About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances. Please, stop by our websites and check out what we've been up to: Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery and Victory Tales Press.

Monday, March 27, 2017

A CHAT WITH PAULINE MILLWARD @ Linda Swift @ Rebecca J.Vickery

Today my guest in Pauline Millward. When Letters from Hull was published,  one of my first Amazon reviews was written by her and this is how we got acquainted. I observed that she was an enthusiastic reader and this is why I chose her to give us the view from the other side of the pages. Welcome to Once Upon a Word, Pauline. Please  tell us a little about yourself.

I am 68 years of age and was born in Hull. When I left school at fifteen I became an office junior at a printing works, moving up to be in charge of accounts. Then I held the same job at another distribution place. From there, I moved to accounts for Cattles,  a well-known company in Hull, and worked my way up to being in charge of the wages department. At twenty-five, I left work to have my family, moving from Hull to Scotland with my then-husband who was in the Royal Navy. Once my children were in school, I opened a market stall on Hull and Hessle markets selling wool, etc. My supplier asked me to manage a shop for him in Hessle which I did until he retired. Then I worked at the local hospital in Cottingham as a technician, cleaning and steralising, then re-packing instruments for the theatres. I also spent time in the theatres watching operations which I loved.  When I re-married, I moved to Bridlington so transferred to Scarborough hospital where I retired in 2002 due to an operation that left me unable to continue the heavy work I was doing.

 I have lived in many places including France as well as Scotland but have always been drawn back to my roots. I have three children (two daughters, one son) and four grandchildren. I am loving life and am out many days during the week on long walks, even climbing the three Yorkshire peaks and Snowdon last year. Many more trips are planned for the coming months but I always have either books or kindle with me; I never go anywhere without them. I am a very avid reader and you will always find me with my nose in a book every spare moment I have. 

So what kinds of books do you read?  Which are your favorites?

I read many genres but my favourite ones are Historical Romance; this was the first type of book I read as an adult. Any story set around the war years, especially WWII. Crime stories are amongst my favourites at the moment. too.

I'm glad you like historical romance as that is my favorite genre to write. And I can see why WWII stories interest you since England was so involved in that conflict. But I'm afraid I'm not a fan of crime stories...yet.
The trend today seems to be toward shorter books. Do you have a preference in length of the books you read?
I prefer books around the 350/450 page length as that way the author can really get the full story across without skipping details.

That is music to my ears, Pauline, because this is the kind of story I love to write.
Can you tell me the main reason that causes you to buy a certain book? It is very important for authors like me to know what is most important to readers such as you.

When buying a book I do go for genre and author mostly in that order but I do always look for authors that I have read and like.

Dare I ask if  you prefer E-books or print books?

I never thought I would ever say this but I do love my kindle, it is so easy to pack in my case when going away. But having said that, I still do read print books occasionally when at home. 

My publisher will love your answer. Although Publishing by Rebecca J Vickery does offer prints, and most of mine are available in print, the main emphasis is on E- books. I wonder when you read a book if there are certain things that please you or turn you off?

I love a book that really grips you from the first few pages. What I don't like is bad grammar; this really puts me off a story and if it's too bad I do not or cannot finish the book. 

This is good information for all authors to know and heed. So do you ever read a book a second time if it is one of those that you really like?

I must admit I have never read a book twice, as yet. I have always had so many books on my shelves and now on my kindle that I just want to read new ones.

Most authors have websites and Facebook pages. If you visit either one,  what do you like to find there?

I do occasionally visit author websites and Facebook pages. Many promote their new books and put feedback from other readers which I like to read. It helps me to know what others like or even dislike about a book.

Do you often read blogs such as this?  And if so, do you leave comments?

I have to admit a blog to me is very new and I have not visited one before but I most certainly will after doing this. 

I'm happy  to hear you say this, Pauline, and so will our other authors be. We have many posts about a variety of subjects every month so we will look forward to your visits and your comments. I wonder how you choose the books you read?

I find many of my books via FB promo but I do visit Amazon frequently and scroll through the genres that I like to see if there are any that take my fancy. 

That is good to learn as I do try to promote my books on my FB page. I am very appreciative of the complimentary  review you left for Letters from Hull  and I know it takes time and effort to write reviews. Do you review every book you read?

Thank you. Letters from Hull was an absolute pleasure to read, I was there following in every footstep that you took in and around Hull and surrounding areas.  I don't always leave a review for every book I read but always do for ones that I have enjoyed.

That is a high compliment coming from someone like you  who reads so many books. I'm honored that my book made your list of those you enjoyed and reviewed.
Thank you so much for being my guest today, Pauline, and for telling us about your interesting life. I know authors as well as other readers will enjoy reading your comments and I hope many will take the time to share their own comments with us.

Thank you for inviting me as your guest today, Linda, and I look forward to more books from you. 

It was my pleasure. You have inspired me to begin a new story immediately! Do stay around to answer any questions our readers may want to ask. And readers, please note. If you have a problem posting your questions or comments, this should help. After typing your comment in the box,  DO NOT HIT ENTER. Instead look just below at the little blue box that says PUBLISH and click on that.

If you still can't leave a comment, go to my Facebook page (link below) and leave your message and I'll see that it gets on this page. 

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Friday, March 10, 2017

The Truth About Saint Patrick by Sarah J. McNeal

Here’s some things I learned about Saint Patrick while researching for this post that I never knew until now.

March 17 is not Saint Patrick’s birthday, it is his date of death. He was born in 387 AD in Britain and died March 17, 461 AD. When he was sixteen years old, he was kidnapped from his home in Britain by Irish Pirates and taken to Ireland where he became enslaved. At the time, Ireland practiced paganism led by the Druids. Saint Patrick converted many of the Irish to Christianity over his lifetime, and he did so by using traditional Celtic symbols like the Bonfire and the Sun. He demonstrated the Holy Trinity by using the Celtic symbol of the Shamrock. 

Here are a few factoids you may not know about Saint Patrick:
1. Patrick was not his given name. "Patrick’s ‘real’ name was Maewyn Succat, or in Latin, Magonus Succetus," according to Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning, citing Irish legend, in a recent educational infographic it created for the holiday. He took on the name Patrick when he became a priest.

2.  The shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland. That honor goes to the harp. A popular icon of the holiday, the shamrock was used by St. Patrick to teach the Holy Trinity.

There is an Irish tradition called the “Drowning of the Shamrock” in which a shamrock is worn on the lapel for St. Patrick’s Day and tossed in the last drink of the evening.

3.  You may not know this, but there are no female Leprechauns—only males. Just sayin’…

4.  About those snakes Saint Patrick supposedly cast into the sea: some say the snakes were symbolic of the druids and paganism, others say the snakes were really snakes. Ireland never had snakes. When the ocean receded from the land, Ireland had never connected to other land that had snakes, so there were no snakes.

5. If it seems like Guinness is everywhere—it is. Approximately 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide on St. Patrick's Day, according to WalletHub, which released a St. Patrick's Day by the Numbers report this week.

6.  The first St. Patrick's Day celebration took place in America in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737.

7.   St. Patrick's Day rakes in a lot of green. The average amount American St. Patrick’s Day revelers will spend this holiday is $36.52 per person, totaling a combined $4.6 billion.

8.  “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day”, but 33.3 million in America really are, which is seven times the population of Ireland. You’d think we’d get to vote in their elections.

9.  That Pot O' Gold won't go as far as you think. Should you be lucky enough to actually find that mystical pot at the end of a rainbow this St. Patrick's Day, and it contained 1,000 gold coins weighing one ounce each, WalletHub estimated the total current worth at $1.26 million. Now that’s a bummer. Maybe it would be better to enter the lottery.

10.  St. Patrick's Day beers were forbidden for decades in Ireland. Despite the majority of modern-day St. Patrick’s Day celebrations centering around bar crawls and drink specials, from 1903 until 1970 all pubs were closed on the holiday due to religious observances. So, maybe it’s more fun to be in America on St. Patrick’s Day than to be in Ireland.

I hope all of you, no matter your religion or national origin, have a wonderful day on Saint Patrick’s Day. Have fun, drink responsibly, and don’t forget to wear some green or you’ll get pinched.

Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media: