Interview with NF READS. https://www.nfreads.com

Quite unexpectedly, NFReads.com enquired if I was interested in providing an author interview. As a result, I did my due diligence and in doing so had the opportunity to read other interesting author interviews. I do hope that others will read the story of my journey to publication and feel inspired or motivated to begin or continue their own journey into the world of publishing.

 

Author K.L Loveley typing at her laptop

My own story began when I was quite young. Although at the time, I was not aware that I was laying down the foundations for my future as a writer of contemporary fiction and poetry.

During my childhood, I kept a diary, which I wrote in, with great enthusiasm, later writing in a journal. It will come as no great surprise to hear that I was an avid reader. Still, am. There is truth in the saying ‘So many books, so little time’.

As I left childhood behind my love of reading and writing did not wane. If anything, it went from strength to strength. I read the classics and studied A-Level language and literature. In awe of all published authors; one day striving to write a novel myself. From time to time, I wrote poetry eventually putting together a collection, which has recently been published by ‘Globeflower Books’. Chameleon days explores the changing and sometimes camouflaged emotions of a woman unleashed. Beautifully illustrated by the artist Elvina Dulac. This is available from Amazon and other retail outlets. (ISBN: 9781999829483)

Chameleon Days

Life for most of us dictates the necessity to work and earn a wage. I realised early on, the difficulty of earning a living from writing. Fortunately, I chose a career that I adored and was well suited to. Nursing involved a lot of hard work, unsociable hours, and dedication. There was also a terrific amount of study, which for me took no effort. I had a thirst for knowledge in those days, which was quenched from reading the many books and journals. Writing essays was an opportunity to practice my writing skills. Out of necessity, the nature of my writing at this stage was of a different genre to my current work. Scientific writing continued to be a part of my life for many years, well after completing a degree in Biological Science.

As much as I enjoyed this, it did not feed my creativity. Although writing in my journal allowed me to express myself in the written word. It did not completely hit the spot for me. When my family left home to become independent adults, I was able to reduce my working hours, enabling the pursuit of my dream to write a novel.

My journey to published author.

It was inevitable that my debut novel would incorporate my existing knowledge about real-life social issues. It came to my attention through my role as a Practice Nurse in Primary care that alcohol misuse among women in modern life was fast becoming a major public health and social issue. My debut novel simply called ‘Alice’ and published by Austin Macaulay publishers, is a fictionalised account that reflects the struggle of many women who find themselves in circumstances that feel beyond their control. Women who in their twenties saw themselves with a long and happy future ahead of them. Sadly, the reality for some women is that these aspirations and dreams are shattered when the family unit breaks down. These women may follow a different path with a change in their drinking habits.

The story follows the life of one such woman. Alice is available to purchase from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles, Barnes and Noble and other retail outlets. ISBN-10: 1786129728

ISBN-13: 978-1786129727 Available as a hardback, paperback and EBook.

July 2015 I completed the first draft of my debut novel Alice. In truth, I hoped but doubted very much that it would be of interest to mainstream publishers. An unknown author like me. Who would take such a chance? Out of interest, I began my google search of publishers. Where does one start? Well, at the very beginning of course. With the letter A.

In retrospect, I realise now, just how naïve I was, and still am to some extent. However, since the early days of my journey, I have learned a lot more. I told myself that I was just testing the water and prepared for many rejection letters or maybe, no reply at all. From my search of the internet, I discovered that there were very few publishers willing to take on new writers. However, hey, I was testing the water, right. I went back to the first search page and chose the first publisher willing to take on new authors. A = Austin Macaulay.

Forward to August 2015 and I received a reply from them. The first of many rejection letters I thought. Wrong! To my utter amazement, the letter was positive.

‘The publishing board have reported favourably on a piece of work which you submitted for consideration. ‘

No way, I thought. This is incredible news. After sending them the full manuscript, they offered me a publishing contract. Not a traditional contract where the author is paid an advance, but one with good royalty payments set against a one-off payment by myself to cover costs. It was a reasonable amount and I understood it was a risk on their part. I was assigned a production coordinator who was very professional. After approximately eighteen months, the book was ready to go to press. I was able to decide on my own front cover design and the blurb. Although they provided me with a few front cover designs, none truly appealed. Therefore, I sought help from a contact of mine who lived local and was able to meet with me to plan a suitable front cover. The publisher was happy with the arrangement, and the first books were hot off the press in January 2017. I organised a book launch party in a fabulous listed building in my local village. It was well attended and such an awesome experience for my family and myself.

Once I had completed the editing and proofreading process of my debut novel, I began working on my second book. However, I did not take into account the amount of effort and hard work required to promote and market my debut novel. The lady who helped with my front cover design, Anna’lisa meanwhile developed a marketing company of her own. With her help, I set up the most popular social platforms to promote my book. She developed a website for me and taught me about how to manage it and write blog posts. She arranged radio interviews media coverage and magazine contacts. Anna’lisa also arranged a couple of blog tours and give aways, something I was not aware of. In effect, she became my marketing manager.

