Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Author Spotlight Interview

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This month it is my pleasure to introduce Sherri A Wingler who now ranks up there with Sharon Penman and Barbara Erskine (and a few others) as one of my favourite authors. She is currently juggling two different series and I am eagerly awaiting the next in series for both. This is the author who writes the books that I wish I had written.

1. Do you write as a full-time author or do you have to squeeze it in around a full-time job or looking after the children? If you don’t write as your main job what are your aims for your writing?

I look at my writing as my other full-time job. I squeeze time whenever I can to write, but I’m constantly thinking about my story. The brain is a wonderful thing. I can hit a snag, with no idea how to get myself out of the corner I’ve written myself into, and three days later the answer will come to me, seemingly out of nowhere. Usually, it comes at the most inopportune moment.

2. What inspires you to write?

Reading a really good story from someone else is always inspiring. Mostly, I write the books I want to read.

3. Tell me about your writing process, when and how? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I want to be a plotter, but I’m more of a hybrid. I start out with a loose outline and adjust it when the story starts twisting itself into knots.
I’ve found my best hours to work are between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., but I have a full-time job, so those hours only work when I’m on vacation. Usually, I grab whatever time I can. I write on my phone a lot and transfer the file to the main manuscript later.
I would love to say if I get an entire day to write, I sit down and whip out ten thousand words, but I’m guilty of procrastination. So guilty. I’m fine once I start, but I’ll find fifty things to do before I start.

4. How much of your life experience goes into your books if at all?

My first book is about a teenaged girl who falls in love with the Angel of Death. It took a reviewer pointing out that ‘if Death came along and intervened in her life, they’d have a serious talk.’ I’m paraphrasing, but it got me thinking. If Death intervenes, you have no choice… you adapt to a new normal. That’s when the lightbulb moment happened for me. My mother died when I was seventeen. Some twenty years later, my brain put a different spin on the story and “Wings of Darkness” was born.
I think all the characters have a certain facet of the author’s personality, even the villain.

5. Describe your ideal writing location if money were no issue.

I can write anywhere, but I require peace and quiet to produce my best work. I have a small, beautiful office I never get to use because my dogs throw a fit if I’m out of sight. Most of my work is done with at least one cat hanging off me and a dog staring at me till I pick him or her up for cuddles. They have me so trained.

6. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

Getting started. Have I mentioned the procrastination thing? I waste more time thinking about why I should be writing, than actually doing it.

7. What one thing would you fix about the whole world to make it a better place?

I feel like the world would be better if people cared more for each other, or cared less, maybe. For my own part, I don’t care about someone else’s religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. If they’re happy and aren’t hurting someone else, it’s none of my business. I don’t get excited about much unless it affects me or mine.
Animal cruelty breaks my heart. If I had one wish it would be for the punishment to fit the crime in those cases.

8. What is your favourite review from any of your books?

It was for “Wings of Darkness,” and it wasn’t even a 5* review, only a 3*. The lady didn’t like the snarkiness of the characters, but at the end of the review she said it was “very well written and well edited book.” I had to love it just for that.

9. When you’re not writing, working, looking after the furry kids what else do you enjoy doing?

I like to think I’m crafty. Every so often I get on Pinterest and find some fantastic project and produce the ugly step-sister version of whatever it was. Halloween is coming up, and it’s my favorite holiday. I’ll be whipping out the hot glue and fake cobwebs pretty soon.

10. Can you tell me what you’re working on now?

I’m working on a couple of things. I’ve got the third book of “The Immortal Sorrows” series almost finished, and I have the second book of “The Dark Woods” series at the halfway point.
“The Immortal Sorrows” is a tale of Reaper angels with a shot of Greek mythology thrown in. It explores Time, Fate, and Death as beings instead of concepts.
“The Dark Woods” is my loose interpretation of the Red Riding Hood story. I’ve taken a lot of liberties with it, and had so much fun doing it.

 

A Glimpse into Darkness: Prequel of The Immortal Sorrows

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Clotho has everything; beauty, power, and immortality. She has everything she could ever want, except the love of the one she wants the most.
Witness the moment when obsession turns to hate… and love to madness.
Author’s Note: This is a short story and serves as the prequel of “The Immortal Sorrows” series. Attached is a free sample of book 1, “Wings of Darkness.” I hope you enjoy it!

Wings of Darkness: Book 1 of The Immortal Sorrows series

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Death comes for everyone eventually, but Izzy Maitland plans to live forever. At nearly eighteen years old, it’s not an unreasonable goal, but Fate has other plans. Izzy has a car accident. A bad one. Suddenly, strange things start happening and her ordinary life is turned upside down. She wakes up tasting blood, more often than not, and her injuries heal at an alarming rate. Her friends and family weaken, and every day, Izzy grows stronger. Strangest of all, she seems to have acquired a stalker, and he might be the Angel of Death.

Wings of Shadow: Book 2 of The Immortal Sorrows series

http://amzn.to/2wURuaC

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Mortals never see me in their final moments. Isabel saw me. From the very beginning. She saw me, knew me for the monster I am, and still she loved me. That beautiful young woman with fire in her blood. I wanted her the moment I laid eyes on her. She was perfect, made just for me by a cruel and merciless twist of Fate. Isabel was my mate and my match, in every way, but loving me destroyed her.
Fate stole my love from me, simply to watch me suffer. Oh, it cost her, but not nearly enough. A few dead Reapers were nothing compared to what I would do when I found her. The River of the Dead could run red with the blood of the guilty, and it would never be enough. My revenge would be a bitter-sweet thing, for it would never bring my Isabel back to me. Once she faced Judgment, she would be lost to me, forever.
I could not accept that. I would not.

Crimson Moon: Book 1 of The Dark Woods series

http://amzn.to/2wFW2SF

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In the old days, people whispered about the wolf, said he came only at night, and only by the light of the full moon. They locked their doors and huddled close to their fires, safe in the knowledge they could prepare for his coming. The truth is, no one is safe, because the wolf walks in the skin of the man. Always.

Harlow Hayes is a runaway, thief, and failed Southern belle. Forced to grow up fast after what her mama delicately referred to as, ‘the incident,’ she learns the hard way not all strangers are kind, real monsters hide in plain sight, and family can be found in the most unexpected places.
Harlow Hayes is about to meet the Wolf.

 

Thank you very much, Sherri, for sharing so much with us. If you aren’t lucky enough to win an e-copy of one of Sherri’s books then I would highly recommend you go and buy them, she is a phenomenal author

If you have subscribed to my newsletter then you will be entered into the August prize draw, don’t forget sometimes the emails make their way to the junk folder! (How vary dare they!) The winner will be announced one week later.

 

Books, Christmas, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

West Midlands Valentine Book Signing Attending Author: Chris Turnbull

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  1. Can we start with your name and where you’re from?

Chris Turnbull, and I live near York.

  1. Most authors love reading, is this true for you and if so who was/is your inspiration?

I love reading, being swept up into a new world by an author can be so incredible. I like to feel drawn into the book, I want to feel for the characters and go on the journey they are. As a youngster I was addicted to the Goosebump books by RL Stine, then later got hooked onto the Harry Potter series which was the main reason I wanted to write a book of my own.

  1. What genre do you write in or do you cross over into many?

Although my books are seen by many as being very different, often described as (historical fiction, gothic, time-travel and of course I now have a children’s book) I do not see them all as being so different. I am a huge nerd when it comes to history, I love learning new things about the past and all my books are set somewhere in history that I find to be of interest. Whether it be 1889 Paris, the year the Eiffel tower opened, or just Victorian England. My books allow me to explore life in these times, learn and explore new things. My books also connect together with Love, whether that be the love of a partner, a family member or a friend. 

  1. If you could take any character from someone else’s book and make him/her your own creation who would it be and why?

I think without a doubt I would have loved to have created Albus Dumbledore. He is exactly the kind of character that I love. He is the father figure to Harry, a respected man, a humble man, and not to mention he can kick ass when needs be.

  1. When did you first start writing?

I started writing when I was a teenager; I had an English teacher at the time that really inspired me to be creative. She did not tell you things were wrong and allowed you to express your creative side. Sadly she left the school after only one year and I was devastated, as her replacement was all about sticking to textbook work. Thankfully though I continued to write for fun in my spare time, and it was in 2013 that I started work on ‘The Vintage Coat’ which ended up being my first published work. 

  1. Do you plan every inch of your books or do you just let the words flow?

I give myself bullet points of things I would like to see happen. I also create character profiles so I know a little bit more about the people I am writing about. Then I just go with the flow and see where the story takes me. I find this way of writing keeps me excited, as I want to find out what happens next. My theory is if the story excites me, then hopefully it should the reader.

  1. Who is your favourite character and why? (your own character)

Ooo that’s difficult to pick only one. I think I would choose Charlie from ‘The Vintage Coat’. He is a fun guy, loyal friend and I think I could be friends with him.

My second choice would be Tom from ‘Whitby’s Darkest Secret’ because I think he is adorable and a strong willed young man.

  1. Was there an event in your life that triggered a particular book, or even a scene in a book? If so what was the book and what was the event?

‘The Vintage Coat’ is based purely on a military coat I purchased in an antique shop in Alston. It immediately sparked my imagination and out came a time-travel story about the coat, and also set in Alston.

Also my children’s book ‘A Home For Emy’ is based on true events as this is the story of my own dog.

  1. Are you working on anything at the moment? If so can you share any tasty morsels?

I am currently working on a number of projects, the first being a sequel to ‘Whiby’s Darkest Secret’. I am having so much fun writing this book, and fans of the first book will be very surprised with the turn of events this new book takes.

Also I have been working on a Christmas themed book which I hope to release at the end of 2017. This is a collection of short stories and poems that I have enjoyed writing over the course of a number of years.

Finally (or at least what I will tell you for now) I have begun work on a second children’s book, it again will feature Emy and I hope to release it in early 2018.

  1. What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out?

Don’t give up. Don’t follow the crowd.

I was always told that I needed to read and write every day, but for me (as well as most authors) I work full time. Sometimes I just need an evening off from writing and rest. I work better when I am not tired, so I would always say work at your own pace and do what is best for you. 

  1. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to travel, whether that is a day out to the coast or a holiday somewhere exciting. Me and my partner have a dog which we love to spend time with.

  1. What is the hardest part of the whole writing, editing, marketing process for you?

Personally I don’t think there is an easy part. The whole process is very demanding if you wish to succeed. Being a writer is a full time job in itself and you have to go through it all, the good and bad bits. I love being in my office and writing, knowing there is no pressure and being able to just write what comes to me. Editing is never fun, and you go over the manuscript so many times you start to fall out of love with your work. However all the hard work is worth it when you finally have a copy in your hand…and even better is when somebody else tells you they like it.

  1. We all have those friends or family members who make sweeping statements about our writing or the process, which is your particular bug bear?

After the release of my first book I had quite a few people ask me if they were going to get a free copy…erm No! There is no such thing as a free copy…even I don’t get a free copy and it’s my book.

Then you get those who say ‘I don’t know how you find the time to write a book’. These are usually the people who spend their evenings watching every single soap on TV, as well as other mindless television programs. Please note I have nothing against watching things you enjoy…I do it myself, but don’t spend every day of your life sat in front of the television and then question how I find time to write.

  1. What is your idea of happiness?

Spending time with the ones I love. You don’t need a lot of money, or ‘things’ to be happy. Some of my best moments have been the simple one. Walking on the beach with my dog, sitting in the garden with my family, playing a silly game with my best friend and her family. These are the things that I remember more than anything.

  1. For this one I want you to showcase your creativity by painting me a picture, with words, of your ideal setting to write in.

When I finished writing ‘Whiby’s Darkest Secret’ I decided that I wanted a spend a couple of nights away from home so I could focus on finishing the book…

I stayed in a two bed house in Whitby, the large oak wood dining table where I sat writing overlooked the harbour. I could hear seagulls and the sun was shining. In the morning I went for a walk, I soaked in the town atmosphere and even visited the ruined Abbey for the first time in my life. After a bit to eat I returned to the dining table, where my mind was freshly filled with the sounds and smells of the town I was writing about, and I even went back to change certain parts of the book. I sat there for hours until it got dark, the harbour lit up with a row of lights that lined the pathway. I finished the final few chapters that night. 

  1. What makes you laugh/cry?

Laugh: I have a very rude sense of humour…enough said.

Cry: Most things as I am an emotional wreck. The worse times though is when I am reading/watching something about a dog that is sick, hurt or dying. I read ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ on the aeroplane back from New York and I started to cry uncontrollably…and I mean really going for it, I couldn’t speak I was in such a state. The man next to me must of wondered what the hell was going on.

  1. You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three men/women who would they be and why? This can be practical or purely sexual in nature.
  2. David Attenborough…My hero in life and somebody I would love to meet. Plus he would probably know how to survive the island.
  3. Joel Dommett – He was hilarious in ‘Celeb get me out of here’ so I think he would keep up entertained…plus he survived the jungle so I think he would help us survive an island.
  4. My other half, because I would miss him (and he could try and smuggle the dog with him).
  5. What is your most annoying habit?

Annoying…me?

I have a bad habit of zoning out if I am bored. Which is terrible when your other half tells you something important and you didn’t hear.

  1. Please tell me about your books? For each one please send a pic (kindle cover would be perfect)
  2. The Vintage Coat: A time-travel story set between modern day Alston and WWII.
  3. D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret: A dark murderous story set in the backdrop of Victorian Whitby.
  4. Carousel: Time-Travel tale. Jonathan is sent back to 1889 Paris, but unfortunately gets stuck there.
  5. A Home For Emy: Children’s book based on true events. Illustrated beautifully by Rebecca Sharp of Dasilvaline.

  6. Lightning round
    Tea or Coffee? Tea
    Cash or credit? I am really bad and almost never have cash on me
    Cats or Dogs? Dogs
    Beach or Mountain? Mountain
    Summer or Winter – Tough!…I love Winter fashion, but I prefer the warmth of summer
    Sweet or Savoury Sweet
    Early riser or late riser? Late
    Morning or Night? Night
    Christmas Tree – real or fake? Real
    Sex – Lights on or off? Who cares…

    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
    Please leave Facebook, Twitter, Website links so we can check you out further.

www.chris-turnbullauthor.com

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www.twitter.com/christurnbull20

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chris-Turnbull/e/B00UFW8RB2/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1