The Crossing


I'd like to welcome the talented Faith Mortimer onto my blog today...

About Faith 

Faith Mortimer was born in Manchester and educated in Malaya, Singapore and Hampshire. After training to become a nurse she switched careers and became involved in setting up and running various travel and sport related companies. On completion of Yachtsman examinations and a science degree she and her husband sailed their yacht across the Atlantic and enjoyed many years exploring the seas. They now divide their time living in the UK and Cyprus.

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.
I’ve always been interested in writing and at an early age subjected my younger sisters to listening to stories that I’d written. A career, husband and family got in the way of serious writing, until the children left to attend Uni. I decided the time was right to take my own degree. The literature course was full but Science had a vacancy! I began studying and adored it. Once I’d completed my degree with a good pass I realise that I now had the patience, dedication, stamina and new-found confidence to finish that book!

What is your latest novel?
The Crossing is my first published novel. I have now completed my second, The Assassins’ Village which I hope to publish in April.

What inspired you to write the book?
I was inspired to write the book one evening during a dinner party. A good friend was telling us about his recently passed away father and his heroic exploits during World War Two. His tale involved being a prisoner of war in Germany and Poland and of his many escapes from the prison-camps. Sixty years later he had a telephone call from the US and the caller had in their hands a bible that had belonged to him during the war and he now wanted to return it to the family. The story was fascinating and I felt shivers run down my spine as I knew I had found the story that I simply had to write.

What’s your favourite part of writing a novel?
I love the research and then plotting the initial story-line. As I draw my characters I begin to really get involved and the story takes over part of my life. I enjoy being as one with the tale.

Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?
I struggle with grammar and often go along with well-wishers who disagree with some of which I’ve written. For example, these days people try to lay down rules on how to write. I see and agree that there must be basic guidelines but, reading many books written by well-known authors time and time again I come across these so-called ‘rules’ that they have broken. Perhaps, once you’re famous and established then you can call the tune!

Where do you get your ideas from?
My ideas have all come from scenarios and situations that I have experienced first-hand.

How long does it take to complete a novel?
I suppose including the research and actually writing the book takes me eighteen months.

Did you query agents or traditional publishers before self-publishing?
Yes, I queried agents and publishers.

How did you handle the rejection letters?
I’m sure all authors/writers hate rejection letters. I do find it demoralising at times, then I sit back and think, with many more people writing these days, and less publishing houses arund then things are going to be extra difficult. During these difficult economic times everyone is looking to cut costs. Some big publishers are not taking on many new authors, as they do not want to run the risk. If you pick up some ‘best sellers’ and see when they were actually written you’ll see some that are many years old. A bit of recycling is going on. Established authors are easier to sell and market then us newbies.

What’s your writing process?
My writing process does differ. Ideally, I like to write first thing in the morning. I aim for at least 1000 words. I Writefor as long as I can and then leave off writing for that day on a good note, with an unfinished part. That way, the next time I pick up the MS I can immediately pick up and carry on. I do not read what I’ve written that day until a day later. My first draft is hand-written and then I put it all on my laptop. This, I count as my first (of many) edits.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
For aspiring authors, I will say – just do it! It doesn’t matter if what you write is not good. If you feel a need to get your thoughts/story down on paper then go ahead. Improvement will come withtime and practice. Not everyone is a best seller but the need to write can be overwhelming.

What's next in the pipeline? 
As I’ve said, I’ve just finished The Assassins’ Village. This is a murder mystery set in Cyprus. It was voted on Harper Collins/ Authonomy on-line site as number one book in November 2010. I am waiting for a formal review from Harper Collins (and a contract would be nice!!). However, I’m not holding out too much hope on one review and will sell-publish this in April anyway.

Do you think your books would translate well to the big screen? If so who would you like to see play your lead characters ? 
The big screen? Oh yes! I did actually have a BBC producer look at The Crossing and he really liked the story. His only gripe was as he works on TV programmes he wouldn’t have had the budget to film it. Perhaps Steven Spielberg might be interested instead?!!  I’m not too sure who would play the leads, English actors perhaps. Maybe Sean Bean, Colin Firth or Ralph Fiennes.  Females,  someone  such as Rachel Weisz.  The female leads should be pretty and the male, a strong but silent character – deep!

Tell me three random things about yourself.
Three random things about myself: I spent part of my childhood in Singapore and Malaya (now Malaysia), I am a qualified Yacht Master, I adore the stage and spend time taking part in musicals and straight plays. This year we’re performing Romeo and Juliet in the open-air amphitheatre in Limassol.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing I spend my time in many ways: gardening, walking, hashing, cooking, drama, reading and socialising.

Do you write in just one genre?
I write in more than one genre. My first book The Crossing is an action/adventure/romance with a WW2 connection. My second book (out in Kindle in April) The Assassins’ Village is a murder mystery (voted best book in November 2010 on Harper Collins/Authonomy site), and my current one that I’ve just started will be a thriller set in Malaya during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Do you use Social Media for marketing your novels?
I market my novels myself and use Twitter, Facebook and my website as my prime marketing areas.

Who are your writing influences?
I have no, one writing influence as I read such a diverse spread of type of literature.

If you weren’t writing, what would be your favourite job?
If I wasn’t writing I would have liked to have used my Science Degree more. I am interested in research and perhaps would have strived to become a Doctor instead of qualifying as a nurse.

Which five people would you invite for dinner?
Inviting five people to dinner? Tough question as some people are now dead!  I’d need a comedian and I loved Ronnie Barker when he was alive. Johnny Depp as I find him interesting and dishy. Charles 1st as he had such mad ideas, and was a wicked womaniser.For the token female, probably my daughter, Catherine as she’s a honey and would love the game.

Describe your latest novel in fifteen words or fewer.
The Crossing. An adventure covering two time periods, concerning human conflicts, romance and coming to terms with life.

What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Al Bourdreau’s  ‘A moment of Greed’ on Kindle. He is an Indie writer and so far, I’m really enjoying it.

What three things would you add to your bucket list of things to do?
Three things for my bucket list to do would be; learn to fly a plane, visit Australia and do some more voluntary nursing overseas.

Do you write full time? If not, how do you balance writing with another job?
No, I don’t write full time. I don’t have the time and have to fit my writing in when I have a chance. I lead such a busy life and there’s not nearly enough time in the day!

Do your characters talk to you?
When I’m involved in writing a book I live and breathe my characters. I find I have imaginary conversations with them and often I put these dialogues in the book later on.

Have you ever used a friend or foe as a character? 
In all my books there are aspects of lots of friends – but I never tell them so!

About The Crossing

In The Crossing, the reader is taken on this action-packed, fateful voyage and through a twist of fate is transported back to the Second World War where Richard's late father, Billy Barker, a naval rating assigned as crew on a Motor Torpedo Boat, is captured by the enemy during a daring action off the French coast. His story of survival and friendship against all odds contrasts with his own burgeoning love for a pretty English girl, and leads Richard to begin his own recovery and understand that life must go on.

Based on a true incident, this powerfully emotive tale of passion and love across two generations in the parallel settings of modern day action and the horrors of war makes an utterly compelling read with a refreshing and very different approach to subjects which are normally the preserve of male authors. 

The Crossing is available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. You can find out more about Faith from her website.

I actually spend a lot of time in Cyprus as well so I have something in common with Faith, and I'm looking forward to catching up with her! The weather certainly beats the Brit cold! I'm sooo looking forward to reading The Assassins' Village because it's set in Cyprus!

Happy Reading!

Sibel XX