MEET TERRY TYLER

I have to admit I’ve not read all the books featured on my guest blogs. That had been my original intention so I could make some really intelligent comments about them and gush about how much I loved them. Of course, that never happened I’m not Superman or woman in my case.

This week is different, as I’ve read 3 books by this author and loved them – despite being in a genre I would never even consider – but they were recommended, so I bought the first, read it in a day and then immediately got the second …. What I loved about her Renova trilogy was the premise that it could, one day, come true.

Terry Tyler the stage is yours.1 New

First of all, I’d like to thank the lovely Lucinda (sorry if I’ve made you sound like a 1960s magician’s assistant) for inviting me to her blog!

I wasn’t quite sure what to write about for a while, but I imagine this might be of interest to other writers (and maybe come as a surprise to readers)―I’m talking about THE FEAR that lurks in so many writers’ minds all the way through the production of a novel.  What is it?  It’s the fear that you’re writing a load of rubbish.  If it’s a sequel or a series, and the previous one has been well received, you can add to that the worry that readers will find this one a disappointment.

After writing many, many novels (15 published, 9 or 10 unpublished), I’ve found that my process always follows more or less the same pattern:

Step 1: Get idea.  Mull it around for a while to see if it has legs.

Step 2: Develop plot in head.  Write basic plan.  Start writing.

5K words: Question my conviction that this idea had legs.  Feel unable to get into the heads of any of the characters.  Have to force self to write, every step of the way.

6K – 15K: Start to understand who the characters are but worry they are wishy-washy duplicates of those I’ve written before.  Realise plot isn’t going to work quite as I thought, and make various alterations.  Feel sure it’s banal rubbish.

16K – 30KWell, I’ve got this far, so I may as well carry on.

40K: Consider scrapping.

50K – 60K: Start thinking it might be okay.  Realise what wasn’t working and why, go back and make notes in mauve about where I have to change/add things, but it’s okay, it’s fine, they can all be dealt with in the first rewrite.

70K: Begin to love it!  Feel it’s really coming together!

71K: Me to husband: “I think I’ve lost any talent I’ve ever had.  It’s garbage.”

Husband: “You always say that.”

Me: “Yes, but this time I mean it.”

Husband: “You always say that.”

72K – 80K: See light at end of a tunnel.  Try to push to back of head what a huge task the first rewrite is going to be.

80K- 90K: Realise it’s going to be far too long.  Tell self that a story should be the length it needs to be, and as long as it’s well edited and your readers are enjoying it, it doesn’t matter if it’s 15K words longer than originally intended.

90K – 100K: Who cares about those who say that 70K is the ideal length for a popular fiction type novel, anyway?

105K – end: Thank God that’s over.  Type ‘the end’, feel a nanosecond of victory, go and stare at telly.

1st rewrite: Ahh.  This really is terrible.

2nd rewrite: No, but it seriously is.

3rd rewrite.  Hang on.  I think it might okay.

Subsequent rewrites: It’ll be okay.  It will, it will.

Send to proofreader, who is also first test reader, then spend every day I don’t hear from her thinking that she doesn’t know how to break the news to me about how bad it is.

Next, there is the second test reader, who is über-picky, which is good, but it’s very hard at the time!  Then there are all the final amendments, the realisation that I should have added a scene here and there, the massive plot hole, etc., but onwards I go to the end.

Then it’s up and ready to press ‘publish’ on the given day, and I feel a tiny moment of accomplishment and deep joy.  Next, the ARCs are sent out, and the whole panic process starts all over again.

I sometimes wonder why I do it!  Recently I read a tweet that said something like, ‘how come writing is the thing I want to do most in the world, all the time, but at the same time the thing I want to do least?’

That just about sums it up.  Now, I must go and carry on with the current WIP that is currently over 90K words long and nowhere near the end, a mess of mauve notes, with characters that have changed personality between chapters 14 and 15….

Thank you once again, Lucinda!

Thank you, Terry, what a relief to read that I’m not the only author who agonizes over the rubbish I scribble.  I realize now there are more books of yours for me to find.

Check them out on Terry’s Amazon page

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TerryTyler4

 

and her blog

http://terrytyler59.blogspot.com/2018/05/

Till next time, take care.

