Hikari’s Coma: Artwork!

Hey there guys,

I just thought I’d post this short update to let you know that over the holiday period, I commissioned some artwork of the two main characters from my upcoming (yes, it’s that dreaded word again) novel, Hikari’s Coma. They were created by Jodie Wynne who turned them out in an exceptionally short space of time.

And here they are! What do you think?

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I have known Jodie quite a while, and her work is always second to none. She regularly does commissions via DeviantArt, so if you’d like your characters to have this kind of treatment, keep watching her at http://jowyn.deviantart.com/.

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Night God Bless: Update

Hello everyone and happy holidays.

I just thought I’d drop an update for you to let you know that Night God Bless: Tales from the 2nd Arlandrian Civil War should resume a regular updating schedule come the New Year. I can’t give you anything more specific than that, but the updates should, in theory, be over the weekend, as its the only time I really have any free time.

I’ll also be writing a few more personal blogs, about me, my writing and certain aspects of my life. While I know that some people who follow me are friends, colleagues and acquaintances, I also know that others know absolutely nothing about me other than that I am a writer of science-fiction. I think having regular blogs about me will help you get to know me better. I’ll also be adding a generic ‘about the author’ page, which will serve as a relatively straightforward fact page.

Thank you once again for keeping up with me, it’s made this year a very satisfying one. So, I hope you’ve had a smashing holiday season and if I don’t write before, have a very happy new year.

Hikari’s Coma: Update

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t been around lately, ’tis the season after all and my free time seems to have been taken up by looking for Christmas gifts, staring woefully at my bank balance and searching for engineering apprenticeships. The last one isn’t that seasonal, I know, that’s more just something I’ve been doing.

I have reached that point in a writer’s life where I have the awkward and slightly nerve-wracking task of allowing my first draft into the hands of a few especially selected people. I have already handed one to my fellow writer and friend, Matthew A Robinson, who also writes science fiction. There are a few other people I have in mind as well.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because it means that I will soon be publishing my first eBook, Hikari’s Coma. I’m hoping to have it done some time by January (a little later than I had hoped, but the pays-the-bills job gets in the way of this one quite frequently), and hopefully you will have a few pennies left over from the sales to throw into my weathered writerly cap in exchange for a rollicking science fiction romp which features as an introduction into my little universe.

I’m also hoping to use the holiday period to write a few more chapters of Night God Bless for your enjoyment, as a few fans have got in touch to say they’re wanting more!

Anyway, that’s all I have for now – I hope you are all enjoying the winter (or the summer if you’re in the Southern hemisphere) and are wrapped up warm (if necessary). Take care!

On giving up NaNoWriMo – and finishing something else instead!

Hey guys.

You may remember from my last post that I said I was not even going to attempt to finish NaNoWriMo, and I stand by that point. I’m really glad I could make a start on Kelly Kaptur’s personal story, but the problem with introducing a character in a prior, unfinished project is that you don’t know where they’re really going to end up.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Kaptur was obviously going to survive through her introduction in Hikari’s Coma by the fact I even started writing The Legion of Truth. I just had to know what happened to everyone else, what caused the changes in her personality, what made her tick. For that reason, I finished up my second draft of Hikari’s Coma this weekend. Although it’s more of a first-and-a-half draft – I couldn’t help editing while I was writing, so the first half is pretty much spot on, whereas the latter half is in that bits and pieces, could be way better stage.

And I’m happy about it. I really am! It’s not the same kind of happiness as when I finished my first draft of the second version of Industrial Espionage (complicated, much?) – that was more relief than happiness. This is more a sensation of contentment, that I’ve finally put that chapter of this saga to bed. Obviously, I can’t go into massive detail without spoilers, but the last few chapters were tough. The first ending I wrote was stupid.

This_is_stupid_Large
Me, realising the first ending was stupid. (No, just kidding this is John from Homestuck, I don’t look that classy.)

It just didn’t have the emotional impact I wanted, nor the resolution I was hoping for. The story just seemed to peter out into a relatively depressing conclusion, much like the ending of a terrible television series, the kind that leaves you sat in the living room going, ‘well, I just wasted all my evenings for the past 8 weeks for this crap’.

Also, it didn’t involve a giant robot, and seeing as this is a book about a girl who builds a giant robot, I thought that was pretty disingenuous of me. Geez, I’m an asshole. Why did I even think that was a good idea?

Self-deprecation aside, I am really pleased with how it’s turned out. My next plan is to finish editing it and get it out there: a short first read for those who have stuck by me. I’ve sketched out a design for the front cover, and I’m going to attempt to colour it digitally on Thursday when I have my day off (I am looking forward to it so much!). I’ll drop an image of my new cover about the internets when I’ve done with it. Hope you like it!

NaNoWriMo 2013 Day 23

So, it’s been ages since I last checked in!

You have my sincerest apologies for that. I suppose my main reason for this, other than being incredibly busy of late, is that I have decided that I am not going to attempt to reach the 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo this year. Why? Because I don’t want writing The Legion of Truth to feel like a chore. I began writing it because I really enjoyed the character of Kelly Kaptur and her comrades, the way they counter one another in one way and complement each other in another. The reason I’ve stopped, or slowed to a snail’s pace is because the latter half of the story wasn’t planned out, and I need time to do that.

Time, it must be said, is not something NaNoWriMo lends a writer. Because of that, I have neglected to work on my almost-finished Camp NaNoWriMo project, Hikari’s Coma, and am still stuck in a rut with 2011’s NaNoWriMo project, Industrial Espionage. So, in the spirit of being clever and stuff, I have come up with a plan for the next few months… providing I don’t get any major news, of course.

Step one, is to finish Hikari’s Coma and get it out there! With a heavily edited storyline, which is freer of continuity errors than most Hollywood blockbusters, I only have to finish the last few chapters and get a cover prepared. That way, I can really start promoting my writing because hey, you can actually buy one of my books at that point.

Step two, possibly in parallel with step one, is to plan out the latter half of The Legion of Truth. And possibly think of a less crappy title, because the more I write it, the less I like it. There have been a few ideas I’ve come up with as of late, and I might even set it to a poll or something, although Facebook’s stupid page algorithm might ruin this idea quite horribly. I’ll see if I can get around it.

Step three, is to get a solid chapter-by-chapter plan for Industrial Espionage. With a word count of over 100,000 words for my last draft of it, it’s going to be a major project to overhaul that amount of story, as well as to keep track of its nuances and side-stories. Unlike Hikari and Kelly’s stories, Industrial Espionage follows a considerable number of characters, rather than sticking to a single point of view, which makes it even harder to keep track of things. There are all those questions; did so-and-so tell so-and-so this? Did I allude to this major historical event? Did I really write that or was I imagining it?

That’s my little plan so far. All this being said though, I do hope that you who are doing NaNoWriMo are having an excellent time of it, and that your characters are lively and inventive, and your plot thick and rich like so much delicious Sunday roast gravy. I also hope that you do manage to reach the 50,000 words, it is a wonderful achievement and you have every right to feel proud of yourself for reaching it, especially if you are working around other time constraints, such as employment, childcare, illness and things like that.

And whether or not you’re involved with NaNoWriMo, thank you very much for reading.

Personal Blog #4

Hello everyone,

I just thought I’d regale you with another tale of my life as of late. As you’ve possibly noticed, we’re into the third week of my new project, Night God Bless: Tales from the 2nd Arlandrian Civil Warwhich I mentioned in my last blog post. I’m enjoying writing it, and I hope that if you have read it, you’re having a good time reading it too. It’s a project I’ve had at the back of my mind for a while, and I was unsure whether I was going to lace it in with Industrial Espionage or have it as a side project. Obviously, I will be referring back to the events of Night God Bless in Industrial Espionage as they share a few common characters, but the question was whether or not I have something that goes into detail about those events or not.

I decided I would, and here we are!

In other news, I am very very close to finishing Hikari’s Coma. I have a few endings planned out in my head, and I’m writing out each one to see which I feel is the most appropriate given the context, and the one I like the most. Once it’s done, I am going to select a few people to go through it and give me some initial feedback. After that, I’m going to edit through it, make sure it’s as good as I can get it, and then self-publish it, hopefully in time for Christmas.

Once that’s done, I can work on Industrial Espionage. I’ve been doing a lot of planning around it. I’m planning on buying a big cork-board so I can pin all my scattered bits of paper on it so I have some semblance of order in my hectic plan. I might upload a few photos soon to give you an insight into my processes! (I’ll have to tidy my room first though.)

That’s all I really have to say on these matters at the moment, but I’ll do my best to keep you updated through the usual channels. As always, thank you for your support!

Plans

Hey guys, just thought I’d alert you to some things I’m going to be working on as of the rest of this year.

First up, I’m going to be polishing off the ending to Hikari’s Coma, getting a final cover sorted out (almost there) and publishing it as an eBook. I’ve had some good feedback so far, and the length means editing won’t take as long as usual. I’m really confident about this book and I have a feeling that with the right marketing and stuff it will do pretty well for a self-published debut.

Second, I’m going to be working on a new story starring the hacker Kelly Kaptur from Hikari’s Coma. I don’t have a working title yet (this is weird for me, honestly) but I have the plot drawn out in considerable detail and the characters planned out. Seeing as this is going to be my NaNoWriMo November challenge, I think by the time I get around to actually writing it, I’ll already have everything set in place. All that will need to follow is the words. And my timekeeping.

Other than that, I’m going to work on Industrial Espionage as and when I can. As it is the first in the trilogy that forms the initial core of my series, it has a lot of characters, a number of simultaneous events and a complex plot, which means that I’m naturally going to spend a lot more time on it. I don’t want to rush it out for the sake of rushing it out, so it will be delayed, but these delays mean that it’s going to be better when I do finally get around to publishing it. And, hopefully with my light novels already out there, I’ll have an even bigger readership looking forward to it.

I’ll also be doing a lot of blogging relating to my radio work, my writing processes, my personal life and my aspirations so hopefully these little tidbits about who I am and what I get up to will give you an interesting insight into the mind of a twentysomething writer. Thanks for keeping up guys, I have planned out a little flash fiction set in-universe, so look forward to that soon!

Camp NaNoWriMo: Completed!

Hey everyone,

As you may have seen on my Facebook page, as of 10:25 am this morning (while attending to other business no less), I used a spare 15 minutes to reach my word count goal for Hikari’s Coma. So that’s it! I’m done!

Just kidding. I’m actually not finished with the story. I continued writing this afternoon and well into the evening, and I’m at a current count of 52,116 and still going. But the fact that I’ve reached that goal that seemed insurmountable most of the way through takes so much stress off of my shoulders. I’m also just really really excited that I will have something to share with you soon, even if it’s not a particularly long book, it’s a book. It’s going to be self-published, so it’s not like I have to convince any agents or any publishing companies to do it either. A bit of editing here, a bit of cover art there, and there you’ll have it in all its digital finery. Keep posted and I’ll let you know how the process is coming along.

I’ll upload a few more extracts to the Hikari’s Coma section to whet your appetite for this writing project, so please check them out and let me know what you think!

Thanks for all your support along the way, it’s been absolutely awesome, seriously.

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 29

So, we’re coming up to the end of this July’s hair-raising, totally crazy, and somewhat intense Camp NaNoWriMo. The music has been playing, the story has been stop-start like a modern car, and the coffee has been well and truly flowing (from the kettle to my cup to my stomach).

I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll reach my goal in time, especially after yesterday evening lent me a good three thousand words! I’ve only got about 3,500 words left to write to reach that big 50,000 words goal and complete yet another NaNoWriMo challenge. Hopefully I’ll avoid the insanity of November 2011 when I wrote over 10,000 words on the last day just to make the goal. I was dead on my feet by the end of it, and I was writing at a rate of about 1,500 words an hour that day.

However, I’m happy that I’ve only got to write over 1100 words a day in order to make the grade; as the story is reaching its thrilling finale (I would say that though, wouldn’t I?) the thoughts are flowing once again and I’m even hoping that I’ll finish before the deadline, or at the very least, only have to write a few hundred words on the last day.

Of course, once the story’s done, it’ll be onto editing the book and sending it out to a few readers to check over and let me know what they think. While I’m waiting to hear back on that, I’m going to make sure everything is in place for me to self-publish it. Once I get my feedback, I’ll crack on with editing, and fingers crossed, I’ll have it ready by mid-September. Once Hikari’s Coma is out, of course, you can be damn sure I’ll be back to working on Industrial Espionage.

I’ve also had an idea for another standalone story, which might even be my November NaNoWriMo project, but for the time being, it’s all hush-hush. All I can say is that it involves one of the side characters from Hikari’s Coma working with an agency dedicated to preserving some historical artefacts that others would see destroyed. It’ll make much more sense once you read Hikari’s Coma, trust me!

Anyway, like I said, I’m making excellent progress, and I should have some more blogs up soon. Keep posted, and I’ll keep posting.

Personal Blog #2

Hey guys,

I just figured I might as well put out another personal blog entry to let you know exactly what’s going on in my life other than when I’m writing, which admittedly, is taking up a lot of time due to July’s NaNoWriMo! I’ve been falling back on my reworking of Industrial Espionage, which is a little disappointing, but it’s to be expected I suppose.

The first thing I’m going to mention is the music that I’ve been listening to while I’ve been working. As you may have noticed on my Twitter, I’ve been listening to a pretty eclectic mix of music while I’ve been working on Hikari’s Coma, and I think I’d do well to explain exactly what I’ve been listening to.

One of my favourite things to listen to while I’m writing are soundtracks from various different anime I enjoy, particularly Neon Genesis Evangelion. I have been known to listen to all three soundtracks from the original series in one day! The music is generally instrumental works by Sagisu Shiro, an excellent composer whose works are reminiscent of Ennio Morricone and John Barry. His tune, ‘Decisive Battle’ was even covered by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces‘ marching band! As the series is full of ups and downs, the music reflects that going from the dramatic, to the depressing, to the downright weird.

I’ve also been listening to the soundtracks from Fate/Stay Night, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Full Metal Panic!, as well as OSTs from video games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I just love the emotion instrumental compositions can bring across without having any lyrics or vocals to distract you from the ‘feel’ of the music. Of course, as a writer I’m a big fan of well-written lyrics, but I sometimes find it difficult to concentrate on writing when there is someone singing in the background, no matter how much I normally like their music.

suzumiya haruhi no shoushitsufullmetalpanicost1

house set ten desires

house set perfect cherry blossom

In addition to these, I have also been listening to doujinshi music works; that is, fan-created music works based on an existing media. I’m a big fan of Kuroneko Lounge’s Touhou Project House Sets, in which they take the original themes composed by ZUN in his popular danmaku shooter games and turn them into incredibly catchy house/dance/dubstep tunes. The three albums I have at the moment are House Set of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (my favourite), House Set of Perfect Cherry Blossom, and House Set of Ten Desires. They are all excellent albums and are available, incredibly, for free from Melon Books. I’ll include a link for them here.

I’ve also been listening to Volumes 1-4, and Volume 8 of the Homestuck soundtrack. I’m a big fan of the internet’s longest webcomic, and the music that has been created to go alongside it is second to none. I have been listening to Cascade on repeat for almost the entire week, just because it brings up so many emotions connected to the webcomic. There are perfect tracks for almost every mood, and I’m determined to get my hands on the entire collection eventually!coverHomestuck - Homestuck Vol. 1-4 - cover

So there you have it, that’s essentially the kind of music I work best with. Music that inspires emotions, ideas, scenes – whether it comes from a movie, a game or an anime series, I love to have something that can really set off ideas in my head like fireworks, one after another in explosions of brilliant light. Drop me a comment on here or Facebook, or a Tweet on Twitter, and let me know the kind of music you work best with!