Tuesday, May 19, 2020

An Implacable Woman by K.T. Findlay - Book Tour

An Implacable Woman
If a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye
When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die

Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…
But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.
With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?
As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.

Additional Maps of where An Implacable Woman is set-https://ktfindlay.com/an-implacable-woman-maps/

Purchase Links

The Canadian link is https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088HJJ6NW/ 

Author Q&A
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
That’s a hell of a question to start off with! J
What’s my deadly enemy as an author? Probably the human voice. I can’t fully tune out conversation, not even song lyrics. There’s always a part of me actually LISTENING to the words, and that completely stops me getting properly into the zone. I can do research, and I can even do detailed plotting because that’s often an almost left brained form of working, but I can’t actually create. For the writing to go really well, my mind has to enter a completely different place, and for that I need to be free of other people talking. If I’m in an open plan office and I have to do something creative at work, I put on full sized headphones that cover my ears, and listen to some instrumental music that’s just loud enough to mask the surrounding conversation. It might appear rude, but I get far more done, to a much higher quality if I can let the mind just rip.

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
This is an easy one, believe it or not. I’ve written four and a half books in just over two years. I thought the first one was marvelous, at least partly because an agent, in an attempt to let me down gently, told me in her email that my book had really stood out but that she was sorry they didn’t have a slot for it. So I thought I was pretty much there in terms of standard, right up to the moment I sent another agent at that agency a completely different kind of book and got back the exact same form letter… That was an eye opener! In retrospect, that first book was more fit for fire starters than it was for publication!
The simple truth of the matter is that I wasted a staggering amount of time writing submissions to literary agents on books that were never going to fly, and not one of them gave me any indication of that. So, two key lessons to think about:
Lesson one is that when you’re starting out, you probably have a very poor idea of how good your book actually is. I’m not suggesting it’s rubbish. It might be absolutely fabulous. I’m just saying that most new writers don’t have enough experience to accurately judge the quality of their own work. You really do need other people for that, so pluck up your courage and give it to beta readers who you KNOW are going to be honest, even if, no, especially if, they think it has issues. It’s incredibly painful to hear, and even more painful to accept, but you HAVE To go through this to get it to a state fit to give to a proper editor. And then grit your teeth and listen to what they’ve got to say too. The editor is likely to be even more hard nosed because that’s their job! Now, they may actually be wrong, which complicates things, but if you’re that certain of yourself, chuck it to someone else to get a second opinion. If you need a measure, look at how much time you’re spending on rewrites and fixes, plus the time it’s taking to edit. My first book took longer to edit than it took to write. That should have told me something… The last one took about 5% of the time it took to write, and that included the time it took the editor to read the manuscript. You get better!
Lesson two is an extension of lesson one, and it’s to be clear on how much time and effort can be sucked up when submitting to a literary agent. Agents are swamped, absolutely swamped by submissions. I worked out a while ago that a good agent was getting at least 5,200 unsolicited submissions a year, out of which they might select just 2. (It’s since got a lot worse, and frankly I have no idea how they cope.) Think about that for a minute. You have a 1/2600 chance of any given agent accepting your book in any given year. You’d have a better chance buying a lottery ticket. “But,” I hear you cry, “I’m only submitting to the right agents for my book and I’m making sure it’s what they want! I can control this and beat the odds!”
Well, to a degree, yes. But next time you do it, look at what’s involved. You need to research an agent, reads interviews, watch videos, examine their client list etc. and that all takes time. Then you need to craft the email to their specifications. You need to summarise your book in a couple of paragraphs, or maybe just one, or maybe a single sentence. 100,000 words stripped back to a sentence. That takes time, believe me, it takes time. And then there’s the synopsis. Your agent might give you two A4 sides, but more likely just the one, and sometimes just a half. That takes time too. Oh, and some want a specific font and may not want spoilers. Break any one of those requirements and you’re gone. Fail to catch their interest in the first 30 seconds and you’re gone.
Also, they may LOVE your book! It could be the single best book on that subject that has ever been written, but if they don’t think they can find it a market, they’re still going to say no.
The problem is, they don’t tell you. Anything. They don’t have the time, they honestly don’t. So most are likely to send out a form rejection letter or just go silent. That’s understandable given the pressures they’re under, but it’s not a very good reward for the author after all that effort. So am I saying forget about agents? No, of course not! A good agent is a fabulous thing to have. Just be aware of the investment it’s going to take you to get one, and be aware of the chances of success. Go into it with your eyes open, and if you don’t like the odds, consider other ways of doing things. In my own case, I could literally have written a complete full length novel in the time I’ve spent pursuing agents. Where do you want to put YOUR time?
(There are a number of videos on my website specifically aimed at the aspiring author, that cover a lot more than I’ve mentioned here.)

3. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat, which I first read aged six and have done every year since. It’s just wonderful, and showed me the magic of the written word, how a book can cast your mind into a completely different world that completely subsumes your thoughts. Wow! What a discovery that was!

4. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
I’ll assume we’re talking fictional characters here, and not real world writers and publishers?
Lord Vetenari in the Discworld stories. He’s possibly the cleverest politician/leader in fiction, and while he’s utterly ruthless, he’s not a narcissist, or someone who wants power for its own sake or to bolster his own ego. He gets his kicks out of making things work, making things successful, despite the best efforts of other people! So you could really learn a few things if you had dinner with such a man, assuming you survived of course…

5. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Yes, but I knew the odds of success. Well I thought I did. In reality, they were actually far worse! That’s why it took me so long to get seriously serious about it. And then I discovered there was a lot more to it than I’d imagined. You don’t always know what you don’t know even if you think you know, you know?

6. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
A tiger, providing I could also have a couple of hundred acres of properly fenced off, appropriate countryside for it to roam in. I’d want it to be able to live as it wants to, not to be hemmed in or forced to be something it’s not.

7. Have you ever met anyone famous?
Yes, but only in passing, not with any real connection.

8. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the other things going in in my life. If I have to work for a living, then it takes a lot longer because the people paying for my time and skill deserve every single bit of value I’m capable of giving them for those hours. If that contains a lot of creative work, then the writing’s going to be even slower because I only have so much creative energy to give each day.
On the other hand, if I’m between engagements, as the acting fraternity used to say, then nowadays I can complete a book in three months, providing I’m not trying to get an agent, or answering questions for book blog tours. J Now the editing still has to come on top of that, but I can complete a full novel in three months if I’m able to focus on it to the exclusion of everything else.
9. How do you select the names of your characters?
In the Sally Mellors series, they tend to tell me themselves. Sally certainly did. When I was struggling yet again to push through the block that had stymied me in this detective focussed novel for over twenty years, she literally walked into my mind, fully formed, beautifully dressed and said “What you want to do, is write about me. I’m much more interesting!”
The Sally characters are like that. They just appear. My characters become quite real to me, as real as a real life human being, with all their little nuances and experiences, far more than ever make it into the books.
The names in the Prince Wulfstan time travel series are trickier. Anglo Saxon names are awkward beasts and I try to select ones that won’t blow the reader’s mind or make them work more than they have to. But the characters and I still have “chats” about what’s working and what isn’t, and things get changed if a name doesn’t feel right to me.
10. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Initially, like anyone else, I’d be right down on level one of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs, struggling to survive each day, so collecting the books, tools, equipment and supplies needed to secure survival would come first. Once I had that under control, with supplies of food, water and shelter all arranged, I’d probably make connections with some of the animals around the place, especially the mammals and birds. We humans are highly social animals and need contact, to have a connection with other living things. With no hope of ever meeting another human, my best friend is going to be an animal of some kind, so I’d set about making friends.
11. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I’ve answered this in the what would I tell the younger me in the above list, but I do have a number of videos on my website specifically aimed at the aspiring writer. Perhaps we could send them there, in addition to my answer in the earlier question? 
12. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
John Romer, the Egyptologist, was asked this question on The Parkinson Show many years ago. Parkinson was expecting him to say ancient Egypt, but I was struck by John’s reply and the logic behind it. He was speaking in the late seventies, and he said “Right here, and right now.” The thinking behind that was he was living in a country with no famine, no threat of devastating disease, plenty of opportunity, money to do the things he loved, access to incredible tools that had never been around before.
But, if I had to go to a different time and place, it might just be to Birmingham England, between 1765 and 1813, on the condition that I had loads of money AND was allowed to be a member of the Lunar Society. Amongst its members were Josiah Wedgewood, Matthew Bolton, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestly, James Watt, James Smeaton, John Wilkinson, Joseph Black, Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Banks and many more. It was just the most fantastic collection of minds at an incredibly exciting time in history. There was all that explosion of discovery going on, and they hadn’t yet completely screwed up the environment. Maybe, just maybe I could get them to think about that a little bit too, and the world wouldn’t be having quite the same challenges it’s having now…
If you haven’t already read it, get a copy of Jenny Uglow’s The Lunar Men. It’s absolutely fabulous. It could have been a dusty dry read but it isn’t. It’s full of all their relationships, wives and sisters (frequently every bit as marvelous as their better known menfolk), family dramas, amongst all the discoveries and amazing business tales. When I finished it the first time, I immediately turned back to page one and started all over again. It’s one of the best history books I’ve ever read.
13. What is your favorite genre to read?
Oddly enough, non-fiction. I have a voracious thirst for knowledge, of all sorts.
In terms of favourite fictional genre, I wouldn’t say I have one as such. What really matters to me is that the book contains a regular supply of smiles or laughs, even if it’s a deadly serious theme. An hour without laughter is an hour wasted as far as I’m concerned.
That’s why my own stories have humour woven throughout, and they’re all thoroughly researched.

Author Bio – We’ll probably have to expand this for the tours, but this is what’s in the book at present.
K.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.

Social Media Links –
Webpage : www.ktfindlay.com

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