When Curmudgeon Avenue Appeared at Glaston-Bury (one day event for charity in Lancashire).

I am so proud of my home town, Bury in North West England. Especially on August bank holiday when the town is taken over for a charity event called Glaston-Bury.

Taking their name from the bigger festival in the south, Glaston-Bury fills the streets of Bury with heavy metal, cover bands, poets, and this year a book reading of Curmudgeon Avenue (I wrote that) by my talented voice over friend and colleague Lindsay McKinnon.

No description available.

Those who know me know that I have MS and can’t stand up for long. And to be honest, I’ve been unwell ever since the event and that’s why it has taken me seventeen days to write this blog post. #MSsucks and fatigue is doing my head right in!

Anyway, back to the event. The reason we were welcomed to appear at this mostly music festival is because part of book four of the Curmudgeon Avenue Series is set at the Glaston-Bury festival!

Above is a sneak peak of a new cover – I’m always messing about. I just need to make the final decision about if Harold’s spectacles should be wonky.

Gil Von Black nearly broke Facebook when it was realised he would not be appearing on stage with his magic fingers this year. Gil Tweeted a photograph of Patchouli and himself with the caption #AugustBankHolidaychillin’. As soon as this was noticed on Facebook, there were many comments on the Glaston-Bury page. ‘Please can someone tell me which stage and what time is Gil Von Black on?’ several people asked. All with the same answer from the festival organisers: ‘He’s not performing this year’.

     Ahh, the life of the actual real-life session musician rock star; he will attend the festival along with the crowd (including Wantha, Toonan and their respective men). After Wantha had attended to her Instagram duties (doling out advice about what to wear at a local charity festival), she found her lip liner and was ready to go. Zandra and Gordon Bennett prepared themselves for their first Bury day out since arriving at Curmudgeon Avenue.

Our stage (actually the poet’s stage) was upstairs in a very cool record and coffee shop called Wax and Beans

It was actually tricky to prepare for the event. I am NOT a performer, fortunately, Lindsay is. Lindsay McKinnon has loads of acting experience and is the most talented person I have in my phone (or have met in real life). If you are reading this, and are looking for a narrator for your audiobook I would recommend Lindsay. Click HERE for her website.

It was difficult to choose passages from a book I started writing seven years ago. Especially as my head is full of my current work in progress. I suppose all authors go through this (laughing face emoji). I am yet to attend a (traditionally published) author talk since lockdown ended in the UK. I’ve been to loads in my time and they are usually full of an eager audience wanted to know the question that no one can answer; how can I get published?

Fortunately, Todmorden Book Festival has come to my rescue. I have tickets to see one of my favourite authors, Joanne Harris. I have so many questions for her but I know I will be too shy to ask any of them.

JoanneHarris Chocolat.jpg

Sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent there. I was just trying to explain that I intend to attend more author talks and do more of my own.

I just need to get better first (I usually have a good management of my illness but I’m just weary at the moment – or as my window cleaner puts it ‘you look fr****d today’)

Speaking of tangents, one way that I look after myself is physiotherapy. When I was first diagnosed with MS I started doing yoga. Here’s the tangent, one of my oldest and dearest friends Carla (we met during nurse training, that’s how long we’ve known one another) gave me the tip off about the Todmorden Book Festival. Carla is now an excellent yoga teacher; she has just the right voice for it. If you are in or around Todmorden, you should definitely attend her yoga class click HERE for her link.

WELL I have gone round in circles today haven’t I? You could say I’ve gone round the mulberry bush – which would segue into a hint about my work in progress. I’ve decided not to reveal the title until the manuscript has been polished(I cannot wait to start sharing this book I am really enjoying writing it).

Have a great weekend, Samantha 🙂

PS I wrote these:

Book Review Horrors Next Door by Tom Coleman

Horrors Next Door- Book 1 by Tom Coleman

Sorry Tom I couldn’t find you on Twitter. Horrors Next Door is a short story collection that is first in series of a collection of collections AND is part of a BookFunnel promotion about Halloween:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/halloweentwist/g6ubzlpz99

I do get along with my next door neighbours, they are always singing. I wish I could sing, I think they do too… now for some real HORRORS NEXT DOOR

The Blurb:

Horrors Next Door is a collection of short Mysterious, Psychological, Suspenseful, and Horror stories that will arouse your senses and puzzle your mind. Some of the stories are inspired by true events. Find out which ones inside this scary collection. Check out the full collection here: https://amzn.to/2zg4JZB

 “Night Visitors”
Once or twice a year, dark creatures show up at the foot of Annie`s bed and take her with them to conduct grisly experiments on her. This is happening for years now. She doesn’t understand who they are and why they do this. But this, last time, it’s different. This time she gets the answers, and nothing on Earth will be the same afterward.


“The House Next Door”
Mr. Spaulding looks like an ordinary old grumpy neighbor with a penchant for growing roses, but he has a dark secret hidden deep inside of his house. A secret no one knows about. Sarah decides to find out if he is just a sweet lonely widower or a twisted man with a mysterious past. What she encounters at his house is beyond her wildest dreams, but this is a nightmare which she can’t wake up from.

And many more…

“I’m not even done reading it, and I’m rating it 5 stars. It’s keeping me up at night because I don’t want to stop reading.”
“This book is horror redefined. Dark and with more twists than a labyrinth. I look forward to reading more from this author.”
“Each story has a unique twist. Sure to please especially for late-night reads. Good writing skills too. Will read again!”

