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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

It's all about sex! #books #bookworms #sex #mustread

What is it about sex that sells? Why does my science fiction romance sell more than my 'nice' romances? Is it the sex? The aliens? The idea of dangerous sex? Or just sex in general?

Don't get me wrong, my 'nice' romances do have sex they just don't have that element of dangerous sex or helpless heroines at the mercy of bad men. Instead, they have feisty women and men who haven't a clue what to do with them!

Eden came out ten years ago, and was followed by its sequel Hunted a few years later. In between I've written a romantic comedy with A Proper Charlie and a darker comedy romance with Oh No, I've Fallen in Love. Then this year came, Wide Awake Asleep, which is a time travel romance set in my home town, Northampton.

All, with the exception of Wide Awake Asleep, have sex scenes (A Proper Charlie does bad sex very well!) But Eden and Hunted portrays a vulnerable woman with a potential dangerous man and a will-she-be-raped-or-not situation. They weren't intended to be titillation reads but I can't help but think this it what entices my audience.

Eden (book 1)   |   Hunted (book 2)

Fly became an unwilling experiment and was dumped on an unknown planet, while Jenny’s ship crashed there.
Two different species.
Two different reasons for being there.
Survive or die?




Is she awake or is she dreaming?
Reality or nightmare? 
Julie Compton can’t believe she’s escaped a terrible car crash… it’s impossible, in fact. A tree branch had impaled her to her seat, yet here she was, unharmed and looking down at her crashed car.




What’s a girl to do when she discovers her boss is a wanted man?
Become a honey trap, that's what!





A bitter-sweet story of an ordinary woman stuck in a chick lit novel.
Is it destined for disaster or can the flamboyant characters colour Valeria's otherwise grey world?






Monday, 10 July 2017

For readers and fans of Nick Rippington's #thriller SPARK OUT check out this interview! #suspense


Introducing Nick Rippington's
SPARK OUT 

Think Arnie Dolan was trouble? Now meet the old man...

MAURICE ‘BIG MO’ DOLAN is prone to headaches and there is one main cause: his family. He believes eldest son Chuck, 7, needs toughening up, his wife Beryl is too lenient, his career-criminal father has no respect for him and he is about to lose his younger brother Clive to the army.


AmazonUK | AmazonUS
There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. With Margaret Thatcher’s government backing initiative and suggesting people get ‘on their bikes’ to find work, Mo believes it is the perfect time for him to expand his business... into armed robbery.

As he plans the ultimate raid to drag him out of the poverty trap, he believes his fortunes are bound to get better... but with the Falklands War just around the corner they are about to become a whole lot worse.

A hard-boiled suspense thriller that's not for the faint hearted.

A prequel to Crossing The Whitewash, the novel is set in 1982 as Britain comes to terms with a Thatcher government and the prospect of war in the south Atlantic...


Interview with Nick Rippington
What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC or pen and paper?
My starting point is to have the germ of an idea, then to work out a beginning and an ending. From there I develop a short plan – two or three paragraphs per chapter – before I knuckle down to a first draft. Sometimes it just flows on other occasions it is hard work, which makes me think I have to adapt it. A good start and a good end are key ingredients, though. Recently I have been starting my books to coincide with Nanowrimo, the yearly contest in which you have to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month ... it’s a great challenge and really gives you a head start.
Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?
This year I launched Spark Out at the Dublin Writers Conference run by the inspiring Laurence O’Bryan of Books Go Social. You can gain so many good ideas from the talented speakers that turn up there. For the last two years they have even had a Hollywood producer. This time around you had the chance to pitch ideas to him and I was hoping he might see the potential of both Spark Out and Crossing the Whitewash for the big screen. I also regularly attend the London Book Fair, where the Authors Corner has grown out of all proportion over the last few years with the astonishing rise of Indie writers.
How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?
There are quite a few – maybe seven or eight - and I keep meaning to revisit them. They encompass vastly different genres, though, so unless I released them under a different name I am not sure how they would fit with me as a writer at this moment. 
What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? 
“The first draft is just the writer telling himself the story,” one highly-rated novelist said. I had a terrible habit of editing as a go along – it goes with the territory of being a sub-editor in the newspaper industry. Once you have an entire draft to work with you can start to tweak and the whole process flows much better. The other way and you end up with a lot of half-finished novels.
What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?
I’m a bit of a sponge, and there is so much advice out there that sometimes you have to be careful whose you take. I wouldn’t single anyone or anything out in particular, but there are unscrupulous people out there who tell you that you can’t do it yourself and need to harness their expertise and experience. Wrong. You can. You need some professionals to help out – like a cover designer and an editor – but there are plenty of companies out there who offer a service which can be expensive, when with all likelihood you could have saved some money. One company got me to pay rather a lot of money to have them tout my rights around at conferences across Europe. I didn’t get a single thing from it.
What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process? 
I love those “Eureka” moments when you suddenly come up with the great idea for a twist, or an ending, or just something that helps you develop your characters.

Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?
I love fast-moving books you can’t put down. I always felt there was a book in me, but it was when I read Jaws by Peter Benchley that I thought seriously about it. I was also intrigued with stories about the Nazis and what happened to them after the war, hence why The Odessa File by Fredrick Forsyth and The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin intrigued me. Their endings were something I didn’t expect and inspired me to write stories that keep the reader guessing.
Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?
In Spark Out, Big Mo would have to be played by a muscleman with a bit of menace. I’d love to see someone like Tom Hardy in the role having been mesmerised by him in the BBC TV series Taboo. Mo’s wife Beryl would need to be played by someone like Helen McCrory, who plays Polly in Peaky Blinders. As the characters are all in their mid-twenties though I may need to employ up-and-coming young actors. Mo’s younger brother Clive, for instance, could be played by another Peaky Blinders actor, Joe Cole, who plays John Shelby. 
What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?
As a writer, it would be to have actually overseen every bit of the publishing process and launched my debut novel Crossing the Whitewash under my own steam. When I first batch of books turned up hot off the presses it was an amazing feeling! Getting an honourable mention in the genre category of the highly respected Writers’ Digest self-published eBook awards was pretty special, too. 
Do you have any writing rituals? What are they? 
Too many, probably. I think I was so stunned at getting the first book out and people liking it that I tried to repeat the process in the second book. They aren’t superstitions as such, but they are routines I find work like, for instance, going through every chapter and marking it with little emojis to say if there is action, romance, violence, twists etc. When I look back at this fairly comprehensive chart it tells me if I have the “flow” of the book right, and points out any spots where it may have gone a bit dull and lost the reader. I first heard about this – it is called a “Beat Sheet” – from Ros Morris, a writer and editor who does some books with very useful writing tips.
There’s a hell of a lot of proofing and printing involved and I get the book formatted with the same software and the cover designed by the same person. Jane Dixon-Smith’s covers are exceptional, I think, so there is no reason to look elsewhere.
I write on my days off. The routine seems to be: Get my seven-year-old Olivia ready for school, do the school run, come home and put the kettle on, make a coffee, sit in the dining room overlooking the garden and write. Oh yes, and to kick start new novels I always try to do NaNoWriMo in November. That is National Novel Writing Month and you are challenged to complete 50,000 words in that month. It gives you fantastic impetus even though none of my finished books were started that way. The next one? Probably.

If you could have written any literary character, who would it be and why?

I love a good baddie. Everyone does, don’t they? And one of the baddest of bad guys is Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal never really came to the forefront in the Thomas Harris series until the later books. It was possible Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal in the film Silence of the Lambs that made him a household name but once he arrived you couldn’t get rid of Hannibal The Cannibal. I’ve got a couple of bad boy gangsters who people love to hate: Arnie Dolan and his old man Big Mo Dolan, who is the star of Spark Out, but they would do well to earn Hannibal’s rep. 
Within your genre, is there a subject that you would never write about? What? Why?

I like to push boundaries, but I can’t say I would feel too comfortable tackling religion. I would tackle some of the issues that arise from it but I don’t think I would want to analyse or criticise people’s beliefs. I am not a religious person but I don’t feel in a position to take people to task over their views. I would have to read the books of every religion, try to understand the various interpretations and everything to approach such a task ... it really would be a lifetime’s work!

NICK RIPPINGTON is one of the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal you never hear about. Having proudly taken his dream job as the newspaper’s Welsh Sports Editor, he was made redundant with two days’ notice when Rupert Murdoch closed down Europe’s biggest-selling tabloid six years ago.
The dramatic events prompted Nick to write UK gangland thriller Crossing the Whitewash, which was released in August 2015. Spark Out is the second novel in his Boxer Boys series. Married to Liz, Nick has two children – Jemma, 35, and Olivia, 7. A Bristolian at heart, he lives near Ilford, Essex.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

What is Fate? Is it predetermined and can we change It?

Or more importantly, should we change it?

According to Wikipedia the word 'fate' isn't interchangeable with 'destiny' and means 'a predetermined course of events'. And 'fate', traced back to Latin, also means 'death'. Nice.

Many modern people believe the former, so, if that were the case, we would have no control over our fate. By that definition it could almost be described as a supernatural power that was assigned to us because of our inability to control our life-path.

So, going along those lines, what would happen if this thing called fate gets it wrong? Would it just throw up its hands (if it had hands) saying, 'Oops, got that one wrong, never mind, next!'

Or would is put things back on its correct path no matter what?

That's the question I pondered over in my latest book WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP.

I played with the idea of a woman who had a trying childhood, and didn't have a good relationship with her mother, but she grew up and was now happy in her middle years—or thought she was. So what would happen if she was, somehow, sent back in time to sort out her strained relationship with her mother? Would she make the same mistakes that she made before?
I threw a spanner in the works though… my character, Julie Compton, could only go back in time in someone else’s body. 
WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP
No one knew she was driving on that stretch of road. No one saw her car leave the highway and crash into a watery ditch. No one heard the car’s windscreen smash or saw the tree branch impale her to her seat. No one heard her screams. 
Paperback (American readers) Paperback (British readers)
eBook (American readers)eBook (British readers)
  Julie Compton’s life should have ended after being involved in a deadly car accident but instead she woke, unharmed, back in 1972 and primed to relive her life all over again.
   One problem. She’s in the body of a stranger.
   Journey back to the 70s and 80s England where Julie’s forced to jump through the eras, occupying and controlling the bodies of people she knew as a child. She must work out which destiny path was the wrong one, wondering all the while if her body, back in 2016, was dying in her car. With each momentous change, her memories transform and she realises she’s not only changing her future but the futures of those around her.
   A paranormal, time-slip adventure set in the real town of Northampton in England.

Excerpt taken from chapter four of WIDE AWAKE ASLEEP

I woke with a bump, like I’d been submerged beneath water. Gasping. Breathless. The shimmering man slipped from my consciousness as I fought to hold on to him—I felt he was important but the dream disintegrated as panic overcame me.
I scrabbled around, getting my things together, knowing I had to get out of the car before it became my grave. It was still daylight. I’d missed the meeting, though. Sod the meeting. I reached to grab my bag and briefcase from the footwell. My hand stopped in mid-air. A beaded yellow and red bag was in place of my Ted Baker handbag.
I took the bag anyway. I needed money to make phone calls for a recovery service and a taxi. Whoever’s bag it was, I’d pay them back. I grabbed my briefcase and opened the car door. The car was at an angle, pointing downward, and I slipped. I had to grab the door one-handed as my feet disappeared beneath the car. But I felt strangely light, as if I could jump and easily reach the swaying trees making a canopy over the road. I threw the bag and briefcase to the top of the embankment and climbed up.
On my knees, I opened the bag, hoping to find a phone inside. There was a packet of cigarettes. Players No. 6, to be exact. I turned it over in my hands. Even as a non-smoker I knew this brand had long been replaced by something else. I dropped them in the bag. Maybe whoever they belonged to was a retro smoker.
I searched further, but other than a discoloured makeup bag, an opened packet of strawberry Spangles, a pen, a diary, and a hideous brown purse there was nothing that I could use to help me out of my predicament.
My iPad!
I reached for my briefcase, but as I did, I realised it wasn’t mine either. In fact, it was nothing like mine. This wasn’t genuine leather, it had no long handles, and it was scuffed and well-used.
An old Cortina whooshed past, but I was too slow to react. I tried anyway, standing quickly, yelling and waving my hands, but it had disappeared around the bend in the road. I ran after it a few paces but stopped, knowing it was futile.
There was nothing for it—I’d have to walk. I couldn’t be far from civilisation. This was England, for goodness’ sake! I picked up the handbag and briefcase. I didn’t want whoever owned them to say I’d stolen them. I’d have to look after them until I could return them. The garish-coloured bag went over my shoulder.
Something made me turn to look down at my poor, smashed-up car. Ghost-like figures surrounded it. I couldn’t make out features, colours, or anything much, just strange transparent floating shapes hovering around my car.
Fear caused me to step back. I wasn’t religious; I disbelieved in anything hocus-pocus and was suspicious of anyone who claimed they believed in an afterlife, but I couldn’t explain those ghostly figures as anything other than Death trying to find me. Trying to find out how I’d cheated it, maybe.
I closed my eyes, rocking on my feet as dizziness brushed over me, then opened them again carefully, almost afraid of what I’d see. But it was low-laying mist that surrounded the car now. It was almost invisible.
Just mist.
‘Silly woman,’ I said, and turned to look around at my surroundings. I was on a typical narrow country road, and I was afraid I’d have a boy-racer come up behind me and finish me off. I wondered what time it was. I never wore a watch, and as my mobile was broken I didn’t know the time. I stopped and squinted up at the sun. It was high in the blue sky, but how could that be? It was January; the sun never rose much during the winter months. I looked around at the gently swaying trees—fully leaved. The field to my left was full of tall rapeseed. The yellow flowers gave off a familiar smell that reminded me of my childhood in the village before I left with my father as a teenager.
This was crazy. It’s January! I’ve not only slept through the night, but the entire winter? Noticing I’d crashed near a T-junction with a signpost, I walked over to read the sign:
Potterspury 1/4 mile.
Good God, that’s the very village where I lived as a girl! I lived in a small house on a street called Blackwell End in Potterspury. But how? I was in Harrow! Dropping the case and letting the handbag slip down to my elbow, I stared at the sign.
A few metres along the road was a bus stop, and I hurried over to find the timetable. There wasn’t one. Great. A low noise behind me caused me to turn, and I watched as a tractor drew closer, its noise growing as did its size. It pulled up beside me, vibrating so quickly it was almost a blur.
‘Aye up, me duck, you okay?’ the driver asked through an open window.
It was Gerald, Mum’s biggest regret.



Monday, 26 June 2017

If your subconscious could talk what would it say? #gayfiction #author #guestpost @Hans_Hirschi ‏


Can I get some goddamned credit here?

 by 
Hans M Hirschi
The Subconscious mind of Hans M Hirschi


Hans was super thrilled when he saw Louise’s open invite to blog on her site. He was particularly thrilled to see that she was looking for something “out there”, written not by the author, but by a character or… Yeah, no! Ain’t gonna happen. Not on my watch. Because you know what? Do you know who ends up doing all the work? Who’s the poor schmuck working overtime at night while Hans sleeps? Who is the one who needs to get all those bloody characters in line, talk to them to assess their willingness to assist, see if they have any fun stories to tell or if they’re even interested? Me! That’s who.

And you know what? I’ve had it up to here! Yeah, well, no, I can’t really, because I have no limbs to really point at myself. Sucks, just saying. I have no limbs, at least, none that I can call my own. They’re all “his.” I sometimes hate the guy, which is really self-deprecating, given that we sort of hang out a lot. Okay, we hang out all the time. Twenty-four seven, actually. I’m his brain. I have no say in the matter.

And I'll have you know that being Hans’s brain is no walk in the park. The guy is precious, let's just leave it at that. You know he travels to all these conventions, completely screwing with my sense of time and putting me through jet lag, and then he meets all these amazing people, people whose brains I’d love to meet, you know? Intelligent, witty, so much knowledge buried deep within the creases of their cortex. But alas, do you think the guy ever lets me out to play?

