~Blog Tour Q&A~ Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis and I get to share a Q&A that I did with Lloyd for you guys!

About the book:

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Dead Lands is a thrilling crime story set in the 1970s. When a woman’s body is found a special team is called in to investigate and prime suspect Alexander Troy is arrested for the murder. Desperate to remain a free man, Troy protests his innocence, but refuses to use his alibi. Trying to protect the woman he loves becomes a dangerous game – questions are asked and suspicions deepen. When the prime suspect completes a daring escape from custody, DI Breck and DS Kearns begin the hunt. Breck wants out of the force while Kearns has her own agenda and seeks revenge. Breck has his suspicions and she wants to keep it from him, and a right-wing march provides an explosive backdrop to their hunt for Troy. Dead Lands is the thrilling debut of award winning short story writer Lloyd Otis, and intelligently covers issues of race, discrimination and violence in a changing 70s landscape.   

Published by Urbane Books, you can order your copy HERE!

About the author:

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Lloyd was born in London and attained a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication. After gaining several years of valuable experience within the finance and digital sectors, he completed a course in journalism. Lloyd has interviewed a host of bestselling authors, such as Mark Billingham, Hugh Howey, Kerry Hudson, and Lawrence Block. Two of his short stories were selected for publication in the ‘Out of My Window’ anthology, and he currently works as an Editor.

Authors links:

Web: http://www.lloydotis.com/

Via Urbane: http://urbanepublications.com/book_author/lloyd-otis/

Twitter: @LloydOtisWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LloydOtisWriter


 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Hi, thank you for having me on Bibliophile Book Club.

I was born and raised in South London and in the past, I’ve been a music reviewer and I’ve been a book blogger. My passion for books led me to be the editor of a book column for a monthly lifestyle magazine which was fun, and I’ve always been creative, even when I worked in the financial square mile with a client list of big businesses. I currently work as an editor.

 

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

 

Yes, it was always something I wanted to do because the concept of the story always appealed to me. I think it was while I attended university that my desire to take the writing to another level really took off. I tried my hand at writing longer stories and thought some were great when they probably weren’t. But it became a key learning curve and I was happy getting on with life and practice the writing. I later joined a local writer’s group. We’d meet once a week, write a topic that the tutor chose and then stand up in front of the class and read aloud. At first that was a little nerve-wracking but I have an appetite to learn so it didn’t deter me and it soon became second nature. I also started book blogging at around that time and received requests from publishers to interview their authors.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’d say everyday life and by observing the smallest of details. Writers often spend long periods in solitude in order to concentrate, which is necessary, but I find that it helps to mingle afterwards and have face-to-face conversations. There is so much that you can pick up.

 

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

 

That’s an interesting question that I can only describe by saying, I like to have my characters be declamatory when necessary amidst a punchy prose.  I want to lead the reader by the hand to the place where things are hidden. I want to tell the story, that’s important.

 

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

 

Yes, most definitely, and there are succinct reasons for that. We’re in the digital age now and an author needs to have a digital footprint. Through social media, a vast amount of promotional ground and awareness can be gained by reaching people, for example, on the other side of the world which is amazing.

 

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

 

My favourite thing about being an author is finally feeling like one. And knowing that an idea which was once floating around in my head and then scribbled down on piece of paper, is now a story that a lot of people can enjoy. That’s awesome.

 

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

 

Being initially ruthless with my rewrites and edits while forgetting that I’m then the one that needs to implement them. Ouch.

 

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

 

Hopefully, going strong with a solid fan base, with really good books behind me that readers have enjoyed.

 

What’s next for you?

 

For the time being it’ll be more promotional activity for Dead Lands – which might eventually see me donning seventies gear – meeting crime fiction fans and having great experiences. And of course, writing something new.

 

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

 

I like to read as much as I can, sometimes even two books at once. I have a pile of books to be read, a pile that keeps getting bigger, and within that pile you’ll find crime fiction, thrillers, memoirs, and other types of general fiction.

 

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

 

There isn’t a standard set top five list as such or an all-time favourite but I recall reading A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown, a hard-hitting book which stayed with me for a while, and The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, that had such a well-paced masterful build-up as it neared its end.

 

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

 

Plenty but it’s probably best to keep it restricted to this small amount. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, and more recently, Ghost Man by the late Roger Hobbs who had agreed to do an interview for me a few years back. Unfortunately, it never happened.

 

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

 

I go to the gym, chill out with the family, and read and watch bad TV.

 

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

Yes, I’m a bit of a high-end video gamer, and I’m learning to play the guitar so that I can solo like Slash one day.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I think the UK has some beautiful places but at the moment, Italy just pips it.

 

Favourite food?

 

Depends on the mood I’m in but right now, exactly right now, I’m desperate for apple crumble.

 

Favourite drink?

 

It’s got to be Chambord, it comes in the cutest bottle too. Google it.

 

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

 

As I no longer have my motorbike, I can’t be a MOTO GP champion. However, I’ve got a vivid imagination where good always battles evil, so the only way to have it utilised thoroughly is through writing. I’ve still got a few more stories to tell yet so it’d be criminal (pun definitely intended) to do anything else.


Follow 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:

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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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