Saturday, 22 February 2014

Blogging Authors All In A Chain

I'm writing this post because I was tagged by Bert Carson in what is an ever growing chain of authors hell bent on promoting their literary efforts by supporting each other. A more noble enterprise I can not imagine. One of the elements of this blog is to answer questions about yourself and I've asked these other authors to join in and answer the same four questions.

When Bert asked me to be involved (he's the one wearing the headphones!) I must admit to a degree of panic as the detail worried me, however, Bert has been such a support to me since I began blogging about my efforts at writing I trusted him.

 I have also read 'Another Place Another Time' and find his style entertaining and captivating. Bert has given me a point of reference across the other side of the pond and besides he likes Marmite!

Okay here goes

1. What am I currently working on? I've not yet come across a writer who is only ever working on one project but apart from blogging, writing poetry and short stories I am about half way through a Patrick Steele novel provisionally entitled 'Most Wanted Artefact'. This is the sixth novel in the Steele series and I am hoping to have it published by by the end of May

2. How does my work differ from others in the same genre? I suppose the devil is in the detail. Some may say that Steele is a version of James Bond and if they do I would take that as a compliment but there are differences. Steele isn't working for the government and doesn't come from a privileged background. For more information on his upbringing read Inceptus but suffice it to say that he has a strong sense of injustice which he tries to exorcise by righting wrongs that the justice system doesn't deal with effectively, in his view. There are similarities in that he enjoys gadgets, is not phased by the use of violence but has a charitable side.

3. Why do I write what I write? I've published seven books including a slim collection of poetry, 5 Steele novels and a dystopian story. I have had the drive to write for many years and began by writing poetry but it wasn't possible for me to apply the level of concentration and effort that I felt I needed to until retirement. The subject matter of the Steele novels just seemed natural to me. I have always tried to follow the advice of writing from where I am at and having been fortunate enough to have travelled quite widely it was plain that I would have a lead character who moved around the world. He was also similar to me in that there was a degree of the OCD but on the page Steele allowed me to order society the way I can't in the real world. I am also a bit of a conspiracy theorist so broke away from Steele to write Cessation set in 2027 when the crisis concerning energy supplies. I would like to continue writing Steele novels but if other burning issues arise I'm sure that they will inspire me to explore other genres.

4. How does my writing process work? My writing process is intensely personal and is similar to Ian Rankin's, he is the guy who writes the Rebus novels about a Scottish police detective operating in and around Edinburgh. He writes from scratch, just sits down and does it. I'm not that good I usually get an idea, and it can come from anywhere, rough out the first five chapters, no more than a couple of sentences per chapter, list my characters, location and skills or equipment then I start. Quite often where I'm going is decided by the characters and their personalities. I think that is why I've not suffered the dreaded writer's block. No matter where you are in your writing if things seem to be slowing or taking a different direction don't be afraid to deviate from your plan. Sticking slavishly to a plan is where blocks can be generated if the plan has weaknesses!

And now the authors who agreed to take part.

Carolyn Arnold

CAROLYN ARNOLD’s love for writing dates back to her teen years, but her passion was reignited in 2006 when a fellow employee said "tell me a story." Since then Carolyn has never looked back.

Carolyn Arnold published her first book, TIES THAT BIND, the first in her Madison Knight Series, in 2011 and it became a Kindle Best Seller, reaching the top 100 in Police Procedurals in the US and in the UK. Her writing has been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more. 

Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada. She is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and lives with her husband, and two beagles in a city near Toronto.

Carolyn has also been a consistently loyal supporter of my work which is greatly appreciated. I have also read her book 'Eleven' which I would highly recommend. It is an FBI crime thriller which has great tension and a tantalising twist and displays the great skill of Carolyn the writer.

 Her latest release SILENT GRAVES, an FBI Procedural and second in a series, just came out!

Where to find Carolyn Arnold online:
WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebook  • LinkedinGoogle +

Where you can buy Carolyn Arnold's books:

AmazonBarnes & Noble  • AppleKobo   

Claude Nougat

I have been very fortunate since starting writing to have 'collected' some amazing people who I consider friends online. Claude Nougat is one of those friends and a brilliant person who is patient, supportive and whose opinion is valued. She has often read my short stories and offered advice which I have been only to pleased to act upon. I have also read a couple of her works 'Hook in the Sky' and 'Forever Young' both of which I found stimulating. Claude has a very engaging style and uses her knowledge of relationships to enhance the emotional temperature of her writing.

Claude has revised and republished 'Hook in the Sky' as Crimson Clouds and her Sicilian Saga Lunar Rising

 This is what Claude says about herself.

I'm a lot of things rolled into one:  a writer, economist, painter, poet and... a cook! I graduated from Columbia University (a long time ago, ahem), and since then,  I've  dabbled in a wide variety of jobs before starting a 25 year career at the United Nations (Food and Agriculture), where I grandly ended, much to my surprise, as Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.

I've written all my life, even when I was working full time, and two of my books, written in Italian, were published by  traditional publishers in the 1990s. Again to my surprise and delight, those books won several awards in Italy, including the Premio Mediterraneo. Since I've retired, I've written  seven books in English, all fiction except one essay on development aid; in 2012, I founded a group in Goodreads to discuss Boomer Lit (now 500 members) and I suppose you could say I'm considered a prime exponent of the genre.  I also happen to be convinced that Boomer Lit is headed to great success as more and more baby boomers pass the 50 mark and want to read stories featuring people like themselves, entering their "second adulthood".

 I was very pleased when British poet Oscar Sparrow asked me to participate with some poems in the poetry anthology he was curating,  Freeze Frame, published by Gallo Romano Media in 2012.


So thank you to these two fine authors for agreeing to be part of this chain and I hope the readers of this blog chain find stories that entertain and intrigue them.
Thanks once again to Bert Carson for including me in his team.

God Bless