All posts by jameshockley82@gmail.com

Final Thoughts

So, we’ve come to the end of the journey. Or at least a junction. It is time to reflect, and this is what I’ve concluded so far.

I wrote at the start of this series that I considered myself to be a macro reader – i.e. a reader who could gloss over excessive POVs and literary errors. It’s the story that’s important, right? And I want to see as much action as possible in a palatable manner.

It turns out this is bollocks.

I thought I was a macro reader because I was able to read books without seeing the finicky little problems that may exist. But herein lies the bollocks. Now that I know about the problems, I see them everywhere, and they annoy me. So actually, I wasn’t a macro reader at all. I was ignorantly tolerant.

And with my new Deep POV hat on, I can’t be ignorantly tolerant anymore. Certainly not with my own work, and less so with the work of others too. It’s a bit like tasting better beer, or coffee, or whatever. Once you’ve tried the good stuff, you won’t go back.

Continue reading Final Thoughts

Beagle’s Blot 17 | Hoarding the Edge

It was nice to be walking again, and here, the roads were fine.  Finer perhaps than those in Mandaria.  Cobbled, with drainage along each side and a curvature, they really were fine.  We walked amidst a steady flow of traffic.

After a day, we stopped at an inn and bedded down for the night.  I was ordered to change my appearance again, and this time opted to trim my hair right back and shave my beard to stubble.  I actually looked slightly rough I have to say, though my skinny arms rather ruined the effect.

I changed my clothes too, adopting the colourful garb of the local populace.  The land around was undulating and green, great mountains rearing to the north and south.  It appeared that ‘Zon had been built on the western coast at the point of a break in the Spine.  Travel was therefore easy and Hop-Man was walking briskly at my side.

“You called that town Allazon.”

“Aye.”

“I got near-ground for using that name.  I was told in no uncertain terms that the name of the town was ‘Zon.”

“Aye.”

Continue reading Beagle’s Blot 17 | Hoarding the Edge

It’s all in the Timing

It’s time for part eight of the Deep POV implementation experiment. For the past three blogs I’ve been exploring a different ‘error category’ every time, and this week it’s time for the last category. Please step up: Timing issues! The basic premise here is that as human beings we see things in a linear order events – we are slaves to time no less! So if we’re writing prose which is right in the head of the lead character, we also need to write in this linear fashion. Easy right? Well, it’s probably a bit harder than you might think.

As already alluded to, this is part of a series of blogs where I’m applying the principles outlined by Marcy Kennedy in her fantastic book: A Busy Writer’s Guide to Deep POV. The further I go with this, the more I step into line, and it’s absolutely changing both the way I write and also the way I read! Thanks Marcy.
Continue reading It’s all in the Timing

Book Review: Retribution

Book 3 of the Dragonlands Series

By Megg Jensen

Tressa has been broken, but she can still be fixed.  With the help of the Black, she can still be fixed.  But going for help means leaving her friends, and that might not be a good idea.  Then again, leaving also means finding other friends and old acquaintances.  The truth will start to unravel.

For Bastian, he is left holding the friends together as they go searching for the missing eggs.  But on the Isle of Repose, strange things are afoot, and dark forces stir.  Friends become enemies, and even those closest to him harbour dark secrets.  When will Tressa return?

But when she does return, she brings war with her.  The Dragonlands are thrown into chaos when the Red show their hand, and our heroes are at the heart of it.  But Tressa has a bigger part to play than even she knows.  The strange honey is calling…

So, this just got more interesting. This is the third part of Megg Jensen’s Dragonlands series, of which I think there are five. Be in no doubt – the stakes are ratcheted. People die. People who were dead aren’t anymore. There are some serious weirdos about, and the true nature of things is starting to rear its ugly face. Things are getting juicy…

Continue reading Book Review: Retribution

Book Review: Hunted

Book 2 of the Dragonlands Series

By Megg Jensen

Hutton’s Bridge has been freed of the fog, but all is not well. The secrets of the village have now been revealed, and those who would look to gain are gathering.

Tressa, who escaped the fog, rushes to secure the interests of her village. But the residents are gone. To find out where they’ve gone, she seeks the yellow dragon – the Queen of the Sands. On the journey, she is thrown into emotional turmoil. The curiosities run deeper than she can imagine.

