To show how excited I am about finally being able to say that The Clockwork Bluebird is alive (ALIVE, I TELL YOU…ALIIIIIIVE!!!) I’m having a giveaway. You can see details here. There is a rather nifty vintagey glass ball watch, a signed copy of the book, an ebook copy if that’s the way you rock, and a handmade steampunk journal. I’ve had this for ages, as you can see from the blog post that I wrote about creating it.
This was the first Male/Male romance fantasy cover that I’ve had the chance to do and I had great fun working with such pretty, pretty men. Waist-length silver hair? Oh, yes please! :)
The neighbouring kingdoms of Oscia and Arcathia have been at a tentative peace for three years after centuries of warfare. Prince Severin of Arcathia has been brought up to put duty before all else and as the only son of the King and Queen, it is his duty to marry and produce an heir. His parents want him to marry an Oscian princess to cement that tentative peace. Unfortunately Severin isn’t interested in princesses. Now, if he had his pick of princes that would be another matter.
Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his aptitude for wizardry is discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by Prince Severin and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong, but his feelings for Severin sorely test his resolve.
With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, magic in the air, and outside forces trying to keep them apart, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?
I’ve been posting this video by Holly McNish everywhere since I first saw it. One of her poems on immigration in Britain was posted on Twitter this morning and I started watching some of her others. This one is powerful – such a talented, passionate poet and performer.
…Obsessed with being ‘young’ again as if those times were best As if Alice stayed down that hole and never left again. Frozen in tea party time Madhatters, mice and children’s rhymes Never women, girls for life Lollipops and glittered icing…
Today is a book birthday, of sorts, as I finally published (to very little fanfare) the book that I have been working on for a couple of years. Not having any type of a platform, you understand, means that if it was a birthday party it would be one of those very sad ones where it’s just family and your one best friend and there are no hired clowns or pony rides. :)
I’m not going to start spamming my Twitter feed with BUY MY BOOK NAO, THE BEST BOOK EVER!!! tweets…a good thing, too, as everyone that I know on Twitter is either a fellow gamer or someone that I’ve done cover work for in the past. If you see me indulging in obnoxious self-promotion just slap me down. Not in an over-the-top red wedding* style of course, but more as you would a inebriated friend who was making a tit of himself.
That said, if you would like to send a link my way, or read it for a review, let me know. I’ll give you all the information that you need. If you want to review it, let me know and I’ll send you a copy. I have a few things for a giveaway, which I’ll be posting in a week or so. Until then…crickets. :D
And now, back to the sequel…because I’m going to get a handle on this writing thing or die trying.
BUY MY BOOK NOW, BEST BOOK EVER! IF YOU LIKED HARRY POTTER, STEPHEN KING, SHAKESPEARE, PABLO NERUDA OR TWILIGHT, YOU’LL LOVE THIS!
I come by my love of reading honestly, as when I was a kid my parents read to me all the time. Both of my parents were passionate readers and throughout my life my father and I shared a love of certain books and authors. The Travis McGee novels and Dick Francis were shared passions, and even when we couldn’t talk about much else (I was a horrible teenager) we could still talk about books. My mom and dad would take us to the library to check out our weekly armload of books, which was the high point of my little-kid week. We lived ten miles or so outside of town, and once they drove halfway home before realising that they’d left my youngest sister sitting in the little kids’ section. Good times. :)
One of the books that my dad used to read to us when we were little was The Children’s Bluebird. The book had been his as a child and eventually was passed on to me; of course I lost it during my footloose early twenties when I was moving from city to city. I managed to lose a lot of things during that time. I always remembered that story, though, and have always wanted to write my own version of it. The original is a product of the era in which it was written; loaded with sentimentality and saccharin emotions it hides an extremely warped and twisted core. I wanted to write a version which stripped away the sentimentality and kept the twisted bits, a version updated and streamlined for more modern readers.
Several years ago my mother died from complications associated with ALS. My father was diagnosed soon after with cancer, which started in the bladder and then spread all over, bowel and spine and so on. It was incurable, but he was strong – having been given a matter of months to live, he survived for two years. During that time I rather abruptly went freelance with my artwork and when NaNoWriMo rolled around decided to participate and finally write the book that I’d been thinking about for ages. It’s dedicated to him and although he was too sick to read it at the end, he did read the dedication. I’m thankful that I had a chance to at least put it in his hands before the end…he is such a huge part of who I grew up to be. He taught me about being brave and doing the right thing, even (or especially) when that is hard to do. He gave me my moral code and my honesty. Oh, sure, I’ve been a fuckup in the past, and will most probably be one again, but I I do try to be strong and do good in the world.
So. Back to this book.
The Clockwork Bluebird is a steampunk, or clockwork-punk, fairytale retelling of The Children’s Bluebird set in an alternate-universe Victorian England. The main characters, Maia and Tyler Lemarchand (every name has a meaning – I had fun with this) are the mixed-race children of an inventor and the daughter of the Moon; they get caught up in the middle of a clandestine war between the Fae Courts. There are goblin markets and black dire wolves, a gang of clockwork-limbed children called the Tatters that live in the lost Underground tunnels beneath the city and even a talking dog. Working on this was pure fun from start to finish and I hope that it is equally fun to read.
I’ll post more about this later…mainly I just wanted to tell my father that I loved him. I miss you so much, Dad. And all of this is for you.
This last weekend was a bank holiday in the UK, which meant three uninterrupted days of gaming. Of course, I did have my yearly brainfart moment which finds me watching TV and seeing coverage of the book festival at Hay-On-Wye, which I forget every damn year until I see it on the news. It was too late, and we’re too short on money to just go on short notice this year. Next year, I swear.
I’ve gotten back into Rift in a big way and this weekend I spent hours try to build a dimension (in-game character housing). My house really sucks. I’ve always thought that I had a certain amount of artistic talent, and certain sense of aesthetics in relation to visual design, but those talents definitely do not translate to 3D design. My walls are wonky and I spend ages building loft platforms only to realise that I haven’t left any space for stairs to reach them. I can take a gorgeous starting environment and turn it into a tarpaper shanty in a matter of hours, which is quite disappointing.
Here’s an example of someone who has some actual skillz in 3D environment design. This house is not mine.
Welcome! I write a lot of nonsense about MMO gaming, books, book cover art and a bit about being an American expat in the UK. I am a book cover artist and designer and a struggling writer, still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.