Wednesday 31 October 2012

One More Day Until The NaNo Starts

Tomorrow (1st Novemeber) marks the start of the National Novel Writing Month. It's a competition in which you challenge yourself to write 50,000 words before the end of the month.

I took part last year and it was a lot of fun. I even got a first draft for The Cult of Me out of it. This year the novel is for Faust 2.0. A novel about an Internet chatbot that starts granting wishes, but there's always a price to be paid.

I've done my preperation, I have sketched out the characters and drawn up a chapter plan. Now I can't wait to get started :-) As the month progresses I'll post updates.

If you want to take part then visit:

I'm Techno Hippy on the sight if you want to be writing buddies.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

An Odd Quartet Free This Weekend

An Odd Quartet is free this weekend from 2nd to the 4th November!

Guest Author Interview - Stephen R Hulse

Today we welcome Stephen R Hulse to the guest author interview, read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hello, good whatever time of day it is you're reading this, and welcome. I’m Stephen R. Hulse, and I write. I’m also the publisher at Blue Hour Publishing, a small – but growing –Indy publishing house dedicated to quality across all literary genres. I’m English, amiable, and when not slaving away over a hot keyboard the vast majority of my time is spent being the personal Major Domo, and personal body slave to my cat, Mao.

In common with suave, handsome, multi-billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne, I’m currently single and unattached. However, unlike suave, handsome, multi-billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne, I don’t feel the compulsion to spend my nights dressed as a giant Bat, beating the living daylights out of the criminal element of my city. Sadly, I also don’t currently happen to be a multi-billionaire. (Although I do like to entertain the notion that I still err towards being both suave and handsome. Although my playboy days are behind me.)

What first inspired you to start writing?
I think I can honestly state that no single thing per se, inspired me to start writing. Unlike other boys, I never harboured ambitions to be an astronaut, train driver, or even a suave, handsome, multi-billionaire nemesis of evil-doers everywhere. I quite simply always have written. I was telling stories even before I picked up my first pen and scribbled my first meaningfully coherent sentence; I knew I was a writer. I suspect writing’s hard-wired into my neural pathways, and encoded into my DNA at the sub-molecular level.

What is your favourite book?
Thorny question. The Internet itself isn’t big enough to hold the entire list of my favourite books – in fact my favourite tends to change at a veritable whim and alteration in wind direction. So instead of answering, I’ll neatly side-step by instead providing you with a list of my favourite authors. This list is plucked at random off the top of my head and in no particular order of preference fiction-wise, I’ll go with Tolstoy, Jane Austin, Raymond Chandler, Dickens, Ian Fleming, Mickey Spillane, Robert B. Parker, F. Scott Fizgerald, Matthew Reilly, Simon Scarrow, Robert Graves, Rober E. Howard, Alexandre Dumas, H.G. Wells, Jules Vern, Neil Gaiman…and…can I stop now?

Oh, wait! A special mention to the rather wonderful Lindsey Davis, who writes the equally rather wonderful Falco series of historical detective novels.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?
Oh, a nice easy one to answer – goody. Charles Dickens. Or if Charles was unavailable, Raymond Chandler.

What do you find most satisfying about writing?
Typing the legend The End on whatever project I’m currently working on.

And the most difficult?
Typing the legend The End on whatever project I’m currently working on. Because that means I’m saying goodbye to characters I’ve come to care for. But on the upside, it also means I’m about to meet brand new characters I’ll eventually come to care for equally as much.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
This one’s drop dead easy. Write. Then write some more. The write even more. Then continue writing. Writing is like exercise: the more you do it, the more you benefit from it. Believe in yourself. Believe in your talent and ability. Accept the setbacks and above all – learn from them. Writing, like life, is an on-going process of growth and learning. Realise that, embrace that, and even if you never succeed in selling a single copy of anything – you’ll still have done something worthwhile and profoundly satisfying.

What are you working on at the moment?
Writing-wise, I’m currently working on the sequel to my hard-boiled, modern day Noir thriller with a slight supernatural undertone, The Blue Hour (The Churchill and Wade Mysteries. (Available at Amazon for the Kindle, people). The sequel is titled The Insignificant Other, and I’m having an absolute ball rummaging around once more in the lives and minds of my two central characters, Alex Churchill and Gideon Wade.

I’m also currently working on the sequel to my supernatural, Urban Horror adventure series Shadowchaser (The Shadowchaser Chronicles). (Also a Kindle exclusive, folks). And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m in the process of drafting two further thrillers for release hopefully sometime in the middle of next year.

