Blog Post

I have recently had the absolute honour of being featured not once, but twice, on the wonderful site of contemporary romance author, Laura Ashwood.

So I thought I would give her a shout out here and to say if you’re not familiar with her work and writing please take a look at her site and her social media platforms. She has been truly supportive of me and my writing recently and I just know that we will continue to collaborate and share our creative journeys as we move along this path side by side. It has been a blessing meeting her.

So please read on as I share her most recent post on me, an authorview, and I hope that you will also choose to keep her at the top of your list when you are next looking for a new read! (Her website and books are listed at the end of this post)

Authorview: Soulla Christodoulou

Authorview: Soulla Christodoulou
Today, I’m interviewing women’s fiction author and poet, Soulla Christodoulou. Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.
Soulla is a Women’s Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education and is a mother of three boys. She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes.
Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters will be featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’ out in September 2017.
When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!
She is the author of Broken Pieces of Tomorrow.
Georgia, a second generation Greek Cypriot woman, faces an uncertain future after her marriage breaks down leaving her with three young sons. Along the way, through tears and heartache, she pieces her life together after having lost herself for too long in motherhood and matrimony.
A journey of emotional and spiritual self-discovery, love lost and love found.
And she also has written a collection of poetry, Sunshine After Rain.
This is a collection of 30 poems inspired by old sayings and phrases.
Each poem either directly relates to the saying, includes words from the saying or tells a short story or conveys an idea relating to the phrase.
“I have covered a number of different themes and ideas including: hope, love, happiness, disappointment, beauty, struggle, resignation, joy and of course that most British of all things, the weather!” she says.
What can you tell me about the inspiration for Broken Pieces of Tomorrow?
The Inspiration for Broken Pieces of Tomorrow, though a fictional story with semi-biographical elements, came from my own experience of marriage break-up and the new path I had to carve out for myself as I created a new life for me and my three young boys. It was at times painful to write and I would sit in front of the laptop with tears streaming down my face; not a pretty sight!
However, looking back now, I needed to write the book; it was a story deep inside of me for a long time. Writing the book allowed me to look at things, albeit many years after the end of my ‘Happy Ever After’ with a calmer, stronger heart and allowed closure for me on so many
different levels. I am happy with the lessons the experience has taught me, not only about myself, but people and relationships and the strength of the human spirit. Going through it all and then writing the book was truly cathartic and I am grateful for that.
Tell me about the main character, Georgia. What do you love about her?
She is a good wife and mother who loves her husband, children and family and lives her life, to a degree, along the path of their expectations and withing her own belief of what being a good wife, mother and daughter should be; the values she has grown up with all her life.
She is quietly determined and I love the way she doesn’t see what others see in her, which makes her even more lovable. She’s capable, clever, determined, resilient and able to rebuild her life despite life’s knock backs. She is funny and emotional, she exudes a quiet confidence and her positivism is infectious.She is an ordinary woman who creates a new life for herself and I love it that my readers have been inspired by her, motivated by her and driven by her.
You also write poetry, what inspired you to Write Sunshine After the Rain?
Aww, my poetry collection! I wrote the poems in the collection as a way to recharge! I decided to write poetry as a way of giving myself breathing space and thinking space between editing Broken Pieces of Tomorrow and writing The Summer Will Come. Writing poetry gives me an almost immediate result in that I can see a whole poem in front of me within an hour or so. There’s something quite satisfying about writing something which you can read in its entirety after such a short space of time and writing poetry allows me to do this. It provides me with the opportunity to use a different level of creativity and helps me to use words and phrases in a totally new way. I love the challenge too of bringing in both rhythm and rhyme to my writing through the poems I write.The collection is inspired by old proverbs and sayings so that each poem is written around or about one of these and I have included poems inspired by the favourite sayings of a few people I have connected with across my social media.
Does your writing process for poetry differ from how you approach your fiction writing?
Writing poetry usually happens when I’m feeling an extreme emotion, usually love or hope or happiness, and can often also be inspired or prompted by a word or a sentence in a book I’m reading, a thought I have or even a line in a film I’m watching. The main difference too, between my fiction writing and writing poetry is that I tend to hand write my poetry in a notebook and then type it up. My fiction writing tends to be written straight off on a word doc and usually while I am sat at my dining room table which is where I have my “writing space”. What’s one interesting thing you’ve come across in your research, and have you used it in one of your books (or do you plan to)? I did a lot of research for my second novel The Summer Will Come and in the process I have been amazed at how much of my own home country’s history I was not aware of before. Much of what I found was included within the fictionalised story although just as much was omitted too; I was very aware of not ‘information dumping’ on the reader! With my current Work In Progress (WP) I have been researching different types of Cerebral Palsy (CP) and in relation to my particular main character (MC) the impact it has had on him mentally, emotionally, physically and socially. Much of my research has come from face to face interviews with someone who has CP and he has been incredibly open and honest about his own experiences which has allowed me to build a realistic story, albeit fictional, around my two main MCs.
