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
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