As one Chapter closes on my life, so another opens …

WEDNESDAY 16th JULY 2014

Today, I said farewell (again!) to working in a busy emergency services control room, which has been my ‘day’ job (the role has involved working to a shift pattern) for the past three years.

I was redeployed into this role in May 2011 following deletion of a Project and Performance job that I adored. This meant adapting to a new lifestyle so, to stop myself going stir crazy, I launched myself into the wonderful world of books. I read on every break, during down time on nightshift and on all of my days off. Agents

Books became my comfort blanket.

In August 2011, four months into the job, I went for a lovely lunch with my American friend, Charity. Over fizz and food in Bar Luga, we discussed our shared interests; reading, writing and photography.

Charity

Picture from Facebook by Eric Fritschi

It was Charity who suggested that I set up a blog and pointed me in the direction of WordPress. After sitting on this suggestion for a few days, I finally took the plunge.

Missuswolf’s StoryLand was born.

It’s strange how some people come into your life and have a profound effect. Charity lives on the other side of the world and I see her once a year if I’m lucky. That date back in August 2011 was definitely one of those clichéd life-changers.

So here I am, nearly three years later, a happy blogger.

Editing2Alas, the frustration and anger from being redeployed wasn’t wasted; I took that pent up negativity and set up my Novel Project 2012. In January and February 2012, I wrote my recession based chick-lit novel, which is still in the heavy editing stages and undergoing a title change.

September 2011 saw me join Melissa Foster’s Awesome Support Team, where I’ve met a solid support network of like-minded people from across the globe.

In December 2011, I polished off a children’s story that I had written the previous summer and self published it.

Ruby of Egypt Cover 2013

The Ruby of Egypt was born.

I introduced a weekly Author Interview feature on my blog ‘Cuppa and a Catch-Up’.

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

In March 2014, I set up self-employed as freelance writer and I’m now ghost-writing a historic novel.

Freelance Bus Cards

As I look back on the last three years, as tough as they have been, it’s only fuelled my determination to do what I love.

And perseverance certainly pays off.

Tonight, one chapter closes on a section of my life. It’s been a tough one, but one I will no doubt look back on in my later years with a fondness. It’s been a character building chapter.

Tomorrow, I wake up to a whole new chapter. A Project Manager job that I have always wanted and back in the ‘real world’, a Monday to Friday nine-til-fiver. Oh, and my first drinks evening networking for Engage Magazine. Another positive to come out of the last three years.

As I close one chapter tonight, I will sleep well knowing that although the road was rocky, I never gave up – that I found my inner strength and determination to lead me to this cliff-hanger where I’m desperate to turn the page …

Good night readers.

Love a very happy Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Michelle Betham

TUESDAY 15th JULY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

I would like to wish a warm welcome to the lovely Michelle Betham, a fellow North Easterner and Author to numerous romance novels, including Bon Voyage and Unbreakable.

~Author Bio~

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, so it stood to reason that, at some DIGITAL CAMERApoint, I’d start writing some of them down. I currently have ten novels in total to my name, ranging from the sweet to the really quite steamy – which is my favourite kind of romance!  When I’m not creating hot heroes and sexy scenarios I like to read everything from erotica to horror. I’m also a bit of a TV addict with a penchant for “binge-watching”, I love football, darts and rock music, have a slight obsession with Timothy Olyphant, and I’m also an unashamed ‘Breaking Bad’ geek!

 With a string of steamy novels under her belt, including her current football based trilogy ‘The Striker Series’, Michelle is who I liked to refer to as the North East’s answer to Jackie Collins.

 Today she is discussing ‘Extra Time’, the second book in the trilogy.

~Synopsis~ 

Extra Time begins just a few months after Striker, Book #1 in the trilogy, left off, and the lives of Amber, Jim, Ryan and Ronnie have all moved on…

*May contain slight spoilers if you haven’t yet read Striker*

Extra Time CoverProfessional footballer Ryan Fisher is determined to show the world he’s a changed man. But moving on isn’t easy, and leaving his old life behind isn’t something he’s coping all that well with, especially when so much of it is still so close to home; when a life he didn’t realise he wanted until it was far too late is still right there in front of him. Does he reach out and try to grab it a second time? Or does he make a decision to leave it all behind in the only way he knows how? Before temptation becomes too hard to resist…

Amber’s life is moving along at breakneck speed. In every aspect. But is everything as happy and settled as she’d like it to be? Has she finally found her happy-ever-after? Or is the past just waiting to creep up on her?

At the age of forty-nine, Jim Allen feels as though his life is just beginning. He’s in love, and his career as one of the country’s most successful football managers is on the ascendant. But Jim knows all is not as it seems. He knows there are more secrets just waiting to come out, secrets that could potentially damage his new life. And this time, they’re secrets he isn’t sure he can control. Is a past he’s spent so long trying to hide finally starting to catch up with him?

As those secrets slowly start to reveal themselves, everyone’s lives once more become entangled as faces from the past and dreams of the future collide, and sex, lies and betrayal all play a part in turning everyone’s worlds upside down. All over again. And when a secret of her own adds to Amber’s heartache, is running back to her old life the best way to escape the pain? Or just the easy option. Is she really strong enough to let go of a man whose hold over her is something she just can’t break? Even if everything inside of her is screaming at her to do so.

But when that old life starts to take hold in a way no one could have envisaged, the game changes once again…

Extra Time – The game continues… but just who is winning…?

 

Hi Michelle, it’s my pleasure to have you here again!cuppa

Where did the inspiration behind the ‘Striker’ books come from?

I’m a big football fan. I always have been. And I’ve always been fascinated by the world that surrounds the top flight players – that world of excess, money and glamour. I was also a HUGE fan of ‘Footballers Wives’ when it was on TV. I loved that show! But, surely, that glamorous, glitzy world they all live in, it can’t be THAT perfect, can it? After reading a book called ‘I Am The Secret Footballer’ I realised it wasn’t. Written by a real-life Premiership footballer, it gives readers an insight into his life as a top-flight player, both on and off the pitch – the good bits, and the bad. It was certainly an eye opener, and proved to be an invaluable research tool for me as I created the character of fictional bad boy footballer Ryan Fisher. Nothing I wrote in any of the ‘Striker’ books is too far fetched, believe me. Because, as far as these players are concerned, anything goes. But money can’t always buy you everything, as Ryan soon finds out…

As a reader, what can we expect from ‘Extra Time’?

Michelle was recently featured in The Sunday Sun. Click here to view more

Michelle was recently featured in The Sunday Sun. Click here to view the interview with Ian Robson on Highbeam.com

Well, as the story continues here in book 2, the reader can expect a few more secrets to come to light, a lot more scandal, and a great deal more action off the pitch that’s guaranteed to get the heart racing! These books definitely aren’t ones you’d give to your granny, that’s for sure! I even nicknamed them “Fifty Shades of Football” because they can get a little bit hot in parts! You have been warned…

You like to do a lot of … ahem … research into characters for your stories. Who was your inspiration for Ryan Fisher?

I certainly DO like my research! But actually, Ryan Fisher wasn’t really inspired by any one particular individual. I kind of looked at professional Premiership footballers on the whole, and mixed it all up a bit. So Ryan has a little bit of everything going on, really. Yes, he’s a bad boy, but there’s also another side to him that really starts to come out more in books 2 and 3.

Which football team do you support?

Tricky one this. I used to be a season ticket holder at Newcastle United back in my teenage years, but after marrying a Sunderland supporter I hate to admit that my loyalty is shifting somewhat. And I know that, coming from a Geordie, that could almost be considered treason to even just think that. But it’s really hard to live with a Sunderland fan and NOT get sucked into the drama that team can sometimes create! Am I a full-blown Sunderland fan, though? I’m getting there…

I know you can’t give too much away, but what can we expect from the third book in the trilogy?

It’s quite difficult to say a lot without giving too much away, but, let’s just say there is some kind of conclusion to the trilogy in book 3. But not before yet more drama ensues, and another character gets to show us a side of him that we may not have seen before. It was a really emotional experience for me, writing that final book, because I’d grown so close to the characters in the Striker Series. And it was hard to let them go. But, again, without giving too much away, it may not be the last we see of them…

Thank you for being here today Michelle.

~Where to find Michelle Betham~

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Extra Time Cover

Click here for your copy from Amazon!

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

Engage Magazine – have you got your copy?

THURSDAY 10th JULY 2014

One of the day’s that I’ve been waiting for these past couple of months arrived yesterday.

Engage Issue One Copies

I got to collect my very own copy (and a few extras) of the brand new lifestyle magazine for Newcastle and Gateshead: Engage Magazine.

After an invigorating morning gym session, I pottered on with some errands then planned my route to James Tennant’s (Director of Engage Magazine) office in the Team Valley Industrial Estate. Due to my lack of Sat Nav possession, I fiddled on with the Google Map’s App on my phone before hanging a washing load out and setting off; the sea breeze and glorious sunshine making for perfect ‘drying conditions.’

The drive was uneventful and I located James’  office with ease – despite the chaotic road works. Upon arrival, I realised that my dad worked in the same industrial estate and I fired a quick text to see if I could swing by afterwards. Daddy Gray was only too happy to accommodate this request and gave me directions to his office.

I met James in the plush air-conditioned reception area, where I was greeted with a smile and a stack of magazines.  We had a brief conversation about the sales I had been working on and then I scooped up the magazines, headed  back to the car park and off to meet my dad.

Turns out I didn’t have to go far; he was literally just down the road and waiting for me on the corner.  I didn’t want to intrude too much on his working day, but he seemed only too happy to show me around his place of work and explain what he did. I was intrigued yet ashamed that I’d forgotten just how clever my dad is (a dab hand at Science homework back in the day).

After the grand tour and meeting some of my dad’s colleagues, in what felt like a delayed bring-your-daughter-to-work-day, we settled down in his office where he browsed through a copy of Engage Magazine. He was suitably impressed and requested a couple of copies for the refreshment area. We caught up on life in general before I made my exit into the sweltering heat of the afternoon, looking forward to sitting reading my copy of Engage in the garden.

Which I did.

Engage garden pic

And thoroughly enjoyed.

If you haven’t got your copy, and you’d like to ensure you receive a copy every time it comes out, you can subscribe on the website.

Also, if you are a local business and would like to feature in Issue Two, we are taking advertisement bookings now so please don’t hesitate to get in touch gemma@engagemagazine.co.uk.

There’s also a daily blog that has just been launched too called Engage Tyneside – why not take a peek?

Happy Reading 🙂

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Cuppa and a Catch-Up – An Author Interview with … Philip A. Oldfield

WEDNESDAY 09th JULY 2014

Cuppa and a Catch up pic

Today I would like to welcome Phillip Oldfield, author to Blood Relationships.

~AUTHOR BIO~

I was born in Cambridge, England, in 1959. When I was eight years old, I spent a few years living in Connecticut, USA as my family had emigrated. I still feel America is my second home. However, following the untimely demise of my father’s health and subsequent death, England, once more, was home.

Author pic philip oldfieldI have written short-stories and poetry from my early teenage years. I read Geography as a mature student at the University of Exeter, starting when my third child was 3 months old.

I have been an active parent for thirty-two years and a single parent since 2007. I have four adult children and two grandchildren. My youngest son left home in 2012.

I have had, and continue to have, an eclectic working life which has spanned the private, public and voluntary sectors within the United Kingdom. My experience stretches across the police service, marketing and, business, social and economic development.

The novel Blood Relationships is my first completed book. It started off as a concept several years ago. With the opportunity to write full-time combined with long hours of research and writing this year (2013) I was able to bring it to fruition. It is the first of a planned trilogy called Resurrections.

I have recently published My Dream Mother, a novella and finishing off twenty-five micro-stories, called, Flash Fiction 25 (Volume 1). I have five other books clambering over one another calling out to be finished, read and heard. Two are fantasies, two are historical fiction and the fifth is a romance.

I live and write in Exeter, England and enjoy its growing cosmopolitan feel along with the blessings of living in close proximity – 30 minutes or less – to the sea, rural landscapes and the wildness of the moors.

And finally, I have several favourite sayings garnered from others, which I call upon from time to time to spur me on. My favourite, I guess, which has helped me in many ways is, I think, a Chinese proverb:

‘Behold the tortoise; he only makes progress, by sticking his neck out.’

Always live in hope,

Philip A. Oldfield

~SYNOPSIS – BLOOD RELATIONSHIPS~

Blood Relationships

The story propels the reader into a roller coaster of emotions: the depths of despair and terror to the strongest feelings of love, hope and faith. The journey set in 2012 is at times violent and jarring as troubled and sadistic characters are encountered, from the freneticism of a crowded London nightclub, the claustrophobia of a macabre basement, to the expansive beauty of the Aegean Sea and the turbulent roads of Southern and Eastern Europe. Yet the heroes in the story, Claire Yohanus and Tom Abimelech, who unwillingly are caught up in ensuing events and stumble across the horrors of the past and the plans for our future, cast light and deliver hope as they grapple with truth, doubt, fear and courage and face, head on, their dilemma to tell the world.

 

~SYNOPSIS – MY DREAM MOTHER~

An inspiring tale, full of hope and a richly satisfying conclusion.My Dream Mother

​A mother dies in childbirth giving birth to a son. His father, wrought with grief and helped by Death, brings his own mother into the home to care for the child and raise him. But mistakes happen. And so begins the sorry life of Benjamin Bedford destined to live in a small corner of the world, unknown, unnoticed, in quiet oppression as he is slowly indoctrinated into the family system – much like his father was brought up to be – by his controlling and self-absorbed grandmother.

Destined, that is, until Hope played her part. That’s when the dreams began. Ben’s imagined destiny begins. But, does reality ever meet our innermost desires and create another stage for us to dance upon? The calling may be strong, the dreams may be vivid, they may even be better than life, but they’re never real are they? Follow Ben’s life from tragedy to fame and find out if dreams really do come true.

Now grab that cuppa as we chat to Philip A. Oldfield …

CUPPA

Hi Philip and welcome to my blog.

 

Where did the inspiration behind Blood Relationships come from?

The initial idea for Blood Relationships, the first book of a trilogy that I am writing called Resurrections, was drawn from my Blood Relationshipsinterest in psychology. I wanted to explore how individuals might maintain or lose faith, if pushed to the limits of endurance and what part, serendipity, and personal history might play in the process of our lives. Some while later, I was discussing progress on the book with one of my daughter’s, she’s a historian, and the conversation drifted on to events in World War II and the nature of fertility experiments. After I had researched around the topic, pre and post war medical trials, the links into the story grew, became symbiotic. Hence why the story draws on historical facts and science, but is set in contemporary times across London and Europe.

How would you compare writing this book with anything you have previously written?

My Dream MotherUp until I researched and wrote Blood Relationships, I had focused on writing poetry and short stories. I like the immediacy of short stories, even the writing of micro-stories (flash fiction) and also the challenge to absorb myself and the reader in a few pages, grab their attention, so to speak. I am just finishing off a collection, Flash Fiction 25, Vol. 1, which is coming out soon. Prior to this, I published in June this year, a novella, ‘My Dream Mother.’ I chose to write these tales to give myself some space from the intensity of writing a novel.But, I have to say, writing a full-length manuscript is overall more satisfying and ultimately, rewarding, delivering a sense of achievement that I had brought to life a tale that had waited in the wings many years to be told. It’s exciting to be in a position to write. I have several other novels in development, all in differing stages of progress, ranging across historical fiction, romance and fantasy and of course, the next two instalments in the trilogy, Resurrections. For me, it was an absolute joy, emotionally and intellectually, to immerse myself in the breadth and depth required to write a novel and maintain a focus on several story lines intersecting and/or running parallel throughout. It required a lot of planning and mapping out. For this, I primarily used A3 paper for storyboards, and used them as frameworks upon which the plot and the characters interacted and inevitably, I guess, as their characters spoke up, changed the course of the book.

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

 

At the age of eleven, whilst in an English class, the teacher led a discussion on the First World War. Afterwards, we were asked to write a poem. I found that I was able to readily generate emotions, imagine events and conjure words from the ether.

 The teacher was effervescent in his personal feedback, which has motivated me to write poetry and fiction, ever since.

How do you organise your writing time?Love shadows and light

I am normally at my desk from around 8.30 am onwards, reviewing what I had planned to do, and deciding if those tasks are the main things to do. I pretty much work flat out then until around 1 pm, when I like to listen to Radio 4 news over lunch. By around 4.30 pm, I look to stop work. In between these hours, I pick and mix activities either indoors or outside to stay fit. Of course, writing is a diverse range of activities including idea generation, research, outlining, structuring, imagining, reading and editing. It also involves, for me, a whole raft of emotions too. I need most of my mental energy when I am writing creatively, using my imagination. And when I am wrapped up in these moments, when characters and plots are chattering away, then I will stay connected to them, which might mean I wake up early and write and write, or work late into the night.  

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?

Hmm, my best writing space. It varies. Most often, I write at a desk in my bedroom, with my work spread out along its surface, with ready access to my bookshelves, paper cuttings and writing materials. Here, I either type, write or dictate, depending on the nature of the writing I am working on. s often then, that I find the inspiration I need. And of course, a cup of coffee or green tea always helps too.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I lived in Connecticut, America, between the ages of 8 and 10 years of age. I still think of America as my second home and dream of living there again, for a while, one day.  

 

Thank you for being here today Phillip.

~OTHER PUBLICATIONS~

Love shadows and light

Love: Shadows and Light (November 2011). An anthology of poems depicting the upheaval, both blessed and traumatic, that love can bring.

~Where to find Philip A. Oldfield~

www.philipoldfield.com

Blood Relationships
My Dream Mother

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

What Have I Been Up To?

WEDNESDAY 02nd JULY 2014

Now that Book A Day UK has ceased, I’m at a loss as to what do with my blogging self. Editing1

So I thought I’d give you a little snippet as to what I’ve been up to the past couple of weeks.

You may recall a blog post where I dared to share my vulnerable side at my frustrations in trying to better myself in my day job.

Well, perseverance, hard work and trying your damn hardest to remain positive  – even when you have reached the lowest point in your life – eventually does pay off.

Last week, I psyched myself up for yet another couple of interviews, with a presentation thrown in one of them just to keep me on my toes. I researched, prepped and planned as best I could. I even went as far as listening to some positive meditating videos on You Tube (yeah, it came to that).

I went in with the mind-set that it was my time to shine; the main role required a skill I was well experienced in (project management)  and I had the relevant evidence to prove my ability.

And you know what?

It worked.

I was successful at the Project Manager role – a role that I nearly didn’t go for as I had lost all confidence in myself.

But someone else really believed in me.

And they gave me a chance.

Project

Image is a Regram from Instagram

The role is a secondment in a high-profile project and will provide me with invaluable experience. It’s also a break from shift work – back to the normality of Mon-Fri. I will be able to have a much more structured approach to my life and work on my writing in my spare time.

My current writing project is ghost-writing a historic novel. I’m also freelancing as a Sales Executive for the fab new Engage Magazine.

So life, once again, is good.

I feel like I’m right where I belong.

It took it’s time.

But the sweet is never as sweet without the sour.

Love Missuswolf xxx

%d bloggers like this: