TUESDAY TALK WELCOMES NICKY WELLS AS SHE TALKS ABOUT HER SWITCH FROM WRITING ROMANCE TO THRILLERS AND HER ULTIMATE – AND RATHER CHILLY -HOLIDAY DESTINATION

3. NickyWellsGood morning Nicky and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Good morning, Jo! It’s lovely to be here, thank you for inviting me. I’m honoured!! So, you want to know something about me? Hm. Where to start? I was blonde once; now I’m most probably a different colour, but underneath all that lovely red, you’d never know. I am German by birth, but I’ve lived in the UK most of my life (and apparently, I shall be allowed to continue to do so: wish me luck!). I am terminally afraid of wasps. I have a fabulous, wicked sense of humour although I may be slightly slow ‘getting’ it; sometimes. Ha! And I was privileged to have my favourite rock band play at my wedding. On that subject, I have a gorgeous, singing and guitar-playing husband and two growing-way-too-fast boys.

When did you first decide you wanted to write and how did you begin that journey?

Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to write; but this is such a cheesy answer that I don’t often give it. I started writing in earnest when I quit my business consultancy job a few months before the birth of my first baby; that would be around twelve years ago. All of a sudden, I had all this time on my hands, and I decided that I would write that book. ‘That book’ turned out to be Sophie’s Turn, even if it took about five years to get it out in book format. And my writing obsession turned out to be fairly unstoppable because I’ve written (almost) ten books altogether now and published eight of them.

 

Although your early novels had a rock music influence your last book Dead Hope was totally different – a suspenseful crime novel with romance woven through it. Have you now said goodbye to rock romances?

That’s a great question. The answer is: sort of yes, sort of no. You know how much I love my rock music and how much I adore certain rock stars. That obsession is alive and well and not about to desert me. Which means there are plenty more rock romances in me just waiting to be written. However, somehow—somehow, I got sidetracked. I wanted to try something new, something different, to stretch my literary wings and see if I could pull it off. It appears that I’ve unleashed a genie that now refuses to go back in the bottle as the ideas for thrillers are coming thick and fast. I’ve always been a great believer in following wherever my inspiration takes me, so for the time being, that’s my direction.

If money were no object where would your ultimate holiday destination be?

No object? No object whatsoever? Iceland. The arctic circle, snow and ice and Northern Lights and all.

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?

At the moment, I’m deeply enthralled by my third thriller which tells the story of a woman in her early thirties who finds her life—husband, daughter, career and everything—cruelly and inexplicably taken out from under her. She doesn’t know why, but she intends to find out. Because otherwise… well otherwise, she has nothing.

6And lastly, you’ve been invited to take part in I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. Choose four celebrities you would most like to share the jungle with you and why

Joey Tempest—because that’s been my dream since I was fourteen. And because he’s got the most amazing voice and he’s an all-round genius.

Paul Hollywood—because then I’d never run out of yummy jungle cakes.

Michael McIntyre—because we’d never run out of laughs.

And Cameron Diaz—because obviously I’d need a female sidekick. LOL!

About Nicky Wells: Love & Thrills

 Nicky Wells writes captivating romance and breathtaking thrillers featuring famous (or infamous!) feisty heroes and extraordinary villains. DEAD HOPE is her eighth book and the first published novel in her “Wake Up Dead” themed thriller series, with the next two books scheduled for release through the course 2018. Nicky has previously published seven works of romantic fiction both with US publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, and independently.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. She loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s hopelessly addicted to reading crime novels by the truck load.

 

 

Dead Hope Nicky Wells

KINDLE

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

US: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

PAPERBACK:

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/

US: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/

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Nicky’s previous books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore

| Fallen for RockSeven Years Bad Sex | Spirits of Christmas| Fairy Tale in New York

Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

 

TUESDAY TALK WELCOMES KATHRYN HALL AS SHE TALKS ABOUT FAVOURITE AUTHORS, DESERT ISLAND MUST HAVES AND WHAT’S NEXT ON HER WRITING AGENDA…

fullsizeoutput_267Good morning Kathryn and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hi Jo, and thank you for having me on your blog. It seems quite some time since I walked through the doors of the wonderful world of interviews and blogs, and I feel quite at home!
So, recently married to the love of my life, having at last found happiness (and that last piece of jigsaw I was painstakingly trying to find) I am starting to settle down and continue this lifelong journey of mine – one which involves my passion for writing. I guess my life has been a series of books, many chapters that have usually ended on a cliff-hanger. And now? Well, I’m still a passionate writer, always soul searching, plotting and discovering, but now I’m a happy and passionate writer, content with my life, no longer searching for that ‘something’ that was always missing. I’m 47, and I really didn’t think I’d ever find my soul mate. Then one day, during a three-way conversation on Twitter with a farmer-friend and a friend of his, there I was, single and particularly lonely, wondering what lay ahead, when suddenly I realised a spark had been ignited and our chat on social media was to change my life forever. Inadvertently introducing us, my farmer-friend had no idea that his own friend and I had made contact privately, and history was inevitably in the making. Two years later in May of this year, Jon and I married in Lake Garda and look forward to spending the rest of our lives celebrating our union. Perhaps thanks to Twitter…definitely thanks to our farmer-friend (whom we now see regularly). But definitely thanks to my writing, because without it, Jon wouldn’t have asked me questions about my books, that led to us finding our soul-mate, in each other.
I have a beautiful daughter, Amy, who’s 17 and studies animal care at college, and I have a very handsome step-son studying International Business at university. I think it’s safe to say, the latter half of my 40s have been very different to the former, and I now walk around with pride and contentment after what seemed to be a rather tumultuous decade pre-mid 40s.

When did you first decide you wanted to write and how did you begin that journey?

When I was ten years old, I won a short story competition at Primary school. I was awarded a packet of felt-tip pens and a colouring book. I was on top of the world that day when a local author came into the school to make the presentations. I knew then where my vocation lay, and even though it was many years later in 2007 when I was to publish my first novel, I spent many hours writing stories and articles for magazines, studying creative writing, and going to bed with a Dictionary and Thesaurus, not to mention the Writers’ & Artists’ Year Book. I recommend it to anyone; it beats counting sheep any day, or night…!

Who are your favourite authors and have any of them inspired your writing in any way?

I have read so many wonderful books over the years and I could reel off list after list of authors whose work I’ve enjoyed – Pauline Barclay for one, CL Taylor another, Lynda Renham is another favourite of mine. I have recently been engrossed in crime writer, Simon Kernick’s work; he really knows how to write a damn good, gritty page turner, and I can honestly say that his books (he has many available) have most definitely inspired me to continue working on my current novel. I’d almost given up on it, if I’m honest, but I’ve always wanted to write a thriller, and I’m still not sure whether it will fall under the psychological thriller genre, or whether it will be something else – I need to have that discussion with my editor at some point – but I’m enjoying the plot and have got into the characters’ heads. So, I’m quite excited about finishing it and after taking a break for far too long, I feel I’m starting to get my motivation back. All I can say is, stand aside, Mr Kernick.
Beach or city girl? Where are your favourite holiday destinations and why?

Can I be awkward and say, pool? I don’t do sand, you see, and I don’t like the sea because I have a phobia of seaweed (even though I eat it from the Chinese…mmm, delicious stuff). I could lie on a sun-lounger all day in scorching sun, smothered in oil, preferably a few steps away from a refreshing swimming pool. My husband, Jon, doesn’t care much for sunbathing so we tend to compromise when we go on holiday. I don’t mind having a wander in a nice town, but I’m not a city girl. Never have been. We got married in a stunning lakeside resort called Gardone Riviera, which sits amongst the hilly countryside on the eastern shores of Lake Garda. Perhaps because it was our wedding and honeymoon destination I may sound a little biased, but it really is the most beautiful place in the world as far as I’m concerned.

Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?

I should start by telling you that my next book will be penned in my new name, Kathryn Hall, whereas my previous books are in the name of Kathryn Brown. The book I’m currently writing is about Lydia, a seemingly contented woman in her 30s, believing the world to be her oyster and her future a breath of fresh air. But things take a sinister turn for her and she realises she no longer has the comfort of the gentle world she lives in, but has to fend for herself. We start to see the stronger side of her character when her world falls apart, and we soon get to understand that this woman who once relied on those around her, can very easily push them away. And when she does, she finds herself in dire need of help. The book is written in first person, mainly from Lydia’s point of view, but I’m afraid, for now, that’s all I’m saying. The plot may change a little – I have a habit of changing my mind – so for fear of misleading any future readers, I shall leave it there. There’s nothing more intriguing than leaving the punter guessing!

And lastly, if you had to spend a whole year on a desert island, what would your ‘must haves’ be and why?

Blimey, that’s a difficult question! Some very large bottles of wine for starters! Obviously, my husband would be there, so in a nutshell I wouldn’t need anything else. I guess on a desert island there would be no phone signal, but if there was, then I’d have my phone. Then again, where would I charge it up? I have a stuffed bunny rabbit that goes everywhere with me, much to Jon’s chagrin, as she even accompanied us on our honeymoon. Carrot – that’s her name – has been my “comfort blanket” since I was five years old, so she is definitely a ‘must have’. Well, I suppose if I can take my mobile phone and charge it up, I can also use my Kindle. So, with my husband, my bunny rabbit, my mobile and my Kindle, not to mention those bottles of wine, actually, life on a desert island doesn’t sound so bad.

 

BOOKS BY KATHRYN

Discovery at Rosehill (1st in the series) – paperback and Kindle – paranormal romance

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Discovery-at-Rosehill-Kathryn-Brown-ebook/dp/B00K1A19K4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1505303730&sr=8-4&keywords=kathryn+brown

Secrets at Rosehill (2nd in series) – paperback and Kindle (you can actually buy both books together) – paranormal romance

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KO6Z1VI/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Bedknobs and Bachelors – paperback and Kindle – romantic comedy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bedknobs-Bachelors-Kathryn-Brown-ebook/dp/B00EWO40SS/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1505303854&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=bed+knobs+and+bachelors

Nightingale Woods – paperback and Kindle – romantic comedy

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nightingale-Woods-Kathryn-Brown-ebook/dp/B00B4FD8XQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1505303980&sr=1-3&keywords=nightingale+woods

 

 

A WRITER’S JOURNEY BOOK PROMOTION: ONLY ONE WOMAN by CHRISTINA JONES AND JANE RISDON…

Jane Risdon has been a great friend of mine for quite a while.  With her long career in the music business she became an invaluable source of information and support during the time I was writing The Other Side of Morning where rock star Christian Rosetti featured as one of the main characters.

And now I’m really pleased to be able to return the compliment with a pre-publication promotion for her forthcoming collaboration with Christina Jones…

ONLY ONE WOMAN

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heart throb guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

PUBLICATION DATE: 23RD November 2017 – currently available on Amazon for pre-order

BUY LINK: http://amzn.eu/ievldMw

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Christina Jones has written all of her life (as well as having millions of Proper Jobs including factory worker, secretary, nightclub dancer, blood donor attendant, barmaid, waitress, civil servant and fruit picker) Christina first had a short story published when she was just 14 years old. She has written for teenage and women’s’ magazines fiction and non-fiction for a number of years, had her own humour column in The Oxford Times, and has contributed to national newspapers.
Having spent most of her life married to a rock musician, Jane Risdon had little time for writing. She and her husband worked with management of musicians, singer-songwriters, and record producers, rubbing shoulders with the great and glamorous all over the world. With time to herself at last, Jane’s experiences in the music industry have kickstarted her writing career. She and Christina Jones have been friends since the Swinging Sixties.

 

 

TUESDAY TALK CHATS TO AUTHOR SARA GETHIN ABOUT HER WRITING JOURNEY AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND HER NOVEL ‘NOT THOMAS’,

P1040360 - B&WGood morning Sara and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Morning, Jo – it’s a pleasure to be here. I live in west Wales, on the Carmarthenshire coast, with my husband, Simon. We have two grown-up children – our daughter lives down the road from us with her two dogs, and our son lives in Dublin, so we’re frequent visitors to Ireland. In the past, all my jobs have been child-related. I’ve worked as a primary school teacher, and also been a child-minder and an assistant in a children’s library. I now write full-time.

How did your writing journey begin?

I’d always loved writing bits and pieces and imagined myself writing a novel one day, but when the children were young I never seemed able to set aside enough time. When I turned forty, I decided it was ‘now or never’ and I joined a local writing class. The emphasis was on writing for children and I built up collections of short stories for four to eight-year-olds. The first of these was called ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’ and it was published in 2013. It won a Welsh award and this really encouraged me to keep writing. I’ve written another two children’s books under my real name of Wendy White.

What inspired you to write Not Thomas?

My first teaching post was in a very disadvantaged area, and the poverty and neglect I witnessed there made a lasting impression on me. I drew on these teaching experiences to write Not Thomas, and I wrote it very slowly over fourteen years. I chose to write it under the pen name Sara Gethin to keep my novel distinct from my humorous writing for children.
Not Thomas is quite dark. It’s about child neglect and the story is told entirely from the point of view of five-year-old Tomos. He’s been removed from his lovely foster parents and sent to live with his mum who’s hiding a drug addiction. Tomos isn’t based on one child I taught – he’s a mixture of a number of children I knew and heard about, all rolled into one often very sad, but also really hopeful, central character.

As a writer what is the best piece of advice you have been given?

The lecturer on that very first writing course I attended gave us an essential piece of advice – read, read, read! He told us it’s the best way to learn what good writing is. Some students disagreed with his advice because they felt it would lead to them copying someone else’s style. It’s an argument I’ve heard many, many times since, but I still firmly believe that if you want to write well you have to read an awful lot too.

What destination is top of your bucket list?

I would love to visit Australia. I’m not very good at roughing it, or coping in extreme temperatures or with unusual foods, so it’s the perfect place for my dream holiday. And all that reading time on the plane there and back – bliss!

And lastly, you’re one of the contestants in I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here. Which four famous people would you like as companions in the ‘jungle’ and why?

Being a contestant on I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here is my idea of absolute hell! Roughing it, disgusting food – see my answer to the previous question. But thank you for letting me choose four companions to help soften the pain.
First of all I’d pick Graham Norton. I think he’s hilarious and he’s interviewed so many famous people he’d never run out of entertaining stories. We could rely on him to make witty remarks about the other contestants too. Next I’d choose Kate Bush. I love her voice, although I know it’s a little like Marmite. We could duet around the camp fire and annoy everyone else. She could teach me her dance moves too – they’re about the only dance moves I stand any chance of learning. Dara O’Briain is my next choice, mainly because he’s very funny, plus he has a talent for science, which I’m really bad at, and I might as well use my time in the jungle to learn something new.
And finally, I’d choose an author. This is the hardest choice of all because there are so many wonderful authors I admire to choose from. I’m going to plump for Patricia Cornwell. I could spend hours picking her brains about police and forensic procedures. Then I might try my hand at writing a detective novel when I’d escaped from the jungle (I secretly want to be Ian Rankin). Ms Cornwell could entertain us too, with imaginative ways to bump off the most annoying contestant – hypothetically, of course. Hopefully, the most annoying wouldn’t be any of my chosen companions – or worse, me!

 

NOT THOMAS by SARA GETHIN

NotThomas cover final front only

The lady’s here.
The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair.
I’m waiting for her to go away.

Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He’s five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.

When the men get in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will ever be the same again.

 

Not Thomas is available to buy in paperback direct from the publisher Honno Press:

http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983625

and in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon:

www.amazon.co.uk/Not-Thomas-Sara-Gethin/dp/1909983624

SARA’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Sara Gethin Social Media Links:

Website & Blog: saragethin.com

Facebook: @SaraGethinWriter

Twitter: @SGethinWriter

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/saragethinwriter

 

BOOK PROMOTION: Cover Reveal for The Captain’s Daughter – Book Two in Victoria Cornwall’s Cornish Tales Series

COVER REVEAL

The Captain’s Daughter
Victoria Cornwall

TCD_RGB_150

A gripping historical novel set in Cornwall.
Perfect for fans of Winston Graham’s Poldark, Susan Howatch & Philippa Gregory novels.

