It’s Been A While

I am so sorry for being away so long, I know you just can’t survive without my inane ramblings. In my defence, I’ve been to Disneyland 😀

I know, that’s no excuse, but it’s so hard to concentrate when “Under the Sea” gets stuck in your head for two and a half months. Especially embarrassing when you start humming in front of your MD.

 

Actual footage of me dancing in the kitchen.

So, what’s new in the world of RK? Let me go through it…

Writing: I think I have maybe a chapter (or two) left before Age of Magic has its officially completed First Draft. Then I have to go through and fill in all those delicious plot holes that I spot every single damn time I read through it. I have a list, don’t worry. I do love lists.

Reading: Hoo boy. My New Year’s Resolution is to fall in love with reading again. I don’t read as much as I used to, so I’ve downloaded a very helpful app called BookBuddy, which helps you keep track of the books you’ve read, and lets you rate and comment on them.

I’m currently onto my ninth book of the year. I lost a month or so struggling through a particularly abysmal novel (and the Disneyland thing kinda got in the way too), but I’m back on it. My aim is to read 50 books this year. I… don’t think I’ll reach that target. But I’ll make a good attempt at it!

One of the most recent ones that I’ve finished is Wintersong. Oh, my heart… here are my thoughts on it:

“Beautiful, heartbreaking, and utterly wonderful. A few slow pages after the marriage, somewhat repetitive in places, but made up for with the poignancy and beauty of the words. Almost like poetry. Or music. How apt.”

Movies: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was amazing, Beauty and the Beast was lovely (I cried three times but that’s nothing new), and Passengers was awful.

Games: I’m playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the billionth time. Can’t wait for the next one where we get to visit Tevinter. TEVINTER. Imagine a Dalish Mage wandering around Tevinter. Should be interesting. Also bought two new games, Until Dawn and The Evil Within. Should be an interesting change-up from my usual RPG games.

TV: OMG did you see Emmerdale?! I’m kidding, I don’t watch TV. Well, I watch Grimm. And Supernatural. Quite disappointed in both at the minute, to be honest.

Music: Disney. Yeah, did you expect anything else?

I don’t think I have any more hobbies… I’m off for a whoooooole week now though, yay! ^-^ Happy Easter to me, we have SO MUCH CHOCOLATE 😀

Time to write, almost at the end!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

christmas-pooh

It’s almost Christmas time once again, and it’s that special time of year that turns everyone into either a Holly Jolly Santa Claus, or a complete douchebag.

This is a very short PSA to remind people to not shout or abuse people in retail or customer services. We’re human, just like you, please don’t take your frustrations out on us.

In other news, Age of Magic is about 4-5 maybe 6 chapters away from completion, and, aside from a teeny-weeny blip in the middle of November wherein I lost all motivation to finish it, it’s going well. Apart from the fact that it’s about 30,000 words too short.

Uhm. Oops? 😦

writer-working

I think once Christmas is out the way, I can really knuckle down and get to that ending I’ve been building up for so long. And it’s a nice segue into the as-of-yet-untitled Book 3.

Ohh, and I need to write the blurb, and the synopsis, and go through all the edits… I forgot about all of this. Crikey…

2017 is going to be great. We lost so many famous names this year, and there are only three weeks left of 2016, so everyone form a protective ring around Tim Curry and Sean Connery, and we can safely see out 2016.

Merry Christmas everyone, and have a Happy New Year!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

What Makes A Good Bad Guy?

Proceed at your own risk.

WARNING:

THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE OLD WAYS.

PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

I was procrastinating performing extensive research for my novel on Pinterest earlier today, when I found this gem:

villain low self esteem

When I first saw it, I laughed. I mean, I laughed hard. Because my immediate thought to myself was, “Of course not, Erlik thinks he’s the best thing ever created!”

Then I went deeper into it. And I realised the whole reason he thinks so, is because he does have low self-esteem. He acts the way he does, because of crippling insecurity. He spends the entire novel hot on Mab’s heels. He swings from one emotion to another in the blink of an eye. He’s often shown drinking heavily (in the morning! What a lush). He’s infamous (in-universe) for his sexual exploits, and has the… *ahem* extensive progeny to prove it.

These can be symptoms of low self-esteem. Addictive, promiscuous, and chaotic personality traits. While he never displays anxiety attacks or a lack of self-confidence, he certainly has something about him that indicates he dislikes himself, and is projecting that dislike upon others to make himself feel better.

Well, mostly not that.

Loki has low self-esteem too. Yes, that’s my excuse for using his picture…

So is that what makes a good bad guy? (Okay, okay, I’ll say good villain from now on. Makes for less confusion) Well, I don’t think it is. Erlik has low self-esteem, yes, but he’s also funny, charming, sinister, manipulative, vindictive, and so deliciously wicked.

I… may be a little biased. #TeamErlik

Anyway. Is that what makes a good villain? ‘Nice’ qualities? Human qualities? Well, I don’t think so. I mean, I think they certainly help, but Sauron was a perfect villain, and he had no human qualities at all.

Good villains can be relateable. They can have something in them that makes regular, less-villainous people go “Oh, that’s like me! Wait, is that good?”

What about those villains who know they’re evil? The ones who relish in their darkness. The ones who torture and torment for fun. Lookin’ at you, Ramsay Bolton.

Ramsay

Couldn’t resist, sorry :3

There are villains who believe they’re the hero of the story. Villains who believe they’re doing what they’re doing for the greater good. I think Heath Ledger’s Joker has a little of that in him. He wants to unleash chaos for the people of Gotham for them to realise their full potential.

A good villain must be a foil. A contrast to the hero. An opposition to everything the hero stands for. Erlik is a Dark Prince, while Thomas (eventually) is a White Knight. Thomas has a strong moral high ground, whereas Erlik is underhand and plays dirty. Everything Thomas is or becomes, Erlik is ultimately the antithesis. In D&D terms, Thomas is Neutral Good, while Erlik is Chaotic Evil.

That’s what makes a good villain. Next time you’re writing, talk to your villain. Ask him/her/it what they’re fighting for. Ask them what they want. Does that goal conflict with what the hero wants? Do they believe they’re the hero of your story? Talk to them, and find out. Then you’re on the right path.

Now, go, writer! Write! Write like you’ve never written before!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

My First Ever Fan Art!

With permission from the artist, here is the first fan art I’ve ever received 😀

IMG_2394

And of course it’s Erlik, who else did you expect? Go #TeamErlik!

I adore it 😀 I keep it pride of place on my bookshelf (since my walls are too thin to put nails in them so I can’t hang it).

Here is now an opportunity to publicly thank James Purvis (the artist) for such a beautiful gift, and for coming out of artistry retirement to draw this exquisite portrait of my favourite character. And I hereby promise to not make your hot chocolate lumpy any more ^-^

Blessed be,

RK )O(

Confession Time!

I, er… *nervous laugh* I lost my password to access WordPress…

But I’ve found it again! And look, I’m here! Here’s a dancing Winchester as an apology for not posting in over a month:

Dean Dancing

I don’t have much of an update other than YAY for progress on the Age of Magic. Oh, and I have my very first piece of fan-art! ^-^ And my first ever troll! As in, an internet-troll, not an under-the-bridge-troll. I already have two of those. They’re called Frank and Gary.

Once I figure out how to connect my iPhone to my computer (read: I do know how to do it, I’m just intensely lazy), I’ll share the fan-art. Once I have permission from the artist, of course!

So. Age of Magic. Yes, darlings, it’s in progress. Slow-going, for some reason… I couldn’t get characters to act the way they’re meant to. But things are looking up! I technically already have the first *ahem* few drafts, I just need to… well… let’s just say there’s a reason for the following (cropped) screenshot:

drafts

And it’s cropped because I don’t want you to see how many folders I had to get through in order to get to this one… I like folders. I’m hyper-organised when it comes to my writing.

Alright, pixies, enough chin-wagging! Better get some work done. These chapters (unfortunately) don’t write themselves!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

I’m Still Standing!

I liiiiiiiive

So pleased I got to use that gif again 🙂

On the other hand, having to use that gif again means I’ve been neglecting my poor darling pixies!

I should probably explain what’s been happening and why I haven’t been posting as much as I should be. Well, while it’s no excuse and I’m not using it as one, I shall explain:

Hospitals! Yay!

Due to personal health reasons, I have to go back under the knife. It’s a very small operation and I’ve had it before, but let’s just say the discovery of a certain lumpy bit where one doesn’t want to find a lumpy bit had me (and my family) quite on edge for a few days. Thankfully, the hospital is quite confident it isn’t anything serious, and I’m getting the results of my biopsy on Tuesday.

I would like to take this opportunity, because of what’s happened to me, and recently a lot more friends than I’d like to say have been receiving the worst kind of news, I want to encourage everyone who reads this to CHECK YOUR BITS. Girls: check your upstairs. Boys: check your downstairs. It only takes a few minutes, but those few minutes could save a lifetime.

