Accent Press, Book Blog, Giveaway, Interview

Is Monogamy Dead? By Rosie Wilby @rosiewilby @Accentpress

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Today I have Rosie Wilby stopping by the blog for a wee interview. Rosie has kindly given me two tickets to her comedy show to give away. So grab a cuppa and get comfy. Enjoy, Kelly xoxo

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Book Jacket 

Bittersweet, original, honest and so funny. Rosie Wilby nails the challenges of intimacy and romance in this depressing age of Tinder. Would it be wrong to end a life of monogamy and leave my husband for her? Viv Groskop “My favourite way to learn is when a funny, clever, honest person is teaching me- that’s why I love Rosie Wilby!” Sara Pascoe

In early 2013, comedian Rosie Wilby found herself at a crossroads with everything she’d ever believed about romantic relationships. When people asked, ‘who’s the love of your life?’ there was no simple answer. Did they mean her former flatmate who she’d experienced the most ecstatic, heady, yet ultimately doomed, fling with? Or did they mean the deep, lasting companionate partnerships that gave her a sense of belonging and family? Surely, most human beings need both.

Mixing humour, heartache and science, Is Monogamy Dead? details Rosie’s very personal quest to find out why Western society is clinging to a concept that doesn’t work that well for some of us and is laden with ambiguous assumptions.

‘Real You’ Interview with Rosie Wilby

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  • Welcome Rosie, please can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey.

I’m an award-winning comedian and have been touring solo shows internationally for a decade. Before turning to comedy, I’d been a musician and a music journalist (for Time Out and various North London papers). So the idea of writing had always been there.

In 2009, I embarked on a trilogy of shows investigating love and relationships. In 2013, the middle part of that trilogy was Is Monogamy Dead? It spun off into a TEDx talk, a Radio 4 piece and lots of articles. There just was too much to say to get into a comedy show.

So I started writing a book proposal. I had also been writing a memoir about my music career and entered that in a Mslexia competition. It got shortlisted. Around the same time, I managed to get a literary agent, Laura. Then we pitched the proposal around (after many rewrites), had some meetings and found a publisher.

It was a pretty long process.

  • Describe yourself using three words?

Ambitious, resilient, loving

  • What inspired you to write your first novel?

As above, it came from my comedy shows. It’s non-fiction though written v much in a fiction format with a narrative arc/drive. That’s how I like to structure my comedy shows.

  • What time of day do you like to write?

It really varies depending on if I’ve had lots of late evening gigs. Though late afternoon / 4 pm often seems a good, sudden burst of motivation to get something done before the end of the day.

  • What is your favourite book and why?

I laughed out loud at Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman and found it so relatable. I also recently loved Juliet Jacques’ memoir Trans. I loved the sense of personal journey interspersed with some factual information. Given my music past, I love music memoirs – Viv Albertine and Carrie Brownstein were two amazing ones.

  • How did you pick the title of your book?

It was the title of my comedy show.

  • Are the characters in your book based on real people?

It’s non-fiction so yes! Though names have been changed.

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

I did have lots of story arcs mapped out for the four sections.

  • Who is your favourite Author?

Sarah Waters and Stella Duffy are two favourites.

  • Where in the world is your happy place?

The walled garden in Brockwell Park, Brixton close to where I live. It’s a haven of peace and calm. A team of volunteers keep it really beautiful.

  • If you had one superpower what would it be?

Flying. When I was little, I asked my parents when my wings would grow. I was so disappointed to find out that they wouldn’t! I just thought grown ups kept them folded away.

  • Are you working on a new project?

I’ve just received Arts Council England funding for a new project called The Breakup Monologues. I’ll be hosting several events where my fellow comedians tell me their breakup stories. We will be recording for a podcast and the eventual plan is for an anthology.

 

  • Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

 

I will have several book launch events including one on publication day itself, August 3, at Lighthouse Books in Edinburgh at 1pm. That same day, I open my Edinburgh Fringe show at 6.30pm at The Counting House. It runs daily throughout August.

Order your copy here and have a sneak peek ~

 

Giveaway ~ Tickets to a Rosie Wilby’s Comedy Show Near YOU*

Check out the Rosie Wilby website for more information on the solo shows.

http://www.rosiewilby.com/soloshows

To enter comment below on the blog telling Rosie why you would love to attend one of Rosie’s shows and I will get Rosie to pick a winner on the 10th Of Aug 2017.

Terms & Conditions 

  • UK Only
  • Over 18’s

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Book Blog, Bookouture, Kelly Talk

The Lost Wife @annamansell @bookouture #Interview #Excerpt

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Hello Lovelies,

My spot of The Lost Wife tour, by Anna Mansell. I have an interview with Anna for you today and also an excerpt of The Lost Wife. Enjoy.

Kelly xoxo

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Book Jacket

When Ellie Moran passes away, she leaves her newborn son and husband Ed behind her. Their marriage was perfect, their lives everything they had hoped for. So why was Ellie keeping secrets from Ed?

Knowing he can never ask his wife the truth, Ed is struggling to cope. When the secrets threaten to tear his whole family apart, Ed turns to Rachel, the one person who sees him as more than just Ellie’s widower.

But then Rachel discovers something Ellie was hiding, something that would break Ed’s, heart. Can Rachel help Ed to find peace without the wife he lost – and a second chance at happiness?

‘Real You’ ~ Anna Mansell

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Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role, vowing to channel the trauma into something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. How To Mend a Broken Heart is her first novel and her life was not on the line in order to write it. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.

  • Describe yourself using three words?

A Greyhound reincarnate… on account of my love of food and sleep. Between me and my Olive Dog, a rescue grey, we could probably sleep for team GB!

  • What inspired you to write your first novel?

Partly because I didn’t think it through properly, had I have known how addictive, terrifying, satisfying and stressful it is, I might have thought twice… nah, who am I kidding! I love it really. My first novel came about mostly because I was fascinated by the idea that some people opt out of life, not necessarily physically – although sometimes that’s true – but also, emotionally. They don’t feel they belong or deserve love, life, and happiness. I find that notion desperately sad and wish people could see what they have to offer the world and what the world can offer them!

  • What time of day do you like to write?

Since I started writing, I’ve always treated it as my main job. I’m self-employed and can manipulate my hours to suit the kids, the dog, and my freelance work… mostly the dog! I do the school run, walk Olive, come home to make a cuppa (and probably poached egg on toast!), then sit down to write… usually whilst looking on enviously as Olive knocks out the post walk Z’s.

  • What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite has always been The Diary of Anne Frank. I first read it when I was eleven or so and every now and then, I pick it back up. Though this may sound trite given the circumstance, I love the humour it contains, despite the darkness of their situation. The truth and lies of a young teen. The desperation of the time, yet the comradery that was also evident. For me, it sums up human nature and that idea that we laugh or make happiness, even at our toughest times. It’s something I like to weave into my writing and I’m sure that comes from reading Anne’s entries. That such a tragic outcome, gifted us such legacy is bittersweet – you can’t even write that without understating it – but I’m grateful to her, every time I take a moment to read.

  • How did you pick the title of your book?

I didn’t! ☺ Which was something of a shock to me when I got a publishing contract. I had no idea that so many books are retitled by the publishers. But I can totally see where Bookouture’s inspiration came from, and the reason for giving it the title. When you set your heart on your own title, it takes a while to re-adjust, but as I signed off that final draft, I realised it felt like I ‘owned’ the title now.

 

  • What’s your favourite word?

Oooh, great question. It’s megalopolis! My form teacher at secondary school, Miss Harvey, taught it to us in a geography lesson once. Or was it history? I can’t remember. Either way, I remember her joy in saying the word and it was infectious. Megalopolis… it’s great, isn’t it! And not remotely useable in any of my novels. Haberdashery, now there’s another one. Perhaps I could set a character in a haberdashery, based in the back streets of a megalopolis… what do you think? Love amongst the zips and buttons…

  • If you were a colour what would it be?

I’ve always felt pillar box red, but not in a fiery way necessarily – I’m hurtling towards forty, my fire is more of a gentle simmer these days – but I’m focussed, and determined, so maybe that’s why. Sometimes I think I’d like to be yellow, or blue, or perhaps a sea green like the colour of our local high tide, down St Ives. But no, I think I am and always will be pillar box red.

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

When I’ve gone with the flow I write myself into an impossible hole. When I plan, I change everything and end up nowhere near the place I started out. I suspect I’m part pantser, part planner. But I’ve only ever written four novels so maybe I’m still learning my approach. I wish it was a more straightforward process, but it just isn’t.

  • Who is your favourite Author?

Do playwrights count? If I’m permitted that, I’d say Alan Bennett every single time. Sometimes I find reading hard – which perhaps as a writer, I shouldn’t confess to – but I do. I’d love to read some of those greats, those classics, the deeply literary novels, but I just find them so impenetrable. Or just not engaging to me. I’m embarrassed by how many I’ve tried to read and failed. Or read and hated. Books that people the world over, revere, delight in and admire. And when I do fail, I have to re-ignite my love of reading by reminding myself that I can read, that I do enjoy it, and that it can make me laugh and cry in equal measure. Alan Bennett never fails to get me back on track. His characters are so beautifully complex and his use of language so visually alluring, I just adore him. His Yorkshire turn of phrase is perhaps one of the greatest attractions to me, as a Yorkshire woman, living in Cornwall. I’ve always got a book or two of his on the go.

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

The White Witch from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I’d make her fall in love with herself and realise that anger and bitterness has no place in her heart. Then she and Aslan could shack up together in a modern day house share that had stunning décor inspired by her icy past, but warmth and love from Aslan’s heart. You know, fairy lights and clean lines, softened by cuddly throws and cushions. And probably a few more fairy lights!

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The Lost Wife ~ Anna Mansell ~ Excerpt 

The Lost Wife Extract

Chapter One

Ed

My wife gave me strict instructions in the event of her untimely death: no crying, no drinking, no sympathy sex with an ex. Her final crushed-velvet curtain should fall before a congregation wearing ‘Glitter-red shoes and sky-blue gingham, make that bit obvious on the invites, Ed.’ We didn’t establish the protocol regarding funeral invites as such, because, you know, why would we?

A big fan of The Wizard of Oz, she also wanted the original version of ‘Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead’ played for a cast of perma-tanned small people to dance down a specially installed yellow-bricked aisle.  I didn’t consider the logistics, or how impossible promises would be, because she wasn’t going to die. And now my head pounds, disbelieving tears replaced with dry, gut-wrenching sobs of pain and reality, which means I’ve broken promise one: no crying.

Despite crisp winter air stealing my breath, I can still detect the stench of whisky and wine and anything else I’ve found around our house, searching for something to dull the pain. Except no amount of alcohol works, it just makes me feel guilty that I’m drunk in charge of a baby. Promise two: no drinking… broken. 

Maybe I should be grateful that I’ve no energy, will or inclination to break promise three. Ex or otherwise. Four pitch-black-suited men lower her walnut casket six foot under-ground, and I resist sinking to my knees. I want to go down with her. I want to hide six foot under. I want this all to be over. I want the pale and solemn faces that surround me to leave. They’re another reminder that I did not do what she wanted: no gingham, no red shoes. I feel the punch in my heart again; on each and every level, I’ve got this wrong.  I’ve blocked out the vicar’s words, until now: ‘Let us commend Ellie Moran to the mercy of God…’ It’s too much.

My head feels a safer place. Sifting through memories that keep her alive, if only for a few more moments. Ignoring the questions I have about how we came to be here. Today is not the day.

The night she tabled her dark-humoured request was our house-warming, not more than nine months ago, a night of love and laughter and friends. After years of graft, we’d finally finished our forever home. We were on our third bottle of Chianti – drink shared among the group – and conversation flowed as easily as the wine. Ellie’s laughter infected us all to the point we could barely string a sentence together as we threw equally dark suggestions into the mix: a wake on a ranch-style farm; wind machines; a crafted prairie-house coffin; and my personal favourite – ashes scattered by Glinda the Good Witch. It’s easy to be flippant when you’re invincible.

‘We now commit her body to the ground…’

To order The Lost Wife by Anna, please use these handy links below.

 

download (1) Check out Bookoture’s website for more ~ click to enter.

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Book Blog, HQ Stories, Interview, Midas PR

Ginny Moon By Benjamin Ludwig @BILudwig @MidasPR @HQStories #Interview

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Hello Lovelies,

Today I have an interview with Benjamin Ludwig, author of Ginny Moon. Published by HQ Stories on 01/06/2017. Ginny Moon is available in eBook, Hard/Paper copy and audio book. I do hope you enjoy.

Kelly xoxo

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Book Jacket 

The story of a lost girl searching for her forever home…

Everyone tells Ginny that she should feel happy.

After years in foster care, fourteen-year-old Ginny is finally with parents who will love her. Yet despite finding her forever family, she knows she will never stop crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape.

Because something heartbreaking happened a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right…

A fiercely poignant, inspirational story of a lost girl making sense of a world that just doesn’t seem to add up – Ginny Moon will change everyone who spends time with her.

‘Real You’ Interview with Benjamin Ludwig

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  • Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your publishing journey before the questions that would be super.  Plus anything else you wish to tell the members.   

By trade, I’m a middle-school language arts teacher, but I’ve been writing stories since I was nine years old, when I fell in love with books.  I wrote thirteen novels (all unpublished!) before writing Ginny Moon.  I write for the love of writing itself, which probably explains why there were so many books before the one that got published!  Currently, I’m writing full-time, hard at work on another novel.

  • Describe yourself using three words?

Take your pick:

Cares too much.

Have some wine.

Doesn’t follow rules.

  • What inspired you to write your first novel?   

Ginny’s voice, which came to me one evening in 2013 after I came home from my daughter’s Special Olympics basketball practice. I put my keys down on the counter and heard a voice ringing in my ears.  It wasn’t my daughter’s voice, or one I’d heard anywhere else.  It was driving, quirky, and desperate.  I couldn’t help but give it all the room it demanded on the page.

  • What time of day do you like to write?  

Early in the morning, before the children are up.  I come downstairs at 3:30, make coffee, and get straight to work.  My best writing happens when I’m half-awake, I think.  Then I work on revising and editing later in the day, and steal moments from my other hours.

  • What is your favourite book and why?

Without a doubt, my favourite book is Jim Heynen’s The One Room Schoolhouse: Stories about the Boys.  I love it because of the compassion that spills out of the narrator’s tone.  You can tell when a writer really loves what he’s writing about, and Jim Heynen loves farms, the earth, and the people who tend them.

  • How did you pick the title of your book?  

I wanted a title that would be a statement unto itself, representative of the voice that created it.  Ginny herself is undefinable, and so I thought she herself should define the book.

  • Are the characters in your book based on real people?   

No, but as the writer I’m every single one of my characters.   I can be as wild as Gloria, as unconcerned as Rick, as compassionate as Brian, and as over-protective as Maura, depending on the day.  

  • What’s your favourite word?   

I want to say, “luminous,” but really it’s probably “levity” or “lilting.”  I really like the letter l.

  • If you were a colour what would it be?   

Orange.  I love pumpkins.

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

I plan it out, but in Ginny’s case, she was in charge.  Every time I tried to create an outline based on the scene she’d narrated, she would refuse to do what the outline said.  It was only after the first draft was complete that I was able to tinker with the events of the plot.

  • Who is your favourite Author?   

I’ve loved J.R.R. Tolkien since I was twelve years old.  

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

The witches from Macbeth, (they count as one character though, don’t they?)  would be at the head of the table.  They’d be lots of fun, pronouncing curses and prophecies in rhyme.  Then Huck Finn, who could lean back with a grass stem hanging out of his mouth.  Next is Colonel Aureliano Buendia (from One Hundred Years of Solitude), who I think would get along great with Ramona Quimby.  They’d make a lively bunch, all together.    

  • What book are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading A Catalog of Birds, by Laura Harrington.

  • Where in the world is your happy place?

There’s this wonderful park near my house, a place called Wagon Hill.  It’s in the book, too – Ginny goes there twice with her Forever Dad.  It’s all walking trails over hills and along the shore of a river.  I love a good walk.  It gives me access to a different kind of thinking.

  • If you had one superpower what would it be?

Invisibility.  I’d love to disappear so that I can hear what people say when I’m not around.

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

That means I have to like the villain, right?  Hmm.  Probably Actaeon, who was turned into a stag when he stumbled upon the bathing Artemis.  He was devoured by his own hounds shortly afterward.   But now that I think of it, I’m completely against hunting, and Actaeon was quite the hunter.  So maybe the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood. After all, he’s a wolf – you can’t blame him for eating up some little kid in the forest, especially if she’s carrying around a basket of cookies, right?  

  • Are you working on a new project?   

I am.  I’m working on another voice-driven novel, which I hope to finish in the fall.  It’s about a little boy who becomes a poet.

 

  • Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?   

Lots!  But they’re all in the States.  My monthly newsletter lists them all, but also includes links to interviews, and – ready?  Ginny’s continued adventures!  She took over a section of the newsletter, where she continues to get into all sorts of trouble, and to meet some very interesting individuals.  I do hope people will sign up and stay in touch with us.  The link is http://benjaminludwig.com/mailing-list/.  

To order your copy and have a sneak peek read, use the handy links below.

If you enjoyed the blog please leave a like and a comment. We would love it if you could share it on Twitter & Facebook.  It really helps us to grow. Thanks so very much.

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Book Blog, Head Of Zeus Books, Interview

Tremarnock Summer By Emma Burstall @EmmaBurstall @HoZ_Books #Interview

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Hello Lovelies,

Today I have an interview with Emma Burstall, author of the soon to be released Tremarnock Summer, book 3 in the series.  One to definitely to pre-order, published by Head of Zeus on 05/10/217.

Kelly xoxo

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Book Jacket

Bramble Challoner has had a very normal upbringing. She lives in a semi in the suburbs of London with her parents and works at the call centre down the road. She still goes out with the boy she met at school. At weekends they stay in and watch films on the telly and sometimes hold hands. Bramble is dying for an adventure.

So when her very grand grandfather, Lord Penrose, dies, leaving his huge, rambling house in Cornwall to her, Bramble packs her bags immediately, dragging along her best friend Katie. The sleepy village of Tremarnock had better be ready for its newest residents…

Emma Burstall ~ ‘Real You’ ~ Interview 

Describe yourself using three words?

Honest, friendly, family-oriented.

What inspired you to write your first novel?  

Funnily enough, it was joining a local gym after the birth of my youngest. I met so many lovely women there from different walks of life and chatted with them over coffee instead of working out! They all seemed to have great stories to tell, and gradually something exciting began to take shape. Sadly, it wasn’t my physique…

What time of day do you like to write?

I like mornings best when I feel at my freshest. I usually start when my youngest leaves for school, have a break for lunch, then finish around the time he gets home.

What is your favourite book and why?

This is such a difficult one but if I have to choose, I think I’d say Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I first read it in my late teens/early twenties and was blown away by the memorable characters, gripping plot and the author’s compassion and profound understanding of human nature. For me, you need all these ingredients to create a really satisfying novel.

How did you pick the title of your book?

You wouldn’t believe how hard it can be to come up with a cracking title because so many have been taken already. Choosing Tremarnock Summer wasn’t so difficult, though, because I wanted to convey a warm, romantic, summery feel and also remind readers who enjoyed my previous books that this is a continuation of the series.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?  

No, but there are probably some elements of real people in the mix. It would be difficult not to bring your own experiences into your writing sometimes.

What’s your favourite word?  

Mellifluous. I love it, it sounds so smooth and silky, like a gorgeous massage.

If you were a colour what would it be?  

Crushed mulberry.

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

I plan, to the extent that I know before I begin writing who my characters are, roughly what will happen to them and how the novel will end. But I don’t plan every chapter so there’s plenty of wiggle room. I prefer it that way. Sometimes things happen which I wasn’t expecting. It’s all part of the fun.

Who is your favourite Author?  

Charles Dickens, as above. A master storyteller.

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

Mary Poppins, because you never know what would happen, Dr Zhivago, because he’s clever and gorgeous, Sherlock Holmes, for his brilliance, eccentricity and violin playing and Winnie the Pooh, to make us all laugh. I’d be very sorry to have to leave out Captain Poldark, though. Can’t I squeeze him in as well?!

What book are you reading at the moment?

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. It’s my book club book.

Where in the world is your happy place?

At the moment it’s a beautiful meadow full of wild flowers by the river Thames near my house, where you can swim and sunbathe on a warm day. It’s very quiet, safe and you can go from one side of the river to the other and hang onto the willow branches that dangle in the water. Hardly anyone seems to visit, and sometimes I have the place all to myself.

If you had one superpower what would it be?

I’d like to be able to time travel, so long as I knew I could get back safely.

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

I’d make the evil Alec D’Urberville from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles see the error of his ways and make things all right for Tess before it’s too late. Instead of dying, he’d become a social justice campaigner and travel around the country helping to improve people’s lives, especially the lives of women.

Are you working on a new project?  

Yes! I’m thrilled to say that I’ve just a signed a new, three book deal with my publisher, Head of Zeus. I’m busy on the fourth novel in my Tremarnock series, and there will be two more after that.

You can pre order below and have a sneak peek of the book ~

You can also read the other books in the series too ~

Tremarnock: The Lives, Loves and Secrets of a Cornish Village (Tremarnock Series Book 1) ~ Click to order book 1.

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The Cornish Guest House  ~ (Tremarnock Series Book 2) ~ Click to order.

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Many thanks to Emma Burstall and Head of Zeus publishing for stopping by today.

