Having started writing her phenomenally successful DIMILY (Did I Mention I Love You?) trilogy of books at the age of 13, Estelle Maskame has always been a passionate and determined young woman. Now aged 20 and with an army of fans behind her, she’s more confident and ambitious than ever. Just before she embarked on a book tour in support of her new novel, Dare To Fall, Estelle spoke to ThisIsTheLatest about DIMILY’s success, future projects and her advice for aspiring authors.

TITL: You’re now one of the biggest young adult authors in the country, if not the world, thanks to your DIMILY series, so exactly how old were you when you discovered that you had a passion for writing?

Estelle Maskame: Writing is always something I’ve always loved and I was first introduced to it back in primary school. Once a week we got asked to do story writing and I just really enjoyed it; it was my favourite class. But doing it once a week wasn’t enough for me and so I started doing it at home and it sort of just grew from there. It became my one big hobby – I wasn’t really good at anything else. I kept doing it, kept writing and then I started posting it online – where it somehow all just blew up.

TITL: I read an interview where you said you started writing your DIMILY series aged 13. How did you juggle that with school and all the other aspects of daily life a teenager has to deal with? Was it something you just worked on at home or did you sneak in a few chapters while at school?

EM: It was a mixture of both really. At the age of 13, I didn’t have exams or anything like that yet so I was always writing. Every night I’d come home, lock myself in my room, get on the laptop and start writing. But then over the years, when exams started coming around, it was harder to kind of balance it. I did used to write at school as well. I’d be in a class and underneath my notebooks, I’d be scribbling away. Even some of my report cards say that I would get distracted in class – but I just loved it so much that I couldn’t stay away from it.

TITL: Can you recall the first book you really loved and what impact, if any, did that have on your own writing and career plans?

EM: There’s not a specific book; it’s just books in general. I was always picking up books. I loved and still love the effect that books had and have on me – just being able to put everything else aside for a while and lose yourself in this other world.

TITL: Did you ever think your DIMILY book series would become as successful as it has?

EM: No, not at all. Even now, it’s surreal. The books were literally just an idea I got when I was thirteen, and I could never have imagined that something that stemmed from just an idea would be so big now. At the time, I just thought the idea I had would be fun to write and then I started posting it and people really enjoyed it and now it’s turned into what it’s turned into. I still can’t believe it. It’s been a few years now since the books were first published, but things just keep getting better and better.

TITL: What do you think it is about those books that have made them so appealing to so many people?

EM: I think it’s kind of a mixture of things. I think certainly for readers in the UK and Europe, the fact that the books are set in America is quite interesting and the rather controversial story-line – the step-sibling plot line – which isn’t one often written is possibly another factor. Then of course there’s the fact it’s written from the view-point of a teenager – by a teenager.

TITL: You’re about to release your new book Dare To Fall. How long did this one take to write and where did the idea for its story come from?

EM: I started writing it last August, September time. It took about seven or eight months in total. I had the characters, especially the main one, MacKenzie – Kenzie for short – in my head before I had the plot. The plot itself focusses on the effects of loss on young people. I wanted to write a novel that explored that a bit more.

TITL: Ultimately, what message or idea would you like readers to take from Dare To Fall?

EM: Like I said, the book explores loss in the lives of young people and how they deal with it – how they can turn it into a positive and learn something from it. I think that’d be the main thing I want readers to take from the book for sure.

TITL: Which one of the characters would you say you connect and identify with the most?

EM: Probably Kenzie. Out of all the female characters I’ve ever written, she’s the one I feel I can relate to the most in terms of her personality, her thought processes – they’re both pretty similar to my own.

TITL: How hard has it been for you to put the DIMILY series aside and focus solely on this new book and what lies ahead? Is it hard to say a sort of goodbye to a series that has helped establish you as a writer and earn you an army of fans?

EM: It was at first, especially when writing the last chapter in the trilogy, and by then I’d been writing the books for essentially five years, throughout the majority of my teenage years so it was a bittersweet moment for sure. I was glad to finish the trilogy, but at the same time, I guess I was a little worried about moving on and starting to write something completely new.

TITL: You’re about to embark on your book tour. How excited are you to get out there and meet just some of the fans who’ve supported you all these years?

EM: I love doing signings and events. It’s always really nice to get out there and interact with the people who’ve read and been touched in some way by what you’ve written. It’s always really nice to hear their thoughts and opinions and to just have the opportunity to thank them for their support.

TITL: You’ve said in the past that if and when the DIMILY series is optioned for Hollywood – which I’m sure many people would like to see happen – you’d like Selena Gomez and Drew Roy to play the central characters Eden and Tyler, but who would you like to see play Dare To Fall’s two leads, MacKenzie and Jaden?

EM: I honestly don’t have anyone in mind for them yet. I think, because I was writing the DIMILY trilogy for so long, I was able to really think – as the series progressed – who would be a good fit for the characters, but with Dare To Fall being so new, I’m not quite there yet. Maybe eventually I’ll figure it out, but at the moment, I really don’t know. I would love to see the DIMILY series optioned – that’s the next big dream.

TITL: Have you started thinking about where you’re going to go next or are you just taking some time to enjoy sharing Dare To Fall with everyone?

EM: I’ve already started working on my next project which is another contemporary young adult novel but that’s all secret at the moment.

TITL: As an author who gained a following on Wattpad, where you first started sharing chapters of your DIMILY books, the internet and social media have played a huge part in your career, but how do you deal with the more negative side of things that can come from and with that such as trolls?

EM: When I was younger, I definitely got a lot of negative comments from people, notably because I was so young and putting myself out there. I did kind of make myself an easy target in a way because with the good attention I was getting, I knew there was always going to be bad attention too. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve learned how to deal with it. When I was younger, it was hard to see people say and write nasty things about me and my writing, whereas as I grew up, I learned to just ignore it because those people really weren’t worth my time and they were just looking for a reaction from me. Now I just roll my eyes a bit and usually just block people straight away.

TITL: Do you think you’ve become a stronger and better person because you’ve faced the good and bad sides that can and do come with being a writer, and such a young one at that?

EM: Yeah. I think because I threw myself into it quite young and dealt with criticism at a young age, obviously now I’m 20, I’ve matured and I’ve learned that some people and their comments just aren’t worth my time. The people who go out of their way to put others down, I think, are either jealous or just have nothing better to do with their time.

TITL: What would you say is the nicest thing anyone’s ever said about you and your work?

EM: Oh my goodness, that’s hard. It’s always nice to read comments from people who say that they didn’t like reading before they discovered my books and now they really enjoy reading. I’ve had several of those over the years which are already really nice to see. As an author, you want to inspire people to read because books are amazing, and it’s always nice to know that your books have gotten people into reading.

TITL: Young adult books in particular are undergoing quite a resurgence at the moment. What do you think it is about the genre that’s getting not just young adults but a much wider audiences to read them?

EM: I think the YA genre is probably the most diverse genre out there at the moment. It deals with real issues and serious matters that young people are going through and that anyone can relate to. Some people might assume that YA books are just for younger people, for children and are a light, fluffy read but they’re not. YA books are amazing and address issues that everyone, no matter their age, can relate to.

TITL: Finally then, in an ever-competitive market, what advice would you give to those wanting to make a name for themselves as writers?

EM: My biggest piece of advice for people who want to get their name out there is to put yourself out there. Especially with online communities these days, it’s so easy to get your work out there and get feedback from people. I know some people can be worried about letting others read their work and it’s a bit nerve-wracking at first, but you really have to show people – even if it’s just friends; getting feedback really does help. With the internet and social media, more and more publishers over the years are looking at sites like Wattpad and those kinds of communities to see which writers are on there. That’s how a lot of people are getting discovered recently, so yeah, definitely put yourself out there. Have a look online and share your work with family and friends.

For more information on Estelle Maskame, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Dare To Fall is available online and from all good bookshops now.

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In an announcement that many fans had suspected was coming for some time, Tomo Milicevic, the guitarist for US rock band Thirty Seconds To Mars since 2003, took to Twitter last night to announce he had left the group. The 38-year-old posted a heartfelt message that began:

“There’s really not an easy way to say it so I thought, just say it. I am no longer with Thirty Seconds To Mars.”

His post went on to single out his now former band-mates and he expressed his gratitude to them, adding:

“…thank you to Jared and Shannon for allowing me the privilege to be a small part of their dream…I’ll cherish the moments we had together.”

The message also addressed the fans, asking that they:

“…please don’t be sad or angry over this…” and calling for them to:

“Remember something very important, this band brought us ALL together…me included.”

You can read Milicevic’s full post below.

Milicevic hadn’t played with the band since leaving their current tour in March, with the official Thirty Seconds To Mars Twitter account posting the following on the 16th of the month:

Moments after Milicevic made his announcement, fans of the band, collectively known as the Echelon, flooded the social media site with messages of support for the guitarist, many of the tweets ending with the hashtag #ThankYouTomo. You can read just a few of them below.

Remaining and founding members of the band Jared and Shannon Leto have yet to comment on Tomo’s departure from the band and are part way through the US leg of their Monolith Tour, in support of latest album America.



Inspired by artists such as Kenny Chesney and having opened for Thomas Rhett, Cole Bradley has always had a passion and affinity for country music, and now, thanks to releases such as his new single “Happy Hour”, he’s well on his way to being a real star of the genre in his own right. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Cole to talk song-writing, dream shows, and his ambitions for the next six months and beyond.

follow url TITL: First of all, who exactly is Cole Bradley?

Cole Bradley: Great place to start! I am a country singer-songwriter from Calgary, Canada, who currently lives in Nashville, TN. I love to have a good time, live everyday like it’s my last and put out music that hopefully people can connect with. TITL: When did you first realise you wanted to make music a career?

CB: I’ve always loved performing and songwriting but the moment I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in country music was when I was twelve years old. It was when I heard my first Kenny Chesney record and I was mesmerized by the way Kenny was able to make people feel through his songs. From that moment on, I wanted to be like Kenny and create music that everyday people could relate to. TITL: Which three artists or bands would you say you’ve been and are most influenced/inspired by?

CB: Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Darius Rucker would have to be the top three country artists that inspire me. The reason being is that their songs tell the best stories. Their music makes people feel something! TITL: What impact do they have on the music you make?

CB: Obviously, Kenny’s beach influence has impacted me in my song writing but ultimately, these three artists make me want to write better songs and push myself to new heights. In my opinion, Brooks, Chesney, and Rucker set the bar when it comes to releasing new and interesting songs, so my hope is that one day I can be on their level.

follow TITL: Where or how do you most often find inspiration for your songs?

CB: My best inspiration comes from real life experiences. I need to live my songs! If I can “live” and experience different things every day, that’s where I’ll find inspiration and that creates the best songs.

site rencontre gratuit 73 TITL: Tell me a little about your new single “Happy Hour.” Where did the idea for the track come from?

CB: The idea came from my first year of university in Canada. Every Thursday night my friends and I would huddle into my dorm room and we would play a game called “Power Hour” where each of us would do a shot of beer each minute for 60 minutes straight. We had a ton of fun to say the least! In the end, the song is all about just enjoy a few drinks with your best pals and getting into some fun afterwards! TITL: Are there any tour dates/performances coming up?

CB: You bet! We have some shows planned for CMA Fest in Nashville this weekend. After that we have some real fun shows planned in Western Canada over the course of the summer as well as a few US dates that haven’t been announced just yet.

source link TITL: You’ve already opened shows for a number of country stars including Thomas Rhett, but if you could share a stage with three other bands or artists, living or dead, who would you pick and where would you play?

CB: Obviously, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks would have to be at the top of that list as they are my heroes! From the past, if I was a sixties kid I would want to hang with The Beatles – “Penny Lane” was one of the first songs I ever listened to and probably inspired my love for singing. Is there any band more legendary than them? TITL: What has been the nicest thing someone has so far written or said about you, and what would be the ultimate compliment someone could give you?

CB: Wow, great question! I think some of the best compliments I have received are from people who have been following my career from the very start. Just to hear those people say that “you get better every time I hear you” or  “you’ve grown as an artist” is such an affirmation that I’m on track. The ultimate compliment someone could give me is that my songs helped them in a tough time or that one of my songs made them think of a special memory. For me, if someone tells me that they relate to my music and connect with it – that’s the ultimate compliment in my books.

simulazione trading on line TITL: Given that bands and artists today all but HAVE to be on social media, how do you feel about the power the likes of Twitter and other sites can and do have in terms of helping an artist grow their fan-base and keep themselves current? Do you think there’s such a thing as too much of a social media presence?

CB: Social media is a great platform for artists. It has never been easier to build a brand, release new music and build an audience. Social media engagement is huge in helping an artist grow their fan-base. If you can master the art of having great communication with your fans – I believe you will find success. It’s hard to say if there is such thing as “too much of a presence” but I believe if you have quality content and your personality shines through then I think you are doing the right thing.

TITL: Finally then, what does the rest of the year in store for you and where would you like to see yourself five years from now? What do you want to tick off your bucket list?

CB: For the rest of the year, my plan is to keep building my audience, touring in new markets and improving my craft. I think if I can keep improving on my live show, songwriting and in the studio as well as making new fans then I’ll be very happy. My main goal is to able to share my music with as many people as possible and if I can have a career in the next five years where I am still making a living playing music – then that’s a huge win in my books!

Check out Cole Bradley’s latest track “Happy Hour” below and for more information on him and his music, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.