Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Getting To Know... Ross Sayers

Today I welcome to Getting To Know... the wonderful Ross Sayers, debut author of Mary's The Name which was published on the 30th of January 2017.

Mary's The Name is a particularly emotional contemporary read, what was it that draws you to this genre?

I didn't really set out to write in any sort of genre, to be honest. I knew I wanted to tell a story about a wee girl and her granpa and see where it took me! When I first finished the book, I was telling early readers how much humour I'd put in and how they'd be chuckling away at what Mary has to say. I didn't expect so many to tell me they were in tears at the end! This reaction has been very touching though, as it shows how much readers have connected with Mary. It's a huge compliment when readers engage this much with your characters.

When you're writing do you have a set routine or schedule that you like to follow?

For 'Mary's the Name', I was fortunate enough to be able to focus all my time on it. A 9-5 type thing. I used it as my dissertation for my Masters, so I had all summer to write it. I doubt I'll have this luxury again, so now I just write where I can find time. I do like to have the radio on when I write though, Radio X being my station of choice.

Do you have a favourite character that you have written so far?

It may sound obvious, but Mary, definitely. She's such a kind character, and I loved seeing things through her eyes. I still do it! I see a news story and I think, Mary would have something funny to say about that.

Have you always known that you wanted to be an author?

It's always been a dream of mine. I even wrote it in my Primary school yearbook. I didn't pursue it through high school and most of Uni, but when I took creative writing modules, my passion for it came back. It still feels strange when someone refers to me as an author though.

When you're not writing what would we find you doing?

Well, as a writer, my top answer has to be reading of course! But I also like to go to the gym, play poker with friends, or watch my team Arsenal play (this isn't always enjoyable...). I'm a huge music fan too, and my musical hero is Brian Fallon, who I was lucky enough to see twice last year.

Your short story "Dancin" is used as part of the West College of Scotland's Higher English course, can you tell us how this came about and how you felt about that?

It's a funny story. A girl contacted me through Twitter and asked for the story. When I asked why, she said she needed it to finish her essay and it couldn't wait! Huge surprise for me. I contacted the teacher of the class and she told me she read it in the magazine Quotidian (great magazine, look it up!) and thought it would fit well with her class. Since then, it's continued to be used, and the teacher, Mrs Fiona Wallace, always lets me know when the new batch read (and hopefully enjoy) it!

Having written both short stories and a novel, do you have a preference over which you write?

Both have their advantages, but I really enjoyed getting immersed in the long narrative of 'Mary's the Name'. It's a lot of work, but when readers respond to the story and the characters, it makes all the months of writing worth it. I'm looking forward to getting back into this process.

As part of your promotion for Mary's The Name, you used Tinder (I had to google what this was!) You wrote a great post about it, but what can we now look forward to when you're promoting future works?

Thank you! I feel I may have set the bar too high with quirky promotion ideas now! I don't have anything crazy in mind right now, but as I've shown, I'm not embarrassed to try anything. Tinder's worked well for me so far, I'm sure I could fire it up again for the next novel...

Do you have a favourite author?

I don't think I could pick just one. In terms of Scottish authors, I admire James Kelman and Ali Smith. Outside of Scotland, Patrick deWitt is my new favourite!

I know Mary's The Name is only just being published, but what can we look forward to from you next?

I'm currently putting together the plot of novel number two. I don't want to say too much, but I'm hoping to set in my hometown of Stirling. A couple of schoolboys may feature, getting mixed up in something dodgy when they should be at school!

Thank you so much to Ross for joining me today and look forward to  a review of Mary's The Name coming up on Life Of A Nerdish Mum soon!

To Connect With Ross Sayer

Twitter - @Sayers33
Facebook - Ross Sayers

An eight-year-old girl and her granpa are on the run…

“When me and Granpa watched James Bond films, he told me not to be scared because people didn’t have guns like that in Scotland. That must’ve been why the robbers used hammers.”

Orphaned Mary lives with her granpa, but after he is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, they flee to the Isle of Skye. Gradually, Mary realises that her granpa is involved. And the robbers are coming after him–and their money.

Mary’s quirky outlook on life, loss, and her love of all things Elvis, will capture your heart. Full of witty Scots banter, Mary’s the Name will have you reaching for the hankies, first with laughter, then with tears.

Heart-warming and heart-breaking, this darkly comic debut is from a fresh voice set to become Scotland’s answer to Roddy Doyle.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Wolf Of Dorian Gray by Brian S. Ference - Review

Re-tellings are really popular at the minute and I'm enjoying quite a few of them. When I was given the opportunity to review The Wolf Of Dorian Gray I jumped at the chance as the idea intrigued me. 

The Wolf Of Dorian Gray 

"There on my desk is the first passionate love-letter which I have ever composed in my life—and it is addressed to a dead girl."

What will happen when the wolf comes to London? Can Dorian save his soul? Or will the beast consume it and his life, along with those of his friends and loved ones?

”The engorged moon hung full and low in the sky like a yellow skull. Misshapen clouds stretched across the floating orb with elongated hands and bony fingers grasping. As they neared the docks, the gas lamps grew fewer and the streets gloomier. The cobblestones blackened as they passed the deserted Brickfields. Bottle-shaped kilns spat their outrage with orange tongues of fire into the cooling air. Mangy dogs snarled in hunger and wandering sea-gulls screamed their displeasure at the hansom’s passage.”

This expanded edition of the classic philosophical fiction by Oscar Wilde, features all-new scenes in a compelling tale of love, lust, and the werewolf spawned by the evil of man. The story, set in late 1800’s England, follows the life of Dorian Gray, who through ancient Romani magic’s and the skills of an astonishing artist has had his fate and soul irrevocably linked with the last remaining wolf in the forests of England. Dorian revels in the experiences of first love, delights in the art and beauty of the world, relishes the freedom of his youth, and is awakened to the many pleasures of life. His friend and mentor, Lady Helena, provides a guiding hand as he struggles with his conscience and the purpose of living. Meanwhile, the wolf begins to grow and change into a hideous monster that is ravaging the countryside.

"The wolf had begun hunting human prey. They were plentiful in the dark city streets and provided enough good meat to satiate his gnawing hunger. He was still very careful not to let any who saw him live. To do otherwise would displease the Master. He would only stalk those people that were foolish enough to walk alone in the night."

My Review

It's been years since I read The Picture Of Dorian Gray but I do remember the basic story and The Wolf Of Dorian Gray seems to follow the original with some gender bending of characters and the obvious introduction of the Werewolf. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up and I thought it would either be really good or really bad. I was pleased that it turned out to be the former. The original story is great anyway but the new scenes and changes have been done very sympathetically and so you the two authors work fits together seamlessly. 

I really enjoyed the character of Dorian Gray and I enjoyed watching his descent into depravity and perversity culminating in one particularly horrendous crime. It was fascinating the corresponding effect his crimes and behaviour had on the wolf and the painting. I thought it was really well thought out how the wolf became more of a wolf/monster/human hybrid as time went out, it was actually quite terrifying how it was described and the attacks it was committing with an incredible intelligence. 

The story shows how meeting just one person can change the course of your destiny for good or in this case for the bad. 

I would have liked to have seen more of both Sage and Lady Helena as they are both interesting characters in their own right and in extremely different ways. I really enjoyed that they were changed from the original male characters into female as I thought their friendships with Dorian took on another dimension. 

The only thing that didn't sit right with me is probably a problem with me rather than the writing, but I didn't like the use of measurements when describing things. Instead of saying someone was six foot tall, the height would be given in centimetres etc and I found it awkward to read. 

The Wolf Of Dorian Gray can be read as a stand alone, but the author has left an epilogue which totally whets your appetite for the second book which I believe might be out later this year. 

Overall a really enjoyable read and I am looking forward to re-reading the original at some point in the near future. 

