Blog Tour: John Priest, Author of The Curse of the Sea Shell Cave

Author Pic

I’ve been a children’s author since 1985, with books traditionally and independently published.

I am one of seven children (three girls, four boys) and live with my wife and family in the West Midlands, UK (two daughters, their hubbies and three great grandkids).

I have written many different types of books and scripts over the years and besides children’s books I have written adult horror, sci-fi and comedy thriller scripts.

I was invited to Pinewood Studios, UK, in the late 1980’s after a Director had read my script and thought it showed great promise.  He sent it to the USA for another reading but unfortunately nothing ever came of it. I keep meaning to change the script into book form but other new ideas always take over.

Book Cover

My latest children’s book is The Curse of Sea Shell Cave, a detective/whodunit for children.  Inside you will find the Jay-Pea-Eyes aka Junior Private Investigators searching for clues to solve another mystery.  It’s the second book in the JPIs series and is available in paperback and various e-book formats.

 

http://www.feedaread.com/books/The-Curse-of-Sea-Shell-Cave-9781784075163.aspx

Apple iBookstore:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-curse-of-sea-shell-cave/id838581712?mt=11

Barnes & Noble NOOK book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-curse-of-sea-shell-cave-john-priest/1118904669?ean=294004575530

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Curse-Shell-Cave-Investigators-ebook/dp/B00JVM27IG

 http://www.amazon.com/The-Curse-Sea-Shell-Cave/dp/1784075167

 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/417609

 http://www.general-ebooks.com/book/73020780-the-curse-of-sea-shell-cave

 http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/childrens/the-curse-of-sea-shell-cave,priest-john-9781784075163

 

John Priest is always pleased to hear from readers. Simply use the contact form at: http://www.johnpriest.co.uk

 

Review: A Born Victim

A.Born.Victim.Cover

If you crave heart-pounding, realistic thrillers with believable characters, A Born Victim by rprRP Rochford, may be just what you’re looking for.

Gill Brogan is an unremarkable 27 year-old divorced mother of two who works hard to pay her bills and care for her children, but she has the unfortunate history of being fired from one job after another. She also has a history of being targeted for bullying and mistreatment by her peers, co-workers and her ex-husband, all of which, understandably, make her timid and insecure.

It seems that nothing in Gill’s life ever turns out well, even though she is sure she is not at fault. Perhaps she has just been born to be a victim of everyone else’s abuse.

Meanwhile, someone has been torturing and murdering young women in Britain and posting the sadistic crimes on the Internet for the viewing pleasure of whoever will pay for the opportunity to watch.

Cyber Crime Investigator, Mike Watson, and Police Investigator, DS Lucy Taylor, are determined to discover who and put an end to the heinous crimes before any more young victims meet the same fate.

But the perpetrators prove to be incredibly illusive incredibly clever at covering their tracks,  leaving not even the tiniest  piece of traceable evidence as to their identities at either the crime scenes or online. As the investigation wears on it seems more and more that someone has finally A.Born.Victim.Coverfound a way to pull off the perfect crimes while rubbing it in the faces of the authorities who seek them. But who? Can Watson and Taylor even realistically hope to track down the perpetrators who have thus far eluded an entire police force? And can they do it before Gill Brogan or any other young woman is tortured and murdered to gratify the perverted appetites of the sick lowlifes who enjoy watching?

A Born Victim is a roller-coaster ride of chills and appalling revelations that will keep you holding your breath and turning pages into the wee hours that you’ll not want to miss…but be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.

Carol Marrs Phipps

Interview with UK Author of A BORN VICTIM, RP Rochford

rpr

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

My name is Richard Rochford and I was born in Essex in southern England though I now live in a tiny village in the West Midlands (UK).

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

Possibly the most unlikely thing about me is that I keep bees. I have several hives in various locations and find them absolutely fascinating creatures.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing academic material for some time but really started with fiction in early 2010 initially writing short stories then beginning work on A Born Victim.

What do you believe is the most difficult thing about becoming an author?

