Thursday, 7 July 2011


Aspiring music journalist, Emma Sutherland, talks to me about gigs, bad rappers and her prediction for the next big thing…

Hi Emma! Have you always been a writer? 
No, I've only got into writing in the last year or so. I started by writing for the Daily Echo (and still do from time to time) and have written for the Mr Kyps website and an online youth magazine in the North of England. It's a nice hobby I have at the moment but I would really love to do it as a full time job.

How did you get into writing music reviews?
I've always loved music and love the atmosphere you get at gigs; the build up and excitement of seeing a band you love is a great experience. I realised after seeing a few gigs in Bournemouth that I could write about them so as I have a permanent memory of the gig. I got in touch with Nick Churchill (the Daily Echo's entertainment editor until last year) and asked if he accepted gig reviews from anyone or if you had to be a staff writer. Fortunately the Daily Echo have a small army of ordinary people doing reviews and he asked me to send him a review I had done. Off the back of this he offered me a review job for the band Wild Beats at 60 Million Postcards in Bournemouth and despite not knowing all of their material I had a really good night. They're one of the best live bands I've seen and in such a small venue it was a great opportunity to see them up close and get a feel for the band and their music.

Do you have a favourite place to write?
I go to Mr Kyps pretty regularly so I think my favourite place to write is in there! It's great because I can stand at the bar and still see the onstage action while sipping a nice cold beer, which sometimes, if I'm lucky, I get for free!

Best ever gig you've ever been to? Why?
There's too many to mention! I've seen some great acts but I think my favourite has to be Muse at the SECC in Glasgow. This was a couple of years ago before I was thinking about writing gig reviews but it was amazing for a number of reasons. One, Muse are one of the best rock bands in the world so what could go wrong? Two, I went with some lovely people and three, it was a proper road trip!

And the worst gig ever?
There was a night of poetry and music in The Winchester pub quite a while ago and a guy that came on stage to rap towards the end of the night was pretty poor - quite a few people left the pub, me included!

Top three albums?

Ghostpoet 'Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam'

Metronomy 'The English Riviera'

Tricky 'Knowle West Boy'

What are you listening to at the moment?
Ghostpoet and Foals' first album 'Antidotes' are been heavily repeated on my iPod at the moment. They're both so easy to listen to and I love Ghostpoet's talented lyrics 

Your prediction for the next big thing...
I went to The Great Escape music festival in May this year which is a three day event for up and coming bands as well as a good few established ones. Among my predictions for this year are two two piece girl bands, one called 2.54 and the other Smoke Fairies. Both different in musical style but emerging talents for 2011 (hopefully!)

What's your dream job?
Being a full time, paid, music journalist. 

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I'm a massive Formula 1 fan and was lucky enough to go to the Canadian Grand Prix this year. We got absolutely drenched by the rain but it was well worth it!

Thanks so much Emma!

You can check out Emma’s music reviews here:

Monday, 4 July 2011

Paranormal Romance Author: Tessa Stokes

Hi Tessa! Welcome to Someone Wot Writes. Can you tell us a little about your writing.
I have just completed book four in The Seven Spell Saga, it is titled, The Sealed Door. My books, Spellbinding, The Spell Breaker, and The Seven Spell all in The Seven Spell Saga are romantic, lyrical, sprinkled with the motifs of magic, love, friendship, time travel, and immortality.

I wanted my characters to strike real chords with readers, they had become so real to me that it seemed very important to me that readers could also picture and empathize with the characters. One of my characters actually has their own twitter account, although not too many followers just yet. LOL I will leave readers to guess which character. Anyone who has read any of The Seven Spell Saga books will be able to guess who.

What will readers like about The Seven Spell Saga?
That the main character draws them into her life and tells them about her feelings and thoughts as well as her experiences. Chloe McGarry also turns to the reader now and again for opinions. I think that readers will like the two guys in the book, Oliver Tarrant is centred, loving and lovely. Tristan Dearing is mysterious and intense, his love is consuming. I think readers will like the love triangle in the books. As Chloe settles down to her new life in a different country, falls in love and makes new friends the style of the book reflects her growth.

What inspired you to write them?
I wrote The Seven Spell Saga after having the ideas in my head for a few years, I had made notes on various computers and suddenly found that they all gelled. I love ancient places and history, plus I have come across some strange coincidences in life and that is a major motif in the books.

Do you have any new works in the pipeline?
Yes book five of The Seven Spell Saga is started, I love my characters so much I could not leave them where book four finishes for long and so started the fifth book straightaway.

I have two chapters of a science fiction young adult novel written and I am about the third of the way through a vampire paranormal romance, another plot I have had in my head for a long time. It's a vampire story with a difference, I hope.

Who are your favourite authors?

I have read so much and find it hard to have favourite authors but at the risk of seeming high brow which it's not, I love Shakespeare, also Thomas Hardy. I read lots of detective novels because they are far away from my own genre so that I am not influenced by anything. So I read, Sue Grafton, Ruth Rendell. I also read Alexander McCall-Smith.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I have a degree in Computer Education. If that is too crusty, I once lived in Tangiers, Morocco, quite exotic.

Thanks so much, Tessa. And good luck with your Seven Spell Saga!

You can discover more about Tessa in the following places:
Tessa's Blog
Tessa's Website

The Seven Spell Saga is available to buy from Smashwords and Amazon