Sunday, 25 February 2018

70. Justice

Confession time: My blog is the only writing I’ve done this month, loathe as I am to admit it. However, the house won’t unpack itself and no one will tell me where the housework fairies are hiding. So now, here I am, sneaking in a blog amid unpacking boxes, washing more sheets and towels than I thought possible, and trying to convince myself I really do need a hundred and one coffee cups crammed into a drawer. (Okay, some exaggeration may have slipped through.)

And that wonderful office I’ve been daydreaming about for over a year – it now has more boxes than I dare count. I think the books may have multiplied too.

We did make some lovely friends at the old place and I am already missing our little chats, coffees, and get togethers. Hopefully the new neighbours are ready for the onslaught of random bursts of singing, (life’s a musical in this family) me firmly (possibly screaming) asking the youngest to do her homework, and random mutterings of ‘we’re never moving again’ escaping the windows.

What I did find (make) time for when I wasn’t falling into exhausted oblivion was not only reading, but happily interviewing a new author who is sharing news of her debut novel ‘JUSTICE’ with us. :)

Ms Georgia Tingley sat down to my Twenty Questions that somehow morphed into a few more, and graciously answered them all. I love learning what makes authors tick, their thought processes, and sharing their stories. I had the pleasure of Beta-reading for Georgia and enjoyed the story immensely. I loved ‘watching it evolve.’ I hope everyone reading it enjoys it as much as I did.

Author Interview

1.              When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It took a while to accept that I am a writer. Probably after I finished completing my first draft. It was 50,000 words and I thought holy crap… I did it!

2.              Do you have support from family and friends?
Yes, I have heaps of support from my family. Especially my husband and my two daughters. My mum and sister too are supportive. I think they get sick of me talking about writing though.

3.              Do you have a particular writing style?
Yes, I think I do. I like short chapters. Since discovering Scrivener I write scenes for my stories and then decide after the first draft where the chapters should be. It’s usually the scenes ha-ha since I like short chapters, but occasionally I’ll have a chapter with a couple scenes.

4.              What are your favourite story writing genres and authors, and what draws you to them?
I love romances first and foremost. But I have pretty much been through most genres… not in any order –I went through my Agatha Christie stage where I loved the whole understated British detective i.e.: Miss Marple and Inspector Poirot (even though he is Belgian). I loved the quaint English villages that she always set her novels in. With the Poirot books, I liked the 30’s timeline, and the art deco style that featured in the stories.

I loved scary stories - Stephen King, Misery, Dreamcatchers. Dean Koontz – Midnight. I admire that a writer can make the reader uncomfortable, so that they feel the need to put the book down and hide under the covers at every strange sound, when only a few hours earlier everything was normal. I remember reading Midnight, at home. My husband was out, and with my kids asleep, I felt the need to go and check on them repeatedly. Silly!

Then my Sci-Fi stage, John Wyndam’s, The Chrysalids – this is the first adult book I ever read, and it really influenced me. The fact that a writer can create a new world, good or bad. Amazing! Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park and Timeline both made into movies, both awesome books. Too much technical stuff in Jurassic Park though.
Non-Fiction - self-help, true crime and Biographies.

But my all-time favourite was Johanna Lindsay who writes historical romances (the Mallory Books are the best), Janet Dailey, who wrote light romances for Mills and Boon years ago. I also love Karen Robards, One Summer (I read it every few years), it’s a suspense/romance. I could go on and on even more… but I won’t.

5.              Where can we buy or see your works?
You can buy my eBook through Amazon, Google, and Kindle from March 1st, 2018 and print books will be available shortly afterward. I’m happy to sign copies too.

6.              Can you tell us what are you working on now?
I currently have two books for 2018 that I am hoping to get published. The first is a contemporary romance for mature aged women. It’s a series I’m working on called ‘Mature Love’ about women who find love later in life i.e.: over 35.

My first book is called ‘Having Faith’ -  At 42 years-old, Faith has just been informed via text message that her ex-husband is getting remarried to a much younger, gorgeous, intelligent woman, - an ex-husband that she fantasied would come crawling back one day.

With her self-esteem in tatters, stunning-looking, Adam Warner steps back into her life. Ten years her junior and her best friends younger brother. Faith and Adam always had a connection from the day she held him as a baby, but she was so much older, and married. Now however, there was nothing stopping her from taking that connection further – except herself.

My other novel is a follow up in my ‘Angel Calling Series’ – as yet untitled. The story is about a woman – Caroline, who wakes from a coma with the ability to read minds. Newly converted angel, ‘Asher – Angel of Guidance’ is sent down to help her control and refine her gift.

Together they help the police find missing people. However, when a man’s wife goes missing, Caroline is unable to read his mind – but he can read hers! Not only can he read minds, but he is able to send thought suggestions – a gift reserved for the supernatural. The ladies are way out of their depth. ‘Justice’ is called in to help.

7.              How much research do you do?
I did quite a bit on the internet. For Justice, I had to find out work out where I wanted my novel set. Then discover the little things about the area, what is the state flag, what were the nearest towns, what did the scenery look like, what plants grew in that area, etc.

8.              Why do you write?
Put simply – I love it so much.

9.              Do you have a writing routine?
Yes. I work three full days a week Tue, Wed & Thurs. I’m sitting in front of my computer by 7-8 am with a 30-minute lunch break. I work steadily to 3 pm. Although I have been known to keep writing till 6pm if I’m on a roll. “Sweetheart, it’s takeaway tonight.”

10.           Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you get through it?
No, I haven’t yet. I’m not sure what I would do, but probably something that inspires me. Maybe listen to music, or watch a movie, go for a walk. It’s something that I would need to do alone, so my brain could come up with ideas.

11.           What book/s are you reading at present?
I just finished a book called Bad Boyfriend by Julie Kriss – it’s a contemporary romance about a girl who always had a thing for her brother’s best friend who was a ‘bad-boy’- the type you would have a fling with, but never bring home to meet your parents.
Years later, he returns to their hometown from having spent 4 years in the Marines, and sparks fly between them. And she thinks – what the hell, I want him, even if it’s for just a little while. Until she can’t let him go.

12.           What do you think of “trailers” for books?
Love them. I wish I could afford to do one. Maybe later if I’m successful. It’s as though your book has been made into a movie. How awesome is that?

13.           What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write what is in your heart. Emotion is the payout for readers. If you just write a story, no matter how good the sentence structure is, without the reader feeling moved, or having a connection to your characters, it’s just a bunch of words put together well. A reader needs to care about what happens in the story.

14.           What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren and my own kids. I like to knit, read (of course), watch movies and tv shows, garden, swim. My husband and I love to go caravanning, so we escape for the odd long weekend to get away from the rat-race.

15.           What do you think makes a good story?
I like a story with characters who I can relate to, no matter what genre or what age, sex or race. I love to see a bit of humour in a story. Writing humour can be difficult, so when a writer makes me smile or even laugh out loud it’s wonderful. I think emotion in your stories is a must. Whether the story moves the reader to feel, scared, sad, happy, melancholy or angry it’s all part of the storytelling journey which makes a book a great read. Also, I love great descriptions so that I have a clear picture in my mind of a place, or a feeling etc.

16.           If you write more than one genre, how do you balance them?
I do write more than one genre, and I balance them by sticking to the one story at a time. When writing romance for example, I tend to want to watch romantic movies, or read romance books. Same with horror, Science Fiction and so on.

17.           Are you a plotter, panster or a combination of both?
Definitely a plotter. I use a whiteboard and write down in just a few sentences where I want the story to go… e.g.: 1. Open with hook. 2. Introduce protagonist in detail. 3. Move story along with cliff hanger. – You get the gist.

18.           What question do you wish someone would ask, but no one ever has?
Do you fall in love with your characters? Answer is – Yes, I do. I love them so much. Especially the protagonist and some of the other loveable ones, that when I get any criticism, it tends to hurt a bit. When someone wants me to change something about them, I’m like NOOO.

19.           Any writing rituals / superstitions?
No superstitions. As yet! I ritually chew gum when I need to think. I know it’s weird, some people drink endless cups of coffee, me, I chew. I think it’s the rhythm of chewing and blowing bubbles while staring at the screen. Well, that’s my theory anyway.

20.           How did you deal with rejection letters (if you had any?)
I had plenty. I just put it down to a rite of passage that all writers experience. It’s not personal. Publishers don’t always know a good thing when they see it. They only look at what they think will sell and what will make them money. I’ve heard so many stories of self-published authors who make good sales and then the traditional publishers contact them. Plus, I do think they are probably over-loaded with manuscripts and under staffed.

21.           What inspired you to write Justice’s story?
I was watching 48 hours, a procedural police TV show. It featured a story about a little boy who went missing 40 years ago. His body was found at the time, but his murderer wasn’t. It haunted the parents for their whole life. The police even had a good idea who committed the crime but could do nothing without evidence. Years later, a police officer was reviewing the cold case and decided to interview people again. Someone decided to break their silence. This led to the police finding evidence and locking the guy away. I thought to myself, if only there was a super-hero or angel who could solve cold cases like that, to give the parents some closure.

22.           Do you edit as you go or finish your writing first?
I just write and write. Worry about the proper edit later, otherwise it would take me twice as long. No need to be a perfectionist.

23.           What turns you off a story?
I get turned off by smokers, being a non-smoker myself. Especially if it’s the protagonist. I also hate violence against women, so I try to avoid those sorts of stories. Particularly domestic violence, I couldn’t think of anything worse than someone you care about, hitting you. Not too keen on anything about WWI or WWII, I’ve seen enough war movies. I’m not a big lover of fantasy novels either. You must wade through copious amounts of scene descriptions before you get to the story.

24.           Where do you get your titles and character names from?
I get the title from the story. Both my books have titles of the main characters. Characters names are more difficult. It’s usually names that I hear and I like, or dislike. I have a notebook for names, so I’ll grab one from there.

25.           How long did it take you to learn how to step back from your story and self-edit, or do you prefer another method?
I do self-edit to a certain extent, but I highly recommend that writers get someone else to edit for them. Someone who knows what they are doing. It’s so hard to look objectively at your own work.

Thank you for being so generous with your time and your answers, Georgia. Wishing you all the best for ‘Justice.’ Very excited for you.

You can contact Georgia on her facebook page – she loves to hear from her readers. :)

Book Reviews
Raid (Futuristic Romance - Kidnapped Brides Book One) by Jenny Schwartz
No Nomad can ignore a summons from the Oracle. Their culture demands that they submit to a raiding party to find and mate their one true love.

Imprisoned and mistreated by the infamous information broker Fagan, Alexa Maven lives a life that makes the thought of love a painful lie. If she dared to dream, she'd wish for freedom and anonymity; to be alone forever.

Mikal Fforde is a captain in the United Space Marine Corps. Love is a distraction he definitely doesn't need right now. He’s a tough fighter, a survivor, and he can’t afford the vulnerability that love brings.

But the Oracle has spoken, and two mismatched strangers are about to find their unlikely perfect match – if they survive Fagan!

*RAID is a short science fiction romance

Alexa, a star chart expert, is the property of a dangerous pirate. One who would stop at nothing to keep her by his side. After all, Alexa doesn’t need her legs to do her job, does she? But the Nomads all follow a strict code. They can’t ignore a summons from the Oracle.

When the Oracle orders Alexa to attend a Raiding Party to find her mate and unite with her one true love, she does so with the pirate’s solemn vow still ringing in her ears – Come straight back, and if your new mate isn’t useful – he dies. What hope does she have of escape? And now she’s responsible for the life of a stranger.

