In the Chair 79: Gabrielle Mathieu

11102784_844407928976852_7866671121152746412_nWelcome, Gabrielle Mathieu

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

Gabrielle: Brisk, suspenseful, seductive

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

Gabrielle: I would love to get cozy with Tenzin, the tough but moral son of a Swiss missionary and a Bhutanese nurse. Tenzin is my heroine’s moral compass, a teacher, but yet, not without flaws himself. His greatest gift is his compassion, and his willingness to listen. He’s also hot!

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?

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Gabrielle: My third book, which will come out in the summer of 2018, is set in Munich and the Himalayas, in 1967.  I would have loved to see Kathmandu then. It must have been a paradise. I’m not that interested in the availability of marijuana in the sixties, but I would have liked to see the city before its current infestation of vehicular traffic and homeless, starving dogs.

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

TenzinGabrielle: I’d host all the Oxford dons: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Philip Pullman. I’d just have to hope that being upper-class British, Pullman wouldn’t fight with the other two, since he does have issues with their story-telling. Of course Lewis and Tolkien were products of their times, just as we are products of ours. We would have to dine in one of those delightfully old restaurants in London’s Fitzrovia or Bloomsbury, where the tables are crowded together in a small room, in a narrow building with creaky wooden stairs and a ceiling blackened by smoke. I’m not one for meat and potatoes myself, but I guess with that crowd, we’d have to have a traditional meal, washed down with some nice red wine. It’s true I might find the fellows a mite stodgy, but they influenced my writing. And I couldn’t bear to have dinner with George R.R. Martin, though I think he’s a fantastic contemporary story teller. His tortures are just too vile.

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

Gabrielle: I have a related genre I’ll be returning to in my next series: epic fantasy. I like creating everything from scratch: the names, the customs, the rules of magic. (There better be rules. I don’t like it when all problems are solved by magic. That should be a last resort, because magic exacts a heavy toll.) It’s an interesting challenge to create a complex background, and then extract what’s necessary for the story.

What do you dislike the most about being an author? Gabrielle: I dislike having to compete with the flood of books on the market.

Favourite word?  Gabrielle: Imagine.

Gabrielle Mathieu was in the chair, author of: The Falcon Flies Alone

Web: http://gabriellemathieu.com/

In The Chair 71: Claire L Brown

Welcome, Claire L Brown

11102784_844407928976852_7866671121152746412_nHow would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Claire: From the heart.

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

Claire: Probably, Henry Conrad Taylor from Jonah Axe and the Weeping Bride. He’s an English gent taken out of his time and now travels through history ‘fixing’ things. He’s got an amazing heart and drive to do good, he’s a little stubborn when he’s wrong but he’s growing with every challenge that comes his way. He’s honest and trustworthy and really good-looking!

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?

Claire: I’m an observer and I’m constantly watching stories in my mind, it’s how I write the books play out like movies in my head.  I’m not really the center of attention type of person, but I think I can be quite strong willed when I believe in something.  So I guess I’d be a bit like Sky in The Poppy Garden, she takes care of everyone putting them first and fighting for what she wants in the long term despite the compromises and hard work it takes along the way.

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

Sharing-roast-beef-and-yorkshire-puddingClaire: I love to cook, I think I’d do a traditional Roast beef dinner with Yorkshire Puddings! I would love to chat to some of my favorite authors, Agatha Christie, Gaston Lerox, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Shakespeare. It would be amazing to discuss writing with them and how they lived as authors. I would also love to invite Julian Fellowes and Lucy Worsley, as I love their historical outlook.

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

Claire: My latest novel The Poppy Garden is a departure for me. It’s not a story I intended to write, but it was an idea that wouldn’t stop niggling at me. So I started writing a romantic drama, which isn’t really my style. Its been extremely challenging and it’s taken a lot for me to see it through. I hope readers like it and that I’ve captured the elements of the genre the best way I can. I hope to publish the The Poppy Garden in the autumn so I guess I’ll find out how well I’ve managed a genre that’s outside my comfort zone soon enough!     

IMG_1665What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Claire: I read a lot of social media articles about how people want books for free.   You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and expect not to pay for your meal.  But a lot of people expect authors to give away their work despite the time, effort, love, sweat and tears that goes in to arranging those words in that way to entertain the mind and the heart. It almost feels like creative works have lost so much value over the years, which to me is an extremely sad situation to be in.

Favourite word? Claire: Serendipity

Claire L Brown was in the chair, author of: Jonah Axe & the Weeping Bride, and Draco.

Web: http://amzn.to/1L86LHd

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In The Chair 63: D.J. Bennett

Merry Christmas, D J Bennett!

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How would you describe your Christmas in only three words?

Debbie: Indulgent, family and television. I’d like to say relaxing – but really it isn’t! Wine helps…

If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why?