I guess the biggest challenge is getting published or, if you self-publish, in getting your book noticed among literally tens of thousands of others.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Besides bee keeping and walking in the country with my dog I like to travel and I’ve been privileged to spend time in many European countries.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

My latest book is A Born Victim. It’s the story of a woman who might be the perfect victim except for her own tenacity, the love of one man and the determination of a young detective.

A.Born.Victim.Cover

Was there any particular thing that inspired you to write A Born Victim?

Believe it or not this book grew entirely from a character sketch of the woman who is the key character – Gill Brogan. I’d written a series of short stories about a young woman who has all sorts of things go wrong in her life but who nevertheless manages to always come out on top of her circumstances. I started wondering what she might be like if she lacked the confidence to overcome in that way and Gill Brogan was the result.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes, the intention is for it be part of an ongoing series. I’m working on the second book right now which features several of the characters from the first.

Would you share a blurb with us?

‘A Born Victim’ is the story of Gill Brogan, a young single mother who is pushed deep into despair by workplace bullying. Just when she thinks nothing could get any worse she finds herself narrowly escaping an attempt on her life.

Set against this troubled life is the story of Lucy Taylor, an ambitious young detective who has dedicated herself to investigating violent crimes against women which all too often go unsolved. As she investigates case after case, each one more disturbing than the last, Taylor begins to see common threads which she hopes she can unravel to find the villains and bring them to justice.

The book reaches a climax as a determined, well organised criminal group emerges from the shadowy world of cyber-space to carry out one last crime in the real world. Lucy Taylor and her geeky side-kick, Mike Watson, are all that stand between the criminals and their victims.

Throughout the book, psychological themes are analysed lending a deeper, more serious note to the fast paced thriller as the author explores the factors which have formed our attitudes toward women and the acceptability of violence against them.

Would you share a short excerpt?

In the darkness between sunset and moon rise they brought her to the beach, dropping her, half dead with pain and exhaustion, onto the firm sand just above the waterline. She lay as she fell, on her back, legs slightly apart, blonde hair tangled about her shoulders, one arm across her breasts. Her face stared up at the star pierced blackness but her eyes were closed, shutting her soul away into some private place where the pain could not penetrate.

The men, relieved of their burden, stood around in silence, alert, waiting, very aware of the eerie glow of the night vision camera being used to record the drama. No one spoke and in the stillness the susurration of sea on sand was mesmerising, almost overpowering. The girl lay motionless as though already dead.

High up on the cliff top a car passed, lights sweeping out to sea at the bend in the road, and the men glanced up, suddenly tense, concerned perhaps that they might be discovered with the evidence of their crime still living, lying on the sand at their feet. The car rushed on, its exhaust note echoing suddenly against cliffs on the other side of the road, then it was gone, swallowed up in the night. The girl heard nothing.

A gentle breeze stirred stems of rough grass on a narrow strip of land below the cliff, whispered through the rocks and tugged at a few strands of blonde hair that had fallen, dry across the girl’s face but she did not feel it.

Then the moon rose, light breaking over the cliff top with almost startling suddenness and illuminating the beach. Wavelets were capped with silvery moon reflecting bubbles and rushed, dancing onto the white sand where moonlight kissed pale skin and fair hair throwing the curve of hip and breast into sharp contrast against darker shadow.

The last member of the group slid down the path, his boots loud against the loose rock to join them on the beach uncoiling rope from over his shoulder and pulling a hammer and a steel spike from a small bag. The others gathered round as the last man made his preparations, pulling the girl’s arms up and binding her wrists together then dragging her unresisting body around so her hands were toward the low surf. He drove the spike deep into the sand swinging the hammer down in chiming blows that quickly sank the length of the steel immovably into the wet sand. Then he tied her hands to the spike.

