#Tour! #Guestpost from @LizTrenow, author of ‘The Silk Weaver’. @panmacmillan

sw

 

I really think we should all take a moment to appreciate how beautiful the tour banner and book cover are!

I am absolutely thrilled to be today’s stop on Liz Trenow’s blog tour for her upcoming novel, The Silk Weaver, which will be published on the 26th January by Panmacmillan. If you haven’t come across the book as of yet, here is the blurb:

sw1

1760, Spitalfields. Anna Butterfield’s life is about to change forever, as she moves from her idyllic Suffolk home to be introduced into London society. A chance encounter with a French silk weaver, Henri, draws her in to the volatile world of the city’s burgeoning silk trade. Henri is working on his ‘master piece’, to become a master weaver and freeman; Anna longs to become an artist while struggling against pressure from her uncle’s family to marry a wealthy young lawyer.

As their lives become ever more intertwined, Henri realises that Anna’s designs could give them both an opportunity for freedom. But his world becomes more dangerous by the day, as riots threaten to tear them apart forever . . .

Inspired by real historical events and characters, The Silk Weaver is a captivating, unforgettable story of illicit romance in a time of enlightenment and social upheaval

The Silk Weaver by Liz Trenow can be pre-ordered now from Amazon , ready for publication on the 26th January (e-book & paperback).

Today, my tour stop consists of a guest post which lets us into Liz’s inspiration behind her novel, The Silk Weaver. Thank you Liz!
I was researching the history of my family’s silk weaving business, which started in

Spitalfields, East London, in the early 1700s (and is still weaving today in Sudbury, Suffolk)
and discovered that the first address was in Wilkes Street. Just a few yards away is the
house where the eminent silk designer Anna Maria Garthwaite lived at around the same
time. It was so exciting to imagine that she would have known and worked with my
ancestors.

Anna Maria was one of the most celebrated textile designers of the eighteenth century, her
silks were worn by royalty and nearly a thousand of her designs are in the Victoria & Albert
Museum in London. Yet no-one knows how she learned her craft or how an unmarried
middle-aged woman managed to develop such a successful business in a male dominated
industry.

It is this mystery that sparked the idea for the novel.

About the author.

sw2

Liz Trenow is the author of three previous historical novels: The Last Telegram, The Forgotten Seamstress and The Poppy Factory. Liz’s family have been silk weavers for nearly three hundred years, and she grew up in the house next to the mill in Suffolk, England, which still operates today, weaving for top-end fashion houses and royal commissions.

This unique history inspired her first two novels, and this, her fourth novel.

Liz is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in East Anglia, UK, with her artist husband, and they have two grown-up daughter.


Advertisements

New year, New..? No! #TWGTalks

help-1

Seeing as we are in a brand new year, I thought that I would revamp a feature from 2016 that seemed to be quite popular! If you’ve been following my blog since day one, you might remember ‘What’s on your mind TWG?’ where I took controversial book related subjects, and spoke about them. As you do. However, seeing as I am aiming to become a freelance writer (or thereabouts), I thought that it would be good to showcase my writing in the only way I know how: talking. I am called the WRITING Garnet after all!

So, the title of this post; ‘New Year, New..? No!’, it is pretty vague eh? We are now into a brand new year (well, 15 days into it, who’s counting?) and usually that comes with the ‘new year, new me’ and 134542473773 resolutions that are usually broken within 12 hours (I’m being generous). If you are one of the rare few that do actually keep their new years resolutions then that is excellent! However, do we really need to pile on the pressure every single year with the whole ‘new me’ fiasco? If you wanted to change part of your lifestyle or try something new, you could do that any day of the year and own it. Why is the nod from the New Year so important?

‘When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what would I be, will I be pretty, will I be rich, here’s what she said to me’……

Go and be yourself and don’t give a fudgewallop what anybody else thinks!

You thought I was going to break into a bit of ‘Que sera sera’-ing didn’t you? My mum has actually said that line above by the way! Maybe not with those EXACT words, cough fudgewallop cough, but I am sure you get the gist. Did I listen to her though? Let’s just say that some human beans that I had the displeasure of being acquainted with, had other ideas for my confidence and self-worth. So yes, I did give a fudgewallop what everyone else thought of me and if I’m honest, I still do (to an extent). Recently I got betrayed by a person that I thought was a really good friend. They took my vulnerability and shredded it whilst trying to mould me into the person that THEY could ‘cope’ with. My illnesses, my struggles, my down days, the way I organised things in my home, everything – they all became problematic to that person. ‘What did you do?’ I hear you ask, I took a step back, removed their toxic asshat from my bubble and reviewed my life. Well, after bonding with tissues and coming to terms with the bullying & betrayal that is.

