A change of theme

I’ve decided to change my theme as I felt my ‘Pages’ were getting lost in the background.

Mmmm still not sure about the new layout, but it might grow on me! Oh yes the picture of the mountains – that was taken about 5 miles from where I was brought up.

Alan

Films have sound tracks – Why not Books?

I’ve not done this for a while so I thought I would refresh the list and add a few extra songs.

For those of you who have not come across this yet. I use music a lot to write. I don’t write pages of notes on characters or events (it maybe the dyslexic in me that hates that bit lol) instead I allocate songs to characters or events.

If I want to invoke the character or situation I simply play the song and of I type.

What this effectively means is I have built up a sound track for each of my books, and if you know the songs, you should get a feeling for the character or event.

Does anyone else out there use music to write?

Below are some of the songs I use and the books I use them with

The Storm Series

Characters

Nathanial’s theme – Behind blue Eyes by The Who

Nathanial and Elizabeth’s theme – Beauty and the Beast by Stevie Nicks

Nathanial and Alexandra’s theme – Got you (Where I want you) by The Flys

Alexandra’s theme – Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Nina Simone

Kathleen’s theme – Move in the Right Direction by Gossip

Jack Sorenson’s theme – Rule the world by Kamelot

Twever’s theme – Lust for life by Iggy Pop

Twever and Ardo’s theme – I’m not alright by Shinedown

Jane Hughes theme – Heavy Cross by Gossip

Solomon Pace’s theme – Cat People by David Bowie

Mary’s Theme – My Mind’s eye – by Sirenia

Mancer’s theme (The short Story – A firm hand) – Boy and the Ghost by Tarja

Jack Rothgal – Bad Attitude by Deep Purple.

Abigail – Twisted by Skunk Ananasi                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                   

Events

The Old Guards Last Stand – Deadlocks by Tristania

The Battle of Crescent Plain – The howling by Within Temptation

Books

 The book of short stories ‘The Moonlight Dance’ was inspired by three songs from the Album “Dark Country.” The songs are:

Guilty Man

The Blackest hour

Rain Down

 

The Y Front Chronicles

Characters

Scot-01 – Dark by Seasick Steve

The overall feel of the book

Marillion – Forgotten Sons

Alan

 

25 Years!

Just been chatting to my brother about how he and his partner have been together for eighteen years, and I’ve just realized that on the 7 Nov 2014, 25 years will have passed since I left home to join the Royal Air Force (RAF).

There is a running joke that my brothers partner did not believe him, when he said he had an older brother in RAF, and it was only when I turned up for my sister’s wedding did she finally believe him. In her defense I had been away for 7 years before she started dating my brother.

25 years – Blimey!!!

In those 25 years, I’ve served 12 years in the RAF, lived in Berlin, done two tours of the Falklands, been married, been divorced and of course written and self published a trilogy and supporting books.

However, the one memory that stands out the most is a sad one – There was this girl, who was roughly 5 minutes older than me, we were born in the same hospital, went to the same schools and we were friends, not close friends, but we would smile and say hello, and joke about the 5 minutes between us and then go on our way.

The last time I saw this girl was when I returned home on leave (my mum had nagged me about coming up and seeing her lol) about 15 years ago, her marriage had failed and she had returned home to her mum

We laughed about the 5 minutes between us, she told me about her failed marriage and about returning home, I said jokingly that I would never return.

She then looked at me with a serious expression and said “No matter how far we travel or for how long, or how much we try to escape, this town Alan, always calls us back and we stay.”

I replied something along the lines of “Not me.”

That was the last time I saw her alive. I only go home about every two years to see my family, and when I do I always make sure that I place flowers on my friends grave.

It’s weird placing flowers on the grave of someone who was only 5 minutes older than you. However, I guess she was right, the town called her back and now she is there permanently.

When my own marriage failed, I resisted the call to return. Although I guess that as long as I have family there I will return…but I will always escape again.

Alan

PS – this is not a work of fiction, all of the above is true.

Tales of Salvation and Damnation is now finished

I have finally finished ‘Tales of Salvation and Damnation’ and it will hopefully be published in late May 14 once I get the cover for it.

Below is the forward to the book

Foreword

Hi, and welcome to my book of short stories called ‘Tales of Salvation and Damnation’. All the stories can be read as stand-alone stories or as part of the Storm Series Trilogy. All the stories are set in chronological order. The stories are:

The Tale of Oakton

This story sets the scene and tone for the rest of the book. It also is my first proper vampyre story – well, having the vampyre as the main character, anyway.

The Guardian

This story continues the story of the ‘The Village’ from Tales of Solomon Pace. Don’t worry; you don’t need to have read the story to enjoy ‘The Guardian’. This tale introduces a powerful new force into the continent of Talocants – a breakaway section of the Church.

The Story of Safe Harbour

This story continues on from the previous story, and adds background and character to the new faction.

The Boy and the Broach

In the novel, ‘A Dark and Hungry Storm’, there was a scene at Castle Black involving Kimberley Pace killing a party of men. This will explain all.

Brethren of the Night III

The one constant in the Storm series is change; nothing and no one stays the same. This is a pivotal story in the development of the Brethren of the Night plotline.

He Cometh…

This has to be my favourite story in the entire book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

Love

I had the basic idea of what I wanted to write, but was having great difficulty putting it down in words. Then, all of a sudden, this story just started to flow. It was as if all the plotlines and subplots had decided to come together. Love is not always pure!

The Church & the Crown

If you take the Storm Series as a whole, then you will understand why this story needed to be written. As I have stated before – for me, one of the strengths of the series is that it constantly evolves and changes. For that to happen, sometimes you need to take stock of the current situation, pause, think, and then move on. That is what this story does.

Tea II

What can I say about Tea II? It’s the last story in this book. It finishes the mini-series of Tea and Tea II, and it ends the Storm Series.

However, there is a problem with endings. When something ends, something else begins.

What if the Midnight Man did return? What if there were no more heroes? What if the only good left in the land was a small almost-forgotten cult? What if the only man that could save the world was a scruffy, foul-mouthed man? – a man who never ran from a fight – a man who stood when no one else would. What would happen if there was a prophecy?

That might just make a beginning of a second trilogy!!!

A Rant About 2 out 5 stars and no Reason Why.

On Goodreads one particular reviewer has given Tea and Tea II both 2 out of 5 stars but not given a reason why.

Let me say now, at the start, that I have no problem with this person given me only 2 stars. Everyone has a right to put whatever rating they feel is appropriate, also if you cannot take criticism of your work….don’t publish.

I acknowledge and accept he does not like the stories, and I am cool with that. That is not what the rant is about.

My rant is about…this person not saying why!

Looking at their profile, I would say that this person is a male aged in their late teens or early twenties, they read, and rate, a lot of gay literature as well as a lot of Alex Rider books.

They have given lot’s of books between 1 and 2 stars (so it’s nothing personal) and they have given a few books 4 or 5 stars.

Now, I placed Tea and Tea II in the Gay category on Amazon because one of the main characters is gay, and there are gay issues raised in both books. However, the relationship between the werewolf and the gay tailor is platonic, and the issues raised are really for the older and more mature readers.

I should point out at this stage that I am a straight man, but I have gay friends and some of the conversation in ‘Tea’ is very close to an actual conversation, I had with a gay friend of mine when we were both very drunk one night.

Hence, the issues raised in the book, whilst not personal, are taken from real life. Actually it would be nice if someone from the Gay community who had read the book could say if I had got it right, or even if I should advertise the story under gay literature

Anyway, back to the rant – I just wish this person had said why he had given me two stars. If he had said – “I have given this story two stars because as a twenty year old I find the story boring” or “I have given this two stars it is not very well written” or finally “I have only given two stars because it is not really a gay story.”

Then I could understand why, as well as other people who see the 2 stars.

I would like to end on a positive note. So, to that man who gave two of my stories 2 stars – thank you, at least you took the time to leave feedback.

Alan

The Y Front Standoff – Did not go quite so well

Well the results of the free promotion for ‘The Y Front Standoff’ did not go quite so well.

 

USA =45

UK= 13

Germany = 3

India = 1

Canada = 3

 

Total = 65

 

There could be many reasons for the poor showing – I normally write fantasy and this is Sci -fi, the writing style is very different, the humour is quirky, maybe the title puts people off or maybe it’s just a terrible story!!!!

Whatever the reason, I’ll just have to accept the results, and wait to see if anyone puts constructive and sensible feedback on Goodreads, Amazon or here which might shine a light on the poor performance.

 

Alan