Author Bio

And so to vanity … More along the lines of self promotion, marketing and the like, I have drafted up a new version of my author bio. Yes I know, how pretentious of me! But I have been informed by reliable sources that, unfortunately or not, a dash of megalomania in ones personality is a bit of a must for the struggling indie writer these days.

Anyways, here it is. Opinions?

‘The first story I ever wrote was entitled ‘The Stagecoach Robbery’. I was six. It was illustrated too, with colour drawings of the masked bandits with bags of loot in their hands in particular. I made it into a little book, complete with a green cardboard cover. I’m  pretty sure my mother has it tucked away somewhere.

After that I remember watching ‘Alien’, directed by Ridley Scott, and then embarking on the writing of my own alien story. This was done entirely on an electric typewriter, for which I was given short permission to use, including thin and special (to me at the time!) typewriter paper. I put these stories in a blue folder and logged them away on a shelf … These would be some of the last stories I would write for many years. That is, until a young English boy named Harry came into my preview.

Before Harry I turned my hand at short stories and screenplays in grade eleven and twelve, as part of English, Creative Writing and Film Studies courses I was undertaking at school. I didn’t find that schooling did me any good in terms of writing, so I set out to live a little in the interim, with hopes that experience mixed with imagination might be a better teacher.

Thus ensued a move away from home, and travel and life and work in Europe. During the early days of this time I wrote little, but for one idea I had formed in my head before setting sail from the Southern Hemisphere. This idea involved many things, but paramount was a young boy, not too unlike me, who could see the monsters that there were in the world, but which no one else could see … Or so he thought.

Through this decade as an adventurer, I took on many jobs within the world of Education, teaching and fostering and mentoring and caring for children of all ages and in many different environments. When I wasn’t battling the little blighters, Ewan was duelling with monsters, and over a roughly ten year period, Ewan Pendle the book series was planned out, and Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith the book was written. 

If Ewan Pendle feels a little bit like Harry Potter, then that’s because it’s supposed to. I started writing this particular tale in part because I had the scull-knocking realisation, as I waited in line outside my local book store (FIRST in line mind you) for The Order of the Phoenix, that one day not too far in the future it would all end. Hogwarts would be gone. Or at least, any new tales of it would stop. I wrote Ewan Pendle because I wanted the best of what inspired me within Harry Potter to live on, and I wanted to have a world like that to still be able to escape into when I wanted. The thought of anyone else reading this new story of mine, however, was not a first, second or even thirty-third thought. Ewan Pendle was for me. A world to live in which didn’t include the worry about paying the bills or getting a ‘real’ job. But sooner my thoughts also turned to what I could do with the story. And as I worked hard each day to make a difference in young people’s lives, I thought about what kind of difference Ewan might be able to make to their days also.

The idea with Ewan was to create the kind of wonder, the kind of magical escape, which I myself felt when I first lay eyes on Hogwarts. I’ll never forget the first time I walked through those doors … And if I could do that, be the one to inspire that kind of feeling in just one other person, just one other child. Well, then it would all be worth it. If I could give to just one kid, one teenager, one adult or anyONE the escape from the dirty reality, just like I was encountering at the time I read about Harry, and give them a little time in a place where all that worries and scares and imposes is forgotten … Then that would truely be a book, and indeed hopefully books, worth writing.

So … What does anyone think? SH.

Marketing Monday

Ohhh. Themed post. Maybe even once a week? Well, let’s see how long this lasts … And to marketing. I hate it, if I’m honest. I mean, really, if you were forced to think about it, who wants to spend their time brushing up on SEO rather than getting lost in writing your stories?

But alas, at this point, the point many indie authors find themselves, self promotion and self marketing of ones work can not be avoided. In fact, in this day and digital age, it’s essential.

So, if you’re an author, how do you do it? What little things have you discovered to help get the word out there? And if you’re a reader, what little things would make you take notice of a new book? And almost more importantly, what would turn you off one? SH.

The Red Chapter

Today marks the first day, in some time, including dedicated session writing towards the sequel to Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. This meant more than just jotting down ideas as they come in the general flow of work during the day, but a concerted allocation of time to concentrate on the characters and ideas of Ewan’s story.

This also sparked the idea for a new chapter title. And as well as that, the scene which begins the rollercoaster of said part to the book. Although I’d love to let slip a little sneak look from this new tale within the tale, I am still of the belief that no one should really see a story until it’s finished. This isn’t to say I wouldn’t talk about a book before it were complete, far from it. But to detail the exact words from the page before the ink has even been laid down onto paper is not a concept I’m a great fan of.

And how long will any of you have to wait for a second instalment? That too is a closely guarded secret. But one, I am pleased to say, will not be held behind bars for much longer … SH.

 

 

Realease Date

I feel I may have mislead you. The title of this entry is more to do with what is being talked about, rather than what is being revealed …

The release date I speak of is the follow up to Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. As I mentioned in my previous post, although still being early days in terms of response and feedback for the book, so far there has been much encouragement. And as well as that, calls for the next instalment.

In actuality, this is a tricky concept.

Being as exposure, and therefore wider popularity, for Ewan Pendle is as yet low, the time I am able to take away from other pursuits of mine (namely those which pay the inevitable and unavoidable bills every month), is low too. However, despite this, I am determined to use whatever time left over I have to push on with the next instalment of Ewan, Enid and Mathilde’s adventures.

All of this leads to my new goal, which is to commit to announcing a release date for the second book in the series. The writing has begun, and I even have a (working) title for the book. But the main empetis this month of July is to really look at pinning down a time frame for when I hope it will be possible to have a publishable manuscript complete.

As they say, watch this space … SH.

Review Snippet

So far, although early days, I have been humbled and grateful for the kind words spoken about Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. One of my favourite little review snippets has been this …

‘I loved this book. I was a huge Harry Potter fan (and my 9-year-old son is a huge fan) and I was a bit disappointed when the series ended. All other books that were written in a similar fashion to Harry Potter, I found boring and unoriginal. That is until Shaun approached me to review Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. I was instantly transported to a world, while similar to Harry Potter in ways, it was also very original.’

Not too sure I can add much more, but this kind of comment lets me think, however airy maybe, that I am getting at least close to hitting the nail on the head. First and foremost I wrote Ewan Pendle for me. But secondly, and just as importantly, I wrote it for people who fell like I do, who want to be enveloped in a world where life seems just that bit more wondrous. I hope I can continue this, and with ‘The White Wraith’ and subsequent books, bring to people an enjoyable escape through an transporting read. SH.

 

Dear Readers

Dear readers, as I cast my eyes out across the steel tipped horizon I think of naught else but steering on with what is set before me. The city seems to heave so much sometimes that it fires toward one such distractions which do their best to lay baited hooks in my flesh. But nay, dear readers, do I let those tantalising tentacles touch my skin.

In short – I write on.

I must tell you all, one day, of the warm afternoon I spent on a hill watching a bull fight in the south of Spain. Or the time I was followed by agents unknown at 2am along the rain soaked streets of Paris. But these and many, many more like them are recounts of memory for another blog post.

Right now I write on within a more fantastical story. A story that didn’t happen to me personally, but to a young (but getting less younger by the day) boy named Ewan Pendle … Toodle pip. SH.

World Building with a Shovel

Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith was, in some ways, a hard task to write. Although mostly thoroughly exhilarating, I chose to form a complicated storyline in order to develop the intricacies of the world.

And that’s where the ‘hard task’ comes in.

In order to make it all work, I had to write just as much as the book itself contains (word count wise at least) in notes about how what happened in book one related to everything which would take place later on. It’s a moving train in essence, but anytime you want to create a new world there are a number of things which need to be done in the first part of your story. There are ‘laws’ to be laid down, rules to be set, that without you run yourself the risk of tripping over later in the series.

As more reviews for Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith come out, I can slowly see a few people picking up on the clues and detail sewn into the fabric of the first book in this series. I know a lot of them won’t make a large amount of sense now (well, maybe to those clever enough :P), but I hope the pieces will drop more firmly into place for people as the story continues.

I might go into the whole process of creating the world of Ewan, the White Wraith, Creatures and Lenitnes further on down the track, for anyone who’s interested. But for now I need to grab the shovel again, get some good old fashioned spit on my hands, and throw that heavy digging tool towards the soil once again … After all, BOOK TWO isn’t going to write itself. SH.