Mar 07

Interview w/ G.L. Twynham, Author of THE THIRTEENTH [Excerpt & Giveaway]

Title: The Thirteenth
Author: G.L. Twynham
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 9th 2009
Series: The Thirteenth Series
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
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Available At: Kindle | Audio | Amazon | Other

Imagine starting at the end and finishing back at the beginning. This is the story of a teenage girl called Valerie Saunders who is about to be thrown through time and space. Being bestowed with abilities beyond her wildest nightmares, she discovers that she not only has to deal with turning eighteen, her first job and an unwanted tattoo, but also magical powers and intense urges to fall in love. She envisaged she would spend her life blending into the scenery, not blowing it up!

Val has a calling, but which side is dialling her number?

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Wellingborough and I call Great Easton home.

What or who inspired you to write?

J. K. Rowling inspired me, but not because of Harry Potter, although I loved the books, but because she was a single mother like me at the time and she just made me believe it was possible, that I could write as well.

And how long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was 34 – better late than never, I say!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t really – I consider myself a wordy entertainer or a story-teller. I find the words Writer and Author bring up images in my mind of something I’m not.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?

My last book was Nyteria Rising the third part in the Thirteenth Series.

30 words; You arrive in the middle of an amazing journey, yet an action packed adventure in its own right, Nyteria will leave you wanting to be Val Saunders best friend forever.

I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?

Don’t touch my coffee!

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

That’s really made me laugh because there are so many wonderful characters in my books.

Val – would probably ask why I hadn’t let her get out of her uniform for a whole book – she misses her jeans.

Zac – would ask if I was going to kill him off?

Sam- would probably offer to help me in some way.

Sue – would make me a hot chocolate and give me a cuddle when I’m down.

The list is endless – they’re my family X

Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author?

Not at my age – I think she would find me most boring! But I’m sure I would love her. She’s everything I wanted to be.

Which character speaks the loudest, to you?

Hadwyn – he’s an attention seeker and if real would probably scare most people with his blunt attitude towards life.

Do any of them clamour to be heard over the others?

Funnily, it’s Delta – a character that played a big part in 1 & 2 but only a bit part in 3 is itching to back in the game.

Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?

No, they are pretty good at taking orders and playing the roles I have given them.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?

Tons – best friends, children I have met in schools. Myself, and my family.  

Real life events – yes there are many- too many to tell them all without giving away too much. But I did fall in love with someone who didn’t feel the same way at all, which I used and it was really painful to relive that gut-wrenching moment when you realise you’re just their friend and they never thought anything more of you.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes- I work in third person. I try and show the whole picture as much as possible – people say it’s like watching a TV episode play out in their heads. I think this comes from me being such a visual person.

How did you come up with the title?

The Thirteenth was easy, as it has a meaning in the story. The other two that are available weren’t so charming. The Turncoats came about literally a week before it went to print, and Nyteria Rising was the first name I chose for book 3, then I found myself panicking at the last minute and looking for other names – but when the pre-launch jitters had passed I knew that Nyteria Rising was the right choice.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Never doubt the power of children – be kind and don’t judge people by their outside appearance, because they are going to surprise you, and I believe everyone has something in the closet – so if you stick around long enough it will come out.

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?

The Thirteenth is the first part in a six book series. There are three in print and book 4 comes out in the spring.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?

The cover design was my own – I wanted to use a symbol that I hoped the readers would learn to recognise, and when you’ve read the book you would know what it meant.

Who designed the cover of your book?

I had the idea and my partner, who’s a web developer, put them together for me.

Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?

I will have finished The Thirteenth Series and will have a wonderful following and be able to travel the world inspiring children to read and write and I would love to see my films on the big screen.

I don’t tend to look that far ahead – so my aim for this year is an amazing number 1.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Right where I am now – I travelled a lot in my youth and I have a daughter and I understand how stability matters to her.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

Stephen King (H.G. Wells if only his time machine had worked!)

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?

I don’t really think any have. I think my passion for the cinema and comics has had a bigger influence.               

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

Two months ago I would have said paperback, but I got a Kindle for Christmas and I have been transformed. I haven’t read so much in years. It’s just so convenient. So I think now it would have to be the Kindle and a glossy coffee table hardback.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author or big trade published?

I’m indie in print, but published by BBC Audio Go in audio.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

I have to finish this series, but I also have a romantic comedy which I hope to release this year on Kindle. So, moving over to do some adult stuff as well.

How do you market/promote your books?

How long do you have?! Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Pinterest, schools, library visits, workshops, newspaper and radio interviews, in-store signings and now Blog Tours.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?

People talking – I would love to say because it’s exceptional, but I’ve read books that are selling in their millions and wondered: why? The power of social networking and people talking – you need to become viral.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer’s block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?

I don’t tend to get blocked – I reach a point where I find myself naturally asking questions to move to the next point. I tend to believe that if someone put a million pounds in your hands and said finish the book – writers block would be right out the window and so it isn’t a real thing.  

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The last chapter – wrapping it up, but leaving a gap for people to still want to carry on the journey with you. That last sentence, the one that hangs in your mind after you close the page.

