Tag Archives: NoMan’s

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?”

Returning to a Ghost

I stopped writing things in the No Man’s Land series after Ryan died. He was one of my beta readers, and the one who cheered me on; he asked the questions, laughed at the jokes, talked to me about the latest plot and idea. He was the one I’d email at 3am with a story.  And I miss him so, so much, even eight months on.

But I did some organising this week, and hauled out all my half-finished short stories…and amongst them are six No Man’s world ones (well, No Man’s Land – they’re mostly about Ghost, because I love her). And I want to finish them. I started reading them, just to remind myself. It hurts, still. But that’s now being tempered with the love for writing, and the characters are starting to talk to me again. They’re not getting drowned by the waves of grief any more. I want to write.

Have the start of a new story that might now get finished…

The air is cold and frigid, with mist creeping across the ground, obscuring my footing. The trees are long dead, their branches hung with decades of cobwebs and vines instead of leaves. The ground is a morass of swamp and rock, its stink rising until it’s almost visible. The scenery wavers between dank, dead forest and occasional rock spires, their outlines jagged against the dark sky.

In short, it’s not the nicest of places – and in addition, the path that I’m on is most certainly haunted…I’m not just saying that because it’s pretty freakin’ creepy.

I’ve got a ghost whining in my ear.

One of the downsides of being able to see spirits is that I can also hear them, and I’ve found that they fall into three categories: dull, friendly, or freaky.

This one is trying for freaky. It’s achieving dull. After all, blood-curdling moans are only terrifying when you don’t know that the ghost producing them has no torso. I know that should be scary, but actually it’s quite amusing to see a disembodied head and legs floating along, particularly when said ghost is doing the traditional arm-waving and managing to look as if it’s attempting to land a plane. I’m not sniggering, but it’s taking willpower. Ghosts tend to get touchy when their efforts to scare go unappreciated.

I am a Horrible Author

I’m a horrible person.

When writing, that is. In real life, I’d hope I’m kinda nice.

…sometimes.

When people don’t piss me off too much.

(Mostly joking! I’m usually incredibly polite and friendly, with the usual proviso of “slight introvert so finds it hard to start a conversation”. If you ever see me, do come and say hi!)

I was thinking about No Man’s Dawn, which is sort of a prequel to No Man’s Land. I’m not entirely happy about it, so I’m just letting it stew…so I was thinking about it in the car as I drove down to see a friend.

And I had the BEST* idea.

You know it’s bad when I start giggling to myself. It’s even worse when I start laughing. And when I lean back and go, “Oh, now that’s GOOD” is when it’s going to be really bad.

Have I told you that my beta reader didn’t talk to me for two days after That Ending in No Man’s Land? I’m still quite proud of that as it’s entirely deserved. I’ve now got a little private bet with myself as to what names she’ll call me after she reads this one – I may have to create a bingo sheet.

Off to do some writing I go! There may be evil chuckles.

 

*Worst. For my characters.

No Man’s Sky: alpha-read progress!

My wonderful alpha reader has just finished her first read of No Man’s Sky, and I’ve been squeaking with delight. This is how you should feel – when you get comments back, it’s “YES, of course!” or “Ooh that’d work” or “Hmm, how do I do that?” or “Now that’s a good idea…”

Comments should make you think. Make you write. Make you see a different side of the characters. Show you what’s on the page, and make you think about how you’ve portrayed the world or the people or the conversation. Can you tweak it to add more anger? Can you show the hurt? Can you add in a conversation with some foreboding? What happened during that event? Can they go to that place which sounds really interesting?

My other beloved alpha, Ryan, gave me some comments too – and it’s always reassuring when both alphas highlight the same things! I wish he was here to re-read my changes, and I miss his wisdom, his comments, his laughter. But that’s life. He’s got the dedication already, and he knew it. I miss him so much, even when it’s a nice feeling of getting back into something and using his comments and thoughts. I really miss him.

Anyway! I’ve now got a lot of work and a lot of thinking to do. I need to make it faster, give it an additional bit of pace, an impetus to their quest that’s external to both of the character’s internal drives. I need to make Arran more shocked and hurt, and toy with his feelings more. I need to show more of the world.

I enjoyed writing this one, so it’s a pleasure to get back into it and start adding to it.

Ps. The two favourite lines;

“I’m going to be grown-up and then I can do all the things, and I’ll never have to eat stew again!” – this from a six-year old 😀

And, “The goose was unimpressed.” Because…geese.