Monday, May 5, 2014

Tour Kick Off - Secrets in the Snow by Roz Marshall

Women's Fiction/Drama/Sports

Collection of 3 Novellas

The White Cairns Ski School early season collection (Episodes 1-3)
When her ski instructor husband is delayed from returning to Scotland, it falls to Jude Winters – creative graphic artist, mother and home-maker – to assemble a team of instructors and get the season started for ailing White Cairns Ski School.

It's a challenge that's way out of her comfort zone, especially since even the seemingly confident and extrovert ski instructors are hiding mysterious pasts or secret longings that might threaten the equilibrium of the ski school.

As they battle sabotage, stormy weather and accidents in the first months of the winter season, can she turn things around and keep the wolf from their door until her chief instructor gets back from New Zealand?

"The words just flashed by. I forgot I was reading. I love the characters."

"Great story with an excellent ending that will leave you wanting, nay, needing more."

"I liked this story. It was quick and entertaining. It played out in my head like a movie"

“Secrets in the Snow” is a collection of the early season stories from the 'White Cairns Ski School' novella series about a Scottish snowsports school.

It’s a character-driven drama with an action setting, youngish-adult protagonists and romantic elements. If you enjoy early evening TV drama series like Downton Abbey (with mountains instead of mansions), Glee (with skiing instead of singing) or The Musketeers (with snowploughing instead of swashbuckling), then this might just be for you!

#1 – What inspires you to write?

The White Cairns stories have been in my head for so long that it’s been almost a relief to finally get them written.

But I realised the other day that I’m always making up stories. I’ll observe a glimpse of something when I’m passing on a train or bus or car, and I’ll invent a reason for it, some back-story or drama. When people do something, I’ll wonder what makes them react like that?

So I guess I’ve got a good imagination and writing is a perfect outlet for that!

#2 – Where did you get the inspiration to write the White Cairns Ski School series?

I’ve been skiing for a long time now and am qualified as an instructor. So most of the things that happen in the books either happened to me, to someone I know, or could have happened to me!

As a writer, you often tend to play the ‘what if’ game: “What if that snowboarder who nearly knocked me over had actually crashed into me and broken something?” “What if a storm came in while I was trying to encourage that reluctant pupil to come up the ski tow?” “What if I suddenly had to find a bunch of employees from nowhere with only 5 days’ notice?”

It’s questions like that which can help to start your story…

#3 – Your stories are set in Scotland. Why did you decide to set them there?

Well, mainly because I’m Scottish! And of course I love that I can describe the Highland scenery and that the weather almost becomes another character in some of the stories!

Scottish ski schools have some rather unique challenges, which give me some built-in conflict for the stories. For example, our mountains aren’t as high as the European Alps or the Rockies in America, and our weather isn’t so cold. This makes for a precarious existence – the snow can be late to arrive, or early to melt, so we tend to get other Scots on day trips rather than people on a week’s ski holiday. But many of the locals are also skiers, so you get much more of a ‘community’ feeling than you perhaps do in a purpose-built alpine resort which has hundreds of different holidaymakers arriving every week.

#4 – What influenced you to self-publish your book?

I mentioned above that the White Cairns story has actually been with me for years. I was doing scriptwriting classes and it was originally going to be a TV drama series, until I realised how difficult it was for an unknown writer to get a script commissioned, and shelved it. Then, last year, I read my first eBook; and when I heard that you could publish independently through Amazon, I realised that my story could work as a series of eBook novellas, and started writing…

#5 – How do you develop your characters while you are writing?

Initially, I write character sketches for all the ‘cast’. Then, before I write each scene in the story, I tend to mull it over, thinking about who will have the most interesting point-of-view of the action, and how the people involved would react.

For example, right now I’m writing a hospital scene, and trying to work out how a character would react to the news the doctor delivers. Would they get emotional? Practical? Over-react? Make it all about them? Become a martyr? You can’t know this unless you know your characters. But the way they react can totally change the story progression!

#6 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?

YES. I’ve been reading voraciously since before I can remember so I’ve always got a book on the go. I read from a wide range of genres; currently I’m reading Hugh Howey’s ‘Dust’ (part 3 of the post-apocalyptic ‘Wool’ trilogy)

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:

“Secrets in the Snow” – sabotage, storms & setbacks in this #Scottish #skiing story. Read for great characters, #action, #drama & #romance!

Roz’s “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”

1.     Roz once had dinner with Hunter (James Crossley) from (UK) “Gladiators”
2.     James Crossley went out with Ulrika Jonsson
3.     Ulrika Jonsson was born on 16 August, as was actor Timothy Hutton
4.     Timothy Hutton was in the Robert Redford-directed film, “Ordinary People”
5.     Robert Redford was in “All the President’s Men” with Joshua Shelley
6.     Joshua Shelley was in “Quicksilver” with Kevin Bacon 

Roz lives in Scotland with her husband and the obligatory dog and cat. She has been writing since childhood, including screenwriting, songwriting, web pages and even sentiments for greeting cards!
The White Cairns novellas are written from experiences Roz had whilst working as a ski instructor in various Scottish ski resorts and slopes - they do say you should 'write what you know'!

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