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Wandering Thoughts of a Writer -Book Feature

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I had the pleasure of having The Trials of Nahda featured on my good friend Rebekkah Ford’s blog, The Wandering Thoughts of a Writer. Click here to visit her fantastic blog. I hope you enjoy the feature.

My 100th Blog – 100 facts about me

This is my 100th blog post, so I thought I’d bore you all to tears with 100 facts about me.

  1.      I’ve only been writing books since June 2011.
  2.     When I was a kid I was madly in love with the Bay City Rollers.
  3.      I’m descended from the 1st Duke of Wellington.
  4.     I’m allergic to duck eggs.
  5.      I’m terrified of cows.
  6.      Despite number 5, I’ll happily walk through a field of horses.
  7.      I’m also terrified of spiders but I did once hold a giant south american tarantula.
  8.      I saw a full blown solid ghost manifestation when I was 5 years old.
  9.      I once had an alien encounter.
  10.      I’m autistic.
  11.      I walked at 10 months old.
  12.      I didn’t speak to anyone outside the family until I was 8.
  13.      I cannot eat anything with a rubbery texture, like snails or octopus.
  14.      I once had a stalker who attacked me in the street and broke my back.
  15.      I have body dysmorphic syndrome.
  16.      I think Billy Connolly and George Carlin are the funniest men in the world.
  17.      Although I write space opera, I like to read horror.
  18.      I’m a psychic medium.
  19.      People say I’m very funny.
  20.      I’m phobic of hairdressing salons so I always have to cut my own hair.
  21.      I like to look at car number plates and make words out of them.
  22.      I’m more in love with fictional characters than real people.
  23.      I’m a raving pessimist.
  24.      I’m a bit of a grammar nazi and hate that most people can’t read and write their own language very well.
  25.      I was expelled from school twice.
  26.      I love the music of Two Steps to Hell.
  27.      I can only write in silence, back ground music or noise disturbs my creative flow.
  28.      I never make a plan when I write a book; I just sit down and begin to write and let the story write itself.
  29.      In November 2012 I wrote a 75 thousand word novel in 20 days for NaNoWriMo.
  30.      I left school with no qualifications whatsoever.
  31.      I went to adult evening classes and gained a grade A in English in my twenties.
  32.      I also got a grade A in Spanish but I’ve forgotten so much I can no longer speak the language.
  33.      I get on better with animals than people.
  34.      All of my relatives except my mother haven’t spoken to me in 20 years.
  35.      I was sexually abused for 10 years from the age of 6.
  36.      I believe in reincarnation.
  37.       With number 36 in mind, I fully intend never to come back again.  This life has put me off ever returning.
  38.      I believe there is no such thing as love. It’s a myth perpetuated by those too frightened to contemplate being alone.
  39.      I’m extremely impatient.
  40.      The most precious gift you can give me is your time and attention. I value that above everything.
  41.      I haven’t been hugged since 2005.
  42.      I have an obsession about unplugging things at night or when I leave the house.
  43.      I’m a comfort eater.
  44.      I’m a chain smoker.
  45.      I’m a bit paranoid.
  46.      I don’t believe in free will.  I believe our whole life is pre destined.
  47.      I’m a bit of a black and white person. I feel grey areas are for those too scared to stand up for what they really believe.
  48.      I never forgive.
  49.      Nor do I forget.
  50.      I still long to find someone who is real, truthful and loyal, whether a friend or something else.
  51.      Bearing number 50 in mind, I don’t actually believe such a person exists.
  52.      I’d love to emigrate to the usa if I got rich.
  53.      I dream in colour.
  54.      Y’know when you fall over in dreams and you can never get up?  Well I can.
  55.      I’ve always wanted a pet mynah bird.
  56.      My best friend when I was a girl was called Storm.  We lost touch in 1976 and I often wonder what happened to her.
  57.      I’ve been married and divorced twice.
  58.      I like doing native american beadwork when the mood takes me.
  59.      I love sesame snaps.
  60.      I’d sooner be strung up by my nipples than eat mushy peas.
  61.      I hate the sound of my own recorded voice.
  62.      My first celebrity crush was James Macarthur who played Danno in the original Hawaii 5 0
  63.      I prefer to stay up late and get up late rather than go to bed early and rise early.
  64.      Sometimes, I wake myself up doing one huge snore.
  65.      I can’t scream.
  66.      I was once pecked on the bottom by a Rhea (a huge bird like an ostrich)
  67.      The first thing I ever decided I wanted to do ‘when I grew up’ was to be a tiger tamer with the circus.
  68.      I used to work in forensic photography with the police and got used to seeing all sorts of gory stuff.
  69.      I used to ride a 600 cc motorcycle.
  70.      I hate any food that involves soggy bread.
  71.      I swear like a sailor.
  72.      I’m not attracted to white men.
  73.      Although I look white, I’m officially mixed race.
  74.      My grandfather’s grandfather, Major General Sir Hugh Wheeler, was killed during the 1857 Cawnpore Massacre.
  75.      I once did tandem skydive.
  76.      I have an ambition to learn to fly helicopters.
  77.      I always cut my own hair.
  78.      My favourite season is Spring.
  79.      I don’t like colour, I like black and white and I’m in the process of decorating my flat black and white.
  80.      If I ever win a fortune on the lotto, I’m going to buy a porsche 911
  81.      I prefer men with hairless bodies and faces.  Head hair I don’t mind.
  82.      Since I’ve been writing novels I’ve found it very difficult to enjoy reading other people’s books.
  83.      I never had an imaginary friend as a kid & I feel I missed out, so I decided to invent one now I’m an adult and he’s great.
  84.      I once had a dream that foretold the future and 2 weeks later it came true.
  85.      I used to own a boxer dog called Fluke. I named him after a character from a James Herbert book.
  86.      I hate the way my physical body looks & I hate to look at it but my flat is full of mirrors, go figure.
  87.      I don’t believe there’s ‘someone out there’ for me.
  88.      I can’t relate to children; they’re like an alien race to me.
  89.      I used to play the flamenco guitar.
  90.      I can’t dance.  I’ve got 2 left feet.  I just ain’t got da riddim..!
  91.      I like Pavarotti
  92.      I can touch my nose with my tongue.
  93.      I like the smell of sweaty men.
  94.      I have a large dragon tattooed on my back.
  95.      I’m one of the few women who don’t own a ‘rabbit.’
  96.      I prefer big knickers to thongs.
  97.      One of my favourite snacks is grilled cheese.  The cheese has to be volcano strength.
  98.      I roll my own cigarettes and smoke Old Holborn tobacco but I’m giving up – soon..!
  99.      I hate my life and would love to die.
  100.      I miss the old myspace.

So, there you have it, or rather there you have me.  I’m boring really but it seemed like a fun thing to do.  It’s actually been quite difficult thinking of 100 things about me and I hope I haven’t repeated myself.  It’s taken me 5 days to do the 100.  When I get to my 200th blog post, I’m certainly not posting 200 things about me.

Dream Project

Someone over on facebook had a great idea for a blog hop.  Taking place every day of February, one person blogs each day and answers questions relating to your own personal ‘dream project.’

You’re supposed to tag the person who is due to blog the next day and so it continues etc.

Maybe you’d like to join in and do your own blog with these questions.  Leave your link in the comments.

Writers dream. Now it’s time to dream BIG.

You have the opportunity to hire anybody as your cover artist, who would you get for the interior artwork?

I write space opera/science fiction so for my space opera series, The Lilean Chronicles, I would need an experienced concept artist. I don’t know the names of any and don’t have a favourite but I like what I’ve seen of Lik Studios in Taiwan. As you can see in the pictures below, the realism is amazing. To have these guys working on my books would be simply awesome.

Visit Lik Studios on this link.

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Who would you co-write your next novel with? What genre? Why?

I couldn’t imagine ever writing in any genre other than space opera. All the books and movies I love are space opera/science fiction/fantasy and all of my own daydreams and personal imaginings are in based in such a world. I’m a very creative person and have always had a very vivid imagination and a yearning to escape from this world, this life and everything within it. It stands to reason therefore that my creativity takes me as far away from this reality as it’s possible to go and that is the only place I find joy and fulfilment.  If I could co write a space opera/science fiction novel I’d love to work with Dave Twohy, the movie Director of Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick fame.  He wrote the Riddick story and directed all three movies and he has great imagination and the ability to bring the imagined into being.  I believe he would help me to make my story more real.

