series

Nanowrimo 2013

This coming Friday, millions of writers across the world will stop their lives and spend the entire month writing as if their lives depend upon it and I will, once again, be one of them.  This will be my second November Nano and I’m looking forward to it very much.

I will be writing the third volume in my Sinclair V-Logs series, starring Sam Sinclair and he will be on the trail of a man who has stolen an ancient artifact from the museum where he worked.  Hot on the heels of the fleeing thief, Sam finds himself facing things he would never have imagined himself facing, and finds his own reality and belief system called into question as events unfold.

This will be the fourth time I’ve written with Sam, and he’s a good friend now.  I know everything about him now and feel comfortable writing with him, and, I hope he feels comfortable telling me his story.  He does, I’m sure he wouldn’t be here passing his experiences to me if he didn’t feel happy about it.

I don’t yet know how long The Sinclair V-Logs series will be, but I am enjoying writing them and this third volume will keep the excitement going at a cracking pace.

Are you taking part in nano this year?  I’d be interested to hear of your plans.

Second volume is now finished

Last night I typed those immortal words ‘The End’ and breathed a sigh of relief and satisfaction.  Yes, I just finished the first draft of the second novel in the Sinclair V-Logs series and I’m proud.

I’m proud not only at having finished it but also because of the way my main character, Sam Sinclair, is evolving.  In this second novel in his story we find out more about him as a man and what his mind is like, his fears and drives, motivations and his achilles heel.  In this new story, Sam suffers some mental and emotional anguish but a lot of growth takes place because of it and I believe we get a much closer and intimate relationship with him as he allows us deeper into his psyche.  For me, this is a necessary part of a series and is closer to the way we interact with real, living people in our daily lives.  When you meet someone, whether it be via work or socially, you don’t know the whole person right away.  It takes time for the other person to open up and allow you in to get to know the real person inside and I believe a series of novels should reflect this.  If you knew everything about the main character from the very first book, there would be no more to discover about them and you wouldn’t have that growing intimacy with them that you feel as you read each subsequent book.

As we go through our life, we face challenges and trials which teach us stuff and offers us a chance to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Life doesn’t stand still for us so why should it for my character?  His life is the same sort of continuous growing process as ours are and he faces challenges and trials too, albeit different ones to ours.  I try to make my characters believable and although their lives and experiences are set into a science fiction and very futuristic environment, I want readers to be able to relate to them, to recognise them as real people, to see themselves in them.  Making a bond with someone is a slow process in real life and I like to bring that to my series’ as I feel it makes the characters real and allows readers to believe in the whole setting, science fiction, monsters, space travel and all.

Of course, in my stand alone novels, which aren’t part of a series, I have to do things a little differently.  In those books I have to bring the character out much quicker so readers can go through the ‘getting to know you’ phase before the last page.  In a way it’s more challenging to write a stand alone because this whole process has to be done so quickly.  The next novel I shall be publishing, in June, is a stand alone I wrote for November 2012 NaNoWriMo and it was quite a task to bring the main character, Jake, out fully in one volume.

I’d be very interested to hear your opinions on this process of getting to know our characters.  Do you take it slow in a series or do you like to bring your character out fully in the first volume?

One Big Universe

I’ve never blogged about this before and only ever really discussed it with my mother.  I don’t know quite why that should be, I guess it’s never occurred to me to mention it before.  It seems so obvious to me you see that I never thought I was being unusual or unique.

My characters all live in the same universe.

“So what?” I hear you yell.

Well, other books I’ve read don’t seem to make a point of that.  Let me explain.  At the moment I have one complete 4 part series out called The Lilean Chronicles and the first of a new series called The Sinclair V-Logs.  I also have one other stand alone novel finished and in the process of editing.  I’m halfway through writing a second Sinclair V-Log and have 2 other stand alone novels planned for the April and July Camp Nano’s.

All of these novels take place within the same universe.  You’ll meet characters in one series that you first met in a previous series.  For instance, a peripheral character in the last of The Lilean Chronicles series has become the main protagonist in The Sinclair V-Logs.  He is also a peripheral character in one of my stand alone novels and the main protagonist in one of my stand alones has a couple of mentions in one of The Sinclair V-Log novels.  From book to book, series to series to stand alone, you’ll hear planets mentioned that have been visited before or mentioned before in previous series’ or books.

For me, this gives added cohesion to my books; a sense of familiarity that ties them all together.  After all, we actually do live in the same universe, so it makes sense that my characters would too.  It makes me smile when reading one of my books and I come across a name I know from a previous book or series, or hear a character talk about this planet or that planet.  I think to myself  “Oh, I’ve been there in such and such a book.”

When meeting a character that I’ve already met in a previous book, I immediately feel a sense of connection which I feel helps the reader to feel at home in my universe.

I’d be very interested to know your thoughts or observations on this.

New interview with Vincent Domenico

Vincent Domenico just popped in to give us a third interview.  He tells us of the events told in the fourth volume of The Lilean Chronicles series, Avalanche Effect and how they affected him and his family.

Click here to visit Vincent’s third interview.