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Interview with Author Nicola Marsh                          06.10.21

Nicola Marsh has written a whopping 77 page-turning thrillers and her novel released on 23rd August 2021, The Liar Next Door does not disappoint.  Check out my blog review.  


Do you plot your book, or are you a pantser?


I tend to do a rough plot at the start, mainly getting to know my characters and a few scenes that need to happen. Then I pants it, so I consider myself a plantser!


If you could describe your latest novel in three words, what would they be?


Banter. Fireworks. Reunion.


Of all of the books that you’ve written, is there one that holds a special place in your heart?


The Boy Toy, because a lot of me is in that book: multicultural physiotherapist heroine with fertility issues, set in Melbourne and the hero has a stutter, something I’ve tried to hide my whole life but made public via this book.


Is anything in your books based on real life experiences?


A lot of the places in my books have been researched first hand (especially the restaurants!). I’ve already mentioned there’s much of me in The Boy Toy, and in the sequel The Man Ban, the heroine has vitiligo, an auto immune disease that I was diagnosed with a few years ago so a lot of Harper’s experience with that is based on real life.


Some writers have ideas in the strangest places, where do you have your best ideas?


Just before having a nap. It’s scientifically proven that when our mind enters that pre-sleep state, ideas can flow and it works for me every time.


What repeating themes do you find yourself pulling into your stories?


I love a good second chance story so that seems to be a recurring theme for me.


What is the funniest typo or error you’ve ever written?


Oooh, tough one. My new book SUMMER OF SERENITY, releasing September 29th, has the hero’s name misprinted on the cover blurb. So that’s thousands of copies shipped to bookstores. I need to pay closer attention to final proofs next time!


Have you allowed yourself to be influenced by your readers’ opinions of your characters?

No, because by the time I hear reader opinions the book is already published.


What is the best thing about being an author?


The flexibility of working hours, being able to work from home and be your own boss, and knowing that so many people are being swept away in a fantasy I’ve created. I’m an avid reader so I know that feeling well.


Who is the most supportive person in your life when it comes to your writing?


Hubby is my sounding board. Not for ideas, but usually when things aren’t going too well!


How do you wind down?


Binge-watching Netflix shows or reading.


Is there anything you’d like to add?


You can find me everywhere on social media and I’d love for you to follow me on Amazon, BookBub, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I’m new to TikTok and loving it!

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Nicola Marsh

Interview with Thriller Author Sarah Clarke             20.08.21

Sarah Clarke's page-turning debut psychological thriller A Mother Never Lies is due for release on the 27th August 2021 available on the link at the bottom of the interview.  Another sensational read, see my blog review.

What motivated you to begin your first novel?


I actually began four novels over three decades before I managed to finish one. It was my childhood dream to become a novelist but life got in the way for quite a while. When my youngest child started secondary school, I had a bit more free time and I promised myself that I would use it to write. A year later I had finally finished a novel.


If you could describe your novel in three words, what would they be?


Intriguing, unnerving (at times) and emotional.


Please tell me about the idea behind the book, its planning and its significance to you.


It’s hard to answer this question fully without giving away some of the plot. But the idea came when I read an article about adoption, and the permanence of it – even if the reason that instigated it is resolved over time. As a mother, this apparent discord really struck me.


You’re hosting a literary dinner party, which four authors would you invite (alive or dead)?


It’s hard to choose but I think George Orwell, Margaret Atwood and David Attenborough would be a good mix. And for my fourth guest, Gregory David Roberts because I’d love to know how much of Shantaram is autobiographical.


How do you come up with names for your characters?


It takes me much longer than it should to settle on names for my main characters. Phoebe is named after the sister of a girl I was at school with whose parents were a mix of posh, artistic and eccentric – just like Flora and Paul.


Which would you rather do : Never write another story or never read another book?


If I had to choose, I would never write another story. I love reading so much, and I’m not sure my stories would be much good if I wasn’t being educated and inspired by other books.


If your book was being made into a blockbuster film, who would you choose to play the lead characters? 


My kids love this game! I think Suranne Jones would make a great Phoebe and Tom Hardy would be perfect as Dan. And my daughter wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t suggest Tom Holland for Ben.


Do you have any projects coming up that you are particularly excited about?


I have just finished my first draft for Book 2 which I’m really excited about. It’s another family based psychological thriller with a few more twists and turns. I’ve also worked out my premise for Book 3 and will be writing that over the autumn and winter, so my writing is definitely keeping me busy at the moment.


What was the moment like when you got your book deal?


I was home alone when I received my offer. It was March 2021, and only a few days after full lockdown ended so after months of being surrounded by my family, I didn’t have anyone to celebrate the moment with! But I played Mr Brightside really loudly and picked up my dog – and the two of us danced around the kitchen like crazy things.


What’s the most useful advice you could give to an aspiring author


I have two pieces of advice :) Firstly, the most valuable tip that my tutor from Faber Academy (Julia Crouch) gave me. A Mother Never Lies is written in a mix of first person and close third person, and Julia reminded me that I needed to ‘be’ my character – not just in how they spoke and acted, but in how they thought, and viewed the world around them. As a copywriter for whom words are everything, this was a lightbulb moment for me – to put character before my urge to write beautiful prose. And secondly, I would say don’t try to do it all on your own. Take a course, join a writing group, use an editor if you can afford to, find a mentor if you can. Your book will always be yours, but other people can help you make it better.


Is there anything you’d like to add?


I am really proud of my debut, but it is still nerve-wracking to know ‘strangers’ are going to be reading it in a week’s time. That’s why it’s so brilliant to have reviews like the one you’ve given me Jane. So I would just ask that if your followers enjoy reading A Mother Never Lies it would be amazing if they could leave a review on Amazon, or even contact me via my website to let me know.

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Sarah Clarke

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'I read Jane A Hobden’s first book, The Hartford Inheritance, so was thrilled to see she has a second book out. It definitely was worth the wait! The format is something I have never come across before, start to finish I was gripped, so much so I couldn’t put it down ! If you want a gripping thriller with no idea what is going to happen then this is the book for you. A truly inspirational author, I can’t wait for her next book.


Also available as an eBook £2.99 at Amazon Kindle - Guilty eBook: Hobden, Jane A: Kindle Store

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Interview with Thriller Author Michelle Dunne         02.07.21

Michelle Dunne is an Irish Author.  Her fabulous third novel, While Nobody is Watching was released on the  27th June 2021 available on the link at the bottom of the interview.  Another sensational read, see my blog review.

What drew you towards writing?


It’s not something I gave a lot of thought to when I was younger actually, but I suppose I’ve always been a bit of a story teller. I used to be (and still am sometimes) prone to minor disasters, which always make for a good yarn! I think putting stories on paper was just a natural progression for me. Plus I find writing very therapeutic!


Did you enjoy writing when you were a child?


During my school years, essay writing was where I came into my own. I always went far beyond the required word count and became totally engrossed in the story that I was telling. It didn’t occur to me at that time that I could make a career out of writing, but yes, I loved it.


Which author shaped your childhood?


My earliest memories are of my mother reading ladybird books to us as young children. Alibaba and the Forty Thieves and The Elves and the Shoemaker were my favourites. Later on, Marian Keyes reignited my love for books with Rachel’s Holiday after a bit of a hiatus during my teens!


What motivated you to begin your first novel?


I remember telling a group of friends once about one disaster or another that I was involved in and one of them (who’d heard quite a few of these stories) laughed and said, “you should write a book.’ As ridiculous as it sounds, that’s when the idea first entered my head! I thought, hmm, maybe I will. And here I am!


Do you plot your book, or are you a pantser?


I’m a total Pantser, in every way! That said, I’ll always start with at least one strong and fully formed character. Then I just start writing their life. When I sit at my laptop, the words just flow and the story comes to me faster than my fingers can type. I find this really exciting. It’s like when you pick up a new book and get dragged into it from the first page. You can’t wait to see what will happen next and what will become of this character that you love. That’s how I feel when I’m writing and that’s how my stories develope.


What is your average writing day?


I don’t have one! My life is jam packed at the moment and I’m also a mother to a toddler. Its chaos. But I never leave home without my laptop and I’m very lucky that I can write just about anywhere once I have some peace and quiet. In a nutshell my writing “schedule” is to write when and where I can.


How much of your personality is wrapped up in your novels?


I think all writers leave a bit of themselves on the page. But I get so much inspiration from others who are far more interesting than I am. I live vicariously through my characters!


If you could describe your latest novel in three words, what would they be?


It’s been called an engrossing psychological thriller – I like those three words!


Do you have any projects coming up that you are particularly excited about?


I’ve just finished the follow-up Lindsey Ryan novel! It’s called The Invisible and I’m really excited about that. It’s due out early next year. Also I’ve been having some very exciting conversations about possibly bringing Corporal Lindsey Ryan to the small screen, which would be amazing.


What is the best thing about being an author?


I write for the sheer love of it. I love when a new character pops into my head and their story starts to quickly develop around them. Or when a new storyline comes to mind for a character that I already know and love. The kind of excitement and passion that I feel for writing isn’t easy to come by in life and I relish it. Also, there’s nothing nicer than reading a good review of your book. This tells you that someone else enjoyed it as much as you did. That you’ve done something right and brought some entertainment and enjoyment to another person. That’s a great feeling.


Is there anything you’d like to add?


While Nobody Is Watching came into the world during a year like no other. Bookshops were closed and life took a surreal turn for most. But book sellers, book bloggers and book lovers showed the world just how invaluable they are. They rekindled the book love for so many people and kept the world informed about the next “must read”. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for that.

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Michelle Dunne

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"You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write."

- Annie Proulx

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

- Maya Angelou

"Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession and therefore are most economical in its use"

- Mark Twain