Posts Tagged With: Charlie Cochrane

Author Q&A: Charlie Cochrane + Giveaway!

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Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.  

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Please welcome Charlie Cochrane to The Blogger Girls! Tell us a little about yourself, what prompted you to start writing?

I’d describe myself as mad and middle aged. My youngest daughter might put another light on me; as she often says, “It’s amazing you’re not in a home yet, mother.” In terms of writing, I’ve always made up stories in my head, either to amuse me or – later on – to amuse my daughters. Once I actually had some time to sit and write, the transition to putting stories down on a screen and sharing them with other people seemed a natural transition.

How much research do you put into a story?

As much as it needs. You have to make sure – first and foremost – that the central threads of the story work, so that’s the initial research an author has to do. And that’s irrespective of whether the story is historical or contemporary, because readers are more likely to spot a goof in a novel set in the modern day. Once that groundwork is done, I tend to research as I go along – you should see my initial drafts of stories, which are full of notes to self along the lines of, “check this”, “is that word too modern?”, “can you get from A to B on the train without changing lines?” They all get picked up second time through, so although that means I may have to make small changes, I haven’t lost the flow of my writing first time round.

How do you come up with your murder mystery plots? Do you always know the end or do you let the story unfold wherever it goes?

I rarely know the end. I let the story unfold as though I’m reading/watching/listening to it and finding out what is happening as I go along. This may seem chaotic (as will the fact I write scenes in a scattergun approach then piece them together later) but it works for me. As for plot ideas, my daughters are great sources of inspiration. “What about a story where a group of archaeologists are deadly enemies of a group of detectorists?” they say. And I go, “Ooh! Let me just give that a whirl.”

What’s harder for you, naming your characters, coming up with a title or finding the right cover?

The second one. Covers are a doddle because the Riptide artists are so talented. Names are also a doddle because if I’m stuck for one I go on the BBC sports website and trawl through some team listings until I find the right surname, then bung an appropriate forename on it. Titles, however…they’re like sweating blood. I’ve had to be rescued so often by my editors because my working title has been, to use a technical phrase, frankly pants.

And lastly, what book would you recommend for a new to you reader to start with?

If they like mysteries, then “The Best Corpse for the Job” makes a nice, gentle introduction to my writing style. (Also good for readers who like big, daft dogs.) If people prefer romance and/or shorter stories, then “Second Helpings” would be a great place to start. Continue reading

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Honorary Blogger Charlie Cochrane: Write What You Know? + Giveaway!

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Write What You Know?

by Charlie Cochrane

They say you should write what you know. My response to that is, “Stuff and nonsense!” If people only wrote what they knew we’d have no Lord of the Rings (Tolkien was neither ent nor elf) or the Aubrey/Maturin books (Patrick O’Brian was never an officer in the age of sail). Taken to its logical, if excessive, conclusion, writing only what you know means everything has to be semi-autobiographical, because as soon as you write about any other person, in any setting other than the ones you’ve experienced, you’re writing what you don’t know for certain.

How desperately dull would that be, for both author and reader?

However, I’m not an advocate of “write about any and everything”. The author has to be able to create a world which feels authentic. O’Brian did masses of research for his Jack Aubrey books and it shows in the wonderful atmosphere he creates. Ditto Mary Renault with her books set in Ancient Greece. The dialogue, surroundings, clothes, manners and all the rest of it, must make a cohesive whole.

2014 is definitely the year of me writing about something I know very well, and that’s being a school governor. Now, before you roll your eyes and yawn, let me assure you that tensions can run very high in committee meetings. People care greatly about their schools and their children, and where people care, emotions flare up. Absolutely great fiction-fodder! I also train school governors (and my goodness, you meet some interesting characters in those sessions). I remember coming away from a selection and interviewing course thinking, “There’s a story to be told there,” not least because of the potential double entendres, and the fun you can have taking the mickey out of the jargon that tends to crop up.

