Ten weeks in my not-so-new job and still loving every minute of it. Something happened this week as a result of an inspection report which has made a slight difference to how someone will live and it made all the hours of hard work feel worthwhile.
Had a lovely weekend as my son Mark came home for Easter and had a lovely family day today around at my mum and dad’s house.
Truth & Retribution is now in the hands of my lovely editor, hoping she doesn’t hate me after reading it! I have started reading back through A Boy from the Streets to make a few minor changes and edit any mistakes that were previously missed. I have also decided to change the front and back matter and want to get it right in book 1 before moving on to book 2 and the final edits on books 3 & 4.
I will be featuring one author of the month who will spotlight with a brief interview and showcase their books. For anyone who has signed up to my email mailing list you will be entered into a prize draw, a week after I send my newsletter, to win an e-copy of one of the spotlight author’s books.
This month we will be starting with a lady who I have come to know well and have the pleasure of calling friend. I know her by the name of Su but she writes under the name of Rose English.
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 work four days a week in a hospital taking care of the medical equipment. To be honest I am not sure I would actually want to be a full-time author, I am more a Read-a-holic and I write as a hobby. I lose myself in reading for pleasure and often for research. Perhaps I will feel different when I actually retire (still a way to go though).
2. What inspires you to write?
I often get inspiration from things that I read, for example a few years back I picked up a book in my local library about the longcase clock. It inspired more research about how this type of clock became the grandfather clock and finally I turned it into ‘The Magic of Grandfather Time.’
3. Tell me about your writing process, when and how? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
The best time I have written is during National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo I seem to be able to organise myself a bit better having a set target to work to, 50,000 words. However I am very easily distracted by research, via books or online so I would say I am a bit of both plotter & pantser. I have lots of notebooks all over the place and scraps of paper, sometimes I will come home from work with my pockets full.
4. How much of your life experience goes into your books if at all?
Sometimes my life experience goes into my stories, generally they are GREATLY exaggerated. Or they may be from true life tragedies not my own. I like to mix a little reality with my fiction. I am working on a collection of ‘Shoe Shorts’ and my title story ‘One Night in Fabulous Shoes’ is loosely based on a tragedy that happened in Frecklton where my brother lives. During the war the Americans were based close by, whilst out on a test flight the weather turned and one of the planes crash landed into the infant school killing many children and teachers.
5. Describe your ideal writing location if money were no issue.
I dream of a log cabin either overlooking a stream or away from anywhere in the snowy mountains. (Dreaming of winter with hot chocolate & masses of floating cream)
6.What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
I have a real problem with my points of view (POVs) I very easily get mixed up with writing in first person or third and so on.
7. What one thing would you fix about the whole world to make it a better place?
There are so many things wrong in this world I really would not know where to begin, but my pet hate is exhaust fumes and pollution hence why I’ve made my home out in the countryside. So although I feel I should say something like work hard to defeat terrorism and stop child abuse etc. I would like to breathe clean air.
8.What is your favourite review from any of your books?
It was only a 4* review but I thought it summed up the short story perfectly. This sticks in my memory most. Plus it is one of the first reviews I ever received.
4**** ‘One Breath’
Beauty in its brevity….
A tale that pulls on the heart strings, stimulates the senses and paints a vivid picture for the reader. Skilfully written to leave a lasting impression.
9. When you’re not writing, working, looking after the kids what else do you enjoy doing?
I am a Read-a-holic any spare moment I get I read, walking from the carpark to my place of work anywhere. Oh I do enjoy walking in the woods listening to the wind in the trees and I have been known to hug a tree on the odd occasion (have you seen the beautiful texture on the trunk of a redwood?)
10. Can you tell me what you’re working on now?
I have a couple of projects on the go one I mentioned earlier an anthology of ‘Shoe Shorts’. I once photographed my shoes when I was trying to have a clear out, I have images of 50 pairs of shoes and just thought hey why not write a story based around each pair of shoes?
Also I have a story that I finished ages ago ‘The Seal Mother’ I want to add images but keep changing my mind or something comes up it is about a Selkie seal maiden a folktale. I started to extend the story by writing a tale of a Selkie man. I thought why not two short stories together to make one decent sized book. However, my Selkie man is not lending itself to being short, so currently it is on hold. Watch this space.
The most complete novel is another in ‘The Magic of Grandfather Time’ series called ‘Last Orders Jack’ but it needs a lot of work still before it could go to the editors.
‘A grandfather clock has a face and a voice. As its name suggests, it is more than a piece of furniture; it is a member of the family’
Richard C.R. Barder 1983
DECEMBER 1880. There will be no jolly Christmas cheer this year. The harsh winter had descended; snow blankets the ground and the lake is frozen solid. Within the walls of Clement Cottage, the fire is dwindling, its embers barely bright enough to cast the shadow of the broken man upon the wall. Cole is lost in his deep sadness; he has just one heartfelt wish. To be re-united with his beloved, the soulmate so cruelly stolen from him – Cornelia.
A sad mournful ticking comes from a blackened corner of the parlour where a longcase clock is hidden. Tall and stately, noble of face, loud of voice and keeper of great secrets, he is Grandfather Time. Bestowed with the gift of magic from Old Father Time himself, as he begins to chime out the magical hour of midnight, can he grant Cole his wish?
‘…And many a weary heart shall sing The Snowdrop bringeth Hope and Spring.’
(From the book Poetry of the Flowers by Mrs CM Kirtland 1800)
Hope is all Emmeline has. After a raging storm Alfie is felled by some unseen force Emmeline drags her unconscious husband back to their cottage. Throughout the winter she ministers to his needs, following her Grandmother Aspasia’s recipes collected over the years in her delicately penned book of ‘Home Remedies’. Alfie appears to be on the mend when the gentle, shivering snowdrops begin to raise their dainty heads above the snow, bringing hope. But sadly Alfie takes a turn for the worse and Emmeline loses her soulmate.
With the arrival of ‘The Anniversary’ comes a surprise visitor. Will this visitor rekindle the light in Emmeline’s delicate brown eyes? Can the hole in her heart ever be healed?
This heartfelt short story now includes a sample of some of ‘Aspasia Cherry’s A~Z of Herbal Remedies’ along with poetry, a few myths and a little magic about the local flora that would have been found in and around Emmeline’s cottage.
Thank you very much Rose for taking part in my spotlight of the month. I can highly recommend all her books, if you want to check out my reviews you can see them on the Gibbsdream Reviews page. Don’t forget if you are signed up for my newsletters you will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky winner will receive an e-copy of one of Rose’s books. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones I would highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself.