I was invited to participate in this blog chain by the lovely Jo Robinson. Sporadically connected to the internet at the moment, Jo lives in Africa with her husband, four birds, some chickens, and a dog. That’s a serious menagerie. I follow her blog because it’s completely random and I enjoy that… then again I suppose I would, after all look at this mess I call ‘home’.
Here’s a little bit about her latest book, Shadow People.
After Natalie and Gabe discover a hidden room, they are hurled across time and space, and find themselves on Lapillus, a beautiful world made up of precious gems. But they soon realise that Lapillus is home to an ancient evil when they are attacked by the demonic wraiths of the Nefandus.
They find themselves thrown together with a group of beings vastly different to them in this lifetime, but closely connected through the aeons. They realise that the prophesies of all have come to fruition, and that without their intervention the fate of the universe is at stake.
With the guidance of the angelic Gluri and the help of the mysterious sentient spacecraft, the Vimana, the race is on to find out what the Nefandus want, and prevent evil from winning the battle of all time.
The rules of this tag are to answer the following four writing questions, and then tag three other authors. Next week, February 17, 2014, these three authors will answer the same questions and tag three others, and so the chain continues to grow larger. It will also give you something to read in my absence as it is half term and I will be morphing into Mumzilla and entertaining McMini. This will enable readers to get to know more authors and their books. It will also allow everyone to get to know these authors a little better.
1. What are you currently working on?
The third and fourth books in the K’Barthan Trilogy. Right now it feels as if I will be working on these for THE REST OF MY LIFE gah it’s the #slowwriter in me. On the up side. Book 4 is fixed it’s just Book 3 that’s bust. I think… we shall see. It’s a pain because I’ll have to delay the launch but there we go, such is life. I’d rather release my best work late than go off half cock.
2. How does your work differ from others in the same genre?
Mmm, well… if you want the honest answer to this one, I don’t really know. However, what I do know is that many, many of the tens of people who I have forced, at gunpoint, to read it a) like it and b) come up with comments along the lines of “this is not like any other book I’ve ever read,” and such. Between you and me, I actually think it’s a rather hackneyed stab at the standard messianic plot – tweaked to add interest and weirdness – but luckily, no-one else seems to have noticed. Pinning down a genre is difficult; I would class the K’Barthan Trilogy (which is what it’s called) as a humorous science fiction fantasy adventure, with also features a dash of squelchy bit-free romance (just kissing) in books 2 and 4.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Because when I sit down and pick up a pen that’s what comes out. Some people can follow what’s trending and say, “ooo look, erotica and vampire books are selling well, I’ll write one of those,” and clean up. They are gods. I’m not one of them. I am mortal and hotwired into a different plane of existence to them, or anyone else really. Ho hum.
4. How does your writing process work?
Oh. I’m not sure. Which puts me in the pantser camp, I believe. Usually I will be listening to music and I’ll see pictures in my head. I’ll wonder what they are and I’ll think about then. Or I’ll read something and an idea will form and start to grow. Next, I’ll get a couple of lines of dialogue maybe. Perhaps the characters are arguing. Why? What’s the cause of the emotional tension? Then I’ll write that scene, and usually, after a little while, I’ll write another one and gradually the characters and the plot will form, the world they live in will slide into focus and I’ll have something approaching a book. By that point I usually have all the major scenes. Then I write the minor scenes which link them all up.
This was so hard but I think I have sorted it out now. So, without more ado, here we go.
On Dark Shores: The Lady by J A Clement
J A Clement was one of the first people I ‘met’ when I started writing and has been a cyber buddy ever since. We loved each other’s books and she was the one who pointed out, with extreme tact, that my first effort to produce a book needed editing – which it did – and who gave me the name of an excellent editor. He still edits my books – phnark, I bet he’s cursing her. Reading On Dark Shores had me on tenterhooks all the way through. I loved this book, because it’s so well written, tense and gripping. J A Clement is another #slowwriter but all her books are worth the wait. She probably won’t have time to do this but I couldn’t ignore her because this is the one that sort of started it all for me. I’ve been reading mostly independently published fiction ever since. JAC has a blog with news and views and posts about upcoming releases… and you can find it here.
Trapped in fear and poverty after the death of her parents, the thief Nereia will go to desperate lengths to protect her beautiful younger sister from the brutality of Copeland the moneylender. No-one has dared to attempt escape before; the whole of Scarlock trembles in his grasp. Only Nereia’s cunning and some unlooked-for help give her hope….
In a country still recovering from war, events are stirring, and the little harbour-town will not remain obscure for long; but in Scarlock, right now, Mr Copeland is coming to call – and this time he’s not taking no for an answer…
Dead Man Riding East by Jim Webster
This is the second book that follows the fortune of Benor Dorfinngil, an ageing lothario who lives in the Land of the Three Seas a made up world from Jim’s warped mind. I loved the first book – Swords for a Dead Lady but I suppose I’d got to know Benor over the course of that one, so in this book he felt like journeying with an old friend. I read it in one sitting. Jim has a new book out, soon. A sci-fi whodunnit, I believe. So I’m hoping to persuade him to do a guest spot here when he promotes it on a blog tour. In the meantime, you can read about it – among other things – on his blog, here. Like Jo, Jim has also sporadically connected to the internet recently but I hope he has been readmitted from the outer darkness into the realms of pixelated light. Sorry…
Dead Man Riding East is a fantasy adventure where the unintended theft of a tyrant’s concubine, followed by the inadvertent acquisition of a wife, leads to revenge, the fall of dynasties and over exposure to the world of high fashion. Such are the further adventures of Benor Dorfinngil.
The Satnav of Doom and The Banned Underground Series, generally, by Will Macmillan Jones
This is a great series to read if you want to follow one writer’s development. The books are flights of Milliganesque whimsy but, possibly against the author’s wishes, there are deeper undercurrents encroaching in places. Will is another cyber buddy from my early forays into the world of the internet, a top man. The Banned books took me a while to get into and they are marmite, you like them, or you don’t. If you’re anything like me, you’ll also love watching the writing getting defter and sleeker as the series progresses. He writes a cracking blog, too.
Abandon all hope all ye who go looking for The SatNav of Doom
Once again, the Dark Lord has a cunning plan. And once again someone else is going to have to carry it out for him: that’s what henchmen are for, isn’t it? To hench? Oh, and to be sent on the risky missions…
Not that this one should be risky. What could be easier than secretly inserting computer spyware into a laptop, using a Banned Underground gig as a diversion? The Tax Office probably does it all the time. But the Tax Office is not normally being chased for an unpaid credit card bill for a huge round of drinks. (That’s the politicians. And the henchmen, of course.)
And it isn’t just any laptop the Dark Lord wants to spy on either. The Government is struggling to find the way out of the Recession without a road map, and what better aid than a SatNav linked to a computer? If the Dark Lord can get inside information on future economic policy, maybe he can clean up and buy a new Mercedes.
Then there is a mystery: where did the time-travelling SatNav come from in the first place? What if the original owner wants it back?
Magic, mayhem and macro-economic policy collide in the latest surreal instalment of the acclaimed comic fantasy series, The Banned Underground.
Scratch, by Danny Gillan
This book is one that I’ve added as an extra because I suspect Danny will break the chain… Danny doesn’t know me all that well, we pass, like ships in the night on Facebook and places like that. Also he’s quite busy with a lot of other stuff; like the excellent magazine, Words With Jam (which I highly recommend, by the way). He doesn’t blog that often and I’d bet my bottom dollar he doesn’t read my blog. But his books are awesome and this one is just a cracker. I absolutely loved it. Think Nick Hornby, for a parallel. It’s funny, poignant, witty and uplifting all at once. Just wonderful.
An unexpected reminder of his past prompts Jim Cooper, a 33 year-old Glaswegian call centre worker, to make a big decision. He’s going back to adulthood ground-zero – no job, no debt, no, er, home, and starting again. Maybe this time he can do it right and get the girl. The fact that the girl is already married and living in another country and her Bruce Lee obsessed dad apparently wants to turn Jim into his latest pet are only two of the obstacles he faces.
Given Jim’s forward planning skills don’t extend beyond praying and having panic attacks, it isn’t surprising that he soon finds himself living with his parents and working for minimum wage, in the same pub he worked in when he was 18. What is unexpected is Paula Fraser walking through the pub’s door for the first time in 12 years.
What’s even more surprising is that Paula admits she still loves Jim. But yes, she’s married, and no, she won’t cheat on her husband. She’ll tell him the marriage is over. Soon. When the time is right. As soon as her husband’s sick grandfather gets better – or fatally worse.
And so, Jim and Paula embark on the tricky business of not having an affair, and not telling anyone they know that they’re not having an affair. As Jim reflects, ‘If not being physically intimate with her in any way and denying to everyone we knew that anything was going on between us was the best way to prove I loved her, then that’s what I would do.’
Scratch is an un-sanitised, emotionally honest and hilariously candid story about what it is to grow up as opposed to simply change age, as told by a man who doesn’t know what any of those words mean.
There we go. Just in time (there’s still an hour of Feb 10th left). I hope you all enjoy my recommendations!