~Blog Tour Guest Post~ Mike Thomas @ItDaFiveOh @BonnierZaffre #Unforgivable

Hi everyone,

Today is my turn on the blog tour for Unforgivable by Mike Thomas and I’ve got a great post from Mike for you all to read a little further down. First though, here’s all the bookish information you need to know!

About the book:

Unforgivable

Bombs detonate in a busy souk, causing massive devastation. 
An explosion rips apart a mosque, killing and injuring those inside. 
But this isn’t the Middle East – this is Cardiff . . . 

In a city where tensions are already running high, DC Will MacReady and his colleagues begin the desperate hunt for the attacker. If they knew the ‘why’, then surely they can find the ‘who’? But that isn’t so easy, and time is fast running out . . .

MacReady is still trying to prove himself after the horrific events of the previous year, which left his sergeant injured and his job in jeopardy, so he feels sidelined when he’s asked to investigate a vicious knife attack on a young woman.

But all is not as it seems with his new case, and soon MacReady must put everything on the line in order to do what is right.

Out now from Bonnier Zaffre, click  HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Mike Thomas 1

Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff ’s busiest neighbourhoods in uniform, public order units, drugs teams and CID. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

His debut novel, ‘Pocket Notebook’, was published by William Heinemann (Penguin Random House) and longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year. The author was also named as one of Waterstones’ ‘New Voices’ for 2010. His second novel, ‘Ugly Bus’, is currently in development for a six part television series with the BBC.

The first in the MacReady series of novels, ‘Ash and Bones’, was released August 2016 by Bonnier Zaffre. ‘Unforgivable’, the second in the series, is released in July 2017.

He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife and two children.

Follow the author on Twitter at @ItDaFiveOh. More details can be found on the website http://www.mikethomasauthor.co.uk


 

 

The Writing Process

 

Some writers like to have a set routine. Some can’t operate unless they do the same thing day in, day out. You know, bounce out of bed at six in the morning, make a coffee then type away until noon, not stopping until they hit their word count target. Then it’s some lunch and social media and rewriting other stuff and finally a late evening stroll, possibly wearing something corduroy.

My writing life, in comparison, is chaotic. I’ve moved house half a dozen times in the last seven years, and within each new home I – for various incredibly tedious reasons like decorating and family coming to stay and that one time I got electrocuted – have had to constantly move ‘office’. As a result, I don’t really have a fixed writing place – at the moment it’s a desk in the corner of my bedroom, which is handy for rolling from under the duvet to my chair – never mind a ‘process’. It’s more of a very rough and ragged list of things I need – or need to do – in order to get a few words out. No writing-based profundity here, I’m afraid!

So here they are, in all their glory.

 

  • I always aim for one thousand words each session. I stay there and type until I hit my target. It might be sunny outside and ripe for a walk. Netflix might have dropped a new episode of Orange is the New Black. I might not have argued with anybody on Twitter for at least an hour. I KEEP WRITING. All that fun stuff can come later.
  • I turn all notifications off. Everything. Gong noises and whoops and alarms sounding plus envelopes and red dots popping up everywhere is just distracting, like having toddlers tugging at your ankles every five minutes, demanding attention. Off they go. Sometimes I forget to turn them back on, and lose followers on Twitter. Sorry everyone.
  • Tea. I like tea. Lots and lots of tea, piping hot with two sugars to help bring on Type 2 Diabetes when I reach fifty. This is a holdover from my policing days, when we used to drink urns of the stuff in the nick then laugh and laugh as our stomachs burbled and wobbled while we wrestled with drunks.
  • A window. One with a nice view so you can turn from the screen for a quick break and stroke your chin while thinking Fancy Writing Thoughts, or perhaps whether you should get a haircut as it’s a bit long (fact: I once spent an hour mulling this over). Anyway, I live in Portugal, and until mid-June this year I had a lovely view of bright blue sky and red roof tiles and shimmering eucalyptus trees but then the whole bloody country caught fire so now I get to see ash and charred tree trunks disappearing into the distance. Which is nice.
  • I cannot keep writing a single, hugely lengthy document such as a novel manuscript, typing new scenes and chapters as I go. I get completely lost, and as I am also incapable of using ‘writing software’ such as Scrivener, this is the only way I can do it: I write the chapters separately, working and reworking them until I’m completely happy they’re not utter rubbish. It is only then that I add them to a ‘first draft’ of the manuscript. In other words, they don’t get in the club unless they’re good…
  • I have a particular way of formatting the page – chapter headings, scene breaks, font (Times New Roman, every time) and so on. I can’t write if it’s not right. This will come across as a tad weird and borderline OCD, but I simply cannot create, darling, if things aren’t perfect. What I really mean is, I try to replicate the look of a novel, even if the MS is in its embryonic stage. It just helps me along a little, knowing what the thing will look like when – if – published…
  • I like to work on the latest novel in the afternoon. I am awful in the morning, a complete waste of space – staggering around, grumbling and unable to form a coherent thought, never mind sentence. So first I work on my other job as a writer-for-hire, doing travel pieces and ‘The Best Bartending School in Brisbane’ type articles. It pays the bills, and it also gets the rusted cogs turning in my head, so by the afternoon I’m raring to go for several hours. Or to stare out of the window at toasted countryside.
  • See the above regarding Scrivener. Several years ago my wife, oh so hilariously, told me she’d purchased a Scrivener subscription to help me write my debut novel, ‘Pocket Notebook’. Turned out to be a long roll of wallpaper lining where I could ‘do’ flowcharts and other plot-related stuff, using the handy set of pencils she’d also bought. But the last laugh was on her, because I now use it every time I begin to prep a new novel. I hang it – crammed full of flowcharts, bullet points, scribbles and thoughts – on the wall right in front of my desk in the bedroom, which is terribly unsightly and drives her mad. That’ll learn her, eh?

 


 

Many thanks to Mike for this great post, and to Emily at Bonnier Zaffre for having me on the tour! Make sure to check out the rest of the tour too! 🙂

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~Blog Tour Q&A~ The Other Twin by L V Hay

Hey everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the final stops (along with Tony over at Mumbling About…) on the mammoth blog tour for The Other Twin by L V Hay and I get to share a Q&A I did with Lucy recently, First though, the all-important bookish information!

About the book:

TOT.jpg

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well- heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth …

Published by Orenda Books, The Other Twin is available NOW, and you can get your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

Lucy Hay author photo

Lucy is an author and script editor, living in Devon with her husband, three children and six cats. Lucy is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015) both starring Danny Dyer. See Lucy’s IMDB page HERE and other movies and short films she’s been involved in, HERE.

In addition to script reading and writing her own novels, Lucy also blogs about the writing process, screenwriting, genre, careers and movitivation and much more at her blog Bang2write, one of the most-hit writing sites in the UK. Sign up for updates from B2W and receive a free, 28 page ebook (PDF) on how NOT to write female characters, HERE or click the pic on the left.

For more scriptchat, leads and links, join Lucy’s online writing group, Bang2writers. See you there!


 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Hi! My name is Lucy V Hay (sometimes LV Hay!) and I’m an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers. I’m owner of the writing tips and networking blog www.bang2write.com, which was shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards this year, as well as named Feedspot’s number 1 screenwriting blog in the UK (tenth in the world).

 

As a script editor, I’ve been privileged to work on a number of fab and award-winning British projects, both feature and short film. I’ve written books about screenwriting, plus I’m also a novelist – my crime debut is out now with Orenda Books and is called The Other Twin.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl. I wrote my first ‘book’ in the middle of my Maths homework book when I was about eight. It was called DUSTCART GEORGE and it was about a girl who ran away from home and had her own dustcart sweeping up the streets in London. I did my own illustrations too! Needless to say, my Maths teacher was not very happy though she did say she enjoyed the story, so job done.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

Everywhere, both in real life and online. There’s always new perspectives and ideas and thought patterns … This is why I love social media so much. There’s always someone sharing their POV, or a snippet from their lives, or a character from history … Whilst it’s true social media can be an extended whingefest and full of people’s pictures of their dinner, I make sure I follow the ‘right’ people … By ‘right’ I mean anyone who might challenge my little bubble and make me think of something differently, rather than abject trolls!

