Today on my Get To Know feature I have the lovely Faith Mortimer joining me.
Hi there! May I first thank my lovely friend Sarah for inviting me as her guest author on today’s blog. I feel truly honoured.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’ll tell you a little about myself as I answer Sarah’s questions. First I was born in England, with my childhood spent on Royal Air Force camps around the Globe. This no doubt kindled my lifelong enthusiasm for seeing new places and meeting new people. After returning home from boarding school (Kinloss House) in Singapore, I attended Purbrook Grammar School in Hampshire. I found there was never enough time for study; surely life was for reading, writing, painting, amateur dramatics, and sport! I left school with just a handful of ‘O’ levels but a wealth of interests.
My love with books began at age 4/5. Once I could read I devoured almost everything! Early favourites were those by Enid Blyton; the Famous Five and Secret Seven books being favourites. Once I grew into my teens I discovered historical fiction. My favourite authors were Jean Plaidy and Victoria Holt (same author but different writing style). I’m not sure I’ve ever found a favourite character throughout my many books though as my reading now is quite diverse.
After a few failed attempts at different jobs, I qualified as a Registered State Nurse and followed a career in healthcare for many years. Later, I had a break from nursing and set up a busy agency covering the administration of a collection of travel-related companies. This led to the discovery of a passion for snow skiing and sailing. 1995 saw the purchase of our first family yacht. Together with my husband, Chris, and accompanied by our children, we spent the winters exploring the slopes of the European Alps and our summers sailing the coastal waters of England and France. During this time my agency was running like clockwork and I found myself needing a new challenge. The children were away at University and I found their visits home both exciting and intriguing as they related stories about life at ‘Uni’ and their degree work.
I decided I would study for my own degree; maybe literature. However, on applying to the Open University the English Arts degree course was full. They offered Science instead! Not to be deterred, and I did enjoy Biology and Chemistry at school, I signed up. I’d long had an interest in Conservation and Ecology and this degree would be a new challenge. Within a few months, I was hooked and completed the full disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology, geology and of course, ecology. One of my proudest achievements to date is receiving my honours degree from the Open University chancellor in London.
Meantime, Chris was lucky enough to be offered early retirement. We decided to buy a new yacht; large and comfortable enough for us to live on for extended periods. I upgraded my sailing skills, passing practical and written exams to become a Yacht Master. In 2001, Chris and I left the UK shores and sailed south to ‘hop’ across the Atlantic. We spent the next three years exploring the Caribbean, the eastern coast of the USA and down south to Venezuela.
It was during this time on board, Altarial, I realised that, ‘If I can study for a degree whilst working full time or living on board a yacht in the Caribbean, it’s about time I wrote that book I’ve always longed to write!’
A chance conversation with sailing friends about a true war-time incident, eighteen months of painstaking research and writing, culminated in The Crossing, (published as The Seeds of Time and Harvest) my first novel; a story of loss and recovery set in a modern day sailing adventure, paralleled by a memory of love and the human spirit in overcoming the horrors of the 2nd World War.
I loved the experience of writing and publishing my first book so much, that I immediately began my second novel The Assassins’ Village, immediately after. This book; a murder mystery, is set on the island of Cyprus where we spend part of our time. I am amazed that I have written 18 full-length novels in total and in three different genres.
I like writing crime novels best – maybe it’s because one of my past relatives was one of the most famous residents in Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of horrors before it closed in April 2016! I do stress we were related only by marriage though!
Sarah has asked me whether I have a favourite book adapted to a film. This must be M M Kaye’s The Far Pavilions. It wasn’t a huge film when made, but the story contains all the ingredients for a fabulous tale; intrigue, murder, action, adventure and romance.
When I’m writing, I like to completely switch off from the outside world, together with a small bar of chocolate and a good cup of tea. I’m a bit of a grouch if I go without writing for a while and hate being interrupted – unless it’s to presented with a cuppa!
My favourite highlight of my writing career was a couple of years back. The Surgeon’s Blade received a staggering number of eBook sales – second only to The hunger Games. I was very proud of that moment.
Thank you for featuring me, Sarah. I appreciate your interest.
Interested readers can find me on:
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2967303.Faith_Mortimer
Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Mortimer/e/B002EQ8HH6/ref
Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Faith-Mortimer/e/B002EQ8HH6/ref
They are all available on Amazon in Kindle format, paperback and other leading eBook sites, including: Nook, Kobo, Apple and Google.