Gabriel – Fanart – A fairy tale tattoo

Gabriel fairtytale tattoo blog

I have been incredibly lucky on this creative journey of mine to discover artists who believe in my work and characters enough to spend their time crafting images from my mental visions. The above depiction of Gabe is from the lovelyย heavenlyeros. Please check out her tumblr for other wonderful artwork.

What I really want to do is wax lyrical over the symbolism in this, but I can’t or I’ll spoiler my own book! So I’ll simply say that the rose and the thorns and the cat and the colour all mean much more than what you first see. Those of you that have read The Making of Gabriel Davenport in beta form will know exactly what I mean – hopefully!

There are even stars in his eyesย ๐Ÿ’œ

A heartfelt thank you toย heavenlyerosย for her passion and belief. Working with you has been such a pleasureย ๐Ÿ˜Š

Confessions of a Writer Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Aura Eadonย to answer the following questions from Nicolette Elzie’s blog.

When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

The first thing I remember writing was at school, when English lessons consisted of taking a red book, the top half plain and the bottom lined, and writing whatever came into your head. My time was spent penning terrible clichรฉ riddled pony stories complete with equally bad illustrations (I am no artist!).

I didnโ€™t think I was good enough to be an actual writer, as in it paying the bills. Anything artistic wasnโ€™t a proper job, or so I was led to believe.

What genre do you write?

I like paranormal fantasy but I like to base it in the modern world, so urban, dark fantasy might fit the bill. But I like to add a twist of horror too. To be honest I donโ€™t like fitting a story into a neat little genre box. It will be what it wants to be.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

My current work in progress is the sequel to my first book, The Making of Gabriel Davenport. It tells the story of what happened after *that* night at The Manor, when Gabriel’s world was torn apart. I started it about 5 months ago when I was waiting for beta reader feedback on the first one, and it has become a thing with a mind of its own. I have a couple of smaller projects lined up as soon as it is done, a novella length dystopian tale which will be written in a dual narrative with another writer (excited about our collaboration!) and a short story, hopefully for an anthology, set in the Middle Ages, which has a paranormal twist.

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

See clichรฉ riddled pony stories above. I distinctly remember one about a police horse called Nathan. My apologies for any embarrassment caused to modern day police horses with that name ๐Ÿ˜‰

Whatโ€™s the best part about writing?

Creating a character who suddenly takes over in your head and leads the story. They become a living, emotion filled being , in charge of the words flowing from your fingers. That high is golden.

Whatโ€™s the worst part about writing?

The days when the words stick like treacle and everything sounds stilted. The editing phase where there is SO MUCH TO DO and you think that it will never make sense.

Whatโ€™s the name of your favourite character and why?

Oh, thatโ€™s hard. Iโ€™d have to go with Anne Riceโ€™s infamous Lestat de Lioncourt, the incorrigible brat prince of the vampire world . I love his strength and will and refusal to give up. He does what he wants to do and to hell with any consequences. But please donโ€™t mention Memnoch. That was a bad cheese nightmareโ€ฆ

How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

It depends on the week. Some days Iโ€™m lucky to grab an hour or a minimum word count, but itโ€™s rare that I donโ€™t do something. Other days I have a completely free day. I usually write in the afternoon but I donโ€™t think I have a time that is best.

Did you go to college for writing?

No. Does having a writing qualification make you a better writer? Iโ€™m not sure. It might make you a better technical writer but I believe that your voice is something you have to discover for yourself.

What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors or grammar errors?

Spelling *and* grammar. Your and youโ€™re grate at me like nothing else!

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

Just write the damn story.

What advice would you give to another writer?
  1. You canโ€™t edit a blank page.
  2. Any amount of words is progress. Donโ€™t think you have to churn out a thousand a day to be a โ€˜properโ€™ writer.
  3. Have a sense of humour.
What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

I donโ€™t have any specific sites. I have a huge amount of bookmarks and Google is a writerโ€™s best friend, but some of the ones I do use are Emma Darwinโ€™s โ€˜This itch of Writingโ€™, Writeability, Sara Whitford and Sydney Strand. The best supportive group on the internet are the people of the Monthly Writing Challenge.ย Without them Iโ€™d still be manuscript-less and wallowing in my own ineptitude.

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

I like to read obviously, although I donโ€™t do it enough. I walk a lot, itโ€™s when I iron out any plot holes or plan the next few scenes. Once a week I go to a Pilates class to smooth out the kinks spent from sitting too much. I love movies and box sets โ€“ Breaking Bad and Dexter being two of my favourites.

