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Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Martin Geraghty

Martin Geraghty is the latest Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this 6Ws series. A real life P.I. who lives in Scotland, his likes to write, as he puts it, about human beings.

May 10 is a big day for Martin as his debut novel, Main CoverA Mind Polluted, officially launches. I pre-ordered my copy a long time ago.

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

Who is author Martin Geraghty?

I am a 45-year-old private investigator from Glasgow, Scotland. Lover of books, food, wine, golf and laughter.

What does he write?

I write about human beings, their flaws, how one person reacts to a specific set of circumstances and another reacts completely differently.

When did he start writing?

I began in June 2016.

How does he write?

When writing, A Mind Polluted, my routine was to get my six-year-old boy to bed, switch my laptop on and write for as long as possible. Simple as that. Just write.

Where does he write?

I have a favourite black recliner leather chair with a stool that I position to look out of my lounge bay window and my view is mostly the sky.

Why does he write?

I love story-telling. I love to explore the various aspects of how we behave.

About A Mind Polluted: My debut novel, A Mind Polluted, is published by Crooked Cat Books. The paperback is available from Amazon as well as the Kindle version, which is officially released on May 10. A Mind Polluted, is the story of a boy who at thirteen years old overhears a terrible confession from his mother’s lips which sets a series of events in motion. Can you leave the past in the past and concentrate on his future? Or will he seek his own perceived version of justice?

Other works: Poems & flash fiction have appeared in various lit-zines in the UK.

Martin Geraghty on social media:

Twitter: MartinGeraght1


He can be found on Facebook under Martin Geraghty.

Tim Taylor
Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Author Tim Taylor

Tim Taylor is the next author to be featured on my 6Ws series. A U.K. author, he writes contemporary and historical novels, and some poetry. His latest novel is Revolution Day, published by Crooked Cat Books.

I love his response to the question: why does he write. His answer? “Because I haveRevolution Day to!” Yeah, I believe a lot of us can relate.

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

Who is author Tim Taylor?

I’m a novelist, originally from Staffordshire in the English Midlands but now living in Yorkshire with my wife Rosa. I also do a bit of academic research and teaching, in Ethics, at Leeds University. And I enjoy playing the guitar, reading, and walking up hills. I used to be a civil servant, but left in 2011 to spend more time writing.

What does he write?

I write contemporary and historical novels, and some poetry, though I’m not very prolific. I write short fiction in various genres, including sci-fi and humour, mostly for fun rather than publication – though the pieces do sometimes appear on my blog (see link below). I also write the occasional academic article.

When does he write?

Whenever the rest of life doesn’t get in the way! Typically two or three days a week, though it will be less when I’ve got a lot of teaching on (it’s sporadic) and more in the summer, when there isn’t any.

How does he write?

In different ways, depending on what I’m writing. With fiction, I like to have a rough plan of the story before I write – though it needs to be flexible as the characters may have their own ideas. I usually write quite slowly. If I’ve set aside a day for writing, I’ll have a target of a minimum of 1,000 words (that I’m reasonably happy with, not just any old words – I tend to edit as I go along). I will usually write a bit more than 1,000, but often not by much. I know people who write much faster, but if I tried to do that it would mean less time spent writing but much more time spent editing – and while I love writing, I hate editing! On the other hand, when I’m at a writing group I will generally write a piece of some kind in 45 minutes or so in response to an exercise or a random selection of words. This might be a first draft of a poem, or a bit of flash fiction, or – just occasionally – a passage that will end up in a novel.

Where does he write?

All over the place! Upstairs at a PC in the home office, downstairs on the sofa on a laptop, in a notebook at various writing groups.

Why does he write?

Because I have to! Otherwise all those ideas would just go round and round in my head and I would never get any sleep! And because I enjoy it.

More: Give readers a brief description of your latest book.

My most recent novel, Revolution Day (published by Crooked Cat) is about an ageing dictator Carlos Almanzor, who is clinging on to power as Manuel, his ambitious vice president, plots against him. Meanwhile, his estranged wife Juanita is writing a memoir of his regime and their marriage, chronicling his rise to power and subsequent descent from idealism into autocracy and repression. In time she and others close to Carlos will find themselves unwitting participants in Manuel’s plans.

Other works:

My first novel, Zeus of Ithome, is a historical novel set in ancient Greece, about the real-life struggle of the Messenian people to free themselves from centuries of slavery under the Spartans. My next, all being well, will be about a woman’s relationship with his father as he loses his memory.  I’ve also published an academic book, Knowing What is Good for You (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).