I gave this book 4.5 Stars, 

About The Author

BRIAN S. FERENCE lives in Cave Creek, Arizona with his wife Rachel and two children Nathan and Lena. He has always had a passion for reading and writing from a young age. Brian loves new experiences, which has included operating his own company, travelling the world, working as a project manager, diving with sharks, and anything creative or fun. He is always up for a new adventure such as writing or other artistic pursuits.

His first book is titled: The Wolf of Dorian Gray: A Werewolf Spawned by the Evil of Man. You can learn more about book two in The Wolf of Dorian Gray series: Purgatory of the Werewolf, as well as any other upcoming books or projects at http://brianference.com or http://thewolfofdoriangray.com.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Getting To Know... Carol Cooper

Today on Getting To Know... I welcome the very talented and very lovely Carol Cooper, author of Hampstead Fever and One Night at the Jacaranda.

Your most recent novel, Hampstead Fever, follows the lives of six Londoners that are all intertwined. What was the inspiration behind this story?

The novel came out of the characters I had made up, who are six very different people, all of them approaching 40. I love hot summers, but I’m aware that emotions can reach boiling point, so I thought I’d write about how a heatwave affects their lives, and makes them do things they shouldn’t. The action takes place in Hampstead, where I live. While it’s an upmarket and very picturesque part of London, the area means subtly different things to each of the people in the book.

The novels you write are contemporary, what is it that draws you to this genre?

I think it is the perfect genre for creating a world that readers can relate to. I write with an eye on the everyday, which includes modern dilemmas like being a single parent and a working mum, coping with ailing relatives, today’s competitive job market, the role of the media, and the challenges facing Britain’s health service.  Having said that, the aim of the book is to entertain, not to contemplate solutions to these problems.

When you're writing do you have a set routine or schedule that you like to follow?

Sadly not. Although I’m driven to write, many things crop up needing instant attention. For example, I write expert comments for The Sun newspaper. It’s a great forum for any writer, and I love the chance of saying my piece on the health story of the day, whether it’s a radiation spill or a celeb’s liposuction. The downside is that it’s often at short notice.

Do you have a favourite character that you have written so far?

I like almost all my characters, and I have an affinity for Karen, a single mum of four, as well as for Geoff, a stressed doctor, but my softest spot is reserved for Dan. He’s out of jail following wrongful imprisonment, and determined to go up in the world. Neither educated nor articulate, he tries hard to make up for it by reading widely and working hard. He’s now got a job in the kitchen of a trendy new Hampstead eatery, and he’s living with the woman of his dreams and their baby, but it’s not all plain sailing.

When you're not writing what would we find you doing?

I got remarried three years ago, so you’ll find me spending time with my husband. And, like every writer, I also love reading.

You are also a doctor and have written health books, firstly how on earth do you find the time and secondly what made you decide to make the jump to writing fiction?

Well, here’s my secret: I now do everything part-time. It would be impossible otherwise. As for what triggered the jump to fiction-writing, I think the desire has always been there. I first tried to write a novel when I was at university, but that didn’t get very far because I knew nothing about the world at the time, except maybe how to pass exams. I do love health journalism, as well as writing non-fiction books, but with novels there’s a chance, with luck, to create something that’s lasting. We’re still reading good books published 20, 50, and even over 100 years ago, while non-fiction books are more ephemeral.

Having taken a look at your non-fiction books, you have written a lot about pregnancy, birth and the early years. What made you decide to specialise in this area?

As a family doctor, I’ve looked after a lot of pregnant women and their babies, so this is an area I know about from the professional viewpoint. Then I had three children in under three years (my second pregnancy was twins), so I figured I’d mastered Parenting 101 and could add my experience to my medical expertise, creating useful and realistic guides on child health and the like.  Of course, nobody ever has parenting taped.  You go on learning new things about family relationships until you drop off your perch.

Do you have a favourite author?

That would be Kate Atkinson, though I also love Tony Parsons, Maggie O’Farrell, and the ever-witty Howard Jacobson.

If you could give the younger you any advice about your writing journey, what would it be?

