Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

CROOKED INTERVIEW with GEOFF NELDER

The second guest in the CROOKED INTERVIEW series is the ever-surprising Geoff Nelder whose twist on the ‘crookedness’ of the interview/self-interview aspect is unique and unexpected. But only for those who don’t know this amazing SF and thriller author. His contribution to the product and creation of both the Twisted Tales and the Crooked Tales has been simply marvellous, as everyone at Readers Circle of Avenue Park knows. Here is a bit more on his ‘crooked’ tale and current writing projects, as penned by his extensive imagination.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – GEOFF NELDER

Geoff Nelder is a former teacher in rural England, thrown out with hearing problems, but lured into writing and into being a bad-ass editor.

http://geoffnelder.com

Amazon author pages 

Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/geoffnelder

and tweets at @geoffnelder


CROOKED INTERVIEW

1. What is your Crooked tale about and what inspired it? 

Ubiquitous is set in the near future about—hey, what’s this? Get off you mad quack!

“Va via, Nelder, you’re a nothing, a scribe, piccolo, whereas I am, Doctor Antonio Menzies and I’m a main character in your crazed award-winning medical , ARIA TRILOGY. I usurp the author and will give you the answers because Nelder is too lazy and my responses are magnifico. This spazzatura story you dared inserta into your otherwise bene Crooked Tales is just a crazy crime of the near future. Idiot uomo has the mafia after his fingers. He uses the web, but idiota boy cannot escape quando internet is everywhere, si? Ubiquitous. He gets off, a bit clever. Someone must have told Nelder how to write it. It must have been inspired by me, his best ever character, no?

2. What do you like writing and/or reading best?  3. What else do you do in life apart from writing?

Nelder doesn’t like writing, or reading. He’s a what-do-you-say, a Cassanova, haha. He wishes. He chases women on his bicicletta but they’re all faster than him. Butterflies overtake him. When he’s tied down he reads science fiction and literary nonsense like China Miéville and Julian Barnes. He’d like to write like them. Ho ho.

4. What are you currently working on? 

Nelder? Work? When he falls off his bike… Nelder’s gone all historical fantasy in his latest novel. He holidayed in Malta, discovered my predecessors, Ottoman pirates, abducted the people of a whole island. Well, the spirits of those slaves are crying out for revenge, apparently. Hence XAGHRA’S REVENGE is finished and the world will have to suffer it this year – 2017.

5. Ask yourself any 5 questions you wish to be asked and answer them. 

I’ve no time for this. No, I’ll give you un po. One question you shouldn’t ask. Does Nelder do research?  Arrgh. Don’t mention research! He’s obsessed by getting stuff right. He has to name streets, towns and rivers in the right places. I blame it on him being a geography professore for 100 years. In ARIA he read every damn book on the brain, amnesia, Alzheimer’s, you name it. No don’t. He emailed an astronaut, Leroy Chaio, for data on the struts of the International Space Station and get this, Leroy replied while he was in orbit! For some unfathomable reason the astronaut wanted a signed copy of Nelder’s ARIA: Left Luggage – huh, you should’ve seen his cycling with legs a whirr to the ufficio postale.

Un altro question. Where does Geoff Nelder get his ideas from?

He steals his ideas from ME. No question. Nelder says he oxygenates his brain while on his long cycling tours but I’ve no doubt at all that he sneaks a peek at my prescription pad and little black book for his ideas. He’s always after my women.

Okay, you want more questions and risposte? 

Does he have a favourite place to write?

As an idiot researcher, Geoff Nelder likes to write his stories in their setting. If a scene is in Paris, that’s where you’ll find him, sat at an outside café table swimming in the language, atmosphere and booze. I encourage this, especially with his science fiction. Go to the Moon I tell him. Often.

What would Geoff Nelder’s reaction be if a character from one of his books came to life and turned up on his doorstep?

You’re kidding, right? I am here you know. 

Whoops, he’s coming back with a shotgun. I’m off.

GEOFF NELDER’S QUESTIONS for other Crooked Tales authors
Please, reply in the comments below. Other, non-‘crooked’, authors welcome, too.

Ask one of the other Crooked Tales authors a question.
I know it takes Senor idiot Nelder two years to research and two more wasted years to write his diabolico novels so Mark Fine or anyone else, how long does it take you to write a novel?

Well, thank you both, gentlemen of the pen and ideas! Looking forward to more of your work.

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SOREN by D. M. Cain – my review

Soren is a children’s fantasy book for the preteen and teen generation, although I have to admit I read it in two sittings. Being a fan of fantasy myself, and working with students of all ages, I know this book will appeal to many. 

The characters are well-set, my favourites being Dash and Callista, and there are plenty of magical events and creatures to satisfy a teen fantasy fan (even some honouring the author’s commendable writing influences, I dare say). The descriptions are clearly laid out but not burdening the story, the suspense really written with feeling, rhythm and even a tease; ending chapters on a cliffhanger gets you moving immediately to “just one more chapter”. Having also read this author’s Phoenix Project, it is obvious that D. M. Cain has a natural knack of vividly describing action scenes, especially hand-to-hand duels. The language is excellent, not over-simplified for children but just enough of a challenge.
My favourite part of the book (except for Dash:) is how the author depicts the (royal) family – with past trauma behind them, and the fears of the oncoming prophecy, they are still that imperfectly perfect family of different kids, a moody dad and a slightly controlling mother.

I am glad the story has many possibilities for a sequel, as it is obvious Soren will soon have his followers, the rebel with a (special) heart that he is.

This review will also appear on Readers Review Room with a gold bookworm. 
Amazon link

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GUMMSHOES: MISSION 1 by Erica Gore – my review

Erica Gore has certainly become one of my favourite preteen writers. Having read some of her Taya Bayliss books, I was interested in the new Gummshoe series and it certainly does not disappoint.

This will be a review lacking favourite bits and quotes, as Gummshoes is a detective story and spoilers are the last thing I’d want to give you. But have no doubt – kids will love reading this short, intense mystery tale with a positive message. Erica Gore has once again managed to write a clean and fun read, incorporating bullying, family issues, sports and geeks, teenage crush and proper friendship into one. The characters are easy to picture (Olly is my favourite for now) and relate to (Frankie in the library reminds me of some children). Although the language is not too complicated (in fact, perfectly balanced for this age group), the author never underestimates the readers, providing them with dialogue, descriptions, sounds, smells and feelings which will draw them into the story just as effectively as in the Taya Bayliss series (if not better:). 

The Perfect Plan in the end brought a huge smile on my face, as a mother and a teacher, and I will definitely be recommending this teen detective story to my friends and students.

This review will also appear on the Readers Review Room, awarding the story a gold bookworm.

This book on Amazon

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New story…

​Just laid out the chapters’ plan for a new story… So exciting. I hope I finish by autumn. Fingers crossed! Illustrations prepared, storyline done, tuning it to verse… Not sure yet if I will use the rhyme version or the common narrative, but there will definitely be some mind puzzles as follow-up. 

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Anita Kovacevic

Among several children’s books I’ve written (some published, some not yet), I do love all my characters. But today I will single one out. For family reasons, one might say.

Why I love Mimi Squirrel 

Mimi is a spoiled little squirrel who is an only child, accustomed to not doing anything for herself but to charming everyone else, starting with her parents, into doing everything. 

Although my husband and I have been blessed with two amazing children, my daughter was my inspiration for Mimi. Those two little ladies are proper divas, who bat their eyelashes, smile and cuddle, fight when necessary, and always get their way. Mimi’s parents, as my hubbie and myself, know very well their daughter is far too big, clever and competent not to start managing on her own, beginning with the little things. So Mimi, just like my daughter, faces the fact that she really must occasionally do what she actually can.

Mimi negotiates, tries her best to cajole others into helping her, till she finally realizes nobody is coming to the rescue and it is time to wake her own inner strength. And when she does, she knows how to truly cherish her success and share it with family and friends.

I love the fact that Mimi does all that, while remaining a child and trusting some magic. That is what I hope for our daughter, or better said, for both our children – to learn to fend for themselves, yet still preserve that magical inner child within.

Links for Mimi Finds Her Magic

Lulu      Amazon    Barnes and Noble    Kobo

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Wanda Luthman

Wanda Luthman is the auhor or wonderful children’s books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. One of the cutest is certainly Tad.

Why I Love Tad, The Turtle
I love Tad, the turtle, in A Turtle’s Magical Adventure. I love this little guy because he’s cute and sweet. But, he struggles with a part of himself that he doesn’t like—his shell because it makes him too slow. We can all relate to Tad because we each struggle with things about ourselves that we don’t like. He goes on an adventure and meets other characters that struggle with being slow but have somehow accepted it. Through a series of conversations with them, he begins to consider that maybe it’s not so bad being slow. But, of course, he just can’t settle into it. He’s not ready. Just like us, others may tell us we are fine or even better than fine, but we still struggle with accepting ourselves. Not until he has an experience with almost losing his shell does he begin to realize how much he needs it. He then faces more danger and a new friend comes to his aid. He realizes that his worth isn’t in how fast he can be, it’s in accepting himself and others just as they are.
Wanda on Amazon

www.wandaluthman.wordpress.com 


Thank you, Wanda! Keep writing positive and educational children’s books!

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Why authors ♡ their characters – by Erica Gore

Erica’s books have been a source of joy in my house and lessons, and Taya is one of the most positive preteen heroines girls could have. Read all about why her creator, Erica Gore, loves her.

Why I Love Taya

Taya Bayliss (Taya Bayliss Mysteries) is the bold, daring little girl that I wanted to be. 

When I was growing up, I was a red-haired, freckle-faced child with a tendency to throw up when I was nervous. I was outwardly shy but inwardly adventurous. 

I wanted to know and to do everything. 

My favourite thing in the world was reading. Books fired my imagination and created new worlds for me to explore. I was the star of the books I read. 

Now Taya is the star of the books I write.

She has the adventures that I dreamed of having. She is a child who wonders about things and likes to figure out puzzles.  She can be a scaredy-cat, but she can also be amazingly brave, far braver than I could ever be. She has a social conscience that leads her to step in to help senior citizens, stand up to bullies, and to protect the environment. And she never throws up when she’s nervous. I like that about her

I also like that she is not perfect. Eleven-year-olds are rarely perfect. Taya tells the occasional fib, has sulky moments, and disobeys her parents. She doesn’t like closed in places or boys who pick their noses. (Yuk!)

Her best friend, Chris, would tell you that Taya has Chronic Nosy Parker Syndrome. 

I like that about her too, but I would call it a thirst for knowledge. 

Taya asks questions of the world. She is driven by the need to know things. She likes to know what makes things tick and what would happen if they didn’t. In my case those questions usually resulted in my being told to be quiet, mind my own business, or leave the classroom. For Taya, however, curiosity leads to interesting and exciting times. 

I love that Taya doesn’t live in a fantasy world, that she has no super powers, that she has no weapons. I love that she is clever and observant. I love that she snorts when she giggles. I love that she has a happy dance. 

I love that Taya Bayliss is an average kid – just like the kids I taught, like the kids who live in my street, like that little freckle-faced, red-haired girl from so many years ago.

And what I really love is that now a whole lot of young readers love her too.

Links:

www.ejgore.net

www.tayabaylissbooks.com

www.facebook.com/EJGoreAuthorpage

https://twitter.com/Eejaygee

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EricaGore

Thank you so much, Erica. Go on creating wonderful books for kids.

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Winky the Penguin goes on an expedition


​”One day, Winky decides to leave his home and go exploring. He sets out on an expedition to look for colours! He leaves his home early in the morning, while everyone else is still sleeping and the night sky is just turning from black into grey.

Winky looks back at his home, sighs sadly, but bravely waddles on.

Winky walks and waddles and swims, and walks and waddles and swims for a long time. Then he comes to an ice block and decides to rest.

