Weekly Ramble #18

You’ve got to face writers block with a smile. Not a happy smile, not an arrogant smile but an assured smile, because we wordsmiths have lived a hundred lives through thousands of words, we’re tougher than that ugly motherfu**er of an unproductive monster licking it’s lips at us.

It’s only a matter of time before we figure out a way around you, a way to destroy you and charge forth with our words. It takes more than courage, sometimes it just takes an unexpected little twist or burst of inspiration. The right song or tv show that influences our influence to find a way forward. Then when we see that path and before we have written it, just the knowing how, that’s where we feel our most powerful as authors, bloggers, writers, whatever word you fall under, the words are all the same, we just arrange them differently.

Redemption comes from completing that next project. We find ourselves during that process, we even expend ourselves getting there. That fire in our hearts, sometimes it can nearly burn out by what ever variable there is, but the constants keeps that fire stoked. I’m nearly ready for 2019, my most important hour is approaching and there are several forks in the road ahead along with uncertainty, all of which is excites me.

I’m going into next year with all my steam created from the fire inside me that is burning stronger than ever, even though weeks before it had nearly burned out. What I have planned will work itself out. Jack Thorn my destiny book, a stage play and even film writing. ABW comes to mind and if you don’t know what that is, look it up, that’s how I define my journey, a highway that we are all travelling on. Writing is a mostly solitary experience but together we must share our methods of how we travel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Endsong by Roslyn Renwick – a review

Immersive imaginative escapism with a powerful voice and premise…

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I found this book to be like nothing like anything I have read before. The style of writing immediately immerses you into the mind of main character Rhea Forrester; a complex and curious lady who carries this story with a wonderful amount of depth. From what would appear on the surface becomes so much more and not only does that apply for the whole story but for Rhea also.

To put it simply this book is different and original for the genre it falls under, that is an incredible achievement. I felt as if this was a journey which slowly moved down the rabbit hole somewhere between fantasy and science fiction with a whole host of sub genres and tones. I say slowly because the pacing of the story moves steadily and in a way that asks questions which are answered later on and during, gripping readers all the way through and deeply most of the time. The story evolves as it unfolds with a high level of tension nearer to the latter stages which was in fact always there but subtle and well thought out.

There were many instances I found myself asking ‘what is this about?’ which is a positive because this truly is a tale of the unexpected and it is also something readers will have to find out on their own because Endsong is worth the read. Books should be an escape and this is the pinnacle of that much like Rhea Forrester of Poplar close and her journey. All of the characters purposefully contributed towards what is a fascinating reflection of humanity.

If you are looking for a deep immersive and original tale then this is a book I highly recommend.

5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of ‘The Last Driver’ – Episode 1 – Old Dogs by Bookshelf Q. Battler

A sometimes absurd but always fun story of the future…

last driverI picked up the kindle version of this book for 99p after noticing it via the blog of Bookshelf Q. Battler which I follow.  Set in a not too distant totalitarian type future where the ‘freedoms’ we have today are severely reduced in some creative and original ways. This gives ‘The Last Driver’ an interesting and potentially limitless premise which carries the central story by comparing the future with present day.

Although I felt ‘dystopian future’ type vibes this book is far from the stories typical of that genre. There are still the usual traits such as media control and censorship but they are cleverly conveyed and even contain a level of humor in which I enjoyed. In fact the humor is what kept me hooked and I read this in a matter of days.

Told through the eyes of older gentleman Frank Wylder; his story bounces between the future and 2010 when he was younger so automatically the reader will able to relate with his struggle to describe the world he once lived in. Pop culture references are used frequently in the earlier stages and they tend to mostly aid the story as opposed to some books where they are unnecessary in usage.

Frank owns a classic car in a world of self driving vehicles and driving a car is in fact a thing of the past, this should give enough insight to the world in which he lives. In particular my most enjoyable part of the story was the description and depiction of ‘state approved’ channels and even a ‘state approved newsreader’ conducting an absurd ‘debate’ piece. I used the word absurd but it is also funny and worrying close to how some news outlets already operate.

Overall I found this book enjoyable and very readable. The ending was left open for a potential sequel which I would be interested in reading. I recommend it to anyone looking for a an enjoyable and insightful look into the future.

5 stars.

Click here for amazon link. 

