AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ROSE CHANNING

 

Welcome back to our monthly interview. This month we are welcoming Rose Channing.

IMG_1793
Harvey Jones
Hi Rose, please tell us a bit about yourself.

Rose Channing
Why is it that authors can write hundreds of pages about the worlds inside our heads, and yet when we’re asked, “tell me about yourself,” we completely freeze? Probably because you already know the most important thing about me: I’m an author. I live for chasing magic and dreams, so questions people ask about my “real” life seem irrelevant. But, for anyone who wants to know, I grew up in Oregon, graduated with a degree in psychology, now I work in a grocery store, and… Who cares? Let’s get real.

I’m in love with Jenna Marbles. I can’t go a day without acapella music. I’m a hardcore, stereotypical introvert, and enjoy staying indoors on rainy days with a cup of tea and a book. My introversion can turn to a cynical attitude at times, but I’m also an optimist at heart. More than anything else, I want to share Crossworlds with this world—actually, to be honest, that was a secondary dream. The real dream is to actually live in a magical world, so bringing one to life here was only the next best thing. I also have a tendency to go off on tangents that can turn into rants. I also have an intense fear of running out of time, and I don’t know why because I’m only 27 years old. But, time seems to move exponentially faster as we grow older, and there’s so much I want to do and become before it’s over. I could go on, but you only asked for “a bit” so I should wrap this up. If you really want to know who I am, read The Mansion’s Twins. You’ll know me better than my own parents.

IMG_1794

Harvey Jones
What is your inspiration for writing and what genre do you focus on?

Rose Channing
I’ve always been in love with magic and fantasy, and anything that lifted me out of the real world. My desire to capture that led me to a lot of places, from childhood games and backyard exploration, to practicing lucid dreaming so I could capture and control an unreal world. I’ve been inspired by every part of the search. Dreams, games, books, it all played a part, and I discovered I could make something about of nothing. That, to me, is real magic. Once I discovered what daydreaming and playing around could lead me to create, I gave myself permission to go further, even though others considered it childish or lazy. Permission to play was my most powerful tool for inspiration. Obviously, my genre of choice was fantasy. I also wanted to stay in the young adult realm to capture both the magic of childhood, and the discovery and adventure of growing up.

Harvey Jones
How do you get into your characters to make them real and who is your favorite character?

Rose Channing
My sister used to make fun of me for having imaginary friends, thinking it was “just a phase.” I defiantly responded with “I’ll still have imaginary friends when I’m a teenager!” Guess who was right? I still have them as an adult. I would pretend Ellie and Savannah would talk to me through the mirror in my room, like they were talking to me from the other world, and that’s how I got to know them.

Character development has always been one of my favorite parts of writing, combining my love of studying people’s minds with my love of creating stories. When people ask me what I’m going to “do” with my psychology degree, sometimes I’ll laugh and say “character development?” like it’s a joke. Truthfully, it’s been very helpful to put myself into their shoes and really explore their perspectives.

I found the twins easier to form because of my many “conversations” with them, and because they have almost opposite personalities. I learned who they were by contrasting them against each other.

But, I think my favorite character is Eva. A dancer with purple hair, strong magic, and a dark secret? What’s not to love? She was one of those characters who always drew my attention back to her, who said, “hey, I’ve got something incredible going on! It’s even better than Ellie and Savannah! You need to tell my story too!”
Harvey Jones
Have you been influenced by any authors, and which author do you read most?

Rose Channing
I’m sure I was influenced by JK Rowling, as the Harry Potter series was the beginning of my love of fantasy. Another influential author is Cornelia Funke. I loved the idea of characters from a book coming to life in the real world, like in “Inkheart.”

But my all time favorite series is Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. It’s what first opened my eyes to the existence of other worlds. Wow, that sounded weird, but it’s the truth. These books stuck with me most for several reasons: They made other worlds seem perfectly real and plausible (I’ve believed ever since), I fell absolutely in love with hot air balloons and people who fly them because of Lee Scoresby, and these books smashed my heart to pieces in ways I didn’t even think possible. Really. That thing that happened toward the end of The Amber Spyglass was the most devastating thing I’ve ever read, and nothing has even come close to topping it. I’ve actually had to hide the books for years to avoid re-reading, simply because I know I can’t handle it emotionally. Also, these were the books that inspired over half of Crossworlds: I was reading The Golden Compass when I paused and thought, “I want to meet these people.” I then stared into space for about twenty minutes, and the second half of the Crossworlds series was born, where Rose meets her characters, and tries to figure out whether or not she has real power over their lives.
Harvey Jones
Do you have any hobbies and do they inspire any of your writings?

