Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Author Interview Janet McDermott-Brown…

August 29, 2013

Altruistic – definition: unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others.

Welcome Janet McDermott-Brown, a children’s author. Today’s word fits in well with her favorite character, Midnight. Read on to find him.

Janet McDermotta)     What do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy creating another world and immersing myself in it. I also love the colours that are woven by words and description within a story. Somewhere to escape to, somewhere that is exactly as you wish it to be.

b)    What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I believe I started to hold an interest in story/poetry writing whilst at senior school. I am also a songwriter and I began to write lyrics first and had a notebook that I carried around from about 14 years old.

c)     Has your genre changed or stayed the same?
My first attempt at a novel was a vampire story, but I didn’t get to finish it. Then I tried a children’s story for the first time, based in London during the Great Fire of London, but didn’t finish that either (yet)! Finally, I fell upon a story I could see through to the end. My children’s fantasy/adventure book ‘The Picture House’.

d)    What genre are you currently reading?
I actually read a lot of children’s novels, fantasy adventures and supernatural based stories are among my favourites. If reading adult books, I like historical novels, supernatural and some horror with vampires and werewolves.

e)     Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
I read for pleasure, research and inspiration. I have always loved books, from being a very young child. I also collect books, as well as reading them.

f)     Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
My friends and family are all very encouraging. My Mum is probably the longest and best person to have helped me, especially all the reading/editing she has done for me.

g)     Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
My favourite character is Midnight from ‘The Picture House’. He is a black cat, who can talk. He lives in the Picture House and becomes a very useful friend to one of the main characters, Lilly. He is a very cheeky, knowledgeable and charming cat. He is based entirely on my own cat Jesse – if only he could talk!

Midnighth)    Where is your favorite writing space?
I actually like to write in my bedroom. It’s the quietest room in the house. My sanctuary. I write long hand first in my notebook then type it up into my computer in the study.

i)      Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?
I do use a spidergram, I find them useful for ideas. I then write a guide to all the chapters before I start. The story will quite often change and evolve, but the main thread of the story will remain true to my plan.

j)      What inspires your ideas/stories?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. If my mind is open it can come from spoken words, places, feelings, people, objects, books, films. Anywhere at all, something just has to catch my imagination.

k)    Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I have done some creative writing courses, but do not belong to a writers group. It is a bit more difficult when writing children’s stories to find a group to join.

l)      Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

The Picture House
I have published ‘The Picture House’ on Amazon Kindle
‘A pale-faced dark haired boy, known as Moth had an extraordinary talent. And on one particular day that talent might just save his life…’ Moth is trapped in his own nightmare world of monsters and zombies. His three closest friends are in a race against time to find his memory shards that are scattered throughout his incredible imagination. Follow their adventures as they endeavour to save Moth from the grubby grips of Gritt and his malevolent master, Sinister.

m)   If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
Frances Hodgson Burnett. She wrote my favourite book of all time, ‘The Secret Garden’. I love that story and would want to ask her how she thought up the story and what inspired her.

n)    Where can readers find you and your blog?
I have an author page on facebook, which will have all my news and info.

  • o)    Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?
    Yes, I have an idea for my next novel. The novel is in the very early stages of development, entitled The Paper Giant (© Janet McDermott-Brown). It will be another fantasy adventure book, which I hope to write over the next few months, with an aim to publish it next Spring.

Interview Ian S. Rutter…

February 10, 2013

To honor Ian’s favorite character, Sup Sup Rose, I have paired his interview with today’s word – Panacea – definition : a remedy for all ills or difficulties : a cure-all.


a)      Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

That’s a tough one. If I have to choose one then it has to be Sup Sup Rose. He’s quiet. Stays in the background but is very knowledgeable of all things nature. If there are any injured animals, then he’s the one to help them out. Any questions about herbs and flowers, Sup Sup will know it. He’s very gentle, shy but very loyal.

b)      Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

No, I like to look into different genres as I think it helps with your writing. I’ve focused on children’s stories at the moment, but I have some horror novels that are in different stages of edits. They are the two favourite genres. I have partly written a bio-graphical account of a relative of mine fighting in WW1. His and his wife’s accounts of being apart. That will take some time to finish.

c)      What do you enjoy most about writing?

Being able to put into words the images I see in my head. I’m very visual so I get excited when I am writing and acting out the scene at the same time.

d)      Have you got a favorite place to write?

I do most of my writing on a large table in a spare room, during the day and at night when I have time. If not, then I always have a pad and pen, but lately I have been trying out some writing tasks on a tablet I bought. That is working out quite well.

e)      Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

The first book was on the seat of my pants as I more or less have had the whole story in my head for the last 30+ years. Book 2 and 3 have been planned. I have a few diagrams I have mapped out for book 2. It helps me to see where each character is going and how they deal with problems. I also need it to show where in the story the highs and lows are. So, if I can map it out I will.

f)        What inspires your stories?

As soon as I visit the countryside then I have a story in my head. I love trees and grass and everything nature. Sometimes if I see an image then I want to just jot something down. As I love photography then that is happening a lot.

g)      What are you currently reading?

Cricky! The Hobbit. Stardust. Dead Hunt (An indie book by Kenn Crawford) If you like to be scared then this a great book or e-book to read. Crafting scenes by Raymond Obstfeld and the proof version of book 1 of my story. It’s nearly ready for Amazon’s POD service.

h)      Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

Just before I start to write, I have to have everything around me neat and tidy. I can’t help tidying things up before I write. Probably as my mind is so jumbled up with ideas and stories I just don’t want the physical world around me to be the same. My writing space really has to be neat.

i)        Do you have any pets?

Not now. I use to have a Rough Collie called Toby. Blind as a bat but the most amazing dog I have ever come across.

Rough Collie

j)        Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

A few. They are on LinkedIn. They are very good and give great advice. Write It Down, Aspiring Writers, Authors and Publishers Association, Authors, Writers, Publishers, Editors and Writing Professionals, Book and Writers, Children’s Book Authors, Informed Ideas. Just a few.

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

k)      What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I started when I was kid about 12. The first one was about an alien that came to earth to hunt. A couple of years later a film came out called ‘Predator’ I wish that was me. As soon as I started higher education I just stopped. The idea that my writing is not very good probably had some influence on me.

l)        Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?


The Faeries of Birchover Wood, The Bad is book 1 and is downloadable for Free on Smashwords

or on Amazon US , which at the moment is priced at something $2.00.

Amazon UK is  That keeps changing. Hopefully, Amazon will set the price to Free by looking at Smashwords as that is what I want for book 1.

m)    If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?

Unfortunately, he is dead. C. S. Lewis is my favourite children’s author. For horror he would have to be James Herbert, I grew up on his stories and I keep reading them.

n)      If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

It still has to be England. I just love the place and love everything about its countryside.

o)      What’s your  favorite movie of all time?

The Thing by John Carpenter. Before computer graphics this movie came out and was and still is awesome.

p)      Where can readers find you and your blog?

My blog is

Facebook –

and –

My free podcast of the entire story in 17 episodes can be listened to or downloaded from

The blog is about e-publishing. It has tutorials, written and video on how to get your written book into a professionally formatted e-book so that it can be given or sold on any of the e-book stores.

q)      Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

Loads! Book 2 of the faeries is a little darker. A few upsets and shocks are installed for the humans and faeries. Not looking pretty for any of them.


I am working on re-writing my horror novel from 1st person to 3rd person and I need to finish a vampire novel I wrote about 6 years ago. There are times when I wish I was an octopus.

r)       Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

Without doubt my wife and my father. My wife who has had to go through some of my ‘What!’ ‘I don’t believe you can’t…’ ‘Come on, can you read it faster!!’ times. She understands I am passionate about what I do. She’s great and very patient. My father who always believed that I should ‘go and do my thing!’ He loves my stories. Probably too much as he never gives me any criticism. That’s why parents are the worse readers of your book if you are looking for a critique. He wrote the poem at the very beginning of Book 1.

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