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** My thanks to the wonderful Karen at Orenda Books for my copy of this book and Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour**

 

Description:

Be careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story … with a tragic heart.

My Thoughts & Review:

If there’s one author you need to read it’s Louise Beech, this wily wordsmith has a unique gift when it comes to crafting a beautifully evocative tale that will capture the heart of readers.  You will often hear people throw the phrase “this is the best book yet” when they read the latest offering from an author, but in this case I truly believe that The Lion Tamer Who Lost is Louise’s absolute best book yet!

Without rehashing the plot, I will say that this is an incredibly moving and poignant read that flows beautifully.  The characters are so vivid and real, you can feel their anguish, their frustration, their happiness and become so invested in them, they become part of you.
This is a love story like no other and it draws emotions from the reader in a way that I cannot explain.  It was likened to the sort of book that brings on a therapeutic cry, a bit like the way that Beaches starring Barbra Streisand never fails to make me weep, and I found that whilst reading this I went through an entire box of tissues.

The most exquisite thing about Louise’s writing is that she portrays emotion and the fragility of it so sympathetically, so understandingly, but with a frankness that does not shy away from the magnetic pull of it.

If you want characters that you can take into your heart, a plot that carry you off to the wilds of Zimbabwe and back again, and writing that will take you on an emotional journey then this is the book for you.  I cannot recommend this highly enough!

The Lion Tamer Blog Tour Poster Final.jpg

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** My thanks to the author and publisher for my copy of this and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

The tattooing world is one I am familiar with, and so the plot of this book immediately appealed to me. The idea that a serial killer is out there, removing inked artwork from the bodies of his victims, leaving the police no idea why or for what purpose absolutely grabbed my attention and had me frantically racing through the pages to find out more.

This is quite a dark and addictive read, there are certainly chapters that you feel that you cannot put the book down after reading, definitely a case of “one more chapter” …
Characterisation is good, there are plenty of interesting personalities to keep readers glued to the book and I think there are a couple that will appeal to the audience. Marni Mullins, who discovers the first victim instantly appealed to me. There was something about her that struck me as damaged but strong, like she had rebuilt herself and was determined not to crumble or fall apart again, even though things around her were hellishly messy.
And we can’t have a book with a serial killer without mentioning them and their dangerous and depraved ways! Belsham writes the perspective of the killer so frustratingly well, little snippets of information breaking free in the narrative but never enough to give away the identity. This is a killer who will stop at nothing until his mission is complete, he knows what his goal is and doesn’t plan on making any silly mistakes to give himself away. He is meticulous in his methods and not afraid to get his hands dirty (probably a good thing really, skinning people would get a wee bit messy I’d think).

Alison Belsham has written a very impressive debut, it’s dark and gritty and has a plot that will keep readers hooked and slightly disturbed.
Just to be on the safe side, I think I will keep my tattoos safely under my clothing for a while … just in case.

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Overkill Cover

 

** My thanks to the wonderful Karen Sullivan for my copy of this book and Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.
Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.
To find the murderer … and clear her name.
A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit that this author is a new name to me, but when the description of the book is as intriguing as this then you just have to dive straight in! There is something quite refreshing about discovering a new author, you have no preconceived notions as a reader about their writing style, their characters or what the plot may hold. This journey of discovery was an enjoyable one, being able to watch the characters evolve seeing the plot twist and weave around on itself in ways you find inexplicably exciting and with such an explosive and emotive opening, this was a book that held me captive!

Symon has a wonderful writing style, her vivid descriptions of settings conjured such crisp images in my head, I almost felt that I was able to see Mataura, smell the farms, feel the closeness of the small community… it all flows so beautifully from the pages. However, Symon’s talents don’t stop here, she takes great effort and time to create a cast of characters that readers instantly feel a spectrum of emotion towards. From the murder victim and her family, to the local Mataura police constable Sam Shephard, I think I went full circle with shock, sadness, confusion, anger, disbelief and surprise. Sam is delightfully sarcastic, her humour is peppered throughout the narrative, providing a welcomed lightness to an otherwise dark thriller. Her tenacity is matched by her honesty, which can at times be a downfall for her, but this in turn makes her endearing to readers. This is a character I would very much like to meet again!

There is an incredibly “real” feel to this book, the issues at play in the plot are ones that impact on many: love, hate, fear, honesty and secrets. The way that the plot pulls together is superb and leaves you with a satisfying conclusion. Now I just have to hope that there are more books lined up with Sam Shephard …

You can buy a copy of Overkill via:

Amazon UK
Orenda Books eBookstore
Waterstones

Overkill Blog Tour Poster

For today’s post on Celebrating Indie Publishing I am thrilled to share a review of a book that has been much loved since we discovered it earlier in the year. If you’ve followed The Quiet Knitter, you might have seen the review of the first book of the Teacup House series in July 2018 and I am pleased to say that it’s time to share the review of book two.


Book Feature:

Description:

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Stevie’s mum is having a party, so she’s baked a delicious cake for all the guests.

Stevie’s tiny toy rabbits, Silver and Fig Twitch, would love a taste of its yummy purple icing.

How will they get their paws on some?

It’s time for an adventure outside the Teacup House!

 

 

 

My Thoughts & Review:

After falling in love with the Twitch family in Meet The Twitches, I quickly ordered a copy of the second book of the series for my mini bookworm so that we could continue with our fun filled adventure with the rabbit family of the Teacup House.

Picking up from their adventure in book one of the series, we catch up with Stevie and her mum as they prepare for a party to introduce themselves to their new neighbours. But when the toy rabbits are involved, you just know that there will be fun, laughter and daring missions.

As the title and gorgeous cover suggest, there is a cake involved in this tale. And what  cake it is! The purple icing is enough to lure the two youngest T

witches into a daring mission across the kitchen, weaving between obstacles to get enough icing for a cake of their own.
Whilst Fig and Silver are on their adventure, readers find out a little more about Stevie. She’s still not 100% sure about living in the country, life is much different from the city and she misses her friends. Meeting the new neighbours brings much apprehension for Stevie, and it seems that the adults are still making plans about her and for her without asking her what she thinks.

As with the previous book, Meet The Twitches, the illustrations are bright and crisp, they bring the story to life and compliment Hayley Scott’s writing perfectly. Being able to see the wonderful cake, the way that Fig and Silver make their way around the obstacles in the kitchen make this a truly magical read and had us in fits of giggles as we read.

We cannot wait for the third book in the series which is due out in October, The Twitches Meet a Puppy!

You can buy a copy of any of the books in the Teacup House series via:

Amazon UK
Waterstones

About the Author:

Hayley grew up in and around Berkshire and after a short stint in magazine publishing, her boss encouraged her to apply for the MA in Creative Writing at UEA where she gained a Distinction. In 2006 she won an Escalator Award from Writers Centre East and a Grant for the Arts to write her first novel, Jar Baby (Dexter Haven, 2012).

Another Rebecca Cover

** My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

A gripping psychological family drama about Rebecca Grey, a sensitive girl who’s spent her childhood caring for her alcoholic mother, Bex. They lurch from one poverty-stricken situation to another until Rebecca is hospitalised with exhaustion. While there, she has an illness-triggered hallucination which entangles her deeper than ever into her mother’s psyche. As an art student, Rebecca can’t understand why she is repeatedly impelled to paint a white horse in a blue landscape. And then there is the boy with yellow hair who she glimpses from the corner of her eye.

Bex’s life was frozen by a shocking tragedy when she was nineteen. Her ‘great grief’ caused her to make a decision which nobody must ever find out about. Rebecca has been implicated in her mother’s lies since the moment of her birth, a fact that her father, Jack, has no inkling of.

