Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cake and Masks

I have a few days off work at the moment which is bliss, although I don’t really have any plans other than to take my dog on lots of long walks and catch up on lots of sleep and tv shows I haven’t seen.

I have a cake to bake in the next few days. It’s my birthday next week and I usually make all the cakes in my family when it’s someone’s birthday and then just buy one for myself when it’s my birthday, but I thought I would make one for myself this year. I have a lot of eeyore figurines and mugs which I've collected over the years and so I thought I would make an eeyore cake in the shape of eeyore. I’m not sure how well it’s going to turn out, but if it does go wrong at least it will be my disaster and I won’t have to worry about someone else being disappointed. I will happily eat it however it looks even if it is a complete mess.

I’m currently editing Masks and Mirrors, the sequel to Bones and Ashes. It should be ready to go up soon, although I still haven’t sorted out the cover yet. I will have to start playing around with some ideas. After Masks is up, my plan is to carry on and write the 3rd book in the Bones and Ashes series. I have a lot of it written in rough already, although I don’t have any idea what the title will be yet. It takes place at Christmas, so it would be good if I could have it ready to go up in December. I always think books taking place at Christmas look a bit silly when they’re released in the summer. I like it to be cold and frosty when I'm reading about Christmas and snow.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Books, books, books

I’m about to go back onto a long run of nights and I’m loading up my kindle in case it’s a quiet night. I’ve bought The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones which came out a few weeks ago.

It’s the last book Diana wrote before she died and I almost don’t want to read it, knowing it will be the last book of hers I will ever have. Howl’s Moving Castle was one of my favourite books growing up and I love her Chrestomanci series. There weren’t that many YA books when I was in my teens, especially by fantasy authors. The Young Adult reading section was mainly filled with hundreds of Sweet Valley High books.

I was so sad when Diana died, especially as I live just outside of Bristol, but I never got the chance to meet her and tell her how wonderful she was.

I’ve also bought The Paradise by Emile Zola. I’ve just finished watching the first series of The Paradise on dvd. I always like to compare the original book to a tv series and see what was left out and what was changed. The Paradise is based on a department store in the late 1800s and is centred on the transition from independent shops to larger stores with mass produced goods. There’s also a love story woven through it. It’s a very gentle series, with no violence or swearing or explicit sex scenes, which makes a nice change from everything else on tv at the moment.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Some background to The River Maid

I’ve been meaning to talk a bit about The River Maid and the background behind it. Although The River Maid is fiction, there are some historical elements to the story which are true. Some people who are not familiar with the Rhineland may be surprised to know that there is actually a castle called Katz Castle in the hills above St Goarshausen.

It was seized by the French Revolutionary army in 1805 and the castle was destroyed in 1806 by Napoleon - just like in the book. However, it was probably due to its position on the Rhine, rather than because of a mermaid.

The Counts of Katzenelnbogen built Katz Castle in the 1300’s, but the family line died out, and the castle then passed through various hands. After being destroyed in 1806, the castle was rebuilt in the late 1800’s and it’s still there today, although as far as I’m aware it’s privately owned and unfortunately not open to visitors.

Near St Goarshausen is a rock called the Lorelei. There’s a German legend of a siren associated with the rock who lures sailors to their deaths and it was this story along with Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid that The River Maid is based on.

Although some things might actually have happened, I have taken huge liberties with history. I wanted to tell a story, not write a historically accurate novel, but I think all good stories need to have some truth to them at their heart.

I like to think that had there been a mermaid called Lorelei, then the events of the story could have happened just as they did in the book.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The River Maid

The River Maid has been up now for a few days. I’ve enrolled it in amazon’s kdp select and it's currently free to download on amazon until Friday. I’m really happy with how the cover looks. I did it myself and it really wasn’t easy to do. I don’t think it’s too obvious that it wasn’t professionally done. Maybe other people will disagree though.

I’ve deleted a lot of the old posts on my blog. It had been ages since I had updated it and I thought I would start afresh with The River Maid.

I'm back on nights at the moment, but as soon as I get a day off I will find time to talk a bit about the background of The River Maid. I meant to add an author's note at the back of the book, but I never got round to it. Some people might find it interesting to know why I chose that particular period of history to set a retelling of The Little Mermaid.

If you have read The River Maid, I would be incredibly grateful if you would consider reviewing it - good or bad. I'm always hesitant to buy a book that doesn't have any reviews for it.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Finally......

I've uploaded The River Maid to amazon. It should be available in the kindle store within 12 hours. I'm now worrying that there's something wrong with the formatting or the cover is going to upload funny. Until it's available though, I won't be able to see if there's anything seriously wrong with it. I just have to wait and see.

It's strange that it's finally up. It's taken me a lot longer than I intended to finish it. Working nights full time hasn't left a lot of room for anything else. Now, I guess I need to get back to working on the sequel to Bones and Ashes.