Posts Tagged 'writing'

Book Launch for ‘Andorra Pett and her Sister’ by Richard Dee

I am delighted to welcome Richard Dee on the launch day for the third book in his wonderful Andorra Pett series ‘Andorra Pett and her Sister‘.

Richard has written thirteen Science Fiction and Steampunk adventure books, three of which chronicle Andorra’s exploits as a reluctant amateur detective.

Take it away Richard and may the loving energy in our Global Village lift your launch.

Links to get in touch with Richard are at the end of this post.

Title and author: Andorra Pett and her Sister
Series: Book 3 in the adventures of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective, published on October 15th by 4Star Scifi.
Genre: Crime/mystery fiction
Available at: http://mybook.to/Andorra_and_her_Sister

Bio

I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in Devon. I was never a writer, at least not for ages. I made up stories in my head, based on dreams and events in my life, but I never did much with them. Life, a wife, three daughters and now three grandchildren have kept me busy.

I spent forty years in shipping, firstly at sea, then in Port Control and as a Thames River Pilot, with adventures to match anything I could imagine. When I retired, I just moved them out into space, changed some of the names and wrote them down.

I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. When I’m not writing, I bake bread and biscuits, cook delicious meals and walk the Devon coast.

My first novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of The Rocks of Aserol, a Steampunk adventure, and Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space, the first of a series featuring Andorra Pett. Sequels to most of them have either followed or are in production. I also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection of alternative history stories. I’m currently working on more prequels, sequels, and a few new projects.

Interview

Do you need silence to write?

I used to have music in the background all the time, now I find it stops me concentrating on the action that I’m trying to describe.

Does writing flow for you and fit into gaps in your daily routine, or do you need to set specific time aside?

I try to write early and late, but I can get an idea at any time. I’m lucky to be retired, so I can pretty much pick and choose when to write. In fact, I only started writing when I retired. It was as if the voices in my head were waiting for when I had the time to listen.

What has changed for you, since you started on the published path?

I never intended to write more than one book, but I’ve found that ideas for sequels, prequels and spin-off novels keep coming along. That’s as well as new ideas. Andorra Pett started as a short story, this book is the third, I have at least two more in development. And that’s before you get to the Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures that I also write.

Here is an excerpt from Andorra Pett and her Sister.

Chapter 1

The fluorescent tubes flickered in their yellowed plastic fittings; the air was rich with the smells of stale alcohol and unwashed humanity. It was as unfamiliar to the lady standing in front of the desk as the surface of the moon.

“You can have one phone call,” said the uniformed man behind the desk, three stripes on his sleeve, which would make him a sergeant, she idly thought. Behind her, an assortment of people sat sprawled, drunk and bloodied, the result of another busy Friday night in Greenwich. She carefully avoided all eye contact, if she didn’t look, then they weren’t here, and neither was she.

More uniforms bustled around, the air was thick with words, shouted and slurred. She shifted from foot to foot, her soles sticking to whatever it was that adorned the worn plastic tiles; she didn’t really want to speculate on its origins.

The uniform was still talking. “Before we record your possessions and take you to the cells, do you understand the charges against you; and your rights?”

‘Oh God!’ she thought, it sounded so final, and such a surprise. When the doorbell rang, the last thing she had been expecting was the group of suited detectives, with uniformed officers in tow. They swarmed over her house and garden. Cupboards were emptied and holes were dug in the immaculate turf. Muddy boots trampled over the shag pile. Dogs panted and strained to sniff in all the corners. Her computer was disconnected and placed in a box, together with all the papers from her business. It felt like an invasion, and yet all her pleas for an explanation were met with silence. In the eyes of the searchers, she could see contempt and the world-weary presumption of guilt. In desperation, she faced one of the uniformed men and shouted into his face, “What are you doing in my house? What do you think I’ve done?”

Again, there was no answer; she grabbed the man, wanting to shake a response from him. Instantly she was spun around, her arms were forced behind her back and handcuffs were fitted, digging into her wrists.

“Don’t make it worse,” the policeman hissed in her ear, his breath hot on her neck. “You’ll add assault to the list if you’re not careful.” She forced herself to calm down, rage would get her nowhere.

The charges against her were read out as she was cautioned by one of the detectives; they were the second stage of the nightmare. Until a week ago, she wouldn’t have had a clue how they fitted into her life. All she did was run a modest shop, selling ethnic goods, cane furniture, ceramics and hand-woven fabric cushions. It was Fairtrade; for goodness’ sake!

They said that she was receiving controlled substances and laundering the proceeds of criminal activity. But she was forced to accept that they were, on the face of it at least, correct. The way she found out, had been just as bad. But she was saving that for the statement she knew she would need to make, sooner or later, so she said nothing. And now she was here.

The nightmare started a few days ago. She was unpacking a delivery when she knocked over a vase that she was putting on display in her shop. There were a few small plastic bags of something white taped together inside it, they were mixed in with the broken shards and her heart sunk. Stupidly, as it now turned out, instead of calling the police, she threw everything away, double wrapped in black bags and tried to pretend that she had never seen them.

“Who do you want us to call?” the police sergeant repeated. “Husband, partner, parents, solicitor?”

As he suggested each, she thought, ‘No, I haven’t got any of them,’ and if she was honest, even some of her so-called friends would not want to be associated with her now. And at this time of day, they probably wouldn’t answer or be too smashed or stoned to be of much use. In their world of dinner parties and liberal values, they all professed to despise the police and authority in general as instruments of the overbearing state, they would avoid being seen in such a place voluntarily if they possibly could.

There was only one person who could help her sort this mess out, and she still hesitated, even though there was no one else to call. To say that they had had their differences over the years would not be an exaggeration but she knew that she would come through, now that it really mattered. Because when the chips were down, that was what you did.

“Call my sister,” she said. “I’ll get you the number.” She fished around in the bag laid on the counter.

The policeman looked mystified. “Your sister? It’s up to you entirely but most people ask for their solicitor. You are aware of just how serious all this is?”

“That’s fine,” she answered, still desperately hoping that it was all a fuss over nothing, that in the end, common sense would prevail. “Just get her, she’ll know what to do.”

She passed him the card; in her purse so long that it was rubbed and scuffed by all the coins it had pressed against. He took it and peered at the writing.

“Is this some sort of a joke?” he asked in a puzzled tone. “AC Couture, a clothes shop in Greenwich? It’s been closed for years. And Andorra Pett, the Andorra Pett? That’s your sister? Won’t she be on that space station, out near Saturn, or wherever it is?”

The woman nodded. “That’s her. Just use the mobile number; it should still be the same. Tell her that her sister Argentia’s in deep trouble and that she should get here as quickly as she can.”

