Lovereading.co.uk

Search
Categories
Pages
Recent Posts
Archives

Ask the Author : Daisy Waugh

By Vikki Patis

Daisy Waugh, author of the fantastic new novel Honeyville, spoke to me about her writing process.

Set in Trinidad, Colorado, in 1913, Honeyville tells the tale of Inez, through the eyes of prostitute Dora Whitworth, and the impact she had on so many lives.

A hooker. A mistress. A murder. This town was built on sin.

The only novel I can compare Honeyville to is The Great Gatsby. The way in which Dora narrates the story – not the story of her, but rather the story of Inez, and the way she changed the lives of the people around her – gives the reader a fascinating view of the events, and is reminiscent of the way in which Nick Carraway is obsessed with the life and impact of Jay Gatsby.

Such a narrative, alongside the beautiful yet brutal imagery and deep, incredible characters, also helps to transport the reader back in time. Such a narrative, alongside the beautiful yet brutal imagery and deep, incredible characters, also helps to transport the reader back in time. Based on the true Ludlow Massacre, Honeyville manages to give all sides of the story, from the unhappy, underpaid miners, to the ruthless National Guard, and the riot-inducing Union. Waugh shows us everything – the sadness, the desperation, the short-lived joy – in an extraordinary way. Waugh is most certainly an author with an amazing talent.

Waugh is a novelist, columnist and journalist. She has published seven novels and a travel book about her time working as a teacher in Northern Kenya. She has worked as an Agony Aunt, a restaurant critic, a property reviewer, and a general lifestyle columnist for many years. She writes a monthly column for the magazine Standpoint, and has worked for radio and TV.

I wanted to know what inspired Waugh to become an author.

‘I have written stories ever since I can remember.  It’s all I ever wanted to do. Over the years I have been given a lot of encouragement by a lot of kind and clever and helpful people …  I think I would gone ahead and done it anyway though.’

Daisy_Waugh-by-Paul-Stuart_smHer ideas come from everywhere and everything.

‘Experiences get mixed up and mashed around but in the end - everything  is copy. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but it is.’

Waugh’s advice for aspiring writers is to, well, don’t.

‘A million pieces of advice and none at all. I think, in a nutshell, my advice would probably be ‘stick to the day job’.  It’s a lonely business, and you need a very thick skin – which no decent writer ever has. You have to be ludicrously driven to be willing to spend so many hours alone, and slightly unbalanced to persevere. I actively discourage my children from becoming writers. Trouble is, for most writers, writing is a compulsion. A disorder. A source of misery. And there’s not much money in it either. My advice? Unless you absolutely can’t help yourself, don’t. In which case, I could write a book full of advice. In fact, now I think of it…’ 

Which isn’t as depressing as it sounds. Every writer has known what it’s like to struggle, but they struggle on because writing is, as Waugh says, a compulsion, something that can’t be helped. And there’s a kind of beauty in that.

Although Waugh says that, as a writer, you are always and forever on your own, she is currently working on a screenplay as part of a team.

‘It’s a new discipline, utterly absorbing, AND I get to go to meetings!  Also I’m working on a new novel – contemporary this time, and a bit more light-hearted than the last few. Also various other projects are bubbling away. But mostly I’m working on the screenplay due to the fact the deadline is looming!’

Waugh has no plans for a book tour just yet, but would love to do one. At the time of the interview, she was reading Straw Dogs by John Gray.

‘It’s a very dense book and it is blowing my mind… It’s a book of philosophy which looks at what it is to be human … and it’s partly rather liberating, but mostly, intensely depressing. I have to read it in bursts and then spend a few days recovering. I’m also reading various screenplays. I’ve just read the screenplay for Suffragettes, which is coming out around Christmas. And I just reread the script for Withnail and I. Still brilliant after all these years!’

To find out more about Waugh and her brilliant books, visit her website, http://www.daisywaugh.co.uk/. Honeyville was released on the 20th of November. Find it on Lovereading.co.uk, the UK’s No.1 book recommendation site.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Lovereading Christmas update

Just over five weeks to go until Christmas and, while we’re not going to whip you up into an early frenzy by mentioning exactly how many shopping days you’ve got left to get everything organised, we would like to give you a gentle festive nudge. And with free P&P on all orders over £20 and a free Lovereading Canvas Bag (worth £9.99) when you spend over £25… come Christmas you’ll be laughing into your mince pies, with more than one dollop of brandy butter….