Whatโ€™s the best book youโ€™ve read this year?

Letโ€™s see. That would either be the brilliant The Death House by Sarah Pinborough or Tantalus by Jane Jazz.

What is the best movie youโ€™ve seen this year?

The Fault in Our Stars. Because it made me cry.

What is your favourite book or series of all time?

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. George R R Martinโ€™s A Song of Ice and Fire.

Who is your favourite author?

I donโ€™t have a favourite. Those above. Stephen King, of course. Neil Gaiman. Hilary Mantel.

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Iโ€™m querying The Making of Gabriel Davenport at the moment. The editing on Book 2, (The Bloodvyne), will start after Iโ€™ve let it sit for a while, but Iโ€™ll do a note taking draft to keep it in my mind.

Where else can we find you online?

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

Consider yourselves tagged.

Matt Rydeen

Martin McConnell

Curt Mercer

Sarah Natale

The Making of Gabriel Davenport

I think it’s finally time that I pushed my little bird out of its nest to try out its wings in public. After 8 months of keeping it fairly under wraps apart from trips to beta readers and the odd line on #1linewed, it is a slightly scary prospect.

So, first of all, what is it all about? It’s an urban dark fantasy or a paranormal fantasy depending on what side of the genre fence you’re sitting on. This means that it has critters in it that go bump in the night. It has slices of horror, a twist of humour, but above all it challenges the way we look at darkness and light. There is always that grey, misty shadow between and that’s where the demons, real or imagined, sit.

One night. One boy. One secret.

The Davenports moved to the hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their baby, Gabriel, an idyllic countryside childhood. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Fifteen years later and Gabriel lives under the care of a renowned paranormal researcher. Gabe is determined to find out what targeted his family and is certain the answers lay in the steel vault in the cellar, the only place that is off limits.

But when the farmhouse the Davenports lived in is burnt to the ground his comfortable world starts to unravel. The people he trusts start acting abnormally. He fears he has started a chain of events by wanting to meddle with things best left buried.

As his nemesis returns and a secret is unearthed in the vault that shocks him to the core, another supernatural force presents itself, one whose instinct and knowledge pulls Gabe closer, shattering Gabeโ€™s concept of good and evil.

The house becomes a place of shadows and second guesses as the people he loves are targeted and Gabe must face the possibility that the only place of safety may be in the darkness.

Right now I’m working on the sequel with the characters that survive. Yeah, that’s right, I kill my darlings when the muse insistsย ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

I’m querying with agents/publishers at the moment but may well indie publish myself once I have digested the huge amount of information out there. I want to do this right, however much I want to see my book baby in flight.

Watch this space for more updates!

The first draft

I’m going to jot down some things that happened during my first draft, some good, some not so good. This is my first full length novel. Mistakes were many.

As I said in my first blog post, I started off with a few thousand words of something that could have been called a psychological thriller. It was in first person, which is where I am most comfortable. When I picked it up again and had gone a bit further I realised that I’d have to change to third to make it work, which was frankly, pretty scary. I don’t think I do third well, preferring instead to be right in the head of my character. So I had to find a variety of third that worked for me. I settled on third person multiple because it was a kind of balance between what I was used to and what I needed to tell the story.

Was this the easy way out? Absolutely not. Because in order to be able to write the story organically I would need more than what seemed ‘normal’. That was my first dither but I decided to just go with it and write the first draft. After all, that’s what edits are for, right?

I did make some notes on the characters I thought might appear in the second part of the book. They were barely there, although one I’d toyed with briefly before (another one of those long languished few thousand worders hiding in my folders). Two of the sketched out characters never even made it onto the page as the other two strangled them at birth because they were enough, so they told me.

Only one other character was needed and he wouldn’t appear until much later on. Wrong again. He demanded an entrance. Not only that, he brought along two others, who turned out to be some of the most interesting arcs in the book.

After three months it was finished *cue party streamers*

But then the real work had to begin.

Things I learned –

Don’t be afraid to change the gender of a character it if doesn’t seem right.

Don’t fret if you have to waffle your way through one day, there’ll be something worth saving.

If your character stalls think about if you’re pushing him/her in the wrong direction.

If more research is needed on a point, highlight it in some way, you can fill it in later. Don’t interrupt your creative flow.

 

Footnote : Genre wise I would class it as an urban fantasy with a twist of horror. That changed too.