Tuesday Guest Feature – Michael Sanchez

My Tuesday guest this week is writer Michael Sanchez. Michael has been on ‘Patricia’s Pen’ in the past with his response from the story challenge ‘What Lies You Tell’. Today however, he has come to chat about his writing. Without further ado, let’s go over to Michael.

 

About My Writing

Michael Sanchez

When I was growing up in New Jersey at about eight or nine years old, I use to watch World War I and World War II history documentaries on the PBS channel, and would try to write down everything that the narrator was saying in a composition book. I enjoyed doing that and did it for about a year but soon moved on to other things like other kids of that age. Little did I know at the time that many years later I’d write and publish my first book Vine Street. I guess the skill was always in me, I just didn’t know it.

I was always fascinated with the movies from Hammer Film Productions, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stephen King, but one day I saw a movie that particularly inspired me directed by John Carpenter. That movie was Halloween which prompted an idea for my first book, but it then took another 35 years to get started and almost another three with it just sitting on the shelf. I’d intended to trash it and give up on the writing.

However, one day a stranger overhead a conversation I was having with someone who’d approached me. The stranger said he could tell how passionate I was about my writing and disappointed that I was going to trash my work. He then went on to say,  ‘Don’t do it. Give it a chance.’

I’m glad I listened to that stranger and went on to publish my debut novel. I am now excited to complete the manuscript for my second book and get that published too. The genre is suspense, thriller, and a little horror in-between, but hopefully my readers will enjoy it.

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Thank you for sharing that with us, Michael. I think all writers doubt themselves sometimes and we just need that one person to believe in us. Good luck with the second book and do come back and tell us when you’re ready for publication.

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Let’s find out a little more about Michael.

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About Michael Sanchez 

Michael Sanchez grew up in South Jersey, where he completed his education in Woodrow Wilson High School. He continued his education many years later at the age of 39 when he decided to attend college. He completed his education and obtained an MBA, Bachelor of Science in Management, and AA in Criminal Justice. His goal is to continue writing stories that will entice readers to use their imagination.

Click on the links to purchase Michael Sanchez’s novel, Vine Street

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

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You can find Michael Sanchez on Twitter

 

 

Tuesday Guest Feature – Madalyn Morgan

It gives me great pleasure to welcome author, Madalyn Morgan, to ‘Patricia’s Pen’. Madalyn has come along to talk about her writing and in particular ‘The Dudley Sisters.’ Without further ado, let’s go over to Madalyn.

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The Dudley Sisters

Madalyn Morgan

Several things happened while I was doing a creative writing course with the Writers Bureau in Manchester. I have always been fascinated by the achievements of women in the Twentieth Century – especially in WW1 and WW2. My mother used to tell me about her life in the second world war; the work she did, the dances she went to, and the many letters she wrote to servicemen overseas. (She had a Polish penfriend called Vanda, which is my middle name.) My mum had a fascinating life, so when it came to the biography module, I wrote about her. My tutor liked the work but said, as mum and I were both unknown, I should turn it into a fiction.

At the same time, mum wanted to give back a brass aeroplane; a Wellington Bomber that had been made for her by a Polish airman in 1940. He had died, but I found his son who was delighted with the plane. It was then that I decided to set my novels in WW2. I had too many ideas for one book, so I plotted four. Four sisters, four wartime careers and four loves became The Dudley Sisters’ Saga. I still have my mum’s biography. One day I will turn it into fiction.

 

In Foxden Acres we meet all the Dudley sisters. As the first novel in the saga, it is predominantly Bess’s story.  Bess is the oldest daughter of the Foxden Estate’s head groom. A scholarship girl, she becomes a teacher in London. When war breaks out and the schoolchildren are evacuated, Bess returns to Foxden and, with a troop of Land Girls, turns the Foxden Estate into arable land.

Traditional barriers come crashing down when Flying Officer James Foxden, heir to the Foxden Estate, and Bess fall in love. Bess’s story is one of friendships and loyalty, of strength, love and loss, and learning to love again.

Applause is Margot, the second Dudley sisters’ story. Margot marries her childhood sweetheart and moves to London. She is fiercely ambitious and works her way from being an usherette in a West End theatre to being the leading lady of the show. However, she becomes caught up in a web of deceit, black-market racketeers, Nazis, drugs and alcohol.

Book three, China Blue, is Claire Dudley’s story. Claire joins the WAAF. She excels in languages and is recruited by the Special Operations Executive to work in German-occupied France. While working with the French Resistance, Claire falls in love. The affair has to be kept secret. When her lover is captured by the SS Claire uses her training to find him.

Ena Dudley, the youngest sister, works in an engineering factory making small dials and disks. When Coventry is bombed, she has to take this vital equipment to Bletchley Park. Travelling on the 9:45 To Bletchley train Ena is drugged and robbed. She is accused of being involved in sabotage and while trying to clear her name discovers the thief is a spy. With the help of military intelligence, Ena traps the spy and falls in love.

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The first four books are set during WW2, I tried to vary the genres – land army, show business, SOE agent and spy thriller.

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Book five, Foxden Hotel, is a murder mystery and stand-alone sequel to Foxden Acres that brings the sisters together again. The book opens during the New Year’s Eve party of 1948 when Bess is threatened by someone from her and Margot’s past.

Chasing Ghosts, a stand-alone sequel to China Blue, is a psychological thriller. In 1949, after having treatment for shell-shock in Canada, Claire’s husband is accused of treason. He goes missing and Claire travels to Canada and France to find him and prove his innocence – and to expose the real traitor.

There Is No Going Home – a spy thriller set in 1958 England and 1936 Berlin. Ena sees a spy whose funeral she attended ten years before, but no one believes her. While investigating the woman, Ena’s colleague and a friend at MI5 are murdered. Ena doesn’t know who she can trust. Threats and car accidents only make her more determined to find the truth

I am halfway through writing my eighth novel. Framed – a sequel to There Is No Going Home – is a murder mystery and cold war spy thriller. Ena’s assignment was to expose the mole at M15, but someone got to the mole before her and made sure there would be no investigation, except into Ena’s husband who has been framed for killing the mole.

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Thank you, Madalyn. You have written a great collection of books. For anyone that hasn’t read any of Madalyn’s books then I suggest you should as they will have you turning the page. Links to where you can purchase them will be supplied at the end of the blog.

I hope you manage to get your Mother’s bio done, Madalyn, in the near future and good luck with Framed, the new novel. Once again thank you for coming along today.

Let’s find out a little more about Madalyn 

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About Madalyn Morgan 

Madalyn Morgan was bought up in a pub in the market town of Lutterworth. Her dream was to be an actress but her mother wanted her to have a ‘proper’ job so she became a hairdresser. Eight years later, at the age of twenty-four, she gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at Drama College and a career as an actress.

In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, she moved back to Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. She is currently writing her eighth novel, as well as a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns, written when she was acting. She is a member of the RNA, Society of Authors and Equity.

You can find Madalyn Morgan on the following links.

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Blog 

You can purchase Madalyn Morgan’s books on Amazon in all formats on the following links.

Foxden Acres    Applause    China Blue

The 9:45 To Bletchley    Foxden Hotel

Chasing Ghosts    There Is No Going Home

 

 

 

 

Challenge – Story in LESS than 100 words

Thank you to Phil Clinker for responding to the challenge to write a story in LESS than 100 words. His response comes in the form of A Game of Cluedo which you can read below.

A Game of Cluedo

Gerald is Colonel Mustard. Abigail is Miss Scarlett. Uncle Barry is the Reverend Green. Auntie Jenny is Mrs White. Grandad is Professor Plum. I am Mrs Peacock. And my cheating husband is Doctor Black, and he’s lying in the Hall with the Rope round his neck.
Game over.

48 words

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Oh dear, Mrs Peacock!

What a great story from Phil Clinker. Do you reckon you could write a story in LESS than one hundred words? See full guidelines and online submission form HERE.

Tuesday Guest Feature – Sally Spedding

My Tuesday guest today is the very lovely crime mystery author, Sally Spedding. Sally has come along today to share an experience so without further ado let’s go over to Sally.

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FEAR IS THE KEY

by

Sally Spedding 

Four years ago in November, while driving down to our bolt hole in the Pyrenees, Jeffrey, my late artist husband, decided that the eerily flat landscape around Beaumont-sur-Sarthe in the Pays de la Loire would be ideal for sketches and photographs to help with new work on his current theme ‘Deserted Fields.’

Fine, except that the lane he chose to take off the D338 was barely wide enough for our normal-sized car and seemed to become yet more narrow with each tight bend. Yes, I sometimes suffer from claustrophobia – don’t ask – but this wasn’t a good situation should anything be coming in the opposite direction.

I became a tad agitated, especially when he found an even meaner turning off and parked in its overgrown hedge. Having clambered over the gear stick and my temporarily empty seat, he was off, bobbing away into the distance, car keys in his pocket.

Grounds for divorce, I thought, feeling trapped and terrified by the thick silence of a dead, wintry afternoon. Yes, I could have gone with him, but my computer, several hefty writing pads and research files were in the boot. A no-brainer.

I often say to aspiring crime writers that ‘nothing is wasted,’ so, as the doleful minutes passed, I took a closer look at my surroundings and suddenly spotted a strange looking, tilting shrine in another section of recently trimmed hedge. With no visible commemoration, I wondered about its significance, also about the seemingly deserted farmhouse behind it, whose yard was filled with huge tractors in varying stages of decay.
‘Was anyone living there?’ I asked myself, feeling increasingly vulnerable. If not, who had lived there? And then, by the time I saw my flush-faced husband bobbing back up the lane, I knew.

Three years later, in 2019, Downfall, the first in a series featuring 20-year-old Delphine Rougier was published by Sharpe Books. While dreaming of one day becoming a gendarme, she has to work as a hotel chambermaid to support her parents, each crippled by a shocking secret. Delphine’s grim discovery in one of the bathrooms she has to clean, leads her into a world of danger and betrayal in which the past must at costs, stay hidden.

In The Devil’s Garden out just now, Delphine is training to be a gendarme in the Corrèze department, when she stumbles upon re-wilding fanaticism and treachery in high places, putting her life and those of others in the gravest danger.

So, thank you, Jeffrey. And by the way, we still stayed together!

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Wow, great blog, Sally. Thank you so much for sharing that with us all. It just goes to show how as writers we can make every experience count.

Now it’s time to find out a little more about Sally.

 

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Author Bio – Sally Spedding 

Born in Porthcawl, Sally studied sculpture before words took over. Her poetry and short stories continue to be widely published – most recently in two CWA anthologies – exploring themes of betrayal by both people and places. Seeds for her fifteen crime thrillers beginning with Wringland set in the haunted fens, and most recently, The Devil’s Garden, set in France. Fourth in a seven-book deal with Sharpe Books. She has twice won and adjudicated the International Welsh Poetry Competition, is a CWA, Crime Cymru and Mystery People member, and was married to the late artist, Jeffrey Spedding. She still divides her time between Wales and the equally inspiring Eastern Pyrenees.

Find out more about Sally’s writing by clicking here.  

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If you’d like to purchase any of Sally’s books then click on the following links.

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The Devil’s Garden 

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The Nighthawk

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Downfall

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Bloodlines

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Death Knell

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Ghosts From The Past

Tuesday Guest Feature – Mark Anthony Smith

I’m pleased to welcome Mark Anthony Smith as my Tuesday guest. Mark is becoming a regular visitor on ‘Patricia’s Pen’ as he’s been featured with his story ‘Stick’ and his Haiku when responding to my writing challenges. He’s here now to talk about his writing, and in particular, inspiration. So without further ado, it’s over to Mark.

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Writing and Inspiration

Mark Anthony Smith 

I’ve just finished my Novella but I can’t talk too much about at the moment. However, there was something on the nature of love that kept me thinking. It took me three or four false starts to achieve the story because the narrative voice wasn’t quite right. I’d been agonising over it since February or March of 2019 but it’s finished now and left me quite bereft of ideas.

This is where my ‘binge reading’ comes into play. I will read anything and everything to store up and fire that internal rhythm again. The hum might come from ‘word play’, ideas, or observations. Sometimes, it’s the poetry in song lyrics. I like putting two words together with the aim of creating a dissonance or harmony. A piece of my writing often arises from working this way.

When writing Haiku, this come from observation. It sometimes starts with a thought or feeling. Memories are always a good catalyst. These reminisces are then jolted by reading or listening to music.

My flash fiction pieces, ‘She Opens Doors’, published with Nymphs, was observation triggered, while ‘Chitter Chatter’, published by Spelk, arose from working in The NHS and reading H P Lovecraft.

I like not being able to immediately understand a piece of writing. Sometimes, I use it to fire my own rhythmic patterns of thought. Studying Social Sciences at Degree level really paid off for me too as I feel better able to formulate questions and make connections between two or more ideas.

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Thank you for sharing how you gain your inspiration, Mark. I’m sure that many of my readers will relate to a lot of those ways. For me, my biggest inspiration comes from walking around my local park and lake, visiting National Trust properties, and I need to have classical music on in the background when I’m writing.

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And now to find out a little more about Mark Anthony Smith.

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Mark Anthony Smith was born in Hull. He’s been an avid reader from an early age. After leaving the army he studied English to AS Level at Suffolk College and later started an English Degree at Hull University. His writing career began after winning ‘Star Letter’ with Writing Magazine. Later that same year he was commended by Writers’ Forum magazine for his Haiku, ‘Hearts of the matter.’ This encouraged Mark to publish a book of the same name.

Further successes followed with an Anthology and CD for Homelessness. But things spiralled once he took to Twitter. Since joining Twitter, he’s been published in Spelk and Truly U and has poems or short stories appearing in The Cabinet of Heed, Detritus, Nymphs and Pink Plastic House. If he gets stuck for ideas, he binge reads to start an internal hum of creativity.

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You can purchase Mark’s ‘Hearts of the Matter’ on Kindle and paperback from Amazon

You can find Mark on social media by clicking on the following links.

Facebook

Twitter