The stories that inspire us – ‘Timeline’

The stories we read, see and hear sometimes leave a lasting effect on our lives. Stories inspire us to be who we are. They shape our own journey and can take the mind anywhere. There are some stories that effect us so much, they even shape our future…

Welcome to a new series that hopes to give insight to some of the stories I have experienced that shaped me and my writing. Many of them I hold close to my heart and some you may end up taking on as recommendations. Without the stories in this series I would not be here today!

Although this series will cover stories from all mediums it starts with a book that might possibly be one of the most important I have ever read. This is the story of destiny and how I came to find a story called Timeline. 

I grew up near Heathrow Airport, in fact the runway stood no more than two miles from my house. We were parallel to it so we didn’t get the flight path noise, plus in that distance there were a stack of fields and houses in that space. The sounds of take off and jet engines I found comfort in, I still do. Eventually I found myself a job at the Airport. In 2005 I was sixteen years old without a clue about the real world, what real work was or who I really wanted to be. The dream of being a writer was still forming and back then the prospect of being anything and nothing all at once fed the imagination of the dreamer in me. Back then I had never properly read much apart from some kids stories and of course ‘the Lost World’ by Conan Doyle – another entry for another day perhaps…

The work I found wasn’t great. It was a bottom rung of the ladder type of gig although the money wasn’t bad for someone my age. My first job; aircraft cleaner. My stint at Heathrow only lasted about six weeks – sixteen year old Lee didn’t want to work Christmas so he handed in his notice… but the one thing I did get out of that job may serve as my reading and writing destiny. This is what I found, discarded and probably aimed at the trash… (you don’t ever throw books away, that’s a rule)

82388540_2767793129922668_5957050524938272768_nI picked up this book while cleaning and immediately the authors name grabbed me.

‘That’s the guy who wrote Jurassic Park, I’m sure…’ 

And I was right. Michael Crichton is the guy who wrote Jurassic, so if he can tell a story that good about dinosaurs then what can he do with time travel?  Being a big time fan of Back to the Future my mind was open about another time travel caper. So what can he do with time travel?

My answer is: everything you can imagine and more! I took this beaten and weathered book home and read it cover to cover in around ten or so days over Christmas 2005 – I had no friends anyway…

The picture above was taken especially for this entry. Timeline sits on my shelf alongside eleven other Michael Crichton novels. When I open it, I still smell that musk of old pages, it takes me back to that moment where I discovered a novel about realistic time travel. But it’s not just about that, like all good books, like all good Crichton books, it’s about so much more. As well as being a history lesson, it’s a roller coaster of science, action, deception, twists and turns. When I finished reading this book I had only one goal in life – to read more of Crichton’s works and I did. My aspiration and dreams of becoming a writer began to form because of this man’s work and his stories.

If there is a truly pinnacle moment in my writing and reading journey it would be when I found Timeline. Only three years after I had found this book Crichton sadly passed away and I remember exactly where I was. I will never be able to thank him personally for the story that inspired me to go on a write my own works under his influence with his works on my shelf beside mine where they will always be. The inspiration of stories lives on in those who have read them and experienced them.

Have you ever found or been given a book and it ended up being a masterpiece?

‘High Steaks’ by Christina Engela – Review

An epic ensemble of characters fighting for the importance of inclusion…

Quantum Series #6 - High Steaks 2019 - front

The Quantum Series carries a consistent theme throughout all six of it’s stories; that being inclusion no matter how different one is or where they come from. Whether you are human, alien, plant or anything else in between. No matter your beliefs, non beliefs, orientation or anything else that may set you aside and make you different. Christina Engela’s stories in this series champion that and it’s an important modern cause to stand for in literature. She manages to do and say that without being preachy and while also and importantly telling fun, action packed, sometimes quirky but always enjoyable stories. It’s also what is being fought for in this book.

High Steaks picks up pretty much where the previous encounter ‘Prodigal Sun’  left off. The planet of Deanna has been over run and taken over by some quite nasty forces. Their stance is the exact opposite of what Engela’s stories and their heroes stand for. And for this one these heroes are out in full force, names whom readers will find familiar. Their goal to undo what injustice has been done not just for the different but for everyone and the greater good. It’s an echo towards our own history and more importantly a tribute to the fight against separatism and nationalist socialists who only see the world one way.

Everything that makes up the good parts of these stories has been painstakingly crafted into this one. It’s quick paced in moments with a sense of an ensemble cast all working together to fight for one another making it probably the most epic story in the series. Quite late on I realised this wasn’t going to be the final book of the series, at first I felt a little disappointed but then elated that what will follow if there is a 7th which will be one hell of a culmination and I am more than interested in reading.

Overall I have very much enjoyed reading the books in this series. They are fun, quirky, imaginative and their biggest quality is that the style and the way they read is very much accessible to pretty much anyone. I highly recommend the Quantum series to everyone!

