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I do wish it had been longer but isn’t that what you wish about any story you like? — Amanda, Amazon.Com

Nysta

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The trouble with writing a tough homicidal female assassin is you often get accused of either gratuitous girl-ism or being unrealistic. Despite the fact that women serve in all manner of frontline positions in modern militaries all over the world, it’s taken as a “given” by a lot of readers that female fighters are just not tough enough to dish it out in a fight. Best to make female assassins into archers, where their toughness can be defined instead by their skills at being far from the frontline. For me, that’s not tough. That’s just a little too sensible.

Women’s… Continue reading

I’m an impatient writer, believe it or not. It’s one reason I can’t write epics. I’d love to write epics. I would give a lot to be the next George RR Martin. Or the next Brandon Sanderson. Hell, I would trade all my limbs to be Steven Erikson. All of them. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved the world-building of fantasy. I think it was because I had such an awfully empty childhood that I felt fantasy was an escape into something magnificent. Something special. I dreamt of having a wardrobe portal into another world. I guess it wasn’t… Continue reading

Many writers don’t talk about what they’re reading. Me, I can’t help it. I used to review books and even horror movies for a while at the end of the ’90s. Back when the internet was colourful and full of crazy .gifs. So, I can’t help it. I have an online mouth which can’t stay shut.

Also, because I read so many books in rushes, I can’t really do a post for each one so often I’ll select a few of the ones which made me happy and write about them.

Like this:

I recently did a re-read of the… Continue reading

When I was at uni, one of my tutors used to say the most important part of your book should be the first few pages. In fact, the first page will be the page you need to spend the most time on. I’ve tried to live by that, and I work very hard on my Introduction chapter. I always try to give it a bit of something special. Because it’s those first few pages which will either attract or repel a reader. And, if you think about the books you’ve read in your life, you’ll feel the same.

Sure, some… Continue reading

I’m one of them gnarly fandangled new Indie writers. I also happen to be one of them lost-cause introverted writers. You know the ones. The ones who don’t really do all that much with their Twitter, and Facebook. Who don’t have family or a bucketload of friends to add bunches of helpful reviews or to help lift sales with some quick “sales”.

It’s bad enough I don’t have a marketing team or ability in that regard. Bad enough I don’t have a publisher to do the footwork (what publisher would seriously want books with this much violence and swearing in… Continue reading

When I first started writing Nysta, she wasn’t an elf. For a long time, she was human. I set it in a city of alleys and there was no magic. That changed when I decided I was sick of elves. Sick of Tolkien-style elves, anyway.

What’s with the bows and the overly-graceful descriptions? They’re fantasy’s angels, and I’d had enough of that.

So, I made Nysta an elf. And messed with all expectations of what elves might be. It’s also why I pluralise them as elfs. Because I know how much that irritates a lot of people who don’t know… Continue reading

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

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