Friday, 23 October 2020

Friday Fiction Feature: Tapestry

This week's Friday Fiction Feature is Tapestry by Beth Duke.

There is so much about TAPESTRY that sets it apart from typical Women’s Fiction. First and foremost, it’s about family heritage; about the importance of the ones who came before us and the ones who love us now.

It’s uniquely suited to 2020 because the book incorporates both African-American and Native American history that will be surprising and memorable to readers. It is a beautiful story of how humans are all connected―there are threads that connect us―in so many ways. Through past, present, and future; through blood, friends, strangers; through the earth, through stories, through memories.

TAPESTRY is an Award-Winning Finalist in the Women's Fiction category of the 2020 International Book Awards, The Bronze Medal Winner in Southern Fiction in Publisher's Weekly 2020 Readers' Choice Awards, and a Five Star Readers' Favorite Award Winner. It is a popular choice among book clubs across the United States, offering a great deal of thoughtful discussion along with a rich story.

 Here’s a quick synopsis:

Twenty-one-year-old Skye Willis lives in Eufaula, Alabama, a tourist mecca of stately homes and world-class bass fishing. Her childhood friends are either stuck at dead ends or have moved on to accomplish Big Things. 

Skye’s grandmother, Verna, insists on being called “Sparrow” because she suspects her ancestors were Muscogee Creek. She dresses in faux deerskin and experiments with ancient Native American recipes, offering a myth or legend to anyone who will listen.

Skye has no idea what to do with her life. She’s smart as hell, but she has no faith or knowledge there’s something out there she was “born to do.” Nor does she know much of anything about her father, who died in Afghanistan when she was a toddler. He and his family are a mystery her mother won’t discuss. But when Sparrow sets out to confirm her Creek ancestry through genetic testing, Skye joins in. 

The results hit like a DNA bomb, launching them both on a path filled with surprises and life-changing events. Skye learns a harder truth than she ever expected. 

Alternating chapters between Skye’s Alabama life and an intertwining tale of greed, deceit, and control in Texas, this story offers proof that all life is a woven tapestry of past, present, and future. 

In Beth Duke’s uplifting and soul-singing voice, TAPESTRY is Southern Fiction at its best; you will cry, you will laugh out loud, and you will wish you were a member of the beautiful, matriarchal family Duke has created for her readers. 

AUTHOR BIO:

Beth Dial Duke is an Amazon #1 Best Selling author and the recipient of short story awards on two continents. She is eyeing the other five.

Beth lives in the mountains of her native Alabama with her husband, one real dog, and one strictly ornamental dog. She loves reading, writing, and not arithmetic. Baking is a hobby, with semi-pro cupcakes and amateur macarons a specialty. And puns―the worse, the better. Travel is her other favorite thing, along with joining book clubs for discussion. If a personal visit isn't possible, Zoom or Skype are.

Website: https://www.bethduke.com/

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

Instagram: @onlythebethforyou

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bethidee

Critique Service for Writers

Writing Competitions

Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Interview with Phillip Jordan

Interview with Phillip Jordan

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

My novels fall firmly into the contemporary crime thriller genre.  CODE OF SILENCE is a police procedural with thriller elements. Of the two series that stem from this novel one fall’s firmly into Police Procedural and the other is hi-octane thriller.

What made you choose that genre?

Crime and Thriller are genres I love to read. Write what you love, was a lesson I learned and whether it limits me (I’m not a true believer in writing to market). 

I think the love of writing would be lost trying to write what was popular or profitable at a given moment in time. 

Crime novels have and will always be popular as they satisfy all the elements required for us to enjoy a good story. I also like the fact it allows me to explore the world and current events going on around us. With the broad canvas of real life intrigue, the rise of organised crime and it’s attempt to legitimise business into regular society and the morality of the mega-corporations as they expend their reach; as a backdrop I think topics like these give thriller fiction an air of authenticity and urgency. I think it helps me consider those wider topics and offers the opportunity to explore the reasons behind them and the fears, anxieties and drama these circumstances create.

How long does it take you to write a book?

That’s the million-dollar question. My debut novel is scheduled for release Winter 2020. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. Fits and burst but I never saw anything through. There was always something to inevitably get in the way. I read that Ian Fleming and Lee Child arrived to writing late and that gave me a kick of inspiration not to give up.

CODE OF SILENCE has been a work in progress since March. So I’d say it’s been six months writing with another three to do the spit and polish.



What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I was fortunate to be furloughed from work during this years crisis which took away any financial burden and allowed me to write what I’ll call full time. I’ll usually write in two or three sessions a day. AM before anyone else is up then another session in the afternoon and another in the evening.

I think the story is always there though whether I’m out walking the dogs or sitting having coffee. I’ll grab my phone and make notes and suggestions.

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

I competed in triathlon to a fairly high level. From Olympic Distance up to Ironman events with a few top-ten finishes, an age-group championship and a World Police and Fire Games under my belt. I think the dedication to train and compete has helped immensely in garnering the focus to write every day. Now writing is the thing which has replaced the hours of swimming, cycling and running.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I probably wrote my first book when I was early teens or younger. I remember printing out pages and Pritt Sticking them together to form a book. I think it was just to have that physical item in your hands that you had created. I’m in my forties now and been able to put the years of practice and reading to work so hopefully now as I head toward mid-forties I’ll achieve that young kids dream.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I still keep myself fit but just not to the level I would have when competing. I have two dogs who keep me occupied with walks and enjoy just spending time with and cooking for family. I don’t think I’m ever not writing though. The story works its way in to your head so it’s always being added to or tweaked and new scenes or new works thought about. I’m also a voracious reader so rarely have a book out of my hand.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That there was so much more than just the writing! Perhaps naively I thought the difficult part would be to get the words down into a coherent story that people would engage with. While that’s true the elements of setting up websites, social media pages, cover and copy design sort of snuck up. As did media and marketing.

I’m grateful to be in the position of learning and putting these new skills into practice. I have been lucky enough to be part of a generous and supportive writing community who have always been near if help was needed.

How many books have you written?

CODE OF SILENCE will be the first full-length novel. It is the first book in what I term the Origins Collection.

The novel is a contemporary Crime Thriller set in Belfast; it follows D.I Veronica Taylor as she picks up the pieces of a failed prosecution against her nemesis, Gordon Beattie, who although now free finds himself in a predicament of his own.

Code launches a narrative and set of characters on diverse journeys across the next books, exploring the themes of redemption and retribution against a backdrop of political greed, corruption, exploitation and the meaning of justice in modern day Northern Ireland and the world at large.

The next two books, THE CROSSED KEYS and NO GOING BACK are planned for next year.

Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?

I don’t exist on Google. I’ve had no social media presence until I began to write. Is that a blessing? Ask me again a year from now or once the reviews start coming in!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I didn’t know. Like a lot of voracious readers I would dream that a career as a successful writer might be something I could do but then life has a habit of knocking the edges off those dreams and you turn to regular pursuits to earn a living.

The big dream now would be to have this passion and love of story telling find an audience who are as enthusiastic about reading the books, as I am to write them. 

If I’m blessed enough to find that then the daydreams of a little boy scribbling in a notebook in backstreet Belfast will have come to life and that will be success.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?

At this minute I have CODE OF SILENCE in the final stages. There are two direct follow on novels pre-planned that I estimate will be available 2021; THE CROSSED KEYS and NO GOING BACK.

I also have four novella tie in’s. Two of which will hopefully coincide with the release of CODE with the other two released to keep appetites whetted prior to the next novels being released.

Bio: Phillip Jordan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and grew up in the city that holds the dubious double honour of being home to Europe's Most Bombed Hotel and scene of its largest ever bank robbery.

He had a successful career in the Security Industry for twenty years before transitioning into the Telecommunications Sector.

Aside from writing Phillip has competed in Olympic and Ironman Distance Triathlon events both Nationally and Internationally including a European Age-Group Championship and the World Police and Fire Games.

Taking the opportunity afforded by recent world events to write full-time Phillip is in the process of completing his Debut Crime Thriller, CODE OF SILENCE, finding inspiration in the dark and tragic history of Northern Ireland but also in the black humour, relentless tenacity and Craic of the people who call the fabulous but flawed City of his birth home.

Phillip now lives on the County Down coast and is currently writing two novel series.

The D.I Veronica Taylor Series is set in Belfast and follows the title character as she seeks to redeem her career and her sense of justice following a failed high profile prosecution against one of the city's premier crime lords. Taylor investigates crime and the city's criminal underworld while navigating the tightrope of politics and collusion.

The Tom Shepard Series follows an ex-special forces operator attempting to exact revenge on those responsible for a personal tragedy. Shepard unexpectedly uncovers a deeper conspiracy that puts him on a collision course with a shadowy global consortium responsible for greater injustice and threat than just that which has befallen him.

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

Critique Service for Writers

Writing Competitions

Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways

Friday, 16 October 2020

Friday Fiction Feature: Jigsaw Island

Friday Fiction Feature: Jigsaw Island by Lynne McVernon

Jigsaw Island  Know who your friends are…

Jigsaw Island  is not a typical, edge of the seat psychological thriller – to start with… I like my readers to get to know the characters, their backgrounds, situations, challenges and hopes. This is a legacy of my theatre background. But, while empathy is important so, too, is humour. Without it, how would we survive? This is the second of my books to feature the Greek islands, the first being Terrible With Raisins (the title is a quote from Dorothy Parker) about Clair who flees to Symi to escape a BIG birthday. Jigsaw Island  is a standalone fiction, but some of the characters from ‘Raisins’ reappear; it is set in both Symi and Leros. Research meant talking to Greek medical and naval professionals, and expat volunteers, there, who aid refugees arriving in Greece after terrifying journeys. The real life story of a refugee friend, whose path led from Syria to Devon, appears at the end of the book. Back in England, I looked at homelessness, spending time with a frontline worker at the Church Army’s Marylebone project for homeless women and with the Homeless Projects Manager.

So what’s it about? On a holiday escape to the Greek islands, Annie Buchanan discovers what – and then who – is missing from her life…

When single mother, Annie, and son Jude take a break away from Scotland to stay with her brother and friends on Symi, they find the warmth and support they need. As they ease into the relaxed rhythm of island life, old and new acquaintances change the course of their vacation. Whether it's for better or worse, Annie will discover when she visits the island of Leros. There she may be able to put together some of the missing pieces in her life and learn who her friends really are. But she cannot be prepared for some uncomfortable truths about the past and the dramatic way in which they will change the present for her... and Jude.

This is a book to make summer stretch into the autumn, to give a flavour of the glorious islands that contrasts with the reality of the refugee crisis. It explores the challenges of a single mother raising a son and addresses the nature of who we – and our friends – really are. And as I’ve already said, it should give you a few laughs, too. Plus a touch of lust.

Author bio

Lynne McVernon is an English/Irish author from South London, now living in Devon. As a young theatre director, she worked throughout the UK in repertory, touring theatre, the Edinburgh Festival and the Young Vic and National Theatres, taught at many of the leading drama schools, and founded a young people’s creative writing and performance company, while also writing and devising plays. Director Mike Leigh and the theatre company Shared Experience were two major influences. First novel, Terrible With Raisins was published in 2013, second, Jigsaw Island , July 2020. So many writers to admire, but Edna O’Brien, J P Donleavy, Muriel Spark, John Steinbeck and Dickens (having dramatised three of his novels) are up there, plus so many other female writers who pointed the way. Higher Education, University of Reading, and Wimbledon School of Art (now College of Arts) – so designed the covers of both books. Training, Regional Theatres Trainee Directors’ Scheme. Heart belongs in Greece.

www.lynnemcvernon.com

www.facebook.com/lynnemcvernonauthor/

Twitter @lynnemcvernon

https://societyofauthors.org/writer-Profile?itemID=12739


Critique Service for Writers

Writing Competitions

Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Interview with Annalisa Crawford

Interview with Annalisa Crawford

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

My tagline is: Dark contemporary fiction with a hint of paranormal, which I think is vague enough to cover most of what I write while still giving the reader a good idea of what to expect. The dark, contemporary, and paranormal emphasis varies from book to book.


What made you choose that genre?

I write the story I want to write, and then see which genre it fits into afterwards. My first publications were short stories in literary journals, so genre was never a focus for my writing. That seems to have carried through to my novellas and novels.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It varies so much. My latest release, Grace & Serenity, went through years of rewrites and abandonment. My next book, due out next summer – although based on a previous idea – was written in 15 months.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I’m currently on furlough from my day-job, so I’ve tried to give myself a much more rigid structure than I normally would so my days don’t just drift. When I’m working, I fit writing around my shifts, squeezing it into a couple of hours here and there.