The men moved up the beach, watching, waiting as the tide moved in. One lit a cigarette, the flame flaring brightly against the velvet sky. Another did the same and the darkness was punctuated by red sparks as they inhaled. The girl died with very little drama, her broken spirit and battered body only capable of token resistance to her fate. A weak cough, a short spasm, a few tremors of effort running through her body and then the incoming waves claimed her, covering her face and floating her blonde hair around her head like the halo of a martyred saint.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I’m currently working on a second book called ‘A Born Survivor’ which develops the life of several characters from ‘A Born Victim’ but also introduces some fascinating new characters. I love the idea of keeping several characters and sharing with readers how their lives develop and the adventures they have but one of the key characters in this story is a young disabled woman who finds herself abducted by a gang whose motives are far too complex for her to understand. While the first book has a theme of victim psychology running throughout it this second book examines what I think of as the ‘Shackleton factor’ – the thing which allows an ordinary person to overcome the odds and survive despite their circumstances.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I’ve written academic articles for many years but really started writing fiction only in 2010. I don’t know that there was any specific inspiration besides the fact that I felt I had a story to tell.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes. I’m happy to do this.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

The title of the book is something of an oxymoron in that the ‘victim’ is not born but made by her circumstances and background. My original cover was the outcome of a concept idea I had which was drawn by an artist friend. However, more recently I updated the cover design with work from:

http://fiverr.com/idrewdesign/design-a-professional-and-eye-catching-ebook-or-kindle-cover

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

No! Well, sort of. I would be very wary of basing a character on anyone I knew but of course, my own life experience is represented to some extent in my characters.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

I read widely so it’s very difficult to pinpoint one single author but the Stieg Larson trilogy has been a powerful, recent influence on my writing and thinking about just how far an author can push his characters within a fiction genre.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I believe you simply cannot beat the experience of holding a paperback book in your hands. It’s not just the words on the page it’s the texture of the page, the smell of paper and ink, the weight of the book in your hand. Having said that, I read widely and like to dip in and out of several books at one time so carrying around a library of paperbacks would not be terribly convenient. Ebook wins for convenience!

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

This has to be a toss up between The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Lord of the Rings. It’s very difficult to choose really and yes, I’ve read both of those books several times over the years.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

Obviously some books transfer better than others but, on the whole I think not because the power of a book is that it is the reader whose imagination fills in the blanks fitting faces to characters and filling in the gaps with their own experience and emotion. With a movie all of that is explicitly provided for the viewer which can go disastrously wrong. Having said that, A Born Victim would, I think, make an excellent movie script.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

I’m currently getting on toward the end of ‘Dead Simple’ by Peter James. I love the way he builds excellent research and meticulous levels of detail into a complex and sometimes unexpected storyline. I have to confess that ‘reading’ is not entirely true – this one is on audio book.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

The only book that falls into this category is something called ‘Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature’ by Espen Aarseth. It was a very useful book but not easy reading so I just picked through it for the information I wanted.

What do you think about book trailers?

In theory it’s a great idea to use blended media linking the written word with movie type trailers. However, sadly, most book trailers seem to be quite poorly done so I’m not sure how successful the end result might be.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

I guess the most important is to be true to yourself and write for whatever motivates you to write rather than setting out trying to be commercially successful.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

OK – Confession – I do. Because I write in various fields I feel it’s better to have one name associated with each so readers identify one name with one aspect of my work.

If you could be any character in your book, who would it be and why?

Greg Parker. He’s a military man who has made his fortune in the business of private security. He also gets the girl at the end of the story so that makes him an obvious choice. However, in reality, I actually have more in common with Mike Watson who is a bit of a computer geek.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Gill Brogan would be the most difficult to cast but I think Australian actress, Rose Byrne would be a good choice.

I‘d like to see Claire Forlani as Lucy Taylor mainly because she fits the bill as a simply stunning woman but also because she can express so much with her face.

Casting the male roles is more difficult because Greg Parker would need to be Jason Statham with the rough edge knocked off and Danny, his sidekick, would best be played by a younger version of Bruce Willis.

Steve Carrell would be good as the actor to play Mike Watson because he does ‘geek’ well but also plays well the deeper, more in touch side of the character.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

I already write both academic and fictional material but if I wanted to branch out in the area of fiction I’d like to explore fantasy. Creating whole worlds, cultures, characters and adventures seems like a huge challenge but a lot of fun. I guess it just appeals to me to be able to write my own rules from the ground up.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I suspect that, like most technologies, things will move on and some new format or device will arise. However, I don’t know that society will ever want to go back to paper based books. I suspect what might come next will be some format of interactive books which allow a richer experience for the reader in the same way Blu-ray disks provide a more encompassing experience than DVDs.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

Indie publishing is the purest form of capitalism within the author/reader relationship because it is entirely driven by the merit of the author. If the book is no good it won’t sell and the author will sink without trace. Since there are no multi-million pound marketing budgets to convince readers to buy a certain book it is more or less a level playing field upon which authors can demonstrate their talent and ability.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

Yes! For a host of reasons I found myself quite depressed for a while and could not write a thing during that time. To some extent getting out of that was just a case of letting time run its course but one thing that actually really helped me was that I wrote a story about an author who found he could no longer write and used that vehicle to really explore my feelings and emotions at the time.

Where can readers follow you?

Your Facebook page?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-P-Rochford/263101677168540

Your Goodreads author page?

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20949992-richard-rochford

Your Twitter details?

 https://twitter.com/R_P_Rochford

Linkedin?

http://fola.me/p7KZc

Youtube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WabJkFRBCP0

Ask David:

http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/crime-thriller/5544

Bookpromo:

http://www.bookpromo.in/2013/06/amazon-bestseller-born-victim.html

Buy Links for A Born Victim:

Amazon

http://fola.me/He4z5 – UK

http://fola.me/Yy2a4 – World

Kobo

http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=a+born+victim

Lulu

http://www.lulu.com/shop/r-p-rochford/a-born-victim/ebook/product-20927772.html

Feed a Read – paperbacks

http://www.feedaread.com/books/A-Born-Victim-9781782992844.aspx

Carol 1

Tom and I would like to thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

Interview of UK Fantasy Author of Postponing Armageddon, Adele Abbot

adeleWhat is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

 

Adele Abbot (one T), I was born in York, UK & I live between Leeds and Bradford, UK

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

I’m the daughter of an Indie writer and honorary niece to another

How long have you been writing?

Since 2006

What do you believe is the most difficult thing about becoming an author?

Finding readers! That’s a little mischievous, obviously, putting one word after another to make an interesting and coherent read is probably the most difficult – especially when you have a 4 year old needing your attention. But once you’ve served your apprenticeship, and I think I have, getting your name out there is difficult and frustrating, I do have a few novels that have fallen by the wayside.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Getting out and about, what my son calls ‘Mummy & Daddy’ days.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 510x765-Armageddon-250x375words what would you say?

It’s called Postponing Armageddon. A historical fantasy, dogmatic religion versus creatures we think of as myth and legend about to be made extinct.

Was there any particular thing that inspired you to write Postponing Armageddon?

It was written after I was made redundant as we say here – what you call being let go in the US. It was something to fill my time between looking for jobs. The original idea came from an ages old short story which happened to come to mind.

Is this book part of a series?

I would like it to be. Ideas for volume two are settling down. I guess it depends on how well volume one does.

Would you share a blurb with us?

When history goes off course, can it be nudged back? The second coming of Jesus Christ was supposed to take place in the thousandth year of His era, but it did not happen as scheduled.

Would you share a short excerpt?

Almost on the horizon, a waterspout was visible; a long writhing tail of dark air descending from a bulbous blue-black cloud.

“The Summer Hawk,” I heard someone say – that was the Viking ship which had sailed a little while before us. The men looking over the stern rail had a better view than those of us in the waist and I went back up the steep slope of the after deck which, at the stern, was quite high above the sea level.

Looking back, it was now possible to see great waves breaking about the lean shape of the Summer Hawk. As I watched, lightning scratched a jagged line from the cloud to the single mast, rigging and sparks flew skyward, snatched by that writhing funnel of air. The stern seemed to rise up and twist, the bows disappeared behind curtains of green and black water; the ship slid beneath the waves and was gone in a space of heartbeats. Gone, leaving only a wake to show she had ever been there.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I mentioned that I would like to make this a series. A second volume might be placed in Northern Italy, early in the 12th century. The then Pope was a nasty piece of work and there was an attempt by the French to have him arrested and tried before a court of law which failed. I have a feeling that my characters might take a hand…

