Author Spotlight Gilda Evans

Welcome Gilda Evans!

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve written my whole life – it’s always been a very natural form of expression for me. I remember winning my first writing contest for poetry when I was nine years old.

2. What motivates you to write?

It can be any number of things. Usually the more passionate I feel about a particular subject, whether fiction or non-fiction, the more easily the writing flows. In the case of my upcoming book, S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens, I was motivated by the need for and dearth of this type material I perceived for my target age group of 13-17 year olds. I wanted to create a comprehensive and vetted resource for teens that addresses many of the salient issues they face every day in a way that would keep my audience engaged and inspired.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write both fiction and non-fiction. My interest in children’s relationships, particularly those between teens and their peers and parents, began years ago when I associate produced a television documentary titled, What Are We Doing to Our Children? S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens was created to facilitate and improve communication among teens, and between teens and their parents and educators. I believe that the no-nonsense style the book is written in appeals to teens because it was developed with teens’ involvement, instead of authoritatively isolating and alienating them.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Whether it helps someone gain a new perspective and insight about themselves or life in general, or simply gives them a needed, enjoyable break from their daily routine, my goal is that my writing be a source of inspiration and entertainment.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Of course! Any writer who says that it never happens isn’t being honest. The most effective method I’ve found to get beyond it when it occurs is to have a change of scenery. Usually getting out into nature to clear my head is the best.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

It sounds cliché, but just keep writing! Focus on what you know or things that inspire you and create a fire inside that just won’t go out unless you get it down on paper or into a computer file!

7. Please, tell us about your work.

S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens is a concise, accessible and humorous book covering just about every major topic of concern in a teen’s life. It gently, yet boldly guides the reader through the various issues and scenarios in an educational and inspirational manner. It is written in a format that speaks with both the adult and teen voices to the teen and parent reader alike. This book’s appeal is universal and it teaches its audience to approach their challenges in a realistic, positive and constructive way. It is also intended to facilitate and improve communication among teens, and between teens and their parents and educators. It is unique in its format and approach, as it incorporates feedback from clinical psychologists, academicians from the field of education and the target teen audience itself. When finished, the reader will feel energized, enthusiastic and far more insightful about growing up on one hand, raising a teen on the other and life in general on both sides. Not only will they want to read and refer to this book time and again, but they will also look forward to the other books that follow in the series.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Connect with Gilda:

www.gildaevans.com
www.facebook.com/gildaevansauthor
www.twitter.com/gildaevans
www.linkedin.com/in/gildaevans

Advertisements

Author Spotlight – Carole McEntee-Taylor

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I wrote a couple of spiritual books with my husband in 2005 and 2006, The Re-Enlightenment and The Holiday from Hell but I did not start writing seriously until 2008.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

The inspiration behind my writing was my father in law, Ted Taylor.
Ted was conscripted into the Rifle Brigade in September 1939 at the beginning of WW2 and fought in the Defence of Calais in May 1940 after which he spent five years as a POW in Poland. Although he’d never spoken about it we finally managed to persuade him to talk on tape and received a very sanitised version of the fighting and his subsequent years in a POW camp. In 2008 Ted suffered a crippling stroke and ended up in a nursing home. To cheer him up I suggested writing up his war experiences as a book.
This was quite daunting as although I was fascinated by WW2 I had no background in military history. So I began the long process of reading everything I could about the Defence of Calais, which wasn’t much. The battle was totally eclipsed by the evacuation from Dunkirk and was rarely mentioned, even on the most recent documentaries. I knew even less about the treatment of the ordinary POW at the hands of their captors or their lives, having grown up on a diet of sanitised POW camp films, none of which bore any reality to the truth. Ted had been made to work in the salt mines and had even spent time in Majdanek concentration camp. Like most authors I struggled to find a publisher but eventually, Ted’s story, Surviving the Nazi Onslaught, was published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd.

 

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

After writing Ted’s story I was hooked on writing military history and have written several other books, but I also wanted to write fiction because I love reading and was struggling to find books I wanted to read.
I grew up surrounded by books. My parents both loved reading, my father was into murder, detective, adventure and espionage stories while my mother read historical fiction and romance so I grew up with a passion for reading most genres and this is reflected in my novels which, although set in the first half of the 20th Century, are a mixture of all these. I have always been a voracious reader. I’d spend hours in the library as a child and spent all my pocket money on books, progressing quickly from Enid Blyton to Agatha Christie amongst others. I’d rush home with my latest books, disappear up into my bedroom and not come down again until they were finished. My Dad always used to say they were a waste of money because I could get through two or three books in a weekend, but they weren’t. They were my escape from reality and the more I read the more it fuelled my imagination. As I grew older I read anything I could get my hands on, crime, thrillers, historical fiction, occasionally romance and science fiction and of course chic lit! The library was my second home and I would always come out with the maximum number of books I could borrow and they were always returned well before the due date.
I liked big books I could lose myself in, probably to escape my disastrous relationships. Prams, pushchairs and my arms groaned under the weight, but it was worth it to stay sane.
Having finally extradited myself from the last bad relationship I spent two years on my own finding myself again and then I met David, my husband. I no longer needed to escape my reality so I stopped reading. I found books by authors I’d always loved no longer held my attention so I decided to write something I wanted to read and I had the perfect idea.
Whist writing Ted’s story I learnt that Brenda, my mother in law, had been a nurse throughout the London Blitz, and she and Ted were engaged when he went to war. Five long years later he came home and they were married. Their story fascinated me. They did not have the benefit of hindsight. Brenda waited even though she had no idea how long it would be or even if Ted would ever come home. Ted had somehow held onto the belief that he would come home even though he had no idea how long that might be. I decided to write up Ted and Brenda’s story including an element of fiction to cover something Ted did in France.
I soon realised it was impossible to fictionalise my in-laws because they were real people. I couldn’t have them doing things that weren’t in character, nor did I want to alienate the family and have my husband not talking to me because I had made his mum do something she wouldn’t have! So I changed their names and although Lives Apart: A WW2 Chronicle is inspired by them and based on something that really did happen, all the characters are now 100% fiction.

I love writing about WW2 and so this 5 book series was followed by Betrayed, a stand-alone novel about a serial killer in Berlin in the 1930s and 40s. My most recent 5 book series is Obsession which was inspired by the rumoured fate of tens of thousands of missing Allied POWs from Eastern Europe at the end of WW2. All the novels are published by GWL Publishing.

 

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Like most authors I would like to earn a living from writing, but I do have a secret dream of seeing my books made into films or TV series…….or perhaps not so secret now😊

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes and no. If I can’t think of anything to write I read over what I’ve written and edit it and then I usually find it begins to flow again. Because I am writing several stories at the same time I can normally find something to write. The secret is not to stress over it. Some days I only write 1500 words, others I will write more than 5,000.

 

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Persevere. Write something every day, even if its only a few lines and doesn’t make much sense. Just write what’s in your head and edit it afterwards.

I started off by self-publishing Ted’s story and the original version of Lives Apart because I couldn’t get a publisher. When I started writing Herbert Columbine VC I saw a tweet from Pen & Sword asking for manuscripts. I tweeted them back and they were interested. Once they’d published that I gave them another biography I’d written, A Battle Too Far, which they also published. I then rewrote Ted’s story (The Weekend Trippers) under the title Surviving the Nazi Onslaught, which they also took. Publishers are looking at the bottom line. They want to make money so you have to show them how your book will do that.

Having self-published the original version of Lives Apart I decided to start looking for a fiction publisher again. My writing style had changed considerably by them so I wanted to the chance to rewrite it and by then I could show that I had sold several hundred copies and had good reviews. If you believe in the story keep going and don’t take no for an answer.

