Apologies – been busy *tries to get breath back*

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exhausted

Image courtesy of YelloShine at StockXchng

Hello everyone. I have finally emerged from my writing cave after an obsessive recheck of my MS for ‘A Construct of Angels.’

Following the re-launch on February 28th, I spotted a typo in the first chapter whilst posting a sample of the story onto Wattpad (yes, I’ve managed to stretch myself even thinner!).  Anxious as to why I’d missed something so basic, I felt compelled to re-read the whole story (again) – and I’m very glad I did. Scores of silly mistakes scuttled around in the daylight once that particular rock had been lifted, mistakes that should never have happened. I can only blame the way I used Word (in ‘show all changes’ mode) to enter the edit suggestions from Tara, my editor and ‘Words with Friends’ buddy.

I will be applying the lessons from this latest faux-pas to my next MS and sequel to CoA, ‘A Vengeance of Angels.’

So, I finally completed the read-through and Sonya Loveday has kindly offered to read it through for me, because if I have to read that story one. more. time. I might go a wee bit crazy. *sigh* Does everyone get to this love-hate stage with their MS, where they cannot bear to plough through it yet again?

If Sonya gives it the all-clear, I will finally be able to revisit the CreateSpace site and upload the finished MS, before I order a second proof copy. It’s been a long time coming…

In the meantime, Write On!

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Spelled (Book 2 of the Casted Series) ~ Now Available!

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Andrew Toynbee:

The long-awaited sequel has arrived! My copy is nestled in my Kindle-for_PC ready for bedtime reading. :D

Originally posted on Sonya Loveday:

Spelled

Book 2 of the Casted Series

Now Available!

spelled_promoConfused by the turn of events, Jade is only sure of four things:

My name is Jade Kinsley.

I’m 20 years old.

I’m an Enforcer for the Triad.

And I have a debt to settle with Original Coven.

Will Jade be able to break through the spell her Grandfather put on her and remember who she is, or will she become just another piece in Lorenzo’s game?

excerpt

It dawned on me, at that moment, that Elliot would do whatever he could to bring Edge back around. It was possible Elliot thought Edge would come around the more he had contact with me. The thought of being close to him made my heart quicken, and heat crawled up my neck.

“You ready to take one for the team?” Elliot asked. His face was stoic, but his eyes were pleading.

“Let’s do this.”…

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The Writing Process Blog Hop

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Hops

Hops… :D

A few days ago, a baton in the form of a rolled-up newspaper arrived at my (virtual) door.

“Delivery from Jon,” the courier declared impatiently, as if he was eager to be on his way.

“Which Jon?” I asked. I knew many people called -

“Jumping from cliffs Jon,” he snapped, glancing back down the (virtual) garden path where my (virtual) dog was eyeing him up.

“Oh, that Jon.” I signed something that might have been a delivery note, or a promise to dedicate my life to achieving Peace on Earth at any cost, and let the courier go on his way, closely followed by my (virtual) dog… who was by now baring his (virtual) teeth. I unrolled the newspaper, which was a few days old by now (aren’t they all out of date the moment they’re printed anyway?) and a small scrap of paper fluttered to the ground.

‘Writing Process Blog Hop,’ it read, once I’d rescued it from the slavering jaws of my virtual dog (whom I shall now call Charles Xavier).

‘Be there or admit to being a parallel quadrilateral,’  it continued. I turned the scrap over, but could find no address. So I hopped onto Google, fell off, jumped back on and found a link to Jon’s Writing Process Blog Hop. My reputation as an irregular polygon was secure.

(It was at this point, I began to wonder if I’d accidentally absorbed some of Jon’s slightly deranged, yet brilliant enthusiasm from the virtual rolled-up newspaper. I decided to lie down for a little while… just in case.)

*A little while later, after a strong coffee and once the sun had cleared the yardarm…*

Despite a lack of information of Jon’s seventeen favourite carnivorous mammals, or references to sock colour, I found Jon’s post enlightening. The format of this particular Blog Hop diverges from the intriguing irrelevance of most Blog Hops insomuch as it seeks to uncover those reasons why we writers choose to endure the anguish of creativity – and what we create as result.

The questions posed are as follows (with my own answers forming the ham, cheese and perhaps a little mayo in the sandwich).

1) What are you working on?

My second novel and sequel to ‘A Construct of Angels.’ It’s a contemporary urban adventure / romance / mystery thriller, one-third completed and waaay behind schedule because I’ve taken so much time honing (and re-honing) the first novel. My thinking was, if the first book wasn’t absolutely spot-on and free of errors, who’s going to bother reading the second one? Anyway, the second book back-tracks slightly and begins two days before the first one ended, meaning I can revisit the final scene and let the reader experience it from a different character’s POV. Although the first book concluded neatly, there were still a great many aspects that could be elaborated upon – and now expanded upon in the sequel, where there’s space to do such things.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

I’m hoping my WIP will be unique. It’s a romantic supernatural thriller, but with no vampires, werewolves or shapeshifters in sight. Nor are there any inexplicable teenage college crushes. That’s right – no teens. Aside from one small person who is aged four, everyone is between the ages of twenty and one thousand three hundred and thirty seven (no, really!). Also, my story is set in modern-day York (England), which is rare enough, and features many real-life locations which can be visited. Book Two will follow the same style and include new locations.

3) Why do you write what you write?

I was writing apocalyptic sci-fi before I was a teenager – creating worlds where only a chosen few survived. Subconsciously, I think it was my way of coping with my harsh and unfair childhood. By removing most of the population, and keeping only those I trusted, I was probably trying to exercise a measure of control over the world – a control that didn’t exist outside my writing. Later, I shifted towards High Fantasy, where I created worlds from scratch  and populated them with (mainly) trustworthy characters. Now? I’m hoping that my (genre-spanning) contemporary supernatural romance urban mystery thriller might help to get me noticed in the world of writing. If I can make my mark, I may be able to complete and (self) publish my earlier High Fantasy work, and perhaps even my first completed sci-fi series.

4) How does your writing process work?

I’m very lucky to be blessed with a constant flow of new ideas. Getting those ideas down in some form, however, can be a real challenge as my day job bounces me around the country on a regular basis. So I do most of my work on a Netbook, a miniature and highly-portable laptop.  I will create clusters of ideas, which will then grow into a linear story, rather like cells in a petri dish, spreading towards each other until all the clusters join together to form a seamless whole. That’s the point at which I begin to work through it, expanding on ideas, conversations and characters, swelling the story in a linear way, rather  like someone slowly blowing air into a long sausage balloon. Have you noticed that they always inflate from the nozzle end and gradually get bigger along their length, rather than expanding everywhere at once? That’s how my story expands.

All of my works to date have been never-ending stories (having no definite ending). The exception is my debut novel – whose ending formed before everything else in the story. So this story was almost written backward, with all events leading to the climax. Weird – but it worked. With the sequel, I also know how it’s going to conclude, so it will be written in the correct order, but with my eye firmly fixed upon that ending.

.

Now, according to the convention, I am to tag four other writers who are worthy of note in the Blogsphere. I spent a little time tracing the lineage of this particular hop back through Jon, his nominator Vashti Q Vega, her nominator Amanda Staley and so on back through Karen at mytrainofthoughtson, Jessica P West, JDSFiction, ratiwrites

What? I like to be thorough. I didn’t want to nominate anyone who’d already been named. Plus I’m insatiably curious too. :D

Have alook at some of these other blogs – I found a lot of interesting material there.

So without much ado (too late?), I nominate four bloggers who have been closest to me since the very beginning.

Ryan Casey  - Ryan’s blogs are always informative and he is often way ahead of the game when it comes to anticipating the future for eBooks and their numerous formats. Ryan is a prolific writer and has long been blazing a self-publishing trail that inspired me to follow.

Candace Knoebel  has always been the inspiration I needed, when I needed it most. Her experiences in self-publishing have encouraged me to press on, despite the difficulties and pitfalls.

Sonya Loveday - The other half of the Knoebel-Loveday team, Sonya’s blogs are always fun and informative. BTW, keep an eye out for the Knoebel-Loveday parties being announced. They’re always worth showing up for! Go there, or admit to being a parallel quadrilateral.

Michelle Proulx – Why? In a word: Badgers. When Michelle first showed me her Badgers, I was overjoyed. Her blogs are always packed with fun and irreverent silliness, and the comments often take on a life of their own. They may even be sentient. Plus, Michelle holds the Award for the  longest title for a novel in decades, perhaps even longer.

Jon has been alongside me for most of my blogging journey, but I can’t bounce this back to him. Heck, I’ve named him almost a dozen times on this page already! Kisa Whipkey is also a fun blogging buddy, but Jon’s (that’s another one!) already nominated her. :D

But now, in the style of Michelle Proulx, an unrelated link for you to enjoy:

This is Lucifer, one of the many images from The Brick Testament.

Lego LuciferBehold+the+Metatron!

Theology aside, does anyone think he looks remarkably like Alan Rickman?

Enjoy the Blog Hop!

.

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Buy Indie Books NEW LOGO for anyone who wants to use it on their blog

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Andrew Toynbee:

New Indie logo from the Story Reading Ape. Grab and paste! :D

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's New (to me) Authors Blog:

Have a look at the new widgets I’ve put on my blog – in two places:

At the top left column under my main page articles

In the right column of individual articles

Please feel free to copy / download / use this logo on your Blogs, Websites or anywhere else you think might help advertise Indie Author Books :)

BIB Logo

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At last – Toynbee the movie, or: is fiction stranger than life?

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toynbeemovie

In an idle moment, I typed my author name into Google (who doesn’t?) to see what matched up – and my screen was suddenly filled with images that seemingly had nothing to do with my efforts as an writer.

I discovered a whole collection of images that described something called Toynbee Tiles – and even a movie that had been made about them.

The picture above was a particular head-scratcher and I was compelled to follow the thread in order to fully satisfy my curiosity.

The thread led to a post on Cranesareflying, a blog that devotes a whole page to the making of the movie.

toynbeetile_0

Both Cranes and Newsworks, describe how Jon Foy, an ex-punk band member (Red Devils), was inspired enough by the mystery to make his budget movie about the Toynbee tiles – and won an award as a consequence (The Sundance Film Festival).

IMG_1205

Thom Powers and Jon Foy;

Thom Powers & Jon Foy

The same story turned up on Philadelphia Weekly and then on Red Dirt Report, an Oklahoma news page.

toynbee tile2

toynbeetile_2

Wired Magazine provides a concise explanation for this phenomenon, suggesting a quasi-religious campaign stated by Philidelphia’s James Morasco, who died in 2003. However, the tiles still continued to appear until around 2010, as far apart as NYC and St. Louis.

toynbeetile_3

There are numerous comments (some banal and pointless, but many refer to tiles seen on city streets, one as far back as 1992) at Metafilter.

Flickriver has posted a whole collection of these from various cities.

toynbeetile_4

And if all that wasn’t enough for you, you can now buy the tee-shirt. :D

toynbee tee shirt

I wonder if Fox Mulder has one of these? :D

Has anyone else out there seen or heard about these before now?

I’d be interested to hear.

This was not at all what I’d expected to find when I Googled my name. Have any of you done that  – and been very, very surprised by what turned up?

.

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A Construct of Angels – the relaunch

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re-release banner feb 28 2014

Party on here.

Todays the day! Everything is in place for the party. Along with my co-host Sonya Loveday we hope to tickle, challenge and entertain – all in one night!

Please drop by between 20:00 – midnight GMT (15:00 – 19:00 EST), even if it’s just to say hello.

Also, please feel free to reblog or share this with anyone you think may be interested.

The party will feature eBook and audiobook giveaways, fun and games, caption contests and general banter… plus I a few little items of swag.

Hope to see you there.

P.S. I would also like to say Thank You to everyone who has offered to donate an eBook for the occasion.

If you’d like to join them and add something to the (growing) pile, please let me know in the comments below.

CoA release

party on

Write on – and party on!!

An Interview with Tara Shaner, Editor

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Andrew Toynbee:

An enlightening interview with my new friend and hard-working editor of CoA, Tara Shaner.

Originally posted on ...and then there was Sarah:

I am very pleased to welcome Tara Shaner, of Shaner Media Creations, to the page today. Shaner is a creativity and content editor, who focuses on taking the author’s words and intent, and making them brighter. She is also my editor, and through her guidance, my writing and delivery has improved considerably.

Please read on to learn more about Tara’s insights, experiences, and advice.

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A Construct of Angels – two days to go

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re-release banner feb 28 2014

Party on here.

With only a few days to go until the relaunch, almost everything is in place for the party. Never having organised one of these before, I was initially faced with a writer’s worst nightmare – the blank page – before my friend Sonya Loveday sent me a list of suggestions. Thank you Sonya! :)

I’ve since found inspiration and added a few other items that ought to entertain those who are attending on Friday between 20:00 – midnight GMT (15:00 – 19:00 EST).

Please drop by, even if it’s just to say hello.

Also, please feel free to reblog or share this with anyone you think may be interested.

The party will feature eBook and audiobook giveaways, fun and games, caption contests and general banter… plus I hope to have some cute little items of swag to offer up.

Hope to see you there.

P.S. I would also like to say Thank You to everyone who has offered to donate an eBook for the occasion. If you’d like to join them and add something to the (small) pile, please let me know in the comments below.

CoA release

Write on – and party on!!

PartyOnDarth

A Construct of Angels – the 2014 relaunch

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re-release banner feb 28 2014

Wish me luck – I’m about to host my first release party. Okay, technically it’s a re-release party, but since the book’s original release was a fairly subdued affair (way back in October 2012), I thought that I ought to make up for it this time round with the revised version.

Not that I’m attempting this alone, oh, no. I have some very competent assistants (for assistants, read: show me how to do virtually everything this time round) in the guise of Sonya Loveday and Candace Knoebel, they of the spectacular cover reveal and release parties on Facebook. The above promotion banner is all Sonya’s work.

Thank you, ladies, from a lumbering old Luddite whose Smartphone has more savvy than I do. Come to think of it, the house phone has too…

The party will feature eBook and audiobook giveaways, fun and games, caption contests and general banter. Please drop by if you have time on Friday 28th between 20:00 – midnight GMT (15:00 – 19:00 EST), even if it’s just to say hello.

Hope to see you there.

CoA release

Write on!

Writers – lets pool our resources… the revisit.

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riesp books

About six months ago I suggested the pooling of writers’ knowledge in an attempt to create a sort of go-to page for any writers who were struggling with details of a particular concept. True, Google and Wikipedia can provide facts, but I still believe there’s little substitute for direct experience. Alternatively, some writers may have thoroughly researched a theoretical subject (who has direct experience of star drives, or ancient Greek rituals for instance?) and added their own spin. They may be worth consulting.

I’ve added the names of willing volunteers to my page ‘Writers who have offered their knowledge,’ my own included.  If you feel that you are able to assist other writers in their endeavours, please step forward. As stated below, we’re not trying to rival Wikipedia… just offer some helpful advice to other writers.

Here is the original post from mid-2013;

Some time ago I posted Jack versus Einstein- a post that discussed whether it was better for a writer to be an expert, or a Jack of all trades.

Whilst I’m quite happy to be the latter, it occured to me that many of us will still have some knowledge of a subject that others may find difficult to research. If I was to include a scene in my next book where a character baked… for example… cupcakes, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start looking. Alright, sure… Google would probably be my first port of call, but there’s only so much you can learn from trawling websites. Some scenes need the personal touch that only an experienced friend can provide.

This idea popped up whilst I was leaving a comment for Setsu (Hello and thanks for the follow!), an expert in martial arts. I wish I’d known Setsu when I was crafting my scene in ‘A Construct of Angels’ that involved a swordfight between Michael, the constructed angel and his Anakim foe, the self-styled Damocles. Instead, I had to trawl the interweb for sword-fighting techniques, finally chancing upon a gentleman who had written a book on sword-fighting and who was able to give me a few pointers.

Later, when I was writing a couple of triage scenes for the same book, I was lucky enough to be able to send the relevant passages to a paramedic I’d met in York. I’d done most of the research about the (serious) injuries on-line. He returned them with complimentary notes, but suggested some useful improvements – most likely stuff that I wouldn’t have found on-line.

So, what do you all think about this; listing what you consider yourself to be fairly good at?

Perhaps you’re not expert, but we’re not writing reference books here. We just need enough to craft a scene that is reasonably accurate and fairly thorough. I would be the last person to consider myself ‘expert’ in anything. I’m sure that I share that feeling with many of you (aren’t most writers self-doubting introverts, after all?). But I have amassed a fair bit of knowledge of a few disparate subjects in my twenty-five fifty years on Earth (who changed that line?).

So why not put that knowledge to good use?

For instance, I may be in a position to advise writers who are struggling to craft a scene that requires knowledge of *takes deep breath* quantum physics, or starship design – both subjects I love (yeah, I know. I’m a Geek. I admit it). I also love geology, cosmology, and a few other ‘ologies’ that I won’t bore you with here.

This is my proposal; Could you help a writer who was stuck for some details? Would you be willing to answer questions from other writers? Could you spare some time to read through some extracts and help them on their way? Could you at least point them in the right direction?

We could all benefit from this – and write better and stronger stories as a result. Think of this as a long-term project. It may not be something that would benefit your current WIP, but can you be sure that it might not come in useful for the next one?

So, to kick off, I’ll list what I can offer to other writers. If I can’t answer questions on these subjects immediately, I have a good stock of reference books to hand.

Here goes…

I have a good knowledge of;

Cosmology (star formation, beginning and end of the universe).

Quantum Physics (atoms, particles, energy and radiation).

Starship theory (drives, environments, construction).

Theory of time travel, plus cause and effect.

(Dare I say this?) Rocket Science.

Planetary behaviour including some aspects of geology and geography.

Some World War 2 history, mainly European Theatre.

And on a more day-to-day basis;

Mechanical engineering.

Vehicle mechanics, some military strategies, aircraft behaviour.

Chemistry, physics, engineering.

Movie-making (scene construction to post-production).

Factory production-line techniques.

.

Perhaps you could add to the list and we might build a healthy database of subjects that would give our writing that ‘expert’ touch.

It doesn’t matter if your knowledge overlaps with that of another writer – we all know different facts about similar subjects. List what you know, and a writer who is stuck can always throw out a question to more than one ‘expert’…someone is bound to know the answer.

If this is successful, ‘experts’ might be able to advise on single scenes (like my sword-fighting scene) and tidy up the facts a little.

I read recently how many film-makers are simply ignoring physical laws for the sake of drama (don’t get me started on ‘Independence Day’ – although I still love it, or ‘Armageddon’ – which drives me craaaazy).

Let’s be better than that.

Let’s get it right. :D

.

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