Book 2!

The second instalment in The Star Plague Journals is now available on Amazon (click the cover image to the left). As mentioned in Sunday’s post, you can only get the Kindle edition for now. Watch this space for the physical edition.

His Staying Hand, out now. Buy it people… šŸ˜‰


Rose tint my world

Very ill husband and busy few weeks at work have kinda robbed me of my time.

To sum up though: Rocky Horror was Fab-U-LOUS! Can’t express enough how much fun we had, though I will admit to being a teensy bit scared when, whilst doing the timewarp, I realised the balcony where our seats were was wobbling noticeable.

Still alive though.

Dressing up was also brilliant. The gold shorts went down a treat (now know how Kylie felt, Spinning Around), though there are (sadly) no photos of the event, as cameras were somewhat in absence (in my case due largely to lack of a place to put one).

In other news, also finished DMC Devil May Cry this morning. As I said to a friend of mine, it pushes all the buttons Supernatural does for me: demons, violence and cute, cute boys. What can I say?

(Worth mentioning that the story – the main reason I play games, aside from the chance they give me to beat stuff up – was well written, and the game play of an excellent standard. Alex Garland knows his stuff. And the whole thing was just so damn pretty! No, I’m not just talking about Dante, either… even had me on the verge of tears at one point, whilst others mad me laugh out loud. Kudos to all involved in its inception.)

So yeah, that’s my fortnight, pretty much. Also finally cracked the Prelude for book two (so pleased about that, it’d been bugging me), and written some quality prose for the main body of the text.

Btw tomorrow (more’s the pity). Off again Sunday though. Hoping to have an art day.

Later people x


Other half’s birthday this week, so there will be a short hiatus in the regular posting schedule whilst I do preparation-type things like present wrapping etc, like a good husband

(‘What regular schedule?!?’ I hear you cry. Yes, well, I think we’re all well aware by now thatĀ erratic should be one of my middle names. All I can say is I will endeavour to impart one post a week for your predilection, but no promises on when it will appear. I’m afraid my life simply doesn’t lend itself to a reliable schedule. Sorry people.)

In lieu of having time to write anything more involved, I’d like to share the following, which anyone who has been by my facebook page recently will have already seen. I drew it last December, in the run up to the release ofĀ The Hobbit, following my reacquaintance with one of John Howe’s pieces of Smaug the Golden. This is not he, but some other golden dragon (no, he’s not from the book I’m writing at the moment either).


Sleeping Gold

Colour me beautiful

So, this weekend just gone was a rare one off for me. Booked with a purpose, as my old housemate had invited me to join him at ‘the Tattoo Tea Party’, at Event City in Manchester. All curious (as I’ve never been to a tattoo event before), I agreed (after some prevarication) to go along. Event City is the conference centre they’ve put up next to the infamous Trafford Centre where I go to play Clark Kent five days a week (complete with glasses!).

They’d set the place up in a series of concentric rings, broken up by a grid of connecting walkways that housed what must have been in excess of three hundred separate stalls. The Ring Master (they had a boxing ring at the centre that hosted ‘Gentleman’s Death Matches’) mentioned on a number of occasions that there were around two hundred and forty (or it might have been fifty) of the countries finest tattoo artists present, showcasing their wares and offering their services. The remaining trade space was taken up by stands selling body jewellery, clothing and kids face painting, amongst other things (I thought that last a nice touch), as well as a group of very bored looking industry suppliers down one side selling ink, guns etc. There were also dodgems at the back, and a couple of cafes that included an ice cream van (genius, given how hot it was in there. Someone had clearly set the thermostat to ‘third circle of Hell). Distinct lack of teas on sale at the cafe however, which disappointed me a little, as I like my gun powder, sencha or lapsang souchong and had been looking forward to being able to tell people I’d had tea at the Tattoo Tea Party.

Sadly not to be.

Still, they did serve a passable americano (the fourth name in this post that the dictionary on here doesn’t recognise. Prize for the first person to guess the other three in comments below…).

The convention itself was amazing – the artwork on show… As I commented to my friend, if I were shameless and had a camera… Some of the pieces were just stunning, both existing, and being done at the time. Two in particular that caught my eye were a young man whose sleeve worked as a storyboard (continuous, no panels) spiralling down his left arm, done in the style of an old fifties sci-fi film (thinkĀ The Forbidden Planet, or the originalĀ The Day the Earth Stood Still), with an army of approaching robots at the top treading the path towards you that then curled about his bicep, perspective shifting back as it dove into the UFO strafed city done across his lower arm.

The second was a woman, wearing a turquoise cocktail dress. Her sleeve featured a number of elements, but the one that stood out for me were the peacock feathers curled about the mid-section, as if they’d been gathered there in a bouquet about her arm. Each one, and indeed the rest of the piece, was picked out in minute detail, with the individual filaments of each feather drawn on as discreet lines, rather than the whole being created as a block of colour. Think pointillism, but with lines rather than dots. I have something similar – a sycamore leaf across my left shoulder – but this rather put mine to shame with the level of detail and the colours involved. Truly, truly stunning to behold.

Anyway, suffice to say it was a brilliant and well spent afternoon, though I did think my old housemate’s head was going to explode at various points from the amount of hot men in attendance. There was one in particular we inadvertently ended up following (honest!) whilst waiting for a friend of ours who was tattooing there to finish up so we could go talk to her. ‘What’s he doing, out on his own, unattended…?’ we wondered, unable to believe someone so beautiful could conceivably be walking around alone.

The words had barely left my mouth, before he reached one of the stands and sat down to chat to his (equally attractive) friend (we had only moments before been ogling him as well), who’s leg piece was just being finished.

C’est (as they say) la vie.

I believe my point here is ‘go to one’ regarding tat conventions, if you’re at all interested, or just like looking at scantily clad hot people. Well worth the money, regardless your intent. The only minor draw back is that if, like me, you’re that way inclined, you will come away wanting more ink.

Today is my day.

So, it’s my birthday today. It was also our first snow of the year here in sunny Manchester (as far as I’m aware).

Have spent the morning redoing the art work for the front cover, whilst catching up with a bit of Being Human (third series), and then the cats ‘helped’ me clean my bike out in the back garden (they went in before it started snowing, leading me to suspect they knew something I didn’t…)

Anyway, I was going to produce something arty and birthday oriented, but haven’t had the chance to sit down and draw properly yet this week, so in lieu of a new piece (and in the best tradition of Tony Hart, one of my childhood heros), here’s one I prepared earlier. Drew it for my next youngest brother Simon’s card this year, as I was getting him a set of H.P Lovecraft’s stories.

Have a good day all x

Cthulhu Birthday Cake