Neven Carr Author Interview – Get Forgotten! #Thriller @nevencarr

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Neven Carr, who will be sharing her thoughts on reading and writing, and details of her book Forgotten.

 Neven On Writing

I find the creating process of writing very cathartic, energising. It is also a lot cheaper than spending money on therapy, retail or alcohol! I love existing in my own world for a while, toying with character’s lives, setting them up in impossible situations.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Read, read, read, every day! Write, write, write, every day! Develop a routine and stick with it. Put some distance; okay a lot of distance, between the writing and the editing process.

In addition, accept criticism as a positive thing – it took me a while to accept that, but once I did, it became my strongest writing tool.

What is your least favourite thing about writing? 

Editing, re-editing and re-re-editing.

Yes! Yes! It is highly necessary but I find it so time-consuming and so laborious. Enough said on that, thank you very much. Next question please!

What is your favourite genre(s)? 

I am a strong mystery/thriller/suspense buff. I enjoy solving puzzles, thus I love searching for clues that will help me discover the true culprit.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Okay, I am going to be greedy here and go for the entire The Lord of the Rings series. I know they are not mystery/thrillers but they are by far one of the best pieces of literature of our time. Wow! Tolkien had an imagination like no other.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far? 

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. I am finding it very different to other thrillers. It reads as if it is a true story. Very difficult to put down.

About your book…

You are living in the your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like? 

I currently live in my caravan with my dog, Boomerang, in a small town called Nankari Bay. It was nice and quiet here until all these dead bodies began appearing at an apartment complex up the road. It is time for Boomie and me to move on.

You are your most recent protagonist, What do you like doing for fun?

I like to eat pink musk sticks. They have to be pink, they just do. They calm me, help me think better, take away the bad things, well… most of the time. Failing that, there’s always good old retail therapy!

Hate doing? Cleaning, especially blood stains. Why? Do I really need to answer that???

Forgotten by Neven Carr

Murder, revenge and family betrayal, this complex, fast-paced mystery thriller from down under, has more twists than a rollercoaster! The exotic locations and gripping action scenes are guaranteed to keep you turning the pages!

Forgotten is available on Amazon!  

You can also follow Neven on her blog! nevencarr.wordpress.com

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email me at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

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Writing Characters – Perspectives and POV #writing #amwriting

When you start writing a book, you have a number (okay a plethora) of things to consider. But one important consideration, is the number of character perspectives your book will have.

Perspectives and POV are often used interchangeably. For the purpose of this article:

Perspective = who (as in the character)

POV = how (style of showing the character)


What are the options when it comes to perspectives ?

We can write from a single persons perspective, two peoples, or many. Here are the main options:

  • Single – 1 protagonist
  • Double – combination of 2 protagonists (romantic)
  • Double – 1 protagonist v 1 antagonist
  • Double – combination of 2 protagonists e.g. friends or colleagues or family members (platonic)
  • Triple – 2 protagonists (usually working together), and 1 antagonist
  • Anything more than 3 – The cast of thousands…enough said

I use the term protagonist / antagonist loosely here because I personally love blurry lines between the ‘good’ guys and the ‘bad’ guys, and books certainly don’t need to have a stereotypical representative of either type. But generally, there is one character you root for more than the others, and the reader does need to feel some level of warmth or compassion toward them, and be able to identify with them.

How many perspectives is right?

It’s very much a matter of personal taste, but some pros v cons:

  • Single is simple, but it can be constricting because it has such a narrow focus on events.
  • Movies and TV shows often focus on multiple perspective and we are often presented with details of ‘stuff’ that is going on outside the MC’s (main character) field of view or knowledge. This hidden knowledge that we (the reader or viewer) knows about, but our MC doesn’t, often drives story tension. It provokes questions such as… What will they do when they realise? How will they react?
  • With single perspective, the tension is all in real time. You get the events (and shocks) at the same time as the character does, and so this might arguably submerge the reader to a greater extent.
  • Multiple perspectives, in any combination, allow greater freedom for the writer to build the world and add dimension. Possibly at the cost of depth for your MC, since the more character perspectives you have, the less time you can spend in any single person’s head.

The antagonist perspective? 

  • No book needs an antagonist, but it does need a source of conflict, which could be a person, but might equally be a disease, a war, a natural disaster, or even a financial or emotional concern.
  • If you do have a main antagonist in the story it can be nice to get inside their head and find out what their motivation is, and all antagonists should have a powerful motivation. Of course, there are plenty of ways you can reveal this information without giving them book realestate in terms of their own perspective, but it can add an interesting dimension, and it’s something to consider.

What are the styles for writing the character POV?

The Point of view is how we show that characters perspective.

  • First person – I walked along the path.
  • Third person – She walked along the path.
  • Close third person (Internal dialog for third person) – Damn it, I don’t have my umbrella!
  • Third person cinematic – Draws the reader in from a distance i.e. describe the room or scene.
  • Narrator / Omniscient – Knows everything. (unusual)

Whether you write in the first or third person, and no matter how many perspectives your novel may have, it’s essential to see all the character’s feelings. First person and close third person use internal thoughts to jump right behind the eyes of the character.

