Book Blog, Interview, Urbane Publishing

Seeking Eden @BevHarvey_ @urbanepub #PreOrderToday #QA

Seeking Eden By Bev Harvey 
Urbane Publishing ~ 06/07/2017
Article By Kelly 

The Real You Interview with Beverly Harvey 

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Beverley Harvey (Bev to her friends) hails from the corporate communications world, working first in advertising in a variety of support roles, before moving into PR where she trained in a London agency before becoming freelance in 2001.

After threatening to write a book for years, Beverley finally swapped PR campaigns for plot lines with the completion of her debut novel ‘Seeking Eden’.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys listening to rock and indie music, cooking, baking, and keeping fit.  An animal lover and part-time dog walker, Beverley is inspired by nature, art and life’s daily trials and tribulations.

Born in Yorkshire, and raised in South London, Beverley now lives in Kent with her partner Mark and their naughty Terrier, Brodie.

Hello Bev and welcome to the Love Books Group Blog please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey.

Hi Kelly, thank you for inviting me on to your wonderful blog.  I’d wanted to write a novel for years.  Then I got into my fifties and thought; well, what’s stopping you?  A friend signed us both up for a creative writing class and a door creaked open.   Four terms later, I’d written a crude version of Seeking Eden, which was originally called ‘Beginners’ Guide to Burb-Watching’.  I was very naïve and wrote to lots of agents; the silence was deafening.  

Describe yourself using three words?  Thoughtful, practical, creative

What inspired you to write your first novel?   

When I left London ten years ago, I went into shock.  The ‘new town’ I live in was the inspiration for my book, because it has a unique and complex vibe all of its own.  I am also a huge Mike Leigh fan; getting inside the minutia of ordinary people’s lives fascinates me.  Seeking Eden is about what lurks beneath the thin veneer of respectability that so many of us cultivate.

What time of day do you like to write?  Mornings or evenings – but rarely in the afternoon.

What is your favourite book and why?

Impossible to say – but Donna Tartt’s The Secret History blew me away and I’ve read both Patrick Suskind’s Perfume and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day twice for their incredible language.  

How did you pick the title of your book?

The name Seeking Eden was a collaboration with Matthew Smith at Urbane, who felt that my original title had American overtones.  Seeking Eden hints at looking for a utopia – but as we all know, there’s a snake in every paradise.  

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

No.  But some of the situations come from my own experience.

What’s your favourite word?   Ethereal.

If you were a colour what would it be?  Topaz blue

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

I have a theme in mind, and a loose framework, but even that can change as things progress.

Who is your favourite Author?

Sadly I read less now than I’ve ever done, but in the past I’ve devoured Fay Weldon, Anita Brookner, Janette Winterson and Joanna Trollope.

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?  

Nick and Amy Dunne from Gone Girl (by Gillian Flynn); light the touch paper and stand well back!  The second Mrs De Winter from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca – although the book is overlong, the story is gripping and I feel protective to the poor creature living in Rebecca’s shadow; and Jane Tennison from Lynda La Plante’s Prime Suspect series – what an incredible brain and spirit.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just started reading a thriller; The Brief by Simon Michael.

Where in the world is your happy place?

I always feel calm and centred when I return to Yorkshire where I was born, but not brought up.  It is also anywhere my other half is – we don’t spend enough time together.  

If you had one superpower what would it be?

To talk to animals – I have so many questions for my rescued terrier.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

Not a villain, more of an anti-hero; when I read Paul Theroux’s The Mosquito Coast in my twenties, I wept when Allie Fox died.  I was desperate for the family to rebuild another settlement like Jeronimo.  

Are you working on a new project?

I am chipping away at the sequel to Seeking Eden – there are several new characters to bed in so I am finding it very challenging.

