Category: Deano’s Grill

Deano’s Grill – International Thriller writer Elizabeth Ducie

Welcome to Deano’s Grill – Author Interviews.
The only place to be interviewed by fictional hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers,  Detective Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

Today, Deano grills Thriller novelist, Elizabeth Ducie.

Before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill. Tell us your name, please.
Elizabeth Ducie.

Hello Elizabeth! Describe your writing.
Currently I am working on a series of thrillers set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals. Well, we are told to write about what we know, aren’t we? But the overarching theme of most of my work is a sense of place. I’ve spent 30+ years working in Russia and the Former Soviet Union countries; in Africa; and in the Middle East. Very often I will start with a single trigger related to location and everything else, characters and plot, stems from that.

Intriguing! Tell us how you evolved from working overseas into an award winning UK novelist.
I don’t remember a time when I’ve not enjoyed crafting words into elegant prose. I won a newspaper competition when I was 14, so must have been writing stories at that point. However, throughout my first career, as a pharmaceutical consultant and writer, my work was all factual: audit reports; training manuals; scientific papers; articles for journals; and text books. I must have written millions of words in that time. Then in 2005, after 30 years as a scientist, I decided I wanted to write creatively instead. I had all these stories in my head from my years travelling and wanted to get them written down. I started with memoir, but found I was happier in the realm of fiction, so moved on to short stories. But, like most writers, I really wanted to produce a novel. Twelve years down the line, I have four collections of short stories; several books on business skills for writers; and I am currently finalising novel number three. And what keeps me writing? The thrill of having someone else read my work and enjoy it. I want my stories to be shared.

Tell us about your latest work.
Deception! is the second in the series of Suzanne Jones thrillers. It is set in Brazil and pits Suzanne and Charlie Jones against an old enemy, as well as introducing some new foes. The first in the series, Counterfeit! was set in Southern Africa, and was published in 2016. The third, and probably final, book in the series is called Corruption! Set in Russia, it is due to be published late in 2018.

Will we see anything of ‘you’ in the characters you write about?
Well all my main protagonists are females, working overseas and with technical backgrounds. So I guess there’s something of me in most of them. In fact, when I wrote Gorgito’s Ice Rink I was so scared that people would think it autobiographical that for ages I couldn’t let my narrator, Emma Chambers, have any fun at all. Then my husband pointed out it is called fiction for a reason. I suppose Suzanne Jones is the one who is closest to me; Charlie is the one I would like to be.

Do you have a soft spot for any of your books?
Gorgito’s Ice Rink was my debut novel and the piece of work that proved to me that I could be a novelist rather than sticking with short stories. It took nearly 8 years to produce and I learned a huge amount along the way. It won a Literature Works First Page prize before it was even finished and was Runner Up in the 2015 Self-Published Book of the Year Awards. 8 years well spent!

And what about your author highlights?
Publishing my first collection of short stories in 2011 with Sharon Cook; finishing the first draft of Gorgito’s Ice Rink; ‘winning’ NaNoWriMo for the past four years running; any competition success, even short listing or long listing; every new book I publish; and every time someone tells me they have read and enjoyed one of my books.

So, that’s a little about what you write – now tell us how you write.
I use my mornings for writing, including rewriting or editing, or whatever stage of the production process I am on. I set myself a target of four hours and if I work straight through, I am done well before lunch. But if I keep getting distracted, it might take me to mid-afternoon to reach the target. After that, I move on to the administration, marketing and other aspects of running a small business.

Do you have a favourite place to be creative?
I have a wonderful garden room that I use as an office; in fact I am typing this in there, with the doors and windows wide open and the sun streaming in. But I can equally write at the dining room table; and in fact if it’s cold or wet, I prefer to stay in the house, rather than venture across the garden.

Describe how you begin a new project.
If it’s fiction, I start with a basic idea, which I develop into a scene treatment. That’s a tool I learned during my MA at Exeter University. It’s more commonly used to scripts, but I find it works well for fiction too. It’s a bit like a story board with words. Then I will write the first draft; often this is in November, when I compete in NaNoWriMo. I will make a note of any facts that I need to research, and then use the internet and/or the library to fill in the gaps during subsequent editing stages. If it’s non-fiction, I start with a mind-map of the topic, key themes and as many bullet points as I can think of. Then I start fleshing them out. Again, I would do the research as I go along.

And for budding authors, do you have any sound advice?
Read the leaders in the genre to see what works, and what makes them so popular. Then forget them and write your own story. Get it professionally edited and proofread. Then publish it by whichever route suits you best.

Now, it’s time to dig a little deeper…

Tell us about your proudest day.
It will always be today, whenever you ask me the question. Because I woke up, got up and started work. I am fit and healthy. I have a shelf full of books I have written. And I am still married to the man I fell in love with more than forty years ago at University. No, wait; the word I’m looking for isn’t proud. It’s lucky. And maybe just a little proud as well. That’s just lovely!

Imagine a day or night off from writing. Tell us what you would do to make it special.
A drive in the country with my husband, to a country house hotel where they have a log fire; a Michelin-starred chef; and beautiful rooms to stay in. A glass of fizz, followed by the tasting menu and coffee in front of said log fire. Very self-indulgent and not over-healthy; but so much fun.

Do you have a favourite place in the country?
Gidleigh Park Hotel, near Chagford in Devon. Nestled away in Dartmoor, with wonderful views, beautiful food and really attentive staff.

And if you could take one book along that you have read this year?
I read an average of one book a week and always review them on Amazon and other platforms. My most memorable one so far this year is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. I loved it and gave it five stars. I avoided reading this book for years. But that was a mistake. It was witty, funny, poignant and beautifully written. It had me laughing out loud in places. I loved it and wish I’d read it much sooner.

Elizabeth, you have been wonderful company! Thank you for being grilled! Please tell us where we can find your books and how we can join you online.
I have a separate page for each book, with all the distribution links, on my website: www.elizabethducie.co.uk; you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest

 

Gorgito's Ice Rink: Debut novel by Elizabeth DucieCOUNTERFEIT_FRONT_150dpi

 Deano’s Grill will be back with another fabulous author interview in the very near future. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, please leave your details on the contacts page.

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Deano’s Grill – Thriller/Mystery author Guy Thair

Welcome to Deano’s Grill Author Interviews.
The only place to be interviewed by fictional detective and hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers, Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

Today, Deano grills Thriller/Mystery novelist, Guy Thair.

Before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something, which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill. Tell me your name please.
Guy Thair

Good evening, Guy. Tell us how you got into writing.
I began writing after meeting a friend of a friend online who had a blog. I’d never thought of writing anything before and it seemed like a good idea at the time, so I started Diary of an Internet Nobody just to see what happened. I’ve now been writing for about five years and I’m completely hooked.

Describe your work for us, please.
I’m not sure I can really describe “my work”, as such, because I try to vary what I write as much as possible. I like writing (fiction) in a non-linear style, to keep the reader guessing for as long as I can. I enjoy writing sci-fi-tinged stories, purely because it gives a lot of leeway in plotting and enables me to write my way out of any corners I’ve painted myself into. “Thriller/mystery” would be the closest description, I think. Almost every story I’ve written has been improvised, with no planning or even knowing what it’s going to be about when I sit down to start writing. I use a lot of writing prompts (usually one word or a few letters, often provided by other bloggers as part of a regular feature) and literally make it up as I go along.

Give us an idea of any writing routines you may have.
I only use my smartphone for everything I do (including building, administering and writing all four of my blogs, photography, video, animation and producing strange electronic music), but apart from that, I just sit down, start writing and see what happens. Incredible! I wish I could get mine to do the most basic of functions half the time!

Just in case any aspiring smartphone authors are reading this, which phone do you use?
An Android (currently, a Huawei Honor 7) One finger. (I use a Swype keyboard)

Was it a conscious decision not to use something a little larger?
No, I have never owned a computer and it isn’t an expense I can justify for a non-essential plaything. So I started my blog on my phone and I’ve become a bit of an Android ninja, I can do just about anything on it.

Tell us what you are working on now.
I should say that I’m working on a sequel to The Wrong Stuff, but I’m actually in the middle of writing another accidentally extended mystery thriller, called The Accumulator, which is just another weird serial on the blog. It has evolved all on its own, from a quick idea I had for a short story (taken from yet another writing prompt) and it got a bit out of control. I should finish it fairly soon, however, after which I may well get started on the follow up to The Wrong Stuff, although that’s anyone’s guess, I may have another idea in the meantime. I’ve also just begun a new project; on Niume, a different blogging platform, with a group of other writers. We’re focusing on making it a short fiction blog, with whatever stories we come up with, in any genre.

Describe your recently published novel, The Wrong Stuff.
Here’s the cover blurb:

“Hannah Meredith has always had a good eye and she’s a veteran bargain hunter, but she isn’t prepared, when she buys the box marked “Stuff” at a mysterious auction, for her world to suddenly unravel into a series of increasingly bizarre and terrifying events.

Soon on the run from a sinister cabal of vengeful corporate villains and their homicidal henchmen, Hannah must foil an evil plan to bring the world to the brink of global economic collapse, all the while keeping one step ahead of her pursuers.

A fast-moving thriller with a sci-fi twist, the plot stretches from chases through grimy backstreets of Victorian London back to the present day, where sudden violence shatters the tranquility of the English countryside.

Following Hannah and her unlikely allies in their frantic attempt to stay alive and save the world from disaster, The Wrong Stuff is exciting and original, with more than a touch of black humour.”

Give us a flavour of the main characters.
I guess Hannah, the lead character, could best be described an ordinary woman who is thrust into a dangerous situation she doesn’t understand. She is resourceful and courageous, but I doubt she’d have said that, she’s just someone who has had to adapt quickly to a very peculiar situation in order to survive. Frank, however, (my favourite character) is amusingly dumb, tactless, violent and not someone you would want to meet in a dark alley, but he does have some surprising qualities, my favourite of which is the ability to NOT THINK about things. Wouldn’t that be nice!

Provide one piece of advice for unpublished authors of your genre.
Do it. If you don’t, you’ll regret it.

Tell us about your previous working life.
I have done all sorts of jobs, none of which have anything to do with writing, but I’m currently working for an American aerospace firm in Devon. The most fun I’ve had at a job was probably working on markets and country shows, selling timber garden furniture. The market trader community is a very close-knit one and I enjoyed the varied nature of working somewhere different every day, but with the same extended group of friendly and cheerful people, all of whom were always happy to help and give advice (much like the blogging community, which I have gained so much experience and useful advice from over the years)

Do you possess any annoying habits, and if so, who pointed them out?
i) I’m very argumentative, I love a heated debate.
ii) Everyone who’s ever met me.

Tell us the best book you have read so far this year.
Hahaha, reading books? I don’t have time to read, I hardly have time to do everything else. I used to read constantly, I’d get through two or three books a week, easily, but I can honestly say I haven’t read a book for maybe three years.

How about a random pick for a book I’d recommend? The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by GW Dahlqusit and its two sequels are unlike anything else I’ve read.

The final two questions are geared towards your imagination. You can invite two dream guests for dinner – living, dead or fictional – who would they be and why?
Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett are the two who spring to mind, but that’s not terribly original, so I’ll go for David Lynch and Audrey Hepburn.

I’ve loved Hepburn ever since I can remember; a truly remarkable person in every way, I’d recommend reading her biography, her life was extraordinary in so many ways. She was also the most utterly beautiful woman ever to walk the Earth, inside and out, no contest.

David Lynch is quite simply a genius and a giant of cinema, who also produced one of the most unique and ground-breaking tv series of all time, Twin Peaks, with which I was somewhat obsessed, (hence the peculiar “dalecooper57” username on the blog) so I’m looking forward to the reboot with considerable anticipation.

Lastly, you can charter a private jet to any destination in the world, where would you go?
Snoqualmie Falls and Bend, Oregon

Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Guy. Tell us where we can find your books and how readers can follow you.

The Wrong Stuff is available on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk

You can follow the blog (which is written under the slightly confusing byline of dalecooper57) at www.diaryofaninternetnobody.com and I now also have an Amazon author page:
amazon.com/author/guythair

Deano’s Grill will be back with another fabulous author interview in the very near future. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, please leave your details on the contacts page.

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Deano’s Grill – Sci-fi author Richard Dee

Welcome to Deano’s Grill Author Interviews.
The only place to be interviewed by fictional detective and hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers, Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

Today, Deano grills Sci-fi and Steampunk novelist, Richard Dee.

 

Before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something, which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill. Tell me your name please.
Richard Dee

Hello, Richard. You create Sci-fi and Steampunk novels. Tell us how you got into that line of writing would you please.
I had ideas in my head, dreams and observations from life moments. I had never had the time to write them down, or so I thought. When I had more time on my hands, it sort of grew, first short stories, then I realised that I could join them up into a novel, Freefall was born and once the creative dam was opened it hasn’t stopped flowing.

You have an impressive catalogue of books. Explain how you squeeze all that writing into your days.
I wake up early (unfortunately), so I start early and try to get 2000 or so words done before breakfast, I can edit and refine it later in the day when I’m a bit more awake. That way I have the day to enjoy myself. But if I don’t write anything one day, that’s not a problem, I’ll do it tomorrow.

And, if you should wake up and find your creative dam is temporarily plugged?
Hmm, tricky, that’s when your imaginary friends shut up. I go for a walk along the cliffs, or change the subject; I’ve usually got a couple of novels on the go at one time; so if one lot won’t play, I can find another gang who might come out.

Tell us more about your imaginary friends.
My characters are just people who happen to live in the future / alternative reality. Their stories are our stories; it’s only the setting that’s different. There are mysteries and quests, with conspiracies thrown in, even a bit of romance.

Explain the process of a new project please.
In all my work so far, I start off with an idea. I never know where it’s going, who is going to be involved or where it will end. I just put my hands over the keyboard and let it go. It’s like watching a film or a T.V. show in my head and typing what happens, with the advantage of pause and rewind. But never fast forward. The ending is a mystery to me until it happens. Occasionally I will type for a while and realise that my characters have said and done things on their own, I tend to let them get on with it and see where they want to go.

Tell us a little about the book you are working on now.
I have the prequel (Myra) to my first novel out in March 2017, after being pestered by readers for explanations of some of the events in Freefall I decided to write the back story. And in doing that, a third novel has become necessary to explain the events in the prequel. I’ve also finished a novel with an accident prone and unintentional female amateur detective called Andorra Pett, a bit of a departure from my usual style although still Sci-fi.

So, you are proactive with your fans, tell us what they can expect from you in the future.
More of the same, reviewers keep suggesting plots, sequels and spin-offs, I’m going as fast as I can but I do have my own ideas as well.

You earlier mentioned observations from life moments had influenced your writing. Tell us about your pre-author working life.
40 year sea-going career, Master Mariner, Thames Pilot, sometime Organic Baker.

Wow! That’s pretty cool. You must have a treasure chest of memories.
Taking a 160m long passenger ship through Tower Bridge backwards, or a 190m long ship through the Thames Barrier were highlights. Cape Horn and the Amazon were experiences I’ll never forget. Producing Sourdough bread that people actually wanted to buy more than once is a pretty good feeling.

Okay, imagine you have a night off from writing – describe the perfect evening.
With my family, just chilling. I’m happiest away from big crowds.

And for a special night out?
The breakwater Bistro in Brixham, I’ve been around the world but sitting on that balcony on a summers evening; looking across Torbay is as perfect a place as any.

And if you were entertaining two special guests at home, living, dead or fictional, who would they be and why?
Isaac Asimov for an idea swapping session and Eileen Ripley for tactics, I hope they would get on.

Finally, You can charter a jet to any destination in the world, where would you go?
Australia to see my youngest daughter, I don’t see her enough.

Richard, thank you for taking the time to speak to us and good luck for the future. Tell us where we can find your books and how fans can find out more about you.
At my website   www.richarddeescifi.co.uk Or on my Facebook page.   @RichardDeeAuthor. Or at my Amazon Author page https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00CN4TTCG

Deano’s Grill will be back with another fabulous author interview in the very near future. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, please leave your details on the contacts page.
JDM.

 

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Deano’s Grill – YA author K.Y. Eden

deanos-grill-tie-1

Welcome to the inaugural Deano’s Grill author interview page by fictional detective and hero of the Detective Deans crime thrillers, Andrew ‘Deano’ Deans.

In today’s grill, Deano speaks with YA author, K.Y. Eden.k-y-eden

 

Right, before we start, I need to caution you – You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your credentials if you do not mention when questioned something, which you later rely on in book sales, and anything you do say may be written about you.

Welcome to Deano’s Grill. Tell me your name please.
K.Y. Eden

Now come on, don’t be coy. You had better tell us more about this K.Y. pseudonym.
Funnily enough K.Y are really my initials and Eden is my birth/maiden name. K stands for Kristina and versions of like:Krissy or Kris.

Okay… K, Krissy, Kris – describe your work for us.
I write for middle grade and young adults… That’s between ten to twenty year old (I’m a big fan of tweenie and teens because I never matured beyond that age myself!). Having said that most of the readers that have made contact with me have been mid twenties plus, so I suppose, if you’re young at heart you will like my stories. I am currently working on Volume Three of The Redcroft Journals -a time travel adventure, supernatural series.                             

Supernatural eh? I’m partial to a bit of that. Give us a flavour of The Redcroft Journals would you please.
Redcroft is an ordinary village, or so you would think! – I don’t want to reveal too much- but there are super human abilities, angels, demons and time travel that all gravitate towards Redcroft and it’s occupants. There are just some things in life that can’t be explained… don’t you agree detective?  Not wrong there!

Tell us more about the next instalment.
The Redcroft Journals- Volume Three- The Lion Scrolls will find the protagonists Zak, Natalie and Adam (and the help of their trusted friend Riley) use their supernatural abilities to ensure the safety of the present by venturing to the past. Let’s just say gladiatorial style!

Thinking about the main protagonists in your series, what characteristics were most important for you to portray?
I have a few protagonists, they take it turns to take the lead. However, I started the series with teenager Zak (disclosure alert… named after my collie dog) he’s the kind of lad I would have wanted as my friend at that age, honest, steadfast and a bit quirky.

Describe what sets you apart from other authors of this popular genre.
That’s a tough question detective, maybe my extensive knowledge of how teenagers (my protagonist’s age) think and feel in the modern day (I was a teenager some time ago and a lot has changed) working closely in performing arts with this age group has blessed me with a sympathy… no… empathy towards them… and quite a lot on insight!

Imagine The Redcroft Journals as a film or TV adaptation – who would you like to see playing the main roles?
Okay here goes: Zak, Natalie and Adam (I’m taking auditions *laughs) but in Volume Two- The Raven Stones I imagined Idris Elba as Oreb (the angel) and I reckon Jamie Dornan would make an excellent Dr. Riley Robins the Irish archaeologist.

Right, I need a little more detail about what makes you tick. Tell us about your previous working life.
I was and still am (sometimes) a College and University lecturer in Performing and Production Arts. I have had a variety of jobs over the years but when I was a *younger woman in my late teens early twenties I was a fire-fighter (part time then full time) it was tough back then as I was one of the first women to do it, I’m glad to see female fire-fighters are more common place now.

That’s an interesting and varied background. Did the Performing and Production Arts help you to become an author?
Sort of, I took the plunge, I was lecturing in drama and was discussing with the students some different methods to utilise when building a back story for a character… It suddenly struck me that in our working life- a lot of the time we are ‘acting’ our job, I was acting the lecturer at that point and when I got home I acted the cook, cleaner, laundrette manager etc. So what if I acted at being the author, rather than teach it, do it. So I reduced my hours at work and started working on my own performance… as I already had the back story.

And do you have any unusual routines or rituals to help you ‘perform’ when writing?
I have to tidy the room I am writing in first (sometimes I move around the house rather than stay at my desk) I can’t stand a messy desk or room when I’m working. So suffice to say I don’t often write in the kitchen that’s far too distracting/messy.

Tell us how you cope with writer’s block.
Retail therapy is a good start… (any excuse). If I get persistent writers block I binge watch Netflix- that usually does the trick.

Anything in particular?
Anything light hearted- I can’t watch scary things, I have to hide behind a cushion. Although I do love crime drama’s- I watched Vera back to back recently.  

Finally, describe your 2016 author highlight and your hopes for 2017. This interview… oh come on detective, that’s a good answer! I plan to publish at least two more novels next year (2017) the highlight will be when someone reads it and tells me they love it (that was this year’s highlights too).

Well, you have excellent reviews, so I’m sure you will have lots of highlights to come! Thank you for your time, K.Y. It has been a pleasure to grill you. Tell us where we can find your books and how we can find out more about you.

 That’s easy… here are the links to my web site www.kyedenbooks.com

FaceBook- K.Y.Eden Author https://www.facebook.com/kyedenbooks/
twitter @redcroftjournal and Instagram- the.redcroft.journals

eBooks published by pronoun:
https://books.pronoun.com/the-redcroft-journals/
https://books.pronoun.com/the-redcroft-journals-2/
and paperback -Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01HTMJPAW

 

 

 

Deano’s Grill will be back with another fabulous author interview in the very near future. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, please leave your details on the contacts page. James D Mortain

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