Saturday, 16 February 2013

Maps make the point

All the editing is now finished for Ice Trekker, the teen fantasy. It looks as if my first piece of artwork will get an airing, too.

Remember the Krønagar map? It's now finished, and looks like this. I'm sure Muse will let me do a sneak preview ... It's inspired by old nautical charts, and comes complete with a few monsters of the deep.

In fact, I only started on the map so I could keep the story straight in my head. I then got obsessed, big surprise.

Photoshop is such a versatile tool. My favourite technique is clone stamping.

So, where does it go? Before the table of contents? After the TOC and before Chapter 1?

Are there any hard and fast rules? Anyway, I'm delighted it's there. I just love a book with a map.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Time for tea?

I’ve been chained to the PC for days. So, after finishing the latest round of Ice Trekker edits, I thought I’d do something unconnected to books or the internet.

So I’ve started a batch of Green Tea Wine. As you do. Well, I had everything in. A packet of dark, scrubby-looking tealeaves at the back of a cupboard. Sugar left over from when my daughter was home (she bakes). Usual wine kit. Bucket. Bemused husband.

After much scanning online (oops, trying to avoid that), I ended up with the simplest of recipes from the famous CJJ Berry’s First Steps in Winemaking. I still have a battered copy. What a guy. I think he once said, and I quote from memory: ‘You can make wine out of almost anything, except, God forbid, tomatoes.’

Strewth. You should see the contents of bucket at the moment. Dark, green leaves, drifting about in a puddle-coloured liquid, smelling of stagnant pond.

It can only get better. I won't take a picture or I'll put you off your dinner.

I made tea wine many years ago from black tea, and it was cracking. Lovely sherry colour, it had, and it blended brilliantly with other wines and produced a mean punch. Or was that grievous bodily harm?

Nice not to have to worry about compound adverbs, action tags and subordinate clauses for a while. Or is that awhile? Arg.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

And this makes FIVE!

Amazing news. Crooked Cat, a super new e-publisher, has signed up Tomorrow’s Anecdote, a dark 1980s newsroom mystery novel.

A novel! How about that!

It’s due out in May. I keep playing Tears for Fears ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’ at top volume via Youtube. Eerily, I was watching Glee (soz), and there was Blaine singing what must the theme song for the book just 24 hours before I opened the magic email. It was a sign.

This now makes five book deals – since the end of October. I’m now busy updating blogs etc – and getting to know the other authors at CC, a jolly lot. CC has some great books, and the covers are dazzling. I’m not saying that. They really are. Check out their bookstore if you want to see some classy covers: The main website’s being developed, so don’t panic about the rest!

Thanks to all of you who seemed convinced I’d get to this point. I know we Celts are a stubborn breed, but even I began to have some doubts. Still, I stuck to it. Truth be told, Tomorrow’s Anecdote was the most cathartic writing experience I’ve ever had. I still feel my pulse race (uncomfortably!) when I think of the those crazy days at the Bath Chron. Inflation, threat of strikes (my union and Rob’s), worries over mortgages, Thatcher taking over the world … I don’t know how we all survived.

Now I need to think what genre the book is. Retro mystery? Read more about it on the website: