How do you build a world?

 

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There is a certain amount of world building required every time you start a story, but in a fantasy book it’s a fundamental part of the process. In my case the process was based on a series of questions which I had to answer before I could start writing.

What would Britain have been like if it had never been invaded, whether that was by Romans, Saxons, Vikings or Normans. How would our Celtic culture have developed over time?

What if no one had seen horses before?

What if Iron technologies were scarce, but you had the secret while your enemies still used Bronze?

What if the Faerie world of Celtic legend existed, and you could use it to influence events in the real world?

What if you were a man, who saw beyond the petty squabbles of your local tribes, and glimpsed a whole land?

What if you then braved the journey to the spirit world and brought back Iron weapons and horse soldiers and used them to forge a Kingdom?

The answers to these questions led to the creation of the legend of Amhar the Strong, founder of the Kingdom of the young, but The Path Of Swords isn’t his story

That story is set 500 years later.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

Amazon here we go!

 

The Path of Swords will be appearing on a famous book selling website near you this Saturday! That’s right, after a feverish week or so going through the mechanics of getting the book onto Amazon we’re ready to roll, and guess what? There’s a new cover!

So Saturday 13th May is the date. The cost will be 99p or 99 cents, depending where you are, although there will be a giveaway coming up fairly soon.

Meanwhile you have until Friday, that’s just four days, to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

After that it will be exclusively available on Amazon. The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

New Cover Design

So here we are, a new look and a slightly new title as well.

This isn’t necessarily the finished cover. It’s more in the way of a sketch. I was never completely happy with the previous design and so I spent some time thinking about which themes in the book I wanted to portray on the cover. In the end I felt the sword needed to be there, and I wanted to bring out the Celtic element as well, hence the idea of the sword entwined in a Celtic knot. The design is hand drawn, as you can probably tell, and is my own work. I’m going to try a painted version as well as a neater line version and see which looks best.

As for the name change, in an ironic twist following my post The Fellowship Of The Bling , I discovered that there are already two books on Amazon called The Path Of The Sword. This made me feel a bit of an idiot! Having said that, I like the new name better, as it hints at the other boy warriors whose fates are entwined with that of Luan.

So that’s where we are for now.Remember that for a limited time only you can get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

Book Review: The Dry by Jane Harper

I recently read this book and it was really good. Rather than write a review I thought I would reblog the excellent review which led my to the book in the first place. Thanks to jml297 and I recommend the blog as well.

jml297

A cursory browse of book reviews about the debut novel by Jane Harper, The Dry, indicated that this was a well-written crime novel set in a fictional town in rural Victoria with a strong sense of place and characterisation. It is all this and more.

Aaron Falk, a Federal Police investigator, returns to his home town of Kiewarra to attend the funeral of his best mate from childhood, Luke Hadler. But the funeral service isn’t just for Luke; it is also for his wife and young son. And according to the police, Luke is responsible for their deaths. Falk’s return to the town to attend the funeral is ensured when he receives a cryptic note from Luke’s father, referring to a secret relating to the reason why Falk and his father were forced to leave the town decades before.

This is a book about secrets, big and small, in a town where everyone…

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The Fellowship Of The Bling

I’ve discovered a way of becoming a successful author, and that is simply to give your book a title that is very similar to another very successful book. You see I thought I had bought this book:

But I had actually bought this book:

Some time ago I got one of those Amazon emails offering books at sale prices and thought: “I’ve heard of that, probably worth a go.” So I paid my 99p, downloaded to my kindle where it sat for some considerable time among all the other bargain books I haven’t got around to reading.

Then my wife read The Girl On The Train and said how good it was. She then watched the film on the plane and remarked how she didn’t like it compared to the book. All this prompted me to start reading it myself. It was only when I was about a quarter of the way through and we started to talk about it that I realised I was reading a completely different book!

I have to admit at this point that this may have coloured my view slightly, in that I felt a little bit conned. Having said that I did read it to the end and actually quite enjoyed it, in a light holiday read kind of way. All in all it left me a little conflicted so I looked up the reviews on Amazon:

So you can see that although it’s not The Girl On The Train it is pretty successful, in fact it’s sold a lot of copies, although how many were bought by people who thought they were buying something else is impossible to know.

Note:Spoiler alert

If I was to review Girl On A Train it probably wouldn’t be a good one. I know I said I quite enjoyed it, but on reflection it is a load of old tosh to be honest. It starts off pretty well with our heroine, Anne, investigating the suspicious death of a girl, Elly, that she happened to sit next to on a train. Turns out that Elly has left all sorts of clues that Anne tracks down in a kind of low budget Dan Brown Angels and Demons style but set in Brixton rather than Rome. Her motivation for this is that she doesn’t believe Elly committed suicide, and she knows about such things because her (Anne’s) husband killed himself 2 years previously because he was gay (!). It soon appears that the whole thing might be related to the abduction of Elly’s 2 year old nephew also 2 years previously. The problem is that it starts out a bit far fetched and then just gets more and more unbelievable. I’m pretty good at suspending disbelief but this had me going “Oh come on!” by the end. It also had a completely unnessessary section in the middle where the story up was retold from the point of view of Elly up to the point where she died. This added nothing to the book and felt to me like the author had just stuck it in to make the book longer. Also one of the characters does one thing that is completely out of character, the act simply does not fit with the way they are portrayed. The character is question, Lewis, comes in as a nice guy, a policeman who takes Anne for rides on his motorbike and gets her heart all a flutter. He looks after his drug addicted sister and is acting as stand in parent for his tear away 9 year old niece. Then it turns out he was Anne’s gay husband’s secret lover (what!) who raped Elly (!) because Elly found out he was gay and that was his way of shutting her up.

I didn’t get that bit either.

It turns out that Elly didn’t commit suicide, she was attacked by the niece with a stun gun that she bought off the internet and that made Elly fall in front of the train, and the gay husband didn’t commit suicide either, he just had an argument with Lewis, dramatically climbed onto a bridge in a kind of ‘if you don’t love me I’ll kill myself’ moment, and then fell off by accident.

So there you go. I’m now going to write The Fellowship Of The Bling so that loads of people buy it by accident and I make a pile of cash. I’ve already got the start.

“One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to…Hey don’t gimme that one ring crap! Nobody wears just one ring! I want at least ten! And a gold chain!”

 

I need a little help!

To all you marvellous people in blogosphere, I’m asking for a little help.

It’s just over 4 weeks until The Path Of The Sword is released on Amazon (looking at 15th May) and it would be wonderful if you could do something to help get the word out.

Here’s what you can do and any of these would be a great help.

  1. Like this post.
  2. Tell people.
  3. Share this post via reblog, Twitter, Facebook etc.
  4. Go on my Twitter @someidiottalk and retweet the pinned post.
  5. Blog about it – I can arrange an interview with the author, or even one of the characters.
  6. Download a free copy by clicking here:

Free Review Copy

Read it and give me some feedback or even then review it on your blog.

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of The Sword.

It is a readable fantasy adventure with a hint of the celtic about it and people who have read it so far thought it was great. It’s also not very long so won’t take too long to read!

(That sounds like a great advertising slogan doesn’t it: Get my book, it’s short!)

 

Anything you can do is much appreciated.

Thanks

Martin

(PS. Yes I have changed the cover again. Just can’t stop tweaking.)