CRYO; A Changed World is written

Just over a minute ago I wrote the last sentence of CRYO; A Changed World. I can’t believe it’s done and I’m over the moon that I managed to keep to my schedule and have it complete before January – though only just.

A Changed World has been great to write, largely because I’ve really got to indulge in exploring a new world. Rise of the Immortals was all about the CRYO lotto, the cryonics process and what happened when the podmates first emerged back into the world. There was a lot of scene setting before John was even frozen. I thought it was important to convey the place he was leaving, and the struggle he found himself in when striving to fulfil his dreams whilst saying goodbye to loved ones. A Changed World is entirely different in the fact that it’s no longer a struggle of emotion, but the struggle for survival. The new world is unrecognisable and somewhat hostile, and the CRYO podmates have a lot to encounter. From inhospitable landscapes, flora and fauna, to new creatures and foreign cultures, John and his gang have many challenges to face in the new instalment.

Now that the first draft has been written, it’s time for the hard work to begin. The book came in shy of 90,000 words, but I normally add words as part of the editing and rewriting process, so I’m under no illusion that it’ll end up nearer 100,000; a similar length to Rise of the Immortals. I’ll be self-editing in January, before sending to another editor at the beginning of February. That means, all being well, it’ll be ready for publishing by March. I also have Keith Draws on-board again for the cover, so I’m excited to get to work on that.

Alongside editing, I’ll also be starting the next Inside Evil book; it seems like only yesterday I finished New Alliances! It’s going to be bittersweet for me as I’ll bringing all those story threads to an end, but will also have to say goodbye to my characters in more ways than one.

Anyway, for now, I’ll enjoy the adrenaline at the end of the race. Happy New Year!

Woodland walks and writing progress

Hello, and sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I’ve been in a little bubble of writing and TV addiction.

The fourth Inside Evil instalment is coming along nicely. I’m about four fifths done, and am aiming to complete the novel in the next couple of weeks. There will then be about a month of read-through’s, edits and proofreading, so I’m hoping to have it published towards the end of September. As yet it’s still without a name, though I’m ruminating on a couple of possibilities.

It’s been a great book to write, especially as we’re back in Gathin to explore this parallel world. Martha’s back on form too and recovering well from her venture into the Middlelands, so my favourite double act of Susan and Martha are getting up to all kinds of mischief. You’d never think these two were grown women. Meanwhile, Sam’s taking a lead role again so I’m enjoying getting inside his head..and there’s plenty of us in there, I can tell you. *hint hint*

Also, if you haven’t realised, Inside Evil is free on Amazon, so you pick up this fantasy novel without having to spend a penny. :)

Anyone who’s read my work will know only too well of the creatures and scenery I describe. Despite both CRYO and Inside Evil being set in urban locations, I still find a way to get my characters out into the wilderness, and the wood’s close to home never fail to inspire me. I’m asked where to find inspiration, how to find that muse? Well, look outside, explore the wilds, walk the streets, and it’ll find you!

I took some gorgeous pictures today whilst walking and it really got my brain ticking over. From the dark and ominous storm drain which any number of strange monsters could be lurking beneath, to a small mossy covered root bank, there was inspiration at every turn. Even my dog leaping through the forests reminded me of the great hunks of wolves that I’ve written about throughout the Inside Evil series.

Beetle leaps through the forest

Beetle leaps through the forest

A storm drain could be the home of many monsters

A storm drain could be the home of many monsters

Moss covered roots; a little carpet of colour

Moss covered roots; a little carpet of colour

The summer moon - who's up there? Who's visiting?

The summer moon – who’s up there? Who’s visiting?

My mind seems to find stories in every place I look, and I came home filled with words ready to jot down upon a page. For now, my work with Inside Evil continues and soon, I hope, I’ll be ready to reveal the latest title.

Happy Reading :)

 

 

Find me on Google+

I’ll start this off with a warning – I really don’t know what I’m doing on Google+. However, you will now find me there. I know that Google+ wasn’t well received when it first launched, but it does seem to have grown over the past few years, and continues to attract people. In addition, their ‘Communities‘ pages are awesome for connecting people. I find Goodreads extremely difficult to use as I’m normally too busy writing to be reading much. As such, actually conversing about books in a reader based community is hard. However, Google+ throws the door open and allows me to join any community I want, whether it’s a writers group or a fan forum for Mass Effect. The huge positive about this is that I can;

a) Actually get to know people by talking about the things I love without having to expend a lot of time, and

b) I can passively promote my work by giving a ‘+1‘ or commenting on posts. This can stir up interest in people, who’ll follow my link through to my profile page.

In addition to my own profile page (find me here), I’ve created a G. Wakeling community. One of my personal annoyances with having a FB fan page is that only I can post on it. Whilst readers and friends can post, any content gets shrunk into a tiny side box. It doesn’t really facilitate conversation. The Google+ communities really make the process of chatting and discussing my work, characters etc, far easier. And, one day, if I’m brave enough, I might even hold a ‘Hangout‘.

So, if you’re on Google+, add me! :)

Other News

Aside from starting out on Google+, I’m also well into the fourth instalment of Inside Evil. With only two books to go, there’s a lot to tie up in this latest novel. There’s also some new questions that have to be raised, and the cast, Susan in particular, are throwing me some curve balls.

AND, Inside Evil is now (and should stay that way) FREE on Amazon. I’ve had success in the past getting people into reading the sequel by offering IE for free, so if you want to read The Tower of Souls and Spirits of the Middlelands, then you can grab the first for free now.

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!

A Bloody Kind of Lust

Everyone loves a bad boy, right? Or has indulged in unrequited love, or perhaps fallen a little too far for someone completely inappropriate. It’s Valentines Day, and we all know that this day of the year is about sharing time with your partner (or getting drunk if you’re single). But what if you’re love isn’t the average? What you’re in love with a monster? A zombie?

Love between a mortal and a zombie

Love between a mortal and a zombie

Whilst I’m no fan, Twilight has certainly pushed away the boundaries over loving monsters. Tales have been spun throughout the decades of mere mortals falling for deadly and vicious monsters, but Stephanie Meyer really managed to bring monster love back into the spotlight….though Edward Cullen wasn’t quite the vicious vampire that we’re all used to. Perhaps, for that, it’s best to look towards the realm of True Blod and Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. More recently, Warm Bodies has found a spotlight, with the film adaptation of Isaac Marion’s book showing that love can really cure all. But can it? And, more importantly, should it?

I’ve been grappling with this idea in my latest novella, Pacifier 6, The Shadows Within. Set after a zombie apocalypse, the human race is trying to rebuild society. Zombies decimated our population, but there were those that survived, and with the emergence of a new drug – Pacifier 6 – the remaining zombies have been drugged and farmed into a new workforce. But whilst decomposing, mute and all together nasty looking, is there still a place for love?

I’m not sure that love is the correct word, and it’s more like bloody lust. A zombie is a zombie, even when pacified, and despite that there’s a new creature lurking within, I was torn between all out love and showing just the flickering of an emotional connection. If you read the tale, you’ll discover that it isn’t really a love story, but more of a discovery of feelings. Is Carl attracted to his zombie worker because he likes a bad boy? Because there’s a consciousness deep within? Or is it simply that there aren’t many people left to choose from?

At any length, I’m not sure that love between monsters and mortals should be an easy ride. After all, love between two humans is normally less than smooth. And, if I’m honest, monsters are still monsters whatever the show they put on…they’re supposed to be scary, to creep us out, to put the fear of god into our souls. Love tends to be enduring. Lust, however, it an instant overtaking emotion that gets us into all manner of problems, especially when we’re ogling a monster.

*THIS IS PART OF A VALENTINE’S BLOG HOP – Click here for the other members of this Blog Hop.*

Thinking on a galactic level – world building with Raphyel Jordan

As a writer, I get the awesome job of creating brand new worlds. Creatures of any type, characters with whatever personality I choose to give them, vast universes full of teeming life. Today I’m VERY excited to host Raphyel Jordan in a piece about world building.

RMJordan PhotoRaphyel Montez Jordan grew up in a household sensitive to the creative arts. As a child, his hobbies were drawing favourite cartoon and video game characters while making illustrated stories. This passion for art never left and followed him all the way up to his high school and college years. When he was 19, he started writing a novel for fun, taking inspiration from the constant exposure of different ideas and cultures that college showed him. He eventually made it a goal to have the story published after he graduated, and dubbed the goal “Operation Prosia,” the very same project that would develop into his first published book, “Prossia.”

*****

You know what? The real world’s boring. I mean, seriously. Look outside. Did you just see a dragon or UFO fly by? No? Then I rest my case. And if you said yes. . . maybe it’s time to talk to a professional.

One of the reasons why we’re seeing sci-fi and fantasy films strike it big in the box office is because people love being able to get lost in a world beyond imagination. It’s our natural human nature. Classical stories like Homer’s epic poem, “Iliad,” centuries beyond centuries old, is a strong evident to that statement.

Human beings love to imagine the what-if scenario. What if there was magic? What if I had superpowers? What if aliens actually did exist? With those small sentences, with those few words, galactic governments have been put on the brink of peril, wars between elves and goblins have been raged, adventures that have challenged the test of time have been born, and that was exactly how “Prossia” was created.

After having a basis for the story in mind, I asked myself, “What if I wrote a story about aliens?” Sure, that’s simple enough, but that thought would branch off into more avenues and streams.

* What if they lived on a single planet?

