The Journals of Raymond Brooks – 2nd Edition is out!

The Journals of Raymond Brooks cover

The Journals of Raymond Brooks

Almost 2 years ago now, I edited a great book – The Journals of Raymond Brooks. It has now been released as a second edition and it looks stunning.

The link for the book is always on my Editing Services page.

Click here to see what you think!

 

 

Description

Raymond Brooks was born a thousand years ago, an orphaned boy lost in a foreign land. Growing up during the Dark Ages was no easy feat. Reaching old age was highly unlikely. Surviving to see the turn of a millennium? Impossible!

These are The Journals of Raymond Brooks, a mythical figure from the Dark Ages.Uncovering the mysteries and adventures he experienced during his unimaginable lifespan. The Journals force humanity to face a terrible realization: there are monsters of horrifying power hidden from mortal eyes. They pretend to be sheep when they are wolves, pulling our strings and making us dance…until now.

Could the supernatural creatures really walk amongst us? And if they do, they must preserve their secrecy at all cost. Why then would Raymond commit virtual suicide by revealing their existence? What happens now, when all hell breaks loose?

 

 

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How to Write a Good Book

Rachael Tyrell from Blade RunnerRachaell Tyrell from Blade Runner. Who hasn't been inspired by this marvelous film or book?

Rachael Tyrell from Blade Runner. Who hasn’t been inspired by this marvelous film or book?

This will be the first post detailing what I have learned about how to write a good book. Note, I am not saying a great book. I don’t feel I have written a great book yet, and by that I mean something like Lord of the Rings, A Tale of Two Cities, Wuthering Heights, Far from the Madding Crowd or Silas Marner. When I do write such a book, I will be sure to update the title of this post. I will make permanent pages for these posts so that they are always available as pages in the menu at the top. So let’s gets started

1. The idea

Ideas will come to you in dreams, when you lie awake in bed, when you are walking, or from friends. If it’s the last, be sure to get permission to use it and make sure you credit your friend with something like ‘Idea by X’ at the front of the book. But most important; write it down!

Let’s say your idea is ‘Santa loses his sleigh on Christmas Eve’

So what do you do if you get an idea?

This could be your first urge to write a book or perhaps you have already published. The process is still the same. A single idea will not make a good book. I repeat A SINGLE IDEA WILL NOT MAKE A GOOD BOOK. Turn the idea around and look at it from all sides. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will it interest a wide range of people (or at least a wide enough range to sell plenty of books)?
  • Will it involve a situation or locations with which I am familiar and can write authoritatively about?
  • Will it sustain my interest during a writing period that may take more than a year?
  • Can I think of some main characters to carry this idea forward in a story that will last 60000 words (40000 for a novelette)?

If the answer to all four is Yes, you may be on to something. But don’t get excited yet. A good idea will spawn other ideas and you will need at least 10 for a novel to work. It should also suggest plot twists, a gripping beginning, a middle and a climax, although you may have to invent these separately, and that is fine if the idea is good enough. A really good idea is going to sustain you for a year of writing and spawn all the ideas you need, maybe even too many to get into one book. Then, you probably have a great idea.

Let’s say some of these other ideas are:

Santa has to hire a van
The hire company has no vans
So he has to hire a tractor
But Rudolph is in a union
The union says Rudolph has to be the driver for Christmas deliveries
So Rudolph has to drive the tractor
But Rudolph is a reindeer
So Santa has to teach a reindeer how to drive with specially made gloves
But Rudolph is also married and his wife won’t let him drive.
Santa has to persuade Rudolph’s wife Erma.

What should you do next?

