Finally Published!

Last Saturday will go down in history as when Samuel Colbran was published, holidays will be created, songs will be sung and the people will celebrate in the streets about the success of this amazing man.,,,
Or I just published my first book.

I always thought it would have been my Journal of an Adventurer series be the first published but like all would be thoughts, it is not the case. After my pulling Lake Merrin ten days out before the print, there were still things that were planned and needed to happen. One was Supanova.

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Supanova was the best experience from one of the worst mistakes I could ever make. The weekend was fun, but there was a resounding depression that clouded my judgement on these days. I was supposed to be published. Seeing how crap the day was financial to many authors, I dodged a bullet, but I did learn a lot on how to be successful. So win, win.

After ‘Nova, I was depressed, nothing could be said what I should be doing. My book, Lake Merrin just was sitting there, and not much else. Nearly was thinking of quitting being an author. Then something happened!

A fellow author was joining a panel for a local seminar, Writers Block. I thought why the heck not! So I went along, the main chat is how to be traditionally published, which I really don’t care about. No person will ever, ever tell me that my vision needs to change for the marketplace! Suggest, yes, but this is my creative baby, and I will fight tooth and nail to make it live!

Back to the the Block, great speakers learned a great deal. Then Nick Earl hopped up and started to talk. He has a PhD in literary and his thesis was Novellas. He has produced some top notch work, and I thought to myself, that can be done. A short story, those are some ideas I can work with.

Then I talked to Nick, and he opened a Pandora’s box of creativity! I told him about this idea that has been bubbling around in my head. The YA book. Then he said something to me that change my path, why not publish each one separately and then at the end bring them together as a bundle. Oh, my trucking truck! What a brilliant idea!

So I did, sat down, wrote Kayla: Genius in a couple of days, edited it, commissioned an artist, Julia, to do the cover and two weeks later published it on Kindle!

So I am published and will be releasing each of the six parts over the next few months.

Best idea ever!

As an added bonus here is the first paragraph of each book so far.

Kayla: Genius, AU Link, CA Link, US Link, UK Link

The black nylon straps feel tight around your petite body. The bonds are tight around your throat, forehead and chest. You are glad that they position the straps just underneath your breasts. It is pointless to struggle. Tight enough for immobility, but not enough to cut off your circulation.

Briana: Knight

Briana struggles against her chains, she can feel every link digging into her skin. She wonders to herself what went wrong? The plan was flawless, there must be another hand involved.  If she just had her sword, she could be free.

Ciro: Founder

Where do they think I am going? There is no need for restraints. Such a waste of energy. I can see that it is a standard interrogation room without the two-way mirror. If I were designing it, there would be at least two cameras in the corners.

Enjoy!

Let’s Talk: Filler Words

Nearly always we use a lot of fillers in our very creative work. It is second nature to be somewhat indifferent to the purposes of this language. Sometimes it happens but not all the time. Thank you for pointing out this very important lesson for us.

Wow, that was hard to use all those fillers, thank you Brhi for your blog, this will help people overcoming that safety net of Filler words.

Brhi Stokes

Today, we’re going to talk about one of those little things you probably don’t even realise you overuse: filler words.

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Why Stranger than Fiction is a must watch for Writers.

Stranger than Fiction written by Zach Helm is one of my most favourite movies of all time, as I write this blog I am watching it as well. I have seen it at least ten times, and every time it inspires me to write and create.

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A little bit about the movie, it is about a man Harold Crick (Will Farell) who is a tax auditor who wakes up hearing a voice narrating his life. And in this movie, again not wanting to spoil it, he finds outs something, and this drives the plot along. To understand what is happening he goes to a Literature Professor (Dustin Hoffman) who helps him figure out what is going on. Unless you have seen this movie, I don’t want to go into the whole thing, but it is fantastic.

Why I think this is a must watch, is the blurring of the illusion between the author and your character. We talk about as writers that our characters can surprise us and cause us, the author, to go down a path that we did not plan for. Being a freeform writer over a planner, this is more natural to run on the whims of your characters.

This movie makes me think if my character was real; one he would hate me because I am a huge dick to what is constantly happening to him. But this allows my imagination to go on a tangent as if one of my characters changes their mind and change the direction of the story. Like when he is talking to the unconscious Stinky Pete in the first chapter to him just standing in line thinking of drinking a few ales. It always felt that he did this, I just merely tapped into this reality and words flow.

So Stranger than Fiction shows the complex relationships between the writer and their creations, and at that moment you realise you do not have full control over said characters. All you can do is just enjoy the journey.

Review of Reflection of Sandra

I had the fortunate experience to meet Michelle Heynen at her book launch, being a fellow author at Inhouse Publishing, I wanted to show my support. What amazed me was the beautiful story that was created by Michelle.

A little story from the book launch, Michelle read out a letter from her book, a thank you letter to her mother. This is why I love this book, the connection that I had with this piece. The emotion poured off me and tear unbashful fell from my eyes. It made me think of nearly losing my mother seven years ago, I could never imagine how I would react if she were gone. Michelle allowed me to experience something that resonated with those feelings. It is not about sadness but remembering the gift which was given by someone who is the closest to you.

The courage of Michelle celebrating her mother’s life and the grief that comes from losing someone. An emotional roller coaster ride, as in real life there are ups and downs but striving through this is what makes this book amazing.

Another gift that Michelle gave the reader is the beautiful poems at the start of each chapter, reflecting the journey of her family during this trialling event.

Reflections of Sandra is a well thought out and emotional connective book; it can help a person who is going through a troubling time, showing the path to acceptance. Alternatively, it can be for someone who is looking for a great story of an incredible person.

Thank you, Michelle, for allowing us to join your journey.
To buy her book either head to her website, Inhouse Publishing Bookstore or Amazon.

Review of Chapter One of Caligation

This is strange to write a review on something like a prologue and first chapter, but it is happening! Brhi Stokes has her book, Caligation coming out in June and for a great bit of marketing she released the first two chapters of her book (well, the prologue and first chapter). I am so blown away by this work of hers, the imagination and vividness of the world Brhi paints with these eight thousand words is amazing.

The set up of this book is quite clear, lonely road and something big happens. This is usually not the formula for a hero’s tale, which again makes it unique. It is set in a supernatural world, and not much needs to be understood about this as the setting is clear and crisp.

In these brief insight into the book, money is dealt with, atmosphere and how is different from this world. I can go on and on about these two chapters, but I just want to read this whole book!

If you like to become wanting for time to speed up and June to come, then this book will ignite that desire.

Head to her website, BrhiStokes.com, her Facebook page, click here or her Twitter account @BrhiSAuthor

Review of From Dusk by M. G. Ryan

 

From Dusk: the Vampire Hunter Prophecy is the first of four novels that I picked up at Supanova and this week is dedicated to reading and reviewing them. To understand how I feel about this story there will be some spoilers, not how I like to do reviews but there is no other way for me to talk about this book honestly.

So spoilers ahead, but I will keep them small.

I meet M. G. Ryan at Gold Coast Supanova; she was a few booths down from me. I was intrigued by her cover and title, so I brought a copy. An overall feel of the book, I enjoyed the novel itself, but the last third was I say my most favourite part. It follows a hero’s journey but had elements of romance and discovery of oneself.

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Lexi is the main protagonist; her character was a great way of showing a strong female without trying to make her overly masculine. Her femininity was I think one of Lexi’s compelling points, which caused me to become engaged with her story, accepting her path with a measured approach. I read one review that is was like Twilight, as I have read that series, I can tell you it is far from that type of story. Some elements are similar, wolves and vampires but it concentrates on a prophecy about a vampire hunter. The Lore of the Vampires was more like Anne Rice than Stephenie Meyer. There are some issues of flow at the beginning of the book, but once you move past that, the story was difficult to put down.

Jack is Lexi’s main supporting character. I do like him, he feels like a real person like Lexi. Something happened to him in his past, and he needed to understand this. The relationship between Lexi and Jack, I found believable. Being that close to an oblivious attraction with each other show how to do organic romance in literary form.

My favourite character is Corey, can’t go into why as I think this would ruin the book for readers but when he came into the story, the dynamic of Lexi, Jack and Corey made me lose track of my reading and before I knew the book was over. I want to read the next one now!

I would highly recommend From Dusk. Aside from the pace at the start, the book flowed and showed what knowing the path and walking it means.

The new wonderful, marvellous Chapter Three!

Surviving that encounter was close. Though it will not be my last. Just another in a long line of being stabbed, beaten up, or straight up nearly murdered. I need a better day job. Still, I committed another act to protect my life, how will the Trinity see me when I leave this plane. Will I be one with It or will grabbed by Amordous of Abysuss. I might find out soon.

Enough thinking of that sort of thing.This was the day. I became an Adventurer …

One good thing about Lake Merrin, it is not hard to find your way around. Looking down at the dead and unconscious two. “You know Ratty; you do bleed a lot.” Spying a water barrel. “You should have just ignored me, and you still would be kicking.”

Once washed off I look at the Brute. Pull my knife out; the hand is shaking. I haven’t committed blatant murder since the army. I did hate being a scout, taking out sentries who were not aware of you was not fun.

Sheathing my knife. “You are lucky today, not starting a day off with a honourless murder.”

Turning, feeling a wetness on my cheek. Must have splashed me. Let me think, if I hop this fence, I could make it onto Market. And just a stone throw away is the Hall. Looking back at my two fallen foes, I give them a salute. Stupid but brave.

The hustle and bustle of early Market Street. The smells of baked goods, the fishmongers yelling out their wares and no Malik or Dock Boys. This is not their territory, it is for the Wilted Flower Gang, and they are more about the subtle approach to thievery. Pickpocketing and the like.

There is a team now, love seeing them in action. Four walk up and bump. They walk away with a poor sods wallet. Been on the end of that a couple of times, until I made them realise why I should not be messed with. Ratty and Brute-boy found out the hard way.

What a beautiful day. Living through that death trap, appreciating life, and now off to the Hall!

Is that a pie shop I spy, and it sells beer too? My lucky day. Lukewarm beer, questionable meat pie, and if I can join a Charter today as well, it will be the most perfect day ever!

Arriving at the Hall on the corner of Market and Coin. This place always gives me goosebumps. The feeling of history seeping into you. This is where the great heroes who made their names here, and the money to be had. Just being here makes me think I could be one of them.

Ancient banners, relics thought lost to time and chilled ale. There is always a sight to see. Some random people are beating on each other in the duelling pit. I like the look of the armoured one. Is that, no, couldn’t be, Order of the Shield?

What is a member of the Order of the Shield doing in here? I’ve only ever seen them on the battlefield. Once a prat, always a prat! Always ordering us around like we were nothing. I wonder why he is here? When you join, it is for life. Is he a Shield? The armour is a dead give away. But still, by the way, he is moving with that fellow with the hammer, I can see he has trained in their ways.

Half-breeds and other scum like me never had that level of training. We were wall-fodder, as long as we could swing a sword and not die, our commanders like Shield-Boy didn’t care. But being a halfie, gave me more opportunities than others. I now know

Nevertheless, I would still put some slips on him, no matter how much they are up themselves. Their skill with a sword is always top-notch. Now a travelling Halfling Bard has come in to share his talent—gotta love free music.

Best day of the week is the sixth one. Buy two cups of ale for the price of one. Such a bargain. It might even be cheaper once you are registered. So looking forward to that sixth day now! I do love me some beer or an excellent ale, as long as it is cheap or free.

In a wink of an eye, the fight is over, or was I thinking too long about beer? I’m too late to put any money down on the match. If I did, I would have won. Oh well, off to talk to the administrator.

Big hammer fellow is getting dragged past me by a tough-looking guy and—hold the presses! —It’s Lana from the Travellers. Wow, only heard stories about them. Are there any other members of that Charter here? Can’t wait to see all of them.

Oh my Trinity, there is a bloody line-up. Let’s play the waiting game. I played this game a lot in the army. We wait here; then we wait over there.

As long as you looked busy, the Captain didn’t care. But had to look busy when the Sarge was walking around. If you were wasting time, she would find something for you to do. She busted me slacking off all the time! The number of latrine holes she made me dig; marching drills for hours on end, that wasn’t fun; and I never saw her have a drop of grog ever—not even once!

Even if she was weird, I did learn a lot from her. Wouldn’t be here today if she didn’t save me from the wrong end of a sword. From that day, I always have one silent toast in her honour.

After a stroll down memory lane, I can only think of sixth day two for one. Wonder what that beautiful girl that I occasionally have relations with is doing?

I’m just standing here; there is no one in front. Thank you, tired brain, for making the queue go away.

I walk over, and the administrator looks at me and says in a raspy voice, coughing up phlegm, “Come on, lad, been watching you stand there doing nothing for five minutes now. What do you want?”

That was shocking. Five minutes? I shrugged. Oh well, no queue.

“Come on; I haven’t got all day to watch you daydream. If you don’t tell me what you want, I’m going to have to ask you to leave!”

I shake my head and apologise, “Sorry, was jumped by some goons earlier today. Must be a little frazzled still, or it could be the pie.”

I can see Royce is becoming a little annoyed.

“Sorry. You don’t care. Um, I’m here to sign up!”

He looks me up and down. “Do you wish to start a new Charter or do you want to apply for an opening in an existing Charter, if one is available?”

“Just wanting to pay Hall’s dues and put my name down for any open spots.”

I stood there just grinning.

“What’s so funny, boy? You look like some grinning idiot. Take this paperwork and fill it out. The annual fee is four gold slips.”

Every time I come into the Hall and ask about Charters, Royce gives me the same speech and then forgets me. Bloody senile human.

“This does not guarantee you a spot in a party, just allows you to apply for jobs and covers the administration of your documents …”

Wow, this guy can prattle on. I can’t stand listening to people who think they are smarter than me. Or annoying people. Like this guy, just talking about stuff that really doesn’t matter.

“And after you are done with that there—”

He suddenly stops and looks at me. “Did you hear anything I just said, boy?”

“Of course I did! All this paperwork isn’t going to do itself. Here are the four slips, and may I borrow a quill and well to finish this?”

As he passes the writing kit over, I spy an empty table. Time to fill out this unnecessary paperwork. Looking at the forms, there are some interesting questions. Place of birth, okay. Name, I can do that. Skills and ability, well, that will be a short list. I can swing a sword, take orders, march, and scout—can’t forget that one.

Being a half-breed, they just give you the ‘fun’ jobs. Okay, I can see in the dark—so? Bloody typical, racist lowlifes! I can ride a horse too. Well, my horse. I loved that horse. The only one that would come near me. Can’t remember its name now. Another typical fantastic trait of my half-breed background.

A bit of sand to help it dry and done! Back to Royce. Such a bothersome administrator.

“With all your lollygagging, I thought this would take you longer.” He smiles and looks down at the form. “Let’s have a look at this … An army boy, haven’t seen that much.” He chuckles to himself. “This all seems in order. Here is your receipt. So, do you want your name in the pool for open Charter?”

“So, no Charters are looking for anyone? Willing to do any sort of job, even if they don’t want a new signing member. Ready to be signed on for a job or two.”

Royce says, “I have a group upstairs looking for a few members. I can put your name down, but …” He pauses to point to a strong Folk and then to an armoured knight from the pit before. “Those men seem to be more experienced than you. You are—no offence—a bit on the medium side.”

Wow, try being told that you are pretty much useless—well, average. Mela, Jara, Jenell! When I served, I might not have been the cream of the crop, but I still wasn’t one of those ‘special’ cases, who didn’t know their left from their right. They were good for one thing: following orders, as long as you took the time to explain it to them thoroughly.

“Come on. Okay, I’m not like that knight in shining armour or that savage, but don’t dismiss me. There must be people looking for someone, even just a body to fill a sentry spot.”

“Come back in a few days, see if any other parties are coming through these parts.”

Such a waste of time. I turn to leave, but Royce is still talking. “Well, there is one job on the Board. I don’t think they will mind too much for a solo to petition for this job!”

He coughs a little, and I think, Wow, do all older men have a phlegm factory in the back of their throat?

“As I was saying, the town Watch patrol is looking for bodies to fill the rank for an upcoming tour of the Duke. Three days’ work, good pay, and they aren’t too worried about experience.”

Well, it is a job from the Hall. Beggars can’t be choosers, or is it lazy people like money, hmm?

“This would help me get out of a jam. Put my name down!” I exclaim. “So, what are the chances of me getting this job?”

Royce looks up. “I send over the parties that wish to do the job. I put you as ‘Lone Solo’. Not much of a name, but it will do.” He’s doing that old man chuckle; more phlegm and coughing than laughter. “They seem a bit rushed with this, so your chances are good.”

“You put me down as a party named Lone Solo? Okay, it is pretty stupid, but if it gets me some slips, then I’m fine with it.”