Sparks of Inspiration

“Where do you get your idea’s from?”

Now there is a question that writers get asked so often it has become proverbial, if not a full-blown cliche. It’s one of those things that aspiring writers ask the experienced writers almost constantly. Join any writers group on facebook and if more than a few days go by without someone asking ‘that question’ I will eat my top hat. Yet it is a question that has always struck me as a strange one to ask if you aspire to be a writer because it has been answered so many times. As such I occasionally find myself wondering how anyone aspires to be a writer without knowing the answer because absolutely every writer I have ever met answers it in much the same way. Here’s a clue from the estimable Mr King of Maine…

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That is, in part, the secret. While I am certain, it is not the answer some of those aspiring writers want to hear (some not all, plenty of them have no problem ‘doing the work’). Some, however, no doubt want to know the real secret, the golden scarab beetle secret, the secret of which ancient god to sacrifice the soul of their unborn child to, the secret of which way you need to walk around the standing stones at Kinross on midsummers eve in order to gain the secret whispers of the fair folk… You know, the actual secret of where idea’s come from… The one we are not telling them.

Well, for those who want to know that secret, the real secret, here it is…

“We read a lot!” 

Sorry if you were hoping for something else but that at the end of the day is the honest to goodness truth of it.

Of course what we read, well maybe that’s the real, real secret…

With that in mind, here is my current reading list of books on my desk at home I am in the process of reading, be that fully or in a ‘dipping in and out’ way, just to give you an idea of the mix of fiction and non-fiction I am reading at any given time…

  • Brewsters Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (which no writer should be without)
  • Schott’s Original Miscellany ~ Ben Schott
  • The Hero With A Thousand Faces ~ Joseph Campbell
  • The madness of crowds and popular delusions ~ Charles MacKay (because, tulips)
  • The complete H Rider Haggard ~ H R Haggard
  • Gail Carriger’s ~ Alexia Trabonetti novels (because they’re so fun)
  • A Complete History Of Nearly Everything ~ Bill Bryson
  • The Complete H P Lovecraft ~ H P Lovecraft (big surprise there I am sure)
  • A Short History of the Steam Engine ~ Henry Winram Dickinson
  • Unmentionable ~ The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage and Manners ~ Therese Oneil (which is highly illuminating, and mildly terrifying)
  • The Faber Book of Exploration ~ Benedict Allen (which was a wonderful find)

When I said ‘read a lot’, I was not underselling…

 

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The Dream-Quest Of Unknown Kadath: TCL #52

So, here we are after 47 shorts stories of various qualities from the wonderful to the torrid, a fragment which should never really have been printed, a couple of serials, one fabulously entertaining, one best forgotten, and one novelette the least said about which the better in my opinion, we reach the first true actual novella, a story long enough to be a book all to itself, not quite novel length but still an actual novella… The much loved, much applauded and highly rated among Lovecraft aficionados ‘The Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath’ A novella featuring one of Old Tentacle Huggers best-loved characters, not least by old H P himself as the character is widely accepted as semi-autobiographical. I am sure therefore I should have been excited to read ‘The Dreamquest…’ But as anyone who has been reading these blogs along with me will know the main character in question is one I have taken to referring to as Randolph ‘Bloody’ Carter, and as ‘… of unknown Kadath’ also is the pinnacle of the Lovecraft stories often referred to as ‘The Dreamlands’ tales of which I have a strange love-hate relationship, well lets face it, this could go either way…

Dreamquest v1

If you’re waiting for my verdict with bated breath, not that I can imagine why you would be, then you’re going to have to put up with a minor diversion first, because, yes, I am going to talk about something else for a bit. Regular readers will I am sure be shocked by this, as when do I ever go wondering off track rather than talking about the subject at hand. I know, unforgivable isn’t it… But bear with me, it’s worth it, I promise you, it will all make sense… probably.

Now my favourite New England writer has a habit of linking all his works together, which is something I have always found fascinating. You can read one of his stories and if you don’t know his other works you might just read a passage and not notice that there is a delicious link it to another story. Take the story of a convict, with the power to suck ill health out of a person like sucking so much poison, who went walking through the yard to his own execution for a crime he never actually committed looks up to the sky and sees constellations which don’t exist in our universe but do in the universe of another set of stories by the same author. But its done with such lightness of touch you would not even notice unless you remembered a gunslinger in a desert looking up on those same stars in a novel written twenty years before the one your reading.

Sorry, you may be confused, but if it helps my favourite New England writer, is from Maine, not Rhode Island. As for the moment, I am talking about Stephen King, not Lovecraft.

the-dark-tower

If you have never read The Dark Tower novels, this may also confuse you, because the references to the Dark Tower, that are scattered throughout just about every other novel King has ever written are references you would only spot if you knew what you were looking at. They are however there all the same, in almost every novel save perhaps the earliest ones before he started to write The Dark Tower. Some novels more so than others, in some Dark Tower mythology and lore, form the whole backdrop, such as ‘From a Buick 8’ a novel that is actually about  an extended family of state troopers, but which features a car which is also a portal that was used to move from anotehr universe into ours by creatures from the Dark Tower novels. That is just a random example, however, the point is that King’s novels interweave to form a greater whole and The Dark Tower stands in the middle of all that weave, the edifice at the centre of the web, and it is that which sets King apart from most writers of fiction in any genre. It is that I try to emulate myself with ‘The Passing Place’. It is what makes King special in my eyes, and why I love his novels.

But let’s get back to ‘The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath’ and the reason for that little diversion. King, I know, read Lovecraft. There is more than a little Lovecraft influence in some of the stories King tells. But if you’re looking for the great influence on King’s work it is probably ‘The Dream-Quest…’ Not so much because of the tale itself, but because of what the Dream-Quest does. When Lovecraft wrote ‘The Dream-Quest…’ He wrote his Dark Tower, in that it sits right bang smack in the middle of everything he had written up to that point, and I do mean everything. So to fully appriciate ‘Dream-Quest’ you really have to have read a whole lot of Lovecraft first. Which is ironic considering with King it works the other way round in many respects.

In ‘The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath’ you will find references to, among others, The Cats of Ulthar  , The White Ship , The Doom That Came To Sarnath , The Statement Of Randolph Carter, Celephais, Nyarlathotep , Azathoth , The Other Gods , The Silver Key, The Unnameable , Beyond The Wall of Sleep, and a whole host more, those are just the more obvious ones. Indeed there is a whole lot more Nyarlathotep in this novella than in Nyarlathotep itself, and indeed all the others.

This is a journey tale, the journey of our old friend and occasional bloody irritant Randolph Carter which takes him weaving his way through Lovecraft’s universe, which is the joy of the novella, more than the writing, or the tale itself it is what you stumble over along the way that makes it fun to read. But as I say, you have to have read Lovecraft to appreciate those things. The plot is… well let’s just say there is a lot of plot but none of it really the point. The point is the journey, not the end, and to ruin the end would seem foolish. Of course, this is a journey through the dreamlands, and at the end of such a journey, you always going to wake up. But that’s not quite how this ends or quite what is going on. This may be Carter’s dream, but it is much more than a dream. But the journey is worth the read, the journey through carters subconscious, through Lovecraft’s subconscious, through all his strange and wonderful imagination. Just remember the cats are important, be good to the cats and they might just save you…

For all, I am not the biggest fan of the Dreamlands sequence, though some of those stories are my favourites so I am not sure my opinion can be trusted, I can honestly say I really enjoyed The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Far more than the first time I read it several years ago having not read much Lovecraft at the time. Which is why I think you have to love Lovecraft or at least to be well read of Old Tentacle Huggers work to truly appreciate The Dream-Quest… But if you have read those other tales, then it is something of a masterpiece, for all it not quite been on the scale of a certain Tower in which resides a Crimson King… Thus it gets a masterful five slithering tentacles…

5out 6

it would be six, but seriously Randolph Bloody Carter …

AS ever Further Lovecraftian witterings as ever can be found here

 

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Quote me not…

Life is not so much about begins and endings, but about going on and on and on, its about muddling through the middle ~ Anna Quin

With that in mind, because the quote appealed to me, as quotes sometimes do, I thought I would dig out some more of my favourites. This almost certainly is not because I am procrastinating rather than getting some writing done…  But as a notable physicist once said…

Something unknown is doing something we don’t know what ~ Sir Arther Eddington

But to pick my way through my quotes notebook ( yes I have a notebook full of quotes I have picked up here or there, I collect quotes like some people collect clown ornaments or fridge magnets…

Power lays not with those who do the voting, but with those that count the votes ~ Joesph Starlin

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best ~ Marilyn Monroe

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between, he does what he wants to do ~ Bob Dylan

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do ~ Mark Twain

And from the esteemed Mr Savage, a favourite of mine…

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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself ~ Jim Morrison

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much ~ Oscar Wilde

But anyway, having procrastinated doing this post rather than getting any writing don’t I am going to leave you with one last quote that I am going to pay attention to and get back to the novel I was avoiding because Picasso is right in the end.

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone ~ Pablo Picasso

 

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King Solomon’s Mines, She, and the imperfect past…

I enjoy a lot of older fiction, fiction that has stood the test of time and still permeates the zeitgeist of modern literature as it’s influence is still felt in modern fiction. This should come as little surprise to anyone, given my ongoing love/hate relationship with Lovecraft’s works, and those occasional retro-reviews I have done over the years H.G.Wells, Verne and early Moorcock among others. It’s hard not to see the influence of all three writers on the writers of modern steampunk. Just as it is easy to draw lines of influence between the novels of Gail Carriger and Jane Austin. True Jane Austin’s finest works were somewhat devoid of werewolves, vampire, dirigibles and clockwork ladybug assassins, but it is Austins satirical view of London society, its mannerisms and the character flaws of Elizabeth Bennets family, can be seen in Alexia Tarabotti’s own family the Loontwill’s. (BTW if you have not read Gail Carriger’s novels I highly recommend them.)

There is a problem or two when reading older fiction, which is the problem of projecting modern sensibilities on to works of fiction written in a different era. Modern attitudes to race, gender, and sexuality are sometimes harsh judges of the writers of yesteryear, and sometimes these judgements are entirely valid ones. Regular readers of the Lovecraft side of this blog will know I often have a hard time with the old tentacle hugger because his political views on race and gender were not just ‘of their time’ but more often than not far to the right even for their time. I’m not saying Lovecraft was a Nazi, but he certainly shared a degree of their world view, and it leaks out in his writings more often than one would like. Tentacled star spawned horrors that eat the mind are all well and good, but the racism in the likes of ‘The Horror at Red Hook‘  I could cheerfully do without, and I like that story.

This is however far from just a Lovecraft problem. Old H P may have been a tad to the right of the 1920s, but he was not that far to the right comparative to his time. Similarly when you’re reading 19th-century novelists like Wells, Verne and Haggard you need to adjust that intrinsic world view you’re carrying around with you to account for a somewhat different view of imperialism and the colonial world than you most likely hold in these latter days. These writers are of their time, their views were the prevailing ones, or indeed surprisingly progressive for their time. Take Haggard in his first novel King Solomon’s Mines, an undeniable classic. Early on in the novel, in the first chapter, in fact, the narrator and main character Alain Quartermain tells the reader…

 …he (Quartermain) refuses to use the word “nigger” and that many Africans are more worthy of the title of “gentleman” than the Europeans who settle or adventure in the country…

Which threw me in both directions when I first read it, because it suggests that the ‘N’ word was in common use (which to be fair it was) and held known negative connotations (which again it always did). While telling the reader that Quartermain’s opinions on ‘the natives’ were complex and not at all what you might expect of a white colonial in southern Africa in 1885. Indeed much of the book’s relationship with race is summed up with that one sentence. While there are plenty of 19th-century attitudes expressed in regards to the difference between white colonials and black natives, at no point when reading KSM do you actually feel actually uncomfortable on matters of race, even with the ever-present backdrop of the white masters and their native subordinates and having read other writers from the same time, that’s surprising.

 

Indeed having read ‘She’ which Haggard wrote some two years later it is all the more surprising as the difference between white and black characters in that novel is far more pronounced. ‘She’ presents a far more imperialist view of race and suffers a lot for it. Indeed it hard to accept the two books are by the same writer. The main characters Holly and Vincey have none of Quartermains egalitarianism. Frankly put I would happily sit around the campfire with Alain Quartermain, smoke a pipe and trade stories any time, but I would go out of my way to avoid Horace Holly, the narrator in ‘She’. Which is a shame in some regards because ‘She’ is easily the more interesting novel from a steampunk, proto-science fiction point of view. While King Soloman’s Mines more or less invented the lost world genre, ‘She’ took the concept and ran with it to create something truly unique in comparison.

Don’t get me wrong, I recommend both novels, particularly if you are looking to write in that Victorian, imperialism era and want a feel for the dark mystic of the African continent at the time. If you can put your modern preconceptions to one side and read them with an open mind to an extent ‘of their time’ they stand up to any modern novel. Surpass more than a few I have read, these are classics for a reason, books that are 130 years old are not still in print if they are not, but you have to be able to accept the past is imperfect.

I write, among other things, quite a lot of steampunk, which means one way or another I have to work around 19th-century opinions and ideas. And sure I cheat slightly with Hannibal Smyth as his world is set a hundred or so year after King Solomon’s Mines, Hannibal is steampunk in a world a little closer to our own, so it was easy to tone down the 19th-century ideologies a little. But Hannibals is a present past of equal imperfection. Hannibal is just a little more like Quartermain than he is Horace Holly. Indeed Hannibal is almost modern in his preconceptions, even if his world definitely isn’t.

I have a much tougher job with my other steampunk WIP Maybe’s Daughter which is more firmly set in the same time period as She and KSM. But then one of the main characters in Maybe’s Daughter is a woman of colour, and so matters of gender, race and imperial colonialism are hard to avoid, and I am not looking to avoid them. Nothing would have stopped me from making Eliza Maybe a lower-upper-class white woman from the chattering classes, that easily fit into 1880’s London society and drink tea with her little finger raise at a right angle, but making her Eliza TuPaKa the working-class daughter of a Polynesian engineer call Maybe because his former employer and colleagues could not get their heads around  his real name, just makes for a far more interesting character to write.

The past is imperfect, but imperfections are sometimes what makes for the most interesting characters, just as reading the novels of the 19th-century means your laying your self open to reading a far from the perfect view of the world, but it doesn’t stop the stories been among the most enduring and interesting you will find. As long as you can accept those imperfections for what they are, mere the past imperfect, while the stories themselves remain astounding…

 

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RIP Jianna

There are something you just don’t wish to write. This is one of them, though I knew it was coming. It has also come earlier than I expected as I hoped she would see another summer.

I posted early last month about this remarkable young woman and her long battle with cancer, and I know a lot of my readers both contributed to her crowdfunding site or were moved by her story. For which I am grateful as it helped to restore some of my ever waining faith in humanity that so many were moved by her story. However, having brought that story to the attention of my readers, it falls to me the sad duty to pass on the news that Jianna passed over the weekend.

I am seldom one lost for words or a florid phase or two, but I find I can think of nothing to say, nor any condolence I could send to her family.

Jianna was a woman of faith, which given all the trials life set upon her I find utterly remarkable, but while I do not share such faith myself, I hope that she found peace in the end and if there some truth in the faith she held dear that she finds herself now in that heaven. For if there are rewards in the next life for being good in this, then she is one who deserves such rewards. Indeed she deserved many more than the scant years she was gifted.

May her friends and family find some peace in her passing and joy in their memories of her life.

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SPAGFTT8: Pdf’s and pirates

spgfttpdfsand pirates

I’ve not done one of these ‘helpful’ guides for a long while, this one came about because of a bit of a rant on my part (yes I know that’s hard for regular readers to believe, me, rant, never…). A rant involving a pet peeve that I’ve had for a long time, which has a lot to do with naivety among the creative community. Writers, like most creative, tend as a whole to be very honest fairly straightforward people who don’t think at right angles.

‘I am honest, ergo everyone is honest’ ~ Anon

What a wonderful world it would be if that was true, and, just to stress this point, in most cases it is. The problem is often in fact that these honest people you are dealing with also live by that same maxim. They are also often helpful and like to share things, and if you send them a copy of your work they might well, without even thinking about the possible implications lend it on to a third party, because they are helping you to get yourself out there, they believe in your work so they share it with others, and of course because…

‘I am honest, ergo everyone is honest’ ~ Anon

Do you see where this is going yet… No? Well, bless you for your honest heart and the naivety of your soul. The world needs more people like you, it really does, but the world also needs you to listen a while to the likes of me. I who is also honest, honest as the day is long, indeed to quote an old British scar band… ‘the longer the daylight, the less I do wrong …’

A little explanation is in order here perhaps. I am not just a writer, oh but I could live on the meagre crumbs my talent such that it does lay upon my table. Unfortunately, I like to actually eat food, and own a table to eat it on, along with a roof over my head etc.. ie I have a day job. The day job in question is in High-Security IT facility, working with systems you would not want just anyone to gain access to. As such I am by nature of my profession, when it comes to IT, professionally paranoid… I also understand how that who weird web of digital madness we call the internet actually strings together and the greatest security risk that it faces each day, which is not virus’s or trojans or hackers, but the thing that all those three pray upon, homo-naievous. The ones that think to themselves…

‘I am honest, ergo everyone is honest’ ~ Anon

Hackers are not really masters of the internet, or computer code, they are masters of making use of the naive. Which, in my longwinded way brings me to PDF’s and the words that have a tendency to make me go a little red at the gills. Writers are a nieve lot, lovely, wonderful, but nieve so every so often they will say something like this, which then gets me into trouble because I have the tact of a Yorkshire miner / fast bowler on a village green who just got a chance to send one down the crease at the pit manager.

Would you like to review my book message me and I’ll send you a PDF ~ naive writer

Here is the problem, PDF copies are the number 1 way in which a writers work goes from being his or her exclusive intellectual property, to something out on every torrent site and pirate-bay clone in the world. Now just to be clear here I have no problem with pirates, at least not Captain Jack Sparrow, tricorn wearing, flintlock firing, Long John Silver’s, airship desperados, Han Solo, Firefly flying pirates. No no problem with that kind of pirate at all. As opposed to my moral based opinion of the people who steal creative people’s work and give it away on torrent sites. The modern internet pirate I have a moral problem with, but that’s fine, I am aware there are plenty of people who don’t follow exactly the same moral tack as I do. Call me old fashioned however but I am of the opinion that when someone has poured their heart and soul into something expecting people not to steal it and give it away on the internet is fairly basic as a moral stand. Perhaps having spent years writing each of my books I am biased, but if anyone is going to give all that hard work away it will be me damn it…

So here is the problem with pdf copies. Even if you only send them to people you believe to be utterly honest, you can’t know that they are, and even if they are entirely genuine they may also think they been helpful when having loved you book they send a copy to a third party friend. Then they send it to someone else… Do you see what happens here? Maybe you don’t. If so let me add this little pause for thought, if you send out maybe twenty-five pdf copies and everyone is honest, but only a quarter of them pass on that copy to someone else, and those seven or eight extra people pass it on again or a couple of times, it doesn’t take long before twenty copies out in the world has multiplied out among people you have never heard of, give it a month and maybe there are fifty copies out there in the world. Now think of fifty people you know well, whom you would trust in general, who you talk to on occasion, and ask yourself how many of those people have ever used a torrent site…

There are two ways things end up on torrent sites,

  1. fishing servers downloading files in shared torrent folders
  2. people actively uploading

Now in the case of the first possibility, most people sent their torrent folders if they have them to be the same download folder they use for everything they download so if you send someone a couple of your PDF attached to an email guess where it almost always ends up when they download it. And yes if people know exactly what they are doing they can set files not to be uploadable, or only specific ones But how many people really know that much about what they are doing? Speaking as an It security guy I can tell you it’s probably less than you think.

As for the second possibility well back to our fifty people you know, can you honestly say you know for a fact that not one of them would ever consider uploading a file to a torrent site on purpose? Even if your own moral position on the pirates is different from mine and many peoples moral positions are, how many of those people who honestly believe that torrenting big Hollywood movies and the books of multi-million selling authors like Patterson and King is fine as ‘those guys make a fortune anyway’, would draw a line in the sand when it comes to the work of a small independent author? Well if you do you have more faith in humanity than me.

So do you see my issue with the words…

Would you like to review my book message me and I’ll send you a PDF ~ naive writer

Now I know this presents a problem for writers who want to send free copies to people to read in order to get some reviews and build some momentum. So here comes the helpful part, there are other options, one of which is undoubtedly the best option which is to create mobi files and email them directly to peoples kindles.

Modi files can be copy protected, which prevents them form been transferred to other devices or sent to other people, so your file stays exactly where you sent it and remains secure. And yes that copy protection is breakable if you know what you’re doing, nothing is truly secure, but unlike a pdf it takes a little knowledge most people don’t have and importantly a whole lot more effort than just sharing a pdf file. Basically, it is not easy so someone really has to put some effort into sending on your file, which is what makes it much more secure. It the difference between leaving a ground floor window open when you go out and locking up the house and putting the alarm on. Sure someone can still break in but the casual burglar will at least go elsewhere.

Yes, torrent hackers will break copy protection on Batman vs Superman even though it takes them a fair bit of effort, but your indie novel probably would not be worth the effort to them.

And yes I realise not everyone knows how to make a secure mobi file. I am in IT not everyone is so while it is simple to me because of my other profession, a helpful guide on how to make them and another on how to find your own kindle email address that you can link to anyone who doesn’t know how to find it themselves is probably in order.

First, to make an actual mobi file there are lots of options, some of them online, Please do not use the online ones as they ask you to upload your manuscript. And yes most of them are honest, but it only takes one to be less so and push on your files, so don;t take a chance and use one of the also free downloadable ones. my recommendation is calibre because it will take any text file, be it word, or a pdf or whatever and turn it into a mobi file , it will also make ibook, ebook files as well as mobi so you have other options

https://calibre-ebook.com/

There are others, some of them simpler than others. Calibre is just my personal preference

As a side note, reading pdf on a Kindle is never as user-friendly as a mobi file, it doesn’t scroll or scale properly for a start. If you want good recvisews you want to present your work exactly as intended and as well as you can make it. So making mobi files just makes sense.

As for how to find those kindle email address ( the address that Amazon use to send files to your Kindle) here again is an easy guide, bookmark it and send it to your volunteer readers if they don’t know how to find it.

https://help.gumroad.com/11167-buyer-faq/how-do-i-read-a-document-on-my-kindle?

Again knowing your kindle email is really useful, not least because you can then send any file you want to your Kindle, like your WIP if your going away for the weekend and want to be able to give it a read through on the train but don’t want to drag along your laptop …

So that’s the rant over, hopefully, if you were not aware with eth problem of sharing pdf’s you are now, and hopefully, you can see why I feel it is important you should avoid doing so. As I say the alternative is far safer for you the writer and actually a lot more continent in many ways to the readers your asking to review your books into the bargain.

adios for now

Mark

 

My previous self publish advice guide can be found here 

 

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Interview With A Wordsmith #2: Madeleine Holly-Rosing

As an indie author, I am, as regular readers will be aware, a bit of an advocate for indie novelists. While my reviews may entertain, and hopefully even point some of you in the direction of books which you will love and cherish but would have escaped your notice otherwise, authors themselves fascinate me almost as much as the books they write, and once in a while I can even get them to answer a few questions for me… Today I am firing questions at Madeleine Holly-Rosing, who writes in the medium of that most 21st century of artforms Graphic novels. But first a bit of an introduction…

A TV, feature film and comic book writer, Madeleine is the writer/creator of the steampunk supernatural series Boston Metaphysical Society (graphic novels and prose) and is the winner of the Sloan Fellowship  for screenwriting, and the Gold Aurora and Bronze Telly for a PSA produced by Women In Film. She also won numerous awards while completing the UCLA MFA Program in Screenwriting. Having run a number of successful crowdfunding campaigns for her comic, Boston Metaphysical Society, Madeleine has guest lectured at Scriptwriters Network and Dreamworks Animation. She has also published the book, Kickstarter for the Independent Creator.

