My Last Scene

April 26, 2017

stake vampireEmile, Wilhelm and Aldar were sorted, it was just Rondur and Heinrich to finish off. I wanted to end it on an exciting note and this I managed. After setting Olrev on fire by ripping the Governor’s curtains back, Rondur had saved Heinrich’s life when he burst in through the window. What fun! Fleeing out of the zombie swarming city became a priority and they headed for the back door.

It was easy to picture the back yard; large but quaintly decorated with a sizeable stable. The Royal Welsh flooded back to me, and how the show sheds had the stalls either side with both a back and front entrance. I’d been in my share of stables and realised this could be the ideal way to escape. A spare horse to escape on and they could burst out the back of the stables where the undead hadn’t invaded yet. Perfect.

Only it had to be better than that. That’s when I had the idea to have Olrev back in the game. As Heinrich came out into the yard to tell Rondur of the escape route, he was met by the giant strigoi clamping his teeth into Gypsy. I’d downloaded a horse acting out a death in a film and it allowed me to paint quite a sad picture. Drinking the blood, Olrev was regenerating despite the sun and he was about to turn on Heinrich.

Good old Rondur to the rescue again, plunging Heinrich’s broken spear through Olrev’s heart from behind and finally defeating the vampire. It was a sad moment, striking vengeance for his pet’s life and I knew how he felt having had my own cat put down. It can be pretty upsetting and yet they had to keep moving. Ideally, I hope it stirred emotions in the reader as well.

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Lets Twist Again

April 25, 2017

hammerIn a bitter fight the dark side of Emile has emerged and now two of the muggers lie dead. This was to be the end of Emile’s part in the book, with a sneaky twist that developed her character further.

I’ve always liked the idea of promoting equal rights and, although scientifically I definitely thing there are differences both psychologically and physically between men and women, there are a lot of ways equal opportunities between the sexes can be promoted. Having both Aldar and Emile as female characters in the book helped and not keeping to the stereotypic damsel in distress line was also guided my story down this path.

However, it had been Emile’s character that illustrated the strength of a woman, how she could manipulate the men (and woman), and how her survival was not in the hands of her so called bodyguards. She had forced her way out of the psychological shock caused by how close she came to being sacrificed, had conned Joseph into heading for Abendale rather than the capital Ancora, and was now heading out for the West Gate on her own. Even when she was mugged she beat one of them to death with a hammer.

What ultimately shows the strength of her character (or her sneakiness) is when she cons Rondur out of his sword. After being rescued by the gambler, someone who evidently has developed feelings for her despite his usual nonchalant attitude toward women, she swaps information for his blade. And then leaves him weaponless. Ultimately, her survival is more important than a suave seducer and once again she is able to out think the man in the story.

Actually she leaves him the hammer. She isn’t all that bad.

You can find out more about my world at my Facebook page here or you can visit my website here. The book has now gone out to the beta readers though I’m looking for a few more.

Picture taken from Lilly Potter pinterest and originally from http://www.jimbodetools.com

Death

April 24, 2017

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere had to be a death. Any good zombie book has a load of deaths, and not just the bit part characters who get ripped to shreds. Valen had died at the start but we never knew her, she was just telling the readers that death could happen to anyone. Helmvich was killed next but then Khazar resurrected him as a strigoi. Of course he’d ‘died’ a second time but he was the bad guy, you’d expect it, and the twist of him becoming trapped by the water rather than destroyed was more interesting. The first big death was Tom, but then again I didn’t really like Tom. He was sulky and of all the characters I hadn’t really bonded with him, it was easy to have him lose his jugular vein and the majority of his blood. Who to chose, who to chose?

I liked Wilhelm, Emile and Rondur. I just couldn’t kill them yet, I wanted to explore their characters more before finally knocking one or two of them on their heads. They had to appear in the sequel. This pretty much left Aldar and Heinrich. Who to chose, who to chose?

Aldar was ok, her character was developing and I liked her changing from a romantic infatuated girl into a survival woman. She hadn’t yet gone that way (in fact I don’t think she does anything big in the book) but that could happen more in the sequel. At the time, I wanted the sequel to end with the beginning of Demon Rising in the mind of Heinrich (an idea that has now since been dispersed) so I was left with…um…no-one to chose, no-one to chose.

Then it hit me, the best kill I could use to move the reader. Gypsy. Ok so I haven’t mentioned Gypsy in my blog before so perhaps an explanation is due. Rondur has a horse (called Gypsy) with quite a personality and someone I really did want to write more about. Really. But someone had to die. People like animals, people like animals with cute loveable faithful personalities, people would be shocked when the strigoi Olrev sinks his teeth into her and slays her in front of Rondur. Sigh, poor old Gypsy…

You can read up on Wilhelm’s biography, recently posted on my Facebook page here or visit my website here to find out more about my writing and myself. If you want to go straight to my library to see Into the Desert and Heart’s Siege (two short stories based in the same world as Demon Rising), just click here.

Picture taken from http://www.ichregistry.com/gold.htm

 

Get Off My Goat

April 23, 2017

Get off my goatGet off my goat 2

A beautiful day and completely in writer’s block, aaarrrggghhh! Anyways, making the most of my time by going and taking photos of my goat Olaf, who decided to try and fight me the other day. Luckily, as a trained ninja I managed to fight his advances off. We currently have a load of animals where we live and are hoping that Olaf will get his goat loving on at the end of the year. I strongly believe that Olaf feels the same way. Honestly, it looks like he has a pair of coconuts hanging down behind him.

Olaf’s an Anglo-Nubian so his soon to be lover, Fudge, will hopefully be giving us some milk once she has her first kid. After this, who knows? Maybe we’ll have the patter of more goats (if we can afford them) and build up our herd. Why don’t goats come in flocks? They’re more sheep like than cow…

…ok that’s interesting. Possibly to do with having to herd cows and goats as they have a tendency to separate when travelling whilst sheep flock together. Come to think of it I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. Come to think of it my mind is fairly dead if I find the difference between a flock and a herd interesting. Sigh.

Escaping the Clutches

April 23, 2017

drowning vampire     Much earlier in the book I had researched the weaknesses of vampires and even brought it in. One of the lesser known ones is their susceptibility to water, being unable to cross could be used against them. This is what ended the chase after Wilhelm and Aldar.

I’d earlier put Olrev trying to cross the river as a short cut to catching up with Wilhelm, only to find himself stuck as if he was wading through quicksand. Once rescued by Alaric (the third vampire in the party) I’d planted a seed that I would use later on. This would take place down by the docks.

After escaping the clutches of Helmvich several times (once by fighting in the shade and then ripping a blanket away to roast the vampire’s face on fire as the sun pointed directly at it) Wilhelm finally managed to get on board a ship. Alaric had headed out by this point, happy to see Helmvich having a hard time so he could be promoted to second in command by Khazar and also starting to roast thanks to the sun. Furious and losing the plot, Helmvich leapt for the Wilhelm’s boat.

Suffice to say this action sequence had a mirky end for Helmvich as he sank beneath the waves. What I liked was the fact that he had the potential to come back as the water does not kill, it just traps like cement. As Wilhelm and Aldar finally managed to escape by boat, away from zombie and strigoi alike, Helmvich dropped down to the river bed, wanting only to seek vengeance.

 

Picture taken from http://www.theonyxpath.com

A Day’s Vacation

April 22, 2017

hammer timeSo after the final day of my holiday and a day off from blogging I’m finally back! Shooting pain down my back – the damage is really back now – and the knowledge that non stop work is just around the corner (well it never really goes) but heh ho, I still have the unstoppable imagination of my mesmerising mind to display on paper and laptop alike. Must admit its more on laptop.

My last scene with Emile was a culmination of  her character and how it had developed throughout the book. She had started as a typical heroine in distress, about to be sacrificed and rescues by the heroes. Your average Joe Bloggs reader might easily have suspected this.

Next we saw how damaged she was by the incident, but also that her strong character was fighting through. She was manipulating the men around her to take her the path she wished, not the way they planned. She even used Rondur for sex in order to try and clear her mind of what had happened. By the time she got to Abendale she was even clobbering guards over the head with a paperweight.

But in my mind the cultist ceremony had to have done more damage to her than she realises. I’ve had several partners with incidents in the past that caused conditions in the future and although its something you can sometimes tuck away it will usually flood back eventually. However, I wanted this to break out that day.

