Teresa Geering's Blog

January 3, 2017

Hello my little chickadees

How are you all? No.... seriously....

I know I usually ignore you when you tell me your troubles and woes, but my New Year's resolution is to be more caring. It usually last about a week (in this case probably one blog) so get in quick.

Over the Christmas period, I spent time in my victim's cave where my interviewees normally hang out. Part of the time I pondered over why authors and actors agree to be interviewed by me. Let's face it, I hang them upside down in tortuorous chains until they spill all their secrets and they thank me for the exposure. 

Feeling peckish on Christmas day and with no presents to open I checked out a few smells from the back of the cave and discovered the remains of one of the non compliant interviewees from a few weeks back. He was pretty rancid I can tell you, but beggars can't be choosers and I nibbled on his foot whilst deciding what to to do with him.  I knew I couldn't eat a whole one so I threw him back where I found him and pondered on my next interviewee.

This guy was not only a TV super star, but also a film producer and a Hollywood legend. If I say so myself it was quite a coup getting him to talk to me. He's such a busy man. I approached him back in October 2015 before his new series of Westworld came out. Now that the first series has finished we finally got around to the interview... AND ... I didn't have to chain him up!

So here he is. The lovely Louis Herthum talking about the latest block buster HBO series Westworld in which he starred opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins, another renowned actor.  
I understand that it has a Golden Globe nomination coming up.

 Tee: Can you give us an insight into a normal working day on the set and the surrounding vista Louis?
Louis: Well, a normal working day on Westworld would depend on where we're shooting. If we’re shooting in Moab Utah, where most of the exteriors where shot, it would start very early, predawn usually, and be in an area that is simply breathtaking. I would arrive at set, eat a light breakfast, get into my amazing wardrobe, go see the awesome hair and makeup folks, then wait to be called to set which is usually, when shooting in such an area, a short drive away. We shot the chorale scene where Peter finds the photo in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. That scene did not take a great deal of time to shoot, maybe 2 to 3 hours. 
I did shoot another exterior scene in Moab but it did not make the cut. Though I guess there’s always the chance that it could pop up somewhere down the line. That scene was quite a bit more grueling and took all day and once again, in an incredible setting on a river bank in Moab. If we're talking about shooting in the studio, as was the case with my scene with Sir Anthony Hopkins when Peter glitches, that scene took all day to shoot with a lunch break of course, also starting very early in the morning. Pretty much most days no matter where we're shooting start early in the morning. I
f we are shooting night exterior scenes, they start just before sundown and go till just before sunup. If you're shooting both night and day scenes in the same day, they are called “splits” and they start around noon and end around midnight. As for general insight on shooting anything on Westworld… if exterior you can count on amazing postcard like vista’s and from a personal standpoint, working with amazingly talented individuals at every turn and experiencing a feeling of… this is something very special and I am one fortunate lad to be here! 
Tee: Are there any highs and lows of working on Westworld?
Louis: Certainly. The highs are many. Like the actual doing of the work. Being able to say the words that are written for me, which are incredible. Because what people don’t realize is that sometimes actors are given words to say that simply do not feel natural. Do not feel like words that a human would actually string together in such fashion as is presented on the page. Yet, they have to make them sound natural. When the writing is spot on, when it sounds like the way real people talk, it is a delight to say and easy to learn. That was certainly the case on Westworld. The writers are amazing. Another high is working with extraordinary people as I mentioned before, at every turn, in every department. These folks are the cream of the crop. And it is very obvious. Another high is being able to go to and work in locations such as I mention above. 
The only “low" I can think of is when I was all done. Stopping. But even then, the reality is that there are no lows because the memory of the experience and the footage itself is something that will last forever. Oh… maybe you are referring to the fact that I had to be naked in a few of the scenes. That is not something I would call a high for sure, however I had so much more to think about that it very quickly just became the “wardrobe" that I was required to “wear” for the scene. After all, don’t they call that the "callbirthday suit"? 
Tee: Grinning
Tee: Do you ever get a ‘fan boy’ moment when you’re acting with the cast on the show? 
Louis: Well, people may not believe this but, No I really don't. I've been at this business a long time now I've met so many actors. Some very famous, some not so famous and some completely unknown. And I find that we're all pretty much the same though Some have larger egos than another’s. Some like to talk about their work and their achievements as actors more than others but that's certainly not something that I experienced on Westworld. I've also never been one to take photographs on set with the actors that I'm working with. I know a lot of actors do that and I understand why and don't begrudge them that. It's just that for me, the experience of doing the work and then actually being able to see the work on film is the “evidence” if you will, that I worked with that person. 
However, if I go out with some of the actors during production, having a meal or drinks with them,  and they are people you become closer with, then I do enjoyed taking photos in those situations. But asking an actor, especially someone like Anthony Hopkins or Jeffrey Wright to take a picture with me on set, no I don't do that. I will say however, I had a great deal of anticipation working with both Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jeffrey Wright mainly because I have such high respect for both of them as actors and of course because of the nature of the scene. I was concerned that I not look foolish but also because of how important that scene was to the rest of the show. In fact, at that rehearsal Jonah mentioned the importance of the scene to me. However, after that one short rehearsal a few days before shooting it, though we simply read through the scene, any anticipation or anxiety I had was instantly allayed. Sir Anthony is truly one of most humble men I've ever met. And considering his greatness, that is saying a lot. 
Shooting that scene was an experience that I will never ever forget. I'm trying to remember if I've ever had a fanboy moment. Okay I will admit that I had a little bit of a fanboy moment when I did The Curious Case of Benjamin Button back in 2007. I was brought into a room by the assistant director and surprised to see David Fincher, Kate Blanchet, and Brad Pitt waiting to rehearse the scene… own which my part was very small. That was a bit of a fanboy moment because it was the first time to be in a scene with that caliber of actors and director. Now it’s all business in a situation like that. Not that it wasn’t then, I just don’t feel so in awe of the situation. However, I think had I been placed in a room with Jonathan Nolan, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright and JJ Abrams as I was for the first rehearsal for Westworld back years ago, I may have had that fanboy moment. 
However, if I ever had to chance to meet Bruce Springsteen, or had I ever been able to speak to the late Muhammad Ali (I did shake his hand), or meet the late, great Leon Russell, I would probably have a fanboy moment. They all were/are among my "hero’s."
Tee: When you take breaks during filming, do you relive the scenes you have just completed?
Louis: Absolutely. While working I am thinking about the scene constantly and don’t stop until I know that it is finished and that the director is happy. I think most actors do this but I also start to think about what I could've done better or differently but by then it's usually too late. I think more to the point of your question is when I looked back on a scene in the actual film, or TV show,   I can usually find something that I would like to changed. I think most actors do this. It’s easy to second guess once you have seen it. I can’t say that I have ever been discouraged by what I see but it seems that there is always at least a little room for improvement. However you have to let it go because once it is in the can, it is out of your control. The editor and the director make the final decision as to how it will be portrayed.
Tee: What were your feelings on playing a ‘host’, and having now completed many episodes, have you ever had the urge to become an android off set?
Louis: I love playing a host. It was by far the most challenging role I’ve played in my career. And I love a challenge. In fact, when my manager first told me about the audition for Westworld I was very excited because I remember the film so well. It was so far ahead of its time and freaked me out a bit as well. As it did most people back then in 1973 but I was particularly excited because he told me I would be playing different characters as one of the robots. So not only would I have the opportunity to play something I never have, a robot, but I would get to do three different characters in one audition! And this is exciting for any actor because it gives you an opportunity to show a range. And should Peter come back in Season 2, it should be very very interesting to see what kind of personality/character he possesses under the circumstances; 35 years of knowledge crammed into a space that only leaves a small part for a personality. So he may not have much of one at all which would be fun to create and certainly challenging. As for whether or not I would like to be a host? Sure, maybe for a day or two.
Tee: How do you chill out at the end of a days filming?
Louis:I start with a very hot shower and usually a long one (but don't tell that to anybody in California) and then a glass of wine, then a nice meal with another glass of wine. 
Tee: Can you tell us your favourite food and drink?
Louis: I would have to say that my favorite food is all the indigenous foods of my home state of Louisiana. Well maybe not all of it but certainly things like gumbo, shrimp étouffée, shrimp bisque, crawfish étouffée, catfish, red fish, oysters, shrimp and grits, plain grits. things like that. I love spicy food, I love food that makes me sweat or makes my nose run. But I am also extremely fond of Mexican food and living in California I would not say that tops the list since I have the opportunity to eat it more often. I am also very fond of the quintessential Mexican cocktail, Margaritas. But I'm also a big fan of whiskey. Bourbon whiskey. Jefferson’s Reserve currently my favorite. And only in moderation, of course. ;) 
Tee: Well naturally of course Lou :)
Tee: Westworld has achieved a premium cable rating record, and you became performer of the week.   What was your first gut reaction?
Louis: Well my first reaction to the show breaking records did not surprise me in the least. I fully expected that to happen to be honest with you. When you have a show that has a pedigree like this, from the cast to the producers and with that level of expertise in all the areas, all of the departments heads, whether it be make-up, hair, costumes design, special-effects, cinematography, music, set design, etc, etc, I mean you simply cannot go wrong. So no that didn't surprise me at all. 
I may have been surprised by the number of views the shows received on all platforms each week, 11-12 million, and I thought it would equal at least what Game of Thrones was getting but it's the fervor around the show and the level of excitement that has sort of surprised me. But then I had no idea that the show would become a puzzle, a riddle to so many and that they would be trying so hard to solve it every week. A maze if you will. I don't know that anyone who wasn't more intimately associated with the creation of the show could've guessed that. Though I'm quite sure that Jonah and Lisa knew full well that this would happen. 
As I've said earlier, there are no mistakes or accidents in the show. Everything is so perfectly thought out and planned to realize the result they intended. I honestly have never seen such genius in the orchestration of a TV show in my life. And we may never again. That is unless Jonah and Lisa make another show and I am sure they will. As far as my performer of the week honor, I was pretty blown away I have to admit. I'm not accustomed to being singled out for my work in such a fashion. It was very rewarding especially for as long as I've been at this to have someone singled me out that way. It's quite flattering and I was very pleased, to say the least.
Tee: Your performance was exceptional Louis and the accolade was deserved. I also believe you to be a very modest man.
Tee: On a personal note, I’ve been blown away by what the effects department has achieved. How would you and the stars of Westworld rate it?
Louis: Well I'm equally as blown away the only thing is I don't always know what is fx and what's not. For instance, I am sure most people think the flies crawling on faces was an FX shot. That in fact is not an effect, its a real fly. They freeze these flies or get them very cold and by doing so they don’t move. Kind of like when the hosts freeze. And then as they warm up, they slowly start to crawl. So they are placed on a face or wherever, and crawl across it before they warm up and actually fly away. Now obviously they're not crawling on Evan's eyeball as they do in the opening scene of Westworld, but that is a real fly otherwise.
 And the scenery was very real as far as I know because I saw much of it. I mean every single place you look at out in Moab is like a postcard. Even the hotel where we stayed in Moab is surrounded by postcard like scenic vistas. Just open your hotel room door and there is a breathtaking view like nothing I've ever seen. Of course there are the effect’s that we know are effects. Like the hosts insides workings when they are cut open. And especially like that effect in the opening of episode 10 when Dolores is first being assembled by Arnold. I mean that's nothing short of a spectacular, seamless effect. So there are some things you absolutely know are effects and others you may not even be sure are effects. Which means simply, that yes, they are all amazing! Top, top notch.  
Tee: Do you ever take Pete Abernethy home with you?
Louis: Oh, I think I have lived with Peter Abernathy most of my adult life. There’s a good part of Peter in me and always has been. I have a 12-year-old daughter who is my life, Olivia or Livi as we call her and she likes to be called, so I have that understanding of the father's love for his daughter. In fact one of my favorite scenes in the whole pilot is what I tell Dolores that I am what I am because of her. I am moved every time I see that scene or even think about it, for that matter. I think Peter has a lot of the same sensibilities that I do and a the same moral code (pardon the pun) that I do. So I walk around with a lot of Peter in me. As far as the Peter we see at the end of the last scene with Anthony Hopkins, well we all have a bit of treachery in us. And it's very easy for me to go to a place like that if I think about anyone hurting my daughter. So yeah, Peter lives with me quite a bit.
Tee: When you read the script of Westworld, did any part of you want to revisit the original Michael Crichton version?
Louis: Yes. When I found out I was auditioning for the show I definitely revisited the film and watched it again. I have to admit the film was still very vivid in my mind as it had such an impact on me, as I think it did most people at the time. But I did want to revisit how the robots moved. When I went in for the initial audition I asked Deanna Brigidi, John Papsider associate at the time, if they wanted to be able to tell that we were robots by our movements. She said absolutely not, that I should be just as human as I am. After I read she said she said that she wanted me to come back to read for producers (Lisa Joy) and casting director John Papsidera. She told me that when I did, they would want to see that I was a robot but only in my movements between the characters, only when transitioning from one to the other and that they would leave whatever that looked like to me. That we should come up with something of our own. So I did.
Tee: I asked Louis the following question…. Your many fans (me included) are hoping that you will be in the series for the long haul. Are you able to confirm anything? 
..... Louis was unable to give me an answer at the time due to the confidentiality surrounding the next series. We can only keep our fingers crossed folks.
Thanks Tee for your interest in me and my career! And THANK YOU Tommy for the intro and all the support you give me! I am so thankful and grateful!! 
Hugs to you both!

...  My thanks also go to Tommy Garrett Highlight Hollywood for enabling this interview ...
 For Lou's many fans out there .....

Louis as Pete Abernathy Westworld 

Louis as Deputy Andy Broom
with the cast of Murder She Wrote

Louis as Android Pete Abernathy

Louis Herthum is from Louisiana and started his career as an actor in 1978. In 1991, he joined the cast of  Murder, She Wrote ; and played Deputy Andy Broom in 25 episodes of the show's final five seasons. In March 1996, after completing his final episode, Louis turned his attention to film production.
Television credits:  CSI,  The Mentalist Longmire , and Peter Abernathy, a host (robot) on the HBO record breaking series  Westworld .
Film credits:  In the Electric Mist The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I Love You Phillip Morris American Inquisition The Open Road Tekken 12 Rounds Seconds Apart , and  The Last Exorcism .

Laters Potaters. See you on my next blog.
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Published on January 03, 2017 07:56 • 10 views

November 21, 2016

Hello my little chickadees

How are we all?

Look, I've told you before, I'm not really interested. I'm just being polite get over it  
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Published on November 21, 2016 01:14 • 3 views

November 15, 2016

Hello my little chickadees.  How are you all? 
Oh for goodness sake it was just a general question, I'm not really interested, 

Ok... so what is it this time, manacle burns again?  

Oh!  mange and lice. 

Well if you insist on letting all that hair grow on your body.... 

Now go and sit at the back of the blog and sulk there. I’ve got an interview to do.
Fresh out of the dark side of my cave is an Irish Coleen by the name of Mary Bradford who hails from the Emerald Isle. 
Take it away Mary Bradford and tell us all about yourself,

Mary Bradford, is a mother and an expert in hugging, is a published writer of short stories in magazines, newspapers and anthologies both in Ireland and internationally, mainly in the United States. Her novel 'My Husband's Sin', contemporary fiction, is with Tirgearr Publishing. She writes historical westerns and adult romance also. Mary too, writes plays and has seen her work both short-listed and performed.
Where do you live?
I live in north County Cork in Ireland.
My hobbies include reading, crochet, cross-stitch, chatting with family and friends
Pets – furry or human
We have a Labrador, Buster and a cat, The Kitten.
What you do to chill out
Day job
I’m a stay-at-home Mother, so when not looking after my family, I read, craft or write
Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed. Work in progress?
I’ve been writing short stories for many years while the children were small. One day I started a short story that grew and grew which ended up being my 1st novel, My Husband’s Sin. It is traditionally published with Tirgearr Publishing. I have four books published and I am at present working on a sequel to my novel and I am editing another adult romance novella.
If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?
I love cats, so I would choose a cat to be with me always. I enjoy when my cat, The Kitten, curls up in bed with me and we snooze contentedly.
Do you prefer heat OR cold?
Mmm…. I would go for a happy medium. I am a cold person by nature but intense heat kills me. I am a-stay-in-the-shade person on sun holidays. But if pushed, I suppose I’d pick heat.
Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if someone else was picking up the tab?
I really want to visit America.
Are you with a traditional publisher or self-published?
I am both. I am traditionally published with Tirgearr Publishing and I also self-publish my westerns in conjunction with The Writers of The West.
Favourite meal (hot and cold)?Meal-wise, I love Shepherd’s Pie and also a chicken salad.
Favourite drink (hot and cold)?
Tea and still water.
How hard do you find book promotion?
Hard enough. It is a constant struggle to get your books out there. Every day, I try to connect with someone or a site that will help me promote. I find Facebook very good, I am not a great Twitter user. It is a very time-consuming part of being a writer.
Any tips or hints you’ve found that were successful for you in promotion?
I find helping other writers helps me. By sharing each other’s work on our blogs/websites, gives us opportunities to reach new readers. I do believe in what you give out you get returned.
Favourite genres to read and write?
I will read almost all genres except for sci-fi and fantasy. I like a good thriller and western. At present I am writing cross-genres, I have contemporary fiction, America 1800’s western feel, and adult/erotic romance, plus a small bit of horror written. I cannot say for definite but I am leaning towards contemporary fiction with paranormal thrown in. 
You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer friends to help run it. What would you name it?
Wow, I wouldn’t know where to start with it. A name? The Poison Pen, maybe?
Who would you choose to run the different departments?
I know so many writing friends that it would be easy enough to staff it I would think. But I wouldn’t like to name anyone as I am bound to offend someone by leaving them out!
As the owner, how would you ensure the FB staff achieved success?
I think by all of us doing the position we were given to the best of our ability, would make the company a success. Sharing the same success and being kind to acknowledge each other’s input would help us all.  

For information on all Mary's books and links, go to her Blog:  

 Laters Potatera

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Published on November 15, 2016 02:10 • 8 views

October 30, 2016

Hello my little chickadees
My latest victim I kept in my cave far longer than any of the others. Why you ask? Simply because Rosemary Tantra Bensko tried to be funnier than me !!!!
Actually if I'm honest she was. However that's no excuse, so she spent an extra few days in there, without any facilities (if you know what I mean)
She smells a bit better than I expected so that's a double bonus. Here we go then....
 BIO Tantra Bensko turned feral after six years teaching in-person in universities and obtaining her MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She lived with bears, eating from the same uva ursi bushes, and in a packing crate washed up on the shore so she could be part of a sea lion clan, and she avoided any shelter in red canyons, snowy mountains, wet caves. Even when renting places to live, she slept in the yard, or the porch. Though she has since become domesticated, she still howls and regularly creeps around in the dark playing with a long piece of bamboo. She finds humans quite strange and curious creatures.
Where do you live?
In an apartment in this little missing puzzle piece of Oakland, which is called the Lorin District of Berkeley. So if you walk in any of three directions, you see a sign that says, Welcome to Oakland. There is also a statue near me on the Berkeley side of the border that spells out HERE. And a statue on the Oakland side that spells out THERE. So, apparently, I’m here.
Dancing. I’m decades older than the other people on the floor, but, hell. I’vegot more practice. I’ll show those rascals how it’s done.
 Pets – furry or human?

 I hang out with the cellar spiders in the corners. One, Octavia, likes to be as    close to me as she can, so when I was sleeping low to the floor, she lived  under the nearby table. When I moved up to a higher mattress, she moved  up too. I also love the house finch in the yard. I try to imitate him. One time he triedto teach me his song, note by note, until he decided I was hopeless. We still talk sometimes, but not like that one time. I still hold out hope. But I look away, instead of staring, as don’t want to make him uncomfortable by putting him under any pressure. Instead, I think guilt might work better ifhe sees me languishing on the doorsill, my chirps growing softer and more fragile and longingly hopeless.
What you do to chill out?
 Lately, I’ve been getting into my pleasure fort. I haven’t found an  apartment-mate lately, so I have the extra bedroom to myself. Might as  well make use of it! So, I put a soft cloth on the floor and tall chairs in there  and hung a tapestry over it, facing the closet, with the rosy light of a salt lamp in the dark. In there I enjoy skin-playing with things like a ceremonially wrapped owl  feather, ice cubes and a fan, a rose scented beeswax candle with lovely warm wax to drip,  a teeny broom....and oh so much more.
Day job?
I teach fiction writing online with UCLA, Writers.com, and my own academy. I adore it.
Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed. Work in progress?
I started writing as a child, and knew I wanted to be an author. I’ve had quite a few Literary books published, but the recent one, Glossolalia: Psychological Suspense, is the only one published so far which is intended to be accessible to a reasonably large audience. “What if your subconscious determined the fate of nations?” It’s been called a breakneck, high octane, kick-ass Political Thriller.
Nancy works at a pesticide company and there’s a chemical which is legally deemed too toxic to use or to dump. My father owned one, and there was such a chemical, which they stored in a big container indefinitely. In the novel, Nancy notices it being transported away, and when she chases the waste truck, she goes down the metaphorical rabbit hole.

It’s part of a seven book series called The Agents of the Nevermind, which is an intelligence agency using disinformation, propaganda, hypnosis, drugs, media theater, mind control, occult practices, blackmail and so forth to protect official lies. I’ve written the other ones, and will revise them all drastically before they each come out. I’m working on the second one now, called Remember to Recycle. The series theme is the heroism of recognizing, resisting, and exposing social engineering. AKA – State-sponsored perception management.
If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?
A Slow Loris would make the time go faster.
Do you prefer heat OR cold?
This is the Bay Area. There’s not usually an OR there. Think microclimates on speed.
Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if someone else was picking up the tab?
Does that mean I could permanently bankrupt the person who left a 2-star Amazon review by going to Venus on his tab? If not, I’d pick Romania.
Are you with a traditional publisher or self-published? I’ve had hundreds of stories as well as lot of poems and articles, chapbooks, collections, and a novella published by other presses. But now I’m indie all the way. I wouldn’t want to give up control of a book any more. I published other people’s obscure literary chapbooks with my press and now am focusing on putting out my Agents of the Nevermind series. Yeehaw!
Favourite meal (hot and cold)?
Hot – Sweat - Cold – mushy persimmons.
Favourite drink (hot and cold)?
Hot – Ginger tea - Cold- Mead.
How hard do you find book promotion?
Depends on whether I lick it and flick it.
Any tips or hints you’ve found that were successful for you in promotion?
Be rich. That seems to work for people.
Favourite genres to read and write?
My series is Psychological Suspense/Thillers. Wait, fiction manuscript editors/fiction writing instructors read fiction for fun?

You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how would you ensure the FB staff achieved success?
My actual publishing company is called LucidPlay (Insubordinate Books is the imprint for my own books.). Emily Kiernan would be fun to hire for editing, and brilliant literary cocktails. Mia Avramut for art and adventuresome international relations. Teri Lee Kline for author interviews and setting up deliciously unavoidable readings. Thaisa Frank for book descriptions and clever media quotes.

I believe blackmail is generally considered effective. So, I’d have to do something shamefully wonderful with them and secretly record it. They’d know that if it were to be released to the world, everyone would implode with envy. They’ve have compassion for their fellow man, and buckle down and get to work, and do whatever it took to make the press go wild.

http://flameflower.wix.com/glossolali...http://flameflower.wix.com/glossolalia-suspense Website for Glossolalia
http://flameflower.wix.com/agentsofth...http://flameflower.wix.com/agentsofthenevermind Website for Agents of the Nevermind series
http://www.insubordinatebooks.com/http://www.insubordinatebooks.com/ Website for Insubordinate Books

Well my little chickadees, what can I say except I'm going for a lay down to recover.
Laters Potaters
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Published on October 30, 2016 06:57 • 14 views

October 19, 2016

 Hello my little chickadees 
I discovered recently through Wikipedia that chickadees are a group of North American birds in the tit family. Species found in North America are referred to as chickadees, while other species in the genus are called tits. Their name reputedly comes from the fact that their calls make a distinctive "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" sound. So there you go, that's something else you've learnt. Ok so many of you smart pants out there are going to tell me that you knew that.... tips hat.

Anyhows, today on my blog I have a very seasoned traveller, Sheila Mary Taylor Belshaw aka Sheila Mary Belshaw aka Sheila Mary Taylor the author, who hails from Cape Town, Menorca, and the UK, depending on the time of the year.

So tell us all about yourself Sheila.Hi Tee, I’m thrilled to be interviewed by you, one of my longest standing writing friends. And being one of many admirers of your lovely books, it is indeed an honour.
Tee Why thank you my friend. You can leave any loose change in the plate at the bottom of the page :-) 
BioDo you want the book, or the shorter version? Well, I’m sure it will be the shorter version, and I presume you want the unedited version, because reading your very vibrant blog, I gather you don’t like your victims to stand on ceremony, but to tell it how it is, warts and all. So here it is in a nutshell …Eldest daughter of two of the most wonderfully academic Scottish academics I have ever known - a lecturer in psychology and behaviorial science, and a teacher of English – both published writers, so I’m not surprised, looking back, that I was a rebel. Doing no school work because there were so many more exciting things to do in Cape Town (what an amazing place to grow up in!) – riding, trick-skating in nightclubs, hunting, dancing, swimming, climbing Table Mountain, camping, lady jockey at the races – and then scraping through my exams by only revising the night before so that the academic parents decided I was not academic material and did not send me to university !!! Nor did they let me pursue my dream to be a famous ballet dancer!My rebellion was to escape to the UK to further my dance career, but instead I met my future life partner –the irresistible Colin Belshaw, a brilliant mining engineer who would give me a privileged life and three wonderful sons.Writing? Oh yes, it was always in the back of my mind, striving to get out, but because I thought you had to have a degree to be a writer … sadly I was a very late starter.Editing. Another late start. I developed this skill when I worked closely with Penguin, who published my mother’s three works of fiction thirty years after her death. This led to her winning the South African Posthumous Literary Award, and I consider this four-year labour of love – editing her long-lost unpublished manuscripts – my most important literary achievement. I then went on to edit books for friends, and was later employed by Taylor Street Publishers of San Francisco as their chief editor – a job I absolutely adored. 
Where do you liveThis is always a difficult question, especially when you have to fill in forms and state your address and phone number. Colin and I are nomads. We live in the UK, Menorca, and Cape Town. All three homes are home. When I open the front door, I am home, never on holiday, although they say that a change is as good as a holiday! I have not experienced a winter since 1998.
HobbiesPast hobbies? Calligraphy, believe it or not. And illuminated manuscripts! And taking photos and sticking them into albums! Remember that? But making up stories about the photos so that the album read like a book … I suppose this was the unborn writer in me, bursting to be released … Photography has now become my main hobby and I would like to go on a course to become a better photographer. Please note that I do not consider writing to be a hobby, but as my raison d’etre...I have always loved listening to classical music, especially Beethoven and Mozart, and I do still dance – twice a week at the Fitness League. I have other hobbies, but for instance you would probably consider that sticking off-cuts of my favourite plants into washed-out wine bottles and when you see the roots growing, sticking them into flower pots, to be child’s play …
Pets – furry or humanCats we can’t have because Col is allergic to them, but when we lived in Zambia (for 33 years) we always had dogs. Poodles took the place of my children when they went to boarding school, and I ended up breeding them and teaching myself to clip them because where we lived, no-one else could do it. As a teenager, my horses were also my pets, and one of them used to follow me into the house, walking through it as though it was perfectly normal for horses to walk around in houses, pushing me along, nuzzling me with his lovely soft nose … Oh, don’t get me started …
What do you do to chill outI drink two glasses of pink wine every evening. Never more. Never less. Not because that’s the limit, but because my body tells me it is, and gone are the days when I didn’t care if I had a hangover or not. Although sometimes – not very often – I might be tempted! But I’m not. Oh, and because I love it, and because I am always the driver!But my real chill-out moments are walking on the beach. There’s nothing like it to make the soul soar into the realms of fantasy and freedom – of a feeling that raw nature is what life is all about. The wind in your hair, the clouds, the mountains, the smell of the sea, the roar of the waves, the birds, the dolphins, the grasses swaying gracefully on the dunes … Fish Hoek Beach in Cape Town is the best beach in the whole world. Every day I get up at dawn and drive to the beach, my camera charged and ready to record the most beautiful sunrises ever seen. And not just sunrises, but life and nature and like-minded people who find joy in the wonder of nature. I have travelled a lot and have never found anywhere else on earth that is quite like this.
Day jobMy day job was first to love my parents, who looking back were quite extraordinary, and then to love my husband and my children, and all the wonderful people I have known who have contributed to this amazing life that I am lucky enough to still be living as though I am a mere twenty-year-old.  But that’s not really what you wanted to know, is it, Tee? Day job? Well I’ve had lots, but my day job now is to keep my husband well and happy, under the dire circumstances that we both try very hard to keep our heads above.
Tell me about your books Sheila. When you first started writing. How many completed. Work in progressWhen did I first start writing? I wrote a poem when I was about ten. My mother sent it to the Cape Times and it was published. I wrote twenty-page letters to my aunts and cousins in far-away Scotland. When I left home I wrote on those flimsy blue airmail letters to my mother every week until she died.  But as I said earlier, I didn’t always want to be a writer because I was convinced you had to have a degree in English; I wanted to be a dancer …     It took a near tragedy to start writing in earnest when my beautiful youngest son Andrew was diagnosed with OsteoSarcoma at the age of eighteen and given a 15% chance of survival. “Fly With A Miracle” (now “Count to Ten”) was the result of my feverish scribblings on scraps of paper while sitting at his bedside hour after hour, day after day, month after month, wondering whether he was going to live or die.  

How many manuscripts are completedTen, all published. A few more unpublished but still on the back burner. The first five, published by traditional publishers, are long out of print: four romances, The Nightingale Will Sing , Diamonds of the Sun, Savage Paradise, The Shadow of the Flame, published by Thorpe Publishing (only after Mills & Boon rejected them because the plots were too “complicated”!); and Fly With a Miracle by Denor Press, London.
Then when the digital age exploded I took a plunge into the e-book revolution with my first legal crime thriller – Pinpoint, published by Taylor Street, and was a best seller in the top 1,000 on Amazon.com for four months. Taylor Street (no relation to me!) also published Count to Ten (the rewrite of Fly With a Miracle), Dance to a Tangled Web, Golden Sapphire, and Eldorado. And these were all later published by Precious Oil. My latest book – Lari’s Castle was published by Bardel, who have also re-published Pinpoint, Eldorado, and Dance to a Tangled Web, and are planning to re-publish all my other books in the very near future.

Work in progress Silent Justice. The first book I have ever struggled to finish. It’s a legal thriller set in Cape Town, and its progress has been severely curtailed by the circumstances of my husband’s serious illness. But I’m pressing on, and I will finish it soon! After that I am going to rewrite those very early published romances, putting back all the spicy bits that at the time had to be removed!
If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and whyDefinitely not a rabbit or a rhino or a rat or a reindeer. Nothing from time immemorial. A Poodle, of course, like the lovely apricot Poodles I use to breed long ago. They are almost human and you can talk to them and they talk back to you, and they love you unreservedly.
Do you prefer heat OR coldI think that has to be heat. We lived in Zambia for many years, as well as Tanzania and Ghana, so I am more used to heat than cold. I remember choosing the European winter for our long leave from these tropical countries, and skiing in Switzerland and Yugoslavia were our favourites. How exhilarating it was to feel the tingle of cold air on our faces!
Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if someone else was picking up the tabWow! Tee, if you’d asked me this twenty or thirty or forty years ago, I’d have said Las Vegas or the Maldives or Hong Kong. But actually my secret dream is Katmandu. Long ago I read a wonderful book by Han Suyin called The Mountain is Young, set in Katmandu. (She also wrote the best seller “A Many Splendored Thing”, made into a film). I still read it regularly. I fell in love with Katmandu and wanted more than anything else to go there, but it never happened. It’s too late now, but I can still dream, can’t I …
Are you with a traditional publisher or self publishedBecause I’ve been published by both I suppose the modern word for this is Hybrid … )
Favourite meal (hot and cold)I’m extremely lucky that my darling husband Col is the main cook these days, even though I once did a Cordon Bleu Cookery course in London because of all the entertaining I had to do in Zambia. He cooks the main meal every night (I do the breakfasts and lunches) and I have to say that I love all his meals, but my favourite has to be roast lamb and all the trimmings! Followed by a Mini Magnum chocolate ice cream!
Favourite drink (hot and cold)Pink wine, of course! There’s nothing to beat it. Rosé.Rosado. And Pink Champagne. Why? Because it’s delicious, and because white wine gives me gout. And red wine puts me under the table! My favourite hot drink is Rooibos Tea, which is grown in the Western Cape of South Africa, has no caffeine and no tannin and is full of things that are very good for you.
How hard do you find book promotionFar too hard to do. And I’m useless at it anyway. Which is why none of my books are selling at the moment. I didn’t realise, but I do now, how lucky I was when my first five books were published by traditional publishers who also did the promotion. And also when Tim Roux first published my books, starting with Pinpoint, and somehow he managed to promote them as well, so that I had all the time to write, plus a very nice little income, thank you very much, which sadly came to an end when Taylor Street Publishing was closed, and I also lost my job as their chief editor.
Any tips or hints you’ve found that were successful for you in promotion I wish I could answer this one, Tee, but I can’t. My own fault, I know, but I just wasn’t born with the ability to sell things. Some people are, and I envy them. It’s a gift. I probably couldn’t sell a bucket of water in a drought …
Favourite genres to read and writeI’ve never really put the books I love into a “genre”. I love books that explore psychological problems. I love books that feature a character who is flawed, or damaged, or has been wrongly accused of something. And I love books that admit that there are very few problems in life that do not have romance at the core. I did write a few “romances” when I first started writing, but this was only because one of the writer circles I joined said you had to write “romance” because this was the way to fame and fortune! But Mills & Boon turned down all my romances because the plots were too “complicated” … and … well they had things in them that their readers would be shocked at! They were eventually published by Thorpe, but only when I cut out the “complications”! So to answer your question, I always seem to read books by authors who have a deep understanding of human nature, with some mystery and some romance in them too.
And I suppose this is also what I love to write. But I cannot categorize it into a genre. Something triggers a spark. I see a difficult situation. One sentence drums into my subconscious and suddenly it grows tentacles and it’s a paragraph, and then it’s a page, and it keeps growing from this one magical germ, and I don’t know where it’s going to lead, but the more I write, the more it grows and the people in it become real people and they have problems, and then they start writing the book themselves, so every day I wonder what is going to happen next … Oh, the joy of writing!
You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how would you ensure the FB staff achieved success
I have to smile at this question, Tee. There is absolutely no way I could set up my own publishing house! And what would I name it? “Last Chance Publishers”? Okay, you win. So in my dreams I’ve set it up. Who do I choose to run it? Well, nobody would be better than you. And clearly I’m the chief editor, for the same reason! You are also the blog expert. Poppet has to be the cover designer and John Holt on the techie side. Nobody to beat them. And then there’s the very important editorial committee who’ll decide which books we will publish – all of them writers I admire:  Gerry McCullough, Babs Morton, Nigel Lampard, Mel Comley, and lots of others who know who they are, so we can have a party when we’ve finished choosing the books …

Amazon.com Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sheila-Mary-Taylor/e/B001KMO6S4/ref https://www.amazon.com/Sheila-Mary-Taylor/e/B001KMO6S4/ref Amazon.co.uk Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-Mary-...https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-Mary-Taylor/e/B001KMO6S4/ref
Link to Pinpoint YouTube Book Trailer:www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Ou3N7hx8Qwww.youtube.com/watch?v=R7Ou3N7hx8Q

Thank you Sheila for agreeing to 'hang around' in my chilly wet cave and I'm happy to see you survived !
 Laters Potaters
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Published on October 19, 2016 07:38 • 15 views

October 10, 2016

Hello my little chickadees

On my blog today I have an off the wall, insane nutter (her words). Consequently we really get along as Bev is almost as crazy as me. No one is crazier that me, take my word for it.

So then here she is. Take it away Bev Allen


“Bev is married and mother of two adult children….” Or, Bev is a crazy old woman who writes weird short stories about things like a bloke having sex with his garden pond and, when she has remembered her medication, sci-fic/fantasy adventures liberally laced with soldiers. She has a fondness for soldiers which should not be taken to mean she stands on street corners in garrison towns.
Where do you live?
Slap bang in the middle of the English Sires, in a town with a bleeding castle for god’s sake!. Me, a died in the wool South London working class girl with the sort of accent that makes the middle classes check their wallet and count the cutlery. How the hell did that happen? I think I wasn’t paying attention one day and someone kidnapped me.
I make patchwork quilts and before you get any ideas about sewing bees, Laura Ashley hexagons and dear old ladies sitting around peering over their glasses and silver thimbles twinkling in the candle light, you need to understand todays quilters have moved on are, by and large half way around the bend with a fabric addition which makes crack cocaine look like mild sedative.
Pets – furry or human
Furry. Very, very furry. An old git of a Birman called Fitzwilliam Darcy Big Chief Paddy Paws Our Cat Allen. He hates my husband just as much as my husband hates him and I think he plans to live forever just to annoy the old man.
What you do to chill out
I like a sauna. I think I might have been a lizard in a former life, an iguana perhaps, or maybe a kormdo dragon. (BTW, the spell checker wanted that to be a condom dragon)
TEE   Dontcha just love spellcheck
Day job
It’s been a while since anyone paid me, but should anyone ever do so, it will probably be for some research work, usually military. The last lot was for work on Delhi Durbars…I only mention it because it isn’t often you get the chance to slip “Delhi Durbar” into the conversation without people giving you a funny look.

 Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed. Work in progress?
As I said, I write two sorts of things, the long stuff is the sci-fic/fantasy adventure stuff and the shorter fiction is the weird, thrill or chill, take your pick.
I can’t remember when I started writing, but I do know it was a defence mechanism. I have all these people in my head and they all have stories and if I leave them in there they cause problems, mainly by making me what I like to call absent minded, but my family refer to as “crazy as a box of biscuits”. If I write them down, they aren’t in my head and I can go to the shops for bread and milk and not come back with a tin of smoked oysters and an avocado.
What really got me started was being one of the winners of SFX magazine’s short story competition. On the strength of this I got a commission from Big Finish.I got to write a DR. WHO story! And I got paid for it and it is in a HARDBACK book! AND…Tom Baker himself signed my copy.(Pause for dealing with family who are groaning and saying “is she doing the Dr. Who happy dance again?”).
TEE   Blimey!! Go Bev!!
My first book “Jabin” is the story of an unwanted, unloved kid searching for security and a place to call home. His struggles are set against a world dealing with terrorism, religious fundamentalism and political unrest. Yeah, yeah, I was making a point, but I mixed in loads of action and some sex and some violence and a positive ending (sort of), so what is not to like? And lots of soldiers, as I said before, I like soldiers.
Book two is also me on one of hobby horses, the environment. This time my young hero is not a victim, in fact being one for five minutes would probably do him a lot of good. “The Tattooed Tribes” is an adventure story set on a forest world; a tribal maiden has been kidnapped on her wedding day and if there is not going to be a blood bath something is going to have to be done about it. Enter my heroes. Less violence, less sex, no soldiers, but lots and lots of trees and bushcraft.

“Solemn Curfew” is a novella I wrote for a big anthology which disappeared when the company publishing it did the same. It’s about cooking and greed and thwarted ambition. If you like your mushrooms blue and your cooking done by naked men, this is for you.

WIP is a sort of fantasy adventure book (but no magic, I can’t do magic, it feels like cheating) about a bastard prince who rebels against his king and is defeated in battle. Rather than being chopped as the little bugger deserves he is given a second chance by the mercenary commander ( woo hoo…soldiers) who helped beat him. What follows is a rite of passage story with muskets.I like muskets, they go bang and black powder smells SO pretty.I’m also working a couple of short stories for the horror/dark fantasy market, one is about slugs and a stick blender, the other is about a werewolves and the perfumery trade.
If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?
I like orangutans. They’re orange. And if you’re lucky they turn out to be librarians.
TEE  Note to self.... double check medication given to the victims in cave. I wonder if there is a gas leak in there somewhere? 
Do you prefer heat OR cold?
Either, so long as its dry heat or cold. Sogginess in all forms is repellant.
Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if someone else was picking up the tab?
Obviously I want to go to Vulcan, but in the absence of warp drive I suppose I’d settle for Tahiti or Tonga or even Fiji. Hell…why be picky if someone else is picking up the bill, I’ll have an extended tour of Polynesia taking in Hawaii.
Are you with a traditional publisher or self published?
The books are currently published by Wild Wolf, but the novella “A Solemn Curfew” is self-published. The short stories are either with various publishers or on my web site.
Favourite meal (hot and cold)?
Hot …Shellfish linguine with loads of shellfish. I love shellfish, in fact I have never met a marine mollusc I didn’t like.Cold… Caviar. You can muck it about with chopped egg and sour cream and blinis if you really feel the need, but all I need is a spoon.
Favourite drink (hot and cold)?
I like gin. I like it with tonic, ice and a slice of cucumber (not lemon or lime, the acid upsets the gin).And I like coffee, using like as in “I like to breathe”.
How hard do you find book promotion?
Like shoving a red hot boulder up a steep slope well-greased with melting lard
Any tips or hints you’ve found that were successful for you in promotion?
None, but if you know some I’m prepared to offer you my first born. He’s tall enough to be very useful when it comes to high cupboards and he can fry chicken a treat. I will deliver him free if you can come up with something.
TEE  Can I have him anyway Bev? He sounds perfect.
Favourite genres to read and write?
I read fantasy and cosy crime mainly, but I have some odd tastes in non-fiction stuff which I won’t list because it tends to confirm everyone’s suspicions about me. If I tell you the last book I bought was on ritual sacrifices, you’ll get the picture.To write, I think I like the weird best, I can’t seem to sustain it over a whole novel, but I can turn your stomach in about 5,000 words on a good day, but I like writing the longer stuff as well because it gives me time and space to explore people and their darker side. Try being the fat, bespectacled kid of an abusive bully of a father and you really understand the dark side.

You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how would you ensure the FB staff achieved success
LOL, now we really are pumping the depths of fantasy.Name….”Prospero Publishing”. ( Because …”we are such things as dreams are made of….)I’ve no idea who to get to do the work, I don’t think I’d be mean enough to ask any of them. Cruel and unusual punishment. (Mmm…there’s an idea for a shortie, I must work on it)As owner I would have no idea how to make it work, I can’t get my own stuff to sell, so how the hell I would sell other people’s I do not know.If you push me for a sensible answer (you’re mean and I may stamp my foot at you) I think it would have to be a co-operative with everyone fronting up money for publicity which would be shared equally with all authors and I think every penny earned in royalties would have to be ploughed back into more publicity for at least five years. Tough on anyone who suddenly becomes the next JKR, but probably the only way.

Phew...there you have it folks.Laters Potaters
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Published on October 10, 2016 07:09 • 22 views

October 4, 2016

Hello my little chickadees. How are we all today?I've been poorly with a hacking cough but hopefully Ive seen the worst of it now.
So fresh from my torture chamber I have Kristen Stone author and publisher. Take it away Kristen. Oh wait you can't... Let me take that bag off of your head and the gag out of your mouth. It's your own fault for screaming and disturbing my neighbours. Right there you go.

I can't believe you did that Tee. I could hardly breathe.
Tee Note to self... Could be useful for next victim
       I was born way back in 1951 in post-war London. Many places around my area were still hidden behind holdings while reconstruction work was going on. I was a city child, rarely let out alone, never played in the street, didn’t know what a field was, so all these memes going around about how great life was for kids back in the fifties are lost on me.
      I am a feminist’s worst nightmare. I never wanted a career, all I’ve ever wanted to do is sit in a quiet room and write. I have happily lived as a kept woman for 42 years. Well, technically I have been married and supported by a wonderful caring, considerate husband who has provided me with everything I have ever wanted. I might have felt differently if he had been one of the nasty ones! Luckily my needs have been simple. Give me a typewriter, computer, laptop and/or tablet and I am happy.  Hubby is very understanding and doesn’t complain about my lack of interest in cooking although I try to provide for him every day. I must confess I do drive him to drink on occasion. More than occasionally actually; every Sunday to be honest when I drive him to the next town to meet his mates.
I have one daughter and three grandchildren. Sadly they will all have to work hard to get the luxuries I have enjoyed (well, the youngest is only six so it will be a few years before she starts work, then who knows what she will have to do).
              Where do you live?
In the middle of England, generally called The Midlands. And I mean THE MIDDLE of England. You can’t get much more middle than where I am. Several nearby places lay claim to being the centre of England. It’s a two hour drive to the sea if you go east, west or south. Scotland gets in the way if you go north, but that is pretty much two hours away too. We live in a nice little bungalow in a small village, but I must confess to having a bit of wanderlust at the moment. I keep rearranging the furniture to make me think I’ve moved.

     When I find a spare moment I enjoy doing some cross-stitch, although I have to wear milk    bottle  bottomed glasses to see what I’m doing. I also do a bit of knitting, something I can do whilst watching TV. Nothing ever seems to fit properly, or last once I put it in the washing machine, so I’m knitting a scarf at the moment. I recently bought a book on how to crochet. I bought the book. Haven’t actually opened it yet.  
Cross stitch 

Pets – furry or human
 An elderly arthritic Staffordshire Bull Terrier shares our life. Her name is Mutley but she answers to Oi! Stop that! Come here! and Eh! as well. She has a lovely nature, only ever barks at ghosts, and would greet any intruder with a waggy tail and lick them to death. We had her for about six months before we realised she COULD bark when she barked at her reflection in the window on a dark night.

               Cats are a no-no in our house as hubby is severely allergic to them. Found a little kitten once, managed to get in the kitchen when he was on his way out to work and didn’t notice it. He touched it, rubbed his eyes and then couldn’t see for the rest of the evening! Luckily we found where it belonged and sent it home.
       What you do to chill out
           Spend far too much time watching things on the TV, usually Netflix and such, not much on the main channels if you ask me! And if I’m not watching TV I’m playing games on my tablet. Trying to keep my mind active, of course.
     I also belong to a gym at a nearby Hotel. Not near enough if you ask me! I don’t use the actual gym as I can’t stand the music they bombard you with to, supposedly, encourage you. I do like the swimming pool, however, and go at least once a week (will be going once I’ve finished writing this). I’m not sure the hot chocolate I have while relaxing after my swim doesn’t actually give me more calories than I use swimming, but it’s a chance to read or even write. Sometimes I take my writing machine with me and hammer out a few words in the post-swim period. Especially in the winter. It’s nice and warm by the pool. 
      Day job
      I’m officially retired now. When I did work it was usually as a typist, audio, copy, make-it-up-as-you-go-along. Nothing spectacular or worth writing about. I hate these writing courses that tell you to write about what you know. I spent a few years working part-time as a check-out girl (old woman) too. I’ve only ever worked part-time and have had several breaks from work to try writing. If only self-publishing had been available then!
The longest I’ve ever stuck to a paid job is about 4 years. On the other hand I volunteered as a Guider for just over 20, maybe 25 years. At some point in this career I was in charge of Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units which covers girls from the age of 5 to 15. All at the same time at one stage.  At one point I was working in three units at once, taking up three evenings every week. For the love of it. Moral of the story? Don’t pay me! I was also the Division and Country PR rep for a bit but didn’t really enjoy that as much as the actual working with the kids.
     Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed.      Work in progress?
       I’ve completed six books now. Edge of Extinction, The Penhaligan File, Shattered Dreams, Silent Love, DayStalker and If The World Hadn’t Changed which is my latest. They are all different. The first and the last are fictional prophetic novels (can’t think of another way to describe them.) Shattered Dreams and Silent Love have been described as Human Interest, which basically means they are books about how people cope with their lives. The Penhaligan File is my first attempt at a thriller, and DayStalker is a short written in protest at all the reluctant doe-eyed vamps who really don’t like actually sucking blood from people, that seemed to be about at the time. DayStalker is a marmite book, you either love it or hate it.You can check them out here on my website http://www.kristen-stone-the-writer.com/http://www.kristen-stone-the-writer.com/
        I am currently working on a prequel to The Penhaligan File. Must confess trying to be thrilling is difficult, I haven’t got a devious enough mind. I prefer writing about people, fictional people. And a prequel to Edge of Extinction about Kianda Mala’s early life. Yes, two completely different books at once!When did I start writing? I completed my very first novel when I was about fourteen. Hand written in the biggest exercise books I bought from Woollies and stuck together with sellotape. I actually showed it to my English teacher who thought it was very good. What stopped me writing for most of my adult life was the careers interviewer who told me “You can’t just be a writer.” Obviously they had never heard of Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie. Sadly I believed them and was too timid to forge a career as a reporter which was their alternative.  
      If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?
I would like something like Pete’s Dragon. I think a dragon would be very useful for getting me to the shops in a carbon friendly way. Although if Dragons produce methane the same way cows do, maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea. But I like the idea of flying to the shops. And if it is a fire-breathing dragon it would come in handy on long winter nights.

