Welcome to Steven Neil, my guest blogger on tour today!
The Merest Loss by Steven Neil ISBN: 1788039718
‘A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’
Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance
Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.
Q & A SIX
Getting to know Steven Neil, the author of THE MEREST LOSS.
A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
What has been your experience of the writing community?
There are a number of writing communities I can identify. There is an active group of authors in my county community (Northamptonshire, UK) who all support each other. My local independent booksellers, Old Hall Bookshop, Brackley, The Booksmith, Weedon Bec, Kenilworth Books and Delapre Abbey shop have all been very supportive, as have the National Stud and the National Horseracing Museum shops in Newmarket.
Who has helped you in the writing community?
Probably too many to mention, but I’ll try: Judith Allnatt, Sue Bentley, Suzanna Burke, D.I. Finn, D.E. Howard, Joy York, Norway Ellesea, Amie O’Brien, DK Marley, Helen Hollick, Reading is our Passion, Chill with a Book and many more.
Are you a member of any writing organisations and how have they helped?
Independent Author Network (IAN) was helpful in getting me started. I am a member of the Historical Novelist Society but I can’t say I have gained anything from being a member. The Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) has supported me from the outset and Nonnie Jules and the team do a great job in promoting independent authors. Using #WritingCommunity on Twitter has been a positive experience.
What use have you made of social media?
I use Twitter all the time. I’ve grown 2500 followers of like-minded people and I enjoy the interaction.
What has been your experience of social media?
I find Twitter relatively friendly and people are generally supportive. I was a member of Facebook for a short time but I found it aggressive, confrontational and unpleasant. I am no longer a member.
What are the best aspects of the writing community?
When it works well, the writing community is fantastic. People willingly ‘pay it forward’ without any expectation of reciprocity. I have experienced this on many occasions.
What are the worst aspects of the writing community?
People who follow you on social media and then bombard you with ‘buy my book’ tweets and DMs. Some advice: it doesn’t work!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m continuing to grow my Twitter network and I’m extending the range of independent booksellers who stock The Merest Loss.
Do you have a website and if so, how has it helped?
I don’t have a formal website but I do have an Independent Author Network author page. I think the important thing is that anyone who wants to find you can access a page with buy links. IAN does that at low cost without the need for regular maintenance.
What advice would you give new authors?
A cliché I know, but the more you put in the more you will get back.
© Steven Neil
THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.
IAN author page
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!