When cornered in the lumber yards by three rioting thugs, Rondur comes to her rescue. We never find out if she could handle herself on her own but the last one is certainly finished off by her and with the very hammer he was about to attack them with. That kill shows the pent up aggression within her as she beats his dead corpse’s skull more than enough times (and it wasn’t to prevent him raising from the dead). Whether this is the vent she needed for the finally recovery or if its just the start of something we shall have to wait and see.

Tricking Rondur into giving her his sword, she leaves the gambler weaponless and heads for the Western gate and her escape. On the other hand, Rondur must return to the Governor’s house after the latest clue tells him Joseph was there, a man who worked with Wilhelm and the sword the rogue seeks.

If you want to find out more about my world you can visit me on Facebook or twitter me @Hywel862. My Facebook page gives links to a couple of my short stories or you can go straight there for Into the Desert, a story about Khazar before Demon Rising, or Heart’s Siege based on Alta, Rondur’s father.

Picture is taken from http://www.anaknyasar.weebly.com (The Raid 2 originally)

A Final Confrontation

April 20, 2017

OlrevMan I’m going into complete relaxed mode this holiday. One post a day and even this one is late! My partner and I actually had the morning to ourselves for the first time in ages! Man that was a strange sensation! BBQ, followed by Fantastic Animals, a meal out and then time in the pool – who could want anything more.

There needed to be a climax for Heinrich and the story came together well. Whilst Wilhelm was fighting off his demons, Henirch had tracked Joseph back to governor’s house where the later was searching for Emile. As it happens, someone else was waiting for them as well.

Throughout this blog I’ve been referring to Helmvich’s henchmen but they do actually have names and some personality to them, not just being two dimensional robots. Whilst one stayed at the docks to find Wilhelm (and eventually finished off Tom) the other hunted through Abendale instead and ended up finding Joseph. This one was called Olrev, a hairy brute of a chap with face obscured by a massive bush and huge body matched by broad hands that could now tear a man in two. You wouldn’t believe it but I actually based the image on Hagrid from Harry Potter, though I have to say the personality was some what different.

When Joseph finally confronts Heinrich this was the point where the reader can finally see he’s tipped over the edge. He’s reading off diabolic plans and reasons like some crazed maniac genius; think of Dr Evil but on a more mad scale. Unfortunately, the guard who was brained by Emile is used to extract information and its not a pleasant sight.

This was a confrontation that we knew Heinrich could not win. With Joseph escaping once more, leaving Heinrich to realise Emile is about to be caught by him for whatever reason, the hero has to die at the hands of Olrev. The vampire is just too strong, too fast, and too deadly.

Picture taken from http://forum.dofus.com

Lie In

April 19, 2017

vampie

Ok, apologies, apologies – sleep overtook me and a lie in on my holiday was impossible to avoid. With an episode of Red Dwarf on TV, a meaty fry up only around the corridor and BBQ tonight, today will be another fantastic day. Brilliant episode today too – Lister is actually getting quite intelligent. Who knew!

So this was it. Hilmvich and his two henchmen had caught up with Wilhelm and the final confrontation was on. They had now made it to the edge of escaping. I remembered seeing picture of the river Thames with the wide river splitting the city into two. This was the way I saw things with ship after ship docked at the side. The citizens were trying to fight their way onboard like a mass of swarming rats escaping a sinking ship and the merchants were trying to hold them back.

I guess I knew it was time for a death. Lets face it, you have to have deaths in zombie books. I was watching an interview about such a show once (either that or reading an author’s work) and they said you mustn’t be afraid to kill the odd main character every now and again. I’d killed Valen straight away to show I didn’t mean the slaughter and tricked the reader into thinking Helmvich had died in the original fight scene. Aldar’s father and brother were finished off at the mill but no main character had gone for the choppy choppy so far. That was about to change.

Tom hadn’t been an amazing character. Though there was that relationship between him and his sister that I’d worked on, I hadn’t delved into him as much. He seemed sulky and almost childish so he had to go. It also invoked a lot of emotions in my characters. Aldar was seeing yet another family member die. Despite Tom not liking Wilhelm, the dark hero is one to help the weaker and so he is drawn into the fight that will end their tale. The question is: will Wilhelm survive?

Picture taken from http://www.shutterstock.com

London’s burning! London’s burning!

April 18, 2017

fireoflondonI had to have Abendale going up in smoke. A city based in the middle of a forest with woodland and trees spread throughout it, the place would be consumed in flames. This seemed to be the ending I was looking for, the hero’s escaped but looking back at the city as it burns.

It felt fitting to have Joseph start the fire off, his treachery causing the first big city in Mariad to be destroyed due to Khazar’s forces. As he flees the scene of slaughter, a citizen jumps out at him as she trying to get out of a zombi’s grasp and he pushes her back…into a fireplace. Soon the place is ablaze.

By the time Heinrich fights his way through and follows him through the building its highly aflame. It was interesting to read about the effects of smoke on the body, how badly burns would be created, what the hot air feels like in the lungs. I had a read of several forums where people who have been through these experiences talk about it, how the air itself is dry and burning, how painful it is and just if you can actually survive.

fire engineI’d also set the books in the mid 17th to late 18th century era and as it happens fire engines were out by this point! Made by Richard Newsham by 1730, it made sense that Abendale would be ahead on its fire fighting abilities. After all, its a city pretty much made of wood! It also allowed me to paint another picture of Mariad’s financial status as I mentioned the lack of funding from the Lord has caused a lack of fire fighting facilities, hence the fire gets out of control. The fall of Abendale allowed me to show how the dereliction, thanks to the incompetence of Emile’s father and the now ruler of the Kingdom, has caused the deaths of so many. The Governor has very few to fight the army back with (just a small city guard), the roads are in disrepair and there isn’t much to cope with the fire. Khazar’s force is an undead army, not a nice way to be killed, but is any way nice? In a civil war, where people rise up against the ruler, many civilians are killed yet we often justify this as acceptable if the ruler is corrupt. Does this bring some reason to Khazar’s justification? Is it right that he is trying to take the Kingdom to kick the Lord out? Ultimately, I want this book to be more than just a simple good versus bad, which we initially see it as, and for the reader to see that reasons for such actions can have a degree of logic to them. With the amount of civilian deaths resulting from Khazar’s half dead army, to me it shows that this is probably not the way to go about kicking out a ruler! However, we can certainly see that the case is not simply black and white.

Pictures taken from pinterest (originally from http://www.prisonersofeternity.co.uk)

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Newsham

If you want to find out more about my book, you can go to my Facebook page to find out more. Alternatively, if you fancy reading about the ideas behind my book from the start you can go to one of my first blog posts from a couple of weeks ago by clicking here!

 

Holiday! Holiday!

April 18, 2017

monty pythonFirst day just chilling in ages. Saying that, I am planning to redraft so hey ho. Saying that does writing really count as work? I thin not! Despite the option of a lie in being available, five sixths of the family are up and sitting in the front room of our Center Parcs cabin, watching Red Dwarf. I think if I ever did write a sci fi book (and I have started  short story) I’d definitely have to use Red Dwarf for inspiration, damn fantastic show.

Emile manages to leaves the Governor’s house and now has the chance to escape, heading for the Western side through the timberyards of the city whilst the others are getting bogged down in fighting off the zombi attack.

It was during this time that my image of the city’s history started to come together. I actually wrote this in but at the moment I’m considering shifting it around as I think it came in at the wrong moment. I guess what that redrafting is for.

By now I had the Eleven Kingdom to the left of Abendale (though this is altered now) so I figured that they couldn’t just be a chop all the trees down society but a people who live more in tune with nature. I didn’t want a hippy nature loving population but a humanity who simply doesn’t absorb the resources around them till devastating everything. A biology teacher, I’ve studied deforestation and the rotation systems of lumberjacking designed to provide timber production that can be maintained rather than wipe out ecosystems. I also come from the most mining based country in the world (Wales! Wales!) where the miners would meeting together on the way to work and catch the trams to the bottom of the pit. It all became a picture of the lumberjacks meeting together as they travelled to their work, cutting timber all day as the sung (no I wasn’t thinking of the dwarves in Snow White!) and making their way home tired at the end of the day.

Not unlike how I feel sometimes…