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MEET JOHN HOWELL

When I first chat to my guests about their guest post I often suggest that, if their books are more in the entertainment genre than in the more serious or non-fiction category, their posts are light and amusing. (I am being very selfish here as I like laughing). Well, this week’s guest John Howell has taken me at my word and written a very funny dialogue which shows a brilliant use of words. Read on and see for yourself but first a little about John.

John_Howell_Headshot 2

John W, Howell began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. Circumstances of Childhood in October 1st, 2017. The latest, The Contract between heaven and earth, his fifth book, is written in collaboration with award winning author Gwen Plano and will be launched the week of June 4th, 2018. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Hello everyone. I would like to thank Lucinda for having me as a guest today. When Lucinda and I first discussed a visit, I asked what kind of post she expected. She thought it would be fun to have a zany, fun, fluffy, and light submission. I told her if there was anyone who was light it was me. So, I hope you enjoy this little bit of craziness. Oh, and class you may put down your pencils. This will not be on the test.

A word about what you’re going to read. 1. It is all dialog. 2. There are no tags on purpose. 3. It is totally made up.

The writer and the Psychiatrist by John W. Howell.

“Please have a seat, Mr. Sampson.”

“Seat? I thought there would be a couch.”

“I’m afraid a chair is all I have, Mr. Sampson.”

“Couch too passive for you?”

“You chose an interesting word, Mr. Sampson. What made you say ‘passive?’”

“Oh, I don’t know. It just came to me. You know the idea of someone reclining on a couch while someone asks questions about how things make them feel.”

“Have you been in psychotherapy before?”

“Boy, I’ll say.”

“Tell me how that made you feel?”

“You’re kidding, right?

“I never kid on important subjects, Mr. Sampson.”

“I don’t know. I guess it made me feel like not answering questions anymore.”

“Now that sounds like we have a little aggression around the subject.”

“Oh, I see. You are trying to couple passive and aggression together. I think it is a little more complex than a simple label.”

“Hmm. What makes you say that, Mr. Sampson?”

“What makes me say that?”

“A question of a question is not an answer.”

“So, I’ve been told.”

“By whom?”

“My last Psychiatrist.”

“Why did you leave the last Psychiatrist?”

“I didn’t leave.”

“What happened.”

“He checked himself into a clinic.”

“For what reason?”

“He felt overwhelmed.”

“Surely not by your case.”

“What makes you say so?”

“I’m asking is all.”

“Is there a question in there somewhere?”

“Okay, did you drive your Psychiatrist nuts?”

“Interesting word, ’nuts.’ Why did you pick that word?”

“You turning this conversation around?”

“I do that for a living.”

“You do that for a living?”

“Yes, I do.”

“I used ‘nuts’ to imply an unnatural state of mental health.”

“Okay. Yes, I drove him nuts.”

“I’m beginning to get a sense of how you managed that, Mr. Sampson.”

“After all you were the one who wanted me to come in here.”

“I don’t think that is accurate.”

“Why not?”

“You called my office and asked for an appointment, Mr. Sampson”

“Sure, I did. But you gave me an appointment.”

“Okay. I concede. I wanted to talk to you.”

“See how I did that?”

“Did what?”

“Turned the conversation.”

“I see now. You are good, Mr. Sampson”

“So, you interested in writing my life story?”

“I have to think about it.”

“You could title it, the nutty Psychiatrist.”

“Been done before.”

“Come on. We’ll have fun together.”

“I think it will be more fun for you.”

The covers for two of John’s books and if the writing in those is anywhere near as clever as his short piece above they are must reads.

Altogether John has written 5 books, one in collaboration.

Circumstances of Childhood final front

I for one am certainly going to investigate John’s books. And here is where you will find him. Oh, and by the way, I avidly read John’s blog posts every week, it’s nice to put a name and face together with his ‘Ten Things not to do …”   They are so funny!

Like all of us these days John has several addresses and you can find him at any one of these.

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell  

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 

Thank you for being my guest this week John and for the laugh too 🙂

Till next time, take care.

