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The Truth About… Elizabeth M Hurst

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liz hurst

All this month, my second novel – THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN – is just 99p, as part of Amazon’s ongoing Summer Promo. Grab your copy here

…but not before I use the opportunity to shine a bright light into the eyes of an unsuspecting reader, and uncover the truth!

Today we’re grilling genre blending fiction author… Elizabeth M Hurst. Or Liz Hurst. Take your pick. 

Let’s get straight into it.

Liz, tell us one fact – one truth – that most people don’t know about you.

I have six tattoos and two piercings, none of which can be seen when I dress normally.

Saucy! If that doesn’t keep my blog-visitors reading, nothing will! So anyway, in my novel, all Will’s ever wanted in life is to be an actor. What is, or was, your greatest ambition?

I have a deep-seated desire to visit another planet. This probably won’t be possible in my lifetime, but I do feel we need to keep exploring space and maybe, in the not too distant future, we will start exploring more.

Will makes a living pretending to be people he isn’t – have you ever pretended to be someone or something you’re not? Why?

This is really difficult actually, because I am such a lousy liar that I’m not sure I could ever get away with pretending to be someone else. For the same reason, I never play poker for money!

Reading this in an email? If there’s a gap below that’s where a video would normally appear. Jump over to youtube to watch it.

Will finds himself in a situation where he has to be two of his characters … at the same meeting! But most people have been in the situation where they’ve been expected to be in two different places at the same time, or to carry out two tasks simultaneously. Have you ever been in a similar situation? What?

I once double-booked myself on two different first dates which was… Stressful! I liked both guys and didn’t really want to cancel either, on the basis that I may well lose that opportunity for good. So, I did what any sane woman does: I went to both!

I turned up deliberately early for the first and sent a apologetic text to the second, asking if we could meet up an hour later.

Luckily, the first guy wasn’t really what I was looking for so I managed to leave early enough to make the second date. However, by the time I arrived I was somewhat flustered, and so not relaxed enough to enjoy my time with guy number two, which must have been obvious because in the end I went home alone and ended up with neither.

The moral of this story is: don’t do it!

1 pair of glasses

Without giving too much away… did you have a favourite scene (in TTATCM)? Which one?

The climax, in the restaurant, is my favourite part. In the movie version, Zorba the Greek should be playing in the background while the characters are dashing around. Hilarious!

Keira Knightley

Who would you like to see in a movie of THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN?

alex as willkatie as rachel

Will = Alex Hassell (left)

Rachel = Katie Holmes (right)

Zlata = Keira Knightley (above) – I’d love to see her smoking and eating junk food!

What are you working on right now?

The second novel in the Lost Souls series is my current Work In Progress. It features some of the same characters as Siren Spirit, but there’s a new mystery to solve, another haunting and a tricky emotional crisis to overcome. I’ve done much more historical.

Find out more about Liz on her website, on facebook, & on twitter.

Have you read The Truth About This Charming Man? Fancy being interrogated? Drop me a line!


TTATCM sidebarHot news! 

The Truth About This Charming Man is part of Amazon’s Summer Promo – for the entire month of June you can download the book for your smart phone, tablet, or kindle, for a mere 99p.

Visit BUYTHEBOOK.TODAY to buy the book… today!

(The FREE kindle reading app is available for everything. Seriously; EVERYTHING.)

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The Truth About… Iain Pattison

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iain

All this month, my second novel – THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN – is just 99p, as part of Amazon’s Summer Promo. Grab your copy here

…but not before I use the opportunity to shine a bright light into the eyes of an unsuspecting reader, and uncover the truth!

Today we’re grilling humorist, and writer of all things quirky… Iain Pattison

Let’s get straight into it!

Iain – tell us one fact – one truth – that most people don’t know about you.

I’m terrified of clowns – I find masks of any kind creepy. However, I have absolutely no fear of heights. So if a clown came after me, I’d probably scramble up the nearest tree. Even if he didn’t suffer from acrophobia, I’d be counting on him finding it tough to climb in those oversized shoes…

All Will’s ever wanted in life is to be an actor. What is, or was, your greatest ambition?

 I’m a frustrated stand-up comedian. Sometimes when I’ve appeared at writers conferences kind souls have told me they thought I was very amusing and that I should give full time comedy a go. It’s an enticing thought but I know there’s a world of difference between injecting humour into a short story workshop and standing on a lonely Comedy Store stage at midnight facing a crowd of inebriated hecklers. For one thing drunks tend not to want to hear whether Noah’s flood ordeal counts as having a narrative arc …

Reading this in an email? If there’s a gap below that’s where a video would normally appear. Jump over to youtube to watch it.

Will makes a living pretending to be people he isn’t – have you ever pretended to be someone or something you’re not? Why?

Years ago when I was a cub reporter on my local newspaper there was a rumour going round that a national bakery chain was going to open a shop in our town, complete with cafe. Trouble was, they wouldn’t speak to any journalists to confirm the story. I rang up pretending to be from the local planning department and was put straight through to the Managing Director. Some people would call it lying – we hacks call it initiative.

Will finds himself in a situation where he has to be two of his characters … at the same meeting! But most people have been in the situation where they’ve been expected to be in two different places at the same time, or to carry out two tasks simultaneously. Have you ever been in a similar situation? What?

Also in my cub reporter days, I used to accompany the newspaper’s photographer around on a Saturday visiting various weddings in the neighbourhood. He’d take a snap, I’d get names and a few details so I could write a long caption.

One week Ken asked if I could do him a favour. He was double booked (he was a bit vague on details) and suggested that I go to one wedding on my own. He’d lend me a camera.

Reluctantly, I agreed. It was only when I turned up the church that I discovered to my horror that I wasn’t just taking a quick snap for the paper – I was actually booked as the couple’s OFFICIAL wedding photographer. Ken had been doing sneaky freelance jobs on the side and had got too greedy!

It was a fiasco of crash, bang, wallop proportions. I took pictures with people’s heads sliced off, missed the newly-weds kissing at the end of the service and mistook the best man for the groom. I don’t know who cried more – me or the bride. They demanded and got a full refund. I was so awful that I didn’t even get a bit of the cake that I failed to capture being ceremoniously cut.

99p for the next five customers

Without giving too much away… did you have a favourite scene (in TTATCM)? Which one?

I love the hilarious scenes where Will is desperately trying to teach his hopeless students to be actors – and failing at every turn. It reminds me of some of my more challenging night school classes teaching creative writing. “No, inner conflict isn’t your protagonist punching his own internal organs!”

Is it true that you once dated Helen Mirren?

No, but I’ll give a fiver to anyone willing to spread this scurrilous falsehood.

Who would you like to see in a movie of THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN?

johnApart from the fact that he’s American and now too old for the role, I’d love to see John Cusack cast as the lead.. He has that warmth, Kooky lost little boy charisma and sense of barely suppressed panic that makes Will such a likeable and scatty hero.

Helen-Mirren-1As for Zlata – his sexy/barmy/histrionic East European theatrical agent? A younger Helen Mirren springs to mind – but I’m afraid she often springs to mind. Hence the restraining order…

Find out more about Iain and his quirky goings on at IainPattison.com – and take a butchers at his latest short story collections at DoubleQBooks.com

Have you read The Truth About This Charming Man? Fancy being interrogated? Drop me a line!


TTATCM sidebarHot news! 

The Truth About This Charming Man is part of Amazon’s Summer Promo – for the entire month of June you can download the book for your smart phone, tablet, or kindle, for a mere 99p.

Visit BUYTHEBOOK.TODAY to buy the book… today!

(The FREE kindle reading app is available for everything. Seriously; EVERYTHING.)

The Truth About… Shelley Wilson

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this book 99p

It’s started! All this month, THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN – is just 99p, as part of Amazon’s Summer Promo.

Grab your copy here

Meanwhile, let’s use the opportunity to shine a bright light into the eyes of an unsuspecting reader, and uncover the truth!

SONY DSC

Today we’re grilling fellow self-help Author, YA fantasy novelist, blogger supremo (is that a word? Is now.) …and busy Mum of three, Shelley Wilson.

Let’s get straight into it.

Shelley, tell us one fact – one truth – that most people don’t know about you.

Ooh, I could tell you some stories but as my mum is one of your biggest fans (and will no doubt read this post) I better stick with a tame answer. I love tattoos and have two – one on my back and another on my wrist. I really want a third one but can’t decide what to have.

In the novel, all Will’s ever wanted in life is to be an actor. What is, or was, your greatest ambition?

From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. It’s the one constant thing in my life. When I was about fifteen my mum bought me a tape cassette (yep, I’m that old) on ‘How To Write for Mills & Boon’ – I don’t think she would have encouraged me at such a young age if she’d realised how raunchy some of their books were!

Reading this in an email? If there’s a gap below that’s where a video would normally appear. Jump over to youtube to watch it.

Will makes a living pretending to be people he isn’t – have you ever pretended to be someone or something you’re not? Why?

I’ve never pretended to be someone else, although I did enjoy reading the scenes in your book when Will had to act out his scenario as ‘loving boyfriend’ and ‘flirting tutor’. It could be so much fun to pretend to be someone else – I was told I looked like Davina Mccall once so maybe I could pretend to live her glamorous lifestyle!

I do, however, pretend to be something I’m not on a regular basis – I pretend to be confident when I’m actually screaming inside. This tactic has got me through so many situations as I trick myself into believing that I’m this strong, confident woman. I believe that if you can act a certain way then you believe it to be true – maybe this is how Will prepares for his acting jobs?

Will finds himself in a situation where he has to be two of his characters … at the same meeting! But most people have been in the situation where they’ve been expected to be in two different places at the same time, or to carry out two tasks simultaneously. Have you ever been in a similar situation? What?

My life is a constant battle of having to be in two different places at the same time – that’s the everyday life of a single parent! Most of these situations involved getting my three children to various social/sporting events on opposite sides of town within minutes of each other. Most of the time I manage it, but occasionally I’ll admit defeat.

As a Gemini (on the cusp) I also have a knack for being able to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously – although I have realised that reading my kindle while stirring the Bolognese will always end in disaster!

Who would you like to see in a movie of THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN?

jakeI loved Will’s character as he was sweet, funny, and slightly desperate (in a nice way) and so I immediately thought about New Girl actor, Jake Johnson.

Rachel is your typical beautiful heroine, girl next door type who could be played by any of my favourite actresses – Anne Hathaway stands out for me.

missi-pyleZlata is a tricky one because she is so unique, funny, caring and eccentric, however, I think Missi Pyle would be perfect!

Without giving too much away… did you have a favourite scene (in TTATCM)? Which one?

Ooh, there are so many scenes that I love – most of them contained Zlata (everyone’s favourite agent). One scene that sticks in my mind is the flirting workshop that Will and Zlata run. I found this highly amusing as Will, in his acting role of ‘Gary’, tries to teach a group of men how to create romance out of nothing.

Talking of ‘flirting workshops’ & ‘romance’… what is the most awkward moment you’ve ever had on a date?

I briefly joined a dating site (many years ago) and went on a couple of disastrous nights out – on one such occasion my seemingly normal date proceeded to smell my hair in the pub, leap from his stool and exclaim that we were ‘Tresemme Twins’! I cancelled my account shortly after and have enjoyed – and embraced – the single life ever since.

Find out more about Shelley Wilson at shelleywilsonauthor.com

Have you read The Truth About This Charming Man? Fancy being interrogated? Drop me a line!


TTATCM sidebarHot news! 

The Truth About This Charming Man is part of Amazon’s Summer Promo – for the entire month of June you can download the book for your smart phone, tablet, or kindle, for a mere 99p.

Visit BUYTHEBOOK.TODAY to buy the book… today!

(The FREE kindle reading app is available for everything. Seriously; EVERYTHING.)

Top 5 Fictional Couples

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Keris Starring Kitty cover
If you’ve read (the second edition of) How To Do Everything And Be Happy you’ll remember that (around page 58) I call upon author, journalist, busy Mum of two, and my pal, Keris Stainton, to wade in on the sticky topic of Boxing Day and How To Make Work If You’re A Mum. And wade in she did. What a trooper.

