Made it to top ten! Come and visit to see all the wonderful authors.
Made it to top ten! Come and visit to see all the wonderful authors.
As my humble contribution to the MAGIC REALISM BLOGHOP, initiated by Zoe Brooks, please find below an article written by Rebecca Davies.
It has always my conviction that most children’s books were great examples of magic realism in terms of accepting — without question — magical elements within a realistic setting or situation. Down the Rabbit Hole by Rebecca Davies affirms this in the article below.
This post is part of the 2014 Magic Realism Blog Hop. Twenty blogs are taking part in the hop. Over three days (6th – 8th August) these blogs will be posting about magic realism.
Please take the time to click on the links below to visit them and remember that links to the new posts will be added over the three days, so do come back to read more.
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The old cover for CATORI’S WORLDS didn’t seem to be working. Denise Kim Wy of COVER ATELIER came up with this one. Hope you like it. Please message me if you want a FREE copy for review. Magical day to all !!!
Today’s post will focus on a new release by a writer I admire, not only for his great talent as a historical writer, but also for his generosity and willingness to help and encourage other struggling writers. He’s also a devoted dog lover, which puts him topmost on my list of compassionate people.
I first connected with Christoph on a Goodreads forum when I embarked on my tumultuous social media journey. Wilma, his Labradoodle, was about to give birth at the time but he promised to review my book, CULLOO, as soon as he could find a spare moment. I didn’t think I’d hear from him again, but he came through with an encouraging review which motivated me to persevere with the overwhelming world of self-publishing.
Christoph is a solid historical writer who gives an emotional punch to all his novels. In his epic saga, The Luck of the Weissensteiners , he chronicles the Holocaust years in wartime Eastern Europe. The drama of his second novel, Sebastian, is set in Austria and depicts life in Vienna in pre-WW1. The Black Eagle Inn (on my to-read list), is the third novel of his Three Nations Trilogy, and describes the political landscape of post-war Germany. The characters in his novels are memorable and well fleshed—their conflicts, romances, and family tragedies tightly woven into the politics and cruel reality of the era.
I will be wrapping my review questions around his newest novel, Time To Let Go. The story deals with the dynamics of a family trying to come to terms with the cruel fact that their once vibrant mother is stricken with Alzheimers’s disease. Christoph’s passion with all things historical makes an about-face in this touching story to examine the opposite side of the spectrum—those who no longer have access to their personal history. It’s an honour to welcome Christoph here, and certainly about time he dropped by considering I’ve been featured on his blog three times now.
It’s wonderful to finally have you here, Christoph. Without giving any of the story away, I’d like to discuss the prevailing issue with ‘control’ shadowing some of your characters in Time to Let Go. Was that ‘writers’ intent’ or a matter of the characters taking over?
Tough question, Murielle.
My partner frequently likens me to the character ‘Monica’ in “Friends”, who “can be fun at organised and pre-planned indoor events”. I am sure a psychologist would have a field day with me and my choice of characters.
But now seriously: I find that many people in real life (and with hence the characters in my books) tend to cope with the stress factors in their lives and with the demands of modern life and its fast pace with neurotic mannerisms and controlling behaviour.
You have a point there; my family has a tendency to completely avoid me when I have a deadline to meet. Your character, Walter, is definitely an over-protective parent. Do you equate his excessive worrying to his controlling nature; i.e. to worry about someone is in fact simply trying to control another person’s life?
I agree that protecting can be controlling. However, I didn’t have that in mind when I wrote Walter. Many family patriarchs that I thought about when giving Walter life in my novel, act in a similar way but out of a sense of responsibility, family tradition and family honour. To me, Walter worries that he has failed in his duties and his actions are born out of a stubborn clinging to the ideas that have proven successful in the past and which he tries to project to a present that has evolved beyond his understanding.
Your description of Biddy’s day-to day battle with Alzheimer’s is so true to life that I found myself reliving my own mother’s painful journey with the same disease. Did you model Biddy on someone close to you?
My dear Aunt Philomena is suffering from the disease and a lot of her wonderful character shines through in Biddy, especially the telephone manners. I have seen her family cope with the responsibilities of caring for her and a lot of my knowledge and experience is from my visits to family and from my visits to the father of a close friend. Biddy is a tribute to my aunt’s best features but I ended up changing more or less everything personal and substituted
the events I would have liked to share because it seemed morally wrong to intrude on a real person’s privacy.
