Bookish · Life

My Publishing Journey – J.S Ellis (Guest Post)

Happy Humpday everyone! Today I am bringing you a guest post from J.S Ellis! This was meant to be part of a tour to promote her fab new book – In Her Words (out now); but I messed up and wrote July instead of June, missing my spot. Oops. I decided to wait until now as I didn’t want to steal someone else’s day. I didn’t want to waste the fantastic content she so kindly wrote for us! I’m including the tour poster anyway if you want to check out the other stops!

My Publishing Journey

My publishing journey has been a long one. I started writing at the age of sixteen and been writing ever since. I used to write by hand, until I got a computer. I had written several unpublished manuscripts one of them took me five years to write. When I finished it, I got in touch with an editor to look at it and she told me it wasn’t ready. I was crushed but she recommended a few craft books that I should read. At the time, I didn’t know about the show vs tell, info dumps etc. Thanks to her, I learnt a lot more about writing. I also learnt the hard way that when you finish the first draft, don’t show it to anyone not even to your dog, let alone to a professional editor. We live and learn. I also took a creative writing course, studied English Literature, and attended workshops.  

At the time, self-publishing hadn’t started yet and because of that, I took the time to learn about the craft, find my voice and writing style. If self-publishing was around at the time, I would have rushed to publishing and that book would have hurt me. So, I took my time, I believe publishing isn’t something to be rushed but to take time, be patient and get better at writing.

One Christmas of 2014, I got an idea of a woman who’s an accountant but has a drinking problem and writes in diary. She hides her drinking from her husband.  She hears the music of sax near her apartment and is always wondering who’s playing it. Meanwhile, one night she goes out with her friend and wakes up the next day by her husband with no memory of what happened to her and has bruises all over her body.

It took me five years to get the manuscript to what it is today. I wrote the book within four months but it took me a year to revise and self-edit. I had to put it on hold for personal reasons. Then, I was on the lookout for an editor. So, I asked around in Facebook groups and found my editor and I learned more about writing through editing.  

I’m currently working on one of the old manuscripts I had written, I recycled the characters but the story is completely re-written. Writing is hard it takes time and persistence. Now, after eighteen years “In Her Words” is going to published on May 7th and will available in all major online retailers.

About the Book

One night. One woman. One Man. One Mystery. 

When Sophie Knight wakes up and sees bruises on her body, she has no recollection of what happened to her, but she knows she has more to hide. Her alcoholism, something she tries to conceal from her husband, and resulting haze, has once again muddied the details of a night out.

Even though Sophie seems to have it all—she’s beautiful, lives in a swanky apartment, has a thriving career and a devoted husband—she’s looking for something more. When gorgeous and fun-loving Michael Frisk walks into her life, she can’t resist.

Then strange things start to happen—unsettling notes in her mailbox, mysterious phone calls, and she suspects that someone is following her. Is Michael the cause of her trouble? Or is he the only one she should trust?

About the Author

J.S Ellis is a thriller author. She’s currently working on an adult Dystopian series called the Chaperone. She’s also working on another thriller novel for now it’s called Opium, as it’s still a wip.

J.S always liked to scribble from a young age, but started writing by the age of sixteen. She spent all this time, enhancing and learning about the craft. Writing is her passion books are her obsession.

She has a degree in Creative Writing, English literature, and digital marketing. She works in an accountancy firm. She lives in Malta with her fiancé.

When she’s not writing or reading, she’s either cooking, eating cheese, and chocolate, or listening to good music and enjoying a glass of wine or two.

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Setting – Val Penny (Guest Post)

Hey all, today, I am delighted to be on the tour for Hunters Force by Val Penny and I have a guest post for you! I’ve been on previous tours for the books prior to this if you want to check those posts out too and so I am chuffed to be hosting another guest post from the author. Thanks, Val!

Thank you for inviting me to your blog today. I am very excited because my third crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Force’ has been published by Crooked Cats Books and is easily available from Amazon.

The story is set in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. I think setting is very important to a novel and did consider creating an imaginary town for my story. However, I lived in Edinburgh for many years and know the city well. I definitely saw my main protagonist, Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson, as a city policeman. Also, Edinburgh is a beautiful city and it is lovely to ‘research’ by walking around my favourite places!

Edinburgh has everything a writer could need. It is a diverse city with all different kinds of buildings and people. It is small enough that characters can move around it quickly and large enough for it to be credible that anything I want to happen there, could happen.

Edinburgh is a fabulous city with a castle, a palace and a cathedral, wealthy homes, horrible slums, fine restaurants, fast food outlets and idiosyncratic pubs. It is home to an Olympic size pool, the National Rugby Team and two famous football teams. It is also home to The Edinburgh International Festivals, what more could I or my characters want?

When I chose Edinburgh as the setting for my first novel ‘Hunter’s Chase’, I thought about it carefully. it is a beautiful city of around half a million people. I wanted the place to be big enough to support the series of books the form The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, and I have no doubt that it fits the bill.

Hunter Wilson is divorced. He lives in a flat in Leith, an area to the north of the City and drinks in his local pub, the Persevere Bar and plays darts there.

The delegated parliament of Scotland, is where Hunter’s nemesis, Sir Peter Myerscough served as Justice Secretary. The Scottish Parliament has wide powers over how the people of Scotland are governed and meets in the Scottish Parliament Building, in the Holyrood district of the city.

Sir Peter Myerscough, has a fine home to the south in the Morningside district of Edinburgh. From his large house he has fine views across the Pentland Hills. The Pentland hills are situated just outside of Edinburgh. The reservoirs are picturesque and each hill is slightly different. If you are fit enough, you can visit the top of all of the hills in one day.
Another main character, Detective Constable Tim Myerscough is Sir Peter Myerscough’s son. He jogs through the unique park at The hermitage of Braid and his favourite pub is the Golf Tavern, off the Bruntsfield Links where, it is claimed, the oldest golf course in the world is situated.

Edinburgh is such a diverse and cultural city home to the National Art Galleries, beautiful parks and all kinds of people. It is the perfect place to situate my new novel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’ and all the cases DI Hunter Wilson has to solve.

About The Book

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature:

Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted?

DI Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son, Cameron. Who has murdered the young student who shares Cameron’s flat? Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city?

Now that the united police force, Police Scotland exists, Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation. Hunter’s ability to investigate anything further is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks? 

Hunter’s team must work closely with MIT, with or without him, to solve the murder in this taught crime thriller. 

About The Author

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ Hunter’s Revenge and Hunter’s Force are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fourth book in the series, Hunter’s Blood, follows shortly.

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Favourite Character to Write – BRM Stewart (Guest Post)

Today I am on the blog tour for The Deaths on the Black Rock by BRM Stewart, available now on Kindle and in Paperback formats. I’m pleased to bring you a guest post from the author about his Favourite Character to write.

Many of my characters are different aspects of me. Martin McGregor, and Michael, are me really. Martin’s life is stable just at the moment, so he doesn’t have a big role in this book (but wait for the next one!). Michael is developing well, and is going to take on more responsibility in the next book (as is the young Kylie).

I like Mark Grosvenor, the old semi-retired FBI agent, who appears to give his wisdom and knowledge, and help out generally using his contacts. Grosvenor has been with me since the first book, and I think he’ll always be around to give that international perspective. Anything involving cybercrime and online terrorism in the world will involve the FBI.

Overall, I think Amanda Pitt has to be my favourite character, and she has become a much more rounded and important character over the years.

She arrived late on in Digital Circumstances, with quite a small role as a corrupt cop. Right at the end, she seduced Martin’s secretary Claire, who was engaged at the time to a man she described as psychologically abusive.

I thought then that I could use her again, and friends also said they hoped to see more of her. In the second book, Digital Investigations, she rather took over: she was a member of a Major Investigation Team working on a murder and kidnapping.Amanda has a complex past. In ‘Investigations’ I explore that past, both how she discovered and came to terms with her sexuality, and how she became corrupt – being drawn in to a criminal gang as a result of doing a good turn for someone. It can be dangerous for a straight man to write about a gay woman, but I hope it rings true. I certainly hope I’ve avoided the standard pitfalls – I’m sure someone will tell me if I haven’t.

Amanda is a team player in ‘Investigations’. She lets the team know her ideas, and explains them. She also does what her boss asks her to do. She is the one who leads the team to make the breakthroughs. But she can also be ruthless: there’s an investigative reporter on her tail, looking into her past, and she will do anything not to let him bring her down.

In The Deaths on the Black Rock, Amanda is centre stage, and there’s no team around her. She alone thinks there is something dodgy about Rima Khalaf’s death, and I give her free reign to explore it. Amanda does some outrageous things as she gets more and more obsessed about the case, though hopefully it never comes across as unbelievable. It’s all very liberating for an author and great fun.

At the same time, I have to keep her rooted in reality: her task in her day job has to be carried out, and she does that well.

What I love about Amanda is that she works things out – not quite Sherlock Holmes, but close. She thinks about the problem. She does the spadework, so that when a piece of luck comes her way she can capitalise on it.

Blurb

It’s been a year since Rima Khalaf died in a fall from the Black Rock, deemed to be a tragic accident by the police.

But her grieving parents are dissatisfied with the police investigation, so DS Amanda Pitt is sent north from Glasgow to the small town of Clachdubh to re-examine the case.

Despite the suspicions of the distraught parents, all the circumstances seem to confirm Rima’s death was indeed a tragic accident until another woman is also found dead in the town.

Frustrated by the lack of any real evidence, DS Pitt pushes the limits of legality in her quest for the truth.

About the Author

Brian RM Stewart was born in Rutherglen and grew up in Grangemouth. He attended Glasgow University and Jordanhill College of Education, taught in Edinburgh, then moved to Nairn where he and his now-late wife Jan raised their children.

Brian now lives in Broughty Ferry with his wife Sally, where he is a member of the Angus Writers’ Circle and an active member of Rotary.

Brian spent much of his working life teaching mathematics and computing, but is now partially retired and lectures for the OU. When not writing, Brian attempts to play golf and the guitar (though not at the same time), and is a keen Bridge player.

He has published two previous novels, Digital Circumstances and Digital Investigation.

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My Publishing Journey (Guest Post)

Hey guys, today, I’m delighted to be kicking off this blog tour with a guest post from Fiona Perrin, to promote The Story After Us, her debut novel, out now from Aria Fiction. The book is available in both Paperback and on Kindle and as part of Kindle Unlimited. You can find out more about the book on the other tour stops.

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My journey has been a long one with quite a few stops to admire the view or have a rest along the way.

Put it this way, I always wanted to be an author, furiously scribbled all the way through childhood, wrote bad poems in adolescence and then became a copywriter and a journalist. I wrote my first novel back in about 2000 – it was a rave comedy which was a bit niche, I’ll admit – and then life, like loads of other authors, took over. That meant work – by then running a company and then a career as a sales and marketing director – kids, family: the usual.

Then in 2012 I really wanted to get on with it again and took a very rough draft of a second novel to the Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course. That taught me that I knew very little, so I threw away most of the words, learned a lot and then wrote it again with the help of my spin-off writing group from that course. We met up every fortnight for years as we all wrote books and that meant, whatever else was going on, I had to write another chapter every few weeks as well as help edit their fab books. That group has gone on to have four publishing deals and there will definitely be more. I think we’re all proud of that.

And I bumbled along getting quite a lot of rejection along the way; and yep, its character-building but it’s also awful. The only thing to do is let yourself be furious and miserable for a few hours and then move on.

It was really when two things happened that I got there: all the kids grew up a bit and some went off to Uni and jobs; and I stopped working flat out and had time to think about what to do. That was when I finished it, sent it to my fabulous agent, Diana Beaumont, (she put out a tweet saying what she was looking for and I sent it straight away). She gave fab input and over a few drafts helped me make it a much better book. Then Lucy Gilmour at Aria loved it and… well here, I am. Writing my second book has made me realise how much I’ve learned but also that I won’t ever stop learning.

Fiona Perrin author pic
Fiona was a journalist and copywriter before building a career as a sales and marketing director in industry. Having always written, she completed the Curtis Brown Creative Writing course before writing The Story After Us.

As a mother and stepmother to four teenagers while holding down a fairly full-on job, she wanted to write grown-up commercial fiction about messy, modern love and families – with all their heartbreak, humour and hope.

She grew up in Cornwall, hung out for a long time in London and then Hertfordshire, and now she writes as often as possible from her study overlooking the sea at the end of the Lizard Peninsula, back in Cornwall. She’s currently there, writing her second novel for Aria.

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If she tries very hard, Ami can remember when she used to have a dynamic and exciting career and a husband who she loved more than life itself, and who was equally smitten with her…

Now she has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she has become – or why she and her husband can’t even be in the same room anymore.

With life as she knew it in tatters around her, Ami is heartbroken, and in no way pulling off ‘consciously uncoupling’; like a celeb. But she’s starting to wonder if she just might come out the other side and be… happier?