Lucinda

MEET HANNAH HOWE

I am in awe of this weeks’ guest. Firstly she is so techie it makes me green with envy. Secondly she has got her marketing so sussed she is doing really, really well and hitting the high spots on ‘you know who.’  But who best to tell you about her work than the author herself?

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During the summer of 2014, I had an idea to write a private detective novel. I outlined the main character, a female narrator with a wacky sense of humour who lived and worked from a houseboat. The initial idea made me laugh, but then I realised that the character was too light-weight and didn’t really appeal to me. I was about to abandon the idea when I swiveled in my chair, looked up from my notepad and a little voice inside my head said, “Why don’t you write about me?” That voice belonged to Samantha Smith. I don’t believe in ghosts or harbour fanciful notions about ‘inspiration’ – writing is a craft that requires dedication and discipline – but Sam appeared to walk through the wall, a fully-formed character. Within a finger click, I knew her name, what she looked like, and her background. It was a magical moment. I’d found my narrator, or more accurately, she’d found me.
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So, I had Sam. I knew where she worked from – not a houseboat at this stage, but events would take her there – and her family history. But what of the other people in her life? A relationship strand to the story seemed like a good idea and so I created Dr. Alan Storey. The humour element remained important, therefore enter Sam’s mentor, Detective Inspector ‘Sweets’ MacArthur. Sam was a loner at the start of the series, but as the stories progressed a number of regulars joined the team: Sam’s friend and colleague, Faye Collister, a beautiful woman with a troubled past and chronic OCD; Mac, a heavy with a heart; and later, Blake, a man who combines the renaissance with the Neanderthal, plus many others. With Sam in place, I needed a story idea. So I wrote a list of potential subjects. Music topped that list and the initial story developed into Sam’s Song, a book that’s reached the #1 position on the amazon.com private detective chart on six separate occasions. My idea was to write a one-off novel. However, two-thirds of the way through the writing of Sam’s Song I realised that Sam had the potential to be a series character. Thirteen books later, she is fulfilling her potential and has developed substantially as a
character.
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The mystery genre has always appealed to me, hence my decision to write mysteries. However, I knew from the outset that the mystery element within my stories would be one strand. The relationship element would be the second strand and the third, and arguably most important strand would be the emotional strand, based on psychological problems and sociological issues. This third strand is the starting point for all my stories and represents their heart. I have written about domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, eugenics, delusions, schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, rape, OCD, phobias, obsessional behaviour, depression and many other subjects.
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The Sam Smith Mystery Series is about mysteries, but it is also about individuals in crisis and finding ways to help them through that crisis. With fair weather and good fortune, I hope to write forty books in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. To date, I am a third of the way to that target. It has been an exciting journey so far with sales beyond my expectations, audiobooks, and translations. I have made friends amongst my fellow authors and received warm words from my readers. Sam has served me well. I love her as a character and feel that I know her as well as I know any person.

 The first thirteen books in the Sam Smith Mystery Series have been great fun to write. Sam will return later this year in Boston, book fourteen in the series, my homage to the American private detective novel and the late Robert B. Parker. The Devil and Ms. Devlin, and Snow in August will follow.

I’m not sure how Hannah manages to write so many great books – and yes, I’ve read several of them, and she still finds the time to do a huge amount of marketing in conjunction with other authors. She deserves all the success she has achieved,

Check out her Amazon author page

 https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-Howe/e/B00OK7E24E

Till next time, take care and if you would like to be a guest on my blog, either contact me on Facebook or drop me an email:  lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com

MEET MELANIE P SMITH

I saw that this week’s guest has degrees coming out of her ears, but her marketing experience caught my attention and from the information she sent me, she is one switched-on author. So organized, on the ball and knows what she is doing! Over to Melanie to tell you about herself.

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Hello, my name is Melanie P. Smith and I am an American, Multi-Genre author of Paranormal, Criminal Suspense, Police Procedural and Romance novels.  I work hard to make my stories exciting, action-packed and gripping.  So, if you like a story you can’t put down, one that will keep you guessing and take you on a journey of discovery… I have something for you.

I was born and raised in the state of Utah and spent my younger years working hard and playing hard.  As a farm kid, we always had a huge garden and plenty of animals to care for.  But, when the work was done… the adventure began.  If I wasn’t riding horses, I was playing softball, waterskiing or exploring the country on my tote goat (Pictures 1 & 2).  I wrote a short blog on how the more things change, the more they stay the same.  If you’re interested you can find it here… How It All Began    https://melaniepsmith.com/how-it-all-began/  

2_Mel Softball

I have an Associates of Science degree in Marketing, a Bachelors in Business Management and a Masters Certificate in Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation.  I was still deciding how to use my education when I started a part-time, summer job with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  Part-time turned to full-time and I ended up staying for over twenty-six years. I eventually retired in the spring of 2016.  The job was difficult at times but very fulfilling and always interesting.  Why do I mention this?  Well, because they say write what you know.  I know law enforcement.  For over two decades I was assigned to the Special Operations Division and spent my time supporting Search & Rescue, K9, the Mounted Posse, and the Motorcycle Unit.  I thought that tote goat and my Shetland pony (Coalie) were strictly for adventure… turns out they were training for the future.  Who knew?

In addition to my regular duties, I coordinated communication and logistics for our SWAT and Child Abduction Response Teams.  In this capacity, I spent hours manning the Command Post on emergency callouts like hostage situations, barricaded subjects and missing or abducted children.  My time working with the police helped me gain insight and experience that I now use to create intense novels that are interesting, realistic and suspenseful.

I still love adventure but these days I spend my time camping and riding ATV’s with my husband and our Border collie “Port”.  Or, you can find me exploring backroads on my Harley. Occasionally, I still go horseback riding with my friends.  But mostly, my exploits are conjured in my mind, expressed on paper, and shared through my novels.

MY WORK

My Warrior Series is a completed paranormal romance collection.  There are 7 novels and 2 novellas in this set.  For book descriptions, purchase links and eTrailers see my Paranormal Brochure.  There’s also a sneak peek of my new work in progress… The Immortals.  Divergence will be the first novel in this trilogy.  Unfortunately, the project is still in the beginning stages and won’t be available for some time yet.

8_Warrior Banner_ Series

http://geni.us/Warrior

My Thin Blue Line series currently has two novels Mount Haven and Moondance Ridge.  The third novel, Subterfuge, is nearly completed and I expect it out sometime this year.  You can see all my police and crime novels with appropriate links in my Criminal Suspense Brochure.

http://geni.us/SuspenseBrochure

This brochure also includes information on my unique Police Procedural Crime Blog.  What is a Crime Blog?  It’s a series of short stories (nine per season) that follows Deputy Paige Carter as she solves local cases. Each episode introduces a new crime; similar to police procedurals on television like Blue Bloods, Longmire, or Bones.  Want to try it for FREE?  Subscribe to my blog and you will receive the entire 1st Season as my gift to you just for signing up.

http://geni.us/Blogsignup

The first episode of Season 3 – Paige Carter: Deputy Sheriff Series, was just released in April on my website.  So far, I’ve received amazing feedback and it was even featured in the local paper… the Sanpete Messenger.  As an added bonus to my readers, the current season is only available on my website and always FREE.

http://sanpetemessenger.com/2016/12/01/manti-backdrop-for-crime-series/
https://melaniepsmith.com/crime-blog/

Season 1

Paige Carter was an FBI agent who specialized in forensic science.  She decided to quit her job and move back to Manti, Utah.  She is determined to solve a cold case that occurred over ten years earlier.  Why so passionate about a cold case?  It was her mother’s murder and as far as she can tell…the local cops didn’t even try to solve it. 12_Paige Carter S1

Amazon http://geni.us/PaigeCarterS1
Nook http://geni.us/BNPaigeCarterS1
iTunes http://geni.us/iPaigeCarterS1
Kobo http://geni.us/KPaigeCarterS1

Season 2

Season two brings a unique blend of criminal investigation and human interaction to every episode.  Paige is still working to rebuild her personal and professional life one step at a time.  Follow her progress as she fights crime, searches for a killer and tries to deal with the undeniable chemistry she shares with her mysterious neighbor.

13_Paige Carter S2

Amazon http://geni.us/PaigeCarterS2
Nook http://geni.us/BNPaigeCarterS2
iTunes http://geni.us/iPaigeCarterS2
Kobo http://geni.us/kPaigeCarterS2

Season 3

Things are heating up in Manti in Season 3 of Paige Carter.  General Nathan Porter’s national security threat has now become a problem for Paige, her neighbor, and the small town she now calls home. Follow along as she works to stop a terrorist cell, investigates local crimes and struggles to manage her personal life.

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https://melaniepsmith.com/crime-blog/

 Connect with Melanie

Website http://geni.us/mpsmithpublishing
Amazon Author http://geni.us/melaniepsmith

http://geni.us/MPSFacebook
http://geni.us/MPSTwitter
http://geni.us/MPSmithYouTube
http://geni.us/MPSGoodreads  

I’ve lost count of all those books, but Melanie is certainly a prolific writer and a couple of those are destined for my TBR list.

Thank you so much for being my guest today and a further HUGE thank you from me – Melanie is also in a Facebook group – Independent Author Promotion Group – and there are 17 of us who have joined together to help promote each other. Melanie has designed some stunning graphics for several of the writers. I’m absolutely thrilled with mine and I will be sharing the posts on this blog in the coming weeks.

If you would like a guest spot, either pm me on my Facebook  page

https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author

or email me:- lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com

 

MEET SHIRLEY LEDLIE

My guest this week has another inspiring story to tell. Like so many people we might bump into in our daily lives we have no idea what people have suffered – unless they write a book about it, and Shirley has done just that. Far from being a simple biography, Shirley’s book was suddenly in great demand, but I’ll let her tell you herself.

Billy

I was born in Nottingham, England in 1958 and yes, that means I will reach the big sixty later this year. I’m the author of Naked in the Wind-chemo, hairloss and Deceit plus, two short travelogues.

As far as writing is concerned, I’m a late starter. After moving to France, almost twenty years ago, I had the opportunity to sign a contract with the UK Bella Magazine to write a weekly life-style article. Each week I would write half a page about life in Brittany for an ex-pat family. Our ever-growing family of animals featured in it fairly often; with four dogs, hens, quails, ducks, two cats, a rabbit, guinea-pigs and last but not least a donkey, there was always some escapade to write about! How I loved it! This lasted for a little over a year until a new editor having a clean sweep, swiftly brought my writing career to an abrupt halt.

At this point in my life, I had no idea five years later I would be at the forefront of a Big Pharma scandal and campaign, a co-founder of a global support group and I would write a memoir about it! What a whirlwind ten years it’s been.

So, what exactly have I been campaigning for, the last ten years? Patient Rights.  After being diagnosed with breast cancer, the surgery, chemo, and radiotherapy became my routine for the following ten months. I don’t mind confessing to being a total wimp and if it hadn’t been for my friend dragging me into the car every three weeks I doubt I would have finished my chemo sessions.  Little did I know that the following year I would discover that the new chemo regime had left me with a permanent disfigurement, that wasn’t as rare as I’d been informed.  It wasn’t long before I realised others being treated with the same drug were also not being warned.

SHIRLEY LEDLIE

I’ve always been an ‘all or nothing kind of girl’ and this instantly fell into the ‘all’ category! I threw myself into raising awareness about this little-known side effect often in my own peculiar way,  took on the giants of the pharmaceutical world and co-founded a global support group.

Some of the support group members would despair at some of my wacky antics, but it had become apparent that nice and polite was not going to work. I carried on regardless.

After seven years of living in this surreal world, I finally accepted my disfigurement and the only thing left to do was write a book about my journey. This was supposed to be the grand finale. I could now get on with my new normal life. Wrong. The legal eagles in the US picked up on the story. One morning I checked to see how many books of Naked in the Wind I’d recently sold. There was a large bulk order. Suddenly my memoir was of much interest to several law firms in the US! I instantly found myself being sucked back into the, almost, forgotten world of Big Pharma. The podcast/radio interview requests started to appear in my inbox, articles needed writing and my past fight was discussed all over the internet. I’m still involved as of today, but where it will end I have no idea! I’m just going with the flow and if I can help in any way, I will.

sHIRLEY PILGRIM BOOK

After my first memoir, I wrote two short light-hearted travelogues The Unexpected Pilgrim and Mischief in Manhattan. I didn’t plan beforehand to write about my trip to Israel. After returning home from the spur-of-the-moment visit, I was so spiritually moved I felt compelled to share and I really hoped that readers would be able to put their political beliefs to one side. Some readers have emailed me, thanking me for telling a different story to the one they read about in the tabloids.  I will warn you though; your feet will be aching by the time you read the last page!

The Unexpected Pilgrim: A light-hearted and fast-moving travelogue.

When presented with an opportunity to visit Israel for four days, Shirley decided it was a

chance she could not turn down. It would mean sightseeing on her own – a daunting task for this woman in her mid-fifties with a terrible sense of direction.

She decides to cram as much as possible into her short time there with some amusing and exhausting consequences!

SHIRLEY MANHATEN BOOK

Before leaving for New York City, I’d already planned to write about this sight-seeing trip, so I was well prepared to take notes about everything. We crammed so much into every day; I was worried my poor Fitbit would explode as it clocked up on average 28,000 steps every day.

Mischief in Manhattan:  Five women from England decide to go to New York City for five days, to sightsee and celebrate a 50th birthday. Shirley was invited along to make up the numbers, but how would she get on with the three ladies she didn’t know? Would they all see eye to eye or would there be bickering in the Big Apple? How do fried dumplings, spoons and dress shoes become an issue? With neighbours they hadn’t bargained for and some typical ‘Englishness’ thrown in, this travel memoir is sure to keep you entertained!

What’s next? I have made a start on my first novel and the first in a series of motorhome travels around France, Portugal, and Spain.

Thank you, Lucinda, for inviting me to be a guest author!

Here are the links to Shirley’s books,

Naked in the Wind  https://amzn.to/2EX5TGD

The Unexpected Pilgrim  https://amzn.to/2ErAOer

Mischief in Manhattan  https://amzn.to/2JVTCWP

And thank you, Shirley, for being my guest,  I’m honoured to share your story which will inspire and give hope to many people.

MEET RONESA AVEELA

My guest this week is a prolific writer with a wide range of interests and hails from Bulgaria. She has included lots of facts about her country, so I have included a map to show you where it is. (I wasn’t exactly sure myself). Let me hand over to my guest.

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Ronesa Aveela is a Bulgarian-born freelance artist and writer, who now resides in the U.S. She likes writing mystery romance inspired by legends and tales. In her free time, she paints. Her artistic interests include the female figure, Greek and Thracian mythology, folklore tales, and the natural world interpreted through her eyes. Ronesa is married and has two children.

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Her debut novel, Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, was inspired by a visit to this out-of-the-way village located on the Black Sea. The wild beauty of this mystical place, a land and its people and history hidden from the world, left a deep impression on her. It inspired her to use her pen and brushes to unveil a story of love and mystery and to depict the wonders of Mystical Emona through her characters, born from the imagination of her personal experience.

Emona opened a new world for her—time turned back thousands of years. She imagined the era when the great Thracians ruled the land when King Rez defended his people and the cape. She imagined the time when the old lighthouse, now so lonely and forgotten, was once alive, and its light illuminated the way for sailors on the stormy Black Sea. She imagined the time when the now-ruined church was alive with generations of people marrying, baptizing their children, and praying to God for good health and luck. She was amazed by the power, independent freedom, and strength of the wild horses galloping like a hurricane along the foothills of the Stara Planina.

This was only the beginning of the rich tales about Bulgaria, a country many only know as the place Dracula sailed from (Varna) if they even know that. Samodivi, woodland nymphs, are fascinating creatures that are prominent in all the novels. You may better know them as Veelas from Harry Potter. Ronesa, however, portrays them with the heart and soul of the reverence and fear Bulgarians have for these wondrous creatures. Even today, many people in remote villages still believe in their existence; and many others believe in them in their heart.

MAP BULGARIA

On a lighter side, here are some fun facts about Bulgaria you may not have known:

The Cyrillic alphabet was invented by two Bulgarian monks. Bulgarians are proud of this fact and get quite annoyed with the rest of the world for attributing the alphabet to Russians.

The first electronic digital computer was invented by a Bulgarian-American. Yup. Those devices we can’t live without today started with John Atanasoff in the 1930s. Although Atanasoff was American-born, his father emigrated to America from Bulgaria.

Bulgarians created yogurt. Truly, they did. Way back in the time of the Thracians. I kid you not. You can find more than three hundred varieties in the country, and many popular dishes are made with yogurt.

Shaking one’s head in Bulgaria means “yes,” while nodding signifies “no.” Think of the nightmares that can cause. I read an article recently by someone traveling in Bulgaria who was approached by a gypsy. When the boy held out his hand for money, the man shook his head. This only encouraged the boy, who smiled eagerly. Believe me. It’s best not to tell a Bulgarian they have this backwards.

Bulgarians are more likely to celebrate their “name day” than their birthday. “Name day? What’s that?” you might ask. Originally, it was a feast day for a particular saint. So, anyone who had the same name, for example, “Maria” or “Mary,” would celebrate on August 15, the Assumption of Mary. Bulgarians have a lot of saints, so there is no shortage of days to celebrate name days. From what I could gather, way, way back, when people didn’t know what day they were born on (yup, I’m talking a long time ago), they took up this custom of celebrating the feast of the saints since they DID know their own names. So why not have a little fun to mark each passing year?

Bagpipes are played by Bulgarians. Nope, it’s not only done in the United Kingdom. The Bulgarian version is called a gaida.

Famous people with Bulgarian association: Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook – his grandfather emigrated from Bulgaria in 1940. Tom Hanks, well-known actor – is married to a Bulgarian. Nina Dobrev, actress on “The Vampire Diaries” (well, maybe you don’t know her, but I like that TV series) – is a Bulgarian.

Those are a few of the things about a country most Americans aren’t really even sure where it can be found. Here’s to hoping you find all this interesting.

Ronesa Aveela Books:

Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey

Light Love Rituals: Bulgarian Myths, Legends, and Folklore

The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village

Baba Treasure Chest series

The Christmas Thief

The Miracle Stork

Born From the Ashes

Mermaid’s Gift

Adult Coloring Books

Mermaids Around the World

More Mermaids Around the World

Cookbook

Mediterranean & Bulgarian Cuisine: 12 Easy Traditional Favorites

Purchase Links:

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Ronesa-Aveela/e/B00N02ZS20/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Ronesa%20Aveela%22

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/aveela

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/ronesa-aveela/id1088547343

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?query=Ronesa%20Aveela&fcsearchfield=Author

Audible: https://www.audible.com/author/Ronesa-Aveela/B00N02ZS20

Social Media Sites:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8459737.Ronesa_Aveela

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bendideia/boards/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ronesaaveela/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ronesa_Aveela

Facebook pages:

Ronesa Aveela author page: https://www.facebook.com/RonesaAveela/

Ronesa’s Writing Tips: https://www.facebook.com/ronesaswritingtips/

Mystical Emona Bulgarian Myths, Legends, Folklore, and Mythology:

https://www.facebook.com/BulgarianRituals/

Dragon Village Book Series: https://www.facebook.com/dragonvillagebook/

Baba Treasure Chest: https://www.facebook.com/BabaTreasureChest/

All Things Mermaid: https://www.facebook.com/allthingsmermaid2/

Wow! I can only say how impressed I am with Ronesa’s versatility.  And it’s great to learn something new. I’ll remember now where Bulgaria is and that the capital is called Sophia.

Thank you Ronesa for being my guest, that was a lot of fun 🙂

Till next week, take care

Lucinda

MEET T R ROBINSON

I have made many friends through social media but there are two people who stand out as not only talented writers but as unselfish champions of other writers.  One is Sally Cronin and the other is Tanya Robinson.  I’ve read all of Tanya’s books (so I thought) and they take your breath away. Her experiences have been beyond incredible. I would strongly urge you to check them out.

TANYA AVATAR

My sincerest thanks to Lucinda for having taken the time to read and review my memoir series and for this kind feature.

I was born into a very loving family where, for my first few, sadly very few, years I enjoyed the privilege and security of wonderful parents and sisters. However, those idyllic years were to be short-lived and prior to the age of five I was thrown into a very cruel, violent world for which I was not in the least prepared. It all started with my beloved mother’s untimely death. It is not my intention to reiterate information that may be found in the memoir series but to simply try and explain how life has worked out for me and how I have reached the stage of life where I now find myself. Just a quick aside, some may question the fact I can clearly recall events from my earliest years and I mean earliest; from even before I could walk. This is because I have been blessed, though some may consider me cursed, with an amazingly accurate and detailed memory. It has even surprised me at times.

TANYA BOOK 1

Subsequent to my mother’s death I was not at all well. The family doctor as well as the family became concerned about my mental health and consequently, sent me away. That was when my troubles really started. Briefly, in an attempt to escape the inappropriate behaviour of a relative I ended up in the hands of the German Gestapo. World War II was in full swing and my homeland had been occupied. They discovered I was the daughter of a senior resistance leader and, upon the pretense of wanting to know where my father was, tortured me. This was despite me telling them I knew nothing: Father, in an attempt to protect the family, had never told us anything and it was true I knew nothing. However, though I was just a young girl they would not listen. I will not say more here. Subsequent to this, though they had left me for dead, I was eventually reunited with one of my sisters. Again I faced inappropriate behaviour and in an attempt to free myself ended up in a cruel and brutal marriage. The only highlight being the birth of my first son though, due to the violence, I subsequently lost many more children.

TANYA BOOK 2

I eventually escaped that marriage only to face further misuse and trauma from a variety of sources. Many, including my son (with exasperation), have often commented upon how naive and innocent I can be. It is true, despite all that has been done to me and all that has occurred in my life, I want to believe and trust people. I just cannot seem to change nor, if truth be told, do I wish to. I do not want to become a bitter or resentful person though the constant injustice and meanness of society do upset me. 

There, that is a little background to where I come from and who I am. All the cruel events left me feeling ashamed, contaminated and generally unclean. (As I have discovered since, many women who have faced similar domestic violence as I, felt they were responsible though, of course, they were not.) Naturally, I must acknowledge this impacted upon my confidence and made me wary of any human interaction. Nevertheless, I am a determined soul and would not permit myself to be put down or overcome by it all, especially as I had responsibility for my son’s welfare. However, I am a private person and for many years ensured no one ever knew my story. I always limited and curtailed personal discussions. As far as I was concerned the events of my life would cease and die with me. So, considering all this, why have I published the memoir series? Over the years many have confided in me their own life tales and I came to appreciate my experiences and that of many of my ancestors were anything but normal. Should I tell the tale? No! It was too shameful. Too embarrassing.

TANYA BOOK 3

It took many years but eventually, I realized it would be wrong for our stories to be lost. Society really could benefit from knowing the truth; if for no other reason than to hopefully provide help and inspiration for those who have faced, or are facing, similar circumstances. I have been circumspect with content and have intentionally omitted some of the more awful, graphic experiences: I have suffered enough in my own life and have no wish to cause others upset or stress by relating all the horrors. What I have shared I consider sufficient to hopefully help others overcome their own situations. If nothing else, I would like people to know it is possible to escape from even the most constrained existence. Also that it is possible to go on and have a reasonably successful life. I have to admit I am truly surprised I survived and have made to this day. If it can happen to me it can happen to anyone!

TANYA BOOK 4

The above may imply my life was always full of brutality, cruelty, and meanness and in truth, much of it has been. Nevertheless, and though indeed I have experienced more than most, there have been lighter, even some fun, moments which I also share in the books.

 I sincerely hope many of you will never have to face what I did and, for those of you who have or are, you will find some solace and help in what I share.

When I researched Tanya’s author page on Amazon, I discovered she had written two more books I wasn’t even aware of. So those are going on my TBR list right now.

Tanya describes herself as an independent author of memoir and biographical fiction, but she is so much more than that. A very courageous and brave woman whose life story simply takes your breath away. I recommend you look up her books on her website.

https://trrobinsonpublications.com  

This is the link to the first book in her memoir series.

And, if you are a writer, Tanya’s blog is full of lots of helpful hints and information, I also recommend that. She writes in such a way that even a techie dummie like me can understand.

Thank you for being my guest this week, Tanya you are just such an amazing person.

Till next time, take care

Lucinda