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

 

I would call it ‘dark and lyrical’. Dark, because I am obsessed with the reasons people do and say terrible things to each other; no one wakes up in the morning and says, “Today I will be as evil/careless/selfish etc as possible”. I’m also interested in notions of redemption and whether it’ possible to be ‘good’ after being ‘bad’ – and whether society will let you!

 

Lyrical, because I am also obsessed with the craft of writing, right down to what words are chosen. I want my work to be literary, but also accessible. I want to bring forth visual tales like my hero, Doris Lessing who was so skilled at ‘word pictures’. That’s the dream.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

 

Absolutely. Blog tours, tweets, author spotlights, Instagram features, Facebook Q&As, guest posts … they all work in getting a book out there to the readers. The important thing to remember is they are cumulative. In marketing, it’s said the average consumer is exposed to a product like a book four times before they buy it. Also, referrals are so important – people buy your book if they see people they like/follow endorsing it, whether that’s another author or a book blogger (preferably both). This notion you tweet a few times and get an Amazon bestseller simply doesn’t add up!  

 

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

 

Writing. I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love as my actual job.

 

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

 

Writing. I hate it so much! (haha). As you might guess, I have a bit of a love/hate thing going on here.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

 

I would love to have had a number of bestselling books and hopefully, a movie or TV adaptation of at least one of them. I’ve also always wanted to write a dystopian series for teenagers. But really, more of what I’m doing now: writing, workshops, blogging, etc!

 

What’s next for you?

 

Book 2 for Orenda. No title yet and still working on the rewrites. Also, my latest writing book this September, WRITING DIVERSE CHARACTERS FOR FICTION, TV AND FILM, which will be published by Oldcastle Books as part of its Creative Essentials range. This will be my third in the series, but my first where I include novel writing too rather than just screenwriting.  

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

I adore reading; I try to read at least one book a week. I think it’s really important writers read – I would even wager real money that the best writers (in a craft sense) are the most well-read (whatever that means). I also think the best writers are the most open-minded and challenge themselves the most in terms of what they read. It can be tough to read outside of your comfort zone, but very rewarding. For this reason, I try to set myself pledges on what to read.

 

Can you tell me your all-time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

 

Argh, I have so many favourites … and so many fave 5s! I suppose the book that changed my life was probably Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

 

So many. But I wish I had written GONE GIRL, if only to get a naked Ben Affleck in the shower.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

 

Spending time with the kids. Reading. Baking. Going for drive, watching movies, hanging out. Nothing earth shattering but it’ the little things I think.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

 

I like to take pictures, especially of nature and my 5 cats.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

 

I love Harlyn Bay, in Padstow. The beach is gorgeous and I love standing out on the headland there and watching the tide come in.

 

Favourite food?

 

Depends on the day! But overall, probably chocolate. All of it. Give it to me!

 

Favourite drink?

 

Booze! At the moment, gin. Though it goes through phases … Ale is a favourite, being a Devon gal.

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

 

Well I was a teacher for a bit. I’ve also worked in other places like telemarketing, supermarkets,  cafes, waitressing, even marketing via sandwich boards and in a giant bear costume! Writing wins hands down over all of these.


Many thanks to Lucy V Hay, Anne Cater and Orenda Books for having me on the blog tour for The Other Twin!

Catch up on the blog tour with all of these wonderful blogs:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to be one of three stops taking part in the blog tour for Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young today! I get to share my review with you all, but firts, here’s the all-important bookish information!

About the author:

download

Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.

Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.

Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books.

About the book:

til the dust settles FINAL

The lives of two women who never meet are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent.  Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity for a new life.

She thought the grass would be greener. But starting again is never that simple…

Sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.

Out NOW from Bloodhound Books, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:

Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young

My thoughts:

I had been looking forward to reading Till The Dust Settles as soon as I spotted the blurb. It sounded exactly like the kind of book I enjoy. A thriller, but with some really serious themes running throughout. Till The Dust Settles begins on one of the worst days in American history, the day the Twin Towers fell at the hands of terrorists.

The reader is introduced to Lucie. Stuck in a marriage that has become abusive, she has decided to begin making a new path for herself. The first step finds her on her way to a job interview at the World Trade Center, but she never reaches her destination. Amidst the chaos that ensues on that fateful September morning, Lucie only has one thing on her mind. Can she leave her old life behind and maybe start again…

I don’t want to say much about the plot of Till The Dust Settles to be honest. The reason being, it takes the reader on a completely unexpected and gripping journey. I found myself instantly rooting for Lucie, no matter what she has left behind or is barrelling toward, I was completely engrossed in her story!

I find it hard to believe this is a debut. An accomplished plot, plenty of twists and turns and excellent characterisation made this book a real page turner. I’m pretty sure I read it in less than 24 hours. I couldn’t put it down!

Highly recommended!

Catch up with the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Deadly Friendship by Tara Lyons

Hi everyone,

I'm thrilled to be one of two stops on the blog tour for Deadly Friendship by Tara Lyons. Make sure to check out the lovely Neats and her post over at The Haphazardous Hippo HERE!

About the book:

Deadly Friendship 3

Who can you really trust?

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is dragged into a gruesome murder investigation, while on annual leave in Lake Windermere. A handwritten note, with a woman’s name, is found inside the corpse.

When a direct link to London is unidentified, Hamilton must race against the clock to make the connection before the body count rises.

Meanwhile, four friends with strained relationships, are reunited. What past event do they want to keep buried and is there something linking them to the murders?

Then, when a person from Hamilton's past returns, he must ask himself: how well do we really know our friends?

London’s murder investigations team returns in this third novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows and No Safe Home.

Published on July 23rd by Bloodhound Books, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:

Deadly Friendship (DI Hamilton Book 3) by Tara Lyons

About the author:

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Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. In the Shadows is Tara's debut solo novel published in March 2016. She co-wrote The Caller and Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Parker novella with New York Times bestselling author, M.A Comley.

In August 2016 Tara signed a two-book contract with Bloodhound Books. The second book in the DI Hamilton series, No Safe Home, was published in January 2017.

When she's not writing, Tara can be found at a local Wacky Warehouse stuck in the ball-pit with her young, energetic son.

Sign up to Tara's monthly newsletter for exclusive news, previews and giveaways: http://eepurl.com/bN2KoH

Find out more about the author and follow her writing journey:
www.facebook.com/taralyonsauthor
www.twitter.com/taralyonsauthor
www.instagram.com/taralyonsauthor
www.taralyonsauthor.blogspot.co.uk
www.authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk

My thoughts:

Deadly Friendship is the 3rd DI Denis Hamilton series by Tara Lyons and it's safe to say these books are getting better and better! 

When we meet Hamilton in Deadly Friendship, he is on holidays with his family at Lake Windermere. The last thing he is expecting while out on a boat trip is to come across a dead body, but that's exactly what happens.

Immediately, he switches to work mode, not least because a note with a woman's name has been found written on a piece of paper in the mouth of the deceased. This discovery means Hamilton has to work quickly and diligently to connect the dots in this unusual case.

Parallel to this, the reader is introduced to a circle of friends who are drawn back to get her after relative estrangement. What has brought them back together, and how does it have a bearing on Hamilton's case? Something is not quite right in their group, and it's only a matter of time before a long forgotten past secret threatens their lives.

I really enjoy books that are character-drive and that's what I found with this one. The more I read about Denis Hamilton and his team, the more I find myself caught up in their lives. Add to this a strong plot and I'm sold.

Tara Lyons has written another brilliant book in Deadly Friendship. It is packed to the brim with secrets and lies, a great cast of characters and a truly compulsive story, I started and finished this one within 24 hours, I just couldn't put it down.

Catch up on the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Fateful Mornings by Tom Bouman

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Fateful Mornings by Tom Bouman and I get to share my review with you all!

About the book:

Fateful Mornings.jpg

In Wild Thyme, Pennsylvania, Officer Henry Farrell’s life is getting complicated. Widowed and more traumatised than he cares to admit, he is caught up in an affair with a local woman, and with helping out his friend’s barn construction job – on which the clock is ticking. When a troubled old acquaintance of theirs becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of his girlfriend, it becomes increasingly clear that something seriously dark is at large in the woods that surround them.

Against this old and strange landscape – where silence rules – a fascinating and troubling case ensues, as Henry struggles for his very survival.

For fans of James Lee Burke and Cormac McCarthy, Tom Bouman is the new must-read author exploring the outer darkness of contemporary America.

Published by Faber and Faber and out now, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Tom Bouman.jpg

Tom Bouman is a former book editor and musician who lives with his wife and daughter in northeastern Pennsylvania.

My thoughts:

Fateful Mornings is the first book I’ve read by Tom Bouman, but I’ve had Dry Bones in the Valley on my bookshelves since it came out, just waiting to be read. I’ll definitely be picking it up at some point having read this one.

In Fateful Mornings, we meet Officer Henry Farrell, the central character in these books. Struggling after the death of his wife, he is carrying out an illicit affair with a married woman. Along with this, there is trouble in Wild Thyme. When he is called on to investigate the disappearance of Penny, the girlfriend of an old acquaintance, things take a turn for the worse for Officer Farrell.

Situated on the edge of the woods, Penny’s home is on the precipice of a place where there is most definitely something sinister going on. When Farrell starts to nose around, he ends up finding more than he bargained for.

I don’t want to say much more for fear of giving anything away. Fateful Mornings is a slow and intricate book, with a great sense of location and a wide-ranging cast of characters. The author has an excellent eye for detail, and his prose is second to one. I read Fateful Mornings is a day as it was a compulsive and enveloping read.

Recommended!

Catch up with the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Q&A~ Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Hi all,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill and I get to share a Q&A with the author today!

About the book:

Nemesister.jpg

An American Gothic thriller of deception and obsession, slicked in sweat and set in the swamps of Louisiana.

It’s a psychological mystery where the female protagonist stumbles into a deserted shack with no memory but a gun in her hand. There she meets an apparent stranger, Red, and the two find themselves isolated and under attack from unseen assailants.

Barricaded inside for a sweltering night, cabin fever sets in and brings her flashes of insight which might be memory or vision as the swamp sighs and moans around her.

Exploring in the dark she finds hidden keys that seem to reveal her identity and that of her mysterious host, but which are the more dangerous – the lies he’s told her, or the ones she’s told herself?

Published by Urbane Publications, Nemesister is out now and you can get your copy by clicking HERE!

About the author (Bio from Urbane’s website):

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I’ve always written and told stories, for as long as I can remember. My first self published work at the age of seven, fully illustrated in felt pen and crayon. I continued with a series of insightful ‘When I grow up I want to be an author’, essays, and an attempt at a ‘Bonk-buster’ series of supernatural thrillers written from a position of utter ignorance on all topics, until I was distracted by Art college. A never ending, or never finished, fantasy epic kept me going through my twenties, but it was motherhood in my thirties which concentrated my mind enough to actually finish a novel. It’s amazing what a bit of life experience and the sudden curtailing of your free time can do to concentrate the mind.

After that I began giving myself permission to take my writing seriously enough to spend time on it and actually listen to critiques. The writing festival in York proved invaluable, and time and disappointment got me to the point of producing something readable, which I was lucky enough to have read by Urbane publications.

If you make or write anything, the number one question you get asked is ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ In answer to that question, it’s an easy process which combines working on your craft every hour you can for as long as possible – hard graft – reading as much as you can of everyone else’s work – stealing – and inspiration, which is just one of those things that just happens. The inspiration for ‘Nemesister’ comes from a dark episode of family history, and a moment from a dream; an image of a man standing in the doorway of what I knew was an abandoned shack, which was gone as soon as it came and yet lingered, the way some dreams do.


 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Ok, I’m an artist/crafts person most of the time, and lead workshops with Kent Adult Education, when I’m not looking after my lovely family. of all the things I’ve done, writing, burlesque,blacksmithing, dressmaking and corsetry, the one thing that impresses the most people is that I was once awarded hand knitter of the year – go figure!

