My Third Book…Coming Soon!

My Third Book…Coming Soon!

Today’s image is an arty shot I am thinking of entitling Writer’s Fuel. Presumably with a snappy title like that I’ll have art galleries queuing up to display it!

Looking at it I notice I am low on coffee, I’d best remedy that fairly sharpish, it being my main source of sustenance…

I took a big step today, following feedback from my test readers I’ve finished the final draft of my third novel, a sci-fi story called Metal Blade, and I have begun the process of getting it on Amazon. With a bit of luck it should be available either to purchase as an ebook, to read for free on Kindle Unlimited, or as a paperback sometime in the next two weeks. Watch this space!

Part of the process for submitting the novel is creating a blurb for it, a snappy couple of paragraphs that hopefully entice readers into wanting to see what it’s all about. I’ve gone with the following:

Duane Steele, the cybernetic warrior known as Metal. Tomas Katana, the swordsman known as Blade. Together they were once the most celebrated bounty hunters on New Earth. Now Metal is down on his luck, Blade has retired, and both find themselves being targeted for death by the sinister Science Ministry.

They must join forces with a beautiful assassin to rescue an innocent young man who holds the secret to mankind’s survival, facing their former bounty hunting colleagues, all the power at the disposal of the psychotic Science President, and the lethal attacks of his emotionless, deadly Technical Operative, Frost.

Don’t forget you can read the first chapter here. And of course you can see excerpts from my other two novels, and details of how you can read them in the relevant pages on this site.

There’s no image for the new novel as yet, that’s all part of the process, as soon as I have a cover shot I’ll post it and update the Metal Blade page accordingly.

I’m very excited about this one, possibly even more so than I was about Silver Soldiers, having just re-read it myself I like to think that it is exciting, quick and obviously extremely well-written…fingers crossed readers agree with me!

Just a short post today, exciting things like vacuuming are calling my name, and of course I need to press on with Realmborn 2, which is now a prologue and 8 chapters, chapter 9 is also calling my name, as is a cup of coffee and an Oreo…

Hope everyone is well, Stay Frosty, People

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Back to Writing

Back to Writing

Today was a productive day. In fact the last few days have been productive, writing-wise.

Having proved to myself that I can manage a fairly gruelling writing schedule I am pressing on and working on the sequel to my first novel, Realmborn. My plan for my third novel, Metal Blade, was a chapter a day, and I almost managed this, completing the whole  novel in 28 days (and this should be released on amazon in the next few weeks, watch this space!). Realmborn 2 will take longer, but then it is a very different beast of a book. Think fantasy epic as opposed to something you could read by the pool in a day.

However, in the past 9 days I have written the prologue and the first seven chapters, and will be hopefully pressing on at this pace until it is finished, which would make it ready for release by about the end of July…ish. It’s going to be a fantasy epic, just like the first Realmborn, so it won’t be short!

It’s been really good breathing new life into some of the characters from the first book, and hopefully taking some of the lessons I learned from the reviews of the first Realmborn and putting them into practice in the writing of the second. Retaining the humour and voice of my debut novel, but injecting a bit more pace. That’s the goal, anyway…

I’ll get the prologue and first chapter up on this site tonight, hopefully, though I will stress again that there are major spoilers contained for anyone who hasn’t read the first one.

Speaking of, why not read the first one? You can find it on Amazon here, and it’s available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited. If not, the electronic version is only £1.99 (or the equivalent in dollars), so less than a pint, and in most places these days less than a half…

Alternatively you can read my second novel, Silver Soldiers, here, it is likewise free on Kindle Unlimited or at the bargain price of £1.99, and is more of a sci-fi action thriller. One reader said they couldn’t put it down, but as that was my Dad I think you should maybe make your own minds up. (I’m genuinely proud of it, and it does have some good reviews on Goodreads.com, should you care to go looking…I’m just not much of a one for blowing my own trumpet, which might be quite a detriment as an aspiring independent author!)

As always, if I can beg anyone who has ready either of my novels to post a review on Amazon, that would be amazing and much appreciated. It is genuinely reviews which drive other readers to give novels a chance in this bizarre world I’m making a go of, so please, please, please, if you’ve read either of my novels and have a spare five minutes…honesty is appreciated, flattery will get you a pint the next time I see you, outright praise will make me blush.

Right, if I’m going to create a whole new page on this website I’d best get cracking, hope anyone reading this is well and enjoying life, and takes some amusement in my epic new facial hair statement!

Oh yes, as you can see in the pic (if you can drag your eyes off my wonderful new moustache), today’s reward for completing a chapter was a glass of wine. A Shiraz. And it was very nice.

As I always say, Stay Frosty, People.

The Jungle Book…not for kids!

The Jungle Book…not for kids!

Well,not young ones, anyway. Took my five year old to see the new Jon Favreau live-action version of the Disney classic today, and I would recommend not taking the trailer for this as an indication of the overall tone of this film.

It’s dark. My son spent quite a lot of it cuddled into me, occasionally hiding his eyes buried in my shoulder. I guess now is the time to mention the obligatory…spoiler alert.

A lot of the film seems to take place at night, for one thing, in gloomy, creepy, spooky jungle settings. (Yes, I know it’s called the Jungle Book, I was expecting Jungle, just not the dark and frightening sort of jungle you might expect a Predator to leap out of.) And some of the brighter daytime scenes contained an army of violent monkeys led by some sort of prehistoric throwback giant ape with a penchant for threats and terrifying roaring.

Speaking of violence…this was an extremely violent film. I’m not one to complain about this usually, but a Disney movie? Aimed at the family? The trailers certainly didn’t give rise to the expectation that Shere Khan (voiced incredibly sinisterly and effectively by Idris Elba, is there anything that man can’t do?) would suddenly kill Mowgli’s foster-father (foster alpha male?) to make a point, and that a few scenes later we’d see said dead wolf’s bones being picked clean by vultures…

I think this is my main problem, it’s a good film, the animation is amazing, the voice work is superb, it’s not overly long, it’s very well done…but I think it was completely mis-advertised. The trailers drew my five year old in, made it look bright and exciting, action-packed but fairly innocent, the classic “contains mild peril” scenario. So that’s what we were expecting, what we got was a dark, threat-filled and fairly  grown up film. A good film, yes, and there was some comedy from Baloo the bear (Bill Murray, making the character a charming, loveable rogue with his heart in the right place), but there was also a helluva lot of scares that I for one would not recommend to the under 8’s. Yes, it’s a PG not a U, I get that, but come on, give us more of a clue in the advertising to G the P’s, eh?

All that being said, I do think it was very well made, and as I said, the voice work was fantastic. Scarlett Johanssen as Ka the snake was suitably hypnotic, alluring and threatening, Sir Ben Kingsley hit just the right note as the almost old school colonel-like Bagheera, Bill Murray and Idris Elba I’ve already mentioned, Lupita Nyong’o was an endearing and courageous Racksha (Mowgli’s adopted wolf Mum, and apologies for any mis-spelling), and Christopher Walken as King Louie was on top form, making the giant ape both semi-amusing and then very, very threatening.

Neel Sethi, the lad playing Mowgli, was really good, I think he captured the character really well, and he can certainly run through the jungle with a great deal of skill. If acting doesn’t  work out for him (although I think it should) he could be a hell of a free runner.

My one other major complaint I the King Louie song, the I Wanna Be Like You number. Through the rest of the film there are no other songs, with the sole exception of a rendition of the Bear Necessities by Baloo and Mowgli, but they do that unaccompanied, just their voices, but suddenly when King Louie decides to belt out his greatest hit, there’s a full band playing along in the background. It felt forced and jarred with the rest of the film.

So, overall, a good film, well made, well acted, a couple of minor complaints as an adult viewer but nothing that wouldn’t make me give it a solid seven or a sketchy eight out of ten, but please, movie advertisers, please, give us a better idea of what a film is actually going to be like before we take the risk and shell out to see it. The cinema’s not a cheap trip out any more, and my lad only saw about two thirds of the film in the end…if it’s going to be dark, let us know in advance!

This is still a blog about my life as a writer, by the way, and I did do a whole chapter this evening, but for some reason I felt the world needed to hear my opinion on movie advertising tonight. Hell, it’s my blog, my rules!

Stay Frosty, People. Unless you’re climbing up Mount Everest, or trekking in the Arctic or something, in which case Stay Warm.

Totally shaved off the beard

Totally shaved off the beard

After a flurry of interest and opinions (thank you again you lovely half dozen people who read my blog), I decided that I couldn’t keep my beard, not after teasing the internet with the prospect of me shaving it off for something more interesting.

There were several differing opinions, the Downey Jr/Tony Stark look seemed to be quite in favour, but I decided that it look too groomed for me…let’s face it, Iron Man probably has a personal barber who sorts his facial hair out every day, whereas I usually have a case of I Hate Mornings Syndrome…the odds of me managing any kind of regular upkeep on a moustache/beard combo that sculpted, that defined…was never gong to happen!

The Sam Elliott got some good votes too, I’m just not enough of a manly man’s man, a gravelly voiced Silver Fox, a macho cowboy, to be able to pull that one off.

There was one vote for the Kurt Russell Hateful Eight look, and I’ve tried my best, but my lack of a mane of good, thick hair means I’m not quite pulling it off. In the end I’ve gone with something in between Kurt and Sam, I think, I reckon I’m probably more cowboy than superhero in any case, and  seriously, who has the time to groom their moustache and beard every morning?!?!? And so, for at least a week (I shall withstand any mockery I am subjected to), I am going to let this bad boy grow, and see just how awesome a moustache it can become.

My suspicion is incredibly awesome.

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Ideally I will get to the point where I can plait it.

I have no doubt that I will wake up in the morning with a bad case of Beard-Shavers-Regret, but for now I am quite happy to see my chin again, while retaining enough facial fuzz to hide a multitude of sins. And sometimes food, for later. And retaining the ability to strain my coffee while drinking it.

I’m just sorry I couldn’t achieve this:

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Still, I’m going for the eccentric author bit, I’m also going to buy some leather patches to sew on the elbows of all my jackets, start smoking a pipe and referring to myself in the third person.

When Dave finishes this blog tonight Dave is going to reward himself with – actually scratch the third person thing, that’s just annoying. I’ll consider the moustache enough!

Speaking of being an eccentric author, don’t forget to buy/read/review my books, please, the two currently available can be found here (for fantasy lovers) and here (for those who prefer a quicker-paced action thriller set in the near future), and it really is reviews which make the difference for indy authors like myself. Don’t forget that both books can be read for free with Kindle Unlimited, so anyone with Amazon Prime, dive on in there!

That’s about it from me for tonight, no writing occurred today but I did think abut the next chapter a lot, so that counts, right? Still, I’ve done a prologue and four chapters in the last 6 days, I’ll take that. As long as I get something done tomorrow. And not the tomorrow I usually refer to, the tomorrow of unfinished DIY, but the actual tomorrow, the 24th April 2016. Trying to maintain a level of at least five chapters a week was the goal, I’ll stick to that.

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Good night, Stay Frosty, People.

Do I keep my beard?

Do I keep my beard?

A random question, I know, but it’s one of those late night things that I thought, in the absence of anything actually insightful or intelligent to say, I might as well just put out there in the universe and see what comes back.

(Quick update before the inanity begins, I have now written a prologue and four chapters for Realmborn 2, and I am just awaiting my test readers all coming back to me on Metal Blade, which I hope to be available soon. Feel free to leave reviews for Silver Soldiers or Realmborn on Amazon, and if you’ve not read them yet, why not?!?!? Details of where you can get them are on their individual pages on this website. Right, enough serious stuff, on with the inanity)

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my beard, I truly do. But I do get bored quite easily…I’m one of those freaks of nature who, when clean shaven, has a five o’clock shadow at eleven in the morning, and once got told by my headmaster to stand closer to the razor next time I shaved…I was 13 at the time. So it doesn’t take me long to grow facial hair, which does mean that the temptation is always there, when slightly bored with it, to just shave it off and start again. Which I’ve done, on a regular basis, for years.

(The sole exception is the sideburns. I’ve had sideburns since I was twelve, and I will have sideburns the day I die. That is non-negotiable.)

The flip side of finding it so easy to give in to the boredom and shave it off is the agonising regret and Shaver’s Remorse the following day. I always forget this when I come to shave off my beards, and I always remember it the following day when I look in the mirror and wonder who the bald-faced bloke is staring back at me.

So this time, this time, dear internet reader, I have decided to only shave bits of it off. I am going to go for something interesting, probably tomorrow (or later today, as I notice that the old clock has just ticked past midnight), assuming my nerve holds…

So here are some options, from which I may draw inspiration:

1: Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott, the man, the legend, the awesome moustache. And I’ll happily wear a hat and speak in a far more gravelly voice.

 

2. Tombstone

Kurt Russell, when he was in Tombstone. Again, hat optional, I guess.

 

3.

kurtrussellhateful8

Kurt Russell again, this time as he appeared in the Hateful Eight (great film, btw, loved it). Could I pull this look off with my lack of a thick mane of hair?!?!?!

 

4. Rober-downey-jr

Robert Downey Jr, as Iron Man. Or, well, as Tony Stark, really. But still, cool beard.

 

5. brucecon01

Bruce Campbell, because I love him. I also think I could pull off this facial hair look with relative ease…

 

6. colin farrell

Colin Farrell. And another look I think I could pull off…facial hair-wise. Obviously not looks-wise, don’t be ridiculous!

 

7. Funny-Beard-Photos-8-270x300

Random man found on the internet with Batman’s bat symbol as facial hair. Looks a little tricky, but my eldest son would love it!

 

8. Crazy Moustache

Last but by no means least…how cool would this be?!?!?!?!

 

Anyway, should anyone feel like expressing an opinion you can do so using the comment section on this site, or if you’re reading this on FB just leave a comment there, or you can Tweet me, or  Twitter me, or send me a Twaddle or whatever the terminology is, @deastmanauthor

Hope everyone reading this is well and looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Stay Frosty, People.

Some days you’re the dog, some days you’re the lamppost

Some days you’re the dog, some days you’re the lamppost

Or some days you’re the cat, some days the litter tray, some days the monkey, some days the person having monkey poo thrown at you…however you like to think of it, the sad fact is that not every day can be a good one. Today was a lamppost/litter tray/faecal matter target kind of a day, which is why this blog is being published at 2AM instead of about 3 hours ago.

I’ll not go into specifics, I firmly believe my personal life should remain personal, but suffice to say that, for one reason and another, I did not get a chance to concentrate on my writing in the way I would have liked today. That one thing and another basically let me get the first 500 words of what turned out to be a 3000 word chapter done during the day, and I didn’t manage to get back to my keyboard till about 9.30.PM.

By 11PM I was starting to wonder about calling it quits and just finishing the damn thing tomorrow (later today, now), but by that point it had me, and there was no walking away. And so, at 1.40AM, I finally stopped typing, satisfied, happy and content…and then remembered that I’d foolishly tweeted to say that I would update my blog tonight. (I realise that there’s maybe five of you out there who regularly ready either my tweets or my blog, but I really wouldn’t want to let you down…)

And so I am blogging. Also, I apologise at the low quality of the picture today. Lighting is dim, my eyes are half closed, my beer’s gone warm…that is a classic “Almost 2 in the morning, why the **** am I blogging?!?!!?” pic.

Don’t get me wrong, by the way. I am not always as obsessive about finishing a chapter, and often I will leave it. But this one…well, it had reached a point where it was gripping me, and I always feel that’s when I do my best writing, so I persevered. And I’m glad I did, because I’m really proud of that chapter.

I’ll put up some teaser chapters of the new Realmborn novel soon, not tonight because my brain is foggy and in need of rest, but soon, though I reiterate that you should avoid these if you’ve not read the first one.

Oh, and good news, sales of Silver Soldiers are starting to pick up, but I could still do with reviews on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com (and Goodreads.com for that matter), so if anyone has read it and would like to leave an honest review, or if you know someone who’s read it and feel like asking them to leave an honest review, please do so. Reviews are what we, as independent authors, rely on. Well, that and the kindness of rich older ladies who like our poetry and enjoy buying us things…

OK, it’s 2.04AM, been a bit of a day but hey, got a chapter done that I’m pleased with, can I ask for more than that? Well, yes, I can ask, but I’m unlikely to get it, so let’s take what we can get, right?

Stay Frosty, People. Unless you’re asleep, in which case Stay Asleep, People.

Realmborn 2 has begun!

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A decision has been made, my next project will be Realmborn 2!

I was torn between writing a sequel to my first novel and starting on something else new, but then I discovered some notes from last year mapping out the start of the sequel…I was hooked pretty quickly!

So, I shall be trying to maintain a fairly prolific pace, I am hoping for five chapters a week, which will give me leeway to have to odd day off here and there. I shall, of course, keep you as updated as possible via this blog, and may put some teaser chapters up in the next few days. Spoiler alert, though, if you’ve not read Realmborn yet then don’t read the teasers!

I’ve made a pretty good start, had to come up to London today so had a good couple of hours on the train this morning, and then some time spent lazily writing in a coffee shop this afternoon. As always I had my faithful writing companion Wade stood by my laptop offering his sage words of wisdom…

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the sunshine, I am bedecked in my usual Hawaiian shirted manner, pretending it is summer…today has been a good day so far.

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Stay Frosty, People…like my beer.