Up to the age of about ten, I was always asked “So, is you right half the English half or the Spanish half?” I’ve never found this question very funny, but I guess my legs are my definitely part of my English heritage, going on the simple fact that they are always the palest part of my body. And “Do you dream in English or in Spanish?” I’m actually usually too exhausted to dream and remember, so I can’t answer that one. But I can confirm that when I swear, it’s definitely in English. FFS comes out much more naturally in my mother tongue. What I can’t do is sit through a English documentary which as been dubbed into Spanish. My brain tries to pick out the English words that have been semi silenced over the Spanish translation and I have to really concentrate if I’m to make head or tail of what’s being said as my brain goes into overdrive filtering the two languages at once and I risk blowing a fuse in my own head.
Please welcome author Katharine Johnson to my blog today.
Hello Katharine, please make yourself at home. I’ve prepared a fresh fruit salad and there’s some cheese and biscuits to your right also.
Thanks Cristina, it’s lovely to be here!
Katharine, your novel THE SILENCE will be released in just a few weeks, on the 8th June. I believe that this is your second novel. Your debut novel LIES, MISTAKES AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS was an Amazon bestseller so congratulations!
Could you summarise your latest work in just a few words.
Thank you, yes it’s a story about a secret that a woman has kept for twenty-five years dating back to a summer she spent in Tuscany as a teenager – a summer that went tragically wrong. When human remains are found in the grounds of a Tuscan villa she realises her secret is no longer safe…
Please welcome the talented Sue Barnard, bestselling author and my brilliant editor. Thank you for joining me Sue. Before we talk a little about your work and projects, I believe you have some questions for me.
Hi, Cristina. Well, this is a momentous day for both of us! Obviously I know a fair amount about the book, but for the benefit of new readers, can you summarise it in just a few words?
It tells an urban fairy tale. It’s about a young London girl who through a series of hilarious, if bizarre, circumstances is propelled to Hollywood glamour, lovers, confusion, menace and a truly startling conclusion. Its twists and turns will grip the reader – and make them laugh, too! At least that’s what I hope!! 😉
I studied at the Ursuline High School, Wimbledon, throughout GCSE’s and A-levels. This year is the school’s 125 year anniversary and I’m honoured that they asked me to share my story in their alumnae showcase. I hold very fond memories of my time at the Ursuline High School. I hope that the young ladies who are currently there now, and who are on the first chapter of their life story find a little inspiration from my journey. A short video. How to make dreams a reality.
I graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in PE and Sports Science. I hold very fond memories of my time at Loughborough and I feel honoured to be able to offer some advice back to the University and current students. A short video for budding authors.
Here’s a short video I’ve just done, if you watch it you’ll see why I’m surrounded by three puppies. Puppies that were found abandoned by the local police. They think I’m their mum, bless them…
“Wine you say? I’ve heard of Ribena before, but this is so sweet, so rich! Why have we, Puffs from planet Plansicatiscmea never heard of this before?”
I looked at the Puff before me, I should have felt alarmed by an extraterrestrial arriving, out of the blue, in my back yard. But the one eyed orange creature before me didn’t look threatening at all, rather like an enlarged stuffed toy that my daughter loves collecting. However, to play safe, I thought I’d offer it some local wine and if the Puff didn’t like it, I’d at least try and get it so tipsy, that it would pass out by tea time, leaving me free to call for help.
So one of the requirements that my publisher requests of me on signing the publishing contract with them is to have a twitter account up and running (got to get my social media channels on the go and buzzing).
Twitter has a very straightforward account system set up, note “parental guidance” as even a five year old would be able to open an account with his / her eyes closed.
Simple really: Just log in your e-mail; choose you’re password and account name and your done and dusted. Except for me, of course, who in the space of about 2 minutes managed to set up an account, block the account, change the original e-mail address to another one as well as modifying the password, and all in the blink of an eye! So by punching in my original password about 10 times to no avail, I managed to almost hack my own account and was warned by Twitter, in polite, pink little letters, that someone / something “non-authorized” was seemingly trying to access my account and that I wouldn’t be allowed to open it again for the next 60 minutes. The Twitter team obviously thought I was some “political target” or something and I’m now probably on their “One to watch” list.
The Life Assistance Agency by Thomas Hocknell.
Please welcome author Tom Hocknell to my blog today. Hello Tom, please make yourself at home. You’ll find some tea and scones to your right, but if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and it’s not too early, to your left, the unlocked drinks cabinet. ; )
Tom, your debut novel THE LIFE ASSISTANCE AGENCY which was released at the end of last year, has been selected for the WHSmith’s fresh talent. Congratulations!
Could you summarise your latest work in just a few words.
Thanks very much! The intention was to imagine PG Wodehouse writing Da Vinci Code. No pressure there then – he’s only one of the greatest writers in English literature. That’s Wodehouse by the way, not Dan Brown. Someone has compared my novel to the Blue Brothers searching for the Holy Grail, which I’m almost annoyed I didn’t come up with as my elevator pitch.
Tell us a little bit more about what the WHSmith’s fresh talent is all about, what were you doing when you heard the great news?
What a great question. Well, the WHSmith’s Fresh Talent clearly has a very discerning eye! It’s a selection of 12 new writers who show promising talent. I can’t quite believe I’m in it. I feel too old to be fresh. But what fantastic company to be in. It’s really helped with sales and given my novel readers that it might otherwise have failed to meet.