Week 2

This week has been stressful, a few unforeseen events have knocked me off course but I’m still going strong. One novel is done and just waiting to be sent to my proofreader, than the book will be already for publication. I am going through the second book, which will be the last draft. It needs a bit of work. I wrote this series lean, without a lot of flowing words. I tend to like to ear on the side of lots of prose, and making everything look pretty. But with this series, I wanted it stripped down and raw.

Just action and dialogue.

I think I pulled that off, but I may of gone to the extreme. So I’ll add a few words here and there, just to bulk up the novel. This is the first series that I have wrote which I really enjoy, the action is on point, the jokes crack me up and the story moves at a nice pace.

Although I love this series, weather it sales or not is another thing. But one thing I know, I can hold my head up high and be proud of what I have produced.

As a writer I can’t ask for anything else.

I don’t like marketing, but its a must that needs to be taken care of if you want to sell books. Well I learnt a hard fact this month, no matter how much you love your story sometimes it just doesn’t sell.

My first series, no matter how much time and effort I put into it, it just didn’t take off. So I think it’s time to close that door on the old girl, and move on. Its done well enough, just not as well as I would have liked.

Sometimes I say to myself really what do you expect?

Its your first series, do you know how many bestsellers didn’t make a buck or get any traction till they wrote or published at least six novels.

A bunch.

More than a bunch.

All I can do is write and produce and learn on the ropes, while not trying to get hit by the big punches of life.

Until next time

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Week 1

I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk (google him and get pumped), and he gave me an idea that I couldn’t stop thinking about. He basically said that you should document everything you do. That and put out as much product as you can. So if  you write, or sing, or draw, the way to get to success is just produce, produce, produce.

That is why I’m going to put out six novels this year. Where I only released three last year.

But apart from that I am planning on documenting, my road to success or failure. I aim to become a full time author by dec 31st 2017. I believe I can get there, its just a matter of how much work I am willing to put out. But once a week I will blog, how I’m feeling, my thoughts, what I’m doing. Everything really.

Some weeks will be tough, but I aim to have 52 post at the end of this year. Maybe more.

I’m excited.

I see it as a challenge, a fight. The thing that scares me the most is after these 52 weeks, I fall flat on my face, then the whole wide world will get to see it. Nothing like having an audience to view your failure.

But we as authors, don’t really get that luxury.

If you really want to produce your best work you have to bleed on the page. Allow your blood to be the pathway, to letting other people see your dreams. If they can’t see it after that, you are either not doing a good enough job or….your work is shit.

All the blog post and emails from authors moaning that they are two- three books in, and they haven’t made a cent. Maybe those two-three books were not up to par.

There is a saying that your first million words are shit.

That doesn’t mean you can’t publish till then. Just believe in yourself and keep your head to the grind stone. Be so busy that you pass success by, till then just keep working.

So onwards and upwards. Sorry this post is short, but I can’t really think of anything else to say.

Apart from, damn! This is going to be fun.

Until next time,

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Sleepless nights

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I wish that when you visited this blog, you would get more than just the ramblings of a mad man.

I wish I could give you writing advice that could improve your craft. And I could… but… it wouldn’t be as good as say listening to a Brandon Sanderson writing course on youtube. You see I have never written a bestseller, I have not made my millions in book sales, I have not gained a legion of hungry fans… yet.

So in regard to writing advice, there are a hundred better sources than me. If you’re unsure start with Brandon Sanderson on youtube, than buy everything James Scott bell writings on the matter of writing. Than throw in some Element of Style, and On writing by King and you should be well on your way.

No writing advice is not my forte.

I’m still learning the ropes and the basics myself. Don’t attach your ropes to my boat, its only a dinghy at the moment. When I am motoring on the seas of words on my speed boat I’ll let you know.

No what I can provide is a helping hand up the mountain. A strong voice to guide you along the way, and a hug and kiss if you need one. Because we all slip and slide down the mountain that we are trying to reach the summit to. I should know, I have more than enough bruises to prove it. I have more than enough scarred and harden skin that shows, no one, and I mean no one, leaves this journey unscaved.

So what is a person to do?

Get off the path and head back to where it is safe?

Honestly is that even a option now?

Sorry I’m rambling. Since I was sixteen, all I wanted to be was a reader. All I needed to be was that. Things came before it, but I never felt a calling as strongly as this. Now I’m having nights where I can feel the fear, of what if I never make it. What if I’m only a part time writer?

Better than a kick in the balls right.

I wrote a book. Well I wrote four… but… still. My dream wasn’t to be a part time author, it wasn’t to be just a hobby. It was meant to be what I am if you cut me to the core. So as I look up at the mountain that I have to climb, its a bit daunting.

What if I never make it? What if I am destined to do something that destroys my soul bit by bit.

These are the thoughts that try and give me sleepless nights.

Then I remember, if I have to struggle for rest of my life to get my words out to the world so be it. That is the burden that was placed on my shoulders and they are board enough to carry me through. If you are trying to achieve something, and you are worried about the bills, family, friends, just remember, take it one step at a time.

Look in the mirror, take a big breath in and out for a few minutes, then smile.

Breathe and smile.

Then take apart your goal one step, one day, one hour at a time. And try and fall asleep a little better, a little wiser, than you were the night before.

Until next time.

Good Morning,

Good Evening,

Good Night,

Year end wrap up!

This year has been amazing!!!

I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have seen more places than I ever dreamed of, I have wrote more words than I ever thought was possible. I have received more love for my books than I thought a newbie author like me would get.

Man. This year has been a blast. Where do I start?

Well the start of the year saw me in Budapest.

(My phone broke so no pictures)

I really enjoyed that city, there was more walking than I would have liked but at least I didn’t put on weight from all the food that I had eaten.  Hands down, their food was some of the best tasting I ever had. I fancy myself a foodie so, my standards are always quite high. But they blew my tastebuds away with the variety of dishes they had.

Plus everything there tasted fresh. It felt like as soon as you ordered your food, they sent someone out the back to kill it for you. I eat so much, that it made my girlfriend angry at how gluttonous I was being.

So if you like history and good food, Budapest is the place to go. Not to mention that they have the best outdoor mineral pool in the world. That was fun.

I can’t remember if I was writing my third book in the Fallen series or fourth. But either way the words were flowing on that holiday.

I released my third book thereafter, Takeover and it’s my favourite in the series.  Everything came together in that book and it was so easy to write. And it introduced one of my most beloved characters Zami. That girl always makes me laugh.

Next came another holiday to the Norfolk coast.

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Sunny, beautiful scenery, peaceful. What else does a writer want?

In that time I wrote my fourth novel, which to date is the biggest novel that I have ever wrote. Coming in at 107K, it was epic to say the least. It was suspenseful, some characters that I came to love passed away, but it felt like it completed the series. To this day I still can’t place the Fallen Angels it in a proper genre. It’s not urban fantasy enough for that genre. It’s not Christian fantasy enough for that catalogue either.

In the end I stopped trying to label it, and just said to anyone that asked, that it was a cool series about angels.

Then it was another trip to Athens.

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The food was divine, the water was crystal clear. The locals where friendly. I did nothing but write and laze about.

I finished a new novel in a new series, which I loved. It has now gone on to become my favourite novel.  It has everything that I love, action, swearing, and bad guys that give a fuck.

I released the final book in my fallen series, and it didn’t do as well as I expected. But that’s life I guess. I learnt some hard lessons from that book and I hope not to repeat them.

The final trip of the year was to the Dorset coast.

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Now Dorset always holds a soft spot in my heart. I don’t know what it is, it just does. If you haven’t noticed, a theme in my holiday destinations is I like to be near water. It calms me. It relaxes me. I like to reflect, breathe and take the waves in. I just don’t feel right unless I do. And not being by an ocean where I live kinda sucks, but I think if I lived next to it all the time I would take it for granted.

The ocean gives me strength. ( I know that sounds hippish and oo lalala) But it does.

On that holiday I began the second book in my new series, which I finished in the last week of November.

That book was a bastard to finish, and things didn’t seem to come together easily for it. The editing which I will be starting in a day or two of writing this is going to be an up hill battle. But hey if I wanted to do something easy I wouldn’t be writing now would I.

As the year comes to a close, I can’t really think of any other way I would want it to end. I have had my ups and downs like most people, but as the first signs of frost are coating the roads, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

With the winter firmly leaving its boots under the table, hinting that its going to be staying a while, I am busily planning my goals and ambitions for 2017.

I know people don’t normally do this sort of thing, or they keep it private, but fuck it!

These are my goals for next year.

I want to publish six books.

I want to earn 10K in a month.

I want to go full time by Dec 31st 2017.

Will I meet those goals?

Only time will tell. But, I can tell you one thing, the universe better clear a path out of my way because I’m coming for it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas or time off if you don’t celebrate it, and I wish you get everything you deserve in 2017.

Until next time

Good Morning

Good Evening

Good Night

Luck?

hardworl

I would be lying if I said that luck didn’t have a part to play in success.  I know a lot of people don’t want to think about that, but it does.

Luck and success go hand in hand.

Lady Luck walks in a red flowing dress split at the hip. While Mr Success escorts her by the hand in his three piece suit.

Where you find one. You normally find the other.

But here’s the dirty little secret, that nobody ever tells you. The harder you work, the easier it will become to meet them.  People always ask when will they make it as a writer. When will they leave the 9-5 job. When will they be successful.

When will they this. When will they that.

Why hasn’t it happened for them yet? Why are other less talented people getting what they should be getting.

But you see, all those questions are pointless. They are a waste of breath and energy.

It will happen, when it happens.

I will say again.

It will happen, when it happens.

Just work.

Don’t worry about the rhyme or reason, just work. Because as you work you will keep busy, and the busier you are, the less likely that your mind will wander. The less likely that doubts will creep into your mind.

And you know what; before you know it, success will come knocking at your door. But you will be too busy to notice. To busy to care. Because your next project will need to be done, and you won’t have time to bask in some imaginary glow. Your head will be down at the grindstone and distractions, will simply pass you by.

Winners think of winning. Losers think of winners.

I always have to remind myself of that saying time and time again. Because like most of you, I sometimes get caught up in a jealous angst. Where I focus on what the competition is doing more than what I am doing.

That is a failing on my part, which I can’t allow to become my normal.

Because

Winners think of winning. Losers think of winners

Bleed on your page!

hemingway

As a musician, artist, writer, poet. There is one thing and one thing only that you need to do, to be good
Its bleed.

Bleed for your music. Bleed for your art. Bleed for your craft.

It doesn’t matter how. All that matters is that you do.

People won’t respect you otherwise. People won’t listen to what you have to say. I don’t know how but they always know. If you’re not singing your heart out, if you’re not writing from your soul, they know.

Don’t tell me how. It’s just one of those things in life.

It’s ingrained in human psychology. Since the dawn of time we have sat round the fires to listen to songs and stories, we have danced to the beat of our hearts.

From father to son. From mother to daughter.

Generation after generation.

We have been swayed and moved by emotion. Emotion is in everything we do. It’s like a toxic drug that people can’t get enough of. Its why we fall so heavily into addiction.

Be it sex, drugs, work, they all give some sort of emotional reaction. Humans are emotion, by their very nature. Emotion should never control you, because that path leads to doom. To darkness. And before you know it, you are doing something that you never thought you would, and you can’t look in the mirror because you’re scared, of what may stare at you back.

But as a creator you can harness that energy like lightning to do amazing things.

Shackle it and imprison it for all to see and hear. So generation after generation can enjoy and live through it.

I enjoy nothing more than something that moves me. Something that touches my heart and soul. It makes me want to create. It makes me want to be better. It makes me want to inspire.

That’s your job as a creator.

Thats the only thing that you should ever be concerned and worried about.

Have you bled enough?

Have you inspired and awe struck. Have you shackled your words so future generations will feel it.

If not.

Then why not?

Reflections (Fallen Angels Book 4)

Chapter one

Air swooshed past Perez’s head as he ducked and rolled away from the sword swung towards his head. Rolling up onto his feet, he called his katana to hand in an instant. He gripped the black handle and enjoyed the weight of the blade in his hands. A smile twitched at the corner of his lips as he narrowed his field of vision and pushed forward. His blade swung in an upward movement and connected with his opponent’s weapon, steel ringing against steel. The vibrations sent tingles down his arms and into Perez’s chest, but he didn’t allow it to distract him. He spun around in a semicircle and stepped back slightly as he threw an elbow towards his opponent’s jaw. The elbow hardly connected, grazing his opponent’s face and causing him to tumble backwards.

Perez’s heart pounded; he finally had the upper hand. He rushed forward, looking to finish the fight quickly, but his lack of patience cost him; he didn’t see the foot that swept his legs out from under him. As he landed on his back with a thud, the air was knocked from his lungs.

Trying to catch his breath as he brought his sword up to defend himself proved too much for Perez, who knew that he had lost before he even tried. A sword tip against his throat bought the point home like the final nail in the coffin, illustrating the point of his defeat further.

Looking up into a pair of steely blue eyes, he found no hint of mercy or forgiveness staring back. They held his gaze, daring him to get back up. “Do you yield?” Wise asked.

Perez rose to his elbows and the point of Wise’s broadsword inched ever so slightly closer to his neck. “Yes, yes, I yield. But you must admit, I had you there, for a second.”

Wise finally withdrew the sword from Perez’s throat and offered his hand instead. Grabbing hold of it, Perez pulled himself to his feet.

“Come on, you gotta admit I’m getting pretty good. Almost ninja-like,” Perez said, dusting himself off as best he could.

“Ninja-like? You are spending way too much time with Zami–you’re even sounding like her. Ninja-like.” Wise’s brown hair got into his eyes as he shook his head slightly. Pushing it back with a violent jerk of his hand, Wise let out a small sigh.

They had been at Ahusaka’s place for a little over four months now. For Perez, it had flown by in no time. They knew where they were going, but getting there turned out to be a lot riskier and harder than they had first imagined. Their faces had been blasted forth on all news and television channels across the world. They were wanted by no less than ten different government agencies, and that number was steadily increasing as the weeks passed. Perez had to admit that he wasn’t surprised. They had broken every federal and government law that the US had, and a few that he was only now finding out about. There were even reward bounties for any information on the trio, and triple that amount if anyone bought them in–dead or alive.

So for the last four months they had argued, planned, argued, planned again, and argued some more on the best way to get to Egypt. Every idea they came up with ended up at a roadblock later down the road that caused them trouble and stress. Thinking on it now, there really was no easy way of getting their mission started. If it had to be done, they needed to take the risk and do it fast. But the more they thought about it, the more procrastination seemed to show its ugly head.

“Yes, your movements are not as clunky and predictable as they once were, but–”

“There’s always a but,” Perez said with a roll of his eyes.

“But,” said Wise, ignoring the comment, “you get too excited when you see the goal in sight. You seem to lose all your other senses; all other options seem to disappear in front of you. The best path to victory is sometimes not always the easiest one. Rushing towards a goal because it looks obtainable is normally when most people make the most mistakes, or don’t see the most obvious ones coming their way.”

“I guess,” Perez said quietly. He turned away from Wise and took in the beauty around him. The trees swayed in a timeless dance as the wind ran through their branches like horses released from their paddock. The sun was setting, but its dimming glow still warmed the many wild flowers dotted along the stream with its rays.

Perez closed his eyes and allowed the sounds of the stream to wash away the many thoughts that were trying to occupy his mind. As he listened to the water burbling over the rocks, turning them smooth, he inhaled till his lungs were full and slowly breathed back out. The chill air tingled the hairs in his nostrils but it smoothed his worries nevertheless.

Perez turned back to Wise and asked the only question that still wouldn’t go away. “What now?”

Wise stretched his arms behind his head and took a few seconds to answer. “You tell me.”

Perez drew his lips drawn into a fine line; it was not the answer that he wanted to hear, though he had expected it. After Perez’s second…vision–if he could call it that–Wise had become less willing to offer an opinion on what their next course of action should be. He had removed himself from the decision-making process over time, and he only offered Perez help with training in hand-to-hand combat or with weapons.

Perez knew the reason. Since Wise had decided that their last mission, the one involving the president-elect, had been a disaster, he no longer wanted to take any responsibility for anything they did. Perez understood the logic, and would have done the exact same thing not too long ago, but he was slowly learning from his mistakes. He was also learning that he could not win every battle.

“Look, I know how you feel…about what happened. But you can’t allow it to control you like that,” Perez said.

“I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just decide what we’re doing about Egypt, and then we can start making a move.”

“Sometimes talking about it is the only thing that can help,” Perez said, laying a hand on Wise’s shoulder.

Wise brushed Perez’s hand off and looked at him through narrowed eyes. “Don’t talk to me like you understand the burden I am under. You have not had to make life-and-death choices based on some kind of hunch that someone else has had. You’ve not been kept awake at night because each step you take can have disastrous consequences for the people that you love and care about. So do not belittle me with your false understanding. The choices I have made could end the very world as we know it.

“So, now would you like to tell me, Perez, actually how you believe that you know how I feel?” Wise demanded, his finger jabbing Perez in the chest.

“No, I guess I don’t understand how you feel,” Perez said. “It’s not like The Master and his minions have been relentlessly after me for the last year or so. It’s not like I don’t lie awake at night, wondering when the next attack on my life well be. It’s not like I have not been drugged, stabbed and thrown in the ocean, all because I’m meant to be some great saviour! All because I’m meant to have all the plans! So no, you ass! Of course I don’t know how you feel. But if you pulled your head out of your ass for once, and looked around you, you would be able to see that you have people that care about you and would like to help.”

Wise threw his hands in the air and walked away in a huff. Perez pinched his nose and let out a sigh as he watched Wise’s retreating back. He turned around when he felt a presence behind him. Zami gave Perez a half-hearted smile, her curly mad-science-professor hair billowing in the wind.

“You should count yourself lucky. That’s the most I’ve heard him say since we’ve been here. He must really like you.” Zami chuckled.

“Yeah, I’m sure I can expect a Christmas card from him,” Perez muttered, his brow wrinkling in frustration.

“Don’t be too harsh on him. Wise is going through a lot, right now, and although you do understand, he kind of blames himself for this whole mess. I just think he thought it wouldn’t get to this point. I suppose that he truly thought he could control Eric and somehow avert that plane crash, rather than having it crash landing on the White House.”

“The funny thing is, Zami, the same speech I gave him just now was the same one he gave me after he pulled me out of the ocean. Although he blames himself, I just feel like if it weren’t for me and my visions, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

“Now I’m asking everyone to trust me again and come along with me on another crazy adventure.” Perez looked towards the sky and let out the breath that he was holding, trying to ease the tension in his shoulders.

“I think I have a solution for you. I don’t want to say too much yet, but I think Zami has pulled it out of the bag once again,” Zami said, tapping her nose with a forefinger.

“It doesn’t involve dressing up as handymen again, does it?”

Zami let out a peal of infectious laughter and shrugged her shoulders, giving Perez a wink. Despite the situation, Perez smiled back at her. Once again, things were going to get interesting.

* * *

Zami sat at the kitchen table watching her father work the kitchen like an old pro. He had multiple pots and pans going, but none of them seemed to be burning or boiling over. He was like a circus ringmaster, bringing each pot to a simmer just so, or raising the heat on another where needed.

“Have you decided on a course of action?” Ahusaka asked.

“We think we have… I mean, we know where we have to go just… yeah.”

Ahusaka turned his head to look at Zami and raised an eyebrow. Turning his attention back to the stove he continued cooking.

“Well, it’s just that Wise hasn’t said anything about the plans. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to be involved. We just don’t feel like a team at the moment,” Zami said, massaging her neck.

“Maybe it’s about time someone took over the reins for a while, till Wise gets up on his feet. A tribe divided will always fail, even against the most simple of challenges.”

“I couldn’t do that to him, Dad.”

“What other choice do you have, dear?” With the meal fully prepared, Ahusaka turned off the stove and sat opposite his daughter. He took her hands in his and looked at her softly, his eyes wrinkling at the corners with a smile that wasn’t showing on his lips.

“Your mother is one of the most beautiful, striking, intelligent, charming, playful women I have ever met. She makes a full moon seem dull whenever she is in your presence. Her laugh alone could make the deaf smile. But in saying that, that woman is one of the most stubborn-headed people I have ever met. She makes the donkey seem like an obedient animal.”

“Dad!”

“But because of that,” Ahusaka continued, “you have to let her be. I could never make your mother settle down, because it would be like capturing the wind in a bottle. And like the wind, and the passing of the seasons, she needs to be free.”

“Do you ever miss her?” Zami asked, just above a whisper.

“All the time. But I am just happy that I had her in my life when I did. Some people never get to experience what I had with your mother, and I feel sad for them. It was, and always will be, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And from that experience, I was gifted the greatest thing a person could ever want. And that’s you, my little doe. Now I will ask again–what are your plans for dealing with the problem?”

“Well, if you must know, I have hacked into an airline computer database and have arranged for a rather large crate to be delivered to Cairo. All we have to do is make our way to the air hangar that the crate will be in, sneak on board, and relax for the rest of the journey. I have a friend at the air hangar who will meet us there, so we know which one is the right crate. I don’t want to get shipped to Iceland or somewhere halfway around the world! Perez and Wise would never let me live it down if I did…”

Ahusaka closed his eyes and placed a finger to Zami’s lips, seeming to listen to some far-off sound that Zami couldn’t hear.

Zami strained her hearing and tried to pick up what her father was hearing. At first there was only the sound of the wind, as it found its way through the gaps in the wooden house, whispering here and there as it continued its journey through the house.

Listening more intently, she slowly made out a sound that she couldn’t quite recognise in the distance. Pinpointing the noise, she could make out that it was growing louder by the second.

“Grab your things and go now!” Ahusaka instructed.

The sound was beginning magnified by the second; its deep bass howl seemed to vibrate through the house and into Zami’s very core. She looked around the room; the pots and pans on the stove started to shake and rattle. The very air seemed to have come alive with noise, the pots creating their own symphony to accompany the unknown sound.

Zami looked at her father wide-eyed; she was about to speak but the door to the cabin flew open and Perez ran into the kitchen, his hands loaded with rucksacks. His breathing was laboured and his eyes wild as he searched the room, finally settling his sights on Zami. He locked eyes with her and conveyed a thousand unspoken emotions, but it was the two words that he uttered that truly bought home the magnitude of their situation.

“The Master!”