In The Chair 59: Susanne O Leary

Merry Christmas, Susanne O’ Leary!

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How would you describe your Christmas in only three words? 

Susanne: Rowdy, noisy, fun.

If you could have a relationship with a literary festive character who would it be and why? Susanne: I can only think of one literary festive character and that is Scrooge. I would definitively not want a relationship with him! But put Colin Farrel in my Christmas stocking and you’re talking! I don’t think I have to explain why…

If you had to exist for a week in a Christmas story … which one would it be? Susanne: “A Country Christmas” by Louisa M Alcott. Christmas in Vermont in the nineteenth century would probably be amazing.

5582089Dead or alive literary Christmas lunch: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Susanne: I’d have Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I’d serve them an old fashioned, traditional Christmas lunch, but then I would have servants, so I could sit and chat to all those amazing authors.

If you had to write a Christmas themed story in your current genre, what would the title be?  Susanne: I did and the title is HOT WISHES– A Kerry Christmas. It’s set in the west of Ireland

What do you dislike the most about Christmas? Susanne: The stress and pressure to have everything ready in time. And cooking the traditional Irish Christmas dinner. But once it’s done it’s pretty good, actually.

12209115_10205049546790641_394393214_oFavourite Festive Word?  Susanne: Jingle Bells!

Susanne O’Leary was in the Christmas chair: writing across several genres including romance & political thrillers.

Web: http://www.susanne-oleary.co.uk

In The Chair 49: Pete Best

Welcome, Peter Best.

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

Pete: Uncomplicated, powerful and inspirational.

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

Pete: In The Burden of Truth there is a young Indian lady called Shanti. She’s a very wise, serene lady indeed. As Brent first meets her one of the first thoughts that enters his head is, There is certainly more than beauty about this girl! I loved writing about her; I loved writing about what her thoughts about life were and how she discussed them with Brent and how she made it all seem so uncomplicated. Shanti is simply a wonderful human being. 

However, I’d better not say so much about her as I have also written my wife into the story as one of the characters. So mum’s the word!

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?

Pete: As far as The Burden of Truth goes I would certainly watch from the outside. From the off many of the characters find themselves in an awful lot of trouble as the story unfolds. Much more trouble as I would like to find myself in. However, as the story concludes the protagonist Brent turns out to be deeper and more thoughtful in his own character. So if I were to exist as Brent, I guess the dose of wisdom he got from a Buddhist monk wouldn’t do me any harm either.

Peter Best black and whiteDead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Pete: Jo Nesbo as well as Steig Larson so I could listen to how they come up with fantastic plot lines. Dan Brown’s character Professor Langdon because he would probably find something interesting to talk about and I could ask him about Buddhist symbology just to make sure I got it right in The Burden of Truth. Now to balance it up a bit, Hillary Mantel simply because she seems to be an interesting person and Daphne du Maurier for the same reason. And to round it all up I would ask J.K Rowling because she could bring Harry Potter and Dumbledore along with her. Nothing better than a good magician for the after dinner entertainment! 

Now for the food, let me think! As I am probably the worst cook in the world I would ask somebody like Gordon Ramsey or Raymond Blanc to nip down to Tesco and buy whatever they need to knock up something nice and tasty. I’m sure they would do that for me! Oh and as for drinks! Saying that Gordon and Raymond are going to Tesco anyhow; Id ask them to bring back some beers and a couple of bottles wine. French of course as I wouldn’t like to upset Raymond now would I.           

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

Pete: I think this would be a close call between science fiction and historical fiction. For some time I have been toying with the idea of writing an addendum of sorts to go with the Burden of Truth. A big part of the story is centered around a mysterious ornate box that was for many years kept in the hands of a Holy Yogi who lived in Northern India. This little piece that I am thinking of writing tells the story behind how this box got into the hands of the Yogi. All of this happens during the time of the Raj so hence the historical fiction genre.

I have got the plot line, characters, settings and the rest of it all in place. All I need to do now is start putting pen to paper. But for now I’ll just wait and see just wait as I have got loads of other stuff to get on with.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Pete: The frustration of writer’s block! When everything is going well it’s great being a writer. Really there just isn’t anything better. However when things are not so good and the ideas stop flowing I get very frustrated indeed. I do have one or two tricks up my sleeve to help this, but every now and again they just don’t seem to work. The problem is that sometimes this can go on for weeks. Very annoying!

Favourite word? Pete: However, apparently I use it all the time. However, if I were to pick another word, I would say, “Incredulous.” Brilliant word!

Peter Best was in the chair, author of: The Burden of Truth.

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Web: www.peterbestauthor.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

In The Chair 47: Mary Jeddore Blakney

Welcome, Mary Jeddore Blakney.

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

Mary: Conversational, character-driven, research-based.

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

Mary: An alien military commander named Chegg, from Damage Control. I tried to make him a villain, but he wouldn’t let me. He’s strong, good-hearted and conflicted, and people like that fascinate me.

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?

Mary: Could I pick which week it was, to lessen my chances of being killed? I think I’d be one of the aliens in Damage Control – just a minor character so I’d have plenty of time to explore the planet.

150429workingDead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Mary: Roddenberry, Tolkein, CS Lewis, Chaucer, Moses, the author of the Epic of Gilgamesh and the authors of the books on Atlantis that were lost in the library at Alexandria. I’d serve whatever sounded good to me that day, since I’d be the only one eating. At least, I don’t think dead people eat.

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

Mary: Historical fiction. I love to read it, and if it’s done well, it’s very educational and relevant to modern life. Maybe someday I’ll do that, but right now there’s no historical period I know that well.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Mary: Having to spend so much time not writing just because of that pesky thing called life.

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Favourite Word?

Mary: Philology.

Mary Jeddore Blakney was in the chair: Author of ‘Damage Control’ & ‘Resist the Devil.’

Web: http://www.maryjeddoreblakney.com/

Authors: Fancy pulling out a chair? Send your answers to the same set of questions with a profile

In The Chair 45: Christoph Fisher

Welcome, Christoph Fischer.

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

Christoph: Compassionate. Character driven. Involved.

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

Christoph: Robert Sheridan from CONDITIONED a principled, caring and intelligent man who is kind-hearted, idealistic and enlightened; an individualist who becomes attractive at second sight but then all the more disarming.

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?

Christoph: So many of my books are set in war times, so I would chose CONDITIONED – It is set at a wedding with a colourful circle of friends who all more or less try to help each other.  I’d mingle happily with the characters but would also enjoy watching them sort things out their way.

922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_oDead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Christoph: Henry Miller, Charles Bukowsky, Virginia Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Miller and E.M Forster are the first names that sprang to my mind. They were all passionate writers and I would love to find out what they were like as people. As for food: I’d start with tomato and mozzarella salad, make vegetarian and chicken Thai curry and finish with chocolate mousse. Whiskeys and cigars are probably a must with these guys.
(I chose dead writers since I haven’t given up all hope that I might meet the live ones in my time.)

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

Christoph: I’d love to write a good comedy. Laughter is so good for us and yet we don’t do it enough. I’m working on a humorous detective story but I’m worried that I have already written in too many different genres (historical fiction, contemporary family dramas and thrillers) to establish a solid enough ‘brand’

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Christoph: Telling people that my books are great. I wish readers could find that out on their own. I want them to be pleasantly surprised when they open my books rather than having to hold them at gun point just so that they buy my books.

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Favourite word?

Christoph: Cwtch

Christoph Fischer was in the chair: Author of Conditions, The Gamblers, In Search of a Revolution, The Healer, Time to Let Go, The Three Nations Trilogy, Sebastian, The Black Eagle Inn. 

Web: http://www.christophfischerbooks.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

In The Chair 44: David Carner

Welcome, David Carner.

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

David: Minimalist, emotional, fun

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

David: I tell people all the time that John talks to me. John and I have a lot of similarities. While no one can be the introvert John is, and trust me I amped him up to 11 when I wrote him, I am very much an introvert. I am also very cagey in what I say to people in that I say something, knowing you’ll take it a certain way, but if you play the words back in your head you’ll see I really didn’t say what you think I said. If I could have a relationship with one, I guess it would be Sam. Sam accepts people for who they are. She doesn’t judge, and she deals with problems instead of assigning blame. Honestly I think she’s someone we should all try to strive and be like.

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?

David: I think my fifth book, Days Past, would be the one. In this book, I kind of do a prequel and tell the story of how the group of FBI agents first started working together. I would love to be a fly on the wall to watch everything that happened during their first case. This book is by far and away my favorite. I think I was doing my best writing, and the story was one that had been building within me for several years. When I wrote it, it was like I couldn’t get it down fast enough. I think the fact that it also features a character who is dead in current books (but still a pretty important character) is also one of the reasons I like it so much. In fact, I have more requests to write a book about her, and my 8th John Fowler novel will heavily feature Samantha Fowler.

dc001Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve? David: I would invite Sir Author Conan Doyle, Craig Johnson (who I have met at a book signing) and Robert B. Parker, and Steven King (his book, On Writing, is one of the reasons I finally decided to sit down and write). I would let Mr. Parker pick the menu and even prepare it if he wanted (long time readers of his Spenser series would understand why). I could invite many others, but these four are by far my favorites.

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

David: I guess I write mystery/detective, but I like to think I add a bit of romance, and comedy in each of my book. I actually am working on a children’s fantasy series with my daughter. While most of my books are fine for kids to read, they don’t really care about a who dunnit plot for adults. The best part about writing children’s fantasy is my daughter helping me. We both love watching Dr. Who, superhero movies, and she’s even accompanying me to the Star Wars movie that opens in December. While she’s a lot like me, we are very different, and we both like to bounce ideas off of each other. The series is tentatively called Crystalia, but we’ll see.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

David:  Marketing.  I don’t like it, don’ want to do it, and frankly, I don’t do it well.  I enjoy the creating process, the research, and the hours alone with just me and my thoughts, but getting on social media, or even in front of people and talking about my work…that’s just not me.

Favourite word? David: Cabal.

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David Carner was in the chair, author of: several novels & short-stories.

Web: http://ow.ly/SoTTM

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

In The Chair 37: Katrina Kantas

Welcome, Karina Kantas.

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

Karina: Exciting, raw, dark.

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

Karina: The book I would be in would be my vigilante thriller LawLess Justice and I would be the MC’s sister, Holly. She has a chance to pull her sister Cassandra in the right direction, but fails miserably. Being Cass’s sister could be interesting and fun.

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?

Karina: I would definitely be on the sidelines and watch the illegal street racing in the novel Rage. I would never have the guts to go flat out on a superbike but was a rush to watch.

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

Karina: It would be my honour to dine with the author S.E.Hinton. She is the reason I became an author. I have so many questions for her. I would make her a traditional Greek meal of stuffed tomatoes for starters, lamb on spit and baclava for desert.

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

Karina: I’m not just a one trick pony. As well as my MC thrillers I also have two collections of flash and short fiction in the genres of romance, thriller, horror, sci fi and comedy. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy. I’m lucky to be able to write in all genres.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Karina: It’s the amount of time needed to market and publicise my books. I have seven so I spend hours trying to promote and find new readers. If I could do it over again. I would wait until I had the money to hire a publicist.

Favourite word?

Karina: My favourite word is very short. I love the word YETI. If you think for a minute what this fictional animal is. A giant bear-like human, that is white (abominable snowman) and also has been “seen” as a brown and hairy ape-like human. I also like the sound of the word… Yeti.

Karina Kantas was in the chair: Author of 7 crime thrillers.

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Web: http://www.amazon.com/Karina-Kantas/e/B0034P98EW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1436955805&sr=8-1

In The Chair 35: D.J.Bennett

Welcome, D. J. Bennett.

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

Debbie: Gritty, graphic, up-close-and-personal. Are hyphens cheating?

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

Debbie: It’d have to be my bad-boy Lenny. He’s the only one I fancy. And since he’s as good with women as he is with guns, I suspect it would be a thrilling – if very dangerous – ride! I’d have to be thirty years younger, but since this is fiction, I don’t suppose it’d be a problem.

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?

Debbie: All my crime books are set in contemporary England and mostly inner-city, or at least urban. Since I’m generally wallowing in the dregs of society, I don’t think I’d want to be a central character in any of my books, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be a minor character and risk being killed off. So I’d probably have to lurk – and interfere, of course. I’m good at interfering.

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

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Debbie: I’ve been lucky enough to have eaten and/or got drunk with most of my favourite living authors already. People are never how you expect them to be, are they? So let’s go for dead ones. as they can’t talk back. Or am I bringing them to life for one night in some amazing feat of reincarnation? What about somebody like John Wyndham, maybe? With Robert Heinlein and Aldous Huxley. All hugely influential on my 11 year-old mind and set me off wanting to write stories too… What would we eat? A pub meal somewhere, nice and informal so we could concentrate on chatting. But there would have to be wine. Lots of wine.

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

Debbie: My writing roots are firmly set in fantasy – contemporary and epic. I’ve been involved in the fantasy scene for a couple of decades, dabbling in fiction and running conventions. If I wasn’t writing crime, I’d be back there playing with psychic stuff, world-jumping, telepathy and all that kind of thing. In fact I have an urban fantasy to finish when I’m done with my current crime project.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Debbie: Not having a life? Sometimes it’d be nice to not have anything to do. I’d love to sit down of an evening and watch television, without feeling the itch to put fingers to keyboard. Even when I’m not writing, I’m plotting. I’d be lovely to not feel that pressure.

 Favourite word?

Debbie: Love? No – that’s cheesy and nobody would believe it. What about Awesome? I say that a lot. But they don’t really mean anything do they? I use lots of words and I don’t have favourites as that wouldn’t be fair on the others. Can I have simply Bollocks? Or is that too rude? It just kind of sums up my attitude sometimes …

D. J. Bennett was in the chair: Author of  The Hamlin’s Child series, several short stories & a fantasy; Edge of Dreams.

Web: http://debbie-bennett.blogspot.co.uk/

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