An Interview with Maya Sacher

Publication1

 
My guest today is Maya Sacher, author of Hungry for Love.

Maya is a law school graduate, an activist, and the author of three books. Two books were published in Croatia, a short story collection and a novel.

Hungry for Love is a new adventure for her, as it is her first self-published book and an attempt to reach a new, wider market.

Hungry for Love is due for release on March 1st, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon

 

07Hi Maya, and welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you like to kick off by telling us what motivates you to write…?

Life, experience, people, society and its anomalies.

 
…And how your interest in writing originated?

I was twelve when I first dabbled with writing. I remember we used to frequently go down to the air-raid shelter, (Croatia was at war in the early nineties), and there wasn’t much to do for a kid in a shelter. I would bring a notebook with me and I started writing down stories. But it wasn’t until I graduated high school that I realized I wanted to be a writer.

 
Who or what has helped you become a better writer over time?

One of my first teachers was my Croatian editor, Mr. Kruno Lokotar, who helped me shape up my first two books. I also learned a lot from the mentors of The Writers’ Workshop, Elizabeth Garner and Laurence Daren King, who I have worked with on Hungry for Love.

 
What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Writing is the easiest part, that’s where all the fun is. Rewriting is not as fun, but it’s still writing. Researching, although it has its moments, is the hardest part for me because it isn’t writing.

 
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I don’t know yet. I’ll let you know when one of my books hits bestseller list.

 
Walk us through a day in the life of Maya

After my cats and I have had our breakfast, they find a cozy place to sleep, and I tap away at my computer until lunch break. After lunch I write some more. If the weather is nice, I’ll go for a walk. I usually finish off my day with a movie or I catch up on my reading or both. See, quite glamorous.

 
Are events in Hungry for Love based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I’m sure most writers draw their inspiration from their own experience, the people they know and the world around them. Actually, this is the first rule of writing – write what you know. So most stories have a touch of their author’s lives in them. Hungry for Love tells of trials and tribulations of a woman who falls in love with a new man while her husband is in a coma, and the most difficult decision she has to make when her husband wakes up. This premise is made-up, however some characters were inspired by the people I know.

 
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?

I could say the main character, Elizabeth, because she is both fragile and strong, but I could also pick her therapist, Dawn, because she is wise, cool and understanding. On the other hand, I also love the two male characters, Elizabeth’s quirky husband, Jesse, and her lover, Aidan, who is somewhat rough around the edges but has a big heart. I can’t really take my pick.

 
How about your least favourite character?

I can’t choose the least favorite character either because they are all my creation and I sympathize with all of them. All characters are, in essence, bits of their author. Choosing the least favorite character would be like saying I don’t like some part of me, and that wouldn’t be true.

 
Would you please tell us about the delicious cover and how it came about.

book cover

 

My friend, Sonja Kovač, takes pictures of books for publishers and websites. I love her photographs, so I asked her if she would take my cover photo.

I told her I wanted cookies theme, since Elizabeth bakes cookies, but I also wanted the cover to suggest a love triangle without actually showing people.

At the bottom you will notice a recipe. It was Sonja’s idea. It’s actually a recipe for happiness taken from the novel. So when the readers watch the table on the cover, it’s as if they are seeing from Elizabeth’s perspective, as if they are baking cookies themselves.

 

 
Who is your intended audience and why should they read Hungry for Love?

Women (and men) who enjoy unconventional love stories and family dramas.

 
Have you any books in the pipeline? Can you tell us a bit about it/them?

I am currently working on a young adult novel, a dystopian romance.

 
Your book is being made into a movie, what music would you use as a soundtrack?

Something along the lines of early Maroon 5.

 
Other than writing, what are you passionate about?

Movies, traveling, food. I love trying new flavors, visiting new places, and I’m probably addicted to movies.

 
What can we expect from you in the future?

Hopefully, more books.

 
If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why?

I used to fantasize about changing this or that about my past, about whether or not I could have made a better choice or prevented something bad from happening, but now I don’t want to change anything. Let bygones be bygones and all that.

 
What are your pet peeves?

I guess my biggest pet peeve is when people don’t believe you even in the face of evidence. And when people spend more time on their phone than they do interacting with the people they are supposedly having a conversation with.

 
Quick fire round:

  • favourite thingsFavourite book?

    The Little Prince.

  • Favourite food?

    Chocolate.

  • Favourite flower?

    Sunflower.

  • Favourite animal?

    Cats.

  • Favourite quote?

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
    Marilyn Monroe

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you head back to your writing and your cats?

I hope the readers will enjoy Hungry for Love. If you’d like to share anything, ask a question, or just chat, feel free to get in touch via my Facebook page.

 
Thank you for joining us, Maya. Best wishes for Release Day!

 

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Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – One Genre

Looking for a new book for the youngsters to read this weekend?
Try one of these…

I have three books for older children (and the young at heart) plus two for younger children!

 

Title: The Dragon Dreamer
Author: J.S. Burke

22886684The Dragon Dreamer is a fast-paced adventure with flying dragons, an undersea world, and unexpected friendship. It’s a young adult science fantasy layered for ages 9 to 99+.

Arak is different, a worthless dreamer, bullied by other young dragons. Determined to prove himself he leaves the clan and flies far over the sea on a dangerous quest. He’s caught in a fierce storm and crashes, suffering serious injuries and the loss of his trance-stone. A fearless, shape-shifting octopus named Scree finds and heals him and an unexpected friendship begins. Arak returns to the Winter Festival, where dragons carve glaciers with fire and toss lightning bolts in the clouds. When an undersea volcano erupts, it triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his secret gift to save the dragons?

Amazon

Book 2 – Dragon Lightning also available

My review:

The author cleverly mixes fantasy with fact in this delightful and original story which is appropriate for all ages, including adults.
The friendships between the different species are as engaging as they are inspiring. They learn to communicate, respect and trust each other as they experience some tough and demanding adventures
The world(s) in which they live are wonderfully described as are the creatures that inhabit them. The characters have human qualities and emotions, and are easy to relate to.

 

Title: How Maxwell Grover Stole My House
Author: C.E. Vance

25141680Book 1 in the exciting new kids trilogy!

What if every fear you ever had about your creepy next-door neighbor turned out to be true?

10- year-old Zeke Langley has become the target of his nasty new neighbor, Maxwell Grover. For reasons known only to him, the unsavory stranger seems determined to make Zeke’s life miserable and force his family out of their home.

Inevitably, Zeke and his best friend Winks set out on a journey to discover what Grover is hiding. What they find sends them down a road they never imagined … and on a mission they may never return from.

Amazon

My review:

Although aimed at an audience much younger than I am, I enjoyed every minute of this book.
It was well-written, with age-appropriate language and some great gross-out moments.
The children in the story were likeable and acted their age during their adventures. The villain of the piece was disgusting and scary, but not too much for the younger reader.
A fun read that you and your kids will love.

 

Title: Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon
Author: H.L. Burke

24626870Thaddeus F. Whiskers is a pampered palace pet, a kitten enchanted to never become a cat. Princess Clarice loves him, for in the entire kingdom, there is no other kitten as cute or as clever. He leads a life of cushions and cream until a wizard’s “gift” results in his banishment. Determined to make it back to the princess he loves, he escapes into the wilderness where he discovers the lair of a dragon.

Grandious, the dragon, doesn’t care about anything besides himself. He wants to be left alone with his treasure. However, there is something about Thaddeus that has him entranced. He finds himself opening his home and his heart to the little cat.

Thaddeus is a small creature in a big world. Between him and his beloved Princess stand conniving wizards, would-be-step-mothers, and rampaging rats. However, when danger threatens both Clarice and Grandious, Thaddeus won’t allow his size to get in the way of saving his friends.

Amazon

My review:

A delightful story for youngsters, although I believe we are never to old for a good fairy tale.
It has all the elements of a great fantasy story… a sweet natured princess, an eternally young kitten, a ferocious/friendly dragon, an evil queen, an incompetent wizard and much more.
A wonderful read for the young and the young at heart.

 

Title: Girlie and the War of the Wasps
Author: Claire Plaisted

30053948Girlie is a young blue ladybug who sees her best friend kidnapped. Venturing after her, she discovers some naughty wasps who need to learn about healthy eating. Along the way, Girlie meets many different characters, some who are helpful and some who aren’t.

*40% of sales going to ‘chasing a cure for type 1 diabetes.’

Amazon

Book 2 – Girlie and the Quest for Pedi’s Family & Book 3 – Girlie’s Circus Adventure also available

My review:

A thoroughly enjoyable book, for children of all ages.

The story is adventurous and interesting, and the illustrations were delightful.
I liked how the ‘lessons’ in healthy eating, bullying and discrimination were worked into the story without being preachy!

