Fossend Publishing

Fossend Publishing

Monday, 11 December 2017

Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore

Today I welcome Celia Moore to the Fossend Publishing blog to talk about her debut book Fox Halt Farm.

Set over two decades - with dramatic countryside as its backdrop, Fox Halt Farm is an emotive read with enthralling characters but it is set two hundred years after Poldark, in 1986. The author has a compelling series all mapped out for Fox Halt Farm, a dairy farm on the outskirts of Okehampton whose survival is constantly threatened. Fox Halt Farm is the debut novel from Devon author Celia Moore.

Q: For our readers, who is Celia Moore
I am an author and I will/have publish/ed my debut novel Fox Halt Farm on November 1st. It’s a romantic and contemporary novel by the way. I live near Exeter with Paul (who is the most patient and encouraging husband you could wish to meet) and we have a Jack Russell cross border terrier puppy called Tizzy. 
I grew up on a farm near Whiddon Down, where we could see Dartmoor in one direction and Exmoor in another, we had a dairy farm but my family struggled until we sold a major part of it. The cows were sold too but we did save a few fields for ourselves and we built a new house. My father worked in the North Tawton Cheese Factory after that. He gave up the only way of life he knew but he always said that in a way, it was a relief because he had a regular wage and he loved the camaraderie of his workmates too. Mum kept a few animals but we rented out most of the remaining land. The family farm was gone and I decided working in property was a far safer option. Few of the small farms I remember from my childhood remain now. 
I have worked as a chartered surveyor, outdoor instructing and I now garden in the summer, blacksmith in the winter - and I write in all the times in between. 

Q: What inspired Fox Halt Farm? And what can readers expect? 
The main characters arrived in my head one night with the basic outline of their relationships, and journey too. I just couldn’t stop thinking about them so I just felt I was providing their voices. Once I had the outline, ideas took on a life of their own. 
Although we had a dairy farm this is not an autobiography – Fox Halt Farm is a compelling story about people I created in my mind – they are not perfect, they are scarred and flawed and like all of us, they are striving to find happiness. The emotive book begins in 1986 - Billy May and her family are struggling to keep their dairy farm – Fox Halt Farm is just outside Okehampton and the beloved cows are in the danger of being sold. At this time, Richard MarcFenn is running a thriving multinational business in London. When Billy and Richard’s different worlds collide (in an unexpected way) there are catastrophic consequences for them, their families and their friends. This is a love story spanning twenty years with a cast of intriguing individuals who are all enmeshed in heartbreak, manipulation and secrets. 

Q: Has it been a challenge writing from a male character’s perspective?
The story is told from both Billy and Richard’s perspective and at first, it felt impossible to convey a male viewpoint but I came to see that men and women all have the same feelings and experiences but society, their upbringing and their peers shape how they behave. The different ways men and women deal with their emotions fascinates me. 

Q: Why a romance novel? 
I love talking to people and hearing their intricate stories. Besides, who doesn’t love love! 

Q: Which authors have most influenced your journey to write your novel? And do you have friends who are authors? Have they helped you too?
For influencing, I would say Beth Webb – I love her inspiring tales full of magic and myths. Agatha Christie – for her multifaceted characters and intrigue. Maeve Binchy – for family insight. And Jilly Cooper – for her pure escapism. I enjoy thrillers and autobiographies too. I love dipping into other worlds but these four are my all-time favourites – if the book has any of their names on the front I know I can rest assured I am in for an interesting and enthralling tale. 

As far as knowing authors personally, my dear friends Beth Webb and Jessica Redland have been there since day one with advice, guidance, suggestions, support and endless encouragement. 

Q: Who would you get to play Billy and Richard in a movie? And is there anything you would like to say to them if you had met them back in 1986? 
That is a difficult question to answer. I think the beauty of literature and reading is that it fuels your imagination and I would hate to take that away from my readers by describing actors who I think could portray them both. To Billy I would say, have hope. Maybe the future isn’t as bleak as it seems. And Richard, please stop trying to please everyone. It is okay to be yourself sometimes! 

