Thursday 28 February 2013




I am putting together a Middle Grade Feature & Giveaway. The Giveaway is set to run from 29th April to 24th May. (hopefully subject to obtaining enough books)

Any Author that places their book/books in the Giveaway will also be mentioned & promoted as well as being in the giveaway.

For the “Feature” part I would be doing a Promotional Spotlight on the book/books, an Author Interview and/or Guest Post (subject/question I am in process in coming up with).

I am also looking for Authors with other genre books to go in other "themed" and "un-themed" I am attempting to organise too. For these Other/Future  Giveaways I may do a similar format mentioned above for the Middle Grade Giveaway or do a combination of any of the other types of posts I do, such as Review’s, Cover Reveal’s, Character Biography’s, Dream Cast’s, “Shout-Out’s” on my “News and Stuff To Share” Page or Buttons on a scroll on my blog to advertise if your book is on offer on Amazon etc. I also do Guest Post’s, and other Fun Posts, if you have an idea about a post run it by me.
The "theme" of the next giveaway hopefully running from May to June will depend on the response I get from this "appeal". It doesn't matter if you've already appeared on my blog, your book can still be part of a Giveaway and be re-promoted in that way.

Are you interested in the Middle Grade Giveaway? Or perhaps in a Young Adult, Mature Adult, Un-Themed, Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic/Futuristc, or Sci-fi or Contemporary or Memoir Giveaway or do you have another giveaway suggestion you'd like to discuss?

Contact me at


BLURB from Author via Entangled Publishing

Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—deserve to party, right? Wrong. After taking a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.

Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absent-minded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered with the new tenants next door.

Penny’s too hung up on another guy to deal with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy
sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

Mmm well the cover certainly suggests this book to be about a romantic relationship, capturing that moment as you both lean in for a first kiss perhaps? I like the cover, it has a clear and realistic quality. As always I love a byline and this one has one that says  "Shes's all that's keeping him from falling over the edge...." which in itself suggests a turbulent male character and pehaps problems for the female character keeping the male one "in line". I like the font of the title and how play is made to stand out by being in a different colour and font so emphasising Play. The authors names look great in an unobtrusive font and place on the cover. Could it be improved? Mmm maybe the title, ot authors names could have been up at the top, but then as there is a gap, it makes the cover stand out. Would I pick the book up from the shelf? Yes but more because of the author Jolene Perry than the cover if I am totally honest. as the cover could suggest a "mushy love tale" which I rarely go for.
Now to the blurb, now this makes me more interested. we have a troubled male, Bishop who is a bit of a bad boy who has a soft spot for Gramps. The blurb suggests that Bishop is a good if not great guy at heart....will Penny see the good in Bishop, will they have a relationship and will it work out? Thats what the blur makes you want to know!
So would I be interested in reading this book? Why YES of course, I have read and loved many books by Jolene Perry and Jolene Perry with other Authors too.

Purchase Link

Wednesday 27 February 2013


           Like most of the readers I know, I love to read and I love to learn new things. My idea of a good time is to spend an hour or more in the library, browsing through the shelves like I would at a bookstore. I generally start wandering through the fiction section, looking for books I haven't read yet by my favorite authors, and to see if any of the titles looks interesting. Generally many do, so I try to limit myself to no more than half a dozen novels at once.

