I am really pleased to welcome Urcelia Teixeira back to Bloomin’ Brilliant Books today for this week’s Author Influences. And Urcelia has something a little special for today’s Author Influences. Not only is she giving us the lowdown on her favourite books and authors BUT she also has a great giveaway for today’s readers. Read on to find out more…
Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I grew up with Walt Disney books and read my first book, Sleeping Beauty, when I was only four! I still have my collection in my bookshelf. Later I read Enid Blyton’s books and devoured her The Famous Five series. As a teen Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and Agatha Christie’s books were my favorites.
Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
I grew up in a fully bilingual home with Afrikaans (South Africa’s native language) and English spoken equally. My grandmother lived with us and she had the strong British influence on my life. I did love English, mainly because my high school teacher had a passion for the theatrical, so I was always plugged in. I think I got a B for English in my finals.
What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
Without a doubt, yes! You can tell from the early books I read that I gravitate towards detective and mystery books. Hunting down murderers through a series of clues, unraveling mysteries and good old whodunits. As long as they’re clean! I’m not a fan of fantasy, horror or romance books. I have read the odd psychological thriller (Linda La Plante) and found it haunted me for long periods of time, so I steer away from these too.
If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
I’d love to write a wholesome murder mystery series like Murder She Wrote. Who knows? I might very well do this still in the near future.
Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
I can’t really pinpoint one particular author, no. My mom tells me that I started writing poems and stories in my journals around 9/10 years of age. Apparently I used to leave them under her pillow. I’ve just always found it easier to express myself on paper.
When a good friend of mine turned full-time author (she writes paranormal romance) five years ago and I saw how easy it is to self-publish, I set myself a goal to author at least one book before I turn fifty. The rest is history!
Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
I tend to see which books are hot and happening and pounce on those rather than any particular author. When Dan Brown’s book Origin recently released, I had to get it purely because I wanted to satisfy my curiosity – see what the big fuss was about. I’m not particularly a fan of his. The same happened with Marian Keyes’ latest book, The break, which I was utterly disappointed in. Hmm, perhaps I should change this strategy…
I also attempt to read a broad spectrum of books so I can learn from other authors and must confess that I try to avoid books in my writing genre simply because I don’t want their narratives to influence mine.
Which books have you read that have made you think ‘Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
There are many fantastic books, but I guess the one that still sticks is Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The sheer raw emotion-filled beauty of it gripped me to explore who I really was and what happiness meant to me. It was inspiring and empowering at the same time. The author is immensely talented with her words; evoking strong emotions in her readers.
Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!)
Yes! My Alex Hunt books are based on true events, real relics and actual history. I am naturally a very curious person and I love researching things so I often get hold of a bizarre news story or headline which sets my mind off to a “what if this happened?” or “suppose he did that” frenzy.
The lost city of Rhapta is very real and so too is The Golden Urn. (You can read all about it on my website!)
Often my head runs away with me, and the true-life stories get turned upside down into my fast-paced action & adventure thrillers.
My characters are mostly original. Alex has been compared to Lara Croft, but I think Alex is far more authentic. She’s nowhere near perfect and her flaws show throughout the books. Alex has grown a lot and will continue to evolve as the series progresses, but I don’t want her to become so perfect and on point that my readers can’t relate with her. As for Sam Quinn; well he is as rugged and handsome as your mind can conjure up!
About Urcelia’s Books
Alex Hunt and the Chase for Rhapta: A Relic Chaser Adventure
When Alex Hunt’s mother tragically dies during her lifelong quest to find Africa’s ancient Lost City of Rhapta, Alex develops Agoraphobia – an unnatural fear of specific places and situations. She vows to never go on another archaeological expedition again.
So when her father, Professor Charles Hunt, Head of Archaeology at a prestigious British University mysteriously disappears several years later, she is forced out of hiding to find him.
With nothing to lose, battling her worse fears and with the mighty University behind her, she travels to Tanzania, Africa in search of her missing father.
Tasked to accompany her, the inexperienced Sam Quinn joins her on an action-packed adventure through the treacherous African savannah. Faced with an abundance of danger, fear, and heartache they come face to face with sabotage, crime and betrayal that will test their inner strength and will to survive.
Will she find her father and the infamous Lost City of Rhapta or will she die at the hands of the natives who believes the vanished city is best kept undiscovered?
Alex Hunt and The Golden Urn: An Archeaological Adventure Thriller
ALEX HUNT and SAM QUINN are back for another Action-packed Archaeological Adventure! This time, in the Cambodian jungle!
Finding The Golden Urn was supposed to be easy. Nothing the skilled Alex Hunt and Sam Quinn haven’t done before. But little did they know they would become the center of an international conspiracy. A conspiracy, so entangled in a web of secrets and crime that it could cost them their lives.
Faced with danger and underground syndicates, they soon realized they couldn’t trust anyone. Nothing was as it seemed.
After their return from The Lost City of Rhapta (Alex Hunt Adventures Book 1), Professor Charles Hunt retired and handed the reins to his daughter, Alex.
So, when the sacred Golden Urn believed to have contained Buddha’s remains, mysteriously disappeared from a mountain shrine in Cambodia, the Cambodian government hired the highly acclaimed pair for their assistance in finding the holy ancient relic and returning it to its rightful position in the Royal temple in Phnom Penh.
Alex and Sam were on the next plane to Cambodia in their quest to find the sacred Golden Urn. But what they encountered was far more than what they expected.
Would their pursuit for The Golden Urn put them through the ultimate test, or would it lead to the discovery of a relic no one even knew existed?
Urcelia is exclusively giving one lucky reader of Bloomin’ Brilliant Books the chance to win ONE full autographed paperback set.
To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is sign up to Urcelia’s Elite Squad newsletter by following this link:
The winner will be picked via a draw and announced on 10th September. Good luck!
A huge thank you, Urcelia, for taking part and for the giveaway.
About Urcelia Teixeira
I, Urcelia Teixeira am a NY Times Bestselling Author!
Ok, so it’s a bit of a stretch right now, but this has become my daily affirmation while I strive to get there. And when I do finally get to the top, you’ll know, but for now, I will introduce myself simply as a loving wife, doting mother and an aspiring self-published thriller author!
As an emerging thriller author most known for my Alex Hunt Archaeological Thriller series, my inspiration for my novels emanate from my keen interest in all things mysterious. From vanished civilizations, ancient relics, and lost treasures to UFO’s, conspiracy theories and bizarre news stories.
As a mother of three sons, I stand little to no chance not to be swept up in classics like Indiana Jones, National Treasure and The Mummy. My busy boys ensure my days are naturally filled with lots of action and adventure!
I read my first book when I was four and never stopped. Action/Adventure books laced with conspiracy and crime are my favorite, which is what I enjoy writing as well.
My insatiable lust for adventure regularly propels my family and I to take annual vacations to faraway places all around the world. Besides traveling, I love solving mysteries and hold fast to the idea that Bigfoot is real and Elvis is still alive.
A lifetime in the service industry and my passion for people lead to a commitment that I will answer emails and social media messages from my readers personally.
Though nowhere near the top of my craft, my stubborn determination will push for success as I continue to grow and deliver books my readers will love!
Lying ahead are more Alex Hunt Adventure books to complete the series, and hopefully a Murder Mystery Series and a couple of single novels that have been brewing in the back of my mind.
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See you between my pages!