A new zombie read; Pacifier 6

On the back of getting my lengthy science fiction novel, CRYO, published, I’m happy to say that my zombie novella has also been released at Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk and Smashwords(soon to come to iBooks, B&N and Kobo).

I hadn’t intended on writing a zombie book at all, but the storyline sprung into my head last October and I was off, finishing the novel in just a few weeks. It seems like 2013 might be the year of the zombie too, with both World War Z and Warm Bodies coming to cinemas – I can’t for either! 😀

Anyway, here’s the blurb Pacifier 6.

Pacifier final art KB (200)

The apocalypse has come and gone. A disease, an infection, that blackened the Earth with horror. Then came Pacifier 6; a drug to calm the evil, to dampen the cravings for flesh and bone. Now you go to the store and pick out a zombie as if you were buying a new pet. 

But what happens when you realise that familiar faces still have feelings? 

Carl’s pulling himself back together, attempting to cope with the losses that life has dealt him. Amidst the horror of the past few months, he begins to realise that death isn’t necessarily the end; it can be the start of something new, something that has never been seen before. With everyone around him battling to keep society intact, Carl manages to see beyond the ravaged faces of those he once knew. There’s a new creature in the darkness, a consciousness that most have overlooked, and it’s waiting to reveal itself.

If you’d like to pick up a copy, just head to Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk or Smashword. Happy Friday everyone. 🙂


A new science fiction read

cryofor kindle-600pxI don’t tend to talk about my writing much here on the Modern Hermit, but I’m happy to announce that my new science fiction novel is now available at Amazon and Kobo, and soon to be in iBooks and B&N.

CRYO: Rise of the Immortals is set slightly in the future, and follows the story of John Carlody, an ordinary man with an uneventful life. With the Earth dying around him, John’s desperate to find a way out, and when he wins an elusive ticket to the world’s cryogenics program, his life changes forever.

Whilst CRYO offers an escape to the future, are the company all that they seem? Will John be able to leave his family and friends behind him for 50 years of sleep? And what will be waiting for him when he awakes?


If you’d like to check it out, simply head to Amazon. You can download a sample for free, giving you more than a chapter of reading for nothing!

This Year I AM a NaNoWriMo Writer

My book remains unfinished. In fact, for anyone who ever reads this blog, you may know that my first book is finished and unedited, whilst my second is lurking in the depths of my computer files. But, there is hope on the horizon as I gear up for NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) looms in the distance and I’m very excited. It’s not something that will be easy. It’s not something that I’m sure I will enjoy every minute of. However, it is something that can help me acheive my goals. The premise is simple, within the 30 days of November write 50,000 words. Not client work. Not blog work. But that novel that is languishing in both file and creative mind. Don’t edit. Don’t re-read. Just write.

Of course, many may ask why the hell you would want to do this, but for me it’s a unique opportunity to set a feasible task and finish the book. I could have a bestseller sitting on my computer. It’s more likely that I’ve just got a semi-decent novel that a few people might be interested in. Having those 50,000 words will allow me to write, to catch up with my characters, and too hopefully finish their stories. And then of course, I can edit in December, and start sending manuscripts out at the beginning of 2012.

So…I’m super excited. I’m eager to write now, but I’m holding myself back in the hopes that the snowball motion will allow me to coast through to the middle of Novemeber before I start to tire. And hopefully, by 2011 I’ll be finally able to send out those letters and look forward to all those lovely rejection slips!! 😉

Creating Time for Personal Writing

We all know how distractions can easily avert us from getting on with our personal writing. Whether its our professional writing, day to day life chores or for me a case of the world’s most famous two week tennis tournament starting, time is quickly sapped away by other things. Before we know it we haven’t opened the pages of our half written novel for six months or more and our characters are frozen in print with no closure in sight.

Creating the time is vitally important for personal writing, after all, why wouldn’t we invest time and energy into words that could lead to a publishing contract and recognition in the writing world? Of course, we have to live, have to submit those articles, press releases, ghost written items for clients but often spending the same amount of time on ourselves could lead to something greater than financial reward – the emotional pleasure and pride of having works published.

This is where many of the incentives such as National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) come into play, providing the perfect time for writers to focus on themselves for a change. However, a sporadic month here and there may keep the embers of creativity going, but it certainly won’t lead to completing the task in hand. No matter how hard it is, how many other things fill the day it is vital to pass a fleeting glance over personal work at a pure minimum. Keep the creativity burning,  if you can’t settle into writing a significant amount spend some time editing, correcting, planning. Try writing at different times of day to discover which daily structure works best, for me its either the early afternoon or early hours of the morning. For like most passions, the more time you spend with your characters the more you’ll want to sit down and write and before long it’ll be the professional work that you’re trying to fit in around your busy creative outbursts.

How Does Your Novel Grow?

I think my answer to this is….slowly. The age old preconception that writers sit down at their computers, get ‘in the zone’ and write for hours – no, days on end without food, drink or sleep until the entire perfectly packaged manuscript is complete is far from true. It takes hard work, determination and a near insurmountable amount of self-discipline. Writing a novel is no quick fix, nor is it a one rung ladder to instant success and a lifetime of royalties. It is a hard slog of writing even when you don’t want to, when creativity is severely lacking and when your brain would rather be anywhere but the in the fingers on your keyboard.

I’ve finished one manuscript. I say that but to be true, I finished the first draft, got hooked on another idea and have spent the past three years trying to will myself to complete my new route. The old faded and curled sheets of my paranormal novel lay dustily at the bottom of an old draw, the file on the computer not opened in an age. I open in now and then only to realise that actually, it aint half bad, but knowing my fickle mind I quickly drop it back into oblivion for fear of abandoing the current progressons. But because I got there, because I willed the characters through their 60,000-odd words, I know I can do it again.

And it is now that I attempt the mammoth task of completing the first in a series of science fiction books. My personal deadline was February. I met that well didn’t I! But I am now hooked on 1,000 steadfastly written words a day, whether I feel like it or not, whether the sun shines down or water falls in turbulent torrents. The first draft will be finished by the end of July, it must. For there is one thing worse than never managing to get a manuscript published – never finishing your novel in the first place. So how does my novel grow? Slowly…but surely. What about yours?

Benefits of Income Streams

There’s a perception in many people that you find a career, you have one paycheck, and that’s how life is. Ok, it’s easy, there’s no finance management and at the end of the month you’re whole salary arrives in one, neat bunch. And if its the career you’ve always wanted then thats the icing on the cake. But its not always this way, people are sometimes stuck in jobs they hate just to earn the money. They want to break free but are worried by change, or taking a pay cut. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and for those looking for a different, more exciting life with a range of interests and jobs,  its all about generating different income streams.

I know this to my benefit. I’m a gardener about ten months of the year. In those months along side being outside in the fresh, breezy air, I also work in TV, do some random admin work and freelance write for a range of web clients. I balance my work so I always have enough income and make sure that all my sources of finance are happy so that when I need them they’re there.

For example, as the winter begins to draw in, gardening work all but dies off. Whilst I still have some landscape and design jobs to work on, actual maintanance (which is the heart of the business) becomes non-existant. So, to counter-act this downturn I simply switch to another income stream. I talk to my clients, ask for extra work, search out new job leads to carry me over the new few months.

Of course, its more timely and complex than recieving a check at the end of every month. But, it keeps me on my toes. It  never allows me to get bored and I can do what I want to do in my life so I never wonder “what if I’d chosen that career path”. And of coures, becoming self-employed isn’t the straight forward path of being an employee, but it sure offers more freedom and is A LOT more fun!

The Passing of Characters

I’m pleased to say that over recent weeks I’ve finally managed to get myself back into the creative writing headspace. I’ve made some headway with the book which is a great relief because it was floating, almost dead in the water. Have you ever got to a stage, or chapter, that you didn’t want to write? Not because it was horrible, or hard, but because you simply didn’t know where it was going? The thought of even attempting to write it made you grimace and scrolling down the page you’d simply sit and stare a the last lines of text and the darkly looming space below? Well this is exactly what happened to me. I’d reached a point where I’d started to guide the story through its pre written path, only to get to a sticking point where I didn’t know how to get through.

The more I thought about it, the worse it became and in the end it took total relaxation to get there. It’s bizarre, you work so hard on a concept that it actually becomes difficult to write, almost stunting the flow. By simply taking a breath, moving on with the story and letting the words fall from finger to screen, I’ve guided my character through the story and off into another realm entirely. My point has come across and out of the darkness has grown some additions that I hadn’t seen coming.

This is my style of writing, I simply can’t plot what happens. I know the beginning, I know the end, and I know a few guiding milestones in the middle, but as for the story…it writes itself. The only problem with this though is that you find minor characters becoming much more than minor to you, their creater. Minor characters may make their way up the story priority list, or even if they stay minor, the simple creation of them in the first place, attaches them to the mind. I have this problem at the moment. I’ve grown ever so attached to a character, the way they’re developing, the way their skeleton is really fleshing out. The sad thing is her path is laid, and her end will be nigh in about 30,000 more words. I suppose it’ll add to the verocity of the story, but the passing of characters, no matter how inconsequential they may be, can often be very hard for any writer and I’ll be sad to write her death.