FAA 2018: Delve deeper into Portraits in Flesh by M.W. Brown

Happy Thursday, everyone, and welcome to Day 4 of Foster an Author 2018! Today I’m sharing with you some teasers from M.W. Brown‘s Portraits in Flesh. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be a part of the giveaway–hurry! Tomorrow’s the last day to enter! 🙂 

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Intrigued? Get your copy now

Amazon: mybook.to/PortraitsofFleashCI

Other retailers: https://www.books2read.com/u/bOAJZN 

FAA 2018: Portraits in Flesh and other horror fiction by M.W. Brown

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Welcome to Day 3 of Foster an Author 2018! It’s a chilly but sunny autumn day here in Stockholm, Sweden–perfect day for a walk and coffee somewhere. But first, let’s take a closer look at M.W. Brown‘s Portraits in Flesh. I don’t know about you, but I love a good ghost story or creepy tale that has me jumping at things that go bump in the night. I think Portraits in Flesh is going to be just the thing for a dose or two of spookiness–especially since Halloween is just around the corner.

Don’t forget about the giveaway: not only are we giving away an ebook copy of Portraits in Flesh, we’re also giving away a $20 Amazon gift card! So how do you enter today? Write a comment telling us your favourite kind of spooky story. We’ll pick a winner at random on Friday, 26 October

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Portraits in Flesh

Published by Crazy Ink

Genre: Psychological Thriller/Horror

 

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Annabelle has discovered she can instantly transport herself to the destination on her satnav. Although ghost like when she travels, her remarkable ability takes her from England to France, Croatia and beyond.

As Annabelle explores her potential it puts her life and the lives of those she loves in danger and leads her into the path of an enigmatic and intelligent serial killer.

What will he do if he discovers Annabelle’s ability?

Some places were never meant to be visited.

 

 

More horror from M. W. Brown

FULL METAL HORROR: A Monstrous Anthology 

Published by Zombie Pirate Publishing Apr 2018

Genre: Horror

Screenshot 2018-10-24 at 11.02.58There’s something right behind you… You can feel its rancid breath on your neck, smell the blood dripping from its wicked fangs, sense its anticipation as you walk further from the house, confidently telling yourself you have no reason to fear the dark, that there is nothing there. You fight the urge to turn, fight the impulse to run, fight to keep your pace steady, but you are losing the battle. The monster is right behind you, and nothing you do can save you now. This is FULL METAL HORROR: A Monstrous Anthology, thirty-five horrifying short stories from authors around the world, packed full of deadly monsters. Just remember, don’t turn around…

Includes Serious Moonlight by M W Brown

Margaret didn’t want to become a woman. At least as a child the lecherous Lord kept his distance. But innocent times never last.

As Margaret walked into the woods that day, she was unaware that her transition into womanhood would bring more than one unwanted visitor and it would spawn two very different tales that would be told for centuries to come.

Graveyard Girls

Published by Hellbound Books Jun 2018

Genre: Horror

Screenshot 2018-10-24 at 10.56.51 A delicious collection of horrific tales and darkest poetry from the cream of the crop, all lovingly compiled by the incomparable Gerri R Gray!

Nestling between the covers of this formidable tome are twenty-five of the very best lady authors writing on the horror scene today! These tales of terror are guaranteed to chill your very soul and awaken you in the dead of the night with fear-sweat clinging to your every pore and your heart pounding hard and heavy in your laboured breast…

Featuring stories from: Xtina Marie, MW Brown, Rebecca Kolodziej, Anya Lee, Barbara Jacobson, Gerri R Gray, Christina Bergling, Julia Benally, Olga Werby, Kelly Glover, Lee Franklin, Linda M. Crate, Vanessa Hawkins, P. Alanna Roethle, J. Snow, Evelyn Eve, Serena Daniels, S.E. Davis, Sam Hill, J.C. Raye, Donna J.W. Munro, R.J. Murray, C. Bailey-Bacchus, Varonica Chaney and Marian Finch.

Includes Dead Lines by M W Brown

 

An old woman and a nondescript man, both ruthless killers. Who will survive when there are deadlines to meet and contracts to keep? 

