#Interview Meet Author Tracie Delaney @tracie_delaney

I was fortunate to meet my next lovely guest at a writers’ event last year and was delighted when she agreed to pop over to my blog for a chat about her new novel, Winning Ace, released 29th May. Allow me to welcome author, Tracie Delaney.

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The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

I’ve lived my whole life in the North West of England and I currently live just outside the wonderful Roman City of Chester.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A vet. I love dogs and horses and in my younger years I was an avid horse rider. Unfortunately I discovered at an early age I was terrible at science (sobs)

List three words to describe yourself.

Determined, Flexible, Trustworthy

Who would play you in a film about your life? Continue reading “#Interview Meet Author Tracie Delaney @tracie_delaney”

Guest Post by @RSinclairAuthor #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

I’m delighted to host a guest post by popular author, Rob Sinclair as he tours the blog-o-sphere with his latest release, The Red Cobra.

Rob Sinclair Blog Tour

A typical writing day

When I was given the idea of writing a blog about what constitutes a typical writing day for me – about three weeks ago now – I was in a good run of form drafting my latest book. At that point I thought I new exactly what I’d write about; the process I go through to draft a new book. Now, though, three weeks later, I’m struggling a bit because I’m just not sure that ‘typical’ is really the right word to describe what I was going to say.

The answer I’d intended to give, and the one I often give to people when they ask about how I write a book, is this: Quite a long time ago I decided on setting myself a word target each day. 4,000 was the number I chose. I really can’t remember why now, perhaps it was from my first couple of drafts, a daily average I’d noticed emerging. Wherever it came from it stuck, and I’m still using that target now, in the middle on my eighth draft. Targets like that aren’t for everyone, but for me it’s a great motivator. When I hit the target it always give me a real sense of satisfaction, and it really helps to break down the writing process into manageable chunks. Starting on day one with 80,000 words left to write is really daunting, so just taking it one day at a time helps a lot. 4,000 words a day might sound a lot, but I’ve found it easily achievable when I’m in the zone, usually taking me 4-5 hours of solid writing, followed by 1-2 hours of read through.

You might compute, therefore, that if I write 4,000 words a day, for five days each week, aiming for a draft of 80,000 words, that I could write thirteen books a year!!? So why am I only planning on writing two this year? Well, firstly because of editing. 4,000 words a day is just my drafting stage. Before publication I’ll go back through a book maybe as many as ten times, editing and re-editing and sometimes re-writing. Each of those read throughs can take anywhere from a week to a month. Still, that should equate to more than two books, surely? Maybe three or four at least?

But then you need to factor in that BIG missing ingredient; life. And by that I don’t mean playing golf and watching movies (well, not just those two things, anyway)…

The thing is, I’m not just a writer, I’m a stay at home dad as well. I have two sons, six and four, and my wife works full time. I (usually happily) pick up virtually all the childcare duties during the working week, whether it be breakfast, school runs, dinner, bedtimes, school holidays, sick days, teacher training days etc etc. That right there is a big chunk of my available time in the working week gone. When there’s no pre or post school club for the kids to go to my working hours are immediately cut to 9am-3pm. Suddenly 4,000 words a day becomes a bit more of a challenge.

Then there’s everything else that comes with being in the house all day, everyday. Cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening. That’s just the usual stuff. Oh, last week we were burgled, so I spent a whole day the day after organising new locks and security upgrades and talking to insurance and the police. The week before we had a carpenter putting in some new doors so I spent three days afterwards painting and finishing everything off. Today I’m writing blogs for the blog tour of my upcoming release of The Red Cobra. I do my own taxes, and keep my own business records, which takes time all the time. We’re in the process of remortgaging, which I always think will be simple, but which never is, and I’ve lost count of how much time I’ve lost, sat listening to the same music on hold to the bank the last couple of weeks. My phone broke the other day, cue 3 hours trying to get the new phone I bought to take the iPhone back-up without any hitches. We had leaking pipes outside. I’ve tried my best to fix it all – still monitoring as to whether or not I managed it. Today we’ve got a leaking toilet! Guess that needs sorting tomorrow. Plus please don’t forget the very important ‘me’ time I allow myself every now and then; exercise, reading a book, watching a movie. Oh yeah, and it’s a lovely sunny day today, I think spring has arrived. I’m expecting the annual list of the jobs that need doing in the jungle… I mean garden, to come from my wife any day now. Walls will need to be built, or repointed. Patios slabs cleaned – probably grouted too. Paint will be needed out there somewhere. Trees and hedges cut. Lawns mowed. And there’s always LOTS of digging involved.

But please, don’t think I’m complaining about any of this. It’s the life I’ve chosen. I really enjoy being a writer, setting my own rules, and writing when I want to (and can), but at the same time keeping the house and family together, and having the time to do all of those odd jobs in and around the house to make sure weekends are still free for the wife and kids. Plus, at least I’m not stuck in an office all day, like I used to be, working to someone else’s agenda. I never got along with that.

Coming back to the main point, then, is that when I think about the question at hand here: What does my typical writing day look like? The best answer I can give is that there’s no such thing as a typical day for me. And that’s perhaps the thing I love about being a writer the most.

Rob Sinclair

Author Bio:

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan, with over 200,000 copies sold to date. The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob’s fourth book, the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments, released by Bloodhound Books in November 2016, has been described as ‘clever’ and ‘chilling’ and an ‘expertly crafted’ story, and became an Amazon UK top 50 bestseller soon after its release.

Rob’s forthcoming James Ryker series follows on from the Enemy books, with the first novel, The Red Cobra, being released in April 2017.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Rob Sinclair Red Cobra final
Amazon UK | US

Book Description:

Carl Logan dedicated nearly twenty years of his life to the Joint Intelligence Agency. Now living in a secret location, under the new identify of James Ryker, he wants nothing more than to be left alone, the chance to start a new life away from chaos, violence, destruction and deceit.

It’s not long, however, before Ryker’s short-lived idle is destroyed when he is tracked down by Peter Winter, his ex-boss at the JIA. Winter brings with him news of the murder of a woman in Spain, Kim Walker, whose fingerprints match those of one of Ryker’s former adversaries who’s been missing presumed dead for years – an infamous female assassin known as the Red Cobra.

A cyberattack at the JIA led to the Red Cobra’s profile being compromised, and Winter believes JIA agents may now be at risk too, Ryker included. But Ryker knew the elusive Red Cobra better than anyone, and when he sees the grisly pictures of Kim Walker’s corpse, he has news for Winter – she isn’t the assassin at all …

So just who is the mystery dead woman? And where is the real Red Cobra?

The Red Cobra is a fast-paced thriller filled with twists and turns and intrigue that will appeal to readers of big-hitting thrillers by the likes of Lee Child and David Baldacci, and with echoes in its plotting and breadth of the globe-trotting spy thriller I Am Pilgrim.

You can find out more about Rob and his books on Facebook, Twitter, or via his website.

 

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

There’s Something About Cornwall #TuesdayBookBlog #GuestPost by @daisyjamesbooks

First of all, a huge thank you for featuring my brand new release – There’s Something About Cornwall – on your blog. My pleasure, Daisy 🙂

 

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Amazon UK | US

 

Location is always very important to me when I’m writing. It’s almost as though it’s another character that requires just as much attention, just as much crafting, as any other. My first novel – The Runaway Bridesmaid – was set in New York. I enjoyed an amazing trip there a couple of years ago, for a milestone birthday, except, instead of spending five exhilarating days taking in the sights, because of Hurricane Sandy we ended up being there for eleven. Everywhere was closed, even the Broadway shows, so I grabbed a pen and some paper and started writing and my first published novel was born.

When I began researching my fourth book, I wanted my characters to have a fabulous backdrop for their story, so it had to be Cornwall. The scenery is so beautiful and diverse, not to mention the fact that the sun always seems to be shining. There’s Something About Cornwall follows Emilie Roberts, a food photographer, who takes a culinary road trip around the whole county as she works on a photoshoot for a celebrity TV chef working on her next cookery book.

Emilie’s epic journey starts in Padstow where she meets Matt at a beach party. He becomes a last-minute replacement driver for an orange-and-cream vintage campervan they’ve nicknamed The Satsuma Splittie. There’s plenty of stops along the way and lots of baking and tasting of the delicious Cornish food that is being photographed.

I wanted to showcase not only the local recipes, but also the wide array of artisan beverages that Cornwall is famous for. So, in Truro, they visit an apple orchard where Emilie photographs the Cornish Cyder Cake and Apple and Caramel Loaf, but they also indulge in a few pints of the local Scrumpy.

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Apple & Caramel Loaf

During my research, I was amazed to find that vineyards flourish on south-facing slopes and fabulous white and rosé wine is produced in Cornwall. The county is also the only place in England that grows tea – Tregothnan Tea – it offers a whole new meaning to the label English Breakfast tea!

I also came across the Southwestern Distillery, run by Tarquin Leadbetter, which produces not only Cornish Gin but also Cornish Pastis. The pastis is a modern take on the classic French aperitif and the first of its kind created in the UK. It is made with gorse flowers foraged from the Atlantic clifftops and fresh orange zest finished off with a touch of liquorice root. Tarquin also grows his own Devon violets for use in his Tarquin’s Gin.

I hope readers will enjoy escaping to our southernmost county when they read There’s Something About Cornwall.

For a chance to win a book on the history of the much-loved, iconic camper van, a mug and a coaster, just follow Daisy James and retweet the pinned tweet. The prize will be drawn on 31st March 2017 (UK only).

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WIN these goodies!

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

Interview with Author, Gail Mitchell @GailMitchell42 #Author #Interview #wwwBlogs

It’s my pleasure to introduce author, Gail Mitchell, as she releases her fabulous book, Loving the Life Less Lived (you can read my review tomorrow). Over to Gail…

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The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

I was born in Nottingham, but spent my teenage years in Brentwood in Essex (before it became famous for TOWIE). After studying in York I came back to Nottingham, moved to Bristol for six years then back to Nottingham again. Nottingham is my home, it’s like a magnet that keeps drawing me back.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An Air Hostess! Even though it’s not politically correct to call them that anymore. Other than that I wanted to be a recluse!

List three words to describe yourself.

Well avoiding the obvious anxiety related words I would say: Continue reading “Interview with Author, Gail Mitchell @GailMitchell42 #Author #Interview #wwwBlogs”

#FridayBookShare While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft #Psychological #Thriller

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I created the Friday Book Share Game to help search for that ideal novel/author.

Anyone can have a go – all you need to do is answer the following questions based on a book you enjoyed reading (old or new) and use the hashtag #FridayBookShare – Simples!

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.

Here’s mine:

It’s my spot on the Blog Tour for Kathryn Croft’s new psychological thriller, While You Were Sleeping, and I thought it would make a fabulous addition to the Friday Book Share Game. Continue reading “#FridayBookShare While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft #Psychological #Thriller”

Writing for Children and Young Adults with Marion Crook (@author_mcrook) #BlogTour #wwwBlogs #HowToBooks

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Writing isn’t easy. Our creative skills need to be nurtured so they can evolve. Reading ‘how to’ books on various writing formats/genres has been an enormous help to me over the years, and in particular, with my YA novels. I am, therefore, delighted to have a master of writing for children and young adults on my blog today.

It is my pleasure to introduce author, Marion Crook, as she releases the third edition of her fabulous book, Writing for Children and Young Adults. Over to Marion…

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©Imaging by Marlis 2012

The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada. I live in a small town on the ocean, a 40 minute ferry ride from Vancouver.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a veterinarian and when I couldn’t (women weren’t allowed way back then) I wanted to graduate from university and just keep learning. I didn’t tell my daughter my early ambition, but she is a veterinarian. Perhaps that’s why I have animals, particularly dogs, in every book.

List three words to describe yourself. Continue reading “Writing for Children and Young Adults with Marion Crook (@author_mcrook) #BlogTour #wwwBlogs #HowToBooks”

#wwwBlogs Meet Author, @lindsayjpryor #newrelease #paranormal #romance

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It’s no secret that I am slightly obsessed with vampires! I’ve blogged about it often enough, and my obsession may have come up in one or two interviews. So, I’m beyond excited to have dark paranormal romance author, Lindsay Pryor, on my blog today – what she doesn’t know about hot, steamy vampires isn’t worth knowing!  😉

Over to Lindsay…

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The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

I was born in South Wales in the UK and lived there for twenty-two years, studying for both my degree and my post-graduate qualifications there too. I moved to the north of England for three years for my first teaching post, but I’ve now lived in the south west of England for the past seventeen years.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An author. I had my first batch of careers advice when I was 13. By that point, I’d been writing stories for at least four years – including a science-fiction book. It’s what I did every spare minute I had so I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I had no understanding of what being published meant, just that I wanted as much time as possible to write. They advised me to opt for a sustainable career so suggested teaching. I did that for eighteen years but I guess the full-time author in me had to out at some point!

List three words to describe yourself.

Creative. Empathetic. Tenacious.

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Helena Bonham Carter. It would have to be someone quirky who plays intense and socially awkward well.

What’s your favourite snack food when writing?

Dark chocolate. I want to say fruit, I really do… we believe you, Lindsay 😉

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Tough one! I’ve always wanted to be able to fly and regularly used to take lessons in my living room growing up. It used to involve jumping across the room from one sofa to the other. The sad thing is, I used to award myself certificates for progress – and make my parents attend the ceremony.

I think I’ll opt for the power of healing though. I lost my Dad to cancer before he had the chance to see me published. The time I spent on the wards during his treatment was an immense eye-opener to what some people deal with every day. Imagine having the ability to remove that pain and be able to tell people that their loved ones are going to be okay? I also have a passion for wildlife and nature. My garden’s a woodland so there’s times when I wish I could offer more than just warmth and TLC when I lose one of the residents.

