Book Review: Wars to End All Wars (Authors of SFF World)

This is the second volume I have reviewed for SFFWorld courtesy of blog buddy NE White. The first was a mixed bag of End of the World stories. This, if you have not already figured out, concerns the First World War, arguably the most brutal war in history until that point. Here in the UK, we mark Remebrance Day on the 11th November as the anniversary of the end of the war and though it is used to commemorate all of our war dead, it reminds us especially of the great sacrifice made between 1915 and 1918. Continue reading

Snippet Sunday 24/8/14

Writing more zombies the last few days and I’m pleased to say the story is now over 3000 words. I’m expecting it to be between 12,000-15,000 words, much like The Weight of Reason. A few months ago, I posted my first snippet from the story and left it hanging at a critical point. This is what happens next, and will probably be the final part for some time as I don’t want to post it all! Continue reading

Reflecting on Villainesses

A few days ago, I listed some of my favourite villains as represented by the Seven Biblical Sins in response to a Daily Post. Two things occurred to me while was compiling it. Firstly, that I could think of far fewer female characters representing those traditional seven deadly since of lust, avarice, gluttony, pride, envy, sloth and wrath than their male counterparts. Secondly, when it came to my proposed eighth deadly sin of cruelty, that I could think of many villainesses but far fewer of their male counterparts. Continue reading

Snippet Sunday 20/7/14

This is slightly different from anything previously as it requires some explanation. You see, I have been busily writing today on my Romans novel but not for new material. No, I have just made a major change to one of my characters. I wasn’t happy with him – he was almost a blend of two of the other characters: the no-nonsense approach of Seneca and the gruffness of Nero. I was starting to feel he would be quickly forgotten and I had struggled to write a back story for him. So I took proverbial surgical tools to him today and gave him a sex change. Continue reading

Motivation and Character: X-Men’s Trask

I finally saw X-Men: Days of Future Past yesterday and thought it was awesome. I expected it to be the final instalment in a series that lasted twelve years and seven films with a few that never came to pass (the Origins spin-off series faltered with Wolverine yet what we got in its place – First Class - handled a number of origins story lines really well). I was pleased however, to see that there is an after credits clip featuring a character known as Apocalypse. My X-Men loving friends have told me that this represents all sorts of mind-blowing coolness and I am looking forward to seeing where the future of this film series now lies. Continue reading

Snippet Sunday 30/3/14

It’s Mothering Sunday today and as I thought a few days ago about parents in my fiction, I realise how many of my characters are childless. There are a few exceptions though, probably not enough, and my favourite interaction is between a minor villain and his mother from Dieu et Mon Droit. Gervaise is a 19 year old boy recently elevated to the throne of France. He is sly but easily-manipulated, has bravado that will become his downfall and has a very high opinion of himself. It is down to his mother to attempt to make him see sense. This is my favourite interaction. Continue reading

Snippet Sunday 23/3/14

I’ve decided I want to write a Christmas story for children this year, perhaps even a novelette if I can get enough distance out of what I have in mind. I have one specific idea associated with Christmas that I want to write about and already have a fair idea of what will happen and how it is going to end. I’ve written nothing of it yet so I’m using this snippet to begin that story. The following snippet is the literary equivalent of improv… unedited and presented as is. Continue reading

A Coming of Age Story Perfect for Spring

Despite that spring is my favourite season, it seems that I’ve written few stories set during the three months between the end of March and June. It’s a period that defines new life, a new start, new beginnings and people tend to be blessed with a certain air of positivity and relaxation. Spring for me means bees and cider (amongst other things!) What sort of a new beginnings can we explore in our fiction? Continue reading

Snippet Sunday 9/3/14

I realise I have not yet posted anything from my completed novel Dieu et mon Droit and I want to introduce you to one of my favourite supporting characters. Though this snippet is from its unfinished sequel Alea Iacta Est, I think it really demonstrates some of the finer points of her character. Though she plays more of a supporting role in the first book (she doesn’t appear for the first half), she has a far more prominent role on this one. Please meet Olesia – the half British, half Portuguese queen. Continue reading