Coming soon from M.W. Brown

Bloody Bonkers: A Crazy Ink Anthology

Screenshot 2018-10-24 at 10.53.23It takes all kinds of crazy to keep the prisons filled up. The line between sanity and insanity can be threaded with the thinnest strings. Sometimes, walking that edge takes stepping into the madness…

Stories with varying degrees of criminal insanity and one common theme – exploring the crimes committed in the heat of passion.

How far would you go with love on the line? Who and what would you kill for? What’s the difference between temporary and forever insanity? How far would you be willing to travel into madness for justice?
With something for everyone, Bloody Bonkers will lock you into the delicious mayhem that causes the bloodiest of heated crimes

Includes Chalk by M W Brown 

A great teacher can set your world on fire…

Don’t forget to tell us about your favourite kind of spooky story for a chance to win an ebook copy of Portraits in Flesh and a $20 Amazon gift card!

Hurry — you only have until Friday to win! Happy Reading

FA3 – Day 5: K.A. Duggsy and Lexi C. Foss

Today is the final day of Foster an Author. I’ve had a great time hosting K.A. Duggsy and Lexi C. Foss and I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know them and their work! To cap off this week, I’m having a giveaway–one lucky winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + Kindle versions of Advance by K.A. Duggsy and Blood Laws by Lexi C. Foss. But hurry–the giveaway ends on Saturday night. I will announce + contact the winner on Sunday. Good luck!


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Advantage (Book 3 in the Advance Industries series) by K.A. Duggsy

Synopsis

We met by chance, by crazy circumstance.
Forced together by events out of our control
Neither of us were looking.
Neither of us were wanting what we found.
Both scarred. Both scared. Both hiding.
Only, one of us is undeserving.
One of us is lying, faking … taking advantage.
The face I present to the world is a farce and my act has been perfected, now it’s first class.
Taking a chance is a risk to us both
But it can’t be ignored, because not only is it her name, it’s what she gives me…
Hope.
Some sins can never be erased. If I get too close… if she finds out…
I’ll be replaced.

Please note this is not a stand alone. This is the third and final book in the Advance Industries series. Books 1 and 2 will need to be read first in order to make sense of the story.

Buy Links


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The Immortal Curse series by Lexi C. Foss

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What readers are saying about Lexi C. Foss’s Immortal Curse series

Blood Laws is my first book written by Lexi C Ross and I loved it! I could not put it down and could not wait to start reading the next book in the series. The concept is different to what I have read before and definitely captivated me and felt like I was walking through the story with the characters.

Amazon Reviewer

Forbidden Bonds is an action packed, paranormal romance with a unique world and well developed characters. Lexi’s writing is engaging, the story is interesting, and I never wanted to put the book down. I had an awesome time diving back into this world, and I think you will, too. I bet you’ll enjoy your time there even more this time around!

Chatterbooks Book Blog

 

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FA3 – Day 3: Forbidden Bonds by Lexi C. Foss and Today, Tomorrow, Forever by K.A. Duggsy

Welcome to Day #3 of Foster an Author 3. Ready to get to know more books from K.A. Duggsy and Lexi C. Foss? Read on, my friends. 🙂


Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 20.41.11Forbidden Bonds by Lexi C. Foss

Synopsis

Tom kills rogue immortals for a living, but after releasing classified information to a friend, he’s banished to a remote location to babysit a female prisoner of war. What starts as an ordinary mission, ends in a forbidden bond, and Tom will be forced to choose: Loyalty or Love?

Buy Links

iBooks: itunes.apple.com/book/id1190640455

Amazon (US): amazon.com/dp/B07259ND1W

Amazon (CA): amazon.ca/dp/B07259ND1W

Amazon (UK):  amazon.co.uk/dp/B07259ND1W

Amazon (AU): amazon.com.au/dp/B07259ND1W

Barnes & Noble: barnesandnoble.com/w/forbidden-bonds-lexi-c-foss/1125431329?ean=2940153940090

Kobo: kobo.com/us/en/ebook/forbidden-bonds

Add it to Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35167944-forbidden-bonds 

Excerpt

“Gentleman,” Tom greeted after assembling the communication unit. “Blake sends his regards. Who wants to dance next?”

Knowing his words would reveal his location, he moved deeper into the parking lot on the other side, away from the sidewalk and farther from Amelia. He really hoped she’d been smart enough to hide in the car and not try to find him.

“Hello, son,” his father replied. “You mind telling me what the fuck you’re doing?”

John Fitzgerald using curse words brought a smile to Tom’s face. He’d thoroughly pissed off the CRF’s CEO enough that he had lost his cool over the communication channel. Nice. How far could he push him?

“Right now?” Tom asked, voice low. “I’m taking out your unit. Or did you mean in general?” A flash of metal grabbed his attention. Sentinel Charlie was in a crouch position thirty feet to his left and facing the wrong direction.

Tom shook his head. How many times had he told the man to watch his six? Idiot. He took a detour around a few cars to sneak up on his former teammate while John spoke.

“The asset is messing with your head, son. You need to come in so we can fix the issue.”

Tom suppressed a snort at that plan. Fixing the issue no doubt equated to torture and eventual death by brainwashing techniques. Because Tom was built not to break, and his father knew that better than anyone.

He slammed his pistol into the back of Charlie’s skull and sighed as the man went down. “Well, that wasn’t even any fun,” he said. “You really ought to send Charlie back to training, John. He still hasn’t mastered surveillance.”

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Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 20.57.26Today, Tomorrow, Forever by K.A. Duggsy

Synopsis

***WARNING*** Please note this novella contains some scenes you may find distressing.18+ Only.

Enola
I was strong…once! I had friends and a great social life.
My ex took it all.
He made me change. Now I’m nervous, anxious and self-doubting. I hide away safe in my bubble until I meet… Mr dirty blues.
He makes me want to start again, to stop letting my past control me.
But can I trust myself to trust in him?
Can I let him in?
Or will I fall again?

Carey
I’ve been forced to join the family private eye business. A job I have zero interest in. I do my duty though, hoping to heal the rift between my brother and I.
Mum and dad are both…gone, so we only have each other.
Yeah, so life is pretty shit. I’m a moody prick dwelling on my losses.
Until…her.
She teaches me to feel again, to laugh and I’m addicted.

Enola Elias suffered an horrific attack at the hands of her abusive ex, James Stanwell. Years later still physically and emotionally scarred, struggling with debilitating self doubt and trust and anxiety issues she attempts navigating through life again starting with a blind date. She meets Carey Cooper who is dealing with his own demons after his mothers death and fathers suicide. He’s become unenamoured with life and is just going through the motions.

When they encounter each other again, their barriers begin to break and they take a chance on one another.

Learning that her ex James is due to be released from prison, unleashes painful emotions and memories of a past Enola is still trying to overcome.

Mistakes have been made and someone has to pay.

Will Carey and Enola get their Today, Tomorrow, Forever?

Buy Links

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 21.01.41Today, Tomorrow, Forever – Carey’s Revenge

Synopsis

18+ only. Please note this is the second book in a series, if you haven’t read Today, Tomorrow, Forever (Book 1) this book may not make any sense.
This is the final book in this series.

‘Fate is a hoax’
‘God is a story’
‘And happy ever after really is a fairytale’

Carey
I’m a changed man. Yep that’s me. I’m drowning in the depths of despair and consumed. Consumed with the unrelenting need for revenge. There’s only so much loss a man can take and I’ve reached my quota! I’m done. I’m ready to re-unite with my baby. I just have one last job to do, the most important task I’ve ever committed myself to.
I won’t fail. I can’t fail.

Carey Cooper met and then lost, the love of his life Enola in a matter of weeks.
He wants nothing more than to be re-united with his love again but first he needs revenge.

With the help of his younger brother Carter, Enola’s father-Jack and his source Leela, he hunts for James, the person responsible for his never ending cycle of pain. He has a clear plan and is determined to carry it out. But in his haste has he chosen to trust the wrong people?
James is holed up with a parolee he met, he’s in hiding and has no intention of returning to jail- this time on a murder charge. He wants revenge too. He loved Enola and never meant for things to end the way they did, for that he blames Carey. He’s put a plan in place for Carey, to end this once and for all.
Carey teeters on the edge of sanity, he’s angry at the world and slowly losing his grip on reality.
And as he finds out, sometimes to catch a monster you first have to become one.

‘Unfortunately, underneath we all have a split personality just waiting to be set free.’

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Getting to know… Laurie Ellingham

Welcome back for another instalment of Getting to Know… Today we have author Laurie Bellingham with us. Laurie  is the author of The Reluctant Celebrity and How to Throw Your Life Away. She lives on the Suffolk/Essex border in the UK with her husband, two children and a cute cockerpoo. I think she loves coffee just as much as I do. 🙂 

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Author Laurie Ellingham

Laurie, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from originally? 

Firstly, thanks Kim for having me here today. Such a treat to get virtually out and about as a writer. I’m grew up in Rayleigh, Essex and featured Rayleigh in my second novel How to Throw Your Life Away. I called the town Henley in the book so I could add a bit of creative license. I studied Psychology at Hull University and lived in East London for many years. I now live on the Essex/Suffolk borders with my hubby and two children who are six and five and both happily settled at the village school.

When I’m not ferrying the kids to clubs, cheering on the sidelines of football matches, cooking (which I don’t really enjoy), tidying and cleaning (I HATE), then I’m running in the countryside, writing and reading. Oh and I like chocolate too.

I love chocolate too. It’s one of my favourite things in the world… Now tidying and cleaning…hate doing them, but one must do what one must do. 🙂 When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I had my first rejection letter when I was 10. I sent a story about a family of peas to the Oxford Press. They sent back a very nice letter and lots of stickers. I miss getting stickers with rejection 🙂

So you could say that I’ve always wanted to be an author. From a very young age I became interested in people and why they behave in certain ways, and filtered this into storytelling.

Imagine if every rejection letter came with nice stickers! That would make them a bit nicer to receive! 😀  Fast-forwarding to now: as a writer, are you a plotter or pantster?

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Oh, definitely a plotter, which is madness because the rest of my life is generally rather messy and chaotic *husband nods from over my shoulder.*

At the start of the year I read Stephen King’s On Writing and was taken with his suggestion to wing it and enjoy where the story takes me. I wrote the first 20,000 words of my latest novel like this but I had to stop and plan and get all my characters sorted out. Once the plan is in place I don’t go back and look at it, not once, but it’s comforting to know it’s there, and I’m happy to change direction if I have a great big light bulb moment when I’m brushing my teeth.
Q: Are you working on a new book now? Can you give us a sneak peek of the plot?
I am. It’s book two for my publisher, Carina (Harper Collins). I’m expecting the first draft finished in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait for the world to see it. Here’s my draft blurb and title (it all might change still)…
The Stranger on the Boat.
‘My name is Abigail Rose Wick. My parents are Sarah and Michael Wick. And I’ve been missing for fourteen years.’
A missing girl returns unharmed. A family torn apart by tragedy begin to heal.
But strange things begin to happen to the Wick family. The media are tipped off, throwing them into a spotlight they cannot hide from. DNA results go missing. Holes begin to appear in the girl’s story.
Is the mysterious girl Abigail Wick?
Who is the stranger on the boat who took Abigail?
What happened fourteen years ago?
Only one person knows the truth.

I sat down expecting this novel to be a fast-paced thriller, but it’s not that at all. I love it.

I know that feeling! I once started working on a book thinking it would be literary fiction and it suddenly veered into a holiday romance. But, wow, I really like the premise of your story!  I would definitely add this to my TBR list.

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Laurie’s writing space

So when you’re writing, do you have a favorite writing space? 

Here it is.

It used to be an entrance hall and front door, then it got an internal door and became a space to stash the dog when he gets under our feet, and now the dog has to share it with me. It smells like musky dog most of the time and doesn’t have a view, but it’s one of my favorite places to be.

I’m fortunate to live in the countryside so anytime I get a bit stir crazy I just take my notebook to the meadow behind our house and write outside for while.

By the way, which titles are on your must-read list this year?

Being part of a fantastic online book community for authors and bloggers (Book Connectors) I see so many amazing books I’m desperate to read. Next up I’m reading The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech. I’m saving it for when my first draft is finished so I can give it the attention it deserves.

And what are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone. It’s the kind of book that stays with you long after you’ve put it down. For me it is compelling, gripping, and uncomfortable all in one.

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Her adorable dog, Rodney

So which authors would you recommend to people looking for someone new to read?

S.E Lynes or B.A Paris for a fabulous thriller, and Louise Beech and Catherine Miller for some amazing women’s fiction with depth.

What’s a typical day of writing like for you?

I like to sit down and crack on in the mornings, which means getting the kids off to school and being back at my desk for 9am. By 10.30 I’m ready for a break and Rodney (here’s a pic) is ready to go out so we either run or walk together for an hour.
Then it’s right back to my desk with more coffee and some chocolate (usually a Twix) until it’s time to collect the kids. These are the best days and I usually hit my daily word count of 1000 words with time to spare, but for every day like this there’s a day when life gets in the way and I’m up until late still tapping away at my laptop.

Sounds enviable. 🙂 So on these days when you’re writing,  do you imagine any particular actors/actresses as your leads? Or do you find inspiration elsewhere?

Yes. In fact, one of the first things I do when planning my novel is search Google Images for photos that fit with the images of the characters in my mind. I find it helps to look at these pictures at the start of each chapter as it reminds me of their different mannerisms as well as their personalities.

I do something similar with Pinterest and Google Images. I’ve got a few favourites who’ve become my muses and some characters I absolutely adore. What about you? Which of your characters is your favourite?

There is a character in my first book called Guy Rawson. He’s this brooding model turned singer, and hopelessly flawed. I missed him so I found a part for him in a later novel – Three Months to Live (out in April 2017). Although the two novels are nothing a like – the Reluctant Celebrity is a romantic comedy and Three Months to Live is edgy women’s fiction – Guy slotted in nicely for a little guest appearance.

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-12-07-19One of the things I love about writing is when the story first begins to form in my head. What about you? What’s your favourite thing about being a writer?

I love creating a story in my head and characters that feel as real to me as anyone; this is the amazing thing about being a writer. I like hearing that people are enjoying my books as well but that comes later. Mostly though, writing is when I feel most like myself. I’m a mum and wife and a friend and a daughter and a sister, and that’s great, but when I’m writing I’m me.

What would you say is the most difficult part of being a writer and how do you deal with it? 

Loneliness and self-doubt.

The first is less of an issue in recent years because social media has opened up many wonderful writing communities which means I now feel part of something amazing.
The self-doubt is a harder fix. It can hit anytime and completely out of the blue. I try and just see it as the rough with the smooth as there are as many days I’m excited by what I’m writing.

I know exactly what you mean! But, just to change the subject a bit…a lot of people say they read to escape. They don’t want to be reminded of the harsh reality  of the world when they sit down to read a book. What’s your take on this? Should fiction address topical social issues? 

Absolutely. A skilled author can write about topical social issues whilst still offering the escapism of well written characters. Michael J Malone has done just this by writing about domestic abuse with the female as the abuser. It was uncomfortable at times but it had all the elements of a great read too. I feel richer for having read it.

I so agree with you. I think reading shouldn’t simply be about escaping, even if sometimes that’s all I want. Usually I  want to see things from another perspective, even if it means that the writer makes me feel uncomfortable. 

So tell me, what was the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

Read lots of books in lots of different genres. It keeps your mind focused on writing and novels and opens your eyes to other writing styles.

Before we close up, what advice would you give to novice writers?

Firstly, write. Then write some more. Prioritise writing in your life. If you wait until all your other jobs are done, you’ll never get any writing done.
And at the same time read. Then read some more.

Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Laurie! And readers–make sure you connect with Laurie and check out her novels! 🙂 

Connect with Laurie Ellingham

WebsiteTwitterFacebook – Goodreads

Getting to know… Beth Miller

Welcome back for another instalment of Getting to Know… Today, we’ve got British author Beth Miller in the hot seat. Beth is originally from London but now she lives in Sussex.  She’s written two novels: When We Were Sisters and The Good Neighbour. She’s also written two non-fiction books, For The Love of The Archers and the just-published For The Love of Shakespeare. Beth’s taken a break from working on  her third novel to hang out with us for a bit.

 

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Beth Miller (Photo credit: Katie Vandyck)

 

Thanks so much for joining us today, Beth. It’s always great to have a chance to meet another writer. Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember how old you were when you knew?

When I was six. I knew I wanted to be a writer because I loved writing stories. I got a lot of encouragement from teachers and my parents who thought I could write well. I got published at the age of 47. I am a slow-burn kind of gal.

Then we’re birds of a feather. I always knew I wanted to be a writer. It just took me until I was 43 to actually publish a novel. 🙂  Now when it comes to writing, are you a plotter or pantster?

I’ve been both. First novel: pantsed it. Took 12 years. Second novel: plotted it. Took eight months. Current novel: a mixture, which is going to take roughly two years. I think plotting is a very good idea, but probably not everyone needs to. I’m just not a very good pantser.

I’ve got both of your novels on my Kindle, but haven’t had a chance to read them yet. I’m looking forward to reading them in December, once NaNoWriMo is over. Now, I know you’re working on a third novel. What can you tell us about it? 

I’ve nearly finished the first shoddy-looking draft. It’s about Hana, who comes from a very restrictive and sheltered family, and leads a double-life. It’s got lots of lists in it (I love lists), and it’s really about love, and the mistakes we make when we’re young. And the mistakes we make when we’re older, too. I think it’s funny, though I’m often the only one who finds my writing amusing.

It sounds intriguing! I can’t wait to read it! Speaking of reading,  what are you reading now? And what’s on your To-Be-Read List?

I usually have a fiction and non-fiction book on the go. The non-fiction currently is Contested Will by James Shapiro, about the was-Shakespeare-really-Shakespeare conspiracy. It’s for a talk I’m doing later this year. And I’ve just finished a couple of fiction books because of being on holiday: Girl on the Train (I was late to this particular party, though I wasn’t mad about it), and The School Gate Survival Guide by Kerry Fisher, which was great. The next one on the pile is Beyond the Sea by Melissa Bailey, and I’m very much looking forward to Rebecca Mascull’s next novel, The Wild Air, out next spring. Her books are different from anything else out there.
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Since I am American, I don’t know anything about The Archers. I’ve heard British friends mention it, but other than that, I don’t really know what it is. 🙂 Could you tell us a little about the Archers and how you decided to write about the program? 

The Archers is a long-running radio drama which is set in a fictional area of the Midlands. In fact it’s the longest-running radio drama in the world. I was commissioned to write the book because a friend of mine who’d been asked to do it turned it down and offered it to me. She didn’t listen to the Archers but I was a fan and had already written an Archers blog for years.

What made you decide to write about Shakespeare?

The same publisher (Summersdale) asked me to write the Shakespeare book for no other reason than I’d done the Archers one for them and they thought I could do it!

I think I’m going to have to check out the Archers. 🙂 Maybe I can listen to it while I am working. Now, speaking of work, what’s your typical day of writing like?

Take my boy to school, come back, make tea, and go up to my messy desk in the loft. Faff around on the internet for a while, then gradually pick up from where I left off last time. I edit the last couple of pages and then write onwards from that point. This makes it sound really smooth. There’s a lot of stop-starting and popping downstairs for a biccy before I get my head back into it.

Are you one of those writers who has rituals need to have certain things with them when they write or start a new project? 

I do buy a notebook at the start of each book but don’t think that’s a ritual so much as a necessity – I use the notebook! I’m not a very ritualistic person.

I always buy new notebooks when I start a project, but then I end up doing most of the work on my computer. So I think the buying of notebooks must be my ritual.  So what would you say is your favorite part of being a writer? 