And Bastian, Tressa’s long-time love, has his own problems to deal with. His friend, Connor, has been changed, but he is alive which is more than they could have hoped for. Can Bastian coerce Connor into helping search for the missing residents of Hutton’s Bridge? And will they react in time to help Tressa? The lost residents may rely upon it.

This is the second part of Megg Jensen’s Dragonlands series. Here we step onto the wider world, albeit through the eyes of the same characters: Tressa and Bastian. This is a natural extension of the first book, and it steps along the story-path in a natural and intriguing way. If you’ve read the first book, this is worth picking up, especially since it’s free. A good little read.

Continue reading Book Review: Hunted

Beagle’s Blot 16 | Rotting

Time is something I’ve had for a while now, but in here, it is something else entirely.  A whole huge amount of time.  On the roads, or even hopping, the mind is distracted with the act of progression.  In here, there is no progression.  Only time.

Why have I been hauled into the cells?  It really is confounding.  My best guess is that it is to do with the lot of gold I owe a Mahani prince, but does that really deserve such treatment?  I am such a fool.

Continue reading Beagle’s Blot 16 | Rotting

Book Review: The Thief who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye

Book Two of the Amra Thetys Series

By Michael McClung

Amra has enjoyed the quiet life for too long, but that’s about to change. Her long-time companion and master-mage, Holgren, fancies a trip to a long-lost city. Who is she to refuse? He’s done so much for her, so she should really return the favour. And besides. What could possibly go wrong?

But Amra’s life is never that simple, and a straightforward feint and grab turns quickly sour. There are forces at work that she could not begin to comprehend, and the gods are watching too. If she’s going to survive, then she needs to tread carefully. Very carefully indeed.

Well, that was an fantastic second part to a fabulous series.  Amra Thetys really is a likeable rogue, and her adventures here are just as action-packed.  I’m not particularly clear on where the series is going, but the journey is fun so who cares?  Perhaps this wasn’t quite as spectacular as book one, but a great read nonetheless.

Continue reading Book Review: The Thief who Spat in Luck’s Good Eye

Up Close & Personal

It’s time for the latest part of my “implementing Deep POV” blog series. This is the seventh blog in the series, and this one is all about being up close and personal. Too cryptic I hear you say? Okay, this is all about depth issues. Don’t worry, I’ll explain a bit further down. And no, it’s not about being out of one’s depth. I’m definitely out of my depth, but I’m ploughing on regardless.

Now, in case it wasn’t obvious, this is part of a series of blogs where I’m applying the principles outlined by Marcy Kennedy in her fantastic book: A Busy Writer’s Guide to Deep POV. I’ve been through lots already, and if you missed it, you can find out more below.
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Book Review: Champion

Book three of the Sanctuary Series

By Robert J Crane

Sanctuary’s reputation has grown over time, led by the human General, Cyrus Davidon.  But it is Vara, another officer with a curious prophecy attached to her, who stirs the most interest.  She is targeted by a group of assassins, and is forced to flee home.

Back in the Elven kingdom, Cyrus fights to keep Vara safe.  And in the hostile familial atmosphere, they may actually come to accept each other for who they are.  But the world is a place of war, and that war comes to their doorstep.  Will Cyrus and Vara still accept all they have been through once the fighting is done?

This is the third instalment of the Sanctuary series, and it is the strongest book so far.  Great!  The plot itself is more noble, and we are starting to scratch beneath the surface of this world that has been created.  This is a meatier book than the previous two, and perhaps a little fatty too, but it develops nicely and leads us tantalisingly into the rest of the series.

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Author Newsletter: June 2017

So, it’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these. January in fact. What’s new? Well, it’s been a pretty busy first six months of the year, and here are the highlights:

  • My little family grew by one: a little girl!
  • A complete re-write of ‘Fear’s Union’. In fact, it’s so different, it won’t even be called Fear’s Union. A new series is born (and sadly, the old series is being retired before it gets going);
  • A complete second edit of a ‘romantic comedy’ tentatively titled ‘Destination Happiness’.
  • A personal ‘re-brand’. My deep-POV analysis is complete, and I like it! I am now officially a deep-POV writer.
  • And loads of research for my fantasy series.

So, without further ado, this is what’s in the newsletter:

  1. What’s all this deep-POV nonsense?
  2. Where’s this romantic comedy come from?
  3. What’s happened to Fear’s Union?
  4. What happened to Dark Side of the Stone?
  5. And what can I expect to see in the future?

Continue reading Author Newsletter: June 2017