Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: An Empty Road

Novel Kicks Fiction FridayFiction Friday is our weekly writing 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….

The scene is a truck. It’s nighttime and apart from the truck, the road is deserted.

Your character can be of your own choosing. There is a gun and a rusty nail on the passenger seat.

The date is 8th December 1985….

Continue the story.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Extract: Recluse Millionaire, Reluctant Bride by Sun Chara

Recluse MillionaireRecluse Millionaire, Reluctant Bride by Sun Chara has been released today by HarperImpulse. 

Is his reluctant bride a business risk or a personal necessity?

Stan Rogers, recluse millionaire, must negotiate a risky deal with Stella Ryan, the exotic beauty from his past, to gain custody of his son. But how can he close the deal with her, the one and only woman who flips his switches and pegs him as the enemy?

Martial artist Stella knows she should steer clear of Stan, the man who had shattered her heart and could still destroy her. Four years have passed since their hostile business deal, and now, the American financier is proposing holy matrimony…but she’s the reluctant bride wondering, what’s he up to?

 

To celebrate the release of her new book, Sun Chara and HarperImpulse have shared an extract. Enjoy!

Chapter 3

“Doesn’t look like snow to me, not by a long shot,” she said again. “At least not for another couple of months.”

“We like to be prepared in case it’s early this year.” He hauled himself off the sofa and reached out for the blanket and pillow.

She clutched them tighter, like a protective device. “What about trekking to the limo and driving from there?”

“Not in this darkness, unless it’s an absolute emergency,” he said, tone flat. “Dangerous, especially if you’re not familiar with the trail.”

“To me, this is an emergency.”

“Not enough to risk a broken leg in a pot hole? Be serious, Ms. Ryan.” He raised a brow. “What’s one more day going to matter? You could leave early tomorrow without risk.”

What he said made sense, but she didn’t have to like it. She certainly didn’t want to stay shacked up with him, miles from anywhere. It was time to be proactive, and get her own ticket outa this sticky mess.

“You’re invited for dinner. Minni ’ll—”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Fine.”

His indifference infuriated…then she glanced down at the bedding in

her hands. Odd, she hadn’t had them when she first lay down by the fireside.

She frowned, and an image pushed its way to the forefront of her mind. Somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, she’d felt a gentle hand lift her head and slip the pillow beneath…cover her with the blanket. She thought she’d been dreaming but—

“Did…uh…you bring the blanket?”

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Christmas: My Gift Guide For The Reader or Writer in Your Life

normal_bespoke-book-clubHere’s my Gift Guide for 2017.

I can’t quite believe it’s time for another gift guide. It doesn’t seem five minutes ago that I compiled the one for last year. I love looking at people’s various gift guides as you’ll possibly come across the perfect present for someone.

This guide is for writers and readers and I’ve picked some things I know I would love to receive.

The first gift I have found is this fantastic Bespoke Book Subscription from The Willoughby Book Club.

There are options for a three, six or twelve month subscription. It’s tailored to the person getting the subscription so whether the book lover in your life is into romance, classics, mystery or sci-fi, this subscription has you covered.

It comes in a gift tin with details on how the subscription can be activated and each month, a new book will arrive gift wrapped.

Book_Lover_Pencil_Set_1_1024xWhat I absolutely love about this particular subscription is that for every one sold, Willoughby Book Club donates a new book to the Book Aid International charity.

These pencils I think would make a wonderful stocking filler for the reader and writer in your life. This very cute and colourful book lover pencil set are five 2B lead pencils.

Embossed with gold foil, each one has a different phrase: ‘Just one more chapter,’ ‘Read More Books,’ ‘I like Big Books,’ ‘I’d rather be reading,’ and finally the classic ‘Once Upon a Time.’

There’s also a handy eraser on the end of each pencil. These particular ones are available via The Literary Emporium.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Mick’s Musings: I’m Being Published!

rp_Mick-Arnold1-224x30011.jpgA final (finally!) blog post prior to publication!

