PS: Disconnect is Free to read from Amazon and iBookstore.
PS: Disconnect is Free to read from Amazon and iBookstore.
A fellow writer and friend (Dionne Lister @DionneLister) is offering a sale of their novel.
Shadows of the Realm is an epic fantasy for teens and adults. Join Bronwyn and Blayke, two young realmists, and their animal companions, as they are forced to leave the only home they’ve ever known to undertake a dangerous journey towards Vellonia, city of the dragons.
The gormons are invading, slipping through the corridors between realms, and they want blood, lots of Talian blood. Will the young realmists learn enough of the Second Realm magic to prevail, or will everything they love be destroyed?
The first book in The Circle of Talia series is on sale from the 8th to the 22nd of January for the bargain price of $1.99 on Smashwords and Amazon. Grab it and escape into an original and enchanting world filled with mystery, danger, dragons and adventure; you won’t be sorry!
Guest Post by Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion - writing together as M.H. Mead
Sibling rivalry isn’t the central conflict of our new novel, Taking the Highway, but it certainly affects the narrative in key ways, and was uppermost in our minds as we wrote. Is there anything more important to character than family? We both have siblings of our own, although none of them nearly as annoying as Andre LaCroix’s much older brother, Oliver.
Oliver is a member of Detroit City Council, and Andre can’t imagine anyone more irritating. Nothing is worse than a politician, especially one who can’t seem to turn off his campaign. And if he’s ten years your senior and constantly telling you how to run your life? Unbearable.
But Andre LaCroix has to bear it, because his brother is constantly in his life, telling Andre how to do his job, giving him unwanted advice, and keeping extra-close tabs on the valuable classic car they both inherited from their father. But it’s the way that Oliver constantly pushes himself into the public eye that bothers Andre the most. Oliver can’t even eat at a fast-food place without choosing the most visible table in the room. His motto: see and be seen.
Andre tries not to let his brother get to him, but he looks at Oliver and sees the most frustrating aspects of his own jobs. Andre makes his living as a homicide detective, a job with plenty of politics of its own. He also moonlights as a paid hitchhiker called a “fourth.” Since every highway in Detroit is restricted to cars with four passengers, carpools that come up short must either take surface streets through dangerous neighborhoods or hire extra riders—fourths—to fill their cars.
Like all fourths, Andre is more than a warm body. Competition is fierce at pick-up spots. Every fourth has to be sharply-dressed and well-groomed. But more important than looks is charm. Andre has to flatter, appeal to the people in the car, and be interesting without being offensive. In short, he has to be a politician.
Andre would never admit to Oliver exactly how much he likes his second job, nor would he admit how much it makes him act like his older brother. For his part, Oliver wishes Andre would concentrate on law enforcement, especially when someone starts killing fourths, threatening to bring the entire city to a standstill.
Success as a fourth has made Andre a slacker of a cop. Yet, the harder he works for the city, the less time he has for fourthing. With both jobs on the line, Andre has to find the killer and he has to do it fast, before he becomes the next victim. But when his investigation exposes a terrorist cell, one of whom may be Oliver’s son, more than two jobs hang in the balance.
Playing politics only makes things messier, and Oliver can’t help. But he can do something for Andre—the one thing that little brothers always want their big brothers to do.
Stay out of the way.
About the authors: Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion are the authors of three novels and many short stories, all written under the shared pen name M.H. Mead. To find out more about them and Taking the Highway, or if you have a key lime pie recipe to share, come visit their website www.yangandcampion.com.
On December 13th 2012, I, like many re-entered Middle Earth.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – brought to life like only Peter Jackson can. All in all, I loved it, and yes, although many will talk about the 48FPS HFR, and the increased humour and the subplots that they never knew about – I couldn’t give a heckles of schmeckles.
It was a great movie.
The Hobbit was a child’s book and lack of humour would have done JRR Tolkien’s masterful work disservice. I’m also glad for the subplots – psst – I was one of those that liked how the LOTR: Return of the King had lots of endings… damn, I never wanted it to end!
And as for the ultra HD with increased frames per second – yes it is noticeable at first – but believe me, you will adore the clarity and depth offered especially during quick action scenes.
But – the main point of this post is about the appreciation that was shown in the screen. At the end of the movie, there was applause (as has happened in many other movies) and I was proud to join in.
They guy next to me said: Huh – who claps for a movie?
The people clapping are those that appreciate the adaptation of something that I read in 1988. Some of us have waited to see Bilbo’s tale come to life with such grandeur.
And I bet my cotton socks off that those people that clap, that show appreciation, or even criticism at bits that bugged them – will be the same people that leave reviews for books that are read.
Show appreciation for what you read – leave a review.
And if you haven’t see The Hobbit – get your pumped-up ass down there. And don’t bother with popcorn – this movie deserves your attention.
Wherever you are JRR Tolkien – I salute you.
Things are moving in the right direction for the Feb 22nd 2013 Launch of my YA Sci Fi: Disconnect – Book One of the Divided Worlds Trilogy.
There is lots to do, and unless I’m getting too over-excited, I’d like to think that I’ve got it covered.
… except, not everything is so simple. There are some aspects, such as the cover and the blurb that have to be a little bit special to ensure a customer is intrigued to have a bite.
The final cover for Disconnect will be revealed on Jan 4th 2013. Please, pop over to (and join in with the reveal): http://www.xpressobooktours.com/2012/12/cover-reveal-sign-up-disconnect-by.html
Now, then to the blurb.
I think it does enough to introudce the Character, the setting, the conflict and risk associated with how the tale will play out. Do you concur, or would you move on? Honestly, your views are important to me, and if I can make the blurb bounce or linger in a reader’s mind for a second longer, it’ll be the best move I make.
Even in space, love has boundaries
If all the Underworld has to offer is dodging junk and digging within filthy sewers then life is fast approaching a worthless state for Zachary, a 16-year old scavenger. Except one day, he discovers the imagery of a girl from Overworld that pulls his desire in wanting to know why she sounds so sad with her lavish lifestyle.
Zachary will seize the chance to meet her, and although hatred builds, with time, friendship and something he’s never felt, even for his parents, will grow.
Though nothing unbelievable can last without harm. The rulers of Overworld have plans for the Research Base that orbits Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and Underworld stands in the way.
Zachary must overcome boundaries and climb from darkness to light, but in doing so, he’ll uncover a twisted secret that may devour his new reason to live; Rosa
Some can write from A to B with ease. Some can write without focusing on when a chapter begins or ends. Some can write because they can picture every footstep and gesture before it’s even occurred.
Or, I can . . . but not with ease.
I have a saying of Think Less – Write More that’s based on writing your words without contemplating on every formatting, grammatical nuance or whether the paragraphs, dialogue fits or if the spelling is ultra incorrect. Nope – just write the damn words – and worry about your mismatched errors later during the redraft.
BUT – I do Think before I Think Less – Write More . . . (Head-scratch moment)
At the point that I am one with the keyboard and my fingers meld to the buttons, and the orchestra of tapping begins, I am in full TL-WM mode. Make no query that I’m like a Yeti with fresh snow.
However, prior to writing, I plan like crazy. Usually these moments happen during a break at work, in the car, whilst I’m walking to the shops or just lying in bed. Note: I try to plan in advance of my writing time, because I don’t want to sacrifice that precious time.
Playing out the scene in my head helps me to know where the characters are, who does what, and where they end up. The end up bit is massively important. I live for cliff-hangers and hooks. I need to know that each chapter contains a hook to push the reader to continue. Nothing grates me more than when a character falls asleep at the end of a chapter without a real humbug moment bugging them.
Also with the planning, I bullet-point the key aspects of the scene/chapter. It’s all about what must happen, or needs to happen to propel the novel. Think back to chemistry where certain components must be in place for a reaction. As I bob my head over the bullet-points I spot aspects that are time-passes and add nothing to the scene. Kill them off.
By the time I get to writing, I have a scribbled piece of paper with lines linking bullet-points, and usually there are 6-10. That becomes my template of what to put in. There’s nothing worse than knowing the theory behind the chapter but not knowing the detail.
Everyone is different, but with a little planning, you can nail the hooks and why that blasted chapter/scene ever happened in the first place.
You will never find my characters making a pot of tea, sitting in a café, visiting the loo, or checking their receipts, unless it’s pivotal to drive the novel.
Do you get me?
I planned novel 4 to be 58k, with 23 chapters. Or that was what my plan told me it would be. In fact, I wasn’t that far off!
Draft 1 came in at 24 chapters and . . . 58k.
(A little dance is called for)
However, redrafting saw changes galore and the word-count let alone the chapters skewed beyond control. Sometimes out character deviate from the path opening u[ new subplots and twists that we just have to explore. And with that the novel changes with the original ending getting either swiped or remodelled.
By Wednesday 31 October, novel 4 will have been redrafted, and at the moment, I’m feeling chuffed with it. The paper-edit will begin straight after, although many would wait, I just can’t. Of course, whatever changes I’ve made now, will surely bamboozle during the scribbles of paper-editing. Red pens at the ready!
So, as things stand: novel 4 will be 69k made up of 29 chapters. Quite the change from draft 1 wouldn’t you concur?
Certain things made me expand on draft 1 to increase the size.
a) The characters deviated journey that enriched the plot
b) An agent stating that 58k for a YA Sci Fi was low, and at least 10k would be required.
Rest assured, I didn’t just add 10k for adding’s sake. Nope, I redrafted and by luck, the count came in higher.
The next 3 weeks will be focussed. I must paper-edit and polish novel 4. Because, come December, I want to start the sequel to novel 2: Disconnect. If I plan to hit the epub market, then I want to have parts 1-3 of the Disconnect Series typed and hyped.
2013 could be a strange year.
Do you ever reach that cold moment when words fail to leak from your cognitive-schematics? You know – the point when you’re sitting at your desk, a bed, or sometimes the harsh un-hoovered layer of carpet that needs a wash, and the birds are singing outside without a soul to disturb you, and you’re about to write a scene of your novel that has to be written. You can picture it, and you know where your characters are taking you . . . but, for reasons that only the cosmos can answer, the words-just-aren’t-coming!
I often have a patch like that.
I can go for periods of word-bashing like a possessed ink pen, and then as if life decides to take a break, I halt. I stare at the screen, replaying the scene in my head, but I can’t do it. Believe me, it bugs the Beelzebub out of me, and can drive me insane if I move into Day 2 of non-word-bashing.
All is not lost.
By taking a moment to understand how that scene would have been played if (by chance) it made to the big screen as a major international blockbuster, then I can align the scene with a music theme/genre. And that’s when the fun begins. If you have tracks/albums in your possession that fit to the mood – play it.
Music can be a huge form of inspiration to take you to that faraway castle, the battlefield filled with corpses, the space station crippled by a dog that bit through the core-reactor-thingy-majig, or the hero riding on the back of a horses into a confrontation where blood will be spilt.
Damn – Yes. No matter how calm or powerful, a well decided tune can fuel the cognitive-schematics.
Some of my fave are listed below.
(All are available on iTunes)
Fantasy – with a sweeping orchestra
Rise Above – Veigar Margeirsson (Album)
Fantasy – mixture of drama and confrontation
Reign of Vengeance – Future World Music (Album) ***
Gears of War 3 – Steve Jablonsky (Album)
Armoured Prayer – Steve Jablonsky (Track from Gears of War 2) ***
Sci-Fi – War – Emotion – KickAss
Tron: Legacy – Daft Punk (Album) ***
Transformers Dark of the Moon – Steve Jablonsky (Album)
Lost the Final Season – Michael Giacchino (Album)
Game of Thrones Season 2 – Ramin Djawadi (Album)
Statues – Alexandre Desplat (Track from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) ***
The Resurrection Stone – Alexandre Desplat (Track from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) ***
District 9 – Clinton Shorter (Album)
Avatar – James Horner (Album)
Central Park – King Kong Movie Soundtrack ***
Butterfly Effect – Movie Soundtrack
*** Recommended listens
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.
Released 21 June 2012
A read of the first page by me.
The Long Earth is about the infinite possibilities that await the Steppers – that can step into alternate universes with a hacked-and-jacked potato. The book is available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Long-Earth-Terry-Pratchett/dp/0857520091
If you enjoyed this, please see my other video read out of Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress.
As of last Monday, I began a total rewrite of my third novel.
A new initiative has been implemented that is based on three key things:
I’ll clarify below, but I better make it clear that the attitude of the novel has changed. The MC has dropped in age to a 14 year old, and the language/tone used in the novel should be suited to 10+ readers . . . I hope . . .
Although some core elements of the initial plot will remain, the drivers are now a mystery that must be solved. Thus, rather than make it a one trick line, there are several, and that leaves the door open for a series/spin-offs. Believe me . . . in almost every chapter, when an answer is given, there are two more questions popping up. The world and the MC’s arc have me excited at what I’m creating.
Oh yes . . . better mention the title: Adam Khan and the Something Something . . . I am still debating on the something something bit.
Back to the 3 points above:
Since the rewrite, I have managed 12.5k in 5 days… and I am chuffed.
The 4.5 week goal I have set to get the first draft doesn’t feel so bad now