She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.
– Annie Dillard
She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.
– Annie Dillard
Publisher: Medina Publishing
Publication Date: January 19, 2020
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Buy: Medina Publishing
In the early 1920's, immaculate gentleman, Jacques Doucet descends into the world of anarchist art, the occult and the dark turmoil of his past - involving the death of his beloved Madame R.
A disastrous journey leads the couturier and patron of the arts to confront the celebrated bohemians of the city, including Max Jacob, André Breton and Pablo Picasso. When troubled Doucet acquires the world's most dangerous painting, it causes him to hack at the root of Picasso's darkest secrets. Doucet showcases a fabulous art collection with such frenzied energy he destroys himself. Unwittingly in the process he discovers modern art's incredible genesis.
Where do you get your ideas for your books? Who or what inspired your idea?
CF: My dad Ray is an inspirational person who has worked on a wide range of amazing projects and I have worked alongside him for many years. He is a polymath, practical as well as academic. He wrote a thesis on the great collector Jacques Doucet in the eighties. Every now and again a story comes along that is so powerful it has to be told and this is one of them.The subject propelled us into working on it for more than 10 years firstly as a screenplay and then as a novel. For a time Ray was a collector of art deco furniture - reaching great heights with his acquisitions and exhibitions of items by top French designers. The quality and value of French furniture from around this period is staggering. Ray discovered that the strand of art deco commissioned by and designed for Jacques Doucet, was prized above all the rest. Doucet was also the first buyer of 'Les Demoiselles d’Avignon', known as the first cubist painting and this is the focus and most fascinating part of our story.
How did you develop the plot and your characters? Are your characters based on anyone?
CF: Our characters are taken from real life. We have tried to follow true history as far as we possibly can. Certain characters, most particularly Picasso is so well documented that it is imperative to stay faithful to what is known and recorded, to a high degree of 'accuracy.' Where there are blanks in the history we have attempted to fill them in.
Do you write when you're inspired? Or do you have a schedule you keep to?
CF: We bounce ideas off each other all the time. There has been times when our creative discussions last for hours and it becomes a really meditative thing, so that we barely stop for breaks even. We work regularly together during office hours and separately at home the rest of the time but inspiration is fickle beast and can come day or night or not at all.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Maybe a piece of advice that stuck with you from your adventure into the world of publishing?
CF: Just keep writing. Really don't worry about the quality of it if you are in practice mode. Give yourself freedom to explore. When writing for others raise your game and be as fastidious as you can bear to be.
Tell us a bit more about yourself. How did you know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspires you to write?
CF: I have an identical twin . She and I shared everything as children - classes, hobbies, friends as well as being room mates.The only thing that distinguished us was the day that I was selected to attend 'the Rosebuds' - a group of elite writers. This changed my relationship with the world and made me wonder if I was a writer.
How much of yourself goes into your writing? Or do you keep yourself separate and base the character on someone else entirely?
CF: There is for me a big part of myself in it. You wouldn't necessarily recognise me though. Sometimes I am presenting a self I explore rarely, or aspire to being, or used to be. My compatriots are there too; my children pop up, as well as friends, relatives and acquaintances.
What has helped shape and improve your writing?
CF: Masses and masses of reading (in my youth particularly ) and writing practice. Careful critical consideration of anything and everything I have written previously. A fascination with poetry and song lyrics. Being a child of the sixties helped. It was a very creative period. An early inspiration for me was Bob Dylan, who led me into exploring loads of different writers and poets.
What are you reading right now? Do you recommend it or have any other recommendations?
CF: 'Selling Hitler' by Robert Harris. Yes its a great read. It is fascinating to see in microcosm how much people will believe if they really want to, especially when large sums of money beckon.
Do your novels carry a message or do you feel it's subjective?
CF: Most stories have some kind of moral premise, 'Picasso's Revenge' too. It wasn't especially intentional but ours developed around the notion that money and talent cannot necessarily buy you happiness. Also that you can search in all the wrong places for love and find it may be there under your nose all the time. There are others in there too but I must not give too much away.
What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
CF: A combination. Largely the computer these days. I fractured my hand during the writing of the novel and discovered dictation to the computer is very user-friendly these days.
I am an author, playwright and teacher and have worked alongside my father Ray Foulk on various projects in art, environment, screenwriting and architecture. In recent times we have written a play and published two memoirs. We are soon to release our first novel, 'Picasso's Revenge.'
So this year has just absolutely been difficult, to say the least.
If anyone is wondering: yes, bloggers do get writer's block even when they're just blogging or reviewing.
I lost MAJOR interest this year in my blog, which absolutely tore at me every day. I kept up with my reading but I just could not, for the life of me, write a review without it being so difficult to do. Sigh, it's nice to be able to admit this finally. I think I reached burn out levels and writer's block. I finally feel that all lifting and I'm starting to gain interest in doing my blog again.
I also faced some computer issues.
I bought a new graphic's card (used, but new to me) in the summer. I am PC gamer, love my video games (thank you Sims 4 and other games for eating up my depression and writer's block). I had issues with the fans on this, but my computer savvy best friend figured out the issue. However, my case was just too small for the bigger card. I laid BlackBird case to rest (RIP 2014-2019) and have introduced Black Widow (because I like spiders). So far, it's been all happy.
Then my hard drive died.
Which was so stressful and terrifying. And expensive. Two SSD's later, and I'm up and running again. Saving for an exhaust fan and a hard drive now.
Then all my blog stuff on my USB memory stick is gone because it up and died last night. Good thing I was feeling like my blog could use some new graphics. The loss of the banner is a bit sucky though :( but I might still be able to recover it if it hasn't corrupted.
So there you have it, my year in a nutshell.
Many apologies to the authors awaiting posts, I am going to do my best to work on those as much as I can. I won't burn myself out to do it but patience is greatly appreciated. My main focus now is reviews, to squish as many as I can into December and January as I can. No more of this falling behind deal!
I'm going to stick with the PopSugar Reading Challenges. It makes reading so much less of a task. I will still make time and room for reviews, never to worry. I will even squeeze a couple into the reading challenge prompts where I can.
I will be cutting back author interviews to once a month. These spots are very limited.
Featured Books will remain the same, twice a month (sometimes three if the month allows it.)
The authors who I missed in my author interviews (Featured Author) and my Featured Books will get first spot.
I will also be posting my favourite book(s) from the month, this will include review books and my reading prompts. And we'll throw updates and fun posts about as I feel up to it.
Again, thank you to those who have been patiently waiting. I'm slow as turtle but I am determined too.
Genre: Thriller, Short Story, Anthology
Publication Date: January 2018
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A short collection of horror, mystery, and crime stories.
I received this ebook from the Author in exchange for an honest review.
Unfortunately, I was pretty torn about this book. While the stories are definitely decently written, I had a hard time distinguishing them as short stories because they seemed to skip and end too quickly. However, the first story was very heart breaking, so maybe I was hung up on that (book hangover situation), but even going back to it as a refresher, I still just did not connect with the story.
Regardless, it's still written well and while it isn't my cuppa tea, doesn't mean it won't be a cuppa tea for others.
Tommye is a writer, currently studying for his MA in Creative Writing.
His primary passion is in fantasy and science fiction novels and is inspired by writers such as Robert Jordan, J.R.R. Tolkien and Trudi Canavan.
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