What lies within your heart?

Today I happened upon this quote. It spoke to my heart so I thought I would share it.

“At heart write always for yourself, not for family and friends, for admired teachers, for reviewers or publishers; but make sure you write from your real self, not that one besotted by vain glorious dreams of a future self. One day you will realize that the true rewards of writing lie inalienably in the writing itself.”

John Fowles

Photo by Ileana Skakun on Unsplash

A Charmed Life ~ The Importance of Character Flaws

Today I’ve been ruminating… Yes, I am feeling quite well, thanks for asking!

A while ago I wrote a blog piece on the believability of character flaws. They are such a big part of a writers remit that I wanted to revisit them. Recently I’ve read a few books where the characters were not believable and it irked me. The books were well written, and the stories could have been so amazing. Yet the characters were not believable. Those books sadly were just words on a page, there was no life in them and I got bored!

Characters need to be equally at home eating a plate of pasta, as running for their lives. Buried deep within the pages they need to live, breathe and come to life.

As a reader, I need to understand them. If I don’t understand them, I don’t believe them. If I don’t believe them, I can’t connect with them and I hang up. I don’t have to agree with them or even like them, but I do need to have a level of understanding.

As I move forward to write book 4 my head is filled with people. Tall people, short people, fat people, thin people – all bouncing through my mind waiting for their moment to connect. Some I’ve already ditched, some I am curious about and some keep me awake at night!

They are ordinary people living ordinary lives…. until something extraordinary happens. How many ordinary lives do you know that are perfectly lived? Exactly!

We, as a species love nothing more than neat little boxes. We want labels on absolutely everything from gender to religion, to leftovers in the fridge (maybe that one’s just me…). We gain a level of security knowing where we are within the world and how everyone else fits into our model.

I, am a walking contradiction. I change my mind more often than not, tell white lies, debate, argue and cry. I laugh at things I shouldn’t and get myself into awkward and tricky situations. Am I perfect – er no! Am I believable? I would like to think so. And that’s the point. It is OK for me to change my mind – I am flawed, it’s part of who I am. It is the same for my characters. They can change their minds too but (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming), as writers, we get so focused on making sure our characters fit into the boxes we’ve created they can become ‘too perfect’. Characters with contradictions, some ‘why the hell did they do that?’ moments grab our attention. Crazy events work well if you understand them. You need events to move your story forward. People are peculiar- not perfect!

Usually, events are character driven, unless you’re a shark, a big great white shark with big teeth! Although, thinking about it, even shark based thrillers require the characters to get into the water!

So lovely people put your characters in the water and watch them swim for their lives! They can swim right?…Cue scary music…

 

Are you ready to get into the water? Photo by Francisco Jesús Navarro Hernández on Unsplash

 

Early Bird or Night Owl?

I have been musing recently about optimising the time I spend writing – or, to be more accurate, the time I spend thinking about writing!

My writing seems to follow a seasonal pattern. In the spring and summer months I write more effectively in the early mornings. During the autumn and winter that drive for early morning words is reversed. The dark evenings beckon and I sit and commune until the wee hours. Is this true of other writers I wondered.Does seasonality play a role?

Taking that thought further, I wondered if seasons not only direct when I write, but what I write. I can’t say as I’ve delved into this too deeply, but I’m sure it’s one of those interesting facts someone somewhere must know!

Moving sideways, I was curious to discover whether I adopted a ‘default’ season in my writing. A quick bit of analysis said not. It appears I write across all seasons. My current season of choice is winter. During Forbidden Colours it was most definitely Autumn. So, does any of this matter? No, not unless you are me! I am sadly time poor. I needed to know when I worked best, and if any of it had become habitual. It is of course habitual by the fact that I try to write each day, but, thankfully, what I write is still as free and unpredictable as it’s always been.

The #5amwritersclub is where it’s all happening right now and I busy with another edit on my historical fiction novel. It has become like an old friend and I look forward to moving it forward each day, even if it’s only a few words. As they say ‘every little helps’.

Life in the Fitton house is as chaotic as usual. It is exam season, conference season and time to sort the garden out season!

Do you have a preferred time of day to write or a ‘go to’ season? Do let me know.

If you’re not a writer, do you find seasonality plays a part in what you do? Pop a comment below… until next time adieu.

Photo: Cliff Johnson at Unsplash

Me, Agatha and The Snow….

I can hardly believe it was only two weeks ago that myself and four very talented ladies got together for the most magical of experiences. The occasion was a writing retreat, but my lovelies, this was not just any writing retreat. This was a magical adventure, held in the most magical of places.

Heartfelt thanks go to Rosie Longstocking from Greenacre writers who organised the retreat. We were treated to four days at Agatha Christie’s summer home – Greenway in Devon. Yes, that is what I said, I stayed at Agatha Christie’s summer home!!

My goal was to complete the first full edit of my historical thriller and to tighten and rework the first few pages.

Having never met the other writers I was apprehensive. In the days leading up to the retreat, I wondered why I had been so cavalier in signing up, but as they say, he who dares and all that. Maybe I am not as introverted as I like to think!

My worries soon disappeared on meeting these fine ladies. They were funny, friendly, and oh my, so talented!

We shared meals, taking it in turns to cook (who knew you couldn’t make rice pudding with Basmati rice??). The rest of the time was self-directed.

What followed were periods of procrastination involving – long walks, visits to the boathouse, a scoot around Agatha’s house, another visit to the boathouse, discussions concerning impending snow, attempting to find a phone signal, yet another visit to the boathouse – you get the picture… until….. finally…. I began to write!

It worked! Whether it was Agatha sending me good vibes, the wonderful company, or the location I know not. What I do know is that it was my perfect storm – I wrote my heart out. I was spurred on by receiving news that one of my short stories had been shortlisted in The Fiction Factory short story competition.

I can happily report that my edit got completed and my pages got tightened (nowhere else will you ever hear me say those words). And here’s the best bit ….. it was fun!

Between us, we created an environment that was supportive, encouraging and creative…. I think Agatha would have been pleased. Her sanctuary for those few days also became ours, and we flourished.

Highlights included:

Episodes of Poirot

The Boathouse

Writing

Stunning views

Laughing a lot

Playing story cubes after several sherbets!

Reading with the girls

Writing some more

Camillias

Snow

Finding Ingrid in the bathroom writing!

Eating

Making lists

Cooking

Continuing to write

Ladies in the gift shop

Murder….

Got ya! There were no murders, well not real ones!

There really were so many special moments.

Our adventure continued when we came to depart. As had been predicted, the snow came. A frantic half hour ensued. We debated whether or not to ‘wait and see’ and risk getting snowed in, or to depart. I think it was Agatha’s way of trying to keep us there… ‘Five Get Snowed in at Greenway’… Logic got the better of us and we left. The snow continued to fall… heavily, and so began the long haul back to our own worlds. We got stuck on a snowy hill, stuck trying to leave Torquay (roads closed due to snow), snow, snow and more snow fell. Thankfully we all made it home safe and sound.

Jane Lomas, Rosie Longstocking, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, Michelle Cunnah – you ladies rock!

To coin a phrase – It really was the best of times!

Five Go to Greenway…. there needs to be a sequel!

Photos courtesy of: Rosie Longstocking, Jane Lomas and Nicole Fitton
View from the path

 

Karma Camillias…

Agatha’s House Greenway. My room is top right with the window slightly open.
Spot the difference! The first fluttering of snow!
The famous Boathouse
Room with a view
Murder… did someone mention murder? Our living room.
View from my room…
Me and Jane, Jane and me and a very big window!
The lady herself!
Here come the girls

Feed Your Soul ~ Ramblings of a Writer

There really is nothing finer than writing – except perhaps reading. Both provide food for my soul. There are times when the words refuse to come, so I read. Then, there are the times when all I want to do is read, and so, I don’t write. They are two sides of the same coin, intrinsically linked by my imagination which flows to and from the words on the page and, as much as it pains me, I love it with all my heart.

Yes, dear reader, it pains me – big deep unabashed stabbing pains of self-doubt and inadequacy fill me. A sense of never getting it quite right sits on my shoulder in judgment as I type away. I often wonder where the words come from and at times am left questioning if it really was me that put them there! Perhaps the words are using me, not I them?  A conduit by any other name but a conduit no less. Weird? Not really. Who knows where the words come from. All I know is they burn images and sentences within me that do not abate until they are released.

Each day is a battle to continue, to sit and know that most of what I will write will be dross and disappointing, yet it is because it is dross that I continue. It was Beckett who said ‘Ever Tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better’, and that is what I intend to do ‘fail better’.

Don’t get me wrong there are victories, small quiet ‘pat myself on the back’ victories and it is these that make my heart sing. Moments of self-congratulation, however, do not stay long, they are fleeting and come crashing to the floor at every given opportunity.

Sometimes the words I smugly admired not 24 hours before have, overnight, magically transformed into the worst sentences I have ever written! On rare occasions, the opposite is also true and I dance for hours, complimenting myself on such skillful wordplay. But…. when I am there, like really there, in the zone, allowing myself to freefall into the words, there really is no place I’d rather be. It is food for my soul and I love it!

‘Ever Tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better’.

Samuel Beckett

Movin on Up ~ Driving Your Story Forward

    We have all been there haven’t we? You are merrily munching your way through the first few chapters of a book that has sat on your TBR pile for a while and then it hits you…. boredom! Yep, mind numbing ‘I’d rather be anywhere but here’ boredom. Like a beautiful car which has been filled with the wrong fuel, the story splutters and then comes to a grinding halt. I have kicked myself so many times for playing the martyr and plowing through to the bitter end only to kick myself a bit more for even bothering to finish it. On reflection what a lot of these books had in common was simple – a soggy middle. At the beginning I’m intrigued, the writing is good and has me turning the pages with glee and then, somewhere, somehow, the tension is lost and the story becomes like a slow moving stream, no I correct myself more like a stagnant pond! Nothing is moving, the characters are not under any sort of pressure to do anything or see anyone, they are just… well they are just there! I don’t know about you but I don’t want ‘just there’ when I’m reading a novel, I can watch TV for that. I want empathy and commitment, as much from the characters as from myself. Commitment comes from making decisions, if nothing is happening no commitments are being made. All of this equals boredom for me, the reader. Don’t get me wrong I am not proposing that there should be twists and turns on every page but the story does need to move forward. Sadly this vacation I have read two such books.

     Sitting here in the Mallorcan sun (photos to follow), I am struck by how important and methodical the editing process needs to be. I don’t want my books to be considered boring and I definitely don’t want a soggy middle! I am the first to admit I write too many words sometimes. Which is why I need to be strong and robust (like a good cup of coffee) when it comes to editing my own work way before an editor gets sight of it.

    I’m sitting poolside trawling my way through the draft of my next novel and three things strike me:

    – Who the hell wrote this?

    – Oh, that’s rather good 

    – What a load of tosh!

    It’s the ‘what a load of tosh’ that is bothersome. These are the sections where I need to channel a high court judge and become harsh but fair! Sometime the ‘tosh’ can be salvaged, sometime not. If there is a meaningful reason for the words to be there I will play around with them. If, however, they are acting as fillers for the main act then they have to go. No ifs, no buts, they must be crossed through with a red pen never to be seen again.

    I have asked myself the same question over and over today – what would happen if the words weren’t there? If I can not defend them then they have to go !

    I am doing well arguing with myself, although the lure of the pool is proving powerful! One more chapter then time for a swim….

    Wednesday Spotlight ~ The Life We Lead: Ascending by George M. Nagle

    It gives me great pleasure to introduce a fellow member of Mystery Authors International George M. Nagle. Welcome George! If you like a good mystery with a dose of romance then read on…..

    NF: I hear you have a new book soon to be released? How exciting! Can you tell us a bit about it?

    GN:  The Life We Lead: Ascending is just the first in a series of what should be three books. At 425 pages, it is the shortest of the series and really the introduction to James, the group, Carissa and a whole cast of others. The Life We Lead follows James, the main character as he battles criminal syndicates while trying to have a normal life.  It is inspired by real-life events, however, names, places, timelines and such have all been altered.  This story has been 25 years in the making and certainly won’t disappoint with an incredible ending to the series.  It is based on the reality of spying, so the far-fetched gadgets and such like those found in James Bond won’t be appearing. It is a spy novel has lots of twists and turns that can make you laugh, cry, feel the characters outrage and even love.  The subtitle of the book is a clue to why it ends where it does too.

    NF: Wow, it sounds right up my street. 25 years is a long time, that’s a lot of research! Can you tell us a bit about the story?

    GN: The DEA, FBI, and CIA have failed for years to bring down the Spara family, who control the world’s largest drug cartel. A secret society of spies whose members are under the age of 25 will try to succeed where the government has failed.At only 21 years old, James is the most skillful member of this society. His new target is the Spara family. Through their relationship with Russia, the

    At only 21 years old, James is the most skillful member of this society. His new target is the Spara family. Through their relationship with Russia, the Sparas are the largest distributor of heroin in the world.  While beginning his investigation in Russia, James inadvertently saves the life of a former KBG officer who has a connection to the Tan family. This connection leads James farther into the heart of the criminal cartel.  However, the Tans have a dark secret of their own, which could jeopardize James’s perfect record and his tenure as a spy as he struggles to do what is right while protecting his family, friends and the love of his life.

     

    George has kindly allowed me to give you a taste of ‘The Life We Lead: Ascending’ ~

    Excerpt from Chapter 03

    [context:  James and Daen capture Nikolias after Petior has been abducted.]

    “You are our prisoner, but you are a captive of whatever group you…” Daen began, but Nikolias cut him off.

    “What makes you think I want to leave?” growled Nikolias.

    “When you help us, your bosses will not be too happy with you. You and your cousin will need to leave to survive,” replied Daen.

    “So he says,” Nikolias said curtly, with a head gesture towards James.

    “What did he say? Why did he just do that?” asked James.

    “Sounds like he doesn’t feel the need for our help. It seems he doesn’t want to, or have a reason to leave,” Daen replied, a puzzled look on his face.

    “I am no traitor, and I will die to help our fraternity and country. I am loyal and believe in things, unlike you American dogs,” Nikolias stated in English.

    James bowed his head, closed his eyes, and rubbed his left temple for a moment with his left hand. He dragged it down his face before speaking again.

    “Okay, tell us what the fraternity’s cause is. What’s so special about it that you’re willing to risk your life, your cousin’s life, because someone felt I disrespected them near a train?” asked James.

    Nikolias laughed. “We know you’re looking for drugs. You feel drugs are not disrespectful and destroying. You think we do not know that is why you are here? We see you peoples, and how you treat us. You all deserve death for your exploits on us, and our children.”

    NF: Thank you so much for joining me today George, it has been a real pleasure. If you too have been taken by ‘A Life We Lead: Ascending’ then grab yourself a copy – It will be released on September 26th in all versions. Buy links are below. Here’s wishing you every success.

    Check out this trailer for The Life We Lead: Ascending YOUTUBE

    About the Author:

    George is the 3rd of 6 children and grew up in western Pennsylvania. He earned his BS in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, his MSc in Biology and his MBA in Marketing and Management from Duquesne University. He is also a Master 5th degree black belt in the art of Taekwondo with Young Brothers in Pittsburgh. He currently in a global marketing and strategy professional in science industries. He also has one son, Matthew.

    To connect with George Nagle: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Amazon Author Page  Goodreads Author Page  Smashwords Author Page

     

     

     

     

    Hashtags and Other Tales

    These days the humble # is found everywhere. Hashtags are a necessary part of marketing as any fun loving marketeer or PR guru will tell you. Started on Twitter their reach now extends across most media platforms.They can be used for fun, wider social or political issues or just because. Love them or loathe them they are here to stay. For authors, they can be a useful way of reaching a wider audience and potentially connecting with new readers. That is of course if you get it right.

    Having cast my eye over today’s trending offerings everything from #internationalbeerday to #FlashbackFriday is filling my twitter feed.So how as a rooky can you even come close to ‘trending’ or at the very least expand your audience? Here’s one thing I’ve learned about expanding your audience which I wanted to share with you. You need to know who the top influencers are in your field.Now, this is where it gets a bit sciencey so bear with me. Top influencers are those tweeters who have received the most impressions for a hashtag from their own tweets and the number of retweets they get. So how do you find them? Ah well… The easiest but also most expensive way is to pay someone to do it for you. Just type into Google ‘top influencers twitter’ and you will be presented with a wealth of companies offering you bespoke services. Or you could do what I did and do it the cheap way! Take a look a company called Klout who offer a free service. Klout allows you to share content and link you social media accounts to see how influential and engaging you have been on social media. Using a fancy algorithm it then spits out your score of influence from 1 – 100. I got 49 so obviously I am not as engaging as I like to think and still have some way to go! What I really like about this app is it allows you to identify the top experts (influencers) in your field who you can choose to follow.You can also monitor how you’re doing via your ‘Klout Score’ which changes dependant on the aforesaid fancy algorithm. It’s a great way of expanding your audience and increasing your online presence.Until recently I had no idea such things existed but as all good indies know it takes a lot of hard graft to raise your wee small hand in the maddening crowd. Simples yes? I hope you too have found this small journey into the unknown helpful 🙂

    #It’sthesmallthings #EnjoyLife #AmWriting #NeverGiveUp #FridayThoughts

    Opening Lines… Getting Hooked!

    Today has been a very good day. Today I have managed to finish another 3,000 words and it is only 3 pm! Not bad, not bad at all. By way of a reward, yes I do need to reward myself, I have started on the chocolate. Lindt chocolate with hazelnuts to be precise. Now 4 squares in, I’m starting to feel a bit sick. I love chocolate but it must be said I am a light weight. The same is not true of wine. Wine deserves a blog post all to itself! I digress, now where was I?…Ah yes, today has proved to be a good writing day. If I had to sum it up in one word I would say ‘hooked’. Yep, that’s what I want my readers to be, hooked from the very beginning, in a way that is entertaining and keeps them turning the pages. Managing hooks and the expectations around them are never far from my mind. I worry a lot, about pretty much everything, but I especially worry about the beginning of a book and how much to reveal straight up. Are the first few pages interesting enough to warrant continued effort? Have I revealed too much too soon? It is a dilemma, a happy dilemma to have, but only when you get it right!

    If you don’t get the beginning right nothing will fit correctly. Hooks are, in my opinion, inextricably linked to the first few pages. Of course, they feature throughout your story especially in thrillers and suspense novels. However, it is the beginning which will set the tone and pace, and push your story forward. You know when you’ve got it right because everything slots into place. Like a good solid jigsaw puzzle, the whole picture starts to emerge as each piece is placed correctly. Today has been a ‘placing the pieces correctly’ kind of day and I am over the moon.

    I want my readers to open my first page and be transported into a personal version of the world I’ve created. Today my 3000 words flowed with ease because I reworked the beginning. Yep, I went back to the beginning, red pen and all. Earlier this week writing had been a  struggle. I sat, looking at a radiant blank screen. It remained blank for the whole day! There was nothing for it but to go back to the beginning and try to figure out what was going on, and that’s when I realised some of the pieces had been misplaced. I shifted around a few key sentences and rearranged those opening lines and viola! Success!

    You get one shot and one shot only at asking readers to invest their time and emotions into your book. They will want a return on that investment. Your opening is your big reveal, you do not want to disappoint. Being able to fulfill your readers’ anticipation and carry them with you as the story develops is the most amazing feeling, as I said, you do not want to disappoint. If you lose a reader at the beginning it will be hard to pull them back, first impressions really do count! So with that in mind, I have put together a few questions that I asked myself when I faced the dreaded blank screen! Challenge yourself and ask yourself the same questions, you may find they help you complete your own puzzle. Sometimes you have to write the opening last, sometimes you have to write it or rewrite it midway through, as in my case. Whenever you turn to the opening, make sure you give it your full attention.

    1. Have I grabbed the readers attention within the first few paragraphs?
    2. Have I grabbed them firmly or is it more of a gentle nudge? ~ If it’s a gentle nudge rewrite.
    3. Is the opening talking to the readers I’m trying to attract?  ~ No good telling them about lemons when the rest of the book is about pears!
    4. Am I showing or telling?  ~ Show, always, no telling…
    5. Is there emotion? ~ Are my readers able to feel the pain, anger, happiness, envy, love etc.
    6. Is my narrative voice compelling? ~ Can readers connect to my protagonist’s voice.
    7. Why here? Is the starting point a pivotal moment.
    8. Am I intrigued, do I want to know more?

    My favourite opening lines are from Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, what’s yours? Please leave a comment below I’d love to know!

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

    Friday Feature ~ Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone

    Today I would like to give a warm West Country welcome to author Phill Featherstone and his novel Paradise Girl. Welcome Phill! As soon as I read the blurb for Paradise Girl I was intrigued! It is very close to the top of my TBR pile now… Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you grew up and perhaps how this has influenced your writing?

    I grew up on the Pennines only a few miles from Haworth, where the amazing Brontë sisters lived and wrote. As a child and teenager I roamed the landscape, striding like Heathcliff (I liked to think ) over the peaty moors. After many years living and working in the south and the midlands I returned here, to my roots, and started writing.

    Heathcliff eh?… pondering… OK let’s move on.. have you ever had a job other than that of a writer?

    I took a degree in English and qualified as a teacher. I taught English in secondary schools, mostly to 6th formers. I’ve also been a taxi driver, worked in a store and sold ice cream (I was Mr Whippy!)

    Wow English teacher, now that’s a tough gig, all those teenagers! Yes a tough gig indeed! So tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Paradise Girl?

    I live on the hills overlooking a small town in the valley. In the summer of 2013 there was a power cut. The day was still and hot. I worked on my laptop until the battery ran down, then took a cold drink out into the garden. I settled on a bench and looked around, and it struck me: I couldn’t see or hear any movement. None at all, except for the silent revolution of the wind turbines on the opposite hill. There were no signs of life anywhere. It was as if the valley and all around it had gone into a state of suspended animation.

    I had a thought. Suppose there was no one else. Suppose everyone had disappeared – perhaps run away, been taken by aliens, or felled by some deadly virus. What would I do? How would I survive? Could I?

    The idea for Paradise Girl was born. All that was left was to write it.

    I’ve wondered that at times too, sometimes I think it’s a real possibility. What are you currently working on?

    I’ve just finished a new novel, called The God Jar. It begins with a young couple on holiday on the Cornish coast finding a mysterious jar. The action jumps back 400 years to the court of Queen Elizabeth I and to Dr John Dee, known as ‘the Queen’s magician’. We learn what the jar actually is, something of its potency, and how the Doctor used it to change the course of history.

    Back in the present, the couple learn that their find is very special. Others are interested in it and in the power it brings, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

    Oh, I think that’s called a time-slip mystery thriller, well that’s what I’m calling it! The God Jar sounds really interesting…em… I can see I shall have to decant my TBR pile onto the floor when The God Jar is released! Now talking of going back in time… If you could go back in time what would you tell your younger self?

    Start writing sooner. Don’t hang about or make excuses. Make time, make space, and get on with it!

    Really good advice Phill. I think I would tell myself the same thing! Thank you so much for joining me today. Phill will kindly be giving away a signed copy of Paradise Girl to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen at random. To give you a taste here’s the blurb followed by a snippet:

    Paradise Girl

    Paradise Girl is told through the diaries of 17 year-old Kerryl Shaw. The Shaw family live on a remote hilltop farm, and they think this will insulate them from a highly infectious virus which sweeps the country. It doesn’t, and with her family and all around her gone Kerryl finds herself alone. Her diaries show how isolation and loneliness affect her, and build to a dramatic conclusion on the northern moors.

    “…impossible to put down… writing of a high literary standard, with the kind of psychological depth which lingers in the mind long after reading.”

    Here’s the snippet:

    I messaged my friend Josie. No reply. I called her number but there was no answer there either. I wanted to go to her house to find out what had happened but Lander, my brother, said I was being selfish.

    ‘What happens if you catch the virus and bring it back?’ he said. ‘Do you want to infect all of us?’

    Of course I didn’t, but I was worried about Josie. I called Penny Cross. She lives in the same street as Josie. She said she didn’t know about Josie herself but she’d seen an ambulance outside her house. I said that might mean they were taking somebody to hospital.

    ‘No,’ she said, ‘nobody goes to hospital any more. They’re using ambulances for hearses now.’

    I called Steve. The picture kept jumping but I could see he looked awful. He said everybody was dying and the young people were having a ‘Death’s Doorway’ party. They were going to dance and drink and shag and get high until one by one they dropped. He said people were breaking into the stores and taking what they wanted and there was no one there to stop them. He said I should join him, because if you’ve got to go that’s the way to do it.

    He swung his phone in an arc. There were a lot of people in the street. Some of them were half naked, some had bottles, some were dancing. Several were lying on the floor, drunk or maybe dead. In the background a girl was puking up. It made me feel sick.

    I told Lander about the pictures. ‘Good for them,’ he said.

    I got angry then. How could he not see how awful it was? ‘Why don’t you go and join them if you think it’s so fantastic?’ I yelled.

    Lander and I seemed to be quarrelling a lot now. We didn’t used to, well, not as much. We might have gone on as we were for who knows how long. We might all have survived, because as long as we kept to ourselves how could the Infection get us?

    Bryst put an end to that. I don’t blame him. He didn’t set out with the intention of killing us. He was just looking for some way to save his boy.

    Wow, I can’t wait to read it. Once again thank you so much for sharing Paradise Girl with us Phill. Remember to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy please leave a comment in the box below.

    Buy Links:

    Amazon UK

    Amazon USparadise Girl

    Troubador

     

    About the author

    Phill was born and brought up in West Yorkshire and trained as a teacher before reading English at Cambridge. He also has an MA in Education.

    Phill taught English in schools and colleges in London, Hampshire and Leicestershire and then spent five years as an education adviser for Northamptonshire Local Authority.

    In 1997 he and his wife, Sally Featherstone, started a publishing company specialising in resources for the early years. The company won the IPG Education Publisher of the Year award in 2007, and in 2008 the business was acquired by Bloomsbury Publishing. From 2008 until 2014 Phill and Sally ran a company providing training services for teachers. Since then he has spent his time on writing and conservation work. He has co-written with Sally several books for teachers and he now concentrates on fiction.

    When he’s not writing, Phill enjoys reading (of course), listening to music, going to concerts, galleries and the theatre, and playing the saxophone (badly). He lives in a farmhouse on the pennines overlooking the Calder Valley. Phill is a member of The Society of Authors.

    RPFeatherstone

    Connect with author Phill Featherstone:

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