A Weird Feeling

I have a few announcements for you before I begin today’s post. The first is that the wonderful and very gifted author Elizabeth Guizzetti reviewed Here Lies Love on her blog. She awarded it 5 stars! I’m so thankful Elizabeth found something to enjoy in my book! Elizabeth is an extremely talented author who loves science fiction – you should check out her debut Other Systems – a very well-thought out book indeed.

Marshalls Yard poster picI also got tortured quizzed by the lovely Sharon Atkinson about Here Lies Love, my inspiration behind the book as well as who I’d love to play Abbey – the main character in the book. You can check out the brilliant interview here.

And finally I had the opportunity to have a poster of Here Lies Love to be put up in my local area. I have included a snap here for you. If you do see any of my posters out and about, please share them with me 🙂

Oooh, I almost forgot too – today is the LAST DAY for the Flash Sale on the kindle version of Here Lies Love. Only 99p in the UK / $1.70 in the US. If you fancy getting it before it goes up to full price – you can do so here –> UK / US

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A Weird Feeling

I’m feeling quite strange at the moment. Well, to do with my writing anyway. Here Lies Love has been quite well received by the people who have read it so far and I’m doing some promotion for the release all over the place – so expect to see a lot of tweets and posts regarding those. But despite Here Lies Love relatively new in the world, I’m already moving on to the next project.

If you’ve read the above interview with Sharon Atkinson, then you’ll know what my next project is. With a working title of The Golden Lyre, it is the sequel to my teenage fantasy novel The Black Petal. As some of you already know, The Black Petal has been signed to Ghostly Publishing and is scheduled for an early 2015 release. In fact you can preorder the paperback now with free international shipping available!

But, is it me or is writing a sequel to something not even released weird? I’m feeling a little strange about it. I’m not sure why, and I can’t really explain it either. I’m OCD when it comes to planning my books and I’ve just finished the plan for The Golden Lyre and it’s twenty-two pages long! I already have the chapter titles worked out, each with bullet point sentences of what is happening in the chapter.

Wrting and planningIt’s taken me about four weeks actually to get to the end of my plan. I need to let thoughts air around in my head for a bit to see where I’m going to go with each step and if it is the right direction. But now as I’m about to get started with the writing, I still can’t shake the feeling that The Black Petal isn’t close to release yet and I’m already plotting the destinies of the characters that make up the book. And the strangest thing is, is that I can’t share any teasers with you or talk through things with other people because they haven’t read the first one yet! How can I clarify and test notions out if 99.9% of people won’t know the back story.

I’m not rushing myself though. I’m taking this write through of the first draft as it comes. I’m not making deadlines for myself. I just want to get the first draft finished and done and then we’ll see where we are at. I mean it is July now. I would like to have the first draft done before Christmas ideally, but if it isn’t then I’m not going to scold myself. The Golden Lyre is going to be a bigger book than The Black Petal and so I want to make sure everything slots into place. I’ll be exploring the bigger world within as well as introducing some new characters.

Odysseus in front of Scyalla

I have been enjoying the research for this novel. Greek Myths are always a joy to re-familiarise myself with. I have made up a board on Pinterest and you can come and follow it with me if you like to see what possible things you could find inside the book when it is completed.

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What Exactly is a Book Series – Guest List!

Over the past week, I’ve rambled on about what exactly makes a ‘Book Series’, including the differences between the continuation from book to book, and from the standalone. Well I thought to finish this week long tribute was to pester my fellow author and book bloggers and give you all some fantastic suggestions of Book Series. Of course, it is also another excuse to add books to our ever ending TBR pile of books. I don’t know about you, but my list grows longer by the day! So, to make things fair, I’m listing them in alphabetical order. Take it away guys …

Jaimie Admans

HungerGamesTrilogy Covers

“There are a few series I could probably mention, I grew up with Enid Blyton’s many series for children, and moved on to her Malory Towers series when I was a bit older, but my favourite series in recent years is definitely The Hunger Games. I didn’t find out about it until all books were released, and I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait to move on to the next one! It’s such a gripping series, Susanne Collins has done a fantastic job of world-building, not to mention the characters that feel so real and relatable. I read all the books within a few days, which is unheard of for me, but they were impossible to put down, and I didn’t want the series to end.”

jaimieadmans2Jaimie is a 27 year old, English-sounding Welsh girl and confesses to writing “Quite a lot!” She is the author of four published novels, the most recent being Not Pretty Enough, a quirky YA romantic comedy. She loves NaNoWriMo and takes part every year. She loves to stand out with hair that “isn’t considered ‘normal’” and horror films – “scarier the better.”

