#FeelGoodFriday Nov 11th 2016

#FeelGoodFriday Inspiring stories about the author journey!
This week I am pleased to have Andrew Barrett, author of “Stealing Elgar” and “No More Tears.”

Let’s give him a big welcome! His guest interview is below as well as his author contact and buying info! Thanks for sharing with us Andrew!


Hello, everyone. My name is Andrew Barrett, or Andy if you prefer.
Courtney was kind enough to let me mumble on for a while about my writing ‘career’. So here it is, along with snippets from a few interviews I’ve done over the years.

I’ve just crashed through the 50-year-old barrier, completely unscathed! I’ve been a CSI in England for a little over 20 years, and for those 20 years, I’ve written crime thrillers with a heavy forensic slant (surprise, huh?). Prior to this, I wrote horror, and of the three horror books I wrote, none of them were any good. Okay, they were appalling, but I now see them as kind of an apprenticeship; a good grounding that helped me into my current genre. So, I suppose I actually began writing almost 30 years ago. And the inspiration was a really bad book! I don’t remember the title or the author, but I do remember thinking that I could do a lot better.

And so, I tried. Turns out I couldn’t do better at all. It was horrid and has never seen the light of day, thankfully.

But I’d done something that most people only dream of doing: I’d written a book. I had actually written a book! And once that feeling gets a hold of you, it’s very difficult to get away from it. I wanted more. And so, I wrote another, and another. And I could see that they were getting a little better each time.

So, I had the bug and a very small pool of experience. All I needed now was something to write. And that’s when I landed the CSI job. I wrote my first crime novel, A Long Time Dead, in my first and second years as a CSI. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. I don’t know how, but I managed to get an agent who made me re-write the damned thing over and over. And then he bailed out on me. It was heart-breaking at the time, but he’d left me with a much better book. So, I rewrote it yet again, and it became quite a good book!

Over the next few years, I wrote another two books featuring a CSI (termed SOCO back then) called Roger Conniston. They were Stealing Elgar and No More Tears. And they were pretty good.
But I didn’t stop there. I wanted to write something that was multi-character-based. I wanted big; I wanted epic. And I wanted a new, more charismatic, lead character. In walked Eddie Collins.
It was about this time that I became aware of Amazon, and self-publishing.
260k words later (about 1000 pages), I had The Third Rule. It became a book you either loved or hated; it was so big that you could easily immerse yourself in it, and a lot of people loved it. Some didn’t, and their biggest complaint was that it was too big.
Part of being a writer means it’s a good idea to listen to what people say, and enough people were saying it was too big for me to ignore them. So, I edited it right back as far as I could and ended up with 180k words, which was much better, though still way too long to fit into the mainstream genre. And since this book is the first in a new series, the edit proved a wise move, since people will choose to carry on with the others in that series based entirely upon the first one.

Despite him being an angry and abrasive man with a loathing for authority, Eddie turned out to be popular, and so I was inspired to write Black by Rose (my favourite book) and followed it with Sword of Damocles.

And right now, I’m working my way through the edits of his new novel, Ledston Luck (working title), and have written two shorts as well.

There’s so much more to tell but time is short, so I’ll leave it there. What follows are a few excerpts from recent interviews that illustrate my love of writing.

What is your inspiration to write?

Not too sure how to answer this one. But I’ll give it a go. I believe that if you spend your life as nothing but a consumer, it is a life wasted. I believe that creativity – irrespective of form (painting, writing, sculpting, making music, cooking, restoring, whatever…) – is central to human existence and fulfilment. Yes, I realise how deep that sounds, but I could not bear to go through life as a pure consumer (I feel guilty just watching a film!). I like to think that I’m creating something when I write, something that will outlast me, and something that I hope sincerely will bring a little bit of pleasure to someone else. Since I can’t sculpt, cook, or paint (quite like drawing, though)), I choose to write. And now I’m afraid I cannot stop!

What drives you to continue writing?

This will sound like a cliché. But I write because I feel empty if I don’t.

But there are many other reasons why I write – even though I’m not exactly commercially successful; but that has never been a reason for me to write (proven by the fact that I’d written six books before Amazon was even born). I write because I enjoy that total immersion in a story, the utter belief that good will always win over bad, even if good is slightly soiled by the end of the tale. There’s no feeling like it when you’re so far into this other world that your fingers cannot keep up with the thoughts coming out of your mind. It’s always a bit of a shock to realise you’re making all this up, and you have to get ready for work.

I also write because I adore the way people interact with each other (study them), and so the way the characters do too. I write because I enjoy the feeling it gives me to know someone else is reading my humble stories, and hopefully, enjoying them a bit.
Do you have any advice for new writers?

We’re all new writers, aren’t we? Each time we begin another project, we’re on a journey of discovery, not only within the story, but within ourselves too. My, how deep was that?

Forget writing what you know (it’s the one piece of advice almost every How to Write a Book book tells you (unless it’s non-fiction of course!)), and write the kind of stories you enjoy reading. There’s a good reason for this: any reader will see straight through your attempts to enthral them with knitting pattern plots or accounting woes. If you enjoy Westerns, write one. Even if you’ve never been to a saloon in Hic County.

Forget writing for money. If you deliberately set out to earn cash as a fiction writer, you will fail as surely as your plans to win the lottery. Unless you’re very lucky of course.

Write because you enjoy it because you can’t live without it. Write because it makes you happy and above all, write because of the chance to make other people happy.

A reader wants to disappear from their own world where the washing up and the vacuuming are waiting; they want to see if Wild Bob Hiccup is gonna get a belly full of lead when Jenny-Lou Stetson sees him stealing getaway horses.

Your plot will be thin and your characters, shadows; you’ll think it’s just enough to get you to the finishing line, but it won’t be because the finishing line is when you leave a reader satisfied.









Eddie Collins on Facebook:



Have your own author story you’d like featured? Please type it up and send it to info[at]fiction-atlas.com. All stories are posted in the order that they are received! Please be sure to include any links you want to have featured with your story.


#TalentTuesday Nov 8th 2016

It’s #TalentTuesday! Every week I will be featuring an author that I think has true talent!

This week that author is Deliaria Davis who is the author of Mistress of the Vampires a paranormal erotica book.

You can also support Deliaria by following her on social media!

Author page – http://www.facebook.com/DeliariaDavis
Twitter — http://www.twitter.com/MattsBella
Blog — http://deliaria.mreauowpublishing.com/
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/deliariadavis


FeelGoodFriday Nov 4th 2016

#FeelGoodFriday Inspiring stories about the author journey!
This week I am pleased to have Maggie James Fiction, author of the “His Kidnapper’s Shoes.”
Let’s give her a big welcome! Her guest interview is below as well as her author contact and buying info! Thanks for sharing with us Maggie your story is fascinating!


Thank you, Courtney, for featuring me on your website! I’d like to relate the story of how my first novel, His Kidnapper’s Shoes, came into being. In 2010, fed up with life as an accountant, I quit my job and went travelling for a year. I didn’t tell anyone, but I intended to write a novel along the way, to fulfil a lifelong ambition. And that’s what happened, albeit with a few twists and turns. In hindsight, it’s one of the best decisions I ever made!

So what were those twists and turns? For one, procrastination continued to dog my writing ambitions. Two months into my trip, I still hadn’t written a word, mainly because although I yearned to be a novelist, I didn’t know what to write about. That dilemma got sorted during my stay in Vietnam. During a casual conversation, someone said how child abductions aren’t always down to predatory paedophiles; other reasons exist, some of them tragic. This started me thinking, and eventually formed the basis behind His Kidnapper’s Shoes.

Although I had the idea, I found it hard to combine travelling with writing. More time passed, and still, I hadn’t penned a single word. One evening, while in the small northern Chile town of Arica, I experienced somewhat of an epiphany. I vowed to travel to my next destination, find a decent hotel, and write every day until I had my long-awaited first draft. I took a bus to Bolivia, enduring a nasty bout of altitude sickness along the way, and ended up in the charming city of Sucre. I began writing in December 2010 and finished His Kidnapper’s Shoes in February 2011.

My original intention was to search for a publisher after returning to the UK. That didn’t happen. While in Bolivia I got talking to another traveller, who pointed out the benefits of self-publishing. I checked it out and became convinced this was the way forward for me.

I eventually published His Kidnapper’s Shoes in March 2013. The book did well, and I remained happy with my decision to self-publish. In another twist, however, that all changed earlier this year. In February 2016 I received, out of the blue, a call from an acquisitions editor at one of Amazon’s publishing imprints. She told me how much she had enjoyed my book, and after a couple more conversations and various emails, Lake Union offered me a contract to republish His Kidnapper’s Shoes along with my next novel, After She’s Gone. After consulting other authors and reading the contract carefully, I decided to accept. So far I’ve had no reason to regret my decision, and I’ve enjoyed working with Amazon!

The new version of His Kidnapper’s Shoes is being republished by Lake Union on November 16, 2016. It is now available for pre-order via this link:

If you’re in the US and you’d like the chance to win one of 100 electronic copies of His Kidnapper’s Shoes, why not enter this Goodreads giveaway?

Website and blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MJamesFiction/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maggie-james/64/381/727

Google+ : https://plus.google.com/101511690389687930651

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/maggiejamesfict/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggie-James/e/B00BS9LVMI

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maggie-james

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/mjamesfiction


Have your own author story you’d like featured? Please type it up and send it to info[at]fiction-atlas.com. All stories are posted in the order that they are received! Please be sure to include any links you want to have featured with your story.


#WebsiteWednesday Nov 2nd 2016

It’s #WebsiteWednesday! Here I am with more tips on improving your author website!

I’ve talked to you before about the importance of having an author website and a social media presence. Both are vital to your success as a modern author. What I don’t think I have covered is when you should start to develop these platforms.

The answer? Yesterday! The sooner, the better. The more time you have to capture leads to your mailing list and to get your name stuck in the back or hopefully the forefront of your reader’s minds the better off you will be.

But what if you don’t have any content? The joy of the internet is that there are always plenty of ways to engage and connect with others. There are countless memes to post, Pinterest boards full of blog topics, and author support forums and groups filled with other aspiring and published writers you can interview and learn from while also providing content for your followers.

But how do you manage social media posts, an author website, AND writing? It’s not easy. The best way to tackle this problem is to schedule at least part of your posts ahead. Take one day a week or even one day a month to plan out your posts. You can place these all in one Microsoft Word file, or you can even go ahead and schedule them with an app like HootSuite, Jetpack, MeetEdgar, or Facebook’s built-in post scheduler.

Another approach that is helpful is to have repetitive topics. For example, you could cover editing tips every Tuesday, do author interviews every Thursday, and funny posts every Saturday. Whichever days you choose to do these things, your audience will eventually pick up on your posting habits and begin to look for that particular topic of information that day. This gives your audience something to look forward to and a reason to visit your page more than one time.

So, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t started an author website or developed a social media presence, there’s no time like today!

#amwriting #authors #writers