Book Review

Wild Sky – Lexi Rees

Following the cover reveal for this fab book just last month, I am so happy to finally be able to share my thoughts on it with you as I join the blog tour for Wild Sky. Many thanks to Lexi, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

After delivering the pearl, Finn and Aria thought life would return to normal.

But with the survival of the clans still in peril, they must continue their quest.

Can they find the next relic before the forces of evil?

Not everyone is who they appear to be

And time is running out …

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REVIEW:

I don’t know about Lexi’s younger fans, but I know I have been eagerly awaiting this book since I turned the last page of Eternal Seas, and it didn’t disappoint.

Despite the young age of the characters, I never feel as though this series is purely for children. The action that unfolds keeps my attention from start to finish and never feels overly simple. The skill of the story-telling is such that you forget just how young Finn and Aria are, as the thrill of the adventure takes over.

I live just half an hour from Spitbank Fort, and so I enjoyed seeing it mentioned and playing such a vital role in the story. I have never made it across to visit, but it was brought to life in such a way that I am dying to see inside now.

Although I am undeniably attached to Finn and Aria, it is impossible not to love the irrepresible Pippin. She is so full of life and mischief, but I get the feeling there is a lot more to her than meets the eye. She strikes me as a girl with many secrets, and I am looking forward to discovering if I am right as the series continues.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lorraine-16Lexi Rees writes action packed adventures for children. The first book in The Relic Hunters Series, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently longlisted for a Chanticleer award.

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children, and as well as an active programme of school visits and other events, she has published a Creative Writing Skills workbook, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

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GIVEAWAY:

Win a copy of each of Eternal Seas and Wild Sky, the action packed fantasy adventure for 7-11 year olds.

UK – choice of signed paperbacks or ebooks

International entrants – ebooks only

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If you would like to know more about this book, make sure you check out the other blogs taking part in the tour.

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Guest Posts

After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks – Nancy Jardine

I am delighted to welcome Nancy Jardine to my blog today. As part of the blog tour for her novel, After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks,  Nancy is here to tell us all about her writing inspiration. I will hand you straight over to Nancy now, and you can find all the book details after her post.

After Whorl Nancy Jardine 1000 x 1000Being asked about the inspiration for After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks, Book 3 of my Celtic Fervour Saga, isn’t an easy question to answer. However, one thing I can say is that during Brennus of Garrigill’s story (beginning in Book 2) I wanted to depict a huge battle between the forces of the Ancient Roman General Agricola and the Caledonian Allies, somewhere in northern Scotland. And if truth be told, not far from where I live in Aberdeenshire, because one of Agricola’s temporary marching camps is right across the road from my garden!

The Ancient Roman writer Cornelius Tacitus refers to a Battle of Mons Graupius having happened somewhere in Scotland, probably north of the central belt. Unfortunately, no battle site has ever been identified. Some experts believe there wasn’t one and that Tacitus embellished the truth to exaggerate the military exploits of his father-in-law General Agricola. Undaunted, the lack of clarity on a battle site only made me more determined to have my Brennus of Garrigill be part of a huge pitched battle in northern Scotland. Though, how to get him to this location would prove interesting!

Tacitus’ book, the ‘Agricola’, has military campaign information which I used as a rough guide, since Agricola had to subdue the natives all around north Yorkshire and Cumbria, and then those of southern and central Scotland, before he headed north east to reach the Moray Coast of Scotland. Historically, according to Tacitus, that took General Agricola about seven summer campaign seasons to achieve. (Approx. A.D 77/78 – 84) The Battle of Mons Graupius was likely to have occurred in A.D. 84. It’s A.D. 71 at the end of Book 1, so Brennus’ complete story is written across a time lapse of thirteen years.

Brennus would always be one step ahead of Agricola and his legions – even though there was a lot of geography to cover! Somewhere along the route, refugee members of my Garrigill Clan could be reunited with Brennus making the stories into a continuous family saga.

Originally my story of Brennus was one very long book at more than 120,000 words. My publisher loved the story concept but wasn’t keen on the length. However, if separated into two different books, referring to two different phases of Brennus’ story, then publishing wasn’t a problem. Book 2 became After Whorl: Bran Reborn and Book 3 After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks. The After Whorl in both titles a deliberate move to show continuity across the two books.

