Monday, April 25, 2016

Interview with Historical Romance Author, Caitlyn Callery

Today, we have the privilege of interviewing historical romance author, Caitlyn Callery. But before we begin the interview, here are 3 interesting facts about the author:

  • I live on the “Regency Route” between Royal Tunbridge Wells and Brighton.
  • I once worked as a mechanic’s mate and drove heavy goods vehicles.
  • Several times, I drove a van filled with wheelchairs from the UK to Morocco for the charity World In Need.

Who are some of your favorite authors?       
Georgette Heyer, Marguerite Kaye, Lee Child, Peter James, BJ Daniels, Cyrus Keith,

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?
When I was 9 years old, the teacher set the class a project of writing a story, a different chapter each week. I was hooked, and couldn’t wait for that class each week. I had written bits before, but that was when I knew I HAD to write.

What 3 words describe you as a person?         
Funny, positive, supportive

What 3 words describe you as a writer?       
descriptive, tense, witty

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?           
I love knitting and crochet, the sea, my grandchildren, Church and helping at the charity, World In Need.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?           
The first story I remember reading was The Little Mermaid. I was enchanted. I wanted to be a mermaid so badly, I wished on every star and even asked Father Christmas for it.

Describe your desk.           
Cluttered. My laptop is in the centre, the notes for my latest work to one side. A tub of screen cleaners so I can always see what I am writing, a penholder that actually holds screwdrivers, a cup of tea, and a big black mark where I had fun refilling my printer.

Who is the main character?          
Luke Fielding and Grace Topping/Thompson

What’s their story?         
Once a lowly clerk, Luke Fielding suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself heir to an earldom. Uncertain about his new role and the changes it has wrought, he does not broadcast his true status when he comes to stay with his brother in Crompton Hadlow. He is attracted to governess Grace Thompson and is saddened to realise that his new status makes her ineligible for him, but soon begins to realise that Grace has secrets of her own, and those secrets have put her in danger.

For the last three years, Grace has been hiding from her cousin, living under an assumed name. Now she has been recognised and threatened with exposure. Luke offers to help her but as they stave off the threat posed by her cousin, she finds she faces a greater danger: losing her heart to a man she cannot have.

Where/when does the story take place?          
Crompton Hadlow, Sussex, England, in late 1817.

How did the story come to you?           
I was reading a book about a Duke who fell for a governess and I got cross because, in the time it was set, the marriage could not and would not have been accepted by either his class or hers. Without social acceptance, it was doomed.
While I am happy with a little poetic licence in historical novels, such glaringly obvious errors spoil the story for me.

It got me thinking about how such a match could become acceptable to a society where class was rigidly observed, and Grace’s story arrived. Then I realised she would need a hero who would interact with her when she was a governess, and at the same time, be eligible to marry a baron’s daughter. So Luke’s story came into being.

Who is your target audience?           
Anyone who enjoys reading historical romances.

What makes your book different from other similar ones?          
In some romance novels, the hero and heroine are well drawn but other characters and their stories are less defined. Coming from a play writing background, I am used to trying to make each character real, and each sub plot count. I hope I bring that to my novel, and by doing so, give the reader a more fulfilling read. 

What do your fans mean to you?          
Everything. Without them, the work would die.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?           
Everywhere. A conversation, a line in a song, a newspaper story. Things just jump out at me and demand to be written about.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?           
Try to write every day, even if it’s only a couple of sentences.
Write things down when they occur to you, even on scraps of paper, because you will forget them later.
And take no notice of people who tell you to stop writing and find something useful to do instead.

 Books by Caitlyn Callery

Will, Viscount Hadlow, inherited his title along with a rundown estate and crippling debts. He refuses to marry until he can support a wife, despite his growing attraction to his neighbour, Ella. Ella cherishes her independence and has sworn never to marry at all, but her feelings for Will test her resolve.
Then a series of near misses convince them that Ella is in mortal danger. Will vows to protect her from her unknown enemy. But who will protect Ella from Will? Or, for that matter, from herself?
Getting rid of blood stains is easy. One hundred and seventy pounds of dead husband is more of a problem.
They’re both hiding in plain sight. Can they find each other?

 To read excerpts and find vendor links, please visit CAITLYN CALLERY

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Musings: Pick another genre & move out of the box

Morning, Sunday.

How's your weekend going? Spending any time reading? Maybe writing? Whatever you find enjoyable and relaxing, go for it. Plus every once in a bit, try something new.

This week's musings comes from Terri Bertha, something I might just have to try:

If you could pick another genre to write (and be successful :-)  ) what would it be and why?  What keeps you from going out of your box and trying/doing it?

TERRI BERTHA, Mainstream NEW author

I would want to write a police/detective crime fiction novel.  The usual murder (or murders) would take place, a barrage of suspects with various motives and backstories would exist, and the final outcome would be solved by an expert detective (or left open for another book in the series).

Not having the background, experience or knowledge in police work would require extensive research in order to sound somewhat credible when describing weapons, procedures and police dialogue.  Books, internet searches and personal interviews with police and experts in criminal investigation would need to be utilized in order to make the story authentic.  Trying to ferret out and write respectably using these various research avenues would increase the amount of time to finish the novel.  An extensive outline would be required and a life’s lesson should be delivered in the end.

Also, when writing for an adult audience, the plot would need to be more complex and subplots would need to exist in order to make a page turner.  Darkness, horror and grisly details need intensified in order to keep the reader’s attention.

For me, it would be entertaining and an incredible learning experience to write this genre.

MJ LABEFF, New Mainstream author

If I could write in any other genre and be successful I would write books of literary fiction and become a book club darling. I admire books by Mitch Albom and Garth Stein, and I recently met Amy Hatvany whose books are being compared to those of Jodi Picoult. I can’t wait to read one of Amy’s books! One of my writing goals is to write a thought provoking work of fiction that stirs something in readers. I’ve had a couple of different story ideas in the back of my head but nothing has fully come to fruition. The seedlings haven’t taken root, and the story hasn’t resonated with me. It’s one of the main reason I haven’t ventured writing outside of the suspense/thriller genre. The other reason is that I have many more thrillers yet to tell. And that’s the big reveal from this American author best described as the girl-next-door with a dark side.

Maybe I’d move into mystery/suspense, or rather MORE into mystery/suspense. Because I LOVE a good mystery and suspense is the whole part of the game. Both go hand-in-hand with what happens in life and keeps us on our toes. So I’d have to say that’s what genre I’d pick to try writing. Whether I can or not remains to be seen, but it would be interesting to see what happens.

However, right now, I have other series that require my full attention and focus. Not to say there isn’t a WIP somewhere in my files that falls under the mystery/suspense genre, I’m always starting something new and writing. So right now, it’s time and responsibilities that keeps me from stepping fully out and trying a new genre, that doesn’t mean I won’t be working on it during my off hours.

Picture Books and Read Aloud stories for young children; also, Young Adults and mysteries.  I have tried going “out of the box” and have attempted these fields.  However, I am from a generation different from what publishers, and apparently readers (?), seem to currently want and have not quite developed the skill and/or style of current day markets.

Another field I would like to try is non-fiction.  My problem here is that I do not seem to be able to just “stick to the facts,” but embellish them to the point that what I write is considered a “fictional story” rather than a “factual account.”  Was it Joe Friday from Dragnet that always said, “Just the facts, ma’am.”?  I guess I need to take his advice.

I believe the most important reason why authors tend to remain with their general genres is that it is much harder to induce a publisher to take a chance on you when you are not known in a specific field, or that was the case when the only real option was in the hard-copy world.  This happened with a fictional historical trilogy I wrote some years ago.

My s-f and fantasy genres provide a vast scope for exploration and innovation.  For example, my short story "The Neighbor" was a mystery of sorts.  That being said, I tend to write the story I want to tell and have ventured into several other areas.  FELL CONQUEST had a strong horror overtone.  THE DARK DAYS, due for release in the fall, is definitely horror, whatever its final genre description will be.  I even have a true romance which will probably come out next year.  I can only hope my readers will except (or at least tolerate) the occasional shooting star in my output.  I also hope to attract new readers.

I would like to write a Middle Grade sci-fi/fantasy/horror story. It looks like I need to narrow down the genres. Lol. I had a short story published in an ezine that I would like to expand into a full sized novel.

I'm not afraid to ever go out of my box. One writes to be creative. The reason I haven't written this story yet is because I still have two mysteries that I want to write, one is a WIP and the other for my Kay Driscoll mystery series. A second reason, I haven't figured out how to promote it effectively.

Other than erotica, I've had a go at writing most genres, (although not necessarily successfully!). However, I've never written a spy thriller and I probably won't ever do so, simply because this is a world I know very little about.

I feel a bit safer when writing about worlds that I've made up. I know the rules and customs and no one can contradict what I've written.

If I'm writing a story set in a historical period, I research that era, and try to keep the details accurate but the world of espionage, is by its nature, secretive. That, of course, may mean that not many other people know what's realistic either, but I'm not sure I'm ready to take that chance!

I would like to write for children. When my own were tiny I made up small books with both illustrations and text, based on their favourite soft toys. I originally trained as a teacher and over the years I've worked with children of all ages in various formal and informal contexts. Recently, I've done some research into language expectations for children of various ages/stages of education, as background for whatever grade my writing might be aimed at. This question coming at this point might just be the stimulus I need to make it more than an idea. So, thank you MIU.

Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at