Other comic projects include the short story, The Scout which is part of The 4th Monkey anthology, The Sanctuary (The Edgar Allan Poe Chronicles anthology), The Marriage Counselor ( The Cthulhu is Hard to Spell anthology) and the upcoming The Airship Pirate which will be part of  The Rum Row anthology. She is currently writing a four issue mini-series for SFC Comics/Evoluzione Publishing.

She also has an anthology of short stories and novellas called Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude . The Boston Metaphysical Society short story, Here Abide Monsters, is part of the Some Time Later anthology from Thinking Ink Press and The Underground which is part of the Next Stop on the #13 anthology from Drake & McTrowell Publishing.  Her first novel, Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets, was released in late 2018.

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What do you feel drives you to be a writer?

I want to tell stories. All of these ideas get caught up in my head and I want to get them out. LOL

How would you describe your next novel/graphic novel to someone who has never read anything you have written before?

It is an alternate history paranormal thriller with steampunk elements.

Where, when and how do you do the majority of your writing?

At my desk, in my office. Usually in the afternoon.

What was the first book/author you really connected to, that made you want to write yourself?

That’s a tough one. I read a lot as a kid and loved Andre Norton and Ursula Le Guin so I’d probably say them. Though I also read Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, and Asimov amongst others. However, I always wanted to write or tell my stories. I did a lot of creative writing as a kid.

 If you could have been any other author what book do you wish you had written. And what would you have changed about it…?

Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold.  I don’t think I would change a thing.  Her characters are so rich and flawed that I hope to someday write as well as she does.

What’s the favourite / most unexpected reaction you have had to one of your novel/graphic novel?

What fascinates me is how different people react or identify with certain characters.  I really love that.

Which main character of your novel/graphic novel do you connect with most, or would most want to be?

Many people think that I identify with Caitlin because she is a woman, but I really like Granville Woods, who is a historical figure and a contemporary of Tesla and Bell. He is a big part of the original graphic novel series and is featured with Tesla in our standalone story, The Scourge of the Mechanical Men. He is often the smartest person in the room, but also has a great deal of honour and compassion.

What’s your favourite / worst, form of procrastination?

Social Media. It is the bane of my existence.

What genre, other than the one you usually write in, would you most like to try your hand at?

Straight science fiction. I’ve actually written some scifi short stories though most of my work has been paranormal and/or steampunk with some scifi elements.

Which writers do you think most inspire your own writing?

Lois McMaster Bujold and N.K. Jemisin. They are both masters in their own way.

What’s the worst thing you have ever done to one of your characters?

Killed them. Badly.

What one piece of advice would you give anyone who wanted to write?

Study your craft. Practice, practice, practice. And find a good class or writers group that provides constructive, yet positive feedback.

What do you love most about writing?

Creating new worlds and meeting fans.

What do you hate most about writing?

I don’t hate the writing so much as having to deal with organizing the promotion side of it all. I’m actually reasonably good at marketing, but it takes away from writing. Though yes, there is a lot of writing and creativity involved with marketing, there is also the nuts and bolts about learning how to post, tweet, and run ads well.

What’s the oddest question anyone has ever asked you about one of your books?

I don’t remember any particular question, but a few people have assumed that I believe in ghosts or have had metaphysical experiences of my own. The answer to that is no. I love to tell stories and read stories about the supernatural, but that doesn’t mean I believe in it.

Thank you, Madeleine…

 

Finally just to add, Madeleine, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for the next standalone graphic novel, Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion.   Kickstarter Link: http://kck.st/2FS2zRo  So if you want to get in on the ground floor and get all sorts of fun unique Kickstarter exclusive extras have a click on the video below…

 

 

And if you want to connect with Madeleine on social media and learn more here are the procrastination links Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BostonMetaphysicalSocietyComic/

Twitter: Http://www.twitter.com/mhollyrosing

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mcholly1

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