Release Date is finally here!!
I am thrilled to announce that Ana’s Trial is available to preorder from most ebook retailers. I had so much fun writing this fun short story about Ana – a young Egyptian on the cusp of womanhood who isn’t ready to take the responsibility being thrust upon her.
I’ve always had an interest in Egyptian history and mythology and if I could have studied it at school I would have. But I did my own research and studies from a young age. I’ve always wanted to write a story set in Ancient Egypt, but I recently read a book by my favourite egyptologist – Dr Joann Fletcher – entitled The Story of Egypt. In the early chapters of the book Fletcher gives an account of a pre-pharaonic Egypt, of tribes of people who eventually merged together to create the Ancient Egypt we all know and love. I was captivated by these early chapters in particular as I hadn’t read anything of this period before.
And so Ana was formed.
In a time before the pyramids and the Pharaohs and the glory, Egypt was home to nomadic travellers. Ana is one such person, and heir to a tribe she doesn’t want to lead. She’s but fifteen years and longs for exploration. But duty is knocking on her door.
A trial awaits her. The weight of her father’s expectations is heavy.
Witness the magic of a prepharaonic Egypt, and see if Ana will succeed in this short story from the acclaimed young adult author
of The Black Petal, Dan Thompson.
Can you believe that my dystopian coming of age story has been released two years. I certainly can’t. Obviously it was around for much longer … in my head and through the countless drafts I went through. Abbey certainly is a hardcore, damaged character who needed a lot of work.
I remember thinking to myself countless times whether or not the story would work. It has many fantastical elements – ones that are hard to imagine in the real world we live in, but it certainly all had to be believable. Science backs up everything that happens in the book.
I know some readers have criticised the book for this, but it was always my intention that some parts of the book were left unexplained. The book is mostly told from Abbey’s perspective and she didn’t understand the ways of the world. How could she possibly explain to the reader how and why things happened? I still think the book works on many levels and I’ve been amazed by the support the book has received in the two years its been circulating the world. For a book that is aimed at older teenagers, it does have some unsettling scenes, but the teenagers that have commented, they’ve been mature and understanding about them all. Key plot points were vital … and I also know from experience that books are not all happy rainbows and unicorns. I love a dark, gritty story. When I was a teenager and I still do now.
To celebrate the book and my love for Abbey (especially while I get my head around the sequel) I have a cool giveaway for you guys.
On a side note, I am now on Instagram. Not sure how to use it properly yet, but follow me to give me a push 🙂
So … I’ve been busy writing away, editing too. Mostly eating (Shhh, don’t tell the scales). But for a while, an old character has been keeping me awake. I can’t seem to shoo him away. Mark was an interesting creation, but as far as I was concerned, dealt with. I’ve told his story … or what I knew of it. I locked him away – that’s where he belonged. But this niggle wouldn’t let up.
I have to admit. I don’t feel like I did his story justice. I was naive, and unsure of my place in the writing world, and desperate too to get work out there.
It gives me great pleasure to reveal the cover for an old story retold, redone, reawakened. It will be released for FREE (yes, that’s right, FREE) later in the year. For now, you can add it to your Goodreads list for safe keeping. Trust me, it’ll stay there until you return to it. It will be released on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo etc.
Mark is the perfect man.
He’s caring. He’s thoughtful. He buys his wife flowers. He’s a sensual lover.
But when an impromptu outing turns sour, Mark realises he must take action. He wants to protect his wife, but his actions could mean it’s his last Christmas as a free man. His hatred had remained hidden, until now.
Perhaps Mark isn’t perfect after all …
A psychological short story from critically acclaimed author of Here Lies Love, Dan Thompson.
When I was a child and teenager I couldn’t really afford to buy many books. My family wasn’t well off, and, well, books were expensive. Unless of course you get them from a charity shop. My school didn’t have an extensive library either. Books were the things you got as gifts for birthdays and Christmas, as well as free ones hidden inside cereal boxes.
But as I got older, and eventually got a job, I went into bookshops and bought my own for my collection. Walking to the library became unnecessary, especially as in today’s day and age you can simply order a book from Amazon or wherever – most free of charge!
Well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. My Bookcase is full to the brim. Many books are laid on top of other books because I’ve simply run out of space. I actually put up a new shelf for my books (I know! DIY!!), but again this is now full. I spent a LOT of money on new books, hardbacks that cost up to £20 a go. Only too recently I travelled to Lincoln and bought myself four new books, which came to a total of £53.
Some rethinking was in order.
I’ve recently discovered that my local library, which is a part of Lincolnshire, has an online catalogue. It enables me to reserve books from the entire region held in other libraries and pick them up from my own library. All for free! And this goes for audiobooks too! I need to spend less on books and borrow them from the library instead. Lincolnshire libraries have come under threat recently and it all goes down to use. We could all borrow from the library more. Give them our support.
