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Interview with Mikey Campling author of Trespass

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About the Book

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 Title: Trespass
Author: Mikey Campling
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
Publisher: Booktrope

Three stories, separated by five thousand years, united by one deadly secret:

Somewhere, sometime, the stone is waiting.

Trespass combines gritty, edgy modern-day action with a thrilling adventure across time. Discovered over 5,000 years ago, the Darkeningstone affects everyone who finds it.

Jake was too smart to believe the rumours about Scaderstone Pit, but now he’s in more danger than he could ever have imagined.

In 1939, as World War II looms, the lives of two men will be changed forever.

Over 5,000 years ago, a hermit will keep the stone a secret. But someone is watching him – someone with murder in his heart.

When it finds you, what will you see when you look into The Darkeningstone?

Author Bio

mikeycampling

Mikey grew up in North Yorkshire, but he refuses to be classified according to Northern stereotypes, which is just the sort of bloody-minded attitude you’d expect from a Yorkshireman.  During his first day at school, he discovered the wondrous world that is The Book Corner, and he has never really left it.

He now lives in Devon, on the edge of the wilds of Dartmoor, with his wife, two children, and a black Labrador called Lottie who will only bark when she’s asleep. And lots and lots of books.

You can find out more on Mikey’s website: mikeycampling.com

You can also get two free books, free audio stories and free artwork by joining his mailing list at: mikeycampling.com/giveaway

Links

http://mikeycampling.com/
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INTERVIEW

Tell us about you
I grew up in North Yorkshire, near the North York Moors, and that must have had some influence on me. We Yorkshiremen tend to be fairly stubborn and straight talking, and we like to think that we get stuck in and make a good job of things. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about writing, it’s that you need a damn good work ethic. I spend a lot of time rewriting, editing and polishing. And then, when one book is finished, you pick up a blank sheet of paper and start all over again. That might put some people off writing, but I love it.

I now live in Devon, on the edge of the wilds of Dartmoor, with my wife, two children, and a black Labrador called Lottie who, for some reason, can only bark when she’s asleep.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Although it may sound a bit twee, I can honestly say that my family are my greatest inspiration. I spent several years as a stay at home dad, and while it was harder work than many people might think, it was a wonderful opportunity to play a full role in my children’s journey through life. Even now, although the kids are much older, we still make time to be together as a family every day.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’m torn here between choosing a great scientist or a wonderful writer. I think I’ll settle on Charles Dickens. He had such tremendous energy and drive that I’m sure a day in his company would be a roller coaster ride. I’d love to tag along to one of his famous readings. He didn’t just know how to write, he knew how to put on a show and how to thrill an audience. If I had to pick someone living, I’d quite like to go on an expedition with Ray Mears. I find his survival skills quite fascinating and I’d love him to show me how some of our earliest ancestors lived and thrived with only basic materials and their own skill. We’d have to go somewhere nice though – I draw the line at tropical jungles full of snakes and bugs.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I don’t want to drop any spoilers so I’ll try and give a flavour. The Darkeningstone books have interconnecting stories that take place over several different time zones at once and they span 5,000 years. I began by asking myself a simple question: What if my mobile phone rang, but there was no caller? What if I’d strayed too close to a mysterious energy source? I like the idea that some places feel mysterious and powerful – they seem to resonate through time. I’m fascinated by the dramatic events of history but also by people’s daily lives. I like to try and imagine what it must have been like to live in those times. I started to wonder about the lives of people 5,000 years ago. Their lives were shaped by the basic forces of nature. They must’ve lived, worked and thought in ways we find hard to imagine. But what if there was some sort of portal – a doorway that could offer a glimpse into those distant times? And if a modern day person had that experience, how would they react? What would be the ramifications throughout history? And so the Darkeningstone was born.

Tell us your writing process
I started out by writing longhand but now I only use pen and paper for notes and planning. There’s quite a lot of planning for the Darkeningstone books as I have to make sure that all the timelines connect properly and that I don’t cheat the reader. They aren’t easy books to write but hey, that’s what I’m here for. I don’t mind putting the work in, so long as the finished story is fast-paced, richly complex and absorbing.

I do some outlining but the way I really love to write is just to let the story flow. I know it isn’t a fashionable view, but to me, if I over-plan, it kills some of the fun. I like to discover the characters as the story unfolds. And as the characters come to life, they shape the story. I like to think of us going on a journey together. I write on a PC using either Word or Scrivener, and I write whenever I can. I like to get up early on weekends so I can write in peace while everyone else is having a lie in. When the first draft is complete, I go back over it and rewrite it and rewrite it until it’s as good as I can make it. It’s not fair on the reader to rush the process. I’m not churning out off the shelf stories here, I’m crafting something that I hope will stand the test of time. Did I succeed in that? I’ll let you judge for yourselves.

Do you have any advice on what has and has not worked for you that you can share with aspiring & upcoming authors?
This is hard to answer because the situation seems to change by the week. What didn’t work was launching work that wasn’t as good as it could be. I made that rookie mistake and it’s my only regret in my publishing journey. I’d advise every writer to hire a professional editor. If you can’t afford one, then wait until you can, but never launch a book that isn’t ready.

I’ve had some success with making a book permafree. I wrote a novella as an add-on story to the Darkeningstone novels. It was quite hard to slot a new set of timelines into the existing stories without dropping spoilers or confusing readers, but I think that the book Breaking Ground, is a nice addition to the other books. It adds a layer of extra detail to the existing books, it’s a quick read, and it gives people a taste of my work for free. And all it cost me was time and effort.

My advice is simple – keep writing. The more material you have to promote, the easier it becomes. I’d also advise writers to get going with their email list. Giving away work is a good way to attract readers and that can be combined with Facebook adverts to attract attention (check out Mark Dawson’s free video course – he can explain this better than I can). I use Mailpoet (a WordPress plugin) to manage my newsletters and I recommend it. I send the emails via Mandrill (a free service from Mailchimp).

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. When I went to visit my first school at the age of four, everyone thought they’d lost me, but I was sitting quietly in the book corner. I’d never seen anywhere so magical, and some might say, when they see my huge and sprawling collection of books, that I’ve never really left it. My first efforts at story writing, outside of school work, was to try and create my own versions of Kipling’s Just So Stories in an exercise book. I’m sure my versions weren’t very original but I remember the thrill of conjuring stories from my imagination.

Tell us about your main character
My main character in Trespass is a teenage boy called Jake. He begins the story as a fairly typical, disenchanted teenager, but we soon learn that, like all real people, he’s a complex character trying to come to terms with growing up, his relationships with his estranged parents, the importance of friendships – there’s even a hint at a potential romance. We also discover how he reacts when confronted with real danger and the threat of terrible violence. Jake has to grow up very fast indeed and leave his childhood behind him.

What are you working on next?
The next Darkeningstone novel. I’m currently nearing the end of the first rewrite. Its working title is Outcast although that may change before publication, and like Trespass, it’s a full-length novel. You’ll meet some of your favourite Darkeningstone characters in this book, but there are lots of new ones to encounter, and many unexpected twists and turns. The last thing I’d want to do is trot out a ho-hum book just to fill the series – that would be cheating the readers. The book has to bring new life, new characters and new situations into play.

There may be a fourth Darkeningstone book in the future. I originally planned to write a trilogy, but although Outcast will be the third book in the series, Breaking Ground is only a novella and I may want to explore the possibilities of the Darkeningstone in greater depth. I also have a collection of darkly suspenseful short stories coming out in summer 2015 called A Dark Assortment. After that, who knows? I have so many other great ideas for completely different books rattling around in my head that anything could happen. Watch this space folks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m a pretty keen cook so we eat well in our house and I’ve almost banished the takeaways from our table. I’m not a puritan about it, I’ve just got to the point where I look at premade food in the supermarket and think I could do better myself. We also have a couple of allotments where we grow our own fruit and veg. I even brew my own wine, and though my winemaking efforts are a bit haphazard, the end result usually turns out to be pretty strong.

Who are your favorite authors?
I read very widely so this is difficult. I do have a few books on permanent standby duty by my bed: The Complete Works of Saki, Vintage Thurber by James Thurber, and The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Those are all books I can dip into when I’m between novels. I like to read classics such as Dickens and Thomas Hardy, but I’m also a fan of modern writers, e.g. Hugh Howey’s Wool Trilogy. I like Iain Banks for his sheer originality, but I’ll happily read children’s authors such as Michael Morpurgo and David Almond. Douglas Adams has had a massive effect on my teenage years, so I must mention the Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy books. It’s a terrible thing that Douglas Adams died so young – he was such an original voice and I’m sure he would’ve gone on to share more of his wonderful ideas with us all. 

