An Interview With … Marjorie Mallon

Thank you to Emma for this wonderful interview at her blog Books And Wine Gums.

Today I’m joined by the very creative Marjorie Mallon to talk about her writing, her photography, and where all the ideas come from.

Hi Marjorie – first off then, tell us a bit about the thinking behind Mr Sagittarius. What’s it about?

Read the interview here: https://booksandwinegums.wordpress.com/2020/06/06/an-interview-with-marjorie-mallon/

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Author Spotlight – James J. Cudney #Author #Interview #Spotlight #May #Promos

 


Today, it is my great pleasure to welcome author of family drama and mystery genres, book reviewer, and enthusiastic supporter of the writing community James J. Cudney to my blog. 

Jay is sharing some fascinating insights into his writing life. And Jay’s books are on promo during May! (So whatever you do don’t miss out on the offer links towards the end of the interview.)

In my interviewer mode I sometimes like to call myself MJ… So, donning my MJ superpowers… Lol. Let us begin.

MJ: I’d love it if you could tell me a little about yourself and your writing journey.

Jay: Writing has always been part of my life, but it went on the backburner after graduating from college. I’d jot a few lines down here and there… everyone at work would send me their documents to proof or fix. Friends would ask for advice on how to summarize a situation or meeting. Then I worked for 15 years in a complex corporate and technology role. I had no time to write, but when I left in 2016, I decided to explore my passion again. Three years later, I have eight books. I seriously don’t know how it happened… I mean I do… but really… it feels like someone else lived this life and now that I’m back in a corporate technology role, figuring out how to balance both of these versions of me at the same time is almost impossible. The one thing I do know: I am thrilled to be a part of the literary book world, and I will never leave it again!

MJ: I’d love to find out more about you. Where are you from? What anecdotes would you like to share? What makes you tick?

Jay: I was born in Fort Myers, Florida in the USA. Various ancestors immigrated to the US between 1750 and 1900 from Germany, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Three of thirty-two branches seem to have arrived before 1750 but I cannot be certain when. The last person to emigrate was in 1910, so we’ve been here for a very long time. They mostly settled in the PA-NY region, and my immediate family all grew up on Long Island, the suburbs of New York City and not too far from the Hamptons. Although I lived a 45-minute drive or train ride from NYC, I only visited a handful of times before I turned twenty-one years old. My parents weren’t big fans of the city, and as an only-child, I didn’t get out very much. It’s amusing that I now live here, and my parents visit at least one Sunday a month for brunch and to wander around a new neighborhood with me. I also like to learn about new cultures and visit different parts of the world. I’ve been to Europe, Asia, and South America. I’ve been to Canada and Mexico numerous times, and 35 / 50 states. I would love to get to Africa and Australia this decade. I much prefer colder weather, so I’m even open to a trip to Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.

MJ: Some ‘marketing experts’ advise that you should have one photo of yourself on all of your social media. I notice you have several, and one with a very fetching bow tie. What are your thoughts on this? (I tend to think it is nice to have more than one photo as it gives an indication of aspects of the author’s personality.) 

Jay: I agree with you 100%. When I think of a single picture, I think of fake advertising. It’s a specific pose to reach a specific audience. I have one professional picture which was taken on my last day at a prior job, so I could use it on LinkedIn for future networking. I like having different looks so my personality shines through. I love the bow tie photo – it’s from a wedding I went to in Florida three years ago… for… the narrator I mentioned earlier! Thank you for the compliment. That’s pretty much my natural everyday look… okay, joking… it’s definitely not the normal me, but I do like to have a bit of fun in my photos.

MJ: Yes, why not and we both like avatars! Here’s yours!

MJ: I’ve never been to New York, or to the USA. Sigh. As we are confined to our homes during this time it would be lovely if you describe your favourite view from your home? Or a favourite place you enjoy going to.

Jay: Quarantine is definitely an experience we shall not forget. I don’t mind it much because I’m a homebody, but I do miss getting out to see friends or eating at restaurants. I’m lucky in that I have a large one-bedroom apartment in a safe and quiet part of the city. It also has a seven-hundred-square-foot terrace and I’m on the top floor, so I can see great horizons and look upon parts of the East River. I have flowerboxes and large trees on the terrace, including a small arbor and several bushes, as well as a dining area and a lounging area.

When I feel trapped, I can step onto the terrace and experience a bit of nature and the sounds of the city. Sometimes it’s too windy, but it’s usable from March thru November, as long as the temperature stays above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I spent a good part of this morning assembling a raised flower bed to grow vegetables this summer. Tonight, we’ll eat outside. It’s a bit of a magical place.

MJ: How delightful. I love your colour scheme and how nature joins you on your terrace.

MJ: You read and review so many books. I’m in awe. Do you believe that all authors should read extensively/review? How important do you think it is for an author to read in multiple genres?

Jay: I am a lucky guy, and I am grateful for all that I have been given. I live with my partner, but we do not have children. We have a rambunctious two-year-old shiba inu dog named Baxter.

Other than those two, and my job, and visiting family and friends, my time is pretty much my own. I am able to prioritize non-work hours to focus on writing, reading, and blogging. Up until three years ago, I didn’t have a blog nor had I written a book, so my reading choices came from book series I’d come to enjoy and finding new books at the store. Suddenly, when my blog took off and I published my debut novel, my reading choices skyrocketed. I was getting books from publishers for free, subscribing to NetGalley, and meeting bunches of indie authors who wanted to share book reviews. I made it a priority to get to know them, as it helped my own book marketing skills and I built a network of amazing people around the world. Now, I feel guilty because I’ve met so many wonderful authors yet I cannot find the time to read all their books. I split my reading in half now. Fifty percent comes from series or authors I enjoy reading, and the remaining half comes from indie authors I’ve met or new authors I occasionally try to help when time permits. I do think authors should read in all genres they write in, plus a few others to learn how to blur the lines. It’s hard to review when I’m writing or editing, so I need to balance those pieces. It’s important for authors to know their limits and not spread themselves too thin. It’s also important to make connections and help others just as we’ve been helped in the past.

MJ: We’re on the same page. I’ve had so much help in this writing journey so I love to pay it forward by helping other authors too. It is all about community. I love your dog – so cute!

MJ: How do you manage your time? I believe you returned to full-time work recently. I also work full-time (but for now I am on furlough.) Generally, I find it difficult to find the time to do what I want… But, you seem to smash it, what’s your secret?

Jay: Thank you – that means a lot. I do pride myself of multi-tasking and achieving a lot in a brief amount of time. I’m super-organized and keep an Excel document with a list of tasks and a list of posts planned for my blog going out for 3 months. I have several ‘open’ spots for when something new comes up, but it contains all my marketing plans for my own books, all my blog segments, and all the books I plan to read. I fill in once a week with something new that comes up… that way, when someone asks if I can share a post on them, I sometimes can make it work. I also know when I am tapped out and can’t do anything else, given my schedule.

I get up 2 hours before I start work so that I can spend 90 minutes clearing my email and social media accounts. I want to start work with confidence that I’m not already behind. I run through it again at night, balance cooking, the gym, and errands, and then I make time to read for an hour or so before bed. I keep to a routine, and I ask myself every morning – what are my priorities today? Nothing changes them, short of an emergency or better method of accomplishing a task… I’m dedicated to keeping this running smoothly, and when I need the downtime, I take it. That’s the only real advice I have in this realm, but it works for me. 

The new job after three years has been difficult to adapt to. I lost ten hours a day, which basically equates to reading 2 books per week and writing 10 chapters per week. So… I knocked my Goodreads Reading Challenge down from 208 to 104 this year, and I will publish only 2 books instead of 3, as originally planned. I’m sorry about the work situation for you. I hope things change quickly… it’s a little scary what the future could bring, but maybe it will turn around faster than we expect.

MJ: Yes, it is scary. I hope the turn around is faster Jay. Thank you so much for your kind words. Luckily, I’m at that stage in my life when writing full-time is my end goal. Perhaps that goal post might be brought nearer than I originally expected.

MJ: What are your favourite authors and books. What have they taught you?