Q: What research did you do for the world of Fox Halt Farm
I wrote form personal experience and then spent a lot of time researching on the internet. Then I talked to people involved with the situations and places I wanted to describe. At least my internet research gave me a basic understanding and I could then I check if things were true. Because not everything on the internet is entirely accurate. Apparently. 

Q: When do you write best? Certain times? Or when the inspiration strikes?
When the story first came to me, I turned to my husband and told him that I was desperate to write it. Paul has been my rock from the start and he said I had to do it – I wasn’t to live on regrets – wishing I should have done something. I just started writing immediately. Trying to get everything down as quickly as possible, from early mornings to late at night. After that, whenever I had a free moment, I tweaked and developed the story. 

Q: How did you select the names for your characters? 
I considered their ages and the popular names at the time. Billy, was Alicia for a long time but as her story developed, Billy fitted her personality so much better. Names and surnames changed as I wrote – for instance, if I thought they were so similar they might be confusing - and also I didn’t want them all starting with the same letter - there is still Janette and Jayne but that’s because no other names seem right for them! 

Q: Has writers block been an issue- this is your first novel? 
No. The whole journey of writing Fox Halt Farm has been an open road that I have followed. My novel seemed to write itself and I was just along for the ride! Plot and sub plot came easily and the characters evolved and developed as the story progressed. 

Q: What was the hardest thing about writing? 
Two things instantly come to mind, firstly pressing delete - whole paragraphs, which had taken ages to get just right, had to go - when I realised how they were superfluous or slowed the pace too much. Secondly, was actually stopping writing. I would be so caught up in the story and the flow of ideas, it would be easy to get carried away and discover it was the wee hours of the morning! 

Q: What has been your biggest surprise during this journey? 
That’s an easy question, the best surprise has been the endless support I have found around me. It seems everyone (even other authors) just want me to succeed- no matter what I needed to know – good advice came in spades. 

Q: Have you tried to make the story original or have you tried to deliver what your potential readers might like?
My story was wholly original but I have to say my wonderful editor looked at it and was blunt enough to tell me that some things needed changing. She said my original ending was like marmite, some people were really going to hate it and I would have to deal with that. I couldn’t deal with that thought at all and I am delighted with the ending of the novel now.  

Q: What advice would you give to other would-be writers? 
Writing a novel is hard work. The main thing for me, and every other writer I imagine, is determination. Never give up. 

Q: Does writing energise you or is it exhausting, especially with such a passionate story as Fox Halt Farm?
The writing is wonderful – breathing life into characters that you have fallen in love with - describing settings and plotting lives is exciting. The exhaustion comes from not letting go – it is easy to become consumed when you are on a roll. Living the emotions that characters themselves are experiencing can also stir up your own feelings. The housework never gets done and dinners get later so I do feel a little guilty for my ever-supportive husband having to fend for himself a little more!

Q: Why have you chosen to publish Fox Halt Farm independently? 
Put simply, creative control I think. This is my first novel and I had such a clear idea of the story I wanted to tell and how I wanted my characters to come alive in words. Of course, I still had a professional editor, who had extensive experience in the book world. Her help and advice were invaluable. 

Q: Would you do anything differently with hindsight? 
I gave my original manuscript to six people to read so that they could give me feedback. I wish I had listened to them more carefully but instead I toned their comments down to make them more palatable - I think I was too close to the story and it took a little while to be able to look at their suggestions more objectively and realise how useful their observations actually were. 

Q: When you are not writing what can you be found doing? 
Thinking about writing! I run (I am running the London Marathon in April 2018 and need to raise £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support. I love walking on Dartmoor, mountain biking on Haldon and enjoy spending time with my precious friends. 

Q: Which three people, alive or dead, would you invite to a dinner party? 
Amelia Earheart – such a courageous and inspiring woman, I expect she would have some incredible stories to tell. Stephen Fry – it would be an education and who else could provide such witty anecdotes, perfect for a dinner party. James Martin from Saturday Kitchen – because someone needs to cook! 

Q: What is next for Celia Moore
I need to keep finding time to write. I still have many characters in my head and I need to share their stories with the world. 

