Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Dreams of the Serpent by C.M. Simpson

Today we welcome C.M. Simpson to Promote Me Please to answer five questions about Dreams of the Serpent .
Q.I. Serpents appear in the mythologies of numerous cultures. What does the one in Dreams of the Serpent symbolise?
A.1. An alien race.
Q.2. Tell us about the protagonist of Dreams of the Serpent.
A.2. The protagonist has been sent to broker a peace with an alien race, but doesn’t want to stay there. She has dreams, and must face a difficult choice to fulfil her company obligations or do what she most wants. She is strong-willed and determined, and not some damsel waiting for rescue.

Q.3. Do you deliberately use themes in your writing, or do you find they insert themselves?
A.3. I never deliberately choose a theme, but I always find them, either as I write, or when I’m editing. It’s funny how the subconscious works.

Q.4. What do you enjoy most about writing? Plot, character, theme or style?
A.4. Story. I like the story, so I guess I like the plot, but plot alone isn’t story, you need characters to make to it live. Theme and style are just elements that carry the story and portray character, but plot and character are the story itself, and those are my favourite parts.

Q.5. Did you write Dreams of the Serpent in response to a particular idea or incident? If so, what was it?
A.5 If I recall correctly, I used an Excel spreadsheet listing parts of titles to randomly roll the first and second half of a title, and I wrote from there. Reading back over it, I see it again has a theme of workplace loyalty, dreams and choices, and that may have been because I was coming to a crossroads in life, where I had finished one part of the journey (my degree), and had to choose the next trail to follow. Whatever the influence was, I didn’t consciously choose to put it in the story.
 Dreams of the Serpent by C.M. Simpson: Released 7th April 2018

 The direct url to this interview is

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Let's Jam by Judy and Keith

Today we welcome Judy & Keith to Promote Me Please to talk about Let's Jam. As usual, I asked five questions and here are the answers.

Q.1. Let's Jam is an intriguing title. Is it a direct quote from the book and if so, who says it?

‘Let’s Jam’ is a play on words and merges two worlds—culinary arts and musicians. It is used towards the end of the story as the name for a chain of restaurants. Simon (the drummer) suggests it to Lacy (the chef).

‘Let’s Jam’ is a play on words and merges two worlds—culinary arts and musicians. It is used towards the end of the story as the name for a chain of restaurants. Simon (the drummer) suggests it to Lacy (the chef).

    Q.2. Who is your favourite character from Let’s Jam?

The story is basically a young adult romance between Lacy and Simon. It’s difficult to choose between the two characters, but if forced, it would be Lacy.
   Q.3. I see from the blurb this story has a rocker and a chef. Tell me about one piece of research you did for these characters.

    All adapted from personal experience…we have multiple rockers and chefs in our extended family and have hosted many groups, some extremely successful, in our converted garage-slash-recording studio.

4.Q.4.     Okay, let’s play the- If-you-like-this-book-you-will-like-Let’s Jam game. Can you give me a title?

     Nothing jumps to mind, but there was a movie a few years back called ‘a taste of romance.’
   Q.5. Three words to describe Let’s Jam please?

    A sweet romance.

S Sounds a lot of fun... to read more about Let's Jam or to buy the ebook, visit the links below.

The direct tinyurl for this interview is at

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Cinnamon Stevens Ghost Light by Pauline Hosking

Pauline Hosking
Today we welcome Pauline Hosking to Promote Me Please, answering five quick questions about her new book, Cinnamon Stevens Ghost Light. (The first book in the series also features in this blog at

Q.1. Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light is an intriguing title. Can you give us an elevator pitch?

A.1. To stop one of her besties being bullied, Cinnamon must discover what really happened in the out-of-bounds cemetery at night and solve the mystery of a haunted theatre.   

A “ghost-light” is the light is left on in an empty theatre so the theatre ghost doesn’t feel forgotten. It’s one of the many theatrical superstitions mentioned in the book.

Q.2. Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light is a sequel to Cinnamon Stevens – Crime Buster. How has Cinnamon changed since the events of the last book?

A.2. Crime Buster happened during Cinnamon’s first weeks in Year 7. This one begins a
Cinnamon Stevens Ghost Light
month later. Because her last case ended so successfully Cinnamon’s now more confident. She’s almost thirteen and ready to break a few rules. There’s also the sneaking suspicion that her crush Angelo di Pietro may have clay feet...

Q.3. Please describe Cinnamon Stevens in five words.

A.3. Funny. Feisty. Tenacious. Caring. Strong.

Q.4. Give us five more words to describe the Cinnamon Stevens series.

A.4. Real-life. Real locations. Crimes. Clues.

Q.5. If Cinnamon Stevens could have her choice of any other fictional detective to work with on a case, who would she choose?

A.5. Commander Samuel Vines of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch who features in the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. Sam is tough but fair, clever and kind. His men worship him and he sorts out criminals without fear or favour. He likes sleuthing at night. Cinnamon doesn’t like the dark, so she would feel safe working with him. And learn a lot!

The tinyurl for this interview is

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Flying Through Clouds by Michelle Morgan

Today we have a guest post, part of the blog tour for Michelle Morgan's "Flying Through Clouds".

Written by Michelle Morgan

ISBN: 978-0-9953865-0-1
CATEGORY: Young Adult
AGES: 12+
RRP: $18.99 Pbk
PUBLISHED: 2 April 2017

My Writing Process
Flying through Clouds is my new historical novel for young adults, and follows on from my first novel, Racing the Moon. Although both novels share the same main character and are set mostly in Sydney in the 1930s, the stories are quite different, and so were my motivations for writing them. Flying through Clouds is about Joe Riley’s dream of becoming an aviator and his problematic transition from adolescence to adulthood. It was inspired by two historical events – the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in March 1932, and the landing and take-off of Southern Cross by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith on Seven Mile Beach in January 1933.
Before writing Flying through Clouds, I immersed myself in research. I wanted to understand how people lived in the 1930s and become familiar with that world before developing my characters and narrative. I read books about aviators, the Depression and Australia in the 1930s; I watched videos, listened to podcasts and searched for old photographs and newspaper articles. To make the story interesting and intriguing, I needed to build tension, create conflict and throw up some challenging situations for my main character. I also wanted the novel to be more than about flying. I wanted to explore Joe’s journey through adolescence and his relationships with his family and friends. To do this, I had to create sub-plots, secondary characters and themes that would resonate with readers today.
An essential element of any story is getting the voice right. This depends on who your narrator is and what perspective you’ve chosen to write from. With Flying through Clouds I chose to tell the story in the first person from Joe’s point of view and mostly in the present tense. I wanted readers to be able to experience the world of the 1930s through Joe’s eyes, to be accomplices in all his well-intentioned but bad choices. But the first person also has its limitations because the narrator can’t possibly know everything that’s going on around them or inside the heads of other characters.
It was challenging to develop the voice, behaviour and personality of a teenage boy growing up in the 1930s. I read widely but also observed significant males in my life, and dug deep to find the rebellious teenager within. Apart from developing Joe’s voice, I had to develop personalities and behaviours for all my characters.
I often use dialogue to reveal character. My enthusiasm for using dialogue springs from my love of theatre and playwriting. When I’m stuck, I read more books or search for old photos or watch videos for inspiration. When I have a good understanding of my characters and the setting, I plot the main turning points of the story. And there’s no story without conflict. But the conflict has to come from the interaction of my characters. I evaluate every scene that I come up with – What impact will it have? How credible is it? Will it drive the story forward and develop the characters?
Each turning point in the novel had to come at just the right time and create tension, as well as propel the story towards the climax. Critical feedback from professional editors is crucial to developing a manuscript towards publication, and I was fortunate to work with two talented editors. A structural edit led to a much tighter plot and a reduced word count. The copy edit a year later picked up problems with grammar, style, voice, punctuation and minor inconsistencies in the text. The copy edit also inspired me to further develop voice and characterisations.
When writing for teenagers, it’s important to have interesting multi-dimensional characters and a strong narrative.  I hope that Flying through Clouds engages readers with its compelling blend of humour, drama and historical detail.
Flying through Clouds is available now at bookshops, educational and library suppliers, and can be ordered on Michelle’s website.

