Sunday, 20 May 2018

"The Little Mouse" & "Diana Talks"

There is a segment of the blog for "The Review" called "Diana Talks," hosted by the superlative Diana Milne, a good friend of mine. The purpose of the segment is to interview writers and is, without fail, interesting to read what makes so many of those talented people click. With the release of my next book, a story for all ages entitled "The Little Mouse," due to be released this Friday, today it was my turn in Diana's visitor's chair.

It's always good fun to talk with Diana, but you have to be on your toes, otherwise her quick whit will have you feeling like the 'straight man' in a comedy duo that you had neither expected, or were prepared for.

The following is the interview. If you want to read it in its entirety, click here, and don't forget to leave a comment at the end.



Today I welcome C. W. Lovatt to *Diana Talks... *

Today I welcome C. W. Lovatt to *Diana Talks... *

On 25th May,  C W Lovatt is releasing a new book, The Little Mouse, a complete change from his usual genre, with illustrations by Angel Rose. Two days before, on Wednesday 23rd May, the Review is hosting my in depth review of this charming and life affirming book. I won't give any spoilers now, but watch the Review Blog for the post on Wednesday.




*

The Hi Chuck. It is a real pleasure to talk to you here. Not only do I consider you a friend, I consider you an exceptionally talented writer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to see  a little of what goes on inside that formidably intelligent brain of yours ...

Are you sitting comfortably.

No??

Well, never mind... (sigh) ... wriggle around a bit then and let's just get on with the talk ...

First things first I am sure there is a question that you have always longed to be asked. Now is the chance. Ask your own question and answer it!


My own question, eh? Hmm, that is different! Let’s see, I’m going to go with ‘what’s it like being a writer?’

Well, it’s not as glamorous as I thought it would be, but remember I’ve dreamed of becoming a writer almost as soon as I learned how to read. As a consequence, there’s been plenty of time for that dream to grow to surpass all reason. For instance, I was going to own a tropical island and live in a house that opened up like a clam shell – you know, glamorous stuff like that. It’s laughable now, even risible, but that dream stood me in good stead over the years, through some really bleak times. When others (ie sane people) had nothing at all, I would always have that dream to sustain me. So when that long awaited first royalty cheque arrived and that dream vanished with an almost audible ‘pop,’ I couldn’t really begrudge its leaving, because it had already served me so well.

If your latest book, “Interim,” the second book of the Josiah Stubb trilogy, was adapted into a TV show or a film, who would you like to play the lead role?

I had to get some help with this one as I’m not as up on film actors as I used to be. A friend suggested Tom Hardy, so let’s go with him to play Josiah Stubb.


What made you choose this genre?

Historical Fiction appeals to me, so I figured that, if I’m going to sit down and write something as lengthy as a novel – to dedicate so much of myself, pouring my heart and guts out onto the page - it had better be about something that I’m interested in.

How do you get ideas for plots and characters?

Plots and characters are what make writing such a joy. Plots are usually the product of a ‘eureka’ moment I often have when something triggers the kernel of an idea. As far as characters go, I’ve never written any with a preconceived idea in mind, just as I’ve never had a preconceived idea about meeting a person. We introduce ourselves as would anyone else, and get to know one another over the course of time.

If, as a one off, (and you could guarantee publication!)  you could write anything you wanted, is there another genre you would love to work with and do you already have a budding plot line in mind?

I began my career writing short stories, with some success, winning awards and so on. During that time there can’t have been too many genres that I didn’t explore. In that light, I’m not afraid of other genres, in fact we’re old friends, and many examples can be found in in an eclectic anthology I’m very proud of entitled “And Then It Rained.”  (Note from Diana: If "And Then It Rained" is not my favourite book of all time, it certainly is there in the top three. Heck! What am I saying?? Thinking of the title story again and others that I love with a passion bordering on insanity for a story, yep, it has just been promoted to definitely my favourite book of all time!)

Was becoming a writer a conscious decision or something that you drifted into (or even something so compelling that it could not be denied?) How old were you when you first started to write seriously.

I would have to say that it was compelling. Why, I’ve no idea, it’s just something that I’ve come to accept over time. I wrote my first novel, longhand, back in my mid to late twenties, and you have to be serious to tackle a project like that.

Marmite? Love it or hate it?
Erm...it's an acquired taste...

Do you have any rituals and routines when writing? Your favourite cup for example or ‘that’ piece of music...??

I suppose my greatest ritual is to try to clear my desk before starting a new project. I need to keep distractions to a minimum, so that finding that ‘centre’ is more achievable. After that, it’s pretty much whatever works. I’ve written with the music on and with it off, in my office, in front of the television, out on my deck at night, or in the morning (summer and winter,) and out under the giant cottonwoods in my yard. Each novel has had its own routine, and I’m rather curious what it will be for my next one. Really, I’m a bit like a cat before taking a nap, turning and turning, before finally finding the place where I’m most comfortable.
(Note from Diana: Hmm. Clear? Desk? Clear desk?  Nope. I don't understand those words put together in that format!)

