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6Ws, Author Interview

6Ws with Author C.J. Sutton

C.J. Sutton is the next author to be featured in this 6Ws series. Dortmund Hibernate, a psychological thriller, is the debut novel for this Crooked Cat Books author who lives in Australia. It has an official launch July 18.IMG_20180501_230430_452

He shares his takes on writing and how it works for him. How about this fun quote: “Writers can commit crimes all day on the page. I can’t think of another gig with such freedom.”

Here are C.J.’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author C. J. Sutton?

That’s my alter ego. No, I’m not some superhero. I’m much better at being the villain, in a words-on-the-page sense. I live in Coburg which is a suburb in Melbourne (Australia) with my wife, our two rabbits, Florence and Leo, and enough books to sink a fleet. I’ve adopted this as my official author name, and it makes its debut with Dortmund Hibernate.

What does he write?

I tend to stray towards the dark, the disturbing and the psychologically challenging, but I also love to write about small towns with big issues. Everything is magnified in a rural town, and the location becomes a character in itself. My perfect scenes are when the troubled protagonist meets the smiling antagonist; I thrive for this dialogue, the push and pull, it’s like an exciting version of chess where one wrong move could result in death. I place high emphasis on dialogue because while others state “actions speak louder than words” it is words that lead to action. And words are the craft writers deal in. Currently I’m focused on promoting my debut novel (out July 18) and writing another novel which takes a completely different direction.

When does he write?

Whenever he can. Working a full-time writing job means I have to find both the time and the drive to write novels. The latter comes quite easily, but the former can be a challenge. Generally that time between getting home from work (5 p.m.) to before dinner (7:30 p.m.) is my best writing slot of the day, but I also type furiously on the weekends. I’m the kind of writer that could easily stay up all night, but once I’m asleep I don’t want to get up until my alarm shoves me out of bed. I am in awe of writers who can get up at 6 a.m. and start writing; my brain is sloppy, still waking up, searching for caffeine and a place to hide from the all-too-bright world.

How does he write?

With a coffee. There’s something comforting about a well-brewed hot drink, a friend on the shoulder that encourages you onward and gives you this energy of creation. To me it’s like petrol to a car; when there’s none left I hear a faint dinging sound reminding me to either stop or top up. I also need to hide my phone away, because there are simply too many distractions available on that little jerk.

Where does he write?

I have a space upstairs in my two-bedroom apartment that has a built-in desk and a hanging picture of Heath Ledger’s Joker; it’s a sketch made up by his quotes, with half of his face drawn as the Clown Prince of Crime and the other being simply Heath. The space is enclosed on three sides so it locks me away with my thoughts. I love a landscape, a pristine view, but I find I’m easily distracted and I’d probably watch the leaves fall from the trees or a dog chase a car.

Why does he write?

Because if I didn’t write I would probably be a character in Dortmund Hibernate locked in an asylum. Writing is my creative outlet and has always offered escape. Despite the darkness of my themes, I enjoy the freedom of creation. There are no limits, and a strong piece of writing can leave a name etched into history. Some work a trade, others deal in figures, but with me it has always been words and characters. How can one ever be bored when there are no boundaries? Writers can commit crimes all day on the page. I can’t think of another gig with such freedom.

About Dortmund Hibernate:

Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum; nine criminally insane individuals hidden from the world due to the extremity of their cases. Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act. The small rural town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill. As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the Asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare. And the most notorious man of all is strapped to the floor of his cell, urging Magnus towards a new life of desire…

Get your copy of Dortmund Hibernate via this link: mybook.to/dortmundhibernate

C.J. Sutton on social media:

Website: www.cjsutton-author.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cjsutton.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/c_j_sutton

 

 

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Crooked Cat Books, Isabel Long Series

It’s Called Redneck’s Revenge

Redneck’s Revenge is the name of the second book in the Isabel Long mystery series. And guess what? It’s ready to pre-order for those who prefer to read on Kindle. Just a click and Redneck’s Revenge will be ready to pop into your device September 26. No money up front. How easy is that?

The Kindle version costs $2.99 by the way, which I believe is a good deal.

Here’s the link provided by my publisher, Crooked Cat Books: mybook.to/rednecksrevenge

As for those who prefer paperback, that version will be available next month. Don’t worry. I will let you know when that happens.

So what’s Redneck’s Revenge about? After her first case, Isabel Long is in a bit of a funk. Yeah, she solved that 28-year-old missing person’s case, but success has its cost. First her relationship with Jack, the owner of the Rooster Bar, is kaput for reasons those who have read the first book will understand. (I’m not giving away anything here, folks.) Then the cops tell Isabel she must work for a licensed P.I. for three years before she can do it solo.

But Isabel snaps out of it thanks to her 92-year-old mother — her very own Watson. She hooks up with a down-on-his-luck P.I. and better yet, finds a new case.

Annette Waters is convinced her father, Chet, an ornery cuss who owned a junkyard, didn’t die in a fire because he was drunk. Somebody killed him. Her list of suspects includes a rival junkyard owner, drug-dealing brothers, and an ex-husband. As a former journalist and now an amatuer sleuth, Isabel decides it’s too good a story to turn down.

Is Chet’s death a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

Yeah, this was a fun book to write and I will be sharing more over the next few month about the characters, setting, etc. And what about Jack? Let’s just say things get a bit complicated.Chasing the Case cover copy

THE FIRST: Here’s the link for Chasing the Case, the first in the series, which is available in Kindle and paperback: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

ABOUT THE IMAGE ABOVE: That’s the great cover designed by Laurence Patterson, co-publisher of Crooked Cat Books.

 

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6Ws, Author Interview

6Ws with Author Lizzie Chantree

Lizzie Chantree is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this 6Ws series. The timing of this post is great since her next romance novel, If You Love Me I’m Yours, has a July 9 launch.

She says her characters are “fun, sometimes feisty and often flawed, but they all have an adventure along the way… ” That was certainly true of herIYLMIY book cover small previous novel, Ninja School Mum.

Here are Lizzie’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author Lizzie Chantree?

Hello everyone. I am a romance writer who writes about strong women with zany business ideas. I am also a creative mentor and an inventor.

What does she write?

I write contemporary romance books with a splash of humour. I was once told by a happy reader that she was laughing so hard at one of my storylines that she almost dropped her baby. I hope that was a compliment! My books are often set in the countryside in the UK, where there is so much beauty to discover. My main characters are fun, sometimes feisty and often flawed, but they all have an adventure along the way and I hope my readers enjoy the journey.

When did she begin writing?

I began writing when my youngest daughter was two. She was unwell for several years and writing helped me to find a way through the darkness. I found a job that makes my soul happy and my daughter proudly tells everyone she helped me discover my career.

How does she write?

I write quickly and by hand in A4 notebooks. I then transcribe this onto my computer. It is time consuming, but I find it really creative to put pen to paper. I usually write down a rough idea of my stories, then I work out chapter guides. Next I begin to write. I’m not much of a planner and tend to go for it and see what happens. This is exciting because I feel like I’m reading the story as I’m writing it.

Where does she write?

My favourite place to write is by the sea or somewhere with a great view. If there is tea or coffee and cake nearby, then I am in a state of bliss! I also have a studio where I type up all of my manuscripts and play around with new marketing ideas. I have a bubblegum drawer where I store bubblegum to eat while I’m writing. Don’t tell my children, they haven’t discovered it yet!

Why does she write?

I write books in the hope that they will make others smile. Writing helped me to reach for the sunshine and my books are about loving yourself for who you are, not for who you think you should be. I hope my readers snuggle up with my books and enjoy a relaxing read while spending some time on themselves.

Blurb for If You Love Me, I’m Yours

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

Buy Links:

viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Other works:

Ninja School Mum: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

Babe Driven: myBook.to/LizziesBooks

Love’s Child: viewBook.at/Amazon-LovesChild

Finding Gina: viewBook.at/Amazon-FindingGina

Lizzie Chantree on social media:

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.chantree.3

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

 

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6Ws, Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Author Jo Fenton

Jo Fenton is the latest Crooked Cat Books author to participate in the 6Ws series. Her psychological thriller, The Brotherhood, has an official launch July 25 although you can pre-order the Kindle version now and buy a paperback outright.

Jo was inspired to begin writing The Brotherhood by NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month although she says it actually took her six years and ten drafts. Book coverNow, that’s persistence.

Here are Jo’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author Jo Fenton?

Clinical researcher by day, writer by night (or whenever time allows), I am a short, friendly soul who loves chatting to people, running very slowly, and being helpful whenever needed. I live in Manchester, UK, with my nearly grown up sons, husband, a beautiful Corgi and two fish tanks.

What does she write?

Psychological thrillers with a strong emphasis on relationships, belief and power.

When did she begin writing?

I began writing at 41, when my kids reached an age where full time attention was no longer required, and my husband suggested it might be a good time. This was triggered by publicity for NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. The novel, an early version of The Brotherhood, didn’t quite get completed in a month. Six years and 10 drafts later, it was submitted to Crooked Cat, who fortunately loved it.

How does she write?

The Brotherhood started as a vague premise with some notes, and character descriptions. Plot changed significantly over the first few drafts, but there was not much planning done at any point. It just developed. The current work in progress, a sequel to The Brotherhood, is being subjected to much more planning, but every now and again, the muse takes over, and adds an unexpected twist or two.

Writing is facilitated by music – certain scenes require specific soundtracks, but generally any favourite music will serve as good background. Coffee or wine can also help depending on time of day.

Where does she write?

As I work from home a lot, I have an office (very untidy), which is the scene of most of my writing. However, I’m very flexible, and can write just as easily in a hotel room (when travelling for the day job), on a plane, or on holiday (sea-view balconies and cruise ship bars are definitely favourite writing spots!)

Why does she write?

For many years, I played out stories in my head, retreating into a virtual universe for days at a time. It was only when I began to write my first novel, that I realized how important it was to have that outlet. Writing became an escape from everyday life; a safe way to explore fears, dreams and the wildest corners of my imagination. Due to demands on time, it’s not always possible to write, but I return to my novels whenever I can, with a huge sense of relief.

More on The Brotherhood:

The Brotherhood will be released by Crooked Cat books on 25thJuly. The Brotherhood is a psychological thriller set in a religious sect and is available for pre-order on Amazon http://mybook.to/fentonthebrotherhood.

Other works:

None yet, but I’m working on it.

Jo Fenton on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jl_fenton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jo-Fenton-Author

Blog: https://www.jofenton137.com

 

 

 

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High School Reunion

Fifty Years Later

Shoot, where did the time go?

Once we were teenagers ready for the next adventure, whether it was college, work, the service or whatever. Like us, the world was a-changing. It was 1968. Vietnam. LBJ then Tricky Dick. The counterculture and all of its trappings. Today’s technology was only found in fiction then.

Fifty years later, a great number of Fairhaven High School’s Class of ’68 reunited this past weekend. Yeah, I was there too.

Many live in the Fairhaven, Massachusetts area. Many came from other states. The IMG_5707award for long-distance traveler definitely goes to Tosh, an exchange student from Japan, who came with his wife.

Sadly, we’ve lost a number of classmates.

People were warm, friendly, and happy to see each other. Lots of hugs. Lots of catching up. Some people were easier to recognize than others. (Name tags at our IMG_5746big party on the second night came in handy.)

The class has held earlier reunions. I made it to the 21st — yeah, we held one that year instead of the 20th.

I will admit I am the type of person who moves on when an adventure is done. But that wasn’t the case for many, who kept in touch or maintained their close friendships still. It was admirable. The best I do is follow them on Facebook although I hope to do better.

On Friday, many of us met at our former high school — a historic building financed in 1905 by town benefactor Henry Huttleston Rogers  — for a flag raising and a performance by an alumni chorus. Sitting in the auditorium, I recalled how creatively inclined many of my fellow students were in some form of the arts. They still are.

Events that weekend included an informal get-together at a classmate’s restaurant, an in-depth tour of the high school, a dinner and dance the second night, and a breakfast on Sunday morning. The committee did a great job putting it all together.

I especially enjoyed seeing the people who meant the most to me in high school and earlier. You know who you are. Alas, there wasn’t enough time to go into depth with them and others, but it was enough to know they are doing well and are still the good people I knew way back when.

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: My name tag for the reunion. That’s my yearbook photo and, yes, Medeiros was my original last name.

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