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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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Lizzie Chantree. Author photo small
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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Author Interview, Opening scene

Opening Scene: The Soulweaver Series

Heidi Catherine, an Australian author, is the first to appear in this new feature I call Opening Scene. Here Heidi writes about the opener for her Soulweaver Series, The Soulweaver Trilogywhich takes the idea of reincarnation to a different level. The third, The Shadowmaker, launched May 31.

In Opening Scene, authors are asked to describe how they began their book and to give an excerpt. Here’s what Heidi wrote.

OPENING SCENE

The Soulweaver series is a love story that spans many lifetimes. Occasionally one of the characters will die and be reborn, sending them on a search to find the souls they loved in their previous lifetime. It was inevitable that this series was going to need to take place over several centuries, which made choosing the right starting point a little tricky. Should I start in present day and move the story forward into the future? Or should I start in the past and work my way to present day?

In the end, I decided that my strength is my imagination. If I began the story in the past, I was going to need to bury myself in research to make sure it was accurate. And the idea of doing that spoiled all the fun for me. I much preferred the idea of making up a futuristic world on my own terms.

With that decided, my opening scene took shape in my head. I had a clear image of a girl in a forest. I’m Australian, so I wanted to begin on my turf, even though I planned for the story to cross the globe, as it felt unrealistic to me for souls to continue to be reincarnated in the one place.

The opening scene introduces us to Hannah and a girl who lives in a peaceful Australian town, which is in direct contrast to the turmoil swirling in her mind. She doesn’t quite understand her place in the world and has spent her life feeling like something is missing.

I took a bit of risk with the first sentence by telling the reader that Hannah was going to die. But I also tried to make this fact intriguing rather than off-putting. Hopefully I succeeded. Here are the first three paragraphs of the opening scene for you to decide.

Hannah’s life began the day she died. It had happened before – both the dying and the beginning. She didn’t know it, though. All she knew was now.

She knew the smell of spring in the fields around the forest. She knew the sound of whispering trees as she slipped beneath their canopy. She knew the feel of Matthew’s hand clasping hers as if she were part of his soul. It was a hand that led her deeper into the forest. The deeper they went, the more she felt at peace. Here, the world could rage its wars and her ears would be deaf. It was her place to run when the world began to spin.

The world often spun for Hannah. She’d spent the sixteen years of her life feeling like she’d forgotten something of urgent importance. It was a nagging thought that pulled at her. If only she knew what it was she’d forgotten.

And so the story begins. By the end of the first chapter, we understand exactly why Hannah always felt this way and exactly what was that she felt like she’d forgotten. And by the end of the book… well, I’d better let you find that out for yourself!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heidi Catherine’s award-winning, romantic fantasy series, The Soulweaver, explores the possibility of loving the same souls over many lifetimes. The first novel in the series was the winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award and was released by Crooked Cat Books. This novel is followed by The Truthseeker and The Shadowmaker.

Not being able to decide if she prefers living in Melbourne or the Mornington Peninsula, Heidi shares her time between both places. She is similarly pulled in opposing directions by her two sons and two dogs, remaining thankful she only has one husband.

Heidi loves to hear from readers and can be found at www.heidicatherine.com

ABOUT THE SOULWEAVER SERIES

She’s loved and lost him a hundred times across a thousand years. She can’t bear to lose him again.

Lin’s dreams are haunted by faces of people she’s never met. Unable to shake the feeling she’s lived before, she’s drawn to Reinier—a stranger whose soul is heartbreakingly familiar from a time gone by.

Reinier helps Lin unravel the mystery of her past life as Hannah, a girl who sacrificed herself for her true love, Matthew. As Lin falls hopelessly in love with Reinier, her memories of her life as Hannah sharpen and she finds herself unable to let go of Matthew.

With her heart torn in two, Lin must decide whether she should stand by Reinier’s side or track down Matthew and fight for his love. What she doesn’t know is that her decision will ripple across our troubled planet, affecting far more lives than just her own.

Winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award, The Soulweaver is a story that will change the way you see the world.

BOOK LINK 

http://mybook.to/thesoulweaver

HEIDI CATHERINE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

http://www.facebook.com/heidicatherineauthor

http://www.twitter.com/heidicatherine

http://www.instagram.com/heidicatherine

http://amazon.com/author/heidicatherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tere
6Ws, Author Interview

6 Ws with Teresa Dovalpage

Teresa Dovalpage is the next author to appear in this 6Ws series. I do have a confession to make. Not only is Teresa a talented writer in English and Spanish, she is one of my dearest friends. As you can read from her answers, she is a lot of fun.

Her latest book is Death Comes in through the Kitchen, published by Soho Crime.Cover It is a mystery set in Cuba, her country of origin, which puts an interesting twist on the story. And for foodies there are recipes for great Cuban dishes.

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

Who is author Teresa Dovalpage?

A Cuban transplant to New Mexico. A quirky chica. A novelist and a college professor at NMJC.

What does she write?

Un poquito de todo! A little bit of everything but mostly fiction: novels, short stories and a couple of theater plays. I also write for The Taos News. For over eight years I did business and lifestyle stories, which were super fun. I am now writing a series of bilingual novellas.

When does she write?

At night, always. I am a night owl. My best inspiration comes after ten p.m. Qué weirdo, no? And then I need a steak before I can go to sleep.

How does she write?

I used to have just a general idea in my cabeza, a not too well-defined roadmap that was subject to change. But since I started writing mysteries I have developed a healthy respect for a better planned plot. It makes writing easier. I am now reading Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories That Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats by Jane Cleland, who I just met at the Cozycon, and I am learning a lot about about techniques, settings, subplots and more.

Where does she write?

At home. I now have an office. I used to have the computer in my bedroom but I have found out that keeping a sleep/ work separation is worthwhile. I fall sleep faster, maybe because my characters are trapped in a different room.

Why does she write?

For fun. I started writing when I was a teenager and haven’t been able to stop. At first, I didn’t have any idea of what I was doing… not sure that has changed a lot. But I’ve been an avid reader since childhood so writing felt like a natural step.

About her recent book:

Death Comes in through the Kitchen (Soho Crime, 2018) is available at Amazon and bookstores. Matt, a San Diego journalist, travels to Havana carrying a wedding dress for Yarmila, his Cuban fiancée. But he finds her dead in her bathtub. Later he starts to wonder: Who was that woman he thought he knew? And who killed her? It’s also a Havana travelogue, with descriptions of paladares (small private restaurants), casas particulares (inns), and the bright colored fifties cars known as almendrones. The book contains authentic Cuban recipes.

Other works:

In English: A Girl like Che Guevara (Soho Press, 2004); Habanera, a Portrait of a Cuban Family (Floricanto Press, 2010); and The Astral Plane, Stories of Cuba, the Southwest and Beyond (University of New Orleans Press, 2012).

In Spanish:Muerte de un murciano en La Habana (Death of a Murcian in Havana, Anagrama, 2006, a runner-up for the Herralde Award in Spain); El difunto Fidel (The late Fidel, Renacimiento, 2011, that won the Rincon de la Victoria Award in Spain in 2009); Posesas de La Habana (Haunted ladies of Havana, Pure Play Press, 2004); La Regenta en La Habana(Edebe Group, Spain, 2012); Orfeo en el Caribe (Atmósfera Literaria, Spain, 2013); and El retorno de la expatriada (The Expat’s Return, Egales, Spain, 2014).

Teresa Dovalpage on social media:

English https://teredovalpage.com
Spanish: http://teresadovalpage.com

https://www.facebook.com/dovalpage

 

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