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Archive for October, 2021

Welcome, Lynda

Can I offer you a drink? Tea? Wine?

Oh, thank you. That’d be lovely, let’s pour the wine!

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (inc if you use a pen name and why)

Sure, I grew up in the mining village of Bentley in Doncaster and left school with barely any qualifications. Higher education wasn’t on the cards, so I… I got a job, went out to work, hoped everything would be okay and got married young. I was just eighteen years old and after living through what I’d now realise was an abusive relationship. That was 30 years ago.

I lost both my first husband and my father to suicide. Both within three months of each other. At first, I blamed the world, I did all I could to hate everyone around me. Then, I began working hard. I worked hard at everything I did. Took various jobs in sales, nursing and as a fully trained Scuba Diving Instructor.

Then, in 2010, I was in a horrific car crash. I lost the use of my right arm and had to sell my dive school, Premier Divers. But after being busy for so many years, sitting down and trying to get well again was boring.

It was at this time that I turned to my love of writing, a hobby I’d had since a teenager. I couldn’t dive anymore, but I could use my fingers, and I could type. For a couple of years, I looked for a magic bullet, a piece of software that just had to exist, it didn’t. Then, I watched a BBC interview with Ian Rankin, he went through his process and suddenly everything made sense. I began writing the next day… and I can honestly say… that six books later, I’m so pleased I saw that documentary.

You have a few books out now. How many exactly? Can you tell me a little about them?

I’ve already written six, the seventh is on its way.

They’re a mixture of romantic suspense and thrillers. They all have strong female leads, complicated lives, people who want to harm them and reasons to live.

What is the title and genre of the book you are currently writing?

The book I’m currently writing has a working title of Lindisfarne. It’s a thriller and follows the life of Alexandra Graves, daughter of serial killer Peter Graves. When her birth mother is killed, in the very same way that her father used to kill, Lexi knows that someone is out to kill her too and fleas for the safety of Lindisfarne. But when the tide comes in, Lexi finds herself trapped on the island, with someone who wants her dead.

Here’s my storyboard.

Are you working to a deadline? Do you write X number of words per day? How are you feeling?

I’m always writing to a deadline lol. And I always run out of time, even though I do all I can to stay on track. My problem is, I keep going back over the manuscript, trying to improve it, which all takes time. And yes, I try for 1500 words a day, which I have to admit, doesn’t always happen.

Do you write in first or third person?

I write in both. My heroine is always in third person. However, if I ever write from a villain’s point of view, I write them in first. By doing this, it creates more tension, it hides the identity and can be the point of view of either a man or a woman. I always hope that this gives it intrigue.

How did you come up with the story?

Each story starts with a location and my next book is no different. It’s based on Holy Island in Northumberland, the perfect place for a thriller, because when the tide comes in the island is cut off from the mainland to keep all who are on it trapped – for at least five hours.

Are you a planner or panster? Do you choose the venue and visit it before writing? Tell us about it.

I’m a panster. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, although all of my books have a setting which I know. House of Secrets was set in Scarborough, with the backdrop of the beautiful Wrea Head Hall. Tell me no Secrets was set in Bedale, The Fake Date in Scarborough and Keeper of Secrets was set between Herculaneum and Doncaster (yes, really).

My latest release, No Place Like Home was set on the cliff edge at Hunmanby Gap near Filey. All of these locations are close to my heart, I’m a true Yorkshire Girl, it’s beautiful here and have always used the different areas around Yorkshire and the northeast in my books.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Never give up and write every day, even on days when you don’t really want to. Oh and ps: Stay away from social media lol… It sucks your time away like you’d never believe. Use that time writing instead.

What is your writing routine?

Because I work full time as a Sales Director, I tend to write in the evening and at weekends. And even though my time is very limited, I try to write around 1500 words a day.

Do you have an editing process?

I’m continually editing as I go. I literally can’t move on until I’ve perfected (in my head) the chapter before. This tends to mean that by the time I come to do the editing, there isn’t too much to do. **she says hopefully**

Where can people find you on the internet?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lyndastaceyauthor/

Twitter: @Lyndastacey

Amazon: Lynda Stacey

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Welcome, Immi

Hi, Suzan! Thank you so much for having me.

Can I offer you a drink? Tea? Wine?

I’ll have a red wine, please!

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (inc if you use a pen name and why)

I write fantasy and science fiction, mostly for young adults. I’ve been published since 2008, with some small digital-first publishers as well as one of the Big Five. The topics I always want to come back to are spaceships, shapeshifters, twins (especially identical ones!), controlling institutions, and teenage girls with terrifying superpowers.

I also work as a freelance editor.

And in my free time I, um, read and do word puzzles. My life has a certain theme!

You’ve just released a book. Can you tell us about it, including the genre?

My most recent release is A Girl of Stone & Smoke. It’s re-release that was first published some years ago, and is a young adult romantic fantasy, set in a world inspired by Greek mythology. And it has, yes, a teenage girl with terrifying superpowers (check) who’s been groomed to become a priestess and executioner by a controlling institution of bad priests (check) and who falls in love with the shapeshifter (check!) she’s supposed to kill.

What does a re-release involve?

First, checking you definitely have the rights back to the book you’re re-releasing! (This book was originally published by Samhain Publishing, which has since gone out of business, and all authors had their rights returned.) I didn’t have rights to the original cover, and I wanted to change the title anyway, so for me, this also involved making a new cover and rewriting the blurb. I also wanted to do a light edit, to make it clearly young adult (it was first published as adult fantasy, because at the time there was almost no digital market for young adult books). And then lots and lots of proofreading, formatting it for Kindle, print, and various other online vendors, and putting it up for sale.

If this book hadn’t been edited when it was first published, I would have hired an editor for it, so that was one of the advantages of it being a re-release. And if I hadn’t been able to create a cover I was happy with, I would have had to buy one. As it was, iStock and Canva were my friends!

What is the title and genre of the book you are currently writing?

Right now I’m working on the third in the series begun by A Girl of Stone & Smoke, which follows the second book, A Girl of Dust & Death, releasing in November. It’s another young adult romantic fantasy, and its working title is A Girl of Golden Flame.

How did you come up with the story?

Most of my stories come from a single idea or image. Linked, for instance, was based on the basic premise “telepathic twins in space”. In fact, that was its working title for at least a year, because it summed up exactly what I wanted to write about.

With A Girl of Golden Flame, I’d finished writing A Girl of Dust & Death, and I still had so many characters whose stories I wanted to know. Once you create a whole bunch of interesting shapeshifters and girls with superpowers, you want to carry on playing with them!

Are you working to a deadline? Do you write X number of words per day? How are you feeling?

I’m planning to release this book in May 2022. I’m such a slow writer that I need lots of lead time! On my best day, I can write 1000 words. On a not-so-good day, I’m lucky to get 100.

Do you write in first or third person?

I mostly write in third person. But it depends on the book—I have works-in-progress that just refused to be written in third, so I had to use first. I also have one scene of one book that insisted it had to be written in second person. I just kept looking at it thinking “This is going to be unsellable” so I didn’t write more than the first scene! Since then, though, I have read a couple of books written mostly in second person, so it can work.

Are you a planner or panster? Do you choose the venue and visit it before writing? Tell us about it.

Because I’m such a slow writer, I can’t afford to be a pantser—I just waste too much time trying to think what to write next. And a nice road map of where I’m going makes me very happy!

I don’t deliberately choose places to write about, but I often take snippets of places away with me as settings for books.  A stretch of deserted land waiting to become a building site turned into a setting on an alien planet in Linked—it had that bleak, dusty feel to it that was perfect for what I wanted.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Read in every genre (apart from the ones you hate). And if anyone tells you a hard and fast writing rule, ignore them. Good writing has principles, not rules. 

What is your writing routine?

Walk the dogs so they don’t interrupt me, make a coffee, open laptop. Hope for words…

Do you have an editing process?

My personal editing process can be summed up as just “Make it better.” After a first draft, I put the book away for a while, then I come back to it and start working through it, changing everything from comma placement to cutting out scenes and characters and rearranging timelines.

Where can people find you on the internet?

Website: http://www.imogenhowson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imogenhowson/ and https://www.facebook.com/imogenhowsonauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/imogenhowson

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Please do sign up to my newsletter if you’d like updates on my next book. I only send one out every second month, plus on release dates, and you also get a code for a discount on my editing services!

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h6z8z8

And thank you so much for having me on your blog, Suzan!

You’re very welcome, Immi.

If you would like to purchase any of Immi’s books please click here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Imogen-Howson/e/B0044CQ0JU%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

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