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Zachary Bonelli

The Hitch Hikers Cover

“The first book series I ever read was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Both wildly funny and deeply sardonic, Hitchhiker’s made me laugh, but most importantly it made me think. Critical evaluation of our society is science fiction’s highest calling, in my opinion. While aliens and space ships and strange technology are nice, its as a lens for refocusing our perception of ourselves where speculative fiction really shines. From the restraurant at the end of the universe, all the way to Deep Thought, computing the meaning of life, the universe and everything, Hitchhiker’s continues to be, in its entirety, one of the best crafted fiction lenses of our time.”

Zacahry BonelliZachary Bonelli is the author of the Voyage Along the Catastrophe of Notions series, and is based near Seattle, USA, although he has traveled around Japan, Thailand and Hawaii. He loves stories and has long been fascinated by video games as a storytelling medium. He also loves exploring different cultures, discovering the different underlying stories that different groups of people tell themselves, the stories that define who they are and how they perceive the world.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Rebecca Bradley

Blindsighted cover

“Crime fiction is my genre and I absolutely adore series crime fiction. The thing with a series is the ability for the author to build and grow the characters even more than the length of a novel provides time for.

My favourite crime series is written by Karin Slaughter. The reason she is my choice is simply because of the characters within the pages. Though the stories are great, they’re gripping and well written, it’s the characters who bring the whole to life. Slaughter has done the series with a twist and divided it into two series, moving a character from one US state to another after a massive event occurs. This keeps the series alive and different, and she goes back and merges the two series on occasion. Picking up a Slaughter book and sitting down with the characters feels like coming home for me.

If you want to try this series (or two series if you’re being technical) you need to start at the beginning with Blindsighted. I’d love to know what you think.”

rebeccabradleyRebecca is a full time, day job, working, mum, who uses her spare time to commit murder, while drinking copious amounts of tea. Without each of these things, the other could not possibly exist. The world does not spin without first having a cup of tea in a morning, never mind the complexities of rising, working and writing.

She is represented by Kate Nash of the Kate Nash Literary Agency and is working on the revisions of my her crime novel, which has a working title of Shallow Waters and is set in Nottingham.

Website / Twitter / Goodreads

Fraser from Feed My Reads

JamesBarclay Collection

“As a book lover I have read many series of books I could recommend but there are 2 that stand out in my mind.  The first series I recommend is the Raven collection by James Barclay which is an epic tale of a band of heroes working together in adventures across the 7 books in the series.  I remember reading the series and being amazed at how much the books drew me into their world & how desperate I was to get on to the next book in the series whilst enjoying the one I was reading through.

The second series I recommend to people is The Wind On Fire Trilogy which is an amazing set of books by William Nicholson that I read a number of years ago and have purchased for many people since as I found them to be truly stunning.  The books are a series of young adult works and surround a world where all is decided by exams and what would happen if someone rebelled against the system.  It is a truly great series of books and I recommend anyone to read them.”

Fraser is the creator of the online community Feed My Reads, an online presence where authors and readers can connect. He’s a self-confessed book worm, and is building up quite a collection of interviews.

 

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Tony Gilbert

The-Dark-Tower-Novel-Cover

“I was asked by Dan recently about my favourite book series. The answer that first jumped to my mind was The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. What a fantastic set of books; great characters in a well-designed world. I have always been a massive fan of Stephen King but this fantasy set is not just for die-hard fans, pick up ‘The Gunslinger’ (Dark Tower 1) and give it a try.

When I thought a little more about the question, I realised there was one other series that surpassed everything I have ever read before. Ken Follett wrote two linked books: ‘Pillars of the Earth’ and ‘World Without End’. Why I picked up ‘Pillars of the Earth’, I will never know – a book about a monk who wants to build a cathedral sounds like my idea of reading hell – but I did, and I loved it. Ken Follett creates characters that are so real they become your friends, you live with them through the hardships they face and the joy they feel. I have never met characters like them. The storyline is perfect with lots of twists and turns, which continue into book 2, and spans many, many years. If you hate cathedrals, monks, religion, history… still pick it up, you will be amazed.”

Tony GilbertTony Gilbert is a UK author known for his charity book The Cloud Diary, and his children’s fantasy story, Hugo. He is a married father of three, with a future release just around the corner.

 

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Elizabeth Guizzetti

the-truth-of-valor book cover

“The series I love best revolve around character rather than an overarching plot. I love Sherlock Holmes, RA Salvatore’s books about the character Drizzt Do’Urden–generally there is trilogies with a plot, but the whole series is about his life. One of my fav YA series is Harry Potter –though I began questioning why the final battles always happened at the end of the school year.

However my favorite series of all time is Tanya Huff’s The Valor Series which is a science fiction series about space marines. Each book is its own adventure following Torin Kerr as she moves through the ranks and eventually leaves the marines.”

Elizabeth GuizzettiElizabeth Guizzetti is a science fiction writer from Seattle, USA. Her debut novel, Other Systems was published by 48Fourteen last year. She loves to create. In her mind, she has the best job (or jobs) in the world. She gets an idea, runs with it until it leads her to generate whatever it is going to be. Her process beings with a big idea and most importantly the end vision for the idea. She believes the best advice for all aspiring authors and artists is “Believe you have a story worth telling and get to work!” 

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Sandy from The Reading Café

christinefeehandark series

“Wow, this is difficult to pick just one or two favourite book series
especially knowing that if I leave one off, I will curse myself for
forgetting.

Like many ‘born-again’ readers The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
brought me back into the reading fold.  Although the series is not
necessarily one of my favourites, it can be considered the cause of my
new-found addiction to reading.

The Dark Carpathian series by Christine Feehan.
Christine is an author who was one of the first to bring vampires and the
paranormal storylines back into the forefront of reader curiosity.
Although CF’s vampires are NOT the stuff of sparkly fairy tales, her
Carpathian men need only one woman to bring emotions back into their lives
because without their lifemate, the male will eventually turn vampire and
have to be destroyed.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R.Ward
What can I say but ….growwwlll and purrrrr.  These sexy vampires are all
about protecting the women that they love above all else.  *sigh* we need
more men in the world who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the
‘one’.

Six Saviour series by Carly Fall (indie)
Carly blends a little sci-fi with her paranormal storylines.  The warriors
from planet SR44 have come to earth looking for escapees knowns as
Colonists but have a difficult time the missing prisoners.  But along the
way, each will find their mate or lose their life trying to protect the
people of earth.

Guardians of the Race series by Jacqueline Rhoades (indie)
The Guardians are of the Race, with superior strength and speed, descended
from Gabriel who are on earth to protect the humans and guard the portal,
ensuring the demons do not cross the barrier. As an indie author,
Jacqueline caught my eye with her first story Guardian’s Grace and I
haven’t looked back.

Spiral of Bliss by Nina Lane
Nina has written a contemporary romance series that is sensual, alluring,
arousing and heartbreaking all in one story.  The series is character
driven and Nina pulls the reader into the story so that we ‘feel’ the
emotions and experience the highs and lows. *someone please hand me a
tissue*

The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Acheron-need I say more !!!!!!

Dragon Kin by G.A.Aiken
OMG, what can I say but when you need a laugh, G.A. delivers. Her dragons
are sexy, voracious and not without some attitude.

Pride Series by Shelly Laurenston
Shelly (aka G.A.Aiken) blends humour, sarcasm and likeable characters with
a shifter storyline that will keep you laughing

Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones
Darynda writes Charley with so much sarcasm, witty one liners and humour
that everyone will recognize a little of themselves or a friend in the
characters.

Women of the Otherworld/Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong
Kelley is a wonderful Canadian author whose series pulled me in from the
very start.  Her werewolves are sensual, sexual and caught my attention
when Clay Danvers was afraid of losing the only woman he has ever loved
and ‘bit’ her to ensure she remained by his side -forever.

I guess, after reading my list, I should stop but there are so many other
series and authors that I have not mentioned that are MUST READS for me
including Nalini Singh, Lora Leigh, Jennifer Ashley, Elisabeth Naughton,
Laura Wright, Lisa Renee Jones, Laura Kaye, Katie Reus, and so on ……

Um, apparently this is more than one or two series.  As a reviewer I have
discovered so many author and series that I am unable to pick out JUST
ONE.  Although, if I was stranded on a deserted island and was only
allowed ONE author or series, I would probably choose…….”

TheReadingCafeLogoSandy is one of the main reviewers over at The Reading cafe, an online book blog that reviews new releases, as well host author interviews.

 

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And that is it! I just want to thank all of the people who have taken part in this tribute week, as well as to the readers who have come back each day to read more about book series. And with all of the suggestions above, well we’ll have plenty to look out for. Of course, if you have any suggestions, please do get in touch!

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What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – Crossing Boundaries

You may be surprised to hear that many novels start out as one of the types of ‘Book Series’ I’ve mentioned already this week, only to transform, almost magically into another. There could be many reasons for this, stronger readership, bigger, more larger storyline that needs to be extended over a few books, rather than being fully explored in just the one. And I think you know one of the biggest novel ‘brands’ that fits into this category. Oh yes, I’m looking at you JK Rowling.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosophers_Stone_Book_J_K_RowlingJK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is huge. In fact, it is bigger than huge, yet if we take a look at the earlier books in the series, Harry Potter and Co actually go through Hogwarts and thwart the enemy by the end of the book. It isn’t until the later books, do we see JK Rowling actually convert the standalone series into a much larger picture. Be honest. Did you ever see how the later storylines developed in the The Philosopher’s Stone or The Chamber of Secrets.

But why did JK Rowling suddenly decide to make things complicated? In my honest opinion, I think it was the only valid way to move the series on. As Harry Potter gets older, so do the reading audience, and they are much more likely to withstand multiple story arcs across numerous books, especially compared to the younger reader who may only be mature enough to deal with a single plot across one book. I also think it is a good example of showing how JK Rowling developed as a writer; her understanding of her audience is probably a learning curve she cherished. Especially when compared to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five Famous Five TVseries, where none of the books lead into others. Sure, there may be quick references to past adventures, but Blyton keeps things simple. But that isn’t a negative thing, for Blyton’s books still sell thousands of copies each year, with many being considered ‘classics’.

Another type of ‘Book Series’ worth mentioned that may cross boundaries is the prequel. Well actually, I would rather refer to them as being on the fence between a ‘standalone’ series and ‘One Piece to Make a Whole’ series – (see previous posts). I’m not sure what to make of prequels? I understand their premise, and their direction, I’m just not sure if they are needed. I recently read and reviews Who Could That Be at this Hour? by Lemony Snicket, which is a prequel series of sorts to his bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, which wasn’t fantastic to say the least.

othersystemscover2Yet I can’t help but get excited about the proposition of upcoming prequels by Sharon Sant and Elizabeth Guizzetti. You may remember that I loved Sharon Sant’s young adult dystopian novelRunners. A prequel series is possibly in the pipeline that will go further into the other characters that make up the gang Elijah joins at the beginning of the book. Elizabeth Guizzetti’s adult SciFi novel, Other Systems also has a prequel in the pipeline beautifully titled, The Lighter Side of the MoonOther Systems took many brave risks, and paid off thanks to Guizzetti’s clever and intelligent storytelling.

You may remember that I am a huge fan of Philip Pullman. It was his His Dark Materials series that ultimately inspired me to go ahead with my writing ambitions. And in 2003, a small novel was released to accompany the series. Lyra’s Oxford was ultimately a novella to keep fans happy until the next books is finally released. It was a book that had many ‘extra’ reminding readers of memorable happenings and characters from the main Lyras Oxford Coverseries. For example, within the book you can find a postcard from Mary Malone, one of the characters that had a prominent feature in the last book, The Amber Spyglass.

Yet in 2008, another companion novella was released, entitled Once Upon a Time in the North, which is a prequel story to the main series explaining how two of the prominent characters actually met. This book too comes with a series of ‘extras’ including a pull out board game, which is kind of fun. But I have to say, that although I loved the main series, these small campanian novels aren’t brilliant. They are entertaining, yes, but ultimately pointless in the grand scheme of things.

What are your thoughts about prequel books? Stay tuned tomorrow, as I have been in touch with a cast of fantastic authors and Book Bloggers, to ask them what some of their most favourite book series are.
Post 1 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’

Post 2 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – One Piece to Make a Whole

Post 3 – Guest Post by Sharon Sant

Post 4 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – The Standalone

Post 5 – What Exactly is a ‘Book Series’ – Crossing Boundaries

Post 6 – Guest List

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May New Releases

Now as a new month approaches, we are in for a great treat as three new books are released TODAY! And yes, it is May already, and no, I have no explanation as to how the time has gone by so quickly. It only feels as if Christmas was here just a few weeks ago. But enough babbling, on to the books!

Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

othersystemscover2Other Systems isn’t a new book as such, but today marks the release of the paperback, which is fabulous news. When this fresh Sci-Fi adventure was released I not only interviewed the talented author, but also gave this a great review too. “It’s an intelligent novel that will send your mind wondering and I loved the fact that the book could become quite intense at times because ultimately this strengthened my connection with the characters.” – comes to mind as i look back over my review. And with a new sexy, intriguing and colourful front cover, Other Systems has something for everybody. Below you can find the synopsis and video trailer.

Without an influx of human DNA, the utopian colony on Kipos has eleven generations before it reaches failure. Earth is over ninety light years away. Time is short. On the over-crowded Earth, many see opportunity in Kipos’s need. After medical, intelligence, and physiological testing, Abby and her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid, are offered transportation. Along with 750,000 other strong immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs and the opportunity for higher education. While the Earthlings travel to the new planet in stasis, the Kiposi, terrified the savages will taint their paradise, pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate them. When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. Indentured to breed, she is drugged and systematically coerced. To survive, Abby learns the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world: her analytical mind. In order to escape her captors, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.

You can buy the paperback from Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble

Not of Our Sky by Sharon Sant

not of our skyThis release is the third and last instalment of the wonderful Sky Song Trilogy. I recently interviewed Sharon about her trilogy, and finishing Sky Song (Book 1) i was left amazed by its realistic fantasy themes. “Its fantasy is equally matched by its realism, and lots of original concepts thrown in to boot.” The cover is great too, and i love the purple haze. Below, you can see the synopsis.

Jacob fights for his life and Ellen faces her toughest decision yet: whether to finally reveal his true identity to his parents. For Jacob is one of the Watchers of Astrae, a race of beings with extraordinary powers, and sworn to protect the natural order of the universe. But Jacob has broken one of Astrae’s oldest laws and chaos threatens to cover the Earth.

Alex faces the fall into darkness that has long been prophesised. Her only ally is Makash, their bitter and twisted uncle, and Jacob has already succumbed to the shadows. Who will be there to catch her?

With the first part of the ancient prophecy already coming to pass, it seems their only hope lies in the second part – the riddle of the star that will bring them back to the light. But what does it mean? And why do Jacob, Alex and Ellen all dream of the same lighthouse, night after night?

Not of Our Sky is the third book of the Sky Song Trilogy.

You can purchase the ebook from Amazon / Amazon UK

Minutes before Sunset by Shannon Thompson

Minutes Before SunsetI was immensely impressed with Shannon Thompson’s idea for her paranormal romance novel that features multiple points of view and intriguing shift of shades and lights. I couldn’t resist but interview her and ask her about her ideology in her writing. This book is most certainly on my too read list and with some great reviews already, you can’t go wrong with this YA novel. Below, you can see the synopsis.

Eric has a life-or-death confrontation planned and waiting for him on his 18th birthday. And Jessica just wants to find out who, or what, her parents were. Neither of them is ready for the answers they’ll find.

Minutes Before Sunset is Book 1 of the Timely Death series.

“She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.”

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

“He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.”

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

You can purchase the ebook from Amazon / Amazon UK / Smashwords

With some fantastic choices at the very start of May, what is there to look forward to later on in the month?

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Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing

“I’m rather embarrassed to admit, but what exactly is a blog hop?” was my first reaction when I was nominated by talented author, Jack Croxall. His debut novel, Tethers, reached the top ten historical children’s stories on Amazon upon its release and I’m currently reading it now. When I was told exactly what a blog hop was, I almost jumped at the chance to take part. Answer some questions about your upcoming novel, why – yes please!

Although, I must admit I think I’m going to cheat a little. My next project, The Caseworker’s Memoirs, will be released in late Spring 2013, but my feature length YA Fantasy novel, The Black Petal, is in the trusted hands of a professional editor at the moment and as of yet, has no release date. But as quite recently, I’ve talked about The Caseworker’s Memoirs an awful lot, I think I’ll delve into my fantasy world and tell you a bit about The Black Petal.

What is the working title of your next book?

Well obviously I’ve already given that away; The Black Petal, but it does start off a magical trilogy and I’ve already planned the next instalment, which I’ll be getting underway within the next few months. The Black Petal refers to a unique flower that is prophesied to summon a powerful God that can grant you unfathomable power.

I’ll also reveal the working title of the second instalment of the trilogy – *whispers* The Golden Lyre. I’ll let you do your own research into that one :0p

Where did the idea for your book come from?

I’ve always been a huge fan of both the YA (Young Adult) and Fantasy genres and I suppose as I’ve always dreamt of becoming a real writer, those particular genres were a no-brainer for my own stories.

I also studied Classical Civilisation in 6th Form (college) and I’ve always had a love for mythology of various ancient civilisations. I felt at the time that traditional and classical myths were something that many people were losing touch with and I wanted to tell a story that not only captured the teenagers of today through adventure, but also reinvent some of the more, forgotten let’s say, myths of the Greek and Norse people.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s got to be YA Fantasy, hasn’t it? I suppose the trilogy as a whole will have an epic sort of feel to it, but that most certainly is a stretch at the moment – especially since the second and third books aren’t even written yet.

Who would play your characters in a film?

What a curiously fantastic question! I’m going to have to have a think about that one.

You would say that although the book has two definite central characters; each character has an important and vital part to play. For Blake, the Victorian Assassin, I’m afraid I have no idea whatsoever. He simply formed himself as I wrote.

As for the two teenagers, hmm. This is an older teenage book and so I would need actors that could pull off sixteen year olds. For Jack, our teenager from the present, it could be Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf. I think he is a fantastic actor, full of vigour and able to pull off emotional scenes too. For Lucia, our crimson-haired blind girl, it most certainly could be Saoirse Ronan, who played the younger Briony Tallis in Atonement. From what I’ve seen she is an exceptionally well varied actress.

There are far too many other characters to go through, but one is definitely worth a mention. Queen Danika of the Valkyries is such a mentally ambivalent character who can switch from callous to seductress without a second thought. She would be a really interesting character to play and I think an actress such as Jennifer Garner or Eva Green could certainly pull her off. (Is that thinking too blockbluster-esque?)

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

The Black Petal is the first adventure in an exciting new trilogy that combines both magic and myth; and with war looming on the horizon, surely there can be only one winner?

Will your next book be self-published or represented by an agent?

Good question! The Black Petal has been with me for some considerable time and it’s always been my intention of giving it the best start in life. I have paid and worked with a professional editor and hopefully I can attract the attention of a fantasy loving agent or publisher.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Can you believe it – it took six years! Extremely slow, for many reasons I may add, but now that I am properly organised and am writing regularly, hopefully The Golden Lyre will be considerably less.

What other books would you compare this story to in the genre?

As a reader of a wide variety of books, you’d think this would be an easy question to answer, wouldn’t you? Well, I absolutely love Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and I’d have to say that it is clear that he has influenced my work. But as my story also features mythology, do you think I’d get away with saying it can compare with some original Greek myths too?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

To be completely honest, I’d have to say, quite selfishly, that my own perseverance played a big part. I was never an A-Grade student and there is a certain view that only the extremely well educated can write good books, and I wanted to prove to people that no matter what your background or education is, you can still become whatever you put your mind to.

But as I’ve already said, I do honestly feel that myths of old are becoming forgotten, for whatever the reason may be. There are some myths and especially characters from myth that are only known to the well-researched individual. It’s about time they get a new lease of life, don’t you?

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

If magic, war and adventure isn’t enough then there is plenty more to get stuck into as well!

I feel that The Black Petal can appeal to almost anyone who loves a good story. I think that no matter your age, gender, background, sexuality … you name it; there is something for you in here. There is a struggle for freedom, a need for revenge, a love blossoming, a power struggle, a point to prove. It includes loss and addiction – is that telling too much :0p

You can read the full synopsis here if you like?

Now for the next victim *ahem* willing participant, I’m going to nominate American Author, Elizabeth Guizzetti, who if you all remember, wrote the brilliant Sci-Fi novel, Other Systems. With a second book in the series due and an intriguing new fantasy novel entitled The Martlet; I am looking forward as to what she chooses to talk about. You can visit her blog here and why not check out The Martlet trailer below to see what you can expect from this highly exciting author in the near future.

How cool does this look!

2012 Thank You’s

What a year 2012 has been. For me, it has been an up and down year, but one that will stay with me for a while. It was in this year that I started my blog (yes the one you are reading now). It was also the year I finished my debut novel, albeit not entirely polished. It has also been the year I self-published my very first ebook and went on to appear in the local newspaper and talk live on BBC radio.