I’ve tried out a variety of creative hobbies, because they all help to keep my brain active and ready for new ideas and inspiration. I grew up with ballet classes, and soon included tap and jazz. I played the violin, and took some acting classes. I joined the dance team in high school, and sang in the choir. It’s a secondary dream of mine to be in an acapella group, but despite auditioning multiple times in college, I never made it in. But, maybe someday I’ll sing in my very own Summer’s Angels. Anyway… I also love trying to draw my characters, despite having zero talent for it. Whenever I find myself putting off my writing, I try to ease back into my world in another way, which is usually drawing or singing.

Harvey Jones
What are you currently writing and can we have a sneaky peek?

Rose Channing
Right now I am working on the prequel to The Mansion’s Twins, which will take us way back in time, all the way to the days of Claire and Dimitri. Stories of the Early Days will reveal what really happened between Claire, Lidia, and Dimitri, not to mention, you know, the entire start of existence in this magical world. I’ll go ahead and give a little glimpse:

“What has he been telling you?” Lidia said.
“What? Who?”
“Dimitri, of course. I heard all the strange questions your little twins asked, wondering why we even wanted immortality in the first place. Who wouldn’t? Aren’t I right, Claire? Don’t you still want everything we dreamed about?”
“I…” She paused. Lidia could see right through a lie. “I do, but…”
“But what?”
“If we go to the mansion, we can’t hurt anyone who lives there. It the center of the world’s magic, we don’t have the right—”
“The right? Don’t you think we’ve earned the right? I see what he’s doing to you. You think you love him, don’t you? But would you hold on to that for nothing in return? No one’s going to remember your name if you stay with him. He’s holding you back! I’m not asking you to hurt him—I’m not asking you to hurt anyone, all I want is to get inside the mansion. Why haven’t you even taken me there?”
“Lidia, I—I’m sorry.”
“You promised me no more secrets.”
“I didn’t want to put my twins in danger, I—”
“I know, Claire, I know. But now they’re gone. You’ve been to the center of magic, you can lead us there too!”
“I didn’t go alone,” Claire said. “I don’t know the way, not by myself.”
“Then we’ll find a way. But first, just between us… What was it like?”
“I… I don’t have words for it…”
“You don’t have to. I can see it in your eyes. Don’t you want that feeling back? What if you could have it all the time?”
Claire was silent. She couldn’t deny she wanted what Lidia described, but that didn’t matter. Dimitri was worth more. Wasn’t he?

Can we have links to your Facebook Twitter Amazon etc?

Rose Channing

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crossworldsauthor
Twitter: @RoseMChanning
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rose-M.-Channing/e/B00L796XI6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Blog: http://www.crossworldsbooks.com/

Harvey Jones
What do you find frustrating about publishing, and what advice would you give authors?

Rose Channing
I think the most frustrating parts have been learning to format my books and covers. Other parts of the process, the writing, editing, even the marketing, can certainly be frustrating, but they’re far more fun because I can still live inside the world of the story. Formatting and struggling to learn the weird techy side of it sometimes feels tedious and like a waste of time. Which of course, drives me up the wall because I’m terrified of running out of time. I should be building my world…

Anyway, I think the advice I’d give authors is to remember why we started. Remember the joy of it. If you set out to publish, and your first priority is fame and fortune, you’re doing it wrong. Of course we all want that, and anyone who says they don’t care about it is straight up lying. So, if that’s high on what you want, well, of course it is! That’s not really going to help or hinder you—actually, it might help if it drives you to keep going. But if there’s no joy, you won’t get far. Of course you want the fame and fortune, but I’ll bet that’s not why you started writing.

I’ll bet you set out because of something deeper. You fell in love with the magic of books. You fell in love with this magical ability to create something out of nothing, taking people to new worlds using only 26 letters. Isn’t that crazy? Doesn’t that make you believe in magic again? Whenever you feel that frustration, remember why you started, and what you’ve already accomplished. You have an actual magical ability. Be proud, and don’t give up.

Harvey Jones
What was your first attempt at writing, did you publish it or file it?

That’s hard to say, because when I first began “writing” I was only trying to capture a secret world so I could remember it later in life. I wanted to remember the magic of my childhood, and carry it with me. I thought I was terrible at “writing” because I was always limited to school work, I didn’t even realize I was already doing it! But eventually I realized scribbling in my notebook to keep these dreams and memories was my favorite part of every day. I loved talking to my imaginary friends through the mirror, pretending they were really coming from another world. I watched a story form, which turned into a book, which turned into two, and so on. Ellie and Savannah’s world was always my home, that’s where I began and that’s where I’ll stay. I think The Mansion’s Twins was my first attempt at writing, and many years later I did publish it.

Harvey Jones
Rose we thank you for this insight into your writing world and wish you success with all your books.

IMG_1795

Advertisements

An Interview with Author Lynette Ferreira

 

IMG_1762
We are back this week with the lovely Lynette Ferreira, author of numerous books including a series of short stories, The OtherWorld

Harvey Jones
Please tell us a little about yourself.

Lynette Ferreira
I was born in South Africa, but I now reside in Northern Ireland. I am hoping with all my heart to move just a few miles north, to live in the Republic of Ireland and maybe my wishes will come true before the end of this year. This year, I’ll be halfway through a century, and even though I am over-the-moon happy I have managed to survive all these years, it’s still daunting when considering what I’ve done with all those days, all those hours. Did I live up to my purpose? I write stories mostly for young adults, and I always try to keep it motivational. When young people email me, telling me, ‘It is as if I am meant to read your stories.’ it makes every dark circle under my eyes from lack of sleep, every wrinkle and every grey hair worth the effort. I don’t think I’ve ever grown up, really. I still remember my first crush fondly and it still upsets me that he never noticed how awesome I am. I still remember my first kiss, how it felt going to a new school, making new friends, everything. It is as if my mind stopped churning when I reached the age of fifteen, and only started warming up again when I wrote My Recycled Soul. Recently, my stories are starting to get a religious theme as well, but perhaps that’s okay and just maybe it ties in with the motivational theme. I like listening to boy bands, but recently I have considered that maybe it’s not because they are boy bands, maybe it is just the kind of music they sing. I like songs which are lyric driven with an amazing chorus, which I can sing out loud. I also like music from the 60’s and obviously, Country Music. Depending on my mood, sometimes I even listen to songs of praise. As I get older, I am supposed to start eating healthier, but I have developed a fondness for takeaways – the horror! I suppose it might be because I would rather write than cook.

Harvey Jones
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Lynette Ferreira
I don’t want to lie, but I honestly don’t know. It just happens.

Harvey Jones
What book have you read that has left you with a lasting impression

Lynette Ferreira
The only book I have ever read more than once was From The Corner Of His Eye by Dean Koontz. I just love that story and I suppose there is something about the way it’s written which resonates with me. It’s about Bartholomew, who is born on a day of tragedy and all agree that his unusual eyes are the most beautiful they have ever seen. At the age of three, he is blinded when surgeons remove his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer. As he copes with his blindness and proves to be a prodigy, his mother counsels him that all things happen for a reason and that every person’s life has an effect on every other person’s, in often unknowable ways.

Harvey Jones
I read ForNever and was intrigued by the storyline, how did you come up with this plot and is there a sequel?

Lynette Ferreira
There are two sequels to ForNever – hopefully published by the end of 2017. As you know, in ForNever, Heather has to choose between Jayden and Kieran. She has to choose true love to break the spell. In ForNever 2, it’s about revenge and dark magic, and a plot to have Heather murdered so that it can start all over again. In ForNever 3, Heather goes to the past. At the end of the trilogy, the series will be representative of the story, because as the reader finishes book three, they could start book one again, and it would always be a continuous circle.

Harvey Jones
What are you working on now?

Lynette Ferreira

For expanded distribution, I am working on re-publishing The Vampire Virus and Insight, both novellas which have been fleshed out and are now novels.
The Vampire Virus is part of The Vampire Pirate Saga, a series with stand-alone stories, and not necessarily following one after the other. It is a series with the same characters. In The Vampire Virus, they are trying to find the fountain of youth and inadvertently he becomes known as Jack the Ripper.
In Insight, Daryl has super-emphatic powers, while Samantha lives in an abusive environment. It is a teen social issues/romance kind of story.
For Amazon Exclusive, I am working on The OtherWorld, a series of short stories published weekly and available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited. It is about four girls who live in Strangely, who have powers of the magical kind. Eventually, they will have to go to New York to save Abby who has been stolen by Gorgon, where they will battle demons and try to save humanity.There is lots of love, drama, angst and all things amazing. *SPOILERS* Emily and Zara fall in love. Jenny falls for a demon she cannot and may never, ever have. Abby becomes so much more than just a girl who loves a boy. Also, this story has been classified as New Adult, so it will become steamy!
Harvey Jones
I know you self publish so what advice would you give to authors who want to self publish?

Lynette Ferreira
Be prepared to work very long hours; always study and learn to keep up with the latest trends about Social Media and advertising; learn to make promo banners and videos; become a bookkeeper; learn how to use PhotoShop; familiarise yourself with filling in tax forms; and a list of skills so long it becomes mind-boggling. Oops, I didn’t even mention actually writing the story. The majority of authors (self-published and house-published), will never live in a mansion, will not be able to retire rich, and most probably cannot afford to buy groceries without a partner who supports and feeds them or having a second income. Royalty shares are dismal and if you think you’ll get rich quick, you are going down the wrong route. However, if you don’t mind being dirt poor, and it is your dream to share your stories, just do it.

Harvey Jones
Who is your favourite author and why?

Lynette Ferreira
Am I supposed to say a classic author, like Shakespeare or Bronte, as so many other authors mention? Because truth be told, they aren’t – and to be honest I have never read any of their books, although I have watched the movies. When I was a young girl, I devoured Mills & Boons books. As I got older, in a time before eBooks, I only read Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Now, with so, so many books on offer, I don’t read a particular author any more. If the book has an amazing cover with a title that grabs my attention, I’ll read the story.

Harvey Jones
Do you enjoy doing all the work for your books, covers, editing etc?

Lynette Ferreira
I do enjoy having control of my stories, my writing style and the covers. A long time ago, I was published by another and I did not like the cover they chose, but I did not have a say and had to go with what others told me was right or wrong. Doing everything can be time consuming, and I would rather write and leave everything else to someone else. Maybe, one day, when I am rich I’ll have some people to assist me, but until then I have to do it all myself. Sometimes it is nice to pump up the volume on my playlist and just sit back to create some banners and book covers.

Harvey Jones
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of your writing?

Lynette Ferreira
Does walking for a purpose count? If yes, I do enjoy walking. I love reading fiction, and I am one of those people who have an over-active mind which won’t stop solving the world’s problems so I have to read when I go to bed, as it focusses my mind on one thing and helps me to fall asleep (much healthier than having to take sleeping tablets). I used to work 24/7, but recently have started taking Sundays off, so I enjoy spending this time going for drives in the countryside with my family. Leaving the built up city makes my soul feel able to breathe. I can also watch nine years of a series in a week.

Harvey Jones
Would you give us a glimpse of one of your books – a little taster so to speak?

Lynette Ferreira
I’ll post the beginning of Unbreakable, due for release later this year:
He watches the amber, iridescent light of the street lamp above him shine down upon the old, grey side-walk. Pinkish, brown bubble-gum circles decorate the grey slate. The rain falls incessantly down and the glow around the street light grows larger and larger. Rivulets run down the slight incline toward the deep, dark throat of the city. All the pain, suffering, and sins are being washed into the cesspool down under. For a while, the city will have a clean gleaming look to it, until the persistent stench of humankind smother and taint it again.
On a step in an alcove to a barbershop, huddled against the door, he sits. His blonde hair is dirty and streaked with filth. It hangs across his forehead and clings to his neck; it curls over the edge of his used-to-be green sweater. His blue eyes are dull and tired. He struggles to keep them open and he has a dirty grey blanket wrapped around his shoulders. His legs are pulled up against his chest, because although it is summer, the rain falling relentlessly in the streets in front of him, has brought a chill with it.
His stomach hurts from hunger, because it is a struggle to get small change from most people. They think he will waste it on drugs. Considering they are all on their way home to a warm meal, a loving family, a cosy bed, so even if he used the spare change they dug out from the bottom of their purses for drugs or alcohol, would that not ease his own personal suffering. How judgemental they are. Tonight when they go home, they will swallow their prescription drugs and sleep the slumber of the righteous.
He is not here because he has a drug problem. He is not here because he has a drinking problem. He is here, because he has no family. He grew up alone.
Hungry and lonely – the faith and believe he once had in other people, soon proved to be empty hopes.
Sometimes he will see the pity and fear in people’s eyes. Fear that at any moment, in the blink of an eye, they could be plunged into the same situation as him. Mostly though they avoid him, quickly pull out a few cents, and hand it to him, putting it cautiously into his dirty outstretched hand.
When he ran away from the system. he went into the big, wide world with a basic education, no skills and nowhere to live. For fifteen years, he lived within the confines of the orphanage, only leaving every Sunday with all the other boys to go to church and then herded back through the large ornate gates back to his room. A room he shared with nineteen other boys. Meals were always served at the same time, every day, three times a day. A strict, scheduled day. Then suddenly it was all gone.

Harvey Jones
Please can we have links to your author page etc?

Lynette Ferreira
Lynette on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lynette-Ferreira/e/B002XZVFSQ
Lynette on Lulu Press: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lynetteferreira
Lynette on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynetteFerreira/
Lynette on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynetteFerreira
Lynette on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LynetteFerreira
Read Free Chapters: http://lynetteferreira.blogspot.co.uk/
Leave a Review: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4088448.Lynette_Ferreira
Harvey Jones
Finally thanks for sharing a little of yourself with us today. Is there anything else you would like to say before we go?

Lynette Ferreira
Thank you for taking the time to interview me and sharing it on your blog. It’s been fun 🙂

SPRINGTIME IS HERE

 

Come with me as I take a stroll along the costal path and woods. I’m taking my faithful companion Connie, my German shepherd, it is definitely a stroll as I’m not able to go as quickly as I used to with my artificial knee and the old arthritis. I have to laugh as Connie is the same as she hobbles along in front sniffing the new wondrous smells that assault her now greying snout.
We see the first amazing signs of spring snowdrops, they are beautiful dancing gaily in the breeze as white as snow under the shelter of the trees.

Connie continues to snuffle around as I spy crocus, a dark shade of yellow just opening to the pale spring sun. They too are under the trees and as I look up I see the new buds just starting to form here and there. There are a few hanging catkins swaying gently back and forth.

We wander on and come to the path that leads to the sea, our favourite place, the Old Harbour with its pebbles on the top part of the beach leading to the coarse sands.

Connie is now only interested in her ball; I throw it with the ball chucker and she runs fairly well to retrieve it. As she trots back she paddles in the small stream that runs to the sea, she loves it so much here splashing about and then lying down in the icy water, I smile – rather her than me!

IMG_1771

I sit on a low wall recovering my breath and she lies beside me panting with a lop-sided grin and her tongue hanging out. I scratch her head and talk my usual nonsense to her as if she understands every word I say – between you and me I’m sure she does.
Even with the sun shining it’s still a tad nippy but it’s just too nice to return. I watch the sparrows pairing up singing their love songs to attract their mate. There is a blackbird in a tree puffed out and trilling to his heart’s content calling for love, the sound of the birds singing is wonderful and puts a warm glow into my heart.
As I return to the car smiling I see daffodils, they are early and they stand to attention, proud heads up looking at the spring sun. I sigh, yes, the winter is coming to an end.

Ruffling Connie’s ears I let her into the car with a helping lift from me, I laugh at her comical expression, yes it’s time to go home and warm up on the outside because for sure what we have seen has certainly warmed the inside

IMG_1774

 

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL E. WILLS

Harvey Jones
Hi Michael, please tell us a bit about yourself.

Michael
Goodness, when I consider how to describe myself I realise that am very much a ‘jack of all trades’, (and master of none!). I am a retired language school principal with so many spare time interests that I wonder how I ever had time to work. As well as writing novels, my interests include sailing, carpentry, electronics, (I’m a radio ham), walking and playing the guitar. I’m a granddad to nine little lovelies and I really enjoy the young company. Oh, I forgot to mention that I work part-time as an Ombudsman for a national organisation. I deal with complaints from clients.

Harvey Jones
What inspired you to write children’s books?

Michael
Now this is going to sound arrogant, but hand on heart I don’t mean it to be – I know I have much to learn as an author. I used to frequently read the children bed-time stories, (now I am surplus to requirements in that department as they can all read). Well, occasionally I found myself wondering how on earth some of the things I read ever got published. Often there was just no story, no excitement. Not just that, but I seriously wondered about how the language was filtered by the author, often there were abstract or obsolete words which were just not useful to young children. (My English as a Foreign Language background showing!)
I decided to have a go myself at writing stories with a beginning, a middle with some excitement, and a thrilling end. I tried everything out on my two oldest grandchildren, they took no prisoners! There were many re-writes.

Harvey Jones
Why Vikings, what is the appeal of this era?

Michael
I lived in Scandinavia for 13 years and for part of the time I worked in Uppsala, Sweden. This was the site of the last pagan temple; it was still in operation in 1050 when the rest of Europe was Christianised. I found the history fascinating. You just can’t live there and ignore it. The more I learnt the more I became aware of the enigma of the Vikings and the contradictions. They were courageous explorers, pioneering traders, extraordinary navigators and craftsmen who made exquisite objects, yet they were ruthless, cruel and totally merciless. I return to Sweden regularly to write; I have a small cottage just ten minutes from a Viking graveyard – inspirational!

Harvey Jones
Do you write any other genres? If so what?

Michael
Yes, within historical fiction I have written a novel about the American War of Independence – “The Wessex Turncoat”. Hurry, hurry it is available as a free download on my website at the moment.
However, about eighteen months ago I decided to write a thriller. I had had a story going round in my head for years and eventually I thought I must try this genre. The novel is called, “One Decent Thing”, and tells the story a self-centred, dissolute, womanising, university administrator who gets into a real fix with seriously violent men when his greed gets the better of him.
Harvey Jones
What influenced you to write?

Michael
I wrote a number of English language teaching books many years ago. I enjoyed the work, but it was very restrictive and was very tightly edited to fulfil the precise needs of curricula. I decided that if I ever got the chance, I would like to do things my way! Of course my editor still has much to say about what I write, but there is a lot more freedom.

Harvey Jones
What advice would you give a young writer?

Michael
That depends very much on the genre, but as regards historical novels I would have things to say about research. Read, read and read again the background material, but don’t stop there. Visit places relevant to the story. Try not to see them through the prism of modernity, but dream about what they were like then. Let your imagination run when you see artefacts from the period of the story, touch them if you can. Eat the food of the period, go to a costume museum to see what was worn, find out how people spoke and how they loved, lived and cursed. Transport yourself to the time you are writing about. Risk being an eccentric! It helps.
Harvey Jones
What are you working on at the moment?

