6 February 2021

Special Guest Interview with Angela B Mortimer, Author of Black Ship and The Watchers

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

I'm pleased to welcome author Angela Mortimer to The Writing Desk

Tell us about your latest book

It’s called the Blackship and the Watchers. I found in another book I wrote called The Summoning how I might use some of the methods there to solve in a Sci-Fi way my long time quandary - how to save failing Earths in my Flawed Gods series. Because our gods were flawed so were we. It started with this musical piece in my head, Massenet: Thais – Meditation. 

This beautiful, soar the universe, piece of music started in my main character’s mind as he took his life due to illness. Then a series of wonderful people from the past such as a bone-dancer, warriors, philosophers, mystic, nun, and the last two modern, a Kenyan vet who loved the animals on the reserve he worked on, and the final mind a Californian Sci-Fi writer who had to have a job to survive. They then worked in many forms through many eras, back and forth through time trying to enable the positive to survive in the majority. The mysterious Blackship was the enabler.

What is your preferred writing routine?

After I finish the chores, I get about 2-3 hours a day, more if I can. I stop and start as required, the ideas are always ready. It’s much easier now we have various editing software, it’s a slog but worth it.

What advice do you have for new writers?

Make friends on social media. Without a writer on Twitter, like me from UK now in Australia, I’d not know how to start. He kindly helped me through the process. Don’t be pushy, and be friendly and read their books. Some indie books are far better than what publishers prefer to publish nowadays, and not always in your preferred genre. There is much kindness in the writer tribe, ask for advice.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

Tricky subject, it’s hard to be pushy if you are polite by nature. Advertise other’s work as well as your own and they will do the same. There are sites, which will help and do it for you. Reviews help, although they are not as common as they once were. Review other’s books too; they will be grateful for the time you spent. Another good way, if you are able, is to print books, and ask book shops, and other venues if you can set up and sell that way.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

Unlike my other books, which I researched, it felt as if the first Flawed Gods series was written without much input from me. I just put my pen down and away it went, very disturbing. However, once I finished I tried to trace what I’d studied in my past to enable it. Nothing obvious came at first it was like the Greek gods with a woman in the top job, until one-day long after I finished it, I found something, which unfortunately seems lately to have become bogged down, in other popular ideas. 

An early goddess Mari (of many names and places) with a snake son, and even more disturbing she wore a necklace of blue stones. I usually keep my research, but I’ve lost the original which was good. Lately this has changed from what I first saw and I need scholarly articles, it is getting harder to find good pieces on line. But it seems to solve what unnerved me at first. No research for such a long story was disturbing, as I love research. Perhaps I found the old goddess years ago and deep down I remembered her?

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

My favourite character died. As I just put pen or finger down and let it flow, it was unexpected. He was so fascinating - someone else mentioned this, she was captivated too and he wasn’t human. I was heartbroken as if he was real. It was difficult to carry on for a few days – he never completely left.

What are you planning to write next?

I am trying not to, but I have great dreams I wake to, so it is difficult. Something always lurks waiting to escape. I have a folder of all my mainly unfinished written work since aged 6 - the only poem I remember (it was short), and I was so proud of it. I am mainly an artist. Still have useable equipment from art school and before, after all these years. 

I have a few to work on and then I want to finish my loosening, as I only achieved it once, and when I’ve achieved that again - I’d like to go back to the old ways of drawing as I used to. Then do what wasn’t the thing in those days - very detailed pen and inks, use black lines as definition (shock/horror), and hope I don’t get a good idea for another story. I’ve already refused a few headroom. A Sci-Fi short is the most likely - perhaps one a year.

Angela B Mortimer 
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About the Author

Angela Mortimer was born in Lancashire and moved south as a young girl for her father's job. She enjoyed many interests as a child, notably making most things as suggested by Blue Peter and after devouring the home library, dragging books back and forth from the local one. Her father instilled a love of poetry and Shakespeare, and her mother music. Choosing a career was difficult as her interests are diverse. She wrote poetry and had many story ideas from a young age, and studied at the West of England College of Art. She moved to London after meeting her Australian husband and from there onto Australia where she now lives. Find out more at Angela's website and follow her on Twitter @AngelaMortimer2

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