Patrick chooses to stay in the background but he’s still a complex character. He shuns the material world to help others, yet his altruism doesn’t extend to his own family. His strict devotion to his cause resembles his brother Henrik’s single-minded focus on making his business prosper. Can you expand on this similarity?
I think that a stubborn and rigid father, such as Walter, to some extent would rub off on all of his children. However hard some of us try to be different from our parents, it is their worldviews that we learnt from and shaped us. I wanted to focus on Hanna and Walter alone, so her siblings had to be on the periphery of the book. Their disinterest in the family was a given that I had to accommodate. I imagined Henrik as a competitive person who needs the success because he is not getting the recognition at home that he craves. He is the stereotypical older sibling who would ideally take over as the head of the family. He might even have driven Patrick out of the family with this who has no interest in a battle between two alpha males.
I see Patrick driven by admiration. He surrounds himself with music fans and patients who need him and who owe their break-through to his abilities. He, too, cannot win his father’s approval inside the family and stays away but his interests are more varied.
On the lighter side, a few of your chapters have days of the week as titles. Does this have any significance to the story, or are they just titles?
They are primarily just titles, yet I chose them because they signify Walter’s clinging on to daily routines. The titles serve as a frame of reference for readers as seen by Walter. I also included lunch and dinner as titles, which are part of Walter’s running and planning of the days themselves. Every day is a challenge and the table of contents could be seen as how he might record the events in my book in a chronicle. Every day should be the same for him; he gets up at 6am and does the same morning routine. Hanna arrives and suddenly there are extraordinary events that interrupt the flow.
Now that Time to Let Go is completed, do you have another writing project in mind?
Yes, I have three. I have just passed “In Search of a Revolution” to my beta readers, a Scandinavian 20th century war drama which I hope to have ready later in the year. I am also writing on a very first draft of a psychological thriller, called “The Healer”, which is 2/3 done. I also occasionally work on an edit of “Conditions” my very first (un-published) novel about mental health.
Thank you so much for this interview and for your interest in my books.
Thank you for accepting to appear on my blog, Christoph, and good luck with your writing projects.
My review of Time to Let Go can be found at the following: http://www.wattpad.com/47503422-review-time-to-let-go
You can contact Christoph at the links below:
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS
On Amazon: http://bookshow.me/B00AFQC4QC
On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8
On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395
On Amazon: http://bookshow.me/B00CLL1UY6
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ
On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy
THE BLACK EAGLE INN
On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pAX3y
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pAX8G
On Amazon: http://bookshow.me/B00FSBW2L6
TIME TO LET GO
I’m thrilled to be included in the ASMSG ELECTORATE BLOG HOP today. A passionate group of ASMSG (Authors Social Media Support) writers who have been posting great author interviews over the past couple of weeks. If you scroll down to the end of today’s interview you’ll find a list of all the participating writers and their blogs, as well as the link to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway. Each gifted writer is offering a free copy of their book. Click to enter and you might be be the lucky winner!
As part of this blog hop, it is my great pleasure to interview Melodie Ramone, the grande dame of the ASMSG writing community. She is the house mother of Electorate (a promotional thread that is part of ASMSG) and is always on standby to offer emotional support to all. Besides taking care of her own immediate family, she finds time to write, take in stray cats in the dead of winter, do volunteer work, co-author a blog to help writers deal with social media, and always posts the right words to ease the everyday pressure and anxiety of her fellow writers. I’ll be focusing on her romance novel, After Forever Ends, but Melodie has written many other stories and is now working on her next novel.
Hi, Melodie, I am so pleased you agreed to this interview. In one of your Goodreads post you mention that you are ‘obsessed’ with the Science of Physics. This is certainly something I can relate to. Does this passion surface in your book, After Forever Ends?
It does, but in a very subtle way. Without going too deeply into anything technical, I love the idea of time existing outside of time and the concept of dimensions existing within (and without) dimensions. Having experienced some unexplainable thing in my own life, those things make sense to me. They do peek their heads out in the Fae aspect of the book, as well as when Silvia re-evaluates her concept of “forever.”
It’s difficult as a writer not to paint our characters with a few traits of our own personality. All your characters are extremely well fleshed out in your book. Is there one character that you can connect with most on an emotional or spiritual level?
In many ways, I’m a lot like Silvia and it’s not just the red hair. There are major differences, of course. I’m like Oliver in the never-take-anything-seriously-if-you-don’t-have-to department. I’m like Alexander with the profound need to separate myself and be alone a lot. There’s a little of me in everybody, but the character I feel most akin to is actually one of the more minor characters, the twins’ mother, Ana. Probably just because we’re about the same age that she is in the book and she’s got that grown up thing going on balanced pretty well with an total adoration of her children and an unquestionable sense of fun.
Love is described as the “greatest of all magic in the universe” in the story. Can you expand on that?
Well, long ago, I loved a boy and he loved me. Sadly, he died way too young. I thought I was going to die, too, without him, and I mean that in a very physical sense, not in a poetic or romantic way. I walked around with a hole in my heart for years. I found myself in bad relationships, in bad situations, over and over again. And then one day, a wise old man said to me, “He didn’t go that far away, you know? He’s right there,” and pointed to my heart. When he said it, my heart actually jolted with a throbbing ache. That was when I came to the realization of what happens when two souls combine and become so entwined that, in many ways, they’re one, and of how they stay connected even beyond death. Love can’t be quantified or explained. It simply is. And that, for lack of a better term, is magic. I believe in “love magic”, as Oliver calls it in the story, because I’ve experienced it for myself.
Your book is an epic love story. How long did it take to write from beginning to end?
Well, I wrote the first draft in an evening. It was 9 pages. The second draft was 45 and the third was like 200 or something. I sent it to beta readers and all of them said the same thing, “We want MORE!” so I wrote it a couple more times and filled it in. Then I decided I was over-writing, but they still said to do more. Finally, I just decided that the story belonged to Silvia and she needed to tell it her way, in her own words, the way she would tell it if she were actually talking to her granddaughter like she is in the book. So I went for one last pass. Writing the whole thing probably took six months, but it took me two years to publish it.
Is there a sequel to After Forever Ends, or is there another muffin-story in the works?
I’ve been asked many times to write spin offs for After Forever Ends, in particular to write about Ana and Eddie’s story or to choose one of the kids to tell about, but I don’t know that I ever will. I’m not saying I will never, it’s just that AFE was so personal to me, so close to my own life in so many ways, that I’m not sure that going back to it wouldn’t be overkill for me as an author. So, for the time being, I’m leaving it to stand on its own. As for another book, yes, I’m working on one. It’s different that AFE and I don’t know that there will be muffins, per se, but it’s another slice of life tale with characters I adore. I’m having fun writing it, so I hope whomever chooses to read it has fun with it, too.
Melodie Ramone is a wife, mother, fosterer of unwanted pets, speaker, novelist and Certified Kitchen Witch. When she is not in the kitchen whipping up culinary magic, she can usually be found knitting, reading anything she can get her hands on, delving into Particle Physics or writing her stories. Although Melodie’s roots lie in Scotland and Wales, she resides in the United States.
Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, Melodie. Good luck with your new book.
Available at all amazon.com locations.
Barnes and Noble:
FOLLOW THE BLOG HOP BY VISITING THE OTHER WRITERS BELOW. JOIN THE PARTY AND DISCOVER ALL THE GREAT TALENT AWAITING YOU! REGISTER IN THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST TO WIN A COLLECTION OF FREE BOOKS.
March 18, 2014
Kirstin Stein Pulioff: www.kirstinpulioff.com
Maria Lenartowicz: http://cerilondon.wordpress.com/
Stefania Mattana: http://dailypinner.eraniapinnera.com
Maer Wilson: http://maerwilson.com/
Marsha Roberts: http://mutinousboomer.wordpress.com/
Sandra Robinson: http://missscarlettflame.blogspot.co.uk/
Luca Rossi: http://www.lucarossi369.com/search/label/EN
Melodie Ramone: http://revenge-of-the-ginger.blogspot.com/
Anna George Othitis: http://annaothitis.tateauthor.com
Khalid Muhammad: http://agencyrules.com
Su Williams: http://dreamweavernovels.blogspot.com/
Christoph Fischer: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/
Hunter S Jones: www.thehuntersjones.blogspot.com
Lillian Roberts: http://lilianroberts.blogspot.com
Murielle Cyr: http://www.muriellerites.wordpress.com
Ian Hutson: http://www.dieselelectricelephant.co.uk/
Please click the following link to participate in the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY. Lots of free books to be won.
SMASHWORDS is hosting its annual READ AN EBOOK WEEK FESTIVAL. Lots of free and discounted books. Check out the homepage to browse the catalogue for great deals. My book CULLOO is discounted on my homepage: click on the link or image below to access it. Encourage Indie writers this week and come out a winner.
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