     Do you prefer heat OR cold?
Neither actually. I prefer warm. The temperature of an English summer is enough for me. Warm   enough not to need socks and coats, but not hot enough to make you hot and sticky. If I could choose a climate I would make it rain at night, and be sunny during the day. To be honest it is the colour of the sky that has more effect on me than temperature. A cold, bright day is better than a hot cloudy one.

                                            Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if                              someone else was picking up the tab?
       The moon. I quite fancy going to the moon. You wouldn’t get disturbed by anyone else, apart from the crew who took you. I often wonder about where I would like to live on earth but there doesn’t seem to be a place that is not suffering some sort of trauma. The moon seems perfect!
Are you with a traditional publisher or self published?
            Self published under my own publishing label. I work with several other authors, the full list can be found on our blog. http://dld.bz/cPehN

Favourite meal (hot and cold)?
      Anything cooked by someone else. I hate cooking. I do it, but I’d rather be doing something else.
Favourite drink (hot and cold)?
    Tea when I’m at home. Coffee if I’m out shopping (don’t trust shop bought tea) and usually lager or Guinness if I’m out with hubby for a drink. Don’t really like wine – well I like some wine but there are so many different varieties I never know what I like and what I don’t. If I’m on driving duty it will be raspberry and apple J2o.

How hard do you find book promotion?
Nigh impossible. Promotion is very difficult as nobody is interested in the million or so independent authors out there in the ether, so what I recommend is:Adopt the name of the latest high flying celebrity. Write a book, or get someone to write it for you – that’s what they often do; push it out to all the newspapers, TV channels, et al using that name. With any luck they won’t realise you are not the said celebrity until you turn up for the interview on The One Show, Loose Women, or whatever. By which time lots of people will have bought your book, and even more will buy it when it is splashed all over the media that you used someone else’s name. If you are lucky you can look all doe-eyed and flash your eyelashes at the lawyers, and say you didn’t realise Kim Kardashian was a real person (you can always spell it differently so that it sounds the same but isn’t exactly the same. Although actors don’t use names that are already in use, I think that is out of mutual benefit, I don’t think you can copyright a name). If, on the other hand, you get thrown in gaol because you couldn’t pay the hefty fine imposed by the courts for misrepresenting yourself as someone famous, you can spend your time languishing at Her Majesty’s Pleasure writing another block buster, which will be an instant success when you get out of gaol and use your experience for promotion devices to get interviews on TV and the papers.Failing that, tweet regularly. 
Favourite genres to read and write?
      As long as it’s well written I read about anything that comes my way. Mostly indie authors these days, but I also read other stuff. Currently reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, intriguing style. I also read The Night Manager and The Last Kingdom. I usually have a couple of books on the go at once so I can swap depending on my mood.
                                  You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer                                          friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you                                   choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how                                    would you ensure the FB staff achieved success
  I think I would call it The Best Books Ever. I would ask Sessha to be our graphic designer. Charlotte to be editor in chief. And I would have Tee Gee as our marketing and publicity manager. If I knew how to make it a success I would already be rich! 
Now looking at the clock, it’s about time I got dressed, walked the dog then went for a swim. Thanks for having me in your cave, Tee.
My pleasure Kristen but if there's a next time I will tighten the manacles to stop you hitting the cave walls. You have been warned.
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Published on October 04, 2016 04:54 • 24 views

September 12, 2016

Hello my little chickadees and how are we all today?
That headline sounds a bit like a Cluedo clue. 
On my blog this time we have B A Morton (our Babs) who not only lives in a haunted cottage but has a chicken called .... wait for it ... Mrs Chicken who wanders the garden at will.
How do I know it's haunted?  because I can see one of the past inhabitants at the top left window. (Yes i know there are people in the right hand window but can you see anyone in the left hand one? Some of you may.) It fascinates me to be honest and Babs and i have had many discussions about it over time.
Anyways enough about that. This is about Mrs Chicken. Er.... as you were ...  I mean Bab's writing and her ongoing affair with Michael Buble and chocolate.  Can I just put it out there that I also have a thing going on with Mr Buble and chocolate?
Right then lovely Babs tell me all about yourself....

Bio/ Where do you live?
Born in Newcastle, B.A.Morton (Babs)writes across a number of genres including crime, romance, horror and historical fiction. After a twenty year civil service career, she and her family escaped the rat race and relocated to Upper Coquetdale in the Northumberland National Park. She now lives in a haunted cottage built on the remains of a medieval chapel (The inspiration for her Wildewood Chronicles series). A member of the Crime Writer’s Association and the International Thriller Writers, she is a self confessed crime fiction addict.
The Haunted Cottage
Pets – furry or human
Definitely fur and feather. We’ve always had dogs in our family and currently have a Border Terrier (our fourth child) and also look after our son’s Jack Russell on a regular basis. Both are rat assassins but have a healthy respect for Mrs C our pet chicken. We also have a number of very large goldfish which my daughter brought home from university when they were very small goldfish.
Mrs Chicken

What you do to chill out

We have a large garden which keeps us busy. I also dabble with crafty stuff (Dolls houses/furniture renovation etc.) I enjoy researching for my historical novels and of course I love to read. I enjoy crime fiction and lately I’ve been reading a selection of anthologies and short stories. It’s good to step outside your usual genre once in a while. Oh and I have been known to listen to a little bit of that chap Buble’.
Tee: Geroff woman!! He's mine I tell ya! All mine!
Day job
I used to work in the village surgery, until NHS cuts put the kybosh on that. Now I write full time. Which means I think about writing full time and write when I feel like it.
Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed. Work in progress?
I suppose like most writers I began writing at an early age, scribbling in notebooks at every opportunity, but my route to publishing came via Harper Collins Authonomy site where I met good friend and fellow crime writer John Holt who nagged me to enter The Yeovil Prize, a literary competition, and subsequently introduced me to my first publisher. I was introduced to my second publisher via another Authonomy friend Alfie Robins who writes cracking Northern crime fiction. My first novel, Mrs Jones, a crime novel set in New York, was published in 2011 and proved popular with readers. This was followed up with the next in the series Molly Brown. Since then I’ve also published one novel and three novellas in my medieval Wildewood Chronicles series (set in Northumberland and the Holy Land) Two North East based psychological thrillers Bedlamand Twisted were published last year by Caffeine Nights Publishing. I always have a number of WiPs on the go, and tend to switch between them as the mood takes me. Currently these include follow ups to Wildewood, Bedlam and a brand new Newcastle based crime series. I also have a short story destined for a charity crime anthology being pulled together by Bloodhound Books which should be out in time for Christmas.
If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?
As I mentioned earlier, we’ve always had dogs and most have lived to be a good old age -18yrs plus. I couldn’t choose between them to be honest, so I’d have them all and they’d take over the sofa and I’d end up on the floor!
Do you prefer heat OR cold?
I guess it would have to be cold as I can’t be doing with hot weather, not that we get much of that in the UK. I like snowy days curled up in front of the log-burner with a dog by my side.
Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if someone else was picking up the tab?
Australia, my daughter’s second home. She’s told us so much about the places she’s been to, we hope to visit at some point. I’d also like to catch up with much loved, Australian writer friend, Jacoba Dorothy, while I was there. Having said all that, I haven’t been on a plane since 1978 so it would definitely be an adventure. I might have to write a book about it…. Gullible’s Travels – one small writer and a big metal flying thingy.
Are you with a traditional publisher or self published?
A bit of both. When my first publisher closed, I re-published my earlier books through my own Twisted Ink Publishing imprint. The last two crime novels are with UK crime publisher Caffeine Nights and my short story, has been accepted by Bloodhound Books. I think it’s beneficial to scatter words widely.
Favourite meal (hot and cold)?
Hot would have to be a proper Sunday roast with Yorkshire puds, or homemade soup with dumplings…yum yum. Cold, come on…. brownies and icecream – obviously!
Tee: I can taste the roast and soup/dumplings from here.
Favourite drink (hot and cold)?
Hot – Hot chocolate with marshmallows of course and maybe some shortbread to dunk in. Cold - I’m not much of a drinker so it would be a soft drink, maybe something like homemade lemonade in a large glass jug with lots of ice, in the garden with strawberries.
How hard do you find book promotion?
Increasingly difficult and frustrating. There are so many books out there and without investing cash in promotion it’s very difficult to make any headway. I don’t find it easy to ‘sell’ and believe the endless self promotion often seen on social media, can have a detrimental effect on sales/readers. It’s a balance between letting folk know you’re there without boring them rigid.
Any tips or hints you’ve found that were successful for you in promotion?
I think it’s good to engage with readers whenever possible. Most popular writers have ‘teams’ loyal to their ‘brand’ who can help raise a books profile via word of mouth. Reading work at events, writers group etc helps to get the word out and sharing events with other creatives such as musicians and poets helps to extend your circle. If there’s nothing in your local area, then you could get together with other local writers and create your own event. Joining appropriate groups on FB and taking part in discussions is another good way to spread the word but don’t just pimp your books! Bottom line though – reviews are crucial.
Tee: OMG I've become a pimp !!!  :-) 
Favourite genres to read and write?
Crime fiction, twisty turny psychological crime, is my first choice to read and write. I love a tortured soul trying to do the right thing against decreasing odds. However I also enjoy historical fiction particularly the medieval period and love the research involved. I have a library of books on the crusades and the Templar knights.
You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how would you ensure the FB staff achieved success.

Well I already have my own publishing house Twisted Ink Publishing, but if I was to draft in some FB writer pals to help out, I’d have your good self on promotion and marketing, Tee. I’m sure you could twist a few arms up backs to get us the best promotional deals for the least dosh and make sure our books are in prime position in  every bookshop window – or else!(not that you’re scary… eeek! But there is rumour of a torture chamber and an online order for thumbscrews) 
Tee: Damnation I thought that was a reasonably well kept secret. Hm!
I’d have Reggie Jones on the entertainments committee, because he would keep our spirits up, and we’d probably need some high jinx by the end of the first day. Plus, he could help drum up some more business...boom boom. I’d have those two reprobates John Holt and Alfie Robins on the door, keeping the riff raff and e-book pirates out. As crime writers they know all the biz on dealing with undesirables – and getting rid of the bodies. 
Tee: Psst... I've got a body buried in my back garden - It's under the mock orange bush shhh
Audio versions of all our books would be produced communally (see Live Aid and Acorn Antiques) I will supply the coconut shells and reel to reel tape machine. Staff members would be rewarded for success with their own weight in chocolate and disciplined for any scallywag behaviour by having to watch said chocolate being scoffed by …erm….me! 
Tee: Babs your a woman after my own heart. (Thinks... Maybe I could use her in my torture chamber with that sadistic attitude)

Link to Amazon Author page    https://www.amazon.co.uk/B.A.-Morton/...https://www.amazon.co.uk/B.A.-Morton/e/B0089L6NOY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473179027&sr=1-1https://www.amazon.co.uk/B.A.-Morton/e/B0089L6NOY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473179027&sr=1-1  https://www.amazon.co.uk/B.A.-Morton/e/B0089L6NOY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473179027&sr=1-1 Books written by B A Morton

I can certainly recommend the above books by Babs.
So for now
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Published on September 12, 2016 05:22 • 26 views

September 6, 2016

Hello my little chickadees
On my blog this time I have John Holt. I have known John since our time at Night Publishing. 

John tell me a bit about yourself
Born in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, I have lived in Essex for 36 years with my wife Margaret, my daughter Elizabeth and Missy, our cat who adopted us.  For many years I worked in local Council, as a Chartered Surveyor. I spent 14 years with the Greater London Council, as a Senior Project Manager. When the GLC was closed down in 1986, I started my own surveying practice, carrying out property surveys, and preparing architectural drawings for conversion schemes, extensions, and new buildings. I had a heart attack in 2004, and finally retired in 2008.  In 2012 I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a two month course of radiotherapy, and hormone injections for two years. I also took alternative treatments of Amygdalin and Essiac. Although I am still being monitored, there has been no sign of the cancer since November 2014. I enjoy the theatre; and photography. I spend a lot of time restoring old family photographs. I am also a movie fan, and have quite a few old movies on DVD.
Day job
Day Job? I don’t have a day job, which is a pity really, because people keep telling not to give up the day job. Wonder what they mean by that …..
Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed. Work in progress?
I know it’s a clichéd comment but I think that I have always wanted to write. For some years I wrote articles for a couple of Blues magazines (sadly no longer available). I always enjoyed essay writing at school. The problem though was that I always needed to be told what the essay should be about, so I never had to dream up my own plot. To write a novel was different. Then you needed to think of a plot, and I always had great difficulty in that regard.  In 2005 we went to Austria, to the Lake District, We stayed near to Toplitzsee which was used by the German Navy during the war, to test rockets. There were rumours that as the war ended gold bullion was hidden in the lake. Suddenly I had a plot, and my first book, “The Kammersee Affair” was published (Raider in New York – a vanity publisher) in 2006. Since then there have been seven other novels – six featuring my private detective Tom Kendall, and a what if novel set during the American Civil War “The Thackery Journal”. There have also been three novellas featuring my detective Jack Daniels. I am currently working on another Kendall novel, currently entitled “Disgnosis Murder”. It is loosely based on reports (in 2015 in Florida and Georgia) of a number of doctors dying mysteriously - some were judged suicides, some were put down to accident, but many (there were way over 30cases) were deliberate killings. All were cancer specialists, and all had an interest in alternative therapies.
Also I have had several of my books translated, via Babelcube.
If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?
My collie cross Gyp, who sadly died in 1983. A wonderful affectionate, intelligent dog, and I still miss him even after thirty plus years.
Do you prefer heat OR cold?
Well I have to admit I don’t like it too hot, but I don’t like it cold either. I hate the wind, and the rain. A nice comfortable heat, say in the mid-twenties, with a light breeze, that’s fine.
Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if someone else was picking up the tab?
I’m not one for sitting on a beach all day long sunning myself. I like scenery, lakes and mountains. Things to do, places to visit, a little bit of culture you know.  To get the type of holiday I prefer I wouldn’t have to travel too far. Places like Southern Germany, or Austria suit me perfectly.
Are you with a traditional publisher or self published?
Having written my first novel back in 2005 I thought that it would be snapped up, and I would be paid a nice little retainer, and just have to wait for the film offers to roll in. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that the chances of being snapped up by a traditional publisher was pretty remote. One book “A Killing In The City” was actually published by Night Publishing back in 2012, but it was not to last, and shortly after I went down the self publishing route.
Favourite meal (hot and cold)?
A well done steak and all the trimmings; or good old fish and chips. As for cold I’m not a great lover of salads, so I guess it would have to a cream cake, with chocolate, and ….. just don’t get me started.
Favourite drink (hot and cold)?
Favourite hot drink is easy – black coffee.As for a cold drink I don’t drink alcohol, so that would be a fruit juice of some kind.
How hard do you find book promotion?
Incredibly hard. By far the worst part of the whole writing and publishing experience. The budget is very limited, so advertising is not an option, and many of the book promotion schemes are expensive. So any promoting I do myself, but it is very limited. So any ideas would be welcomed.
Any tips or hints you’ve found that were successful for you in promotion?
I’m still looking, but you’ll be the first to know. Though on the other hand if they work I might keep it to myself ….. ummm
Favourite genres to read and write?
That would have to be crime. I love the old film noir movies from the late forties and early fifties – Cagney, Bogart, Edward G, and later Robert Mitchum. I now have 6 novels and 3 novellas, all of which feature private detectives.
You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how would you ensure the FB staff achieved success
The name would need to be snappy, and show confidence – Crooked Crodolile, maybe. No I don’t think so. How about Victor Publishing International. As for staff, well clearly I would want top grade staff, the best I could get. Knowledgeable, and well qualified, but you did stipulate Facebook Friends, so I guess that’s out of the question, so I’ll just have to make do. So what departments would be important? Publicity certainly, so I would be looking for a successful person, someone who has a proven record. OK so I couldn’t find anyone like that, so next best thing I’ll settle for Reggie, my old mate Richard Jones to provide that International connection, at least when it all goes wrong I’ll have someone to blame; then there would be the financial department, so I would need someone who understood finance, and taxation, and …. Oh who am I kidding; Earnings will be so poor it won’t matter, but clearly I would need my very bestest friend – the one who got me to join Facebook in the first place – Babs Morton. Lastly I would need an ideas person, someone with imagination, someone with style and verve and ….. I wonder if I could quickly friend Alan Sugar (is he on Facebook).  If not it would have to be Alfie Robins. Meanwhile I would be in charge of the cream cakes department. Now with a team like that success is assured, but just to be absolutely certain I would offer incentives, like chocolate, and maybe Michael Buble CD’s.

https://www.amazon.com/John-Holt/e/B003ERI7SI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1 https://www.amazon.com/John-Holt/e/B003ERI7SI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
https://www.facebook.com/John-Holt-Author-553064201380567/ https://www.facebook.com/John-Holt-Author-553064201380567/ https://twitter.com/JohnHoltAuthorhttps://twitter.com/JohnHoltAuthor

If you like a good crime novel I can certainly recommend reading John's books.

See you next time.

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Published on September 06, 2016 07:09 • 24 views

August 3, 2016

Hello my little chickadees
My victim this time is Jacob Rayne, a horror writer and boy did he give me trouble. He completely turned the tables. I've been chained up in my cave and only just managed to get free.
So let me introduce you to JACOB RAYNE and his 'Rayne' of terror!!
A face of mischief if ever I saw one :-) 

Hello Jacob it's nice to see the other side of you now that I'm free from those cursed chains.  Please tell our readers about the real Jacob Rayne.
Well Hello Tee I'm sorry if you got a bit messed up in the cave but I thought you were in need of a bit of your own medicine for a change.      Hm!! Well you're on my turf now sunshine...
Ok...Repeated viewings of The Shining as a child have left me with a love of the dark and the disturbing that really comes to life in my writing.I work to a soundtrack of blisteringly heavy music, and, like my beloved metal, my writing is brutal, uncompromising and intense.My work includes: Becoming – A blood-drenched horror novel where the survivor of a serial killer's rampage descends into murder, madness and depravity; Dying Breed – A series of terrifying apocalyptic novels;  Sunshine - A relentless horror novella in which holiday-makers transform into violent psychopaths;Flesh Harvest - An action-packed horror novella involving a number of grisly deaths in a sleepy town in the North East of England; Karma Personified - A hitman's confessional; and many others.
Q. Where do you live Jacob? 
A. The cold, rainy North East of England. Luckily I’m pretty hairy so I can cope with the cold. Chewbacca has nothing on me!  http://hellogiggles.com/woman-chewbac...http://hellogiggles.com/woman-chewbacca-mask/
Q. Share your hobbies with us
A. Outside of spending time with family and friends my two main loves are heavy metal and horror. I love working on my books and spend as much time as possible doing this. If I’m doing this, I’ll always have something heavy playing in my headphones. I have a decent collection of CDs, cos I love the whole package, the music, the lyric book, the artwork. I can’t ever see myself going over to only buying MP3s as long as CDs are still being made.As much as I love listening to music at home and in the car, I much prefer seeing live shows. In my eyes (or ears, I suppose!) a good metal show is as close as you can get to a religious experience. You’re sweaty, you’re sore, you’re knackered, your neck is wrecked from headbanging and you’re covered in bruises, you’re sounding like Johnny Vegas cos you’ve been bellowing every word at the top of your lungs, but it’s one of the biggest highs I have ever experienced and I’m hopelessly addicted to it.I also love reading, playing guitar and watching films and decent series on DVD. I hesitate to say TV cos the vast majority of it is utter shite, but there are some good shows about. Sons of Anarchy has crept up in to my all-time favourite slot through being utterly addictive, but Dexter, 24, Simpsons and King of Queens are all awesome too.
Q. Have you any pets     A.  None unless we’re counting guitars…           

Q. What you do to chill out Jacob
A. Writing is my main go to. Stick some heavy music on and butcher some imaginary people. Better than any therapy!
Q. Will you tell us about your day job
A. I’d love to say I was doing this fulltime. I’d also love to say I was a private investigator, stealthing around finding missing persons and getting into fights and car chases, but unfortunately neither of these is true. I currently work in retail, but I gotta say, I’ve landed on my feet. It’s no hassle, just roll in, do my thing and go home. I have an awesome team of colleagues, the majority of whom I’m proud to call friends. We mainly just take the piss out of each other and try and outdo each other with terrible puns.
Q.  Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed. Work in progress?
A.  I currently have thirteen titles available on Amazon. Of those *furrows brow and counts on fingers* Four are novels, four are novellas, one is a collection of the aforementioned novellas, and the rest are short stories.
I’d like to take a moment to mention my latest release, Cold-Blooded Kin, which is a sequel to The Lazarus Contagion.If you’re into gory, apocalyptic fiction then check it out here: http://hyperurl.co/s9mq82http://hyperurl.co/s9mq82I always loved reading when I was a kid and I remember going over my cousin’s house and seeing all these Stephen King books lined up on the shelf. She told me they weren’t for kids, and, as a result, there seemed something forbidden about them. From that moment, I found it the whole thing unbelievably exciting and I needed to know more.My dad used to let us watch films when we were kids, remember Blockbuster Video? Well I always remember going in there and just standing – like a kid in a sweet shop! – in total awe of the horror section. It always drew me more than any other section for some reason.Once I saw The Shining that was it. If given the choice of genre it was always horror from that point on.
As works in progress go, I have a few unfinished stories I’m working on. One I’m very excited about as I remember it being a lot of fun at the time but, due to other commitments, I didn’t get the time to finish it properly. I’ve dug it out this week and have some cracking ideas how I can finally do it justice.There’s also a fourth volume of Terror Unlimited(my series of short stories) in the works. Again, it was an older story that kinda fizzled out. But it’s back on track and, hopefully, should be out next month.There’s another project that I find my mind being drawn to, but I’m not going to say too much about it. Let’s just say it’s a sequel to another book I’ve written…
Q. If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?
A.  Gotta be a dragon. Why would anyone want anything else? They can fly, their breath’d keep you warm on a cold night, you’d save a fortune on the bloody gas bill, and they’re badass enough to keep the burglars away…
Q.  Do you prefer heat OR cold?
A. Heat every time, but I’m ginger so I have a tendency to turn the colour of a lobster.           

Q. What would be your fantasy holiday if someone else was picking up the tab?
A. I’d head back to the Maldives. Our honeymoon was there and it was the best possible destination. I’m pretty sure that place is heaven on earth.  Failing that, New York. Awesome, awesome city with such awesome food, people and places to see.
Q. Are you with a traditional publisher or self published?
A. Self-published. I’m loving the adventure of it all, I find it ridiculously exciting. I love being able to work to my own schedule and have control of all the covers etc.
Q. What is your favourite meal (hot and cold)? 
A. A toss up between pizza and my wife’s shepherd’s pie. Either of those I can eat till they’re coming out of my ears.
Q. Favourite drink (hot and cold)? 
A. Coffee and beer. But the beer’s gotta be reallycold. I went to a lot of rock and metal festivals when I was younger and guzzling beer that’s been sat in a hot tent all weekend is definitely not recommended.    Q. How hard do you find book promotion?
A.  Pretty damn hard. It’s an incredibly fine line between badgering the shite out of everyone on Facebook with a hyper-aggressive, ‘Buy my book ya complete set of bastards!’ style marketing campaign, and doing absolutely nothing.Looking back I was probably a bit over keen with this in the past so I try and hold back on it a bit now, but it’s like anything, isn’t it, you learn as you go? No one’s born knowing how to do this, so it’s all a learning curve.
Q.Any tips or hints you’ve found that were successful for you in promotion
A.The most helpful thing I’ve found has been when Iain Rob Wright featured a story of mine in one of his books and featured me in his newsletter. He also has a self-publishing course online at the moment, so I’m exploring that and finding out things I never knew existed.Check it out here: https://www.azofselfpublishing.com/https://www.azofselfpublishing.com/   Q. Favourite genres to read and write?
A. Horror for both. When writing, I tend to start right in the thick of the action. I like short chapters to keep the pages turning. I like a lot of blood and guts; these books are certainly not for the squeamish. I’ve had seasoned horror fans telling me they’ve slept uneasy after reading some of my books. That is a cool feeling and makes all the blood, sweat and beers worthwhile.I like to read horror. Favourites are Stephen King, Laymon, James Herbert and Shaun Hutson. I also love true crime, rock star biographies and have a serious soft spot for the Jack Reacher books. Michael Crichton had some brilliant ideas too.
Q. You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how would you ensure the FB staff achieved success.

I kinda have already, but there’s only me works there.I like Rayne of Terror as a name. It does what it says on the tin.

I’d have Iain Rob Wright in as my chief advisor. He’s like the Yoda of self-publishing and has helped me out so much with very little in return. He’s an awesome writer and, more importantly in my eyes, a proper nice, down-to-earth guy. He deserves every bit of success that comes his way.This is his site: www.iainrobwright.comwww.iainrobwright.com

Michael Bray aka Gonzalez would be my choice for cover designer. He has reworked most of my old, self-made covers and has come up with a few new ones for me too. As anyone who has seen his covers will testify, he’s an extremely talented cover designer.Find out more about his covers here: https://www.facebook.com/mbdcovers/?f...https://www.facebook.com/mbdcovers/?fref=nf As well as that, he is an excellent horror writer. Find out more here: http://www.michaelbrayauthor.com/http://www.michaelbrayauthor.com/

I’d have Reggie (Richard Rhys Jones) in charge of the mood-setting, cos I know he’s a bit of a boozehound as well and is also a metalhead. I know he’d have some good choices for music and beers to enjoy while writing.  If I ever got stuck on a story we could always have a couple of beers and shoot the breeze until things worked themselves out.Here’s Reggie’s site: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Rhys...https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Rhys-Jones/e/B00A79BI50I’d have Monique, Nat, and the mischievous Cross brothers, Wayne and Simon, as beta readers as they have helped me out a lot with this recently. I’m proud to call them friends and am hugely appreciative of their support.           

I’d have Wesley Thomas aka The Book Pimp as my marketing guru. He can pimp a book like no one else JFind out more here: http://wesleysauthorpromoservice.weeb...http://wesleysauthorpromoservice.weebly.com/ And here is his author page: http://wesleythomashorrorauthor.weebl...http://wesleythomashorrorauthor.weebly.com/biography.html

Any Links to your work:My site: www.rayneofterror1.comwww.rayneofterr...www.rayneofterror1.comwww.rayneofterror1.comMy Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RayneofTerro...#https://www.facebook.com/RayneofTerror1/?fref=ts#https://www.facebook.com/RayneofTerror1/?fref=ts#

Tee, this has been an absolute blast! Thank you so much for letting me take part. Cheers!
Maybe for you sunshine and I'm chuffed you enjoyed yourself. 
As for me.... I'm going for a lay down in a dark room with a cold flannel.
Laters Potaters
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Published on August 03, 2016 05:55 • 14 views