            I then move on to the non-fiction sections. I love to wander through the stacks and pick up books on various topics that catch my eye. I find it interesting to explore new subjects and expand my horizons. Since I'm exploring new topics for my own benefit, and not for a class, I can skim through the volumes, read what sections I find most interesting, and skip anything that I don't feel like slogging through. I've learned so much about so many different subjects that way.
            In thinking about my reading habits, I realize I've learned a great deal from reading fiction, too. I read fiction for the pure pleasure of reading, so if I find a novel intriguing I'll read it from cover to cover. And as most, if not all readers know, novels are a great way to take us readers into new worlds. I've also found that I learn a lot of things about all sorts of topics, like what it's like to live in Iceland or the south of Florida, what it's like to work in a factory, on a railroad, or even in the halls of Congress. The list goes on and on.
            Since I began writing fiction recently, I've spent more and more time reading novels and thinking about them. As I'm getting ready to start writing my second novel, I've been very careful about what I've been reading. I'm trying to read the best writers, not to copy their style, but to get inspired with excellent writing. I'm also reading a lot of the American classics; like the Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald;  Jack London's White Fang and The Call of the Wild;  Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Some of the classics I read in high school or college. Others are new to me. Although I've always loved reading, I have never taken a college course in the Classics of American Literature. Nor have I ever taken a course in writing fiction. Exploring the American classics is helping fill those gaps, as well as inspiring me to strive to improve my own writing. But most of all, it's a lot of fun. And for me, that's what reading is all about.
Terri Morgan is a book junkie and journalist turned novelist from California. Her novel Playing the Genetic Lottery, was published in May 2012. She blogs on her website at
You can contact her at Facebook:!/pages/Playing-the-Genetic-Lottery-a-novel-by-Terri-Morgan/192095997524663

Tuesday 26 February 2013


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

Melody Manful is the name, born Ghana, and lives in Denmark, a country in Europe.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I remember I wanted to be superman once, and then I wanted to be a pirate haha… but I've always loved to write so I always come back to it, and becoming an writer was a leap of faith I’m glad I took.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I still don’t consider myself as a writer, maybe when my second book comes out I will, but right now it’s all… ‘Oh, look mom, I wrote a freaking long a** book! Like I really wrote a book!’ haha you should have seen me when I got the first print copy of Dominion, some shouting was involved, and some people were annoyed.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Dominion is a story of a young girl, Abigail, whose life changed when she found out that guardian angels existed.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
At the moment, I’m working on the sequel to Dominion, which will take off right after the events that happened in the first book.

What genre would you place your books into?
I’ll place it in the paranormal YA fantasy pile, because there are some angels involve.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book which would you be? And why?
I’d like to be Valoel, because I’ve already got the annoying sister thing down, I should know, because I have a brother and sister who are always telling me this! And also because I think her character is interesting.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
The idea for Dominion came from stories my late grandmother told as a child. I took some inspirations from her stories, and others from things I’ve seen and heard.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I don’t have a special chair, if the coach and my bed counts then yes, I do. Music, is my special routine, I either turn the volume too high up that I don’t hear anything, or, I put on some earphones and disappear into my own awesome world with guns and angels, and lots of troubles.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The book came before the title! I changed the title of Dominion, it was original called Guardian Angels, but I found it didn’t do the content of the book justice, and it was too obvious.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I just wing it. I heard the name Tristan in the movie Star Dust, and have loved it since then. Gideon’s name I came up with, because I knew it meant destroyer from childhood Sunday school. And Abigail’s name came from an angel I met when I went to boarding school. The rest of the characters, I just wrote whatever name popped up and went with it.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I decided where I wanted the main characters to go before I started writing, meaning Gideon, Tristan and Abigail, but Abigail’s story kind of changed in the process. As for the other characters, I wrote them as I went along. Valoel however was in a whole category of her own, before I even started the story.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Yeah, this sometimes involves a wii, a rerun of an old football match, preferable one that Barcelona was involved, or an action movie of some sort. Sometimes, I just hang out with my friends and we sing karaoke on YouTube or go out to a café or shop. Other times, I decide to shop online for shoes I don’t even need, because I’m a sucker for heels!

Where can readers follow you?

