Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2012

The Taylor Street Gang files, part 12. B.A. Morton

 Number 12 on the list of all time best Great British Authors, otherwise known as the Taylor Street Gang, is B.A. Morton, (Babs to her friends, Barbara to me).

Mrs. Morton has written a very well received thriller called, (wait for it), Mrs. Jones!
No, it isn't about my poor wife's edge-of-her-seat life with her "mental age of 16", heavy metal hubby, it's about "A British girl with a secret. A New York cop with a past. And a mob that wants revenge..."
 Sounds good, doesn't it?
Anyway, here's the blurb for Mrs. Jones and her next offering, Wildewood.

A British girl with a secret.
New York cop with a past.
And a mob that wants revenge

In the slickest, sneakiest twistiest-turniest hard-boiled crime noir novel to come out in a long time, ruggedly pragmatic but honest cop Detective Tommy Connell picks up an English girl, Mrs Jones, who claims to be the witness to a murder, and promptly falls in love with her.

Well, Mrs Jones, whoever she is, must be very attractive because an awful lot of people seem to want to get their hands on her if they can prise her from Connell's determined grasp, including some prominent representatives of organised crime and the Feds.

Detective Connell definitely has his work cut out here if he wants to end up with the body of Mrs Jones, dead or alive, that's for sure.

All-in-all it's probably safe to say he hasn't a clue what is going on. It is probably equally safe to guess that Mrs Jones does.

Not that 'safe' is quite the right word to use here or, there again, maybe it is.

A knight. A witch. A Secret.

When Grace, a twenty first century heroine, is accidentally transported through a time portal into the clutches of an impoverished medieval knight with one eye on her ransom, we are treated to a brilliant evocation of medieval
England which heaves with corruption and intrigue.

The remote and beautiful wilderness of ancient Northumberland rings out with the sound of clashing swords, the hiss of arrows, thundering hooves and the chink of coin bags changing hands in shady deals.

It is all there: a spirited and sensual romance, an action-packed adventure story, hidden treasure, revengeful and devious barons and corpulent and corrupt clergy.

Beset on all sides by danger and deception, with only their wits and a small band of loyal followers to assist them, Grace and Miles of Wildewood find their lives inexplicably entwined as they battle for justice, honour and love.

OK, without further ado, I give you B.A. Morton: 

1.)   Tell us about yourself
I’m married with three grown up children and one grandson. I live in a cottage in a wonderful village in Upper Coquetdale, Northumberland...a land of castles, hills, woods and red squirrels. No public transport, no mobile phone signal and intermittent electricity...but God’s country nevertheless. I enjoy the outdoors and gardening and can be bribed with chocolate. I currently work part time in the village GP surgery, but in my time I’ve been a civil servant, nursery nurse and at one time I was even a kennel maid at a Greyhound stadium. Take it from me, those dogs are big! I once had a three month stint at a well known frozen food factory...ah... the things you do when your children are small. My position was “shrink wrap” the last person on the crispy pancake production line. The mantra drilled into us on day one was, no matter what the emergency “Don’t stop the line!” when you’re under five feet tall, have twenty thousand crispy pancakes hurtling unchecked towards you and suddenly realise you can’t reach the emergency stop button...well...that’s a story in the making! I’ve been messing about with writing for as long as I can remember but only took it up seriously when we sold up and escaped to the country about five years ago. I’m still messing about, some day someone else might take me seriously...

2.)   What genre do you specialise in?
I write crime fiction and historical romance. Hopeless at poetry...apart from limericks...there once was a lady from...and can’t get the knack of short stories, every time I try I end up with the first chapter of a novel.

3.)   What's your inspiration?
Crime fiction is what I like to read, I love twisty turny plots and fast paced thrillers. My historical fiction inspiration is another matter entirely. Our cottage was built on the foundations of a medieval chapel using stone from the now ruined castle. There are stones from the castle spiral staircase in our inglenook and reputedly a crypt beneath the floor. The history of our land is fascinating, with bodies discovered in the grounds, secret assignations and suggestions of witchcraft, it was a perfect starting point for my new book Wildewood. We’ve had many ghostly encounters at the cottage, all benign I should stress, so plenty more fodder for the next book too.

4.)   Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?
I don’t have a single favourite, there are too many good books and fabulous authors, but to give you an idea of where I’m at, I’d say Crime fiction, has to be John Connelly. I love his tortured hero, Charlie Parker, trying to do the right thing, with an underlying menace provided by his unusual sidekicks, his scary nemesis and his own paranoia. I also like the black humour of Ian Rankin’s Rebus, and the quick pace of Dennis Lehane. For Historical Fiction, my all time favourite, by that I mean a book I would read time again and never part with, is Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth...fantastic book. I also have practically everything written by Bernard Cornwall. I admire the way their attention to historical detail and accuracy doesn’t smother the story. Favourite children’s book’s would have to be Chronicles of Narnia...superb, and my kids’ favourite, Noggin the Nog, which must be the best read aloud book ever...just love it! 

5.)   How do you feel about Taylor?
Taylor Street/ Night, gave me my first chance at publication. They believed in my first novel Mrs Jones and I’m grateful for that. Now with the second book, Wildewood released on the unsuspecting public, I’m looking with interest at all the new possibilities that TS are embarking on. TS are looking ahead, diversifying and in a fast changing publishing world that’s exactly what we need. Writing is by its very nature a lonely business and there are great benefits to being part of a vibrant and forward looking community.

6.)   What are your plans?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches to Molly Brown, the sequel to Mrs Jones which will hopefully be out by the end of the year. There is a third book in that series which is in rough draft. Next up though, will be a dark twisted thriller about a felon on the run with a hostage from hell...I’m having great fun with that one; lots of black humour and deliciously bad, baddies. The second book in the Wildewood Chronicles is itching to get out and in addition I have four further crime novels in various might have noticed I like to have a few pans on the boil at the same time. The winter is the best time for me to write as we are far from anywhere and often get snowed in and lose the leccy, so I’m anticipating a productive few months ahead.

7.)   Go for it, sell your work.
Mrs Jones is a cracking crime fiction, which has proved popular with both crime fiction readers and romance readers. It came second in the 2011 Yeovil Literary Prize and got to #21 in the Amazon UK top 100. If you like fast paced action with a touch of humour and romance I think you’ll like Tommy Connell and his attempts to get to the truth concerning his enigmatic witness Lizzie.
Available in e-book and paperback here:
Wildewood is a medieval fiction/fantasy time travel romance based, very loosely, on the history of the valley where I live. It’s a tale of unchivalrous knights, unscrupulous barons and secrets aplenty. It’s a wild romp with a cast of colourful characters. So, if you like your knights with slightly tarnished armour and damsels who can throw a mean know what to do. And if you’re quick about it you might even get it for free. Mark your calendar Monday 8th October...
Currently available in e-book, paperbacks to follow shortly;

BA Morton Oct 2012

Thanks Babs ;-)

OK, off you go now and buy Barbara's books, the show's over, there's nothing more to see.

Take it easy.
Reggie :-D

3 Kommentare:

John Holt hat gesagt…

Great interview Babs and Reggie

Unknown hat gesagt…

Babs is wonderful, and that pancake story made me giggle out loud! Best of luck to both of you. You rock!

R.R.Jones hat gesagt…

Thanks for commenting peeps ^^