Signed, Sealed and Lovingly Delivered – Signed First Editions

We know that a book is a thoughtful, long lasting and treasured gift. Now, you can go even further to make this Christmas a truly memorable one. How? By bagging one of our special Signed First Editions.

That’s how. What could be better than a limited edition of a first class title, signed by the author and given with love at Christmas? … You may find you get stuck under the mistletoe for a while, though.

Ho! … Ho! … How about this? Easy to find Gift Ideas

So, you want to get everyone a book this year? Or get yourself into the Christmas Spirit? Good plan. You know what sorts of things they’re into, but you’re not sure where to look? Look here. Well, Not HERE exactly. Just below here for our shelf of books full of Christmas spirit.

2015 Pre-Publication Delectation!

As ever we’re giving you the chance to have a sneak peek between the covers of some wonderful books before they hit the shelves in early 2015. Don’t miss:

A Place for Us by Harriet Evans – This novel has been a huge hit as a 4-part eBook series this autumn. Now for the paperback for all those who prefer the physical book to read. We love it because it is a gorgeously glorious read with characters that you’ll come to see as friends. And for eBook fans who can’t wait the 4th instalment is out now.

The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth – A gripping, twisting thriller that’s dangerous for anyone who has any work to do – you’ll want to read it in one sitting. And Hide Her Name by Nadine Dorries – As her debut The Four Streets (read our Reader Reviews) is released in paperback, a chance to get a sneak peak at her latest cinematic, powerful and engaging community drama.

‘Maxim’-um benefit … Maxim Jakubowski’s Top Tips

Regulars will be no stranger to the eminent crime, SF and erotica specialist Maxim Jakubowski. Every month he gives us the benefit of his great knowledge and discerning taste by picking a couple of stars of the genres for us. They’re almost always off the beaten track and for that reason will make perfect non ‘obvious’ gifts for Fiction fans. You know, just in case there was an event coming up where gift-giving might be a ‘thing’ … Anyway, this month Maxim’s top tips are the gem of a book World of Trouble by Ben H Winters – Poetic, moving, ethereal blend of Sci-Fi and Crime fiction. And Everything is Moving, Everything is Joined by Stella Duffy – A compassionate collection of award-winning stories exploring the darkness and quirks of human beings and the cities we live in.

From Page to Popcorn – Film Tie-ins

Eager film-makers queue to option great books all the time and a few of those hopeful light-bulb moments burst into our lives in the romance of the silver screen … with varying levels of success. This month look out for:

Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed – An intimate memoir of a 1,000 mile hike into the self. Watch the trailer here … then read the book!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – From the author of Seabiscuit, a painfully difficult, ultimately uplifting, mind-blowing true story. And it’s the story of Louis Zamperini whose inspirational story is also told in his own words, Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In – Olympian, War veteran, air-crash survivor, Japanese P.O.W. This is a lesson in life from a real hero – completed just two days before he died aged 97.

In Short, ‘Short’ is In … Lovereading Short Stories Category

We love a good short story. Who doesn’t? They’re just right for the commute to work. Why not get two, and read one on the way home as well? A pair of shorts. Bliss. Take your pick from our lovingly compiled collection, or go with our favourite this month:

Infidelities by Kirsty Gunn – Lust, deceit, resentment, regret. Human infidelities in bite-size chunks.

Clever, page-turning intimate tales

Australian Liane Moriarty has been writing since 2005 but she has taken a while to work her way to us. Thankfully now she has and we love her novels so much we have made her last two, Little Lies and The Last Anniversary, Books of the Month. Sarah Broadhurst describes her books as ‘great reads, especially astute, and indeed amusing’ and our Reader Reviewers use words like ‘Absolutely brilliant’ ‘funny and entertaining’ ‘dark and frightening’. Visit her author page to find out more.

Not just for the teenagers

Twilight, The Hunger Games… books written for teenagers but frankly wasted on them… In the trade we call them ‘crossovers’. Well get ahead of your kids by picking up a copy of one of the books in the The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Greek myth meets reality in these mind-blowing adventures with many of the characters from the Percy Jackson books. Just published are the 4th and 5th in the series The House of Hades and The Blood of Olympus.

And that is November at Lovereading … start mulling your wine and jingling your bells because Christmas is coming, people!

P.S. If you are someone who follows book awards then one of the biggies ‘The Costa Book Awards’ have just announced there five shortlists. Find out more in our Book Awards category.

P.P.S. What was your favourite book of 2014?? Well we have asked our 600 strong Reader Review panel to let us know theirs and now you all have the chance to vote. Look out for the poll on the right-hand side pages on the website – the HOME PAGE is the easiest place to find it.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Book vs Film. Whose Taller? The Character or the Actor

who'staller_sm

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Lovereading Definitive Guide to Banned Books pt2

banned-books-VOL.2_sm

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Lovereading Definitive Guide to Banned Books pt1

banned-books-VOL1_sm

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Lovereading Top 10 books 9 – 16 November 2014

Lovereading Top 10

1
Bookworms, Dog-Ears and Squashy Big Armchairs A Book Lover's Alphabet Bookworms, Dog-Ears and Squashy Big Armchairs A Book Lover’s Alphabet
Heather Reyes
Heather Reyes is an Ambassador for the cause of reading real books and buying them in real bookshops. Her informational book about books will remind you (if you need reminding) of the pleasures of reading, the delight in happenstance when …
Download free opening extract
2
The Woman Who Stole My Life The Woman Who Stole My Life
Marian Keyes
November 2014 Book of the Month.
A fluctuating time scale, all from Stella’s viewpoint, makes this a little disjointed and convoluted in a long book with a huge amount of incident. Stella is hit with Guillain-Barre, the illness which attacks the …
Download free opening extract
3
Amnesia Amnesia
Peter Carey
November 2014 Book of the Month.
A clever political thriller with a powerful message on a large scale.  Computer hacking genius Gaby, involved with an extreme anarchist gang, is the daughter of a high ranking Australian politician.  She manages to get …
Download free opening extract
4
Funny Girl Funny Girl
Nick Hornby
November 2014 MEGA Book of the Month.
I would like to say ‘classic’ Hornby but the thing I most like about his writing is that the stories are all different, so one can hardly say ‘classic’. But it is all one …
Download free opening extract
5
Leaving Time Leaving Time
Jodi Picoult
November 2014 Book of the Month.
To tell you much about this might give away the surprise and shocking ending, suffice to say it is written from the point of view of a daughter, Jenna, desperate to find the truth about …
Download free opening extract
6
Closer Than You Think Closer Than You Think
Karen Rose
November 2014 Book of the Month.
This is the first in a new series by this terrific author. It mixes crime with romance and rattles along at a cracking pace. It is long and being a romance, there are some pretty …
Download free opening extract
7
Emma Emma
Alexander McCall Smith
November 2014 Book of the Month.
This is a strange series where famous authors have been asked to give a modern version of Austen’s classics so Joanna Trollope did Pride and Prejudice, Val McDermid Northanger Abbey and now Alexander McCall Smith …
Download free opening extract
8
If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go
Judy Chicurel
November 2014 Debut of the Month.
1972 and the teenagers of Long Island spend their time drinking, smoking and taking drugs.  The girls all experiment with sex, get pregnant, have abortions or adoptions, such is life.  The boys are all older …
Download free opening extract
9
Honeyville Honeyville
Daisy Waugh
November 2014 Book of the Month.
Set in 1913 and 1933 in Colorado and Hollywood amid the miners’ strike and unrest and later the opulent life of the film industry.  At the centre of the tale is an unsolved murder which …
Download free opening extract
10
The Christmas Party The Christmas Party
Carole Matthews
Another great romp from this fab author.  The party of the title is an office party in a very posh country house hotel with no expense spared, including a free bar all night!  Most of our action is concentrated on …
Download free opening extract
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Book review: Demons and Thieves by Lynda Berger

Demons and Thieves by Lynda Berger is a fast-paced, fantasy-adventure for young adults which has already enjoyed rave reviews from many readers because of its page-turning qualities: suspense, action, tension, twists – and some comedy too!

Demons-and-Thieves-front-cover-smThe story’s protagonist, teenager Tad Bailey, is struggling. Life hasn’t gone well for him ever since he made a terrible and irreversible wish that came true. Since then, dark forces have been playing havoc with his life and the only way he can stop them is to enter a deadly challenge to win the powerful Seven Keys.  He has just 12 hours to gain the first three, or he’ll be trapped in a world of his worst nightmares where demons, thieves and a mad magician will do anything to return home in his place.

This is a thrilling and compelling tale for young people about conquering their own fears – a tale that will inspire them to pursue the life they were born to live.

Clearly, the imaginative plot is a massive winner in this book, as is the fantastic dialogue and the progression of the colourful characters. Packed full of adventures, while offering a great mix of laughter and sadness, Demons and Thieves is a YA novel that will strongly appeal to both boys and girls aged 10 to 14. They simply won’t be able to put it down.

But the readers will take away more than an exciting tale with tense and scary twists. Author Lynda Berger has drawn on her own experiences to tackle common teenage issues, offering some invaluable tips along the way. At its heart, then, the book has a powerful and positive message to share about overcoming challenges whilst providing a riveting read.

Intended as the first part of “The Seven Keys Trilogy”, Demons and Thieves will capture young hearts, souls and minds, and potentially change their lives for the better. Demons and Thieves by Lynda Berger (9780957374300) is available now through Fuluji’s Publishing Ltd in paperback priced £6.99, and Kindle eBook priced £3.99. For more information visit www.demonsandthieves.com

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

What the Grown Ups Do Book Reviews by Mairi McLellan (Doctor and Vet)

Any parent will be able to recount the surreal questions that shoot from the mouths of their young children. Why is the sky blue? Do cats have nightmares?  More often, though, the questions are acute and set in reality: Why do you go to work, mummy? What does Daddy do? Why do you need to work? Why can’t you just play with me? Why do we need money?

Parents across the land, then, should be jumping for joy with the latest addition to the award-winning What do the grown-ups do series written by Mairi McLellan, is aimed at children aged five to 10 and is designed to educate and inform them (and grown-ups) about what different jobs involve in a fun and interesting way.

Fiona The Doctor by Mairi McLellan

In Fiona The Doctor, the fourth book in the series, three children meet with a real-life doctor, aunty Fiona, to ask questions about the work she does and peer into her medical bag, gaining great insight into the nuts and bolts of a career in medicine.

Though there’s an important message to the book, any risk of the story coming across as preachy or dull is removed by Mairi’s choosing to write through the eyes of children, speaking directly to young readers rather than at them.

Thankfully, it’s all very funny, light-hearted and chatty, with great accompanying pictures throughout, ‘doctor doctor’ jokes and lots of information about curious bodily functions, meaning it can be read as a bedtime story as well as in a school environment.
Although some critics might say it’s a tad young to be teaching children about the grown-up world of work, these books dispel that argument.

In reality, children are exposed to the world of work from a very young age – just think of Bob the Builder, Postman Pat, Fireman Sam, plus the hit CBeebies show Get Well Soon with Dr Ranj.

These books are just a follow on from that and can act as inspiration to children, helping getting them interested in a whole area of life they’d never previously engaged with or thought about, as well as work in general. The questions will go from ‘What is a doctor?’ to ‘I want to be a doctor’… or, if not, they will ask, ‘What other jobs might I like?’
Fundamentally, this book, along with the others in the series, will help teach children about the wider world around them and their place in it. The books also help children understand why they need to do well at school and learn English, Maths and other subjects. Obviously, they are never going to be a doctor if they can’t add up!

But this book in particular is also handy in another way. Most children, at some stage, will end up at the doctors or in A&E with a broken, twisted or sprained something or other. If they read this book, they’ll know what doctors do, and hospital will seem like a familiar and positive place, rather than some strange and terrifying land.
They will, for instance, recognise the skeleton models and bits of machinery and know that there are many different types of medical jobs, from dieticians and nurses to GPs and paediatricians.

Hopefully, the child will be telling you – the grown-up – what the stethoscope is used for, why their temperature needs to be taken and what an otoscope is.
As always, knowledge and awareness can only be a good thing for young minds and author Mairi McLellan should be commended for providing the type of children’s books that parents have long been screaming for.

Richard the Vet by Mairi McLellan

It’s often the case, when dealing with questions from young children, that parents can find it tricky to explain things in simple language. Imagine, for instance, a young inquisitive mind asking: ‘What does a vet do?’

You might mange to stutter a reply, saying that a vet looks after animals when they are sick. But, actually, a vet does a whole host of jobs you might not be aware of and, if you yourself have never seen a lamb being born or a hamster having an operation, then it might be hard to relate this information.

That’s where this new book Richard the Vet comes in –the latest addition to the award-winning What do the grown-ups do? series by Mairi McLellan. The non-fiction books are based in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, where three sisters investigate the world of grown-up jobs by asking local people – such as fishermen, actors and farmers – about their careers.

Designed for children aged five to 10 years, the fully-illustrated books aim to help youngsters understand different jobs and educate them about working life. Mairi wisely chooses to tell the story through the eyes of the young Mackenzie sisters to engage directly with her readers, and avoids the risk of boredom by writing about serious things in a funny and light-hearted manner.

In this particular book, vet Richard shows the children how he manages prize bulls, removes rotten teeth and avoids being kicked, all the while revealing quirky facts about animals, such as how horses’ teeth never stop growing. He also talks about the different roles vets can have. Small animal vets, for instance, deal with household pets such as cats, dogs and hamsters, performing  operations, X-rays and vaccinations as well as giving treatments.

Large animal vets, on the other hand, typically work with cattle, sheep, pigs and even llamas as part of a farm team being responsible for managing herd health plans, treating disease and balancing nutrition.

Basically, this book and the whole series is done very cleverly, explaining complicated things in an easy-to-understand way and educating all who read them. If the books were remotely dry or patronizing, kids would see through them in an instant and they just wouldn’t work. But, as they are, they hit just the right note to spark interest and draw kids in.

Parents should consider using these books as a ‘carrot’ for learning and self-development – instilling an entrepreneurial and independent spirit in young people that will pay dividends when they are grown up and entering the world of work.

They’re also a great way to introduce children to non-fiction books, opening up a whole new world of discovery.

I hope there are many more of these uniquely funny and informative books to come – perhaps an artist, a baker or a wind-farm engineer next?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

November Early Email Update

November always starts with a bang! And here at Lovereading, the fireworks continue as we look forward to Christmas. After all … Christmas is a story! For many though, the “Story of Christmas” is last minute panics, packed high-streets, blown budgets, family feuding and soggy sprouts. We’re here to help your Christmas run as smoothly as Santa’s sack-strings with pre-selected gift ideas, whopping discounts and FREE postage to boot! Feeling festive yet?

November Books of the Month

… but it’s not Christmas yet! There’s still time for some good ol’ fashioned escapism. There is something for every taste but why not be brave and try something different. It’s easy, just check out our Books of the Month and put your feet up for a bit:

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby – MEGA Book of the Month – A cracklingly comic, character led crash-landing into an era of youthful exuberance and political incorrectness. There’s not been a Hornby novel for a while and this one absolutely hits the spot. And Emma by Alexander McCall Smith – Jane Austen given a bright breath of new life as part of the bicentenary celebrations by a wry, witty and world-renowned word-master and well worth a look.

The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes – New beginnings, courage to face life’s obstacles and humour in a thought-provoking tale of an extraordinary life. Take a peek at some truly awesome reviews by members of our reader review panel. Along with Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose – Our readers called it: ‘enthralling’, ‘gripping’, ‘full of intrigue & horror’. And The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty – Astute, amusing, mysterious family history that’s both alien and very close to home.

fdrt
lccmtba

And later in the month…

Daisy Waugh’s Honeyville will be published on 20 November and will be one of our Books of the Month. ‘Imaginative, fascinating and cleverly plotted’ ‘Engrossing‘ and ‘an absolute must-read‘ were just some of the comments from our Reader Review Panel. We have an exclusive free Opening Extract you can read today… find out more.

First things First – Debuts of the Month

It’s wonderful to see so many debut writers published every month, but where do you find the right one for you? Well, here actually. We know you all love trying out debuts too as many of Lovereading’s most popular titles are from first timers.

This month, we love one that possibly wins the award for the quirkiest title of the year and definitely for the longest title of the year. If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go by Judy Chicurel – Exquisitely written story of a generation facing lost hope and shifting worlds in 1970s America. And Amber Fury by Natalie Hayes – A dark and moody psychological teaser which combines both menace and tension in equal measures.

Going Going … Gong! – Book Awards

There are four big book awards announced recently. Award shortlists are a great place to find your next read or a gift for someone else:

The Goldsmiths Prize – Six works of “boldly original fiction” vying for the top prize. 119 authors were considered for a prize becoming synonymous with inventive and original writing. The winner will be announced on 12 November… The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards – When it comes to choosing great crime writing, the Specsavers Award’s vision is 20/20.

And The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science BooksA prize celebrating outstanding popular science writing, in a world where science is (arguably) the new rock n’ roll. The winner follows in the footsteps of 2013 star Sean Carroll, whose Particle at the End of the Universe charts the hunt for the Higgs boson. Also Author Helen Macdonald has just won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for her book H is for Hawk. The first memoir to win it, is about how becoming a falconer helped her deal with grief.

The Pages of History – World War One Category

One hundred years ago fierce fighting raged across Europe and death-tolls rose. Out of this quagmire, incredible stories emerged. In tribute, we’ve put them together into one category.

An essential this month is The War Behind the Wire: The Life, Death and Glory of British Prisoners of War 1914-1918 by John Lewis-Stempel – Sad, significant and epic portrayal of a life few can imagine.

