New Release from Sharon Thompson

Sharon Thompson is a best-selling, Irish author who writes historical novels, with plenty of criminal elements for Bloodhound Books UK. When she is not plotting gritty manuscripts (like ‘The Abandoned’ and ‘The Healer’) Sharon enjoys conjuring light-hearted short stories for magazines like Woman’s Way. Living in rural Donegal, Sharon loves binge-watching movies and TV programmes, walking on the beach with her dog, and making time for coffee or a glass of wine with friends. An avid tweeter, Sharon runs a trending tweet-chat #WritersWise, and can be found online, chatting on messenger or typing out a new idea. ‘The Quiet Truth’ is due for release on 9th Dec 2020. Sharon has also signed with Poolbeg Books Ireland. Her historical, crime novel called ‘The Murdering Wives Club’ from the Sinful Roses series will launch in January 2021. New Release from Sharon Thompson

A Conversation with Author Elizabeth St. John

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

Here’s a little bit about Elizabeth:

Elizabeth St.John spends her time between California, England, and the past. An acclaimed author, historian, and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London to inspire her novels. Although the family sold a few country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their legacy. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story.

Having spent a significant part of her life with her seventeenth-century family while writing The Lydiard Chronicles trilogy and Counterpoint series, Elizabeth St.John is now discovering new family stories with her fifteenth-century namesake Elysabeth St.John Scrope, and her half-sister, Margaret Beaufort. A Conversation with Author Elizabeth St. John

A Conversation with Author Emma Lombard

Today, I am delighted to welcome Emma Lombard into the Library.  She has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

Before becoming a historical fiction author, Emma was an editor in the corporate world across various industries—aviation, aquatic ecology, education and the world of academia.

Her blog series Twitter Tips for Newbies is popular in Twitter’s #WritingCommunity for helping writers (new to Twitter) navigate the platform and find their professional voices on social media. She also writes a monthly column for ENVIE Magazine, in which she shares publishing industry resources for authors.

A Conversation with Author Emma Lombard

A Conversation with Author Carolyn Hughes

Today, I am delighted to welcome into the Library fellow historical fiction author ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Carolyn Hughes.  She has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

 You are very welcome, Carolyn, please introduce yourself: 

Hello, I’m Carolyn and I write historical fiction. (Sounds like we’re in a meeting for Writers Anonymous…) I’ve been writing all my adult life, but have come to publication only relatively recently when I am, alas, quite old! A Conversation with Author Carolyn Hughes

New Release from John Anthony Miller! Sinner, Saint or Serpent

It’s great to have you back in the Library, John, can you tell us a little about yourself for anyone not familiar with your books?

JAM Photo

Hi Pam, thanks for having me. I live in southern New Jersey in the U.S., very close to the city of Philadelphia. I’ve been writing professionally for about six years, and Sinner, Saint, or Serpent is my seventh novel.

What motivates you to write?

I think the motivation for me is learning about the imaginary world I’m creating, which takes quite a bit of research. I love to learn.

Do you ever have writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?

For me, rather than writer’s block, it’s getting stuck on a scene or character that isn’t turning out the way I want. I usually move on to something else, maybe research another aspect of the book or a completely different book, or go for a walk. The distraction normally brings the solution.

How do you go about researching the history behind your books?

Once I determine a period to write about, I choose the location. I think the location, if described well enough, is really a character, often as important as the protagonist. Then I devise the plot. I have dozens swirling around in my head, and need only to find the one that interests me – and potential readers – the most. I often round out the characters last, honour the deadand I usually find that they turn out far different in the end than I had envisioned in the beginning.

I research everything from clothing to hairstyles to food to military maneuvers. I read books about the time period, books written during the time period, and I research websites. The BBC website for WWI and WWII, for example, is a wealth of information, including personal stories.

I continue to research until the book is completed. The first draft is just that – a bit of a mess with notes to myself for future enhancements. But each revision shapes the story, the research bringing both the scenes and characters to life.

With so many different ideas, how many will make it into future books?

I have about twenty different ideas at any one time, many of which will become books. I don’t discard any of them, but if I start on a topic and lose interest in the research, I usually pick something else and move the abandoned idea lower on the list. I have a file for different topics, plots, titles, false starts and various interests that I go through when starting a book. Sometimes I choose one, combine it with another or change the time period, and that gives me a fresh perspective and the motivation to finish it.

Once you have a solid idea, how long does it take you do get to the final product?

It usually takes me 9 months to complete the draft that I send to my agent (which is after 5 or 6 revisions). The draft is then sent to fact-checkers and advanced readers, after which I reconcile any comments – either make changes or explain why changes are not required. That typically takes a month or two. The book is then sent to the publisher, who takes anywhere from 6- 15 months to issue it. There are different editing processes during that publishing timeline, as well as cover design.

Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?

Yes – I have two suggestions. First, try to write every day once you start a book– even if it’s fifteen or twenty minutes, or just scribbling ideas about a character in a notebook. I think the routine and consistency are important. Second, don’t let family and friends discourage you with negative comments. I’m sure they mean well, but some people will not take you seriously until you show them a publishing contract. Write for yourself first, the public second.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

I like to cross genres, using thrillers, historical fiction, and mysteries, primarily. I think having a multi-genre plot is much more interesting, with unlimited possibilities for subplots and secondary characters that are often as exciting as the protagonist.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?

I would definitely choose late-Victorian through the early part of the twentieth century. I’m drawn to the British Empire, upon which the sun never set, the twilight of Victorian England, the dawn of a new century, the utter destruction of WWI, and the roaring ‘20’s.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

When I’m doing the initial research for the book, and I’ve determined in what time period it’ll take place, I search on the internet for the most popular baby names in the country and year that the book takes place. For example, Sinner, Saint or Serpent takes place in New Orleans in 1926. I researched the most popular male names, female names and surnames in the U.S at that time. I fill the left-hand side of a notebook with female names I like, the centre with male names, the right with surnames. Then, I match them up.

Please tell us about your latest published work.

Sinner, Saint or SerpentMy seventh novel, Sinner, Saint or Serpent, has just been issued. It’s a historical murder mystery set in New Orleans in 1926. Justice Harper and Remy Morel are two reporters investigating the murder of August Chevalier, a ruthless businessman with dozens of enemies. Police identify three suspects, prominent women in New Orleans society: a sinner – Blaze Barbeau, accused of having an affair with the deceased, a saint – the charitable Lucinda Boyd, whose family business was stolen by Chevalier, and a serpent – Belladonna Dede, the local voodoo queen.

Harper has an impeccable reputation, while his assistant Remy Morel is a sassy newcomer with more mouth than she can control. They unravel the mystery, battling anonymous threats and increasing danger the closer they come to cornering the culprit. The clues lead them to more suspects: Mimi Menard – Chevalier’s housekeeper, Nicky the Knife – a lunatic gangster, Serenity Dupree – a sultry jazz singer and Harper’s lover, and even Remy Morel – her family wronged by a ruthless Chevalier.

My goal was to keep the reader constantly confused by the killer’s identity, and totally fooled when the identity is revealed. Hopefully I accomplished that.

LINKS TO PURCHASE:

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinner-Saint-Serpent-Anthony-Miller-ebook/dp/B0851NSSWF/

US:  https://www.amazon.com/Sinner-Saint-Serpent-Anthony-Miller-ebook/dp/B0851NSSWF/

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

https://www.amazon.com/JOHN-ANTHONY-MILLER/e/B00Q1U0OKO/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9787380.John_Anthony_Miller

https://twitter.com/authorjamiller

http://johnanthonymiller.net/

Thanks so much, Pam, for the opportunity to chat.

 

New Release from Historical Fiction Author John Anthony Miller

Today, I am delighted to share the news that one of my favourite authors has a new release. John Anthony Miller hails from southern New Jersey and his writing is motivated by a life-long love of travel and history. This really does come across in his writing. I loved Honour the Dead and can’t wait to read For Those Who Dare.

For Those Who Dare by John Anthony Miller

East Berlin, August 13, 1961:

Kirstin Beck watches from her townhouse second-floor window as the border with West Berlin is closed, a barbed wire fence strung through the cemetery behind her house. With a grandmother in West Berlin that needs her care, and a daughter given up for adoption sixteen years before that she’s recently found, she must get to West Berlin. Married to a college professor who is also an informant for Stasi – the East German intelligence service – she’s trapped in a cage, caught in a web of world events.

Tony Marino is an American writer living in West Berlin. His apartment abuts the cemetery that the border fence divides. As he watches the construction progress, he sees Kirstin looking from her townhouse window. Casual acquaintances before the border was closed, Kirstin holds up a sign for Tony to see. It states: HELP ME.

This basic communication spawns an evolution of events focused on an escape from East Berlin. Failed attempts, fake passports, a growing list of refugees, and ultimately a tunnel, lead Kirstin and Tony through a kaleidoscope of deceit and danger as she’s determined to attain freedom at any cost.

The two men in Kirstin’s life symbolize the governments they represent: her cold, dogmatic husband from East Berlin, rooted to a rigid philosophy that needs walls to contain its people, and Tony, the brash, optimistic American from West Berlin who rescues her from a world she can’t endure.
Buy Link

 

A Conversation with Historical Fiction Author JP Reedman

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

You are very welcome, please introduce yourself:

I’m J.P. Reedman, author of historical fiction and historical fantasy. My works mostly cover the English Middle Ages, from the time of Henry II to the end of the Wars of the Roses but also delve into the far-flung past—the era of Stonehenge. One interlinked series, Medieval Babes, is of short biographical fiction on little-known medieval women; queens and princesses who are little more than a few lines in history books. Another is I, Richard Plantagenet, which is about Richard III-told from his first person perspective.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

I write Historical Fiction mostly, although I also write historical fantasy and high fantasy. I have had a fixation on the past since I was about four when I loved ancient Egypt. One of my first ever stories was about Cleopatra. I had just turned six.

Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

I love to read and am surrounded by thousands of books. I often have 5 or more on the go at any one time. I do read a lot of historical fiction but have been reading some Gothics and ghost stories lately, and read a lot of non-fiction on the Middle Ages and prehistoric Britain.

Are you a self-published/traditional or hybrid author?

I am self-published now, but did have several books with a small press. In the 80’s I had many short stories and poems published in the small press.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

Even though they did not write historical fiction, it is Tolkien and Alan Garner.  The use of myth, the sense of place in their works was deeply inspirational. They also inspired an 11 year old to read such works as the Mabinogion, the Elder Eddas and Beowulf

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

I was born in Canada but was always attracted to the history of Britain and Ireland from a very young age. My mother was a warbride after WWII and I think she was always homesick even decades on; I grew up listening to traditional music from Britain and Ireland. Learning about the royals, looking at coffee table books filled with pictures of Britain. My first visit was when I was four; I can still clearly remember my excitement at visiting two real castles—Windsor and Guildford. I moved permanently to the UK in 1992.

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

The beginning is always difficult. I usually hate what I’ve written. I often need to go back later and pull the first chapter apart as the MC is often very different than he/she is later in the story. Too different.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

I tend to write at night. I wish I could do more in the day but it never seems to work, so I do promo in the day.

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

I did a little bit of acting in the past but don’t think I’d have followed it as a career. An archaeologist or anthropologist probably.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?

I would love to see the building of Stonehenge! Although most of my historicals are medieval, my first two were set in the early Bronze Age. This is the era that I have a real ‘specialty’ in, particularly burial and ritual. I worked at Stonehenge for over ten years.

Please tell us about your latest published work. 

My latest book is THE PRINCESS NUN which is about Mary of Woodstock, daughter of Edward I. She was the ‘nun who liked fun’, spending more time attending court than in her priory. She bought lots of gold and jewels, kept hounds, and one noble claimed he had an affair with her. She was quite a character. She’s also buried in my hometown of Amesbury, although her grave is now lost.

Universal Link: https://t.co/jAUWDDPS3y?amp=1

 

A Conversation with Author Mary Ann Bernal

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

You are very welcome, Mary Ann, please introduce yourself:

Thanks for inviting me, Pam. In addition to being an incurable romantic Anglophile history buff, I am also a Science Fiction nerd, dreaming of exploring strange new worlds the minute Captain Kirk commanded the Enterprise. Yes, I am an original Trekkie.

My grandchildren also keep me on my toes, but I am one of their staunchest supporters in all of their extracurricular activities, from sitting in the bleachers for sporting events to orchestra seating for dance competitions.

I am a passionate supporter of the U.S. military, having been involved with letter-writing campaigns and other military support programs since Operation Desert Storm. All of my novels and short story collections are dedicated to fallen military heroes who gave their lives defending our freedom.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

Since I had always wanted to write a story about a Viking prince, my genre of choice was historical fiction. After having written five novels in The Briton and the Dane series, I broadened my fan base to include contemporary short stories in the Scribbler Tales collection, and more recently, I have added a Space Opera, Planetary Wars: Rise of an Empire, to the mix.

