Friday, 28 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Emily Shore

Today I welcome Emily Shore to the guest author interview feature, read what she has to say below:

Thanks for taking part, please tell us about yourself and what you do.
My name is Emily Shore, and I am a Young Adult Author, and I recently had 2 of the 12 books I've written published by Argo Navis Author Services. They are both in the paranormal romance category. One is a zombie romance called Flesher. And the other is a vampire murder mystery/coming of age story called Roseblood.

What first inspired you to start writing?
The answer to this stems from when I was a little girl, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't simply write short stories. Every time I started writing, it morphed into a full length book. Growing up, my family moved every few years, and we traveled often, which only helped to stir my imagination. I could make up stories in whatever environment I was, and I constantly added new ideas for future stories. Not to mention my extreme right-brain-dedness caused me to earn straight A-s in English and Writing all throughout my life. Don't ask me about math.

What do you find is the hardest part of writing?
For some, it is writer’s block. For me, it is having far too many ideas at once. I must have an entire folder of several different books I have plotted, and even when I am neck-deep in the middle of writing one genre, a completely different idea for a separate genre will overtake me.

And the most rewarding?
Writing itself is rewarding for me. It is an extension of who I am and who I’ve always wanted to be. It is my passion. And when people come back to me and tell me how thrilled they are with my book, it only urges me to write more. I love it when people are thrilled with my work.

If you were to write the biography of anybody, who would it be?
That would be probably have to be J.R.R. Tolkien. I used to be obsessed with the Lord of the Rings, and I would jump at the opportunity to do a thorough diagnoses on the great author’s life behind the incredible creation of Middle Earth!

What piece of advice would you give for new and aspiring authors?
Be passionate because if you don’t love what you do and have the drive to continue doing it, you’re selling yourself short. Practice never makes perfect, but it does make better. Prepare for rejection. Read and research! Never give up!

What are you currently working on?
I am actually in the middle of three projects. One, I am working on the sequel to Flesher because so many of my friends nearest me have threatened torture if I do not finish. I am also revamping *pun intended* the sequel to Roseblood because it was written at a much different stage of my life, and while I will keep the bare bones and theme of the story, I want to rework different scenes and do justice to the series as a whole. This year, my final projects will be coming back to the Dystopian book I began called Serenity as well as a children’s story I started to write for my nieces.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Synopsis for Roseblood:
Reina Caraway, human girl in a city of werewolves and vampires destined to be Queen of both races, finds herself at the core of a string of murders occurring all around her city. With only her dreams to guide her and her family to protect her, will she discover the murderer before it’s too late while juggling high school and newfound romance?

A murder mystery and coming of age romance, the epic Roseblood Series is certain to thrill and captivate all paranormal lovers.

Synopsis for Flesher:
What Ashleigh hides in her basement is a curse worthy of eternal condemnation ‒ Garrett, her fiancĂ© who, every night, becomes a flesher. Some call them zombies. Her people call them fleshers, unclean and cursed beings who feed on human flesh and blood. Will Ash find a cure for Garrett before the villagers find him and kill him?

A love story by nature, Flesher awakens deep and dark enigmas which will stir the very roots of your soul and leave you stalking the pages at night.

More in depth summaries available on Good Reads and on my website emilybethshore.com

Book Trailers on Youtube
Roseblood - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCIT6k8MsLI
Flesher - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jZ7OGyQuXs
Emily Shore Books on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Emily-Shore-Books/268616696535470

Thanks to Emily for sharing her time and thoughts, on Tuesday we are joined by Sherrie Cronin.

My Last Confession on indie e-books

My short story "My Last Confession" has been listed on indie e-books. If you like the story then please leave a comment and rating at their site. Read the story here:

http://indieebooks.co.uk/SS_1.php?AR=2&s=00000014

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Lena Horn

Today we welcome Lena Horn to the hotseat, read was she has to say below:

First tell us a bit about yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi everyone. I’m Lena Horn. Originally I studied screenwriting in school, but as some of my professors told me, my ideas would do well as novels first. I love writing fantasy, action, and adventure stories, and quite often they feature a strong female lead.

