Peace in Time Book Blitz & Blog Hop: Getting to Know MCV Egan

Peace Book Tour ImageSeptember 21 was the International Day of Peace, a day when worldwide peace and the goal of achieving it is put in focus. On this day, MCV Egan, author of The Bridge of Deaths, starts her blog tour and this year Kim Talks Books is lucky enough to be one of the stops.

To help celebrate the International Day of Peace, I am giving away a Kindle copy of MCV Egan’s The Bridge of Deaths and a copy of my Kindle-only novella, Choose Me. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on peace. The winner will be chosen and notified on Saturday, 29 September. You can also join the official Peace in Time giveaway here.

MCV Egan lives in South Florida with her family. The Bridge of Deaths is her first novel.

The premise of the Bridge of Deaths is fascinating–a troubled man possibly suffering from past-life trauma trying to find the connection between his issues and a mysterious plane crash  in 1939 with only one survivor. How did you find out about this story and when did you first decide this was the book you had to write?

I began to research the plane crash of the G-AESY in pre-WWII Denmark because my maternal grandfather was one of the men who died in that crash. I tried to run away from the story many times, but somehow in different ways it chased me, found me and made me realize I had to research and write it.

Out of the blue people would contact me with new information or the right book would just be at the wrong place (right for me) how many WWII history books would anyone expect to find in the cooking section?

I began my research with very traditional methods; archives, newspaper microfilms, history books. In the 1990s my side interests revolved around ‘paranormal’ or ‘occult’ disciplines such as astrology, numerology and past life regressions, as such I was surrounded by many individuals with a variety of clairvoyance aptitudes.

The way that led to combining the very believable and the likely unbelievable was that Anthony Crossley, the British MP who died in the crash that day,  was easy to research as  he was a public figure, thus making  it was easy to confirm most information clairvoyants said about him. I should add that in the 1990s it was not like anyone could Google any of this, it was easy to confirm but by carefully researching.

The individual who allowed me to use his past life regressions, but asked to remain anonymous was not particularly troubled, and certainly never had phobias, but by infusing that into the characteristics of the fictional version the story became far more interesting.

How long did it take to write The Bridge of Deaths from starting the first draft until the final edit?

Once I decided this is it, I will not try to research more it was about 18 months. It is two books in one, it is a factual documented book, which took 18 years to compile woven together with a fun, fictional narrative.

The Bridge of Deaths Book CoverHow did you decide upon the format of the novel–of juxtaposing the crash in 1939 with Bill’s life and psychic belief in 2009-2010?

When the argument was made in 2002-2003 for the war in Iraq many politicians, commentators and ‘experts’ likened the conversations with the MUNICH PACT of 1938. Because Anthony Crossley was one of the small group that adamantly opposed appeasing Hitler; the events of modern day war and the past seemed much intertwined. Also because Anthony Crossley was called the sole voice for the Arab cause in regards to the Palestinian territories in the late 1930s, that too amazed me how similar the conversations were from the 1930s and today.

Bill is the venue in the comparison; but one of the messages in the book is how strongly we are as a society, as countries affected by the decisions and wars decades later.

How did the psychic belief angle and the idea of past life trauma come into the story?

I had past life regressions that impacted me. That physically affected me in interesting ways. I did not have phobias but I did have fears that were strongly or completely overcome through the use of hypnosis and sometimes past life regressions.  I took my personal experience and expanded to make it more dramatic.

I did use psychics and past life regressions (not my own), I did take some fictional liberties but I was careful to explain what was fiction and what actually came out of the regressions or information obtained by psychics.

In my experience many people are very skeptical about psychic abilities, so I even saved some of the information I could not prove.

Have you got any advice for writers thinking about tackling a novel based on historical events?

Yes, there are two things when you decide on your timespan. Make a timeline and keep your chronology in order. Like a school kid, a nice long line with dates events keep it handy, if possible really large on a wall or a bulletin board.

That way you will physically see the era, to keep it believable.

Be sure to get the right vernacular, the devil is in the details, and I have put down a number of books because if the writer cannot respect the reader enough to take the time to research details it kills the story for me.

What’s next for you? Are you working on another project?

I am a mom and my son just started high school so for the next four years that is my most important job. Stories can always be written and information can always be researched, but my Austin will only be a teen ager once.

I am working on several short projects, playing around with one act plays and short stories and I am working on a series in a modern setting. I hope to write in a wide variety of genres and I also enjoy helping authors promote on-line. Many authors do not have the budget to have online tours or have difficulty approaching bloggers to make themselves visible and I really enjoy sharing what I had the privilege to learn from my on-line publicist and on my own.

Your Peace in Time Blitz Blog Tour not only promotes your novel but also commemorates the International Day of Peace. Tell us why this day is so important to you.

I created a character, Maggie and she is a lovable, loving free spirit very open to the esoteric. I also needed her to be very versed in WW II so to accomplish that I made her a pacifist who felt that knowledge about war is the key to avoiding them.

As Maggie grew and developed I made her an active pacifist who had participated in London protests of the Iraq war.

Maggie grew very near and dear to my heart and creating her slowly but surely pushed me into pacifism; as I am a writer through my words I can help people to become aware.

With the current state of the world, do you believe that we will ever have true peace in our time? 

I used to think that Maggie was believable as a character because she was young enough to BELIEVE. Lately I have read a bit on Gandhi or explored the principles of pacifist rebellion.  It is true that the hope I felt; surely with many around the world, in the Arab Spring when I finished The Bridge of Deaths is now so tainted by so much blood shed and destruction.

It is unlikely that World Peace is near, but as  parent why not instill in the younger generations an acceptance of the possibility so that they may perhaps achieve what has for us been so elusive. If we do not at least discuss it; how can it possibly be so?

But I guess the honest answer to IN OUR TIME? It would be a miracle, an enormous miracle and thankfully, I believe in miracles.

Many thanks to MCV Egan for joining of this week! And everyone, remember to leave comments with your thoughts on peace or the possibility of peace in our time for the chance to win Kindle editions of The Bridge of Deaths and Choose Me.

Happy reading (and writing)!

Giveaway update and–hey, a 1-star review!

Apparently not many of my readers have iPhone 5s, so there were no winners for the Choose Me iPhone 5 cases. Well, now I know for the next giveaway. 🙂

On to other minutiae–checked my reviews on Amazon as one does and, after receiving a few 5-star reviews and a 3-star review, I received a 1-star review. At first, I was a little stunned. But then I reminded myself that one can never be guaranteed fans. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you write for whatever reason.

I wonder how many 1-star reviews I’ll get when Maybe Baby finally comes out. Laney isn’t always the easiest of characters to love. You’ll either love her or hate her. Well, more when it’s nearer to launch date. 🙂

Back soon with book reviews and a novel update!

Happy reading (and writing)!

Giveaway: Win a Choose Me iPhone 5 case…

Isn't it pretty? You know you want one...:)

Isn’t it pretty? You know you want one…:)

Giveaway time!  I’ve got two iPhone 5 cases featuring the cover of Choose Me and I’m giving them away. Want to be one of the lucky winners?

All you have to do is answer a Choose Me question: When Chris meets Jessica, he’s in Edinburgh working for a photographer. What is the photographer’s name? 

Post your answer in the comments section here. I will announce the winners on Sunday, 1 September at noon EST.

Good luck! 😀

 #giveaway #ChooseMe #iphone5case #cover#KimGolden

Choose Me is live…

Choose Me Version 3So Choose Me is finally live. It’s not the collection of short stories I’d originally planned. A few months ago, I decided I’d rather release a novella instead of more short stories. I figured it was time for a longer piece of writing and–let’s face it–I am a little behind schedule. I can only blame it on having a heavy workload at the office and the fabulous weather here in Stockholm. It’s not often we have a summer like the current one–hardly any rain–amazingly blue skies…yes, this is the weather that makes you fall in love with Sweden. 🙂

The idea for Choose Me first came to me back in 2007. I think that was the year I reluctantly decided to try Nanowrimo–thanks Rebecca F. for encouraging me to do it! In fact, Choose Me (which was called Horizons back then) is part of the Nanowrimo novel I *almost* finished on time. I was one day late meeting the deadline due to illness and teaching an insane intensive Business English course. Instead of finishing on 30 November, I finished 1 December.

Jessica and Chris’s story starts in Choose Me. The second part of their story will come soon. 🙂 Possibly in October. And the stories I’d originally planned? Well, they’ll be released around November or December.

