Author Interview – Joy Lynn Goddard

I am pleased to have Author Joy Lynn Goddard as my guest this week.

Joy is an accomplished writer in the young adult genre though more recently, she has collaborated with her husband, Dan, on adult fiction.

Thank you, Joy, for participating in my interview.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1.Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

Although I’m an avid reader now, I wasn’t much of a reader as a young child. I rarely picked up a book! My teachers and parents were always telling me to read something and that annoyed me, so I refused. However, I also preferred running around and having adventures to curling up with a book. I was more likely to build a fort and pretend I was being held captive there by an evil witch than read about a similar adventure in a book. That said, I remember my Grade 8 teacher reading Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner to the class, and I loved the book. It was dark, scary, exciting.

2.Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Harper Lee, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Linwood Barclay, Alice Munro, Gillian Flynn

3.What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

Writing is like having a movie playing in my head. It’s very entertaining. I love movies! What I don’t like about writing is that after I’ve edited my manuscript for the umpteenth time, I have trouble letting it go. Enough, already!

4.Where do your ideas come from?

I can find ideas from almost every waking moment—from strangers or people in my life or from the places I’ve been, including an ordinary trip to the bank or grocery store as much as an exotic locale. I get ideas from the Internet, newspapers, books, journals and magazines and then combine and stretch these ideas, changing them to make them my own. When teaching, I got ideas from ordinary kids and situations in the classroom and schoolyard.

5.When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

I often create characters from my imagination, but I also develop characters by combining the traits of people I know personally or from the media.

6.What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

My husband and I are working on a novel about a contest to sell an old Inn in vineyard where a murder has taken place.

7.Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

My first YA novel, Daredevils (along with its teacher manual by Ruthanne Finnigan) won the Ontario English Catholic Teacher Association (OECTA) provincial Best Practice Award in 2005. Additionally, in recognition for our contribution to literacy, which involved my Northview Tales series–Daredevils, Hello, my name is Emily, Charlie’s Song–we received the OECTA AWARD of Merit in 2009. The books are read in schools in Ontario, BC and Alberta.

A Little More Personal

8.Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I can think of an embarrassing/ funny moment that happened when my husband and I were in a noisy coffee shop once. We were discussing the plot of a story for our anthology Buyers, Liars, Sellers and Yellers –in particular, how to kill off one of the characters—when the room fell silent. Everybody near our table was staring at us, some clearly disgusted. With the waiter’s help, we were able to explain that we had been plotting fiction, not fact, and everybody had a good laugh.

9.Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

Salmon Point, Prince Edward County. The entire county is paradise.

10.Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

One memory has influenced my writing more than the others. I grew up in all-white neighbourhood, school and town. In my early years, I never met anyone who didn’t resemble my family, neighbours or friends. My mother, a nurse, didn’t drive much, especially on blustery winter days, so she found herself taking the bus to work at the hospital in a town thirty minutes away. When she came home that night, she had a stranger with her, an African American woman. Apparently, the bus driver had given the woman a hard time because of the colour of her skin and had refused to let her off at her bus stop, which would have forced her to back track several miles in a blizzard, and in the dark, to get home. Outraged, my mother had blasted the driver—she wasn’t one to hold back—and had brought the woman to our house to have dinner, then my father drove her home. As a child, I didn’t understand the driver’s perspective. It made me feel sick. It didn’t make sense—and it still doesn’t!

11.If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Reading. Walking. Listening to music. Biking. Hanging out with family and friends. Watching a movie.

12.Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

I met Pierre Elliot Trudeau when he was prime minister. I was a reporter covering a local Liberal candidate’s fundraising picnic when the prime minister’s helicopter landed in a farmer’s field nearby. I remember every detail of the day. The prime minister seemed much smaller than I had imagined—for in the papers his presence was large—and he had his signature rose in his lapel and wore a navy pinstriped suit. As reporters tend to do, they rushed up to him asking questions and demanding to be heard. I tended to stay back when the others moved forward, for I didn’t like getting up into someone’s face. As a reporter, my shyness often got in my way. But that day, it worked in my favour. Trudeau walked past the others towards me and asked if I had any questions for him. He was charming and friendly, and I was dumbfounded!

About the Book: Moonshadow

Lauren Prescott’s family secrets were buried long before she was born, during the sixties era when her great-grandparents took in a runaway girl from an Indian residential school. Her ailing grandfather, who was a teenager back then, now longs to find the girl—Rose Hill—to right a wrong before he dies. He’s ashamed of how he treated her because he recoiled from the racist climate of colonialism of the time. Haunted by the past, Lauren risks everything to go after the truth for her grandfather—even her life!

