Category: AuthorsAnswer

Authors answer #13: Can you recommend an author who is not well known?

Authors answer #13: Can you recommend an author who is not well known?

Good grief, how much time have you got? Unknown authors are my specialist subject. Not for me the residents of bestseller lists or airport bookshops or the type of book that’s stacked high on tables near the door at Waterstones. In fact, most of my favourite authors don’t make it onto the shelves of bookstores at all. I could go on all day, but here are just a few that I love. H Anthe Davis: an American who writes epic fantasy with a hint of horror, compelling characters and industrial-strength world-building. The first of the War of Memory series is The Light of Kerrindryr. She’s a slow-brew kind of writer, so the series is as yet incomplete, with three books out so far. Marina Finlayson: an Australian who writes fast-paced urban fantasy of the werewolf variety, with added dragons and just a touch of romance, and loads of Aussie humour. […]

Posted May 7, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Authors Answer 12: What books did you read as a child?

Authors Answer 12: What books did you read as a child?

Enid Blyton. And really, to be honest, I don’t remember reading anything else. Even though I read voraciously, and steamed through the library’s children’s section as soon as I was allowed to join, and then the school library, the books that stand out in my mind are the Enid Blyton ones. I may have had some of her fairy books, gifted by well-meaning relatives, but the first series I got into was Noddy, and I had the entire collection at one time, golliwogs, Mr Plod the policeman and all. They aren’t remotely politically correct these days, but they were very much the norm in the mid-twentieth century, when they were first published. They were popular for years, too. Everybody read them. Then there were the Famous Five books, with Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog. Again, not at all politically correct, with hindsight. Julian and Dick, the two […]

Posted April 16, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Authors answer 11: If you were going to write in another genre, what would it be?

Authors answer 11: If you were going to write in another genre, what would it be?

In a sense, I’ve already answered that question, since my current side project, apart from the fantasy, is a venture into Regency romance. I’ve always been a big fan of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer – very different styles, but both endlessly rereadable – and my very first attempt at novel writing, many moons ago, was a full-on Regency. That effort was banged out on an old manual typewriter, and I got maybe three-quarters of the way through before life overtook me. It now lurks, unloved, in a bottom drawer, and I haven’t dared to read it again. I’m quite sure it must be execrable. Fantasy and Regency might seem to be very different creatures. One is a made-up world, with the only limitation being the author’s imagination, focusing on battles and monsters and world-threatening peril, not to mention magic, of course. A Regency focuses on a much narrower field […]

Posted March 25, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 4 Comments

Author Answers #10: What are your least favourite genres to read?

Horror is the first that comes to mind. A little bit creepy or spooky is fine, but out and out horror is a non-starter for me. I have vivid mental images of books I read decades ago that seared themselves into my brain and still have the power to make me shudder. Then there are the nightmares… Erotica is another genre I’m not fussed about. Now don’t misunderstand, I love me some heavy-duty grappling in a book, so authors can toss in as much or as little sex as they like, on condition that it fits into the story, and the plot isn’t just flimsy scaffolding to hang all that industrial-strength humping on. If the characters are constantly either doing it or thinking about doing it, that’s too much. I loved Erica Dakin’s Theft and Sorcery series, for instance, which features some seriously horny half-elves, but there’s a cracking fantasy […]

Posted March 2, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Authors Answer 9: What are your favourite genres to read?

Since my published books are all epic fantasy, it’s a safe bet that fantasy is my favourite genre. I love the wide open possibilities of it – when I open a new-to-me book, I love that tingle of anticipation that comes from knowing that almost anything could happen. Magic! Wizards hurling thunderbolts! Peculiar beasties! Non-human races! A whole world to explore from the safety of my armchair! And dragons – dragons make everything better. And yet, everything still has to conform to its own internal logic. Having magic around isn’t a free pass to getting out of any sort of mess. I’m particularly sceptical of healing magic – it’s just too easy if everyone’s injuries and illnesses can be cured with an airy wave of a wizard’s hand. I like a bit of uncertainty. In my own books, healing is something that mages can attempt, but it doesn’t always work. […]

Posted February 17, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Authors Answer 8: The New Year is coming soon. What are your plans for 2016 in terms of writing?

