A Conversation with Author Eva Pasco

Today in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Eva Pasco, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Eva, please introduce yourself:

author-eva-pascoUndergoing a midlife renaissance, I rekindled my passion for storytelling by composing Contemporary Women’s Fiction that taps into significant issues affecting the lives of women over-forty. My character-driven novels host personas who plunge the depths of despair in their darkest hours prior to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel through redemption and empowerment.

Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

Living in a rural area as an only child until the age of 7, until my sister came along, I always had my nose in a book. While my leisure reading plummeted during my adult writing craze, it’s recently picked up at a frenetic pace through my eagerness to read and review books written by kindred Indie authors in my author support groups.

While I prefer books in my own genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction, I’ve happily branched out to reading other genres which has broadened my horizons. A Conversation with Author Eva Pasco

A Conversation with Author Kate Braithwaite

 

Today in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Kate Braithwaite who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Kate, please introduce yourself:

 dsc_5299_pp1I grew up in Edinburgh but now live with my family in Pennsylvania. I write book reviews and features for Bookbrowse and the Historical Novel Society. My first novel, Charlatan, a tale of intrigue and poison in 17th century France, was published on September 15th 2016. A Conversation with Author Kate Braithwaite

A Conversation with Author Jane Risdon

 

This evening in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jane Risdon, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Jane, please introduce yourself: 

janeI have been writing for the last 5 years. Marrying a rock musician when still quite young, and to help support our family, I worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall where I indulged my love of mystery and intrigue. Later working in the International Music Industry managing recording artists, songwriters, record producers and actors, based mainly in Los Angeles, Singapore and Taipei, I began to garner information and experiences for my longed-for and much anticipated writing career. I read avidly and writing crime, sometimes with a touch of espionage and organised crime in the mix, reflects my love of this genre. I am published by Accent Press. A Conversation with Author Jane Risdon

A Conversation with Author Tom Williams

Today in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Tom Williams, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into his life as an author.

Tom used to write about boring things for money. If you wanted an analysis of complaints volumes in legal services or attitudes to diversity at the BBC, then he was your man. Now he writes much more interesting books about hi1975150_753942814623481_2115745955_nstorical characters and earns in a year about what he could make in a day back then. (This, unfortunately, is absolutely true.) He also writes a blog (http://thewhiterajah.blogspot.co.uk/) which is widely read all over the world and generates no income at all.

Besides making no money from writing, Tom makes no money out of occasionally teaching people to tango and then spends all the money he hasn’t made on going to dance in Argentina.

Please save Tom from himself and buy his books.

A Conversation with Author Tom Williams

A Conversation with Author Nora Fountain

 

This evening in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Nora Fountain, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

Hello, I’m a trad- and self-published author of contemporary and historical romances plus one crime story ‘Chain of Evil’, which also has a romantic thread.

816QlC24N-L._UX250_I read from an early age, piecing words and text together in a wonderful book of nursery rhymes. This also introduced the rhythms of poetry. We did a lot of that at primary school and somehow poetry stays in the mind in a way that prose cannot. Later I was introduced to French romantic poetry and still love bits of Lamartine, such as Le Lac. I love the idea of feelings so powerful that they could be imprinted on the very rocks around the lake where they loved. I can also quote just four lines by the Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca. Just four – about the gypsies he loved, riding through an olive grove in the moonlight. Colourful stuff. A Conversation with Author Nora Fountain

A Conversation with Author Catherine Kullmann

Today in the Library I am delighted to host Irish historical fiction author Catherine Kullmann, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Catherine and congratulations on the publication this week of your book, The Murmur of Masks.

Hello and thank you for inviting me to the Library. I was born and brought up in Dublin. Following my marriage I moved to Germany where I lived for over twenty-five years. My husband and I returned to Ireland in 1999 and celebratCatherine Kullmann 4 MBed our ruby wedding in 2013. We have three adult sons and two grandchildren. I have worked in the Irish and New Zealand public services and in the private sector. I took early retirement some years ago and was finally able to follow my life-long dream of writing fiction

Did you read much as a child?

As a child I always had my nose in a book. I had tickets for the public library and the children’s section of the RDS library and visited both several times a week. The librarian of the public library allowed me join the adult library early as I had read everything in the children’s library.

Are you an avid reader now?

Yes. I have to read every day. I buy a lot of new books, but also love second-hand bookshops, book fairs and charity shops as you never know what you might find.

Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

I generally read fiction for pleasure and non-fiction for research. I love historical fiction and detective stories set in all periods, but also read nineteenth and twentieth century fiction, contemporary fiction, paranormal and fantasy.

Are you self-published or traditionally published?

Self-published.

Which genre do you write in and why?

According to traditional publishers, my books fall between two stools—historical romance and historical fiction. I describe them as ‘historical fiction for the heart and for the head’. They are set during the extended Regency period, an era that has always fascinated me. It started with Jane Austen, I suppose, but as I came to know more about the period, I realised it was the one which shaped both the United Kingdom which came into being with the Act of Union in 1800 and modern Europe through the Napoleonic wars and their aftermath. Although a time of revolution, reform and transition, it was still a rigid, patriarchal, class-ridden society. I enjoy the challenge of creating characters who behave authentically in their period while making their actions and decisions plausible and sympathetic to a modern reader.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

I would have to start with my English teachers and the essays I wrote every week, then my professional training in drafting accurately and, as far as possible, elegantly. Novelists who influenced me include Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Georgette Heyer to whom all ‘regency writers’ owe so much, and Dorothy Sayers. In Gaudy Night, when her heroine is faced with writing a very tricky letter, she has her ask herself, “Why can’t I write a straightforward piece of English on a set subject?” This question makes her identify the real reason for her difficulties. Once she realises what the problem is, she is able to deal with it.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

Yes. In many ways the Ireland I grew up in was more similar to Regency society than to modern twenty-first century society. Attitudes to sex and sexuality were very different. Contraception was illegal, as was divorce. Pre-marital sex was frowned upon and it was almost unheard of for an unmarried mother to keep her baby. It was not usual for married women to work outside the home and many employers, including the civil service, refused to continue a woman’s employment once she married.

At the time I moved to Germany, air-travel and international phone calls were very expensive and there was, of course, neither  internet, Skype, Facebook, texting nor anything of that sort, so I know what it is like to be isolated in a new environment and dependent on letters to maintain relationships and friendships.

Some people have asked me why I don’t set my books in Ireland but it would be impossible to do that and ignore the political and social situation in Ireland at that time. That would result in a different, bleaker book that I don’t want to write.

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?

Because my books are pure fiction, I do not start with a real storyline or characters. It is usually something quite small that triggers a book—a ‘what if?’ or ’what then?’ In the case of The Murmur of Masks, it was a small throwaway line in another book Perception & Illusion which, although it was written first, will not be published until next year. The most difficult thing is fleshing out that little idea. First I create the characters and then work on an outline of the plot, although that will change considerably as I write the first draft.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

I prefer the mornings but write in the afternoon as well.

What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?

The best is when a book takes flight, when your characters suddenly determine the route of their journey. The worst is when they stubbornly refuse to budge.

Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?

As you know, I came very late to social media and regard it more as a chore than an essential part of my life. To my surprise, I find I enjoy Facebook, especially the interaction with other writers. I also blog about historical facts and trivia relating to the extended Regency

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

That is a hard one. I am retired and have no wish to return to the day job. I think I would have to find something else creative to do, but am not sure what.

It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?

I wouldn’t read; I would listen to Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Handel’s Messiah

Please tell us about your latest published work.

Portrait of Lady Morgan (Sydney Owenson) (1776-1859), Writer, c.1818, Artist: RenÈ ThÈodore Berthon. A lady in an empire line dress seated on a chair beside a writing desk. Pen in hand. A vase of flowers.

My debut novel, The Murmur of Masks, is now available on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. It is a story of loss, love and second chances set against a background of the Napoleonic wars, culminating in the Battle of Waterloo. It is available worldwide on Amazon.

If you would like to know more about Catherine and her work please check out the social media links below:

Blog   Website: Facebook  

or you can send messages to my Page at

m.me/catherinekullmannauthor.

 

 

A Conversation with Author Dianne Ascroft

Today in the Library I am delighted to host author ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Dianne Ascroft, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Dianne, please introduce yourself:

Dianne Ascroft headshotHi everyone. I’m an urban Canadian writer. I moved to Britain more than a quarter of a century ago and gradually downsized until I’m now settled on a farm in rural Northern Ireland with my husband and an assortment of strong willed animals.

I write historical and contemporary fiction, often with an Irish connection. My current series The Yankee Years is a collection of Short Reads and novels set in World War II Northern Ireland. After the Allied troops arrived in this outlying part of Great Britain, life there would never be the same again. The series weaves tales of the people and the era. My previous writing includes a short story collection, Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars. Online I lurk at www.dianneascroft.com. A Conversation with Author Dianne Ascroft

A Conversation with Author Susan Appleyard

Today in the library we have author Susan Appleyard who has dropped by to share some insights into her life as an author. Susan is the author of : Queen of Trial and Sorrow, This Sun of York,  The Relentless Queen and The First Plantagenet.

 

Hello Pam and everyone. Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself and talk about my work.

I was born in England, which is where I learned my love of English history, and emigrated to Canada in the mid-seventies, so I am very much a Canadian but with a Yorkshire accent. I’m fortunate to be able to spend six months in Canada, with my 3 children and 6 grand-children, and six months in Mexisusanco with the sun and sea and margaritas on the beach. (No prizes for guessing which months are spent where.)

I had two books traditionally published, before my burgeoning career went into the toilet when my publisher sold out to another company and my agent went into furniture sales. For a time, I gave up trying to get published but I never stopped writing. It was little over a year ago that a friend suggested I try self-publishing, which I did, and I now have four books available on Amazon. As already stated, I adore English history and read any era, fiction and non-fiction, although my favourite period remains the fifteenth century. Three of my books are set in the period of the War of the Roses, and the fourth is about Henry II, a very interesting king.

For me one of the most difficult things about writing is maintaining my confidence. Most of us do our own editing more than once, trying to achieve perfection and make sure no little error slips through, even if we go on to have the work professionally edited. By the time I finish this process I begin to think words that once seemed like little gems of wit or wisdom now sound trite. I think it was the English painter Turner who said: I imagine mountains and paint molehills. That’s the way I feel when my book is finished.

I always write in the mornings when the brain is freshest – so I’ve heard. The best thing about being an author is putting myself in the life of another person, trying to imagine what they are sensing at a given time. This is particularly challenging and rewarding in historical fiction because the experiences are so far from my own. For example, I once wrote about a man who was crushed when an elephant fell on him. I’ve killed and been killed in many varied ways, and had so many love affairs… All without a twinge to my conscience. The worst thing about being an author is the feeling in my bottom when I get up after several hours of work!

If I was not an author, I would indulge my love of history by being an archaeologist.InAGildedCage

My work in progress is a departure for me as it is about the nineteenth century Empress Elisabeth of Austria, nicknamed Sisi. It’s in the editing stage and I’m excited about it. Titled In a Gilded Cage, I hope to publish this summer.

If you would like to know more about Susan and her work, please check out the links below:

Amazon Author Page   

Blog   Facebook

                                    

 

 

 

 

A Conversation with Author Paul Kestell

Today in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Paul Kestell, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into his life as an author.

You are very welcome, Paul, please introduce yourself:

 imageHi, I started writing when I was very young …  but I was shy and I didn’t really come out till my final years in secondary school, when I made the school magazine with a few stories in the flash fiction genre before it was ever invented. I started writing novels when I was forty-six after a sudden illness forced me to change almost everything in my life. I went to live in a small fishing village in West Cork …. where I wrote Viareggio, and Wood Point, both novels, and then two collections of novelettes called The Mad Marys of Dunworley and The West Cork Railway and Other Stories. My reviews have been very good but not good enough to tempt a mainstream publisher to take me on. So I continue to publish under my own imprint Black Cormorant Books, and my new title is ‘Nogginers,’ a series of twelve short stories set where I grew up in Sallynoggin. A Conversation with Author Paul Kestell

A Conversation with Author Virginia Heath

 

Today in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Virginia Heath, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into their life as an author.

You are very welcome, Virginia, please introduce yourself:

Virginia HeathI was born just outside of London and still live on the outskirts of the city. I am married to a wonderful man and have a daughter and a son, both in their late teens. For the last decade I have been teaching history to teenagers in a British secondary school. I loved teaching, but in the back of my mind I had always wanted to be a writer. When I hit the age of 46, I realised that if I didn’t do it soon then I probably would never do it at all. So I quit full-time teaching at the start of 2014 and worked part-time. On my days off I wrote. Then finally, last summer I gave up teaching for good and now only write.

Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

I have always been an avid reader. There is just something about reading a book that is so immersive and I they are the perfect way to de-stress. I read all manner of books, from serious non-fiction to crime, but romance has always been my favourite genre. I have only discovered the joy of historical romances in the last five years, which is ironic considering I now write them.

Are you self-published or traditionally published?

I am thrilled to be published by Harlequin Mills & Boon. I have read hundreds of their books over the years and never imagined that I would become one of their authors.

Which genre do you write in and why?

My background as a historian lends itself perfectly to historical romances. At the moment I am writing Regencies. It is such a fascinating time period and a time of great technological and scientific change. However, the great divide that existed between the rich and the poor created huge political tensions which are rarely mentioned in Regency romances. Of course, there is also the turbulent wars between England and Napoleon as well as the continued animosity between the British and the former American colonies. It provides such a wealth of things to write about that I am spoiled for choice. However, I am not ready to pigeon-hole myself as solely a Regency author. I want to write in other time periods too and have a few ideas for something contemporary, perhaps involving a teacher…

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

It’s hard to narrow it down to one particular person, but I suppose the legendary Nora Roberts has to be up there. I love her romantic suspense stories in particular but almost everything she writes is brilliant. Having said that, I also love Dickens. He has a really funny way with words once you get into the language. And, of course, I love Jane Austen. Mr Darcy is the perfect hero. Flawed but honourable. I also adore Julia Quinn, Julie Anne long, Sarah Maclean and Tessa Dare. I like the modern, witty twist they put on regency romances and their books have definitely influenced my own writing.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

I have always lived such a short distance away from London, therefore I feel comfortable writing about it. I love to travel though, and would really like to write some books set in America or the Caribbean during the early 19th century.

What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?

For me, it is the isolation. I am used to spending my days with a thousand kids in a school and all of the hullaballoo that goes along with it. Don’t get me wrong- I love the quiet and the lack of stress now but there are times when I just want to be around other humans! Fortunately, I have some good friends who I can lunch with or I visit my daughter at university. Weekends, I rarely write. I go off and have adventures with other human beings instead.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

Definitely the mornings. I am at my most productive between the hours of eight and noon. After that, the words do not flow quite as quickly. Writing after seven is forbidden- if I do, my brain will not shut down and I spend the night awake thinking about what to write next.

What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?

The best thing about being an author is being paid to be creative. I sit and think, plot and write about whatever I want to. How cool is that? The worst thing is the self-doubt that walks alongside all creativity. I will have a minor crisis of confidence every week and one major one about one third into every book! During that time, I convince myself that I cannot write, my words are rubbish and I will have to give it all up and get a proper job again.

Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?

Perhaps it will change, but it is definitely a chore and becomes a bigger one every day. I prefer Facebook to Twitter because it is less advertising, yet I believe that Twitter is probably the more useful of the two. I have just made my own website www.virginiaheathromance.com and I really love that because it is more me than the other platforms. I have made sure that people can contact me via a link, which is far more personal than the public forums and I can respond in kind.

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

Probably still teaching and dreaming about writing a book someday during the never-ending round of afterschool meetings.

It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?

If oblivion is nigh, then I think I would want to spend my final hours laughing, so I would choose The Moon’s a Balloon by David Niven. It is a hugely entertaining and hilarious autobiography which follows him from childhood to Hollywood.

Please tell us about your latest published work. 

TDRMy debut novel, That Despicable Rogue, was released this month. It is about Lady Hannah Steers’ mission of revenge against a handsome, charming scoundrel, who has taken everything from her, including her beloved childhood home Barchester Hall. The loss of that house caused her brother to shoot himself and doomed Hannah to be exiled in the north, away from society.

In order to expose him, Hannah dons a disguise and applies for the position of Ross Jameson’s housekeeper and goes to live with him back in the house that she loves. Except, once she is working for him, all of her well-laid plans go pear-shaped.

That Despicable Rogue is available in paperback or kindle, and is available on Amazon and other booksellers, or directly from the Harlequin Mills & Boon website.

There is a taster chapter on my website www.virginiaheathromance.com so that you can try before your buy. There you will also find details of my second book, Her Enemy at the Altar, which follows in August and is also available for pre-order Amazon

If you would like to know more about Virginia and her work please check out the links below:

Twitter     Facebook