Just Had My Second Bad Review

Just Had My Second Bad Review

I have always try and be 100% honest, so to balance all the good reviews (which I am always happy to post up) I have just had my second bad review.

It was on Goodreads and was for “Tales for a storm filled night” a lady gave it 2 out of 5, there was no written review for why she thought it was only worth 2.

How do I feel about it? To be honest – everyone is entitled to their own opinion and as long as it was an honest review. Then I don’t have a problem with it.

When you create anything, be it a book or a picture or a sculpture and you show it to the world then there will be people who like it, are indifferent to it or hate it. That’s just life : ) All you can do is hope more people like your work than don’t.

However, saying that there are people who criticise and belittle everything, just to make themselves feel important or good. You know the types – the ones that talk the talk but can’t actually do anything. Well they make me laugh and smile. Why? Because they are just not worth the effort of worrying about.

Alan

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My Character – Nathanial West

The Character of Nathanial West

Warning: will contain major spoilers

Nathanial West appears in ‘Echoes of a Storm’, ‘Scions of the Storm’, two stories in ‘A Storm Filled Night’, two stories in Tales of Solomon Pace, & ‘My Name is’ (see notes) The following is a character summary of Nathanial West, using around 900 words.

The Early Years

Nathanial West was originally known by a different name which has been lost in history. He grew up in the Star Mountains and had a fairly normal life up to the age of ten, when he broke his leg. He was given special herbs to make him sleep and take away the pain. However, a witch called Jennifer, who had been spurned by Nathanial’s father, cancelled the effects of the painkilling and sleep-inducing aspects of the herbs, and, instead, replaced them with a paralysing effect. Young Nathanial spent two days locked in agony within his own body.

Later on, Nathanial was picked to become a ‘Chosen’; this meant that an Air Spirit would possess his body, turning him into an unstoppable warrior. However, there was a heavy price to pay, as the Chosen would die when the Air Spirit left his body. By sheer force of will, Nathanial kept the Air Spirit inside him and, hence, survived where all others had failed. For this, he was exiled from his tribe.

The Exiled years

Very little is known about Nathanial West during these years, only that he changed his name to Nathanial West during this time and that he fought with a mercenary band for a few years.

Zarekland years

When Nathanial reached Zarekland, he was a much-changed man – a battle-hardened veteran with cold hard eyes and a death-wish approach to battle. He quickly rose to the rank of Captain and took charge of the 3rd Lowland Infantry – a regiment known for its lack of discipline as much as its fighting ability. They fought many campaigns, but it was the Battle of Bridgehead where they and their Captain earned their deadly reputation.

The Bodyguard years

At the Battle of the Swallow Hills, whilst defending a gorge, Nathanial was mortally wounded and whisked away by Solomon Pace. The 3rd Lowland Infantry, along with the church soldiers, successfully held the gorge, but were decimated in the process. Barely eighty of them survived the battle.

Nathanial returned six weeks later, fully fit, and took up the post of Bodyguard for Queen Alexandra. They quickly became lovers. The affair was brief, but fruitful, as they became parents to Princess Kathleen. The King, though, thought Kathleen to be his own.

Nathanial’s Secret

Within Nathanial, the Air Spirit had gone insane and, although it granted him great powers as a warrior, it constantly tried to chip away at his sanity. After the Battle of the Gorge, Solomon Pace places an Earth Spirit within Nathanial, which caused him to become a Dev’ver, or werewolf, at will. The Earth Spirits name is Red Claw. From then on, Nathanial fought a constant battle between himself, the beast, and the evil one.

The Peaceful years

For two years, Nathanial finds peace with a woman called Elizabeth; whom he marries. However, that peace was ripped apart when he had to make a choice between saving his daughter, the Princess Kathleen, or his beloved wife. Nathanial chose to protect his daughter.

The Return of the Warrior

With the death of his wife, Nathanial returns to his old self and dedicates his life to protecting his daughter. (See Echoes of a Storm for full details)

Scions of the Storm

At the end of Echoes of a Storm, Solomon Pace had successfully destroyed most of the royal family and exiled Nathanial into the wilderness, leaving only Kathleen and her new husband as his puppet rulers.

At the start of Scions of the Storm, Nathanial is losing the battle of wills with the insane Air Spirit, who is now known as the Midnight Man.

The Prophecy

Knowing there is a prophecy that a young woman called Jane Hughes will kill the Midnight Man, Nathanial deliberately hides himself away in the woods until Jane becomes strong enough to kill him and, hence, the Midnight Man.

The Rise of the Midnight Man

Nathanial eventually loses the fight and the Midnight Man comes to the fore. Now loose, the Midnight Man begins a subtle campaign of pure evil, spreading his hate of life across the entire continent.

The Fall of the Midnight Man

In the grand finale of Scions, a battle takes place in a huge underground cavern. During this battle Jane Hughes is on her knees before the Midnight Man, utterly defeated and about to die, when, through the strength of his will, Nathanial manages to overcome the Midnight Man. He tells Jane that he can only hold back the Midnight Man for a short time, but that should be time enough to allow Red Claw (his werewolf) to come to the fore. Nathanial tells Jane to persuade Red Claw to die by attacking alone the enemy ranks  

The Death of Nathanial West

Whilst Nathanial’s struggle for control with the Midnight Man. Jane persuades Red Claw  that to save everyone  the Midnight Man must die. Red Claw’ howls out a challenge and charge into the ranks of the enemy, only to be cut down in a flurry of claws and teeth, hence, killing himself, the Midnight Man, and Nathanial West.

Notes – ‘My Name is’ was only released for 4 months in 2013. I am planning to add it to a collection of short stories sometime in the future.

