Book Review: Pills By Jack Binding 5+ stars Wow!!! @jack_binding

Jesus. Just read it end of review!! This book right here is an experience to read. My only advice is, those who are offended easily, not partial to the odd swear word, a bit of sex, drugs and the like don’t disappoint yourself by picking up this book. Those who are open minded, get British humour and fans of yes STEPHEN KING this book is for you. I’m wasting no time, let’s get into this review.

Plot:

Well, this is an anthology of eighteen short stories. Some characters crop up more than once, and in that way some stories link. The first story is linked to the last story, and in the middle there are some links and random stories too.

My Review

Pills is a very clever anthology, with very clever writing. The way it links and at the same time has some disconnections within the stories is outstanding. Don’t let this put you off, as there is no way you will get lost or think huh?

The author has a certain writing style, one that personally I love as a writer myself, and a reader. He uses first person POV quite a bit, so in that way you are in the shoes of the main characters. The stories are quite raw, gritty, shows how some Londoners think and feel, which I could relate to and very well written. The characters… humpf! Badass  🙂 that’s all I’m saying. There is not a character I did not dig in this book, but the characters are just like the stories gritty, raw but likeable or damn right scary!!

Here are my favourites of the eighteen stories

Property: A great start to the collection, the end will shock you. Loved it. To me this story kind of highlighted the downfall of the rat race of London.

Dot Matrix: This story just needs to be a full blown book I can see it, or even short novella on its own. A gripping story. I hung onto every word. It has a  good thriller feel.

Happy Endings: Ah… not so much a happy ending, but a great story very entertaining from a woman’s perspective. I won’t say why read it.

Bit: I had no idea where this was going to go, it’s a gorgy/ horror one, I really enjoyed the shock ending. This is one that could also be continued.

Twenty Seven: When I read this story I wondered if the author had read a lot of conspiracy theories? It reminded me of some I had read and got engrossed in. A great story. What happens when you make a deal with the Devil himself?

Sleeping Pills: A rather emotionally shocking story. A good one to read, sad ending.

Perfect Anastasia: You know deep down I saw this as a love story with some unfortunate things thrown in. We also meet Mags for the first time, Mags is badass!

Sexting: Clue is in the name… great story! Shock ending.

Dog In A Suitcase: Wowzers, no further comment.

Cremation:  good serial killer story with a very creative twist. I wanted to know more about the lady at the end.

FMM: Wowzers the characters entertained and made me laugh a lot. I could relate the the setting of this story, the fashion world. Really liked it.

Rocking Chair: Super creepy, it made me think next time I hear a floor board creek I’ll wonder if it’s one of these characters. Freaked me out.

Standing Ovation: Mags crops up. The ending of the anthology has the same bang the start did what a way to finish up!

I’m giving Pills 5 + stars for a number of reasons, it’s well written and the flow works with these short stories. Each one has some kind of twist or shock ending, I didn’t read one that didn’t leave an impression on me. Be it scary, creepy, laughing, shock or a mixture of all these emotions.  Believe it or not, some of these stories feature an element of love … gone wrong for whatever creepy reason. As a romance lover and reader it resonated with me. That said these are NOT romance stories, God no far from it. But some feature relationships as the base of the story.

Overall, Pills was a damn good reading experience, I would recommended it to lovers or fans of Stephen King. And no the author has not tried to imitate at all,  you can tell he is himself and very British.  It’s the vibe of his stories that would sit well with King’s fans as well as horror and dark humour fans. I will be reading more of Jack Binding.

This book needs more readers grab a copy! From Amazon

Pills-Kindle (1)

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Book Review: Silence Is Golden- Historical Romance 4* By Sara Ackerman @saraackerman #amreading

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This novel  gave me a number of experiences while reading. I laughed, raised my eyebrows and at times toward the end had slightly damp eyes. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. It’s part of a trilogy, I’ve not read the first part, but I was able to get my head around the complex plot in this second part. This book has a lot of concepts waved into the story line, many of which face the modern woman of today, even though it’s set in a historical backdrop of Lords and Ladies in a British setting. Let’s get into the review.

Plot:

This novel is set in the UK, written by an American author. I don’t like too many spoilers so I’ll just outline the plot. Evelyn Westbury is an entitled lady from London, some what spoilt but to me very likeable. She has a fierce headstrong side to her. She has been cursed by a gypsy, she is unable to speak to anyone outside of her family.  She communicates with a notepad and pencil. Her plan is to travel to France, find the gypsy and break the spell. She finds a stash of money her father hid, that’s her meal ticket to set sail to France. She starts her journey via cart from London to the port in Southampton to take the boat to France. In the middle of a war too!

Part of her mission to break the curse is as her engagement has broken off, she feels her lack of speech could have been the reason why, as well as other family drama. She was due to marry a the very rich and entitled Lord Newgate. On her journey in the cart and carriage to Southampton she meets Alfred. T. Combes, enter Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. She is drawn to him more so than he is to her, as he ignores her. Evelyn is not used to this, men seem to swoon over her. There are a couple of bumps along the way, Alfred decides to be her travel partner and protect her.  A lady travelling on her own in this historical time frame is not acceptable. Evelyn also finds that she is able to speak to Alfred, is the curse real??

Their journey is delayed and the drama starts. There’s a lot of push and pull, build up. Toward the end we learn that Evelyn has got herself into more than she realises, with the money she took from her father. She becomes a wanted woman,  for many reasons I won’t giveaway. Lord Newgate (her ex and our prize prat and villain) turns up and wants to know her again, after he broke off the engagement. He has his “reasons”,  he’s not happy about Alfred minding her these two have a history. Fireworks spark.

Along the line Evelyn is kidnapped, this is where we see our Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome take charge and fight for his lady, which he did amazingly! They find their happy ever after. But not before a few bumps, twists, one loss that sends Evelyn back to her mute former self. She mourns for a few months, Alfred really comes to life as a hero. It was great to see this play out. She cuts off her hair and really experiences a change of character over a major loss. I found this very realistic, I think when a woman chops off her hair ( from a longer length) she is experiencing some major change internally.  I liked this emphasis on her character .Finally the pair make it back to England via boat, a new life starts as a married couple, right at the end her loss has been restored, this leads to part three of the trilogy.

My Review:

I’m giving Silence is Golden 4* stars because like I was saying, this was quite an enjoyable read for me. The characters are likeable, the ones we should like. Lord Newgate is written well enough to show him as an unsavoury villain. I really liked Beatrice, Evelyn’s sister- I loved her to bits. I liked Evelyn too, I watched her grow a lot in character from spoilt to mature lady.  The author did a good job with character development. The outside characters are all really likeable too, some were very entertaining.

The plot of this book is good but very complex, so you will need to pay attention to what’s happening. What I liked about the complex plot is, it takes your average historical romance into a whole new  reading experience of suspense, what will happen next? And realness. Evelyn is faced with some decisions a woman of today could understand. Does she marry and live an entitled life with Lord Newgate, once he shows interest. Or does she settle with genuine happiness, with a man with no land, title, money etc. ? In this time era this question was a massive one for a woman, maybe even one that a woman did not have much choice on. To support herself, back then, would have been unheard of. In this day and age, many women may ask themselves  this still, even though we can now support ourselves. The question is more about long term happiness now a days rather than survival. Shall I date him as his pockets are deep, and he won’t be feeding off me? But he’s a bit shallow?  I liked this element of reality.

Toward the end about a good 75-80% in, is where I really experienced a change of pace in the storytelling.  My heart strings tugged, the hero  (Alfred) made me go “ahhh what a man”,  trust me he really fights for his woman. Later down the line in the story is where I had slightly damp eyes. Evelyn’s major loss is heart-felt, and her reaction is also heart-felt. The author wrote this last section of the book with heart. She gave it some! And delivered. This was the most enjoyable part of the novel for me towards the end. Things started to tie together as well. It’s well written, you get a feel for the time frame. The author also did a real good job as an American portraying old England, good job from a British reader!

This book is just over 300 pages long, and don’t get me wrong was enjoyable to read. The one thing I would have liked is the fast pace, punch, swift movements and heart this author gave around 75% in, I would have loved earlier. This book is a slow-burner (and there is nothing wrong with that), but my reading experience (personally) may have been heightened if the pace picked up sooner.

That said, it was an enjoyable read, and ends in a way to make readers think gosh what will happen in part three?? Great job Sara! Ya got-em hooked! That’s how it’s done, that’s how we do suspense. I like it!

Grab your copy now from Amazon.com  read Sara’s Meet The Author Interview and connect with her here  Author page here.

Meet The Author: Alexis Rose- Non Fiction Author #amreading #health #author

Untangled: A story of resilience, courage, and triumph by [Rose, Alexis]

Okay we’re on a roll, the final author for this month is Alexis Rose! Alexis touches on very important issues that many people face in life. It’s a pleasure to interview her. Let’s get to know her style… over to you Ms. Rose

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello, Thank You for including me in your author spotlight, Kim. My name is Alexis Rose and I live in Minnesota. Besides writing, I love to be with my family and friends. I unwind by practicing yoga and spending time outside. I work part-time doing the marketing for a couple of wellness centers, and enjoy teaching beginning writing classes.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

Writing came into my life purely by accident. I had never written anything more than letters or birthday cards, until seven years ago. A friend of mine wanted to know what it felt like for me living with PTSD. Because it’s such an invisible illness, she was at a loss on how to support me. At the time, I was unable to verbalize what it felt like to anyone, let alone to myself. I went home, thought about what I would like to say, and I wrote my first poem. After showing it to her, she told me I had to start writing. I showed the poem to a few other friends, and was invited to collaborate with a couple of artists, using my poetry paired with their artwork. Three successful inspirational books later, I had developed a fierce love of writing. I took the chance to write on my own, and 18 months ago my memoir was published.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I read a lot of books on mindfulness. I absolutely love reading historical fiction. I don’t think I have one author who is my favorite, but I love an author who does their research. I have a pretty good BS meter and don’t like a lot of filler in a book. I’m a person who will sit down with a book and escape into the character’s world. I simply love good books. I read both non-fiction and fiction at the same time. It makes both sides of my brain really happy.

Kim: haha BS meter, that’s a good one.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I would absolutely love to be able to write fiction. I’m so amazed by the women in my writing group, who create fabulous novels and mysteries. Some of their characters even have their own successful blogs. Amazing!

Kim: there is no try, you do! Give it ago.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I love this question! I continue to be humbled and extremely grateful when I hear that my book has resonated with a reader. Either by inspiring them, giving them something to think about or feeling like they are not alone. I can honestly say that every time I receive that feedback, I feel as proud as the first time that someone reached out to me and let me know.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Yes, during the editing process of all four books I wrote. Even thinking about it now, gives me the shivers!

Kim: hmm umm! I hear that.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I’m compelled to write, so I’m probably a little of both. I may have an idea that nags at me until I write it down, or all of a sudden, a poem will just burst out of my fingers.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Write!

Do not think about the editing process or if your book will be published.

Do not let anyone deter you or tell you that you cannot be a successful author.

Kim: Love the last tip. Straight to the point too.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on two collaborations at the moment. One is a screenplay and the other one is a compilation of inspirational poems paired with beautiful watercolor paintings.

Kim: aww painting, do keep us posted on this.

What would you like readers to know?

I would like my readers to know, how much I appreciate the time they take to buy, read and positively review Untangled. This book is my memoir, and it’s a story of pretty significant challenges. When I wrote the book, I emerged from the shadows after a life of hiding behind threats and the fear that I should never talk about what happened to me. The resilience of surviving my life, and the courage to live everyday with PTSD is what I hope comes through as inspiring and gratifying to my readers.

So… where can we get your books?

You can purchase Untangled, A story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph on Amazon. My book is available in both print and ebook formats. Here are the links:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

And that’s a wrap guys, lovely to have a so many  authors on this month, non fiction, crime, children’s books. What a great month! I’ll see you next month with some more great authors. If you’d like a feature contact me here.

To connect with Alexis:

Blog: https://atribeuntangled.com/blog

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Alexis-Rose-700444583389087

Email address: atribeuntangled@gmail.com

 

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Meet The Author: Cedric Long – Crime Fiction Author #amreading #author #crime

cedric long author of the Corrupt Officers Guide series

Umm hmm who have we here? Sandwiched in the middle of the three authors for July is Cedric Long. I was thrilled when Cedric responded to my call for Meet The Author, he is the second male guest here, and personally I think it’s great to have male authors and diversity … so boys please don’t be shy. Cedric hails all the way from the USA, he worked in law enforcement before he became an author. Can you tell? Look how serious he looks. Anyway, it is my pleasure to showcase Mr. Cedric Long… let’s get to know his style, over to you Mr. Long.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

I’m Cedric Long born in Montgomery, AL. I’m thirty four tall six foot two no kids. I love to work out and travel. One of my favorite things to do is ride to a new city and stay a few days. I also am a passionate photographer. I’m an outdoorsy person. I also have a garden in the backyard because I enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. I worked in the Alabama Department of Corrections for 41/2 years. Lastly i’m a big movie fan nothing like coming home after a hard days work and watching a DVD in the dark.

Kim: well, lovely to meet you Cedric. We’re the same age. I wonder who is older.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I’m not a writer, I’m an author. My English and grammar skills have always been poor. I was 28 before I viewed language and writing as arts. I began working in the department of corrections and when I’d tell stories about my experiences people’s eyes would almost pop out their heads. So I always thought I should write a book about prison. This caused me to view writing as an art form something wonderful I could create through.

Kim: There’s nothing wrong with developing these skills a little later in life. I think we should all be life long learners, so don’t ever see that as your downfall. 

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I never have a favorite anything. A favorite color, food, basketball player. . I’m very objective and open. I love diversity of flavors. I look for indie authors, you know trying to find the diamond in the midst of all that coal. To kinda answer your question I enjoy Ernest Hemingway. His novel the old man and the sea takes me on a visual journey. When I read his work I can smell salt air I can hear the waves I can feel the sun on my skin.

Kim: *smiles* yes, when a writer takes you on a journey for sure that’s always a great reading experience. It’s great that you can remain so objective in life too.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Mystery Suspense Thrillers. Big fan the Alex Cross and Jack Reacher series. I love a great plot twist. Eric Jerome had a series Sleeping with strangers I enjoyed. I do love series.

Kim: I like Eric Jerome too not read one in a while though, you like mystery and suspense? Stick around you’re in good company here! 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I actually didn’t have the issue of pride when writing my first novel. I knew I was amateur and I knew my writing was terrible. Having this honest perspective caused me to really do my research. I took advice. That help me avoid a lot of first time mistakes. As a photographer the photos I was so proud of when I first started today are embarrassing. At the end I’ve learned that you have to write as an artist and as a marketer. Not only must you consider your vision but what readers want also.

Kim: I like the last part of your view, yes write as an artist and in your own style, there will be readers out there for you. I think you’re take on thinking you sucked straight away is so refreshing. Lols.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

The series Corrupt Officers Guide – follows a fictional character John Youngblood a 26 year old correctional officer. Officer Youngblood is separated from his wife and running from a horrific past. He uses PDW(Partying Drinking and Women) to cope. Working in a prison is dangerous and after casual sex with a coworker turns bad he up to his head in conflict. Things worsen after he begins experiencing a string of life threatening events all strung together by a mysterious love letter.

The book is a drama about the temptation faced working in a prison environment. It’s shows contrast of there is not black and white when it comes to good and bad. There are only the thousands of shades of grey in between. We are humans and we make decisions. It also brings to light social issues and department of corrections conditions using satire and symbolism. It has comedy suspense mystery and action.

Kim: wow!… I need a copy asap.  If you have author review copies I’d love one I really mean that.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

It’s wonderful I love giving my readers a bigger picture that slowly unravels. All my novels connect and intertwine.

Kim: Sounds good. *nods her head*

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Yes I want to write a novel with monster as characters. Also plan on writing a nonfiction on black natural hair to support women making the decision to go natural.

Kim: haha okay monsters? For  what age group? Is this like sci-fi, horror or what? Talk about leave a girl out to dry, we need details Cedric! Your second idea, I like that I think there is a lot of falseness these days, and it’s pressure on all women, regardless of their ethnicity. We all need to live up to some idea of what the media or society holds as beautiful or the way to be. Whatever… “aint no body got time fo’ dat!” 

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I’m an artist at heart I’ve never desired fame or riches. I want to put out work that is amazing. Something I created.  My proudest moment was when I receive my first hard copy of my book.

Kim: Oh God, don’t I’ll never forget that feeling EVER. I am with you on that one. I lined my book up next to some of my favourite authors on my book shelf, and took a picture. 

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

I never got frustrated but I did have to take an 8 month break once, and also their came those moments where doubt came up. thoughts like – No one will like this, why finish, You should be focused on more important things but I pushed and made sure I finished my first book.

Kim: Excellent. Self belief, that’s all you need.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

Plotter definitely but I do both. Fly by the seat ideas are useful for scenes or to spice things up, Still I like for my stories to have deeper meaning even my hotshot ideas must be weaved into plot or i’ll save them for latter works.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I rarely use commas, and I leave that to my editor. You need a great editor. It’s a different profession. You may sing and be great at it, but just because you have voice doesn’t mean you write great songs and can mix your own music. To put out great work you need to use professional help. Cover design, marketing, editing, SEO – get help.

Kim: what!? Haha I can’t believe it rarely. Damn, your editor must love you!

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

OMG I’m dyslexic and southern so I do this all the time on every other page. I have a story to tell you. One day I was meeting a friend. I told them via phone I was about to go baze and meet up with them. The friend said what did you just say? I repeat “I’m about to go baze.” They said do you mean bath? Yes I was twenty four years old before I correctly pronounce bath. So I do this all the time. TGFE – thk god 4 editors.

Kim’s Reaction:

 

Thank GOD FOR EDITORS!!

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

1 Research – Read other works, the bad and good it teaches you what to do and not to do. Watch youtube videos get as many perspectives about writing.

2 Don’t work on multiple stories – It’s hard but inspiration hits you all the time and you will get tempted to start a secondary work. But your brain is wired in a way that will make you lose interest in the old and gravitate towards the new. If a work seems dead leave it for a few days or weeks, then start it back up.

3 Get good feedback – You don’t need passive people telling you your work is good to make you feel better. you need hard critics telling you things like the first 4 chapters are too boring, or this seems out of place. Your sex scenes are bad and corny. You don’t want to be the wife asking her husband “Does this dress make me look fat?” You need honest feedback so you can fix the bad parts of your work.

Kim: good advice, with point #2 I say get a notepad and write the ideas down as they come. That’s what I do. Funny thing is I can’t actually work on two stories I can only do one at at a time, hence the notepad so I don’t lose the ideas as they come.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on my third novel to the Corrupt Officer’s Guide series. The first book Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Money is available on Amazon. The second book Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Love is finished but I do not have a release date yet.

So…. where can we get your books?

Only on Amazon as of now. I do plan on getting them in several indie book shops and a website later.

Kim: try Smashwords look it up.

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

I don’t use magazines it’s to much context online now, every magazine has a website or blog these days.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

When Fans give feedback such as  “Really enjoyed this I can’t wait to read your next book.” When your work reaches people who love it and they become interested in your style of writing is success to me. I put blood sweat and tears into my works so  an audience that shows appreciation is when i made it.

Kim: aww Cedric! Good luck, I’m sure you will find your audience and you will start to build a fan base. I wish you well.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

It hurts when you can’t see your weaknesses or take constructive criticism. On the other hand it’s a bonus when you use it in a competitive way. I see Steve Harvey’s or Zane’s book on the shelf, I feel envy and  say I’m going to be up there next to them one day. Michael Jordan pushed himself to be greater because he looked at other NBA players talents and wanted to beat them.

Kim: you are the first author to mention the competitiveness but healthy competitiveness. I feel the same way! Muhammad Ali said….

25+ Stirring Muhammad Ali Quotes

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My books are actual events I experienced, it’s told thru the cloak of fiction but it’s factual based. I have lived the things in my novels even thought it sounds crazy everything is taken from first hand witness accounts. But I do recommend you learn about the subject you are writing on. readers are not stupid and if you stereotype of use cliches you book won’t be received well. Researching will keep these things out of your work.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

This is my first release I have not had public reviews. but private ones I read and yes they hurt but they can make your work better. Listen to them. If I cut my own hair and didn’t know I had a bald patch in the back of my head. I need a friend to tell me. A reviewer is your friend,  they can say your haircut looks okay, and laugh behind your back. Or they can say it looks ok except one little nitch in the back. or they can say your head looks f@# up. whether they say it nicely or rudely you need to know your work had a patch in the back of it’s head.

One of my reviewers said she didn’t care to finish my book because of all of the colorism. I didn’t realize it but my book was full of colorism, the beautiful females were mixed raced with grey eyes, white blonde hair , and Latina. This shocked me  I’m very pro black I thought I was being creative by making my characters diverse, but living in america I guess my subconscious was programmed from all the TV and music. If you don’t believe you media mind programming l search for the video  – The Doll Experiment. I will give you a prospective on how media get’s us at a young age.

