Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Deborah A. Stansil

 

Today I’m hosting fellow North Easterner author and blogger Deborah A Stansil.

Deborah kindly sent me a copy of The Mirror as part of her feature here today. 



Deborah is Author to The Joker, The Twisted Tales series as well as recently published The Mirror.

As you all know, I love to have a book to read, especially before going to bed.

I find it the ultimate therapy to relax after the chaotic days.

This month’s bed time read has been ‘The Mirror’.

The story centres around Amy and her daughter Lilly. They make a seemingly innocent purchase of a mirror that goes in Lilly’s bedroom.

But then Lilly’s behaviour starts to change.

It’s been interesting to read this from a parent’s point of view now that I have the Little Lady. Although I’m nowhere near the school days at the moment, the story involves not only the concerns of Lilly’s parents, but that of the school too.

There’s an underlying story that’s ticking over that’s fuelling Amy’s constant anxiety over her daughter, which comes tumbling out half-way through the book.

These are all issues that once upon a time I would have read on auto pilot and not really reacted too (cold-hearted I know but the pre-parent me could switch off).

Now, the motherhood side of my brain plays upon these topics and experiences and puts myself in that position.

It’s interesting to see Lilly’s character change and how it affects those around her; her parents, her teachers and even her best friend, Jessica.

At the time of going to press, I’m still reading (and enjoying!) The Mirror (life’s getting in the way a bit of my reading plans – imminent house move).

I’m at a part of the story where a link appears to be forming with the mirror and the family (no spoilers). I’m now intrigued as to what angle this is going to take and my heart goes out to Amy for what she’s experienced in the past.

Looking forward to getting tucked up tonight to read a few more pages. 

 

~Biography~

Deborah A Stansil Author Pic Missuswolf

Born and raised in the North East of England, Deborah A Stansil always dreamed of one day becoming a writer. As a teenager, she would write fiction but she rarely shared it with anyone, and as an adult, life got in the way.

She never forgot her passion to write creatively and now the dream is a reality, with both her books and her blog. Deborah has well and truly caught the writing bug and she is now a full time writer.

She enjoys reading, writing and she’s never far from a book or a notepad/laptop. She also enjoys travelling, both in the UK and abroad and one day, she would love to travel the world.

Deborah is best known for her love of the horror genre, both writing and reading, although she does enjoy writing in both the crime and fantasy genres too. She hopes you enjoy reading her books as much as she enjoyed writing them!

 

 

Hi Debbie welcome it’s good to have you here today.

 Congratulations on your fourth book – The Mirror. What was the inspiration behind it?

The Mirror Deborah A Stansil book Missuswolf

 

I actually started out with the intention of writing a haunted house type of plot (watch this space for that one in the future!). When I sat down to write it, the idea of involving a mirror kept nagging at me. I have always had a thing about mirrors being spooky, so I changed tack completely and went with the idea of the mirror as the central theme to the story.

 How would you compare writing The Mirror to anything you’ve previously written?

The Mirror was written in a very different way to my usual fiction. There was no real plan, no outline, it just poured onto the page. I loved writing this way, I felt like I had no limits and the story kind of wrote itself in a sense.

How do you organise your writing time?

I write freelance as my full time job, so I try to work on my own novels on a night time. I’m a bit of a night owl anyway so this works well for me as somehow I always seem to feel more motivated at night. Once I get into a story though, I do sometimes find it spilling over into my work time (oops!).

How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurned you on?

I’ve always said I wanted to write a novel, but it wasn’t until two years ago that I actually sat down to do it. There wasn’t really any big event that spurred me on, it was just a matter of stop saying it and start doing it!

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and are able to let your creative juices flow?

I mostly write on my laptop, perched on the top of my bed. All the advice says this is wrong, I should have a desk and some sort of office space, but this works for me.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know

I had a poem published in an anthology when I was fifteen. I submitted it under a pen name because I was embarrassed in case people knew I had written it! The worst thing is I can’t even remember what the anthology was called!

 Thank you so much for having me, this has been great

       

Thank you for being here today Debbie and best of luck with the book.

