Friday, December 3, 2021

JRC Cox and his debut novel 'Kings of the Land'

Writers at the Gate is pleased to welcome Horsell-based author JRC Cox and his debut novel Kings of the Land to the blog. 

About the book… 

With the land divided by a powerful sorceress and her lords, how can one small boy unite them all and restore the peace? Possibly by doing what everyone least expects - by making friends of his enemies, finding allies in magical folk, and maybe even wielding an enchanted weapon or two. But the question is, will that be enough? As the young squire soon finds out, it’s not just about the power that you wield. What really counts, is what you do with it!

      • Publisher: ‎ Independently published (22 Aug. 2021)
      • Genre:  Fantasy
      • Language: ‎ English
      • Paperback: ‎ 291 pages
      • ISBN-13: ‎ 979-8689268941
      • Dimensions: ‎ 12.7 x 1.85 x 20.32 cm




Brief Bio…

I work in the video games industry by day and write for fun in my spare time. Kings of the Land is my first full novel and is the beginning of an action-adventure series I have planned out. Before that, I warmed up with writing three children's books with my daughter, set in our Farland Valley universe.

Brief Interview...  

When did you start writing your new book? 

I started on Kings of the Land in 2012, whilst awake in the middle of the night after having my appendix out. 

What was the inspiration behind the book? 

Oddly, Kings of the Land is the prequel to an idea I had for something set in the future. Also, my love of castles played a big part. 

Can you describe your route to publication from concept to completed novel?  

The short version = Seven years of writing, two years of editing with lots of feedback from my wife and friends, more editing and rewriting, trying to find an agent, getting bored of all the rejections, and finally self-publishing Kings of the Land for fun with KDP :-) 

What ideas do you have for any future books? 

I'm now working on Book 2 of the series. That is going a little quicker. I'm up to page 108 after 12 months or so. And I'm still having fun writing. 

Which publishing services (if any) would you recommend? 

Kindle Direct Publishing has been very easy to use. Pro Writing Aid was also very useful for one of the editing phases of my book.

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Slow Walking with Woking Author Chris Bore

'Writers at the Gate' is pleased to welcome, Woking based non-fiction writer, Chris Bore to the blog, with his latest title Slow Walking.

About the book… 

This book is about Slow Walking. 

This is a short book with a simple theme: that walking is an end in itself, says author, Chris Bore. 

Slow Walking is about walking for its own sake: slowly, steadily, regularly, for the rest of your life. It is about walking through the world, being in and of the world: taking the time to enjoy being there and letting yourself feel what you are doing. 

Walking is back in fashion - the new fitness craze. We are all encouraged to walk more - 10,000 steps a day, to challenge ourselves, to meet the goal of distance and steps. But there is more to life than challenge, and walking is more than an exercise - it is a way of life, a way to live, to re-calibrate your life. 

This book is a ramble: a slow meandering walk through walking! It is not an instruction manual or a book of walks or a walk diary: it is a slow walk through my own personal walking story, that I want to share so that you can discover - if you have not already done so - the pleasure that regular walking brings. 

Slow Walking lets you focus on what you are doing, where you are, how you feel. It lets you be there, in the moment, being active, out in the world, being part of it. It also helps you avoid injury, build a firm base of steady fitness, lose weight, and enjoy the health benefits of fresh air in all weathers: but these benefits are secondary to the main point: Slow Walking is fun!



 About Chris Bore…

Dr Chris Bore is a retired consultant and trainer in DSP (Digital Signal Processing). Author and presenter of many industrial and university short courses on DSP, Chris specialises in presenting and explaining complex technical information in practical, understandable ways without unnecessary reliance on equations and formulae. Chris's courses have been presented to many hundreds of engineers, programmers and technical managers in diverse industries worldwide. 

He is also a popular and entertaining speaker at informal science and technology events such as TEDx and Café Scientific and is a local organiser of his hometown of Woking's Café Scientific. 

Chris is the author of several successful eBooks - on DSP and Image Processing but also on his leisure pursuits of walking and running. Chris's DSP eBooks encapsulate the wide range of his training, consultancy and teaching experience into readable, informative and enjoyable books that are widely and readily available at an economic price. Weirdly, his most successful book - Slow Running - is about running, slowly, so that shows your career doesn't define you even if you think it should. 

Chris started his engineering career with a PhD in the early days of MRI: co-designing and building some of the first MRI scanners and researching their application in medicine. A post-doctoral fellowship at CERN in Geneva extended his experience into designing and building automated and robotic precision measuring instruments. Back in the UK as Technical and then General Manager of a software company, Chris then returned to the engineering field, first in MRI and then with his own company selling DSP systems - which led later to specializing in training engineers and programmers in DSP. 

He has worked as a trainer in DSP to many companies in many countries: regular clients have included the UK and other MoD, GCHQ, Philips, Sony, Yamaha, Nokia, Canon, Honda, Mercedes, and others. In such work Chris broadened his exposure to some of the most innovative and challenging applications of DSP in consumer, medical and defence industries. It also resulted in a wide network of contacts that has helped with student placements, industrial projects, and employment opportunities. 

Chris's current consultancy focus is in medical imaging: specifically in 3D imaging using microwaves. 

Chris is fascinated by the questions that don't get asked and firmly believes that real experts know that they don't know some things. He is deeply interested in learning how to explain complex and subtle things more clearly, and in testing by experiment what may seem obvious from theory. 

Amazon Author Page


Brief Interview…


1)      When did you start writing your new book? 

I started Slow Walking in about 2014 - shortly after I published my first similar book, Slow Running. 

2)      What was the inspiration behind the book? 

I'd previously published a book on Slow Running, but really I did a lot more walking than running - and walking I think, offers more chance to engage with where you are because you can take your time. I'd lived in a caravan at Warren Farm in Pyrford when I was a baby and toddler, and my mum mentioned I had taken my first steps there, so that set me off on what proved to be a random ramble through walking which became the book. I love that one of the worst reviews I had said the book was just me rambling on - which is, to be fair, what the blurb says. 

3)      Can you describe your route to publication from concept to completed book? 

I'd already published Slow Running, which was an easy success. Slow Walking is different - literally, me rambling on about rambling, a very personal book and much more something I wanted to write than something I wanted people to read - so it was easy to follow the same route through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. 

4)      What ideas do you have for any future books? 

I have one in the works called Slow Thinking - but it is taking a while :-) 

My main aim, though, is to complete a popular science book on water: I worked on the early development of MRI which basically looks at water in the human body, and most of my time was devoted to studying water - which is truly weird stuff - and now I am retired I have returned to that and am drafting a book to rave about how cool (sic) it is. 

5)      Which publishing services (if any) would you recommend? 

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing lets you do what you want rather than fit in with an editor and publishing house. You can make your own mistakes but correct them later - readers get free updates when you issue a new version - and having spent a lot of time in detailed technical writing I really enjoy not having to endure reviewers telling you what to write.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Woking Author : Lelita Baldock : Where the Gulls Fall Silent


'Where the Gulls Fall Silent' is due out 28 October 2021 

A small fishing village, a shunned healer, her daughter, tradition, superstition and a world set to change.

Kerensa lives with her mother, the healer Meliora, on the edge of a small fishing community on the Cornish Coast.

The townsfolk, who work the fish runs of pilchard and mackerel that make their way up the Atlantic coast, call on her mother for help with their ailments, but never for her company.

Kerensa does not know why.

Curses and superstitions whisper around her as she grows into a competent young woman, fighting for her place amongst the people of Porth Gwynn.

But what has caused the rift between her and the town?

And can their traditional way of life survive in the face of changing winds?

Where the Gulls Fall Silent is a historical fiction that explores the lives of the fishermen and women who made their living from the rough Atlantic Ocean; the hardship they faced; the secrets that divided them; and the community spirit that pulled them through.

A story of love, loss, hope and second chances.



Woking-based Lelita Baldock is an author of historical fiction and crime fiction. She has a passion for dark stories, with an unexpected twist.

It was during her years studying English Literature at University that Lelita discovered her love of all things reading and writing. But it would be another 15 years before she took up the challenge and wrote her own novel.

Her debut novel, the historical fiction Widow's Lace, is an Amazon best-seller.

Her follow up, The Unsound Sister, saw her take a different direction in her writing, trying her hand at crime fiction and has been warmly received globally.

Her third novel, Where the Gulls Fall Silent, a return to historical fiction is available to pre-order now.

Lelita also runs a blog and newsletter featuring fellow authors and other creatives.


60 Second Interview: 

When did you start writing your new book?

I began Where the Gulls Fall Silent in September 2020. We were enjoying a break from lockdown and being able to go out and visit friends and explore the countryside really inspired my desire to be creative again.

What was the inspiration behind the book?

The inspiration came from my first trip to north Cornwall in 2019. My husband and I travelled there for a week, exploring Port Gaverne, Port Isaac and Port Quinn. The coastline was breathtakingly beautiful and the people warm and friendly. I found myself wanting to research more about traditional Cornish culture and the lifestyles of the fishermen and women of the area.

Can you describe your route to publication from concept to completed novel? 

I am very much a planner when I write. Once I have an idea I take time to research the history of the time, any key events, how people lived in the day-to-day. Then I outline my story in full, plan my characters and chapters. Only once that is ready will I begin to write.

Naturally things may diverge from the plan, but I work best with the majority of the story mapped out and most of the research already uncovered and ready to be conveyed.

After that I send it to a group of beta-readers for feedback. I work through their suggestions and edit as much as possible on my own.

Finally, the manuscript will go to my editor for the finishing editing touches.

So far in my writing career I am self-published, so I prepare my cover and manuscript, write up my blurb and marketing materials and publish through Amazon.

What ideas do you have for any future books?

I have a new historical fiction idea set in post Napoleon War France that I have been researching and planning. I have just started to write some chapters and am loving how things are flowing at the moment. Really enjoying the process.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Blog Tour: Micheál Cladáin and his latest book, 'After Gáirech'

Writers at the Gate is pleased to welcome Micheál Cladáin and his latest book, 'After Gáirech', to the blog, as part of the Coffee Pot Book Club Tour founded by Mary-Ann Yarde.

Read on to find out more…


About the book… 

The battle of Gáirech is over; the armies of Connachta, Lagin, and Mumu are destroyed! Survivors are ravaging The Five Kingdoms of Ireland! While working to resolve the Kingdomsissues and bring peace, Cathbadh is murdered, dying in his son Genonns arms. Genonn vows to avenge the death of his father. For his revenge to work, he needs Conall Cernach and the Red Branch warriors of Ulster. But Conall is gone, searching for the head of Cú Chulainn. Genonn sets out to find him, aided by the beautiful Fedelm, the capricious Lee Fliath and the stalwart Bradán.


  • Book Title: After Gáirech
  • Author: Micheál Cladáin
  • Publication Date: 30th September 2021
  • Publisher: PerchedCrowPress
  • Page Length: 370 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction




 About the author… 

Micheál Cladáin studied the classics and developed a love of ancient civilizations during those studies. Learning about ancient Roman and Greek cultures was augmented by a combined sixteen years living in those societies, albeit the modern versions, in Cyprus and Italy. As such, Micheál decided to write historical fiction, trying to follow in the footsteps of such greats as Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden. Because of his Irish roots, he chose pre-Christian Ireland as his setting, rather than ancient Italy or Greece. 

Micheál is a full-time writer, who lives in the wilds of Wexford with his wife and their border terriers, Ruby and Maisy.


Social Media Links: 




Brief Interview...

When did you start writing your new book?

I started writing in August 2020, while Milesian Daughter of War was undergoing the final edits. I guess I’d been mentally planning quite a bit before then. 

What was the inspiration behind the book?

When I was researching Daughter of War, I came across a reference to Genonn and Imrinn in a Celtic Encyclopaedia. They were listed as sons of Cathbadh and, as druids, cast confusion spells over the enemy in the build-up to the battle of Gáirech. I could find no other references and decided to borrow Genonn for Milesian Daughter of War, which culminates in the battle. After Gáirech is a continuation of that story, although not part of the Milesian series per se. 

Can you describe your route to publication from concept to completed novel? 

I am an extensive plotter. As soon as my idea has firmed sufficiently, I sketch an outline, including characters, POVs and so on. The sketch uses a basic 8-point story arc in which I will list the main events. When that arc is firm enough, I complete the building with a scene-by-scene plan. The plan is made in a Word document as numbered titles with a brief descriptor. When I am happy with the arc and the scene plan, I begin writing. I always write the last scene first, which guides me in the tone. During the writing process, the arc and the scenes do change, they are not chiselled in stone. However, I find I can write much faster when the structure is pretty much done. After completing the first draft, I put the story aside and go back to review it after a few weeks (minimum 2). During this process, I am looking at flow and I begin with having the story read to me. I find PDF reading tools good for this job, as they are less mechanical than Word’s read aloud. It can lead to the removal or addition of scenes. Then I rewrite. The second draft is extensively edited by an external editor, including grammar, typos, and so on. Then comes the final rewrite, which results in a completed manuscript. 

What ideas do you have for any future books?

After I complete the third book in the Milesians series, I want to write a story based on the Roman invasion of Anglesey, which was designed specifically to eliminate the Druids. It was during the invasion that Boudicca’s uprising took place. 

Which publishing services (if any) would you recommend?

It depends on whether the book will be self-published or go down the trad route. For traditional publishing, the publisher does everything. Of course, the author might want to have the MS polished before submission, but it is not a must. If self-publishing the full gamut of services is recommended. Cover design, editing, blurb writing, and so on.