The Angel [blog tour]

The Angel - Katerina Diamond

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for The Angel by Katerina Diamond! It looks like a fantastic read so enjoy the following extract and make sure to add it to your Goodreads ‘TBR list’ – I know I have!

Title: The Angel
Author: Katerina Diamond
Publisher: Avon Books

[Synopsis]

THE TRUTH WON’T STAY LOCKED UP FOREVER.

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

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Extract Ten from Chapter Three, pp 33-34

‘Why did you start the fire?’ Imogen asked.

‘It was cold. The rain was pelting down; I didn’t know it was going to rain so I wasn’t wearing a coat.’ He paused, obviously trying to think of how to word his answers. ‘One of the girls was cold. It was a metal bin and the fire didn’t even last very long.’

‘Go on.’

‘That was it. We left and went to the club to see the band.’

Adrian looked briefly at Imogen, who looked every bit as sombre as he felt.

‘Unfortunately, arson is a pretty big deal, Gabriel,’ Adrian said.

‘Arson? No, it wasn’t that. I wouldn’t do that.’

‘That’s for the judge to decide.’

‘Judge? What do you mean? Are you charging me with arson? It was an accident.’

Imogen sighed audibly, exhaling and then holding her breath again.

‘There’s something else, I’m afraid,’ she said.

‘If you call my parents they can pay for the damage.’

‘I’m afraid it’s more complicated than that.’ Adrian paused and looked at Imogen. ‘There was a body found in the signal box,’ he said.

The force of Adrian’s words knocked the colour out of Gabriel’s face. ‘What?’

‘There was someone in the room below when the building caught fire. There’s every likelihood it was a homeless man, but we don’t know for sure at this point until there’s been a thorough examination of both the site and the body.’

‘No . . . it was just us,’ he said faintly, his chest heaving.

‘Are you all right?’ Imogen asked. Gabriel was shaking; he looked as though he was going to throw up.

The Angel is out now in paperback, EBook and audio formats – buy on Amazon here


Katerina Diamond

About the Author

Katerina Diamond lives on the east Kent Coast with her son and daughter.

Born in Weston-super-Mare, she has lived in various places since including Greece, Cyprus, Derby, East London and Exeter.

Her first novel reached number six in the Sunday Times Bestseller chart.


Check out the other stops on the blog tour below:

Angel Blog tour

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The Cedar Cage [spotlight] @robscape

Today I’m spotlighting the new novel by Robert Greenfield, The Cedar Cage. It’s set in Norfolk, the county I currently live in, and I love finding out more about novels set in this area – and this sounds like a great read!

Read on to find out more about the book and some information from Robert as he tells us about the setting for his new noir-fiction novel…

The Cedar Cage - Robert Greenfield

Title: The Cedar Cage
Author: Robert Greenfield
Publisher: Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie

[Synopsis]

The boathouse had been built by an Edwardian aristocrat – from a single cedar of Lebanon – as a retreat, maybe even a cage, for his glamorous American bride. But in 2008, just weeks after moving into this dream home, Bertie starts to feel uneasy about living inside someone else’s fantasy.

Obsession takes hold when he becomes convinced that a carpenter, commissioned to fulfil Lord James Newton-Grey’s vision, was murdered in the boathouse. His investigations immerse him in a sinister web of family secrets, as tangled and treacherous as the Norfolk marshlands that lie beyond his windows.

Bertie’s own dark past plays tag with the present, driving him to the edge of madness, when he is forced to confront a chilling truth about himself – delivered by an unexpected visitor on Christmas Day.

Readers of The Cedar Cage – like its characters – must make up their own minds: is Bertie’s strange, unquenchable imagination running riot … or has something genuinely supernatural been at work?”

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[Over to Robert…]

61cmqrkojxl-_ux250_“Originally, The Cedar Cage was supposed to be a sequel to my autobiography Samphire Coast (a bestseller for my publisher, Pegasus), but as my narrative developed, it became clear to me that the setting for the boathouse, which was our new Riverside home (formerly a boathouse) could be transposed to an altogether even-more isolated location, than its village setting. And thus inspired by not only the dense pinewoods at Holkham, but also the woods at Stiffkey, where I walked my dog Barnaby (Boo) most mornings – the idea propagated into a much-darker and deliciously Gothic multi-layered fictional tale, as tangled and treacherous as the Norfolk marshlands beyond…

 

Watch the book trailer for The Cedar Cage on Youtube here

a href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cedar-Cage-Robert-Greenfield/dp/1910903051/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Amazon! FInd out more about Robert Greenfield by visiting his website, www.robertgreenfield.co.uk.


DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

#CoverReveal time! #FatalMasquerade by @VivWrites @hqdigital

Excited to bring a cover reveal to you today, for Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy!

Title: Fatal Masquerade
Author: Vivian Conroy
Publisher: HQ Digital
Series: A Lady Alkmene Cosy Mystery, Book 4

Fatal Masquerade cover reveal banner

[Synopsis]

Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…
Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined…

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Fatal Masquerade is out in ebook format on 4 October - Pre-order on Amazon here

View Fatal Masquerade / the rest of the series on Goodreads

Find out more about Vivian Conroy here
 

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Spotlight on: A Mind To Kill by @nicholl06 + GIVEAWAY!

A Mind To Kill - John Nicholl

Today I’m thrilled to have author John Nicholl on the blog to introduce us to his new novel, A Mind To Kill, and how John’s own experiences and career has inspired this gripping tale. We also have a signed paperback copy of the first in the series, White Is The Coldest Colour, to give away AND four ebook copies of A Mind To Kill!

 

[Biography: About John]

I’ve worked as a police officer and as a social worker and operational manager for the child guidance service, two social services departments and the NSPCC. I’ve also lectured on child protection at several colleges and universities. I live in beautiful south west Wales with my family, and began writing after leaving my job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.

I’ve written three Amazon internationally bestselling darkly psychological suspense thrillers before A Mind To Kill, each of which are available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The books have reached # 1 in multiple Amazon categories in six countries.

 

John Nicholl[Inspiration for A Mind To Kill]

Like all my books, A Mind to Kill, draws on my professional experiences. Far too often during my career I was left incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their vulnerable victims. My new novel reflects that abhorrent reality.

The book is intended primarily as a gritty and entertaining crime thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. I hope, however, that it also brings some much needed attention to the risk posed by deviant criminals who target and groom potential victims on the internet.

A Mind To Kill is essentially a dark tale of female revenge. It’s not a book for the faint-hearted.

 

[Synopsis]

They kill innocence. She wants revenge.

When Rebecca’s childhood abuser escapes justice it sets her on a path to revenge. Revenge on any man who preys on the innocent.

A gripping page-turner of a psychological thriller packed with suspense.

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The novel is available for preorder now, with a 5 August release date. Pre-order on Amazon here.

Visit John’s website and Facebook page, and take a look at A Mind To Kill on Goodreads.

[Giveaway Time!]

We have a signed paperback edition of White Is The Coldest Colour to give away AND an ebook copy of A Mind To Kill to one lucky reader. Plus four winners will each win an ebook copy of A Mind To Kill!

Enter the giveaway here.

(Giveaway ends midnight on Tuesday 15 August. Paperback copy entry is UK only but international entrants are welcome for the ebook copies!)

 

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

Author Spotlight: Pat Abercromby

JustOneLife_Banner

Title: Just One Life
Author: Pat Abercromby
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing]

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Today I’m so pleased to welcome author Pat Abercromby to Snazzy Books. She’ll be sharing a bit about herself, as well as her inspiration for Just One Life, as part of my stop on the blog tour!

Pat AbercrombyOver to Pat:

“I have always been intensely interested in other people’s life’s and stories. Not wanting to live vicariously through them, but possibly been influenced and inspired by some people I have had the privilege of knowing.

