Today I am interviewing LV Hay on the blog tour for Do No Harm! The publisher is Orenda Books.
Till death do us part…
After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.
JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m Lucy V Hay, also known as ‘LV Hay’ (a wily disguise, I’m sure you will agree). I’m a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers. I live in Devon, UK with my husband, three kids, five cats and a bunch of African Land Snails.
JRR: Nice to meet you LV! (Yes, the name is a brilliant disguise! 😉 ) Did you always want to become an author?
Yes! I absolutely did. My mum had a big bookcase on the landing in the house where I grew up. I had to go past it every time I went to the loo. I saw everyone’s names on the spines and thought it must be the COOLEST thing to have your name on the book. I still do! Sometimes I look at my bookcase and see my name there and I still can’t believe it.
JRR: And look at you now: You have written several books! I’m sure your younger self would be so excited at what you have accomplished!
Who was the most influential author you read when you were growing up? Did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?
I was a big Enid Blyton fan growing up. She was massively prolific, but I feel fairly safe saying I read all of her books, even the obscure ones like The Six Bad Boys. Though I didn’t know why at the time, having studied the craft since, I understand now what I loved about her books: 1) her tight and polished plotting. The set ups and pay offs are seamless and 2) her larger-than-life characters. Mallory Towers was my favourite series of hers and even though I read the books twenty five years ago, I still remember them all: our heroine, Darrell; Sally, Darrell’s level-headed best friend; Felicity, Darrell’s younger sister; Gwendoline, the form’s spoilt martyr; Alicia, who is sharp tongued, competitive and intelligent (and my fave!); Mary-Lou, small and timid, but very kind-hearted; Irene, scatter-brained music and maths genius; Belinda, scatter-brained artistic genius; Jean, shrewd and straightforward, and Wilhelmina (Bill), completely horse-mad. It was so great to read such an eclectic mix of female characters!
JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult? Who inspires you?
Oh goodness, I couldn’t decide on just ONE! I love domestic noir, so authors like Paula Daly, Sharon Bolton, Belinda Bauer and Gillian Flynn are way up there for me. I also enjoy the work of horror masters like Stephen King, Clive Barker and Joe Hill. I also really enjoy literary fiction, so have been loving the work of Celeste Ng, Matt Bondurant and Kit De Waal lately. Really, I love a good story, well told and am up for finding it.
JRR: There are too many authors to choose from! What inspires you to write?
I don’t know if I am inspired to write so much as COMPELLED. I have actually tried giving up writing many times, only to find myself creating stories whilst washing up or cleaning the loo. I just can’t help myself!!!
JRR: It’s beause that is what you are MEANT to do! It’s your calling! Now, what does your writing process consist of?
I try not to write, because I am a writer and therefore it’s more difficult for me than most people! No seriously, I always believe one’s best writing is done by thinking. This means I like to research – A LOT! If I am not researching, I like to go for long walks and make notes on my phone as I go; I will listen to music at the same time. I live in Devon, UK so there are plenty of beautiful places to do this. Trees help me write. Thanks trees!
JRR: What made you choose to write suspense/thrillers? What is your favorite book and/or movie of this genre?
I actually write in lots of different genres/styles, but I chose suspense thrillers because it’s ultimately what I love to read. I read more mysteries – especially those set in or around the home – than any other kind of book. Like many writers, it was Gone Girl that prompted me to try my hand in this genre. I love Gillian Flynn’s writing and the renewed interest in the domestic setting made me think about what I could bring to the storyworld through my love of diverse characters and social media … So I came up with my debut, The Other Twin!
JRR: Where did the idea for Do No Harm come from?
Like Lily, I was a single mother ‘back in the day’ and I had many friends who were single mums, too. Finding the ‘right’ new partner when there is a child in the house is no mean feat. Add an ex-partner into the mix who does not want to let go makes it EVEN more difficult! I have experience with this, as do some of my friends and let’s just say that most of what happens stem from REAL events, stitched together!
JRR: Did you base any character off anyone you know? Or maybe because of the type of novel it is this is an answer better left unanswered…
Haha yes, no thank you! 😉
JRR: If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) who would they be and why?
Ooooh goodness, again – so hard to choose. I think Maya Angelou, because she was a great inspiration to me when I was a teenage mother. I think I would also like Clive Barker at this dinner party, because his writing really kept me going as a teen and of course Prince, who is an utter genius and whose music I listen to every single day.
JRR: Good choices! Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
Secret History by Donna Tart. Everyone seems to have read it except me! Ooops …
JRR: I havent, so you aren’t the only one to not read it yet! 😉 What’s the best advice you have ever received?
‘Ignore all advice … except for the good stuff. You’ll know it when you hear it.’ I wish I could remember who said this to me, or where I read it, but it’s GOLD!
JRR: Thank you so much for your time with this interview!
About the Author:
Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. Do No Harm is out now and her crime debut for Orenda Books The Other Twin, has been featured in The Sun and Sunday Express Newspapers, plus Heatworld and Closer Magazine. Check out all her books, here.
Here is the entire blog tour:
Today I am interviewing C.J. Sutton on the blog tour for Dortmund Hibernate. This one sounds like a good one!
Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.
Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.
As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…
The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill.
It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.
Purchase Link is here.
JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a writer from Melbourne, I just completed a Master of Communication degree and I write daily. I’ve recently joined the married club and spent some time on honeymoon this year doing very little, so the writing fire remains ignited. I’ve always lived in Melbourne, with small stints in Sydney as a journalist and South East Asia as an “adventurer”; I use that term loosely because adventure is in the eye of the beholder. I’m an avid sports fan, prefer the silence of the countryside and hope to make a living from this little craft called ‘writing novels’.
JRR: Congrats on the marriage! Did you always want to become an author?
As a child I loved stories and as a teenager I was always reading books, so the passion for writing was there. Becoming an author was not a career choice I was really advised on growing up. It was more a pipe dream that famous or rich people have access to, and school told me to be an accountant or businessman. I studied those areas for a few years and was bored out of my mind, so writing transformed from a nightly hobby to a way to make a living. I started with journalism and copywriting, but writing novels was the goal from the moment I realised I wasn’t too bad with words. Since about the age of eighteen I have been focused on publication, and more than a decade later I have finally found that goal. But it is still only the beginning.
JRR: You reached that goal: Now to continue the journey…. Who was the most influential author you read growing up?
Definitely Stephen King. If he wasn’t scaring the shit out of me he was probably teaching me life lessons through the actions of his characters. The range of his writing meant that if you weren’t in the mood for horror, you could read a sprawling epic such as The Stand or a coming-of-age tale such as The Body. His non-fiction book On Writing remains the single greatest reference for aspiring writers, and his ability to pump out so many titles year after year is just phenomenal. On vacation one year I read a short story of his and knew I would always strive for the life of an author.
JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult? Who inspires you?
George Orwell. I read 1984 when I was about 20 years old and it instantly became my favourite book, and Animal Farm demonstrated that this wasn’t a once-off. Orwell could construct dystopia so well that you pleaded for hope when there was none. His terms have become ingrained in pop culture, and his influence almost 70 years on from publication remains as powerful as ever. As writers we hope our work lives on forever, that our books become our legacy. George Orwell achieved this, and it saddens me that I’ll never get to read a new novel written by his hand.
JRR: What inspires you to write?
To tell stories that haven’t been told, but also to reach a lifestyle that makes me happy. An author wants to make a living off their novels, to wake up each day and write in relaxing surroundings on projects that they are passionate about. I am inspired to live off my stories and pass them on to new readers. Even with technology, books play such a strong role in the lives of readers and I hope to contribute to this in any way I can.
JRR: What does your writing process consist of?
Coffee, a quiet space and some free time. I’m in the best frame of mind when the sun is shining through the windows, the coffee is fresh and I’m alone with my thoughts. In those moments I feel like I could create anything. Unfortunately, a busy life means this is a rarity, so I have to make sure I’m writing whenever a slot arises. This may be while dinner is cooking or even when I’m supposed to be sleeping. I do try to hit certain word counts when I write and anything under 1,000 words in a session is deemed a failure.
JRR: What made you choose to write a psychological thriller? What is your favorite book/movie of this genre?
My writing tends to lean towards the darkness; violence, gore, explicit language and challenging themes. I also crave the unexpected twists and turns that keep me guessing, so these elements were thrown together and psychological thriller was the result. I’ve referenced Shutter Island as a film that has similarities to Dortmund Hibernate, so I would say it is one of my favourite films in the genre. Silence of the Lambs is another key example. That interplay between two people on opposite sides of the law is so engrossing.
JRR: Where did the idea for Dortmund Hibernate come from? Have you had any experience working in a prison or with the criminally insane?