Book 2 – Cornish Tales

 

Beware the strength of a quiet woman.

After a family tragedy, Janey Carhart was forced from her comfortable middle-class life as a captain’s daughter into domestic servitude. Determined to make something of herself, Janey eventually finds work as a lady’s maid at the imposing Bosvenna Manor on the edge of Bodmin Moor, but is soon caught between the two worlds of upstairs and downstairs, and accepted by neither, as she cares for her blind mistress.
Desperately lonely, Janey catches the attention of two men – James Brockenshaw and Daniel Kellow. James is heir to the Bosvenna estate, a man whose eloquent letters to his mother warm Janey’s heart and whose attentions to her when he returns home set her pulse racing. Daniel Kellow is a neighbouring farmer with a dark past and a brooding nature, yet with a magnetism that disturbs Janey. Two men. Who should she choose? Or will fate decide.

PRICE: £2.99
Pre-order price: £0.99
PUB DATE: 3 October 2017
ISBNs
Digital: 978-1-78189-381-4
CATEGORY: Historical/Women’s Fiction/Romance/Saga

BOOK LINKS

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Captains-Daughter-Choc-Cornish-Tales-ebook/dp/B075JNYRGG/r

https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-captains-daughter-choc-lit/id1271370193?mt=11&at=11lNBs

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-captain-s-daughter-13

CHOC

Choc Lit:
info@choc-lit.com
+44 (0) 1276 27492

 

Victoria CornwallVictoria Cornwall can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century. This background and heritage has given her an understanding and knowledge of Cornish rural life, which is the inspiration for her writing.
Following a fulfilling twenty-five year career as a nurse, a change in profession finally allowed her time to write in her favourite genre – historical romance.

She is married with two grown up children. The Captain’s Daughter is the second novel in her Cornish Tales series.

Catch up with Victoria on Social Media:

https://twitter.com/VickieCornwall

http://http//victoriacornwall.com/

https://www.facebook.com/victoria.cornwall.75

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16069968.Victoria_Cornwall

 

PRAISE FOR VICTORIA CORNWALL’S PREVIOUS NOVEL – THE THIEF’S DAUGHTER

A great historical romance in the Poldark tradition with a wonderful hero, spirited heroine and smugglers galore, all in a wonderful Cornish setting.
Award-winning author, Christina Courtenay.

book reviewIf, like me, you are having Poldark withdrawals, then look no further. The Thief’s Daughter is a gorgeous tale of love and betrayal that will have you reading up until the wee hours of the morning as you follow Jenna and Jack on their journey to find their place in the world.
A beautifully written historical romance, that delves into the dangerous world of smuggling and questions how far you can and should go, even for those you love. I cannot wait to read more from Victoria Cornwall!
Sorcha O’Dowd, Waterstone’s Bookseller and Book Blogger.

Annie's book cornerWhat a wonderful debut novel from Victoria Cornwall! I’m not usually an historic romance fan but I was swept up in the story and the beautiful scenery descriptions.
Jenna and Jack’s relationship has highs, lows and strong arguments! I love a relationship that isn’t black and white and this one is very colourful! I also enjoyed Jenna’s attempt to escape her past and not be painted with the same brush as her family.
As my readers know, I am a great fan of Choc Lit and this is yet another book worthy of them. I look forward to Victoria’s next book.
Ann Cooper, Annie’s Book Corner.
with love for booksThe Thief’s Daughter is an amazing story about two people who have lost much, but are willing to do anything to keep others safe, even when these people don’t deserve this kind of protection. I loved to read about Jenna and Jack’s journey together, it made them stronger and able to open up to each other. They have great chemistry and it was heartwarming to see how they slowly grow closer together. Victoria Cornwall was born and raised in Cornwall and she perfectly describes this stunning place and the surroundings she writes about. I have been to Cornwall myself and while reading her book I thought about my time there with great fondness. I’ll be watching Victoria Cornwall and can’t wait to read more of her stories.
Anniek Snowroses, With Love for Books.
 