Book 2 describes Brennus’ new life after the Battle at Whorl (A.D.71). Having suffered life-changing injuries he assumes the new name of Bran and becomes a spy for King Venutius of the Brigantes. Book 2 covers the time period from A.D. 71 through to A.D and introduces the new characters of Ineda of Marske and the Ancient Roman Tribune Gaius Livanus Valerius. Book 2 ends at a dramatic new phase of Brennus’ life.

The rewriting to create two different books for Brennus’ story meant that my battle in northern Caledonia (NE Scotland) doesn’t happen till the end of Book 3 and what a battle it is! If the Ancient Roman Tacitus was correct about the battle then it ended up a disastrous one for the Caledonian Allies, and I felt the need to write mine in similar vein.

As a relatively new writer, I went through a huge learning curve during the separation of the two ‘After Whorl’ books, my writing style changing from Book 1 to reflect the more sober events happening to my poor Brennus. I’m delighted to say that even if his romantic happiness takes two books – it does eventually happen!

Many thanks Nancy, for taking the time to talk to us today.

After Whorl Donning Double Cloaks - Nancy Jardine

Here comes all the book info for you eager readers:

BLURB:

AD 73 Northern Roman Britain

Brennus of Garrigill—Bran—monitors Roman activity across Brigantia. Stability prevails till AD 78 when Agricola, Governor of Britannia, orders complete conquest of all barbarians. Brennus heads north, seeking the Caledon who will lead the northern tribes against Rome.
Ineda treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius – supplies officer for Agricola’s Britannia campaigns. At Pinnata Castra, she escapes and seeks fellow Brigantes congregating for battle in the north.

The Legions of the Roman Empire and the Caledon allies clash at Beinn na Ciche in AD 84, but where are Brennus and Ineda?

The adventures of the Garrigill Clan continue…

PURCHASE LINKS:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course)

A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.

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GIVEAWAY:

Win x1 signed paperback of After Whorl: Double Cloaks to one UK winner; X1 kindle copy worldwide

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Thanks again Nancy, for the fascinating post, and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this tour. If you would like to know more about the book, head on over to the other blogs taking part in the tour.

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Guest Posts

A Song For Bill Robinson – C.E. Atkins

I am joining the blog tour for A Song For Bill Robinson today, and I am pleased to be welcoming the author, Chantelle Atkins to my blog to tell us all about the inspiration behind her books. I’ll hand you over to Chantelle now, and tell you all about A Song For Bill Robinson further down.

A Song Auhotr‘Where do you get your inspiration from,’ is probably one of the most common questions a writer gets asked, and it’s not always an easy one to answer. Sometimes I’m not exactly sure where the idea for a story came from. Sometimes it’s one of those wonderful eureka moments, and sometimes it’s much more of a slow burn, of ideas and characters emerging and blending together over time. To celebrate the release of my YA novel A Song For Bill Robinson I thought it might be appropriate to take a stroll back in time and revisit each of my books and what inspired me to write them. The books are listed below in order of publication.

The Mess Of Me

When I started writing again after a decade off neglecting it, I started with The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, mainly because I knew I just had to get this book finally done. As I was writing it again, I started to get ideas for other books. It’s very true what they say; the more you write, the more you want to write. It was like a torrent of thoughts, ideas, characters and dialogue started filling my head. I knew I wanted to write a book close to my heart, one which mostly mirrored things I had been through myself. All of my other books have pieces of me in them, it’s unavoidable I find, but The Mess of Me is probably the book closest to the real me. Lou Carling, the main character, is a stroppier, feistier version of me as a teen. Her struggles with body image and eating were exactly mine. I was able to let rip in this book. I was able to voice thoughts and feelings I’d had for years through Lou. Her character and her experiences in this book were very much drawn from a personal struggle, but the plot was inspired by something else. When I was a kid my mum had a friend with five boisterous sons. She was a typical matriarch and ruled her roost with a rod of iron and plenty of tough love. We were all terrified of her. In the book, Lou’s best friend is Joe and his mother Lorraine was modelled on this woman. The younger boys were our friends but the older boys were unknown to us. To them, we were annoying little kids to be ignored. To us, they were mysterious, even exotic teenage lads we wanted to emulate. I can remember watching for clues of them and their lives. They were part of my life, yet I never really knew them at all, and that was partly the inspiration behind the plot in The Mess Of Me. Joe’s shady older brothers and the lives they lead which Lou and Joe become mixed up in.

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side – series

I first wrote the early version of this book when I was twelve. I’d already been writing stories for a few years and wanted to be a writer when I grew up. My previous stories had been inspired by books like Watership Down, so were all about lost or abandoned animals. At aged twelve, however, I was getting into darker stuff like Stephen King and watching a lot of horror movies. I remember watching The Lost Boys for the first time, and apart from falling in love with the actor Corey Haim, I had a big idea moment. You know the part where everyone realises that the mother’s new boyfriend is actually the head vampire? I started thinking, what if? What if your mother had a boyfriend in real life, who was a real monster, a human monster, twisted and cruel and no one believed you? What would you do? How would you fight them? Would you fight or escape? Who would you tell? At this time in my life my parents had divorced and had both started seeing other people, so I think this was playing on my mind when I started writing the book. It was the first book I ever wrote of a decent length and I fell in love with writing forever. It became my obsession. Those characters stayed with me for decades, talking in my head every night and telling me what happened next! The book was rewritten and published in 2013, and since then it has been developed into what will be a six-book series.

This Is Nowhere

This was one of my books that started with the character. I was reading a lot about Kurt Cobain around this time and listening to Nirvana again, as I had in my youth. Reading about his stomach problems and constant pain, created a character in my head, one that had similar, mysterious ailments, and a father he did not get along with. The plot took a while to develop. I had the characters and the family dynamics first. But eventually I had the plot too. A young man who has nearly always questioned the point of his own existence, is called back to the village he ran from as a teenager, as his elderly father has dementia and this older sister wants him to grow up and come back. But he also goes back for his own reasons; to find out what really happened to his beloved mother who vanished without trace in 1996.

Bird People and Other Stories

The idea for this book came from another writer who suggested short stories related to novels might be a fun way to promote books. I immediately got loads of ideas and therefore, most of the stories in this collection are inspired by or related to my published novels.

The Tree Of Rebels

This was one of those rare times when the idea came before the character. A few years back, I kept seeing posts about Monsanto on my Facebook feed, and I read a few articles about the owning and patenting of seeds and crops. My mind started coming up with ‘what if’ scenarios and before I knew it I had a YA dystopian set in the future on my hands. This book was hard to write because the plot came first, which is unusual for me, and because it was a futuristic dystopian which was quite far out of my comfort zone! There is a sequel planned though.

Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature

This book idea was very annoying as it arrived when I was in the middle of The Tree Of Rebels. I suddenly got this new and unwanted idea and set of characters, who would just not go away. Because I was struggling with The Tree Of Rebels, it was very tempting to jump ship from that one and focus on Elliot Pie, but I managed to hold him off. His character came to me first and was very much a reflection of my own thoughts and fears at this time. Wondering if the world is doomed, if it’s too late to halt climate change, if things would continue to get worse, if people are basically all pretty awful and so on. And trying to remain positive for my children and convince myself and them that people are mostly good and that we need to have hope. Elliot and his mother became the two sides of this argument. Elliot is an optimist, whereas she has given up. The plot about him making friends with strangers to prove a point came along very easily after that.

A Song For Bill Robinson

And finally, my latest release, which is actually the first in a series of three books. When I was around 16, I watched the film The Commitments for the first time and absolutely loved it. I’ve always had a really eclectic taste in music, and films with awesome soundtracks are my favourite. I loved everything about this film, and in usual writerly magpie fashion, I stole a few ideas and went with them. I wanted to write a book about a grumpy teenage boy who loved to sing. And I wanted to build added pressures and problems around that desire; so the character of Bill Robinson has a complicated family life, a local murder to solve and a growing addiction to alcohol. The alcohol storyline was also inspired by the struggle a very close friend of mine has had over the years and she was incredibly kind and helpful helping me get this aspect of the story right. I wrote an early version of the book aged 16 and then forgot about it, until I discovered it in an old suitcase in 2016. I knew right away that I had to rewrite it and publish it. I started with the two short stories you can find in the Bird People collection and then when I had the time, I started the novel. Other storylines emerged by themselves, such as the fight to save the community centre and the love triangle that develops between Bill and his best friends Adam and Summer. As soon as I finished it, I knew there would be a follow up book!

Thank you so much Chantelle, for that wonderful insight into you work. Now, onto the all important details regarding A Song for Bill Robinson.

A songforbillrobinson

BLURB:

Tensions are building on the notorious Holds End estate.

The local community centre is fighting for survival and the murder of 15-year-old Lewis Matthews remains unsolved…

Wannabe teenage singer, Bill Robinson, just got out of hospital after surviving a vicious attack. He thinks he knows who attacked him…and why. When a violent feud escalates between him and local thug Charlie McDonnal, Bill vows to find the killer and help save the community centre by taking part in the local singing contest.

How can music bring a shattered community together? And can Bill keep his own demons at bay long enough to win the singing contest and find out who killed Lewis Matthews?

PURCHASE LINKS:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chantelle Atkins was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to reading, writing and music and writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling. Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love. Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life and has now been developed into a 6 book series. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere and award-winning dystopian, The Tree Of Rebels, plus a collection of short stories related to her novels called Bird People and Other Stories. The award-winning Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was released through Pict Publishing in October 2018. Her next YA novel A Song For Bill Robinson will be released in December 2019. Chantelle has had multiple articles about writing published by Author’s Publish magazine.

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If you want to know more about this great sounding book, check out the other blogs taking part in the tour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

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Book Review

After You Fell – JS Lark

I am joining the blog tour today for psychological thriller, After You Fell, by JS Lark. Many thanks to Jane, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to be a part of the tour and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Creepy, disturbing and genuinely thrilling, this is one page-turner you won’t be able to forget!

As one life ends
Louise’s Lovett’s death was a tragedy.  But questions still swirl about exactly what happened to Louise that day.  Did she fall…or was she pushed?

A new life starts
Helen Matthews’ donor heart saves her life.  But as her new heart beats inside her, Helen feels the pull of its previous owner–despite what everyone is telling her, Helen is certain she has one final message to pass on.

And a dark obsession begins
As the lives of Helen and Louise become ever more entangled, Helen’s obsession gets increasingly out of control.  And the fragile new life she has built begins to fall apart…

after you fell

PURCHASE LINKS:

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REVIEW:

After You Fell is a tricky book for me to review – it took me a while to get into, and in all honesty, I had just as many questions at the end as I had at the beginning, although to be fair I think this was sort of the point, and it is just my personal preference to have everything in a neat box at the end. If you are a fan of a book that leaves you pondering the facts of the tale after you have finished reading, then this is the book for you.

I love the premise of an organ transplant recipient forming an obsession with their donor, and I suspect if I ever found myself in Helen’s situation, I would want to know who my donor had been and what their life had been like. Hopefully though, I wouldn’t go quite as far as Helen does!

It’s hard to say too much without giving away key plot points, and I really do want you to discover them for yourselves. I must say though that neither Helen or Louise turned out to be who I had initially expected them to be, and actually my feelings about most of the characters changed on numerous occasions throughout the book.

After You Fell is a book that really gets you thinking about a variety of mental and physical health issues, and the evolving plot certainly kept me on my toes right up to the very last page.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JaneLark_Small VersionJane is a coffee, chocolate and red wine lover, and a late-night writer of compelling, passionate, and emotionally charged fiction.

Jane’s books may contain love, hate, violence, death, passion, a little swearing, and an ending you are never going to forget.

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If you like the sound of this book, head over to the other blogs taking part in the tour to find out more.

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Book Review

Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett

Today I am reviewing a book which I found highly informative, Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett. My thanks to Camryn, and to Penguin Random House UK, for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

In a community that isn’t always understanding, an HIV-positive teen must navigate fear, disclosure, and radical self-acceptance when she falls in love–and lust–for the first time. Powerful and uplifting, Full Disclosure will speak to fans of Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon.

Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…

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REVIEW:

From the second I opened this book, I knew that it was going to be an important book for all ages to read. Growing up in the 90s, I had thought that I was relatively well informed about HIV, but I found I learnt a lot from this book that I hadn’t previously considered.

Although Simone’s diagnosis was obviously a constant presence throughout the book, I loved how a lot of the focus of the story was just on how awkward it is being a teenager and discovering who you are, never mind if you are a teenager who happens to be HIV-positive.

People’s reactions to discovering Simone’s diagnosis really shocked me. I thought we were passed a lot of what happened, and it saddened me to realise that maybe we never will be.

Full Disclosure is an inspiring, heart-warming rollercoaster of emotions, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

It was only after I finished reading that I discovered that the author is just 19 years old, and that this was her debut novel. To me, this just makes the book even more astonishing in it’s skill and delicate handling of so many sensitive subjects. I think we can expect great things from Camryn, and I for one will be snapping up whatever comes next from this amazing talent.

You can find out more about Camryn and her writing on Goodreads

Book Review

Only You – Lorna Peel

An embarrassingly long time ago, Lorna Peel approached me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing her book, Only You. I would like to offer Lorna my apologies for just how long it has taken for the review to finally emerge, and also my thanks for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Jane is divorced and the wrong side of thirty. It’s definitely all over for her…isn’t it?

Jane Hollinger is divorced and the wrong side of thirty – as she puts it. Her friends are pressuring her to dive back into London’s dating pool, but she’s content with her quiet life teaching family history evening classes.

Robert Armstrong is every woman’s fantasy: handsome, charming, rich and famous. When he asks her to meet him, she convinces herself it’s because he needs her help with a mystery in his family tree. Soon she realises he’s interested in more than her genealogy expertise. Now the paparazzi want a piece of Jane too.

Can Jane handle living – and loving – in the spotlight? 

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REVIEW:

After a spate of reading some very serious and thought provoking books, I was in serious need of some light relief. When I reminded myself of the blurb for Only You, it seemed like the ideal choice.

I used to read quite a lot of romantic comedy type books, but more recently I have been put off a little by the typical storyline of an arrogant man who comes into the heroine’s life, and who she hates on sight, until they inevitably fall hopelessly in love. Fortunately, there is none of that in this book – Robert Armstrong is a delight from start to finish, and just seems like a dream man. Of course, in my head, I had a very clear image of him looking just like Richard Armitage, so that helped fuel my love for him.

Only You is a funny, warm, light read and proved to be an excellent choice to provide the escape that I needed. I must say though, if my friends ever set me up on a dating site like Mags and Carol did to Jane, it would quite possibly be the last thing they ever did!

You can find out more about Lorna and her books on her Goodreads page.

Meet the Author

William Osborne

I am delighted to be welcoming William Osborne to my blog today, as part of the tour for Jupiter’s Fire. Many thanks to William for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

Your author bio states that you enjoy collecting odd things. Do you have any collections you would like to share with us? What made you start collecting?

Yes of course, I collect old military helmets from the Napoleonic time up to the first world war, British and German, shako’s, and ceremonial wear, mostly cavalry, Dragoons, Hussars, Lancers, but also Picklehaubs, including Life Guard Imperial German and Life Guard English. I also have a beautiful Bearskin, (Russian Bear) Coldstream Guards. 

I collect English modern first editions fiction, Ian Fleming, Huxley, Orwell, Robert Graves, for example, authors I love basically. 

My youngest son and I love to build Lego, we have a Creator Street of fifteen buildings, accessorized by him with additional figures and planes in my office. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World to me.  

I am starting now to look at military ceremonial daggers from the Second World War, Italian and German, but good ones are very expensive.

Where do you do most of your writing?

In my office at home, when I can, but I love to write anywhere, and correcting manuscripts somewhere hot and near the beach is special. I have never had an “office” office except when my children were very young and I had to work out of the house for a few hours a day.

I love working from home so long as there is somewhere quiet and I can turn off the phone and the Internet for a few hours and put on some music quietly in the background.