I promise I won’t tell them the answer to this, but when you are writing, who is more important, your family or your characters?

That’s a very good question and I’m glad you asked it! Next question, please…
((Laughing. Loudly!!))

Other than writing full time, what would be your dream job?

I always wanted to be the next Neil Young.
(Note from Diana: Well, you can't. End of.)

Coffee or tea? Red or white?

Ooo, herbal tea, please (don’t judge,) and red.

How much of your work is planned before you start? Do you have a full draft or let it find its way?

I don’t have a plan, and that includes not having a plan to not having a plan. Sometimes I’ll write at least a partial outline, and sometimes I won’t write one at all. It depends on the project and (I’m coming to suspect) the phase of the moon.  😂

If you had free choice over the font your book is printed in, what font/fonts would you choose?

Trust YOU to ask this one! Okay then, let’s see: so far Times New Roman is working for me, but you never know what the future holds. What I can tell you is that I’m not a fan of Helvetica.
(Everyone hates Helvetica! Printers hated Helvetica. It was the 'new big thing and everyone wanted it', but it was expensive and hard to get hold of.)

Imagine that you could get hold of any original source document. What would it be?

The note that Lord Raglan scribbled to Lord Lucan, that caused the The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Have any of your characters ever shocked you and gone off on their own adventure leaving you scratching your head??? If so how did you cope with that!?

Oh those characters! When haven’t they shocked me? But the thing to remember about writing is that it’s not about you, it’s about the story – always the story – and the thing to remember about the story is that it’s the characters who are telling it, the writer is merely the chronicler. So in answer to your question I pretty much give them their head, and try to keep up.

How much research do you do and do you ever go on research trips?

Writing Historical Fiction requires extensive research…that is if you don’t want to look like an absolute fool. Nothing drives me around the bend more than to read such a work and find that it is riddled with inaccuracies. Further, I feel strongly that a work of Historical Fiction should be seen as an alternate reference book – something that takes those dry old textbooks, that we’ve all had to endure in school, and makes them interesting by weaving a tale through the facts.

As for research trips, I often travel to where the story is taking place, but not always. For the first book of the Josiah Stubb trilogy I went to see the fortress of Louisbourg for myself, and then on to St. John’s Newfoundland. For the second and third books, I travelled to Quebec City, and then drove the length of the Gaspé Peninsula. In 2015 I flew down to Australia and drove across the Nullarbor Plain while researching for “Adventures Downunder” – the latest in the Charlie Smithers Collection.

Fiction authors have to contend with real characters invading our stories. Are there any ‘real’ characters you have been tempted to prematurely kill off or ignore because you just don’t like them or they spoil the plot?

Good lord no! If they spoil the plot, then it’s the plot that’s at fault. Create another one, by all means, but if you value your credibility, don’t alter the facts by one iota.

Are you prepared to go away from the known facts for the sake of the story and if so how do you get around this?

See above. Blasphemy!

Do you find that the lines between fact and fiction sometimes become blurred?

I certainly hope so; it’s my business to do just that.

Have you ever totally hated or fallen in love with one of your characters?
Loiyan, my first leading lady, I loved her desperately.

(Note from Diana: We, the readers, could tell the depth of feeling with which this wonderful woman was written. It shone throughout the pages of not just the first book, but the second and third. I will never forget her plaintive cry of Charleeeee.)


What do you enjoy reading for pleasure?
Anything, as long as it’s well written.

What drink would you recommend drinking whilst reading your latest book?

A good stiff tot of something distilled. The action gets a bit intense at times.

Last but not least... favourite author?

My idol, George MacDonald Fraser, the author of the Flashman books.

Thank you, Chuck. That was a wonderful talk. 

You can read C W Lovatt's blog and find out more about him at Story River

He lives in Canada, where it is cold, and is the self-appointed Writer-In-Residence of Carroll, Manitoba, (population +/- 20).


If you wish to pre-order "The Little Mouse," click here.



Saturday, 19 May 2018

The Little Mouse

Release date May 25. Available to pre-order now!

A delightfully satisfying story." ~ Book Reviewers Online

"This tale, which will appeal to all ages, carries not just one, but several important and poignant messages. Without being 'preachy,' the book lets the reader carry away a positive and life affirming precept." ~ The Review

http://mybook.to/tlm


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

"The Little Mouse" - A Review From 'Book Reviewers International'

The following is an editorial review from Book Reviewers International, for my children's story, "The Little Mouse,"release date May 25. Available to pre-order now. Many thanks to Celine Lai for her kind words.

Just a note further: While Celine states that the book is suitable for twelve years and up, that's her opinion. While each child develops differently, after consulting with someone who has studied child development, and worked with children for twenty-five years (not to mention having children and grandchildren of her own,) Wild Wolf and myself still maintain that it's suitable for five years and up.

 Click here to pre-order your own copy of "The Little Mouse" - a #1 best-seller the first day it went on pre-order.

 



The Little Mouse

The Little Mouse by C.W. Lovatt reviewed by Celine
Published by:  Wild Wolf Publishing
Format:   Kindle 79 pages
Date of publication:  25 May 2018 –   pre-order through Amazon
Genres:   Fiction, spiritual, animals, fantasy, children’s book
REVIEW
A well written and well-crafted memorable fantasy story for ages 12 and above, with an exciting and colorful narrative that keeps the reader on their toes and wondering what will happen.  This wonderful story is sprinkled with amazing forest creatures, with whom you feel as though you are right there with them as this gripping tale un-folds.
Magic is seamlessly woven into the story in a believable fashion, and as I read, I felt that I was traveling with a Jedi Mouse who performed great feats of hands on healing.  The themes are quite apparent – that no-one is too small to achieve something, to believe in oneself, people can change, and that we are all inter-connected.
Above all, the Little Mouse shows one never to give up but to trust in one’s inner resources or higher guidance, as the story takes you through rather stressful or unpleasant scenarios, akin a little to the original story of Bambi where Bambi’s father is shot and taken from him.
Some of the expressions or sentences are at a reading comprehension level for the older child, and the story may enhance a child’s vocabulary because a few words in the story may be unknown to them.  There were 2 words which I had to look up in the dictionary, indicating the breadth of the vocabulary in this story; but I didn’t mind doing that at all, and when I was quite young I read a lot of books for which I did just that.
Toward the end of the story there are quite graphic descriptions of violence toward animals of which a parent should judge whether this would be suitable for the tender thoughts of children younger than 12.   This part of the story is integral to the themes however, and any discomfort to the reader serves to bolster the intent of the tale, which to me is multi-layered, being not to treat animals as objects for the pleasure of sport, and to believe in and use all of your natural resources and a combination of will-power to get what you want, if it is ethical.
Altogether a delightfully satisfying story for an adult or mature young person to read, and definitely I can see this story a movie taking its place alongside the classics.
Very exact and descriptive words are used which immediately paint a magical tale where all the characters, both of the animal and human type, come to life, as unique beings; whose fates you are gripped by.
I really enjoyed reading this story because even though it described unpleasant real-life situations, it has a happy ending, and it is a metaphorical story that firmly encourages us to think about what we do from all vantage points, and to respect, understand and care for each other, and to work together, woven into a story of warmth and courage and companionship.



Click here to read Celine's review on her blog page.


Click here to pre-order your own copy of "The Little Mouse" - a #1 best-seller the first day it went on pre-order.


Friday, 27 April 2018

"The Little Mouse" - Available to Pre-Order!

I'm very proud of my next book, to be released on May 25. Appropriate for 5 years and up, "The Little Mouse," combined with the exquisite cover and illustrations, by the gifted artist, Angel Rose, is a story that is sure to appeal to all ages. In just its first day to pre-order, it did quite well, shooting up to #1 in both Canada and the UK in their leading categories.

To titillate your mind even further, here is the blurb: 

"From the creator of Charlie Smithers comes an endearing story, reminiscent of fairy tale classics of yesteryear. Filled with enchantment and meaning, this charming tale appeals to young and old alike, portraying how even the least among us can change the world."


Click here to pre-order your copy today!


Now here's a real treat: the following are the cover and illustrations by the extremely talented Angel Rose (you're welcome!):













CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!


Saturday, 13 January 2018

"And Then It Rained_ - A Review - "In One Word: Superb!"

Sorry folks, I'm having trouble with my touch pad so couldn't copy and paste, but posted the link instead.

Thank you, HC, UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/RB6UUQRD1RB9V/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01DCNN4ZE

Follow this link to purchase your own copy of "And Then It Rained": http://myBook.to/atr




Sunday, 22 October 2017

"Adventures in India" - A Review - "Pure Brilliance"

Cheers Robert!

 .0 out of 5 starsPure Brilliance
on 21 October 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well researched, evocative story that takes the reader to another time and place through the skilled penmanship of the author. Clever plot and delightful characters...definitely an author to watch.

Robert Southworth author of the Spartacus Chronicles and Ripper Legacies.

Click here to purchase your own copy of "Charlie Smithers: Adventures in India."



"Interim - A Review - "A Riveting Read From Start to Finish!"

Thank you HC,UK!


on 19 October 2017
This is the second book in the Josiah Stubb series and in my opinion is even better than the first. C W Lovatt writes with such attention to historical detail and with an empathy and affection for his characters that it is a joy to read. Full of excitement, and building up momentum as it goes along, I did not want to put the book down on many occasions. He cleverly weaved threads from the first novel into the second and at times I'd nod to myself smiling whilst thinking "Oh now that is a clever touch". The book gathers pace so quickly, especially towards the end, that the chapters themselves become shorter as if to build up the suspense and excitement as he tells the story from the minds of the different characters as the fighting and story unfolds (and in the first person too, which is a stroke of literary genius.) I love how we see Josiah's achievements , but how he still doubts himself. I do not want to go into too much detail as it will give the story away (especially for those that have read the first book and want to find out for themselves) but to say I'm looking forward to the third book is an understatement.. Bravo Mr Lovatt. and thank you.

Click here to purchase your own copy of "Josiah Stubb: Interim."