02 Evil and sky Natasha Murray Image



By nmurray, Dec 2 2020 10:35AM

I have with me today Caitlin Lynagh. Welcome, I hope that you are having a good day. Caitlin was born in Cardiff and graduated from Keele University with a BSc in Biology and Geology in 2013. Since graduating, Caitlin has followed her passion for writing and recently won a Young Writer's Award with Outlet Publishing

In November, Caitlin published Quantm Messenger (The Soul Prophecies Book 4) science fiction for young adults.

Please tell everyone about your creative works and about your book marketing journey.

"I love the idea of blogging your marketing journey, we have tried to be inventive with the marketing of Quantum Messenger – thinking outside the box in order to attract, not only regular readers, but passing readers too."

1. What made you want to write a book?

I’ve always enjoyed reading and I dabbled with writing a book when I was sixteen, bursting with vampires and sirens, which was fun to write but not very good. I wrote another book which became the backbone of my first published book, Anomaly. I won a young writers’ award with Outlet Publishing and they worked with me to develop and finish Anomaly, the first in The Soul Prophecies series, in 2016. Since then I have written and released four more books and Quantum Messenger completes the series – although all books read as standalone novels as they are connected by theme.

2. Tell us about you and where you live.

I’m a highly creative person and make crafts as well as write books. I’m a science junkie too, I graduated from Keele University with a Bsc in Geology and Biology. My dissertation involved me spending six weeks in the Peruvian rainforest studying primates, which was an enlightening experience.

I’m lucky to live in a beautiful rural village in Cumbria, UK. It’s ten minutes’ drive from England’s Book Town of Sedbergh where I help out with a massive bookshop there called Westwood Books and try to get involved in the writing community.

3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

The Soul Prophecies Series has four books: Another Path is book 1&2 – a rewrite of Anomaly and Hidden Variables (the birth of the human soul), Lost Frequencies (the birth of alien souls) and now Quantum Messenger (the birth of AI souls).

I’m working on a new project now, which is a little more technically challenging but will hopefully be released next year. I like writing more realistic fantasy, so I’m creating an alternative society on Earth at the moment, as if society had evolved differently leading to the present. I haven’t found a title that I’m happy with yet.

4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

We have tried being more inventive with the marketing of Quantum Messenger – thinking outside the box in order to attract, not only regular readers, but passing readers too. This has included:

· A song, written by myself as the central character Apollo (although the music and chorus came from a dream – I literally dreamt a robot sang to me!). The song was called Who Am !? and was recorded by artist OUR EYES and was released to coincide with the book. We released it with a full lyric video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1kKFxRyBrs&feature=youtu.be

· A YouTube puzzle revealing one square with one piano note every day in the three months leading up to the release. There was no information at all except: Who Am I? Not [celebrity name]. It gained some interest on Reddit but we couldn’t put a street-team together to maximise use (lesson learned for next release). On the final day there was a puzzle reveal video with the piano notes leading to the song above with a book trailer. The book trailer has since gained over 2000 views on YouTube.

· We set up a Twitter account for Apollo. https://twitter.com/Apollo020385 He tweets as a time-travelling robot, sent back to correct future mistakes. It’s been gaining more attention lately and will be fun to continue now the book is released.

· We combined this with advertising on NetGalley, BookBub and Twitter (via Tweet Your Books, BGS and Author Marketing) and Publishing Push marketed advanced review copies to bloggers.

It’s been a fun journey and reviews are already coming in and most are excellent.

5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

The Quantum Messenger eBook is available on Amazon, https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B089QVXLR7 Barns & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/quantum-messenger-caitlin-lynagh/1137139524 and Apple Books and the hardcover can be ordered from most bookstores and online. As are the other books in the series.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone. I am sure that your books will do well.

Stay and touch and I hope that you have wonderful Christmas and a COVID free New Year.

Take care

Natasha :)x

By nmurray, Dec 2 2020 09:27AM

Hi all, it has been an interesting 2020 and I hope that you are all well and have managed to avoid getting Covid. Here in Littlehampton, things have been relatively normal (I have no idea what normal is now) and both my husband and I have been working all through the year. Martin, providing essential DIY items from Screwfix and myself, picking shopping at night for ASDA customers. Today is my day off and I find myself writing this email at silly o'clock because my body clock tells me that 2am is my time to wake up for work. Actually some of my best writing is done at this time and before the birds are awake, my brain goes into overdrive as I create warped story plots or start a ‘book admin ‘to do list’ in my head. I know - I am just a little crazy.

Having not heard back from publishers, which didn’t surprise me, and feeling somewhat relieved, I have decided to self-publish my Waterfall Way romantic suspense trilogy myself. This past month, I have been hard at work going through the necessary steps to produce a polished first book in the series. 58 Farm End is ready to be launched into orbit on 18 December. Hooray! Don’t talk to me about getting Amazon to give you the book categories you want! All I can say about my ninety day schedule, is that there is a lot to do and having your books professionally edited and proofread is a must. Nobody likes being pelted with rotten tomatoes on launch day!

So far, the feedback from beta readers has been positive and the other day I got my first four star review on Goodreads. If you would like a review copy of 58 Farm End, then it can be downloaded from the prestigious NetGalley here:


For the launch of 58 Farm End, I am pleased to announce that I am going to hold a live event on Facebook. Something I have never done before. I am looking forward to it and I will be sharing all my launch news as it happens. Love Book Tours will be holding a 58 Farm End book launch blitz too. I will give you a link nearer the time.

Below is the link to my Facebook event. It would be wonderful if you could join me. I am pretty sure that via your smart phone's camera you will be able to talk to me live if I invite you to. Otherwise watch the fun and please leave lots of comments and I will respond. There is a possibility that I will just be sat there by myself listening to Heart radio, sobbing quietly into my Prosecco which might be fun to watch too! I am an optimist and I am sure you won't let this happen.

If you are an author then please join me live and tell me about your Covid writing year and any books you have published that would be an ideal Christmas gift. Please comment below and let me know if you are able to watch the launch starting at 2pm until 8pm on 18 December (Just pop in and out as you please). I hope that you can make it and share a glass of something bubbly with me.

Talking of gifts, I have a fantastic 58 Farm End gift box to give away in the UK. This would be the ideal gift for you for Christmas or for a girly friend. On the day, I will ask a book related question and the first to answer will win the gift box. I will do my best to get it to you before the big day. Or small day in our case, just my daughter, our bubble of one, and perhaps my son if he can get a flight from Belfast, joining us for Christmas dinner this year.

Click here to find out more about my live event on 18 December https://fb.me/e/3OXLzidos

To help my book launch get off the ground, please could you share this email with your contacts and help me get 58 Farm End noticed. You can share this email by clicking on this link bleow

For those of you that don't know about my trilogy, then check out the trailer to find out more here: https://youtu.be/-yAsF1xyGMc

You can pre-order an E-copy of 58 Farm End from Amazon at £2.99. Click on the link below. The paperback will be available to order from me or from Amazon on the day at £8.99


I hope that you have a great December and I will be in touch just before launch day.

Take care

Kind regards


Natasha Murray

Author of 3004, 3006, Jack Solar’s Journals, Chanctonbury

A Flea in the Paw, the Milly’s Magic Quilt series,

Buy this Book and Help Save the World and the

Waterfall Way romantic suspense series

Author website


My book marketing journey and guest author website


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NatashaMurray3004 or

Twitter https://twitter.com/UKBookShow_2018

Instagram @natashamurray1426

By nmurray, Nov 21 2020 10:58AM

Hi, it is lovely to have you back on my blog. I hope that you and your family are well. I see that you have managed to write and publish the second book in the Shards of Sevia series. Please let everyone know about your new book Final Chance.

"Hello Natasha - here is a little bit about Final Chance and below a book excerpt. Enjoy :)

Three months have passed since Preen learned that her husband, Rama, was captured and killed by a rival militia. Now the pieces of her shattered life are falling back into place.

It's getting easier to breathe again. Preen finds herself smiling over her daughter's antics. She's engaged to her wealthy, handsome cousin, who loved her long before Rama stole her heart.

Then, late one night, Rama calls. He asks Preen to come back to the dangerous city of Dor, back to the life she thought she'd left behind forever...

Book Excerpt:

Preen walked down the strip of dusty, trampled ground that lay between the rows of tents in Camp Peace. Music blared from far down the gray row, buzzing and screeching through cheap speakers.

Someone had spray-painted "Sundar Farhanji for President" across the blue European League logo on the roof of one of the tents near the entrance.

The next few tents down had the Bull's Horns symbol on them, sprayed so thickly that long black trickles of paint ran to the ground. Preen clenched her fists as anger surged inside her. Why didn't Rama understand that at best, his foolish dreams could only end with graffiti on plastic tents in a refugee camp?

She imagined him walking out through a tent doorway, shouting with surprise and delight when he saw her. Well, she would give him a shock. She wouldn't kiss him. She'd punch his nose. "You might have bothered to mention you weren't dead," she said, half-aloud. "That's the kind of thing a wife likes to know. And do you even care your daughter doesn't remember you? Of course not, because all you care about is Rayad, Rayad, Rayad, and all the wonderful things you'll do someday..."

"Hey! Ma'am, are you looking for someone?"

Preen started. She turned to see the same old man who'd been watching her through the chain-link fence earlier. He probably thought she was crazy, standing in the middle of a field of tents, muttering to herself. "How did you know?"

"Nearly everybody here is looking for someone," he said, blowing a thin stream of smoke. "Who are you looking for?"

"My husband."

His face wrinkled with confusion. "Ma'am, your husband is already in Heaven, isn't he? I could think of many names for this place, but that would not be one of them."

Preen ran her fingers across the velvet stubble on her head. "I thought he'd been killed in the fighting, but two nights ago...he called me."

The old man shook his head. The dark age spots on his cheeks made him look like her father. "Most of the young men who belonged to Rayad are dead. All our best people are dead."

"He told me to come join him."

"Just call him back, then. Ask him if he got evacuated, or if he's still in Dor."

"I've tried," Preen whispered. "He doesn't answer."

The old man turned away. He crushed his cigarette into the dust and wandered back toward his tent.

Preen walked down the line of tents toward the music. It was that rap hit from a few years back, "Saf i Tayar," Rama's favorite song. The bass quivered in the ground beneath her feet. A woman in a tight red sweater was unpinning the clothes from a line strung between two tents.

"Do you know anyone from Rayad?" Preen asked her.

The woman turned around and looked at her, head on one side. "They let some fighters in, then they stopped. It was causing problems. Now they're not admitting anybody at all. My brother made it out of Dor with his family, but now they're stuck in Klim." She tugged off a boy's football shirt, then a dishtowel, and turned to go back into her tent.

"We aren't from Dor, but we were living there and my husband and I got separated, and I think he might have come here, but I'm not sure, and I need help finding him," Preen finished, the words stumbling over each other as the tent flap fell.

Preen walked on to the next person. "Have you seen my husband, Rama Enda?"

Blank stare.

"Rama Enda's about twenty-one, just a little taller than me, dark hair, dark eyes. He has old-style tattoos on his arms and the Rayad one on his wrist..."

A headshake.

"I'm looking for Rama, my husband. I need to find him. He has a little daughter."

A sympathetic sigh...a sad smile...a shrug.

"He fought with Rayad."

Another blank stare.

"He offered his life for our people every day! The least you can do is try to help me find him!"

A snort of bitter laughter.

Preen sat down in the space between two tents, hugging her knees. God, you gave me a miracle. What do you want from me in exchange? If You really mean for me to find Rama, why are You making it so hard?"

Thank you so much for sharing this. Where can you buy your books?

Book Links:




You can buy Final Chance for only $0.99 until the end of November.

Natasha :)

By nmurray, Oct 3 2020 08:25AM

Hi Alex, I am really glad that you can join me today. I hope your book tour is going well. Please let everyone know about your writing career and your new book A View from a Mountain.

1) What made you want to write a book?

From my early years I loved writing short stories and poems about my observations, feelings and life in general. But after recording my family's history of their lives in the then Dutch East Indies during the 1900's, I felt compelled to write a book about it.

With a lot of encouragement from my family, I decided to take up the challenge of writing a novel based on the experiences of my grandmother and mother. Their stories needed to be told, but as I didn’t have all the information about certain periods in their lives, I wrote the book as historical fiction.

2) Tell us about you and where you live.

I was born in Indonesia and grew up in West Papua New Guinea. After spending some years in Holland, I emigrated to Australia, Brisbane where I met my husband and where my daughter and son were born. I eventually fulfilled my dream of becoming a musician and piano teacher by studying at a Conservatorium of Music. I am now happily retired on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with my husband and cat Benji, close to my lovely children and grandchildren. A perfect environment to write my books.

3) What have you written and what are you working on now?

My novel 'A View from the Mountain' was published on September 25th. I am currently writing a YA fantasy book—very different from my first work, but I want to try my hand at many different genres. I have also been working on a crime mystery novel, but I’ve put that aside for the moment.

The YA fantasy is a 'Robin Hood meets the Snow Queen' type of novel. Like many other people, I have grown up with and always loved fairy tales and fantasy books, where heroes fight for justice. I’m hoping to complete a series of three books in this fantasy world.

4) How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

I mainly use Instagram and Twitter to connect with readers and other writers. I share parts of my life as an aspiring writer, along with inspirational quotes and previews for my latest novel. I think that so far, it's worked quite well! I think the key to marketing my books seems to be inviting readers into my 'world'; letting them see what it's like behind the scenes, so I can develop a real relationship with them. I've met so many new reader and author friends through the experience of publishing A View From The Mountain!

5) Where can readers find your book for sale?

A View From The Mountain is now available internationally, through Amazon, Kindle and BookDepository!

Here are the links for my book:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/View-Mountain-Alex-Dalton-ebook/dp/B08GJ8GBTL

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55085664-a-view-from-the-mountain

BookDepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/View-From-Mountain-Alex-Dalton/9780648948001

Thank you Alex for sharing this with us. Just one more day left of your book tour. I am sure there will be lots of readers out there that will enjoy your lovely book.

Best wishes

Natasha :)x

By nmurray, Sep 1 2020 02:08PM

Hello Sue, it is lovely to have you on my blog. We have known each other for a while now and have both supported each other as we continue on our mission to bring good quality children's books into the world. Please let everyone know about your writing journey.

What made you want to write a book?

I never intended to write children’s books that sort of came about by chance. I wanted to teach; which I did. At college I wrote poetry and had a few published in the college magazines.

While teaching, I would often write with the children or for the children; modelling examples of poetry etc. We might also create a shared write together. ‘A Spooky Tale’, (one of my nine books) came from a shared write.

Tell us about you and where you live?

I am a teacher living in West Sussex, alongside my teaching career I was involved in a local play-project which was a ‘Playbus’. I became involved when my children attended the playgroup and from there the bus really captured my heart. This led to the inspiration for my story books.

I became involved as first a parent and eventually a part-time project co-ordinator. In this role I would write project reports, apply for grants and funding as well as put up exhibitions to promote the Playbus project. The exhibition photographs were eventually recorded in a photographic book. (‘Bewbush Playbus’)

The children I met would ask about the Playbus (now only a memory) and from here I began telling stories.

What have you written?

I have, to date, written nine children’s picture story books with a bus theme as well as links to my teaching career.

The fictional tales began with ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, this story was the fictional tale to support the photographic book, and the factual Playbus story. I began telling the story of Jay-Jay in answer to question’s asked by children.

What is a Playbus? What does it do? How is it different? What did the Bewbush Playbus do?

I told the story then wrote it down and then read it to children I met on my teaching journey, from their comments it was eventually edited and published.

The bus is called Jay-Jay as his number plate was JJK 261 and any bus enthusiast will tell you that JJK is an Eastbourne AEC Regent model; because of this all of the buses in the stories have real number plates.

This story has now been followed by eight other stories with bus links as well as connections to my teaching journey.

What are you working on now?

Over lockdown I had intended to write a children’s information book to support the bus books as well as an activity book. I haven’t quite got round to this.

I currently have a book in the illustration stage at the moment, which is about ‘Barty Barton’ my son’s teddy bear which sadly he didn’t want any more. This will be for younger children (and my grandson).

Jay-Jay’s museum trip has just been completed and is off to be edited.

I also have a few draft stories to go with other buses as well as a story called ‘The Weather Witch’. This is written and came from a story the children love me to tell.

How do you market you books and do your promotion methods work?

Being self-published is a very tricky place to be. I love having a book to show that is mine; I like being in control of its content; I love sharing the stories and hearing from children that they love the stories (adults too).