You mention in your bio that you started writing in 2015, what drew you to write and how has that whole process been for you, including the decision to self-publish?
I began writing on a serious level, with a view of writing a book, when I joined a Creative Writing Class and was given some fabulous feedback on my initial piece of writing. From there I wrote Broken Pieces of Tomorrow writing full-time as a teacher of Business Studies and a Deputy Director of Learning for the Sixth Form. Somehow having less time to write pushed me to use every single spare moment to sit in front of my lap top and get my words out.
My decision to self-publish came about for three main reasons; the first was to prove to myself that my book was worth reading, the second was to ‘get the ball rolling’ (I had 8 rejection letters, all standard) and the third was to free myself from Broken Pieces of Tomorrow so that I could immerse myself fully in my next book which I had already started planning in my head.
Self-publishing has so many big ticks next to it for me: the control over release dates and book cover design, the autonomy regarding making decisions, keeping more of the royalties, connecting with my readers the way I want to, getting involved in face-to-face events in my local community and of course being able to decide what works for me and what doesn’t. The gap between self-publishing and traditional publishing may not be narrowing but I believe the option to self-publish is a good thing, it’s shaken the industry up a bit and I believe it needs to be brought up to date! I read somewhere that the first chapter of a famous book was sent to an agent and a standard rejection letter was received back; hundreds of now very successful authors have been rejected again and again and likewise many have self-published. More and more readers are looking for new authors and are choosing to connect with them across so many different platforms; I’m ready!
What does your writing process look like for your novels, are you an outliner or a pantser?
With my latest novel, book 3, I’m actually a confuddled tangle of both! I planned out most of my first novel with chapter summaries and a running time line and did something similar with The Summer Will Come. But somehow with this latest WIP I have allowed my imagination, and my characters, to lead me. The research I have carried out and especially so the information I have gleaned from a number of personal interviews with a wonderful man I initially met through social media, has also shaped and pushed my story in an unanticipated direction.
What are your future writing plans? Any books in the works?
I’ve briefly mentioned the research relating to my current WIP which is in the first phase of editing right now. It’s a story about a friendship which begins across Twitter, between a married man with CP and a woman, which evolves into an illicit relationship. It explores relationships and why some people stay in relationships which are not rewarding and how relationships can be manipulative and controlling.
Do you listen to music when you write? Not often, but when I do it’s because I’m struggling with the writing and my energy has dipped; so it’s full on loud dance music which I listen to, or should I say dance to, in order to bring me back into that high energy mode again. I absolutely love dancing, it doesn’t matter how tired I am, blast up a tune and I come alive!
What do you do in your free time when you aren’t writing?
I work hard and I play harder! I work as a part-time private tutor in a small tuition school where I teach English and Creative Writing. I also offer editing services to writers, students and business people including ghost blogging and other general writing support services. I am working on a long-term project at the moment; editing and rewriting a children’s fantasy novel and I am thoroughly enjoying the process. The author already has a publisher for her work and so it’s a very exciting project to be involved in. I enjoy editing manuscripts different to my own writing as it gives me another perspective to focus on when I’m not working on my own writing. I find editing therapeutic; a chance to add the magic and wrap the novel up in pretty paper and ribbon; editing is the finishing touch to any novel and is a must have part of the process if you’re taking your writing seriously. Having your friend read the book is not enough.
The rest of my time is filled with running my home, spending time with my three young adult sons and enjoying time with my family. I am lucky to have my sisters and my parents as well as cousins close by and being part of a big Greek Cypriot family means often meeting up for one celebration or another.
I enjoy reading, exploring new places, both in the UK and abroad, going for walks, visiting libraries and historic houses, eating out and dancing the night away.
What’s your favorite food?
Ha! That’s a near impossible question to answer as I’m a real foodie so it’s easier for me to answer by saying I don’t like shellfish!
Tell us something about yourself your readers don’t know.
I took belly dancing lessons when I was in my late thirties and can belly-dance with the best of them; I even have a jingly-coin skirt! My friends and family often drag me up to dance with the entertainment in Greek Clubs and restaurants and I absolutely love everything about belly-dancing, the music, the costumes, the fun you can have with the moves. Everyone should give it a go!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You’re good enough and love yourself more.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I’d just like to thank you most sincerely for taking the time to put together this wonderful interview and I hope that I can reciprocate soon! I hope your readers enjoy reading it and I look forward to connecting with you all.
Laura’s website is here and you can connect with her across her social media links (on her website) as well as buy her books which I have listed below.

