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Publishing in 2027. Futurist Thinking With Emmanuel Nataf
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Born Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline became a partner in a Solicitors practise and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. In addition to the publication of her short story collection, Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses by ACHUKAbooks, Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. Her debut novel, Beneath the Skin, will be published by Avon HarperCollins on 5 October 2017.
Three women. Three secrets.
Antonia is beautiful and happily married. Her life is perfect. So why does she hurt herself when nobody’s watching?
Sophie is witty, smart and married to the best-looking man in town. She likes a drink, but who doesn’t?
Olivia is pretending to be a happy wife and mother. But her secret could tear her family apart.
Their lies start small, they always do. But if they don’t watch out, the consequences will be deadly.
Were you born and raised in Yorkshire?
I was born in Sheffield but was sent to a Derbyshire boarding school at the age of eight! It was a struggle to turn my Yorkshire accent into ‘received pronunciation’. Even now it’s a strange mix of the two!
I’ve been to England once several years back. London and Cambridge. Cambridge was beautiful!
Name at least three catalysts that made you a writer today.
Hmm, an interesting question. It’s like being in The Psychiatrist’s Chair! My enjoyment of reading, praise for my writing from when I was small and my inherent work ethic are three I can think of.
I love asking this question. It’s fascinating to see the evolution of each writer and what influences that had early in life.
How did you get into poetry?
I won a poetry competition at school when I was nine. Boy, did that feel good! I was in a sort of ‘poetry society’ in Sixth Form, exchanging silly ditties with the boys. I continued to write more serious efforts, especially at low times. A few of them even got published!
I’ve always enjoyed reading poems (especially out loud). As a school girl I was riveted by Ted Hughes’s poetry and the icing on the cake was seeing him perform live. I can still recall being mesmerised by his deep Yorkshire timbre when he read out The Thought Fox.
Wonderful. I started with poetry too, which reminds me I need to write more. Poetry is AWESOME. Keep writing and please do share.
Can you share with us one of your poems?
I listen as you wrap
me in your smile
but I don’t really hear.
A penny for them
I want to say, a coin
to climb inside, to
examine and explore,
to dig and delve, to
hold up to the light
and say what’s this?
What does it mean?
You show me yours
and I’ll show you mine.
But I know I’d renege
on the deal. I’m not
prepared to share the
murky depths of my
closest friend, that critical
cow, sometimes truthful,
rarely kind but always there,
outraged and smug.
I suppose I am as you are
but I don’t know that
for sure and so I’ll keep
the coin and invest in
something that’s a safer bet.
What area of law did you practice in?
Criminal law as a trainee, then divorce and matrimonial, then finally professional indemnity work, mainly representing other lawyers who may – or may not – have made a mistake in their job. In short, people at their lowest ebb, something that has very much influenced my writing.
Oh wow. Sounds interesting. I always find the law interesting.
Why did you decide to write a domestic noir?
I’m really interested in people, dark secrets, human desires, frailties, needs and ‘what goes on behind closed doors’, but I also like suspense and a mystery. ‘Domestic noir’ covers that combination perfectly! An author coined the phrase and I’m so pleased she did!
I interviewed another author who has written a full trilogy about her Noir. The Reykjavik Noir trilogy.
Who is Antonia?
She is a thirty year old character who bookends my debut novel, Beneath the Skin. On the surface she is perfect. Her husband describes her as a ‘chiseled honey marble statue’ but inside she’s alone, damaged and afraid.
That’s an interesting description!
Describe your process creating her wounds and flaws
Like with all my characters, I try and step inside her body and absorb how she must feel given her childhood, background and life events. If a character has suffered something I haven’t, I research other people’s similar experiences, talk and listen to those in the know.
I find this the most fascinating and difficult to write.
Do you outline your work or employ character arcs in your writing?
No! I wish I was that kind of writer. I’m not a plotter, I’m a PANTSER! I had to look that one up – I fly by the seat of my pants!
Does Antonia have a mentor?
It’s a little tricky to answer this without giving a spoiler. Not a mentor as such, but events change her life and help her start to come to terms with her past.
I guess I’ll have to do some detective work.
Where does the story take place?
In the area I live. South Manchester and Cheshire in the UK. But it could be set anywhere as it’s a universal story – flawed human beings struggling with life, hiding secrets, fears, illness and so on.
Hmm. I wonder what it’s like.
What did you learn personally by writing Beneath the Skin?
I learned that I was capable of writing a whole novel! So then I caught a bug that no medicine can cure!
Anyone who can write a novel is awesome. So, you’re awesome 🙂
What are you writing next?
My next novel, My Husband’s Lies, will be out on 3 May 2018! It’s already on Amazon, available to pre-order.
Looking forward to it!
After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash. Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
What’s it like living in Iceland?
It’s great living in Iceland! Except for the weather of course. It´s a rather big volcanic and geographically new Island with very few people on it. The whole Icelandic nation is only 330 thousand people. But we host over a million tourists each year so it is lively and fun. Every town in Iceland is close to nature so outdoorsy people love it there. I don’t consider myself outdoorsy but I still enjoy the occasional walk out in nature. We have a rather strong welfare system in line with the other Nordic countries and a mixed economy so people have a good living standard and are generally healthy with a long life expectancy. That’s why it seems odd that Nordic writers write so much crime fiction as the Nordic countries have a very low crime rate and Iceland especially so.
Can you share some pictures with us?
Is your creative process as an author and playwright different?
Yes and no. For me it always starts out with the characters. A character starts living in my head and then I have to imagine a setting for her or him and their drive and there I have the plot. This is the initial process whether I am writing a play or novel. But then when the writing process really starts the novel is easier to write because it gives more freedom, but the play has to reveal everything through the dialogue. With a novel you’re on your own right to the end, but when writing a play the final goal is production where you’ll work with a theatre group to help with polishing.
What was your response when your play Big Babies won play of the year?
I was very happy of course! It was great and I was grateful for the recognition. In hindsight a big red-carpet moment like this seems unreal but I have such warm memories of the theatre company that produced the play that they will live inside my heart forever. A written stageplay is one thing but it’s the theatre artists that make it alive.
Why did you choose Noir to tell your story?
The Noir genre has a strong element of storytelling so that is why it is so good for me, because I see myself as a storyteller. I believe that with crime-fiction or Noir the reader has very specific expectations and the success of a story depends largely on how the writer fulfills those expectations. The reader expects to be entertained, to experience tension or a thrill and to be told a story.
How did you get into crime writing?
In part it was a coincidence. I have always loved writing and liked crime-fiction, but then one day I saw an ad from an Icelandic publisher for a competition called: “the New Dan Brown”. So that was it. My fate was sealed. Since I have written five published novels and my writing career has really taken off.
Who is Sonia?
Sonia is a young attractive mother that experiences a collapse of her whole world when her husband walks in on her in bed with another woman. The divorce that follows and the custody battle, all taking place in the same dramatic months as the Icelandic financial crash result in her being in a desperate situation. In her desperation she resorts to smuggling drugs and thereby she has entered a world of drugs and crime that she wouldn’t have expected herself to be in just a few months before.
Does your story bear a theme for struggling single mothers?
Well, I don’t know. The theme I started out with was an exploration of what people do when they feel cornered. When ordinary people find them selves in extraordinary situations they can do things they would never have imagined themselves doing. Sonia, the single mother in the story is one of those people and she does everything she can to regain custody of her son.
What is Sonia a victim of?
First and foremost she is a victim of herself. Snare is the first of the Reykjavík Noir Trilogy and in the coming two books she will come to terms with her own part in creating her fate. But the drug business is international, and even in a small country like Iceland it has quite an impact. The people who have ensnared Sonia are not the nicest types. With all the violence, threats and coercion Sonia feels like a victim. At first.
What role does the financial crisis play in the series?
It’s the backdrop to the whole story. I’m interested in those moments in history when there’s huge changes to society. For Iceland the financial crash had devastating consequences. Many people lost their homes and all their savings and had to start anew. There was a lot of anger and desperation; and in Snare we see characters that are struggling with the consequences of this, although it’s in a very different way for each one of them.
What’s next for you after the Reykjavik trilogy?
I am currently starting on writing a new series that leans more into the political thriller. I hope it will do as good as the Reykjavík Noir Trilogy.
Author: Michelle Madow
Narrator: Andrea Emmes
Length: 12 hours 57 minutes (Box set)
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing⎮2017
Genre: Clean Romance
Series: The Transcend Time Saga, Books 1-2
Release date: Aug. 25, 2017
Synopsis: Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from 1815, England… but she doesn’t realize it until she meets her soul mate from the past and he triggers her memories to gradually return.
The series began with Remembrance, was followed by the short story Vengeance, and concluded with Timeless. The series has sold a significant number of copies, and has received much praise from reviewers. Read all three parts together in this special box
How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
A lot depends on the character. Who they are? What they are about? I have about 20 “go to” character voices that I’ve use. Kind of a character rolodex if you will that I cast from. For instance, if I have an antagonist that’s a young male, then I’ll cast him as “Blake”; lower, slightly scratchy voice. The Main Character is usually always my voice but again, that might change depending on the book. Perfect example is this series. For Lizzie, the main character in the Transcend Time Saga Series, I didn’t use my natural voice, but a softer, slightly higher pitched voice because of her nature and qualities and then used my natural voice for Chelsea because if just felt right. Especially in Vengeance, the novella that is after Remembrance and before Timeless. Also, if the author gives me notes in the character sheet like, “Sara should sound like Reese Witherspoon” then I’ll work on that. I won’t do a mimic/impersonation of Reese, but I’ll try to capture her qualities, accents, speaking pace and incorporate that into the character voice.
What types of things are harmful to your voice?
Yelling and whispering are really bad for your voice as is speaking too low and gravelly. It’s important when your doing anything with your voice that you understand how to maintain it and hydrate it. Learning how to breath correctly and choose voices that you can sustain over a long period of time.
Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
Absolutely. There have been many characters that I just clicked with for different reasons. Lizzie in “Transcend Time Saga”, Ivy in “Love Nouveau”, Farris in the “Geek Girl Mystery Series”, Jo from “Little Women”, and more. Though I might not identify with everything they are going through, there are many things from each character that I can pull from my own experience and dive deep into who they are.
If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
I’d be so nervous of messing anything up and creating a Time Paradox or whatever Doc. Brown said in Back to the future, that I’d worry I’d change the future. If I had to choose though, I’d probably like to go to Regency Era England during the Jane Austen times. Not because I like how women were treated back then, which was horrendous, but I’d love to dress up in those beautiful dresses and dance in one of their fancy balls!
Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
I actually don’t have a particular author in mind. But my dream author would be someone who is a strong storyteller who has emotionally rich characters and an engaging story. I’d love to latch on to a series that is as powerful as Harry Potter, Twilight, Mortal Instruments, Dresden Files, etc. It’s so fun to keep growing with your favorite characters.
Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
Um…I tend to burp a lot in the booth! I’m taking in so much air as I narrate that sometimes a really amazing burb just comes out…at the wrong time. Like during an emotional scene and just as I’m getting to the good bits, BUUUURRRRRPPPPP! LOL, then I have to start that section over!
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Sharon Loves Books: books are my bag
Freelance writer, blogger, novelist
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