Cemetery House Blurb Reveal!

With Halloween on the not too distant horizon, this year comes the long awaited sequel to Open Evening; Cemetery House. Those who survived are back to continue what has already been started.

I began production of ‘CH’ quite literally after Open Evening, well sort of. The first portion of the book serves as a prequel/origins story of a man named Twister, I wrote that very early on. The rest of the story is a continuation of Open Evening making the whole deal rather unique. I’ve tried to take all the good stuff from sequels I like and put those concepts into this book along with being conscious of what makes a bad sequel also (I didn’t to put that stuff in). There will be answers this time around, especially from the many questions Open Evening asked. What this has resulted in is a story in which I am so damn proud of, these characters who carried the last story were given another opportunity to prove how wonderful they are, and for me they wrote this one.

Those that do know, this story is indeed linked to Darke Blood and their universe is shared. There will be more nods towards that in this book, so look out. 

I have just finished my final OCD edit, and reading through Cemetery House has actually pulled me out of a rather rough time I have been having as of late. August was a pretty hard month personally but I am over myself now and this book has helped leaps and bounds.

So there’s only one thing left for me to say, here’s the blurb of Cemetery House….

The survivors from Open Evening are back for their next chapter and together they must face life after high school. Led by a man named Twister, they learn of his origins and where he came from; a place that suffered a similar fate to their hometown. Accompanied by his newly formed crew; Twister must return home to face the demons of his past, only now the town has been converted into a horror themed amusement park.

With a ‘purge’ imminent in the park, those who survived High School must look for answers as they take on their next challenge. The world of work can be filled with horror hiding just beneath the surface which has returned yet again for the roller coaster ride that is Cemetery House.

So get ready to run, think, fight and live, because ‘survival was just the beginning…’

 

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Weekly ramble #5

I’ve never liked management, let alone the word. And as I lay down these words I do so with hope. Hope that there are others who feel like I do.

You see no matter what path we take, success and failure are around every corner and over every horizon. I’m a half full type of guy and always have been, but then again all it takes is for that glass to smash and I’m in a struggle to pick up the pieces in order to glue them all back to how they were. Maybe life cannot be resumed to the exact same track after it has been altered, maybe that’s the beauty that stands between that fine line of good times and bad.

We spend so long focusing on a moment of failure and the trying to get back on track as opposed to thinking maybe it was meant to be. Wherever you are now is where you are supposed to be. Good days and bad days are perhaps the constant, and the variable is you and your thinking position, maybe that’s what you can change, your trail of thought.

And just when you have yourself figured out and a path planned ahead, somebody has to interfere, somebody has to think they can ‘manage’ that path. There are people who like to think they can ‘lead’ or they can ‘guide’ where really they are just a let down. I’m not personally attacking management as a whole, but for once I just want someone in such a position of power not to be the typical comic book villain about it. Is it that hard to listen to others? Are opinions really that bad? Sometimes a good leader is one who just listens and then acts accordingly.

I have only managed a few times in life, and my definition of management would be to know the answer to every question somebody in that room has, something I doubt many managers have as a credential.

Life is indeed full of downs and ups, right now I’m descending, it happens and as an artist its good. I went to a dark place in order to pen the Teleporter. Some of those thoughts are coming back so much I’m thinking a sequel will be drafted soon. Sometimes life throws you bad stuff and its up to you to get out of it. Sometimes being that variable thinker is enough to climb back to where you want to be. I’ve had great years and complete stinkers, some started great and ended in harrowing defeat.

Getting your ass kicked is a learning curve in its own right, next time just be more variable to the punches and roll with them!

 

Indie Book Reviews available here!

As a wordsmith and independently published author I am a supporter of others like me. We are all in this sometimes turbulent but mostly lonely vessel of discovery together. And so I can officially announce that I have began a new venture of indie book reviews…

 

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You can see via the menu a brand new section arrived very recently, and if you are an author in need of a review then of course reach out.

My hope is to first and foremost read more, I’m an author, we only get better by immersing ourselves in the craft of writing and reading. I’ve met and connected with some wonderful story tellers via social networking and plan to meet more who will hopefully whisk me away to the worlds they have created. Reading is something I have found myself doing a lot of recently so why not make it your book I am reading.

Check out the indie book reviews section and submission guidelines for more details.

Netflix Review: Orange is the new black S6

There aren’t many shows that one feels inclined to binge watch in under a week, but Orange is the new black has retained that status for the 6th year in a row. Netflix have always been onto something golden with OITNB, by mixing must watch television with a wide ranging story of depth and characters you cannot help follow.

On the surface, a show about some middle class rich girl who gets incarcerated doesn’t inspire much towards the imagination, but since the early seasons the story has been so much more than it’s premise. And now after six years, the format still seems to work mostly, so here’s what I thought with keeping spoilers to the minimum.

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What we knew before going into s6….

Season 5 was a story overhauling revelation. Although OITNB has a knack of always closing an episode on edge, there really wasn’t a dull moment during Litchfield’s real-time riot. Of course this was due to the fallout of Poussey Washington’s death, a central and much loved character, so the audience were for most of the part behind the inmates gripe and reasoning to revolt. Taystee’s search for ‘justice’ became a central theme but eventually became swallowed by the unruly with sympathetic Warden Joe Caputo becoming victim of that. The whole season finished with the death of Piscatella; a known to be corrupt and violent guard, with the smoking gun pointed to those who held out in the riot’s final moments….

And so s6 begins to recoup all the chaos and find some level of calm…

All of the well known faces are now in max, or maximum security. It’s a robust new world filled with new threats and possibilities. The first few episodes focuses on those who were at the center of last seasons riot. The prison higher ups are trying to pin blame on prisoners, many who were innocent of any wrong doings. This presents new challenges and even dilemma for some who begin to look after themselves and themselves only.

We soon learn max is a much more threatening place, with three separate blocks, two of which are run with a gang nature fueled by drugs and a rivalry of two sisters going back thirty years. This rivalry eventually becomes a central theme and pays off in the final moments of s6, a necessary vessel to carry the whole max experience.

New characters impress…

With the new environment comes an opportunity to present new characters and the OITNB trademark, back stories. We have the rival blocks and their leaders/sisters Carol and Barb, their story stretches back and reveals a semi pointless rivalry that they are only to blame for. A notable performance for me came from Deputy leader of ‘C’ block ‘Badison Murphy’; a convincingly depicted villain who reminded of that typical bad kid of the class. The deputy of ‘D’ block came in the form of ‘Daddy’ a semi pimp drug ‘controller’, who like everyone else had a story to tell.

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Some of the guards from last time out are back, some with PTSD and we see their struggle which to me was a true human story confirming there are two sides of prison. Guards Luschek and McCullough were notable for their performances on both sides of the riot fallout spectrum, of course we got to see them mix with other guards and newer faces to the cast. They discover a game known as ‘fantasy inmate’, perhaps a crude version of fantasy football where guards can score points based on inmates trials and tribulations. This eventually becomes another central theme of the story.

Stories continue…

The search for justice of Poussey takes an unexpected turn when we see Taystee being blamed for Piscatella’s death. Former warden Joe Caputo returns to try and aide the case in which runs throughout the series.

Of course OITNB isn’t complete without it’s main character Piper Chapman, whose prison experience is galvanized by maximum security and really completes her journey as a prisoner, the focus does lean towards her more this time around, and for that you’ll discover why at the season’s close. I found myself liking her performance along with her now prison fiance Alex.

Many of the usual faces were put in out of comfort situations this time around which sparked up new friendships and allegiances not seen before. This made for some entertaining combinations of characters who wouldn’t usually mix.

We only see those who were transferred to max from ‘camp’ so there are plenty of notable faces pretty much missing this time around (split up from the riot). With only 13 episodes a series this one could have easily stretched to 16 as I feel there were many loose ends yet to be tied up.

Concluding thoughts…

OITNB is still as good as the first season, it stays true to the original story and goes where you wouldn’t guess it would go. The cast were, many of which are famous for this show, great in every essence. This time the ending seemed less cliff hanger and perhaps a conclusion of such a journey for select characters. Saying that I shall certainly be ready for another season next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons why YOU should read The Teleporter

Everyday we face adversity, whether it be from injustice, bad news, the jobs we do or even our inner demons, surviving this world can be a miracle in its own right sometimes.

There’s so much out there in the world today that will get you down, so as humans we need to escape, hence my third book The Teleporter; a not so heroic tale of true life struggles in which modern readers can very much relate to. Here’s 5 reasons why YOU should read it…

1. It’s pretty much real, apart from the fact it’s fiction…

Stay with me here, but the story of the Teleporter and like all of my books contain several elements and plot arcs that are taken from truth/real life scenarios. Kurt Wiseman is probably the closest version of myself reflected in any of my stories. Why is that interesting? Because it makes the struggle our hero faces real, and when something feels real, it’s worth hearing. Strip away all of the words and fancy stuff, you’ll still hear what is a story of just a person trying to make it in life…

2. It’s comedic

Most of you will know by my marketing efforts that the Teleporter is in fact a comedy. If you read it I guarantee it will get you laughing somewhere. Although there is much merriment in this tale, it faces real issues with that comedic touch, making the whole deal light to read and relatable… 

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3. The Teleporter isn’t afraid to face the demons of this world head on…

Trust me when I say this, the Teleporter isn’t afraid to call out assholes and problems this world has with assholes. I designed the story to be that way, for a ‘hero’ to lift the lid on stuff such as, money spinning businesses that don’t care, media control, alcoholism, diversity, friendship, abuse of power and even Trump. The whole theme of the Teleporter is to stand up and be listened to, no matter what background you are. Together we all have a voice to change the crap that this world faces, daily. 

4. It’s short, and cheap

The novella length book means it isn’t the standard length of my books. This means you’ll be through with it in no time, what’s not to like about that! The paperback is less that £5 and way less to download, everybody loves their heroes for a bargain price.

5. There are so many morals in the Teleporter’s journey..

Kurt Wiseman’s story is a journey of struggle, realization and friendship. It’s not just a meaningless ‘lets beat up the baddies’ type of deal with a bunch of gags. There is real reasoning and motive behind it. Something I hope people will tap into and appreciate. Every action in this world has a reaction, and that is one of the many lessons this book will highlight. 

6. Bonus: You may see more of the Teleporter!

This is in the basic thought process right now, but if enough people read it and like it, you may see another Teleporter tale in the near future. Everyone loves a sequel! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #4

Responsibility is something that keeps jumping out at me seemingly. I feel a changing or shifting in life as of recent with some things being inevitable whilst other stuff is just appearing.

I turned 29 this month and I stand at the end of one interesting decade in my life. There were a few years in which I couldn’t accept what is just a number, then like this year I’m handling it. Life can distract one from the deep thoughts, it’s good to go deep every so often but this train is moving full steam ahead in what has been a volatile yet rewarding 8 months. Maybe there isn’t time toreflect that I am now a fully fledged adult in a world where responsibility seems to be the defining word.

This week my first full length script moves to center stage and is responsible not only for the story I have created, but for 18 cast members who will be auditioning and then bringing that tale to life. As much as the burden is shared by directors, cast members, ensemble artists, sound tech’s, back stage crew and lighting designers, the actual story falls upon my shoulders. A responsibility I am coming to terms with. This is the first occasion where my work stands open and ready for judging in such a capacity, maybe  inevitable but still all the more daunting. And after all of that, I still have to audition myself and continue on wards as a performer who is in the final days of a near 10 year run of lead parts.

I decided to write this script in order to create first and foremost, secondly I did it because there are performers who deserve better opportunities than the usual elite few, and if I wrote those opportunities, people would take them. As much as I would love recognition, I haven’t done this for the audience, I took this opportunity to give back to a drama club which has given me so much, even confidence to write in the first place. And now a new generation deserve their start via a project which will hopefully provide it for them, my script.

My work life destiny sets to come to a head as I work my way towards a promotion, a life changing prospect where my job environment won’t change but the level in which I am held accountable will. Responsibility emerges yet again where it hasn’t before. First I will have to pass an interview which includes a presentation. Ground which I have never covered before. This truly is a make or break moment for me and my future, although right now I feel no pressure, maybe I am ready, we’ll see.

Moving into my own home is the inevitable responsibility which shall emerge by the end of this year, something I have worked towards since I was sixteen. Now I am 29 and in the final stage as what the world perceives as youth. I have zero regrets in any of the live’s I have led, work, performer, writer and even partner to my significant other. All of those pillars have created the life I have led and so I stand face to face with the next chapter, in order for me to pass on to it, I must embrace responsibility and take it in my stride.

Quite recently I have taken on the responsibility to look out for fellow authors, some have even come to me about previous gripes and compared notes with me. First and foremost I am here to speak with fellow authors and to help prevent them from being taken advantage of.

Weekly Ramble #3

Reboots, are they just the outcome of failed originality? Or is there a deeper meaning and reason to re-tell a story of old? It seems nearly every other film release is a sequel or call back to a story previous these days. And is that the reason fan basses shudder at such an idea?

This is going to be a conflicted one, three questions in the introduction alone indicate that but for good reason, this ramble is close to home and heart.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in the news and crosshairs as a rebbot has been announced. A show that is much more than a monster of the week quirky horror come sometimes comedy, its also the reason I am a writer today.

So maybe you’re thinking that my thoughts would be negative, not so because the idea of a Buffy reboot means fans like me get to see more of a story we have grown up loving. There were and is so much that came from that show, it influenced a generation and got scores of kids, teenagers and adults through the struggle of life in general. This included a 12 year old me. Afterall the galvanising quote of Buffy is about life and the fact the hardest thing in this world is living, sometimes.

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The whole journey of not just a vampire slayer but her likeable and very followable gang reached a status that not many televison clans ever think of gracing. Buffy may actually be the greatest character driven narrative ever and for that I became inspired to tell stories myself with the messages Buffy carried.

I am more than welcome to an idea of a reboot if it manages to carry with it what the original did so damn well. High school is hard if not hell sometimes, listen and learn from your elders, rely on friends and learn from one another. They are all just some of the moral themes Buffy carried and if that can be reproduced then this generation of kids need the slayer.

Not to mention the original show broke boundaries socially. As long as the reboot doesnt become just an opportunity to protest about the obvious problems this world has then it may be good.

We as fans will always have the memories of what that original run of 7 seasons did for us and me. Maybe it is time for the story to start again and show the world a still very relevant story.

The Weekly Ramble #2

I want to talk about cliché, a word every blogger and writer clashes with every time they put finger to key board, and in this place it’s okay to talk about it…

Is it cliché to come across as artsy and reflective when talking about being a writer? As much as I like the image of wearing a dark roller neck jumper, cradling a whisky tumbler, staring thorough thick rimmed glasses and reclining in a popular chat show sofa; that image totally isn’t me.

I find myself dancing around the inevitable question when somebody tells me they’ve read my work, it’s almost as if they are waiting for me to ask ‘what did you think?’. Instead I’ll weave around their words and seem disinterested, yet another typical behavior artists have towards their work.

But cliché seems to evolve around everything successful in story telling today, you see it in similar looking book covers, titles and everyone has to have at least two reviews on that cover. As much as we strife to stay away from cliché, we need it for our stories to thrive.

In my writing I like to suggest something typical is about to happen or a certain person has traits that are seemingly familiar only for the reader to discover there is something much deeper within and that is the inner message of all my work. I call back to my latest novel The Teleporter, and the main character Kurt Wiseman. On the surface of this story the whole deal reeks of comic book style cliché with a dusting of comedy, something I meticulously toiled over and decided would probably sell the book, something now I was very wrong about. I wanted people to come for the super hero bit, but stay for what the story is really about (read it and you will find out). In essence I failed to capture the right level of cliché in a super hero comedy, a niche which would seem failure proof.

Unfortunately cliché moments in the book are what sometimes define them, readers want to see the good versus evil battle, the damsel in distress get rescued, the rugged semi handsome guy put in the save, an older paternal/maternal type perhaps die on their valiant sword for their efforts, the guy gets the girl, the nerd is actually a warrior, the monsters came from space, the bad guy is bad for a reason, the dead parents… the list ultimately goes on.

What if all of the above is justification to say there are no more original stories?

Something which I half agree with, but what if you can get over that statement by being different, perhaps delivering the story in a different way that distracts the reader enough not to think this was the same old stuff. If can call back to another one of my works; Open Evening, the not so typical high school horror with so much more waiting underneath the surface. Yes you’ve got the typicality of such a story, but the way it is delivered, the struggle, the uncertainty, the ultimate resolve all have a different and a cliché busting way of providing the story which is totally different to those in it’s genre. Just read the reviews, not one bad word goes against the actual story.

If I’m going to plug my books it is not complete without Darke Blood; a not so ‘vampirey’ type vampire story… again the whole deal begins with your typical horror affair but what comes out the other end is a bunch of things done before, but not like they have been done in Darke Blood.

All of my work is example enough to say cliché can be embraced and avoided. There are ways as writers and bloggers that we can deliver our products and words differently. Then again if we are all going to be different, then aren’t we actually the same? I guess that’s cliché to say…

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons why YOU should read Open Evening

Shameless self promotion alert and as an indie author most of the time if I’m not shouting about my books, nobody else is. So here’s some top reasons why you should invest your money, imagination and hopes into the literature I have brought into this world, we’re gonna start where it all began…. Open Evening

 

1. Open Evening is different…

Okay, you’re probably thinking everyone says that about their stuff but stay with me here. Open Evening initially reads like a typical high school horror but spends most of the book being anti towards the genre and even turns the cliche back on its self. Our nerdy sometimes socially struggling narrator has to overcome so much more than a lack of confidence to survive what becomes a night of running and trying to live.

2. It represents kids today, even though it’s based in 2003…

Everyone who has ever been a teenager will know what I mean by the struggle of what high school is, and that is one of the main themes captured in Open Evening. I took the idea of this book from a bunch of notes I wrote when I was at school and could easily tell this theme ran throughout so I had to translate that to Open Evening. Whether your’e the bully, the jock, class clown or anything in between, there is something everyone can relate to in the whole psyche of high school and that is present in Open Evening and still relevant in today’s society, I mean look at 13 reasons why.

I will even admit there are some elements of Open Evening which are taken from my own personal experiences, so you could say its semi autobiographical.

Sometimes it feels the teachers are against you and sometimes it feels like the world is against you, just what ii really is, and something else was lurking underneath it all….

3. Open Evening is extremely action packed…

Yes there’s running and screaming, but there is also a lot of sequences that involve fighting and explosions. If Open Evening could be compared to a film it would sit somewhere between Alien, Aliens and Jurassic Park. The books and relatively short style chapters are designed to keep pages being turned and there is never a dull moment, and if it goes quiet be scared, be very scared…

4. Open Evening is practically free to read..

Technically if you have kindle unlimited you can download the e-book for free but if not the price is well below most books and if your’e like me and prefer holding a book in your own hands then you can find it via amazon for £6.99 or some dollars…

5. Open Evening is part of a wider franchise….

Open Evening is indeed just the beginning of a wider franchise which looks deeper into the occult world. By the time you have finished Open Evening there will be a bunch of head spinning questions in which the wider franchise will answer for you. This includes my second novel Darke Blood which is set in the same world as Open Evening!

This year Cemetery House will be released, the direct sequel to Open Evening. It will then move towards the world of Darke Blood in a cross over story planned for 2019! So there will be a plethora of books and stories to invest your imagination in, which all started with Open Evening….

6. Special bonus reason… Cemetery House is coming this Halloween!

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The Weekly Ramble #1

I’ve been inclined to start a weekly article called the ‘ramble’,  a place to take my writing and more importantly opinions of stuff that 3 novels and counting just couldn’t contain…

Everyday I find myself scrolling through social media, playing the proverbial game of bingo spotting the usual bullshit that fills up our timelines and stories, yeah I’m in that crowd, but normally I share stuff because it might enrich someone or at least make them aware of my efforts as a writer, it could even make someone happy.

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Us human beings have and always will be on the hunt for instant gratification, hell I’m sure that’s what the ‘gram’ is named after, a basic extension of life invader or Facebook as you all know it. An opportunity to create blatantly planned and set up moments… back to that game of bingo, I see a full plate of food with a pair of sunglasses and maybe a book. The only thing missing is the phone which should be face down, just eat the damn meal and read the book instead, nobody really cares about your average life. People emptily like the picture probably because it’s better than the one below it, of that person telling you how good and full his life is when really deep down that post is aimed at an ex and so again I stamp my bingo card.

You can define the social media user by two crowds, the constant posters and the ones who hide but are always watching. The watchers will say they’ve had enough of Facebook and will probably deactivate their account when they get round to it, or in fact they have just returned from a three month stint of that blank profile picture, you’re not fooling me, you are just the same in nature to the constant posters, you need it, for the gratification and because it’s still there you return.

I mean I am no saint when it comes to social media, of course I probably over use it, I am human after all, and my weird journey as an author wouldn’t be what it is without that. Success as a writer and on social media echo each other in the same bipolar way. Take my latest novel, The Teleporter, a super hero type comedy with a hell of a lot of relation to this modern world, it’s anti Trump, and sometimes pro booze. There are so many things in that book that make it unique, despite that and all my marketing efforts, it sold less that 20 copies. Bipolar right? Or maybe bad timing or maybe nobody is interested unless it’s Marvel or DC, or so many other theories, I think maybe the cover has something to do with it, not that it’s bad, I think it’s wonderful, but is there some kind of primitive dislike for a certain colour or font? Because whenever I put that cover up anywhere on social media, the likes and attention are seriously reduced. Is it the title? Weird huh? and you should see for yourself, it’s probably the most interesting outcome I have had for a book, it has simply been rejected.

Now rejection is something we all need to embrace if we want to use social media, people wont always be there to like your stuff, and people that do without fail, are they liking the content or the person? Rejection may as well be my middle name when I began this journey into the words, I still have the rejection emails in the hundreds via the inbox of a time not so long ago.

I continue to process why the Teleporter has seemingly failed, and I say that in the least dramatic sense, I know some have read it, but not a lot, and it is still very early to really gauge the success of it. How I process this stuff is simple, retreat into writing, keep churning out content across genres, I’m holding hundreds of darts and the target is somewhere ahead. As long as I keep throwing, some day the I’ll make something stick….