 

Weekly Ramble #17

I’m quitting social media. I’ve concluded the world was a much simpler and pleasant place without the social ramifications and expectations that the likes of Facebook carry. Technology has leaped in recent years mostly for the better but social media in most parts is spiraling this world and its inhabitants into a blind depression. Nobody every turned around and thought about whether they should have created social media, they just did it.

The likes of Zuckerberg ignored the social responsibility of creating a network that is driven by people participation who are constantly on the look out for likes and instant gratification. This is a future that some always predicted, a future where people are controlled and most of the time unknowingly, its bleak. We as a race are addicted and reliant on screen scrolling and nobody ever thinks about whether it enriches anyone and this is the crushing realization for some, it doesn’t enrich, it stifles us. Social media fosters depression, it creates negative feelings of emptiness by filling us up with false hope that everyone is going to like that heavily staged photo or attention fishing post.

Most of you will look at this with a sideways glance, that’s because you probably haven’t ever thought about it or you haven’t had that moment of clarity yet but you are addicted to scrolling. You can’t not look away, even when nothing is happening you are scrolling. We were never built for this, social media is just a symptom of technology, and technology is in fact a symptom of corporations. This isn’t a ‘down with the corporations’ protest piece, its reality knocking at the door. We as a people are regressing because of this and there are generations of kids who are becoming more and more depressed because they are trying to conform on the internet. We never had this problem before because social media didn’t have the power, now it does and its dangerously damaging.

When was the last time you scrolled on Facebook or twitter? Probably minutes ago, and it will be just as long until you do it again. How long could you stay off it? Would you even miss it? These are questions I found myself easily answering without remorse. No I wouldn’t miss it because I am on the verge having enough of emptily scrolling. Above all I have had enough of creating posts that nobody looks at, I’m a writer, I write books and plays, I struggle enough in getting people to read my art and quite frankly fuck putting up posts for nobody to look at, that’s not what I am on this planet to do. I am here to create, I am here to build worlds and immerse people in them, I am not here to give a shit about how many empty likes my last Instagram photo had. My energy in life is not aimed at shitty social media, a thing quite frankly I could live without and a thing I will thrive without. I implore you to consider doing the same, use your time wisely, use your time for something else, enrich your mind and read a book instead, buy one of mine, I guarantee they will put you in a better mood than any scrolling ever will, go for a walk, take in some the fresh air, take a drive, speak to real people and for the love of god do something better with your time.

As of now I have deleted my Facebook app on my phone. I still look at it every now and then but not constantly anymore. I deleted the twitter app a month ago but again the same applies. I’m not fully leaving and can still be contacted, I’m just reducing my presence for sanity. Next month I will be going dark for a while. This won’t have any effect on my career as a writer, I will always be writing.

Weekly Ramble #16

The show I wrote is looking exceptional. All projects go through that uncertain phase where you dont really know if the whole deal is going to work.

Last night for me came that feeling where everything has come together. I can compare it to that moment when you reach the 50,000 word milestone in a first draft, also known as the moment you realise you’ve got a book and it works.

Yesterday saw that moment I knew we have a show and this whole deal is going to work. Having written books, blogs, a one act play and now a full length pantomine I think this project is the one I am most proud of. Writing is normally a solitary lonely task, but for this project: Beauty and the Beast; the story is being told by a wonderfully gifted cast, stage crew, set builders, artists, front of house team, choreographers and Directors all of which are working together to put my words into something much more. I have zero credentials in selling a thing. I couldnt sell shit to the flies but the people I stand with in telling this story are doing that for me and together we’re gonna tell one hell of a story that will immerse, entertain, inspire and captivate. The symptom of that will be proving that I am a capable story teller and this is my dream…

Weekly Ramble #15

November is a shitty month. Its a kind of a between space, like an airport or a station, full of people on different paths; all of which are in my way… okay that’s super pessimistic and people aren’t the problem, they are the solution, but the point I’m trying to make is simple, November sucks, and its not a destination, its a holding space…

I’m not currently reading which is a problem. For a writer it’s almost like a blockage. With no reading there is no producing or creating, no flow, just stifling emptiness. Writing books has taken a step back for now; I’m part way through another stage play script, progress is slow like this month.

