Laura

I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts. I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

My January Favourites

Columbia Pictures

January favourites time. My first of 2020. 

I love reading posts like this as you never know what you’re going to discover. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

My film favourite for January was Little Women. 

Starring Emma Watson, Laura Dern and Saoirse Ronan, this adaptation was directed by Greta Gerwig.

I was one of those people who was a little sceptical about a new adaption of this novel. I didn’t hate the 1994 version but, like many classic novels, there are many.

I saw this one with a friend who is as in love with this story as I am.

The beginning was slightly confusing but when it becomes clear how the timeline is set up, it had a huge amount of charm. It’s a lovely adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel. I know I haven’t got much to compare it to seeing as we are only in January but it’s my favourite film so far this year. Upcoming films I do want to see include A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood starring Tom Hanks, Emma (yes, another adaptation,) and Bill and Ted Face The Music. It’s part of a classic series. Don’t judge me. Hahaha.

 

My favourite app this month is Procreate.

For anyone who is in to digital art or digital planning knows all about the Procreate app. I am in no way an artist but by following many tutorials online and things like drawing assistance, it has allowed me to produce doodles and artwork.

This app has so many incredible features and if you have an iPad or an iPhone then Procreate is a great app if you want to do creative things. It helps me when I am creatively blocked.

I am not being paid to say great things about them. I just love this app.

 

Netflix

The TV show I have been bingeing this month is Suits on Netflix.

The last series has been available for a while but I have been putting it off because I don’t want it to end. The law firm in this series has had more name changes than I’ve had pens though. I own a lot of pens.

I couldn’t put it off any longer thanks to someone I work with saying how good the last series was. I am loving this last lot of episodes and it is filling the void whilst I wait for the new series of Lucifer and Line of Duty later in the year.

It also makes a nice change from all the crime documentaries I have been watching.

I am going to miss Harvey when he goes. I have enjoyed Suits as a whole but I guess everything has to come to an end.

 

Abbie Emmons is my favourite You Tube channel for January.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

February Upcoming Book Releases

Michael Joseph

There has already been some great book releases already this year and we’ve only just made it through January.

With February approaching, I wanted to share some upcoming book releases that I am excited about.

The first book is from the fabulous Marian Keyes. Grownups is due to be released on 6th February and it sounds fantastic.

The basic premise is that the Caseys are glamorous. Three brothers, Johnny, Ed and Liam, their wives and kids. They spend a lot of time together. Birthdays, anniversaries and weekends away.

Things bubble under the surface though and secrets start to spill out. Each one of the adults eventually start to wonder whether it’s time to grow up.

 

Another novel due out on 6th February is Perfect Kill by Helen Fields. This is book six in the DI Callanach series.

Piatkus

Avon

Bert Campbell is alone in the dark with little chance of being found alive. He’s found himself locked inside a shipping container miles from his Edinburgh home.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach separate cases soon collide and with many lives at stake, they face an impossible task but failure is not an option.

 

Staying in the same genre, Golden in Death is the latest novel from J.D. Robb (the pseudonym of Nora Roberts) and it’s the new novel in the Eve Dallas series.

When Kent Abner is found dead in his home, Detective Eve Dallas and her team have a real mystery on their hands.

Who would want to kill the baby doctor, model husband and father?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Michelle Vernal

Hello Michelle, thank you so much for joining me today and inviting me on your blog tour. Can you tell me a little about your novel, When We Say Goodbye and what inspired the story?

Thank you so much for having me.

When we say Goodbye is a story about love, loss and learning to live and open yourself up to possibilities.

This book was inspired by two things. The first was the loss of someone close to me when I was the same age as Ellie. I’d also not long bought an old house which I was in the process of doing up and I believe it was that house and the responsibility I’d taken on in purchasing it that helped me through a difficult time.

There are scenes in the story that I experienced first-hand. Secondly, we here in Christchurch, New Zealand lived through a massive earthquake which had devastating ramifications for people and I couldn’t set a story here, in Christchurch without acknowledging what happened in our city.

 

Do you think character or plot is more important in a story?

I write character driven novels. I don’t know if this is more important it’s just my style of writing.