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I guess I have to blame my Dad and my Uncle for inspiration. I’ve been writing since 2006 when I put Postponing Armageddon on paper but I wrote another fantasy between that and getting Postponing Armageddon published. Called Of Machines and Magics, it was actually written second and published first – both are published by Barking Rain Press.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

I do. I’m very grateful for a thoughtful review; they’re worth a lot to me.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

With Postponing Armageddon it was a lot of discussion with Dad & my Uncle and since it reached the shortlist of the Sir Terry Pratchett/Transworld 2011 competition, that’s set in stone. Of Machines and Magics came out of equally long email discussion with Sheri Gormley, our President & Executive Director. The cover in both cases was created by Michael Leadingham who got the flavor so absolutely right.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

I’ve pinched names from people I know for my characters – with permission – but if I’ve based actual characters, it was unconsciously. Events, though, oh yes, especially where they have involved me.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

Probably Mary Gentle, who wrote some great fantasy & science fiction, including an historic which certainly wasn’t the history we remember. My mentors too – Dad and my Uncle – introduced me to their favorite – Jack Vance. His Dying Earth series drew me into the setting for Of Machines…, a tale from the last days of Earth.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

It has to be hardback but, maybe paperback for bath-time and eBook when the readers get to be waterproof.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

That’s a difficult one. I’ve read quite a few more than once but let’s say formative rather than favorite, which might put the Egyptian by Micah Waltari and his other books as very influential, though Waltari is not a well known author. And of course, Mary Gentle who wowed me with Rats and Gargoyles any number of times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that one. Apart from a few scenes, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit both worked well, I thought. Shakespeare usually does. But there are many that just never do – as a character in a UK TV show used to say scornfully: “Straight to video” in a very Yorkshire accent. (Which I have too.)

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

 

The Outcast Blade, sequel to The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. Makes my toes curl, makes me weep, “gritty, grimy, decadent, compelling” says the Sunday Times. It’s a hefty paperback.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I’ve been disappointed by Alastair Reynolds’ Terminal World and I’m not quite sure why. I didn’t finish it, either.

What do you think about book trailers?

So, so. My father had one made for one of his books; I don’t think it did anything for the title at all.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Be prepared for a lot of writing to hit the shredder or the delete box. But enjoy it, all the same. When you do get published, don’t worry about the occasional vicious review or posting. You got there, they didn’t.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Have been known to! Adele Abbot didn’t just happen to be at the front of the alphabet!

If you could be any character in your book, who would it be and why?

Morion – she’s so damned cool.

      Morion – she’s so damned cool.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Gerard:          Damien Lewis

Matthias:       Hugh Laurie

Morion:          Anne Hathaway

Max:               Dwayne Johnson

      Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

I haven’t thought about that. I’d like Adele Abbot to continue to be associated with fantasy – and somewhat out-of-the-ordinary themes.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I think it’s more than a passing trend. The eBooks on phones is a phenomenon I wouldn’t have guessed at and I think that will see them well into the future.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

The Traditional Publisher lost the war, in my opinion. They were over-confident and self-opinionated and slow and suffocating. The Indies are great, they are nimble enough to take advantage of new technology, new ideas and new authors.

Would you ever consider writing as a part of a team, rather than on your own?

My Uncle and my Dad manage it very well but it needs two (or more) people who complement & respect each other. If such a one comes along, I’d try it out.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

I think anyone who works on their own must get writer’s block or it’s equivalent in other disciplines. But I’ve got a 4 year old son who is going to be the greatest fantasy writer ever – he’ll keep me fresh!

 

Where can readers follow you?

Your web site?                       Adele Abbot

Your Facebook page?        Adele Abbot on Facebook 

Your Twitter details?            Adele Abbot on Twitter

 

 

Buy Links for Postponing Armageddon: sign up for a preview & get 35% of the cover price…

Barking Rain Press: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/postponing-armageddon-preview/

 

 

Carol 1

 

Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to interview with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.

 

 

Review: POSTPONING ARMAGEDDON by UK Author, Adele Abbot

510x765-Armageddon 1

Postponing Armageddon

a fantasy by

Adelle Abbot

 

Gerard is a centurion leading a Roman legion. In his legion is Max, who resembles a Neanderthal, seems to be immortal and leads a small legion of his own, made up of other primitives. Gerard refers to Max as his uncle and also seems to be immortal. The two of them oversee the crucifixion of Christ.