Upcoming book release 2017 - Debut novel 'Alice' by K.L Loveley, female drinking alcohol on a black book cover

When my second book ‘Love, Secrets And Absolution’ (ISBN-13: 978-1999829407) was ready for publication I was so satisfied with her work that I agreed to her publishing it for me under the imprint of ‘Globeflower books’.

As with the subject matter of my debut novel, I chose a topic that was very much in the public arena. Over the past decade, there has been increasing awareness of children’s mental health issues. This has not always been so. With this in mind, I ventured to create a fictitious family who would portray some of the struggles that families and individuals suffered when certain conditions are not recognised or understood.

This was a difficult novel to write due to the structure. I would describe it as a coming of age story with a difference. The reader first meets Alfie the protagonist before he is born. I guess that sounds strange and to be honest it was a risk on my part. I felt this was a risk worth taking, so the reader begins to get a clear understanding that it was nature as opposed to nurture that shaped Alfie’s life.

The title Love, Secrets and Absolution describes the love between mother and child.

The secrets and how difficult it can be for a young child to keep them.

Absolution, Will anyone find closure?

Also available from Amazon and other book outlets. Available as a paperback and EBook.

Love, Secrets, and Absolution - novel

What I found the hardest.

It takes a lot of nerve to get from an idea to a novel. It is important to keep believing in your book and the ability to complete it. Writing can be a solitary pastime and a time for reflection. With the exception of celebrity writers, most authors like me, are not comfortable performing. It was the public appearances, no matter how small a gathering that I found daunting. However early on I realised that in our world of fierce competition one needs to be seen as well as heard.

I had a steep learning curve when it came to the world of marketing and quickly needed to learn new skills.

Do you have a special place to write?

My special place is on our narrowboat, although when I am overflowing with ideas I can quite easily write anywhere. For example, while travelling on the train I carry my notebook and can often be seen making notes. In addition, I have an office overlooking our beautiful garden where I witness the changing seasons and gain inspiration.

 

 

How much of the storyline is connected to your own life?

I am often asked this question and given the nature of the issues with Alice in my first book. The answer is thankfully not much. That does not mean that I have not used and exaggerated some of my own life experiences and observations. Some of the conversations I have taken from life and put into the mouths of my fictional characters.

What next for K L Loveley?

Having completed my third book titled ‘Union Blues’ I am now in the process of editing and making plans for publication which will hopefully be early next year.www.nfreads.com

Autism. How it can affect communication

  AUTISM       How it can affect communication. 

For those of you who have read ‘Love, Secrets, and Absolution’,  written by K.L.Loveley, it will be quite clear to have worked out the difficulties that young Alfie experiences. However, difficult his childhood years were, his young adult life is also peppered with challenging situations.

Below is a short extract to reinforce the above statement.

‘I desperately attempt to remember the counselor’s words of encouragement. She encouraged me to bring hidden issues to the surface where I can talk them through and deal with them before they poison my mind.’

Love, Secrets, and Absolution - novel

Amazon five stars

 

Over the last decade, there have been tremendous amounts of research into Autism resulting in a better understanding of the condition.

Although it is still not clear what triggers Autism, we do know that a number of factors, genetic and environmental can affect brain development, thereby increasing the risk of autism. Currently, there is work underway at Cambridge University to identify if raised levels of estrogen in the womb can increase the likelihood of developing autism. This study along with multiple other studies are leading the way through medical research to a better understanding of this condition.

Autism is not an ‘illness’ and cannot be ‘cured’. There are however many interventions that can be helpful for people with autism to enable learning and development.

Please take a look at the following link to see how many people are working towards improving communication with the autistic community.

https://www.mastersincommunications.org/autism-how-affects-communication/

The Space Between Time

                                                                     The Space Between Time.

                                                                      Written by Charlie Laidlaw.

I felt compelled to share this review with my blog  post followers because I believe that Charlie Laidlaw has most definitely got a unique writing style.

From the very first page I was hooked and unable to put this down.  The narrative is absorbing and the scientific facts relating to physics fascinating. In some respects I was reminded of the seventeenth century metaphysical poets who used their own scientific knowledge to enhance their prose.

‘There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on earth.’

I love quotes like the above.

The story follows Emma Maria Rossini, the daughter of a famous actor and beautiful though neurotic mother. Add to the mix, a genius grandfather an Italian astrophysicist, whose moustache declares his changing mood; and who Emma describes with humour and love.

The city of Edinburgh Scotland is the setting for most of the story, alongside vacations in Italy which reminds the reader of Emma’s Italian background and gives contrast to the different lifestyles.