Oh dear, this was supposed to be the “fun” section. See, this is I write dark PNR… 🙂

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The Sensible Side:

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing?  What do you do when you’re not writing?)

I’ve been writing for over thirty years and have been published for the last four. Writing was never actively a choice, more of a compulsion. I certainly never started out with the intention of getting published one day. I just kept coming up with characters and worlds in my head and the most natural thing to do was to write it down.

I penned my first sci-fi when I was nine and wrote stories throughout my teenage years and into my early twenties, as well as writing, performing and directing mini-plays in my local church hall. I opted to study Psychology and Communication at university because I thought it would better help me understand the characters I write about. I went on to qualify as an English teacher and spent eighteen years with a focus on improving children’s literacy. I also learned a lot about my own writing skills and techniques along the way.

I was discovered through an international romance writing competition after being a finalist for two years running. I was approached by Bookouture and asked to be their launch author back in 2012.

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or watching films. I also love walking and nature so, when the weather’s reasonable, I regularly trek along coastlines, through woods or over the moors. I definitely like the quiet life!

Where did the inspiration for your Blackthorn Series come from?

The concept for the Blackthorn series started evolving twenty years ago this month when I relocated to a big city over 300 miles away from everything I knew. Not long after moving there, I got lost walking home one night. I ended up in a very isolated and run-down area. Iron bars were on windows. Metal shutters were on doors. The place was dead.

I was terrified, but the idea for Blackthorn was born – dark paranormal stories set in an urban, gritty backdrop of social unrest, where the ‘third species’ are segregated and discriminated against for having shadows instead of souls. Primarily based around a polluted, over-populated, rotten core of a locale, they’re given the dregs in terms of location, provision, opportunities and rights whilst being ruled by the iron fist of the more privileged humankind.

Blackthorn soon became the ideal environment to breed conflict between characters, particularly my heroes and heroines. Blackthorn inevitably developed into a backdrop for dark and intense romances that will each play an integral role in the future of all who live there.

What do you like most about writing dark paranormal romance?

I love writing fantasy because the level of creativity required is a challenge. There’s nothing quite like the total freedom of creating your own world and rules.

Because I’m fascinated by human nature, romance is the prime genre to explore all facets of a character. If you want to dig deep into a person, their take on and approach to their romantic relations will reveal more about them than anything else. I like to lay my characters as bare as possible, and romance allows the most holistic overview of a person.

Writing the darker side of romance comes because I love complex characters – whether reading about them, watching them, or creating them. Writing intense and unpredictable situations makes for a more interesting dynamic on the page for me. I also like the flexibility dark PNR allows. Neither the hero nor the heroine need to be guaranteed to do the right and moral thing, nor fit society’s view of what that is. There’s no clear-cut good and bad. Dark PNR allows for its characters to be shades of grey – and there’s a heck of a lot of scope in grey for a writer. When you have grey characters it can, ironically for PNR, be a truer reflection of life.

What is the hardest part of writing a series containing eight novels?

Not ever working with just one book at a time. Because of Blackthorn’s overarching plot, every time I write the next book I have to be thinking of all the previous books as well as where it’s all going to end so as to ensure the pace works not just in one book but across the entire series.

I also needed to lay the clues of what’s to come like a trail of breadcrumbs from book one. For example, one of my characters works out a salient piece of information in book 5 that’s first mentioned in passing in book 2. It meant nothing whilst reading the second book, but if it hadn’t been there it would have made the discovery too convenient for a significant turn in the plot later. That takes a lot of planning! It’s great fun because I have so many readers who now keep re-reading the series and spotting everything they missed the first time around. It hopefully makes reading Blackthorn a richer experience for them.

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The other challenge is being aware that some readers will enter the series later in the books. It’s not easy trying to cover what they need to know without rehashing what is obvious to fans of the series – I don’t want to confuse one but neither do I want to bore the other. We have it plastered everywhere that readers need to come in from the beginning though. We can do nothing more than that.

As challenging as it has been at times, I’ve loved it.

Can you give us a brief excerpt from your latest novel, Blood Bound?

I can share one of the ‘Bites’ as we call them, so as not to reveal any spoilers:

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What can we expect from you in the future? 

Hopefully more books! With only one more Blackthorn book to go, I’ve already been in conversations about where I’m going next and have started on new projects that I’m working on alongside the final book.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can visit my website. Everything you could need to know is there. My other main place is my Facebook page where I regularly chat to my readers. I receive a lot of emails too, so never hesitate to get in touch is you prefer a less public forum.

You can also follow Lindsay on Twitter.

You can read my review of Blood Shadows (book one) HERE.

Find all the Blackthorn books on Amazon UK | Amazon US

Thank you so much for joining me today, Lindsay.