A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “short stories”

Cover Reveal – ‘The Big Event’ by Anne John-Ligali

I am thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for ‘The Big Event’.  The first book in the Friendship Online Short Story series, it is being published as an eBook on the 30th November 2017.  I totally love the design of this cover and the colours are just gorgeous.

Anyway, I’m sure you all want to know what the book is about so read on.

 

Book Blurb

Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too.

Or so she hopes.

A short story about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.

~~~~~

Like the sound of this book?  Well, you’re in luck then because you can pre-order it from Amazon UK.  Here is the link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Event-Gorgeous-Possibly-Friendships-ebook/dp/B076NMB2G6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508756132&sr=8-1&keywords=anne+john-ligali

 

About Anne John-Ligali

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series. Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007. Since then, Anne has been writing on and off and enjoys participating in writing groups. Twice in 2014, she won the monthly Novelicious Pintrest Prompt Fiction Competition.

When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance). She can also be found watching box sets (albeit with a bit of shame at still having to catch up on Scandal, Grey’s, and Downton).

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number of IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

 

Book/Author Links

Website – http://annejohnligali.com

Twitter – @AnneJohnLigali

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/annejohnligali

Instagram – booksandauthorsuk

 

Book Blog Website – http://www.booksandauthors.co.uk

Twitter (Blog) – @BooksNAuthorsUK

Blog Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/booksandauthors

 

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Guest Post by Renita D’Silva

I am delighted to welcome Renita D’Silva to my blog today.  Back in 2014 I reviewed her book, ‘The Stolen Girl’ which you can read here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/the-stolen-girl-by-renita-dsilva/

Renita continues to write amazing novels and her latest book, ‘A Daughter’s Courage’ was recently published as an eBook and in paperback at the end of May by Bookouture.  Renita has written a wonderful guest post for my blog which I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I did.

 

My Writing Journey

I love reading stories, writing stories, listening to stories.

I wrote my first ‘book’, a ten page poem titled ‘Mother’, when I was seven. Then life got in the way, as it does: growing up, work, marriage, children. When my daughter started nursery, and with my son already in school, I was free for a few hours to indulge my dream. I enrolled in an Adult Education Creative Writing Course and started writing stories that I actually shared with other people instead of just inventing them in the privacy of my head. I discovered that my stories were liked, a few of them got published in magazines and anthologies and won competitions and that gave me the encouragement to start writing a novel.

My debut, ‘Monsoon Memories’ is about journeys. The journey to forgiveness and acceptance. The journey of discovery, the unearthing of a secret that has been slumbering for more than a decade.

Monsoon Memories was rejected multiple times for a variety of reasons and sometimes for no discernible reason at all, as none accompanied the rejection letter. After each rejection, I would set the book aside, having decided to forgo writing. But after a few weeks, the urge to try one more time would assert itself and I would dig up my manuscript, work on it and send it off again. This pattern continued until the magical February morning when Bookouture said yes!

Since then I have published six books with Bookouture and I am currently working on my seventh. The stories themselves are made up, a product of my imagination, but the descriptions of places are gleaned from my memories of the village in India where I grew up and its surroundings.

I am riveted by the interactions, feuds, secrets, lies and intense bonds prevalent among families. The complex ties between family members seem rife with hurt, hate, so many seething emotions, so much love and angst and anger and grudges nurtured over the years. This is what I explore in my books.

I think India is such a melting pot of cultures, prejudices and attitudes, a place where narrow mindedness and superstition mingle with generosity and kindness – that you cannot show one side without showing the other. The people are as warm as they are bigoted, as small minded as they are caring. I aim to depict India in all its glory-with all its faults as well as its virtues, but all the same, I try never to forget that my main aim is to tell a story.

I write about Indian women and explore how they face the constrictions of a restrictive culture while at the same time stretching their wings, how they define themselves in a world that tends to impose stifling limitations upon them, how they try and find themselves, constraints notwithstanding.

The complicated dynamics of relationships, whether within families or cultures or religions or states or countries – that is what all the stories I love share in common.

What I love about writing is how a bud of an idea, a spark overheard from somewhere, a snippet of a news item on TV, will take root in my mind and over time germinate and grow into a story that wants to be told.

My stories are all fictitious as are the places I set them in – although the descriptions of these places are drawn from my own memories of India. When reading back what I have written, sometimes I do find an echo of a childhood memory, make the odd connection, but my characters’ stories are distinct from my own.

I love words and the English language. I am constantly amazed by how twenty six letters can combine to produce stark and stunning prose that spellbinds a reader.

I love epistolary novels and each of my books has contained some form of epistolary narrative. I love how a story emerges through letters and how letters allow for the outpouring of feelings that wouldn’t necessarily be spoken out loud.

Modern day life is such that we are continually questing – for the meaning of our existence, for happiness, for material things. We are on a pursuit of peace, on the hunt for spiritual fulfilment. I try to explore that in my stories. Also, as a displaced person myself, having been brought up in India and now living in the UK, in my books, I like to explore the idea of roots, what they mean to individuals and to people as a whole.

In my books, I want there to be an element of mystery but I try not to let it overpower the book, take it over. I want it, not to detract from the story, but to complement it, adding flavour to the book. Like the food that is such an integral part of my books, I try to work them to this recipe: a soupcon of mystery, a dash of action, a touch of adventure, a tablespoon of forgiveness and a teaspoon of racial tension, a pinch of romance and a sprinkling of laughter, seasoned liberally with emotion and a good helping of love.

I think a little bit of every author is in every story he or she tells.

In my books, I explore themes of duty, forgiveness and identity, the conflict between generations, the pressure of a closed society and what ‘going home’ entails – themes that are close to my heart.

 

About Renita D’Silva

Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’,’The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’, ‘A Mother’s Secret’ and ‘A Daughter’s Courage’.

 

Links

Sign up to be the first to hear about Renita’s new releases here: http://bit.ly/RdSilvabooks

(Just cut and paste the link into your browser. Renita promises not to share your e-mail and she’ll only contact you when a new book is out!)

‘A Daughter’s Courage’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daughters-Courage-utterly-heartbreaking-secrets-ebook/dp/B06XCZ9B4P/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1502045788&sr=1-5

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

Twitter: @RenitaDSilva

Website: http://renitadsilva.com/

Email: Renitadsilvabooks@gmail.com

Guest Post by Glenn McGoldrick

Gleen McGoldrick is a writer of short stories.  Today Glenn is on my blog with his very own story which I hope you enjoy reading.

 

My Story

Where to start? I liked writing as a kid. Yep. My stories at primary school. Tiger Man was one of them. I wrote and wrote, page after page. Can’t remember any of the story at all. I was probably around 7 years old. I just had the main character, Tiger Man. Total crap.

I won some kind of prize for it. Notepad? Jelly babies? Gold star? Something.

At secondary school I was The Man in English class; won the yearly prize plenty of times. I could spell. I was Mr Coleman’s favourite, when I wasn’t being a little bastard in class.

And I was a reader too. Oh, yes. I liked reading so much that I stole a nice collection from Mr Coleman’s shelves. All the classics, in really attractive covers. There were about ten copies of each book, so he didn’t really notice me skimming a book every couple of days.

And I was a reader. What did I read? Stephen King. Yeah, horror mostly; during my teens, I loved it. Westerns, too.

I kept a diary for a few years too. Found it helpful to write stuff down. But I stopped, in my early 20s. With my mother helping me, I tore up all my diaries, chucked them in the bin. Why? It felt like I was letting go. Of what? Moving on? From what? It felt therapeutic.

Now I have my writing ‘sessions’. Something bothers me, then I write about it, pages, free flow, let it rip. It’s personal, a conversation with me – that’s what I tell myself.

It’s a confessional, a chance to just get it all out, no editor, no censor, just throw it onto the page. Sometimes I’m scared of where it takes me.

Sometimes it takes me to dark places, upsetting places. Painful. Yeah. Sometimes. But I usually feel better afterwards. Lighter. Clearer of mind.

When did I start writing fiction? I had the idea in 2012. Read a ‘How To’ book and thought, this is something I can do.

I enrolled on a course: Creative Writing Flying Start. Different assignments and exercises. The last assignment was to write a story. So I wrote my first story. It was OK, good marks.

I moved to Argentina. I wrote some stories, but didn’t get much done, as my head was coming apart. Thousands of miles from home, and I just didn’t want to be there. I didn’t really want to be with the woman I was with, but I struggled to just say it.

I just kept it to myself, growing more miserable each day, drinking more. I’d sit in the garden until long after midnight, drinking, thinking about my family back home, staring at the tall trees in a neighbour’s garden. I looked into the dark tree tops silhouetted by moonlight, seeing strange shapes, big cats, snipers taking aim at me; I was just hoping to see the faces of friends.

Eventually it all went to hell, and I came home broken and confused. I didn’t know if I’d see her again, how big I’d screwed up, or what was coming next. A week later my mother died.

So, as well as seeing a therapist for depression, I started another writing course with Writer’s College. Somehow I got plenty of work done. How did I focus? Jesus. I don’t know.

But I got work done, happy to have something to throw myself into, and my marks were good. Eventually I started dating again, and felt a lot better about things.

Why writing? Short stories for now. It’s hard at times. Need discipline. Just sit down and write. Never mind the laundry, or making a curry, or going for a bike ride – sit your ass down and write. There’ll always be other stuff to do, so get to it after you write.

And criticism? Yeah, it sucks. I paid for critiques from a professional. Some of them got to me. Not his fault; it just hurt.

You’ve been working on something for a week or two, develop it, get it down, finish it off, sit back and think about how good it is. Then a stranger shows you all the holes in it and you think, Bloody hell! He’s right. It’s not so great.

So, initially it was rough, facing criticism of a story that I’d put a lot of work into. But I toughened up.

I can’t expect every story to be a success, every story to sell. If it does well, then great; if it doesn’t, then too bad. I just get the hell on with the next one.

I pay attention to all the critiques I receive, and try to take all the criticism constructively. If I don’t get too ruffled by some negative remarks, then I see it as a chance to improve, hopefully getting a little better with each story.

And when a story is accepted, it’s great. Relief. Joy. Satisfaction. Validation. I can do this. Show me the money.

So I’ve had some successes, sold some stories, won a competition or two. I’ve had plenty of rejections and disappointments too. So what. It’s all part of the game.

I published a collection of some of my stories on Amazon Kindle. Researched for a couple of months, did all the work, even the cover photo. I wanted to be able to say that I’d done absolutely every part of the process myself. It turned out quite well, I think; it was stressful at times, but very rewarding, and it’s great to see my book on Amazon.

I promote the book on social media, and I’m trying to spread the word, get reviews, all that jazz. I’ve sold some books already, but it’s not enough. It’s never enough.

But, to me, there’s no hurry. The sales will pick up, I think, as I learn how to better promote my work, and until then, well – I’ll just get the hell on with the next story.

 

About Glenn McGoldrick

I worked in land-based casinos for five years, living and working in such diverse places as Luton, Israel, Greece and Middlesbrough!

In 1996 I started to work on cruise ships, then travelled the world for the next 15 years. I saw many wonderful places, had some great times and met some real characters.

I finished working on cruise ships in 2011, and since then I’ve settled in England, making my home in the North East. Life is good, but I still miss a little bit of scuba diving…

 

Links

Website:       http://www.glennmcgoldrick.com/

Kindle:         http://amzn.to/2p1vU0k

Paperback:    http://amzn.to/2pddBFA

Twitter:         @G_T_McGoldrick

Facebook:      Glenn McGoldrick

Goodreads:    http://bit.ly/2pLDbES

 

Extract from ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’ by David John Griffin

Following on from my interview with David John Griffin, I now have a short story for you from ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’.

 

Book Blurb

Dogs are reported for their constant barking …and so begins one of the strangest stories you will ever read. Audrey Ackerman, sent to visit the dogs at a 17th century coach house, is unsettled by paranormal sightings. Stella Bridgeport – manager at The Animal Welfare Union – communicates with Audrey via emails. And those Stella receives are as startling as they are incredible: descriptions of extraordinary events concerning a science fiction writer’s journal; giant swans; bizarre android receptionist; a ghost dog. Insanity or fantasy? Fact or fiction? The only given is, it all starts and ends with two dogs at The One Dog Inn…and other stories: 12 short stories with aspects of the macabre, the surreal or the strangeness of magical realism to entertain and delight you.

 

Extract

Extract from ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’

 

Interview with David John Griffin

I am pleased to welcome David John Griffin back to my blog.  His new book, ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’ was recently published.  I asked David some questions about it.

 

Your new book, ‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’ sounds intriguing. Can you tell me a bit about it please?

It is an imaginative novella with a selection of twelve short stories. The novella is a heady mixture of magical realism, the paranormal and a dose of sci-fi too.

The novella is unusual in as much as it’s laid out as the emails between the two women, interspersed with a science fiction writer’s journal. The story is strange and becomes stranger by the page, keeping the reader “ head-scratching” right to the end. Though eventually all of the jigsaw puzzle pieces come together to present a satisfactory and surprising solution.

The short stories cover a variety of genres including science fiction, magical realism, even a ghost story! All the stories have a “twist in the tail” to surprise and entertain the reader.

 

Have you been writing short stories for long?

Not for as long as I would like: I’ve been writing short stories since the early 90’s. Up until then I concentrated on writing novels. Interesting to note that the novella Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn started life as a short story: I was aiming for 5 to 6000 words. But before I knew it, it had gained a life of its own and came out to over 31,000 words. All of my short stories have one thing in common in the main – they start life without a genre. It’s only after I’ve written a short story do I know what type of story it is.

 

Is the paranormal a subject you are interested in?

Not in an everyday sense and to be honest, I’m surprised how many of my stories have paranormal themes. It’s crept up on me (which is spooky in its own way!).

 

What would your reaction be if you met any of the characters from your books for real?

If it was a few from my first novel, The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb, I’d run a mile! Not quite but some of them are despicable, in particular Theodore Stubb. If I met Donald Clement from Infinite Rooms I’d want to help him. He’s such a fragile personality. I would enjoy meeting Audrey and Stella from Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn, I feel I would get on well with them. Even meeting Gideon Hadley, the science fiction writer from the novella, would be an interesting experience and as he’s a writer, I think we would have a lot to talk about.

It’s strange to think I’d ever meet any of my characters; it’s an interesting question! Which reminds me: The One Dog Inn – the 17th century former coach house – is described in detail in Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn which caused my wife Susan to express a desire to stay there if only it had been real!

 

Do you have a regular writing routine?

No, is the short answer. I have bouts of writing interspersed with months of no writing, which is when I try to catch up on my reading. I tend not to read much when I’m writing – I don’t want to be overtly influenced too much. When I am writing, even that will vary day by day although most of the writing will happen in the evenings. I have just finished the first draft of a science fiction novel which I managed to write in the space of three weeks. That’s the fastest I’ve ever written in my life…

 

Can we look forward to more books from you?

I’ve written my third novel, a fantasy tale which is currently under consideration. It’s byline is “A fantastical journey of imagination”. Then there’s my science fiction novel mentioned previously which I have to finish. After that, I have plans for yet another novel, a magical realism “Tall” tale. Plenty of work ahead for me!

 

How did you come to be published by Urbane Publications?

After pursuing literary agents without success, I tried a few publishers, and got a few “near-hits” but always they pulled out at the last hurdle… then I discovered Urbane Publications via Twitter. So I sent both my first and second novels to Matthew – and the rest is history, as they say. I was drawn to Urbane as they offer a refreshing and innovative style of publishing, particularly when it comes to the closer collaboration between publisher and author. Which means in my case, amongst other things, that Matthew of Urbane allows me to use my own cover designs. (I’m a graphic designer by trade). I also like the fact that Urbane realises that some authors aren’t overnight successes and that it take time and patience to reach a wider platform.

 

Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to write a book?

Write! I mean to say, too much thinking about it can spoil the flow, I think, you have to start typing/writing and keep at it. You don’t have to write every day necessary but even with the odd half an hour here and there, the words soon start building up. I’d also say, don’t worry about the quality of the first draft, plough on till the end without going back to amend anything, including word corrections. That can all be done in the 2nd and subsequent drafts. Write that first draft as if no one else on the planet will ever see it (which is often the case anyway). Finally, make sure your plot is watertight – it helps to have someone else read your final draft before sending off to a literary agent or publisher. Their fresh eyes will spot such things, as well as spelling mistakes which you might have become “word-blind” to.

 

If you had the chance to live your life all over again do you think you would still write books?