Before you go please check out our sneak peek of The Court of Lions by Jane Johnson.

CLICK TO READ

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For more Head Of Zeus, titles visit ~ Website

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Book Blog, Crime Authors, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview

G.M Cameron ~ Divining The Lost Exclusive #Interview #CrimeFiction

Happy Saturday, today visiting the blog I have Gerry Cameron author of Divining Murder. Gerry is here with an exclusive interview.  Gerry has set the crime scene for us (contains some naughty sweary words) and it’s fabulous!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Kelly xoxo

Crime Fiction Interview with G.M Cameron

Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

There was a book by Nicci French, Beneath the Skin, about a murderous stalker and his three victims that made me think long and hard about the casualness of cruelty to women.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

Ancient, beautiful, self-confident and distant.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

I loved the classic noir detectives of Sam Spade (Hammett) and Philip Marlowe (Chandler) but my current favourite is Merrily Watkins, the C of E deliverance minister in the series by Phil Rickman. She’s troubled by doubt and inadequacy, yet she’s steady and brave in the face of evil. Her banter with her trying teenage daughter is also true and funny.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

The longest periods of time I have spent in Edinburgh are on Scotland Street (within the wonderful pages of Alexander McCall Smith’s very funny novels).

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

Philip Marlowe for the quick wit and possible flirting, Merrily Watkins for the girly friendship and spiritual support, Harriet Vane (from the Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey novels) for the intelligent conversation, and the Burglar from the Lawrence Block Novels, also for the wit. If he had a job on I’d invite Elvis Cole, another wisecracking detective (Robert Crais novels)

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

It can be two strange lines overheard or an object. Anything really. Ideas arrived ready wrapped, and we shouldn’t ask how the angels deliver them. It’s rude.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

For my first book, Divining Murder, I think the freedom Annie finds in her paganism conjures up (excuse the bad joke) Midnight at the Oasis. For my current novel, the third in the series is about a missing baby and the working title is These Little Things, so the theme song is in the title.

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

‘Clockwork Banana, yes!’ said one of the two suits at the next table, looking at his flickering phone and pumping his arm.

‘Whit’s his problem?’ my companion said, crossing her long thin legs to get my attention again. She was trying to be off-hand and grown up, sitting in The Wash Bar with me, acting like this wasn’t her first time. Her makeup thick enough so that from this distance the barman couldn’t clock that she was about six years too young to be in here drinking Prosecco like it was lemonade.

‘Horses!’ I said shortly, brushing her thigh with my hand. She jumped a bit. I took my hand away. I had plans for her when we left this smart bar – but slowly, slowly catchee monkey.

‘Fuck!’ shouted the gambler again.

‘Greyfriar’s Bobby came in?’ The other suit said.

‘Ever fucking faithful.’ He waved a betting slip. The suits were proper, their voices loud, cause they owned the world. The happy gambler downed his pint and headed for the loo. A guy with that suit wouldn’t just have put on a pound each way. I was debating the cumulative odds whist looking at glossy twelve year old lips.

‘I’ll be back darlin’,’ I said leaning into her and she giggled. She smiled back at me, scared but trusting. I couldn’t wait. But business first.

Three minutes later, the Prosecco must’ve caught up with her, because she pushed the wrong loo door open and saw me – my bloody fist holding his head over a sink and my other hand clutching the slip.

Her eyes met mine. Her mouth opened, she turned and ran.

Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?

Between the 13th-15th of October in Wigtown, the Scottish book town, there is a murder mystery weekend where there will be a lot of detection plus some writers talking about their work – including me!

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

The second Andromeda novel, Divining the Lost, left many of the recurring characters in transition and I have a lot to say about how these various threads play out. The back story of the missing ex-wife of a police detective was inspired by the various faces of domestic abuse that I have talked about with women (and men) over many years.

You can order your copy of G.M Cameron’s book today!

Thank you, Gerry, for being on the blog today.

Check out the exclusive giveaway of a £15 Amazon Voucher courtesy of author Daisy James, in celebration of the launch of Sunshine After The Rain. See our pinned Twitter post for the details. Love Books Group ~ Twitter

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Book Blog, Crime Authors, Crime Fiction Takeover, Interview

John Mayer ~ Exclusive #Interview @johnmayerauthor #Crimefiction

So I have a few Crime Fiction Takeover interviews that I have to share with you, we had so many participants for the feature, it was fabulous. I am delighted that I still have a few to indulge you with.

Today it’s John Mayer who is stopping by.

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John Mayer (b. 1952) was born in Glasgow, Scotland at a time of post-WW2 austerity. But in 1963 when he heard The Beatles on Radio Caroline, his life path was set. Aged 14 he walked out of school because, in his opinion, he wasn’t being well taught. Every day for the next year, in all weathers, he cycled 9 miles to and 9 miles from the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds.
While still an apprentice engineer he was soon teaching men two and three times his age.
But in the 1970s he ‘dived off a cliff’ and set out to become a Record Producer. He built his own record company trading in 14 countries. After a court battle with global giants, he went to the University of Edinburgh and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland. He acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.
As an author, John has written non-fiction, legal texts and articles; broadcasting to tens of millions of people on US and UK radio, TV and print media.
(Source ~ Amazon Author Page)

John Mayer’s Crime Fiction Exclusive Interview 

Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

The Trial by Franz Kafka. There are no dead bodies in this story. But the fictional Eastern European state which Kafka portrays is committing crimes against its own citizens every day. The success of governing in this despicable way is to twist the law. Post WW2 Eastern European Dictators actually used this book to help them stay in power. That’s what I call a powerful book.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

Outside beautiful. Inside greedy.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

It would have to be Taggart. The original of course. Not the later Alex Norton version.

