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

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Kristina Gause Stutts

WEDNESDAY 22nd APRIL 2015

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

Today, I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Kristina Gause Stutts, author to Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss, the first book in a Sci-fi romance series.

~Author Bio~

K.G. Stutts is the author three sci-fi romance series as well as several romance stories. She has a degree in massageKristen author photo therapy. As a contributor to Independent Writers Association (IWA) her insights can be seen regularly there and on her own blog at kgstutts.blogspot.com and her website at kgstutts.webs.com

When she’s not weaving words, she enjoys reading, playing RPGs, hockey, wrestling, and football, and is a big sci-fi nerd. Currently she resides in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Brad.

~Synopsis~

Amethyst is a secret team of genetically enhanced humans which is Earth’s greatest defensive weapon. Leading the team of super soldiers is Ember Wilson, a tough woman with a huge chip on her shoulder. The team gets
their name from the after effect of the Genesis Project which turned their eyes and even their blood purple.

amethyst pictureFor decades, Earth has been ravaged by unpredictable weather which began to cause crops to fail. Most of the planet’s food sources have deteriorated. Dr. Clayton Rudo has proclaimed he has the means to save the soil. He has created a weather machine to regulate and help replenish. But Ember knew the truth. He didn’t want to save the planet. He wanted to control it. Amethyst destroyed the machine, but was placed in stasis. Two years later, Rudo recreated the device and has frozen Washington, DC.

General Tom Blanchard brought Amethyst out of stasis to work with an elite Air Force team, led by Major Liam Ross. Tensions between Ember and Liam rise as they butt heads. Can they work together before Earth is completely under ice?

Grab that cuppa and get settled as we catch up with Kristina Gause Stutts … 

coffee and cream

 

Hi Kristina and welcome! It’s great to have you here.

Thank you so much for having me!

Where did you get the inspiration behind this novel?

I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon. He writes these incredible, tough, kick-butt women. I wanted to develop a character worthy of that. A woman who can fight as fiercely as she can love. Someone that readers can look up to, inspire to be, and root for. And then came Ember Wilson.

How would you compare writing this book with anything that you have written previously?

Oh, gosh. The Amethyst Chronicles is a bit different than my other books. It’s definitely less science-y than my Mirror series and more action. But I keep the humor and both series are very character driven.   

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

I started writing in high school. Started off with little songs and poems. I began to write fan fictions and plots, but it didn’t reallyMirror Image go anywhere for a long time. I started to have a dream a couple of years ago about a woman who found out she’s actually a clone. I went to bed every night hoping to pick up where I left off and I got really excited. So I started writing it out and that became my first novel, Mirror Image. It’s getting ready to celebrate its first anniversary published.

How do you organise your writing time?

I work in a call center so often times I’ll write in between calls. I always have a notebook with me so I can jot things down when I can. Sundays are a big writing day for me, but I do try to write every day.

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

Sometimes it’s just sitting down with a pen and a notebook and write. I don’t have a set place really. Life is too busy to schedule things like that.

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

I used to referee independent wrestling matches on the weekends. Had to stop after a back injury. I’m still at CWF Mid-Atlantic. It’s definitely a passion of mine that I miss, but maybe one day I’ll get in the ring again.

Thank you for being here today Kristina.

Thank you for having me!

~Where to find Kristina~

amethyst picture
Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch-up – An Author Interview with … Katie Gallagher

WEDNESDAY 08th APRIL 2015

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to welcome back the lovely Katie Gallagher, who releases ‘Forever Love’ the sequel to ‘Stealing Cynderella’ this month.

Katie Gallagher mage~Author Bio~

Katie Gallagher is the author of the young adult novel, Catching You and Stealing Cynderella. She lives in Western PA with her husband and young daughter who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and lack of cooking skills. She loves coffee, flip flops and hates cold weather.

~Synopsis~forever-love-bk-2-flat

Cyn Clark never believed in such a thing as fate, but not soon after starting classes, and beginning a  new life away from her parents, she meets James Lucas. She’d never been very good at relationships, but James is different. The two of them quickly fall in love . As soon, as Cyn finally gets used to college life, and is comfortable with James, life throws them a curveball. Now, they are both hiding secrets, that if they don’t come out, the relationship won’t survive.

Now grab that cuppa and get comfy as we catch-up with Katie Gallagher …

coffee and cream

Hi Katie and welcome back! It’s great to have you here.

Stealing Cynderella ImageForever Love is a sequel – did you have an idea in mind for this when you were writing Stealing Cynderella?

I originally wrote this as one book, but right before I got the go ahead from my publisher, I found out that I was pregnant, so I asked if I would  be able to split into two different books, since I didn’t have the energy to do a full book at that time. Now, I’m in the process of writing a third and fourth novel with these characters, but that’s a conversation for another day.

How would you compare writing this book with anything that you have written previously?

