Blog 29: A Witch, a Wizard, and a Changeling.

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It’s that time of year again when it’s great if you’re a kid, sociable if you’re a teen, and usually pretty sucky if you’re an adult. Yes, of course, I’m talking about Halloween.

As much as I love kids (and dressing-up), I can think of better ways to spend my evening which doesn’t involve getting up to answer the door every five minutes. To all you poor souls who don’t have a table booked or a cinema viewing or another excuse to avoid the house, all I can offer you is a blog and some book recommendations to help you fill the minutes between grazing the candy bowl and answering the front door.

I don’t have any horrors for you with these next three novels but scroll down to the bottom of this blog for some scarier suggestions. However, for the spookiest day of the year, I do have a Witch, a Wizard, and a Changeling… read more »

Blog 28: An Interview with ‘The Brunswick Saga Series’ Author E. K. Barnes

e-k-barnesQ1) In one or two sentences, how would you describe your Brunswick Saga series to someone who hasn’t read any of your work?

The Brunswick Saga series follows the lives of six siblings following the death and neglect of a parent. Each book in the series mainly focuses on one of the six and their struggles as time goes on.

Q2) How long did it take for you to finish and publish your recent work?

It took a little over a year and a half to write and publish the second book of the series (A Sister’s Imposition), which was released in March 2016.

Q3) Have you always wanted to write and when did you first discover that you wanted to write?

read more »

Blog 27: An Overnight Stay in Wigtown

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Admittedly my trip to Wigtown was booked rather last minute dot com. I had been meaning to visit Scotland’s National Book Town for some time, but between searching for properties and moving out, I hadn’t gotten around to it. Then there came a two week lull where all the agreements had been signed but my new flat was left waiting for broadband. Since my work is all home-based and requires the internet, there was little I could do, so I decided that this was the perfect time to book an overnight trip to Wigtown.

I went online, searched for places to stay in Wigtown, and quickly found a great priced room available for one night at the Hillcrest House B&B. My goal in Wigtown was to be nosy, get a general feel for the place, and go around all the book shops and dig the owners’ brains for any tips and advice for anyone who is thinking about setting up a book shop for the first time. (I also personally aimed to buy a book from every book shop in the town.)

Now for those of you who don’t know, Wigtown is a little town in the Dumfries and Galloway region in the Southwest of Scotland. It has a population of around 1,000 people and is home to several, independent, second-hand book shops. Now this may not seem like a lot at first glance, but it means there’s one book shop or book café for every 100 residents. To put this into perspective, Edinburgh would probably read more »

Blog 26: I Met The Devil on a Road Trip.

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The Devil is a popular character. He, she, or it, appears in literature all the time; Dante’s Inferno, Good Omens, Waywalkers, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea to name a few. However, when and where humanity first developed the idea of ‘The Devil’ is difficult to pinpoint, and whether or not ‘The Devil’ actually exists is an argument that most of us are happy to leave to the philosophers and theologists. One thing is for certain though, The Devil has been around for a long time and this character won’t be disappearing anytime soon. In fact with technology today, this character is as close to immortality as it will ever get. Unless humanity is wiped out by an asteroid, nuclear weapons, the inevitable death of the solar system, greedy politicians, or a combination of everything that I just mentioned.

I have lived in the UK all my life but sadly, I haven’t really seen very much of it. I put this down to my terrible ‘small-talk’ skills, lack of funds, and an aversion to driving my metal box amongst other, bigger and superior metal boxes. Still, needs must, I have patient friends, and society demands that I see daylight hours, so I do venture out into the outside world.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve driven up and down the Northern part of the M6 read more »

Blog 25: An Interview with ‘Consensus Breaking’ author, M.S. Dobing

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Q1) In one or two sentences, how would you describe your novel ‘Consensus Breaking’ to someone who hasn’t read any of your previous work?

Think an urban fantasy of the Matrix! It’s the sequel in the Auran Chronicles, and follows a young protagonist — Seb — who’s pulled into a secret world within our own where sheol (terrifying daemons that can possess humans) battle the warriors and mages of the Brotherhood and Magistry. In Consensus Breaking the fallout from the events of book one continue, with Seb and his alllies facing a new foe that not only serves as an entirely new level of adventure and threat, but also  serves to delve deeper into the underlying mythology and scale of the Auran Chronicles universe.

Q2) How long did it take for you to finish and publish ‘Consensus Breaking’?

It took about 6 months, which included first draft, multiple edits, a professional edit, and then final rewrite.

Q3) Have you always wanted to write and when did you first discover that you wanted to write? read more »

Blog 22: Reactions Make Stories Believable!

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Have you ever read a book where a character does or says something that seems to be completely bizarre? I don’t mean a plot-twist, I mean when a character literally does not follow ‘normal human behaviour’ causing the story to lose its believability and you, as the reader, end up questioning what planet the author was living on when they wrote their book? Unfortunately this seems to happen from time to time and it can cause readers to lose interest in, or give up on, a book entirely.

As much as every person is unique and reacts differently to different situations, and of course you will always have the anomalies (or rather the few that don’t behave like the majority), sometimes characters react in ways that you just cannot fathom, and when this happens your brain will point out everything that it views as flaws. Sometimes this is down to the individual reader but often it is the author’s fault, whether it be poor writing, or poor structural editing, or a seemingly lack of understanding in basic human reactions. Sometimes authors write sentences, paragraphs and even chapters that your brain just cannot get on board with. Before I go further, it is important to point out here that not everyone will enjoy or understand a particular book, everyone has different tastes, and even the famous authors receive bad reviews. read more »

Blog 7: Searching for Inspiration.

Inspiration. I’ve used this word sparingly throughout my blogs so far but I’ve not really gone into any detail. ‘I’m waiting for inspiration to strike’ is a common phrase used by creative people, but you may be asking ‘what exactly is inspiration?’ and ‘why do I have to wait for it?’

Inspiration can be defined as when someone or something gives you an idea, or a sudden good idea, or someone who people admire. In my opinion, inspiration means when you get an idea and you work with it. read more »

Blog 6: Write Anything and Everything.

You don’t have to write thousands of words every day in order to be a writer. In fact, this is likely to only happen when you are in your ‘creative zone’, and I mean the zone where you’re totally tuned out from the world and your imagination is solely focused on the piece of work at hand. In the ‘creative zone’ you’re happy and excited by your work and very little can distract you. This is great when it happens but for a lot of writers, myself included, it can be very difficult to reach this zone in the first place, let alone maintain it for hours.

So, how do writers write? read more »

Blog 4: Should You Use a Pen Name?

Many authors choose to write under a pen name or pseudonym. It’s a difficult decision to make and comes down to personal preference and what you hope to achieve.

Personally, I chose to use my real name but I deliberated for months over it. Luckily my name is pretty unique, and uniqueness is a good thing in the literary world. It means whenever someone searches my name up on the World Wide Web, I’m not lost underneath thousands of ‘Caitlin Lynagh’ results. If you search my name now, you will most likely find Troubador’s website featuring my novel Anomaly, at the top of the first page. However, not everyone has a unique name and not everyone wants to use their real name, and there can be a number of reasons as to why.

Some authors use a pen name aka nom de plume, because they don’t want family and friends to know that they have written, let alone published, a novel. Writing is exposing and there is undeniably a huge part of the author in any published novel. As you write, you will consciously and subconsciously draw upon your own thoughts, feelings and past experiences. The characters in your novel may even be loosely based on your friends and family, and the locations may be based on actual places you have visited. This is all pretty normal, and authors habitually venture into the real world searching for inspiration or sit and watch the world go by. Nonetheless, it ultimately means that your readers will be judging you subconsciously as a person and consciously as an author. This thought can be scary, and it is why some authors choose to use a pen name. read more »

Blog 3: Time is Unique for Everyone.

Imagine it’s two o’clock in the morning. You’ve been awake all night, working on this and that, and now your little spot on this planet is slowly rotating its way to dawn. You’re tired and you know you should be asleep, your body is practically yelling this at you, but you’ve just been hit by an awesome idea that cannot be ignored. You quickly scribble down the awesome idea in your notebook, but it’s frustrating, your mind feels thick and sluggish and you keep yawning like a Venus flytrap. You desperately want to work on the awesome idea, but your bed is calling you. This often happens to me, yet it is apparently quite common.

Research has shown, and I mean actual scientific research, that people tend to be more creative when they’re tired. read more »