Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Interview - Rochelle Campbell...



.
Today I have the lovely Rochelle Campbell in the Interview hot-seat!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rochelle has been writing on and off for over 20 years.  To date, the off-writing portion seems to have provided fodder for the writing phase of her career as she currently has, five novel-length works in progress.  Early in her career, she did legwork for The New York Times and freelanced for a number of local and regional newspapers and magazines.  However, her calling – fiction writing – became apparent after a two-year writer’s mentoring course in the early 2000’s.  From that course, several short stories emerged that readers and fellow writers urged Rochelle to develop them into longer works.
 
 
After a quiescent decade, story ideas abounded and are being developed and scheduled for bringing into full written form.
Along the way, two short stories have been published by literary journals.  They are Chambray Curtains Blowing in the Wind [http://www.bartlebysnopes.com/chambraycurtains.htm] and How Charlie Ray Saved My Life [link]. 

 
 
 
Questionnaire:


 
(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel?

 
National Novel Writing Month, affectionately called NaNoWriMo, was the impetus for Fury From Hell.  In the spring of 2012, I knew I wanted to write a book but wanted to do it in an atmosphere where I could reach out for support.  NaNoWriMo is just the place for that as they have heavily trafficked forums offering mentors for all genres and personalities.
 
Secondly, I wanted to break out of the women’s fiction/literary short story writing rut I was in.  I decided to write something extremely different from anything I had ever attempted.  I immediately knew the new story needed to have a creature in it but
 
I was completely against doing vampires.  Then, one day, I saw a plume of misty steam coming from an orange construction cone in the middle of the street.  It occurred to me that something could be hidden in that mist and could secretly invade any one of the hundreds of passerby on the busy NYC street.  After playing with this idea over the next several months, the beginnings of the story of Fury From Hell emerged.
 
 

(2)  Alpha or beta hero – profession/title/rank?– brief description!

 
Detective Jennifer Holden, a NYC homicide police department cop, is definitely a beta hero.  She is damaged and highly imperfect.  However, that is the perfect emotional landscape for Fury Abatu to invade Det. Holden’s mind and body and go unnoticed.

 
(3)  Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!

 
 
Jennifer Holden is demure.  She would like to melt into the background whenever possible.  However, when asked to take charge of her first solo case the background is not a place conducive for heading an investigation!  Holden was thrust into the foreground and has to find the gumption to stand her ground but her past mediocre performance has laid the foundation for insolence from her colleagues and tons of passive aggressive comments especially from her male colleagues. 
 
Enter Fury Abatu!  Surreptitiously, the 700+ year old demon, pushes internal buttons Jennifer did not know she possessed.  With the demon’s internal invisible machinations, Jennifer finds the courage to stand up for herself.  With this newfound strength, Jennifer allowed her past trauma, and her own personal demons, to be pushed aside so that the work of finding Kyma Barnes’ murderer could take the lead in her life, heart and mind helping her become the cop she always wanted to be.  That is, until the day she dies.  Generally, the host human dies a violent death within a few short weeks of the initial possession...

 
(4)  Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?

 
 
Det. Holden’s partner, Det. Betty Feinster, is key to the story.  Not only is Feinster the off and on partner of Det. Holden, Feinster also has a secret that could greatly aid Holden but neither of them know the other’s secrets...
 

(5)  Where is the novel set? – time-frame – country etc.

 
 
Fury From Hell takes place in Brooklyn, NY right now.  If you know Brooklyn, you will recognize many of the references sprinkled throughout the book.

 
(6)  Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?

 
 
I detest Det. Paul Yearwood.  He is the co-villain in Fury From Hell.  He has wanted to date Det. Holden for a long time and she has always gently refused him.  As this story evolves, Yearwood’s jealousy warps him and his behaviour in such a way that creates serious repercussions for Holden.  With the added complications in her life, Holden has that much more pressure on her to perform on the job while scrambling to save her life on many fronts.  Yearwood is a true turd!
 

(7)  Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?

 
 
No, in this book, there are a number of graphic sex scenes and violence executed by both humans and otherworldly beings.  It should be noted that the first chapter opens with the events that lead up to Kyma Barnes’ death which ends up becoming Det. Holden’s first solo homicide case.

 
 
(8)  How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?



Fury From Hell is a paranormal cop thriller with dashes of horror thrown in to make it realistic and engaging.  It is written not to scare but to lay bare the vagaries of human nature.  However, the story’s theme turns on the inner conflict of Jennifer Holden.  She is a self-proclaimed atheist who must deal with things beyond her ken; things of a spiritual nature.  Holden is not sure she believes in anything beyond her gun, her badge and her bank accounts.  How will she deal with a 700 year old demon who wants to steal her soul?  Find out by reading this first instalment of the From Hell series.
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
"Hmmm....
I wonder what type of demon will dominate Book 2..."
 

 

 
 

Back cover blurb:

Fury From Hell is a paranormal thriller about good vs. evil.  Here, the good is in the form of Detective Jennifer Holden, a homicide cop that is haunted by her own personal demons of a murder she committed when she was just a teenager.  The trauma she suffered at the hands of social agency after agency hardened Jennifer into a staunch atheist making her gun and her bank account the only things she truly believes in.
 
We meet Detective Holden, shortly before she begins working on her first solo murder case.  The victim is Kyma Barnes who was brutally raped and killed. As Kyma’s soul leaves her body, a demon being called by a coven of dark witches at nearby Prospect Park, is drawn to the dying woman by her death throes.  Fury Abatu offers to avenge Kyma’s death.  The price?  The dying woman’s soul.  Kyma gives it gladly to ensure the man who killed her pays dearly.
At the crime scene, Jennifer becomes possessed by Fury Abatu.  Hosts usually die a violent death within weeks of the initial possession.  Detective Holden does not know she is possessed…
 
With her own demise on the line, Jennifer must fight for her life and her very soul – something she’s not sure she even believes in – to rid herself of the dark force surrounding her and her friends.
Can Jennifer be saved from the demon?  Will she be able to find the faith to believe in something greater than herself and her material things?
 
Read this first instalment of the From Hell series to find out!

Where can readers find you?
Blog:
 
 
 
Where can readers purchase you new book, Fury From Hell?
 
 
 
 

The Masqueraders Collaborative Project!




There is great interest for a Collaborative Project - namely promotion of authors and their list of books via an anthology.
 
Authors have already signed up!
 
The project is for authors of Georgian & Regency short stories, novellas and novels. The anthology will be compiled from short stories & novellas. 
 
UK & Commonwealth authors are particularly welcome, and we do at present have a US gentleman  in our midst!     
 
For more information email me.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Avoidance of plagiarism!


Avoidance of plagiarism - Literary snobbery aside - the conscious Vs the subconscious when penning historical novels.
 
I dare any author of historical novels to deny they have read books and historical accounts of their chosen period before they began painting pictures with words and thus conveying a story intended to delight readers. No matter what we read, whether it's a fiction novel, a biography or indeed historical records etc., we glean and thus we gain knowledge. As authors our imaginations can run rife and our subconscious will log details whilst the conscious mind is distracted by all manner of things.
 
 
However, when we finally settle to the task of writing our novel the "subconscious" jogs the "conscious" and then, as we consider the opening sequence, is it merely our imagination taking hold or is it a memory of something we read, some aspect having struck us as unusual, brilliant or beautiful?
 
Casting omnipotent godlike perspective aside, take Novels with simple dialogue as the opening to a book.
 
a) Sometimes the reader is most definitely eavesdropping (as though standing near) as characters reveal elements about themselves and their surroundings: the latter drip fed to the reader through the eyes of the characters, and the sequence is all action from start to finish.
 
b) Now consider the "narrative" approach to the same scene with the same dialogue whilst the author/narrator describes the surroundings, character features and dress, and the conversation is just that a conversation and every nuance of character action is fed from the narrator's viewpoint.
 
 
Who would you say tends toward the former (show) and who the latter (tell) of the great novelists who depict whatever era?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Interview - David W. Wilkin.

Today I have the inimitable D. W. Wilkin, talking about his latest novel:
"Caution's Heir".
 


 

 
 
Award winning author, Mr. Wilkin is a graduate in history. He has been writing in various genres for thirty years. Extensive study of premodern civilizations, including years as a re-enactor of medieval, renaissance and regency times has given Mr. Wilkin an insight into such antiquated cultures.
 
Trained in fighting forms as well as his background in history lends his fantasy work to encompass mores beyond simple hero quests to add the depth of the world and political forms to his tales.
Throughout his involvement with various periods of long ago days, he has also learned the dances of those times. Not only becoming proficient at them but also teaching thousands how to do them as well.
 
Mr. Wilkin regularly posts about Regency history at his blog, and as a member of English Historical Fiction Authors. You can read that blog at English History Authors. His very first article was published while in college, and though that magazine is defunct, he still waits patiently for the few dollars the publisher owes him for the piece.
 
Mr. Wilkin is also the author of several regency romances, and including a sequel to the epic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. His recent work, Beggars Can't Be Choosier has won the prestigious Outstanding Historical Romance award from Romance Reviews Magazine.
 
The Interview:

 
(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?

 
 
I started the first draft over four years ago and I am now not sure how I came to this story. The character of Mrs Bottomworth was clear from the first moment. A guide for my heroine that was provocative and evocative. But the basic plot and story points are now lost to my memory. I believe I thought that Heyer might have used such a device and perhaps I thought that I could tell the same idea in my own style. A man wagers all and loses his home and all his belongings on the play of the cards. Including his daughter…

 
(2) Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!

 
 
I think of Lord Arthur, the Earl (courtesy) of Daventry, as an Alpha. The father of a friend who seeks a polishing influence has a discussion with Arthur, and we see that our hero is one who is a sober example of what one should be in the Ton. His father spent the family fortunes in his youth and so when Arhtur went off to school he had very little. He has used what skills he has with cards to add to his small allowance and with good investment and guardianship, he has done well.

 
(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!

 
 
Lady Louisa. For all but the last few months, she was the Honourable, for her grandfather and uncle were a Marquess. Then recently her father became the Marquess, and yet he is the worse one imagines with such a title. For he does rather quickly gamble away all his wealth, and then absconds for the new world. Leaving her behind and with nothing. She however had only the good traits she has learned form her other relations. The late Marquess, and that family which allowed her profligate father and she to live on the manor grounds.

 
(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?

 
 
There are many secondary characters for Daventry leads a set. This includes a young man whose mama wants him married, and who needs some more maturity. Lady Louisa has a boon companion thrice her age in Mrs Bottomworth whom I am told is a favorite from amongst the first readers.

 
(5) Where is the novel (s) set? – time-frame – country etc.

 
 
It is Town and Country. Post war. Our heroes are only just thinking of what they need to accomplish in life and so have yet to take up any serious profession. Nor are they old enough to have served functionally in the war. Near the end of the reign of George and near the beginning of William, though nothing of worldly events intrudes on the tale.

 
(6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?

 
 
This is my sixth regency (and I have a modern book with Jane Austen, so perhaps this is #7) and so I feel comfortable here. I have the tropes down, and I explore different themes. Two Peas, for instance covers a lot of ground of men just back from the war, and carrying the burdens of what they have seen, while the regular Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, regency motif plays along. I find the regency a place I can have fun as a writer, with he said/she said, misunderstanding, love.

 
(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?

 
 
I don’t dislike any of my characters. Even the ones I have my heroes plant facers on! They serve a purpose and I use them for that. Some of my characters I really like, and there are some tales where I wish I could jump right in and live the life I have made for that character (In regency and fantasy though I need to create indoor plumbing to make me truly wish I could jump in, and a parrallel for Tums…) Sometime I do have pure evil, but usually those who we see as bad, live to their own code and see what they are doing for the expedient reasons that they need to. One countries bad seed, is another countries hero. (Or sometimes just plain crazy and in power.)

 
(8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?

 
 
I do avoid most of that. My Regencies tend to end at the last page with the first kiss between our hero and heroine. In Beggar’s I had to have the couple be married so sex was off camera! There was one scene of nudity that was needed for the story line, but otherwise, (and our heroine there was married and had two children as the story progressed) there was the thoughts of what lovemaking had entailed, but not the action of it. In a few stories (I just finished a first draft in a fantasy) short quick euphemisms serve to take us in a sentence through the beginning, middle and end of foreplay, the act itself, climax and le-petit-mal. There are plenty of places I find that one can read that, and to me it detracts from the telling of a story.
 
 
Or let me put it this way, if I had my faithful fans sitting around a campfire wanting me to read my story to them, what could I read aloud and none of us be embarrassed.

 
(9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?

 
 
I think Caution’s Heir is Romantic fiction. I do not take a great deal of time in putting in a time point in history in this particular tale. It happens in the later part of the regency, but we don’t see much of the world beyond what our characters encounter as they go through their lives.

 
 

 
 
 
Back cover blurb:
 
 
Teaching a boor a lesson is one thing.
Winning all that the man owns is more than Lord Arthur Herrington expects. Especially when he finds that his winnings include the boor’s daughter!
 
 
The Duke of Northampshire spent fortunes in his youth. The reality of which his son, Arthur the Earl of Daventry, learns all too well when sent off to school with nothing in his pocket. Learning to fill that pocket leads him on a road to frugality and his becoming a sober man of Town. A sober but very much respected member of the Ton.
 
 
Lady Louisa Booth did not have much hope for her father, known in the country for his profligate ways. Yet when the man inherited her gallant uncle’s title and wealth, she hoped he would reform. Alas, that was not to be the case.
 
 
When she learned everything was lost, including her beloved home, she made it her purpose to ensure that Lord Arthur was not indifferent to her plight. An unmarried young woman cast adrift in society without a protector. A role that Arthur never thought to be cast as. A role he had little idea if he could rise to such occasion. Yet would Louisa find Arthur to be that one true benefactor? Would Arthur make this obligation something more? Would a game of chance lead to love?


Author web site.


Blog.




Amazon

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Interview - Anne Stenhouse.


Today I have the lovely Anne Stenhouse  talking about her novel:
 "Bella’s Betrothal".





