Notebook: Hallam *Update*

Afternoon lovely readers 🙂

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This is just a quick post to say I have now done some more on the first of my Notebook series of posts, Notebook: Hallam (read it here). I began this series with the intent to show how my own personal writer’s mind worked (scary I know lol). I also intended to write the story ideas down before I forgot them, which no matter the desire can sometimes happen with me (elephant I am not, well memory wise anyway 😉 ). Please enjoy the story for what it is and if you can add anything to the author’s notes I have inserted please feel free to comment 🙂

Thank you.

Notebook: Hallam

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Today I want to present to you the first of my Notebook Series of posts. This concept is to portray writing in progress and how the mind of a writer can work. If I’m honest it’s also so I don’t forget the story ideas; hey I’m human, I can admit my faults 😉 Please just keep in mind that the writing might start out rough around the edges but it will improve with time.

My first venture for this series is a sci-fi themed piece centering around Commander Samara Balen and the duties she’s called for in service to The Service. What will happen should the Universe come crashing down around you? 🙂

Please enjoy. Thank you 🙂

Hallam

Sam sighed as her eyes popped open, unfocused as the comm sphere bleeped to life. She had only just finished the graveyard shift in engineering but she knew they needed her for something else. They always did. She could’ve sworn her title was Commander, not General Dog’s Body.

Grudgingly, she swung her legs over the edge of her sleeping platform, her bare feet making contact with the cold harsh metal. Others may shy away from it but Sam welcomed the cruel reality of the bitter cold; it reminded her of the reality of a Universe at War.

Shuffling as she went, she managed to reach the comm sphere after only five beeps. Not bad since she was exhausted. Rubbing her eyes, she pressed the glaringly bright speaker button and said, “Commander Balen here. This better be damn good, Meat.”

*Author’s Note* I had to pause here. Is the name a name, nickname or derogatory term for the person on the other end of the comm sphere? Do I want to turn my character into a hard aggressive woman? Or is she just grumpy when she’s tired? Suffice it to say, for now at least, she’s only grumpy 🙂

“Get your head out of your arse Commander and get to the bridge. The Captain has called a meeting.”

“Ah Meat, I love it when you’re rough with me,” she replied sarcastically. “Where’s the respect earned by my position?”

“You want respect? Join the suits in The Guard.” And with that he pressed disconnect. Sam sighed. She knew being part of…

*Author’s Note* Okay, what do you call the opposing faction of military without it sounding too corny? My brain jumps to The Alliance but that could hark to World of Warcraft (yes I am a gamer) or The Rebels, but that is definitely very Star Wars 🙂

…The Service wouldn’t get her high into the upper echelons of life but still she worked hard at her job. She climbed the ranks faster than anyone had at the tender age of twenty-eight. If the Captain would just up and pissing retire she’d be a force to be reckoned with. He wouldn’t retire though, misogynistic bastard. Damn him for only being thirty-five.

She grudgingly got dressed, ignoring the tempting pull of her mattress. How easy it would be to just curl up and ignore the Universe but she had a job to do, one all the more difficult for the very fact that she was a woman in a male dominated World.

*Author’s Note* The Universe my protagonist finds herself in is a misogynistic one. This doesn’t reflect my personal views as I believe women can do anything just as well as men. It does, however, create tension and I do love me some tension 🙂

She tugged on her knee-high synthetic leather boots, adjusted her waist holster on her black pants, pulled on her black leather jacket over her black tank and tied her waist length purple hair in a band. This was one reason she loved The Service. They weren’t so strict on military wear and weapons. She picked up her dual HZ45’s and placed them almost lovingly in their holster. Next she placed her hypersilver blades in her boots and switch blade in the sleeve of her jacket. Lastly was the hypersilver sword strapped to her back. You can never be too careful when it came to space travel in her own modest opinion. Plus it was far more satisfying gutting someone up close and personal.

No Way Home by J.S Collyer, Lucas Bale et al

Morning lovely readers 🙂

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Well, today I get to talk to you about the exceptional No Way Home, a collaboration of short stories from some brilliant writers including my wonderful friend J.S.Collyer. I was one of the people lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy and believe me when I tell you you will not be disappointed on reading this.

Now the only thing is where do I begin? The high calibre of the writing is maintained throughout the book with each author presenting a unique view on an almost dystopian sci fi future; each in turn with the underlying theme that there is no escape. Imagine finding yourself in such a hostile environment that you long to escape. What would you do to survive? Blackmail? Philander? Maybe even kill? or perhaps you come to realise that surviving isn’t an option at all? This collection gives us glimpses into a quality of life when seemingly all hope is lost and there is indeed no way home.