 

7. Please, tell us about your work.

I think I’ve managed to plug most of my published books in the other questions lol😊 but I’m currently working on a new fiction series called Secret Lives which should be out next year. I also have a new military history book coming out in May 2018 called The History of Coalhouse Fort. Apart from its military history the fort has been used in a couple of Batman films!

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


 

Connect with Carole:

Website: http://www.carolemctbooks.info/ 
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/carolemctbooks.info/
Twitter https://twitter.com/CaroleMcT

 


Carole’s Books:

U.K: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=carole+mcentee-taylor+books&sprefix=carole+mce%2Caps%2C182&crid=30F9Q7O4JEZ00

U.S.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=carole+mcentee-taylor+books&sprefix=carole+mce%2Caps%2C182&crid=30F9Q7O4JEZ00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Spotlight – Mick Canning

portraitWelcome! 

Please introduce yourself. 

Hi Aurora. I’m Mick Canning, an English writer living in England, who writes and blogs especially about India.

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

During my childhood I used to write short stories and poems that I would read aloud to my parents, and then submit to my junior school magazine. They were kind enough to publish a few of these, possibly to keep me quiet. And then I never stopped.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

As the cliché goes, I write because I have to! There are so many stories and ideas milling around in my head that I want to share with other people. And now that I finally have a novel published, and can therefore claim to be an author, this urge seems to have increased rather than diminished.

 

  1. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre? 

I tend to write what is usually called ‘literature’, which sounds awfully grand and pompous, but really means no more than that it does not fit into any of the usual categories of fantasy or crime or what-have-you. It is probably due more than a little to my reading habits, which are frequently also ‘literature’. Not that I don’t read plenty of other genres, of course. Some crime, some fantasy, horror, humour, and plenty of non-fiction; mainly travel and history. I will write short stories in these other genres occasionally, too, but I feel my best work is usually ‘literature’. This probably sounds dreadfully pretentious!

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? 

My goal? Always to finish the current work in progress, and to make as good a job of it as I am able. I have no particular wish to publish dozens of books, but I’d like the few that I do publish to be good! My dreams, well, if my writing can take me to India or Nepal, that would be good! I suspect that is not quite what the question means, though.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it? 

Oh, yes. I‘m sure every writer does. My method is to go for a walk, preferably on my own, in the countryside. Whatever the problem I have with my writing, be it not knowing where the plot is going, or how my characters will act in a situation, or even something about the geography or history of the setting, a walk will infallibly enable me to sort it out.

 

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? 

Write! Write! Write! And read! Read! Read! The more you read, and the more widely, the more you learn how writing works. And the more you write, the better you get at it. It really helps to get feedback from someone you trust, too.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

So far, I have one self-published novel, ‘Making Friends with the Crocodile’. The title comes from an Indian proverb, and the story deals with the attitudes to and treatment of women in society, in this case specifically Rural India. It is told through the relationship between a mother and her daughter-in-law, and how a violent incident impacts upon them and the rest of the family. I wrote it in the first person, through the eyes of the older woman. And if that is not a real cheek coming from a western male writer, I don’t know what is! The book has been well received, though, even by Indian female reviewers, so perhaps I’ve succeeded in what I set out to do.

Otherwise, I have a large number of finished short stories, quite a few of them set in India, and am working on a couple of novels – one set in an Indian hill station, the other a rather over-ambitious one set in a time-scale of some four hundred years up until late Victorian times, and in England, India and Persia. I must be mad.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!! 

It’s been my pleasure to be here, Aurora. Thank you very much for having me!

 

__________________________________________________________________

 Contact Mick:

 

My blog is www.mickcanning.co

 


making-friends-with-the__-crocodileMick Canning Book:

 

My author’s link:  http://author.to/mickclink

 

The book is available as Kindle and Print-On-Demand Paperback on Amazon (the link takes you to the author page there), and also on Kobo as well as, in India, Pothi and Flipkart

Author Spotlight – Stephanie Richmond

Stephanie_Richmond_004Welcome!

