Bluey

Growing up, my family had a variety of pets, mostly only one or two at a time. When I was in primary school, my dad had a blue cattle dog that he gave the highly original name of Bluey. My brother and I spent so much time playing with Bluey who had a special bark when he heard Dad’s vehicle in the distance. Which always gave us at least a good five minutes warning that Dad was nearly home. Dad was his favourite and he was always excited to see him.

On warm summer evenings, the year I was ten, my brother and I would play hide and seek outside. To make things a little more interesting, Bluey would help the one searching. He was good at hide and seek. You would tell him who to find and he would sniff around until he’d located them. So I not only had to outsmart my brother when choosing a hiding location, I had to outsmart Bluey too.

We lived in a high set house, a tall timber cupboard under the stairs where Dad kept his tools. There was a small gap between the landing of the stairs and the cupboard. Just enough of a gap for me to hide in. I would clamber up the side of the solid timber cupboard and squeeze into the small gap and stay perfectly still. Bluey would lead my brother straight to the location, pacing back and forth in front of the cupboard. Sometimes he’d go up the stairs and sit on the landing, waiting for me to come out of hiding. But until my brother found me, I wasn’t moving.

It was the best hiding spot. Each time my brother gave up, I’d wait until he’d left the area before I came out of hiding. There was no way I was going to give up the location. It helped that I was extremely skinny or I wouldn’t have fit in the space.

Some of my favourite childhood memories involved our pets. The four-legged and feathered members of our family. My childhood wouldn’t have been anywhere near as much fun without them. What are some of your favourite memories that involve a pet?

Rosie’s Rangers 5: Wanted

There were so many times while writing Rosie’s Rangers 5: Wanted that the characters surprised me and headed off in directions I didn’t expect them to go in. That is one of my favourite aspects of not planning stories. I get to discover where the story is going and enjoy learning what will happen to the characters and what choices they’ll make. Occasionally that means adding to or rewriting an earlier scene, but it is always worth it for the enjoyment of all those twists and turns and unexpected scenes that keep me writing and wanting to learn what will happen next.

There are certain things I know about Rosie’s past and what was in store for her in the future, but I don’t know everything and I certainly didn’t expect all that occurred in this book. I hope you enjoy learning more about Rosie’s past and some of the effects it’s had on her life as much as I’ve enjoyed discovering them too. Rosie’s Rangers 5: Wanted is now available.

Birthdays

I love birthdays. And I don’t just mean my birthday or love them for the presents. To me it’s not about celebrating another year, it’s celebrating the fact a person was born. That the world is a richer place for having them in it. Choosing presents for friends and family can be a fun part of birthdays, as well as receiving them, but it’s not all that it’s about for me.

I’ve always been enthusiastic about them. Even as a child. As I grew older, friends and family kept telling me I’d eventually grow out of it. Well, it appears that they will be waiting a long time for that to happen as I still look forward to each and every birthday.

This year, my oldest son made me a chocolate choc-chip cake. After all, cake and birthdays go hand in hand and I absolutely love cake. You can also never have enough chocolate so that is one of my favourite types of cake. Now on my birthday, I don’t work. Or at least, I don’t do anything that isn’t fun and enjoyable. So my kids spend the day running around after me for a change and I laze about and read, watch movies, play games and eat cake. I also sometimes scribble a handful of words if the next line of one of the stories I’m working on comes to mind. But I don’t actually sit down and plan to do any writing.

Surprisingly, considering I only spent a few minutes here and there adding another line or two in the story I’ve been working on recently, as it came to me, I wrote one thousand four hundred and twenty-three words. It didn’t seem anywhere like that many words when I was doing them since I was only spending a few minutes at a time on it. Which just goes to show that you don’t need large amounts of time to write. Just little bits and pieces of time here and there.

We have a few traditions when it comes to celebrating birthdays. The person who is having the birthday chooses what happens for the day. They decide what food is cooked and someone else does the cooking. There is also cake and candles and the birthday song, which is sung very badly because there are few of us who can actually sing and we tend to be a little out of sync with each other. Or at lot at some times. But most of all, it’s about having fun and enjoying the day we came into this world however many years ago that might have been.

I’d love to hear how all of you celebrate your birthdays. Post a comment or email me. I truly love to hear about the various ways people spend the day and what they think about the day on which they arrived in this world.

Guardians Of The Round Table 5: Crystal Mine

I don’t like spiders. I really, really don’t like spiders. So when I had to research some information about them for Crystal Mine, I thought I’d be clever and specify drawings. I mean, they can’t be as bad as actual pictures now, can they? I was wrong. So very wrong. Some of those pictures are worse than actual photos. They point out fangs and all the other little details that glancing at a picture can allow you to ignore. But somehow, I managed to survive the trauma and found the information that would help and we continued to write the story.

If only I’d stopped there and we’d found some other creature less creepy to add to the story. Do not search up details about spiders that carry their young. I repeat, this is a public service announcement, do not search details about spiders that carry their young around with them. If you think one spider is bad enough, you don’t want to see images of spiders carrying their young. That is the type of image horror movies are made from.

Thankfully, the story isn’t all about spiders and terrifying baby spiders riding around on them and we did get to research other things as well. And do nicer worldbuilding. Although the rest of the research didn’t entertain my co-writers anywhere near as much as my reactions to our spider research did.

On a lighter note, when trying to come up with a quest title involving finding The Nelly, Storm had a suggestion.

Me: What’s your suggestion?

Storm: Do you want the sarcastic answer?

Me: Sure, why not.

Storm: Whoa Nelly.

Me: How about the non-sarcastic answer?

Storm: I don’t have one of them.

Me: Of course you don’t.

Guardians Of The Round Table 5: Crystal Mine is now available. We hope you enjoy it and also have fun discovering more about Inadon in Lost And Powerful: Myths Of Misplaced Staves.

 

Rain

There are some things in life that I have mixed feelings about and rain is one of those things. I love the sound of it on the roof, especially the sound of it on a tin roof. It brings back so many great childhood memories of being curled up in bed with a book, cosy inside while it’s cold and rainy outside. I still love to curl up with a book while the rain is falling and spend the day reading. And obviously the yard loves it when it rains and I like it when the grass is green and the countryside isn’t dried out with everything seeming to be a shade of brown or yellow and there’s more dust than vegetation.

There are of course times when it’s frustrating. When I want to do things outside and the rain is preventing me from getting those tasks done. And there are of course times when the rain can be scary. Like when floodwaters are rising around you and the rain just won’t stop. When rivers are flooding and water has risen high enough to cover bridges and food is running low and there’s no way to access a store due to how many roads have been cut from flooding.

At the moment, the rain is at that frustrating stage. There are things to be done outside and the rain is interrupting. It’s nice to see the area so lovely and green, but a few days for the mud to dry up would be perfect. And a couple more days so we can finish up all the tasks needing to be done outside, which currently includes an area behind the house that could do with some pavers to make it more usable. I know the rain will eventually end and the paving will be finished, but for now, every morning I check the skies and sigh heavily when I see the dark clouds. The rain continues and my backyard is slowly beginning to resemble a swimming pool.

Demon Hunters 7: Extrication

Sometimes when I write a story, one of the secondary characters will stand out, even though they might be a minor one, and need their story told. That is what happened with Esther. She was an unnamed character, barely made an appearance, but she tugged at my attention and had me wondering about her. I needed to know why she was at the location, how had she ended up in the situation and what would happen to her. The more I wondered, the more ideas formed and eventually I couldn’t resist writing her story to find out exactly who Esther was and what would happen to her.

I hope you enjoy Esther’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Demon Hunters 7: Extrication is now available on Amazon.

A Love Of Gaming

When we were deciding the worldbuilding and game mechanics of Guardians Of The Round table, we had a look at what it was about our favourite games that continued to draw us back. We looked at tabletop games, computer and console games, board games and even card games. There were some games that stood out, ones we’ve played for years. Particularly Dungeons and Dragons and all The Elder Scrolls games.

We love open world games, ones where you can explore and discover new things. We like completing quests and being able to go into areas that we’re probably too low a level for, knowing there’s a good chance we’re going to get wrecked. We also discovered that failing is part of the way we learn. Time after time, we’ll pit ourselves against an impossible boss, trying something different each time until we eventually triumph.

We also love intricate worlds. We enjoy discovering the lore and exploring new locations. We also enjoy finding interesting items and collecting things that probably have no current use, but we might need in the future. And setting up a base to store all those things we might eventually need because we’ve ended up collecting more than we can carry.

We took some of those general ideas into account when we began to do worldbuilding for Guardians Of The Round Table. Particularly the idea of writing books that the characters can find. We have so many books planned for the characters to discover. Some will lead them onto other things, some will teach them about the world and others are just for fun.

We are currently working on another book that the characters will discover in Guardians Of The Round Table 5: Crystal Mine, due out in May. But until then, if you haven’t already read it, Legend Of The Ancestral King is free on Smashwords.

Realms Of The Fae 5: Imprisoned By Iron

Sometimes it takes me years to get around to writing a story idea and I know there are some I’ll never have the chance to write as I have far too many ideas. This particular idea came to me in July 2006, but I have other ideas dating back to the eighties that I have still not found the time to write the story for them. Ideas I’d love to write. Instead, other ideas interrupt and other characters demand their stories be told and those older ideas are shelved, sometimes waiting decades before their characters become too insistent to ignore.

This is one of those stories whose characters patiently waited, eventually becoming impatient and demanding it was their turn. There were quite a few days where the characters kept me writing into the early hours of the morning, writing as many as six thousand words in a day. Imprisoned By Iron is finally available and I hope you enjoy reading Audrey’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Island Grove

I love being able to look at an image and see a story in it. This one brings to mind images of sacred groves and nature magic. But what if someone from a long line of powerful nature magic users has a different sort of magic? One considered evil and that all those who wield it should be eradicated. How would they keep it hidden? Tell everyone they have no magic? Never use it? What if they or a loved one are in danger and the only means of surviving is to use the magic? Either way, it could lead to their death. Would they be willing to sacrifice themselves if they could escape without using it, but doing so would lead to the death of a loved one? And if they used their magic to saved the one they’re close to, what would they do? Leave them to be sentenced to death? Rescue them? See them as evil since they have a magic all fear?

No wonder I have so many ideas that I’ll never be able to write all of them A glimpse of a single image creates yet one more idea. And I see so many different images every day. My world is full of stories. Everywhere I look.

Guardians Of The Round Table 4: Frog Mage

One of the things my co-writers and I really love about some of our favourite computer games are the lore books that add to the flavour and depth of the worldbuilding of the game. So when our characters discovered a lore book that was based on more than the mechanics of the world, we decided we needed to write it too. We wanted our LitRPG series to have some of the same elements as the games we love to play.

Writing Legend Of The Ancestral King involved creating more historical background not only for Ruby Isle, but for Inadon in general. We spent hours discussing Inadon’s past, its possible impact on the future and the style the lore book would be written in. We had so much fun that we’ve discussed other lore books we could write for the characters to discover.

Guardians Of The Round Table 4: Frog Mage is now available. We hope you enjoy not only learning what happens next to Mallory and her companions, but also enjoy discovering a little more about Inadon’s history in Legend Of The Ancestral King.