The inspiration for this novel came from a real life experience of mine, but I changed names to protect the innocent. It was written before my first novel was published, but I didn’t feel confident to publish it, so I decided to write something else which became my first novel. Now, almost seven years later, I feel better about this novel, so I’ve decided to publish it. I feel good about this novel after my editors glowing compliments about the storyline throughout the whole writing/editing process.

The last time we spoke, you had a five month old and did the bulk of you’re writing in between her naps. How did you organise your writing time for Forever Love?

Not much has changed. Now she’s sixteen months old and the only time that I get to sit down at the computer and write is when she’s in bed. I usually worked on Forever from 7pm-10pm before heading to bed, so that I could get some sleep for the day job the next day unless it was my day off, then I’d stay up a little bit later to write.

 As a reader, what can we expect from Forever Love?forever-love-bk-2-flat

I don’t want to give away any spoilers for readers that haven’t read the first novel, so I’m just going to paste the back cover copy here.

Cyn Clark never believed in such a thing as fate, but not soon after starting classes, and beginning a  new life away from her parents, she meets James Lucas. She’d never been very good at relationships, but James is different. The two of them quickly fall in love . As soon, as Cyn finally gets used to college life, and is comfortable with James, life throws them a curveball. Now, they are both hiding secrets, that if they don’t come out, the relationship won’t survive.

And finally, if you could be another character for the day – who would you be?

I’d have to pick Joey Potter, played by Katie Holmes, from Dawsons Creek. She’s torn between two guys, but  despite that, she doesn’t let love rule her and still lives her own life and pursues her dreams and doesn’t follow the guy around like a lost puppy. She’s a strong woman and I was able to relate to her through all six seasons of the television show. I wish that I could write a character like her in one of my novels. 

Thank you for being here today Katie.

~Where to find Katie Gallagher~

Twitter: @Katie_Gallgher

Facebook

Amazon

Blog

forever-love-bk-2-flat

Forever Love

Out April 10th 2015

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Lucy Diamond

WEDNESDAY 08th OCTOBER 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

 

I am delighted to welcome the lovely Lucy Diamond, author to several chick-lit novels including The Beach Café, Me and Mr Jones and Sweet Temptation. Lucy’s new novel ‘Christmas Gifts at The Beach Café’ is available to pre-order on Amazon now. I’ve got my order in – get yours here.

Christmas Beach Cafe

~Author Bio~

First of all, a confession. My name isn’t really Lucy Diamond at all, it’s Sue Mongredien. I’ve used a pen name because Author Pic Lucy Diamond‘Diamond’ is a lot easier to spell and pronounce than ‘Mongredien’ and also because I’ve written lots of children’s books too and wanted to keep the genres separate. (There is actually another Lucy Diamond on Amazon who writes religious children’s books. That isn’t me, though.) I was born in 1970 and grew up in Nottingham. I read English at Leeds University then moved to London and worked for various publishers before I packed it all in to go travelling around the world for a year and a half. When I came back to the UK, I worked in publishing again, then moved to the BBC.

I now live in Bath with my husband and three young children and divide my time between writing and looking after them. You can have a look at my children’s books here.

I would love to hear from you so do say hello if you’re on Twitter. You can find me @LDiamondAuthor. Otherwise you can email me via the Contact Me page.

Grab that cuppa and get snug as we catch-up with the lovely Lucy Diamond.

Cuppa and fire

Hi Lucy and welcome!

 The below are questions asked by my Aunt, Tracy Wilford, who is a huge fan and has introduced me to your books.

In Sweet Temptation your main characters, Maddie, Lauren and Jess meet at their local Fatbusters. I Sweet Temptationreally enjoyed their struggles with food and the reactions of those close to them to their weight issues. Why did you decide to write about a weight loss club?

First of all, thank you for having me here – and for reading my books. It’s much appreciated!

Sweet Temptation is a book that’s very close to my heart. Although I have never been to a weight loss club myself, I was quite insecure and self-conscious through my twenties – and it was only when my body produced three beautiful babies in my thirties that my attitude changed, and I started to feel proud of what my body had achieved, rather than fretting about wobbly thighs!

But then I joined a gym and the instructor did that horrible fat-pinching test and told me I was ‘verging on obesity’ (I was a size 10-12!) and all the old insecurities rushed back. In tears, I went home and wrote a blog about how upset I felt, and had the most amazing outpouring of support from readers, most of whom I didn’t know. And even in the depths of despair and angst, I thought – There might be a book in this…

 

In ‘Me and Mr Jones’ the character Alicia is married to dependable Hugh and as she approaches her 40thMe and Mr Jones birthday she becomes restless and yearns for time to herself. This storyline resonated with me, who was your inspiration for this character?

The inspiration was me! I found turning 40 quite difficult. I had enjoyed my thirties so much that I felt somewhat apprehensive about leaving them behind. I think there’s a tendency to assume that life will suddenly change quite dramatically once you pass these milestone birthdays… funnily enough, it doesn’t. I am happy to say I am enjoying my 40s enormously – I’m sure Alicia is too!