You’re probably wondering what my little story has to do with the new year, right? Fear not, I will explain…eventually. It dawned on me that I had spent most of my life changing myself to fit in with those around me, or making myself out to be something that I am quite clearly not. I lost sight of me, Kaisha. I didn’t know who I was, all I knew was what everyone else wanted me to be. But you know what? Nah, no more.

If you know me, you probably know my story (if not, it’s on a previous blog post, somewhere). You’ll know that my whole life is controlled by my body and things that I cannot see and cannot do anything about. Why the monkeybum would I want to then mould myself around other folk? I never knew that I was Play Doh!

Personally, New Year isn’t about creating a brand new you. By all means, if you want to do daring things, lose weight or have different aims in life, then go for it! You don’t need to become a brand new you to do that though, do you? If we stood in front of a mirror, it wouldn’t take us long to pick out all of the things that we dislike about ourselves. We have all done it, and we most probably will continue to do it. As Izzy from ‘A Year Of Saying Yes’ (part 1&2 are out now) by Hannah Doyle says; we don’t take the time to appreciate our lines, our beauty.

Don’t change yourself because we have entered a new year. Don’t change yourself because someone has a chip on their shoulder and your addition of salty sass ruins their vinegar. Make aims. Say YES to things (only if you want to though). Aim to become a better you, not a brand new you.

If it turns out that people cannot handle you, handle yourself and OWN IT. If you are having a asshat of a day and can’t stop crying; DON’T! It’s your life.

It’s YOUR song so YOU choose the dance.
New Year, I’m still me, and you’re still you.

A chat with the #LifeSwap lady herself – Carol Wyer!

Carol copyuntitled (3)

Edit: included in #TalkOfTheTown Talk of the town with help from Carol!

First of all I would like to say a MASSIVE congratulations to the truly wonderful Carol Wyer, as today (22nd April 2016) is the publication date for her newest novel – Life Swap! A few weeks ago, if you remember, I posted a review of the novel as I was lucky enough to read it before the release date! Thank you again to Carol and Bookouture for allowing me to do so. If you can’t remember the review (I’ll be insulted if you can’t!!!), then please click the following link to have a nose: Life Swap by Carol Wyer.

Ever since that review was posted, I have had the honour and privilege to be included in Carol’s circle, an honour I do not take lightly. It does mean the world to me. However, I do have ONE small moan….I mean….I know newsletters are the thing with authors and so on, but honestly…where the fried eggs are my marshmallows?!? Marshmallows do seem to be the topic of conversation lately, and I am sure you’re wondering why.

Well, if you hop along to Amazon UK/Amazon US/Amazon Worldwide to buy your copy! Go on! You will regret it if you don’t. But, before you do, I managed to nab the busy lady herself for a natter. Sit back and relax. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Carol to The Writing Garnet. Here’s what we had a chat about:

Kaisha: Where did you get the inspiration from for the ‘Life Swap’?

Carol: As is the case with most of my books it started when I was eavesdropping a conversation. To be fair I was included in the conversation but was only half-paying attention at the time. A friend was leafing through a magazine while simultaneously complaining about her lot in life. My ears pricked up when she announced she would like to swap lives with Kim Kardashian. When pressed on the matter, she was adamant that she would give up everything and everyone she knew if someone could magically get her to exchange lives. It lead to a discussion about who we would swap with and why and would we really give up it all to swap lives.

Kaisha: Several of the events were hilariously farfetched; did you find those parts hard to write?

Carol: No. I have a truly bizarre sense of humour. Sorry folks but I do. I rarely sleep so maybe its a product of a hyper-active, completely over-tired brain. I lie awake most nights just thinking about stuff and plotting for my books. My mind often relays events of the day to me as if they were in a cartoon and people are little cartoon figures. Don’t ask me why that happens but a recent conversation with my mother revealed she does the same. I think it’s some sort of coping mechanism so when things are tough my brain makes them easier to digest. When I write some of the more far-fetched scenes in my books, I imagine them first like they’re employing out in a comedy film acted by someone like Ben Stiller or Rowan Atkinson. My mind rolls my books as films throughout the night and I stop the scene, replay, change sequences or characters, re-roll the scene in my head and when I am happy with it, convert it to writing.

Kaisha: Every chapter in the book had a turn of events or a cliff-hanger, how did you decide to do that?

Carol: It’s deliberate. I’m afraid I am a manipulator of emotions. I learned the technique of leaving cliffhangers when i studied Literature years ago. I always encourage the reader to be urged on. i want them to be reluctant to put the book down. It’s pretty much how I read too. I am a speed reader and I gallop through books at a rate of knots.

Kaisha: Do you think it warrants a sequel, ‘The life after the demonised life swap’?