 

What would be on a playlist for this novel?

Oh, a playlist would definitely feature Coldplay and Ed Sheeran.

 

What’s your typical writing day like? Where do you like to write? Do you prefer silence, do you need coffee?

I need coffee before I do anything! My typical writing day starts after I’ve dropped my boys at school. I think about doing some exercise before I begin (then usually don’t!) before making a coffee and getting comfy on the couch in our conservatory. It’s a lovely space as we are surrounded by greenery and I can hear the birds and not much else.

Our black, three-legged cat called Blue usually joins me and I write until lunchtime. When I say write I flick far too often onto social media as I have a Facebook page I love interacting on.

After lunch, I carry on until it’s time to get the boys. Once they’re home, I have another coffee and work on the marketing side of being an author and then stop for the day when it’s time to make dinner.

Of course, if I have a book releasing and I’m up against it, which always seems to happen no matter how on top of things I think I am, I get back on my laptop after dinner. Most nights though my husband and I go for a walk. It’s important to get out and do that after a day in front of the computer.

 

What is your planning process like?

My planning is pretty much non-existent. A book begins with a thread of an idea and then I just find a place to start. I also find that the hardest part. I’m a definite pantser and the book comes together as I write.

 

Do you tend to edit as you go or wait for a first draft?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: Little Boy Lost by J.P. Carter

One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it.
 
Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi.
 
As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son?

And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks?

 

I was excited to be invited onto the blog tour for Little Boy Lost, the latest novel by J.P. Carter.

Little Boy Lost begins when the wife of a suspected drug dealer is shot dead in a Police raid. When this event sparks riots all over London, DCI Anna Tate know she’s in for a long few nights.

It doesn’t take long until the riots begin to claim their victims including schoolboy Jacob Rossi.

However, he may have been accidentally killed but his presence in the cellar of a derelict pub is far from an accident and Anna and her team find themselves battling to bring both the abductor and arsonist to justice, before it’s too late.

I knew from the first few sentences that I was going to like this novel. It immediately puts the reader into the heart of the action. It also doesn’t shy away from gritty plot lines, all equally sad and compelling.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Extract: The Other Woman by Jane Isaac

Happy Saturday everyone. I am pleased to be welcoming Jane Isaac and the blog tour for her latest book, The Other Woman (previously published as After He’s Gone.) 

The grieving widow. The other woman. Which one is which?

When Cameron Swift is shot and killed outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer. Her role is to support the family – and investigate them.

Monika, Cameron’s partner and mother of two sons, had to be prised off his lifeless body after she discovered him. She has no idea why anyone would target Cameron.

Beth can understand Monika’s confusion. To everyone in their affluent community, Monika and her family seemed just like any other. But then Beth gets a call.

Sara is on holiday with her daughters when she sees the news. She calls the police in the UK, outraged that no one has contacted her to let her know or offer support. After all, she and Cameron had been together for the last seven years…

Until Cameron died, Monika and Sara had no idea each other existed.

As the case unfolds, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. Especially the dead…

Previously published as After He’s Gone.

 

To celebrate the book’s release, Jane and Aria have shared an extract. Enjoy.

 

***** beginning of extract*****

 

Residents of Collingtree Park were just taking their waking breaths when the roar of a motorbike broke their Sunday morning reverie.

At high speed, the rider took the bends effortlessly, radiating a cool calmness in dark leathers. He passed houses with curtains drawn tightly, manicured lawns, driveways adorned with estate cars and people-carriers screaming out for their weekend wash.

Exhaust fumes dispersed into an air thick from a sun already flexing its muscles, reigning supreme in the clear blue sky. Summer was in full swing, the recent heatwave showing no signs of abating. In a few hours, paddling pools would be refilled in back gardens, the sound of children’s shrieks and laughter filling the area.

At precisely 7.05 a.m., Cameron Swift emerged from number sixteen Meadowbrook Close, pulling the door to a gentle close behind him.

The bike dropped a gear, rounded the lip of the close, and pulled up the incline.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Movie Scenes

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction 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: Movie scenes. 

