Why I Love The Fictional Bad Guy

Ebb-standing“Edward Ebb opened the door and walked a few feet into the Revelation Room. He put the petrol can on the floor and walked back outside and retrieved the shotgun. He aimed it in the general direction of the people cowering in the corner. ‘Good afternoon, bunnies.”

Welcome to Edward Ebb, the fictional bad guy in my first book, The Revelation Room. I love the baddies. They really seem to get my creative juices flowing. The bad guy prowls around in the back of my mind, demanding to be let out. He wants to cause mayhem, and he wants to cause it now! He’s been really patient, watching me plot all the nasty things that I have in store for him and now he can’t wait to get going. He even resents me for holding him back. Why create him, he argues, if he has to sit locked up inside my head like a prisoner on death row? He even accuses me of being no better than him, arguing that he is merely an extension of my own macabre nature. At this point, I generally laugh and try not to sound as nervous as I feel. Continue reading

An Interview with a Fictional Psychopath

Ebb-interview-slihouette

Today’s post is an interview with Edward Ebb, the antagonist from my upcoming book, The Revelation Room. The Revelation Room is the first in a series of psychological mystery thrillers written with a touch of dark humour. Ebb is the psychopathic egocentric leader of The Sons and Daughters of Salvation, a small religious cult who have taken the protagonist’s father captive.

This post was inspired by an interview in which Maggie James asked questions of her antagonist from her book The Second Captive http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog/five-questions-for-a-fictional-sociopath.

1. Hi, Edward. Tell me about The Sons and Daughters of Salvation?

Please address me properly. We are not close enough for you to assume such familiarity. You must call me Father at all times if you want to continue this interview. In answer to your question, I set up the group with Brother Gerald some ten years ago. The idea? To prepare for The Rapture. This is the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. All dead people of faith will rise, and all true believers still alive shall go with them to meet the Lord. They will then continue on a journey into the Kingdom of Heaven. Non-believers will be left behind. Of course, it’s not simply a matter of faith, because there are many among us who are masquerading as believers. I fear they are in for a rude awakening. They will be ordered to stay behind with the non-believers to face eternal damnation. The Lord has told me to build a spaceship to prepare for this magnificent event. Continue reading

The Top 10 Resources for Self-Publishing Authors

Self-publishing authors have a fair bit to do: Write, edit and format books, design covers, learn how to use Kindle Direct Publishing (and other publishing outlets) and explore how to best make use of social media to market their work. The following is a list of resources which I found to be the most helpful with the self-publishing process:

The Book Designer   1JoelF

The Book Designer is put together by Joel Friedlander, and it covers all aspects of self- publishing. The site is easy to navigate and has popular posts grouped together on the home page with articles put into categories. Personally, I’ve learned a lot from Joel’s site and from the authors who guest-write posts on his behalf. Take a look at the ‘Start Here’ section on the home page to introduce yourself to the scope of articles which are available.

2 Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound  1JStewart

You’ll find more than 2,000 blog posts and articles, hundreds of learning tools, and lots of free advice on how to tell your story to the world on Joan’s site. If you’re having trouble deciding how best to market and promote your book, then there are numerous articles here that will help. Joan is also great at blogging and shares tips to help you improve your author blog posts  Continue reading

The Mirror Moment

Mirror-moment-blog-imageI thought I might share with you a piece of advice that really helped me with the book I am currently working on. In fact, it changed my whole outlook on the process and the structure of writing. It’s called writing from the middle, or the Mirror Moment. The Mirror Moment is the one scene, slap-bang in the middle of a story, where the main character looks in the mirror (metaphorically speaking) and understands that the odds are so stacked against him that he has virtually nowhere to go. He faces certain death, either literally, professionally or psychologically. What does this reveal? What are its hidden depths? The Mirror Moment is like the earth’s core. Once you know what the Mirror Moment is, you will then know the transformation and pre-story psychology of your main character. Continue reading

We Are Not Amused

– ‘Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: Fool! Said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.’ – Philip Sidney

muse-on-beach-finished It’s Monday morning, it’s raining, it’s cold, and I’m sitting at my desk with a blank screen on my PC and a blank look on my face. I wait in vain for inspiration to come and grab me by the… imagination. Where is my muse when I need him the most? Probably sitting on a beach somewhere, topping up his suntan and watching the world go by while I sit here abandoned and all alone.

So what to do on those days when you’re struggling to write anything at all? Perhaps this piece of advice from Dorothea Brande might help. First off, try getting up a little earlier than normal and begin writing as soon as possible. Don’t talk, don’t read anything, just write down the first thing that comes into your head. It might be last night’s dream, or perhaps a conversation from yesterday, but get it down on paper. Write rapidly and without giving any attention to the value of what you are writing. This is a training exercise in writing in the twilight zone between sleep and the full waking state. Forget that you have any critical facility. The unconscious mind is in the ascendant, so leave it free to rise. Continue reading