Saturday, September 27, 2014

Justine's Journal #6

52 Weeks 500 Words

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 6

'It’s been quiet now for a while, both the world around me and the space inside my head. For days I haven’t felt the need to lash out at someone or something, about an event or situation that didn't sit well. This sense of silence engenders a time of more tranquil contemplation, but I must tell you I’m also a little wary of it.

Questions begin to pop up into the quietness. Why are you accepting now? Why does nothing bother you at this point? Is there a mighty storm coming? Does something prepare you for a time of terrible trial? Are you fooling yourself that all is well?

How strange we are, really, us humans. We don’t accept and give thanks for peace, we immediately begin to wonder how long it will last. Instead of enjoying the calm, we question its reality. We are never happy, really, are we? Is this why life is ever filled with busyness? Do we only feel comfortable when life is uncomfortable? If that is so, we are in trouble as a civilisation.

Yes, question everything, or we become the ignorant creatures sitting the fence somewhere in the background. Yes, analyse answers, or we could well be faced with lies and deceit. BUT also be grateful for those small occasions when the quiet steals over us, for this is when we find ourselves, when we find the ways through questions and answers and become more.

It’s hard to do. As I write this my head begins to explode and I’m now asking myself why I interfered with the quiet in my world and my head. Why did I not sit back and allow peace to soothe me for a time? Why question everything when this can be a cocoon of comfort? And that’s it right there. A cocoon of comfort, emphasis on cocoon. Will I allow it to wrap me up and spirit me away into la-la-land? And become the quiet into eternity? NO. This isn't me.

I am of fire and earth and water and air. We all are. We are elemental in biology, in the spaces we inhabit, in our thoughts and in our creativity and the impact we make on others and the world around us. We are alive!

I say breathe in the quiet and the calm when it comes, but always know it is a state, not a place to hide away in. Enjoy the break from busyness and give thanks for it, but always understand it is an interlude to rebuild strength and a time to know yourself without the interruptions that come with life. Never accept. Never vanish. Question. Answer. Examine answers. For we are made of fire and earth and water and air, and the only certainty, ever, is change. I say we should be prepared for it … or change will throw you hard to the ground and give you a mighty bump on your head.'

Tyrotoxism and Wretchlessness

54 000+!

Thank you for visiting!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Writer's Wednesday: A laugh a minute with Richard Rhys Jones

Today we chat with Richard Rhys Jones, also known as Reg, Reggie, C Reg Jones and others! Stay with us now and find out more about this Thorstruck author. He spins a good yarn and makes you laugh too :)

Richard Rhys Jones hails from the sunny shores of Colwyn Bay, in north Wales. Closer to fifty than forty, he’s married with two children and two cats. He writes, occasionally plays the drums for a hardcore band, and is a passionate supporter of Liverpool and Braunschweig.

He left school at 16 to join Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, and served his time in Essex and Germany in an armoured reconnaissance regiment. After leaving the military he worked as an armed guard for the British Army, then in a workshop servicing and repairing plant machinery, and then on the building sites in various roles. He now earns a crust in the steelworks which dominate the town of Salzgitter, where he lives.

Writing came late in life and though he’d written lyrics for various German and British bands he’d never tackled a full novel. It was only when he bought his first computer that he finally decided to write one, using the ideas he’d collated over the years. The Division of the Damned is the child born of that first foray into writing. Set in WW2, it deals with vampires working for the Third Reich, biblical and Sumerian mythology, Teutonic orders and werewolves, wrapped in a story of betrayal and disillusionment.

His second novel, The House in Wales, is set in north Wales during WW2. The main protagonist is a young man sent away from Liverpool to live with a vicar and his very domineering housekeeper. The pious facade soon gives way to a story of sexual deviation, devil worship and human sacrifice, that takes the reader to the ash-blackened gates of Hell. 

Welcome Reg!

What sparked your interest in writing? Your proverbial light-bulb moment?

I can’t say there was one instant, or Eureka moment that led me to write, as I’d always liked putting pen to paper. I wrote the song lyrics for my band and then tried poems, which were more like jokes about workmates that rhymed. I also tried the odd short story, but never finished one as my typing was ridiculously slow. I think the actually point where I said to myself that I’m going to write a novel was when I bought my first computer from my mate, (€50 it cost, then I gave it back to him a couple of years later, and he still has it in his cellar!! Man, I’m so easy…). 

