Featured Author Jan Ruth

I am happy and proud to introduce to you the lovely and talented author Jan Ruth.

05-JanRuth-tight

Hi Jan, glad you could join me here today to tell us all about you and your book, or books.

Let’s not delay any further but move on to the interview, because that’s why I asked you over. Right. First question.

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

‘Bloeddio!’

Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?

‘Just now. I looked up the Welsh for Whoop!’ It doesn’t work at all, actually.

Right, sounds like you are the one who’s on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

‘I’d quite like to talk about all of them if that’s not to cheeky? (I’ve seen the next question you see…)’

Hahaha, nope, not cheeky at all. It’s your party and you can talk about as many books as you want.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the titles?

‘Ah well no; other than the little book of shorts, my main titles all sit together quite nicely with a bit of a theme going on… Wild water, Midnight Sky, White Horizon. Hopefully readers will connect with all the Celtic landscapes I use as a backdrop; but then the titles also have a link to the story.’  

Wild waterWhite horizon Long and ShortMidnight Sky

That sounds like you really have given this a lot of thought and shows you are indeed a very professional writer, like I knew you are. But let’s go back to what we were talking about, your books.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

‘I think it would have to be YA; then I could carry on writing about relationships, rural communities and realism. I couldn’t do science fiction or fantasy, although in my book of shorts I did have a go at something with a cross-over feel. The druids circles here on the mountains are quite spooky, especially if you read all the history behind them.’

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

‘Nothing I don’t enjoy about writing really, except maybe when you get writers block and nothing moves forward, or you get to that stage when you’re thinking a big chunk needs to come out/go in/be re-written.

Marketing can be fun but it can be a big chore too, and very time consuming. There are so many distractions on-line… too many!’

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

‘Real Life.’

What does your muse look like?

‘A very young, glamorous version of me.’

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

‘Oh yes, and yes. I have lots of conversations with my characters when they are in the development stage, mostly in the form of dialogue when I am driving. I don’t know why it happens a lot in the car, or if I wake in the night, the voices are there again… I am normal though… yes?’

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

‘Oh, a large glass of crisp cold Sauvignon Blanc; (no more than that or everything has to be deleted in the morning, or I find myself needing to apologise to strangers on Facebook) Or if it’s too early for that, a pot of good coffee. More than food and drink though, I find the right music gets me fired up.’

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

‘I don’t write every day. There, I’ve said it. Having said that, it doesn’t mean I’m not working on something new or mulling over the current work in progress. (See above re the voices in my head.) I take a long time to think about my characters and their motivation before I finally set them on a path to their own discovery, or destruction. I even know their shoe size and their star sign!’

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

‘I like it. It’s better than going out to work!

You are so right!

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

‘Okay, well I’m not into children and babies so there’s no worry there; even though I did manage to have one, a long time ago.

Cats, take them or leave them. Now dogs, bit partial to a dog so can’t promise to steer clear there; and horses…  feature quite a lot of dogs and horses in my novels actually. Latest pair of dogs are called Butter and Marg. Am I boring you?

Nope, not at all. I’m quite enjoying myself. Go on. *offers another drink and sits back again*

Have I told you about my equestrian knickers?

Your what? Hahaha, no you haven’t, but please do!

Not sure if it’s a dirty little secret or not. I do worry these days that if I fall from my (borrowed) horse and get taken to hospital I may need to be cut out of my undergarments. I imagine a lot of barely controlled amusement from the staff. (What is she wearing under there?)

Yeah, what are you wearing?

All of this padding is a good thing, but the knickers are pretty big, and sooo tight. Once the sports bra is in place the two items tend to merge. Then it’s the supportive knee joint bandages and the rest of the usual gear over the top, followed by a body protector which looks like a something the police might wear, like a bullet proof vest. It’s awfully stiff too but I was told when I bought it that I needed to wear it around the house to have it mould to my shape so I cooked dinner in it a couple of times (with the blinds down) Bloeddio!

Okay, now that we’ve heard about your books and random stuff we’ve, that’s to say I, have gotten curious about you. Tell me, who is Jan Ruth? And no lies, just the cold truth about Jan Ruth.

Fact: Jan Ruth was born in Bowden, Cheshire, and moved to North Wales in 1998, although she has always maintained a strong connection with the area from a much earlier age. Her feel for the Welsh landscape is evident in all of her books. Jan has been writing for more than 30 years and despite various dalliances with the more traditional publishing routes, she is now pleased to be an independent author… well, most of the time.

Jan started writing at primary school, winning prizes for poetry and short stories. Her first novel attracted a London agent, but failed to find the right niche with a publisher because it didn’t fall into a specific category- not quite light enough for romance but not literary fiction either, sitting somewhere between these two genres. Her second novel, again snapped up by a London agent; suffered the same fate. Undeterred, Jan has continued to write, believing her market is out there.

‘Amazon has completely changed the face of the industry with Kindle. It is an amazing platform for writers in that all books-successfully published or not- are available to a world wide audience but most importantly to the reader, who is after all the most important judge.’

Fiction: Jan Ruth writes contemporary women’s fiction. Love stories with strong, identifiable characters, about family life and relationships.

‘I like to think my books convey some serious threads with a good blend of humour, a balance of light and dark. Different, I feel from the majority in that I often write from the male perspective.’

‘I love the process of writing. There are not many jobs where you get to play God and be devils advocate. Sometimes I am astonished at the pearls of wisdom that must be deeply buried in my brain. At all other times I find myself frantically holding down the delete button.’

‘I think you have to be a little mad to enjoy the compulsive and intrusive way it can take over your life – but then I think it has to be this way to have the same vitality for the reader. It’s almost like being possessed by several other people!’

Right, thank you Jan for this interview. Now, where can your fans stalk you? Erm, I mean, find you. You know to follow, friend, comment or like?

On her pages you’ll be able to easily find her books in any format and no mater where on Earth you happen to be.
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Featured Author C Reg Jones

Today I have yet another great Indie author featuring on my blog. Let me introduce to you the wonderful and highly entertaining Reggie Jones.

He’s not only a great writer, but has a way with words that have you chuckle at the least, if not laugh out loud. But if you don’t believe me, read this interview he granted me and judge for yourself.

Hi Reggie, welcome and thanks for being here. Let’s kick off with some questions to get you into the interview mood.

Any mistaken identities lately?

All the time!! Every time I let my beard grow a little I get the Hagar the Horrible/Eric the Red/insert-famous-clichéd-Viking-figure-here comments. That’s not a bad thing but I have the feeling that people who aren’t red haired think we all look the same, somehow.

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

Not really a Whooping type of guy, more of a, “BACK OF THE NET!” exclamation type of dude, if I’m honest. A loud, sibilant, “YESSSSS!” often works for me as well.

Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?

The YESSSS always works for me, I mean, come one, what’s not to work there, right? Back of the net is more footy/drinking/out with the lads type of whooping.

Right, sounds like you are on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Okay, the book I have out right now is called, “The Division of the Damned” and basically it’s about vampires working for the Third Reich. There are a lot of other bits and pieces in there as well, Sumerian mythology, Christian and Biblical legends, ancient texts, Teutonic Knights, the Red Army, the Eastern Front etc etc and miraculously they all glue nicely together. Believe me, making that hodge podge of different subjects marry up is worth the Nobel prize for Literature in itself!

Division of Damned

Oooh, I love vampires, mythology, legends, knights and whatever you can add to the mix. Whoop! Sounds like something I must read. But did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Well, funny you should mention that! I had a title, “SS Division Vampyr” until one day a mate came around with a book called, “Operation Vampyr” and that sort of kicked my title into touch.

So, I had a think, asked some mates for ideas and the same guy who found the book, came up with the title. So, all’s well that ends well, right?

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

Fantasy. I started a fantasy story a while ago. However, 23,000 words down it sort of dried up on me. I’m aiming to write a sequel to Division and then I might go back to it. It was set in Napoleonic Europe and had dinosaurs as the bad guys. It’s a lot better than it sounds, lol.

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now. And leave that beaten path of  known questions to venture out into the wild country where anything goes and even I don’t know what comes next.