Firstly, I owe a huge apology to Laura. I’ve been promising this new post for what would seem like to her (and is) yonks now. No excuses, though believe me, I’d like to use a few…I simply haven’t gotten around to it. To say it’s been busy would be to put things mildly, though that’s mainly been down to the day job leaving me so tired at night. That isn’t likely to change anytime soon, so I’m following the advice I’ve always been given about writing, and making the time.

So…news time. As of the time I write this (the 3rd December), my debut book will be released in less than two weeks, December 16th to be precise. I’m toying with the idea of actually being awake at midnight for a change just so I can watch it go ‘live’ on the download sites. As of yet, I can’t make my mind up if this is a dumb idea or not? I kind of expect, if I don’t stay up, to wake up to find it’s all been a dream and I’m not getting published. You wouldn’t believe the amount of my writer friends who’ve told me how stupid I’m being when I say that.

Yes, as of quite shortly, I will have accomplished a major dream and joined the ranks of the published writer, and have earned the right to call myself an ‘Author’. And I’m still waiting for it to fall down around my ears. Can’t help it, sorry. A big thank you has to go to Laura for supporting me on this site over the last few years, she’s absolutely wonderful and has always been there for me. I can only wish her as much luck with her own writing. You know where I am!

And what’s been keeping me so busy? Apart from the day job, that is. It’s all been a little bit of a rush job the last few months, getting things ready with the book. I’d been told that this may be the case by my publishers but I had no idea how much of a rush job it would turn out to be. You see, my Editor was ill for much of the last few weeks when I was supposed to get the edits through, so it was a case of hurry-up-and-wait and then ‘get-these-back-to-me-by-when. I think I got the edits in and out, and in and back and out in a space of about two weeks of mayhem. Not too much to do in the end, though a few plot inconsistencies were uncovered in the process. Nothing major, apart from revealing a couples grave at the end who’d been nice and alive all through the book. So, see, minor.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

12 Days of Clink Street Christmas: Daisy Mae_224’s Traditional Christmas

eBook Daisy Mae - 9.6.17 - v6My next stop on the 12 days of Clink Street Christmas has arrived. Author Daisy Mae_224, the author of Dating Daisy shares her traditional Christmas. Over to you, Daisy Mae_224… 

I’ve decided honesty is the best policy. If you are reading a Christmas blog, you probably expect to read how much I love Christmas. How I can’t wait for it to come round – again. How I love the preparations and the traditions etc… Well – you may just be disappointed.

I really dislike Christmas! And I am not Mrs Scrooge either!

– So now, I’ll try and explain why –

For starters, I’m not religious. I do actually like that part of Christmas however, as that is about story-telling, kindness, and involves the Nativity, children, and singing beautiful Christmas carols. It is rather magical to light candles in a church and sing Hark the Herald at the top of your voice on a cold winter’s evening.

It’s the commercial side of things which are so abhorrent. Somehow we are all caught in a trap of “finding something someone might like.” Also, even those little stocking fillers cost a fortune. And the vast majority, beautifully packaged they may be, will just end up in land fill sites. Having cleared out and downsized from my 6 bedroom house a few years ago, I am in fear of clutter. Never again will I be doing all that!

Let me say up front it’s not so much the cost. I’m a generous person and I love giving things to people and spreading a little happiness. It’s just that when the world is full of starving, poverty-stricken people, how can we the rich of the Western world, be quite so greedy. It makes me feel so uncomfortable. I don’t like opening my presents as I feel so guilty about that. I sit with a pile next to me and watch everyone else open theirs, and I just don’t want to do it.

The sad fact now is that as I am divorced and my parents have died, I can’t think of Christmas as the family occasion it used to be. I miss my parents, especially at Christmas. My children divide themselves up for a day each between myself and Voldemort. There is always a big row about which day is for who, and I dread it.

Then there’s the food. It isn’t a great Christmas to be sweating in the kitchen over an enormous and gastronomically fashionable Christmas dinner. How often have I downed a few gin and tonics one by one, stuck in the kitchen, while everyone else is laughing in the lounge. Because it’s supposed to be such an amazing dinner, it’s very stressful. Mostly they can’t all decide on one meal, so I’m trying to cook a turkey, a ham and a salmon for example, all at the same time. It just doesn’t work! And I’ve never been very good at gravy!

I have to say I like to plan the day so we don’t just “sit around looking at the tea cups!” Last year, soon after the children arrived on Christmas Eve, we went out for lunch at a New Forest pub, following a dog walk on Canada Common. When we got home, we all jumped in Edward’s amazingly hot, clean, sparklingly fresh, hot tub with a few mugs of tea.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

12 Days of Clink Street Christmas: Extract From The Shield by C.J. Bentley

The Shield CoverIt’s time for the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas and today, author C.J. Bentley joins me with her book, The Shield which is book one in the Finder Series.

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.

A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who’s searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost – anywhere and at any time – to its original owner? 

With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.

 

C.J. Bentley has shared an extract from The Shield with us today. 

“Can you lot see that dust cloud over there?” Jeanette was facing the field and had to move her head to where she meant as her hands were full. “It looks as though it’s coming this way I wonder what it could be”.

“Sometimes you get dust clouds when there hasn’t been much rain, the wind whips up and disturbs the dust, you know a bit like in the desert, mini tornados”, Richard liked his geography just as I liked my history. As we were so intent on carrying the heavy shield between us and joking as to who the first person to let go would be, we didn’t notice what was happening in the distance.

“Can you lot move around so I can see, my back is where you are looking,” Hugh turning studied the dust cloud for a while, “looks like a horse coming towards us don’t you think?”

“I think you must be eating lots of carrots if you can see a horse that far away,’ Linda moved her head round and watched the dust cloud approach, “do you know Hugh I think you are right it is a horse with somebody riding it and quite fast, looks like some sort of a flag flying too”.

“I think we should put this down and run,” Richard looked quite scared.

“Don’t be daft you lot, it’s probably one of the girls from the riding stables riding towards us trying to frighten us, if we stand our ground she will stop”. I wished I felt as confident as I sounded but something about the ‘cloud’ coming towards us reminded me of something, something, or someone, it couldn’t possibly be what I thought it was.

The way the person confidently rode the horse and looked to be encased in shiny armour which flashed as the sun hit it, the white horse moved in a colourful swathe of material in blues and reds, swirling around his legs as he galloped towards us. The shine of the rider’s metal suit of armour. The long pole from his foot to past his head, which was encased with a plumed helmet, was flying a coloured flag on the top. It all reminded me of my favourite book, ‘Ivanhoe’. What we were looking at was surely an apparition, my imagination playing tricks on me, but on the others too. Strange we could all see it, so no apparition then.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

December’s Novel Kick’s Book Club: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

Gabe is the homeless man who sits outside Lou’s office. When Lou invites Gabe into the building and into his life, Lou’s world is changed beyond all measure.

A Christmas story that speaks to all of us about the value of time and what is truly important in life.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Extract: The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson

The Perfect VictimA big welcome and hello to Corrie Jackson and the blog tour for her new novel, The Perfect Victim which was released by Zaffre on 16th November. 

Husband, friend, colleague . . . killer?

Charlie and Emily Swift are the Instagram-perfect couple: gorgeous, successful and in love. But then Charlie is named as the prime suspect in a gruesome murder and Emily’s world falls apart. Desperate for answers, she turns to Charlie’s troubled best friend, London Herald journalist, Sophie Kent. Sophie knows police have the wrong man – she trusts Charlie with her life.

Then Charlie flees. Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name. But as she’s drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily’s unravelling marriage, she realises that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts. As she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation – and their friendship – apart.

Now Sophie isn’t just fighting for justice, she’s fighting for her life.

Corrie and Zaffre have kindly shared an extract from The Perfect Victim today. Enjoy!

 

CHAPTER 38

I wiped the rain from my eyes and lurched towards the hut nearest the forest. I ran my torch over the door; it was padlocked. I pressed my ear to the door but I couldn’t hear anything over the wind. I did a circuit of the building; no windows, no other way in except through the door. My fingers tightened around the rock; I’d have to bash open the padlock.

‘Kate!’ I raked the darkness with my torch but I couldn’t see her. My gaze fell on something on the ground and I crouched down for a closer look. Was that blood? I inched forwards, following the trail with my torch beam. It ran across the gravel, in the direction of the forest. I hesitated for a split-second then turned back towards the hut. As I did, my torch landed on a man, standing ten feet away from me, his hands jammed in the pockets of his waterproof.

‘What are you doing?’ The wind carried his gravelly voice towards me.

‘I – I’m looking for someone. A woman. I think she’s inside this hut.’

He edged towards me, on the tips of his toes. ‘That’s not possible, Miss. I’ve just been in that hut. Nothing but farming equipment in there.’

I tightened my grip round the rock and shone my torch in his face. I couldn’t see much; he was wearing a woolly hat, and his chin was buried in a scarf. ‘Then you won’t mind showing me.’

He cocked his head to one side. ‘And you are?’

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To: Isabella Davidson

beta mumHi Isabella, thank you for joining me today. Can you tell me about what your typical writing day is like? 

Thank you for having me on your blog! My typical writing day consists of waking up to my children’s chatting and playing, getting them dressed, preparing breakfast and taking them to school. Then, when I get back home, I sit in my office and start writing. I am most productive in the morning, when I have a clear mind, and feel the most motivation. After my children come back from nursery and school, I have to find any moment I can to continue writing; after putting them to bed, when they are at activities, and any other moment I can find – which isn’t always easy.

 

What’s the best and most challenging thing about writing your first novel? 

The best part of writing The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land, was when I felt like I had written a really good passage, and thought people would enjoy it. I once laughed at what I wrote, which is usually a good sign. They say that if you are bored writing then your reader will be bored. You have to keep the writing alive and fun if you want your reader to continue reading. If I can move someone to feel something when they read my novel, that is success to me.

The most challenging? The entire process is challenging! Writing the book, word after word, until you finish typing the last word. Then the editing. And more editing. Then sending it off to agents and publishers. Then, once it has been published, promoting your book and trying to get sales. It is like an intense obstacle course over years.

 

What’s your favourite word and why?

That’s difficult for me to answer! I don’t have a favourite, I like all words, whether simple or complicated. To me, each word has a purpose, a meaning and a place, so all of them are important in their own way.

 

What was your writing process like from your idea to final draft? Did you plan? How did you approach the first sentence? 

When I first started writing my novel, The Beta Mum, the story line was completely different than this one and it also had a completely different title. I had a general idea of what subject I wanted to write about – the Alpha mums in a nursery setting in west London – but the plot changed completely after I started the Faber Academy novel writing course. There, I received a lot of input, both positive and negative, and I found a new story to tell. I also learned about writing an outline and now in the future, I will always work with a basic outline. We also learned about writing our first line and our last line and how to make them count. It was an invaluable experience and I learned so much.

 

What advice do you have to keep motivated? 

Sit on that chair and write. Word after word. Even if it is ‘bad’ writing, it can be edited in the future, but it gets the creative juices flowing and helps you re-enter your world. The worst you can do is not write at all. Even if on some days you don’t feel like writing, you have to push yourself to write. And your first draft is meant to be bad! So don’t worry about writing ‘badly.’

 

Which three fictional characters would you want round for dinner and why?

Daimyo Toranaga and John Blackthorne from the novel Shogun. It was one of my favourite novels growing up and is an encyclopedia of knowledge about Japan. It is exotic and beautiful and so foreign, I would have loved to be a part of it. I tried to learn Japanese from that book! And one final character on a completely different note, Carrie Bradshaw (from the book Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell), because I think we would be good friends!

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To: Mira Tudor

Mira TudorMira Tudor, the author of Poets, Artists, Lovers is joining me today to chat about her book, her writing process and the advice she has for new writers.

PAL is a fast-paced yet poignant character-driven novel riding waves of romanticism, drama, and wit in a manner reminiscent in parts of David Nicholls’s books (One Day)—and set in the exciting world of several vibrant Romanian artists and musicians.

Henriette, an accomplished sculptor, seems to find more joy in her feminist-inspired work and her piano playing than in the people who care about her. Ela, a piano teacher turned book reviewer, hopes to discover the key to happiness and a more meaningful life through studying the workings of the mind and crafting poems about emotions she trusts will lead her to a better place. Joining them in beauty and blindness is Pamfil, a violinist who dabbles as a singer and lives mostly for the moment and his monthly parties. As they follow their passions, they find themselves on treacherous journeys to love and happiness, and are slow to figure out how to best tackle their predicaments. Fortunately, their lovers and friends are there to help . . . but then a newcomer complicates things.

 

Hi Mira. It’s great to have you on Novel Kicks today. 

Thank you, Laura! It’s great to be on your blog with you.

 

Your novel is called Poets, Artists, Lovers. Can you tell me about it and what inspired it? 

I’d been trying to write a novel for years, but it just wouldn’t come together. I was working too much from memories and simply couldn’t find the novel’s raison d’être. And then after putting it aside for a while, I realized in a matter of days that I had the whole story of Poets, Artists, Lovers. I couldn’t write it fast enough.

It’s a nostalgic piece, in a sense, harking back to a time when I was friends with a group of artists who used to hold parties every now and then at their office over the weekend. These parties have inspired Pamfil’s in the novel, but my characters are all imaginary. They grew out of real-life observations, of course, but I surprised myself how much they grew out of my own writing process as well. I say that because when I started writing I already had all the characters pinned down.

 

What’s your typical writing day like and do you have any writing rituals before and whilst you write? 

I write an average of five or six hours a day (seven days a week), which includes research. I don’t have any rituals apart from drinking all sorts of coffee and tea, but I do need to take walks in order to get some distance from my writing and figure out various things that need to be changed, taken out, or added.

 

If you could spend time with your characters for a day, what would you do? 

I can’t decide. I would like to go to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe; but also hiking through Ireland or driving along the Rhine Valley in Germany; visiting small towns and vineyards in France or Spain; exploring Paris or London; the list goes on.

 

Which fictional character are you most like? 

I’m not much like any of these characters. Only the poetry is deeply mine.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Novel Kicks Writing Room: Structure and The Eight Point Arc

Novel Kicks Writing RoomThe structure of your novel is one of the most important things in novel writing.

It’s something I have been really trying to focus on whilst trying to write my first book.

The following is what is called the ‘eight point arc.’ I came across it in ‘Writing a Novel and Getting it Published’ by Nigel Watts. I’ve found this structure suggestion incredibly helpful and I feel it’s worth going though the following list and applying your current work in progress.

Stasis – this is the ‘every day’ in which your story is set. For example, Kat in District Twelve at the beginning of the Hunger Games or Harry Potter in Privet Drive. What is this in your book?

Trigger – this is the thing that happens that kick starts events for your character. This may be something that is beyond the control of your character.

The Quest – this could be something bad for the main character like breaking up with a spouse, loosing a job or a loved one or it could be winning the lottery.

Surprise – this is the obstacles to overcome; the conflicts and the hard choices. It could also include pleasant events but predictable should try to be avoided.

Critical Choice – This is where the character has to make a choice and we see what they are made of. These choices are often hard to make and overcome.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NaNoWriMo Advice: Louise Dean Says Short Sentences Can Be A Powerful Tool

oldromantic becomingstrangersAs we reach the final few days of National Novel Writing Month 2017, Louise Dean, author and founder of online writing course Kritikme.com joins me to share her insights into why using short sentences is a powerful tool when writing a novel. Thank you for joining me today Louise. Over to you. 

Short Sentences. (BANG!)

Creating Impact.

We can’t always be poetic. We cannot always find a new way of saying things. But if we offer visual images in short sentences, we can create an effect on our readers that is an assault on their senses. Think Bob Dylan.

One short sentence hard on the heels of the last is a highly engaging way to write. It forces the reader into a world that is unfolding with immediacy, speed, possibly danger. Wham. Slam. Bang. Things are happening fast as in an emergency. The story is unfolding. The reader is alert.

Short & Sweet

The most economical short story writer of all time is probably Raymond Carver. With his precise, punchy prose, he conveys in a few words what many novelists take several pages to elucidate. In stories such as ‘Fat’ and ‘Are You a Doctor?’ he writes with understatement about suburban disenchantment in mid-century America.

I’d like to share with you the two things that made his short stories works of art.

  1. At the end of every short story – as in the first chapter of a novel – EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.
  2. Carver’s genius was to incorporate here what happens in the last chapter of a novel which is the narrator is facing life after him or her – THE ANNIHILATION OF SELF.

These themes can be served, should be served, in staccato sentences for great power.

Make it shorter.

‘Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long.’ Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut employs a choral technique from the songbook of modern music too, with repetition of an almost biblical phrase ‘So it goes’ throughout Slaughterhouse-5.

When Kurt Vonnegut uses that sentence again and again throughout Slaughterhouse-5, setting it against the backdrop of one of the worst tragedies of WWII — the firebombing of Dresden — the fatalistic attitude of that short sentence provides a hard contrast to the horrific details of Dresden.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Emily Harvale

I’m happy to be welcoming Emily Harvale to Novel Kicks today and the blog tour for her new Christmas themed novel, Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove. 

EPSON scanner image

Christmas is a time for family and friends, miracles and magic, falling snow and roaring fires, fun, laughter and festive feasts. In Snowflake Cove, it’s also a time for secrets to be revealed…

Evie Starr is hoping for more than a sprinkling of magic this Christmas. The family-run Snowflake Inn is virtually empty and the Starr’s financial future isn’t looking bright. But Evie’s gran, Jessie has a secret that might help.

Enigmatic, Zachary Thorn is every woman’s dream. He’s also ex-SAS, so his secrets are classified. The Christmas Special of his feel-good, TV show is set in Michaelmas Bay – until a phone call means he’s spending Christmas in nearby Snowflake Cove.

Evie’s best friend, Juniper thinks boyfriend Darren has a secret. Evie knows he does. And Evie’s niece, Raven is hiding feelings for Juniper’s brother – who has a secret crush of his own.

But the biggest secret in Snowflake Cove is the identity of Raven’s dad.

With snow falling thick and fast and secrets being revealed one after another, will everyone be snuggling up by the fire on Christmas Eve, or are some secrets best kept hidden…?

 

Hello Emily, it’s lovely to welcome you to Novel Kicks today. Your book is called Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove. Can you tell me a bit about it and what inspired the story.

Hello Laura, it’s great to be here. Yes, my new book, Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove is about 34-year-old Evie Starr and her family. Evie is single and lives in the family-run, Snowflake Inn with her parents and her gran. The book is set during the week leading up to Christmas Day and Evie’s 15-year-old niece, Raven is also staying for the holidays. The Starrs are struggling financially and Evie is hoping to persuade TV show host, Zachary Thorn to give the inn a plug during his live, Christmas Special. His show is being filmed nearby, but what Evie doesn’t know is that her gran, Jessie has a secret and when Jessie makes a phone call, it changes everyone’s plans. There are also several others with secrets in the tiny village of Snowflake Cove and one of the biggest secrets is the identity of Raven’s dad. With snow blanketing the village and secrets being revealed, it’s not going to be the quiet, family Christmas the Starrs were expecting, but it’s going to be one that changes people’s lives. And Evie may just get what she was hoping for this Christmas.

As to what inspired the story, I’m not really sure. I write a Christmas book each year and when it came time to write, Evie appeared and told me her story.

 

CSiSCfor KINDLEDid you plan much before writing this novel? How much planning do you feel is needed?

I never plan my novels. Lots of people do, I know, but that simply doesn’t work for me. I firmly believe there is no right or wrong way to write a novel. I do what feels right for me. A character pops up with an idea and I sit and type it. By the end of the first draft I know my characters well, and I do make notes about them along the way. Then I write a second draft. Sometimes I ‘plan’ an event or the ending – but that doesn’t always work out as I expect.

 

What elements do you feel make up good characters? 

Characters need to be believable. No one is perfect, so, like us, characters can have foibles. They should have a ‘strong voice’ – but that doesn’t mean they need to be strong. Sometimes the character with the biggest weakness is the most memorable. They need to be true to themselves. Doing something completely out of character should be as much of a shock to them, as it is to the reader.

 

When you came to edit, did you wait to have a full draft. How did you approach the editing (a chapter at a time?) 

I always edit as I write. I’ll finish a few chapters then the following day I’ll read them through and edit them before continuing. I like doing that because it gets me back into the flow of the story. Once I’ve finished the first draft, half my edits are done. I then read it through. Leave it. Read it again and edit it however many times I need to before it goes off to my editor. Then together, we may do more. I edited this book in the same way I edit all my books.

 

Do you believe plot or character is more important when writing a novel? 

I believe they are equally important – but it depends on the novel. Some stories are plot driven, some are character driven.

 

Are you working on anything at the moment that you can tell me about? 

I’m working on book two in this Michaelmas Bay series. It introduces new characters but we still get to spend some time with Evie and her family. All of my books can be read as standalones even if they are part of a series.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To: Kiltie Jackson

A Rock n Roll Lovestyle - Head Shot PiccieA Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle is the new novel from Kiltie Jackson and was released by WickedKilt Publishing in September 2017. 

I am pleased to welcome her to Novel Kicks today to chat about her writing routine, her favourite word and what Christmas song is essential.

 

Hi Kiltie, it’s lovely to have you in the blog today. Can you tell me about your debut novel, A Rock n’ Roll Lovestyle and what inspired it. 

Thank you so much for having me here today. My novel is focused on the issues of trust, friendship and how difficult it can be to live a life in the public eye. I was inspired on this topic through a life-long love of music coupled with the knowledge of how society puts superstars and celebrities on pedestals only to derive great enjoyment from watching them fall off. I am aware this has been the case for many decades but, in the 21st century, it seems to have escalated to ridiculous levels and I’m not convinced that it is good for society as a whole.

 

What’s your normal writing day like? Do you have rituals when writing?

I still have a 40hr a week day job so my writing days are not as tightly structured as I would like them to be. I currently do ‘writing stuff’ – that can be anything from writing my next novel to working on my blog or doing guest posts for fellow bloggers – on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, nearly all day Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Sometimes, if my husband is working overtime, or away on a trip, I have a treat of writing all day Sunday. The only hard-set ritual is that I will only drink my coffee from a little mug I bought in Salzburg. At the time of purchase it was full of mulled wine. As much as I would like that to still be the case, I suspect my writing may not fully benefit from it.

 

Are you much of a planner? 

I believe I am what is referred to as ‘a basher and fixer’ when it comes to writing. I have a pretty good idea in my head of how my storyline will unfold. I will know exactly how it starts, what is in the middle and how it will end. I then ‘bash’ away at the keyboard putting in the filling between these three points. Once I finish the first draft, I go back to ‘fix’ which entails editing, re-arranging, reading, re-arranging again and polishing up before sending off to my editor for him to sort out my appalling grammar and spelling.

In the rest of my day-to-day life, however, I am a total planner and everything is usually very organised.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

November’s Novel Kicks Book Club: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Novel THE PRINCESS BRIDE Cover

Bloomsbury

For November’s book club, I’m focusing on one of my favourite stories, The Princess Bride. 

The film adaption of this book is probably one of the best films in my humble opinion. It so fabulous. However, I have only recently read the book which, instead of being a book I couldn’t read as I’d already seen the film, it gave me a deeper appreciation for the characters.

‘As You Wish,’ and ‘My name is Inigo Montoya, you kill my father, prepare to die,’ still hold as some of the best film quotes.

Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So, when she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts (no survivors) her heart is broken.

But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairy tale like no other, of fencing, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, bad men, good men, snakes, spiders, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles, and a damn fine story.

I love books and I love chatting about them even more. Who wants to join me to chat about true love, secret identities and betrayal?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Pinterest
LinkedIn
INSTAGRAM
RSS
Follow by Email

December’s Book Club

December’s Book Club

Twitter

Poll

Do you like Halloween?

Archives

Categories