Events: Write By The Shore

2Being held at the Cockenzie House and Gardens, the Write by the Shore Festival is taking place next weekend (1st and 2nd November 2014.)

Over the two days, there will be a variety of events including sessions like, Meeting the authors, historical authors and there is also a session for Crime fiction authors.

There will also be events looking at children’s books and there is also an open mic session for local authors so plenty going on for both writer and reader alike.

Authors appearing over the weekend include Sara Sheridan, Ed James and Michael Pederson.

Tickets are £35 for the weekend, £20 for a day ticket or £10 per session.

For more information on the programme and tickets, click here. 

We had a chat with Sara Sheridan, one of the authors attending Write by the Shore.

Hi Sara, thank you for joining us. How important are events like Write By The Shore? Are they both for writers and readers?

I think one of the wonderful things about the growth of book festivals all over the UK is that it lets readers meet writers and vice versa. I find that fascinating – you never can tell what the audience are going to ask, come question time… It’s also great that books are made more accessible by virtue of these kinds of festivals. I’m a big supporter.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Ghost Stories

rp_friday-300x1641111111.pngFriday 31st October 2014: Ghost Stories.

Fiction Friday is our weekly prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s Prompt: It’s Halloween and it’s your chance to write a ghost story. It can be set in any era and anywhere. Is there a haunted house? Do you see a ghost? It can be anything you like.

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Bella’s Scribblings: Half-Term Research

Bella OsborneIt’s nearly Halloween which not only means things get a bit creepy and there are horror movies on the telly, it also means you need to stock up your house with bucketfuls of sweets and prepare to be terrorised by small children. I quite like the change to Halloween. I was quite creeped out about it as a child so it’s nice to see my daughter getting excited about choosing a costume and putting up decorations. Someone once proposed to me on Halloween (you would have thought I would have spotted the obvious warning signs here but I didn’t).

Anyway, Halloween got me thinking about half term which is usually followed by the word ‘holiday’ and that got me thinking about needing a holiday and the mismatch of my need to the availability of cash to pay for one. (I know it’s a tenuous link but stick with it). Then I thought about all my lovely writer friends that are just popping off somewhere in the name of research!

Many a mini break is booked in the name of research. Trips to take in the details of specific locations, to experience things unique to certain places, to take in the atmosphere and ambiance of a particular place. Google maps and the rest of the wonder that is the internet can take you so far but it can’t tell you what the breeze feels like against your face as you teeter on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland or the taste of the weird and wonderful ice cream flavours as you walk along Aberdovey beach in Wales or the sound of the Titanic hitting the iceberg (OK maybe the last one you could imagine).

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Blog Tour: The Dying Place by Luca Veste

LucaWe are delighted to welcome author, Luca Veste to Novel Kicks and his blog tour for his new novel, The Dying Place which was released by Avon on e-book on 23rd October and is due to be released in paperback at the beginning of December.

Luca talks to us about creating suspense and making you turn one more page…

I was asked at an event recently if I was disappointed if someone told me they had read one of my books in a day or similar length. The idea being that something for which I had put in more than a year’s worth of work had been devoured within short space of time somehow diminished the output in some way. I, of course, answered no – I’m actually inordinately pleased if I’m told that someone ‘couldn’t put the book down’! In a world full of seemingly endless distractions, the thought someone can shun all of those and concentrate solely on one thing for more than ten minutes has to be a good thing. And this is something that is of great importance to me when writing and rewriting a novel… how do I keep a reader turning those pages?

Creating suspense isn’t something I have found to be organic during the writing process. It takes time and effort to keep a level of intrigue going throughout a read, with building blocks spread within a novel. Suspense is derived from asking questions and not instantly revealing answers – instead, you keep a reader interested in finding out the answers to the mysteries created in a variety of ways. My initial concern is with character. In order to keep a reader invested is to create characters which will resonate and make people interested in what happens to them. If I want to keep someone reading the novel engaged with what is occurring, I need to create characters who the reader cares enough about to see what will happen to them next. In DEAD GONE, the character of Jemma Barnes runs throughout the novel, with her capture and mental torture occurring over a long period of time. It was important to me that people would care about her predicament, so her personality had to come through in the chapters in which she appeared or other characters talked about her. The reader had to care whether or not she was going to make it or not. Similarly, in my new novel THE DYING PLACE, what is happening to the characters of Goldie – and the rest of the teenagers and what they are being put through – meant I had to make people care about them in some way. I made this more difficult for myself by creating characters which are often the most maligned in society. Issues surrounding young people and the problems a small section of them cause is often the focus of negative media. Creating a moral dilemma for people reading became a major part of writing the novel.

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Blog Tour: The Dying Place by Luca Veste – Review.

dying placeOnce inside…there’s no way out

A fate worse than death…

DI Murphy and DS Rossi discover the body of known troublemaker Dean Hughes, dumped on the steps of St Mary’s Church in West Derby, Liverpool. His body is covered with the unmistakable marks of torture.

As they hunt for the killer, they discover a worrying pattern. Other teenagers, all young delinquents, have been disappearing without a trace.

