Thursday, 31 May 2012

Keith Hoare

Author of:

Action Adventure:   

The People Traders

The People Traffickers

Unit T Special Forces

Goin Goin Sold

Girl in a web


Catwalk Supermodel

Gemma’s Whitecliff


Sparkle and the Insect Collector

Sparkle and the Whirlwind

Sparkle and the Hole in the Ground

Sparkle and the Missing Bees



The Timeless Chamber

Book blurbs:

Action Adventure - All action adventure in the world of people trafficking and the animal rights groups.

Romance - From non-fictional romance of the Catwalk Supermodel, to the fictional Gemma, struggling to grow up without her parents.

Fantasy - Teenage stories in a world of fantasy and adventure, where one child must take the long and dangerous journey to the timeless chamber. Their reward is to become a dream stalker, with all the powers that go with it.

Fairies - The real little people of the wood, who can’t weave magic, but their females can fly and the have learnt over hundreds of years to talk to the animals.

As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been an electrical engineer all my life. From an early age I’d always been interested in electronics. Whether I got it from my father, who was an inventor, I’m not sure, except I began to design my own products. I even held a number of patents in the leisure industry. So, for example, if you have played bingo, that doesn’t use the ping pong balls, then you have probably played using one of my inventions.

Over the years I’ve had a number of businesses. At one time I owned a large nursing home. It was a home for people with dementia and if I look back, the characters I met and talked to there, besides my employees in the electronic business, who every morning would try to explain why they didn’t turn up Friday, were late Monday morning, or why they needed the next day off, taught me a great deal about human life and its different facets. This for a writer, was a great help in developing my own characters.

What are your book/s about?

I find I can write in different genres. I write action adventure, romance, fantasy and fairy stories. I’ve even written what was the most difficult book for me ever, a non-fiction book on the early life of a supermodel. I say difficult because unlike fiction you can’t manipulate the characters. These are real people, with real lives and yet they still need development and brought alive.

Action Adventure  - The People Traders is, and always has been, my most popular book. It introduced a character named Karen Marshall who, after a vendetta between her father and another man, was abducted to be sold at a trafficker’s auction in the Lebanon.

Pretty basic concept, except Karen was no ordinary girl. Her father always wanted a boy and Karen was brought up that way. She did self-defence, kick boxing and even went on weekends with her dad playing war games with other enthusiasts. So when Karen got a chance to escape she did just that. Her new owner, an arms dealer, wanted her back offering a massive reward for her capture. In a poor country already ravaged in war, the reward brings not only the locals out, but the army as well. We follow Karen in a dangerous cat and mouse game between the arms dealer and her.

This first book moved me on to write three more on the subject of people trafficking. The books don’t dwell on the hopelessness of the victims, but use the grey world of trafficking as a backdrop to books full of action and intrigue.

Fantasy - Fantasy was a real departure from traffickers. I wanted a world that children ran, that didn’t use broomsticks to fly, or magic wands, but gave the modern child a belief the world exists, so I created Plagarma. The children who go to this world can fly by thought, can change their clothes at a whim, but most of all they can have adventure. Although as in all books, there is a dark side of their world known as Dargarma. This is a world of nightmares and if you stray there, you are lost forever…

Romance - After writing the non-fiction book ‘Catwalk Supermodel’, which was a real live romance, I wrote the fictional book Gemma’s Whitecliff’.  It began as a simple boy meets girl, except Gemma is nearly sixteen and her boyfriend fifteen years older. This was difficult enough for her, except her life was about to take a devastating turn for the worse. Her parents are killed in a road accident and the business they had built up, in buy to let schemes, falls on Gemma. However, they didn’t buy houses, but land, letting it out to farmers. Now our Gemma not only has farmers to deal with, but relatives trying to take over, and a boyfriend she has to hide away. For a young girl, who has only ever had ten pounds in her pocket and now owns White Cliff Estates worth millions, the pressures are beginning to take their toll in ways she cannot imagine.

