Worms, ‘Cockygate’ and Busy, Busy, Busy

Hi all,

Just a quickie to say I know I haven’t posted on here for a while but life has just grabbed me by the proverbials and run.

I’m ultra busy editing as well as trying to complete the next in my Terrible Tales series, am still shaking my head over the whole ‘Cockygate’ debacle (I’m not going to go into my views on author megalomania today – it’s been done to death already), and writing short stories for SAT practice as well as regaling you with amusing (I hope) stories from the wry side of life: https://mumispullingherhairout.wordpress.com/

In short, I’ve neglected this site. Sorry!

In the meantime, here’s the opener from Terrible Tales Book 2: Enjoy!

The Worm

(c) JM Turner

“Tequila’s gonna kill you, Terry,” I say, as I twist open the lid of the second bottle my husband has begun in as many days.

“Mind your business,” Terry snaps. He grabs for the bottle, ignoring the glass I hold out, and swigs. “You took as much notice of this house as you do of my drinking and I wouldn’t need to blur it out, would I?”

I turn away so he can’t see my involuntary eye roll and bite back any of a number of retorts that could have sprung from my lips. I walk out of the lounge and into the kitchen, click on the kettle and make myself a decaffeinated coffee, then I nod towards the French doors and Simba, my Alsatian, raises his head and chuffs.

I smile as I open the doors releasing the dog, and carry the mug out into the garden behind him. It is ten in the morning and it looks like it will be another long, hot, day spent avoiding Terry’s foul temper, although with any luck, he’ll be snoring by midday.

I perch on one of the loungers and watch the butterflies as they flitter in and around the buddleia, and then flutter around just out of reach of Simba’s attempts to catch them. Fat bumblebees buzz lazily in the heat of the summer sun, gathering pollen to take back to the hive. The sun shines its rays onto my face and arms and for the first time in a long time, I relax. I studiously ignore the empty pool with its stained and moss-strewn bottom, because every time I look at it I feel that painful lurch in my chest…

I hope that’s piqued your interest and I’ll keep you posted on when it’s up for release.

Until next time, stay well, stay safe, and stay away from cocky people!

Jill x

 

Writing

Hi guys!

I’m hoping you are all happy, healthy and enjoying life? As you may have gathered from my previous post, apart from writing my books and short stories, I am covering some other topics – the first of which was in my last post about anxiety and panic attacks. These will be interspersed amidst other bits and pieces that cross my mind, alongside letting you know how the new books are coming along as I am aware how boring these sites can be if they only focus on the writer and their projects. (In truth, it also feels a little self-indulgent to be constantly banging on about my latest book!)

In my next post, I’ll be talking about how, as a parent, you can try to deal with things if your child self-harms. I’ve been talking to several people (all of whom have asked to remain anonymous) who have had to contend with this, some of whom coped admirably, others who fell apart.

In the meantime, if you need some advice on the subject, do take a look at the NSPCC site  and this site  also offers some practical advice.

To add to this (as if I didn’t have enough to do), I’ve also started a new blog that pokes a little fun at life in general. Take a look if you fancy a laugh. I’ve been reliably told these posts are making people literally laugh out loud, which is enough to bring a smile to my own face and gives me the impetus to continue. You can find the link here – and please, do leave me the odd comment if it makes you laugh. Feel free to share so others can find a little levity in their day.

Until next time,

Jill x

P.S: Here’s the link to Big Ted, the first in a series of Terrible Tales. It’s definitely not for kids, so don’t be fooled by the title.

Terrible Tales

Hello all!

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I last blogged  – snow, work and other commitments have prevailed and for that, I apologise.

I’ve been editing, writing and completing the day job ever since the New Year. Consequently, I now look like a member of the Walking Dead, the bags under my eyes have their own suitcases and any social life I once had flew out of the window long ago. I can’t see it coming back anytime soon, either.

Earlier this year, I was commissioned to write a selection of short stories that will be used countrywide for children’s SAT revision and testing and I am thoroughly enjoying writing them.

Big Ted

Added on to this is the new series of novelettes I have begun which is in direct opposition to the SAT children’s stories. This is a dark, twisted and somewhat warped series only for adults, coming under the series title of ‘Terrible Tales’. The first, ‘Big Ted’, is due for release very, very soon and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the cover.