What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?  What has been the best component?

Rejection of any sort is tough – although you do get better at receiving it. I think people labeling you as SELF PUBLISHED I capitalise because that’s just how they say it, like you came out from under a rock to ruin their day with your vanity.

Best – getting reviews from children who love the books and feel inspired to write after I meet them – that’s awesome.

What do you do to unwind and relax?  

I don’t ever!

Have you ever read a book more than once?

Carrie by Stephen King every year for Xmas.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/ paperback/ hardcover)?

Dracula – Kindle

Are there any new Authors that have seized your interest and why?

I love Samantha Young

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?

Nope – it’s written in the stars.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Do it – a page a day and in a year you’ll have a book or another year of talking about how you were going to write a book!

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?

Books are like marmite – you either love it or you hate it, it’s not personal.

What are your pet peeves?

People who are going to write a book, and tell you how easy it must be to do what you love!

Cats or dogs?

Dogs.

White wine or red?

I don’t’ drink so either would be entertaining for the onlooker. 

Coffee or tea?

COFFEE

Favourite food?

Chocolate

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

Chocolate Ben & Jerry’s please.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

My car, laptop, mobile (with headphones) and purse.

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Laptop.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Starbucks, very early in the morning.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?

Dwayne Johnson, ‘The Rock’ for protection, Andy Mcnab for his SAS skills and Jamie Oliver to cook.

One of your favourite quotes –

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill 
 

List 3 of your all-time favourite books?

Carrie by Stephen King

War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

List 3 of your all time favourite movies?  

Flash Gordon

Electric Dream

Avengers

An actor you have a crush on –  

Robert Downy JR

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

Smallville, all ten series and I’m watching Glee and loving it.

Chapter 1

The Tattoo  

 

A young woman stood alone looking up at the night sky, a cool breeze effortlessly caressing her slim frame as darkness closed around her. At long last it would be her turn to be part of something that had been her destiny since birth.

She moved on, passing the pond; she caught her reflection in the water and smiled. The time had arrived; the moon had reached the tops of the trees. On this particular evening, the shadows of the dense woods, mixed with the bruised sky made the adventure that lay ahead seem all the more exciting.

As she left the village behind and made her way into the woodland, her body filled with anticipation. She began to run.

Knowing instinctively where to go, she weaved like a needle in and out of the undergrowth, dodging the trees as if they were merely smoke trails rising in front of her.

She was moving swiftly when an unfamiliar sound suddenly stopped her dead in her tracks. A strange crackling in the air made every hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Something was very wrong. She span around, trying to find where it was coming from, but soon realized it was everywhere. Then, as suddenly as it had started, it stopped.

She had cautiously started to move forward again, when the silence was shattered once more by another wave of sound. In the confusion, her foot caught under a loose tree root, causing her to fall awkwardly into a pile of leaves. Before she had time to stand up, she heard violent screams coming from the distance. These weren’t joyful cries; the cries of pleasure and happiness she had been expecting. These turned her blood cold and left her paralyzed where she lay on the wet forest floor, her heart pounding.

After a few seconds, she gathered enough courage to slowly lift herself up and move forward again. She was suddenly very frightened, aware of the risk she was taking just by being there. She darted to an old oak tree, hiding for a moment in the shelter of its huge trunk.

Cautiously, she edged around it. Everything was quiet again so she leant the top half of her body out, to see if it was safe. In that split second a ball of light came towards her, travelling at amazing speed and growing as it came, until it seemed to be the size of a mountain.

When it hit her, its power engulfed her whole body and she was instantly lifted off the ground. She screamed helplessly as it raised her into the treetops.

Her ears filled with a piercing noise, like nothing she had ever heard before. Her whole body felt like it was burning up, yet still she kept rising and rising, until she was high above the trees.

Then the light and noise stopped as quickly and as it had started. Her upward flight came to a violent halt, and she began to fall. As she tumbled through the trees, the thick branches scratched aggressively at her clothes and face. The ground came towards her at terrifying speed. The scream that was struggling to escape her was silenced when she hit the ground with tremendous force. Her body filled with pain, the taste of warm blood filled her mouth, and she slipped into unconsciousness.

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Born in Wellingborough in 1972, Georgia was brought up with her two older brothers in a sleepy Leicestershire village until at the age of fifteen, her parents decided to move abroad, taking her with them. A new country and a new language helped her come out of her shell and for eleven years, she lived and worked on the beautiful island of Menorca.

Georgia wrote short stories and poetry from an early age but her real passion for writing didn’t truly emerge until she was 31. Writing for her own web site and articles for magazines helped to support her and her daughter. After meeting her now fiancé, she was given the encouragement and opportunity to write full-time and the rest is history.

Georgia felt there was a need for a strong British female heroine. She also wanted a main character that had a normal family, with problems that most teenagers/young adults in this country might be experiencing and could relate to. And so Val Saunders, daughter to Mike and Susan Saunders, was born.

Georgia spends time with her daughter in their home in Leicestershire and her life is filled with promoting her books, writing and walking her dog Milly, the Jack Russell.

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