Cover Reveal! “Reflections” – newest release in the “Mind’s Eye” series

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 15, 2014 by Michael Radcliffe

Reflections cover

I’m pleased to join my fellow authors in announcing the cover reveal for our collaboration, titled “Refections.”  This is the second installment in the “Mind’s Eye” series, the first of which was titled “Perspectives” – now available on Amazon.

“Perspectives” features twelve stories by authors Darcia Helle and Maria Savva, who drew their inspiration from twelve photographs taken by photographer Marin David Porter.

In “Reflections” authors Darcia, Maria, and Jason McIntyre and I are each contributing 3 stories based on different photographs provided by Martin and a second photographer, Helle Gade, who is also a poet.  Helle will be contributing 3 poems inspired by Martin’s photos, while fellow poet Ben Ditmars will contribute 3 poems inspired by Helle’s photos.

I am honored to be working with such talented artists and authors, and can’t wait to announce the upcoming release!

 

 

“Meet My Main Character” Blog Tour

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 3, 2014 by Michael Radcliffe

I’ve been tagged by the very talented author Maria Savva to take part in a blog challenge.

Here are the rules:

I have to write a post answering seven questions about a main character from one of my novels, then I nominate five other authors to answer the same questions about their main characters.

Here’s a link to Maria’s blog where she introduces Nigel Price, the main character from her chilling story, Haunted.

The main character I’ve chosen is Rami, from my novel Touch of Darkness.

Touch of Darkness

1. Tell us a little about this main character. Is he fictional or a historic person?
Rami (pronounced RAHmee) is a fictional Egyptian boy of fifteen.  He serves as an acolyte in the temple of one of the old gods, Set.  He was given to the temple by his parents when he was about five, in exchange for Set’s blessing.  Driven by the memory of his parents abandoning him, he works hard and strives to please Master Ammon, the High Priest.  Highly intelligent and studious, his best friend is Fer’al.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set about 4,000 years ago and begins in Sakkara, Egypt, and ends in the country of Ariaca, which is where India is today.

3. What should we know about him?
Rami is tormented by the events he witnessed in my other novel, Rise of the Shadow.  Having been abandoned by his parents, the sense of loss consumes him.  He is furious with those in his past who he believes have placed him in this position.

 

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
Everything he cared about has been taken from him by others. Having tasted the power of dark magic, he becomes desperate to learn more when he finds a scroll that he believes will lead him to the Libro Mortis, or Book of the Dead.

When he meets Amirah (ahMEERah), the beautiful and cunning daughter of a caravan leader, the two form an unlikely partnership and he finds himself falling in love with her.  As they get to know each other, he is torn between his growing love for Amirah and the temptations of power whispered in his thoughts by the evil wraith trapped in the spirit stone he carries.

 

5. What is his personal goal?
Alone and on the run, Rami seeks revenge against those who have wronged him. He is determined to become a powerful magic user, no matter the cost. These plans become complicated, however, when he falls in love – an emotion he has not experienced since his parents sold him to the temple.

 

6. What are the titles of your novels, and where can we read more about them?

Touch of Darkness is my latest novel, and definitely the darkest.  Although it is a stand-alone book, it draws on the events that took place in Rise of the Shadow, which was book three in my Beyond the Veil series.

The Beyond the Veil novels are:
The Guardian’s Apprentice (2010)

Bloodstone – The Guardian’s Curse (2011)

Rise of the Shadow (2013)

 

I have also written a number of short stories, which include:

 

Tears for Hesh

Scale of a Dragon

Forsaken

The Amaranthine Flask

Legend of the Pumpkin King

Frostbite – The Dragon that Saved Christmas

 

You can read more about them on my website: http://www.michaelradcliffe.com or http://www.theguardiansapprentice.com.  My website also includes a glossary of characters, creatures, places, and magic from the world I have created.

7. When can we expect your next book to be published?

Well, the next book is a collaboration with photographers and other writers.  It is part of the Mind’s Eye Series started by Maria Savva and Darcia Helle – two exceptional authors who I am fortunate to call my friends.  In this series, Darcia and Maria wrote short stories inspired by photographs taken by Martin David Porter, and published Perspectives in April.

They decided to make it into a series of books and invite other authors and photographers.  Book 2 will be called Reflections and will hopefully be published by the end of the year.  It features more stories from Maria and Darcia, as well as poems from Ben Ditmars and Helle Gade, and short stories from Jason McIntyre and me.  The photos in Reflections are by Helle and Martin.