 

Please introduce yourself. 

Hello, I’m Steph, I write mystery books under the name SC Richmond, I also run a business and am happily married to my long suffering husband Keith. I’m looking forward to this interview and I hope it offers an insight into me and my work.

 

When did you start writing? 

I have been writing on and off for many years but until more recently I had never considered anything I had written good enough to share with anyone. ‘The Community’ was written over ten months and it came alive as soon as the characters hit the page, they did what they wanted to do and I struggled along to keep up with them.

 

What motivates you to write? 

This is an easy question to answer. I love to write, it’s as simple as that, it relaxes me and if I’ve had a bad day I know where to bury the bodies, It really is a perfect job.

 

What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre? 

I mainly write mystery/crime books, there are a few short stories around where I have played with other genres but I always seem to return to mystery.  I don’t think I consciously chose this genre it was more like it chose me. As a reader I have always loved mysteries as they seem to fit more comfortably in with good storytelling, a good story needs to twist and turn a little, I like to play with human emotions too, everyday relationships in unusual circumstances.

 

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? 

I would like to continue writing for as long as I can, I hope that people curl up on their sofa’s and come on a journey with me, that is the main goal, pure enjoyment.

If I could set a personal, selfish goal it would be to be able to give up work and write full time, I love my work but I love my writing more.

 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it? 

Yes but I try to think of it as breathing time, I know it’s coming when I start to get distracted too easily, that’s the time to set down my writing and do something different for a while. After a day I start to worry about it so that’s when I sit down and write, nothing in particular I just get a piece of paper and write whatever comes into my head, it’s generally rubbish but it clears a space to get back to my book.

 

What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? 

Don’t be scared, just do it. If you start worrying about all the hurdles that you’ll have to jump over you’ll never do it so jump in and give it a go, you could be the next big thing.

One of my major bug bears is all of the already successful authors that say things that scare people starting out, you must have perfect grammar, you must edit, rewrite, don’t use those words … and the list goes on. Write what feels good, we want to hear your voice not a boring sterile writer.  

 

Please, tell us about your work.  

My debut novel is ‘The Community’ an English Mystery and love story that spans fifty years.

Meet Jack and find out why he lives the way he does and how he takes care of those around him. It opens with a body that has been discovered in a park, a woman seemingly dead from natural causes and Jack is at the site. Why?

Then meet Alex a local journalist, still wet behind the ears but trying to make her name, she gets the story of the body in the park. How will she do? Will she find out her identity?  What will she discover about her home town that no one else knows? If she does work it out how could that effect Jack’s life or hers?

What connection could an unknown body, an abandoned baby, missing people and a triquetra have? She sets out to find the answers, unaware of how it will affect the people she loves the most. 

After it was written (too many rewrites to count) I believed in it, this piece of writing was a living breathing thing, I decided to publish as an independent author through choice, after being offered a deal from a publisher I didn’t feel comfortable with, I wanted to be able to choose what happened to this book. So I self-published with help from Completely Novel (they were great) and put it on Amazon Kindle myself. I have never regretted taking that route and now I have 5* reviews and am very happy with its progress.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

 

It’s lovely to join you here, thank you so much for the opportunity, you have made me feel very welcome.

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

Stephanie_Richmond_556Contact Links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01C6Q0O1K – Amazon Authors Page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Community-S-C-Richmond/dp/184914785X – The Community Paperback Amazon Link.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Community-S-C-Richmond-ebook/dp/B016F8F3DE – The Community Amazon Kindle link

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B016F8F3DE – Amazon Reviews page

https://www.facebook.com/scrichmond3/ – Facebook Author Page

https://www.facebook.com/ManMythMagik/ – Buy Here too, signed copies

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26782186-the-community – Good reads page

 

If you would like to read a free chapter and get more insights to ‘The Community’ and the writing of the next book (As yet untitled) please visit me at…

 https://scrichmondblog.wordpress.com/