Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A fantastic review of The Eleventh Hour by Daniel Kaye.

One reader's thoughts on The Eleventh Hour.

"I don't often read short stories as I find it hard to get "involved" with characters or situations in such a brief amount of time.

It wasn't the case with this book. There are many scenarios, emotional expressions and unexpected outcomes that I won't forget easily.

"The Borrowed Book" is a "safe" opening but it leads to darker territory with the atmospheric "Lost in the mist" and the heart breaking - and sadly topical - response of a family to their Son's military death, in "The Letter".

I don't know what Daniel Kaye draws on for material or inspiration but "Guilt" is a horribly real account of depression and bereavement.

Rather than imagining an author finding writing "cathartic", you can't help bu think that there is some savage soul bearing going on in this collection. "My true self" whether "true" or not, highlights Daniel Kaye's high level of self-awareness, coupled with an apparent low level of self-regard. This excruciating pairing reflects - for me - the equally awkward union of courageous writing and uncomfortable reading.
I really liked it."

The Eleventh Hour - A collection of eleven dark fiction short stories by, Daniel Kaye.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Interview with author, Roisin Peddle.

Interview with author, Roisin Peddle.

I would like to welcome Roisin Peddle.
Roisin is a writer and journalist who has been working on numerous short stories, and has just began work on her first novel.

Daniel Kaye. Where were you born, and where do you call home?
Roisin Peddle. I was born in Limerick (to my Cork father’s shame) and I suppose Charleville’s home at the moment.

DK. What is the name of your most recent book or WIP and if you had to sum it up in 30 words or less, what would you say?
RP. It’s very much in progress, and I don’t have a name yet. It’s about a girl who comes across a dead body when she’s out walking her dog. It unleashes a nightmare for her and her family. 

DK. If you gave one of your main characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say about you?
RP. Poor Grace, the main character, would give me a punch for putting her through so much!

DK. Do you have plans for a new book, and is this book part of a series?
RP. Definitely not a part of a series. I’ve a few short stories on the go too, but I’ll finish this before I think of anything else.

DK. Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
RP. In the morning but sometimes inspiration strikes late at night. Preferably somewhere with no distractions, like Charleville library, wink wink.

DK. Laptop, desktop or pen for writing?
RP. Laptop usually, but it does have the internet! So sometimes I write longhand. The main problem with that is that it is sometimes impossible to read my own writing.

DK. Do you have any advice for other writers?
RP. Something has to give, I’m afraid, be it TV or internet (my own vice). You can do it but you have to sit down and write! And read loads, magazines, newspapers, fiction, non-fiction. See how other writers put words together and what they make them do.

DK. What books have influenced your writing?
RP. This particular book is probably influenced, stylistically, by the likes of Nick Hornby or David Nicholls, that sort of “I’m talking to you” realistic kind of voice. I like to think anyway.
If this doesn’t sound too pretentious, I hope it says something about Ireland today. There isn’t a lot of stuff dealing with the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath.   

DK. Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
RP. My friend once met Terry Pratchett and I was unbelievably jealous. I’d have loved to hang out with Oscar Wilde too. I think we could have a fabulous night dancing in the George.

DK. Do you have an e-reader, and do you prefer it to traditional published novels?
RP. I don’t. I have the books app on my ipod and I’ve read one book ever on it. I love physical books, especially second-hand ones.

DK. Where do you prefer to buy your books?
RP. My favourite book shop is Charlie Byrnes’ in Galway city. It’s floor to ceiling with books, just paradise for any book lover.

DK. What book would you like to read again?
RP. It’s not a book but a short story. I read it when I was a little girl. It was about a child with a quirky grandmother who kept bees and when the grandmother dies, the girl, Deborah, must go down to the garden and tell the bees. I’ve been looking for it ever since and I can’t find it!

DK. What book are you currently reading and in what format?
RP. Currently re-reading Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a big omnibus edition. I wouldn’t be into sci-fi but the imagination and humour in these books is fantastic.

DK. What new authors have grabbed your attention, and why?
RP. One of the best books I read recently was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. An amazing debut. I was so sorry to finish that book and leave that world.

DK. Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad
RP. Reviewers have a job to do too so I don’t get writers who savage them. Opinions are subjective so you can’t please everyone, but you should have a thick enough skin to take on constructive criticism.

DK. If you were deserted on an island, who are three famous people you would want with you, and why?
RP. Alexander Skarsgard for eye candy.
Someone like Bear Grylls or Ray Mears to do all the hunting.
Richard Branson so he could get a Virgin plane to pick us up.

DK. Do you have a nickname?
RP. Rois.

DK. Did you have a favourite toy as a child?
RP. I had a little purple lion teddy bear called Liony.

DK. An early childhood memory -
RP. I remember being in London and dropping a toy handbag into the railway line at a Tube station. I was only about three or four and I was bawling. A very kind Tube worker got a big hook like a fishing line and gave it back to me.

DK. Any pets that you would like to tell us about?
RP. A cat called Milou who is very pretty and knows it.

DK. What’s your poison?
RP. Vodka and white.

DK. Coffee or tea?
RP. Tea.

DK. Do you have a favourite food?
RP. I like all food but I can’t live without chocolate.

DK. Do you like to cook, and if so what? 
RP. I love cooking, it’s relaxing. Thai curry is my speciality.

DK. If you had to choose - Starter or Pudding?
RP. Dessert all the way.

DK. What do you eat for breakfast?
RP. Cereal or porridge. Fry when it’s necessary.

DK. Name three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
RP. My ipod.
A tin of Vaseline.

DK. Sleep in, or get up early?
RP. Sometimes you have to sleep til noon, but generally early.

DK. Your favourite gadget -
RP. My ipod.

DK. Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit?
RP. I would love to drive across America.

DK. One of your favourite quotes -
RP. “A little nonsense now and then
Is relished by the wisest men” Roald Dahl

DK. List three books you just recently read and would recommend?
RP. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers

DK. List three of your favourite all time movies?
RP. Grease
The Wizard of Oz
Mean Girls (my movie tastes have not hit adulthood)

DK. Name a new movie you recently enjoyed or disliked?
RP. Saw Skyfall before Christmas, loved it. Fantastic film.

DK. Where can your readers find you?
RP. Procrastinating.

My blog:  randomdescent.wordpress.com

Twitter:  @randomdescent

I would like to thank Roisin for allowing us the chance to have a chat, and for giving us a glimpse into their writing world.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Writing a book is an adventure.

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Use Plain, Simple Language

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English—it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them—then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.

To Be a Writer is to Sit Down and Write

To be a writer is to sit down at one’s desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone—just plain going at it.