Friday, 30 October 2015

Happy Halloween! Enjoy the Samhain celebrations...

It's almost Halloween, or the ancient Samhain when the dead roam the earth again...

There's magic and the supernatural in my debut novel, set in 794 AD. Brionach the Druid and the Monks use charms, amulets and spells. The seasons change from spring through to midwinter, and the Old Gods can be found in the firelight and shadows. Samhain was also celebrated in the 8th century, with feasting and fun.

Durstan has already fallen in love with Ailan by this time, and is... The Monk who Cast a Spell. The book is available now from Amazon Barnes and Noble, and other places.

Enjoy this year's traditional celebration, Google+ Friends. Happy Halloween! Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Editing my 2nd novel... Here's how I did it!

I have been busy editing for the last few weeks, and my 2nd novel has followed a similar pattern to The Monk who Cast a Spell. Here's what happened...

I wrote an initial draft of between 50,000 and 60,000 words. This was the bones of the story, and a manuscript I could edit. It began in notebooks; on scraps of paper when they weren't to hand, and all the words transferred then onto my laptop.

The 1st edit took the longest because it filled in the gaps; building character and background. A little more research was also necessary. I rewrote any parts at this point which didn't work well, and the word count increased naturally to more than 80,000 words.                 

I added background details and names, with further character descriptions, in the 2nd edit. This gave depth and credibility to the story. 

On the 3rd reading, I concentrated on punctuation and grammar, the unwieldy sentences which prevented the narrative from flowing.

I was comfortable by this time with the plot and chronology, so that in the 4th edit I was able to give the chapters the final numbers which they would have in the published book. 

The 5th and 6th edits were little more than a read through, with a word changed here and there.

And the title of book 2 came to mind as I was editing. I'll tell you what it is, in my next blog post... 

I hope you have a great week, Google+ Friends. Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.


Saturday, 10 October 2015

A day out ...and books which inspired my novels

I visited Birmingham in the UK last Sunday, and had almost forgotten the hustle and bustle of the city where I worked for many years. New buildings reaching out to the skyline were a surprise, and old ones no longer there. 

I was pleased to see again the iconic Bull, which still stands proud in the Bull Ring shopping centre

I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, enjoyed walking around, and went to Waterstones book store; where you can lose your soul and wallet quite easily, in the magic of the endless shelves. 

But I knew where I was going! I headed straightaway to the history books, and bought The King in the North by Max Adams It's about Oswald of Northumbria in 634 AD; earlier than when my tale takes place, but it helped me see the way life could have been for Durstan, in Lindisfarne during 800 AD.

I read this book some time ago, and I wanted a paperback copy for my own bookshelves. I thought too of Adomnan, 9th Abbot of Iona, who wrote The Life of St Columba It was nowhere to be found...

but I was delighted to discover Mercia: The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Central England by Sarah Zaluckyj I have been researching Mercia for my 2nd novel. It's the Kingdom which adjoins Northumbria, where Durstan is, and I hadn't as yet read this book.

My £20.00 voucher was quickly gone, plus a few GBP more, but it was a wonderful day; another to cherish. I went home, tired and happy, with inspiration to write more...

Thank you for visiting the Hope and Dreams blog.