Isolation For Writers: Guest Author – Jeannie Wycherley #Guest #Author #Isolation #Collaboration #Thoughts #Family #COV19

Photo by Bruno Scramgnon from Pexels

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to my next guest author Jeannie Wycherley – in my Isolation series in the time of COV19 – I discovered Jeannie via my Facebook post on Book Connectors asking if group members would be interested in writing a post about Isolation during Coronavirus.

Jeannie was one of several who were interested in joining in. She has a fascinating tale to tell.

Welcome Jeannie…

How are coping with this enforced isolation?

Collaboration in the time of Coronavirus Jeannie Wycherley

I was travelling in Sri Lanka when I first heard the word ‘coronavirus’. That probably makes it sound like I’m some sort of global jetsetter, and to be honest, I wish I was. But in truth, my husband and I run a small seaside gift shop in a small town in the south west of England and this was our first holiday in five years. We both have to supplement our income from the shop in other ways. He does so from exam marking (we’re both ex-lecturers) and I do so from my writing.

I don’t think I was concerned at first. I wasn’t paying much attention to the news in any case. But then we stayed in a gorgeous hotel near Dambulla over Chinese New Year and it seemed really odd to see all the Chinese tourists wearing face masks. Fast forward two weeks and I flew home with a scratchy throat. Just 48 hours later I had a respiratory illness that knocked me for six.

By then Coronavirus was becoming more newsworthy. I still don’t know what I had, but I knew enough about the virus that I self-isolated, ‘just in case’, for nearly three weeks. Unable to shake it off, I chose not to visit my parents at all, until suddenly, people over seventy were being asked to self-isolate and I’d lost my chance.

We kept our shop open through the first two weeks of March but increasingly became aware we were fighting a losing battle. Nobody wanted to shop, the streets were deserted, and we felt increasingly uneasy—wary of people ‘touching’ things or coming too close. On the 18 th March we closed our doors. The government announced the lockdown the next day.

I had a really bad few days from the 19 th March. Extreme anxiety, feeling weepy, experiencing nightmares, struggling to breathe at times. I tried to write—in fact I needed to write because I had a pre-order set up on my next Wonky Inn book—but I struggled to focus for longer than a few minutes. With the shop closed, I suddenly had the equivalent to three extra days to write in and be more productive. Instead of that, I found myself constantly checking social media and the news websites, driving myself crazy.

What made it worse, for me, was fear for my elderly parents. My Mum, 74, has been brilliant and remained indoors, crafting and doing puzzles, but my Dad, 75, is a different story. An ex Royal Marine, and prison education manager, he’s been around the block and he gets restless. He has lots of interests though, and one of those is writing although he’s never been published.

It came about that I had picked up a pre-made book cover, a fun science fiction. I spotted it in a sale; it made me chuckle and I parted with some cash. I don’t write sci-fi. I don’t even read a lot of modern sci-fi although I’ve read lots of ‘classics’ in the genre. But I absolutely love sci-fi movies so I’m aware of the tropes. My Dad loves all sci-fi. He grew up with it. When I was a kid and we went on holiday, he would invariably be reading sci-fi books on the beach.

I write horror and paranormal cozies. It occurred to me that a cozy sci-fi would be a lot of fun and there would be some crossover with my fans and I might pick up some new ones. The thing was, I was still struggling to focus enough to finish Wonky Inn Book 9: A Gaggle of Ghastly Grandmamas as well as editing an epic Victorian gothic ghost story, The Municipality of Lost Souls, so where did I think I was going to get time to write anything else?

Link for A Gaggle of Ghastly Grandmamas: http://mybook.to/WW9

At that stage I asked my Dad if he fancied collaborating and I sent him the cover. He loved it and bounced back with an idea. I suggested he create a plot and he came up with just over half (he admits he’s useless at endings). Now, I cannot ‘pants’ to save my life, so I took his plot and painstakingly broke it down into scenes, fleshed it out and finished it off. Between us we tweaked it and divvied out who was writing what and off we went.