Red & Yellow and Blue & Green

Colourful in more than name, Christopher Bowden’s 4-part series transports the reader to a world of mystery and intrigue. Each novel is a stand-alone journey, but all contain the same deliciously tempting premise: an unexpected discovery begins an adventure into the unknown. It is classic storytelling. The 4th title, The Green Door, is out now but also available are: The Red House, The Yellow Room and The Blue Book. The whole lot would look very good all wrapped up under a Christmas tree … just saying.

A Not So Famished Road – The Age of Magic by Ben Okri

Heralded as an author “incapable of writing a boring sentence”, Ben Okri has set his latest thought-provoking and immersive magical journey in the twinkling surreality of a Swiss mountain. A truly transformative read that fans of Jim Crace, Gabriel Garcia Marquez or David Malouf will love. Click here to find out more.

Could you be the next star of Romantic Fiction?

Indie women’s fiction publisher Choc Lit and Whole Story Audiobooks, the UK’s leading audiobook publisher, have teamed up to find a next new star of romantic fiction. The competition is open to debuts and self-published authors with less than 15 reviews on Amazon. The winner of the prize will be offered a publishing contract with Choc Lit and Whole Story Audiobooks. Competition entries must be received by 30 November 2014 with the shortlist announced 14 February 2015.

Scroll down for more hand-picked recommendations in the genres you have told us you want to be kept up to date on. Click here to check or change any.

Happy Reading

P.S. If you live in London don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the Marian Keyes taxis as you could win a signed deluxe edition of her new book, The Woman Who Stole My Life.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Ask The Author: Julia Suzuki

By Vikki Patis

Julia Suzuki, British author of children’s literature, spoke to me about her writing process.

julia-suzukiSuzuki grew up in Staffordshire, listening to the magical sounds of fair rides and animals from a theme park across the stream at the bottom of her garden.

Through working with a Disney licensing company and working with entrepreneur David Lloyd in an international resorts business, Suzuki visited many beautiful places, inspiring the setting for her literature.

Suzuki’s love of reading, of nature and of the outdoors fed her colourful imagination and inspired her to become an author. I wanted to know more about her inspiration, and discuss her novel, The Gift of Charms, which was published in September 2014 by John Blake Publishing.

Here Be Dragons…Hidden in a mist-filled valley, far away from the habitation of man, live the last of the world’s dragons”

Hailed as a beautifully presented, wonderfully unique debut, The Gift of Charms is an award-winning fantasy novel perfect for readers of any age. Royal Commentator and Sunday Express Journalist Phil Dampier describes it as a “mythical magical fable in the tradition of Tolkein and JK Rowling”, instantly charming and magically enticing. Full of rich description, beautiful landscapes and fascinating characters, The Gift of Charms is perfect for losing yourself in. And who doesn’t love dragons?

A self-described “fairytale/Disney fangirl”, Suzuki set out to write what she felt readers wanted.

‘The basic idea for a new series of books came to me, that I believed would appeal to people like myself as well as a wider audience. Once I started I felt like writing was my place in life, and then, step by step, Dragor came to life.’

9781782199243Although the beautiful places she has visited inspired the setting for Dragor, her ideas come from deep in her subconscious.

‘Ideas come to me in day and night dreams, and hit me sometimes like a little bolt of energy; making me feel it is the right plot or character or event to engage the reader.’

Persistence is key to the modern author. Few authors, if any, make it easily into the literary world, according to Suzuki.

‘Authors also need to be marketers these days, or at least understand the principles and employ the necessary services. Writing is only one part of what is necessary. Being able to promote yourself is paramount: to agents, publishers and the world at large.’

 Suzuki wishes she’d started to build an online presence earlier. Promotion takes time and effort, and she now realises the importance of online promotion:

‘Social media is an important promotional vehicle, and a quality following takes time to accumulate.’

Due to working hard on her own novels, Suzuki currently has little time to read.

‘But I do have eight books on my book table that I dip in and out of! Two of the titles I am reading are a children’s fairytale ‘Fire’ by Kirsten Cashmore and a thriller ‘Revenge’ by Martina Cole. My reading is thus very diverse.’

Suzuki is currently working on the next novel in The Land of Dragor series:

‘The Gift of Charms sets the scene but the real adventure comes next!’

julia_suzuki_kids

She will be visiting many schools and stores in the run-up to Christmas. For more information, check out her website, http://www.juliasuzuki.com/. You can also find her on Twitter, @JuliaSuzuki_uk.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter