PIECES OF PERIAN 6

And some more knightly challenges for Perian!

Sue Bridgwater is one of my earliest literary cronies and my brilliant go-to-gal for all things editorial. With Jano, she was one of my first roleplay sparring partners with her bardic character Saranna, who is also a different, demi-godlike protagonist in the Skorn series.

Perian’s Journey, is the first book in the Skorn series.  To find out more about Sue and her work, please do follow the original blog links back to the Skorn blog, or go HERE!

Skorn

As evening was falling on the second day, Garren stopped and Perian looked all around him. He could see no landmark, nor was one place better for a camp than another. He was about to dismount when he felt Garren stiffen. Perian stood up in his stirrups and peered towards the south. There seemed to be someone in the distance moving towards them over the long shadows of the thorns. Perian put on his helmet and took up his shield. He sat and watched the figure approaching. Only when the stranger was quite close did his size become apparent: standing, he was as tall as Perian mounted. He stopped a short distance away, blocking the path, and Perian looked straight into his black eyes as darkness was falling.

The giant figure grinned like a crocodile.

“Go away, little knight, you are not needed here. Go back to your green valley…

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PIECES OF PERIAN 5

Echoes of Monty Python’s Holy Grail here with an encounter with a belligerent challenger – Perian has his measure however! 😉

Sue Bridgwater is one of my earliest literary cronies and my brilliant go-to-gal for all things editorial. With Jano, she was one of my first roleplay sparring partners with her bardic character Saranna, who is also a different, demi-godlike protagonist in the Skorn series.

Perian’s Journey, is the first book in the Skorn series.  To find out more about Sue and her work, please do follow the original blog links back to the Skorn blog, or go HERE!

Skorn

Garren lifted his head and started pulling back against the halter. Something was upsetting him and Perian turned to peer into the tangle ahead of them. As he did so a young lad leapt into his path bearing a shield and a sword, both of which were too big for him.

“Stop and pay homage to the king!” shouted the boy, waving the sword about his head with difficulty and peering over the top of the shield.

“Gladly,” said Perian, “where is he?”

“Where is he!” the boy sneered. “He is before you. You are before him. I am the king.”

Perian could not stop himself from laughing, even though

he was in grave danger from the flailing sword.

“What are you laughing at, peasant?” demanded the boy angrily, resting his sword for a moment. “Have you ever seen the king?”

“No.”

“Do you know his name?” “No.”

“Then how…

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PIECES OF PERIAN 4

Part 4 of Perian’s Journey for your delectation!

Sue Bridgwater is one of my earliest literary cronies and my brilliant go-to-gal for all things editorial. With Jano, she was one of my first roleplay sparring partners with her bardic character Saranna, who is also a different, demi-godlike protagonist in the Skorn series.

Perian’s Journey, is the first book in the Skorn series.  To find out more about Sue and her work, please do follow the original blog links back to the Skorn blog, or go HERE!

Skorn

For seven years Perian worked beside his mother on the farm. Each year he would go up the mountain to see the flower and return, refreshed, to tending the two fields and helping Elyn around the house. He learnt of cooking and the uses of herbs, of wine-making and the preserving of fruit for the winter months. Elyn told him stories of her childhood and about his father Kerig. She told him of Lavrum City to the south, of the legend of Verumis and the kings and queens who had followed him. They were very happy together and Perian grew into a fine young man.

two-rodes-diverged

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PIECES OF PERIAN 3

Sue Bridgwater is one of my earliest literary cronies and my brilliant go-to-gal for all things editorial. With Jano, she was one of my first roleplay sparring partners with her bardic character Saranna, who is also a different, demi-godlike protagonist in the Skorn series.

Perian’s Journey, is the first book in the Skorn series.  To find out more about Sue and her work, please do follow the original blog links back to the Skorn blog, or go HERE!

Skorn

They sat quietly again for a while. Then Montague said, “Brother, next spring we must invite Elyn to stay with us

here at the farm. I have been concerned for her ever since we heard that she was widowed. It would be a fine thing for that lad of hers to grow up here, nourished by your good fruit. And we are getting on now, a helping hand would be welcome, and who better than our own niece?”

“It would be a big change for us. A young child about the place, won’t that be noisy and troublesome?”

“Oh, Agravin. You met young Perian two years ago when we visited them in the town; a fat solemn baby, no trouble to anyone. It will do us good. I will tell him tales of the mountain, and you shall sit with him under the tree. Do say yes, brother.”

“Oh, all right,”…

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PIECES OF PERIAN 2

Episode 2 from the Perian’s Journey blog series –

Sue Bridgwater is one of my earliest literary cronies and my brilliant go-to-gal for all things editorial. With Jano, she was one of my first roleplay sparring partners with her bardic character Saranna, who is also a different, demi-godlike protagonist in the Skorn series.

Perian’s Journey, is the first book in the Skorn series.  To find out more about Sue and her work, please do follow the original blog links back to theSkorn blog, or go HERE!

Skorn

One day, while walking past the trees on the way home they heard a voice cry out:

“Help me, please!”

They looked round, but nobody was there.

‘Perhaps it is a ghost, or a bad spirit,” said Agravin, looking

nervously about.

“Perhaps it is,” said Montague with a laugh. “Let’s go and see.”

They left the path slowly and moved towards the voice

“Help me, please,” it said again. They were getting nearer. There was a large tree in a small clearing and the voice seemed to come from behind it. They walked round the tree but there was no-one there.

tree shadow

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PIECES OF PERIAN 1

Sue Bridgwater is one of my earliest literary cronies and my brilliant go-to-gal for all things editorial. With Jano, she was one of my first roleplay sparring partners with her bardic character Saranna, who is also a different, demi-godlike protagonist in the Skorn series.

Perian’s Journey, is the first book in the Skorn series.  To find out more about Sue and her work, please do follow the original blog links back to the Skorn blog, or go HERE!

Skorn

He saw a flower growing beside a stream and he heard a voice saying:
“Know this for a sign. For all flowers fade and die in the heat. This flower burns, but it will never die.”
And, as the voice fell silent, the flower burst into flames and gave out a brilliant light but was not consumed by the fire. When Verumis woke up he remembered his dream, and looked about him at the lovely valley of the Siannen, and he said:
“I will stay here and dwell by the river, in this green valley. For the meaning of my dream is that this is a good place, where flowers are not withered by the fiery sun.”

Perian cover pbk

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I’ve been here before…

Why we’ve been conspicuous by our absence lately… 😛

Jan Hawke INKorporated

… and there’s NOTHING I can do about it! So there!!! 😛

It’s been one of those weeks where I’m constantly taking one step forward and promptly taking it back to square one – one of those, yeah? It hasn’t helped that this week’s been pretty hot and sticky, with or without the sun out. Not the type of weather I enjoy, although there has been the odd cool breeze to make up for it a little.

Things started off on Bank Holiday Monday OKish – I was having the new kitchen dresser delivered between 1230H – 1530H. So I hauled arse off the computer for that period. They came at 1520H. I wasn’t expecting much, and even then I was disappointed (it was one of those T&C deliveries where all they do is dump the furniture and leave you to unwrap it all, with a customer service card to…

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…use words, not weapons?

Botched the re-blog of this from Jan Hawke INKorporated, so here’s the entire post for solidarity…

As you’ll probably have sussed, current events don’t often appear on this blog, but today is an exception, in that it was supposed to be a day of celebrating friends (my respiratory group is 5 years old this month). I set the alarm early so I could have a nice relaxing bath (with water jets! 😀 ), woke and turned on the bedroom TV only to discover that something terrible happened last night in Manchester.

A bomb went off as thousands of young children and teens were leaving an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. The blast went off in the foyer/lobby where people were buying souvenirs before going to get on transport home, or back to hotels. 22 are dead – the youngest, only 8 years old. 59 people have been seriously injured, and many more, less so. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Reaction is pretty much as expected with these things – except there is the added horror at the blatant targeting of such young people and children. There were large groups of children present with their schools or youth clubs.
There are tales of courage and kindness coming out of a subdued and quiet central Manchester today. People helping the wounded and shocked out of the stricken building; passing traffic and taxis ferrying people to safety; strangers offering stranded people a room in their homes, or hotel rooms. And of course the bravery and professionalism of the emergency services and the hospitals.

I went to my celebratory lunch, at a seaside pub as planned. We did not talk about what went on last night. Well, I did not, and I didn’t hear anyone else either. Not out of disrespect, but because some of the people attending have been very ill this year and there was a lot of catching up to be done, and happier things to discuss. But I was thinking about this a lot, which is why I’ve come back home to my keyboard, and onto here to share my thoughts, because words and not weapons are what are needed today and I want mine to last a little longer than the few moments of breath it takes to say them. Or the nano-seconds of the sound of a bomb going off takes to destroy lives and loves.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, from the play, Cardinal Richelieu

The fluid it spills last longer for one thing, whether or not it’s on paper, or strung out in cyber-space.

Words can, of course, be used as weapons. To repel, to insult, to fight off an attack, or to intentionally wound the soul. They can even kill, but, for the most part, using words postpones violence, literally keeping a path open for dialogue and resolution, rather than conflict. To convey understanding, rather than incite mayhem and pain.
Which found me in the rather strange position of agreeing with something that US President, Donald Trump said.

Don’t call these terrorists ‘monsters’. They’ll like that. They’re losers.

 

I paraphrase, but the statement stands. Words imbue status. Use them carefully.

I leave you with an image I use on social media a fair bit.

It’s a quote, out of context, from one of the tales in ‘Sexing the Cherry’ by Jeanette Winterson. It’s about a city where words have a life of their own. Here’s the quote in case you can’t see the print

the words tumbled him over in their desire to be free, and were seen flying across the city in the shape of doves.

 

Those soft words were supposedly spoken in a frenzy of forbidden love, that resulted in the couple suffocating. They were found by a priest, who made haste to release the deadly words from the small belfry room in the cathedral, with the above results.

So today, instead of keeping my words prisoner in my head, I release them to you in memorial of such a tragic, unwarranted loss of life, and the thought that we must always choose our words well and wisely. As weapons for love, peace, the communion of solace, and to refute all that is savage, hateful and just plain wrong, wrong, wrong.

Drabble drivelling – or defining your opus as ‘Low’ fantasy?

A dark adult fantasy that ventures into territory seldom trodden, where the nature of creation is challenged and remoulded in a travesty of mutilation and degradation. In the world of Ordha, the Anghali and Serifali watch over the Creator’s stolen children, the immortal-souled Shiânfolk. The renegade Ainghal, Droghdurr and his chief servant, the demonic Serifal, Garliath, have other plans; abducting and torturing the bodies, minds and souls of any Shiânfolk who stray from their birthplace. Their aim, to breed an evil army of undead Troichann, so they may subjugate all the mortal souls yet to be born into the world.

click cover to go to Kindle edition
Paperback edition available now too!

RRBC peeps – it’s going on the catalog very soon, so you get review credit there as well! 😀

 

I try to keep my blurb roughly drabble-length these days – 100 words, give or take. However, when it comes to categorising my books, I’m stuck with the usual nonsense of having to choose what neat little genre compartment to shoehorn the work into.

Now usually I’ve blurred the genre boundaries of my books. With Milele Safari it’s mostly literary fiction because it doesn’t entirely fit with horror, romance, action/adventure or war/military/historical fiction. For A Freebooters Fantasy  Almanac, I was on firmer fantasy ground, but it’s also a memoir with a distinctly poetic bent…
Befouled, however, is sitting fairly firmly in the fantasy universe, with ‘dark’, ‘adult’ and ‘epic’ or ‘classic’ riders to take it away from the PG/Disney markets. Except, for some unfathomable reason, the Amazon UK paperback classification is spewing out ‘Low fantasy’ as a ranking category. Low fantasy? That wasn’t even a choice in the options available when I was doing the setup… Curiously, on Amazon.com, the Kindle version is sticking to my preferred options and metadata keywords – so where are they getting ‘low’ from on Amazon UK, ‘cos I certainly didn’t pick it!

What the hell is Low fantasy when it’s at home? I can’t tell you exactly because when you look it up you get a very broad swathe of sword & sorcery, through vid game wannabes, to cutesy-pie, practically kindergarten-level fairies and unicorn fests… Here’s the link I ended up on to illustrate!

Anyhoo… rant over – Befouled has gone on as a competition entry, so they call it what they like so long as it’s eligible. 😀

For those who were asking about whether the Kindle Storyteller 2017 was just for Amazon UK – yes, it is/was (it closes at midnight today, 17th May) BUT, so long as it’s in English, anyone over 18 (or over the age of majority in your region, wherever that is) can enter their book no matter where they live in the world.

Looks like Amazon.com also suffers from not giving out all the options when it comes to entering their competitions as well, although my friend in Montana, managed to cotton on to it. I never would have noticed it, if she hadn’t brought it to my attention so, maybe, there’s not as much competition as I first thought out there?

If I do win the 20,000 quid, they can classify it as any damn thing they like! 😛

Gotta be in it to win it…

… trouble is there’s a lot of competition, and I’m not even ‘properly’ entered yet!

There’s not been an awful lot of publicity, but I’m assuming that most of my indie writer mates are probably aware that Amazon, or to be specific KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) have been running a StorytellerUK2017 contest. I think they’re probably running the competition in other Amazon ‘territories’ as well because it was an American friend who first put me onto it, so it’s also running in the US at least.  The deadline is midnight tomorrow, Wednesday 17th May 2017.

So, I wasn’t going to go in for it, but then had a rush of blood to the head and misread the rules – I thought you just had to enter an eBook and decided that I’d give it a go and do the print version at my leisure. I had a handy piece of off-canon, never written by the original author fan fiction lurking on the forum and decided that I’d do a Freebooter’s treatment of it. Now, before you go saying ‘plagiarism’ or, even worse, 50 Shades of Bullsh*t – this is a franchise that borrows really heavily from Norse, Atlantean and Arthurian myth.  And, as they say, there’s nothing new under Sun, even if you don’t have that celestial object in your created world – yet. Especially where Elves are concerned – they’re all over the place, and nobody has copyright on them. As long as you don’t use other people’s famous names. So I didn’t! 😀

Anyway, long story short, I had a whale of a time using Google Translate in Irish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic, Icelandic and various other Scandinavian roots to look up things like bright, starry folk, dark woods, great oceans and cruel angels, etc. The result is a cobbled together alternative Tolkienesque universe, where my Dark Lords do all kinds of nasssty things to Elveses to make Orcses (only here I’ve used a translation for ‘undead’ and called them Troichann). If you’re a Silmarillion junkie (I’m not, but it’s a fantastic resource for fantasy roleplay! 😉 ), you’ll probably know of this origin story. But, the great thing is – Tolkien never actually wrote anything much about what Morgoth and Sauron got up to in Utumno and Angband, back when the Elves still had to migrate into the West. So it’s not plagiarising, so much as surmising, extrapolating and getting well in touch with your inner megalomaniac demon… 😛

The result is as shown above, and it’s a very dark fantasy with strong, though not graphic, adult sex scenes. The gore and psycho horror are pretty nasty though, so this isn’t for the squeamish, or fans of the PG PJ films.

Anyway, off I trundle to Amazon yesterday tea-time and merrily put the little 70K opus through the KDP eBook wringer, after checking the entry procedure for the contest. Still, I didn’t twig but saw the usual disclaimer about accepting the terms and conditions, with a handy link, which I duly clicked like a good girl.
Horror of horrors, almost the first thing I saw was that you had to put an eBook AND paperback through KDP. Not either/or… After about 5 mins of inventive cursing,  I calmed down and remembered that Amazon/Createspace use Ingram/Lightning Source templates – which I always use for my titles.

Problem sorted. It was hairy, but I put up a quick and dirty print version using the eBook stylesheets in PDF and had a rather testy walk out with the KDP cover creator (very disconcerting doing RGB previews of CMYK visuals – talk about Technicolor on acid!). I got it all through KDP Print this afternoon, and, with luck, it’ll make it onto Amazon for the midnight deadline tomorrow.

Of course, gentle and enlightened reader, you’ll have gathered by now that this is essentially a come on by KDP to get more indies to put their paperback versions through them as well. Which means that Befouled, the print version may become a collectible in years to come, because I’m not going to use KDP for my  regular print work as I’m more than satisfied with Lightning Source’s quality and POD production – they’re worth the modest sum you pay if you’re able to shift for yourself with the typesetting and they’re Amazon’s main POD distributor worldwide anyway.

Oh – and of course, here’s the sales pitch… 😀 It’s an Amazon family competition, so sales and reviews will be part of the judging criteria.

Here’s the link for

Befouled by Siân Glírdan

 

And if you’re able to leave me a review between 20th May 2017 through 1st June 2017 – I’d be very grateful! There’s so far over 1600 people gone in for this (there’s a £20K prize up for grabs and a swanky literary award ceremony in London), so there’s a lot of competition, but not a lot of reviewing going on yet.

You gotta be in it to win it!