Your Web Site:
Your Facebook Page:
Your Twitter Details:



“I’m going to divide you into groups for our Titanic memorabilia speech, which if you all remember, is this week.” Mr. Bernard said. “Speeches are due before the week is over.”
One of the students murmured, “Oh, no.”
“Mr. Silas, you and Miss Cells will be group one,” Mr. Bernard said, looking at Tristan and me. “Miss Tate, you and Mr. Duran are—” Mr. Bernard was interrupted by the sound of the door as it busted open. Everyone looked toward the noise.
Standing in the doorway was the guy I bumped into. The moment I saw him, my heart dropped. I prayed he was lost and wasn’t in our class. Frankly, I didn’t understand my uneasiness upon seeing him. He gave me bad vibes.
“You must be Mr. Chase,” Mr. Bernard said, and the boy walked toward him.
“I am,” he answered. He looked around the classroom, and his gaze stopped on Tristan.
To my surprise, Tristan looked like he knew the boy because he gave him a half-hearted smile.
“You’re late,” Mr. Bernard said, and the boy looked at the clock on the wall.
“I was actually here before the bell rang.” His eyes moved to mine. “Miss Cells can vouch for me.” I froze at the mention of my name. I wondered how he knew my name, but then I remembered I was known pretty much everywhere—the price of being famous. “She bumped into me and ran off.”
Someone please shoot me now. A few people chuckled. Jake cast a backward glance at me and grinned.
“You’re excused this time, Mr. Chase. Find a seat. I’ll assign you to a group.”
“Mr. Chase can join Jake and me,” Danny volunteered. I wasn’t surprised.
“It’s Gideon,” the boy said. “Gideon Chase.”
“What?” I blurted out in surprise at the mention of his name, and then all eyes turned to me.
Gideon? His name was actually Gideon? Why Gideon?
“Miss Cells, are you all right?” My outburst had obviously startled Mr. Bernard. Gideon stood beside him, confused, but the moment his eyes met mine, he smiled as if he knew why I was scared.
“I—I’m sorry, I didn’t—” I looked down in humiliation.
Maybe it was just a coincidence. This guy couldn’t be the same Gideon from my nightmare.
“Well,” Mr. Bernard continued, “take a seat, Mr. Chase.”
My first impression of Gideon was that he was hot.
My second impression of him was dangerous.
My third impression of him was murderer, because if he was anything like the guy from my nightmare, he was going to kill me. 


About the Author:

Melody Manful was born on June 8, 1994, in a town in Ghana called Tema. She started writing at a very early age and has been doing it ever since. Melody has two siblings and lives in Denmark with her family. She loves music, reading, and writing, and she puts a great deal into making her friends happy.




Guardian Angels Book One
Melody Manful

Genre: YA paranormal fantasy.

ISBN: 0615739458
ISBN13: 9780615739458

Book Description:

I Dare You.

Look Over Your Shoulders.

Do You See Them?

They are behind you...

They are always behind you.

Abigail Cells had a nightmare the day before she met Gideon, the new guy in school who has every girl drooling just to be near him. In her nightmare, she was murdered by a magical creature. As she gets to know Gideon, she begins to remember pieces of her nightmare, and was shocked when Gideon turned out to be the creature from her nightmare. Who is Gideon really? Should Abby allow herself to fall completely for him, or is he the next disaster waiting to happen?

Monday 25 February 2013


ISBN: 9780988204218
Publisher: C & C Legacy Publishing
Pages: 258
Formats Available:

BLURB from Goodreads

She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.

​Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands. 

Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn't offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough. 

LUST. LOVE. LOSS. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review to be posted as part of the blog tour run by Lady Amber!
So I did the Cover Reveal previously so you will all probably know by now that I really like the cover. Obviously the cover makes even more sense and is relevant to the book once you have read it. I love the colours on the cover which suggest water, murkiness and mystery to me.
I would say this book is different to what I would normally read as it has a horror edge to it. I normally wouldn't read horror at all. I have to be totally honest and say to begin with I found the book quite frustrating, at times I wanted it to move faster, or show me more in certain places to make sense of things. The book is very cryptic and as I said has both a horror and thriller element to it. At times I just wanted to get a hold of the book and shake it. It felt a little unpolished in places. I felt that certain parts were missing, such as we should have had flashbacks or some more back story to Giovanni and Lynx. I wanted to know more about what had happened previously, so much so that at time this book felt like a book too. I seriously felt as if I had missed some important information somewhere. Having said all of that once the plot got going I really did enjoy the book. I just felt a little disappointed and felt it could have been so much, much, more. More could have been made of the Etcher, like perhaps characters hearing more on the radio or reading a newspaper article. I also wanted to know much more about Connor's Uncles. There was so much within the Uncles characters that could have been explored. What happened to them previously to make them as loud and brash as they are. Why Wade is so brash and leery, why Jesse appears all mouth and no action with the ladies, and why is Harry the quieter of the three. Also we could find out where they live and why they are all single and round at Desi and Connor's house so much. There was so much potential for further character exploration that has been missed.
Having said all that I did enjoy the plot and the end of the book has you on the edge of your seat biting your nails!
I loved the character of Connor and his relationship with his mum Desi is so heart warming. You literally feel their heartbreak at the loss of Connor's dad. I also warmed to Jade's character too, by the end of the book was really rooting for her to overcome the evil she was fighting with.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes,even though not my normal read I found the book refreshingly different and has opened me up a little more to the thriller/horror genres. Would I read a Book #2? I think I would do yes, I want to learn more about the characters in this book. Would I read more books by Rochelle Maya Callen? I would definitely browse and possibly go on to read more by this author. Would I recommend? This is a difficult question, as though I enjoyed the book as it is, it could have been so much more too. On the whole I would say that yes I would recommend.


Character Bio:
Big Heart, Reliable, Good Friend
Self Doubt, low self esteem

Physical Description:
Bah! Who wants a description. How about a picture? Shhh, don’t tell Drew Van Acker that I stole his photo.
Physical Activity:
Shoe size:
wouldn’t you like to know? ;)
Guitar, singing, and we’ll find out more in book 2.
Connor Teasers:
They are cold, brutal eyes and they glared right at me. Half of me thinks: Idiot, idiot, idiot! Beautiful, totally hot girl had her hand on my shoulder and I ignored her. I curse myself for missing a chance to have her sit next to me. The other half of me, though, is relieved. Somehow, I know eyes so sharp and penetrating could slice me open.
A brave, rebellious soldier deep within me toys with the idea of apologizing about yesterday, introducing myself, striking up conversation, and impressing her with my wit and charm. When I remember that I have neither, I silence the deceitful bastard and continue sulking, wishing to be someone else—someone cooler, someone who isn’t completely and utterly terrified of taking chances, someone who could talk to this girl without fear of rejection.
I’m stumped. Beautiful, girl of my dreams in my bed and I want to sleep on the floor? “I—I thought it would be ya’ know the gentlemanly thing to do.”
            She shakes her head, “Nope.” She says with an extra pop on the “p”. “A gentleman would keep me warm and safe.” She pats the space next to her.



 (Just have to say I love this cover! it's just gorgeous!)



            The girl’s glassy, dead eyes stare into me, through me, pierce me with a fierce urgency, with a wicked accusation. The blood is still on my hands.
            Red hair, blue eyes, a constellation of freckles on pale skin. She was fragile and innocent, a lovely thing. That is what I think until I see the gashes on her wrists and throat. With her blood spilling out, she looks delicious. She’s mine. Possessiveness shocks me, stabs into me. I run, tearing away from a craving I don't understand.
            Breathless, I grit my teeth and run harder, faster.
            My feet pound against the earth, away from the lifeless body and toward the lights of the city lingering on the horizon. Rot and death linger in my nostrils. Unscarred skin stretches taut over my freezing bones. Echoes of an empty memory reverberate in my mind, taunting me. The ice chases me, clutches me, and bites at my heels, sending shivers up my spine. The ice wants me back, but I run forward, toward the lights, toward the heat, toward a world that burns me, because I have no other choice.
            The lights are so close. Heat scalds my skin.
            Images race through my mind, paralyzing me. I skid to a stop, my boots digging into the mud. The vision’s blurred edges materialize into solid shapes.
             I gasp.
            A new horror rakes my insides. Desperation propels me forward; the pictures nagging at my seams threaten to tear me apart.
            Scorching fire licks over my skin. In my vision, I contort like a vile, ugly creature, eyes as black as decay. My frame hunches over the small, dead girl, like a demon looming over a defenseless child. Her blood drips from my mouth.
            I lick my lips and taste only salty sweat.
            I run, desperate to trample the vision under my feet, to crush it deep into the ground.
            I refuse to believe the image, refuse to acknowledge the monster within me demanding to be unleashed—and the possibility it has already been unbound. An unrelenting tide of fear washes over me. Past the denial, the fear, and the hope, I think I can still taste her.
            The cold stillness inside me cracks open just as the lights of the city slam into me.



Rochelle grew up dreaming up stories. When she entered high school, she tucked away her creative side and jumped head-first into academics, work, and service projects. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Communication when she was twenty years old. After years away from her writing, Rochelle picked up a pen and started fleshing out a character sketch that she outlined when she was twelve. That sketch was the start of the Ashes and Ice story. Rochelle lives in the DC metro area with her husband and daughter. By day she works as a behavioral therapist. By night, she is a dreamer and is busy tapping out new stories on her keyboard.



BLURB from Lady Amber's Blog Tours

She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.

​Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands.

Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn't offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough.

. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice.

Sunday 24 February 2013


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Yolanda A.  Reid and I live in the US.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
PORRIDGE & CUCU:MY CHILDHOOD is a YA novel depicting the  childhood/adolescence of Yamila in Panama and New York--during carnival, in Catholic school,  eating "porridge and cucu.” 

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
I've already written a mainstream contemporary novel—a love story tentatively scheduled for release sometime in 2013.  (The storyline and characters are unrelated to PORRIDGE & CUCU.)

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
In PORRIDGE & CUCU--besides Yamila, the narrator--I loved writing for Miss Hildy.  I really liked that character.  I thought she was spunky/interesting/ingenuous/authentic.  She seemed to take over when I wrote her  dialogue.  Moreover, it was fun to recreate her dialect. 

How do you come up with characters’ names and place names in your books? 

It’s a process.  For PORRIDGE & CUCU, I used an old Webster’s dictionary (hard copy) with a name section in the back.  This section explicated the meaning and linguistic origins of surnames and first names.  For example, Miss Hildy’s maiden name is Hildegarde Blixen, since she has Scandinavian  ancestry.  I pored over this Webster’s dictionary  arduously.  Occasionally, I used the encyclopedia.  However, I rarely used the phone book for names of characters  in  PORRIDGE & CUCU.

Do you write under a pen name?  
No.  Years ago--while in college--I chose a pen name for myself, but I’ve never used it.  So Yolanda  A.  Reid is my real name.  I once thought of  it as a unique name.  Now I’ve discovered that there are ninety people in the US with the same name.  One “Yolanda Reid” is a doctor; another, a historian; another is a Microsoft executive, etc.  That’s why the ‘A’ in my name is so crucial.  (I will not be embroidering it on my clothing, however.)

Do you have a basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story? 
I wrote an outline, then wrote Part I of the novel--a chapter at a time and in sequence.  I prefer to have an overall direction for the novel’s storyline—even if I end up changing or adjusting the outline.  (In my essay, “How I Wrote My First Novel”, I explain this process  in more detail at .)

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing? 
Emily Brontë  and Doris Lessing--and others.

Which format of book do you prefer, e-book, hardback, or paperback?  
At first, I transitioned to buying and reading e-books because our bookcases are loaded (overloaded, really) with books.  Years ago, I spent a couple of summers reading and ordering lots of books, on top of the books my family and I already owned (some since college).  After that, I realized we had no extra space for new books.  So I began reading ebooks on my computer. It felt a little awkward/uncomfortable and took some getting used to.  Then, in 2009, I bought an e-reader.  I love my e-reader!  Now I prefer e-books. 