Carol: Tempting as it is to pick up these characters again, I think it’s run its course. The surprise element would be difficult to replicate in a sequel.

Kaisha: I must ask this, do you have an obsession with marshmallows? You manage to describe them on an impressive level!

Carol: I have an obsession with sweets in general and I adore marshmallows. I get through bags and bags of sweets when I am typing. I have had to cut down dramatically as the last three times I have broken teeth on chewy jelly sweets and had to get new crowns. This next book I am going to abstain…really…well, maybe only a few marshmallows.

Kaisha: If you were able to life swap with anyone, who would it be and why? Doesn’t have to be someone you’ve met!

Carol: I’d swap with the businesswoman Celia Sawyer. She’s one of the most influential businesswomen in the UK, runs a hugely successful interior design company and property company, is a dealer on Channel Four’s Four Rooms, flies about in a beautiful jet, has homes in London and Barbados, hangs out with celebrities, is very intelligent, stunning, looks incredibly glamorous and owns the most amazing collection of footwear including some Christian Louboutin boots I covert. Sadly, I’m pretty certain she wouldn’t want to swap lives with me and drive on a windy hill with Mr Grumpy.

Kaisha: You have a wild sense of humour, have you always been like that?

Carol: It’s a very long story but the shortened version is I developed a sense of humour really early on in my life as a way to combat bullies. I was one of those kids that got picked on thanks to looking weird, wearing specs and then smashing out my front teeth and having false teeth that kept falling out!

At one point when I was pretty low, my mum took me to see Ken Dodd who I loved and that changed my life. He made everyone laugh so much and didn’t care about his sticky out hair or sticky out teeth. He sang a song at the end of the show called, happiness and in my 11-year-old mind I fused happiness and laughter. From that day, I started to laugh at myself and made others laugh. They laughed with me rather than at me and I discovered the power of humour.

Kaisha: What has been your proudest writing achievement to date?

Carol: There have been a few but when I got interviewed on BBC Breakfast about my book Grumpy Old Menopause I was elated and when I won the People’s Book Prize Award for the same book last year and accepted my prize at a glitzy award ceremony that was televised by Sky News, I felt over the moon.

Kaisha: Are there any authors you have found to be a type of role model?

Carol: When I first started writing I wrote to Janet Evanovich who I admire hugely. She answered my email and encouraged me to “go for it”. I loved her for taking time to email me even though she was so busy. I would love to be as successful as her and write such hugely entertaining books.

Kaisha: What did you aspire to when you were a child? Has it always been to write?

Carol: Actually, I wanted to be a vet but I failed Biology at school and ended up doing languages instead. I was always good at English and one teacher in particular pointed out to the class that I was extremely good at writing comedy (even way back then). I have been writing since I was twenty. I started when I was bed bound in hospital for many weeks, then wrote stories for children when I lived in Morocco. I didn’t try and get them published because I didn’t believe I was good enough.

It took me until my thirties to send some children’s stories away to a publisher. They were illustrated stories about animals in France and taught basic French to children. We were in talks to sign to a big publishing house when my best friend and illustrator died suddenly and I pulled the books. I didn’t try to get published again until I started writing full-time in 2009.

Kaisha: If you could have written any book that has already been published, which one would you choose and why?

Carol: I wish I’d written Fifty Shades of Grey. Ha! Seriously, I can’t write sex scenes for love nor money. During a conversation with my 82-year-old mother while I was writing Just Add Spice, I made some comment about writing a sex scene and she laughed. The next day I got a letter from her containing a photo of a handsome naked man and the note, “To jog your memory.”. It’s not so much the content of the book that I wish I’d written but I would love to see my books being hauled off the shelves in supermarkets as if there was going to be a shortage f them. Oh to have that success!


Kaisha: What writing habits do you despise?

Carol: Shoddy editing. I cannot read a book that is full of typos and poor grammar. I’ll accept a few mistakes but some authors (especially self-published ones) are too keen to publish their books as soon as they complete them and ignore how important it is to edit.


Thank you Carol for such a wonderful chat. It has to be the most funniest interview I have ever had. So, you have heard it here first, she wishes she had written ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. You never know, Carol’s next novel might be an erotic one, possibly involving melted marshmallows….or not!

Life swap is available to buy RIGHT NOW from Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon Worldwide. Also, if you want to keep up to date with Carol’s humour and updates of new novels, then you can follow her blog right here: Carol Wyer’s Blog. If you are in need of a pick me up and feel you need to lose yourself for a little while, then I suggest you go and buy this. You will not be disappointed, I certainly wasn’t. Bizarrely hilarious from the onset. Carol Wyer, it has been a pleasure having you on the blog today, and congratulations on your latest release!