Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

This is going to be a very small post as I've got A LOT to do in prep for the big day tomorrow, but I just wanted to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas. This has been an absolutely incredible year for me and I've made so many amazing new friends. It's truly been a year of dreams.
 
Around this time of year, the Elitland Valley is trapped in the fierce grip of winter. The green fields are buried beneath a blanket of pristine snow. In the villages, children play in the streets; every roof and window-pane stands crystallised with ice. The trees stretch skeletal fingers towards a pale sky. And to the west, the wall lies beneath a delicate lattice of frosted leaves and spider webs.
 
When I wrote the first draft of Blindsighted Wanderer almost six years ago, the setting was winter, not summer. That season didn't stick around for long as I reworked the story, but this year I can really remember the first version. In my mind's eye, I can see Silas standing at the edge of Fanchlow, his hair the only splash of colour against the snow, staring out towards the forbidden west.
 
It's funny to think back on that time. I haven't thought much about the first draft for a while, but now the year's drawing to a close, I can't really help it, since the story has come so far. It's reached a place I've only dreamed of. I owe all that to the team at Staccato Publishing; there's no other way to describe them than miracle-makers. Thanks to them, an amazing door has opened for me and I can't wait to see what will come. And a huge thank you to all my readers, friends and reviewers who breathe life into my story every time you open it.
 
Loads of Christmas cheer to you; have a wonderful festive day, stay safe, and be happy! May all your Christmas wishes come true! Here's to December, and 2013!

Friday, 21 December 2012

My author copies have arrived! Whoohoo!

Well, the world didn't end after all! That's a relief!

Anyway... hello, everyone! I've been a bit dead to the online world for this past week because I headed to my grandfather's house for a few days. That meant no internet but it didn't bother me too much, it was nice to spend some time with him. But I'm back now, and that means back to work! I have SO MUCH TO DO!!!!!! It's made no easier by me being determined to get as much of it done before Christmas as I can. But I just keep telling myself that the sooner it's done, the sooner it's finished. That seems to be my little mantra at the moment!

It's all alright though, because of what came through the post for me! I've had my graduation photographs and DVD, and my hard copies of Blindsighted Wanderer! It was so amazing to open the box and see a pile of very real paperbacks lying there with my name on them... I got pretty emotional to say the least! My mum's already claimed one copy and I'm still staring at the others!





I was also quite shocked to get back online and see that my facebook page has hit over 300 likes! That's pretty incredible, especially since over 200 of them have happened in December alone. I have the amazing Becky Johnson from Bex 'n' Books to thank for the vast majority of all the new support, so a HUUUUUGE THANK YOU to her!!!

In other matters, it doesn't look like here in north England we're going to have a white Christmas after all. It's going to be more of a wet Christmas! We have it quite easy compared to other places around the country I've seen on the news, but it's still pretty miserable out there! Hopefully it will all freeze at least so things look a bit more like a winter wonderland! But, my decorations are up, my presents are all wrapped. And my cat has decided that the tree is a giant new toy covered in shiny little toys! It's great to be back with her though. Nothing like a welcome home than loads of little teethmarks on your fingers!

Well, time for me to call it a day, I'd say. Hope you're all well, keeping nice and warm (and dry if you're anywhere in the UK!), and looking forward to next Tuesday! Merry Christmas everybody!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Giveaway with Bex 'n' Books

Hi, everyone!
There is a cool giveaway going on over at Bex 'n' Books! There's loads of brilliant author stuff you can win, including:
* 12 bookmarks from an array of authors, several signed.
* Lily Crussell mouse pad and pen
* Fearless by Tawdra Kandle signed t-shirt
* Blood of the Son stickers and wristband
* $5 Amazon voucher
To enter, head on over to Bex 'n' Books by clicking this link HERE
Giveaway closes on Sunday 16th December.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Wow, where do I start?!


I woke up this morning to a hail of new likes on my Facebook page... that was a very nice surprise! To everyone who's clicked the 'like' button, thank you very much and welcome! And a HUMUNGOUS thank you to Bex n' Books for adopting me as part of Young Adult and Teen Readers' Christmas for Authors event! Head on over there to learn how you can win some really cool stuff from a ton of authors!

There is also a new review from Open Book Society about Blindsighted Wanderer here - I will warn though, it contains spoilers, in case you haven't read the book yet.

And my brilliant friend Jacinta Maree has a new interview and giveaway over at Paranormal Addicts - it's really worth checking out!
To all new readers on this blog, over the weekend I'm going to be giving it a bit of a clean-up. There are some links which don't work anymore because I've been moving stuff around, so please bear with me while I fix all that. The main thing I'm going to work on is the Bonus Material page. I doubt there will be anything new turning up in the next few days, but you'll be able to access the Blindsighted Wanderer playlist - a bunch of inspirational songs that I listened to while writing - as well as the original English legend that inspired the book. So anyone who's interested, check back soon!
Again, I'm so grateful for all the support I'm given; it really does mean a lot to me and I want to say thank you all very much. I really hope you'll enjoy reading Blindsighted Wanderer.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Celebrations and nostalgia

I'm still buzzing about how well everything's gone for Blindsighted Wanderer this past week. Yesterday I got some lovely bookmarks in the mail, and two of the necklaces, similar to the ones given away at the Young Adult and Teen readers release party. So tomorrow I'm going to buy myself a silver Sharpie and get some signing done!
 
 
I love them!
 
There's also been a press statement released by Staccato Publishing, about the dual release of Blindsighted Wanderer and HK Savage's Second Sight. It was featured in over 50 reports, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, LA Daily News, Anchorage Daily News, and Sign On San Diego.
 
 
It feels very strange to think I've let Blindsighted Wanderer go now. I can still remember the exact date I began working on it: 1st February, 2007. I'll never forget sitting up in the eaves of a little cottage, watching the snow falling, and scribbling on a pad.
 
Almost six years later and it's like a completely different book. Not to mention it's being read by people all over the world, rather than hiding away in a cupboard! It's such an overwhelming sense of pride, with a little bit of anxiety thrown in. But it can only be good, and get better every day. More than anything, it's simply a dream come true.
 
But I have to admit, 2000 words of assignment still seems like Mount Everest!
 
Hope you all have a wonderful day!
 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Blindsighted Wanderer - OUT NOW!!!

Hi, everybody! Today’s the day!!!! I’m soooooo excited!!!! My debut book has now launched and is available on Amazon, Smashwords. It’s called Blindsighted Wanderer by E. C. Hibbs – as this is my first ever published work my future career as an author depends on how well this book sells, so I’d really appreciate it if you could buy a copy! It is US$4.99/GB£3.23 and is ready to download as an Ebook now!

I would love to hear your feedback – good or bad! – if you get a copy! I really hope you like it and hope to hear from you soon! Thank you!!!
Also, for those of you interested, tonight at 5-10pm EST there is an online party on Facebook to celebrate the release of both Blindsighted Wanderer, and my good friend and fellow Staccato author’s newest release: Second Sight by HK Savage. It’s open to everyone and it would be great if you could join us there! Just log into Facebook, click this link, Second Sight and Blindsighted Wanderer release party and confirm your attendance! HK Savage and I will be online answering questions; there will be games, trivia, and some really cool prizes to be won, including t-shirts and necklaces!
TO GET YOUR COPY OF BLINDSIGHTED WANDERER
 
 
To buy Blindsighted Wanderer from Amazon, you will need a Kindle App. This is a free download available from Amazon and is compatible with any iPad, android phone and tablet, and computers. You can download the Kindle App by clicking here:
 
There will be instructions based on whichever device you want to use, so just follow them along and you’ll have the App in minutes.
 Once the App is on your device, log into Amazon (you will need to create an account before buying), and follow this link to find Blindsighted Wanderer:
Hit “Buy Now” to add Blindsighted Wanderer to your basket. It costs US$4.99. If you’re using a Kindle, open it up and register it (just type in your Amazon email and password and that’s done). After that, on Amazon go to the drop down bar, select your Kindle’s name, and Blindsighted Wanderer will automatically download into your library.
 
 
Also, I’d really like to throw in a word about HK Savage – she is an amazing author and her new release Second Sight has also been launched today with Blindsighted Wanderer! I’d really recommend checking it out!
To Heather, Karen, and the entire Staccato team, thank you so much for taking a chance on me and for all the help and support along the way! You have made my dreams come true. And to the other authors at Staccato, C.S. Yelle and Donna Milward... an extra big thank you to Jacinta Maree – if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have this book launched today.
 
MY LINKS
 
 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Book launch release party!

Hi, everyone!!!
 
I've been away for a few days and therefore a bit dead to the online world, but now I'm home and can share this with you! We have five days left until the release of my novel Blindsighted Wanderer, and my good friend H.K. Savage's new tale, Second Sight. In order to celebrate, Young Adult and Teen Readers has organised an online party, with some really cool giveaways and prizes to be won on the night! Included are t-shirts for Second Sight, as well as some beautiful cameo-style pendant necklaces made from the Blindsighted Wanderer and Second Sight cover artworks!
 
