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.


Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6 Ws with Author Nicola Slade

Nicola Slade is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured on this website. A prolific author, her most recent is The House at Ladywell. 

I love what she says about writing: “It starts with a vague idea which gradually 51bts7xlD+Lgathers momentum until I can’t ignore it.”

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

Who is author Nicola Slade?

Writer, wife, mother, grandmother, former antiques dealer, former secretary/admin. I live about five miles from the ancient city of Winchester, in the south of England.

What does she write?

Historical and contemporary cosy mysteries and romantic novels. I have two mystery series, both set in and near Winchester:

Charlotte Richmond Investigates – in 1858 a young Australian widow arrives in England to live with her late husband’s wealthy family and promptly starts discovering the occasional corpse!

The Harriet Quigley Mysteries – my contemporary sleuth, Harriet Quigley, is a recently-retired headmistress who, with her cousin and best friend, the Reverend Sam Hathaway, finds herself embroiled in intriguing and occasionally perilous situations.

My latest novel, The House at Ladywell, is a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes, about a young woman whose unexpected inheritance leads her to discover secrets about the house and about herself.

When did she begin writing?

When I was about six years old I discovered that books came out of people’s heads and decided that was what I wanted to do. My first short stories were published in my early twenties followed years later by magazine shorts and now by eight (so far) novels.

 How does she write?

It starts with a vague idea which gradually gathers momentum until I can’t ignore it. I usually have a rough plan in my head, particularly if it’s a mystery: how it starts, whodunnit, what they did, who they did it to, why they did it and how. I like to have the title very early on and I usually write the last few pages long before the book is finished. That doesn’t change much so I have a beginning and an end with a yawning gap in the middle!

Where does she write?

Anywhere at first, with scribbled notes on scraps of paper as I jot down ideas until I realise I’ll probably lose them so I start a Word document for notes. I write straight to my desktop but I save a few chapters at a time to my Kindle as I find it easier to spot typos/inconsistencies/etc that way. I share an office with my husband but he has the window side because I prefer to stare at the wall and not get distracted by the garden.

 Why does she write?

Because I have to. There’s always a screenplay going on in my head and now and then a character will insist on have her (usually it’s ‘her’) story told.

More: The House at Ladywell published by Crooked Cat Books (Nov.2017) Available in ebook and paperback from Amazon:  Amazon UK Amazon US

“A hare carved in stone, and the scent of flowers in a house full of echoes – can Freya’s inheritance help her to leave the past behind?

‘Had I gone completely crazy that first day? To open the door, take one astonished look round, and decide on the spot that I would live there? To fall in love with a house?’

When Freya Gibson inherits an old, run-down property she has no idea she is the last in a long line of redoubtable women, including the Tudor nun who built the house. Unknown to Freya, these women, over centuries, fought with whatever weapons came to hand – deception, endurance, even murder – to preserve their home and family.

Freya falls in love with the house, but her inheritance includes an enigmatic letter telling her to ‘restore the balance’ of the Lady’s Well. Besides this, the house seems to be haunted by the scent of flowers.

In the past, the Lady’s Well was a place of healing, and Freya soon feels safe and at home, but she has demons of her own to conquer before she can accept the happiness that beckons.”

Other works:

Historical cosy mysteries – Charlotte Richmond Investigates:

Murder Most Welcome

Death is the Cure

The Dead Queen’s Garden

 Contemporary cosy mysteries – The Harriet Quigley Mysteries:

Murder Fortissimo

A Crowded Coffin

The Art of Murder

 Romantic novels:

Scuba Dancing

The House at Ladywell (see above)

 Nicola Slade on social media:





Amazon UK

Amazon US


me 2017
Author Interview, Crooked Cat Books

6Ws with Author Anne-Marie Ormsby

Anne-Marie Ormsby is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured on this website. Her novel, Purgatory Hotel, is on my reading list.

Writing, as she says, has been a part of her everyday life since she was a young girl.

And check out her so-called unhealthy interests.

Purgatory Cover

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

Who is author Anne-Marie Ormsby?

Anne-Marie is a school HR & Finance Administrator currently living in south London, with her husband and their tiny human.

She has an unhealthy interest in movies, true crime, vintage Hollywood scandals, and cemeteries.

What does she write?

She writes whatever feels right. Purgatory Hotel which is paranormal fiction was written 12 years ago when she was in a different situation. She also wrote a novel about the highs and lows of relationships and dating in your early 30s, but hasn’t done anything with it yet. She also wrote a lot of poetry and short stories when she was younger.

When did she begin writing?

She began writing when she was 9, after reading some Ray Bradbury short stories. After that it was a part of her everyday life. She would come home from school and go to her room to write, at first by hand then on an old typewriter her parents bought her in a charity shop. Even as she got older and started a social life, she still spent time every day at the typewriter.

How does she write?

In solitude preferably, and with a bottle of red wine.

Where does she write?

Wherever she can. These days she has a toddler so doesn’t get much alone time, and after working all day, once her daughter is in bed (because she finds it impossible to write when she is around), she generally wants to hang out with her husband, watch movies and catch up on their day. So when she gets started on her next book it will be a case of locking herself away for an hour or so a night when she can. Life was very different when she wrote Purgatory Hotel, so now she will have to adapt.

Why does she write?

Because she has stories in her head that she needs to get out, they are like demons she has to exorcise.

More on Purgatory Hotel:

Dakota Crow has been murdered, her body dumped in a lonely part of the woods and nobody knows but her and her killer.

Stranded in Purgatory, a rotting hotel on the edge of forever, with no memory of her death, she knows she must have done something bad to be stranded among murderers and rapists. To get to somewhere safer she must hide from the shadowy stranger stalking her through the corridors of the hotel and find out how to repent for her sins.

But first she must re-live her life.

Soon she will learn about her double life, a damaging love affair, terrible secrets and lies that led to her violent death.

Dakota must face her own demons and make amends for her own crimes before she can solve her murder and move on, but when she find out what she did wrong, will she be sorry?

Purgatory Hotel is published by Crooked Cat Books and is available in paperback and on Kindle:

Purgatory Hotel on Amazon

Anne-Marie Ormsby on social media:

Good Reads