I have always loved animals but was not clever enough to train as a vet (mathematics and me did not get on) so instead, I went into veterinary laboratory research and from this early career pathway starting at the Veterinary Hospital in Glasgow, I worked for a further six years in medical research in London and Germany. After finally deciding that medical research was not for me, I started my own recruiting company for medical representatives until my two daughters were born sixteen months apart and I found it impossible to keep on working as my job took me away from home for days at a time. My husband was a flight engineer flying long haul trips and I had no other family available or willing to help me out with the babies. I could have afforded a nanny then, but to be honest, I could not bear to leave them for so long.

For the next twenty years, my career went on the back burner as we travelled round the world with my husband who took on long contracts with several international airlines. We lived in Singapore, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Seattle, USA. However, I was always working on some project or another, never making much money, but enjoying the experiences. I dabbled in telecommunication sales, skincare products, MLM style, that was awful and and definitely not for me! In Jeddah I hosted a radio talk show and wrote articles for the Arab press which gave me the opportunity to interview some fascinating people. We returned to the UK from America when my daughters were ready to attend university.

I retrained as a massage therapist at the age of fifty. Something I had always been interested it but was unable to train as we were abroad for so long. By the age of fifty three I had trained in several holistic massage disciplines, including Seated Acupressure massage and wanted to train other therapists. I gained a post graduate degree in education (PGCE,) and set up a training school with my business partner Davina. In the year 2000 we published our own training book Seated Acupressure Massage (still available on Amazon 17 years later.) For ten years we offered our City and Guilds accredited training course throughout the UK and Ireland. Alongside that, I ran a First Aid training company for the corporate and private sector.

Then my life took an unexpected twist. I met a retired pilot on a domestic flight coming back from a training course in Scotland. He had an idea about a start-up long haul low cost airline using combo 747 aircraft which would carry freight and passengers. I introduced him to my newly retired husband who knew the airline industry inside out. This kicked off a three year project with an experienced team of aviators and me heavily involved as well. At the eleventh hour, the night before the launch, our main investor was arrested by the FBI for money laundering and the whole venture collapsed with devastating consequences for all concerned. A few months later, we were almost bankrupt and then my husband had a massive stroke.

For the next eight years, I was a full-time carer for him, unable to continue working apart from running the First Aid training company, matching trainers with client companies which I could do from home. We sold our comfortable family home and moved into a small two bedroomed house, but two years ago, he developed vascular dementia and had to go into a residential dementia care nursing home. I visit him every week and he seems quite settled. Having six days of the week now available, has allowed me to claim back some of my life and my first novel, Just One Life is one result of that. I also have a few private clients who come for remedial massage treatments and I have started up another business with Davina my training school partner from before and we offer chair massage sessions in the corporate sector through our company Wellbeing Direct. I also find time to garden, walk the dog and look after my grandchildren regularly. I love classical music and go to concerts as often as I can.

I have a non-fiction technical book and another novel in the pipeline so I won’t be retiring any time soon. I have taken up pilates and yoga recently to keep the stiff knees under control!

Just One Life is dedicated to all unsung carers, young and old, male or female and to friendship.”

View Just One Life on Goodreads, or buy online on Amazon.co.uk.


Just One Life: 
Synopsis

Just One Life_CoverWhen you realise you have just one life left to live, how do you make peace with the mistakes of your past?

Fran should be looking back on her life with pride. She’s risen to the top of the job ladder, having left behind a council housing estate in post-war Glasgow, to forge a colourful, fulfilling career and enjoy all the trappings of success.

But instead, Fran is consumed by regret. A shocking revelation has cast her life, and her thirty-year marriage, asunder. She finds herself the full-time carer for her husband, a man she now accepts, she has never loved. The sacrifices she has made, the personal freedoms she has lost, have left Fran crushed. Her free-spirited friend Iona is her one salvation. Their friendship has survived the storms of conflict and loss since childhood, their deep affection for one another the only constant remaining in Fran’s life, a life she no longer recognises as her own.

Her husband’s new brush with death will give Fran the chance to reflect on what she has left, the choices she has made and the two men she has loved and lost.

Can Fran find a way through the ruins of her marriage and find inner peace, to make the most of what remains of her life’s journey?