As Rebecca gets to know her father’s new family, the gap between her and her mother widens. The mystery of Bex’s dark past comes into focus when an old woman she has never met contacts Rebecca, claiming to be her grandmother.

The thunder of hooves is getting closer for both Rebecca and Bex and the blond-haired boy is more and more often in Rebecca’s dreams. Can Bex continue to keep Rebecca in the dark about the circumstances of her birth, or will the final twist in her tail set Rebecca free to make a new life of her own?

Adapted from a short story written by the author when she was an art student, Another Rebecca was inspired by the painting There is no Night by Jack B. Yeats.

My Thoughts & Review:

This was a book that veered away from my usual reads but seemed to grab my attention when I heard about it.

Told from the perspectives of three characters, Rebecca and her parents, readers are taken on a journey through the years of the family, building up a clear picture of these people and their lives. In the beginning I was a little confused, the opening chapter is a little different from what I’m used to, snippets of what seems to be dreams and thoughts from an unravelling mind but it’s worth sticking with the book, the reward is a unique and thought provoking read.

By using narration from differing perspectives, readers can glimpse into the mindsets of each character, make some form of a connection with them and their plights and glean some understanding of each of them. Whilst not all characters will appeal to readers, there are times where you find yourself sympathising with each of them whilst reading.

This is a poignant tale that delves deep into the fragility of family and the connections of the members. The topics covered in this book make for interesting reading, mental health and addiction are complex ones and they are well written by the author.

You can buy a copy of Another Rebecca via Amazon UK

 

As part of the blog tour, there is a giveaway running to win either a paperback copy of an ecopy of this book, so be sure to check out some of the other stops on the blog tour for your chance to win.

Another Rebecca Blog Tour Poster

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** My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Anna hasn’t set foot in Glasgow for ten years. And for very good reasons…

Anna, a criminology lecturer, returns to Glasgow from Rome during the coldest winter in memory. While out with her best friend from school, Anna has a chance encounter with a former flame, Andrew. Tragedy strikes later that night when Anna discovers Andrew stabbed and dying on a blanket of snow.

Soon Anna finds herself at the centre of the investigation as the star witness for the police, and embarks on investigating the case herself. But Anna doesn’t realise the danger she is in and soon finds herself in trouble.

When another body shows up, who has links to the first victim, it appears that the motive may lie buried in the past.

As Anna gets closer to the truth, the killer starts closing in.

But can she solve the gruesome mystery before the killer strikes again?

My Thoughts & Review:

I do love Scottish crime fiction, there’s something about “local” settings that makes a book really come to life for me, and when I saw that this book was set in Glasgow, a city that I know well, it seemed like a good excuse to shoehorn another book into my ever growing list to read.

With some great dialogue, readers get a real feel for the lingo although some readers may struggle with some of the exchanges, but this does give characters an authentic feel, and makes Zoe one of the characters that had me laughing almost every time she opened her mouth.
The plot is interesting and I have to admit that I didn’t quite know where it was leading me or where it might end up.
Originally from Glasgow, Anna has returned to help her friend celebrate her birthday, not knowing that the jolly events will lead to her being a suspect in a murder investigation. With the police convinced that Anna is somehow involved, she sets out to find out what happened and why. Unfortunately for her, a second victim is found, and she is placed firmly in the sights of the detectives.
I really didn’t take to the detectives at all, they came across as quite old fashioned, but I do wonder if perhaps part of their technique was to aggravate a suspect into revealing something unintentionally …
Initially, Anna was quite a hard character to take to, something about her screamed standoffish, rude and a bit strange. But as you get into this book, you realise that there’s more to this character, there are explanations for her ways and it soon makes sense.

This is a solid and interesting debut novel, and I would be keen to read more by this author in the future.

You can buy a copy of In The Silence via:

Amazon UK

 

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It’s always a pleasure to welcome an indie author to join me on a Friday to fly the flag and raise a cheer for indie publishing, and today I joined by Rebecca Howie.
Rebecca is the author of the Sam Beckett mystery series which features a 17-year-old private investigator. The Game Begins and A Scorned Woman are both available for purchase now!


Author Feature:

Rebecca Howie is a procrastinating writer from Scotland, who prefers spending her time in fictional worlds rather than the real one.

She self-published her first novel, The Game Begins, at 18, and it reached 2nd in the Teen and Young Adult Detective category on Amazon after its release in February 2016.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

I think that’s probably being able to write all the time, because I love planning new stories, and seeing where they end up.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  

The editing. By the time I get round to final revisions, I can type whole passages with my eyes shut because I’ve read them so many times, and the last thing I want to do is read the whole thing from the start again.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

I’d quite like to have written the Harry Potter books, because it still impresses me how developed the magical world is. I think it’s amazing how much there is to learn about, and how much people still love it even after twenty years.

I’d love to be able to capture readers’ interest like that.

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

If I’m not writing, I’m either reading, researching, or plotting, which I’ve only recently started to do. For my first book, I only made an outline after I was already halfway through, but when I started A Woman Scorned, I knew I’d have to get over my aversion to being organised because there were so many details I needed to remember for the ending.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

While working on The Game Begins, I wrote whenever I could find the time, but since I was serious about getting its sequel written, I started taking a few hours every morning to write or plan, so now that’s become a ritual I observe every morning unless I have a really good excuse for being unable to.

I can’t write if there’s too much noise, so silence is important if I want to make progress with whatever I’m working on, and I need to be at my desk in my room, with the door shut- which does nothing to make my room any quieter, so I suppose that’s just as much a part of my routine as writing in the morning.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

I’m working on the third book in my Sam Beckett Mysteries, but it doesn’t have a release date yet, and after I finish, I’ll either be starting the fourth, or working on something completely new.

 

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

My latest book is called A Woman Scorned, and it’s the second in my Sam Beckett Mysteries series, which follows 17-year-old Sam Beckett as she tries to uncover the truth behind her dad’s car crash.

A Woman Scorned picks right up as Sam is struggling to deal with the consequences of the choices she made in the first book, and this time, she’s faced with the murder of a therapist, and the psychological consequences of the ending of her first case.

The series has been described by a reader as ‘Taggart meets Veronica Mars’, so if you liked either of those shows, or are just looking for a YA novel that’s a bit different, you could give The Game Begins and A Woman Scorned a try.

 

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be? 

Reviews are so important to authors, and if you have a few minutes to spare, consider leaving one on Amazon or Goodreads. It lets other people know how much you loved the book.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://rebeccahowiebooks.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccah2016/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebeccah2016

 

A huge thank you to Rebecca for joining me today and sharing a little about the brain behind the books, it’s always fun to find out more about an author’s routine and I completely agree about the Harry Potter series, it really is such a wonderfully well developed world that draws readers in..

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** My thanks to Orenda Books and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s, death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed… When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought she knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

After He Died is an unpredictable and intense read, it’s expertly plotted, has striking characterisation and is a damned good read.

If you’ve read any of Michael Malone’s books you will be aware of just how skilled this author is at setting a scene, making a reader feel that they’ve been transported into the book and facing the situation alongside the characters, but in this book, he’s somehow gone beyond that.  The way that Paula has been written means that readers are experiencing her grief with her, they are able to feel her desperation as she tries to make sense of what is happening around her. If this strong character wasn’t enough, there is another striking figure that stands out, Cara. Her personality, her job, everything about her screams intrigue, and the more time I spent reading about her, the more I liked her.
Equally, the settings are just as fantastically written, so vivid and atmospheric. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve added another place to my list for book related adventures!

One of the best things about this book was the way that it kept me guessing, there are a few authors I can always rely on to give me enough information to keep me hooked without overdoing it, and Malone is definitely one! Masterfully, he weaves mystery and trickery throughout the beautifully written narrative. I had no idea whether characters were trustworthy, whether narrators were reliable, what lay ahead in the darkness that loomed, but I did know that I wasn’t able to put this book down for long.

This is an addictive read that has everything I look for in a domestic noir thriller!

After He Died Blog Tour Poster

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Published: 4 May 2017

Description:

How far would you go to save your reputation? The stunning new noir thriller from the author of the bestselling The Missing One and The Other Child. Perfect for fans of I Let You Go and Lie With Me.

Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.

Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia’s book is based. She has now become Olivia’s unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.

As events move between London, Sussex and the idyllic South of France, the relationship between these two women grows more entangled and complex. Then a bizarre act of violence changes everything.

The Night Visitor is a compelling exploration of ambition, morality and deception that asks the question: how far would you go to save your reputation?

My Thoughts & Review:

“The Night Visitor” is the first book by Lucy Atkins that I’ve read, and if I’m honest I really had no idea what to expect when I picked this up.  I’d seen a fair bit of praise for this book and was curious to see if it lived up to the hype.

Following two characters, Olivia Sweetman and Vivian Tester, the author expertly weaves an intricate plot that will leave readers stunned, the story makes for uncomfortable reading in places but it is also spectacularly clever.  The way in which this book has been written is magnificent, each word, each phrase, each nuance is used for maximum effect and is perfectly placed to ensure that readers are entranced under Atkins spell.
Olivia Sweetman is an interesting character who on the surface appears to have the quintessential perfect life.  She is a highly successful academic, a minor celebrity, has a happy marriage and three children.  But below the surface there is tension bubbling, from the very beginning it is clear there is something bothering her, and the relationships around her are not as stable as they might seem.
Vivian Tester, well there’s a character that I found incredibly difficult to work out.  A true hat tip to Atkins here, as this must have been a character that took time and work to get just right on paper.  Vivian Tester is cold, distant, blunt and for want of a better word, strange.  She likes routine, and does not like anyone upsetting it.  She clearly has a secret or two to hide, but what could be behind her sinister aura.
Both of these women make for unreliable narrators, but it’s up to the reader to decide which is the most unreliable……

At times there is a claustrophobic feel to reading this book, suspicion runs rife throughout the plot, there are secrets being kept that could potentially ruin the lives of many and there is an underlying menace that presents in many forms – the book perfectly titled when you consider the events in the tower in France and Vivian’s terrifying nightmares.  All of this combines to form an incredibly rich and atmospheric read, and one that is filled with intrigue.

The attention to detail in the writing absolutely blew me away, Lucy Atkins has clearly spent a lot of time researching her subject matter, intricate details given about dung beetles, the publishing world and academia add a real feeling of authenticity as well as providing fascinating in-depth reading.

A wonderfully gripping thriller, that haunts the reader long after they’ve turned the final pages.

My thanks to Alainna Hadjigeorgiou and Quercus Books for the opportunity to read this book and take part in the blog tour.

You can buy a copy of The Night Visitor via:

Amazon
Wordery
The Book Depository

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you to join me today to celebrate indie publishing with Saira Viola, her novel Crack Apple and Pop was published by Fahrenheit Press in June 2018, and has been the book of the moment with a great blog tour with damppebbles this week.

 

Description:

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Tony is a handsome young boxer is forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.

Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.

Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.

All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.

Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.

The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.

A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.
Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…

You can buy a copy of Crack, Apple & Pop via:

Fahrenheit Press

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Author Feature: Saira Viola.jpg

Saira Viola is an acclaimed novelist, poet, and song lyricist. From her early poetic experimentation with language, image and sound (a technique she has dubbed sonic scatterscript) to her novelistic ventures into the dark, absurd world of contemporary crime fiction, Viola’s work pulses with iconoclastic brio that mischievously blasts the golden calves of our times. Literary Heavyweight Benjamin Zephaniah, has praised her ‘twisted beautiful imagination,’ and polymathic genius, Heathcote Williams (RIP) her ‘hypnotic explosive’, writing style. Twice Nominated for Best of The Net 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee 2017 Rascal Magazine. Viola’s poetry collection Flowers of War debuted at the New York Poetry Festival and published by UB Press. Novels Jukebox (Fahrenheit Press) Crack Apple and Pop (Fahrenheit Press) Viola is a regular contributor to counterculture magazines Gonzo Today and International Times.