Cannisters

This was a step away from my comfort zone as this is the first ever historical romance I have read. Let me tell you I am glad I made the leap of faith with this one. What I found was a tale including romance, drama, intrigue and a little bit of betrayal. The research that the author has so clearly done into the historical elements shone through and is placed in the story in such a way that I feel I have learnt something but not been lectured.
Sal’s World of Books

TODAY TUESDAY TALK CATCHES UP WITH AUTHOR ALI BACON AS SHE CHATS ABOUT HER LATEST WRITING PROJECT AND CHOOSES SOME SPECIAL DINNER GUESTS…

Ali_ason 4896x3672Good morning Ali and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hello again, Jo and thanks so much for having me. As you know I live not for from you and have done since my marriage many (many!) years ago. However I was born and brought up in Scotland where I got my degree from St Andrews University. I love the West Country and my family (one of each) have grown up here, but of course you take the Scot out of Scotland but you can’t take … you know how it goes!

How did your writing journey begin?

Well, now you’re asking! I wrote a poem at school when I was six (didn’t we all) and joined the sixth form creative writing course (considered very new fangled back then) but I was in my fifties before I realised I hadn’t started the writing journey I had always meant to embark on. Even then there were a few false starts until I found a brilliant teacher in novelist Sarah Duncan who was running an evening class in Bath at that time. That was it – I was off!

Are you a panster or a plotter?

Very much a pantser. Although I do always have an idea of what it’s all about and where it’s heading, I have to work out the rest as I go along. Finding the story is part of the process for me and I really struggled in my current project. It’s historical fiction and I thought having a ‘ready-made’ plot would make it easy but the opposite was true. Because the main story was already known to me, I had to winkle out more stories hidden within it.

Name the top two destinations on your bucket list.

I’m lucky to have been to quite a few of my dream destinations, as far east as Dubai and as far north as Lapland, but I’m finding now that places are dropping off my bucket list. I don’t need to see the whole world before I die, but I would still like to make it to Orkney and the Western Isles. This summer we hosted children from Belarus – still affected by the Chernobyl disaster (more info at https://www.ccll.org.uk/bristol/index.php?ctlPage=home ). Not exactly a tourist destination, but it has made me very curious about life in that part of the world.

What was the inspiration behind A Kettle of Fish?

My first (unpublished) novel was set in Bristol and France. After a trip to Scotland, where CAT-COVER-THUMBwe hadn’t been for quite some time, Kettle was a conscious decision to celebrate my roots. I loved writing about the villages of the East Neuk of Fife and the magnetic pull of Edinburgh. But Kettle is contemporary, not set in my childhood. The themes of family secrets and a brush with the art world just seemed to appear of their own accord. It was fun to write and took me to some unexpected places – including the subject of my forthcoming book, In the Blink of an Eye, due out next year with Linen Press Books http://linen-press.com/

 

What’s next? Can you tell us a little about your latest project?

StAndPhotoFest Ali Bacon Reading-2_sm In the Blink of an Eye is a fictional account of the Scottish artist and photographer D. O. Hill. In 1843 Hill began a monumental painting of around 400 Scottish ministers which took him 23 years to complete. The book looks at what happened in between, including hill’s iconic partnership with photographer Robert Adamson. Together these two men created 3000 photographic images many of which are still regarded as masterpieces. In the end (see above!) I told Hill’s story in the voices of ten different people whose lives he touched. This seemed the only way to convey the breadth of his influence. In doing so, different facets of Victorian Edinburgh come to light.
Writing the book is part of a mission to being Hill and Adamson’s work to a wider audience and, once it’s published, I’m planning to give presentations about them to anyone who’ll have me!

And lastly, you’re planning a dinner where you can invite four celebrities (past or present). Who would they be and why?

Hah! I remember in the past choosing the geneticist Steve Jones, the politician Shirley William and tennis star John McEnroe. I must be getting shallow in my old age as I am replacing Jones with Daniel Craig (for obvious reasons!) Instead of Shirley, since I can’t have the entire cast of Dinner Ladies, I’ll have the incomparable Victoria Wood. Tennis must be represented by my all time hero Andy Murray and I’ll add the writer Kate Atkinson, whose conversation is sure to be as dazzling as her writing. Oh dear, I hope they get on!

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