 

Title: Gloria and the Unicorn
Author: Wanda Luthman

34797852Adopted by a loving owner of a children’s home, Gloria still has a lot to overcome. She has a droopy cheek on one side of her face. Then, she overhears a terrible secret about her past that she doesn’t want anyone to know. To protect her from bullies, she is kept out of school. But, Gloria wants to learn to read more than anything in the world. She feels she has no one to turn to until a magical unicorn named Sir Louie befriends her. Can he help her learn to love and accept herself? And when Sir Louie suddenly disappears, will Gloria think he has rejected her like everyone else or realize his life is in danger and he may need her help?

Amazon

My review:

A lovely children’s book with a wonderful message.

The book encourages its readers to be happy and to love themselves.

Gloria looks different from other children, but thanks to Sir Louie, a magical unicorn, she learns to accept that it’s ok to be different.

 

Throwback Thursday

I haven’t done a *Throwback Thursday before, but I was looking through my posts from the beginning of my blogging journey and thought I’d reshare this one…

I have read and reviewed a lot of books since this post was published – some good, some not so good & some awesome – and my Kindle is filled mainly with books from indie authors.

Originally Published: 2nd July, 2015

 

Reading Habits

1

I was taught to read by my parents at an early age from the Peter and Jane books, and apparently could read before I went to school.
I read a lot of ‘ladybird’ books and I remember reading Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, written by A.A.Milne and illustrated by E. H. Shepard. I still have my much loved Beatrix Potter books. I also remember reading Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven Series followed by The Famous Five series, plus Heidi, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi’s Children by Johanna Spyri. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll, are a couple more I remember.

2

I must’ve read a lot of other books, but they’re the ones that stick in my mind. One year, during the ’70, while on holiday I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by Lewis Carroll and I loved it, for Christmas that year I received The Chronicles of Narnia Box-Set.

3

In my teens, I discovered my dad’s H.G. Wells (The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds) and John Wyndham books, (The Day of the Triffids, Kraken Wakes, The Midwich Cuckoos) . From there I discovered Stephen King (Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Shining…) and James Herbert (The Rats, The Fog, The Survivor…), followed by many other’s including Dean Koontz (Midnight, Hideaway, Mr. Murder…), Richard Laymon (The Cellar, The Beast House, Funland…) and Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Witching Hour).

4
I’m still an avid reader and read most days, more often than not my kindle is in my hand and I’m engrossed in some story or other. I mainly read books that fall into the following categories:

    apocalyptic
    fantasy
    horror
    mystery
    paranormal
    sci-fi
    thriller

I don’t really read chick-lit, stand-alone love stories or erotica. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude, most books I read these days have sex and swearing in them. Romance and/or sex scenes are fine, as long as they are part of a good story!

That’s it for now. In some future posts, I will be writing about some of my favourite books and their authors.

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

 

When Knowing Comes by Valarie Savage Kinney

When Knowing Comes Reveal

Title: When Knowing Comes
Series: Secrets of Windy Springs, #2
Author: Valarie Savage Kinney
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release date: March 10th

 

Twisted magic pervades the enchanted forest at Windy Springs Renaissance Festival. Strange physical symptoms plague Keisha as her second season of vending at Windy Springs begins.

Violence and destruction bring fear to the festival as long-harbored secrets threaten to emerge. When stunning truths are unveiled, Keisha struggles to come to grips with a new reality. Will her relationship with Rogan withstand the coming changes or will the darkness he reveals about his past destroy the promise of their future?

When Knowing Comes is the second book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series. Grab your copy today and find out what mysteries await within the magical forest at Windy Springs.

Pre-order

 
When Knowing Comes

 

Valarie Savage Kinney:

27654394_1904237963158226_6070796649316661387_nValarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs.

She is the author of Heckled, Slither, Just Hold On, and the Secrets of Windy Springs series, as well as short stories in various anthologies.

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Five on Friday

 

 

A Love Haunting by Suzi Albracht

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Title: A Love Haunting
Author: Suzi Albracht
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: December 23, 2017

 
0000 love 333 500Every woman needs a man who will love them to the end of time. A man who puts her needs before his. A man who takes her breath away with a single glance. A man who will do whatever it takes to have a last goodbye kiss.

What happens when a trio of ghosts from the 1800s and a skateboarding angel team up to help a newly-dead young husband spend one final goodbye night with the young wife he left behind? And what if a storm of the century threatens to get in the way?

Get your copy of A Love Haunting

 

Excerpt:

This short chapter in A Love Haunting begins Jordan’s existence as a Living Dead (LD). It appears a quarter of the way into the novel. It takes place after he feels he has lost his one true love and just before he meets Luke, a skateboarding angel, and the trio of ghosts from the 1800s who become his friend.

 
      Love… death… forever. That’s the story of my life apparently.
      So Emily had left the Banks. In my mind, I knew she had to go, but now I am lonelier than I’ve ever been in my life. Right after the accident, my world was devastated because of my loss of Emily, our baby and… my life.
      And then when Emily was in the hospital, I found a way to be near to her again, if only in a small way. Now she is gone and my life is really over. Now I have no one.
      Sure I could have hung around Allie, bugging her but it would not have been fair to her. Besides, she was on her way to being a nurse practitioner, and I knew she’d be a damn good one. So while Allie was in school, I was going to leave her be, but I did plan on helping her when she embarked on her new career. Besides, I wanted to convince Allie to shoot bigger and become a doctor. Being a physician was her real calling, she just didn’t know it yet.
      In the meantime, I made up my mind I was going to make the best of my new dead life, and that would require some hands-on research. Research had always been one of my strong suits. That and evaluation.
      And there was something else I wanted to research but didn’t dare until I figured out all the rules and restrictions of my dead existence. I didn’t want to lose my wife, so I was going to try to… do something.
      So since I had loads of free time on my hands, I would start by exploring to see what was what.
      
What am I supposed to do about my feelings now that I’m dead? My life can’t end like this. It just can’t.
      Wow, I hadn’t allowed myself to admit that I was actually dead until now. Dead and buried and the whole nine yards.
      Well, it’s true. I died a few feet off a highway in North Carolina, not far from my favorite vacation paradise – the Outer Banks.
      I am a ghost, and this is my love story.

 

Meet The Author:

Suzi_Albracht2My name is Suzi Albracht. I live just outside of Annapolis, Maryland which is in the Baltimore/Washington corridor. I mention the corridor because that is where all my books in The Devil’s Due collection take place. My book, A Love Haunting, takes place in the OBX, NC where we vacation every year. I prefer to write stories that take place in locations where I have spent time.

I typically write in the dark realm, that means Supernatural Horror Crime Fiction and most recently, Paranormal Romance/Ghosts. The horror books are Death Most Wicked, The Devil’s Lieutenant, and Scorn Kills. All three books are part of The Devil’s Due Collection.

My most recent release is A Love Haunting which is book one of my An OBX Hauntings series. It is a paranormal romance, a ghost story that takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This book is so much fun to write. I am taking local lore and threading it through my story. And I get to write about love in a way that my other stories haven’t yet allowed me.

I am currently working on three more books – Her Deadly Intentions which is part of The Devil’s Due Collection, Lucifer’s Queen, also part of the collection, and a second book in An OBX Hauntings series. I also have a political thriller in the works.

My books are like my children so of course, they are all my favorites but if I am forced to pick one or two, I would say Death Most Wicked and my new novel, A Love Haunting.

I love Death because it introduces Mikael Ruskoff, my favorite character. It shows his love for his family, his hatred for the father who deserted him, and his devotion to his mother. At the same time, you get to know what a dedicated law enforcement officer he is while he risks his own life to stop a child murderer.

I am equally proud of my new book, A Love Haunting, because it allows me to show a softer side in my writing. I am free to show that silly love couples have in private, the yearning love of innocents. Plus I got to play with the whole ghost concept which pleased me to no end. I’ve always been fascinated with ghosts. It was also my first book with no profanity or violence. It was like a refreshing after-dinner drink.

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Wickedly Awesome Designs

 

Guest Post by Suzi Albracht:

This is a character interview with Luke, the skateboarding angel.

I was pleased that Luke agreed to do an interview with me. I had read the book, A Love Haunting, and was anxious to get some insight into Luke’s role. We arranged to meet at the Dune Burger in Nags Head at ten p.m. I had never been there before but felt as if I knew it from reading about it. When I arrived, Luke was nowhere to be seen. I began to worry a bit that he was standing me up.

I decided to take a seat at one of the outdoor tables and go over my list of questions for him. I had just opened my note book and put it on the table. My pen was missing so I rummaged through my purse, looking for another. Suddenly my note book slid about six inches away from my hand. I pulled it back, looking around. I didn’t think it was that windy. Oh well, I thought.

I turned to look for that pen again but now my purse was gone. I immediately jumped to my feet. I fumbled around, thinking I’d call the cops but then I remembered my phone was in my purse. And then right before my eyes, my purse materialized where it had been. I heard a faint giggle. Frowning, I grabbed it. And then it came to me.

“Luke?” I looked around. Before I could even blink, he materialized next to me.

“Dudette,” Luke said with a grin on his face.