First I’d like to begin by mentioning the first story within this stellar book, To Sing of Chaos and Eternal Night by Lucas Bale. This particular story pulled a chord with me as there is quite a well written and shock provoking twist to the story. I won’t go into too much detail here as always but I have to say that as the story progressed I did not expect to find out what I did. Imagine living only for war, your previous life totally forgotten in the amount of times you have lived and died for the cause. You know only that you must fight, that you must kill. You are the only thing standing between humanity and outright extinction, or are you?? The imagery created within this narrative is very clear and succinct to the plot line. The cold harsh reality of the tools of war scream at you from the written word, the protagonists acceptance of his fate as unavoidable is clear as water. The language use is apt to show the brilliance of the intrigue; ‘It is a boy… I cannot understand why he has fired on me; why he would attack me at all. Across the colonies, Widows are renowned, legendary even. We are all that stands between the human race and it’s extinction…’ It’s here where you start thinking hang on a second, what’s really going on. The ending left me breathless but resolute in my liking of the story.

Next (and you knew it was coming lol) I’d like to talk about J.S Collyer’s story Grist. It was here that I felt very strong representations of excellent narrative tools. J.S manages to create a very strong sense of suspense throughout the whole narrative. You begin to wonder if there’s more to the World than J.S represents in the story. Why all the need to escape? There are no spoilers intended within this review but I will say this; what really struck me about this story was the portrayal of the protagonists relief at the end. You can literally feel a weight being lifted off your own shoulders. J.S is great at many things within the literary World but what always catches me is her ability to really bring to life the emotion in her work. As to the story itself, imagine everything you knew was ripped away from you. You are then thrust into a dark, grimy and hate filled World where you can never be sure who is friend and who is foe, enduring years of slave labour. What would you do to escape? How will you act when the desperation mounts? As mentioned before the emotion really comes through as does the imagery created. The World the protagonist finds themselves in really seems to shout of similar imagery to the bowls of Hell; it’s hot, the senses are burned away and everyone suffers. The language use itself is velvety and oozing caramel; ‘They say it’s the beginning of the end when you can no longer smell the grease. It’s the sharp, smoky smell, like hot copper, that gives bloodgrease it’s name. That and the fact that it turns a thick, dark red before the final filter.’ I know right? This ambiguous beginning, as this is where I got these lines, actually sets the scene for the protagonists suffering; why they are there, why they are needed. It’s a thrilling tale that leaves you gasping for more.

Finally I would like to mention the story by S. Elliot Brandis, XE, or People are Crazy. It’s in this story you can really feel the belief that not having all the information you need can askew your view of the World. As cliché as this sounds, what really attracted me at first was the title. Anyone who knows me will know that I love anything that is interesting and different. XE manages to keep that sci fi aspect but hello? People are Crazy? I need to read this. What follows is an intense story of hope, abject confusion, loss and ultimately betrayal. Much like J.S, S. Elliot is very good at projecting the emotion of the protagonist. I must admit, hearing the history of the character bought a small tear to my eye. The narrative itself is a study in misdirection and intrigue. Imagine you were sent to a colourful New World to see if it is indeed habitable. You were promised a life lived in peace should you succeed. You’re determined but scared. Everything seems to be going well, until you discover something small, something you never expected, which changes everything. The thing that stood out for me was the vividity of the colour represented in the story. You feel like you can actually see the World in your minds eye. The language use is just enough to blast your mind with creativity; ‘ His eyes flash open, made brighter by the glow of the blue sun overhead… Around him is a sea of Orange. Well, not quite a sea, but the effect is similar. Orange grass extends as far as the horizon…’ I love anything colourful and imaginative and this story has both in spades.

So, after all my non stop talking (I do that a lot 🙂 ), I can honestly say this is a book worth getting. It is a credit to the authors and all involved. It’s an ooey gooey slice of literary creative goodness which you need to get as soon as it’s out. You will not be disappointed.

Thank you.

Fantasy or Sci-Fi? Literature That Tears You in Two

Hello lovely readers 🙂

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Yep, to answer your unspoken question I am going to harp on about genre again 🙂 As many will know I like to think of myself as a bona fide fantasy nut. Any time I write I will get in something fantastical be it magic, mythical creatures or a bloody great two handed broad sword. With fantasy you’re only limited by your imagination and you can incorporate all you can think of. Although, saying that, isn’t sci fi just the same? Now I know you have set conventions for sci fi but surely they could be tweaked, okay not to add in another genre specifically but to at least draw out more from the narrative?

Now I don’t pretend to be an authority on sci fi, heaven knows I could really do with reading more of it, but I could see the potential of developing sci fi in ingenious ways (although what I’m spouting is probably sacrilage in and of itself lol). Why couldn’t there be magic amid space ships, aliens and intergalactic war? A bit of sword and sorcery amongst LAZORSSS and robotic megalomaniacal narcissistic assassins? No? Must just be my fantastical streak rearing it’s head then 🙂

I will openly admit that my experience of sci fi stems from only Anne McCaffrey’s Rowan series to J.S. Collyer‘s Zero (both exceptional by the way.) Though I will hold my hands up and say I do love Star Trek The Next Generation. What red blooded woman doesn’t have some form of crush on Patrick Stewart? That sexy voiced bald man 🙂 … anyway I digress. Though my knowledge is limited both stories drew me in in their own individual ways. With The Rowan, I was particularly drawn because a certain aspect of the narrative appealed to my fantastical side. Rowan, and others throughout the galaxies, have telepathic and telekinetic skills which allows them to operate within their own spheres. Now I can see this from the scientific side as it being the human mind progressing, developing and evolving until we are capable of such feats however these skills can be predominant in fantasy also and manifest as magic or innate skill or even demonic power.

However, I must also say Zero is written very well. J.S has pulled forth an amazing tale of adventure, intrigue, abject grief and camaraderie using so many of the intense sci fi conventions that to me it’s very reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s Firefly (see? My knowledge is limited.) It also serves to show how different writer’s minds work. J.S writes of life and adventure aboard a deceptively battered spaceship having to deal with deception, betrayal and self realisation. As she is writing she clearly paints the scene before you and expertly provides you with the scientific know how to enjoy the narrative. I personally feel overwhelmed with most sci fi but not with Zero as the balance between scientific description and the story is very well upheld. It is obvious that with the aspects of sci fi that J.S has chosen to write about it is clear that she at least has moulded them to her desire to create a thoroughly entertaining, exceptional masterpiece. I know J.S and I are into two different genre’s so shouldn’t be compared but man I wish I could write more like her 🙂

In hindsight, each person is entitled to their own love of literature and I think maybe I should just stick to my fantasy, though don’t get me wrong I’m not adverse to a little challenge and would love to at least try to write other genres 🙂 I love having my mind work to create new World’s. But don’t let my likes for fantasy persuade you, both genre’s have their own merits and are both very good 🙂

Thank you 🙂

We Have a Release Date…

Evening lovely readers 🙂

Well I’m very excited to say that my great friend J.S Collyer now has a release date for her super début novel Zero 🙂

 

Do you like science fiction? Do you like adventure? Do you like space pirates with lasers? I hear you all cry “What a daft question, of course we do.” Well then you won’t be disappointed with this excellent package of literary magnificence. The official book launch will be on the 16th August 2014 at the epic Fantasticon where J S Collyer will be signing copies, talking sci fi and just generally being quite frankly awesome. Luckily the eBook and paperback will be available on Amazon on the same day. I personally cannot wait. I do in fact have an advance copy for the purposes of reviewing it but there’s nothing like having a book written by one of your best friends officially on your Kindle. In having an advance copy I can in fact tell you that the novel is proving to be as fabulous as I expected and was it not that real life keeps interjecting I would be constantly reading this 🙂 Please keep your peepers peeled for my official review as I can promise it won’t disappoint: an awesome review for an awesome book I say 😉

In other news I can officially say that I have started my second novel while my first is being edited. As a bit of a difference I am not writing the sequel to my first novel, though I have that firmly ensconced in my mind, but another novel that I posted on here a while back. Then it was called Frozen due to it being about a blind winter fae archer but given the recent Disney outing I felt a title change was in order so soon there will be a post on my new Tears of Ice.

Thank you 🙂

*INCOMING* Excitement, Intrigue and Space Pirates

Evening lovely readers 🙂

I’m so excited for this post. Many who have read my posts before will know I mention one of my best friends J. S. Collyer quite a bit 🙂 She is an exceptional writer and loves to create fantastical Worlds of science and adventure. You can get little titbits of her creativity in the brilliant releases by the epic Dagda Publishers in the form of Tuned to a Dead Channel and All Hail the New Flesh. Her writing is known to be intricate with lovely velvety language use which draws you into her Worlds and refuses to let go. Her story in All Hail entitled Isaac Heights was particularly thrilling in my own opinion. You really don’t expect the ending and you’re left reeling desperate for more.

Anyway, I went off on a tangent there… The aim of this post today was to reveal that there has been a cover release for her forthcoming début novel. Zero is set to be released in August and promises to be an action packed space pirate romp full of explosions and LAZORSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! You know anything that J. S writes will be bordering on the epic with aspects of intrigue set to attract anyone. I for one am excited to read it and believe me when I say there will be a book review before you know it 🙂

Anyway, thank you for listening to me go on. Here’s the cover. Enjoy 🙂

Helena

Evening lovely readers 🙂

This is just a quick post to say keep an eye on my blog. As of tomorrow I will begin to post reviews on the exceptional work of Helena Hann-Basquiat, or Jessica B Bell as some may know her as. She is without a doubt one of my favourite Lady authors and I was honoured she asked me to review her work 🙂 so keep tuned.

Thank you 🙂

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