Posted in Children's Event

The Last Question for Megan’s Children’s Book Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Everyone! I hope everything is going well with you! Today is the last question for Megan’s Children’s Book Event and the last question is…..

Why do you think Children should be encouraged to read? And what is the importance of reading for Young Children?

Okay, here is the answer to why do you think Children should be encouraged to read?

I love this question because it allows me to get up on my soap box and preach about the importance of reading. J First of all, reading with your child is a great bonding experience between parent and child. I read to both my boys before bed and it was such a wonderful experience to have their tiny bodies snuggle up to me and listen to me read. They both are wonderful cuddlers now and I believe it’s because we used to snuggle when we read.  Now, they read to me and it’s great to see their confidence grow in their reading ability.

Studies have shown that reading improves social and analytical skills, and builds self-esteem.  Let’s think about this for a second, the ten to twenty minutes that you spend with your child reading each night could be the answer to some of those emotional issues that all kids experience in their teen years. Now, I don’t have any statistics on that and I’m probably oversimplifying the situation, but I really feel that the conclusion I’m drawing has a grain of truth to it. So, when you’re reading with your kids and you’re reading the same story over, and over, and over again. Just think of it as a way of saving money on future therapy bills.  🙂

Just take a look at what the New York Times has to say about reading fiction in this article “Your brain on Fiction” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Now, the second question…what is the importance of reading for Young Children?

Well…I feel I’ve answered this in the above question, but I’ll say it again. Reading builds social and analytical skills and improves self –esteem. But there are other benefits as well. Avid readers tend to do better in school and reading also reduces stress.

So there you have it, the last question for Megan’s Children’s Book Event. And if you haven’t entered any of her giveaways stop on by her blog and enter…you could win!  http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by and leave a comment and tell me how you feel about reading. 🙂

Posted in Blog tour

Blog Tour for “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber”

Here are the stops on my blog tour! Check it out! There are some interviews, giveaways, and excerpts too! So take a look at the second book in the Super Spies series! It starts with a bang and doesn’t let up! Leave a comment on my tour I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
24th: Interview & Giveaway http://we-do-write.blogspot.co.uk/
26th: Book Excerpt & Giveaway http://readinglittlebitofeverything.blogspot.co.uk/ *****This has been moved to the end of the week due to the fact that the blogger is without power and can’t put up the post until then…Sorry for any inconvenience!*****
Posted in Children's Event

Another Question from Megan McDade for her Children’s Book Event

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’m still participating in Megan McDade’s Children’s Book Event. You can find it at her blog at http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/ . So take a moment and stop by and check out all the giveaways and fun stuff that’s going on over there.  🙂

The next question that I have to answer is:  What was your favorite fairy tale or classic book and why?

Well…the answer to this question is a toss-up between “Cinderella” and “Snow White”. And the reason for this is very simple.

I enjoy stories where the underdog wins. 🙂 In both of these fairy tales I identify with Cinderella and Snow White. Let’s analyze this a little bit. Both women are targeted by stronger females who are in a position of power. In Cinderella, she’s victimized by her evil stepmother, and in Snow White she’s persecuted by the wicked Queen.

I love it that these two innocent victims win in the end. They win by not being manipulative or conniving. I think that’s great! What a great example to set for our children. A person can win by just being themselves! What an awesome message!

So, there you have it. My answer to Megan’s question for this third week in September, so let’s help Megan in her quest to encourage children to read! Stop by her blog and enter one of her giveaways http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/.

And if you have a tween/teen who you want to turn on to reading, check out the Super Spies! I’ve been told readers have turned off the TV to read these books!

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Posted in Guest Author

Please welcome Award Winning Author Meg Mims!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’ve got Award Winning Author Meg Mims here and she’s talking about some projects that she’s working on! Take it away Meg!

Although I’m primarily interested in the 1800’s, post-Civil War era up to the 1920’s, I have written a medieval “short” story that will become a novella or novel when I get the time to continue writing it.

