Category Archives: Quintette

Quintette of Questions: Heloise West

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Heloise West

COVER IDEAS 31.What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

Ardent is the title of the book. Morello named the colour he invented for his feelings for Benedetto, ardent red. Originally, the title was Ardent Fire, but I had three titles with fire or burning in them, so I dropped Fire.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

I have images in my head that don’t relate to actors—I don’t go looking unless someone, like you, asks. There are a few occasions when I’ve come across someone who reminds me of my characters without specifically looking. So I can’t really answer that.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Art, love, lust, murder, justice

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple or team?

I recently read all the books in Imogen Roberson’s Westerman and Crowther series, set in Georgian England. I do hope there’s more. They’re not a couple, but it seemed there were a few hints about that in the future in the last book—though I like them better as a team. I recommend this series highly if you like your historical mysteries with a lot of depth and complications.

5. What song always makes you cry? 

Put me in a room with John Dowland while I’m creating a sad scene (like the last scenes in Ardent), and I’ll be typing with tears in my eyes, but other than that, music won’t do it for me—I’m just not a good crier.

About Ardent

In the village of Torrenta, master painter Morello has created a colour that mimics the most expensive pigment of all, the crimson red. Master Zeno, from strife-ridden Medici Florence, tells him the colour gives him a competitive advantage – but Morello must be careful. Fraud is ever-present in the dye and pigment markets.

 

As they work together in Torrenta, Morello falls hard for Zeno’s assistant, Benedetto Tagliaferro, a young man of uncommon beauty and intelligence. Benedetto is still fixed on his old lover, the master painter Leo Guisculo, and cannot return Morello’s affections.

 

But when Leo dies in a terrible accident, it’s to Morello that Zeno and Benedetto turn for help. And Morello soon finds that in Florence, every surface hides layers of intrigue.

See more at Manifold Press.

About Heloise West

heloisewestinlisbonHeloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of thirteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

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Quintette of Questions: Eleanor Musgrove

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Eleanor Musgrove

COVER IDEAS 41.What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

My new book is called Submerge, and it was a bit of a nightmare to name, actually – I was referring to it as ‘The Bowler Hat novel’ and even ‘Bowler Hats 1’ until the day before I sent it to my publisher! In the end, it wasn’t until I started thinking about a continuation of the story that I realised it would make sense to name it after the central club – and it relates to the themes of the story quite well, too!

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

As Jamie, I’d probably cast Jaz Deol, who gamers may know as the voice of Henry Green in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – he matches up very nicely with how I picture him. For Gina, I’d be inclined to go for Natalie Dormer or someone like her – fun and effortlessly glamorous. As for Addie and Miles, I have yet to find the perfect cast! I think it’s important for people to imagine the characters in their own ways, though, and I’d love to hear who readers would cast as my leads.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Ooh, these questions always stump me. Hmm, let’s see…
Mystery. Friendship. Intrigue. Deception. Romance. How’s that?

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple or team?

Ooh. Well, I won’t lie – my first thought was of Aaron and Robert from Emmerdale! They are playing my heart like a rocking guitar solo right now. My usual answers, however, is that my favourite couple are Benedick and Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. They’re bickering children half the time, but they’re very devoted to one another and they feel very real, even centuries after they were written.

What song reflects a theme, character or scene in your book?

Deviating from the four main characters for a moment, I have a secondary character readers will see a fair bit of who has a drag act. The show always starts with a combination of ‘Copacabana’ and ‘Whatever Lola Wants’ – the latter actually makes me think of both Luke and his alter-ego, for different reasons, so that’s the song that immediately comes to mind. It’s probably one of the most regularly-heard songs at the club, too!

The version I’m most familiar with – and therefore rather fond of – is Della Reese’s – from the Magnum advert! That said, Ella Fitzgerald does a cracking rendition, too.

About Submerge

Jamie Hill walks into his local LGBT+ nightclub, Submerge, intending to make friends and have a good time. When he meets comedian Addie Crewe and her girlfriend Gina Wilson, his night is already looking up – but it’s the man Gina introduces him to who really catches his eye. Miles Bradford seems to be everything Jamie could want in a man: smart, funny, kind. Jamie can’t take his eyes off him.

But though Submerge might sparkle on the surface, Jamie knows that the club, just like himself, hides darker secrets in its depths … and even Miles might not be as clean-cut as he appears.

About Eleanor Musgrove

eleanormusgrove-150x150Eleanor Musgrove was born in a seaside town on the South Coast of England, where she developed a love of writing when she was very young. Other ambitions – and homes – have come and gone, but she has always wanted to be an author. After lots of practice, both through writing fan fiction and through participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) most years, Submerge is her first novel. She’s pretty excited about it!

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Quintette of Questions: Sandra Lindsey

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Sandra Lindsey

ULS-320x4801. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

It takes me ages to find titles for stories – this one was called “miner + airman” until about draft 4, when I decided I was close enough to the end that I really ought to get thinking about a proper title. Having just settled on “Make Do & Mend” being suitable for the era and themes of the book, Manifold Press announced a book by Adam Fitzroy called – yes, you guessed it, “Make Do & Mend”.

So I went back to the books I’d read as initial research for inspiration, and found mention of a poem that members of the Air Transport Auxiliary thought fitted their work. The first lines were quoted as being “Dicing with death / Under leaden skies” I haven’t yet been able to find a copy of the full poem, but decided that Under Leaden Skies fitted my story very well.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Oooh, tough question! I don’t tend to cast my characters, but I’ve had a lot of thought, and decided Gregory Peck as Teddy and Errol Flynn as Cheeks because I think it was watching old movies with those actors which got me interested in the era when I was younger.

Huw’s more difficult, and I think I’ll go with James Bolam – I don’t know if he’s very well known outside the UK but he’s done a lot of very good TV work in the UK (all of these actors I’m casting in their younger years, to suit the characters’ ages).

Since I’ve mentioned the men, it would be rude not to think about Syliva. She’s harder for me to cast. I’m going to say Grace Kelly, but really she could be played by any one of many classy actresses from the 1940s & 1950s.

The only person I have no trouble casting is Jem, one of the secondary characters. I took a day’s break between my penultimate edit and last read-through, and watched the whole of Lucifer season 1.  Jem needs to be played by Tom Ellis with his Lucifer voice.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Aircraft, lovers, loss, family, love.

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Another tough question… I fall in love quite easily with any well-written couple, and there are several I’ll enthuse about at any one time. I like a bit of snark and realistic misunderstandings to happen in a fictional relationship, because that makes it more believable for me. Sarcasm is also good and, because I’m British, the ability to sort everything out over a cuppa or a pint.

My top choice changes at least weekly, and is highly influenced by which book I read most recently… right now, I’m going to say Tom & Phil from JL Merrow’s Plumber’s Mate series (Pressure Head, Relief Valve, Heat Trap, and the recently-released-I’m-going-to-read-it-tonight Blow Down)

 5. What song always makes you cry?

Danny Boy – even just the tune will have tears streaming down my face. I’ve loved it since I first heard it as it’s a beautiful piece of music, but now I’m an adult it just gets me, every time.

I found a couple of versions online which I liked – one was by the Dublin Male Voice Choir (I do love a good male voice choir), but the one I liked best starts at 3:06 in this video:

I was imagining it was Huw singing while I listened to it… yeah, right in the feels (as they probably don’t say any more as I am always hopelessly behind the times)

About Under Leaden Skies

Love. Loss. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Honour. Duty. Family.
In 1939, the arrival of war prompted ‘Teddy’ Maximilian Garston to confess his love to his childhood friend, Huw Roberts. Separated by duty – Teddy piloting Sunderland flying boats for RAF Coastal Command, and Huw deep underground in a South Wales coal mine – their relationship is frustrated by secrecy, distance, and the stress of war that tears into every aspect of their lives.

After endless months of dull patrols, a chance encounter over the Bay of Biscay will forever change the course of Teddy’s life. On returning to Britain, how will he face the consequences of choices made when far from home? Can he find a way to provide for everyone he loves, and build a family from the ashes of wartime grief?

About Sandra Lindsey

slwprofilepicSandra lives in the mountains of Mid-Wales with her husband. Their garden is full of fruit and veg plants as well as home to a small flock of rare breed chickens, and she is a servant to two cats.

Sandra loves indulging in stories because she gets to spend her time with imaginary friends, and the research and observation required to write fiction open her eyes to a myriad different ways of seeing the world. Find her on Twitter @SLindseyWales – or curled up out of the way reading a good book!

Buy Under Leaden Skies

Quintette of Questions: Camille Taylor

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Camille Taylor

No Law1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

No Law. I did have a play around with the title, though I can’t recall the names now. I wrote it many years ago. As it’s part of a series – each with Law in the title – you wouldn’t think it’d be so hard!

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Glenn Quinn as Dmitry. I’ve loved him since the first season of Angel and Bryce Dallas Howard as Carey. She plays a great take-charge heroine.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Sweet. Sexy. Love. Action and Chemistry.

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

I’m going to go with an Austen couple (surprise surprise) Christopher Brandon and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. Though this is more to do with the 1995 movie than the book and the fact that I absolutely loved the way Alan Rickman portrayed Captain Brandon. *Sigh*

 5. What song always makes you cry?

Hmm, cry? Not sure if I’ve ever cried but the one song that does pull at my heart is Mad World by Michael Andrews from Donnie Darko. Something about that song gets to me.

About No Law

Carey Madigan thought she was finally putting her horrible past behind her, no longer looking behind her or jumping at shadows until her boss at the museum she works is murdered. She quickly becomes the prime suspect when the police discover that her husband, a major player in the antiquities world, had been murdered too, in Russia where she had lived years before.

She has nowhere to run when she finds herself being pursued by a faction of the Russian Mafia. She’s seen their faces and now must be silenced. Frightened, she turns to old friend, Elena Gates for help.

Dmitry Ivanov doesn’t believe Carey’s wild story at first but quickly changes his mind. Not only is he attracted to her, but his sister’s friend is beautiful and intrigues him. He offers his specialised computer services to help her uncover why her boss was murdered and to put a stop to the men responsible before it’s too late.

The stakes become high and lives are threatened. Together they uncover a trail that leads them to the discovery of the century and must fight to keep it – and themselves – safe.

About Camille Taylor

camilleCamille Taylor is an Australian author who resides in the Nation’s Capital. She loves to read, write and procrastinate on Pinterest looking at nail art, cake decorating and funnies.

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Quintette of Questions: Atlin Merrick

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Atlin Merrick

night1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

The Night They Met came out 30 December 2015 and, as it was inspired by and follows The Day They Met, the title was rather forehead-slappingly obvious. Seriously, I slapped my forehead.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Hmmmm…Watson would have to be Martin Freeman, no other actor. I would be content for Holmes to be Benedict Cumberbatch, Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, or Tom Hiddleston. Content she says. As if just barely managing to cope…

3. What five words best describe your story?

Reimagining two legendary characters’ meeting.

Or:

Friendship. Adventure. Belonging. And love.

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

My apologies for the predictability but whether seen as the best of friends or heartfelt lovers, the relationship of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes is justifiably legendary…and my favourite.

 5. What song always makes you cry?

I have no songs that make me cry but I’ll tell you a thing: I can’t read stories where John Watson or Sherlock Holmes truly suffer. It physically pains me. I love these fictional beings so much that their imaginary pain produces in me literal pain. I suppose if I were to put that feeling to music, it would be Sinéad O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2U.

 

About The Night They Met

Some things belong together, the one with the other, natural pairs.

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Holmes and Watson. Sherlock and John. Whether it’s in an empty house during the Blitz, a West London strip club in the 70s, or deep in the heart of a Hong Kong computer lab, the meeting of these two legendary men is inevitable.

Spanning one hundred and twenty-eight years, The Night They Met contains nineteen stories of that destiny. Of how a detective meets a doctor, of how they change each other in heart and mind.

Of how they fall in love.

About Atlin Merrick

sixsecretlovesAtlin Merrick’s next book will be The Six Secret Loves of Sherlock Holmes. Atlin, who also writes under the name Wendy C. Fries, is fascinated with London, writing, theatre, and lattes.

Buy The Night They Met

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Quintette of Questions: Jane Elliot

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Jane Elliot

smoothie-200-200x3001. What’s the name of your latest story – and how hard was it to pick a title?

My latest book is called Smoothie, and it was actually my easiest title ever!  Usually I worry and fret about titles, but one of my favorite parts about Smoothie was the idea that something small — like going out for a frozen treat — could have life-changing consequences.  I wanted my title to reflect that idea.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest story?

Melissa McCarthy for Heather, no question.  Natalie’s a bit tougher — I can’t decide between Zoie Palmer of today or Linda Hamilton post-Terminator 1 and pre-Terminator 2.  Maybe a combination of the two?

3. What five words best describe your story?

Adventure, personal growth, comedy, romance

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

At the moment it’s Phryne Fisher and Jack Robinson from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  I love the respect between them, despite their different backgrounds and social class, and I love the slow build of their romance as Jack adjusts to the idea that he’s in love with a “modern woman” of the 1920s.  (Fingers crossed that there will be a season 4 – I want to see how Phryne deals with the concept of *shudder* monogamy!)

 5. What song has had the most impact on your life?

I’ve never been particularly musically inclined, and didn’t own a single piece of music until I was nearly in high school.  Then I heard R.E.M.’s Losing My Religion and my entire understanding of music changed.  I’ve built a very eclectic music collection since then and listen to a wide variety of bands, but I still get a thrill every time I hear Losing My Religion.

About Smoothie

Nothing much ever happens to Heather, until the day she’s innocently minding her own business when a bomb goes off – and she’s swept up into the kind of adventure that only happens to people on TV!

Thankfully she’s about as prepared and resourceful as a girl can be, because all of a sudden she’s in the middle of a road movie along with an extraordinary woman named Natalie and the two of them find themselves running for their lives into and out of a mess of complicated situations in which nobody is ever quite what he or she might appear to be.

About Jane Elliot

avatarJane Elliot has been writing novels, short stories, and screenplays for over twenty years. She believes that fiction can help promote understanding and acceptance of alternative and marginalized societal groups and most of her writing is focused on relationships, be they platonic or romantic, between individuals from all walks of life.

Buy Smoothie

Smoothie (Amazon.com)

Quintette of Questions: AB Gayle

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

AB Gayle

TKJFF_Composite_1000x15951. What’s the name of your latest story – and how hard was it to pick a title?

Tyler Knoll:  Originally it was titled Just for Fun as that’s why it was written, but no one wanted to read it because they’d never heard of an author by that name.

A.B. Gayle: For good reason! You didn’t exist before then!

Tyler Knoll: See what I have to put up with?!?! And she uses nearly as many exclamation marks as I do! Well, anyway, this nice lady, Lily Velden, from Wayward Ink Publishing read it and decided it was funny and worth sharing with the world — or with Ms A.B. Gayle’s friends at least.

A.B. Gayle: You have to admit that’s at least more than your circle of friends. How many have you got now? Rupert isn’t talking to you. Robert is convinced you’re after his job, and Gareth…

Tyler Knoll: Shhh. Please don’t use the G word. It’s banned at our place.

A.B. Gayle: Exactly! You need me even if you don’t want to admit it.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest story?

Tyler Knoll: I think you can tell from the video that I’m perfect for the part. As for the plethora of G… (Oops, nearly used the G word myself)

A.B. Gayle: Guys you fuck?

Tyler Knoll: Please, that’s just tacky. I prefer to think of them as stepping stones on my path to discovering my one true love.

A.B. Gayle: Ooh, you used the “L” word!

Tyler Knoll: Hey, you’re the one who said no one would read it, if it didn’t have a happy monogamous ending!

A.B. Gayle: I said that was one of the reasons no one would like it. Big difference.

Tyler Knoll: Now, who’s being snarky? But to answer this nice lady’s question. There are three photos of one of the actors who would be perfect in the video trailer, and another is mentioned explicitly in the book, but you have to read the book and look at the trailer to work out who is who. Doing otherwise would be a massive SPOILER. Here, check out the Just for Fun trailer.

As for the guy I end up with? That I will leave to your imagination. He’s shy.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Tyler Knoll: Fun! Happy! Amusing! Witty! Entertaining!

A.B. Gayle: Humph. I would have used Unlikely porn. Preposterous plot. Far-fetched fantasy. Poorly written BDSM and corny romance

Tyler Knoll: Whose fault is that?

A.B. Gayle: Good point. Doesn’t mean I’m wrong

Tyler Knoll: Anyway you used thirteen words, or does a hyphenated word count as one?

A.B. Gayle: Sigh. Have I mentioned lately that you give me a headache?

Tyler Knoll: Ha, ha. To quote a character who shall remain nameless. I am what you take for a headache!

4. Who is your favourite fictional couple? 

A.B. Gayle: Ben and Nik from John Wiltshire’s “More Heat than the Sun” series

Tyler Knoll: (Silence)

A.B. Gayle: What? Is that a pout I see? Read the question, she said “favourite Fictional” character. I can’t use you two!

 5. What song always makes you cry?

A.B. Gayle: Take Me to Church by Hozier makes me cry, particularly if accompanied by the original video.

Once I realised what was going to happen, I had to stop watching. I prefer watching this one.


Tyler Knoll: For once we are in agreement! Thankfully, now in the United States we can get the gold ring, picket fence and two and a half dogs statistically speaking (otherwise known as the GRPFATAAHDSS!)

About Tyler Knoll’s Just For Fun 

Tyler Knoll was born one wild, stormy night in April 2013.

Of course, Tyler might tell you he was born twenty years earlier, but should we believe anything he says? That’s for you to decide.

In Tyler’s first adventure—like many a gay man before him—he was SNARED by gay porn, wallowing in tales of bigger, stronger, harder….

Then his fickle mind was seduced and SHREDDED by the prospect of BDSM and slavery.

When a Big Misunderstanding SLASHED at Tyler’s sanity, almost costing him his life, he turned to another genre for his salvation. But even this encounter proved potentially hazardous—not from freezing temperatures, but at the hands of irate fans.

Finally, tired and SCREWED by all his trials and tribulations, he discovers—like many storybook heroes before him—that sometimes Mr. Right is closer than we think.

About AB Gayle

2006-10-01 20.11.55-3Unlike many authors, A.B. Gayle hasn’t been writing stories all her life. Instead she’s been living life.

Her travels have taken her from the fjords of Norway to the southern tip of New Zealand. In between, she’s worked in so many different towns she’s lost count. A.B. has shoveled shit in cow yards, mustered sheep, been polite to customers, traded insults with politicians. Sometimes she needs to be forgiven as she get confused as to who needs what where. 

Now living in Sydney, Australia, A.B. finally has time to allow her real life experiences to morph with her fertile imagination in order to create fiction that she hopes her readers will enjoy. 

Best known for her Opposites Attract series, A.B. values feedback on her writing, both negative and positive.

Buy Tyler Knoll’s Just For Fun