The first progress post

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Does this place look familiar to you? If you read Forgotten it should do…

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Well I have begun. At the moment I’m in serious re-reading mode concerning The Forgotten Age. So far I’ve carefully worked my way through the first two chapters. I’m not just reacquainting myself with the characters, but also what happened in, around and beneath the Giza Plateau, as well as on the surface. I’m also making note of the seemingly random clues which most will have ignored, not appreciating their significance or even rejected as possible red herrings.

I always leave vague clues in every book I write. No doubt I’ll do the same thing when I come to write the sequel, just in case another is required by you in the future.

If you’ve already read Forgotten through thoroughly you will have noted the significance of above picture. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING REGARDING IT IN YOUR COMMENTS. TO DO SO WOULD BE A MONUMENTAL SPOILER ALERT FOR NEW READERS!!! For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, do yourselves a favour and click on the above red link, get a copy and read it!

That’s about it for now. I’ve got more re-reading to do. More characters to catch up with both good and bad, plus more of those subtle clues to gather together…

😉

My twenty-seventeen project

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Thanks to the few of you who bothered to state their preference for a sequel in my recent blog post a few days ago It’s for you to decide, I now have my first project for twenty-seventeen. Rather, you have given me one hell of a headache – to work out if a sequel to the archaeological adventure the Forgotten Age which I wrote in 2012 is at all possible. After all Forgotten is already a sequel in its own right, in this instance to Race Against Time.

The OED definition of the word sequel is – A published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one. Nothing to it I hear you cry. So what’s stopping me?

First of all I need to re-read it to thoroughly familiarise myself with the story once again. Secondly I have to get myself back into full R&D mode. From memory I appear to have left the reader with the impression that I killed off the hero Nick Palmer and some of his friends by trapping them inside an ancient hermetically sealed room (The Library of the Ancients) somewhere deep beneath the Giza Plateau, between the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. Did I, or didn’t I? I don’t recall. After all its been four years since I wrote it!

That being true, how in the blue blazes do I resurrect them? It’s not immediately obvious to me at the moment by any stretch of the imagination, hence my need to fully reacquaint myself with every aspect of the story.

For those of you who have been kind enough to read my books in the past, rest assured I’ll give it a lot of thought. If it’s at all humanly possible I’ll make it happen. But if I decide that they’re dead after all…

Either way you my loyal readership will be the first to know via this my blog. So that’s it for now. I’ve got a lot of re-reading, head scratching and note taking to do.

😉

 

The Third Edition

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My old friend Globular Van der Graff

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For those of you who have been reading, and hopefully enjoying, the timeless tales I have been selecting from Glob’s anthology I have some welcome news.

For a long time now I have been meaning to create a paperback version of Goblin Tales for the few stick in the muds who still prefer a physical book, particularly those of you living here in the UK where the preference for paper still persists more so than anywhere else.

Well, you’re in luck. I’ve temporarily put aside my current book research project to begin preparing the tales to do just that.

Will the 3rd edition exclude ‘Goblin Speak‘ for those who place it in the too hard basket? Absolutely not! I promised Glob that I would leave any and all conversations involving him, Bejuss, Neo, Byz, Make and Mous in their own vernacular. Neither will I dumb it down from British English. This is an anthology set in ancient Britain, not North America. Nor will I change the way the lads behave simply to conform to the commonly held misconception that all goblins are bad!

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To remind all of you, here is the description of all five goblin brothers and Bejuss. The more observant among you will see slight differences from the original:

All southern wood goblins have green leathery skin of differing hues to blend in with their surroundings and are very short in stature – normally no more than three feet tall. Their ears are pointed and broad. Their mouths contain sharp pointed teeth. They all wear felt jerkins, and willow bark boots stuffed with dry grass for warmth. In winter they wear squirrel fur mittens to keep their bony hands warm. Their eyes are normally chestnut brown. But when enraged, they turn blood red. None of them look old, despite their great age.

Glob is the oldest of the goblin brothers and their leader. He is slim, long suffering, dependable and worldly wise. His favourite pastime is fishing.

Byz is the youngest at barely five hundred summers, and the skinniest. Put simply he is a gentle idiot. His face has that look all simpletons have. He is apt to wander off if not tethered to his bed or to one or other of his brothers. Easily distracted, Byz plays beautiful music on his reed pipes and loves playing with spiders and all other kinds of creepy crawlies under his bed.

Mous is the accident prone member of the household and plump due to his love of honeycomb. His speech impediment forces him to substitute z for s when he speaks. Prone to sulking, he is the unofficial cook in the household. He often has bitter arguments with his best friend Make.

Make is the pipe smoking, laid back, fat and jolly member of the household. Normally content with his lot, not much fazes him. Make loves honeysuckle flavoured tobacco. His most prized possession is his briar pipe, or as he refers to it, his bestest briar pipe. Often, despite Mous being his best friend in the whole world, and often the butt of his jokes, from time to time he does accuse poor Mous of stealing his possessions when he mislays them.

Neo is the upright, no nonsense member of the household with a tendency to explode when angered, who does not tolerate foolish behaviour. Severely cross eyed, extremely bad tempered, and wiry, he makes an excellent mead and is responsible for manufacturing their willow bark boots, neatly sewing them together using a bodkin, and thread made from the best spider silk, despite his crossed eyes. When the chips are down, Neo is the one who will always guard your back. While he barely tolerates most kinds, he absolutely loves the old mare Miranda and the humin child Ylesse.

Bejuss is a one eyed, battle scarred, old lisping raven with a twisted beak and tatty feathers, who is absolutely devoted to Glob. His favourite pastime is pecking simple minded Byz who he can barely tolerate. His beak is partially twisted, resembling an old piece of rope. It happened when his mother accidentally stood on him just after he hatched from his egg. He later lost one eye on a twig sticking out of the inside of the nest, during a scrap for food with his brothers and sisters when he was a chick.

~~~

The Time Before Map

Here is the introduction:

For far too long in my humble opinion, your average southern wood goblin, or any goblin come to that, has been much maligned. Far from being the loathsome evil creatures portrayed in fairy tales by human authors like the Grimm brothers to frighten children in centuries past, with one or two exceptions they are entirely friendly. I have got to know the author of these tales – Globular Van der Graff, or Glob as he likes to be called, really well. I am of the firm belief that on the whole they are entirely misunderstood creatures.

In a time long past before humans began inhabiting the world; there was a magical land hidden away from prying eyes in the northern hemisphere. It was called Goblindom. It remained hidden behind a magical barrier when humanity first appeared. In those early times Goblindom fought the humans and won. But as the ranks of humans inevitably increased in number, and began to destroy every living thing they deemed inferior, Goblindom’s inhabitants retreated behind their magical barrier to prevent any further contact.

One of Goblindom’s kinds, the humins, who were the predecessors of humanity, treated all goblins abominably when they first discovered each other, two thousand summers before this anthology begins. But after that unfortunate meeting, both lived side by side in peace ever afterwards, keeping a weather eye on the warlike cousins of the humins living beyond the barrier.

The five wood goblins I met one day several years ago in a glade not far from here in the English county of Suffolk, when I was having a snooze in the afternoon sunshine, have existed till now, hidden away from humanity since those days thousands of years ago. They are Globular Van der Graff (Glob), Makepeace Terranova (Make), Byzantine Du Lac (Byz), Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous) and finally, curmudgeonly old Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo). They continue to inhabit the most remote forests living side by side with all other woodland inhabitants, hiding away from my kind humanity.

These friendly little beings seem to have taken over my life in one way or another. At their insistence I began to write down what Glob dictated to me. He would often wake me in the dead of night by standing on my chest, raring to tell me of yet another adventure or some mishap or other that had befallen him or one of his brothers. Why he chose me for the task of translating and recording his tales, I still don’t know. Needless to say I am honoured to do so. It is not every day that a lowly human is given such an opportunity.

I have created for you an eyewitness history of their world which they shared with our forebears the humins, along with wizards of both black and white persuasions, griffins, wyverns, mountain gremlins, ogre’s, elves, trolls, dragons, the odd witch or two and an assorted collection of animals and birds. Among the many you will meet as you read Glob’s tales, is a singularly engaging character, a one eyed lisping raven named Bejuss.

At Glob’s insistence I have also left the conversations between the characters in their own peculiar ancient vernacular rather than modern day English. When Goblindom existed all the many kinds who lived within its borders spoke the same language.

This anthology is a snapshot of their lives, adventures and misadventures. I hope that when you read it, you will look kindly on these tiny woodland individuals in the future, should they choose to visit you.