A few years later, Gerard’s legion is sent to the frontier of Germania. He sleeps with a captive only to be disemboweled by her. Max comes to his bedside and eases his passing away.

Gerard finds himself growing up in Germania, aided by recollections of his earlier life. He is a great help to his politician father who takes him away on a diplomatic mission to the Schonau where he meets his mother from his past life and also meets a striking girl with green eyes called Morion, who is attending the diplomatic meeting for someone called Max. On the way home he steals away from his father and goes to Mandor to take up a life with his past mother. 

He attends the wedding celebration of his cousin in a family made immortal by being related to Max. He sleeps with a woman, not knowing that she is the bride to be, is caught by the cousin and saved from execution by Max who sends him into exile. He is taken away with a bag over his head by Morion and a troop of primitives. By the time they turn him lose far to the west, he and Morion are attracted to each other and plan to meet further west as soon she has taken care of business for Max with a Bishop of Hypolita.

As Gerard travels along enjoying his freedom, he comes upon a monk who has just been waylaid and his companion slain. The monk warily introduces himself as Brother Simeon and offers to pay him to be his bodyguard whilst he travels to Mont St. Michael with eleven sacred scrolls which he believes his assailants were after.

Gerard agrees, and as they begin traveling together, Morion begins appearing to Gerard in his dreams, repeatedly asking him where he is. Simeon discloses that he is the Abbot of Hypolita. At the first town they come to, they fend off an attack in their room by a pair of ape-like primitives whom Simeon thinks are after the scrolls.

At Mont St. Michael, Simeon adds an eleventh scroll and reveals that not only is there a twelfth, but that he is Matthias, a disciple of Christ who wrote one of the very scrolls. There, they fend off an attack in the night by a large group of ape-like primitives. Matthias announces that the thirteenth scroll waits in Britain and that when all of the scrolls are assembled they can be read together to begin the process of rebuilding the world.

On their way across the Channel, they are beset by a tempest with a waterspout. Gerard and Matthias are the only ones to escape when their ship is turned into an inferno by lightning. When they find their way to the abbey at Venta (Winchester) and inquire about the twelfth scroll, they find that it has been declared an unholy work of the Devil. They are seized and tortured before they escape to find themselves pursued by the primitives again. Soon Gerard is not only having more visions of Morion, but of Max as well, and he and Matthias are now having enough close encounters with the primitives that it is clear that Morion and Max are indeed in league with them, attempting to get hold of the scrolls.   

How all of this leads to the postponing of Armageddon would not be fair to disclose to potential readers, but as one can see, it is the beginning of a most unusual and intriguing story which develops and engages the reader very much like the very best fast reading murder mysteries. As far as I am aware, it is quite a new twist to slightly alter biblical and natural history in order to make a good fantasy. In the midst of its first rate entertaining of the reader, it raises thought provoking questions. One can plainly see at the end of the story why Armageddon is indeed postponed, but just exactly who are the demons here? Are they Morion and burly low browed Max and their wolf-men followers? Or are they abbots who order people nailed to timbers in blacksmiths’ sheds whilst scheming over plans of enlarged monasteries? 

Whatever the answer, Postponing Armageddon is outstanding entertainment, and as it is with the best films, I was compelled to read it twice immediately.

 Reviewed by: 

Carol Marrs Phipps

 

 

 

 

Interview with David Coles, UK Author of The Diamond Seekers

davidWhat is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

David Coles, born in Leeds, UK, live near Leeds having spent my boyhood in Lincolnshire, lived in Glasgow, Scotland and Scarborough, Yorkshire.

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

Father of 3 daughters, 7 grandchildren and twin great grandsons. Married twice. A died-in-the-wool computer freak – by profession & hobby.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

More writing, reading (f&sf, historic & a little crime) writing, messing with computers & writing.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

The latest book is ‘The Diamond Seekers’ – but you know about this from review coverJack Everett’s (my writing buddy) interview. We’ve signed contracts for first and second books in a series to be published simultaneously, working titles are ‘Damaged Goods’ and ‘Damage Limitation’ – British crime involving a DI White.