Debbie: What kind of relationship? And I don’t know any literary festive characters apart from the obvious ones like Scrooge – and who on earth would want to have a relationship with him? Altruism would definitely take a back-seat here – unless of course the BBC decide to do a re-make and cast Aidan Turner as the lead, in which case I’ll be first in the queue! What about one of the ten-lord’s-a’leaping? One of them must be sexy and rich, surely?

If you had to exist for a week in a Christmas story … which one would it be?

Debbie: Oh I think it would have to be The Christmas Story. I’m not particularly religious, but imagine being there – in Bethlehem. Being able to listen in and witness the story first-hand. Imagine having the comfort of that level of belief in something spiritual, something bigger than the world we live in? Right now, that’s a strangely comforting idea at the end of 2015.

tumblr_m8za06Cg9e1qf53zzo1_500Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve?  

Debbie: The Grinch, of course! And I’d serve green eggs and ham and hand out thneeds as presents. Maybe I’d invite the Cat too, as he has a certain outlook on life … We’d debate Truffula Trees and the existence of Whoville, and at the end of the evening Thing One and Thing Two could do all the tidying up.

If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be?

Debbie: Five Gold Rings. It’d be a Christmas serial killer, and each murder would relate to and happen on the twelve days of Christmas. Urban mayhem – cold and dark, icy canals and  everybody’s too busy celebrating to have time to figure out what’s going on. Hmm. I can work with this…

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What do you dislike the most about Christmas?

Debbie: Disruption and mess. I’m very much a creature of habit, order and routine. Typical Capricorn, really!

Favourite festive word? Debbie: After resisting the obvious it’d have to be TINSEL, because it’s just pretty and sparkly!

D. J Bennett was in the Christmas chair: author of the Hamelin’s Child series 

Web: http://ow.ly/UV6Ml

In The Chair 57: Louise Wise

Merry Christmas, Louise Wise!

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How would you describe your Christmas in only three words?  Louise: Run (for) your life.

(I know that’s four words, but if you say it quickly it sounds like three!). I’m a bargain hunter and little frugal. I’ve a gingerbread house that’s in its tenth year! But I do go overboard at Christmas. Imagine a tacky Santa’s grotto—that’s my house.

If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why?

Louise: Scrooge (who’d have thought!). So I could nail the three ghosts and keep the miserable old bugger a miserable old bugger. People like him are needed to keep the self-righteous in smugland, because we, in turn, need the smug (aka do-gooders) to tell us how to do things correctly so that, God forbid, we might just cross a road without waiting for the Green Man!

If you had to exist for a week in a Christmas story … which one would it be?

imagesLouise: Exist for a week? A whole week? Are you kidding me! All that festive goo and cheer and people being nice and stuff? Eeeeooow.  Got it… Grinch! Jim Cary’s zany sense of humour would have me rocking with laughter so I’d like to be Mrs Grinch (or bit-on-the-side-Grinch).

Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve? 

dean-koontz-dean-koontz-i-have-avoided-becoming-stale-by-putting-aLouise: Dean Koontz – for his intense writing skill and I’d pick his brain and hang on to his every word and probably annoy the hell out of him. William Shakespeare – because I can never understand why he’s a ‘great’. Charles Dickens – because he WAS a great. Virgina Wolf and Jane Austin because they look like you could have a really girly laugh with them. Terry Pratchett – just because. Terry Deary (Horrible Histories) – because he got my kids interested in books, and I figure I owe him a lunch. And what would I cook? Well, it would have to be the traditional turkey with all the trimmings. Everyone hates it but you have to eat it because Father Christmas said so—oops, mother talking again!

If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be?

Louise: I always thought my genre was stories with a romantic twist but as I’ve developed as a writer, I’ve realised my stories, be them romance or sci-fi, have a loneliness theme. So, the title for my Christmas theme story would have to be: Lonely this Christmas—Bah Humbug.

What do you dislike the most about Christmas?

Louise: When it’s over. Yes, seriously, I love Christmas. The rushing to get everything ready in time for that one day, the present buying, the panic buying of crap presents at 5 pm on Christmas eve, the binge drinking and eating, rubbish TV, and I suppose, without sounding too cheesy, family get-togethers.

xmas author picFavourite festive word?

Louise: Jolly! Only Miranda Hart can say ‘jolly’ throughout the year.

Louise Wise was in the Christmas chair: Web: http://amzn.to/1k6zpL0

A last word from Mrs wise words…

NEW RELEASE 16th DECEMBER 2016: WILD AWAKE ASLEEP

51gylqx66lPast events can be changed but one must be careful of how one does it because it’ll impact on the rest of one’s life.’—Dáire Quin, Modify your Destiny if you Must, 2003. No one saw Julie’s car leave the road, no one saw her crash into the watery ditch, no one saw the gnarled tree branch pierce through the window screen and impale her to her seat. No one heard her screams. Yet, this was the beginning of Julie’s life. Julie Compton, is a forty-something woman, striving for success in a male dominated business world. She thinks she’s made it. She thinks she has it all. Trouble is, her destiny has been travelling in the wrong direction and Julie is now forced to relive her life by occupying people’s bodies from her past in a time-travel, paranormal adventure.

