Ready for something a little different…

Author Interview

Hello! to Samantha Bryant

5 Questions to Know You Better…
Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

I’m addicted to all three. I drink tea every day: British black teas in the morning and a variety of herbal and decaffeinated teas in the afternoons and evening. Coffee is a weekend treat because I like the calorific fancy ones with syrups and such, though I also indulge in a few cups of more standard coffee when I’m at a diner or meeting with my critique group. Hot chocolate is a winters-only thing for me, but I love fancy-schmancy hot chocolate from my local chocolatier, Matthew’s Chocolates.

Hot drinks are vital to my creative process. They’re so sensory: taste, smell, and feel.

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

Oh my, that’s rather like picking a favorite child, don’t you think? I love them all. Even the ones I’m supposed to dislike. I like best whichever one is cooperating with me!

I need to be deeply connected with whoever I’m writing at any given time, so right now, it’s probably Linda/Leonel Alvarez, since he is the focus of book 3, which I’m in the middle of edits for as I write this. Leonel has been through so much: raising a family, an unexpected change in gender, gaining super-strength, getting shot. But he’s remained who he is at the core throughout: a thoughtful, caring, and protective grandmother.

Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?

I don’t have a designated writing space. No office or anything yet, though I might get one when the eldest goes off to college in a couple years. I write on a laptop, so I take it to wherever it is quiet in the house (or out of it) at the time. So, that can be almost any room of the house, really.

Most days, I seem to end up in my living room, with my feet up on the sofa and a cup of tea getting cold on a folding table nearby.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

I take inspiration from my life around me all the time: the people I know, the books I read, the places I’ve been, etc. But I think that most of the ideas that develop into anything worthwhile germinate in conversations with my husband. He’s a wonderful talker, and excellent to bounce ideas with. Definitely a keeper.

My menopausal superheroes series, for example, began with me complaining to him that all the superheroes in movies seem to be teenagers, like puberty gives you superpowers. I joked that if hormones really did give superpowers, it would be menopausal women who had the corner on the market. He laughed and told me to write that down. And a book series was born!

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

I’m editing Face the Change, book three of the Menopausal Superhero series. It’s planned for release by Curiosity Quills on July 11, 2017.

Each book is getting better, if I do say so myself and I’m so excited to get this one out there and into the hands of readers. This time, Cindy Liu (the mad scientist/villain) gets a point of view position. It’s been exciting to get to write things from her unique perspective and see how she justifies all the questionable things she’s done.

Our youngest author yet… Meet Charlotte Bowyer

Author Interview

Hello! Charlotte x
5 Questions to Know You Better…


Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

I like hot chocolate more than coffee, but I tend to drink a couple of cups of either Earl Grey or Lemon and Ginger tea every day.

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

Avery from ‘His Frozen Fingertips’ is hands-down my favourite character that I have created. He is kind, capable, and I think that having bisexual characters is very important to increase diversity in Young Adult fiction.

Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?

At seventeen years old, I am more of a nomadic writer than someone who sits in one place every day. I use both my laptop and iPad and jot down ideas whenever I get them. I still try to write over one thousand words every day, even though I don’t have a set place to do it.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

I get inspiration and ideas from a variety of places A lot of my characters take traits from people whom I know in real life, although I hope that I develop them so much that no one can tell if they are the source of a character or not!

I read a lot, and I think that that also influences my writing and is a source of my ideas.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

I’m currently working on another YA fantasy novel, but I’m not going to look to publish until after I’ve finished my A-levels in 2018. It takes a lot of work to go through the publication process and I think that it would be better suited to when I have more free time. Watch this space!

Blog Tour of His Frozen Fingertips

I love doing Book Blog Tours, as you get such a variety of responses and thoughts about a book. I don’t read a lot of YA and have read even less LGBT books, so this was a great treat for me, thank you to the Book Collective for sending me a review copy.

I really love the fantastical setting of the book, and getting to grips with this new enchanted world I was being taken to. The two central characters were so well described and I really enjoyed their company on their travels.  The story has a fast pace and there were constantly changing environments and smaller characters – all well described and engaging. I wanted to know what was next throughout the book, which is always a good sign. I do admit to being slightly confused at some points, and would have liked a little more background, however I wonder if there will be another book to resolve some of the storylines in the future?

The romance between the two central characters is carefully and slowly played out, it doesn’t dominate the story and I enjoyed it’s gentle threading thoroughout the book. I was  little disappointed in the very end as it seemed so sad – but it was very fitting and any other outcome would have been too schmaltzy.  If you enjoy fantasy I would recommend giving this story a go, I hope to hear more about this new world and it’s history in the future.

 

It’s Friday – time for some historical intrigue…

Author Interview
Hello! Amanda Carmack

5 Questions to know you better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

Now, that is a hard one! Tea, always (My husband complains about the fact that my approximately 300 varities of tea take up half the pantry, but I NEED them all!) A lovely cup of hot chocolate is perfect on a snowy day, though. Not much for coffee, though, unless it has lots of cream.

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

I definitely have a soft spot for Kate Haywood, the musician sleuth of my Elizabethan Mysteries series! She is talented at creating music (which I never was, sadly), gets to hang around with Queen Elizabeth I, and I’ve been able to see her grow more confident with each book. In my romance novels, I really enjoyed Clio Chase from “To Deceive a Duke,” the second of my Muses of Mayfair series. She’s a scholar and archaeologist (something else I always wanted to be!), with a bit of a sarcastic sense of humor and a fearless heart. She was fun!

Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?