Hopefully next year. I chose to include it in the Hazard Yet Forward charity anthology that benefits a fellow writer and friend, Donna Munro, in helping to pay medical bills while she’s fighting breast cancer. The authors in the collection are all past or present members of the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program, either published authors, students or mentors. (I graduated with my MA in WPF back in January 2010, signed my first contract in April of 2011, and my second in 2012.) The HYF anthology is multi-genre (and some of the horror stories are not for the faint at heart) but my story, SEAFIRE, is a “clean” YA fantasy.

I’m committed to writing “clean” fiction — no cussing, no “pink parts” or sex scenes. I can always include emotions and kisses,even a bit of suggestive stuff, but to me the real story lies in the plot and characters’ growth. I’m also committed to “cozy” mystery, so while the dead bodies may pile up, I’m not getting into the graphic stuff. Again, to me the story matters more.

I started writing a version of Seafire as a straight historical long ago and became bogged down in the research. While sharing the story during a Seton Hill critique workshop, I admitted to not being interested in writing the rest of the novel because it would be too difficult to maintain the historical accuracy. Someone said, “So make it a fantasy!” And that stuck with me. I discovered how much fun it is to “build” your own world — so Seafire takes place in a world similar to medieval France. I am looking forward to writing the rest of it!

Check out my 2012 Spur Award-winning western historical mystery, Double Crossing, and my contemporary romance, The Key to Love.

I’m working on the sequel to Double Crossing now. I also have plans to write a Christmas Regency novella. Thanks, Lisa, for having me on your blog!  Please LIKE my book’s Facebook pages — Double Crossing and The Key to Love, my author page. For more info, check out my website and follow me on Twitter!
BUY LINKS:  Hazard Yet Forward — Amazon
                    Double Crossing  — Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords
                    The Key to Love  — Astraea Press, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords
Book Blurb – SEAFIRE
Angelica, spoiled and temperamental, hopes to marry a wealthy baron of Aquon until a unique gem
intrigues her in the town’s marketplace. Once she possesses it, her life will be forever changed.
Excerpt from SEAFIRE:

My life changed in an instant on a sunny summer’s day. God’s truth, I never realized the sheltered childhood I’d led for nearly fourteen years would come to such an end. My eye had caught a simple bauble on a black velvet scrap, a dazzling stone of blue fire swirling with hints of green, as if the sea itself had invaded its depths. That weakness sealed my fate.

The heat of that lazy afternoon baked our little town of Mossaic with its uneven paving stones, shimmered between colorful swags of cloth that shaded the stalls. I breathed the tangy scent of lemons and oranges. Sugared dates and figs glistened in their square boxes. I passed the cages of clucking hens, the baskets of eels and fish, and dodged a horse cart creaking through the square. People of the town mingled and exchanged gossip and bawdy jokes over fresh crusty loaves of bread. Flies and honeybees buzzed everywhere.

But everything faded as I stood mesmerized before the jeweler’s bench.

His one eye surveyed me, the other stitched closed from an old wound perhaps, or some forgotten battle. Patched, muddy clothing hung on his skeletal frame, and one wrist ended in a misshapen claw—thumb and forefinger, and mere stumps for the other digits. I had instinctively recoiled when I first stopped. The old man shrunk into himself, as if aware of my hesitation.

That lovely blue sparkle beckoned me forward. I reached out a finger to touch its faceted surface. It burned my flesh. Eyeing the red patch on my skin, I wondered at the surge of energy that had jolted through my veins. Or had that been my imagination?

Get to know Catherine Bennett, Author of “The Trouble with Charlie”

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m interviewing Catherine Bennett today, so read on she’s got some pretty intriguing answers! 🙂 Take it away Catherine!

1. What inspired you to write your Book?

I liked to walk in an affluent neighborhood a few miles from where I live. It had nice walking trails, beautiful homes and probably a few secrets that would work well as a Romantic Suspense. The story developed from there.

2. Why should readers read your book?

It is like a chocolate bar. Once you’ve had a little square of it, you want to devour the entire thing! No seriously, I LOVE my characters (even the cat has personality) and the intrigue will keep you guessing until the end.

3. Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

Usually, I begin with random thoughts on post-it-notes, and then move onto a   notebook. Once I begin typing, watch out! Once I truly commit to a story, it is liberating, but until then it is tedious work.

4. What stage of the writing process do you find the most difficult?

Getting started! With “Charlie” I had to research a lot of police procedure to make the story believable. The editing is tough as well. I couldn’t believe so much had to be chopped. I think that part is a difficult process for every author.

5. What’s next for Catherine Bennett the author?

Right now a few thoughts are in the post-it-note stage and one idea has made it to a written outline. Everything seems to be leading to another Romantic Suspense, but then there’s the dreaded research!

Fun questions:

  1. Tell us something that no one else knows about you.

I am somewhat of a junk food hoarder and I’ve been known to hide my snacks  in odd places so no one else will eat them.

2. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I like English mysteries such as Agatha Christie and Anne Perry. Amanda Quick writes captivating historical Romantic Suspense. I also like fantasy such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” and cartoons like “The Far Side”. Oh, and I like to peruse books about gardening and dogs.

3. Who’s your favorite author?

Agatha Christie is right up there.

4. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

I enjoy going out to eat and would go every night if my husband wasn’t such a good cook.

5. If you could interview one celebrity who would it be and why?

You served up the hardest question for the end! My husband would say Bobby Flay so I could get some cooking tips (I am an awful cook) but I would say author Anne Perry. First of all, she is from Scotland and I would be entranced by her accent and second, she is a wonderful mystery writer.

Thank you, Lisa for allowing me to spend time with your readers. I’ve really enjoyed it!

All the Best,

Catherine

You’re welcome Catherine, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. And readers here’s the cover and blurb for Catherine’s book along with the buy links! 🙂

Cover Blurb:

Love. Desire. A psycho bent on revenge. But can Charlie Reynolds recognize the most dangerous of the three?

Since being out on her own at eighteen, Charlotte “Charlie” Reynolds is a street-smart “good” girl who hides her desire for love and security behind her feisty and independent personality. She just never expected a more noxious hero than wealthy, self-consumed Evan Gardner, the CEO and founder of Valley Tech., a successful software company in Los Angeles. From the moment Evan rescues her from an apparent random attack, their attraction for each other bubbles just below the surface of all-out passion.

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00849AM9I/ref=as_li_tf_il?ie=UTF8&tag=cathebenne-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00849AM9I

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trouble-with-charlie-catherine-bennett/1110924132?ean=2940014458948

http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:mode=product&product=10046834

Where To Find Catherine:

http://catherinebennett.org/

http://twitter.com/author_cbennett

http://pinterest.com/authorcbennett/

Posted in Children's Event

Another Question for Megan’s Children’s Book Event

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m here today to answer the second question for the Children’s Book Event that is being hosted by Megan at http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/.

So, here’s the question:  What was your favorite book as a child and why?

This is a tough question because I don’t remember the title, only the series. I’m sure some of the more mature (wink) authors out there remember the Boxcar Children series?

I loved those books. I would go to the library and check them out and then race home so I could start reading them right away.

Looking back, I realize the reason I liked them so much was because they were stories about four siblings. I could relate to that because I was the oldest of four siblings. Two brothers and a sister just like the Box Car children. I loved their independence and camaraderie!

I loved how they worked together to make a home out of an abandoned boxcar. At that age, I thought it was so cool that they could function without adult supervision. 🙂 I don’t remember the stories now, but I do remember they always left me with a sense of my own abilities. They filled me with confidence. If the Box Car children could do it, I could too! 🙂

And I feel that’s what reading should do for kids, fill them with confidence and pride. 🙂 Books can do this in so many ways, by providing good role models and teaching life lessons. That’s what I hope to accomplish with my Super Spies series. 🙂

So there you have it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and reading my post and let’s help support Megan in her quest to encourage children to read. 🙂 Stop by her blog http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/ and leave a comment or enter one of her giveaways! 🙂

Posted in Teen

J.F. Jenkins talks about Teen Relationships in Literature

I’ve got J.F. Jenkins here today and she’s going to talk about Teen Relationships in Young Adult Literature. Take it away J.F.!

I’m going to get a little personal today. I hope you don’t mind. You don’t, right? Because today I’m going to talk about the relationships of young people in my writing.

It all started last week. I was eating dinner with my family and we were reminiscing about our respective high school adventures. Somehow, the topic of a particular ex-boyfriend came up. I guess you could say this relationship had been a very defining one in terms of my self-esteem because he had been rather verbally aggressive towards me, as well as controlling. Through it I learned just how strong I am, and what I’m willing to put up with in how other people treat me.

All that aside, when we were talking about said past experiences, my Mom looked at me and gasped.

“You put that one guy in your book!”

I just looked right back at her and laughed. “Because what happened between us is too hilarious and stupid to pass up.”

It was a story that needed to be told. And when it comes to teenage relationships, a lot of different angles need to be presented. Too many teen novels depict one extreme or the other. It’s either: let’s get married and live happily ever after dancing under a rainbow and have a million babies right after we graduate! Or he/she (usually he since they’re a book about girls for girls) is a complete and total jerk who has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

To me, neither of those extremes is total reality. Not like I’m going to say they don’t happen, because they do happen, but painting only these extremes is starting to create a lot of frustrating standards in the dating world. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is, why add that pressure of finding your soul mate in high school too?

It took me six boyfriends to find my soul mate. Two of which were short middle school “let’s hold hands in the hallway and sit together at lunch” kind of things. The third lasted for eight months, but we didn’t do much beyond go to a movie and hang out. When the guy cheated on me and bragged about it, I kicked him to the curb fast which earned me the praise of my sister and her friends. That was an interesting story (it’ll probably make it to a book eventually too because it was just hilarious). Then there was the aforementioned abusive ex-boyfriend who did a lot of rather amusing things in retrospect. HE made it into a book, and I laugh at that new Taylor Swift song (we are never ever ever getting back together) because it pretty much tells the story of that relationship. Then there was my obligatory rebound boyfriend. Got over that fast. And then there was my husband.

No, I suppose I’m not one to talk since I did get married young, but as I told my parents back in the day: when you date enough losers, you figure out pretty quick what’s worth keeping around. But here’s the thing, when you look back at said losers you realize they’re not as horrible as you once thought. Yes, even the abusive one. No, I’m not condoning his behavior in the slightest. It was scary and more or less crazy. However, there was a reason I thought I loved him at the time. To this day, I have never met a guy who’s ever been so interested in hearing what I have to say. We would talk for hours on end. All he ever wanted to do was talk.

Through this I realized that when writing my relationships in my books, I need to keep in mind that every relationship has its good points. If there weren’t any, there wouldn’t be any reason for being together right? I also learned that every relationship has its flaws. Even with my husband, there are tons of them. In fact, there might be more flaws in this one than there were in my relationship with the abusive ex. Gasp! But they’re different kinds of flaws. The way we fight is different, for example, and so is the way we love. My husband might not listen to me talk about all my stupid obsessions, and he might not be overly sweet, and he has his moments where I want to punch him in the nose. At the same time, he completes me in a whole new way.

And these are things that are lacking in teenage media these days. Because it’s only one way or the other. You either have your perfect shiny relationship, or you have a relationship that’s horrid. The drama and angst that keeps the perfect couple from having happily ever after is always something from an outside source. Where is the perfect couple who works through their flaws together? That grows together? The relationship where the flaws never necessarily go away or are cured, but you learn to work around said flaws? Because you can’t make a person change. That’s something they have to want to do, and if they don’t change you have to decide what’s worth putting up with and what isn’t.

Where are these relationships in fiction? I don’t see them much in adult fiction either. I suppose because nobody wants to read a story about a couple who isn’t perfect or who can’t overcome their flaws. At the same time, it does impact our society. We are slowly being taught to give up as soon as things don’t go our way: in everything!

Someday I hope this changes. By putting more reality into my books, maybe someone will learn something from it and be touched. Which is why I have to give Miss Swift some credit. As much as I harp on her for writing about her life so bluntly, I do appreciate the reality of it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us J.F.  Below are a couple of J.F. Jenkins Books. You can check them out on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Astraea Press.

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vala-j-f-jenkins/1111910922?ean=2940013301627

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Vala-Agendas-ebook/dp/B005WNXJRG

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vala-j-f-jenkins/1111910920?ean=2940014451925

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vala-Heritage-ebook/dp/B0083E4UNI

Posted in Fantasy

Interview with Sharon Ledwith author of The Last Time Keepers Series

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve got Sharon Ledwith here today answering some questions about herself and her new series! Take it away Sharon!

What inspired you to write a Time Travel Book?

I’ve always loved the time travel genre. I guess what got me back to thinking about it was reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I haven’t read them all yet, just the first four thick books because the series is quite an investment in time (no pun intended!). When I pondered the idea of writing for young adults, I went with what I loved. Plus, I had a dream in 1998 where I saw seven arches, and there were seven people (five kids, two adults) with crystals in their hands, walking up to these arches. It definitely had an “Indiana Jones”feel to it. So, I thought I’d challenge myself and write a novel—a series—that would appeal to my son, who at the time was the target age of my audience, so I imagined the arches I saw vividly in my dream as time portals. And the rest is history – pun intended!

Who is your favorite character and why?

Really? That’s like asking who is your favorite child! Woot! Okay, if I had to pick one, I’d have to say Treena Mui, only because she’s a lot like me humor-wise. I used to crack off like her when I was a kid, so I guess it comes naturally. I wish I had her sense of confidence back then!

Why should readers read your book?

I think The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis is a timely book. I believe kids need to read what my characters have got to say. That everyone has a purpose, a talent, a gift to be shared with the world. That we all have the power of choice, and we create our reality. And that we really do need to pay attention, and then take action in our lives to make our dreams come true.

Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

You would ask that, Lisa. I have many notebooks and pads and sticky notes at my disposal. I also have a file full of ideas. I guess I start with the characters and build the story around them. The characters, my characters, must carry the story to completion, give readers closure. It’s a must. In order to do this, I begin writing out character tracking sheets (stats on characters appearances, clothing, likes and dislikes, etc.) which have served me well throughout the writing process. Then the fun begins. Research, research, and more research. When you’re writing time travel, you’ve got to know your facts to create the fiction. I love this part of the journey too. Only when I have enough facts, and I feel my characters are fleshed out sufficiently, then I begin to start the novel. Sometimes I’m a panser (writing by the seat of my pants), sometimes a plotter (outline entire storyline)—it all depends on the tone of the book and where my imagination directs me.

What’s next for Sharon Ledwith the author?

Currently, I’m working on the prequel to the Last Timekeepers series, entitled The Legend of the Timekeepers. I also have a completed manuscript of the second book in the series entitled, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, but there’s the fun job of revising it into Jordan Jensen’s point of view. I’ve written a master plan for the series with possible titles and premises, and I’m in the process of putting all this information together in a series guidebook, so I’ll be one busy gal!

Fun questions:

Tell us something that no one else knows about you.

Well my hubby and I used to own a graphic trade company called Box Office Graphics in the early 80s to 2004. I enjoyed every aspect from thumbnail to final product, but the technology grew so fast you had to keep up or get out. We had our fill in 2003 and sold in 2004. I was very grateful for that time in my life and learned so much about the aspects of owning a business, which is one of the hats an author has to wear.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Silly question! Time travel, but also like a broad range of reads, especially self-help non-fiction, and paranormal romance, some dystopian, and young adult fantasy. Presently, I’m reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (finally!) and finishing The Tempest by Julie Cross.

Who’s your favorite author?

I would have to say Diana Gabaldon, but I like Rick Riordan just as much. Both are very different authors who write in different styles but each have to do a lot of research for their books.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

Single. Malt. Scotch.

If time travel were actually possible, where would you go?

That’s an easy one. Atlantis. I believe it was a real place and not a myth. I’ve done too much research to know this. My gut tells me Atlantis existed. However, I wouldn’t want to go back there when things, let’s say got little shaky and wet, for the Atlanteans!

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

Here’s the Blurb for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:

 

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they’re given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn’t a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers–legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial–Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don’t, then history itself may be turned upside down.

Connect with Sharon Ledwith:

Sharon’s Website

Sharon’s Blog

Sharon’s Facebook Page

The Last Timekeepers Series Facebook Page

Twitter

Musa Publishing Buy link

Amazon Buy link

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Goodreads

Posted in Fantasy, Uncategorized

Graeme Ing shares his inspiration for “Oceans of Dust”

Please welcome fellow author and all around great guy Graeme Ing! He’s going to share with us his inspiration for his novel “Oceans of Dust”!  Take it away Graeme!

Every writer has been asked, “What inspired you to write your book?” When Lisa graciously allowed me to answer this on her blog, I realized that this is the first time I have ever written it down. I can boil it down to three sources: Harpers, the British Royal Navy, and a school project. Confused? Please bear with me and I’ll explain:

As a child, I grew up with Anne McCaffrey’s superb Dragonriders of Pern books. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read them now, making it a welcome habit of re-reading the entire series every couple of years. Naturally, I wanted to be the proud, heroic rider of a Bronze dragon, but (and call me a sissy if you like), the character that I empathized with most was a little girl named Menolly. She was the star of the Harper Hall of Pern trilogy, and went on to appear in later books too. When you’re a kid, I think you gravitate to the loner, awkward character that makes good in the end. I did anyway. From that moment on, I wanted to write stories where the downtrodden kid comes of age and saves the day, and I hope that I have with my heroine, Lissa.

Fascinated by strong female characters, I started to write female protagonists, though it wasn’t until later in life that I felt I had learned enough about the thoroughly confusing opposite sex to pull it off, and make my characters believable. Another great inspiration for me was Elizabeth Moon’s sci-fi series about Kylara Vatta.

My father served in the British Royal Navy, and my childhood was full of exciting visits to ships, old and modern.  I fell in love with the romantic ideal of seeing the world from the deck of a ship, and made an early decision to mirror my father’s career. The most inspirational vessel that I ever explored was the famous HMS Victory, Admiral Nelson’s flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. I never did serve in the Navy, but plenty of ideas formed for novels capturing the danger and tyranny of life aboard such a ship.

This proved more difficult than I thought, when I came to write Ocean of Dust. My original intent was for the entire book to take place aboard ship, but I finally bowed to the pressure of needing fresh locations, and included many scenes on land. In the end, I think it provided a welcome balance. Even so, one of my favorite scenes is where Lissa and others are cast adrift in a tiny skiff in the huge expanse of the ocean.

One of my many hobbies is Astronomy, and my favorite class at school was science. In my early teens, we were each tasked with writing a science report about anything we liked. I was hot on the Apollo space program at the time, so I chose to study and write about the surface of the moon. Fascinated by those iconic photographs of footprints in the lunar soil, I waxed lyrical about “regolith” (it’s official name), and what would have happened if it had been deep enough to swallow the Lunar Landers. I’m sure they had thought of that!

A couple of years later, I read Arthur Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust, about a lunar tourist vehicle that gets trapped under dozens of feet of lunar soil. The thought of an ocean made of dust instead of water haunted me for so many years that not only did I yearn to write a novel about it, but it became my title.

These three core ideas merged and grew in my mind over a couple of decades, accreting other ideas that I had for characters, scenes, creatures and eventually an entire fantasy world. One day I wove a mystery through it all and suddenly felt compelled to tell the story as my debut novel. It took me five years to write, and another year chasing agents, and now I intend to self-publish it in September. It just goes to show that a story can develop from a series of supposedly unrelated incidents. Inspiration is a marvelous thing.

Thanks so much for stopping by today Graeme and sharing your inspiration with us. If you want to follow Graeme you can find him at http://www.graemeing.com/ And be on the look out for his book! Based on his inspiration I’m sure it’s a doozy!