So, that being the case, I’m more than happy to let Keris pitch her virtual stripey tent in my virtual back garden as part of a grand blog tour promoting her latest book, Starring Kitty. Susie Day describes it as “a beautiful, warm, kind, romantic, utterly special book.” Sounds exactly like my kinda thing, being something of a sucker for any kind of love story. Find out more about Starring Kitty, Keris, and her blog tour at the bottom of this page.

In the meantime, were to ask me for my fave fictional romances I’d probably have to sit here and stare into space for a quite a while before I could finally settle on what should make the list. Fortunately for you however, Keris has once again done all the heavy lifting for me. Here, for your consideration, are her TOP FIVE FICTIONAL COUPLES – feel free to share yours in the comments. Take it away Keris.

when-harry-met-sally-1. Harry Burns and Sally Albright

From my favourite film of all time, When Harry Met Sally (in case that wasn’t obvious from the names). Something that drives me mad about writing romance is when people describe it as ‘predictable’ – by which they mean ‘I knew those two would get together!’ It always makes me think of When Harry Met Sally since I’ve never seen anyone complain that the knew Harry was going to meet Sally FROM THE TITLE. The tagline of my second book, set in New York (and inspired by another Nora Ephron movie, Sleepless in Seattle), was ‘In a city of 8 million people, will they find each other?’ My husband suggested the book should’ve been just on page with ‘No’ on it.

Jewell2. Dig and Nadine in Thirtynothing by Lisa Jewell

One of my all-time faves, I read this one a long time ago so can’t remember much detail (my memory for books – even my own – is appalling) but I know that I totally believed in every detail and got to the end of the book astonished that these people don’t really exist. I think it’s probably time for a re-read actually…

FridayNightLights3. Coach and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights

The best portrayal of a marriage on TV. Tami is a goddess, of course. And Coach is pretty damn cool too. But they’re just so perfect together. They’re supportive and loving, but they call each other out on their crap. And they clearly still fancy each other like mad (and who can blame them?). Friday Night Lights is one of my favourite TV shows of all time and Coach and Tami’s relationship is one of the best things about it. (Also: Tim Riggins.)

Rennison4. Georgia and Dave the Laugh in Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson series

Again, it’s a long time since I’ve read these books, but I loved both the characters a lot and rooted for them to get together. Plus Georgia introduced me to the expression ‘I hear the call of the horn’ which I use a lot! (See Tim Riggins, above.)

FRIENDS (Saison 5)5. Chandler and Monica

I know the big Friends romance was meant to be Ross and Rachel and, yes, I bought into that like everyone else (at least in the beginning), but the show’s true love story is, for me, Chandler and Monica. I would never have put them together, but they really really work. They both remain completely themselves, but complement each other beautifully. I love Chandler’s candlelit proposal (it makes me cry every damn time) but my favourite Chandler and Monica moment is this one, after they’ve had a rubbish weekend away together:

Chandler: So, I guess this is over.

Monica: What?

Chandler: Well, y’know, you and me, it had to end sometime.

Monica: Why, exactly?

Chandler: Because of the weekend, we had a fight.

Monica: Chandler that’s crazy! If you give up every time you’d have a fight with someone you’d never be with anyone longer than—Ohhh!


934702_10151585036680642_1121924852_n 20.36.01Keris blog tour banner 150dpi

Keris was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but moved to the UK when she was four months old, and grew up on the Wirral. She now lives in Lancashire with her husband and two ridiculously gorgeous sons. She’s been writing stories for as long as she can remember and now writes full time.

Keris’s new book – STARRING KITTY – is her fifth book and is available NOW from all good book stores!

Sometimes the greatest love stories happen behind the scenes…
Kitty’s keeping secrets. Like how she’s struggling to cope with her mum’s illness. And how she’s falling for the girl with the purpley-red hair… A fun film competition with her friends Sunny and Hannah seems like the perfect distraction. But then Dylan wants to be more than Kitty’s secret. Is Kitty ready to let her two worlds meet or will she risk losing Dylan forever?

Find STARRING KITTY on amazon.