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author ?

The sense of the unknown. You can go anywhere your imagination, and your memories take you.  A little bit of truth dust and boom: You open the doors to different worlds and immerse yourself in the lives of the characters you’re creating  or characters triggered by history,  real people, lurid dreams. Even labels for cat food in supermarket aisles can spark a train of  thought in your mind leading to a  potential story .

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author ?

The horror of sometimes  feeling like a naked trapeze artist balancing a coke bottle on your  head. Fizz fizz pop! You drop -with absolutely nothing to say.

If you could have written any book what would it be about and why ?

Not a book but :

I  wish I’d written, and choreographed the Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky or Marvin Gaye’s sublime classic What’s Going On?

How do you spend your time when not writing?

I’m  always writing unless I’m sleeping when I’m dreaming in cinematic stories!  Much of my work has a visceral, rhythmic feel, and lucid dreams can play a part  in the writing  process. Although dreams tend to be imagistic, a dream can creep into my conscience, and materialize  a line, a sentence, and even a chapter. It seems that everything I do revolves around writing. Even when I’ve volunteered for social causes,  I find myself writing: I have worked as a volunteer helping young adults to read and am part of a grassroots initiative providing books to prisons, reform schools, orphanages, mobile libraries, and  pop up libraries in socially deprived  neighbourhoods. And for years I have been writing  letters to prison inmates for Amnesty International .

Do you have a set routine for writing- rituals you have to observe ?

No. No rituals of any kind.  I snatch whatever time I can, and scribble away.
Writing where I can when I can . Right now I’m  sofa -slumming so I write perched on  a cushion  laboriously punching words onto my phone.  In between subway stops, waiting in hospital corridors (surprisingly tranquil) hoofing to grocery stores. Anywhere -everywhere.  It’s not ideal, and Virginia Woolf’s famous quote from her essay A Room of One’s Own still resonates but I’m making good progress.

What’s on the horizon ?

I’m currently writing the closing chapters of a new novel American Scandal . It’s a crime story set in Los Angeles featuring an all female punk band, and a fast -thinking mean- mouthed  street-smart female mobster, and entertainment  impresario. The book looks at the ugliness lurking behind the celebrity fuelled New Age posturing, and post modern spangle. Some of the characters struggle for identity, and there is an eruption of racism that threatens the fairy tale promise of the American Dream .  Everyone’s making deals, and payoffs . Venal reaming makes the world go round. Whether it’s law, sex, or money they all  hunger for their fifteen minutes- but riches, and status- changing fame always come at a price.

Any pearls of wisdom for your readers?

Ha! Wisdom comes from experience, not interviews. Just pray your liver holds out!

What’s your current book about and why should we read it ?

Crack Apple and Pop (published by Fahrenheit 13 an impress of Fahrenheit Press) is a prime slice of Brit  Noir.  A crime story set in the glitzy streets of London.  A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine -dusted starlets, demi -celebs, and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling, and everyone’s getting high. A city where money creates its’ own morality.  It may intrigue, disgust, and shock ! Like discovering a bleeding  pinkie  in a velvet -ribbed chocolate box.  Lurking beneath the flashy real estate,  high end boutiques and bright lights are some of the most debauched,  dangerous and dirty  parts of subterranean London . The novel offers a back stage pass to the sleazy machinations of the city’s connivers puppeteers and fixers. Reading about it imminently more fun than living it!

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sairaviola

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Website: http://sairaviola.net/

Amazon Author Page

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