A Bit About Pat

Living in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, Pat Abercromby has enjoyed a varied career – from recruitment consultant to journalist in Saudi Arabia and massage therapist – eventually setting up a training school for Seated Acupressure Massage. Today she continues to work within the field of corporate wellness with her business partner Davina Thomson with their joint company Wellbeing Direct. She also co-wrote and published Seated Acupressure Massage with Davina Thomson in 2000. In her spare time, Pat enjoys being an active member of her local creative writing group, classical music and the outdoors.

View Just One Life on Goodreads, or buy online on Amazon.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

[Guest Post] Familial DNA in ‘The Death of Anyone’ & real life!

The Death Of AnyoneI’m a BIG fan of crime novels, and I particularly love learning more about the techniques they use. I always wonder which techniques are really used in the police force, and in real life. So I’m really excited to welcome author DJ Swykert to the blog, to tell us about Familial DNA searches, a case when it was used in real life to catch a serial killer, and  his great new novel, The Death of Anyone

Title: The Death Of Anyone
Author: DJ Swykert
Publisher: Melange Books

Over to DJ…

“The underlying theme in The Death of Anyone, Melange Books, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify the means? Bonnie Benham, the lead detective in my story, has her own answer. But the legality of this question was answered in a real life courtroom in the California trial of a serial killer dubbed by the media: The Grim Sleeper.

Lonnie David Franklin, the Grim Sleeper, was caught because his son’s DNA was the closest match to DNA collected at the crime scenes in the database. Investigating Franklin’s son led them to investigate Lonnie Franklin. But there was no direct DNA evidence that linked Lonnie to the crime scene until they obtained a sample from him after his arrest. Lonnie Franklin is the first person in the U.S. to ever stand trial for murder based on this type of evidence, and its admissibility issues were thoroughly tested by defense attorneys.

Only two states at this time, California and Colorado, have a written policy concerning the use of Familial DNA in an investigation. The admission of Familial DNA, with its potential Fourth Amendment violations, has never been tested in court. The California trial of Lonnie David Franklin will become a landmark case for the future use of Familial DNA Searches by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Lonnie David Franklin, AKA, The Grim Sleeper, was arrested on July 7, 2010. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office charged him with ten counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and special circumstance allegations of multiple murders in the cases. A grand jury indictment was issued on March 23, 2011. The Grim Sleeper has been resting comfortably in jail since his arrest awaiting trial; the large quantity of evidence in this case, some dating back thirty years, has caused a lengthy pretrial discovery. The trial was originally scheduled to begin the summer of 2014, but was put on hold. It was rescheduled for June 30, 2015, but that didn’t happen. On Monday August 17, 2015, at a pretrial hearing, the trial was rescheduled for October 14, 2015. Finally, in the late spring of 2016, The Grim Sleeper was convicted in May of 2016 and received the death penalty. The death sentence was later upheld by the court in August of 2016. A long appeals process, which might ultimately end up with the Supreme Court, is expected.

I first heard of the technique while working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with our CSI investigator in our department. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a book. I began writing the mystery some three years later after leaving the department. I had just finished editing a first draft of The Death of Anyone in the summer 2010 when news of The Grim Sleeper’s capture in Los Angeles was released. I read with interest all the information pouring out of L.A. regarding the investigation and the problems confronting prosecutors. All of which are explored in The Death of Anyone.

In my fictional story Detroit Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from working undercover in narcotics to homicide and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. She is a straight forward investigator who describes herself as a blonde with a badge and a gun. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. “

The Death of Anyone is available on the Melange Books website and also on Amazon in Kindle and print, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Kobo.

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ABOUT DJ:

meDJ Swykert is a former 911 operator writing and living in the Cincinnati area. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Coe Review, Monarch Review, the Newer York, Lunch Ticket, Gravel, Zodiac Review, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, Alpha Wolves, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude, Sweat Street, Justice in the Street, Nude Swimming and The Death of Anyone.

Find out more:

Website: www.magicmasterminds.com/djswykert
Twitter: @djswykert
Facebook: David J. Swykert

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Spotlight: Spell Caster

Spell Caster cover

Title: Spell Caster
Author: Leah Hamrick
Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Today on the blog I have a spotlight post for Spell Caster, a collection of three short stories by author Leah Hamrick!


Three paranormal short stories. One sweet, one dark, one fun. Which one will be your favorite?

Love Caster: There is nothing greater than pure, sweet love, and that’s something Anna Bowden knows all about. While trying to get the courage to kiss her boyfriend Killian, she has to deal with her overbearing dad, who will stop at nothing to tear them apart.

In the Darkness: After Anna Bowden witnesses someone—or something—lurking in her backyard, it starts a chain of frightening events that leads to a gruesome discovery.

First Holiday: Featuring the characters from Frost On My Pillow—be prepared for a sweet, fun, wild ride. While Ethan gives Lyla—who has never celebrated Christmas before— the task of finding out the true meaning of the holiday, he surreptitiously tries to tell her how he really feels, but before that can occur, a lot of decorating and snowball fights have to happen!

The book is available to buy now on Amazon here!


About the author

Leah Hamrick lives in Michigan with her partner in crime husband Jon, daughter Khloey, and plethora or reptiles. She’s the author of many short stories and a novel (more she has yet graced the world with, meaning they’re not published… Yet!) She enjoys heavy metal music when she isn’t writing, she loves hiking, going to the beach, and reading anything that’s paranormal romance, which is the genre she writes in, (mostly!) You can check out her stuff on Amazon… Just type her name and walah, a bunch of new stories you can fall in love with!

 

Fatal Music [Blog Tour]: Why the South of France?

Fatal Music - Peter Morfoot

Title: Fatal Music
Author: Peter Morfoot
Publisher: Titan Books

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for Fatal Music, the second novel in the Captain Darac series. Today on SnazzyBooks, author (and Yorkshireman) Peter Morfoot reveals why he decided to set the series in the South of France…

But first, here’s a quick synopsis of the book:

Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle arrives at a crime scene to find a woman’s mutilated corpse. Initially routine, the case deepens and darkens into a complex enquiry that threatens to close in on Darac himself. But allegiances past and present must be set aside to unravel a tale of greed, deception and treachery that spans the social spectrum. It is among the winding streets of his own neighbourhood in Nice’s old town, the Babazouk, that Darac faces his severest test yet.

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Peter Morfoot: “Why the South of France?”

Fatal Music - Peter MorfootFollowing Impure Blood (April 2016), Fatal Music is the second novel published by Titan Books in my series featuring Captain Paul Darac of Nice’s Serious Crimes Squad, the Brigade Criminelle. A lover of most genres of crime fiction, including the Nordic-Noir story worlds created by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson and Titan’s own Chris Ould, my own inclination was to head south. Why?

As for so many others, my first encounter with the French Riviera was a summer holiday – our first foray abroad as a family. I remember the flight over as if it were yesterday. We took off into a thick blanket of cloud over Gatwick and it wasn’t until we were coming into land that it finally cleared. Of course, being greyed out for two hours served only to heighten the power of the reveal as we touched down. There was a world beyond that porthole, after all. And as if by magic, it was now in glorious Technicolor. We couldn’t wait to experience it first hand.

When it came, that initial taste of abroad didn’t disappoint. As we filed down the open steps on to the tarmac, we were quite simply overwhelmed by the heat, the scents and above all, by the intensity of the southern light, the inspiration of generations of artists as diverse as Scott Fitgerald, Monet, and Henri Matisse. The South of France? It was pretty much love at first sight. As in all love affairs, we’ve gone on to have our ups and downs but all these years years later, it’s a love that’s still strong.

But when I set about devising what eventually became the Darac series, the Riviera was not my first choice as setting. Yes, I was a practising, if not uncritical Francophile, and over the years I’d got to know Nice well, certainly well enough for it to function as a character in its own right in the stories, places closer to home were ahead of it on points. My native West Yorkshire for one.

Although I was attracted to the idea of setting a crime series abroad, the prospect of researching into legal, penal and policing systems that are very different from those in the U.K. was a daunting one.

Nevertheless, I added Nice to the shortlist of possible settings. To ensure I made a rational final decision, I resolved to turn a blind eye to the Côte d’Azur’s more obvious charms. It would have been too easy, I thought, to have been seduced by such things as the region’s 300 days of sunshine a year; by the beauty of the mountains and that eponymous azure coastline. And then there’s the quality of the food and the wine. And did I mention the wine? Yes, it would have been all too easy to have been seduced by those things. And of course, I was.

But as a crime writer, I needed more than light and beauty. I needed darkness and despair. Were there serpents slithering around in this urban paradise? Oh yes, long before the appalling events of Bastille Day 2016, they were there, alright. And so Nice, as exotically beautiful as any Mediterranean resort but with its fair share of big city problems and crime, began to stake more and more of a claim.

In the end, it was thinking further about my detective-to- be that decided the issue of the setting for me. But how I came up with my central character, the jazz-playing homicide detective Paul Darac, will have to wait until next time.

Intrigued? Buy Fatal Music on Amazon or take a look at the book on Goodreads. Follow Peter on Twitter here.


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Viki Patis [Guest Blog: My Writing Space]

weltanschauung-cover

Title: Weltanschauung
Author: Vikki Patis


Vikki Patis is a writer and blogger at The Bandwagon, where she reviews books, interviews authors, and gives her opinions on a wide variety of topics, from feminism to fibromyalgia. She’s recently published a collection of short stories, Weltanschauung, and I’m excited to welcome her to the blog today to talk about her writing space!


[My Writing Space]

vikki-patis-author-photo“Writing can be tough. Many of us don’t have the luxury of being able to write full-time – we have day jobs, families, commitments, insistent cats – and so it can be difficult to just sit down and write. But you don’t just need a physical space; you also need mental space. You need to be able to shut everything out, all the distractions, the worries, and focus on your writing. As a graduate, and a blogger, I’m used to working to deadlines, and squeezing time to write around other commitments. But I’ve found that writing fiction doesn’t always work that way. You have to be in the right zone; it can’t be forced.

When I’m writing, I usually sit on the sofa, with a fresh cup of tea and my feet up. I sit at a desk all day at work, and like to be comfortable at home. Friday evenings are usually my most productive time; I don’t have to worry about being too tired, since I can (usually!) sleep in on Saturdays. Dealing with a chronic illness can make things even harder, and there was a time when I barely wrote at all. But writing is one of my few outlets, and I cherish being able to do it.

I get some of my best ideas while going through my day – in the car on the way to work, wandering around the supermarket, even in dreams! The idea for Bane, the final short story, came from a dream, after reading Joe Hill’s The Fireman. I dreamt that the world was on fire, and I’d been contacted by the government to be a Reviewer, which meant travelling around and reviewing the safety of various structures, meeting weird creatures along the way. It was creepy, and didn’t make a lot of sense, but the seed was planted.

Music is one thing I use to get me into the zone. My partner had given me the initial idea for Zombie, the first short story in Weltanschauung, but I just couldn’t find the way to write it. After a few frustrated attempts, I’d decided to step away for a while, when “Zombie” by The Cranberries came on the radio on my commute home. It was perfect. I got home, found the song on Amazon, and the story just flowed.

As Leigh Bardugo once told me, nothing is wasted. Everything is fodder. In Bane, the main character, Rachel, works for a medical supplies company, before hell breaks loose. All the conversations I’ve had with disgruntled or demanding customers informed some of the scenes I wrote in Bane. I try to view every interaction as a lesson, as something that may end up in a story. This outlook particularly helped when I worked crappy waitressing and cleaning jobs a few years ago!

Although I do need peace, quiet, and endless cups of tea, I don’t have a set ritual when it comes to writing. Usually, an idea hits, and I rip my laptop open, and just start writing. That’s not to say that what I write is any good, but it’s a start.”


Weltanschauung is available on Kindle and in paperback now. From 16th – 18th December 2016, Weltanschauung will be available for only 99p!

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Follow Vikki on Twitter: @VikkiPatis

A Guide On How To Be Funny [guest post]

Heat on the Street - Julian Wilkes

Today I have a guest post from author of Heat on the Street, Julian Wilkes! He’s giving us some great tips on ‘how to be funny’ – or not! It’s definitely worth a read! 🙂

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A GUIDE ON HOW TO BE FUNNY

Being funny isn’t easy. People laugh at you and sometimes with, the problem being, as human beings, we don’t always know which is which? Do you have any ideas? Maybe consulting a behavioural psychologist, or just simply laughing with, irrespective of whether they are laughing at you. ‘Ha haaaaa, you’re so funny!!’ I suppose if you take a look in the mirror, they may have a point. It just depends upon which digit they are using (and if the mirror’s being honest, a true reflection eh)……Mothers usually tell their children it’s rude to do that, so motion the notion with your eyes. Of course I’m talking about pointing, how rude are you…Please provide a small amount of etiquette and decorum. Thanks for that, you’re learning integrity comes in all shapes and sizes, but we’re not talking the female anatomy here or phallic symbols all around the World.

When I came into this World, or should I just say, was pushed out through a tight canal in the maternity ward back in 1974, I cried, oooh how I cried. Literally blood, sweat and tears were followed by smiles, happiness, laughter and joy, a big cause for celebration, thankyou Mum and Dad. Roll on several years. I had a fascination with metal, when I knocked my tooth back into my gum after falling off the garden climbing frame….OUCH, that hurt, a mouth reminiscent of a Monster Munch crisp or an enamel challenged O.A.P. not exactly a pretty sight. Over a decade later, the fate would materialise again in Austria on a watersports holiday, but not on a climbing frame. A drunken slovenly request for a kiss, being received with extra purchase. A school friend objected to the request by throwing a stinging right hook to my mouth. I suppose a fist kiss was better than nothing, resulting in me having a cracked tooth. The jewel in the crown, a sovereign ring on her finger. That wasn’t the only disaster….Flying over my bicycle handlebars, running into a brick wall and fracturing my knee, falling off my skateboard and landing headfirst with a bump, a prominent lump in the middle of my forehead, soothed by my nanas finest butter. I walked into a door, what else was I capable of? A successful life as a gymnast or acrobat? I’m not too sure I would be suited to a figure hugging leotard, maybe just hotpants! Playing football was as close as I would get to that experience, the shorts were high and tight in the 70’s and 80’s. Oops, slightly being economical with the truth, my sisters wardroble proved a fruitful cross dressing allure, lipstick on, guy liner and ruby red blusher. Where is that mirror again? Who is the fairest of them all. Maybe a little afro haired boy with dimples and a cheeky smile. Now that’s what I call funny.

Some people try so hard, for others it becomes natural, for others they stand up on stage. ‘Does anybody have a gag?’

‘Bondage isn’t my thing mister, but I am a masochist.’

‘I don’t wanna kiss you sir.’

‘Who mentioned anything about kissing?’

‘You said you Masseur kissed.’

‘I’ll show you later behind closed doors.’

‘There’ll be no need for that, I like things out in the open.’

Funny is something contagious, an infectious smile, a human or animal act or just a special non descript something that engages and brings people together. Maybe even ‘canned laughter’. Take a tin, open it up and let the infectious throat vibrations work wonders, that’s it, a spoon feeding of warm nutritious paletable goodness! In a nutshell, the most important ingredient is not trying to be funny as this can be a recipe for disaster.

ABOUT HEAT ON THE STREET

Jammin’ Boy is an exotic, vibrant, magnetic and carefree Language Teacher at Oatmill High School. Not a day goes by without elephant sized belly full of laughter, astonishment, excitement and adventure. A truly remarkable, exhilarating and white knuckle roller coaster ride from beginning to end, well worth the entrance fee!

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Find out more about Julian Wilkes here.