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Welcome Ann Bowyer…

Ann Bowyer

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (including pen name if you have one)

At an early age, I was writing stories and drawing comics which I published weekly. Before I left school I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I already had the shorthand and typing skills but my parents were set against it. They considered it was an unsuitable occupation for a young lady – that was the 1960’s – oh, how things have changed! So I found myself becoming a secretary, then a Business Studies Teacher, then a freelance software trainer but, of course, motherhood came somewhere in-between all that.

What was the first story you wrote?

Probably something to do with horses – I was horse mad, as many girls are today, though riding them was not on the agenda until we moved further out of London and even then, I had to save up all my pennies as my parents couldn’t afford to pay for lessons.

However, my first novel was completed at 15 and the plot was around – you’ve guessed – horses!

Were you inspired by someone or something?

Very much so, I loved to read about show jumping and gymkhanas and was lucky enough to go to the Horse of Year Show for several years running with my best friend. I read every horsey book and magazine I could lay my hands on and my favourite author was Ruby Ferguson who wrote the Jill books. When I grew more mature I was inspired by Jane Austin, of course, and whenever I am ill, Pride and Prejudice is a comfort read and I’ve always been a Maeve Binchy fan.

What do you like about writing a story?

Plots and research are possibly the things I enjoy most. Creating an interesting plot and seeing characters react has always fascinated me because my characters always surprise me as they go off and do their own thing. But, since I set my novels in the past, research is my favourite occupation and sometimes I have to drag myself away from fascinating avenues of enquiry or the book would never get written.

Can you tell us about your newest book?

My latest book is ‘Lost in a Homeland’ and is a sequel to my first published book ‘A Token of Love – a family saga. Both are fiction but the first book is largely based on my grandparents lives.

Ann Bowyer~Lost in a Homeland

How did you come up with the story?

It was the book I never intended to write! There is a third book which is half written and I had every intention of moving to the next generation in this saga but, following numerous requests, I capitulated and wrote ‘Lost in a Homeland’ in order to fulfil my readers’ desires to know what happened when the family left Canada.

What genre best fits for the book?

Historical, women’s contemporary fiction, romance

Are you working on something new at the moment?

As already mentioned, there is a third book in this series and I have every intention of finishing this as well as, possibly a fourth but I also have several ideas for other books.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

It’s all been said before – read and write as much and as often as you can. Don’t let anyone put you off. You can do it!

Do you in a writing group?

Over the years, I have belonged to several writing groups and found them really, really helpful, supportive and encouraging. My regular writing group folded some time ago but I have been so busy with writing and travel, I haven’t yet joined another. But I will – no one else understands a writer like a writer.

Do you have people who will critique your work? (And if you do, do you acknowledge them in the front of the book?)

Yes to both, though I don’t name them specifically.

What is your writing routine?

That is a very difficult question to answer. I share my study with my husband and, unlike many authors, I do prefer peace and quiet with no interruptions. That can sometimes be difficult but if I have a deadline, after supper is best and I try to get a couple of hours in most evenings.

Do you have an editing process?

Editing does happen a little on the way because I try to write to a place where I know I will be able to pick up the next day – that overcomes what is often called writer’s block. When I begin the next day, I go back to the beginning of the previous scene and may edit it, though most of the editing is left until the end.

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

The satisfaction of reaching the end is possibly the most enjoyable part of writing but I love it all so maybe it’s the frustration of not having enough time to write.

How important is it for you to share your writing?

Very. My first novel (which I refer to as faction), as I mentioned, is based on my grandparents’ lives and I wanted to tell it because it seemed to me nobody knew of the horrendous drought conditions British people endured in the Prairies in the 1930’s. Everyone, but everyone has heard of the ‘Grapes of Wrath’ but this is a parallel story. Usually my stories are a comment on the times.

Where can people go to read your work?

My books are available through Amazon :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+bowyer

http://www.amazon.com/Ann-Bowyer/e/B00JCP6H1U/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1435630339&sr=1-2-ent

They are Kindle published also.

Also available at Jarrolds, Norwich as well as Diss Book Publishing in Diss, Norfolk.

Where can people find you on the internet?

My website:  www.annbowyer.com

Facebook:  Ann Bowyer Author

Twitter:  AnnBowyer2

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

The research for my first book took ten years and involved travelling extensively across Canada as well as Europe. I now give talks/slides on this, which includes some of the unusual and original documents and photographs which turned up following a family tragedy. Anyone interested in a talk can contact me through my website.

My family history has always fascinated me and when I have completed my present saga, I might well turn my attention to my maternal side – my mother was born in India at the time of the Raj.

To finish, thank you, Suzan, for hosting me.

I have enjoyed it, thank you, Ann.

NB: Ann will be having a Book Release Party on Facebook tomorrow, why not hop over and join in?https://www.facebook.com/events/816556811726199/

Ann Bowyers book covers

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Welcome Tottie Limejuice, author of Sell The Pig Series…

Writing as L M Krier

*hands Tottie a cup of tea and a [GF] scone*

Tea and scone

Tottie, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet me.

Tottie

Thanks for having me, and thanks so much for remembering my need for a gluten free  scone, much appreciated. And Earl Grey tea, too – you’re really spoiling me!

Can you tell me a little about your writing to date?

I’ve written in one form or another most of my life as a former journalist and copywriter but have only comparatively recently started writing books.

So far I have published a trilogy of travel memoirs, the Sell the Pig series, plus a self-help guide to writing press releases. In December 2014, with two other writers, Jilli Pennington and Janet Holt, I co-wrote and edited another travel memoir, Take Three Birds, under the collective pen name of Jilli Lime-Holt.

My first crime novel, Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, is just released, under the pen name L M Krier, which is actually part of my real name. It’s published on 13 February 2015 and is available to pre-order for Kindle before then.

Tottie~Babys got blue eyes

Can you tell us about your newest book?

It’s a crime thriller, a detective murder mystery. It’s always been about my favourite genre to read but it never occurred to me to write one until I got to the age of 62. Sometimes, I can be breathtakingly slow on the uptake!

A different genre for you. How did you come up with the story?

It sounds incredibly cheesy but I honestly did dream most of it. Just before Christmas, I dreamt the broad outline of the plot and the main characters, then started mulling it over in my head and thought it would be fun to write.

Have you written it in the first person or the third person? Which do you find easiest?

It’s in the third person. That’s because my main character is a man and sometimes I think it can go disastrously wrong for a woman to try to write in a man’s voice. Unless it is incredibly skilfully done, it can sound so awkward and unrealistic. Writing in the third person is more detached, it’s easier to get it right.

Have you any tips for aspiring writers?

Don’t be afraid to have a go. Write it for yourself initially, enjoy what you’re doing, have fun. But remember that it’s hard work, probably much more of a slog than many people realise, if you want to get it right.

If/when you decide to publish it, do make sure it is professionally edited and proofread. It’s a thing of mine but I think it shows a certain lack of respect to readers to do a messy job. But yes, of course the odd typo has slipped through in my books – contrary to rumour, I am only human!

What is your writing routine?

I usually wake up quite early, let the dogs out, make a cup of tea then go back to bed, under a heap of dogs. As I sip my tea then have a little snooze, I mull over scenes in my head, then when I get up, I whack them out on the computer while I can still remember them.

I write in my head a lot, I find it an easier way to get dialogue to flow. Out on dog walks, I am usually mentally composing things. I had to do a lot of reasoning with my murderer for this crime book, we had frequent differences of opinion. It felt like I was being taken over by the character at times and we kept having these mental battles.

Sometimes I speak some of it out loud as neither dog speaks English, nor does anyone I am likely to meet wandering round the woods.

Do you have beta readers?

Yes, absolutely – they should be compulsory! And you need to pick ones you know will be completely honest. Mine are pretty ruthless! For this crime novel I used four, three women and a man, to get as broad an overview as possible.

There are lots of plot twists and turns and I was worried I hadn’t tied up all the loose ends properly by the end. In fact one beta reader helped enormously. I’d thought I’d been cleverly subtle in tying one loose end up but it was so subtle the beta reader had missed the explanation so I had to rework it.

Do you have an editing process?

Yes, before I begin any serious work each day, I always thoroughly edit what I wrote the day before. I’m a compulsive saver, too, I save each edition of everything, sorted by date. It’s too easy to rework something then bitterly regret having changed how it was. That way I can always go back to the beginning if I need to.

Everything is also backed up to USB stick and to hard drive so I should always have a copy of it somewhere.

Where can people go to read your work?

It’s currently available for Kindle and in paperback format from Amazon, and I will be expanding its availability to other channels.

Where can people find you on the internet?

I spend a lot of time on Facebook, you can find me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1450797141836111/1546417845607373/?notif_t=group_comment

My email address is tottielimejuice@gmail.com

On Twitter I am https://twitter.com/tottielimejuice

My website is http://tottielimejuice.com/

And if you want to meet me in the flesh, you can come on Tottie’s Tours http://tottielimejuice.com/totties-tours-discover-beautiful-auvergne/

I try to respond to everyone who contacts me and I love to chat, when I have the time.

Thanks so much for having me, it’s been great fun, as ever.

Tottie~Babys got blue eyes  Tottie~Take three birds  Tottie~Press Release book

Tottie~Sell the pig Tottie~Is that Billinge Lump Tottie~Mother was it worth it

Tottie, thank you for a superb interview and good luck with your new book. Suzan xx

Champagne

Tottie, thank you for a superb interview and good luck with your new book. Suzan xx

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