About my blogs

Hello, welcome to my blog site.
I use these pages to not only promote my book series:
Crystal Waters, but so you can get a taste of what
really goes on behind the scence, so-to-speak.
My thoughts, idea's and feelings are poured lovely into, what I call, my diary for all to see.
I'm sure there will be many happy moments, emotional traumas and doubts, but it will all enhance my
intention; to capture an honest and heartfelt progression-log of my life, as a writer.
Hope you enjoy :) Any comments are most welcome.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Year, New Book

Well, it's nearly 2016, which means of course it's time to put behind me the festivities of Christmas, not to mention all the mince pies I've eaten (gasp!) and knuckle down to some serious research for book five. Perhaps a stroll to the park with a book and my notepad will be in order.
As many authors, who delve into history, will say; all reputable novels are backed up with research and so I thought I'd take this opportunity to show you how my mind works and where I get my facts and inspiration from when starting a book.

I must admit, I can get totally immersed in, not only the chapter plotting and building the skeleton of the book, but when it comes to fleshing it out the research can take you down completely new paths that you thought you would never go.
The first books I usually turn to when I'm researching are mythology and legends on the area I have chosen to write about. And because each of my books focus on one continent at a time, I have real fun fine tuning all the wonderful folklore of the countries involved.
My first book, Crystal Waters It Began in Europe, goes back to Minoan times of ancient Crete, and as many people know who have studied Greek mythology, it was written in a quite brutal fashion with Gods having affairs left, right and centre with mortals and often eating their offspring. I decided, because I don't want to scare away my young audience, to tone it down a tad. I still wanted to capture the excitement and the moral story behind them, but tweak it enough that it not only fits into my story well, but it won't mentally scar any child who reads them.  
With my time era in my book chosen, in book one's case it was The Bronze Age in ancient Crete, I turn to the books to study their way of life: what they ate, how they lived, what they wore, what religion they followed, and so on. I even research some of the ancient languages. This mind set helps me focus on the roles of my characters and how they would react and what they do.
I also look in to what weaponry they used at that time and what beasts they were to slay. Some of the creatures I have chosen for book one will seem familiar, such as the Pigasos, Minotavros and Medousa, although I have changed their name slightly for this is how the Greeks pronounce them. Some creatures are new, however, and are my own creation like the Firefish and the Gloop monster of the swamp. Perhaps not that original, but I didn't want to overshadow the true myths.
Of course I then look at routes and how my characters get to their destination. So after they step through the magical doorway in Gran's Cellar (Fowesby Hall, Middlesbrough) they then travel along the great waterways of the world in carefully selected boats of the time (further research). I then add a little more to this fun mix, and as they sail along they travel back in time, which means checking on what they see outside the boat. For instance, as they travel down the River Ouse (book one) they pass through the City of York, which turns into the Victorian era. I am really quite fanatical, as is my editor, in keeping my facts right and even go to the lengths of drawing myself up a chart to keep me on the right track. Here's a peak behind the scenes.

Route - Middlesbrough – Crete (Book One) 

1, 9am
Ormesby Beck
Present day-1910
River Tees (Middlesbrough)
River Tees (Yarm)
4, 10am
River Tees Sock burn Hall or Moulton Hall
2.Edwardian 1910-1901
(Floats to) Langton Upon Swale
River Swale (Joins River Ure)
7, 11pm
River Swale becomes River Ouse
3. Victorian 1901-1836
River Ouse (York)
Trent Falls (near Faxfleet)
10, 12pm
River Trent (Trent Lock meets River Soar)
4. Georgians 1836-1714
11, 1pm
River Soar
5. Stuarts 1714-1603
River Soar (Ratcliffe On Soar)
River Soar (Leicester)
Grand Union Canal
G.U.C Hertfordshire (Kings Langley, Watford & Cassiobury Park)
G.U.C Middlesex (Uxbridge, West Drayton, Hayes & Brentford)
17, 2pm
River Thames (Kew Gardens, Westminster, Tower of London, Greenwich)
6. Tudors 1603-1558
18, 3pm
Into North Sea at Graves End (Margate)
7. Middle Ages 1400-1200
19, 4pm
North Sea Heading South
8. Normans 1200-1066
Across the Channel
21, 5pm
The River Rhine (Strasbourg, Borders of France)
9.Vikings 1066-800
22, 6pm
The Danube River (Ulm-Germany)
10. Anglo Saxons 800-410AD
The Danube River (into Austria)
24, 7pm
The Danube River (Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Borders of Slovakia & Hungry)
11.Romans 410-43AD
The Danube River (Budapest Hungry)
The Danube River (into Croatia)
27, 8pm
The Danube River (into Serbia & Montenegro)
12. Iron Age 43AD-500BC
The Danube River (Belgrade, Borders of Romania & Bulgaria)
The Drina River (between Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
The Drina River (Dinaric Alps)
Into the Adriatic Sea
32, 9pm
Into the Mediterranean Sea to Crete
13. Bronze Age 500-2100BC

 This is further enhanced by visual aids I get from the internet.

My research for further books, which I won't go into now as this blog will be far too long, was exactly the same process: Book Two - Crystal Waters and on to North America, took me to ancient Canada where we meet Native American Indians. Book Three - Crystal Waters Next Stop Antarctica, was quite a pinnacle point of the series, where we find out the history behind the gateway and where all things began in the universe. And book four, Crystal Waters Onward Bound to Africa, takes us back to the times of Tutankhamun and the history along the River Nile. 
So as you can see, there are weeks of fabulous research ahead of me, which I must add I am going to revel in. This time I'm going to New Zealand, to the continent of Australia and I'll be researching ancient Maori tribes. 
Well then, all there is left to say is, see you in a month or so when my brain will be swimming with wonderful new ideas and all ready to start my next book. Ta ta for now :) 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

New and Exciting

What a week! Two great book talks and to top it off; Book Four in the Crystal Waters Series - Crystal Waters Onward Bound to Africa, has been published, and is now available on Amazon as well as many other online stores.
I have to admit, although I was rather nervous, I thoroughly enjoyed the talks at an English Class at Marton Community Centre and the Saltburn Community and Arts Centre this week.
   As a self-published writer, it goes with the job to get out there and tell people about you and your books. So out of my Bat cave I climbed and made my way, despite the constant knee-knocking, to these events. I'm so glad I did. What lovely people I met there. The class at Marton Community Centre were wonderful and with only a small class I was soon put at my ease and felt like one of the group. After my book spiel we all had a little chat and was delighted when I discovered they had done some research and googled my blog.
    Great interest was shown and there were some great questions too, like: 'Could I start reading book four and know what was going on in the series?' I replied with: 'You can start by reading Book Four first, there wouldn't be much of a problem, but the first few books goes into depth about the characters: who they are and where they came from. Book Two, Crystal Waters and on to North America, has at the beginning a recap of the characters. Book Three, Crystal Waters Next Stop Antarctica, only briefly mentions previous events and people, and Book Four has even less.'
   I find many authors use this method in a book series, as they probably figure by the time you have got to book three or four you will know the characters quite well, and it isn't necessary to keep repeating info for them in further books. So yes, you can most certainly read book four in my series, however, you may just miss out on some vital facts that may be important later.
My second book talk was great. Again I met some lovely people there who showed great interest in my books. We had a fabulous line-up of local authors (although, two couldn't make it) and Simon, Will, Jennie and I all had great fun telling a truly wonderful audience about our books and fun facts about our selves as a writer.

So, to the cherry on top: Book Four has arrived!! I can't wait to hear what people think of it. Just remember feedback is essential to an author and reviews on Amazon, or other similar sites are so greatly appreciated.

Well, there's only one thing let to do folks ... it's time to go back in time ... through that ancient doorway and go and meet Tutankhamun himself. Go on! what are you waiting for? Happy reading :)