I could go on all day. Let’s get a coffee and a slice of cake and talk about books – what could be better?

What do you like to do with your free time?
I do enjoy my daily walks with Lottie, our black Labrador. I complain when it’s pouring with rain and the fields are awash with mud, but it does me good to get outside and recharge my creative batteries. A walk is always good, but it’s more fun when we take Lottie along. I also have a weakness for browsing through second-hand bookshops, though I’ve been trying to limit my paperback purchases since I also started reading on my Kindle.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
After the next Darkeningstone book, I’d like to go back to a dystopian sci-fi book that I’ve been working on in the background. It’s set in a future where people live in isolated pockets on high ground (I won’t tell you why) and of course, there are conflicts and adventures to be had whenever people are forced into living together.

Any final thoughts?
I feel very privileged when someone takes the time to read my work. And if someone makes the extra effort and leaves a review or contacts me in some way, then I feel honoured by their attention. We all lead busy lives and have many calls on our time, so when someone invests their time in reading my work, I can’t tell you how much that means to me. And as for lovely reviews – well, they’re better than riches. A nice review or comment on twitter will always make my day. So while you’re here, reading this interview, please accept my thanks for your time. Basically, you rock.

 

Goodreads Giveaway – Blind Sight

Goodreads Giveaway – Blind Sight by Marc Douglas.

6 people will each win a copy.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blind Sight by Marc   Douglas

Blind Sight

by Marc Douglas

Giveaway ends April 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Giveaway – A Cross In Time

Just in time for Easter!

Goodreads Giveaway – A Cross In Time by Richard W. Black. Contest open to US Residents only.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Cross In Time by Richard W. Black

A Cross In Time

by Richard W. Black

Giveaway ends April 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Interview With …. S.M. Stryker

Hey readers. Today I chat with romance author, S.M. Stryker.

Shelly (SM), hails from Oregon WA; Has been married almost 28 years and has 4 grown daughters and 2 grandkids.

S. M. Stryker

Shelly, thanks for being my guest here today. Please tell our readers a little something about yourself.
To say I grew up in a dysfunctional family is putting it mildly. Although at the time it was the only thing I knew. I escaped by getting married right out of school which I thought was the only way to escape. However, that put me into another type of dysfunction. After five years and a child, I knew she was more important than I was, and soon I was on my own again. I always knew that my life would make a good story or soap opera, and I thought about writing, but I had a child to take care of and everything I did, I did with her in mind.

I never had a childhood; I started working at a very early age and didn’t stop until I remarried. We had agreed that we wanted to raise our own children. 25 years later and 3 more girls, I started to think about my life and the idea of writing again. I wasn’t an avid reader as I didn’t have the time. Between the girls’ school and sports, I ran non-stop for them, but once they were on their own, I needed some distraction other than work.

I had returned to the work force several years earlier to a career that was flexible to the girls’ schedule. Once my youngest was out of the house in college, I was offered a job that gave me the security I needed.

I had picked up a book to read during my lunch hour and found that I wasn’t the only one that lived a dysfunctional childhood. I contacted a few authors that I had read and asked them questions about writing, and they gave me their advice and in April of 2014, I came home from work, pulled out my computer and started to write. This was part of my story; I sat in front of my computer pulling old memories of my childhood and teen years. It was hard, but my hope was to let other people know that if they had gone through what I had, they could come out the other side. That was the start of how I started writing.

Every story I have written has a part of my life in it.

Stolen Innocence

Shelly, What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Currently, it is writing. I find that I am not a very nice person when I go through withdrawals from writing. I love it. I love my characters and the stories they live.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I don’t know. I don’t ever want to be that person that weighs down another out of obligation. I would want them to want to hang out with me and not for just a day, but out of friendship.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
It’s about a girl that finds herself on the streets and what she has to do to survive, how she finds love and loses it and the friendships she finds along the way and how what she thought about a past love wasn’t really, what happened. It a story of second chances.

What are you working on next?
A story about a man that has put his life into his work. His parents are his only friends and what happens to him when they die in an accident. What helps him cope and what gives him the will to live and how he is shown love, the kind of love that he has never had before.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I don’t think so. I’m just a wife, mother, and grandmother that loves to tell stories to make people feel good. To let them know that life isn’t fair but they can come out the other side and be a survivor and not a victim

Who are your favorite authors?
Sylvan Reynard, JC Reed, HM Ward, Vi Keeland, Jasinda Wilder, EL James

What do you like to do with your free time?
Write, every second I get.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I am currently writing about some of the characters in my second book Never Forgotten Love. Book 3 Loved and Belonged (in editing not 100% on the name as of yet) is about two of the characters in the book. He is an ex-marine, she a young runaway looking for her mother. This book should be out in the next two months. My current book I am writing, book 4, doesn’t have a name as of yet, but it is also about a couple that are in my past books. He was introduced in Never Forgotten and she was introduced in book 3 (Loved and Belonged) these are not ‘series’ book but more sequels. You don’t have to get Never Forgotten to know what is happening in Loved and Belonged. Etc.

Awesome. Where can people find you on the web?
https://www.facebook.com/Author.S.M.Stryker
http://smstryker.wix.com/smstryker

Although I have many social media places, I am primarily on Facebook.

Any final thoughts?
I never though I would enjoy writing so much. I lost my job of three years because of my first book Stolen Innocence. They didn’t like the content and always carried a composition book with me for ideas and phrases that I might come up with. It was eight months before I could get a job. Although Stolen Innocence is very mild compared to what I lived, it was my life. I changed my name not wanting others to know who I was and what I had gone through. I realized that I was doing the same thing I accused others of doing, sweeping sexual assault under the carpet. I was a victim all over again. Once it was published, I didn’t’ care, I wanted people to know what things I had gone through in my childhood and if I could help one person that is all that mattered to me.

Do I want to be a well-known author, Hell Yes! but that’s not why I wrote Stolen, it was healing for me, and even though Amazon banned it a couple times due to incest (I had to change that to an adoptive father) and water down the scene of abuse, people need to be aware that sexual abuse happens all the time, we have to start listening to our children, it might not be in words but actions, changes in personality. Don’t sweep it under the carpet because that person that might have hurt your child is a nice guy and that he would never do such a thing…He’s a pastor, and uncle, a brother. Stop worrying about the scary man because it is usually someone you know. (off my soapbox now)

Thanks Shelly for being my guest here today. Readers, if you want to grab a copy of Shelly’s books, you can get them on Amazon:

Stolen Innocence
Never Forgotten Love
and don’t forget to connect with the author on Goodreads, and Twitter.

Never Forgotten Love

 

Goodreads Giveaway – The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One

Goodreads Giveaway. Starting March 1

Win an Autographed copy of The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume 1 by Lee Mavin!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One by Lee J. Mavin

The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One

by Lee J. Mavin

Giveaway ends March 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Guest Author – Ken Maxon

Guest Author – Ken Maxon
Books: A Chapter Finished, A Page Turned, The Sunset Will Come Back; Give It Wings And Let It Fly Away
Publisher: ASJ Publishing
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Ken Maxon - Poet

Ken has been a professional broadcaster, newscaster, production director, operations manager and voice over artist since 1988, hosted an 80s retro show, a morning talk show, afternoon drive classic country show as well as several other formats and shifts.

He’s a proud father of a teenage daughter who thinks his job is “really cool” and her name reflects his view on life- “Hope”.

Ken resides in the mountains of rural central Pennsylvania in the middle of nowhere with about a dozen cats that call him “meow”.

A Chapter Finished, A Page Turned, The Sunset Will Come Back, and Give It Wings And Let It Fly Away are available in Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook.

The Alphabet Gang – Tara Mitchell

The Alphabet Gang
by Tara Mitchell

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Blurb: The Alphabet Gang is a prequel to Annabelle’s Kingdom. It tells the story of young Annabelle, her family, friends and one very influential woman, Mrs. Hobbs. Throughout the story Annabelle is faced challenges and sadness. She discovers that tomorrow can be a better day through the love and support of her young friends and Mrs. Hobbs. She also finds the strength to help her father embrace life and give them both a chance at happiness.

the alphabet gang_ tara mitchell

 

Available on GooglePlay, Kindle, Amazon.com and all book e-retailers.

 

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