With work well underway on my second book, I’ve decided to start using this blog as a diary of my progress. From next week, using the notes I’ve made as I work, I’ll begin shedding some light on the inner workings of the writer (or try to). As well as updates on my work in progress, I have more author interviews lined up too – so keep an eye out for those.

And finally, free copies of my debut Young Adult e-book Haunted Fields are still available. Grab yours here:



An Interview with Katja Rusanen

So your new novel, If I Love Me, is out this week. Please tell us about it. 

If I Love Me is a story that hopefully gives you something to think about, something to talk about, and maybe even a push to start your personal transformation.

“Cuban cigars, Dom Pérignon and designer handbags. Renate has found a fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds. When she runs across her old party friend Madeleine, the re-encounter stirs memories that she had buried deep in her mind. Renate realizes that she can’t escape the consequences of her actions forever; it’s time to start making amends.

In desperation she reaches out to Madeleine who surprises her in many ways, not least by introducing her to a mystical old man who claims he can decipher her soul’s plan. Renate starts a journey into the unknown, although at first her family don’t agree with her drastic plans, especially when Renate’s big sister reveals a secret. ”If I Love Me” is a question that keeps confronting Renate as she starts to make some life-changing choices, and discovers the power of forgiveness and love.”


What challenges did you face during the writing process? 

The biggest challenge for me is rewriting and editing. It really tests my self-discipline when I need to go through the draft again and again… I know it is essential part of the writing process and therefore I pull myself through it.


Where do you look to for inspiration?

I look for inspiration within and around me. It’s often said that all fiction has a tiny kernel of truth at its centre, and in this story it’s the traumatic event that changed Renate’s life. This actually happened to me and I have expressed some of my own experiences and feelings through the novel.

What advice do you have for writers just starting out? 

Just keep writing!
If you need help on your journey, I coach writers to maintain their motivation and to make their dream of completing their own book come true!

How much marketing do you do?

There is definitely room for improvement! Lately I have focused on getting my novel ready as well as planning my move to California…    


Where can If I Love Me be purchased?

My new novel is available on Amazon. I’m looking forward to receiving feedback from readers, and I would also like to invite them to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Here are the links:
Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/WWTjkq

If you are interested in finding out more about me, please check out:
Website: www.author.katjarusanen.com
Twitter: @KatjaRusanen

 Download IF I LOVE ME by Katja Rusanen.jpg (1409.0 KB)

Katja Rusanen is a Finnish writer who swapped the Nordic winters for Barcelona sunshine in 2004, and is now moving to Santa Monica, California. Her debut novel “And You Must Love Me” was published in 2011, and its stand-alone sequel “But He Loves Me” came out in 2013. They are part of a transformational trilogy where she projects her own experiences and feelings through her writing. The final part of the trilogy, a stand-alone sequel, “If I Love Me” came out in September 2014.

Katja is a Spiritual Life Coach and writes a blog about how you can turn your wounds into wisdom and be the star of your life. She also coaches writers to maintain their motivation and to make their dream of completing their own book come true!

She is involved in charity work and participated in a Kilimanjaro charity climb for the Amani Children’s Home in Tanzania, in February 2012. Katja has a soft spot in her heart for Amani which has her ongoing support.

Reliably Unreliable

Guild Of Dreams

by Bruce Blake


fightclubRecently, I had a few extra minutes on my hands during my lunch at work, so I decided to fire up YouTube and waste a little time watching a video or two. The first one I decided on was a top 10 list…specifically a WatchMojo video counting down their version of the top movie narrators. Among them were two of my favourites: Fight Club and Memento, both of which are excellent examples of the use of the unreliable narrator.

I can’t say too much about Fight Club without giving stuff away (the first rule of Fight Club is don’t talk about Fight Club), so you’ll have to trust me that Edward Norton’s unnamed character (known even in the credits simply as ‘the narrator’) is completely unreliable in his relating the events of the movie.

Memento is easier to take a look at; the premise…

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An Interview with Matthew Peters

This week I had the privilege of interviewing American author Matthew Peters about his debut novel, Conversations Among Ruins.

Your first novel, Conversations Among Ruins, was released last week. What’s it about?

Conversations Among Ruins is a novel about addiction and mental illness. It is about the effects these conditions have on the life of the main character, a college professor named Daniel Stavros. It tries to show from the inside just what hell addiction and mental illness can be. At the same time, the book offers a message of hope for those who struggle with such conditions, or know of someone who does.

Obviously the book is a work of fiction, with a serious subject matter at its core. Are you hoping that any success will help raise awareness about the dual diagnosed?

I certainly hope so. It is estimated that 6 out of 100 Americans have a dual diagnosis. It is estimated that 29% of those who suffer emotional/mental disorders have abused substances and that 53% of substance abusers have had a psychiatric problem. Famous individuals among the dual diagnosed include Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, and Sigmund Freud. Robin Williams was also dual diagnosed.

Where do you look to for inspiration?

I look to meditation, music, and nature for inspiration. I also look to the stories of people I know as harbingers of hope. I also reflect back on my own struggles. The difference between what my life was and what my life is today provides me with continuous inspiration.

How do you organise your writing day?

My writing day is organized into two major parts. In the first part, from the time I first get up, which is very early, I do all the creative stuff that needs to be done. This includes writing, rewriting, and editing. I do this for about four hours, before moving on to the second part of the day, which consists of research, marketing, and publicity.

Do you have any advice for young writers just starting out?

Yes. First, read the classics and as much good literature as you can get your hands on. Read widely, too, from poetry and plays to science and politics. If you don’t read well, you can’t write well.

Second, realize that you may have several stories or even novels in you that you must write to get out of your system. In many cases, these will not be salable. That’s okay. Most of us have a lot of bad writing inside of us that needs to get out before we get to the good stuff. Growth for writers is a process. Be patient with it.

Third, don’t be a perfectionist. I think perfectionism kills. Realize that unlike other professions, say neurosurgery, writers don’t have to get it right the first time. We have the luxury of being able to revise our product as much as we wish. Realize that, and let it free you up in the writing process. Write junk if you have to, but write. Anne Lamott talks about a “shitty first draft.” Indeed. Most first, second, and third drafts are pretty lousy. But that’s okay. Give yourself permission to write and to not be perfect. You can always revise later.

Fourth, it’s okay not to be in love with writing every second of every day. It’s natural to resent it at times. Don’t stuff these feelings. Take a break if you can, and then come back to it.

Fifth, join a writing group. Make sure others read and give you feedback on your writing. Make sure someone other than your parents or significant other reads your work. But also be wary of taking too much constructive criticism from too many people—too many writers can spoil the plot (among other things).

Sixth, and I’ll stop here, before you submit your work to an agent/publisher or self-publish, make sure it is free from typos, grammatical, and factual errors. If you can afford it, have a content editor and a copy editor go through your work and polish it until it shines. Don’t submit anything for publication until it represents your absolute, best effort. I think you’ll be surprised how much that will help distinguish from among other writers.

E-book or printed book?

I still prefer a printed book, but I got a Kindle for my birthday and I have to say I’m liking it much more than I thought I would.

Harry Potter or Twilight?

Neither, but if forced to choose, then Harry Potter.

Literary fiction or genre fiction?

Literary fiction.

Thank you, Matthew, for becoming my first interviewee. I downloaded Conversations Among Ruins yesterday and have to say that from reading the opening chapters, I get the feeling that this is a powerful piece of storytelling. Where can readers purchase a copy of Conversations Among Ruins?

Conversations Among Ruins can be purchased in the following places:

Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1phAi7v

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1oASGcG

Barnes & Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1t6Q31L

All Things That Matter Press Paperback: http://bit.ly/1rBiB1e





The notoriously difficult second book

So, book number two. Since finishing the final draft of my first book, Haunted Fields, back in November of last year, I’ve continuously promised myself that tomorrow is the day for work to begin on the next project. However, work is yet to commence. Through this blog, I intend to give the reader an insight into the challenges facing an author starting afresh.

Haunted Fields, through its many reinventions and countless drafts, was an eight-year project. I’d like to have book number two finished by the end of the year! I’m facing a dilemma though – sequel, or something different? I have an outline for a sequel, and at some point in the future I’ll no doubt revisit the community I created in Haunted Fields, but for now, I’d like try something else. So what to write? I want to stay in the Young Adult genre. Mystery appeals to me, as does a touch of horror. I’d also like to write something with a slightly shorter time span. A story set over a day or two, for example. I’ve also decided to have a go at writing this project in the first person.

The concept for this book began with a daydream I had a few months back. I decided to research the subject area concerned and discovered a mysterious world full of controversy, and interesting individuals. So, I have five pages of research, a brief outline of the plot and a vague sense of where I’m heading. The pencils have been sharpened, the notebook opened, the excuses exhausted. Tomorrow work begins. Thank you for reading.

My debut YA thriller, Haunted Fields, is available as an ebook from most ebook stores, including –  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunted-Fields-Dan-Moore-ebook/dp/B00JBEWAJU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401221038&sr=8-1&keywords=Haunted+Fields