Author Interview ~ Fran Clark

Today SSV welcomes Fran Clark, a professional singer and songwriter, and now the author of Holding Paradise – a novel of mother, daughter, and their search for connection. Fran was born and currently lives in West London. She is studying for a Creative Writing MA at Brunel University. Recently, she released her second album of original songs. She is now working towards the completion of her second novel. Fran talked to me about her novel and her writing.

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Fran, please tell us about your book and where you got your inspiration for it? Why did you feel you had to tell this story?
Holding Paradise is about love, trust, betrayal. It explores relationships and takes us from the Caribbean to London and back again. I was inspired by my mother’s stories about life in the Caribbean that I compared to that of someone raised in London, as I was. That sparked an idea about the lives of two women from different worlds.

What did you enjoy the most about writing it?
I think the thing that was most satisfying was my relationship with the characters. They lived with me for almost three years – the time it took me to write it. I watched them grow and they helped me move the narrative along into places I may not necessarily have planned.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it all imagination?
In some respects, there are similarities, but I would have to say that it was important to infuse more imagination into the story than real life. Who wants to read about real life anyway? Most of us are pretty boring. A novel is a place to escape real life.

What do you think about research? Did your book require lots of it? How do you research?
I recently wrote a post about research. I think it is absolutely necessary if it adds to the authenticity of your story. As writers we need to achieve a believable sense of time, place and setting. Imagination alone is not always going to get you there. If historical detail is needed then you need to get your facts straight. Holding Paradise did not need a lot of research, and I was able to find answers by talking to family and reading up on the time the novel is set. Research can be very exciting but you don’t want your fiction to sound like a history book. Making the researched material flow into the narrative is important.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Well hate is a strong word but I certainly disliked many attempts at writing along the way. I write short stories and some of them should never see the light of day. I have two novels filed away on my laptop that I’m sure I will never resurrect although I may borrow some of the better ideas within them some day.

What are some things you learned from writing this book?
Mostly I learned that I love to write. I haven’t always wanted to be a writer. I am a singer-songwriter, and music has always been my passion. I’m happy when I’m making music and can’t imagine my life without it. And that is exactly how I feel about my writing now too.

What do you think about editors: writers’ best friends or necessary evil? What was your experience with editors?
Yikes – don’t get me started.  Pretty sure I’ve written a post about this on my blog too! Firstly I have to say editors are completely necessary. All top writers have them and so should all the rest of us. I get tired of reading awful grammar and typos in books. Those writers who feel they don’t need them are mistaken. Writing is a lonely job but to make your writing really work you need to bring in expert help. I didn’t always see eye to eye with my editor about some of the changes he wanted to make but with compromise we worked it through and he absolutely improved on a few aspects of my writing.

What’s next? What are you working on now?
I’m in the middle of writing my second novel. Unfortunately it is taking a bit of a back seat because of family commitments and the heavy workload from my Creative Writing MA. But I intend to finish it this year. Lots of research is needed for this story, so I need to get stuck in and get it written. I’m really looking forward to completing it – having a second novel will make me feel truly initiated into the title of writer.

What is your writing environment (a quiet room, a coffee shop, loud music, etc)?
I usually need as much quiet as I can get. I sometimes write late at night when everyone else is tucked up in bed or in the early hours of the morning when everyone else is still asleep. As a bad sleeper this tends to work for me. But it must be said that I can lose myself in my writing and whether I have music playing softly in the background, or the television is loud in the room next door, I can click away at the keys and not notice anything else.

When did you first tell yourself: I’m a writer?
That didn’t happen until I let other people read my work. The feedback I got from the first readers of Holding Paradise was very encouraging but it wasn’t until I paid for a professional critique. After I read the report I thought, ‘Hey, a professional has read this and didn’t laugh out loud.’ It was a positive report and to have someone I didn’t know speak about my work like that made me want to pat myself on the back: I had arrived.

Are you scared of sharing ideas – so nobody could steal them?
That has never really occurred to me. It is often said that there are no new stories or plots and in many respects that’s true. The important thing is the telling of the story and that’s what sells books. I focus on my storytelling and making sure I’m writing something that is worth reading. That’s all I can do. If someone has to steal ideas, then that’s pretty sad, don’t you think?

What do you do when a new idea pops up in your head while you’re working on something else?
Notebooks. The writer’s friends. Jot all your ideas down. You can come back to them anytime and by recording it you’ll never forget the idea. But there is no problem with writing more than one story at a time. Some writers prefer to work that way while others find they have to focus on one. I’m a multi-tasker but I don’t think I could work on two novels at once. I can fit in the odd short story and my assignments for University but that’s about all. That’s more than enough if you want to do your writing justice.

What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Just start. Be dedicated and persevere. There will always be difficult times and times when you feel you are writing rubbish. But that’s what editing is for. As long as you are passionate about your story then the ideas will come. See if you can finish the whole piece, that is do a complete first draft, without the input of others. When you get to second draft stage, then get opinions as those can sometimes help you improve your writing. Trust your own opinions too. Don’t assume that because someone doesn’t like something about your story that it is wrong. Writing should never feel like hard work. I’ve spent some really happy times just tapping away on my laptop.

 

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Holding Paradise

On a grey and miserable morning in 2008, London businesswoman Angelica Ford boards a plane and flies off to the blues and greens of her mother’s island in the Caribbean. Angelica is desperate. She is looking for a way to save her marriage and win back her daughter. A web of lies has torn a hole into her seemingly perfect world and she is convinced that only her mother, Josephine Dennis, can help her turn her life around.

Josephine Dennis arrived in England by ship on a cold winter morning as a young mother joining her husband. She weathers a lifetime of secrets and betrayal, as she raises her family in 1960s London. A matriarch with strong family values, she told her children colorful stories to guide them through life. It is the wisdom of one of these stories that Angelica seeks. Josephine has one last story to tell – the story that could change both of their lives.

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Fran will have her online book launch on Friday April 25 on her website, from 9am to 9pm GMT. See details on her blog to sign up for the party and a chance to win a copy of Holding Paradise. You can also view the book trailer on Youtube.

 

November 30th News & Update

Hello, world! SSV has some news to share with our readers and would like to give you a little reminder of what we do here on Silk Screen Views.

General News

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Silk Screen Views is growing fast as ideas burst into life and fires up our inspiration! We’ve created new sections to the site and reconstructed to expand our wings and share our thoughts and news. Two parts that will help you find what you want on SSV. Don’t forget the Search Bar–that’s helpful too!

  1. Site Map:  Unfamiliar with SSV? Want to know the bare bones of what we have to share? Look at the site map for up to date information on what SSV has to offer and a description of what each section is about.
  2. Review Directory:  Relocated under Nexus, this page is an alphabetical listing of all our book reviews on SSV. Books that do not have a current link are placed to show reviews that are to come.

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EDITING & GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES

The SSV crew loves the book community and wants to add another dimension to our involvement. We’ve put together a list of services that can help with bringing a fresh viewpoint to a project, add a marketable polish and highlight it to give it the best starting point in a venture. Check out what we offer and see if it fits your needs. Contact us if you have any questions or need more information. Email ~ SilkScreenViews@gmail.com

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SILK SCREEN VIEWS WANTS YOU!

Authors:

  1. Silk Screen Views is open to Author Review Requests. Please check out SSV’s Review Policy.
  2. SSV is looking to host/post/re-post interesting articles about writing that you have written. If you would like to share your articles here on SSV, please email Silk Screen Views or fill out the Contact form on the Nexus.

Bloggers – Reviewers – Authors: 

SSV embraces vibrant, unique perspectives and diversity. We are looking for people to write thought provoking, emotion raging articles in our Rambling and Rampage sections. If you have something uniquely you to share and interested in joining SSV’s adventures, please email Silk Screen Views or fill out the Contact form on the Nexus.

WANTED:  Reviewers to Join SSV!

Due to the rapid growth of the site, we’re looking to add new people to the team! If you love to read, like to share your opinions on everything and anything beneath the sun–take a look at our Reviewers Wanted Post. If it looks like something you’re interested in, please apply!

Note that you must become familiar with SSV Goals, Review Policy and what the site offers. Experience is not necessary but we do require that you have basic writing skills.

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–*SNEAK PEEK*–

Author Interview & Review Series began in order to celebrate our 100th Book Review post and to start adventures that will let readers get a closer look into the authors and stories we consume readily. We aim to bring you entertaining, candid interviews with the author and a unique perspective on the book. Curious about what other authors are coming up in SSV’s AI&R series? Keep an eye on the Calendar.

We have lots of new and exciting things planned for 2014! Keep an eye out and join us on our adventures!

SSV would be nothing without the people who help to run it.

THANK YOU–the awesome SSV Crew!

We would be bored without people who read our posts, the authors who write & publish their stories and the netizens who interact with us on the site.

You have our gracious thanks as well!

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~ News Flash ~

  1. Overwatch Contest! ANYONE can Enter! Until 4/21/13
  2. Author Interview & Review: Allen Gray ~ Overwatch
  3. Reviewers Wanted – SSV Needs You!
  4. Interview:  Michael J. Sullivan about Hollow World Kickstarter
  5. SSV Editing & Graphic Design Services
  6. Poll 2:  What do YOU think? What do YOU want more of?
  7. SSV is Accepting Books for Review
  8. Authors & Bloggers Wanted for Guest Posts
  9. Articles at the Scribes Corner
  10. SSV’s Author Interview & Review Series
  11. Posts Live: Ramblings and Rampage
  12. Meet the PT Crew:  Guest Reviewers
  13. SSV has Won Awards! Check out the Awards Mantle.

