Hardest thing about being a writer: Finding time to write around full time work, and other commitments. Easiest thing about being a writer: Letting the words flow just like a movie in my head. I follow my characters lead, enjoying the unexpected twists, turns and surprising tangents.
Things you never want to run out of: Tea – I’m English it is an essential and vital part of everyday. (Black tea with milk – no other kinds. Not flavoured stuff.)
Things you wish you’d never bought: What I can only describe as ‘fake’ cheese – rubbery and bendy blocks in Canadian stores. (Sorry) It’s not cheese as I know it!
Favorite places you’ve been: Apart from home – England, I have a longing to go back to Rome. My soul connected to the place in such a profound way, I am certain I lived there in another life. Places you never want to go to again: This is a hard question as I enjoy visiting and exploring new places. However, I would not want to revisit losing my father – it was the hardest thing I have ever endured – my heart literally broke into a thousand pieces.
Favorite books (or genre): Goodness, as I constantly read multiple genres, there is always a new favorite. However, I always buy the latest Stephen King as he is my hero. And I reread Ferney by James Long on quite a regular basis, as it is the quintessential reincarnation story. Books you wouldn’t buy: Anything about politics.
People you’d like to invite to dinner (living): Stephen King, Viggo Mortensen, Diane Keaton, Dame Judi Dench, Michele Morrone and the Princess of Wales – Kate as we are both from Bucklebury. People you’d cancel dinner on: Any and all politicians, Elon Musk, Kayne West, and any Kardashian.
Things that make you happy: Time with my grown kids, my writing friends and writing group, and my little rescue dog, Sammie. Exploring on road trips, walking in nature and holidays in England. Things that drive you crazy: The fakeness of social media, many ’I am famous for being famous’ celebrities and self-serving politicians.
The coolest person you’ve ever met: The most ‘famous’ person, I have met is Princess Anne. Such a wonderfully down to earth woman. Also, on my list is Davy Jones (The Monkees), David Essex (UK pop singer), George Young, Baron Young of Cookham, Nigel Havers (actor), and Groot! Yep, the movie launch had characters in major cities, and he was in Edmonton. I ran down Whyte Avenue to cuddle him, much to my offspring’s embarrassment.
The celebrity who didn’t look like he/she did in pictures/video: George Harrison (The Beatles) – much older than my teenage memories, but still a thrill.
The nicest thing a reader said to you: I checked out every one of your books from the library.
The craziest thing a reader said to you: Several readers contacted me asking for a sequel to my fantasy series. I wrote it as a standalone – then found myself writing a sequel to make my readers happy. I am now in the midst of a prequel. Never say never!
Things you always put in your books: Strong, independent women and unexpected and unusual viewpoints. Things you never put in your books: Child or animal abuse. Violence for the sake of it.
Favorite smell: There are several – Brut aftershave that reminds me of my Father, Obsession perfume by Calvin Klein ( I found it in my early twenties and have not worn any other perfume since), cut grass, ocean and mountain air. Something that makes you hold your nose: Inner city smells. (a country girl at heart)
There is always something magical about immersing ourselves into a story. We escape reality for a chapter or two, maybe even longer if time allows. Stories have been entertaining, educating and fascinating humans for eons. From campfire tales to fairy stories to modern literature, we have passed on these narratives from generation to generation. Beginning with word of mouth and traveling troubadours to parchment scripts to printed books and now to electronic devices.
Stories are a part of our culture, our locality and our history. Some may disappear, others stand the test of time. We have the ability to share them with future generations and keep them in the world.
I have a troubadour in my novella, The Rython Kingdom. He travels from feudal to feudal land (lands owned by the monarchy and gifted to Lords) and is invited to the King’s court. He knows this is a great honour and tells a tale over a couple of days, unaware there is a release spell within its words of an evil sorceress.
Celebrate storytelling week reciting your favorite stories to your children or grandchildren, pass on these generational tales so they may be forever told.
I took an extra day off this past week to ‘finish’ the prequel to the Rython series. Although, the manuscript has ‘the end’ on it, this is the start of the editing and revising stage. However, it is always a great sense of achievement to get a story completed.
I hope that my readers will enjoy this part of the Rython series, which is now officially a trilogy. When I first wrote The Rython Kingdom, I had no intention of continuing the story of a traveling troubadour in medieval England. But as we all know we should ‘never say never’, and with numerous requests from readers for more story, I, of course, obliged and Rython Legacy was born. It follows the granddaughter of the first sorceress on her own journey and how she vanquishes an evil.
The idea of a prequel telling the story of the evil witch came to me unexpectedly, but then became an insistent ear worm, so to speak. So much so, I abandoned the final book in my crime trilogy, to quieten the voices. Of course, I will get back to that project once this prequel is published, sometime in the fall/autumn. I had so much fun tracing Malgraf’s character and the darkness within her soul. Watch this space for more on Malgraf’s Dawning in the months to come.
As for my current reading, I am 3/4 through The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler, which I am really enjoying and am also reading a short story collection called Insomnia by Kelly Covic.
This week’s literary birthday is: 2/22 – Edward Gorey – he wrote more than 100 books. (That is an exception number!) He was also a talented artist and illustrator.
I am excited to announce that the prequel to my fantasy series, Malgraf’s Dawning, will be published by Dream Write Publishing later in 2023. I have already contracted a book cover designer and will work with her to create an apt cover for this dark tale of a witch in the making, from childhood to adulthood.
The fantasy series began with The Rython Kingdom and was followed by the reader requested sequel, Rython Legacy. Set in medieval England these novellas are full of tales of kings, castles, sorcery and mystery.
Both books are available as print or e-book on all purchase sites. In several bookstores (Daisy Chain, Edmonton, The Bookworm, Sherwood Park & Shelf Life Books, Calgary) and also several libraries. (Sherwood Park, Jasper, and Spruce Grove)
Currently the first draft of the prequel is around 16,000 words and Malgraf is obtaining her dark powers and spells daily. Delving into the psyche of the villain in a story has its struggles, but can also be fun, as a writer it allows you to go to dark places with permission. As a Gemini, I find this easier than maybe other writers! Read into that as you will…ha,ha.