The Witcher Short Stories Review

So far I’ve read the two books containing the Witcher short stories; ‘The Last Wish’ and ‘Sword of Destiny’. I’ve also watched the first season of the Netflix series, which is the reason I bought the books in the first place. I quite enjoy the short stories in these two novels. Going on different adventures, and fighting different monsters, all rather self-contained, but also feeding into the larger story.

As I watched the TV show first I initially found it a little confusing, as I wasn’t yet familiar with the Witcher series. It took me awhile to realise it was going back and forth in time, and what the rules of the world were. However I didn’t mind. I don’t like info dumps, but prefer when a show gives you the chance to work out what is happening, giving you enough information to eventually put things together, but not dumping it straight in your lap. The books I found a little easier to understand what is happening. This is mostly as the books are, well, books, and contain a lot more information.

Biggest one of these for me was understanding The Law of Surprise, and how this relates to Witchers, and why Geralt actually called on it (apparently this is how they get more Witchers). It didn’t seem quite so clear in the TV series what he wanted a kid for. In fact he seemed downright petrified when he realised that was what he was going to get. I’m going to go with they’ve changed a few things in the TV series, and he didn’t actually expect to get a kid. To be honest, I was a little weirded out by him ending up with a girl so much younger than him, as I’d assumed this was some creepy marriage thing. It’s much clearer in the books that this is either to get more children to be Witchers (which truth be told actually sounds worse, as you could either end up a Witcher, or die from your eyeballs exploding), or , as it seems to be playing out, he ends up adopting her as his child.

I like where this series goes with the monsters not always being monsters. And sometimes humans being the biggest monsters of them all. Also humans taking over, no longer needing Witchers to drive the monsters out as they have become so capable of doing so themselves.

The books are a bit more violent and gritty than the TV series. I really enjoyed them and I’m going to get myself the rest of the series once I get a chance. If you’ve watched the Neflix series and enjoyed I would definitely recommend read the books.

Dracula Book Review

I’ve decided to start doing book reviews on my blog. I’ve been getting a lot of reading done recently, mostly due to isolation, and also being made redundant from work late last year. I’m planning to get my writing, books, and blog back up off the ground. Although, I am also hoping I can get myself a fulltime job as a mechanical engineer again. Here’s hoping!

The most recent book I’ve read is the classic Dracula, by Bram Stoker. I finally picked up an unabridged copy. The last time I tried to read Dracula was as a teenager, and I realised about halfway through reading the copy I’d obtained from my local library that this was not the complete book. I have since had it in the back of my mind to read the full version when I had the chance. Years later, I have finally done so. However now that I’ve finished reading it I completely understand why this has been abridged.

Dracula is pretty long, and I found it a little rambling. The characters seem to take ages to get anything done. I suppose one does tend to ramble when writing in your diary, which virtually the entirety of the book consists of. I feel sorry for poor Mina, who had to type out everyone’s diary entries, so the rest of the vampire hunting party can read them and all be on the same page/s.

I did find it frustrating that the characters wailed and angsted for pages when they found out someone had the potential to become a vampire, or someone died, or they may have to violently stake someone they care about. I’m not a huge fan of excessive angst, although I quite enjoy is in small doses. I’m not sure if this was how things were written at the time or if even the original modern vampire novel was far too angsty.

I found myself fluctuating around being frustrated with how the women were written. Initially, there’s a whole pile of fluff and bother about allowing Mina to continue (once she’s done everyones typing of course!) being in on the discussions on how they plan to take down Dracula. Apparently her constitution cannot handle it. Ironically, this leads to everyone being unaware that Dracula has started sucking her blood at night. Why no one twigs as to the reason she’s looking a little pale of a morning I can’t understand, and perhaps the part of the book I found the most frustrating. Eventually though, she ends up coming with them to Transylvania, and is a fairly integral part of chasing down Dracula before he is able to reach the safety of his home ground.

My favorite part is the first bit of the book, where Jonathan Harker is stuck in Castle Dracula, having the wits scared out of him. Diary entries work well for this as we basically see Jonathan slowly freaking out, wondering if he’s actually crazy or in some serious trouble. I also enjoyed reading Lucy being slowly sucked dry. It was probably the difference between most of the recent vampire books/shows which have people violently attacked and quickly sucked dry in one meal that I liked best. The slow, unexplainable draining over a period of weeks, not knowing the cause, is creepy.

The best thing about this book is that now I’ve actually read it. The copy I bought was a fairly good looking hardcopy, so it’ll look very nice sitting on my bookshelf among my other classics. Overall, if you’re looking to read Dracula, and really have your heart set on doing so, go ahead. It is worth the read if this is something you’ve been meaning to do. Just be aware some parts might be a bit of a slog!


Writing Prompt #5

“My skills are exceptional!”

“… more like excremental.”

Writing Prompt # 5

Another writing prompt! (Also, I’m not dead! Just been busy working on a novel, and learning how to get published.)

Control Now Available for Purchase!

Hi everyone!

My science fiction novel, Control, is now available for purchase through the IP store.

Find it here.

You’ll be able to purchase a paperback version from the store. You can also purchase an ebook version. This is available in pdf, ePub and mobi versions.

I’m also looking at selling some signed paperback versions through my Facebook page. Once I work out how Facebook stores work! I’ll keep you updated on the progress of that.

I’m really excited. Thanks to everyone who helped with version 1 (the self published version) – whether it was leaving reviews, or just purchasing and reading. I really appreciate it, and it has helped both with getting a publishing house to accept the novel, and in my own development as a writer. Thanks guys!

I got my book into a bookstore!

So, I’ve got 100 hard copies of my novel that I needed to figure out how to sell. Today, I decided to go around and harass some of the independent bookstores in Townsville and see if they would stock it for me.

There’s a comic book store at Warrina complex that sells comic books and sci fi/fantasy books. It’s Nova Comics, and now they are also stocking my novel. 😀

That’s an actual bookstore shelf!

I was also able to get one other bookstore to take a copy of my book, to see if it would be suitable for them to sell, and they’ve said they’ll be getting back to me. So, I’m pretty happy with what I accomplished today. With any luck I can get the book into a few more stores. 😀

I got copies of my books!

I recently announced that I got a publishing deal.

Well, now I’ve got hard copies of my book to sell. So, so many. Well, a hundred. And that’s more books than I’ve ever had (you know, of the one book…) and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with them.

And there’s two more boxes. o_O

I plan to sell some of these over my Facebook page, at least in Australia. I don’t know how this will work just yet, but will let everyone know as soon as I have prices and delivery options worked out. For people who actually know me in Townsville, come and bug me and I can give you a copy for cash. 😉 And I’ll sign any of the copies I send out too. You know, in case that’s actually worth something someday.

The book is also available on Amazon.

‘Control’ is my first novel. A science fiction/dystopian set in a world with airships and shapeshifting robots, and where people can control machinery with their minds. If you’re interested, you can find out more information here.

I completed Nanowrimo 2016.

I completed my 50,000 words for Nanowrimo!

The story I wrote was about superheroes. I’m honestly still not quite sure where this fits genre-wise. I’m guessing somewhere in fantasy and/or science fiction, and probably young adult. Either way, it’s been fun to write, and I estimate it’s got about 20-30k words over the 50k to go to completion. So I’m going to (try!) and keep writing until I get to the end.

If it turns out well, I’m thinking I’ll write a series. I had a lot of fun creating superpowers and heroes/villains, and backstories. I’ve created a page for the story, which you can find here, if you want to find out more about it.

So, how did you go for Nanowrimo this year, if you participated? Leave me a comment, and I’d love to check out your page. I’m keen to meet and follow more writers on the site, especially if you also went through the hell/rapture of Nano. 🙂

I’ve got a publishing deal!

With these guys.

This is for my first self-published book, Control, which they will be releasing in its second edition. It will be available in both ebook and paperback formats. As you can guess, I’m pretty excited. I’m hoping that doing it this way, as opposed to self-publishing, will mean I get more access to book stores and other distribution channels. Also, I don’t have to do everything myself.

The paperback edition is available here. It will be released in other places too; this is currently looking like it’s going to happen at the end of year/start of next year. I will keep you posted as to where and when it’s available.

Important thing to note: Yes, this is a second edition. So there have been changes to some of the story. Most were minor. The only big one was that I didn’t kill one of the characters, who died in the first edition. Apparently, killing off too many characters is depressing, and I killed a few so… oops. Sorry guys!

Here’s hoping it does well. 😀

New Website Page – WIPs

I’ve just added a new page to the website, where you can check out the stories I’m currently working on.

I intend to keep this updated with the whatever I’m working on, as well as any links to that story’s associated material (Pinterest inspiration boards, any excerpts I’ve posted, etc).

I’ll use the blog to keep everyone updated as well, but this page should provide a nice easy place to navigate to if you’re looking to find out what I’m working on quickly.

Check it out here. And let me know what you think. 🙂