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March 13th, 2013 News & Update

Hello, world! Silk Screen Views has been up for a few weeks and a lot has happened! Here’s a review of what’s happened on the site and a sneak peek at what’s coming up.

List of YAYS!

Celebrate our 100th Review Posting!

Enter the Contest to Win a Signed Copy of Soul Avenged!

Look at the Giveaway Contest and enter to win. The contest winner will be chosen and announced on Saturday, March 16th, 2013.

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Silk Screen Views is growing as ideas burst into life and fires up our inspiration! We’ve created new sections to the site to expand our wings and share our thoughts and news. Here’s a full list of them and what they’re about.

SSV is growing at a decent clip and there’s enough content that it could be hard to find stuff without a little help. To help navigate the site, we’ve made a Review Directory and Site Map. You can also use the Search Bar. We certainly do!

  • Review Directory:   An alphabetical listing of the books SSV reviewed.
  • Site Map:   Find via Nexus – A map of SSV & it’s sub-links.

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SSV’s 1st Voting Poll:  Help us pick out the name for our up & coming section about authors and writing. We had a tie between us about what name to use. You can help break it by showing us what you like. Go on, Pick a Name. Voting closes on 03/14 and a winner will be announced.

Michael J. Sullivan has started a Kickstarter to help fund his next independent release. Take a look at our Promo for Hollow World and see if you would like to jump on board too.

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Silk Screen Views Wants YOU!

Authors:

  1. Silk Screen Views is open to Author Review Requests. Please check out SSV’s Review Policy.
  2. SSV is looking to host/post/re-post interesting articles about writing that you have written. If you would like to share your articles here on SSV, please email Silk Screen Views or fill out the Contact form on the Nexus.

Bloggers – Reviewers – Authors: 

SSV embraces vibrant, unique perspectives and diversity. We are looking for people to write thought provoking, emotion raging articles in our Rambling and Rampage sections. If you have something uniquely you to share and interested in joining SSV’s adventures, please email Silk Screen Views or fill out the Contact form on the Nexus.

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–SNEAK PEEK–

SSV started the Author Interview & Review series to celebrate our 100th Book Review post and to start adventures that will let readers get a closer look into the authors and stories we consume readily. We aim to bring you entertaining, candid interviews with the author and a unique perspective on the book. Curious about what other authors are coming up in SSV’s AI&R series? Take a look! Please note that the authors are not listed in any particular order.

In the Gazette, we’ll be adding a new dimension! There are a lot of writers working hard to bring new stories for readers to read. The new section of the Gazette will host articles of prose and else that writers have about being an author, working in the field, trials and more. Look for it! Thomas A. Knight will be the first of many authors SSV will host.

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Soul Avenged Giveaway Contest Rules

Keri About-Photo-464x390Hello, everyone! SSV is happy to celebrate our 100th Review Post by starting an exciting new Author Interview & Review series! We’re happy to announce that Keri Lake will be the first author in AI&R and starting it off with a blast! On Monday, 03/11/2013, we will publish Keri’s interview and start the Giveaway Contest. Never fear, you have until Midnight on Friday to enter the contest.

What’s the contest?

Have you met two of the main characters from Soul Avenged?

Ayden is the fierce Alexi warrior woman who is driven by her desire for revenge. To fill her need for vengeance, she hunts down and kills Lycans. Shapeshifters that marked her and changed her life forever.

Kane Walker is a compassionate man who spent all his time working as the director of a Children’s Cancer Institute. It all changed the moment he’s attacked by werewolves. Now a victim of an attack, Kane faces agonizing changes as he transforms from a human into a Lycan. It doesn’t help that he ends up being held captive by Ayden.

CONTEST ~ What actor and actress would be the best to portray Ayden and Kane in a movie?

Get your answers ready and post it on Keri Lake’s interview!

Are you new to the Sons of Wrath series? Are you unfamiliar with Ayden and Kane? Read the interview with Keri Lake and the book review for Soul Avenged. You’ll gain an idea for the characters and a curiously growing need to read the book! Need a taste right now? Read an excerpt of the book by clicking on this link: Soul Avenged Excerpt

Join the fun! Enter SSV’s very 1st Giveaway Contest for Keri Lake’s Soul Avenged!

ANYONE can enter! This is an International Giveaway!

  • Giveaway Starts: Monday, 03/11/2013
  • Giveaway Ends: Friday Night, Midnight
  • Winner Announcement: Saturday, 03/16/2013

What’s the prize?

A signed paperback of Keri Lake’s book: Soul Avenged!

CONTEST RULES:

  1. Sign up to Follow Silk Screen View
  2. Read Keri Lake’s Interview
  3. Post a Comment on the Interview with the Following:
  • Name
  • Email
  • Contest Answers
  • A note to Keri or SSV.
  1. Enjoy the Interview & Book Review!
  2. Thank you for joining us!