Without question, people who have read the books telling you what they thought. I don’t mean Amazon reviews, though I do love reading those, even the bad ones. I mean in person, when people stop you in the street and tell you how a certain aspect resonated with them or how it made them feel. Those encounters keep me going through the arid periods of unsuccessful writing.

You are also an editor/book coach/ writing teacher. Does having this background make writing easier? Or do you find that your inner critic is more relentless?

I see the book coaching and writing as slightly separate to my own writing. I can’t assume that a client or student will have the same difficulties or strengths in writing as I do, so I try to be where they’re at with their writing. There are a few universal rules, though, that apply to everyone (such as ‘get some words written!’) I’ve been through the mill with writing, getting rejected, re-writing, getting rejected again, etc, and I have made every mistake in the book, so I think I know a few shortcuts now that I can pass on to people. But there are no shortcuts when it comes to getting the words down in the first place.

So true! I think a lot of people believe we writers can magically make words appear, but it’s all about putting in the time and actually writing. There’s no magic to it.

What about characters? Now when it comes to yours, is there a particular one who’s your favourite? 

In my first novel (When We Were Sisters), my favourite character for a long time was Miffy, the young girl. But I came to realise that the other main character, Laura – self-centered and bitchy – was a bit closer to my heart. In my second novel (The Good Neighbour), my favourite is definitely Davey, one of the three narrators. He’s a nine-year old boy, a wheelchair user, who’s brilliant at technology. I love his resourcefulness and his generous spirit.

 

What about social media? What’s your take on it? Do you think it’s  vital for today’s authors? 

I think it works for a few people, those who already have a built-in audience, such as Caitlin Moran. I’m not convinced it works so well for new authors. My twitter feed sometimes seems to be made up entirely of authors shouting, ‘read my book!’ in increasingly desperate ways. I worry that they are spending so much time on it, when they could be getting on with the next book. And there’s often a lack of wit and flair in the way people try to draw attention to themselves.

And there’s also a law of diminishing returns. I might see a post about a book that looks interesting, but by the time I’ve seen six, ten or even more tweets about the same book, I’m sick of the sight of it. Sorry. I don’t know what the answer is. I enjoy Facebook and Twitter but I’m not expecting them to make or break this thing I laughingly call my writing career. My current favourite social media is Instagram, though I don’t really follow any authors on it. I just like looking at the pretty pictures.

I know what you mean. I love Pinterest and Instagram for the very same reason. 🙂

What about writing advice? What was the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

‘Don’t get it right, get it written’. I don’t remember who said it to me, but I now say it all the time to writing students. It means don’t go back endlessly over your work rewriting; don’t sit there pointlessly worrying that it doesn’t say exactly what you want; don’t waste time moving commas about; don’t be neurotic. It means churn out the words, and trust that you can make them better later. I have this as a mantra in my head the whole time I’m writing the first draft.

So true! You have to write the words first. You can always revise and make it better. But that dirty first draft is a necessity. 

Now, when you’re reading or writing, are there any subjects that are taboo for you?

I would never write about child sexual abuse. Not because I am squeamish, but because I think it has become over-used as a plot device, and its horror is becoming diminished. I also don’t like killing people off in my books, as I think that can often be a slightly lazy device to move on the plot. But I love writing sex scenes – the raunchier the better!

Heheh! Sex scenes are always fun to write. Some of my readers tell me I don’t write enough of them, maybe I need to change that.  Now what about dream projects? If you could work on a collaborative project with any writer, who would be your dream writing partner?

In fact, my dream job would be to work as a collaborative writer, on an American TV comedy such as Frasier or Thirty Rock. I love writing with people but hardly ever do it any more. My dream writing partner would be Tina Fey, but she hasn’t called back.

You and I are on the same wavelength. I would love to work with Tina Fey–especially since we come from the same city. Well, maybe if we send her boxes of Philadelphia delicacies, she’ll give us a call. 😉

Thanks so much for thanks so much for joining us, Beth! Readers, make sure you check out Beth’s books. And don’t forget to follow her website so you’ll know when her next book is coming out.