Take the photo above for example. To me it could be an alien planet. The mudflats of Mersea even inspired a scene in Keir's sequel, though it only takes up a page of the story. The desolate brown-grey surface with the ridges of water sparkling in the winter sun was an image that really stuck in my head.
A recent review for Keir commented that the reader wanted to stay on Metraxi. The tropical island of Kasha-Asor where Keir and Quin were 'imprisoned' came from lazy weekends spent on the beach at Frinton-on-Sea, just a half hour drive from my home.
And the bamboo groves instead of the stereotypical palm trees? They were down to the wallpaper on my computer at the time. Just to prove inspiration can come from the strangest places and the smallest things.
With my latest release, the setting was already given by the anthology canon - a space station but with holographic suites that could become anything a visitor desired. Even then, a real life setting became the opening scene of Terms & Conditions Apply. Taken from a piece I originally did for my university course a couple of years ago, the meeting area began life as Culver Square in my home town, with its Romanesque style central fountain tying in nicely with the Roman goddess after which the space station was named - Venus. The fountain no longer works these days, but it lives on in the wasteful display of water Marie scorns as she sits in the meeting area of Venus Ascendant. The canon description - of a public area surrounded by shops and market stalls - seemed a perfect match with the real life setting for the town centre.
|Culver Square in Colchester.|
I've nothing new to report on the writing front. Everything pretty much went on hold over the Christmas holiday, and my little monsters only returned to school yesterday. Most of my plans for this month involve revamping my Book Reviewers List, cleaning up and reorganizing all my social media sites, and the imminent edits for Gethyon. I'm waiting to hear back from my editor regarding Tethered, and for news on my sfr short story submission. I'm also hoping to increase the amount of guest blogging I do elsewhere, and to enter a few more contests over the year. Aside from that, I have two draft novellas which have the potential to become three, a decision to be made over Keir's sequel, and at least one more short story that I'd like to have completed and published this year. Think that should keep me out of mischief for a while...
What are your writing plans for the year ahead?
Some odd ones for you. First up, who wants to smell like a library? Think I'm joking? A company called Demeter have come up with a scent called Paperback which promises to smell like your favourite library or used book shop. If anyone gets it, let me know how it smells. :)
This is an interesting one, although I'm not sure how good a match it produces. BookRX will apparently match you to the perfect books based on your Twitter ID (using the hashtags from your tweets). You can test it out for yourself here.I have to say I hadn't heard of ANY of the books it recommended to me, although a couple of the author names were familiar. If you're looking for something different, perhaps this is the way to find it. Let me know if it gives you anything interesting.
For the stargazers among us, a handy guide to the meteor showers in 2013 with Meteorwatch.
With the end of Six Sentence Sunday rushing towards us, it has been proposed the Brigade run one of its own, to showcase the works of SFR authors. I'll be arranging a sign-up inlinkz on the SFR Brigade main blog, much like the one for the tagging parties (which are now on hold, pending this trial run of the blogging ring). Snippets should be one paragraph (approx 150-200 words) to go live late Friday (time zone to be decided but it'll be a US one most likely). Snippets will not be checked, so it's up to participants to make sure their posts are live and at the limit. As yet we're still discussing a name and hastags to be used - if in doubt, you can use the main SFR Brigade tag which is #sfrb. Those Brigade members who've taken part in SSS will be familiar with the idea, but feel free to ask any questions. It's all very informal and experimental for now, but the idea is not only to familiarize each other with examples of each other's work, but to hopefully entice readers to the genre. So, mutual promotion of the event is key! If you have any ideas, suggestions or even, dare I say it - complaints, please comment below or in the Facebook group.
Have you submitted to the SFR Brigade anthology yet? If not, there's still time. The deadline has been extended until the end of January. Hurry up!
My cover for Keir will be up on the You Gotta Read site and I need your votes! *flutters eyelashes* pretty please? It's #14 and will be up here from the 14th January. C'mon, it's a good looking guy with tatts - got to be worth a click. ;)
Laurie, the first of anything is always special, but I can promise you I'm as excited about each release as I was the first...and probably a lot less nervous about it. I hope that feeling never goes away, but here's to a new batch of firsts!