Your character claims to have a glamorous life when in reality, they live their life through the films they watch on TV.

One day, they magically find themselves in the scene of their favourite movie.

They need to work to get out and back to real life but with every action, it is changing the outcome of the movie and therefore, your character’s knowledge of it.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Patricia Ann Bowen

Hello Patricia, thank you so much for joining me today and for inviting me onto your blog tour. Can you tell me a little about your novel, The Cure and what inspired the story?

I was at a meeting of Sisters in Crime in Atlanta when the leader asked the audience to write a quick book blurb and share it. I’d been doing a lot of volunteer work with senior citizens, and my dad had recently passed away with dementia, so the topic of Alzheimer’s was top of mind. I raised my hand with an idea, the audience applauded, and two long years later I published the book.

It’s women’s fiction, a tale of a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease who is visited by a man from the future with a cure. I call it a hopeful fantasy. He’s a doctor, head of a medical research team, and needs her to conduct a long-term study to prove the safety and efficacy of their drug, and the only way for him to do this quickly is to get patients in the past to take the drug and get the results to him. The plot thickens as their relationship gets complicated, as the study must be done under the legal and ethical radar, and as the doctor ignores his directive to change nothing during his trip to the past.

 

What’s your writing day like and what do you need around you, for example, silence, coffee?

I either write or revise almost every day. If I’m writing, I shoot for at least one thousand words. If I’m revising, at least a couple of hours. I’m a morning person, up at around four most days, and my mental state is best early in the day. So, I’m that weird neighbour you see out walking in the dark of the morning in the light of the moon for exercise, then come home for coffee and breakfast, two cats show  up on my desk, pictures of my muses surround me (Flannery O’Connor, Elena Ferrante, Pascal Garnier, Patricia Highsmith), my laptop has ready research available from google and Wikipedia, and I begin to write.

 

What’s your favourite word and why?

Great question. After much thought, I’d have to say “care”. I want to care about the important things, things that will help me and others, inspire me to give back to all who’ve helped me and cared for me. It’s easy to say we like something, but do we care about it?

Do we care enough about something to do something about it…put some time in for it? We have so many challenges today, life is not simple anymore, and I think that caring becomes a differentiator, whether it’s a small thing like making a good cup of coffee or a big one like what can I personally do to make someone else’s life better today.

Like write a better story, take someone away from their troubles for a page at a time. Listen, we writers aren’t in this for the money, and I love hearing that a reader cared about my story, that it made them think, or laugh, or grin, or even that it put them to sleep after a long day.

 

How do you approach the editing process?

With sheer dread. I can’t say that writing is easy, but I find it a breeze compared to editing and revising. It’s difficult to tear your own work apart, to read it like a reader and not the author of all those words. As for my process, I make five passes: first to review the draft and mark it up for obvious changes; second to enhance the plot, subplot(s) and scenes… too much detail, not enough, right details; third, enhance the characters and their dialog; fourth, check spelling, grammar, for weak and passive words, check names and dates and places; fifth, polish it, show off, spice it up, add some clues, ramp up the pace. Then I send it out to four to six beta readers and attend to their advice, making changes, rereading, reediting. There are no short-cuts.

 

Do you think character or plot is more important?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Extract: The Beach House by P.R. Black

I am happy to be part of the blog tour for The Beach House, the latest novel from P.R. Black. 

This vacation is about to turn deadly…

Cora’s on the island vacation of her dreams: a private beach in paradise, a romantic proposal, and an eight-figure cheque following the sale of her new fiancé’s business.

When their island turns out to be not so private after all, Cora tries to make the best of a bad situation by inviting their strangely friendly neighbours to celebrate with them.

But it doesn’t take long for her once-in-a-lifetime holiday to take a very sinister turn…

 

P.R. Black and Aria have shared an extract today. 

 

***** beginning of extract*****

 

Once the call was over, Jonathan dropped the phone onto the sand. He grinned, slipping on a pair of shorts he’d discarded by the side of the beach chair the night before. ‘Now you believe me?’

‘I’m not sure I do… This is incredible. What happens now?’

‘How about everything you’ve ever wanted?’