Ideally, I have a workout first thing, deal with social media and blog reading over a cup of tea (or two), then settle to write by about 11. I eat at my desk. At 4, I walk the dog. Depending on where I am in a project, I either stop for the day at that point or carry on into the evening. Once I’m in the middle of writing, nothing can stop me.

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

I’m not sure I’ve got many secrets, to be honest. Through my Facebook page, Twitter account and blog, I’m pretty open about most things. I’m a big fan of silly 90s romcoms like Music and Lyrics, and 50 First Dates, but that’s all I’ve got!

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was about 16 when I wrote my first, unpublished and thoroughly destroyed, novel about a girl whose cousin was in a boy band who came to stay with her and her grandmother one summer, at the height of their fame. It was very bad because it’s what I thought I should write not what I wanted to write.

After that I focused on short stories until my first novella, Cat & The Dreamer, was published in 2012.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love working out and weight training. I read a lot, obviously, and enjoy walking my dog. I’ve got a small nature reserve at the end of my road, with the most fantastic views across rivers and countryside, so we mostly end up there.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Probably that I’m not always telling the story I think I am. I don’t plan my novels (I’m more of a pantser) so sometimes – usually in the middle of the night – I’ll get a random thought that changes everything. If those little nuggets give me shivers, I know I’m on the right path.

How many books have you written?

I’ve had five books published – a novella, two short story collections, a novelette trilogy, and a novel. It’s taken me a while to build up to being a novelist, my style automatically veers towards shorter pieces.

Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?

I do. I’ve discovered myself on competition longlists that I hadn’t been told about and found new reviews that way, so it’s a good thing. It’s also dispiriting when you discover your books on pirating sites. Authors make so little from their books, and yet people still want to steal them from us.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Be a writer. It’s such a clichĂ© but it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I toyed around with being an architect for a while, but you have to be good at maths and the studying and subsequent career would have got in the way of my writing. I actually ended up becoming a library assistant (books, so obviously!) and then a fitness instructor (which surprised me, because at school I was always the last to be picked for any team).

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?

Actually, only three. One which I’m working on, one complete but I don’t think will go anywhere, and one that’s just notes. In my head, I’ve got two more, so there’s plenty of material to keep me going.

AUTHOR BIO

Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall, UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and canine writing partner, Artoo.

Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories with a hint of paranormal. She has won several competitions, had short stories published in small press journals and online, and is the author of several short story collections. Her first novel, Grace & Serenity, was published in July 2020 by Vine Leaves Press.

Blog: https://annalisacrawford.wordpress.com/

Website: https://www.annalisacrawford.com/

Amazon: http://viewauthor.at/AnnalisaCrawford

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnalisaCrawf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annalisacrawford.author/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annalisa_crawford/

My titles are:

Cat & The Dreamer http://getbook.at/CatandTheDreamer

That Sadie Thing http://viewbook.at/That_Sadie_Thing (or free to download if you sign up for my newsletter https://mailchi.mp/0cd6ab5a3433/annalisacrawford)

Our Beautiful Child http://viewbook.at/OurBeautifulChild

You. I. Us. http://getbook.at/You-I-Us

Grace & Serenity http://getbook.at/Grace-and-Serenity



Critique Service for Writers

Writing Competitions

Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways

Monday, 12 October 2020

Digging Deeper with Merryn Allingham

Digging Deeper into Caribbean Evil with Merryn Allingham

Caribbean Evil is the third book in the Tremayne Mysteries series, set in the 1950s. My heroine, Nancy, first appears in The Dangerous Promise, where she is forced into a life and death struggle with her one-time fiancĂ© turned stalker. Nancy marries Leo Tremayne, more as a means of escape than for any deep love, and honeymoons in Venice (Venetian Vendetta). In this beautiful but sinister city, she meets more danger, and it’s here that Nancy begins her career as an amateur sleuth. She has a difficult relationship with Leo’s assistant, Archie Jago. An intense attraction exists between them, but also all the prohibitions that marriage in the 1950s entail.

Protagonist:

She was pretty, very pretty. Not in that English rose kind of way—her hair was too dark, her eyes too grey. No, she possessed a more delicate beauty, so different from our own sun-toughened skin. She seemed uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure why. Her husband was a good deal older than her and I wondered if she wasn’t entirely happy in the marriage she’d made. Or was it something else? This island perhaps? Still, I dismissed her from my mind almost as soon as I’d seen her. She was a visitor, innocent, essentially uninteresting. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was soon clear to me that she was one determined lady, the veritable dog with a bone. Nothing seemed to deter her, even though it led her into recklessness and danger. One thing’s for sure—she wouldn’t be the wife I’d want.

Antagonist:

I would never have believed he was capable of such terrible actions. He seemed so mild, so willing to please. Perhaps a bit too eager to please, but then I was a visitor and he was keen to be agreeable, to ensure that everything I heard or saw appeared commonplace. He obviously had a history—don’t we all?—but at first there was nothing to suggest any kind of secret life. Gradually, though, I came to see the horror that he’d been living and it was then I realised that he was more than capable.

Who would you choose to play each of them in a film or TV series?

Protagonist: Rosamund Pike

Antagonist: John Cusak

What is the creepiest action taken by your antagonist?

A dead crow left as a warning, its red blood seeping into a white counterpane.

Blurb:

When Paradise isn’t quite what it seems …

Nancy Tremayne has landed the job of her dreams in London. But this is 1955 and her husband, Leo, an art expert, has a project in the Caribbean and expects her to travel with him.

Reluctantly, she packs her suitcase for Malfuego, but almost as soon as she arrives on the island, witnesses a brutal attack on a defenceless young man. And there is worse to come.

Much worse.

When a murder occurs, Nancy is asked for help and, along with her husband’s assistant, Archie, discovers the very darkest side of the island. Together, they are forced to confront a terrifying situation —and, at the same time, find their lives have become dangerously entangled. After Malfuego, their worlds will never be the same again.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.merrynallingham.com.  Sign up to my newsletter and receive a free copy of  The Dangerous Promise

Facebook: www.tinyurl.com/m322ovu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/merrynwrites?


Critique Service for Writers


Writing Competitions

Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways

Friday, 9 October 2020

Friday Fiction Feature: No Entry

Gila Green's No Entry is this week's Friday Fiction Feature …

My novel No Entry features a Canadian environmental heroine bent on saving elephants from destruction on an elephant conservation program in South Africa's Kruger National Park. I wanted the book to be aimed at young adults because I believe they are the generation that needs to know –and most in the West don't seem to be aware—that their grandchildren might not see elephants, except in the odd zoo. They will be the most affected by animal extinction and we, as adults, have a responsibility to tell them.

I believe a novel with an admirable heroine, a daring best friend, an artistic African guide, and a cute, conservative boyfriend will reach more young people than a non-fiction book. 

While the ugliness of elephant poaching is underscored, I did not sensationalize scenes. Elephant slaughter in plain language is enough. In addition, there's a sub-theme of terrorism in the novel because violence is universal. I purposely made the terrorist event happen in Canada because I want to get the message across that senseless violence doesn't just happen in Africa or the Middle East.

That attitude might allow some of us to feel off the hook. It happens everywhere and we all have to make sure we are part of the solution or there won't be one and that thought is too devastating to imagine. I refuse to go there and No Entry ends on a victorious note for a reason. No Entry is written with one thing in mind: to convince young readers that they, too, can help fight elephant extinction. It's more important than ever with Covid-19 as we see the tragic results of our movement into animal spaces. No Entry is also a fun, adventure novel for anyone, not just animal lovers. Teen girls will relate to Yael's quandaries even if they are not particularly interested in wildlife. 



Author bio and social media links

In addition to No Entry, Canadian writer and editor Gila Green is the author of three novels, White Zion (Cervena Barva Press, March 2019), Passport Control (S&H Publishing, 2018), and King of the Class (NON Publishing). She has published two dozen short stories and writes often about immigration, alienation, and dislocation. No Entry is her first South African novel which she wrote based on her own memories of Kruger National Park. She felt compelled to write it when she discovered the horrors encountered by African elephants.  

Social media handles:

@gilagreenfiction Instagram

Twitter @green_gila      

FB: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015609368304

Purchase availability

Paperback and eBook

Stormbird Press
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com.au
Blackwells
Barnes&Noble
Booktopia
Books-a-million
Waterstones



Critique Service for Writers

Writing Competitions

Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Interview with Holly Greenland

Today I am delighted to interview Holly Greenland

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?

I am currently writing a murder mystery series. It is a cross between cozy mystery and contemporary women’s fiction. My sleuths are new mums, and there is a secondary story about the pressures of dealing with a new-born and the realities of post-natal depression. It sounds dark, but there is lightness to it too. Just like I found as a new mum – it’s a roller-coaster!

What made you choose that genre?

I have always loved detective fiction. I even studied it as a class for my Creative Writing MA. I love the golden age of mystery writing, and its rules, ripe for breaking. Murder on Maternity is a homage to some of the classic twists and turns, and avid readers of the genre can pick out the references which I hope is fun. I also loved the idea of exploring how Agatha Christie or similar writers might update and fill out female characters if they were writing today. My female leads are solving crimes just like Miss Marple, but they also have relationships, paranoia, jealousy and… children! We often have to do it all these days. 

How long does it take you to write a book?

I’ve written a kid’s book in just a few days, but my murder mystery took nearly four years beginning to end. This was in fits and starts alongside a young family and full-time job.  

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I have always had to squeeze in writing when I can. Sitting quietly on the bunk bed while my son plays with lego on the floor, or on the sofa in the evening when everyone is in bed. I still work in communications, which I love, but keeps me busy. I went freelance in 2019 and am lucky to be able to pick and choose to take on fewer great projects now, leaving more time to write in working hours, which I am still getting used to. Mid mornings are best for me. I write in bursts of a few thousand words, then take some time out to think, maybe even over a few days, then back in again.

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know.

Holly worked for eight years at the Houses of Parliament and she even got to watch the Queen arrive in her finery for the State Opening.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I’ve always written for work, whether it’s schools packs for the BBC, or social media posts and press releases for Parliament. But… I didn’t manage to sit down and write a full-length novel until I was off on maternity leave in 2016. As well as a new-born, I also had builders in 8am – 4pm for three months, so I’d head out to the coffee shop and write every day while the baby napped in the buggy. I revisited the novel over the coming years, but it was lock down that motivated me to go through the final phases of testing, editing, proofing and launching. So I was 38 when it arrived on people’s kindles or through the letter box - you are never too late to finish a novel.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I spend a lot of time with my family, I have a four-year-old and a seven-year-old who keep me very busy.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Just how many people you need to complete a book. You can imagine it’s a solitary activity, but from first readers, to proofers, designers, editors and bloggers, not to mention moral support when you are pushing it over the line, it really takes a whole gang of people. 

How many books have you written?

Two complete books so far, and a few on the go. My main focus is on the second in my Emily Elliot mysteries as a follow up to Murder on Maternity. This one sees her move into the toddler years and at the moment it’s set around a visit to a retreat during a very snowy winter, but that could develop. It’s a bit of a take on what a modern country house murder might look like and I’m working on a locked room element right now.

Do you Google yourself? What did you find that affected you most (good or bad)?

I love what RuPaul always says: ‘What other people think of me is none of my business’! Having said that, I am still growing as a writer and I do keep a close eye on reviews and constructive feedback I receive directly from readers. The most motivating feedback has been from female readers who have found reassurance from seeing how Emily deals with being a new mum. I wasn’t sure if that element would resonate, but it’s spurred me on to book two. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I remember moving between wanting to be a journalist and an actor. Fiction writing feels like a good place between the two, as you have to put yourself into the place of other people and characters, like an actor, but also shape a story for your audience, like a journalist.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have on your computer?

Ooooh. Four, five, six!? There’s not enough hours in the day!

Bio

Holly Greenland has worked in communications and copywriting for over fifteen years and counts herself extremely lucky to be able to write for a living.

She originally studied Theatre and Literature at Royal Holloway, followed by a Creative and Critical Writing MA at Sussex University. Everything she learnt there influenced her career, but over the next decade or so she never quite seemed to find the time to focus on fiction.

Murder on Maternity is her debut novel. It all began in a coffee shop while she was on maternity leave herself, but thankfully she did not encounter any murderers. Holly lives with her family and seven fish just outside London.

Murder on Maternity is available on Kindle Unlimited or from £2.99 for the ebook: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08DM2V4NH/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Website: www.hollygreenland.com

Blog: www.hollygreenland.com/blog

Twitter: @holly_pocket_

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Holly-Greenland/e/B08CDXZXSG/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1


Critique Service for Writers

Writing Competitions

Join the D.I. Sterling Mailing List for News, Updates and Giveaways