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…the result is horrible, but sort of impossible to look away from in case it does something to you while your back is turned. — Edpool, Hatboy’s Hatstand

Nysta

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I’m going to get this out in the open right now: I’m a bookslut. I’ll read anything, in any format. Magazine, comic, hardback, paperback, secondhand, pristine, print on demand, photocopied, slapped between two planks of wood, or uploaded into my Kindle. What surprises me is the ongoing debate over the authenticity or validity of an author’s work if they’re not presented in the correct format.

So, what’s going on there? Is it as simple as being a bookslut or booksnob?

There was a time when secondhand bookstores were places of musty old corridors stuffed with crinkly old yellow-stained books. The… Continue reading

I’m a bit of an internet surfer from when surfing the net meant something. The method used to be to find a big page of links and start following them out. Branching out and out in search of gold nuggets of information or just something mildly amusing.

So, without further ado, I’d like to offer you some of my favourite things of the week…

Writing Reality: Author Voice vs. Narrative Voice This intriguing article by Rachael Spellman (Raishimi) really got me thinking. Sure, I had to delve into my brain to remind myself of some terms I haven’t used since… Continue reading

Don’t ask me why, but I was reading a Guardian article today. About the Arthur C Clarke awards. I’d like to quote the following;

International debutantes – two of them women – make up half of list, joining established writers in race for UK’s foremost science fiction prize

Do you see that? Two of them women. Joining established writers. Established meaning “male”. Because to be “female” means you are not established as a writer.

I’m not normally inclined toward judging a person’s occupation by their gender, so I found it suddenly strange that most occupations actually are. For example, you… Continue reading

Those of you unfortunate enough to read my blog know I’m very fond of music. It influences me a lot. I like a good turn of phrase. A good lyric. A unique voice. Something interesting.

I’m also fond of punk. Some Dropkick Murphys really keeps my heart going, especially now I hit 40.

But sometimes I don’t listen to punk. Sometimes I feel like something else. So, what have I been listening to of late which is not punk?

Well, let’s look at a few of my current fads which fall outside of the norm for me.

Angel Haze I… Continue reading

Just before releasing my latest book, Nysta #3: When Goblins Rage, my Nanna died. If you read the inside cover, you’ll see I dedicated this book to her. I know this is a common thing for writers to do when close ones pass away, but for me I’m estranged from my family and have rather few friends so it won’t be very common at all.

Which was why it was special for me.

When I was growing up, I had the kind of household you might describe as fractured. I spent a great deal of my life with the feeling… Continue reading

I thought I’d jot down a quick post telling you about what I’ve been reading this month. Why? Because it’s been a terrific month for good reads.

I should forewarn you that I read a lot. I’m a fairly quick reader unfortunately, so I go through them like nobody’s business. It’s why I’m a big Kindle fan. Mainly because my physical library in my house is so big it’s become a terrifying prospect to move houses. Each time feels worse than the last and sometimes I think about selling them all and converting them to Kindle because, well, it’s so… Continue reading

I’m a bit of a fan of old fantasy series with barbarians or whatever running around chopping heads off people while rescuing damsels or whatever. Awesome mindless stuff.

And, while Brak certainly doesn’t seem capable of having a female character in his novels whom he’s not trying to kill because all women are bad, they’re pretty good fun.

It was, then, with delight that I see John Jakes has re-released them on ebook through Amazon! This is great because it saves me having to ploug through old secondhand bookstores which are getting both rare and useless as they focus more… Continue reading

Bernard Cornwell, well known for his Sharpe series of Napoleonic Historical action novels, isn’t one who’s seen in the fantasy section of your local bookshop. And, after giving him a darned good read, I don’t know why not.

I got hooked on Cornwell recently when I started with the aforementioned Sharpe novels. I have a problem in that I can read something in the realm of 100-140 pages per hour. This means I drink novels the same way some guys drink beer. It also means I quickly run out of books I feel inspired to read and end up re-reading… Continue reading

I’m quite proud of some of the names Nysta has for her knives. Go With My Blessing, for example. Being primarily a throwing knife, I liked that. And then there’s Entrance Exam, which often buries itself in throats while Fulci’s Last Joke never fails to find an eyeball. In-Jokes aside, I’m most happy with A Flaw in the Glass. I love that name.

But what caused me to actually give such colourful names to Nysta’s knives?

Simple. Iain Banks did.

While I was sketching out my first few character studies, I envisioned an elf clad in knives. My first short… Continue reading

Music is important to me, so a good soundtrack when I’m writing is an integral part of my comfort zone.

I find I listen to different music depending on the feel of the book. For example, the first book I wrote to the wonderful tunes of the Cramps. Especially the song, New Kind of Kick. It kept me buzzing and I could imagine Nysta’s boots crunching stones as she strutted across the Deadlands. You could make a decent argument that the music of the Cramps actually defined her character for me.

However, the third book seems to be looking for… Continue reading