20 May 2014

A re-visit to places visited


Haven't got time to write a post today 
so how about visiting one of my existing pages
 which I bet you've not noticed!



Behind the Scenes - some of the photos and images of the places 
I have visited to research my novels




I think you'll find it interesting


13 May 2014

Where Angels Tread

My Tuesday Talk Guest... Loretta Livingstone

Let me start by thanking Helen for inviting me over to guest on her blog. [My pleasure Loretta!] 
It's a huge honour, especially as the book she invited me to talk about is my first story. I've written books before, but not of stories. I've always been a poet, and never intended to write anything else! But hey, don't you love it when you thought you were going in one direction, only to find you've wandered off onto the most interesting sidetrack? That's what makes life so exciting.


Anyway, here's how it all came about.
For several reasons I got the compulsion to try my hand at very short stories. Nothing long or challenging because I'm not a story writer... am I?

Halfway through the short stories I was writing, up popped one about a guy begging on the streets. Suddenly, part way into his story I remembered a young girl I'd met whilst on a city break with my husband many years ago. Something rather unexpected had happened. We had been appalled by the number of homeless beggars. Out in the city centre one day I saw a young girl, maybe in her late teens. Thin, lonely, hopeless. I became overwhelmed by a strong compulsion to go and speak to her and share some of my good fortune. I had so much more than her, surely I could give her a little something? Nothing like that had ever occurred to me before. It was almost as though the hand of God was pushing me over there. Very weird.

That was over 15 years ago. Never totally forgotten but hiding in a corner of my mind, suddenly she appeared, briefly, in my story. The story was only meant to be about 1500 words, one of a collection of very short stories. I called my street-girl Jeannie - not her real name and not the girl I'd met, just inspired by her. 

Off went the story to my beta reader. I sat back and started to think about the next story.

My beta-reader, Heidi Peltier, herself an author, had different ideas. "I can't wait to find out what happens to Jeannie," said she.

What? I had no plans for Jeannie! What did happen to her? Why was she on the streets? What happened next? I shook my brain and Jeannie's story started to emerge. Characters popped up and took on lives of their own. So, whilst I am very sure this is not the story of the young girl I met so briefly all those years ago - it could have been. A novelette, my first ever, was born.

Not having written stories before, and never intending to, I now had a lot to learn about technique and formatting. As "luck" would have it, my story was in its polishing stages when I noticed Helen had posted a review of a book! Hmmm! I could learn something here.

Off I went to read it! Eeeeek! She mentioned the sins of erroneous line spacing, non-justification and a whole host of issues I knew nothing about! I mentioned it to her on her blog, and she emailed me recommending her book, "Discovering The Diamond" which I have no hesitation in recommending to other fledgling novelists.

Whew! I discovered her own diamond in the nick of time. Presentation, and so much other useful information about how to produce something polished and ready for public consumption. I dived into it whilst cooking, and promptly burnt my dinner! I can honestly say, although without having read her book my story might have been just about ok, I'm hoping that now, with such solid advice, my little pebble will have some of the twinkle of a genuine diamond, rather than being fool's gold.


I can't tell you how grateful I am that Helen suggested I read her book. Also for the help and advice of Heidi and my other beta-reader, another author, Marie Godley.

I'll leave you with the blurb, and a short passage from the book:

Jeannie - innocent and shy, kicked out by her mother, Rita.
Matt - predatory and dangerous. Is Rita really who he wants? 
Rod and Carla on a romantic city break and Jeremy, just seven years old, out with his dad.
And who exactly is Mike? Could there be more to him than meets the eye?
Strangers whose lives are destined to cross more than once and change forever.
   
 Excerpt:

Running to the corner, Rita peered anxiously around it. Shocked, she watched him heading towards...her daughter! She couldn't believe her eyes. Jeannie hadn't seen him coming. She looked awful. Still beautiful, but skinny, shabby and oh, so cold, with a haunting vulnerability that made her heart ache. Why hadn't she seen it before? She must have been blind! For a moment Rita's heart stood still. She'd had no idea Jeannie was on the streets, assuming she'd stayed with a friend. She didn't have many, goodness knows, but surely she'd had one.  
Stunned into horrified stillness, she watched Matt storming over there. A young, quite pleasant-looking man crossed his path. Matt seized him and slammed him up against the wall, shouting abuse at him. Amazingly calm in the face of his antagonist, the young man just gazed steadily at Matt, who suddenly shrank away from him, almost cowering. He turned back the way he'd come. She panicked; he was headed in her direction. He'd see her!




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6 May 2014

Meet Jesamiah Acorne - (a Recycled Read)

as I've not been too well lately, and therefore have no new articles prepared, 
I thought I would re-post an article I put here a couple of weeks ago but 
didn't have much opportunity to share...

Author M.M. Bennetts had 'passed the baton' on to me for a series of posts by historical fiction authors in which we introduce the main character of our work in progress
 or soon to be published novel.

Naturally, I chose my pirate to write about: 
So Meet ...


1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Jesamiah Acorne, (Captain Acorne - and that's Acorne with an 'e' - although his birth name was Mereno. He changed his name when he needed a new one in a hurry - when he  turned to a life of piracy a few months before his fifteenth birthday.
He is fictional (my very own pirate!) but many of his adventures are based on or around historical events.

2) When and where is the story set?
The Voyage I am writing now, the fifth book in the Sea Witch Series, is set in early 1719, It starts in Devon and Bristol, England, and will move to the Azores and Williamsburg, Virginia.

3) What should we know about him/her?
Ex-pirate Jesamiah Acorne is a charming rogue, quick to smile, formidable when angry - the sort of man who you would not get into a drinking contest with (you'd lose). He has an eye for the ladies - well he was a pirate before he met the love of his life, Tiola Oldstagh, and he does occasionally get "sidetracked" by a pretty face (well OK, a part of a lady's anatomy that is slightly  lower than her face!). But his outright loyalty is to Tiola  - he would give his life for her.

Pronounce her name as tee(o)-la, short and quick, not tee-oh-la. She is a midwife and a healer.
And she is also a white witch.


No longer a pirate, Jesamiah often finds himself in various spots of bother; some relating to his past life, some because trouble follows him like a ship's wake....

The other love of his life is his ship, the Sea Witch.


4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
In the Voyage I am writing now? Someone - or something - is out to kill Jesamiah because of something he did the previous year. Tiola is unable to help him because she has been injured, so she sends a friend, Mahadun, to watch his back. But how reliable is this friend? Has Tiola misjudged him?
Meanwhile the British Government wants Jesamiah to do a 'little job' for them.
A little job, which Jesamiah knows full well will probably end up with him in even more trouble than before.

Things get complicated when Jesamiah suspects that Tiola and her 'friend' are more than friends...


5) What is the personal goal of the character?
To stop being used as a government spy and settle down to a respectable life.
While I'm writing this series he has no hope of achieving it! LOL


6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
It has a title, yes. On The Account.
There are some excerpts from the previous four voyages on my special blog H2U here
and subscribe to the Homepage for all up-to-date news


7) When can we expect the book to be published?
Hopefully early 2015  Depending on the flow of the tides and the calmness of the weather! A good following breeze is needed.....





















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