Tag Archive: inspiration

My good friend, Laurence O’Bryan is reknowned as a puzzle master. Read his first book ‘The Istanbul Puzzle’ to find out. Recently I asked Laurence (or LOB as I call him) about using puzzles within his novels. He offered to write my a guest post about it.

In my mystery novel, The Istanbul Puzzle, Sean and Isabel discover a clue early on, a photograph of a mosaic. The mosaic is similar to the iconic Christian images of the Virgin & Child that are so well known all around the world. Here is an example from the Louvre museum in Paris. This is a copper plate believed to have been “taken” from Constantinople in 1204. “Looted” is probably what they meant:

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I have only met Trent recently through a mutual friend of Martin Reaves.  Martin has done an interview with me and mentioned Trent Zelazny.  So I did a little investigating and found this Trent Zelazny, only to be amazed by what I found.

Trent is son of Roger Zelazny.  For me this was a bit of a big deal, as I enjoyed the Amber Chronicles.  What was more amazing, to me, was the sheer fact that Trent had lived through the loss of his girlfriend, which Trent will talk about more later.

I sent Trent my standard questions, but with the proviso that I could ask him some tougher questions (of which you will see later).  trent was very open about his past and did not knock back any of my questions, answering them overnight.

I will add to this before I let Trent have a go.  There are some great authors out there talking about Trent and how good he is.  To drop just two names here – Neil Gaiman and Joe R. Lansdale.

A little warning as well.  This post is over 3,500 words long, but more than worth the effort.

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Is there anyone who has helped or mentored you in your writing career? If so, who?

Now this is a fertile field for study.   I would lump these folks into three categories.

First, I would like to comment on those folks who helped me by virtue of how I fell in love with their work.  I have mentioned in other places that my love of SF started in childhood.  I suspect that is one reason my approach to it is a very visual one.  I shivered as I watched Johnny Quest evade the howling invisible monster, or Tobor the Eigthman, Astroboy and Marineboy battle futuristic enemies.  I watched Fireball 5 hurtle down the skids to her missions in space.  Anime inspired me because where the American SF material was simplistic and exterior driven, the Japanese anime characters had family conflicts, personal tragedy and emotional turmoil.  The young officer might not worship his “Captain Kirk” but rather as Derek Wildstar did, might reject Captain Argo’s authority.  A whole emotional level of loss, longing and love existed as subtext largely, if not entirely, absent from the American material.

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Michael K. Rose is a good friend who writes some great science fiction in the Sullivan’s War series. He is also on the epic task of writing 12 novels in 12 months. His first month was a great success with the completion of Sullivan’s Wrath.

Michael is also an avid supporter of authors rights and leads the charge to make the reviewing process fair and believable – a position I also support and condone.

Here is Michael in his own words.
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Dean Mayes and I met virtually on Twitter realising we shared Gippsland.  Dean comes from here and I now live here.  After that, we got to talking and he mentioned he has a new book coming up.  So I offered to do an interview to celebrate.

Dean releases of his second book today.  It is called ‘Gifts of the Peramagk’ through Central Avenue Publishing.  This post is one of two for Dean today, with the second being an excerpt from his highly anticipated novel.

Here is a bit of a blurb about it:  Set across two time periods in the harsh Australian outback and the struggle streets of Adelaide’s northern suburban fringe, Gifts of the Peramangk chronicles the incredible journey of an Aboriginal girl with an incredible and prodigious gift. In 1950s Australia, during the height of the divisive White Australia Policy, Virginia, a young Aboriginal girl is taken from her home and…

family and put to work on an isolated, outback station, in the cruelest of conditions. Her only solace: the violin, taught to her in secret by a kind-hearted white woman – the wife of the abusive station owner. However, Virginia’s prodigious musical gift cannot save her from years of hardship, abuse, and racism. Decades later, her eight year old granddaughter, Ruby, plays the violin with a passion Virginia once possessed. Amidst abject poverty, domestic violence and social dysfunction, Ruby escapes her circumstance through her practice, with her grandmother’s frail, guiding hand. Ruby’s zeal attracts the attention of an enigmatic music professor, and with his help, Ruby embarks on an incredible journey of musical discovery that will culminate in a once in a life time chance for a brighter future. But with two cultural worlds colliding, her gift and her ambition will be threatened by deeply ingrained distrust, family jealousies and tragic secrets that will define her very identity.
And now on to the interview:

Christina Worrell is a multi-genre author of both prose and poetry.  It is fascinating stuff to read.  I offered Christina Worell an interview after her recent book release, which she readily agreed to.

Here’s a thing you may not know about Christina.  She has a son, nicknamed Super D, who has autism and ADHD.  He wants to grow up to be a super hero, which I think is a grand ambition and one he should be able to achieve.  Christina accepts donations for Super D through her webite, but is also running an Autism Auction right now.  https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/440316396014195/  Please check it out and help if you can.

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Kevin J Anderson is someone I would like to meet.  I have spoken numerous times now and have only found incredibly generous with his time and advice.  This amazes me given the amount of writing he does in the meantime.  If I ever do make it over to America, I will definitely be asked him!  Kevin, did you hear that?

I asked him once how many words he thinks he would do.  His answer was without boast.  All it said was ‘About 100000 words a month, especially in first draft.’  He shares his techniques with his people, including how he marketed the Terra Incognita trilogy to publishers – with the actual outline.

On another ocassion, Kevin sent out an email to his mail list saying that he had just found a box of old novels which were taking up room.  Would any of his American readers like a copy?  I bet the response was huge!!  But I tweeted that I was in Australia and was unhappy I had to miss out.  Kevin contacted me directly and told me he would find a way to fix it.  He did, and not only did I got one X-Files novels, I got three plus some other goodies.

Just as a little aside – I remember hearing about Kevin and Brian attempting to finish the Dune series by Frank Herbert and was sceptical as was almost everybody else.  I have read them now – each and every one of them and I know that Frank would be proud of their effort.

This is one author that understands his fans.  I am proud to introduce Kevin J Anderson to you.

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I found Maria Hammarblad when I went looking for science fiction authors to read.  Her books popped up everywhere.  So I approached her for an interview and she immediately said yes, but then she pulled a fast one on me and asked me if I would do an interview for her blog.

Maria has the honour of being the first blogger to ask me for an author interview.  Mind you, it took me many weeks to get the answers back to her.  In fact, knowing I was publishing her interview today made me go back to her questions and actually get it done.

So, here’s her interview!

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Firstly, let me say that Michelle Gent is awesome. Not only does she write horror books at a rapid rate, she is also editor of the Awesome online magazine. You want horror, then their magazine has it in spades.  Here she is in all her wonderful goriness!

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Tad Williams is one of my fantasy heroes.  Every book is different and his new series, starting with The Dirty Streets of Heaven, is no different.  I have read it and loved it.  I know that Tad has just finished writing book 2 but I want it already.  I cannot tell you how awesome the book really is, you need to read it.  But it is!  The early reviews are amazing.  Publisher’s Weekly, the big trade publication, gave it a starred review.  There is also this from sfbookreview.com, which is very pertinent:

Williams has managed to create something really special with The Dirty Streets of Heaven that manages to breathe new life into the urban fantasy genre while at the same time retaining that magic of his earlier novels, an incredible start to a promising series.

I was lucky enough to ask Tad some questions on the writing process for The Dirty Streets of Heaven, but have saved it for the release date of the book.  So here it is:

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