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

 

Oh yes, I was writing books when I was five or six, admittedly quite small ones, but books never the less. I was torn between art and English at University, but my annoying ability to draw got in the way of writing and so I did the Art thing, but it was 50-50.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

I rip off all the good ideas everyone else has, which is both true and and not true – all good artists beg, borrow and steal, but in doing so they change what they started off with into something new and exciting. After all, Jean Rhys (whom I would never compare myself too by the way) would never have written the amazing ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ without ‘Jane Eyre,’ which is what I mean. Of course, most of this stealing happens without malice of forethought – you just find an idea someone else once had playing on your mind until you’ve made it yours, have a weird dream about it and then start wondering what if, and before you know it, there’s an idea for a book.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

There’s always a mystery, something which is impacting the present, and someone both trying to unpick it and cover it up at the same time. They’re like puzzle boxes with a sense of humour.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

Yes, of course, getting the word out person to person is the only way for an Indie author to get out there, and social media gives us the chance to get round the big publishing houses with all their money – it’s empowering for the little guys like us, and it’s a way real book lovers can find something which goes against the publishing grain.

 

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

Can I say writing? That’s too trite – I guess it’s actually being read, that’s the best thing – for good or for ill, just the idea that someone might be enjoying my words and getting the same goosebumps I did when writing it, is what it’s all about.

 

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

 

I guess it’s actually being read, that’s the worst thing – just the idea that someone might not be enjoying my words and not getting the same goosebumps I did when writing it, that’s the fear which keeps me up at night.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

I hope to just be writing and publishing and getting more readers. If I ever make it to a radio four program about books, either in person or printed form, then I will have reached my own personal zenith!

 

What’s next for you?

 

I’ll be working on the sequel to Nemesister, which is written but will no doubt need a good polish and rewrite, and I’ve three or four others on the go too. That and a workshop on how to up-cycle desk drawers.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

I do read, but as I have a baby and work with my hands all the time, I am addicted to audio books. I don’t drive, so everyday I walk round the town to do my job, search for materials in charity shops, walk the dog and get buses and trains to work, so I always have my head phones on and a book playing.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

I never remember them all, but just in my last years worth of read I loved The Power by Naomi Alderman, and Leon by Kit De Waal, and I enjoyed Dark Place by Gillian Flynn, which I preferred to Gone Girl.   

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

 

Totally Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, the most stunning book and an incredible Grand Guignol main character, who you love but would not like to be in a lift with.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I make stuff all the time, it’s almost a compulsion – needle felting, pom-pom crafts, embroidery, painting, decoupage and collecting weird stuff to put in bottles. I bake and cook a lot, and I love my garden, and very, very occasionally still go clubbing with my friends!

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

I suppose all of them are, as books are my sort of job, but I guess see the question above!

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I dream of one day going to Japan in the spring to see the gardens in full blossom, and then all the street fashions in Tokyo, as I love clothes and creating outfits.

 

Favourite food?

Asparagus, cheese, olives and bread and butter.

 

Favourite drink?

Tea, tea and especially Chai Tea!

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

Luck, both good and bad.


Huge thanks to Sophie for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Abby for having me on the blog tour!

Make sure to check out the tour:

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~Blog Tour Review and Q&A~ The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Hey guys,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Last Place You look by Kristen Lepionka and not only do I get to share my review, but I have a great Q&A with the lovely lady herself. More of that anon. Here’s the bookish info first!

About the book:

The Last Place You Look

Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.

THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK by Kristen Lepionka is published by Faber & Faber in July (£7.99).

Click HERE to order your copy!

About the author:

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Kristen Lepionka grew up mostly in a public library and could often be found in the adult mystery section well before she was out of middle school. Her writing has been selected for Shotgun HoneyMcSweeney’s Internet TendencyGrift, and Black Elephant. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats.

My thoughts:

Regular readers of my blog know that I mainly read crime thrillers. Lately everything has become very samey, so I’ve been on the lookout for a book that would blow me away. The Last Place You Look is definitely one of the best crime books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in the past few months!!!