Or rather off he went! Like a rocket. This is a man who struggled to write 300 words per day. Now I can’t stop him. I juggle my editing of Lost Souls and Wonky 9, with writing my scenes and editing what he’s written so that I can oversee a consistent voice throughout the story. It’s hard to keep up with him! The side effect is that I’ve had to focus because I’m doing so much. It will pay off in the long run.

And do you know? We’re producing a great little sci-fi story set on Dartmoor here in Devon, with a nod to H G Wells and those wonderful old 1950s serials like Quatermass and the Pit, but with a little humour and some quirky characters. We use Google Docs so that we can both see what the other is doing, and we catch up every few days so I can check that’s he’s happy and iron out any plot holes that have come up. It’s a fun project that we will both be proud of. When we’re both happy with it, I’ll send it to my editor. At some stage later this year, I am confident we can launch our collaboration and be justifiably proud of it.

If nothing else, this pandemic will have allowed us to work together in a way we might never have considered doing before. I’ll always be grateful for that, and for my parents remaining indoors and staying safe.

Link to my amazon page: http://author.to/jeanniewycherley

Website: http://jeanniewycherley.co.uk

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Thecushionlady

Bio

Jeannie Wycherley is a genre-hopping introvert and word witch living somewhere between the forest and the sea in East Devon, UK. She is the author of Crone (2017), Beyond the Veil (2018), the Spellbound Hound books (2020), and the Amazon bestselling Wonky Inn series. She draws literary inspiration from the landscape … and cake.

Well, that was a fascinating post from Jeannie. I love how she is collaborating with her dad. There are positives that we can take out of this awful experience and it gives me great joy to share them.

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.

Together we are stronger. Stay safe and well.

MJ Interviews Esme – The Mirror Girl

Esme And The Mirror ©Carolina Russo - Online Use

Welcome To Kyrosmagica! So lovely to see you Esme.

MJ: Tell us about your life Esme.

Esme: I’ve had two lives, and both are hard to understand. In my past life I appeared to be free but never experienced freedom. I felt trapped in my body and my mind didn’t feel that it fitted, like a puzzle piece trying to correspond to the wrong shape. My mind rebelled; I self-harmed. Now that I am a prisoner in the mirrors of Amelina’s house, I can’t self-harm.  I can’t do anything. I’m a victim of a curse but I’m not the only victim.

MJ: Why did you self-harm?

Esme: Everyone expected me to be perfect. I couldn’t cope. The pressure kept building up and up. It was my way of dealing. My personal punch bag.

MJ: That makes me so sad.  I wish I could help you.

Esme: I know you do. You feel my pain and wrote about it in your novel.

MJ: I tried to do it justice; I hope in some small way I succeeded.

Esme: You did. But can we talk about something else? This is making me anxious.

MJ: Of course, is it okay to talk about the curse? Or is that off-limits?

Esme: No, that’s okay.

MJ: Who else was a victim?

Esme: Amelina’s dad.

MJ: What about the rest of the family?

Esme: They’re trapped too but they’re not prisoners. Hey, wait a minute. They are prisoners in a way… sometimes you don’t have to be a prisoner to feel like one.

MJ: It must be a really sad story…

Esme: Yes it is, but it’s also much more. There’s light and laughter, darkness and shadows. Many magical threads tangle this story together, like many loves, and yet there are no real lovers.

MJ: It’s no romance then?

Esme: Read the beginning and you might think it’s a romance but read the end and you’ll know it’s not.

MJ: It sounds puzzling…

Esme: Yeah, it’s meant to be. Each chapter starts with a numbered puzzle piece instead of a chapter heading. Then there’s an awesome Tanka poem teaser.

This is my favourite from Puzzle Piece 12:

Think you know someone,

No, you don’t know anyone,

We’re all cheerleaders,

Carrying our false pompoms,

The mirror captures our truth.

 

MJ: A teaser… interesting… Are you a poetry fan?