Michael
I have three projects on the go! I am writing a Viking novella for a publisher who is starting a new venture. The story is based on a discovery I made in a tiny hamlet in central Sweden. I found two rune stones outside a church. They were made in the 11th C. and celebrated the daring-do of a local man who travelled to England three times with different Viking chieftains and each time they caused such mayhem that they were bought off by King Ethelred and paid to go away. My protagonist collected three piles of Danegeld over a period of forty years and lived very well on it.
I am also working on the fourth novel in my quartet of Viking stories for children – Children of the Chieftain.
Last but not least, I am trying to find a publisher for a young children’s story called “Sven and the Silver Purse”. I run children’s activities at some literary festivals and I wrote this for my story telling sessions. It is wonderful to see the big eyes and the open mouths when I get to the exciting bit!
My Face Book page is Michael Wills Author, you can follow me on Twitter at mwillsofsarum and there is lots of information about my writing and a catalogue of blogs on my website, http://www.michaelwills.eu

Harvey Jones

We thank you for this opportunity to delve into your mind and we wish you every success in your work.

An Interview with Author Kellie Steele

Welcome back to our author of the month interview, today we welcome a young inspiring author Kellie Steele

.
Harvey Jones
Welcome Kellie please tell us something about yourself.

Kellie Steele
There’s not really much to tell about me, aside from the fact that I am an albino I guess. I have ocular albinism, which means I have the genes but not the red eyes.

Harvey Jones
Who is your inspiration, and what book left it’s mark on you?

Kellie Steele
I don’t really know if I have any inspiration other than that of my own imagination. But a lot of books left their mark on me. The Twilight series, the Harry Potter series and the Cirque de Freak series were all a main part of my reading while I was growing up.

Harvey Jones
Do you have a preference for your writing?

Kellie Steele
I prefer to write young adult, as it is most of what I read, and fantasy/supernatural/dystopian are the styles I do and will write in.

Harvey Jones
Which of your books have had a lasting effect on you as an author, and what character of yours is your favourite?

Kellie Steele
It’s hard to pick a favourite character, but as I’m reading the Shiver series at the moment, I would have to say Sam from those books. He is such a likeable character, and I feel a strong connection to him.

Harvey Jones
What hobbies do you have outside your writing?

Kellie Steele
I play a lot of video games, and I’ve just started recording them to put on YouTube as well. I like losing myself in a story, whether it’s a book or a game, if the story is strong, it’s a winner for me.

Harvey Jones
What are you working on at the moment, can you give us a brief insight?

Kellie Steele
At the moment I’m working on Chronicles of Araxx – Darkest Night, the second in the Chronicles of Araxx series. It continues the story of Lee, Adz, Jay and Gray as they attempt to find the object the Alpha werewolf Kane is searching for.

Harvey Jones
What advice can you give to young authors who are looking at starting ?
Kellie Steele
If you have a story in your mind, no matter how small, start writing. You never know, it may develop as you write. That’s what I do with mine. They start as a basic idea, then each book brings its own ideas, expanding the story and keeping things a mystery even for me.

Harvey Jones
Would you please supply any links so readers can find your works?
KS
My newest book is at http://goo.gl/rqkR9q
My Facebook is https://m.facebook.com/SteeleKellie/?ref=bookmarks
My twitter is @steelekellie

Harvey Jones
And lastly thank you for your time, we at Harvey Jones wish you much success.

Kellie Steele
Thank you for the lovely interview Jan.

Time Counts

 

img_1695

So we have a beautiful frosty morning this bank holiday, and I’m off to work. I blow on my fingers to warm then after scraping the ice off the car’s windscreen.
It’s nice to see the lighter morning today, the last few have been dark and damp requiring headlights to be full on, but today I don’t need them and this in itself makes me smile.
I head off to do my calls with the roads fairly quiet due to a bank holiday – yes I’d like to have stayed in bed, but some jobs don’t stop just because it’s a holiday day. I do appreciate all those who work in all sectors of care or those whose jobs need to be done no matter what the date.

 

img_1697
It strikes me as I drive to various calls the number of people I see on mobiles; wow how these gadgets are taking over our lives! A parent talks rapidly down her phone as her child lies on the floor having fallen off her scooter, she is completely unaware. A dog walker texting as his dog does its business, oblivious to his dogs action and so leaving the mess for someone to step in. Then the drivers – gee it’s incredible, so many are driving and on their phones, it’s unreal, so dangerous – but it seems no one cares.
Is this our society now? Is this what we’ve become? Can we change our ways and start noticing our children, pets and other people? Can we? This is a question I ask myself frequently now, have we become too advanced with technology and forgetting what is really important?

img_1698
Take yourself, how much time do you spend on your phone talking, playing games or just going on Facebook? Time yourself, go on, check how much time you’re losing out on with the important things in your life, you might just surprise yourself.

img_1700

Interview with Ryan Woods, author and poet

img_1688
Welcome back guys, and Happy New Year to you all. We are going to take a peek at a few authors this year, and have a look behind the scenes.
Our first guest is Ryan Woods, author and poet, so let’s welcome him;.

