The Next Big Thing – today it’s me!
I am so excited. Today I am THE NEXT BIG THING, nominated by Nicky Wells http://wp.me/p1HzVM-Ik
Nicky is the author of The Rock Star Romance Trilogy and I am here to answer questions about my Work In Progress and my writing in general. Thanks so much for nominating me Nicky.
Unlike Nicky I have not had a book published in my own right yet, but I have had short stories included in anthologies published in aid of Charity, and I have written for Flash Fiction. So I guess I am published. My Next Big Thing will be to get my books published and that is what I am working hard towards.
So, as I am here to answer questions about all this, and you are here to read my answers, here goes:
When did you first realise you wanted to write?
I guess the first time I was conscious of wanting to be involved with words was when I was about 7 or 8. I’d always loved reading and could read and write before I went to school, so I had a hunger for the written word even then. I loved to make up stories and wrote on little pieces of paper – I still do sometimes – which I hid in my bedroom. One story I wrote when I was about 15 was found by my mother and I had the devil’s own job convincing her that what she read was fiction and not a description of some sort of double life I was leading!
What do you read and do you have any favourite authors?
I am a book-worm and I have always been a book-worm. Books hold a special magic for me; the smell, feel and look of them and of course the mysteries they contain have the ability to transport me to another place. I love that other place. The books I love to read are those which have the ability to enable me to lose track of time and place, so I would list Adventure, Crime , Mysteries and Thrillers (espionage, political and legal thrillers), as my favourite books. I also love the theatre and music – the creative arts – so anything about these interest me.
When I was little I would read Biggles and anything by Enid Blyton. I loved Swallows and Amazons, and Kidnapped – actually all the books by Robert Louis Stevenson. I had an active imagination and ‘lived’ in my head even then, so books were my companions and friends.
As I got older I read Daphne Du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Micky Spillane, Graham Winston and all the usual suspects; Sue Grafton, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Fredrick Forsythe. I am very keen on Karin Slaughter at the moment as well as Jo Nesbo and Tess Gerritsen. Peter James is a favourite and so is Peter Robinson….there are so many I cannot list them all here.
What sort of stories do you write?
You need to ask after seeing the list I’ve just rattled off? Well, I write Crime and Mysteries and endeavour to create stories people will want to read. I also write what I call character-driven ‘gentle humour’ stories.
If you have read any of my Short Stories and Flash Fiction pieces, you will know that I like to write stories that have a twist in the tail a lot of the time. I try to throw my reader off-balance and lull them into thinking the plot is going one way and then right at the last-minute, turn the whole thing on its head.
With my character-driven ‘gentle humour’ stories I like to bring the reader into the world of small communities, villages for example, where everyone knows each other and are comfortable with each other because they may well have been through school and their teenage years together, and then into old age. I observe and listen a lot and a great deal of my material comes from waiting for buses – don’t laugh, but you can’t beat waiting in line for a bus and listening to all the locals having a good natter, to pick up on what humanity is about. I am writing a series called ‘God’s Waiting Room’ which is so unreal when I read it back, but actually all the stories in it are based on real people and real events which, for me, makes them even funnier than I could possibly make up. I hope to publish a few exerts soon.
What are you working on at the moment?
Call me a sucker for punishment but I have several things on the go at the moment, in addition to various short stories I am writing for competitions and Flash Fiction pieces. You can find my Flash Fiction and some of my Short Stories at:
I have been working on a Crime novel, Ms Birdsong Investigates, for over a year now. I intend this to be a series eventually, if it gets published and sells well. I live in hope.
My main character is Lavinia Birdsong who has moved to the (fictitious) village of Ampney Parva in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire, having been ‘retired’ from MI5 after a disastrous mission which leaves her vulnerable and hiding from her enemies. She soon fits into village life, though somewhat of a mystery to her neighbours, where she immerses herself in writing novels – her material is often based on these neighbours. Her old habits of surveillance being hard to leave behind she seems to know what is going on without actually appearing to be interested.
When there are a couple of murders in the village, seemingly without motive, she cannot help herself – the old juices are stirred up again and she sets about trying to solve the crimes; in doing so she bumps into someone she thought she would never see again.
I have almost completed this and I’m tying up loose ends and then I shall set out to get it edited and ready for submission. I will be publishing a few exerts soon.
You mentioned more than one book?
Yes, I am also co-writing another book with a very old and dear friend who asked me to write with her, which is a huge thrill for me because she is a traditionally published author with lots of successful books and awards, so I am deeply honoured to be writing with her. Our book is a change of genre for us both, so for me it is a bit of a challenge. I am sure it isn’t for her. We hope to complete the book by the end of the year. I want to thank her for her belief in me and OUR story; she knows who she is.
