Thursday, 17 October 2013

Guest Author Ailsa Abraham. Author of the Award nominated Shaman's Drum. Number One in Amazon category.


Thank you for inviting me, Catriona.

I'm sure that I have bored the living daylights out of people with advertising Shaman's Drum so I'd like to chat a bit about the above. It's a question I'm asked all the time. Well, no, whenever I say that I'm an novelist, actually, or I'm walking around in a T-shirt depicting me holding my book (shameless, isn't it?) Mainly it comes from French people. Quite logically really as I live in France and so most of the folks I get chatting to are French. Their reaction is incredulity and the question “How?” because imagination is something rather foreign to them and reserved for the select few “artistic types.”

It's rather refreshing because the usual reaction of Anglophones (go on, you've guessed it) is “Oh yes well I'm writing a book or going to or will do when I have time...” Something along the lines of an inferred “Don't think you're anything special because the world and his dog are all writing books”.

Well just for anyone who isn't writing a book or likes to know how other authors do it. I am a cinematophile. (I just invented that word but you know what I mean). I see things as films. Maybe it is a generation thing but even when reading I see it on the big screen. That is how Shaman's Drum started. Just a movie clip that sprang into my head unannounced while I was sitting out in the back garden.

Scene – a walled convent garden with a nun sat in a chair on her own, in the shade of a tree. Suddenly a man in monk's robes bursts through the wooden door in the wall and strides over to her. It is obvious to me from the expression on her face that he has come to rescue her.

I couldn't let it go. It haunted me. Who were they? What happened next? I had to get it all down and as I worked, my own background contributed. What if they weren't Christians? What if they were pagans from different orders? What if the woman had been forced into the convent for some crime as in the Middle Ages? My imagination began to run riot. Supposing that paganism had now become the dominant religion in the world? There would still be factions. I have been in this world long enough to know that pagan is as vague as “Muslim”. There are so many different varieties.

This is how, from one scene, I arrived at a whole novel, centred on lovers from different sides of the religious tracks, given one last chance to be together if they accepted a seemingly-impossible mission. Now, of course, readers are coming back and asking for more, which is highly gratifying. Iamo and Riga have found friends out there in the wide world and they are going to have to tell the back story.

So here I sit now, writing the prequel as my work-in-progress. How did the major religions get banned. What would be so important that this would be accepted? When did paganism in all its forms fill the void left by mainstream faiths? Most importantly, what was the crime that led to Riga being imprisoned in the convent in the first place. So watch out. There are already some pretty impressive movie-trailer scenes going on in my head, including the terrifying Demon Prince. So watch out for Riga and Iamo, The Beginning (except it won't be called that, of course...well it might be if it were a film!)

BIO – Ailsa Abraham retired early from a string of jobs, ending up with teaching English to adults. She has lived in France for over twenty years and is married with no children but six grandchildren. Her passion is motorbikes which have taken the place of horses in her life now that ill-health prevents her riding. She copes with Bipolar Condition, a twisted spine and increasing deafness with her usual wry humour – “well if I didn't have all those, I'd have to work for a living, instead of writing, which is much more fun.”. Her ambition in life is to keep breathing and maybe move back to the UK. She has no intention of stopping writing.

As Ailsa Abraham :
Shaman's Drum published by Crooked Cat, available on Amazon.
(nominated for the People's Choice Book Prize)

Four Go Mad in Catalonia – self-published, available from Smashwords

Twitter - @ailsaabraham

Facebook – Ailsa Abraham

I'd like to welcome Ailsa, who will be sharing with us where she gets her ideas for writing, and telling us about her books.

Friday, 4 October 2013

NEWS FLASH! Guest Blog with Francis Di Plino, Author of the excellent DI Paolo Storey Thrillers.

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog, Catriona. I have two pieces of news I’d like to share with your readers – and both have end of October deadlines.

Bad Moon Rising, the first in the D.I. Paolo Storey crime series, has been nominated in the People’s Book Prize 2013, but it’s up against Frederick Forsyth’s latest, so I need all the votes I can get. If any of your lovely readers would be kind enough to cast a vote, I would be very grateful! Voting is open until the end of October.

My second piece of news means two people will be winning a prize as I have arranged a giveaway on Goodreads. Simply follow the link below to be in with a chance of winning a paperback copy of Someday Never Comes, the second in the D.I. Paolo Storey crime series.

Here is an outline of the story.
DI Paolo Storey and his team want to put a stop to the dark, secretive world of child prostitution. When a child is found dead, and another killed while under police protection in hospital, the tension rises as the team face a wall of silence.

Who is the mysterious Joey? How can Paolo find evidence against the suspected paedophile ring? Someone knows about these traffickers, but absolutely no one will talk. It takes all of Paolo Storey's experience and intelligence to force the investigation to a thrilling conclusion.

Meanwhile, as well as unrest and betrayal in his team, Paolo Storey's personal life is in turmoil - and the final twist leaves the door open to more problems in his future.

This novel will appeal to crime readers who like dark, intense thrillers and are not put off by difficult topics.

There are twists and turns, unanswered questions, and a wealth of undesirable characters to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Lorraine Mace is the humour columnist for Writing Magazine and a competition judge for Writers’ Forum. She is a tutor for the Writers Bureau, and is the author of the Writers Bureau course, Marketing Your Book. She is also co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam of The Writer's ABC Checklist (Accent Press). Lorraine runs a private critique service for writers (link below). She is the founder of the Flash 500 competitions covering flash fiction, humour verse and novel openings.

Writing as Frances di Plino, she is the author of crime/thriller, Bad Moon Rising, featuring Detective Inspector Paolo Storey. The second in the series, Someday Never Comes, was released on 16th August 2013.