Harvey Jones – Hi, Ryan. Happy New Year to you.
Ryan Woods – Thank you ladies. Thanks for having me (if you’ll pardon the expression), and Happy New Year to you and your readers. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope that the New Year holds wonderful things in store for all.
HJ – Can you tell us a little about yourself, Ryan.
Ryan Woods– Certainly. I’m a Lancashire lad, born and bred. I’m married (coming up to 17 years), with two children, two dogs and a small tropical fish collection. I love to read, write (obviously) and cook; and I also enjoy indulging the kid that still lives inside of me, by playing with my son on the PS4. It’s also a great way to relax and unwind, without running the risk of a hangover that alcohol can bring. I have a lifelong love of horror, both in its literary and cinematic forms, though I shy away from gratuitous violence and gore. I prefer character driven horror. I am an unashamed animal lover, particularly dogs, and often feel like my dogs understand me more than my wife, though I probably shouldn’t admit to that, just in case my wife is reading this. LOL
HJ – Now I have read a few of your poems, and have been mesmerised by your words. Who inspired you, and what is your favourite poem?
RW – First of all, thank you for the wonderful compliment, that is very kind of you. Currently, I draw a lot of inspiration from the spoken word poetry of Shane Koyczan, who in my opinion is a pure genius when it comes to expressing emotions in both written and spoken form. I also enjoy the poetry of the likes of Robert Frost, Charles Bukowski and Edgar Allan Poe, to name but three. My interest in poetry however began around 20 years ago, fittingly enough, as a result of a horror book that I was reading at the time. The book was The House That Jack Built by the British horror author, Graham Masterton. In one scene, a man is in a bar chatting to a woman, and he asks her if she likes Mallarmé, to which she responds, “Is that a drink?” As it turns out, the man was referring to the 19th Century French poet Stéphane Mallarmé. I began to research his poetry, and that is where my appreciation of poetry began, with Mallarmé’s poem Hérodiade remaining to this day, one of my favourite pieces of poetry, along with Frost’s The Road Not Taken.
HJ – You also have a dark side to your writing, where did that stem from?
RW – When I was a kid, growing up, every Saturday night there used to be a Universal Studios Double Bill of old black and white horror movies on, starring the likes of Lon Chaney Jnr, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, so I kind of grew up watching them. After that, came the Hammer Studios horror movies, which introduced me to Christopher Lee as Dracula. My love of horror stemmed from these times, and naturally overflowed into literary horror, at which point the likes of Stephen King, James Herbert, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz became my inspiration, and an appreciation of literary darkness was awoken.
I often draw inspiration for my writing (particularly my poetry), from my emotions, the things that I’ve experienced and how I might be feeling at the time, which probably indicates that life hasn’t always been a bowl of cherries. Having lost both my parents, my Mum most recently in 2014 to bowel cancer, survived a car crash that should probably have killed both myself and my wife, and watched my wife almost bleed to death as a result of a placental abruption, I’m no stranger to the darker side of life and the all too constant presence of the Grim Reaper.
HJ – I believe that you have a children’s book out which involves Zombies. Can you tell us about it?
RW – Now you’re talking. LOL. I could wax lyrical about my beloved Cinnamon Paige until the cows come home. My novel is entitled The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate and centres mainly around the struggle for survival of the titular character, her family and friends during a small-scale Zombie outbreak. I usually bill it as a cautionary tale of Chocolate, Voodoo and ultimately Zombies. Rather than being an all-out horror fest, it is a more character driven story. I personally am not a fan of the current trend for extreme horror, so “Un-Death by Chocolate” is a blend of character driven horror, studded with nuggets of humour. As the title suggests, it is the journal of Cinnamon Paige, and her account of the events leading up to, and during, the aforementioned Zombie outbreak. Though it is horror, it has been written to appeal to a wider audience, from teens to YA and adults.
Though the novel is not currently available, I am in the process of trying to find a publisher for it, either mainstream or independent. Failing that, I will self-publish it. Either way, expect to see The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate coming your way in 2017.
It is my intention for the Cinnamon Paige character to appear in a series of novels, perhaps taking over the mantle of Buffy as the next generation of slayer of foul beings. The sequel is tentatively titled, “The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, and the Death Metal Messiahs”, as each subsequent novel will be a subsequent journal, recounting Cinnamon’s further misadventures.
HJ – I have watched your Facebook with interest and see that you cook. What are your favourite things to cook?
RW – Ah, my first stalker. LOL. Just pulling your leg. You are correct. I love to cook. I find it very therapeutic and relaxing. My love of cooking developed from way back, at high school; in what we called at the time, Home Economics, but I believe is now called Food Technology. I love to cook, in general, but my particular passion is baking and desserts; with my pièce de résistance being my Tiramisu. In the past, I have been asked, and made, my Tiramisu for people who were hosting dinner parties. I create my own little bit of decadence by adding grated chocolate between each layer of sponge and mascarpone. I also make my own fudge.

img_1686

HJ – Would you share your links for your book for our readers.
RW – Perhaps soon, I’ll be able to share the link to my book, once I secure a publisher for it, or upon me self-publishing it; but until then people can get a taste of The Journal of Cinnamon Paige, Un-Death by Chocolate by checking out the Facebook page where they can read brief excerpts from various chapters of the novel, and perhaps in the meantime I will post the first couple of chapters in their entirety to give your readers a better insight into my Cinnamon Paige character.
Some of my published work can be found in various publications, including my Bigfoot short story in Devolution Z horror magazine, available at
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Devolution-Bigfoot-Special-Horror-Magazine/dp/1519787286
http://www.amazon.com/Devolution-Bigfoot-Special-Horror-Magazine/dp/1519787286
My published poetry can be found in the following anthologies at
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moonlight-Dreamers-Yellow-Haze-Contemporary/dp/1530456762
http://www.amazon.com/Moonlight-Dreamers-Yellow-Haze-Contemporary/dp/1530456762
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-Fruits-Old-Oak-Contemporary/dp/1539428974
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Fruits-Old-Oak-Contemporary/dp/1539428974
Further poems of mine will be appearing in the upcoming anthology, Dandelion In A Vase Of Roses, which is expected to be available on Amazon in January.
Furthermore, I have a planned collection of my dark poetry for some time in the new Year, which I envision being called “Vices and Verses”, and a planned collection of short stories, which has a working title of “Burnt Offerings”.
HJ – Who are your favourite poets, and why?
RW – Going back to poets that I previously mentioned, I would have to say Stéphane Mallarmé, on the strength of his poem Hérodiade, an excerpt of which I’d like to share with your readers if I may :-

Oh mirror!
cold water frozen by ennui in your frame,
how many times and through what hours,
distressed by dreams and searching my memories,
like leaves under your ice in the deep hole,
have I appeared in you like a shadow far away,
but, horror! in the dusk, in your austere pool
I have known the nakedness of my scattered dreams!

Probably my favourite poet, currently, is Shane Koyczan; whose emotionally charged, spoken word poetry is simply breath-taking. Videos of his can be found on YouTube, and I urge everyone to check them out. He writes the kind of poetry that I aspire to.
HJ – Finally, Ryan, thank you for chatting to us. Please share your Twitter and Facebook links etc. with us; and we at Harvey Jones wish you a successful New Year.
RW – The pleasure and the privilege are all mine. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share a little of myself and my work with your readers. I wish you the best of everything for the New Year and beyond, and thank your readers for taking a little time out of their schedules to take a peek into my life and my mind. My very best to you, one and all.
http://www.facebook.com/ryanwoodsauthor
http://www.facebook.com/thejournalofcinnamonpaige
http://www.facebook.com/poetryfromthewoods
http://www.twitter.com/ryanwoodsauthor
Ryan has graciously written a poem for us – many thanks Ryan

Searching for my Harley Quinn.

You are mistaken if you think
that I am here to paint the world
in shades of pastel pink.
Nor am I here to decorate it with
ribbons, or pretty bows.
I’m afraid that’s not the way it goes.
Life can be a bitch…
It can be an itch
that you can’t scratch,
a stick of dynamite
and a match,
with which to light the fuse…
Do not confuse my former silence
as a sign that I am weak.
Do not speak,
unless you have something good to say,
was my ethos.
A rolling stone gathers no moss,
but just in case you thought
that my sticking around
was an indication
of my commitment
to this relationship,
you are wrong.
It merely goes to show
that I no longer
had the will to move on…
Gone,
is the fighter;
but the pen is mightier
than the sword,
so now my words
are my weapons;
high velocity,
designed to convey
my animosity;
each one wearing an F.M.J.
with your name on it.
So, put on your flack-jacket,
and run for cover…
I wanted to be a lover,
not a fighter.
Our future was once brighter…
The grass will be greener
on the other side,
because living with you
has become a landslide
that threatens to bury me alive…
If I am to survive,
then I must adapt,
before I snap
and find myself descending
towards the bitter ending
that lurks in the shadows
like a phantom.
Writing is the lantern
that lights my path.
It allows me to rebuild
in the aftermath
of the earthquake…
You left a path of destruction,
and with the abduction of my heart
you set in motion
the wheels that would run me over.
What started out as fun,
turned into a hit and run,
that left me emotionally paralysed…
I should have realised
that you didn’t play fair,
but you didn’t care
about the consequences.
So, now I build fences,
to keep you out,
and to keep me in.
The grin
that you see on my face,
does not originate
from a happy place…
It is the mask that I wear
like The Joker
to hide from the world
the true emotions that lie within…
But I know that one day, I will find
my Harley Quinn.

Copyright © Ryan Woods 30/12/2016