4 Oct 2016

And then there was a cross, stitcher

Hello my little chickadees. How are we all today?
I've been poorly with a hacking cough but hopefully Ive seen the worst of it now.

So fresh from my torture chamber I have Kristen Stone author and publisher. Take it away Kristen. Oh wait you can't... 
Let me take that bag off of your head and the gag out of your mouth. It's your own fault for screaming and disturbing my neighbours. Right there you go.

I can't believe you did that Tee. I could hardly breathe.

Tee Note to self... Could be useful for next victim

       I was born way back in 1951 in post-war London. Many places around my area were still hidden behind holdings while reconstruction work was going on. I was a city child, rarely let out alone, never played in the street, didn’t know what a field was, so all these memes going around about how great life was for kids back in the fifties are lost on me.

      I am a feminist’s worst nightmare. I never wanted a career, all I’ve ever wanted to do is sit in a quiet room and write. I have happily lived as a kept woman for 42 years. Well, technically I have been married and supported by a wonderful caring, considerate husband who has provided me with everything I have ever wanted. I might have felt differently if he had been one of the nasty ones! Luckily my needs have been simple. Give me a typewriter, computer, laptop and/or tablet and I am happy.  Hubby is very understanding and doesn’t complain about my lack of interest in cooking although I try to provide for him every day. I must confess I do drive him to drink on occasion. More than occasionally actually; every Sunday to be honest when I drive him to the next town to meet his mates.

I have one daughter and three grandchildren. Sadly they will all have to work hard to get the luxuries I have enjoyed (well, the youngest is only six so it will be a few years before she starts work, then who knows what she will have to do).

              Where do you live?

In the middle of England, generally called The Midlands. And I mean THE MIDDLE of England. You can’t get much more middle than where I am. Several nearby places lay claim to being the centre of England. It’s a two hour drive to the sea if you go east, west or south. Scotland gets in the way if you go north, but that is pretty much two hours away too. We live in a nice little bungalow in a small village, but I must confess to having a bit of wanderlust at the moment. I keep rearranging the furniture to make me think I’ve moved.


     When I find a spare moment I enjoy doing some cross-stitch, although I have to wear milk 
   bottle  bottomed glasses to see what I’m doing. I also do a bit of knitting, something I can do whilst watching TV. Nothing ever seems to fit properly, or last once I put it in the washing machine, so I’m knitting a scarf at the moment. I recently bought a book on how to crochet. I bought the book. Haven’t actually opened it yet.  

Cross stitch 

Pets – furry or human

 An elderly arthritic Staffordshire Bull Terrier shares our life. Her name is Mutley but she answers to Oi! Stop that! Come here! and Eh! as well. She has a lovely nature, only ever barks at ghosts, and would greet any intruder with a waggy tail and lick them to death. We had her for about six months before we realised she COULD bark when she barked at her reflection in the window on a dark night.


               Cats are a no-no in our house as hubby is severely allergic to them. Found a little kitten once, managed to get in the kitchen when he was on his way out to work and didn’t notice it. He touched it, rubbed his eyes and then couldn’t see for the rest of the evening! Luckily we found where it belonged and sent it home.

       What you do to chill out

           Spend far too much time watching things on the TV, usually Netflix and such, not much on the main channels if you ask me! And if I’m not watching TV I’m playing games on my tablet. Trying to keep my mind active, of course.

     I also belong to a gym at a nearby Hotel. Not near enough if you ask me! I don’t use the actual gym as I can’t stand the music they bombard you with to, supposedly, encourage you. I do like the swimming pool, however, and go at least once a week (will be going once I’ve finished writing this). I’m not sure the hot chocolate I have while relaxing after my swim doesn’t actually give me more calories than I use swimming, but it’s a chance to read or even write. Sometimes I take my writing machine with me and hammer out a few words in the post-swim period. Especially in the winter. It’s nice and warm by the pool. 

      Day job

      I’m officially retired now. When I did work it was usually as a typist, audio, copy, make-it-up-as-you-go-along. Nothing spectacular or worth writing about. I hate these writing courses that tell you to write about what you know. I spent a few years working part-time as a check-out girl (old woman) too. I’ve only ever worked part-time and have had several breaks from work to try writing. If only self-publishing had been available then!

The longest I’ve ever stuck to a paid job is about 4 years. On the other hand I volunteered as a Guider for just over 20, maybe 25 years. At some point in this career I was in charge of Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units which covers girls from the age of 5 to 15. All at the same time at one stage.  At one point I was working in three units at once, taking up three evenings every week. For the love of it. Moral of the story? Don’t pay me! I was also the Division and Country PR rep for a bit but didn’t really enjoy that as much as the actual working with the kids.

     Tell me about your books. When you first started writing. How many completed. 
     Work in progress?

       I’ve completed six books now. Edge of Extinction, The Penhaligan File, Shattered Dreams, Silent Love, DayStalker and If The World Hadn’t Changed which is my latest. They are all different. The first and the last are fictional prophetic novels (can’t think of another way to describe them.) Shattered Dreams and Silent Love have been described as Human Interest, which basically means they are books about how people cope with their lives. The Penhaligan File is my first attempt at a thriller, and DayStalker is a short written in protest at all the reluctant doe-eyed vamps who really don’t like actually sucking blood from people, that seemed to be about at the time. DayStalker is a marmite book, you either love it or hate it.
You can check them out here on my website http://www.kristen-stone-the-writer.com/http://www.kristen-stone-the-writer.com/

        I am currently working on a prequel to The Penhaligan File. Must confess trying to be thrilling is difficult, I haven’t got a devious enough mind. I prefer writing about people, fictional people. And a prequel to Edge of Extinction about Kianda Mala’s early life. Yes, two completely different books at once!
When did I start writing? I completed my very first novel when I was about fourteen. Hand written in the biggest exercise books I bought from Woollies and stuck together with sellotape. I actually showed it to my English teacher who thought it was very good. What stopped me writing for most of my adult life was the careers interviewer who told me “You can’t just be a writer.” Obviously they had never heard of Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie. Sadly I believed them and was too timid to forge a career as a reporter which was their alternative.

      If you could have any animal from time immemorial as a pet for long 
freezing days and nights, what would you choose and why?

I would like something like Pete’s Dragon. I think a dragon would be very useful for getting me to the shops in a carbon friendly way. Although if Dragons produce methane the same way cows do, maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea. But I like the idea of flying to the shops. And if it is a fire-breathing dragon it would come in handy on long winter nights.

     Do you prefer heat OR cold?

Neither actually. I prefer warm. The temperature of an English summer is enough for me. Warm   enough not to need socks and coats, but not hot enough to make you hot and sticky. If I could choose a climate I would make it rain at night, and be sunny during the day. To be honest it is the colour of the sky that has more effect on me than temperature. A cold, bright day is better than a hot cloudy one.

                                            Fantasy holiday… Where would you choose to go if 
                             someone else was picking up the tab?

       The moon. I quite fancy going to the moon. You wouldn’t get disturbed by anyone else, apart from the crew who took you. I often wonder about where I would like to live on earth but there doesn’t seem to be a place that is not suffering some sort of trauma. The moon seems perfect!

Are you with a traditional publisher or self published?

            Self published under my own publishing label. I work with several other authors, the full list can be found on our blog. http://dld.bz/cPehN

Favourite meal (hot and cold)?

      Anything cooked by someone else. I hate cooking. I do it, but I’d rather be doing something else.

Favourite drink (hot and cold)?

    Tea when I’m at home. Coffee if I’m out shopping (don’t trust shop bought tea) and usually lager or Guinness if I’m out with hubby for a drink. Don’t really like wine – well I like some wine but there are so many different varieties I never know what I like and what I don’t. If I’m on driving duty it will be raspberry and apple J2o.

How hard do you find book promotion?

Nigh impossible. Promotion is very difficult as nobody is interested in the million or so independent authors out there in the ether, so what I recommend is:
Adopt the name of the latest high flying celebrity. Write a book, or get someone to write it for you – that’s what they often do; push it out to all the newspapers, TV channels, et al using that name. With any luck they won’t realise you are not the said celebrity until you turn up for the interview on The One Show, Loose Women, or whatever. By which time lots of people will have bought your book, and even more will buy it when it is splashed all over the media that you used someone else’s name. If you are lucky you can look all doe-eyed and flash your eyelashes at the lawyers, and say you didn’t realise Kim Kardashian was a real person (you can always spell it differently so that it sounds the same but isn’t exactly the same. Although actors don’t use names that are already in use, I think that is out of mutual benefit, I don’t think you can copyright a name). If, on the other hand, you get thrown in gaol because you couldn’t pay the hefty fine imposed by the courts for misrepresenting yourself as someone famous, you can spend your time languishing at Her Majesty’s Pleasure writing another block buster, which will be an instant success when you get out of gaol and use your experience for promotion devices to get interviews on TV and the papers.
Failing that, tweet regularly. 

Favourite genres to read and write?

      As long as it’s well written I read about anything that comes my way. Mostly indie authors these days, but I also read other stuff. Currently reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, intriguing style. I also read The Night Manager and The Last Kingdom. I usually have a couple of books on the go at once so I can swap depending on my mood.

                                  You’ve set up your own publishing house using FB writer 
                                         friends to help run it. What would you name it? Who would you 
                                  choose to run the different departments? As the owner, how 
                                   would you ensure the FB staff achieved success

  I think I would call it The Best Books Ever. I would ask Sessha to be our graphic designer. Charlotte to be editor in chief. And I would have Tee Gee as our marketing and publicity manager. If I knew how to make it a success I would already be rich! 

Now looking at the clock, it’s about time I got dressed, walked the dog then went for a swim. Thanks for having me in your cave, Tee.

My pleasure Kristen but if there's a next time I will tighten the manacles to stop you hitting the cave walls. You have been warned.

Laters Potaters

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