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

I don’t like having to go to work when I want to write, will you take that as an answer?

Don’t thinks so my friend.

No?

Nope.

Okay, what I do hate is when I write something and I read what I did the day after, I feel I have to twiddle with it, refine it somehow. I simply cannot leave things alone. Nowadays I’ll write something and ignore what I’ve done until the whole thing is finished, then I’ll go back to it. I also hate proof reading… actually, hate isn’t strong enough a word to describe my feelings on the matter.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Tiredness. Fatigue is a lust killer, I have to be awake and revving to breathe life into my characters. Booze isn’t an option either, I never, ever drink when I write.

What does your muse look like?

She’s dark, brown eyed, curvy and smiles a lot. A quick wit, a sweet nature and she likes to laugh at herself. If she’s bitchy and vexed she’s outta here, no messing about.

Reggie! She’s me! Okay, I’m not curvy at all, but I smile a lot. 🙂 Hahaha, Wheeeheee! Right, back to the questions.

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

No, we never speak. I direct, it’s the only way to be; otherwise they tend to go off and do things outside of the plot and I hate that.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Pizza, (Hawaii with lots of Tabasco, yes I’m a health food freak) and mineral water are my victuals for a successful session. Coffee sometimes, tea as well, but no booze. Booze is to celebrate after it’s written, drunk passionately and in large quantities with friends.

That sounds like a perfect diet there, Reggie.

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

My life is an excuse not to write. I work shifts in a steelworks, (seven on, two off). I have a house to maintain, two kids to terrorise, a cat to feed and open tins for and a very understanding wife who has the ability to twang my conscience when I ignore her with just the soft hum of silent patience.

To be frank, it’s amazing I have the time for writing at all!

So basically real life is what I should believe? *rolls her eyes and sighs, but then laughs out loud* Okay, I believe! 

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Writing is the cheapest form of escapism known to man. No travel, to hassle, no money; just you, your mind and total control.

Sheez, Reggie why haven’t I ever thought of that? You are one clever man. Hahahaha.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

So, this is where I get to plug my work, right? YESSS !!!

OK, Division of the Damned is out right now. It isn’t Twilight, it isn’t anything to do with good looking vampires. It’s dirty, bloody and relies heavily on all sorts of large weaponry, ancient curses, supernatural figures and Sumerian/Biblical mythology to carry the story.

Book

Book UK

The next book out with my name on it is a collection of short stories, written together with my good friend Paul Rudd, called, “The Chronicles of Supernatural Warfare”. Imagine King Leonidas and his brave 300 were really vampires and Xerxes is the greatest vampire hunter of all time? Or that Troy is really a city of werewolves and Agamemnon decides to use Helen’s abduction as an excuse to be rid of the werewolf city once and for all. Or what about the 9th Legion that went missing, were they victims of a Celtic curse involving Soul Eaters? That’s the sort of vein we were writing for, legend and history twisted with a touch of the supernatural. The stories go through the classical era, WW1, WW2 and to the future and I’m very happy with how it turned out.

I also have another book coming out called The House in Wales. It’s a sort of blend of “American Horror Story”, (the first season), a dash of Satanism, a whisper of sexual obsession and a lot of Welsh colouring. Not sure when that’s out yet but I’ll obviously be letting the world know when it is.

If anyone has shown the smallest glimmer of interest for what I’ve just written, then, before you pop around to the shrink for a check up, click on my link and have a look and a Like of my Facebook page. All visitors are warmly welcomed and all Likes gratefully received.

Facebook Reggie

Or here if you’re interested in the book:

Facebook

I write an occasional, self obsessing Blog if you’re really feeling generous and you can find that here:

Reggie’s Blog

So now it only leaves me to say thanks to Lucy for having me and bid you all a fond adieu.

Reggie

Oh, and as for a secret fact, well, don’t tell anyone but I’m actually the love child of Jane Fonda and Peewee Herman… honest! But that’s between you, me and the four winds.

Featured Author Carol Bond

And today I have the lovely and talented writer Carol Bond as my featured author.

Hi Carol!

So glad you agreed to this, because I happen to know already you have a great book and you are a wonderful person. It makes me all warm and fussy inside to be able to showcase you and your book which is about to get published. Now let’s not dilly-dally away the precious time of my readers and get on with the interview.

Tell me, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

The name of my book is – The Unseen Promise. It is the first book in the Tarkeenia Sagas.

Fantasy Book Cover

I must say that this is a really great cover. (personal opinion, but I like it a lot.)

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not at al, you know the saying–What comes first, the chicken or the egg. I wonder for me sometimes what came first, the title or the content. The title heavily reflects the content of the book.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

If for some reason I could not longer work in the genre of Fantasy, then I would change to Historical. Not the mushy kind of love and sex, there is certainly enough of that to go around. But true historical–violent, in your face kind of story. There is so much room to move in this genre and I believe it to a fascinating place to wander about it.

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

The learning side of the after birth of writing–post writer is a frustrating time for me. There is so much learning and the time spend on social media to not only understand, what is needed to execute a successful marketing campaign, but to maintain a name in such a busy community is exhausting. I think that it is a must if you wish sales but it certainly takes away precious writing time.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

It is swimming for me. God bless the up and down of lane swimming. I realized 14 months ago that not only can I exercise in the gentle strokes but I have found my mind clears in a form of meditation. I am able to see clearly the workings of my book. Problem solving and extended plots. Character formations and the bliss of my fantasy world.

When I am out of the pool the world encroaches upon this world with its whining and wanting. Don’t get me wrong, I can still put myself somewhere away and write, but it is clearer in the water.

What does your muse look like?

My muse is not solid – it is a form of happiness. It used to be a negative emotion that I would draw on to write but I found out that writing in a negative mind set is deconstructive and produces poor quality work. I find when I am settled my writing flows. So no exact description for me.

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

Oh for sure – I am currently working with about 40+ characters, each with individual personalities of course. Some have accents; some are evil and others generous and loving. There are those that are odd and creative, while others permeate greed and selfish behavior. They of course, don’t all get along with each other for they are exist to bring tension to a story. For me, we are family and I would not be at all surprised to see myself in many of them. I must say that there are also, a number of characters who reflect people I know. What a better way to develop characters, than to draw from what is around you.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Nothing to say on this question, I don’t use food or drink to get the juices flowing.

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

Here’s one – I get up and move off to work, a full day merchandising for Sony and Universal Pictures. On my feet from store to store and when I am done, it’s time for shopping. Not the luxury kind but food and such. Then home we come, feeling like I’ve been put the wringer. Now for the chores – cooking a meal, reporting for work, a bath cause I really need one after the day, look after the dogs, give a bit of time to my best friend and man, setting up for the next day and wacko – off to bed.

Is that good enough?

Hahaha, that sounds an awful lot like real life and no excuse at all, but I’ll buy it.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Oh the bliss of writing – living in a world that is all mine. Since I can’t pilot a ship off the current one I am residing on, writing is the next best thing.

A short spiel about me

I am not an exciting person by any long shot but I am steady and true. My word is important and my adorable charm is another lol. I am a mum with three very grown up adults of my own. I live in Adelaide, Australia and living upside down to the rest of world, leave me with the blood rushing to my head.

My hard party days are behind me now, fading into the sunset and giving me a chance to breath again. I love to read and write. Having discovered that the simple things are the most pleasurable is a fortune worth more than gold.

Let me see – my view of secrets are, that I don’t have any. Lol and that is practically the truth. Secrets are more trouble than what they’re worth so I bare myself to the naked truth as often as I can.

Synopsis of my book

Even an Immortal feels the bite of boredom, and for brothers and sisters that don’t get on, it makes living on Tarkeenia, a dangerous place to be. Ten Gods argue about whether or not a new world, for their own amusement, should be created. And with so much Wild Magic in one place, it would have been remiss to not safeguard its potency. Father with his blazing eyes, might chase stars and scatter suns on a single thought, but saying no to his children was something, the God found almost impossible to do. Still, their asking was a dangerous game. So, with a snap of two illusionary fingers, Father conjured a moon and it became the key. Another snap and it cracked it in half – he called it the Pata Batu. The Wild Magic was sealed and with it all who live beneath.

Tarkeenia struggles between the light and the dark, good and bad, ups and downs, in fact, being anything other than boring will get you into trouble. Ten Gods, each with an agenda of their own, plot and plan to their hearts content.

Tragedy and pain follows Roedanth, from Crows Nest to the Halls of Coowic where the Magi live. Torn from his simple life as a Coppersmith, Roedanth is named murderer and thief. Is there no one he can turn to for help? Sentenced to the stake for burning, on the orders of the King and Biscop, the young man pleads to the heavens for deliverance.

Drakite, the darkest of all Gods, cruel and malignant laughs as he gathers the young man’s words into his bony hand. Words spoken in ignorance are binding nonetheless, tying him tight with a promise unseen. Leaving Crows Nest, Roedanth makes his escape and stumbles into Widow’s Wood, unprepared for what lay ahead with the mad Magdeline. Her vengeance can only lead to his death. Another escape and this time the young man falls in stride with two unlikely travelling companions. Coal – the fire sprite and Brar – a fed up and frustrated Jaroona.

Specks roam the land, flesh eaters to be feared and hated. They hunt the weak and the strong, turning everything in their path to dust. At their side, walks Ro’Brar, an exiled Mage from the Halls of Coowic, and as the Nest cross over the Murdock border. War and death take on a new face.

Father was the oddest of Specks, he lusts after a human woman – a dark skinned Benzine beauty from the Spotted Clan. Pellimac smells of the sun and open skies, of fresh earth and horse dung. Is it love that keeps her safe, locked away in a dark hole from the hungry horde? Is it love that gives Father, something he wants, children of his own?

Born of Speck and man, the twins Kitty and Hi’ayman share traits from two worlds. A little something from their human mother Pellimac, who in captivity is fast losing her mind and from Father a lot of Speck. How they hate Ro’Brar and his grandiose plans, Kitty more than most despises the Mage. She fears the shift of power within the Nest. But despite her brother’s urgings, she seeks to destroy the Mage and his foul magic.

Murrdocks dislike humans; it’s ironic because they are themselves a blending of animal and human. In fact, they hate humans so much, that they have closed the borders to Kinaloch. Now the King is sick, dying, struck down with a strange and sudden infliction. He burns hotter every day and to counter his illness the Murdock must ask the Halls of Coowic for help. Magic must be fought with magic, but while Prince Pec seeks a cure, Bollag, the royal’s rival seeks a crown. If he can produce the body of a dead King and that of the son, then the council would have no choice but to give him the throne.

Pellimac – daughter of the Horse people is insane. Her mind is lost to a world of filth and darkness. Nuumandrai – Chief of the Spotted Clan must make a choice. He can no longer endure her fits of madness, and bargains with the dwarf healers from Machobe to find her a measure of peace. Buckets of glass, an exquisite and rare commodity in exchange for their help, how can any capitalistic dwarf refuse such a generous offer? Waiting in the dark, sniffing the air waits Father. His love has returned.

Every Mage strives for balance in a world bubbling with Wild Magic, while remaining true to their Calling. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Kahlu, second chair to the Halls council has very specific plans and they include his new pupil Roedanth. Happy endings are never guaranteed and with the Dark God – Drakites’ devoted attention to the young man’s wishes, how could there be?

The lives of man and monster hang in the balance, subject to the whims of Gods. Can Tarkeenia survive the tug and pull of the very spoilt and very wicked? Can those lost to the dark find a way back to the light? Is it possible to forget, or to forgive and begin again? All these questions and more are answered, as the reader walks the many paths of Tarkeenia.

My best shot from The Unseen Promise

Kitty licked her lips. Her tongue slid out into the night air for the hundredth time, this waiting was unbearable, and her hunger, cramping like a gnawing rat, hurt so. If she didn’t feed soon, her belly would distend and the pain. Dear Lord, the pain would cripple her. They would find her then, of this, she was certain. It was this fear that spurred her on.

She had developed a fondness for human flesh, the sour rusting taste of hot blood made her mouth water. Voices drifted through the walls of the stables, the straw jabbed her, the smell of dung made her nauseous, and she was oh, so hungry now.

‘Where are you?’ she growled. Roedanth had been gone too long. What the hell! She was hungry.

From shadow to shadow, under the watchful eye of the Pata Batu, in the blue and rose hues of the evening light, Kitty made her way towards the voices.

They grew louder and, some -what younger. The room bathing in yellow light was filled with children. Fledglings soft of meat and clean; very clean blood. She couldn’t help herself, Kitty raised her eyes over the window ledge and saw, with eyes wide a mouth-watering buffet.

Twelve boys and girls talked and laughed, some stretched out on their cots wriggling their toes, while others swapped stories in a gale of theatre play. All were oblivious to the danger as Kitty watched on.

Through the window and over to a tall nightstand, it was the perfect cover. Down went a fair-haired girl, she couldn’t have been more than eight years old, it was a clean kill and her whispering moan went unnoticed. Using a little of the girl’s sticky blood, the Speck slithered on her belly to the next cot. This time, a boy drew his last breath on a name, he cried ‘Mother.’ Kitty laughed at that, flecks of blood sprayed onto the bed sheets, she didn’t know her mother, so what did she care?

A child noticed a spreading pool of blood; it floated on the floor, creeping towards the feet of the youngest, Bella Hiela. She, of course, screamed and then screamed some more, a small hand found her mouth and stuffing it full of fingers, she began to cry. The noise, awful in its entirety rose in pitch over a squabbling pair of older boys.

“Cut your screaming Bella! How can we hear ourselves yell with all that cat-calling?” One of the youngsters shot off a ‘boo hoo’ and stopped short when he saw the blood. “What’s that? What in the hell is that?” His voice shook with panic.

“Barney, you sound like a girl…” but his friend’s laughter drained away as he was pulled off the cot, he disappeared under the bed.

Kitty’s head poked out from where the boy had just been, she grinned, her razor teeth stained red and her pink chin hair dripped blood, drip, drip onto the floor. The remaining children, all white faced with pants probably full of shit, opened their mouths in wide O’s and sounds, a terrible chorus of distress and fear began to sing, even Kitty had the grace to look shocked as she took up the charge. Out whipped her hand; strong fingers grabbed the closest child, poor Bella Hiela, her throat, ripped away wasn’t screaming anymore.

She made short work of the rest. In the room littered with mangled flesh and blood soaked sheets, Kitty felt full. For the first time in weeks, the half cast felt happy. This time when she licked her lips it was to clean them of blood.

Okay, now we know about you and the book, but where do we go to buy it?

Ooooh,  we can’t buy it just yet because you’ve signed with a publisher a few days ago and it will be published soon? What great news! I knew it was a good one and had no doubt you’d land a deal with it. Fantastic!

But where can we stalk you? Erm, I mean, follow, befriend and whatever you and the progress on your book’s publishing?

The Unseen promise site

Its Blog

Featured Author Ruby Barnes

Today I have Ruby Barnes as my featured author. He’s here to tell us all we want to know about him and his book. So without further delay let’s get on with it.

Hi Ruby,

Can you start off by giving us some insight in who you are?

I’ve pedalled the pushbike of life until the chain fell off. Now living in rural Ireland where the natives are friendly and the weather atrocious, I write crime fiction and thrillers.My writing is dedicated to the memory of my late Scottish grandfather Robert ‘Ruby’ Barnes.

I see you came alone. What happened to my sacrifice? You know you promised me your first born if I’d interview you. Do you really want me to jinx your Nunchucks, again?

The sacrifice has made a run for it and I think I’m perfectly capable of self-injury without external intervention, so do your worst 😉

Right, sounds like you know what to expect here. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

The Crucible – Part 1

Crucible_Cover_1404x2588

Did you have difficulty coming up with that title?

I had a few different working titles including ‘I Don’t Need a Goat’, but The Crucible eventually emerged from a pivotal setting in the story – Koobi Fora, Kenya, the crucible of mankind.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

It’s a conspiracy thriller (is that a genre?) but also a morality tale, so I would make kiddies read it (except the body count might be a problem).

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

I’m already confused but feel free to daze me.

When you don’t like writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise, what would you do to get out from under it?

I like to read and usually have a least a couple of books on the go – paper, Kindle, iPhone – but have trouble turning off my inner editor. When that editor takes a hike I know it’s a really good book. My other passions are acoustic guitar and karate, but not at the same time. Every Sunday I let kids knock bits off me at contact sparring and twice during the week I embarrass myself in front of a regular karate class consisting of mainly ladies.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

Interruption. I have a young family and have to time my writing so I get at least two hours uninterrupted writing. They’re pretty understanding but sometimes the house gets full of kids and then it’s bye bye muse.

What does your muse look like? Come on, you know you want to say it. yes, don’t hesitate! Wheeeheeee! I knew it she looks like me! … What! She doesn’t? Okay, then I’m not interested.  Just kidding of course. Tell me, please. (chuckles)

My muse is female (no surprise there!) She is you, Lucy. She’s every woman. A chameleon muse, she’s the driving force behind the novel. Sometimes it’s my MC’s love interest or his damsel in distress. In The Crucible my muse was Mother Nature.

Different topic. Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

No, I don’t speak to my characters but they do speak through me. When I’m writing dialogue I become the character while they’re speaking, adopting their thoughts and figures of speech. It can be exhausting, like possessed by spirits.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Champagne and oysters. Oh, you mean get me started writing? Mugs of hot tea and crumbly cookies.

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

When I do a beard shaving photo-shoot it can take up quite a lot of time. Or woodwork, like building bookshelves or working on my writing shed. I like working with wood. No, the only real excuse would be a power cut / computer failure, because I never write long hand and always use my laptop.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Occasionally I have the urge to stop writing, get up in the morning, do my day job, eat dinner, go to bed and leave no mark upon the world. To wake with a head full of stories and let them fade while I shower, satisfying my escapism by reading books written by other people and ticking off the years as they pass, waiting to meet my maker. Then I give a roar, jump up, shake the normality from my werewolf pelt and get back to my writing.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Oh, that’s difficult. I much preferred structured insanity.

Okay. I’ve spent my life trying to work as little as I can for as much money as possible. It took me thirty years to reach the pinnacle of the Peter Principle. Once I did it all made sense. Those years of fascination with castles, lunatic asylums, abnormal psychology, Swiss country western bands, methods of murder and beautiful women all seamlessly melded into a bubbling pot of novel ideas. I’ve reached a work life balance that allows me to write the bigger stories in my head.

The advent of e-publishing arrived just in time to maintain my sanity. I’ve done the rejection slips collection thing and, I have to say, was worthy of rejection at the time. When I’d work-shopped and writing-coursed myself into shape I had the same epiphany as many others: why did I need the validation? Another X years collecting rejections for authors and publishers? Life is too short. I set out along the path of independent author.

The whirl of social media can be an enchanted forest, full of bewitchment. It needs careful time management to bring it under control. When I’ve managed to get things under control I have found a surprising major side benefit of being an indie; my writing production has kept up a good pace and seems to be in perpetual motion. Four titles published so far, at least two new ones planned for release in 2013. To think I might otherwise still be pursuing the traditional route, rewriting my first MS and schlepping it around to agents and publishers, cap in hand, is a sobering thought. I’m happy with my twenty thousand or so readers and looking forward to the road ahead.

Thank you Ruby for sharing all this with me and the readers. Now we’d like to know where we can stalk you. Erm, I mean, follow, add, befriend and whatever more.

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

And not forgetting where do we go to buy that book? Oh, you have provided links? Well, come on don’t keep us hanging like that!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008N04T6U

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-crucible-ruby-barnes/1114041544?ean=2940045107921

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-crucible-part-1/id583423119?mt=11

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Crucible-Part-1/book-PjmYNd6MlUWa_nHwraWwgg/page1.html?s=OZdGQKAMJUeXTHE6a8Pozg&r=4

Featured Author Jennie Hilborne

Today I have the wonderful and talented Jennie Hillborne as Featured Author and she’ll tell us all there is to know about her and her latest novel.

So let’s not dilly -dally any longer and get on with it.

Hi Jenny,

Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?

How about a WHOOOOWEEEEEEE

Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you? And when did you first start with it?

No, it doesn’t always work. In the moments when the muse leaves, I pack up, too, and do something else, until the inspiration returns.

Right, sounds like you are on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Hide and Seek. This is a mystery/thriller set in San Francisco and the 2nd in the Jackson mystery series (though it can easily be read as a stand alone). A guest disappears from a private and blood is found on the grounds. Homicide inspector, Mac Jackson, must decide if she was murdered, abducted, or if she faked her own disappearance. Clues lead him to a lingerie bar, where everyone seems afraid to talk.

 HIDE AND SEEK 3-D book

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

It was my first and fourth choice. It’s a popular title, which is why I considered changing it, but it’s the only one that fits, so it stayed. I played a creepier version of the game as a teen, and the idea for the book grew from there.

If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?

Hmm, I guess horror would be the closest

Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?

I don’t like the start of a new book, until I know the characters a bit. It’s like walking into a new job where you don’t know anyone. I feel awkward. I also dislike the time consuming aspect of marketing and the many online distractions. I’d rather spend the time writing; however, I do like interacting with readers and other writers.

Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?

An overly complicated plot. She’d throw her hands up and say, “You must be joking. Even I’m not falling for that.”

What does your muse look like?

She wears glasses on the end of her nose and has a face like an owl.

Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?

No, I only get to listen to them. I let them do what they want, so yes, we tend to get along.

Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?

Coffee and chocolate

Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?

I’ll be out traipsing around graveyards, riding around with police officers and looking for suitable places to hide a body…all in the name of research.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

Because I love it. Not the behind the keyboard bit, but the crafting of stories. Basically, I love making things up, and I love to be shocked. My characters often shock me.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want to blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

The question I’m asked the most is where the ideas come from. Well…the victims should recognize themselves. Fiction is grounded in truth and I do tend to stockpile experiences for later use.

Anyone I encounter who is rude or mean should take note…there is probably a victim based (loosely, I should add) on your character. Nasty people provide the best novel fodder, and a devious ex comes in useful, too. A 4-hour roundtrip commute has also been known to fuel my imagination…perfect for a thriller.

After I moved to America and experienced the ugliness of prejudice firsthand, I found myself more drawn to those who struggle to fit in. Prejudice opened my eyes to what some people face every day, how it festers and alters a personality. I use my own experience in my writing and my novels tend to follow a theme: I side with the underdogs and make their “weak” character strong.

I have no deep dark secrets, sorry, but I am weird. I love Brussel Sprouts!

Okay, Jennie now let’s here something about you. I know that all authors do a bio in third person, so let’s hear it. What did you say? If it’s okay to include a kind of blurb for your novel into the bio? Sure! Why not? It’s your party, have a go at it.

Jenny Hilborne has worked in a variety of fields, including the retail music industry, residential real estate, commercial real estate and finance. She was born in Wiltshire, South West England, and relocated to Southern California in 1997.

Madness and Murder is her debut novel, an international thriller, which takes the reader from New Zealand to San Francisco. It is the first in the Inspector Mac Jackson series.

No Alibi, also set in San Francisco, is a suspense novel featuring betrayed spouse, Isabelle Kingsley, who didn’t believe her husband would ever cheat. He didn’t believe she would ever find out. When his lover is murdered, the circumstances are all too familiar for the inspector assigned the case.

Mac Jackson returns in Hide and Seek, and must solve another complex case that centers around a lingerie bar, where at least two murdered women once worked.

Jenny is currently working on her fourth mystery, set in the beautiful Cotswolds in Oxfordshire, England.

On the rare occasions Jenny is not writing or working, she catches up with family and friends and enjoys reading, travel, and a good movie.

And then finally here’s where Jennie can be stalked. Erm, I mean followed, added, befriended, and what ever more you’d like to.
Go on, what are you waiting for? Check her and her books out. I know you want to!
See you around next time when I’ll be featuring Ruby Barnes