Today I’m pleased to welcome back Rebecca Bryn once more. Some of you may remember her from our work on the anthology You’re Not Alone in aid of MacMillan Cancer Aid, or from her appearance in my Welsh Wednesday Interview series. Still, there is a lot more to learn about her and her books.
So welcome back Rebecca. Please tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.
I live in West Wales with my husband, some sheep and my rescue dog. I write, paint, garden and walk, and we have a small boat on the canal near Brecon. I’m stubborn and determined, and fairly forgiving.
Why did you choose to write historical fiction?
I think, in a way, it chose me. I had a sixth-form teacher who was a Polish Jew. He was the kindest, gentlest man I’d ever met and the pain in his eyes touched my teenage soul. He’d lost all his family in the holocaust. His eyes haunt me still and I had to write about what he suffered. Touching the Wire is the story of all the men, women and children of the holocaust and is dedicated to the memory of my old teacher.
What in particular fascinates you about the era(s) you write about?
I was born a few years after the end of the Second World War and grew up with stories of both wars. At the time, to a young mind, they were boring tales about something long gone. Now it’s too late, I wish I’d listened to the rich history those men held in their heads.
Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?
The inspiration came from a television report about Nazi war criminals, coupled with some burr-elm boxes my husband was making in his shed. It went through several metamorphoses before becoming Touching the Wire, the story it is today. The concept is forgiveness and the fact that, between black and white are, dare I say it, fifty shades of grey. I examine the shades between the extremes to allow for redemption on some level. Guilt and forgiveness are both common themes in my novels: the research for Touching the Wire was harrowing, and the story based on true events. It certainly challenged my powers of forgiveness.
Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?
I began writing about ten years ago, not with any great intention of becoming an author – more on a whim. I typed Chapter One without much idea where the story was going other than a concern about the future of our planet. I called the ensuing novel Destiny. It wasn’t very good but I liked the basic story. This year, I took out the original document and totally rewrote it. Where Hope Dares, out soon, is the culmination of ten years writing experience and quite a bit of research.
Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?
Nor really. I did some proof-reading for a friend which sparked my initial interest. My husband did once say ‘Why don’t you have a go?’ I think he regrets saying that now!
How did you come up with your stories?
It’s odd the random things that spark an idea. A TV report, a wood carving, Ogham writing on a windowsill in the church at Nevern up the coast from where I live, stone circles, the release of Angela Canning after being wrongly imprisoned for a cot death, global warming, an article about psychopaths and a hairdresser with PMT!
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
I find writing a bit like painting. You begin with the underpainting, you carefully plan the composition and the relationships between the main components, you concentrate the perspectives to draw your eye towards the focal point then, the chances are, you get a big brush, daub a load of colours on haphazardly and things suddenly spring to life. It’s an organic growing thing and more about passion than perfection.
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
It’s a challenge. I try to market a bit every day. I rarely get to write every day but I am constantly thinking about my writing, as is apparent when I say ‘What?’ every time my husband speaks to me. He thinks I’m deaf.
What is your life like outside of writing?
Quiet. I love to paint seascapes in watercolour and am treasurer of the local art group. We hold exhibitions each year and those, the dog, the husband, a five-acre smallholding and writing keep me pretty busy.
What makes you laugh?
Life – When it doesn’t make me cry.
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
Are you free next Wednesday?
Thank you, I am free; and I do live in West Wales, too 😉
What song would you pick to go with your book?
‘Why worry’ – Mark Knopfler Not sure why but there will be sunshine after rain. I have to keep believing that.
Where Hope Dares. [NB: since writing this interview the book has been publishedL http://getbook.at/WhereHopeDares ]
It isn’t historical in the real sense of the word though it is, perhaps, an alternative history. It’s a story of the eternal struggle of good over evil and is set in a challenging time of social, religious and political upheaval. I think it’s going well and is at the ‘final edit’, if there is such a thing, and first proof-reading stage. I hope to have it ready for publication in a few weeks’ time.
Rebecca Bryn lives on a small-holding near St Davids in West Wales with her husband, dog and a flock of sheep. She writes thrillers, and paints the stunning Pembrokeshire coast. She has work in private collections worldwide.
R.E. Weber will be my interview guest on Monday but his book is free now:
#FREE until 1st Nov THE VOYAGES OF THE SEVEN: The Star Agency 2 –
Born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, in the 1960’s, R.E.Weber discovered his passion for science fiction at a young age after reading A Fall Of Moondust by Arthur C. Clark. Thirty years later, the saga that was to become The Star Agency Chronicles began to take shape, and in January 2013, the first novel in the series, The Star Agency, was published.
After a great response to the first novel, he began working on The Voyages Of The Seven, which was released in August 2015. Book 3 is currently in the advanced planning stages.
When not reading or writing, he is often to be found indulging in his other passions, which include running, astronomy and cinema going. He now lives in Bedfordshire, UK with his wife & cat. He is still obsessed with science fiction.
My 5* Review of: “Have Bags, Will Travel” by D.G Kaye
D.G. Kaye’s wonderful travel memoir owns as much to ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ as it does to popular Airline documentaries. Her sharp observations on travel customs and customs offices around the globe are accurate and well observed.
Hilarious and witty with an occasional stab at the bureaucratic and user-unfriendly ways the industry has developed, Kaye describes the fall from grace of airline travel, yet keeps it light-hearted and entertaining throughout.
I have spent 15 years in the air and have to back her up on most of her points.
As another reviewer put it:
“Much of what we endure to travel these days seems to defy logic and Kaye has a qitty way of putting things as well as a sharp, observing mind.
There are many hilarious moments as the author is stuck in customs at an airport in Venezuela, Canada or out in London and the Champs Elysee. Very enjoyable, pretty accurate and useful, thanks to the many tips at the end of the book.
This is compelling and essential travel reading.”
These Episodic anecdotes of travels past and present this is highly recommended.
Have Bags, Will Travel is available now in ebook at Amazon, and will soon be available in print.
There is an excerpt at D.G Kaye’s blof : Book release, amazon, Have Bags Will Travel, promotion, vacations, humor, D.G. Kaye
Some of you may remember my previous review post on Truth, Lies and Propaganda: in Africa (Truth, Lies and Propaganda Book 1)” by Lucinda E Clarke
Lucinda’s other book
is currently FREE for 3 days
Amie: An African Adventure” by Lucinda E Clarke is a powerful and intriguing story about a European woman who comes to live in an African Country. Cultural clash and assimilation, expected and unexpected experiences as ex-pat, colonialism, politics and many more issues are touched upon by an author who knows the continent well.
Having travelled extensively through Africa the book hit home for me on many levels and I applaud the author for her sensitive and reflective portrayal of all that is good and bad.
The character of Amie is instantly likeable and well chosen as narrator. The plot is solid and gripping. Very recommendable.
Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Genre: Paranormal, Poker
Sometimes life, as well as death, is about second chances. Luckless Telly Martin doesn’t have a clue. An awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, he becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch…Clutch is a ghost. Telly and Clutch must navigate the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered personal relationships and find redemption in this life and the hereafter.
Pokergeist won the Grand Jury Prize in Comedy in the 2015 New York Screenwriting Contest!
I was so excited to read Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash (one of my favorite authors) and my expectations were sky-high. I mean, what could be better than to have poker and the paranormal all in one story? I must admit, I had a hard time getting into the head of Telly and it affected my enjoyment of the story. Honestly, I thought he was a clueless dud and his interactions with Clutch were bordering on the unbelievable halfway through the book.
Clutch, on the other hand, was amusing and I could relate to him. I felt his remorse and his wanting to help Telly was admirable. Boy, does he have patience.
I did enjoy the emotional tension in the story and the author does a brilliant job of portraying the seedier side of both poker and Vegas. The ending, while predictable, had a surprise that I wasn’t expecting.
If you are a fan of poker and are looking for a good ghost story, pick up this book!
“Everybody should get a chance to live his dream, at least once.”
My Rating: 4 stars
Christoph Fischer is a name to be reckoned with in the publishing world. For those of you who don’t know about him, yet, he is one of the most talented writers on the market. Penning his own, unique style, he manages to effortlessly cross genres from Historical Fiction, to Thrillers, and poignant family relationships’ novels, and as any author will tell you, that is not an easy feat.
Christoph was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life…
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‘Recognise the human race as one’
I am really proud of my mate Rando Wagner for helping the Syrian refugees in Berkasovo, Serbia hands on. He collected money from his friends and then bought a ticket and flew to Serbia to show that his time and money are where his mouth is.
Admirable ‘ZivilCourage’ / commitment that dwarfs the empty speeches by European politicians. He used the collected money to buy food and water and hired a car to help transport the refugees from where buses drop them off to the camp.
More help is needed, not just from volunteers and private donations but from political agreements and all governments.
This is copied from his FB timeline, his own words:
“Border crossing between Serbia and Croatia! It was like a movie! The volunteers organise the refugees in groups of 50 and the Croatian police let them in group by group! This prevents repeats of events a few weeks ago, when the police where overwhelmed and borders closed! The police in these countries is not trained, equipped or prepared for what is happening! As it is unprecedented in modern times!
Europe needs to send help to the eastern borders! If it wasn’t for NGOs, both professional ones and activists, all eastern borders would be closed off my now! It’s our governments responsibility to ensure our safety and to offer people fleeing death and persecution the chance to claim asylum.”
“That’s all the water I managed to get in the car! Less than half what’s needed a day to give everyone just 1 bottle!
There is no running water! And the process from getting off the bus to reaching the camp across the border in Croatia can take up to half a day!”
“I hope coming from someone you know (me ) rather than the press, will make everyone realise that the refugee crisis is real. I didn’t enjoy or want to take these videos, but hope it will help more people to realise how huge this crisis is and that every single persona and government in Europe needs to help! If we don’t…we will all pay a high price both economically and with millions of lost lives on our conscience!
“One of the most rewarding nights of my life, drinving mothers with small children and elderly people the 5km between where buses drop them off and the camp.
Most other people have to walk and it is as shocking and awful as shown in the news or even worse!”
I read and loved Wendy’s first book THE PALAVER TREE and can’t wait for her next book.
I’m very excited to welcome Wendy Unsworth back to Author Wednesday. I’ve been anxiously awaiting her second book in the Berriwood Series, after having read The Palavar Tree. The wait is almost over. Beneathwood is a novel filled with drama and suspense and will be available in e format on November 24, 2015, and in paperback on December 8, 2015.
Welcome, Wendy. It’s so nice to have you back.
Hello and thank you for inviting me back to your lovely blog; it’s great to be here.
Next month you will be publishing the second book in your Berriwood Series. Can you tell us something about the idea behind the series?
Berriwood is a fictional village in the beautiful and ancient county of Cornwall in England. I was lucky enough to live in that part of the world for a few years and anyone who does couldn’t fail to be inspired…
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