I don’t read much into the good ones I’m happy to have a satisfied reader.

Kim: Now, if that aint honesty I dunno what is. As for “colourism” I think we’d call that diversity in the UK.  Cedric, write it how you like it and forget anyone who don’t like it! There is a reader out there for you. For one I love “colourism” where I’m from in London you can’t get away from it. You’re also right beauty comes in all shades not just one.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Romance I not a great when writing feelings so I had to practice a lot. I still don’t like the romantic scenes in my novel but I did okay.

Kim: I’ll read it and tell you how you did *smiles*.

Do you Google yourself?

No I don’t have an online presence at all. But I go to amazon books and look at my cover all the time lol.

 Kim: lol

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Deidre Leshay we are not friends but we communicate on social media I love her book every bit of crazy it started off with action. I learned how to hook readers interest from page one.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I wrote my first two novels in four days. I got sick and could not go to sleep. After I was up twenty six straight hours I said well I don’t feel tired let me write this book. I only doze off twice the next four days. and when I did sleep it was only around three hours.

Now these were very rough drafts, and it took months to get them ready for the final edits. I even tooks weeks or months off from writing if i needed to.  When I write I can write twelve hours straight nonstop every day for weeks. I do not edit until I finish which helps a lot.

 Kim: *shakes her head* my gawwrd. That’s true writer’s stamina there.

What would you like readers to know?

If you know someone who is incarcerated or works in a prisons and ever wanted a tour of the prison environment told in an entertaining way then check out Corrupt officer’s guide to money. Only if you go on a real tour they will clean things up for you, my version is the raw dirty laundry of the system.

Please support self published works. Most authors make under  $10,000 a year. You can help by rating books writing reviews and sharing on social media.

What’s your favourite movie?

I love all kinds of movies and never have just one favorite I couldn’t give you a top 10. My two favorite this year are Split and Get Out.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Goosebump’s Ghost Beach, I loved how the series was connect only by the slim on the covers but they all felt connected. It had an amazing twist at the end I didn’t see coming which today many award winning movies have used.

What music do you like?

A bit of everything mostly oldies and R&B you know love making music.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I want to go on a cruise to the mayan temples in mexico. I love the beach ocean tropics and adventure. This trip embodies all three.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I set strengths and weaknesses, I set goals and plant obstacles everything else seems to work itself out. I love to contrast in my writings.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

It’s a female love interest. That’s all I choose to reveal choose to reveal right now but she is based on a woman I loved like no other. She is not mentioned in the first novel by name but her ghost is there. Allegra will play a major role in my second book Corrupt Officer’s Guide to Love. She is real and we are planning on getting married at the end of this year. How’s that for Mystery and Suspense? wink-wink

Kim: awww amazing!! How lovely to honour her now that’s love. 

And that’s a wrap guys I hope you enjoyed getting to know Cedric this month. He seems to be on to a good thing mixing his factual experience to create a series of books.  You can connect with him below on Facebook. If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here. And send me a message.

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/authorcedriclong

Amazon Author page

https://www.amazon.com/author/cedriclong

Twitter

https://twitter.com/GetoutMatrix

Excerpt:

Vivian was smiling and laughing at all my jokes. Our evening was going well I hope this would be the date we took or friendship further. Vivian asks, “If we had sex, then a few weeks later I told you I was pregnant, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?”

So I told her the first thing that comes to my mind “Well, you know, my homeboy Fred’s girlfriend got pregnant, and her boobs didn’t get that much bigger at all.”

“Really, John Youngblood? That’s what pops into your perverted mind?”

As Vivian takes a sip from her cup, I say, “Some men get lazy and don’t feel like walking to the bathroom so they pee in cups.”

Vivian’s eyes grow wide open and give me a death stare.

I ask, “How’s the lemonade? Is it strong enough for you?”

“How about I throw this lemonade in your face and let you see for yourself?”

“I’m just joking around. I’d never do anything like that.”

“Gross, John. I’m still never drinking out of anything at your house ever again.” then she hits me on the shoulder and laughs.

 

 

 

cover of cedric long's book Corrupt Officer's Guide to Money

meet-the-author

Meet The Author: Eve Culley – Children’s Author #amreading #children #motherhood

DSC_0772It’s the 25th! I made a booby this month, I allocated three authors the July spot! That means we have a month of real diversity. It’s time to meet the first author. As a mother before author I could not turn down the opportunity to speak to  children’s author, Eve Culley It takes a special writer to want to reach out to the little ones. I thank God for children’s authors, as these writers help my little three year old man blossom.  Eve hails from the USA, from a state I stopped off at on my way to Las Vegas. Let’s get to know her style…over to you Eve.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

I was born in Texas. My family moved around a bit but Texas was home base. For quite a bit of time my family lived in Iowa.  When I got married my husband and I moved back to Texas where we attended Bible College.  We later worked in churches across the US setting up print shops printing Bibles and raising money for paper for countries who did not have them.

Now days we have a small acreage with goats, geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens and rabbits.  We milk 4 goats and besides the milk, we make goat cheese.  It is a very peaceful life and we enjoy it very much.

Kim: We hail from different worlds Eve, I must admit as a city girl I often daydream of a slower pace of life. Ya know, I love goat’s cheese. 🙂

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I started writing in high school, poetry and fiction.  My inspiration to write is very simple.  I have all these story lines running through my head.  I see people on the street and write a back story for them in my mind.  I see animals standing together in the corner of the fence and imagine their conversation. In order to get them out of my head I must put them on paper. So, I do.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I feel my favourite author would be C.S. Lewis. I really enjoy his work and I gain insight into his characters and especially his dialog.  I read a page and think, “WOW! I never thought of that before.

Kim: I love it when other authors give you that wow feeling too.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Oh, I read romance, sci-fi, murder mystery, biographies, auto-biographies, and my Bible and Bible studies.  I am an avid reader and anything lying around is fair game to the point that I had to make myself quit cold turkey reading bathroom stall doors when I was younger. LOL

Kim: LOL.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I tended on my second book to try and put in all the changes that the editors suggested on the first book in the re-write of my second book in hopes of cutting down the editors work.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I am under contract for my second book in a three book series.  It is about a present day place called Barn Town where the animals all carry on about their problems and the Deputy Sherriff is a cat names Stripe.  There are two people, the Sherriff and his wife Honey who can and do talk with all the animals.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

I love it.  The story line flows very well from one book to the next.  I am in the midst of writing the third and final book and I am finding myself dreading the end of the book because it will be the last book.  I don’t want Deputy Stripe to be upset with me.

Kim: Haha maybe later you can bring him out of retirement.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I really enjoy writing in the children’s genre as it allows the imagination to run free.  But if I were to write in a different genre it would be Historical.  I think that would be lots of fun.

Kim: Oh yes, historical is interesting to read I think. The research  required is the trick to this genre. Never say never maybe one day this is a new venture for you. I wish you well.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I think that my proudest moment as an author was when I held my first printed book in my hand.  That was a very cool moment for me.

Kim: That feeling never leaves you does it? * daydreams back to my moment*

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Yes!  I was in the middle of a whodunit in Barn Town and my laptop crashed.  I thought everything was lost, but praise be the cloud had it all.  It was a tense few minutes when I thought I would have to start all over.  I about cried.

Kim: *Shakes head* we’ve all been there. I can’t even express how this makes me feel, the language I use… my mum would kill me. Lols

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I think, if I understand your question, I am a “pantster” as I never know what I am going to write until I sit down at the laptop and start.  It then just flows out.

Kim: Yep, you got it. Hats off to all pansters, I’m a plotter.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Commas are fun.  I put them where I pause in the telling of the story and hope they are correct.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

No not really, but I rely on spell check quite a bit.

Kim: Hmmm, I am intrigued and impressed you have no slip up words as you type. Spell check can miss things, and sometimes even throws up random things… watch out.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

  • Carve out time to write like it is a baby needing to be cared for and no one to do it but you.
  • Make sure people leave you alone when you are writing. Your child hungry, they can fix a PB&J. House work and dishes will still be there when you need a break.
  • Research so your facts are correct. No one wants to read about something that is definitely wrong.

Kim: I like point two… housework … blah! All round great advice thank you.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I am working on my third book now.  My second book just went under contract. So based on the first book probably 9 months to one year from now.

So… where can we get your books?

Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Clean Reads.com

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

I do a lot of blogs and Facebook groups. I really like them and I learn a lot.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/wherewritersandauthorsmeet/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ourawesomegang/

To name a few.  But I am always open to other places that other authors recommend.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

Success to me is when readers (who are not my relatives) tell me that my book made them laugh or cry and they can’t wait for the next book to come out.

Kim: A very grounded idea of success, good stuff.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think your ego hurts you when you can’t learn from anyone about your writing.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Research is something that my hubby and I do together.  We look up, read, visit and talk with people about various subjects relating to what is going to be in the story.  Depending on the subject is the amount of time spent.  I make notes and they are saved for the present book and possibly future references.  I enjoy the research almost as much as the actual writing.

Kim: Funny, me too. I’ve interviewed some who are not too keen on this part.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read all my book reviews and try to take away the good from each one.  I try and keep an open mind that everyone is entitled to their opinion.

What was your hardest scene to write?

In my second book there is the death of one of the characters.  I tried very hard to get it just right as this was a children’s book.  The death was important lesson for the main character and therefore necessary.

Kim: Yes, for children this can be hard to understand. A soft touch is almost needed I’d imagine.

Do you Google yourself?

Not in the last five years.

Kim: Haha

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

One of my second cousin’s is a published author and I pick her brain often on the finer points of publishing.  She has been a great asset to me.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Counting research probably 9 months or so.

What would you like readers to know?

Each character is real to me. I hear in my head how they think, talk, walk, look and whether they are nice or not.  Because they are real to me, I hope that they become real to the reader as well.

What’s your favourite movie?

Lord of the Rings – trilogy

What’s your favourite book and why?

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Quote from the book is why I love this book.

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

What music do you like?

Gospel, Soft Rock, Country, Bluegrass,

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Scotland, but when the Scottish clans were in their glory.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

My characters come from what I see in our barn yard and the interaction between the animals.

Kim: Bet that’s fun, I’d imagine you have a few characters  with their own quirks in your barn yard.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

I am very partial to Deputy Stripe. He tries so hard to be a tough cat but he really is just a marshmallow inside

And that’s a wrap! It’s really cool to meet authors of all genres. There’s no discrimination here. I hope you enjoyed meeting Eve. If you have children and would like to check out her books please do on the  platforms she mentions.

.

About the Author:

Eve has been telling stories for as long as she can remember. Her children were her first audience and it continued with her grandchildren listening to the stories; writing was a natural outlet that followed. She and her husband live in the great state of Texas, the residents of their barn providing her with the substance for her writing. Eve says that her characters demand that their stories be told, that is if she wants any peace in her life.

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Barn Town where the residents are friendly and there is mischief and mystery around every corner. Things are changing in Barn Town and Ol’ Stripe is keeping his eye on the new arrivals and the current residents in an attempt to keep the peace.

Book Trailer

Connect with Eve here:

https://twitter.com/BarnCulley

https://wordpress.com/stats/day/barntown.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/barntownculley

I really enjoyed getting to know Eve, what a special author she is helping to educate and teach all the little bambinos out there. Makes me smile. Thank you Eve, I wish you well. I hope you all enjoyed meeting an author with a difference this month.

Next month: awww the suspense! Stay tuned.

 

meet-the-author

Meet The Author Kryssie Fortune- Erotica, Paranormal and Contemporary Author #amreading #author #romance

 

 

7mpAnother double hit this month, it’s the 25th and I’m thrilled to showcase another author.  Kryssie Fortune a British author who has the pleasure of living near the coast. What I love about Kryssie is, she does not let anything hold her back with her writing. I enjoyed interviewing Kryssie, I got a real sense who she is as a writer, we seem to have a few things in common on the “writer’s life” view point. Let’s get to know Ms. Fortune’s style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Lovely to meet you too. I’m Kryssie Fortune, an English writer of erotic romance, both paranormal and contemporary. I live on the Yorkshire Coast and spend part of each day walking by the beach with my husband. If I’m not writing, I’m baking or gardening.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I don’t think I’m creative. I just like to tell made up stories. Even as a small child, I lined my dolls up and made them listen. Apparently, I told friends I’d write a book one day back when I was in my teens. I’d won the occasional writing contest, but didn’t think much of it. When my heart valve collapsed and I almost died I knew I need to reach for my dreams. Thankfully, I’m fine now. I have eleven e-books on Amazon. 12 if you count my box set, and number 13 – Claimed by the Vampire, Seduced by the Werewolf – is for release on May 2nd

Kim:  * opens up Amazon* wow that’s great thirteen books! I’ve got to take a look. Also, I think you are creative, you write- that’s creativity.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

It changes constantly. The one I go back to is Kresley Cole. I love her Immortals After Dark series.

Kim: We have something in common, if I’m thinking of the same author I too have an Immortals After Dark book on my Kindle. I’ve not read it yet, thanks for prompting me.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I’ll read anything. Mostly I stick with romances. Any kind, from Regency, through military, to paranormal. I enjoy the occasional adventure / mystery too.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It gave me more self-confidence, but it didn’t change my process. I’m still a punster. The best description I ever saw was that a writer has a series of islands to swim to before reaching the mainland. I start with a scene in my head and work out things around it as I go. Oddly, in a couple of instances, the scene I used for inspiration never made it into my book.

Kim:  *raises an eyebrow*  I hear all of that and understand. I have a romantic thriller I’ve been working on for the best part of two years. I’ve ripped it to sheds many times, taken out scenes and gone through the same experience you describe. What’s funny is, once I ripped it apart, I now have two book ideas lols. I agree with the islands you describe, sometimes those islands are so bloody far apart! But it makes it all worth while when a project is complete.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I have two series. One is my Scattered Siblings paranormal series full of werewolves, Fae, and an ever-hungry dragon. The old Fae king was a lecher who left children everywhere. Now his son, Leonidas has taken the throne, he’s trying to find them. Much to his eire, they keep mating with werewolves.

The second is my Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge series. It’s about former military men building civilian lives in Westhorpe Ridge. Of course, for warriors like them, true love never runs smooth. There are kidnappers, arsonists, and even spies hunting the women they love.

Kim: I’ll take a peek at the Scattered Siblings, feel free to send me one of your Author Review Copies.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

Fun. I liked that the worlds were already built and readers would meet old friends as each stand-alone romance unfolds. The Scattered Sibling world I invented, but Westhorpe Ridge was harder. I’m a Brit who doesn’t do long haul but I needed an imaginary town in North Carolina. Fortunately, my Facebook friends don’t mind me asking them stupid questions about their state. For the town itself, I mentally transplanted the Yorkshire town of Whitby to America. Of course, since the stories are contemporary, I left the Dracula connection back in Yorkshire.

Kim: good job! Yorkshire to the USA, sounds good to me. 

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I’d like to write a detective story or a Dan Brown type adventure. I have a couple of ideas, but I need to sit down and plot. I’ve never done that in detail, but maybe someday I will.

Kim: welcome to my world. Thrill and suspense is such a great genre to write. I wish you well keep us posted over at Meet The Author when it takes off.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

The day Loose id accepted my first story, To Wed a Werewolf.

I read their e-mail and screamed so loud my husband thought I was hurt. I remember leaping around like a loon. It meant the world that such a brilliant publisher was willing to invest time and effort in me. It still blows me away every time I get a new book accepted.

Kim: awww, yes I know that feeling! Good job and well done.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

When I did the writers course, it was aimed at magazine articles. My first few efforts were rejected. Looking back, I’m not surprised. I hated every rejection but it made my first accepted feature – a centre page spread on the history of York – so much more special.

Kim: Amazing, rejection can be a bitch. I had a rejection from a major romance publisher I’d love to work with last year, for my romantic thriller.  I sent over the first three chapters. Only because there’s a murder, they said nicely “we love it Kim but in this line we can’t feature murder in romance. Send us something else you have” 😦 . But another publisher picked it up right away! Turns out they’d love a romantic thriller story with a murder. I’ve just got to finish writing it. Sometimes, rejection leads to better things, and a better fit for your work.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Me and commas? We’re not friends. I was taught you put a comma wherever you pause for breath. I swear Americans breathe in different places. My editor moves nearly all of mine. But, to quote an Ashe Baker, an author friend of mine, “do I look like I’m the sort of person to worry about a comma.” That sort of puts it in perspective for me.

Kim: *cracks up laughing* OMG, you and I are on the same page. I was taught this in school also. When it comes to us Brits and USA editors and publishers, we can face some challenges. I’ve had my spellings changed to American English too, I go back and change it…. I’m British let’s stay real! I love your friend’s take on commas, what a refreshing view point.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

I’m dyslexic. I never knew it until my daughter became head of English in the school where she teaches. I do the classic d and b thing and I don’t see my own mistakes. Every word is a challenge for me.

Kim: but you keep going, love it. Thirteen books lady…. remember that!

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

  1. Practice Polish  3. Remember it doesn’t need to be perfect and let go.

Kim: such wise advice. We can be so hard on ourselves. Thanks for your view point.

So… where can we get your books?

Buy links
Loose id https://app.bitly.com/BebnjNZnvC8/bitlinks/2pFyQ5Z
Amazon USA http://amzn.to/2pLmmK4
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2pd1Hvt
Kobo http://bit.ly/2qBMdl5
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2q36rI5

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

My next release is Claimed by the Vampire, Seduced by the Werewolf.

I guess the title explains the story, but it involves Spartans, Persian princes, and witches all in a modern-day setting. Hades and the Etruscan Hell god, Orcus make an appearance too.

Look out for a Vampire who likes to spank his immortal bride and a werewolf with a riding crop.

I’m currently working on another Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge story, Submission, Secrets, and the Soldier, but I haven’t submitted it to my editor yet.

Kim: Oh my. Did I mention I’m a True Blood Junkie? I could get into the Vampire story. Sounds very erotic. Do keep us posted on Meet The Author. I have massive respect for you paranormal writers, the talented.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Sex. I mean basically it’s insert part A into part B. The reader wants far more than that so I try to make my sex scenes so hot they burn the readers’ fingers. I was made-up when one review called my sex scenes sensual.

Kim: *giggles* you can’t beat a good sex scene. Yes inserting parts I agree with. You do need to transport the reader. Sensual is a massive compliment, shows you set the tone well in your scene. Good job.

Do you Google yourself?

Yes. I’ve found pirate copies of my books that way and had them removed.

Kim: Oh S*it! Really? I’d like to speak with you about this in more detail. This could be a good guest post on the topic, if you’re interested? A heads up for other authors.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’ve met Bella Settarra at a few conferences, and you won’t find a nicer lady.

I’m good friends with Ashe Barker and Jennifer Denys. We get together for lunch on a regular basis.

What’s your favourite movie?

I love Romancing the Stone. It’s an oldie but a goodie. When Jack Colton first kisses Joan Wilder it’s magical.

Back to the twenty-first century. I love the Marvel Universe films and recently went to see Marvel Live at Sheffield Arena.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Can I have a play instead? I love Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The mix of slapstick and romance always delights me. I’m greedy, so I’ll go for another play too. I recently saw the National Theatre production of Henrik Ibsen and Hedda Gabler. The woman was wrong in the head, but the consequences of her actions made fascinating watching.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Don’t laugh. North Carolina. I’ve learned so much about it while researching my Heroes of Westhorpe Ridge books. It has a mix of everything I love, from mountains to coast. I’d have to win the lottery and cruise there though. I’d love to explore their replica of Queen Anne’s Revenge – the pirate ship Blackbeard used. Yes. It does make it into one of the stories

I’d head to Washington after that. Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol gave me a tour of American treasures. I’d love to see them first hand.

Kim: I read a great story set in  North Carolina by Diane Chamerbaine it’s based on real life. There was a project in the sixties that allowed the state to sterilise women who they felt were “retarded”, or “over sexed.” The women were from poor backgrounds, and victims of rape half the time…. it’s Necessary Lies. Check it out, I followed up with my own research, I read about some of the victims.  This was the first book I read by this author a few years back. Since then I buy her books as they come out, without even reading the blurb I just see her name and click buy now! She’s so good.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

Over many versions. Remember the dyslexia? I have to check each manuscript repeatedly. The more I do, the better I know my characters. I keep adding to them with each reread.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Caleb the Cold. Now there’s a werewolf who is hot. He’s the hero of my first published book, To Wed A Werewolf. He can be a real pain in the backside but when he finally recognised Sylvie as his mate, he redeemed himself.

I love Jared Armstrong too, the hero of Marriage, Mobsters and the Marine. He’s cold and tough, a retired military sniper with an impressive kill rate, but he needs to marry money to get his family out of a hole. When Abigail Montgomery advertised for he husband he jumped at the chance.

Kim: sounds good!

And that’s a wrap I LOVED meeting Kryssie here this month, and I look forward to reading her work. I hope you enjoyed it  too.

Connect with Kryssie here:

My amazon Author ages are

Amazon USA – http://amzn.to/2oP9Yq9

Amazon UK   – http://amzn.to/2q6Hebx

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryssie.fortune

Author site http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/

KF_HeroesofWesthorpeRidge3D.jpgKF_Claimed by the Vampire _coverin

 

If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me via the “contact Kim” page.

meet-the-author

Meet The Author: Gavin Ough Contemporary Romance & Paranormal Author @gavinough1 #amreading #amwriting #author

 

my image

It’s the 25th so it’s time for Meet The Author. This month, I am very happy to feature author Gavin Ough. Gavin is a British author (like yours truly), he hails from Kent in the UK.  I read Gavin’s interview with a smile and real admiration, it’s so refreshing to see a male writer turn his hand to contemporary romance :).I feel warm inside at this thought. Gavin is clearly a writer who does not do what is expected of him as a man… not write about love, feelings or relationships. Or try to make a romance junkie smile with his humour in his stories. Gavin is multi -talented now he has published his first book, he’s creating a  paranormal romance genre novel. I’m intrigued by him and excited about his paranormal work, are you? Good. Let’s get to know his style, what does our male romance author have to offer us romance junkies… Over to you Mr. Ough.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi, I’m Gav. I live and work in Herne Bay, Kent although I grew up in Whitstable. I’m married with three daughters; one’s a secondary school teacher, one works in a pre-school nursery and my youngest is in junior school.

Needless to say I love a good read, but my latest hobby is woodturning. I bought a cheap lathe and have been trying to create things of beauty – with varying degrees of success – ever since. I managed to make a walnut bowl I’m quite proud of so that’s going okay at the moment. Other than that I like playing video games with my youngest and watching The Amazing World of Gumball with her (don’t judge!)

Kim Haha Gavin, I’d never judge you, I have a three year old son I can quote Paw Patrol and Postman Pat theme tunes.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I’ve loved reading since I was just a liccle boy. I clearly remember reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in junior school so I suppose I must have been a precocious reader. I always had the dream of being a writer but never thought I had the talent (the jury’s still out as to whether I’ve got any now). So I trained in the horticulture industry before getting jobs cleaning other people’s muck off other people’s toilets, ended up as a landscaper for ages. Work dried up in about 2008 and so my wife said I ought to give writing a try. I’d been trying to write a fantasy novel off and on for about ten years but didn’t have any real idea how until I started reading other people’s hints and tips. Joined a few freelance sites and managed to get work with an online publisher called Serialities. They gave me the little boost I needed to realise other people thought I could write as well and the rest is history.

Kim: Oh your wife rocks, what support and encouragement. I wish you all the best with creating your “new world” in your fantasy book. Be sure to let us know when it’s released.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I was a fan of the old Fighting Fantasy game books, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone when I were a lad which probably fuelled my thirst for all things fantasy. David Gemmell and David Eddings continued the theme. For horror I love a good Stephen King (obviously) but the English Shaun Hutson is a master too as are Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz. As for chick lit authors, my wife recommended Trisha Ashley and I was hooked on the humour so started reading as many different authors as could. Sophie Kinsella, Sue Johnson, Dawn French to name but a few. Sorry if they don’t consider themselves as chick lit writers but I think they fit the bill.

Kim: *raise eyebrows* you’ve read Sophie Kinsella, now that’s refreshing. I’m sure she’d be thrilled to know she’s reaching male readers.

What Genre Do You Enjoy Reading?
Fantasy – end of. I like other genres as well but not as much as a well written and engaging fantasy. Swords, magic, dragons and killing – I’m such a bloke sometimes. I do like sci-fi but usually as a romance sub genre. Horror and paranormal but not vampire stuff so much as it’s been overdone. Needless to say I like a good old rom-com too.

Kim: Ya know, the only vampire stuff I got into is True Blood. I’m such a True Blood junkie. When it aired on TV in the UK, I would sit and watch back to back episodes with my mouth wide open. Love it.

 How Did Publishing Your First Book Change Your process of Writing?
The Spaces in Between was based on a twenty part serial story written for Serialities. I suppose the biggest thing I learned was about having some kind of an outline or plan to work to, even if it’s just a list of ‘things’ that are going to happen in your story. I was lucky as I’d been paid to write the outline over twenty weeks so just had to add a load of extra content to it.
And revisions – endless, relentless, repetitive revisions.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Just the ones I’ve mentioned. Fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal. Actually I’m working on a paranormal book now.

Kim: keep us posted.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

Getting published by Serialities. Even though it hasn’t sold a billion copies I think that’s more to do with our combined marketing skills (or lack thereof) and the fact I haven’t quite reached a million followers yet. Not yet but I will.

Kim: A million copies, that’s every author’s dream we’re behind you with your vision! Good luck.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Not really. If I do have problems writing something, I just stop and do something else entirely, shut the laptop and cut the grass or let the dog walk me or watch something with the missus. By the time – usually the next day – I get back to it I can usually carry on without much hassle. You need to enjoy writing even though it’s hard, even when it’s hard so if it gets to the point you’re getting frustrated you need to stop for a while.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

More a pantster than a plotter I would say although I’ve gotten better at planning and plotting as the works have got longer. I started out by writing 500 word pieces easily read on a phone and the readers voted on the plot twists so I couldn’t so much planning. Now I write a few short character descriptions and a very brief outline with what I want to happen in each chapter then virtually ignore the whole thing until I hit a stumbling block. I suppose I’ve got a good idea of where it’s going when I start so the plan is in my head rather than on paper but I don’t spend weeks with worksheets and plot diagrams, no. A list of major events from start to finish and then I just start typing.

Kim: massive respect to all pansters out there!.. I sit there and plot my heart out then write like no one is looking. I’m learning with these weekly writing challenges  I’m doing with Didi Oviatt to be more of a panster.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I used to be a complete grammar Nazi! Everything had one way – the RIGHT way – and that was it. I think that was just the way I was taught and being born before the internet – fetch me pipe and slippers – was invented meant things didn’t change much. Language is fluid, always changing especially globally, so I’ve relaxed my perspective. I’ve gone all Zen and become enlightened, at peace with the world of the comma. Apostrophes though those little…

As long as what you write is easily readable and makes sense I don’t think there need be any hard rules about punctuation.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

It’s an odd one and just down to muscle memory but I find my writing peppered with ‘fro’ instead of ‘for’. It’s literally just down to the sequence my hands tap the keys in but as for is a word, the spell check never picks it up. I have to run a search/replace at the end of everything just in case I’ve done it again. Apart from that I’m a fairly good spellist but it also depends on what version of English I’m writing in. US publishers obviously want US spellings and grammar so I end up typing neighbour instead of neighbor but I set the language at the beginning of every document so the machine picks it up for me. I have got to the point I’ve been writing ‘realize’ with the ‘z’ no matter what version of English I’m writing in too.

Kim: Interesting, ya know I write and spell in British English only. It used to really annoy me when my publisher in the USA changed my spellings. I’d go back in and change them. In my head I thought, this is how I spell this so I want it as I spell it, see the logic.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Choose whether you’re writing for fun or profit and if it’s for profit, make sure you know the market you’re writing for. Don’t try to be different or quirky because you won’t sell. Find out reader expectations by reading as much in the genre as you can and emulate the style. Don’t plagiarise obviously but try to copy the style and voice of the top sellers in your chosen genre or, I’m afraid you’re not likely to get anywhere.

Believe in yourself. It’s cliché and trite and all that but if you don’t, you’ll give up. I did for years, never believing in myself, never thinking I was good enough but I think I am and I’m gonna make a living from being a writer.

Learn the business of marketing. I never bothered and again thought I’d be no good at it but I found out how much people were making from my ghostwriting just by knowing a few marketing skills. It’s a long, slow battle and takes away from your writing time but I think it’s the single biggest thing you need to know how to do whether you’re self published or traditionally published.

Kim: Amen to the last point, this is a must. Thank you Gavin great tips.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

A sort of paranormal romance I’ve called Time to Turn Back.  It features a guy, Xander, who can see the past by connecting with people and objects. The protagonist, Katriona, loses her Gramps (who raised her after her parents were killed) and discovers he had a secret family she never knew about before he married her grandmother. Needless to say she discovers Xander who helps her discover the truth about her Gramp’s past. It’s got Russian gangsters, a little bit of funny and a cat called Humboldt.

Kim: Ha! A lil’ gangster ha? As well as romance. It’s on the read list keep us posted. 🙂 I’m quite excited for this.

So…where can we get your books?

Amazon, unfortunately. I’m not keen on all their policies and how they treat authors but they’ve managed to become the biggest name in the book industry and by making it free to publish your own stuff they’ve just about cornered the market. So yeah, there it is until I can generate a massive following and publish elsewhere as well.

Amazon UK link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071CR7GS4

Kim: Take a look at smashwords.com good luck, shout me if you need a hand with publishing here.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

I think if I was able to pay all my bills and live the life I would like to – a humble one – from writing I’d call that a success. I wouldn’t want to be a celebrity but a few nice emails from fans would be nice. I actually enjoy what I do so in a way I’m a success already.

Kim: Gavin you’re just too cute, fan mail? Really? … I’ve read your first book I’m “a fan.” *chuckles*

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think big egos hurt anyone don’t they? I suppose it depends on how people handle the ego they’ve got. If they’re the kind of pleb that goes around belittling everyone they meet I expect it’s going to hurt them in the long run. Karma, baby! Watch out for it.

Kim: Yes, karma is very real.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Sickeningly little as I’m lazy. If I have to look something up I do it in the middle of writing then shut the internet back down. I’m one of the infuriating people who aren’t addicted to the internet. (sorry) I’ll let you into a secret as long as you promise not to tell anyone. I don’t have a mobile phone. Not even an old Nokia kicking about in a drawer somewhere. Here’s a funny story though, I’m just finishing up Time to Turn Back and it features the baddy, Dimitri, searching for this necklace his grandmother gave to Kat’s grandfather. When I had a brief search for the Russian royal jewels it turns out a few pieces went missing during the Bolshevik rule one of which was a necklace! Weird eh?

Kim: Ha ! That is so bizarre, it’s a sign you need to finish up that book. As for not having a mobile phone, I had to sit for a moment and imagine what that might feel like. Probably quite stress free I’d imagine. The internet will really put you as an author out there Gavin… join us friend!

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I’ve only had a few so far and yes I’ve read them. Luckily they’ve been either positive or not so nasty they’ve ripped my heart out. You’re going to get bad reviews as you’re never going to please everyone but if you’ve put your heart and soul into a book and you believe it’s the best it can be, just let the bad ones wash over you. If the criticism is constructive – use it to improve.

Kim: well I bought and read your first published contemporary romance book. You’ll have another one on Amazon soon!

Do you Google yourself?

Not myself no. I do usually check to see if any new blog posts come up just after I’ve written them. If not I try and adjust the keywords until I come up somewhere near the first page. No one’s going to see you if not.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Couple of months for the first draft then about twenty years redrafting until I get it right! No, I try to get it done as fast as I can without reducing quality so I’d aim for about six months or less from idea to published.

What’s your favourite movie?

OMG how can I even pick ONE? If I was in some kind of ‘Desert Island’ situation I suppose it would have to be Love Actually.

Kim: *Smiles* you really enjoy romance don’t you. *chuckles with laughter.*

What’s your favourite book and why?

OMG again! It’s a series actually, The Redemption trilogy by Mike Smith. It’s one of those that I can read over and over without getting bored. The characters are like friends at the end and although it’s sci-fi it’s a romance too. The main character, Jon Radec, is so devoted to the woman he loves that he’ll do anything to get to her. And if he can’t get to her he’ll destroy anything or anyone in his way. Have a look, the first book, The Last Praetorian, is free so why not?

Kim: *On her way back over to Amazon.*

What music do you like?

A little bit of everything from Country to Heavy Metal, cheesy pop to love songs. I was a hardcore Dire Straits fan for a long time and love ZZ Top but just about anything goes from back in the day to current stuff.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Promised the wife I’d take her to see the Northern Lights so I suppose I’ll have to go somewhere cold. We both like the idea of Canada so maybe we can do both there. Italy to see the coliseum and other architectural marvels. Venice for the same reasons – tourist stuff. I quite like the idea of going to somewhere like Angkor Wat or any kind of ancient civilisations ruins.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I write a very (VERY) basic one page outline with physical appearance and basic characteristics. If they’ve got a catchphrase or particular manner of speech I note it down but other than that, I just grow them during the story. Like I said with the research bit, I’m lazy.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

I like Poppy in Poppy’s Proposal. I think I might have subliminally based her on me a bit more than I liked to admit at the time as I can actually recognise some of her flaws as mine. Of course she’s magnified a hundred times and put through the wringer for comedy effect but I relate to her more than other’s I’ve written.

What would you like readers to know?

Even though I’m a man I can write funny, romantic and realistic stories they’d like to read. Chick lit is so female oriented that the few men that do write it feel the need to use pen names or be relegated to the realms of obscurity. Like ABBA said, take a chance on me.

Kim: Gavin, us female romance readers and lovers of all things romance paranormal, suspense, sci-fi , erotica, comedy whatever … we salute you as a male author entering into this genre. I for one can’t wait to see what you publish after Poppy’s Proposal.  I I really enjoyed it. Very best of luck with with building your readerships and bond with romance junkies.

And that’s a wrap! I really enjoyed getting to know Gavin, I hope you did too. Let’s watch this space, I have a good feeling that Gavin has a good idea about what makes a romance reader swoon. This could be very interesting. Please go ahead and connect with him below and wish him well on his ventures.

Connect With Gavin:
Facebook – Gavin Ough
Pinterest: Gavin Ough

Next month: another fantastic author is lined up. Stay tuned! 

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