Updates

What’s Becca Up To Now?

Since I’m currently running around busy with Real Life things at the moment, I thought I should stop by and give a brief update on what’s going on in my writing life right now.

Firstly, the new Freyda and Dóma short story (Sweetness and Shadows) is about to go through some edits, before being posted very soon. I’d love to say this Saturday (9th), but as time is currently messing me about, I’ll say definitely no later than the 13th August. As it turned out a little longer than I anticipated (when don’t my stories do that these days?) I’ll possibly need to split into a couple of entries. Don’t worry, though, I’ll add it all at once so you don’t have to wait.

Secondly, I’m also about to start work on re-editing Orion’s Kiss. I already have a new cover for it, to match Unbound and Free, so all it needs is a quick polish and it’ll go live everywhere. I know Kindle automatically updates (unless you’ve switched off that setting), but I think if you bought it through Smashwords you’ll possibly need to redownload it. As for everywhere else, I’ve no clue. I shall investigate before I post it and get back to you on that.

Thirdly, writing-wise I have this week just started my next story. This’ll be a freebie ebook (like Sing to Me) and it’ll focus on two characters from the Demero tales. It’ll be another romance, but M/F this time, and still set in the way-back-when.

Other than that I’m mostly mulling over ideas. I’ll see how the first of the Freyda/Dóma freebie tales goes, then I might write a couple more. I could probably add some drabbles while I’m about it, and I’d like to write a few “Further Adventures of Shaiel and Demero” at some point too. I’ve also got a photo post I want to make about a couple of the locations that cropped up in Unbound and Free, as well as a new author photo to add somewhere, somewhen. So many ideas, so little time.

As always, got anything to ask, say, add etc, then comment away, my lovelies! (Or if you’re shy, email me instead.)

ETA: New photo on the About page and at Smashwords. I’ve also finally got around to building author pages on Amazon.com and co.uk. Yeah, yeah, I’m so quick at these things…

Books, Writing

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

 

Researching Demero’s stories, mostly.

ResearchMissing from this picture are:

  • The South-West to AD1000 (A Regional History of England) – Malcolm Todd
  • The Celts: A Very Short Introduction – Barry Cunliffe
  • Britain Begins – Barry Cunliffe

The map the books are on is the brilliant Ordnance Survey’s Historial Map of Ancient Britain, showing Devon and Cornwall there as the old Iron Age kingdom of the Dumnonii.

So far over the last two and a bit weeks I’ve read Britain BC and Britain AD both by Francis Pryor, The History of Ancient Britain by Neil Oliver, and The Celts, I’m currently part-way through the other Barry Cunliffe book, and I’ve abandoned The Druids. I’ve had that book for years, and I couldn’t remember why I abandoned it last time. I remember now – it’s so boring.

I really enjoyed Neil Oliver’s book, but I had mixed feelings about Francis Pryor’s two. Britain BC is good to begin with, but as it goes on the focus narrows increasingly onto the East Anglia/South-East area of England. I know that’s his personal patch, and he’s been working on Flag Fen for thirty years, but it got really irritating. He also has a few hobby-horses (a fully egalitarian society would be a lovely thing, though unlikely considering human nature, but you can’t make it so just by cherry-picking your sources), and has a tendency to excessively belabour certain points. That was made painfully obvious in Britain AD where he went on and on and on about how there was never an Anglo-Saxon invasion. That’s great everything, but he really didn’t need to bang on about it in every chapter. Also, not impressed with his coverage of the South-West in either volume (half a page on the Dartmoor Reaves, which even he acknowledged are the best preserved in Europe – this was after twenty-odd pages on Flag Fen), which showed up particularly badly in AD when the main thrust of the chapter supposedly about the South-West seemed centred on the mid-Welsh border. Great, because he didn’t really write much about Wales (in a book subtitled A Quest for Arthur, Anglo-Saxons and England, that’s pretty poor), but bad because it isn’t remotely south, and only just about west!

Sure, Oliver had a slight Scottish bias, but that’s understandable and his range of case studies made it fully understandable. His writing was more engaging too. Basically I just enjoyed reading it (and probably learned more, especially when he spent more than a few pages in the actual South-West).

The Celts was a bit dull, and I’m so far struggling with the other Barry Cunliffe book, but that’s because it’s covering much of the same ground as The Celts (and I’ve only read the first chapter). I’m pretty sure it’ll improve, especially as this man is one of the leading experts on the Iron Age, so I’m hoping for lots of good information. It’s also from 2011 (Kindle edition from 2013), so it’s pretty up-to-date too. (Pryor’s books were from early 2000s, so he was missing some of the important and more recent discoveries, but he probably would have ignored them in favour of pushing his idea of no elites and a big ol’ communal living Bronze Age.)

Unsurprisingly, in terms of what I need, the Malcolm Todd book has been the best, but it’s from the 1980s, so I can feel the time-lag. Still, at least it gives me a proper sense of what was going around here at the time I need. The book I’m really expecting to fill in my gaping gaps of knowledge for Demero’s tales is Surviving the Iron Age, but I’m saving it for last. I’ve already learned that chickens are a no-no, so that needs taking out. I was going to have a little bit about oysters, but though they had been eaten here before, apparently around the Roman times the locals had gone off them again.

Urgh. This is why I write most of my fantasy in other, made-up worlds. It’s only the Aekhartain who can do this to me and get away with it. I much prefer worlds where I control the rate of progress, the supply of livestock and advances in architecture and fashion. Okay, so this is mostly because I’m too lazy to research, but I’ve been getting away with it for ages now. Trust Demero to haul me back into line. I dread the day when I finally turn my attention back to Shaiel’s tale. Icarus Child is the biggest of the Aekh tales (about 150K) and it’s going to be a nightmare to tidy up.

Which is why I’m not doing it yet. Demero and Nawaquí should be practise enough for the meantime. And I did discover some interesting facts about Viking raids in this area just the other day. I’m sensing Nawaquí’s tale at least is going to be much more interesting this time around.

Oh well, back to the research grindstone. At least I have a pretty map to drool over, and all kinds of Bronze Age excursions to plan. And the sun is shining, the sky is blue, spring is springing. Happy days!

Uncategorized

Stars of the Dawn Chorus

Finding myself awake at half-three this morning I decided to see what the sky was like. With a gibbous moon glowing brightly to the north-west and clouds boiling up in the west sadly there was no Orion to be seen. No Sirius either, or Procyon, or even bright Jupiter. Instead the sparkly Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, were winking just below the house eaves to the south.

So I made a wish, because I can’t look up at the stars and not make a wish.

Then, as I leant on my chilly windowsill staring out of my open window, listening to the pweeting of the oyster catchers feeding on the low tide in the estuary, I heard a very familiar noise. A blackbird, singing the dawn chorus at half-three in February.

I know the weather so far this year is messed up and Spring seems to be marching forward at an advanced rate, but part of me also hoped it meant Freyda approved of her story.

So thank you for the serenade, Carroll. I hope your territory is and remains well protected.

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Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to my Blog. I’ve had other blogs before, but this is the first time I’m writing one in a semi-professional way, so bear with me, please ^__^

I’m currently in the process of publishing my first book, Orion’s Kiss, which is a scary and exciting prospect all in one. At the moment it’s on Amazon going through the clearing process. Next up will be a Smashwords release. I’ll announce both properly here once they’re ready.

For everything else it’s just a matter of waiting.

But since that’s boring, here’s a list of things I hope to put up on this blog over the next few days:

  • Official Release Post, complete with links, cover, blurb and other related mumblings.
  • A Deleted Scene, taking from Impossible Things, featuring Shaiel and Maskai.
  • A List of Who’s Next: I have a lot of stories to retell, and at the moment the schedule is fairly fluid. Are you a previous reader? Do you have a certain story to root for? Come and tell me about it.
  • Reviews and Reviewers: The Shameless Begging Post – which pretty much says it all.
  • Drabbles: I’ll explain a little about my Drabble-a-Day challenge and offer up a few Aekhartain examples.
  • Aekh Profiles: I’ll probably try and do these once a month or so, introducing the various characters and hopefully whetting your appetite for more.
  • Beyond the Aekhartain: They’re not all I write about, honest. Even if it sometimes feels that way…

So that’s what’s still to come. Which will all hopefully be more interesting than this post. Then again I had to start somewhere.

To end, I’ll merely say, Welcome to the Immortal World of the Aekhartain. I hope you’ll stick around and find even more reasons to stay.