I’m a fan of travelling, which probably comes from having moved around much of my life (Germany, England, United States). Different places and cultures and constant learning are all great inspirations to writing.

My parents generously offered that I could take my time after college to write my first novel. I love writing and that’s why I’d like it to be a career for me.

What inspired you to start writing?
Teen angst. Funny but true, writing was initially a release from the stresses of being a teen. Don’t get me wrong, my life was good, but I think every teen has problems. My outlet was poetry, which was phased out when I started writing short stories and from that, my passion was established and I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would it be?
Honestly, I don’t think I would work well with another author. My will to write stories and characters my own way would hinder us from the very beginning.

However, when I was younger I greatly enjoyed Marguerite Henry’s novels about horses, namely, “Misty of Chincoteague.” My family had just gotten a Chincoteague pony at the time, so reading about this lovely breed was a great inspiration. Today, I know I want to write at least one book about horses, and having her to collaborate with would surely result in a great story about horses.

What do you find most difficult about writing?
Trying to view the story from an outside perspective. When writing about another world, as many fantasy books do, it’s important that the reader understands certain aspects of it, but as a writer, it’s difficult to figure out how much back story is needed without slowing down the story. I know from reading other fantasy books, I often forget an aspect of that world I’m reading about and sometimes get a bit lost, which takes me out of the story. At the same time, it can be tedious if the author continuously repeats the information. It’s finding that middle ground that’s difficult.

And the most rewarding?
Having written. For me, it’s not about finishing a story (although that feels great too), but having accomplished a great piece of writing, even if it’s just a few paragraphs. When it’s good, you know it.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Teachers and mentors will all tell you how to write, how to brainstorm, and what the formula for a great story is. But no one wants a formula story, and no one can tell you how you work best. Writing is about experimenting and exploring, and all you have to do for that is to keep writing, and see what methods work for you.

And more importantly, the phrase, “write what you know.” I’ve only ever seen this as a starting point. Writing what you know is a great idea, because it will give you plenty of content and you’ll be able to explain things to the reader. But more importantly, it should be, “write what you are passionate about.” You will never write something that you love, that you are proud of, that you don’t just want to, but need to share, if you don’t write with passion. Love what you do, and others will too.

What are you working on at the moment?
Since my last book was the first in a series, I’m now working on the sequel. It continues the journey of Aruna and her fox, George, and the new dangers they’ve brought upon themselves. In addition, I’ve started gathering ideas for the third book in the series.

Every once in a while I come up with another idea for a book and I have to write the first page for it, it’s like an itch that I have to scratch, then I put it aside and refocus on my current book.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
“Forgotten Fox” is a young adult fantasy novel and the first book in The Celestial Saga. The story is about Aruna, who finds herself exiled into the wilderness. Her only comfort comes from a mystical fox that she befriends as she begins her journey to discover who she is, and to find a new family and home. But meanwhile she’s also reigniting an ancient war of the Celestials.

It’s a story about finding strength and making choices for yourself and others. But overall, I hope that people just have a good time reading it.

The book is available as paperback on Amazon, and it’s also available for the Kindle and nook.
The best place for more info and links is the book site: www.GeorgeTheFox.com

Thanks to Lena for sharing her time. On Friday we have Emily Shore joining us.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Conversations in the Abyss First Draft Finished

I've just finished the first draft of Conversations in the Abyss, the sequel to The Cult of Me. Now the much more difficult task of beating it into shape. I'm aiming to have the final draft published in the new year.

But I'm going to take a break first and put together a few short sties for a small anthology.

Win a free copy of The Cult of Me on Goodreads

Three copies are available on a Goodreads give away, click the link below to enter:

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/33569-the-cult-of-me

Good luck!

I'm featured on Dreaming in Black and White blog

Brittney from the Dreaming in Black and White blog has interviewed me and featured The Cult of Me.

Read all about it on her blog:

http://brittneycanna.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/author-interview-micheal-brookes.html

Thanks Brittney.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Ken Magee

Today I welcome Ken Magee to the guest author interview, read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi. My name is Ken Magee and I’m… an author. I still find it a little difficult to say that out loud. I live in Northern Ireland and I’m delighted to have the chance to say a few words about my background.

I worked for many years in the computer industry in a wide variety of roles including programming, systems analysis and sales. In the middle of it all, I served in the Royal Navy Reserve for five years… which was hard work, but a lot of fun.

In 2010, I decided it was time to finish Dark Tidings, the book that I had started many years earlier (writing not reading). I would have finished it sooner, but life got in the way. It’s completed and published now, but I don’t think any of the original book survived the process!

I am married with two grown up children and two dogs.  I love reading, writing and words.  I have a keen interest in music, technology, movies, travel and the Internet. To keep fit I play badminton when I get the time… and I walk the dogs even when I don’t get the time.

What inspired you to start writing?
I’m not entirely sure, but it was probably playing early computer adventure games combined with reading Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series followed by Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic. That mixture gave me a love of fantasy, adventure and humorous writing.

I never lost the taste for the fantastic, magic and wizards, I just wish I had finished my first book, Dark Tidings, sooner… before JK Rowling stole my limelight!

If you could write the biography for somebody, who would it be?
I think I’d choose Sir Terry Pratchett. I think the man is a genius and an inspiration. I’d use the project as an opportunity to get to know the man better… and maybe steal one of his unpublished manuscripts.

What do you find is the hardest part about writing?
For me, the hardest thing is getting the words I write to match the story that I have in my head. I can see everything in my imagination, but it’s a challenge to translate that vision onto the page. I need a brain USB connection that takes the fingers and keyboard out of the writing process. (Note to self - invent that.)

I also suffer a bit from writer’s block and he’s called Rocky. My collie seems to sense when I’m on a writing roll and that’s when he decides to demand some attention. It really doesn’t help.

And the most rewarding?
To date, the most exciting thing was holding a paperback copy of my first book, Dark Tidings… that was a brilliant feeling. However, the most rewarding thing was reading the first few reviews that I got. They proved that some people had read the book, and enjoyed it. Reviews are an author’s lifeblood, so it’s still fabulous when a reader takes the time to write one, but those first few were very special to me.

What advice would you give to new or aspiring authors?
Stick at it. My book took me years to finish, but I got there. As I said a minute ago, there is no better feeling than having a printed copy of your book in your hand for the first time.

What are you working on at the moment?
I going to take a short break from writing and spend some time marketing and promoting the Dark Tidings sequel which has just been published. It’s called The Black Conspiracy and it picks up where Dark Tidings left off. Having said that, my head is full of ideas for my next book, so I’m constantly jotting them down and doing a bit of story-boarding as well.

Oh, and I’d love the two books to be turned into a movie (it’s every author’s dream), so I’m starting to research that. That might require me to learn the art of screenwriting… now there’s a project.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
 As I said, I’ve just finished my second book. It’s called The Black Conspiracy and it picks up where Dark Tidings left off. I’m promoting it under the tagline “Ancient magic has infected the Internet… is this the end for civilisation?”

In Dark Tidings, ancient magic transported Tung, a young thief, and Madrick, a has-been wizard, across a millennium. They brought the powerful magic with them and this was unwittingly spread over the Internet by Michael, a hacker whose good intentions far outstripped his common sense.

That’s where The Black Conspiracy starts… civilisation simply can’t handle the unforeseen consequences of the magic and the only people who can prevent the ensuing catastrophe are the three, some would say ‘idiots’, who created the mess in the first place. To make matters even worse, evil wizards have followed Tung and Madrick through time. They’re determined to hunt down and destroy the pair, and with them, our modern way of life.

Saving the world is never easy, but it has just got a whole lot harder.
I love interacting with people so if you want to find out more, please email me at ken.magee@gametheworld.com and/or connect with me on Twitter @KenMageeAuthor.
Thank you very much again for this opportunity to talk about me and my books.

You can find my books at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ken-Magee/e/B006ISWTR0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Thanks to Ken for sharing his time, the next guest author interview is with Lena Horn on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Rosen Trevithick

In today's guest author interview we welcome Rosen Trevithick, see what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself. Who are you and what do you like to write about?
I’m a lady writer – a Cornish one based in Devon. I write fiction – usually humorous but sometimes psychological. I can usually be found wild swimming and anecdote hoarding. My cupboards are full of bathing suits, flasks and notebooks that say things like ‘Can you perform the heimlich manoeuvre on a cat?’ (Yes, apparently.)

What inspires you to write?
Life. Sometimes things annoy me and writing helps me to vent. Usually things amuse me and then I want to share them (with much embellishment – it’s not lying if it makes a really good story.)

You're one of the more successful Kindle authors out there, what advice would you give to new authors?
Never give up. Yes, the chances of writing a bestseller are slim, but the chances of writing a bestseller without writing anything, are nil. That means you can increase your odds by an infinite amount, just by putting your work out there. Don’t be afraid that your work isn’t good enough. At first I thought there was some sort of profound secret to writing popular fiction that I would never understand, but actually most successful indie authors are just ordinary people writing in their own voice.

What is the hardest part about writing for you?
I have to write when the mood takes me. This can be very disruptive especially when it’s late at night and I know that a few hours of (essential) sleep will break my flow. Then, on other occasions, I can set aside time to write and it just won’t happen.

An old classic of a question - who is your favourite author? And why?
As a kid I loved Roald Dahl. As an adult I’ve never felt that passion for an author but I do enjoy a bit of Ben Elton now and again. He writes just the sort of thing I aspire to create.

Do you prefer to write shorts or full novels?
Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I love short stories because they allow me to express many unrelated ideas in a short period of time, or address simple concepts that I feel strongly about. On the other hand, novels allow me to really get stuck into a topic. I like to mix things up and vary the size of my projects.

Tell us about your latest work.
I’ve just launched Pompomberry House. It’s a humorous murder mystery novel satirising the indie publishing scene. It was an absolute pleasure to write because the narrator is a slightly over-the-top author, which allowed me to fill the text with ridiculous, showy literary devices that I’d usually shy away from. It’s received some very satisfying reviews lately and ‘two acorns’ from the Goodreads UK Kindle forum, which I’m told is a good thing.

Pompomberry House is available now from Amazon

You can follow Rosen at her website: http://www.rosentrevithick.co.uk/

Thanks to Rosen for sharing her time with us, on Friday we welcome Ken Magee to the hot seat.

Kindred spirits on Fire dancing for fun and profit blog

The Cult of Me has been featured on the Fire dancing fo fun and profit blog, visit the blog to find out more:

http://ytothepowerof1.org/2012/09/17/introducing-y1s-kindred-spirits-and-the-cult-of-me/

Thanks Sherrie!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Dennis Danielson

A few weeks ago I posted how I consider Paradise Lost to be the greatest story ever told (http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/paradise-lost-greatest-story-ever-told.html). In that post I also recommended the Paradise Lost Parallel Prose Edition as an ideal way to enjoy the story. In today's  guest author interview I am pleased to welcome Dennis Danielson, the creator of that book.


Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I'm a late middle-aged guy who grew up in Victoria, B.C., learned to love birds, fish, and the ocean, and then attended university in Victoria, Sussex, Oxford, and Stanford (California), where I got a PhD in English literature. I've taught at the University of British Columbia for almost the past 30 years.

Why do you think Paradise Lost is one of the great English literary works? Because it does so many things so well and because it manages to speak  across the centuries. Anyone interested in good, evil, God, Satan,  history, the cosmos -- and in human beings and their relations to those  things already mentioned -- will find something fascinating and  challenging in this epic. Did I mention how beautiful it is?

It is a religious work, do you think that it holds value for non-religious readers?
Wait: I'm not sure there's such a thing as a non-religious reader. Everybody has ideas about what's right and wrong, about whether life and the world have meaning or not, about whether we have a role to play in some story that's bigger than our own individual story, etc. But OK, I know many people who DO have such ideas still identify themselves as non-religious. And what they'll find in Paradise Lost is lots of interwoven stories and challenging ideas about what's right and wrong,  about whether life and the world have meaning or not, and so on. And did I mention how beautiful it is?

What inspired you to do a modern translation of Paradise Lost?
The simple answer is "an English taxi driver." In 1981, as I left the first International Milton Symposium in Buckinghamshire, the driver of the cab I was in asked where I'd been. When I told him, he said, "Oh, yes, Paradise Lost -- I'd love to read it, but I could never get very far with poetry." That planted a seed, and over the next twenty-five years I worked, off and on, trying to put the whole thing into high-level but readable prose.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I think that's a little like asking an athlete what she likes best about working out in a gym. Presumably the answer in each case is that sometimes all the sweating and grunting produces desired results. I find writing itself quite tough, and it really is looking back on one's minor successes that brings some level of satisfaction. The other thing about writing that gives me a thrill is when one single reader emails me and says, "Hey, I liked that!"

If you could write a biography about anyone, who would it be?
Actually, I have written a biography: The First Copernican: Georg Joachim Rheticus and the Rise of the Copernican Revolution. Rheticus was the first and only student (and "apostle") of the astronomer Copernicus, and he played an indispensable role in "discovering" Copernicus, convincing him to finish his work, and then getting it published. Rheticus turned out to be a very colourful if enigmatic character, and  it was a huge privilege for me to get to know "up close and personal" someone born five hundred years ago.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm trying to bring together my interests in Milton and in the history of cosmology. The book (contracted with Cambridge University Press) will be called Paradise Lost and the Cosmological Revolution.

Tell us about your most recent work and how we can find out more.
I've had a few articles in recent years in the journal American Scientist ("The Bones of Copernicus" and "Ancestors of Apollo" -- the latter marking the 50th anniversary of human space travel). Search me on Google Scholar and you'll find much more. I'm also pretty good at offering brief replies to brief emails (Dennis.Danielson@ubc.ca).

A new edition of Paradise Lost, Parallel Prose has just been released  by Broadview Publishing: http://www.broadviewpress.com/product.php?productid=1121&cat=0&page=1

 When the book was first released to coincide with Milton's 400th  birthday in December 2008, it was reviewed by Stanley Fish on the op-ed  page of the New York Times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/paradise-lost-in-prose/

Thanks to Dennis for sharing his thoughts with us, in the next guest author interview we welcome Rosen Trevithick.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Laurie Brown

Today we welcome Laurie Brown to the guest author interview chair:


Introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Laurie Brown and I live in St. Louis, Missouri which is smack dab in the middle of the United States. I have had many, many occupations from waitress to lawyer and all of them ended up basically the same...I got bored and wandered off.

What inspired you to start writing?
I had planned on being a writer since childhood but a million things distracted me: play, love, work. Then quite by accident I met a former gangster from New York City and for some odd reason we hit it off. Long story short, he wanted to have the story of his life told and he wanted me to be the one to tell it. So every Tuesday for a year I second-hand smoked a pack of cigarettes while he recounted his life to me. This arrangement forced me to focus on writing and with some starts and stops we eventually got the job done.

Do you have an author you admire?
I love John Steinbeck because I grew up in Monterey, California where he lived and worked and I guess you could say he was always a presence. I admire the simpleness in the midst of the complexity of his stories and how kind he was to the seemingly misfits of society. But for pure enjoyment I always have a Barbara Pym novel on my bedside table.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be?
Maybe someone like Louis B. Mayer who ran MGM Studios in Hollywood and was a powerful star-maker in the 1930s and 40s. Old Hollywood is fabulously rich in history, a facade of glamour and fame and horribly corrupt and cruel. A million and one stories there.

What is the hardest thing you find about writing?
The discipline. Words float around in my mind all day and all night but I find it hard to sit down and actually get them organized in print.

If you could provide one piece of advice for new authors, what would it be?
Believe in yourself.

What are you working on at the moment?
Much to my own surprise I'm writing about sports, specifically American football, almost exclusively at the moment. It's very weird but that's where opportunities developed for me.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Stand-Up Guy, the book about the gangster I mentioned above, is a fast-paced journey into and out of the days and nights of a street level gangster. From jacking the pumps at the local gas station to disappearing owing the mob money, this is a true story of twenty years on the streets of Brooklyn and Long Island selling drinks, women and drugs along the way. Not for the faint of heart.

It is available here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stand-Up-Guy-ebook/dp/B0068RPDF6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345567147&sr=1-1

Next week we interview Dennis Danielson.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Kevan Dinn

The guest author interview feature is proving quite popular and I'm growing a backlog of interviews, so I'm increasing the frequency to two interviews per week. We'll have to see if we can maintain the tempo as time progresses, but I have plenty for at least a month.

This week we welcome Kevan Dinn to the hotseat:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
After three decades of hectic corporate life in India and other emerging economies, I wanted do something different and personally more satisfying in terms of creativity. I therefore quit my fulltime career as a management consultant and decided to split my time between advising corporate, teaching and writing.

Tired of extensive physical travel around the world for the better part of three decades, I now prefer less punishing mental excursions into fictional worlds of my own creation.

I write epic fantasy and Indian corporate crime fiction. I live in Chennai, India.

What inspired you to start writing?
My kids (both boys) are fans of the LOTR and Star Wars universes, and wanted a new fantasy world of our own. I decided to take a shot at it in 2010, and ended up creating Pangaea and a multi-volume epic fantasy series set in it.

If you could write anyone's biography, who's would it be?
Perhaps Albert Einstein or Tolkien. Both are masters of their chosen fields, and would have approached life very differently than most. It would be fascinating to get an insight into their thinking and imagination.

What is the best part about writing for you?
The freedom to create.

That is why I like fantasy best. Contemporary crime fiction is relatively limiting.

And the worst part?
Proof reading!

What is your favourite book? Why?
It is probably a toss-up between Lord of the Rings and Asimov’s Foundation Series. The former explores possibilities unbounded by science and reality, while the latter explores science unbounded by time. And, of course, both are very powerful epics.

What are you working on at the moment? How can we find out more?
Three things:
  1. Redoing the second book of the Shinmah Series to make it sharper. An outline of the series (as it stands now) is available at http://shinmahs.wordpress.com.
  2. Writing my second Indian corporate crime fiction novel.
  3. Thinking about my first science fiction novel’s theme, plot & storyline.
I will post updates on Twitter (@KevanDinn) & Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/kevan.dinn)

Thanks to Kevan for sharing his thoughts with us, on Friday we'll be interviewing Laurie Brown.

September issue of Littleport Life

The September issue of Littleport Life has been delivered and posted online.

http://www.littleportlife.co.uk/index.html

Littleport Life is a free community magazine put together by a team of volunteers (I'm the technical editor, although I do a few articles as well) every quarter. We cover events in the Littleport area, as well as feature interesting articles about its history and people.

Apparently the village also has an author with a book recently released - I wonder who that could be :-)

http://www.littleportlife.co.uk/2661.html

Monday, 10 September 2012

I'm a guest author on Nick Wastnage's blog

Nick Wastnage has posted an interview with me on his blog. You can read it at:

http://nickwastnage.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/interview-with-michael-brookes.html

In other news I have approved the proof of the paperback version and will post once it is available.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Guest Author Interview - Nick Wastnage

This week we welcome Nick Wastnage to the guest author hotspot.

Introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My twitter profile says that I’m crime writer and an optimist, a rare combination. So, I guess I’m that. I write about people involved in sinister deeds like murder, extortion and retribution.

What inspired you to start writing? Have you always preferred crime fiction?
Reading, and thinking I’d like to create my own story. I read all sorts, not just crime fiction. The first book I wrote was a crime thriller because I thought I had the idea for an intriguing story. After it was published, I decided to stick to crime until I’d perfected it. I might try another genre, sometime.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
It’d be George Pelecanos, a great crime writer in his own right, and one of the co-writers of the highly acclaimed TV series The Wire. His characters are compelling, and I’m unable to put his books down under I’m thru with them.

What process do you follow when first start putting a story together?
I come up with an idea for a plot, jot it down, expand it a little and then let it marinate in my mind for week or two, maybe a month. Then I look at it again, and start to break it down in more detail until I have a three or four page document. I ask a few people to look at it, listen to their comments, and then change it until I have a workable story. I break it down in to chapters, and then create my characters. I think about their ages, relationships, the clothes they wear, their likes and dislikes, and more. I do any necessary research, and then start to write.

You've written a few books, do you have a favourite?
It has to be Playing Harry, my latest. I went to a writers’ workshop once, and a well-known author said to the group I was in, ‘To write well, authors should find their voice.’ I believe I’ve done that with Playing Harry.

Have you ever been tempted to stray from crime stories?
Many times. But I won’t stray until I think my crime writing is as good as I can get it.

What are you reading at the moment?
The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris, a well-known crime writer whose work I’ve never read before. It’s the gripping tale of a man wrongly convicted of a murder he didn’t do and sentenced to hang. His old friend sets out to prove his innocence.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just written a couple of shorts, which will be published this autumn. Then I’m going to pull together an omnibus of shorts I’ve written over the years together with one or two contributions from my son. We’re going to publish it late autumn and give all the proceeds to charity. I’ll be starting on a follow on novel to Playing Harry towards the end of the year.

Tell us about your latest work.
Playing Harry. How the CIA and MI6 toy with Harry Fingle, but don’t ask his permission.

Just after Harry Fingle is acquitted of a crime he didn’t commit, he’s fired, and his brother is murdered. When a pharmaceutical factory that he’s due to visit is blown up, he figures a sinister conspiracy is afoot and it’s time to investigate. Not one, but two deadly assassins are out to get him, and his ex-girlfriend is viciously stabbed. Nothing compares to his encounter with the CIA and MI6.

Links:
Playing Harry: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0062MEIJO
http://www.nickwastnage.com
http://nickwastnage.blogspot.com/

Thanks to Nick for sharing his time with us, next week we welcome Kevan Dinn

Thursday, 6 September 2012

My proofs have arrived!

Exciting times - my proofs have arrived for the paperback version. Now I get to read through it again looking for problems - I've already found one with the margin spacing, so should be easily fixed. Hopefully next week they will be fixed and available.

I'll post again once everything is in place.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Excession - My favourite novel



A few weeks ago I expressed how I though that Paradise Lost was the greatest story ever told. I did however mention that while it was my favourite story, it wasn't my favourite book, that honour is held by Excession by Ian M Banks.

On the face of it it might seem an odd choice if you look at all the options available to me. He is one of the few authors whose latest novel I'll automatically purchase when it is released. He also writes as Ian Banks for his more literary work.

So why is Excession such a great book?

The first reason is the big idea. Something Banks and other good science fiction authors do is have a big idea at the core of the story. In this case it is an excession event, an object appears that cannot be understood by even the technologically advanced races nearby. The story concerns the effects the event has rather than trying to explore the event itself.

It also has one of the one of the most fun alien races I've encountered - the Affront. Floating gas bags of a cruel disposition they make a fine contrast to the Culture. It also raises some interesting questions about a high technology society that is for the most part peaceful deal with a technologically inferior but much more hostile race. Of course the Culture feature heavily in the story and brings with it some of the more interesting characters - the ship's minds.

Something that struck me as I first read the book is the communications between the ship's minds. To me he really captures the aspects of artificial intelligences as well as making them interesting characters.

I won't spoil the story for you, but it is both an exciting and thought provking tale. Highly recommended, I only re-read it a couple of months ago, I feel like reading it again.



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