Archive for March, 2010

Back home

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

I made it back home to Edmonton after too many hours in an plane. I think the flight was around 18 hours, and I thought I’d do some writing during the flight. I had my laptop with me- lots of battery power – but I had difficulty writing. I just found the environment made it hard to come up with anything interesting to write. I ended up doing some editing; that didn’t require much imagination. It seems my brain needs more stimulation than looking at the back of airplane seat. On the other hand I find when I’m walking I manage to come up with several ideas for writing. It’s also more comfortable than sitting in a plane and drinking weak coffee.

I am pleased to say I’m nearing the end of Castle 3 and, more importantly, I’ve finished killing off characters. I’m still working on who stays with who and where, but at least they can all live another day.

Besides Castle I’m working on another story. I find if I get stalled on one story, I can always work on another. If I get stalled on the second story I will try reading=I have a few books kicking around. If the reading doesn’t inspire me The I haul out my bottle of scotch. No, the scotch doesn’t help me get inspired to write. But after a few glasses I don’t worry about writing anymore.

To Live or Die

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I am now working towards the end of Castle, The new King. This is the last book and I have to make sure there are not too many loose ends. During the first two books, and even in this third book, I’ve introduced characters both good and bad. Most characters were somewhere in between, after all no one is perfect. However there comes a point in stories, especially in medieval ones, where some one important has to die. I do not kill one of my characters lightly, and there are a couple of reasons for that.

One is that I have built up my characters carefully and hate to see them go, even the evil ones. The other reason is, I dislike reading a book where the author kills a character just for effect or to make a scene noteworthy. The death sometimes comes off then as made up like a soap opera on a TV show. One of my favourite authors, Robert Sawyer, did this in Hominids. He killed off a character at the end in what seemed to be a contrived and cheap way to get an emotional response.  

However as I wrote the Castle series I came to a point where the logical step was to eliminate him/her. For example if I wrote about a character that continually liked to swim in shark infested waters, then eventually I would have to write he became dinner.

The other part of the Castle series I have to wrap up is the relationship between characters. As readers will know there is a contention between some of the couples where they will live, Earth or Domum. For some it will be a deal breaker. If she or he will not live in Earth or Domum, then they will have to part ways.

Like the decision to kill off a character, I will not keep them together or break them apart for the sake of getting shock value.

I’m currently in New Zealand but returning to Alberta next week. I hope to have The New King finished by then, unless, I decide to drink some more of their great wine. Then all bets are off. Writing under the influence is not recommended. 

Cheers,

Jack

Shopping

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

When visiting another country it seems there is an obligation to do some shopping. I took Laurie to a mall near Auckland and agreed to meet at Starbucks later. I managed to visit any shops I was interested in, have a bottle of water, drink a coffee and then waited. Laurie in the same time managed to visit two shops. I sensed a problem immediately. 

At the end of the afternoon she finally made around to most of the stores and bought a purse and a couple of tops. I managed to buy two pints of beer and read two newspapers.

I did managed to daydream a bit and come up with another part to Castle 3, a wedding of all things to write about. Hey, I already have figured out the big battle but need to wrap up few other things. Gotta go- Laurie wants to do more shopping and I’m the driver.

Jack

New Zealand

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

I have landed in New Zealand, Wellington to be exact, and was able to spend a bit of time there before taking a short flight to Nelson. Great country to visit and I highly recommend it as a tourist destination.  I’m also doing some driving and that does take some getting used to. First, one has to remember to stay on the left side of the road. That isn’t too bad. However, when I approch their round-abouts (traffic circles) I get a bit concerned as I try to figure which exit to take while watching for traffic coming from the wrong side. It has made travelling interesting.

I remember the first time I went to New Zealand, six or seven years ago. It was a great vacation and the unique landscape and plant life inspired me to write my first novel Talnut. If you read Talnut, and have the chance to travel to New Zealand, I believe you will see the parts of New Zealand transported in my story. Talnut was my first novel and I fondly recall how it came about. I don’t mean to be giving it a plug here, but it describes an alien world quite well. That strange world is actually only a plane flight away. (Okay, in my case an 18 hour plane flight).

I’m not able to do much with my website while in New Zealand, but on my return I will upload some new pictures and possible do another contest. Likely something  to do with Talnut.

Best wishes

Jack