Bio

JOY LYNN GODDARD is one of Canada’s top novelists in the young adult genre. Drawing from her experiences as a teacher, she has written a picture book, a middle-grade novel and five coming-of-age novels, beginning with the award-winning Daredevils. A former journalist, she has had copious articles and short stories published and more recently teamed up with her husband Dan to write an adult anthology, which is a parody on the real estate industry. Moonshadow is her latest collaboration with Dan. They divide their time between Guelph and Prince Edward County, Ontario, where she teaches and writes, he’s in sales and volunteer work, and they spend time with family. Learn more about her by visiting www.joygoddard.com.

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Author Interview – Julia Sutton

Author Julia Sutton is my interview guest this week.

Julia has published three novels and is finishing up book 4 of her School of Dreams series.

Thank you, Julia, for participating in my interview this week.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

Firstly, hello and thank you for interviewing me Sandra 😊

When I was a young girl, I loved Enid Blyton books (The Magic Faraway Tree) and Roald Dahl (James and the giant peach). They inspired me as a young girl to want to become an author. I loved escaping into fictitious worlds and this has always stayed with me.

Stephen King is a brilliant writer – Salem’s Lot is my favourite of his novels. I remember reading that as a teenager and being seriously impressed by his talent and also scared to death lol.

I’m currently reading all sorts of genres. Reading is my favourite hobby and I’ll give anything a go: romance, psychological thrillers, horror and most recently I’ve read my very first sci-fi novel by fellow Creativia author Phil Price.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I think it was probably when I was around 7. I used to write stories and poems even way back then and loved English at school. As a teenager I aspired to be a journalist or anything to do with writing. My life took a different route however and I was so busy with work and family that I didn’t have time to write. It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I had my first novel published. Now I have more time to spend writing and have three published novels currently available via online stores such as Amazon and have almost finished my fourth book.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

So many, but these are a few that I’ve read multiple works of and really enjoyed: Carole Matthews, Milly Johnson, Jill Mansell, Lucy Diamond, Stephen King, Phil Price, Audrina Lane, Michelle Diana Lowe.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing?

I love producing a book from a tiny idea and creating diverse and interesting characters. Seeing my book in print is so exciting and fulfilling. The marketing aspect can be time consuming but enjoyable; I like connecting with others on social media and talking about my writing with the general public.

I don’t really have a least favourite, as I enjoy the complete writing process, but I do find blurbs challenging to write and also proofreading / editing can be draining.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Mainly from my over-active imagination, but also from conversations, travelling too different places, news articles etc.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I love drawing and would love to have a go at pottery and jewellery making. I’m also in the process of completing a proofreading course with the ambition to work with other writers in the future.

7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

Probably the New Testament of the Holy Bible, as I want to know if Jesus really existed.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

A mixture of both. Sometimes people I know or have fleetingly met do inspire me and other times the characters are completely made up. I recently had an idea for a holiday book whilst on holiday myself and the main character is inspired by one of my neighbours.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

No that one’s never happened to me – yet LOL!

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

Usually an idea pops into my head as I’m writing a plan but if I’m struggling, I write a list of words associated with the book’s themes and play around with them until I come up with a suitable title.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I’m currently working on the fourth and final book in the School of Dreams series. It’s called The Year of New Beginnings; I’ve written 75,000 words and almost finished. I also have a few ideas for new books: a Christmas book and a holiday romance book, which I intend to start after the School of Dreams is completed.

I’ve also written a few children’s stories which I have been sending off to agents in the hope that one day, they too will be published as books 😊

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

No, I haven’t won any awards for my writing, but being a published author is reward enough for me.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Professionally I would love to have my children’s books published and to see my adult fiction on the shelves of physical book stores. Personally, I would love to go on a whale watching trip.

14. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I love the island of Majorca and have holidayed there four times now. The beaches are beautiful, the sea is amazing and the people are super friendly.

15. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

Performing in the school play is one of my favourite childhood memories – I wanted to be the princess but was cast as a tom boy and in fact it was a great part to play – so much fun and more challenging.

16. What makes you happy?

Being with my family and friends makes me happy. Writing, drawing, reading, exercising, eating nice food and sleeping also make me happy.

17. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Housework, listening to music, drawing, exercising, watching T.V.

18. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

I’ve met the Pet Shop Boys way back in the 1980s and have their autographs somewhere in my bedside drawer.


Julia’s Links
Facebook Author Page:- https://www.facebook.com/booksbyjulia1972

Twitter:- Julia Sutton Books @booksbyjulia72

Instagram:- Julia Sutton Books

Author Interview – Kathryn Rossati

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My guest this week is fantasy author, Kathryn Rossati. Kathryn writes YA/NA and childrens’ fiction as well as poetry. She also has published works under the pen name of Kathryn Wells.