Q: What are your thoughts on writing a book series around Fox Halt Farm?
I have fallen in love with the people and the place and it will be wonderful to continue to develop the story. Everything I have written in this book will set me up for the next.  I would like to be the next Jessica Fletcher, where everyone she meets has read all of her books and is a fan! Perhaps less suspicious murders though! 

Quick fire Round
Q: Marmite  No way
Q: Cats or dogs  Dogs
Q: Facebook or Twitter – Facebook 
Q: AM or PM – definitely an early bird 
Q: Hoarder or minimalist  My family say Hoarder Emphatically 
Q: Book or Kindle  book
Q: Tomorrow or today – Carpe diem! 

About the author 

Born exactly fifty years ago, Celia has been creative ever since – from explaining why there are no chocolate biscuits left, to writing glowing particulars for ugly properties – from encouraging people to have a go at a scary abseil to oil painting and writing. She loves it all but especially the writing and her husband Paul! 
... Oh! she is also training hard for the London Marathon in April 2018 and planning to raise £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support ... she needs to run to work off some off the calories from all the cake her customers feed her! 

To learn more about Celia Moore, you can visit her Website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.  

Friday, 24 February 2017

Press release - 
Children of the Wise Oak

Ilfracombe based, Oliver Tooley is preparing to launch the sequel to “Children of the Wise Oak” which was published by Blue Poppy Publishing in 2016 after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Now we are preparing to launch the sequel “Women of the Wise Oak” which focuses on the journey of ‘Gwenn’ who featured in book one.
Following the previous successful formula, we are taking advance orders via crowdfunding; to cover the initial cost of editing, cover art, graphic design, and printing.

The whole project is based around using local suppliers. As was the case with the first book, the cover art will be by Iver Klingenberg, from Porlock in Somerset.

Original artwork for the first book, “Children of the Wise Oak”, painted by Iver Klingenberg. 

The editor is Sarah Dawes from Bishop’s Nympton, graphic design is by Andy Jones, also of Bishop’s Nympton. Cover by Andy Jones graphic design, Bishop’s Nympton. Printing is to be undertaken by Short Run Press in Exeter. Even the crowdfunding campaign is being hosted by Newquay based Crowdfunder.

There are a range of pledges and rewards from a pound to a thousand pounds. Because this is a sequel, anyone who is new to the series will find an opportunity to get hold of the first book at a heavily discounted price.
For example; £3 for the digital book and £4 for both digital books, or £10 for the paperback and £15 for both paperbacks (includes digital books, and postage)

For those with a bigger budget, £500 will get you the original fine artwork by Iver Klingenberg, in acrylic on canvas and approx. 50cm high, and if you have extra deep pockets and a wicked sense of humour, for £1000 Oliver has said he will dress up as a Victorian lady and hand out sweets in Ilfracombe High Street during Victorian Week. He is obviously confident that nobody will stump up that much money just to see him look foolish.
For more details, visit Crowdfunder.

Thanks for all your support

Blue Poppy Publishing

Friday, 10 February 2017

Blue Poppy Publishing with Oliver Tooley

Q: Welcome to the Fossend Publishing blog Oliver. Can you give readers a brief overview of Blue Poppy Publishing and your books.
A: Blue Poppy Publishing is a new publishing imprint, created to give my first full novel an air of respectability. As such it is merely a concept at the moment. A logo, a corporate image, and a collection of ISBNs.

Q: Why did you create Blue Poppy Publishing?
A: As previously alluded to, I was all ready to publish my first full novel “Children of the Wise Oak” when I looked at other self-publishing authors, notably Liz Shakespeare who uses an image of a red letterbox for her imprint “Letterbox Books” I liked the idea of having a “publisher” that wasn’t just … me.

So I asked around for suggestions for a name, and my son came up with Blue Poppy, in honour of my grandfather, Frank Kingdon-Ward who was a plant collector and brought back seeds of the Himalayan blue poppy in 1924.
Almost as soon as I had come up with the idea of Blue Poppy, it occurred to me that it could become a sort of Self-publishing hub for local authors. A sort of collective or co-operative where each author would add their weight of social media reach, and their own expertise to the group. I had learned a lot about formatting for Createspace, Kindle, and short print runs. I had to learn about distribution, and had bought 100 ISBNs because it was only twice as much as the price for 10. So I needed to find other writers who wanted to be part of the Blue Poppy family.
To that end, I put a page up on the website explaining the idea, and being up front about the fact that there is no money, just a certain amount of experience and a dream. 
The first author to come on board was Ben Blake, whose next book (his seventh to be published) will be a Blue Poppy publication. He is doing everything himself because he is already an old hand. All I am doing is providing the logo and ISBN. 
I also have a lovely and slightly crazy woman who is considering publishing her children’s stories through Blue Poppy. I’m really excited about that project because the stories are great fun, and also because she has less experience of formatting and publishing, so she will need some help.

Q: What inspired you to write your books?
A: Originally “Children of the Wise Oak” came from three little glittery dragons that my kids bought from a souvenir shop. Each had their favourite colour; blue, red, and green. I imagined creating a story in which the heroes were my boys who had to go on a quest where they would face a fierce elemental dragon to gain a magical jewel. It would have been an almighty cheese-fest, with every fantasy cliché jostling for position. Thankfully I gave up on it and my kids grew too old for it anyway. All that remains of the original concept is three boys, and their sister who bear hardly any resemblance to my four children except their gender, and age gaps.

The other series “Time Tunnel to Londinium” and others, was inspired by my youngest son who was bored in history classes. I set about trying to write a story which was fun but had real history as well. 

Q: Did any of your books involve research?
A: Loads.
When I started the “Time Tunnel” series I did loads of detailed research mostly on the internet, but occasionally finding specific books, and visiting the Museum of London, which features in the story. Later books involve trips to places that I have visited previously and wanted to highlight; e.g. Blists Hill Victorian village, and at some future point there will be a trip to Stanstead Mountfitchet castle.  

My research is, like me, haphazard, and random, but I get there in the end. I hate getting basic facts wrong, so I was furious when I realised the first published version of “Time Tunnel to Londinium” featured the London Wall, at a time about fifty years before the wall had been built. 
I had to rewrite large sections and release a new version. Perhaps decades from now; if I become famous, those early versions may be sought after collectors’ items. Ha-ha.

Similarly, I spent a day at a Celtic hill fort and met the Dumnonika re-enactors. I discovered that Celtic swords were always blunt tipped and only ever used for slashing. I realised I had made an error in “Children of the Wise Oak” in which someone was stabbed through a wattle and daub wall with a sword. It had to be a spear.

I would dearly love to do more hands on research; well, I would call it research. What I really mean is sipping chianti near the colosseum, or snorkeling in the Aegean but, you know; looking at old monuments now and again. 

Q: What do you enjoy the most about writing?
A: Finishing.
Also getting excited by something I’ve just written, and seeing others react to the best bits. 

Q: What do you dislike the most about writing?
A: I was going to say, starting, but actually, the worst thing is when you are actually in the zone and the words are flowing, but then you have to stop to check a fact, and the internet totally lets you down. 
Do you know, it seems nobody actually knows the name of the wife of Nicomedes IV of Bithynia? I mean, how does the name of a queen of an important country in Roman times manage to go unrecorded? Mind you, that’s the homocentric misogynistic world of the Roman Empire for you. 

Q: Can you share a typical day in the life of Oliver Tooley as a writer?
A: Oh, a typical day involves me getting up and observing the wife getting the kids ready for school. I fully intend to get on with some writing most days although in reality I spend a lot more time looking at Facebook, Twitter, and checking to see if someone bought a book today. I am a terrible procrastinator although to be fair, I do have to promote my existing books and getting a few sales does motivate me to get cracking with a sequel. 
I should perhaps explain that I am autistic (undiagnosed) two of my kids are diagnosed with autistic spectrum condition (as the professionals currently call it) and I am registered as my daughter’s carer.
Recently I introduced an autistic character to my “Time Tunnel” series. Maarten appears in book 4 “Time Tunnel to West Leighton” in which they find themselves transported back to Anglo-Saxon times. He features heavily in book five which I am writing now. 

Q: I understand that you are also writing a stage musical too? Can you tell us a little more about it?
A: Ooh yes. Well, we have written it already. ‘We’ refers to my son Morton, and me. The musical, called “Last Days” features the music of two of our favourite unsigned bands; Bison, and Tankus the Henge

We both agreed that the broad range of subject matter and the rock/ska/circus/showtunes-blend of both bands made them a really good candidate for being turned into a show. 
The hardest part was having the strength of character to include only the songs which helped convey the story. I would argue that some of the best songs from both artists didn’t make the cut, although there are still stacks of incredible tunes. 
The story centres around a circus troupe and an office and deals with themes of square pegs in round holes, and the different ways in which people find the right hole. 
It is packed with laughs, and tears, but everyone will leave feeling good and singing “Smiling Makes the Day Go Quicker” which is what I want from a musical. 
It is going to cost an absolute fortune to bring the musical to the stage, and we are starting easy by trying to record the soundtrack. 
We will be doing a crowdfunder to finance that. 
For more information, check out the Facebook page or Twitter account

Q: What’s next for Oliver Tooley?
A: I am currently well on the way to completing “Women of the Wise Oak” which follows the adventures of Gwenn, who was the guide to the boys in the first book. She is an interesting character in that she is both a warrior, and a fairly powerful mage. I decided from early on to make her mostly vegetarian, however, she surprised me by being a lesbian as well. This had not been part of the story arch, but when it happened it was really obvious and right. Besides, I certainly wasn’t about to tell her she couldn’t be. She’s six feet tall and knows how to use a sword. 
I am also working on book five in the “Time Tunnel” series, in which David is joined by his cousin Sarah (who also featured in book three) and his new friend, Maarten (who featured in book four) Maarten is the autistic character, and since he came into it, the books have got a lot better, in my humble opinion.
A little further into the future, I am working on a memoir of my great-grandmother and trying to turn that into a sort of Victorian novella, such as might have been written by a Bronte, or Dickens. (nothing like overarching ambition is there?) I am enlisting the help of my sister with that project, since she was an English teacher for many years, and she studied English literature to degree level. 

Quick fire round
Beach or countryside Fireside

EBook or paperback Both

Classic or modern Mostly classic but in books, no preference

Notebook and pen or computer What’s a pen?

Sun or Snow Primroses and falling leaves

Oliver’s books:
"Children of the Wise Oak” is ‘Historic Fantasy’ set in a (mostly) historically accurate Celtic Britain and Republican Rome, with fantasy elements overlaid. 
It tells of three young brothers who are forced to flee their village among the Durotriges tribe and travel through Gaul, guided by Gwenn; a warrior mage. They spend some time learning Druid lore, but their destiny is tied up with that of an unknown Roman. 
Gwenn takes the boys to Rome where they begin to comprehend the enormous task ahead of them. 
Part ‘coming of age’, part ‘quest’, the book can be read as a stand-alone story, but it is also part of an epic nine-part series. The sequel, “Women of the Wise Oak” concentrates on the adventures of Gwenn as she tracks the man who is prophesied to be a threat to her way of life. 

The “Time Tunnel” series are short ‘time slip’ books for younger readers, featuring a ten-year-old boy called David who routinely stumbles across tunnels which take him back to a specific point in history. In the first two stories, he finds himself in Roman Londinium, then in later books, he visits wartime Devon, Anglo-Saxon Suffolk, and coming soon, Victorian Shropshire. 
The idea of these books is to slip a bit of genuine social history into an otherwise fun story for children of junior school age. 

About the author:

Oliver absolutely hated writing in school. Holding a pen or pencil became painful after a very short time, and still does. He also found it really hard to write stories to order in half an hour. Yet now, being able to write when the mood takes him, he has written and published five books with at least two more due to be published in 2017. 
He has worked in a variety of jobs, including, retail, removals, driving, office installation, sales, and even a stint at a well-known burger chain. He blames his undiagnosed autism for the fact that he has rarely held on to a job for longer than a few months. 
He moved to Ilfracombe, Devon in 2011 where he now lives with his wife and four children, and divides his time between writing, stopping arguments, starting arguments, and correcting people’s grammar on Facebook.

To learn more about Blue Poppy Publishing visit the website, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter
To learn more about Oliver’s books go to his Amazon page, or follow him on Twitter.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Black Lord of Eagles by Ben Blake

Book Description:
The Ashir people believe they are alone in the world - until strangers come. The invading Thrain have weapons of strange metal, and ride beasts never seen before.
They have come to conquer. Anyone who looses them is killed. The Ashir gather to fight, but it soon becomes clear that their only hope lies with one man.
Kai, the hamachi, living servant of the Teacher God.

Kai has never heard the voice of his god, as hamachi are supposed to do. He doubts himself, despite the adulation of the people. But now he and the only two men the trusts must stand up to lead the resistance, against a terrible enemy with no mercy in them.

Q: Welcome to the Fossend Publishing blog Ben. Can you give readers a brief overview of your book Black Lord of Eagles.
A: Hi Chrissie. Black Lord tells the story of a culture that has always believed they’re alone in the world. Their founder god taught them civilization and he didn’t teach anyone else. They’ve never questioned this, it underlies everything they believe – and then strangers appear and attack them.

Q: What inspired you to write Black Lord of Eagles?
A: The story is very loosely based on the Spanish attack on the Inca in the 1530’s. Black Lord isn’t a history, it tells a story that might have happened in a similar world where magic is real. But that’s the inspiration. The Inca created an empire which spanned seven climate zones and was thousands of miles from end to end, and they held it together with stone age tools. They nearly held it together in the face of roughly half their people dying of smallpox and an invasion by people they never dreamed existed. I don’t know of anything quite as incredible anywhere in history.

Q: I understand that you created a Kickstarter campaign to enable publishing of Black Lord of Eagles, can you tell us a little more about it?
A: It didn’t work. But I’ll try again on GoFundMe or one of the other sites. I need the money for advertising and promotion. It’s tough being a struggling indie author!

Q: Did writing Black Lord of Eagles involve any research?
A: Oh blimey, yes. I needed to know what Inca society was like before the Spanish arrived, which meant research on everything from priests to language to diet. Did you know the Inca drank chicha beer at roadside hostels called machanas? They lost crops to atanqa beetles and ate guinea pigs and squirrels. I produced reams of notes and used only about one item in twenty. You can’t drown the text in detail, but I did want to put in enough to give a flavor of what that world was like.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about writing?
A: There are times when the research is done and the plot comes clear, and I’ll sit at the desk for an hour or two of writing. Then I feel a hunger pang, look at my watch and realise it’s 3am and I’ve been working for half the night. That feeling, when the words just flow with no effort or sense of passing time, is close to utopia.

Q: What do you dislike the most about writing?
A: Editing. Ugh.

Q: Can you share a typical day in the life of Ben Blake as a writer?
A: I usually write in the evenings. That’s unusual for a writer, it seems, but it works for me. My day-to-day job is over, my daughter’s in bed, and there’s nothing left to distract me. I review yesterday’s work, correct the worst errors, but leave the rest and go on with the story. Corrections can wait for the edit. What matters is going on with the story, so I focus on that. I try to average 500 words a day, as a minimum. Any less means I risk losing touch with the story, so however late it is I try to reach that goal.

Q: What’s next for Ben Blake?
A: After the circus of the book launch for Black Lord, I hope to publish the sequel later in the year, around November. It’s called Tales of Fanged Fish and is currently in edit. After that, I have volume one of a new series finished, so I’ll probably focus on that for 2018.

Quick fire round
Beach or countryside I love the beach, but can’t beat the peace of a tent by a stream in an isolated wood somewhere. Countryside.

EBook or paperback Oh, paperback. EBooks are wonderful, but I like the crackle and smell of paper.

Classic or modern Either. Just do it right.

Notebook and pen or computer Computer. My handwriting these days is appalling.

Sun or Snow – Sun.

About the Author:

A writer since childhood, Ben Blake finished his first novel when he was ten. It was terrible. But it was also finished, and half of writing is sticking with a project to the end. 
Fantasy has always been his preferred genre. In Fantasy you can do anything - invent a new people or species, create a world, make monsters and whatever else you like. Ben has published six novels on Amazon and other online sites. He lives in Devon with his wife and daughter.

To learn more about Ben Blake follow his blog or go to his website. You can also email him.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Dark by Paul Arvidson

Book Description
In the Strange labyrinth of pipes on the planet called Dark, things are falling apart. Dun doesn’t want to be a hero, he just wants to find an answer to the terrifying dreams he’s been having. But the answers, the real answers, are going to take him places he’s never imagined and tear him from the only home he’s ever known. 
With a only half made map from his missing father, he’ll need all the help he can get. With an old friend, a new friend and the mysterious Myrch to guide him, he journeys through parts of his world he’s never imagined.
Are his dreams real foretellings? Who can he trust to be who they say they are? What are the strange forces that seem to be literally pulling their world apart? As he travels through a work that is much bigger than he thought it was, he learns more about himself than he ever knew there was to know.

Q: Welcome to the Fossend Publishing blog Paul. Can you give readers a brief overview of your book Dark.
A: It is the first book of an SFF trilogy set on an entirely lightless abandoned colony planet called ‘Dark’, where tribes of creatures exist in the pipes and passages. It tells the story of Dun, a young Bridge-folk, who needs to find answers to his terrifying dreams. The  answers will take him and his friends to the end of their world.

Q: What inspired you to write Dark?
A: One evening doing a night feed of my youngest I imagined these creatures that weren’t quite human, but could speak, that lived on a world entirely in the darkness. I wondered could you still have heroes who have adventures in that kind of a world (turns out you can!)

Q: Was writing a book set in the dark different to writing a book based on normal circumstances? 
A: Definitely. Trying to write not using visual descriptors is tricksy at best. You don’t realise quite how much of a habit it is to refer to the world in that way. (You see? Looks like trouble? etc.) The characters can’t use any of that kind of language because it would mean nothing to them. The trouble is weeding them out of the text as spell checkers and grammar checkers don’t flag them up. 

Q: Did it influence or change your writing style?
A: Two main things. Firstly learning to paint a picture in smell, texture, sound and taste. I think that’s going to stay with me for a while yet.
Secondly, it steered me towards driving the plot with dialogue. The things that came out of the crazy world most clearly, were the voices.

Q: Did writing Dark involve any research?
A: Once I’d decided on the idea of a world that had no light, I had to work out if that was in any way viable or believable. I spent a load of time researching extremophile environments on earth where whole ecosystems exist that never have any light at all (subterranean caves, black smoker eco-systems in ocean trenches etc). Luckily it turned out that scientifically it was possible, I just had to work out some fun adventures for them to have.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about writing?
A: As a discovery writer, the most fun is once you’ve made the world (and realised it works!) and created some characters, then you send them out for a walk and the story and the characters take on a life of their own.

Q: What do you dislike the most about writing?
A: Editing. Very hard work. Deleting swathes of stuff is soul destroying. Necessary, but soul destroying.

Q: Can you share a typical day in the life of Paul Arvidson as a writer?
A: Get up, make tea, get kids dressed, feed kids, put kids on the bus (with my wife Cheryl). Then coffee and maybe some yoga, check emails answer any urgents, then a good solid hour or two writing. 
Make lunch, then tea, finish any outstanding stuff, start a line for the next chapter (never leave a blank page for the next day), then a couple of hours marketing. Twitter or FB stuff or whatever scheme I have to build up the readers club.
Kids home from school off bus, tea and homework, then chill out time & maybe TV or Netflix. Kids bath, bed and stories.

Assuming I’m not too knackered, some recording of audio stuff (book trailers, planning podcast serial of Dark, to go up on blog)

Q: What’s next for Paul Arvidson?
A: Currently writing book 2 of trilogy, called ‘Darker’. Audio podcast of book one to follow this year. 

Once I’ve got three books of Dark written, I fancy writing something completely different. Maybe a thriller.

Quick fire round
Beach or countryside – Can I have countryside with a river?

EBook or paperback – One of each.

Classic or modern – Got to be modern.

Notebook and pen or computer – Ideas pen, actual writing – computer.