Find out more about Michelle and her books on her website:

Check out Dee White’s blog tomorrow at for Day 5 of the Flying through Clouds Blog tour.

Monday, 27 February 2017

About Glenice Whitting

Author Glenice Whitting is a long-time friend of Affordable Manuscript Assessments, the site which sponsors Promote Me Please. Here she tells us a bit about her life.

Glenice Whitting is an Australian author and playwright and has published two novels. She was a hairdresser for many years before she became a mature age student. It was during an English Literature Fiction Writing course that her great midlife adventure began. Rummaging through an old cardboard shoebox in the family home she found a pile of postcards dating back to the 19th century, many of them written in Old High German. The translated greetings from abroad introduced the hairdresser to her long hidden German heritage and started her on a life changing journey. She fell in love with the craft of writing and decided to pursue a writing career. Her Australian/German novel, Pickle to Pie, was short -listed for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. It co-won the Ilura Press International Fiction Quest and was launched during The Age Melbourne Writers' Festival.
Three years as an on-line editor and columnist at introduced her to web writing and resulted in an ebook Inspiring Women. Glenice’s play Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow was produced during the Fertile Ground New Play Festival. Her published works include biographies, reviews, numerous short stories and two novels. Her latest novel, Something Missing, published by MadeGlobal Publishing is about two countries, two women and lies that lead to truth. She completed the journey from VCE to PhD when she gained her Doctorate of Philosophy (Writing) from Swinburne University in 2013. Along the way she was awarded entry into the Golden Key International Honour Society for academic excellence. She currently enjoys teaching Memoir Writing and encouraging other women to write their stories.  Glenice’s blog Writers and Their Journey can be found at her website,

To read about Glenice's latest book, SOMETHING MISSING, click HERE.

Something Missing - Glenice Whitting talks about her new book

Promote Me Please is delighted to welcome Glenice Whitting to talk about her writing life, the people who have inspired and helped her, and, of course, her new book...Something Missing

There are many momentous life events but there is no greater personal happiness than the moment when you hold your published book in your hands. You hug the feeling around you like a warm blanket to keep out the wintery chills of life. It is a rare moment of bliss, and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first book or fifth.

Recently, with the launch of my latest book Something Missing I find myself humming The Wind Beneath My Wings because it reminds me of so many people who have supported and helped me along the way. All my writing projects have been a team effort and I have a long list of people who have inspired me over many years. How wonderful to have the opportunity to thank them via the acknowledgement pages of my books. To publish is one way of proving to them that their faith in me as a writer is justified. Most writers need to pluck up courage to send their work to others for feedback. However, I’ve discovered that other women writers support, encourage and inspire you to reach for the stars.

Years ago, when I was a budding author and did not realize that my academic journey would take me from VCE to a PhD in creative writing, I sent a chapter of my first novel, Pickle to Pie to Sally for assessment. My mouth was dry and I had sweaty palms waiting for her reply. To my relief she sent me a detailed report of my writing that was not only encouraging but also gave me some insightful ideas of how to lift the work up another notch. Her tick of approval at a time when I was still finding my feet was invaluable. Over the years, many other women have selflessly helped me on my writing journey which eventually became one of self discovery.

My debut novel, Pickle to Pie published by Ilura Press was based on my father’s life. It is about a boy, a great-hearted German Grossmutter and a man caught between two worlds. An unexpected bonus of writing his story was that I finally came to terms with my long hidden German ancestry.
This latest novel, Something Missing published by deals with the next stage of my life. It reveals how a chance meeting and thirty-five years of pen-friendship with an older American poet inspired and changed my life.

Tim of Madeglobal Publishing summed up the novel when he wrote, Something Missing is about two women, two countries. serendipity, life and friendship. Diane, a young Australian mother meets Maggie, a sophisticated American poet, in a chance encounter. Everything – age, class and even nationality – separates them. Yet all is not quite as it seems. Maggie is grieving for her eldest daughter and trapped in a marriage involving infidelity and rape. Diane yearns for the same opportunities given to her brother. Their lives draw them to connect. This is the story of two unfulfilled women finding each other when they needed it most. Their pen-friendship will change them forever. This book will appeal to women aged between twenty and ninety-nine years and men who wish to understand them.

 Something Missing is available from or,

Thank you, Sally for featuring me on your site and for all your support, kindness and sound advice over the years

About Glenice Whitting
Glenice Whitting left school at fourteen to become an apprentice hairdresser. Her journey as a mature –aged student took her from VCE to PhD in creative writing. Her debut novel Pickle to Pie won awards and was published by Ilura Press. Her latest novel, Something Missing was launched at Swinburne University in December and is now available via MadeGlobal in London or at with Glenice on her website or on Facebook at Writers and their Journey

For more about Glenice, check our her longer bio here.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Kristen Holzapfel talks about "Selfless: a social worker's own story of trauma and recovery"

Let's welcome author Kristen Holzapfel to Promote Me Please. Kristen stepped up to answer five questions about her book Selfless: a social worker's own story of trauma and recovery

Want to be featured on Promote Me Please? Click HERE to find out how.

Q.1. "Selfless: a social worker's own story of trauma and recovery." This is an explanatory title. Is it autobiographical or biographical?

A.1. "Selfless" is autobiographical. I undertook a fair bit of research about burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma in order to make sense of my own feelings and behaviours and included many references throughout. I wanted my story to be read as a case study of how trauma looks/sounds/feels as well as the personal and professional impact.

In my case, Vicarious Trauma occurred after several years working in Child Protection Services and the symptoms manifested as an eating disorder (Anorexia). The weight loss occurred very suddenly while I was in my late twenties, eventually leading to hospitalisation a couple of years later. Prior to this time, I'd enjoyed a healthy relationship with food and never believed I was at risk of an illness like this.

Vicarious Trauma blindsided me; I'd had no understanding I was so vulnerable or that the effects would be so pervasive.

Q.2. What motivated you to write this book?

A.2. As I was researching the topic, many helping professionals (nurses, paramedics, police officers, teachers etc) told me they wished they'd read a book like this when they were studying. Others told me they'd experienced something similar. All agreed that there were few books written (honestly) from the helper perspective and that this was probably due to the stigma surrounding Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma.

I researched the topic to gain a better understanding of how the trauma impacted me the way it did. There was so much I didn't know and felt compelled to share what I'd learned as it seemed essential knowledge for all helping professionals.

My goal is to start a much-needed conversation about Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma and how helping professionals can be better supported in the workplace. Helpers are often the last people to ask for help, preferring to focus on those they signed up to help - their clients. There is so much more we can do to support them and their vital work.

Q.3. Did the length of the title cause any problems with the book design?

A.3. Not at all. The cover design is simple and the main title ("Selfless") is short. The subtitle ("a social worker's own story of trauma and recovery") is smaller and so fits in pretty easily.

The subtitle was important as I wanted to:
(a) advertise that this was a first hand account,
(b) name the issue of trauma (in association with social work)
(c) emphasise that recovery is possible.

Q.4. Would you say the experiences of the main character were common among social workers?

A.4. Oh yes. Almost universally, helpers experience too much work and too little time to do it in. They're expected to makes miracles happen and have nerves of steel. When clients realise helpers don't have all the answers, their view of these professionals takes a nosedive. In this way, helpers are often viewed as either super-human or sub-human.

I hope that my book portrays what it's like to be a social worker who is human; no more or less.

Q. 5. How much do the problems of others impact on the main character's own wellbeing?

A.5.  Vicarious Trauma can occur when a helper has a high caseload of acutely traumatised clients and is not provided with the time or support to process/make sense of the emotional impact that is inevitably transferred from client to helper. The symptoms can be similar to those of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

To read more about Selfless, check out this page.