Archive for April, 2015

Welcome to a special guest post from another member of my Xchyler Publishing stable, Joanne Kershaw! The Vanguard Legacy draws to a close with Fated, so if you haven’t already picked up Foretold and Reflected, what are you waiting for?

Fated title

The rest of the tour schedule is here, so you can follow the full event as follows:

 Fated_Webkit_blurb
And now, over to the Q&A! Take it away, Joanne…
  1. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?

First, that all the dreams my children have come true. I just want them to be happy and healthy (and that the teenage years aren’t too awful!). Second, that more and more people fall in love with this series! I love to interact with fans and am so eager to hear what they have to say about Fated! And third—this is tough—I guess that I just want to write new things, different things, and still be able to teach, because I love my ‘proper job’!

  1. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?

I guess, I would love a small hut at the end of my garden. All I really need is a wireless connection and my music, so I don’t need much beyond that! Windows—so I can see the children while I work!

  1. Where do you actually write?

Either on the sofa, wrapped in a quilt my mum made for my when I was sixteen, or at my desk in the playroom (which is actually our conservatory, so is either roasting or freezing with no real in between!). Our cat is usually curled up next to me and it’s always late – so dark.

  1. How long does it normally take you to write a novel?

Five to seven weeks is the usual timescale. It’s the only time I have in between school terms. This is the first draft, of course. Depending on the availability of my editing team, it can take another eight to ten weeks to edit, but that is far less intensive. (Well, now I don’t make all of the awful mistakes I made before my awesome editor, McKenna Gardner, got her hands on me!)

  1. What are your inspirations?

I read a lot of YA literature, which made me realise more and more that I wanted to write my own—that I could write my own! I write for my children as well. I wanted to show them that anything is achievable if you work hard enough. If I can inspire them to go after their dreams, then I have done something  right in terms of parenting!

  1. How did you come to write this particular book or series?

The series started many years ago, when an unexpectedly free summer holiday gave me time to just put fingers to keyboard and hammer something out. The series came about because my publisher, Xchyler, took a chance on me. They saw the diamond of my story in the rough of my first novel and were the best support I could have asked for. Honestly, Fated exists because of the incredible editing team at The X.

  1. What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?

I knew what had to happen in this novel. The hardest part was knowing that the right ending, the ending that had to happen, was going to upset people. As part of the process, I wrote an alternative ending, but it was such a disappointment to read. I hope that my readers can see why it has to end the way it does, and the come and interact with me to discuss it. (Bet you’re all intrigued now, aren’t you?)

  1. What is your writing drive? The power that keeps you going when your writing gets difficult?

I think that because my time is so limited, that is my drive. I don’t have the time to get stuck or lose focus—I just have to get on with it! It does help that there’s been a long gap between books, so there has been time to write the story in my head before I sit down to type it. It makes the whole process much quicker.

  1. How did you come up with the title?

When I signed on with Xchyler Publishing, part of that was an agreement for the full series. When we were getting ready to release Foretold, we brainstormed titles in series. With all three of books already penciled out, the titles had to link them together. Honestly, I think my editor in chief came up with the titles!

  1. Name one entity that you feel supported your writing, outside of family members?

My friend, Karen Banks. She might as well be family, but isn’t! She supported the books from the very beginning, encouraged me to submit to publishers and agents, and has generally been my cheerleader! I don’t think that the series would exist without her. I wrote the second novel (in its original form) for her as a Christmas present. She spent the whole of her Christmas Day that year sat on her sofa with the book and an editing pen! Her husband didn’t complain once.

  1. What is your favorite late night snack while writing?

Sweets, biscuits, chocolate, crisps. Pretty much anything! I’m not a very healthy snacker.

  1. What was the most surprising part of writing this book?

I don’t think anything was surprising. The novel had been planned out for over three years, and I’d been writing it in my head for two of those years, so writing the novel was actually the easy part!

Fated_Webkit_available
Advertisements

The internet has been abuzz in recent days with the discussion as to whether the presenting team of one of the BBC’s flagship shows is staying together, given a high profile exit I feel no need to mention here. Given my own motoring inclinations, and an eventual link this year to other things, I thought I’d weigh in. Please note, what I’m NOT doing here is discussing what has already happened, the hows or whys, just a bit of meaningless speculation for now, with the knowledge of two things:  1) there now has to be a shake-up of the presenting team, whether it’s one person coming in or three and 2) the show has been in this position before , in a way, before the 2002 revamp.

So I got talking over lunch with a good friend of mine and we looked at it a slightly different way. Assuming the entire band decide they can’t go on as is, there are certain opportunities to make a new show for a new time. The show had changed from a fairly standard motor show to an action comedy series, along the way garnering a loyal bunch of fans mostly wondering what the hell the team were going to do next.

But for Top Gear, the show must go on. And so the inevitable question is, ‘with whom’? Here is a shortlist of people I’d personally love to see.

Jay Kay

Jay Kay TG

The return of the Space Cowboy may be a bit of an outside choice, not being a presenter and instead coming from a musical background. However, the Jamiroquai lead singer with huge success in the 90s and early 2000s has a well-known passion for cars, and a typical millionaire’s car collection. He’s even been a guest on the show four times, which practically makes him a co-presenter already.

With Chris Evans (no, not that one) categorically ruling himself out of the gig, perhaps our man Jay could be the better pick from the 90s. And he could certainly bring something new to the show by sporting a new hat every week.

Jodie Kidd

quentinand Jodie

[Image from http://www.motoringresearch.com]

Another previous guest on the show. Unlike Jay, Jodie does have previous experience with this sort of thing. She’s currently on another channel co-presenting The Classic Car Show, so it’d likely have to be quite some offer to coax her over to the BBC. But with acting experience on top of that, I can’t think of anyone better qualified to be part of any possible new team.

Idris Elba

Idris

AKA Driss, probably the longest shot on the list simply due to the whole Hollywood thing. But he finds time to come back and feed my Luther fix, so there’s hope yet. That’s of course if he isn’t already down to succeed Daniel Craig as the next Bond, which I’m not talking about here because there’s plenty of discussion of that happening already. But a friend of mine coincidentally shared this post about that exact same thing in a fit of comedy timing just as I’d thought of this post.

Previous experience? Well actually, I thought of him because of a show I happened to catch and enjoy immensely: King of Speed. He’s another one who is more than keen on his motors, and it goes without saying he’d probably find a show such as this second nature, given his big screen forays and playing to big crowds behind the decks too.

Given the BBC already brought us King of Speed and Luther, he’s already got a strong BBC connection, so it’s not perhaps as long a shot as I first thought. And naturally, he’d bring some genuine star power to the show.

Phillip Glenister

“Fire up the Quattro!”

D Tel 2.jpg

[image from iTelegraph.co.uk]

Like Idris, he has had a specialist car show already, For the Love of Cars on Channel 4. He’s another big enthusiast and thanks to that show, he has the background of renovating vehicles that need a bit of TLC and restoring them to their former glories. And as we’ve established, he has a very specific relationship with certain classic cars.

Of course, the great thing about picking all these busy people who are already well established in their various careers and positions, is that at least one will likely have to turn it down. Well, BBC, if the time passes and I turn out to be right with any or all of this business, I’d like to throw my hat into the ring. I’ll drive anything you want, likely be entertaining when you send me abroad, and I like to think I can write a little too. And I’ll probably work relatively cheap, long as you let me loose on the occasional Aston Martin. But that’s another post…

P.S. Any of you petrolheads out there want to tell me about cars you either have seen in your favourite reads or would like to? Drop me a comment, I’ll be keen to have a natter on that matter too!

me racing