Esme:  Hey! All artistic and tortured souls love poetry.

MJ: I love poetry!

Esme: Oh! Ha Ha… That means you’re a deep thinker.

MJ: I am. Talking about deep thinking… If you had a twin, what would you say to her?

Esme: I have a twin, inside me. It’s like there are two people in my brain. One’s happy, one’s sad, a yin and yang twin…

MJ: I wish I could make you whole and happy. Perhaps I might write your freedom…

Esme: Could you? Pleeease. But make sure that you write my freedom beyond the prison of my mind. Don’t send me to the land where shadows live.

MJ: Sigh. I wish I could promise that, but I haven’t finished book two yet and I have no idea what will happen in book three!

Esme: You authors have a wicked sense of power…

MJ: Yes, it is true dear Esme. You are without a doubt the most challenging character in my book and that is why I love you so…

Esme: Ahhhhh, thank you!

I hope you will love Esme as much as I do. She might make you sad but there is a young person like her out there somewhere. Self-harm is a growing problem in our young people. Let’s not bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. Speak out about mental health issues, fight to take away the stigma. Help someone you know who is suffering, it’s the little things that mean so much.

Please feel free to comment and share.

The illustrations of the Creature and Esme will appear in black and white in the paperback book due to be launched April 2018.

Images copyright – talented artist Carolina Russo: https://yesterdayafter.com

Previous interviews on Kyrosmagica:

Shadow: https://mjmallon.com/2017/05/11/my-interview-with-shadow-a-black-cat-character-with-a-past/

Amelina: https://mjmallon.com/2017/08/20/mj-interviews-amelina-the-curse-of-time-bloodstone-sundayblogshare/

Ryder: https://mjmallon.com/2017/07/02/mj-interviews-ryder-the-curse-of-time-bloodstone/

The Creature: https://mjmallon.com/2018/02/20/mj-interviews-the-creature/

Bye for now,

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Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

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

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

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

 

Colleen’s Weekly 2018 Tanka Tuesday Challenge No 70 – Destiny and Challenge

 

Such a lovely find,Could be serendipity..Writer, cat lover,Kindred spirits, crystal souls,Art animates fantasy.•%2

Since I have been writing and blogging there have been so many cases of serendipity, discovering like-minded souls who share similar interests. My lovely friend Colleen Chesebro, fellow writer, chief sister, (blog originator,) at The Sisters of the Fey, loves crystals, fairies and all things magical. Colleen helped me enormously with my manuscript The Curse of Time. She went way beyond a beta read and I am so indebted to her for her kindness, helping me achieve my dream to publish my first book.

Carolina Russo who blogs at Yesterday After  (my illustrator,) also has a crystal connection! She makes crystal jewellery and has created two wonderful pieces of art to illustrate my book, which I will be sharing in a special feature on my next blog post on my main blog – https://mjmallon.com so keep an eye out for that!

And the lovely Samantha Murdoch, who loves cats and crystals kindly emailed me lots of photos of her beautiful black cat Lily to promote my cat character Shadow, as well as an image of the Bloodstone which graces the spine of the paperback.

Lily with Buddha

I would also like to mention, Irene who fashioned this beautiful necklace promoting Colleen’s YA novel The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy https://colleenchesebro.com/category/the-heart-stone-chronicles/the-swamp-fairy/ which I adore wearing. You can order it and other pieces of Irene’s jewellery via her Etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/480852170/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

IMG_20170205_090149_185 - Author photo

My friend Wendy Anne Darling had a magical challenge too, to transform Dr John C Taylor’s brilliant images of the Corpus Christi Clock into a magnificent book cover. She did a fantastic job. Do pop over to Wendy’s blog, and check out her book design service.

Oh, and did I mention that Dr John C Taylor, OBE, inventor of the Corpus Christi Chronopage clock is a keen geologist, loves crystals and of course clocks too…

Such is the power of serendipity! Would you believe it?

I truly believe that The Curse of Time and all these wonderful connections were meant to be.

