Monday, 22 September 2014

Meet the Character Blog Tour

The uber-talented and prolific Jody Lynn Nye tagged me to join in the Meet the Character Blog Tour. Her entry can be found here:
where we meet Lord Thomas Innes Loche Kinago, cousin to Emperor Shojan XII, of View From the Imperium and the newly released Fortunes of the Imperium, both from Baen Books.

Okay, I am in exalted company here, being very much a niche genre author, but I'll give it my best shot and invite you to meet one of the heroes of my latest ebook release, Greymalkin, the first in my Melusine's Cats series, out of Kouros Books.

Is he fictional or historical?

Jesse Adams is fictional, and reflects in some ways the situations that openly gay sportsmen face even when discrimination is against the law. He also has to face greater dangers when he finds himself caught up in ancient myths.

When and where is the story set?

It's set in the fictional Lynn valley, in the northwest of Devon in the UK. The time is the present day, but the barriers between his reality and the other reality of the local legends are thin. The River Lynn runs the length of the valley from its source on Exmoor to the sea. Melusine, a water entity, is bound to the river, and she is both prisoner and warder. She can only travel in the flowing water of her river, and cannot set foot on her banks. Her cats are not so bound. Neither pets nor familiars, they move freely between the realities, her agents among the humans who live along the Lynn. She needs to rebuild her triads, the pairs of warriors united with their guardian beasts.

What should we know about him?

Jesse is a gay ex-rugby player who's gone into seclusion to avoid the media following a guilty verdict in a court case. He was the tighthead prop for the Warwick Rhinos, until false accusations and lying testimony cost him his career. Jesse has come to live for a year in the village of Greenlynn, where he is supposed to be writing his biography. He's something of a gentle giant, and doesn't often lose his temper. When he does, he's formidable.

In Greenlynn, he first meets a large grey cat, a seeming-feral that is a lot more than its appearance suggests. Then he meets Will Blake, the local policeman. Will is out and proud, respected and liked by the community he helps to protect from rural crime. Their attraction is mutual, but when Melusine's enemies come to the valley in search of revenge, Jesse and Will discover they, and the mysterious cat Greymalkin, have a part to play in the ancient feud.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Jesse has to contend with the arrival of old enemies. At the same time, he's building a relationship with Will, and coming to terms with the dangers that Greymalkin and Melusine bring to their lives. She, too, has an enemy searching for her and that other prison she guards.

What is the personal goal of the character?

To clear his name is his primary objective at first, but as he and Will are drawn deeper into Melusine's situation, he realises that the people of the Lynn valley as well as Melusine need help and protection. He has to accept the realities of the everyday and the otherness of Melusine's world and become the warrior he was born to be, while he and Will forge an unbreakable relationship.

Is there a working title for this novel, and where can we read more about it?

Greymalkin - Melusine's Cats #1 was published by Kouros Books as an ebook, and is available across the Amazon sites, and from All Romance eBooks.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Cover Reveal and Update...

It's been a while since I regularly updated my blog, but now I've caught up with some of my writing projects, I can get back to more frequent posts. I've just finished writing my last chapter of Heat, the story I've been writing with RJ Scott, and it's coming out from Love Lane Books on October 25th. The cover is by Meredith Russell, and she's turned out yet another stunner.

Heat - Set in the small cathedral city of Salisbury, Master Chef Lewis Mandineau no longer owns the Laurels, the restaurant that had been in his family for generations. Betrayed and robbed by an ex-lover, he's had to sell to Carnegie Enterprises, an American corporation. That isn't all Lewis has to contend with. Rachel, his beloved younger sister has been left severely hurt by the car crash that killed their parents, and taking care of her has to be his priority.

Enter Devon Carnegie III, sent to assess the viability of the restaurant and its staff. Devon knows all about family tradition. But he also knows sentiment has no place in business matters, and the Laurels' potential is swamped by the debts it has accrued. Devon is a hardheaded businessman, first and foremost, but Lewis and Rachel test his resolve in different ways. Soon Devon is forced to admit that what seems like an impossible love can sometimes become something very real.

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Secondly, I've finished the edits on Undercover Blues, and it will be escaping from Manifold Press on November 1st. I don't yet have a completed cover for this, but the draft copy I saw was really striking and eye-catching. Fiona Pickles does the cover art for MP, and she always comes up trumps. I'll post it as soon as I receive the final version.

Undercover Blues - London 1936: industrial espionage, blackmail, and two Home Office agents masquerading as lovers in a dance band. What could possibly go wrong?

With the cooperation of a top ranking scientist and his son, Tom Langton and Robert Darnley are sent in as bait for a gang that uses blackmail to steal industrial secrets at a time when Hitler's rise to power in Germany threatens Europe. The two men are friends, but they each have secrets of their own, both only too aware that homosexuality is against the law. Living in close quarters, having to portray an illegal relationship, adds unexpected tensions to an already dangerous situation.

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Back To Front...

Okay, the usual sequence of events in a story's growth is this, And yes, I have greatly simplified this list, leaving out all the creation and building of the characters, the world building, the research...:

1. Start the story while angsting over the title until one feels right.
2. Battle over the mid-story hump.
3. Battle through the last chapter brain-slump
4. Finish the story.
5. Put it through umpteen drafts.
6. Send it to beta readers and try to distract self with another Work in Progress while waiting for their responses.
7. When those responses come in, edit and tweak accordingly.
8a. Submit to a publisher and retreat to those distraction tecniques again - OR -
8b. If self-publishing start the Great Photo Hunt.


That sequence has been pretty much turned on its head for two stories in my WiP folder. Cause and Effect has been sitting there for quite a while. I know the characters, I know the story arc - it's a paranormal - On the run from crooks and the FBI, Rob hides out in an old deserted house, only to discover he has to confront the results of his teenage stupidity before it kills him. As soon as I saw the picture in Meredith Russell's Ready-made Cover Deal, I knew I had to grab it quick.

Meredith's site is HERE

In the other case I found the cover picture first. I purchased a creation of the uber-talented D.W. Skinner, and it suggested its own title - As Above, So Below - which I added to the photo. All I know is, it will be another paranormal.

D.W.'s site is HERE 

So there you have it. And all I have to do is work my way through my ever-expanding Work in Progress folder, most of which aren't listed on my site, and write them!

Easier said than done...

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