20 January 2014

Author's Chain Link : 20th January

Last week Debbie Young took part in a blog chain, in which she had to pass the baton on to other authors, and I drew the short straw *laugh*
The gist of the chain is simple : it is a blog post on a set topic, at the end of which you nominate a given number of bloggers to do the same. Put a lot of them together and – ta da! – you have a chain.
The blog chain is a cousin of the blog hop, which requires a quantity of bloggers to post an article simultaneously on the same topic, including links to each other’s posts. You may have spotted a recent hop that I organised - the Winter Solstice Blog Hop.

On 13th January, Debbie posted her answers to four writing questions that another author earlier in the Chain had asked her. At the end, she included the names of three others  - with the idea of carrying on the Chain.
Then I do the same here, linking to others who will post next week, and so on. So this isn't one of those chain letter things which has pass on to receive good luck, but something more interesting!

Passing the Baton to Me: Debbie Young

David Ebsworth (who will be on this blog tomorrow)
Debbie Young
Helen Hollcik
(at Foyles, Bristol 2013)
Debbie's life revolves around books! She says....
  • I’m a writer specialising in short-form fiction, primarily short stories and memoir but also a little flash fiction.
  • I help other authors promote their work, via my Off The Shelf Book Promotions consultancy, creating author websites and prescribing book promotions action plans.
  • I published my highly acclaimed handbook for authors, Sell Your Books!, in 2012 and it’s now selling well around the world.
  • I’m currently working on An Author’s Guide to Blogging, which will be launched at the London Book Fair in 2014.
  • I’m proud to be an Author Member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and am the editor of its blog of self-publishing advice.
  • I’m an avid reader and enjoy belonging to a local book group.
  • I am an enthusiastic book reviewer, posting book reviews on various sites including my on Off The Shelf Book Reviews page, where I fly the flag for indie authors by reviewing exclusively self-published books.
So that's the background - here is MY link in the chain!

1)    What am I working on?

I am trying to get started with the fifth Voyage of my Sea Witch series. It is to be called On The Account. I have all my characters sorted oyt and a rough plot - but I just don't seem to be granted enoygh space or un-interruptions to get on and write it! I am at the point where I think becoming a writing hermit might be a good idea! 

2)    How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There are quite a few nautical sea-faring tales : Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey series and Julian Stockwin's superb Kydd adventures for starters - but there are very few pirate-based yarns with a touch of fantasy. Actually, I'm not sure there are any others, not for adult reading, anyway! If there are I certainly haven't come across them! 
For my nautical adventures think Sharpe mixed with Indiana Jones, blended with Jack Sparrow all added into any exciting nautical fiction series. That's the Sea Witch Voyages starring Captain Jesamiah Acorne.

As author Sharon Penman remarked : "In the sexiest pirate contest Jesamiah Acorne gives Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow a run for his money".

3)    Why do I write what I do?

I write the Sea Witch Voyages for fun. They are sailor's yarns, not meant to be taken seriously - pure escapism on the High Seas. I do base each adventure around historical fact - Voyage Three, for instance, Bring It Close features the notorious pirate, Blackbeard, but I don't always stick to rigid fact (although I do mention any changes inmy author's notes.) I am as meticulous as I can be about the sailing detail, however. I have an excellent editor in maritime author James L. Nelson 

4)    How does my writing process work?
At the moment it doesn't *laugh*. I moved from London to Devon a year ago, and I am finding that I am still living the dream of enjoying the countryside. There are so many distractions - today I stood outside my front door watching a buzzard circling high in a bright blue sky. It was only later that I realised I had been standing there for over half an hour?
I do intend to get the Fifth Voyage written - hopefully, some time this year!
( LOL :-) I've been saying that through most of 2013! )

And here are the authors I am passing the baton to:

Janis Pegrum Smith is the author of the acclaimed Klondike adventure ‘More Than Gold’ and ‘Marigolds in Her Hands’, Janis has been writing all her life, but it has only been in the past three years that she has sought publication. Her third work ‘The Book Ark’ – a science/fantasy novel – will be published in spring 2014, and the first of her long-awaited Viking/Saxon saga ‘Land of Heroes’ is due out later in the year. London born, Janis now resides happily in Norfolk, UK with her husband and soul mate, the wildlife photographer Nicholas T Smith, and their two rescued sighthounds.

Richard Denning lives in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands with his wife and 2 children. He works as a General Practitioner with a North Birmingham practice. Away from the day job he is a historical fiction and historical fantasy writer. Many of his books are aimed at the young adult audience but are enjoyed by adults as well (he sometimes thinks more so). He also writes online articles on historical and self-publishing. A keen player of board games Richard is one of the directors of UK Games Expo (the UK's largest hobby games convention). He is also a board game designer and his first Board Game 'The Great Fire on London 1666' was published in October 2010. Richard has now written 8 novels in 4 separate series but his favourite historical period (and the setting of 5 of his books) is Early Anglo Saxon England.

Wendy Percival  started writing following an impulse buy of Writing Magazine. She began entering the magazine’s short story competitions, won the 2002 Summer Ghost Story and had a short story published in The People’s FriendThe customary ‘box of old documents in the attic’ stirred her interest in genealogy, and research into her Shropshire roots inspired her mystery novel ‘Blood-Tied.
 In her blog www.familyhistorysecrets.blogspot.com, she shares intriguing stories from her own research in the hope of inspiring others to uncover theirs.
 Find out more on her website www.wendypercival.co.uk or read her writing blog www.engagewritebrain.blogspot.com

Thank you for visiting my blog

You are more than welcome to leave a comment below. 
(A nice one would be good, but I suppose honest criticism is - sort of - welcome as well LOL :-) 


  1. Really enjoyed the above insight, Helen - hope I can do it justice when I take the baton up next week :)

  2. Lovely to read your post, Helen - and crack on with your fifth pirate book, I really want to read it! Thanks so much for taking part, and I'll look forward to reading your nominees' posts.

    1. Thanks Debbie - and thanks for passing the baton on!

  3. I sympathise with Devon distractions, Helen! I've lived here for 34 years, now, and it still has the power to lure me away from the writing desk. (Probably just as well, really, or we'd get very stale.) Meanwhile, enjoy.... I'm sure the Fifth voyage will get written soon!
    Looking forward to adding my chain link next week!

    1. thanks Wendy! I rather despair of going off on another Jesamiah adventure at times though :-(


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