Tim Taylor on social media:

Revolution Day on Amazon:



Facebook author page:



Bea Fishback
Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6 Ws with Author Beatrice Fishback

Beatrice Fishback is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this series.

She writes in three genres: inspirational historic romances; cozy mysteries, and contemporary romance novellas. Currently, she is working on a sequel to Dying to Eat at the Pub and also the third in her historic romance series Bethel Manor published 51p2vcidkvL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_by Crooked Cat Publishers.

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

Who is author Beatrice Fishback?

I was born and raised in upstate New York with six siblings, so I absolutely love NY pizza, bagels and sub sandwiches—those foot long things that kind of resemble submarines. My father was a professional firefighter and my mother a registered nurse. Although my dad served in WWII, was wounded three times and received the Purple Heart for bravery, he left the Army before my parents married and I grew up around my extended family.

So when I became the wife of a military man, who took me around the world for twenty years, I had no idea what that lifestyle would be like. During several stateside, and three overseas assignments—Saudi Arabia, Korea and England—we raised our two children and our family developed a totally different worldview than I had grown up with. It was after my husband retired from the Army and we began a new season of life that I discovered my love of writing.

With fictional characters set in places where we have lived in England, my heart’s desire has been that those who have not had the privilege to travel will enjoy some of these areas we have loved. I would add, we proudly boast about our two grown children and two grandchildren and currently we live in North Carolina.

What does she write?

I have three genres, but I began my journey of writing by submitting inspirational articles and stories in compilations. Doing those smaller endeavors was a great way to get my feet wet and learn the craft before jumping into the deep end of writing full length novels. The three genres are inspirational historic romances, cozy 41o9mquN0xL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_mysteries, and several contemporary romance novellas. If truth be told, my cozy mystery Dying to Eat at the Pub set in the small English village where we lived, is probably the one I had the most fun writing.

How does she write?

Initially, as a newbie writer I would get a thought and immediately compose a sentence that would hopefully bloom into either a short story or devotional. When I began to write novels and novellas I quickly learned I was a pantser, writing by the seat of my pants, and not a planner of details. But I wish I could be more of a planner as I have several ideas for books I haven’t finished because I don’t know where the characters are going to end up.

Where does she write?

I’m a moving target with my laptop and need a variety of settings to stimulate creative juices. I can be found at a coffee shop, library or café and very rarely sit at a desk to work. If I’m at home, the kitchen table is my go to spot.

Why does she write?

I have always loved to read, especially cozy mysteries and as a pre-teen historic romances set in England so the natural draw to those two genres makes perfect sense. However, I enjoy writing the most when words I have penned touch a heartstring in a reader. What a powerful tool to be able to take someone else into another world for a moment in time with your characters. It is a privilege and honor to write for that reason alone.

More: I am working on the sequel to Dying to Eat at the Pub and also the third in my historic romance series Bethel Manor published by Crooked Cat Publishers.

Other works: You can find other titles by clicking the Amazon link below.

Beatrice Fishback on social media:



Amazon link:


Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Author Jennifer C. Wilson

Jennifer C. Wilson is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this series.

She writes writes fiction with an intriguing twist. Her characters are ghosts — not just ordinary ghosts but historical ones. Or as she puts it, she writes “historical fiction with spirit.”JenniferCWilson-KS.ToL-Cover

Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey, the next in her Kindred Spirits series, will be launched this summer.

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

Who is author Jennifer C. Wilson?

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who spent much of her childhood stalking Mary, Queen of Scots (initially accidentally, but then with intention). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consulting since graduating. Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the northeast reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, she won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has had several pieces published online. She is also part of The Next Page, running workshops and other literary events in North Tyneside.

What does she write?

She writes ‘historical fiction with spirit’ – the tagline for her social media, which Rob Walton of North Tyneside Writers’ Circle kindly came up with. She’d not heard the phrase ‘paranormal historical fiction’ before it was the genre assigned to her novel Kindred Spirits: Tower of London. The Kindred Spirits series follows a groupJenniferCWilson-KS.RM-Cover of historical ghosts, carrying on with their ‘lives’ in historical buildings, in contemporary settings. This has been the Tower of London and Edinburgh’s Royal Mile so far, with Kindred Spirits: Westminster Abbey due for release in summer 2018.

When does she write?

Whenever she can! Working fulltime, it can sometimes be hard to make it onto the laptop in the evenings, but that’s what nice, long weekend days are for.

How does she write?

It depends. At writing group, travelling or when out-and-about, words go by hand into the notebook, being transferred into the master file later, but when at home, it’s direct onto the laptop. She tries to write something every day, just to keep the momentum going for whatever project is currently underway.

Where does she write?

Every so often, she tries to write in the spare room, where there’s a nice, neat desk set up, but the truth is, Jennifer watches way too many murder mystery programmes on television, and cannot abide having her back to the whole flat, especially when it’s getting dark… So instead, she writes at the dining table, usually with either a CD or the television on, for background noise (she cannot write in silence). In 2018 though, she’s planning to experiment with writing out-and-about more, including heading to local libraries, where she’s less likely to get distracted by piles of paperwork which need sorting!

Why does she write?

Because she loves it, and as long as people are willing to help her follow her childhood dream, by publishing and reading what she writes, she will not be stopping. She’s always loved stories, and could never visit any historical building or site without making up some tale or other about the people who had been there before. Having an outlet for those is a dream come true.


Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile was released by Crooked Cat Books last summer, and follows the adventures of the ghosts of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, primarily Mary, Queen of Scots, and her small band of courtiers, but also the young piper who was sent into the tunnels beneath the Mile to see where they led, and of course, lovely little Greyfriar’s Bobby makes an appearance. Each ghost has their own problems to deal with, including Mary herself, when her second husband, Lord Darnley, turns up and starts causing trouble, just as she’s trying to resolve the melancholy of her father, King James V of Scotland. The universal Amazon link for this can be found here.

Other works:

Jennifer’s debut novel, Kindred Spirits: Tower of London, was released by Crooked Cat Books in October 2015, with Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile following in June 2017. Her timeslip historical romance, The Last Plantagenet? Is available for download from Amazon.

Jennifer C. Wilson on social media:

Jennifer can be found online at her website, on Twitter and Facebook, as well as at The Next Page’s website.


Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Author Nancy Jardine

Nancy Jardine is the next Crooked Cat Books author to appear on this website.

A born and bred Scot, Nancy is the author of historical romantic adventures and contemporary mysteries. She also wrote a historical time travel adventure for middle grade readers and up.

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

Nancy is familiar with the 6 Ws format. She wrote: “I once upon a time used the 6Ws a lot but that was while I was in the other main phase of life. Joan, many thanks for inviting me to your blog today to revisit those 6Ws in a very different fashion.”

Who am I? 

I sometimes wish I really knew! I’m Nancy Jardine. I’m a born and bred Scot who loves almost everything about my homeland and I include some Scottish connection in my writing when feasible. I’ve lived in the ‘Castle Country’ of Aberdeenshire for thirty years and it’s an amazing part of N E Scotland — though I was born and brought up in the west coast city of Glasgow.

Literally, in a few steps from my house I can indulge in my love for and absorption in all things historical. Neolithic long barrows (burial cairns); standing stone circles; Ancient Roman marching camps; Pictish symbol stones; crannogs; ruined 3 mysteries new TEcastles; still lived-in ‘Disneyesque’ fairy tale castles are all within walking distance. Well, the latter would count if you’d call a walk of 8 miles an easy jaunt.

I live with my husband of almost 44 years. My nearest neighbours are my oldest daughter and her family. That means my granddaughter (6) and grandson (~4) live right on my doorstep as well, but they’re the future rather than the past! I officially child mind them for two very long days a week when my D works (no pay for me, of course, just the absolute and honest pleasure of being with them). On those days very little writing is done. Naturally, being next door, they often bounce in at other times to say hello to Grandma and Grandad… though mostly it’s to raid the biscuit barrel (cookie jar).

Why do I write? 

Till 2011, I’d been a primary school teacher for more than 25 years and that’s where the 6Ws come in. I taught the senior classes in the primary school (11-12-year-olds) so when teaching the art of story writing it generally included the Who, Where,
When, Why, What and the How.

During most of my life I aspired to be an avid reader, which I most definitely still am, but it was only during my final teaching decade that the concept of becoming a writer crept in. I was asked — okay, in all reality my arm was metaphorically twisted up my back — to write two non-fiction historical books for local education purposes.

The first, in 1999, charted the history of a local steam train locomotives works, dating from 1897 to approximately 1960. The second (2005) was a history of my Aberdeenshire village primary school. I taught there in addition to living in the village. After a huge amount of research, I was able to include information that dated a school in the village as far back as the early 1500s!

I loved researching for those two projects even more than any other research I did for my teaching purposes. Having sold 350 copies of the non-fiction school history book on one special ‘open day’ at school (all profit to school coffers, naturally) the transition to becoming an author seemed possible.

I wrote a couple of first drafts of novels before 2011 but it was only after packing away the chalk that I really got serious about getting published. My first contemporary mystery, Monogamy Twist has an ancestral-based theme and was first published in 2011.

What do I write?

To date I’ve had three books published in my historical Celtic Fervour Series by CFS wordsCrooked Cat Books. These adventures are also a kind of family saga in that they are about different clan members whose lives are totally changed when the Ancient Roman Legions invade their Late Iron Age ‘Celtic’ territories. These span AD 71- 84.
The fourth book is almost ready for publication and is set in the aftermath of a great battle between Celts and Romans in ‘Aberdeenshire’ in AD 84. It’s my version of the Battle of Mons Graupius, if you’ve some knowledge of Romano-British history.

Crooked Cat Books has also published three of my contemporary romantic mysteries.

I delved into self-publishing for my historical time travel adventure The Taexali Game which is for a wider audience of around 10 years and older. Though intended for Middle Grade, loads of adults have given really wonderful feedback on this TTG x1000novel. It has recently achieved a B.R.A.G. Medallion status and came 2nd in the Scottish Association of Writers competition 2017 for Best Self-Published Book (this comp included all categories of fiction and non-fiction). I’m likely to do more self- publishing in the near future.

I write for my own blog; do blog guest posts; and have had long-term commitments posting regularly at a co-operative blog. I’m expecting to do more guest posting in 2018 at a number of places.

Social media (mainly Facebook) can be too much of a draw for me and needs to be much more successfully self-regulated in 2018! 😉

When do I write?

Not often enough during the last couple of years but I expect to devote a lot more hours of the day to my new writing in 2018. As my grandchild-minding duties lessen, and the kids spend more time in school, I expect to be able to write for longer periods. That’s the plan!

Continuity has been an issue since 2014 but that is destined to improve. Otherwise, if I have any daily routine worth noting, it’s that I read the newspaper with my first two cups of coffee and breakfast. After a personal cleanup and domestic duties are over, I’m at my keyboard for the bulk of the day doing ‘writerly’ stuff which, as any author knows, isn’t often new writing.

I’m also the sole gardener of a decent-sized plot but since I love my outdoor space the time spent there in garden maintenance is generally a pleasure.

Where do I write?

My writing desk is situated near my dining room window where I can overlook the action in my garden. It can be a distraction when I see the grass needs cut, or there’s a war going on between the crows and the tiny coal tits because the bird feeders are empty, but it’s mostly a pleasure to look out at nature in all its glory —that is when my flower beds are magnificent and when the weeds are rampantly colourful.

I prefer to write at a keyboard and use a monitor, both of which are connected to my laptop. However, my laptop is regularly unplugged from the wiring when I need to be across the driveway at my daughter’s house, or out and about.

This means my desk tends to be a jumble of printer, external hard drive, desk lamp, tablet, phone, speakers, loose pencils (I did say I used to be a teacher!), notepads, loose sheets of notes and ordinance survey maps (essential for my current work), historical non fiction reference books, my A4 desk diary… and, of course, the other mentioned peripherals. Cold cups of coffee or tea are also obligatory on any available surface.

Did I say I was organised? Actually, I am, but as a mostly a ‘pantser’ author my desk reflects my writing style.

P.S. My storyboard behind the desk generally has my info on current characters and framed posters of my published books above that remind me that I have more to publish!

How do I write?

I began as a natural ‘pantser’ author and tend to want to go with how my characters ‘talk to me’ as I develop the story. But, over the years since 2011, I’ve learned the value of also doing some PLANNING! That’s in capitals because sticking to original planning can be a wonderful idea. Yet, it’s not always what happens.

Since I want to write historical and contemporary stories that are very readable, and also are very credible according to historical accuracy, I do try to stick to an outline plan but that has tended to get a bit problematic. If you are a fan of history then you’ll appreciate the need to continue to research and do some more and… actually my need to research never stops! That has meant changes to my outline plot as I’ve learned new and useful things, and more often changes to my original timeline as I incorporate new ideas.

If I have any 2018 resolutions, they are to ensure better continuity in my writing. And yes, that means more discipline… Oh, dear, did I say I used to be a teacher? (**cringe** and smiley faces )

Hey, but I’m also retired, so I guess I’m a happy bunny part-time author!

More about Nancy Jardine:

Nancy Jardine is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association; the Scottish Association of Writers; the Federation of Writers Scotland; The Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Nancy Jardine on social media:




Also on Facebook



Amazon author page


You’ll find her in many other places across the internet.