Again, I’m out of sync here, although I suppose January still counts as New Year. This is going to be a very short post, since I already posted at some length about my plans for the year in both writing and marketing. So… I’m done. Footnote: Authors Answer is the brainchild of blogger Jay Dee Archer, of I Read Encyclopedias For Fun. You can read the answers to this question by his eclectic bunch of authors here. More recently, Erica Dakin, of the Theft And Sorcery blog, has been answering the questions independently. You can read her answer to this question here.

Posted January 19, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Authors Answer 7: Christmas is coming! In your opinion, what would be the perfect gift for a writer?

Authors Answer 7: Christmas is coming! In your opinion, what would be the perfect gift for a writer?

{Yes, yes, I’m very out of sync here – but Christmas is always coming so…} Oooh, I can answer this, because I recently found the perfect gift for me. I added it to my wishlist, and… nobody bought it for me. Oh. Here it is: Isn’t that… erm, really, really naff? But cute and fun. If you don’t mind the idea of Jane Austen wearing a shocking pink spencer, that is. And look, she has her own quill pen and a copy of Pride and Prejudice. So, so cute. Serious answers? Do I have to? Oh, all right then. Scrivener, because it’s positively the best writing environment ever in the history of writing environments. There are plenty of word-processor wrappers which guide an author through the necessary steps to writing nirvana (or a completed manuscript, at least). Scrivener doesn’t do that, but what it does do is to allow the […]

Posted January 15, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer, General / 0 Comments

Authors Answer 6: Which mistake or bad habit in writing is the most difficult for you to stop doing?

Adverbs. I know they’re supposed to be a Very Bad Thing, but there are so many situations where a judiciously placed adverb can save a world of verbiage. I’m all for expressing myself briefly and succinctly and efficiently and all those other —ly words. And I’ll also hold my hand up for that other cardinal sin, the adverb used in a dialogue tag, she said shamefacedly. Yes, folks, my characters sometimes speak softly instead of whispering, and they sometimes speak coldly or bracingly or icily or gently as well. My bad. But here’s the thing. Part of the skill of an author is in not boring the reader, and that’s not just in the plot. It also means including plenty of variety in the writing, so that a long succession of ‘he said… she said…’ is broken up by an action beat, or, dare I say it, by tossing in […]

Posted January 6, 2016 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Authors Answer 5: Have you read any foreign language novels?

No. Next question… But seriously, this is one of those issues where you feel you probably should do it, but life’s too short. I’m British, so naturally I’ve never mastered any foreign language well enough to attempt anything more taxing than ordering a beer and a pizza. I’ve tried, believe me, I’ve tried, but I just don’t have the right receptors in my brain. Even at school, after several years of daily lessons in French, I never felt competent to read a book in the language. And besides, there are so many books to read in English, where I understand the nuances of the words (most of the time), why would I struggle to read something that’s not in English? Struggle may be good for the soul, but I read for pleasure and entertainment and to be taken out of the everyday world for a time. So English it is, […]

Posted December 26, 2015 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Authors Answer 4: If you could interview any author, who would it be and what would you ask?

Ooh, another interesting one. I’d love to talk to Jane Austen. I’d like to know how she wrote her books in the days of quill pens. How much editing did she do? Did she plan it all in advance? How many drafts? Did she have the Regency equivalent of a beat sheet tucked away under her blotter? Or did she plan the whole thing in her head before she started writing? And did she have to keep a list of characters written down somewhere so that she could remember their ages and incomes (those all-important aspects of high-born life)? Her books are so perfectly constructed, and conform so well to modern ideas about structuring novels, yet she was writing two hundred years ago. She was one amazing lady. If I could have a second author to interview, I’d love to sit down and have a chat to Australian author Glenda […]

Posted December 18, 2015 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments