A while ago, I posted an informative yet light-hearted ‘doggy’ interview with Mimi Barbour. Please visit the Mimi Barbour Video Interview if you are interested. Love, Katy.
Makayla hears the cries of children in trouble.
Special Agent Makayla has a gift. In her mind, she doesn’t have special powers. It is just fallout from the days when she was blind… before the operation that restored her sight. She learned to use her other senses, rely on her instincts, and listen intensely. Except her uncanny ability is beyond this. Working with the Special Victims Unit, Makayla takes on all the cases of vanished children where the usual processes have failed. Sickened by many of her assignments, she finds joy when children are discovered and set free. Her biggest concern … they just keep on disappearing.
Exciting news, Dani is now in the final stages of presenting her new book on Amazon and elsewhere.
Aye, I am a Fairy.
So good to meet you. What a fantastic debut. Now for an exciting chat. I really enjoyed your newest books, the full length novel, ‘Naked in the Winter Wind
and the novella, Ha’penny Jenny.
Could you tell us a know more about you and your work – what makes your work tick for you. I started writing to, ahem, silence or at least organize, the voices in my head. The overwhelming idea I had to tame was what would happen to me if I ‘fell’ into a popular novel, in this case, one like the popular time travel series, ‘Outlander.’ I wouldn’t want to be in this old lady body, so a hearty dose of Fountain of Youth water was in order. There are a few other twists in the storyline, including a case of amnesia. I also wanted to write books that I’d like to read, lots of love and action, but also silly at times. I think I’ve accomplished that. I’ve been told in reviews that the books are unique in style and perspective and I find that flattering.
At what age did you realize you were a writer? I started writing my first novel when I was ten. My grandmother gave me great advice: write what you know, your experiences, your emotions. I’ve never time travelled, but there are many other ‘personal’ experiences in my stories. The Haviland method of time travel relies on a strong magnetic field. I actually experienced the upset tummy my characters felt when I visited The House of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex, a high intensity magnetic field zone, in the Pacific Northwest.
Do you research for your stories? I love doing research! When I started writing ‘The Fairies Saga,’ I placed the first episode four years into the future. At that time, I couldn’t find solar-powered cell phones. I had, and still have, faith in the rapid rise of technology and figured that by 2012, they’d be available. They were. Before I published this story, ‘Naked in the Winter Wind,’ I went to Greensboro, North Carolina, the site where the story takes place. I was actually in the same places, at the same times, as my fictional characters. If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have experienced the unusual weather—Superstorm Sandy, the crazy road system that bisected graveyards, and the ghosts that tickled my skin as I walked over the grounds at the Gilford Courthouse Museum. This past January, I also used my story writing as an excuse to travel to Sydney, Australia. ‘Fairies Down Under’ is about a time traveller on The First Fleet. I wanted to be at ‘Botany Bay’ at the same time of year as the first convicts, to sail on a tall ship (The James Craig), and see, smell, and touch the native flora and fauna.
Where did you do your research? Besides travelling to the location of my stories, I research on the internet and also have an extensive personal library. I probably own more books on The First Fleet than any other Alaskan, maybe even any other American!
Do you have a private space to write? My favourite spot to write is in the living room, seated in my recliner, my laptop wedged in between my two small dogs. We don’t have a problem until the cat decides he wants lap space, too. Hubba tends to lie on the edge of the keyboard, restricting my access. I don’t type very fast with only one hand—my other is needed to nudge him out of the way—but he usually tires of sharing space and soon finds another spot to nap.
How long do you write each day? I try to write at least two or three hours a day, more on the weekends. I’m hoping to retire from my ‘day job’ in a few months, so should have more time to spend writing, promoting, and eventually, creating audio books.
Do you write to music? I prefer silence. If I’m alone, that’s not a problem. If my husband decides he wants to watch a movie, I either watch it with him or put on headphones. I like soundtrack music, movie scores. My two favourites are ‘Inception’ and ‘The Legend of Hell’s Gate.’ I find cello music soothing. Edgar Meyer and Joshua Bell have created some great works, too, and they’re high on my short list of composers.
Do you get emotional writing – feel for your characters? Even live them? Absolutely! I become the person I am writing about, and am able to transfer his/her facial expressions and physical movements, or anything else, because I am so aligned with him/her.
What do you have with you when you write? Coffee, sweets, etc.? I usually only drink water and don’t like to eat at the keyboard. I do take breaks for eating and walking the dogs, though. Sometimes, while working, the words surge out, other times, they’re stifled. A few calories and fresh air usually help the flow return.
Can you share what you are presently writing or hope to write? ‘Aye, I am a Fairy’ is waiting for the proof copy to arrive. After a few ‘proofers’ and I go through it again, it will be up on Kindle, ready for purchase. It’s the follow up story of how the main character’s daughter, stuck in the 21st century, reconnects with her rejuvenated mother, who is back in 1781 North Carolina, and the good-looking man who helps her get there.
How many books have you published? ‘The Fairies Saga,’ series has really grown—there are four books in the series now, the fifth is due in a month or so, and I’m well into writing the sixth. I wrote them in order, but didn’t publish them that way. The first two and a half books were too rough to publish ‘way back then.’ By the time I got to ‘Dances Naked’ and ‘The Great Big Fairy,’ books three and four, I had hit my stride. I went through the earlier books, cleaned up the grammar, and in many places, replaced the term ‘cell phone’ with ‘smartphone.’ In 2009, smartphone wasn’t even a word, much less the multifunctional device it has become. The books can be read in any order, but many people insist on reading them in chronological order. The gap will be filled when ‘Aye, I am a Fairy’ is published next month.
Do you have aspirations to write in other genres as well? Right now, my fictional friends and family—the time travelling ‘fairies’—are my passion. There are so many of characters, and all have a story, or six, in them. That’s where the novellas come in. A few have already been written and are ready to be released when I feel the time is right. ‘Ha’penny Jenny’ was the first of those novellas. I call it book one and a half in the series. Jenny isn’t a time traveller, but others in her family are. Her personal story didn’t ‘fit’ in the action flow of the other books, but I thought it was good enough to share. And, because it is a novella, and the other stories are rather long, I thought it would also be a good way to introduce my style of writing to a new audience.
How does your family feel about the life of the writer as it can get kind of solitary at times? My youngest daughter just graduated from high school, got her own apartment, and is starting her training as a massage therapist/healer. That leaves just my husband, the critters, and myself at home. My husband loves that I have such a great devotion to writing. He can always tell if I haven’t had, or taken, the opportunity to write. He says I get grumpy. “Go write something,” he’ll tell me. And he’s right; I do feel better when I create. Of course, I think my five daughters have mixed feelings about it. Mom writing lusty novels…hmm. They’re proud of my success, but feel ‘awkward’ about reading some of the more intimate passages. My granddaughters are still too young to read the books, but are proud and brag, “My nana wrote those books.”
This has been so exciting. I am sure your books will be in great demand.
Coming Soon from Dani:
Aye, I am a Fairy
Estimated release, September 4, 2014.
Lord James Melbourne’s life is in upheaval. His pending divorce has already ruined his name, and it looks as if it will also leave him penniless. Taking nothing but the bundle of ancient letters and an old cigarette pack full of precious jewels entrusted to him by his absent grandfather, he heads to Heathrow Airport. Final destination: Greensboro, North Carolina. He’ll make a fresh start in America, buy the mill offered by the mysterious Bibb Stephens, and do his best to forget the past and the thieving Clotilde.
He’s greeted at the Greensboro Airport by two very different women, a poisoning, and a dilemma. Who are these women, and why are they in his life?
Bad guys, a fire bombing, a 230-year-old video on a solar-powered smartphone, and a few other surprises await the sharp, yet wary man with a great big secret. What will lovely Leah do when she finds out the truth about him?
Ten Brides for Ten Heroes spans the gamut of the ever-popular wedding romance genre—from heartwarming laughter to thrilling adventure, from sweet to steamy. This 10-book bundle features novels by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. So get ready to toss the bouquet and say, “I do!” as ten brides risk it all to find their happy ever after.
Patrice Wilton:Wedding Fever by Patrice Wilton – The romantic comedy series, Serendipity Falls. Mila O’Reilley owns Wedding Fever, a bridal boutique in Serendipity Falls Mall. She sells more than dresses, she sells dreams along with the belief in happily-ever-after – a sentiment she personally doesn’t share. Can a jaded bridal consultant and a cynical news reporter uncover the true mystery of Serendipity Falls without being swept away in the madness? Find Patrice at: www.patricewilton.com
Helen Scott Taylor:The Army Doctor’s Wedding by Helen Scott Taylor – The Army Doctor’s Series Major Cameron Knight throws himself into the danger of front-line, battlefield medicine to keep the demons from his past away. When he rescues an injured charity worker who’s saved a tiny newborn baby, he marries her so they can take the orphan back home for surgery. With this brave woman he finally has the chance to redeem himself and find love. Find Helen at: http://www.helenscotttaylor.co.uk/
Mona Risk: Wedding Surprise by Mona Risk – The Holiday Babies Series Claire and David faced many challenges over the years. Finally, Claire’s dream of a wonderful white wedding to the man she loves is about to come true. Two weeks before the wedding, Adriana, the high-school classmate who’s tried to snatch David several times, makes an announcement that threatens to destroy the couple’s happiness. Is Claire and David’s love for each other strong enough to turn the worst wedding surprise into the best? Find Mona at: www.monarisk.com
Alicia Street: Tomboy Bride by Alicia Street – The Dance ‘n’ Luv Series Kendra returns home for her brother’s wedding determined to get her age-old crush to finally see her as more than a tomboy. But will her game of making him jealous with a hot and handsome faux-beau make him fall for her—or backfire and leave her in ashes? Find Alicia at:http://aliciastreet-roystreet.com
Rebecca York:Destination Wedding, by Rebecca York – The Decorah Security Series From the moment Nick Cassidy signed on as one one of Camille Norland’s bodyguards, sexual sparks flew between them. Although determined to keep his emotional distance from her, Nick is forced to admit his real feelings when she’s kidnapped by a ruthless Russian mobster with matrimony in mind. Can Nick rescue her before the wedding night? Can they escape from Victor Zanov’s tropical island death trap? And can they come to terms with their complicated relationship? Find Rebecca at: www.rebeccayork.com
Annie Jones:Summer of Love by Annie Jones Brides, Beehives and Barbecue! Can mother daughter mayhem be far behind? Bless her heart, it’s 1967 and a determined southern bride isn’t sure love is really all she needs. Find Annie at: http://theanniejones.com/
Donna Fasano:Return of the Runaway Bride by Donna Fasano Savanna returns to her hometown to explain why she fled on her wedding day, but she never imagined how her escape all those years ago changed Daniel. Can she make him understand—and forgive? Find Donna at: www.DonnaFasano.com
Rita Herron:Single & Searching by Rita Herron A woman looking for love… A reporter looking for a story… A mad rush to find a criminal… When the truth comes out and danger strikes, will they succumb to the passion burning between them? Find Rita at: www.ritaherron.com
Theresa Ragan:Here Comes the Bride by Theresa Ragan Samantha Johnston, a reporter for the LA Beat, attends the wedding of one of America’s hottest actors in hopes of learning the identity of his mystery bride, and ends up saying, “I do.” Find Theresa at: www.theresaragan.com
Mimi Barbour:Love Me Tender by Mimi Barbour – The “Elvis” Series After her year in Texas as an exchange student, Annie leaves pregnant and heartbroken. Nine years later she returns to introduce her eight-year-old son to his American family. And to the man who still haunts her dreams – the handsome, embittered rancher who never knew he’d fathered a son. Find Mimi at: www.mimibarbour.com
I still did not know whether or not to use a pseudonym for the crime novels. Up until now I had written Regency Paranormal, oh, and science fiction. But now I included crime. What would my readers think, how would they react?
So, after much debate, chewing nails, clenching teeth, I decided to let things run. It wasn’t a question of taking the easy way out. I think I have chosen the hardest. I realize I have a mercurial mind, some might say butterfly. I would say it is both butterfly and dragon. The analogy being, I love to write gut wrenching crime and frothy Regency with an underlying message. Way below the sex and the foam is a plea for the subjugation of women.
Then crime is a passion I cannot resist, A new idea for a plot swims through a nightmare, makes a thunderous announcement, with my innards and heart. Responding, I lurch up in bed, beads of sweat running down my bosom, my lungs gasping for air. Yes – Yes, that’s it. Eureka. The ideas for a new crime of passion or dreams of a psychopath are born. I must admit to looking furtively into the corners of blackness, did something, or some serial killer lurk in the shadows? My bedroom is indeed black I use black out blinds. I profess to being a partial insomniac, so I try to block out all light. Anything that would alert my teeming brain.
I never dream the plot or idea for the Regency novels, they just arise in my mind as I walk the dog in brilliant sunshine. Obviously, atmospherics play a part in inspiration.
My conundrum was could I expect my readers to appreciate both Regency and Crime? Yes, they are different novels written at different times but there is only one author – moi. Yes, my two heads. One is invisible. Doesn’t frighten the hairdresser. Would my Regency followers grimace to see a crime book advertised at the same time as a sexy romance? Would my crime readers think I write more romance than crime in the novel? The answer is no – no. In the crime book, the romance would be gut wrenching sex. Not porn or even erotic, just sex. Regency is far more about the seduction of the hapless heroine. Actually my heroines are never hapless they are vixens. Cats clothed in satin.
As the summer drew to a close, I knew I had to put the novels on. By now I had written three, one regency and two crime. My very first crime novels and I loved every blood filled moment of writing them. Well most of the time. I must say here and now, that I felt guilty writing some of the crimes, in fact so much so, that I stopped typing and grabbing Lily’s lead, went off for walks down the Twittens ( old roads) my head filled with questions, should I include that spine chilling crime? Is it too gory? Why was I writing it? I even put the wasps out with a glass and paper so as not to hurt their fragile legs. So why was I writing it? Well there was a reason, an historical one. People love historical novels, and accept the gore, the guts, and the spilled innards. But put it in a fiction crime novel and bodies flinch, heads shake and voices groan.
So September rolled on and still couldn’t make up my mind if I should use another pen name for the crime novels.
In the end I decided, writing is all about freedom, the freedom to write what we will. James Joyce shook a whole nation with his Ulysses; DHJ Lawrence did likewise with Lady Chatterley’s lover. Thomas Harris enthralled the world with Hannibal Lector and his penchant for cooked brains. I researched and saw many writers did write in different genres but kept their name. And that is what I must do. I must trust myself, be brave, and be myself with all my sub-personalities on show. A true writer writes from the soul, with their fear and their love. So they cannot claim any pseudo dignity. They have to show their true self, their own dignity.
So after much sighing, I accepted freedom. We may have genres; they are okay for selling purposes, or making choice of book easier, but not for a writer’s soul.
Today, I’ve faced the situation and put on my first Regency novel, which will be followed up with the two crime novels. The photos of each are now on my two blogs. And I must say I felt a sense of satisfaction, a love for my muse, wherever and whoever that might be.
A Lady’s Plight is out today, and the images of the two crimes are there. But I won’t start advertising the two crime novels until after A Lady’s Plight. The reason being, my ‘Look inside for Death Chords’ is not yet on the Amazon page.
Such a flurry of words. I find I have quite another sub-personality for writing the blogs, it’s a particular voice I can hear, a particular feeling. So different from the Regency sub-personality and far away from the crime sub. Yes, I do have sub-personalities and I acknowledge them. One day we may all join and be one ‘whole’ balanced, and calm. What a pity.
Cockroaches gnaw at my innards as the book sprouts wings.
It was an uphill struggle that needed patience, determination and some humour if possible. Copy editing and proof reading in the second draft is quite momentous. After writing 6 and a half books (only two on Amazon at present) I have just got the hang of tackling editing in a peaceful way rather than being thrown into the gladiatorial ring facing the lions with teeth of typos.
Over two years ago, I did commence my writing enterprise with a publisher. We got on really well and became fast friends, but for reasons I won’t go into, I no longer have a publisher. Thankfully, I managed to get out of a five year contract with the one year clause. We’re still friends too:)) I don’t believe in ill feelings.
So it was either stop writing or try ‘Indie’. Now, I was so naive that I when I saw the term Indie publisher, I honestly thought it meant they published in India. I thought that was quite a way to go to get the book published and maybe there was something nearer home. I hadn’t heard of Amazon except that it was something to do with Createspace and I was keen to go on there. See? I know – I know it sounds unbelievable but this was two years ago. Kindle was just getting known at least here in the UK.
I know it sounds as if I’m somewhat lax, but I think I can count myself among many new novelists who thought their first book was perfect with the one off edit and proof reading. Not so, a Big not so. The worst part of the novel for any writer is the copy editing and proof reading which can take four to five drafts and more sometimes.
Writing is a joy, it is exciting, mesmerising, where the truly creative writer lives in another reality when writing the novel. But with copy editing, the writer comes down to earth with a thud and clenched teeth. However, at last, at least, I am on the last lap of editing my new book, all that is left is to put right some minor typos after weeks of crunching the keys. Having said that I still have two crime books and half a regency romance to edit before I can think of covers and publishing those.
The purpose of this post is to say, there is another way out of all this momentous gut wrenching, hair pulling experience. I’ve decided to copy edit and proof read along with getting my copy editor (hubby) to do the same with every new chapter. That way I will save a lot of heart stopping flaws. He is actually one of the best, having at one time done a stint as a Signals Officer in the RAF, reading, typing and decoding coded messages. So the guy doesn’t miss a comma even. Mind you, he is forever taking me to task, telling me to slow down on the typing. But I can’t, the characters are talking fast or shouting, crying, laughing, or the plot is zipping along and I have to keep up.
But screams the reader who is also a writer, you can’t edit chapter by chapter, you know that the book can change radically with the second draft. To which I reply, yes – yes, I know, but even so, just copy edit and proof again. Don’t leave it until there are over eighty thousand words give or take, and a month of arguing with oneself and trying to be sweet to the family whilst cockroaches are gnawing away at my innards.
I do wish I could afford a copy editor per se, who would correct, suggest and just do it all. but that would cost hundred’s of pounds. But now a tip to the writers out there, is to read aloud every sentence, only that way will you trace the evil typos lurking in the words.
I am now intent of writing a few books per year, well three at the most, one which will be a short story or novella. I can’t see my way to paying that kind of money and buy a memory foam mattress or ham off the bone instead of those paper thin strips of stuff. Having said that being a vegetarian, or fisharian, that doesn’t apply but the analogy is there.
So the book is now sprouting wings and will soon leave the nest. I know I always feel quite choked when I write the last line of the novel and know I will say farewell to my other reality or world.
So, the last book of the Rhonan series, Reunited at Rhonan is soon winging its way to Amazon and Createspace and to all of you dear readers who have emailed me about it.
Blurbs and bios.
Hello and Welcome. Hi there, I hope you are well. I try not to write at night as I seem to be a different animal than the morning. The vocabulary is different, and I have this wicked sense of humour, well wicked to me. I write things I just wouldn’t write first thing in the morning.
Well I have a conundrum – now that’s a word I don’t use often. I read my emails and came across an article by the renowned Richard Ridley on writing blurbs and bios. I was so impressed and have copied it into a folder to read often. It is full of tips and advice that are like fresh daisies in a jaded lawn. Only thing is I really got caught up – inspired with his tips on bios and things. Biting my lip I decided to take the plunge. I have ripped out my biography on Author Central. It was kind of boring really, a life history which must have bored people stiff. I mean who wants to know that about my grandmother ‘s teeth or that I soaked babies nappies in a bucket. I didn’t realize you could throw them away. It was a mess I can tell you.
Anyway to continue, I thought what could I write that would inspire people. Richard wrote his bio in three lines – I think. I will check later. I was inspired. So, I thought about it for two minutes and wrote.
‘Katy lives on the South Coast. You will find her dragged along the beach by a frenzied dog, all of seven stone, whose main aim in life is to lick everyone.’
Actually first of all I wrote, ‘Katy lives on the South Coast with a husband mesmerized by grave stones, and a frenzied dog whose main aim in life is to drag her along the beach licking everyone.’
I thought that maybe I was being unkind talking about Hubby like that. But actually it is true. For instance. when we went to Greece, I was on the beach deciding whether or not I would actually join the others and go topless. Meanwhile hubby was in the nearest cemetery looking at Greek grave stones. So it would have been okay. But who would believe me? That was a glorious holiday. I remember hubby came back from the graveyard and bought some of the Greek wine from one of the beach cafes. He was legless by the time he reached me. It is definitely stronger out there. Just one small bottle, it’s not as if we drink. Well not then.
I am overjoyed I have almost finished the proof reading and copy editing for the third book of Rhonan. Thank you Universe. I have read it through three times and put it through word spellers etc. plus a huge font so I didn’t miss anything and so has hubby.
By the way he’s gone off making the curries at the moment. We’re back to fried egg, bacon, baked beans and chips.
So if anyone has any ideas about the new biography I’d be grateful. I only put the degrees and things in before as I thought people will think maybe I could write.
Now, you know, since taking them off the bio I feel naked – free – light and ready to take my frenetic dog down the beach. Actually it is true about her licking everything. I did take her to training classes but she”s been expelled twice. Not for being naughty, but because she loves people to death, one of her things is licking men and women’s bottoms. Honestly, it’s embarrassing for hubby. I can get away with it as the men usually turn around and give me a beaming smile.
Now it is late and I have to go and do some night reading to keep the flow up. I wish you all a wonderful good night and sweet dreams.
Do forgive me for not writing since March. Please – say I, wringing my hands. There is a really good reason. I was just about to start editing my two new crime books which are to form a series, ‘Detective Inspector Devin Redd and DS Dove.when I received an email. To my consternation, I realised it was from a reader who wrote me a mind blowing email. Well mind blowing to little moi.
He wrote that he purchased Return to Rhonan, read it on the plane so then downloaded Possessed at Rhonan in the airport, read that on holiday and is now waiting with baited breath for book three. Oops and other words, four letters and all that – not for delicate ears,
I knew I had to do something. I did not intend writing the third book, I had started, but fell in love with the idea of a crime series. However, this is the question dear friends, well it wasn’t a question really. I knew that the One is as Important as the Many. The guy had bought the two books – read them and now was waiting for the third. Taking a deep breath, I put the two crime books to bed, and decided to write that third book for him in a month. I could not possibly keep him waiting. My son when he saw my with blistered fingers from bashing the key board and and cross eyed after hours of looking at the screen, asked me what on earth i was doing. When I told him he said, ‘Mum – you’re mad.’ To which I snapped, ‘Now you know where you got it from.’ But he persevered, ‘Why are you writing the whole book for just one person?’ To which I testily replied, because I am quite mad and I will do it, the One is as Important as the Many – it is my philosophy and however insane I will follow it.
Well, it was a month of getting up really early, at least by ten am and writing through the day; tearing around the block giving the dog a walk, then begging hubby to cook one of his inedible dinners, (he’s into tongue burning curries at the moment, and loses control when putting in the chillies Have you ever tried bandaging your tongue?). Anyway to continue, I would then collapse in front of the TV watching A&E 24 hours and feel terrified, before falling into bed and have a sleepless night trying to work out the next chapter.
So the upshot is, it is written. I thought if writers can achieve a book in a month on Nano Wrimo then I can achieve it, knowing it was going to be blood, sweat, indelicate words and tears.
So now hubby and I are proofreading. Whisper – whisper, as I write this he is in the kitchen chopping up more Chillies he swears blind they are good for longevity. ???
However, I wonder if there is anyone reading this who can help me. I want to call it’ United at Rhonan, but my son says it sounds like a Football team. I think it sounds better than Reunited at Rhonan. . Any ideas?
(Whisper – whisper – hubby’s just come in and told me I left the freezer door open. So I politely asked him if he closed it :)))
What does he expect me to do, roll on the floor in a paroxysm of tears, tear my hair out and beg his forgiveness??
He said that it would freeze up, so maybe I should lick it off – be good for my tongue.