Siblings Two – An ExcerptΒ 

Good morning. 

I hope that you are all well and looking forward to a fun filled bank holiday weekend. Unfortunately my day revolves around work but hope to enjoy the Sunday and Monday off.

I have been working on a couple of projects recently, one being the sequel to The Siblings. So I thought I would reveal a short excerpt with you. Please note that this isn’t the finished work and will still need to be put through the editing process.

If you haven’t read the first, please check out it on Amazon via the links provided. 

UK

REST OF THE WORLD

I hope you enjoy the short teaser and gives you  a little taster of what is to come. Please let me know what you think. 

The air was thick and pungent, the smell of death lingered. Broken glass cracked beneath heavy boots as the troops located their positions. The sky was orange and fierce but the firestorms had ceased for the last two weeks. There had been no sign of any solar flare or storm on the horizon and many now believed the world had righted itself but few would dare venture out even on request.

The Operation had solidified in the two weeks since the invasion, gaining strength and motivation for engaging phase two of their plan. An order had been served to all militants that despite the apparent reduction in solar activity, no being must leave the grounds except in the case of a mission sanctioned by the board. 

Band 261, the military outfit sanctioned for the sweep of the neighbouring village several miles from the Pit, held strong. There were seven in total, three flanking and four leading. The village had crumbled and very little but rubble remained. The buildings that did stand were slanted and missing much of the framework. The air was still and the only sound that emitted were from the soldiers themselves, leaving the village with an eerie presence. 

Private Seymond Starr was the least skilled militant and was sectioned at the rear of the group. He felt uncomfortable brandishing a weapon but did so anyway. If he did not, his brothers would disown him, and the last thing he wanted was for his legacy to show how much of a coward he was. 

Starr gripped his assault rifle and held his breath, waiting for indication to proceed. It seemed like a futile mission the Operation had sent them on, but they were not taking any further risks. There had been whispers of survivors throughout the land and they would uncover them by any means necessary. 

In the distance, the last remaining lamp post creaked, startling the group. They looked on with bated breath as the post tilted and swayed, letting out one final sigh of bereavement as it collapsed to the floor. The ground shook and the sound of metal against concrete shrieked through the area. All members of the group covered their ears and winced. No man was stronger than the other, they all feared for what lurked in the desolate village. The soldiers at the front regrouped and whispered between them, their voices travelling in the quiet.

Starr looked back at the route they had ventured and saw nothing but a wasteland and their beaten up vehicle standing lonesome. A chill ran through the village and a ghostly whisper filled the air. Private Starr’s spine tingled with fear.

Rise Against – Help is on the way

Good morning.

I have been looking for inspiration for my WIPs and have turned to listening to music. Rise Against is one of the many bands I have been listening to and this song in particular has made me think of Siblings Two. Whilst listening to it, it gave me a few ideas for the direction of the sequel to the Siblings and the gentle push I needed.

Hope you enjoy reading the lyrics and check out the music video. The song was inspired by the lead singer’s trip to New Orleans after Hurrican Katrina. 


I have my mother’s dreams,
I have my father’s eyes,
You can’t take that from me,
Just go ahead and try.
The crescent city sleeps,
While giants in the sky,
Preparing to unleash,
Let loose a mighty cry.

Can nobody save us?
Will anyone try?
The bayou is burning,
The cypress is dying.
And all along they’re saying.

Help is on the way
(They said, they said)
Help is on the way
(They said, they said)
One by land, two by sea.
Right there in front of me.
Help is on the way.

Five thousand feet below,
As black smoke engulfs the sky,
The ocean floor explodes,
Eleven mothers cry.
My bones all resonate,
A burning lullaby,
You can’t take that from me,
Just go ahead and try.

She stands at the shoreline,
With hands in the air,
Her words pierce the dark night,
“Does anyone care? “
And all along they’re saying

Help is on the way
(They said, they said)
Help is on the way
(They said, they said)
One by land, two by sea.
Right there in front of me.
Help is on the way.

Right here! Right here!


Choking on the black gold,
Upon which we rely,
We keep axes in the attics,
To see cameras in the sky.

Help is on the way
(They said, they said)
Help is on the way
(They said, they said)

We were told just to sit tight,
‘Cause somebody will soon arrive.
Help is on the way.
But it never came!
It never came!

Help is on the way
(They said, they said)
Help is on the way
(They said, they said)
One by land, two by sea.
Right there in front of me.
Help is on the way.
On the way.

Writing Fear #1: Characters

Good day to you all.

I hope you are all well and having a good week. It’s Wednesday and its hump day, so there is two reasons to be overjoyed. 


I guess fear may be the wrong word to use but it isn’t entirely untrue. When I sit down, there are always some concerns that spring to mind. Am I in the right mindset to write is one of them. Another, is if I am, which characters will be present and taking up my precious writing time?

I am a fan of a story filled with plentiful characters, different in their own ways, similar in others and all with their own goals and ambitions. In my current story, I have three different main lands, separate ideals and values and over ten characters all vying to be named as the MC. 

This is where I occasionally hesitate and have a few concerns. I worry that the characters will sound too generic and similar, using common phrases and not being their own person. I am thankful that the majority of the time, the words and stories seem to write themselves, the characters saying things that I had not planned and acting in ways that shocked me. Sometimes, they turn the whole story upside down. 

Whenever I feel really really tired or uninspired, my writing feels as if it is being forced, so I sit back and read it. Many times I think it’s plain or not common for the theme of things and take a rest, other times I feel reinvigorated and continue with my writing. 

I try my best to alter the language of characters, picking up their own lingo as many of us do in reality and add unique traits. Sometimes there will be characters that are similar which I am not too fussed with, as many of us can be alike too. 


I still have the fear though that many will read it and see that the story is one dimensional and dislike the characters. I have no way of overcoming these but by offering support from beta readers and others who are willing to help. Sometimes, over editing can be a killer.

I now try to make a list of traits shown by the characters, their favourite things and sayings and then stick to these through out. Once the first edit is done (currently way off), I plan to leave the story to marinade with the air and wait to revisit it with a fresh set of eyes. Hopefully then, I will spot errors and inconsistencies which I can make amends to. Something I have not tried in the past but may be willing to try is to have two types of edits…the story and plots, then read it but only focusing on the characters themselves. Not too sure how this will work but I it may be worth a try. 

This is the first post of my fears or concerns I will be writing about. There is no one way to write, or to overcome fears or to even edit, but I hope if there is anything you take out of this, that  it is there always some type of issues we need to overcome. Together, writers can become stronger.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. 

Do you have a similar concern around characters? Or a different one? How do you overcome these? I would love to hear from you, either on here or Twitter (Nobodyetall). 

Have a great day.

Writing Corner with Sarina Langer

Good morning all.

This weekend sees the return of the Writing Corner after a short hiatus. My guest is the author of Rise of the Sparrows and the creator and blogger of Cookie Break, Sarina Langer. I would like to thank her for the time for going through the questions. I hope you all enjoy the chat.


Thank you for joining me on writing corner. How is the weather treating you? 

Thank you for inviting me over! The weather is a little confused here, I think. A couple of weeks ago it was hot and I burnt, then it was miserable four days ago with constant rain, and today it’s hot again. How’s a girl supposed to cope with that? Damn the humidity!


Has it been a busy time for you as late, with the book launch and other writing projects?

It really has! I launched Rise of the Sparrows at the end of May, but I haven’t stopped since. There’s promotions and marketing to be done, and then there are my three WIPs that need writing! I’m focusing on the sequel, but every now and again the other two demand more attention than they’re getting.
It’s great fun πŸ™‚


You released your novel, Rise of the Sparrows in May, how long did it take to get from the original idea to the finished product? And do you remember how the idea came about?

That’s hard to say, because I started the very first outline of a draft years ago when I was still studying Photography at university. I only wrote the first three chapters then (I had no prologue at the time), but had to set it aside because my studies had to take priority. I was still determined to be a photographer after university then, and so my WIP was put to rest. I picked it up again nearly a year after I finished my degree – that was last year around June. It took me three to four months to write the first draft, and between leaving it to proof, editing it, setting my betas on it and finally having my editor go over everything it took me roughly a year. The original chapters I wrote at uni didn’t survive the edit, but the idea was born then.

At the time I read a lot of fantasy novels where magic was an unquestioned part of everyday life. People either had it or they didn’t, but either way it was there and it was part of society. I wanted a book set in a time before magic was accepted. That’s what Rise of the Sparrows is about – Rachael has the gift, but she’s homeless and orphaned so she struggles enough to stay alive as it is. But with her visions of people dying? The other people of Blackrock avoid her and make no secret of their hatred for her. So when a girl a few years younger than Rachael stumbles into her small hideout – a girl who can set fire to everything and anything – Rachael wants to hold onto whatever friendship they might be able to have. Naturally it doesn’t take long before the other residents of Blackrock get paranoid of them hanging out together, and call for the White Guard to take them away for execution. Thanks to Rachael’s visions, they have a chance to make their escape.


For those who may not know about the book, could you tell us what the story involves?

As I already mentioned above, the story is about Rachael who has visions of death, and who becomes friends with a little girl, Cephy, who sets things on fire. In a world where people are deeply suspicious of magic at best – and outright hateful towards those with the gift at worst – Rachael knows it’s best to stay hidden. That becomes impossible when Rachael has a vision of herself dying, and when the White Guard arrive to take them to the White City. Together with Cephy she runs – and ends up in worse circumstances than before. The devil doesn’t seem so scary when she smiles and looks pretty, right? Rachael just wants to live a normal life without being judged for a gift she doesn’t want. Instead she becomes involved in prophecy, a plot to kill the king, and moves right into the heart of what she was trying to run from. 


Out of all the characters, which one did you enjoy writing the most? And which one gave you most trouble?

None of them really gave me any trouble, but I loved writing King Aeric and Kiana. King Aeric is trying to do what’s best for his country on the brink of war, and he struggles with his morality a lot. Kiana is simply kickass, lethal with her daggers and adds a bit of sarcasm. (Also, she’s a redhead.)


I recently finished the book and enjoyed the story, the pacing and the development of the characters. Would you be willing to share a snippet for us?

Thank you! This is a snippet from the very first chapter, where we first meet Rachael. 


Sinking into the thin fabric, she held one hand to her pounding head. The last nightmare had been bad and had left her bruised in some places. Her head had smashed into a small rock on the ground when she had thrashed around in her sleep, and her foot had hit the frozen ground. The pain of her ankle crashing into the cold cobblestone had woken her from the dream, leaving her aching and with a bleeding nose.

The last dream had been about a merchant from the wealthier part of Blackrock, who was about to leave town with his wife and two children. They were headed to Tramura, across the Boneanvil Mountains, but they would be attacked, robbed and murdered before they reached the save end of the narrow mountain passage.

A long time ago Rachael had warned the villagers, and had asked them to stay. They had ignored her, believing that she was just another homeless child craving attention. When the first woman whose death she had foreseen had died, they had blamed her.

Magic was a terrifying thing to most people, including her. They didn’t understand how it worked, but they did understand that Rachael had seen a death before it happened. It was easiest to blame her.

She had only tried to help one more time after that. The villagers had responded by trying to burn her alive. She had spent months in hiding before she had dared come out into the daylight again. By then, the people had moved on to some new gossip and a new tragedy, and had paid her no mind. They had decided that it would be in their best interest to leave her alone, and life had continued. She had become a bad omen, but as long as she found food she didn’t care.

The merchant and his family would have to die in the Boneanvil Mountains. Nothing good had ever come of her helping others. She knew better now than to get involved. 

Is there anything on reflection that you would differently or change?

Oh my, yes! I’m a perfectionist, so there’ll always be something I could have done differently. The things that work beautifully for me today will be obviously flawed in three months time. If I waited for my novel to be perfect before approving it for print it would never fall into anyone’s hands but mine! There’ll always be something I wish I’d written differently, but not every change we make is for the better. It’s equally important to know when to let go as it is to know what to change.


As I am a keen follower of your blog, I have been keeping up to date with the progress you have made with the sequel, but also, you have two other projects that you are working on. Would you be kind enough to speak about these?

Of course! πŸ™‚ The sequel is my main focus, but I am making progress on my other two babies. Neither of them have been titled, so the names below are temporary. (Things get very confusing when you keep calling your WIPs Book 2, the other Book 2, Book 3, and so on – you get the idea.)
The first one would be Soul of the Heart. I was trying to ignore its whispers, which have been at the back of my mind since earlier this year, but it got to a point where it was constantly asking for attention. So I gave in, and started. It’s another fantasy series, but completely unrelated to Relics of Ar’Zac. It starts when one of my main characters, Naavah Ora, visits the spirit realm and sees it being corrupted by darkness, which also slowly seeps into the world of the living. 
My other one, Immortals (temp. title) is my first go at writing sci-fi. Last year I posted a brief short on my blog which I’d thrown together in ten minutes. I did not expect the amazing response that I received, and now that short is the basis for the novel. It’s about two women – Chrys, who is immortal but doesn’t know why, and Ivy, who has received a treatment to become immortal to fulfil her daughter’s last wish. 


Do you have a preferred time of day to write?

I don’t really have a choice in the matter. I work part-time at my day-job in the afternoons, and don’t get home until late. I love sleep far too much and am too easily distracted by our TV to write after dinner, so the mornings it is! I have plenty of time then and usually get a good amount of words down before it’s time to leave.


What is the ideal writing day for you?

I don’t work the weekends, but other than that I can write any day – although, my word count tallies show that I often don’t write on Mondays, and that Wednesdays and Thursdays are often my most productive days!


Can you name five things that you love about the writing process and three things you loathe?

There’s nothing in particular that I loathe (Besides formatting in Open Office. That’s the devil.) but there are so many things that I love! The writing community is incredible, and their support and enthusiasm amazes me every time I’m on social media. Then there’s the actual writing, which is fantastic because I create worlds from nothing. And then there’s the first time you receive your cover’s proofs… That was an emotional afternoon at work for me. Seeing your book’s cover makes it so much more real! And then there’s the moment you get the finished version of your world map – a world you created and shaped – and that definitely makes it a lot more real! That’s not to mention the actual release day – from when on you can say that you’re a published writer and that yes, you can buy my book! – or the reviews as they begin to trickle in.
There’s so much to love about this process and everything involved!


Is there a lucky charm that you must have with you whilst writing?

I do, I have a writing hat! I’m trying to make it a habit, so that every time the hat pops on, my mind knows it’s time to write. So far, so good!


Can you name three things that will stop you from writing?

Food, my cat, and social media. Naturally, all three of those can also aid my writing, so it depends on your perspective πŸ˜‰ (and just a little on how pushy my cat is)


When did the moment hit and you told yourself, I am a writer. This is who I am?

I can’t remember exactly when it was, but last year I saw a tweet which said that every time someone calls themselves an aspiring writer, a fairy dies. When you call yourself an aspiring writer, it essentially means that you want to write but you don’t. It implies a dream you have but don’t try to pursue. If you do write, you’re a writer. There’s nothing aspiring about it.


What is your proudest writing achievement?

I think Rise of the Sparrows will always be special. It’s my first book, my baby, my oldest, and it’ll forever mark the moment when I decided to make dreams real.


In five words how would you sell the Rise of the Sparrows to us?

Buy my book now, please? ^-^
… No? Okay, let me try again. 

Magic, Survival, Fire, Prophecy & Swords!

Would you give us the honour of telling us about Sellybean?

It’d be my pleasure! πŸ™‚ Sellybean, or Selina, is our cat, and official mascot to CookieBreak and my writing. We adopted her from a rescue centre nearly two years ago, and she has been my ever-purring shadow ever since. She’s very shy and skittish, but she adores us and often shows it by cuddling up between us at night or by bathing our arms, hands and faces. She’ll usually try to sit on my keyboard while I write, or at the very least sit by my chair meowing up at me. She also loves sitting on my wrist when I take notes. For those of you who have bought my book (I love you!) you might have noticed the dedication at the front – that’s to her. 

Where can we find Sarina Langer and your novel?

It might be faster to tell you where you can’t find me! You can find me on…

Amazon
Goodreads 
Twitter 
Instagram 
Pinterest 
Facebook 
WordPress


This next section I like to call World without words or life without love? I Would like to ask you random questions and for you to answer with the first thing that pops into your head.

 
Writing or reading?

WHAT! NOT FAIR!
Writing, I guess? Oh, but I want both… Whatever- BOTH! πŸ˜€

Favourite Author?

ALSO NOT FAIR!
Gawd, Alan, I have so many! My favourites are Karen Miller, Terry Goodkind, Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss, but that list is constantly growing!

Favourite game?

Mass Effect and Dragon Age. I’m essentially a Bioware cheerleader. *waves N7-style pompoms*

Favourite character from a book?

Cara, from The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind. Who doesn’t love a kickass female character with an attitude?

Favourite movie?

That’s hard, I love so many… Last year I watched Interstellar and it completely blew my mind!

Epic Fantasy or Urban Fantasy?

Epic Fantasy.

Cake or biscuits?

Both, with tea.

Cats or Guinea Pigs?

My Sellybean would claw my eyes out if I went with guinea pigs, so I’ll go with cats πŸ™‚ I had several guinea pigs as a child, though, and adore their little sqeeks!

Tea or Pasta?

What? I can’t have both? 😦

One book on your wishlist?

I’m really excited for the sequel to the Siblings! πŸ˜‰ 

One book I’m dying to get my hands on is the final instalment in Patrick Rothfuss’s series. I read The Name of the Wind eariler this year and have been in love with his words ever since. There’s no release date yet that I know off, though, so yours is a lot more imminent and realistic πŸ™‚

And last but not least…

World without words or life without love?

World without words. There are so many ways for us to express ourselves, but I think a world without love would be a very dark place. We’ll manage without words, but I don’t think we could do the same without love.

Ten suggestions Tag

Hello.

I hope you are all enjoying the delights of a Monday. Well, I thought as it was a new month, I would get in on the tagging game and come up with my own. Well, please enjoy and use it where you see fit. It’s quite simple. Share ten suggestions; they can be unique and don’t need to match mine πŸ™‚


The book I suggest you read is… Richard Laymon’s Night in the Lonesome October


The film I suggest you watch is… Liberal Arts



A Marvel Graphic Novel I suggest you read is…Civil War


A DC Graphic novel I suggest you read is… Blackest Night


A game I suggest you play..Harry Potter Lego


A band I suggest you listen to…Alkaline Trio


An animal I suggest you see…a Red Panda


A place I suggest you visit…Royal Tunbridge Wells


A blog I suggest you follow…Mollie’s Musings 


An Author I suggest you keep an eye out for in the future…Lexi Lefevre


I hope you all enjoyed the randomness of this post and all join in on the fun πŸ™‚