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Out Now ~ On Lucky Shores

Hi guys,

It’s finally here. After months of toil, sweat, and heartache, I am proud, nay delighted, to announce the publication of my latest novel, ON LUCKY SHORES. Find it and the description here.

On Lucky Shores - Cover

Set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, you’ll find action, adventure, thrills, and romance within the electronic pages. If you prefer a physical book and don’t mind waiting for the delivery, there’s a paperback version out now, which you can pick up here.

Find out about the novel in the book page of this website.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Cheers,
Kerry.

 

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ON LUCKY SHORES ~ Cover Reveal

Hi guys,

Subscribers to the Newsletter will already have seen this but here is the worldwide cover reveal for my latest novel, the modern-day western adventure, ON LUCKY SHORES (official publication date 18th Jan). We spent a whole load of time designing the cover to match the KJD ‘house feel’. Hope you like it. All comments are gratefully received—I love feedback as it confirms that I’m not alone in the world.

On Lucky Shores - Cover

In the Newsletter, I explain the story behind the cover image and what gave me the idea for the book. If you fancy learning more, please subscribe by completing the Contact Form. I promise not to inundate you with spam as I only plan to send Newsletters quarterly, unless there’s something particularly exciting to announce.

Although the e-version of ON LUCKY SHORES will be available on Monday 18th, here’s some news for all those who like the feel and smell of a new physical book. The paperback edition will follow very soon.

By the way, ON LUCKY SHORES is my first US-set book; I really hope you enjoy the read. I had a ball writing it.

Cheers,
Kerry

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The Wanderer Returns

Hi guys,

2016 already? How the heck did that happen? It seems as though we were only celebrating the New Millennium a couple of years ago. Time marches, nay, sprints along.

Jan and I, the wanderer, are safely home after our recent 16-hour journey (drive-ferry-drive) from Cheshire (UK) to Brittany (France). A kindly neighbour lit our paraffin heater a couple of hours before our return so at least the temperature in our front room had crawled above freezing point. The rest of the house though, was Arctic.

From the above, you may have gathered that we don’t have central heating here in the wilds of Brittany, so the first thing to do after arriving is to warm the house after the fortnight’s absence. The return goes something like this: build fire in wood-burning stove, unpack car, load perishables in to the freezer, turn in, trying to stop toes falling off from frostbite.

Up early the next morning after a night’s sleep in my own bed. In the UK, we slept in six different beds over eleven nights—not good for this old guy’s back.

After a quick breakfast, we made a trip to the dentist. She repaired a cracked filling and as I type this blog, the anaesthetic is wearing off and my lip is doing that numb-tingle thing. I’m trying not to bite my cheek—done that so many times after dental work.

So, there you have it: a seemingly  interminable journey, a cold house, limited sleep, neck ache from all that driving, and dental work—welcome home, KJD.

Now for the good news, the next book in the Kerry J Donovan portfolio, On Lucky Shores, is due for publication on the 18th of January. I will reveal the cover this week, but to whet your appetite, here’s a short teaser:

ON LUCKY SHORES: an adventure story of secrets and lies in small town America.

This time yesterday traveling musician, Chet Walker, was asleep in a motel room dreaming of another day on the open road searching for a gig. Today he’s in a hospital, battered and bruised, and bound by a promise he made to a dying man—a promise he might not live to keep.

I’ll post another teaser soon.

Cheers,
Kerry.

 

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“Friday-Fortnight” Interview with Tom Ericson

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Hi guys,

How you all doing? I know, it’s been months since my last FFI and I have to apologise for my tardiness. No excuses, well, perhaps one. I’ve been finishing up my latest novel, On Lucky Shores, which is due for publication on 16th January, 2016, (but don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it later). And with that shameless plug out of the way, let’s get on with the chat.

Today, I’m talking with an old friend, Tom Ericson who’s written an excellent thriller … well, I’ll let him tell you about that in a sec.

KJD: Hi, Tom, how are you?

TE: Not bad, thanks. Coffee’s good, and I need it after last night’s crossing.

KJD: Rough?

TE: Like being tossed around in a tumble dryer. Thank God there were plenty of paper bags on board. Still, it was worth the discomfort to see where you live. Beautiful countryside around here.

KJD: Thanks, I think so, too. And I feel for you man, mal-de-mer’s a horrible thing. Feeling better now?

TE: Yep, and the coffee really helps.

KJD: Okay. Ready to start the interview?

TE: Fire away.

KJD: Let’s start with a couple of ‘getting to know you’ questions. Are you at all sporty? If so, tell me your best sporting achievement.

TE: Yes, I dabble. Currently, I’m moving to my black belt in karate.

KJD: Er, okay. Want me to freshen your coffee, maybe have a second slice of chocolate cake? Need me to shine your shoes, give you an extra cushion?

TE: (Frowns and leans forward) You are a funny man. (Winks)

KJD: And an inveterate coward. Pray, continue.

TE: Best sporting achievement? … playing football at County level, final trialist for Wales Schoolboys, and captain of my university side. You could say I was ok at football. Playing rugby at County level in South Wales during the infamous 1970’s is probably my personal favourite.

KJD: Fantastic. I love rugby union, but never played—told you I was a coward. My sporting career didn’t really amount to much. I was into cross-country running, and cricket. If you’ve ever played golf, give me your favourite golf excuse.

TE: Uh-uh, Don’t play—I’m with Oscar Wilde on that one.

KJD: What? Golf is a good walk spoiled, you mean?

TE: Exactly.

KJD: Right. What do you see out of your office window (the office where you write)?

TE: My garden, trees, and sometimes a blue sky. I work out of a shed—very Dylan Thomas, I’m afraid.

KJD: Sounds idyllic, if a little cold in the winter. Describe a typical day in the life of Tom Ericson.

TE: I start work around six am, (Ed: Gulp!), take a break to see my daughter off to school, work through to lunchtime, take my daughter to her childminder, back to work until teatime. If I am working on a book then most evenings I am back in the shed, sometimes until very late.

KJD: A six am start? That’s the middle of the blooming night. I rarely turn in before three. Rather you than me. Still, I don’t have school-age kids anymore, so I can have a long lie in. Lovely.

Let’s slide a little more towards the writing side of things. What book genres do you read and do they differ from the ones you write? If so, why?

TE: Crime, thrillers—the same as I write. Plus historical non-fiction and biographies. Different to my writing—don’t know why, they just interest me. Real world v fictional one, perhaps?

KJD: A fine line to walk as an author. In general, how long does it take you to finish the first draft of a new novel?

TE: Six months, and then another six to re-write, and re-write, and re-write … you get the drift. That’s on a part time basis, but I’d possibly manage two a year if full-time (fingers crossed!).

KJD: Two books a year is a good target, I think. I do about the same. I’ve published two book this year, Sean Freeman, and On Lucky Shores. Teehee. See what I did there, plugging my books again.

TE: Absolutely shameless (smiles).

KJD: Always. What’s the first thing you do when starting a new novel? Do you research and write a detailed plot outline, or are you a pantser?

TE: That’s easy, I start typing. That’s not a clever answer, it’s what I do. The story begins to flow and takes me along. I usually have an ending in my mind, along with an outline plot. The rest seems to arrive en route (thank goodness!).

KJD: Sounds similar to my process! Tell me a little about your latest work (one nearest publication). Where did you find the inspiration? What’s it about? When can we expect to see it on the bookshelves? How about a sneak preview?

TE: My latest work is A LIFE WITHIN. The inspiration for the story came from a simple thought—what terrifies someone in their own home? In this case it’s the ‘thing in the attic’—a sort of ‘monster under the bed’ theme.

KJD: I’ll let my readers in on a secret. I’ve read a draft of A Life Within and loved it!

TE: Thanks, Kerry.

KJD: Credit where it’s due. Carry on, please.

TE: The book is about a serial killer who is seeking revenge for a major trauma in their life. The victims are couples who become pregnant by means of IVF treatment.

A have no idea when to expect it on the bookshelves. I wish I knew! It depends on the success or otherwise of my first book, although I feel this is better written and may ‘carry’ my first one with it to traditional publication.

Here’s the opening …

Chapter 1

The night comes, and the night goes. That is the way of things. It’s how it has always been.

Through the night goggles that changed the blackness of the small space into an eerie green, eyes followed the path along the boards of the attic floor; the boxes and black bags that held the normal squirrel’s hoard of a family home neatly stacked on both sides.

Through the tiles above, thin shafts of light splintered the darkness as the low-lying sun illuminated the shape of a human in a one-piece black cotton suit. The outfit covered the whole body, with four holes created for convenience – one each for the eyes, one for the mouth, and one other.

Outside, was a world where people went about their everyday business, went to work, and came home. Two of those people would be arriving soon. Their uninvited guest did not plan to greet them on their arrival, but would meet with them later, and provide suitable entertainment in return for their hospitality.

The visitor made ready for the appearance of the hosts, lifting the hatch door to create a narrow viewing gallery over the landing and stairwell below. The wait began.

#

One hour after the sun had set, Declan and Gail Daley entered their home. The journey back from London had been much the same as normal; crowded train, no seats, little air, and even less conversation. The couple had shared the same train, but not the same space, Declan joining the crowd of ant-like London commuters at Moorgate, where he worked for an accountancy body, and Gail boarding at Alexandra Palace. She managed the marketing operation for the newly invigorated complex and by the time the train reached her it was always full. They met at their destination, Enfield Chase station, and walked the few hundred metres to their home, offloading the negative aspects of their day in preparation for an enjoyable evening alone.

Mr and Mrs Daley had been married exactly four years, but this was their first genuine anniversary, the date of their wedding being the 29th February. They were in high spirits by the time they opened the front door to their small but chic mid-terrace property, happy to close out the rest of the world until the return journey to the confines of the office tomorrow. Two more days in work and they would be leaving for the weekend, skiing in Italy.

“Get the steaks out and the wine poured, Mr Daley,” instructed Gail, as she closed the door and threw her keys and handbag on to the oak hall console table. “I’ll go take a shower and get your presents ready.”

“Presents… plural?” replied Declan, his face quizzical. “I thought we agreed we would only buy one gift. You suggested it.”

“Did I say I bought the second,” she teased, as she ran her tongue along the edge of her upper lip and winked.

“I’m doing it, I’m doing it,” Declan responded, feigning urgency as he hurriedly reached for the fridge door.

Gail Daley heard the pop of a wine cork as she undressed, and the sound of a second as she walked across the landing to the shower room, naked. White and red. Nice one, Dec, she thought. What she didn’t hear was the faint controlled breathing only a few feet above her head.

As the luscious shampoo foam washed away the smell of the city and the rigours of the day, Gail sensed a presence in the room and smiled. Closing her eyes, she faced the strong jet of steaming water and relished in its warmth, before a short draft of cold air told her that the shower door was open.

“Present’s not ready yet, sweetheart,” she offered, “but you know it’s worth the wait.”

The only sound she heard was the cascading water.

Gail Daley opened her eyes.

What she saw before her was not what she expected, and she gasped.

“Mister Daley! My word, is that all for little ol’ me?”

“I didn’t buy your second present, either,” Declan replied. He was naked with two glasses of white wine in his hands and a claret and blue silken bow adorning his manhood that had already responded to his wife’s soaking wet slim petite frame, full breasts, and long blonde hair.