Fairies - I’ve always wanted to write fairy stories. Not the stories where the fairy carries a magic wand and sprinkles fairy dust, but of little people who live in the wood, or at the bottom of the garden. Their only difference to humans was the females are able to fly, have learnt to talk to other residents of the wood, and of course their size. However, as the woods disappear and gardens no longer have wild areas, the fairies lives are changing as well. Now they struggle to exist in a world of change and keep their simple way of life away from humans.  

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing ten years ago. I was looking at my computer, that for some years had only been used for accounts and designing electronic systems, which had come to an end. So I just opened the word processor and began to write. The story wasn’t very good, but it left me with a sense of bewilderment. I’d lived the characters, became entwined in their lives and even though they were fictional and didn’t exist outside of my mind, they were so real. I knew then this is what I wanted to do.

What genre do you prefer to write in?

I don’t have a preference. Except I put so much into my books that a simple ‘who done it’ played out across thirty or fifty chapters, I couldn’t do. I think my detective would have sorted the whole lot out in five chapters and I’d be left twiggling my thumbs wondering what to write next.

What is your biggest writing achievement to date?

When a stranger is prepared to spend their own hard earned cash and splash out on one of my books, I feel a sense of responsibility that I’ve done my very best for that reader and they haven’t wasted their money. But when they buy again, that is my achievement.

What inspired you to write your book/s?

I’ve already mentioned how I began to write. Now I can’t really see me doing anything else. I suppose I’m like most writers. Exactly like the reader who engrosses themselves in the book, the writer is the book. It’s their world, be it fiction or non-fiction, there is no other human experience that can better it.

Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord with you?

I loved Enid Blyton as a child. Not the very young books, but more the five books. The adventures were simple, perhaps very basic, except they had a life of their own and she really knew how to do that. If I could get close to her skills, then I’d be happy.

What book are you reading now, and would you recommend it?

I’ve just finished ‘Dark Tidings’ by Ken Magee, an Irish writer. This is his very first book and I must say I’m impressed. He’s managed to bring two very different worlds together. The time past when wizards were at work coupled with the modern and a computer hacker trying to take down a bank.  I must say if the wizard could actually do spells to order, it would have been very boring. But this wizard has no idea what will happen till he casts a spell and very hilarious it is, especially after one such spell catapults him into the twenty first century. This is a writer to watch; he has a very fertile mind and knows how to entertain.

What are your current projects?

I get hundreds of emails asking when the next trafficker book is coming out. I’ve just completed one called ‘Goin Goin Sold’ which came out last December. My final trafficker book to complete the set of five is the most ambitious yet. At the moment I’ve called it ‘The Royal Grandchild’ and this time our heroine of all the trafficker books, Lieutenant Karen Harris CGC, will be pushed to the limit. I’ll say no more except the title tells you a great deal. 

Where and when do you do most of your writing?

I’ve a spare bedroom, which is really these days the computer room. I live in a 17th century farmhouse and the windows in my room look out across the valley. In the late afternoon the sun streams through one of the windows and the sunsets are sometimes breath-taking. I’m still working, although now semi-retired. But I will often work until the early hours. Time seems to go so fast.

What would you say was the hardest part of writing your book/s?

I’m not a planner, like most writers. Which for a ‘who done it’ is essential to bring all the components together. I write as I think. The story evolves and comes to a natural conclusion. I don’t have a memory block, but after a large book I like to break away and effectively get the book out my mind. After ‘Unit T Special Forces’, which was at the time the ultimate book on trafficking, I took a break before ‘Goin Goin Sold’, to write my fairy stories. They were simple, 10,000 words, fun and so so different. I really enjoyed the break.

Who designed your book cover/s – and was the cover something you deemed important?

I design my own covers, except ‘Plagarma’ which needed more of a fantasy cover. For me the design of the cover is part of the writing of the book and should depict to book in some way. I know what I want and play around until I get it.