Thank you, Kathryn, for participating in author interviews.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

Not specifically, as I read voraciously as a kid and so absorbed quite a few books. There was one series that made me want to write a sequel, though – which I guess would be fan fic now – and that was The Legendeer by Alan Gibbons, about a boy who goes into a game world as Perseus. It taught me a lot about Greek, Norse and Vampire myths.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I think I started writing stories as soon as I grasped enough writing skills to do so at around five or six, and a few years after that, I knew it was what I wanted to do when I grew up.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Tough one, as I have so many: Diana Wynne Jones, David Eddings, Garth Nix, Geanna Culberston, Jonathan Stroud, Cornelia Funke

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

My favourite is coming up with ideas. I tend to get lost in my head for days doing this. My least favourite is definitely the first draft, as there are times when the words simply don’t flow as well as they should. Saying that, I make them come out when I have deadlines.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

I’d say from everything I absorb going through life – any interactions, art, media, dreams. All sorts of places, really. I take bits from here and there and jumble them all up in a pot and let them stew together.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

Hmm, I don’t know about talent, but there’s lots of things I’m interested in. I’m quite good at arts and crafts when I want to be.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

One of Garth Nix’s Abhorsen ones, I’d love to see Charter Magic for real.


8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

That often depends on the book. Sometimes there’s intentionally parts from people I know in them, others there’s not.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

No, actually. But I’m quite glad, as I’d probably end up calling them by the character name, which would lead to all sorts of confusion.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

Sometimes they’re inspired by the plot or something a character says, though I often have the title in my head before I start writing. Of course, they can change as I get more familiar with my characters.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I’m writing a middle grade time travel about a girl who ends up in the Victorian era and meeting a boy magician whose journal she found in an old magic book.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

I’ve come runner-up in a few local short story competitions before. None of my books have been entered into competitions, but maybe someday they will be, so who knows?

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

I’d love to own my own bookshop one day.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I have many. Being autistic, I often misunderstand what people are saying, only to figure it out a while after. Those moments can be either hilarious or embarrassing, depending on who I’m with. If I’m with my other half, we usually end up roaring with laughter and going completely off topic.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Not that I can think of. My mum has though.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I try not to be, though I often have my mum’s old rhymes pop into my head (like when seeing magpies). I don’t have any rituals for luck, but I do have some for comfort. I’m a very routine person though, so I guess that explains it.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

I’ve been known to dip lollipops into tea before. And I tend to throw any old thing together when I’m low on ingredients.

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I like quiet places around nature. But on the flip side, I’ve always wanted to go back to Disneyland.

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

I’ve got quite a few, but I loved going to museums. I also had one of my stories read out in front of the whole school in primary, which was lovely, but kind of embarrassing too.

20. What makes you happy?

Rambles off the beaten track with my other half (neither of us have any sense of direction, so it’s usually an adventure), reading, being creative, spending time with my animals.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Procrastinating, usually. Which can mean anything from cleaning the whole house or getting stuck into The Legend of Zelda/ a good book.

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Nope, but I’d love to meet some of my favourite authors.

Kate’s Links:

Blog: krobats.wordpress.com

Website: www.kathrynrossati.co.uk

Twitter: @KaptainKat90

AllAuthor: https://allauthor.com/author/kathrynrossati/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dragonink90/

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

Author Interview – Simone Beaudelaire

Welcome, Author Simone Beaudelaire, and thank you for being my guest this week.

I hope you enjoy getting to know a little about Simone and check our her newest release, Where the Wind Blows, on Amazon.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

One of the early books that had an impact on me was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I remember so much about it. The vivid details. The charismatic characters. Most of all that the author didn’t shy away from authentic emotion. It’s an ugly cry book—probably my first—and the impact of those undiluted emotions never left me.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

Always, I think. I was making up stories at a very young age. I used to take all my Cabbage Patch dolls and Pound Puppies (and the cat when he would cooperate) onto my bed and pretend we were lost at sea, fleeing an oppressive regime, or going into space. All kinds of scenarios. My stories developed plots and characters in middle school, when I retreated into my imagination to escape bullies. I wrote my first ‘book’ at the age of 14, but it was so bad, I threw it away. I didn’t try again until my undergraduate days, when I started a historical romance… and then left it, and the second book I started (a contemporary military romance) half-finished and moldering, for a decade until I learned to complete books. Now, those two books are done and published, and many of the characters I invented in middle school are around in print as well.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

A tough question. Okay. I like classic literature, so Shakespeare, Robert Browning, John Donne and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow are favorites. I like Poe and Hawthorne as well. On the other hand, I love romance novels. Mary Jo Putney taught me a lot about emotion in romances, how to have a great plot, and how to bring description to life. I also like Lisa Kleypas for her unapologetic heat level.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

I love the creative process, especially that part just past the halfway point when the book takes over and writing it is no longer an act of will. I can’t sleep when I’m in the zone, but it’s a high no drug could match. I dislike marketing. I’m not a businessperson. So, I’m happy to make the art and let someone else sell it.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

From angst. From what hurts me. From unfulfilled wishes and dying dreams. If they can’t live in my reality, by God they can live on paper.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I enjoy singing, though I’m not sure I’d call myself a musician. I guess my other talent is teaching. My students seem to like me well enough. I also have a hobby of cooking and baking.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

Hard to say. I would love to be a fly on the proverbial wall overlooking the Battle of Waterloo in Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney. I’d love to be a guest at Othello and Desdemona’s wedding. I’d love to attend the Romany feasts depicted in both Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney and several of Lisa Kleypas’s novels. I’d also love to step into my books and apologize to my characters for my lack of skill when I created them.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

Some of both. A number of bullies and jerks who play antagonists resemble my abusive ex-husband. I create characters as a composite of people I know. But they are also parts of my character most people never get to see. They also have imaginary experiences that color their personas, so I guess each well-developed character is bits of this and that.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

As a matter of fact, yes. I wrote the same hero several times, with different faces, background stories, etc. A kind, loving, supportive man who truly knows how to listen. Then I met my now husband and realized who I had been calling out to all that time…

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

I agonize over them and then something will randomly come to me.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I’m working on a revamp of that first novel I mentioned earlier, a historical romance called Beautiful Rose. It needs some polishing up. Also, a sequel to my short story collection Amor Maldito. This time, I’m focusing on American folklore. Book 1 was about Tex-Mex or Tejano folklore.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

I haven’t entered any competitions. I don’t want to see writing as a race to the top, but rather a playground where everyone gets a turn on the slide. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone, only to share what I’ve created with those who care. Readers abound. I’m not going to scramble after them

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Earn a doctorate, maybe. I’m still thinking about this.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I’d rather not, if it’s all the same.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

Yes. Several times, but most recently I had this happen. My husband and I went to New Orleans for a delayed honeymoon. We’d been married a short time and I was pregnant with our now two-year-old baby. We went on a ghost tour (a New Orleans tradition for our family). In that tour, we stopped outside the Pharmacy Museum and the tour guide told us that pregnant women should not touch or enter the building. I wasn’t showing yet, so there’s no way she could have known. She told us that the former pharmacist used to do experiments on enslaved women and caused their babies to have birth defects. The ghost once trapped a pregnant employee inside the building.

The next day, at sunset, my husband and I walked past the building and stopped at the farthest point of the sidewalk. He embraced me from behind and we chatted for a moment about how creepy the building was. Then, SOMETHING touched my hair. It wasn’t my husband, as his hands were on my tummy. He didn’t see anything, and he was completely plastered to my back. So, what was it? I think the ghost of the pharmacist popped out to let me know he’d noticed me.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I am. But I don’t have any luck, so I rely on work instead.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Frogs and snails. Not bad.

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

New Orleans, as mentioned above. I love Brittany, France, but with a family of six, the cost is prohibitive.

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

I didn’t have the happiest childhood. My best memories are of reading in my room.

20. What makes you happy?

Walking with my husband, talking about random things. Watching movies with my kids. Cuddling the baby. Ordinary things.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Teaching, keeping house, having intense talks with my husband and kids.

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Nope. I rang up Bobby Pulido when I was cashiering at Walmart in college, but I didn’t know who he was. I did go to high school with Selena’s cousin, but that’s as close as it gets.

Simone’s Links

Website: https://www.simonebeaudelaire.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Simone-Beaudelaire-and-Edwin-Stark-703991259648857

Amazon: http://author.to/SBAmazon

Author Interview – David Melville Edwards

This week’s interview is with author David Melville Edwards.

I hope you enjoy reading a little about David’s writing habits and personal life.

Thank you, David, for being my guest this week.

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

“Biggles Learns To Fly”, by Captain W.E. Johns. Aged 8 or 9, I had already read several exciting “Biggles” adventures, but this had a different feel. Seemingly drawn directly from the author’s life experience, it was more intense, more personal and ultimately more moving. For me, it was an early demonstration of the power of authenticity.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

When I was about 14 years old.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

In English, Jane Austin. Her writing is so good. In translation, Mikhail Bulgakov, ‘The Master and Margarita’, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez ‘100 Years of Solitude’. They manage to make absurd fantasies authentic, and this is what I strive to do in my own work (not that I’m aiming high or anything).