One of my favourite writing styles is using a scene transition from third person cinematic to close third person. I love the way that it spirals in, closer and closer, until you are sitting in the character’s skin.

There’s a great write up here on character POV [3rd person point-of-view].

Selecting a POV.

  • Most people can cope with third person (most commonly used style).
  • Some people are put off by first person (second most commonly used style).
  • First person is generally used for a single protagonist, and occasionally for two perspectives. I can’t think of any books that I have read from first person POV that use more than two perspectives (but happy for examples if you have read one!)

My writing style. I use a number of perspectives (more than 3), and I couldn’t write any other way. Movies and TV rarely focus on a single person, and I enjoy the flexibility of this style when writing myself (And If Stephen King, Michael Crichton, and George RR Martin can get away with it, as far as I am concerned so can I) But it’s definitely not for everyone. Many books do have more than one perspective. Two is certainly not unusual. Three or more is less common. I write in third person POV, but I use both cinematic and close 3rd person to zoom in and out.


I would love to hear what your preferred perspectives and POV for writing and reading is! And why you like it.

The creepiest (and best) creative writing exercise for character-development

Ah the terrible things we do to our characters 🙂 Lock them in an empty room and see what they do…

what a lot of birds

Writers are constantly asking: “how can I write believable, compelling characters?”, “how can I write realistic characters?”, “how can I write characters with depth?”
The answer is, it takes practice: and here’s one way to do that.

Characters are strange things. As writers, we like to think we’re in full control of our characters, that we decide who they are and what they do in a given situation. We like to think that we’re masters of their destiny. But this is a writing exercise that’ll make you think a little differently about the imaginary people we use to populate our stories, that’ll help you get to grips with their particular traits and foibles, and could just freak you out a little along the way.

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Drive – the surprising truth about what motivates us #writing

When we start out in life, we have amazing clarity on what we want to be. Perhaps we want to be a nurse, or a vet, or a firefighter. These simple needs or aspirations that we feel as a child can be forgotten as we grow up, and we lose sight of our deepest sense of purpose. Not everyone can, should, or will be as an adult, the thing they wanted to be as a child. But it is worth exploring this early career ideal though, because it is often surprisingly close to what we want and need as an adult.

This is an old video now, and I first watched it when it came out several years ago.

The concepts explained in this video remain true, and there is a surprising truth about what motivates us.

So, the surprising thing about motivation, is that it is only loosely related to money. We need ‘enough’ money, and once we have enough, our motivation shifts to a different level.

I spend anywhere from 10 hours upwards working on writing in my spare time, many weeks it can be as high as 20 hours. I am not alone in this, and my previous survey confirmed that many of my blog readers, just like me, can spend many hours a week working on their writing projects, with little or no monetary reward.

So why do we do this? Why use our precious time on something that pays so poorly, if it pays at all?

It all comes down to the three pillars of motivation.

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.

These are the things we want and crave. These are the things that get us out of bed in the morning, and keep us tapping away at our keyboards late into the night.

Autonomy: This is about the freedom to choose within the bounds of interdependence. In other words, given a set goal or objective, having the freedom to decide for ourselves how best to achieve this can prove to be powerful both to our performance and our overall wellness.

Master: We want to improve. This really is the bottom line. Find me a writer who has just written a great book, who doesn’t want to write an even better one next time – enough said.

Purpose: This is our energy, and is derived by connecting our conquest to our higher purpose. Living your life purpose might sound like a cliche, but if we know what our life purpose is, and we can find a way to make it a part of our working or home life, then we are well on the way to living a happy, fulfilled life.

For more on the subject see The Three Pillars of Motivation

For more on finding your life purpose see How to find your life purpose

I will leave you with a thought and a question. What did you want to be when you were a child, and does it relate at all to what you are doing now? Can you see any connection between what you love doing now, and what your childhood aspirations were?

15 questions to reveal your ultimate purpose in life

Why a writer is never lonely #writer #amwriting #writing

Sometimes people ask me what I did over the weekend. When I say Oh, I did some writing, they always look at me a little funny, and wait for me to offer up something else.

The thing is, for me, a perfect weekend involves writing . . . and not a lot else.

Non-writers might think that sounds depressing. Or even a little lonely.

But a writer never feels lonely, because they are never really on their own. Their heads are full of characters and worlds, and their thoughts consumed by their quests and trials.

When you’re a writer you don’t have time to feel lonely, and you can’t imagine how it would feel to live any other way 🙂

Progress on Book 2 – Divided World Series #amwriting

It has been a busy few months since the release of book 1 in my Divided World Series. I have been busy editing book 2, which takes me an awful long time, and I went through many rounds before I felt ready to send it out to my beta readers.

I have received some excellent feedback so far (my beta readers are awesome btw), and I have made a few tweaks to address points they raised. Now, I am just waiting for the final batch of feedback, after which I will make any further necessary adjustments. Then it will be onto the last editing checks to make sure I have not stuffed anything up while I was tweaking! Which does happen 😉

While waiting on the beta feedback, I have got straight onto editing book 3, which I finished drafting in June last year…Feels like a long time ago now. Book 3 needed a little more detail on a particular story thread, so a couple more chapters have been added. Once I re-read it, I will get a feel as to whether this is sufficient. I may need to add one more chapter…will have to see. The 3rd book is already pretty chunky at 110k so I am hoping I can chop it back during editing.

Book 3 concludes all the major plot points, and provides a nice container for a significant section of the storyline. However, it will definitely carry on, and I have already started incorporating some new players for book 4 in book 3. So much fun!

One of the things I love about writing, is the delight of sitting on the humongous secrets that your book reveals along the way. I love leaving surprises along the way.

One of my other loves about writing is getting into my characters. I love how they unravel before my eyes and how the personality flaws and nuances emerge the more I think about them. I am really enjoying some of the new characters introduced in book 3 who will become the new players in book 4. I can see that they will nicely take up the slack left from those characters who will be exiting. 

In the background, I have been mulling over the idea of tackling the story of the planet’s inception. I drop hints and details along the way, but it would make a great story in itself. Also the prequel about how John Tanis and Bill Bremmer come to conflict, which I think would also make a great addition at some point…again I am deciding whether to let certain revelations out in book 3 or save it for the prequel book…ah the power you have when crafting a book! So many choices!

Wishing everyone happy reading and / or writing 🙂

About Book One – Divided Serenity

Serenity Divided, a science fiction novel, is set on a colonised planet, where a force-field wall separates the technologically advanced settlers from the planet’s native inhabitants. When an earthquake destroys the power to maintain their protective wall, a repair team will need to travel through native lands on the precipice of war, and their unlikely offer of aid will come from John Tanis—the sworn enemy of the colony leader—who was exiled ten years ago.

[Divided Serenity US]

[Divided Serenity UK]

For the latest news on Book Two, you can subscribe to my newsletter [HERE] or follow my author site G.L.Cromarty [www.GLCromarty.com]

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There are no rules on how to write #amwriting #writing

Sometimes when we write, the ideas tumble out in a dizzy onslaught that our fingers can barely keep pace with. Perhaps we are doing something unassuming, such as a task that does not require our mind’s involvement, and a scene unravels in such rapid and startling detail that we dash off to our computer, or failing that a trusty pen and pad.

At other times we have done some planning, and we know roughly what needs to transpire in a scene. We sit down at our keyboard with predetermined intent.

Sometimes the story chugs out like train carriages passing through a station. The ideas are orderly. They flow into one another without urgency, but always the next waits to fall into place just as you need it. You can see where you are, but only the next sentence is ever revealed. I often find this style yields the most surprises. Perhaps a character reveals a hidden detail about themselves, or a sudden insight into the wider plot makes itself known. These chapters need very little editing, and they leave you feeling satisfied.

Sometimes we sit down, and even knowing where the chapter must take us, find ourselves in a fight. The story resists at every single step. We try to coax it,  and then we try to push it, but neither option really works. We get to the end by shear force of will, and with a greater sense of relief than satisfaction. These drafts get the job done, but often need extensive editing to tune the quality, with whole paragraphs chopped back into a single succinct sentence. While writing these scenes may not provide much satisfaction—editing them always does.

What I learned by publishing a book. #writing #books #publishing #amwriting

Letting go is hard. No matter how much time you spend revising, or how many rounds of editing, your book will never be good enough for your satisfaction. When you do publish, you will almost certainly receive new feedback that you wish you had known before. You will need to accept that your book can always be better, but that ultimately there needs to be a point where you do let it go. The struggle for perfection is what writing is all about.

You will receive support from unexpected places. The people who take the time to read the whole book and give you their feedback are little gems. The ones who tell you if they liked it, and even if they don’t. Surprisingly, you will learn most from the less than perfect reviews, will see how you can improve, and what to look for next time around. And the people who tell their friends they loved it, there is a special place in bookish heaven for them.

That first review on Amazon or Goodreads will change your world. The idea that anyone at all could think your book is worthy of reviewing is a bit of a revelation. That this person is a complete stranger who has taken the time to read your whole book will fill you with such motivation that you cannot wait to get back to your keyboard and write some more.

It’s different on the other side. Once you publish a book, you never feel quite the same. If you love writing, then publishing is the ultimate achievement. You can’t wait to publish some more, to write better, and to move onward. Not everyone will love your work, or even like it, and it’s certainly not going to be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, but those that do enjoy your story will make those thousands of hours you spent worthwhile.

Most people don’t get how much time you spend crafting your book. Many can guess that you spent a lot of time writing the book, but what they don’t realize is that writing a book is only the start. For every hour you spend writing, you spend ten more editing it through various iterations. And then you will edit it some more!

You’re never going to be rich. Your non-writer friends might have a strange notion that you will make some money when you publish a book. You won’t make any money, not even enough to cover your costs, not with the first one, or the second one, but you might start to turn the tide later down the track.

Beta readers make a book. Those amazing people who are prepared to tackle your novel in its less-than-perfect state will help you find that final 10%. They can spot plot holes, anomalies, and the little gremlins that sneak in. And they will also tell you if they enjoy parts, or even when something made them smile 🙂 There is no better motivation than a beta reader giving you the thumbs up!