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?  
I have several favourites, but if I had to choose one, I’d say, WUTHERING HEIGHTS—which I’ve read many times over the years.  I have a copy on my ereader.  A 19th century novel, WUTHERING HEIGHTS depicts the dark eerie love story of Catherine and Heathcliff.  It’s dark, it’s beautiful, it’s Goth, it’s riveting.    Perfect reading in wintertime, since several scenes in the novel occur during snowstorms.  My advice to anyone is to read at least three chapters before giving up on the book.  Or skip Joseph’s rantings completely (that’s what I did as a teen and, sometimes, still do).

(I wrote an essay about WUTHERING HEIGHTS that’s posted on my blog at

Do you think e-books will ever totally replace printed books? writing? 
I believe they will, someday.  This week Newsweek Magazine announced they were going digital.  Newsweek! ( It cost 42 million dollars each year to run the magazine.)  I’ve read that  newspapers are struggling as well.  I personally rarely read paper anything.  I get my news online.  I read ebooks,  mostly.  I access the websites of my favorite magazines.  (I have just one hard copy magazine subscription, but that was a gift.) The glut of paper and the effects on the environment have taken their toll.  We will eventually do the environmentally/politically  correct thing.  And that is to save trees completely.  We will, however, probably  preserve  old/rare/reference books in libraries.  But, I think, this is a transitional time.  So printed books still have a place in our society.  In ten  or twenty years, however, who knows?

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it? 
I loved fairy tales and WUTHERING HEIGHTS.

Do you have a favourite genre of book? 

For my personal reading, I prefer biographies, memoirs, and novels.

What do you think about book trailers? 
I really can’t say I’ve ever bought a book because of a book trailer.  I think very few people might have that reaction: to buy a book right after you see the book trailer.  But, that said, a good book trailer pique's one’s interest.  You want to know more about the book or the author. In addition, book trailers help spread the word about the book.  They help to create buzz.  For PORRIDGE & CUCU, I commissioned an animated video that features an excerpt from the novel.  Christine Yen Chong was the animator.  She and the animation team did an excellent job.  I wanted the video to be fun, whimsical, lighthearted to watch; and it is.  Check it out  at

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gilbert, Doris Lessing.

Where can readers follow you?

Your Blog details? 

Your Web site? 

Your Facebook page?  

Your Goodreads Author page? 


BLURB from the Author

PORRIDGE & CUCU is the poignant tale of Yamila—from her earliest memories of Panama . One major character is her ninety-eight year old grandfather, who shares with her the ghost stories of his childhood. Other characters are her grandmother, parents, and brother.
When Yamila’s mother—a teacher—leaves to attend the University of Missouri, Yamila becomes a boarding student at St. Michael’s School for Girls. She tries to overcome a loneliness she had never experienced before.
Once her family leaves for the USA (to re-unite with her mother), she re-adjusts to a new school, new relatives, and a new life. At novel’s end, Yamila witnesses an indigenous girl’s rite of passage ceremony, and experiences one herself.
Yolanda A. Reid began writing poetry in childhood (according to her grandmother). Her young adult novel -- PORRIDGE & CUCU: MY CHILDHOOD—is about a young Latina growing up in Panama and New York. She lives and writes in the USA.


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Wendy Scott, born in Invercargill, New Zealand. I’ve lived and worked in New Zealand and Australia. Currently residing in Hokitika, New Zealand, on a 3 acre plot in an off the grid house (solar powered).

