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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Proops’

Hard to believe that we’re half way through the year already, and as we’ve hit this milestone, I figured that it might be a good time to round up some of the great indie books that I’ve featured so far and some of the great authors who have given their time to take part in author interviews or written guest posts for us to read.

Links to each of the Friday features are below, or alternatively if you want to use the search function at the top of the page, just type in the name of the book or author to bring up the relevant page.

Feature Links:
Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech (book feature)
The Twitches Meet a Puppy by Hayley Scott (book feature)
Fractured Winter by Alison Baillie (book feature)
Inborn by Thomas Enger (book feature)
Roz White (author feature)
Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz (book feature)
The Courier by Kjell Old Dahl (book feature)
The Red Light Zone by Jeff Zycinski (book feature)
A Letter From Sarah by Dan Proops (book and author feature)
The Silver Moon Storybook by Elaine Gunn (book feature)
Runaway by Claire MacLeary (book feature)
Sunwise by Helen Steadman (book feature)
The Lives Before Us by Juliet Conlin (book feature)
The Red Gene by Barbara Lamplugh (book and author feature)
Death at The Plague Museum by Lesley Kelly (book feature)
Heleen Kist (author feature)
White Gold by David Barker (book feature)
Sonny and Me by Ross Sayers (book and author feature)
Claire MacLeary (author feature)
A History of Magic and Witchcraft: Sabbats, Satan and Superstitions in the West by Frances Timbers (book feature)
The Killer Across The Table by John E. Douglas & Mark Olshaker (book feature)
Maggie Christensen (author feature)

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I’m thrilled to welcome you to a special Indie Publishing Friday , today I have two fantastic books that I want to share with you. Two vastly different books, but two brilliant ones.

I’ve also got a great Q&A with one of the authors to share.

The book in this post is A Letter From Sarah by Dan Proops. It was published by Urbane Publications on 7th March and is available from Waterstones, Amazon etc.

  • Title: A Letter From Sarah
  • Author: Dan Proops
  • Publisher: Urbane Publications
  • Publication Date: 7th March 2019

Early copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

Adam’s sister, Sarah, has been missing for seven years, but he hasn’t given up hope of finding her. He is a sculptor and lives with his bedridden father who is a bully and a curmudgeon.

One morning, as the anniversary of Sarah’s disappearance nears, Adam receives a letter from her and she is apparently alive and well, living in New York. Adam travels to Brooklyn to search for Sarah as he’s desperate to see her, but she seems determined to avoid him.

Sarah’s letters arrive weekly, but she continues to remain elusive. Adam is perplexed by Sarah’s requests for secrecy, as is his father and his girlfriend, Cassandra.

He is determined to find her, whatever the cost to his wellbeing, health and sanity….

My Thoughts:

A Letter From Sarah is an exploration of human emotion and the bonds of family/friends. In this book, Dan Proops takes great care to weave a story that illustrates the best and worst character traits a human can possess. There is obsession, love, betrayal, faith, and loyalty to name but a few, but somehow Proops manages to balance these perfectly to showcase a cast of characters that are distinctly different from each other, acting in ways you might not always agree with or understand. With such strong characterisation it’s hard not to feel some pull towards Adam, through his desperate need to find answers about his sister Sarah, readers watch him slowly become obsessed with the letters that begin to arrive. The very idea that his sister is alive and living in New York buoy him up, but at the same time, he guards his heart against being hurt. There have been plenty time wasters over the years, ones who have pretended to be Sarah or have information about her and left Adam and his father no better off for answers.

The writing is pitched just right, at times it feels as though events are seen through the eyes of Adam, it feels as though you are following his muddled train of thought as he tries to piece together information from the letters, memories of childhood and process events around him. It feels like his mind is unravelling at times, and his slow descent into a dark abyss feels all too real, the people around him taking advantage of his generosity or kind nature make this all too brutal to witness sometimes.

It’s an addictive read and one that I found myself thinking about when I wasn’t reading it, why was Sarah keen to evade him, why was Adam treated so harshly by his father, how would this all impact on Adam’s relationship with his girlfriend Cassandra … so many questions swirled around in my mind about this book and haunted my thoughts as I read.
A truly remarkable read and one that I think would be perfect for book groups, the possibilities for discussion are endless!


Author Feature:

Dan Proops has been a full time writer for six years and has completed four novels and a memoir. Previous to this he was a professional artist, organising a one man show at the age of fourteen. He has had many exhibitions over a long career and his artwork was purchased by internationally acclaimed art dealer, Eric Franck. His artwork appeared frequently in the national press and his painting was featured in Image of the Week in the Times. One of his exhibitions was previewed in the Telegraph by columnist Colin Gleadell.

Dan is a Twitter influencer and has a following of 22,000; last year 1.2 million people read his tweets, and he currently attends the advanced writing class at Morley College, run by the renowned radio four dramatist Mike Walker. Dan Proops is also the grandson of legendary advice columnist, Marjorie Proops. He lives and works in London.

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

I love being an author. I can create a place, populated by characters and wonderful locations. It’s like creating my own world where I control the actions of my people, their dreams and ambitions. I give them dilemmas, emotions and difficulties that are sometimes hard to overcome. And their unique traits are woven into the fabric of my story.

I can envisage, in detail, my characters’ tone of voice, how they act, and their demeanours. And I love description, perhaps a building painted liquid bronze in the sunshine. Characterisation, description and plot all intertwine to create my own personal universe.

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

As I write a lovely sentence, at the back of my mind, I wonder if anyone has Tweeted on my notifications page, so I’ll just have a five second peek. (really, this time just five seconds).

An hour later, I’ve lost my place and can’t remember what I was writing about! The other problem I face as an author is strict discipline, which involves sticking to only five double espressos a day, which is hard at the best of times. Coffee is the fuel of writing.

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

A novel that I would love to have written is Orwell’s first novel, Burmese Days. He served as a policeman in Burma and the descriptions of the Burmese jungle are beautiful and evocative. I particularly like the protagonist, Flory, a vulnerable character who’s beleaguered with the racism of his members club; he struggles to find his footing as he’s close friends with a Burmese doctor.

How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?

I enjoy reading, and meeting up with friends. I also enjoy meeting with fellow authors to discuss writing.

I’m also an avid PC gamer and enjoy story-run fantasy games that draw me in o a fascinating narrative.

Now my first novel has been published I’m really enjoying promoting A Letter From Sarah and am thrilled that an Indie bookshop is stocking the novel. For me, seeing my novel in a bookshop is as important as my online presence, connecting with my Twitter followers and making sure my website is up to date. And I’m really excited about blog tours.

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

About ten in the morning, I go to a particular café that I like, flick through a newspaper, then I read some fiction for an hour. After that I begin writing. I work for four hours, then I take a break and try for another hour.

What’s on the horizon? 

I’m currently working on a new novel. I’m always excited about the book I’m currently writing, and this particular manuscript needs a thorough edit. I’m quite ruthless when it comes to editing, and can spend up to eight months perfecting a book. The first draft feels like having fun at a party, after a few beers, when you can say anything you want, without worrying about the consequences!

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

I’d advise any reader to try out books from different decades. I love Orwell, Grahame Greene, and F. Scott Fitzgerald as I really like the style of writing in those times. So, if you’re a crime addict, try an Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle or Daphne Du Maurier. For me, reading the classics is as important as perusing contemporary literature.

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

Here’s a brief description of the novel: for seven years Adam has been tormented by the disappearance of his beloved sister Sarah. And then, with no warning he receives a letter from her. She refuses to meet but won’t explain why. Adam fears she’s in trouble and sets off to find her, but the harder he looks the more elusive she becomes.

A Letter From Sarah is not autobiographical in the strict sense, but I was inspired to write it after falling out with my only sibling.

I think that anyone who likes psychological thrillers, mystery, suspense would enjoy the book.


A huge thank you to Dan for joining me today for a chat, it’s a huge honour to welcome indie authors to The Quiet Knitter blog to speak about their books, their writing habits and find out what their next project might be about.

To find out more about Dan and his books, check out his website or Twitter!
Website: http://dan-proops.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dan_Proops




 


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