Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Interview and Excerpt Just Add Spice by Carol E. Wyer


Escape from reality comes in patent-leather Prada kneeboots

Dawn Ellis needs to escape from her painfully dull existence. Her unemployed husband spends all day complaining about life, moping around, or fixing lawnmowers on her kitchen table. The local writing class proves to be an adequate distraction with its eccentric collection of wannabe authors and, of course, the enigmatic Jason, who soon shows a romantic interest in her.

Dawn pours her inner frustrations into her first novel about the extraordinary exploits of Cinnamon Knight, an avenging angel -- a woman who doesn't believe in following the rules. Cinnamon is ruthless and wanton, inflicting suffering on any man who warrants it. Little does Dawn realise that soon the line between reality and fiction will blur. Her own life will be transformed, and those close to her will pay the price. Find out what happens in Just Add Spice by best-selling author Carol E Wyer.

Thank you, Mrs Carol E. Wyer
How bad or good it is to have a “double” life?
I guess that all depends on the sort of double life you lead! Being a part-time assassin by night and a school teacher by day might prove difficult! To be serious for a moment, I think the internet allows you to lead double lives quite easily. I wonder how many people post stuff about themselves that isn't at all true. I have been fascinated by social media since I began blogging and in one of my novels, Surfing in Stilettos, I introduced a male character who isn't what he seems to be. His persona on Facebook is quite different from his real character.

To return to Just Add Spice, as a writer it is easy to be whoever I want to be. I am always leading a double life as I try to create a realistic character. One day, I might be a naughty wanton harlot, and the next a romantic Georgian heroine, depending on what I feel like writing. (Scrub that comment - I am rarely a romantic heroine. I quite fancy being a psycho killer in the next book!)

Dawn has a dull life… at first… but it wasn't her (our) duty to “Just Add Spice” to her (our) daily life?
Dawn's life changes because she makes one simple decision; she pursues a dream to become a writer. Fate decides the rest, in part.

I spend most of my time encouraging people, men and women to make the most of their lives and inject spice into it, if possible. You don't have to make major life-changing decisions because little ones work well too. If you fancy taking up a new hobby, or a trip somewhere you really fancy visiting, then you should do it while you can. I am realistic enough to know that life throws us curve-balls and so we need to pack in what we can, before that happens. Ill health plagued me in my youth and in my early twenties I even found myself paralyzed for a while, so since then I have always tried to appreciate life.

I started my first 'bucket list' (more of a 'Carpe Diem' list) when I was in my early forties and accomplished everything on it including learning to kick box, fly a helicopter, go scuba diving and race a super-car around a race track. I then wrote out another list for my fifties that took into account that I am older. You don't need to put unrealistic goals. You could take up learning a new language or learn to Zumba.

Dawn takes up a writing course and it changes her life. Who knows what a new challenge might do for you?

Your pictures, your covers suggest that you are a humorous person. How the author’s personality influences its works? How much of you is in Just Add Spice (I’m not referring – only - at your life as the source of inspiration for this book) and is the humor a good way to give advises?
I have always been lighthearted. I can't help myself. I guess I am a frustrated comedian! I'm always the one pulling faces and telling jokes at parties and can't be serious for too long. Before I started writing full time, I used to teach. I had a lot of reluctant learners in my lessons; the sixteen year old boys who would rather be playing rugby than learning about poetry. I found the best way to help someone learn something is to make it enjoyable. What can be more enjoyable than having a laugh about something? It worked then and I carried this philosophy through to all my teaching, especially when I went on to teach languages to adults. Nowadays, I use it in my books. If I can make someone laugh it makes my day. If they take away the messages hidden in my books, then I couldn't be happier.

Just Add Spice started life as a murder/mystery. I got rather carried away with my research and spent an unhealthy number of hours trying to work out how a wife could successfully murder her husband. I was sitting in McDonald's one day trying to decide if poisoning my husband by dropping ground-up glass into his Happy Meal was viable, when I had a 'Eureka!' moment. It became instantly apparent that I should be writing about a novice author who gets carried away with her fantasy world and especially her main character, who isn't at all like her.

I loved writing Cinnamon into the story. I am more like Dawn, but deep inside there must be a Cinnamon for me to conjure up the wicked situations she gets into. There is a part of me in every book I write but I can't divulge how much is true.

What is the most important message of Just Add Spice and what is your advice for the readers to put that message in practice?
At the risk of repeating myself, it is 'Carpe Diem'. If you are unhappy, unsettled, or unfulfilled, then change your life. If it doesn't wreck others' lives or dissolve finances then have a go. As for relationships, be mindful that you have to work at them. People change as they get older so make allowances for that.

Fiction vs Non Fiction – which is easier to write and what is the author’s responsibility to its readers?
Non-Fiction is easier from the point of view that you can loaf about in your brain dreaming up plots and characters. However, I find I have to make doubly sure that the plots flows and there is continuity.
Non-Fiction is easy in the sense that once you have done all your research you only need to put it into a logical and entertaining order. 
With both, an author must be credible, accurate and and present a well-written book.


Cinnamon Knight ground the stub of her Benson and Hedges’ cigarette into the pavement with the heel of her Prada leather motorcycle boot, where it now joined a small pile of tab ends. Strategically placed in a shop doorway, she watched the top left window of a block of flats opposite. She had been there almost two hours. Rain beat steadily on the pavement, drumming against the gutter with constant thuds, but this did not deter her. Her patience was rewarded as the light blazing from the window was finally extinguished. She sauntered across the road to the BMW parked in front of the block of flats along the kerbside, sandwiched between a Peugeot 205 and a C Class Mercedes.

Dressed completely in black, face partially obscured by her North Face hooded jacket; she was almost invisible next to the dark car. It took only a minute to fiddle with the lock, open the door, and slide into the car. She lowered herself down in the driver’s seat, casting a cursory glance out of the window. The streets were empty. The weather was on her side and no one was braving the downpour, not even the old man at the end of the road who rarely missed taking his dog out for an evening stroll.

She leant forward and pulled off the cover below the steering wheel with one deft movement. Extracting the screwdriver from a neat case, she stabbed it into the ignition lock. A quick fiddle, one sharp twist, and the car burst into life; the persistent thudding of the rain against the pavement hid the initial coughing of the engine. She pulled away from the kerb swiftly and headed up the road at speed.

Pushing the hood away from her head, she checked her face in the rear-view mirror. That’ll teach him to mess about with women, she thought. No one, but no one, messes about with Cinnamon—the rat!

About the author:
Carol E. Wyer is an award winning author whose humorous novels take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully.

Her best-selling debut novel 'Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines' won five awards for humour.

'Surfing in Stilettos' which follows the further adventures of Amanda Wilson as she attempts to inject some fun into her life, was a Costa Award nominee.

Safkhet Publishing released 'How Not to Murder Your Grumpy' June 1st 2012, the first of three books in a 'Grumpy' series.

Carol has featured on numerous shows discussing 'Irritable Male Syndrome' and 'Ageing Disgracefully'. She has had articles published in national magazines such as Woman's Weekly' and on-line magazines. She writes regularly for The Huffington Post and author website Indies Unlimited.

She is a signed author with ThornBerry Publishing and Safkhet Publishing.

1 comment:

Omnimystery News said...

What a terrific interview! Thanks for introducing this (new to me) author and her book to us (via excerpt).