Sunday, 27 November 2011

I'll tell you a secret...

... well, not so much tell you a secret as show you where you can read things you didn't know. Some bits and bobs - maybe interesting - about Song to Wake to that I haven't said before.

Now they're recorded, though, mainly because I find it's far easier to talk about yourself when somebody is asking you questions. And it's even easier again if that person is as lovely as the wonderful Amaleen Ison. Check out the amazing picture she included of Glastonbury Tor, at the heart of the story...

She got me talking about the background to Song to Wake to and the Levels series, the characters names, the setting and lots more. I'm just worried I gave too much away...

Take a look, and tell Amaleen what you think HERE

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Scandalous Life... Mary Lovell's It Girl for the 1800s

Married to a Lord at 17, divorced soon after. Affairs with an Austrian Diplomat, a King, a Greek count and an Albanian robber chief, before she finds the love of her life... a Bedouin sheikh.

If she was a character from the 21st century, Lady Jane Digby - described by everybody who meets her as amazingly beautiful - might have dressed like the hottie in the Armani advert. But she's much, much more than a pretty face.

In a time when women more or less have to do as they're told, Lady Digby is an amazing free spirit. From her family's massive mansion in the countryside she hits London, aged 16, and snaps up a super rich government minister twice her age.

It doesn't take her long, though to fall in love with someone else, and someone else, and someone else. More than anything else the Lady Digby story is one of passion and following your heart. The other thing it's about is travel. Each time Lady Digby's life erupts in scandal she moves on, covering most of Europe in her escapades, and in this book it's beautifully described. She ends up in Syria, camping in the desert with her sheikh lover, twenty years younger than her, and building a house in Damascus.
I read this while the protests in Syria were really kicking in and it made it especially immediate and sad. Lady Jane loves the country, this place in particular.

This book is beautifully put together, with tons of insight into the times, and letters and diary excerpts from all the characters. The most amazing thing about it is that the author, Mary Lovell didn't make it up. It's all true.

Lady Digby and her adventures existed. In my writing I sometimes worry I make things too unbelievable. Is the heroine of  SONG TO WAKE TO unrealistically quirky or romantic? On the evidence of Lady D., definitely not.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Phantom of the Opera Back to Life, Kristine Goodfellow, and stories retold.

The Phantom of the Opera is one of the most famous stories ever told. Transformed from a novel into a musical that took the world by storm, it has now been turned into 'Phantom: Edge of the Flame,' a novel by Kristine Goodfellow. Kristine recently spoke about it  - and her writing HERE, with fellow author Amaleen Ison.

Revisiting well known stories and twisting them into something new is a trick I'm very fond of myself. I did it first with the Quaravan Quartet, then again with The Water Book and its connections to Moby Dick. One of the oldest stories is at the heart of  Song to Wake to - if you've read it, you'll know what I mean, if not, I don't want to spoil it.

Playing with well known stories gives writers the chance to play with reality and fiction. If a book you're refers to something else as fiction, then the book in your hand may seem a little closer to the truth.

However real it may or may not be, 'Edge of the Flame' is a hell of a read, when you've finished listening to the song, hurry on over to Amaleen's blog and take a look.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Why I wrote it like that... and one of the best movie quotes ever.


SPOT the odd one out.
Werewolf, Vampire, Angel, Wizard, Spiderman.
Not difficult: All of them have special powers, but only one is a hero. Why is that?
In so much paranormal romance characters have the ability to REALLY make the world a better place. Instead they're sunk in squabbles with their paranormal enemies.
It's such a waste.
That's why, when I wrote one of my lead characters I was thinking of the quote from Spiderman. "With great power comes great responsibility." There's so much romance and excitement in fighting evil and saving the world.
To know which character it is, and to know what he or she can do, you're going to have to read Song to Wake to. Not all of it though, see how long it takes you to guess...