Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Kari Kilgore – Suspense/Crime/Thriller #Bundle #Author

Author name: Kari Kilgore

 How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it?

BundleRabbit happened to start up around the same time my first novel came out, so I’ve been in since the beginning. I make sure everything I publish goes in right away.

I’d absolutely recommend making your stories available for bundles! It’s a wonderful way to work with other authors you may not otherwise meet, and to introduce your readers to other great storytellers. And if other writers introduce you to their readers as well, that’s a bonus.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

I’m a pantser through and through. I love the adventure and discovery of telling myself the story. I truly do keep writing so I can find out what happens.

What does writing bring to your life?

The adventure of getting to live different lives, to get inside the perspective of different people. Sometimes they’re not even people! I’ve unconsciously explored things that bothered me through writing, often upsetting things from my past. I usually don’t realize what I’ve done until someone points it out. I’ve consciously approached difficult things in writing as well. Setting out to deal with a situation, or try to figure something out.

But most of all, it’s just the fun and joy of telling myself the story. That truly is the best motivation and the best reward for me. I’m delighted to bring happiness, a thoughtful moment, or escape to readers as well.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

Most of the time, I take a pause in writing, look up the one thing I need, and get right back into the story. I’m not a big fan of noting things to look up later, because whatever new information I learn about that seemingly trivial item often changes the course of the story. I’ve gotten more and more in the habit of trusting that little voice in my head that wonders “How does that work?” That voice is driving the writing engine, and she knows what she’s doing.

I don’t know how wild it is, but I recently spent a few minutes reading about poisonous plants in North America for a story. I was shocked by how many there are, and the huge variety of symptoms they can cause.

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

I think it’s an integral part of our culture, one of the ways our civilisations have risen and fallen, grown and changed. We use it for exploration, for healing, for cautionary tales, for escape, for adventure, for teaching. Heck, we tell ourselves stories all night long when we’re dreaming. And the fun thing is I can’t even say it’s a human-only trait. I’ve seen our dogs and cats dream constantly. And have you ever watched cats or dogs or other critters playing? Your cat knows that bottle lid skittering across the floor isn’t actually a mouse, and your dog knows the squeaky toy isn’t alive. But they tell themselves that story so vividly.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

There are two that I’ve reminded myself of so often that they’ve become second nature. Write the next thing, and have fun.

For me, immediately jumping in and writing the next thing gets me out of the trap of worrying about the thing I just finished or submitted. If I’m deep into the new story right away, I don’t have time for fretting or stress. And, by the time the response comes back on a submission, I’m far enough into the new story that it doesn’t cause me trouble whether the news is good or bad.

And the whole point of telling stories for me is having fun. Otherwise, there are SO many other ways to make a living. I want to always be writing a story that I’m eager to get back into. If I’m forcing myself to sit down and get started, I’m going to turn what should be all kinds of joy and excitement into drudgery. I figure there’s enough of that in life already.

What’s the worst piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

Someone told me more than once that my creativity would dry up, and I had to be prepared for that. From this person’s history, they meant for years and years at a time, and potentially forever. To me, that’s such a negative self-fulfilling prophecy, to expect that to happen and spend all kinds of time dwelling on it. The idea of trying to convince other people to think that way for some reason really bothers me, too.

Of course, we all have challenges, and times in our lives when writing or other forms of creativity are difficult or quite reasonably impossible. Personal or family illness, job changes, moving, deaths in the family or among friends. We’re all living through some major challenges all over the world right now that have affected many of us when it comes to our productivity.

But I don’t see any of these slowdowns or even stops in my own creative life as permanent. In fact, the more often and the more routinely I get words on the page, the easier it is to do the same thing day in and day out. In my experience, creativity is like a muscle. Sure, I may need to rest during times of illness or injury. But most of the time, the more I use that muscle, the more I can use it. During times like 2020, I’m grateful every single day for that escape from reality!

Tell us about your latest piece?

I’ve been writing all kinds of Romance in 2020, probably because the guaranteed Happily Ever After sounds extra good right now. At the moment, I’m a way into a Romantic Suspense novel set in one of my fictional towns. All the other stories set there have been light-hearted. It’s so much fun seeing the settings and people in a different mood and light. There’s a heavy dose of Mystery and darker elements, but I still expect that happy ending.

What’s your next writing adventure?

For novels and novellas, I have a few series-in-progress that are ready for sequels, so I think now would be a great time to jump into those. They range from near-future Science Fiction to Dark Fantasy to Romantic Suspense to Space Opera, so all kinds of fun ahead. As far as short stories, I have a long-term Mystery project going, so I’ll be doing a lot more crime writing of all kinds.

What is the last book you’ve read?

I just finished Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts, book two in The Chronicles of The One. It’s a treat to read the work of such a skilled and prolific writer, and the story is right up my alley for sure. With someone as great as Nora Roberts or Stephen King or Dean Koontz, I always read for pleasure of course. But it’s well worth the time to go back through the stories and see what all I can learn.

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

I happen to be an avid e-book reader. I have an e-reader and a tablet, but I’ve gotten firmly into the habit of reading on my phone. I love having a story to read in my pocket at all times. That way whenever I have downtime or I’m in line or waiting for whatever reason, I can escape.

That being said, the answer about brick and mortar bookshops has gotten far more complicated because of COVID-19. I don’t think print books are on the way out, no. I have a good number of sales on the print side, especially Large Print editions. I’ve even had a surprising number of sales of print versions of short stories, in-person and online. I think the big, traditionally bookselling industry has taken a major hit here in 2020, and the structure will likely have to change. But I believe print will endure well past all of this.

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this?

I haven’t experienced this at all, and other indies I know who are getting high-quality, professional work out there haven’t either.

The truth is readers are interested in great stories, most of all. And since indies can deliver great design and reading experiences that are much more fairly priced to go with great stories, what’s not to like? We also have the flexibility to write in a huge variety of genres and subgenres and cross-genres that are often not available through traditional channels.

Of course, quality matters. Clean copy that tells an entertaining or thought-provoking or scary story matters. Covers and good readability in print and electronic matters. Indies can do all of this, with more and more tools available to us every day.

 

Kari Kilgore bundle

Links

www.karikilgore.com

www.spiralpublishing.net

Bio

Kari Kilgore started her first published novel Until Death in Transylvania, Romania, and finished it in Room 217 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where a rather famous creepy tale about a hotel sparked into life. That’s just one example of how real world inspiration drives her fiction.

Kari’s first published novel Until Death was included on the Preliminary Ballot for the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in a First Novel in 2016. Until Death was also a finalist for the Golden Stake Award at the Vampire Arts Festival in 2018.

Kari’s short myth The Spider Who Ate the Elephant placed 2nd in fiction in the 2019 Virginia Writers Club Golden Nib contest.

Her professional short story sales include several to Fiction River anthology magazine and three stories in a holiday-themed anthology project with Kristine Kathryn Rusch due out over the holidays in 2020, as well as one for Valentine’s Day, due in February of 2021. Her first professional publication was Fiction River: Superstitious in 2019, and she has three more Fiction River stories on the way.

Kari writes first and figures out the story’s genre later. That’s resulted in fantasy, science fiction, romance, contemporary fiction, and everything in between. She’s happiest when she surprises herself. She lives at the end of a long dirt road in the middle of the woods with her husband Jason A. Adams, various house critters, and wildlife they’re better off not knowing more about.

Kari’s novels, novellas, and short stories are available in ebook, paperback, Large Print, and hardcover formats at http://www.spiralpublishing.net, which also publishes books by Frank Kilgore and Jason A. Adams. For more information about Kari, upcoming publications, her travels and adventures, random cool things that catch her attention, and The Confidential Adventure Club, visit www.karikilgore.com.

 

Bundle Author Interview – Joslyn Chase #Crime #Suspense #Bloodonthecobbles

 

Author name: Joslyn Chase

How did you become involved in book bundles? Would you recommend it?

I first learned about book bundling when I attended a Business Master class at WMG Publishing and met Chuck Heintzelman, the founder of BundleRabbit. I also met some excellent editors there who shared their experiences with book bundles.

I find the idea very exciting and innovative. The potential for cross-promotion and cooperation is awesome. I’ve been in three or four bundles, and I’ve edited and produced a collaborative project, And Then There Were Nine, nine thrilling stories from nine masters of suspense.

I hope to be more heavily involved in bundling with other authors in the future. I believe it’s a great way to have fun and profit.

What other bundles are you involved with?

My first bundle was a Halloween Horror bundle that has since been discontinued. But I’m proud to be a part of Steve Vernon’s Cat Tales bundle and A.L. Butcher’s Blood On The Cobbles. I was also fortunate enough to be included in a Story Bundle Historical Mystery bundle, and that was a lot of fun.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

I am definitely a plotter. That’s what works best with my temperament and writing style. I leave a lot of room for organic growth, the way I do it. For my outline, I basically define the goal for each scene, but I generally have no idea how the characters will get from Point A to Point B until I start writing. And, of course, as the story progresses, things change and that’s fine. But I like starting out with some clearly defined goalposts to aim for.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

Enjoy your time as an unpublished author. Appreciate those moments when the world is wide open and all the possibilities are in the future where anything can happen. It’s exciting and creatively nourishing to dream like that. After publication, so much happens. It’s still a creative process, of course, but business matters come into it, too, and there are so many demands on your time and attention. Some of the innocence is lost. It’s like moving from childhood to adult life. Hang on to the child.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

I adore the research part of writing a book. There’s so much to learn and so many fascinating topics—I spend a lot of time gathering information and getting a feel for the background before I begin writing.

Perhaps the wildest subject I studied while preparing to write my thriller, Nocturne In Ashes, was volcanoes. Mt. Rainier, in particular. It’s a pretty scary topic, especially when you live in the shadow of the mountain and you realize it’s not a question of “if” the volcano will blow, but “when.”

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

Storytelling is everything. It comes into nearly every aspect of societal life and relationships. We communicate by story, relate to each other by story, learn best through concepts put into story form. I write a blog on the subject of Story Power on my website, joslynchase.com.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

Every word of a story comes through a character. Ground the reader inside your viewpoint character’s head and make sure they’re the one telling the story, so readers see what they see, feel what they feel, and are able to experience the story through the senses, opinion, and emotion of the viewpoint character. In other words, get out of your own way and let the characters speak.

Tell us about your latest piece?

In April 2020, I published a collection of short stories titled No Rest: 14 Tales of Chilling Suspense. I’m pretty excited about it, and some of my personal favorites are in this volume.

I’m also thrilled to announce that my story, “The Wolf and Lamb,” is on the cover of the current Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, something I’ve aspired to since junior high school.

What’s your next writing adventure?

Last October, I started planning a six-book series of thrillers based on my protagonist’s experience in the EIS—Epidemic Intelligence Service, the disease detectives of the CDC. I’m excited about the project, but also a little bowled over now, with the Covid crisis that I didn’t see coming.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things, but I feel like it must have altered things dramatically within the CDC and now I don’t know how much of the research and preparation I’ve put into it remains valid. Or how readers will respond to books on the subject. To be honest, I’ve had some doubts about moving ahead with the project and I put the brakes on for a few weeks, but now I’m re-energized and moving ahead. I’m planning a release date for the first book in November.

What was the last book you’ve read?

I just finished reading Ann Cleeve’s third Vera Stanhope novel, Hidden Depths. I’m very much enjoying the series, and the television program, as well.

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this?

I think in large part, yes—readers are wary of books produced by indie authors. The indie movement, which I think is a wonderful thing, has moved the role of gatekeeper from the publishing companies to the readers, themselves. It’s a responsibility many readers are not used to having and may not be comfortable with, at first.

In today’s marketplace, we all rely on social proof—the all-important consumer review. But someone’s got to be the first to leave one. Investing time and money in an untried author and a book with no reviews is a risk many readers aren’t willing to take, and understandably so. That’s why there are so many free books on the market—they are the no-risk samples readers can try before sinking their cash into a new author.

I think this can be a very healthy revolution for both writers and readers, but so much depends on the review. I hope readers will take the time to leave an honest review after reading, a courtesy for other readers and a crucial element for writers.

Is there a message in your books?

There is a message in my books, though I usually don’t know what it is until I’m finished writing. And sometimes, not even then. This is the sort of thing that typically comes through the subconscious mind, though I might start out with a hint of what I want to say to the reader.

How important is writing to you?

Writing is supremely important to me. I’ve waited my whole life to get to this season where I could have a writing career. I know myself well enough to recognize that I couldn’t embark on a writer’s life until my kids were grown. It’s all-engrossing, takes up all my time, attention, and affection. Well, almost all. I try to save out a bit to spend on family and friends J

Links:

 

joslynchase.com

 

Joslyn Chase YouTube channel

 

Joslyn Chase Facebook Page

 

Joslyn Chase Amazon Page

 

Joslyn Chase on Goodreads

 

Joslyn Chase on BookBub

 

Bio:

Joslyn Chase is a prize-winning author of mysteries and thrillers. Any day where she can send readers to the edge of their seats, chewing their fingernails to the nub and prickling with suspense, is a good day in her book.

Joslyn’s love for travel has led her to ride camels through the Nubian desert, fend off monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar, and hike the Bavarian Alps. But she still believes that sometimes the best adventures come in getting the words on the page and in the thrill of reading a great story.

Joslyn believes in the power of story, and writes a blog on the subject which you can find at joslynchase.com. Join the growing group of readers who’ve discovered the thrill of Chase when you sign up, and get access to updates and bonuses.

Connect with Joslyn at https://www.facebook.com/StoryChase/ and visit the Joslyn Chase YouTube channel to see trailers for many of her books.

Blood on the Cobbles Bundle

From legends of murder, and undead killers walking, to missing girls, deadly diseases, suspense and gore aplenty; from sleuths and detectives, murder and vengeance enter into a world of crime, clues and mayhem.

12 authors weave tales both long and short of crime and suspense.

A collection of short stories and novels.

https://books2read.com/Bloodonthecobblesbundle

 

New Release – Blood on the Cobbles Bundle #Mystery #Crime #Murder #Suspense

Blood on the Cobbles Bundle

Blood on the Cobbles V1.2 UPDATED

 

 

From legends of murder, and undead killers walking, to missing girls, deadly diseases, suspense and gore aplenty; from sleuths and detectives, murder and vengeance enter into a world of crime, clues and mayhem.

12 authors weave tales both long and short of crime and suspense.

A collection of short stories and novels.

 

 

Featuring:

Courageous – Russ Crossley

Who Unkilled Johnny Murder? – Robert Jeschonek

What Leads A Man to Murder? – Joslyn Chase

Nice Man Jack – Baby Ice Dog Press

By Dawn’s Bloody Light – DeAnna Knippling

Expressway Thru the Skull – M.E. Purfield

Six Crime Stories – Robert Jeschonek

Double Edged – Jessie Kwak

The Disappearance of Wicked – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Body Language – Harvey Stanbrough

Tales of Twisted Crime – Russ Crossley

Crime du Jour – Diane R. Thompson

Justice Served – Russ Crossley

The Economic Hitman – Eugene Lloyd MacRae

The Sound of Murder – Kari Kilgore

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088LTNB2H/?tag=kydala-20

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088LTNB2H/?tag=kydala-20

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/blood-on-the-cobbles-1

https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1513274635

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-on-the-cobbles-a-l-butcher/1137022063

https://bundlerabbit.com/s/shiver-series

 

Blood on the cobbles montage

Book Spotlight – Addict (The Cassie Tam Files) #Sci-fi #Crime #Lesfic

Title: Addict (The Cassie Tam Files #1)

Author: Matt Doyle

Genre: Lesfic, Sci-fi, Crime Noir

Main character description (short):

Born in Vancouver, Cassie Tam is the daughter of a cop and an out lesbian. Now situated in the technological haven of New Hopeland City, she plies her trade as a Private Investigator, taking on odd job cases that the police either don’t care about or won’t touch. She’s built up a good reputation over the years and tends to solve cases with a healthy mix of the three S’s: smarts, snark, and sheer stubbornness. Oh, and the odd assist from her robo-gargoyle pet, Bert. Despite her tough exterior though, Cassie is prone to keeping stuff in, and is more than capable of finding social awkwardness when faced with the unfamiliar. That combined with her compulsion to keep digging, even when she knows she shouldn’t, can often leave her biting off more than she can chew.

Synopsis:

New Hopeland was built to be the centre of the technological age, but like everywhere else, it has its dark side. Assassins, drug dealers and crooked businessmen form a vital part of the city’s make-up, and sometimes, the police are in too deep themselves to be effective. But hey, there are always other options …

For P.I. Cassie Tam, business has been slow. So, when she’s hired to investigate the death of a local VR addict named Eddie Redwood, she thinks it’ll be easy money. All she has to do is prove that the local P.D. were right to call it an accidental overdose. The more she digs though, the more things don’t seem to sit right, and soon, Cassie finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. To make matters worse, Cassie’s client, the deceased’s sister Lori, is a Tech Shifter – someone who uses a metal exoskeleton to roleplay as an animal. Cassie isn’t one to judge, but the Tech Shifting community has always left her a bit nervous. That wouldn’t be a problem if Lori wasn’t fast becoming the first person that she’s been genuinely attracted to since splitting with her ex.

Easy money, huh? Yeah, right.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

I ALWAYS DID like Venetian blinds. There’s something quaint about them in a retro-tacky kinda way. Plus, they’re pretty useful for sneaking a peek out the front of the building if I feel the need. That’s something that you just can’t do with the solid, immovable metal slats that come as a standard in buildings these days. That said, a thick sheet of steel is gonna offer you a damn sight more security than thin, bendable vinyl, so I keep mine installed. Just in case.

Another round of knocking rattles the front door, louder this time than the one that woke me.

The clock says 23:47, and the unfamiliar low-end car out front screams “Don’t notice me, I’m not worth your time,” which makes for the perfect combo to stir up the paranoia that the evening’s beer and horror-film session left behind. This is my own fault. My adverts are pretty descriptive in terms of telling what I do: lost pets, cheating partners, theft, protection, retrieval of people and items, other odds and sods that the city’s finest won’t touch…I’ve got ways to deal with it all. That’s right, I’m a real odd-job gal. The one thing that I don’t put in there are business hours. The way I see it, even the missing pet cases usually leave me wandering the streets at half-past reasonable, so what’s the point in asking people to call between certain hours?

More knocking, followed this time by the squeak of my letterbox.

 

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)? Described as Sam Spade meets Blade Runner, Addict throws an old-style PI into a near future world and blends sci-fi world building with noir corruption. If you want a speculative fiction title with an LGBT lead that isn’t a coming out tale or erotica, this is the book for you!

 

Addict-f (1).jpg

 

Links etc.

Purchase Links

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Ninestar Press

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Apple

Author Links

Website: www.mattdoylemedia.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/mattdoylemedia

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

Google+: https://plus.google.com/105461183776248861486

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14173377.Matt_Doyle

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/mattdoylemedia/

DeviantArt: http://mattdoylemedia.deviantart.com/

RedBubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/mattdoylemedia

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

Tumblr: https://mattdoylemedia.tumblr.com/

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/mattdoylemedia

 

 

Reviews 2018 – Victorian Murderesses: A True History of Thirteen Respectable French and English Women Accused of Unspeakable Crimes

Victorian Murderesses: A True History of Thirteen Respectable French and English Women Accused of Unspeakable Crimes

3.5 stars

This is not a bad book, but it’s not particularly good either.

The cases included in this text are:
– Marie Lafarge and Euphemie Lacoste;
– Madeleine Smith and Angelina  Lemoine;
– Celestine Doudet and Constance Kent;
– Florence Bravo and Henriette Francy;
– Gabrielle Fenayrou and Adelaide Bartlett;
– Florence Maybrick and Claire Reymond.

Good points:

  • The French cases were largely unknown to me and that aspect was interesting. The comparisons between French and English middle-class society and the position of women were fairly well discussed.
  • There was a mix of cases, although all were ‘respectable’ women from the time. What was expected of middle-class women, and her own expectations – marriage, children and running the household – were discussed at length.  Many had arranged marriages – often to men much older, or totally unsuitable. Divorce was not a viable option, especially as the father would have maintained control of any children, and the money. Thus most of this women were stuck in relationships, not of their choosing (with the exception of Madeleine Smith – who was in a relationship with a man below her station and disapproved of by her family).
  • Although the cases were discussed fairly sympathetically there was a lot of the authors own views on whether the particular murderess was guilty of the crime she committed. Not all were, and those who were found guilty may not have been. At least one was judged on her moral crimes (adultery) as much as the actual murder.
  • The author had done her research and it showed. The social comparisons were good and I think the most interesting aspect was the emerging position of women in both France and England during the 19th century.  There was good focus on the societal aspects of what may have caused these women to take, or consider taking, the ultimate solution to their woes.

Bad points:

  • The book jumped around a lot. All the time. It became hard to follow and sometimes wasn’t clear which case was being discussed. References to other cases made things more confusing.
  • The accounts were long and meandered. They became stories in their own right. Why is this bad? For a book that is meant to be a non-fic there was too much of the ‘newspaper’ style telling. Give me the facts – if I want a fiction on the subject I’ll read historical fic about the cases.
  • There were quite a few formatting issues.

I just couldn’t really get into the long, often dry accounts of the crimes. It’s a shame because the sociological side of the book was interesting for the most part. If the book had been more structured then the rating would have been higher.

 

Review – Poisoned Lives: English Poisoners and Their Victims – Crime/History/English History

Poisoned Lives: English Poisoners and their Victims – by Katherine Watson

Synopsis

From Mary Ann Cotton, the Victorian serial murderess, to Dr Crippen, poisoners have attracted a celebrity unmatched by violent killers. Secretly administered, often during a family meal, arsenic (the most commonly-used poison) led to a slow and agonising death, while strychnine (with its characteristic bitter taste) killed very quickly. Poisoned Lives is the first history of the crime to examine poisoning and its consequences as a whole. Unwanted husbands, wives or lovers, illegitimate babies, children killed for the insurance money, relatives, rivals and employers were amongst the many victims of these calculating killers. Difficult to detect before 1800, poison undoubtedly had its heyday in the nineteenth century. In response to many suspected cases, forensic tests were developed that made detection increasingly likely, and the sale of poisons became more tightly controlled. Because of this, twentieth-century poisoning has become a crime largely associated with medical professionals including, most recently, Dr Harold Shipman, the world’s most prolific serial killer.

5 stars

Many of the true crime books focus solely on the murders themselves, as one would expect. Usually the same twenty or so crimes are discussed and not often in detail. This book is different. Over 500 cases from 19th century to the early 20th century are included, although many as comparisons and not in detail. That said the author does a great job of discussing the ‘whys and wherefores’ of the crimes – the societal aspects, how they changed, the rise of the police force, and the increased awareness of poisoning as a crime. Before the 1900s sanitary conditions amongst the poor were dire, life expectancy short and infant mortality high. Many of the cases discussed, and the situations covered reflect this – people poisoning as to not have another mouth to feed, to get a few pounds from the ‘burial clubs’ which sprang up, ostensibly to help the poor, and the new ‘life insurance’ schemes which abounded. Poisoning is viewed as the most despicable of crimes; usually it is a slow and very painful process, and often the perpetrator is well known to the victim – spouse, parent, servant, nurse/doctor. It’s easy to judge by the modern standards when life expectation is relatively high, health provision freely available (in the UK at least), a social security system, divorce attainable, much less stigma on illegitimacy and very few people are truly desperately poor. Oh and poison is much harder to get. But one must realise that sometimes disposal of an unwanted, violent spouse, was the only way out some people could see. There were simply no viable alternatives.

Watson discusses the changing views and social ideas – the emerging rights of women; ideas pertaining towards mental illness; religious and moral ideology and the rise of the forensic scientist, the role of the coroner and much more. It’s a potted history which changes vastly over time.  This, I think, is the most fascinating aspect. There is no sensationalisation of the cases – which sometimes appears in books on true crime – the subjects are dealt with in a sympathetic way. It’s a book of tragedy – lost lives, destroyed lives, desperation and the depths of human misery, but there is also hope. Murder by poison is rare now and more easily diagnosed. And society is not as brutish, or terrifying as once it was for the common person.

Well researched, well argued and highly interesting I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in true crime, 19th Century history, the rise of science and the social reasons for crime.

 

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Marcelle Dube – Mystery – Winter Warmer Bundle

Author name: Marcelle Dubé / The Tuxedoed Man

Winter Warmer Cover Fan

*Please tell us about your publications.  I’ve written and published many short stories, much to my surprise. I always thought of myself as primarily a novelist, but in recent years, I’ve written more and more short stories, sometimes at the request of a publisher or to meet a thematic need, but more often because an idea got caught in my head and wouldn’t shake loose until I wrote it down.

My novels range from fantasy to mystery to modern gothic to “women’s thrillers.” I find that no matter the flavour of the novel, most of my stories end up with a mystery at their heart. For instance, Backli’s Ford features an alien species trying to fit in on earth, but really the story is a murder mystery at the heart of a greater conspiracy. Then the Mendenhall Mysteries (including The Tuxedoed Man) are straightforward mysteries

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Definitely a pantser. I’ve tried many techniques for writing novels and learned that plotting is not for me. I’ve written beautiful plot outlines and never wrote the novels because I didn’t see the point. I’d already written the story. As a pantser, I never really know what’s going to happen next, and that keeps me on my toes. Of course, it also means a lot of backtracking to take a different path.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t do it. Step away from the keyboard. Don’t freak out the reviewers. They’re entitled to their opinions, whether they love your story, or hate it.

How do you deal with bad reviews? ::big sigh::  Every time I see a bad review, I have to go find my big girl panties and put them on. Then I get over it.

Sort these into order of importance:

  1. Great characters

Character is all. Period.

  1. Good plot

A close second to great characters. You need great characters, in a good story.

  1. Awesome world-building

Setting matters. Your reader has to be able to see, smell and hear the setting, whether it’s a house in a Canadian suburb or a generation ship heading for a new planet.

  1. Technically perfect:

Well, what the heck is that? I’ve never seen it and doubt I’ll ever achieve it. As long as I write a good story that resonates with my readers, I’m happy.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I don’t really like to research but I am driven by insecurity. When I wrote Ghosts of Morocco, I did a *ton* of research. I’d never been there, was unfamiliar with the geography, politics, culture, languages… I have no idea why I set half the story there, but that’s where it had to be, so I researched.

The wildest subject I’ve looked at? To date, artificial bovine insemination. You wouldn’t believe how they go about it…

What’s the best piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Apply seat of pants to seat of chair. As in, don’t wait for “inspiration.” Write every day and exercise that writing muscle.

What is your writing space like? I have a ridiculously large bedroom, so I use a corner of it for my writing space. I use a long, narrow table and prop my laptop up on the Canadian Encyclopedia. On the wall in front of me are small cork boards with various cards, sayings and photos that inspire me. From the vantage of my writing chair, I can see the roofs of the houses across the way, and above them, Haeckel Hill and its windmills.

Tell us about your latest piece? I’ve just published The Forsaken Man, the fifth in my Mendenhall Mystery series featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams and her intrepid band of constables. I’m not really sure how I ended up with a series. It started with The Shoeless Kidand I found that I really liked the characters of the small police detachment in Mendenhall, Manitoba. Technically, the series is a police procedural, but it is very much character driven and feels “cozy.”

What’s your next writing adventure? Right now, I’m working on my second A’lle Chronicles mystery. The first one, Backli’s Ford, introduced the reader to Constance A’lle:

In the early 1700s, an A’lle generation ship crashed in the woods of Lower Canada. Survivors stumbled out of the wreckage to find French settlers working the land. While many of the colonists sheltered the injured A’lle, some reacted with fear and loathing. Two centuries later, nothing much has changed.

This is the world Constance, first A’lle investigator for Lower Canada, must deal with when she investigates the beating death of an A’lle boy in the small village of Backli’s Ford.

Set in 1911, Backli’s Ford follows Constance as she survives an ambush that would have killed a human, fights prejudice in the constabulary, and discovers a terrible secret that risks destroying the delicate balance that has endured for two centuries between A’lle and humans.

The second book, tentatively titled Plague, follows Constance and her sister Gemma as they work to discover who is murdering A’lle, and try to prevent a smallpox epidemic.

What is the last book you’ve read? Glass Houses, by Louise Penny—one of my favourite mystery writers. Right now, I’m halfway through Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck and while I’m getting a little freaked out, I can’t seem to put it down…

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I don’t think readers care if an author is indie published or traditionally published. As long as the cover is well designed and the story well written and well edited, why should they? Nobody buys their books based on who the publisher is. At least, I don’t.

Links:

Web: www.marcellemdube.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcelleDube

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcelle.dube.3

Bio:

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her novels are published by Falcon Ridge Publishing and Carina Press, and her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Learn more about her and her published work at http://www.marcellemdube.com.

The Tuxedoed Man appears in Winter Warmer Bundle

Tales of the Seasons – volume 1

Winter Warmer on Bundle Rabbit

Winter Warmer on Amazon

Winter Warmer on Nook

Winter Warmer on I-tunes

Winter Warmer on Kobo

Swift Six Author interview – Louisa Swann – #HeroicTales #SFF #Paranormal

 

Heroic Tales - Fan setName: Louisa Swann

What attracts you to the genre in which you write?

I tend to write in three genres: mystery, science fiction, and fantasy. I’m drawn to these genres as I’m drawn to the same things in real life: I love a good mystery, am fascinated by science and inventions, and am enthralled by magic and magical creatures.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?

“Go where your obsessions take you.” (Neil Gaiman)

I still have difficulty with this one. Writing about my obsessions in whatever form means stepping outside my comfort zone, but my best stories come from doing just that.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you choose?

Neil Gaiman. Not only do I love his writing, he’s had some really interesting “adventures” (i.e. visiting refugee camps). Would love to pick his brain!

 Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?

Dr. Seuss J. Not only did I devour Dr. Seuss books as a child, I channelled that writing style when I wrote my first poems and stories!

 Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?

I think ebooks will coexist side by side with print and audio for the immediate future. Personally, if I really like a book, I end up with all three versions. As our dependence on non-renewable resources decreases, however, I believe ebooks and audio will become more prevalent, though I think print books will always be around.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

Stephen King’s Duma Key. I love the visuals King evokes in this book as well as the way the main character transitions after his accident.

Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival. Might as well have a book that’s practical as well as being interesting to read!

One of Patrick F. McManus’s books, probably The Night the Bear Ate Goombaw. Love this author’s sense of humor regarding everything outdoors and being on a desert island would probably need a touch of humor or three!

GirlWithTheCandyCaneLegs-v3-B (1).jpg

Author bio and book synopsis

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):

I grew up in the wilds of the Sierra Nevada mountains, surrounded by deer and beaver, muskrat and bear, all of which provided ample fodder for my equally wild imagination. As an adult, I spin those childhood experiences into tales that span multiple genres, including fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and my newest love—steampunk. My short stories have appeared in Mercedes Lackey’s Elementary Magic and Valdemar anthologies; Esther Friesner’s Chicks and Balances; and several Fiction River anthologies, including the newest Reader’s Choice. I have a new steampunk/weird west novel series, Abby Crumb, debuting this summer.

 

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)

A little background: I am not a vampire fan. Vampires give me nightmares. But another word of writing advice from David Morrel (and Stephen King) has to do with writing about what scares you. So I tried to figure out how I could write about vampires. As often happens to me, my mind went to humor and the ridiculous: What if a bicycle cop was stalked by a vampire dwarf with a fetish for muscular calves? “The Girl With the Candy Cane Legs,” an urban fantasy, is the result!

Summary:

Three months ago, the gates to the Otherside failed, flooding the normal world with creatures both supernatural, demonic, and just plain weird.

Diane Swift, a bicycle cop with thighs of iron, calves of steel, and the ability to see the strange monsters infiltrating her world, keeps the beaches and her city safe from scumbags. Then someone steals her patrol bike along with a bag of fossilized fairies.

And Diane ends up patrolling the beach with a partner straight out of a lunatic’s nightmare.

Fast and furious, wet and wild, “The Girl with the Candy Cane Legs” delivers a rollicking adventure where almost anything goes.

 

Links

http://www.louisaswann.com

 

Social media

https://www.facebook.com/SwannWriter/

 The book also appears in Heroic Tales – Bundle

BundleRabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/heroic-tales

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/heroic-tales

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2u33Tfd

I books https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1257100962

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073T45HYB/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073T45HYB/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review – 1888 – London Murders in the Year of the Ripper

1888 – London Murders in the Year of the Ripper by Peter Stubley

#truecrime #LondonHistory #JacktheRipper

1888 is a year that entered history for all the wrong reasons – the Autumn of Terror was the time the unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of London. But these were not the only crimes in what was then the capital of the British Empire, and the primary trading port of the world.

This fascinating book recounts a whole year of killings; some were done in pitiful desperation, some for the usual reasons – greed or love, some were done on the spur of the moment, some were done in madness but all were tragic in their own way. In part this is a social commentary – almost all the killers and the majority of the victims were poor. This was a time without many rights for women or children, domestic violence was very common, families were often large and money was scarce. In, what was arguably, the most civilised city on Earth, life was cheap and crime was rife.

Most of these tragic tales are little known – forgotten by time, and overshadowed by the Ripper’s crimes. This is the first time I have seen some of these outlined, and I read a lot of true crime. The author deals with the subject sympathetically, non-judgementally and references particular articles, laws, biographies etc. It’s obvious a lot of research was done to select these accounts and to present them accurately, and in the context of the time. In the case of the Ripper, the author does not speculate on a possible perpetrator, as many crime writers do, he simply presents the facts and states that no one was ever identified as Jack the Ripper.

Overall I’d recommend this to readers of Victorian history, true crime, British history and those interested in the social commentary of the time.

5 stars

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15931984-1888

Author Interview 107 – Dean Mayes – Paranormal/Thriller

Welcome to Dean Mayes.

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born and raised in country Victoria, Australia. In the mid 90’s, after I completed my degree in Nursing, I moved to Adelaide in South Australia and I’ve been living there ever since.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My writing has crossed genres since I was first published back in 2010. My debut, “The Hambledown Dream” (2010, Central Avenue Publishing) was a romantic fiction novel with a paranormal undercurrent that explored reincarnation. My follow up novel “Gifts of the Peramangk” (2012, Central Avenue Publishing) was a more literary fiction/coming of age story about an Aboriginal child prodigy living here in Adelaide. For my upcoming novel “The Recipient” (2016, Central Avenue Publishing), I have gone in the direction of an action oriented psychological thriller but I have reintroduced a paranormal theme relating to organ donors and their recipients.

Where do you find inspiration? Inspiration comes from many places and it is usually unexpected. I find that if I go looking for inspiration, it is rare that I find it. “The Recipient” was actually inspired by a very intense and vivid nightmare where I was witnessing a violent assault and then, at one point, I couldn’t discern between whether I was witnessing it or whether I was actually experiencing it myself. When I woke from the nightmare, I madly began scribbling as much as I could remember down in a notebook I keep beside my bed. Before too long, I had the rudimentary beginnings of what has become “The Recipient”.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? I think that all my characters have been favorite – especially when I have been in the thick of writing them. Casey Schillinge, my protagonist in “The Recipient” has definitely been the most interesting character to write because there are several facets to her persona that make her complex. She is highly intelligent and technically savvy and she is also stubborn and dogged. When she latches onto something – a suspicion or a gut feeling – she will follow it through to the end, despite encouragement from others to slow down. She is also pragmatic and empirical which makes the nightmares she experiences at the beginning of the novel so frightening for her. She cannot quantify them so they knock her off balance.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? I actually don’t. All of my characters are created in service to whatever story I am telling and their roles are important. If I infuse my characters with a certain level of evil or “badness”, there is a context to that which I value.

Are your characters based on real people? Some of them are. Over time, I have infused some of my characters with the qualities and mannerisms of people who have been and are important in my life. I like to be able to do that because I think it gives them more gravitas, it makes them more real to life and tactile.

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off?Maybe peripheral characters but, in the main, all of the characters I have created have remained integral to my works.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? I do! Even with the more fantastical story writing I have done, the importance of creating a real world feel cannot be understated.

“The Hambledown Dream” featured the dual settings of Chicago in the United States and the South Coast of New South Wales here in Australia. I’m familiar with the South Coast because I spent a lot of time there growing up so it wasn’t a stretch to recreate that in the novel. For Chicago, I did a lot of visual research into things like the architecture and the socio-economics of the inner northern suburbs which is where a lot of the early part of that novel takes place. I also have friends living in that part of the city so I had eyes and ears on the ground there and they were great in helping to visualize the feel of the city. And then there were subjects like cancer which required me to refresh my knowledge about disease process and treatment modalities. I have been an Intensive Care Nurse for over a decade now so I was able to tap into a lot of resources in order to bring that to life in the novel.

For “Gifts of the Peramangk”, I spent about a year on pure research into the White Australia policy and the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Australians. These remain sensitive subjects in our national conversation and I didn’t want illustrate anything in the novel that would disrepect the gravity of those issues. Additionally, I spent a lot of time researching the Peramangk people. This is a nation state in our Aboriginal nation for which not a lot is known, so I needed to ensure that I could present them in such a way that was respectful and authentic.

In “The Recipient” I have returned to a more medically oriented story so here I tapped into a number of resources in the field of transplant surgery and after care. Getting that aspect of the story right was important because it allowed me to introduce the paranormal elements seamlessly. Some of the early feedback I’ve had from medical professionals has been really positive in that they were totally convinced of the possibilities of what I was throwing up. Police procedure also featured heavily in the novel and so here I talked to a number of law enforcement agencies here in Australia and they were really grand in helping me to portray procedures accurately.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? I don’t set out to convey a message in my writing. I am more compelled to create a really good and satisfying story. If I were to consider it though, “Gifts of the Peramangk” probably contains the most powerful message that says no matter who you are, if you apply yourself and you work hard, you can achieve anything. It’s not a conscious message on my part though. I think it depends on the topic and the motivation of the writer as to whether a message is important to impart in a work of fiction.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) For me, great characters are the kernel of great story writing. If I can believe in the characters then I can believe in the story. How they see the world influences the world building aspect so I guess world building is the next most important aspect. The plot has to be solid of course. For me, the plot of my stories is set out in a rudimentary fashion when I begin and I allow my characters and their motivations – to an extent – to drive the story forward. Technical perfection comes afterwards but it is no less important for me than any of the others. It is just that this is how I write and how I edit so I guess I am setting out my process in the steps that I follow. I won’t release a product until I know that it is technically perfect.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Presently – print and digital. My publisher and I have focused on these two branches of the market primarily because of production costs and the obvious reach of those branches. Audio is attractive to me but the production costs are prohibitive right now. If I were to attain significant success that would allow me to invest in audio production, I would definitely consider it.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do! It’s one of my OCD quirks! I have gotten better at focusing on pure writing, getting the words and the ideas onto the page but I still go back often and review and refine. I really enjoy the editing process and regard it as one of the most important aspects of writing. Professional editing is essential to a good end product and I do believe a book that has not been professionally edited suffers in the long run. That is a lesson I have learned through experience.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? I think they are. It comes down to the sad fact that, with the explosion in self publishing, we’ve seen all manner of people producing works featuring varying levels of quality. It is a sad fact that many of those works have come from self published authors who have not invested the time and the money in having their work professionally edited and proofed before proceeding to publication and they do themselves a disservice because of it. That said, poor editing and proofing is not confined to self published authors. I was reading a book just last month (January, 2016) from one of the major publishing houses and I came across several instances of grammatical errors, poor sentence construction and confusing paragraphs. So poor editing is not confined to self published authors by any stretch.

Do you read work by self-published authors? I have. There are several self published authors whose work I really admire and have returned to subsequently. It is clear to me that they have invested in their work to ensure they have produced the best product possible.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? When I started out, I did read and comment on reviews but I don’t anymore. I think an author runs the risk of being misinterpreted in their responses to reviews and I have seen cases where and author has responded in a respectful manner to a review and it has been totally taken out of context. I keep myself at arms length from reviews now.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? No. I usually pick up a book based on a recommendation or if something about the title or the liner notes strikes me as interesting. I’ll avoid reviews because many of them will contain spoilers and that it definitely a killer for me.

What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? I’m really not sure about that one so I’ll just say that I don’t have a view.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? Books work on a subconscious level and they fire our imagination in ways that a video game or movie can’t. I requires effort and engagement to ‘see’ the world an author has created whereas a game or movie presents it to you in all its technicolour glory. That said – I am a casual gamer and I love movies  soooo…does that cancel my answer out?

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas and notes as they come to you – and only write in pencil. Forget about social media, word counts, group discussions and marketing advice and just write.

Have a basic story structure but don’t be dictated by it. The is more than one way to get from Point A to Point B.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? Marketing should be all about the Pull. In the first instance, you should a have product that is professionally edited and proofed. You should have a website that is simple but engaging. It should reflect a little bit about you and the information there should be concise and easy to find. Pick three social networking platforms and stick to those. Don’t allow yourself to be overrun by the false notion that you have to be everywhere and across everything. It will not make you happy and you’ll end up resenting it.

Don’t Push! Don’t Facebook or Tweet or G+ incessantly with “BUY MY BOOKS” You will find yourself muted or blocked or even reported. Social Networking/Marketing should be all about building relationships and, in the first instance, you shouldn’t even mention your works. If you’ve structured you platform correctly, you’ll have relevant links that are easy to see and find. If your connection wants to discover more about you, they will.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I just finished a gorgeous romance novel set here in Australia called “Summer Harvest” by Georgina Penney. It was just a joy to read.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? I keep returning to the works of John Jackson Miller who has writted a lot in the Star Wars universe. He is a really great author. I don’t have a favorite indie but I do read a lot of them.

What are your views on authors offering free books? I think it is an essential part of an author’s marketing strategy and I will often do giveaways. This should be dictated by cost/benefit considerations as each author will have flexibility in what they can offer as to what they can’t.

Do you have a favourite movie? Two words = Star Wars.

Do you have any pets? My writing partner is a spaniel named Sam.

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing? I’m not sure if I should answer that question. I will say that I did learn a lot from it and I did use it in my writing.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I love romance novels.

Links to Dean Mayes:

 

Official Website: http://www.deanfromaustralia.com

Publisher’s Website: http://centralavenuepublishing.com

Facbook: https://www.facebook.com/Dean-Mayes-The-Hambledown-Dreamer-263088081779/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hambledown_Road

 

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