Pressure

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One of the things common to us all is that at some point in our life we will have been under pressure or stress. Be it a moment that jumped up in front of us, say a bank robbery or seeing someone about to be hit by a car, or whether that it is the slow build up of a situation which requires us to endure some sort of pain to see it through, we have all had experience of these things.

When writing, especially action and adventure, or dark fantasy, there are situations where the characters are in wild moments I have never faced and one wonders how they would react. Personally, I have never looked a demon from the deep in the eye, swung from a hangman’s noose or faced strange creatures intent on taking my head off. And the only way I know to generate these feelings is to drift into the characters shoes, drawing on my own reactions to horrors I have had in my own life. Not that my life has been a rollercoaster of disaster, it’s been bloomin’ good to be honest. But we all have the well of dark moments to draw from.

Sometimes people say my books would look great in a movie, or that they could see it as a TV drama and I think I know why. When I write, I write describing the movie in my head. The creatures move for me, I hear the drop in the noose, I look into those demon eyes. And I then feel what comes. I don’t see words, I see pictures and then the job is to put that picture into words. The further distillation by the reader reversing the process hopefully brings the movie back to life.

It begs the question, are my characters real to me? Only in my head, only in the movie. And that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t want a mad cap professor summoning up who knows what, an emotional father pulled from his family by every woman that walks past, or an ice cold winged femme fatale. Life is weird enough. And by putting these people under pressure the real emotions come out and hopefully the real life heroic decisions we make or fail to make, get brought to the surface.

If you haven’t got it already, you can purchase the first Austerley & Kirkgordon novel “Crescendo!” here. Read it quick as the follow up “The Darkness at Dillingham” is coming very, very soon!

Sarcastic Innocence – Here’s Nefol!

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One of the joys about writing fantasy, be it dark, urban or whatever, is that you can play around with the “norms” of society in one facet of a person while keeping their everyday traits. In my new novel, “The Darkness at Dillingham”, I introduce a new character Nefol. She’s the daughter of a priest, only twelve, and a sarcastic bane to Kirkgordon. But she’s also a stronger fighter than Kirkgordon and better versed in the weirdness of the A&K world than he’ll ever be.

This allows for the normal dynamic of senior and junior to be challenged and often overturned. And in that I believe lies an important point to the real world. Too often we quieten down those around us with less life experience or who are weaker in body or mind. And yet we get the most honest assessment from these people, too honest for us more often than not.

When taking Kirkgordon and pairing him with Austerley, the insane but highly driven seeker of the weird, Kirkgordon has a perfect forum to unload all he sees as wrong with getting your hands dirty in the occult world. But lest our hero becomes too high and mighty, here comes Nefol to show up his ineptitude and blast his fondness for all the wrong women! Ultimately the book highlights how paths to our redemption become blocked or at least sullied by others and that a little humility can help get us on the real path, the one so rarely seen from the mountian top!

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Coming soon from Carpetless Publishing “The Darkness at Dillingham” the second Austerley & Kirkgordon adventure. Not read the wild ride that is “Crescendo!”, the first A&K adventure then you can pick it up here.

Writing Update and a Sneak Peak at a new cover!

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So last time I was explaining that Book 2 of Austerley and Kirkgordon’s adventures, “The Darkness at Dillingham” was with the editor for a final pass and should be available pretty soon. But what else am I doing?

I have a mermaid fantasy based around a Scottish Island at second draft stage. The concept is that mermaids arrive on the shores of the island causing many different reactions ranging from hate to joy, wonder to disgust. A media circus ensues and the normal island life is upset as greed and then rumour cause many to fear the creatures. Meanwhile, a young islander finds and then protects one of the mermaids causing some comedy moments as he involves a woman of his dreams. All in all it’s a fun romp with some serious tones.

I have also embarked on another urban fantasy series but this time with a female protagonist. Scarlett is a bored call centre clerk who gets involved with a race to explain the signifigance of a prized glass which seems to be wanted by evil hands. It’s early days but it is fun to have to see everything from the other sex’s perspective.