Sun or Snow snow.

About the Author

Paul Arvidson is a forty-something ex lighting designer who lives in rural Somerset. He juggles his non-author time bringing up his children and fighting against being sucked into his wife’s chicken breeding business. Dark is his first novel.

To learn more about Paul Arvidson follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or his blog Into the Dark Book. You can also sign up to his newsletter for regular updates. Dark is also available on iTunes.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Diary of a Broken Father by Sylvia Stein

Q: Welcome back to the Fossend Publishing blog Sylvia. Can you give readers a brief overview of your Book The Diary of a Broken Father.
A: Yes, I can:  

In The Diary of a Broken Father, Garrison James shares his story from his own perspective of what his life is like now that he decided to go into AA in the hopes of changing his life.    

He shares the accounts of his daily struggles since his daughter Sara has left his side and what it meant for him to lose her.  

He is haunted by her loss and is also haunted by the memories of his beloved wife Lila whom he lost to cancer.  

Garrison is one broken man who is battling his demons and is also fighting his demons.   This includes with himself and God.  

In this novella you will hear from Garrison James as he battles through being a better man all in the hopes of reconciling with his only daughter whom he has hurt so much.  

Will he be able to do it?   Is it too late for him?  What will happen next?  

Q: What inspired you to write The Diary of a Broken Father?
A: The inspiration behind the Diary of a Broken Father came from wanting to tell Garrison’s story and his journey from an alcoholic man and how he works to try and rebuild himself and the demons he carries.   I wanted to share this story to try to help others who have been there.  I have known people who have done this within my own family and around me.    I wanted to spread a message.  

Q: So, The Diary of a Broken Father, is a prequel to your first novella Closure. Why did you feel it necessary to write a prequel?
A: Well when I wrote Closure I had many readers ask me more about Garrison and how they thought he should be able to tell his own side of things.   Many thought they could like him if they knew his journey.   This got me thinking.   Then while at my last Semester at SNHU I created The Diary of a Broken Father.  

Q: Did writing The Diary of a Broken Father involve any research?
A: I am glad you asked this question.  Yes, there was research involved in the diary of a broken Father.  This was in regards to the 12 steps of AA.  I wanted to get it right.   

Q: What do you enjoy the most about writing?
A: I love when an idea comes to me and I can jot it down in an outline.  I love creating the stories and characters and watch it all come together.   

Q: What do you dislike the most about writing?
A: One thing I really dislike about writing is editing.  I never enjoy that part and having to go over it and re-read is not fun for me.  I also dislike working on blurbs for my books.  I do it but it is not fun for me.  

Q: Can you share a typical day in the life of Sylvia Stein as a writer?
A: A Typical day of Writing for me is when I can sit back for about 3-4 hours in the day and just write without any interruptions.  I love it when I can place some movie scores/ or classical music on Spotify and just work on my stories.   

Q: What’s next for Sylvia Stein?
A: Well the plan is to release The Diary of a Broken Father this coming month of February 2017.   Then I have a book event coming this October 2017 in Kalamazoo Michigan I am excited about that.   Also I am working on my first thriller coming out Next year 2018 and then hopefully continuing on more of my Podcasts and My Huff-Post blog.  Not to mention spending time with my amazing Husband and children.  

Quick fire round
Beach or countryside - Beach

EBook or paperback - I still enjoy paperback more than an E-book. 

Classic or modern - Classic 

Notebook and pen or computer - Notebook and pen. 

Sun or Snow - Sun 

About the Author:

Sylvia Stein is an Indie published author with several anthologies with her Writer’s group 750 on linked in.  Stein obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University this past July 2015.  She is a mother of three beautiful children Paul 10, Michael 9 and Consuelo 6.  She resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her amazing husband Jeremy.  Stein has also published two solo books one was her first novella Closure which she worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014 and the other her first YA Chasing Clarity was published this past October 2015 and it was created during National Novel Month (Nano) in 2013.  When she is not writing she enjoys time with her children and husband.  The Diary of a Broken Father will be out this February 2017.    

To learn more about Sylvia Stein follow her on Facebook, Twitter or check out her website