Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tabitha Ormiston-Smith talks, Patti Roberts, Paradox and the Witchwood Estate series.

The first time I met Patti, she was propping up the bar at the Writers’ Club. Well, actually we were both propping up our keyboards several thousand miles apart, but hey, an author’s got to have some licence, right?

We actually met on Facebook. We hit it off straight away when I assumed for some reason that Patti was American, and told her off for calling Australians ‘Aussies’. Patti showed her true class by refusing to take offence, and a long, rewarding friendship began.

Shortly after I got to know Patti, I lost my beautiful Deerhound, Beau. While I was grieving, spending much of every day in tears, writing morbid poetry and generally being a pain in the backside to everyone, Patti asked me if I would look at a couple of chapters of her current work. I was amazed at how much doing this helped me; I found the tight focus of editing made the grief and pain recede into the distant background for as long as I was doing it. I must have done ok, because after a few weeks Patti asked me if I would be interested in doing it for money. Practically before I could say ‘yes’, there were referral clients contacting me, and my editing business took off.

Since that time we’ve worked together quite a bit. I do editing for Patti and she does truly amazing cover art for my books. I have come to admire her so much, for her talent, her kindness, her generosity, her no-bullshit attitude, and her ability to deal with tossers without losing her temper.

I’ve watched with delight as Patti branched out into the hugely entertaining Witchwood Estate series. I get so excited whenever she tells me she’s starting a new episode! Really it’s like being a kid on Christmas morning.

As a writer, I am always in awe of Patti’s ability to describe a scene and bring it alive. Her gift for physical description is immense, and the Paradox series is richly visual, alive with light and colour. This is shown most strongly in her creation of different peoples in the Paradox world. In particular, the beautiful, delicate Bakhna Rakhna people and the mysterious, powerful Atnangker people (inspired by our own First People) give a wonderful depth to the books.

My other favourite thing about Patti’s writing is her tremendous gift for bringing the evil characters to life. Many writers make the mistake of taking their villains too seriously, and I think that is what makes Patti’s gift really special in this area is the way she always injects a little spice of humour. One of my very favourite villain scenes anywhere is in ‘Going Home’ (Witchwood Estate II), where the evil witch summons a host of cockroaches to nibble the calluses off her feet. In the instant work, coffee shot out of my nose when Pandora compared a nightclub full of teenagers to a sushi train. (You owe me a new keyboard, Patti!) If she ever decides to write in the horror genre, Richard Laymon must look to his laurels.

Readers of the Paradox series are certain to enjoy this new instalment, not least because the shock ending makes it very clear that there is more coming. I, for one, can’t wait.

Paradox - Equilibrium. ARC Review by: Tabitha Ormiston-Smith on Dec. 07, 2013 : star star star star star 
I enjoyed this book very much. It's fast-paced and full of action. 

One of the things I particularly enjoy about this author's work is its the visual quality; Roberts is brilliant at descriptive writing, you can see the colours, smell the smells. This series is well designed with a rich background. A less meticulous writer could have written the story without bothering to create in detail the beautiful, civilised Bakhna Rakhna people, the mysterious Atnangkers, and so on - but every corner is filled with exquisite detail in Roberts' work.
The other thing I really love about Roberts is her villians. She has a wonderfully light touch with them. You see the depths of evil, but you see it with a smile - there's always a leavening fillip of humour to offset the dark. 

The only criticism I have of this fourth book is that it stops rather than ending - in my opinion a novel ought to stand alone as a completely self-contained thing. However, readers of today's series will be well accustomed to the series as serial, so I doubt if this will be a problem for most readers.

Tabitha Ormiston-Smiths facebook editing page - HERE

Advanced reading copies (ARC) are available on request from the author

The Paradox Series Book Trailer
ebook from Smashwords - all eReader formats all countries.
US -  Amazon
UK -  Amazon
Nook - Barnes & Noble

Witchwood Estate Book Trailer
US - Amazon
UK - Amazon

Goodreads - - HERE

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