So, that’s the writing side of things accounted for. And all of the above doesn’t even account for the projects I’m working on for my other authors while wearing my publisher’s hat…

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest released novel, I so modestly mentioned above is the modern day noir thriller The Blue Hour, which is the first outing for my mis-matched, perpetually verbally sparring detective duo of Churchill and Wade. I’m notoriously lazy, so instead of actually telling you about it; instead I’m simply going to cut and past the Amazon product description for the book and the links to it.

Product Description
"The French call this time l'heure bleu – The Blue Hour. The time between dawn and sunrise when the sun is below the horizon, and the world is awash with a hazy blue shadowed hue that suspends us between the accepted divisions of light and dark. It should have been beautiful. For me, it was now only beautifully deadly..."

Take one decidedly anti-social alcoholic female British ex-cop with an attitude - Alex Churchill...

Add a tough, no-nonsense enigmatic American Private Eye who isn't quite all he appears - Gideon Wade...

Enmesh them in a dark and deadly web of international intrigue engineered by a shadowy criminal organisation for whom human life is just another commodity to be cynically traded for power and profit...

Then dive for cover as fists fly, blood spills and all hell breaks loose!

In closing, I’d just like to thank both your and your readers for allowing me this opportunity to present myself and my work to you. It’s very much appreciated.

Oh yes, and for those of you brave and courageous enough to actually venture forth following the reading of this, and actually buy one or more of my books: sincerely hope you enjoy the reading experience.

As always, thanks to Stephen for sharing his time and thoughts with us, on Friday we welcome J L Manning to the hot seat.

Monday 29 October 2012

Getting To Know You On BestsellerBound Recommends

I've been interviewed by the lovely people at Besteseller Recommends for their 'Getting to know you' feature. You can read all about it at:

In The Dark (100 Word Story)

A new 100 story has been used in the Indi Bargains newsletter - visit to sign up for the daily newsletter of  free and bargain Kindle books.

In The Dark

A thousand burning candles arrayed in a circle protect the girl from the shadows that gnaw at the flickering light. Alone in the circle she waits. She must endure the night. With a fractured voice she prays.

The darkness answers her prayers with a voice. The voice scratches at her sanity, promising only a terrible end. She continues to pray, seeking any solace. She shivers, the room now cold. A breeze, chill and with a fetid smell extinguishes the candles.

She moans. She clutches the last lit candle close to her chest knowing that it will not last the night.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Coffin Hop Interview

In what appears to be a day for interviews I've been interviewed as part of A F Stewart's Coffin Hop feature for Halloween:

I'm Featured On Jonathan Hill's 10 Questions

I've been featured on Jonathan Hill's 10 Questions, read what I had to say here:

Thanks Jonathan!

I've Been Tagged

Last week Jaq Hawkins tagged me in a post on her blog, you can read it here:

What does this mean? Well it means that I answer the questions as she did, but about my next book and also to tag a few more authors so they do the same in a week's time. The tagged authors and their blogs or sites are:

Geoff Wakeling - http://
Sherrie Cronin -
Ken Magee -

And now for the questions about my next book and thanks to Jaq for tagging me.

What is the title of your next book?

My next book is called Conversations in the Abyss, it is the sequel to The Cult of Me.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The story for the trilogy was inspired by Paradise Lost, although it has a different ending! I was also intrigued by the idea of adapting it to a more modern, and for the lead character, a more personal context.

What genre does your book fall under?

It's a supernatural thriller.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

A tricky question. Fiar Francis would be played by Gabriel Byrne. I'd actually like The Rock to play
Officer Hammond - assuming he can do a decent English accent :-)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

He's already saved the world once and he's now paying the price; it's only going to get worse.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm currently self published, although I'm open to offers!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It usually takes about two months to do the first draft. One month if I'm taking part in the Nano, which I will be in a few days.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Another tricky question. The theme is inspired by Paradise Lost, but the style is very different.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

In my opinion Paradise Lost is the greatest story ever told. As stories go, it doesn't get any more
epic. For years I've wanted to take a different, more modern view on it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

As already mentioned it is an epic tale, told from a personal point of view. The end of the world has never seemed so immediate.

Friday 26 October 2012

Guest Author Interview - Cherie Magnus

Today we welcome Cherie Magnus to the guest author interview, you can read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I am a native Californian, a retired librarian, who has been an expat since 2001, first in France, then Mexico, and finally Argentina where I teach tango with my Argentine partner. I first came to Buenos Aires in 1997 on a tango vacation, and I got hooked, but I've always been a dancer of one kind or another, as well as a writer specializing in travel narratives, and critical reviews. I've been writing a blog since 2006, posting about expat life in Buenos Aires and the tango.

What inspired you to write a book?
A lot of horrible things happened to me over a ten-year period beginning in 1991 with the death of my husband. I kept on plugging my way forward by dancing through the tragedies. I was tired of reading "survivor" manuals by middle-aged women suffering a divorce, or having cancer, or caring for a beloved parent with Alzheimer's, or having a child join a cult, and then giving up. I wanted people to know that one doesn't have to quit on life, even in the face of losing everything. Perhaps dancing doesn't save everyone, but it did save me. One needs to find the bliss and follow it in the face of tragedy.

If you could write the biography of anybody, who would it be?
I'm fascinated by Jacques Brel, by his music and artistry, and the fact that he lost his life at a relatively young age (48), but quit performing a decade earlier. I'd love to explore his character and circumstances, and his reasons for the songs he wrote and why he gave up on life.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love words and expressing emotions with them. I enjoy writing descriptions that portray emotions and feelings. I notice and feel everything, and I like the opportunity to show read ers what I see and feel. And I also love to give my opinion. :)

What do you find the most difficult?
My best style is the essay. A narrative with description is also easy for me, but realistic conversation can be difficult, as well as in a book-length work, the release of information in the most interesting way with the best timing. That's what I'm struggling with now in my new book.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on the prequel to The Church of Tango, which takes place from 1960-1963. I was a dance major at UCLA then and not only was it a pivotal time for me full of dramatic traumas and changes, but for the world. The "youthquake" of the Sixties hadn't yet struck, it was before the Beatles and sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, before JFK was assassinated and the whole world changed. The challenge is remembering these events and feelings that occurred fifty years ago, especially as unfortunately I didn't keep a journal.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
I've heard so many aspiring authors say how much they love to write. When I ask them about what, they say about anything. I think a writer needs to have something specific to say about a subject, a point of view, or they might just as well write how-to manuals.

Tell us about your work and how we can find out more.
A second subtitle of my memoir might be Death, Dance, Destiny. It's a survivor's story that sweeps across several countries and several dances--along with several romances. There are reviews on Goodreads and on Amazon, as well as videos on my Amazon Author Page. It's available from Amazon as a paperback and for the Kindle. The Church of Tango: a Memoir also has its own blog: http://thechurchoftango.blogspot and page on Facebook.

Thanks to Cherie for sharing her time, on Tuesday it is Stephen Hulse's turn in the hot seat.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Splendid Wednesday Is Here!

Today is splendid Wednesday, a day dedicated to raising the profile of 'A Splendid Salmagundi', a collection of writing put together by the good people in the UK Amazon Kindle forum on Goodreads. Including one from me.

A Splendid Salmagundi is a delicious salad of short stories seasoned with a light dusting of poems, covering a variety of genres. You will find one or two true stories, some humour, some horror, fantasy, adventure and science fiction. Many are Amazon published authors whose work you may already have read. Others will soon be favourites.

Contributors are alphabetically, D M Andrews, Tim Arnot, R J Askew, Baarbaara, Andrew Barrett, Kath Brinck, Michael Brookes, Alexandra Butcher, DD Chant, Mel Comley, Lexie Conyngham, Raymond Daley, Ian Ellis, Robert Franks, Cornelius Harker, Mark R Faulkner, Vic Heaney, Jonathan Hill, Darren Humphries, Andrew Lawston, Stephen Livingston, Will Macmillan Jones, M T McGuire, Kath Middleton, Marc Nash, Harry Nicholson, Jenny Shaw, Rosen Trevithick, Simon Turpin, David Wailing, Jim Webster, Philip Whiteland.

You can buy it now at:

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Get To Know The Author

Geoff Wakeling has a weekly feature on his blog to get to know a featured author. I am fortunate enough to be featured this week, read the interview on Geoff's blog:

Thanks for having me Geoff!

Guest Author Interview - Brittney Woodson

Today we welcome Brittney Woodson to the guest author interview, you can read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Brittney and I live in Michigan. My occupation is that of a college student, studying Japanese and will eventually major in Film. I am also an author for the e-book Bandit.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I have always been interested in writing since my childhood. My inspiration comes from my heavy appetite for books. My imagination runs wild, especially whenever I am listening to music. Ideas ca even form from a simple word I may hear. Overall, books are what really inspired me to produce novels on my own for others to enjoy.

What is your favourite book and why?
Hm, this is a tough question. If asked this as a child, I would immediately answer with “Aesops’s Fables”. That was my then favorite book, due to the morals it had. My favorite book now is anything written by Sherrilyn Kenyon. In my opinion, she is a very good author and I enjoy all of her books. I currently only own two books by her, “Acheron” and “Bad Moon Rising”, but I plan to purchase more of her books in the near future.

If you could write the biography of anybody, who would it be?
Most likely, I would choose either Bruce Lee or Anna Tsuchiya. The reason why I picked those two is that I admire them both. Bruce Lee was an amazing person, not only was he a strong person and good actor, but he was a great philosopher. For those who do not know who Anna is, she is a singer, model and actor. Anna is someone who I admire for her individuality and staying true to herself. I would write an biography of those two.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
The most important advice I would like to pass on to any new or aspiring authors is not to give up. If you are passionate about writing, do not let someone deter you from it. Keep writing and when you feel as though you are ready to spread your wings, soar high and keep flying! Writing is an artful talent. When you write, do not just write because you are only thinking of the money and fame. Write because you want to and for the readers. It will come out as a greater reward in the end.

Are you a planner with your writing, or do you dive straight in?
To be honest, I am a bit of both. However, I do plan a bit more than I would just dive right in. I have notebooks filled with various different ideas that I plan to work on in the future. My process is mostly coming up with a concept, and then I start working on developing the characters and so on.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on promoting my volume one of Bandit. Also, I am working on revising Bandit vol. 2 and working on a few other projects that I plan to release soon. One is a short story and the other will be a series that will be released next year. For more information, feel free to follow my blog.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest work is titled, BANDIT. It is set in the 24th century, where in District 13, a family brutally massacred by a man named Cyrus Fate. The sole survivor is nineteen-year old Harley. She is determined to track down the murderer at any cost. When she runs into the most wanted fugitive, Axel Edge, she gives him an ultimatum. Either she turns him into the police or he helps her in finding Cyrus. With a sheer willpower, she convinces the wanted man to come along in her journey. However, their journey will be bumpy road. Running into violent gang members, police on the lookout for Axel, a flirtatious leader and a blooming romance and much more, Harley and Axel realize that they have a lot on their hands.

Thanks to Brittney for sharing her thoughts, on Friday we welcome Cherie Magnus to the hot seat.

Friday 19 October 2012

Guest Author Interview - Jason Parent

Today we welcome Jason Parent to the guest author interview, you can read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jason Parent, and my first novel, What Hides Within, was recently published as an eBook and paperback. The novel is a mix of horror, suspense and dark humor that’s been described as, “schizophrenia meets arachnophobia meets 1 flew over…”

When I’m not writing, I spend my days as an attorney, so you can imagine why I might want to steal away into a world of fiction every now and then, be it of my own creation or another’s. It also might explain why my work is often so dark. Writing is undoubtedly my favorite hobby, and I hope to make it into something more than that.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I can’t say what specifically inspired me to start writing, but I do know it became a way for me to get my thoughts, and particularly the darker ones, out of my head. For me, writing is cathartic. At some point along the way, it also became fun.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would it be?
Stephen King, without a doubt. I’m sure hundreds of horror writers would give the same answer, and they should. He is the voice of modern horror, the standard the rest of us try to live up to. He’s undoubtedly a master, those who used to call him a hack silenced by his onslaught of bestsellers. Although I pride myself on having a unique voice and style, I’d consider a comparison to King the greatest of compliments.

What do you find is the best part of writing?
What I like best about writing is the ability to be whomever I choose and do whatever I want, a sort of hedonistic lifestyle limited only by the confines of my imagination. Like most, if not all, arts, writing is a means of escape. Life is imperfect, disorderly. In my written universe, I am in complete control.

And the worst?
Writing a novel takes hard work. Then comes editing, finding an agent or publisher, more editing, and marketing. When you finally get to a finished product, the work makes publication that much more rewarding. Finding time to write while working a full-time job can be difficult. But if it’s something you love, you find a way.

What advice would you give to new and aspiring authors?
Put everything you’ve got into it. As cheesy, bumper sticker-ish as it may sound, you can only fail if you don’t try.

What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I have two novels nearing completion. The first is a thriller with elements of horror (think Gerritsen’s The Mephisto Club without Rizzoli or Isles) and the second is a science fiction thriller (like Lore’s I Am Number Four without the numbers or the YA). I have also started a fourth novel reminiscent of King’s The Dead Zone (without Anthony Michael Hall). I should also have a couple of short stories published in anthologies next year.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Inside all of us, there is darkness. Inside Clive, it's tangible, and it's aching to get out.

What Hides Within tells the story of a man held captive by an unknown evil. Clive Menard is a spineless slacker leading an ordinary existence. But when Chester enters his life, it becomes far from ordinary.

A disheveled Clive stands alone in a hospital waiting room. A series of incidences have led him to undergo unnecessary neurosurgery. A voice inside Clive’s head nags him to kill the doctor.

Weeks prior, a murder investigation and an unrelated kayaking excursion set the story’s interlocking events in motion. When a remorseful killer, a bomb-happy psychopath and a mysterious widow spider converge upon Clive, they bring with them destruction and death. Clive must discover who or what is steering his very existence before he, too, is consumed by the carnage around him.

With a driven detective following his every step and a vicious killer hiding within his circle of friends, Clive must walk a narrow and dangerous path, teetering between salvation and damnation. He must confront Chester and his own demons. But is he powerless to overcome them?

What Hides Within is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a host of online retailers. It can also be purchase from my website,

Thanks to Jason for sharing his time with us, on Tuesday we welcome Brittney Woodson to the hot seat.

Thursday 18 October 2012

A Splendid Salmagundi Released

Along with a number of Goodreads authors from the UK Amazon Kindle group we have put together an anthology of writing.

A Splendid Salmagundi is a delicious salad of short stories seasoned with a light dusting of poems, covering a variety of genres. You will find one or two true stories, some humour, some horror, fantasy, adventure and science fiction. Many are Amazon published authors whose work you may already have read. Others will soon be favourites.

Contributors are alphabetically, D M Andrews, Tim Arnot, R J Askew, Baarbaara, Andrew Barrett, Kath Brinck, Michael Brookes, Alexandra Butcher, DD Chant, Mel Comley, Lexie Conyngham, Raymond Daley, Ian Ellis, Robert Franks, Cornelius Harker, Mark R Faulkner, Vic Heaney, Jonathan Hill, Darren Humphries, Stephen Livingston, Will Macmillan Jones, M T McGuire, Kath Middleton, Marc Nash, Harry Nicholson, Jenny Shaw, Rosen Trevithick, Simon Turpin, David Wailing, Jim Webster, Philip Whiteland.

You can buy it now from Amazon:

Wednesday 17 October 2012

First Review for An Odd Quartet

The first review for An Odd Quartet is in and it's also my first Goodreads review - which is nice :-)

As the name implies, this is a novella length book containing 4 short stories. Their themes are both the usual and the unusual – the ghostly haunting, the personification of Death – a Swat Team entering a building and a Demon undertaking his Demon Test! They are dealt with very imaginatively and I really enjoyed reading them. The endings are all a little different from what you’d imagine and I like that in a story. I don’t like to know or guess the ending.

Michael Brookes’ writing style is easy and accessible. He can certainly turn out a story you will remember.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Guest Author Interview - Debra Benson

Today we welcome Debra Benson to the gust author interview, you can read what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I'm Debra Benson. My first published book is a work of Fiction. For now I think my niche is Christian Romance, Women's Fiction, and General Fiction. Inspirational and Romance are dear to my heart.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I have a need to express dramatic experiences in life misfortunes and victories. I want to voice my thoughts into words on paper. I sometimes feel I'm better at communicating on paper than articulating verbally. This writing interest began in 1990.

If you could write anybody's biography, whose would it be?
Elizabeth Elliot

What is your favourite book?
Healing in the Hurting Places by Karen F. Riley

What do you find most enjoyable about writing?
I like creating dialogue in stories the interaction is amazing. This element in writing really develops the story. I find this enjoyable to see how word pieces add up to form an image.

And the most frustrating?
I'm not a big talker. I wish I had the gift of gab. So it's a challenge for me to write a four hundred page novel. I feel the short story is for me and the novella.

What advice would you give to new and aspiring authors?
Keep writing and reading books about writing to develop your prose.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have a short story to edit and a memoir outlined.

Tell us about your recent work and how we can find out more.
My debut novella "Perfect Wedding" was published July 2012. It can be found at

Thanks to Debra for sharing her time, on Friday we welcome Jason Parent to the hotseat.

This Killing Emptiness (100 Word Story)

The latest of my 100 word stories has been used in the Indie Book Bargains newsletter ( And yes I am an Ice Ages fan :-)

This Killing Emptiness

Stars. Nothing but stars in all directions. My breathing is laboured, the oxygen mix almost too low for life. A random accident, a burst of the thrusters and now drifting. Too far for rescue. I don't mind the view is amazing. Pin sharp stars across the infinite black veil.

If I'm going to die, this is all I could have hoped for. It doesn't hurt, it feels pleasant. I'm not afraid. I enjoy the view. Absorb its majesty. They say the last moment follows you for eternity. If that is true then I am indeed blessed. I only wish that...

10 Quick Steps for Helping Authors on Amazon

The Creative Conflict blog has posted an excellent guide for how readers can help authors on Amazon. Clik on the link below to read more:

I hope all of my readers follow those steps :-)

Sunday 14 October 2012

An Odd Quartet Now Available

I'm pleased to announce that An Odd Quartet is now available from Amazon.

Click on the image to the right to purchase your copy now.

Saturday 13 October 2012

I need your vote!

I've entered a flash fiction competition at:

Please take a look and give me a thumbs up.

Coming Soon - An Odd Quartet

Coming soon to a Kindle near you - An Odd Quartet. This is my first collection of exclusive short stories. Each one a tale drawn from the darker side of life.

The Yellow Lady
Grave robbing is a dirty busy, in more ways than one. When he disturbs the grave from a childhood scary story he discovers it's not always treasure to be discovered.

This Empty Place
At the heat death of the universe, Death contemplates his existence.

Forced Entry
Terrorists seize an average suburban house. A Special Forces hostage rescue team is sent in and encounter more than they were trained for.

The Reluctant Demon
A young demon prepares to take his possession exam.

Friday 12 October 2012

Guest Author Interview - Abby Richards

In today's guest author interview we welcome Abby Richards, find out what she has to say below:

Thanks for taking part, tell us about yourself, who are you? And what do you do?
Thanks for inviting me! I'm Abby Richards, 28, from Bedfordshire in the UK. I taught English in a middle school for five years and I've just embarked on a full-time MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University which started at the end of September 2012.

What inspired you to start writing?
I loved reading from an early age, enjoying Jill Murphy's 'The Worst Witch' series, R.L.Stine's 'Goosebumps', Dick King Smith and 'A Little Princess' by Francis Hodgeson Burnett to name but a few. My love of descriptive language, unforgettable characters and adventure drove me to write my first extra-curricular story at 7, which I still have to this day! I continued to write stories at home and at 18 I produced my first full length novel in seven weeks while working at a factory packing the same stationary box over and over again for eight hours a day. Boredom and a love of the television series '24' inspired that novel. Every two years since then I've popped out a new book, developing and improving my craft each time, experimenting with thriller, fantasy, children's and now psychological thriller fiction, which I'm mad keen on!

If you could collaborate with any author, who would it be?
Dean Kootnz. His earlier novels, in particular 'Lightning', shocked and inspired me. He has such a vast imagination and a tremendous ability to create page-turners.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love getting totally absorbed in writing; hours can pass and it feels like seconds. I also love the freedom it gives you to play with language and be creative.

And the least?
Receiving rejection letters from agents, especially when they send a generic note and haven't even bothered to sign it.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Never give up! Keep writing. If you have the aptitude, the intrinsic motivation to improve and a passion for writing, read and write and practise your practice as much as possible. Read novels you enjoy creatively and critically to work out how they achieved effects you want to achieve.

What are you working on at the moment?
A psychological thriller for adults called 'Mr Keeper' about a ten year old girl with selective mutism who hears terrifying noises in the shed at night.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
'Blackened Cottage' is a psychological thriller set in 1875 about a young woman who needs to escape her dangerous father, find her brother and discover the truth about her family. It is written in the form of letters, diaries, confessions and first person narrative.

You can find it on and

Thanks to Abby for sharing her time, on Tuesday Debra Benson will be joining us.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Guest Author Interview - Chad Schimke

Today I welcome Chad Schimke to the guest author interview, you can read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Chad Schimke and my location is San Francisco, California. I am a writer with four books (Picker, Pieces, Weirder and Walker) available for purchase through Amazon. In addition to fiction; I write a content rich blog about city life, arts and letters. I am very involved in the city’s arts community. I also organize a creative writer’s critique workshop that meets each week.

See below for a list of links referenced in this feature.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Having lived a full life, I reached a tipping point. Right now, I am overflowing. I write because I have no choice but to write. My growing up years were spent in Northwestern New Mexico. In a landscape of ancient puebloans, criminal minds, a uranium boom and UFO’s. Where there were early signposts to a writing life. Now I live in San Francisco, my adopted hometown, which is the vibrant city that inspires my work.

Who is your favourite author and why?
I am fascinated by Oscar Wilde as a literary genius as well as a controversial figure. I respect his writing, place in history, genres (novels, short stories, plays, poems, essays) as well as fearless position on self-expression. He made bold choices that bucked the restrained society of his day. He is widely credited as a prominent figure in the ‘art for art’s sake’ aesthetic movement.

I am passionate about his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. I was captivated by his biography, Oscar Wilde, A Certain Genius by Barbara Belford. Another highlight is the haunting imagery from The Ballad of Reading Gaol. And, of course, for his plays which are his best known written works.

What do you find is the hardest part of writing?
As a writer you must funnel a font of creativity, be a detail oriented editor and a well-spoken self-promoter. The hardest part is wrangling and utilizing these overlapping and contradictory elements to produce quality work.

And the most satisfying?
I love it when somebody enjoys my work. I am energized by meeting with other like-minded writers at the creative writer’s critique workshop. Or, in online groups.

If you could write the biography of anyone, who would it be?
I want to write a non-fiction novel/ biography of my ancestor Christian Schimke. He was an immigrant, who made a transatlantic voyage, to claim a homestead on the prairies of South Dakota in mid-1800.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Read a wide range of genres and forms, learn about what you like and or what works/ doesn’t work. Seek out online and community groups where you can connect with readers/ writers.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a new novel that will be a paranormal action thriller (along the lines of Picker). With identical twins, identity switches, secret clues, a haunted hotel and a twist ending. My plans after that are a non-fiction writing reference edition and another eccentric fantasy populated by fanciful characters (along the lines of Weirder).

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more?
Please visit my Amazon Author Central page to sample or purchase my books.
Go to my Goodreads page to enter a free giveaway each month.
Check out my blog for free MP3 and PDF downloads, mash-ups, vid clips and interviews.
Feel free to email me at any time, I love hearing from other writers/ readers. Or, comment on any of my threads on these sites.
chadschimke [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com

Thanks to Chad for sharing his time, on Friday Abbey Richards will be in the hotseat.

Sunday 7 October 2012

Interviewed on D J Nash's Blog

I've been interviewed on D J Nash's blog:

Thanks to Damien for having me!

Saturday 6 October 2012

Clowns (100 word story)

Another one of my 100 word stories has been used in the Indie Book Bargains newsletter (


Lying on my bed and see my room full of clowns. Happy clowns, sad clowns, laughing clowns, even a tall gaunt clown with spindly legs. My mummy thinks I like them and keeps buying me more. I wish I could tell her how much they frighten me. Everywhere I look, I see another clown's face.

One hundred different clowns, none of them the same. I say my prayers with mummy then count them before I sleep. Snuggled in my duvet I count them once again. This time the number comes up short and there's a rustle under the bed.

Friday 5 October 2012

Guest Author Interview - Ian McFadyen

In today's guest author interview we welcome Ian McFadyen, read what he has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ian McFadyen. I am a murder mystery writer. I was born in Liverpool and spent my childhood in Lancashire - where my series of books are based. I now live in Hertfordshire with my wife, two of my three children (one child has already fledged) and my retired greyhound - Jewel.

I have three titles published and a fourth book is due out in April 2013. All of my books are based in Lancashire around a central character - Inspector Steve Carmichael. The three titles in chronological order are "Little White Lies", "Lillia's Diary" and "Frozen to Death". The first two are available in both hardback and paperback. "Little White Lies" is also available in large print."Frozen to Death", the third book, was only printed in paperback. All three are available on kindle. My writing was once flatteringly compared to Wilkie Collins and I'm told my novels fit into a genre commonly referred to as cosy mysteries.

What first inspired you to start writing?
I've always wanted to write but until about twelve years ago had neither the time or confidence to really go for it. The first book was written mainly to amuse my family, but once I'd finished it I felt I had to write more.

If you could write the biography of anyone, who would it be?
I read lots of biog's mainly about sportsmen. I've never considered writing one myself, but if I did it would have to be on an iconic sports figure - I'm a Liverpool supporter so it would have to be Bill Shankly.

What is the best part of writing for you?
Almost every aspect from the initial idea, creating the plot and building characters, right through to the launch and subsequent signings and talks. I think the feeling I always have when I get my hands on my author's copy takes some beating.

And the worst?
Easy - proof reading. I hate it and am rubbish at it. Fortunately my wife isn't and my publishers are brilliant too.

You've written a few books now, do you find the process easier now than writing the first book?
In some respects it's easier. When I wrote the first book I didn't know if I could write, nor if anyone would like my work and my characters, so subsequent books have been a bit less daunting. My approach is pretty standard though - about twenty minutes to think of the nub of the book ( normally what I hope will be a good twist), then a few days to concoct a few new interesting characters, followed by six months to a year doing the writing. Part of the fun of writing is that I never quite know where I'm going at times, but there is always a general direction that I have in my head and I've always arrived there eventually.

What advice would you give a new or aspiring author?
Go for it, don't doubt yourself just do it. From a commercial perspective, unless they are wealthy, I wouldn't advise anyone to give up their day job too soon. We all want to be top selling authors, but the reality is that it's a tough and competitive industry. Many writers never get published and fewer still make any real money out of it, but if you want to write my advice is simple, just get on with it.

What are you working on at the moment?
My fourth book "Deadly Secrets" which is out in April next year. I'm currently doing some proof reading on that one. I've also nearly finished the first draft of the next book in the series - so the production line is functioning pretty well at the moment.

Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
My most recently published title, 'Frozen to Death' is set in winter. Carmichael and his wife have been invited to a Valentine's Day dinner party given by local celebrity Caroline Lovelace, the presenter of a popular TV chat show. Carmichael feels flattered by the invitation thinking his genius for solving crimes has finally won him recognition. Meanwhile, not so very far away, a solitary man has tied up his narrow boat on a deserted canal and not far away from him, out on the towpath, a frozen corpse is slowly becoming buried in the snow.

My next release, “Deadly Secrets", which is out in April 2013, is centred on the death of a well respected academic who lives in my fictitious Lancashire village. Carmichael has to work out whether his death is suicide or murder and in the process meets an interesting collection of the dead man's acquaintances. As Carmichael feels his way around, the casualties start to mount. My publishers tell me that this is the best one yet - so fingers crossed. I have to say that of all the books I've had published, I think the murder suspects in "Deadly Secrets'" are some of my best. I especially like one called Miranda Coyle - look out for her in particular!
follow me on twitter @IanMcFadyen1

Thanks to Ian for sharing his thoughts, on Tuesday we welcome Chad Schmike to the hotseat.

Thursday 4 October 2012

100 Word Story and Indie Book Bargains

Indie Book Bargains is a site and mailing list for indie published book bargains in the UK. Their daily bargain email also features a 100 word short story. They recently used one of mine, so here it is:

Don't turn around

I felt its breath, chill against my neck. I knew what stood behind me. Only on this night it possessed the power to achieve its justice. I must not look at it. only in its sight could it harm me.

I walked forwards, along the cobbled street. If I could reach the village church I’d be safe for another year, until the return of this dread date.

Its footsteps echoed mine as I walked, my gaze kept low. I stumbled, looked up and caught the reflection in the window. Too late I tried to avert my gaze.

Too late.

New E-Book Promotion System at KUF

The Kindle Users Forum have launched a new e-book promotion system, check out the thread here for more details:

It also provides promotion opportunities in the US, which I am giving a try. My profile in the US isn't as high as I would like hopefully this will help!

There's starter discounts for those booking before the end of October, with my member's discount I booked 4 weeks of banner ads for less than £15, so well worth a try at that price.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

The Cult of Me Added to the Black Caviar Book Club

The Cult of Me has now been added to the Black Caviar Book Club:

Guest Author Interview - Sherrie Cronin

A few weeks ago Sherrie Cronin featured me on her blog (, today she visits mine in today's guest author interview:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I'm Sherrie Cronin and I am have just published the second book in a six book "magical realism" collection that features a family of five with almost believable super powers. The collection is called 46. Ascending and the first two novels are x0 and y1.

What first inspired you to write?
I can't remember a time when I didn't make up stories. I started reading speculative fiction in early grade school and I've wanted to write it ever since an English teacher encouraged me in the 8th grade.

What attracted you to writing fantasy? And are you tempted to dip into other genres?
My passion is writing about the place where fantasy, science fiction and reality all three meet. I have this weird attraction for places where three things come together anyway.

A classic of a question, but what is your favourite novel?
I actually have an honest answer for this one. Doug Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Finding out what is going to happen in my story, as opposed to what my outline thought was going to happen.

And what do you find the hardest?
Trying to sell these damn books once I am done with them. My goals is to get enough of a little following that I can just write and not worry about sales.

What advice would you give to a new or aspiring author?
Boring advice. Sit down and make a serious set of goals, a writing schedule for yourself. Like with a calendar or a day planner. If you don't meet a goal, redo it. Rinse and repeat. Don't stop until you have a book you are willing to let someone else read.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
I am almost done writing z2 and hope to have it published online in January of 2013. Meanwhile y1 has its own blog now at
and is available at at

Thanks to Sherrie for sharing her toughts. On Friday we'll be joined by Ian McFadyen.