Monday, 22 October 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1960's with Julia Ibbotson & Drumbeats




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1960s


Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Julia Ibbotson, the author of, Drumbeats so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1960s.




Tell us a little about yourself

Thank you, Pauline, for entertaining me again with bubbly by your pool! Well, as you know, I’m the author of best-selling award-winning books with my lovely publisher, Endeavour. Drumbeats, set in 1965, is a coming-of-age romance in the midst of civil war in Africa; there’s a spice of mystery too! It’s the first of a trilogy which follows my main character, Jess, through the decades, starting with the 1960s at age 18, when she goes off to Africa for a gap year, and moving on to the 1980s and 1990s. Actually, this is great timing, Pauline, because the last of the trilogy (Finding Jess) came out in July!  I originally self-published Drumbeats as an indie author but was delighted to be signed with Endeavour back in 2015.

I’ve just moved to writing fulltime, after a career in education, as a secondary school teacher (English and Drama) and a senior lecturer/researcher at university. It’s lovely to be able to manage my own time now – and to be able to go to ‘swim and gym’ every morning, walk in the countryside around my village, and chat to other writers over lunch at the RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) chapters. It all gives me inspiration. I just have to try to be disciplined about getting on with my writing, and not stop for too much coffee, social media and chocolate! I love having time to do the extensive research I do for all my books: I’m intrigued by history and time travel.


What inspired you to write about the 1960s?

I’ve always been fascinated by the 60s. Drumbeats brings in the music, fashion, and attitudes of English life back in the day. In many ways it was the decade that saw the start of so much in our world today. Yet we’ve moved on very significantly since then. It was also a time of innocence and naivety, despite all we read. Things weren’t as ‘out there’ as they are today; you didn’t discuss openly all sorts of things we do now: sex, mental health, abuse. There was a veneer of openness but so much was hidden and covered up. In Drumbeats I try to portray what this was like for an 18 year old from quite a strict English family life, now on the brink of the grown up world, caught in the turmoil and drama of West Africa.




Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away

Imagine! - it’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. But it’s a time of political turbulence across the region. Fighting to keep her young love who she believes is waiting for her back in England, she’s thrown into the physical dangers of civil war, tragedy … and the emotional conflict of a disturbing new relationship with Jim, an American medic. But why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams? And what is Jim really involved in?
This is a rite of passage story which takes the reader hand in hand with Jess on her journey towards growing into the world.


Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?

I did go to Ghana as a volunteer teacher and nurse, I did live in the 60s, and the political events of West Africa at that time (the civil wars etc) did happen. Some of Jess’s experiences in Ghana are based on mine. But further than that, I won’t confess!!

My next two books in the trilogy are also based on real historical events and social background and on some of my life experiences too or those of people around me: being close to someone with mental health issues, betrayal, divorce, but of course as a writer you change some things for creative licence. Readers are sometimes surprised at the things that happened to people (or things they put up with) in the 60s, and (as later in the trilogy) the 70s and 80s. It was a different world – but then, it’s history!




Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

I think most writers base their characters on people they know, even slightly, or on something interesting about them, just as a book is more vivid if it’s set in a location that the writer knows well. Jess maybe has something of me at that age (18): adventurous, brave, yet quite dangerously naïve about the world.


If research was necessary what did this involve

I always love the research I do for every one of my books! I researched the 1960s just as much as I did for the Dark Ages for my mystery time-slip (A Shape on the Air), set in 499AD. For Drumbeats, I needed to be accurate about the 60s music, the fashions, the events of that period. I’m told that history starts 50 years ago, so certainly 1965 needs to be researched as such! And as it’s set in Ghana, I had to research the political events in a time of turbulence in West Africa.
I’m an avid reader, and for my own reading, I love books that show me a different historical period and location, especially if it’s exotic! I tried to make Drumbeats vivid so that readers could really feel that they were there.






Links to Julia and her books…

http://myBook.to/Drumbeatstrilogy    (buy-link on Amazon for ebook and paperback)
http://Author.to/JuliaIbbotsonauthor  (for all the Drumbeats trilogy on Amazon)
Twitter:  @Julia Ibbotson
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/juliai1    (inspiration pics that informed my books and research)
https://www.goodreads.com/juliaibbotson   (my Goodreads author page)




Thank you for stopping by and meeting Julia

On Thursday we meet Philippa Nefri Clarke talking about...











Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.


Pauline

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Saturday Snap!

On this week's Saturday Snap, these beautiful flowers on this cactus last for only 24 hours



If you would like to have one of your special photos spotlighted on Snap! Please let me know.

Until next time, take care and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1960's with Suzi Stembridge, Cast A Horoscope




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1960s



Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Suzi Stembridge, the author of, CAST A HOROSCOPE so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1960s.





What inspired you to write about the 1960s?

I am glad you caught me Pauline because I was just thinking of plunging into your inviting pool! But hush, because I don’t want the whole world to know: yet in 1960, World War Two had only finished fifteen years previously and I had just left college. The world was at our feet and in my case on my wings because I had just been accepted as a trainee air hostess for a small airline flying out of Southend. Many years later, married and with children, but before I studied with the Open University and started my travel business, I decided to write a novel based on these extraordinary times. But I promise the story is fiction!




Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away

It is a story of a young woman who has been brought up to expect that her life will be fulfilled only when she marries well and has children. This was very much the mind-set of this generation where educated women were ‘expected not to work’ but to become full-time mothers and wives. Also, I suppose in many ways this story is moralistic. In those days sex was not acceptable outside marriage, (although of course it had been going on for millennia.) Because contraception in the early 60’s was still virtually non-existent the horrifying penalty could be childbirth out of wedlock or abortion. The naïve young girl in the story was as aware of the pitfalls as anyone and looking for genuine romance not a ‘good-time’. Hugely careful she soaked up the atmosphere of the Mediterranean countries and everything seemed wonderful, until ….
as we grow up we discover that there are very dark places in the world.

Several years later the heroine is married, outwardly happily and back home in Yorkshire. The story is again about chance encounters, except past events look likely to catch up with her.


Is any part of the story based on facts / real events?

The spirit of place of the countries visited and the descriptions of some of the wonderful sites such as the Acropolis, the Dead Sea, or Egypt are very much as they were back then. I believe it is very much a novel of its time. Flying in those days in 30 seater Vickers Viking or slightly larger Viscounts was a magnificent experience, when air-crew seemed to enjoy it as much as the passengers!


Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

The characters are pure fiction! Although the story is fiction the experience of childbirth can go very wrong and some of the staff are not always as caring as we would expect these days; my second experience of childbirth was pretty horrific. We did have a young woman rooming with us in our air-crew quarters who was expecting a baby. Her secrecy as she tried to protect her job upset us all. Some aircrew at this time were perhaps typical of the characters, but by no means all.


If research was necessary what did this involve?

My other novels have been centred around vast amount of research but CAST A HOROSCOPE took off almost on its own highlighting how vivid were my memories of those fabulous times. Obviously where dates or descriptions are involved these have been checked in libraries (not as much on the internet because of the dates). I am planning to write a memoir, perhaps with my husband, about our travels in our travel business simply because, as with the writing of CAST A HOROSCOPE, it is such a joy to write from experience rather than from imagination.

Thank you Pauline, for dissuading me from that swim, I have much enjoyed sipping this lovely bubbly and going back to some fortunate times.







Twitter: WriterOfGreekNovels@zaritsi
  Suzi Stembridge@SuziStembridge

Facebook: Suzi Stembridge
https://www.facebook.com/suzi.stembridge.9

Pennine Writers & Landscape Artists Capturing Greece

GREECE IS THE THEME
https://www.facebook.com/search/str/greece+is+the+theme/keywords_search

Jigsaw: Greek letters & Coming of Age – Two Quartets
http://bit.ly/2N93m5p

Wordpress: authorofgreeknovels.wordpress.com
                     suzistembridge.wordpress.com

Linkedin: Suzi Stembridge at Freelance Author and Writer

The Open University: BA. Hons (OPEN)

Member of the Institute of Journalists: M.C.I.J

http://amzn.to/1nKE5wR Full Amazon page co.uk

http://amzn.to/1pfOulj Full Amazon page.com 


http://amzn.to/ZSpdvZ  CAST A HOROSCOPE




Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.


Pauline

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Saturday Snap!

On this week's Saturday Snap, I captured this little puddy cat sitting in this tree. 
"There must be birds up there!"



If you would like to have one of your special photos spotlighted on Snap! Please let me know.

Until next time, take care and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Pauline x 

Monday, 8 October 2018

Yesterday Uncovered - 1960's with Dizzy Greenfield, Strays & Relations




This month on Yesterday Uncovered we slip back to the 1960s


Sitting, in the shade, on a recliner at the side of my pool is Dizzy Greenfield, the author of, Strays and Relations so please help yourself to a glass of chilled bubbly, a plate of tapas, then make yourself comfortable and enjoy slipping back to the 1960s.

Thanks Pauline, this is wonderful. J



Tell us a little about yourself.

My real name isn’t Dizzy, that’s my author name as Strays and Relations is about real people. I began writing six years ago and right now I’m working on a novel for young adults – a new genre for me. 

 My work background was originally in animal care, but later I left the primates behind to pursue youth worker training. Then, eighteen years ago I said goodbye to working with young people too, when my partner, Will, and I set up a blacksmith’s forge. Since then nothing has ever gone exactly to plan but we do laugh a lot!  We live in an isolated location in the West Country, with a couple of whippets. It’s usually a tranquil place, with few interruptions from humans, but it’s amazing how demanding the dogs and bats can be! In summer, the bats have a nursery up our chimney and in the morning I often find one that’s fallen into the hearth. Then it’s a call to the bat rescue team – but that’s another story!  I’m sure there’ll be more stories featuring Will and Dizzy in the future, as readers seem to be enjoying hearing about our chaotic lifestyle!



What inspired you to write about the 1960s?

I was born to an Irish Catholic mother, Marie. She was very young when she found herself alone and pregnant in 1968. It wasn’t until I was born that the midwife informed her that she’d been expecting twins all along. There weren’t so many scans back then! Sadly, my twin died. For various reasons, Marie was unable to keep me and I was fostered, then adopted in Somerset, where I was born. Again, support for single parents was often lacking in the sixties and the circumstances in which Marie found herself were unfortunately all too common.

When I finally found my birth file it was shocking to read what had happened. I longed to find out if Marie had survived and, if so, what had happened to her?




Tell us little about the story and its plot without giving too much away.

The book tells how, almost thirty years later, I embark on a trip to find my roots. The first stop is a trip to Ireland, made with my best friend, Sugar. There, we find what we think is Marie’s grave and I give up the search for my birth mother. 

The story then jumps to six years later. Even though I have built a life with Will at the blacksmith’s forge, surrounded by rather odd animals and with a lovely daughter of my own, something is still missing.  

What starts like one of those ordinary summer days, ends with an extraordinary letter in the post from social services. It changes everything. My birth father, Tommy, wants to make contact with me. Not only that, but my mother is also alive and well, and wants to hear from me too!

Next is the account of what happens with the arrival of a huge and boisterous group of new relations, who are very different from my adoptive family and how we all try to make sense of the situation we’ve been thrown into.  

Originally the book was written for friends and family, but I got completely carried away! Four drafts and five years later I started to listen to my writing mates, they kept saying that it would be of interest to people and I should think about publishing.
I didn’t try to find a traditional publisher, but my bestie writing mate, Gill, encouraged me to try for a one-to-one session with an agent. It was a positive encounter and gave me some extremely useful advice about where to start the book. Afterwards I shoved the manuscript in the drawer and tried to forget about the whole darn thing – but I couldn’t!


Is any part of the story based on facts / real events? 

It’s a true story - only the names, and one or two of the locations have been changed.


Are any of the characters based on someone real or are they pure fiction?

All are based on real people. My birth family are such characters they didn’t need much embellishment. But of course, it’s only told from my point of view.


 If research was necessary what did this involve?

That involved piecing together information in my birth file, pulling out documents and letters, then making sense of what happened to who and when. Mainly though, it was from many conversations with my birth mother as we got to know each other and I learned what had happened to her. After the phone chats ended I would immediately write down the conversations.
I’d previously travelled to meet members of my birth family, but during the writing I revisited them and some of the locations.
When I’d finished the first draft, I got back on the train and went to see Marie, to show her what I’d done. It was very important that she was comfortable with the book.

After this, I reworked the start of the book as suggested by the agent.
Then Gill stepped in again, along with Brenda from Silver Crow Books and they enabled me to finish the final draft. I couldn’t have done it without them.
Matador accepted my manuscript, and it’s all been terribly exciting since then!

Thank you for inviting me, Pauline. Cheers!











Twitter:  @DizzyGreenfield


Thank you for stopping by and meeting Dizzy

Next Tuesday Suzi Stembridge talks about, Cast A Horoscope









Until next time, I hope the sun is shinning on your face and in your heart.


Pauline

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Snap!


Once a week, I plan to post a photograph I have taken that is either special or just one I love.



If you would like to have one of your special photos spotlighted on Snap! Please let me know.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Chill Award's October Newsletter

All the news and Awards in October's Newsletter from





October Newsletter 2018


I hope everyone had a wonderful September. Here at Chill Awards it's been a very busy month with many Awards and the launch of Yesterday Uncovered.





Yesterday Uncovered is a new promotion for books that have received a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award.

September was dedicated to the 1940's with these Award Winning Reads.







October 1960's
 November 1920's
 December 2000's

If your book is set in these dates, please contact me if you want to join in. 
PLEASE NOTE there is a max of SIX places per month. 
Books will be included on a first come first basis.  

It is scheduled that posts will be published every Tuesday and on certain Thursdays when there are more than four posts per month




Now to announce this month's Awards



Readers' Awards for September
Premier Awards
September





Book Cover of the Month
September






A HUGE thank you to Cathy Helms at AvalonGraphics for being our fabulous Judge for Cover of the Month Award.








All Authors who receive a Chill with a Book Readers' Award will be considered for a 
Readers' Premier Award in the month they receive their Award.

All authors who receive a Chill with a Book Readers' Award will be considered for BOOK COVER of the MONTH in the month they receive their Award.

All Awardees of Book of the Month received until August 2018 and authors who receive Readers' Premier Award are automatically shortlisted for 
Premier Award of the Year 2018.

All Awardees of Book Cover of the Month 2018 are automatically shortlisted for
Book Cover of the Year 2018

 All Awardees of PB Special Award in 2018 are automatically shortlisted for
PB Special Award 2018





The key stone to Chill Awards is its readers and READERS are "always" NEEDED!
Chill can never have enough readers... 




If you love to read, why not read for Chill Awards?

If members of your family or your friends are interested in joining Chill to be a reader, please ask them to email me. Pauline

Chill readers receive Amazon vouchers so they can download to their Kindle / e-reader any book they choose from the Award Programme and no reviews are required.

More information Here








Huge congratulations to all this month's Awardees


A very special thank you to all Chill's readers who read and evaluate the mountain of books submitted.


I thank each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart for being part of this amazing Award Programme in helping to shine a light on great Independent Author Published Books

I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Until next time sending sunny smiles


Pauline