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NinaMilton

Sabbie Dare and Friends

I have been writing fiction since my reception teacher, Mrs Marsden, put a paper and pencil in front of me. I can remember thinking; What? Do real people write these lovely books? I want to do that! I gained an MA in creating writing and sold my first books for children; Sweet’n’Sour, (HarperCollins) and Tough Luck, (Thornberry Publishing), both from Amazon. I also love writing short stories and they regularly appear in British anthologies. I now write crime fiction, published by Midnight Ink. The idea for In the Moors , my first Shaman Mystery came to me one day, in the guise of Sabbbie Dare. She came to me fully formed and said; “I'm a young therapist, a shaman, and sometimes I do get very strange people walking into my therapy room. Honestly, I could write a book about some of them...” I am a druid; a pagan path which takes me close to the earth and into the deep recesses of my mind. Shamanic techniques help me in my life - in fact they changed my life - although, unlike Sabbie, I’ve never set up a therapeutic practice...I’m too busy writing and teaching creative writing with the Open College of the Arts. I’m a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Although I was born, educated and raised my two children in the West Country, I now live in west Wales with my husband James. IN THE MOORS, the first Shaman Mystery starring SABBIE DARE was released in the US in 2013 and UNRAVELLING VISIONS will be out this autumn, but you can already reserve your copy on Amazon. Join me on my vibrant blogsite, http://www.kitchentablewriters.blogspot.com where I offer students and other writers some hard-gained advice on how to write fiction.

Candide by Voltaire

Candide by François-Marie Arouet, also known as Voltaire, was published in 1759 during the European 'enlightenment’ and at the time was banned as blasphemous, and politically seditious – Candide pokes a lot of fun at the establishment of the day. Voltaire was a sharp witty man, and (the two don’t often seem to go together) a philosopher, who strongly opposed certain Enlightenment ideas about social class. Candide is a naive young man whogrows up in a baron’s castle. His tutor Pangloss teaches him that this is “the best of all possible worlds.” Candide is discovered kissing the baron’s daughter, his secret love, and is expelled from his home. He wanders the world with Pangloss, surviving the most awful disasters and tortures, while Pangloss continues to describe life as ‘the best of all possible worlds”. Shortly after reading this novella, I saw the film Oh, Lucky Man, staring Malcolm McDowell, a sprawling musical intended as an allegory on life in the 20th century. I could not help linking the two stories. I still to this day believe that the screenplay takes its inspiration from Candide.