I had recently preordered two books on Amazon, but after searching for them on my library catalogue I’ve discovered the region had ordered some of their own copies. I put a reserve on them immediately and cancelled my preorders. I want to see how much I save, which can be spent elsewhere.
Libraries over here in the UK are taken for granted. I’m now going to be doing my part to borrow more books. If you are from the UK, search online for your library too. You can do more too.
For anyone who really knows me, knows my work (published and unpublished) or has read my many blog interviews, will know that Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is my number one inspiration for writing fantasy. I mean, wow – I just loved all three books. The author’s imagination and creative storytelling brought me out of a book reading drought in my teenage years. I guess in many ways it introduced the fantasy genre to me, and I can honestly say that there isn’t much fantasy I’ve read since that has surpassed them.
Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the US) in particular has a piece of my heart. When I am in a bad mood, need a lift or even some inspiration, I can turn to that book and fall away into the magic all over again. There’s memorable characters, political intrigue, intellectual concepts – Northern Lights is not simply a YA love story. It creates a completely new mythology and world that is three-dimensional. I do love YA, but more often than not, a lot of recently published titles are cast from the same mold – the characters are just called different names.
I recently had a talk with my OH about films we had introduced to one another. The Golden Compass got mentioned, although I wouldn’t really say that it was a fantastic film, it certainly brought to life some of my favourite literary characters. Anyway, after the conversation I sat on the settee thinking to myself. It was such a dissapointing film – I expected so much more. Northern Lights was to me what Twilight, Divergent and Mortal Instruments is to new young-adult generation.
It has been so long since I’ve really read the trilogy properly page to page. Now like most book lovers, I have a bookcase full of books that call out to me. My to-read list grows by the week! But for the love of HDM I have decided to embrace my younger self and re-live the highs, the heart break, the goosebumps of the trilogy from its very beginning.
I’m currently reading two books, but when I have finished them, I will put every other book aside and lock myself away and give Philip Pullman my undivided attention. Lyra, here I come. Will, here I come. Iorek, Mrs Coulter, Farder Coram, Lord Faa, Lee Scoresby, Serafina Pekkala; here I come!
Why don’t you join me on my experience. Get those dusty tomes out and discover a lost treasure. If you’ve never read any of the books, now is your chance to be mesmerised. There’s a reason why these are books won awards and feature often in book lists.
This is something that has always confused me. As a fantasy writer, as well as a huge fantasy reader, I’ve often questioned why in bookshops and online categories, Science Fiction and Fantasy genres get bundled together. I know there are people out there who struggle to tell the difference, but the way I see it is this:
(And while I acknowledge that there are countless sub-genres of both of these ‘parent’ genres, I’m talking basics here.)
Fantasy is something fantastical, i.e, made up, make believe, not real. We can talk fairytale castles in the sky, mages and elves battling one another with elemental magic, hell, let’s go one step further – necromancy! Raising the dead for one reason or another.
Science Fiction is something not yet achievable, but with scientific reasoning and methods, could become reality. Advances in genetic cloning to create a super race of soldiers, artificial intelligence, long-term space travel to distant galaxies.
Well that’s how I see it anyhow? Does my explanations make sense? The Lord of the Rings isn’t sci-fi, it’s fantasy. Star Trek isn’t fantasy, it’s sci-fi. And yet the Star Trek book serialisations and Tolkein’s much-loved classics could in theory be placed side by side on a shop bookshelf. These couldn’t be anymore different than one another.
One of my all time favourite fantasy novels is Danielle Trussoni’s Angelology. We’ve got fallen angels and nephilims waging a secret war against humans. The history the author goes into when discussing Christian mythology is astounding and interesting. (On a side note, I recently read on her Facebook page that the series has been optioned to be turned into a TV series. Great stuff!)
When you compare this to Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park for instance, you can clearly see the difference. Angels don’t exist – they are part of a theology created by humans. Dinosaurs did once exist and Crichton’s novel uses advances in scientific research to extract DNA to replicate the genome and recreate dinosaurs. It all goes a little pear shaped after that as we all know, and the moral of the book is clearly making references to humans’ endeavours to be the hand of God. But you can’t say the two books are the same at all.
So why do the genres blur? I guess to a lot of people, science fiction advances are often so incomprehensible that they are in a way magical. The archetypes are different, but understandably similar. I read a quote recently by Arthur C Clarke on Pinterest:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
I guess on the face of things, it all comes down to one’s definition of M A G I C – magic can be a miracle of sorts to some people, whereas in the fantasy realms, magic is a force, an intangible entity that can be wielded as a weapon or as a higher concept. A cure for all cancers could be classed as some kind of miracle – a magic, if you will, but it is through science that that magic occurs.
As always, let me know your thoughts. It’s an interesting one this, isn’t it? And I’m sure it is going to be one of those debates than doesn’t have a right and wrong answer. I’ll leave you with a philosophical thought: the magic contained within both fantasy and science fiction novels, although different, has the same effect on any reader.
(Images taken from free image websites around the web. Copyright remains with the artists)