Mutterings and utterings of a budding novelist

Tapestry Of Fates

Whoever heard of a robotic angel?

I’ll be honest, Uni was pretty much a big waste of time for me! Not having a proper tutor for the entire first year, getting myself in major debt, and forgetting just about everything there is to learn about Animation just about sums up how pointless for me it was.

There were good things mind! I had a blast whilst I was there, it helped push me towards the wrtiting side of productions, helped with my art, and I got to throw my mortar board in the air at graduation. Uni was also responsible for giving me a character that I have been determined to put in every piece of writing I create even if I had to change her to a pink-haired human if necessary.

One of our assignments was to create an original character based upon two completely different subjects or genres. For instance one of my friends created a Transvestite Gladiator. I decided to combine Robots and Angels, and named my character Cyphangel. Her back story was that she was an assasination droid, built in pinks and purples to deceive her targets. We had to construct these characters using a crude armature and plasticine.

To this day that model remains at my dad’s house, and Cyphangel has morphed into simply ‘Angel’. She has also give rise to my sister’s and friend Symon’s fave character – the childlike, four sword, two gun wielding Seraphim. So far both character’s have appeared in both Tapestry of Fates and Phoenix, serving as a link to the two tales.

Recently I was quite disheartened to see a character in Tekken 6 paying more than a slight resemblence to Angel, in both looks (pink hair) and storyline.Thankfully I could never be accused of stealing as it’s nearly a decade since I left uni.

Now I’m due to put Angel into Fallen Tears.

Has anyone heard of a robotic, vampire angel?

Book Corrections

Ok, having gone through the proof book, I can say I’m honestly proud I managed to create the whole thing without any outside help (apart from Youtube tutorials).

However, certain elements were overlooked. The ‘guttering’ being one of them.

The text appears to be too close to the spine so I need to increse this space. This is going to drive up the page count, so in turn the spine image will need amending.

Phew, I guess it’s all part of the learning process! 😀

Slowly but surely getting there 🙂


The First Published Book Arrives

Just got these pics off Bev!

Finally! The proof book has arrived! 😀

It’s not everyday you accomplish a dream!!




Book 2 Progress

Now I’m definitely fighting against the tide here. Trying to get the website up and running with all of the illustrations created, whilst also juggling the rewrite of Book 2 – Spirit’s Pain, completing the cover of it (part of which is below), do all the illustrations for it, start work on the next children’s book – The Starmites (Bev will kill for me announcing that name) and hold down a full time job.

There’s hardly enough time to have a beer with friends – but somehow I manage it 😀

Can somebody please invent a few more hours to the day? It would be sooooo appreciated!

Ella's ship from Spirit's Pain

More Website Artwork

Here’s some more illustrations for the Characters section of my website.





Website Illustrations 2

The first of many 😀

Slightly rushed but hey ho!

Website Illustrations

Well as the book launch nears and the website is ‘becoming’, I’ve decided to create some new artwork for the site, rather than simply rehash the illustrations from the actual book.

Here is the first one of Gemma. Few bits need adjusting, most notably her arms and face.

Ever Closer

I guess I’ve neglected my blog for far too long. And it’s probably best I give it an update for I go on holiday.

Ok first off the bat is the typesetting issues I’ve been having. Last year I created the typeset pdf for Spirit’s Destiny in InDesign. It has been left until the chapters were all proof read, which of course they are now. The actual chapters were typed in Word and then copied and pasted into InDesign. Now InDesign keeps the formatting of the Word file, which is my biggest problem! While typing I’ve gotten into the habit of ‘not’ pressing the indent button when an indent was required. I’ve basically just given it three spaces. This has meant InDesign has simply recognised my indents as spaces, and thus just squished everything together.

So begins the long arduous task of putting line breaks in where required.

I’m up to Chapter 6 out of 14 so I should have this finished this week.

The book is weighing in at around 280 pages – a lot more than I thought it would be. It’s so exhilarating seeing the whole project come together.


On another note, I’ll have my domain name and beginnings of my website sorted this week. After much deliberation, and opinions of my friends,  I’ve decided not to do the site in Flash but create it in Dreamweaver. So now I have to learn how to use this package all over again! 😀

I’m also currently in debate with my business partner on how the book should be marketed. Should we concentrate on the local market, and then gradually expand the customer base outwards? Or should we hammer the online market with every feasible social networking tool available? I’m likely to agree with the latter 😀

On a final note my Bob Doyle ‘Wealth Beyond Reason’ course is going well. I’m enjoying seeing my ducks build up as I listen and read great words of wisdom from some of the masters in personal development.

Ok hopefully I’ll post again before the week is out with a fully typeset novel! It only took 7 years haha!

Back On Track


My amended Chapter has come back from the proof reader with a ‘thumbs-up’!

Now all I need to do is sort out the book spine, inside covers and then typset it all in InDesign. Thankfully I’ve done most of the InDesign work. All that I really need to do is drop all the amended stuff.

Finally, the end is in sight! I just have to make sure I don’t drop the ball now! 😀

Right in time for my holiday! 😀


Chapter 2 of the first novel.

Meetings with the Proofreader

So on Saturday I had my first meeting with my proofreader – a lovely women called Christine who also teaches English to adults.

During the days leading up to our meeting she was saying how impressed she was with the tale, and was very surprised she was enjoying it (not being a sci-fi fan in the slightest). All that needed correcting were a few minor grammatical errors.  Obviously this sent my spirits soaring!

However on Saturday she told me that one of my Chapters – Chapter 13 disappointed her greatly, to the point where she said it would put her buying the second and third books! Yikes!

Now it should be said that Chapter 13 is my ‘backstory’ chapter, where the majority of the history is explained. And of course, being a story that involved a few time-travel ingredients, a little complication is to be expected. I thought at the time of writing that all should be done to introduce these elements gradually and clearly.

My clear writing, was not that clear it would seem.

Christine said it was far too complicated, confusing, and frankly very hard to follow. She did say however she had a hard time following the film ‘Sliding Doors’ so this could just be down to her. But I feel if I’ve any chance of making this a success I will have to write it in a way that anyone can understand it, not just sci-fi fans.

So here I am, back to the drawing board, slaving over my ‘unlucky’ Chapter 13. Maybe I will write out two versions of it and give it to a few people to garner their opinion.

Also she said illustrating might be a bad idea as she wanted to see the things in her head, not in a picture. I’m still not sure I agree. Japanese comics have a massive following. If I can seep myself into that market, then surely that’s a good thing.

Illustrating a Novel

So finally my proofreader – a female 40yr ex English Teacher has called saying she is pleasantly surprised by my novel, even more so that she is enjoying it. Let’s face it, a sci-fi novel from an unpublished writer can’t inspire much confidence in a woman with a passion for the English launguage!

So happy days!! 😀

Right now though, it’s time to work on illustrating the second book! I swear I spend almost as much time on the images as I have done on the actual novel. Long ago my partner in crime persuaded me to illustrate all my books. Back then I wasn’t confident in my abilities and was convinced that it would only hinder the work produce.

Now though I’m glad I did the images for the first book. Whilst they are not first class I do feel they are strong enough for publishing. I guess time will tell on he feedback. Maybe somebody will tell me otherwise ha!

Here’s the start. This green character is based on my lil best friend Vix.

Vix Front Cover 2

The start of the Book 2 Cover.

First Snag

Now I understand proof-reading is not an easy task, so finding someone qualified to do it can be daunting.

My partner in crime found a willing English Lit graduate to do the honours (paid of course) and agreed a five week deadline to get the work completed. After eight weeks we’ve heard nothing, and after a few phone calls discovered he’s abroad somewhere. Charming!

So the hunt is on to find another reading genius.

Just so this blog isn’t all completely text based, here’s another Book 1 image. 🙂

Chapter 6 image

Chapter 6 from Book 1

Time Eclipse & Tapestry of Fates

When I was sixteen, during a brief moment of inspiration I had ideas for a few stories. These were ‘The Phoenix Sorcerer’, ‘Last Battle’, and ‘Time Eclipse’. I spent the most time on ‘The Phoenix Sorcerer’ during my late teens, producing artwork after artwork. After that I concentrated on ‘Last Battle’, trying to write a full screenplay on it (it’s currently in its third draft) during my uni years and shortly thereafter.

At some point during university I decided to base my final Animation piece around ‘Time Eclipse’ – a story involving fast alien ships (inspired by games such as Thunderforce IV) and time travelling robots. After my higher education had finished I decided to attempt to pen a full novel based on the same story. However I wanted to base the story five thousand years later, since let’s face it, it does bear a slight resemblance to a popular Arnie movie, so I felt it would be more original if I brought the tale to a point where the primary story had become a mere legend.

This tale became Tapestry of Fates.

I based many of the key characters around my friends which served well in giving them their personality. It easier to think ‘what would my friend say in this situation’, rather than just write what I saw fit. This has its drawbacks though as I could not write about any of these characters in a derogatory light. Not that I would want to anyway, it simply became a little more restricted. Also I soon realised that writing about the relationships between some of these characters had to be approached a little more delicately than usual. For instance, two of my main characters were in a relationship back in 2004 when I began the story. Since then they have split and one of them has actually married. This was probably just short sightedness on my part as I should have seen every probable outcome, and constructed the novel accordingly. Maybe I just didn’t think I would actually try to make something of this tale, or take it as seriously as I do now. Fortunately, both parties are happy to allow me use their names in the story, and trust me in which ever way it goes.

As it stands, Book 1 is finished in its entirety. All illustrations have been completed and the text is currently at the proof reader. Book 2 is completely finished in its first draft and I’m starting the front cover. Book 3 is half through its first draft.

Ultimately I hope it this novel that will allow me to become a full time novelist.

I will detail a bit more of the storyline in the coming posts. 🙂

This is protagonist Ella Bland (based on my friend Ella Cookson (maiden name – Bland).