Have you ever had a similar experience, when everything came together in such a magical and mysterious way?

Do comment I’d love to hear all about it.

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My links:

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Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club – Facebook

https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

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

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

To join in with Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge follow the link:

https://colleenchesebro.com/2018/02/06/colleens-weekly-2018-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-70-destiny-challenge-synonymnsonly/

A HUMUNGOUS THANK YOU!

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A big, gigantic, humungous thank you to Colleen Chesebro for creating this wonderful graphic header of our amazing Facebook club – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club which is gathering such incredible support. We now have 173 members!!!!

I’d like to thank, hug, bear hug, the lovely Vashti Vega for producing these amazing graphics of members books and sharing them on twitter:

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I created the graphic below for the latest #ABRSC read and review – Brigid Gallacher’s 5 star review of Robbie Cheadle’sSir Chocolate and The Strawberry Cream Berries Story and Cookbook.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31378084-sir-chocolate-and-the-strawberry-cream-berries

_ABRSC

We now have a group on Goodreads for #ABRSC Christmas/New Year Read and Review a members book – https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19083848-christmas-new-year-read-and-review.

I’ve just started reading an ARC of Lizzie Chantree’s Ninja School Mum for the read and review..

By the way I’ve just discovered that Lizzie is offering a wonderful prize on her blog at the moment  – A £10 Amazon voucher and a week of tweet support for your book/business/Twitter account from @Lizzie_Chantree with over 51.5K genuine followers.
Here’s how –  All you have to do to enter is to watch my book trailer in full and leave a comment on the YouTube video. You will then be entered into a prize draw. The winner will be notified a few days later. Click the ad above or this link to be taken to the YouTube video. https://lizziechantree.com/2017/12/17/prize-day/

NEWSFLASH – ARC’s of members books are now included in the read and review!!! I’m really enjoying Ninja Book Mum and will be reviewing on my blog soon. I’m so looking forward to hosting Lizzie on my blog in February 2018.

NEWSFLASHThe Curse of Time is on offer from now to Christmas…

Christmas Promotion

 

Happy reading!

Bye for now,

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My social media links: 

Check out this amazing graphic that Colleen made for our group –

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Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

Instagram

Facebook

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#SundayBlogShare Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC

 

The Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC has gone from strength to strength. I founded this Facebook group on 26th of February 2017 nearly six months ago, (goodness how time flies.)

This is the first post: https://mjmallon.com/2017/02/26/authorsbloggers-rainbow-support-club/

Just recently I was astonished to discover that we have over 150 members!!!

We have an amazing team of bloggers who add content everyday and I’d just like to thank them for being so active on the page.

Here are some of the wonderful,  informative links that have been shared of late…

Some informative information via Belinda Miller https://belindamiller.me/I spend a lot of time on marketing my children’s books. One thing I do is produce videos. Since I have worked with some fabulous illustrators, I have blessed with an abundance of illustrations. Two of my favorite apps are: Animoto and Ripl. Check them out. There’s another app, Lumyer, that can be used to enhance, add elements to cover art. I use that, too. Hope this gives you some great ideas! PSA — very addictive.

Via fellow Administrator of the club, Colleen Chesebro  who suggested some design service alternatives which are similiar to Canva: https://crello.com/home/

Via fellow Administrator – Debby Gies – D G Kaye Writer

Via Richard Ankers – Articles and tips for writers – http://www.liternauts.com/articles-for-writers/

Also, I have linked our group to three other Facebook groups which I’d recommend joining too:

To give you an indication of the benefits of joining The Author Helper. Here is one example. Recently, I enquired about  international sales and setting up international author pages.  I had help from:

Ben Zackheim who suggested – Fiberead which translates and distributes internationally.   https://fiberead.com/auth/login

Debby Gies suggested this useful link: Setting up your international author pages by William Cook

Drue Hoffman said that –  France, Japan & Germany also have Author Central pages and put up a graphic which suggested that the UK and the UK are the biggies in the e-book market. 

