I'm probably more attuned to this sort of thing than normal seeing as I'm currently writing a novel about a lake monster (book 2 in the Uncanny Icons Series, but it seems like suddenly this subject is showing up way more than normal. First there was a couple who posted new footage that supposedly shows the Loch Ness Monster--or at least a wake created by a large creature in the loch. Then I just read this morning about a new TV series called The Essex Serpent, based on the 2018 novel of the same name by Sarah Perry, which is about a "water horse."
I just blocked off the next few weeks to complete my first draft of Brooms, book 2 in the Uncanny Icons Series. Seeing as it involves witchcraft, I've done all sorts of research on this subject as well as so-called "sacred geometry." In the process, I came across the painting below, "The Magic Circle" by John William Waterhouse (1886). The novel's opening scene involves just such a circle, though it's created for entirely different reasons . . .
A while back, I mentioned that I was editing a book by William B. Davis, perhaps best known as the Cigarette Smoking Man on the X-Files, but who has also acted in dozens of other TV shows, films, and plays. With a career spanning 70 years, during which he not only acted but also directed, working with the likes of Maggie Smith, Brian Cox, Donald Sutherland, and a host of other greats, William has learned a lot about the craft, and he has distilled those key lessions--as well as a brief autobiography--into a new book called On Actiong . . . and Life. If you're an aspiring actor or director, I highly recommend you give it a read. Available wherever books are sold.
I'm seven days away from launching into a three-week writing marathon to complete the first draft of Brooms, book 2 in the Uncanny Icons series. Seeing as the story centers on witches, curling, and lake monsters, my antenna is up in regard to all three subjects. So, I was delighted this morning to see brand-new footage of something strange in Loch Ness, home to one of the most fabled (and likely mythical) lake monsters, Nessie. This footage captures a strange wake made by something moving underwater in the lake. I'm curious to see what kind of explanation is offered. You can watch the vidoe here.
These days I've been so busy editing other people's books that it's been difficult to find time to work on my own projects. So, like other authors I know who are in a similar situation, I took a look at my schedule in search of pockets of time that I could reclaim for my writing, and my thoughts led me to this place.
We are lucky enough to live in Kimberley, BC, a nice little town on the edge of the Rocky Mountains that just happens to have a ski hill right in town. Every Saturday and Sunday morning, I ski from about 9:00 - 11:00 (before the lineups get too long). During that time, I ski somewhere between 6-8 runs, which means I spend nearly half of that time on the chair lift. Seeing as I've mostly been riding alone due to COVID-19, I realized that gave me basically two hours each weekend to work on my books.
So, that's exactly what I've been doing for the past couple of months. Each day I set a different task for myself to accomplish, and then I record my thoughts on my phone as I sit there taking in the beautiful mountain views.
As a result, not only have I been able to work out virtually all of the story kinks for Brooms, book 2 in the Uncanny Icons Series, I've also done the same for LARPers, book 7 in the Milligan Creek Series.
All that to say, many people dream of writing a book, but most of those people never do it because they say they can't find the time. However, if you're serious about it, you will find a way, and it may be in a place that you least expect!
I'm what you call an indie author, which means I don't publish my books through a traditional publisher. Instead, I publish them directly through Kindle Direct Publishing and IngramSpark. Recently, Amazon, who owns Kindle Direct Publishing, posted a video showing how books like mine get made. At the 5:54 mark, they even show the cover to Epic Zero, which is written and published by a friend of mine. Check out the video and see what happens after you press the "purchase" button.
What do these three things have in common? They're all part of book two in the Uncanny Icons series, Brooms, which I'm currently writing right now. As I was doing research for the book, I stumbled across a book that I read countless times when I was in elementary school, Canada's Monsters by Betty Sanders Garner. As a budding cryptozoologist, I read everything I could get my hands on regarding lake monsters, sea monsters, sasquatches, yetis, and the like. Who would have guessed that, decades later, all of that research would bear fruit? At any rate, I was so excited to find a copy of the online that I had to order it, just for old time's sake. In the meantime, here's an image of the cover, featuring a painting by James Simpkins, which should make it apparent why this book so captured my imagination.
Here's a brief excerpt:
I’ll be honest, this is the most I’ve smiled yet in the Milligan Creek series (which is saying a lot because I’m always grinning and giggling with these books – they take me back to that childhood time where I snuck away and read books all day… ahh, the memories).. . . I also super love how fast-paced this book is. It’s filled with lots of fun and lots of cool movie ideas. Can I please see some of these movies? Someone make them. They sound downright hilarious!
You can read the rest of the review here.
Last year I had the privilege of editing the debut novel by Steve Babb, one of the founding members of the progressive rock band Glass Hammer. They have a concept album based on the novel coming out this fall. Check out the trailer for it below.
Brief thoughts and updates on writing, publishing, and life