Unfinished Cologne cathedral, 1856 with ancient crane on south tower. One of my inspirations for The Synchronicity Code

Unfinished Cologne cathedral, 1856 with ancient crane on south tower. One of my inspirations for The Synchronicity Code

I always juggle an idea round in my head for up to a year before starting writing. I often pass it by a close friend quite early on and if they are not interested, I usually drop it. I rarely suffer from writer’s block, but I think that is because I always work on at least 3 books at one time; one for which I am simply thinking up the idea, one I am actually writing, and one which is being read by beta readers  – more about those later – or edited. It takes about 3-12 months to write a book and the same to edit it so there is no point sitting around waiting for an idea to be finished. You may as well be writing or editing something else. This variety tends to stimulate the mind more. So you should have plenty of time to develop ideas once your first book gets going. And don’t worry if it does take you a year to get that first idea into a workable framework, or even longer.

The last stage  is to write down a basic framework or outline of the book. It should show the main plot, some of the more important sub-plots, the introduction or hook, the middle and the climax, as well as the ending, which is slightly different to the climax. It can be written down quite early on if you like and will usually show up any major flaws in the idea.

I remember, while on holiday in Spain, writing the first chapter of a book and then realising that it simply didn’t sustain my interest. And if a story doesn’t sustain the author’s interest, it surely won’t sustain the readers. So I abandoned it. I wish I had written a framework first because then I wouldn’t have wasted so much time. Actually, my main point of interest had been the main character but I couldn’t find a story for her. I finally did, more than 5 years later, and you will be introduced to her as Yulia in a forthcoming book.

The next parts will be:

2. Developing the book’s Themes

3. Characterisation

What have been your experiences of writing? Do you agree or disagree with my experiences? Are you working on your very first book and don’t know where to start? Let me know by commenting.

RESULTS: VOTE FOR YOUR MOVIE TURKEY!

Jupiter AscendingThe votes are in on your worst Movie Turkey!

It’s been an interesting vote. Obviously more people have seen Jupiter Ascending than I thought! And I am obviously not the only one who thinks The Hobbit Trilogy is bad. So here we go with the top 3:

Tying in 1st Place with 5 Votes: Jupiter Ascending

There is not a lot of trivia I can give about this film but here goes! The Wachowski siblings second film that Natalie Portman dropped out of, following Cloud Atlas (2012).

And also in 1st Place, with 5 Votes: The Hobbit Trilogy

Daniel Radcliffe, Shia LaBeouf, James McAvoy, Ethan Arkin and Tobey Maguire were considered for the role of Bilbo Baggins. However, Peter Jackson has said that his first choice was always Martin Freeman. Freeman was initially unable to accept the role, due to scheduling conflicts with Sherlock (2010), but Jackson reworked the entire shooting schedule for the Hobbit films to accommodate him.

The elk that Thranduil (Lee Pace) rides on is played by a horse, named Moose.

The first roar we hear from Smaug in the first scene of Smaug’s attack on Erebor is actually a sound-bite of the SFX Director’s 7 year old daughter “roaring”. It was manipulated and corrected to sound like a dragon and was put in the movie

Tying in 2nd Place, with 4 Votes: Basic Instinct 2

Robert Downey Jr. was set to star but had to drop out when he was charged with drug possession. Kurt Russell was attached at some point but bailed out because he felt uncomfortable with the nudity. Pierce Brosnan refused to play the male lead role because of distasteful elements. Bruce Greenwood was set to star but dropped out because he hadn’t been signed on yet and feared the actors strike. Benjamin Bratt was banned by Sharon Stone for not being a good actor.

Is notoriously known as being the first and so far only theatrically released followup to a box-office hit that did not even earn $10 million in the U.S. box-office.

And also in 2nd Place, with 4 Votes: Another 9 1/2 Weeks

I couldn’t find ANY trivia for this film so here is a 10-star review instead!

I think there’s two kind of males. One of them is the sexually overheated and uninhibited, first-sex-then-romance(or nothing) type, and the other one, who prefers the romantic involvement in its classic sense. First get to know, then trying to trust and to love. John Gray is the two kind in one. And Mickey Rourke makes a good job. This movie is not the rehearse of the first one, and OK, not as good too, but I think it shows the second kind of male. (9 out of 10) I would like to recommend The Casanova’s Return (1992). Alain Delon’s character shows great similarity to John Gray in Love in Paris.

I could go on and list the 2 films that tied for 3rd place, and the 2 films that tied for 4th place but honestly, I think I would lose the will to live.

FREE BOOK!
Don’t forget Attack Hitler’s Bunker! is still FREE until Wednesday at 8am GMT (midnight EST)!! http://bit.ly/amzattack

Stop Press!
I just heard that David Bowie died. I saw Bowie during his Glass Spider tour in Milton Keynes. It was a great concert. He was as cool and impressive as I had expected. I also listened to some of the material from his new album. “How on earth he manages to go on being that creative, I will never know!” I thought. He had so much more he could have done. His loss is a very sad one to the British and World music scene. RIP David Bowie.

My new book December Radio is out!

December Radio cover

December Radio cover

December Radio is out on Amazon as a Kindle eBook here! http://bit.ly/decradi

The paperback will follow on 29th January. Watch the trailer below the description.

Description

What would have happened if the Nazi’s developed ‘THE BOMB’ first?
Based on real events. If German scientists had developed nuclear fission first, the world would be changed.
What if? Actually, German scientists were far ahead of the United States in creating the first atom bomb. It was only through the daring exploits of brave men and women that the US succeeded in obtaining the first nuclear weapon and saved the world from being subject to German Nazi rule. Hitler, driving his scientists to extraordinary means, almost achieved domination over all mankind. The thought of such a ruler is chilling, yet could well have come to past.

Based on actual events, Ferran draws the reader into the frightening concept that such a possibility did in fact take place and a few men and women were faced with the ultimate sacrifice. Could such a possibility exist today?

Grab a copy of Ferran’s best seller today: http://bit.ly/decradi

Attack Hitler’s Bunker is FREE! 8-12 January

To celebrate the release of December Radio, I am offering Attack Hitler’s Bunker! FREE here! http://bit.ly/amzattack

Watch the trailer below the description.

Description

Rudolf Eineger was left with his finger inside a dead body. Repulsed, he withdrew it and wiped it on the black SS tunic.

Richard Earlgood, maverick RAF fighter pilot, and Michael Dorfmann, an ambitious Luftwaffe double-agent, plan a daring daylight attack on Adolf Hitler using Hurricane fighters, piggy-backing on 4-engine Stirling bombers to reach the almost completed… impregnable… Führer Bunker in this WWII fiction book.

Anna Styles, a Station X decoder, had a romance with Dorfmann at Oxford and is being forced to ‘handle’ the double-agent. She still loves Dorfmann but she has fallen for Richard too. This single raid to bomb Hitler’s Bunker could win the war, but only one man can win Anna’s heart.

Most of Hitler’s staff simply don’t believe such a raid is possible but one ruthless SS officer will stop at nothing to catch Dorfmann and defeat the British.

Men, machines and passions will be stretched to the limits,

in a raid…

that will shape…

History.

Attack Hitler’s Bunker! The RAF secret raid to bomb Hitler’s Berlin Bunker that never happened – probably.

Fans of 633 Squadron The Dam Busters, Valkyrie, The Eagle has Landed Where Eagles Dare or even the WWII simulation game War Thunder will love this white-hot roller-coaster wartime action thriller through the streets of Wartime Berlin on a bombing mission that will make your hair stand on end!

Grab a copy today! http://bit.ly/amzattack

It’s New Year: Vote for your Movie Turkey!

At the Earth's Core

At the Earth’s Core

Okay all the nominations are in so its time to vote! Thank god there haven’t (so far) been any remakes of these movies!

The nominations are described in more detail 2 posts further down the page.

You have 6 votes per person. Please give 3 votes to your favourite (click the yellow ‘Vote’ button between each vote), 2 votes to your second favourite (click the yellow ‘Vote’ button between each vote) and 1 vote to your third favourite. Click ‘View Results’ if you want to see how the vote is going. Everyone should be able to vote, no matter what your browser.

Voting closes Sunday 10th January at midnight GMT.