It’s the first book I’ve written that necessitates a trigger warning as the subject matter in this first story is somewhat sensitive. I’ll be sharing the link as soon as it is released, but you have been warned!

In the meantime, here’s a link to the latest book I edited:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/MARCO-OBSESSION-BAD-BILLIONAIRE-Book-ebook/dp/B07BR4VYJG

If you like a decent bad boy, enjoy a damned good storyline and don’t mind a bit of rumpy-pumpy, you’ll be blown away by this book. I loved working on it!

So, until Big Ted is released, I’m hoping by the next time I write on here Spring will have well and truly sprung.

I am so over snow!

Jill x

Advice for Writers for 2018

I bet you’re expecting this post to be full of fantastic ideas as to how you can improve your writing, or create a cover, or market your book?

You’d be wrong.

So if that’s what you’re after, stop reading now because it’s the antithesis of that.

Put your hand up if you’re sick of reading other people’s advice.

Every time I open any form of social media I am confronted with ‘helpful’ ideas as to how to do all the things I cite above; i.e. writing, producing the perfect cover, constructing the perfect ad, learning how to market your work, etc., etc., and at the end of all the waffle to hook you in, I get to the crux of the post and read: ‘I can help you do this for the very low price of…’ (or a variant thereof).

The bit that comes next is aimed mostly at new writers, so if that’s you, read it carefully and try to remember that this is just my opinion: I’m a member of several writing groups on social media, and I’ve seen posts by more new writers than I can count asking how they should do all of the above things before they’ve ever picked up a pen (or switched on a laptop and opened whichever writing program they have chosen) and actually written anything. I’ve seen them post pictures of the cover they’ve chosen, seen them angst over whether or not to have their own author website or whether they should be paying for this course or that.

Look, there are people out there who will take advantage of you. Probably not intentionally, but if you run a business (for example) creating beautiful book covers and someone approaches you, wouldn’t you try to sell them something? So what if the cover they buy doesn’t actually end up relevant to the book they eventually write – it’s not their problem, right?

If you haven’t even begun to write, that fantastic, all singing, all dancing, marketing course you signed up for won’t be relevant by the time you need to use it. Social media rules regarding advertising change all the time! What works now (and saturates the market) probably won’t be working by the time you need it to. As an example, FB changes its rules with regularity and is making life difficult for authors at the moment by only delivering their posts to a fraction of the people who follow them unless they pay for that visibility; it’s also banning certain ads that it regards as spam, and actually, that’s fair enough, they’re running a business and they’re entitled to run it as they see fit. The point I am trying to make is that by the time you’ve actually written your book, the rules will have changed again – probably several times. So why throw money at something that will be redundant by the time you need to use it?

Some of the people running these courses (caveat: please note I said some – they’re not all the same and some are worth their weight in gold – when you take them at the right time) must be laughing in their sleep. They don’t count sheep to drop off – they count dollars, or pounds, or whatever the currency is where they come from. And you know what? I don’t blame them! If people are silly enough to chuck money at them in the hope of becoming rich and famous before they’ve even put pen to paper, I’d be rubbing my hands together in glee, too.

Make 2018 the year you actually write something – and make it the best writing you have in you. Celebrate it! And let me know when you’ve written it because it will call for a toast to you!

Wishing you all an amazingly happy New Year – may all your dreams come true!

Jill

Interview with Rachel Davidson, author of ‘The Point of Me’.

rdf headshopt july 2017 cropped

Hi guys!

Today I’m chatting with the lovely Rachel Davidson, the author of a wonderfully uplifting spiritual book. Read on to see what she had to say:

Me: Firstly, welcome Rachel, it’s lovely to have you featured here and I have several questions for you, the first being how long have you been writing and what made you decide to write this particular book?

Rachel: In truth I have been writing my whole life, but I have only been taking it ‘seriously’ – by which I mean pursuing particular story-ideas and crafting them into novel-sized adventures – since September 2014. I am the typical cliché of a newbie author! Hearing that well-worn phrase of ‘everyone has at least one book in them’ and thinking ‘oh yes that is me!’ but not actually settling down to write it and test that postulation. I guess I just got diverted by everyday life, like many people do. The lure of a ‘safer’ life working in business was strong and none of the careers officers at school were promoting author as an option.

But like I say, that changed in September 2014. I know the exact point at which I made the decision to get on with it and indeed why I wrote this particular book ‘The Point of Me’.

I know this because I was having a Soul-Purpose Reading – and during the meditations that this involved, I was told that I would write a story about a unicorn. Well I was rather irked about that. I didn’t want to write about rainbows and fairy sparkle unicorns! But my husband challenged me to think about what my unicorn would look and feel like. Five minutes later I had sketched out the story of the book that was published last summer. It took me 3 years to write and it felt like a return to home.

Perhaps it would be useful at this point to explain a little about what the book is about. The main character in ‘The Point of Me’, James, is a young man who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. As well as facing his own mortality, he also has to cope with his family, who are falling apart under the strain. When James meets Marcham, a mystical beast who takes him on a series of powerful spiritual journeys, he begins to understand the meaning of life, death and family.

So, on the face of it, the book is about a teenager coming to terms with death. But don’t let that put you off! It is actually a very uplifting story! The point of it is not the fact that death is inevitable, but that the manner in which we choose to live our lives, and especially so when the prospect of death looms closer (and in James’ case abnormally early on in his young life) is the most important point of being alive.

The book is heavily influenced and inspired by the worlds of Shamanism and Spiritual Healing. I’ve tried to weave elements of these belief structures into what I hope is a compelling message of how a life full of empathy, love and acceptance will be a good life and provide a meaningful death. The story also features some fantastically magical trips into wonderful spiritual planes – I promise it is not a depressing story!

I wanted it to be full of both light and shade. I wanted to explore how in the midst of the most terrible, darkest moments of a person’s life they might find the greatest light and peace, together with an acceptance of why, as spiritual splinters of the creator’s light we are sent to experience a human existence upon a giant rock spinning through the cosmos!

Me: I think you managed to send that message beautifully.  How long did it take to write ‘The Point of Me’, were there any setbacks or did it flow?

Rachel: It took me 3 years, practically to the day, to go from the first word being written to being published and available to buy. But the vast majority of the writing took place in the last 9 months or so (the symbolism of that particular last phase being equal to a pregnancy was not lost on me! Writing a book is a bit similar to giving birth!).

In the beginning I wrote the story in a relatively piecemeal fashion – having got the preface and chapter one written first I didn’t necessarily follow the chronological timeline that the final book has. I wrote passages and chapters as and when ideas grabbed me, when I felt able to explore particular emotions and themes. I suppose it came together like a quilt does – each piece of writing being stitched together with the next to form the overall. I feel I suffered very few setbacks and ‘dry’ periods because I took exactly this approach. I followed my instincts, went with the flow and trusted that the detail of the story would arrive and that in the end, the full pathway of the tale would be clear and obvious. I always knew the big picture of the story’s emotional arc and everything was guided and controlled by that – like a sailor navigating by the north-star I suppose, I always had that as my reference point from which every writing ‘journey’ would lead from and back to.

Me: As you’ve already said, and I concur, this is a rather wonderful and spiritual tale – did you set out to write it this way, or did it evolve as you wrote?

Rachel: Thank you for the compliment. I’m thrilled that you liked it.

Well, as I mentioned previously, the start of the book began with the spiritual activity of a Soul-Purpose reading and contains many themes and tokens of shamanic and spiritual healing practices. So, I cannot deny that the whole piece has the general theme of spirituality woven through it. Although I don’t remember consciously thinking “I will write a spiritual fantasy story”, I am really interested in this area and exploring the human condition.

In my writing, and through my writing, I want to explore the big issues and questions. I want to investigate my own emotions and purposes – I try to face my own fears. Actually, I think potentially all writers are exploring their inner-workings in this manner to a greater or lesser degree.

If I look into the face of my own fears and terrors and find responses to them through the trials and adversities that I make my characters live through, then I have a good chance of writing an interesting story that will hopefully resonate with other people.

Me: What was your inspiration?