LOL—and let the world see just how messy I really am?? I usually write my rough drafts in longhand (it just doesn’t work any other way for me), either sitting on my bed or at a table at Starbucks. When I type them up, I sit at the kitchen table, because my desk is always piled with research books, Hello Kitty doodads, and a Lady Mary figurine from “Downton Abbey,” so there is no room for my laptop.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

All over the place! From paintings or historical objects in museums (I’m a museum fanatic), TV shows, stuff I overhear at Starbucks (people have the most amazing conversations there, and sometimes they get a bit—strange). I seem to have the best ideas in the middle of the night, but if I forget to turn the light on and jot it down (thinking surely I will rememeber in the morning!) they vanish.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

I am just started the first of a new trilogy for Harlequin Historicals, one I am VERY excited about! The series title is “The Grantley Girls Go To Paris,” and it centers around 3 school friends who all venture to Paris in 1889 for the Exposition. The first heroine, Diana, is a fashion journalist, and the hero, William, is a diplomat, so expect lots of Worth gowns, romantic boat rides on the Seine, and of course the brand-new Eiffel Tower! It will be out summer of 2018. My next release, though, “The Wallflower’s Mistletoe Wedding” (a Regency holiday house party story) will be out in November 2017.

 


Good Morning Paper Panda! xx

5 Questions to Know You Better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?
Mostly tea (builders tea, has to be strong, soya milk, no sugar) with the occasional filter coffee. Biscuits must be involved.
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?
Finn Biddybum. He’s a little, spiky extension of myself. What’s not to like about a hedgehog who loves cake?
Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?

I wrote my first book on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic. This sounds more dramatic than it actually was. There were non alcoholic cocktails and swimsuits involved. Tight deadlines often mean that work spills into holiday-time. My second book was written (and photographed) at the same desk I paint and papercut on, surrounded by curios and strange bits and bobs that inspire me.

My third book (due out late 2017) was written one afternoon laying on the couch, nursing a migraine. Yes, really.
Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?
My first two books were instructional and entirely based on work and the artwork I produce. My third is a children’s book based around the characters I created over the past few years, the Woodland Friends. Everything I create is based around nature and is largely inspired by the books I read as a child.
What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?
I’m currently illustrating “Finn Biddybum’s Cake”, a children’s book written in rhyme (thank you, migraine) that’s due out later this year, fingers crossed!

Friday Interview with Shana

Friday Author Interview

Hello! to Shana Hollowell all the way from the USA!

5 Questions to Know You Better…

 

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

Definitely coffee!

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

A squirrel that sings. He will be featured in one of my upcoming children’s picture books.

Do you have a particular place where you write –  can you show us a picture?

When the weather is nice, I love to sit outside and write at the koi pond in my backyard. It is so peaceful.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

I find inspiration in everyday items. For my first children’s picture book, “Little Mouse’s Sweet Treat,” I came up with the idea from a cat toy. When my son Grayson was just learning to walk, he loved to pick up the cat’s mouse and walk around with it. I would say “eek, eek… little mouse is hungry and wants a treat.” The story developed from there. I love making up and telling him stories, especially ones about animals.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

One of my children’s stories is currently being illustrated. My illustrator is painting the pictures, as she did for my other book. I am hoping to publish it this fall.

Book Review Update

Well… it appears that my technical skills have not been honed enough to have ticked the box I needed to! There are some outstanding book reviews to match up with the last few Friday Interviews, but I hadn’t ticked the right box for them to be seen…. I’m hanging my head in shame as we speak.

The Interview for today with the lovely Shana will go up as normal and then the book reviews will be added later today – apologies to the wonderful and talented authors.

Introducing Karen McManus – who isn’t lying…

Author Interview
Hello!  Karen, thank you for doing this during such a busy time for you…  (so excited about your paperback release on 1st June!)

5 Questions to Know You Better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

Coffee, definitely. At least three cups before I really get going in the morning.

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

My debut novel ‘One of Us is Lying’  has four main characters, and I honestly can’t pick just one. I enjoyed writing all of them for different reasons. They’re all stereotypes at the beginning of the book—the brain, the jock, the princess, the criminal—but once secrets start coming out, they’re more three-dimensional than they seem.

Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?

When I’m at home I usually write in my office. It has a deck attached and if the weather cooperates, I’ll sit outside.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

I’ve gotten my last couple of ideas listening to the radio; a combination of music, for tone and mood; and news stories, for the spark of a concept than spun into something else.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

I’m working on my second novel for Delacorte Press, which is also a standalone YA in the thriller/suspense vein. Expected publication is in 2018.

Good Morning to Patricia Feinberg Stoner…

Author Interview

Hello! Patricia x

5 Questions to Know You Better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

Always tea apart from first thing in the morning.  My husband and I take our dog for a walk along the beach, then collect our coffee (skinny latte for me) and sit overlooking the sea and put the world to rights.  I like the occasional hot chocolate, too, but I have to be careful because chocolate gives me migraine.

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

Because of his comedy value, the dreadful neighbour in At Home in the Pays d’Oc.  I didn’t create him, though – how could you invent someone who yells at you in the street: ‘You will pay and even the Queen of England will know about it.’

Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?

I’m usually at my desk – which is untidy beyond belief.  I’ll include a picture when I have tidied it up a bit.  But like most writers I’m always thinking about writing, so if you see me staring into space with a vacant look, I’m probably either creating a masterpiece  or wondering what to cook for dinner.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

Visiting France and then living there for four years.  It’s a cliché that truth is stranger than fiction, but it is – and often a lot funnier, too.  I like to people watch, too, and imagine what they are saying.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

Morbignan Tales – a series of short stories based in the village I featured in At Home in the Pays d’Oc.  When I finished the book I found I had a lot of material left over, and characters who got cross with me for not having been included the first time.  It’s about half written, but realistically won’t be out for another year. In the meantime I am planning The Little Book of Rude Limericks which I hope to have out in time for Christmas.