We’d just set the computer up, and Dixie, that used car salesman of the computer world, had just left. I looked at the screen and thought to myself, “Right, no excuses now, let’s get to it”, which was exactly what I did. 

We're quite in awe of that kind of will! Which genre are you most comfortable writing in?

Horror, well sort of horror, with a fantasy sort of element in there as well. And adventure, so it’s horror, with fantasy and adventure … I’m not doing too well at this question, am I? 

Actually, I tried to label The Division of the Damned as Adventure Horror … it didn't take on. However, adventure horror fits the bill for Division perfectly. As does the anthology of shorts I’m about to release with Paul Rudd, The Chronicles of Supernatural Warfare. My other tome, The House in Wales, and my work in progress are more straight forward horror. 

Would you say you draw most often from your own knowledge base when writing or do you research for fresh material?

Division was literally EVERYTHING that had interested me over the last twenty years or so, crammed into a book. All the things that had hooked me and held my attention were cleverly weaved into that one story. I researched that to death, but it was a labour of love. 

The Chronicles of Supernatural Warfare are stories set in the past, so I did my damndest to sort my facts out before putting finger to key. I read up on Thermopylae, Troy, Caesar, Flanders, the lot. I hate reading a book set in the past and the facts aren't right. Although it isn't a book, the film Braveheart is a good example of Hollywood History. I watched the film and spent weeks after shouting at my English mates about taking my life but not my freedom, and various other stupid quotes from the film, (I’m Welsh BTW). Then a Scottish corporal told me to read up on what actually happened. So I did, and was bitterly disappointed about Mr. Bloody Mel Gibson’s version of the life and times of William Wallace … So facts are important to me, (even though I did change the setting and landscape for Thermopylae, and the timeline for Troy … DOH!!). 

Tell us a bit about your work. How, for instance, do you choose your titles?

My titles are generally the last thing I choose. I’ll have an idea, make up a working title and kid myself that I’ll find a better one later on … and then keep it. Hence The House in Wales.

The Division of the Damned was a joint effort by my mates. Originally it was entitled SS Division Vampyr. Unfortunately it turned out that this title was a little too close to a book called Operation Vampyr. Bogus.

So I asked my mates to come up with a title and they did, fair play.

I have no idea how Paul and myself stumbled on the Chronicles of Supernatural Warfare idea. Hallucinogenic drugs, mushrooms, broccoli? Whatever, I think we must have done it for a bet? No, wait, I do remember that our original idea was to have some really cheesy Grindhouse titles for the stories. The Wooden Wolf of Troy was going to be something like Trojan Werewolf Bloodlust Apocalypse, and The Zombies of Flanders was going to be something like Zombie Trench War Carnage Horror, all titles along those lines.

Yes, I think it was the hallucinogenic broccoli…

My work in progress is The Sisterhood of the Serpent, which will probably stay that way even though I promised myself that I’d change it before it goes to print …

We love to read excerpts. Share with us your favourite bit of writing from you latest book.

This is from my work in progress right now, The Sisterhood of the Serpent, (working title… ahem)

The wan light from the light tube clicked, fizzed and then flickered out, leaving the room in darkness. From inside their boxes, the two cats started to wail fearfully. Like irritating sirens, their voices wound up, climbing dramatically in pitch and volume, and Becca scowled in their direction.

"What the hell...?" she whispered to herself, and then to the cats. "Ah, shut up you two, will ya?"

Suddenly it blinked back on again, though markedly dimmer than before, the light now almost grey. Nevertheless, its return shut the cats up and Becca smiled as she reached up to tap the light to prod it into full brightness. However, before she could touch it, it blinked out again, leaving her in darkness. In the split second it took for her to decide on whether she should twist the tube to see if it was sitting correctly or open the door to the bedroom, it sputtered back on, weak and pallid, as if something was draining the power, thrumming unhealthily.

The cats hissed and meowed from the boxes and Becca stared at them, puzzled, before shrugging and looking back into the mirror. The figure standing behind her made her jump and shriek involuntarily. An old woman, bald and nude, stared back at her from the mirror, peering over her shoulder about five feet away from her.

Painfully thin, flat chested and sexless, her head and body were carved in an intricate scale-like pattern of thick, diamond shaped scars that left only her face, neck and lower parts of her arms and legs free. She opened her mouth as if in a yawn and Rebecca could make out all her teeth were missing except the canines, which protruded dagger-like from age-blackened gums. However, amidst the barrage of alien details, it was the eyes that held Becca's attention. The old woman's irises appeared to have been slit vertically down the middle, elongating the pupil in a manifestly serpent-like way. A tongue, cut to resemble a snake’s, flickered out as she closed her gaping maw again to speak in a low, sibilant voice that echoed around her head.

"Sgras nebal klan skraw tin sbal."

Becca closed her eyes as a surge of dizziness hit her, was she going to faint? She gripped the basin, and then shook her head to rid herself of the vision; surely she must be imagining this? Jerking her head up, she resolutely opened her eyes to look into the mirror again. The light was back on, burning its usual brightness, and the old crone now gone. She spun around to check she wasn't there, but the room was empty except for her and her silent cats, and quiet except for her deep gulping breaths.

Relief quickly morphed into panic as she turned and fled the bathroom. She shouted Jim's name and jumped on him to wake him up.

"What's wrong, what's wrong?" he blurted, throwing the sheets off to take her in his arms. "What's happened, you alright baby? What happened?"

Well, wow, that's scary! Well done! Who do you identify with most in your work? And why?

Of all my characters, I liked Michael Rohleder best, from The Division of the Damned. His irreverent, flippant attitude hides a deep soul and a much-wounded heart. He’s an intelligent, proficient soldier, but those who don’t know him see only the sharp tongued buffoon he likes to play, I like that in people, hidden depths have always impressed me and I like to think that beyond my enormous capacity to drink a lot of beer, that I also have qualities that I keep for myself. 

I don’t? 

Oh, how disappointing. 

If you could choose who would play your characters in the movie or series made from your work, who would they be?

I have been asked this a lot recently. I haven’t really thought about it, but I’ll make an effort and give an answer. 

Mmmm, I think for The House in Wales, Daniel Radcliffe would be the main protagonist. The eternal schoolboy would fit well as Danny Kelly. Miss Trimble would be Kristen Scott Thomas, (a personal fave of mine) and the Reverend would be Rhys Ifans.

For Division? That’s hard, but I’ll go for a young Richard Burton as Von Struck, James Woods as Rohleder, (with a lot of scar tissue make up) and Henning would be Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd. 

Good choices! Which four words would you use to describe yourself?

Optimistic, unpretentious, happy and loyal.

Which four words would you use to describe your work?

Tense, adventurous, researched and character-driven.

I have to throw this in! That list of favourites we’re all interested in!

Favourite book: SO MANY!! However, if I have to choose one, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.
Favourite movie: Again, SO MANY !!! Unfair… okay, one film, it has to be Heartbreak Ridge.
Favourite TV series: Game of Thrones, though The X Files was my fave for over a decade.
Favourite colour: Red (Liverpool red)
Favourite food: Curry.
Favourite drink: Beer, or water.
Favourite pet: Cat
Favourite season: Autumn
Favourite place: Old Colwyn, in north Wales, my home town.

Often personal fame and prominence for your work go together, but frequently authors prefer remaining in the background while hoping their work will assume the limelight. Is this true for you, or don’t you mind a bit of fame?

Oh bring it on, put me in the limelight and watch me bloom, lol. 

Actually, I’d like to be famous for three very good reasons. 

1.) I get to scrounge free stuff. It’s so much easier to blag giveaways if you’re well known. Free bling and shoes, (for the wife, not me), clothes, concert tickets, metal tee-shirts, invites to swanky parties, free drinks… you know what I’m saying. Hey, I’m a working class lad, I know how to cherish freebies. 

2.) It’d make my mam proud. Up to now she hasn’t really had much cause to brag about me being her son. It’d be nice for her to be able to hold her head up when someone asks if I’m her offspring and say, “Yes, he is and he ROCKS!” Instead of mumbling something about a dentist’s appointment and hurrying off. Same goes for my poor wife now I think about it, (sighs). 