Be yourself. As the saying goes, everyone else is taken already. It takes time to evolve your own voice as an author, so the best thing is just to keep writing and make it as good as it can be. I’d also tell myself that, unlike climbing a mountain, with novel-writing there’s no such thing as arriving. Each book is as good as I can make it at the time, but the whole writing game is a process of learning and discovery. If it weren’t, it might become very dull.

What can we look forward to next from you?

I’m working on another novel that takes some of the characters from Hampstead Fever into new adventures. There’s also going to be a novel mostly set in Egypt. I grew up in Alexandria, a cosmopolitan world that remains fresh in my mind.

Thank you so much to Carol For taking the time to answer my questions, it's been a pleasure!

To Connect With Carol Cooper

Twitter - @DrCarolCooper
Facebook - Carol Cooper’s London Novels https://www.facebook.com/onenightatthejacaranda/
Blog - Pills and Pillow-Talk https://pillsandpillowtalk.com/
Pinterest - DrCarolCooper https://uk.pinterest.com/drcarolcooper/

Hampstead Fever

It is high summer in London and trouble is brewing.

Chef Dan should be blissfully happy. He has the woman of his dreams and a job in a trendy Hampstead bistro. But his over-anxious partner, engrossed in their baby, has no time for him.
Stressed doctor Geoff finds solace in the arms of a mercurial actress. Journalist Harriet’s long-term relationship with Sanjay hits the buffers, leaving each of them with serious questions to answer. Meanwhile single mother of four Karen lacks the appetite for a suitable relationship.
Passion and panic rise in the heatwave. Who can spot the danger signs?
Available in bookstores and online from Amazon and other retailers.
Amazon link http://mybook.to/HF
Author Bio:
Carol Cooper is a doctor, journalist and novelist. She writes for The Sun newspaper, broadcasts on TV and radio, and has a string of non-fiction books to her name including an award-winning textbook of medicine. In 2013 she turned to contemporary fiction with her debut novel One Night at the Jacaranda. Her latest title is Hampstead Fever.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Getting To Know... Tina Hartas Of TripFiction

Today I am really excited to welcome Tina Hartas of the wonderful website, TripFiction, to answer questions for Getting To Know...

Your website, TripFiction, is designed so that you can find books set in pretty much whichever location in the world you can think of. What inspired you to set this up?

A good question! I have always tended to choose books that are set in the country to which I am travelling. It was never really a conscious thing until I went to Bangkok, where I happened by chance to choose a novel set in the city. Contrasting the book and the city made for an amazing experience.

Then on to Vienna and the only book I could actually find, which was set there, was The Fig Eater by Jody Shields. That was an excellent choice, very atmospheric of the city at the turn of the 20th Century, it gave a feel of past history and I found it still resonated today, lending insight and understanding into the multitude of historical buildings around the city, as well as the city layout. On my return, I did a little research and found that actually there are many books set there but it was hit and miss whether they were easy to find. And bingo, one day a few weeks later, over a glass of wine naturally (and it was Austrian wine we had brought back!) TripFiction started to become a reality.

We were aiming for a site where books could be collated, reviewed, and all were strong on location, we wanted to build a resource for both actual and armchair travellers. It was spurred on by a vision of a community where like-minded people could come together to share books, indeed add books and reviews, and suggest some of the ace titles that perhaps aren’t so widely known that will transport you to a given place – via a good storyline, of course.

Have you always been a big reader or is it something that has come about as you became an adult?

I have always read. We were a household of books. My best friend’s mother was a writer – Kamala Markandaya - who firmly set her novels in her own culture and country of India, and perhaps it was through reading her novels that my subconscious interest in learning about cultures, people, customs and places first started.
When you're not reading, what would we find you doing?

The admin side of TripFiction is growing apace, so that takes up a lot of time. We often burn the midnight oil. Mastering Social Media is proving to be a real challenge, though a rewarding one – for the most part! Researching new books to add takes time but people are now adding books to the site (anyone is welcome to suggest titles and add reviews)… and so it goes on. But otherwise I work as a couple counselor and psychosexual therapist. And travel is a great joy in my life, which probably doesn’t come as a surprise!

Do you have a favourite place that you have visited?

That is a very hard question. I guess I am drawn to Asia, I like the culture and cuisine. Southern India is next on the list, because we had such a great trip last year to Rajasthan. I really enjoy travelling to Europe, which is so much more accessible thanks to carriers like EasyJet. My next European trip will be to Berlin and Warsaw and I would also like to see Dresden.

This year TripFiction has started it's own YouTube channel, have you enjoyed using a different medium to discuss location in books?

It is a service we like to offer to authors. If an author has a video where s/he talks about the setting of their book, then we love for people to add their videos. I have stuck my toe in the water, but it is going to take a lot more practice and courage!

Bookmark, random piece of paper or dog ear?

I am a neat reader, without a doubt. I am definitely a bookmark kind of person, always. I can’t bear to see tattered books, all crinkly with water damage. I trained as a paper conservator way back, so I feel drawn to paper and its preservation. I can find myself recoiling when I see cracked spines, dog-eared pages and water-damaged covers….

How many books do you read in a year? Do you set yourself an annual goal?

I never set a goal. That would turn something that is a pleasure into a chore. At the moment we can combine work and pleasure, how often do you hear people say that?. When I see all the reading challenges on sites like Good Reads I really do wonder why people do it, there is more than enough pressure in everyday life without adding to it!

I have come to realize that I am still quite a slow reader. I enjoy seeing how an author puts a book together, so I don’t like to skim read too often. But there is a time and place for a bit of super fast reading and I can do it when I have to… but it’s not my natural style.

Do you have any advice about location for anyone writing a novel?

I can only speak from the perspective of a reader and someone who enjoys experiencing a location through literature. I recently read a book set in Dubai, which I thought evoked the city quite well. I passed it to a friend who lives there, who spotted the inaccuracies and found that quite frustrating.

I guess you would need to visit your chosen locale to get an accurate geographical sense, but there is so much more to it than that – the sense of place and people is something you can only experience when you are there, talking to locals, observing street life, seein how people talk to each other, it’s not something you can make up from the comfort of your desk. And converting that ethereal “feel” for any given place is surely key (it’s surely also an excuse to travel!)

Do you have a favourite author?

I always find this a difficult question. I tend to have a rolling list of authors and will often add new ones to the list and re-connect with past favourites. I have recently picked up with the work of Rose Tremain, through her most recent novel “The Gustav Sonata” (shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, one of my favourite reads of 2016). I got back into reading Lesley Downer, who, writes books set in Japan, and I took one of her earlier works on a trip to Japan several years ago (way before TripFiction) – her current book The Shogun’s Queen reignited my pleasure. Gill Paul is always an interesting writer and has used Rome, Turkey and most recently Russia as settings for her novels. I am very much looking forward to reading Dinah Jefferies new book Before the Rains, set in Rajasthan and it will no doubt transport me back to the trip we made there last year.  On the TBR pile I am particularly looking forward to trying Guinevere Glasfurd’s The Words in my Hand set in 17th Century Amsterdam and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. And many more novels sitting on my desk just to my left as I write… there are so many good novels that simply never get the accolades they deserve, so we are committed to doing our very small bit to help get them out there.

What can we look forward to in the future from TripFiction?

That’s a big question! TripFiction/Movies is something that keeps popping up, but for that we would need to find major funding; just think, though, of the range of films that wonderfully transport you to a given location!

I guess our main aim for the foreseeable future is to have the community drive the site – we researched the first 5000 books, added individually all the books we could find that were strong on locale, and we need our followers now to flag and add new books as they come along that they think are strong on locale and worth shouting about.

More author chats, location features and a bit more travel-oriented features. Watch this space!  

Thank you so much to Tina for answering my questions and joining me today, I look forward to more from TripFiction!

To Connect With Tina Hartas

Website - http://www.tripfiction.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TripFiction.literarywanderlust/?fref=ts
Twitter - @TripFiction

Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson - Blog Tour Review

I'm super excited today to be a part of the blog tour for Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson. For my stop I have my review of what I thought about this wonderful book. 


1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all…
In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them. 

My Review

Rupture is my first Ragnar Jonasson book and I realise I've been missing out! Rupture is the fourth book in the Dark Iceland series but can definitely be read as a stand alone like I did, however I do now need to go back and read them all! 

First things first, the cover is absolutely stunning and really reflects the isolation and cold from the book. Also I am eternally grateful for the pronunciation guide in the front of the book as it immediately helped me immerse myself in the story without spending time sounding out words and names that were unfamiliar to me. 

The story is a slow burn and weaves beautifully between two storylines. As you get further into the book, the pace builds up and leads to a crescendo for both cases which both took a direction that I had not expected at all. The story telling is clear and really well thought out and everything worked out really well. 

I really enjoyed the character Ari Thór and I liked how he went about investigating the cold case and his interaction with people in the community. I also think the friendship/partnership that was developed between him and Ísrún was really good as it was built on mutual need and respect. Ísrún was also a really interesting character and I think there will be a lot more to her story going forward.

The location itself feels like a character in its own right, you can feel the oppressive isolation, especially during the threat of a contagious and killer disease and I certainly kept myself wrapped in my blanket as I felt the cold. 

Overall an absolutely wonderful book and I have discovered a new favourite author. 

I gave Rupture 5 stars. 

About The Author

Ragnar Jonasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.

Snowblind was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK.

Books in the Dark Iceland series have been published in the UK, Germany, Poland and Iceland, and rights have also been sold to the USA, France and Italy.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers' Association (CWA) and recently set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA, in Reykjavik.

He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.

From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.

Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.

He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Getting To Know... Patricia Leslie

Today on Getting To Know... I am very happy to welcome the first Australian author to my blog, Patricia Leslie.

Your novels are urban fantasy, what is it that draws you to this genre?

My interests are hidden history and myth as well as exploring, and I like working with characters that could be real people and put them in situations where they are confronted with hitherto unknown realities and unrealised potential. Part of the "real people" aspect is also using real locations. With my novel A Single Light, I used my home town and stomping grounds. With the story I'm working on at the moment, I'm using a particular area of Sydney. The majority of the locations in all my novels are real places that I have researched extensively and visited many times so that I can describe them as they are experienced by the characters (and by anyone who cares to go exploring in my wake).

Or it could just be an extension of the fact that I really wish I had magic powers..

When you're writing do you have a set routine or schedule that you like to follow?

My routine is continually evolving. I try to keep marketing activities to Monday to Friday where I can work from my Ipad at a local café in the mornings or in front of the telly while I'm relaxing in the evenings. Research I will do as needed and writing is usually kept for the weekend, most often Saturday. The aim is to have everything else out of the way so I'm ready to jump feet first into storyland avoiding any interruptions and as many distractions to the creative flow as possible.

It doesn't always work out that way. Research trips to explore locations nearly always occur on a Saturday as well. Roughly once a month, I'll put on my walking shoes, grab my camera and head off into the city to either check on specific sites, views, walkways or just to wander around and take photos of old buildings.

Do you have a favourite character that you have written so far?

I tend to like them all actually, good and bad. They all have a purpose, within the story and as individuals. If I really had to pick, I'd say in A Single Light, Flo, who appears in the early chapters as a resident in the ill-fated town of Bellbird. In The Ouroboros Key, Professor Finn Shaw (just because I really like his name: Alisdair Finbar Shaw)

Have you always known that you wanted to be an author?

Yes, though for most of my life I didn't think it would ever happen. First off, I needed to realise that I could write stories and once I'd actually started writing, that they would be good enough to think about publishing, then of course, finding a publisher. The whole process has been quite a lesson in self-belief and self-confidence and not giving in to the Mind Monkeys.

Location is important to you, do you have a favourite location that you have used so far?

In A Single Light, I used the area I grew up in. Using it as a location was like going home and revisiting my childhood, but that part of childhood that is just my own, my memories of wandering around the Royal National Park, catching the Bundeena ferry, and exploring the Cronulla sand dunes. My next novel, set in Sydney also uses some of my favourite places to wander and my favourite heritage buildings to visit like the Australian Museum and State Library. I love old buildings!

When you're not writing what would we find you doing?

Reading: crime fiction/Jane Austen/travel books or fiction with a travel theme especially if there's food involved…

Exploring and taking photographs of abandoned buildings, heritage buildings, and hunting down ghost signs

Travelling: in 2016, I spent assorted weekends in Canberra, the Sunshine Coast, Melbourne, and Adelaide. In 2017, I'm already planning a weekend of exploring in Melbourne and pre-planning an international trip (destination to be decided)
You are a collector of books, do you know how many you own? And how are they organised?

Hundreds of books is probably not far off the mark. The books that are stored in the proper manner on the shelves are grouped by general topic. I have a shelf for Celtic and Pagan history, another for women's and feminist non-fiction, one for Australian history and another for native American, one for quotes and writing etc etc. The messy piles can be categorised as either "to be read" or "just shove it anywhere". I also have a John Steinbeck shelf and a separate book case for really old books I find in antique shops.

(Image below: a small sample of my messy wall of books)

Do you have a favourite author?

Stephen King, John Steinbeck, Ann Cleeves, and Camilla Lackberg just to name the four I thought of first.

If you could give younger you any advice about your writing journey what would it be?

Start writing now. Don't wait until you think you have something to say - your voice is waiting for you to set it free

What can we look forward to from you next?

I'm working on what I hope will be a 3-part series set in Sydney in the 1800s and the Isle of Skye (but mostly Sydney because it's much easier for me to explore on the weekends). I've based some of the characters on names from my family tree if not the personalities and used what I know about them to develop background and history. For instance, emigration to Australia from England in 1851/52, the barque they sailed on, where they originated from (Isle of Skye) etc. I've worked a lot on genealogy over the years, so I have all this information at my fingertips (and on my bookshelves). I visited Skye in 2015 and while I was there, naturally, checked up on some of my family history. I found the ruins of farmhouses, gravestones and even a couple of castles. Perfect fodder for storytelling!

The main Australian components revolve around everyday life, mysteries and incidents that occurred in Sydney in the late 1800s. It was a boom time in Australian history so a lot was happening and not all of it is well known today. Throw magic, pagan rituals, ancient relics and time travel into the mix and I think I'll be touching on just about every one of my personal interests…. it's all about writing what you know after all.

Thank you so much to Patricia for joining me today it's been wonderful!

To Connect With Patricia Leslie

Instagram: @patricialeslee
Facebook: Patricia Leslie Author   
Twitter: @patricialesliea  

Author Bio

Patricia Leslie is an Aussie urban fantasy author with Odyssey Books. Her novels, The
Ouroboros Key, and, A Single Light, deal with the major issues of today like mystical
magical beings living deep in Colorado's Rocky Mountains and hungry vampire-like spirits
devouring the population of southern Sydney. Evil powers abound in her next novel set in
Sydney and Scotland in the 1800s. Patricia enjoys the research as much as the writing so pay
no mind to middle aged women with cameras wandering around Sydney. It could very well
be Patricia Leslie hunting down heritage buildings and their stories.
Drop in on Patricia's strand of the World Wide Web and catch up on her adventures or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. www.patricialeslie.net

The Ouroboros Key 

Prophetic dreams have haunted Dan Tenney since childhood, foretelling him of a life-changing event that is soon to take place. But before he can learn the meaning of his visions, he is attacked by a shadowy group of extremists: the Brotherhood of the Grail.

Finding sanctuary underground, an ancient relic comes into his possession and Dan begins to understand the path his visions have laid out before him. His quest will be fraught with an otherworldly people and an event that could tip the balance in favour of human existence—or disastrously against it. The mysterious Brotherhood will do everything in their power to prevent Dan from fulfilling his destiny as the Bearer of Ouroboros.