Saturday, 11 April 2015

Tap, Tap ... Testing

It's pretty dusty here, and I apologise, but very soon I hope to have this blog back in shape.

So I've had an accidental hiatus from all things writing. Apparently this can be a type of writer's block. And maybe it was for me. For some reason I just stopped writing and focused on everything else in my life. I've been writing for the past two months now, quite solidly too, and I've been enjoying it. Why I stopped over six months ago, I don't know. It just happened.

On the plus side I've got a lot of energy for my writing now, and I was able to look at the first draft of my current work in progress ('The Raven') with fresh eyes, deleting all the crap and identifying what needed fleshing out. This is why I always like to leave a draft sit for at least a month before picking it up again for editing.

On the negative side I have dropped some deadlines I had set. The sequels to both 'The Viscount's Son' and 'The Borderlands: Journey' will now be published much later. And I'm sorry to anyone awaiting their release.

So while I was away from my writing desk the writing world kept on turning. I've had a million emails, and if I haven't got back to you please feel free to send me a line. I've had more reviews on both my books, and even earned my first ever 1star rating! I think I've made it now :)

Anyway ... Better get back to dusting!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Writing Update

I thought some of you might be interested in what my current WIPs are. So this post is about what I'm writing now and what I hope to publish next.

I've written a standalone fantasy novel called 'The Raven'. It has nothing in common with Poe's famous poem of the same title, but I hope it's just as dramatic. Here's a rough blurb for the story:

It is the darkest time in winter and the beginning of Ilun - when suns, stars and moons all disappear from the sky. In the Wolf clan a baby is born and she has a gift that only the clan's soragan, Izhur, can see. But the Circle of Eight is not pleased with the ill omens the baby signifies and orders Izhur to enact the babe's fate.

The story is set in a prehistoric world and follows the Wolf Clan over a span of years. This will be the first of many novels to come set in this newly created world. I hope to publish it before the end of the year.

I'm currently writing the first draft of 'The Earl's Daughter', which is the follow up novel to 'The Viscount's Son'. I'm having a lot of fun learning what happens next. There is a new character who is giving me lots of surprises and I quite like him - hopefully readers will to. I aim to have the first draft finished soon, then it will be workshopped and edited. But, hopefully I can publish it at the end of the year.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Out of the Blue and Other Stories - Review

I enjoy reading a short story or two between novels. They're a great way to 'cleanse the palate' after being heavily invested in one fantasy epic or other. I recently picked up a little anthology by CJ Jessop. CJ  interviewed me on her blog not long ago, and it prompted me to check out her work - I wasn't disappointed.

Out of the Blue and Other Stories is a collection of futuristic sci-fi short stories that make you think, reflect, wonder and laugh.

Jessop has a gift for making readers look at humanity from a distance, almost Bradbury style. I really enjoyed this critical, questioning aspect of her storytelling. It makes for an entertaining and thoughtful read. The story which is the collection's namesake 'Out of the Blue' particularly had me thinking critically about humanity and our societies - where the most intelligent creatures on our little planet are most likely not us. And I loved the exploration of morality and exploitation entrenched in the act of invasion in 'So shall they begin again'.

There were dark mysterious tales that left me wondering. What are the creatures or aliens that can take life in 'His Plan' and 'Pale Siren'? Some tales were deliciously creepy!

One of my favourites was a hilarious tale called 'Down to Earth', which tells the trials of Selmer - an alien who just wants to make contact with some ordinary earthlings. I chuckled through the whole thing.

I was a little sad when I came to the end. This book had me staying awake when I was dog tired, eyes drooping, just to read one more story. I always know it's a good read when that happens.

I'd recommend Out of the Blue and Other Stories to all lovers of sci-fi, futuristic and fantasy in particular. Or anyone who enjoys a good short story.

My Rating - 9/10

Friday, 8 August 2014

Interview with Ashley Capes

Ashley Capes is one of my favourite fantasy authors, and I'm currently reading his novel 'City of Masks'. It's a wonderfully intriguing read with characters that draw you in as much as the many secrets that reveal themselves slowly in the plot. I'll be reviewing 'City of Masks' in a future post, but in the meantime you might like to have a peek at the glowing reviews on Amazon. Ashley is also a poet and I have reviewed one of his anthologies in a previous post.

I'll be reviewing CoM soon!

Ashley kindly interviewed me recently for his blog. We had a great chat that touched on developing characters, the writing process and the challenges authors face. You can read the interview here.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

#AmWriting - in pics 1

When writing there is always an element of research - no matter the genre or setting. For me, a part of research is to look at images that show the visual detail of what the characters are seeing. Often these images are beautiful or gruesome; whatever they are I frequently want to share them!  So that's what this post is about. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did :)

This week I've been editing my standalone fantasy novel called 'The Raven'. In this novel we follow the life of a clan who live in tree shelters. These mud-hut like structures have to be built in old trees with thick boughs that could support such a shelter. Like this one - beautiful pic!

I've also been writing the sequel to 'The Viscount's Son' in which a new main character stops by Notre Dame to observe the gargoyles on its rooftops. Fascinating!

Pictures - they're a great way to research.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

An interview with Renay Allen

I've been lucky enough to be interviewed again, this time by fellow writer and blogger, Renay Allen. She asked me some questions about my latest publication 'The Borderlands: Journey' and what it's like to be an Indie. You can catch the interview here.

While you're there you might like to take a look at Renay's online serial with the intriguing title of 'Breath of Sirius'.

Thanks Renay!

Friday, 4 July 2014

'The Borderlands: Journey' is free this weekend only!

'The Borderlands: Journey' is free for this weekend only at Amazon. So if you're a lover of fantasy fiction now's the time to get your copy.

Enjoy it!