Tag Archives: comics

Space travel and cyberpunk update

Recent reading lists have included both cyberpunk and space travel, which is interesting because I normally don’t have much interest in space travel, but I generally do have an interest in cyber-dystopian lifestyle. 

I was surprised that I liked the novel “The Martian” by Andy Weir enough to rate it five stars on Goodreads.com it is not usually a subject I would love enough to rate highly and I am actually surprised at the quality of writing from the author which self-published this book originally – as I don’t have a high opinion of those who self-publish, generally because I spent a lot of money a few years ago on downloads of promising blurbs in fantasy and horror on my kindle to find it was mostly all a bunch of rubbish that was poorly edited and way too corny.  But then again, I chose books that were cheap and never heard of outside of the kindle shop, so I guess I got what I paid for!

But to me Andy Weir’s “The Martian” was excellent and on par with one of my favourite authors Max Brooks, which is actually one of my top three favorite horror authors at the moment.

I have no personal interest in writing anything regarding space travel or anything that talks in depth about technology, despite my reading interest recently; I am just taking advice from a friend who said that I really should read more broadly outside of my normal chosen genres in order to get a feel about what’s out there and finding different styles that I could maybe work with in my own writing.

I usually stick with comedy, comics, graphic novels, fantasy and horror – but I have an interest occasionally in mystery and crime fiction too – but they said I need to broaden my scope further – I won’t pick up romance though, I had enough of Mills and Boon bedtime stories growing up from my mother!

I may pick up a couple more space novels by the end of the year as I have heard some good reviews and blurbs from a couple of them recently.

I think my interest in Cyberpunk was started because of the trilogy “arc of a scythe” by Neal Shusterman, after I read those I read 1984 and then started looking around for more and found recommendations on YouTube namely by YouTubers FIT 2B READ and TheShadesOfOrange, though generally I don’t usually let YouTubers influence what I read, they just sometimes help me research areas of interest better.

I personally started my interest in Cyberpunk because of a story idea I have around a dystopian world where technology really starts to save the day for my characters, with their new inventions and survival innovations, this idea was started Spring of 2021 but I hadn’t really thought about it too much until Christmas time and it is starting to dominate my ideas entirely recently. 

I have to admit though, this story was originally thought to be steampunk, but the more I learned about cyberpunk the more I realised I would have categorised the book wrong entirely. 

It was almost like a push from the universe when I decided that my story wasn’t going to be steampunk but cyberpunk when my favorite YouTube channel FIT 2B READ started cyberpunk week – I just had to believe that it was the universe telling me I was absolutely right about my hunches – too much of a coincidence otherwise!

This is when I decided to make summer of this year a cyberpunk reading bonanza – if I am going to write this as a cyberpunk, I had better get to know what the fans of that genre expect!

You know looking back I find it rather amusing I thought it was originally steampunk but with a few additional neon lights and tubing, it seems foolish now to think that!  But we live and we learn, don’t we?

Happy reading everyone!

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When am I sending work to an agent?

Because of the Covid I had at Easter my plans to send work to any publisher by the start of Autumn 2022 has been shifted now to late winter 2022/2023; this is because I know that the current finished products are not ready to be sent to the world, but there is one that I am confident will be finished by the end of this year because it is so fresh in my mind and the most unique of the stories I have planned to send.

Basically I want my first published book to be special, who doesn’t?

Also I am in a quandary about one of the two books I am thinking about sending out – because one of those books I really want to make as a comic series, but I have little knowledge in creating comics and though I have studied a lot of “how to” books and watched a lot of “how to” YouTube videos, I am still not very confident about shifting a novelisation I have made into a comic book format, especially as I am not confident as an artist!

At the moment it is being written as a series of novels, I hope that eventually I will gain confidence in breaking it down into comic book form, because I think making this particular idea a comic book series would do better for it, than novels.  I doubt I would get advice on this from my future agent, but I hope it is something I could talk about with them eventually.

It is the second idea that is likely to be published first, the pure, simple, traditional novel with no comic book planning whatsoever.

Though I am sure that someday there may be comic book adaptions written by fans as it could work as that eventually too, but then again, most books of this particular genre end up in comic book format eventually.

Neil Gaiman’s snippet at the back of one of his Sandman comics about how to write comics has been a big help, as well as Peter David’s book “writing for comics” and a YouTube channel called Serkworks Art Lab.  Without these, I’d be even more clueless about what I am doing.

The thing is, I want the comic series, more than I want the novel idea out there first.  But, I am just so nervous about presenting a novel to an agent as a book, then saying, I can eventually break it down as comics, which was always my intention… how willing are agents to take on work like that?

I have to admit I am a little too afraid to approach them on that even as a question as I hate wasting people’s time!

The comic book I am writing has a lot of characters and action, but it is focused particularly on a group of three characters which work as a team together against a common evil, though the evil is from the same source, they too are different groups – it is like a gang warfare dystopian comic series with mild horror elements, to allow it to be sold to a young adult and possibly an older child audience.

To make life easier in explanation I will call this on my blog a dark fantasy side of my work, which would likely be under the pseudonym of my family entertainment side of my work.

Because I don’t want it to be too dark for family enjoyment!

It is about as dark as Watership down meets a tamer version of The Suicide Squad…

Just to tease a little there…

My actual novel which is likely to be sent out by the end of the year is more Warhammer meets Robocop, there are cyberpunk and fantasy elements in that story.

So there you have it, my plan for the year in writing.

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Cyberpunk, fashion & shiny things

Cyberpunk has influenced me a lot over the years, in entertainment, fashion and art!

A majority of the books I loved the most have been in some form or another associated with cyberpunk themes.  “Arc of a scythe” by Neal Shusterman and 1984 by George Orwell are my favourites so far.

Movies such as Tank Girl, Judge Dread, and Escape from New York have influenced more than just one of my novels over the years.

Though for me I am sure it is the visual and descriptive porn that grips me the most in this genre.  I am one of those weirdos that notices things in the background of a movie, the behind the character settings – looking at all the gadgets and gizmos and the wiring and so forth, trying to figure out how to describe the technology in use and often I am entranced by the neon lightings that is sometimes usual in such movies – I do like my shinies.

As a teenager I likened myself as a Goth, but I liked to be colourful and bohemian and it wasn’t until my late twenties I realised I should have been a cyber Goth.

TV shows such as The Tribe have also massively influenced a group of characters in a novel; I am working on and so have the suicide squad.

Video games seem to be the best influencer for me in this genre and various music videos.  Mostly for me it is visual being translated into a written form and being influenced by the technological styles of a futuristic world and their fashions!  I am not technologically smart and generally I find learning new technologies boring, but if I can find out the basic gist of gadgets and basic jargon I sail through it easily on paper.

Really readers don’t really want to understand the exacting details of how to operate the machinery (or do they?), but they do want to be enthralled about what technology can do and to have innovative ideas in written fictional form to influence massive changes in the world!

For me, cyberpunk is about a world that is relying too much on technology, whilst having a near uniformed but cool fashion sense along with it, but lo and behold it also has a near apocalyptic feel to it, because their world is crumbling down around them, they are so super sapped into technological cyberspace that they have to learn to be primitive again in order to survive – that’s the kind of cyberpunk I love!

Largely I love fashion, so any way at all to get inventive with it in text is a big thing for me, yes I do tend to be a little descriptive of what the characters are wearing, because I have the fashion bug!

I am also a huge cosplay lover, so I love the idea of inventing stuff for my characters in case the stories ever get published and popular!  Because, why not?

Got to have fun right?

Happy reading!

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Summer of cyberpunk potentially

I decided in January that my reading year will contain less non-fiction in an effort to at least read twenty five full-length fiction books instead; this has failed miserably so far, because I am always in research mode. 

So far this year I have read thirty two books and of those there has only been seven books of fiction and five of those were children’s novels or comics, one was a chunky novel of five hundred and twelve pages and the other was an anthology of horror.

Basically I am trying to be like how I used to be, I used to read one or two novels a week with two or three non-fiction books, but in the last decade I haven’t kept to that, due to only having approximately three hours late in the early hours of the night undisturbed for myself. 

My Goodreads goal is fifty two books, I know I will reach my goal a few weeks earlier than the end of the year, but I would be disappointed in myself if I were to reach the end of the year and I hadn’t read at least twenty full sized novels.

So, with that being said I decided last night (Friday) to pick up some old classics I haven’t read before and I have started to read “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” by Philip K. Dick.  I have to say, as a slow reader of fiction, I am only fifteen pages in and it has hooked me already!  But I have attention span problems and fifteen pages take half an hour and I needed a break.  I have never been able to do anymore in more than half hour bursts!

I know the next planned book is not a classic yet, but I know I will need to finish up all the currently reading non-fiction books this month before I get this one from the library “Empire of the vampire” by Jay Kristoff, I heard its some seven hundred pages in length, which at my reading speed of thirty pages a day will take me around three weeks to get through!

Funny, but I read non-fiction faster; I can get through around eighty pages a day on average with non-fiction and still retain a lot of memory about what’s in the book!  I think I over imagine scenes in fiction, that’s what it is!

So, I know that I am currently reading in some seriousness right now “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” by Philip K. Dick, that’s my fiction for the week!  My non-fiction reads for the week are “Danse Macabre” by Stephen King and “The running hare” by John Lewis-Stemple.

I think after Empire of the vampire, around the beginning of July, I will think about picking up some more cyberpunk fiction, not sure what yet, but Snow Crash is kind of calling out to me a bit, I do like mafia characters.

So that’s what I think my reading summer is going to look like!

Happy reading everyone! 

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Pendulum says go comics

A pixabay image

I used my pendulum today to ask which piece of writing I should send off to the publishers first.  I asked about the seven vampire novels I have written, about the fantasy story based on leprechauns, the horror based on a demon down a well, the pirate fantasy, the two giant fantasy novels or the comic/graphic novel idea based on a post-apocalyptic world.  Strangely enough after asking these and knowing there was at least four more ideas I wanted to ask about, the pendulum surprised me with the comic/graphic novel.

The one I was least confident about, the pendulum picked.

Such is the way of the world, huh?

Because the pendulum chose this option, I am now expanding the story idea to make more than just one comic, just in case it told the truth that this idea would be successful enough to warrant publication.

Crazy I know, but the pendulum has never let me down before on major life decisions – in fact, when I have ignored the pendulum, I ignored it at great peril and bad things happened.  Best to just stick with what the pendulum says, for safety sake!

This pendulum has also saved me a tremendous amount of time with potentially stupid ideas.  If I have a new idea, I run it with the pendulum and if it doesn’t think it would do anything in the future, I simply don’t write it and sometimes that can be heart breaking, because I think some of those ideas were absolutely wonderful!  But then again, as the writer, I have no right to the opinion of what is going to be great or not – because as the creator of stories and art, it is quite usual that the things you lack confidence in are popular with the world and those you are most proud of are shunned by it – according to my own experience and the experiences of other writer and artists I have known that is.

P.S I have noted that wordpress has snuck in a way to colour in cut and pasted words now, yay!

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Henry’s take on Dr Strange

My son is getting quite excited about a new movie coming out called ‘Dr Strange’ he is a huge Marvel fan.  I was shocked to discover that Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking the lead role, because I would have thought he’d be too busy for it, but also thrilled at the same time, he is a very talented actor.

He is looking forward to the prospect that other characters from Marvel will be having their own movies in the future that would be suitable for his age; he is six years old.  He wants Elektra, Blade and Dr Octopus.

I will say however, he has never seen Elektra or Blade the current movies, but he knows them from his Trump card collection.  He also knows Elektra from DareDevil the movie, which he watched only last week.

 

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2.5 hours sleep

Having only 2.5 hours sleep last night, I am quite surprised at how my brain is on top form this morning; something that’s been a struggle for over eighteen months now.   I scored 821 points in online scrabble and I’ve written over one thousand words before noon that’s going to be published on my blog, this is a record for me as I tend to linger over one thousand words in a whole day that’s usually utter rubbish and will never be published anywhere.

The post I wrote for my blog will be published on the 8th August so keep an eye out for it as there is something in this post that will be the main theme for that day.

That is…

As a writer I procrastinate profusely because I am overloaded with more ideas that actually knuckling down to work. I get an average of two novel or short story ideas a day and I have over seven large files containing just ideas, some of these ideas have been with me since I was ten years old and they are so vast (as in an epic series) that I can’t actually believe that anyone would actually want to publish all that drivel without severely abridging my work (insert pained expression here).

One of the main reasons why I have been afraid of professional success has been that an editor will come along and say to me; “cut this out and this and this and this” and I will be standing there agape and aghast that they dare think that they are gods of my worlds! Demons of apocalypse, back away from my creations you heinous, cruel, heartless reapers of my poor innocent imaginary friends, BACK AWAY NOW! (Holds up baseball bat in defence of my many worlds). Oh, OK, maybe I can kill a few darlings as Stephen King would suggest in his book “On Writing”, but it will be painful and they will be mourned by no one else except for me. Damn being a writer is depressing.

Anyway, focusing back onto this subject – I’ve tried to force myself to concentrate on one main story for the last few years and you know what? I don’t think my brain can work that way. I think I need to have many stories on the go at once, I know when I used to be like that I was more productive as a whole and I was told by a college lecturer (of GCSE English Literature) that if I want to be a writer I should focus on one story at a time or else I will become confused and so will my readers. Actually thinking back I think this is bullshit because as a writer I do more than just write my work, I actually read my own work too and edit to the best of my ability – so what utter tosh.

Since 2002 I’ve been working on a fantasy comedy based around some drunk leprechauns, I have the beginning, middle and end, but I have got bored with it seven chapters on because of computer faults deleting most of it with corrupt files etc., after four occasions where this happens and you have no hard copies you get a little disheartened with the story and start to wonder if the story is bad luck, don’t you? Well I do.

Anyway, between writing the leprechaun comedy, I’ve been writing snippets for an epic vampire series – something I’ve been working on since I was ten years old, god I love vampires.

The vampire stories will never be neglected, they are always added to at least once a week, even if it’s just a sentence, they will never be forgotten, because to me, they are my family and I will defend these stories the most if I ever feel brave enough to trust them with a publisher.

Over the years, before I started to concentrate on just one or two, I had started two dystopian stories, a comedy about a female wrestler, a comic about a cat, a comic about a sex crazed astronaut nun, a comic about dominant women invading a planet for mates, a crazy millionaire woman who kills herself after committing murder, a novel about a plague survivor, cowboy vampires, and a console addict sucked into a computer world – to name but a few.

Some of those ideas I gave up because I found similar books or movies during the writing of them by accident and was concerned of plagiarism, but having original ideas is difficult – so therefore I may start some of them up again and do them anyway soon.

No matter what genre I write, I don’t think I can help but have some humour in my stories – I would not be at all surprised if I eventually get coined as a crossover author for horror, fantasy and comedy.

I am starting a horror novel today, based on the advice of my husband and the fact that I am enthusiastic about it and it’s fresh in my mind – so, here I go…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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