~~~

PS – while there will be no individual illustrations for each tale, there will be a family portrait, thanks to my good friend Duncan Niall Boswell pictured below agreeing to give it a go after I had suggested it to him. Duncan is the one responsible for the fantastic Goblindom map above.

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PPS – currently the word count stands at 84,782. It should pass 85,000 and beyond before much longer…

More later…

😀

That old familiar feeling is back – tiredness…

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Unless you have all been living in a cave or on a desert island, or perhaps on top of a mountain, minus any form of internet connection, you’ll know that for the last several months I’ve devoted all of my time, concentration and energy to writing my latest novella, a love story entitled, CĂ©leste, set in space.

Yesterday morning (Thursday the 4th) I finally finished it. The next stage is to go back over it by reading it through one last time before I reformat it, prior to publishing the Ebook version in a couple of weeks from now via KDP.

I’ll begin on monday morning, but not before. That will allow me the sheer luxury of taking a short break in the form of a three day weekend starting today (Friday the 5th) to clear my head in preparation for the task.

When you read CĂ©leste’s tale, you will see that I’ve left a few things unanswered or hinted at, here and there. Why? To give myself the excuse for writing a sequel, (not that I need one) always providing of course that you all want more once you have shared in CĂ©leste’s tale with her, and hopefully enjoyed it.

But not this year! I am now suddenly very tired. I need to rest and recharge for several months. Besides which, with my sixty-eighth birthday looming on the horizon (March 8th), its high time I took it easy for a while, don’t you think? I may even catch up with my own reading, starting with unread copies of books written by my friends Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval. The problem for me when reading any book by either of them is that I always guarantee to get story ideas. On the other hand my chess board awaits…

As I said in a previous post, I’ll let you know when the Ebook version is available.

Love to all,

Jack

😉

The last chapter beckons – or does it???

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With five chapters done and dusted, at the moment from my point of view, I only need to write just one more for CĂ©leste to be novella length – approx thirty thousand words. It’s already knocking on twenty-seven thousand as it is.

For a while there I briefly toyed with the idea of maybe expanding it to fifty-thousand. But I quickly abandoned that notion simply because that would mean slowing the pace of the story, by bogging it down in mind numbing info dumps. To my great shame, I’ve done it in the past to pad out a story. No one wants that kind of thing interrupting the story line, myself included if I’m being brutaly honest.

So at 2am yesterday morning, once again I began the thought process necessary to carefully come up with all of chapter six’s twists and turns and maybe even an ultimate twist at the end, or not, as the case may be. Only time will tell when it comes to the latter point.

Meanwhile while I’m doing that, I’m also going back over the previous five chapters once again as I’ve done each time I’ve completed a chapter, looking for errors, inconsistencies, etc, etc while bearing in mind what both my fellow writers Nicholas Rossis and Derek Haines, have already commented on after they were good enought to read the .pdf copy I sent to them a week or so back.

Click on their highlighted names above to see their books on Amazon.com.

Now ladies and gentlemen I’d better get back to work, writing about CĂ©leste and her love affair with David O’Leary, demands all of my time, not that I’m complaining mind you. Face facts, if you were me and you found yourself briefly sharing your life with an absolute stunner of a woman, albeit only in your mind, would you complain?

She’s got David firmly wrapped around her perfectly manicured little finger in the story. For him and me its a case of whatever CĂ©leste wants, she gets. What can I tell you, we’re both madly in love with her. Were he real and we happened to meet, I would gladly punch him on the nose. That’s how jealous I have become of their relationship. Will I kill off the man she loves? We’ll see…

Now before you go, do yourselves a huge favour and click on her cover above to take a closer look at the fictitious women David and I positively worship before you hit the return key on your computer’s keyboard.

Thanks folks, more later,

Jack

😀

Well, Its Hyperlink Time

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As I draw nearer to completing CĂ©leste, now is the time to begin inserting the hyperlinks necessary for the e-book version. What do I mean by that? As it will be in preorder mode for maybe a week or ten days prior to its publishing date, you will still be able to take a look at the first few pages using Amazon’s Look Inside feature. The first hyperlinks you will come across are on the second page. They consist of two pre-publication reviews by two fellow science fiction writers. I will also be adding them to CĂ©leste’s blurb on Amazon, minus the hyperlinks. After you have read what they have to say, by clicking on their hyperlinked names in the e-book, you will be taken directly to books by them I deem to be their best. I’ve done this in grateful thanks for their involvement in CĂ©leste’s journey from idea to end product.

The other hyperlinks you will find are on page three, consisting of chapter headings. By simply clicking on the relevant chapter you can go straight to it, once you have bought your copy.

As for CĂ©leste’s e-book price, I’m still thinking about that. One thing is certain, it won’t be any more than my usual US$2.99. Both of my fellow authors, Nicholas Rossis and Derek Haines, agree that I’ve cracked it once again with this science fiction romance. Its success or failure all depends on whether or not the reading public agrees with what they had to say in their pre-publication reviews…

More later folks,

Jack

😀

Another Progress Report

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Just a quick progress report for you all. Firstly I realized the other day that the names I had decided on for my female character’s all start with the letter ‘C’. Knowing how the internet trolls love to pounce on trivialities like that I’ve made changes. So, besides CĂ©leste the other two ladies are now referred to as FlĂĄvia and Rieko.

In the meanwhile I’ve just introduced a few more players into the mix. Take a look at the following passage where David is about to reveal who and what they are to Andreas and Lukas:

“Remember when you asked if CĂ©leste could do something for you like she did for me all those years ago my friend? Well your wish is about to come true, only not necessarily in the way you and I originally envisaged it might happen. One of the ancient intelligences CĂ©leste and I met inside turns out to be female. Her name is Lilith. Does that name ring a bell with either of you by any chance? No. Well it damn well should. She and the rest of them were once worshipped as gods and goddesses by the Sumerians and Akkadians thousands of years ago back on Earth; and in all likelihood by other equally superstitious peoples prior to that specific chapter in Earth’s relatively short history of human occupation. One thing though, before either of you open your mouths in her presence, if I were you I’d mind what I say. We all know how formidable CĂ©leste can be at times when crossed, am I right? Well prepare to meet someone potentially far more so gentlemen,” he added with a huge grin on his heavily sweat encrusted face. For the doctor to be able to fulfil his desire to share his life with a beautiful female companion like CĂ©leste, might become a distinct possibility in the near future once he had got over the shock of what was about to happen where FlĂĄvia is concerned that is.

~~~

So there you have it for the moment. A lot has already happened to Apkallu and her crew in the twenty-three thousand plus words I’ve written so far. The story is now about to take a different direction, meaning yet more danger and unexpected encounters for them all…

More later,

Jack

PS – things are really hotting up between my two main characters David, and the drop dead gorgeous artificial intelligence CĂ©leste, as their love affair grows. However, like all relationships theirs has its share of decidedly rocky moments as well as its tender ones.

To borrow from Lysander in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream –

“Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,

Could ever hear by tale or history,

The course of true love never did run smooth.

But either it was different in blood—”

So why should it be any different where CĂ©leste and David are concerned I have to ask myself?

😀