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

My favourite thing is reading back the complete work, and finding that I’ve written something that I at least enjoy reading! My least favourite thing is the time it takes.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Ultimately, from the paradoxes and absurdities inherent in human existence. Things I’ve seen, done or heard of. I imagine different characters faced with these situations, and when I play their interactions forward and backwards in time, I have a story arc. I write first and foremost to amuse myself, so I self-consciously play with the form. ‘The Spirit of the Age’ is a fantasy, so it ought to have a great battle, and I provide one. But my battle is actually a cricket match. Charles Dickens has his famous ‘London Fog’ metaphor for the Court of Chancery, so I have a description of ‘Multi-cultural Hounslow’. Most sex scenes I read are risible and/or contribute nothing to the narrative, so I aim to make mine authentic and relevant. If JRR Tolkien can inflict Tom Bombadil’s execrable verse on readers of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, I feel perfectly entitled to embed some of mine. And so on.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I sing in a choir? I’m no Bryn Terfel, though.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

Some futuristic space fantasy? I never aspired to be an astronaut, but who wouldn’t love to whizz across the universe at the speed of light or look down on planets in our solar system.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

They are completely made up (hey, one of my characters is some kind of mermaid!). But of course, they share attributes with people I’ve known, and in some cases their physical descriptions might be recognisable.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

No.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

I wanted a title that I could develop into a series, and which would give scope for sequels. With ‘The Spirit Novels’ I have follow-up options like “That’s the Spirit” or “The Spirit is Willing”. But that is a rationalisation after the fact for my choice of “The Spirit of the Age”. Every year, it seems, a novel comes out of nowhere and transcends genre to become a mega-best-seller. Think EL James “50 Shades of Grey” or Paula Hawkins “Girl on a Train“. They may not be “The Best” books of their years, but they somehow capture the Zeitgeist, “The Spirit of the Age”. So there was my title …

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

A sequel to ‘The Spirit of the Age’. Unfortunately, I have set it against the background of “Brexit”, so I have no idea how it is going to finish.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

No 😦

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

Become a fêted and successful novelist!

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I went to a University attended by eight times as many men as women. Shortly after I started, I received a ‘Dear John’ letter from my girl-friend, so craving female company I gate-crashed a Guy Fawkes bonfire and fireworks display at an all-female college. I boldly parked my bicycle in the college bike-shed, then circled through trees around the field where the display was to take place before quietly emerging to mingle.

It was a chilly November evening in the Northern Hemisphere, with clear skies, bright stars and glittering frost on the grass and the evergreen bushes, so we all pushed up on the safety barrier rope to maximise the warming effects of the bonfire.

Whilst the fireworks, mostly fountains of gold, were pretty rather than spectacular they were nevertheless worthy of remark, and I found myself striking up a conversation with the girl who happened to be next to me. And really enjoying her company. I think she may have felt the same, since she asked me who had invited me. And I was in a bind.

I thought for a moment about naming an acquaintance, but I hate lying, and since it would have been a lie that might easily have been exposed as such, thus ending any hopes I might have entertained, I told the truth.

She was outraged. “Why?” she asked.

“Because”, I mumbled.

“WHY?”, she insisted.

I wretchedly trotted out the “Eight times as many men as women” statistic, and the shutters came down.

She morphed from friendly fellow soul to ‘US Marshall Escorting a Dangerous Prisoner’, and whilst she stayed by my side for the rest of the evening, even allowing me to accompany her with a group of fellow students to a room to listen to records, nothing I said or did after that made any impression on her. She declined my invitation to go on a date, and I never spoke to her again.

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

These are themes I address in my WIP. People are used to the idea that actions have consequences. However, at the atomic scale Quantum Mechanics suggests that this is not the case. Outcomes are governed by probabilities, it’s possible for particles to be in multiple states simultaneously (the basis for ‘Quantum Computing’) there is ‘Wave-Particle Duality’ and the same starting conditions can give rise to a multitude of outcomes. It has even been suggested that the universe splits at every possible outcome (this is called the ‘Multi-World’ theory).

At the other end of the scale, there is Chaos Theory and the ‘Butterfly Effect’, when a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system results in large differences in a later state.

Whilst the mathematics in both cases are sound, in my book I argue that these notions of causality are flawed. Most physical laws are symmetrical under time reversal; we infer the direction of time’s arrow from the way that entropy increases. Thus you know that a film showing toothpaste leaping off a brush back into the tube is being played in reverse.

Now it happens that the Quantum Theory of the Electron requires that to understand the current state you have to take account of electrons that travel back in time as well as those that travel forwards. So in my book I argue that rather than the universe spawning gazillions of times every picosecond (an unnecessarily profligate doling out of universes, it seems to me), or butterflies flapping their wings in Africa causing hurricanes in Florida, these are occasions when the actual future dominates the determination of the sequence of eventsrather than the sequence of events simply being determined by what has happened in the past. That being the case, if one could identify an event whose primary cause lies in the future, you might infer what that future might be, thus providing a mechanism for premonition.

And so, I finally reach my answer to the question, have I ever experienced something weird I couldn’t explain? Yes. I reversed my car into a bollard, and cracked the plastic bumper (fender for any Americans reading this). Whilst I would ordinarily have felt quite irked by such a turn of events, I found myself unnaturally calm. Then, a couple of days later, an idiot proceeding down my quiet one-way street hit the accelerator rather than the brake pedal, smashed into my parked car, and turned it into an insurance write-off.

