Okay I am currently writing my first novel ‘Queen of Ages’ so thought I would fill you in a little on where the inspiration came from and tell you about how it is going. I am two thirds of the way through the first draft. And even if I say so myself am pretty pleased with its progress. I will admit a lot of work needs to be done on the grammar and sentence structure in the next draft but for me getting the story out first is my priority. The story is broadly based on several things and people. Some of the more obvious influences that will be picked up on are Arthurian legends and Boudica. The idea for the novel came to me while playing on a Fb game KOC which is basically a medieval war game. Through the game I have met a lot of amazing people many of whom I am now honoured to call friends. The advantage of a game such of this is the ability to create a persona for yourself and it was from some of these on screen persona’s that some of the characters were born. I have to be honest none of them would ever sink to the depths which my fictional bad guy sinks to however evil they try to be with their persona’s.
I decided very early on the star of my story would be female. I am not the sort of person who would ever be considered a damsel in distress therefore the idea of writing one did not appeal. In many ways the heroine has a lot in common with me, strong, independent and maybe even a little stubborn. Is she based on me? No. On my in game persona? A little but she is also based on some of the incredible other strong women I have met in the game. It is amazing how a game can bring together people from across the globe who under other circumstances would never have met who have so much in common. In many ways it is some of those common issues which have influenced parts of the story. The story may be set as a medieval fantasy and it may contain quite a few naughty bits but the themes are universal. Betrayal, love, lust and obsession are the main themes through the novel. There is no straight black and white in my novel but a multitude of shades of grey. All the characters have redeeming features even if they are hard to see at times, as well as being flawed. Mostly the story is about balance. If you have blind love at one end and outright obsession at the other it is about finding the balance at the centre. The balance between light and dark, good and evil, and the choices each person makes about the part they play.
I did quite a bit of research for various elements of the book. If you saw the ‘Clinging to the flagpole’ blog you will have seen me attempting to conquer my fear of heights while exploring medieval castles. I also did research into the sorts of things medieval people did to inflict pain on each other then let my imagination run wild with a few of my own inventions based on historic ones. I have a wonderful pagan friend Dave who has helped me out so much with the use of herbs for the various potions and drafts used and has helped me in my own personal quest to explore my beliefs and to understand more about the world around me.
I did take one rather unorthodox step while writing this novel. I created a fb group of friends to read along as I wrote and their support and criticisms have been gratefully received. At this point obviously I dont want to give too much about the actual story itself it is still in the process of growing and hopefully one day in the not too distant future I will be able to get it published. I will through blogs and updates to this page keep you informed of its progress.
As 2012 draws to a close it seems only right to update this page. The novel was rejected for the Luke Bitmead but in my heart I knew it was not ready and so in the new year I shall begin another round of editing and then begin submitting to agents. I have several other projects planned for the new year of surprisingly varied varieties including beginning the research phase for the sequel which I shall begin once the editing process on part one is completed.
The first thing I published was a short story collection, Disintegration and Other Stories, Voices Across The Void my second short story collection will be launched next year, then I intend to publish three further books next year a stand alone fantasy novel, The Dragons Mark followed by the first two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy with the final part coming in 2017 followed by another two stand alone books, working titles ‘Family Betrayal’ and ”The Devils Soul’ later that year, most of these the ideas are already roughly sketched, a few research is already begun but I am very excited for all of them.