There are probably many people I should thank, but I probably will forget to mention some people, which I apologise for before hand. Firstly, I need to thank the people who read my blog and come back each and every time I post a new post. I try and vary my posts, ranging from books, films, TV shows, music, writing and also, importantly for me, Author interviews. Neil Trigger, author of The Midnight Chronicles was my first Author Interview and that kick started a campaign that took over many weeks. I received review copies of new books for 2012 to read and review as well as interviewing the authors too, which I can wholeheartedly say has been a fun and very thrilling experience. From Candace Knoebel to Rich Pitman, Elizabeth Guizzetti to Katy Krump, genres as ranged from fantasy to science fiction.

I also need to thank the kind and supportive people who have ‘liked’ my The Black Petal Facebook page so they can keep up to date with my writing projects and follow my journey with me.

I also need to thank Jack Croxall and Tony Gilbert, who so kindly offered to read my manuscript and comment on the story and characters. It has been people like them that has shown me that support and friendship is out there for newbie writers and building up a contacts list has been incredible.

The Black Petal is still in the hands of my editor, Doug Watts, but after reading the unpolished manuscript, Jack Croxall has said

‘An absorbing, imaginative storyline.’

I also received an email the other day from American author, Elizabeth Guizzetti, who has awarded me with a small award, which you can see below. A big thanks to Elizabeth for coming back to regularly read my blog.

blog-of-the-year-award

This is a rotating award, which encourages you to support and celebrate your favourite blogs and I think it is a nice way to give a little gift to someone who writes posts that entertain you and give you something to smile about.

I am going to give this award to two people.

The first is to Australian author Dianne Gray, whose blog never fails to make me laugh. She has such a witty and comical voice and her posts are engaging and very insightful. Please do check it out.

The second blog goes to Jack Croxall. Like me, Jack is an unpublished writer, but his blog tends to question and summarise writing techniques and ideas. You should definitely check his blog out, plus join his Facebook page to keep up with updates about his debut novel, Tethers.

Which leaves me to say that I hope everyone had a fantastic festive season no matter where in the world you are and I hope everyone has a successful and happy new year! I’ll see you in 2013!

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Here are the rules of the award:

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   

and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group 

and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

blog-of-the-year-award Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg Blog of the Year Award 5 star jpeg Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

I’ll take the film over the book thank you ….

After reading Elizabeth Guizzetti’s recent blog post about the new Hobbit film, it got me thinking about the connection between novels and their film counterparts. Almost all critics will say that the book is much superior to the film, usually because the book is so detailed and full of charm and atmosphere which ultimately doesn’t translate well to the silver screen. And I must say that this statement is mostly true for me, although there are a few exceptions.

atonementbook The first book that I was disappointed in (after seeing the film first) was Ian McEwan’s Atonement. I loved the twist at the end of the film and I loved the atmosphere and action during Robbie’s time in France. James McAvoy is a talented actor and brought a lot to the role; Keira Knightly even won me over with the stern portrayal of Cecilia. However, the book seemed to drag onwards, never really grabbing you and taking you along with the characters. It was far more centred on the misuse of the ‘C’ word than about the characters. I did persevere with the novel however, but ultimately by the end I found myself wishing that the book would end.

The second book was Memoirs of a Geisha by MemoirsGeishaArthur Golden, which tells the awful, tragic story of Chiyo Sakamoto and her life within a geisha house. The film gave the story an addictive character and an impression of what life must have been like for poor girls of Japan who were sold to become geisha’s. I found the film in particular, educated me more than what the book did. Of course, the book is there to entertain rather than educate, but as a Western reader, you do take some things on board. The book also seemed to focus on minor details rather than focusing on the bigger moments. I enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha (the book) more than I enjoyed Atonement (the book) but overall I was left with a somewhat distasteful opinion.

Of course, one could assume that literary books are just simply not for me, if you go on the above books. They both tend to focus more on character and language rather than action and in all honesty I probably do love more commercial books than literary ones, but that’s simply not because I fail to understand the books. It may be cynical of me to assume, but it’s almost derogatory to admit that you don’t like a literary book, as if you aren’t a ‘proper’ reader.

However, despite reading more books with a mass market appeal, I did enjoy The Color Purple by Alice Walker and The World According to Garp by John Irving. Both considered to be literary. I’m even reading (and enjoying) The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling at the moment, which could be sorted into Modern Literary. So I don’t really have a problem with literary novels, just those that lack something special.

But what about you? Have you enjoyed a film more significantly than the book? Get in touch and perhaps we can see if there is a trend.