Archive for October, 2015

Blog Tour: The Out Of Orbit Series

We are delighted to welcome self published author, Chele Cooke

dead and buriedYou are an inmate, not a medic. You should get used to that.”
On the planet Os-Veruh, the native Veniche have endured a decade under the oppressive rule of a race of invaders, the Adveni.
When Georgianna Lennox, a Veniche medic, discovers her childhood friend has been sold into slavery, she seeks help from a revolutionary outlaw group.
As Georgianna’s struggle to save one life ignites a battle to liberate her homeworld, is she about to discover that it is better to be dead than ‘buryd’?

Where is your favourite place to write?

I really want an office. I think, if I manage to go full time, I’ll need to make myself an office somewhere. At the moment, I write at a small desk in my bedroom. Forget all that house with a garden and a dog stuff… I just want an office I can organise.

I do like my little desk and it’s currently my favourite place to write. I have spreadsheets and character lists pinned up on the wall in front of it, and with nothing else to distract me, it’s easy to get in the zone there.

Are you a plotter or a panther?

A plotter. Definitely a plotter. I pantsed for almost ten years and rarely finished anything. Then, one year for NaNoWriMo, my friend and I switched. I had to plan, she had to pants. That was the first year I completed NaNo, and now I have about 10k in plots, chapter plans, and character information before I write a single word of the manuscript.

Alright, let’s be honest… I have about five different projects with full planning done, just waiting to be written. I might have a bit of a plotting addiction.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Of my own characters, or someone else’s? Either way, this is an evil question.

Other people’s characters: I’m going to go with Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby. I love the fact that he’s removed from the main story and how much we see of his character through his reactions to the things going on around him. That whole book is filled with morally grey characters, and Nick is no different.

Of my own characters, I’m going to have to go with Dhiren Flynn. I fell in love with him unexpectedly. He was supposed to be a character who was around for five or so chapters at the end of book one and the beginning of book two, but instead he took over and I couldn’t push him aside. He’s fiercely protective and, like Nick Carraway, morally grey on how he goes about it. The more I write him, the more I find out, which is so much fun to write.

What made you decide to write a sci-fi series?

I never really thought I’d be writing Sci-Fi. Growing up I was always more of a Fantasy person. When this story came along, it wasn’t that I’d intended for my next project to be Sci-Fi, it just happened that it was the most fitting genre. My Sci-Fi is definitely more on the Dystopian end of the scale. I focus on the characters and how the events change and shape them.

Once I started writing this series, the ideas just kept coming. Now, I’d say about sixty percent of my ideas would be classed as Sci-Fi, though usually they’ll have other elements mixed in. One of my works in progress is a sci-fi mixed with a nineteen twenties circus and some western elements. They’re all a bit different.

Do you know what is going to happen at the end of the series? – don’t tell us, we’re just curious if you know!

I’m currently planning the final book, so while I’ve had the destination in my head since the beginning of the series, I’m now working out exactly how I’m going to get there without hitting too many roundabouts or traffic jams.

There are certain scenes I know I want to have, and subplots that need to reach a specific conclusion, but the meat of the final book is still up in the air.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Especially from a self-published perspective?

My biggest piece of writing advice is to remember that what works for one person won’t work for everyone. Never feel bad if what works for you doesn’t work for someone else, just keep doing what works for you.

As for self-publishing, my advice is not to rush it. Take your time and do things to the best of your ability. Hell, this works for writing too. Don’t feel like you have to put out a book every six months just because that’s what some people are doing. Take the time to get your book properly edited and covered professionally, to do the proper marketing and give your book the best start it can possibly get.

Also, when it comes to writing and self-publishing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Indie community is incredibly friendly. They will celebrate your successes and help you through the rough patches (because most likely, they’ve been there already.) People say writing is a solitary process, but in this day and age, you have a much better support system. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Thank you for the wonderful questions! These have been really fun to answer, and I hope you’ve got a little more insight into my writing, and me in general.

Interview questions by Faye

chekecookePart time author and full time fantacist, Chele Cooke is a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author living in London, UK.
While some know they want to write stories since childhood, Chele first started writing as a teenager writing fanfiction and roleplaying. Before long playing in other people’s worlds wasn’t enough and she started creating her own. Living in San Francisco at the time, she found a lot of inspiration in her favourite city, some of which can be found in her books.
With a degree in Creative Writing, Chele’s first novel was published in 2013. She currently has three books published: two books in a sci-fi series, Out of Orbit, and the first book of a vampire serial, Teeth.

To find out more about Dead and Buryd, the first book in the Out Of Orbit Series, check out it’s Goodreads page here. Dead and Buryd and two of it’s sequels, Fight or Flight and Rack and Ruin, are available to buy now from Amazon.uk (here) and Amazon.com here.
Giveaway

Chele is hosting a giveaway to celebrate her Out of Orbit tour!
The prizes include;
A full set of Out of Orbit series in paperback and a £25 Amazon giftcard
Ten ebook sets of the Out of Orbit series
To enter the giveaway visit Chele’s website here

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My Top Ten Secret Gardens

Big Book Little Book is delighted to host author Holly Webb as she shares her top ten secret gardens.
Holly has written a sequel to one of my favourite childhood books, The Secret Garden. Dickon, from the original story, was one of my very first book crushes, before I even knew what a crush was. There was something so wonderful about the walled garden, a secret , special place away from the adults, where the children were in charge, and in the case of Dickon, much more knowledgeable than the adults. I am really looking forward to sharing the story with my children in the future and this exciting follow up.
With out further ado, over to Holly.

Return to the Secret GardenIt’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge old mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary and a garden. A very secret garden…

1. Great Maytham Hall

Frances Hodgson Burnett lived in this house in Kent from the mid-1890s, and the walled rose garden was her inspiration for The Secret Garden. She wrote in a little summerhouse in the corner of the garden. The garden is open one day a week under the National Gardens Scheme.
Click here learn more about Great Maytham Hall , or here to find a garden

2. Misselthwaite Manor, from The Secret Garden

The site of the secret garden itself – in amongst the kitchen gardens and orchards, surrounded by a high brick walls. Mary first discovers the garden in winter, and the trails of roses look grey and dead. Only the little green points of the bulbs give any clue to the garden that’s waiting to come alive.

3. My childhood garden

I grew up in a Victorian house in South London, with a long, narrow garden. My parents still live in the same house, but strangely, the garden seems much smaller now! I remember it as huge, and full of hiding places…

4. The garden in The Magician’s Nephew

I loved (still love) the Narnia books, and this garden is fascinating – Polly and Digory fly on the winged horse Fledge (possibly my favourite character) to pick an apple from the tree in this walled garden.

5.Miniature gardens

While she’s still living in India, Mary Lennox makes toy gardens, picking flowers and arranging them in the dusty earth. I used to do this too, and I loved making gardens in trays with my children.

6. Kew Gardens

Not a secret at all, of course. But I remember visiting these as a child, and being fascinated by the glass houses, with the enormous water lilies. I loved fairy tales, and Beatrix Potter’s Jeremy Fisher, and I was sure there were secret creatures living in those glass houses.
To learn more about Kew Gardens visit their website here.

7. Thumbelina’s garden

In Hans Christian Andersen’s story, Thumbelina appears inside a flower. After a whole series of adventures, she and her friend the swallow find a meadow full of flowers, and Thumbelina meets a flower fairy prince. I don’t know why, but I’ve always imagined that the flowers were tulips!

8. RHS Wisley

Again, I visited these gardens as a child, but all I remember is a house made out of wisteria. It was a summerhouse, completed surrounded by the purple flowers, and I wanted to live there. The wisteria in my own garden now is one of my favourite things! Looking at photos of Wisley’s long pergolas, I wonder if imagined that the house was round? But I’m sure it was… There’s a wisteria pergola at Great Maytham, too. I changed the idea of the summerhouse slightly for Return to the Secret Garden, my character Emmie imagines herself a house of flowers, but hers is made of roses and honeysuckle. (It would have been wisteria, except in the book it was the wrong time of year!)
Learn more about Wisley here

9. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Real life secret gardens! Heligan was abandoned during the First World War, and the gardens were rediscovered and recreated in the 1990s.
Discover them for yourself by following this link.

10.The garden next-door, from Moving Molly by Shirley Hughes

One of my favourite books ever. I read it so many times, and I still have my copy. Molly moves house and finds that the garden next door has been abandoned – it’s a paradise for tigerish cats, and full of adventures.

Post by Holly Webb

Holly Webb_RTSG2Holly Webb is the author of Dog Magic, Cat Magic, and Lost in the Snow. She has always loved animals and owns two very spoiled cats. They haven’t said a word to her yet, but she’s always listening, just in case! She lives in England.

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