Some time ago, I saw mention that only 2% of the world’s population have green eyes. The majority have brown and 10% have blue.
Seeing this, I wondered how important it was for authors to specify their characters’ eye colour, so took a look through TSL’s books to see what authors have done. The result is below. Do you think it’s important to specify eye colour or should that be left to the reader’s imagination? Marthe Kylie-Worthington in Family are the Friends you Choose also questions authors focus on eyes.
The cat, Ginger, in Anna Ryland’s A Second Chance
Marla in Josie Arden’s Broken Ties of Time
Raphaela in The last rose of summer in This and That 2 by Josie Arden
Isabel in The Visit in Tea at the Opalaco by Jane Lockyer Willis
Fairytales and Oddities by Ezra Williams
Grey-green eyes feature in A Perfumed Holiday in Stuffed! by Johannes Kerkhoven
In a break from green eyes, brown eyes are mentioned in The Stillbirth Marriage in The Roots that gave Birth to Magical Blossoms by Amna Agib (Bit Nafisa)
Doris Lessing’s lead character in The Summer before the Dark has brown eyes.
Thanks Pablo for the image
Broken Ties of Time – Josie Arden
Broken Ties of Time was published in paperback and hardcover by the author. Unfortunately, at first glance this has made for a long, cumbersome book which is expensive. Josie finished the book as her sight was deteriorating and approached TSL for assistance. We took on publishing Broken Ties as an e-book and to help bring the book to your attention.
Yes, the book is long which for a debut author these days is regarded as unacceptable. Why, I ask, should long books only be for authors of standing? If the story deserves the length, let it be. And this one does. (With the advent of the e-book, a long book is lighter and often much cheaper, making it a low risk option.)
Apart from the twists and turns in the story – and there are a few – I was completely taken with the continuity of the text especially as I got deeper and deeper into the book. The book crosses towns in England and continents – from South America to Japan to Russia, as well as spanning about 40 years.
The thrust of the tale is how to protect an ancestral house which, by the time of the current family, is 400 years old. How do single parents try and give their only child an upbringing which is as ‘normal’ as possible and yet protect them from the horrors of the world when they’ve been secluded and allowed a free lead because dad has had to spend so much time running his business and travelling? How does a head-strong young woman get herself out of the difficulties she’s accidentally fallen into?
As much as I don’t particularly enjoy reading books in e-format, take the plunge if you enjoy a multi-cultural mystery. From having procrastinated about starting the book (because of the editing time I assumed it would take), I was soon engaged in the story. The book is a relatively easy read – many have told Josie so. I had to slow the process for editing reasons but it was easy to keep track of things and people. This could be a slight criticsm, Josie reminds the reader of who people are/what they were doing if there had been a bit of a time-break. For me, it was helpful and didn’t detract from the story or add unnecessarily to its length.
Copies of the book in paperback and hardback form are available for those who just cannot face an e-book.
Whichever you prefer, I think it’s worth a read.
Inspirational Voices Interview, 29 November 2015, with Josie Arden on ParaMania Radio (+/- 4min download, Josie is 1hr 4mins in)
Josie Arden was born in Peru and spoke only Spanish until the family returned to England at the outbreak of WW2, when she was eight. Even then, she was scribbling stories but only her parents could understand her dramatic tales, written, in “Spanglish”. After the war, she ran a thriving little business making Halloween witches’ costumes from discarded blackout curtains, for her friends.
At a small private school for 23 pupils, run by a dedicated teacher who taught ten subjects and cooked daily lunch for everybody, Josie learned the value of filling “the unforgiving minute”. With A-levels in English, French, Latin and History of Art, Josie studied Dress Design at Nottingham Art College. She worked one year in Paris, two years on the Daily Mirror and finally managed the London office of a Yorkshire advertising agency.
Marriage, raising two sons, the care of four other children and nursing a husband who needed twelve operations in fourteen years, brought writing to a temporary halt.
One hobby she shared with her husband was caravanning. Despite being so often ill, he insisted on their annual trips around France. Fortunately, they had both qualified on a towing induction course, so no problem for Josie to take over the towing.
Josie opened her keyboard again, as a widow and published her blockbuster novel, Broken Ties of Time at the age of 82. Concurrently, being a member of the Harrow Writers’ Circle, she was, as she put it, “never not witing”. Josie is much travelled and her stories, some true, some imagined, reflect not only her diverse experiences, but her close international friendships. She hopes This and That, her first volume of short stories, will lighten the tedium of your daily commute or any boring hours when you may be confined to the sick bed.
Article on Josie in My Pinner News (December 2015, p14)
Books by Josie
About Broken Ties of Time
If feuding drug barons were plotting to take over your home, which had been in the family for 400 years, wouldn’t you strive to preserve it for a while longer?
With no male heir and his free-spirited daughter, Maria, off abroad, Lord Richard Winsforth is in despair. The house Mecastra is in decay. Not wishing to lay the burden of its repairs on Marla while she is young, he nevertheless fears fortune hunters as men profess their love for his beautiful daughter.
Marla’s first relationship triggers cataclysmic and sinister events which nearly destroy the old house and it is only the doggedness of one man and his love for the Lady Marla which turns its grisly fortunes around.
What people are saying about Broken Ties of Time
A gripping thriller and romance
It is a good ‘page turner’
I couldn’t put the book down
A surprising amount of intrigue amongst so many characters
Penetrating observation of different walks of life
1. >A Day to Remember
2. A Flower for my Love
3. Can Do, Cindy
4. Carry on Red Cross
5. Chelsea and QPR
6. Dare You To
7. End of the Road
8. Every Dog has his Day
9. Fancy that
10. First Man Down
11. For All of Us
12. Foxton Locks
13. In Production
14. Jeopardy in Josselin
15. Just a little Pet
16. Let there be Light
17. Lotta Terracotta
18. McDonald at the Menhirs
19. Meet the 10:25 Huh!
21. Midnight Madness
22. Millie’s Ghost
1. My Tiger
2. No Greater Love
3. One Sarong Doesn’t Make a Right
4. Poison Lady
6. Shades of Love
7. Small is Beautiful
8. The Black Leather Jacket
9. The Chasm of Years
10. The Good Secretary
11. The Last Rose of Summer
12. The Most Important Chapter
13. The Nameless Boys
14. The Spanish Christmas
15. The Sunhat
16. The Unscheduled Delivery
17. Top Tec
18. Two in a Million
19. VE Day Surprise
20. Wheeling Feeling Blue
21. Tricks from the Past
22. York Express
23. Moment of Truth
24. Barking Mad
25. Orphan Alley
What people are saying about This and That
A collection of short stories, some autobiographical, some fictional
Is very easy reading