* What if it was an entire solar system?

* What if the aliens were spread across an entire galaxy?

* What if there weren’t any even humans around, like so many other stories?

Did you see what happened? Did you see that snowball-turned-avalanche coming down the mountain? When I asked myself if my story was going to be about aliens, I was already challenging myself to explain why these people’s world was the way it was, without even realizing it.

Aly-Portrait-or-312And granted, universes aren’t made over night, so creating the Prossia Universe has been a very long process. The other challenge of the universe comes from the fact that this is indeed a science fiction story. Meaning, I can’t just say something is the way it is by magic. This genre requires a little fact, as much as feasible. So, when I made my main character, Aly, come from people who had infrared vision, had super reflexes and agility, and could form energy out of their hands, I actually had to explain that Aly has infrared vision because it helps her see approaching threats. I have a separate file listing the anatomy of my aliens, from what type of cartilage and muscle tissue would be possible for Goolians to move the way they do, to the extrasensory perceptions they have when it comes to their ability of using fusion to create a ball of plasma.

And that only covers one of the current nine races! What about the other aliens and their designs? I wanted them to look a certain way, but there had to be a reason why. Humans and other animals look the way they look due to Earth’s size, its closeness to the sun, the ecosystems it has, and tons, I MEAN TONS, of other factors. So, it’s only natural other life-forms would evolve to fit their environments as well. That is, after all, one of the key functions of life. Seriously, look at how diverse the biology on our very own little rock is.

So, more questions:

If we must adapt to our surroundings, what if I make aliens that can adapt to their surroundings through an advanced acclimation process? If that were the case, wouldn’t that mean what took us millions of years to do capable of being done much sooner? And how much sooner am I talking? Am I still talking millions of years, or just a few thousand?

And still, the questions continue, and guess what else, so does the world I find myself lost in. Maybe some people would think such world building is just wayyyy too much trouble. I, on the other hand, think it’s totally awesome. Being an artist and a writer, I like being able to create, so what’s cooler than creating an entire galaxy!?

To think that I studied Civilization, Psychology, Ethics and Values, Biology and Ecology just so I could have some ideas for Prossia’s Universe. Now, I’m not saying that’s what all writers should do in order to build their worlds. I was just fortunate enough to be in my college years while I was writing “Prossia,” and I needed to fill in some class electives. :P To me, researching is good, and the deeper I go into a universe, the better. Still, in the end, none of this could’ve happened if I asked the one thing that humans love to ask. “What if–” . Why don’t you ask the same question? Who knows what wonders you’ll bring.

I have to say a massive thank you to Raphyel for sharing his post and fantastic artwork us. If you want to find out more, then here’s a few links:

Prossia on Amazon
Prossia on Barnes and Noble
Goodreads
Raphyel’s Website, Facebook Page and Twitter

FINALLY, if that wasn’t enough there are also some goodies to win with a Rafflecopter giveaway. There’s FORTY (yes, 4 – 0) paperbacks up for grabs, as well as some Prossia merchandise AND a $25 Amazon gift card so it’s WELL worth entering.

Writing circles are important for goal achieving and encouragement

There’s nothing like setting a deadline to get your work done, right? Writing is hard, and once the initial few chapters have been completed, finding the stamina to keep going can often become a nightmare. There are chores to do, work to go to, real lives to lead.  So, we set ourselves goals and targets to work towards. There’s NaNoWriMo, forum threads to add to every day to say ‘hey guys, I got 1K done today‘, and it does help. There’s nothing quite like a public announcement to put the pressure on. But, if you really want to keep going, you need perseverance and the help of friends.

Once you’ve published a book or two, the pressure starts to mount even more. With two books of my Inside Evil series out, there’s a rising need to write the third. I want Spirit of the Middlelands out in March. It’ll mean I’ve published five books in a year, and it’ll ensure that fans of the series actually get a new read fairly quickly.  But I’m a procrastinator, it takes a while for me to sit down and open that .doc file. Not anymore, however, because I’ve found New Year, New Book.

nynbThis fantastic little community of writers, some of whom I know already and some who are becoming new friends, encourage each other along with tweets, emails and a visual little stats counter. As I said, there’s nothing like a public challenge to throw down the gauntlet, but all too often NaNoWriMo and those forum threads can become just as impersonal as if you were simply looking at a goal Post-it above your laptop. With New Year, New Book, each time we write, we check in with Twitter hashtags and our little stats bar zips towards our goal. I’m three days into February and I’ve already written 6.5K. It’s going great guns!

Writing can be an extremely lonely experience, and though I’m quite happy being a hermit for most of the time, a few encouraging tweets and the joy of applauding for others is quite welcome in my day. If you want to find out more about New Year, New Book head over to the page and see if you want to get involved. I’m writing more now than I ever have done.