Sunday, August 30, 2009

Prologue First Lines

Gathering of Rain:

In a time now passed beyond memory, a man whispered over a golden disc as he set it into a vice.

House of Valla:

A frog croaked in the silence of night.

Rock of Ancients:

Dantian was ten years old when he finally understood what his name meant.

Winter's Fire:

The last Valleur on Valaris, of this universe, prepared the fire for the scrying ceremony in the centre of the Vannis’ gem-studded Throne-room.

Glittering Darkness:

‘So why are there no wolves on Valaris, father?’ Tymall asked, grey eyes wide with curiosity.

Path of Shades:

Saska gazed over the dry plateau spread akin to challenge before her.

Walker of Realms:

Fourteen long and wearying weeks passed.

Sword of the Sleeper:

A mother and her little daughter walked along the banks of a placid river giggling together, halting every so often when a bright flower or insect trapped their roving attentions.

Animated Spirit:

The smell of turpentine and paint filled the small space.

Elixir's Mirror:

On the rooftop humans and a Siric danced.

This exercise has been illuminating. I have a greater sense now of what works and what does not. No, I'm not telling you - you tell me!



It was a unicorn. A creature of myth and magic, one with the ability to walk in two realities simultaneously. A creature of great beauty, inspiring great awe, one tireless in every endeavour, be it a walk through a wood or a gallop between legend and truth. No one had yet seen one and still every culture knew it instantly, and even a child could scratch out a basic likeness in the dirt. Many tales surrounded it- silver blood that gifted everlasting life; to see one was to know good fortune all the days left to one; to kill one was to know eternal damnation; it stood guard over the innocent and the lost; it could outrun the wind; it could save one’s soul from evil…and so on. All one had to do was believe.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Sands of Xen

Earth? Dune? Or the sands of Xen III?

Authonomy Addiction

Recent months have seen me virtually glued to the Authonomy site. For those of you who haven't yet heard of this site, here it is in brief:

1. register
2. create a profile with avatar
3. upload at least 10 000 words of your book (with book cover)

The point is for other writers to read and comment on your work, and, of course, you would return the favour. As others read your work they have the option of watchlisting your book or shelving it. Every time this happens your book moves up the ranks, and the more you do so for others, the greater your personal ranking.

The real point: to reach the top 5 (monthly)...and that gifts you a read from HarperCollins! Give it a go!

That is it in brief, but be warned: HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!
Click on the title Authonomy and you will be redirected to that site...go, go, go, what are you waiting for???

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Universal Fourteen

Numbers are universal. Mathematics is the order of time.
It is also the creativity in nature, the music in cosmic travel, the rule in science, the language that transcends every barrier and the stuff of daily labour.
It is godly and it is mundane.
Without it life fails. Without it magic is impossible.
Various numbers have various powers, from the imagination of the smallest to the impossibility of the greatest, but in the realms of magic one number reigns supreme.

Tales of the Valla - the series

1. Gathering of Rain
2. House of Valla
3. Rock of Ancients
4. Winter's Fire
5. Glittering Darkness
6. Path of Shades
7. Walker of Realms
8. Sword of the Sleeper
9. Animated Spirit
10. Elixir's Mirror


These are working titles, although I would need a very good reason to change 'Gathering of Rain'!

The displayed covers are not professional or published.

All novels are complete, although will no doubt see edits (a never-ending task!)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Writer's Tools

Before you begin a novel, short story, essay, poem or whatever your forte is, you gather the tools to do so. Right? Of course, right...the first time.

You might start with a blank piece of paper and a pen, or you might have an old typewriter that does it for you and you get the ribbon, the paper, etc, or it might be your old pc or a new laptop with the program that fits your could even be a Dictaphone you hauled out of a drawer and put to use for the first time. It doesn't matter, there are certain tools you need to start. Right? Right...the first time.

These are your motivators- look, I have it all ready, surely now I can write....And time passes. And you realise something more. Almost profound.

Tools have zero to do with it. You realise a piece of paper will do, any piece, any pc will do, any pen, any ribbon...because the words become more important than the tools. Agreed, the right tools make it so much easier and simpler, particularly in this modern electronic age when most agents and publishers prefer email submissions (thank heaven), but it is not the factor that drives creativity. What drives you is far beyond how you achieve your goal. When all is right with your world of writing, your tools are dream prompts, a great photo, something someone said, a piece of music, a tear when your son or daughter said 'thanks mom', or simply the magic that goes on in your mind. You can be walking, driving, eating, sleeping, sitting, watching TV, reading, listening to music, talking, having a glass of wine...and if that tale or verse is trying to get out, it will erupt...and how you record it is beside the point.

My point is this: don't fret when you think your tools let you down. Allow your mind to be the tool, and everything else falls into place when the time is right. And don't fret about that timing either- trust yourself.Writers write because we love it, because we exist for it, because it is a grand passion, because we are complete when we do so. Follow your heart and your instincts and believe in yourself, and don't ever give up once you discover your grand passion.

Writers, I salute you.

Valaris Map

Read on Authonomy

I have uploaded chapters from the first four volumes on the Authonomy website for review, although only Gathering of Rain is available to read at this time. Feel free to have a look. Enter the title in the search bar...

Kicking off!

This is my third blog. The other two, however, are far to general and thus I have chosen to launch a blog in my writing name...which also enables a more efficient blog search for readers.

The purpose of this space is to share my experiences as a writer and also to update you on the progress of my work. And, of course, it is my hope to build a following for Tales of the Valla.

Check back every now again and feel free to leave comments.