The hardest part is the sales, marketing and promotion.

I have undertaken schools author visits but sadly these and other events have not happened this year.

Over the last two years I also decided to send my books on blog tours, these were organised by Rachel Gilby of Rachels Random Resources. This may not generate sales but it does get the books read and reviewed, I now have a following of book bloggers and regularly use their blog posts in my promotion.

At the beginning of lockdown, I decided, as I couldn’t get out, that I would offer each book in turn as a raffle giveaway. I was able to offer each of my books in turn. Again, it may not generate much but it has been fun and I was able to ask questions which became blog posts on my website.

During lockdown my ninth book was published, ‘Gloria the summer Fun Bus’, went on her blog tour in early August.

I now have two more books to offer as raffle prizes so … watch this space.
I now have two more books to offer as raffle prizes so … watch this space.

‘A Spooky Tale’ (September) and ‘The Christmas Play Rehearsal’ (October). Maybe the ‘Bewbush Playbus’ book too? (November)

Not sure what really works so would love to hear from other children’s writers.

Where can readers find your books?

My books are available from my website


My Books

Amazon.co.uk https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Wickstead/e/B00DDXKEDO Amazon.com Waterstones

Barnes&Noble Foyles (amongst others)

They are also in our local Crawley Museum, book shop.

They can also be bought via Sainsburys on line shop!

Thank you Sue, I am sure that there are plenty of parentsand grandparents that will just love to read their children your lovely books.

Natasha :)x

By nmurray, Aug 26 2020 11:19AM

Good morning Judith, so glad that you can join me on my blog this morning. We regularly attend the Brighton and Hove Book Fayre and you have also been at my show - UK Southern Book show too. I know that you have been busy researching and writing lots of lovely new books for those that like historical fiction. Please let everyone know about your writing journey.

1. What made you want to write a book?

I have written stories since I was little girl and, although I never liked history at school, I have always enjoyed historical novels. I became inspired to write my books when I first visited Versailles, the palace of the magnificent Sun King, Louis X1V, As I wandered around the sumptuous rooms in his chateau and walked in the very gardens he created there, King Louis came to life for me. He was real, he was there – I could almost see him admiring the fountains, surrounded by his finely-dressed courtiers! I felt I had been transported back in time.

I try to take my own readers with me on a journey back to this exciting era!

2. Tell us about you and where you live.

I spent my childhood in Lincolnshire and went to Art College in Leicester before moving to lovely Sussex, where I live now with my husband Ron and our greyhound, Lucky! In my spare time I enjoy painting, scuba diving and boating, as well as gardening (inspired by my visits to the gardens of Versailles!).

3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

I have written a series of historical novels set in 17th century England and France, following the adventure of my lead character, Philip Devalle, who is half-French. I have had five published so far by Troubador, which are Designs of a Gentleman: The Early Years, Designs of a Gentleman: The Darker Years, High Heatherton, The Orange Autumn and The Distant Hills. The sixth book in the series, Flowers of Languedoc, is currently in the process of being published by them and will be available in a few months’ time.

In the meantime, I have begun the research for another, this time set mainly in Brittany.

If you want to write or add your own questions, then that is fine too.

4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

Troubador have an excellent marketing team that can help with many aspects. They prepare and distribute Press Release sheets, as well as Advanced Information sheets, which go out to booksellers and relevant (historical in my case) on line reviewers, such as Discovering Diamonds which, I am pleased to say, have given me some excellent reviews on their website. I also do book signings at Waterstones and independent bookshops (although not during this current health crisis, of course!) and attend book fairs, such as the Southern Book Show, organised by Natasha Murray. Sometimes it might seem that you have not sold many at these fairs, but I find them always worth doing, if only to meet up with other authors and exchange information. Also, you never know – I had a lovely email from a reader recently who met me at Natasha’s event last year and did not buy a book on that day but subsequently went on to buy one online and ended up enjoying all five so much that she wanted to know when the next was coming out. Bless her!

Another marketing tool I find helpful is Chat and Spin radio, a digital radio station which interviews authors, as well as singers and bands etc. I am usually on weekly and I find them very easy and friendly to work with. I am convinced that they have helped my sales, as well as giving me more hits on my website.

5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

My books are available from Waterstones and other good bookshops, as well as Troubador’s own website, but I have Amazon to thank for most of my sales.

My Amazon Author pages:



I have recently started another website https://judiththomson.com and am considering selling directly from that too!


Many thanks Judith, hopefully we can meet up soon and sell some books at the next fair. Fingers crossed the next fair in Brighton takes place in November. We shall see.
Many thanks Judith, hopefully we can meet up soon and sell some books at the next fair. Fingers crossed the next fair in Brighton takes place in November. We shall see.

Have a great afternoon

Natasha :)x

By nmurray, Aug 17 2020 08:36AM

Hi Nellie, welcome to my blog. I hope that you are having a good day in Pittsburgh. Please let everyone know about your books and about your writing journey.

1. What made you want to write a book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book from the time I was a child. Life got in the way! Finally, after finishing school and successfully launching a career as a college professor, I carved out enough time to write my first novel, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle. I gave the draft of the book to my mother for her birthday and let her read it and decide if it was worthy of publication. She loved it and we published it about six months later under our brand-new publishing company, A Novel Idea Publishing.

2. Tell us about you and where you live.

I live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. In addition to being an author, I am also a college professor at a local college. I teach Statistics and Data Science, about as far from supernatural suspense and cozy mystery as you can get! When I’m not working or writing, I’m taking care of our rescue animals (we have twelve!).

3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

I’ve written four books to date. Two are in my cozy mystery series, Cate Kensie Mysteries. This series centers around Dr. Catherine Kensie who becomes Lady Catherine Kensie, Scottish Countess, when she unexpectedly inherits a Scottish castle with some unique anomalies. The first book is The Secret of Dunhaven Castle and the second is Murder at Dunhaven Castle.

The second two books are a part of my supernatural suspense series, Shadow Slayers Stories. These books follow a larger cast of characters as they fight to keep the darkness at bay in the world. The first book, Shadows of the Past, begins following Josie Benson as she suffers from nightmares and searches to find answers about what may be lurking in the past. The second book in the series, Stolen Portrait Stolen Soul, continues the Shadow Slayers journey as they continue to with the evil plaguing the world.

At the end of the year, my latest series will be debuting. The Maggie Edwards Adventure series will follow Maggie Evans as she travels around the world in Indiana-Jones style adventures!

In addition to this, I’m working on books 3 for both Cate Kensie and Shadow Slayers!

4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

We’ve recently entered all the books in the KDP Select program and rely on Amazon Ads to help us market out books. This has been a fantastic tool for us! In addition, we work hard to promote our books to a variety of people through BookBub, Facebook, our website (www.anovelideapublishing.com) and more. Our reads are good, clean fun and we hope to find a great audience to entertain for years to come!

5.	Where can readers find your book for sale?
5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

We sell paperbacks at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In addition, our ebooks are available on Amazon in the Kindle Unlimited program or for purchase directly from Amazon. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nellie-H-Steele/e/B07Z9PD3YN

Thank you Nellie, is was lovely to hear about you and your books.

Keep in touch

Natasha :)x

By nmurray, Aug 9 2020 02:07PM

Hello Richard, it is wonderful to talk to you today. Your new book 'The Black Lion' a ghostly tale is set in Brighton, which is a few miles along the coast, east of Littlehampton. The temperature here today is 33°C! We are lucky to have a sea breeze to cool us down although I am sat next to a fan at the moment trying my best not to implode.

We know each other, don't we Richard as we both organise book fairs. This year the Brighton and Hove Book Show is due to take place in November. I have had to cancel my show, the UK Southern Book Show for this year but fingers crossed your show can go ahead.

Your new book The Black Lion was published on 22 July. Please let everyone know about your writing journey and about your new book.

"Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog.

1. What made you want to write a book?

At first it was curiosity but it was also about challenging myself - putting myself to the test to find out if I could write a novel. Once I came up with the concept, I was determined to turn it into a story and so I took the plunge.

After eight months of writing I thought it was finished and proudly showed the novella to my beta readers but, it turned out I needed more time to finish it. Instead of a final draft it looked more like a first draft according to the beta readers, and the main advice I was given was to flesh it out and make it the best I can. So the next task was to flesh out the story and I was totally baffled by it. I had no idea what it meant or how I was going to do it.