I am very excited to take part in this project, and have provided three stories for the collection, based on the three photographs I received.

 

As to the five authors I am tagging, I will have to upload that later, as I am waiting to hear back to see if they wish to participate.

New Release – ‘Far Away in Time’ by Maria Savva

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 16, 2014 by Michael Radcliffe

 

 

My friend and fellow author, Maria Savva, has just released a new collection of short stories.    Following is a brief excerpt from one of my favorites:

 

Far Away In Time

Teaser from ‘Far Away In Time – Part I’

Angie meets Mr Silverfrost

‘Don’t be alarmed. I can explain. But you have to suspend belief first.’ His grey eyes stared into hers.

‘Suspend belief?’

‘Yes. It’s not going to be easy for you to accept what I’m telling you. You have been so brainwashed into believing so many things.’

‘I really have to go,’ said Angie, suddenly struggling for air. ‘I can’t—’

‘You’re hyperventilating, that’s all. Please breathe deeply and sit in my chair. I will try to explain.’

‘But I have to go and collect the children.’

‘They will be fine. Time is relative.’

Angie shook her head in confusion. ‘Relative to what?’

‘Let’s just say that a minute to me is an hour to you and vice versa.’

‘You’re not making any sense.’

He rubbed his chin. ‘See what I mean? It’s hard to explain anything to someone who has been so conditioned to accept one way of looking at things. At one time people also believed the earth was flat, you know.’

‘So you’re telling me this is some kind of parallel universe?’

‘If you want to think of it that way, yes. I exist and I don’t exist, in the same way as you, my dear.’

Available on Amazon:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon FR: http://www.amazon.fr/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon IN: http://www.amazon.in/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon BR: http://www.amazon.com.br/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon IT: http://www.amazon.it/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon ES: http://www.amazon.es/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0
Amazon MX: http://www.amazon.com.mx/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0
Amazon JP: http://www.amazon.co.jp/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories  belong to us all.  Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46il_5i6lHk

Author bio:

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. Her most recent novel is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller.

You can connect with Maria online at:

Website: http://www.mariasavva.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Maria-Savva/171466979781
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Maria_Savva

Maria

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 3, 2014 by Michael Radcliffe

I would like to thank fellow author Maria Savva for inviting me to take part in the ‘My Writing Process’ blog tour.  Maria is an exceptional author, and I would encourage you to check out her works available on Amazon here.

If you have a chance, stop by Maria’s blog here.  Or her website at www.mariasavva.com.

Now, as part of the blog tour, I have been asked to answer the following questions about my writing process (such as it is…) :)

1  What am I working on?

Touch of DarknessI have just released my fourth novel, ‘Touch of Darkness’ – the last book in the ‘Beyond the Veil’ series (or at least I think it is…).  ‘Touch of Darkness’ is the story of Rami, a teenage boy who is on the run from his past.  Having been possessed by a shadowwraith, he murdered two innocent people, one of whom was his best friend.  Now, with the spirit of the wraith trapped in a spiritstone, Rami struggles to come to terms with what happened.  He is desperate to find a way to control the spirit and unlock its secrets.  Travelling to the Orient, fate throws him into an unlikely partnership with Amirah, the alluring daughter of a caravan leader.  Fascinated by his dark and mysterious past, she is drawn to Rami like a moth to a flame, and fears for his soul as he slips further into darkness.

2  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Most of my stories are shorter than contemporary fantasy novels, with my most recent work being about 42,000 words.  My longest novel, ‘The Guardian’s Apprentice’ is about 70,000.  My stories are character driven, and I always strive to create scenes in which the reader can become completely absorbed.

3  Why do I write what I do?

Simple.  I love fantasy.  Fantasy novels were my lifeline – they provided me with an escape from an abusive and unhappy childhood.  On those dark days, I could escape reality and join my friends, like Bilbo Baggins, and John Carter of Mars, who took me to a happier place.  I also love being able to create worlds of my own, where magic rules instead of science, and where anything is possible.

4  How does my writing process work?

I wish I knew.  No, really, I wish I could figure it out!  My muse is fickle, and I may go for weeks at a time without writing a single word.  Then, when I least expect it, inspiration will strike and I will struggle to write everything down before it vanishes from my mind.  Most of my short stories happened that way – an idea hit, and I would write the story in a single setting.  With my novels, I almost always write the last chapter first – or at least shortly after starting the book.  Finally, I do not use outlines very often.  Occasionally, if I have a complicated sub-plot, I will use an outline for the main points, but usually I write by the seat of my pants.  I simply sit at the computer, fire up the music, and let the characters tell their story.

tenderistheknight_02*snort* Dear readers, I can assure you that is NOT how he typically writes his stories.  He will sit and stare at the blank screen for days on end, whining about writer’s block.  If it were not for me, he would never have finished a single story.  While I will concede the man does have an active imagination, even for a human, he knows little about wizards and magic.  And I shudder to think what he would write about dragons if I were not here to guide his hand!

That’s enough, Idris.  You will have to pardon that small outburst – Idris is both my writing partner and muse.  He sits in a place of honor next to my computer, where he oversees my writing and criticizes my dialogue.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a story to write.

Cover Reveal & Excerpt – ‘Touch of Darkness’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 12, 2014 by Michael Radcliffe

Touch of Darkness

‘Touch of Darkness’ – the fourth book in the ‘Beyond the Veil’ world, is now complete and should be published by the end of the month, once final edits are complete.  Below is an excerpt – I hope you enjoy!

Touch of Darkness

The sun was starting to set beneath the horizon as they finally reached the base of the mountains, the tall sandstone cliffs stretching skyward.  The path ended as the ground sloped upward, strewn with large chunks of rock taller than Rami.

“We’ll have to go on foot from here,” said Rami as he dismounted.

The chaser was buzzing impatiently up ahead, near a small path that disappeared up the slope.  Rami knew they were getting close, as the chaser had changed to a dusky red.  When it turned black, like the seeker, they would find their target.  Rami helped Amirah down from the back of the camel, catching her about the waist as she dismounted.  As her feet touched the ground, their eyes locked and he was overcome by her beauty.

“Um… You can let go now, Rami,” she said softly with a smile.

“Oh, um, I…” he stammered as he felt the heat rising in his cheeks.  He quickly looked away and busied himself with untying their packs from the camel.

He was still struggling with a particularly tough knot on one of their packs when suddenly an ear-splitting shriek tore through the air and the ground shook.  The camel’s eyes grew wide with alarm and it bolted, most of their supplies still strapped to its back.

“What the hell was that?” shouted Amirah trying to keep her footing as the ground shook all around them.

Rami had heard that horrible shriek before, and knew it meant only one thing.

“Sandwyrm!” he yelled, grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the boulder strewn path.  “Hurry!  We have to reach the rocks before it surfaces!”

“But the camel – our supplies!”

“Leave it!” he yelled, pulling her after him as he ran towards the path.

The rumbling sound was deafening now, and suddenly the sand where they had been standing just moments before erupted violently.  With a horrendous shriek that sounded like tearing metal, a dark brown, scaly creature burst forth.  The beast had the head of a dragon, but where the eyes should be were grown over with scales, and large moveable folds covered the nostrils, flapping open and closed as it breathed.  The head was attached directly to the legless, snakelike body, which was covered in thick armored scales and disappeared into the sand.  Instead of horns or spikes, large fan-shaped scales swept up and back behind its head.  The head moved from side to side and the flaps on its snout moved quickly as if it was searching for a scent.

Amirah screamed as the massive, blind creature surged towards them, drawn to the vibrations from their running down the path.  Rami knew their only hope was to reach the boulder strewn path at the base of the mountain, as sandwyrms could only travel a small distance on hard ground – without legs to support their massive body, they normally ‘swam’ through sand like it was water – a prolonged period on a rocky surface would eventually cause an adult sandwyrm to suffocate under its own weight.  Rami heard a loud hissing sound and a boulder to his left suddenly dissolved into a bubbling mass of green slime as the beast spat a jet of acid.  Rami pulled Amirah ahead of him, pushing her towards the ever steepening path.

“Run!  Head for the boulders at the top of the ridge!” he shouted, pointing her towards safety.

“But…” she stammered, unwilling to leave him as she drew her sword.

“Now!” he yelled as they continued to run.  “Even if you could get close enough, your steel would never cut through its scales!”

With a final shove, he propelled her forward even as he rummaged in the pouch of the satchel slung over his shoulder.  Although sandwyrms where a very distant cousin of dragons, they lacked intelligence and could not use magic.  However their speed and ability to spit deadly jets of acid made them just as dangerous.  As a temple acolyte, he had been taught various charms, hexes and curses, but even the priests were never trained as full wizards, so he could never hope to kill the beast with magic.  His only hope was to distract it long enough to reach safety.   The beast roared again, shaking the ground beneath his feet as another boulder was dissolved by a stream of acid; tiny droplets of the toxic green liquid splashed across his tunic, stinging his skin and causing wisps of smoke to curl up from his clothes.  His hand finally clasped a small orb in his satchel and he pulled it out.  The shiny silver ball sparkled in the desert sunlight as Rami held it close to his mouth and whispered a hex.  As he completed the spell, he turned and hurled the sphere at their camel, which had stopped running once it was a safe distance away.  The silver orb arced through the air, emitting an ear-piercing shriek, causing the pursuing wyrm to stop and rear upward, tilting its scaly head to one side.  As the still whistling ball hit the ground near the camel, it exploded with a deep ‘thud,’ shaking the ground and enveloping the camel in a white fog.  Rami watched the spell took effect as the camel stretched and grew, more than tripling in size as its skin crackled and hardened.  It reared its head and grunted loudly as it took off, its now stone feet shaking the ground as it ran.  Attracted by the much stronger vibrations of the camel, the sandwyrm turned on its new quarry and slithered away, eager to pursue this much larger prey.

Rami sprinted towards the safety of the boulders, running as lightly as he could so as not to attract the sandwyrm.  He scrambled up the pile of loose stones and dove behind the largest rock, landing next to Amirah, who was crouched down watching the receding sandwyrm as it chased the stone camel across the path they had just traveled.

“By the gods, Rami, what did you do?” she asked, her eyes still wide with fear.

Gasping for breath, it took Rami several minutes before he could respond.

“Stonehex,” he panted, his chest hurting from running.

“But the poor camel,” she said as she sheathed her sword.  “It has no hope of outrunning that horrid creature!”

“It was either the camel or us,” snapped Rami, his head beginning to pound from using the curse.  The stonehex spell was a form of dark magic that drew upon the energy of the caster; the spell was one Rami had learned in the restricted section of Master Ammon’s personal library when he was supposed to be cleaning the shelves.  “Besides,” he said as he rubbed his temples, “the camel is now made of granite – it will take the sandwyrm a while to tear it apart.”

“Rami!” gasped Amirah.

“Come on,” he said, ignoring her expression as he adjusted his satchel and dusted off his tunic.  “We’re close now – the chaser is almost black.”

Amirah just stood near the boulder, staring at Rami in disbelief.  He was several steps away when he noticed she was not behind him.  He turned and looked at her, spreading his arms wide.

“What?” he asked angrily.  “We could never outrun a sandwyrm, Amirah.  I had no choice – it was either us or the camel!”

Sheathing her sword in a single, fluid motion, she scowled at him.

“It was a living creature, Rami!  At least show some compassion – or did they not teach you that at the temple?”

Rami sighed and shook his head as she angrily stomped past him up the path.  The priests certainly had not taught him anything about arguing with a female.

*END OF EXCERPT*

New Release Spotlight – “3” by Maria Savva

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 16, 2013 by Michael Radcliffe

Today I am highlighting a new release of short stories by my friend, London based author Maria Savva.

“3” contains a trio of short stories, with the theme of how memories from the past can haunt the present.  The stories include:

1. Never To Be Told – Tom and Amber are on a romantic date… but the past is always present.

2. The Bride – In this paranormal short, Olivia makes a chilling discovery.

3. What The Girl Heard – Victoria revisits a place that holds a dark reminder of an incident from her childhood. She had vowed she would never return.

File created with CoreGraphics

Book Trailer:  here 

About Maria:

MariaMaria is a writer of short stories and novels. She has always been a storyteller, and an avid reader, and is now having a lot of fun in her adventure with the creative art of writing. She has published 5 novels, including a psychological thriller, a family saga, and a fantasy/paranormal/time travel book. She also has 5 collections of short stories, the latest “3” has been described as an “Innovative showcase” of her short stories. If you like stories that will take you deep inside the characters’ hearts and minds, and you like twists in the tale, you will probably want to try these stories.

As well as writing, Maria is a lawyer (not currently practising law). During her career, she worked in family law, criminal law, immigration, residential property law, and wills & probate, among other things. Many of her stories are inspired from her own experiences and the experiences of those she knows or has known. Chances are, if you get to know this author it won’t be long before you are changed forever into a fictional character and appear in one of her books. If she likes you, you may become a romantic hero/heroine; if she doesn’t… well, she writes a good thriller I hear.

Maria currently divides her time between working as an administrator in a university, and writing/reading/editing/blogging. She maintains the BestsellerBound Recommends blog helping to promote fellow indie authors. She’s also a music blogger for UK Arts Directory where she helps promote independent musicians.

 

If you would like to connect with Maria online:

Official website: http:www.mariasavva.com

Goodreads Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1418272.Maria_Savva/blog

BestsellerBound Recommends: http://quietfurybooks.com/bestsellerboundrecommends/

UK Arts Directory Blog: http://ukartsdirectory.com/category/blog/maria-savva/

Twitter: http://Twitter.com/Maria_Savva

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Maria-Savva/171466979781

“3” is Currently available in Kindle format (Can be read on a Mac, PC, iPad, Smartphone etc., with the free downloadable apps from Amazon). Look out for the paperback coming soon.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

Amazon FR: http://www.amazon.fr/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

Amazon ES: http://www.amazon.es/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

Amazon BR: http://www.amazon.com.br/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

Amazon IT: http://www.amazon.it/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

Amazon JP: http://www.amazon.co.jp/3-ebook/dp/B00EUM59XM/

 

New Release & Giveaway – Maria Savva’s Delusions & Dreams

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 1, 2013 by Michael Radcliffe

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maria1

My dear friend, London based author Maria Savva, has a newly released collection of short stories.  I had the privilege of  reading an advance copy, and absolutely loved the stories she has woven together.  There is a wonderful mix of genre’s in this collection, ranging from the light-hearted to the emotional.

To quote the official ‘blurb’ for the book:

“Twelve stories of betrayal, greed, revenge, deception, dreams, and courage.

We all struggle to find our way. What you see isn’t necessarily all there is. This collection takes you into the grey area, because the world is never just black and white.

Life is all about perspective. One person’s delusion is another person’s dream.

Includes five bonus stories.”

At the end of this post you will see a Rafflecopter link to the giveaway – 5 different ebooks and 1 signed paperback copy of  ‘Delusions & Dreams’ are up for grabs, so don’t forget to click to enter.

You can purchase her new release here:

Amazon UK
Amazon.com 

As part of the book’s release, Maria was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, so take it away, Maria! :)

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1. ‘Delusions & Dreams’ is an impressive collection of seventeen short stories!  Have you been collecting these over the years, or are they all recent?  Did you write any specifically for this collection?

Delusion and Dreams is a collection of new and old stories. Some of them I found on my computer; I wrote years ago. Some I found on a floppy disk, written in the ages when people still rode donkeys to work ;) I updated/edited the older stories. The title story, Delusion and Dreams, is a short story told in four parts. It’s new and I wrote parts II, III, and IV, specifically for this collection. Part I was written a few years ago. I found the handwritten version in a drawer at home, and decided that I liked it. When I typed it up I was inspired to continue the story. In fact, I could have probably written more parts… maybe even a whole novel. The characters in that story have lots to say, and I might revisit them sometime. A few of my beta readers commented that they’d like to read more about them. Similarly, part II of Friends and Neighbours, was written specifically for this collection, whereas the first part of the story was written at least ten years ago. The other new stories are Happy New Year, and Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. The rest of the stories are old ones that I edited for the collection. The last 5 stories are bonus stories that have been published before, but as single stories, so I wanted to include them in a collection.

2. I really enjoyed the serialization of the ‘Delusions & Dreams’ parts I-IV.  Do you think the story will continue?

As mentioned above, yes, I do think I will revisit this story at some stage. I like the characters. Jessie and Jack are close to my heart. I’d like to tell more of their story in the future. I hope I’ll find some time to maybe continue the story or write a longer book about these characters.

3. ‘Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow’ was very enjoyable – I especially liked the humor involved with the wig.  What inspired you to write that story?

Thanks, Michael. This one started off as a challenge for me because I’d been invited to write a comedy story for a short story collection by a small press publisher. They wanted a story up to about 1,500 words. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow, took on a life of its own once I started writing it, and although there are comedy aspects to it, it’s a bit deeper and some people have told me, also quite sad in parts. It was far too long, at about 5,000 words to be acceptable for the short story anthology that I’d been invited to submit to, so I decided to include it in Delusion and Dreams, and I think it fits in quite well.

4. I notice the collection had a wide variety of themes, ranging from light-hearted (Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow) to darker (Happy New Year).  Is there a theme you enjoy writing more than another?

My genre/theme for a story or novel is dictated by the character that I’m writing about.  For example, Haunted is a crime thriller because Nigel has a dark secret; A Time to Tell  is a family saga, because we are looking at the lives of more than one generation of the same family; Coincidences is more of a mystery because Alice is looking for her father and finding out truths about her past; and Second Chances is more of a romance because Pamela and James are facing up to a difficult time in their relationship.

I have always been a people watcher. I am fascinated by people and why the do what they do, human behaviour. My books and stories will always be character studies more than anything else, because that is the kind of person I am. I like to dig deep below the surface and find out what is really going on underneath. There is always a reason why people do things. Many of my stories developed through my need to know why a character has done something and how they feel, how it affects others around them. I don’t only write in one genre, because I write about life, and life is full of events and characters that don’t fit in to one genre.

5. Your recent novel, ‘Haunted,’ was definitely darker than your other works.  Did you find writing a darker story more difficult?

Emotionally, for me, it was the hardest book I have ever written. I really got into Nigel’s mind and it was dark in there! It took me to some very dark places personally, but I am very happy with how it turned out and how it’s being received by readers. All the sleepless nights were worth it. I didn’t intend to write a psychological thriller, but I ended up writing the darkest kind of psychological thriller possible. Some people have said it’s too dark, but I believe it had to be that dark, anything less would not have done the story justice… It’s a book that explores the mind of a murderer… not for the faint hearted. I don’t think I will be writing such a dark book again soon.

6. Do you think your writing has been influenced by your work as solicitor?

Most definitely. I worked as a solicitor for about 15 years and met hundreds of people from different backgrounds who were all going through different problems. I listened to their stories, some heartbreaking. In my role as a solicitor, I was in a position where people trusted me with their deepest secrets. It’s all eye-opening stuff. I draw from my experiences every time I pick up a pen, I’m sure, not necessarily consciously either. I mean, I’ve never sat down and thought, “why don’t I write a novel based on that client”. I would never do that. But I do find that when I read my books over, I notice tiny character traits that remind me of people I’ve met; maybe something they’ve said that had an impact on me.

In my novels, A Time to Tell and Second Chances, in particular, readers will be able to see where I may have been influenced by my work as a solicitor, but I think that experience touches all of my writing.

Anyone with a creative mind, who works in a customer service type job can leave the office/shop every day with heaps of ideas for stories and books. Meeting different types of people is so important for a writer. We need to create believable characters in our books, so the more people we come into contact with, the better.

7. Do you have a preference between writing short stories and writing full length novels?

I enjoy both. It’s a question of how much time I have available for writing. The thing is, I have a need to write, but I don’t always have enough time to concentrate on a novel-length work of fiction. At those times, short stories are an excellent way to keep the creativity alive. It takes a long time to write a novel and it’s important to be able to devote enough time each day to write when you are writing a novel. I work full time and find that at the moment, it’s easier to write short stories because I can write a short story in one sitting. It takes me maybe an hour to write one. The editing takes twice as long. With a novel it could take me six months when I am writing at least a chapter a day, and then the editing takes about another year.

8. What is your favorite time/place to write – do you need absolute quiet or can your write in the midst of chaos?

My favourite time is at night. I need it to be relatively quiet when I’m writing. I can have the usual buzz of London sounds in the background, but anything more and I lose concentration. I can write anywhere, though. I have been known to write a short story when there is chaos going on all around me.

9. Of all the stories in this collection, do you have a favorite?

They’re all my favourites. Chosen from about twenty stories that could have possibly gone into the collection. If I had to choose a favourite from this collection, I think it would be the Delusion and Dreams series of stories.

10. Do you have any works in process at the moment?

Yes. I have written three new short stories for a new collection which will be called ‘3’. I hope to publish that very soon. It’s just a matter if finding time to edit them. They are a bit creepy, which is nice.

I am also working on my next novel, working title, ‘Illusion’, but I think that may change. It’s a fantasy, but you’ll be sad to hear there aren’t any dragons in it… well not yet, anyway… maybe there will be?? But seriously, it would probably be classed as an urban fantasy. It’s very other-worldly and strange. I’ve written about ten chapters, but haven’t worked on it for a while (since about December), so will have to read over it before I write any more!

 Thank you so much for joining us today, Maria!  

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Maria’s Bio:
Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. Her most recent novel is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. You can find out more about her work at her official website: mariasavva.com
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