Posted by: rangerant | August 17, 2020

In Review of… Parasite

This week I thought I would share my views (without spoilers) on my first film. With many more to follow in the coming weeks, unlike books, which I rate out of 5 stars, In Review of… for tv, film and theatre, I will rate out of 10.

Bong Joon Ho’s triumphant 2019 film has garnered plenty of praise in the last few months, most notably scooping the top statues at the Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes. Walking away from these awards with a clutch of of gold, it became the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Motion Picture – this, of course, for me, as a lover of foreign language films, heightened my anticipation greatly, and I only hoped that I would not be disappointed…

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Brilliantly written, acted and directed, Parasite is an utter joy to watch, quite frankly. I purposely found out very little about the film beforehand (other than its director and accolades won), and this deliciously dark story of class, discrimination, politics, satire and insidious obsession, is littered with political references and symbolism.

Trapped in the lower-class working district of Seoul, the Kim family dream of a better life, their view of the world outside, seen from their basement apartment of the street outside, often frequented by a urinating drunk. Scraping together a life by folding pizza boxes and scamming whatever they can to get by, they roam their home, trying to leech off the local wi-fi, hoping that one day, their fortunes might change.

See the source image

And their fortunes change, thanks to a departing college friend of the Kims’ son, Ki-woo, who is given the opportunity to be an english tutor to the daughter of the wealthy Park family. When it becomes clear that this stroke of luck could benefit them all, the Kim’s set in motion an ambitiously dark plan to make the most out of their son’s rich employers.

Boon’s other work includes the cult film Snowpiercer (made recently into a series by Netflix, where he has writing credits), Okja, and The Host (Based on the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer).

To go in to detail about what happens in the film, would spoil this wonderfully witty, dark, intelligent film, which I would urge you to try for yourself. It is not often that a film with such hype lives up to expectations, but Parasite delivers on all levels, much like the plot and city it is set in, and the film, which has a decidedly British-feeling sense of wit throughout, never fails to draw you in, stirring all of your senses, including smell. Once the film has a hold, which it quickly does, it never lets you go until the completely unexpected conclusion.

My best film for many a month, Parasite is a thought provoking joy, on all fronts. It will make you laugh, cringe, smile and cry. And most of all, it will make you think about it, for many, many days to come.

Parasite (2019)    Running Time: 132 mins (15)

My rating: 9.5/10

Posted by: rangerant | August 10, 2020

In Review of…

In Review of…” will be a regular series of posts on my blogs where I will pass on my thoughts about the books I have read, the films, tv shows and theatre I have watched.

To start things off, I thought I would share my views on the first book of Aona Series, Oblivions Forge, by Simon Williams, who subsequently features on my lastest “10 Minutes with…” interview feature today, as well.

If you like the sound of this review, you can find ot more about the author, or the book reviewed, by clicking on the links below.

 

In Review of… Oblivion’s Forge

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The wonderfully titled Oblivion’s Forge is the first novel of the Aona series by dark fantasy writer, Simon Williams, and if this first offering is anything to go by, readers are in for a real treat.

I have struggled over the last few years to get back into reading fantasy, and it only took me a couple of pages to realise I had found my way back home. What stands out about this novel to me is the writing – it’s narrative is beautiful, poetic and dream-like, in a way I had not read before, and that style carried me through the thrilling and intriguing tale twice, before I decided to give the book the review it deserved.

I won’t spoil any of the story, as I want you to find out for yourself, but the myriad of real, believable characters are all finely woven threads of a striking tapestry, all unique, all important, though perhaps not obviously so when you first meet them.

There is an impressive array of characters on offer. A great many female characters, too, which is also very refreshing – my particular favourite being Amethyst, and the story plays out at a pace that allows you to immerse yourself in the sense of wonderment, but always wary of the storm, creeping closer with each page on the horizon, that slowly tightens its grip on the tale and everyone in it.

There are some real stand-out moments, some twists that you really don’t see coming, and I cannot wait to delve into the rest of this series to discover how this beautifully written tale plays out. Highly recommended

My Rating: 5/5 Stars     Format Read: Paperback Edition

Check out Oblivion’s Forge: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Oblivions-Forge-Simon-Williams/dp/1849141754/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Find out more about the author: https://alavisher.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/10-minutes-with/

 

Posted by: rangerant | August 10, 2020

10 Minutes With…

10 Minutes With… is a monthly interview on my Blog, where I spend the said amount of time with a fellow writer, to find out about their writing and inspiration.

To kick off this new feature, it was only fair that I sit down with one of my favourite scribes, Simon Williams again, to find out about his new projects and share some news about his latest giveaways.

 

10 Minutes With… Simon Williams, Author

 

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Welcome back, Simon. For readers not familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself and your writing projects to date?

I’m a UK-based author of (mainly) dark fantasy. I haven’t been the most prolific over the years but I’ve written the five-book Aona series, two YA fantasy / sci-fi works (Summer’s Dark Waters and The Light From Far Below) and my new standalone novel Embers Drift.

Can you tell us a little about your recently released novel, and the wonderfully titled, ‘Embers Drift’?

For anyone who’s read the Aona books, it’s a bit of a departure- leaner, fewer characters and more of an alternative industrial / partly dystopian feel. Essentially it’s about the interconnected lives of four main characters and the things that make them special, but it also explores themes such as the nature of immortality, the cycle of life and rebirth, the possibility of escape from hell, and probably above all else, transformation (physically and metaphysically).

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So in a sense it’s quite high-concept but I’ve also made an effort to make it easy to get into an understand. I think different readers will get different things from it, depending on their world view and their personality. I’m particularly happy with how it’s turned out- I’m probably more satisfied with this book than any of my others.

Lockdown has been a different experience for everyone to cope with, how has it impacted your writing?

 Oddly enough, it’s had a slightly positive effect. I’ve written a little more than I probably would have done otherwise (not that it stirred me into writing many thousands of words each day or anything like that).

The main distraction in the early days of the lockdown was in fact due to the likelihood (at that point) of running out of food due to there being no online deliveries available! That was an obvious interruption- the real possibility of not having enough food to eat. Luckily the situation improved and… well, I got back to writing with fewer distractions.

Some writers meticulously plot their novels, others like to explore their tale as they write it, to see where it takes them – how do you go about writing your novels?

 The method is, frankly, a mess. I begin with an idea which I scribble down. I expand the sketchy characters I imagine in that scenario. Other ideas / possibilities take root and bloom, and eventually there’s enough going on for me to write some chapters. But I very rarely have any idea how it’ll all turn out. Everything changes, and frequently. Often the finished product bears little resemblance to the starting point. But it’s all about the catalyst- the spark- which is the original idea. Its difficult to describe, but it gives me a vision of the sort of thing I want to write, and then it’s a matter of doing the hard yards, i.e the details. The plot falls into place, things click, and eventually I’m looking at the literary equivalent of a completed jigsaw.

But even I find it very hard to describe the how of all this!

A lot of authors are obsessed by them and their daily tally – but do you even consider word counts when writing a novel?

I try to set aside a few hours purely for writing most days, and I do keep a note of word counts, but I don’t get too precious about it. After all, when I start rewriting chapters I often scythe my way through parts I don’t like or that don’t work, so sometimes my word count can go DOWN by several thousand in a day! So I don’t think it’s something to be bothered about. I also don’t understand the appeal of these “Nanowrimo” competitions where the goal seems to be to simply write as many words as possible over a period of time.

What’s the thing you enjoy most about your writing process?

Being “in the zone”- those times when things just click and I can write for hours without noticing anything around me

What’s the thing you dislike?

Marketing! I don’t have the charisma for sales and marketing and I feel uncomfortable asking people to buy my books (However, do please buy my books).

If there was one piece of advice you would pass on to someone starting out on their writing journey, what would be?

Ask yourself if you would continue to do it if you never made a penny from your work. If the answer is an emphatic yes, carry on. If you’re doing it for some perceived cash reward, you really are in the wrong line of work.

Can you tell us a little about your favourite character form your latest novel, Ember’s Drift, if you can choose one?

Lena is a gifted engineer and mathematician, who ostensibly lives an ordered, structured life- but under her surface frustration and disappointment seethe. I think a lot of people can identify with her on an emotional level- she appears at first to be somebody who doesn’t really “deal in emotions” but as her life begins to tumble into chaos, we see that this isn’t really the case at all. There are a few characters over the years who I’ve developed a real attachment to- and to steal a phrase from a certain pantheon, “the force is strong with this one”.

Authors are always thinking about their next work? What’s next for you?

I’m part of the way through writing the first in a new dark fantasy series which will probably seen as more “traditional” fantasy but which will have a number of unique features to it. It explores the nature of magic and of conflict and there isn’t going to be a clear-cut “good vs evil” thing going on- I’m not a fan of such absolutes, I want to explore characters’ motivations, whether or not most people think of them as acceptable. What made them this way? Are they able to change- either for the better, or worse? It’s that aspect that interests me.

I also have another standalone book in progress- this is more a sort of cosmic horror about three demonic beings who have existed in a vast city for hundreds of years, weaving mischief and woe wherever they go, and a young man from an ancient family of magicians and thieves, who is the only one to suspect their existence.

Lastly, I’m also working on a somewhat leftfield magical realism novella- I’m not entirely certain how this one will turn out but I’m pleased with some of the concepts involved so this may see the light of day shortly.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do most?

I read, listen to music, follow sports (cricket, tennis and snooker mainly…), keep fit… and sleep occasionally. I used to travel a lot when finances permitted, but those days are probably gone now as I doubt the world situation is going to improve.

The pen or the sword – which is the mightier?

If the pen is four feet long and sharp, then the pen!

Final question for now. If you had to choose one, which of your novels are you the most proud of, and why?

Definitely Embers Drift, and that’s because it’s exactly what I wanted to write and more importantly, the characters are exactly who I wanted to create. I smile every time I glance at my display copy- which I know sounds distinctly weird- but that’s how glad I am that I wrote and managed to finish it.

 

If you enjoyed this interview, check out the author’s links below, and grab a free copy of his brilliant offering Summer’s Dark Waters which I have 5 stars to last year in a review. And hop on over to my other new feature “In Review of…” where I share my thoughts on Oblivion’s Forge by Simon Williams, the first book of his afore mentioned Aona Series.

https://alavisher.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/in-review-of/

Simon’s Links:

Free full copy of illustrated fantasy novel Summer’s Dark Waters: https://www.simonwilliamsauthor.com/freebies.php

Embers Drift on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088WF28QN/

Embers Drift on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088WF28QN/

Author’s website: https://www.simonwilliamsauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simonwilliamsauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SWilliamsAuthor

Posted by: rangerant | May 27, 2020

Storm Trilogy Teaser

It’s been quite some time since I announced any releases, but to tease some forthcoming news about the Storm Trilogy, here is a surprise for you, a short story set at the beginning of the first book of the trilogy, Whispers of a Storm.

If you have already read the trilogy, you will hopefully enjoy this return, fleshing out events in the first few chapters of the book.

If you have never tried my work before, welcome to The Four Vales.

 

Dawn Whispers

When death came to the forest that morning it moved like the spreading dawn mist, slow, cold and silent. Reaching out for the sentry who was barely awake on his feet as he rested a cramped shoulder against the trunk of an old tree, it stole the life from his throat with a swift, deft cut, before lowering the struggling, twitching corpse to ground. On death came, less cautious now, blood-lust rising as the shadows gained form in the grey light of the new day.

As the sleeping camp and second sentry loomed near, the shadows parted, forming a line of grim warriors, all choosing their footing with care, all that is, except their leader, whose long blade was slick with blood and thirsty for more. Clouding breaths joined the still mist as they shared hand signals and the leader, his eyes bright with eagerness, crept closer to his prey.

Behind him the other warriors slipped through the forest, spreading out in a watchful line, readying their weapons for the carnage that would follow. Clutching at charms and offering silent prayers to their Gods for this glorious opportunity, the Reven waited patiently, saw the struggle that ensued and became aroused by the Valian blood colouring the crisp dawn air as their leader repeatedly hacked his blade into the neck of his next victim.

In the early dawn light he turned to them, uncaring of the strangled, futile scream that had escaped his victim’s open throat before it was parted from the shoulders.

A fierce smile spilt the Reven’s bloodied, tattooed face as he threw his head back in triumph. Raising his weapon high and the severed head aloft, the leader roared out a battle-cry to the grey heavens overhead and threw his trophy towards his enemies.

Below the still canopy of the forest, violence erupted, destroying the peace of the coming day.

 

As the blood-thirsty howls and whoops of glee broke the serenity of the new day the Valian knight flinched from his light slumber, almost pitching from his stool beside the previous night’s dying fire. Reaching for his blade, his instincts reacting more quickly than his sleep-filled eyes, Elan roared out a warning to his comrades as he dragged himself to his feet and surveyed the chaos before him.

The dawn mist was alive with danger now, a twisting, seething mass of shadows that descended upon the camp like a pack of ravenous wolves. The four of his men he could still see standing cried out their own throaty challenges and rushed forward to meet the threat.

Hefting his large, rounded shield onto his left arm, the Valian knight turned away as the shrieks and curses were drowned out by ringing clashes of steel and a telling scream of agony. As he ran for the solitary tent, pitched at the rear of the camp beneath the boughs of an ancient oak, the knight could feel the cold fear tight in his chest and stiff on his mailed arms.

There were Reven in the Four Vales! And he was certain, by the Storms, that they had come for her…

Elan threw back the canvas door to the tent and could see the wide, fearful eyes that flashed at him from the shadows. As he entered, he knocked his head on the lantern hanging from the tent’s roof, sending the shadows and wan light swirling wildly about him. Ignoring the young woman’s decency, he stabbed his freed blade into the ground and rushed forward to grab her by a slim wrist as she finished buttoning her blouse.

“What is happening?” his charge demanded, as she was hauled her to her feet in a tangle of wild, raven-black hair and gasps.

“We must flee, my lady,” Elan offered, releasing her wrist to sweep up his Valian long sword. “Stay close to me. Leave everything behind.”

Without waiting to hear her protests, he stepped outside, the young woman close behind him. To his horror, he could see that two of his men were down, the Reven hacking them to pieces with their axes and swords. Grimacing, he searched vainly for the horses, but their attackers had already set them free.

“Fall back!” Elan roared, barely heard above the din of battle. He swallowed hard, as two Reven swung their wide, frenzied eyes towards him at the cry.

“Run, my lady,” the knight hissed, as his charge cowered behind him.

As the Valian knight protected the woman’s escape, an attacker rushed across the clearing towards him and leapt over the fire with a scream, his bloodied teeth bared and axe raised high.

Turning the axe aside with his shield, Elan ignored the force of the blow riding up his left arm and hacked his blade into the Reven’s fur-clad side. As his opponent’s wild charge forced him back, the knight pulled his steel free and stepped aside. Howling madly, the Reven stumbled by and Elan swept his blade across the back of his assailant’s bald head, adding a thick scarlet line to the black-inked tattoo of a crow.

Twisting away before the Reven pitched into the tent, Elan spied a Reven tribesman at the far side of the camp, his small crossbow raised. Another Reven stalked warily towards him amidst the dance of battle, crouched low, his bare arms and the twin axes he wielded already awash with blood. Falling back, Elan raised his shield before him, shifting his attention into his retreating heels. As the bolt sprang across the camp towards him, the Valian knight stepped aside, sending the archer a disdainful look.

Two of his men still fought bravely on and as he watched Kaspian cut the Reven axe man down from behind, Elan swallowed down the disgust rising in his throat. Turning, he fled into the shadows of the forest after the woman he had sworn, above all others, to protect.

Elan did not see the Reven leader cut his friend down from behind and would have been glad he did not bear witness to what the tribesmen did to his body.

*

The Valian knight ran through the forest, ducking low to avoid branches, crashing heavily through the unforgiving thicket as he hurried to catch up with the young woman. It didn’t take him long, such was the colour of her blouse and though he was thankful he had found her, he knew that it would not be long before the Reven did, too.

“My lady,” he gasped, keen to douse the fire in his lungs with some much needed air. As he called out to her again, she sent a wild look over her slim shoulder and then slowed in relief.

As he hurried to her, she folded her arms across her chest, trying to hold herself together.

Elan had protected her for many years, but the tempestuous girl he knew, the one everybody whispered about when her father was not in earshot, was absent now. He saw before him only a frightened glimpse of the woman she could become one day, shackled for now, by her own insecurities and drained from the horror of witnessing her first battle. When Elan had accepted the honour to protect her as they journeyed southwards through the North Vales towards the capital, in this time of peace neither of them could have envisioned what dangers awaited them.

Ignoring his own thoughts as they stirred with worry, Elan cast his suspicions aside. He needed to focus on getting her to safety first. Everything else, beyond that one duty, was insignificant – even beyond his family’s honour and his own life.

As she gathered her breath and wits together, the Valian knight dealt a worried look over his cloaked shoulder. The forest said much with its silence and he failed miserably as he tried to bury his sorrow for another day. His men, all six of them, were his friends, his brothers. They had grown up in Highwater, had began their training on the same cold morning, and he smiled sadly as he lost himself briefly to the memory of a better day…

It had been cold, so very cold in the frosted courtyard that spring morning, but they had stood together as one and remained respectfully still as they listened to William Bay’s speech and the protests from their numb bodies.

As the years slipped away, they had become at first men, and then knights, together. They had bled for one another in numerous border skirmishes with Reven raiders across the Great Divide, had shared the ale and wenches that helped them celebrate their safe return each time.

Elan shook his head sadly. When he should have stood with them, he had willingly turned his back on them. To keep his honour and dignity, he had betrayed theirs.

As he looked back to his charge and remembered his duty, Elan sensed that they would not be able to outrun their attackers. He was too heavily armoured, she, too used to the comforts of her lineage. As his body began to stiffen with worry for her safety, the knight began to sense he would not be parted from his brothers for long.

Letting out a long, heavy sigh, he watched as the woman began to hurry away from him again through the forest, waited, as she realised he was not following and held his breath again, as she slowed to a confused stop.

Shouts began to rise behind him and several crows took to the grey skies overhead, irritated at the disruption. As she came back to him and planted her hands on her leather-clad hips, he could see the confusion in her dark eyes and watched the furrow deepen her brow.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, her confusion falling from her features as she anticipated what his response would be.

Elan looked back to the trail behind him. No birds sang to greet the new day, nothing stirred in the lifting gloom. The distant sounds of combat had long since faded in favour of the victor.

It was quiet, far too quiet.

Clenching his jaw firmly the knight looked back to his charge and softened his worry into a smile that failed miserably.

“Go, my lady,” he told her gently. “I will buy you time to escape and join you if, when I can.”

“No!” the young woman protested. Her face was pale, even paler than usual and her fear froze any further words on her trembling lips.

Shouts of glee echoed through the trees in warning and with his breath trapped in his throat, the Valian knight raised his sword in salute and kissed the bloodied blade.

Turning, Elan ran away from her, not seeing her take several steps after him through the tall trees, not hearing her futile sob as she gave in to her fear and ran from her protector in the opposite direction.

Elan’s mind was clear of all thoughts, save one single purpose, as he strode back towards the glade and the camp they had barely escaped from with their lives. Shapes gained weight in the grey light of the dawn as he stepped past a hollowed tree, bent and broken by storms and time.

Five Reven slipped through the gloom towards him, their cries of glee failing in their throats as he waited for them quietly, his shield raised close before him. Ramming his blade into the ground, Elan pulled off his mailed glove with his teeth. He spat it away and reached out to touch the trunk of the old tree with a bare, shaking hand.

Smiling, Elan closed his eyes, listening to the mournful wail of the rising wind, smiling as he traced the knots in the rotting bark with his fingers.

Opening his eyes, he could see that the Reven waited, allowing him this last moment.

Thoughts flooded his mind again, and as Elan swept up his sword and the Reven charged forward, he regretted that he had not spent more time with Lysette, the woman he had left back in Highwater.

He wished that he had told her that he loved her.

 

 

Posted by: rangerant | March 13, 2020

Grab a great fantasy read for less

Starting today for one week only, you can grab the re-released Whispers of a Storm, Book 1 of the epic Storm Trilogy, for only 99p on Kindle.

Take this perfect opportunity to escape to another realm for a little while.
http://amazon.co.uk/…/product/B007TN9VE2/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Whispers of a Storm Cover KINDLE FINAL

Posted by: rangerant | October 2, 2019

Whispers of a Storm

It is with great joy (and relief) that I can finally announce that the revised edition of Whispers of a Storm is now available to buy, once again.

First released in 2011 through Authorhouse, my first novel, and the first part of the Storm Trilogy, is a thrilling tale of political intrigue and high adventure. appealing to readers from all genres, not just the fantasy fans, this tale has captured the imagination of readers for 8 years now.

Re-released with fantastic cover art by the ever-talented Jamie Wallis, the Strom Trilogy also appeared in ebook format for the first time – it’s popularity leading to a stroke of good fortune in 2018.

Following the signing by an American publisher, Steelsage Press, the manuscript has had the professional touch, by the incredible Debra Doyle, wonderful new cover art by the dazzingly talented Omercan Cirit, and, for the first time, a map of the Four Vales, where the trilogy is set.

Sadly, in March of this year, before the book could be re-launched in America and worldwide, the publisher was shut down. Fighting against the disappointment of this setback, the edition that the publisher envisioned and had so much faith in, is now back, bigger, better and brighter than before.

If you enjoy a thrilling tale, full of intrigue and adventure, enjoy vivid, believable settings and strong characters, this one is defintely for you.

Escape to adventure today.

Paperback edition: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1690931566/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=whispers+of+a+storm&qid=1570004243&sr=8-1

Ebook version: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whispers-Storm-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B007TN9VE2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1537340148&sr=8-2

Whispers of a Storm Cover KINDLE FINAL

Posted by: rangerant | September 16, 2019

The Coming Storm

Following the closure of my American Publisher this March, I am pleased to be able to annouce that Whispers of a Storm finally returns to a page and screen near you on Tuesday 1st October 2019.

If you haven’t tried my trilogy before and have been holding out for the new edition, the wait, finally, is almost over.

I’ll also be running giveaways for copies on my author page, blog and Goodreads, so if you have already read Whispers, there will be chances to get your hands on the version that my American publisher would have released to the world – new cover, new edit, and, for the first time, a map of The Four Vales.

I’ll have more news soon about the next book I have written, too, but for now, I leave you with another look at the glorious cover art by the talented Omercan Cirit.

Whispers of a Storm Cover KINDLE FINAL

Posted by: rangerant | June 3, 2019

Author Interview with Jessica Kealy

For my next interview, I sat down with the multi-talented Jessica Kealy, to talk about her writing, dancing and her debut novel ‘The Adventures Behind Cherridor.’

For those of you not familiar with Jessica, she is a fiction writer and professional dancer. She has danced in Cyprus, all over the UK and even in front of the Dalai Llama. When she is not dancing or writing her next novel, Jessica enjoys sitting down with a cup of tea and a good book (don’t we all)

Thanks for dropping by, Jessica. Let’s jump straight in with the obligatory question I always like to ask a fellow scribe – Have you always known you wanted to be a writer/dancer?

Yes, I always knew I would love to do both, but never thought either would become a career.

Who, or what (or both) was your inspiration for becoming a writer?

Reading books was my inspiration I suppose. I’ve always loved reading and I think that naturally sparked my writing. I was a big Jaqueline Wilson fan as a child, I still have a collection of her books. The more I read the more I wanted to write my own stories.

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The Adventures Behind Cherridor‘ is your debut novel. For anyone not familiar with your book, could tell us a little more about it please? Will there be a sequel?

It is about a young girl named Ellie who enters the realm of Cherridor and has to battle to save the life of the young Prince Blaize. Along the way she meets all sorts of creatures both good and bad….

I’m already writing the sequel. It is going to be a lot longer than the first as it fills in a lot of the back story as well as continuing on from where we finish the first book.

What is the most difficult part about being a writer?

For me I’d say that’s having the time to write – when I’m in the mood to write. There’s times when I’m so inspired to write something but I’m on a dance job, but then other times I have nothing to do so I get my notebook out, and I can’t think of single thing to write next. That’s the most frustrating thing. Because I don’t write my best if I’m forcing it.

What sparked the idea for your novel? Was there a single moment of inspiration you can identify, or was it a collection of ideas that evolved over time?

An easy one to answer. When I was 16 I had a job in a factory, boxing up foam blocks and behind my work station was this old wooden red door which was the fire exit. One hot afternoon they propped this wooden door open and I remember thinking how beautiful the view outside was. You’d expect concrete pavement or buildings and noise from the factory, but instead there was trees, grass, flowers and you could hear the birds chirping away. It was so out of place from the atmosphere of my work I thought I have to write a story using this and that bright red door became the basis of The Adventures Behind Cherridor.

Did you Jessica Kealy Profile Picplan your novel meticulously, or do you explore your own story as you write?

I don’t plan my stories. I like to see where they take me. I started The Adventures Behind Cherridor and just let my mind wander. As I got into the middle of it I began making some plans of where id like it to go just so I could link things back in. But it was always open for change

Do you have a set routine for your writing?

I always have a new notebook which is dedicated to that one story, and I write what comes out in that. Then I start typing it up onto my laptop and sometimes this is where I edit things or move stuff around. It sounds like extra work rather than just typing it up but I’m a writer – I like to write.

Do you have a favourite author?

Jaqueline Wilson will always be one from my childhood. As an adult I can’t say I have one particular favourite. I read a lot, and I read a lot of different genres (my bookshelves are full) so I’d hate to pick just one.

How long did it take you to write The Adventure Behind Cherridor?

I started it when I was sixteen and finished it when I was twenty four. But, I didn’t touch it for a good few years when my dance career first started. The sequel won’t take nearly as long, I’m already halfway and I started it last July.

What is the title for your next book?

Return to Cherridor

Electronic or paper? Which do you prefer?

I prefer paper, always. For reading and writing.

What books do you like to read yourself?

All sorts! I’ve read classics like Black Beauty and Jane Eyre. I’ve read all the Harry Potter books (big fan!), the Fifty Shades Trilogy, The Hunger Games, Twilight etc. I love a good Thriller like The Girl On The Train and The Couple Next Door. I’m just in the middle of Kate O’Hearn’s Pegasus books – mythology is something I’m really into and considering branching into next after my Cherridor sequel.

What’s next for you? Will you be returning to Cherridor, or are you headed somewhere else?

As I mentioned I’m writing the sequel to The Adventures Behind Cherridor. Depending where that takes me, I may move on to another novel about something completely different. or there could even be a third book making Cherridor a Trilogy.

What do you love most about being an author?

Creating a story that people can escape into. It’s the one thing I’ve always loved about reading and one of the reasons I wanted to write.

What do you like least about being an author?

The hand ache I get when I can’t write the ideas down quick enough from my brain!

As an author, I am sure your mind is always whirring away with ideas what do you like to do when/if you have an speare time?

I enjoy binge watching series on Netflix. I love getting on the sofa, or in bed with some chocolate and binging a new series.

What was it like to dance in front of the Dalai Llama?

It was incredible. I was only fifteen at the time but it was definitely an honour. We did a dance about the Earth and the Sun, and then at the end he came on stage to speak to the audience. So he was like a hands reach away from me. I’ve always been interested in Buddhism so I was in awe.

Final question for now, Jessica if you were fleeing to a desert island to escape an apocalypse, which three books would you take with you and why?

Ooh! Tough question! Okay, so I have this old battered Mills & Boons romance novel that I must’ve read a million times but it always cheers me up when I’m feeling lonely, so I guess that would definitely have to come (Sounds corny I know but who doesn’t love a romance). The second book I’d take would be Jane Eyre because it’s a classic and at least one classic has to survive an apocalypse. Thirdly, I’d take a copy of my own book (sounds vain I know) but if I didn’t survive on the island and years later my three books were dug up by a new civilisation, then my book would start literature off again in a new world alongside Charlotte Bronte!

Thanks for chatting Jessica, it was a real pleasure.

If you enjoyed the interview and would like to find out more about Jesscia and her work, you can click on the cover art shown above to find out more about the The Adventures Behind Cherridor, check out her youtube trailer, or head on over to her publisher’s website right now.

And thanks to you for sparing your valuable time. Please check back again soon for further interviews and more book reviews.

Posted by: rangerant | April 29, 2019

Evoloution of a Storm

Although it is not quite with the same fanfare I had imagined a year ago when I signed my publishing deal with Steel Sage Press, I am so pleased I can now reveal the cover artwork (Kindle version) for the forthcoming re-release of Whispers of a Storm, as created by the very talented Omercan Cirit.

Even though it was not meant to be, and Steel Sage has been shut down before the book could even be released, I have come away from the publishing experiences of the last year with a fantastic cover, amazing map and a wonderfully editied mansucript, all of which I hope to be able to share with you very soon.

Whispers of a Storm Cover KINDLE FINAL

Posted by: rangerant | April 28, 2019

Adventures of a Storm

2014 was a busy time for me – after three years of patient waiting, Shadows of a Storm, the second book of the Storm Trilogy was released in April, following on from the second edition re-release of Whispers of a Storm, the fabulous cover art done by the most excellent Jamie Wallis

It was the cover I had been imaginging when the 1st edition came out, one that would show that, altough Cassana could not know at that time, she, her charge and her protector were riding towards more danger than they had left behind…

 

Stay tuned for this Monday, when I reveal the Kindle cover artwork for the almost-published, yet unreleased third edition version of Whispers of a Storm.

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