Who is clearing the streets of Liverpool?

Where are the other missing boys being held?

And can Murphy and Rossi find them before they meet the same fate as Dean?

 

I was a huge fan of Dead Gone (the debut novel by Luca Veste,) so I was intrigued to be reading his latest book, The Dying Place.

Set in Liverpool, we return to DI David Murphy and his partner, DS Laura Rossi as they race to save a group of teenagers that are disappearing and being held against their will.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Going Back

rp_friday-300x1641111111.pngFriday 24th October 2014: Going Back.

Fiction Friday is our weekly prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: Have you ever wished you could go back to a time and change it but going back knowing what you know now? After you fall over and bang your head, you find that you’ve gone back in time to an important point in your life – a crossroads for you and you have the chance to alter the outcome. Where do you go back to and what happens? It can be based on fact or you can completely make up the situation (if you are working on a character, where would they go back to?)

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Cover Reveal: The Forgotten Holocaust by Scott Mariani

Scott MarianiWe are very excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for the new release by Scott Mariani.

Ta-dah!

The new book is called The Forgotten Holocaust. It’s due to be released by Avon on 29th January 2015. It’s the latest adventure starting Ben Hope and we are looking forward to reading it.

About the book:

A lost, aimless and hard-drinking Ben Hope has wandered back to his old haunt in Ireland. The ex-SAS soldier is searching for peace, but trouble soon appeared when Kirsten Hall, a young journalist, is brutally murdered right in front of him. Unable to prevent it, Ben is driven by guilt to hunt down the killers. All he has to go on is a handful of clues from Kirsten’s research – but how can the journals of Lady Stamford, the wife of an English lord during the time of the Irish Great Famine, have put Kirsten in mortal danger?

Ben’s quest for the truth leads him across the world and finally Oklahoma, USA, where a deadly secret awaits. What connects the journals, a wealthy American politician and an intrigue surrounding the Irish Famine?

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Novel Kicks Chats To… Nicci Gerrard

Nicci GerrardNicci Gerrard is one half of the writing duo, Nicci French. She is also the author of The Winter House, Missing Persons and The Moment You Were Gone. Her latest novel, The Twilight Hour was released by Penguin on 23rd October. We chat with Nicci about her writing, her new novel and her favourite word.

 

Hello Nicci. Thank you so much for joining us. Can you tell us about your novel, The Twilight Hour and how the idea originated? 

Thanks so much for having me! And for asking me these questions.

The Twilight Hour is really about the past and present life of Eleanor Lee. Now in her nineties and blind, she needs to tidy away her life before her family discovers secrets that she has kept hidden for seven decades. She is about to be moved from her old house by the sea to a home and she employs a lost young man called Peter Mistley to go through all her papers and photos. Gradually he – and the reader – are drawn back into Eleanor’s turbulent history, her love and her guilt. I wanted the novel to shift between two times and to unwind a story that still has power over the present. I also wanted to show how the old – who are often invisible to us – contain all the selves they have ever been. Eleanor might be in her mid-nineties and close to her death, but she is also youthful, caustic, purposeful, passionate and complicated. She still has hopes and desires. She is brimful of memories.

I first thought of writing The Twilight Hour when I and my siblings were moving my very old and extremely frail parents out of the family home. It was very poignant, gathering together a life and packing it away, deciding what to keep and what to discard We came across a film of their wedding day, and that ghostly sense of their young and radiant selves was powerfully moving.

 

Do you plan much before a novel and do you edit as you go?

I do plan – or at least, I have to have a sense of the journey the novel will make and I have to know why I’m writing it, what is its beating heart, if that makes sense. But then, my plan always goes awry, because of course a novel isn’t like a machine. It won’t obey you. Characters don’t want to do what you thought they should. They go their own way – and that’s good, it’s when the novel is working and taking on life.

I edit as I go – which often means throwing things away and starting again. And then when I’ve finished. And then after my agent has read it. And then after the publisher has read it….But often I think that I know from the start if something is working or not, and if it isn’t all the editing in the world can’t save it.

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Cover Reveal: One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin

One Hundred Ch ProposalsWE ARE LOVING THIS COVER. It’s beautiful and so sparkly. We can’t wait to read it. We are very excited to be helping to reveal the cover for Holly’s new book. It’s really put us in a festive mood.

You can pre-order an electronic edition of Holly’s new book from Amazon. It will be released by Carina on 3rd November 2014.

About One Hundred Christmas Proposals:

If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn’t get anymore sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again!

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and the.PerfectProposal.com have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times – made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship….

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Daily Prompts

Sunday: Pick three random words from the dictionary. Include in a story that begins: There was a house.

Monday: 'And you think I don't?'

Tuesday: 'We were all in single file, waiting to board.'

Wednesday: You move into a new house. Write about the other people living there.

Thursday: It was only meant to be a laugh but it's all now out of hand.

Friday: There's a knock at the door but nobody there.

Saturday: He took one last look at the house. He couldn't believe that this was it...

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