#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.


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.


#FeelGoodFriday Oct. 21st 2016

#FeelGoodFriday Inspiring stories about the author journey!

This week I am pleased to have the amazing Shannon Youngblood Author of the “Just A Man” series, and who will be releasing her new book “Chub Rub” next month!
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!


So, yesterday on Facebook, I posted a small paragraph of my new book “Chub Rub” that drops on November 17, 2016.

Add to your TBR ~~~> Goodreads- http://bit.ly/2dkGwqj

This paragraph is so deeply personal to me, and I wanted to share it with you now.

“I made fun of myself, so other people didn’t have to. I put myself down because the sting of my words was less brutal than the sting of theirs. It was easier to have people laugh with me than to have those same people laughing at me. In the end, though, it didn’t matter how much I tried to love myself when someone made fun of me, I lost a little of that love. I didn’t want the crass words of ignorant people to affect me the way that it did, but I was human, and most times, I couldn’t help it.”

As a little girl, I was bullied pretty heavily for my weight (no pun intended). I wasn’t the popular girl. In fact, I was a band geek and a drama nerd. It was merciless, and I went home crying more often than not. This went on from the first grade until I graduated High School.

Even today, I find myself crying into my pillow in bed at night. It’s stupid. I’m 30, and I let the words of strangers affect me so much. But as Maggie above said, I’m human, and I can’t help it. There are times I let it glide right over me, and pay it no mind, but sometimes it cuts deep.

No one knows this, but I came up with the idea for this book on one of those sleepless nights. A day I had been driving down the road, windows down, singing to the music and a group of young kids drove up next to me and decided it would be fun to scream out the window “Hey you fat lump of shit, why don’t you just die” It hurt me….. pretty badly.

It wasn’t the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Writing this book released a lot of my emotions into the pages and really helped. I still have my down days, but I feel stronger with Jackson’s words circling in my mind. (Jackson is the main character).

This book is LITERALLY my world. I eat, breathe, and sleep Chub Rub, and I am saddened that my journey with writing it has come to an end. I hope that you have the opportunity to read it. It’s emotional and vulnerable, and SEXY AS HELL, but it’s my best work to date.

Thank you all for your continued support. I love you all!


FB Page- facebook.com/sgyoungblood
Twitter- twitter.com/sgyoungblood
Instagram- Instagram.com/sgyoungblood
Website- http://authorshannonyoungblood.blogspot.com/
Amazon- http://amzn.to/2dc9gjq
Goodreads- http://bit.ly/2dutXri

Just A Man
Goodreads- http://bit.ly/2cYvEhO
Amazon Buy Link- http://amzn.to/2cwTcZY
Just A Woman
Goodreads- http://bit.ly/2d9GsX8
Amazon Buy Link- http://amzn.to/2db42AN
Chub Rub
Goodreads- http://bit.ly/2dkGwqj
Amazon Buy Link- N/A Yet 😉

Street Team Application: https://goo.gl/forms/kyDmL2ayAEpOXA7k1
Chub Rub Cover reveal http://bit.ly/ChubRubCR
Chub Rub Release blitz http://bit.ly/ChubRubRB

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