 
 
   
The link to the event Second Sight and Blindsighted Wanderer Release Party is HERE so feel free to join in if you're interested! It's open to everyone and the more the merrier!
 
I'm getting so excited now... sixteen years of writing and I'm five days away. I don't many how many times I've dreamed about this, and by this time next week it will be reality.
 
And finally, if you want to attend, I'm looking forward to seeing you at the release party!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second Sight, book 1 of The Admiral’s Elite by HK Savage
Rebecca Sauter is a proud military police officer with a secret; she’s clairvoyant. Her ex-Marine father can’t understand why she won’t try harder for a commission but for Becca, hiding among the greater mass of enlisted men and women is safer.
One night on a run she encounters a terrifying man and his beastly dogs; in her attempts to defend herself she hits her head and passes out. When she wakes up in the hospital she’s being collected by a handsome but rude officer.
Humans are fragile. That has been Captain Michael Rossi’s mantra since his first days as a vampire in 1944. Now Admiral Black has given a post within his elite unit to a human woman solely because she has “the sight”. Michael’s fears that she will bring harm to his men are soon eclipsed by his realization that it is her who might suffer should the admiral decide she is a poor fit.
Dive into this new world with HK Savage’s new cast of characters in a series Paranormal Book Club is already calling “Perfect!” and Open Book Society gave a rare 5 star review!!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Book Review - The Book of Dead Days



5/5 STARS

 

The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are dead days, when spirits roam and magic shifts restlessly just beneath the surface of our lives. A magician called Valerian must save his own life within those few days or pay the price for the pact he made with evil so many years ago. But alchemy and sorcery are no match against the demonic power pursuing him. Helping him is his servant, Boy, a child with no name and no past. The quick-witted orphan girl, Willow, is with them as they dig in death fields at midnight, and as they are swept into the sprawling blackness of a subterranean city on a journey from which there is no escape.

 

This is one of those books which I’ve read so many times, and had for so long, that the pages are yellow and the spine’s lost all firmness. The first time I opened it, about nine years ago, I read it during the ‘Dead Days’ between Christmas and New Year, and that really added to the atmosphere. Saying that, having read it again at the height of summer, it’s still pretty good, but as Sedgwick books go I’d say they all work best either in autumn or winter.

Anyway, I can’t give anything but praise to The Book of Dead Days. It’s set in a beautiful yet decaying City, full of countless secrets, where the lines of science and magic are blurred. In a way it’s like a steampunk story, but more in the time of the scientific revolution when superstition was still butting heads with the new methodological thinking. It’s a nice time and setting for the story which contemplates it nicely but doesn’t overpower the tale.

Although the story is really told from Boy’s point of view, I love Valerian. He’s one of those characters who you know you should hate, but you’re so intrigued by him that you can’t help but follow along to see where he’s going to take you. I’ve never been able to put my finger on him exactly and that’s why I never get tired of reading about him. Boy is quite likeable too, and so is his friend Willow: two teenagers pulled into Valerian’s mysterious but dire situation.
This was the first of Marcus Sedgwick’s books that I read, and what an introduction! The Book of Dead Days has meaty mystery, some really good and unexpected twists, intriguing characters, and a beautifully simple setting. It’s shot through with brilliant gothic streaks, some dry humour, and just good storytelling. I’d recommend it to anyone from 12+ to adults. A wonderful read that deserves more attention.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Book Review - Memory's Wake



5/5 STARS




Lost in a world full of monstrous fairies, a troubled sixteen year old has to find out who she is, and why her memories were stolen, before she is found by those who want her dead.
She takes the name “Memory” and knows she has just one goal – to find her way home, wherever that is. But the land she’s found herself in is completely unfamiliar. No technology to be seen, and iron is banned, thanks to a pact the humans have with the magical creatures who share their pre-industrial era world. In her t-shirt and torn jeans, Memory knows she’s different, even before she performs impossible magic.


As the fragments of her troubled past are pieced together, even her newly found friends question her humanity. Memory just wanted to know who she is. She never thought she’d have to question what she is.


Haunted by her past, chased by a dragon, wanted by the king and stalked by the strange, handsome savage that seems to know her, everyone is after Memory, and she suspects it’s not just for her eye-catching outfit. Her forgotten past holds dangerous secrets that will challenge everything she believes and change the whole kingdom.


Memory will fight to get back to a family and home she can’t remember but desperately desires, even at the cost of new friendships and romances. On the run with no name and no memories, she thinks she has nothing left to lose. She couldn’t be more mistaken.




I first read Memory’s Wake last year when it was first released. Since then I’ve read it three more times, and I still love it just as much. This is a beautifully written, magical tale that instantly pulls you in and doesn’t let go. Entering the wonderful world of Avall with Memory, you can really empathise with her and follow her on the journey to find herself. Along the way, the setting unfolds like a journey into a magnificent painting. The descriptions really enrich the narrative, bringing a huge amount of very rich settings to life.

In many ways, it reminded me of the classic fairytales like the Brothers Grimm and Hans Andersen, and that’s beautifully balanced by having a main character who’s brilliantly sarcastic. Memory is a really likeable character and I love the dynamics between her and the other female protagonist, Eloryn. The way the two bounce off each other is very well constructed. I really enjoyed how there was no pigeonholing with any of the characters either. All of them have reasons for what they do; it’s only the way they’re perceived which might mark them out as being ‘good’ or ‘evil’. That adds a very believable realism to them; that they’re just ordinary people.

The paperback and hardcover versions are full of original illustrations done by Selina. I’ve been a huge fan of her artwork for almost ten years, but these illustrations really raise the novel and contemplate the narrative beautifully. There’s a small one at the start of each chapter to help set the scene, and in the most poignant parts there are full-page ones that really pull you into the moment. The level of detail is on par with that of the writing; I had to actually go through the book again after I finished reading it just to spend time studying and marvelling at the pictures.

This is easily one of my favourite paranormal books; there’s a perfect mix of magic, romance, adventure and mystery to satisfy a wide range of readers. It’s an engaging and occasionally funny piece of work that I’ll happily read again and again.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Blindsighted Wanderer: first review!

What a morning!!!  The initial plan was to head off to archery in the afternoon and shoot some defenceless straw targets... now I've had to add "run around the room like a headless chicken, grinning my head off!!!!!!" to the morning!

First, I woke up and found out that my favourite artist/author, Selina Fenech, has shared a fanart I did of her characters on her facebook page!!!... and then I saw the first review for Blindsighted Wanderer, by my amazing friend HK Savage.

I was so excited... I was pacing up and down while waiting for the page to load! And then I read it and it had 5 stars!!! If you'd like to read it, head over to the book's new page on Goodreads and scroll down to the review section!

Anyway, time for me to make a move up to uni! Wishing you all a brilliant day!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Blindsighted Wanderer: blurb

 
Amidst the last minute havoc for my Graduation tomorrow, today I saw the blurb for Blindsighted Wanderer and I wanted to share:



The Wall has long kept Elitland Valley safe from the demons on the other side. For centuries the villagers have avoided speaking of the Wall or the creatures it protects them from.

Upon their return from the annual Country Fayre, the older Atego brothers learn of their father's passing. When fifteen year old Silas Atego learns the mysterious illness that took his father might have been a curse from a demon, his need for answers draws him to the one place he must not go. The far side of the Wall.

When Silas is still missing days later, his older brother Raphael sets out on his own to bring him home. On his journey, Raphael learns how it was his ancestor who was cursed by a demon creature from the Lake and had the Wall built to keep them out. More desperate than ever to find his brother, his search draws Raphael to the same terrifying barrier.

Along the brothers' individual travels they face their greatest fears, make lifelong friends, and more importantly, learn the truth of what happened centuries ago.

Blindsighted Wanderer is a tale about how truth and forgiveness will set you free. Where myths are transformed to legends that last a lifetime. The brothers leave their home as desperate boys but return to their family as honorable men.

Blindsighted Wanderer is a young adult fantasy, coming of age story appropriate for readers 12 +.




What do you think??? Please let me know!

Blindsighted Wanderer will be released by Darkest Night Publishing on 20th November 2012, available as an E-book through Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.
My Facebook page: [link]
Darkest Night Publishing: [link]

Monday, 29 October 2012

Blindsighted Wanderer: RELEASE DATE AND COVER REVEAL


I'm delighted to announce that Blindsighted Wanderer will be released in ebook format through Darkest Night Publishing on Tuesday 20th November!!!!

The cover is also done now, by Tishia Mackey from Para Graphic Designs, and I'm absolutely delighted with it. Thank you, Tishia!



I want to say a HUUUUUGE thank you to everyone who's helped me get to this point - there are a lot of people who really got behind me on this and it honestly means the world to me. From offering your opinions on the sample chapters (all that time ago!) to keeping an eye on the story's progress as it makes its way closer to the big wide world... you're all superstars!!!

I hope you like it all as much as I do, and I really can't wait for the big day when the story of Merrin, Silas and Raphael comes to life.

Thank you everybody for all your support!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Skewering defenceless inanimate objects!

Another year of university means another year of archery! Today I went back to have my first shoot in about six months. I was worried I'd be a bit out of practise and arrows would be going all over the place.

That's not what happened. Instead, I think I did the best I ever have!


 
 

 We'd put the bottle on the top as a sort-of extra target, and everyone shooting from that station got a bit of a vendetta against it. You can't see it too well, but in the bottom photo, my arrow has actually gone inbetween the wood and metal strut. I'd been aiming for the bottle, but I didn't actually realise I'd hit it until I went over to collect the arrows; I thought I'd just hit the wood! Needless to say, I am one happy bunny!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Hallowe'en is a-comin'!

I'm so excited; this week is going to be very busy getting all the stuff ready! Every year I try to outdo what I did the year before. This time I'm planning to make spider webs out of PVA glue to stick on the windows, and my Mum and I are going to go crazy in the kitchen with spooky baking.
 
I've had an idea to make a marble cake using black and orange mixture, and then decorate it with icing like a pumpkin or something. But if anyone else loves making cakes and wants to get festive, I'd highly recommend checking out Lilli Vanilli - especially her book A Zombie Ate My Cupcake! It's full of really creepy recipies brilliant for this time of year. I'll prewarn, some of them are pretty grotesque so might not be great if you're squeamish, but they all taste sooooo nice! I've made a few  before and had a load of fun creating Dia De Los Muertos sugar skulls, meringue bones, and a gingerbread graveyard...
 
Leading on from books, I've been cracking open all my favourite Hallowe'en reads: Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker and H. P. Lovecraft to name a few! Tim Buton and horror movies have taken over my DVD player, and I'm on the hunt for a nice big pumpkin. I try to do something different every year - the scary demon face wins sometimes, but the last few years I've done a witch flying across the moon, and Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas. Occasionally I even use a turnip as well - that's a more traditional English lantern, before pumpkins became popular. They're a pain to carve and you can't do much detail, but they look awesome hanging from wall brackets outside the house!
 
Next weekend I'm planning on doing a ghost walk as well. The nearby city is rumoured to be one of the most haunted in England, which doesn't surprise me since it's been standing since the first century! Even the chocolate shop supposedly has a poltergeist! I know a lot of the stories because I've lived here for so long, and I love ghosts, so I go exploring my favourite places close to Hallowe'en.
 
As for my costume... I'm not being too adventurous this year, I'm afraid. My original plan was to do Hysteria Alice from Alice: Madness Returns, but then I found out my BSc Graduation is two days later. And since that make-up would mean A LOT of fake blood on my arms and face, I don't think it'd go down very well with the Dean if I walked through the cathedral still covered in the stuff! So I'm doing Plan B: vampire, which should be a bit easier to clean up! Hysteria can wait until next year! In the meantime, I'm ploughing through my first two assignments so I'll have all the time in the world to have fun!
 
Wishing everyone a very Happy Hallowe'en!!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Blindsighted Wanderer concept artwork

Hi, everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that now you can see some of the concept artworks I've done for Blindsighted Wanderer by clicking here or by visiting the Bonus Material link at the top of the blog. You can also see them in the Blindsighted Wanderer photo album on my Facebook page.

There will be more coming soon, both in digital and traditional mediums. I have quite a lot of very messy thumbnail sketches, done mainly to help me with the writing process, so it's now going to be a process of sifting through them to find ones that will look best when polished up. Although, I'll probably keep the majority of My Tragic Silence's art for nearer the time of its release. That's not to say there won't be a few vampires popping up alongside water nymphs though, so be sure to watch out for them!

Thanks for looking, I hope you'll like the pictures!

Monday, 15 October 2012

My new Victorian writing desk!!!

I am SOOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!!!! The other day, my dad picked up this beautiful 19th century writing desk for me! It was a complete surprise; he took me into the spare room in my grandfather's house and there it was, just for me!


I don't think my smile could have got any wider. I haven't had any desk at all for almost seven years, but I've wanted a proper writing desk for even longer, and now I get one that reaches back to the 1800s. And you can't really see it in that photo, but it's got a little key in the top too!

It's living at my grandfather's for the near future, because my room at my house is tiny - if I raise both hands then I can touch two of the walls. Needless to say, I've been busy re-arranging all my books and DVDs, trying to figure out a way to get the desk in there! It would be a lot easier if my wardrobe wasn't bolted in place, but beggars can't be choosers. So far, it looks like I'll have to get rid of my bigger bookcase and find homes for the books in the cupboards somewhere. I'm still not sure if it will even be possible, but I really hope I can manage it somehow!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Bonus Material


Does this place look a little different?
I decided to give it a bit of a revamp for the upcoming release of Blindsighted Wanderer. I don’t have the final date yet, but it’s coming close, so watch this space!
There are also a few new links that you can check out, like Goodreads, and Bonus Material. On that second one, you'll find extras that tie into both Blindsighted Wanderer and My Tragic Silence. At the moment, Blindsighted Wanderer's section has the most links, but more will be added to My Tragic Silence soon, as well as other stuff like concept artwork.

In the Bonus at the moment are the soundtrack song listings for both the novels, research notes, and an English folktale. I honestly hope you'll enjoy checking them out! Go to the links bar overhead to have a browse!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

One of those update-things...

Well, quite a bit's happened since I last paid this place a visit! The main news to report is that I'm back at uni... now, I'm a postgrad student and I've got another two years scribbling notes and hiding away in the library! It was my first day today, eight hours of really sciencey stuff, and I've already got coursework! Two 2000-word essays that I need to hand in by January at the latest.
 
All I'll say is, I wish I could write a 2000-word assignment as quickly as a 2000-word chapter!
 
Speaking of books, I've been writing away, too... I've now got two more completed novels (the rest of the Trilogy of J'hura, following Phoenix Feathers), and I've started planning the next one. I won't begin it properly until sometime next year - a high fantasy trilogy in six months is one heck of an achievement but also one heck of a killer! So I'm going to have a little break and concentrate on getting everything just right before I plunge into this new story. But I'm very happy with how much work I managed to get done this summer, and finishing off a series is a really nice place to relax.
 
And for anyone who's interested in my upcoming first novel, all I'll say is that it won't be long now! I'm getting so excited... Watch this space!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

My first interview!

My first author interview, with Emily Walker, is now up on Self Publish or Die! Click here to read it!


Also, pretty please, check out the other interviews with my fellow Staccato/Darkest Night authors

Jacinta Maree : author of My Demonic Ghost

and Jay Mims : author of The Five Santas and The Cult of Koo Kway

Monday, 10 September 2012

Ya sas! (Hello!)

Hello, world! It feels longer than just over two weeks since I last sat at a computer, but not having phone or internet while lounging around on a Greek beach has been very nice indeed!

Well, I'm 21 now - got a big key and everything! And what a birthday it was! It feels really like the whole birthday was stretched over the fortnight; pretty much as soon as we'd settled into our little village on the south coast of Corfu, it began. My parents secretly brought a chocolate cake over in the luggage (I'm shocked that it made it in one piece, let alone unmelted!), as well as a load of light-up balloons and a new camera – which was put to good use!




After a morning at the beach and afternoon at the pool, we headed out for dinner... me with one of those huge 21 TODAY! badges about the size of a small plate. That was essentially the whole holiday in a nutshell: if it wasn't the beach, it was the pool. I snorkelled with fish, dived for shells, and got urchin spines stuck in my foot at one point! Towards the end, we spent a day in Kerkyra (Corfu Town), and had a brilliant time wandering the maze of backstreets before settling down by the harbour with a fresh feta cheese pie each (I'm going to miss those!).



There wasn't a cloud in the sky for the entire time we were there, and when we flew back, the majority of Europe was clear, too. From the plane, we could see Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium... we flew over the Alps and the Black Forest, and when we crossed the Channel, our first sight of England was the white cliffs of Dover from about 30, 000 feet in the air.

I'm a bit jetlagged, but nothing too bad. It's been a bit crazy ever since we've got home... not least because it was a bit odd to look up at the sky and see clouds!  And it wasn't long before we headed to my grandfather's house, and had a little family party with yet ANOTHER chocolate cake which was even bigger than the first!

So now I'm trying to get everything ready for if I manage to go back to uni for my masters. There's a lot to be done now I'm home... tidying up, writing, drawing, emailing... I'm going to be a busy bee! And I've also got a slightly-bigger kitten to keep amused, as she has now definitely hit the moggy stage of teenager-dom!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Book review - My Demonic Ghost

 
 
I’d been looking forward to reading My Demonic Ghost for a while, and when it was released and I got my copy, I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. It’s a fresh and original twist on the classic idea of ghosts possessing humans, and the depth that the story goes to is wonderful. I immediately liked the narrator, 15 year-old Rachael who returns to Whitehaven to visit her ailing father. She’s a strong character who not only has to deal with some very ‘normal’ problems, but also keep amused – and a deal with – the demonic Lock. As soon as he entered the story, I was completely hooked, and intrigued as to what the secret of his past could be. It’s not often you come across a printed name which has all the personality as a real human being, and Lock delivers in spades; there isn’t a passage including him which I didn’t love.
Rachael and Lock aren’t the only brilliant characters in the book. The entire cast is rife with believability, and an originality that truly marks them as individuals – which I found especially impressive in the case of the Banished Spirits. The appearances of the other unearthly beings, such as Hunters and Reapers, are well handled, too – it’s a large amount of information, but delivered in an accessible way that doesn’t overwhelm at all. The scenes which really stuck with me were those in which the Seven Deadly Sins are involved – Envy in particular – and the way their individual realms related to them was a work of skilled description and imagination. In stark contrast is the everyday setting of other locations, which manage to walk the line between the imagery of familiar small towns, and eerie pockets: a real keystone for a good ghost story. But even though that’s what this novel might be classed as, there are so many other genres and themes feeding into it that I can’t imagine any paranormal fan not picking it up. Besides the ghosts, there’s action, mystery and romance – something for everyone.
I’d highly recommend My Demonic Ghost. As well as presenting an original story, it’s really taken me back and started me on a huge re-read of all the ghostly books I loved when I was younger. I honestly can’t think of a single negative point to say about it. It’s made me chuckle, bite my nails, and even shed a few tears. An incredible debut which is easily one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I can’t wait to see more! Well done, Jacinta!

Friday, 3 August 2012

The dream comes true!

I've been bursting to tell everybody since I found this out, but now I'm going to say it: MY BOOKS ARE BEING PUBLISHED!!!!!!

Blindsighted Wanderer and My Tragic Silence will be brought to ebook by Darkest Night, an imprint of Staccato Publishing in Minnesota. I've been waiting for this moment for years; for about half my life, I'd say... you have dreams but when they come true it's absolutely incredible. Add that to my recent BSc and it basically means my feet haven't really touched the ground for a month!

I now have a Facebook fan page set up, so pleeeeeease go to E. C. Hibbs and click Like to help me spread the word!

Also, go to the author page of Darkest Night to see both profiles of me and my fellow writer Jacinta Maree

And, to top all that off, I was told the other day that to celebrate my 21st birthday later this month, my parents are taking me to one of my favourite countries in the world: Greece. I went there a few times when I was very young and I love it to pieces, so it's such a brilliant feeling to be going back! I'd love to write a story set there or something... let's see if inspiration strikes!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Check this out!

My friend Jacinta Maree's debut novel, My Demonic Ghost, was published earlier this week! I'm so happy for her; I got my copy the other day and I'm finding it so hard to put down! It tells the story of Rachel, a girl who returns home to Whitehaven to visit her ailing father, only to become the host of a young spirit named Lock. It's an absolutely brilliant read and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes paranormal stories!

Visit Jacinta's Deviantart account and Facebook page, or the Darkest Night website for more information on My Demonic Ghost and how you can download it in ebook format! Honestly, it's really worth a look!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

I am one happy bunny!

Hi, everyone!!!
Well, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks in my house, but yesterday was a day I know I’m definitely not going to forget in a hurry. So I’ll spill the beans... I am now a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Animal Behaviour!!!!!
Haha it feels a bit weird that I can now write BSc (hons) after my name if I like! I’m still on cloud nine and I don’t see me coming back down anytime soon. It was nothing like my mum’s reaction; she jumped so high, I thought she almost hit the ceiling! I think most of it is because after how hard the last few years have been for me and the state it put my head in, I thought there was no way I’d be able to get Honours. So in a few days I’ll be booking my tickets for graduation, and then later this month, I’m putting in the order for my cap and gown.
It still hasn’t sunk in; I keep staring at myself in the mirror and repeating it, but it looks like it’s going to take a while. In the meantime, I can’t do any drawing because my wrist is STILL playing up, so it’s going to be writing, writing, writing... and celebrating with lovely chocolate cake!!!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Free chapters and bonus stuff

You can now read free sample chapters from My Tragic Silence and Blindsighted Wanderer by clicking these links, or by visiting their pages! If you have a look, please let me know what you think - I'd love to hear your opinions!

You can also see some bonus stuff for both novels: the map of the Elitland Valley here and a poster for My Tragic Silence here.

Keep checking back for more!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Phoenix Feathers completed!

Today I finished the last re-working of Phoenix Feathers, and nearly hit the ceiling; I was so happy. It’s the first in my upcoming Trilogy of J’hura, and has come out at a very satisfying 85, 400 words long. I still have the two sequels to write – I want to try and get the majority of work on the second book of the series done by autumn – but even though I’m technically only 1/3 of the way through, it feels like a much bigger achievement.

I think that's mainly down to the J'hura novels being with me for almost eight years. I wrote the first drafts when I was 14, and fell into the world so much that my schoolwork went a bit downhill. But it was something I felt I needed to do, and even though I still grimace a bit when I think of those dips in my grades, I'm happy I spent so long trapped in the stories. Since those early days, the series has had a huge face lift of an edit, which is the main reason why I let it brew for a few years before writing it again. I wanted to make sure I got everything right, and as good as it could possibly be.

I can't wait to share Phoenix Feathers, but it will probably be a little way off yet. I still need to do the covers for the series and make sure all the ends will tie up nice and neatly. It definitely has a very different tone to my previous stuff. It's quite a dark story, with a fair load of bloody battles, although there's some dry humour and unlikely friendships in there, too.

I'll be setting up a page for the Trilogy soon, but in the meantime, I'm working hard on trying to get my driving test out of the way, while my brain's still in 'study mode'. Apart from that, it's full speed ahead with Phoenix Flight! Whoohoo!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Novel soundtracks

I always listen to music when I'm writing, and seven years ago when I was working on the first draft of Phoenix Feathers, I put together a rough soundtrack for the story - the first time I did. It began when one of my favourite songs, Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy, came on the radio, and struck a chord so deep that it directly inspired a whole scene in the book. I've put together soundtracks for all my novels ever since. I think the longest one was something like 30 songs, but now they tend to be around 15-20 tracks long. Still not the shortest, but I hate things beeing too short!

Anyway, you can now get the soundtracks for Blindsighted Wanderer and My Tragic Silence by either clicking on these links or visiting the novels' pages. They both have 17 songs, but at the moment there's no accompanying playlists for either. I tried to use music with not only corresponding lyrics, but sound as well, so Blindsighted Wanderer has a lot of medieval folk, whereas My Tragic Silence is more alternative.

I hope you enjoy listening to them! Thanks for visiting!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Edits, edits, and yet more edits


Like a lot of writers, I find it really hard to sit down with one of my novels and figure out where to draw the line. I think that when it's just been you and these characters holed up inside your own head, it can make it difficult for you to distance yourself enough from your own work to edit it properly. I once read that "easy reading is damn hard writing", and I couldn't agree more.

Saying that, I wouldn't stop for the world. If I was forced to give up all except one pastime, I could begrudgingly let karate go, I could probably even put my graphite pencils down, but if I tried to stop myself from writing then I think I would literally go mad.

The other week, I finished the absolute, final, complete edit of Blindsighted Wanderer. I say 'absolute, final, complete' because there's been too many single edits that I was convinced were the last ones. It seems that no matter how many times I go back to a manuscript, there's always one typo hiding somewhere or a sentance that warbles on. Finishing an edit and then stepping back, saying "right, that's it, I'm not doing any more," is really tough. No matter how many edits you do, it is never enough, but sometimes you need to find that line, draw it, and let it go.

In the next few days, I'm beginning the 'absolute, final, complete' edit of My Tragic Silence. I'm quite looking forward to finishing that one, because it's been through such a huge number of drafts and reworkings. At one point, I took to thinking of it like a wrestling match with a snake that shed its skin every ten minutes. But overall, I'm happy with the way it's turned out.

I will say here, however, so there aren't any misconceptions: My Tragic Silence is a vampire novel, but it's not a romance. I'm not the biggest fan of romance anyway, so even though most of my books have some kind of romantic element to them, it won't ever be the main subject. On the other hand, I love fantasy, history, and horror/action, and all of these will feature prominently (and most probably in that order) in basically everything.

Later this summer, I'll be beginning a huge edit of Phoenix Feathers, and starting work on its sequel. On top of that, I'll be continuing with plans for Wintermourn, and pushing to get Blindsighted Wanderer and My Tragic Silence out into the big wide world! It feels so strange; I've been writing for a long time and managed quite a few novels, but the fact that I've started my blog and am letting people know about it all is making it a bit more real. I can't wait to see how everything turns out!

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Up and running!

Hello, there!

Well, now my exams are all done and dusted, I thought it was high time to follow through with my idea of starting a blog for my writing. I'd uploaded the first three chapters of my two novels, Blindsighted Wanderer and My Tragic Silence, in my deviantart gallery, but since I started that account primarily for my artwork, I'd like to keep it that way. So anything relating to my stories will end up on here first, from now on.

Anyway... I suppose I should say something about my stories... I hate this part, talking about them; it took me a long time to just pluck up the courage to let people see them! I guess the best way to sum everything up is that they're generally young-adult orientated, and fantasies, and written by me. I'm in the process of getting my first two ready for publication - with at least another nine in the works.

For a bit more info about them and me, have a lookie on the links... I'll put up more soon.

Thanks for visiting!