The Keris Stainton blog tour continues tomorrow – next stop is Sister Spooky at sisterspooky.co.uk

Interview with Morgen Bailey

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morgen small

A while back, the lovely Morgen Bailey was kind enough to interview me for her rather fabulous writing blog which is… well… impressive! I decided to find out more about the mysterious lady who spells her name with an ‘e’, not an ‘a’.

Tell us a little about Morgen Bailey. Just start when you were born
and finish up right when I started asking you questions. Feel free to give us the 
abbreviated version.

Please don’t encourage me! I can talk for England… Scotland… Ireland…

Abbreviated version. OK. Born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire in August 1967. Did the usual school (which I left at 16 to be a secretary because I didn’t know what else I wanted to do), going out with friends, passed my driving test when I was 20. Left home four years later, moving 60 miles north (in theory with work but didn’t happen like that, they ended up moving further south which I couldn’t afford so came up here anyway). I went to computing, language then creative writing evening classes to meet people and light bulb moment happened (eight and a half years ago) after I completed the first homework, a short story. I knew then that I wanted to be a writer. It took me another five years to start doing anything about it and I finally left the safety of a ‘proper job’ in March 2012. Although I’m now living the pauper’s life (renting out two bedrooms to Monday-Friday lodgers), I don’t regret it for a second… especially as I offer an editing and critique service and blog design service, and they’ve both taken off nicely. 🙂

Half a dozen online writing groups, at least two websites, your podcast, your teaching work …how on earth do you find time to actually write?!!

(laughs) I write a short story (usually flash fiction) every day for my blog’s 5pm fiction slot, so knowing I ‘have’ to do that (although I don’t suppose anyone sits waiting for it) means I write every day. I’ve also been doing at least a novel a year (for NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo) and other short stories for Story A Day May, which all goes to creating plenty of content for eBooks (all the shorts are up, one novel’s done, six to go). Oh, and at last count, I have twelve personal websites (listed on http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/blogs).

You seem to have a flair for all-things online Morgen. Is that something that comes naturally? And how important do you think that skill is for the modern day author?

Yes, hands up. I’m a nerd. 🙂 I grew up with an older (2 years) brother who was my dad’s Computer Manager back in the days of Spectrums and BBC monsters (his shops sold photographic and computer equipment) so it was inevitable, as was getting into the arts; my brother’s a web designer / IT Project Manager, father was a photographer, my uncle still is, my aunt and mother are artists.

Every author these days needs to do their own marketing, even if they have a publisher behind them. Of all the authors I’ve interviewed (over 800), only one has said she doesn’t do her own marketing, yet she’s active on Twitter and Facebook. It’s part of the reason why I set up ‘I Can Build Your Writing Blog’ and being a writer myself, I can help develop them from a writer’s (and reader’s) point of view.

Says here you’ve got half a dozen, mostly-crime, novels in the pipeline – and yet your debut novel (‘ The Serial Dater’s Shopping List’) is most definitely contemporary women’s fiction. Why the sudden change of genre?

TSDSL was actually the third novel I wrote, and the longest (a 117,540-word first draft for NaNoWriMo 2009… all in 28 days!). It then took me a few months, on and off, to edit it before sending it to two first readers. Apparently there are still mistakes we didn’t pick up on so next on the jobs list is to re-edit it.

The first novel (NaNoWriMo 2008) was a semi-crime lad lit, the second (written January to October 2009) was a crime / mystery (which has been edited / first read so just needs me to re-edit and eBook). The fourth was another lad lit, the everything since has been crime (getting darker as I go along). So I guess you could say I settled into crime rather than switched to it. I’ve done a few agent pitches (with the crime / mystery and TSDSL) and one of the agents, at the 2011 Winchester Writers’ Conference, a top (and scary, apparently… although she was nice to me because she knew the crime novelist whose writing class I took over) agent looked at me and said, “You’re a crime writer, you need to write crime.” As it turns out, I do.

Oh, and she rejected both the novels, as did the other dozen agents I’d approached at conferences or via email, which lead to me going the self-published route – via two publishing contracts for TSDSL, both of which I turned down following legal advice… although my heart has sunk when I’d read them so that was a strong hint.

What’s the general gist of the story – you have thirty seconds – Go!

OK, the three-second version is ‘31 men in 31 days – what could possibly go wrong?’ but seeing as I have thirty seconds… 🙂

Isobel MacFarlane is a recently-turned-40 journalist who usually writes a technology column for a newspaper based in Northampton, England, but her somewhat-intimidating boss, William, has set her the task of meeting 31 men, via a local internet dating site, all within a month. Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend and ‘Health & Beauty’ colleague Donna, she knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts, and starts ticking them off as she meets Mr Could Be Right Except For, Mr Not Bad, Mr Oh My Goodness and Mr Oh So Very Wrong. Follow the ups (there are a few) and downs (there are many) of the dating process and intertwined with her experiences, get to know her colleagues and family, including her niece Lola who, apart from being an amazing storyteller, can eat ambidextrously whilst wearing a Princess glove puppet on her right hand, and Baby, William’s none-too-healthy African Grey parrot.

Oops… sorry, think I went over my time there (nothing new).

A little birdie told me that The Serial Dater’s Shopping List is based on personal experience? That true? Did you really go on thirty-one dates in thirty one days? Was it research or were you, you know, on the prowl?

Ha! I didn’t, although I have been on a few blinds dates in the past and the speed-dating middle chapter is pretty true to life (especially the builder there looking for business!). Let’s just say that it’s a combination of real life and a vivid imagination. No one’s fallen asleep on me yet, although I’m single again so there’s always a first time.

Anything else you’d like to tell me (and my readers)

I’m running eight writing-related / I.T. courses next year at four locations in Northampton, England from January 2014. The details are on http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/courses/northampton-writing-courses but they are: eBooking, blogging, social networking, planning & writing a novel, short stories, creative writing – beginners, c/w – intermediate, and ideas & inspiration. I do plan to run most of these as online writing courses for those who aren’t UK-based, and the details will be on my blog. As you can probably tell, I love talking about writing and so getting paid to ‘work’ (teach my favourite topic) is a bonus, and I can’t wait!

Thank you, Peter.

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Things That Matter : Guest Post by Della Galton

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ice-drop-shadowAuthor Della Galton explains why she’s drawn to write about controversial subjects, and shares the motivation behind her latest novel ‘Ice and a Slice’

I’ve often wondered how we choose what we write. Do we choose to write short stories or novels because we love them, or do we just drift into the form? And what about the subject matter? Why do we choose that?

The first short story I ever had published was called Second Chance, and it was published in a teenage confession magazine called Loving (I wish that magazine was still around, it was excellent).

Second Chance was set in a doctor’s surgery, and it was all about a teenager who was planning to have a termination – blimey, I don’t think I’d sell that story now – it’s quite a controversial issue, even today. But then I’ve always liked writing about controversial issues. I don’t have a copy of Second Chance any more but I can remember the last line, which went something like this:

Throughout her life she would give her baby many second chances, but none of them would be as important as the one she was giving him now…

The first novel I ever wrote was called Prisoners. It was about a woman who works in a pet shop and falls in love with someone she shouldn’t (her married boss). There are a few animal characters and they have a few nights out (the people, not the animals) and in the end the couple get it together.

If this sounds like an immense muddle, then that’s because it was. I’d had four or five short stories published when I wrote Prisoners. I thought writing a novel was simply a matter of writing 70,000 words.

Moving swiftly on, my first published novel, Passing Shadows, was about a woman who works in an animal sanctuary and falls in love with someone she shouldn’t (the father of her best friend’s child.) There are a few animal characters and they have a few nights out (the people, not the animals) and in the end the couple get it together.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? So why did this novel work and Prisoners not work? Well, partly because I knew a bit more about what I was doing. I was passionate about the main characters, Maggie and Finn. Also, this novel had some strong themes, friendship and betrayal being two of them.

Ice and a SliceMy latest novel, Ice and a Slice, also has some strong themes. It’s about friendship, beating the odds, and love.

It’s also about alcoholism, which is a theme I’ve explored in short stories too, but I wanted to take it further and the only way to do this was to write a novel.

The main character in Ice and a Slice, is called SJ, and she drinks too much – although she would argue until she was blue in the face about that! And if you don’t believe me, then do check out her Facebook page here or her Twitter account here, where she is surprisingly active!

So, why did I write about alcoholism? Well, as I said earlier I’m big on issues. I like writing about things that matter, and alcoholism is a subject very close to my heart. Many of my family suffer from it. Some of them are in recovery and some of them are not. And some have died needless premature deaths.

An alcoholic is not someone, as I once thought, who drinks meths on a park bench. Alcoholism is not a moral issue for weak minded people – it’s a disease that can affect anyone – it can strike doctors, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, vicars, secretaries, taxi drivers, anyone. It’s a disease of our time.

So, yes I feel passionate about alcoholism and that’s why I wrote Ice and a Slice. SJ – or Sarah-Jane Crosse to give her full name – is deeply flawed, but I love her to bits. I think she’s probably the most three dimensional character I’ve ever created. Hence, she has her own social media pages. Do check them out.

You’ll have more luck getting a sensible answer from her when she’s sober – so mornings are good!

And if you like what you see, do take a look at Ice and a Slice too – you can read a free sample or buy it for less than a glass of Chardonnay 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Della Galton x


Della Galton is a freelance writer and tutor. She is best known for her short stories, and sells in the region of 80 short stories a year to magazines both in the UK and abroad. She is a popular speaker at writing conventions around the UK and is also the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum. Her third full length novel Ice and a Slice’ is currently available for all kindle enabled smart phones and e-readers from amazon (.co.uk | .com) and will be available in paperback shortly.

To find out more about Della Galton visit her website, LIKE her facebook page or follow her on Twitter.

Go With The Flow Day

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pocketful of smiles
Don’t tell everyone, but one of my dearest friends – author Wendy Steele – turns 50 this week. She also publishes her fifth book! Fifth! I’ve barely managed to announce my second, and I’ve only got myself to think about – whereas Wendy has a houseful! How on earth does she manage it all? And more to the point, does she ever find time to just ‘be’? Well apparently so. Here she is to tell us about ‘Go With The Flow Day’

With the evenings drawing in and less sunshine to brighten our days, I can feel lethargic and unmotivated. For me that suggests I need to book a ‘Go With The Flow’ day.

Do you sometimes get tired of the same routine? Do you find that your weekends feel just like working days? Do you sometimes wish you could do just what you feel like doing right now? You need a Go With The Flow Day.

This day is easy to achieve for some, requires forward planning by most but is impossible for very few of us. In order to make this time, you need to book a day in your diary to do it. For those with small children, this may need to be when grandparents are available to babysit, or with partners, decide if you’re going to ‘go with the flow’ together or separately.

A possible Go With The Flow Day for me would be when my children have plans where they are staying over, I’ve seen my mum the previous weekend, there is tasty home made food in the freezer and I’ve worked hard to get washing, shopping, chores etc relatively up to date. Upon waking, I might decide to have my first cup of Rooibos in the garden or the summer house. A leisurely bath with essential oils gives me time to think; a walk in the woods feels like a good idea. Wrapped up warm while walking, I remember the book I bought about spirals on ancient monuments and I indulge that feeling on my return home and curl up in front of the fire with my book. A cat or two comes to join me and I relish their warmth and their company. Before the light fades, I retrieve dahl and rice from the freezer and as I decant it into oven proof dishes, I remember the cooking apples in the cupboard, wash them, de-core them, fill them with brown sugar and sultanas and pop them in the oven with the curry. I return to my book but my mind recalls that I haven’t read one of my favourite books, ‘Moon Magic’ by Dion Fortune for a while and I abandon one book for another.

Everyone’s Go With The Flow Day will be different but try not to get distracted and fall into everyday mode. If you want to work, then please do so. Sometimes I write on these days but don’t feel you have to or you should. If you want to paint the spare room, go ahead, but only if you want to. Treat yourself to a day of doing what you feel.

Book a Go With The Flow Day in your diary now. After one of these days, I return to my routine refreshed. Even the chores seem less tiresome and I feel more in tune with my surroundings.

You can find 100 more ideas to bring happiness to your days in my new book ‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you.’

To celebrate the launch of Wendy’s book, you can download ‘A Pocketful of Smiles’ and all her other titles for FREE, from now until the 5th December.
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