Welcome to next edition of AUTHOR ALERT & SPOTLIGHT. Today’s guest is…
Isobel Blackthorn and her novel, A Matter of Latitude, because it has an upcoming discount that you need to know about. Isobel is an author at Creativia Pub / Next Chapter Pub, the same place where I am published. I’ve previously read one of her novels, Clarissa’s Warning, and you can click the link to see my 5-star review of this excellent drama about what happens to a woman on the Canary Islands. If you’re interested in A Matter of Latitude, you can purchase it via Amazon here.
A Matter of Latitude is .99 cents from July 16th through 20th. I just bought a copy… who wants to buddy read with me this week?
From the acclaimed author of The Drago Tree comes a riveting thriller about survival, revenge and long-hidden secrets.
When Lanzarote anti-corruption activist Celestino is T-boned on a lonely road, he knows the collision was no accident. Wounded and fearing for his life, he hides in an abandoned fishing village, waiting for a chance to make it home.
Meanwhile, his wife Paula is distraught and sets out to look for him. Paula’s search for her husband quickly descends into mayhem, danger and intrigue. Before long, she realizes she’s being followed. She needs answers, and fast.
But where is Celestino, and will he ever make it back alive?
“A Matter of Latitude simmers with danger, betrayal and treachery, drawing the reader into the island’s history of shady dealings and uneasy relationships between natives, tourists and expats… Isobel Blackthorn has crafted an atmospheric and setting-rich novel with alluring lyrical style.” – Sandi Wallace, award-winning crime fiction author
About the Author
Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire. Isobel was shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Prose Prize 2019.
Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist.
Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Many of her novels are set on the islands, including The Drago Tree, which was released in 2015 and is now in Spanish translation, Clarissa’s Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction, and the novels are as much stories about the islands themselves as they are straight-ahead entertainment.
Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. Some of her writing is dark, like the psychological thriller, Twerk, which is based on six years of research and first-hand accounts of dancers working in what are euphemistically called gentlemen’s clubs.
A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia.
- This Is My Truth Now Blog (Permanent Page)
Interview: Questions & Answers
- What is your location?
- I am British and I live in Australia. I also used to live in the Canary Islands and Barcelona. I speak enough Spanish to get by. As an author, I am very much European in style. My home is wherever I happen to be at the time.
- How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles?
- I self-published my first book, a memoir, in 2011. I did well considering I knew not a thing about book marketing. In 2012, I got my first break into the small press scene when Ginninderra Press picked up my short story collection. A gap of almost three years, then Odyssey Books offered to publish my first novel, The Drago Tree, a love story set in the Canary Islands. They went on to publish another two novels and re-released the short stories. After that, I journeyed into the dark side with three novels – all dark thrillers – published by HellBound Books, USA. I was put onto Creativia in late 2018, and they now have my next two Canary Islands novels and The Unlikely Occultist, a work of biographical fiction based on the life of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey.
- Tell us a little bit about your books including the genres.
- I write in a variety of genres, including mysteries, dark thrillers, contemporary and literary, and historical fiction. My most popular books are those set in the Canary Islands – The Drago Tree, Clarissa’s Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These are stand-alone novels yet they share characters and a world, and they are sequential in time. That said, they are not a series, more a collection. I will be adding to that collection soon with a fourth novel set on Fuerteventura, drawing on characters in Clarissa’s Warning. Each of these novels tackles some of the issues facing those islands. The local culture and the environment are under serious threat from tourism and corruption. The islands have a dark history of colonial conquest and harsh colonial rule. For some reason, those tiny dots of land in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of southern Morocco, have embedded themselves in my heart. I may or I may not continue setting novels there. The only reason I might not is because each time I do, it sets up a deep yearning and I end up looking on real estate sites and planning to migrate.
- Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
- My goal is simply to progress. I have reached a stage of critical mass with nine novels, a memoir and numerous short stories under my belt. I either expand and flourish somehow, either in the Indie scene or by entering mainstream publishing, or I will be treading water. I was shortlisted for a prestigious literary award this year, and I would like that to happen again. We all want to do better than we are in this very competitive and swamped industry. Only those who persist and work hard prevail. I am one of those types.
- With so many books being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
- I have been told I have a distinct voice, a brand. Each of my novels is different from the rest yet there is something that connects them all. Me, I guess! My novels contain interesting themes, tackle big ideas or issues. I started out writing in the style of literary fiction. That was how I learned to write because they are the books I love. My writing has a definite literature feel about it, so I’m told. I also like to experiment with genre and with narrative style. A lot of my novels are genre hybrids, they do not sit easily in any box.
- Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
- This entirely depends on the story I am writing. The Drago Tree started out as a single sentence. I went with the flow, went with my characters. A Matter of Latitude was heavily plotted start to finish. It proved a very tricky book to write as I wanted to include the theme of corruption and tourism, but I did not want that to come across wooden and I also didn’t want to land myself in the mire as regards litigation. I trod a very fine line. I like well-woven exposition in a novel, it enriches the story, and I am not one for straight ahead, four to the floor entertainment driven books, that just isn’t my style. I like to duck and weave a bit, slow things down, get the reader thinking. Generally, I plot as little as possible.
- Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
- I do read all my reviews. I love it when a good one comes in and usually that’s the case. Negative reviews are disappointing, but I don’t take it personally. Sometimes, very occasionally, someone decides to be really nasty, either a troll or just someone vindictive and spiteful. When that happens, and it has a few times, it can be quite upsetting. Kinda knocks your confidence, which of course it is meant to. I work hard to get reviews. I network, pitch to bloggers, do all the usual things to encourage reviews. I am in the difficult situation of being in Australia, writing books set in Spain that appeal to UK readers. So my Amazon reviews get split between three territories, US, UK and AU. Very annoying! We all know Amazon reviews matter. They matter far too much!
- Do you write full-time or part-time?
- I am a full-time author. That includes all the book promotion. I start my working day when I wake up and finish around seven. That amounts to about thirteen-hour days, seven days a week. Of course, there is a lot of down time and I am not chained to my desk. Writing needs a lot of air around it, a lot of space. In that time, I also do some paid work to keep myself afloat.
- What do your plans for future projects include?
- I am at work on a full non-fiction biography of Alice Bailey. This is my most exciting project to date. Along with this, I am writing an historical fiction novel based on my own family history and after that, I might try my hand at a children’s book set in Australia – in my bid to crack the market here – and a novel based on a very mysterious and little known occult figure of the 19th century. I also have my fourth and possibly last Canary Islands novel, which is almost finished and ready to submit. It is a mystery with a dark twist.
That concludes today’s author alert and spotlight. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Isobel… I love meeting and befriending international authors, and this was the perfect chance to share someone special with all of you!
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.