Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Interview with B. Lloyd


Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

 I’ve grown up in different parts of the world, often in buildings which appeared to have something . . .not quite right about them; strange encounters that did not make sense at the time, tales of witch doctors, hauntings and the inexplicable – these all left me intrigued (and of course, the usual gamut of fictional ghost tales without which I believe no library is truly complete !)

What inspired you to write this book?

This year marks the (sesqui)centenary of M.R.James’s birth; I thought I would celebrate in my own way by writing a ghost story. Once I started thinking about it, images came into my mind of a rotting bouquet and dresses made of cobwebs; from there the story of a haunted house began to take shape.

Please tell us about your latest release.

It’s a ghost tale – actually, a novelette; a bit longer than a short story, not long enough to be a novella. Set between the 1560s and  1930s, it has cobwebs, cocktails and crises - I hope in an entertaining fashion.

Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

My first thought is always to check that the names would have been used in the period: it’s the first giveaway of a mind not quite in tune with the period they are writing about, if the name is not right.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

As it is a short tale, I had only the briefest of acquaintances with them all, but I think I liked Gerry Torbin and Lydia Maydew the best. Gerry is’a baggy haystack in tweeds’, a bookish don, often unaware of what’s happening around him. Lydia is the eldest daughter acting as hostess in her parents’ absence and doing her best to keep things on an even keel : despite unpredictable boilers and ‘something nasty in the attic’.

Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?

They tend to jump into my head, usually as hazy images rather than words. I can see them moving about; they sit in the wings awaiting their cues – or else they barge in while I am trying  to  write, interrupting each other – and I occasionally let them continue, depending on how relevant they are to plot.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

In writing as with painting, I usually (well, pretty much always) have several different stories on the go – it’s finding the time to have a writer’s block that’s more of a problem!  But I think having a range of worlds to visit helps prevent writer’s block: if I am sticking on a point in the one story, I can leave it, go to another story(and world) and carry on with that. Occasionally the mind becomes stale or tired; then it’s time to stand back, go and do something else and come back to it fresh.

Do you write in different genres?

Mystery, paranormal – I am also interested in steampunkery and am experimenting with it (under another guise…)

When did you consider yourself a writer?

Hard to say; I have always scribbled, ever since I could string letters together – and I still think of  myself as a scribbler, a doodler; a

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

I paint and illustrate as well– ideally, I try to balance these two out; at the moment I have two to three book covers to design for a fellow writer, and a book to finish illustrating before spring…. I would like to spend more time on set design (model making !) but time gets eaten up in so many things. I do have a fascination with animation, and enjoy creating trailers for books.

What was the last amazing book you read?

Probably Mr Norrell and Jonathan Strange; it is a wonderful amble in the countryside for me, a lovely book to have by me during the summertime.

What can readers expect next from you?

There is a ghost anthology in the planning with fellow authors : again, to chime in with the M.R.James centenary. With any luck it will be ready before Christmas.  I have also  completed  a full-length mystery novel which is with a publisher at present.

Where can readers find you on the web?

These are the places where I am most active:
@AuthorsAnon

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

Hmmmm, perhaps the opening ….

Dust, darkness and cobwebs.

Snrrip,snip went the scissors.
A scrabbling, a squealing as Genus Rattus made his escape; some things are beyond the pale even for rodents of the night.
Snrrip, snrrip. Snip, snap.
Another cobweb, hanging by a thread. Snip went the scissors again. The thread snapped, the cobweb floated in drunken, gyrating fashion till it was swallowed up in shadow.

1930


When Aubrey Marchant's engagement to Eleanor Maydew was announced to his friends, he received mixed blessings.
‘The Maydews are a bohemian lot – not many servants, even before the War.’
‘Keen on brown bread and vegetables – don't expect too much in the way of creature comforts.’
‘Brave chap, I am sure you'll find the country air bracing.’
‘And Eleanor comes of good stock, too. Never mind the burst water pipes.’
Aubrey managed to shrug off most of these under a jocular guise. One of his closest friends however, let slip something that would come back to him later.
‘I wouldn't mind the rest of it – only I believe it may be a House of Spirits. Hope you can sleep all right at nights.’
Aubrey laughed at the time.

The Maydews’ house was indeed  lacking some of the more modern conveniences – but the fireplaces were still fully functional and well stoked most evenings (for the early summer air still proved a little chill), his room was beautifully furnished, and, it had to be said, fairly draught-proof.
May, the middle sister, had been busy in the garden, to the mute distress of Hicks the gardener. However, the fruits of her labour could not be denied: huge creamy roses, squeezed in with blue delphiniums, nodded heavy-headed in their vases, offering a warm, fragrant welcome.
Bertie, Eleanor’s brother, collected Aubrey from the station and in his usual breezy fashion extolled the virtues of countryside versus city. ‘There are some wonderful walks – and we have a bicycle or two; you do cycle?’
Aubrey had not been in a saddle of any kind since schooldays, and felt no very urgent need to renew the acquaintance; however, he dutifully mustered some semblance of enthusiasm for things generally rustic.
‘Gregory is already here,’ continued Bertie, once they were established in the family hearth, ‘perhaps you met him at the Athenaeum? – old chum from ’Varsity, doing a bit of research, so he’ll probably spend most of his time in the library.’
 ‘Yes, quite a full house – we’re expecting our cousin Penny tomorrow,’ added Lydia, the eldest of the Maydews and titular head of the family in their parents’ absence. ‘And there will be some more people dropping in over the weekend – actor friends of Bertie’s.’
‘Freddy Drew is a stage director actually, and a pretty good one at that, too,’ corrected Bertie. ‘He’s putting on a new production; they’re touring the counties and he asked me if I could put a few of them up for a couple of nights while they do Dulton, so of course I said yes. Thought it would be fun.’
‘I’m sure it will be, Bertie, but we still need to find the rooms for them to sleep in!’ This mild remonstrance from Lydia, who was taking her responsibilities seriously. She drew a mock sigh. ‘Well, we’ll open up the old wing; or perhaps a few people could sleep at Mrs Beasley’s. Although what we shall do if the parents decide to cut it all short and head home in the middle …’
‘Egypt, is it?’
‘The last I heard, they were heading for Switzerland, then up to Paris.’
The parents had been on a long planned tour since the spring, in bohemian tradition; they were both artistic by nature: Maydew père wrote poetry, Eunice his wife was a watercolourist. So far, letters home had been peppered with comments on the view from the hotel window, the latest culinary disaster and how difficult it was to find decent tea. Art had not featured heavily.

‘I like a bit of theatre when I have the time,’ said Aubrey, with enthusiasm.
‘Yes, Bertie, are we going to be invited to the opening night?’ asked May.
‘But of course! He’s practically demanded our presence – and a dinner at Matheson’s afterwards!’
‘Matheson’s, eh … ’
‘What is the play?’
‘Oh some old thing they’ve just re-discovered, which had been sitting around in a library for an age – apparently it might be an early work by the Bard, although naturally that’s all very much in dispute. No doubt it will be quite a giggle –’
‘Oooh, men in tights!’
‘Any girls in tights?’
‘Unlikely; ain’t a pantomime after all – ruffs and what do they call’em – farthingales, more like.’
‘Powder and wigs … ’
‘Gadzooks and by Bacchus and so on. Yes, it will probably be quite hopeless. Still, Freddy does his stuff well. I shall go if nobody else does.’
‘Don’t be silly, Bertie, of course we shall all come. It will be a lark.’

No talk of burst pipes as yet. There was an abundance of brown bread, however.  But while the Maydews tended to eat raw carrots and salad, their cook ensured there was meat for their guests. Aubrey retired to bed on a comfortable stomach and with a small framed photograph of his intended. Eleanor was quite the most refined of eligible young women in his circle; ladylike and well aware of the niceties of table-setting, the importance of crisp bed linen and well-starched collars … Aubrey slept contentedly, his slumber only slightly impinged upon by some distant, inconsistent background sound which he couldn’t quite place.


B.Lloyd
Ungentle Sleep, a ghost tale

Haunted House Tour Full Schedule :

 




October 8 Guest blog
Mondays as part of the paranormal perceptions series

October 8 Promo
http://jennifermcconnel.wordpress.com/

October 9 Interview
Fang-tastic Books

October 10 Guest blog
Mama Knows Books 
http://mamaknowsbooks.blogspot.com  


October 11 Interview
Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

October 12 guest blog
Banshees, Books, & Baseball 

October 13 guest blog/promo
Lisa’s World of Books

October 14 Promo
My Life Through a Book

October 15 Guest blog
Not Now...Mommy's Reading 



Ungentle Sleep
B.Lloyd

Genre: paranormal/historical fiction
Publisher: Captive Press

ASIN: B008VIJFLI

Number of pages: approx 69
Word Count: 13,146
Cover Artist: B.Lloyd




Book Description:
 1930
  When Aubrey Marchant's engagement to Eleanor Maydew was announced to his friends, he received mixed blessings.
‘The Maydews are a bohemian lot – not many servants, even before the War.’
‘Keen on brown bread and vegetables – don't expect too much in the way of creature comforts.’
‘Brave chap, I am sure you'll find the country air bracing.’
‘And Eleanor comes of good stock, too. Never mind the burst water pipes.’
Aubrey managed to shrug off most of these under a jocular guise. One of his closest friends however, let slip something that would come back to him later.
‘I wouldn't mind the rest of it – only I believe it may be a House of Spirits. Hope you can sleep all right at nights.’
Aubrey laughed at the time. ”
A crowded house party – with more guests on the way. Despite instructions to the contrary, the older part of the house is opened up . . .and something is inadvertently let out, to wreak mild havoc and insanity on the Maydews and their guests. That nasty incident involving Eleanor, followed by unpleasantness over Penny’s dress, and what is it Aubrey can hear, on the outer edge of his dreams?
Hysteria, missed cocktails, and something nasty in the attic.
Snrrip, snrrip. Snip, snap.

Even the rats run away.

A ghost tale, almost not quite long enough to qualify as a novelette, created in celebration of M.R.James’s 150th anniversary.

About the Author:

A Bustle attached to a keyboard, occasionally to be seen floating on a canal …

After studying Early Music followed by a brief career in concert performance, the Bustle exchanged vocal parts for less vocal arts i.e. a Diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.

Her inky mess, both graphic and verbal, can be found in various regions of the Web, and appendaged to good people’s works (for no visible reason that she can understand).




Twitter: @AuthorsANon


Google + : http://goo.gl/pbb2E


2 comments:

B.Lloyd said...

Thank you for hosting me - and for the interesting questions ! :)

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شكرا على الموضوع
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