“I assume you mean the ‘hammer’, Sir?” Gail giggled, her reference to their beloved West Ham United colours causing a huge smile to take over her husband’s face. “Should I unwrap it now?”

Passing over her wine, Declan raised his glass and said, “Happy Anniversary, Mrs Daley, and thank you for the happiest four years of my life.”

The couple emptied their glasses and Declan stepped into the cubicle, closing the door behind him.

The meal of fillet steak and mushrooms, accompanied by a superb bottle of St Émilion Grand Cru, was consumed later than originally planned. For a short time afterwards, Gail and Declan talked excitedly about Italy and exchanged presents, a platinum chain bracelet watch for her and a gold neck chain for him.

Finishing their wine, the couple returned upstairs and went to bed, falling into a deep sleep wrapped in each other’s arms.

#

The house was quiet, save for the heavy breathing of those who slumbered. Above the landing, the attic door opened. Two feet appeared, followed by two legs, then a torso, and finally a head, all clothed in black. Descending to the floor below, the visitor prepared to meet the hosts.

The night comes, and the night goes… but for some the night never ends.

KJD: Wow. Powerful stuff. Thanks for that. Back to the interview. If there were a single thing you’d like to change about yourself, what would it be?

TE: That’s easy. I’d be a full-time writer.

KJD: Ha! What’s next for Tom Ericson?

TE: That’s down to my agent—if I get a publishing deal there are a lot of books to come. If I don’t, it will hands to the grindstone and working for a living (with one book a year instead of more.

KJD: I hear you, Tom. Finally, tell me something about yourself you wouldn’t want you partner/parents to know. Don’t worry; it’ll be our little secret. 😉

TE: That would cost you a large Jameson’s, my friend, plus there isn’t enough space …

KJD: Alcohol, at this time of the morning? No chance. Anyway, thanks millions for the chat, let’s carry on this conversation off-line. So, this secret …

Are you an author? If you would like to take part in one of my FFI’s, drop me a line.

About Tom

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Tom Ericson was born into a coal mining community in South Wales. He studied Politics at Swansea University and completed a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations and Employment Law at the University of Keele.
He has spent most of his working life in the finance and banking industry and was heavily involved in local politics for ten years, including a term as an elected councillor.
Tom has two adult children from his first marriage and now lives with his partner and young daughter in Hertfordshire.
The Anger Within is his first book and he has just completed his second, A Life Within, which features the same detective team.

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The Anger Within

Crime / Thriller

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Have you ever really wanted revenge?
AJ does. For the inequality, the unfairness, and the injustice.

Would you do something about it?
AJ would. To end the lies, the deceit, and the hypocrisy.

What is the difference between you and AJ?
AJ turns his thoughts into reality …AJ acts.

AJ is a former Royal Marine sniper who fought, risked his life, and killed for his country. The recession has left him penniless, his business ruined, and his beloved family home about to be repossessed. He blames the bankers and finally snaps, creating a plan to gain revenge and justice for the millions whose lives the banks have ruined. This will show the bankers and the politicians the error of their ways and make them an offer they can’t refuse.

In pursuit of the sniper is Detective Superintendent Jess O’Neale, a senior Met police officer who has gained her rank at a relatively young age – no mean feat for a woman with a Geordie accent, and now a single parent with a young child. O’Neale hunts AJ in the same way that he stalks his victims – with stealth and with cunning.

The Anger Within takes the reader into the mysterious world of the most deadly hunter of human prey – the sniper – and reveals the hidden fear that lurks within the corridors of power and law enforcement. It answers the question that lies behind that fear: What if it actually happened?

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** Rafflecopter Sponsored Prize Draw **

**The Fussy Librarian – 8th July 2015**

Hi guys,

You probably know that I’m a member of the illustrious online eNovel Authors At Work group.  The group is dedicated to helping one another promote our books and expand our audiences. Indie Publishing is constantly changing, and we do our best stay informed. This month, the members have banded together to offer our books free to dozens of lucky winners.

SPONSORED BY THE FUSSY LIBRARIAN AND eNOVEL AUTHORS AT WORK

JULY 1 TO JULY 31, 2015

Click to Start Winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rafflecopter will run the entire month of July. Every day, an eNovel Author is giving away ebooks, print books, and/or Amazon Gift Cards. More than 150 winners will receive books. Check out these genres: Romance, Mysteries, Thrillers, Women’s Fiction, Paranormal, Inspirational, ChickLit, Humor, Police Procedurals, Fantasy, and Quiz Books.

Kick Off! July 1, 2015

July 31, 2015 Grand prize drawings – Kindle Fire, $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Here is the line up of eNovel Authors in the order of their appearance in the Rafflecopter from July 1 to 31. Click the author’s name to visit their eNovel books page to read about some of the wonderful works available. At the top of each page are icons for Twitter and Facebook. Follow on Twitter and you will NOT miss any of these giveaways.  Say hello on Facebook where the authors are listing giveaway books and other swag.  Follow #eNovAaW on Twitter for our giveaways and FREE and discounted books all year long.

Today (8th July 2015), is my day. So click my name and follow the instructions. Thanks  millions.

Marsha Roberts
David Wind
Pete Barber
Polly Iyer
S. R. Mallery
Julie Frayn
Kerry J Donovan
Traci Hall
Linda Williams
Jinx Schwartz
Bronwyn Elsmore
Abby L. Vandiver
Stacy Juba
Mimi Barbour
Lawrence Kelter
Pam Burks
Jenny Harper
Donna Fasano
Florence Osmund
Amy Vansant
Jerri D. Hines
Dianne Greenlay
Mary Smith
Dale Furse
Rich Meyer
Laurie Boris
Susan Tarr
Jackie Weger
Nicholas Rossis

Keep clicking to increase your chances of winning.