5 Stars – Fun and powerful. Thank you to the author for providing me with all books in this series! Review left via Goodreads and Amazon UK. 

Have you read the Quantum Series? You should! 

-| End of Year Survey…2019 |-

A tip of the cap to awesome book blogger Blair from Feed the Crime for mentioning my writing efforts in this awesome 2019 wrap up…

Feed The Crime

So I found this survey over on The Perpetual PageTurner and I think this looks back on 2019 and covers everything perfectly, once I’ve done this I will then be able to focus on 2020.
There are 30 questions so let’s just get started.

1. Best Book You Read In 2019?

I’ve had so many books that I’ve loved however I don’t think I have an absolute standout which I’m pretty sad about, fingers crossed this time next year I will be struggling to pick one.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Misery by Stephen King, I haven’t watched the movie as I wanted to read it first, however I was so bored during this book that I haven’t brought myself to watch it yet.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Most…

View original post 1,315 more words

Weekly Ramble #56

Lots of things to do. Lot’s of writing things to do. 2020 is here and it’s going to be a busy one! Welcome back to my Hall of Information blog, things went a little quiet over the festive season – people were busy and  I got engaged but now I am back to my regularly irregularly scheduled blogging efforts!

I say irregular because as a blogger I’m not particularly organised, there are many bloggers who have more planned posts than appendages, I do not. I am quite simply an in the moment person and when inspiration strikes up so does my writing and the same goes for how I write books and plays. Unless I have a real rigid source material I tend to make things up as I go along for most of the part. In most projects I have a few outlining moments and probably a finish, the rest I just create. Some people call this being a ‘pantser’, personally I’ve never liked that definition, in story telling my style could be defined as being a ‘chancer’ much like many of the characters that are within. This style has indeed worked quite well for me so far, the stats for last year were through the damn roof – thanks for reading!

And what big plans do I have this year? Well it’s cliche to say it could be a big one, if not the biggest yet. My main writing endeavours are split 50/50 this year. Half of my time I will be spending putting together what will be my 6th independently published book! Those who do tune in to my social media efforts will know I announced ‘Darke Awakening’ quite close to Christmas day. Those who were really paying attention will know that I decided to green light this project earlier last year after 3000 plus people downloaded ‘Darke Blood’. You can check out my basic teaser here. 

The other 50% will be spent shaping and editing my dream project (the one that got me into writing) ‘Jack Thorn and the Maverick Prophecy’ a science fiction legacy story about robots in the future – think real world Star Wars in the future with hints of The Terminator, Buffy and Transformers… If all goes well I will be querying literary agents with Jack Thorn later in the year! You can read some here…

Of course in less than a month my third on stage play will premiere and I have already drafted the fourth one so look out for more stage stuff! For people who live locally to me you can buy tickets to see that show here.

Most probably my most important efforts I shall share with you last. Indie book reviews! Yes I am back and ready to review indie books. Last year I did 40 and this year I hope to do 41 – a moderate aspiration but realistic. Again if you tuned in I cast out my indie book bait and hook into the twittersphere last week and got an amazing response of book rec’s from some awesome authors. Watch out for reviews soon!

2019 tweet.PNG

So what have you got planned this year? Answers via the comments section but if you are shy, GOOD LUCK! and thanks for reading… 

Peace out. Happy New Year!  

Prodigal Sun by Christina Engela – Review

Fun, quirky and most probably the strongest of the Quantum series!

prodigal

Christina Engela has a unique way of telling a story that has lots going on without making it seem confusing or cluttered. Having read all of the previous books in her ‘Quantum’ series this one carves a unique but powerful path that faces many issues without any fear.

Characters who have established themselves in this colourful and fun universe are taken somewhat by surprise much like the reader as a political supremacist group looks to overthrow the current regime on Deanna. In fact everything about the ‘Deannan Service league’ reeks of revolt but some revolutions aren’t for the greater good – a strong and relevant political message that many can relate to today.

We see Danielle Ferris; a student and transgender character who becomes directly caught up in the political overthrowing and subsequent storm. You cannot help but sympathise for her story which is one that is just of a person looking to be included and positive inclusion is a huge theme in this book much like all of Engela’s works they directly and sometimes indirectly set an example that champions everyone and anyone including the minorities.

As the story unfolded it became more and more gripping as events turn for the worse. Sheriff Peggy Ann-Muller may well be in over her head even if she does express exactly what is going on through a powerful quote ‘Anyone else want to be on the wrong side of history?’ Powerful is probably the one word which sums up the plot of ‘Prodigal Sun’ but as usual there is way much more happening. I have only just realized ‘Atro City’ is in fact meant to be pronounced as ‘Atrocity’ which is just one of the many fun quirks you’ll find in this great read! Left very much open and on a cliff hanger, I shall be diving right into the next story!

5 Stars – Great read, review left via Goodreads over the holidays but now I am back to review more indie books! You can expect a review of the next book in the Quantum series soon!

Happy new year readers!