3.) Then, of course, all my mates and family can make a rook of money selling stories about me being a drunken idiot in my youth to the gutter tabloids, (The Scum, The Daily Toilet, etc etc). They’d be happy, I’d be happy they’re happy, and we’d all be happy except for my mam, maybe? I've tried to keep those tales away from her delicate ears. 

Now we're really laughing! Tell us about your next book (we love to know what to look forward to!).

Well, my WIP (which I mistakenly put up as an excerpt earlier) is a sort of mash up of The Towering Inferno, The Shining and Hellraiser. It’s set in 1997 in a Las Vegas hotel, but starts off on death row, with an inmate who has just lost his final appeal against his execution, and is telling a priest his story of how he arrived there.

It’s been a slow burner, and I’m having trouble finding the time to finish it. However, I do have a plot down, that I’m following like an Ikea construction sheet, and the characters are talking to me, so it’s on the right track. My current book out is an anthology of short stories, written together with Paul Rudd, the author of “Sharc” and “Wild Wild Dead”.

It’d be easier to put the link up for the trailer, rather than explain it all, so here it is:

From zombies to werewolves, from ancient Rome to Sparta, Nazis and Kraken, world war and carnage, this anthology has them all. Nine tales of action, war, and the supernatural, twisting history in a way that makes you doubt the records, leaving one wondering what our ancient wars were really about.

Noir fiction saturated with the paranormal and impossible, The Supernatural Chronicles of War will take you into a darkness deeper than the rivers of blood staining this planet.

Strap in and start praying.

What comes next, besides a new book project? A holiday, an event?

Nothing. Work, eat sleep, repeat seems to be my immediate future. I play the drums in a hardcore band, and we've a few gigs coming up, but otherwise my free time is being taken up by Thorstruck, house, work and family, (the order varies and is directly related to timing and people present).

And finally, if you could choose one person, living or dead, you would like to meet, who would it be and what would you ask of that person?

Mmmm, well I've had this question before, and I put down my Gran. No questions though, I’d just like to spend time with her again. 

However, you’re obviously after someone famous, some rugged hero or heinous villain? Or maybe a brilliant scientist or an artist of international repute? Perhaps you want me to interview a world leader, someone responsible for saving a nation, or alternatively, for the death of millions? It’s a toughie alright, so I guess I’ll have to go with a personal hero of mine, Mr Oliver Reed, and I’d ask him if he actually did down 106 pints of beer on a two day binge, and whether he was up for a couple of shwallies or not? 

Thanks very much for having me on your site, Elaina. If any of your readers are interested in what lurks in the murkier coils of my frontal lobes, then perhaps they’d like to pop over to my Facebook page, give it a like and have a read? 

OR… alternatively, give my seldom updated but still cherished Blog a go?

And finally, here’s my Thorstruck Press page:

It was a pleasure having you! You made us laugh and you made want to reach for scary books! Yours, of course! 

The second world war is weighted in strife. On the front lines a squad of SS soldiers are sent on a secret mission, to enlist the help of the last vampire, to raise an army which would win the war for Germany.

Ruthless massacre, mayhem and action fuelled rage ensues. Broken, beaten, and turned on by their superiors, the squad end up fighting side by side with an order of fallen cavalry. Their last two loyal members engage the squad into a fight not for Germany, but to save mankind itself from demonic world domination. On the Winter Solstice of 1944 the world would be at their mercy.

The division of the damned is an enemy no one anticipated, their trail of merciless and cunning carnage makes this a noir thriller. Compelling and tense it will flay your soul.

Daniel Kelly is orphaned by the bombing of Liverpool, losing his mother in the carnage and evacuated to Colwyn Bay in Wales. Separated from the only friend he's made, he's isolated in an ancient church with the Reverend Davies and his malicious housekeeper Miss Trimble.

Humiliated and trapped, Danny's days becomes deplorable while his nights are desecrated by the ghost in the closet. The spectral visitations plague him more than his mistreatment at the hands of the housekeeper. The mystery starts to unravel just as Danny leeches life saving information from the ghost.

Painted a sexual deviant with homicidal tendencies, Danny can't run to the law for help. Framed for murder and about to become the sacrifice in the church's next Black Mass, Danny comes face to face with a demon, the spirit of his mother, and an abyss straight to hell.

The House in Wales is no mere house, its occupants chose an orphan to fulfill their nefarious plans, the outcome a sordid puzzle which has everlasting consequences.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Justine's Journal #5

500 Words 52 Weeks

This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.

Week 5

'I saw today an older man in a fancy silver sports car stop at the lights. He stopped beside me and I sort of glanced over. My first instinct was an internal snort of derision, and then I noticed a young woman crouched into the passenger seat beside him. Derision became horror, mostly because I automatically assumed she was his squeeze/wife/whatever and she was clearly unhappy to be there. A moment later I told myself “but she chose to be with an old man, did she not?” That initial snort of derision erupted then. It was only once the fancy thing had left me in the dust after the lights changed that I realised what the real situation potentially was.

She was his daughter, had probably asked her father for a ride somewhere, but, like to all teenagers, was embarrassed firstly to ride with her father, and secondly to be in a fancy car that screamed out “I’m in my midlife crisis”.

The more I thought about it, the more likely this latter scenario was, and the more I thought about my initial judgement, the more I realised just how quick we are to jump to conclusions. This is one of humanity’s biggest failings, in my opinion, and I’m no different … clearly. Dear older man in your fancy car, I’m sorry. And, girl, he’s your dad and you should appreciate the time he has taken to see to your needs. Ignore the car, girl. (Sorry, yes, I’m still judging, but it’s a silly car)

There are times, of course, when snap judgements are better than looking away. When you see someone being hurt, whatever the situation is, it’s best to judge that the person needs support. The man or woman, for instance, lifting a hand to hit a child or animal? Shout out HEY from wherever you are (at the very least), and if it turns out to be something other than potential abuse (such as mom was waving a wasp away from her child), fine, you’re wrong, you made a snap judgement, but rather be wrong than simply look the other way.

I think I’ll leave it there, because this is an open-to-interpretation subject. I have been both wrong and right in my snap judgements; it’s up to each of us, isn't it?'

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Writer's Wednesday: Talking with Bev Allen

Hello! Today on Writing World we're chatting with Bev Allen, writer of YA science fiction and adventure. Bev certainly knows how to draw readers of all ages into her stories!

"I fell in love with my first soldier outside Buckingham Palace. He was a Coldstream on guard and I was four. Later I fell in love with reading and writing, and later still with sci-fi and tales of fantasy and high adventure, but that first admiration for the military has never faded. Now I am married to an amateur military historian who drags me around every military museum he can find. We are both members of The Victorian Military Society.

I've always told stories, but I am dyslexic and the process of writing them down was always hard, and the results unsatisfactory, until I discovered word processing, and for a few years I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Most of it wasn't good, but I was learning my craft and eventually I sent a short story to SFX for their Pulp Fiction competition and I was a winner! One of ten authors whose story was printed in an anthology. Soon after I was contacted by Big Finish, who published Dr Who stories under licence from the BBC. On the strength of my SFX story, they commissioned me to write for one of their anthologies. It was a real thrill.

I have always loved pulp sci-fi and adventure stories, the sort of book that is now called YA, but I still think of as FUN. My small success made me take a serious look at what I had written during my learning time and one story stood out as having potential and after some extensive rewriting 'Jabin' was the result."

Welcome, Bev!

  1. What sparked your interest in writing? Your proverbial light-bulb moment?
To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I wasn't telling stories or scribbling notes. When I was at school we had this big thick lined exercise book, it was called a ‘Rough Book’ and was designed for note taking and for us to write down our homework. It was like a gift from the gods, mine was stuffed full of story ideas and bits of improbable plots.

My problem was my dyslexia, I couldn't get everything I want to say and tell down in a readable and complete form.

For me the Light Bulb Moment was getting a word processor and finally overcoming my dyslexia with its help. Suddenly I could write the stories down properly.

  1. Which genre are you most comfortable writing in?
I am happiest in the older YA world, not kid’s stuff, but late teens onwards. This is probably because I am still mentally about 19, maybe 20 on a good day with enough coffee inside me.

  1. A great attitude to have! Would you say you draw most often from your own knowledge base when writing or do you research for fresh material?
I base much of it on my own knowledge or my husband’s, but if I need to research I like doing it, over the years I've done a great deal for the history research group I belong to. At the moment I am learning all about firing a flint lock musket, ball shot and black powder.

  1. Sounds intriguing! Tell us a bit about your work. How, for instance, do you choose your titles?
I write sci-fi adventure stories for older teenagers and those, like me, who are still teenagers inside. I am a grown up (sometimes), so I like to mix in the sort of real life problems kids face today, things like drugs and sexual exploitation, but I hope I never lose sight of the adventure or fail to entertain.

I’m not the best person to talk to about titles. It took me six months to come up with “Jabin” for the first book and I've been dithering for about a year over the title of the next one. At the moment it is called “the Tattooed Tribes”.

  1. An intriguing title indeed! We love to read excerpts. Share with us your favourite bit of writing from you latest book.
It’s a bit hard to pick a bit from “The Tattooed Tribes”, but I’m about half way through writing my third book. I've called it “The Lord of the Faran Hills” (the first time I have ever come up with a title without a struggle) and this is the opening couple of pages:

The throne room was packed and redolent with the odour of panic politics.

Yesterday’s battle had been decisive and now the court was re-orientating its position to accommodate the result; everyone was telling everyone else how they had supported the winning side right from the beginning, especially if they had not. One large, over fed baron was rapidly circumnavigating the assembly telling anyone prepared to listen just how loyal he had been. He was no doubt hoping his strategically timed change of sides yesterday would be enough to not only save his hide, but also to win some favour from a hopefully gullible Crown.

Lord Darach hid a cynical smile, he admired the speed, but he hated this inevitable post-fight hypocrisy. Cynicism grew stronger as he noticed the glances being thrown his way, some guilty, some anxious and just a few - calculating. He smiled inwardly, despite what they might be thinking; his only reason for attendance was to remind those in charge that it was now time to settle the bill.

Some courtiers looked warily from him to his soldiers gathered at one end of the room and some delicately raised scented handkerchiefs to their well-bred nostrils.

Darach shrugged, he and his captains were in their working armour and despite the best efforts of their squires, it was virtually impossible to remove the smell of sweat and rust.

None of the court approached them until one bold and elegant sprig of fashion detached himself from the company of a couple of giggling, blushing young ladies.

He sported an arm resting in a silk sling, evidence of his gallant participation in the fight. Waving his good hand in the general direction of the waiting soldiers he said,

“Your men fought well.”

There was a faint note of incredulity in his voice which did nothing to recommend him to Darach, but he inclined his head and replied.

“It’s their job.”

The young man glanced back at his giggling audience with a small knowing smile; turning back he lifted his lip in a slight sneer and said,

“You fight for money, sirrah. Some of us fight for honour.”

The girls giggled again and nudged each other in glee. One caught Darach’s eye and gave him a smouldering look full of promise. He sighed; he never understood the entertainment some people got from inciting others to violence, however, this young cub needed a slap, so he said,

“You fight for money, my lord.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I’m Lord Darach of Donchall in the Faran Hills, sonny. It’s probably a good idea for you to remember it.”

The young man’s eyes flashed in anger and his good hand moved to his sword.

Darach folded his arms across his chest, making sure the heavy duty piece of cutlery hanging at his side was fully visible. Their eyes met and there was a moment of tension while the young gentleman wondered why his bladder had suddenly filled to capacity and was threatening to let him down in ways it had not since childhood. His pride, his hose and Darach’s temper were saved by a trumpeter entering the room and deafening everyone with a fanfare. Under cover of the musical blast, the young noble made a swift escape.

The noisy herald was followed swiftly by an equally noisy chamberlain bellowing the news The King and The Regent were approaching.

“Just in case we hadn't guessed,” Darach remarked softly, putting an even wider grin on his squire’s face, he had watched the interplay between his lord and the noble sprig with some amusement.

The tall double doors were flung back by a couple of men at arms and the royal pair swept into the room. At least, the Regent swept while her small son trotted along beside her.

King Gellis III was a sturdy little boy of about six or seven. An unremarkable child in every way; he was neither fair nor dark, tall or short and he looked neither angelic nor mischievous, but there was a certain look in his eyes which spoke of intelligence and once the softness of childhood had passed, you would be able to crack walnuts on his jaw.

His mother Queen Marregante was equally unremarkable, but she had a great deal of regal dignity and she was angrier than any woman Darach had ever seen; every part of her spoke of a terrible burning rage kept firmly under control. Someone had threatened her child and it had frightened her to the depth of her being; now someone was going to pay for that terror.

  1. There are already little twists visible in that excerpt; can't wait to see what happens in the full tale! Tell us who do you identify with most in your work? And why?
My soldiers. I’m married to a military historian and I sometimes say I married The British Army when I married him. I've known and spoken to and researched so many soldiers over the years, I have come to feel for them and, as far as I can, to understand them and understand why the do what they do. I am moved by words like “duty”, “honour” and “tradition”.

Having said that, I've no illusions - none what so ever. I know they are sometimes not the best little boys in the world.

If you mean a single character, it would be “Jabin”. Why … because I know that feeling of being totally lost and unable to understand why.

  1. If you could choose who would play Jabin in the movie or series made from your work, who would it be?
Not a clue J

  1. Which four words would you use to describe yourself?
Creative. Wary. Humorous. Interested.

  1. Which four words would you use to describe your work?
Exciting. Entertaining. Adventurous.Compassionate.

  1. I have to throw this in! That list of favourites we’re all interested in!
Favourite book: “The Towers of Trebizond “
Favourite movie: “Zulu”
Favourite TV series: “Star Trek :Voyager”
Favourite colour: Yellow
Favourite food: Crusty bread and butter
Favourite drink: Coffee
Favourite pet: Cat ( currently a Birman named Fitzwilliam Darcy Big Chief Paddy Paws Our Cat Allen, but you can call him Fitz)
Favourite season: Autumn
Favourite place: Devon

  1. Often personal fame and prominence for your work go together, but frequently authors prefer remaining in the background while hoping their work will assume the limelight. Is this true for you, or don’t you mind a bit of fame?
I would much, much rather the work has the lime light.

  1. We identify with that! Tell us about your next book (we love to know what to look forward to!).
“The Tattooed Tribes” will be published by Thorstuck Press early in 2015. It is a YA adventure story set on a forest world. There’s a strong ecological theme, lots of action, and plenty of tattooed warriors and  tribal maidens together with a Guild of woodsmen who try to keep the peace and protect the natives and the flora and fauna.

‘The Lord of the Faran Hills’ is WIP and the reason for the musket research.

  1. What comes next, besides a new book project? A holiday, an event?
I've got one of those significant birthdays coming up, but I am avoiding thinking about it  J

  1. And finally, if you could choose one person, living or dead, you would like to meet, who would it be and what would you ask of that person?
I've been reading up on Ancient Egypt recently and more than anything I would like to ask Akhenaten where his wife went. Nefertiti disappears from the archaeological records without explanation. Not a trace of her tomb or mummy had ever been found. Where is she, what happened to her and all her daughters?

I love the idea she might still be undiscovered, lying surrounded by the objects only a pharaoh could give a beloved wife. What a find that would be.

The trouble is…I don’t think he’d tell me J

Hmm, have pondered this mystery too - perhaps if we call in the troops, we can make him reveal his secrets! Bev, it's been a pleasure having you here. Thank you for talking with us!

The space colony is rife with religious and political rivalry, and prey to the vicious maraudings of pirates whose cruelty is savage. In New Wales the pirate attacks are relentless and merciless. Having lost both his parents Jabin is adopted by malicious relatives. 

Jabin altruistically surrenders to a raiding gang, he does so believing nothing can be worse than his current suffering. He discovers circumstance does worsen when megalomaniacs rule. When the King of New Wales is assassinated the colony threatens to collapse into total anarchy, leaving the pirates free rein to mutilate, kill, and profit. Earth's law enforcement are ready for retaliation. Jabin has a vital role in the ensuing war, if he can survive the current mayhem.

Interstellar espionage is visceral in this masterpiece of cosmic suspense.

Writing World has read and reviewed Jabin and loved it!
See the review here

More about Bev on her website

53 000+!

Thank you so much for visiting!


Favourable Winds