Friday, May 24, 2013

My historical, bawdy novella, The Indisputable Legend of Thomas Parr, is now available from Smashwords until June 1st for free download! Use coupon code: DU65H

This is a story based on the real Thomas Parr. A simple gentleman rumored to have lived to the age of 150 in Shropshire, England. Supposedly, he had the 'vigor' of a much younger man and was buried in Westminster Abbey in London upon his death.

I had fun with the story, trying to imagine what a man like Thomas would be like.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Interview with author Jane Godman talking about her writing, including her historical romance The Rebels’ Promise.

SDG: Welcome, Jane and thank you for taking the time to do the interview. Can you give a little background about yourself?

JG: I’m delighted to be here. I am an avid reader of historical romances, and have always enjoyed writing (I still have a copy of the medieval novel I wrote, in felt tip pen, aged 14!). 

My romances are set in the Georgian era - from the wild passion of the Jacobite rebellion to the charm and formality of the Regency - with heroes and heroines you fall instantly in love with, fascinating and amusing supporting characters and luscious settings.

I live in England and love to travel to European cities which are steeped in history and romance. Venice, Dubrovnik and Vienna are amongst my favourites. I am a teacher, married to a lovely man, mum to two grown up children and slave to a spoilt-brat cat.

SDG: What inspired you to write this book?

JG: I was ten when I read ‘Murder Most Royal’ by Jean Plaidy and I was instantly hooked on British and European history. 

At the age of twelve, I discovered a tattered Georgette Heyer novel on my mum’s bookshelf. I devoured it in a day and I was spellbound. It was ‘These Old Shades’, which is set in the mid-1700s. As much as I love Regency novels, I find myself drawn to the earlier Georgian era. I think it’s because the characters have more opportunities to misbehave. It was a scandalous time (think Les Liaisons Dangereuses) and I love the fashions! Give me a hero in a cloak and a powdered wig.

I am captivated by the way great writers of historical romance use dialogue to skilfully set the scene. I also love it when the historical setting is so real it becomes another character, transporting you effortlessly back in time. 

I am English but I was born in Scotland and the Jacobite rebellion has always fascinated me. The idea for The Rebel’s Promise arose out of the true historical fact that Bonnie Prince Charlie’s troops marched as far south as Derby. If he had achieved his aim of reaching London and reclaiming the crown, British history would have looked very different. But I also wondered how the arrival of the Jacobites affected the everyday lives of people in Derbyshire. My heroine, Rosie Delacourt, is a country girl whose quiet life is thrown into turmoil when she helps an injured rebel lord to escape the king’s men.

SDG: What was your approach to writing it (did it just flow or did you use an outline or other preparatory method)?

JG: I started with a plan but I always find that the story takes on a life of its own! I always know my hero and heroine well when I start a story but I’m surprised by the way my secondary characters (or supporting cast, as I prefer to think of them) start vying for my attention. That happened very early with The Rebel’s Promise and now I get more questions about Bella and Perry, who were only ever meant to be bit part players, than I do about Jack and Rosie!

SDG: How long did it take to write the complete novel from first draft to edited final?

JG: Six months. I’m not a quick writer and I am an absolute perfectionist. Every detail has to be right. I never feel I’ve ‘finished’ a novel. If I’m not really disciplined I could go on forever making changes and editing particular scenes. So I have to be stern with myself and say ‘That’s it. It’s done’.

SDG: Can you tell us a little about your book and if you have had book signings or readings?

JG: The Rebels’ Promise is a love story based around the true events of 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army attempted to reclaim the British crown. It was a turbulent time and the rebels got as far as Derby before they turned back across the Scottish border. 

Rosie Delacourt is an English girl from a well-to-do family, whose quiet life is turned upside down when she rescues an injured Jacobite. Rosie has never met anyone quite like Jack before. He’s handsome, dashing, charming and, even though he is at death’s door when the story begins, he flirts outrageously with her! 

It’s inevitable that they will fall in love, but Jack is wanted for treason and King George’s troops come looking for him. The lovers share one bittersweet night together before he leaves. 

Jack promises to return - “Rosie, my heart, my dearest love. I swear that, once I have secured the king’s pardon, I will come back for you and make you my wife.” – but Rosie doesn’t know if she will ever see him again. 

Momentous events are shaping across the border and Bonnie Prince Charlie is defeated in battle. The rebels are in disarray and the prince himself goes into hiding. Back in Derbyshire, Rosie has her own problems. She is being blackmailed by Sir Clive Sheridan, a man who lusts after her body and her fortune. When the news comes that Jack has been killed at Culloden, she faces a stark choice: marry Clive or she, and her young brother, will go to the gallows as traitors.

Jack, meanwhile, has secured a pardon, and he returns to fulfil his promise. When he hears that Rosie is to marry the very man who betrayed him, he is devastated. But Rosie cannot tell him the truth. To do so would mean certain death for both of them. 

It seems the only feelings which remain between them now are bitterness and anger. However, when danger throws them together again, Jack and Rosie are reminded of tenderness they once shared.

I love Jack and Rosie to bits. Both of them are funny, feisty and likable. But ‘The Rebel’s Promise’ also has a great supporting cast. Sir Clive Sheridan (boo, hiss!) is the dastardly villain you love to hate while Harry, Bella and Perry definitely deserve their own sequels (watch this space …). Even Harry’s dog adds something extra to the story!

I wanted to create a magical world in which the reader feels part so I’ve loved getting comments that tell me I’ve succeeded. Readers have said that it’s like a historical soap opera (or Downton Abbey set a few centuries earlier). There has been some on-line debate about who would play the main characters in a film or mini-series. I’m quite liking the suggestion of Rob James-Collier as the foppish Sir Peregrine Pomeroy!  

I haven’t done any book signings or readings but I have loved doing guest blogs to promote my book, and my favourite promotional activity has been making my own book trailer, which is on Youtube.

SDG: That sounds like an incredible book! Is your family supportive of your writing and what do they think about your writing career?

JG: They are really proud of me! I use a pseudonym because of my ‘day job’ so they can’t boast about me as much as they would like to but my husband tells everyone he knows to go out and buy my book. I would love to say that writing is my ‘career’ but I have another, very time consuming career, so I would rather say writing is my ‘passion’.

SDG: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for budding writers?

JG: What are you waiting for? If you have a story to tell, get it written down and get it out there! I think you also have to ‘tune out’ some critiques. Everyone has their own personal preferences and you can’t please everyone. As a writer, you have to be true to yourself and write what you believe in, not what you think other people want to read.

SDG: What are you working on now? Is it in the same genre?

JG: My next historical romance is close to completion. The Corsair’s Revenge is set about six years after the end of The Rebel’s Promise. It’s not quite a sequel but there are some familiar faces in it! It is book number two in the Powder and Patch Collection.

The story begins when Caro Trelawn is on the way to her wedding. She never arrives. Instead she is kidnapped by a notorious brigand known as Le Corsaire and taken aboard his ship. The story is played out along the wild Cornish coast, into the elegant salons of Paris and ends in the slums of London’s St Giles. 

As in The Rebel’s Promise, there is adventure alongside the main romantic plot, a great supporting cast of characters … and, this time, there is an unexpected twist at the end! 

I’m also working on a novella. In Sir Peregrine’s Wager, we discover what happens to Bella and Perry (two of those great supporting characters from The Rebel’s Promise).

SDG: What is the best time for you to write and does it ever interfere with your day job, if you have one? Also, how long on average do you write each day?

JG: I am a morning person, and I do mean early morning! I think I should have been a farmer’s wife because I’m awake at about 5 am every day. The downside of that is that I’m fit for nothing by 9 pm. The peaceful, early morning quiet is my writing time. 

SDG: Is writing, to you, a lonely occupation?

JG: Yes, because no-one else in my family – except my cat – is awake at that time.

The Rebel’s Promise book trailer:

Purchase links


All Romance:

 Front Porch Romance (publisher’s website):

SDG: Do you have anything else you’d like to say?

JG: I’d like to mention the Front Porch Romance team, especially Madison Connors, the CEO, who is really enthusiastic and energetic. She really supports and encourages her authors. There are some great books coming out from Front Porch Romance by a fantastic, talented group of authors and I’m very proud to be part of that.  

SDG: Author website/social media sites:

JG: I love to hear from readers and can be contacted at:

 My blog is here:


Monday, May 6, 2013

Interview with author Mavie Ahmad

Interview with author Mavie Ahmad talking about her writing, including her latest novel, The Secret Saudi Signal.
SDG: Welcome, Mavie. Can you give us a little background about yourself?

MA: After completing a degree in Information Technology and Media Studies, I failed to find a job in the media field and began working as a temp in London. When my first child was born, I moved to the Middle East where I was inspired to write about my experiences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. But every manuscript I started, I never managed to finish as I easily got distracted and lost patience. It was only when I worked for an advertising company as a copywriter and proof-reader that I began to enjoy working with words. My first novel was completed a year after. I now live in Dubai.

SDG: What inspired you to write this book?

MA: The Secret Saudi Signal was inspired by my time in Riyadh. I wanted my readers to learn that although it is a restricted country, there are many ways around the strict laws in place.

I Was Never Alone, Anyway was inspired by the death of my friend's mother. I am fairly certain she saw the Angel of Death before she died.
SDG: What was your approach to writing it (did it just flow or did you use an outline or other preparatory method)?

MA: Usually my writing does flow. When I get stuck, I make bullet points and then put in linkers and eventually work on it until it turns into a paragraph that flows.
SDG: How long did it take to write the complete novel from first draft to edited final?

MA: The Secret Saudi Signal took me a year to write as it is around 79,000 words.

I Was Never Alone, Anyway was a shorter piece that I self published. It's around 20,000 words and only took me two months.
SDG: Is your family supportive of your writing and what do they think about your writing career?

MA: My parents were over the moon when I told them I had written a book. They have encouraged me ever since to pursue a career in writing. My sisters are equally enthusiastic, they both love reading so often help me work out scenes.
SDG: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for budding writers?

MA: One thing I would say to budding writers is to work from a desk in a quiet space that has been designed for writing. A personalized space will help the creative sparks to fly.
SDG: What are you working on now? Is it in the same genre?

MA: I'm trying to find a traditional publisher for my third novel, London to Lahore. The story is split into three books, and I am about to start the third book now. The plot follows Sara, a British born Pakistani girl through several relationships until she gets caught by her traditional Pakistani mother. As punishment for breaking sacred values, Sara and her sister are shipped off to live in Lahore where she is forced into an engagement that brings more than she bargained for.

SDG: What is the best time for you to write and does it ever interfere with your day job, if you have one? Also, how long on average do you write each day?

MA: I am a part time English language teacher. If there is a class available for me to teach, then I work around two hours a day. That leaves plenty of time for my writing. I usually write at night when the kids are asleep and edit in the morning when they are at school.
SDG: Is writing, to you, a lonely occupation?
MA: Writing can be lonely. But if you have good friends, then bouncing ideas around can also be fun!
SDG: What is your website and where can readers purchase your book or books?

MA: You can buy my books here:


SDG: Author website/social media sites:

Twitter @maviethewriter