In the fairy stories I went one step further. All the pictures, and there are forty in each book, I did myself. Perhaps not professional, but there again I wrote the books for fun, published them to effectively give away, so I’m happy with the result.

I also do my own movies for you tube to introduce my books. I’ve done nine to date. You can find them on

Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?

My very first effort ‘Michelle Must Die’ was published by a publishing company at their expense. Unfortunately me and a great many other writers, never received a penny in royalty, the owners ran away with the money, so in some ways I was very disillusioned with the publishing industry.

However, I’m quite computer literate and already had the programs that the publishers were using, so there wasn’t any difficulty in typesetting the novel to publishing standard. For around seventy pounds I can have a book set up in POD with a sample, besides available across the world. So I don’t need publishers anymore.

On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?

For me self-publishing has been successful, with 12,000 books sold last year. Realistically though the paperback route for ninety per cent of authors is no longer there. We are down to less than a thousand books shops and the shelf space is tiny for fifty thousand new books a year. So it has to be accepted, only the very few, with solid financial backing, will ever see the book shelf.

For most writers the ebook option is the only route to market. It shouldn’t be frowned upon, because even Amazon is admitting the ebook sales have now past paper book sales. It will only be a matter of time before the paperback as a fictional novel will be a thing of the past. Unfortunately printing cost and reducing shelf space, to sell the book, will see to that.

Where can we buy your books?

My books are available all over the world, both in paper back and for book readers such as Kindle, Sony, Nook and iPad and may be ordered from any book shop.  I also have an Amazon shop called Keith’s Amazon  where you can buy for your Kindle or paperback using your Amazon account. Alternatively off my web site 

Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?

Yes I have websites for all my books.

My main site  lists all the books.

The fairy circle has its own website

The site has two of the stories in full colour with the pictures which you can read online for free. These books are exactly as they are found in the paperback version.

I have a face book page

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Most writers in their heart of hearts become very upset with criticism. You have to accept that these days, since the coming of the ebook there are a great many vindictive people, who seem to take a delight in scathing writers work. You need to be hard skinned and laugh it off. Only another writer knows just how much work goes into a novel, and any completed work is an achievement. How good the finished product is, did it work, was it readable only time will tell. But do your best to get it right, don’t rush to publish, make sure the little typos are sorted out and try to get someone, who isn’t a friend or a relative, to give it a once over. Readers will often see what you don’t, so take their comments seriously, don’t get on your high horse and ignore advice. Except remember the first write is the one with passion, don’t keep changing in a belief it enhances the work. You risk watering down the passion and the story soon becomes bland.

A good example is poetry. Poetry written under stress, such as a death in the family, difficult illnesses, or financial problems, are often the best poems. They have that little extra that you cannot often create when life is comfortable.

And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?

I know just how difficult it is to write and hope you have been inspired a little from my own experience. Writing is a diversion from reality, but unlike the reader, you as the writer controls the world, the characters, their hopes and their dreams. It is as much as a responsibility as reality, which is what writing fiction is all about.

Good luck with your writing.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Alex Le Soum

Author of: Space Turbulence

Book blurb:

Murder, romance, heartbreak and intrigue - trapped on a spaceship lightyears from anywhere.
Fourteen people, one murderer - it's going to be one hell of a ride.

The Kolian Chronicles #1 - Space Turbulence

It's Mysior's birthday, so they hold a party in her honour. For a birthday surprise her husband tries it on with a dancing girl, and when the dancing girl is having none of it he takes his anger out on Mysior with his fists.

Battered, bruised and in fear for her life, Mysior runs - straight into the world of Hammer Mehran, space captain, smuggler, people trafficker and notorious womaniser.

Despite his allergy to commitment, Hammer finds himself falling heavily for Mysior's stunning beauty and dreamlike qualities, but the budding romance is cut short by the brutal murder of the First Mate.

As the only remaining qualified pilot Hammer has to fly the ship, but someone has to solve the murder. And as the only other person on board with a cast iron alibi (because Hammer was busy chatting her up at the critical time) the task therefore falls to Mysior.

She muddles her way through the investigation, thwarted by the colourful cast of characters and constantly distracted by her attraction to Hammer.

And as if murder wasn't enough to contend with, her investigations uncover a whole host of shady practices including drug dealing, blackmail and a strange case of suspected gravy molestation.

The novel is a self-contained murder mystery which can be read as the introduction to the Kolian Chronicles or a stand-alone story.
As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in the south of England, on the outskirts of Windsor, with my husband and three children. I’m a stay-at-home mum and part-time writer.
What is your book about?
Space Turbulence is a murder mystery, a love story and the opening book of the Kolian Chronicles.
The series is about a society going through a time of social reform, something which isn’t universally accepted by all, and key individuals within that society going through their own personal life changing journeys.
The two principal characters are: Hammer Mehran, a rich but disillusioned young pilot who has reached a point in his life where he’s being pressurized by his family to settle down, but is desperately resisting it with every woman he can get his hands on; and Mysior Rashif, who was forced into an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen and missed the entire “formative years” period of her life.
When they’re thrown together it’s fireworks, but neither of them are ready for the relationship or the wider social upheaval they find themselves living in.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written stories since I was a little girl. I wrote my first full length novel when I was ten. It wasn’t very good, but the story was in my head and I had to get it down.
I published my first novel with KDP in May 2011.
What genre do you prefer to write in?
Science fiction, although my work crosses into crime, romance and family sagas. The great thing about self-publishing is you don’t have to fit into an established pigeon hole.
What is your biggest writing achievement to date?
Completing my 7th novel, which took me over the one million word count for the series.
What inspired you to write this book?
I set out to write a one off murder mystery with a romance sub-plot. The characters quickly came to life and took over, and I knew I had to write their story from beginning to end.
Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord with you?
Very hard to pin it down to one author. Douglas Adams for comedy, CS Lewis for sci-fi (Out of the Silent Planet), Jane Austen for romance.
I like stories that make you think and authors who aren’t afraid to break the rules. 
What book are you reading now, and would you recommend it?
Life’s Punishing Path by Donald Everetti.
I would definitely recommend it. I love the James Fratino character because he’s so human and believable, and I can never resist that bad boy mentality.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on Book 8 of the Chronicles. Book 7 is already written and in its “set-aside” period prior to editing.
Where and when do you do most of your writing?
In the evenings, after the kids are in bed. And sometimes in the early hours of the morning if I’m on a roll and keep going.
What would you say was the hardest part of writing your book?
The research, particularly the forensic details. Although the books are set in a fictional universe, the characters are human and all the gory medical stuff has to be accurate.
Who designed your book cover – and was the cover something you deemed important?
I designed the cover myself. The series contains a lot of satirical comedy and I was aiming for a cartoon feel to reflect this.
Book covers are very important, as they’re one of the first impressions a reader gets. But I do think some authors place too much emphasis on trying to look like everyone else in the genre. I see that advice given a lot in the KDP forums and I’m not convinced.
I don’t want my books to say “Hey, I’m sci-fi. I’m as good as every other sci-fi book on Amazon.” I want them to say “I’m a little different, something quirky and unique. I’m NOT like every other sci-fi book on Amazon.”
Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?
I did send the manuscript to a handful of agents in the early days, but I quickly abandoned that idea when I realised the potential of self-publishing.
On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?
It was a steep learning curve in the beginning, grasping the formatting and technical requirements, but I received a lot of help from other authors. The KDP authors’ forum is a wonderful resource and I’ve made some good friends who’ve given me support and encouragement along the way.
Where can we buy the book?
All my titles are available through Amazon. The first six volumes of the Kolian Chronicles are now published.
Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?
Not yet, but my website is under development. The best place to keep tabs on me at the moment is my Author Central page.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I don’t claim to be any sort of expert, but my advice would be to keep on writing. Marketing and networking is important, but I would never give it priority over writing the next book. One thing’s for sure – if it isn’t written, it won’t sell, no matter how good your internet presence.

And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?

I’d like to thank Rachael for giving me this opportunity to showcase my work, Amazon KDP for giving me the opportunity to publish my work, and all my fellow indie writers who have given me their friendship and support.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Robert Collins

Author of: Lisa's Way

Book blurb:

Teenager Lisa Herbert lives in the small town of Mountain View on the planet Fairfield. The “Savage Rain” decades earlier shut down the hyperspace gate and isolated her world. A casual remark from her sister gets Lisa to ask a simple question: “If life was better before the ‘Savage Rain,’ why couldn’t it be better again?”

That question starts Lisa on a journey. She reactivates Fairfield’s H-gate and travels to three worlds. Each planet offers her a chance to improve life by hard work, by trade, or by making friends. She relies on her brains, her compassion, and a little sneakiness to solve the problems she faces.

As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I write science fiction and fantasy. I also write about Kansas history.

What is your book about?

It's about the effort of a young woman to rebuild society. Her idea is that encouraging trade and cooperation, life will get better.

When and why did you begin writing?

I was hooked into SF/F by Star Wars and Star Trek. One of the books I read as a result was Asimov on SF. I was always imaginative, and showed that I could channel that into writing.

What genre do you prefer to write in?

Science fiction and fantasy.

What is your biggest writing achievement to date?

One of my nonfiction biographies was runner-up for bio of the year, as chosen by the Society of Midland Authors.

What inspired you to write this book?

The idea began in high school when a friend and I wanted to write a post-apocalyptic story with us and our other friends as characters. After high school I fictionalized the characters. One, Lisa Herbert, eventually stood out from the rest. She was the one who would try to rebuild society. The question was, how to go about it?

In the early 90's I published a series of travel booklets. As part of my research I learned about the Santa Fe Trail. It wasn't a trail for emigrants, but a commerce route. That's when it hit me. Trade would be the method that Lisa could use to travel and rebuild society. The first book finally came together when I set the story on colony planets instead of on Earth.

Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord with you?

I'm really not an author person so much as I am a story person. I'm willing to read anyone and anything, so long as I like the story.

What book are you reading now?

Nothing at the moment.

What are your current projects?

I've started working on the follow-up to my first novel, "Expert Assistance." I'm also working on another Lisa Herbert book.

Where and when do you do most of your writing?

At a room at my house that serves as my office. I write in the mornings; my goal is to write 4 pages a day.

What would you say was the hardest part of writing your book?

The time it took to get it into its current form. It took 15 years to write, several more to sell to a publisher, then a few more to get the book back and do the new version with a better cover.

Who designed your book cover – and was the cover something you deemed important?

Matt Orsman did the illustration. He did it because he'd won a copy of the previous edition. He liked it, his daughter liked it, and he offered to do covers for me.

A good cover is important, but keep in mind that it will often be seen in sizes smaller than a print book. Don't make it too complicated. A simple concept that gets your story across is better than a pretty cover that doesn't fit.

Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?

I've done both. I've sold three novels and several nonfiction books to small presses. I've warmed to self-publishing. After I had sold "Lisa's Way" to a small press, the owner became gravely ill. The book was very much up in the air at that point. It came out, but I don't want to be in a position like that again.

On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?

It's hard work. So far I haven't sold many copies, but at least now I don't have so much out of my control. If they don't sell then I have to write better and work harder.

Where can we buy the book?




Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?

One Kansas Author:

The LW Facebook Page:

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing. Learn from your mistakes. If you work at it, you will improve and your work should sell.

And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?

Buy my books! :)

More Interviews Coming Soon...

This blog is intended to showcase the work and minds of fellow indie writers - so they can tell us what they're up to, what new projects they're undertaking and what makes them tick!