For readers who enjoyed books like ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ and ‘The Lovely Bones’.

http://bookShow.me/B01N2QW3VX

In The Chair 54: E.H.Howard

Merry Christmas, E.H.Howard!

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How would you describe your Christmas in only three words?  Eric: Damned silly question, the answer is obviously, December Twenty-fifth. You see, possibly being the oldest geek in the wild, I do tend to take statements literally. I am simple and programmable. I suspect you were expecting something booze related: Beery, Blurred and Bleary, or Crackers, Cocktails and Crazy. These days, it more about the grand-children, than the grand-marnier. So, Magical, Mayhem and Magnificent.

If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why?

tumblr_ni8k93W65g1rhjjgyo1_500Eric: In some ways, I have to merge these next two questions together. The person isn’t from festive literature, but they do appear in the Christmas scenes of one of my secret pleasure books (also films and boxsets,) Julia Flyte in Brideshead revisited. I’m a sucker for an angst-riddled female. Add to that the hedonistic swirl of crumbling stately wealth mixed with the roaring twenties. The Christmas scenes an upper-class oblivious to the chaos awaiting them. So, yes please, a week of stately decadence at yule time with Miss Julia. Of course, I doubt I’d be presenting her with a jewel encrusted tortoise in these days of political correctness!

If you had to exist for a week in a Christmas story … which one would it be?

Eric: However, other answers to this question would be: I would love to be in the Walton’s Christmas special where they’re dressing the Christmas tree and John-Boy tells Mary-Ellen, ‘Hang Santa by the balls.’ So, whilst not an example of literary excellence, a quick dip into that storyline for a couple of hours would be good. Failing that, it would need to be the “real” Christmas tale, especially with a week to spare. I would take a room at the inn and once Joseph and Mary come knocking I’d announce “You can have my room, I can sleep in the barn.” Just think, instead of the baby Jesus surrounded by kings bearing gifts on all those Christmas cards, it would be me! I feel a song coming on … Myrrh? Huh, Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again yawl.

Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve? 

santaEric: Oscar Wilde, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, JK Rowling, Kim Harrison, William Gibson, Trudi Canavan, Virginia Woolfe. Slightly male heavy, but what the heck, around the table it would be boy, girl, boy, girl, doubtful, boy, girl, boy. I am a fan of the totally traditional turkey including real stuffing made with sage, onion, sausage meat. Plus, sprouts, pigs in blankets, apple and cranberry sauce. Okay, I can’t do the flaming in brandy, but Christmas pud is a delight with custard. Plus, the bird has to be big enough for turkey butties before Morecambe and Wise.

If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be?

The Bells of the Slayer

One man rides out.

They try to ban joy,

They try to kill happiness,

But …

They’d better watch out,

They’d better take care,

Because if they hear the sleigh bells,

They’re already dead…

What do you dislike the most about Christmas?

Eric: People who don’t like Christmas. Those miserable people who whinge about it losing its real meaning as if they ever knew what it was. I love the presents, the overeating, the overspending, the total excess! There is nothing to dislike.

Amara's Legacy Cover MEDIUM WEB

Favourite festive word? Eric: MORE!

E.H. Howard was in the Christmas chair: Author of Amara’s Daughter & new release, Amara’s Legacy.

Amara’s Legacy: http://ow.ly/V6ZPE

Web: http://ow.ly/Uvm8w

In The Chair 46: Andrea Buginsky

Welcome, Andrea Buginsky.

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

Andrea: Roller coaster ride.

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

Andrea: Silvorhawk from The Chosen. He is kind-hearted, warm, and thoughtful. He’s honest and loyal, and will do anything for his family and friends.

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?

Andrea: Any of the New Avalon books. I would love to be an Avalonian on the sidelines, attending New Avalon, learning about my craft and Arthurian history, and bonding with the other Avalonians.

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

Andrea: J.K. Rawling, Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sparks, John Green, Rick Riordan, and Stephen King. I would serve an assortment of  platters so everyone could choose their favorites, from surf and turf to Italian, great desserts, and a variety of drinks.

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

Andrea: YA Romance. I love writing for young adult readers. If I couldn’t write fantasy, I’d like to try my hand at romance novels. Though, I struggle to write some of the scenes in my books. But it would be fun to try.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Andrea: Coming up with new plot lines for my series. Everything needs to stay concise from book to book, but you have to have the characters discovering new things or going on new adventures to keep readers coming back for more.

Favourite Word: Awesomesauce!

Andrea Buginsky was in the chair: Author of ‘The Chosen’ series & ‘The New Avalon’ series  

11225179_1038937226125765_4282206662109631769_o  Web:http://www.andreabuginsky.com/

Authors: Fancy pulling out a chair? Send your answers to the same set of questions with a profile pic and one web link to jan@janruth.com