Please support the following upcoming activities mentioned on #ABRSC if you can:

Charli Mills at her welcoming Carrot ranch are having a right all blogging knees up in October – Carrot Ranch New Barns Raised At The Ranch

Colleen Chesebro  is having an October Spectacular  with Author Guest Posts. This sounds such fun, I love halloween! So keep an eye out for that. Colleen shared this link too:  https://buildbookbuzz.com/quirky-october-holidays-offer-book-promotion-possibilities/

Some of my recent finds:

https://book-publicist.com/2017/03/10/35-top-book-awards-for-authors-in-2016/

http://writerunboxed.com/2017/08/25/your-publicity-timeline-is-there-a-best-month-to-publish-your-book/

http://digitalbooktoday.com/join-our-team/maximize-your-kdp-select-free-days/

Recently, I had the good fortune to be a guest on the #LisaBurtonShow. My interview: Lisa Interviews My Character Esme

I was curious about the poster art that Craig used. Here’s a link to the fabulous artist on Deviant Art:  https://artbrosean.deviantart.com/art/Lisa-Walks-like-an-Egyptian-705536763

And I can’t remember whether I found this via rainbow or not but it might come in useful to someone…. if you want to enter at some point… https://www.tckpublishing.com/2017-readers-choice-awards/

Also there was a recent discussion kicked off by Colleen Chesebro about collaborations, which I am a big fan of.  This became an on-line brainstorming session!!! Many #ABRSC got involved in this particular topic and we hope to have a Xmas collaborative event with this in mind. So stay tuned!

Before I go I’d love to share this lovely human interest story from Ritu, which is bound to put a smile on your face: https://butismileanyway.com/2017/09/14/i-love-our-oldies/

There are so many lovely bloggers and authors who participate in #ABRSC. Sadly, I haven’t mentioned them all due to time constraints but please take this as a huge thank you to each and every one of you for helping make #ABRSC such a fun, engaging place to share ideas, and help each other.

If you’d like to join the #ABRSC please do. Comment below. Let me know if you have any questions about the club, add your links to posts of interest, chat, come say hello.

Bye for now,

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My social media links:

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Twitter: @curseof_time

Instagram

Facebook

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Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!

 

COLLEEN’S WEEKLY #POETRY CHALLENGE 41 – #HAIKU #TANKA #HAIBUN: MUSIC & ART

I couldn’t have asked for better prompt words – music and art.

Both feature as a wonderful source of inspiration in my writing. In our family, there’s always music playing – my husband is a keen guitarist and loves to strum away whenever he can. He serenades me at night in our garden…. Our next door neighbours get cranky about this! We are lucky to have a room dedicated to music with many guitars and an electronic piano too.

Creativity, Photography and Art inspire my writing to such a degree that I have decided to collaborate with one or perhaps two artists/friends to showcase the character/s, and crystal cottage that feature in my book The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone which I intend to release late this summer. More about that to come…

One of my artist friends Catherine S. Walker had her first open studies event last weekend. My friend Timea and I had a lovely time visiting her and viewing all of her awesome art. I’d love for Catherine to create a stunning art piece of the crystal cottage that features in my book…

Take a look at Catherine’s awesome artist page on Facebook: Artist Page: Catherine S. Walker, scroll down her facebook page to see her Acrylic and Watercolour paintings and line drawings: trees, rocks, flowers and landscapes. And detailed buildings too…

So, my Tanka this week… is especially for Catherine, wishing her much success. We spent the day enjoying her art, sitting in her garden, and blowing bubbles!

My good friend Timea looked so wonderfully elegant in these photos…

 

Bubbles in the sun,Playing a musical dance,Basking in our sweet friendship,Admiring her art, we praise,A special day for Catherine. (1)

 

Bye for now, time for a celebratory cocktail… No bubbles, just a parasol!

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My social media links:

Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
Twitter: @curseof_time

Instagram

Facebook

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Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!

https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/07/11/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-41-haiku-tanka-haibun-music-art/#comment-43822