Mikal Fforde, a United Space Marine Captain, has little time or interest in romance, so when the Oracle pairs him with a mere wisp of a girl, he’s certain the world’s gone mad. The little mouse seems terrified of everything, especially him. But Mikal soon discovers her fear is for him, not of him, and suddenly Alexa doesn’t seem like a timid mouse. She’s a mysterious woman sent to save him from himself. In fact, he’d willingly risk his life to save hers.

Ms Schwartz just keeps those stories coming, and as usual, she left me wanting to know what happens next. This is the start of a new series, and I look forward to seeing where she takes her readers. :)

Dahlia (Book 4 in the Dragons of Riddick series) by Mel Teshco

The dragons will search the universe for their one true mate...
Dahlia Mannett was a princess on her planet, Riddich. Now all she wants on Earth is to be normal and not hunted by the evil Tantonics, who prey on her people for their power. But somehow, she ends up in a bikini and on the catwalk for famous designer, Lincoln Hillier. Turns out he’s also the one man to bring out her inner dragon—a miracle considering no Riddich male achieved that same result.

But even if Lincoln is Dahlia’s one true mate, how can she expect him to give up everything and everyone he’s ever known for an alien woman … a woman who jeopardizes his life just for being with her. Because the Tantonics will destroy anyone who gets in the way of their goal to drain the Riddichians of their power.

Lincoln thought he’d had everything, until he saw Dahlia. Now she’s all he wants, and he’s happy to give up his worldly possessions to stay with her. An existence without her in it wouldn't be living, and he’s willing to risk it all to prove it. She’s his life mate … and she’s all he wants.

Being the lone surviving female comes with its own set of problems. Dahlia has never experienced the dragon transformation, never found her rightful place in Riddich society even if she was loved and accepted by all as a true princess of that world. And never has she fallen in love and found someone to satisfy her inner dragon. When she lands on Earth, she figures she’ll never know what it means to be her true self. But that changes when she meets Lincoln. How can a human succeed where all other male Riddichians have failed?

Lincoln Hillier is used to having beautiful women fawning over him, and he’s never questioned that attraction. When he sees the gorgeous woman intent on gate crashing his modelling show on his private estate, not that he has the slightest objection to this uninvited guest, no other woman matters. For the first time, Lincoln finds himself captivated by a woman, one he soon learns is an alien. When they discover he’s the man to trigger Dahlia’s dragon transformation, Dahlia’s at a loss to know why. Before they can make any sense of what’s happened, the Tantonics find them, and so begins a desperate bid for freedom, and a twist that neither Dahlia nor Lincoln saw coming.

I looked forward to reading from Dahlia’s perspective since she’s the only surviving female dragon, and Ms Teshco didn’t disappoint me. :)  Dahlia is a strong character who was true to her cause yet showed vulnerability and a quiet inner strength that brought her to life for me. On the downside, I believe there’s only two more stories left in this series. :(


Once the house is sorted and I can see my office for the boxes, it will be back to work as usual. Until then, happy cleaning, I mean, happy writing and reading – do more of those. :)


  1. A study of your own! Awesome :) and if you find those housework fairies while unpacking, send one my way? Hmm?

    Great interview with Georgia. I love that she admits to falling in love with her characters and wanting to defend them from criticism - me, too!!

    Thanks for reviewing Raid, D. You're so busy, that I really, really appreciate it.

    Happy new house - and new neighbours! Hope the storm skipped you - we were fine here :)

    1. My very own - once I get those boxes out. LOL No luck finding those fairies though.

      Pleased you enjoyed the interview and you're welcome for the review. I am looking forward to reading about that handsome Troll boy - lol - not a sentence I ever thought I'd write. ;)

      The storm missed us too. Glad to hear you're okay as well. No complaints from the neighbours yet. :)

  2. Yay to finally having your own room to fill with words! I'm sure you will soon be unpacked and all settled in and tapping away at the keyboard. And yes, if you find the housework fairies, please give them my number. I lose so much reading and writing time without fairies to help lighten the load.

    1. Very excited. :) It's a little tidier since that photo was taken so I hope to have the house sorted soon and get back into it.

      Either those darn housework fairies are very elusive or I'm just not finding the right bribe. ;)