 

 

 

I Have Passed The 5000th Download Mark For My Books

It has taken me 20 months but I have passed the 5000th download mark for my books, and  I have to admit to having a huge smile on my face : )
The breakdown of downloads by country is:
USA = 3’664, UK = 925, Germany = 293, Canada = 54, Japan = 27, France = 17, Italy = 15, Spain = 7, Brazil = 5, India = 2, Australia = 2, Mexico = 1,  Total = 5’012
As always the definition of a download is – someone has either downloaded a free copy of the book, bought a copy or used Amazon Prime to borrow the ebook.
 Alan

What inspired me to write – Part one

Books and Authors.

Hopefully within 500ish words, I will list below the top ten Books or Authors that, for one reason or another, inspired me.

 I’ve placed then in (roughly) chronological order.

 1. The Brothers Grimm book of fairy tales.  Well this is the book that fired my imagination all those years ago.

 2.  2000AD. For those of you that don’t know 2000AD is a British comic that started in 1977. My mum thought it was far too violent for me (I was 8) when it first came out, so I did not actually start reading it until about 2 years later.  The stories were violent, dark and gritty. The heroes did not always do nice things and more importantly they had Middenface McNulty a properly written Scottish character, which appeared in the Strontium Dogs stories

 3.     Edge series of books by George G Gilman. These were a set of western books written by British author Terry Harknett who under the pseudonym of George G Gilman wrote these Western stories. The Gilman books were known for their sardonic and sarcastic humor and for their very violent content, and as 14 year old boy I loved them

 4.  To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. At secondary school, I was told that I was lazy and stupid in English, hence I was placed in the lowest English class. (they later found out that I was Dyslexic) I hated all the books we were given to read and had almost given up on reading. Then one day we got a new teacher, and she gave us To Kill a Mocking Bird to read. This book did something magical, it reignited my love of reading

 5.   An Inspector calls by J B Priestly. I know this is a play by it is a wonderful play and the twist at the end is wonderful.

 6.   The colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett. If To Kill a Mocking Bird reignited my love of reading then The Colour of Magic fanned the flames and turned it into a raging inferno. The man is a legend.

 7.   Legend and Waylander by David Gemmell. David Gemmell was the first author I read in fantasy whose books read like they had been written by a man. As a male reader, this was like mana from heaven. Of all the writers that have influenced me, David Gemmell is the one who has influenced my style of writing the most.

 8.   The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. By 2007 the world of fantasy stories was filled with love struck vampires, elf and dwarfs swinging beer and stories aimed at teenagers. I had almost given up on finding new stories to read and then came along ‘The Blade Itself’ and my faith in fantasy stories was rekindled.

 9.   The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. It’s like buses. You wait around for ages and nothing comes then all of a sudden two come at once.

 10.   I am Legend by Richard Matheson. The films of this book are rubbish, but the book is simple fantastic. Every fantasy writer and reader should read this book.

I have missed out so many books and authors from my list, that I have read and enjoyed but I cannot put everyone in or it would be my top 100!

 

Alan

 

The thought proccess behind writing “Echoes of a Storm”

Echoes of a Storm – Book One of the Storm Series

 Warning – contains spoilers

I have always been a huge fan of dark fantasy in all its wonderful forms since I was small boy. I suppose it all stems from the love of fairy stories – not the family-friendly fairy stories of Disney, but the dark gothic tales of the Brothers Grimm, and Celtic and Scandinavian myths.

One of my favourite childhood memories (aged about 10) was sitting in the shed at the bottom of the garden, reading my book of dark fairy tales. Occasionally glancing out the window and through the rain (it was Scotland, after all) to the tree-covered mountains, I would wonder what creatures and monsters lived up there. I may be dyslexic, but I always had an excellent imagination.

I suppose it was during this time that the seeds of ‘Echoes of a Storm’ started to take root. Anyway, fast-forward twenty-nine years later – I’ve grown up, served in the RAF for twelve years, and was in the process of getting divorced when I decided to write for the first time since secondary school.

But what to write? For years, I had this image of a man walking away in the rain and a woman crying. But why was she crying and who was he? It took me awhile to work out what had happened, but once I had, I quickly wrote the prelude.

Next, I needed to work out where the book and trilogy was set. I decided on a fantasy world, loosely based on Europe in the Middle Ages where forests and mountains are dangerous places to roam, countries go to war as kings try to carve out kingdoms whilst the common man tries to live his life as best he can, and stories of monsters and demons are told round campfires.

I knew straight away what the book was going to be about – ‘Echoes’ is simply about fathers and daughters, and the fear every father has about protecting his daughter from the wicked and evil world. I also knew that I wanted to write ‘Echoes’ from an adult male’s perspective for two very good reasons:

 1. I am an adult male (44 at the time of typing)

 2. The book is about fathers trying to protect their daughters, so needed a masculine feel.

Since I already knew that the Queen’s bodyguard was a werewolf (it was part of the prelude), I wanted to add a small twist, so I thought I would rename Werewolves to Dev’ver. This has actually proven to be a good decision, as it’s allowed me, over the course of the trilogy, to introduce new ideas and storylines around the Dev’ver and their opposite numbers.

So, in summary – ‘Echoes of a Storm’ is a dark, gritty, adult fairy story with strong adult themes and storylines, and I would highly recommend you read it! But then again, I would.

Welcome Australia

I can now add Australia to the growing number of countries, where people have downloaded my work.

For those you who don’t know, Amazon informs you daily how many of your ebooks are being downloaded in the following countries:

Australia

Brazil

Canada

France

Germany

India

Italy

Japan

Mexico

Spain

UK

USA

And today, someone in Australia downloaded “Tales for a Storm filled Night”. Hence, I can now happily say that my work has been downloaded at least once in all the above countries, and I have sold work in four of them (USA, UK, Germany and France)

Alan