I am delighted to have featured recently on my lovely author friend Jenny Kane's fantastic blog, sharing the first 500 words of my Lovecraftian short story Dark Words in her series "Opening Lines". This is a series where authors can share the first 500 words of one of their works - no more, no less, even if it means stopping mid-sentence! It's a brilliant way to find new authors to read. It gives you just enough to get into the story and then stops, leaving you wanting more (hopefully!). There is so much on this blog - it will keep you reading away for hours, so I highly recommend getting comfy and having a coffee to hand before you get going!
If you haven't read any of my other work before, you can enjoy the beginning of Dark Words here and find out how the story came to be written and what inspired it.
Dark Words originally appeared in Secret Invasion, a charity anthology raising money for MIND which will appeal to fans of horror and Lovecraft. It has since been published in Fairy Tales and Folklore Reimagined, so if horror is not your thing, you can enjoy Dark Words in a different way!
This is a picture I took last year of the medieval pack bridge at Fernworthy on Dartmoor, England. This is one of the artefacts generally submerged beneath the waters of the reservoir, some of which feature in Dark Words. This was the first time I had ever seen the bridge with my own eyes - and it was wonderful to be able to actually walk across it, too. I had never seen the water levels so low. In the past, all I had glimpsed was the very top of the bridge just breaking through the surface, because the reservoir is a lot deeper than you realise. It's always fascinating when you discover something like this is hidden away, just waiting for the conditions to be right so that it can be revealed. It makes me wonder what other incredible things might be right beneath your feet, waiting for someone to find them.
However, some things are best left undiscovered, as the characters in Dark Words find out....
I am delighted to announce that I have received the first copies of The Septillion of Hheserakh, a collection of legends from the Hheserakhian Empire. The Septillion is a companion book to the main series and features some of the Empire's creation myths. These are stories that Aamena Hinnorwen would have heard in her childhood, such as The Musician and the Candle-maker, which tells how the Elves got their pointed ears. I'll be sharing some of the legends at this year's Chilcompton Fringe Festival on Sunday 26th August 2018 - check out the Dates for Your Diary page for more details.
As well as pointed ears, there is a cursed artefact, a standing stone, a strange encounter in the forest, thwarted love, an over-eager suitor, dragons, a mother's love, a father's folly, and the most beautiful love ever to bless the universe.
I took much of my inspiration for the stories from folklore from around the world. The Great Forest of the North, Aamena's home, has strong Norse influences, so there's a little Norse mythology, a Swedish folk figure and a touch of Dartmoor (south-west England) woven in amongst the dragons, elves, goblins and trolls....
At the moment, the books are available exclusively from me - they are not yet in ebook format, although they will be in due course. The paperbacks will be available to buy from Sunday 26th August, so if you can get to Chilcompton that day, head over to the Dates for Your Diary page and check out the festival details so you can pick up a copy!
Who is Blogging Today?
Sometimes it will be me. At other times, you may well be treated to one of Duseena Lorafiel's herbal remedies, or perhaps Zilyana Yllayra's etiquette tips. Aamena Hinnorwen may pop in to talk about a new skill she has learned. There is always a chance that we may be graced by the presence of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, who likes nothing better than to discuss the many benefits of the land he rules. There will be maps, sketches, photos, news, character information, guest blogs from other authors... all sorts of different ways for you to delve into the world of the Chronicles.