You may have heard, read, even watched me babble on about my young adult fantasy novel, The Black Petal. Some of you may have read early drafts, some may have been annoyed with my continuing mentioning of it, but finally, I am so pleased to say that it is finished! It’s been a long haul actually. A full eight years, but the first few of those years can be struck off for inconsistent attention. But hey, who’s counting?
I have to be honest, when I first started the often lonely road of being an author, i was incredibly naive. I didn’t really understand technique. I mean, I studied English language and literature to A-Level standard, but that didn’t really prepare me of what was needed. I needed a proper course to follow and a hell of a lot of patience. But, I shrugged off the nagging voice in my head that was telling me to rethink my career choice, and got stuck in. As a mythology man, I knew that classical mythology was definitely going to feature, and when I eventually finished the first draft, I was happy with how the story unwrapped.
What I wasn’t expecting however, was the bombardment of rejection letters that piled up on my doormat. I needed advice; lost and unsure of where to go, I happily took up Katy Krump’s advice of working with an editor. Fast forward a little, and I began to work with Doug Watts in 2012. As I quickly realised, there was so much work to be done with my manuscript, and with Doug’s help, I began to restructure and rewrite many aspects of The Black Petal.
The above picture shows a Valkyrie from Norse Mythology. The Valkyries are a powerful force in The Black Petal, living in Valhalla, their fortress in the sky
The biggest issue, especially as more characters came into play, was with viewpoint. I just didn’t understand what was wrong, but luckily, UK author Sharon Sant, was kind enough to explain where I was going wrong. In fact, Sharon looked over the full manuscript for me, checking that I had ‘fixed’ all the issues Doug originally highlighted. With viewpoint errors lingering over me constantly, I rewrote and reworked many of the scenes in the latter half of the book.
And finally, in October 2013, I’ve reached the finishing line! Wohoo! Go Me! *Thank you, Thank you – takes a bow* But the story isn’t over yet. Rather than jumping headfirst into selfpublishing, I really do want to see if I can get published traditionally. I think I owe it that, especially after how long I’ve spent on it. I’ve already sent it out, but we’ll see where we get with it. Of course, I’ll be constantly updating my facebook page and twitter page with any news.
The vase may not be very clear, but it shows Heracles fighting the Amazons. Jack is sent on a quest by the Amazon Queen in The Black Petal.
So what’s next writing wise? Well I’m already getting on with my next project, one I can’t disclose just yet. My writing group will be reading a rough start fairly soon, but I’m going to aim for the finished book to be about 50,000 in length. I’m looking for about February 2014, but that isn’t fixed – you never know what’s around the corner. Of course The Black Petal is only the first instalment of my fantasy trilogy, and research and planning for the sequel The Golden Lyre is well under way too! Of course, if the book is picked up by a publisher, further edits and changes may be requested, but we’ll see.
For all of the friends I’ve met along this journey, as well as the people who regularly come back and read my blog, I want to say a huge thank you for sticking with me. I’m going to leave you know with the blurb/synopsis for The Black Petal. Enjoy!
Following the story of Jack, a teenager from the present and of Blake, a Victorian assassin, both are plucked from their homes and awaken in a new land; a realm of fantasy and myth. Jack and Blake are drawn into a war between two rival races, an event prophesised by an exiled gypsy known only as Eliza. They must each choose a side, Jack wants to get home, but Blake wants revenge and as the battle comes to a head, they realise they have unwittingly chosen different sides.
In this new realm, Jack meets crimson haired Lucia and together they build a bond. As Jack meets the Amazon Queen, he is sent on a quest to recover a rare black flower to trade for his freedom. A creepy Oracle has persuaded the Amazon Queen that the black petal will summon a powerful god who can grant victory to them. A prophecy told long ago tells of a boy from another time that can discover this petal and the Amazon Queen is certain Jack is this boy.
As Jack and Lucia guide each other across this unknown land they are chased by mysterious creatures who want to kill them. They must travel over the mountain range, but with these peculiar Empusae on their heels, it isn’t an easy journey and with war looming on the horizon, there must be only one winner. Which side will prevail? Will Jack reach the petal in time or will he succumb to the yapping jaws of the Empusae?
The Black Petal is the first adventure in an exciting new trilogy that combines both magic and myth.
Want to know how the mythical Phoenix features in The Black Petal? You’ll just have to wait and see!
Come and like my Author Facebook Page, Twitter or join me over at Goodreads or Pinterest