FEATURE: Toya Richardson

Today, as part of our publisher’s UNITY BOOK EVENT, I’m introducing you to fellow author Toya Richardson published by Little Bird Publishing House. We’re on a kind of Foreign Exchange project whereby we get to be hosted on each other’s blogs and get to hang out in their world with their readers for a day.

Be sure to head over to Toya’s blog and check out my interview at (http://toyarichardson.com/index.php/blog )

Welcome Toya! Introduce yourself and what do you write?  

Hi, I’m Toya Richardson and I write contemporary and paranormal romance and YA Fantasy.

When did you start writing and why?

I’ve been writing and having ideas since the age of four. My mum was my biggest supporter and encouraged my vivid imagination, making up her own stories to amuse me and reading other books to me. Her dream was to see me published. Sadly, she passed away in 2009 and never saw the dream become a reality. Her passing was the catalyst to make me focus on my writing. And now, when I am fortunate enough to publish my work, each book is dedicated to my mum.

Toya and her mum

Toya and her mum

What were the biggest challenges about becoming a published author?

I always say that the easiest part is writing the book, it’s everything that goes with it that is a challenge. My IT skills are pretty poor and always shied away from social media. Now, I have FB, Twitter, Instagram and a website – although that does need an overhaul. Marketing is time consuming too, but a necessary evil. I now push myself and have given talks, taken part in FB events, been interviewed by fellow authors and soon to be entering the world of book signings for the first time. I love interacting with authors and readers though, it gives me a great buzz.

Shout out your publisher and tell us how they helped you on your creative journey.

Little Bird Publishing House and the authors have been such a support. There’s always someone to help you out and give you advice. It’s been amazing to meet such a fabulous group of people.

Where can we find out more about them?

http://www.littlebirdpublishinghouse.com

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What are you working on right now?

I have recently submitted the second part of my YA fantasy trilogy, Wardens of Stargor, Book Two of The Fireblood Saga. Book Three, The Battle for Stargor, requires a professional proofread and then it’s good to go. I’m also working on a series called Beachside Romances – there are five at the moment – all contemporary and set in places I’ve visited. Two on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, two in Tenerife and number five is set in Cromer on the North Norfolk coast in the UK. I also have various other projects at different stages, and some notes for others.

toya with flame & dos

Who is your most favourite character you’ve written and why do they speak to you so much?

That’s a hard one, because I love them all. I guess, at the moment, it would have to be Amberley Masterson in Flame. She has to deal with the aftereffects of domestic abuse, the loss of a child, a harrowing court case and learning to love and trust again. But she’s a fighter.

Do world events and politics influence your writing?

No is the short answer.

How important are places you have visited and where you live to your writing?

Places visited are important, especially if they’re in your books. I gave a talk to a local WI group not long ago and there was a huge discussion about this subject. One lady had a read a book set in Suffolk, where I live, and the author had said the scene was set by the sea. Although the location is nowhere near the sea! She had visited Newlyn in Cornwall, a scene from Flame is set there, and she was pleased to see that my description was very accurate. Thank goodness for research, so important! I haven’t actually written a book set here – yet – but in the book set in Cromer has a scene located at Shingle Street in Suffolk. I’ve recently visited the area for research.

Share with us your favourite line from your most recent release.

It’s from, Defender of Stargor, Book One of The Fireblood Saga.

“She’d caused his death with her stupidity and now, she would have to live with what she had done.”

Tell us five things that you love in life.

My family, friends, writing, my newfound confidence and the support and kinship I feel with regards to the writing community and all the new people I’ve met since my writing journey began.

Tell us five things that you hate in life.

Lies, rudeness, racism of any sort, cruelty and not having enough time to write as much as I would like.

What book started your love of reading?

There were all the stories my mum made up when I was small and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Tell us about your most recent release.

That was Defender of Stargor, which was released May 2016. It’s about Melora, who was sent to Earth from her home world of Stargor to keep her safe. When she finds herself back on Stargor, she initially struggles to come to terms with the enormity of the task which lies ahead of her. Here’s the book blurb…

Melora’s whole life on Earth has been a lie, and now, with her mother’s death, she must face the truth of her own story.

And if it wasn’t enough that everything she thought to be real, wasn’t, there’s a really annoying (and irritatingly handsome) fae warrior who is forcing her to face her destiny, and her responsibilities.

As Melora discovers her true depth of spirit and courage, she embarks on a journey that will test every part of her body and soul.

An exciting adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat right up until the last page.

Where can we buy it?

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Kobo & Nook

Where can we find you on social media?

Websitewww.toyarichardson.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/toyarichardsonauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@ToyaRichardson1

Instagram: www.instagram.com/toya_richardson

Thanks for stopping by Toya! GOOD LUCK with the writing and let’s catch up again soon!

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