Treecreeper

treecreeper (2)

Near invisible
Movement reveals its presence
Nature guards her own

treecreeper (1)

 

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Imbolc with Mister Fox

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The Silver Fox banished the night-dark wings of Crow and called forth flame from the night. Holding aloft the staff one final time, the fire leaped magically to light the banner…

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The crowd came closer, seeking the light and warmth of the braziers, called by the music…and strangely garbed… And behind them, the victorious Giant… the Green Man…

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As the flames grew, we saw that another of his kind held the banner…and in the shadows the Foxes prowled, waiting their chance to regain their place…

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…for here, the snow-faced dogs of winter still held sway. But not for long… the drums and pipes called to the Foxes…

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…and the battle was joined, red and white, as the flames leaped and the rain fell… But the Green Man looked on… his was the victory this night.

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The drums marked their footsteps and every blow and feint… a deep heartbeat, the cadence of the earth itself…as the pipes played the dance…

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Then came the challenge… As the Old Dog strutted in arrogance, a flash of green broke the night and, as if materialising from the hope of spring, Young Fox appeared…

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Matched and mirrored they dance in the dark… the Dog tires, beaten by the youth of the Fox and the spring in his step… and the Dog slinks away to lick his wounds, which Young Fox claims his rightful place at the centre of the Foxes…

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They dance the victory… a story mirrored in the land and the stars of the night sky.. a story older than time… danced to a tune forgotten by Man, yet which runs as deep in the blood as ever it did…

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We watch, breathless… smiling… dancing with the beat of the drum…storing up the music to carry away with us as the dance ends with a final flourish and the Foxes fade into the night… Until next time….

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Want to know more about Charles James Fox and the mysterious Red Book of Langsett? Visit Mr Fox’s Earth… or join us in April when it is rumoured that the Foxes will dance for the Foliate Man… or…

demon dogs cover front.do

read Mister Fox: The Legend

and Mister Fox and the Demon Dogs

available via Amazon worldwide

fox demon dogs collage

collage

Posted in adventure, Books, Dance, Dogs, Don and Wen, earth, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Ronovan Hester on how to create a character…and a brand new book!

Ronovan Hester is a familiar face around here… many know him through his Lit World Interviews site, as well as for the weekly writing prompts he hosts on his own blog, Ronovan Writes, including the Haiku Challenge. He is an indefatigable supporter of Indie writers and reviewers.

Lately Ronovan has embarked upon a new adventure and, with P.S. Bartlett, author of the Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales, has just launched a new book: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling… and to celebrate the launch, there is a chance to win a Kindle Fire too…

Amber Wake

First, I wish to give a big thank you to Sue Vincent for time on her site for my first ever book blog tour. Second, how to come up with something to write about for author Sue Vincent’s blog in regards to my own book? That’s like asking Sylvester Stallone to teach an art class for the constituents of Rembrandt. I can slap some words on paper that can look decent, but are nowhere near as glorious as a true master’s work.

Here we go anyway. Get the Donuts, Doritos, or Jammie Dodgers out. Pour the milk, coffee, or tea and let’s see how this turns out. (Yes, I know the ‘ugh’ is missing in donuts. That led to a very long fiction series I exchanged with another writer.)

How to Create a Character

The main character of my novel is Captain Gabriel Wallace of the Royal Navy in the year 1705.

First, a little background to Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, the Historical Adventure novel I co-wrote with PS Bartlett. This is the prequel to all the other books in PS Bartlett’s series of The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales. The Tales encompass the adventures of her main character Ivory Shepard, a young lady from Charles Towne in the Colonies who we see through her current trilogy learning to be and becoming a pirate captain. There were lady pirates during the Golden Age of Pirates. Ivory’s first appearance is in The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge, when she is a captain of her own small fleet of sorts. The book is currently the chronological last book in the series, but not the last one planned by a long shot.

After reading The Blue Diamond, becoming friends with Bartlett and many discussions about everything in the world, and brain storming so many things, I found myself creating these characters and histories that feed into those books. Of course, Bartlett took the original draft and added her scenes and touches to fit where she needed things to lead. Thus, what you see is not exactly that original manuscript. It’s about 95% original storyline, I would say.

From Discussions to Creating

How did I create a man who would become a pivotal character in the development of future world of The Razor’s Adventures?

There is a key word in that question above … pivotal. This man had to be someone of certain character and knowledge in order to fulfill his future purposes. The first name of a pirate, the hair color, and the eye color were the things I had to work with. From there, Bartlett allowed me to create a very important book in her Ivory Shepard world while she began working on her Ivory Shepard prequel trilogy of how she became a pirate.

Fleshed Out

The main character needs fleshed out quite thoroughly in order to dictate other variables of your story:
• The actions the character will take during situations.
• The decisions the character would make.
• The other characters to support or be the antagonist to.

To flesh out a character you must to do your research. I’ll go through my process for Captain Gabriel Wallace in bullets.

• Have basic story idea in mind.
• Research actual pirates from the period of the story, or near enough.
• Chose the country of heredity for the purpose of name selection.
• Research popular, and not so popular, names from the period for authenticity.
• Decide what intellectual and moral attributes he possesses.
• Use the above to determine temperament.
• Add a healthy dose of my own inner workings to the character.
• Create a friend for the character that has different visible attributes in behavior and possibly internally.
• Let the story begin and hold on for the ride.

The story idea in hand, and create a friend tasks are two very important parts of the process. With a story idea in hand, you then know what kind of main character you need to accomplish the job. Having created a friend, even if one the main character only exchanges letters with becomes that opposite voice to show the other opinions about situations and gives someone for the main character to add humor with or even conflict with in a safe situation at times. Remember, you don’t need many friends in a book to do one friends job. You can create a lot of confusion with too many characters.

In the original draft, I put many of my standards of being into Gabriel Wallace. Of course, that changed with the next draft because the storylines of future books dictated it to some degree. That brings up the subject of how real to make a character. Then there is what some people think real is.

Questions to ask yourself:

1. What did they grow up around?
2. What experiences have they had along the way that may have shaped their character?
3. What do they do now and why?

I believe answering these three questions can help with a great many questions that come up along the way.

What did they grow up around?

• Social Setting
• Education
• Belief Systems
• Cultural Influences
• Political Influences
• and more
• Parents (Character of)

What Experiences along the way?

• Deaths
• Loves had and lost
• Jobs had and lost
• Other tragedies
• Family situations
What do they do now and why?
• What profession or life situation are they in now? This will form what influences a character now.
• Just as important is the why they are doing whatever it is. Are they there by choice, forced, circumstance, or some other reason you can think of?
• What are the goals of the character? This includes professional and personal goals.

You can, and probably should, get down to the details of dress and physical image. One character that appears in the book also appears in a future book and enjoys his Cavalier hat. I felt Wallace was of a character given to utilitarian ways and gave him a Tricorn hat instead. It’s a minor detail but at sea, which makes more sense, a hat that is for covering your head, or a hat with a big feather in it that with a good spray of the ocean is ruined?

Anyone that reads Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling, and knows me, will see me in deep personal aspects of Gabriel Wallace. As I’ve said, some things have changed so not everything is as I had it. We do believe our combined efforts will make for an enjoyable tale.

For the synopsis of the book and a brief excerpt, click HERE. You will find Chapter 1 on the author site as well.

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is available on Amazon. Below are a few for your clicking convenience.

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Amazon.com
Amber Wake; Gabriel Falling on Amazon.UK
Amber Wake; Gabriel Falling on Amazon.CA
Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Amazon.IN

You may connect with Ronovan through:

Amazon Author Page: Ronovan Hester
Amazon UK Author Page: Ronovan Hester
Personal Blog: RonovanWrites.WordPress.com
Author Site: RonovanHester.com
Book Review Site: LitWorldInterviews.com
Twitter: @RonovanWrites
Goodreads: Ronovan Hester
Facebook: Ronovan Writes
Google+: Ronovan Writes
LinkedIn: Ronovan Hester
About.me: Ronovan
Pinterest: RonovanWrites

ronovan-hesterAbout the author:
Ronovan Hester is a writer living near Athens, Ga, home of his alma mater, The University of Georgia, where he received a B.S.Ed. in History Education. Ronovan puts his love of history and his over 20 years of writing experience to use in his debut Historical Adventure set in 1705 England, American Colonies, and Caribbean co-authored with P.S. Bartlett.
Ronovan’s devotion to history and writing sometimes competes with his love of tacos and fresh fruit. At times, all his favorite things work hand in hand in mouth during long binge writing sessions that have been known to last nonstop for over 24 hours. Rather than see a sleep disorder as a hindrance, he uses the time for creative purposes, or watching old TV shows on online.
Ronovan enjoys putting elements of history, if only as nods to the past, in all of his book projects. He currently instills that love of history and learning in his son daily as he helps him through his college prep courses, meaning hours of homework every night, even while not yet a teenager—his son, not Ronovan. Now if he could find a very good mute for that trumpet his son just began learning.

About thebook:  Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling

The autumn of 1705 brings Royal Navy Captain Gabriel Wallace to face off against an enemy within the ranks of the Admiralty itself that threatens his career, his reputation, his family, and something even more far-reaching in its plot.

Court-martialed and with Admiral Chambers, the mastermind fearfully known as the Chambers of Hell, out for his destruction, Wallace finds he has allies willing to face the might of the mightiest power on earth, with some allies in the most unlikely of places. The crew of his former command, the Majesty’s Venture, mutinies from the Royal Navy. With capture by his enemies close behind, Wallace agrees to become captain once again.

With a ship at his command, Captain Gabriel Wallace sets out to fulfill his mission, the completeness of which only he knows.

Now a pirate by situation, Wallace sets out for the Colonies and the Caribbean. Will his crew remain loyal as they leave the rule of the Royal Navy behind? Will his lifelong friend, Miles Jacobs, follow Wallace blindly without knowing the whole story? Finally, will the young Lieutenant Maddox Carbonale stay under the command of Wallace or have plans to lead instead?

With these questions in his thoughts, Gabriel Wallace wages war on Chambers and goes after the largest haul in the history of the Spanish Main. Whom does Wallace meet along the way? To whom are his loyalties to: vengeance or something more powerful?

If you love tales of adventure, of the sea, of the struggles of men, and nods to history, this is your book. Read Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling and you’ll have a new appreciation for all of The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales.

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Delayed

Sleeping through glory Horizon of chimneypots Sees hand-me-down dawn

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Stranded in civilisation

Nick Verron

Once again, music has prompted another blog post. It plays a major part in my life, as I’m sure it does in many others’.

I was in a great mood yesterday. I had just done a workout and got the old endorphins flowing strong. I heard a song come on the radio, and without warning, I just started bawling. What just happened? Normally, when a song reminds you of a person, it holds quite specific memories. There is a clear association and you are able to mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable “tidal wave” of emotion.

Except in this case, I couldn’t relate the song to anyone. I didn’t even recognise the song. But it struck a chord in me, conjuring up such strong emotion that I couldn’t breathe, sadness enveloping me. It was so painful, it was like all my breakups rolled into one!

Last night I began…

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The road home

The Silent Eye

light

It was still full dark when I left…it will be a while before dawn and I coincide again on the drive back from the north. I miss those intimate moments when the first rays of the sun creep over a horizon strewn with ancient stone… and no-one else is in sight. This morning, there was just the blackness and the vague, sulphurous haze on the edge of vision that marks the towns and villages, glimpsed as you pass over the wide, empty moorlands.

On the roads I travel, there is no other light until I pass through the sleeping habitations of man…only that which I bring with me. As I left the hilltops, the trees and hedgerows shelter the road and I was struck by the difference made by the headlights of the car.With the lights on full beam I can see a fair distance ahead, but the blackness beyond…

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Imbolc – Giants and Foxfire

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Walking between twin streams and turgid waters, blackness closes around us. A faint glimmer ahead to guide our footsteps and the sound of distant drums. Wet earth sucks at our feet, reluctant to let us pass as winter grips the land. Against the night sky, the darker bulk of the hills swallows all light…save that of the flames against which strange, amorphous silhouettes begin to creep.

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Points of flame blossom on the hill…a garden of fire casting golden pollen to the winds as the rain falls, drenching an already drowned land. The drums grow louder…pipes haunt the night…and high above, Jack Frost prowls…

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…the Winter King, the icy sovereign holding court, surrounded by the bone-white masks of spectral acolytes.

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But it is  the season of change… Jack Frost will not go unchallenged. As he shoots ice-fire into the darkness, he knows it is time…

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Imbolc brought the sun to earth in the upturned faces of daffodils. Snowdrops carpet the sodden ground with their purity and the crocus holds up its golden chalice to catch each drop of pale sunlight that breaks through the clouds.

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The Green Man awaits… and on a Yorkshire hillside, he advances…accompanied by the red and gold of Fox and sun, green fire throws down the age-old gauntlet, challenging the ice…

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Whips and wheels of flame whirl and spin, Brigid’s Cross blazes in the night…and the Giants engage in a deadly dance… The Winter King meets the green with white, even though the battle cannot be won. The Green Man will triumph …and spring will return.

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The rain ceases… for a while…and the darkness explodes into light as the Winter King retreats. Butterflies and flowers blaze across the hillside, heralding new life and the coming of a sun that spirals in flame.

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The battle of the Green and White Kings is done…until the seasons turn once more. Their enmity forgotten, together as always, balancing each other’s power, they descend from the heights… for the battle will be re-enacted by the creatures of Earth…and in the shadows the drums begin again… and a Silver Fox challenges a giant Crow…

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