Monday, 3 October 2011

Six of the Best: Introducing the fascinating author Alberta Ross.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

I had to ask my friend from forever/editor this one as I didn’t think there was anything to tell and she informs it’s because despite being a shy introvert with very few social skills I decided to travel the world on my own and made a fair job of it.  Although labelled stupid at school I took myself off to University when I was forty and achieved 2 degrees and despite being a pensioner have decided to write full time even though I cannot spell or punctuate.  (She’s an amazing friend/editor!).  Also that I have always followed my principles even when they have been unpopular.

What themes do you find yourself returning to in your writing?

I guess that would be our brains; I am endlessly fascinated in how our brains, memories, influences work on our character formation.   So psychology, anthropology, children, damaged adults are recurring themes. 

What does literary success look to you?

At my age I was never looking to supporting myself by writing, success for me is if I can write stories someone else enjoys reading.  Being an avid reader myself it is tremendously exciting to see others enjoying my books.  The day copies went into our county library was also success for me.

Who are your literary idols?

I don’t do idols but there are some authors I enjoy and have great respect for; authors such as Tolkien, Dickens and Thackeray.  These because they can handle huge cast lists with such ease; every character, however minor, is exquisitely drawn, believable and of importance.  Their descriptions of locales and characters are second to none and the stories draw a person in and never disappoint. You just have to give your time to them!

Which one of your own pieces is your personal favourite?

Difficult one that. A WIP obviously is always a favourite or you wouldn’t be writing it but a couple of my short stories come high on the list and a work that is not written yet is my top favourite!  I thought it out twenty years ago and it’s been nestling in my brain ever since; I’m going to resurrect it come NaNo this year.

Where can we find out more about you and your writing?

I’ll give you my links but I will add if you really want to know more this book tour has involved many interviews and I feel quite naked now with the amount of information that has been drawn out of me.  where extracts, interviews, readers comments and purchase links can be found where I blog about writing and my books, the details of all the stops on this tour can be found there as well where I blog about whatever takes my fancy and my interests.  where I spend a great deal of time retweeting interesting (I find them so) articles and blogs on my interests.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

6 Of The Best: 100,000 copy bestelling author - Jo Ellis

A treat for you guys this morning: - an interview with number one bestselling author, Jo Ellis; a lady as pretty and sweet as the cakes that she bakes. Enjoy ;o)

1. Tell us something interesting about yourself? Interesting... hmm let me see... I’m not sure I’m all that interesting... I like to bake. Muffins, apple pies, biscuits, cakes you name it I like to do it. Cooking on the other hand, not so much, which is strange I guess.

2. What themes do you find yourself returning to in your writing? Well of course romance, romance and more romance, but lately I’ve found that I enjoy writing in first person more than third. I also notice that when the muse is inspiring me my writing is different to when I sit down and say right I’m going to do it. So I guess that is a theme, I write completely different when I’m inspired to when I make myself do it.

3. What does literary success look like to you? I think that if I have resonated with readers and found a target audience that will want to read everything I write, as I do with my favourites then this would feel like success to me. Basically I guess I would feel as though I had succeeded if I’m providing my readers enjoyment. I thought it would be about getting a big book deal or being a bestseller (which did feel nice J ) but it is more than that.

4. Who are your literary idols and why? There have been so many throughout the years that I wouldn’t be able to list them all. I think as my life as changed my taste in writing has too. If I were to name one it would be Paullina Simons and in particular The Bronze Horseman, this book is amazing. She is an inspiration and if I could produce a book half as good as this I would be happy.

5. Which one of your own pieces of work is your personal favourite? That’s a tough one... I have two really... Spoilt because it was my first baby and I worked on it for a long time and American Girl as I feel I ‘gave’ the most when writing this story. I was inspired most when writing this book and I think (hope!) it shows. It is also very different from everything else I have written.

6. Where can we find out more about you and your writing? At my website: or at Night Publishing: I also have a Facebook page for Spoilt and can be found trying to be humorous on twitter @JoWritesRomance


Joanne Ellis is an Australian romance writer and mother of two children. She always dreamed of writing novels and has been an avid reader most of her life. In between being a mum and writing she runs her own small bookkeeping business.

She has written eight romance novels under many sub genres, suspense, historical, erotic and fantasy, as these are her preferences when reading. Her first novel Spoilt was published by Night Publishing in July 2010 after she won their ‘First Chapter of the Month’ poll in April. The sequel, Twisted Fire is due out soon.

Joanne has written several short stories, one of which can be found in the anthology Words to Music titled Mystified.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

6 Of The Best: The amazing Patti Larsen guests.

Hi folks, this is the first in an intended list of interviews with talented new(ish) writers and strong self-promoters out there in the ever expanding ether. Today say hi to the talented and generous Patti Larsen:

Patti is a writer and independent filmmaker on the East Coast of Canada. She has a passion for Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction that drives her to write full time and sometimes even through the night. She has two self-published books: ( YA Curiosities, Inc. and ( MG Cat City. Her YA novel, ( Fresco (Etopia Press), is due for release this summer, while the sequel, ( Wasteland (Etopia Press), has just been approved. Her MG novel, ( The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House (Acorn Press), is due for publication Spring 2012.
1. Tell us something interesting about yourself? Only one? I'm very interesting, you know... ;) Let's see... I coach roller derby. Used to play but broken bones aren't my thing. Sad, because it's WICKED fun. And I read Tarot cards. Oops. That's two things...

