Inside Evil, Spirits of the Middlelands, is completed

Spirits of the Middlelands 270pxI’m so happy! Yesterday, I wrote the epilogue for Spirits of the Middlelands and finally got that all important final sentence for this third book in the Inside Evil series onto paper – aka – word. I have to admit, it didn’t start off so well. Having taken several months out to complete CRYO and Pacifier 6, getting back to Ridgewood and rediscovering Roberta, Susan and Karl took a while. I had writer’s block, I tried to force the story, and I got absolutely nowhere. But, then things started kicking into place, twists that even I hadn’t foreseen began to occur and my nimble fingers were back on track. I got the great cover art done and released a few teasers and everything started to snowball in the right direction.

Having now finished Spirits of the Middlelands, I’ll need a week or so to re-read the first draft, make improvements, fix some continuity issues and take out a couple of paragraphs that began story threads which didn’t actually transpire into anything. Then, it’s off to my editor. So, with us already heading towards mid-March, I would think this release will due at the end of the month at best, but more likely early April. If you don’t want to miss it, then make sure to sign up to the newsletter.

WHAT’S NEXT?

As much as I want to write the next CRYO book and have ideas formulating for another Pacifier 6 novella, Inside Evil fans will be pleased to know that I’m going to crack straight on with book number four. My mind is filled with Ridgewood right now, with each character’s fate, and I’m keen to capitalise on this. With the middle book now complete, there’s just two more to write – I can’t believe it! If you haven’t had a chance to read Inside Evil yet, grab it – it’s FREE ;P

Now, I must be off to correct typo’s and ensure continuity!

Get your imagination bubbling with Face Off – Inspiration for fantasy writers

face-off-logoSometime last autumn I discovered SyFy’s special effects show ‘Face Off‘. This reality competition sets a group of contestants against each other in a bid to become the best special effects artist of the bunch. Whilst gripping, it’s also a fantastic resource for fantasy writers, especially if you’re feeling a little off your game.

Everyone needs inspiration now and then, and writers glean most of this from everyday life. Stories create themselves from circumstances we found ourselves in, a picture we’ve seen or perhaps a conversation we’ve overheard in the supermarket. If you’ve read any of my books, then you’ll know that I have a very descriptive style, bringing scenes to life by carefully creating the right ambiance and backdrop for my characters. But with that comes the need to have visual stimuli and inspiration too, and this is where Face Off is limitless.

Each week the contestants have a new challenge. This can be from creating a goblin king for a fantasy land, developing an age make-up for a set of triplets or making up an entirely new alien race from a specific world that they’ve been given. Special effects legends including Ve Neill (Hunger Games, Amazing Spider Man, John Carter), Glenn Hetrick (Chronicles of Riddick, Heroes, Angel) and Michael Westmore (Star Trek) offer input and ultimately make the decision of who stays and who leaves. A nice thing about the show is that, on the whole, the contestants get on and help each other out if needed, so as a viewer we get to see awesome fantasy creations without the bitchiness and backstabbing that so often comes hand-in-hand with reality television.

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Fantasy writers can have a hard time of creating new characters and describing them just enough so that readers can formulate their own picture. Unlike film and television, we don’t offer visual impact other than our descriptive passages and narrative, so it’s up to the reader to use their own imagination to construct the characters in their minds. However, I find that I do need some visual inspiration when creating an alien species or creature for my writing, and a few quirks from Face Off can send my imagination racing. What if that headdress was embellished? What if that elongated jaw was drawn into this contortion?

So, if you’re feeling a little off colour when it comes to visualising your characters or creations, sit down and watch a couple of Face Off episodes. It could offer just the ingredient to get your imagination bubbling again.