So, did the accident that was about to destroy my vehicle cause my blasé reaction to my self-inflicted fender-bender?

16. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Some kind of crunchy insect snack, maybe a locust, billed as a ‘Terrestrial Prawn’, or some such. I don’t think this is an idea whose time has yet come.

17. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

A village called Landéda on the coast of Brittany in Western France. The sea air is famous for its health-giving properties, and as soon as I arrive, I can feel all the cares of the world falling away.

18. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

My ‘Just William’ moment; crashing down a hillside in a go-cart a friend and I had made ourselves from pram wheels we had found dumped in the countryside together with wood and nails we looted from a building site and design advice from my favourite grandfather.

My friend Simon was steering, whilst I was sitting behind him operating a brake that consisted of a timber baulk nailed to the frame that could be pivoted against one of the back wheels. As the go-cart picked up speed on the steep slope, I tried to apply the brake. It came off in my hand, and I fell off the back. Simon continued down the hill picking up further speed until the go-cart hit the bank at the bottom of the hill before the road, and disintegrated. Simon emerged unscathed from the wreckage, and we just laughed and laughed.

19. What makes you happy?

Making merry with family and friends.

20. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

I’m an IT Professional, so I’m doing something with computers, computer systems or computer networks.

21. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

The first female UK Minister of Defence, Penny Mordaunt, is my first cousin. I’ve known her since she and her twin brother James were lying on a blanket in our grand-parents’ back garden, unable yet to crawl.

David’s Links:

Book buying link would be: http://mybook.to/TheSpiritOfTheAge

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidMelEdwards

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

Author Interview – Laura Diaz de Arce

Author Laura Diaz de Arce joins me on Author Interviews this week.

I hope you enjoy learning a little about Laura’s journey as an author.

Thank you for being my guest, Laura!

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

The first book that pops up is probably The Voyage of the Basset by James C. Christensen which I think I received in first to second grade. I think that was the first challenging book I read, but it helped that it had these gorgeous pictures and mythologies throughout it. I think I liked the fantastic nature of it all, the way the text played with the illustrations, the side notations, it pushed what I thought books could be. Plus, I loved myths and I loved how the mythological creatures were humanized. I think I just loved the breadth of fantasy that was presented.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I don’t know that I never didn’t want to write. I used to write short stories for fun as a child and up through adolescence. But I think, when you grow up a bit poor and you’re an academically inclined kid, writing isn’t a supported track because it isn’t guaranteed money. I knew I wanted it to eventually be a full-time career, but I also realized that is not necessarily something available. But no matter what, I wanted writing to be a part of my life, I can’t have it not be.

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

I’m lucky enough to have a lot of fabulous contemporaries and to be surrounded by fabulous writers like Priya Sridhar, Brandon Chinn, Enrique Bedlam, and Matilda Reyes. I also love work by Jacqueline Carey (who I got to interview![1]), James Triptree Jr., and Katherine Arden. I deeply love the surreal and poetic prose of Monique Quintana, Rios de la Luz, and Leza Cantoral. Then I also have authors I love for the fun of reading, like Cathy Yardley. It’s hard to say favorites, I tend to gorge on an author’s work and move on, or even if I don’t like a particular piece, I find myself admiring the craft of it.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

The absolute best thing is that little “zing” feeling you get when you’ve got an idea or a little bit of inspiration. The whole thing can be a bit of a buzz when you’re writing and in problem-solving mode.

The worst, for me, is the physical act. I have arthritis, and in a sort of irony, hand writing is largely painful, and while typing is mostly fine, afterwards I’ll be physically sore and in pain for a while. I’m not a person that’s good at dictating, but I will have to get to that point soon.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

There are certain themes and motifs that are reoccurring for me and I tend to find new ways to express them. Environmentalism and environmental degradation are big ones. Different feminisms will inevitably make their way in, as will mental illness and mental health in some form. I tend to like using transformation, animals, and consumption as ways to express interaction and power-struggles. As for the ideas, they come if you let them. Reading helps a lot, because it can create a conversation between one writer and another. But also, actually going places and doing things can spark a new idea. I also enjoy a prompt to kickstart things, or certain calls for stories can provide a challenge that can lead to useable ideas. The creativity is just there, if you let it be.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

I’m not an expert in anything else, really. Before the arthritis worsened, I liked to make costumes and cosplay. I’m pretty good with makeup and hair, and I sing a bit, although my ability to use my whole register needs work. I’m a pretty good cook though, but it’s because I like to eat.

7. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

Sometimes they resemble people, but it is never a good thing for the person being portrayed. There is a whole history of artists being vengeful and petty: Michelangelo painted a Cardinal who was criticizing his work as King Midas having his penis bitten off. Lewis Carroll turned John Ruskin into a whinging lizard. Hell, Gwen Stefani wrote Hollaback Girl about Courtney Love. I have no problem partaking in this history.

8. How do you come up with titles for your books?

Monstrosity came about because I noticed I was making a bunch of stories that centered on being some sort of monster, human or otherwise. I also liked it because it is a bit evocative, because to be a monstrosity is to be so grandiose, so grotesque, it can be considered inhuman. I wanted to play with that, to push that, and to say there is no such thing when we all have monstrous qualities. We both are and make the monster.

9. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

Well, I’ve got a good number of stories building for a second collection. Plus, two fantasy romance novels at like, 60% completion. I tend to bounce around. When those aren’t enough, I have 2 science fiction books at different stages of development, one that is riskier and more experimental, and another I would describe as “vampires and witches in space”.

Laura’s Links

twitter.com/@quetaauthor

instagram.com/quetaauthor

Book Link http://mybook.to/Monstrosity

[1]https://bookriot.com/2018/07/11/jacqueline-carey-interview/

Author Interview – Cynthia Morgan

My guest this week is Cynthia Morgan.

Cynthia is the author of the award winning YA Fantasy Dark Fey trilogy.

I hope you enjoy reading a little about my guest this week.

Thank you, Cynthia!

About Writing/Books/Being an Author

1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

One of the first books to really open my eyes to what was possible is Lord of the Flies by William Golding. We studied it in 9th grade and I was immediately enamored by all the imagery, underlying themes, and the powerful use of symbolism. It became the ‘bar’ at which I set my own writing and the standard I still aspire to.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I began writing full blown stories as early as 5th grade, when I was just 10, so I guess I was born a writer, but until 2014 I had no idea how to take the step from hobbyist to published author. It was only when a friend took an invested interest in my story Dark Fey and helped me figure out how to turn my manuscript into a Kindle Direct Publishing-ready document that I could realize the dream. She even went so far as to hold a publishing party for me with my closest friends and family. (Thanks Jena!)

3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

I have always loved classical literature because of its beautiful use of the English language and the complexity of it’s writers. Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, Poe, and of course Shakespeare are my ‘go-to’ authors.

4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing about writing?

I truly love spending an entire day immersed in the words, landscapes, conflicts, passions and quagmires of my stories and characters. I once spent 14 hours writing…and it was blissful! My least favourite thing is that I rarely ever get a chance to do the aforementioned.

5. Where do your ideas come from?

Varying sources, but always something that stirs the heart and mind equally.

6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

Words have always been my forte, but behind the words is a sensitivity that allows me to relate very closely with animals. My friends call me the Cat-Whisperer because I seem to relate to and understand cats better than many. I have always had a deep love for animals and nature.

7. If you could jump inside a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

Fall of the Malazan Empire by Steven Erikson. So many unique creatures, characters, and settings, it’s engrossing…..when I have time to listen to it.

8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

Often, they are initially similar to someone I know, or am aware of if I don’t know them personally, but usually they take on their own personalities as I write. It’s rather like when you meet someone for the first time. You might often think, “Oh, they remind me of so and so”, but then as you get to know them, you realize they are their own person with their own quirky qualities, intriguing traits, and sometimes, annoying habits.

9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

I haven’t had that happen…yet.

10. How do you come up with titles for your books?

I don’t usually spend a great deal of time stressing over the title. I allow it to come, just like the story, on its own time. I’ve been writing a story for well over 20 years (a Regency period romance drama) and only with the last two years finally decided on a title.

11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

My current WIP is a Post Apocalyptic Fantasy Romance. It tells the story of life after the first 3 Horsemen, Pestilence, War and Famine, have ridden. In the 4th Era after the Great Cataclysm, (roughly 400 years in the future) the final horseman, Death, is caged and waiting on the Archangel of Mercy to release him. Tzadkiel has been sent to earth in human form to find one human who still understands Mercy. He has been given 100 years, after which Death must be released. With only 4 years remaining, he finds her; a servant named Lourdes, but they must escape the harsh dictatorship of the Eminent Protectorate and find a place of sanctuary before the appointed hundred years are spent and Death is freed from the abyss.

12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?

Yes, I have and I am truly honoured and still very excited. Dark Fey has received an Amazon #1 Best Seller award, two separate Reader’s Favorite 5-Star Reviews, the 2016 New Apple Excellence in Independent Publishing Award, the 2017 Golden Box Books Publishing Reader’s Choice Award & Judges Choice Award, an award from Fresh Lifestyle Magazine 2017 Book Awards and the Authors Data Base 2018 Book Cover Contest Gold Medal.

A Little More Personal

13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?

I’d love to visit Great Britain. Not just for a week or two, but for a few months, roaming the untraveled byways and meandering the foothills and highlands, savoring the lush greens and enwrapping mists, visiting the places NOT found on all the tourist maps.

14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?

I love to laugh, so there are many, but I’ve written about a great one that was both funny and slightly embarrassing, on my blog called A Splendid Giggle, if you care to enjoy it (Link: https://booknvolume.com/2014/02/21/a-splendid-giggle-2/ )

15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?

I believe in the realm of spirits, the paranormal, the beyond…whatever you choose to call it, partially because I’ve experienced several unexplainable events. I used to work in one of the Caesars resorts, and believe it or not, it was haunted. I don’t say that simply because of what I experienced, but also because of the many comments guests would leave via comment cards about ‘the ghost’. I’ve actually seen this ghost. She chose to show herself to me as a bright white apparition that scared me witless, but I remember enough to be able to say it was a woman, wearing what looked like a nurse’s uniform, or a white skirt and sweater and some form of hat. She was there and gone in an instant. Maybe I scared her by reacting with the scream that I couldn’t contain, but she made herself known in other ways, though she never chose to reappear. Pictures that had no reason to fall, fell from walls; lights would go on that I had just turned off; doors would open that I had just closed. She scared me, I’ll be honest, but I will never forget her, and perhaps that’s the immortality she needed.

16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?

I am spiritual, but not superstitious. Some may say it’s the same thing, but I would disagree. However, that’s an entirely separate article so I won’t digress.

17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?

Nothing terribly odd. I’ve had escargot, I’ve eaten ostrich steaks, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed beluga caviar.

18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?

I love Cape May New Jersey. OH such a lovely, restful, charming, place; that draws you in like a melodic tune and captures your heart before it’s done playing. Quiet Seashore, Balmy Breezes, Beautiful Victorian Homes, Guest Houses, Inns, Bed & Breakfasts, Fine Dining, Casual Street-side Cafés, Quaint Shoppes, Artisan Galleries, Horse-Drawn Carriages, a Lighthouse, a Pebble Beach, a Winery, a Playhouse, Music, Wine and Art Festivals, Afternoon Teas, Leisurely Bike Rides, Long Quiet Walks, Sea Glass Hunting, and no loud, boisterous Boardwalk or commercial hotels, all delivered with quiet, delicious, Victorian Flair. AAahhhh!

19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?

I don’t honestly have just one. I am truly Blessed to have had a wonderful childhood with two loving nurturing parents and a sister who, when we were having a sisterly spat, was and still is my best friend forever. I have many fond memories of camping trips and campfires, days at the pool or working in the yard, spending evenings with my father in his garden, or standing beside my mother watching her cook. Yes, Truly, I am Blessed and Thankful.

20. What makes you happy?

Simple things mostly. My Beloved, my family, time spent with friends, my sweet kitty Orangie Pooz, gazing up at the stars, listening to birdsong, sitting quietly by a lake while the breeze sings sweetly, walking along the ocean shore, helping a stray cat or dog, laughing, being present, loving.

21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?

Usually doing one of the aforementioned above 😊

22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?

Strangely enough, I’ve met Alan Jackson, Michael W. Smith, and (frighteningly) Marilyn Manson. I’ve also had supper sitting at a table right next to Clint Eastwood.

Bio & Links

Cynthia A. Morgan is an award-winning author; columnist for the national magazine Fresh LifeStyle, and a member of the Poetry Society of America and Artists for Peace. Creator of the mythical realm of Jyndari and author of the epic fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy, Morgan’s powerful story relates how the power of hope, acceptance and forgiveness can change the world, when positive action is taken to create change. The only way to achieve peace is to become peace.

Morgan is also the author of the popular blog Booknvolume where over 18K followers can explore Morgan’s own brand of poetry and English Sonnets, musings about life, personal recipes, photography, book reviews and more.

Upcoming projects include a fictional drama in Regency Period England; a foray into the lives of a young housemaid and an immortal archangel in French post-Armageddon earth; a non-fiction exploration of the supernatural/paranormal and beliefs around the world; and a return to the realms of Dark Fey in a prequel/sequel. Some of her other interests includes a deep love for animals and the environment. She is passionate about music and theatre; is frequently heard laughing; and finds the mysteries of ancient times, spirituality, and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the cosmos intriguing. Morgan believes in the power of love, hope and forgiveness, all of which is reflected in her lyrically elegant writing style.

You can find Morgan through social media in the following places:

The Dark Fey Trilogy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074CFD9CG

Blog / website: www.booknvolume.com

All Things Dark Fey Website: https://allthingsdarkfey.wixsite.com/feyandmusings

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/CAMorganAuthor

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/MorganBC728

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/creativiapub/author-board-cynthia-a-morgan/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14174277.Cynthia_A_Morgan

Publisher’s Author Page : https://www.creativia.org/cynthia-morgan-fantasy-author.html