Why did you decide to include recipes for beauty products, breakfasts, summer cocktails, and other plot related information at the end of your books? Have you tested all of the recipes yourself?  

I think it’s nice to add a few extras at the end of a novel – and yes, I always test the recipes. I had particularly good feedback regarding the extra material at the end of Summer With My Sister – one lady wrote to tell me she had enjoyed making the beauty products so much, she’d actually started her own business (which has been a great success, and is still going from strength to strength!)

The below questions are from myself, I’d love to hear more about how you work …

The Beach CafeHow do you manage your writing time? 

I tend to write while my children are at school. I warm up by reading through and editing my previous day’s work, then push on with new pages. I write fairly quickly but edit many times before anyone is allowed to see a single page. My favourite part of the process is when I have completed a first draft – I’ve actually made it to the end! – and I have the pages printed out, ready for me to read the book through in its entirety. I do a HUGE edit at this point – whole chapters cut out, whole characters sometimes, I am absolutely ruthless. For me, it’s only when I’ve got to the end that I can see how the book needs to be balanced, and how it’ll ‘work’ as a whole.

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

I have always written: diaries, short stories, bad sixth-form love poetry… but it wasn’t until I was working at my first job in publishing that I fell in love with the idea of actually becoming an author myself. Until then, I’d kind of assumed that ‘people like me’ didn’t get to do things like that – but then I started meeting ‘real’ authors and realised that they didn’t conform to a type whatsoever, and most of them were very nice (and quite ordinary!) people. It was really only then that a little daydream became a possibility in my mind, and I thought, Why not?

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

Hens ReunitedI have a lovely little office at home, which is full of books and nice things my children have made me, and a very comfortable armchair for reading page proofs. However, at the start of this year, I began working a day or two a week at a shared office in town. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to write with music playing, and other people around me, but I actually love being back in a proper office and feeling as if I have ‘colleagues’ again. (Plus it’s right in the middle of town and I kind of love a bit of lunchtime shopping too…)

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

I can’t resist a bit of karaoke… Don’t judge me!        

Thank you for being here today Lucy

~Where to find the author~

Facebook

Twitter: @LDiamondAuthor

Email: Lucy@lucydiamond.co.uk

Website: http://www.lucydiamond.co.uk/

Blog

Love Missuswolf xxx

Happy Third Birthday Blog!

SATURDAY 23rd AUGUST 2014

It’s three years ago today since I made myself comfortable on my corner sofa in our little flat, fired up the laptop and created Missuswolf’s StoryLand.

Blogging

We’d not long been back from a fabulous holiday in Mexico, where I’d been a bridesmaid to one of my best friends. Despite the high of that holiday, I’d come home to discover there was trouble in my parents’ paradise. That August, I was also in my third month of being redeployed into a job working shifts in a role that I didn’t want to be in.

Seventy ThousandBut it gave me the time to focus on my reading and writing, and so this blog really did become my world – my distraction. I’d always read books, usually a couple of chapter’s a night before bed. I found that I started to read a lot more and used books as a form of Ruby Competitionescapism.

It gave me the drive to self publish the paperback version of ‘The Ruby of Egypt’ in December 2011. The kindle version shortly followed in January 2012.

That year, I wrote the first draft of my novel ‘Little Miss Pooshoe’ in January and February, attended creative writing classes at the local high school (which became my Creative Writing Café feature), joined Melissa Foster’s Awesome Support Team #GoTeamPIF in the September and my nephew was born in the October. During all of this, the author interview feature ‘Cuppa and a Catch-Up’ was born. It was a hard year as my parents separation became final.

Go Team PIF2013 was a busy year – after eight years of waiting we finally managed to sell our flat and buy our house. This left little time for writing. It wasn’t for the want of trying – I did try to complete NaNoWriMo in the November however there was too much to do around the house and general day-to-day life got in the way. On a positive note, it gave me the makings of a Science Fiction novel ‘The Arm of Northumberland’ which is a longstanding WIP. It’s a story I need to tell as it all stemmed from an Cuppa and a Catch up picextremely vivid dream …

Oh – and Ruby’s book trailer was created in February 2013.

Ruby of Egypt Cover 2013The Ruby of Egypt was also revised and revamped with a new cover, courtesy of Carl Harvey.

The start of 2014 was a struggle as my working lifestyle really did get me down. Fast forward to August and I’ve got a new job, two new nieces, set up my own freelance writing business and I’m now ghost-writing a historic novel for a family member. My parents sold the family home yesterday and officially went their separate ways – which all seems so fitting now.

 

Life has a funny way of just falling into place.

Today, I had the wonderful surprise of meeting up with my grandparents (from Nottingham) whose mystery tour bus holiday they were on brought them to Gateshead.Freelance Bus Cards

The last three years have been a chapter of my life that have moulded me. There’s been difficult times but there has also been really good times. I’ve surrounded myself with other people’s stories by constantly immersing myself in books. Looking back I’m proud of the work that I’ve accomplished. Here’s to the next three years and what opportunities they may bring.

So thank you for reading and thank you Charity Rattiner for pointing me in the direction of wordpress.

This really has been Missuswolf’s StoryLand.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Mischaela Advani

WEDNESDAY 13th AUGUST 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Mischaela Advani, author of ‘How To Run In Heels’.

~Author Bio~

authorphotosMischaela Advani is a writer, businesswoman, and UN advocate working to advance women’s rights and equality. She studied Business with a focus in Marketing and Finance at the prestigious Indiana University Kelley School of Business. While in college she was the official liaison between the United Nations Association and Indiana University, and the editor of Primary Source, the university’s oldest student run scholarly publication.  She writes for a variety of publications on business development, women in business, and emerging technology. Mischaela sits on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Fashion Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting Chicago’s thriving fashion community and organizing runway shows and fashion events all over the city. She is married to a hectically busy entrepreneur, and resides in the heart of downtown Chicago with her husband and their English Bulldog Sir Wimbledon.

 

~Book Overview~

How To Run In Heels inspires women to “run in heels” in business and in life. Through the life stories of 30 lady moguls, women can bookcovermockadopt the “running in heels” mentality….which boils down to living your life with power and purpose without compromising what makes women inherently powerful. It might still be a man’s world in many ways, but through learning how to “run in heels” women will discover how to harness their unique gifts and lady power to make 10,000 little cracks in the glass ceilings of politics, business, and the world at large. Running in heels means running the world or running your business with the confidence that comes with owning who you are, as a professional and as a woman whether your heels are Prada or Payless…maybe they’re  even cross-trainers (ala trailblazer and filibuster wonderwoman  Governor Wendy Davis). Glass ceiling…meet stiletto

Now grab that cuppa as we catch up with Mischaela Advani.

cuppa

Hi Mischaela and welcome! It’s great to have you here.

Where did the inspiration behind this book come from?

The inspiration for writing this book came from a few different places. I have always admired the witty “chick lit” writing of Plum Sykes (author of cult classic Bergdorf Blondes) and have always torn open my letterbox when the latest issue of Vogue was in it just to read her pieces. Ever since developing an appetite for her work, I’ve wanted to write something in a similar vein. On a separate note, as a woman in tech and a businesswoman, I’ve seldom come across books that are substantial and smart as well as stylish and fun …they are always one or the other. So I decided to pair traditional business literature with what is often known as “chick lit” to speak to a generation of Millennial women who are making their own rules in business and in life.

I’m inspired by women who create the world they live in, and these women run the gamut from Madame CJ Walker to Lady Gaga. I wanted to distill their life stories and words of wisdom into a beach read, a light hearted and fun book that women can read on their planes or in their salons.

How would you compare writing this book with anything you have previously written?

This book is definitely a departure from my previous pieces, as I’ve never written anything slightly humorous. I’ve done a great deal of fashion journalism, as a member of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Fashion Foundation and as a writer …but this is my first venture into the business coaching/self-improvement arena. It’s definitely my authentic editorial voice, which was really cathartic to get out …too often I’ve had to write for a more conservative and affluent reader who is a bit older. I’m glad to be able to be a bit audacious in my first book.

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

As a child I was enamoured of writing, and always knew I’d be an author. I’ve written or edited semi-professionally since college. I was the editor of my university’s oldest scholarly journal, Primary Source, a publication that has been around since the 1820s. It was through reading all of the beautifully written research and op-ed pieces that I truly dug into my love of words.. As I said before, Plum Sykes is one of my biggest inspirations in terms of writing. I truly identify with her editorial voice and feel a lot of her influence in my own writing. Through reading her pieces in Vogue and re-reading her novels, the fire within me to write grew bigger and bigger.

How do you organise your writing time?

I tend to organize my writing time based on how creative I am feeling at the time. For me, it doesn’t matter how busy I am or what I have going on. Some days are just “writing days”, as most writers would probably also say. Some days the words pour out like a monsoon, and other days you’d be hard pressed to squeeze out a sentence or two.

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

I might be the oddball, but I tend to love to write in public. Give me sidewalk or terrace seating at a little café and I’m set. I think the energy of people working and chatting around me helps me focus on what I want to say. The change of scenery as opposed to the same navy blue walls of my apartment helps me crank out good work. I realize I’m in the minority, as most writers tend to write by candlelight at their wooden desks late at night, but I’m happiest with a cappuccino and a laptop in the sunshine.

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

Not many people know that I’m a speed reader. I can read, on average, about 600+ words per minute and definitely go much faster when I’m in a hurry or very engaged with a book. I’ve finished entire novels in 2 hours or less. In college, it definitely came in handy both at Primary Source and in my coursework.

Thank you for being here today Mischaela.

~Where to find Mischaela~

Twitter: @mischaelaadvani 

Web: http://www.mischaela.mobi/

Blog: http://howtoruninheels.tk/  (the blog ties in with the book)

Book Twitter Handle: @runinheelsbook

bookcovermock

 Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Chrissie Parker

WEDNESDAY 06th AUGUST 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

 

I would like to welcome back the lovely Chrissie Parker, who has just released her second book Among The Olive Groves.

~Author Bio~

Chrissie Parker Author PicChrissie lives in London with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.

Chrissie is also an Author. Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013. Chrissie is currently working on two sequels to Integrate called Temperance and Retribution. Both will be released in 2015.

Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation. Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

 

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University.   She also likes to read, collect books, make bracelets and listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com

~Synopsis~

Elena Petrakis adores living on the Greek island of Zakynthos. When World War Two looms her way of life is threatened. Left with noATOG_Amazon_Small choice she joins the island’s resistance to fight for what she believes in; her family, her home, and her freedom.

Decades later, thousands of miles away in the Cornish town of Newquay, Kate Fisher prepares to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but her joy is fleeting when she learns she is adopted. Abandoning life in England, Kate flees to Zakynthos, where she is forced to acknowledge a life she has struggled to come to terms with, one that will change her future.

From the beautiful crystal turquoise seas of the Ionian Islands to the rugged shores of the Cornish coast, ‘Among the Olive Groves’ is a story of love, bravery and sacrifice.

 

Grab that cuppa as we catch up with the fabulous Chrissie Parker.

CUPPA

Hi Chrissie and welcome! It’s great to have you here again.

Thank you Gemma it’s nice to be back again!

Where did the inspiration for behind Among The Olive Groves come from?

The idea came from a conversation I had with a local when visiting the island about nine years ago. They talked to me about the war, and told me about something very specific that happened (I can’t tell you what, as it’s a spoiler for the book!). It made me want to write about the island during that time. I also love the island of Zakynthos (Zante) and Greece has been going through a bit of a hard time, so wanted to write something about the island to show how lovely it is.

How would you compare writing this book with writing Integrate?

Writing this book was completely different. Among the Olive Groves is historical fiction, set during the second world war, as well as in the 1990’s/2000’s. I had to do a lot of research on the war, and learn about what happened to people who lived during it. The book is also set on the Greek island of Zakynthos (Zante), so I had to do a lot of research about the island and Greece in general. It was a mammoth task, but also great fun. With Integrate I could just write the story, it was completely fictional. Among the Olive Groves was very different, I wrote, planned, researched and then repeated the exercise a few times!

What research was involved in writing this story?

I read a lot of books and watched a lot of documentaries about world war two. I also visited a few war museums to get a feel for what happened during that time. I also did a lot of research about women in Greece during that time and what they went through during the war, which was essential for my character Elena Petrakis who ends up joining the resistance. I read some very brave accounts, and also some very sad ones. I can’t even begin to put into words what some people went through.

You’re currently working on the sequels to Integrate. How are these coming along?

They are coming along well. Integrate will now be known as the first book of a trilogy called ‘The Moon series’. Book two will be called Temperance, and the third book will be called Retribution.

I have written the full draft of Temperance, and worked out the story plan for Retribution. I’m really enjoying it and there will be a few unexpected surprises in store for the readers!

You have completed an Archaeology and Egyptology course at Exeter University. Have these influenced any of your writing?

I have and I’m hoping to try and do another course soon. I am a huge lover of history and archaeology and quite a bit of what I have learned from the courses about researching/finding information has really helped during writing Among the Olive Groves. Some of the historical and technical information I learned has also helped me with writing two future books that are set in Egypt and Jordan.

As a reader, what should we expect from Among The Olive Groves?

It’s a powerful and emotional story, with strong identifiable characters. It’s about family, change and learning to adapt. It’s also about fighting for what you believe in and having the strength to see things through.

Stepping away from the fact that I wrote it, I would say that it’s definitely a book that will keep you hooked, and the description of the island is likely to make you want to pack your bags and take the first plane out of the UK to soak up some Greek sun!

Thank you for being here today Chrissie and best of luck with the new release!

Thank you Gemma, and it was nice to be back on your lovely blog!

~Where to find Chrissie Parker~

Facebook

Twitter – @Chrissie_author

Blog

Pinterest 

Goodreads 

ATOG_Amazon_Small

 Love Missuswolf xxx

As one Chapter closes on my life, so another opens …

WEDNESDAY 16th JULY 2014

Today, I said farewell (again!) to working in a busy emergency services control room, which has been my ‘day’ job (the role has involved working to a shift pattern) for the past three years.

I was redeployed into this role in May 2011 following deletion of a Project and Performance job that I adored. This meant adapting to a new lifestyle so, to stop myself going stir crazy, I launched myself into the wonderful world of books. I read on every break, during down time on nightshift and on all of my days off. Agents

Books became my comfort blanket.

In August 2011, four months into the job, I went for a lovely lunch with my American friend, Charity. Over fizz and food in Bar Luga, we discussed our shared interests; reading, writing and photography.

Charity

Picture from Facebook by Eric Fritschi

It was Charity who suggested that I set up a blog and pointed me in the direction of WordPress. After sitting on this suggestion for a few days, I finally took the plunge.

Missuswolf’s StoryLand was born.

It’s strange how some people come into your life and have a profound effect. Charity lives on the other side of the world and I see her once a year if I’m lucky. That date back in August 2011 was definitely one of those clichéd life-changers.

So here I am, nearly three years later, a happy blogger.

Editing2Alas, the frustration and anger from being redeployed wasn’t wasted; I took that pent up negativity and set up my Novel Project 2012. In January and February 2012, I wrote my recession based chick-lit novel, which is still in the heavy editing stages and undergoing a title change.

September 2011 saw me join Melissa Foster’s Awesome Support Team, where I’ve met a solid support network of like-minded people from across the globe.

In December 2011, I polished off a children’s story that I had written the previous summer and self published it.

Ruby of Egypt Cover 2013

The Ruby of Egypt was born.

I introduced a weekly Author Interview feature on my blog ‘Cuppa and a Catch-Up’.

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

In March 2014, I set up self-employed as freelance writer and I’m now ghost-writing a historic novel.

Freelance Bus Cards

As I look back on the last three years, as tough as they have been, it’s only fuelled my determination to do what I love.

And perseverance certainly pays off.

Tonight, one chapter closes on a section of my life. It’s been a tough one, but one I will no doubt look back on in my later years with a fondness. It’s been a character building chapter.

Tomorrow, I wake up to a whole new chapter. A Project Manager job that I have always wanted and back in the ‘real world’, a Monday to Friday nine-til-fiver. Oh, and my first drinks evening networking for Engage Magazine. Another positive to come out of the last three years.

As I close one chapter tonight, I will sleep well knowing that although the road was rocky, I never gave up – that I found my inner strength and determination to lead me to this cliff-hanger where I’m desperate to turn the page …

Good night readers.

Love a very happy Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Michelle Betham

TUESDAY 15th JULY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Michelle Betham, a fellow North Easterner and Author to numerous romance novels, including Bon Voyage and Unbreakable.

~Author Bio~

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, so it stood to reason that, at some DIGITAL CAMERApoint, I’d start writing some of them down. I currently have ten novels in total to my name, ranging from the sweet to the really quite steamy – which is my favourite kind of romance!  When I’m not creating hot heroes and sexy scenarios I like to read everything from erotica to horror. I’m also a bit of a TV addict with a penchant for “binge-watching”, I love football, darts and rock music, have a slight obsession with Timothy Olyphant, and I’m also an unashamed ‘Breaking Bad’ geek!

 With a string of steamy novels under her belt, including her current football based trilogy ‘The Striker Series’, Michelle is who I liked to refer to as the North East’s answer to Jackie Collins.

 Today she is discussing ‘Extra Time’, the second book in the trilogy.

~Synopsis~ 

Extra Time begins just a few months after Striker, Book #1 in the trilogy, left off, and the lives of Amber, Jim, Ryan and Ronnie have all moved on…

*May contain slight spoilers if you haven’t yet read Striker*

Extra Time CoverProfessional footballer Ryan Fisher is determined to show the world he’s a changed man. But moving on isn’t easy, and leaving his old life behind isn’t something he’s coping all that well with, especially when so much of it is still so close to home; when a life he didn’t realise he wanted until it was far too late is still right there in front of him. Does he reach out and try to grab it a second time? Or does he make a decision to leave it all behind in the only way he knows how? Before temptation becomes too hard to resist…

Amber’s life is moving along at breakneck speed. In every aspect. But is everything as happy and settled as she’d like it to be? Has she finally found her happy-ever-after? Or is the past just waiting to creep up on her?

At the age of forty-nine, Jim Allen feels as though his life is just beginning. He’s in love, and his career as one of the country’s most successful football managers is on the ascendant. But Jim knows all is not as it seems. He knows there are more secrets just waiting to come out, secrets that could potentially damage his new life. And this time, they’re secrets he isn’t sure he can control. Is a past he’s spent so long trying to hide finally starting to catch up with him?

As those secrets slowly start to reveal themselves, everyone’s lives once more become entangled as faces from the past and dreams of the future collide, and sex, lies and betrayal all play a part in turning everyone’s worlds upside down. All over again. And when a secret of her own adds to Amber’s heartache, is running back to her old life the best way to escape the pain? Or just the easy option. Is she really strong enough to let go of a man whose hold over her is something she just can’t break? Even if everything inside of her is screaming at her to do so.

But when that old life starts to take hold in a way no one could have envisaged, the game changes once again…

Extra Time – The game continues… but just who is winning…?

 

Hi Michelle, it’s my pleasure to have you here again!cuppa

Where did the inspiration behind the ‘Striker’ books come from?

I’m a big football fan. I always have been. And I’ve always been fascinated by the world that surrounds the top flight players – that world of excess, money and glamour. I was also a HUGE fan of ‘Footballers Wives’ when it was on TV. I loved that show! But, surely, that glamorous, glitzy world they all live in, it can’t be THAT perfect, can it? After reading a book called ‘I Am The Secret Footballer’ I realised it wasn’t. Written by a real-life Premiership footballer, it gives readers an insight into his life as a top-flight player, both on and off the pitch – the good bits, and the bad. It was certainly an eye opener, and proved to be an invaluable research tool for me as I created the character of fictional bad boy footballer Ryan Fisher. Nothing I wrote in any of the ‘Striker’ books is too far fetched, believe me. Because, as far as these players are concerned, anything goes. But money can’t always buy you everything, as Ryan soon finds out…

As a reader, what can we expect from ‘Extra Time’?

Michelle was recently featured in The Sunday Sun. Click here to view more

Michelle was recently featured in The Sunday Sun. Click here to view the interview with Ian Robson on Highbeam.com

Well, as the story continues here in book 2, the reader can expect a few more secrets to come to light, a lot more scandal, and a great deal more action off the pitch that’s guaranteed to get the heart racing! These books definitely aren’t ones you’d give to your granny, that’s for sure! I even nicknamed them “Fifty Shades of Football” because they can get a little bit hot in parts! You have been warned…

You like to do a lot of … ahem … research into characters for your stories. Who was your inspiration for Ryan Fisher?

I certainly DO like my research! But actually, Ryan Fisher wasn’t really inspired by any one particular individual. I kind of looked at professional Premiership footballers on the whole, and mixed it all up a bit. So Ryan has a little bit of everything going on, really. Yes, he’s a bad boy, but there’s also another side to him that really starts to come out more in books 2 and 3.

Which football team do you support?

Tricky one this. I used to be a season ticket holder at Newcastle United back in my teenage years, but after marrying a Sunderland supporter I hate to admit that my loyalty is shifting somewhat. And I know that, coming from a Geordie, that could almost be considered treason to even just think that. But it’s really hard to live with a Sunderland fan and NOT get sucked into the drama that team can sometimes create! Am I a full-blown Sunderland fan, though? I’m getting there…

I know you can’t give too much away, but what can we expect from the third book in the trilogy?

It’s quite difficult to say a lot without giving too much away, but, let’s just say there is some kind of conclusion to the trilogy in book 3. But not before yet more drama ensues, and another character gets to show us a side of him that we may not have seen before. It was a really emotional experience for me, writing that final book, because I’d grown so close to the characters in the Striker Series. And it was hard to let them go. But, again, without giving too much away, it may not be the last we see of them…

Thank you for being here today Michelle.

~Where to find Michelle Betham~

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Extra Time Cover

Click here for your copy from Amazon!

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Philip A. Oldfield

WEDNESDAY 09th JULY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

Today I would like to welcome Phillip Oldfield, author to Blood Relationships.

~AUTHOR BIO~

I was born in Cambridge, England, in 1959. When I was eight years old, I spent a few years living in Connecticut, USA as my family had emigrated. I still feel America is my second home. However, following the untimely demise of my father’s health and subsequent death, England, once more, was home.

Author pic philip oldfieldI have written short-stories and poetry from my early teenage years. I read Geography as a mature student at the University of Exeter, starting when my third child was 3 months old.

I have been an active parent for thirty-two years and a single parent since 2007. I have four adult children and two grandchildren. My youngest son left home in 2012.

I have had, and continue to have, an eclectic working life which has spanned the private, public and voluntary sectors within the United Kingdom. My experience stretches across the police service, marketing and, business, social and economic development.

The novel Blood Relationships is my first completed book. It started off as a concept several years ago. With the opportunity to write full-time combined with long hours of research and writing this year (2013) I was able to bring it to fruition. It is the first of a planned trilogy called Resurrections.

I have recently published My Dream Mother, a novella and finishing off twenty-five micro-stories, called, Flash Fiction 25 (Volume 1). I have five other books clambering over one another calling out to be finished, read and heard. Two are fantasies, two are historical fiction and the fifth is a romance.

I live and write in Exeter, England and enjoy its growing cosmopolitan feel along with the blessings of living in close proximity – 30 minutes or less – to the sea, rural landscapes and the wildness of the moors.

And finally, I have several favourite sayings garnered from others, which I call upon from time to time to spur me on. My favourite, I guess, which has helped me in many ways is, I think, a Chinese proverb:

‘Behold the tortoise; he only makes progress, by sticking his neck out.’

Always live in hope,

Philip A. Oldfield

~SYNOPSIS – BLOOD RELATIONSHIPS~

Blood Relationships

The story propels the reader into a roller coaster of emotions: the depths of despair and terror to the strongest feelings of love, hope and faith. The journey set in 2012 is at times violent and jarring as troubled and sadistic characters are encountered, from the freneticism of a crowded London nightclub, the claustrophobia of a macabre basement, to the expansive beauty of the Aegean Sea and the turbulent roads of Southern and Eastern Europe. Yet the heroes in the story, Claire Yohanus and Tom Abimelech, who unwillingly are caught up in ensuing events and stumble across the horrors of the past and the plans for our future, cast light and deliver hope as they grapple with truth, doubt, fear and courage and face, head on, their dilemma to tell the world.

 

~SYNOPSIS – MY DREAM MOTHER~

An inspiring tale, full of hope and a richly satisfying conclusion.My Dream Mother

​A mother dies in childbirth giving birth to a son. His father, wrought with grief and helped by Death, brings his own mother into the home to care for the child and raise him. But mistakes happen. And so begins the sorry life of Benjamin Bedford destined to live in a small corner of the world, unknown, unnoticed, in quiet oppression as he is slowly indoctrinated into the family system – much like his father was brought up to be – by his controlling and self-absorbed grandmother.

Destined, that is, until Hope played her part. That’s when the dreams began. Ben’s imagined destiny begins. But, does reality ever meet our innermost desires and create another stage for us to dance upon? The calling may be strong, the dreams may be vivid, they may even be better than life, but they’re never real are they? Follow Ben’s life from tragedy to fame and find out if dreams really do come true.

Now grab that cuppa as we chat to Philip A. Oldfield …

CUPPA

Hi Philip and welcome to my blog.

 

Where did the inspiration behind Blood Relationships come from?

The initial idea for Blood Relationships, the first book of a trilogy that I am writing called Resurrections, was drawn from my Blood Relationshipsinterest in psychology. I wanted to explore how individuals might maintain or lose faith, if pushed to the limits of endurance and what part, serendipity, and personal history might play in the process of our lives. Some while later, I was discussing progress on the book with one of my daughter’s, she’s a historian, and the conversation drifted on to events in World War II and the nature of fertility experiments. After I had researched around the topic, pre and post war medical trials, the links into the story grew, became symbiotic. Hence why the story draws on historical facts and science, but is set in contemporary times across London and Europe.

How would you compare writing this book with anything you have previously written?

My Dream MotherUp until I researched and wrote Blood Relationships, I had focused on writing poetry and short stories. I like the immediacy of short stories, even the writing of micro-stories (flash fiction) and also the challenge to absorb myself and the reader in a few pages, grab their attention, so to speak. I am just finishing off a collection, Flash Fiction 25, Vol. 1, which is coming out soon. Prior to this, I published in June this year, a novella, ‘My Dream Mother.’ I chose to write these tales to give myself some space from the intensity of writing a novel.But, I have to say, writing a full-length manuscript is overall more satisfying and ultimately, rewarding, delivering a sense of achievement that I had brought to life a tale that had waited in the wings many years to be told. It’s exciting to be in a position to write. I have several other novels in development, all in differing stages of progress, ranging across historical fiction, romance and fantasy and of course, the next two instalments in the trilogy, Resurrections. For me, it was an absolute joy, emotionally and intellectually, to immerse myself in the breadth and depth required to write a novel and maintain a focus on several story lines intersecting and/or running parallel throughout. It required a lot of planning and mapping out. For this, I primarily used A3 paper for storyboards, and used them as frameworks upon which the plot and the characters interacted and inevitably, I guess, as their characters spoke up, changed the course of the book.

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

 

At the age of eleven, whilst in an English class, the teacher led a discussion on the First World War. Afterwards, we were asked to write a poem. I found that I was able to readily generate emotions, imagine events and conjure words from the ether.

 The teacher was effervescent in his personal feedback, which has motivated me to write poetry and fiction, ever since.

How do you organise your writing time?Love shadows and light

I am normally at my desk from around 8.30 am onwards, reviewing what I had planned to do, and deciding if those tasks are the main things to do. I pretty much work flat out then until around 1 pm, when I like to listen to Radio 4 news over lunch. By around 4.30 pm, I look to stop work. In between these hours, I pick and mix activities either indoors or outside to stay fit. Of course, writing is a diverse range of activities including idea generation, research, outlining, structuring, imagining, reading and editing. It also involves, for me, a whole raft of emotions too. I need most of my mental energy when I am writing creatively, using my imagination. And when I am wrapped up in these moments, when characters and plots are chattering away, then I will stay connected to them, which might mean I wake up early and write and write, or work late into the night.  

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

Hmm, my best writing space. It varies. Most often, I write at a desk in my bedroom, with my work spread out along its surface, with ready access to my bookshelves, paper cuttings and writing materials. Here, I either type, write or dictate, depending on the nature of the writing I am working on. s often then, that I find the inspiration I need. And of course, a cup of coffee or green tea always helps too.

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

I lived in Connecticut, America, between the ages of 8 and 10 years of age. I still think of America as my second home and dream of living there again, for a while, one day.  

 

Thank you for being here today Phillip.

~OTHER PUBLICATIONS~

Love shadows and light

Love: Shadows and Light (November 2011). An anthology of poems depicting the upheaval, both blessed and traumatic, that love can bring.

~Where to find Philip A. Oldfield~

www.philipoldfield.com

Blood Relationships
My Dream Mother

Love Missuswolf xxx