No. Of course not. He does all the talking, and when he makes an ass of himself (which, by the way, happens more often than you can possibly imagine), he blames me. The audacity! He's got this thing down about “what’s your name again? I’m really not good with names, but I always remember a pretty face!” Does anyone fall for this shit anymore? And when he’s complimented for his writing, which is really mine, to be honest, he takes all the credit. The guy’s a real piece of work!

In every book, he acknowledges all the people around him, beautiful humans who help him polish his work, from his editors to the proofreaders, the amazing cover artists he's worked withfor Pete’s sake, he even thanks his son, and what has he ever done to write a book, huh? But the one guythe one who slaves day and night over his manuscripts, his stories, negotiates with the characters, gets them to talk, mulls over the plot and where to take the story nextI don’t even get a thank you. Not even a birthday card. Ever.

Me (the purple important bit)
Sometimes he’ll have me write a blog post, and he’ll grudgingly acknowledge just how much his subconscious contributes. He once even wrote “unconscious” (actually, it was more than once); I laughed so hard I peed in his spinal fluid. I mean, really? He thinks his unconscious is writing? Yeah, right. Nope. That’s when I get my rest, that’s when there is no creative work going on. Period. But you can’t really be too hard on the schmuck. I mean, English isn’t his first language, nor his second, nor his fifth… Still, unconscious writing? Mwa-ha-ha-ha. So funny. Oops. I think I just peed a little. It’s getting warm around the cerebellum.

Where were we? Oh, yeah, Louise, blog post. Ain’t gonna happen. I refuse. I just won’t let him take the credit and all the glory. She’ll post a nice set of words, carefully and delicately crafted by yours truly on her website with a photo of a smiley Hans, all smugyou know the type, right? Maybe a cover shot of my latest work Last Winter’s Snow (with his name on it, of course), and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to talk to those guys, particularly not Casper. The guy was frantic. Can’t blame him. If I were dead, I’d be weird, too…

So, I took over. I’m calling the shots this time. Hans is off to a convention in Berlin, and given previous experiences, he’ll do just fine without me. He’s a guy. All he has to do is sit there and smile like an imbecile and people will love him…as long as he keeps his trap shut! He does it really well. I’ve observed him sometimes, when I watch Netflix. He just sits there, like a complete idiot, a mindless automaton. It’s hilarious, really. Ah, to be the brain of an author. We get no credit, but boy, do we get to laugh a lot! Not to mention play tricks on their body bags. Just yesterday, I hid his glasses. He looked for them for a full thirty minutes. He’s short-sighted, so he doesn’t see shit without them. I was sitting up there in his head, and I was dying… It was too much. Half an hour, and the best part? I knew where they were, all the time. I just wouldn’t tell him. I had too much fun following his body bag around the house, his heart beating ever more frantically.

Looking good inside Hans M Hirchi
Anyway, I’m coming up on the word limit here, and we don’t want Louise to get cranky with me. I mean I don’t even know her. Better not push the envelope, you know? Be kind, smile, do as you’re told, that sort of thing? This was fun, though, and Hans won’t know a thing. I tell you, the guy’s as gullible as a horny hedgehog on a cactus… Oh, yeah, one final thing. If you ever want to talk to me, you know persona al cerebro, just email me brain@hirschi.se. And you’re of course welcome to visit my website, too, at www.hirschi.se, which has links to all my hard work. Needless to say, you’ll see Hans’s face plastered all over. I usually go by the motto of esse non videri, but I do respond to email, I promise.

Introducing...
LAST WINTER'S SNOW

This is the story of Nilas and how he navigates life, trying to reconcile being gay as well as being Sami. Set over several decades, we follow Nilas and his Swedish husband Casper, as they build a life amid the shallows of bigotry, discrimination, and the onset of the AIDS crisis.

Last Winter’s Snow portrays recent LGBT history from a Swedish perspective, from the days when being gay was considered a “mental disorder” to today’s modern anti-discrimination legislation and the move toward equality. It’s also the story of one couple and the ups and downs of everyday life in the face of changing rules and attitudes toward them and their relationship.

Amazon.com | Amazon.UK


Last, not least, it’s a book that celebrates the rich history and culture of the Sami and their land, Sápmi, as well as their ongoing struggle to achieve recognition and win back the right to self-determination over lands they’ve lived on for thousands of years.

Last Winter’s Snow is Hans M Hirschi’s first novel set almost entirely in Sweden, but it is the second time (after Fallen Angels of Karnataka) he takes his readers on a journey into the mountainous regions of Scandinavia in one of his acclaimed novels.


Friday, 23 June 2017

We have Lost the Coffee! #author #guestpost @QuiteFunnyGuy #comedythriller #comedy

Brian a robot from the amazingly funny book We Lost the Coffee was wandering the streets. WWBB took him in, dusted him off and well... read for yourself!


Brian the auto-tech

Greetings, human. My name is Brian. I am an auto-tech from the year 2044. I fix malfunctioning Tech in Buckingham Palace: e-terminals, bleepers, digi-pens and pads, waste disposal chutes and various other things that you humans don’t seem capable of using for five minutes without breaking, damaging or smashing into a million pieces.


Brian had a starring role in book one of the ‘We Have Lost’ series, We Have Lost The President, and appeared on the e-book’s cover. After publication, I kept getting stopped by other robots – automated doughnut dispensers and coffee machines, mainly – and asked if my fame was affecting my job. ‘Not really,’ is the unremarkable answer Brian always gave them. Although one or two of the other auto-techs give me some funny bleeps sometimes. They’re probably just jealous.

Brian also appeared in book two, We Have Lost The Pelicans, which raised my profile even further among the robot community. I suspect that my creator, Paul Mathews, incorrectly concluded that all the fame was going to my metallic head, because I have more of a cameo role in We Have Lost The Coffee. I have a short encounter with the book’s main character. He keeps insisting I call him ‘Howie’, but that is not his real name. He is, and always has been, a Howard. You humans are curious creatures. I don’t go around asking to be called ‘Bri’. So don’t expect me to call you ‘Howie’ when you’re name is ‘Howard’. If I could sigh heavily right now, I would. But I can’t. So you’ll just have to use your limited human imaginations.

In case you’re not up to speed with advanced robotics in the 2040s, let me explain what happens when I meet a human. The routine is always the same. I fire a laser into your eye, so I can identify you. It is a split-second procedure. But a distinctly dazzling one. This can result in a lot of grumbling from the human with whom I am interacting. But Brian has a job to do. And I can’t have unauthorised humans running all over the place. The authorised ones make my life difficult enough.

Brian Author Paul Mathews
I’m already in discussions with Mr Mathews regarding an appearance in book four, We Have Lost The Chihuahuas. I’m not really a dog lover. But Brian is prepared to make sacrifices to maintain his profile. Even if it means getting dog hair in his diodes.

Enjoy the books. If you don’t, I think you’ll find there’s probably something wrong with your comedy circuitry.

Brian has to go now. A human has caused another problem. If only the world was full of robots – it would make my life a lot easier.




Introducing...
WE HAVE LOST THE COFFEE

London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.

A secret Government coffee stockpile could save the day … but then mysteriously disappears
overnight.
One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. His name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive Emma Windsor on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their next caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy-thriller set in the Britain of the future…

'We Have Lost The Coffee' is packed with dry British humour, political satire, dozens of comedy characters and enough coffee jokes to keep you awake all night. It's full of crazy action and adventure in London, and beyond, and is guaranteed to set your pulse racing faster than a quadruple espresso.

So, join Howie, Britt and friends – as well as some enemies – as you travel forward in time to 2040s London.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Jan Edwards reveals the secrets for keeping the villains in her stories alive! @Jancoledwards #crimebooks #WW2

Jan Edwards reveals...

Secrets about my writing? Tricky. I have always seen myself as, if you’ll excuse the pun, an open book. Or am I?


Much of my short fiction is crime or horror based and there is a sort of a secret thread that emerges from time to time. Sometimes I like to let the bad guy win or at very least escape more or less intact, and in a few of my short horror stories it's the victim who dies!


We all know that good does not always win even though we might want it to, and allowing evil to triumph in fiction reflects real life, and that's what I like to do in my writing.


The line between light and dark is often more muddy grey marshland in my fiction. Sherlock Holmes allowed the villain to escape justice on many occasions, either because he felt that the crime was committed for the best of reasons or that the consequences of the arrest outweighed the crime itself.


Leaving the enemy to walk is a ruse best used where there are several offenders to choose from. Kill off or capture one (or more) and leave the last to run off into the darkness with murder and revenge in their black hearts...  Sorry, getting carried away.

In my defence, as the writer, I may want to use a particular villain again, which obviously can’t be done once I’ve killed them off. On the other hand –  I do also like destroying them in spectacular fashion.

Decisions, decisions...

Introducing...

Winter Downs

In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.

Amazon.UK | Amazon.com
Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously? 



Monday, 5 June 2017

Short stories are becoming increasingly popular, and this one has 200 packed in one book! @helenkeeling #shorts #flashfiction

Two Hundred Very Short Stories
by
Helen Keeling-Marston

Two Hundred Very Short Stories is a collection of stories each so short that the reader can start … and finish … a whole one in one night – some even in a minute!

Recognising that many people don’t have enough time for regular reading – and thus can easily lose the thread of a novel – Helen Keeling-Marston set about writing a collection of short stories.
Amazon

Two Hundred Very Short Stories – Helen’s first book – features an eclectic mix of short stories and flash fiction: flash fiction being works of extreme brevity. Similar to a musical mix tape, the collection of stories aims to elicit a range of different emotions from the reader: joy, sadness, amusement, befuddlement, intrigue and fear.

Be warned, however, that you’ll need to have your wits about you when reading this book, as Two Hundred Very Short Stories isn’t always a passive experience!
~
A story from Two Hundred Very Short Stories to whet the appetite.

Cynicism kills magic and so, whilst the children all knew that I existed, their parents didn’t. And so the parents would pretend to be me. But they never did it very well.

Nine-year-old Flora carefully placed the molar underneath her pillow and then quickly fell asleep. A couple of hours later, her father crept into her room, lifted her pillow and exchanged the tooth for a pound coin. As he left her room and closed her door, I flew in, took the pound coin and swapped it for a piece of enchanted plastic that would glow for a good few hours.

When Flora woke up the next morning, she peeled back her pillow and gasped when she saw the glowing disc. She took it to her money box and posted it through the slit.

“Did the tooth fairy leave you anything?” asked Flora’s mum, as they all sat down to breakfast that morning.

“She did,” said Flora, her eyes glowing like the disc. “She left me a coin that sparkled with fairy dust.”

As Flora’s parents exchanged bemused, cynical glances, I counted how much money I’d made that evening.

I never said that magic had to be used for good.
  ~
About the author:

By day, Helen Keeling-Marston plays with numbers and, by night, she likes to like to flex her creative muscle and write stories and make music. When not having fun with numbers, words and musical notes, she is the voluntary founder and director of a sports charity; sport being the other big passion in her life.

Check her out!



Friday, 2 June 2017

While Britain is preparing for #war in 1940, a small community is rocked by a grisly #murder by @Jancoledwards writer of #crime


Winter Downs
Jan Edwards


3rd June 2017 | Penkhull Press
ISBN 978-0-9930008-6-7
Paperback £10.99 tbc | ebook £2.99 tbc


In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.
Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously? 


Winter Downs is first in the Bunch Courtney Investigates series. Published in paper and e formats.



Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands with her husband and obligatory cats. She was a Master Locksmith for 20 years but also tried her hand at bookselling, microfiche photography, livery stable work, motorcycle sales and market gardening. She is a practising Reiki Master. She won a Winchester Slim Volume prize and her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, US and Europe; including The Mammoth Book of Dracula and The Mammoth Book of Moriarty. Jan edits anthologies for The Alchemy Press and Fox Spirit Press, and has written for Dr Who spinoffs with Reel Time Pictures. 

For further information please contact Penkhull Press at: https://thepenkhullpress.wordpress.com/
Jan is available for Q&A s and interviews. Follow the links to the Q&A page if time is pressing and you can just pick a few questions that appeal to you or get in touch at the links below.
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