Saturday, 31 August 2013

Now watch the video ...

Time to launch the book trailer for Ice Trekker.

These videos take ages - and are by far the most creative delaying tactic I've ever come across.

The music is by Kevin MacLeod (Heavy Interlude), which I've tweaked a little. Most of the images are my own - photographed, twiddled and tweaked. Other general shots are public domain.

You can view it on Youtube here, or within blogger - see further below.

Hope you enjoy it.

By Pamela Kelt

Ice Trekker - ready to launch

Welcome to Krønagar!

ICE TREKKER is released on MuseItUp Publishing on 13 September 2013.

Today, I am delighted to reveal the stunning cover, designed by Marion Sipe.

So, what's the story all about?

You can visit the companion site here, where you'll find out more. Legends, inspiration, background - and a map!

Ice Trekker is a teen fantasy, set in a far-off land, inhabited by friendly Grells and their not-so-friendly rivals, the ruthless Minax.

But the Grells of Hinderland are facing a bleak future.

Supplies of Blackfrost, their one remaining fuel source, have run out. Food is scarce, jobs are hard to find and worse … the greedy Minax are poised to invade from the south.

For the sake of his family, young Midge leaves home and treks north to the frozen wastes of Krønagar, an uncharted land to the north, in search of work. Set upon by thieves, he ends up as dogsbody on the Ice Trekker, a small, shabby cargo vessel that runs into trouble from the start.

Despite evil omens in the sky, monsters from the deep, desperate sea battles, treachery on board and a constant war with the worsening weather, the plucky crew members press north …

But Midge soon discovers that the Ice Trekker is not what it seems. The crew has a secret mission to save the Grells – and Hinderland – from doom.

Trapped by ruthless Minax, he and the crew end up risking all in a desperate battle for survival as they take on a mysterious quest in the icy wastes of Krønagar.

You can buy the ebook from MuseItUp Publishing from 13 September, 2013. Now, there's a date to remember.

By Pamela Kelt

Visit the Ice Trekker blog.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Introducing Sarah England

Please welcome author Sarah England, who’s busy, busy, busy ... 

So, Sarah. Great to have you on the blog. Can you tell us a little something about yourself?
Well I’m from Sheffield in God’s own Country – Yorkshire! Trained as a nurse and then worked for nearly 20 years as a medical rep, specialising in mental health. None of that was really me, though, as I always had my head in a book and secretly harboured the desire to write fiction. I had to wait a long time for the opportunity, because bills needed to be paid and my life was stormy to say the least. Then finally, about eight years ago I began to write short stories for magazines, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since – with around 150 published in various magazines and newspapers to date. This year has been especially busy with the publication of my first ever serial – a three-part murder mystery for Woman’s Weekly; the launch of ‘3am and Wide Awake’ – a collection of 25 thrillers with Alfie Dog Fiction; and hot on its heels, ‘Expected’ –  a novel in the genre of women’s fiction/comedy, with Crooked Cat Publishing. Oh and I now live in Dorset!  

Fiction Hotel is a great concept. Where did you get the idea?

Well publishing has exploded onto the internet, and so many new writers are finding it difficult to compete with the deluge of free ebooks, not to mention bestsellers from established authors! So I thought I’d try and offer a way of showcasing my fellow writers’ work in an interesting way that would catch people’s imaginations, so that all genres could be accommodated… hmm.. accommodated… and so the idea came from there!  

Short stories, magazines, novels. My head’s spinning. Which is your favourite genre?

I think a story falls as it falls… I got into the groove of short story writing for magazines and various competitions; but Sam Sweet in ‘Expected’ for example – well, she had a lot going on (!) and no way would that be a short story. I loved writing ‘Expected’ and am really enjoying doing the sequel too – I’m loving developing the character and making her leap out of the pages. However, I’m also writing another serial – another murder – and in an altogether different way, because this is heavier on plot, I find the discipline of writing this really helps me move on further as a writer. Favourite genre – comedy or supernatural – I veer wildly from one to the other! 

How much do you like exploring the darker side?

I’ve done a lot of research and have an unhealthy obsession with the darker side – the bipolar opposite to my comedy persona! I love it! At the same time as writing a sequel to Expected – I am also in the process of publishing a paranormal article and plotting a supernatural thriller.

How many hours a day do you spend NOT writing? Joking apart, do you have a writing regime? How do you keep up with it all?

The only time I am not writing is when I have to promote my work. I wish someone else would do that bit for me so I could spend more time writing. Oh and when I’m sleeping or home-shopping – another unhealthy obsession! Shopping… sigh!   There is no regime – I am totally chaotic!

When you go on holiday, what do you read?

I haven’t had a holiday in 10 years. Serious! However, I try to read a few chapters a night of top class work – I’d developed a liking for Mo Hayder’s crime series, but recently I’ve been reading a lot of fellow writers’ books to help them with reviews and support. So that means I’ve read less of Stephen King and Susan Hill, and more ‘outside my genre’ titles.

Personally,I love the Crooked Cat author group – which came as a surprise, as I’m quite solitary, as a rule. How much has it helped you?

Yes, it’s brilliant to have support from the cats, and I’ve made some truly wonderful friends as well! Great bunch of people!

In the brave new world of self-promotion, what aspect do you find the toughest?

All of it! I’ve been told off a few times for doing it too – cringe! Squirm!

(Pam: It’s tough, isn’t it? I quite agree. I have to pretend I’m promoting someone else’s title.)

How involved with your characters do you get? I still love the scene at the beginning of Romancing the Stone when writer Joan Wilder weeps as writes the final chapters of her book.

Very! I get upset if someone doesn’t like Sam Sweet or doesn’t understand her in Expected. She’s doing her best, bless her! There is quite a bit of the young me in her! It can really hurt!

Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

Yes, I’m just tying up a serial for Woman’s Weekly – a three-part murder mystery. I am also drafting out a sequel to ‘Expected’, sorting out the self-publication of a supernatural article, and plotting a supernatural thriller. Oh, and also interviewing authors for Fiction Hotel and continuing the promotional work! Sometimes I clean the house and occasionally the husband has a meal….

I’m impressed. Other plans?

I’d really like to go shopping….

Let me get my purse! 

Thanks, Sarah. Super to hear about you and your work. All the best in your many endeavours.

Author links:


3am and Wide Awake

Interview by Pamela Kelt

Monday, 19 August 2013

And more from Marion

Lovely boost from talented cover artist Marion Sipe. We're featured on her blog:

Friday, 16 August 2013

Thanks, Margaret

Thanks to author Margaret Fieland for a lovely interview.

One busy lady. Here's the interview - and check out the resources. Awesome.

By Pamela Kelt

Monday, 12 August 2013

Collaboration? Yes, in a way

Here's a sneak peek of an interview appearing on Readers' Entertainment. It's a reciprocal interview. Well, what did you expect? It's a husband-and-wife thing.

Pam is asking Rob:

You’re an expert in your field. How did you cope with a co-author whose understanding of science is almost non-existent?
I’ve had to put up with my co-author’s scientific ignorance for 25 years or more. In fact, I have to admit, I used it to my advantage to test out all kinds of scientific arguments to see how they might sound to a lay person. Plus … the co-author is a really good listener and forgets stuff, so I can say same thing over and over again. I also consider it part of my duty to try to make complex scientific ideas accessible. I welcome the experience.

What did you like researching the most? (As if I didn’t know.)
Junkers 52 seaplanes were fun. Thorium nuclear reactions were intriguing, and the historical aspects of Fermi’s experiments and his inability to rationalise the results were fascinating. Things just didn’t fit. He knew something was up. It seemed impossible, and, in the event, his calculations turned out to be flawed.

Now you’ve survived the process, would you consider writing a book on your own? What about?
Yes. To ease myself in, I’ve been thinking about a story that would be very close to my heart based on general aviation, airfields and unscrupulous property developers. It would probably fit into the rom com thriller genre. Pilots of Penrith is the title. Oddly enough, we went to Penrith just last week!

Rob is asking Pam:

We both walk the dogs for inspiration. How many problems did you solve circuiting the Spinney, one of my favourite haunts for internal discussion and problem solving? (It’s the monotonous plodding that works for me.)
Dogs are great companions. They don’t mind if you talk to yourself. They just want you to keep throwing the stick. Besides, fresh air and pleasant environs help the creative juices.

(Note from Pam: the pic is of Chester and Lottie, totally knackered after wading in the Tweed river in the Borders. We're at a local hostelry, also recovering. The knees could only belong to Rob.)

Given my propensity to bore you rigid with science, what persuaded you to include such scientific complexities in a book, where you knew I’d have to be involved?
I like complex ‘intelligent’ thrillers, even if I don’t understand all the ideas. The key thing is get it right. Use a good source. At the end of the day, we don’t want to a boring couple who have nothing to talk about after our daughter leaves home.

How much have you/we made yet?
Arg. Not looking. Not in it for the dough. Just think of the fees we’ve saved in psychiatry.

When shall we order the new laptop?
Tomorrow! Honest.

Author bios:
Tasmanian-born and educated, Robert Deeth is currently a professor of computational chemistry at the University of Warwick. His journey spans a doctorate at Cambridge, where he met and married co-author Pamela Kelt, a couple of temporary research positions followed by a lectureship at Bath University before the move to Warwick in 1995. He has worked in the academic scene for over two decades and is currently engaged in real nanotechnology exploring whether individual molecules can act as switches in electronic devices like computer memory. He has travelled extensively in Norway and Sweden as part of his research and teaching. He is also fluent in German, has held a private pilot licence for over 10 years and has a keen interest in WW2.

Pamela Kelt started out by taking a Spanish degree at the University of Manchester. On completion of this, and after six brain-fogging months on the local paper, she fled to Oxford and completed her M. Litt on ‘Comic aspects of satirical 17th-century comic interludes’, which was far more interesting.

After becoming a technical translator, she discovered English was easier, and did copywriting for anyone who would pay. On a stint in Australia, she landed a job as a subeditor and returned to journalism, relishing the chance to come up with funny headlines. Ah. Once a pun a time.

Educational magazines and online publishing followed. Then, one bright day, while walking the dogs, thinking ‘to hell with a career’, she took the plunge into writing for herself and is now the author of six books (some for adults, some for teens), including this title, co-written with husband Robert J Deeth, a professor of chemistry.

Read the full interview here.

By Pamela Kelt

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Half Life on its way

There's Muse loose aboot this hoose. Yes, Half Life is now on the revamped MuseItUp publishing website.
The book, co-authored with my husband Robert Deeth, is available in all digital forms from 16 August. More info on the companion blog.Join us on the virtual launch here.

By Pamela Kelt

PS I've already tagged our wonderful leading lady, Dr Dulcie Bennett from the cover.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Night train to hell

Stamboul Train is probably the source of my interest in 1930s espionage and film noir. Described as an 'entertainment' it is certainly that, but it is massively unsettling. Graham Greene will do that for you. It starred Heather Angel as the weak yet complex Coral Musker. And here she is.

The Lady Vanishes has a similar feel. It was written by Ethel Lina White, a Welsh novelist. She left employment in a government job working for the Ministry of Pensions to pursue writing. Her writing was to make her one of the best known crime writers in Britain and the USA during 1930s and 1940s.

But the best is yet to come. Night Train to Munich with Rex Harrison. Subtly underplayed - and also starring Paul Henreid.
Your starter for ten, and no looking things up. What movie did he feature as a famous resistance fighter?

By Pamela Kelt

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A trip back to the 1930s

Take a trip to Pinterest for a selection of some of the inspirational images we used in Half Life.

Research was a key aspect of the book - and one of the most enjoyable. Positively addictive.

Do you have any favourite 1930s websites to share?