Laura’s two fabulous reads:

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Welcome to Part 12 of my increasingly popular blog series which looks at the inspiration different creatives have gleaned from their favourite quote.This week Marie Webdale, from Marie’s Book Boutique, an avid reader, book reviewer and book blogger has joined me and I’m truly delighted. Marie recently reviewed both my books, Broken Pieces of Tomorrow and The Summer Will Come (click on the book title to read her review) and I found her depth of coverage and connection with each story a true indication of her love of reading and her love of books. So let’s see where her passion comes from…

Marie Webdale

My favourite writing quote and how it inspired me:

‘You can, you should , and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.’

Stephen King

This quote is so true! I think it’s inspired me to just write in general; whether it’s a blog post, a poem or writing more for my current writing project. And to just keep writing!!!

How the quote got you into writing, helped develop my writing style or attitude:

It’s definitely helping me to learn to believe in myself and what I write a bit more. Notice I say learning, because I’m still trying to master it!

What I am writing at the moment/working on:

Well, I write blog posts about bookish things and share my reviews on books I’ve read. I am working on a romantic comedy, that I’ve been writing for quite a while on and off, due to suffering from writer’s block. But I’m slowly getting my mojo back, which has definitely been helped by my blogging.

A word of thanks…I just want to say thank you to Soulla for asking me to take part. It’s been a joy to do!

I love how this series has connected so many different people from writers to screenwriters, from artists to singers and bloggers to book reviewers.Thank you too Marie for taking part and I wish you all the best with your writing and may your enjoyment of reading long continue!

Until next time, let your creativity shine through whatever it is you are doing! Love Soulla xxx

If you would like to connect with Marie here are her main social media and website links:

mariesbookboutique.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/bookboutiqueM

www.instagram.com/mariesbookboutique

www.goodreads.com/mariesbookboutique 

 

 

 

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A warm welcome to this week’s guest post from Jess B. Moore and Gaebrielle Wieck who share their inspirational writing quotes with us as well as the impact it has had on their writing. Wonderful to be able to collaborate with them both and I hope you enjoy reading! Let inspiration flow…

Jess B. Moore

My favourite writing quote and how it inspired me:

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them,they should have behaved better.” 

― Anne Lamott,

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life 

How the quote got you into writing, helped me develop my writing style or attitude:

The first book on writing I read was Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.  It was recommended by a friend while I was struggling with staying motivated, and not sure I could really “be” a writer.  I devoured the book!!  It’s full of wonderful advice and definitely helps you feel like you can be a writer if you want to be a writer.  You have to love a “you can do it” book.  But the single portion that stood out the strongest for me – one I keep as the background on my cell phone – is the above.  Sometimes we need permission to tell our own stories, and this has been pivotal for me.  My first book, although fiction, was strongly influenced by circumstances in my own life, and it took a great deal of courage for me to share it with the world. I’m finding it easier as I go, but still occasionally remind myself that these are my stories, and I get to tell them.

What are you writing at the moment/working on?

I’m working on The Worth of a Penny – the sequel to my debut, The Guilt of a Sparrow, which came out in July.  I’ve been splitting my time between two series which are both set in the same town, and have some cross over.  The first book in the other series, Fierce Grace, is out November 2, with the follow up, Saving Grace hopefully to be out end of 2019.  With Fierce Grace in the works, I’ve been doing final edits, giving input on cover design, writing my acknowledgements, and concentrating on promotion.  Meanwhile, writing at a steady pace to complete The Worth of a Penny by the end of the year – at which point I turn it in to my publisher, and let them begin their work on it.  Whew.  Work as an author is more complex than writing the stories, but it’s been a fun learning experience, and I’m loving it.

Social Media Links:

jessbmoore.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessb

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjessb/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorjessb

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jess-b-moore

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17931574.Jess_B_Moore  

 

Gaebrielle Wieck

My favourite writing quote and how it inspired me:

 I have two actually that have really stuck with me.

Sic Parvis Magna, which in Latin means: “Greatness from small beginnings.”

This is more of a general quote than specifically just writing but I interpret it towards my journey as a writer/author. This is, no shame, from one of my favorite video game franchises: Uncharted. Once I had heard it, it had ignited that love of adventure and the small beginnings that start before the event that could very well change your life. Hopefully for the better of course.

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” 

I never found out who said the quote but I want to shake their hand. This is something I kept saying to myself over and over again. My love for writing and my dream of becoming an author was something I had always dreamed about. Any other job or career choice was, in my mind, a hindrance. I wanted nothing more than to be a writer. It was difficult because I always had to choose between what was practical and what called to my soul. It’s something I think about almost constantly, and so I knew I had to just go for it.

How the quote get me into writing, helped me to develop my writing style or attitude:

The quotes definitely helped me as far as kicking my butt into gear. It ignited and continues to reignite the passion in me everyday, and I truly feel like I plugged my passion and soul into each story I write. I don’t like to write what’s hot or popular at the moment. I like to write what my heart is telling me to write.

What I am writing at the moment/working on:

I am currently working on the first draft in the second book in my ‘Skorravik Trilogy: Forbidden Guides.’ ‘To No End’ is the first book in the trilogy. I am also in the process of writing up the outline for my dark fantasy novel and a children’s book. I am kind of an overachiever when it comes to writing and I have to remind myself, finish what I start first. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

 ‘To No End’ is about a girl that goes back in time to save her father. She is sent back and time and involuntarily thrown into a war driven by a villainous woman that she had no idea she, herself, would ever be apart of.

‘Forbidden Guides,’ without giving too much away, is a continuation of the girls story. They must travel to a place that could have the answer to defeat the villainous woman, but not everything or everyone is as they seem.

Dark fantasy and children’s book is still a surprise.😉

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/authorgabbiewieck/ 

http://www.Instagram.com/authorgabbiewieck18/ 

‘To No End’ is available on my author website or through Amazon.

To No End (Skorravik Trilogy) (Volume 1) To No End (Skorravik Trilogy) (Volume 1) 

 

To No End (Skorravik Trilogy) (Volume 1)

Alyx, a young girl who never thought that she would have to face anything more difficult than getting into college without an assault charge, is now faced with her father in the hospital slowly dying before her eyes, not knowing that the cause is an

 

Author website:

Home | Gaebrielle Wieck Books 

 

 

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Hello and welcome to this week’s guest post in this fabulous series where we are joined by Elan Durham who is a screenwriter, editor, traveller, and former university professor. She has written a number of mixed genre screenplays and a novel, Borrowed Light, for which she is currently seeking representation by someone keen on great writing. Her journey is a fascinating one and I hope you will choose to connect with her via her social media and website links.

ELAN DURHAM

My favourite writing quote and how it inspired me and helped me to develop my writing:

“If a writer’s sentences have enough life and interest in them – with “every step an arrival”, as Rainer Maria Rilke put it – they will hold the reader and move the writing along. The writing finds a hidden unity that has no need of the mucilage of linking phrases. Each sentence is like a tidal island that looks cut off until, at low tide, a causeway to the mainland appears.”

— ‘How to write the perfect sentence’ The Guardian Books online, Sept 21, 20018. Excerpted from Joe Moran’s First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing and Life (Viking)

Link: How to write the perfect sentence by Joe Moran

Joe Moran’s Guardian essay didn’t say anything I hadn’t considered at some point during my formal education as a writer, but the development of the author’s thoughts led to a realization. An old chestnut in Creative Writing courses states: the word is the basic unit of the poem, the sentence is the basic unit of the short story, and the chapter forms the basis for a novel. This instruction is one of the first simplifications in what amounts to decades of practice of our craft, and it seems poor schemata for training minds to think about writing. Word, sentence, chapter, novel . . . Sound, form, meaning, sense; juxtapose them how you will, but you will need sentences and well-made ones to start. A poem may pack more meaning in fourteen lines than a bestselling novel, and a short story or play may prove as evocative as The Illiad and The Odyssey thousands of years after they were first inscribed on clay. And when you open a book to a sentence, and feel a sense of originality, wonderment, and delight, you have likely entered into an achievement that also lives in the communal minds of others for all time.

“And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back

ceaselessly into the past.”

Writing may be a lonely occupation. However, Joe Moran’s essay made me feel less alone in my daily obsessions and fixations on sentences. I am continually flipping sentence structures, rearranging the order of sentences, or taking away adjectives or adverbs, and asking a sentence to sit on the page in all its five-word glory and tell a story by itself.

What I am currently writing/working on:

I am writing and editing a novel, Borrowed Light: A Novel in Stories. Borrowed Light traces moments in the life of my narrator in twelve story-chapters to explore American mythology and hopefully place Jean Turner in the tradition of female literary survivors. I am also fine-tuning a 140-page screenplay, ‘Adventures in Paradise’ that offers half of its roles to women, based on the 2011 Hackgate media scandal in London. My other mixed-genre screenplays mostly set in Great Britain are needing much more attention from me.

 Huge thanks to Elan for her wonderful contribution…I will certainly be looking through and reading Moran’s writing book…and thank you too for joining us. Please feel free to connect with Elan on any of her links below and happy reading, happy writing…may you continue to be inspired! 

With much love, Soulla x 

Social Media links:

@europabridge1

About me – @europabridge1.com 

Elan Durham on Instagram

Elan on Twitter 

Elan on Pinterest

Elan on WordPress

Contact Elan Durham: europabridge1@gmail.com

Quote in italics from The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925, Scribner.

 

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Welcome to my ongoing series Writers’ Favourite Writing Quotes and this week I have a fabulous contribution from Adult Fantasy author S.Daniels whose first novel, Magic Hour, I won in an Instagram competition and featured in one of my poetry posts too! It’s full of beautiful mermaid mystery and romance! So thank you for joining us and hope you find some inspiration here to spur you on your own writing or creative journey.

My favourite quote and how it inspired me:

I have several writing quotes that I like, but one of my favorites is by Steven King.

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

You can have the struggles in your mind, like can I or can’t I write a book? Who am I to write a book? You might assume people will tell you that you can’t do it, or nobody will like it, because people have a way of being negative. But, like this quote says, with bravery you can do it.

How the quote got me into writing, helped develop my writing style or attitude

This quote changed my attitude about why I was writing.  When I wrote  my first book I had no plans of publishing.  I wrote the book to give to my husband as a gift.  I don’t know if I was unsure of the book or myself, but with encouragement from my family, I decided to self-publish.  I was anxious about what people would say about the book, but bravery won out and now I am having my second book professionally edited and I can’t wait to release it to the world.  So in closing, don’t doubt, be brave and do what makes your heart happy.

What I am writing at the moment/working on

I am currently editing a dark fantasy novel about warrior mermaid clans on another planet, Mermaid Games.  I also have the sequel to Magic Hour a Mermaid’s Tale written and waiting to be edited.

