Tag Archives: newstory

A Snippet of a New Story

A random snippet from the new No Man’s series story…

“I am the Emissary of the Elven Kingdom of the Golden Sycamore.” The sylph turns her head back to Luk. “We wish you to deny Stromberg the lives. When previously informed of this situation, the Merlin was accepting of the urgency and problematic nature of this.”

“Which Merlin was this?” Elise asks, in her sweetest and most confused elderly-lady manner.

The sylph shrugs. “Human names are not memorable to me.”

“Nevertheless,” Luk puts in. “Stromberg is going to, at some uncertain point in the future, try to…what? Kill a bunch of humans? And that somehow powers their Castle?”

“Steal,” the sylph corrects. “We do not know what they do with them, only that they are taken into the Castle and Stromberg’s power is renewed. We do not want this to happen.”

“Yes, I got that. So, the million-dollar question: why should I care?”

Rachel’s sigh is strong enough to blow biscuit crumbs off the plate. Elise reaches out and carefully brushes them up, before standing to deposit them in the sink.

“The previous Merlin considered this-”

“Yes, I’m sure,” Luk says. “But I don’t care. Stromberg can’t have been kidnapping ridiculous numbers of humans, otherwise the rest of Faerie and most of the human world would have taken steps, so I don’t see why you’re trying to get me involved in something that’s obviously a power play between two Courts.”

“If they’re kidnapping people, Luk…” Rachel starts.

“People die every day. The Fae kidnapping humans is nothing new. I’ve got enough to do without getting my ass put on the line by a power that’s perfectly able to deal with it themselves if they wanted to.”

“Do young humans going missing not bother you?”

“Children?” Rachel says, giving Luk a glare. “They’re kidnapping children to somehow power their Castle?”

Luk rolls his eyes. “Go join a charity commission if you’re going to be that much of a preacher! If they’re still powerful it’s obviously not the first time they’ve done it, so there’s still no reason why I should care.”

“If you do this,” the sylph says, “then the Elven Kingdom will consider one of your debts to us paid.”

Luk pauses, and then says, “Well, that’s just fucking bollocks. I don’t think I-”

“Fickin bullcks?” a small toddler’s voice says from the doorway.

Worldbuilding: Research Research Research

So my 1920’s book (and my Tudor book) aren’t going too well with the writing part – this is The Thief and The Seer, and Necromancer’s Charm. It’s both the world and the voice – I’ll do a post on that in a bit!

But my reaction to worldbuilding problems? Research.

I, uh, may have also got myself a library card recently. It’s good for me to have a walk every day, right? And at least with self-service machines the librarians can’t give me disbelieving stares when I return six books I borrowed yesterday and take out another six…

Anyway! I’m researching the 1920’s. I’ve got Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers. The Great Gatsby. Nancy Mitford. R.F. Delderfield. I’ve read Brideshead Revisited, Birdsong and some of the other poets already, but I might go back to them. I’ve also picked up Joe Abercrombie on the recommendation of Adrian to have a look at voice and POV, and a non-fiction by Adrian Tinniswood (The Long Weekend) to have an explore of English country homes. I’ve got Peaky Blinders, Gatsby and Downtown Abbey on the list of possible TV shows to watch, and Adrian (that man is annoyingly knowledgeable) pointed out that I can just watch snatches of things to pick up on the voice and style.

Basically, what I’m not trying to do is learn the history of the period – I have picked up a few history books and they’re mostly useless, because they all focus on WW2. What I’m trying to do is get a feel for the period; the voices, the characters, the people. At the moment I’m focusing on Europe – actually, my main city seems to be forming around Amsterdam – and so I’m not going Prohibition or Roaring 20’s. There will be aspects of that, sure, and I want to look into the dance-hall and flapper scene, but because it’s not an alternate universe I don’t need the history part. I need the sense of a country coming out of a devastating war, where everything turned on its head, and look at the reactions to the new world. I also want to play on the class system; at the moment, I’m playing with the idea of one of the gentry falling for a tradesman. The horror!

This is the part I call book-building; I’m still feeling my way through things. If I were writing on paper, I’d likely have notes scattered everywhere – as it is, I have post-its on my dashboard, odd bits in Word files, and bookmarks all over the place. It’s slowly knitting, but at the moment I’m still choosing the colours. But hey, it means I get to read a lot!

A new Ghost story: The Serpent’s Waltz

If you’ve been at all intrigued with the snippets of No Man’s Land, or got confused over The Lady’s Vision, or are just generally interested in Urban Fantasy with a hefty dose of snark….there’s another new Ghost story out!

(It’s not horror, by the way – it’s a Ghost story, not a ghost story. Although there is sarcasm involved.)

I’ve got the story that started No Man’s Land, Ghost and Luk off on their journey coming out in Love ‘Em Shoot ‘Em. Ghost’s trying to steal something, and ropes Luk in to help. Unfortunately, the obstacles they face aren’t…quite what was expected.

The anthology’s on Amazon Kindle and also on Smashwords with a 25% discount if you use the code PU93V. Worth getting a hard copy for!

 

Have a snippet…

I can feel Natalie shifting behind me, waiting for the attack. The man’s holding the sword with a certain familiarity, although there’s also a faint tenseness that says he’d be happy with other weapons. He’s more used to street brawling than formal fighting.

He lowers his sword. “Really, sunshine?”

I grin at him. I didn’t bother drawing my own sword. For what it’s worth, I’m more used to street brawling. “What’s wrong with cheating?”

“You’re supposed to be nice.”

“Really? I must have deleted that part in my contract.”

 

A new Ghost story: Death Is But A Text Away

 

Another story about Ghost from No Man’s Land! (Not a ghost story. A Ghost story. Sarcasm and sass instead of horror, I’m afraid).

This time it’s in The Misbehaving Dead, which you can pick up from A Murder of Storytellers in paperback or Amazon Kindle.

This one was one of Ryan’s favourites, and I love it too – what do you do if a ghost just won’t settle? Go and see the boss, of course.

Charon gives me a smile as I walk down the dock jutting out into the stinking river. She’s dressed as a Venetian gondolier today. “Nice hat,” I tell her.

“Thanks! It was in the sale. Didn’t you see the picture I posted?” Charon’s a friend, surprisingly—or a pen-pal, more likely. She’s got a smartphone someplace under that neat suit, and is weirdly good for technology for a thousand-year old psychopomp. Everyone to their own, I guess.

“I’ve been working today,” I say as I step into the boat. “Does it come in purple?”

“I’ll check for you. Are you here to pick someone up?” she asks as I tip two coins into her hand.

“Nope, here to see the boss.”

She gives me a funny face, sticking her tongue out. “Wow, you’re in for it. No-one sees the boss these days.”

“Why?”

“She’s got lackeys, hasn’t she? Too busy to see us minions.”

“What happened to personal service?” I moan. “Well, I’ve got a complaint, so tough.”

“Rather you than me! When are we going clubbing again?”

Planning for NaNo 2017

I’m going to write The Thief & The Seer for NaNoWriMo 2017!

I think the name’s officially changed back…I was considering “As Old As My Eyes” or heart or soul, but whenever I talk about it, it’s become “Thief & Seer” so I may as well stick with that. Plus, it tells you what the novel’s about!

My reason for picking Thief & Seer over The Necromancer’s Charm (which is my 1920’s urban fantasy) is that I want to set them in the same world, although NC is about 400 years later. So, I need the world. While I have some ideas for NC, I don’t really know too much about the world that it’s set in yet, so….

I get to write Thief & Seer to find out!

I’ve got the characters, and a basic plot. Beyond that, I think it’s a perfect NaNo novel – I can incorporate a lot of the prompts if I need to, hit people with shovels, go off on tangents…my aim is really to get a complete novel by the end of November, and then I can build the world out from that.

That does mean I need to aim for more than 50k during NaNo, though. 70k is 2300 ish words a day.

Hmmm.

This could be fun!