Monday, 30 March 2015

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Review By Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite

Chantal Mortimer’s Embers of the Sun starts off as puzzling as protagonist Tessa Howard.
Even though she sees Sam Archer as the unfathomable one, Tessa herself is a riddle to readers. There’s more to her than meets the eye, and it seems only Sam knows about it.

Generally, I favor a fast paced story, yet the surreal cloud around the plot more than made up for it. The intrigue of Embers of the Sun kept me engaged from start to finish. There’s also an element of humor that threads through the witty dialogue, which I always appreciate in a story.

Mortimer’s prose is unhurried, faultless and engaging. Personally,
I think her writing style is wide ranging enough for a different demographic of readers. On the whole, a great read that one can easily
enjoy and I look forward to Mortimer’s other work.


Available from

Apple iBooks from iTune Store

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest

Where, oh where, does time go! It really doesn't seem that long ago I was engrossed in polishing and doing just one more round of edits on 'Embers of the Sun'. And it is indeed still strange, and very humbling, when I receive comments from a new reader.

It is this from this feedback that I am encouraged to enter 'Embers' into the Readers' Favorite International Book Award contest.

Thanks everyone for your appreciation!


Available from

Apple iBooks from iTune Store

Sunday, 21 October 2012

On Location

When I wrote Embers of the Sun, I used actual locations throughout the story, only changing the names to 'created places' in the very final edit. I found this helped picture the characters more realistically, putting them in the actual environment.

What was fascinating was the ability to find locations without ever having to leave my office, or even my laptop.

Technology is a wonderful thing! Just think of the elements you want - surfing, beach town, east coast - then Google it! There were so many options to choose from. It was great to 'go on location' once the choices had been made, and 'walk in the shoes' of my characters.

Embers of the Sun, being urban fantasy, needed a mythical location, a valley ablaze with flowers, a place that defies imagination. Again Google came to my rescue, especially as this was not a place I was ever going to get to... 

This photo gave me the basis of what I was looking for and painted far more than a thousand words for me!

Embers of the Sun

Available from
Apple iBooks from iTune Store

Friday, 12 October 2012

On character development

I guess we all have our own way of developing fictional characters. Mine is talking to them, in everyday situations, so I can hear what they say, how they say it, and understanding why they say what they do. 

I sat down and had a 'virtual' cup of coffee with Tessa Howard, the main character of Embers of the Sun, just before I started to write the story. It was a good way to get to know Tessa... 

I didn't stop and think about the questions, or answers, I let it all just flow wherever it wanted to go. Follows are the notes I made of that interview.

CM: Thanks for coming today, Tessa.

TH: I'm really pleased you asked me.

CM: Would you tell me a little bit about yourself?

TH: Sure. I just finished University, studying to be a school teacher. I've just received an offer to teach at a little seaside village! I am so excited!

CM: Congratulations! You enjoy the beach?

TH: Yes, I've been going to the beach for holidays my entire life. My mother loves the coast which is why I'm so excited about the job. My parents will be able to come and visit whenever they want to.

CM: So, you're close to your mum and dad?

TH: Yes, very. I'm an only child.

CM: Your boyfriend will miss you after you leave, no doubt.

TH: I don't have a boyfriend. I've been too busy studying to have a serious relationship. My best friend, Natalie, thinks I'm weird but... well, maybe I just haven't met the right person.

CM: Do you believe in fate, Tessa?

TH: No, not at all. I make my own decisions. I'm responsible for my actions. Believing in fate is for people who don't want to accept responsibility, or maybe they just can't, and it's easier to put it down to fate.

CM: What if everything that happens, happens for a reason? Just one long series of events that are all interconnected?

TH: If that was the case, then we would never need to make a decision, things would just happen. I haven't got time to sit around and just wait.

CM: Ah! The impatience of being young.

TH: Perhaps.

CM: So, you think you might meet some handsome surfer at your new home on the coast?

TH: It would be great to meet someone. I'm going to miss my family, and my friend Natalie, but I usually make new friends pretty quickly. 

CM: A summer romance, huh? Before you start your new job?

TH: Only if it's meant to be...

CM: I thought you didn't believe in fate? 

TH: I don't. But doesn't everyone have a soul mate, just waiting for their paths to cross?

I wrapped up the interview at that exact moment... I had a story to go write!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

On Urban Fantasy

The idea for 'Embers of the Sun' came from listening to a couple of friends talking about whether something that had happened was because of fate, and meant to be, or if it was just the outcome of choices that had been made.

I started asking, "Do you believe in Fate?" to just about everyone I met over a month or so and I was surprised by the answers I received. Most people who said "No" then went on to tell me about something that had happened and how it was 'meant to be'. The others who answered "Yes" were equally of the opinion that they were still in some degree of control because of the decisions they made along the way... 

Curious and more curious...

I didn't set out to write 'Embers of the Sun' as urban fantasy but as I got drawn more and more into developing the fate and freewill concepts, urban fantasy was the only way for me to really tell the story.


Chantal Mortimer

Sunday, 23 September 2012

On Writing Organically

In my early twenties, I studied journalism and took a stack of creative writing courses, thinking I needed the 'bit of paper' to prove I could write.

None of it was wasted, I certainly learnt the underpinning structure of writing, but did it teach me to actually write? 


In my thirties, I went to a zillion events and bought a zillion books on writing. Did I learn anything more? No, but I met lots of great people. 

Having just published a novel, Embers of the Sun, I can now reflect on the struggle to write the storyline I'd spent months devising and mapping out (advice from all those courses, lectures and books!). 

Finally, I just sat down and wrote the story, organically. 

In other words, I trusted that I could find the right words, in the right sequence, and tell the story. 

For me, writing is believing the story you want to tell is worth telling. And the words just flow...