Category Archives: Books

Dragon Blood Chronicles 2: Betrayed

Betrayed is a story that came to me while writing the Dragon Blood Series. It came about due to a comment made by one of the characters related to an event that occurred in the past. I wanted to write more about the results of that event, but before I could focus on the present time, I needed to write about what had already happened. I wanted to understand the characters involved and the events that had occurred. It was also an interesting story to write and some of the characters will appear in future books set in the Dragon Blood world. I also enjoyed exploring more of the dragons’ past and how some of them would have been effected when the pathways between some of the worlds were closed.

Dragon Blood Chronicles 2: Betrayed is now available and can be read either before the Dragon Blood series or after book five. The past does have an impact on the future and Ronan wasn’t the only dragon unhappy with decisions made in the past.

Guardians Of The Round Table 2: Goblin Boots

We are continuing to have a lot of fun working on the Guardians Of The Round Table series. At odd moments of the day and night and at various locations we find ourselves coming up with ideas for future stories, worldbuilding aspects and other characters. Including when we’re out shopping. There have been times when we receive strange looks from other people in shopping centres when one of us turns to the other to make comments like cursed king, using the blood of sacrificed animals to draw the face on poppets and how many followers do you think a demon would need to become a divine demon? I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised when other shoppers give us a wide berth and hurry away as fast as they can. When an idea occurs, sometimes it needs to be discussed.

Most of our planning though is done around the kitchen table with maps spread out in front of us, string, a ruler, a calculator, a handful of dice, pens and pencils, notepaper, a laptop and of course snack food. A planning session could take anywhere from an hour to several, but the one thing they all seem to have in common is plenty of laughter. One of us will come up with an idea then another will add to it. Sometimes the one who originally came up with the idea will extend on it, sometimes it will be the one who hasn’t yet added anything to it. Either way, we all share our ideas, make suggestions and talk about how the characters would react and what they would say in each situation we throw them into.

During our last planning session, who jokingly commented on how many books there might be in the series. Let’s just say, there are plenty more adventures to come. And we’re looking forward to writing them.

Guardians Of The Round Table 2: Goblin Boots is now available through various retailers.

Other Realities

When writing, even though I can focus on my surroundings, I often become totally immersed in the story as well. Which means I can be walking on my treadmill and conscious of my surroundings while clearly able to see the characters and their surroundings. Like a movie overlaid on reality. Or being in two realities at once. Which sometimes leads to a bit of confusion when people ask me what day or month it is. There’s always the chance I’ll give the day or month of the story if I’m writing a contemporary novel. Part of that is probably due to the fact I don’t keep track of days in real life as well as I keep track of them in my stories. I do realise the mistake and correct myself immediately, but it can lead to some entertaining moments.

The ability to write while doing other things, including using a voice to text program has meant that I have far more first drafts written than I have published. It takes a lot more time to edit, as well as the cost of having them edited, than it does for me to write a first draft. There are also the stories I’ve written for fun, in between my other projects since somehow when I take a break from writing, I end up writing something else. But to me, it does feel like taking a break as I’m visiting and discovering other locations.

I love the fact I can immerse myself in other worlds, not only while writing, but also while reading the works of other authors. There are so many places and worlds I’ve visited through the words on the page or screen. I really enjoy having the ability to bring words to life in my mind as images that are as clear as the world around me. It means that every day can include a journey to another place, time or reality and be filled with new discoveries.

Satchel

While working on Guardians Of The Round Table 2: Goblin Boots, we realised that a character was adding a lot of items to a satchel and we had no idea if they’d all fit. So of course we needed to make one to find out for certain. And just in case you’d like to make one too, here are the details on how we made it.

Satchel Pattern

1cm seam allowance is included in the pattern. Sturdy material such as drill or light denim can be used.