If you would like to connect with S.Daniels, here are her Social Media Links:

https://www.sdanielsbooks.com/

https://twitter.com/author_sdaniels

https://www.instagram.com/author_sdaniels/

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They say time flies when you’re having fun! It’s a year exactly since the debut release of Broken Pieces of Tomorrow in its ebook format and I can say that this year has been phenomenally exciting…the path of being a published author has not failed to exhilerate, and at times exasperate, but most of all I have been truly amazed at the generosity, kindness and wonderful support of my family, friends and virtual friends too.

As a way of celebrating I thought I’d share an excerpt of the story and some of those e-moments with you. So THANK YOU to each and every one of you for making the first year of the book’s publication so successful!

Mya Glenister, a young student, now in her second year of GCSEs, designed the front cover of the book for me after responding to my shout out across Instagram for book cover ideas. She has been truly inspirational and worked tirelessly to meet my deadlines! As a former teacher of Business Studies and Head of PSHE I am a huge advocate of supporting young people to push themselves to do whatever it takes to develop themselves, build transferable skills and become the best possible version of themselves that they can. 

You can read about her experience of designing the cover here.

Seeing the cover of my book LIVE for the first time was truly amazing and it was such a special moment for me. If I remember rightly, I danced around the house screaming my head off and anyone who knows me will be able to say that’s typical of me when I get excited about something! I began writing the story in January 2015, using my writing classes as an escape from a particularly difficult and upsetting time in my life, and so to finally see my finished story, after countless of edits and re-writes, as an e-book on Amazon was incredibly rewarding. 

This was one of the very first reviews I remember really celebrating. The reader, who I have since connected with on Instagram, really understood Georgia’s “Coming of Age” journey and I remember crying with joy as I read her 5 star goodreads review which you can read in full here.

With over 35 reviews across Amazon and goodreads, the book is certainly liked by readers! EVERY review that comes in is always a whoop moment for me. I value everyone’s review and for those who cannot leave a review, a message on my social media is just as welcome. So if you’ve read it PLEASE leave a review for me, or message me your thoughts, and if you haven’t read it yet…here’s a little taster for you…enjoy!

“Nicolas strolled in a few minutes before six o’clock and went straight up for a shower. Georgia waited in the kitchen shifting from one foot to the other until he eventually came back downstairs.

‘Of course I’ve got her number. Why wouldn’t I? She works for me doesn’t she?’ said Nicolas.

‘What do you need to call her for?’

‘If she’s running late, if she’s not well enough to come in, if she’s missed the bus to work…loads of reasons. What’s with all the questions?’

‘I’ll tell you why! Because her number is all over the Vodafone bills like a rash! Her number is there every fucking day!  You made call after call after call to her.  Sometimes five, six times a fucking night.  In the mornings.  On Sundays.  On.  Sundays. When you should be watching your son play football you’re on the fucking phone to her for an hour, for two hours!’

‘Oh come on. How do you know that?’

‘Because, darling, I have seen the bills.’

‘Look I can explain. There’s nothing going on. She’s been doing extra shifts what with those workmen coming in at the end of the day. I couldn’t cope on my own. And she’s having a hard time with her boyfriend. He’s possessive. She just needs someone to talk to. I’ve done nothing wrong. I promise. I’ve promised your mum and dad. I’ve promised my mum too. On the boys’ lives I haven’t done anything with her.’

‘Don’t you dare swear on the boys’ lives!’

‘I promise!’

‘And my mum and dad aren’t stupid! They don’t believe you and neither do I.’

‘I promise, Georgia please…’

‘I don’t believe you. You just said it’s because she’s late or ill. Now you’re saying something different. And if nothing’s happened, you want it to. She wants it to. The fucking cow! She knows you’re married. She’s met me. She’s met the boys!’

‘Look I care for her. She works for me. She’s on her own. She’s here without permission. Imagine what that’s like for her.’

‘What it’s like for her? You are joking, right? Why do I want to imagine what it’s like for her? I’ve been out of my mind with worry. I’ve been thinking the worst; you were ill, you might be in debt, having a break down or something. And you want me to imagine what it’s been like for her? You imagine what it’s been like for me. Just for one fucking minute!’

‘You’re such a drama queen. It’s not about you or me. It’s about helping her out. She’s in trouble here. She’s without her family. She has no-one. We have each other and the boys and our families. You’ve got me. I’m working my arse off to give you the life you want. To give us the life we both want.’ He ran his hand through his hair, nervous.

‘Liar!’ Georgia wanted to bash his big fat head on the kitchen wall behind him, but instead she turned and stomped out. He didn’t follow her.”

Thank you for reading my “One Year Anniversary” post and if you’d like to connect with me then here are my social media links…see you soon!

Twitter      Facebook      Instagram     Pinterest

Until next time, Happy Reading, Happy Writing, Happy you! Soulla xxx

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In this Writers’ Favourite Writing Quotes post I have two wonderfully creative people from the world of writing and the world of music. Both are making waves and I am SO delighted to have crossed paths with them…they are phenomenally ambitious, driven and yet humble. Both deserve the success and happiness their creativity has brought them and I hope you enjoy their inspirational quotes as well as continue to share their wonderfully inspiring journeys through their social media channels.

Welcome Sweta Srivastava Vikram…Sweta inspires me daily with her energy, enthusiasm and the way she connects with her readers…her journey is a truly authentic one and I remember the first conversation on IG that I had with her was this message from her: ‘Hi Soulla! Love what you do. Let me know if I can be of any help as a fellow author.’ I knew from that moment that I had connected with someone very special indeed.

My favourite writing quote and how it inspired me: 

“If there’s a book that you want to read,

but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Toni Morrison

I couldn’t find books and stories about my generation or South Asian women like myself or my friends and family, so I wrote “Louisiana Catch” and created the protagonist Ahana. I was tired of others defining what Indian women look like, behave, do, or feel. You can say, breaking stereotypes surrounding South Asian stories was central to writing of this book and Toni Morrison’s wise words.

How the quote got me into writing, helped develop my writing style or attitude: The quote is plain and simple. And it reiterated my desire to write “Louisiana Catch.” It taught me about authenticity and both the power and pain of untold stories.

What I’m writing at the moment/working on: Starting September, I will start writing a monthly column for India Currents, a leading South Asian publication in the US. There are conversations around turning my 1st Indian novel, Perfectly Untraditional,” into a movie. That’s been quite exciting. Plus, I am not done with the book tour for “Louisiana Catch,” my latest novel 🙂 The tour resumes in the fall. Right now, planning and prepping for creative writing and wellness workshops that I will be offering by end of summer and early fall.

Social Media Links: 

Website

Facebook

Email

Twitter

LinkedIn

Instagram

Welcome Nathalie Miranda…Nathalie is doing what I would have loved to do had I not been a writer and I do actually have a couple of songs written in a notebook from a few years ago. She’s young and vibrant, she writes and sings and is always out there pushing herself and doing local gigs and events. I’m delighted to have crossed paths with such a hugely talented creative and I’m hoping to organise a local event with her in the Autumn so watch out for it!

 

 

 

 

My favourite quote and how it inspired me:

“Gotta find me a future, move out of my way”

by Queen from “I Want It All”

How the quote got me into song writing / helped develop my style or attitude. I’ve been writing songs since I was 10 years old. Melodies ad lyrics come very easily to me.

I’m inspired by my own personal experiences, things I see around me, things I’d like to happen…so much.

Freddie Mercury is my biggest inspiration as an artist. His lyrics and delivery drew my attention from a young age. Whenever I need inspiration, I watch one of his videos or put a Queen song on, and I’m immediately in a better place.

Unwittingly, he has been a huge part in my performance style. I like to get the audience involved, and I’m a totally different person on stage. It’s like I’m a more confident version of myself on stage, when in reality, I’m an introvert, and a private kind of person. His attitude and the way he commands a stage has definitely been a huge inspiration to me.

So, in summary, this quote is motivational; it’s focused, and gave me the drive to go out and follow my dreams and to achieve my goals.

What I’m currently working on: At the moment, I’m working on new material, writing with other artists, doing more and more gigs with just myself and the piano, which is very different for me, as I’m used to being accompanied by a guitarist. But it’s a whole different side of my performing that I’m enjoying very much. It’s much more organic and intimate.

My video for my song ‘Red Light’ came out on Friday 3rd August, which was exciting as it’s my very first!

I’m always looking to learn and grow as an artist, and be the best artist that I can be.

Social Media Links:

https://www.nathaliemiranda.com

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Youtube

Huge thanks to Sweta and Nathalie, and to you,

my readers for joining me this week.

Until next time, keep smiling, keep creating!

Soulla xxx

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Hello!

I recently entered a competition on Instagram to win a book titled Magic Hour A Mermaid’s Tale written by S. Daniels. I won a beautifully signed copy of the story and its title reminded me of a poem I wrote back in February 2017 and so I’m sharing here…I hope you enjoy it.

Behind her, angles, the fabric of life
The solid architecture of man’s design
She wades into the warm ocean
Cracked soles sinking into the soft sand

***

Around her feet, a sensation, a tingling
Ripples, circles of magical magnetism
A fragile mass of body and soul
The water silk, caressing her blistered skin

***

Bruises fade, then disappear
Cuts once bleeding, now heal
Bare breasts revealed under the dazzling sun
The spray gently kissing her long limbs

***

The spray of the surf unrelenting
Below, the azure waters beckon her
Above heaven’s skies, jagged crack open
Her dark wavy locks soaked heavy

***

Eyelids shining, a shimmering gold
She lowers her dark brown eyes
Long eyelashes close over them
Breathing in the sharp, salt air
She tastes the sting of wet drops on her lips
And then her heart uplifting, floating,
As the spray washes over her, all of her
Joy unrelenting, crashes up through her belly

***

Undulating, rolling waves swallow her
Lightless, airy, an angel of the briny deep
Her legs ache with absolute bliss
Her tail emerges, turquoise scales

***

Ultra-marine, cobalt, sparkling hues
She dips and twists, crystal rocks
Seaweed, fish and creatures of the sea
Inviting her to the depths of the ocean
She breathes in and out, bubbles escaping her lips
She opens her eyes, safe as can be
Here in the magic, is where she belongs
This is her fantasy, her mermaid’s dream.

 

For more of my poetry you can download Sunshine after Rain from Amazon here. It is free on Kindle Unlimited and only 99p to download.

And if you love mermaids as much as I do you can buy S. Daniel’s book here as well as connect with her on Instagram @author_sdaniels and here is a little overview of her wonderful book for you:

“It is the tail end of dusk, and David McAllister, an adventurous seaman traveling the world on his yacht, is gazing at the stars and wondering what his next exciting experience will be. As he scans the dark Costa Rican waters where he is anchored, he sees the silhouette of a woman, only to watch her disappear beneath the waves. Intrigued, the next day he begins asking questions of the locals and hears tales of a fish woman. Meanwhile, a mermaid who knows herself only as Gem has been captivated by the sight of David. Although she’s fled humans for as long as she can remember, she finds herself unable to forget him. Their meeting marks the start of an amazing adventure for both of them, taking them to uncharted destinations and beyond. In this fantasy tale, a sailor and a mermaid are drawn to each other in the midst of magical events that will change both their lives forever.” 

It promises to be an absolutely magical tale!

Enjoy your summer reading, until next time, Soulla x

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Welcome to this week’s post which is about that all important Book Launch or Book Signing Event. You’ve done all the hard work, your book is ready for release and so you want the event you deliver to be WOW! It’s time to celebrate and to enjoy the next part of your writing journey. I planned my first ever book signing event for The Summer Will Come. It was a fabulous event with over 70 attendees and one of the highlights of my writing career so far. I enjoyed every minute of it and felt totally delighted with the support I had. I really felt the LOVE! So here are my considerations for ensuring your event is a success too…in 10 simple steps.

  1. The first thing I did was set a realistic date for the launch and release of the book. I thought carefully about how long I would need to do any beta reader corrections, get the book formatted and ready for release. I chose the 25th March as it is the start of British Summer time and the timing fits in with the title of my book because the summer is on its way and so The Summer Will Come is perfect in so many ways!
  2. Once I had set the date I had to choose the venue to hold the launch. I wanted to choose a venue that was local, easy and free parking, was not too big and which would meet my requirements for offering food and drink. I chose a lovely little coffee shop, Cafe Buzz, which is run by a local Greek Cypriot woman.
  3. I confirmed the venue and timings with her. I confirmed what she was able to provide and support me with and how many people the coffee shop- would hold comfortably – combination of sitting and standing. I confirmed what food items I could provide myself and what would be available for those who wished to purchase any food or drink on the day.
  4. List of guests – I began putting a guest list together and started with my nearest and dearest and worked my way out – family, friends, work colleagues, authors I knew, other writers, local press. I added names to the list as they come to me, so the list was organic and growing.
  5. The invitation and spreading the word – I designed the invitation using a blank book cover and Canva to keep with the theme of the book. I included all the basic information but added that only cash sales would be made. I asked for an RSVP so that I could judge how many guests to expect on the day – this informed my food requirements and number of books needed on the day for sales. I sent this out the invitation across a number of different platforms including social media, SMS, What’s App, etc. I sent out details 8 weeks before the event, 4 weeks before the event, two weeks before the event, one week and then the day before, across all social media platforms and via WhatsApp.
  6. Plan for the day – If people are going to make the effort to come to your book launch then you need to make it interesting and fun for them. I organised a book reading (two extracts by two people – a male voice and a female voice for two main characters Christaki and Elena), a time for book signing, a Q&A which gave my guests the opportunity to ask me something about my writing and the book. I prepared some questions in advance and one of my A Team handed these out – nothing worse than no questions, eh? I indulged in some Greek Cypriot hospitality by offering complimentary food and refreshments. I ordered a jigsaw puzzle of my front cover with an idea for a game as guests arrived!
  7. My A team – You will need help! I realised that trying to organise every aspect of the party would be too much for me. So I rallied a number of people to help me with advance planning and of course help on the day. My sister baked a cake and topped it with a cake topper of my book cover which I ordered in advance, my mum is baked some Greek Cypriot savouries, an aunt is made some cookies, my mum is sewed bunting in colours to co-ordinate with the book cover… I organised someone to take photographs, someone to do the books sales (and organised a float for them), my cousin who is a florist is making floral table arrangements for me.
  8. Props and timings – Think of ways to personalise the space and make it yours. I had posters of my book cover printed, bunting, cake with book cover cake topper, flowers, mini framed book covers to have around the coffee shop and Greek finger nibbles and refreshments and Greek music! I also collated items mentioned in the book and created a “live display” which linked to my story; my grandma’s ticking clock, the red eggs, my Grandma’s little Bible, the Lefkaritika (lace) and the tsestos (flat woven basket) to make a table display. It’s about making it ‘real’ for the guests and creating a little bit of The Summer Will Come at the party. This will also help to start up conversation and questions about the story and ignite interest in the book.
  9. Plan my engagement with my guests – I welcomed them all personally as they arrive, I chose my extracts in advance,  drew up a list of who to thank on the day, printed the poem from which I chose the title of my book so I could read it out (I did this in Greek).
  10. Book supply and gifts – Giveaways and a prize draw is always a good idea! I organised some giveaways (guests registered with their email address and I used this to build my email list and follow-up after the book event). The prizes linked to scenes and characters in the book and I ensured a sufficient supply of paperback copies based on RSVPs received for signing and a few extra!

I hope you have found this useful! All that’s left to be had now is to have some fun! Enjoy the day and celebrate with my friends and family around me and of course, thank you too for your wonderful support. I wish all of you, too, lots of luck in what you are doing. Love Soulla x 

 

 

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Hi! Welcome to this week’s post. I often get asked how I think of writing the stories I write and more recently, what inspired me to write The Summer Will Come.

I’ve had many enriching experiences in my life which have opened my eyes to new things about myself, people and the world. But the seed which influenced the story The Summer Will Come came from somewhere deep within me. My mum recovered from an illness which lasted over three years and brought the very real concept of death and the fragility of life to me. Everything comes to an end and I began to question my life’s purpose. What legacy would I leave behind once I was gone? How would people remember me? What is this life all about?

My Greek Cypriot roots and my sense of wonder and inquisitiveness of what came before filled my heart and my mind. What was life like before I was born, what experiences made my parents the people they are and ultimately have shaped me and the person I am today?

My pique didn’t stop there and I began asking questions of my mum and dad, aunts and uncles, anyone who’d care to answer my barrage of questions; What brought you to England? Why did you leave Cyprus? I listened in awe at their recollections, their tales of escape, of heartache, of leaving behind their loving homeland, their hopes and dreams as their parents came to a foreign land with the intent of building a better life for their families. It was these stories and accounts, scribbled notes in my notebook, which formed the historical thread and the eventual story of plot twists and turns in The Summer Will Come.

In addition, I undertook hours of secondary research. I ploughed through many books, internet sites, photographs, and images.

My Instagram account connected me to the family of one of the EOKA heroes of the time; Evagoras Pallikarides. The family shared precious transcripts and notes and personal stories of the time and this history came alive as I read and imagined what it would have been like to live through the struggles of the time as a freedom fighter.

I have also been privileged enough to have connected with some incredible people to gain insight to their memories, thoughts, emotions and the impact that leaving their home country had on them. One key element repeated itself again and again and that was the determination, resilience, love and passion for traditions and culture that kept them going through their adversity and hardships.

The story revolves around two families, both Greek Cypriot living in different villages in Cyprus, one a small mountain village and another a coastal village in the south of the island. It is 1953; the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and the start of what becomes a momentous period in the island’s history; a time of turmoil, political conflict and slaughter of innocent people in the name of Enosis (unity with Greece) and freedom from British rule.

The reader is carried through their trials and the final push which forces them to leave their life, the only life they have ever known, to move to London, England. This is primarily a fiction novel set against some of the key moments in the history of Cyprus in the 1950s. It is a book of hope, new dreams, hardship, determination and overcoming adversity at a time when England, too was going through lots of changes.

The novel is written as a multi-point of view story – a mother and daughter from one family living in Kato Lefkara, and a father and son from the other family living in Ayios Tychonas; both villages are real villages in Cyprus.

Elena, the daughter, and Christaki, the son, are the key main characters in the story. This helps to explore how the story events and situations are perceived by different generations and through both female and male voice allowing the reader to gain a more rounded experience of all that happens.

I have visited Cyprus many time over both as a teenager and an adult and I use the sights and smells of village life as I remember them, and as divulged to me through my research to draw the reader into the setting. I was lucky enough to visit Cyprus again earlier this month and with a fresh eye and a deep love in my heart I noticed different things. The stone oven, in which Christaki’s mother bakes bread and cooks thefamily meals, is  still hidden in the far corner of the village home’s courtyard in Ayios Tychonas. The church where the Queen’s coronation is celebrated in Kato Lefkara still stands.

Publishing this book as brought something very special to the book shelves of all those readers interested in Greek Cypriot life and traditions and 1950s Cypriot and British history. Readers who enjoy strong characters, a well-paced plot with realistic yet amazing storytelling will want to read this book. I have cried, laughed and rejoiced with the characters in The Summer Will Come and I know that you will too!

One of the most recent reviews of the book says:

“An excellent read, a story rarely told in public, about what life was life for those Cypriots caught up in the crossfire of the Union with Greece campaign (EOKA) and the British Occupiers. Many who by the 1950s were increasingly impoverished and at the time terrorised by both sides. Shot at by both sides, caught up in bombings, not wanting the colonists in power, but not wanting the violence either. By 1958 the story moves to Britain as an increasing number of Cypriots move to England, in this case London.

Have you ever wondered what immigrants made of London in that period, coming from beautiful towns and villages to this smog ridden and dirty massive metropolis? But nothing is exaggerated here, our heroes suffer culture shock, family tribulations, but they also find new positives in the new life.

To say more would spoil the reading of a very good book, a book I couldn’t put down and read in 3 nights.”

If you’d like to read the book or read some more of the reviews it has received then please go to my Amazon author page here.

And until next time, take care and happy reading!

Soulla xxx

 

 

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