At the moment, Choose Me is a Kindle-only novella. I hope to be able to release it for Kobo and Nook very soon. There won’t be a print version of Choose Me but if you’d like it as a PDF, you can always contact me here and we’ll see if we can work something out. 🙂

No, I am not dead…just very, very tired and busy

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How my brain feels…

Sorry again for the radio silence. I thought I would have oodles of time to update my little blog once I returned from vacation, but I’ve had a lot on my plate at work and then when I come home I am just…tired, lazy.

What free time I’ve had has been spent writing or socializing and catching up with people I had to neglect all spring (due to work).

But I promise–now that things seem to be calming down at work–I will get back to you very soon with a combo book review (three books, all three books you need to read) and an update about when Choose Me and The Time Is Now will be available. 🙂

I just need a few more days to make sure project (at work) is on schedule and then I’ll be back. 🙂

Happy reading (and writing)!

Need help with cover design? Check out these peeps…

Indie writers, we all know how insane it can be trying to find good covers for a book. We’ve done our research and scoped out benchmarks, figured out what we like and what we hate. Now we need to find people who can help us make our cover dreams realities. In my search good cover designs, I’ve found (on my own and with the help of fellow authors) great designers and now I’m sharing that info with you.

Custom or Pre-made?

Cover designed by Cover It! Designs

Cover designed by Cover It! Designs

If you’re not sure which option is best, you should check out designers who offer both. Cover It! Designs and Go On Write give you this flexibility. They have great pre-made covers to choose from. If none of them strike your fancy, then both offer affordable custom cover packages for ebooks, print books and promotional material.

I’ve already worked with Go On Write and been very pleased with the quick turnaround and flexibility. The gorgeous cover of Choose Me, the collection of short stories I’m finishing up and which I shared with you last week, is a Go On Write creation and I love it!

Author Ada Slowe has worked with Cover It! Designs and recommends them highly. The cover of her upcoming novel, The Power of Love, is atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful in my opinion.

 

Only Interested in Custom? 

Then you can try Design for Writers. You can check out their portfolio on their Facebook page. I am currently working with Andrew from Design for Writers and look forward to a cover reveal soon.

Gorgeous cover created by Sue Traynor

Gorgeous cover created by Sue Traynor

Or…you could work with an illustrator, which is what I’ve done for Playing House, a novel I plan on releasing in a few months. I worked with Sue Traynor, an illustrator whose work I’d first come across through istockphoto. I liked her whimsical style and I thought it would translate well for the story I was telling. I couldn’t find any stock images that worked for my story so I contacted her about creating custom images. I provided her with reference images, a short summary of the book’s plot and the feel I wanted to capture. And she created the cover for Playing House, which I think looks great. Can’t wait to finally be able to say the book is ready. For now, we’ll have to settle for a sneak peek at the cover.

Working with Sue was great. If you write women’s fiction or chick lit and you want an illustrated cover with custom images, then you should definitely get in touch with Sue.

That’s it for now. I’ll post links to more designers and illustrators as I continue compiling my reference list.

Happy reading (and writing)!

 

Getting closer to publishing Choose Me

Choose Me's lovely cover

Choose Me’s lovely cover

A few months ago, I shared with you a cover for a project called Choose Me. I originally thought I would have published it by April 15. That was my deadline, but then life got in the way. Well, now I am getting closer to feeling like it will be ready soon. I’ve got the first part of it under control. I’m just making some minor tweaks to it. Part One of Choose Me is a novella set in Edinburgh. Part Two will be four short stories set in Philadelphia, Richmond, Rome and London. The stories still need a tiny bit of tweaking but tweaking short stories isn’t nearly as daunting a task as tweaking a novel.

The common thread for the novella and the stories is people making choices. Choices about staying, choices about who they love and what they want. My new deadline is June 1. I think I’ll have it ready by then.

Choose Me will be available as an ebook and a POD paperback. I’ll keep you posted about the official launch date. It might be around Midsummer (June 21) since I will be in Italy the first two weeks of June.

That’s it for now! It’s bedtime for me.

Happy reading (and writing)!

P.S.

Thanks to James at goonwrite.com for making such a beautiful cover for me!