Earlier this year MLR published my short story, Horns and Haloes, inspired by the experiences I’ve had running that course (and noting some of the daft questions people want to ask). That’s a sweet, funny little romance; while it was gestating, I had bigger fish frying. The idea for “The Best Corpse for the Job” arose when I was driving back from a school where I’d been delivering some training to help with their process of selecting a new headteacher. The session had been nicely sparky, and it occurred to me that if that sparkiness had been channelled in the wrong direction, blows could have been exchanged.

Both of these tales involve gay school governors. I must have met some of those, among the hundreds I’ve trained over the last few years, although I rarely get to train any governors as fit as Adam Matthews, the teacher governor from Best Corpse. I know of at least three gay headteachers at schools within twenty miles of where I’m on a governing body. They’re all three bloody good at their jobs, and why shouldn’t they be? And two of them are at church schools, so I had no qualms making my men work at church schools, too. That’s the reality of life. If anybody argues, and says that’s not realistic, I can back myself very well. I’m writing about what I know.

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About The Best Corpse for the Job

22741222Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.

Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.

Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.

As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.

Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

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About Charlie Cochrane

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie on her Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook & Goodreads.

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Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excepting The Best Corpse for the Job). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 29.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Don’t forget to check out Nikyta’s review of The Best Corpse for the Job to see what she thought of it!

Good luck!

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Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , , | 28 Comments

Book Review: The Best Corpse for the Job by Charlie Cochrane

Reviewed by Nikyta

22741222Title: The Best Corpse for the Job
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Heroes: Adam Matthews/Robin Bright
Genre: M/M Contemporary/Mystery
Length: 298 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: November 24, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.

Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.

Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.

As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.

Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Second Helpings Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway!

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I’m thrilled skinny to be dropping in here as part of the Second Helpings blog tour. A million thanks to The Blogger Girls for having me as a guest.

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About Second Helpings

Stuart Collins’s life might as well have ended a year ago when his partner died in a car crash. Even Stuart’s widowed father has found new love with an old friend, Isabel Franklin, so why can’t Stuart be bothered to try?

Then he gets a phone call from Isabel’s son, Paul, who wants to check out whether or not Mr. Collins is good enough for his mother. During dinner together, though, they end up checking out each other. Trouble is, Paul’s got a boyfriend—or maybe he doesn’t, since the boyfriend’s supposedly giving Paul the push by ignoring him. Or maybe Paul just wants to have his cake and eat it too.

Honesty with each other is the only way to move forward. But maybe honesty with themselves is what they really need.

Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon & All Romance eBooks

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About Charlie Cochrane

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series, set in Edwardian England, was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, MLR, and Riptide.

To sign up for her newsletter, email her at cochrane.charlie2@googlemail.com, or catch her at Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, her Blog or on her Website.

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There’s two ways to win today! Comment below for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist (excluding Second Helpings), and a mix of summer seaside goodies! AND you can also… Enter the Rafflecopter!

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Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on July 29th, and winners will be announced on July 30th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Book Review: Awfully Glad by Charlie Cochrane

Reviewed by Heather C

20444101Title: Awfully Glad
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Heroes: Sam Hines & Jonny Browne
Genre: M/M Historical Romance
Length: 20,344 words
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Release Date: January 2014
Available at: Bold Strokes Books, Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes

Blurb: WWI hero Sam Hines is used to wearing a face that isn’t his own. When he’s not in the trenches, he’s the most popular female impersonator on the front, but a mysterious note from an anonymous admirer leaves him worried. Everyone realizes—eventually—that Sam’s not a woman, but has somebody also worked out that he also prefers his lovers to be male?

When Sam meets—and falls for—fellow officer Jonny Browne after the war, he wonders whether he could be the man who wrote the note. If so, is he the answer to Sam’s dreams or just another predatory blackmailer, ready to profit from a love that dare not speak its name? Continue reading

Categories: 3 Star Ratings, Book Review, Heather C's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment