author talk

5 Questions for Authors: K.T. McQueen

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K.T. McQueen  is another from the KGHH stable of writers, who also specialises in taking me out of my comfort zone and scaring the living daylights out of me. The first book of hers I read was Whispers on the Hill and I found it hard to put down. You NEED to read it. I currently have Soul Game on my Kindle. Its premise intrigues me. Go on, take a look. You know you want to…

What is your favourite book from childhood?

dragon-for-dennisWhen I was little it was A Dragon for Danny Dennis, my mum can still recite it by heart. As I got older my favourite became Smokey the Cowhorse  – a sort of western version of Black Beauty, and I learnt a lot from it. It’s probably the book that most made me want to work with horses when I grew up (which I did as soon as I left school).

What is the first book that made you cry?

No idea, I don’t often cry but I’m sure at some point there was one. But a book that’s really made me think is Ethan Hawke’s Rules for a Knight, I particularly liked the poem about love in the Chapter entitled Courage. It isn’t a book that stays on the bookshelf, I keep picking it up and referring to it. It’s currently balanced on the printer tray beside my desk.ethan-hawke

Have you ever read an author whose books you didn’t like, and how has this impacted on your writing?

Like you I’m not keen on Tolkein – I’ve never read a single one of his books all the way through, although, I have watched the movies. I’m not sure how books I haven’t liked have in impacted my writing, perhaps they have ingrained in me a need to make sure the story is interesting from the first paragraph. Because if a book doesn’t draw me in in the first chapter I’ll put it down and start something else.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I think, rather than connections between the work, there is an emerging theme that may or may not be obvious. I believe we all have the ability to be our own knights in shining armour. Capable of making decisions and choices that actively change the situation we are in, no matter what that situation is. You have to accept responsibility not just for your choices but for the consequences of those choices as well. Once you do that you can save yourself. The fun part about putting that in writing, particularly into horror, is that you’re always saying ‘what if’. And most of the time you want them to make the wrong decision so your story keeps moving forward.

What did you edit out of this book?

The Soul Game was a huge book, it still is compared to the others I’ve written, but I took out around 70,000 words of players stories and back story that wasn’t necessary. Whilst fun short reads the players stories were like stories within a story, the ones that stayed had connections to the main characters in someway or another.

Promo video from Impala films

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Do have a watch. This promo video showcases Essex talent

Gravesend – Craftastic

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Yesterday I went south of the river. It was fine. I survived. It wasn’t a friday night and I wasn’t in a taxi.

It was my first craft fair held in the heritage quarter of Gravesend in the Three Daws function room. There was a gentle stream of people, mouching around – buying the odd bit; talking about this and that -mainly about how quiet town was.

Since our first book fair – we’ve been speculating to acumulate. For the first time we had a banner and a locations videoin addition to our  bookmarks. I even thought about including a sheet of reviews It drew interest. People came over; and I was able to talk about the books in terms why it had short chapters and different narrators.

I sold books: to complete strangers. Always the sign of a good day. Contacts were made for other fairs that side of the river.

Agatha Christie I may not yet be – until Symington goes viral on publication next year, that is!  (Cue Twilight Zone special effects) but I didn’t go into this book writing lark to make money. I went into it to ensure that Mark and Lucy and Symington and Emily’s stories were told, and that people read them.

more more more

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This came up on Amazon today from one Holly J Sanderson.

I thought I’d put it on here for you to have a look 🙂

Latest 5* review from Amazon

Another exciting trip through history that had a couple of “huh???” Moments in their too, bonus points for local references that were bang up to date and easily recognisable (I’m 99.9% sure I recognised a couple of the present day character references too!!) A real page Turner that ended on a hell of a cliff hanger …..

A personal note to the wonderful author: you can’t leave it like that!!! We demand another!

Everyone else: get reading, it’s fabulous! (And watch out for flapjacks)

 

The Unbearable Tension of Authordom

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My publisher got in touch towards the end of last week. The conversation went thus:

“It’s half term next week, isn’t it?”

“Yes”

“Good. Expect your book back from the editor.”

Gulp

Now, I am on tenterhooks.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my editor. She makes me a better writer: but how much has she changed? Does Mark still read like Mark? Has she noticed just how dyslexic I really am? Because you can’t hide SPG from your editor 🙂 What’s she done with the difficult chapter?

Oh the agony of waiting; the doubts that rage; the fears that bite

While I wait, I should be doing research… but hey I’m off to Leytonstone Catholic Church and the Strand Underground on Thursday. So I am working; and I’ve been investigating dressing gowns – and they are important – honest. So It’s not like I’m sitting here, enjoying half term and wandering around wordpress, catching up with my favourite blogs, bumming around.

I can assure you dear reader that I’m struggling for my art. Feet up, Glasses on, fingers poised to edit, coffee by my side.

As yet nothing. And so, of course, my mind goes wandering. You see, somewhere at the back of my mind: I have this ghastly feeling I’m not on tenterhooks; I’m on tenderhooks (even if it does have a wiggly red line under it).

GOOGLE

Oh thank heavens. The wiggly red line is correct. It is tenterhooks, and these are they.

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Used in the woollen industry, these evil looking nails were used to stretch the woollen cloth after it had been woven. You see, it was still dirty. It was washed in a fulling mill – of if you’re in Wales, a pandy. And in order to stop it shrinking during the process it was hung up on these nails – like so. These tenters (as the frames were called) were left out in the open for the cloth to dry naturally, and the weave to even.

 

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Its first appearance in literature? Well according to World Wide Words – the exact phrase seems to have been used by Tobias Smollett in Roderick Random in 1748 – the tales of a honest, trustworthy and likeable Scottish lad – which is based on Smollet’s own naval career as a ship’s surgeon.

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Smollet, of course, translated Don Quixote,

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Pablo Picasso

I wonder… were both these authors on tenterhooks as they waited to hear back from their editor?

Thank you

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To all my new followers – much appreciated guys 🙂

thanks

A 5* Review from a Southender

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5 star electrical courses


5.0 out of 5 stars A novel time-travel novel 5 May 2014
By Pete Sipple
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Originally purchased this as I’m a Southender curious to see how the pier could be linked to time travel. An engrossing read that got me researching events from the early 20th Century referred to in the book. Some nice subtle sci-fi and Southend references too. Looking forward to the next one!