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

I’d have Jane Tennyson in 1973 as a young constable sitting beside Endeavour Morse as a constable and the both of them again as Chief Inspectors. It would be fascinating to see if they contradicted themselves.

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

Well, Parliament House is 500 years old but the inspiration for the stories comes from my own feelings. I’m very passionate about justice. It gets no votes in any election and it’s a soft target for government budget cutters, but it’s hugely important to people. Ask any child who’s felt injustice enough to cry about it or remember that yourself and you’ll have my starting point. Feelings are what make us human and so I turn feelings into words, hoping I can reach people’s humanity.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

‘From Russia With Love’ or ‘Back in the USSR’ because it’s about Russian infiltration into the Scottish Supreme Courts and the Scottish Parliament.

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

Saturday the 1st was the agreed date. The deal would be done in the old close-mouth between Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar at five past midnight and not a minute before. Only one man from each team was to attend. If either side sent any more,then Mr Smith and Mr Wesson would be employed to arbitrate at Number 38. The Glasgow Billies had unanimously voted to send Big Banana; so called by his first three girlfriends who all happened to be sisters. For the Edinburgh Leithies it was wee Tam Mcguire who drew the short straw. It was to be David against Goliath. Now all they had to do was exchange a hold-all full of Uzi 9mm automatics and 6,000 rounds of ammunition for three hundred grand in used notes. As wee Tam approached he thought he saw the shadows of two men in the close; but of course, that was an illusion. He was just looking at Goliath.

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

My current novel is called The Trust and is about a breach of trust on an epic scale which is uncovered by Mr Brogan McLane QC and his old friend who is the professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh. The story line is an infiltration of both the justice and political hearts of Scotland by a Russian sleeper cell. For many years, their shadowy Controllers in Moscow have been getting their people up the slippery poles in Edinburgh into high places in Parliament House (which is the Scottish Supreme Court) and the Scottish Parliament just waiting for their chance to influence a vote on the removal of Trident nuclear weapons from Scotland. The Russians are clever and seek to deceive McLane but they misjudge McLane’s good old Glasgow cunning.
I like to make my stories a complete circle which readers tell me is very satisfying. This story ends where it began; because the cycle of spying never ends.

I hope your readers enjoy seeing how the Low Life in High Places in the Old Town do their sneaky work in Parliament House. state which Kafka portrays is committing crimes against its own citizens every day. The success of governing in this despicable way is to twist the law. Post WW2 Eastern European Dictators actually used this book to help them stay in power. That’s what I call a powerful book.

Check out John Mayer’s books here ~

Huge thanks to John Mayer for joining us today! 

Check out the exclusive giveaway of a £15 Amazon Voucher courtesy of author Daisy James, in celebration of the launch of Sunshine After The Rain. See our pinned Twitter post for the details. Love Books Group ~ Twitter

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Author, Blogger, Crime Fiction Takeover, Interview

*Crime Fiction Takeover* The Piano @vpeanuts #Exclusive #Interview

Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.

Today on the blog, is

Victoria Watson ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

  • Defending Jacob’ by William Landay. I just loved the twisty, turny plot where you just didn’t know where to place your sympathies. I read it on holiday in Italy a couple of years ago and just found it utterly compelling. I still find myself thinking about it every so often. That said, I also think about ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ by Agatha Christie – I think that’s because I appreciate the way it was written. I guess there are crime novels that stay with you for different reasons. I fully expect that in several years from now, I will still regularly think about ‘Six Stories’ by Matt Wesolowski.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

  • Diverse, outstanding beautiful, fun.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • Sherlock Holmes. I love him so much that I chose my blog name with him in mind – ElementaryVWatson Blog . I think the fact that I share a name with Holmes’s sidekick also helped! Seriously, though, I find Holmes to be an utter dream.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • What a difficult question. There are so many wonderful parts of Edinburgh. I think my favourite area, though, is around the Grassmarket. I love the independent shops and cafes. Whenever I’m in Edinburgh, I like to visit the Grassmarket and mooch about.

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

  • Holmes and Watson – of course. I think it’d be fun to see how Poirot interacts with Sherlock – I reckon it’d be a real battle of wills. And, finally, I’d throw Harry Virdee in there too. Some classic characters with a brilliant contemporary one.

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

  • Like most writers, I get an idea from something I experience – whether it’s something I’ve lived through myself or have heard about and then take that small kernel and work with it. I like to play with the ‘what ifs’. It’s an oft-repeated phrase but I write about putting characters in difficult positions and seeing how they react.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

  • Black Skinhead’ by Kanye West. It’s such an angry song with a wicked rhythm, I think it’s perfect for my main character, Colin, who’s a heroin addict. When I’m struggling to ‘talk’ to Colin, I listen to that song to try and get in his mind-set.

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

As I walked back to my hotel following a particularly heavy session at Wash Bar, I had the most peculiar feeling. It was as if I was being watched, no, followed. Footsteps echoed behind me despite the emptiness of the streets. As my pace increased, so too the other footsteps. I considered how to best protect myself should I be attacked. I thought of my paltry defences, with possibly the most useful object in my bag being an under ripe banana. As I passed the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, I realised that the footsteps had ceased almost as suddenly as they had started. It could have been coincidence but I would swear that I heard the yap of a terrier echoing in the night.

Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?

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  • I run weekly creative writing workshops in Newcastle so if anyone would like to attend, they can email me at Victoria.watson@elementaryvwatson.com for more info. I’m also responsible for the Newcastle leg of Noir at the Bar, the next one is on Wednesday, 5th July.

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

  • My current novel is still a work in progress. It’s called ‘Fix Me Up’ and I must be very careful how I answer this question because if I reveal what inspired me to write it, I would be revealing a major plot point! Let’s just say that I asked myself ‘what if…’ regarding something one of the main characters does and it went from there! Sorry to be so obtuse!

Thank you so much for hosting me, Kelly. It was a real pleasure to meet you earlier this week. I look forward to seeing you in Newcastle soon!

Twitter: @elementaryVW and @vpeanuts

Victoria’s Blog

Victoria Watson’s Website

Victoria Watson ~ Amazon Author Page

The Piano By Victoria Watson 

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Winner of the 2012 Story Tyne Competition, ‘The Piano’ is a short story about a man suffering from the effects of dementia, told through the eyes of his pregnant daughter.

Order your copy today ~

HUGE thanks to Victoria Watson for being on my blog today, I met Victoria at the Noir@TheBar #3 Edinburgh earlier this year and we had an instant connection.  Victoria is so funny and endearing.  So happy that you are on my blog today, and folks don’t forget to check out Noir At The Bar ~ Newcastle.

Kelly xoxo

Author, Blogger, Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview, Saraband Books

*Crime Fiction Takeover* Cross Purpose By @ClaireMacLeary @SarabandBooks #Exclusive #Interview

Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.

Today on the blog, is

Claire MacLeary ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

  • That’s a hard one. There have been a number: from the USA, Scandinavia, UK. Of contemporary crime novels, Louise Welsh’s The Bullet Trick is memorable.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

  • Georgian, elegant, historic, atmospheric.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  •  William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw. He set the benchmark for the tortured male detective and was the founding father of Tartan Noir.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • For me, Stockbridge is hard to beat.  It combines a wealth of quirky shops and restaurants with open spaces and the Water of Leith, feels like a village, yet is within walking distance of Princes Street.

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

  • Laidlaw and Rebus for their experience and wealth of stories, Jack Reacher to add machismo, Kay Scarpetta to throw a hard-nosed female into the mix.

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

  •  I find inspiration in all sorts of things: past experience, newspapers, TV, conversations overheard. It’s all about close observation, listening, always keeping a notebook to hand. Even the tiniest snippet can generate an idea.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

  • My current novel, Cross Purpose, has been described as “Tartan Noir Meets Happy Valley” in that it features two women of a certain age, so the theme tune from the television series would be perfect. It would have to be tweaked, of course, so as not to infringe copyright!

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

She was sitting, head bowed, in a corner of The Wash Bar when a shadow loomed over her.
    ‘Wilma?’
    Her head jerked up. ‘Huh?’
    He was tall, six four at least. Jeans, leather jacket, builders’ boots. Wilma had a thing for boots, brought her out in a lather. Jet black hair, square jaw, the merest hint of dark stubble.
    ‘You’re needed,’ he said.
    ‘What? Now?’ Wilma eyed the banana split in its shallow glass boat. The ice cream was already beginning to melt and she’d hardly made a dent.

     ‘Aye. There’s been a…’ For a moment he hesitated. ‘Incident.’ Wilma looked longingly at the slick of chocolate sauce. Looked up. ‘Where?’

     ‘Up the road. Greyfriars Bobby.’

‘What sort of incident?’ If she kept him talking she could mebbe sneak another spoonful.

      He scowled. ‘Not for me to say. You’ll find out soon enough.’

Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?

  •  Harrogate Book Festival on 20 July. Details on my website. I also have a blog tour in the offing via Gordon McGhie @grabthisbook. Watch out for it on Twitter.

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

  •  I’m currently finishing the first draft of the second in the Harcus & Laird series. It’s called Burnout, again features the unlikely PI combo of Maggie and Big Wilma, and is about domestic abuse.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter
Claire’s Website

CROSS PURPOSE BY CLAIRE MACLEARY

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When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour Big Wilma . And so an unlikely partnership is born. . But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers.. Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds.

Purchase your copy today ~

Thank you so much to Claire MacLeary for taking the time to be on my blog today. Claire was one of the first people I went to see at a book festival in Linlithgow, when my blog was just a wee dream. Claire is so approachable and very generous with her time. When I hear that she is going to be at any events I attend I get goosebumps.  A genuine, talented and friendly lady.  I am most definitely in the Claire MacLeary fan club!

Kelly xoxo

Author, Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview, Scotland

*Crime Fiction Takeover* ~ Truestory ~ @cath_simpson13 @sandstonepress #Exclusive #Interview

Crime Fiction (1)

We are continuing our successful Crime Fiction theme takeover of the blog. I have lot’s more to share with you this week. 

Today on the blog I have Catherine Simpson, author of Truestory. 

Catherine Simpson ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

  • I was 24 and training to be a journalist when my lecturer recommended we read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer, both are recountings of real-life murders. They were examples of ‘The New Journalism’ – real-life stories told using fictional devices – and have stayed with me ever since. I probably didn’t have a view on capital punishment when I read these books nearly 30 years ago but I’ve been vehemently against it ever since.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

  • Edinburgh is a seductive, alluring, irresistible show-off.

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • I’m a bit in love with Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie – a Yorkshire-born, Edinburgh-dwelling Private Investigator, played rather beautifully by Jason Isaacs in the tv series, Case Histories.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • This is like asking ‘which part of a Yorkshire pudding is your favourite?’ – All of it! Where ever you look in Edinburgh, at whatever time of day, at whatever time of year, there is the city doing its wonderful stuff. (Although see Q 9)

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

  • I would have dinner with Jackson Brodie (for obvious reasons), Sherlock Holmes (for his insight) Stella Moon, of The Confession of Stella Moon, (for atmosphere) and Roddie Macrae, of His Bloody Project, (to ask: What’s the score, Roddy?’)

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

  • Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere: art, observations, personal experiences, overheard conversations, musings, wonderings, wanderings, anything.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

  • I’ve just checked the playlist I put together when writing Truestory ( a novel about a woman struggling to raise her son who has Autism). Kooks by David Bowie is on there – a song Bowie wrote for his son – so that seems about right.

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

The body lay sprawled in The Wash Bar, clutching a banana etched with the words ‘Greyfriar’s Bobby.’

….No…

The body lay sprawled on Greyfriar’s Bobby clutching a wash bar etched with the word ‘banana’.

…No…

The body lay sprawled on a banana clutching Greyfriar’s Bobby etched with the words ‘The Wash Bar’.

…No….

Do you have any events lined up either online or in person that my readers could attend?

  • I’ve just had a short story included in the ‘Echoes of the City’ Project. This is a lovely idea – you can download the app ‘Podwalk’ and listen to trained actors read you a story set in different parts of Edinburgh as you walk around the city. My story is called ‘Giuseppe and Rosa go up in the World’. It is set on Easter Road and inspired by my in-laws who immigrated to Scotland from Italy in the late 1950s. Echoes Of The City

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

  • I am currently working on a memoir called ‘When I had a Little Sister’. I’ve been lucky enough to receive nine-months’ mentoring from Scottish Book Trust to help me work on it. It’s about loss and grief and mental illness and about how weird and funny-haha and funny-peculiar families are.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter
Scottish Book Trust

Truestory By Catherine Simpson 

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On a remote Lancashire farm, eleven year old Sam seeks answers to life’s big questions online. His mother Alice’s life is dictated by Sam’s strange ways and her husband’s fecklessness as their money runs out. When Duncan brings home a stranger to help with his latest scheme, Alice is furious. Sam can’t cope with change. But Larry beguiles Sam with his maps and, as he works his magic, Alice falls for him too.

By turns hilarious and tragic, Truestory examines how we are all trapped in our own lives, yet sometimes have more options than we realise.

Quote from James Robertson: ‘Catherine Simpson does not waste words. She has that rare ability to conjure up people and places, how they look and how they sound, in just a sentence or two. Her writing is vivid perceptive and acute and she deserves a wide readership.’

You can order your copy today ~

Thank you so much for being on my blog today, Catherine, you are so inspiring, genuine and gentle. You have been incredibly supportive of my wee blog and I will always be very grateful.

Kelly xx

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Author, Book Blog, Crime Fiction Takeover, Exclusive, Interview

*CRIME Fiction Takeover* Moira Cormack @cormackmoira The Witch Of Land & Sea #Interview #Exclusive

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Every day we will have Authors from different genres answering my exclusive questionnaire.

Today on the blog, is

Moira Cormack ~ Crime Fiction Takeover Interview

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Which crime novel stayed with you long after you had finished?

  • Duplicate keys by Jane Smiley. It ousted In cold blood by Trueman Capitol which was some achievement.

If you had, to sum up, Edinburgh in four words, what would they be?

  • Eclectic, grand, creative and formal

Who is your favourite fictional crime character and why?

  • Jackson Brodie who appears in a few novels  by Kate Atkinson. He is a male detective in touch with his Feminine side.

What is your favourite part of Edinburgh and why?

  • The Grassmarket at the moment but I am fickle so it might change by the time you write this up.

If you could have dinner with four fictional crime characters who would they be?

  • Miss Marple, Jackson Brodie, Rebus and Salander. To see what she makes if them and they her.

About your own work, where do you find inspiration for your books?

  • My inspiration comes from my day to day life. If something stands out for me I write it now. I have a soft spot for images.

If your current book had a theme song what would it be?

  • Five beans by Rozi Plain

Write the scene of a crime for us, set in Edinburgh, one paragraph long. Include these three items ~ Banana, Greyfriars Bobby and The Wash Bar.

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Bobby hunched down at the gates to Greyfriars Church yard. He sniffed the air and he smelt of petrol fumes, damp ground and something else. Something elusive. He breathed in again but whatever it was burrowed away in his mind like an earthworm escaping back into the soil. Uncertain for a moment he snapped the end off his banana, monkey style, then took a bite letting the soft flesh squish against the roof of his mouth. When the time was right it would come to him but for now he must wait. 

Could you tell us about your current novel and how you got inspired to write it?

  • Bizarrely I can’t remember where the inspiration for my second novel has come from. I can only think of small snapshots of writing which have formed into a bigger picture in my head.

How can my readers connect with you?

Twitter ~ @cormackmoira

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Ruby is unhappy at home and excluded by the girls at school. She goes to the forbidden bay to be alone little knowing that she is walking into a trap set by the Witch. On land life is vibrant and strange and the Witch’s cottage appears to be welcoming but all is not what it seems.

Join Ruby on her adventure in this thrilling story.

Welcome to ‘The Witch of land and sea’ a book for anyone from age 8 to 108 or over.

Order your copy here ~ Etsy Shop

Huge thanks to Moira for taking part in my special event.

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

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