The sergeant dialled. “It’s ringing.”

~~~~

As well as a special launch price of £1.99, the first two Andorra Pett adventures are currently reduced to £1.49.

You can find them at http://mybook.to/Andorra and http://mybook.to/AndorraPettonMars

Links

I’m Richard Dee, as well as the Andorra Pett series, I write Sci-fi and Steampunk adventures.

My website is richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, you’ll find free short stories, regular features on writing, book reviews and guest appearances from other great authors. There’s even a bit of cookery!

You can find all my titles on my Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi and I can also be contacted at mailto:richarddeescifi@gmail.com

Sail your way on Patreon….

Image courtesy of Pixabay (danielbuescher)

Many times lately my eyes have crossed in confusion and forehead lines have deepened, as I hit the trail of ‘indie’ publishing. There is an abundance of information out there because (as many of you have discovered) it is not enough to write a book, you also have to learn how to promote and craft its wings.

Blessings are plentiful in the wonderful Global Village we all share here, the Twitter community, Facebook groups and kind authors who have trodden the independent publishing path. There are so many avenues available and I have chosen a few, and hopefully, to flow without getting overwhelmed. This seems wise as crevice like facial lines are not a good look at any age!

My unicorn buddy Debby Gies shared a helpful post on Writer’s Tips and that led me to the generous Deborah Jay, who shares her personal writing wisdom and knowledge gained from different writer’s conferences. Deborah wrote about merchandising and mentioned building a community at Patreon. My technical saviour Grandfathersky also mentioned Patreon a few weeks ago. Two mentions and I take it as a sign to research it. Patreon offers creatives a platform to showcase their work, where tiered benefits are offered to people who kindly become patrons to support your work. So, I’ve done it and made my progress transparent, so that anyone can see how I am faring on there.

Three things have become crystal clear to me lately and one is to be myself as I sail along, whilst holding deep gratitude for others’ generosity and to also keep things as simple as possible. ❤

Writing on Water…

My bank of dreams has held a precious one for over forty years and during the last few months I have been getting up early to sit and write. A loving friend Pete (grandfathersky) suggested I put a board up on my wall, so I could pin all the ideas and titles for the pieces I was writing. He had the feeling it would all come together in that way and he was right.

Over the past few months, as I sat creating with my sewing, an inner drive to reach out and offer practical support to others grew. The dream became more than writing and it evolved into offering a service uniquely tailored to individual needs. Over the years I have held various training and therapy roles under different corporate umbrellas and I now wish to do it in my natural style. I felt by writing a series of books in an open and heartfelt way, that others in need would feel ‘seen’ and able to ask for support.

Pete (grandfathersky) stepped in and formatted the chapters for me and dug me out of a few technical holes, for which I am so grateful. I was in such a pickle that I was tempted to eat my own body weight in chocolate and his encouraging suggestions came from the heart and were ‘spot on’. ❤

So, here I am with my first eBook published on Lulu:

Writing on Water; Self-awareness

With a web site to support it

Jane Sturgeon

Home is in my heart…

This sea glass started life as bottles broken by rocks, then tumbled by sea and tide until the edges were smoothed and the surfaces completely frosted.

Thus far I have lived in over fifty homes, across three continents and a fair number of countries. Self-protection stopped me counting after fifty and I went quiet on my nomadic lifestyle due to people’s reactions. ‘Oh, you never stick at anything.’ ‘You never stay in one place long.’ ‘What’s the matter with you?’ etc., etc….

The interesting thing is that no matter how sharp the experience, or how painful the lesson, I know deep inside that I have the ability to stand up again. Sometimes I have to rest a fair while before I muster the energy though.

There’s a book in this…now there’s a thought. ❤

I was sitting at my desk working yesterday, looking out at the water, and a colourful butterfly landed on the wall outside my window. He rested there for about half an hour and we kept each other company, as mother nature shared her beauty and he basked in the warmth from the bricks.

In April this year I attended a writer’s workshop in Liverpool run by the kind and inspiring Fred D’Aguiar. He was over visiting from The States and he gifted us his time and experience. I loved every second of being in his energy. There were about thirty souls there and Fred had asked us all to bring in something that was important to us (preferably not alive). I took my sea glass. He wove this into an exercise where everyone’s treasures were passed around and we had a few minutes to write about each piece in front of us.

When we had finished Fred asked ‘What were you doing Jane?’, because he’d noticed that I had held each piece in my hand, closed my eyes and then let words flow onto paper.

I replied ‘I was feeling the energy in each piece of treasure and writing what I felt from that.’

Fred smiled ‘What is your treasure about Jane?’

‘It is sea glass from the beach in front of my home. I am like the sea glass Fred, I don’t belong anywhere, yet I can live everywhere. My home is in my heart and all the treasured connections with the souls that I love are held there.’

He held my gaze and said ‘I understand Jane. That is me.’

Perceptions….

I am currently halfway through writing a book about my internet dating adventures, thanks to the ‘spark’ from a lovely friend. This is throwing up all sorts of issues as you can imagine and the growing ‘tongue in cheek’ belief that I may never be asked out again.

The issues are interesting, because I am protecting the identity of all the characters, but where do you draw the line on how much you divulge? I have opted to keep it real and all is in there, including the unattractive aspects about myself and my moments of shame. It is apparently funny, and written with a light hand on the tiller according to those who have been privy to excerpts. It is not an unburdening of my soul, but a snapshot of what life can be like in internet dating land for women of a certain age. A publisher asked what demographic I was aiming it at and I replied ‘Are you kidding me on?’ I may need to brush up on my promotional skills.

I shared this current activity with my Mum and Dad on a recent visit and my Mum’s face lit up as she said ‘I do hope you are including the perfect cock story in your book?’ My Dad nearly choked on his lunch.

Writing this book takes me into the heart of ‘vulnerability land’ and that can became a sticking point. I have learned over the years to write and get out of the way of myself, because time and again I would write and be ‘reading’ it at the same time. That doesn’t work I found, as judgement comes in and my insistent critical inner voice is very loud indeed. So I write without thinking and just let the words fall onto the page.

This book is about me with real life events, so I have been facing fear as I sit at my laptop each day. Fear of judgement, not being enough, not being worthy and basically writing a load of stories that no-one would feel inclined to read. Hello fear.

The last thing I want to do is have it come across like a modern day advert, or some social media posts that we are all subjected to. You know the ones: beautifully attired people fresh from a full nights sleep, just off trekking in the Himalayas, while feasting on pancakes made from fresh goat’s milk, collected as the dew still nestles on the mountain sides and the children are in hand made crocheted hats…..you get my drift. This had to be real for me to do it. So here’s the reason I am quiet and daily beating down fear. If this ‘fear bashing’ translates into my appetite being subdued then I am ahead of the game. Now where did I put my crocheted hat?

Nature, knitting and magic….

De Vere Park

There have been many magic moments in the past week or so and each time my heart has tucked them in a special place.

For the first time in it’s history, the Disney cruise ship docked at Liverpool harbour for a few days and I, and many others, sat on the beach in the evening sun watching her set off for the port of Dover. There was Beatles music playing, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the deck waving ‘Goodbye’ and the captain playing ‘When you wish upon a star’ on the ship’s horns. She did a 360 degree turn on The River Mersey before she set out for the Irish Sea and it was magic. The little ones and adults alike were all smiling and waving everyone on their way. The moment wove into my heart, because a kind lady handed me her newborn son and I held him as she and I chatted, his little brothers playing in the sand, as ‘Disney’ sailed out.

My friend from the promenade took me to hear some young musicians play at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead. What a wonderful place that is and full of interesting pieces. Mo and I had a lovely time and it was a pleasure to sit in that beautiful setting and hear live music. Bless her for her thoughtfulness.

Quiz night was eventful and there was much laughter. Bless Steve and his fellow ‘quizzers’ for welcoming me into their fold. Blessings and a brickbat for the ‘He Who Shall Remain Nameless’ who set the questions, because he was poorly at the time and they were tough, I mean really tough. All our brains ached, but we managed to have lots of laughs though. I would just like to say that football related questions (like naming all the team shirts for the Euro Cup…!!!!) are not kind. Bless the chap who was on the team behind me, because he said they were leaving early and would we like some help…big smiles for him. We came second by the way and won ‘Eight pints of beer’, which we promptly put behind the bar for next week.

I bobbed up to the gift shop recently with a bag full of my handmade things, to find their shop shuttered-up. The chap in the shop next door explained that they had moved away, which confirmed my feelings that all was not well as messages had not been returned for some time. ‘Oh well’ I thought, ‘I’m up here now, so I may as well look for a teapot for my latest teapot cosy pattern’. There are lots of interesting shops up on top of the hill and I had a lovely time pottering about. I popped into one shop and couldn’t find anyone to ask for help, so I stuck my head out again to see if anyone was about. It’s like a small community up there and they all pull together, so the lady in the shop next door yelled for help. A lady (covered in paint) came flying out of the antiques shop on the end of the parade and smiling at each other, we got chatting. The upshot is that Mandy runs the shabby chic and interesting pieces shop and her husband runs the antiques shop. We bonded and she asked what I had in my large bag. I showed her and we ended up making a deal. A wonderful, kind and trusting deal. She loves my things and I love making them and she will sell them for me.

Thanks to Mandy’s kindness I am now knitting like the clappers and busy doing my ‘Miss Marple’ bit out in public. Yes, Chris Moran, your idea has stuck! ❤ I can be found sitting outside on various benches, knitting. I sat in the park recently, surrounded by all the wonderful trees and flowers, where a brass band was playing all afternoon. I sit on the sea front, knitting, and get to chat to all sorts of people. Bless Steve the photographer for sharing his knowledge of the many vessels that pass our way. The old fashioned clipper 'Bessie Ellen' was a joy to behold early the other morning.

This morning my friend Dave from one of the writing groups and I met to talk about writing and how best to flow support to each other and others who are crafting books. We initially met in the Central Library where they had an exhibition of 'Contemporary Book Art'. Some clever souls have made life sized sculptures of figures from brown paper. I stopped to photograph these and some passing 'wag' commented 'Careful now, don't wake him up' as I snapped Julius Caesar with a knife in his back.
Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet
We took our coffees outside into St.John’s gardens and sat in the park surrounded by all the trees and flowers. The morning flew by and between us we have a ‘writing’ plan going forwards.

This evening the lovely Hannah, from our old house, is coming to live with Lynn and I for a few weeks. It will be such a treat to share a home again and have some time together. I sense that the magic that has found me here, will also touch Hannah.

Loving notes………

DSC_0260

Lynn left work early on Friday and came home with flowers, glorious roses, which now nestle in one of her jugs in my little sitting room upstairs. They are beside Em’s beautiful bowl she made when she was young and Jojo, my sister in law’s, gifted butterfly picture. I smile every time I look over there.

It has been a busy week and as Friday afternoon unfolded, with continuing techie problems flowing through, I messaged HQ at 4pm-ish and let them know that I was cutting loose. Loving messages and ‘Bon voyages’ were exchanged and I followed an impulse. About forty minutes walk along the promenade from home one of the ferries to Liverpool shuttle back and forth. I set off and caught it for the first time since I moved here. It’s a ten minute ride across The Mersey and I could feel the week lifting off and away as I stood ‘up top’ and at the front holding the rail. I loved every second of it. It berths at the docks in Liverpool and I trusted my instincts to guide me up through the city to one of my favourite haunts. Liverpool’s Central Library. Sigh….. I have not been able to settle into a book for some time now and it was time to ease past this situation. I pottered inside and picked up quite a few books, then bought a coffee and headed up to the roof terrace. You’ll love this bit, as I got so engrossed in the first book I picked up, I completely lost track of time. It started to get a bit chilly and I gathered myself together and walked back through the city to the docks. There I watched the ferry sailing across towards home. The realisation that it was the last one that day dawned on me as no-one else was waiting and also, all the roller shutters were down on the gangway and the cafe was closed. ‘Ahhh…’ I thought as I stood there, ‘Right, now where’s the nearest train station?’ I found it and was soon settled on a train, reading again, as I headed for home. When I got back, Lynn chuckled sympathetically and gave me a ferry timetable. On this unplanned adventure I discovered new parts of the city and also, if I buy a ‘day saver’ ticket I can go on the local buses, trains and on a ferry excursion cruise which lasts fifty minutes. Now there’s a cracking thought for another day. Marvelous.

This weekend I have been creating and finishing off various projects in readiness to stock a space in a local craft shop. I also spent a lot of time reading and have finished one book already, which was bliss.

Probably going hand in hand with the reading, I have not been writing much either. I pushed myself and offered to write an article for a friend’s online magazine this week. I asked him what subject he would like me to cover and his reply was ‘Whatever you want to Jane’. I had a look and saw that the current contributors are all trained in various spiritual practices and disciplines and this is what they write about. This walloped me right out of my comfort zone, as I am untrained. I managed to avoid writing anything yesterday and then as today started I pottered about and had a ponder. I was untrained in furniture restoration and re-holstering, but I had a go. I work each day reaching out a loving hand to those in difficulties, which works best when I get out of the way of it and just let my spirit guides do their lovely thing. So I went into that mode to write. I sat here at my desk, watched the clouds for a while and breathed, then got out of the way of myself and let the words flow. There is so much written about writing tips and whatnot and the one thing I have found is not to write as if someone is reading it as you write. Try not to logic it. So, I said ‘Hello’ to my heart and spirit and then let go as it flowed. I will keep you all posted on whether this 1,000 odd worded flow will be accepted or not.

Spring is here and I am walking each morning in the freshness of the day, then coming back to this lovely home and seeing what blossoms forth. Whatever happens it all springs from love. ❤



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