Pilot

It has been 5 years since the Hall of Information opened it’s doors. Here’s a look back at the first ever blog entry. A nod and a thank you to everyone who has supported this; old or new!

Lee's Hall of information

It’s that moment, much like when you watch the first ever episode of a TV show you come to love years later.

Where it all begins, a wild eye medical intern called JD passes through the walls of a daunting hospital known as sacred heart. Or that moment a cartoon layabout and accidental time traveler meets a well-known robot bending unit, unaware he has just stepped into a suicide booth.. Yes I am referencing TV pop culture because apparently it’s appealing. I pity the fool who doesn’t use pop culture to entertain, ok I’ll stop now.

Many of us have those favorite shows we watch over the years but never see the pilot. We will have that eureka moment when we realise why something is the way it is. That is of course if you are lucky enough to be around for the first episode. For you this is that…

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Indie April Book Review Wrap Up

Indie April so happened to be my most successful month as an author, book reviewer and blogger. Although I love to just talk about me, the world is a better place when I share the spotlight so during April I also found time to support fellow indie authors by reading and reviewing their stuff. Here’s a rundown of my Indie April reads…

within dark places

First up came probably what is the most scared and on edge I have been whilst reading for well, ever and I am proud to say ‘Within the Dark Places’ by Duncan Thompson happened to be a great and terrifying read.

This shorter novel as quoted from my review ‘follows a small group who decide to spend their weekend in a woods with chilling results. From the very beginning there’s a stack of mystery and intrigue as to what exactly is lurking in the shadows which starts to play on the readers imagination more than anything; something which is text book horror and also very effective in a book like this.’ 

If you are looking for a good text book horror scare then I highly recommend this one and the great news is, there’s a sequel, but more on that further down…

‘Original page turning action with a powerful voice that speaks of prophecy, coming of age and warriors’ is how I described my next read Daughter of Kali: Awakening by Shiulie Ghosh.

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This young adult action tale is indeed a journey down the rabbit hole of an original premise that follows the ‘chosen one trope’ of one girl who discovers there is a huge world out there full of demons and warriors who fight them. I very much enjoyed this story and even more so for the linkage to the Hindu faith which intertwines ancient religion and mythology with the modern day; something I haven’t seen before. The good news is this story is a part of a wider trilogy with the sequel that has just dropped!

The author has also recently released some new cover art work which I am happy to share here and of course on my original review.

Indie April became the month of sequels for me as I decided to take on more chills and dark hidesedge of the seat thrills by delving into ‘Where the Darkness Hides’ by Duncan Thompson, a sequel to Within the Dark Places; and although the story did kind of end it cleverly opens up again in the very early stages of what is ‘A sequel and continuation into the shadows’; as quoted from my review

This one is more of a slower build and full of tension leading towards what we know is going to happen. It goes to places that are unexpected and isn’t just a re run of the first story; something which is important for sequels. Overall I enjoyed what is a great companion to a terrifying but highly readable pair of stories.

 

And so sequels became the theme of my April reads as I took on ‘Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance’ by Shiulie Ghosh. My decision to read and review the follow on story from Daughter of Kali: Awakening was quite simply a no brainer; firstly I was approached with a free copy by the author in exchange for a review and secondly I enjoyed the first, thirdly the story was still fresh in my mind, so I figured lets do this…

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With the world of Warriors and Demons already established that rabbit hole I previously mentioned opens wider into a great continuation. Much of what is suggested first time round comes to light, with new characters and new challenges for the main character with feisty but likable traits. ‘Kaz’ must continue her journey into this world and as she so powerfully says “I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a Warrior now…”

It’s just as good as the first and seeing as this is a trilogy series it didnt suffer from middle story syndrome in anyway. You can read my full review here

 

And so that wraps up my reading and reviewing efforts for April; a busy month for me as a writer, blogger and life in general. Thanks to everyone for the support and a tip of the cap to all of those who follow and actively go out of their way to make this blog a success!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeker: A story in ChaosNova universe by David Noe and Laura Loolaid – Review

Page turning sci-fi with plenty of drama, deception and the unexpected…

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‘Seeker’ is a story and journey of discovery set in a wide futuristic universe of space travel.

‘Jewel’ the M.C is a bounty hunter or ‘Seeker’ and her latest ‘contract’ sends her on a journey that becomes a little close to home. What follows is a story full of intrigue, tension and twists that takes the reader on an eventful ride for ‘Jewel’ who makes for a strong and independent protagonist looking for answers; something which readers will immediately align with.

The ChaosNova universe is delivered and described in a readable and enjoyable style making this story accessible and appealing for all readers; something which is hard to grasp in the world of science fiction. The co-authorship of this book works tremendously well in representing the genre and could even be comparable to cult TV show ‘Firefly’ in its approach. Shorter books don’t get anywhere near enough credit and this one deserves high praise for its detail and world building.

I particularly enjoyed the way combat was masterfully described in a particular scene; something I would very much like to see more of in this universe along with ‘Jewel’.

Overall ‘Seeker’ is a story that represents the main character’s journey in learning about herself and her history along with a valuable moral about family. I am looking forward to reading more from the ChaosNova universe; a concept where the creators have put in a lot of work and it shows.

4 Stars   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #23

I’m still coming down. And god damn I am proud of what we did over the weekend. For the first time in the 76 year history of Iver Heath Drama Club we put on our own written pantomime show.

This journey hasn’t been easy (and there’s still another weekend of shows to go), they never are and the reward is like nothing I have ever felt before. Writing plays is something I transitioned into from performing, every show I was cast in, I took that as an opportunity to fuel my learning. Eventually that turned into the unique ability to be able to tell my own stories and the open welcoming environment of Iver Heath Drama Club has fostered and nurtured my writing to heights I could never imagine.

I take a look around and ask myself how the fu** did we get here? How did this whole deal become this big. The answer, like all big answers is relatively simple. Without intentionally being deep, the answer much like everything good we ever do or create comes from within.

And I say this now as advice to anyone looking to succeed in not only writing, but in life and work. All you have to do is show up on time and work hard. Get there and roll up your sleeves. If the environment you’re in is decent and so are the people, eventually they will reward you for showing up and doing a shift. And quite possibly they might even love you for it. Everything else will follow, we all learn in our own way.

I view story telling as just a sequence of ideas put together in a neat orderly fashion. The more time you spend tidying up those ideas in that mind of yours, the better the stories will get along with those ideas. Above all I create because I enjoy it, making something gives me the greatest sense of fulfillment in life and this time around I am not alone. We put together a show as a team, and for the first time, writing hasn’t been a solitary lone affair, its been so much more and so I can live with being high on that for a while…

Weekly Ramble #22

Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you cannot create. We only learn in this world by creating, and we can only create by learning; these two forces foster each other and above all they give everyone in this world purpose. 

I have learned that to create is to feel and be free. To be free in this world is to live and to feel makes this whole deal real. Nothing sets me free more than writing and creating worlds. Find what sets you free, pursue it, get addicted to it, believe in it and shout about it. Some day soon if you try and keep trying, you’ll find a small group of wonderful like minded folks who may do the shouting for you, reward them, befriend them, be kind to them. Give back what has been given to you and be humble. Remember those who’ve helped and those who haven’t, don’t carry grudges; laugh at such things.

Buy that second hand guitar and teach yourself to play, you might suck to begin with; but you’ve gotta start somewhere and learn. Find others who suck and befriend them. Learn to play and figure this stuff out together. Put a band together and start to jam; get that first gig but keep playing no matter how crap the reviews are, eventually you’ll learn and eventually you’ll get good. You could even be the next Cobain or Grohl because they never gave up creating. They always had it inside them and so do you.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you cannot create.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #21

There goes another decade, well nearly. Time flies when you’re writing books I guess and this year just sort of crept up from the shadows. The past few weeks have all kinda merged but things are trying to settle down…

Lets talk goals for 2019; because A new year feels like a fresh start, this is my year and it may even be the crowning piece of one hell of a decade.

  • I’m handwriting the first draft for my next book, a paranormal romance in the form of a diary. Yes I said romance, my whole deal in writing is to nail as many genres as I possibly can. If you can tell a story, genres are just the variable. We’re looking at a festive season 2019 release and I may fully self publish this one, I will still need an epic cover though!
  • Book Code named ‘Project X43’… or the real title ‘Jack Thorn’ – ‘In the future there will be robots… and this book is my writing destiny’. This year I’m finishing the rebooted draft and I’m going to find an agent and get it published (yep easier said than done). Those who have followed me from the start will recognize the ‘Thorn’ name and yes this book is massively linked to it.

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  • Darke Blood Sequel: ‘Darke Awakening’ has already been drafted and for those who have been keeping up this one serves as not only a sequel to ‘DB’ but it’s the continuation of Open Evening and Cemetery House. This year I will hopefully edit and set a release date for the Awakening. It will probably see the ‘light’ in 2020.

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So that’s all of my writing goals for 2019, let me just take this opportunity to say, keep it real, be safe and may the force be with you! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 #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.

Demonspawn by Christina Engela – a review

‘In space, not all things were certain… not even death’ demonspawn-2018-cover-front1

Demonspawn is a detailed well-imagined space story, which I found hard to put down, in fact I read the book in just 3 sittings.

Christina Engela has created a believable world of space travel, delivering it in way that seemed to me logical and explained without straying from the main plot.

From the very opening, there is a deliberate psychological vagueness as to what the ‘big bad’ could be. This heightens the mystery giving readers a real urgency and a want to find out, eventually you will.

With that tension steadily building the story follows the somewhat damned crew of the I.S.S. Mordrake; a ship seemingly stranded and damaged beyond repair in the furthest reaches of space. Their captain is found murdered and so it’s up to main character Joe Lofflin to investigate along with a cast full of convincing characters.

Then they discover a derelict ship just floating in space.

This story reminded me of films such as Alien and Event Horizon but Demonspawn could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with them. There were many concepts of the sci-fi genre in this book that were original and put together in a way not seen before anywhere else (this was especially so for the ‘Akx’.)

It’s an enjoyable read that will leave you wanting more.

5 Stars. 

 

If you have book that needs a review, then do get in touch….

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.