2. What themes do you find yourself returning to in your writing? Dark, darker and darkest. For some reason, my muse seems to be sinking into the black pit of despair. I love YA paranormal and mainly write in that field but everything I outline lately seems to be on the dark side of it. Voodoo dolls, kids being hunted by hybrid creatures, teen suicide... that kind of stuff. The truly terrible part is that I'm enjoying it so very much... some of my betas are starting to back away from me, shaking in fear. One of them told me point blank she wasn't reading the voodoo doll one. I guess I can't blame her.

3. What does literary success look like to you? It used to be the DREAM--big contract with big publisher and the New York Times Best Seller list. Now it's very different. To me literary success is simply having my work in the hands of readers while supporting myself doing it. And I'm right on the edge of that now, with two books coming out. I haven't given up on my plans for world literary domination, however. No, that goal is alive and well. It's just going to happen on MY terms, not that of some Big Six publishing house.

4. Who are your literary idols and why? Stephen King--the man just keeps producing and producing. I love a lot of his stuff and can't stand other bits, but the point is he is where I want to be--writing and publishing without limits. I write so quickly and have so many ideas I can barely keep up. Other than that, I really don't have any. I love to read as much as I love to write and every author has their merits. But if I had to dig deeper it would be old school authors like Marion Zimmer Bradely and Anne MacCaffery and Andre Norton--the women of fantasy and science ficiton in the 60's and 70's that my Dad read and I then read too because of him. They inspired me to write.

5. Which one of your own pieces of work is your personal favourite? OMG seriously? I have to choose? You must know from your own experience that a writer's current piece is always the favorite? Okay, if I have to pick, it's the first YA book I wrote called Family Magic about a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in a family of witches, demons and vampires and she just wants to be ordinary. I love Syd's voice--she speaks to me every day. She and her crazy family are currently with my publisher, Etopia Press. I was holding on to her and the series, 'saving' it for when I 'made it'--yeah. Silly. I'm hoping the books have found a home at last. Family Magic really kicks ass.

6. Where can we find out more about you and your writing? I have multiple personalities: - my main website - my blog where I usually post - my book blog with updates on publications

If you'd like to feature on this blog then contact me through any of the usual channels (FB, Twitter, carrier pigeon, etc, etc...).


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Back down to earth.

Just back from a week in Eurodisney with the kids, excellent fun but they sure know how to keep taking money off you in that place! Wallet says ouch!

BiteMarks had shifted somewhere around the 500 copies mark on my return, and I'm pleased with that for a start - Tim Roux at Night Publishing has done a great job of keeping me informed about the various places that he's touting the back around, and now I'm back and at the day-job again I've got a renewed sense of purpose too (as in I'd rather be writing!).

I'm aiming for a few endorsements from celebs at present - not the easiest thing in the world to do when you don't know anybody remotely famous...for those of you not in the know, the process goes something like this: find out who celebrity person's agent is and send them a polite enquiry; most of the time get ignored or get a terse and impersonal 'go away' (I can only assume that they either get this a lot, or that there are way too many nutters out there and they're forced to be very guarded!), every so often get a non-commital 'yes, send it over, but xxxx is very busy and I can't give you any indication of when they might ever look at it'; last step - send the book and hope for the best!

Okay, back to the grindstone x

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Hand That Feeds.

Well now, the best laid plans and all!

New plan: one post a week on whatever's floating around in my strange mind; and another each time I interview a new victim from the writing world for amusement!

Today's topic: charitable giving for authors.

When I'm not scribbling down novel ideas on fragments of paper, I'm advising clients on their finances for a large UK banking group (snore!). Each year the bank nominate a charity to benefit from fundraising activities for the whole year (last year British Heart Foundation, this year Save The Children); and I saw my chance to do something selfless by donating profits from my debut crime novel to the children's charity for the first few months; with Tim Roux at Night Publishing agreeing to not only donate the publisher share of profits, but also offering to encourage other Night authors to do the far so good.

Cue a stream of e-mails from the charity about 'protecting their brand', 'looking into corporate commercial logistics', and 'signing an agreement to outline the necessary steps that need to be adhered to' cut a long story short; the representative from the charity is quite happy to take the money, but bordered on accusing both me and Night of looking at angles to trade off their name (in fact Tim had already stated to them that he'd prefer not to be named publicly if they preferred - although from my own perspective more publicity meant more money raised for them)! Talk about biting the hand that feeds!

The good to come out of all of this embarrassment and awkwardness (Night have now graciously agreed to give the proceeds to me to be donated anonymously how I choose), is that I'm looking into founding a charitable organisation of my own in order to make a difference without all of the commercial crap. The lesson for anybody else out there is simple: charitys are first and foremost businesses; the majority of the donations that they receive cover costs (including salaries), and they therefore behave just like any other faceless corporate entity in their dealings with others - donate by all means, but expect suspicion about your motives at the very least.

Drew x

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Take 2!

Well, a lot has changed in the last month and a half, but finally BiteMarks will be appearing on an e-reader (and in paperback) near you later this week. |Big thanks to Tim Roux at Night Publishing who stepped in at the eleventh hour and offered a separate contract to publish the book. I'll be sharing the experiences of going on sale and marketing like crazy to all and sundry starting on Friday.

Henceforth, Friday's are blog days; let's get this party started!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Welcome one and all.

In the next few days this place is going to get busy for the first time, since I'll be inviting all of the members of the wonderful 'Fellow Writers' FB group to follow me and check out the site. The time is fast approaching for me to boost my profile in time for the publication of a couple of my books in July and September.
I'll be blogging once a week and tweeting/FBing every day once I've tweaked this site properly tomorrow and extended invites. I'd love to add your own site as a link (no idea how to do that yet, but I'll be finding out!) and it matters not whether you're a writer, the more the merrier.
Ciao for now, love Drew x