Although dark and serious at times as the reader observes her journey from child to adult. There are many light hearted moments and even humour.

Footsteps in the Sand

http://Ty Newydd Creative Writing Centre | Courses & Retreats, Wales https://www.tynewydd.wales/

Ty Newydd Writing Centre. Llanystumdwy, North Wales. Once residence to Prime-Minister; David Lloyd George.

I have long held the ambition to spend quality time at a writing retreat. My thirst for this adventure reinforced after watching the film ‘Love Actually.’ The image of Colin Firth in his writing retreat and the moment his housekeeper removed the mug securing his manuscript was a scene I have stored in the library section of my brain for a very long time.

During a miserable November 2018, I began to research the possibility of making my dream a reality. Thank goodness for the internet which at the touch of a button opened up a number of possibilities.

Eventually, though I must add that it wasn’t a difficult decision. I applied for an extended weekend course at Ty Newydd; the National Writing Centre of Wales.

Established in 1990 the aim of the center is to develop writers of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities. Many world-famous writers have tutored at the center, sharing years of secrets and techniques.

A team of Literature Wales staff work at Ty Newydd providing a quiet and calm atmosphere that nurtures the perfect atmosphere to engage in creative writing.

My room under the eaves on the second floor of the listed building was delightful with its rustic décor and sloping roof. In fact, I felt privileged with respect to its location. With the kitchen a few steps down and library directly beneath me it was central to the main facilities.

The literature lounge originally David Lloyd George’s reception room houses a large collection of fiction, both in Welsh and English. While the Glyn-Jones Library which was his former study overlooking the extensive gardens contains an extensive collection of poetry. There is also a smaller collection of creative, non-fiction and plays.

We were a moderate-sized group of like-minded aspiring poets. From various parts of the country and backgrounds; with one thing in common. To improve our writing skills and to feed our creativity.

The course tutors Paul Henry and Samantha Wynne Rhydderch were inspirational in their approach to the course. The theme being, Poetry and the Sea.

I was awe-inspired at the diversity of poetry that was produced over the course and came away with inspiration and vigor for the next stage of my writing journey.

We were encouraged to write a poem that reflected the place where the land meets the sea. I would like to share with you a poem that I created in response to this.

I hope you enjoy it.

‘Footsteps in the Sand.’

 

Wet smooth sand, each grain tightly packed

Silica catching the first rays

As the East gives life once more.

Deep indentations, size nine, maybe ten.

Then side by side, two tiny feet

Like water babies, feather-light.

 

Shellac crushed to a grain of sand

Crystals and minerals long dissolved from the rock they formed.

Each sedimentary fragment washed upon the beach.

Igneous rock once deep in the crust, out of reach

Now fired and crushed.

Smoothed, golden and soft

 Parent and child hand in hand.

Leaving their mark in the glistening sand.

 

 

Book Lovers Dream

Book Lovers Dream.

The month of June kicked off with every book lovers dream. A whole month of literary excitement. This year saw the twentieth anniversary of the Lowdham Book Festival and I for one did not want to miss the opportunity to meet at least some of the famous authors who were in the line-up. As per my previous blogs, you will be aware of the ones I met.

The month of literary excitement culminated on Saturday, June 29th.

  As the temperature around the country soared towards thirty degrees I sheltered from the sweltering heat under a marquee along with a number of authors and booksellers at the Lowdham Book Festival. It was an exciting day where I was able to chat with fellow authors and sell signed copies of my books to the public.

Amongst the many authors I met was: Stephen Taylor author of historical fiction and children stories and Maria Dziedzan author of historical fiction. Here I am with Maria and Stephen enjoying a good time at the festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event hosted a wide range of activities and interesting stalls, amongst which was a very nice lady dressed in traditional German clothes, promoting ‘Travel without borders a bespoke holiday company. In addition along with her colleagues, they were selling a wide range of cookery and winemaking books. A feast of delights

I highly recommend a visit next year for this annual event. Pop it in your diary in readiness.

All of my books are still available to purchase from Amazon and all good book outlets; available as Ebook and paperback.

 

Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre review.

Amongst my many interests, musical theatre is one that I only occasionally get to enjoy, therefore I relish every second of the performance and squeeze as much pleasure out of the occasion that I possibly can.

In general, I manage to visit the theatre a couple of times a year.

This June was one such occasion when I went with my husband to The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham to see the international award-winning musical ‘The Bodyguard’.

This smash hit- musical based on the film of the same name proved to be everything I had hoped for.

Alexander Burke was magnificent in her role as ‘Rachel Marron’ a world-famous performer who falls in love with her bodyguard, Frank Farmer.

This was musical theatre at its best, enhanced by the set design and state of the heart lighting. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole production. Karen Bruce did a sterling job with the choreography and the sixteen strong soundtrack was everything I could have hoped for.

I will always love you, Queen of the night and I’m every woman are just a few of the featured hit songs in the show.

Along with the rest of the audience, I was blown away.

 

The Strawberry Thief

What an extraordinary month I am having!  It has to be said that June has been the creative focus of my literary year.  Well, so far anyway.

Having made such a bold statement, perhaps I should consider the fact that we are only half way into 2019.

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me personally, the year seems to be galloping on like a horse competing in the Grand National. Not that I am owning up to jumping over a number of hurdles you understand although if marketing and promoting my books can be considered a hurdle then perhaps I need further training.

Always willing to learn and take inspiration from others I have been embracing the local Book Festival at Lowdham.

From my previous blog, you will remember that I enjoyed an afternoon at Southwell Library with Victoria Hislop and Anne Zouroudi.

Friday, June 21st, I had the great pleasure and privilege of an evening with Joanne Harris as she promoted her new book. ‘The Strawberry Thief.’ This event was held at Lowdham Village Hall.

What a wonderful unpretentious author she is. Her honest and open replies during the Q & A  session was a credit to her. I came away from the event feeling much more confident and inspired.

I am returning to the village of Lowdham on Saturday 29th June where I will be promoting my contemporary works of fiction and my book of poetry.

The All Day Bookfair and Café are open from10 am – 5 pm.

The Bookfair is spread over the Village Hall; there will be a marquee and assorted gazebos featuring booksellers, publishers charities and displays of printing equipment.

FREE ENTRY, SO PLEASE POP ALONG AND SAY HELLO.

Lowdham Book Festival

Lowdham Book Festival.

Excuse me for feeling happy and spreading my joy around but I have just got to share with you the news that I have met with a number one bestselling author.

Yes, my friends, the one and only Victoria Hislop who has sold over ten million books.

On Thursday, June 6th as part of the Lowdham Book Festival, Victoria Hislop was welcomed back to The Southwell Library, Nottingham, UK, to entertain the audience about her new novel,

 Those who are loved.

Set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece in WW11 she was in conversation with fellow grecophile Anne Zouroudini; author of the bestselling Greek Detective series. Together they entertained and educated the large audience of book lovers.

It was such a treat, made all the more special for me, when I was invited to ask a question about her writing process. In addition, I had the opportunity for a brief chat with Victoria and a signed copy of her new novel.

Such a lovely sincere lady.

Book Review.

When Breath Becomes Air.    Written by Paul Kalanithi.

Book Review.

The honesty and openness of Paul Kalanithi are astonishing. He turned his tragic circumstances into a study of how a patient-doctor relationship has a profound effect on the psychological aspect of a terminal illness.
I guess that the writing process in some small way was therapeutic for him and allowed his pain to be transferred into words of wisdom for others to take comfort from.

Although some might be put off by the blurb if they have suffered loss themselves, it is written so well that the reader will forget the diagnosis and read into the much deeper messages about life and death that he succinctly puts across.

*****  Five star GoodReads review from me.

 

Authors work is never done.

    Authors work is never done.

Writing can be a solitary pastime, it is also a period of reflection. However, for myself, it is an opportunity to be creative, to give birth to fictionalized characters and create a world for them to live in.

Imagination is a wonderful gift, enabling freedom of thought. Did you know that the process of reality and imagination follows different paths?

Researchers have discovered that visual information from real events travels upwards towards the parietal lobe in the brain from the occipital lobe. It appears that the opposite is true for imagined images. These travel along synapses from the parietal lobe towards the occipital. Fascinating is it not?

Returning to the statement ‘An author’s work is never done.’ I refer to the promotion and marketing of a book once completed. In actual fact, the promotion often begins prior to the first books being printed. For example, the teaser statements on social platforms such as book cover reveal. The many social platforms for promoting books are brilliant in terms of reaching large amounts of would be readers. However, in our multi-media world, one needs to be seen and heard as well as read.

It is the public appearances no matter how small a gathering that genuinely connects the writer with the reader. With this in mind, I try to attend a variety of local events in order to promote my books.

 

 

 

 

Recently I attended ‘The Lowdham Book and Ephemera fair which was held at The Village Hall, Lowdham. Having met a number of other book enthusiasts it was brought to my attention that there is soon to be a Book Festival to be held there between June 2nd– 29th

The line-up looks incredible and includes many award-winning authors: Victoria Hislop, C J Tudor, Joanne Harris, and Miranda Seymour Karen Bailey.

Children’s author Michael Rosen will be chatting about his own remarkable story and local poets Jane Wyles and Fiona Theokritoff will be sharing their poetry.

Tickets for these events are available from The Bookcase, Lowdham. Notts. 0115 966 3219

Hope to see you there.