The Last Place You Look focuses on Roxane Weary, a PI, struggling to keep her head above water in the months after her father’s death. When she gets a call to meet Danielle, whose brother is scheduled to be executed after supposedly carrying out a brutal double murder 15 years ago, Roxane reluctantly agrees. She then finds herself submerged in the history of the case of Brad Stockton, and the disappearance of his girlfriend, Sarah Cook, who never returned home on the night of her parents murder.

Roxane is definitely a troubled character. Self-medicating with alcohol, she is setting herself on a path to self-destruction. This case could be her salvation. What she uncovers during the course of her investigation could change the lives of many more than just her. But can she focus long enough to see the investigation through to the end?!

The Last Place You Look is an outstanding crime fiction DEBUT (!!!!!). Roxane is such a well-drawn character. I loved reading about her, and I was rooting for her from the very beginning. Yes, she is flawed, but she is intrinsically good. She is human, she is relatable, she basically kicks ass!

I loved this book. Honestly. I couldn’t put it down. My heart was racing, my mind overflowing as I got drawn further into the superb narrative. I don’t want to say any more. Amazing debut! Stunning!

Highly, highly recommended!

Q&A with Kristen:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a mystery writer and I’m so excited that my debut novel THE LAST PLACE YOU LOOK is out this summer. I live with my girlfriend and our 2 cats, who are scientifically proven to be the cutest cats ever.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As soon as I learned how to put words down on the page, I started stringing words into stories—but I didn’t get serious about writing until about eight years ago, when I sat down and wrote my first full-length novel.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I wish I knew exactly where it came from—it would be easier to replicate that way. But it kind of comes from all over the place. Overheard conversations, stories in the news, songs, settings, etc. I am a shameless true crime documentary addict, too.

 

Toni Morrison once said “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I really love this idea of writing the kind of book you’ve always wanted to read. In creating my protagonist Roxane Weary, a bisexual private investigator, I was trying to do just that.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

I would say I write hardboiled mysteries for fans of Sue Grafton or Dennis Lehane, with a healthy dose of feminism.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

Social media is an incredible tool for connecting with communities. No one likes following a writer who just tweets about her own work all the time, so I think it’s more about relationships and conversations than it is about promotion. But it’s essential to have that channel open!

 

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

Research! I love that stage of a project where I’m just Googling stuff and making notes. It’s so full of possibility. I also love mentoring other writers through online contests such as Pitch Wars and Teen Pitch.

 

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

Not sure that I have a “least” fave! It’s all pretty great. But self-promotion is tough—like many writers, I’m an introvert. But my excitement about the book helps me put that aside when necessary.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

Hopefully writing a bunch more Roxane Weary mysteries. I’ve got ideas for a few standalone crime novels too.

 

What’s next for you?

Speaking of standalone crime novels, I’m in the planning stages of a project about, among other things, donuts and female rage.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

Definitely a huge reader! I read a lot of mysteries and literary fiction. My favorites include Tana French, Sue Grafton, Richard Price, Joan Didion, and Tom Drury—it’s a pretty long list.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

All-time favorite is a really tough call! But there are 2 books I can read and re-read over and over without ever getting tired of them: THE DRIFTLESS AREA by Tom Drury and SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

I wish I’d written Helen DeWitt’s THE LAST SAMURAI. It’s about as far away from a mystery novel as you can get, but it has a delightfully inventive structure that would make any writer jealous.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I’m a graphic designer by day.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

Most of my hobbies relate to books in some way, but I also play the guitar. And I spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to take adorable pictures of my cats.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

My favorite place to travel is probably Iceland. I’ve been there twice and would go back this afternoon, if possible. I love the surreal quality of the landscape and the fresh, fresh air.

 

Favourite food?

Anything spicy—the spicier the better.

 

Favourite drink?

If we’re at a bar, I’ll order an old fashioned or a bourbon on the rocks. Coffee shop? Tea with mint has my name on it.

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

Writing fiction gives me the opportunity to create a different version of the world—one where the bad guys go to jail, the right people do the right things, the conversation always sparkles… It’s an escape, like reading is, and I find it irresistible.


Huge thanks to Lauren at Faber for the opportunity to take part in the blog tour and to Kristen for answering my questions! 🙂

Check out the blog tour:

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