Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Unlocking David McAdam

Traditional romance stories tend to leave me cold. I could perhaps name only a handful which will pass the test of time. It was refreshing therefore to read an unusual story by David McAdam and after I'd finished reviewing it I was interested in asking the author what makes him tick.

Born in Scotland, David McAdam spent some six years working with the homeless in a major English city. As well as bringing his life's experience and common sense to bear upon the work he also applied insights derived from studying social psychology, sociology and social policy. His interests include art, music (especially The Beatles) and current affairs.

What made you want to write?
I've been interesting in writing for as long as I can remember. I used to produce comic strips as an academy pupil. As an adult I began writing short stories for my own muse. It was only after I'd left my work with the homeless did I realised there was a book in me based on that world.

What's different about your book?
It is 'faction' rather than fiction even though identities are protected and locations have changed. It is naked in its representation of the world in which vulnerable homeless men and women and their support structure exists. It is highly emotional reminding the reader just how fragile life is. It has a different love-interest. The unrequited love between the two central characters trembles throughout then finally explodes in a frenzy of brute passion upon a barren, sea battered wall emphasising the nakedness and vulnerability of their world.

How important is humour?
Despite the books overriding theme of vulnerability humour is added to bring light relief in certain of the story's episodes. The humour is wry, pedestrian and lavatorial in places.

Do you just write novels?
I have written short plays and reflections on my life, particularly my youth and childhood. I 've also written for Open University's Society Matters and had an essay on colour blindness included in a language textbook.

Who influenced you?
I cannot pin-point any author who influenced me to write. Possessed with a creative psychology I realised early-on that I could paint pictures with words as well as with paint.
LINK TO David McAdam - Artist

So what's next?
Swineabbey (a fictitious market town somewhere in England) is my next project. It deals with the metaphysical and paranormal and is subtitled 'where one man's future never is'. It opens with a disturbing encounter that provides a recurring backdrop to the life story of the central character Eugene.






Friday, 17 July 2015

Snag Tooth Nell

Snag Tooth Nell - cocktail from Star Keeper by Denise Greenwood
Snag Tooth Nell. It's the name of a cocktail and it resulted in embarrassment for two of my characters in Star Keeper.

Why not give it a try this weekend but be careful, it could have consequences. One of my characters didn't survive his embarrassment !

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Value in words

The value of a good review is immeasurable. It materialises out of the ether to send a signal to me that someone, somewhere has read one of my books and thoroughly enjoyed it. And...they went on to buy the next book.

TEMPTATION received a wonderful review on Amazon (Kindle Edition) and I've included parts of it below.

Written in supremely vivid style Temptation with its simple yet evocative cover design consisting of two ripe cherries was worth taking a deep bite from and savouring.
Besides its vividness the story’s carefully crafted structure reminded me of Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain – opening briefly with darkness and chaos before immersing in the main and sub plots leading to light and calm by the end. Between these two poles the writer weaves a rich tapestry of interconnecting characters each brought to life with their own unique personalities, weaknesses and strengths explored.
The author’s vivid style is mana for the creative psyche. She employs every grammatical device at her disposal to create both visual and sound effects. The comedy is subtle, refreshingly pedestrian and un-PC in places. The writer evidently knows her subject writing from experience in worlds so descriptively detailed yet far apart in ethos. The setting is contemporary and the writing mercifully free from clich├ęs and stereotyping.
I haven’t read a novel for years preferring instead current affairs and biographical genres. In Temptation the bite of the cherry was worth it. I have been left hungry for more. To this end I have discovered that there is a follow up – Star Keeper, which I have duly purchased.

A huge thank you to the Reviewer.

Twitter: @deniseGauthor

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Local Link

I was asked on Friday to be the story writer for The Local Link magazine. It is a UK magazine and more importantly it is delivered free to 10,000 homes in my local area - Littleborough, Smithybridge, Wardle Village, Shaw, Higher Crompton and Tandle Hill.

The Local Link magazine is a valuable contribution to the residents and businesses in these areas. Delivered monthly, it provides residents with news of local activities, seasonal activities, places to take the kids, where to eat and now, my stories will be printed on a dedicated page. It also provides residents with Ads for local tradesmen and businesses. I myself have used it on many an occasion for this purpose and last week I spoke to a satellite engineer who said he gets a quarter of his business from it (by the way - his wife is also reading my books).

From a writer's perspective, being part of this magazine is a valuable connection to readers but personally, it is also more meaningful. My stories are being read by people I pass in the street and I feel closer to my readers. People now tell me their stories and so the tradition of passing on histories and moments that mattered continues.
The Local Link Magazine - Denise Greenwood, Short Stories 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

An Unlikely Spot for Lightning

Where my novel TEMPTATION was born
I remember it vividly. It was a Monday morning and I took the shortcut through the graveyard and then again later when I returned home. It was such a peaceful autumn morning that I took a seat. I watched shafts of sunlight try to touch the ground but it only got as far as the tree tops. Three crows were flapping and shouting nearby.

I was hit by lightning, not literally although literature would later be its theme. I had a vision of a man standing upon a stage and looking out but not seeing what was in front of him. He was in the dark and facing his demons.
The gravel path

The day before I'd sat in a pew; the religion of my youth long gone. I'd been asked to attend the Sunday Mass although the church was not of my childhood faith. I'd listened to the Reverend's sermon and heard some unsavoury comments about the man and his sermon from behind me then my mind had wandered and snippets from Wordsworth's The Prelude had come to me.
"The human nature into which I felt I belonged...was not a punctual presence, but a spirit diffused though time and space."
That had been the first strike. I'd thought of the words but seen a man from my past and his struggle on a stage while he faced his audience.

The second strike... The following day, while sat on a bench in a graveyard, it came to me - TEMPTATION. I saw it's beginning, it's journey and it's end. I returned home to write. The words spilt across a laptop screen and the story began to write itself. I felt like the vessel through which the words were poured. I suppose that is the closest I ever got to having a religious experience. For me, writing is a revelation, a faith, a look into the unknown then finding salvation. It is now my daily Mass.

Temptation - my first #book followed by Star Keeper. COMING SOON - CRUSHED.
Follow me on #Twitter @deniseGauthor

Saturday, 4 July 2015

A Kiss for Bobby

I was thrilled on Friday late afternoon to hear the arrival of a magazine through my letterbox. The Local Link is delivered to 10,000 homes in my local area and beyond. Lisa at the magazine had emailed me last week to ask if I could supply a short story. My immediate thought was "A Kiss for Bobby." It was a story very dear to my heart.

I drew this tale from one of my experiences and it lent itself perfectly to one of my characters from my book TEMPTATION. It became part of a boy's childhood memories and would later have a greater significance. When he attended his aunt's funeral his reaction to that memory sparked a catalyst of change in a young Reverend who was overseeing the ceremony. The Reverend then began his descent down a slippery path to his loss of faith, self-respect then personal fear.

The Local Link Magazine - A Kiss for Bobby by Denise Greenwood

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Tempting the Readers

At the end of a busy day do you sit down in front of the TV with a glass of wine or choose a comfy chair and sit down with a book (and also a glass of wine)?

Reading my books will give you longer enjoyment than the bottle of wine and they cost the same but... I also suggest you drink the wine while reading.

As the author I got through several bottle while writing my novels but only when I had finished a particularly harrowing chapter or one of my characters had surprised me by revealing a part of their inner machinations once my fingertips had been busy on my laptop.

I would recommend a glass or two of Shiraz or Sauvignon Gris if you prefer white and make the most of them while reading my first two books. You may prefer something a lot stronger when my third novel is published. HAPPY READING!