When did you first consider yourself as a “writer”?
When I’d completed the first draft of my first novel (~100,000 words). Fortunately, I’d worked at a winery so I had some lovely wine to celebrate this achievement with.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I have a New Zealand Certificate in Science (Chemistry) and have worked in a variety of laboratories in NZ and Australia.
During my years of writing I’ve worked fulltime (including commuting 3 hours a day - which I utilized for writing by quoting into a voice activated recorder), been a stay at home Mum, in a house truck with a baby, dog and partner (wrote on a solar powered laptop at night by candlelight), worked a 4 on 4 off rooster with 12 hour days opposite my partner so we could manage childcare, and Monday to Friday 9 to 5 work. During all these different scenarios I figured out ways to squeeze in my writing.
In March 2012 I gave up my fulltime job as a Dairy Laboratory Supervisor to focus fulltime on my writing career and to spend more time with my family while our son is young. Luckily, my partner fully supports this move (he actually instigated it).
While it’s often quoted to authors, “Don’t give up your day job!” this move was the right one for me.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Lodestone, Book 1 Witch-Hunt Series.
To stop Lauren’s Order invading her homeland, Sabrina, a healer-witch, must destroy the Lodestone and restore magic to Valloaria.

Who is your publisher? Or do you self publish?
Both. I write under three pen names. Wendy Scott for fantasy (adults), WJ Scott for children’s and Wendy Jayne for romance (or dark fantasy romance).
Self published adult fantasy e-books under Wendy Scott.
The Windflowers Trilogy. Book 1, Ferrasium. Book 2, Golden Scarab.
Lodestone, Book 1 of the Witch-Hunt Series.
I have plans to expand into print with Create space at a later date.
Pear Jam Books will be releasing my children’s book, Tails, mid next year in print, e-book and audio book under WJ Scott.
I have yet to release works under Wendy Jayne, but they are in process.

What can we expect from you in the future? I.e. more books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
There’ll be quite a mixture as I’m working on several projects.
Due for release 2013, Pyramidion, Book 3 of the Windflowers Trilogy by Wendy Scott.
Due for release mid 2012, Tails, by WJ Scott. (Children’s junior novel)
 In process.
A dark fantasy romance, working title – Masquerade by Wendy Jayne.
Tiger House: The First Chronicle of Jairus Tanner. Fantasy by Wendy Scott.
Hieroglyph. A children’s novel by WJ Scott. This novel was selected for one of ten places by the New Zealand Society of Authors for their MS Assessment programme and was further selected for one of five mini-mentorships.
Prophesy and Pirates (working title): Saviour series. Fantasy by Wendy Scott.
Next in series
Witch-Sniffer. Book 2 Witch-Hunt Series. Fantasy by Wendy Scott.
Heart by WJ Scott, following on from, Tails.
I have exercise books overflowing with other storylines. So many ideas that it’s difficult to decide which one to do next.

What genre would you place your books into?
Fantasy, but they are action adventures full of suspense with romantic elements.
The Children’s novels are junior fiction (middle grade).

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be and why?
I’d choose Kalli from the Windflowers Trilogy. I love her feistiness. The Bera-Bera tribe have a saying – Destiny Decides, but Kalli likes to make up her own mind. Also if I was Kalli I’d get to kiss Sakhir and that alone would be worth the role playing.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
All my books are sent to an external editor for proofreading/review. After I’ve finalized changes I send the MS to an avid fantasy reader(s) for their comments and final proofread. I always get someone else to read the final draft as I’m too familiar with the work and may not pick up errors.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes. I’m often on the hunt for reviewers. Readers can contact me via the contact page on my website if they’d like to be considered as a reviewer for my books.

What was the toughest/ best review you have ever had?
Best for Ferrasium - I received a lovely hand-written note on flowery paper which said, “I read a lot of fantasy! I’m rating this new author up there with one of my other favourites Juliet Marillier. I love the fast pace, it has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down (sorry family). Can’t wait for book 2!!!
I liked it so much I scanned it onto the Comments & Reviews page of my website.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
Firstly, I assign a working title. Sometimes this changes as I write the book and the plot develops. Lodestone was originally titled Lauren’s Tragedy until feedback from a writing guru suggested this didn’t sound like a thrilling read. Tiger House was titled Survivor until a major structure alteration.
 My three e-covers to date have all been designed by Katrina “Death” Joyner of Writers for the Apocalypse. I send her the story concepts and excerpts and she works her magic. I’ve been absolutely delighted with her work and can’t praise her highly enough.

How do you come up with character names and place names in your books?
I have a well-thumbed Baby Name book containing over 75,000 names. I also use phone books and newspapers (but mix them up a bit). When I hear an unusual or cool name I jot it down in my notebook. I have a collection of history books on ancient cultures and I google.
For places I either use my imagination or get inspiration from an atlas or maps.

Do you basic plot/plan your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I do both. For my longer novels, especially series, I plot extensively, but this is always flexible and often evolves during the creative process. Quite often I see my stories as if they were movies and all I’m doing is writing it all down. For shorter novels I sometimes just start with a character and a concept and see where they take me. I have an exercise book handy for each story and when I think of something I jot it down. I’m a fan of Aristotle’s incline and have written novels from nothing more than notes on the major plot points.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
I love a story to sweep me away, keeping me up until the wee hours with suspense and characters that capture either my heart or my imagination.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Stovetop espresso coffee and chocolate (yes they can be classified as hobbies rather than addictions!) Countered by walks on the beach with my dog, Boss (he’s the size of a pony, but has the heart of a teddy bear), biking, tramping, canoeing, zumba and spin. I love curling up in the hammock on our porch with a book or picnic days swimming at Lake Kaniere or lying in bed watching movies.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that happened to you?
It usually happens the other way around for me. I write about something and then it happens. The main character in an earlier novel became pregnant and so was I by the time I’d finished the first draft! This helped immensely with my research on the subject. When I was writing, Tails, one of the secondary characters was this exuberant dog called Buster Boy. My son and I visited the SPCA tent at a children’s day at the park and we both fell in love with this puppy-soon-to-be-a-pony. I saw the echo of Buster Boy within this puppy’s eyes and thumping tail and knew we were destined to be best friends. My friends suggest I should write about winning the lottery.

Which format of book do you prefer, e-book, hardcover, paperback?
I love them all.

What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  This book was first published in 1988 and originally in Portuguese.
There are layers woven into this short novel. I’ve read it many times and every time it’s transported me on a magic carpet ride and held me spellbound. It’s a gem of a story.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?
Ebony Hill by Anna Mackenzie. YA sequel to The Sea-Wreck Stranger. Paperback.
A gripping tale set in a post-apocalyptic world and if you also loved the Hunger Games I believe you’d enjoy this series too.

Do you think e-books will ever totally replace printed books?
No, I believe there will always be print books. There’s a sacred tactile connection made when a reader holds a book and hears the rustle of a turning page.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? And /or do Imaginative writing?
The school my son attends is very proactive. He is currently taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge – this encourages children to read daily during the long summer holiday break. At school they spend time on descriptive writing and my son (8 yrs) has kindly agreed that I can share an example with you.
The sun looks like a ball bouncing high. Cheeky seagulls are like rockets shooting through the sky. The seagulls’ legs are like missiles. Feathers sparkling like crystals. Beaks like arrows shooting through the sky. Author: Layk 8yrs.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I was always an avid reader and story writer. I wrote, directed, and starred in my own stage production with supporting cast members when I was about 10 years old at school. I can still remember that the play was called – No way, that’s my Mama! It also involved me riding my bike through the classroom.
Not to be outdone, not long afterwards, one of my classmates re-scripted himself into the starring role of Jesus Christ Superstar. At least mine was an original work!
Just recently we were sorting out some ancient boxes and I unearthed several paper ‘books’ I had made as a child. Handwritten novels complete with covers and set up like real books. Absolute treasures. Especially now as my son has been making his own books – just like Mum. One of them was about Hieroglyphics, proof of my life- long obsession with Ancient Egypt.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I adored Dr Seuss.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
The Chronicles of Narnia. I’m now reading it to my son and we love watching the movies.