Saturday, March 26, 2016

Author Spotlight: Claire Casey



In this weeks Author Spotlight, I meet up with the poetic and artistic, Claire Casey, author of Goddess of the Night, a book of poetry.

What is your book about?
Goddess of the Night is a collection of poetry, with a variety of themes and topics, from archaeology to re-enactment and Norse mythology.

What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing this when I was at university. I found inspiration in different places, from my own personal experiences and interests, to work by other writers.

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
As I write both poetry and prose, so I don’t restrict myself to one genre, or form of writing. I also write in Fantasy and Young Adult. I tend to follow where inspiration takes me, which keeps things interesting.

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
This is a standalone book, but I will probably write other poetry collections in the future.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
I have wanted to be a writer since I was in primary school. Even though I’m Dyslexic, I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I have been inspired by writers like Iain Banks and Neil Gaiman. I love their style and the way that they create their worlds. I often find that their characters draw me in.

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
Other than my own work, I would say that my favourite novel would be American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Bridge by Iain Banks or Shadows of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Have you written other books we should know about?
I am currently working with Nordland Publishing, for their Northlore series, which is a collection of short stories and poems. Currently, the first volume is available, which features one of my short stories.

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
Keep writing. Every writer had to start somewhere and the more that you write, the more that you will learn and the better that you will be come as a writer. 

Where can we find your book?

Amazon - Free on kindle unlimited 

Where can we find out more about you?





Author Spotlight: David Mathew


In this weeks Author Spotlight, I meet up with the very talented author, David Mathew. We discuss his novel, O My Days, a Fantasy/Surreal/Horror
 
What is your book about?
Billy Alfreth is serving five years as an inmate at Dellacotte Young Offenders Institute, in the north of England. Billy has memories of being attacked by three men, but CCTV footage doesn’t bear out his account and he is locked up for stabbing one man. Billy’s world overlaps with that of Ronald Dott, a serial rapist, who claims to know Billy from when he was a child, only that is impossible. And then there is Kate Thistle, ostensibly at Dellacotte to study prison slang, but inordinately interested in both Dott and Billy. As strange events occur and his reality begins to unravel. Billy learns of the Oasis, and a prison ship, and of a desert town called Hospital, where time works in mysterious ways. Dott tells Billy of their terrible entwined histories... whether or not Billy wants to be convinced of what he cannot understand.

“I experienced an acute, often surreal, sense of an offender’s pathology, with all its traps, humour and contradictions. O My Days is a tour de force of powerful writing. It’s demanding, gruelling yet always honest, insightful and finally moving. It explores areas that serious fiction rarely travels to. A quite remarkable novel.”

Alan Price, author of Outfoxing Hyenas

“This is a writer who has been there, viewed with compassion, and reported back. There is a new mythos here, something that feels ancient and sand-blasted and unfathomable, but it is revealed within the most modern of contexts. Highly recommended.”

Paul Meloy, author of Islington Crocodiles

What inspired you to write this book?
I worked as an Education Manager in a maximum security prison. I was aware of a secret language that the prisoners used to keep me (and others) out. I started to learn the language and a whole new world opened up for me. I made notes and after a while the stories began to cling together – until it was pretty much all I thought about when I got home from work every evening. And when something takes up so much of your interest in this way, you know that it’s time to write about it.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
I have several favourite characters, and they change in my order of preferences from time to time. Right now, they are Billy Alfreth, who tells the story. Ronald Dott is his nemesis – another prisoner but on a different Wing. Dott is arch, frightening… and he claims to know Billy from years earlier, when Billy was a child. But unless Dott is lying, or is ageing at a different rate, the incident that Dott describes is impossible.
For comic effect (to begin with), I liked writing Ostrich. He made me laugh at first, with his enthusiasm for being transferred to an adult prison; but I hope he becomes a sadder character as the book progresses. He was a good way for me to get information to Billy, because there’s always someone in a prison who seems to know everything!