“Hi, I am very pleased to meet you.” I held out my hand to shake, hoping Luke would oblige me. He did, but it was a high-five.

I silently appraised Luke’s appearance. Holding a skateboard under one arm, he was wearing surfer shorts, a long sleeve skater tee shirt, black Chuck Taylors, black fingerless gloves, and a silver chain with a medallion. I was dying to see what was on the medallion but felt it was too soon to get that personal.

Luke, however, is very perceptive. In an instant, I realized that he noticed my interest.

“Dudette, you dig my jangles?” Luke asked fingering the medallion. I nodded. “One of my peeps gifted me.” He stepped closer to me holding the medallion so I could see it.

“When you say peeps, are you referring to souls you have transitioned?” I grabbed my note book and pen, preparing to take notes. Luke took one look at them and began to pop-lock dance in front of me. I was taken back. Why would he do that?

I don’t know if Luke saw the look of surprise on my face or not but after a few minutes, Luke sat down at the table and put a serious look on his face. “Allie said you had some questions for me. You’re probably on a deadline… please, ask away, dudette.”

Every time he called me dudette, I wanted to fall down laughing. But I had a mission to complete.
“When you help the newly dead to transition… can you describe the feeling to me that you get when you are able to get them to Heaven?” I asked.

Luke gazed into my eyes with those big eyes of his. He leaned toward me, his face was glowing, his eyes shining. I felt I was about to hear some celestial secret. Instead, he put his thumb and index fingertip on my nose and tweaked it. I know my mouth was hanging open with surprise.

The next thing I knew, he jumped up and took my hand, placing it on his shoulder. Then he put his arm around my waist and took my other hand in his. We began to waltz around the parking lot.

I have to say the guy has some smooth moves.

Luke turned his attention on me and said, “It makes me feel like this. Like all is right in the world.”

Then all of a sudden hip hop music blared out of a new Chevy Camaro that drove into the parking lot. I glanced at Luke but he was no longer there. I must have looked silly to the driver of the Camaro because he asked me if I was alright. I suppose I did look silly dancing with an imaginary partner. I looked behind his car and there was Luke skateboarding up the street.

I would have called out to him but I suddenly had the feeling that angels don’t like being interviewed.

 
00000 queen b (2)

An Interview with Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon

 
Last week Only One Woman by Christina Jones and ‎ Jane Risdon was in the spotlight here on Rainne’s Ramblings.

Today I have Jane Risdon here with me and she has agreed to answer a few questions.

 

1-image1Hi Jane, thank you for joining us.

Hi Rainne, thanks so much for asking me here today, it’s wonderful to chat with you and your readers.

 

Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and your background, please?

Where to begin? I met my husband back in the late 1960s when his band arrived in England to record and tour and we’ve been together ever since. We have one son who lives in California with his wife and their three children.

Married to a musician my life has never been what you call normal I guess. He recorded and toured and I held down a ‘proper’ job in the early years – I worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall, and in various other government departments until we decided to go into the ‘talent’ side of the music business.

We built an International Music Management company together, managing and producing singer-songwriters, record producers, musicians and bands of all musical genres, as well as working on TV and Movie soundtracks – and on some other areas of movie and TV production too – and most things music related. We lived mostly in the USA, Taiwan, Singapore, and of course England. We’ve had some interesting adventures.

 
How did your journey as a writer begin?

I’ve always wanted to write but with our lifestyle it was never practical. Babysitting testosterone fuelled young men and hormone crazed young female singers never allowed for time to ourselves. We lived life in the fast lane, to quote the Eagles.

Back in the 1960s my husband’s fan-club secretary, Christina Jones, was also a rock journalist and short story writer for teen magazines and she knew I wanted to write and we always said we would write together one day. Trouble is I had an eye on writing crime thrillers. She went on to become a successful best-selling, award-winning author of what she calls Bucolic Frolics, so how we’d ever write together was a conundrum.

Fast forward many years and I found time to write and started – on the quiet – writing crime stories for anthologies and I began work on a few novels. She asked to read what I’d written and after some discussion we decided to get on with it and write together. By this time I was already signed with Accent Press – oddly she was also signed with them by then as she’d ended her former publishing contracts with the ‘big’ boys.

I have never written anything remotely classed as ‘romantic’ so it has been a journey for me writing Only One Woman with Christina. There aren’t any dead bodies, crimes to solve, just a rollicking good tale of two girls in love with the same musician back in the late 1960s. I cannot tell you how I itched to find somewhere to stick a corpse.

 
What inspired Only One Woman, and how did you come up with the title?

23316470_156873331586164_1681214585976771281_nInspiration for OOW (as we call it) was something that came from the ether. Christina and I wanted to write together but as I said before, she and I write in completely different genres. Finding something we could write about together seemed a distant fantasy. In 2012 I moved house and as I was going through some boxes I came across my husband’s old tour schedules, posters, fan letters, and some of our old diaries and I began to make notes. These soon became little chapters under diary date headings and before I knew it I’d written Renza’s story and it cried out for another voice. I sent it via email to Christina and she loved it and started writing her parts which turned into Stella’s story. This went on until 2014 when it went into our publisher who wanted to publish it later that summer. We wrote by email, text and Facebook messages – very 21st century! Due to various comings and goings at our publisher it has taken until November 2017 or it to be published. I learned patience in the recording studio making records and working with young musicians – just as well!

Only One Woman is the title of a single written by The Bee Gees which was a massive hit for The Marbles – lead singer Graham Bonnett went on to be a super-star with Rainbow and many other bands. In fact Graham and his girlfriend are reading OOW and he is going to write a foreword for the main Paper-back (for stores worldwide and audio) publication 24th May 2018. He just needs to find time as he is recording and touring at the moment. Fingers crossed. OOW is peppered with songs and musical references. It is about the blossoming UK music scene late 1968/69. We have our own YouTube playlists.

 
What is your favourite scene from Only One Woman? Can you give us a peek?

Gosh, now there is a question. I don’t really have a favourite scene – I love them all but how about when 16 year old convent girl, Renza, is taken by her new boyfriend, lead guitarist Scott, to a gig on Salisbury Plain with Narnia’s Children for the first time and she experiences ‘the swinging sixties’ full on. This is part way through a chapter. Renza is at an after-gig party with some weird and wonderful hippies and musicians….

Excerpt:

Renza’s Diary from Only One Woman:

June 29th 1968 – later

…A girl in a tight fitting bolero top and hipster trousers came over to us and flung her arms round Scott, kissing him on the mouth, a bit too long and hard for my liking. Scott didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to push her away, and she melted into him as if she was trying to come out the other side.

‘Scott lover, how’s it hanging?’ She sounded just like Fenella Fielding, all breathy and wanton.

‘Yeah Scott, just how is it hanging?’ I snapped and flounced off to where I could see Rich sitting on his own, hugging a beer.

‘Hi Renza, babe, what’s up?’ Rich held the glass up to me in greeting and took another drag on his ciggy.

‘Who’s that girl talking to Scott?’ I asked plonking myself down next to him on the huge bean bag. We both nearly fell off as it settled itself with my extra weight.

‘Hey, don’t waste good beer babe.’ Rich held his glass away from me as I wriggled to get comfy.

‘Rich, who is she?’ I asked again as I saw her drape herself all over Scott and nestle into his shoulder. The bitch! Scott didn’t seem too bothered.

‘She used to help Stephan – he’s the band’s manager I told you about earlier – in the office in Jersey and then she came to the mainland with her boyfriend. She’s no one important, she sometimes hangs with the band when we’re over.’

‘Hmm!’

I watched her like a hawk. Scott looked over and waved. The nerve!

Rich took a few gulps of beer and patted my leg. ‘Don’t fret about Scott, he’s mad about you. She’ll get the message after tonight.

I looked round the grubby room with its crates and boxes, and fake Greek Taverna decorations hanging from the walls, the fake fishing nets, glass baubles attached, and wine bottles with candles burning in them. And the couples seething in a mass on the floor, in the shadows, and on the cushions, doing goodness knows what, and I wanted to go home.

Actually, I wanted to get Scott to myself. Back home. In the village. Where things were normal.

‘Magical Mystery Tour’ came on and I suddenly thought about having to miss The Beatles at the Hammersmith Odeon, because I was ‘Mrs Spoffington’ in the school play, and couldn’t get out of it. Instead of The Beatles giving me the thrill of my life I was stuck on stage singing ‘Oh I do like to be beside the sodding sea-side,’ to a hall full of boring parents. Not that mine bothered to go.

‘Rich, mate, hi. Good gig. Stephan about tonight?’ A huge man of about thirty came up to us and nodded at me. ‘Want to sort some stuff out with him.’

He was wearing beads and a kaftan with an orange and green squiggly pattern on it, and had his ears pierced. His long black hair hung in tight curls around his shoulders. Mum would just love him.

‘Oh Renza, this is Psychedelic Smith,’ Rich said. ‘Remember we told you about him, he’s our fixer.’ I remembered. Apparently he was helping Stephan get Narnia’s Children a record deal. Everyone had to kiss up to him I was told. Well, thankfully, I don’t.

Psychedelic Smith dismissed me with a brief smile before turning back to Rich.

‘Stephan’s back in the smoke mate, got Top of the Pops with The White Knights, so he’s gotta be there for that.’ Rich drained his glass and put it on the floor next to him.

‘Right, yeah, going up the charts fast. That’s cool, I’ll ring him later. I’m in town tomorrow and want to arrange some record company auditions for the guys. Got some label interest.’

‘Do I need to re-organise anything for the boys?’ Rich asked.

‘Nope, I’ll sort some dates out with Stephan, he’ll let you know in good time. I’ve got some songs lined up for the guys to hear, so we’ll sort some dates for visiting publishers in town, too.’

I couldn’t help wondering what mum and Mrs Digby would say if Psychedelic Smith turned up in the village to visit the band. I giggled quietly.

Psychedelic Smith began to roll a ciggy and offered one to Rich. .

Rich shook his head and got to his feet. ‘Nah, mate, gotta drive back soon or her Mum’ll kill me if she’s not home on time, won’t she, babe?’ Rich smiled at me and looked at his watch, then went off to round up the band.

Psychedelic Smith took a few more drags and offered me one. I shook my head. I could just see me floating in the front door with Mum waiting up to look me over and make sure I hadn’t ‘been up to anything’.

‘No thanks.’

The Demis Russos look-alike shrugged and headed for the kitchen. Dad would have a blue fit if he knew I was ‘fraternizing,’ with blokes in dresses.

I knew the only reason I’d been allowed out so late with the band was because Mum quite liked Rich and he’d sweet-talked her into letting me go to the gig. God! If she could see me now, in this horrible house with everyone stoned, she’d have a migraine for a week worrying in case the village found out.

I looked at my watch. If we didn’t leave soon I was going to be seriously late and that would mean all hell breaking loose. Scott was nowhere to be seen now and Rich was chatting to ‘The Bitch’ by the food. I know it is horrid calling her that but she’s got right up my nose, wall-papering herself all over Scott.

People were still wrestling on the floor which meant I had to watch where I looked: I didn’t want to appear a Peeping Tom, though it was hard not to cast a sly glance now and again. I mean, seriously, some were actually ‘at it’ in full view. Anyone would look, wouldn’t they?

Thinking about it, how do you ‘do it’ in public without all your bits and stuff being on show? I couldn’t see anything, you know, rude or anything, but they were definitely ‘doing it’, I just couldn’t fathom how.

‘You look deep in thought,’ Scott made me jump, ‘what’re you looking at?’

Before I could answer he followed my gaze to the nearest couple. He threw his head back and laughed loudly. I blushed as if I’d been caught out doing something naughty.

‘Ah!’ he said, ‘I see.’

I felt really stupid. I could feel the heat rising up my neck to my face, thank goodness it was so gloomy.

‘Bit of an education eh?’ He grabbed my arm and led me through to what could only be called an apology for a kitchen. ‘Can you wait here while I get the others? We should leave now. Don’t move. I won’t be long.’

And off he went again….onewoman

 

 
 

Who is your favourite character from your book and why?

I have to say Stella, as she is the sophisticated, worldly, gorgeous babe Renza would love to be and she has the best scenes I think. I am sure everyone is routing for her throughout the book. She seems to have the most fun with Scott.

 
What do you enjoy most about writing…?

Reading the finished product back to myself and thinking I’ve gone as far as I can with the story and then getting feedback from my husband – poor man has to read it all.

 
And what motivates you to write?

I love chatting and relating stories, writing them is just a step further. I spent a lonely childhood – eldest of a large family with siblings a lot younger than I – reading and writing kept me sane. I find writing helps turn the pressure cooker off inside my head when something is giving me grief. Also, living the life we’ve led there are so many stories to tell, so many characters we’ve met who did the most outrageous things – all fodder for a writer. How could I not write about some of it! Hollywood is stranger than fiction for starters.

 
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

No I cannot do that. I can write to a deadline and word count if told to but I don’t break it up into hours or days. I just write until I get tired, or other things call for my attention.

 
Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

Well, I guess so, who doesn’t? Indirectly, subconsciously, we all must. There are some events which I’ve experienced which would be criminal not to include in my stories, however, I am always conscious of not stepping too far out of line and waking up with a horse’s head in the bed or concrete boots on! One has to be very careful.

 
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are important to me but funnily enough names just pop into my head and they are usually very pertinent to the character I am writing. Sometimes it is a name which gives me inspiration for the book.

 
Your stories have appeared in a few anthologies, did this experience help move you to writing your novel?

I’ve had several novels on the go simultaneously as well as writing short stories and flash fiction at the same time, so it has not helped or hindered me really. Short stories and flash fiction are great for concentrating the mind, making every word and sentence count. I tend not to go in for long sentences or chapters when I can help it. Keeping the pace up.

 
Could you give us a brief synopsis of one (your favourite) of the stories?

51ennCOdBPLWow this is difficult. I love all my stories – I can’t help it. As it is Christmas (as I write this it is, anyway**) I will tell you a little about ‘Merry Christmas Everybody,’ published by Accent Press in the anthology ‘Wishing on a Star.’ The title is from The Slade hit.

It is based on true events one Christmas when we were recording in a studio in the North of the UK, owned by a super-star guitarist. We were working with a now deceased producer and I have exaggerated events a lot, and of course indulged in poetic license.

Twister is in the studio recording their follow-up album to their last massive hit and tensions are rising as the band work day and night to keep to their recording schedule and budget. Time is money. Their new producer obviously doesn’t like them and there’s no love lost on Twister’s side either. Daily they meet to review the previous night’s work but something’s wrong with the previous two night’s recordings – there’s keyboards all over the track and no-one in the rock band has played keyboards on the tracks and won’t be either. They are not bloody Night Ranger for goodness sakes. The producer is furious and accuses the band of sabotage and the band accuse him, but it soon becomes clear that other forces are at work…soon the atmosphere erupts and violence ensues…

**My apologies for the delay in getting this interview posted

 
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am an avid reader, I love photography and can be found with my camera photographing the countryside, wild-life and ancient churches, cathedrals and villages – some of which are later locations for my stories. I do family history research, I love astronomy and science and I am a history buff. Actually I’m curious about everything so keep my mind active with all manner of activities. I have undertaken 7 university courses since 2015, mostly studying Forensic Science and Criminal Justice so that I can have a basic understanding and knowledge for my crime writing.

 
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I first wanted to be Doris Day and then I decided I’d love to dance with Fred Astaire so you can see a theatrical streak appearing. As a teen I wanted to be a writer and had hoped to work as an apprentice journalist on the Sunday Times with a dream of being a War Correspondent – the school careers officer soon put paid to that idea. I ended up working for the government for years until the theatrical side was satisfied when I managed bands etc.

 
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Oh cripes I read and read…I love reading. I love so many authors, but here are a few: Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Michael Connolly, Peter James, Steall Rimington, Frederick Forsythe, John le Carre, Roger A Price, and so many more. Anyone writing crime and espionage basically.

 
You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three people who would they be and why?

My husband, my son, and Professor Brian Cox because we can all talk about music and science and argue about UFO’s and so on.

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

That is a huge ask. I would love your readers to seek out my writing – I have a wide and diverse range of work from crime to ghost stories (not too scary) to basic fiction, and therefore I hope to have something for everyone. Only On Woman has been an epic undertaking second only to my Ms Birdsong Investigates series – in with my publisher still. Like all writers we need readers who review and are happy to share their thoughts on Amazon and GoodReads. For some reason it makes the publishers happy and any agents looking at an author. I have stories in two anthologies last December: Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017, and Stab in the Dark: Christmas Capers 2017 – both best-sellers on Amazon.Jane Risdon Christmas

Oh! And if you want a giggle….Only One Woman was put in the wrong category on amazon and we had a little wait for them to put it elsewhere (still not right but better). They put it in BDSM and Erotica – it went to #33 in their chart. Hilarious but actually, not very helpful for us. It is Women’s Fiction and Saga but we are not holding our breath.

 
And finally, a few quick-fire questions if you don’t mind…

When was the last time you walked for more than an hour?

I walked in the lake district for a whole day.

 
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

I’d love to Time Travel.

 
Are you an early riser or a night owl?

I am an owl and a lark. Working in the music business you learn to operate on little sleep and cannot afford to stay in bed and we mostly work at night anyway.

 
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I sing often and sometimes my husband and I sing duets and harmonise. It has to be done and we cannot help ourselves. It is in our blood.

 
Thank you for spending this time with us, Jane. If you wouldn’t mind leaving us some links before you get back to your busy schedule!

Thanks so much Raine. I loved doing this.

Here are my links. Not all my books are on amazon but my blog should provide links.

Blog • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon • Goodreads

Only One Woman

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View across the fields (c) Jane Risdon 2011

View across the fields (c) Jane Risdon 2011