Stealing Moments…

Some ideas come from nowhere you can properly our your finger on. They seem to leap into your mind as if they were hiding behind that door wanting to make you jump. Or they feel like they’ve always been there, sneaking into your thoughts to the point where you can’t actually remember not having the idea in your head at all.
Then there’s the idea which comes from a word or a phrase or a picture or TV show. One that pops like a lightbulb and gets it’s claws into your brain and refusing to shake its grip. 
Last year, I went to the Manchester Ethiad stadium to see Bon Jovi.  It was a concert is wanted to go to for years and I have to admit I wish I’d done it years before as it didn’t live up to expectations. But that’s as may be. 
One if the support acts was excellent. James Walsh, ex of Starsailor, was grey and a pleasure to watch and listen to. One of his songs was Precious Stolen Moments, and an idea formed. 
Or the hint of an idea, at least. 
In fact, I don’t think it was even that. I think it was more like the title dug in for the winter, hibernating until the spring came and it could germinate into something much more. 
Well, spring is here. 
And the idea is germination and blossoming. 
Only the other day something was said about ‘stolen moments’ in a conversation with my wife, and that became the fertiliser I needed. 
Last week, I finished my story Secrets, the latest entry for my Darker Places collection – the follow up to Dark Places. My intention was to finish off Puddlebrain and continue to work on Mortal Sin, the sequel to Sin
Things don’t always happen as I intend, and I felt the need to finally begin the story about these ‘stolen moments’. 
And so it begins. I keep writing little bits as time allows, thankful for finally discovering OneNote on my iphone to let me keep track of such scribblings. 
Here it is so far. It’s not much but, and this is something which happens very rarely, I know where it’s going. I’ve even, after a fashion, written the ending. 
Stolen Moments
 
I help people. I help them. 
 
I don’t kill them. I… I help them. I…
When they have nowhere to go except into the hearafter, I bring the hand of Death and theirs together, to be led peacefully wherever they would be taken.  
When the edge of night threatens to darken their day, I bring a torch with which to guide them on.
I don’t kill them. 
I don’t…
It started…  Oh God, when did it start?  It seems so long ago. Another lifetime. Another me. Another town. Another…
Well. Just ‘another’ everything.
Then things changed. Things changed so much. It was as if space and time were spinning about their singularity and one dipped its toe into the chaotic waters and I was one of the ripples. 
The crow, I think. 
It started with the crow.
I hope it shows promise. I think it does. It has its claws in me anywho, so I’m stuck with finishing it. I’ll let you know when we’re done! 
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Rocking the Ages…

It was a wet and dreary day in Grimsby.

 

No, they’re actually not all like that.  It started bright and sunny.  I popped off into town to have my eyes tested (no, not to be able to see the weather properly, thank you) and then we dropped our youngest off at her nanna’s for the day.

 

Why?

 

Because we were going on a road trip!  Manchester, here we come!

 

But before I get to that, let’s take a moment to step back in time.  Not too far back, but, without a big blue police box, we’ll do our best to return to a day in 2012

 

Now, music is a big thing in our house.  Once or more of us is prone to bursting into song (badly in my case), or dance to something on the TV.  Only the other day, my 10 year old and 2 year old were singing the songs from Disney’s Frozen, and acting them out.  Whilst out driving somewhere, my 2 year old will ask for anything from Over the Rainbow to Cyndi Lauper to ACDC (one of her current favourites is Highway to Hell, which she’ll happily be air guitaring to).  My 10 year old is much the same.  My wife and I regularly go to concerts or The Yardbirds, our local rock club.

 

As such, it won’t be a surprise to tell you my wife was eager to see the film Rock of Ages.  So, being the wonderful husband I am, I took her.  At the beginnng, I was unsure.  A bit too cheesy.  It didn’t take long, however, for me to be swept up in the music, the comedy and the fact that Tom Cruise was actually decent in this.  I took the gleeful burst of applause she gave at the end as a sign she’d enjoyed it.

 

Unfortunately, when it came to be attempting to get tickets for the actual stage show, I was disappointed to find it had closed.  Ah, but it was on tour!  Yay!  Christmas was coming so tickets for the show would make a perfect present for my wife and ten year old.  As the best venue for us was Manchester (Palace Theatre), that’s what I booked.

 

Only to find out, a couple of weeks later, it was coming to Hull.  Manchester is 2½ hours away.  Hull is less than 45 minutes.

 

Oh well.  It would be a nice trip out, and we could grab something good to eat on the way.  A proper night out.

 

My girls were overjoyed when they opened the present to find the tickets inside.  None of us could wait.

 

So, tick, tick, BANG!  And we’re back to last weekend.  A dreary day that began quite pleasantly.

 

Manchester and Grimsby are virtually opposite sides of the country.  There’s a pretty straight road (the M62) which stretches across and it’s one we’ve travelled many times to various concerts and shows (30 Seconds to Mars, Snow Patrol, Bon Jovi and more).  It’s not an unpleasant drive.  The scenery is beautiful – and we like the little house stuck firmly where it always has bene, causing the road to split around it.  Yes, there’s roadworks.  Yes, there’s 50 mph limits with average speed cameras.  None of it matters.  Only once, when we went to see Snow Patrol the first time (excellent, though the second time we saw them thye were amazing), was the weather really bad.

 

Saturday, the weather was bad again.  It rained, heavily, for most of the way and when it didn’t, we were attacked by the spray from the cars on the wet roads.  Not nice, indeed.

 

But we got there and it was in time for that nice bite to eat.  There was only one choice for us, really.  Nandos!  Yum.  The car park, Nandos and the Palace Theatre were only around the corner from each other (luckily because of the weather, which had reduced form an onslaught to a drizzle), so we made it to the theatre in good time.

 

Our seats were two rows from the front, next to the aisle, and were well worth the extra money they cost.  We were in a prime place for the way the cast would come down to the front of the audience (singing to my daughter atone point), and the guy who was running along getting everyone to do a Mexican wave etc..

 

As for the show itself…?

 

Well, we we surprised, initially, to find it didn’t follow the film – or rather the film didn’t follow the show.  We weren’t expecting that, thinking it was the one story.  That didn’t matter though, it was still all great fun.


The band were brilliant, smashing through rock classics with the whole audience, more or less, singing along.  The cast were excellent too.  We were surprised (again) to see the lead was Noel Sullivan, whom we’d only seen fairly recently in Pricilla, Queen of the Desert.  It was a dramatic change of character for him, but one he handled admirably, and proved he can definitely sing.


The rest of the cast were great too, including the scantily clad backing singers and dancers.  In particular, Stephen Rahman-Hughes, who played Lonny and the NarratOR, shone.  He was hilarious and had everyone laughing and genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself.  Daniel Fletcher as Donnie Dupree was very good too, and came down to the audience throwing bits of silver foil about – and had a little battle with it with ym daughter.


Of course, when the finale of Journey’s Don’t Stop believing started, everyone was on their feet, clapping and singing, testament to the fact we weren’t the only ones having a great time.

 

I liked the various touches where the narrator would talk directly to the audience, for example with his Dummies book and when he spoke to Drew as Noel (named after Christmas).  They added a quirkiness to a show that had already won us over easily.



We arrived home at around 1:30 am after leaving at just after 3 in the afternoon.

 

Was the journey worth it?  You’d better believe it!


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Me, Myself and Cindy…

“An ordinary woman (?) with an extra-ordinary collection.”
 
Here’s something a little different.  It’s an interview.  Yes, we’ve been there before, but not quite like this.  This time, Sin and I are joining forces to chat to long time fan and friend, Cindy Harper.  Now, you know Sin can ramble on, so I’ll try to keep him in check.  Not sure how successful I’ll be.
 
Ey up, me ol’ china!  Sin here.  Me and what’s his name were wondering if you’d be willing to answer a few questions.  Not in a ‘You’re nicked’ police kind of way, more in a ‘You’re a fan?  How weird!’ kind of way.
 
Shaun: Hi Cindy.  What he means is, would you mind being interviewed about your ‘love’ of Sin?  Before he gets excited, I mean the story, of course.
 
Cindy: I’d be happy to.  Good thing I just finished reading his story again.
 
Sin: Again?  How many times is that now?
 
Shaun: Are you finding new things each time you read it, or are you simply enjoying the ride (I assume there’s enjoyment in there)?
 
Cindy – Sin: I’ve read your story close to a dozen times now. The prologue maybe a half dozen more.
 
Cindy – Shaun: I do find new things every now and again. Or certain parts will resonate stronger than before. The first time I read Sin’s story, it was the shorter, original version. I could only get a few pages in at a time, because it was so strange being that far inside someone’s head. Then, the longer version came out. Once I’d gotten through the complete book, I was going along for whatever ride Sin wanted to take.
 
Sin: Wow.  And they call me insane!  I have to admit to feeling a little flattered though.
 
Shaun: That’s impressive.  I’ve watched the same film more than once and occasionally read a book a few times (The Belgariad and Ocean at the End of the Lane) but none that many times.  What is it about Sin which captivates you so?
 
Sin: Yes.  What he said.
 
Cindy: OK.  Why am I insane?
 
Sin: Reading my story so many times!  I didn’t realise I was that interesting!
 
Shaun: He said it, not me.  I think reading my book so many times is a little weird.  I mean a sign of impeccable taste!
 
Cindy – Sin: You are unlike any other character I’ve ever read. That you openly allow your reader so far inside your head? I can only marvel at,  and wonder where and what you’re going to do next.
 
Cindy – Shaun: Admit it, you’re pleased. I know I’ve told family and friends that if they don’t want to read the whole book, at least read the prologue. After that, then decide if you want to read the rest of the story.  More often than not, I end up loaning out my printed copy of the book.
Sin’s story will stay with you long after reading.  I know a couple of friends that won’t pick up coins from the ground anymore. I’ve watched them reach for a penny, but pull back at the last moment before touching said coin. They’ll laugh at themselves,  and then move on. The coin left behind.
For a while there, I kept finding dimes. Even when I knew my pocket was empty, a dime would show up. No clue where it came from; it was just there. Creeped me out for a bit. I laughed about it, but it was still weird.
 
I do know the “Flip. Catch.” has captured my imagination. I’ve been designing a quilt based on some of the imagery from the story. I’ve been given a two pence to work and play with. It’s been an interesting experiment to try and photograph the coin flipping in midair. I haven’t gotten all of the quilt designed yet. I’m still trying to decide if I want to storyboard key scenes, or just focus on the coin. You’ll know once the quilt is done.
 
Sin: Hey, if I have to walk through the darkened halls of my mind, I want someone there holding my hand!  Who knows what might jump out at us?!
 
Shaun: OK, I admit it.  You’re my very own stalker cheerleader and it’s very flattering.  As for the coins, a few people have told me that.  I think it’s so cool that my book can have that effect on them! 
 
Sin: I think I’ll avoid all currency that isn’t in note form from now on!  Much safer.  You can’t flip a tenner!
 
Shaun: Chicken.  So, Cindy – What do you think to Joy?  Do you think she helps or hinders Sin?
 
Sin: Don’t just be nice because she’s my sister!
 
Cindy – Sin: The idea that you’d “want” someone to hold your hand… I’m almost speechless. That you’d be afraid of what might jump out at you?!? Who are you? And what have you done with Sin??
 
*peers at Shaun a bit closer* Cindy – Shaun, are you messing around with Sin’s psyche again? I’d have never thought Sin would be the one to be ‘afraid’ of anything, let alone what might be in the dark.
 
Unless… *pauses to consider* Unless… Sin’s getting sweet on a dame. *eyes twinkling* Sin? Have you gotten yourself a dame stashed somewhere?
 
Cindy – Shaun: I am but a fan. Ok, a cheerleader, too.  I’m working hard at not falling into the ‘stalker’ category. 😛 I’ve met stalker-fans. *cringes* Yeah, so NOT want to be like that. As my job as cheerleader, how goes the sequel “Mortal Sin”? Please don’t tell me I’m going to have to wait 10 years before getting my fingers on a copy of that story. 
 
Cindy – Sin: Or, you could just get yourself a debit card. You’d never have to touch currency of any sort. Although, it might be interesting to see what would happen if you did a ‘flip, catch’ with any other sort of currency. I’ll admit to be curious about what other sorts of things may or may not happen. *pauses to consider* Or, is it just that particular coin that forces you to focus?
 
Cindy – Shaun: Joy adds depth to Sin’s story. While I get that she has “rules” she can’t break, it’s interesting watching her try to bend them to attempt to help Sin. As for whether or not she’s there to help him? I haven’t quite decided. She’s there for a purpose. At first, I thought she was more of a manifestation of his conscience, and this was just another way of showing how he’s trying to deal with himself (and what he’s done).  When Joy’s story came out, I needed to reassess my original thoughts on her. The Matthews family has issues. Like SERIOUS issues. Where did those come from? Why did they manifest the way they did? Was there more to the parents (in particular, the dad) that we’ve been shown? 
 
Cindy – Sin: You should know me well enough, by now, to know I’m not going to hold any punches about your story or the characters in it. Joy is a beacon. I’m reserving judgment if she’s there as a savior or destroyer. 
 
Sin: Wouldn’t you be afraid wandering around inside my head?  If not, then maybe you need to be in the asylum yourself!  As for me getting sweet on a ‘dame’, my lips are sealed.  Nothing and no-one stashed here, no way, no how.
 
Shaun: Don’t be blaming me.  He’s a law (of physics) unto himself!  I don’t think he’s afraid of the dark, I think he’s afraid of his dark.
 
Sin:  Ohhh, get you, Mr.  Deep  Thinker.  Didn’t know you had it in you.
 
Shaun: Don’t start.  I’ve got you in me!  Anyway, Cindy.  You’re more than a fan.  Definitely cheerleader material, with everything you’ve done for us.  We appreciate it.  The sequel is going…  Sin, being Sin was meant to visit a certain place.  Unfortunately for me, he didn’t and it’s kind of surprised me, so I’ve stalled a little.  I need to research with a policeman what might happen next.  I do hope it won’t be ten years!
 
Sin:  Hey, don’t blame me.  I didn’t mean to get myself arrested!
 
Shaun:  Shhh…
 
Sin:  A debit card is a good idea.  Saying that, I never had an issue with, say, a fifty pence piece.  It was always that two pence coin.
 
Shaun:  I did, actually, think Joy may have been Sin’s sub-conscious.  Things are often not as I expect, though, so it turned out she wasn’t.  She holds him in check as much as she can but can’t help certain things happening.  Hopefully, in the sequel, she’ll have more success.  She’ll certainly try.  I think their parents may have an appearance, and we may see behind the boarded up door.  Not sure yet.
 
Sin:  Joy is bacon?  Oh, you meant…  Well, we’ll see.  So, this all happens where we grew up.  Could you see stories written about where you grew up, or is it all too ‘normal’?
 
Shaun:  Good point.  I always thought Grimsby was a bit ‘grim’ and here am I writing about it!
 
Cindy – Sin: Oh, Sin. Whatever am I to do with you? There are days you give me hope. In the most unexpected ways.
 
Cindy – Shaun: Now that Sin’s story is released as an audiobook, how do you feel about the ‘voice’ that’s been given to him? How close is the actor’s voice to the voice that ping-pongs inside your head?
 
Cindy – Sin: How close is this bloke’s voice (on the audiobook format) to your own? 
 
Sin:  Cindy, the fact that I could give anyone hope gives me hope.  And proves the world is weirder than I ever imagined.  Or you are, not sure which.
 
Shaun:  At first, I wasn’t so sure.  Because Sin is so much a part of me (Sin: Or you a part of me…), I expected him to sound, well… like me!  The fact he doesn’t took some getting used to.  Roger, the (Grammy nominated) narrator, put on something of an accent to ‘Northernise’ his own accent, but still, it didn’t sound like I thought he should.  It didn’t take long, however, to become accustomed and then to feel he had it spot on.  The depth and warmth to his voice matches perfectly.  Now, I can’t imagine any other voice.  He’s going to be doing Dark Places soon, I believe.
 
Sin:  I don’t sound that much like you, Shaun.  Too nasally.  Roger is a well-spoken Southerner, as he describes himself, so he doesn’t particularly sound like me either.  But yes, I agree.  Once you get well into in, it feels natural.  Maybe more natural than I do.  It’s very strange having someone else read my words as me.  What do you think Cindy?  Do you know how Shaun speaks?  Is it anywhere close to how you imagine I speak?
 
Cindy – Sin: The only time I’ve heard Shaun speak is on random videos he’s posted to Facebook and on radio interviews. We’ve never called each other to speak on the phone.  As for whether I think either of you sound alike? *shakes head* No. The both of you are vastly different.  Listening to your words for the first time was an adjustment. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to this voice. I’d been expecting something a bit more ‘rough around the edges’. However, now that I’m almost all of the way through, it’s easier to accept the actor’s voice as yours.
 
Cindy – Shaun: Where will you go from here? What will be the next step(s) in Sin’s world?  I am curious about something, if I may. How did the idea of telling Sin’s story from inside his head germinate? Why tell his story from this view point? I know it took a few years to write. I get that.
 
Sin: Ah, I’m pleased you feel we’re so very different.  I’d hate to think that people see us as the same person.  I’m sure Shaun would too, considering what I’m like.  Not that I’m bad or anything – just misunderstood.  By the Grim Reaper.  Do you like how the audiobook turned out then?  I have to say I do.  Well, I don’t have to say, but I want to say.  You know what I mean.  You’ve been in my head almost as much as I have!
 
Shaun: Well, there’s Sin’s blog, which he’s a bit lax on writing recently!  And, of course, I have his sequel in process.  I think he may write another short story, but I’m unsure about the how and where.  Perhaps after Mortal Sin is done.
 
Sin:  Lax?  Me?  Do you know how hard it is to get time to write, either here in the asylum or there in your head?  And, talking of lax, the sequel…?
 
Shaun: Yes, I know.  I need to work more on it.  I had to finish Home and now I’m working on getting Singularity Books up.  It’s going around in my head.
 
Sin:  Yes, I know that – I’m getting dizzy!
 
Shaun:  Writing Sin from his point of view was accident, really.  I just started writing and there he was.  I had no idea what sort of story it was going to be, it went the way it wanted to.  I possibly needed to write it to let out my inner demons.  Now I have, they still want to play and he still doesn’t want to shut up!
 
Sin: You just be careful with those demons.  They bite.  Cindy – How did you start on the quilts and so on?  I’m looking forward to a certain one!
 
Cindy – Sin: *laughs* The two of you… sheesh. It took me a while to like the audiobook. I’d been waiting for one to come out since your story was in its shortened version on Smashwords. *pauses* That seems so long ago.
 
Cindy – Shaun: I’ve noticed a curious lack of journaling on his blog. I’m going to assume it’s because you’ve been so busy with promoting and helping others get their stories out. (Quite noble and interesting to watch it all unfold.)
 
Cindy – Sin: You complain of difficulty trying to write because Shaun is so busy. Maybe you ought to try talking him into getting you some sort of tape recorder. At least you can get the words out. Have Shaun play secretary, and type up the dictation.  😉
 
Cindy – Shaun: Just kidding. I hope.  Singularity Books? I saw you were working on a logo. Will you be publishing works by other authors, too?
 
Cindy – Sin: How do I start the art quilts? Usually, it’s one of two ways. The easiest is seeing a completed image done by someone. I’ve been working with an artist that draws his own art and an actor that does photo-art.
 
The more difficult way is when I think of an image. I stink at sketching and drawing. (It’s not where my strongest skills are.) I have to figure out how to get the image out of my head and into a format someone else can see.
 
Once I have an image I can play/work with, it gets turned into a digital image (if it isn’t already). From there, I process said image in photo imaging software. This step is the crucial part. If I can’t get the image to work here, it’s not going to work later.
 
At this point, I begin figuring out how big I want to make the art quilt. I try to keep the image within standard quilt sizes, as it’s more comfortable. I print out my newly manipulated image in the size I want, and then start piecing my base pattern together. (Yes, this is all the prelude to working with the fabrics.)
 
Once the base pattern is assembled, I put it on my light wall. (It’s like a light table, only bigger.) The design goes through another round of inspections. I’m looking for any areas that aren’t as well defined or may give me some trouble.  I’m also looking for where to start and figuring out a general path/pattern to complete the design.
 
By now, I’ve already sorted my collected fabrics and have a background picked out. From there, it’s making all those pieces. Each piece is drawn (traced out) and cut out by hand. It’s time consuming and tedious work, but this is where I can finally get the image completely out of my head and allow someone else to see it.
 
By the time I get done, the finished quilt is usually a fair size bigger than I intended. (I still haven’t figured out how that one works.)  I’ve been accused of painting and/or printing the image onto fabric. I don’t. I do, somehow, manage to get a fair amount of 3-D effects. It’s really neat how that works out.
 
Oh! I just realized you were asking how I got STARTED doing art quilts! *laughs* Oops.
 
A friend of mine sent me a few photos that I thought would look neat in fabrics. I asked if he was ok with letting me try it out. After a bit of negotiations, an agreement was met. My first art quilt can be seen in my Facebook photo album called “Quilts”. The quilt is called ‘Dream Lover’. (I know, I know. Lack of imagination on titles.) This is really the quilt that started it all. I suppose I should finish it some time.
 
As for a very specific quilt I’ve got percolating in the back of my head, I’m still trying to capture the image of a two pence coin flipping in midair. I know the effect I want, can even see it in my head. Trying to get the digital version has been entertaining.
 
Sin:  It does seem an age ago.  I still remember well churning out the words on the bank of the Nile, but the actual completion of the book feels beforethat, weirdly. 
 
Shaun:  I don’t know about noble, lol.  We just know how hard it was for us when we started out, so wanted to pass on some knowledge to others.  It’s taking off quite well, with local towns showing an interest and, potentially, a TV show in the offing!  As for the audiobook, I spoke to the narrator a few days ago.  He wanted to touch base on my feelings for the stories and the voice I felt was required.  He sees some of the terminology and ways the stories are written to be quite ‘Sin-esque’ and wondered if Sin’s voice should be used.  We’re going for something more with a hint of Richard Burton though.  With the blog, I’m trying to fit it in around my own blog and promotion and, well, life generally!
 
Sin:  Fit me in?  Fit me in?  Excuse me while I sit idly by and watch the world spin.
 
Shaun:  Hey, don’t pout.  It doesn’t suit you.  You know you’re never far from my mind.  There’s only so many hours in a day.  Maybe you should add time-travel to your repertoire?
 
Sin:  I wouldn’t put it past whatever’s inside of me.  Anywho-be-do.  Cindy.  A tape recorder?  He has voice memo on his phone.  Never uses it.  Oh, once he recorded the sound of the sea whilst in Majorca.
 
Shaun:  I like the sound of the sea.  He’s right though – I wouldn’t remember to take it out.  It’d be the same if I had a notepad.  I’d probably not have a pen.  I get there in the end, though.  And hopefully, when I do, it’s worth the wait.  Regarding Singularity Books, I want to collect all my books under my own banner.  They’ll have an identity and, hopefully, people will like it.  I hadn’t thought about taking others on, actually.  I was just doing it for my own books.  I suppose it’s something I could potentially look at one day, maybe.
 
Sin:  Your quilts do look amazing.  Some of the depth to the images is brilliant.  Yes, I did mean how did you start doing them in the first places, but thanks for the info.  It was very interesting.  You mentioned my quilt sooo long ago.  You can’t complain about me keeping you waiting!
 
Shaun:  Yeah, what he said!
 
Cindy:  Alright guys, I’m sure Shaun has a lot going on. Plus, Sin — you, my dear, have a sequel to finish. Whereas I’ve been not so subtly reminded I’ve got a “special” quilt to work on. I can’t thank you enough for all the time you’ve given me. It really means a lot.
 
Shaun:  Thanks for joining us!  It means to lot to the both of us that you’re such a fan and unfaltering advocate of our work.
 
Sin:  I agree.  It’s a pleasure to know you and know I have, at least, one friend!  If you’re ever passing, I’ll keep a seat warm for you, though I can’t promise Mucous Mickey hasn’t been there first.


I asked Cindy to remind me how we met. This was her answer:

You followed me on Twitter. You kept promoting this book you’d released on Smashwords. One day, you offered a 50% discount on it. So, I looked it up. The prologue sounded intriguing, and I bought it. That’s how I met Sin.
 
Basically. Once I’d found your webpage, I started looking into anything else you’d written. Imagine my surprise when I found Sin’s blog. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Here you have a fictional character writing a not-so-fictional blog about fictional happenings. You’d grown Sin from just words on a screen to something that was as tangible as any other human that writes.
 
My first thoughts were, “Now that’s a neat shtick.” I had no clue how you were going to be able to separate yourself from your creation, or how long it’d last.
 
As the blog posts went up, there was a certain amount of charm to them. Since I didn’t really want to let Sin go, this was a neat way to watch him grow and develop even more.
 
Yes, I treat Sin like he’s a ‘normal’ human being. That’s because of how you’ve presented him. Do I understand he’s a fictional character?  Yes. I’m very aware he’s not a living, breathing human being. That you have the skills to make him transcend mere words on a page is incredible.
 
Thank you for allowing me to be part of his world.”

Thank you, Cindy, for helping Sin become more than simply words. 
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My Writing Process Blog Tour

Well, welcome to my entry in the “My Writing Process” blog tour. This is verging on the scary for me. I have to decide if I actually have a writing process in the first place. I’m never entirely sure if I have anything remotely resembling something which could be called an actual ‘PROCESS’ as such. 
But here I am, suckered in. I mean, joining in. I have to thank the wonderful Connie J. Jasperson, amazing author and owner of Life in the Realm of Fantasy, http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com for roping me in. I mean, inviting me to take part.  Connie has been a friend of mine for a number of years now, so I couldn’t really say no.  
So, here goes:
1) What am I working on?
That’s easy. Lots of things. 
Firstly, and for some most importantly, there’s the sequel to Sin. I say ‘most importantly’ as I do know of a few people who will breath a huge sigh of relief when they get their hands on Mortal Sin. Sin, himself, will probably be relieved too!
Next, I have Puddlebrain (working title). This story follows the adventures of the youngest of three witches, all of whom have lost their powers. Something is stealing all of the villagers and only Puddlebrain can stop it. The book is very different from Sin and is aimed at a much younger audience.
I am also working on Darker Places, the follow up to my paranormal/horror collection Dark Places (soon to be an audiobook). I keep coming up with ideas that simply must be turned into stories or poems, and both Sin and Puddlebrain end up sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Sorry guys!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmmm. I think because it’s personal. Sin, especially, is a very great part of me. He’s my ‘dark half’ of course and writing him is very therapeutic.
Dark Places is very similar. The poems were written when I,  myself, was in a dark place. The stories visit various ideas and ideals I wonder about or have travelled to personally. 
That’s to to say other authors’ writing isn’t personal.  I’m sure, in most cases, it certainly is.  But, with mine, I seem to wander the darker halls of my mind and open doors I, perhaps, wouldn’t otherwise.
With the children’s books, they show I’ve never grown up. And don’t wanna, nernerner. 
3) Why do I write what I do?
I just do. I don’t control it. I simply write what comes. The darkness isn’t a conscious effort. It weaves into my writing of its own accord. 
4) How does my writing process work?
Ah, there’s that ‘process’ thing again. I’m not sure how to answer it. I just write.
When I get chance. 
I don’t get much time to write. With a full time job and full time family, I squeeze writing into my lunch break – when I don’t have a blog post to do or a phone call to make, of course.
When I do write, I just do, as I said in the previous question. In most cases, I begin a story or blog post with the initial sentence – a ‘starter’. This can be prompted by something I’m watching on television, as in the case of The Coming, a short story I wrote recently, inspired by an episode of The Blacklist. The starter can come from something someone has said, or someone has purposefully given me. 
I take that sentence, and I run with it. Or my fingers do. I could produce one of Sin’s blog posts, a poem or a story. I don’t always know. 
I have thought, many times, of trying to plan something out. Have the idea, work out the characters, the main plot points and locations, etc. I haven’t actually managed to try it yet. When I do get those brief chances to write,  I generally don’t think about outlining. I get into the zone of following the story and Finding out where it’s going to lead me. 
I will try it, though. As an experiment. 
Mostly, though, I sit and I write and I see where it goes. I enjoy that. It’s a voyage of discovery. 
My three volunteers to lay out their writhing… erm… writing hearts next week are:
Zoe Adams
Zoe Adams was born in Grimsby, in 1992. The youngest of three children, she has a BA (Hons) degree in Professional Writing at university.
Zoe has a huge interest in reading and writing about the paranormal and the supernatural. Of course, this can range from witches and demons, to vampires and werewolves. Yet, she is not afraid to try other genres!
With her alternative mind, who knows what she will write next?
Lisa Vandiver

I have been in love with the art of storytelling since childhood, and found my very first piece published in our small town newspaper at the age of seven.  The subject was Santa Claus.

​I was involved with the arts in school, church, and college.  While in college I wrote my first play, and during acting classes I came up with my first novel idea, Where She Belongs.  Since that time I have written a second novel, Josie’s Thorn, as well as a book of poems and short stories, Out of my Head.   My poem, My Life Song was published  in eFiction magazine in 2011, and I have finished my first screenplay, which is now in the editing stage.  I am working on numerous projects for summer 2014.

​I love to meet new people, so please feel free to drop by Facebook or Twitter to say “Hi”. 

Scarlett Flame

Although born in Salford, I was raised in the Manchester area and still consider myself a Lancashire lass.

I am a qualified paediatric nurse and have a Bsc(Hons) and a PgDip (masters level qualification) among other qualifications. Yet I choose to write, and hope to make this my full time occupation. 

Although I have always loved to read and write, I only recently began to write seriously. My first blog post was published in February 2013 and since then I have gone from strength to strength. This has resulted in my being voted as Blogger of the Year 2014

My blogs aren’t all erotica, far from it. On my blog posts you are just as likely to read about gigs I have attended around Manchester, interviews, book reviews and much more. There is something for everyone on my blogs.
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