In The Chair 66: Jane Donovan

Welcome, Jane Donovan.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Jane: Humorous, quirky, irreverent.

11102784_844407928976852_7866671121152746412_nIf you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Jane: If I were a child, it would definitely be Esme. I’d relish doing mischievous things with her. But as an adult, I’d want to have a relationship with Papuza. Papua’s character was strongly drawn from my mother, who passed away not long ago. So if I could hang out with Papuza, it would be like spending time with my mother again, which would be lovely.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Jane: I’d try my best to stand by the sidelines, but knowing me, I’d be in the thick of things within a couple of pages, giving unsolicited advice and attempting to play matchmaker for my poor unsuspecting characters.

IMG_6848Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Jane: I’d invite Mark Twain, Tom Robbins, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Garrison Keillor, and Emily Dickinson. I hope the gentlemen would loosen up Emily a bit and make her laugh. Now THAT I would love to see! Since my house is constantly in chaos, I would build a big bonfire outside, and we would roast hot dogs under the stars. And if I were feeling particularly flush that week, I would even go all out for a bag of marshmallows.

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Jane: I’d write Horror! A spine-chilling “can’t close your eyes or go to the bathroom by yourself” sort of book.

JaneDonovanWhat do you dislike the most about being an author?

Jane: Public appearances. They give me high anxiety. And when I’m nervous I become very klutzy, but far worse than that, the darnedest things fly right out of my mouth, causing me great embarrassment.

Favourite word? Jane: My favorite word to speak is “sassafras.” My favorite word to write is “the” because it’s short, and I never spell it incorrectly. My favorite word for its content is “uxorious.”

Jane Donovan was in the chair: co-author of “Esme Dooley” published by Sky Candle Press: myBook.to/EsmeDooley

 

In The Chair 42: Anne Stormont

Welcome, Anne Stormont.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words? 

Anne: Contemporary. Character-driven. Romantic. (In my writing for children – Contemporary, timeshift-historical, magical).

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If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Anne: I’m taking it that by ‘relationship’ you mean one of a romantic nature – with, you know, all the touchy, feely, sexy goings-on included. So, it would be a relationship with Jack from ‘Displacement’ that I’d choose. I find him fascinating – he’s had an interesting life, he’s made mistakes, he’s hurt people, but he’s also a loving father and grandfather, and he’s still got ‘it’. I think I was actually a bit in love with him while I was writing the book.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Anne: I’d like to be in all three and definitely on the sidelines. I’d like to be in ‘The Silver Locket’ (my children’s book written by my alter-ego, Anne McAlpine) just so I could see Bonnie Prince Charlie close up and see if he was as handsome as they say he was. I’d like to be a friend of Rosie’s in Change of Life just to offer her support as she faces up to all the challenges that lie ahead of her. And I’d like to go with Rachel from Displacement on her journey from the Isle of Skye to the Middle East and prepare her for how life-changing such a journey can be.

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

DSC_3676Anne: This was a difficult choice. There are so many authors and poets that I admire and would love to spend time with, but my house doesn’t have a banqueting hall. So I decided to pick seven as this is the number I could seat around my dining-room table and still have a space for me. And I also decided to pick (at least some) that might be less well-known. I’d have Anne Lamott who writes so well about the craft of writing in ‘Bird by Bird’; Robert Macfarlane whose non-fiction writing – reflecting on life as he walks in the natural world – I love. Macfarlane’s book, ‘The Old Ways’, being just one example; Ursula Muskus who wrote such a wonderful memoir, ‘The Long Bridge’, about her time in the Russian gulags; Raja Shehadeh whose book ‘The Palestinian Diaries’ I read during my most recent visit to Israel-Palestine. I’d also invite Carol Shields the wonderful Canadian novelist who died far too young and whose book ‘Unless’ is, for me, the nearest thing to the perfect novel. As a nod to all the authors I loved when I was growing up I’d like to invite Robert Louis Stevenson. I still have my grandmother’s childhood copy of his ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ and can still recite some of the poems, and of course I loved his ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Kidnapped’. And finally, I’d have to have the bard, Robert Burns. He’d be such a great before and after dinner speaker. The menu would have to be a Burns supper – so a hearty soup, followed by haggis, neeps and tatties and cranachan for dessert. And a good malt whisky, such as Skye’s own Talisker, to wash it all down. And we’d finish with a bit of a ceilidh of course.

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Anne: Crime fiction – I enjoy reading this genre and would love to be able to write like Ian Rankin or Val McDermid. Writing in this genre would be out of my comfort zone, but I like a challenge.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Anne: I find the marketing and publicity thing tough – it doesn’t come naturally to me.

Favourite word?

Anne: Discombobulated – it describes my state of mind most of the time.

Anne Stormont was in the chair, author of: Displacement, Change of Life, The Silver Locket.

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web: http://putitinwriting.me/

In The Chair 34: Sophie Croft

Welcome, Sophie Croft

How would you describe your writing style in only three words? 

Sophie: Fantasy. Fairy tale. Absorbing.

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If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Sophie: The kraken; communicating non verbally with a cephalopod would be a fantastic experience!

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Sophie: Indigo’s Deep. I’d like to be the mysterious sea witch.

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Sophie: Arthur C Clark, Maya Angelou, Heinrich Harrer, Isabel Allende, Oscar Wilde, Ursula Le Guin, Shakespeare, Anne Frank. Lots of vegetarian Indian dishes.

Sophie Croft
Sophie Croft

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Sophie: Historical. Bringing history alive through a good story is such a magical and worthwhile thing to do.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Sophie: What sitting at the keyboard does to my body.

Favourite word? Sophie: Believe

Sophie Croft was in the chair: Author of ‘Indigo’s Dragon, published by Accent Press.

Blog: https://croftdragon.wordpress.com/

Indigo's Dragon Book Cover

In The Chair 24: Michelle Path

Welcome, Michelle Path.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Michelle: Humorous, adventurous, engaging.

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If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Michelle: I’d have to say Xalien the Purple Alien. She would be fun to spend time with and it would be interesting to learn about her planet and way of life. She would be good entertainment too.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Michelle: Sham Subterranean and the Party Tea. I would love to observe and discover the strange world of Subterranea. Perhaps I could tag along for the ride! Perhaps I could be invisible? And the party tea would be awesome to attend. It would be the ultimate dream to taste all the delicious cakes on offer.

Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Michelle: I’d probably invite Enid Blyton. She is one of my all-time favourite authors. I would love to find out how she came up with some of the incredible characters she created and also ask her advice how to become a better writer. I would probably have a tea party in a nice outdoors setting and serve cakes and desserts. I have a sweet tooth and what better excuse to indulge?

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If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Michelle: I would probably write young adult, fantasy / horror. I really admire Anne Rice and the Twilight series. It would be fun to write something a bit darker and perhaps a little bit sinister. In fact I have started writing a book along those lines but it is in the very early stages.

Favourite word?

Michelle: I’ve never really thought about it before. It would have to be something I could identify with. Perhaps motivation, ambition, nature, conservation or animals.

Michelle Path was in the chair: Author of  several children’s books. Published by Little Steps Publishing (AU) and Rowanvale Books (UK).

Web: www.michellepath.com.au 

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