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Sunday, 25 November 2012

SERENDIPITY IS A VERB


Today, I wrapped up warm in my cashmere shawl, pulled on a pair of old sheepskin boots, pushed my fingers into hand knitted mittens and ventured forth from Log Cabin.  Merlin, the Snow Spot Bengal purred contentedly and snuggled deep into the battered sofa I’d heaved behind the door, to block wintry draughts.
Edinburgh is the destination, Scotland’s capital city and an architectural delight for anyone who doesn’t mind a craned neck from looking up and an icy wind that feels like it could sever bone.  



I arrived at eleven o’clock and was met by Ameline, at Waverley Station. 

“You’ve lost weight,” I exclaimed. 

Slender as a pin head, her long raven locks have been shorn into a fashionable bob, secreted under an olive green beret.  A tapestry coat, long leather boots with killer heels and a handbag which appeared fashioned from recycled drinks cans – I’m sure we turned heads on Princes Street as we walked arm in arm towards our favourite tea shop and its famed log fire.



Rose tea warmed the soul, and I listened attentively as Ameline enthused about the enclave of artists she’d met on her recent trip to Capri – I flicked through her portfolio of pastels depicting the Fagliolini rocks.  Later, I showed her a mock up of a book cover, for my soon to be launched fantasy novel, “Do dragonflies lose their colour when they die?”

"How awesome!”  Her faux American accent, carried to the rafters. Dare I say, she’d adopted the drawl on a stop over to Boston when her plane was grounded by fog.

Today, was a serendipitous occasion for both parties, as Ameline had secured a writing post and hearing about my forthcoming book launch, she was eager to find out about the inspiration behind the book and asked me an assortment of questions. I thought dear reader, you might like to hear where my rather outlandish ideas come from.

What is the (working title) of your book?
 Do Dragonflies lose their colour when they die?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Vivid imagination can’t be contained, nor can dragonflies, it is their instinct to rise from the depths and dazzle in light. 

What genre does your book fall under?
Fantasy fiction/Magic Realism

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Angelina Jolie/Patrick Stewart

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Magical realms are explored by a girl who sets off on dream quests.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self Published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
6 weeks – and many many drafts.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Angela Carter is an influence.  I have not discovered comparisons.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Stream of consciousness writing, the Universe created the Manuscript, my fingers
merely moved over the keyboard. Dragonflies are impressive subjects, old as dinosaurs, exquisitely beautiful and elusive.       

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
  
For all lovers of Unicorns, Pumas, Faeries and dragonflies of course – anyone who is willing to disengage the rational mindset will fly through the pages of this book.


And on that note, Ameline drained the last of the tea, grabbed a cup cake and swept from the premises.  I watched her race along Princes Street with copy in hand, settled the bill and placed the brown paper parcel in my straw basket – Ameline’s gift for Merlin. 

Although writing can seem a solitary business, on occasion I have the opportunity to communicate in person or online with some fascinating souls who inhabit the same territory, albeit in differing genres:-

Steve Christie, is a Scottish Crime Writer.  You can catch up with him and order a copy of his Novel, “Good Deeds.”     http://stevechristieauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Sheila Applegate is an exciting US author, her soon to be launched novel “Enchanted One: The portal to Love” is apt at this current phase of the Universal life cycle.  http://www.sheilaapplegate.com

Hunter S Jones, who lives in Atlanta US, is an author who describes herself as “writer of erotica, fiction, rock & roll...enlightened rogue & mischief maker extraordinaire. I'm the one your mother warned you about...”   http://thehunterjones.blogspot.com


Kenneth Balfour, London based Author of  The Chronicles of Draylon & The Witches of Barrow Wood has a festive publication available “Finding Christmas, Santa’s Tale”  Secure your copy at:


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Treasure books - the gold is in their leaves.


Writing is a solitary pursuit, however it is not without compensation.  It is my niece’s birthday soon, she will be 8 years old and some would say that she has reached the point of maturity in her magical mindset, a short tenure in which society permits her to dream and her realm is expansive and filled with treasures of the imagination. Be a child at heart, discard numerical age and cherish the horizon that cannot be reached, invoke angels to be your guides on Earth.

For many days, I paced the Log Cabin pondering what to send my niece, perhaps a copy of my soon to be launched fantasy novel?  I have no care whether she finds some aspects imponderable in her early years, because it is written in tissue layers and a child’s heart is wise beyond age.  She will possess my gift forever if she is careful and one day when she is old enough, it will be understood for the wisdom contained within its leaves. However, what she will not be aware of is how my heart will swell, when she opens the lavishly  illustrated cover and her eyes fill with the richness of the prose. To cheer a child who longs to escape into a land of faeries weaving daisy chain bridges, to be present on the same page as Clara’s (the heroine) Unicorn protector and to wonder about the identity of a black puma who longs to be by Clara’s side – is a fitting reward for this author. 


A short extract should suffice for now, dear reader.  Be patient and all will be revealed before the year is at a close:--

"Unblinking, she watched him raise his head to reveal a striated horn which shimmered gold and with each movement he released a cloud of stardust, her neck was tight with emotion and she arched her back, willing the unicorn to see beyond its pure light into the realm of mortals. Imperiously, it shook its mane, and scattered spangles which danced along a path encircling Clara’s head and garlanding her body. Kind eyes alighted on Clara, who did not move a single nerve ending, her breathing was shallow and she did not care whether it was her last breath, humble in its presence, she offered a message straight from her heart. Thank you for believing in me". 
An extract from "Do dragonflies lose their colour when they die?"

A fantasy novel by Phyllis Anderson (c) 2012.