Rachel: Inspiration for my writing comes from lots of places. My husband Steve is a particularly good ‘resource’ as he is a powerful Spiritual Healer and Shaman. His work with Spirit and energy is particularly inspiring. But I also gain a lot of inspiration from the natural world (animals, plants, weather) and by generally observing the human-condition and wondering about people’s hidden, internal dialogues.

For this particular story, knowing that I absolutely did not want to write about a ‘typical’ rainbow and sparkle unicorn was also a good inspiration point. I felt sure that unicorns are much darker, earthier and deeply elemental creatures, and it is true to say that my version is very different to the more usual depiction of these magical beasts.

Ideas or feelings about things such as this arrive in my mind, the trick is to hear them, definitely before they head off to find somebody else who might hear them quicker than you! Ideas are given to you. I believe that is ‘inspiration’ – being ‘in spirit’. To be inspired you simply need to be looking and listening.

Me: How has it been received?

Rachel: Firstly, I want to just acknowledge what a massive leap of faith it is for any artist to put their creativity out into the world. It is a big thing to have strangers reading and reviewing something that one has poured one’s heart into. It’s scary and risky. But the thought of writing the story and then putting it into a dusty drawer to eventually forget about it was definitely the much more horrifying prospect.

My gamble seems to have paid off, in that I have had some very lovely comments and compliments. The book has been described by one reviewer as a “tender fantasy about learning to love yourself despite the tragedy surrounding you”. Another reviewer said that I had painted “… an iridescent portrait filled with sorrow and hope, … [detailing] one boy’s struggles in learning to live in a life of cruelties”. A third review described me as a “talented, exceptional writer who knows how to make her reader feel a host of different emotions, her words are eloquent and beautifully descriptive” – a comment that I still have to pinch myself about when I read it!

A couple of other readers’ comments have focused upon the shamanic and spiritual-healing aspects that have inspired much of the story’s basis and how the characters’ various afflictions are carried energetically before manifesting physically (a lesson to us all, perhaps). Others have remarked upon the powerful messages about the purpose of life – the book is called ‘The Point of Me’ because the main character is searching for the answer to that question. Happily, despite the potentially weighty subject of the book, most readers have observed that they felt peaceful and uplifted by the end of it! And all the Amazon reviews so far have been 5-star. Phew!

Me: That’s fantastic! Most people don’t realise just how much work is involved in marketing your work once it’s completed. Writing a book is hard in and of itself – how have you got on with the marketing side of things? Do you have any tips for others?

Rachel: I couldn’t agree with you more! The writing is definitely the fun bit! It doesn’t feel a jot like hard work, despite it taking a lot of time and thought and struggle. The marketing of the book afterwards is most definitely a mission! But if you want your book to be read then you absolutely have to work at making it visible.

As a self-published author, I’m responsible for all the publishing, distribution, marketing and promotion of the book. I am just one voice in a massive market of thousands, nay millions, of other authors and stories. It is a daunting prospect, to be honest. My main ‘tip’ is to do some promotional work every day, hunting down every opportunity to talk about the book and to make contact with as many potential readers as possible. It’s why I’m very grateful for this opportunity Jill.

I think I read about a marketing theory that goes something along the lines of purchasers needing to be made aware of a ‘product’ at least seven times, on average, before they will finally make the purchase. I try to bear this idea in mind when I am working on promotional content. People need to get intrigued and also comfortable with the idea of what your book is and who you, as the author, are.

Finally, I would just like to say that in the face of this problem I reassure myself with my belief and faith that if I remain authentic to the truth of the story I feel called to write, then the readership will find it no matter what. It might take a long time of course, but ultimately the story will find its own way (me working like a mad whirling dervish in the background also helps!)

Me: Are you writing anything else at present?

Rachel: I am indeed! I am beginning to write a new story – one that I hope will take a number of characters featured in ‘The Point of Me’ forward so that I can explore how they react to the outcome of the first book. A few readers of the book asked me such interesting questions about these characters and what I thought their lives would be like after the conclusion of ‘The Point of Me’, frankly it got me feeling curious about them too.