DG: a psychologically damaged Iraq veteran comes to Britain in pursuit of an imaginary love and causes mayhem. DL: a locked room murder committed by a magician? Oh yeah!

Is this book part of a series?

Certainly is, number 3 on the drawing board as we speak.

Would you share a blurb with us?

A magician commits a locked room murder? Interesting. But a locked room murder where the perpetrator is provably on the other side of the world? Now that is some trick.

And to fill in the idle moments; from the previous novel, there’s ‘King’ Richards out to get even and the sister of the guy he’s just watched die – now what’s she doing?

 Would you share a short excerpt?

A pleasure… local color in York, county town

Leroy spent every daylight hour exploring his new neighborhood, the York warren of lanes known locally as the Snickelways. It was partly such a change from the somewhat run-down Midland city areas he had known for so long. The almost heaped-together jumble of modern housing and twisting alley ways and literally ancient houses and shops was something quite beyond his experience.

Once a resident truly knew their way around, it was possible to traverse the centre of York in minutes, unobserved, swapping time zones from the early fourteenth century of Our Lady’s Row to twenty-first century stores.

The area was home to the Hole in the Wall pub, the lantern tower of St Michael’s church which used to guide travelers across the marshes, the small carving of the printer’s Devil above a corner shop. A random walk would take Leroy from the Hole in the Wall to the Precenter’s Court lined with elegant old – and expensive – houses furnished with old street lamps and the most stunning view of York Minster imaginable.

As he walked, he noticed the blue plaques with dates and the names of famous occupants. The oldest date he saw that afternoon was 1610 and the most notorious name he recognized was Dick Turpin, a feared highwayman of the eighteenth century. He was disappointed to see that he was not the dashing thief of legend but the lowest of villains.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

Being one of a pair of co-writers has advantages. Jack’s working on the first draft of the third book in the DI White series, I’m working on the first draft of a sf. book, working title: Buccaneer. We have two sf books in a series which have more than a passing resemblance to the work of Jack Vance, a superlative writer – in fact, these two books are featured on the Jack Vance website. The third involves a planned theft from an interstellar tourist liner but leads to something far more macabre.

 How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

My first short story was at 14 – it took 5 nights after homework on the kitchen table and was returned forthwith. The first published work was in 1971 so that’s 42 years ago. They were short stories to start with and it was John Carnell’s collection of ‘New Writings in Science Fiction’ that started me off. And that was how I came to meet Jack Everett – a short story in a New English Library competition was published in a magazine we both read. We lived 3 or 4 miles apart and Jack called me on the phone. We found that we enjoyed many of the same authors – Jack Vance for instance.

How did the decision to write as a team come about?

Jack was into novel length stuff and I guess I went along for the ride. We wrote an absolutely unpublishable novel together and never stopped laughing from start to finish. What better hobby can two guys have?

What do you enjoy most about writing as a team?

Neither Jack nor I had any very close friends at the time we started and we developed a very brotherly relationship. It’s a shared experience which has kept us close for well over 30 years and of course, with 2 people, it’s 4 times as much fun!

Can you briefly describe your writing process as a team?

It’s changed over the years. We started out writing alternate chapters with the objective of leaving the other with an impossible situation to get out of. That gradually changed into one of us – more than likely it would be Jack – writing a first draft and the other following on behind, filling in the cracks and applying the gloss paint. That has worked very well but we’re now into a third process; one or, as at the moment, both of us, write the complete first draft and hands it over to the other for a second layer and added material and also fact-checking.

Whichever method, anything that seems wrong to either of us is changed or removed.

Are there any particular challenges to writing as a team as opposed to writing solo, or do you find it easier?

No question, it’s far easier, far more enjoyable and there’s no such thing as writer’s block.

 Are there times during the writing process where you disagree on how things should progress? How do you resolve that?

If we can’t agree, it’s out. First, last and always.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes we do. Mostly when they request the chance to review. Many of our readers are Americans and we can usually send them the book as an eBook because postage costs an arm and a leg.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

Those that we publish through AcclaimedBooks.com, which is a not-for-profit co-operative, are usually my design and work. One of the covers I like the most is JihadUK which has an oil- painting-effect picture of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral on fire. Unfortunately, several readers confused it with the Washington Capitol, one even taking me to task for damaging an American monument and complaining that it looked just like a painting! Can’t please everyone.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

Yes and yes. Though where it’s people who might recognize themselves, we seek permission; usually, they’re flattered. I was on holiday some years ago in Greece where they idolize their children. A waiter was bringing our meal, 2 trays held aloft in both hands and his 3 year old son came up and hugged him round the knees. He was immobilized until the little boy let him go. That went into a book.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

Jack Vance, Jack Vance and Jack Vance. There are plenty of others but Mr. Vance stands head and shoulders above. He writes poetry, he hides cruelty and the macabre behind beautiful words. Ordinariness is changed to quirkiness.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

Paperback with eBook a close second.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

That’s difficult. Jack Vance’s ‘Tales of the Dying Earth’ probably ranks top and I’ve read it 3 times and it’s not a small book. Why? Because of all the things I’ve already said about Jack Vance.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

Rarely. There’s so much that has to be left out of a movie. The only recent one that adhered to the book was ‘Lord of the Rings’ which was 3 movies.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

Just finished reading ‘Surface Detail’ from Iain M Banks. He’s a favorite author but have to confess to some disappointment, it seemed to me to be a little self-indulgent.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

I never finished Alistair Reynolds’ Terminal World. Sorry Mr. Reynolds, I had always enjoyed his previous books.

What do you think about book trailers?

I rarely see them. Jack & I tried one but I don’t think it contributed much to the sales.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Keep going. Don’t get discouraged. If necessary, drink! And join a group of similar aspirants.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

Yes. Everett Coles writes our f&sf, Jack Everett & David Coles (and occasionally the other way round) our mainstream. There’s at least one other which must remain a mystery.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

In ’The Diamond Seekers’ I’d like Michael Gambon to play the self-styled Italian prince, George Cloony (has to be since the likeness is remarked on!) to play Philip Madden, George Sewell to play John Jenkins, the MI5 man and Myleene Klass (ok, she’s a presenter, singer & pianist) as Astrid. You notice their mostly British, mostly TV.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

We already write in several genres: f&sf, historic, crime, thriller… Jack says we’re the only author/s he knows of to write crime in the past, the present and the future.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I think it will continue and I don’t believe it has peaked yet. For every person who prefers the look and the feel of a paper book, I’m certain there are two who like the neatness of an eBook reader and their fantastic capacity.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

For people like us – Jack & myself – it has to be Indie. The traditional publishers have made  a mess of the system. They’ve merged and taken over and treated books like packets of potato chips and jars of coffee – make as much money as they can and move on to the next as quickly as possible. A few years ago, I heard an established author saying that she was only ever as good as her last book – once she flopped, she was out – and she was. Indies do it for the sake of the thing, not to make a fortune, which is what traditional publishers used to do 25 years ago.

Would you ever consider writing on your own rather than as a part of a team?

I don’t think so, unless Jack stole my wife! The buddy system is just too good.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?  

In the days before the ‘team,’ yes. I went on to write some cover feature projects for the amateur electronics press which was my other hobby at the time and actually paid better.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?   http://archimedespresseuk.blogspot.co.uk/
Your web site?        http://www.everettcoleswritings.com                                                                                           http://www.DavidBColes.co.uk
Your facebook page?   http://www.facebook.com/#!/david.coles.505
Your Goodreads author page?                                                                                                                       http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/834115.David_Coles
Your Twitter details?  https://twitter.com/DaveBColes
And any other information you wish to supply?

I’d lay my soul bare for you, Carol, but I’m pretty certain I don’t have one

 

Buy Links for The Diamond Seekers:

Barking Rain Press: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/products/the-diamond-seekers/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/tag/archimedes%20likes?ref_=tag_dpp_cust_itdp_t&store=1

 

Carol 1

 

Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today, David. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.