One of my writer friends invited me around to her house, let me pick a couple of pages of my book and demonstrated to me how to ‘flesh out’ a story. It was like witnessing a painter dotting colours of paint on a canvas, concentrating on what it looks like and what needs changing to make it better by adding, removing or replacing colours. It all made sense and I had to go though the book page by page, and so I did. After I fulfilled this joyful task, I approached my beta readers again and after they read the entire book, a novel by now, their advice was to get in touch with a professional editor to go through the book with a fine-toothed comb. The good news was: the book was done and now it needed an extra pair of eyes to look for punctuation, literals and inconsistencies. My friend and author Rohase Piercy recommended to contact author and editor Jayne ‘Charlie’ Raven. To break the ice, Charlie requested to send her a sample piece of the book. After I read her comments and suggestions I knew she was the person I had been looking for, and our collaboration was a fact!

2. Tell us about you and where you live.

I’m Richard, an openly gay author, and I’m living with my husband and dog in Peacehaven on the south coast of England. I have a job, 30 hours per week, and spend the rest of my time cooking, writing, cycling, walking the dog and visiting cultural places. I’m a co-organisers of The Brighton & Hove Book Fayre - the last event in November 2019 was our busiest so far and we have another event booked for November this year. I’m also a book fairy, gift-wrapping books and hiding them in public spaces in and around Brighton. Book fairies pop an official book fairy sticker on a book, which reads ‘take this book, read it & leave it for the next person to enjoy’, and they might even add a ribbon to dress it up as a gift.

3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

I’ve just released my debut novel, The Black Lion, a fictional supernatural (and lgbtq+) book about the life of Deryk Carver who was the owner of the Black Lion pub in the old town of Brighton.

Under my own name I published ‘The Gluten Free Mediterranean Cook Book’, which has been selling very well, notably in the US, ‘The Dog’s Favourite Recipe Book’, ‘Ooh Yes I Woof!’ and ‘Ooh Yes I Do!’ In 2017 I wrote three short stories which were included in Kensington Gore’s Hammered Horror anthology ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’. That’s how I, unexpectedly, became a published author.

I’m currently working on the second instalment in the book series ‘Spirits of the Past’ and this time the story is set in Amsterdam.


4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

I have tried a variety of methods. First of all I like to have my books stocked locally as a lot of my books have links with the Brighton area. Looking for local stores or establishments is a must. I also take part in book fairs which seem to be reasonably successful and they prove to be one of the best places to connect with readers.

After I launched ‘Ooh yes I Do!’ I threw a book launch party in Waterstones and invested heavily on two paid features in Pink News and Pink Magazine. The book also featured in the Brighton & Hove Wedding magazine, a full book review in local LGBTQ+ magazine G-Scene, and had two lovely features in Latest 7 magazine and the Kemptown Rag. Sales went well and I did earn back all of my investments. Because the book was launched in 2014, the same year same-sex marriages were introduced in England and Wales, I featured in Channel 4’s ‘We are so gay’.

I invested for an advert for my second book which featured in a well-known dog’s magazine, but it didn’t sell.

From that moment, I stopped investing in advertising in magazines all together.

My cook book’s sales have surged since November 2019. It sells very well, notably in the US and it’s the best selling book I published so far - without any advertising.

I’m planning to invest in social media campaigns for my novel in the hope to reach people who will be genuinely interested to read the story about Deryk and ghost stories about Brighton.

5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

On Amazon, paperback and Kindle book. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Lion-Spirits-Past-book-ebook/dp/B08B4WWL11

I’m very pleased to announce that ‘The Black Lion’ will be stocked by City Books in Hove and my cookbook is still available from L’Isola Buona, an Italian deli, in Newhaven.


The Black Lion tells the untold story of Protestant brewer Deryk Carver who lived in the 16th century Black Lion pub in Brighton. One evening he gets arrested. Nine months later he is burned at the stake in Lewes and becomes the first martyr of East Sussex. In 2019 Matt quits his job. He buys a cottage from an anonymous seller and rents it out as a holiday-let. The guests get caught up in unexpected supernatural encounters. Is Deryk's spirit haunting the cottage?

Thank you Richard it has been a pleasure.

I hope you have a good week and I will be in touch soon.

Take care

Natasha :)x

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