Everyday recently I am assessing my options, and without seeming above everything, I feel as if I am too good for the writing platform in which I am sat. I’m a higher class player in a lower division and I know that sounds super ego but it’s true. My ‘success’ feels somewhat held back by my lack of salesman skills. I’m not a seller, I am a creator and I have learned they are two completely separate entities.

I watch or read stories thinking I could have done that better or different; my vision for a story has been enhanced through my journey past four publications and two stage plays. I can never sit and not create, even when the pages are blank, my mind is full of ideas. And it’s okay to create.

What I need is someone to sell that creativity to a bigger wider market. Someone who sells like I can create. Do I dare contemplate trying to get an agent? I know this time the circumstances are different but the goal has always been the same, to create, perhaps someone else can deliver…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #14

I’ve had an epiphany. Whilst publishing I became lost. My mind began to reel and wonder why this was all worth it. Why bother when the ‘rewards’ for this deal are pretty much minimum.? Why try to recapture nothing more than a ‘fad’ of deciding to publish a book two years ago? Back then it felt like everyone I knew came out to support me. Today it feels like I stand within a ghost town of that support; not that I hold any anger or bitterness towards the fact I feel very much solitary in my latest publication because I am not. There are only a handful of supporters this time; they are the elite, they will never fail me, they will always support and only partially that is why I do this. 

So why do I do this? That is where my epiphany came from. I don’t do this for reads, for sales, for money, for recognition, for reviews, for exposure or any other temporary possessive thing. I do this simply because it fulfills me. I write stories because ultimately they are truly about life and what I have seen and felt in this life. In essence they contain more truth than any conversation I have ever had. So if anyone ever asks me why my work stands out it is simply that, my stuff doesn’t contain an ounce of bullshit, it is the truth personified and that is all I will ever strife to do in writing, to make it feel real.

I have to create, and I always will. Publishing is more or less just a side effect or even a symptom of that. Hell, I’m just sitting in a chair typing away and playing around in the worlds I build. I know for a fact I am not for everyone in this world and neither is my work, and I am learning to live and accept that. I don’t ever intend to please everyone, because why I write is purely selfish, I do this for me.

My appreciation for those who have paid money to read my stuff will outshine any other feeling I have for this work. That small group I call the elite are there for me and I am ever so damn thankful. Hopefully they’ll feel what I do when I lay down those words, if they don’t I have failed but then again I am just doing this for me, because I am a creator and I need an outlet.

4 books equals experience in not only writing but everything that comes with it. A book series takes time to establish readership, leaning all of you writing efforts onto one series is simply foolish, I have learned that only today. As a writer we must cross genres, test our ability daily, go places even we feel uncomfortable, tell other stories. Good luck writing just a series, unless your J.K it aint worth it, but my all means write. Sit in that chair and bleed for the words, above all create and make, if that doesn’t stick try again, and again and again. For the love of god never give up, a young naive fool walks away from a battle worth winning. A experienced person will only ever wage wars they can win. Life is too damn short to dwell on failure or lack of success when most of the time it is in the eye of the beholder anyway.

So what only a handful of people bought your new release. They are your elite and your tribe. Reward them, let them know they have made you happy for just a second enough to know they care.

Either way I’m already into my next project because I will Always Be Writing…

 

 

Weekly Ramble #13

Crichton has been gone 10 years. Something I  learned yesterday on the anniversary of his passing. Sometimes we are too busy in the world to stop and reflect, sometimes we just have to step away to think about life and how one day we are here the next we are gone.

More recently I have been too damn wrapped up in getting my 4th book published that I’ve lost my way a little, I’ve lost who I am whilst trying to be what I want to be. And learning of this poignant anniversary brought back a memory that carries everything I stand for. I’m not being dramatic and I am not trying to take anything away from a world renowned writers passing this is more of a tribute than anything and its also truth. When you speak from the heart and when you speak truth, people truly listen and care. 

In 2005 I was sixteen years old when I took my first job as an airline cleaner at Heathrow Airport. Whilst on that job I found a discarded or even left behind book titled ‘Timeline’ written by Michael Crichton. I quit that job way before I finished reading Timeline but that book had a lasting effect on me. It inspired me; an already want to be writer; it pushed me to read more and so every time I had some extra cash I spent it on his work. Michael Crichton became my writing idol for some years, all I would read is his stuff, all I could read was his stuff. Slowly I became more and more immersed in his science fiction- research heavy narratives.

