I thought it was time for a brief update. It’s actually been a crazily busy year on the writing front, but that doesn’t always equal new books on the hallowed shelves of Amazon unfortunately. I started out writing the third book in my Sci-Fi Human Hibernation series. I got half way through but something wasn’t clicking. So, I took some advice and shelved it for a while. It’s important to follow your heart in such matters and mine was pining to continue the Downstream Diaries. So, I threw myself back into that and an interesting thing happened…Continue Reading
New year, same old me, just a bit better… (hopefully)
A long overdue Happy New Year. I hope 2016 is a good one for you.
I used to set myself new year’s resolutions, but more often than not they were just too big, or too optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I like a challenge but it needs to be achievable! Right?Continue Reading
After all the great feedback on my behind the scenes film, here’s another. I delve into some of the questions I’ve received and also reveal the print edition of Downstream.
Hi and thanks for all your great feedback on my behind the scenes film and also for all your best wishes for Louis as well. He’s had lots of fuss and attention since I made that film! (Wait till you meet Alfie…)
So, thanks a lot for all your feedback and comments. I wanted to talk a little bit about Downstream today. I’ve had some great questions and I would like to answer a few of those.
Will there be more Downstream?
The answer to that is defininetly yes. The episodic idea was something that Ian and I talked about very early on, something I really wanted to do. But also, something like Downstream – in my mind – is a T.V. show. And T.V. shows like Quantum leap or Daredevil – the sort of netflix formula – really lend themselves to that. So Season 1 of Downstream is exactly that; we’re hoping there will be multiple seasons, which is very exciting. I think I’m excited to see where I can take the character. Obviously I don’t want to say too much – some of you may not have read it yet. There’s definitely a lot more that I want to do with that. I think that’s the beauty really of time-travel stories. You can really explore, not only the characters, but also multiple time zones that I’m keen to challenge myself to write. So, yes, absolutely, there will be more. I’m working in Hibernation Book 3 at the moment but hopefully around about May next year (2016) I will start work on Downstream Season 2. I’m very much looking forward to that.
How did you come up with the idea?
As with most of the books I’ve written, the initial idea landed in one hit. That kind of ‘wake up in the morning’ and think, hmmm that’s interesting… The idea of the main character trying to get back to save his sister was something that I hit on quite early. The original concept (I remember pitching it to Ian and we talked about it a great deal) was quite dark and it was more of a thriller. I think, off the back of writing The Whisper of Stars (Hibernation #1) I wanted to carry on in that vein. But then as we started to progress – maybe it was the beers! – but we started to laugh and think about the interesting opportunites time-travel presents. So, in the end we decided we wanted to try and span between darkness, comedy, relationships, loss and love – and as a number of the amazon reviews have noted (which I’m really pleased to see) – Downstream isn’t just a time-travel story and it’s not just a comedy either. It’s lots and lots of things, which again I think lends itself to that episodic format.
Did you know how it would end?
No actually. I had a concept originally but that changed. In fact, I heard an author on the radio talking about the same thing… the book kind of decides in the end, which all sounds mythical and magical but I think it does. I think the story should take you in interesting directions. Ian and I deliberately didn’t map out all seven episodes. In fact originally it was going to be 6 but we got half way through and said we need a whole other episode here on Alexia Finch dealing with something that had just happened to her. We didn’t want to brush over it and rush. And I know some of the feedback I’ve had is that it’s a little slow in the begining and I think well…
Try time-traveling! See how you cope with it… !
I think it would be incredibly exciting but also pretty scary and I think for a normal person to suddenly figure out they could time-travel. Well, that’s what I wanted to explore. That felt like a unique angle to me. So, yes, we didn’t know how it would end and it was really one of the most exciting times I think I’ve had so far as an author when the ending suddenly unravelled in front of my eyes. Especially because it stuck to the rules that had been such a pain to set up and sometimes made writing it difficult (because you have to stick to them!). When that finale happened in my mind that was pretty cool. One of the best moments for me. When Ian and I thrashed that around and realised it was going to work, then the big challenge for me was to actually make that happen. Overall, the ending came half way though the book, which I was very pleased with.
Finally on DS, people are asking will it be in print. The answer is yes, and I’m pleased to say here it is.
Downstream in print and it does look lovely. Inside each episode there is a picture, so it’s in the original episodic format. This has literally arrived this morning and receiving books in the post always reminds of the scene in Back to the Future when George McFly receives his books. ‘If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything.’ That always makes me smile. I love my kindle, I love the fact that I can reach readers on the kindle, but I also love print. Rest assured. I’m always going to create my books in print and this one is available now.
In terms of price. It’s pretty much the cost of production. Not something that makes us authors very much money. But, that’s not really the point. I just think it’s lovely to see it print and have it on my shelf. So, go grab it if you’re interested. I think that’s it for today.
Speak soon and happy reading.
Hi lovely people,
This is something I’ve been wanting to do this for a while; a short film showing where I write and explaining a little about the process. I knew from the start that if I was going to write consistently I would need a special place to do it, a positive, creative environment. This shows where it all happens.
I hope you like it!
As always, get in touch. Say hi, let me know what you think of the film etc.
P.s. Please note, I’m updating my website (work in progress) and also have a NEW EMAIL address. firstname.lastname@example.org Add this to your email thingy so I don’t get blocked.
Transcript of the film below… (with most of the urms and ahhh’s taken out : )
Today I’m going to be taking you through some behind the scenes stuff on how I write my books but also, showing you where I write as well. My day starts pretty early and the main thing for me? Coffee. My day definitely starts with one of these. A good strong coffee fuels pretty much everything I do.
But I want to show you where I work because that’s an important part of what I do. I knew fairly early on that if I could, it would be great to have somewhere to write that was away from everything else. So when I moved here I was lucky enough to have a garage which I then converted myself into a studio.
And I know a lot of authors that have this and it can be anywhere. It can be a place under the stairs or a spare room or anywhere like that. For me, it just felt really important to have a completely separate area that I could make mine and I could leave with all my writing stuff scattered. I am extremely lucky to have this and I would like to show you around. Let’s have a look.
This is where I do all of my writing. Let me take you through it. This is Louis. Say hello Louis.
And here you can see I’ve got various different boards. This one is a kind of mood-board. Gives you some idea of where I might be going with my next book… [ Note: One or two spoilers here! ] And here is where I do all my planning. This is something I’m going to talk about in other films. This is where Ian and I put together all the plot-lines and map out the books. As you can see we are in early development and the left side is pretty full because it’s what I’m working on at the moment. And over here are various thoughts and scribbles of things we come up with.
This is where I have all my reference books. Some of my favourites and also books that at the moment could help with the book that I’m writing at the moment. So I try and take as much input as I can – taking a nod from Stephen King really – it’s important to read but also the kind of books that I’m writing at the moment.
Over here, we have all important vinyl. Anyone who has read Downstream will know it’s important to me. I’ve got my Beatles box-set and for all you Star Wars fans out there…. You have to have a light-sabre, obviously!
And this is where I do all my writing, where I sit at this desk and see what comes out. Also, you’ll see the board up here. That’s got quite a lot of character work, stuff Ian and I have worked on with specific characters and some of their traits. A good reminder for me. The important one here; for anyone who has read my hibernation books. This is a Histeridae beetle, where the concept of the histeridae originally came from.
When I’m writing my books, I have a word-count with a manuscript target. So, every day I can see how much I’ve written and I where I am and if I’m on target.
So, there you go. That’s just a small insight into where I do my writing, where my current books are being written and how I do it. See you next time, thanks and happy reading.