Meet Virginia Moffatt

JQM LITERARY CHAT Welcomes Virginia Moffatt

 

Tell us about yourself:

I am a 53 year old writer who lives in Oxford. I always wanted to write from an early age, but life and work kept getting in the way. It wasn’t till I took a career break when I was 39 that I began to take it seriously. Since then I’ve done a Diploma in Creative Writing, and had four books published: a flash fiction collection, a novel, an essay collection I edited and a Lent course. I’d love to write full time, but alas, don’t make enough money for that, so work as a procurement and contracts manager for a group of schools, while scribbling away in my spare time. I am married to a peace activist, Chris Cole, who runs a small NGO researching and campaigning against British drones. When I first started writing properly, my children were aged between 1and 5, they are now aged15-19 and so my writing life is a lot easier these days.

 

Tell us about your book:

 

Echo Hall is a story about the nature of unresolved conflict and how if it is left untackled problems resurface from generation to generation. it tells the story of three women, Rachel, Elsie, and Ruth who experience love, loss and conflict during times of war. the question it is posing is history doomed to repeat itself, or can we find another way?

 

 

What influenced you to write your current genre?

 

echo hall is a multi genre novel. It is gothic, historical, political and family saga. I didn’t really choose the genres, the story did. the gothic came first, as I was inspired to write it due to the fact I was living in a remote village  and used to imagine voices at night time.  The novel came from the thought: what would happen if those voices were real? Whose would they be?What would they be saying? So naturally I found myself in a big old country house with a family full ofsecrets. But as I began to work it out, I realised I had to go back in time, and once I had the family conflict pegged I realised I was writing historical fiction (even the 90’s which  I lived through!). When I decided which eras to set my characters in, I saw that by writing this family saga, I had the opportunity to tackle the politics of war and peace. When I began in 2004, it was a year after thesecond gulf war, so this felt like an important subject to write about. It still does.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

 

Big question! Modern authors I love are Jeanette Winterson, Marilynne Robinson, David Mitchell, Chimamanda Ngozie Adiche, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, classic authors, include Charles Dickens, the Brontes, Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy, Graham Greene, EM Forster, George Orwell, but there are loads more.

 

What are your favorite books?

 

The Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Woman in White, Our Mutual Friend, Cloud Atlas, A Prayer for Owen Meany, My Name is Red, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Gilead, Home and Lila, Alias Grace. Again, there are loads more.

 

I recently really enjoyed Their Brilliant Careers by Ryan O’Neill – it’s a literary spoof about fake Australian writers which is witty and perceptive, but also tells a cracking good story.

 

Who are your favorite literary characters?

 

Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane Eyre, Eugene Wrayburn (‘Our Mutual Friend’) until Dickens sanitises him, Crispin Hershey in David Mitchell’s, ‘The Bone Clocks’, Frodo Baggins,  John Ames (Gilead), Janie (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and one from childhood Dido Twite in Joan Aitken’s  Wolves chronicles, the first time I found a brave heroine in a children’s book.

 

Is there anything you want to share with potential readers?

 

I love nothing more than being swept away by a story, getting so immersed in the lives of the characters that they become real for me. So that’s what I want to do for my readers. I want you to be moved, involved, to be challenged in your thinking and for the book to linger in your mind  long after the last page.

 

Where can we go to learn more about you and your literary works?

You can find out about Echo Hall here: https://unbound.com/books/echo-hall

I have a blog ‘A room of my own’(https://virginiamoffattwriter.wordpress.com/) where I post about my writing, books, tv and films.  You can also follow me on twitter @aroomofmyown1 and Facebook Virginia Moffatt

 

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JQM Literary Chat Welcomes Chariss K Walker

JQM Literary Chat Welcomes Chariss K Walker

 

 

Tell us about yourself:

 

Hello, James. Thanks for having me here. As an author, I appreciate the opportunity to share my work and writing journey. I write fiction and nonfiction books with a metaphysical and visionary message. I suppose that my experience in the metaphysical arena influences all that I write. You see, I am a Reiki master/teacher and I have master’s degree in metaphysical sciences. And with over thirty years of experience, it just comes through in my writing. My fiction books share a characters growth and development as they learn to accept some aspect of their lives. My nonfiction are inspirational teachings about topics that I know well, such as chakras, meditation, spiritual gifts, and personal growth.

Chariss_K_Walker_Profile

Tell us about your book:

 

Since you asked, I will pick one of my forty-four published books to talk about today: Kaleidoscope (The Vision Chronicles, Book 1). The Vision Chronicles 8-book series is about Mike Lewis. He sees visions of future, disturbing images through a kaleidoscope but he tries to hide his ability. Once he admits that he has this gift to a close friend and psychiatrist, all hell breaks loose and Mike has to face the fact his denial didn’t keep his ability a secret. He discovers that someone has been watching him since he was a young child. Those responsible begin a hard-sell pursuit of Mike with several abduction attempts. Mike realizes he is in danger and that these people want to lock him away to study his paranormal talent. He is forced to learn martial arts to protect himself. In each succeeding book, Mike learns to accept his gift a little more. As he does, the ability changes and expands, indicated by the titles of each next book, until he no longer sees unrelated images. Suddenly, he sees visions that protect him and his friends and family.

 

The series is a slice-of-life paranormal thriller filled with suspense that is taken directly from Mike’s journals as he boldly narrates his story. The story is rich with family and life.

 

1 TVC-series

 

What influenced you to write your current genre?

 

As stated earlier, I write what I know and I know metaphysical and visionary topics. This knowledge has been gained through earing education degrees, but also through the pursuit of a rich and varied life of spiritual and personal growth.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

 

Just off the top of my head, my favorite fiction writers: Clancy, Clavell, Crichton, Patterson, and MacDonald. I also like some of the old classics, for example, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 

 

Is there anything you want to share with potential readers?

 

I have many more books inside me waiting to be written. I recently finished the A Valentine’s Day Delight (Becky Tibbs: A North Carolina Medium’s Mystery Series, Book 4) and I feel there are several more books to be written in that series.

 

Where can we go to learn more about you and your literary works?

Please visit my website and the following social media profiles:

https://www.chariss.com

https://www.facebook.com/CharissKWalkerAuthor

https://twitter.com/chariss_walker

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1984212.Chariss_K_Walker

http://www.amazon.com/Chariss-K.-Walker/e/B004QZNKRK

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/chariss-k-walker

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/chariss-k-walker.html

 

NEW RELEASE FROM BEST SELLING AUTHOR CRIS PASQUERALLE

NEW RELEASE FROM BEST SELLING AUTHOR CRIS PASQUERALLE

 

DOES GOD EXIST?
What are you living for? Who is your master? Does anyone care about what happens once their time on Earth expires? Is there life after death? And if so, what happens next?
In his latest release, Bestselling author Cris Pasqueralle dares to answer these and many other intriguing questions surrounding the existence of God and the role each and every one of us plays in the great stage play of life. In The Dialogue Book One, Cris uses a fiction discussion to both postulate about and validate the existence of God. Now available for preorder

My Thoughts on “The Fires of Heaven, Wheel of Time Book 5” by Robert Jordan

My Thoughts on “The Fires of Heaven, Wheel of Time Book 5” by Robert Jordan

I found Book 5 to be more engaging than the previous books in the series, despite spending the entire time wondering about Perin.

I am still muddling through all the minor characters, spending more time trying to remember how I know which character from when, and all the time being confused by the addition of more side characters with boring side stories that completely loose my interest.

And as a final note, I not believe that Moraine is dead, and that we have not seen the last of Lanfier.

Meet Jenny Lees

JQM LITERARY CHAT Welcomes Jenny Lees

 

White horse in water.jpgTell us about yourself:

I was born on the island of Malta and spent my first seven years in an idyllic Mediterranean family. My father was English and my mother Maltese. I adored my Maltese grandmother and spent most of those early days with her, hence O soon became bi-lingual.

 

My father was in the royal air force and after the age of seven I led a nomadic existence. We lived in Germany, Cyprus and various parts of the uk. My education was a hit and miss affair. Arriving at schools, just as end of term exams were being taken, meant I would stare at questions I didn’t have answers to and the results would relegate me to the bottom of the class. Staying anywhere for a reasonable amount of time would elevate me to being in the top three. Like most service children I learned to cope with the constant change of view from the windows, one day blue skies and palm trees, the next driving rain and bare skeletal trees. I thought this was way everyone lived their lives.