So, if ‘The Point of Me’ was mainly about exploring how someone may face death, I plan to make the next book an exploration of how someone may face life. I hope it is going to be another tale full of magical experiences and spiritual symbolism – I have been researching the magical meaning of crows for instance!

Q8: Ooh, now that’s piqued my interest! When do you envisage publication of this?

Rachel: Well I hope that it isn’t going to take me another 3 years to write the next book. If I could have it published by this time next year then I would be very, very pleased with myself. I have to juggle full-time work and family life around my writing so there can be many pressures on my time! It is a case of me being very disciplined and sitting down every day to write something. If I can achieve that, then I hope the next book will be ‘birthed’ much quicker than the first!

Me: Lastly, what words of advice do you have for new writers? Is there anything you wish you’d known at the start of the process that would have helped you?

I was lucky to be introduced to you Jill, and you had some great tips and pointers (such as using the online graphic design package Canva to assist in cover design). So that would be my first advice – connect with other authors and writers and pick their brains. My second tip would be to find a great proof-reader (that’s where you come into the picture again Jill, as your work on my manuscript was invaluable to me).

The first thing about the writing process is that you do need to write! Well, the solution to this is firstly about having the discipline to sit my butt down on the chair daily and write! There’s a quote by Louis L’ Amour which goes, “Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on”. So, I get my writing environment set up (inspirational music on, comfy seat, my little dog snuggled next to me if she’s in the mood and the incense burning) and I simply write. I don’t worry too much about crafting the ‘perfect’ sentence or do too much self-editing or reading back over what I’m doing as I type along. I try to just concentrate on the emotion that I’m taking the character(s) through and keep pushing towards that emotion. There’s another quote (this one by the great and esteemed Ernest Hemingway) which is “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” That’s what I try to aim for – finding the detail of the emotion’s ‘truth’ and writing in as much ‘colour’ and light as I can to illuminate it.

Oh, and lastly; never, ever worry about the ‘reader’ as you’re writing your story. Write it for yourself. Once you are very happy with it and feel you can improve it no further, publish it and then, and only then, start to worry about the ‘reader’. It sounds counterintuitive to most of the business advice of working out who your target market is for products first. But writing is art, and art isn’t about writing for a demographic! Writing is about putting a truth into words. And that truth can only be the one that is in your, the writer’s, heart. Write that 😊

Me: Thank you so much for agreeing to be featured on here, and I hope that my followers have enjoyed learning about you and your book. It was a pleasure to proofread it for you, by the way. 

If you’d like to find out more about ‘The Point of Me’ or Rachel’s writing then please register your email on her website www.racheldavidsonauthor.com, follow her on Twitter @Rachel_Author, or like and follow her Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/RachelDavidsonAuthor

‘The Point of Me’ is for sale on Amazon in both e-book and paperback formats: tinyurl.com/thepointofme 

Her Amazon Author Profile is: tinyurl.com/RachelDavidsonAuthor.

The book is also available on Smashwords (tinyurl.com/y7zrjqgu) and with Apple iBooks. 

 

Back to Writing

I’ve been so busy promoting other people’s work, editing, proofing (and completing the day job) that I failed to realise I haven’t posted anything about what I’m writing in a while.

Yes, I am still writing, in fact I have several on the go, but the one I’ve been asked to concentrate on is more in the vein of ‘Nan Nose Best’ in that it’s got romance, heartbreak, babies and comedy, all under one roof.

The characters are endearing, the story is realistic (in that this stuff could happen…) and you’ll (I hope) be rooting for Jenny to come out on top by the end.

I’m having a ball writing it and I hope you’ll enjoy it when it comes out, just in time for Valentine’s Day next year.

Here’s a sneaky look at a possible cover…

Free Fall (8)

If you’d like to read any of my other books in the meantime, please follow the links and make an author happy by buying one!

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M

USA: https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M

‘Til next time – take care,

Jill

Womenopause

I swear I went to bed one night a svelte size 10 (UK) and woke the next morning a 12. My waistline has thickened, my bum has spread and flattened, and alongside all of that, I now sport a pair of bazooka’s that could have your eye out with one dainty swing. I’m not used to it. They get in the way (unfortunately, mostly under my armpits when I lie down). Consequently, none of my clothes fit, and as I am on the short side, I now look like a hobbit when I’m dressed, and The Blob when I’m not.

