If you’ve read the free chapters from The Shining Ones, you’ll know that Ethne has just made a dramatic escape across the ice sheet in Greenland on a sledge pulled by huskies. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to meet the owner of the sledge: Jorgen, a soldier with the Sirius Patrol. The… Continue reading Research Notes: Greenland Sirius Patrol
The Shining Ones starts in an abandoned church in the centre of Newcastle. I could have invented a location, but reality provided the perfect candidate in All Saints. It’s a beautiful old building – a dilapidated 18th century elliptical church. I chose All Saints because of its shape: the ellipse is aligned more or less… Continue reading Research Notes: Location – All Saints, Newcastle
Creating images of the characters that feature in your novel is a great way to help you visualise your cast. You can do the usual checklists and build psychological profiles. You can list their hair colour and height, what they like to eat, how they talk, and so on. But nothing beats an actual image.… Continue reading Creating Character Portraits: Meet the cast of The Shining Ones
Last time we looked at the art of morphing the reality of real locations to suit your story. Sometimes reality gets in the way and it’s easier to make stuff up. Creating fictional locations means you can ignore the facts and get on with the business of telling the story – which is the whole… Continue reading Tweaking Reality: Should you rename locations in your novel?
Describing reality in words is a tricky business at the best of times, and in fiction especially so. Part of The Shining Ones is set in and around Newcastle where I live so I should have no excuse for getting the locations wrong. But it’s not that simple. Some of the locations weren’t quite right… Continue reading Tweaking Reality: How accurate should locations be in your novel?
This week we’re counting down to the publication of The Shining Ones – exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time! And we start, appropriately enough, with its origins. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint where an idea for a story comes from. But others arrive with an obvious genealogy, even if the story eventually… Continue reading Plagiarising Dracula in my sleep
Ideas for novels often spring from unexpected places. The seed that became the sprout that grew into my latest novel arrived in the form of a disappointingly bad writing exercise. The exercise itself wasn’t the problem. You just had to take the opening line of a novel and then continue to write for half an… Continue reading How a bad writing exercise seeded The Shining Ones
The stone age temples dug into a hill near Sanliurfa in Turkey are causing a storm. It’s not often we find something that overturns everything we know, but Gobekli Tepe is a genuine mystery. Archaeology and history are being rewritten. Not that you’d know about it. The discoveries haven’t been suppressed, they’re just not being reported… Continue reading Gobekli Tepe: the temple rewriting history