Greetings dear blog reader!
I’m a writer, a wordsmith and lifetime member of Imaginationland. I live near the beautiful city of Cambridge, England. The wide open spaces and lush green country appeal to my calm, easy-going nature, a vast difference from years trapped in the noise polluted concrete jungle of the West Midlands.
I’ve published my first real novel, The Range, a story about survival, friendship, loyalty & courage, on Amazon – click here to get a copy – and I’m very happy it’s finally out there for the world to see!
Whilst this is set against the back drop of a world-wide pandemic (apocalypse is a such a cliché don’t you think?) it focusses on characters who must make real choices to protect their friends as they travel through Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
I debated which path to take – traditional or self publishing, though I am fascinated at the prospect of seeing my novel on Amazon Kindle, but also they offer a decent print on demand service via CreateSpace, which is pretty cool for self publishing folks. So I decided to go for both!
Aside from working on The Range I thrive on connecting with you, dear blog reader, and try to post at least once a week, real life issues pending. When not working, writing or blogging I spend quality time with family, friends and other monsters from video games and MMO’s.
Want more than the short version?
Before I push on and share my story with you I’d like to quote Stephen King in his book, On Writing, that I think everyone, not just writers, should read and remember:
You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names.
You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.
Approaching the blank page lightly is like declaring your passion to build a magnificent castle only to throw a few LEGO bricks together and settle back to watch the goggle box.
Creation of any sort should never be undertaken without passion, desire, heartache, loathing, love, despair – whatever fuels your fire.
It’s my nature to create stories, characters and worlds.
I won’t attempt to be so condescending and tell you that I see the world differently because that means jack shit. We all see the world differently. I’ve been writing since the age of 10, from short stories & novellas to complete books. The fact that I am an unpublished writer bothers me not a jot and it certainly isn’t what drives me to write.
I write because I must.
If the world crumbled away, and every computer, pen, pencil, paint, canvas, paper etc vanished, I’d scrawl my words in blood across the rocks because my inner writer can’t keep the stories dammed up forever.
If you want to write, then write. If you want to be published then submit your works and cross those fingers. Or get yourself a blog and hey-presto, you’re published, from a certain point of view anyway.
Maybe one day I’ll see my book in a book store. If that day comes and you, dear blog reader, happen to notice someone next to you, grinning like a loony, don’t be worried, it’s just me and my proud smile saying: “How ya doin dear book reader! I wrote that one!”
Blogging & Connecting.
I’ve been blogging since 2009, but I only started taking it seriously (well, maybe not seriously, just more dedicated) in February 2011. Since then I’ve settled into a routine – Gasp! No! No! Routine must surely stunt your creativity, Dave! – Actually no, the structure helps me maintain the constant flow of creativity rather than diminish it. It gives me goals to reach.
I try to post at least once a week, but don’t come knocking my door to check I’m okay if I happen to skip a post or two. I’m a big believer in replying to comments you leave, and through that I’ve made some quality connections with fellow bloggers around the world.
I aim for quality over quantity and put plenty of thought and effort into my posts. These rarely stick to one subject, instead I prefer to write about what I experience within my bubble. Early on I thought it would be a great idea to blog about writing. Yeah, not exactly riveting content is it? I guess it has its place and I’ve kept my Writing Tips section for the time being, but there are plenty of folk out there who can teach you much more than I can about the craft of writing.
The Background Bit.
Back in High School, early 90’s, I wrote a book on my dad’s Apricot computer. You heard right, Apricot not Apple. I was into fantasy novels, The Lord of the Rings, Shannara, Magician, Terry Pratchett and so on, and my idea of a good story had to centre around elves, dark v light magic, epic battles, magical trinkets and every other fantasy concept I could lay my imagination on.
My first book was called Wish and stretched, surprisingly, to around 90,000 words. When I think about it that’s quite an achievement for a 14-16 year old. Especially since I spent a great deal of time with my friends, mountain biking, 10 pin bowling, playing football, building dens and roaming about – idyllic stuff you could say.
In my late teens I joined a local writers circle with my dad. That was fun. It opened my eyes to how others write and what their influences were. There were some outlandish characters gathered around the table each week and I’m thankful for what I learned from them.
I’d recommend joining a writers circle. You can learn a lot about how other people write, their styles, dreams, views and experiences. Even the most dull or inexperienced person will at some point have something to say that may benefit you.
During my late teens and early 20’s I penned a range of novellas (10,000 to 30,000 word short stories) that covered various topics – sci-fi, action and adventure stuff mostly, yet they all had one common theme, romance. Honestly, I never set out to write about love or romance, it just happened! When I look back through them I see them as a learning curve, the bricks and mortar of my craft.
My life up to my mid 20’s was kinda weird for reasons I won’t go into here, but I never stopped writing. I left behind the world of fantasy and found my funny bone. On a Commodore Amiga 500 I wrote a second novel called Unreal, a sci-fi parody. That went through half a dozen drafts before I grew weary of looking at the same words. The manuscript now sits in a file in a box somewhere, forgotten and lonely. Saw awwwww.
The Up to Date Bit.
It would be a bit silly to say I have 3 writing projects on the go at the moment because to any writer serious about their craft that smacks of spreading oneself too thinly and not immersing themselves in one project.
There are a few unfinished projects tucked away in a folder on my PC, of the more interesting pieces one is no more than 20,000 words, and the other 40,000 words. I intend to give them they attention they deserve but for now they’ll sit and wait until I’m ready to return to those worlds.
In November 2011, 2012 & 2013 I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where I churned out many words in 30 days. I was very proud to beat the 50,000 word goal and get my certificate.
My NaNo Novels, Shadowrealm Stalkers and Truthjacker remain unfinished, but I know I’ll return to it in the future. NaNo was so enjoyable I took part in the 2012 and 2013 adventure too. I hooked up with friends on Twitter to encourage and cheer as we ranted through the night, challenging each other to Word Sprints and challenges. Good times.
Bloodwalker Legacy – The Range.
For a long time I’d wanted to write about a specific genre and in Summer 2011 I put my other projects on hold so I could pen the story that had been worming through my Imaginationland to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything else.
I’m fascinated by zombies and stories of an apocalyptic nature. With The Range I wanted my characters to behave how any normal person would, not like in movies or books where the main characters suddenly know how to use guns and can hack off zombie heads like they’re made of paper. I should point out there aren’t technically any zombies in The Range. Well…maybe, you’ll have to make that decision when you read it.
What if there are no guns? Would you really be able to bash in the skull of another human, despite them being infected with a deadly virus? What if you can’t or won’t fight a load of monsters? Where do you run to? Do you stand by your friend no matter what danger faces you?
The Range is about real people making real choices.
I figured I’d write a short story, maybe 20,000 words or so, but that didn’t go to plan. The characters didn’t appreciate the idea of existing for such a short time, they wanted (and needed) more time to run around the world I’d had created. I realised my original plot had enough scope for a good novel.
I was worried my enthusiasm for the plot would put me in the same position as my previous projects and I’d eventually run out of steam. I don’t get writer’s block but now and then I find plots and sub-plots a bit too much to digest. My solution was to write the story in 3 parts. No point staring at the entire forest when I can only climb one tree at a time, right?
There are three books under the banner of The Bloodwalker Legacy – The Range, The Holt and The Retreat.
I’ve never been happier with my writing than right now.
Even as I write this I have a smile on my face!
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