I have read countless books on people with unstable minds (Charles Manson, etc) but I haven’t worked within the prison or mental health systems. I have visited many facilities, and used journalistic instinct to research diligently, and an interest in the subject matter was obvious from a young age. The idea stemmed from thin air really. I was in bed just thinking and thinking, and then a key scene just played out before me. The next day I had to start writing, and it evolved from that key scene.
JRR: Did you base any character off anyone you know?
Definitely not. If I knew anyone with the character traits that the people contained within Dortmund Asylum have then I’d be a little nervous. The inmates do have traits synonymous with the criminally insane, but they are their own people and are unique in their makeup. If anyone reading Dortmund Hibernate believes a character is similar to them, I advise contacting the local police station immediately.
JRR: Let’s hope there are not any phone calls from anyone reading your novel! If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) who would they be?
Stephen King, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Orwell. I’m not sure if these three men would get along, but each has played a pivotal role in my writing. I would likely bombard them with questions, but their interactions would be worthy of a new book. If this could result in Leo playing a role in an upcoming adaption of The Stand, I’d happily take credit for making it happen. George Orwell had such forward-thinking ideas, and I would really appreciate his view on the present world. Steve and Leo have political and environmental viewpoints that George would challenge, and such a conversation could change the world. Unfortunately this can never happen, but maybe I can have dinner with the first two one day!
JRR: Great choices for dinner guests! Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
I can’t actually think of one specific book, because if there’s a book I’m tempted to read I will generally sacrifice writing time to read it. Reading is great research, and I consume all I can when I hop into bed at night. I do have a stack on my bedside table waiting for my time, but I can honestly say there will always be a stack no matter how many I read through because there are so many interesting tales out there. Some days I spend a bit too much on Amazon or in local bookstores, and I’m referring to both time and money.
JRR: Yes, so many books and never enough time(or money) to get to all of them! What is the best advice you have ever received?
Write stories that you want to read. It’s so simple yet so true. If I’m the only person to read what I write, so be it; at least I’ll have enjoyed myself in the process. You can’t predict what others will respond to, and a book is such a tiring process that worrying about reception will stifle the product. Love what you do. I can’t exactly remember who I first heard this from, but it’s a common theme told by successful authors. Listening to people who have made such a profound impact on this industry can only improve our chances.
Thank you for your time with this interview CJ!
About the Author:
C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.
As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.[Top]
Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson. I interviewed her and there is also an awesome international giveaway for an Amazon gift-card! If you win then you should buy a copy of An Artisan Lovestyle! This is one I personally hope to read soon.
Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?
Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.
Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.
On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.
Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree
to complete three tasks.
They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfil their quests.
If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.
If they should fail however…
‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is a story of personal growth and self-discovery as two people find themselves forced to make overdue changes in their lives, changes in other people’s lives, and all with the added challenge of
finding true love before their time runs out.
Will they do it?
Can they do it?
After all, it’s a matter of Life or Death…
JRR (Jessica’s Reading Room): Did you always want to become an author?
It wasn’t something I had ever given conscious thought to and it was only when I was at a career low-point that I realised this was something I wanted to do. As soon as I made the decision to put some serious effort into the part-time dabbling I had been doing up to that point, I knew with a deep certainty that I had finally made a good call on my future.
JRR: And now you have two completed books for us to read! Who was the most influential author you read when you were growing up? Did his/her writings influence you to want to become an author?
I mostly read Enid Blyton as a child and then moved into Catherine Cookson and Jackie Collins (I know – you couldn’t get two authors more far apart in writing styles!) when I got into my teens. I wouldn’t say that any of them inspired me to pick up a pen and write. I think I can blame my own over active imagination for that.
JRR: Who is your favorite author as an adult? Who inspires you?
I have several favourite authors – Susanna Gregory, Erica James & Karen Swan come immediately to mind. I would like to think my writing style is similar to Erica James as her books are multi-layered with the storyline wrapping itself around a number of different characters. This adds a depth to the story which I like and I have found the same trait coming through in my own work.
JRR: What inspires you to write?
Probably escapism! I have a day job which I stopped enjoying a long time ago but bills need to be paid. My writing is my release from the frustration of that. When I write, I feel I have achieved something, that I’m finally doing something I truly enjoy. As soon as I sit down at my writing desk, I feel all the stress of the day just ebb away. Some people de-stress by going to the gym, I do it with writing.
JRR: I understand about bills needed to be paid! What does your writing process consist of? Do you research or just ‘go with the flow’, Handwrite or type, do you have music playing or silence?
I mostly go with the flow and research as I go along. When I sit down to begin a new novel, I will have the bones of an idea. I always know how it begins, what happens in the middle and how it will end. For these bits, I will research in advance if it is required. All the stuff in-between, which joins the story up, I will research when the ideas come to me. I ALWAYS type because my handwriting is abysmal, my fingers are rubbish at spelling and it is so much easier for making changes when it comes to editing. Finally, I work in silence. I tried having music on but found it mostly distracting. To compensate, I do have a cat – Princess Moo Moo – who often jumps up on the desk and purrs down my ear. She is doing exactly that as I am typing this. 🙂
JRR: I have two fur-babies as well: They are Sage and Curry. And they love to invade my personal space! What made you choose the Women’s Fiction genre?
I didn’t make a conscious choice to write Women’s Fiction – I just write my stories and then pop them into the categories where I think they fit best.
JRR: Where did you get the idea for An Artisan Lovestyle? Did you base Elsa and Danny off anyone you know? If this were to happen to you, do you think you would be able to complete your tasks?
The idea came from a dream. When I woke up, I realised the concept seemed quite unusual, so I quickly scribbled it down. I was working on my first novel at the time – A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle – so let this one germinate at the back of my mind. By the time I was ready to write it, most of the storyline had been worked out. Elsa first appeared in my debut novel as Sukie McClaren’s best friend. She was the obvious choice for An Artisan Lovestyle as I wanted to write a series. Danny is a completely new character and neither of them are based on anyone I know. They are my own creations in every way.
If I had to perform these tasks myself, I think I would struggle with the falling in love bit – I didn’t get married until I was over forty so that tells you that falling in love was not something I did easily.
JRR: This is a reason to read BOTH of your novels!!! I also got married older, not quite your age: I met my husband at 30 and married at almost 33.
If you could have dinner with three people(living or dead) who would they be and why?
Stephen Fry because the man is just a god! I love everything he does and would love the opportunity to be in his presence.Dr. Brian Cox because he opens up the universe in the most interesting way and he would work well alongside Stephen Fry.Susan Calman because she is hilariously funny and loves cats so wouldn’t object if she found a cat hair or two in her soup!
JRR: Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
Too many to mention!
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and most Charles Dickens spring to mind.
JRR: I know this feeling: Too many books and not enough time! What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Never Wait For a Date! If you arrive at the designated meeting place and he’s not already there waiting for you, then you leave. For, if you were important to him, he would make a point of arriving early. Now you know why I was over forty before I got married!
JRR: Ha! Good advice. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I took my driving test three times. My nerves crippled me on my first 2 attempts. Several years later, I was stopped for speeding. The policeman very kindly told me that whilst I was in the wrong for going so fast, the quality of my driving was absolutely excellent and could not, in any way, be faulted. Apart from the speed of course…!
The reason for sharing this is because it has a moral which is never give up! You may not succeed the first time, or even the second time, but these failures simply help to make you better and, one day, you will become excellent!
JRR: ROTF! That is great! Thank you for your time with this interview Kiltie!
About the Author:
Kiltie grew up in Glasgow in Scotland; This is a very unique city with a very unique way of looking at life.
When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then, after several years of obtaining interesting experiences -which are finding their way into her writing – she moved up to the Midlands.
Kiltie currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one grumpy husband. Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having plenty of moggies, there are no towers! The cats kindly allow her and Mr Mogs to share their house on the
condition they keep paying the mortgage!
She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles. She really dislikes going to the gym!
Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job and write her stories for a living.
Kiltie’s debut novel, ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle‘, was released in September 2017 and won a “Chill With A Book – Reader Award” in December 2017.
She first began writing her debut novel eleven years before it was released but shelved it as she didn’t think it was very good.
In November 2016 when, having read more on a best-selling author who had begun her own career as a self-published author, she was inspired to revisit the unfinished manuscript and finally finish what she had started.
Since beginning to write again, the ideas have not stopped flowing. ‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is the second book in the Lovestyle Series.
Work is due to begin on book three (not yet titled but also part of the Lovestyle Series) in the Summer of 2018.
She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it’s costing a fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and the ideas still keep on coming.
Kiltie now lives her life around the following three quotes:
“I love having weird dreams, they’re great fodder for book plots!”
“Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?”
“Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!”
Win a £40/$40 Amazon giftcard! This is such a generous giveaway.
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]