I’ve always thought the term ‘hot flashes’ to be quite endearing, reminiscent of slightly older gals sitting in the sunshine, sipping G&Ts and wiping their delicate brows as they chat about their lives (chin, chin, darling!). Oh boy, was I wrong!

It’s more like sitting in my own personal, private, inferno, complete with hair plastered to my head, sliding make-up, and wondering where in hell those saggy jowl lines sprang from. (Added bonus: they make a handy channel to divert rivulets of sweat down into my new-found cleavage.) And, joy of joys, (whisper it) alcohol makes it worse. So there goes the G&T – I’m now a tee-total hobbit.

Night sweats are my own personal favourite – I go to bed freshly showered and smelling lush, and wake up three hours later freezing cold having apparently dived into a swimming pool in my sleep. Surely all the night time shenanigans I am now unwittingly up to means I should lose weight?

Curiously, my skin itches and I went through a stage of losing wads of hair when I brushed it. What’s that all about? I am assured it’s nothing to worry about, but still – why? I’m sure I look utterly fabulous as I morph into a balding, red-faced hulk who’s clawing at her arms, sporadically swishing droplets of yuck around.

I’m told it ceases eventually (although one in ten of us lucky ladies can experience it for up to 12 years – chin, bloody chin, darling) and I’m already in year 5!

Whoever coined the term ‘menopause’ almost had it right. As a single woman of a certain age, I’ve discovered that the ability to start a relationship with someone new has certainly men-o-paused. So I think it should be renamed womenopause – because that’s how it feels – like I’m on pause until my body reboots.

Chin, chin!

Interview with Mike Wolff

Today’s interview is a rather special one to me – Mike is a guy I ‘met’ online a few years back (via The Dragon’s Rocketship – a page on Facebook) and somehow, considering that we live across the world from each other, we became friends and stayed in touch. He’s got amazing ideas and is truly one of the kindest people I know. He promotes others tirelessly, selflessly, with honesty and integrity and he never, ever, asks for anything in return. So it’s my pleasure to be able to turn the tables and interview him as he sends forth his third book in The Guiding Council series: Rogues and Redemption.

J:         Hi Mike, it’s a pleasure to have you here! So, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself.

M:         Thanks for having me on the blog, Jill.  Let’s see, I’m a Christian, married, father of three that has worked in the pharmaceutical/medical device industry for the last 20 years.  I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology, so you know I’m a blast at parties (NOT).  I live in Michigan and love it. I run a blog and I write for fun. Oh, and I believe in Bigfoot.  That is critical to understand me and my writing.

J:         What brought you into the writing world? How did you get started?

M:         Actually, it started as a strange dare from my sister. She asked me to write a haiku about a wombat.  I forget the lead up to that, but I wrote it.  That wombat actually ended up as the bad guy in my first book: The Ancients.  I’ve been writing on and off since.  That was about 15 years ago.  I really wish I could remember that haiku.  It made me laugh.

J:         I see that you have a new book due to be released, can you let us know a little more about it?

M:        Yes, I do.  Rogues and Redemption is the third book in my Guiding Council series.  The series is sort of an Urban Fantasy meets Teenage Fantasy meets Humorous Fantasy series that is based on the premise that all myths and urban legends are real and they have a complex society that lurks in the shadows of humanity.  Rogues and Redemption takes place after a civil war within the mythical nation, as a new bad guy tries to take over.  But, the Guiding Council won’t stand for that.

The Guiding Council is made of the leaders from each faction within the nation.  Those factions are: Diminutive Creatures, Romanian Echelon, Biped Nation, The Uniques and the Chupacabra Strike Force.

Rogues and Redemption is a bit darker than the first two in the series, but it still has its humorous moments.

J:         How did you come up with the concept for the world you’ve created?

M:        A number of years ago, probably a dozen or so, there was a “major” news announcement that a hunter in Florida had actually killed a bigfoot and had the body stuffed in a freezer.  It was fake, but I thought that would make a great kick-off point for a story.  So I ran with it.

I’m not really an organized writer, I just let it happen.  So the story took on a life of its own.  Now, three books later, I’m already thinking up ideas for a fourth in the series.