Cheers,

Kerry.

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***Authonomy***

Hi guys,

Those of you who’ve been following my blogs for a while will know that I joined the writers’ website, Authonomy, about a year ago and uploaded my crime thriller, The DCI Jones Casebook: Ellis Flynn.

THE_DCI_JONES_CASEBOOK_ellis_flynn

So, what’s the big deal?

Well, Authonomy is an on-line literary community service provided by one of the so-called Big Five publishers, HarperCollins. The basic concept is for fledgeling writers to share their work with other members, who may be fellow writers, readers, or even publishing professionals. The site is free to join and members are encouraged to read, review, comment, and rate (using a star system) any book on the site. The final option is to back a book members consider to be of publishable quality by placing it on their virtual bookshelf. If the authors give permission, members can even upload book samples to their e-readers.

What’s the point?

The big juicy carrot is that the top five rated books on the site at the end of each month are sent to Authonomy/HarperCollins’ Editor’s Desk and will receive a professional review. The very best books may then be considered for publication.  This is HarperCollins’ way of filtering the manuscripts they receive and negating the need for a Literary Agent.

So what happened with Ellis Flynn?

Last month, Ellis Flynn made the top five on the chart (well, #3 to be precise, but who’s counting). It is now lying, expectant and nervous, on a HarperCollins editor’s desk. Whoop-de-doodle!

I’m hopeful, but not expectant. Authonomy hasn’t published a book they’ve found on the site for ages, and it is unlikely they’ll roll out the publishing bandwagon for Ellis Flynn, but to me, that’s less important than the fact other writers and readers were sufficiently impressed by my writing to back the book all the way onto the ED.

Am I pleased? You bet. In fact, I’m buzzing, delighted, gobsmacked, and stunned. In the words of a TV hero of mine, “Yabba dabba doo.” 

If anyone who backed Ellis Flynn is reading this, I’d like to say thanks millions for your help. Most appreciated.

If the critique they send is positive and supportive, rest assured, I’ll publish it verbatim on this here blog. If, on the other hand, they think the book is a pile of literary doo-doo, then I will remove the email from my inbox and never mention it again. Such is the power of the delete button. Mwahahaha.

Cheers,

Kerry.

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“Friday-Fortnight” Interview with Effrosyni Moschoudi

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Hi guys,

This week, I’m introducing, Effrosyni Mouschoudi. Welcome, Fros, how you doing today?

EM: Really well, thanks. It’s great to see you at last.

KJD: Thanks. Settle down, have a drink and tell me about Greece. I’ve never been but have always wanted to visit. Tell me, what’s the best thing about the place?

EM: Easy. I live in a serene, seaside town an hour’s travelling distance from Athens. I get the best of both worlds, and I’ve been reaping the benefits since 2005 when I moved here. However, I find that the longer I spend in this place the more I seek the serenity of my surroundings, preferring it to the mad bustle of the city. Especially in the summertime, my favourite season, I can’t stop counting my blessings for the fact that it takes me a mere 5-minute drive to be in the water without the horrid commute to the beach and back that the city folk have to suffer.
The beauty of living in Greece is the sea, the weather, the food, and the open-heartedness of its people. (Sounds fantastic – Ed.) They are the things that make living here a paradise. Of course, in the recent years of the crisis, and while the Greeks continue to suffer much humiliation and austerity, the things I just mentioned have become our only consolation.

KJD: Ah yes, the dreaded recession and austerity. We’ve had serious problems in France and the UK, but it’s nothing like the severity you’ve suffered in Greece. I know this is probably a little political, but I keen to know how the current financial meltdown in Greece has affected you personally and as a writer.

EM: I don’t mind this question at all. I lost my job at Athens airport back in early 2010 after a 20-year professional career. This hit me quite hard. We have been living solely on my husband’s salary ever since. Naturally, we had to cut back on all the extras so as to pay the bills, but it’s not too bad. I am used to it by now and dream to be able to return to a more self-indulgent lifestyle again someday.
Travelling is what I miss the most. Other than that, there is heavy taxation which feels hugely unfair but we count ourselves lucky. We have our own house and my husband’s job is secure. Other Greeks are not so lucky. So many have lost their jobs, their homes, many have been living without electricity for years, children are fainting in school, young minds have moved abroad to find a decent job, and thousands have committed suicide out of despair.
Living in crisis-stricken Greece for the past 6 years and witnessing all of this has been getting increasingly difficult. At the same time, the world has been portraying the Greeks as audacious and demanding, lazy, corrupt, and cunning, rather than seeing us for what we are: a nation striving for survival and for the redemption of its lost sense of pride. It’s humiliating to watch the news and that’s why every single Greek is even angrier than they are upset these days.
This is how the crisis has affected me personally. As for how it has affected my writing, it is the crisis that’s made me an author. Staying home with nothing to do all day was depressing at first, but once I snapped out of it, giving vent to my creativity became the only option.

KJD: Excellent news, art from adversity, salvation in the written word. I admire your tenacity.
And about your writing, I’m guessing your natural language is Greek, so how difficult is it to write in a foreign language. Can you explain you process?

EM: I don’t have a process. I don’t do something complex like write it in Greek and then translate it. I write my books the way any given native speaker of English writes theirs. I started studying English from the age of 10, then at 16, I received a Certificate of English from Cambridge University. In the years in between, I studied English grammar and syntax meticulously in every lesson. I know many native English speakers who can’t spell or jot down a single paragraph with grammatical correctness.

KJD: As do I!

EM: Quite. As a result, I don’t believe it matters what your native language is, just what type of education you have received and how much you loved what you’ve been fed as a child in school.

KJD: Bravo, girl. I wish I had the ability to write in French. Many locals have asked for translation of my books, but the cost is prohibitive and I wouldn’t know whether the translation is any good anyway.
Where do you sell most of your books? I mean, how buoyant is the market in Greece for English-language novels?

EM: Because of the crisis, the market is quite dead here, even for books written in Greek. We are not a book-reading nation as it is. If you sit in a train or a waiting room reading a book here, people will stare at you as if you had antennae sticking out of your head. (Tee hee – Ed.) This is why I don’t bother marketing my books at all here. It’s a lost cause, especially during the crisis. Instead, I concentrate fully on the American Amazon store.

KJD: Good for you and I know you’ve had some real success too. So, on to nicer subjects, what can you see out of your office window (the office where you write)?

EM: My study is a tiny, windowless room that only has a small glass-brick window to allow some natural light to stream through. It’s perfect for me as I don’t like distractions when I write. Any view, even the most stunning one, would stop me from concentrating. This is why I can’t write outdoors either.

KJD: Me neither. I tried taking the laptop outside once and fell asleep in the sun.
Describe a typical day in the life of Effrosyni Moschoudi.

EM: I get up at 7:00, have a break around 12, have lunch, and work till 18:30 when my husband returns. It’s all very mundane really. On most days it doesn’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything big, but I am one of those people who have no problem with moving a mountain one shovelful of dirt at a time so I don’t let pending work overwhelm me. I take things easy, and on the weekends I love to relax with a walk or a swim (in the summer) and lots of movies, which has to be my favourite thing of all.

KJD: Sounds perfect, but I’m a driven sort of guy, have to complete the tasks I’ve set, or I’ll lose sleep.
What genres do you read and do they differ from the ones you write? If so, why?

EM: I enjoy historical fiction and thrillers/mysteries most of all, as well as some chick-lit. I have written historical fiction and intend to try my hand at the other genres I just mentioned, too. I guess it’s because I prefer to write the kind of books I’d love to read myself.

KJD: That’s a good place to start. I’m writing an action book at the moment and having a ball. There are no rules other than those governing the laws of physics. Writing it is therapeutic.
Do you belong to any writer organisations/groups that help you in your endeavours?

EM: I am a member of eNovel Authors at Work. This writer’s group has opened my eyes to the possibilities of networking and promotion. I am very grateful to be a part of this wonderful community of authors. I am also a member of the Fantasy/SciFi network, and have made a couple of good friends there and enjoy supporting them like they do for me as well.

KJD: What’s the first thing you do when starting a new novel? Do you research and write a detailed plot outline?

EM: Basically, I create a chapter summary to work with as I go, even if it’s for only a couple of chapters ahead at a time. In general, at the start, I always have the beginning and a slight idea about the end of the book, and very few things about what happen in between. The chapter summary allows me to develop the plot piece by piece over time. Mostly, it helps me to know in advance what the next chapter is EXACTLY about. This ensures that I don’t sit in front of a blank screen, clueless, when it’s time to write. This little change in my writing routine means I never experience writer’s block any more.

KJD: What excites you about writing and the writing process?

EM: I feel the excitement of my characters in my heart and they pass it on to me. That’s the best way I can describe it. If someone’s in love, I feel in love to. If they are in pain for a loss, I cry with them. If they are mad with rage, I feel it and it overwhelms me. This is what thrills me while I write.

KJD: Excellent. You are a nutcase, like every author I’ve ever met. 🙂
Please tell me a little about your latest work.

EM: The second book in the Lady of the Pier trilogy (The Flow) is the next instalment in the stories of Laura and Sofia – two girls from two different worlds who have a mysterious connection. Sofia is a lot like me, and book 1 (The Ebb) is biographical in a way. I always enjoyed my long summers spent on Corfu with my grandparents as a young girl. I wanted to write a book where I can share my fond memories from that period in my life. Recently I finished writing the first draft of The Storm, the last book in the trilogy, and it feels like a personal accomplishment, because I wanted for so long to tell this story. It is very close to my heart. The Flow was released on June 16, and I plan to publish The Storm this December.

KJD: Fantastic. Congratulations and the very best of luck with sales. I’ll be keeping my eye on the best-seller charts for you.
Back to the personal stuff. If there were a single thing you’d like to change about yourself, what would it be?

EM: I wish I were more outgoing. As a teenager, I was overprotected. My parents didn’t allow me to go out without their supervision. I could only leave the house for my school activities or to visit other friends in their houses. This, combined with my natural inclination to enjoy my solidarity, resulted in me becoming a bit of a loner as an adult. Even now, that I have the freedom to go out whenever I like, I find I often prefer not to.

KJD: I find that almost sad, but very sweet too.
Finally, Do you have any quirks or weaknesses that may interest your readers?

EM: Quirks? Sure! Other than liking things neat like I said earlier, I also delay gratification in ways that are probably not too normal. For example, even when I am ill, I’ll refuse to go to bed unless I’ve done the dishes first. If I am back from a trip, even if it’s late at night, I won’t rest or sleep until I’ve unpacked first. The weirdest thing is that I’ve married a man who has the exact same quirks as me! For one, it means we don’t fight over these things (*laughs*).
As for weaknesses, or rather soft spots, I have two: the first is hazelnuts. After battling in vain for a long time to stop myself from eating so many when they’re put in front of me, I had to stop stocking them in the end. Otherwise I’d have to build new, wider doors in the house! My other, major soft spot is the actor Robert Pattinson. He makes my heart sing. He is all heart, all soul, all vulnerability, human all through and I adore him. (Yuck – Ed.) Plastic, rock-hard, sure-of-themselves, perfect men put me off. Robert inspires me when I write and I devour his movies, watching them over and over. Recently, two fansites of Rob re-blogged one of my interviews where I expressed my admiration for him. This resulted in a few book sales and lots of messages from fans of Rob on Twitter. It was a rare treat to connect with them!

KJD: I take it back then. Mr. Pattinson is a hunk of the highest order. 🙂
Blimey, now that’s going too far. Okay, so that’s it Fros, except to say that I loved chatting with you today, thanks for stopping by and best of luck with The Flow.

EM: You are very welcome, Kerry. I’ve had fun. Thank you for having me.

About Effrosyni

Effrosyni-Moschoudi_Profile_200px

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she often sat alone in her granny’s garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Through adolescence, she wrote dark poetry that suited her melancholic, romantic nature. She’s passionate about books and movies and simply couldn’t live without them. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her British husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix. Effrosyni is a proud member of the writer’s group, eNovel Authors at Work.

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The Ebb

Historical Romance

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When Sofia falls in love with Danny on the Greek island of Corfu, she has two things to worry about: village gossip and a grieving spirit that begins to haunt her dreams.

The Ebb

BRIGHTON, 1937

Dreaming of wealth and happiness, Laura Mayfield arrives in Brighton to pursue a new life. She falls for Christian Searle, a happy-go-lucky stagehand at the West Pier theatre, but when she’s offered a chance to perform there, her love for him is put to the test. Charles Willard, a wealthy aristocrat, is fascinated by her and pursues her relentlessly. Will Laura choose love… or money?

CORFU, 1987

On a long holiday with her grandparents, Sofia Aspioti meets Danny Markson, a charming flirt who makes her laugh. Although she tries to keep him at arm’s length, worried that village gossip will get back to her strict family, she falls desperately in love. That’s when strange dreams about Brighton’s West Pier and a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her. Who is this grieving woman? And how is her lament related to Sofia’s feelings for Danny?

Excerpt from: The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb

Outside the tearoom, Meg said goodbye quickly to rush back to her post, leaving Laura behind to have a look around. Feeling the most carefree she’d felt in a long time, the young girl sauntered to the eastern landing stage in order to enjoy the sea view.
She sat on a bench and watched the world go by for a while. Generous views of the Hove and the open sea that stretched toward an indigo horizon made it a pleasure to be there, even though it was late afternoon. The remaining sunlight was fading fast. She stood up and walked to the railing, dreamily watching the sea horses breaking on the shore. The breeze had picked up in the past few minutes, and she was almost shivering now in her dress and woollen cardigan. She looked up to see clouds travelling to the west, growing darker and darker by the second as the feeble sunlight continued to be engulfed by the growing darkness.
“Excuse me,” she heard a voice from behind her. She turned around to face a young man around her age. He didn’t look older than twenty-two, twenty-four at most. He had short dark hair and sparkling blue eyes. He wore a rather shabby-looking jacket, dark trousers, and a pair of worn out shoes that had seen better days. His choice of clothes would have been unworthy of notice had it not been for a thick, rusty-brown scarf that was tied snugly around his neck.
He stood smiling at her rather awkwardly, his thin lips twitching and all the while, his eyes seemed to speak to her through their amazing sparkle.
She felt drawn to them as if they were sending out signals she was meant to interpret. He was nervous; she was sure of that. It was evident in the way he had dug both his hands in his pockets, looking a bit lost for words. And yet, the look in his eyes seemed quite confident.
“Yes?” she asked, mystified by his body language.
“Hello miss, sorry to disturb,” he finally said, rather unsurely.
“Yes?” She asked again after another awkward pause.
“Um, I was wondering if you could do me a favour…” His voice trailed off as he scratched his head.
Laura gave him an encouraging nod. “How can I help you?”
He still looked hesitant as he stood before her, shifting his weight from foot to foot but then, he finally spoke. “Well, I was wondering if you could pretend that we’re friends.”
Laura knitted her brows. “I don’t understand.”
“Could you offer me a handshake please? Or smile and give me a hug or something?” The half-smile he flashed her then, could also be perceived as a rather cheeky smirk.
“What?” she protested. “What on earth for?”

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“Friday-Fortnight” Interview with Ashley Capes

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Hi guys,

Well, it’s been ages since the last FFI and I have to apologise to the authors lining up in the green room. Sorry guys. No real excuses, but apart from being a lazy sod, I’ve been really busy publishing the latest in the DCI Jones Casebook series, Sean Freeman.

On that front, I have to say that I’ve been both staggered and delighted by the way the book has been received. Thanks to everyone who’s already bought a copy, and to those of you who’ve not yet acquired one I ask, why the hell not? Teehee.

Okay, on to the real business of the day. I’m talking with another Australian friend today, the multi-talented, poet, teacher, blogger, and author of epic fantasies and something called haiku (no, I’ve no idea either). I give you, Ashley Capes.

KJD: Welcome Ash, how you doing, today?

AC: Yeah not bad, mate. Is it beer o’clock here yet?

KJD: At this time of the morning? Sorry, I’m only making tea or coffee.

AC: I’m on Aussie time, but since this is your party, I’ll have a coffee and one of those lovely little cucumber sangers with the crusts cut off, please.

KJD: Now this is getting silly, can we proceed with the interview?

AC: You started it. (Smiles, winks, adds three spoons of sugar to his mug, starts slurping*). Fire away.

KJD: So, let’s start with my usual knock-it-out-of-the-park underarm slow ball (only old cricket lovers will understand that one). What’s the best thing about your hometown, and what can you see out of your studio window?

AC: Location – it’s close to the sea, which is a big draw. Not that I sail or anything, but I love the ocean. I catch a great view of a neighbour’s antenna—I hope they have better reception than me—and if I stretch really far, I can see some of their fence too. 🙂 

KJD: Impressive. Do you have colour TV in Australia these days? (Ducks a flying cucumber sandwich). Sorry, I’ll stop that now. My wife lived in Perth, Western Australia back in the 1970s and I’ve always wanted to visit.
Here’s another easy question: You are shipwrecked on a deserted paradise island, apart from the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare (yeah, as if), what other book must you have and why?

AC: I must have Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, so I can laugh in the face of all that solitude.

KJD: I’ve never managed to finish any Terry Pratchett novels, but I know his work is loved by many and he’ll be sorely missed. His passing is a sad loss to the world of fantasy fiction.

AC: I’ll second that.

KJD: Starting to get a little mawkish here, so, under the same conditions as above, on the deserted island, what’s the one luxury item you take with you and why?

AC: Possibly my acoustic guitar, as I’d want music and my singing voice is not at all pristine, especially after a few years playing in a heavy metal band 🙂

KJD: Hey, that’s a surprise. Apart from the writing, we’ve something else in common. We both play guitar and neither can sing. Teehee. (A two-hour break for battle-of-the-axemen ensued before the interview resumed—Ed.).

AC: I won, by the way.

KJD: No you didn’t, you fluffed that last power chord. Anyway on with the show, what book genres do you read?

AC: I’ll try just about anything when it comes to books, though the two that I read most outside of speculative fiction, would be biography and poetry. Poetry, for instance, I think differs in that there’s a focus on the compression of meaning and language, at the expense (sometimes) of narrative.

KJD: Wow – don’t think I understood one word of that last sentence. You poets are on a different plain to us normals—not that I consider myself that much of a normal. I’m going to gloss over my ignorance of the finer art of woredsmithery. The closest I’ve been to writing poetry is penning the occasional song lyric.
Back to the prose writing, what’s the first thing you do when starting a new novel?

AC: For me there’s usually a character, a place or an idea that kicks things off and I simply jot down ideas around that spark. Sometimes the document I start things off in ends up 10 pages long, sometimes it’s only 10 dot points.

KJD: Yep, I guess it’s pretty much the same when I write. What excites you about writing and the writing process?

AC: The thrill of creation. It’s amazing, to start with an idea or two and then get to work and see a complete story start to take shape. It’s a little like both kinds of sculpture. First, it’s Additive – building a first draft and adding scenes and characters, until it becomes Subtractive – whittling away sub-plots, characters and scenes with each revision, until the story is all that’s left.

KJD: Writing as sculpture? Lovely analogy, I never saw it like that. Must be the poet in you. For how long have you been writing creative fiction?

AC: Probably 17 years but professionally, only 3 – whereas I’ve probably been writing and publishing poetry for the last 13 or so, and all the while, I was writing fiction at the same time. So the lines are often blurred for me 🙂

KJD: Blurred lines comes with a writer’s territory. Tell me a little about your latest work.

AC: I’m currently writing a mystery with a bit of horror and definite fantasy feel to it. It’s set in a small Australian town and revolves around a wildlife ranger who has to unravel the truth around the existence of a giant white kangaroo.
I grew up in a place similar to the fictional setting of the story and I really wanted to write something using native animals in some way. My dream was for the novel to be released in November this year but I’m revising that to 2016…early. Maybe. Hopefully!
I’d love to share some but nothing quite ready – too much a hideous first draft!

KJD: Wow that sounds really weird and I can’t wait to read it! I just know it’s going to be excellent. Don’t think I’ve said how much I like your writing for a while, but I do.

AC: Aw, and there’s me thinking you were just an old Pom. Thanks, Kerry. I’ll have to revise my opinion. 🙂

KJD: Credit where it’s due—even for an Aussie. We’re gonna win the Ashes back this year! (Cut the cricket references, we’ve all had enough—Ed.)
Let’s change the subject. If there were a single thing you’d like to change about yourself, what would it be?

AC: I’d like a better memory. Mine is terrible – not in terms of forgetting a shopping list or an anniversary, but in remembering important events in detail. I’d love to see a bit more of key events in my mind’s eye.

KJD: I’m with you there, mate. I could really do with a full-time PA. Writing, editing, cover art, promo, takes forever and I’m always forgetting to do stuff.
Here’s another of my favourite questions to gain an insight into your inner self, ready?

AC: Uh, no.

KJD: Oh go on. You are planning a dinner party and have a choice of five guests, (you can chose from anyone in history). Who do you invite and why?

AC: That’s not so bad. I choose, Jack Kerouac, Grace Kelly, Neil Postman, Dali, and Nero. I’d hope there would be some interesting conversation and that I’d be able to film or tape the conversation. I’d need a translator too – can I have a spare seat?

KJD: I’m not usually this generous, but as you’re a mate, yes. But only one extra chair. I’ll be hovering in the background, taking notes.
What’s next in your life?

AC: I have a tower-like structure of unread books I want to get to.

KJD: I hope you get to it before it topples! Finally, tell me something about yourself you wouldn’t want you partner/parents to know. Don’t worry; it’ll be our little secret. 🙂

AC: There are no secrets in a small town, sadly 😀

KJD: Sure it’s not the old Aussie character holding you back? Sorry, no more cricket jibes! Finally, finally, is there anything I’ve forgotten to ask that you’re keen my readers should know?

AC: Only that the follow-up to City of Masks – The Lost Mask – is getting ever-closer!

KJD: Fantastic, can’t wait to read that one. I loved City of Masks. Notch is a particular favourite character for me.
I think that’s all I have in the way of questions but I know you’ll want to get your own back for losing the first guitar duel. Grab your axe man, and let’s have at it.

AC: You’re on, mate. Before we start, I’d like to say, thanks for the opportunity to chat, now try following this lick …

KJD: Wahay, old metal fingers is back!

*No sugar bowls were used during the course of this interview—we’re both sweet enough.

 

About Ashley

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Ashley is a novelist, poet and teacher living in Australia. He is a big fan of Studio Ghibli and loves haiku, volleyball and is convinced that Magnum PI is one of the greatest television shows ever created.

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City of Masks

Epic Fantasy / Sword & Sorcery, Action/Adventure

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An epic fantasy with a ‘wrong man’ premise, City of Masks pits a mercenary and a young woman against ruthless killers in an ancient city.

Waking in Anaskar Prison covered in blood and accused of murder, nobody will listen to Notch’s claims of innocence until he meets the future Protector of the Monarchy, Sofia Falco.

But Sofia has her own burdens. The first female Protector in a hundred years, her House is under threat from enemies within, the prince has made it clear he does not want her services and worst of all, she cannot communicate with her father’s sentient mask of bone, the centuries-old Argeon. Without the bone mask she cannot help anyone — not herself, and certainly not a mercenary with no powerful House to protect him.

Meanwhile, far across the western desert, Ain, a young Pathfinder, is thrust into the role of Seeker. Before winter storms close the way, he must leave his home on a quest to locate the Sea Shrine and take revenge on the people who drove his ancestors from Anaskar, the city ruled by the prince Sofia and Notch are sworn to protect, whether he wants their help or not.

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June Update

Hi guys,

It’s been a while since we’ve had a chat and I thought I’d let you know what’s been happening here at chez Donovan.

My darling wife recently had a significant birthday and we’re in the middle of preparing to host a family gathering here in August. Fingers crossed for the weather. We’ve recently returned from a fortnight in the UK, visiting our family—two weeks that flew by. I always return exhausted from those trips, but happy to have seen our three children and three (soon to be four) grandchildren.

That’s the domestic news, now for the authorial front where I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

After months of writing, editing, cover designing, proofreading, and planning, the latest novel in the DCI Jones Casebook series of crime thrillers, Sean Freeman finally hit the bookshelves last month.

Although the third in the Casebook series, Sean Freeman, is the second full-length novel and I’ve likened it to that ‘difficult second album’. Fellow writers (and musicians) know how scary the publication/recording process really is and the follow-up to the first ‘hit’ is particularly trying. Truth is I’ve been terrified during the whole process, although I’ve already received some positive feedback from readers, which is a huge relief. Sales have been refreshingly brisk too, so thanks to all who’ve bought and read the novel.

The events in Sean Freeman occurr before those of Raymond Collins and Ellis Flynn. As a result, I’m calling it a prequel and the ‘official’ start of the Casebook series, each of which can be read as a standalone novel. For those of you who’ve already read Ellis Flynn, don’t worry, a sequel is in the works to answer an outstanding question (no spoilers here!). However, the next entry in the Casebook series will be a story focussing on David Jones’ protégé, Detective Sergeant Phil Cryer, he with the growing family and the eidetic memory. The working title is The DCI Jones Casebook: Cryer’s View, and we’ll be seeing the world through Phil’s eyes. The story will start shortly after the events that took place at the end of Raymond Collins, and will include the usual cast of characters, David Jones (of course), Alex Olganski, Ryan Washington, and that lazy lump you know the one I mean, Charlie Pelham.

My flirtation with fantasy/sci-fi, The Transition of Johnny Swift, still continues to baffle, amuse, and confuse readers, which was sort of the point. It’s what I call my ‘marmite’ book. You either love or hate it; there seems to be no middle ground. It started as an experiment in writing a story in first person, present tense, and I really loved the challenge. For those of you who’ve yet to read it, here’s an incentive. Ready?

On 19th June, I’m running a special discount promotion for the novel. For two days only, you can buy the ebook for a mere £0.99, ($0.99).

What? Are you serious? (Ed.)

Yep, absolutely. For two days only, you can buy the ebook at that ridiculously low price. How about that? This link will take you to the Amazon page where you can read the blurb and buy the book. Go on, give it a go, what’s to lose?

So, what’s next in the pipeline for yours truly? I’m in the middle of the first rewrite of my adventure yarn, On Lucky Shores. Set in the Colorado Rockies, the story follows resourceful musician, Chet Walker, as he hitchhikes across America searching out inspiration for his next song. When he arrives at the picturesque lakeside town of Lucky Shores, he stumbles across a six-year-old mystery, places himself in danger, and tries to help a beautiful imperilled woman. I hope to publish later this year and will keep you posted on progress.

By the way, my son, Kyall has promised to write and record a theme tune for On Lucky Shores to release ahead of the book launch. See what I did there? Linking my upcoming novel and the ‘difficult second album’ thing I mentioned earlier? Clever, eh? Okay, maybe not.

That’s all for now. If you fancy contacting me for a chat, you know where I am, right?

Have a wonderful summer if you’re in the northern hemisphere and a gentle winter if you aren’t.

Cheers,
Kerry.

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Catch A Live Online Interview with Kerry J Donovan on ‘Changes’ with Sally Ember

Hi guys,

Now here’s a thing. I am an idiot.

No surprises there of course, but what did I do this time? I agreed to a live online interview for a blogger in the US… and forgot about it!

Yep, that’s right, I’ll be broadcasting live to the world for a whole hour on Wednesday 3rd June at 10:00 EDT (that’s 15:00hrs BST).

The interview is part of the ‘Changes’ series hosted by Sally Ember, who chats with authors writing in various genres. I think she’s particularly keen to discuss my fantasy/sci-fi novel, The Transition of Johnny Swift.

Here’s the link to the page complete with a countdown clock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AM5PvYWnKQ

If you fancy watching the show, feel free to click the link and keep us company. You can ask questions during the show too.

Cheers,

Kerry.

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  • Reader Reviews

    • A nice mix of scenery, relationships and action, with plenty of mysterious twists and turns, keeps the pace of the story moving nicely. Suzanne Pherigo
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