Sunday, 23 August 2015

An interview with Al Cole on CBS Radio ...and more writing

It's been a great week! I was talking to Al Cole on Thursday, and have been invited next month to do an interview on CBS, The People of Distinction Radio Show.

I'll be talking about the importance of love, how to overcome the fear of change and of course, The Monk who Cast a Spell. ...But there'll be more about this later!

I wrote the final chapter yesterday of the sequel to Durstan and Ailan's story, and it's back to the beginning next week for another edit. I have one more character to write into the plot; check the chronology; punctuation and grammar, and it'll be done.

I am pleased and excited too, to be talking today to +Marilyn Chapman on her blog, if you want to take a look...

I hope you have a great week, Google+ Friends. Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

An interview with Sue Johnson... Author, Poet and Creative Writing Tutor

I am delighted to welcome Sue Johnson to the Hope and Dreams blog. It's great to have you here, Sue. Thank you for joining us.

Sue Johnson is published as a poet, short story writer and novelist. Her short stories have appeared in Woman, My Weekly, Woman's Weekly, Chat: it's Fate, Take a Break, The People's Friend, and That's Life - Australia.

Sue's novels Fable's Fortune and The Yellow Silk Dress; and a collection of poetry entitled Tasting Words, Hearing Colours are published by Indigo Dreams  


Creative Alchemy: 12 steps from inspiration to finished novel was published by HotHive Books in 2011 and Surfing the Rainbow; visualisation and chakra balancing for writers by Compass Books in 2013.

Sue enjoys running workshops, and giving talks to the W.I. and writers' groups. She is a Writing Magazine tutor on 4 of their home study programmes. 

How did you become a writer, Sue?

I've written since I learned how to hold a pen - and I told the teacher in 'that' lesson at school (when they ask you what you want to be when you grow up) that I wanted to write stories and draw pictures. She told me it wasn't a proper job and that I'd better write about being a nurse!"

Nursing is an excellent profession but I'm so pleased, Sue, that you didn't follow this advice. I'm sure your other readers are too.

Thank you, Sharon. I was told by several people that I couldn't be published as a poet and novelist. I immediately set out to prove them wrong. To date, I have published over 40 magazine short stories, 2 novels, lots of individual poems and a full collection, and several other books aimed at helping other writers.

Do you prefer to write fiction or poetry?

Many of my ideas for stories begin as poems. Since 1st January, 2013 I have written a poem a day every day. Some have been published as they are - others have becomes springboards for other ideas.

What do you find beautiful or inspiring?

I am greatly inspired by the natural world and get a lot of ideas when walking in the woods and fields in the Worcestershire countryside near where I live - and along the banks of the Avon.

I know you also love to read. What are you currently reading?

I have several books on the go - "The Last Runaway" by Tracy Chevalier, "Faery Tales" by Carol Ann Duffy and an Italian grammar book for a course I am doing.

Is there a particular author who has influenced your writing?

I'm inspired by a whole range of writers, artists and musicians. I am lucky to have the condition synaesthesia - I interpret many words and names as a specific taste - and this also helps with creating new ideas.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out now as a writer or poet?

Keep writing. Don't give up. If you feel inspired by an idea, stick with it until you succeed.

Great advice, Sue! Finally, what are you writing at the moment?

I'm currently revising my 2nd poetry collection, and working on a non-fiction book aimed at helping other writers. In between times, I am gathering notes and information for another novel.

Congratulations, Sue, on your publishing success. I am looking forward to reading more of your work, and have enjoyed talking with you today. I hope you'll come back later, and tell us more.

Sue Johnson can also be found on Facebook Twitter and The Writer's Toolkit 

I hope you have a great week, Google+ Friends. Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Another 5***** Review for The Monk who Cast a Spell...

I was delighted this week to receive another 5***** Amazon review for The Monk who Cast a Spell... 

"I absolutely loved this book... what was true then is as true now, LOVE can conquer all and LOVE will find a way... the beautiful love story of Durstan, the Monk, and his Ailan..."

There's magic and history too in The Monk who Cast a Spell, when Durstan falls in love with Ailan in 794AD after their sexual awakening at Beltane. He is drawn to Beth when he thinks he has lost her, and becomes injured then in a Viking raid.

If you would like to read their story, The Monk who Cast a Spell is available now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and in other places 

There's more about the 8th century, here on my blog. I'll also be talking tomorrow to my friend and Author, Sue Johnson. Please join us then.

I hope you are having a great weekend, Google+ Friends.

Friday, 7 August 2015

The Monk who Cast a Spell is reduced in price... only on 7th August!

For one day only on Friday, 7th August...

The Monk who Cast a Spell will be on sale on Amazon Kindle for $1.55 US and £0.99p UK Click here to follow the link 

History, Magic, and a forbidden love in 794 AD. Durstan is the Monk who Cast a Spell. He falls in love with Ailan after their sexual awakening at Beltane, is drawn to Beth when he thinks he has lost her, and becomes injured then in a Viking raid.

The story takes place at a time when the early Christian Church is trying to gain a stronger foot hold in the British Isles, whilst people still worship the Gods of their Ancestors. They use charms, amulets , spells for protection and there's the magic too of Brionach the Druid.

The Monk who Cast a Spell is a great story, and Durstan's goal? It's to regain Ailan's love. 

Don't miss your chance of reading it today!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

An interview with Marilyn Chapman, Author

I'm pleased to welcome Marilyn Chapman to the Hope and Dreams blog.

When Marilyn was at school, she decided that she wanted to write a novel but it was another fifty years before the dream became a reality. In the meantime, she qualified as a journalist and worked in public relations; estate agency and recruitment, whilst bringing up two daughters.

Born in Guernsey, Marilyn began her career as a cub reporter on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and later, freelanced for several national magazines, including Woman. She has been interviewed on Channel Island Television and BBC Radio Guernsey, as well as Blackpool’s Radio Wave and BBC Radio Lancashire.

A member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she lives now with her husband in Lancashire where she writes women’s fiction, full time.

Thank you for joining us today, Marilyn. Can I ask you first how you became a writer?

I started to scribble from the moment I could hold a pen, and still have the notebook I used to jot down ideas in when I was in my early teens.  My father was a journalist and our house was always full of books and newspapers. On a typical weekend he would buy a copy of every Sunday newspaper published, but I didn’t realise until much later how unusual that was!  

2. Your debut novel has an intriguing title. Please could you tell us about Baggy Pants & Bootees, and any other writing which you have done.

Baggy Pants and Bootees came out last year in paperback and e-book format. I was thrilled when it stated to climb the Amazon kindle charts.  A historical romance set between the 1960s and the Second World War, it charts one girl’s desperate search for her GI father.

I am currently at the editing stage with my second novel, Occupying Love, which is set in the German occupation of Guernsey during World War Two. My own grandparents lived through this, and I grew up hearing emotional accounts of what life was like then.

As an NCTJ qualified journalist I also spent my early years on the Blackpool Evening Gazette and Lytham St Annes Express; becoming women’s page editor of the weekly Express at the age of 19.  I later helped set up a family PR and publishing company on the Fylde Coast, and I freelanced for national newspapers and magazines, including Woman.

3. When you are writing, do you listen to music, or prefer silence; and do you have any rituals which you follow, to help the words flow?

Though I use my laptop every day, the only way I can write a novel is with a pen and notebook! This way the words flow, and I can pick up from where I left off at any time – in a cafĂ©, on a beach, even in the doctor’s surgery. I don’t need silence to help me think as I am used to working in noisy surroundings!

4. What is your first memory?

My first memory is from the age of two, when my two sisters and I had to say goodbye to our beloved grandparents in Guernsey, and move to England. I can still see their faces as they waved us off in the taxi that took us to the harbour and our new life.

5. Which is your favourite genre to read?

I really enjoy historical fiction - especially novels set in Britain’s two world wars.

6. What inspires you to write?

Sometimes it can be the sight of a snowdrop pushing its head through the frozen winter soil or the sound of a child’s laughter. Sometimes it is just the need to record a myriad thoughts tumbling round my head!

7. What are you working on at the moment?

I am now working on the sequel to Baggy Pants and Bootees.

Thank you, Marilyn, for answering my questions and telling us about your novel. I'm looking forward to reading it, and the sequel...

Baggy Pants & Booties, is available now from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle 

If you would also like to read more about +Marilyn Chapman you can find her on Twitter and Facebook

Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.