and a few were sort of kind, but it doesn’t lessen the feeling of worthlessness.

Do you feel ebooks will continue to escalate in popularity?

I believe everything in life reaches a plateau and ebooks are no different. Like Marmite, some folk will love them and some will hate them because of this they are no threat to authors only traditional publishers.

Why did you choose to go down the route of independent publishing?

Life is way too short and my heart can only take so much punishment.

I have heard some authors say that they won’t feel ‘properly published’ unless via a traditional publisher. How do you feel about this statement?

Of course I’d love my dream publisher to turn up a La white horse, but I’m also a realist. I wanted to get my novels out there for people to read. I couldn’t think of anything worse than for my stories to sit on a hard drive never to be read. That would mean all my hours and days writing had no point, no value, and I couldn’t live with myself knowing part of me (my writing) never existed as a reality.

Have you ever been traditionally published and, if so, why have you made the cross over to independent publishing?

I’ve been published in other independant anthologies. Firedance Publishing published my short dark fantasy story Underworld, which I later went on to independently publish on kindle.

As a platform, is it working for you? What are the pros and cons?

It’s not a case of is it working. It’s what I’m doing; it will work. It has no choice but to work because I’m not prepared for it not to. I guess all those rejection letters have toughened me up. The pros? I’ve learnt so much about the publishing process. I can appreciate the issues facing traditional publishers to a greater degree.

The cons are also the pitfalls of the publishing process. How to pick professionals to assist with the various elements of publishing is the main one.

The final one is trying to market books whilst working full-time and getting people to place book reviews on-line to assist with sales.

What books have you written? Have you a particular favourite? What/who inspired it?

I’ve loved every story I’ve written. My favourite is the one I’m about to publish.

Do you feel the best is yet to come? What inspires your writing in general?

I’m really looking forward to my next publication ‘Aquasapien – Metamorphosis‘.

Aquasap3D

 

I sometimes think my reading inspires my writing, but the work I complete isn’t a carbon copy of it. It’s almost like I can see the gaps in between what I’m reading and subconsciously write about the story inside.

What are you working on right now?

Publishing Aquasapien and finishing the follow-up novel to Witch on the Warpath – Gristle’s Revenge.

What do you like/dislike most about writing?

I like leaving my life behind and living inside the story, somewhere else. I dislike not yet being proficient enough to get away with only a couple of drafts before publication.

Anything you would like to crow about?

My first book Witch on the Warpath, a teen fantasy is out there now, on the shelves at our local Waterstones, selling in Kenny’s bookstore Dublin and on-line on 7 websites around the world including EBay.

 

Witch 3D

When I was an aspiring author, I longed to know ‘the secrets’ of other authors. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Believe in yourself.

If you know your book is not likely to sell 50,000 copies, because its about the mating rituals of ants etc, consider independant publishing and save yourself a lot of heartache especially you just want a few copies for family and friends.

Did anyone ever share a particularly valuable insight or piece of advice with you and, if so, can you share it with us?

Stick at it!

Thank you, Carol Salter.

NB: You can buy Witch on the Warpath from Amazon on the link below.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Witch-Warpath-Trouble-Trolls-Carol-Salter/dp/0993317405/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452082084&sr=1-1&keywords=witch+on+the+warpath

Carol is on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

https://www.linkedin.com/in/carol-salter-86019042

https://www.facebook.com/carol.salter.33?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/SalterCarol

Website: http://carolmsalter.weebly.com/

 

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A Fine Romance – With Nell Dixon!

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A little bit of bio – who are you, where do you come from and where are you based?

I’m Nell Dixon, a Black Country author, married to the same man for over twenty-seven years. I have three daughters, a tank of tropical fish and a cactus called Spike. Winner of the RNA’s prestigious Romance Prize in 2007 and 2010, I write warm-hearted contemporary romance for a number of publishers in the US and the UK including Myrmidon Press, Samhain Publishing, Little Black Dress, Astraea Press, E-Scape Press and Freya’s Bower.

 

Who is your favourite author of all time and which book do you wish you had written?

This is hard as I love several authors. Jane Austen is my favourite author and a book I really wish I’d written is Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie. That book cracks me up everytime I read it.

Have you a writing routine? Do you write a la Cartland, dictating to a minion whilst lying on a chaise longe sipping champagne? Or, is the reality a garden shed or a corner of the living room?

Sadly, no chaise longe. I have a small office just off the first floor landing of my home. It doesn’t have a door so my family frequently clump up the stairs to interrupt me. I write mainly in the evenings and at weekends.

 When were you first gripped by the writing bug – was it a gradual realisation or always a burning ambition? Which authors, if any, were influential in fuelling this desire?

I have always written from the age of four when I first learned to read, the writing came soon after. I used to make up stories and get my Dad to write them down. Growing up I read anything and everything. Some of my favourite authors were Enid Blyton, Richmal Crompton and Elinor Brent-Dyer.

When did you make your first serious foray into writing? What did you write? Has your style of writing changed significantly since then? If you could go back, would you do anything differently?

I had my first poem published when I was eleven. My local paper gave me a postal order which I thought was amazing. I sent them so many poems after that, most of which they bought, that I had my own little spot. I finished my first book when I was seventeen. I loved Andre Norton so it was very sci-fi. Now I write quirky romantic comedy or contemporary romance with a twist of humour and a dollop of suspense.

We all know the world of traditional publishing can be brutal in its rejection and fragile egos are routinely shattered. Have you ever experienced this? How did it make you feel? How did you cope with it?

I had loads of rejections, and indeed still get some. I hope my writing is always improving and I know that what I write may not be every editor’s cup of tea. If I get a rejection I just keep polishing up that story and send it right back out there to someone else.

 Ebook platforms such as Kindle and Smashwords are playing a major role in changing the face of publishing. Is this a good thing and do you feel that traditional publishers and agents have had it their own way for far too long?

I think it’s great that readers have so much choice now. I love finding new authors to read and my kindle has widened the kinds of books I read enormously.

 Do you feel ebooks will continue to escalate in popularity?

I think so. Anything that gives people easy access to books has to be a fantastic thing no matter what the format.

 What books have you written? Have you a particular favourite? What/who inspired it?

I’ve written sixteen books now. I like to think that the latest book is always my best one. I do have some favourites though, simply because they were so much fun to write. Animal Instincts, the book that won the Romance Prize in 2010 is a favourite. Not just of mine but also for readers – everyone loves Dave, the foul mouthed parrot.

Do you feel the best is yet to come? What inspires your writing in general?

I always hope the best is yet to come. I get inspiration from life, reading the paper, eavesdropping on conversations and watching TV.

 What are you working on right now?

Right now I have an idea for a new series in my head. My last series – The Cornish set New Bay stories has been popular with readers and I enjoy writing stand alone stories that have recurring characters. It’s like catching up with old friends.

 What do you like/dislike most about writing?

I love it when a story comes to life, like magic. I hate the days when it’s like wading through treacle, in the dark with sharks circling.

Anything you would like to crow about?

I’m British so am rubbish at crowing about anything really!

When I was an aspiring author, I longed to know ‘the secrets’ of other authors. What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Did anyone ever share a particularly valuable insight or piece of advice with you and, if so, can you share it with us?

My advice to all aspiring writers is to read as much as you can, read widely and then sit down and write. Write even when it’s hard and you’re tired and you really should be scrubbing the toilet or feeding the cat not staring at a blank page waiting for words to come. Just write.

Read more about Nell on:

http://www.nelldixon.com

http://nelldixonrw.blogspot.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nell-Dixon/228642037151856

Twitter as @nelldixon

Nell’s latest release is Be My Hero http://www.amazon.com/Be-My-Hero-ebook/dp/B0095MYT24/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1

BeMyHero 200x300

 

Excerpt!

Nathalie Mayer is thirty-four. On the surface she is an attractive, happy, single, successful woman running her own bridal business. Despite her line of work and her obvious delight in other people’s weddings, including that of her twin brother, Nate. Nathalie has always declared that a settled relationship is not for her. There has only ever been one man whom Nathalie felt she could love.

Evan Davies is back in town after a six year absence. Last time he was here, he and Nathalie had tentatively begun to take their friendship to a different level. Now he’s home again and has the reason for his sudden departure from six years ago with him – his daughter, Polly.

Nell, thank you for a wonderful interview!

 

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Filed under Author, Books, Catherine Czerkawska, chicklit, Crime, Crime Writers, Ebooks, Faith Bleasdale, Fiction, Library, Nell Dixon, Novelist, Publishing, romance, Romantic Novelist, Sasha Wagstaff, Sheila Quigley, Uncategorized, Writing