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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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Purgatory Cover
Opening scene, Writing

Opening Scene: Purgatory Hotel

Anne-Marie Ormsby, the author of Purgatory Hotel, is the next author to be featured in the Opening Scene series. Yes, the first scene is supposed to grab readers. Anne-Marie puts it this way: “For me it was important to set the scene, what would it feel like to wake up in a frightening, dangerous place with no memory and no way of knowing how to get to somewhere safe.”

Here, Anne-Marie, a Crooked Cat Books author, shares an excerpt and her inspiration for the opener Purgatory Hotel.

First the excerpt:

 “She was about to die and she knew it, as though there was always an awareness that this was how the end felt. In that moment fear left her, and it was like when a gust of wind came and went, the stillness that followed.

Before everything stopped, her life passed before her in a random barrage of images that arrived like photographs slipping past her eyes.”

Now the inspiration:

The story begins at the end of a life, the end of Dakota Crow’s life.

And we begin with the last images that flash through her mind as she is dying – her mother, her father, her sister, and the man she was in love with.

For me, in writing this scene I was trying to think of things that I loved, things I might me 2017see in my own last moments, ‘autumn rain falling on the garden,’ was actually a memory of my own. I remember being a teenager and when it would rain I would sit beside the open back door, breathing in the scent of the wet garden and writing poems. I recall the more beautiful things even if they were insignificant to anyone else.

Dying is the loneliest thing we will ever do – no matter what happens we all know we are going to die – but what matters is what we would remember as beautiful about our lives, what memories would make our passing peaceful and happy – what things would we be most grateful for in the end, whose face would see us through that final moment?

Shortly after this she wakes up, the last images she saw in life, the wet forest, switch places with a new environment – a dirty, decaying Victorian Hotel. She finds herself in a lobby, other unfriendly faces peering at her, instantly feeling unwelcome and lost. But she knows she is dead, she just doesn’t know how or why. And for her this will be the greatest test – reliving her forgotten life in order to remember her crimes and her death in order to repent.

I chose to throw the reader in at the deep end – straight into Purgatory because I wanted the reader’s experience to mirror Dakota’s own. She has no memory of what she has done or what this awful new place is – so the reader learns along with her, travels down the rabbit hole and into the darkness with her.

For me it was important to set the scene, what would it feel like to wake up in a frightening, dangerous place with no memory and no way of knowing how to get to somewhere safe. The sad truth for Dakota is that one thing is certain – there’s one thing she can never change. She’s dead and nothing will bring her back to life.

HOW TO GET YOUR COPY:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Purgatory-Hotel-Anne-Marie-Ormsby/dp/1977649521/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518610216&sr=8-1&keywords=purgatory+hotel

ANNE-MARIE ORMSBY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Good reads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36329433-purgatory-hotel

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/annemarieormsby78/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AOrmsbyAuthor

Blog: https://pirateburlesque.wordpress.com/

Website: https://www.annemarieormsby.com/

 

 

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Chasing the Case

Paperback Writer

This week my publishers sent me the full cover for the paperback version of my new mystery, Chasing the Case. That’s it above. And I will say unabashedly that I love it.

Laurence Patterson, co-publisher of Crooked Cat Books, emailed me the final design Wednesday. In about a week or so, I will have the book in my hands after it arrives by mail.

At that point I will officially be a paperback writer. (Yeah, yeah, I will post a photo.)

In this digital age, eBooks are huge. I understand why. They are affordable and accessible. Buy one and it will appear on your Kindle, computer or whatever in a minute. It’s also a good way to try out a new author.

And my understanding is that most sales are via eBooks these days.

Ah, traditionalist that I can sometimes be, there is still something about holding a book I wrote.

I’m reminded, of course, of The Beatles’ song Paperback Writer, which was largely written by Paul McCartney. Admittedly, it’s not one of the Fab Four’s best songs, but the message hits home for me and I am sure other authors who are trying hard to make it in the publishing world.

As a refresher: In the song, a wannabe author begs a publisher to take a look at his book — “a dirty story of a dirty man . . .” Yeah, he really begs.

Ha, the guy is totally delusional to think the publisher could possibly make a million dollars off the book.

And I have to laugh when he brags that it has a thousand pages and he could write more. (Man, he needs an editor.)

Of course, way back then, wannabe authors typed up a query letter and mailed it with a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with the entire manuscript or a sample. Maybe they received a form letter or a personal reply. Nowadays query letters get emailed and except for the rare occasion, don’t hear anything back.

Yes, I can relate.

And I am also grateful to Laurence and Steph Patterson of Crooked Cat Books for taking me on.

But back to the cover — I love the mood it sets for my mystery, the first in the Isabel Long series. Using black, gray, and red is dramatic and the image captures a key scene in the book.

On the back is a short synopsis I wrote plus an endorsement from thriller author Craig Dirgo: “Take a trip to the land of pot roast, and murder. I did, and I liked what I read.” (You can find other endorsements inside and on Amazon.)

Craig’s words made me smile and I hope it wins over readers. After all, that’s what covers are for.

Chasing the Case will be formally released May 18 with a big to-do on Facebook. I will post info about that, but there will be a lively discussion and contests. Want me to use your name as one of the characters in the second sequel I am currently writing? That’s one of the prizes.

Here is the link to pre-order your copy of Chasing the Case:  http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

I say: why wait? And thank you if you pre-order.

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Author Interview

6 Ws with Author Heidi Catherine

Heidi Catherine is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this series.

Truthseeker CoverCrooked Cat Books draws authors from around the globe. Heidi, who currently focuses on fantasy romance, is from Australia.

The theme of her current series — The Soulweaver, The Truth Seeker, and The Shadowmaker —  is about loving the same souls over many lifetimes. “It explores not only romantic love, but love between a parent and child, between siblings or even just friends,” she says.

The Truth Seeker will be released March 19.

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

Who is author Heidi Catherine?

Me! I’m an Australian writer, from Melbourne. I’m married with two sons and think I might possibly have a charmed life. My family and I live in a fabulous little part of the world. At one end of our street is a wildlife sanctuary with kangaroos and emus and at the other is a disused church from an old mental asylum. Even though we love it, we’re a little obsessed with the beach, so most weekends we head to the coast where we have a house. It’s a great place to spend time together, go for walks and get inspired. I feel extremely lucky.

What does she write?

My current focus is on my romantic fantasy series, The Soulweaver. It’s a story 51Oi7cRi2uLabout loving the same souls over many lifetimes. The second book in the series, The Truthseeker, is out on 19 March and will be quickly followed by the third and final book, The Shadowmaker on 31 May.

When does she write?

I write on weekdays when I have the house to myself (apart from my dogs, who watch me work, hoping I’ll get writer’s block and take them for a walk). It hasn’t always been this way though. When I first began writing seriously, I was in my 20s and would write on weekends. When I was in my 30s and my kids were young, I’d write any time I got the chance, usually with one of my boys pulling my hair or throwing a ball at my head. It’s a lot easier now!

How does she write?

I put on some music and sit down at my laptop. I’ve gotten into a habit of lighting a candle and I’m now superstitious about it, believing it helps my writing – at the very least it makes the house smell nice! I draft my stories using Scrivener, which I find really useful for being able to quickly jump around within a manuscript. It’s also great for setting daily word targets to meet a goal. When the book is finished, I compile it into Word and edit that version.

Where does she write?

Almost always at home. I don’t like to be locked away in a room, so I have set up a library right in the middle of our house with a small bureau and that’s where I base myself. It’s a little bit too close to the kitchen, which doesn’t help my waistline, but has great light and I enjoy being surrounded by books while I write.

Why does she write?

Growing up, my father was a forensic scientist with the police and my mother was a teacher, so conversations at our dinner table were never boring! I think this was where my imagination got a kick start in life and I was always writing something in the background. Then my mum had a middle grade novel published and I started to wonder if maybe this was something I could think about doing too. The first book I ever wrote was a middle grade novel and I’d still like to get that published one day. I’ve also written two crime novels, inspired by some of my dad’s stories. Again, I’d like to think about getting these published too. I just need to figure out the best way to do this now that I’ve established myself as a romantic fantasy author. A nice problem to have!

More: The Soulweaver and The Truthseeker are both published by Crooked Cat Books and are available to purchase on Amazon in either for Kindle or in paperback. They will soon be joined by The Shadowmaker, which is the final book in the series. The Soulweaver won Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award, for the best unpublished manuscript, although it’s more of a “romantic elements” novel than your usual love story.

The series is about loving the same souls over many lifetimes. It explores not only romantic love, but love between a parent and child, between siblings or even just friends. Readers have been describing it as a highly original series that’s made them look at life and love in a different way.

Here are the links:

http://myBook.to/thesoulweaver

http://myBook.to/thetruthseeker

Heidi Catherine on social media:

Website

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

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Isabel Long Series

And Now for the Sequel

Here’s some very welcome news: Crooked Cat Books has signed Redneck’s Revenge. The mystery will be published several months after its prequel Chasing the Case — Crooked Cat has that one too.

Two mysteries written and signed this year. Damn, I’m excited.

Those who know me also know that it’s been a challenge breaking into the business side of writing. I thank Laurence and Steph Patterson for providing that break.logosmall2

So, here’s the lowdown on Redneck’s Revenge, which like most of my books takes place in Western Massachusetts — although my characters and towns are pure fiction.

Isabel Long, a journalist turned amateur P.I., has taken on her second case: the suspicious death of a junkyard owner.

Despite her success, Isabel is feeling a bit lost months after solving her first. Her relationship with Jack, the owner of the Rooster Bar, has cooled. Then the police warn Isabel she must work for a licensed P.I. before she can go out on her own.

With the encouragement of her 92-year-old mother, Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case. The official ruling is that Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered.

Topping the list of suspects she gives Isabel are two dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband. Isabel is unfamiliar with the hilltown of Caulfield and its rough-and-tumble residents. But as she did when she worked as a journalist, Isabel checks out leads and builds a story.

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

Right now, Chasing the Case is in the hands of my editor Miriam Drori. And I’m onto writing the next one. It’s called Checking the Traps. Yup, Isabel is once again in the thick of things.

Here’s the link for Crooked Cat Books: www.crookedcatbooks.com

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