And now for something quite off track that I’m used to writing. 😀
Unbeknownst to most people I know, the concept and notion of love is something that dominates quite a lot of my life, and even drives me to work, write, and paint. Even though I rarely talk about it.
Fuelled by an unhealthy obsession of 80’s movies, old Disney films and power ballads, I think I have beliefs about love that many would consider unrealistic.
I’ve used the idea of a perfect romance as a kind of muse in all my workings. And even though it’s not quite obvious when reading my writings (especially with some of the gorier work!), a simple scratch of the surface will show it’s subtle undertones of love.
In my screenplay of Last Battle, the protagonist’s only drive was to return to his wife and child, willing to go head first against the armies of Hell in the name of love. And likewise in the same tale, I penned about a couple – one controlled by Heaven, one unwillingly controlled by Hell desperately fighting it out amid the fires of the underworld, trying to understand what has become of them. Another character fights in the belief that his long lost love can still see him, and uses this notion to give him courage.
With Tapestry of Fates I wanted to build up the story and characters own paths within the wars in the first book, before helping them to understand there’s more to life than just fighting in the second book, which of course leads to some romantic interventions, in turn causing the subsequent battles against E-Clipse to become more desperate and heartfelt.
This is route I’m planning with Fallen Tears also, as the twins near the source of the vampiric reign, I want to introduce a kind of romantic spanner in the works without altering the book as a whole.
So why is it that a bloke writing so much about love has remained single for quite a few years now (insert wise crack here about not being able to get a girlfriend)? I’ve been on dates after all, and that’s something I do enjoy greatly, but that could be because I love getting to know new people.
It’s no secret that I’m quite an emotional fella. Not in the crying sense, but as in deeply feeling everything around me. I hate nothing more than seeing people upset and would move mountains to make people happy. Sometimes being overly emphatic can be seen as a weakness, as it’s a trait easily exploited.
I guess I can only say that I don’t yearn for just a simple coupling, sleeping around, or jumping in and settling down with the first person that shows interest. Like my stories, I want meaning to develop before anything else.
Rather I feel I have an eye open for that perfect romance I like to write about; a chivalrous, all-consuming, soul-burning love that many believe doesn’t exist.
And does that kind of love exist? I feel I’ve seen enough evidence in this world to believe so.
Do I believe it’ll come to me? Maybe. Maybe not.
Does it make a fussy bastard? Some might even say I’ve not right to be fussy! 😀 But it’s something I won’t try to force, not sell my soul to achieve.
Whilst I’ve seen how true love can create Heaven for some, I’ve also seen it create misery in others. There’s nothing worse than regret, and living beside someone for mere convenience without any affection is one of the biggest in life.
Perhaps I even put off the idea of becoming fully involved with someone as the muse of love is such a powerful working drive for me. At times in the past I’d even use the thought of a some particular girl in order to push forward my work. But now I think it’s more of the notion itself that helps spurn my creativity.
It’s a surprise to read that Napoleon Hill wrote a similar idea in his book Think and Grow Rich – a chapter called “The Mystery of Sex Transmutation” that was removed in the early editions, with it being seen as too risque for the audiences of the 1930’s. Basically it describes that many of the successful businessmen at the time turned their desires of sex into a powerful drive that spurned them to work hard.
So whilst I’ve rambled on over one of the most boring blog utterings I’ve ever posted, whilst simultaneously giving my mother a heart attack about the possible lack of grandchildren, I wonder how I’ll end this in a suitable way.
One of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in fiction is J.K.Rowling’s Severus Snape. Whilst we all spent many books and movies believing Snape was a cold-hearted, wicked man with a terrible agenda, the saddest part came when we learned the truth about his love for Harry’s mother, gently hinted at in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
“Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.”
As tragic as this story arc is, it’s the semblance I adore. And the willingness to sacrifice himself even for his love’s offspring is pretty much as deep as you can get.
Well the ball is most definitely rolling in getting the second book of Tapestry of Fates complete. Since the actual story was completed back in 2008, all that is left to be done is the artwork and making the second draft.
Here’s the cover for it, including the artwork without any text on it.
Here we see Ella reluctantly heading up towards the Red Saviour. Originally I just envisioned the suit being a tight fighting red ensemble. But during painting I decided she should have ‘chakra’ style orbs down her back. Obviously I missed out the red base chakra, otherwise sitting might be quite uncomfatable 😀
Wow! I have been slacking on my blog.
Not through laziness you understand, but through a never-ending ‘to-do’ list.
I will be back mumbling and grumbling asap.
Until then, here is another untold chapter. This one concerns my awesome cousin Lee who I almost share an identical surname with.
Love ya cuz! 😀
As I’ve explained before, these chapters are very rough and were not intended to be published. So bear that in mind.
Even though the second book of Tapestry of Fates ‘Spirit’s Pain’ is now getting scrubbed down and illustrated, it will still take time until all nineteen images (twenty if you count the cover) are complete.
So until then I’ve decided to post the ‘Untold Chapters’ that were solely for personal entertainment. Since most of the characters are based on friends and family, I gave them each a personal chapter, detailing more about their history and further enriching the Tapestry of Fates universe. They are very raw, unedited and quite old, so don’t expect any great masterpeices of fiction. But they are also very meanigful to me.
I’m sure the people who they’re based on won’t mind me posting them.
The first one to be posted is Special Agent Holly Balfour’s chapter – ‘Sacrifices’.
Holly is a good friend I met years through a love of Art, Final Fantasy, and Mini Kievs. 🙂
The chapter can be downloaded here – S.A. Holly Balfour ‘Sacrifices’
Here’s a new illustration for three Angel-esque looking droids.
Their names are Sin, Punishment, & Justice. I won’t say anymore to avoid revealing spoilers for Tapestry of Fates book 2 & 3 😀
Ok I know I’ve been slacking with my posts here. This will be sorted soon and I’ll be rambling about ‘stuff’ again soon!
Until then here’s the first poster for part two of Tapestry of Fates – Spirit’s Pain.
Part 1 – Spirit’s Destiny is still available through Amazon 🙂
Well last week, the time finally arrived! The long awaited delivery of the paperback versions of Spirit’s Destiny finally arrived, only a meagre six months late! It would be fair to say I had my doubts if they would ever turn up! Anyone who has had dealings with large corporations in foreign speaking countries will no doubt understand the difficulties in getting clear cut answers to important questions such as, ‘When?’ and ‘How much?’
Replies to both questions in the past few months have been vague, grossely incorrect or downright misleading. Having played this game a few years earlier with our children’s book ‘Island of Ice’, we thought we’d got this sussed out, but in our anticipation of the same problems cropping up, we failed to see the huge wet kipper of new problems we got slapped in the face with. And each company involved in the production and transportation of these books tried everything they could in vain to squeeze every last quid from us. From replies from the printers such as – ‘What you mean you expected the huge ‘transportation bill’ (£250+) to be for the entire journey to England? That’s just what we charge to take the cargo to the docks.’ To the Haulage company scoffing ‘Yea, that European number you gave us – we didn’t get chance to put it through on Friday. As it’s Monday we’re charging you three days storage charge. That’s £100 on top of the £500 fee please.’
We received a breakdown from the haulage company for why they were pulling our pants down so violently only to get an email with around a dozen abbreviated items. A bit of digging indicted some of these were for anti-piracy insurance, and one ridiculous £80 charge for ‘The passing of documents’.
Anyway after flipping every last copper we had their way, the books finally arrived and I’m happy to say they’re all perfect. Now they are about to be put on Amazon, and sent to a few reviewers worldwide.
Also bookmarks are to be made up now.
So happy things have finally been sorted.
As I’ve previously mentioned before, Authonomy.com is a site where you can upload your book to receive critique,, meet fellow aspiring authors and read the work of others – all for free. All seems to add up to a great deal on signing up, but the second you announce you’re a part of the community, floods of requests from people asking you read their book instantly flood your mailbox. It can be quite overwhelming as you realise the selfishness of humanity has no limits.
I made a vague promise to read some of these books and actually did look at a couple. But then a message came in from one lady giving critique on my own work, without any initial request to read her own. After the barrage of ‘Read my book! Read my book! You’ll love it! You’ll love it!‘ I was quite touched and humbled that someone had taken the time to read my own stuff first.
Thus I was more inclined to read her work straight away. And it was a good decision! Her work has literally blown me away and I continue to plough through the mammoth (in both size and quality) novel she had penned.
Since then small exchanges of work has taken place, including me asking her opinion on Spirit’s Destiny. Not only did she give me her opinion, but she wrote a full review for her blog, even asking me a few questions for it!
So bless you Sam! Joining Authonomy was one of my better decisions this year! 🙂
Make sure you follow this girl too, for from the quality of her own work I can see her name in bright lights very soon!
The start of all the new work.
New kids book stuff coming soon too 🙂
Ok I’ll admit, my beloved Tapestry of Fates does have elements in it which pay a slight resemblance to a movie about a time-travelling robot sent to kill the mother of a certain John Conner. Whilst I see the similarities, I can honestly say The Terminator was not the main influence, nor was any movie for that matter.
As a youngster I was besotted with my beloved Sega Megadrive; and it probably paved the road to my future imagination. Games like Gunstar Heroes, Alien Soldier, Landstalker, Splatterhouse 2 and many others have helped build the internal foundations of my mind.
One game particularly has stood out more than others. Already a huge fan of ‘shoot em ups’ or ‘shmups’, I remember being blown away by the game ‘Thunderforce IV’ (or ‘Lightening Force as it’s sometimes known). It’s cool slick graphics, blazing speed, mass of weapons, stupendously big bosses and fantastic music and sound effects so bassy that you could feel them at the back of your head all added to a game which still stands as legendary (I’m not a huge fan of more recent ‘bullet-hell’ shmups, although I adore Ikaruga).
One part of it though captured my imagination more than others. After an epic battle with the final boss, and the hero jets away in his battered craft, we are shown an epilogue that included an image of the pilot hugging his beloved. That single image managed to drive home a piece of humanity and emotion into the game, making you believe that after ten levels of sheer hell, the pilot was so grateful to be back. I wish the game makers – Technosoft had included some sort of storyline surrounding this couple, as it would have charged the game even more.
It’s this reason why Tapestry of Fates exists.
It is why a lone student girl becomes the only human being able to pilot a legendary fighter ship against an enemy who’s spent the past five thousand building up enough forces to decimate her.
It is why this ship sits on almost every piece of artwork I’ve made on the books.
I’ve tried to do what I wanted Technosoft to do – make a fully fledged story based around a single person sent against hordes and legions of enemies, and be expected to win.
Maybe I’m wrong but I think I can honestly say that Ella Bland is the first Shmup Novel Protagonist.
A homage to the above picture I did for uni can be viewed here.
They always say you should take the rough with the smooth, look on the bright side of every situation, and search for the silver lining upon each stormy cloud.
I guess 2012 hasn’t started the way I had hoped, and I find myself once again travelling to the leafy, tree laden crematorium of Lawnswood in Leeds this week to say goodbye to yet another family member.
Whilst these are sad times for my family, and my thoughts are with them all, my own endeavours seem to going in the opposite way.
Firstly I’ll repeat my other posts that the first book of Tapestry of Fates – Spirit’s Destiny has gone on sale. Only the kindle version mind; the physical copies will on sale soon.
Here’s the link.
Also the first unbiased review of the book was put online by sfbook.com Thankfully I can now see I’m not wasting my time or fooling myself with this writing game. Thanks for Antony for the review.
Lastly the Tapestry of Fates website is up and running. A few more tweaks are needed and the site needs updating for when the physical book is released. Here’s the website.
So whilst things are a bit glum this week, and I’ll be putting all my energy towards helping my family, at least I can feel some kind of relief that a few things are sorted on the writing front and can be left for a short while.
On saying this I’ll still have the second chapter of Fallen Tears uploaded this week.
Big thanks to Antony at http://www.sfbook.com for agreeing to review Spirit’s Destiny. 🙂
It’s nice to see an unbiased opinion on my work, and has been a great relief to myself that I’m not kidding myself about becoming an author.
The review can be read here.
Finally after seven years of hard slogging, my book has finally gone on sale.
Although it is only in Kindle format atm.
The paperback copies will be on sale hopefully withina month. Their shipping has been delayed for Chinese New Year.
The emergence of the New Year springs forth a flurry of resolutions on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Lose weight, earn more money, get a new job – whatever you can think of there’s a vow upon quite a number of statuses. Now up until this year most of my resolutions revolved around getting my books finished, or driving. Neither of which materialised.
Now over the past twelve months I’ve learnt from numerous sources that New Year’s resolutions don’t work. Most people drop them pretty much in the first month of declaring them (I say most, so I don’t get an ear-bashing off anyone keeping up theirs!) This is because we’ve just spent the latter part of December building up bad, comfortable habits that usually entail drinking lots of booze and munching on far too much food. Then suddenly we tell ourselves we have to break these habits and live a more stricter life. No wonder we all get the Winter blues.
Now I simply stick to the goals in my little book (see Book of Goals post) which I religiously read back to myself everyday. Not one New Year’s resolution was added into it. And voila, no Winter doldrums! I could attribute this argument to last January’s downer, although my first traumatic viewing of Wall-E could also be a factor here.
So my plan from now on is to religiously adhere to goals I set myself over the course of the year, at times that suit me, not when society dictates.
I’ll keep this blog posted on how this works out ha!
Ok I have told one lie, my book has finally been published and Tapestry of Fates: Spirit’s Destiny will be put on Amazon in the next few days.
Here are some more website pictures for it.