Friday, 25 October 2013

Awesome old book!

I just wanted to share something pretty cool with you guys - well it's cool to me but, seriously, my face was like a kid at Christmas with this thing!
Over the past month or so, I've been given a load of old books. Some of them are more modern animal/biology related ones which are really handy for my uni course, but others are stuff like poetry collections; fairy tales; Shakespeare; the like - and they have some history behind them. I love old books, and I thought the earliest one I had was from 1895. That's impressive to me anyway, until I checked out the Roman numerals in this battered little thing, and my jaw practically hit the floor.
This was printed in 1764!
I'm pretty confident that is one of the oldest things I own! I'm very tempted to take it to an antique book specialist and see if I can find out some more about it. In the meantime though, it's taken pride of place on top of my writing desk! So cool!!!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The theme song

I know I write books and not movies, but for pretty much every single one that I create, I end up putting together a 'soundtrack' of songs which I think go with them. It's all in fun, but I can get a bit obsessive about getting them in the right order, making sure I don't go too overboard on the numbers... et cetera! But usually, there is one song in particular which seems so perfect, it becomes a kind of 'theme song' - the track which I automatically think of when I imagine the story. Tragic Silence comes out in just over a month (whoohoo!) so today I was listening to its soundtrack to get me all excited. And I think it's the only book I've written which arguably has two of these signature songs. The main one, I won't say now, because in a way it's too perfect. But the other one, I wanted to share.

Yes, I know I'm cheating a bit since this is a theme song in itself, but I LOVE IT. Phantom is one of my favourite musicals and it was a huge influence on Tragic Silence. I haven't heard many versions which I haven't liked, and the one I used on the track listing is the Nightwish one, but this one from the 25th Anniversary DVD gave me chills. If I do a sort-of mental eye-blurring when I listen to this song, I can honestly see it going hand in hand with the vampires from the story.

Hope you like!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Stories and scans

Well, it's been a while since my last update-style post, so I thought I'd better write one!
At the moment I'm housesitting for some friends, which is giving me a good opportunity to get stuck in with all my work for university. I have a lot to do, but the peace and quiet is helping me concentrate and I'm aiming to get it all done in a couple of weeks so I can really take time to relax.
Besides all that, I've finished the first draft of my latest novel, The Tale of Jane Doe. I'm leaving it alone for a while now so I can go back and edit it fresh in a few months. I'm overwhelmingly proud of this story. Juggling all the different components to pull it together was very interesting - it's taken me in a few new directions. And after working on paranormal and gritty high fantasy the last few years, it was great to go back to a more 'mystical' kind of story. My mum read it a few weeks ago, and she said it's the darkest story I've ever written. That balance was what I was aiming for and I'm so happy I managed to achieve it.
I'm planning to start a new novel in summer 2014 - from the looks of things, it's going to be The Libelle Papers: the first prequel to Tragic Silence. I can't really take the time to write it sooner because I have so much work for uni which needs to be done in the meantime. But to help keep me sane, I'm working on a novella, The Sailorman's Daughters, which I'm aiming to finish sometime in the new year. I'm not writing it constantly like I usually do with a novel, but I'm enjoying it so far! Mermaids galore!
I'm also due to go to hospital soon for an MRI scan of my wrist. As some of you may know, I've had problems with the tendons for a few years. It's been very frustrating because it's made it hard for me to do a lot of things. At one point a couple of years ago, I couldn't even hold a fork properly! I was worried initially that it was carpal tunnel syndrome or something, but when I went for a check-up, I was relieved to hear it's probably just tendonitis. We just need to find out exactly what is going on in the tissues so it can start being treated properly.
Well, that's all I can think of to say! I hope everyone is doing well, and looking forward to Hallowe'en! I still need to decide what to carve on the pumpkin for this year...

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Blog tour: Aphrodite's War by Donna Milward

Once again, I'm doing a stop on the Staccato Autumn Family Lineup, yay! Today we have Donna Milward, and are celebrating her newest release, Aphrodite's War!

Aphrodite despises Aries and when Zeus proposes a contest, the prize being expulsion of her enemy from Olympus, Aphrodite cannot resist. The catch: should Aries prevail it is Aphrodite who must leave her home. Risks aside, she cannot refuse the possibility of a future without her former lover.
The challenge: two mortals must fall in love. It is simple. However, the players could not be more ill-suited. Poetry, a free spirited artist and Adrian, a defense attorney would not normally choose one another. But when gods interfere anything is possible.


Donna Milward lives in Edmonton, Alberta in a tiny house with a huge yard. She’s been writing all her life, but decided to put writing on hold to get ‘a real job’ as a meatcutter and build a future with her beloved troll, Dan and her cats Freya, Sully, and Spartacus Jones.

Twelve years later, an invitation to a Romance Writer’s Conference in Washington D.C. led not only to new friends and new knowledge, but to the inspiration to write again. Thoeba was completed the following year.

Donna likes to mix her fascination with reincarnation and all things paranormal with her love of mythology in her work, and has even written her own myth ‘The Sacred Truth” (on as the lore behind Thoeba and future novels to come.

Donna enjoys fishing, gardening and canning. Despite these hobbies, she much prefers city life


How did you come up with the idea of Aphrodite's War? Did you have to do a lot of research for it?
The idea came from two places. I always thought if Aphrodite and Ares were real people, their romance wouldn’t survive forever, and what happens when you’re immortal and forever is your reality? The saying “All is fair in love and war” sprang to mind constantly. The other concept came from another cliché—“Opposites attract.” But it can’t be that easy. Especially since Poetry and Adrian are as different from each other as you can get. I’m not sure those two would have connected without Aphrodite’s help. And oddly enough, Kevin helped a great deal.

As for research, I’ve adored Greek Mythology since I was twelve years old. It’s a joy for me to use what I’ve learned over the years. And since I live in Edmonton, I didn’t really need to research much. You could come to my city and find the restaurant where Poetry works and the neighbourhood where her parents live. You can see the gay bar from the Second Cup Poetry and Jenny met at. I went through my local yellow pages to count how many pages were dedicated to law offices. The only fictional place was Vulcan’s Forge. Research for everything else was as simple as Google.

There are so many entities in Greek mythology: gods, nymphs and titans, to name only a few! How did you decide which characters would make an appearance in Aphrodite's War?

I guess I just used whoever seemed appropriate for the job. That’s the beauty of Greek Mythology—there is a deity or legend for everything.

How long did it take you to write this story?
I would say roughly nine or ten months plus editing. That’s how it seems to work for me, a novel a year.

Do you have any kind of rituals for writing, such as having music playing, or writing at a certain time of day?
I never really gave that much thought, but I definitely have a preferred routine. I like to write in the morning after breakfast and Facebook. I always have the TV on in the background, because I hate silence and music is too distracting. On a good day, I can write into the afternoon. I prefer to write my blogs and other correspondence in the evenings after dinner.

If Aphrodite's War was made into a movie, who would you choose to play the main character?
Tough question! The only one who has an actual actor chosen for him is Ares. Jason Momoa would be perfect! I chose Adrian’s features from the Norwegian Olympic Curling Team. I never had anyone in mind for Poetry, but just last March I met a woman named Sandra who looked just like her! She even had tattoos and piercings, but her black hair is longer and curlier and her bangs are always orange.

Thank you so much, Donna, for a great interview!


It's been an absolute pleasure for me to host these stops on the Lineup tour for both Donna Milward and Jacinta Maree. Please check out their amazing books and show your support! And don't forget to enter the giveaway below! Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway