Showing posts from September, 2013

Catching up with Frances di Plino

A warm welcome to fellow Crooked Cat writer, Frances di Plino (Lorraine Mace), author of the D.I. Paolo Storey series, among many other titles.

She's taken time from her hectic schedule to share some fascinating insights into her writing, her family's past and her future plans:

Frances di Plino is a striking name – very powerful. It looks just right on the cover of a psychological crime thriller. How did it come about? Do you have an Italian connection?

Talking to Tina

This week, meet fellow Crooked Cat writer Tina Burton, author of the delightful Chapters of Life.

Hi, Tina. Welcome to the blog.

I'm guessing you're still celebrating the launch of your book, Chapters of Life. How did it come about?
I'd been in a bookshop, and thought how nice it would be if they had a cafe so people could sit with a coffee whilst reading, and suddenly had this vision of a bookshop with a cafe on the first floor. Then everything else came to me, the characters and setting etc.

Are the quirky characters in Chapters of Life drawn from actual people, or are they, perhaps, composites – or complete fiction?
Well, there's bits of me in Jo who manages the bookshop, and Graham has some of my husband's traits, but all the rest are complete fiction.

Great little city

Bath. A great place. Read in my latest blog visit about how it inspired a macabre mystery, Tomorrow's Anecdote.

I was there in the late 1980s and based all the locations on real places. Even the house the female protagonist lives in was based on our modest Victorian terraced house in Eastville.

Take a look - what a wonderful place.

Thanks to Michela for inviting me - and for coming up with such a great theme.

By Pamela Kelt

Attack of the graphics

How many people have tried their hand at fantasy novels with a ‘quest’ theme? The answer is, I suspect, just about anyone who’s enjoyed Lord of the Rings. That’s a lot of folk.
Some years ago, I began to develop a story set in the icy wastes of the north. It was based on a trip to northern Norway. The story only took off on the third edit, when I tried a different approach. I decided to ditch the traditional fantasy scenario and go for the flavour of a graphic novel.
Not everyone likes graphic novels. Our favourite country pub is owned by a chap, a former graphic artist, who’s lined the walls of the establishment with original front covers of graphic novels from the 1970s. Catwoman, the Incredible Hulk, Superman, The Shadow. Others were more obscure, but the powerful images are filled with exciting promise.
In my view, the figures and backdrops are striking and brilliantly drawn – with obvious good and evil connotations. This made them the perfect inspiration for an adventure story for …

Seeking votes for Dark Interlude

If you've a moment, my video for romantic thriller Dark Interlude is on Yougottareads this month. I'm canvassing for votes among my fellow Muses!

Just go to this link -

Then scroll down below the red and blue voting button until you come to the numbered list. Click on #5 if you'd like to vote for Dark Interlude. You can see the video here -

It's a romantic adventure set after Armistice Day, 1918, when dark forces are at work ... and revolution is in the air.

'A strange death ... a deadly mission ... a city on the brink.
Who says the war is over?'

Voting is open from today, 21 September (my 28th wedding anniversary, by the way) until 27 September.

Thanks so much,

By Pamela Kelt

Confessions of a fantasy fan

I’ve always loved tales of fantasy, whether in books, movies, comics or television. I'm especially proud of actually writing one myself. Ice Trekker is now out on MuseItYoung.

I used to share fantasy books with my daughter as she was growing up. I was always at my local library, pouncing on the latest Edge Chronicle or whatever, or rummaging through the boxes of books to be reviewed when I worked in magazines.

Some years ago, I turned my hand to writing myself. I began writing books for adults, but this changed overnight when I was lucky enough to accompany my husband on a work trip to Norway. Guess which part? Tromsø, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. What an adventure. It took three flights to get there. We felt like Polar explorers ourselves.
While Rob worked at the University, I went exploring. Tromsø is a beautiful city, laid out on the island of Tromsøya, surrounded by vast mountains. It has a beautiful Arctic cathedral, the most northerly botanic garden in the world – and …

Arctic inspiration

Read how a trip to the Arctic circle inspired teen fantasy Ice Trekker.

A big thanks to fellow Scot Rosemary Gemmell for the chance to appear on her lovely Flights of Imagination blog.

It's on MuseItUp, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Smashwords etc. Find the links on the companion blog.

By Pamela Kelt

Monsters ...

Reader's Entertainment is running a piece on Ice  Trekker - and where all the monsters, myths and mayhem came from.

Take a look.

You might be visited to head north and visit Tromsø yourself.

Ice Trekker launch day!

Ice Trekker, the trusty (make that rusty) cargo ship is on the slipway, just waiting for us to crack the champagne to send her on her way north to Krønagar.

Yes, Ice  Trekker is released today, Friday 13 September, on MuseItUp Publishing. It's my first teen book and I'm thrilled.

A big thanks to my lovely editors Rosalie and Les. It was great fun working with you both.

Thank you, too, to Marion for the dazzling cover. The Northern Lights never looked so tantalising.

Here's the link to the book on the MuseItUp website. Just follow the instructions for whatever e-format you need. It's also on Smashwords.

If you'd care to say hi, join me at the online launch on Facebook here. You're bound to meet someone you know! There'll be chat, more photos and an epic Nordic quiz.

For more info, you can also drop by the companion blog here. Comments welcome!

By Pamela Kelt

Guest visit from top author Rosalie Skinner

Today I'm thrilled to have best-selling science fiction/fantasy author Rosalie Skinner on the blog. Her popular series, Chronicles of Caleath, is taking a new turn. I caught up with her recently ...
Tell us more about your new seafaring series. What inspired you to look to the oceans? My love of the ocean began during my childhood when I spent weekends at the beach or watching the ocean.When each of my children turned sixteen they were able to take a ten day trip on the Australian training ship, the Young Endeavour. 

The experiences changed their lives, for the better and began my fascination with today’s tall ships.
Living in a harbour town I have had the chance to take a day trip on a tall ship, spend many days aboard sailing vessels whale watching and even explore the replica of the Barque Endeavour.
My son has taken whale watching trips for many years now and it is exhilarating and inspiring to meet these gentle giants ‘up close and personal’. 

The humpbacks migrate along our coas…

Myths and mayhem

Ice Trekker was partly inspired by those great Nordic sagas.

Krønagar is a rugged land with a past steeped in myth, none greater than ...

The Legend of Mount Vulkanen IN THE LANDof Drasillig lived the Mennir – tall beings, with pale faces, long limbs and a strange language. They were clever and thoughtful, and built great cities all along the coastlines, where they traded and got rich.

But they became lazy and didn’t want to do the hard jobs themselves, so they began to buy slaves, Grells and Minax, from far away. The sturdy Grells toiled in the fields and the slender Minax worked in the grand houses and palaces. They were treated well, but they had no freedom.

The Mennir were fond of them, in their own way. One day, all the Grells and the Minax began to sense something was wrong. The air seemed to quiver, and the ground vibrate. They warned their masters, time and again, but the Mennir just smiled and laughed and carried on eating and drinking wine. They didn’t sense anythin…

Sneak peek at Ice Trekker - out on 13 September

What was the inspiration behind Ice Trekker? I'm guest blogger chez Lady Rosalie, top-selling author of the popular Chronicles of Caleath series.

She was my first editor at MuseItUp, for Ice Trekker as well, and so it's a particular treat to be there. Click here to read the full article.

Meanwhile, to whet your appetite further, here are the opening paragraphs of Ice Trekker. Young Midge has just arrived in Siegfried Harbour, looking for a job ...

Chapter One: Welcome to Krønagar
“Hide!” hissed the old sailor, eyes white with fear. He slithered across the icy decking and burrowed into a tangle of fishing nets lying on the dock.
Midge turned his face upward. The navy night sky turned green, laced with purple and orange like oil in water. “What is it?” he asked, ducking into the doorway of a battered wooden boathouse. A rippling movement swept over his head in a giant tidal wave of light. He held his breath as though he were being sucked under water.

“Skythons!” came the terrified r…

Good to meet you… author Margaret Fieland

Welcome to the blog!

To set the ball rolling, can you tell us a little something about yourself? I'm a computer software engineer by day and a writer and poet by night. I'm a long-time Boston area resident but was born and raised in Manhattan. I moved here just after the blizzard of 1978, thus missing the opportunity to abandon my car in a snow bank and walk home. I live outside of Boston with my spouse and a large number of dogs. Our kids are grown.
I see you’re an avid fan of science fiction. Was there a particular book that got you hooked? I've been a fan so long, I can't remember. I do recall picking out Robert A. Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky for my tenth birthday. I was already a Heinlein fan at the time.

I'm about to turn 67, so that's a lot of years of reading the genre. I used to haunt the Donnell Library on 55th street as a teen, and read through all of RAH that I could get my hands on as well as Anne McCaffery, Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton, and other…