Jay: I’m a big fan of Agatha Christie, Ken Follett, Kate Morton, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry James. Although I’m not nearly as talented, I’m probably a combination of all five of these amazing authors. They’ve taught me how to balance the detail and depth of a character with letting readers have their own imagination. Often a review will say I’ve added too much to the picture, but I think there’s always room for creativity, and what I project might be different from what the reader perceives.

MJ: How did you find your recent video interview experience with Valentina? 

Valentina is so easy to work with, and I actually relaxed more than I expected. Two years ago, I was on a radio show, and I spoke too quickly and softly. I was better this time, but I still felt like I could be more personable and outgoing than I come across. I recommend all authors do something like this, then learn how you’re perceived. It helps you create your image and figure out how to interact with others in a way that makes you shine. You should give it a try, then we can learn more about you too. 😊

MJ: Oh, how terrifying! I am considering starting a Youtube channel but will need to get some practice in before I dare to chat with Valentina.

MJ: If you could introduce me to one of your favourite characters what would they say to me.

Jay: Help! He’s making me do things I never thought I’d do. Please, I’ll pay you to stop him from controlling my actions. (Ah, there’s my humor coming out…)

MJ: Love it! Every book needs at least one funny character.

MJ: Finish and edit this sentence to reflect you, the day to day Jay:  Each day one of my socks goes missing… (This happens to me all the time!)

Hmm… did the washer or dryer eat them? Each day one of my socks goes missing… Baxter has an unhealthy fetish for fabric, and he is vicious about socks. If there’s ever a sock that falls from the drawer or the laundry basket, he steals it. Aggressively, then he growls when I try to take it back. It’s nuts. He’s the sweetest dog until socks are involved. I find half eaten socks all over the apartment. I’ve threatened to make him pay for the replacements out of his dog food allowance.

MJ: Now I know who the culprit is. Baxter has been teleporting here to eat our socks too. Naughty doggy!

MJ: How do you decide on the titles for your books.

The titles in the Braxton Campus Mysteries are a play on words. The 1st and the 2nd word mean one thing together, and then 2nd and the 3rd mean something entirely different. Take the latest: Frozen Stiff Drink. Frozen Stiff means you’ve got a dead body. Stiff Drink means you need something to relax. Not only are those the two themes to the book, but it’s a clue to the murder weapon in this mystery. It’s the same setup for the first five in the series too, except Academic Curveball is only two words. Here’s where I messed up… I honestly thought curveball was two words, so the title was Academic Curve Ball, meaning Academic Curve and Curve Ball… the book was about grades being changed on the baseball team, so it was a cool title… then a beta reader pointed out that it was one word. I was heartbroken for days and thought of different titles… couldn’t work it out!

MJ: Giveaways of books, got any tips?

Jay: Rafflecopter has some free options. I like doing random comment winners on a blog post. Ultimately, people want free stuff, so you have to do them… but then shipping can be expensive for physical books. I usually focus on audiobooks or Kindle editions.  I participated in the Goodreads giveaways when they were free, but when they went to over $100, I didn’t see the value in getting your money back, so I stopped doing those. Instagram has become very popular for them.

MJ: How do your family and friends respond to your writing career? Are they supportive?

Jay: They are supportive. My mom and a few other relatives read all the books. Some haven’t said anything, and occasionally… it bugs me. I’d happily give them to them for free, but I don’t like pushing my work on others either. Friends have surprised me. Some haven’t offered to help in any way, shape, or form. Others who weren’t that close have been super supportive. I think it just comes down to those who like books read them, those who aren’t readers ignore it! I am totally okay with it because everyone has their own online stores or products and services. I can’t or haven’t done tons to help them either… it’s impossible to keep up, and with friends, you always know they’d be there if you really needed them to be. For the most part, they all think it’s cool. I hardly ever bring it up around others tho, as I feel weird about it. It’s not a secret, but I tend not to discuss my writing career with friends and family unless they ask me questions.

MJ: Do you plot a little, or a lot? Or not at all?

Jay: 100% start with a plot and detailed outline that notes 2 or 3 scenes and the key things to happen in them. But it might only say something like “Kellan goes to the diner and overhears a conversation that provides him a clue about the time of the murder. Involves Character A and this location.” As I’m writing the beginning of the scene, I decide who else should appear in it from the supporting cast, so that I can share side stories and keep the feel of a wonderful small community. I try to include 3 or 4 of these in each book so I can have a larger series in development over time.

MJ: What do you think of social media? Any tips for managing the time suck that it is.

Jay: I absolutely hate it. But it’s absolutely necessary. Routine is best. I have one for all sites I’m on. I follow it in the morning and again when I’m done with work. If I let myself go on again before bed, it’s more casual and I’ll just randomly check for tags or people that I’m curious about. It’s important to limit your time, otherwise you’re going down the rabbit hole. Two hours max a day for me, and then I force myself to switch to genealogy, Spades, or random Wikipedia reads.

MJ: Tell us about your audio book journey. How did you set about transferring your writing so it could be listened to in audio form. Are you a keen audio book fan?

Jay: This one is interesting. I do not like audiobooks. I am a quick reader, and I often read a book in less time than the average reader. This is only because I’ve read over a thousand books this decade, so it’s just become the norm to me. Listening to an audiobook is generally 4 times as long for me. I don’t have that amount of time, plus I like to imagine my own voices for the characters. So… big reveal… shocking, I know, but I don’t actually listen to audiobooks. I also get distracted too easily. If I have headphones or earbuds, I can walk around the apartment. I find myself making coffee and cleaning something, then 10 minutes have gone by and I tuned out of the book! So… I can’t listen to one. I’ve listened to most of mine, because that’s the right thing to do. My publisher handles the selection process, and then the narrator will reach out to me for any tips. I’ve never picked my own narrator… too bad, a good friend of mine is a narrator and I would’ve loved to give him the book! But I’m glad for those who have been selected, and they all bring something extra to the story and the setting.

MJ: It’s great to see that you have your books translated into other languages. How did you arrange this, was it a complex process?

Jay: Oh! This is another one my publisher handled. They told me they were beginning the process, and I had to provide some guidance. A month later, I saw the ad for a book I wrote in Spanish, and I didn’t even know it was done. Shocked, I say! So… I wish I could help there, but I wasn’t directly involved. I’ve now got 5 in different languages, so I’m eagerly figuring out to market them and learning German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish so I can share new types of posts. I’m someone fluent in Spanish, but only in conversation, not in book marketing!

MJ: Have you got any pearls of wisdom for a new writer?

Jay: Know your goals. If you want fame, money, influence, etc. If you just write because you want to write and have no plan or thought about where to go, you won’t (in 99% of the cases) be successful. Be sure to have a 6-month, 1-year, 2-year plan so you can pace yourself and see modest wins in the beginning. Adjust and adapt. Re-baseline. Always think about the future needs and plans.

MJ: Would you ever consider doing a Tik Tok video? Or do you prefer not to.

Jay: Umm… I’ve heard of it. I’ve seen a few. I’m so inundated with everything I have to do now, I can’t take on anything new! LOL I supposed I should learn it at some point tho, right?

MJ: I’m tempted, but… it might embarrass my kids. Not that that would stop me!

MJ: Share a funny story to cheer us all up in Lockdown.

Jay: I wear glasses and contacts. Before quarantine, I wore contacts to work every day. Now that I’m home all the time, I tend to wear my glasses. I try not to wear contacts much now unless I have an important work meeting and need to go on video chat. When I’m walking Baxter in my mask, and it’s a glasses day, they fog up. I’ve almost stepped into traffic, bumped into signs, and had to stop in the middle a sidewalk simply to be able to see and not fall down. It’s embarrassing, and I now put a tissue at the top of the mask. Someone once stopped on the street, about six feet away, and said, “Are you okay, do you need me to call an ambulance?” I must’ve looked like such a fool just staring into space waiting for my glasses to clear up. I mumbled something like “all good, just waiting for my spectacles to defog, ma’am.” As the person walked by making an odd noise, he said, “Actually, I’m a sir.” Lord, I shouldn’t ever talk to people. I’m a mess.