I know, it’s embarrassing, and it can sometimes be scary if you find something you don’t want to find. But catching it soon means you can treat it soon. It can be, like in my case, nothing to worry about. But it’s always good to check.

Seriously, I can’t state this enough. CHECK. YOUR. BITS.

In fact, I’m going to wait. Go check them now. Go on. Go do it now. Right now.

Here's a Bun to calm us all down.

   Here’s a bunny to watch while you’re checking.

Sorted? Okay, good. See? Was that so hard? Like I said, only a few minutes.

I know this post doesn’t have anything to do with writing, but it could very well save a life. I may have a high expectation of how many people read my site, but laws of probability might be on my side today.

Please, please, please, carry out regular checks. If you find anything out of the ordinary, talk to your doctor. I can’t state it enough. Too many people suffer because of this horrible, evil disease. I don’t want any of you beautiful pixies falling victim to it as well.

Now, get out there and shine like the supernova that you are!

Blessed be,

RK )O(

 

Donate to Cancer Research UK

How to carry out a proper check – Girls

How to carry out a proper check – Boys

Age of Magic… Sneak Preview? :O

Let’s talk about something fun! Did everyone have a good Christmas and New Year? As I think I mentioned, I pretty much slept through New Year. The work on Age of Magic is slowly and steadily being done, but… I… also have the DLCs for Dragon Age which I didn’t have before and I’m sort of playing them as well please don’t be mad at me…

I’ve been working diligently, kindly ignore everything in the previous sentence. As proof, have a small, unedited, sneak preview of the first draft:

Rosetta lay prostrate over Oren’s twitching body while blood spurted from a clean slice across his throat. Mab stared down at the dead boy, her eyes wide with fury. She clenched her fist, extinguishing the fire, shaking her head. Who is here?

The crowd fell silent. Lightfoot and half a dozen of her soldiers appeared behind her.

“Your Grace?”

Mab ignored her advisor, and instead raised her eyes to the crowd, seeking that which was unfamiliar–

There!

The glint of a dagger sparkled in the crowd. A shrill squeal – fright or pain? Mab acted without thought.

She thrust her right arm towards the assassin, brandishing her fingers as she would wield a whip. Her seelie screamed and darted aside, as half a dozen writhing tree branches snaked into the crowd. Mab curled her fingers into a beckoning fist, and the branches wrapped around the unfamiliar man and dragged him into a circle of onlookers.

On his knees, he kept his head bowed. Mab flicked a finger, and a branch lifted his head to look up at her.

The white fires around her cast a ghastly pallor over her face. For a moment, she looked monstrous, ancient and furious.

“You dare come here with your wicked intent?” she hissed, her voice a slithering whisper.

The stranger looked up. He was human, she could tell that at least. Yet with a crooking of his lip into a smile, Mab knew he had not come alone.

A blade sang. A strangled cry rang from the crowd. Mab looked up sharply. More seelie fell to hidden blades. Three dead on her left. Two more on her right. Another ahead of her. Guards flocked into the circle, felling the secret assassins before they could take any more seelie lives.

Chaos erupted in the glade, yet Elphame’s soldiers performed their duty marvellously. Soon, each assassin kneeled before Mab, bound and struggling, swords pressed to their throats.

The Queen of the Old Ways looked sharply down at her own captive. He gazed back at her, cocky, an ugly smile on his face.

Mab raised her hard eyes and gave a simple nod. Blades sliced through thin armour, and each assassin fell, dead. Their deaths were only a small reward for the amount of seelie blood they had shed.

“Your reign is ending, Wolf-Queen,” the assassin before her sneered. Soldiers surrounded him at once, but, her eyes blazing, Mab held up a hand to stop them running him through.

“Hold,” she said. Her voice quiet, yet rang through the glade, silencing even the sobbing seelie who mourned their fallen kin. “Take him back to Elphame for questioning.”

Her glare could have incinerated him as the guards dragged him away.

This should not have happened.

This would not happen again.

Spying one last assassin fleeing the glade, she held up her hand and gestured, and at once, his head twisted back, his neck snapping with a hideous sound, and he fell, dead, in the spongy moss.

I will make sure of it.

 

Exciting stuff, huh?

A few more people have now finished The Old Ways, and I now have some utterly beautiful reviews on Amazon, for which I am extremely grateful and happy. I’m looking to do some more signings now that Christmas is out of the way, and I might be doing a giveaway on my Facebook page! :O Exciting stuff! I’ll keep you all posted on how that turns out.

For now, here’s a cute picture of a bunny:

little-rabbit-slipped

Alright now, my darling pixies, it’s Friday night and I intend to sleep a lot.

Blessed Be

RK )O(