Is there anything else you are working on?
I have loads of material; books almost completed, short stories waiting to be collated and possibly published as e-books if I can ever get round to doing it. Finding enough hours in a day to get it all done is my problem. I need a 48 hour day.
Your background is in the International Music Industry, have you written about your experiences in that?
So far I have not written a novel about it, though sometimes in Flash Fiction and Short Stories I have strayed there, and I have skirted round it a bit when I’ve taken part in the writing competitions my Writing Group hold now and again. I have been asked to write my life story, but worry about writing about people who are alive and might decide to sue!! The tales I could tell would make your hair curl!! I think they may well out-live me, so if I am going to do it I need to be careful about what I write, or leave a manuscript for publication after my death! We shall see. I am tempted.
You’re supposed to answer 10 questions but I think you have been pretty comprehensive with your answers so far and that we have covered just about everything. Is there anything else you want to add?
I’d like to thank Nicky Wells for nominating me – I am so thrilled to be asked about my work and to have this opportunity to talk about it. I hope that people will like what I write and once my novels are published they might consider reading them. There are so many writers out there with more important things to say that if or when people read my work I am really very happy, and I don’t want to disappoint. In the meantime I hope people will read my Short Stories and Flash Fiction pieces and visit my blog here and on Facebook and that they enjoy what they read. I hope they will write and tell me as this helps me, as a writer, to develop and improve.
I would like to nominate my choices for THE NEXT BIG THING and I hope you will pop over to their blogs and websites and read all about them and their work on November 27th 2012 when they are The Next Big Thing. Good luck ladies.
My nominations are:
Beth Elliott http://regencytales.blogspot.com
Regency tales – Historical romance with a dash of adventure.
Writer of Regency tales with gorgeous locations and sexy men, she is a popular writer ans she also writes about travel and contributed a fabulous story to Telling Tales by Writers for Welfare which was published in aid of The Norfolk Hospice earlier this year – as you know I had two short stories included in this anthology. Beth’s story was so descriptive, you could almost taste the fruit she describes.
Beth’s next book has a working title of Scandalous Lady
Jo lives in Australia and is new to blogging so I hope you will visit her page and encourage and support her. She is a fellow writer and we met as members of Writers for Welfare (she has two stories in our Anthology, Telling Tales), and is a founder member of Writers on the Same Page.
Jo is working on 4 novels and various other WIP at the moment and so we all look forward to seeing her published soon.
Kelly Jean Richardson
Her current work in progress is All the Men are Dying. Which she is writing for NaNoWriMo. A group of women who know each other from a church are persuaded to start a women’s grief support group by the local priest. But things are not what they seem
She has published short stories in Anthologies and is also a member of my Writer Group, Writers on the Same Page. She lives in America and loves England so we have lots in common. Kelly is knee-deep in various other writing projects too numerous to list.
Pam Griffiths http://www.pamelagriffiths.com
Award winning Poet and Author Pam has had several works published and her bio and some of them can be found at:
Beyond the Cat Flap (links above for USA and UK) is Pam’s latest book. Pam is also a member of Writers on the Same Page formerly Writers for Welfare and has two stories in our Telling Tales Anthology.
Anne Ireson www.annieye.wordpress.com
Anne has just self-published her first novel, The White Cuckoo, which is actually her fourth book. The first three are a trilogy of family sagas, which attracted the attention of a big publisher in 2008, but sadly they weren’t prepared to take a risk on a previously unpublished author. She is now working on the skeleton of my sixth novel for NaNoWriMo and has published in Telling Tales and is a member of Writers on the Same Page.
Anne comments: I am so grateful to Jane Risdon for nominating me for The Next Big Thing. I wish Jane and all my fellow nominees every success in the future. Hear, Hear Anne.
Do stay a while longer and have a wander around my posts. I have quite a few now and I’d love to know which ones you like the most and why. They are not all about writing, I love photography so you will find a few of my efforts here as well. Thanks so much for your visit, I really do appreciate each and every one.
I especially want to thank Morgen Bailey for giving me the chance to showcase my work on her blog (Flash Fiction Friday with Pod-Casts, and Saturday Short Story).
I have a short story on her Saturday Short Story spot on 24th November 2012.
It is dead boring but all photos and content (c) Jane Risdon 2012 All Rights Reserved except MI5 and Cob Web Cottage – Copyright owners unknown.