Liebster Award

MONDAY 24th DECEMBER 2012

Happy Christmas Eve!

I have been chosen by the amazing Andrea Buginsky over on Andi’s Realm to receive the fabulous Liebster Award! So thank you very much Andrea!

This is an award bloggers give to introduce blogs you might not have found already that we think are completely awesome. Here’s how it works. You post the picture of the award to your blog:

You give 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you. Then you think up 11 new questions and nominate 11 new blogs – and you can’t nominate the blogger who nominated you.

Here are 11 random facts you may not know about me:

Newsround1) I was once a Press Packer with BBC’s Newsround

2) As a Press Packer, I was a runner up in a competition where I had to audition in the Blue Peter Garden for a News Feature – Twice

3) I love Jazz music. I listen to it when I write (as I am now)

4) I love mice pies and have been through about six boxes since November (gulp!)

5) When I was little I had an imaginary friend (some say it may have been a ghost) called Jenny, with black hair in pigtails

6) I became an Auntie for the first time this year wohoo and I love my lil nephew to pieces

7) I LOVE pizza – especially Asda create your own pizzaPizza

8) I have two tattoos

9) I once went quad biking

10) I once went white water rafting

11) Re the above two – done once – don’t really fancy doing again

Andrea asked me the following questions

The Hunger Games1) What is your favorite book?

The Hunger Games. It was the first book in a long time which I could not put down. The idea and concept behind really fascinated me, yet actually frightened me at the same time. The book has a lot of elements of your own fears inside and what it would truly feel like to fight for survival.

 2) What kind of books did you originally want to write?

I always knew I wanted to write a Chick-Lit novel of some sort but my burning passion since I was a child has been to write adventure stories – born from my reading of The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and Nancy Drew. The Ruby of Egypt has been my starting block in that area which I intend to vastly expand throughout my writing career

 3) Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Total plotter. I am the Queen of lists and plans in my everyday life to the point of OCD therefore it was bound to trickle through into my writing.
 4) Do you listen to music while you write?

As mentioned in my fact list, I certainly do. I listen to Jazz music which I find comforting, soothing and relaxing – putting me in the right frame of mind to escape and write.
 5) If yes, what kind?

I either listen to Jazz FM through the Sky Radio Channels or Jazz 24 online

6) What is your favorite comfort food?

Pizza!

 7) Who is your favorite author?Marian Keyes

It would have to be Marian Keyes. She has the right balance of humour in her novels as she tackles some pretty serious and sensitive issues in her novels, but they are dealt with sensitively and with the right about of light-heartedness that they make for great reads. Genuine laugh out louds and sob your heart out books all in one.
 8) What is your favorite movie?

Ohh I’m not really much of a movie buff, I loved Lord of The Rings and the Hobbit, but then I love Christmas themed films like The Holiday, Elf, Love Actually. Can’t pick a favourite.
famous-five-01-19919) What was your favorite book as a child?

The Famous Five. I had to pick this particular book cover image as this is the one that I had and  it brings back so many memories. I loved the adventures that they got up to.
10) What is your favorite holiday?

In terms of holiday period – definitely Christmas. In going abroad, I have loved every holiday but will most definitely be returning to Florida again. Loved it.

11) What is your favourite colour?

Purple

As a recipient it is my honor to nominate the following 11 bloggers:

Author Michelle Betham

Author Kerry Richardson

Blogger A  Mummys View

Author Sylvia Stein

Author Jim Cantwell

Author Denise Stanley

Author S.I Hayes

Author Joyce Strand

Author Lee-Ann Griff-Vinson

Author Sheila Deeth

Blogger Book Reviewer Heather Cranmer

I think all of your blogs are excellent, and you highly deserve this award! As my nominees, these bloggers will share 11 fun facts about themselves on their blogs, as I’ve done above.

They will also answer the following 11 questions:

1) What inspired you to start writing/blogging?

2) What is your new year’s resolution?

3) If you could be in someone elses shoes for one day, who would that be and why?

4) What is your favourite season?

5) Where has been your favourite holiday destination?

6) Where do you see yourself this time next year?

7) What has been the highlight of your writing/blogging experience so far?

8) Do you prefer coffee or tea?

9) What is your favourite song?

10) What has been the most influential book you have read, that has really caught your attention and made you think?

11) What has been your highlight of 2012?

Thanks again to Andrea for nominating me.

Xmas Men

Have a wonderful Christmas

Love Missuswolf xxx

All I Want For Christmas – Amy Silver

SUNDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER 2012

All I Wnat for christmas.jpg2Continuing on from my Christmas themed reading, I have just finished Amy Silver’s enchanting All I Want For Christmas.

The story follows Bea, Olivia and Chloe as we count down through the twelve days of Christmas. I love the way this is written as it is in diary form using the days as Chapter headings, with little sub headings throughout of times throughout the day and whose life we are peering into and at what time. It is cleverly written, with the character of Bea written in the first person and Olivia and Chloe in the third. They are three very different characters whose lives interestingly intertwine.

Synopsis

Twelve days and counting…

 It’s Bea’s first Christmas with her baby son, and this year she’s determined to do everything right. But there is still so much to do: the Christmas menu needs refining; her café, The Honey Pot, needs decorating; and she’s invited the whole neighbourhood to a party on Christmas Day. She really doesn’t have time to get involved in two new people’s lives, let alone fall in love…

 When Olivia gets knocked over in the street, however, Bea can’t help bringing her into The Honey Pot and getting to know her. Olivia’s life is even more hectic than her own, and with her fiancé’s entire family over from Ireland for Christmas, she shouldn’t be lingering in the cosy warmth of Bea’s café. Chloe, on the other hand, has nowhere else to go. Her affair with a married man has alienated her friends, and left her lonelier than ever.

 But Christmas is a magical time, and in the fragrant atmosphere of The Honey Pot, anything can happen: new friends can be made, hearts can heal, and romance can finally blossom…

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A lovely Christmas read to curl up by the lights of the Christmas tree too with a mug of hot chocolate.

All I Wnat for christmas

Get your copy here.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch Up – An Author Interview with…Kathleen Shoop

SATURDAY 22nd DECEMBER 2012

Cuppa and fireHurrah! Despite what the Mayans said we have survived the End of The World – it’s great to see you all on the other side! So here’s to new beginnings and with that, I would like to welcome back author Kathleen Shoop to my blog whose novel, Love and Other Subjects is out now. 

So get that kettle boiled, grab that cuppa and your favourite biscuits (umm I could just eat a shortbread right now now nom nom) and get all snug as we find out more about Kathleen Shoop and her new novel….

 

Kathie’s bioMJ2kathie_photo_outside_snow-1

Love and Other Subjects is the  third novel by bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011 as did her second novel After the Fog in 2012. A former Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

 

Synopsis of Love and Other Subjects:

Love and Other SubjectsFor every woman who wonders if she chose the right career…

In Love and Other Subjects Carolyn Jenkins strives for two things—to be the greatest teacher ever and to find true love. She’s as skilled at both as an infant trying to eat with a fork. Carolyn’s suburban upbringing and genuine compassion for people who don’t fit effortlessly into society are no match for weapon-wielding, struggling students, drug-using colleagues, and a wicked principal.

Meanwhile, her budding relationship with a mystery man is thwarted by his gaggle of eccentric sisters. Carolyn depends on her friends to get her through the hard times, but with poverty-stricken children at her feet and a wealthy man at her side, she must define who she is. The reality of life after college can be daunting, the road to full-fledged adulthood long and unscripted. Can Carolyn take control and craft the life she’s always wanted?

 
Now start sipping on that cuppa and dunking that biscuit as we catch up with Kathleen Shoop…

Hi Kathie and welcome back! It’s great to have you here and congratulations on the release of the new book! Where did the inspiration behind this book come from?

The inspiration for Love and Other Subjects came from my own experiences during my first two years of teaching. But in addition to all the new teacher escapades in the novel, I also drew from my experiences in doing research during my PhD studies and working in schools across the country for the last 20 years. The scenarios—Carolyn’s, Nina’s and Laura’s failures and triumphs were in some cases exaggerated, but unfortunately some “inspired by real life” situations had to be dialed BACK to be believable. Carolyn’s love life is complete fiction although I had my share of breakups and wondering if I would ever meet the man of my dreams. This romantic plot was a chance for me to introduce some humor to balance the more serious school issues. As far as the plot thread dealing with Carolyn and her friends, that comes from much of what I experienced while living with a group of new teachers, all of us experiencing young adulthood and our first classrooms together. I created Carolyn, Nina and Laura by pulling from all of our personalities (at least six of us!) creating streamlined “people,” and issues rather than having the reader try to keep track of too many characters.  I suppose the heart of this novel—the post-college coming of age theme is as “true” as nonfiction in the sense it captures the unwieldy days after college when people have no idea what they’re doing, but they’re damn sure they’re smarter than you’re appearing to be. I think readers, no matter what their profession, will recall the same feelings that the characters experience.

 How would you compare writing this book with writing your previous books; After The Fog and The Last Letter? MJ2AFTERtheFOG_COVER-FINAL copy

Well, for one thing, this was so much more fun. Though the educational thread in Love and Other Subjects is serious, there’s a lot of levity, facing adversity with humor, seeing characters transform into the people they want to become. So much of what happens in After the Fog and The Last Letter is shaped by a world that Jeanie and Rose are not equip to manage—they are powerless in some ways. Carolyn, due in part to the era in which she comes of age, has the ability to demand the world change, she has the means to carve out the existence she wants because she has an education, she is independent and not yet saddled with family and children. Although it takes Carolyn a while to figure out how to access her abilities, to recognize her strengths, she knows somehow she’ll figure things out. I feel like the historical fiction I’ve written is heavier in nearly every sense. This book is quirky, light, and fun.

last-letter-cover I have read Love and Other Subjects and thoroughly enjoyed it. You had me hooked in the first chapter where I really felt the tension and panic that you built up in that classroom as well as thinking ‘where is the going’ making me really want to read more! What made you choose (without giving too much away) that particular set up as your first chapter?

I’m so glad you liked it, Gemma! That is just the best to hear! I chose to write the first chapter like I did so the reader would know right away what Carolyn was up against every day, but also to show there would be humor in the story, that it would address serious issues with respect, but also with hope and levity. For me, being able to laugh at problems helps me deal with them—it doesn’t mean roadblocks are silly or unimportant, but humor allows me to work through problems that would be too weighty to address otherwise. I think this comes through in the first scene and early chapters. At least, I hope it does.

 I really empathized with your character when having to deal with the principle, Klein, who was a character I loved to hate. His attitude towards Carolyn really wound me up. There was a point where I had a slight wobble towards him, but he inevitably did something equally annoying to change that pity. Who was your favourite character to write?

Well…I loved writing Jeep because he is sort of a fantasy guy in a lot of ways. He had his issues, yes, but I loved that he seemed to “know” Carolyn instantly and fall in love with her and all of her shortcomings. But, really, I have to say I loved all these characters, the students, the teachers because in drawing from real-life experiences I could craft people to suit my needs—who doesn’t love that? But, I agree, Klein’s a great character—he is severely limited in his ability to mentor people, but he has his moments of compassion, that hopefully round him out a bit…but he is a good villian. 

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

Well, in keeping with this book, I’d say that I wrote my dissertation and worked on research projects that put me in the homes and lives of children, observing the ways their families used text in throughout their day, throughout their work and play. That type of research offered an inside view of how people’s lives work, it stripped away all I thought I knew about people and where they were coming from. It was incredibly transforming to experience this—to be in the role of the “other” in someone else’s world.

 Thank you for being here today Kathie

Love and Other Subjects

Readers – here is where you can purchase Kathie’s books:

Kindle Edition UK

Kindle Edition USA

You can also follow Kathleen Shoop on Facebook and Twitter @KathieShoop, as well as view her website and blog.

 Love Missuswolf xxx

Blog Hop – The Next Big Thing

 WEDNESDAY 19th DECEMBER 2012

Well happy hump day everyone! Also a very happy birthday to my little sister today.

In the fabulous world of blogging and social media, I have been very fortunate to come across some amazing people whilst being a proud member of Melissa Foster’s Awesome Support Team #GoTeamPIF. One of the lovely members, S.I Hayes, has tagged me in a Blog Hop and I would like to thank her for requesting that I participate.

You can catch up with the S.I Hayes and the fantastic work she has done on her blog here: A Writer’s Mind, More or Less
http://shannonihayes.wix.com/sihayes#!blog/c14xx.

To find out more about S.I Hayes and her books 

Twitter @shannonihayes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/S.I.Hayes.Author

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/s.i.hayes

In this particular hop I and my fellow Authors each in their perspective Blogs have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current WIP (Works in Progress) as well as some goodies as to our process, from characters and inspirations to photographic/ Cinematic eye candy! I hope you enjoy it!!

If this or any other items pique your interest, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions.

QUESTION TIME

1: What is the working title of your book?

At this present in moment in time, it is called Miss Pooshoe. It is the second title I have used whilst in the draft stages; the first one was too seasonal as I had created that as I started the writing process back in January 2012. However, once I completed the first draft, the story no longer headed in the direction I first thought and therefore needed a complete overhaul of the title.

What on earth does Miss Pooshoe mean?? I hear you cry. Well, that’s the beauty of the title – it’s designed to capture and intrigue.  

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

It actually stems from my experience of loosing a job I absolutely loved last year and being redeployed into a shift work role I had previously done. I carried a lot of anger, resentment and frustration with me at first regarding the whole situation. Rather than sinking in my misery, I tried to turn a negative into a positive and be grateful for having a permanent job in these hard times; and that the best therapy would be to channel those feelings of turmoil into a book

3: What genre does your book fall under?

It falls under the ‘Chick-Lit’ Genre; the main theme of the story is serious and topical, injected with some humour and romance that is written (hopefully) in an upbeat style.

Miss Pooshoe has taken some surprising turns on her writing  journey;  in particular a route that one of the characters (Harriet)  takes. It was a direction that even I wasn’t expecting! And how it comes about is even more bizarre, as I sat furiously typing away, my fingers flowing across the keyboard, possessed completely by the characters and their story that they want to share. hat’s when you take a step back and actually go ‘Wow! Where did that come from!’

 That’s the beauty of getting immersed with your characters and story; they  take on a life of their own and do things you don’t expect to happen! Pleasant little surprises I call them.

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

God this is a really tough question!

Character of Maggie – Kirsten Wiig
Image from Style Bistro

The main character is Maggie Bell, a 27 year old who looses her job as a successful Project Co-ordinator.  She’s blonde, bubbly,  kind of ditsy.  I tried to stick with English Actors in the main however I loved the film Bridesmaids (it even manages to crop up in the book!) and I think Kristie Wiig would be the perfect Maggie Bell and Chris O’Dowd would be a great Paul (they are not lovers in this book, just best friends.Paul is actually gay. Seth is the love interest. In my last blog post I had the yummy Chris Hemsworth to play him but this time I have opted for the lovely Tom Ellis. Although they are both gorgeous, I found that the changes i have made to Seth’s character in the editing process now suit the profile more of Mr Ellis.) 

Character of Paul – Chris O’DowdImage from Digital Spy 

tomellis

Character of Seth – Tom Ellis

Image from

Character of Claire – Emily Blunt
Image from Filmario

Character of Harriett – Sienna Miller
Image from Fanpop

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Riding the Rollercoaster of Recession.

There will be more but synopsis are hard to write but that’s the caption I am going for at this moment.

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

Back in March, my intention was to edit over the summer and then send a couple of chapters to Literary Agents, dip my toe in the waters and see if I got any nibbles – then failing that, Self Publish.

However, over this last year I have downloaded a lot of Indie Author books and I have become a part of Melissa Foster’s Awesome Support Team #GoTeamPIF and this has really opened my eyes to the world of Self Publishing. Melissa’s advice is to write what you want to write, not what you think will sell. Which is in contrast to a Literary Agents perspective; they are looking for the next big seller.

Self publishing works; this experience has taught me that.  I have met hugely successful Indie Authors such as Melissa Foster , who is proof of this. I am gradually building up the confidence and the strength of my manuscript and I am going to take Miss Pooshoe down the self publishing route.

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

January and February are the hardest, most depressing months of the year.

In order to get motivated I thought; New Year, New Start – Get Writing!

I proceeded to set myself the challenge of writing the first draft of this novel over those two months. I followed my progress on my blog, naming  it Novel Project 2012. I completed just under 80,000 words in those two months, writing nearly every day aiming to write on average 2,000 words a day. It has been through one round of editing and I intend to do another round this Autumn after it has spent it’s Summer in the hands of proof readers.

I have learnt that I am a very seasonal writer and I concentrate more in the cold, dark months when I am all snug inside. I love Autumn; it always reminds me of going back to school so it has been the kick up the backside I need to start round two of editing.

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

I would love to compare it to Marian Keyes as I simply adore her books; they are so funny and witty with a touching or tragic backdrop that is dealt with so sensitively without loosing the humour to the story.

I am nowhere near as funny as Marian Keyes but I love her writing style; her light heartedness and chatty nature is something I aspire to with this novel and I would love it to come across even half as well as what her novels do.

9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?

The loss of a job I loved; having to experience and deal with strong, unwanted emotions spurned me on to do something about the situation. I have always loved reading and writing; often sitting in my younger years reading books such as The Famous Five or Nancy Drew,  then instantly writing my own version straight after. The urge to write was so overwhelming and that seems to be my coping mechanism in everyday life; a bit of OCD has lead me to be a List Queen. So writing what I am experiencing seemed not only a great way to clear my head, but to start this novel writing adventure I have longed to do!

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

This book is by no means a memoir, however people who know me will recognise a fair amount of  myself in the book. To give you a bit of a clue, the title is actually my nickame.

A lot of what happens to Maggie – the funny scenarios and ridiculous phrase –  have either happened to me or the words have fallen out my mouth without thinking . So it may be a little insight into my crazy little life. 

Thanks for reading!

I have tagged the below Authors, who will be joining me by blog,  for updates on WIPs and New Releases!

Sylvia Stein

Facebook

Twitter:@michellebetham

Michelle Betham

Facebook

Twitter:@sylvia_stein07

Love Missuswolf xxx

Last Christmas – Julia Williams

THURSDAY 13th DECEMBER 2012

In the wee small hours of what felt like the longest night shift ever, I finished reading Last Christmas by Julia Williams. Now you see, myChristmas tree locker at work is bursting with books that I have accumulated from my colleagues and recently I decided to pile them in some sort of Missuswolf Order; that order being along my mantra of ‘themed reading’.

Yup, in October I decided to read a Halloween related book and in the process of coming to that decision,  I sorted my locker out whereby I discovered, to my delight, there were three Christmas books in there! Yipee! They instantly got promoted to the top of the pile in preperation to be read in December; Last Christmas being the first victim, which I finished devouring in the early hours.

Synopsis:

Last ChristmasIt’s the most wonderful time of year. Isn’t it?
Discover the true spirit of Christmas with this seasonal treat for fans of Love, Actually and The Holiday.

Discover the true spirit of Christmas…

Catherine Tinsall is dreading Christmas. As the ‘Happy Homemaker’ she is an online sensation, but the reality couldn’t be more different. With Catherine’s marriage in tatters, her children running wild and her mother increasingly forgetful, seasonal cheer is running low.

Husband Noel also hides a secret: he’s facing the axe at work. Until he chances upon the village of Hope Christmas, deep in the Shropshire countryside, which could be the second chance he’s searching for. If he can save it from the developers…

In Hope Christmas itself, schoolteacher Marianne Moore is trying to heal her battered heart. But Christmas is a time for families, and memories of what she’s lost haunt her at every turn.

Meanwhile, Gabriel North faces a lonely Christmas but hides his sadness for the sake of his son. Will his wife ever come home? Or does love lie elsewhere?

All four need a Christmas miracle. And it might just happen – courtesy of a mysterious guardian angel … Forced to reassess their lives, will Catherine, Noel, Marianne and Gabriel discover what the meaning of Christmas really is?

An irresistible gift of a tale that will warm the hearts of Christmas-lovers and Scrooges alike…

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I found this a very enchanting tale of four people whose pathways slowly intertwine amidst the comparisons of laid back village life and hectic city living.

The story jumps back and forth, between this year and last year, dropping hints as to what may have occurred in between for that character to be in a particular situation at that point in time, however the author is careful not to give too much away so as to leave the reader intrigued.

It’s a feel good read that is perfect for snuggling up nice and cosy wrapped in your throw, sipping a mug of hot chocolate as you snuggle down by the Christmas Tree. Perfect for relaxing amongst the chaos of Christmas.

Get your copy here

Now onto my next Christmas read, hmmm what will I choose, maybe I should ask The Christmas Men…

Xmas Men

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cuppa and a Catch up – An Author Interview with…. Robert B. Lowe

TUESDAY 11th DECEMBER 2012

Cuppa and fire

I am delighted and honoured to be hosting an Author Interview with the fabulous Robert B. Lowe, whose sequel to his novel Project Moses – Divine Fury – is released today! So grab a cuppa and we will catch up with the amazing author…

Robert’s Bio

Robert B. Lowe is a Pulitzer-prize winning author whose fiction is based in San Francisco, his adopted home.LoweHeadShot

His past experiences – a 12-year career in investigative journalism and a Harvard Law School degree – enable him to write gripping mystery thrillers in both the legal and journalistic fields. Lowe draws his inspiration from John Grisham, Dick Francis and Lee Child and adds his own San Francisco twist. Readers will enjoy his references to the city’s landmarks such as Chinatown, North Beach and Pacific Heights  and the Bay area’s foodie culture.

Divine Fury is Lowe’s second novel.  His first was the best-selling Project Moses which reached the Amazon Top 20 Mysteries list and was a finalist in the Best Indie Books of 2012 competition hosted by the Kindle Book Review. 

Divine Fury continues the adventures of Enzo Lee, a jaded journalist rehabilitating his career as a feature writer in San Francisco who stumbles into scandals and criminal conspiracies that require his investigative expertise to unravel.

When Lowe isn’t writing he enjoys a day at the golf course and spending time with his wife and daughters.

Synopsis for books:

Project Moses – A Mystery Thriller

By Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Robert B. Lowe

Description

Project Moses1 “A thriller with an ideal fusion of wile and wit.”- Kirkus Reviews

Project Moses is a high-tech bioterrorism thriller in the Grisham mode that has been well received on Good Reads, Library Thing and Kindle (4.8 stars based on 18 reviews as of April 4).  It has romance, suspense and humor.

Enzo Lee, 37, a burned out reporter, has forsaken investigative reporting on the East Coast to churn out feature fluff in San Francisco. He likes his North Beach apartment, steps away from his Chinatown roots. Running, tai chi, great food, women who are attracted to his exotic looks. Life is good.

Then, Lee is ordered to cover the unexplained deaths of a local judge and prosecutor. Intrigued by the connection, and the judge’s attractive niece, Sarah Armstrong, Lee begins to uncover a bioterrorism scandal whose perpetrators – including government officials and Silicon Valley titans – will kill to conceal.

When Lee and Sarah become targets, the question becomes whether the pair can evade their hunters and piece together the story before their time runs out. Project Moses is set in San Francisco, New York and Silicon Valley.

Get your copy here!

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Now get that cuppa and wrap your hands firmly around it, take a sip and relax as we meet the lovely Robert B. Lowe!

Hi Robert  and welcome today, thanks for stopping by.

First of all, congratulations on the publication of your second novel in your Enzo Lee Mystery-Thriller Series, Divine Fury, which follows on from your best-selling Project Moses.What inspired you to write theseDivine Fury_Man_FINAL books? Was there always an intention for a series?

Thanks very much for having me on your blog.  Some years ago, I had a few months between jobs. I knew I would be going back to work and I just decided to use the time to write a book.  A mystery or thriller was a natural for me because that’s my fun reading and I’ve absorbed a lot from decades of consuming hundreds of books in the genre.  I originally had no intention of writing a series but I worked very hard on the characters, trying to make them believable.  Readers really liked them so I decided to keeping going with them. 

Of the two books, which was the most challenging to write?

I’d say Project Moses, the first one, just because it was the first.  There is an awful lot of learning that goes on and it’s hard to trust your own judgment and instincts.  After that, particularly if you feel good about that one, you have more confidence in what you’re doing and can be more directed while spending less energy worrying.  I mean there still is the “Is this any good?” fear that you’re constantly seeking assurance to placate but maybe it’s a bigger worry if you stop having that concern.  Also, in Project Moses there was a bit of science I had to work through and portray in a way that didn’t slow down the book so that was an extra challenge.  

 How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurred you on?

I was a journalist for 12 years out of college.   Later on I became an investigative reporter and might spend months on a single story.  But, the first few years were just pounding out several stories a day.  Maybe you would put special effort into more important ones or ones that just required a good writing touch.  Any way you look at it, you’re writing for a living.  When I sit down to work on a novel, it feels like I’m right back at home in many ways.  Growing up I liked to write and funnelled that interest into a journalism career.  

Which writing style do you prefer then; creative writing or journalism?

Having been a journalist for a while, I’m enjoying this process now quite a bit.  Also, having people tell you they stayed up late 3 nights to finish your book and were totally into the story and characters, shedding tears at the emotional moments and feeling angry when things don’t turn out how they want because they’re so involved with the story is incredibly satisfying.  It’s a much different process creating that world and having that reaction than what occurs as a newspaper reporter.  What I do miss, though, is being out in the world.  As a journalist, your job is seeing many varied places, people and events.  Writing a book can be pretty isolating.     

 You also have a Harvard Law School degree (another congrats!) This must have been interesting to work towards, did this experience filter subconsciously into your writing or did you intend to write about the legal field?

I didn’t attend law school with the intent of using the knowledge as a writer.  Although having been a journalist, writing in some fashion always seemed not too far away.  My wife was also a journalist for many years. We’ll say, “You should write a book about this,” and it’s not as farfetched as it might seem for someone else.  I’m not that interested in writing pure legal thrillers or mysteries.  I think being able to cross from journalism, to law, to the boardroom, to the bowels of high tech but also write about dive bars and riots – I’ve been in all those places and fields – lets me cover a lot of ground and still write with some authenticity.     

 How do you organise your writing time?

When I’m in “writing mode” I try to treat it like a job.  I write from 9 am to lunch and try to get a couple of hours in afterward on most days.  I’ll also keep editing what I recently wrote in sort of three-day cycle where I’m revising what I’ve done the past two days.  At the moment, I can write full time which is a luxury.  My hat is off those who work full time and write as well. I could never do it. What’s hard for me is the energy spent on the marketing side.  I can either be pushing hard at that or pushing hard on the writing, but not both.  For Divine Fury, I took a couple of weeks out of town away from my family and just wrote and edited.  That was helpful, not just to churn out a lot of pages but also to live with the story and characters for a while and work through a lot of issues and questions.   It was total immersion without a schedule.  I’d wake up at 3 am, turn on the laptop and write in bed for two hours and fall asleep again. 

Wow I love the idea of taking off and immersing yourself whilst writing and editing, I think they are very good words of advice, a change of surroundings can really influence your writing.

Which Authors would you say have influenced your writing?

In terms of the mystery thriller writing, I’d say Dick Francis, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.    I look to Grisham and Child for lessons in pacing and suspense.  Connelly is more about characters and what elements readers expect now.  I admired Crichton’s ability to base plots on science and cultural issues or trends.  Francis often took the time to learn something new, like how things worked in an architect’s office, and you’d learn that by the end of the book.   I try to do some of that – having a content ‘bonus.’  Also, Francis had these ex-jockey types as protagonists, smaller guys who were smart and principled but got beat up a lot.  They were sincere but often not particularly dashing or smooth.  Looking at that made it easier for me to create a more ‘ordinary guy’ hero.

Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?

 I have a guest room over our garage that is the official writing studio.  Aside from hard commitments – if the plumber comes you have to let him in – I can tune out the usual distractions while I’m there. 

 Do you have any wise words of advice to pass onto aspiring authors in relation to Self Publishing?

 First, it’s awfully nice to see your book(s) in print or in ebook form and know people are out there reading and enjoying your stuff.  Second, I think it’s just as likely you’ll reach a point where you’re making  living at it this way than the old agent-publishing house route.  Very few of those with publishing contracts actually are that successful and much of the marketing work falls to them anyway, just as it does for us ‘indies.’  Third, you can always get lucky but you should plan on this being like climbing Mt. Everest.  It’s a long haul but not impossible.  

Very inspiring words of advice! Finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know

 We have five cats.  Two came with the house.  But, still…it’s just far too many.

Thanks again for your time here today Robert, I have really enjoyed hosting you on my blog.

Divine Fury_Man_FINAL

Divine Fury is out now – get your copy here.

Website:  www.robertblowe.com

Twitter: @authorRobBLowe

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