Satchel strap: 11.5cm x 50cm (cut one on the fold, with the 11.5cm edge on the fold)

Satchel body: 30cm x 40cm (cut one on the fold, with the 30cm edge on the fold)

Satchel sides: 7cm x 29cm (cut two)

Satchel Instructions

Fold material in half and pin pattern pieces into place. Cut out. Make sure you don’t cut along the fold (shown at the top of the following image).

With the back of the material face up, fold over the edges of satchel strap and iron into place.

Fold the satchel strap in half, iron in place and pin. Sew around the edges.

Pin the satchel sides to the body of the satchel, making sure the outside of the material pieces are facing each other.

Pin the bottom of the satchel side to the body of the satchel, turning the material so the bottom edge lines up with the satchel material.

Turn the material so the second side can be pinned to the body of the satchel. It is important that the sides of the satchel both reach the same point on the body of the satchel. (When pinning the corners, the material of the body of the satchel will be rounded. This will be sorted during the sewing stage.)

Sew the sides to the body of the satchel, stopping 1cm from the top at the back of the satchel. Mark the location with a pin so you know how far to sew.

When you are 1cm from each corner, keep the needle in place, lift the foot and turn the material so you can sew along the next edge. Keep the material of the satchel body spread out at the corners so it doesn’t become bunched up or sewn to the wrong section.

Zigzag along the edges of the sides to prevent fraying. Don’t go past the 1cm point marked on the back of the satchel sides.

Hem the sides and front of the satchel. Fold at half a centimetre, then fold again. Iron and pin in place. Sew along the hem.

Hem the flap of the satchel, doing the sides first and the front edge last.

Pin each end of the strap to the top of the sides of the satchel with a 4cm overlap.

Fastenings such as buttons can be used to finish off the satchel, but they aren’t necessary.

Rosie’s Rangers 4: Accused

Last year, Clint was talking about a creation he was working on. He was using it to figure out a concept for another project. He ended the explanation with, “It’d also make a great snake.”

At the time I was doing some work on the fourth book for Rosie’s Rangers and there was a mech snake in the story. So I asked if he could make one. He wanted to know why I needed a mech snake.

“Because it’d be the perfect cover for Accused,” I said.

This was followed by a more in depth answer and a discussion of what the snake should look like. The answer ‘interesting’ wasn’t sufficient. Eventually, he stalked off saying he’d make it how he thought it should be made and I’d have to be happy with that. There were regular visits to his workshop while I watched the snake form and take shape. It was exactly how I imagined it should be. The perfect mech critter to be owned by a circus performer in Sartegius. And all those who saw it at Supernova, Brisbane loved it too.

Rosie’s Rangers 4: Accused is now available on Amazon, complete with the mech snake on the cover and mentions of it in the book. Now I wonder how Clint feels about creating a baby mech kraken.

Good Luck With That Plan

There are times when I think I know where a scene is going, but it’s late at night, or really early in the morning, and I decide to write it after I’ve had a sleep. I should know by now that things rarely go according to plan. So many times when I do this, I’m woken by a dream of the next scene. And do you think it’s the scene I planned to write? Of course it isn’t.

My characters might as well start the dream with a grin and say, “Good luck with that plan.” Not that it isn’t a better scene. It always is. But it’s one of those things I’m both grateful for and slightly annoyed by. Or at least I’m annoyed until I get past my initial grumbles about wanting another hour or two of sleep. Or even possibly a few more minutes of sleep. Yeah, I know, good luck with that plan. It doesn’t take long before I’m working on the scene, lack of sleep forgotten, completely immersed in the story, grateful it’s going in a far better direction.

Guardians Of The Round Table 1: Dexterity Fail

The idea for this series came to me quite a few years back. The eighteenth of February 2005 to be exact. I wrote a couple of scenes, but soon realised I needed to do a lot of worldbuilding first. The game mechanics needed to be in place before the story could be written and I knew that would take a lot of time which I didn’t have that year.

January of this year, I talked to Rhys about working on the story with me and we began worldbuilding. It wasn’t long before Storm joined us, adding his own ideas and the world and game mechanics quickly formed. Far more quickly than I had thought it would. Scenes followed and the first draft of the story was finished in February with numerous rounds of edits still ahead of us.

During the process we spent time researching, coming up with ideas for future stories and even weighing the clothes the main characters would have been wearing when they were transported to Inadon. After all, carry weight is a consideration in that world. The scales were brought out, along with numerous clothes and shoes, and we made notes of all the weights as we decided what the characters would wear.

Our worldbuilding document rapidly grew and it is now almost three hundred A4 pages long, with more details being added all the time as we look at the different areas of Inadon where the characters might travel. Guardians Of The Round Table 1: Dexterity Fail is now available for purchase and we hope you enjoy discovering the world of Inadon as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Demon Hunters 6: Feud

The main idea for Feud came to me some time ago. I saw the opening scene, part of the backstory also filling my mind. I wasn’t certain where it fit in the series. Not until partway through book five. Then I knew. As always, I couldn’t wait to get started and find out what would happen to the characters and where that opening scene would take them.

Aura has led an unusual life, one she hasn’t always appreciated. Her mum has gone from one fad to another, sometimes putting both of them in danger due to her haphazard approach to life. This time it isn’t her mum that brings disaster. It is someone Aura can usually count on to be one of the few sensible people she knows. I couldn’t wait to learn how Aura handled the changes in her life and the realisation that demons actually exist and she might be in more danger than she’d ever been in before.

Demon Hunters 6: Feud is now available on Amazon.

Realms Of The Fae 4: An Unexpected Betrayal

I was over halfway through writing An Unexpected Betrayal when I realised some of the characters weren’t who I thought they were, some of the relationships were different and things were more complicated than I initially believed them to be. But what could I expect? I was writing about the Fae. A complex race of people who are rarely simple and have more things going on than you first expect.

So I returned to the beginning, making all the major changes that I wouldn’t normally make until the editing phase. This time they needed to be done first. A few notes here and there weren’t going to be enough for me to take the story through to the end. Not without cementing all the threads and sorting out which plot lines needed to be carried through to the final scene and which ones were no longer needed. Once that was done, the story flowed quickly. Not that it had been difficult to write before that stage.

This is one of the downsides of writing without a plan, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Discovering the characters, learning what will happen and finding out what is going on is part of what makes me write so fast. The story draws me in and keeps me going as it unfolds before me. Curiosity keeps me writing for long hours at a time so that I often forget to take breaks as I lose myself in the world of my characters.

Realms Of The Fae 4: An Unexpected Betrayal is now available on Amazon.

Following Dreams

When I was in my late teens, I bought a second hand silky oak bookcase. I’d actually gone out to buy an old timber trunk, but how could I resist the bookcase? Obviously I couldn’t and I brought it home and began to shift some of my books from their makeshift shelves and into the bookcase. I kept authors’ books together and when I was finished I stood back and admired the shelves. At that moment it struck me that the books of one of the authors had nearly completely filled the top shelf. I wanted to be able to do that. I wanted to fill the top shelf of the bookcase with my own books.

Over the years I mentioned this to a few people. Some nodded or shrugged, others laughed. Did I realise how many books it would take to fill the shelf? Well of course I did. I’m perfectly capable of counting and I could clearly see the books already in the shelf. Did I know how much work that would take? Yep. And I’ve never been afraid of hard work. Dreams are for children. Seriously? I think that person more than most needed a few dreams of their own to follow. And the winning comment- you won’t live long enough to write enough books to fill that shelf. A polite way to tell me to drop dead? Apparently not. A threat? Why would I even suggest that? Hmm, not sure… So a challenge then? Not that either. Oh well, challenge accepted anyway.

Recently I was able to achieve that dream. Filling the top shelf with my books. It has taken me a lot of years to reach that point, but I’ve finally fulfilled yet another one of my dreams. But I’m not about to stop there. The bookcase has another three shelves. It won’t be long before I start on the second shelf and who knows, maybe one day I’ll fill them all. I certainly have more than enough ideas to be able to write that many books and more.