 

I was born with a passion for horses that has sustained, my parents thought I would grow out it, but once I reached the age of 60 they conceded it was a permanent affliction. In my late teens I lived in the Middle East and there the passion was heightened when I met Arabian horses. Their history was fascinating and integrated was the romance of the sheikh in the desert and battles fought on these beautiful horses.

Since a very young age, in the class room, I loved being given a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and being told to ‘write a story’. When other children would still be struggling with the first sentence I would be half way down the page. No matter which topic or subject the teacher gave, I found it easy to let my imagination run freely through to the pencil and on to the page.

Tell us about your book:

 

My book, is a love story. It follows the formative years of a very naïve convent school girl(sally) as she blunders through her first love affair, finds and loses love, discovers the joys of sex (satisfactory and less so). Sally is taken on a roller coaster of emotions by three very different lovers.

 

I wrote the first draft of the book during 2001/2002 and it lay on the shelf in my office for ten years.

Satisfied that I had ‘written a book’ I had contacted several publishers with no success. I despaired when I received contradicting letters in the same post  i.e. ‘liked the story line but not the characters’ and, ‘loved the characters but not the story line.’

 

Eventually I met a lady publisher who wanted to open a ‘fiction’ side to her non-fiction publishing house. I sent her the manuscript and she liked it, but pointed out 700,00 words was not ‘a book’ it was a door stop so I would need to re-arrange the manuscript into three or possibly four books. I suppose that’s the result of having a wild imagination and letting it out onto a blank page!

Available on Kindle UK

 

Book one Kindle cover

What influenced you to write your current genre?

 

Over the years my passion for horses, especially the Arabian horse, has led me on many adventures and into unusual situations. A friend once suggested that I write a book about my adventures with horses and it set me thinking. I decided I would attempt to write a book, but I would involve my imagination. Personally, I find books about horses quite boring. So I decided to let my imagination in on my ambitious assignment and wrap my horse experiences in a love story.

 

There was no point in writing about what I didn’t know. Setting a love story in a hospital would soon reveal my lack of knowledge of the medical profession so I set the novel in areas of the world that were familiar to me, the Middle East, Scotland and Wales and of course used my knowledge of horses to create a background to the love story.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

 

As a child Anna Sewells ‘Back Beauty’ travelled the world with me even though it made me cry every time that I read it.

 

Gilly cooper has to be high on my list, easy reading that makes me laugh. I met her at Hay festival this year (2018) and managed to chat to her. Loved her open honesty.

In recent years I haven’t really developed any favourite authors as I have been deliberately trying to read as many different authors as possible to see how they put words on the page.

 

Maeve Binchy. I love the character descriptions in her books, she brings whole villages to life.

 

What are your favorite books?

 

I don’t think I have specific ‘favourite books’. I read a book and then move on to the next one.

I enjoy love stories, laced with humour and with happy endings.

 

I  enjoy non-fiction especially auto-biographies and history books.

 

I don’t read science fiction, murders or detective stories.

 

Who are your favorite literary characters?

 

Bridget jones Ii can relate to her.

 

Is there anything you want to share with potential readers?

 

Take notes!!

 

I think it’s true, everyone has a book in them, whether it be long or short or just a compilation of short stories.  My Mediterranean grandmother was illiterate, but to sit by her side and listen to her story- telling was a constant source of education as well as entertainment. I have written those stories down. She raised ten children in Malta through the second world war. Two daughters were killed in the barrage of bombings. But it wasn’t all death and destruction, amusing tales of life in those hard times would come through in her stories.

 

Granny told me how when the sirens went off for a raid, she would go onto the roof, if it was the Italian air force, she would tell the children not to worry, it was well known that most of the time the Italian’s would drop their bombs in the sea and return home! If it was the Luftwaffe they would run to the shelters.

 

My father was a ‘tail end Charlie’ (rear gunner) in liberators during WW2 I got him to hand write his experiences. Contrasting stories but rich in history and detail.

 

Don’t be afraid to put down your thoughts and weave them into stories. The first time you hand them to someone else to read is quite daunting and akin to walking up the high street naked, but that feeling soon goes!

 

Where can we go to learn more about you and your literary works?

 

I am a first-time author so there is not much in the way of ‘literary works’ out there however I have a Facebook page and a website.

 

https://www.facebook.com/jennyleesauthor/

My Thoughts on “Watcher of the Night Sky” by Rachel Pudsey

My Thoughts on “Watcher of the Night Sky” by Rachel Pudsey

 

I loved this book.  It is full of twists and turns.  I can usually get a feel for a book, what it is about, what is going to happen, and as such most popular fiction, especially YA, Mid-Grade, and Children Fantasy, are predictable and boring.  But not “Watcher of the Night Sky.”  I was surprised by the turn of events about three different times in the story, and I loved it!

I was also impressed with Pudsey’s diction.  She has such a unique voice.

As far as the story is concerned, Abi wishes upon the stars, and the stars curse her.  What follows was a wonderfully creative fantasy adventure, which I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend.

Watcher

Meet Heidi Lyn Burke

JQM LITERARY CHAT Welcomes Heidi Lyn Burke

 

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a mother and military spouse who likes to play with dragons. I’m a bit of a crazy cat lady but housing restrictions keep me to a single kitty, a large ginger gentleman named Bruce Wayne. He’s Batcat.

 

 

Tell us about your book:

Do you mean my most recently released book? Or my first book? Or my favorite book? … I got into the Indie author game about five years ago with a goal to write one to two books a year. Somehow that ballooned to four or five, and because of that, I just recently released book number 20. That includes a finished trilogy, a finished quartet (I think quadrology is the accepted term, but my spellcheck doesn’t like it and I’m not sure it is a real word), a five novella series, and a bunch of scattered standalones. They are all some form of speculative fiction, mostly fantasy, but I have a steampunk series as well. Most have some romance. All have a focus on character relationships, and all of them are snarky. I like to use fiction to explore worlds, characters, and even the occasional idea.

 

 

What influenced you to write your current genre?

I like my fiction limitless, or at least confined only by the rules that aid me in what I want to construct. Because of this, fantasy has the most appeal. I like piling what-ifs on top of my worlds and see how my characters react to them.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors?

  1. R. R. Tolkien, Kate DiCamillo, Fyodor Dosteovsky.

Tolkien for giving me my “escape” world, a love of tall guys (I blame Aragorn and my desire to marry a Ranger on why I fixated on my 6’5” then-crush-now-husband), and a preference for the small hero over the mighty.

Kate DiCamillo is a sweet children’s author who always makes me happy. Also, she’s alive and makes nice Facebook posts occasionally.

Dosteovsky for just overall depth/insight into the human condition.

 

 

What are your favorite books?

The Lord of the Rings (whole trilogy. Still counts as one)
Coraline by Neil Gaiman. It’s a sweet but scary little book with a no-named cat and a brave little girl facing a creepy Other Mother in a strange house.

Cancer Ward by Solzhenitsyn (because I like Russian authors who have hard to spell names… I think the main reason Tolstoy never appealed to me is his name is way too easy to spell).

The Little Prince by St. Exupery which got me through a rough time in my late teens.

I could go on. I find my top ten is pretty adaptive.  

 

 

Who are your favorite literary characters?

Aragorn (I mostly succeeded in marrying him, just instead of a tall, grim Ranger, I went for the tall, grim Marine, but both Aragorn and Matt have really nice smiles if you can get them to let their guard down), Precious Ramotse from The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency, Freckles the Cat-Dragon from the Ironfire Legacy (because CAT-DRAGON).

 

 

Is there anything you want to share with potential readers?

I don’t really write like any of the authors on my favorites list. I noticed I picked mostly high sounding literary classics and a few children’s books, but mainly because I was thinking of books that influenced my life … very few books influence my writing. I intend for my voice to sound like my voice, and I intentionally avoid writing like authors who I like. My tone is light, conversational, snarky … and hopefully fun.

 

 

Where can we go to learn more about you and your literary works?

You can find me on my website at www.hlburkeauthor.com, Facebook at facebook.com/hlburkewriter, and Instagram at instagram.com/burkesdragons. I post dragon pictures, cat updates (so you can keep up with the adventures of Bruce), snippets from my work in progress (currently a fantasy romance trilogy which is tropey as all get out from the “lost princess” to the “star-crossed lovers separated by war and prejudice.” .. but it also has two adorable leads who are sweet and devoted to each other … and a plant-dragon.