Café Cala welcomes Felicity Young

Hi Felicity, welcome to Café Cala,

Felicity YoungIt’s great to have you visit Café Cala. I’ve Ioved all of your books and am looking forward to reading The Insanlty of Murder which I’ve just downloaded. I can’t wait to meeting Dody McCleland again. She’s a fascinating character. I’ve been making an apple and cinnamon cake this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?

Good morning, Maggie, and thanks for the invitation. I’d like tea please, as long as it’s not Earl Grey! Mmmm, apple and cinnamon cake, my favourite.

Where did you get the idea for The Insanity of Murder?

My Dody books tend to feature, among other things, society’s attitude to women in the Edwardian era. I’ve had a list in my head of the issues I wanted to cover in the series and the next topic on the list was insanity. Here is the book’s blurb:

To Doctor Dody McCleland, the gruesome job of dealing with the results of an explosion at the Necropolis Railway Station is testing enough. But when her suffragette sister Florence is implicated in the crime, matters worsen and Dody finds her loyalty cruelly divided. Can she choose between love for her sister and her secret love for Chief Inspector Matthew Pike, the investigating officer on the case? Dody and Pike’s investigations lead them to a women’s rest home where patients are not encouraged to read or think and where clandestine treatments and operations are conducted in an unethical and inhumane manner. Together Dody and Pike must uncover such foul play before their secret liaisons become public knowledge – and before Florence becomes the rest home’s next victim.

What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

This series has allowed me to dig so deeply into my favourite period of history, so deeply in fact, it’s almost as good as having my own time machine. The thing I like most about the writing in general is the wonderful people I have met along the way, be it readers, other writers and bloggers, editors publishers and journalists. The writing journey has been a tremendous experience through which I have made lifetime friends. And, speaking as a frustrated actor and musician, writing has also satisfied an inherent need I seem to have to entertain.

How did you start writing?

I’d always wanted to be a writer and studied English lit at Uni in the days before there were such things as creative writing courses. Studying the classics might have taught me critical reading, but it didn’t prepare me much for authorship, I mean, how could I ever hope to match the literary greats I’d studied? It took quite a bit more life experience and a move to the country to make me realise I didn’t need to ‘change the world,’ with my writing and that I could write to entertain.

What would you say has helped you most?

More like ‘who’, really! I could not have written even one word without my husband Mick’s support. My eldest son Ben, is also a (screen) writer and director and a huge font of inspiration

What are you working on at the moment?

Just finished number 5 in the series, A Donation of Murder, and am starting the research for number 6 as yet untitled.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Read, read and read again. It’s amazing how many people who are not great readers strive to become writes. You also need resilience (the strength to get back up when you’ve been knocked down) and drive. Talent helps too, but if you don’t have the other attributes talent alone won’t get you very far.

Which authors do you enjoy reading?

Quite a variety, depending on my mood: Kate Atkinson, James Lee Burke, Amanda Curtin, Hilary Mantel, Ellie Griffiths, Frances Fyfield, Peter James, Minette Walters, PD James, Sebastien Faulk, Thomas Hardy, Nicci French, Stephen Fry etc.


The Insanity of Murder can be purchased online in all ebook formats

You can find Felicity at:






Café Cala welcomes Elsa Holland

Hi Elsa, Welcome to Café Cala.

Elsa HollandIt’s great to have you visit Café Cala. Congratulations on your debut novel. It looks beautiful, and I look forward to reading it. This morning I’ve been making some banana and blueberry bread. Would you like tea or coffee with that?



Tea thanks Maggie, earl grey if you have any. Wow the room smells amazing. Banana bread is just the right balance between healthy and yum.

Earl Grey it is.

1 Where did you get the idea for The Veiled Heart?

The Veiled Heart came out of a short story. One of my writing groups, The Moody Muses, did a writing challenge where we put a whole lot of professions, places and activities on pieces of paper and then drew one of each for each character.

That was the birth of Lady Miriam Rotherbury, and the wonderful Lord Maxwell Worthington.

As I wrote there were neo-feminist elements that took shape in the plot. I think it is a soft but meaningful back drop to the romance.

The love story I think is very romantic.

2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

There are a few things.

At a social level I meet and connect with many people. Fellow romance readers and writers are very supportive, generous and collaborative.

Also the actual process of writing I find remarkable. It’s like dreaming with your eyes open. A part of you connects to this other world and another part of you is relaying that world and the experiences into words.

3 How did you start writing?

I woke up one day and it felt like I had swallowed a ball of string and it was stuck in my gut. It was a story that just wouldn’t give me peace. So I sat down and started to write it out of my system. Six months later I had a 90,000 word manuscript with little to no punctuation! I was hooked. I started an education process joining writers’ centres, workshops and conferences.

4 What would you say has helped you most?

Critique buddies, workshops and mentoring/support of successful writers willing to share their knowledge.

5 What are you working on at the moment?

I am wrapping up the 1st in a series called The Painted Sisters which I will test with traditional publishers and the second in the Velvet Basement Series called The Bound Heart due out later in the year.

 6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Feedback and education. Get critique buddies and go to writing workshops. You need to have faith in yourself and your work but also need to be open on how to take your writing to the next level, then the next and then the one after that.

7 Which authors are you reading right now?

I am reading Anna Campbell, she’s my ‘go to’ historical writer. Elizabeth Hoyt and Christina Brooke.

Veiled heart

Here is a snippet of The Veiled Heart. It’s at the beginning, Max and Miriam are caught in the rain after an incident in a disreputable part of London:

London 1898

“Your veil is torn,” he reached up and felt for the pins tucked into her hat and hair.

Her fingers wrapped around his wrist as he worked as if to stop him.

“I know what you look like Lily, beside there’s nothing left of it to keep it on.”

He stretched out his thumb and let it run over her lips through the space to demonstrate his point.

She huffed, sending a wave of warm heat over his fingers but didn’t stop him.

“I liked that veil,” her eyes flickered up to him wide and open, a little reserved as the veil came off.

It felt like something cracked in his chest as he looked at her. Under his fingers she was as soft as satin, glowing in this damp grimy night like an ivory bloom in a mass of shadows.

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Naturally I love reading and well after I found Romance as a genre, I was hooked. There’s something so powerful about the journeys we all take through love and passion. Love is nearly always at the heart of some of the most courageous acts and the biggest redemption and transformations in ourselves, friends, family and relationships.

I started writing in 2006 and haven’t looked back. I write every day, usually after 10pm, as I have a full on day job.

I love to write about strong unique characters. They are wounded in some way but they’ve come to terms with that and their lives. Then along comes that one person, the one they never thought they’d meet and everything changes. Their comfortable lives no longer feel comfortable and that person, the one who has brought passion, want, and love exploding into their loves… is also threatening to open up those long closed up dark places and let the shadows out. I read somewhere that love brings up everything unlike itself in order to heal. Some of the most powerful books, the ones we love the most are about that journey. I try and write about that.