We are delighted that you could join us to talk about your new release. Could you tell us a little more about it? I’ll be happy to. ‘The Lumberjills’ is the first in a new series I’m writing about the girls who took over from the male lumberjacks when World War Two broke out. We’re going to follow the stories of four of these girls as they move around the country, felling trees, getting into scrapes and falling in love.
What was the inspiration behind your book? What prompted you to tell this story? I like to find stories about groups of people who either haven’t had their stories told or, are somewhat under represented. There are plenty of Land Girls books out there, but only a few (and very recently) for the Timber Corps (where the nickname comes from). As soon as I found out one simple fact, I knew I had to find a way to get their story out there – once you were in the Timber Corps, you were Not allowed to resign! That is how important their work was for the British wartime economy.
How long did the book take to write? How much re-writing do you normally do? This book took about three to four months to write, roughly average for me and as for re-writing, not very much. My writing style means that I generally don’t leave a chapter until I’ve it finished pretty much to my satisfaction. When I turn in a first draft, it’s usually about in common with a normal third or fourth draft also when I am writing I like to complete a full chapter before I move onto the next. I don’t know if it’s because of this, but this means that there are a few days during a week when I won’t actually add anything to my WIP. Whatever, it seems to work for me.
Without giving too much away, what was the hardest part of the book to write? I’m a ‘pantser’, so I’d have to say everything in between the start and the end, as those are about the only two bits of any book I’ve written, so far, that have any planning involved. I’ve an idea how I’m going to get between the two, though that’s not takin g into account the usual non-co-operative nature of my characters. They usually like to head off on a tangent to where I’d like them to.
Who were your favourite childhood authors? Terry Pratchett. His first Discworld novel, ‘The Colour of Magic’ came out in 1983 when I was sixteen so, as far as I’m concerned, that counts as being a child. I’d read before I discovered the late, great author’s works, but Terry’s books opened my eyes and my mind and I still regularly come back to one of his books if I need to read for pure enjoyment. Before Terry came along, the one I recall was Enid Blyton and her ‘Secret Seven’ series when I was younger, though no-one in particular comes to mind before in between before I discovered Terry.
What book do you wish you had written? ‘Guards! Guards!’ by the aforementioned Terry Pratchett! Who wouldn’t want to write a book whose original tagline stated – Captain Vimes is looking for a fifty foot dragon he believes can help him with his enquires (or something like that?)!
Can you tell us what you are working on now? I’m currently working on book 5 of my Broken Wings series. For those who aren’t sure, these are the tales of the ‘Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club’, a bunch of female pilots whose prime task is to transport planes to squadrons based around all areas of Great Britain. Though they don’t go looking for it, trouble constantly finds them hence, the Mystery Club.
About the Author
Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England but spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of the late HM Queen Elisabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots—and realizing how much he missed the travel. This he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.
He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Werecats bent on world domination, is mad on the music of the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and humoring his Manchester United-supporting wife.
Finally, and most importantly, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. The Lumberjills is the lead book in this new series from the author of the Broken Wings novels.