Anne Stenhouse writes Regency era historical romance which is dialogue rich and humorous. She spent many years writing drama and loves to carry the skills learned from theatre work into her novels. Married to her own hero and dancing partner for over thirty years, Anne has acquired an interest in old buildings and opera. From the buildings, she crafted her hero, Charles Lindsay. He’s based on the gentlemen architects whose skills built Edinburgh’s New Town and many wonderful country houses still extant. From her own life-long interest in dance, she created young ladies like her heroine, Bella Wormsley. From the opera, she understands that no plot is ever too far-fetched.
 
Anne lives in Edinburgh but travels widely. Recent forays have included Vietnam and Cambodia where the architecture in both is jaw-droppingly fantastic.
 
 
Anne continues to live in Edinburgh and enjoys being able to walk out to the streets which her heroine would have trodden.
 
The Interview:
 
 
(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?

 
Or who? I just loved historical romance as a teenager and read piles of it. I discovered Georgette Heyer as a young adult and dived in head-first. Wonderful stories full of glamour and sparkling wit which are as readable today as they ever were.
 
 
(2)Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!
 
 
Charles Lindsay is an architect, but also a Scottish laird. Not a person of the top ranks like the Royal dukes or even the aristocrats, but a person of family and clan responsibility. Does that make him beta? I thought he was pretty attractive: good looking, intelligent, touch of arrogance in need of taming…
 
 
(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!
 
 
Bella Wormsley, Lady Isabella, is the daughter of an earl and the granddaughter of a duke. She’s top drawer, but she’s half Scottish and so like Charles has a strong sense of the value of others. Her hair, beautifully realised by Charlie Volnek’s cover, is that mass of red corkscrew curls seen around in Scottish society. She’s a lady of huge energy, talented as an artist and headstrong. A clash is inevitable.
 
 
(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?
 
 
Bella’s aunt and uncle, Hatty and Mack Menzies and her cousins form a colourful backdrop when they give Bella shelter from scandal. There is also a villain, Graham Direlton, whose ambition drives a lot of the plot.
 
 
(5) Where is the novel (s) set? – time-frame – country etc.
 
 
Bella’s Betrothal opens in an inn bedroom in Dalkeith and moves to Edinburgh, 1826.
 
 
(6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?
 
 
I enjoy thinking myself back into the restrictions and social norms and niceties of that period. I try to use the differences to make a colourful canvas. Many of them are limiting, but many of them allow such interesting What ifs? I enjoy that moment in time where English, the language, was modernising. One gets to Jane Austen and thinks, “I understand this.” I am horrified by the social rules and use them to infuse reality as background. I think it’s really important to remind women in particular how recently we did not vote as of right, or own property, or go against the family wishes for fear of ending in Bedlam.
 
 
(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?
 
 
I dislike my villains because I have crafted them from personality traits I dislike. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time with some of the lesser characters because they’re not the positive people in the leading roles.
 
 
(8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?
 
 
I do avoid those things. The novels have a lot of sensuality, I hope, but I don’t go in for graphic description or extended bedroom romps. I like to write by the tenet that “the pictures are better on the radio”. I think readers are intelligent and enjoy the fantasies they can weave from the hints you drop in your words. I abhor violence. Of course there is violence around wherever people live together, but I don’t regard it as entertainment. So, murders may be committed, but the details are sparse. Any other fearties like me are quite safe with my prose, I think.
 
 
(9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?
 
 
Bella’s Betrothal is Regency style Scottish historical romance with touches of intrigue and much laughter.
 
 

 
 
Back cover blurb:
 
 
BELLA’S BETROTHAL by Anne Stenhouse, published MuseItUp, Canada.
 
While she is travelling north to find sanctuary from the malicious gossip of the Ton, Lady Isabella Wormsley’s room in a Dalkeith inn is invaded by handsome Scottish Laird, Charles Lindsay. Charles has uncovered a plot to kidnap her, but Bella wonders if he isn’t a more dangerous threat, at least to her heart, than the villainous Graham Direlton he wrests her from.
 
 
Bella settles into the household of her Aunt HattyMenzies in Edinburgh’s nineteenth century George Square where Charles is a regular visitor. She has been exiled to the north by her unfeeling mama, but feels more betrayed by her papa to whom she has been close. Bella hopes the delivery of her young cousin’s baby will eventually demonstrate her own innocence in the scandal that drove her from home.
 
 
Bella’s presence disrupts the lives of everyone connected to her. Direlton makes another attempt to kidnap her and in rescuing her a second time, Charles is compromised. Only a betrothal will save his business and Bella’s reputation.
 
Mayhem, murder and long suppressed family secrets raise confusion and seemingly endless difficulties. Will the growing but unacknowledged love between Bella and her Scottish architect survive the evil Direlton engineers?

 

Anne blogs at Novels Now which is here: Anne
 
 
Bella’s Betrothal is available from many online vendors. Amazon UK and Amazon US

 
Thank you.