 

Seeking Eden By Beverly Harvey

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50 is the new 30 – haven’t you heard?’ Or so says Ben Wilde’s record producer on the eve of his comeback. If only Ben could win back ex-girlfriend, Kate, he’d be a happy man. But married Kate has moved on, and moved out – to Eden Hill, a quiet housing estate in the suburbs. Lonely and homesick for London, can Kate resist ego-maniac Ben’s advances and save her own flagging marriage? Streets away, Kate’s new friend Lisa, a Chihuahua toting ex-WAG, is primed for a fresh start – until her footballer ex-husband is found dead and she is vilified in the gutter press. But Kate, Lisa and Ben aren’t the only ones having a midlife crisis; local shop owner Martin dreams of escaping his dutiful marriage, and develops an unhealthy obsession with Lisa and her friends in Eden Hill. Alongside a colourful cast of friends and family, Kate, Lisa, Ben and Martin are living proof that older does not always mean wiser because in Eden Hill, there’s temptation around every corner.

Pre-Order your copy today ~ Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Beverley and Urbane Publication for being on the blog today!

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Greatly appreciated, with thanks. 

Kelly x

Author, Crime Fiction Takeover, Urbane Publishing

Beware The Cuckoo @julesmnewman @urbanepub #Interview

Crime Fiction

Today on the blog I have a Q&A with Julie Newman, author of Beware The Cuckoo. Published by Urbane Publications on the 18/05/2017.

Julie Newman ~ ‘Real You’ Interview  

Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey.
Writing has always been an important part of my life; I’ve kept a diary since childhood, written poems, short stories for my children and I’ve started many novels. The only badge I ever achieved at Brownies was my writer’s badge. My dream was always to be a published author. Beware the Cuckoo is my first novel and I was over-joyed when Urbane Publications agreed to publish it, especially when one of the rejections I had previously received suggested that I did not offer career longevity – a polite way of saying I was too old – I was 49 at the time!! Matthew Smith of Urbane has been very supportive during the process of turning a manuscript into a book and has not once made me feel that I am past it.

Describe yourself using three words?
Optimistic, Loyal, impatient,

What inspired you to write your first novel?
An overheard snippet of conversation, in which someone said that a renewed friendship was not what it had been previously. I liked the idea of looking at a friendship that was held together by a shared experience despite the fact that the relationship was no longer a healthy one.

What time of day do you like to write?
 I write at all times, but I am more productive in the mornings.

What is your favourite book and why?
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It is an epic tale written on a grand scale with memorable characters that move you.

How did you pick the title of your book?
It came about after a discussion with Matthew, my publisher.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?  No.

If you were a colour what would it be?
A sunny orange, I’d like to be bright and bold.

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
I plan a little, I have a timeline and an idea but very often the characters take me on a journey.

Who is your favourite Author?
I have many, but John Steinbeck probably tops the list. Current writers I like include Joanne Harris and Matt Haig.

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?
Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) for her sense of fun and mischief.
 Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) for his optimism and the fact that he knows how to throw a hell of a party.
Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility) for her spirited conversation.
Vianne Rocher (Chocolat) so she can bring dessert,

What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading two, as I like to read fiction and non-fiction. The Life-assistance agency by Thomas Hocknell and The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

Where in the world is your happy place?
Wherever my family are. I also have an affinity with The Lake District.

If you had one superpower what would it be?
To stop time; there are never enough hours in the day.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
Fagin

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Are you working on a new project?
Yes, my second novel will be out late 2017/early 2018

Contact:

Twitter –   @julesmnewman

Facebook Author Page –  Julie Newman

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Two women. One man. A buried secret. They were reunited at his funeral, school friends with a shared past. The past that is anything but straightforward. A past that harbours secrets and untruths. Karen has a seemingly perfect life. An adoring husband, two wonderful children and a beautiful home. She has all she has ever wanted, living the dream. She also has a secret. Sandra’s once perfect life is rapidly unravelling. The man who meant everything to her had a dark side and her business is failing. To get her life back on track she needs to reclaim what is rightfully hers. She knows the secret. As the past meets the present, truths are revealed – and both women understand the true cost of betrayal.

Purchase your copy today ~ Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Julie Newman and Urbane Publications for being on the blog today.

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.

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Launch Day, Q&A, Urbane Publishing

Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong – @ginageejay @urbanebooks

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Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong? Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America. Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.

My Q&A with Gina Kirkham

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Describe yourself using three words?

Fun, quirky, caring

What inspired you to write your first novel?

I retired from Merseyside Police in 2012 after having a wonderful career as a front-line Police Officer. Over the years, I found that humour was one of the best coping mechanisms you could have to help you deal with the not so pleasant side of the job. “You couldn’t make it up” or “You could write a book’’ were two very familiar phrases you would hear after dealing with certain situations, so on my retirement I took the opportunity to do just that.

What time of day do you like to write? I tend to produce more words between 10 am and 2pm but I have my most exciting ideas for my characters at 3 am. When my mind is working overtime, sleep is impossible and my hubby’s snoring becomes too much to bear, I creep downstairs for a hot chocolate, a couple of biscuits and a stint in front of the keyboard. Two hours and 1,200 words later with another 2lb added to my already burgeoning derrière from the sneaky biscuits, I crawl back into bed, only to wonder what planet I must have been on when I re-read my nocturnal offerings at 10 am!

What is your favourite book and why?

To Kill A Mocking Bird, Harper Lee. I first read this as part of my English Class curriculum in the early 70’s. I remember being so strongly touched by the subject matter, I felt every emotion there is as I progressed from chapter to chapter. It dealt with such serious and intense issues, but still carried humour and warmth.

How did you pick the title of your book? Originally it was titled Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Primark Thong. The first part, Handcuffs, Truncheon, is a reflection of the police theme of the story and the Primark Thong is a reference to my main character, Mavis Upton’s love of cheap frillies from Primark. Once signed by Urbane Publications and after discussions, it was decided to replace Primark with Polyester to alleviate any potential snags with the trademark. So, my book is now titled Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong. I did wonder how it would all fit on the front of a book, but Matthew my Publisher, has done an amazing job.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

Yes, absolutely, it made the development of the characters so much easier too, as I could actually hear their voices and see their features, gestures, and mannerisms. I know there will be quite a few people desperately trying to find little traits to identify themselves. I hope I can keep them guessing!

If you were a colour what would it be? Gosh, now that’s a difficult one. I do tend to wear a lot of black or grey, as I feel it helps me to sort of ‘blend in’, but those colours actually belie my personality. I think I would have to say I’m yellow, as I’m very fortunate to be a happy person. I know I must smile a lot because I’ve got the most horrendous crows feet and ‘prinkles’ (as my granddaughters call them) around my eyes!

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow? I draft up an outline with bullet points and ideas on a whiteboard. It’s not set in stone, I have a basic idea of where I am going, but I take each day as it comes. Often I will have a fixed idea of what I want to write that day, and then suddenly one of the characters will become very awkward, like a naughty child, and I have to re-think their progress. I frequently tell them to behave or I might have to kill them off!

Who is your favourite Author?

Peter James. Although I write lighthearted humour, I’m actually a huge crime and supernatural/ghost story reader.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

Bill Sikes in Olivier Twist. Even though he was Dickens most savage and violent book character, I’d like to think he was really a big softy at heart and just a bit misunderstood. I’d have him marrying Nancy and opening a home for wayward boys and girls after realising the error of his ways. I’m probably slightly biased in my view of Sikes, as I had a juvenile crush on Oliver Reed who played him in the musical Oliver!, so my observations are more likely based on my adoration for him rather than the character itself, if I’m honest.

Are you working on a new project?

Yes, I’m currently 45,000 words into the second book following Mavis’s adventures. I’m having a lot of fun with this one as the storyline I have chosen plays on my own experiences, whilst at the same time allowing me the opportunity to research an unusual aspect of his life for one of the characters.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

Publication date for Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong is the 18th May with a launch at Waterstones Liverpool One at 6.30pm that evening. It will be a fun event with Liverpool Actor Lynne Fitzgerald reading from the book as the main character Mavis Upton and an appearance by Luca Veste (Murphy & Rossi crime series) for a ‘Conversation with’. Complimentary Prosecco and cupcakes will be available and a gift of one of Mavis’s Humongously Large Thongs with each book purchased on the night. There are other events planned but as yet, dates have not been confirmed.

Twitter – @ginageejay (personal) @MavisUpton (book character)

Author Website – http://www.ginakirkham.wordpress.com

Amazon UK

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Giveaway Prizes, Q&A, Urbane Publishing

Electric Souk ~ @rosemcginty @urbanebooks Q&A #Giveaway

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Ireland’s gone bust, and with it Aisling Finn’s life. She flees austerity for adventure in the desert. But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams. Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T. Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia. Debonair fixer, Brian Rothmann, charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps. But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants? Is this Aisling? Or is he using her as bait? Her only hope is Hisham, a local activist. But where do his loyalties lie? Aisling faces severe peril when the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds collide, as the Arab Spring erupts. She has to ask, whom can she trust? Can she trust her instincts? Humanity blisters in this haunting, lyrical thriller about trust and treachery.

My  Q&A with Rose McGinty 

Rose is an alumna of Faber Academy 2015/16. By night she is a writer, by day a NHS Director in London and has worked internationally. She studied literature at the University of Kent, Canterbury and her M.Phil at Trinity College, Dublin.

Rose’s debut novel, Electric Souk, will be published in March 2017 by Urbane Publications and will be on promotion in WH Smiths in May.

Rose says of her story, ‘The parts of the story that are true, I probably wish were not; while the parts that are not, I probably wish were true.’


Rose enjoys writing short stories, poetry and flash fiction and has won a number of competitions, including:

  • Winner of the inaugural Kent Life magazine short story competition with her story, Dreamland, published in the April 2016 issue and aired on Channel Radio, Kent Life
  • Winner of the Scottish Ghost Story competition 2016 for her story A Kentish Longtail, which was read out at the Festival of Dreams at the Scottish National Library in October 2016 and can be viewed on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj58kb5gHe0&sns=em

Rose is now writing her second novel, a psychological thriller, which is taking her to some rather gothic hospital corridors.
Find out more at Rose’s blog:  htpp://rosemcginty.wordpress.com and @rosemcginty

Describe yourself using three words? Imaginative, intuitive, dreamer

What inspired you to write your first novel?  My experience of living in the desert, which was both brutal and magical

What time of day do you like to write? Dusk

What is your favourite book and why?

Wuthering Heights, as Cathy and Heathcliffe must be the two characters that haunt our imaginations as readers forever

How did you pick the title of your book? The major events of the novel are centred on the Electric Souk

Are the characters in your book based on real people?  No

What’s your favourite word?  Holiday

If you were a colour what would it be?  Scarlet

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow? Some planning but characters never do what they are supposed to do, so I end up going with the flow

Who is your favourite Author?  The Irish writer, Jennifer Johnston

You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

  • Vicomte de Valmont, Les Liaisons Dangereuses as he would have a wicked glint in his eye
  • Scheherazade for her enchanting tales.
  • Lila from Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels as she would have feisty stories of Italian street life, and is a reader with fierce intelligence and curiosity, and opinions on everything.  
  • Kublai Khan from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities for the mystery and enlightenment.

What book are you reading at the moment? The May Queen by Helen Irene Young, a beautiful debut novel about a young country girl who becomes a WREN in World War Two

Where in the world is your happy place? The sea

If you had one superpower what would it be? The power to heal

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?  I wouldn’t. Unhappy endings for villains are too delicious

Are you working on a new project?  I am about half way through the first draft of my second novel, a psychological thriller and enjoying researching some very gothic hospital corridors

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?  A book signing on 20 May at Waterstones in Ashford, Kent

You can buy your copy here ~ Amazon UK

WIN ~ GIVEAWAY 

We have two lovely copies of the book and handmade pins made by Rose to giveaway.

Enter Here ~ CLICK ME TO ENTER

Thank you to Rose McGinty for taking part on my blog and to Matthew Smith @Urbanebooks