Do you find that different writing routines and practices work better for novel writing than for screenwriting, and vice versa?

Not really, the way I write has me plotting both novels and screenplays quite carefully before I start and often just thinking about the story I want to tell just in my head for a quite a few weeks or months. 

I do write outline cards, even if the next scene/chapter is just a line or two and then I set to at the computer to write.  Screenplay writing is so less dependent on description and more on just scene setting with a few visual details that the camera can pick up on, whereas novel writing requires you to paint a fuller picture of the scene.

So for example, with screenwriting you can write – ‘ext. downtown street – day’ – and then the art director, location manager, property buying, director, lighting cameraman will decide what that street actually looks like. But if you were writing that in a novel, you would have to do all of those things, the shops, the cars, the weather etc. Does that help?

What works for one that doesn’t work for the other?

I refer the honourable person to the answer I already gave.

You live in a beautiful part of the UK (I enjoyed a week in Norfolk earlier this year). If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be? Or is your heart firmly in Norfolk?

I came to Norfolk to go to school here when I was 13 in 1973. It was a very different place in many ways to what it is now, though it is still beautiful, remote, unspoilt and timeless.  Back then it was the end of the line, literally. The train stopped here and unless you had a reason to be here, no one came. It seems like a different world looking back and I suppose it was.

I do love it still, I can walk for two hours from where I live with my dogs and see no-one and I love that sense of isolation and solitude with the sea in the distance, now filled with lines of wind farms.

If I could, I would spend three months of the year in Italy, probably in the south, Naples and beyond, down the Amalfi coast, the most beautiful coast in the world for me and also the most wonderful people, timeless too in a way but drenched in history from the Saracens, Etruscans, Romans, Neapolitans, French, Spanish. Watch The Leopard, the greatest film ever made about Sicily and Naples, the twin Kingdoms at the time.

More beautiful to me even than Big Sur and Monterey where I spent a year as an exchange student aged 18 and where Robert Louis Stevenson lived for a time and used the landscape to write Treasure Island and other stories. 

I love the Italians, their culture, their style, and their philosophy.  But I am happy right now where I am.

There is a saying isn’t there, wherever you go, there you are.

What have been your biggest sources of inspiration in the writing of your novels?

Many, my family, love of history, a love of story, be that books, fiction and non-fiction, or film/tv from childhood onwards.

But most of all love.  

I believe all great stories in whatever medium have human love at their heart, the yearning for it, the importance of it, the loss of it, the rejection of it, the betrayal of it, but it is the ultimate thing that gives meaning to all of our lives, rich or poor. Every great story has that at its heart. And that is how it should be.

Sorry, but you did ask.

Hope you enjoyed the answers; I thoroughly enjoyed writing them on a cold November evening, with the east wind whistling around and the dogs barking a bit for attention or maybe at the sound or smell of a pheasant or a fox at the end of the field.

Best wishes, William.

I don’t know about all of you, but just from getting to know William a little through his answers, I am certain that I want to discover more about his books. If you are tempted, here come all the details for Jupiter’s Fire.

Jupiters Fire cover v1

BLURB:

When Franco, a teenager living in the monastery at Monte Cassino in 1944 uncovers a long-lost Roman Eagle, the fabled Aquila for the Jupiter Legion, he sets in motion a desperate struggle to prevent the Nazis from using it to win the war. In a do-or-die mission, Franco and Dulcie, a teenage mountain girl, must steal the Eagle back and escape before its deadly power is unleashed. Pursued by the implacable forces of the SS they will discover not just the secrets of the Eagle but also themselves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

William Osborne – Born 1960 – educated at Greshams School, Holt, Norfolk and Robert Louis Stevenson, Pebble Beach, California,  studied law at Cambridge,(MA),  barrister at law, Member of the Middle Temple. Screenwriter and member of Writers Guild of America (West) – Author (published works, 1994, 1998, Hitler’s Angel, Winter’s Bullet, Jupiter’s Fire).  Lives in Norfolk, enjoys life, film, dog walking, cold water swimming, lego, collecting odd stuff, driving his beach buggy.

Many thanks again William, for taking the time to answer my questions so thoroughly.

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