~Where to find Deborah~

Missuswolf - Deborah Stansil My Random Musings

Blog: www.myrandommusings.co.uk

Website: www.deborahstansil.com

Amazon author page: https://goo.gl/FrXC4V

Twitter: www.twitter.com/randommusings29

FB: www.facebook.com/myrandommusingsblog/

Insta: www.instagram.com/debrandommusingsblog29

The Joker: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JND8VY6

The Mirror: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N9YWFBN/

Twisted Tales: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01H94D1MS

Twisted Tales 2: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MSRDI4

Love Missuswolf xxx

Guest Post: The Books I Love Reading With My Boys

Today’s guest post is from the lovely Deb Sharratt from My Boys Club who is kindly sharing with us the books that she’s loved reading with her boys …

 

@MyBoysClub is a lifestyle, travel and food blog by Deb Sharratt all about enjoying life in a family of boys. Follow at www.myboysclub.co.uk or on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

  

The books I’ve loved reading with My Boys …

There are so many reasons why reading to and with your children is a good thing. Helps them learn to read, improves concentration, teaches them new things, improves vocabulary, encourages creativity, can develop empathy and is calming and relaxing. However as well as all this it’s fun. It’s a special time between parent and child and I’ll really miss it when my boys no longer want to read with or to me or indeed no longer want a bedtime story.

Maybe that’s the reason why I’m a keen buyer of kids box sets and series of books  – I’m trying to make the bedtime story last forever! Anyway here are my top seven series of books sets.

 

Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child have been read and spoken so many times in out house that my boys can recite the entire books perfectly without having to read them. The books have inspired trails, such as this one in Hamsterley Forest,(http://www.myboysclub.co.uk/2016/10/all-leaves-are-brown.html) but other stories such as Tiddler, Stick Man, Monkey Puzzle and The Smartest Giant in Town too, with their flowing, soothing, rhyming stories are a favourite with toddlers and are just as delightful for older children as well.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

My Boys receive their first ‘Wimpy Kid’ books as a reward for having 100% attendance at school and they have been hooked ever since. With both typed text and comic strip style illustrations, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney are all about a kid called Greg who fills in his journal (not a diary!!) of all the misadventures in his life. Everything Greg seems to do has hilarious consequences and his family are very funny.

My Boys couldn’t stop reading these books and thought they were funny and fun to read. They also laugh out loud at the films too.

Michael Morpurgo

Any collection of books by one of the nation’s favourite storyteller is one to treasure. The former British Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo is known best for

children’s novels such as War Horse (1982) but has written over 100 books. His work is noted for its “magical storytelling” but also for recurring themes such as the triumph of an outsider or survival, for characters’ relationships with nature, and for vivid settings such as the war. We are now on our second collection of books. I was a little worried about the subject matter at first – the books cover wars, morality, death and what is deemed right and wrong but in doing have provoked many questions about so allows my boys to learn to share and express their thoughts.

 

Mr Men

Ever since the first books were published in 1971, Roger Hargreaves’ Mr. Men have been an enduring favourite with children (and parents!) of all ages. The likes of Mr. Happy, Mr. Tickle, Mr. Bump and friends must rank as some of the most famous characters in children’s books – and the boys love reading them as much as I did when I was a child. There are so many to enjoy and we love the bold, bright illustrations and simple storylines that make the Mr. Men stories fun and appealing for my boys to read over and over again. Every Mr. Men character has a key personality trait that provides huge entertainment as they head off on a variety of adventures but my favourite one remains Mr. Tickle.

Dr Seuss

Well, what can you say about Dr. Seuss’ wild, wacky and energetic creations? They are amazing. Entertaining. Loveable. And tell a great story too in rhyme making them easy to read and even easier to listen to. From The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, to How The Grinch Stole Christmas, these are timeless books of crazy rhymes and weird and wonderful characters that we never tire of reading.

 


Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl’s short stories are known for their unexpected endings and his children’s books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kind-hearted and feature an underlying warm sentiment. Some of his best-known books for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits and George’s Marvellous Medicine.

Read about our year of celebrating 100 years of Roald Dahl

(http://www.myboysclub.co.uk/2016/12/2016-year-celebrating-roald-dahl.html).

 

His stories have gone on to capture the hearts and imaginations of children and adults across the globe, Matilda has always been a firm favourite with me and my boys.

 

How to Train A Dragon

These books inspired the Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon films. It is a series of twelve children’s books written by British author Cressida Cowell. The books are set in a fictional Viking world and focus on the experiences of protagonist Hiccup as he overcomes great obstacles on his journey of becoming a hero the hard way. The books have some illustrations, activities and also teach you how to speak Dragonese and train your own dragon to do tricks!

My boys love them all but they are perfect for children of any gender. Whichever books you choose to read, enjoy, it’s a very special time.

What’s your favourite book to read with your children?

Deb x

 

Fizz Friday – Mammies Night Out & other #LittleLoves

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Missuswolf Coffwee Work Sleep Repeat Little Loves

 

Today I’m linking up with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat’s #LittleLoves …

Read

I See You Clare MackintoshI finished reading ‘I See You’ by Clare Mackintosh last week. I’ve previously read ‘I Let You Go’ (cheeky blog post plug – catch an earlier interview with the author here) which I really enjoyed so I was looking forward to reading her second novel.

Both are psychological thriller’s, which I went through a phase of being obsessed with last year.

‘I See You’ freaked me out a bit as it’s based on someone watching people’s commutes to work. Plus now I have a mammy head on my shoulders I seem to have lost an outer layer of thick skin when it comes to reading gritty books.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it – I did. I still think ‘I Let You Go’ was much better but I like Mackintosh’s writing style and the concept of the book was quite clever.

The author used to work in the police force and has used her experience to write from the investigation side. There’s also a sub-story intertwined from the police officer’s side of things that ticks along nicely in the background..

But I loved the surprise in the middle of ‘I Let You Go’ which seemed to divide reader’s opinion. Some felt it was misleading – I thought it was good planning and inventive on the author’s part.

Watched

I love a good who-dunnit (remember Broadchurch, ahhh flippin loved that programme – and David Tennant ooooh).

Well, on Sunday night the hubster introduced me to Sky Atlantic’s current who-dunnit.

Missuswolf Little Love Unsplash

 A Night Of.

Since finishing Stranger Things on Netflix about a month ago, I’ve been in search of a new binge-fest box-set. Aside from downloading all of Sex And The City to sneak in here and there (it makes me want to drink fizz and whisky. Hmmmm)  and The Get Down (which is more of a music development story) I’ve been craving a gripping mystery.

A what happened?

Did he do it?

What’s going to happen to him now?

Cleverly filmed, love the camera angles – it’s as if you’re amongst the drama. The girl in the back of the cab talking to the driver, the conversation is filmed through the rear-view mirror. I love little things like this. Builds up a bit of tension.

I also love the little snatches of camera angles of what the character’s are up to – actions, no words. A sergeant clearing up his desk items and signing out as another one signs in; no words exchanged just simple actions.

Simple actions that jivvy the story along, a subtle indication signalling the end of their shift.

And the beginning of a new day. A new day of what’s going to happen??

I think the writer’s and screenplay have done a fantastic job in creating interesting character’s and intricately portraying them on screen. Wow, I hope I sound like I know what I’m talking about haha!

From the lawyer who has eczema on his feet and wears sandals to air them, to the  main character who suffers from asthma. Little interesting traits that are played upon and trickled into the storyline.

Also the opening credits are mint – they remind me of the beginning of the likes of True Detective and Hannibal.

Wore

Missuswolf What I wore - Next Dress Little Loves

I wore this blue and white dress to an evening do at a wedding last weekend. Not to everyone’s taste but I love a bit of pattern – espesh a nod to the sixties.

It’s actually from Next and a purchase I made last summer. I took it on my hols to Turkey.

It didn’t get much wear after then as I was preggers.

Poor dress,  must’ve been feeling a bit lonely and neglected. So I took her out on Saturday night.

My cream sandals are from H&M and I kid you not, they are about seven years old (told you I’m in desperate need of a fashion haul). Just need to ration the cake eating a little more. And do a few buggy bootcamps.  You can then catch my Fashion Haul on Elle Blonde in October.

Made

Ouch this is embarrassing. I haven’t made anything. Does making the tea count??

Heard

Headphones Little Loves

I am obsessed with Ellie Goulding’s Still Falling For You.

I love this lasses voice and absolutely adored Love Me Like You Do  from that naughty Fifty Shades film.

Steven Halpern’s Comfort Zone has also been on my playlist this past week. We listen to it in Postnatal Yoga (more of this in future blog posts) and it’s so relaxing. I’m actually listening to it right now – it’s become my writing music.

And Lastly

Last week was a super busy week!

The start of a new school term has brought with it all the baby groups – hurrah! From Baby Bootcamp to Baby Massage, Tots ‘n’ Tums and Jolly Babies (keep toot for more about these in future blog posts).

Yep – I know.  I’ve turned into a baby-group whore. I never thought I would be one for going to groups but ha there you go. It keeps me sane.

I’m embracing it (see my post on how it also helps PND here).

Throw in a McMillan Cancer coffee morning too and a mammies night out on Friday anyone would think I was on my ‘Summer Holidays’ 😉 (inside joke – or maybes not. I think I’ve explained it in a previous post??)

Regardless, doing all this (bar mammies night out) with a little human in tow is bloody hard work.

Especially when she shits herself (covering me) in the middle of the raffle being drawn at the coffee morning.

Good job I had a black top on.

I nearly wore white.

What an effing disaster that would’ve been??

On the plus side I won this lovely picture frame from Live Laugh Love and I bought this adorable  Home Sweet Home sign from the ShabbyChicMaisonbelle Stall.

Missuswolf Home Sweet Home

 

Right – Mammies Night Out. I went out to Maharaj’s Lounge, an Indian Restaurant in Blyth, with the girls I met when we all did Lush Tums Pregnancy Yoga (more about this too in future blog posts).

Maharaj's Lounge - Blyth Mammies Night Out

Mammies Night Oooot. Yes, very girls gone wild I know.

 

The last time I went to Maharaj’s I was actually pregnant with Ella but didn’t know it. Ooooops. I drank a loooottt of wine and shots that night. Bah – she’s turned out fine hasn’t she ??!

We had loads of fun with the staff – they’re good crack. They also told us about their Tapas Tuesday, which may be another possible Mammies night out. In the not too distant future either.

Missuswolf Kir Royale Wallaw

Perfect way to end a chaotic week –  with a delightful Kir Royale in The Wallaw

Cheers.

What have you been up to?

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images – credit to Unsplash

 

 

Jody Gehrman – Audrey’s Guide To Witchcraft

SUNDAY 18th NOVEMBER 2012

Please note this post does contain affiliate links,

Today I finished my Halloween themed-read, Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman, a Young Adult novel about a seventeen year old witch in training.

Missuswolf Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft bookcover

Synopsis

Falling in love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer–it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her mysterious “cousin” shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft is more than just a novel; it’s a book of spells, a collection of easy recipes, a charming coming-of-age tale, an enchanting romance, and an action-packed adventure. As Audrey overcomes her insecurities and learns to protect herself against the wicked black magic of her nemesis, she grows into a heroine we can root for–a witch who knows that true power comes from deep within.

A great piece of fantasy

that is poetically written.

What I appreciated the most was the poetic style of writing that the author has, her descriptions and use of language really caught my attention. I loved the flow and rhythm of the sentences which were so beautifully described, the author really has a way with words.

Examples are:

The sun had set but enough light remained to stain the splotchy clouds a beautiful orange (36%)

Buttery moon (41%)

And one of my favourites – totally fab desc:

We looked out over vineyards aflame in red and gold, brilliant fiery swaths of colour draped over rolling contours. The scene radiated peace. I sipped my water and watched the starlings swoop like a team of tiny acrobats. There were so many of them they formed a cloud in the air, one that changed shape and undulated constantly (43%)

Veins throbbed as if filled with ground glass (93%)

There is a great fantasy storyline carried by vivid character’s; such as cheerleader Dallas, who you love to hate, as well as Audrey’s adorable best friend Bridget. I particularly loved the contrast of Audrey’s younger sister Meg to that of her own character.

There is a sequel to the book so the end is left on a pleasant cliffhanger and I look forward to reading more books by Jody Gehrman. Her writing style reminded me of that which is similar to Rosemund Lupton.

Get Your Copy Here  Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft: Volume 1

Visit her website here.

Love Missuswolf xxx