‘The amount of money… it’s a dream, but my God. The responsibility.’ She drew a hand through her tight black curls. ‘It’s a great thing. But a terrible thing.’

‘Yeah, I know. With absolute power, comes great, whatever. Spider-Man. Uncle Ben. Loved that movie. The Tobey Maguire one, I mean. Real Spider-Man.’

‘I’m serious. And what if we get kidnapped?’

‘Kidnapped!’ Jonathan spluttered. ‘Bit presumptuous. The money’s only just gone in the bank!’

‘It happens – you hear about it all the time. It happens to millionaires, it’s common. They get targeted. For cars, or ransom demands. They capture their kids, their wives. We’ll need security guards… and cameras… or a really big dog.’

‘How about a tyrannosaur? We could afford one of those. We’ll need a really big doghouse. Come to think of it, we’ll need a big house of our own. You always wanted a swimming pool, right?’

She giggled. ‘Is this actually happening?’

He nodded and bit his lip. ‘Are you pleased? Tell me you’re pleased.’

She paused. ‘We have to do something good with it.’

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles.

There are 192 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.

Dear Edward depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle’s garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.

As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

 

I am very happy to be part of the blog tour for Dear Edward, the latest novel from Ann Napolitano.

Dear Edward is the story of Edward who is a sole survivor of a plane crash that claims the lives of his parents and older brother. Now living with his Auntie and Uncle, this twelve-year-old is having adjust to life that is so different to everything he’s ever known whilst being in the spotlight post plane crash.

Dear Edward is unlike any novel I’ve ever read. You know when you pick up a book and just from the blurb on the back of the novel you know that you’re going to like it/get a lot from it? This book was an example of that for me.

Set between the events prior to the crash and the aftermath, it is so much more than how one boy deals with it.

This book is beautifully written. I found Edward’s story pre-crash interesting. He, as well as John and Lacey, are incredibly brave and complex people.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Moment With… D.B. Carter

A big lovely welcome today to D.B. Carter. His book, The Wild Roses was released by Mirador at the end of 2019.

Three friendships torn apart by one chance meeting. By autumn 1984 Sharon and Pip are in their final years of school and on the verge of adulthood. Best friends for as long as they can remember, the two young women befriend their badly bullied schoolmate, Gavin.

Their futures are bright until a chance meeting leads to a path of corruption, anger and malicious betrayal. Sometimes, when we can’t rely on those we love, our only hope is in the kindness of strangers. All three teens are driven from their homes to follow very different paths. They face dark times of heartbreak and new temptations.

But there may be ways out and better futures, if they are willing to take risks. What will they choose, and will they ever see each other again?

The Wild Roses is a coming-of-age drama for all ages that speaks honestly of love, loss, jealousy, coercion and self-discovery.

 

D.B. Carter has joined me today to chat about writing contemporary drama and romance and the challenges he faces. Over to you.

 

With two published novels, The Cherries and The Wild Roses, I’m starting to accept I may use “author” to refer to myself. I’ve worked in many sectors, including art, computer sciences, and business, but I felt I had come home to the place where I was meant to be when I started writing. My parents were artists and a creative drive runs deep in my psyche, but it took nearly half a century for fulfil my lifelong desire to write the kind of drama-romances that I’ve enjoyed for so long.

I’ve always enjoyed listening to people’s true-life stories. They give so many fascinating details and perspectives on society that the history books will never tell. When I was a lad, I would go with my mum to visit my grandmother, whereupon I’d be presented with a comic (generally the Beano or Dandy) and sent to read in the corner of the room while they chatted about life or reminisced about the past; even then, I realised how many anecdotes they had to relate and how many of life’s pleasures are to be discovered in small details. Since then, I’ve stored away decades of chats and reminiscences and they help me remember the rich assortment of people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

I hope I’ve carried these observations into my work as a writer. I’d never replicate anyone’s true story, but I draw inspiration from them. It seems to me we tell most about a character from how they react in a situation – the remarks they make or the tears they shed are testaments to their very souls. To me, the people who inhabit my books are real, and I often miss them when I finish writing.

I get so many kind messages from readers of my books, some of which touch me deeply. It’s a wonderful thing when someone says your writing has helped them in some way. I often cover difficult subjects, but I hope I do so in a compassionate and respectful manner, and I believe creating believable and relatable characters helps foster empathy.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Patrick Canning

Hi Patrick. Thank you so much for joining me on Novel Kicks today. Can you tell me a little about your novel, The Colonel and The Bee and what inspired the idea.

The Colonel and the Bee is a Victorian Age adventure novel about a young acrobat who meets a larger-than-life explorer and the journey they go on together. The idea for the book was as simple as people flying around in a hot air balloon, getting into adventures, and the characters and themes followed.

 

What’s your writing day like, where do you like to write and do you have any writing rituals?

I try to write every day (though admittedly little on Sundays). I write in coffee shops because there are too many distractions at home. I wouldn’t say I have any real rituals other than a cold brew or iced tea, and I’ll either listen to the ambience of the space or something instrumental in my headphones to really focus in.

 

Can you tell me a little about your writing process from idea to final edit?

I always have a long phase of gathering material for a particular idea, and once that becomes enough for an outline, make a fairly general outline. Whenever the schedule allows, the outline goes into a first draft (which usually takes a few weeks). Then it’s many rounds of rewriting, outside feedback, and whatever else is necessary to get the book out.

 

What music would feature on a playlist for this novel?

Any kind of whimsical classical music. The soundtrack for the movie The Brothers Bloom might work.

 

What is more important when writing a novel, character or plot?

I think it depends on the particular novel. Stories that are more firmly rooted in genre will probably have a more plot-dependent execution because there are certain reader expectations, but if something is a little more literary or unconventional, character might take the lead. The boring but true answer is that both are simultaneously the most important, and in some ways inseparable if done correctly.

 

How do you approach creating a character?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy

The only way is murder…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, is forced to brush up on her detective skills for a third time when her cousin Sarika is plunged into danger.

Sarika and her reality TV star boyfriend Terry both receive threatening notes.  When Terry stops calling, Lena assumes he’s lost interest. Until he turns up. Dead. Lena knows she must act fast to keep her cousin from the same fate.

Scrubbing her way through the grubby world of reality television, online dating and betrayed lovers, Lena finds it harder than she thought to discern what’s real – and what’s just for the cameras.

 

I am very happy to be involved in the blog tour for A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy.

Lena is an Hungarian cleaner who works in London. She uses the cover of her job to solve the murder of reality TV star, Terry Tibbs.

Whilst trying to figure out who killed Terry and keep her cousin safe, she’s struggling to determine what is real and what was for the cameras.

I had not read any of the previous books in the series but this didn’t seem to matter. I didn’t feel that I was playing catch up.

Lena is a feisty character and I immediately liked her. The supporting characters were all intriguing too.

Reality TV plays a big part in the plot along with revenge, obsession and murder. It’s a good study at how reality TV is blurring the lines between what is real and fiction and like Lena, I was desperate to find out what was what.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Book Review: Right Behind You by Rachel Abbott

Jo Palmer’s peaceful and happy life is about to end.

Ash – the man she loves – will be arrested by the police.
Millie – her precious daughter – will be taken from her.

She will lose her friends.
She will doubt her sanity.

Someone is stealing everything Jo loves, and will stop at nothing.

But right now, Jo is laughing in her kitchen, eating dinner with her family, suspecting nothing.

It’s raining outside.

There’s a knock at the door. They are here.

When the police show up at Jo’s door saying they are arresting her partner, Ash, she doesn’t know what to think.

When Social Services are not that far behind, saying that they want to take her daughter, Millie due to complaints of abuse, Jo very reluctantly agrees when she thinks she has no choice.

When it becomes clear that things are not what they seem, Jo becomes frantic.

DCI Tom Douglas and DI Becky Robinson are back and they vow to help her but with Jo questioning which people she can trust, she doesn’t know whether she will see Ash and her daughter again.

I am always so happy when Tom and Becky come back again. They are one of my favourite crime fighting duos and I was intrigued to see what came next.

I don’t know what it is about these novels but I devour them. I race through them because I can’t stop reading and then I have such a book hangover once I’ve finished. Rachel Abbott has such a way of writing a compelling thriller and this book, like the others, did not disappoint.

Some of Jo’s decisions are questionable but overall, I felt sorry for her.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… S.L Briden

Hello. Thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell me about From the Ashes, the first novel in your Shadows of a Phoenix series and how the idea originated?

Since a young age, I’ve always been fascinated with the Arthurian legend and, later on in life, the dark ages of the UK. My late husband shared this fascination with me and together we spent many years researching myths and legends across the UK.

From our research, we discovered that the roman era of the UK displayed strong possibilities that their gladiators who used two swords in their arena’s, could have extended this battle technique over to the UK. Thus, we drafted the series, ‘Shadows of a Phoenix.’

I’ve always loved reading and writing stories but over the years I’ve found that some fantasy stories, including historic ones, tell of the battles and feats of the heroes and heroines conquers but didn’t give a realistic feeling of how anyone would cope mentally to be a part of it, even if the characters are made up and can perform sorcery.

To believe you would be brave and just carry on with life as normal was completely absurd to me, the same as if the weight of a prophecy was placed on your shoulders which states that you are the one to bring peace, so that is where the idea came to me that there needed to be a story out there that showed the true effects these things could have upon someone and the mistakes they make along the way.

That a prophecy is nothing to be rejoiced about when you are the one prophesied.

 

What is your typical writing day like? Are you the kind of writer that needs endless amounts of coffee? Do you prefer silence? When and where do you like to write?

I mainly write in the evening at home but most of the time it’s not in silence. I write with my headphones on and listen to music to connect to me with different scenes that I’m writing.

I begin with a playlist that I add different scores to, to fit each scene, character or specific occurrence, be it just a single track or numerous ones for the same scene I am writing.

If whilst writing my draft I believe the track is suited to another scene, or it no longer inspires me, I simply move the track up, down or delete it.

I am always adding more tracks to each scene and deleting others whilst writing the novel which by the end of it gives me a musical outline of the story

 

Which fictional character would you like to meet and why?

Daenerys Targaryen. Putting aside that she’s turned into a mad queen toward the end of the Game of Thrones, she started as a scared young girl and turned into an amazing leader who sought to abolish slavery. Ok, and she can command dragons! lol

 

What’s your favourite word?

Muppet — I can be one myself at times lol

 

What are the challenges of writing a series of books?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

NK Chats To… Paul Nicholls

Hello Paul. It’s lovely to be welcoming you to Novel Kicks today. Can you tell me a bit about your book, The Magical Secret of the Crystal Kingdom and what inspired the story?

It’s a children’s portal fantasy novel along the same lines as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which was one of my favourite books growing up. It’s about a group of children who find a collection of crystals buried in a cave in the woods.

They take the crystals back to the house that they are staying in and that night they are transported into another world made of crystals and inhabited by magical talking animals. The female protagonist Rose is transformed into a pink horse and is separated from all of the other children who also think that they are alone there and are also transformed into magical animals.

One by one the children start realise that this world is at war and has been for a long time and that it is down to them to save it. It is a story of love and hope and believing in yourself.

 

What were the challenges you faced when writing?

Keeping track of the characters! I always knew from the start that I wanted to create a world into which both the characters and the readers can escape into. By creating another world it was inevitable that the children were going to meet lots of characters along the way.

Also, for the purposes of relating a deeper meaning to certain aspects of the story I knew that I needed to have seven friends who go into the crystal kingdom together.

 

What’s your writing process like from first idea to final draft, where do you like to write and do you have any writing rituals?

I did initially start with an outline or more accurately a headline for each chapter but as I started to write I realised that the characters and the story took on a life of its own and that so much just happened spontaneously that was never in my original plan.

I write at my desk at home and normally just write on a Friday morning to get me going. However once I’ve really got going I tend to write at all different times.

 

What’s your favourite word and why?

I think Enchanting is my favourite word it just sounds exciting and amazing and wonderful all at the same time.

 

Which book made the most impact on you as a child?

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
Book Club
Book Club
Twitter
Poll
Archives
Categories