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!

 

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 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.

 

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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/