Hi Ciara, Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. I know you must be very busy right now with the tour and stuff so I won’t waste any time dilly-dallying.
Tell me, would you rather ride a horse or a dragon?
Oh my god, now there’s a real stumper. I’d never even thought of that. I love a beautiful horse, but who wouldn’t take a dragon if they could? Unless I get flight sick, and then I might change my mind…
Are you a more analytic person or do you act on impulse?
I am totally an analytical person. I would rather die than act on impulse. OK, maybe not quite, but you get the idea. My personality type is known for planning, and then planning in case the plan for when things go wrong, goes wrong…
How does an David Eddings fan become a financial service lawyer? I mean, what went ‘wrong’? *wink*
Ha ha . See above. Also, I figured writing wasn’t going to get me a lot of money (at least it was unlikely) so I thought a good back-up plan was in order. Something that pays the bills, you know? Plus I like to argue. And be right. So far law is really working out for me on those counts!
Now a few fast questions, one-word answers please.
Sweet or savoury? Sweet
Wish for or have what you want? Have
Staying or moving? Staying
Organised or go with the flow? Organised
Complain or act? Act
Fight or flight? Fight
Revenge, hot or cold? Cold
And then, why you are really here? Chance.
What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
Confronting the Demon
Of course! Silly question, never mind me. Tell me, did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
A little. It had the working title ‘tentacles’ for a very long time. It’s not like me to not have a workable title from early on, and this one I had to sit down and think very hard. It’s about demon, but it’s about more than that, it’s about facing one’s personal demons, and I wanted a title that spoke to the external and internal conflict simultaneously.
Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?
Wow, people do that? It never even occurred to me. Usually I allow myself to go on and write some other part of the book that’s not so hard 😉
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
If I knew that, I would be a millionaire by now, because I could sell the trick to every other writer out there. I think ‘being visible’ is what sells books, but you need an amazing amount of visibility for any sales. So for every hundred people who look at your book, only a very small handful buy – that’s called conversion rate, the number of interested people you actually make a sale to. My conversion rate is around 1.5 – 2% which isn’t bad for a debut book from an unknown author with no backlist which has only been available two months, but I tell you what, the other 98 people who looked and didn’t buy? They are depressing. I tweet my book as much as I can without being in people’s faces, but honestly I feel better about making sales to people I connect with – they feel like a better return for effort. I’m sure all or most of the sales I made this week were just to people I followed and interacted with. So there is no golden rule – only hard work, and hit and miss.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
Tea. I have a mild caffeine addiction, and if I don’t have my tea in the morning, I get a headache at 3pm. I quit once and don’t ever intend to do it again – caffeine withdrawal is not fun. But I love my tea. I have about a dozen varieties of black tea at home. I only do black tea, not herbal varieties. My current favourite is Orange Pekoe, which is a black tea despite the misleading nature of the name. Given a choice, I only drink Twinings.
What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe? Does it have anything to do with tentacles? Deviled octopus perhaps?
Ha ha, you’re assuming I can cook? There are two things I can cook, and one of them is lamb roast and the other is the second little-known traditional Italian spaghetti Bolognese recipe. I suppose you could imagine the spaghetti as tentacles… I actually don’t eat seafood. Maybe the tentacles is a reflection of some subsconscious fear!
This is the recipe for the spaghetti Bolognese:
- 500gms of mince
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- Other vegetables, such as celery, optional
- I x 800gm tin of tomato soup
- 120gms of dry spaghetti
- Salt and pepper
Place the mince, the tomato soup, the carrots and onions (diced), any other optional vegetables, a chunk of butter, and 1-2 teaspoons of sugar to a large pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the large pot and simmer for an hour (on an electric stove – gas is trickier. I use a simmer mat and simmer for 30 – 40 mins, and it needs to be stirred frequently to avoid burning to the bottom of the pot). Stir occasionally.
Add spaghetti. Break into whatever size you prefer. Cook for a further 30 mins uncovered (or until the spaghetti is done).
It’s pretty easy, and virtually cooks itself. I thought it was spaghetti bolognese done ‘Aussie’ style until an Italian told me it’s actually an Italian recipe, but more ‘home-style’ than the version most people know.
Sounds delish and like something I can try to recreate! Thanks for that.
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. 🙂
Ha, something no one has ever heard from me before? You have GOT to be kidding! I’m known for my rants. Can’t keep my mouth shut, including maybe sometimes when I ought. Give me something that I can take an opinion on, and provided that I actually care about the subject matter, I’ll be off and running before the starting gate opens. I recently travelled to Dallas and met some writer friends while I was there, and after I left a few have been heard to say they miss my rants – and I even thought I was rather subdued while I was there.
What can I tell you?
Here’s a few things that aren’t well-known outside certain circles:
I hated reading before about the age of eight, and my change of heart is due to my third grader teacher, Mick Kelly, who was a retired Australian Rugby League footballer from the local team, the Penrith Panthers.
I was a quiet, shy, retiring little girl who didn’t say ‘boo’ to anyone before about the age of eleven.
All the daughters of both sets of grandparents married men named ‘Robert’. So my maternal grandparents had three daughters who married men named Robert, and my paternal grandparents had a son named Robert and their only daughter married a Robert! My poor husband is so confused.
I met my second husband online, but not through a dating website – just a random encounter on Yahoo! Messenger before Facebook and Twitter really took off.
I hated social media and refused to join any platforms, until I had to for my writing, which was 2011. I’m still not a huge fan of Facebook, which for some reason seems to encourage people to behave more stupidly than usual, but I’m totally addicted to Twitter.
I do not suffer fools gladly.
I love Scotland. If I could live there six months of the year, and Australia the other six, I totally would.
I’m not sure there’s much left to say after all that!
Apart from giving us the places where we can find you online then? So readers, here they are:
The gates to hell are thrown wide when Alloran is betrayed by his best friend, Ladanyon, and framed for forbidden magic. He is hunted by the guards and the wizards both, tormented by the gruesome murder of his friends and loved ones, and crippled by fear for the living.
Now Alloran must face his demons, or damn the woman he loves.
Also featuring bonus short story ‘A Magical Melody’
KINDLE – US Kindle Store $2.99† ~ UK Kindle Store £1.93
ALL OTHER E-READERS
Kobo $2.22 ~†Nook $1.99†~†Apple device $1.99
What early readers are saying about the novella
ìBallintyne gives wonderful descriptions and I found myself becoming lost in the magic of her words in a picturesque world with every turned pageî††Bella Doerres
ìThe power-packed action will leave you breathless and the eerie suspense will make you chomp on your own nails, beware!î†Satarupa
ìWith imagination and detail that paints a full scene for the mindís eye, Ciara takes us on a short but exciting journey into a world of magic, love and demons from hell.ì†Miranda Wood†of†DustyKattís Stuff Reviews
ìI actually enjoyed a good fantasy novel that didnít take days and days to read, but still offered the opportunity to get caught up in its world and story.î -†Tracy Riva†Global eBook Awards Judge
“This story wasn’t quite what I expected; it was better! The first pages surprised me, reminding strongly of THE WAY OF SHADOWS by Brent Weeks (the scenes, setting and story feel). I was immediately drawn in.” – Dr. S. Drecker
“I will be recommending this to all my paranormal addicts.” – Leanne Herrera