Definitely: I love writing. It’s a craft that can never be fully learned, I believe. Each novel is as difficult as the last one, I’m finding, each with their own particular quandaries/problems which need to be solved. That is part of the fascination of writing for me. Having said that, there are certain aspects which are easier the more experienced you are, the more “writing miles” you have under your belt. Who was it said that writing is like exercising muscles – the more you write, the stronger you will get.

 

Notebooks or Computers?

I always carry a notebook with me so that if I’ve a line or an idea I can jot it down straight away before it’s forgotten. For actual writing, I by far prefer the computer. I’m not one for longhand when it comes to actual writing, although I know of other authors who swear by this approach before they get anywhere near a typewriter or computer. For interest, I wrote my first two novels on a good old-fashioned typewriter.

 

Links

‘Two Dogs At The One Dog Inn And Other Stories’ is available from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/two-dogs-at-the-one-dog-inn/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Dogs-One-Dog-Inn/dp/1911331159

‘Infinite Rooms’ is available from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/infinite-rooms/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Infinite-Rooms-gripping-psychological-thriller/dp/1910692603/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1488574787&sr=1-1

‘The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb’ is available from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/the-unusual-possession-of-alastair-stubb/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unusual-Possession-Alastair-Stubb/dp/1910692344/ref=pd_sbs_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5K0V3BDFE4JZEVPJ3NZD

Website – http://www.davidjohngriffin.com

Twitter – @MagicalRealized

 

Interview with Dr. Antonio Menzies

Dr Menzies

So it’s like this!  I was meant to be interviewing Geoff Nelder but instead my questions have been answered by Dr. Antonio Menzies, the main character in the ARIA trilogy…..

 

Dear Sonya,

I’ve been sent your questions to that reprobate author, Geoff Nelder, who is far too idle to answer them himself. I am Dr. Antonio Menzies PhD (HPV), DMS (liguria) and in between seducing rich patients I’m willing to pen some lurid but truthful answers on Nelder’s behalf.

 

How long has Geoff Nelder been writing?

Far too long. He scribbled jokes as a teen that were so awful they were picked for university rag mags. Eg When men smell it’s an accident. When women smell it’s a mystery.

 

What types of books does he write?

Nelder calls them science fiction but look at ESCAPING REALITY, that’s a humorous thriller. Oh, I forgot about that one, he says. Then HOT AIR is a serious thriller with a feisty female being shot down in a hot-air balloon. How can that work? It’s true that EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEE is pure science fiction baloney. Alien artefacts that had been buried for eons leave. Not at escape velocity but so slowly you could stroke them. They’ve been collecting time decoherences – heard of it? Nor me but they exist in a quantum sense. So when these spheres leave orbit, the Earth goes into spasms—argh. Nelder’s most famous—and then only in his street—for his ARIA Trilogy. It’s brilliant because I’m a main character in it. Allegedly, I go mad after being exposed to the antidote for an alien infectious amnesia bug. I know, infectious amnesia doesn’t exist, OR didn’t exist until Nelder invented it. Of all things to create: a bug that infects everyone such that they forget a year’s worth of memory, backwards, each week. You forget how to do your job, where you live, who you married! Eventually, how to read and speak. Pre-apocalyptic and post.

 

Can you tell me a bit about his latest book?

Nelder’s gone all historical fantasy in his latest novel. He holidayed in Malta, discovered my predecessors, Ottoman pirates, abducted the people of a whole island. Well, the spirits of those slaves are crying out for revenge aren’t they? Hence XAGHRA’S REVENGE is finished and looking for an unwise publisher to take it on.

 

Does Geoff Nelder have to do any research?

Don’t mention research! He’s obsessed by getting stuff right. He has to name streets, towns and rivers in the right places. I blame it on him being a geography teacher for 100 years. In ARIA he read every damn book on the brain, amnesia, Alzheimer’s, you name it. No don’t. So into research he emailed an astronaut, Leroy Chaio, for data on the struts of the International Space Station and get this, Leroy replied while he was in orbit!

 

Where does Geoff Nelder get his ideas from?

He steals his ideas from me. No question. Nelder says he oxygenates his brain while on his long cycling tours but I’ve no doubt at all that he sneaks a peek at my prescription pad and little black book for his ideas.

 

How long on average does it take him to write each book?

Book Cover

I was in a pub the other evening and overheard a nerd bookreader say, “I read Geoff Nelder’s ARIA: LEFT LUGGAGE in just a weekend.” What? I happen to know that poor old Nelder spent two years writing that first book in his ARIA trilogy. Granted much of that was in research and another half a year going through his critique group in the British Science Fiction Association, but even so, TWO YEARS to write a book is ridiculous.

 

What is Nelder working on now?

You mean what is he cribbing off me? Shorts. He’s writing shorts as if they are worth reading. He’s written over 100 of them, 84 have been published including 7 this year. Against my advice he’s plotting a sequel to XAGHRA’S REVENGE.

 

Does he have a favourite place to write?

As an idiot researcher Nelder likes to write his stories in their setting. Hence if a scene is in Paris, that’s where you’ll find him, sat at an outside café table swimming in the language, atmosphere and booze. I encourage this, especially with his science fiction. Go to the Moon I tell him. Often.

 

What would Geoff Nelder’s reaction be if a character from one of his books came to life and turned up on his doorstep?

You’re kidding, right? I am here you know.

 

Where does Nelder see himself in five years time?

Never mind him. He’s a boring writer, whereas I’ll be having two or more synchronous affairs with gorgeous women patients all eager to please me to have their cosmetic ops done for half price. Luxury.

 

Hello, Geoff Nelder has spotted me writing these responses, I’ll get them to you and delete this document before he can stop me. While I’m at it I’ll delete some of his projects. Hah, there was one where he used me to promote his ARIA: LEFT LUGGAGE. There, gone.

 

For those who are bothered all Geoff Nelder’s books are in his Amazon Authors page at

UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy and tweets at @geoffnelder

http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

 

About Geoff Nelder

Author Picture

Geoff Nelder is a professional liar, badass editor, and fiction competition judge. He was awarded Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society for his research into air pollution and microclimates. He taught Geography and IT to the ungrateful alive but escaped to write.

His publications include science fiction novels Exit, Pursued by Bee and the ARIA trilogy; and thrillers: Escaping Reality, and Hot Air. Many of his short stories have found homes in mags such as The Horror Zine, Ether Books, eFiction, Encounters, Jimston Journal, Delivered, Screaming Dreams and many anthologies such as Monk Punk, Science Fiction Writers’ Sampler and Zombified.

 

Interview with Tess Rosa Ruiz

Tessa Rosa Ruiz

Tess Rosa Ruiz’s first collection of prose and poetry, ‘Freefall into Us’ was published last year.  I asked her a few questions about her book.

 

Could you tell me a bit about your book, ‘Freefall into Us’?

Hi Sonya, and thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to have a chat about ‘Freefall Into Us’. It is short stories and poetry that poured out of me when I was going through a tough time in my life. The poetry is evident of a crumbling marriage, an affair, cancer, addiction, and the ending short story, ‘Freefall Into Us’ of an almost psychopathic boyfriend I encountered on a dating site. The characters in the short stories could be any of us. It’s about life, love, and the struggles of making sense of it all.

 

It seems to me to be a treasure trove of short stories and poems.  Is the idea that people can dip in and out of your book? 

Yes, exactly. I have always been told to write what you like to read. I love the simplicity of the short story. The quick pleasure I get from writing one. And nine times out of ten, it has to be well written and to the point. No meandering. It needs a quick beginning, middle and end. I don’t really have the desire to write a novel. It just seems like a very long uphill climb. I love the instant reward and gratification I get from short stories and poetry. So yes, I like the way you said that, ‘Dip in and out.’

 

Do you think it’s a book that both men and women will enjoy?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, most of my readers in the beginning were men. They all seemed to love my work and they were the ones that told me this was my calling. I can’t believe how many men have said that they had never read or desired to read poetry. But, after reading mine, how swayed they were and how much they enjoyed it. I think some women get put off by my vulgarity and constant swearing. I definitely think being raised with three brothers had a huge impact on me. Being ‘ladylike’ is not my forte. Lots of women have given me praise for saying how they have felt, but they never had the ‘balls’ to say it. I am glad to be their voice.

 

Is there going to be a follow up?

I am currently working on a book of poetry, titled ‘An American Slumber’ that will come out in September of this year. In late 2017, I will be putting out a short story collection titled, ‘The Art of A Dour Act.’ I have been asked by many to make one of my short stories, ‘The Pasture/Europa’ (In ‘Freefall Into Us’) into a novel. I am currently considering this very much. I want my readers to stay with me. 😉

 

When did you first start writing?

I started writing in journals when I was very young. It was an escape for me. Growing up with boys was at times very difficult. There was never much peace in our home, and it was then I would hide myself away and write. I mostly wrote poetry. I took a creative writing course in high school and my instructor told me I would be a writer some day. When I was 19, I moved to Seattle, worked my ass off to keep up with the cost of living here, and stopped writing. I got married at 28, had two daughters, and when one was off to college, picked up pen and paper and started ‘Freefall’ at age 50.

 

Do you make a note of your ideas as soon as they come to mind?

Yes! I use to tell myself, ‘I’ll remember, no need to jot it down.” Big mistake. I let two amazing story ideas escape me because I didn’t write them down. I make sure to keep a note pad and pen in my bag at all times.

 

Where do you mainly do your writing?

Coffee shops in Seattle. I have a couple of favorites. They need to be big, with lots of bustle going on. I always write with music blaring in my ears (Ipod). I find myself randomly staring at people. This helps me think so much. I know, weird. I have been writing in my apartment as well. It is very cute with a courtyard balcony. I feel I am in NY there.

 

How does it feel to be a published author?

It feels fucking amazing. Really. I never thought I would do it, though I had aspired to do it at a very young age. The day my daddy told me he was beyond proud that I had been published, and wondered where I had learned to ‘write like that’, well, that was one of the happiest days of my life. My father was also a poet.

 

I’m sure a lot of people in the UK would love to meet you.  Are you planning a trip here at any stage? 

I have thought of it. Many times. I am definitely the ‘struggling artist’ and just don’t have the money. When I do have money, I head straight for Brooklyn. I do want to make it happen though, for sure. Have always wanted to see Paris, as well.

 

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

I would love to be able to write full time. Living on the water somewhere.

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Reading. I don’t own a tv. (don’t get me wrong, I miss it like hell) I spend a lot of time with my 17-year-old daughter. She did the drawing in my book. I spend as much time as I can with my 21-year-old daughter, though she works almost every day. I am not dating anyone, decided I like being alone. My best friend is having her first baby at 42. I have a feeling I will be seeing her a lot!!!

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Crap. That’s tough. Well, I think self doubt and/or inadequacy is something we all struggle with. Whenever I feel like throwing in the towel, or wondering why I chose to close myself off from the world on a regular basis, I think about what my best friend said to me. “You were given two gifts. Photographer and writer. Your photos and your words make people happy. Why would you rob the world of that? Make your mark. Do what you do. It’s who are you.” That always keeps me forging ahead.

 

‘Freefall into Us’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/freefall-into-us/

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Freefall-into-Us-Words-Lust-ebook/dp/B0151EWT80/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458398793&sr=1-1&keywords=freefall+into+us

 

Tess Rosa Ruiz’s Website – http://www.tessruizbooks.com

 

Halloween 2015 Event

Halloween Pumpkins

You are all invited to my Halloween blog event taking place day and night on the 31st October 2015.

There will be plenty of activities; short stories, guest posts, giveaways and maybe even some reviews.

Waiters will be at the ready to serve non-stop drinks including High Spirits, Ghoulish Cocktails and Witchy Brews.  There will also be oodles of food; Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Stew and even Pumpkin Curry!  You will not go without.  So come and join me for a fun-packed day and night.

 

Cover Reveal – ‘The Attic Room’ by Linda Huber

Book Cover

This is the cover of Linda Huber’s new book which is being published in July.  Read on to find out more about ‘The Attic Room’.

 

Book Blurb

A father’s secret – a mother’s lie – a family mystery

An unexpected phone call, and Nina’s life takes a disturbing twist. Who is John Moore? And how does he know her name?

Nina travels south to see the house she inherited, but sinister letters arrive and she finds herself in the middle of a police investigation. With her identity called into question, Nina uncovers a shocking crime. But what, exactly, happened in the attic room, all those years ago? The answer could lie close to home.

The arrival of her ten-year-old daughter compounds Nina’s problems, but her tormentor strikes before she can react. Searching for the truth about the Moore family puts both Nina and her child into grave danger. And someone nearby is not the person she thinks…

 

About Linda Huber

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Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she trained as a physiotherapist. She spent ten years working with neurological patients, firstly in Glasgow and then in Switzerland. During this time she learned that different people have different ways of dealing with stressful events in their lives, and this knowledge still helps her today, in her writing. Linda now lives in Arbon, Switzerland, where she works as a language teacher in a medieval castle on the banks beautiful Lake Constance.

Her debut novel The Paradise Trees was published in 2013, followed by The Cold Cold Sea in 2014. Linda has also had over 50 short stories and articles published in women’s magazines, and in 2014 contributed a story to the charity anthology Winter Tales. The Attic Room is her third novel, and will be published at the end of July.

 

Links

Website: http://lindahuber.net/

Blog:  http://lindahuber.net/blog/

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon US:  http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1433057929&sr=8-1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19

‘Petit Four’ – Book Launch

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Today ‘Petit Four’ is published by Simon & Fig.  The cover alone is bound to get your mouth watering.

 

Cake is often a major part of life’s celebrations, both big and small. From birthdays to wedding days, cake, in all its delectable concoctions, marks joyous occasions with a sweetness that can’t be beat. But even better is the love that is shared when two people connect over a sweet confection. Maybe it’s a cute new guy wreaking havoc on a broken heart, or a beautiful woman testing the limits of love, or an old beau stirring up long lost desires. Whatever the circumstances, cake can always be relied upon to save the day when it comes to affairs of the heart. In this collection of short stories, cake is the delicious center around which each tale unfolds and romance blooms.

When single mom and journalist, Olivia, sets out to find romance in Cindy Arora’s “Cake Therapy,” she gets a little help from her friends and more than a few slices of cake to coax her off the couch and into the arms of a truly great love. Lucie Simone’s “Aprez Vous” finds success-driven Tara in Paris reminiscing of her long lost love, Jean Marc, and her niece bound and determined to reunite them. In “The Heart-Shaped Secret of Raspberry Jam by Sue Watson, cake enthusiast, Milly, meets her match in the kitchen, and other places, when new owners take over the tea rooms where she works and her talents and her heart are put to the test. And Scott, mayor of a small seaside community, flirts with political suicide in Joel Zlotnik’s “Her Charms” when he falls for new-in-town Nicole, an entrepreneur with a passion for cupcakes, and whose latest venture proves a little too sexy for the sleepy beach town.

From San Francisco to Paris, from small towns to tea rooms, this anthology tempts readers with humor, style, romance, and the powerful aphrodisiac that is cake. Petit Four is four stories, frosted with love.

Interview with Madeline Dyer

2014-03-22_20.11.15-1Madeline Dyer has had her work published by various publishers.  She kindly agreed to be interviewed for my blog.

Can you tell me a bit about your latest book?

The latest book I wrote is The Imposter, which I have just begun querying–and have already received a request for the full manuscript from an agent. It’s a science fiction thriller aimed at the YA market, though it is suitable for the mature end of the YA readership too.

However, I’d also like to talk a bit about my previous book, Untamed. It hasn’t yet been released, but the full manuscript is under review with several editors at publishing houses and I have already been offered a contract, so hopefully I’ll be able to say a lot more about that very soon! Untamed is a YA dystopian manuscript with strong fantasy elements.

Which types of books do you write?

I write fantasy and science fiction books, predominantly. Recently, although I’ve still been writing science fiction, I’m moving more into the thriller and mystery territory as well, which I’m enjoying a lot. I also have had seventeen short stories published, appearing online, in ebooks and paperback anthologies in aid of charity.

All my fiction is traditionally published. 

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Definitely! For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write. I just love the freedom that writing offers and how I can be transported into a new world so quickly.

Can we expect another book from you soon?

Hopefully, Untamed will be published very soon (as I’ve already received one offer of publication from a publisher). I’ve also just started querying my latest book, The Imposter, and the first book I wrote, Spirit Of Fire, is also being reviewed. 

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to try their hand at writing?

Just to write. Honestly, if you want to be a writer, then you have to write. It’s (the main) part of the job. And write because you want to, not because you think it’s what you should be doing, or because someone else thinks you should be a writer. It needs to be your choice. And you must love what you’re writing–readers will be able to tell if you don’t.

It’s the night before your new book is due to be published.  How do you feel?

Ooh, nervous, excited… Even on the nights before I have a new short story being published I can’t sit still!

Describe a day in your life.

At the moment, I’m studying at Exeter University for an English degree, so my weekdays consist of lectures, seminars, and coursework, with any spare time dedicated to writing (if there is any spare time!). Weekends are a bit nicer, writing-wise, as I can usually get 3,000 words written in a day. I prefer to write first thing in the morning, or last thing before I go to bed.

The type of writing I get done each day, (and, yes, I do try to write every day), varies a lot depending on which stage in the writing process I’m at. If I’m writing the first draft, I can be really free and imaginative–pretty much everything goes. The second and third drafts are more about developing the plot, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and tightening up on characterisation. Also, at this point, a lot of restructuring takes place, so I have some days that I’ll spend ages ‘writing’, but my word count won’t change a lot. After this stage, what I call the fine-toothed-comb editing takes place. This is the small stuff, word choice, etc., yet I often find myself writing new scenes and deleting others that don’t work/don’t add anything to the plot at this stage too. The final editing/read through is one of my favourite things to do in a ‘writing day’. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I live on a farm where we breed Shetland ponies, so I love spending time with them! I also own a number of other animals–guinea pigs, a rabbit, a cat and a goldfish–so I’m looking after them a lot.

I also enjoy reading and blogging a lot. Oh, and catching up on iPlayer!

 

Below are some useful links:-

Madeline Dyer’s website – http://www.MadelineDyer.co.uk

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/MadelineDyerAuthor

Twitter – @MadelineDyerUK

 

Interview with Kelly Florentia

KellyAuthorPic

Kelly Florentia was very interested in an interview for my blog.  Her anthology ‘To Tell a Tale or Two’ is on a 99p promotion from tomorrow.

 

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Tell me a bit about your collection of short stories which were published in February this year.

Hi Sonya, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. My anthology, To Tell a Tale or Two, is a collection of ten of my short stories. Themes cover relationships, family dramas and a couple of ghostly tales. They’re quick reads, all with subtle twists or surprise endings. It would suit anyone who hasn’t got time for a full length novel, as such, as they can dip in and out of this one at their leisure without losing the essence of a story. Having said this, some people have told me that they’ve read the entire eBook in one sitting. The age of the characters range from seventeen to eighty, so I hope it will appeal to all age groups, but it is essentially a contemporary women’s fiction read.

It’s been well received with five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ve also had several emails from Readers telling me how much they’ve enjoyed the different plots and twists, and how they’ve found the protagonists engaging. Some have even asked if I’ll be introducing any of the characters in other stories. Greek Connection seems to be the most popular. I think this is because it’s set in a sunny location, which is quite encouraging because the opening chapters of my first novel, Betrayal (not yet published) are set in Cyprus. I don’t think Readers realise how much an author relishes receiving emails and good reviews about their work. It always makes my day and makes writing all the more worthwhile.

Do you think they would appeal to men as well as women?

Before the reviews and feedback, I’d have probably said no. But yes, men seem to be enjoying the book too, which I’m absolutely thrilled about.

Roughly how many short stories do you think you’ve written over the years?

At a guess I’d say close to a hundred, and I’m still going strong! I love reading and writing short stories. I always have and I think I always will. There’s something quite gratifying about a sharp, quick read with a satisfying or clever ending. Short stories are a lot more popular than some people may think. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a film adaptation of Truman Capote’s novella (1958). And Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic, The Birds, was inspired by Daphne Du Maurier’s story of the same name taken from her anthology, The Apple Tree (1952).  And let’s not forget the incredibly talented, award winning short story writer Alice Munro, who scooped The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on the final edits of my second novel. It’s a romantic, contemporary drama with a subtle supernatural wave running through it. The plot revolves around a forty-something couple who’ve let their relationship slip into complacency, and how they try to get it back on track. Or do they? It has lots of twist and turns including a ‘will she, won’t she affair’. Again, it’s aimed at fans of women’s fiction but I do hope it’ll appeal to some men too.

When did you first start writing?

I started writing professionally several years ago. I had my first story published in Best magazine, which gave me an instant boost. I haven’t looked back since. My stories have appeared in women’s magazines worldwide and have been featured in several charity anthologies. But before this, I took a creative writing course with The Writers’ News. I was fortunate enough to have the exceptionally talented journalist and novelist Margaret James as my tutor. I’ve a lot to thank her for.

Describe a day in your life.

My day usually kicks off with household chores, very boring, I know, but I use the time to think up plots and ideas for my WIP. What can I say, I’m a multitasker. I then turn into a writer for a few hours (with a few Tweets and Facebook updates in-between.) Come lunchtime, I’m an athlete pounding the streets of North London (okay, trotting around the local park). I’ll return to my writing and online work in the afternoon, that’s if I’m not meeting up with my mum or friends for coffee. And finally, between six and seven I turn into a Masterchef! I love cooking my own food from scratch. My mum has given me lots of her delicious family recipes, which my husband adores!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Apart from reading, I enjoy going for long walks and catching up with family and friends over a glass of wine or two. I’m also a yoga fan, and jogging has become a bit of a passion for me.

Which type of books do you enjoy reading?

I mostly enjoy women’s fiction, but I also love psychological thrillers and some of the classics.  I’m currently rereading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Oh, and I love reading anthologies, of course.

 

Links

You can download To Tell a Tale or Two: http://9nl.eu/dnmq  for UK

http://9nl.be/xq6k   for US

Facebook: – http://facebook.com/kelly.florentia

Twitter: – @kellyflorentia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7915633.Kelly_Florentia?from_search=true

Website: – http://www.kellyflorentia.co.uk

YouTube Trailer: – http://youtu.be/jfLU6lguRjE

Book Launch: ‘Nine Lives’ by Terry Tyler

Nine Lives

Terry Tyler has written several novels and her first book ‘You Wish’, was the winner of the ‘Best Women’s Lit/Chick Lit’ category in the eFestival of Words 2013.  I reviewed ‘You Wish’ last year and you can read what I thought here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/you-wish/

Terry’s novels appeal to lots of people.  They make for addictive reading and deal with a number of everyday real life issues.

Never failing to surprise her readers, Terry has now tried her hand at writing short stories.  Her brand new book ‘Nine Lives’ is officially out this Wednesday and for five days, yes FIVE WHOLE DAYS, everyone has got a chance to download her new book for free.  Just click on the links below from Wednesday 20th November onwards.

UK Readers

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nine-Lives-Terry-Tyler-ebook/dp/B00GQFDSI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384768774&sr=1-1&keywords=Nine+Lives+Terry+Tyler

US Readers

http://www.amazon.com/Nine-Lives-Terry-Tyler-ebook/dp/B00GQFDSI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384774808&sr=1-1&keywords=Nine+lives+Terry+Tyler

To learn a bit more about Terry click on this link to go to her Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1384802076&sr=8-2-ent

If you do read ‘Nine Lives’ remember to leave a review on Amazon.

Interview with Martin Pond

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Back in April 2012 I reviewed ‘Dark Steps’, Martin Pond’s debut book of short stories.  My review can be found here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/dark-steps/

Martin very kindly offered to take part in an interview.

How long have you been writing for?

Writing has always been something I’ve loved. I wrote a lot in my teens and early twenties, but that somehow fell by the wayside as the world of work got in the way. I started again in 2007, at the suggestion of my partner. I gained further impetus from taking a diploma in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, and haven’t stopped since then (though, sad, to say, the world of work is an ever-present obstruction).

Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

My career for the past 20 years has been in IT, in a number of different fields. And that is not without creativity – writing a program, designing software, building a user interface, these are all creative activities. But they don’t scratch the itch like writing always has. Also, I’ve always felt that I’m half decent when it comes to stringing words together – I won a big silver cup for a story I wrote as a child, and it sat on my parents’ mantelpiece for a year. That sort of thing makes you feel pretty good, I can tell you, and gives you confidence in your own abilities from an early age.

Have any authors influenced you in your writing?

Inevitably, I’m influenced by the authors I like to read. Fortunately, I like different authors for different situations and moods. I love Stephen King – one of my most treasured reviews described my writing as “like a British Stephen King”. I also very much enjoy Nick Hornby, with “High Fidelity” being one of my favourite books of any genre. And Margaret Atwood is simply incredible, as are Cormac McCarthy and Chuck Palahniuk. I particularly admire McCarthy’s concision, and try to bear that in mind with my own writing.

What are you currently working on at the moment?

I am trying very hard to finish my first novel-length work, Drawn To The Deep End. It charts a thirty-something’s decline in the wake of his fiancée’s death. No, it’s not a comedy. I have 65,000 words down, and I know how the story ends, I just need to get there… I also have three short stories that are crying out to be written but I’ve promised myself I won’t start them (beyond rough notes) until the novel is finished.

Can you describe a day in your life?

After a relaxing morning writing on my golden typewriter (sorry, younger readers may need to Google ‘typewriter’), I recline on top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies (sorry again, that line is for fans of Rainier Wolfcastle), to count my Booker and Pulitzer prizes. Then I wake up, stop dreaming and stumble off to work…

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to try their hand at writing a novel?

The hardest thing is to just make a start. So, to paraphrase King, just take a character, put them in a situation, and start writing. You’ll find the story as you go. Also… you’ll be forever thinking that what you’ve just written is rubbish. DON’T let that stop you. Just keep going, get something down. You can revise and improve it later. Also, and this is very important, the best way to catch errors and things that just don’t work is to read what you’ve written aloud. Those bits that catch in your mouth? They need changing.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I work full-time, three quarters of our house is in mid-decoration, we have a pre-school son and I try to write too… what spare time?

What sort of books do you like to read?

So many different types. Perhaps some examples would help: I very much enjoyed “Let’s Kill Love” by Mark Kilner, a collection of dark short fiction published earlier this year. I devoured “Joyland” by Stephen King whilst on a recent holiday, further proof, if proof were needed, that he’s not just a horror writer. And I’m currently reading “The Psychopath Test” by Jon Ronson – disturbing, thought-provoking and yet also funny in equal measure.

I would like to thank Martin for taking the time to answer my questions.  Below are some links:-

‘Mémoires de l’Enfant Terrible’

Mémoires de l’Enfant Terrible

Wintergarden Presse joined the publishing world in August 2012.  Their goal is to publish books specifically designed for print.  I was given the wonderful opportunity of reviewing their very first title, ‘Mémoires de l’Enfant Terrible’.

This is such a sweet and adorable little book.  It’s so small and compact and it’s bound to find a special home on any bookshelf.  It would make a wonderful gift for your friends or loved ones.  I really like the classy design on the inside of the back and front covers too.

‘Mémoires de l’Enfant Terrible’ is ideal for both children and adults.  Well thought out, it consists of three beautifully illustrated short stories each covering a different subject.  They get you thinking about the important things in life, but in a simple way.

My favourite story was the first one about never forgetting your dreams.  Always keep them with you no matter what happens because they can come true.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

For this and other great titles visit http://www.wintergardenpresse.com and while you’re there why not read their blog too.

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