J:         Your work shows you have a great sense of humour: is this naturally you, or purely something that comes out in your writing? Is it something you have to work for? 

M:         That’s all me.  I cannot deny it.  I consider myself a master of sarcasm.  That twist of the mind is how I roll.  Unfortunately, if you don’t get my humor, you may not get my stories.  But, I gotta be me.  I write how I write, reads and reviews be damned (did that sound tough enough?  I hope so).

Aside from that, I like dark humor.  I love a good, or bad, pun.  That sort of seeps into my writing.

J:         When did you start to take writing seriously?

M:         I’ll let you know when that happens.

No really, I don’t take it seriously (is that bad to say???).  I love writing.  I love what I write, but if I took it seriously, I’d cry.  Being an Indie author in this modern age of technology is hard.  So, I write to make myself happy.  I certainly hope others enjoy what I write, but serious is so…what’s the word I’m looking for?  Oh yeah, serious.  That’s the word.

J:         Do you find stories come to you easily?

M:        Some do, yes.  Most of my stories come from dreams.  I keep a notebook and a pen on the night stand and force myself awake to write those ideas down.  And sometimes I can even read what I’ve written!  Most all of my short stories start as dreams.

Once I have the idea, the writing is pretty easy.  I’m what the industry calls a “pantser”, meaning I write by the seat of my pants.  I sit down and let it flow.  Unfortunately, I have very little time to write.  I’d say 95% of my writing has been done over my lunch hours.  I have kids.  I have no time to write at home.

Planning a story; now that is hard.  I’ve tried it.  It’s painful.  I enjoy the “pantser” process much better.  I end up as surprised at where the story goes as anyone that is reading it.  Heck, when I go back and read what I’ve written, sometimes I sit back and say to myself, “Wow, I wrote that.  That’s actually good.”

J:         Did you read a lot when you were a kid?

M:        My parents had to bribe me to read.  I hated reading, until I was 13.  Then, in hopes to bribe me some more, a friend of the family introduced me to Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny.  The way he described it made it sound WAY more interesting than the Hardy Boys.  So I gave it a try. I haven’t looked back.

J:         Do you read much now? 

M:        I read all the time. I read before bed.  I read over my lunch hour, when I should be writing.  Heck, when I’m driving, I have audiobooks going.  I love to read, and I’ve found I love having someone else read to me.  Audiobooks have been a great discovery for me.  Now I can do something during the daily commute to and from work. I read 75-100 books a year.

I have a blog that is mainly for book reviews. I love to tell other people what I think.  I also do other sorts of reviews, and some interviews.  I love to promote other Indie Artists.  The blog is my platform for that.  I really don’t promote myself much, but that is just my own personal quirk.

It’s called Lurking in the Shadows Honest Reviews.  I will always be honest with my reviews; friends or not.  How else will you grow as a writer/artist?

https://lurkingintheshadowshonestreviews.wordpress.com/  <- Go check it out! J

J:         What advice would you give to new authors? (I know it’s a blog standard question, but it seems to be a popular one, so I’m asking regardless…)

M:        Make yourself happy, first and foremost.  Write what you’d want to read.  Don’t try to write for others. Don’t write to “fill a void in the industry”, as I don’t think there are any voids in the industry.  Be true to yourself.

Look, if you’re writing to be rich, the chances are you won’t become the next Stephen King.  Sorry about that.  I’m a realist.  But, if you stay true to who you are and just happen to find an audience (large or small) that enjoys what you write; that is the best feeling a writer can have.

Just keep at it.

J:         Finally, what will you be/are you working on next?

M:        Good question.  As with most Indie authors I’ve talked with, you reach a point of indecision.  I find myself at a crossroads.  I love writing, but it takes time.  Even my lunch hours are becoming busier.  So do I keep at it?  Maybe.

That said, I have a story that I’ve been fighting with for a number of years that has to be told.  I’m 50K words deep into it, and I have to see it through to the end.  So that will definitely happen.  It’s called Brotherhood of the Locust.  It’s a true Fantasy novel.  No teenager stuff.  No talking animals.  Real Fantasy.

After that, who knows?  I have ideas for a 4th in the Guiding Council series, and I have an idea that has been churning in my brain for a decade or more.  It’s a bit more serious in nature.  I think my subconscious has been waiting for my writing to mature enough to tell that story.  Maybe it’s time for it to see the light of day.

So to answer the question, who knows?  I’ll be just as surprised to see what happens as you will.

J:          Thanks so much for agreeing to let me interview you, Mike, and from my own point of view, please don’t stop writing!

Guys, here are Mike’s final words along with links where you can find his work, so please make a point of checking them out. 

Blog Link

https://lurkingintheshadowshonestreviews.wordpress.com/

Global Link

Author.to/AuthorMikeWolff

Goodreads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7416361.Mike_Wolff

Bio:

Middle-aged.
Husband.
Father.
Christian.
Bigfoot Believer.
Corporate world dweller.
Lunch-hour Writer.

Seeking readers and reviewers of Teenage Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror stories.

Applicants must have a sense of humor and not take life too seriously. Appreciation of a really bad pun is a bonus, but not required.

If interested, read the books associated with this author page.

If you want to know more, please google lurkingintheshadowshonestreviews. It’s a thing, really.

Remember to feed your Indie Authors with Reviews. It’s how they survive.

 

AHOW Blog Tour – my own story!

Today I’m talking about my own short story, “Joe,” that appears in the anthology A Haunting of Words alongside many other fabulous stories.

“Joe” is about a day in the life of a mother, her young son and their dog, Rufus. An altercation in the park goes some way to ruin their lovely day out.

Inspiration:

Without giving any spoilers away, I simply put myself in the place of the mother in this situation and the potential it had for what actually happens as the story unfolds.

How long have I been writing?

A long, long time! I’ve only over the last few years begun to take it seriously and taken the leap into publishing any of my work. It was a tough decision to make – would people laugh at my efforts? Would they tell me I’m no good? Any writer puts a piece of their soul into their work, so I think that taking the plunge is possibly one of the hardest things to do as it leaves you open to the public eye (and I’m actually quite a private person). However, I love writing and I wish I’d taken it seriously much, much sooner than I did!

What genres do I most associate with in my writing? 

That’s a tricky question to answer! It all began by my making up my own tales on a nightly basis for my children during their growing years –  so putting a fantasy story that was begging to be written onto paper was quite easy and it wouldn’t let me rest until I’d developed it into a trilogy. I have also written a young adult book about how social media can have an effect on lives (comedy/contemporary fiction) and loved writing it, and more recently, I’ve written a darker, more adult book that is paranormal based, and, of course, the even darker tale of young Joe. I’m quite into these stories at the moment and have various ideas tugging at my subconscious mind!

What am I working on right now?

I have two things on the go at the moment; a spin off from the fantasy trilogy that was triggered by a reader asking me what would happen if… and an adult book that involves someone witnessing the kidnapping of a little boy and the murder of his mother.

What else do I have available/published?

Okay, the books I have out at the moment are: The Seelie Princess; Rise of the Dragons; The Seelie Queen (they make up the fantasy trilogy); Nan Nose Best – about how a teenage girl’s nan posts on her social media page and the change it has on the family when her posts go viral; Sunshine Girl – a paranormal story about a girl who’s not quite dead enough, oh, and The Christmas Turkey – a rhyming story for youngsters that looks at Christmas from the point of view of an enterprising little turkey.

What advice do I give to new writers?

Get stuck in! Find out what works for you – do you need to write an outline of your story? Or are you just going to start writing with a good idea of where you want it to go? There’s no right or wrong way, just your way. If your story gets told, it’s what’s good for you! Join writer groups if you can (Fiction Writing on Facebook is rather fab) but be prepared to sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to any advice that’s given out. I always lurk in the background and get a feel for who actually knows what they’re talking about before I’ll interact! Oh, and don’t ask family members to read your work, you won’t get true reactions from them – ask other writers to beta read for you (you’ll find these via the groups you join – and they won’t hold back on telling you where you need to sharpen up so be careful who you ask)!

Links where people can find your work:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M
https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M
https://authorjmturner.wordpress.com/

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Noble, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.