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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Review

I have been waiting a long time for modern cinema to produce a good slasher film and I’ve been waiting perhaps even longer for a good Halloween film. This past Friday that wait was finally over because Michael Myers came home and it was…. well here’s my review. Those who know the deal will know I try to keep major spoilers to the minimum but you have been warned there may be some….

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First of all the premise of this film is somewhat groundbreaking and brave. Ignoring previous timelines and installments of such a big time franchise takes some guts and maybe that was the secret to all of this; starting over…

They do say its never too late to start over and Halloween proves that.  There are at least 2 separate timelines for Halloween; the Rob Zombie reboot that I never watched and the original canon story line ending with Halloween Resurrection; this included H20 and the ones that lay before it. So its a bit of a mess.

The 2018 Halloween film ignores everything apart from the first film. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis); the original final girl is back and probably better than ever. We see her take an emotion fueled opportunity to revisit a character that is almost as iconic as her other on screen counterpart Michael Myers and you guessed it; he gets out.

This film opens right away with tension. We see Myers who has been incarcerated for the past 40 years visited by some typical journalist types. One of them produces the mask; and tries to goad Michael into speaking; then the opening credits roll in true original Halloween style; it’s retro and sentimental all at once with that ever so familiar and legendary theme playing.

Just what would happen if Michael Myers got out? Well that’s the question this film spends answering and in all honesty its brutally violent. As Dr Loomis said “I met this… six-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and… the blackest eyes – the Devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up, because I realized that what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil.”

And I can happily say Michael Myers is evil with the kill count higher than any decent slasher film I have seen. He literally rampages simply because he was given the opportunity to. I have this feeling he was just waiting all this time to get out and do what he does.

This wasn’t just an eventual face off between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers; we see Strode has become estranged to her daughter (Judy Greer) and granddaughter (Andi Matichak) who is at high school and her story becomes central. There are several characters in this film and most of which get the chop quite literally, something which makes it rather unique and somewhat unexpected. This film follows the return of pure evil and doesn’t disappoint in that department.

In fact I found very little wrong with the whole movie, the pacing, the setting, the cinematography and even effects were all top notch. This is the Halloween we have all been waiting a very long time to see. Much of it pays homage to the original and why not, that’s what a lot of us came to see. The music is just as good as the first and well Michael Myers is badder than ever.

For those who enjoy horror and of course the slasher; Halloween stands up with the best and may even surpass the original. I have been a huge fan of Halloween from a young age, the namesake of the town in which my first book is set was named in part after Haddonfield.

 

5 Reasons why you should read Cemetery House

The story of survival is back with Cemetery House and this is 5 reasons why you should read it! 

1. The characters….

First and foremost Cemetery House is character driven and just like their previous outing Open Evening; those who survived are back to continue their fight. In fact the whole premise of CH simply looks to answer the simple question of what if they got another opportunity to carry on their journey.

This eventually evolved into specifics; this time around ‘Twister’ becomes a focal point and where he comes from is central to the plot. This doesn’t take anything away from Luke Hartford, Josie Kendall, Jonny Buster and Josh Kennedy whom Twister leans on as he recuperates from the Open Evening.

Of course no sequel is really a sequel without the introduction new characters in which there are plenty.

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2. There are answers… 

I know for a fact Open Evening asked a lot of questions, some of them I asked deliberately and others just happened. Trust me when I say CH will answer a bunch of stuff you wanted to know about.

What are those monsters that come out of the shadows? How do they control people? Just who is Twister really? Who is he working with? Where else does this happen? What does this have to do with the Darke Blood story? Why all the fire?

All of the above will be answered in one way or another! 

3. It’s also a prequel

This isn’t just a sequel for the sake of making another one. There is a real continuation of the story here. Like the question of who Twister is, CH answers just that by serving as a prequel in the opening quarter of the book. We see a high school age Twister as he discovers his home town isn’t what it appears to be. We also see where he gets most of his traits from, something which played a central part in Open Evening. And importantly we see how he becomes Twister!

4. There are links to Darke Blood

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Some of you know that my eventual plan is to cross the world of Darke Blood with the one I have created in Open Evening and Cemetery House. This becomes apparent throughout the story of CH, there is even a special surprise twist at the very end.

There are also subtle and near the end a very obvious link to some witchcraft stuff which twists this story into a make or break situation where everything nods and aligns with Darke Blood. 

5. The whole book is a reward to my readership…

Open Evening is where it all began for me, and my readers came out in droves to help promote my efforts. For that I have written this book in mind to reward those good people, trust me when I say this one is for you all! Sequel’s have a very specific target market, those who read the first one which makes this marketing a big challenge. Therefore I need all of those who came out first time to return and help bring this book to the masses! 

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6. Bonus: It’s not just a Halloween book; and it’s out next week!

I’ve gone for the whole Halloween release thing because let’s face it, the turning of the season brings a somewhat atmospheric feel in the air. Leaves fall and the air is colder, there is something about it I just like, but CH is an all year around read and yes it is officially available next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #11

4 books published in 2 years is pretty good going. That’s the reality I am facing; this time next week I will be anyway.

My foundation of words has been built, and that foundation is something I am more proud of than anything else in my life. Not to say it’s the only thing in my life because it isn’t, but the ground has been laid into what I hope will one day be more than just a hobby, after all writing has become my calling in life and it will be for many years to come.

The truth is I am mentally tired, this year has kicked my ass, its also been rewarding in some senses but recently above all I have felt tired. Right now I’m staying away from the laptop to regroup, writing books isn’t something I am looking to do very soon in fact I think next year may even see just one release if that. Of course I am talking about the next Darke book, its already been drafted and a lot of work is required to bring in line with what I consider to be publishable.

With a book release literally around the corner my efforts even if I am tired are channeled towards getting as many book sales as possible. Then I will  be walking away from social media, or at least reduce my efforts for a while. This stuff doesn’t pay the bills and what does needs my attention now, also I am moving into my own place in just over a months time. Things are busy like always; as a creative I don’t know what will become of me if I don’t create; but other things require my attention like sleep, especially sleep.

It’s now up to my readers to help promote and help sell my books, there is a wider choice now and choice is what all customers look for in books. With the foundation built, I will eventually look to build that into something bigger but right now I am happy to step back and look at what I have achieved, as I said 4 books in 2 years is pretty damn good work.

Weekly Ramble #10

The 4th book release is nigh, and things have been taking off, but this isn’t just all me. My projects are brought to life by the efforts of some real dedicated people. As a writer I would simply be lost without my editor. There is a hell of a lot more to editing than most people think. All of my stories have been painstakingly crafted, long after my work has been done.

This one may the best work I have seen not only from an editing point of the view but the cover artwork also,  a reveal will follow, and I am sure it will impress, it blew me away and conveys exactly what I want to say in this story.

Readership is growing by the day with my most loyal readers leading the charge with reviews and general buzz about my words. The tribe is small but very effective and dedicated, something which means more than anything else. This thing will take time, it always does, in essence writing a book feels like sending a letter two years ago and finally getting a response this week.

Reviews really do sell books but most importantly above all, people talking to one another sells them more than anything. We live in a world where spoken communication is dying, maybe talking about books will keep it alive for a little longer, we’ll see…