Interview with Author Elena Aitken

1. Elena would you please tell us about your latest book Sugar Crush.

Thanks, Stephanie! I’m so excited about Sugar Crash. It’s the story of a single mom, Darci who has always handled everything on her own. But when her twelve year old daughter, Taylor, is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she has to learn to open her heart and let others in.

I’m so excited about Sugar Crash because a lot of the events surrounding Taylor’s diagnosis are based on the real life events of my good friend, Deb and her own journey with diabetes.

2. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Obviously I want readers to gain a better understanding on diabetes. I feel that so often, diabetes is a very misunderstood disease and it doesn’t get the recognition and attention that it needs in order to help find a cure.

But Sugar Crash is about so much more than diabetes. Besides educating people, my goal is always to entertain and it’s my hope that readers relate to Darci’s story and her journey to accept help from others. Too often, women particularly, feel like we need to do it all on our own. And that’s just not true! As a society we need to get better at asking for and accepting help.

3. What is your next book project?

Oh, I have so many projects percolating in my brain right now. There’s just never enough time, it seems. BUT, my next book will be the second in the Castle Mountain Lodge Series. It will be set at a mountain lodge in the Canadian Rockies, the same as Unexpected Gifts, but will follow the story of two different characters. Although Andi and Colin will make an appearance in this next book as well.

4. Who or what inspired you to become an author?

I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. I started writing stories in elementary school and won some short story contests in high school. I took a break from writing after I graduated and didn’t start up again until my twins were born in 2002. I tried my hand at writing a novel in 2005 and completely rediscovered my love for fiction again.

5. What are your goals as a writer?

My number one goal has always been to be able to reach someone with my stories. It’s always my hope that someone can pick up my book and be totally immersed in the story that they don’t want to put it down. But it’s when I hear that my story touched them in someway or made them think, or even opened a dialogue with someone they care about, that I know I’ve achieved my goal.  It sounds crazy, but I’m always pleased to hear that I’ve made someone cry because it means I’ve done my job as an author.

6. What books have most influenced your life?

This is a very tough question. But I’d say the books that influenced me most were every book that I ever picked up as a child and couldn’t put down. I devoured the Laura Ingels series, Babysitter’s Club, Anne of Green Gables and Sweet Valley. They’re all very different books, but the one thing they had in common was their ability to totally transport me to that time and want to be in the story. To me, as a child, that was amazing. And I knew I wanted to be able to do that too.


7. Who is your favorite author and why?

Another super hard question. I don’t know if I can answer this. I love so many books for so many reasons. BUT if I had to pick one it would be Diana Gabaldon because her books are truly amazing and she is a lovely and very giving person as well.

8. What is your favorite Quote?

“If you can dream it…DO it!” and “A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” ~George Bernard Shaw.


9. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

If you want to write, WRITE! There are a million things that will get in your way…if you let them. Make time for what is important and put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and get it out. Write, write and then write some more.

Author Bio:


In no particular order, I am: a writer, a mother of twins, a swimmer, a wife, a volunteer, a runner, a friend, a triathlete, a daughter, a sister, a Brownie leader (recently retired), an auntie, a cyclist, employee and…

I’m trying to do it all and have it all because nobody said I couldn’t. And even if they did, I probably wouldn’t listen because I’m too busy.

I’ve been writing in one form or another since elementary school but although I always knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, instead I earned university degrees in Marketing and Psychology and writing got put on the back burner. After my twins were born I was buried in diaper changes, middle of the night feedings and mountains of laundry, so obviously it seemed like a logical time to start writing again. I guess it took me while to grow up.

I turned to non-fiction and became a regular contributor to local parenting magazines, published in four Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, and a compilation by Seal Press. It wasn’t until 2005 that I tried my hand at writing fiction and wrote my first novel. It’s buried on my hard drive where it should be, and I’ve since written three more.


Elena Aitken
www.elenaaitken.com

Thank you Elena for this wonderful interview. I’m currently reading Sugar Crash and I’m enjoying it very much.

Stephanie

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Interview/Giveaway with Author David Pilling

1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always been inclined to make up stories in my head and pen short stories and poems, though it wasn’t until about four years ago that I started taking writing seriously. So I would have to guess and say that the impulse to write probably stems from childhood: the first proper full-length novel I ever read was TH White’s ‘The Once and Future King; which is still the best version of the Arthurian legend I have ever read. I will have to credit Mr White (and possibly Tolkien as well) for my inspiration, then!

2. Please tell us about your novel, “Folville’s Law.”

Folville’s Law is my attempt at writing an old-fashioned adventure yarn in the style of Rafael Sabatini, George MacDonald Fraser and Patrick O’Brian, but set in the period I love best: the High Middle Ages. I wanted to present a taut, compelling story, but one that also depicted the nastiness and brutality of the time.

The narrative follows the adventures of a fictional knight named Sir John Swale, a rather tortured character who has to choose between his loyalty to a corrupt master, Hugh Despenser, and doing the right thing. His struggles take place against a general background of political decay and civil war, as Queen Isabella and her Flashman-esque lover, Roger Mortimer, prepare to invade England and usurp the reigning monarch, the rather hapless Edward II.

My inspiration for the novel derived from my reading about medieval outlaw gangs, the Folvilles and Coterels in particular. They reminded me Old West-style outlaws, but set in an earlier time period. Take away his sword and armour and replace them with a buckskin and a six-gun, and there would be little to distinguish Eustace Folville from Billy the Kid et al. 

3. How important do you think villians are in your story?

I tried not to have ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ as such: everyone is morally conflicted, and torn between virtue, ambition, and self-preservation. The major villain, however, is clearly Eustace Folville – and like all out-and-out villains, he was the most fun tow rite!

4. Out of all the characters you have created, who is your favorite and why?

I like Swale, but his ‘love’ interest Elizabeth Clinton was an interesting creation. She is a rich widow, and has had to learn to live by her wits in a world dominated by violent men. She’s tough, but not (I hope) in an unsubtle or unrealistic way.

5. How did you research the lives of the historical characters of your stories?

I have always been a hopeless history geek, so much of the background information was in my head anyway. I’m also lucky enough to have access to primary sources and academic texts via JSTOR, the DNB, the National Archives and other record offices and printed sources

6. What is your next book project?

‘Nowhere Was There Peace’ (provisional title), a novel set during the Second Baron’s Wars in England during the late 13th century. I’m about halfway through writing it!

7. What is your favorite quote?

‘Bon Besoigne Fait Qui Merde se Delivrer’ – ‘A man does well when he rids himself of filth’. Quoted by Edward I when he left Scotland after conquering it in 1296.

8. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Do your research, never, ever listen to naysayers unless their criticism is constructive, try to write at least 4-500 words a day, be polite and reasonable to everyone you encounter in the publishing business, and above all keep smiling.
David Pillings Website:
Author Bio:

David Pilling is 33 years old and currently works in the Library and Archive at the Tate Gallery in London. Previous jobs included stints at The Royal Opera House and The School of Oriental and African Studies.

He has been writing fiction and non-fiction on a freelance basis for the past three years, and many of his non-fictional articles have appeared in various regional and national UK publications.

His fiction is inspired by his love of historical and science fiction and authors such as George McDonald Fraser, George R.R.Martin and Bernard Cornwell.

E-book Giveaway- Folville’s Law

Discription of Folvill’s Law:
A novel set in the closing years of Edward II’s reign, following the adventures of Sir John Swale, knight of Cumberland, as he investigates a murder in the Midlands that threatens to destabilize the kingdom. Along the way he meets a widow, Elizabeth Clinton, and makes an enemy of the ruthless outlaw Eustace Folville. Meanwhile, England is threatened by invasion and civil war, and it remains to be seen who will survive and who will perish in the brutal game of 14th century war and politics
This E-book is in form of PDF. The giveaway ends on April 20th and the winner will be announced on April 21st. If you have a Kindle and are the chosen winner please let us know.
Giveaway information:

1. Please leave a comment with your name and email address below in the comment area to enter the giveaway.

2. 5 points if you visit and like David Pillings website.

3. 5 points if you follow my blog @ Network Blogs

(If you are already a follower of Layered Pages you will automatically receive the bonus point.)

4. 5 points if you read and leave a comment on Author David Pillings interview on Layered Pages or
Ladies & Literature.

6. The winners will be announced on Layered Pages and by via email.

Thank you David for this wonderful interview and Giveaway!
Stephanie

IndieBRAG Inc.

Who We Are

BRAGMedallion.com is owned and operated by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has brought together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of book clubs, located throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The word “indie” refers to self or independently published books, while B.R.A.G. is an acronym for Book Readers Appreciation Group. By their nature, our readers are passionate about all books, but for the purposes of the service we provide, we focus exclusively on the work of self-published authors of print and digital books.

What We Do

Our mission is to recognize quality on the part of authors who self-publish both print and digital books. As such, we are constantly on the lookout for the work of talented men and women who have written indie books across a wide range of genres. Our primary focus is fiction, however, we selectively consider non-fiction books as well.

How We Do It

From the large and rapidly growing library of indie books that are available today, we select those that we believe deserve to be considered. These books are then read and evaluated by members drawn from our reader group. The readers judge the merits of the books based on our proprietary list of criteria. The single most important criterion that we ask our readers to use in judging a book is whether or not they would recommend it to their best friend. Once a book meets this standard of quality, we award it our B.R.A.G. Medallion™, and along with other medallion recipients, it is presented on this website.

http://www.bragmedallion.com/

This is a company that I’m proud to be reviewing books for. Self-publishing authors please check us out. IndieBRAG Inc. just might be the company for you.

Stephanie

Discovering the Diamond by Helen Hollick and with Jo Field

This book is full of suggestions and examples of how to write a story, get published, to sell and promote your book. This this perfect for writers who are starting out.

For example, Helen shows how to write about third or first person correctly in a story, which I found very useful. She also gives her honest and critical opinion about self-publishing which we all need to hear.

She gives warnings about companies who are frauds and what to look for. Also, gives great advice on publishing E-books and so on.  Helen writes realistic, insightful, honest and sound advice which is refreshing.

As a book reviewer I found this useful for writing my reviews and for my own creative writing. This will be my go-to book for tips and such.

Stephanie

Finding Emma by Steena Holmes

What an emotional story of a women whose younger daughter has gone missing. Emma has been missing for two years and Meagan’s life is falling apart all around her desperately wanting her daughter back. Will she find her? Does she save her family from falling apart? Read this story and find out!
Steena Holmes does a fabulous job with the character building and writing about the human condition these characters find themselves facing.

An intense, heart- wrenching story that will change you. I rated this book four star.

Stephanie