MJ: Lol. That happens to me all the time! No, not being called Ma’am or Sir, my glasses fogging up!

May Promos

Jay’s books are on promo during May. This week its his debut 2017 novel Watching Glass Shatter, Download the Kindle format here as it’s only .99 from 5/17 thru 5/21. 

Frozen Stiff Drink: Death at Danby Landing, the 6th book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, will be available as a .99 Kindle download. via Amazon.

The 3rd book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries series Flower Power Trip is on sale for only .99 cents from 5/20 thru 5/24. You can download it to your Kindle here

The 4th book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Mistaken Identity Crisis, is available for only .99 as a Kindle download from May 21st thru 25th. If you haven’t experienced this mystery and family drama, get it now via Amazon.

Not only were many of the books in the Braxton Campus Mysteries discounted to .99 this week, but the 5th book, Haunted House Ghost, is also available as a Kindle download for only .99 from 5/29 thru 6/2. To take advantage of this discount, visit Amazon via this link..

Father Figure is a .99 Kindle download from 5/23 thru 5/27 – help yourselves! Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it! You should pick it up before the virtual book club coming up soon… check it out @ Download @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure for only .99 this week.

Bio

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education,Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries.


Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries. There are six books currently available in multiple formats: Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook. Some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German. The books are Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, Haunted House Ghost, and Frozen Stiff Drink.

Websites & Blog
Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/
Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com
Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

Social Media Links
Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

My review of Academic Curveball: https://mjmallon.com/2020/03/08/book-review-academic-curveball-by-james-j-cudney-murder-mystery/

Thank you so much for being my guest Jay. It has been so much fun. Say hello to New York for me. One day I hope to visit. <3 x

Keep smiling, reading, writing and reviewing.

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Isolation for Writers: Chantelle Atkins #Isolation #Writers #COVID19 #YA #Author

Welcome to Chantelle Atkins, my next guest on my new feature – Isolation for Writers. How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is Chantelle Atkins coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is her answer:

What’s Changed For Me?
Nothing and Everything

The outbreak of Covid19 and the lockdown that followed has had a huge impact on us all, but as a writer, I feel in a unique position to observe, absorb and reflect on the changes for me personally and on the society around me.


What’s changed for me? Nothing and everything and believe me, that’s as confusing as it sounds. The confusion and anxiety tend to hit me hard in the evening, when my parenting duties are over, and I sit down to write. I’m not ashamed to admit I am often now writing through fits of tears. It’s just such a strange, sad, scary, hopeful and heroic time. You can’t help but be affected by it.


On the surface, lots has changed for me. I have four children aged between 5 and 17 and they were previously all in full-time education. I run a writing-based business called Chasing Driftwood Writing Group and my time is normally spent running after school writing clubs, writing clubs for home educated children and writing clubs for adults. 2020 started off so well for me, with the addition of three new clubs. I really felt like my little business was growing and succeeding.


When the schools closed, so did the libraries, community halls and museums and just like that, I had no work and no income. Luckily for me, my husband had just had a pay rise that almost covered this loss, so we didn’t panic. He works for Iceland and although I worry every day about the risk he is taking being there, I am also extremely grateful that we still have an income and access to food.


I’m now home-schooling my five-year-old son, which isn’t too much of a challenge as I used to be a childminder and I work with children at my clubs. In fact, I’ve been really enjoying it. My older children see to themselves and they’ve been brilliant at playing with their little brother when they take breaks between lessons. We are also lucky to live in a semi-rural location with a huge garden, ducks and chickens and other animals, plus a vegetable plot to keep us all busy. We are fortunate, and I do not take that for granted.


I feel the fear, like all of us. My 17-year-old daughter has just got a job with her dad at Iceland, and although I am proud of her I am also terrified for her. I try to avoid the news in the day and my little boy is a wonderful distraction and a shining light for me daily. His adaptability has inspired us all. But it hits me in the evening, and I can’t help sit and consider everything that has changed and wonder when normality will return.


The things is, I’m not sure how much of the ‘normal’ I want to return. I love schooling my little one and although I think school can provide a better and more rounded education than me, I am going to miss him like hell when this is over. I miss my clubs and the children and adults I work with. I keep meaning to set up online content for them or engage with them via Skype or Zoom but I’ve had to admit at the moment I just don’t have the emotional energy for it by the time my day is over. I don’t miss the stressful day-to-day running around. I spent most of my earnings on petrol I think as we only have one car, so I was pretty much running everyone everywhere all the time. I don’t miss traffic jams and it’s so peaceful now where we
live. And I don’t really miss other people. I’m an introvert who loves to be alone. In fact, I need to be alone to refuel, so lockdown is not a challenge for me the way it is for more sociable people. I’m actually a little bit worried about how I will cope adjusting back to ‘normal’ again. I also think the world was heading in a worrying direction and I really hope that this ‘pause’ in proceedings will make us all think about the kind of society we want when it is all over.


As for writing? There is a bit less time as the kids are here in the day, but most of my writing took place in the evenings anyway and now that I don’t have clubs to prepare for, I’m able to get plenty done. I am tired though as I spend a lot of time attacking my garden! I’m probably blogging more than usual, as I keep thinking about lockdown related things to talk about. I find this as therapeutic and hopeful as gardening.


So, it’s weird. I’m still doing all the things I’ve always done, all the things I love. I’m with my kids and my animals. I’m writing and reading and listening to music. I’m gardening and growing things and spending as much time outdoors as I can. Normal, everyday stress and strain has been replaced with a darker, spikier edge of fear that only comes out at night. I the lockdown and love lockdown. I want normality back and I fear it returning. I’m a very confused writer, but that is probably also normal for me.


Author bio:


Chantelle Atkins was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to reading, writing and music and writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling.


Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love. Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life and has now been developed into a 6 book series. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere and award-winning dystopian, The Tree Of Rebels, plus a collection of short stories related to her novels called Bird People and Other Stories.
The award-winning Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was released through Pict Publishing in October 2018. YA novel A Song For Bill Robinson was released in December 2019 and is the first in a trilogy. Chantelle has had multiple articles about writing published by Author’s Publish magazine.


Links:
Website/blog : https://chantelleatkins.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/chantelleatkinswriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Chanatkins
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/chantelleatkins/
Email Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bVVbGD
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chantelleatkinswriter/

Well it’s been lovely to have Chantelle as my guest – another YA author! Yay… Good to know – and we both have written about self-harm – how’s that for a coincidence?

I’m so glad I started these guest author posts it has introduced me to a lot of fascinating authors.

Thanks for being my guest Chantelle.

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Isolation for Writers: Guest Post Catherine Fearns – #CrookedCat #Crime #Thriller #Author #Isolation #COVID19

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Welcome to Catherine Fearns, my next guest on my new feature – Isolation For Writers. How do writers, creatives, artists and bookish souls cope with isolation? Is their capacity to cope different from the rest of the population? It’s an interesting question and one that fascinates me.

How is Catherine coping with this enforced isolation?

Here is her answer:

Hi everyone, I’m Catherine Fearns and I’m a writer. I have published three Amazon best-selling crime thrillers with Crooked Cat Books/Darkstroke, and I also write as a music journalist.

Thank you very much to Marjorie Mallon for hosting me on the blog today to write about my personal experience of writing during coronavirus lockdown…

For many people, coping with isolation has been the hardest challenge of these times. But some of us have had to adapt to the loss of isolation. With four school-age children and a husband who worked long hours and travelled extensively, I was used to spending long days, and long evenings, alone in my own world. And I loved it. Now I have a house full of noisy people, twenty-four hours a day, all needing a lot of attention. Not to mention home-schooling. And it’s wonderful too, so much so that I feel guilty about all the terrible things happening in the outside world when we are safe in our family bubble. But finding time to write is a challenge.

Before corona hit, I was finishing the edits on my fourth novel, and at the exciting stage where I had just come up with the concept for my fifth book and ready to get started. Then I was suddenly thrust into this new and very confined world. It’s difficult to get into the right headspace for novel-writing when you can only snatch a few minutes to yourself here and there – you really need long stretches alone to think. But even for writers without children, concentrating is a challenge at the moment.

Are you finding it hard to focus on reading a book? To tear yourself away from the news, from social media?

Low-level yet constant anxiety has become a way of life for everyone. When you’re living with such uncertainty, worrying about vulnerable family members, friends losing their jobs, wondering when this will be over and what the world will be like afterwards…

I found an experimental strategy to keep myself writing. I decided to start writing my new novel as a serial, and to let readers experience the process in real-time. I post two new chapters every week on my website, bite-size so readers have time to read them, and I have time to write them! Readers can even interact if they wish, by adding comments and suggestions. This concept actually works perfectly for the dystopian theme of the book, and I have been using a variety of media to tell the story, including audio files, images, video and letters.

I do feel a little reckless, posting my unedited work for readers to see, but it has also been liberating and confidence-building. Most importantly, putting that pressure on myself means that I have to get the words down every day. I try and wake up an hour before the kids, and if I still need more time, I suggest that we all have a reading and writing hour after lunch.

I’m aware that none of this makes financial sense. I may be shooting myself in the foot by making a whole book available for free when I could have waited and published traditionally. But I don’t think I would have had the discipline or concentration to write during this period otherwise. And I wanted to offer something, however small, to readers who might just need an extra little activity in their day.

Nobody should feel they have to achieve things during this time of corona. It’s ok to just be – to stay safe, spend time with family, read and relax. But my personal coping strategy has been to create a little something every day. And I have to admit that one of the things I’m looking forward to most when this is over is to spend a day alone!


Link to #VIRTUE, the novel being serialised on my website:
https://www.catherine-fearns.com/virtue/


Book links:


Buying Link: mybook.to/reprobation


Buying Link: mybook.to/consumingfire


Buying Link: mybook.to/sound

Twitter: https://twitter.com/metalmamawrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherine_fearns/

I’ve really enjoyed finding out more about you and your creative work.

It is so kind of Catherine to offer her serialised novel Virtue for free at this time.

Thank you so much for being my guest, Catherine and wishing you much success, good health and happiness.

Authors/creatives/artists/book bloggers who might be interested in sharing their thoughts on quarantine life, please do get in touch.

Topics such as:

Writing, reading, creativity, productivity/isolation during this time.

Home life, thoughts and fears.

Coping with anxiety and stress.

Hopes for the future during these strange times.

If you are interested in taking part in this new feature on my blog please email me on: marjma2014@gmail.com, or comment below.

Please share any photos you would like, thoughts, reflections, and of course your book links, book descriptions/photos, author bios and the like. All welcome.

Stay safe and well my lovelies.

My amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

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Author Interview: Camilla Downs #Poet #Writer #WordsofAlchemy #Nature #Inspirational #Family

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels
  • Where are you from and in which area of the world do you live now?

I have lived in Reno, Nevada, USA for the past 14 years, moving here from the Seattle, Washington area in 2006. I spent my first 18 years in Jackson, Mississippi and Houma, Louisiana.

  • Tell me about the inspiration/s for your new book “Words of Alchemy.”

About six years ago, I visited Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California. The beauty was quite overwhelming, bringing me to tears. As I drove home, I made several stops along Lake Tahoe, sitting to take it all in. While doing this, poetic words bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. This was the beginning of a six year journey of being inspired by nature with poetic words, then later, inspired by life events.

Here’s that first poem and a few photos from Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe.

Earth Dance

As the sun’s rays dance upon you like stars twinkling in the night sky, so shall our souls dance upon this Earth. As you are who you are with ease, so shall we no longer struggle to be who we are. As you adjust to the World around you without struggle, so shall we go with the flow of life. As you release your beauty, power, and love for us to enjoy and learn from, so shall we drop the facade of our bodies and identifying with materialism and what we’ve accomplished … And so shall we become vessels of love, joy and peace.

Fallen Leaf Lake with Mount Tallac
Lake Taloe
Camilla hugging a tree Fallen Leaf Lake

  • How did you decide on the title?

What a great question! I like to get ideas out of my head, onto “paper” (in my case, on the computer) as I’m a visual type person. I have to see ideas and concepts to know whether or not they work. I also look at the content to see what I can pull from within the content, that also encompasses the entire book. Shortly after deciding on “Words of Alchemy” for the title, the idea to replace chapters with alchemy sections was born. Synchronistically, this also helped me with organizing the poems as I was stuck with that part of the process.

Here’s a photo of the “Chapter” page.

Its lovely to see that your children are also involved in publishing books. How did this come about? You must be very proud of their books: your son Thomas’s Biggest Little Photographer, and your daughter’s debut book Where Would You Fly and Other magical Stories. 


When Lillian was 4 years old, I had a knowing that she (and I) would write books. Due to her chromosome deletion, she has difficulty articulating words so she is not easily understandable when she speaks. However, she has (and had) all of the words in her mind, struggling to articulate them. I began researching how to self-publish, collecting information for when the time was right. This was around 2005. My dad bought her a mini laptop in 2007, and I set up a blog for her. We began writing stories together, and soon after she took it from there, writing and creating artwork.
When Thomas was 8 years old, a friend shared an article with us about a professional photographer who had taken a photo a day, for 365 days, of a LEGO mini figure taking a photo. Thomas was inspired and asked me if he could do the same. I responded that he could, and also told him that if he stuck with it, we’d publish it as a book. It was published in 2016, and Thomas is 14 years old now.


Next, it was time for Lillian’s book. I gathered her writings from 4 years old through 16 years old, categorized them, and we created a book, published in 2018. Thomas chose the title as he said it would be good for marketing. It’s also the title of one of the stories in the book.

The cover photo is a picture I took of Lillian.

  • What is the hardest challenge you have ever had to face?

The hardest challenge I’ve had to face began with one extremely hard decision, that opened the door to 13 years of healing. I divorced in 2007, beginning a journey of single parenting two kids, 1 year old and 5 years old at the time. One having special needs, the other with undiagnosed special needs. I had no idea how I would manage, as I was the sole parent, no weekends or holidays off. I made all parenting decisions alone. I spent the first year, sitting in the garage sobbing my eyes out (with a bottle of wine), whenever my kids went to bed. I had to let myself grieve over the life I thought I had, and thought that I would have in the future. 
Once I moved through the grieving, I began a path of admitting to myself that I was not okay. Deep down I didn’t respect myself, didn’t think myself worthy, didn’t unconditionally love myself, and didn’t know what it meant to be in a healthy, loving relationship with a partner. So began the journey of diving deep into myself, my past, and current situation, allowing myself to feel emotions and process events from long ago. All of this so that I could emerge a healthier person, knowing my worth, loving myself, and loving my kids as they should be loved …. unconditionally. Although I received care and affection as a child, I had never experienced unconditional love. On a wider scale, the past 13 years have been about halting familial patterns, doing my part to reverse unhealthy patterns, starting anew. 
It has not been fun, it has been deeply challenging. In fact, there were many times I considered just ending it all. The split second that thought would enter my mind, my kids faces would appear, reminding me that ending it was not the solution. I persevered, teaching myself that I can trust myself to be strong, courageous, peaceful, and compassionate when the situation calls for it. It sure as hell wasn’t easy, but it sure as hell was worth it.

  • As a single mother of two children, one of whom has a significant chromosomal disorder what advice would you give other single women in a similar position.

I can think of three suggestions. 
One is not to let anger and pride get in the way of making decisions that are in the best interest of your kids. I did that in the very beginning, not asking for the type of financial support we really needed from their dad. I was angry and held an “I can do this my myself” attitude. 
The second is to find a way to let go of guilt and shame, and ask for help. There are those who want to help, and will do it with loving kindness. 
The third is to find a support group, online or in-person, that has to do with your child’s differences. These people will be a life-line and offer endless support. I discovered the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society the night of Lillian’s diagnosis in 2004. This group and its members are like family to us, and it has been invaluable, with the relationships we have built and with the materials presented at the yearly conference.

  • When did you start writing and why?

I kept a diary as a young girl, from middle school through junior high school. I discontinued when reaching adulthood, picking it up again during my separation and divorce, continuing through to this day. The diary writing as a young girl was mostly written to share the dysfunctional family life I had, with my complaints, and about friendships and crushes. 
Later in life, I took up journal writing once again for some of the same reasons, yet, with a difference. Writing, getting things out of my head, helps me to see situations differently, helps me to process life experiences, and to discover solutions. Writing is deeply therapeutic for me, allowing my creative and imaginative nature to come out and play as well.

  • I’d love to know what you are working on next.

I’m currently working on marketing my latest book, as well as Thomas and Lillian’s books. 2020 is the year of rejuvenation for me, the year of pressing the reset button. I’ve been on a 13 year journey of deep healing connecting with feelings and events from my past, letting myself feel emotions, and working through much internal upheaval. It has been incredibly exhausting!
I reached a tipping point with that journey in the beginning of 2020, and am now ready for some rest and leveling out. I’m not working on writing projects currently. However, I do feel several projects brewing. I never really know what the next one will be until I focus on it. I hope to one day have a book written by all three of us. We shall see.

  • What is ‘beauty’ to you?

Beauty is seeing and knowing one’s own beauty, when it is reflected back to oneself from nature, from other people, from life experiences. 

  • What are your favourite genres?

I have made shifts throughout my reading years. As a child and teenager I was all about fiction and horror. As an adult I shifted to mysteries, reading every book Agatha Christie had written, ending with her autobiography. Then I shifted to only business books, autobiographies and biographies of successful people. Reading then shifted to non-fiction books in the self-help, mind, body, spirituality type books. With  the latest shift being opening back up to the fiction genre, along with creative non-fiction, memoirs and books about writing.


What books are you reading currently? 


I’m just finishing two books that I have thoroughly enjoyed. One is “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean and the other is “all about love” by bell hooks. They won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but, if the topic sounds interesting, I highly recommend them.

  • Have you a favourite quote or saying?

It’s difficult to pin down just one quote or say. However, I have found this one to be a great reminder, many times: “You’re intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” -Ray Bradbury

  • Which season is your favourite and why?

I can’t choose just one. I love each season for the differences they bring in nature, and within myself. 

  • What other hobbies do you have apart from writing?

I love reading, having a once a week movie night with my kids, going for walks, creating art when the mood strikes (usually with items found in nature), keeping our online journal, TheTeamTLC.com, up to date, and working on MeetingtheAuthors.com. Thomas and I are currently watching the Marvel movies from beginning to end. I am deeply enjoying sharing this with him. We’ve been at it for almost a year, watching about one per month. Next up, Spider-man: Homecoming. 
I’m also a practitioner of meditating. However, I’m taking a break during this year of pressing the reset button. For six years, I meditated nearly every day. It was a beautiful experience and helped me to process life events. About two months ago, I just had a knowing that I was to take a break. I’d been going hardcore with the healing and mediating. It was time.

  • It must be wonderful to be the founder and host of Meeting The Authors. I expect you have ‘met’ many new fascinating authors? 

It is absolutely wonderful and inspiring. This is one idea I am grateful to have listened about, and then took action! About a year ago I joined an amazing book group that connects authors and bloggers. I saw the tremendous need for authors to have more online exposure. 
I’m one of those people who gets ideas for new endeavors constantly, sometimes daily. I’ve learned to get the ideas out of my head, on paper (my laptop) so that I can “see” the idea. I let it marinate for a week or two or more, while I research what it would take to make it happen. I did that with Meeting the Authors. I hadn’t even launched it when I asked a question about launching it in the book group. I had over 100 authors comment on the post, requesting to be interviewed. I knew it was needed. I’m also thankful that I don’t act on every idea, letting most fall away. I’d never sleep!
I am a networker at heart. I love meeting new people, sharing ideas, getting to really know one another. I used to attend in person events to network and meet like minded people. Now, I network online. I like to be authentic with networking. I want people to know the true me and vice versa. 

MeetingtheAuthors.com has turned into a huge online networking event. HA!

  • It’s nice to see you are also featuring book bloggers. How did this come about?

Another idea that came to me as I networked in the book group, while at the same time going through lists of book bloggers, emailing ones that were a fit for my book. I thought, wouldn’t it be lovely to interview the book bloggers, asking them the questions an author would need to know before contacting them. Plus, throwing in a few personal questions to help us get to know them better. I’m having great fun shining the spotlight on book bloggers. They are a hard working group of people, simply because they love reading and books. Many of them are authors, too, or aspiring authors. It’s a win win for all.


Thank you Marje for having me on your blog. I deeply appreciate the thoughtful questions you’ve asked. I enjoyed answering each one as it caused me to dig deep and really think about my answer. 

It’s been my pleasure Camilla, you are a delight and I am so looking forward to reading Words of Alchemy. I have a feeling (and my feelings are normally right!) that I will love it. I reckon you and I are kindred spirits!


Words of Alchemy:The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love … in one beautiful book.

Book Blurb: In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a heartfelt free-verse poetry memoir.During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.”

– Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” –

 G. Brian Benson– Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”

– Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”

– Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

About Camilla: Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.

Author Links:

Website: http://camilladowns.com/

Family Website: http:/theteamtlc.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor/

twitter: https://twitter.com/camilladowns

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CamillaDowns/

pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/camilladowns/

Amazon Author Central:

  amazon.com/author/camilladowns

Meeting the Authors:

 http://meetingtheauthors.com/

Where to Buy:

Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): 

http://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/

Amazon – Words of Alchemy: mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy

Amazon Author Central:  amazon.com/author/camilladowns


All of our bookshttp://camilladowns.com/books/

Thank you so much Camilla for visiting my blog Kyrosmagica.

I feel as if I have been transported to such beautiful places – Lake Fallen Leaf and Taloe – gorgeous. Made me so happy!

I think you will agree Camilla is a fascinating, resilient lady to be admired. I loved the photo of her hugging a tree. Wish I could have been there to give the tree and her a hug too!

Please do comment below.

Have you read Words of Alchemy? Can’t wait to read it.

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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

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

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon

Collaborations:

The Spiritual Sisters are:

Adele Marie Park Author & Personal Blog: Firefly465

Annette Rochelle Aben Author & Personal Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben

Colleen M. Chesebro Author & Personal Blog: Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry colleenchesebro.com

Debby Gies (aka, D. G. Kaye) Author & Personal Blog: D. G. Kaye, Writer

Marjorie (MJ) Mallon YA/Paranormal Author: mjmallon.com

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Interview: Mara Reitsma #GhostlyWriters #PlaistedPublishingHouse

Welcome to the next Ghostly Writer, Mara Reitsma, who is here to chat to me today…

1. Why did you decide to write?
I have a rather, overactive imagination. Yes, that is what we shall call it LOL.
My mind is constantly on the go and writing is my way of clearing my head.
Sometimes, the stories or ideas get so intense I can’t concentrate on anything else, so I write them all down and hash out the in betweens. It was all fun and games until I met Mark McQuillen and between his Valkyrie and my Devil’s Daughters, the games expanded. It’s still fun, and we’ve managed to create eighteen full-length novels, most of which are in various stages of writing, editing, and cover revisions; and all of them taking place inside the same Tri-Verse (As in, there were too many stories for just one Universe, so we made three.) Some people write to become rich and famous, some because they need a hobby, and then there are those like me, who absolutely need to write, or we’ll go mad!
2. What do your family and friends think of your writing life?
Just where exactly do you think this crazy comes from? Did you know that the cows you see in the fields as you drive by, are actually T-Rexs wearing cow hats so they can lure people in for a light snack? Neither did I, until I asked my Dad to stop the car one morning so I could go see them. Or perhaps you heard about the Run-Away-Train that sped through my home city in the wee hours of the morning. A train that people could only ever feel and hear, but never see… Boom Boom lived in the mountains behind our old summer cabin and when he got angry, he would pound the side of the mountain with his mighty fists and make rocks roll down into the valley below. And all that, was just from my father.

My mother was just as bad. You learned not to ask what was for supper, or you’d
wind up with Giraffe kneecaps and Alligator toes. She used to swear up and down that there was a receipt in the house somewhere and she’d find it and return us all if we misbehaved. Papa always had a story to tell and Nana was, well, Nana was Nana.
‘Why does Nana whistle?’ We would ask, and Papa would reply, ‘She’s lookin for her broom!’ How were we to know that Nana wasn’t really a Witch? Do you see where I’m going with this? I can’t even escape it during the morning coffee chats with the ladies…
‘This man came through my till last night…’ turned into my story Winged Secrets.
‘We let him stay with us for a while and while we were away he held a party, with a Ouija board….’ turned into my story, Forever Touched.
‘The dryer keeps eating the socks, I swear someone is stealing all my socks’ turned into, The Secrets of Dry’r….
In all honesty, they probably think I’m nuts, but hey, I blame them for it all!
3. Tell us a bit about your current writing projects
Currently, there are seven series on the go. I know, it’s a lot, but it’s what I do when I’m not doodling. I just like to create.
*The Valkyrie Series, including Valkyrie: Darkness Awaits, Valkyrie: Darkness Rising, Valkyrie: Song of Darkness and Valkyrie: Rise from the Ashes. These stories were written by Mark McQuillen and revised to add more story line. They are currently in the process of having covers revised.
*A We Are The Devil’s Daughters Trilogy, including Zahara, Madrina and Euphamia. Written and covered by me in the early days, this series is up for revision too, to remove any oops’ in spelling.
*The Devil’s Daughters Crossover, including Legends, Chronicles, Judgments, Distorted Pasts and Illusions of the Present. Coming soon, What Futures Hold… Written by Mark McQuillen and myself, we see Mark’s Valkyries and my Devil’s Daughters set out on a new journey to bring balance to the Verse. These books are scheduled for revision for new covers!!
*The Sins and Secrets Series includes Ezrianna and coming soon will be the second book in the series, Ambrosia. Written by me, it takes a look at the more, sinful side of the Verse and The Black Rose Guild.
*Tales of the Petals Series includes Way of the Warrior, which has been published
and is up on Amazon already. Into the Shadows and Mask of Darkness are both in for editing and formatting. These stories were written in our Black Rose group and are comprised of parts from a few different authors in said group who enjoy writing
together.
* Various Anthologies: I love anthologies and have taken part in many.
Ghostly Rrites 2017, 2018 and 2019, Ghostly Romance 2017, 2018, 2019, A
Treasure Chest of Children’s Stories, Haven: A Special Edition Anthology and more. Right now, I am editing the book trailer for Ghostly Rites 2019. Should be awesome!
*A Quest Called Motherhood (Pen Name- T.C Creare):
I am a mother and mother’s have stories too; mine are just filled with sarcasm and utter chaos, which I am compiling into a hilarious collection for all to read. Why?
Because mother’s everywhere need to know that they are not alone. Crazy happens,
everywhere!
4. Do you have a muse?
Life is my muse. It’s full of love and laughter, sorrow and pain; and there is a story to be told for every moment. We, as authors, have to grasp that moment and make that story our own. We find the rainbows after the storm, the relief after a narrow escape and the wonder in every adventure. We bring life to the characters and love to their stories.
5. What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend?
From the moment you sit down with an editor or cover designer, you are
collaborating. You are working together to bring your story to life. It is an essential part of publishing and when you have the right people on you side, wondrous things can happen. I tend to do my own thing and don’t really have many groups that I follow religiously, but I can name a few.
Plaisted Publishing House has been one of my go-to places for EVERYTHING.
Knowledgeable and passionate about what they do, it is always a pleasure working
with them. They have a few groups in which I spend my time, including… Indie Publishing News Group and Ghostly Writes Anthology Group on Facebook. If you have a short Ghostly story to share, then you should pop on over. The people are fantastic and the things you learn along the way could help you in ways you never thought possible. It’s all about connecting!
6. Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them…
Life, is unusual, and I dabble in it all. Doodling, Painting, Crafting, Clay and Pop Bottle Gnome Houses, Cover Design, Interior Book Illustrations, Crocheting…. The list goes on!
7. Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote?
If you do not want sarcasm, stop doing stupid!
8. Finish this sentence: For me writing is…
Almost everything!
9. Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying…
I live on the west coast of Canada in a city called Abbotsford, with my husband,
three kids and three cats, which I like to call my Ninjas.
10. Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being?
Did I mention above that I grew up in a house that was over eighty years old and the original dwelling for an old orchard? No, okay, so then I probably didn’t mention the laughter from children coming from the unfinished basement, and the fact that only my sister and my Nana could hear them. Maybe that was why she whistled? Or the old faded man and his dog that roamed the property and drove our West Highland Terrier wonky. They are very real and that house was full of them. My favourite supernatural being would have to be the Will-o-the-Wisps.

Links:
Covered By The Rose- https://www.facebook.com/groups/CoveredbytheRose/

Pages of Insanity- https://www.facebook.com/PagesofInsanity/
Website-
http://itybityqt.wixsite.com/marareitsma
Author Page- https://www.facebook.com/MaraReitsmaAuthor/

Mara’s teaser:

Well, what a fascinating interview. It’s been great having Mara around.

To read about the previous ghostly writers:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/24/marywoldering-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/26/author-interview-wendy-steele-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/

Bye for now, ghostly peeps.

Social Media Links

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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

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

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Author Interview: Wendy Steele #GhostlyWriters #GhostlyRites2019

 

I’m pleased to welcome Wendy Steele to my blog today. We are both contributing authors in Plaisted Publishing House’s Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019.

So first of all I am curious to know…

  • Why did you decide to write?

I’ve been a lover of words since I could read. During the power cuts in the 1970s, we played word games on scraps of paper by candle light and I’ve loved solving anagrams and crosswords ever since.

After visiting the Tutankhamen exhibition in London when I was ten years old, I came home and wrote a poem, and ever since, I’ve come home from new adventures and committed my thoughts and experiences to paper. 

I write fiction when the stories in my head demand to be committed to paper. If I’ve a story to tell, I feel compelled to write it.

 

  • What do your family and friends think of your writing life?

My partner is the best! I like to read first draft pieces out loud, and he suffers them, bless him. He’s incredibly supportive, helping me lug boxes around to book fairs and encouraging me to keep writing and publishing. I don’t know what my friends think; you’ll have to ask them!

 

  • Tell us a bit about your current writing projects

Having written and published the first three books in the Lizzie Martin Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, I’m writing the next three to complete the series. Book four, The Eloquent Witch is written, awaiting editing, while book five, The Able Witch is more than half way through. I’ve a secret project I’m working on, plus I’m writing short stories, including ghost stories, which is how we met, on the Ghostly Writes group.

 

 

  • Do you have a muse?

Not as such, but being outside in nature is where I feel supported and inspired. We have a shelter on the riverbank, recently updated, where I like to sit and write if the weather allows.

  • What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend?

I’ve never worked on a book with another writer, but I think it would be really exciting. I’ve worked with the fabulous Claire Plaisted on two previous Ghostly Writes anthologies, and recently had the privilege to work with other magical writers on the Witch Lit group, where we produced our Witch Lit Anthology: Words from the Cauldron, with all profits going to Books for Africa.

I love anthologies! I think they’re a brilliant vehicle for showcasing the writing style of authors, allowing the reader a taster of what an author can do, and if they like a writer’s style, they can read more by that author. My story for this year’s anthology ‘Charlotte’s Ghost’ is set in 1850, as I researched this era for a steampunk story for Zimbell House Publishing earlier in the year, and wanted to explore further.

 

  •  Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them…

I don’t think I do anything I’d particularly call a hobby. I write, I dance, I renovate my home, I cook, I read, I knit and I’ve recently learned to crochet.

 

  • Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote?

I’m running with this one at the moment…’Let the beauty you love be what you do’ –Rumi.

 

  •  Finish this sentence: For me writing is…

My window on the world, allowing me to share my stories.

 

  •  Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying…

I live in mid Wales with my partner, my daughter, six cats and a rabbit called Ula.

 

  •  Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being?

I believe there is something in our being that allows us to interact with other energies operating on a different plane of existence.

 

Website: www.wendysteele.com

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WendyWooauthor

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

https://www.facebook.com/WendyWooBooks

https://www.facebook.com/TheStandingStone 

Amazon author: http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-steele-91257660/

Goodreads author:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6548666.Wendy_Steele

All Author: https://allauthor.com/profile/wendywoo/

YouTube: Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

The Witch Lit Podcast – Witches Who Write

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZdKsXSo074&t=652s

Book Gorilla

https://www.bookgorilla.com/author/B007VZ1P06/wendy-steele/kcc

Wendy’s Teaser for her story – Charlotte’s Ghost in Ghostly Rites 2019:

It’s been lovely having Wendy round. In case yo missed it I interviewed Mary last time:

https://mjmallon.com/2019/10/24/marywoldering-ghostlywriters-ghostlyrites2019/

Bye for now Ghostly peeps. Next up for the Ghostly Writers interview hotspot it’s Mara Reitsma….

See you soon, Ghostly Peeps!

 

Buy Book: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)
Social Media Links
Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook #ABRSC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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Author Interview: Mary Woldering #GhostlyWriters #GhostlyRites2019

 

 

Welcome to Mary Woldering, a fellow author in Plaisted Publishing House’s Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019 which will be releasing in time for Halloween. I am inviting fellow Ghostly Writers over for a chat on my blog.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Mary…

Interview questions:

 

  1. Why did you decide to write?
    I just did.  I’ve always written. My big Children of Stoneseries was part of hundreds of chronicles of dreams and reincarnation/past like regression experiments as well as guided lucid dreams into other realms. I novelized it, then went back years later seeking some verification. Oddly enough I found a few bits.
  2. What do your family and friends think of your writing life?
    They know it’s an all-consuming hobby and wish it made money. My son Thomas is active in it as my editor formatter and cover artist.
  3. Tell us a bit about your current writing projects
    I’m revising the second series book up to about the half way point because it’s fine after that. I’m also struggling to get a decent ending to the fifth and final book in the series.
  4. Do you have a muse? On occasion, a spirit guide drops by from time to time to give me a tidbit or two.
  5. What do you think of collaborations? Are you a member of any groups for authors that you would recommend?
    Black Rose and Robinators.
  6. Have you any unusual hobbies? Please tell us about them… Renovating things. I’m working on a house now. I’ve had dozens more but don’t have a calm enough lifestyle. My adventures into the psychic and spiritualism were the strangest.
  7. Do you have a favourite word, phrase or quote? Favorite? Not really. Maybe “Keep smiling, have faith: but let me state up front it’s not about religion, just belief in one’s ability to survive.
  8. Finish this sentence: For me writing is…what I do
  9. Where do you live and with whom if you don’t mind saying… For now Euclid Ohio but anticipating a move to Mentor, Oh in the spring (10 miles away)
  10. Do you believe in ghosts? Do you have a favourite supernatural being?
    From my previous answers I’d say that was obvious. I guess my favorite would be one who became a character in my series and in quite a few short stories. Prince Maatkare Raemkai. I met him shortly after the place where he was trapped for 50 years burned down. See Ghostly Writes2018 “Raemkai’s Stairs” He lurked and taught me and my friends interesting spiritual things and is one of the reasons we ravenously pursued the research back in the 1970’s. I still get contact now, but it’s decidedly less now that the stories are being published. There are quite a few others but he’s been the stand out and most frequent and true to form a comfort when death of someone is near.

 

 

Have you started the Journey?

 

CHILDREN OF STONE

1)Voices in Crystal 2) Going Forth By Day 3)Opener of the Sky 4) Heart of the Lotus 5) Lake of Memory – coming 2019-20

EMOTIVE, EXOTIC & BEAUTIFUL!!

WALK WITH THOSE WHO ONCE BECAME GODS.

 

The Mystery of Ancient Egypt RETOLD – in a combo of fantasy, real history, mythology and magic. Like GAME OF THRONES in Ancient Egypt – With ALIENS

 

Like ancient superheroes, those touched by the Children of Stone wander through the reality of ancient legends, RESHAPING myth and history.

Unforgettable people and their stories of mysticism, magic and never-ending love.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DMvkKJ

Author Page: https://bit.ly/2x1PZJe

Website: https://www.maryrwoldering.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryrwoldering/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7398194.Mary_R_Woldering

 

Mary’s teaser for her short story in Ghostly Rites 2019 which is entitled The Changeling Princess….

 

It’s been lovely to invite Mary over, I will be interviewing Ghostly Rites fellow writer Wendy Steele next.

Bye for now,

 

Buy Book: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Social Media Links

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook #ABRSC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

 

 

 

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#ABRSC – MJ Interviews Author Darlene Foster – Children’s Adventure Series: Amanda Travels

A huge welcome to Darlene Foster who is over at my blog home today for a Q and A about her children’s adventure series: Amanda Travels.

Some of you might know that I like to interview using my nickname MJ…

MJ: I’d love to find out more about your amazing travel series featuring a twelve year old girl. Who is Amanda Ross and where does she like to travel to? What mysteries does she uncover/solve? What adventures does she have?

Darlene: Amanda Ross is an average girl living in Alberta, Canada and she is bored. On her twelfth birthday she makes a wish for travel and adventure before blowing out all her candles. The next day tickets to visit her aunt and uncle in the United Arab Emirates arrive in the mail. She has an amazing adventure in the UAE that includes a mysterious perfume flask, a beautiful princess, a loyal camel and a chase across a dangerous desert. You can read about her adventures in Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask

Amanda now has the travel bug and when her friend Leah invites her to come to Spain on a holiday with her, she jumps at the chance. She visits Madrid, explores a mountain town with houses hanging on the edge of cliffs, stays overnight in an old, spooky monastery, takes part in a tomato fight and discovers the amazing sights of Barcelona. A young girl, looking amazingly like a girl in a famous painting, shows up wherever Amanda and Leah happen to be. Can Amanda keep this sweet young girl, and her beloved pony, safe from the clutches of an evil horse thief without bringing harm to herself and Leah? This adventure is in Amanda in Spain-The Girl in the Painting.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Amanda travels to England to spend spring break with Leah where she has to get used to funny accents and cars driving on the opposite side of the road. The girls visit the Isle of Wight where they meet Charlie, a kind old bookseller, and his cat Rupert. They discover a vintage book is missing from a set, meet a couple of dubious teenagers and a suspicious woman. Amanda explores Hampton Court, Harrods, The Tower of London and Windsor Castle while trying to find out what happened to the missing novel and why Charlie is acting so strange. Find out more in Amanda in England-The Missing Novel.

Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta when she visits from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, tour a ranch, go on a cattle drive, visit a Buffalo Jump, spend time at a Dinosaur Museum and explore the Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s very important, until everyone appears to want it. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and risking their lives? Spend time with Amanda in Alberta as she attempts to decipher the writing on the stone in Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone.

On a river cruise down the Danube, Amanda is given a valuable violin to look after by a homeless musician. She is fascinated by the medieval castles, green valleys and charming villages of Germany, Austria and Hungary, learns about European history and enjoys the sounds of music along the way. But, she is not sure who she can trust and if the violin can be kept safe for the poor prodigy in Amanda on the Danube-The Sounds of Music.

MJ:  How many books have you written? I’m sure my readers would be fascinated to find out more…

Darlene: I have written six books in the Amanda Travels series and one Spanish/English book called, Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio. The most recent Amanda Travels adventure takes place in New Mexico where Amanda is on a school trip. One of her classmates claims she sees ghosts but Amanda has trouble believing her, until strange things start to happen. The beautiful but haunting landscape, an ancient pueblo and a haunted hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past in Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind.

MJ: Is Amanda a little like you, when you were her age?

Darlene: There is always a little bit of you in your characters. But, Amanda is more like the girl I would have liked to have been when I was twelve. Unlike Amanda, I didn’t start to travel until I was twenty-eight years old. Perhaps I should have made a wish before I blew out my candles.

MJ: Where do you currently live? What is it about your home/s that you love?

Darlene: I have a house in Spain, on the Costa Blanca, where I spend most of my time. I love the never ending sunshine and the relaxed life style. I have plenty of time to create my stories and am close enough to other parts of Europe that I can explore. I will always be a proud Canadian though.

MJ: I am a keen traveller and you are too! Is there a favourite holiday/travel destination that you like to visit frequently? Or do you prefer to discover new places?

Darlene: I so often fall in love with a place and say I must return but I always want to check out new places too so seldom do. We once made a stop at Malta on a cruise and decided we needed to see more of it. A year later we spent a week there. I think Amanda may visit Malta too.

MJ: It sounds like you’ve had a very interesting background: growing up on a ranch in Southern Alberta. That sounds fascinating! Tell me more…

Darlene: It was an incredible place to grow up but I didn’t appreciate it at the time. I was often bored and lonely and couldn’t wait to grow up and move to the city. The plus side was that I had lots of time to make up stories in my head and plenty of time to read, when my chores were done.

MJ:  What are your accomplishments that you are most proud of:

a. With regard to writing.
Darlene: I am proud of the fact that I have published seven books in eight years.
b. A non-writing one!
Darlene: I am proud of raising two amazing kids, one an accomplished potter and another who is not only a great dad and grandfather but a talented musician. Creativity in one way or another seems to run in the family. Of course, I encouraged it.

MJ:  I believe you do speaking engagements and the like. What are your tips for public speaking?

Darlene: Be natural and be prepared. Know who your audience is and involve them. Be energetic and enthusiastic about your subject matter. Once you make a connection with the audience, the rest flows naturally.

MJ:  What is the best part of being an author? And what is the worst?

Darlene: The best part of being an author is having a reader tell me how much they enjoyed my book. That is the icing on the cake for me! The worst is sitting in front of the computer plugging away alone. I am an extrovert and am energized by being around people, so the solitary part of writing is hard for me. But if I don’t do it, I won’t have readers telling me they enjoyed my book!

MJ: What are your favourite things to do, besides writing?

Darlene: Walking my dog, eating chocolate, reading, chatting with friends and family, exploring new places.

MJ: Have you found any resources/websites that you would like to share that are particularly helpful to authors?

Darlene: A friend gave me a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi and it is the best resource ever. There are others in the series which I have since purchased as well. Their website Writers Helping Writers has great writing tips too. https://writershelpingwriters.net

MJ: Are you a plotter or pantser?

Darlene: I am a paid up member of the panster club and have the badge to prove it. I have tried to be a plotter many times and have failed miserably.

MJ:  What kind of food do you like?

Darlene: You mean besides chocolate? I am a vegetarian and love most vegetables, if done right. I especially enjoy Asian food as I love how the vegetables are prepared. So Thai, Indian, Chinese and Japanese food are high on my list. I also prefer my food to be spicy and not boring. Please don’t serve me plain steamed vegetables.

MJ: What advice would you give new authors such as myself?

Darlene: To persevere and believe in yourself. Writing is hard work but it is so worth it when you hold that finished book in your hands. Never give up!!

MJ:  If you were to lose one of your senses which one would you feel the loss of most and why?

Darlene: I think I would have to say the sense of sight. There is so much to see in this amazing world we live in and I am thankful I have seen a lot. But there is still much more I would love to see.

MJ; Finish this sentence. A travelling onion…

found itself part of a pasta sauce in Italy and said “Sono contenta”

Darlene: Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Marjorie.

MJ: It’s been my pleasure Darlene.

Reading through your responses to my questions I have to say we have a fair amount in common: a love of travel, chocolate, (who doesn’t like chocolate – I have met one person who didn’t but that is a long story,) reading, writing,  spicy food, and a paid up membership of the pantser club!

Thank you for taking my travelling onion to Italy. He needed a slice of the action on a holiday abroad! Lol…

Darlene’s social media links:

Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon Author Page
WordPress Blog
Goodreads
Twitter

What fun. If you’d like to visit my blog for a Author Spotlight/Guest post, do get in touch. MJ would love it if you do!

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M J Mallon _ YA Author

 

Buy Paperback Book link: http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’
“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Social Media:
Authors Media Kit: https://mjmallon.com/2018/02/13/media-kit/
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/
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Author Spotlight: Geoff Le Pard

I’m thrilled to welcome Geoff Le Pard to my blog home today. Anyone who writes about family gets my undivided attention. There’s nothing like family!

His new book Apprenticed To My Mother was released on Tuesday 12th June.

He’s written a lovely moving anecdote about his dear departed mother, Barbara’s funeral and her brother Ted especially for this Author Spotlight.

Read on:

When I came to write my memoir of the period between my father’s death and my mother’s, I started by focusing on the two funerals. My father’s was the first where I played any significant role, and mostly I wanted to make sure whatever happened, it met Mum’s approval. With Mum’s, since my brother and I were now orphaned I felt freer to let it reflect how I imagined it could be the best recognition and, in my judgement, celebration of a life well lived. My brother was fully onside – both of us wanted humour and warmth; as happy a day as we could make it.

The funeral was to take place at the Hinton Woodland Burial Ground where Mum and Dad had neighbouring plots – it was Mum’s idea that when she was buried an oak tree would be planted between the two graves which they could both compost over the forthcoming years. Always a gardener, Mum. One of the rules of funerals at Hinton is that an official must be in charge – a member of some organised religion or a celebrant. To my (small) frustration my hopes of MCing the whole thing had to be compromised. That said the lovely lady who officiated understood what we wanted and played the minimum role required by the authorities, letting us decide how to run the day.

At the centre would be humour – Mum had no truck with some of the pessimism, gloom, ‘in my day’ bollocks that seems to inhabit people as they age. She always wanted people relaxed and smiling, which was why her kitchen and her food were at the centre of most family events.

Now, you can’t make funerals a joke-fest. It’s not an audition for budding stand-ups and I’m as adept as any at bringing in a few thoughtful passages to counterpoint the wit. Ditto my brother.

What I hadn’t factored in was my uncle, my mother’s nearest sibling. They doted on each other throughout their lives and so when Ted asked to say a few words, there was no question but to say yes.

Ted Francis is a naturally funny man. When he ran a pub, he had an annual medical. The doctor told him – smoker and drinker as he was – he needed more fresh air and exercise. Ted nodded. He merely moved the shove ha’penny board from the middle of the pub, to the back door, propped it open and sat honing his sliding skills while puffing away into the beer garden.

In 1938 my grandfather became so ill that my grandmother needed to find work to keep the family. My mother was 12. She left school where she was doing well – top in maths, close to it in history – and cared for her dying father and her two younger brothers, aged 6 and not many. That lasted through the period when her father died in 1940 until Ted and then Les went to boarding school. Shortly after, in 1943 she went to work herself, in County Hall before joining the ATS.

Ted was old enough to remember those difficult dark days as the clouds of war and personal crisis gathered. He recounted stories of the hardships of that time and how, throughout it all when his mother, my grandmother was struggling to cope, there was this optimistic, calming presence – a girl still, barely a teenager – just getting on with things.

Well, that blew the ‘let’s have a few laughs’ plan. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I still tear up remembering how my darling uncle forced himself through his tears to eulogise his dearest older sister. She was and remained his role model, someone who didn’t give into self-pity or despair; someone for whom duty – filial, family – were the cornerstones of their existence.

We gave Mum a rich and varied departure but nothing holds a candle to my uncle’s words. They set the scene; they gave me, a son who thought he’d come to understand his mother through the period of my apprenticeship, a different, deeper, richer context.

Part of me wishes I’d recorded Ted’s words but then again another part is glad I didn’t. It’s the tone, not the actual words that stay with me.

It’s not where you come from that matters, so said someone very clever, but where you’re going to. Maybe, but once in a while, understanding the journey helps deepen the way in which we view the future and ensures that important lessons are not forgotten.

Bio:

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Geoff’s books:

Book Covers Geoff Le PardMy Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le pard Book CoversLife in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le PaSalisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves.

This is available here:

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard 1 Book CoversBuster & Moo is about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

GeoffleLife in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Smashwords

Geoffle2Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

Well it has been so nice to have Geoff over today, quite the prolific author… I have a bit of catching up to do!

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Buy Paperback Book link: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Social Media:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:
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