 

My writing style varies because my interests are wide-ranging. I love history but I also love science fiction, so why not pen what I enjoy? It is always good to leave one’s comfort zone to conquer new challenges. Diversity is a good thing and one should not be limited in scope. My pendulum swings from the Ninth Century to futuristic worlds.

Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

Yes. I love to read, but I do not limit myself to one specific category. It is better to broaden one’s perspective then remain stagnant in one area. To grow, one must experience new things. What better way to discover different mindsets then to read different genres? Of course, there will always be favorites, and in many instances, it will be hard to choose the top five.

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

Ah, writer’s block comes to mind. Is it such a thing? Perhaps, perhaps not. But I am sure most of us have stared at a blank computer screen while our minds wander. Yes, there is the outline. Yes, you know the story, yet you’re stuck.

My solution was to not call it a day after having finished a chapter or a section within a chapter. I will write a few lines for the next section or chapter before leaving the office. The next day when I pull up the file, there are sentences to either change or expand upon. Problem solved.

What was the best piece of writing advice you received when starting out?

Write about what you love because you enjoy it, not because you have to. Some authors will write for the current trend, such as vampire stories. If you don’t love your work, neither will your readers. It does not matter if you’re out of sync. Your work will be discovered. Never settle.

If a movie was made of one of your books, who would you like to play the lead roles?

The Briton and the Dane trilogy selected cast:

Lord Richard – Jeremy Irons; David – James Franco; Stephen – Clive Owen; Erik – Chris Egan; Rollo – Ioan Gruffudd

If truth be told, I have cast the entire lead roles on a spreadsheet since I always picture my characters in my mind’s eye whilst I write.

If you could live the life of a historical figure for one day, who would you choose and what would you get up to?

Eleanor of Aquitaine – she was one feisty wealthy and powerful woman in the Twelfth Century. She was married to Louis VII of France and King Henry II of England. While married to Louis, Eleanor participated in the Second Crusade, leading her Aquitainian soldiers, not of noble birth. It was said she was dressed as an Amazon (warrior women in Greek Mythology) and that point, I would love to prove. What was Eleanor wearing as she and her ladies-in-waiting headed towards the Holy Land? How many men were shamed by her courage?

You have been chosen as a member of the crew on the first one-way flight to Mars – you are allowed to bring 5 books with you. What would they be?

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, To Have and To Hold by Mary Johnston, The Andromeda Strain by Michael Creighton, and Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier. Can I throw in my Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis DVD collections? Tough choices.

Please tell us about your latest published work. 

My next project, in development, is a historical fiction novel set during the First Crusade.

Published works:

The Briton and the Dane collection is an action and adventure drama set in dark ages England when the Vikings terrorized the world. The Briton and the Dane: Timeline is a historical fiction fantasy time travel love story.

Planetary Wars Rise of an Empire is a science fiction/fantasy romantic adventure Space Opera.

Scribbler Tales is a compilation of short stories whose genres include the paranormal, action and adventure, mystery and thrillers, fantasy, romance, drama, and suspense. A single author contemporary fiction anthology.

If you would like to know more about Mary Ann and her work, please check our her links below:

 

Maryannbernal.com

Whisperinglegendspress.com

http://maryannbernal.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/BritonandDane

https://www.facebook.com/TheBritonandtheDane

https://www.instagram.com/maryannbernal/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-ann-bernal-a9a05b33/

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/maryannbernal

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3386234.MaryAnn_Bernal

Amazon US  https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Ann-Bernal/e/B003D2DPZ4?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1564349781&sr=8-1

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Ann-Bernal/e/B003D2DPZ4?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1567328428&sr=8-1

 

 

 

A Conversation with Author Wayne Turmel

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

You are very welcome Wayne, please introduce yourself:

turmelheadshotroppedHi Pam, thank you so much for letting me drop by and play in your sandbox. I live and write in Las Vegas, although I am Canadian by birth. In my life I’ve been a stand-up comedian, a car salesman, and a corporate trainer. I have been writing non-fiction for 15 years, and fiction since 2014. I’ve written three novels and multiple short stories. My latest is Acre’s Orphans, a sequel to my Crusades-era adventure Acre’s Bastard. A Conversation with Author Wayne Turmel