Photo by u0410u043bu0435u043au0441u0430u043du0434u0430u0440 u0426u0432u0435u0442u0430u043du043eu0432u0438u045b on Pexels.com

My spooky little review: 4*s

The first short story, ‘Night Visitors’ is truly chilling – especially right at the end. It is the stuff of horrific abduction documentaries. My favourite was ‘Agatha’ and her flame-coloured hair. I do love a female protagonist with special powers, but these are not the kind of powers anyone would want. I particularly liked the grandmother setting/plotline. ‘The Mask’ lasted for nine chapters, I realise there are no rules, but my little reading brain was already in short story mode by then, and so I was expecting the ending before the ending! Good story though. Mr Spaulding’s haunted house ties the collection up nicely, or should I say creepily?

Thank you for joining me today, don’t forget to curl up with a good scary book during these last few weeks of October https://books.bookfunnel.com/halloweentwist/g6ubzlpz99

Join me at the end of the month when I bring you my book The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue

You say prosecco, I say Prosecco

Samantha Henthorn talks about whether to write ‘Prosecco’ or ‘prosecco’ in her novels.

Hi Everyone,

I want to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while.

PROSECCO!

If anyone follows me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed that I have… noticed that fizzy wine has started giving me heartburn! Talk about #45yearoldproblems I am gutted! Literally.

That is not what this post is about – I just don’t know whether to capitalise or not when I am writing fiction (it crops up often in Curmudgeon Avenue) and I have been doing some serious research about Prosecco during the past few years.

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

Ha! I have even drank it by the sea according to the above photograph (although on closer inspection that is another brand of fizzy wine).

What I have done, when I say research is every time I am reading a book, and the word Prosecco or prosecco pops up, I make a note of it. by pressing some buttons on my Kindle.

Well, the results have come in (from traditionally published books) I have read on my Kindle, and four are spelt prosecco with a lower case p and eleven are spelt Prosecco.

Interestingly, comedy drama/light humour (the genre I write in) capitalised the P for Prosecco. And literary fiction/crime novels do not. (In the non scientific research I carried out).

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Let’s do a google search (google is another one! Google/google)

WELL

Lots of things came up

People also ask

Do you capitalize wines?

Rule 3: When a wine is named after a grape, do not capitalize – unless the grape is named after a place and the wine comes from that place. … Cabernet Sauvignon originated in Bordeaux, and if the wine comes from there, capitalize; cabernet is the name of the grape, not a city, and deserves no capital.

There is a village called Prosecco in Italy, but the fizzy wine is produced (inside and) outside the village. In the past, the grape used to make Prosecco was called both prosecco and Glera. (I got this information by doing an internet search, an article came up by Wine Enthusiast which you can read here)

And from the dictionaries:

Prosecco in British English

(prəˈsɛkəʊ )NOUN (also without capital)

sparkling Italian white wine, usually dry

Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

Did you see that above? ALSO WITHOUT CAPITAL – so both are right! Phew!

And let’s look at the Chambers Dictionary that I was advised to buy for my Creative writing degree, hold on, it’s upstairs.

No description available.

Phew! Massive dictionary – I am shattered now!

Tiny writing! It just says ‘prosecco n an Italian sparkling white wine.’

No description available.

I asked my friends. Most of them didn’t care, one said that he had been to Italy and they don’t capitalise the word prosecco. Then he said he was just joking and had made this little anecdote up. I could text my friend who is a school teacher but it’s a Tuesday afternoon and who has the time to answer my nonsense?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So, there you have it. Some say Prosecco, some say prosecco. And that’s OK! Apologies if I have made you thirsty on a school night.

Cheers, and see you next time, Samantha xx

PS here is my Curmudgeon Avenue Series

The Final What’s in a (Character) Name #Guestpost with Christopher Wilson @mojo_books + #BookReview #IARTG

Hi Everyone!

Did I mention that multi-award-winning author Christopher Wilson is my second cousin? You can read all about how I found out about my dad’s side of the family in last week’s blog HERE

Finding out that I have a cousin who is an established author has been a valuable inspiration to me. It is a bonus that I think his books are awesome!

This will be the final in my ‘What’s in a (Character) Name guest posts and I am absolutely honoured to welcome Christopher Wilson

Christopher P. Wilson

I’ve been involved in naming two children, a few cats and dogs, a wife who needed a stage-name for Equity, and a rude horde of fictional characters. It’s always tortuous, with frequent revisions, and a terminal sense of failure. But there’s reassurance too in the problems other writers meet – even some greats.

Some splash the fluorescent paint in primary colours. Some are just plain explicit. With ‘Little Miss Naughty’ or ‘Mister Tickle’you know you’ll get what you pay for.  Holly did Golightly. And Miss de vil was indeed Cruella. And in Ian Fleming’s mind, Pussy was Galore. Dostoyevsky could be pretty upfront too, with characters that translate from the Russian as Bone-crusher or Mister Marmalade. And (surprise, surprise) in ‘Catch 22’, Major MajorMajor getspromoted to become Major MajorMajorMajor

            Dickens was shameless too, offering usSerjeantBuzfuz, Charity Pecksniff, Mr m’Choakumchild, Uncle Pumblechook, Uriah Heep,DecimusTite Barnacle, Master Bates and Dick Swiveller (who ‘ejaculated with difficulty’ in chapter 7).

Sometimes, innocuous names can gain an added twist as Time plays unkind tricks. I’m thinking ofJane Austen’s Fanny Price (that wasn’t intended, surely?), or  Panty in E. Nesbitt, and Titty in Swallows and Amazons.

            For Graham Greene character names became painfully problematic. As soon as he published a new novel people with the same surnames would form an orderly queue to sue him. So he started calling his characters Smith, Jones and Brown.

There’s a dryer game authors play with readers – of being suggestive with characters’ names without being blindingly obvious. I remember feeling wryly suckered when I’d failed to spot at the outset that Louis Cyphre in ‘Angel Heart’ would turn out to be Lucifer.

            When I started writing, I then tried it for myself.  Gallimauf was a French speaking philosopher. Count Baa Mindeberg was a bleating  Scandinavianaristocrat and  total stranger to his psyche. Duckworth was an undervalued Amazonian foundling. Saint Odo of Here and There had two bodies that went their own ways. Gob was the first human-beingever to speak. FrankEnstein Ph.D. created a monster. Yuri Zipit couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Joey Blueglass saw the world through a perpetual erotic filter. Liselotte Berg probably lied a lot.Leifur Nils Kristjansson Saint Marie du Cotton was the biggest challenge because, through the course of the novel, s/he had to die and be reborn, change skin colour,  gender, and  sexual orientation, before growing wings to turn into an angel. So maybe I missed a trick with her/him/them.

            I’ve got a new novel on the go. The central character is half human and half something else. I haven’t quite got the name yet. It’s something like Hugh Mobo.

 

Wow! Thank you, Christopher, that post is awesome. he ‘wrote it in a rush’! Genius!

I have read seven of Christopher’s books so far and it is difficult to choose a favourite. I know that his latest WIP is titled ‘Hurdy Gurdy’. His most recent publication is The Zoo  . The setting is Stalin’s last days and is a brilliantly cutting satire told through the voice of one incredible boy. 

The Zoo by [Christopher Wilson]

It won prizes: An Observer and Spectator Book of the Year
Shortlisted for the Historical Writing Association Gold Crown Award

The Blurb:

Meet Yuri Zipit.

A boy who’s had a bang on the head in a collision with a Moscow milk truck.

He has a kind face, makes friends easily, and likes to help. People want to tell him their secrets.

Including the Great Leader himself, who takes a shine to Yuri when he employs him for his natural talents.

In his new job, Yuri will witness it all – betrayals, body doubles, buffoonery. Who knew that a man could be in five places at once? That someone could break your nose as a sign of friendship? That people could be disinvented . . .?

The Zoo is a brilliantly cutting satire told through the voice of one incredible boy.

What I thought:

*****

Shhhh

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 August 2017

A great read, I was really drawn in by the believable characters. I have read a tiny bit of Russian history during my degree, and I enjoyed this satirical take.
Well, I didn’t say much when I read it in 2017, I must have been in a rush, three years on, I do remember this book. There is nothing like a memorable book. I enjoyed how it was told by the boy, whose father sort of gets kidnapped. Yuri does get to meet (and chat to Stalin) but he never quite knows who is who because of the Stalin body doubles. Christopher’s dry sense of humour comes through in his writing a cutting social satire.
The Ballad of Lee Cotton Kindle Edition
The Ballad of Lee Cotton  is one of my favourites, a Bildungsroman first-person narrative from Lee’s birth, his formative years and his (several) transformations.
The blurb:
Review –

Written with all the imaginative gusto of a heavy-weight novelist (FT MAGAZINE)

Exuberant (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Wildly entertaining (DAILY MAIL)

An exuberant, joyful ride. Outrageously funny, it combines high farce with biting satire (INDEPENDENT)

Book Description –

A brilliant, funny novel about survival and identity in the tradition of Jeff Eugenides’ MIDDLESEX.

“[Wilson’s ] sense of humor and snappy pacing make this an appealing tale of a bygone America where truly anything can happen.” —People
* A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
“If you re looking for a breathless ride of a novel, one that s filled with more plot twists than most authors could even dream of, let alone include in one 320-page book, don t miss Cotton . . . Irresistible.” –Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust
Meet the unforgettable Leifur Kristjansson Saint Marie du Cotton (you can call him Lee). Lee is a black boy born white-skinned in segregated Eureka, Mississippi, in 1950. As if that weren t trouble enough, he s also inherited the ability to hear les voix spirits from his Mambo grandmother. By the age of twenty he has fallen in love with a Klansman s daughter, been kicked senseless and left for dead on a northbound freight train, and gotten drafted into a psy-ops corps in Nevada. Before he returns to Mississippi, he will experience up close and personal the women s liberation movement and the dawn of the Lesbian Nation.
Lee Cotton s voice equal parts Delta Blues and Motown takes us on an exhilarating freedom ride through the upheavals of three decades, and whispers its secret: The freaks and oddities of this world may well be divine.”Huck Finn meets Myra Breckinridge? Candide meets Yossarian? . . . [Cotton] is, paradoxically, a complete original.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Brilliant, scathing and hilarious . . . Cotton is an odd, inventive, entertaining and whip-smart novel–a rare combination in fiction. Enjoy it.”–The Denver Post

 

Shortlisted for the Whitbread prize.

What I thought:

Shhhh

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 August 2018

Verified Purchase

 

The most recent book I read by Christopher Wilson is Nookie which is about the 1960s Profumo affair.

Nookie: A novel of the Christine Keeler Affair by [Christopher Wilson]

Those Christine Keeler photographs are famous, but it wasn’t until I read this book that I was aware of just how young she was when the scandal happened. Written with Christopher Wilson’s wit, this is not non-fiction, although it is based on a true story.

The Blurb:

It’s the early 1960’s. London’s set to swing. Sex has just been invented. They’re a strange set of bedfellows – Christine, a hungry, chaotic teen, with the looks of Aphrodite, fleeing the tedium of suburban Staines; Percy, who runs a Soho Burlesque Club by the rules of a girl’s boarding school; Bill, Lord Astor, whose wives don’t understand him (though his dominatrix does); the slum landlord, and concentration camp survivor, Peter Rachman; Mandy, the feisty, giggler from Birmingham who’s skilled at pleasing rich, old men; Stephen, friend of stars and royalty, a charming osteopath, and modern Pygmalion, who picks up waifs and strays at the kerbside and nurtures them into models, actresses, celebrities and trophy-wives; the Kray twins, East End mobsters; Yvgeny, charmer and diplomat-cum-spy at the Soviet Embassy; John Lewis the defrocked Labour MP who plays games with prostitutes and guns; Mariella, sexual athlete and amateur social-worker, who organises West End orgies for the great and the good; President Jack Fitzgerald Kennedy and his brother Bobby who can’t always remember who they’ve met in bed; J Edgar Hoover, curator of sordid secrets; the passionate Johnny, jewel-thief, pimp, shebeen owner, with anger-management issues and a penchant for firearms; ‘Lucky’ the jazz musician who gets in the way of his razor; Bob, the peer of the realm, with a taste for rent-boys; Francis the Fleet Street crime reporter who can sniff a sexual act half a mile away; Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister, whose wayward wife, Dorothy, causes him concerns; Jack Profumo, rising star of the Conservative Party, husband of film actress Valerie Hobson, and Minister for War; Stanley the freelance assassin without a pension-plan; Sam the flexible policeman, who becomes unaccountably rich in the course of his investigations; Keith, the well-meaning, vegetarian, civil servant, who does his best for MI5; Colin the dentist from Cockfosters, who’s indulging his wife Charmian, while simply looking on: Alfred, Lord Denning, whose report on the shenanigans shamelessly exonerates anyone official, prominent, powerful or aristocratic. And from the mix of this cast you get enacted that Great Sex Kerfuffle of 1963, the Profumo Scandal – perhaps better styled the Stephen Ward Affair.

This novel of the scandal gives voice to all the major characters, and affords them the time and space to explain themselves. The account sets out to do justice to Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, spirited teenagers, who became the targets of a raucous, national hypocrisy and took the blame for the misbehaviors of the rich and powerful men who bedded them. The novel also sets out to redeem the admirable Stephen Ward – sensualist, artist, free-spirit, and convivial character – who, in the course of the scandal, lost everything that mattered to him – his friends, his reputation, and finally his life.

Christopher Wilson is the author of eight previous novels and has been shortlisted twice for the Whitbread Fiction Prize.

What I thought:

Shhhh

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 March 2020

Verified Purchase

 

Well, I have spotlighted three of Christopher Wilson’s books, I don’t want to go on too long. Apparently, long posts put people off…

Oh! But I forgot to mention Blueglass which was long-listed for the Booker Prize, in the 1990s.

Blueglass by [Chris Wilson]
There’s no doubt about it. Joey Blueglass is a talented man. How many people can sing any song after hearing it once, read a newspaper then repeat its contents word for word backwards, or recall their life in the womb? Joey can and makes it pay by performing as a Memory Man in the smoky music halls of Victorian London, until it turns out there are some key events that Joey has forgotten…

What I thought:

Shhhh

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 November 2016

Verified Purchase

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the final ‘What’s in a (Character) Name’ guest post. I have. Please have a look at the rest of Christopher Wilson’s books HERE on his website mojo-books.com (click on the word HERE for the direct link). And/or buy read and review them Books available from Christopher Wilson’s Amazon page. And just to make sure, here is the link for Christopher Wilson’s Goodreads page

 

Who knows where my ‘writerly rambling’ posts will take me next. I do need a bit of time now to write book number five of my series. For the time being, I will continue to report on the goings on in Curmudgeon Avenue.

Happy reading, and stay safe everyone! Samantha xx

What’s in a (Character) Name? #Guestpost Sue Wickstead @JayJayBus #IARTG

Thank you for joining me for today’s post about character names. When Sue Wickstead sent me a message about names, it made me smile so much, and I am really pleased to be sharing this with you;

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What’s in a name

Names are important. Why?  Because they identify who we are.

On my teaching journey I sometimes ask the children a trick question which I thought I’d share with the readers today.  It usually starts with the question: What’s my Name? The children call out answers such as Mrs Wickstead, which is my teaching name as I use my maiden name for school. Sue Wicksteadcomes next which is my writing name followed byLego Lady but no, I’m known as Lego Lady because I play with Lego when I’m not teaching and like to share the models I make. Bus lady they say in desperation. They say this because my story books are about a real bus which I now portray in fictional picture books. The children are then lost and don’t know what else to say so I tell them that I am in fact Mrs Riddick because I am married to Mr Riddick. And my children are Riddick’s too. Then I make them laugh when I announce that in my house, frogs don’t say Ribbit-Ribbit, but Riddick-Riddick.

I then write a symbol on the board which represents ‘Sue’ spoken in Gujarati. However, ‘Sue’in Guajarati is not a name but in fact means ‘What?’ So, when I said: What is my name, it was a statement and not a question.Naming my books was far simpler.

The Playbus

Where did I get this name? I was once involved with a local charity which operated a mobile playbus in Crawley, West Sussex. It was known as the Bewbush Playbus and was the first mobile project in the South-East of England, started in 1977, with money from the Queen’s silver Jubilee Community Awards Funding.The project operated in the district of Bewbush and was much loved by all of its users.

Over the years I created an exhibition of the playbus and its work. The exhibition was used for fund-raising and to increase the profile of the project.When the bus finally closed its doors, I was asked to include the exhibition photographs into a book andThe Bewbush Playbus was born, published in 2012.

Having published this book, I was now able to show the children I met, real photographs about the bus. In Crawley, the children might know ‘Bewbush’ but outside the town they did not know or even care what a Bewbush was, instead they were far more interested in the word ‘Playbus’ and would ask ‘What is a Playbus?’ ‘What does it do?’ ‘How is it different from other buses?’ This led to me telling stories about the bus. Eventually after a while the story was written down and published.

The Playbus – Fiction

Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus was published in 2014 and is the fictional tale of the real life Playbus project. The original bus was given the name ‘Supersonic’ by airport apprentices who converted the playbus. I named him Jay-Jay because his number plate is JJK 261. A bus enthusiast will tell you that JJK 261 is an Eastbourne AEC Regent bus. Yes, it is.

So now I have to make sure the buses in all my books have real number plates.

Jay-Jay has been on further adventures, including an island, (based on a Scottishbook-bus) and a carnival, a local event we’d often take part in.

In 2018, I decided to continue the bus journey and wrote about Daisy Daydream. This was the bus I painted. Technically Daisy is also JJK 261, but as this would be too confusing, I gave her a JJD number plate which is a London Oxford Street bus which gave her a London bus story start. She’s called Daisy because I painted white flowers along the sides.Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme Bus was painted with rhymes for the younger children to enjoy so now Daisy also has a book full of rhymes and jokes.Daisy Daydreams bus Rhymes and jokes.

My most recent bus book is Sparky the Dragon Bus which is based on a real bus that operated in Glasgow. The dragon bus had a stairlift fitted, enabling children less mobile to access the upper deck of the bus.The bus was well thought of and even received a royal visit from Princess Anne.

In addition, a few stories with links to my teaching journey have also been published but all of my books always include a bus somewhere in the story, even The Christmas Play Rehearsal.

There are a few more books I am writing that are in various stages of development, either planning, editing or still in the telling.

9780993073779 spooky tale cover

 

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002 docJayJay2_Cover_AW-1 (3)

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9780993073786

So many books! Thank you Sue, and thank you for reading, everyone.

Don’t forget to look at Sue’s website to buy her books, which can be found here

Sue’s Goodreads page is here

Join me next month when Andy Donaldson, and later Sharon Booth tell us about their character names.

Happy reading, Samantha xx

 

 

What’s in a (Character) Name? #Guestpost Yawatta Hosby @yawatta_hosby #IARTG

February is Women in Horror Month I wouldn’t have even known this if it wasn’t for my spooky author friend YAWATTA HOSBY (Yawatta writes horror novels, I don’t mean she’s actually spooky as a person, you understand.) I read one of Yawatta’s books recently One By One look it up! My review is in there somewhere. Also, I read Six Plus One at the weekend – also awesomely gruesome.

One By One by [Hosby, Yawatta]

Anyway, let’s find out what Yawatta Hosby thinks about names…

Thanks for letting me be a guest on your blog, Samantha!

 

What’s in a name?

 

My full name is Yawatta Finia Hosby. I bet substitute teachers had a field day, trying to pronounce it during roll call 🙂 I was named after my mom’s favorite cousin, which her mother combined two words she saw in the delivery room. I still wonder what those words were…

 

Yawatta has a Japanese root; Finia is Native American; Hosby is Irish. I’m intrigued that my dad’s grandfather came to America from Ireland. It blows my mind! I’ve lived in the United States all my life even though my name looks exotic.

 

Since I have a unique name, I try and give my characters cool names as well. I think it’s fun to Google search different surnames. Sometimes if I find a cool last name then I’ll make that my character’s first name. For example, I love using the name Franco. I’ve used that name in my short stories and upcoming comic.

 

I also love giving my female characters masculine names. In One By One, my main character was Rae. In Something’s Amiss, my main character was Poe. With my comic I’ve been working on, my main female character’s name is Felix. I think it’s fun to give characters a regular name but spell it differently. Like with Rae (pronounced Rae); plus, Perfect Little Murder had Loren (pronounced Lauren).

 

Another fun game is to collect celebrity names. When I use a certain name, my character doesn’t represent that celebrity’s personality, I just like the name. For example, in One By One, Kenan was named after the Kenan and Kel duo. Selma after Selma Hayek; Tobey after Tobey Maguire. You get the drift.

 

Sometimes I’ll also think of my characters’ ethnicities, then I’ll Google popular names. I’ll scroll for hours looking for very unique names then I’ll use those names in my stories. The funny thing is I’ll spend so much time on last names but I don’t share them in the story. Still don’t know why I do that lol. I guess because if the characters are close, in my mind, then they wouldn’t be official when introducing them to readers. They would call the other characters by their first name in the story narration, not by a full name.

 

Keep smiling,

 

Yawatta Hosby

 

Thank you so much Yawatta! So interesting, wow what intriguing family history and a lovely middle name. I do love to read horror every now and then, reminds me of being a teenager and paging through Salem’s Lot in a sulk on a family holiday… ah! What a joy I must have been as a teenager. I’m sure I’m not alone – please make sure you give Yawatta’s BLOG a visit at http://yawattahosby.wordpress.com/ to catch all her books or visit her Amazon PAGE I just did – and there are a few bargains on there – stock up your Kindle (or other reading devices)

 

61dTIZ10fUL._US230_Six Plus One Kindle EditionOne By One Kindle EditionPlenty of Fish Kindle EditionTwisted Obsession: A Suspense Novella Kindle EditionSomething's Amiss Kindle EditionPerfect Little Murder Kindle Edition

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7101735.Yawatta_Hosby

Twitter @yawatta_hosby

Author Yawatta Hosby @YawattaHosby Facebook

Yay! Thanks again, Yawatta and join me in two weeks to find out about Sue Wickstead and her Jay Jay Bus!

Happy reading, Samantha xx

 

 

 

#GuestPost Preview! Make sure you read this blog on Saturday (BURNS NIGHT) for a special treat from @lizzie_lamb #IARTG

Hi Everyone! The special treat is that best-selling uplifting romantic novelist Lizzie Lamb has agreed to guest post on my ‘What’s in a (Character) Name?’ Regular blog post. When Lizzie put her post together, the focus was on location – particularly because of the three HIGHLAND BRIDES NOVELS

Scotch on the RocksSo, before Saturday – when I expect you will be all reading Robert Burns’ poetry, wearing a kilt and eating haggis, I thought I would treat everyone to a snippet of Lizzie’s post before the big event – Burns night.

download Castle Stalker Castle Stalker (Photo from Lizzie Lamb – more of this on Saturday).

Here is a bit of Lizzie’s guest post –

Take Me, I’m Yours – a small town romance full of love and passion

Closing the door behind her, India sank down on the padded window seat and, drawing her knees up, pulled a cushion towards her, hugging it for comfort. Resting her head back against the heavy shutters she looked out into a vermilion and gold sunset where islands and peninsulas jutted out into the bay. However, the beauty of the scene was lost. All she could think of was how different the sunset must look from MacFarlane’s beach hut, thousands of miles away. Cool air blew off the lake and through the open window, stirring the muslin draping her cast iron four poster bed. Getting up to wipe her eyes on the corner of her pashmina, she caught sight of herself in the cheval mirror. Backlit by the sunset, with filmy drapes billowing around her, she seemed as unsubstantial as a ghost. A mere shadow of her former self. Dark circles under her eyes, skin without its youthful luminescence, violet eyes huge in her pale face. How had this come to pass?

Boot Camp Bridea hilarious laugh out loud marriage of convenience romance

Charlee glanced over the low hedges and dun-coloured fields stretching towards the salt marshes where the sea was a black line on the horizon. There was a stripped back beauty to the place and the flocks of birds heading for the feeding grounds down by the shoreline ensured the view was an ever-changing tapestry. Perhaps, here on the salt marsh, where the wind sighed through the reeds and stirred the dried pods of the alexanders, they could be honest with one another. Confront those feelings which had been simmering beneath the surface since the book launch. Playing his pretend fiancée wasn’t easy; the pretence was beginning to feel more real than the life Charlee had left behind.

Camper Van BCB

I have read four of Lizzie’s books. The fifth is waiting for me on my Kindle as a special treat.

 

 Lizzie Lamb’s bio with links –

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided to pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride. She went on to publish Scotch on the Rocks, which achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon and her next novel, Girl in the Castle, reached #3 in the Amazon charts. Lizzie is a founder member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press, and has co-hosted author events at Aspinall, St Pancras and Waterstones, Kensington, talking about the research which underpins her novels. Lizzie latest romance Take Me, I’m Yours is set in Wisconsin, a part of the USA which she adores. This novel also achieved BEST SELLER status >travel>USA. She has further Scottish-themed romances planned and spends most of the summer touring the Scottish Highlands researching men in kilts. What’s not to like? As for the years she spent as a teacher, they haven’t quite gone to waste. She is building a reputation as a go-to speaker on indie publishing, and how to plan, write, and publish a debut novel. She is currently working on #6 – a road trip ‘movie’ where two warring guardians are forced to join forces and set off in hot pursuit after two runaway teenagers.  Lizzie lives in Leicestershire (UK) with her husband, David.

She loves to hear from readers, so do get in touch . . .

Lizzie’s Links

https://www.amazon.com/author/lizzielamb

www.facebook.com/LizzieLambwriter

lizzielambwriter@gmail.com

website: www.lizzielamb.co.uk

https://twitter.com/lizzie_lamb

Newsletter – http://tinyurl.com/ELNL-2016

Linked in: uk.linkedin.com/pub/lizzie-lamb/18/194/202/

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/cbla48d

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lizzielamb/

LIZZIE LAMB NEW EMAIL SIGNATURE 300px

Don’t forget to read Lizzie’s full guest post, especially changed to Saturday for Burns night. See you then, Samantha xx

 

What’s in a (Character) Name? #Guestpost #Reblog @DeborahMiles7 #IARTG #Indieauthor #Readingthrillers #AgainsttheFlowPress

Got to share this again, Deborah J Miles’ book Orchard View still sends the literary shivers when I think about the character Etta Franklin’s story… I am not so secretly hoping that Deborah writes another book, but I know that a lot of her time is taken up with her fantastic blog Against the Flow Press. Deborah is a supporter of indie authors like me and has just worked super hard on the #DecTheShelves promotion that took over Twitter during the Christmas run-up.

Orchard View also made it on to my Christmas gift list this year – Father-in-Law is a big reader.

36290599._SY475_

I will shut up now and let Deborah J. Miles tell you about her character names:

I ‘accidently’ wrote my novel while I was taking an online writing course through FutureLearn. A friend and I were doing the course together, really for something to occupy us while she was recovering from surgery. During one of the exercises in the course, the whole story just came to me. I kept it in my head and typed out chapter after chapter.

Bill Maynard was my first character. The name just seemed right for the character. I needed something short and to the point as a first name, hence ‘Bill’, and somehow ‘Maynard’ followed. It occurred to me after I’d finished writing that ‘Maynard’ is a surname which appears on my family tree, and ‘Bill Maynard’ was also the name of an actor.

My second character was the house itself, Orchard View. House names often refer to their location or history, such as Sea View, Hilltop, The Old Rectory, and The Old School House. The house was so named because it once overlooked an orchard.

My next character, Etta Franklin, was created by borrowing the name of a lovely lady I knew as a child. I loved the sound of the name ‘Etta’ which I realised must have been the shortened form of Henrietta. Etta needed to have standing, so ‘Henrietta’ was a suitable name, but she also needed to be likeable, and ‘Etta’, to my mind, is a much friendlier name. I used the phone book to choose her surname. I opened it at random, and pointed to a line on the open page, which as it turned out, contained the surname ‘Franklin’.

Norma Parker is the street busybody or Nosy Parker. I thought it apt that she should be called ‘Parker’. Her first name, ‘Norma’, was the name of an acquaintance from many moons ago who had some of the attributes I wanted for my character. Her nosy ways have her labelled as the ‘Neighbourhood Witch’.

As the story developed, and I added new characters, I found that if I could imagine the character, their size, stature, traits and personality, then a name would occur to me. I suppose I am drawing on memories I have tucked away about people I have known in one capacity or another, such as from family history research, celebrities, friends etc… There was only one I changed; Maeve became Mae because I felt Maeve didn’t convey the softness I was looking for in this character. Mae seems to be a favourite with my readers too.

https://www.futurelearn.com

Deborah J Miles
Deborah Miles is married with three grown-up children and lives in Kent.

She has worked in banking, tourism, education and social services, and has hosted international students for over 30 years.

Her interests include: genealogy, self-improvement, home computing, web design, D.I.Y/gardening, pen friends and writing.

Deborah is independently published and created the imprint Against the Flow Press for her first novel, Orchard View.

Blog: http://againsttheflowpress.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter @DeborahMiles7,

blog: https://againsttheflowpress.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deborah_j_miles/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/

Think I put Deborah’s blog on twice… make sure you don’t miss it!

Links to buy Orchard View :

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Well, that was awesome, big thanks to Deborah J Miles for guesting on my last post of 2019. It’s been a blast!

Onwards!

See you next time, when William B. Taylor and Helen Gerrard tell us about their illustrated children’s book The Bee Polisher.

Happy New Year, reading, writing, and everything love Samantha xx

What’s in a (Character) Name? #GuestPost @janeholland1 #IARTG

Thank you for joining me for my end of the year ‘writerly rambling’ posts. Today, I am overwhelmed… My indie author buddy and advanced league blogger of Against The Flow Press had a word with today’s guest about this blog… Drum roll, please… Today, I have been joined by Jane Holland – the award-winning author and poet with six pseudonyms (what a coincidence for a character naming blog post) and her own Wikipedia page. This has never happened before. Now, over to Jane Holland while I go and read her latest book The Hive which I have been ‘saving as a special treat’ (I’m such a geek).

Jane Holland

CHOOSING NAMES IN FICTION — Jane Holland

I write across a range of genres from action thrillers to women’s fiction and romance. So, when choosing character names, I look for a name that will fit both the character and the genre. (And I even write those different genres under separate pen-names myself, with most pen-names reflecting the genre.)

 

Names, like any word, possess emotional resonance. As novelists, we ignore that at our peril. Some names suggest warmth, trust and approachability, such as Hannah, Faith, Marcus, Nathan.Others feel somewhat cooler and more stand-offish, such as Sonia, Chloe, Fabian, Leopold.Some names feel strong and bold, like Jackie, Rowena, Ryan, Tyrell, while others are more exotic or inspirational, such as Gloria and Orlando.

 

Character names project a certain impression on a book overall; sometimes, this can be essential to the proper working of the plot. Chuck and Demelza sound an unlikely couple for a romance, while Bill or Sharon would make improbable villains in an international thriller. The wrong names strike the wrong note. Of course, if you’re trying to make a point, or write in a quirky, tongue-in-cheek manner, or perhaps conceal your villain until the last possible moment, misdirecting a reader could be useful. But on the whole, readers are likely to feel confused and uncertain with a poor name choice, and nothing makes them put a book down sooner than the fear that the author in question doesn’t know their business.

 

I tend to pick whichever name springs to mind while I’m working on my synopsis prior to starting to write (I’m a planner, not a pantser). That probably sounds quite casual, but I’ve written over forty novels and dozens of novellas, and my brain automatically selects names in the right ballpark for the story.

 

If I need to strike a particular note, or avoid clashing with other characters in the book – too many names beginning with the same letter, for example, or ending the same way, like Lucy/Tracy, may confuse readers – I do an internet search. Back in the day, a book of ‘baby names’ was on every writer’s bookshelf. Today, you can search in a few seconds among thousands of names, not just arranged alphabetically, but names from a certain part of the world, or associated with particular languages, age groups, or historical eras. The perfect name is out there somewhere!

 

For my latest thriller, THE HIVE, I chose Charlotte for my heroine: it had to be quite a posh name, but traditional and not stand-offish. Her boyfriend’s name is Russian (because he is!). Saying more about other characters’ names would, sadly, give away some of the twist, so I shall have to leave it there.

 

I chose the title THE HIVE after writing the book. The provisional title was THE BEE BOX, named after an object in the book. I knew right from the earliest planning stages that bees would be an integral part of the book, and even the way the book is structured follows that theme. So the title was always going to be bee-related, and ‘hive’ also suggests the busy – or buzzing – metropolitan setting of the novel in London, a metaphor that also plays a role in the story.

The Hive: A dark, spine-chilling thriller to keep you turning pages Kindle EditionForget Her Name: A gripping thriller with a twist you won't see coming Kindle EditionLock the Door: A psychological thriller full of suspense Kindle EditionUnder An Evil Star (Stella Penhaligon Thrillers Book 1) Kindle EditionThe Tenth House Murders (Stella Penhaligon Thrillers Book 2) Kindle EditionGirl Number One: A gripping page-turner with a twist Kindle EditionAll Your Secrets: A taut psychological thriller with a NAILBITING finale Kindle EditionWriting Prompts for Thriller Writers Paperback

Above are just a few of Jane’s books, worth taking a look at her Amazon page click this pink link

I was so interested (me, Samantha Henthorn – back again) to read about how Jane chooses her character names depending on which genre she is writing in. Totally have not had that valuable information during my creative writing degree. (So far!) Jane Holland also changes her author name, depending on which genre she is writing in. Here are some book covers from her pseudonyms:

The Oddest Little Mistletoe Shop: a sparkly romcom for all year round Kindle EditionThe Oddest Little Cornish Tea Shop: A feel-good summer read! Kindle EditionThe Queen's Secret (Lucy Morgan Book 1) Kindle EditionWolf Bride (Lust in the Tudor court - Book One) (Lust in the Tudor Court 1) PaperbackThe Uncatchable Miss Faversham (Regency Romance) Kindle Edition

I could be here all day adding book covers! Jane Holland has written over forty books (that I can count). Do check out the links I have added above and do what I’m going to do, start with her most recent books:

The Hive available HERE UK and HERE US

In High Places (as JJ Holland) HERE UK  and HERE US

Twitter: Jane Holland loves #Christmas 🏳️‍🌈 (@janeholland1) | Twitter

 

Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet and bestselling novelist. Her thriller GIRL NUMBER ONE hit #1 in the UK Kindle store in 2015, and again in 2018. Her latest book is IN HIGH PLACES, an action thriller written as JJ Holland. Also just out is THE HIVE, a dark thriller. You can find her on Twitter as @janeholland1

Her first novel KISSING THE PINK (Sceptre) was based on the women’s Pro Snooker circuit, where she herself was a champion player ranked 24th in the world before being banned for life for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’. Since turning from sport to writing, she’s published dozens of novels with major publishing houses under various pseudonyms, including: Beth Good, Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss, Hannah Coates, and JJ Holland.

She also writes practical writing manuals such as Writing Prompts for Thriller Writers, along with a sister book for Romance Writers, and other non-fiction books, including a new ‘Dreams Journal’ for complex dream interpretation.

Elizabeth Moss

 

Totally star-struck. Thank you so much, Jane (where’s that ‘blushing’ emoji?)

Happy reading everyone! See you tomorrow when we re-visit Deborah J Mile’s character naming post,

Samantha xx

 

What’s in a (Character) Name? Ahava Trivedi @Ahava_Tee #GuestPost #IARTG #Preorder

Ahava Trivedi tells Samantha Henthorn how she chose the name for her latest character.

Hello and thank you for joining me in my now bi-monthly writerly post. Now, earlier this year I met Ahava Trivedi on a BookFunnel comedy promotion. Since then we have become great friends, there is no end to her writing talent – and she has now even switched genres! Please welcome the newly appointed YA Fantasy Novelist Ahava Trivedi talking about her new character’s name (which after seeing today I am totally thinking of changing my own name to!):

 

Katrina Snow Quartz

Katrina Snow Quartz is a Crystal Witch. While she was growing up, she was shuffled from foster homes in Europe, all the way to those in Canada where her adoptive parents, Lorna and Babette Quartz adopted her from. Lorna and Babette weren’t just any other couple. They were powerful High Priestesses of their coven. They were Crystal Witches that possessed a rare and potent form of magic and they adopted Katrina because they felt the same magical line in her. The only two things that were known at the time about Katrina’s heritage, was her first name and birthday. Neither of the witches had the heart to change Katrina’s first name as it was one of the only symbols of her largely unknown heritage.

The name ‘Snow’ came about because Lorna thought she was funny and chose it given that Katrina was a white witch coming to live with them down south in Louisiana from the Great White North. She thought it was genius while Katrina has always found it lame.

Katrina belongs to the coven named ‘Circle of Quartz’ and that’s where she gets her surname. Each witch carries the surname that the coven is defined by. Once initiated, every witch in the coven carries the name of the coven as her surname in the supernatural world and would only ever change it if she started a coven of her own.

Magic Within: A Young Adult Urban Fantasy Novel (Bloodline Academy Book 1) by [Trivedi, Ahava]

Releasing January 2020 PRE-ORDER HERE (Samantha Henthorn has)

Ahava Trivedi

Ahava Trivedi grew up in the south of England and almost on a whim one day, decided to up and move to Toronto, Canada with her sister. She is mostly a fiction author who, similar to her hasty move across the pond, likes to explore different genres that interest her by diving headlong into them first and figuring out her story as she goes along.

Ahava is currently writing some humorous reads that have taken shape as The Hopeless Husband Series. The first book in the series, ‘The Anniversary’, is out now and the next ones will be available very soon!

If you’d like to get an email whenever Ahava releases a new title or decides to give books away for free (she does this from time to time!), sign up for exclusive updates at http://www.ahavatrivedi.com

If you’d like to contact Ahava, she’d love to hear from you! Here are some ways to get in touch:

The Twitter-verse: @Ahava_Tee

The Facebook Page: Ahava Trivedi Author

Telepathy: Hey, why not? Give it a try – you can do it if you believe you can!

 

Thank you so much, Ahava! I have really been looking forward to hearing what this new name was! And it was well worth the wait. I would recommend signing up to Ahava’s page and reading her books!

Happy reading! Samantha xx

PS join me next month when we hear from a poet from the very same town as me!