The Storm Series – The Authors Thoughts

The Storm Series has been out long enough now to allow me to explain my ideas behind it without being too worried about spoilers.

How it all began

For a very long time I had this scene in my head – It was raining, and a woman was crying as a man walked away from her.

I tried for ages to work out why she was crying and why he was walking away. Had they had a fight? Had they just broken up? Had he hit her? etc etc. I then came to me one night as I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep – she was crying because he could not, and he walking away to perform an act of revenge.

So that got me thinking – What had just happened? Why could he not cry? Why was she crying for him? What was the connection between them?

And that was how the opening paragraph from the Prelude to ‘Echoes’ came about:

“Her softly falling tears echoed the rain as she watched him walk away. He did not cry, but then, his life had made him forget how. So, in the gentle rain, just past midnight, she found herself crying for a man – a fool – who could not.”

Setting the tone and feel of the books

I knew from the start that I wanted the books to be dark and gritty, have adult story lines, and have a masculine feel about them. I also knew that I wanted the characters to be as real as possible, or as possible in a fantasy setting. I wanted the men in my books to act and sound like real men. I want the women in my books to sound like and act like real woman. Hence, I have done my best to write characters that are believable, realistic, and that the reader can relate to

On a personal note – I do feel that in modern fantasy, clichéd, and politically correct characters are far too common and are spoiling this wonderful, rich and diverse genre.

The Fantasy Element

There is a very strong fantasy element with ‘The Storm Series’ we have Werewolves, Witches, Wizards, Monsters, Castles, Keeps, Vampyres, Undead etc. For me the fantasy elements should enhance and empower all the storylines and characters, they should never overpower or over shadow them.

On a personal note – I do think that some writers are so busy trying to invent 18 new languages and whole sub cultures, that they forget about the characters and the stories that they are trying to tell. For me, the characters and the story are the two most important things in any story, be it fiction, non fiction, fantasy, romance etc.

Compliments and Reality Checks

The greatest compliment I have received, mainly from women,is from people saying that they would normally never dream of reading Dark Fantasy however, are really enjoying my books because of the characters and the storylines. as an author you really can’t ask for more than that.

To balance that out, I have also had people who say they don’t like my work (and I’ve had a couple of bad reviews). But that is ok, because that is simply life and I don’t expect everyone to like what I write. Everyone reading this will have an author that they really like and one they just cant stand.

If You Would Like To Know More

If you would like to know more about my books or just see the wonderful covers Saskia Schnell has created for them, please visit my website http://www.alankscott.com

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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

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

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.

“Tales for a Storm Filled Night” is on Free Promotion Between 15 and 19 Jan 14

I have decided to place the Kindle version of  “Tales for a Storm Filled Night” on free promotion via Amazon, between the 15 and 19 Jan 14

‘Stories for a Storm Filled Night’, consists of nine short stories set within  the dark fantasy world of ‘The Storm Series’, these tales add additional background to characters and events within the trilogy

Among the stories is one called ‘Tea’ which for 4 days in Nov 13 held the No. 1 position in Free > Fiction > Short Stories in Japan (sold through Amazon)

The full list of stories within the book are:

A Firm Hand – Just over 7’000 words
The Agreement – Just over 6’500 words
Jennifer, Nathanial, Twever, & Ardo Go on an Adventure – Just over 7’500 words
Brethren of the Night I – 2’000 words
Brethren of the Night II – 3’000 words
The Chestnut Murders – Just under 10’000 words
Wife – Just over 8’000 words

Tea – Just over 5’500 words
A Dark and Hungry Storm – Just over 6’500 words.

This was my first attempt at book of short stories and although I am happy with all of them, its not until Brethren of the Night I does the really book come into its own. 

If you do fancy downloading the book, I have attached the  link to the Uk site http://www.amazon.co.uk/Storm-Filled-Night-ebook/dp/B00B4YTUIY/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1389791908&sr=8-8&keywords=the+storm+series+alan+scott

If you are outside the UK then just search your Amazon site for “The Storm Series Alan Scott” and click on the book.

I hope you enjoy

Alan

House of Cards – FU has a private word with you

I have a very soft spot for good, well written and well acted villains, and there are few better than Scottish actor Ian Richardson as the Machiavellian Tory politician Francis Urquhart.

It was the way that Ian Richardson would turn to you [The audience] and tell you his thoughts simply made the series.

And who can forget Sir Francis Urquhart famous chat phrase – “You may think that, but I could not possibly comment.” Delivered in that wonderfully dry and slightly bored way.

Its this sort of realism and wickedness that I want to get in my villain’s in my books.