Also in the mix is an allegorical piece set in a fantasy land, a world war one ghost story and the tale of a Singaporean bin inspector. Yes, I know, how rock and roll!

But back to Austerley and Kirkgordon. Book 3, with a working title of “The Nether Lands” is first draft complete. And when I say working title, I do mean working title as so far none have made it onto the final cover. But also at first draft stage and rapidly advancing is a novella piece to accompany Book 2 and which will be available in the hardback edition of “The Darkness at Dillingham”. It’s entitled “Cally”, and guess what, it’s about Calandra. Providing a more detailed back story to the characters is fun and certainly “Footsteps” helped bring Austerley and Kirkgordon’s relationship in “Crescendo!” to life for me.

And as promised, here is a cover reveal and it’s for “Cally”. Personally I think this is one of the best covers my artist has compiled for me. Jake has really grabbed Cally’s persona for me and the essence of the story in one picture. So I’ll leave you with the cover and look forward to talking more next time!

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If you haven’t got into the joy and wonder that is the Austerley and Kirkgordon series then you can find the first book “Crescendo!” here in all formats. The “Cally” cover was designed by Jake Clarke and you can see more of his work here.

Writing Life moves on

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Well I haven’t been attacking the blog due to my previous successes.After completing the Kickstarter, I have been engaged in looking at proofs, setting up publishing accounts, checking t-shirts, pondering over prints and most recently sending out the eBooks to my backers. Next on the agenda is to get the book up and live in its various formats on the myriad of sales sites available.

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One lesson I have learned over the past week is that this is an important perod to just take a breath and when proofs arrive, sit back and check. Take a pause. Don’t ram-stam at them. Instead try and allow yourself some time to consider what’s in front of you. Even when working with the best artists, formatters and editors, errors occur and this is a chance to nail them before you commit to any significant amount of stock.

I’m also learning, slowly albeit, that the real effort and drive to get a book out there comes after the writing. As much as the editor will work you hard, it is nothing to managing everything and pulling all the pieces together to produce a book in the right format at the right time.

But the journey has been a fruitful one. I have a book winging its way through the UK postal system which I will be handing out to my Kickstarter backers. Hopefully it will also be on local bookshops shelves. I still have many things to complete from my Kickstarter with regards to marketing and these will occupy my Christmas run in. But already I’m having to think about the next one. Actually next three in fact – two more in this series and another in a lighter fantasy style about mermaids arriving at a Scottish Island. I actually have two books beyond second draft, one at first draft and a short story in the writing as well as another novel. The plates are a-spinning but it’s a lot of fun!

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

The printing Frenzy

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Well it’s all go, and not least with the printers. With my Kickstarter funded and complete, I have been putting into action the plans for acquiring the rewards for my backers. T-shirts, bookmarks, prints and of course the all-important books themselves. And I have now reached a stage where just about everything is being printed. Whether it is proofs or the real thing, everything is on the go, except me in some ways.

I’ve been working on another island fantasy book about a recycling manager and some strange spirits and also have begun to create a small backstory for Calandra, one of the main characters in Crescendo! It is good to be back at the start of things again and I now have several books and novelettes in various stages of dress so to speak. And then of course there’s the marketing. Time for reviews and giveaways in the coming weeks. So keep a look out on my website. In the meantime here’s a preview of the bookmark the backers will be getting with their reward.

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

Crescendo update

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Well everyone after the excitement of making my Kickstarter it has been back to work. Currently the ebooks are being prepared, as are the PDFs for the distributor. Making the book in all formats has been quite hard work but I can’t wait to see them all. Bookmarks are being designed but something has arrived. The T-SHIRTS!

It was quite a labour to find what I thought would be good quality at an affordable price but the proof t-shirt seems the business with the print feeling excellent. Photos below (unfortunately without the Lara Croft-like model who cancelled at the last minute.)

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So part one of the rewards is well on its way. Can’t wait to see the book proofs though.

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!