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I’ve always been attracted to what might live in an existence that is only slightly removed from our own. I’m attracted to liminal spaces and pressure points. I don’t really care either way about blood-and-guts writing – that’s not what I mean when I say I write horror – but I am interested, very much so, in shifts of consciousness, connections and perspectives…

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
Billy returns in something I’ll be working on next year. He’s older but not necessarily wiser. It was time for him to move on from the incidents in the prison, so he’s seven years older and going to university as a mature student. He’s going to find, bless him, that it’s not quite so easy as he thought it would be to let go of the past…

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
My name is David Mathew and Ventriloquists is my third published novel. O My Days was my first published novel but it has recently been reissued in a different form, so it is technically my fourth, or my first rebooted (as you prefer). I have also published a volume of short stories (Paranoid Landscapes) and 2015 saw the publication of my first academic book, Fragile Learning: The Influence ofAnxiety
I work at a university in a staff development team and I’m active in research into barriers to learning and psychoanalysis. In terms of fiction, I like to write what I hope will be powerful fiction, with a strong voice, strong characters and dollops of dark humour.
2016 will see the publication of a second volume of short stories, Sick Dice, and another novel, The Parry and the Lunge.

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It contains pretty much everything that a novel should, and is actually quite an exhausting experience, but I am mad with envy when I see the tricks that he gets some of his sentences to perform.

Have you written other books we should know about?
I’ve published four books as David Mathew and three as Tom Lockington. I’ve contributed to a dozen more. I have two works of fiction and one academic book scheduled for publication in 2016. They can be found on my Amazon Author Page or on my Smashwords Profile

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
If at first you don’t succeed… learn to do something else. If that fails to deter you, then perhaps you really do want to be a writer. You will take some bloody noses along the way. But when it is going well – the writing – it is better than just about anything else. 

Where can we find your book?

Where can we find out more about you?


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Author Spotlight: Claire L Brown



In this weeks Author Spotlight, I meet up with the very talented Claire L Brown, author of, Jonah Axe and the Weeping Bride, a fantasy, mystery, and thriller.

What is your book about?
What if you could change a moment in time?  What impact would it have on you, on the world around you now and in the future? Jonah Axe is the head of the Apollo Programme. His team is tasked with travelling in time and changing moments to have immediate or long-term impacts. After the death of his two protégées, Jonah is recruiting a new team, made up of an archaeologist, a soldier, and a time slippers’s daughter. Assisted by the help of a young computer genius and his creation, the work to alter time to achieve the goals of their over seer, Apollo.

What inspired you to write this book?
There are moments in everyone’s life where they wonder what they would have happened if they’d said yes instead or no or turned left instead of right.  I wondered if I was allowed to change a moment, what would the ripples be? Would they be good or bad, would I be able to live with the choices I’d made?

Who is your favorite, and least favorite, character in the book?
My Favorites are they Apollo Team, Noelle, Henry, and Harper. They have such a strange and powerful dynamic. They are each intriguing in their own right and together they have a lot of drama, conflict, love, and history to deal with. My least favorite would be Grayson. He’s the anti-hero; the man you love to hate.  

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I write the story that comes to mind; it’s like seeing a movie in my head. So if I have a fantasy film playing in my mind, I write that.  I don’t stick to one genre. I find it challenging to try and write an interesting story without always being in the comfort zone of a genre convention.  

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
This is the first in an open-ended series; I’m just going to see where the characters take me and how they develop that will dictate how many novels are in the series. 

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
I’ve always been a writer, even before I knew how to put pen to paper.  I have a very over active imagination and spent a lot of my childhood alone so I would write the stories I wanted to read.  Writing allowed me to escape from my own life and create a world where I wanted to exist
I love Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, any Shakespeare plays, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Lerox,

Other than your own book, what is your favorite novel?
I love Pride and Prejudice, Phantom of the Opera and Henry V

Have you written other books we should know about?
Jonah Axe is my second release my first is a mythology/fantasy - The Draco Chronicles, Homecoming. 

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
Write everything that comes to mind, never stop writing, dreaming and imagining, no matter how long it takes. There are many distractions in life, don’t get bogged down, find the things that inspire you the most and follow your star.  

Where can we find your book?


Where can we find out more about you? 
Twitter @CLB_Draco