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Creative support for business writers, pre-published writers and for writers-in-a-rut.


The 5-minute Interview: Per Ostberg

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Interviews | Comments Off on The 5-minute Interview: Per Ostberg


This week we introduce you to Swedish author, Per Ostberg.

Book Title: PERspective: Pros and Cons of Expat Life – Experiences from 25 years and 84 countries

Genre: Business Self-Help, Intercultural Management, Travel


What was your inspiration for writing this book?

Seeing so many fellow expats struggling with culture crash, loneliness, alcoholism, drugs and conflicting demands without asking for help or talking to other expats. I felt that if talking about one’s problems, exposed weakness rather than strength. I wanted to share my ups and downs, highlight that most expats are not alone in feeling at odds and give current and budding expats a little guidance.

What difficulties did you face when writing this book?

Combining my experiences with conveying a message that is meaningful for readers while making the book entertaining. No one wants to read “and then I did, and then I said, and and and…”.

What is your favourite part of this book?

Do I need to choose one? There has been so many hilarious happenings and some quite bad ones. Probably the part describing the evacuation from Sierra Leone during the civil war: it displays so much of the extreme situations an expat can face.

If you could give your readers one advice, what would that be and why?

Be open-minded! Working in different cultures can be stressful and sometimes frustrating. Without an open mind you will get into a negative spiral that could get out of control.

What makes your book different from other books in this genre?

It looks at the expat life from real life experiences, draws on some theoretical framework but tries to communicate my personal learnings in a humble way. It does not focus on “do this”, “don’t do that” like so many other books but tries to explain the mindset you need to have to succeed.


Per Ostberg - Author Picture - smallPer’s business career has taken him to 84 countries in 25 years. In his debut book, PERspective, Per provides the reader with insights into his life as an expat. His account of cultural differences and life away from home positions is the perfect book for any global business person.

Per attended a writing course and it was there that the idea for this book developed.  Writing support and publishing guidance helped Per to realise his dream of becoming a published author.

We are proud to be associated with Per Ostberg and his book, PERspective.

Buy the book

Kindle / Amazon:



Barnes & Noble / NOOK:

Book Dealers:   Morning Glen shopping centre or at Love Books, Bamboo Life Style Centre, Melville


The 5-Minute Interview: Suzanne Jefferies

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Interviews | Comments Off on The 5-Minute Interview: Suzanne Jefferies

Book Title
: The Joy of Comfort Eating

Genre:  Romance

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

The Joy of Comfort Eating CoverEver had somebody pull back your ribs, rip out your heart, use it as a battering ram, then hand it back to you? Sure you have. Every time you get on the dating merry-go-round.

In those moments after my last break-up, when my thoroughly mangled heart had retreated to somewhere in Numbtown, I was nudged by a half-written novel I’d scrawled at least ten years previously. It was about a well-rounded character who gets herself fired from her job as a teacher at an exclusive girls’ high school, while simultaneously falling for the headmaster. It so didn’t work. I’d re-written the story some time back and swopped out the headmaster for a former lover. Still didn’t work. But what if there was something there that was salvageable? In both the manuscript, and in the relationship? I was still licking my wounds from the break-up, with insane Thornton’s fuelled thoughts such as ‘What if he and I had another chance?’ Un-bloody-likely. But what if Charlie had another chance with the love of her life? I started writing.

Why will the reader fall in love with your main character?

I’ve got a soft spot for my heroine Charlie Everson. Here’s why.

1). Shed love to be the good time girl.Charlie’s exactly the type of person you want on a girls’ night out. You know she’ll be the one to crack open the champagne before you’ve even left the office. Sadly, she’s also the one most likely to be caught.

2). She knows what its like to have dream or two go up in flames. Totally unsuited to the political shenanigans of the corporate communications’ Queenswood office, Charlie’s any of us who looks back on her life and wonders ‘how the hell did I get here?’. And instead of setting off on a goal-setting workshop, she decides to swim into the delights of fried food, cake and chocolate. Let me pause there. In fact, I’m going to go do just that. Okay, I’m back (with my Cinnabon), she’s lost her first love, hasn’t had much luck with her second or third, and any attempt at a career in art has gone splat.

3). She doesn’t think cake can save the world, but it doesn’t hurt to try .


What is your favourite part of this book?

Favourite bit? Why the HEA of course!


If you could give the antagonist in your book one advice, what would that be and why?

One piece of advice? Only one? I’d give then man plenty. Like how to not walk away from arguments. How to say what you’re thinking instead of engaging in verbal gymnastics. Okay, I’ll stop there for now.


If you went on a date with the love interest in your book, where would you go?

A date with Brian? Hmmm. A nightlcub in the dodgiest part of town for a little swing dancing and some vodkas and lime. Perfect.


Give us the blurb about The Joys of Comfort Eating

It’s the worst day of Charlie Everson’s life. Not only can she no longer fit into her clothes (disaster for any public relations director), but also her first love, the sexy super-successful Brian Tendai, is her new CEO – the last person she ever expected to run into. Seeing him again tumbles Charlie back into her past. Still so many unanswered questions: he’s convinced she left him, she’s convinced he left her. Charlie minimises the ‘ex-factor’. Tell that to her emotions that are running wild.

But Brian’s not there to rekindle their romance. He’s overseeing Queenswood Communication’s recent merger after a hostile takeover. Guess whose name is at the top of the list?

They agree to one night together, just the one, then it’s back to business as normal. Or is it?

The Joy of Comfort Eating is a contemporary romance novel set in cosmopolitan Johannesburg.

How can the reader buy your book?

Currently online, Amazon

How can readers connect with you?

SuzanneTwitter:  @suzannejefferies


Facebook:  suzanne.jefferies7



Essentially Justin Bonello

Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Interviews | Comments Off on Essentially Justin Bonello

Book Cover of Cooked out of the Frying Pan

I always appreciate the ironies of life. I was asked to interview Justin Bonello about his new book: Cooked: Out of the Frying Pan. I hate cooking but I do love eating. More than that, I love a man in the kitchen.

I used Writers Write Essentially interview technique. It is a creative approach and provides a different perspective on the person you are interviewing. This interview was first published in The Bluestocking Review (Facebook), 15th November 2011.

If your life were a city, what city would it be? Bangkok

Writing sounds like laughter

Writing looks like jumping through hoops

Writing tastes like Mississippi mud pies

Writing smells like rose

What is your favourite number? 7

What is your favourite meal? Italian dish called Vongole. Clam Pasta. Dad taught me how to make it.

What are you reading? I read Sci Fi and fantasy to escape. I am currently reading the sixth book in the Throne series. I have a stack of books next to my bed. I am also reading Bloodriver by Tim Butcher.

Where do you live? Noordhoek in Cape Town. Used to live in Observatory. I realised how unhappy I was in Observatory once I moved.

What is your favourite quality about yourself? Humility

(Note from interviewer: initially thought that Justin said humanity. Seemed to fit in with the type of person he is).
What is your least favourite quality about yourself? Temper
Do you have a favourite quote?

There are no bad cooks just friends who are not hungry enough.

(Note from interviewer: will be using this quote the next time someone criticises my cooking!)

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

This is a dichotomy. I am a cook and a film producer. I run a small company with 27 staff but I get stuff out there. My work is global.

How did you come up with the titles of your books?

I had very little to do with titles.

Who designed the covers?

This is a long story. I wrote my first book – 40 pages – many years ago. I went to a club called The Curve. The barman poured me a scotch. I told him that the scotch was too small. His name was Quint Bruton and he was a graphic design. He moved in with me later. When Penguin phoned me about writing a book I told them I had a book. Quint designs all my covers.