Suddenly…”

This is a sneak peek into my children’s book Winky’s Colours, which combines topics such as polar animals, environmental issues and even some romance. It is a chapter book with additional questions to help parents, teachers and children think about the story and what they would do. As a teacher and mum, I know very well how stories promote critical and creative thinking, empathy, problem-solving skills and imagination.

The book is available as ebook and paperback on LuluAmazon  Barnes&NobleiBooks and Kobo.

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The Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick

This is indeed a treat – being able to introduce you to a great author and be part of her Blog Tour – so meet Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick! All the info is provided here about her new release. I hope you find her writing as intriguing as I do. I was fascinated by the intro to the series, her short story Safe Haven, and am currently readint The Running Game, the first novel in the series. The Border Lines will definitely follow.

Synopsis

When the perfect job comes up, Charlie doesn’t think twice about taking it. This is the break he’s been looking for and nobody, not even the rest of his team, can persuade him otherwise.

The job means working for an old enemy and crossing the border into London. Both are risky, but Charlie has no idea how high the stakes really are. The team will have to confront their past, each other and a killer who is closer than they realize. But can they all make it out of the city alive?

“We all remember that kid in Piccadilly. That determined look he had on his face as he willed all those people to him. Just using his mind, he pulled them close then blew them all to pieces. It could be anyone. Your neighbour, your friend, your lover. Remain vigilant. Reachers are everywhere.”

Border Lines is the second book in L.E. Fitzpatrick’s Reachers series.

Buy Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/ 

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01N9C0VCJ/ 

Start with Book One, The Running Game

Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes, and always be ready to run.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher, wanted by the government and the criminal underworld for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John have a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless crime lord, only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher… one of their own kind.

With the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

MY REVIEW FOR THE RUNNING GAME: (by Anita Kovacevic)

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GIGM1X8/ 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GIGM1X8/ 

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01GIGM1X8/ 

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01GIGM1X8/

Giveaway

Prizes: 1 x $10 Amazon Gift Card, 1 x signed paperback, The Running Game, 3 x ebook copy, The Running Game

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e3d66a100/ 

About the author

L E Fitzpatrick was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, but now lives in West Wales, with her family plus lots of dogs and cats. She manages an office, volunteers as a room steward for the National Trust and also supports independent authors as a proofreader and beta reader. She obviously has no spare time because of this, but if she did it would probably be invested in walking in the countryside and enjoying the peace and quiet.

L E Fitzpatrick published her first series Dark Waters in 2011 and is currently working on her Reacher series.

Interview

1. What’s your latest project?

I’ve been working on the Reacher series for a few years. The latest released instalment is Border Lines, which is book 2 in the series. I’ve got book 3 in draft and due to go off to editing soon. And all being well I’ll be working on book 4 in the forthcoming weeks. So basically my project is my Reacher series and it probably will be for a little while yet.

2. What is your favourite character among the ones you created?

I get asked this a lot and the answer is always the same: Roxy. Although he’s not the lead, he’s a great character to write, especially when things get dark. He adds a little bit of comedy relief, but there are many layers to his personality and each book uncovers something special about him. Whereas in The Running Game he was full of bravado and confidence, in Border Lines he’s much more vulnerable and repentant.

3. What has been the most difficult thing for you to write so far?

The most difficult thing to write is always blog posts. I have a blog and, as you will see from my last entry, I just don’t use it. I can sit and write for hours and hours when it’s a novel or a short story, but I am totally useless and creating anything snappy and interesting to read online.

4. How do you deal with criticism, promotional activities, editing/proofreading?

I would hope that, as I work as an editor and proofreader as well, I cope very well with the whole finishing process. In truth I quite enjoy it. Marketing is another story. I rely heavily on a great company called Eyes on Books, who I’ve worked with throughout the Reacher series. I’m just not marketing minded. And criticism, well I have a know it all 8 year old who is smarter than me, so I’m subjected to a lot of criticism on a daily basis. You learn to grow a thick skin. And my key is to consider all criticism, if I agree with points raised then I’ve learned something, if I don’t, then I can disregard the feedback and it doesn’t get to me.

5. What are your writing plans for the future?

The Reacher series is my main focus at the moment, but I’m also hoping to do more with my Dark Waters fantasy stories. Ideally one day I’d like to write a kids’ book for my son, but with my current schedule he probably won’t get it until his twenties.

6. What makes you happiest in the writing process?

Each stage of writing has its own merits. I think when I’m undertaken a stage, be it first draft, fourth draft, editorial, it’s all pretty awful and I want to throw in the towel. But when I look back there are two drafts I really love; the first is second draft when I’ve got most of the story together and I can work on imagery and content, the other is the editorial stage, just because I love going through the text line by line (as you have probably guessed I don’t get out much).

7. What do people usually say about your writing?

The one thing everyone feeds back to me is my characters. I’m a character writer and if the characters don’t work the book falls apart. Particular in the Reacher series readers have favourites of the main four characters, which always amuses me. I hear a lot of “I’m a John fan” or “I’m more of a Charlie girl.” I love getting feedback like this and hearing what readers want for the future. Unfortunately the series is almost entirely planned out, so in many cases I know the readers won’t get what they want – but they’ll be surprised and hopefully delighted anyway.

8. If you didn’t write, would you try any other arts or crafts?

There is a part of me that likes to think I’m incredibly arty. I’m not. I can’t sing, dance, play, draw. The only thing I can do is graphics on a computer, which I have cobbled together for book promotions. Probably if I wasn’t writing books I’d be decorating them instead.

9. What was your favourite book when you were younger or a child? Why?

My all time favourite book as a kid was Pride and Prejudice. I read it in school. Then read it. And read it. And re-read it. And have several copies in case one goes missing. And why do I love it? Well as a teenager I was really taken with Elizabeth Bennet, who despite being of the weaker sex, was strong and determined and very witty. The connection between her and Darcy was electric and clever. I always felt they were on an equal playing field, because if they weren’t they wouldn’t be interested in each other.

10. Do you have any special promos, charity releases, appearances or book releases you’d like to tell us about?

I’ve got a few appearances this year. I’ll be attending the author signing event in Manchester in mid August. There’s Darker Side of Fiction event in Peterborough in October. Then in 2018 I’ll be heading off to the Titanic centre in Belfast for an amazing book event. Hopefully I’ll manage some events in Wales and hey, if anyone wants to invite me further afield I’m always happy to oblige.

Social Links

Website: http://l-e-fitzpatrick.blogspot.co.uk

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/L_E_Fitzpatrick

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/L_E_Fitzpatrick 

Excerpt
However long it took the greeting was always the same. Border watch stopped each car, surveying it with suspicion before checking the passes of the passengers. Babies to pensioners were inspected, their ID’s scanned and, if the border patrol took offence, they’d even strip search travellers in the street.

Rachel rapped her knuckles on the passenger seat as the car ahead of them started to move forward. This was closer than she had ever dared go to the border. There were stories about guards having scanners that picked up Reachers, even if that was a lie it still left her fake ID and the boot full of weapons to worry about. The urge to use her powers was overwhelming, but Charlie insisted they get through legitimately – well as legitimately as fake ID’s and a car full of weapons would allow.

She glanced at John as he drove forward. He was focused, but unconcerned with the task at hand. The brothers were used to crossing the border. They’d seen what it was like on the other side. She hadn’t even seen through the gates. The world she was used to was the one they were parked in – dirty, decaying, depressing. What could be hiding behind that concrete wall? How good was it on the other side?

It was their turn. Rachel followed John and Charlie’s lead, placing their hands on the dashboard and the front seat. Three border police circled their car. One ducked down to see underneath and, satisfied, they gestured that John slowly open the window.

“Passes,” the man ordered, shuffling his rifle back onto his shoulder.

Rachel handed the three fake passes to John, her heart racing. John handed them to one watchman to process, while another began his interrogation.

“Is this your first visit to London?”

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Hug Away

Happy #InternationalHugDay!

I hope you’ve hugged and been hugged today! 

#penguin #kidlit #chapterbook #parenting #environment #children 

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