Now why is just finding a book and reading it anything special? because of what came next. That sixteen year old kid who quit cleaning planes never forgot the style of Critchton or the tales he wrote, that sixteen year old kid lived his life and read all he could. Then he delved into writing seriously. He worked tirelessly much like Michael and he eventually became a published author of 4 books. His friends and family supported him and spread the word about a book called ‘Open Evening’ a book inspired much by Jurassic Park and Prey. 

It wasn’t until I stopped and thought about it for a moment that it actually sunk in. That moment I found a book influenced who I became and only all these years later has it actually become apparent. Books have a power to not only immerse but to influence others.

We aren’t here forever and I never got the chance to thank Michael for his influence on me as a writer and a person. He’ll never know how he shaped my work and possibly others. You can still see his work even today; Westworld and the new Jurassic films come to mind. His books will live on through readers and writers alike and that is what we work for. Sometimes that wordsmith goes silently by whilst others become immersed in their worlds. The day I learned of Michael’s passing ten years ago crushed me because I knew there wouldn’t be any more of his works and I would never get the opportunity to meet him.

Maybe one day…

 

Weekly Ramble #12

I can finally move on. The book is finally published in paperback and my job is done. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Releasing stuff always is because in essence its a part of me until I let it go. 

Now I can focus my emotions onto something else; first of all nothing; sometimes nothing is your friend; emptiness and silence can fulfill where there was once chaos. The words I have laid down this time around were for a specific group; those who supported me in the beginning and those who have read my work.

I don’t do this for money, for fame or for even recognition. I’ve been lucky enough to discover my calling in life; telling stories; stories that are a part of me; characters and situations which are intertwined with truth and fiction. Imagination is what sets us apart from everything else. Even though that’s deep after everything they are just words.

Many writer folks and even novice wordsmiths will be delving into the na-no-wri-mo thing this month; me I’m officially in off season. And if you ask me writing a novel in a month is just opening yourself up for disappointment. Stories take more than time limits to find shape. They grow over months and years and not for the sake of a hashtag. Try writing all year round.

Nobody can be taught to write and anyone who claims they can teach writing is full of shit. Learning to write is something you can only find alone and it comes from within. This craft is built upon time spent laying down words. And when you aren’t writing you should be reading; everything by everyone. Indie work, traditionally published stuff, unpublished stuff and even newspapers. Read, read, read, and write all the damn time; eventually your voice will discover itself.

There will be more books but for now my mind will rest and delve towards another script; a play about a certain forbidden fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cemetery House; my 4th book is out now

 

Yep you that read title right… but you read that wrong! My 4th Book Cemetery House is published and available now in both paperback and digital download.

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It’s been one hell of a journey from the initial drafting all the way to the final edit and cover reveal; it’s safe to say Cemetery House has kicked my butt and now the real work begins; promotion and spreading the word.

This is brand new territory as I haven’t released a sequel until now which means the targeted readership is simply those who read and enjoyed Open Evening and for that I have poured my heart and soul into Cemetery House; this sequel is truly for all of you who have supported me from day one.  

So what is it about you ask? Cemetery House is a continuation of Open Evening and begins as a prequel by sharing the story of legendary character Twister and how he came to be. That takes up the first quarter of the book; after which we catch up with those who survived Open Evening two weeks later. This time around the crew know what’s coming and it’s unique in a sense that these characters run towards the terror and not from it. This makes for a meaningful life lesson; run towards adversity and embrace it. 

What unfolds is probably my best work to date but that doesn’t take away anything from the Teleporter (which you should read and review) and of course my other works.

From my extensive years of watching good and bad sequels I know exactly what makes a story continuation work and have factored that into CH. This time around you’ll get answers from questions asked in Open Evening plus much much more. There is a heightened tension which builds and rides the expectation of what we know is coming and when it happens you will not be disappointed, trust me.

Now all there is left to do is thank all of my readers and supporters for the work they have done to spread the word about my books. Do remember to tell your friends about this awesome author you know who wroted some wonderful books, take a selfie with the paperback or E-book and spread the word. I don’t do this for money I do this because story telling is what I love doing and immersing people into another world is what I do. This is escapism in its finest and together we can all escape.  

Cemetery House is out now!