Visit Dave on this link

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Your publisher wants to do an audiobook version of your novel and they’re not sparing any expense. Who do you think can narrate your masterpiece?

Well certainly not Morgan Freeman..! Seriously though, my narrator would need a deep velvet voice with a calm flow and not too strong an accent. The Lilean Chronicles, although basically a space opera novel, has a strong spiritual thread running through it and some of the main characters are deeply wise spiritual guides and nothing else but a deep, warm and slow voice will do. A warm deep voice relaxes you and allows your mind to absorb the words more easily and really live the story. My choice would be James Earl Jones, without doubt the best voice for my project.

Visit James on this link.

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They’re really going all out! Your novel is getting a full soundtrack. Who should compose it? If your novel uses a lot of songs, list your compilation here.

Now this is one of the easiest questions to answer. Without a second’s hesitation I choose Heart of Courage by Two Steps to Hell, closely followed by Asimov, Archangel and Dragon Rider, all by Two Steps to Hell. Bringing up the rear would be Bravest of the Braves by Kosinus Music. I was halfway through writing the first of The Lilean Chronicles series when I first heard Heart of Courage and the moment I heard Heart of Courage, I knew it was perfect for the soundtrack of the movie. When I’m writing or editing, I take regular breaks and during those times I often listen to it a few times, to keep me in the right zone.

Congratulations! Your novel is being turned into a major motion picture. As the creator of the original work, you get to pick the director.

Easy peasy, Dave Twohy for all the reasons mentioned above in the co writing question. To have this amazing man direct The Lilean Chronicles movie would be mind blowing. His ability to bring what I see in my mind into reality, to create the imagination in physical form is simply awesome. If anyone could bring my characters to life, it’s Dave Twohy.

The director has some ideas on who to cast, but you get to cast one character. What role/character is it and who portrays them?

Well ideally I’d like to cast two characters, but if I had only one, I would have to lay claim to first choice of actor to play my main male protagonist. The Lilean Chronicles’ main male character is called Vincent Richard Domenico and there is only one man alive suitable to play him and that is Dwayne The Rock Johnson. The main reason is his size; Vincent is a very big and muscular man and therefore needs a very big actor to play him but also for his racial look. Vincent comes from a planet called Lilea and their physical appearance is what we would term ‘mixed race’ – light brown skin and black eyes. When I was a few chapters into writing the first volume of The Lilean Chronicles and just getting to know Vincent, he began to show me the kind of look he wanted to have and by the time I’d finished chapter ten, it was Dwayne I saw in my mind whenever I wrote about Vincent. I tried to change this image, to make it go away because I originally had another actor in mind for his look but Vincent knew what he wanted and he laid the law down, so Dwayne it is.

Visit Dwayne’s facebook page on this link.

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 You’ve been hired to write a novel based on a preexisting character or franchise from another medium. Which character or franchise is it?

It would be Riddick. I would give my right arm to write a Riddick story and that is in fact how I first began writing. I wrote short fan fiction pieces, new adventures for Riddick and that’s how I was first inspired to write my own character and story. It was great fun and satisfied my need to connect with the character as a fan of his but pretty soon I realised that it would be so easy to just carry the story on and let it run. Once I got to twenty thousand words I realised that this could be a whole book if I just kept going and let it have it’s head and lead the way. I then had a dilemma though; Riddick has already been invented. He’s a copyrighted trademark and I’d probably end up in trouble if I wrote a book with him in it. I almost gave up but then I thought “oh what the hell, just start again with my own character.” The background could stay the same and the peripheral characters could stay but the main protagonist must be new. So Vincent was born.

It’s the anniversary of your favorite literary character’s debut. You’ve been hired (yay, work!) to write an anniversary novel. Who is the literary character?

This would have to be Willis E Davidge, one of two main protagonists from Enemy Mine by Barry B Longyear. The movie that was made from this book is one of my favourite space operas and the character Davidge is everything I love my protagonists to be; fearless and flawed but with an over riding sense of what is right and a willingness to give his life in the quest for justice and truth. He’s not bad looking, funny and the adventure he has with his co protagonist, the Drac, is heartwarming and emotional. Writing an anniversary novel of Willis E Davidge would be huge fun and something of an homage to one of my favourite movies.

Visit Enemy Mine on this link.

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Visit the next stop in the Dream Project Blog Hop with this link.