Blog Archives

Back; Not Necessarily…

… in the land of the living.

Yes: I’m back from my holidays.  For the record, I only had a couple of cheap weeks on the beach and returned a while ago to the usual chaotic crash-dive of return-to-work-related issues.  To be honest, I feel like I need another break already!

But enough of that.  My holiday did exactly what I needed it to.  It cleared my head and, sitting on the beach, a little bit every day, I’ve somehow, amazingly, drafted over 25,000 words of my next story.

Being straight with you, I’m under no illusions that many of these draftings will end up in the recycle bin.  Equally, many sections will require considerable, relatively easy, expansions when I start pulling it all together into a comprehensive whole.

When I get some time, I’ll pull together a graphic like I did for Thunder, to illustrate progress. I have no idea whether any of my visitors find this useful but, hey ho, it does serve as a bit of self-stimulus to make sure I keep putting in the writing hours!

Anyway, I suppose I ought to get back to the somewhat abstract title of this post: it’s a veiled reference to the subject matter of the new novel.  I’m not going to reveal too much yet, but I can say that I’ve settled on the title…

The next book will be called G’host.

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The Wild Blue, Yonder…

Time for me to vanish for a while.

For many months I’ve been wrestling with good and bad spirits, and now it’s time for me to put some dedicated effort into ensnaring them; in black and white.

I’m hopeful that a stretch of golden sand, some warm weather, blue skies and crashing surf will provide a suitably undisturbed backdrop for my notepads and meditations.

So wish me luck and see you soon…  :)  AB

Brain Pickings…

Jenelle Schmidt

Jenelle Schmidt

Fellow Authoress Jenelle Schmidt recently contacted me to see if I’d mind being interviewed for her blog site.  So – after some debate as to whether, given such madness, she might better benefit from some counselling – I succumbed and the resultant ramblings can be discovered here…

Q&A with Anthony Bellaleigh

Fellow writers might also be interested in participating: if so, why not drop her an email?

Fantasy fans might also like to check out her novel: King’s Warrior

Mine Is A Love Story, Written In Blood…

So this is it.  More than five years of musing, and over a year of hard writing, bring me to this point…  Thanks to all of my visitors and alpha and beta readers for your help over the last few months.  Now it’s time to see if Thunder can stand the scrutiny of general release!

Available from today…

Thunder Cover v4

Mine is a love story, written in blood.

A tale of an ordinary life, destroyed in the same white-hot furnace of fire and metal that snatched away everything I ever wanted, that stole everyone I loved, that scorched my soul and then forged me into something new.

I am changed, alone, and in pain – with no friends, no allies, and no-one I can trust.

People call me Nick Tonner, but I don’t care much for names.  Some might say I’m a hero. Some might say I’m no better than those I despise.  Call me what you will, because it doesn’t matter to me.

I have nothing left to lose, and only one thing left to live for…

I want you.

Dead.

The Clouds Are Gathering…

Thunder Update:

Thunder Cover v4Still on track for Saturday…  Here’s a really short sneak-preview from towards the end of the book…

~~~~~

I watch as a strong gust of wind billows amongst the trunks of the watching trees, curving between their crowding trunks, snatching up fine dust from the bone-dry earth and dragging it into wispy translucent ribbons which curl and twist around the clearing.

“A storm is coming,” says Ace, from the midst of these vapourous streamers.

“I’m already here,” I reply.  “Time to play.”

~~~~~

Thunder: The Countdown Clock Has Started…

Thunder Cover v4Thunder is now on my Kindle…

I’ve finished my hardcopy edits and transcribed the changes into my master manuscript.  Yesterday, I started the file conversion process and the usual iterations of layout corrections necessary to get the document into eReader format (which is something of a mind-numbing task that I’ll need to produce a guide for at some point…).

The net result is that I have a pre-publication copy of the first edition on my own device.

Now I’m doing a final page turn.  Just to make sure that everything looks okay and, if all goes well, Thunder will be published at the end of next week.

Now a combination of nerves and excitement kick in… After over a year of hard grafting, I’m finally in the home straight and, I have to say, I’m feeling very satisfied with how the book is looking.  The scary part is whether readers will feel the same way…!

Planned Publication Date: Saturday 15th December.

Thunder: A Brief Editorial Update

I know… I know…!

I was a little ambitious with my timeline for Thunder…

This post is a short update to let you know that I’m about halfway through my final edit and I suspect it will be a few more weeks before the book is finally ready for publication.

Why is it taking so long?  Well, firstly, it was really important that I let the book settle for a few months before coming back to it.  Being able to read with a “fresh pair of eyes”, has helped me to see that the front end needed quite a lot of fine tuning to improve flow and consistency.

With hindsight that’s understandable, I suppose.  Even though Thunder was written over a few months, as an almost full time activity, the opening sections didn’t quite fully understand the final richness of the characters when they were written.  Neither, despite working to a comprehensive storyboard, was all of the fine detail of the story fully fleshed out.

Proof readers haven’t complained.  But I noticed that any comments were clustered into this area of the text.

The main delay, however, has been that I’m back to having to write part-time and have to find slots in my day where I’m not too tired, or grumpy, to concentrate as much as is needed for this somewhat onerous – yet at the same time strangely enjoyable – task.

Anyway, I’m past the 50,000 word point and corrections are becoming fewer and farther between – though I’m still finding the occasional apostrophical goof here and there!

Time for me to get back to it…

[NB1: Apostrophical: A British English, Warwickshire County, made up word meaning: the description of an author’s doomsday-like feelings when discovering that a possessive apostrophe has snuck, unbidden, to the wrong side of a pluralising ‘s’]

[NB2: Pluralising: also a made-up word… meaning: not enough time to concentrate properly on a post…]

Thunder – The Playlist

Thunder Cover v4Decorating hostilities have ceased – for a while.  The bedroom is completed and, so far, nothing has blown up or fallen down.  I am therefore back to editing Thunder, and I’m really enjoying it.

Initially I found editing laborious and unpleasant, but on reflection – given how long it takes to craft a draft novel – it’s well worth spending the time and running a fine-toothed comb through anything you write.

For me, the hardest part of this process is leaving it to ‘settle’.  By this I mean, putting the work away for long enough that you can come back to it with a ‘fresh pair of eyes’.  For Thunder, the settling period has been just over four months.  For a shorter work, like this post, it might only be a day or so.

Anyway, to the subject of this post, I set up a playlist whilst I was writing Thunder.  Mood music, if you like.  I found it helpful.  Music is very important to me.  It seems to entertain my muse and open up my imagination.  I started with a few songs, then added items as the weeks went by and now, of course, I’ve got it playing in the background while I edit.

The final list has eighty-four songs on it, so I’m not going to post them all here!  Some are quite popular, some more obscure, and here are the YouTube links to five of my current favourites, in case you’re interested in sampling a musical flavour of what’s coming in the book (don’t forget to skip the ads!)…

No One by Maja Keuc (live performance from the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest Finals).

[AB: A Eurovision song…  I know…!  Nonetheless, it’s a brilliant tune which builds dramatic tension through to an awesome conclusion…]

The Only Hope For Me Is You by My Chemical Romance.

[AB: I especially like the gothic-opening followed by classic MCR, creative, thump-rock, heartbeat-lifting, guitar-pounding energy and – of course – an uplifting, glorious, lyric…]

The Running Free by Coheed & Cambria

[AB: I have to blame a couple of ‘youngsters’ for introducing me to the whacky world of Coheed and Cambria.  This is classic rock at its very best…  And, what a hook…!]

World’s On Fire by The Prodigy

[AB: Thunder is, at times, an angry book.  This track spent quite some time on repeat play…]

And finally, something completely different:

O Mio Babbino Caro by Giacomo Puccini (this version sung by Angela Gheorghiu)

[AB: This is one of my favourite operatic pieces.  Simply beautiful…  :'(  ]

A small but serious post-script:  I listen to legitimate copies of these tunes and am sharing these links only in the hope that it supports the promotional interests of the artists involved (Mr.Puccini excepted).  Please support fellow artists by avoiding file-shares and other forms of piracy… Thanks.  AB.

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Thunder – Front Cover

Tomat CarnvalI’m back from Finland and am pleased to report that the small amount of swimming undertaken this year was done by choice, and not by accident.  The main event of the week – Tomato Carnival – was… interesting. I’ve included a picture, so you can see that I’m not making it up!  To be honest, it seemed like it was a good excuse for a big party, with all of the town invited, much drinking, much dancing and some very long hangovers…  So, all in all, it seemed to me like a very good thing to do at least once per year!  Thanks to everyone I met while I was there.  You always make me feel so very welcome.

Unfortunately, it’s also raining over there – 2012 is providing an equally miserable summer across the Nordic countries – but at least that meant I was able to have a serious crack at the 3D artwork for Thunder’s cover.

I think I might be starting to slowly get the hang of three dimensional rendering.  The new book’s icon is built up of a half-dozen separate components, each individually drawn, and then rendered into 3D and assembled into one composite.  The overall design follows Firebird’s template for continuity.  The icon is designed to draw upon various elements from the storyline.

So, after countless iterations of size, shade, finish, angle and lighting, I think this is the version I’m happiest with.

I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Thunder Cover v4

Thunder – The Blurb

Okay then…  Here goes…  This is the draft blurb for Thunder.

It took me about twenty different attempts to put Firebird’s Blurb together (a.k.a. Product Description, Back Cover, etc…).  I’m hoping I’ve done a better job this time around, but I’d really appreciate hearing what other people think about it.

Thunder will be categorised as Action & Adventure / Technothriller.

Any feedback or comments would be very much appreciated!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THUNDER

Mine is a love story, written in blood.

A tale of an ordinary life, destroyed in the same white-hot furnace of fire and metal that snatched away everything I ever wanted, that stole everyone I loved, that scorched my soul and then forged me into something new.

I am changed, alone, and in pain – with no friends, no allies, and no-one I can trust.

People call me Nick Tonner, but I don’t care much for names.  Some might say I’m a hero. Some might say I’m no better than those I despise.  Call me what you will, because it doesn’t matter to me.

I have nothing left to lose, and only one thing left to live for…

I want you.

Dead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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