Sidequels, Stories and Spoilers

Just a quick update on the progress of the first Reverie side story – sitting alongside the timeline of events in the first three Daydreamer Chronicles books, this started as a short story (about 5,000 words), but I got rather carried away, and it grew pretty quickly into a Novella of over 20,000 words. Definitely one for reading after finishing the other books – as it does contain spoilers for events that take place across the series, but hopefully a nice fun read for anyone who is up to date with the Daydreamer Chronicles and looking to fill in a few gaps.

Currently going through some Beta reading, then there is just the final edit, the cover to finish and it’s good to go. Best guess it should be out within the month, but I will keep you updated.

Image courtesy of Martin Rowson under the creative commons license.

Good things come in threes

Been a good few days all round. First there was the nice review from the Readers Favourite site, then I received the updated portrait art for Book 3 – and to make three, I found out earlier today that the Midwest Book Review has included a brief review of ‘The Boy Who Dreamt the World’ in their latest issue.

Particularly happy about this one, as the Midwest Book Review are big supporters of small press publishing and even more importantly are major proponents of children’s literacy. Their recommendations are used by US community and school libraries, so with some luck a few of my books might pop up in libraries across America, which would be pretty fantastic.

Right, that should be the end of all the recent self-indulgent posts for the moment and back onto actual writing…. Unless there is another positive editorial review – in which case I will of course be straight back on it 🙂

The gang are all together

Finally got around to bringing the cast from Book 3 together as originally intended in one portrait.

Meanwhile work is progressing on the first Reverie side story. It’s ended up being a bit more than a short story, but a fair way short of a full novel, so not quite sure what to call it yet. Still a bit of work to go before its finished, but it’s all coming together quite nicely.

Nice way to end the day

Had a very pleasant surprise today when I had an email pop up letting me know that Readers’ Favourite Reviews had reviewed the first book in the Daydreamer Chronicles – and said some pretty nice things about it. So a big thanks to them for putting a smile on my face.

All it takes is a few positive words and the spring goes straight back into my step – I must be very easily pleased. 🙂

Expanding the World of Reverie – the first ‘Sidequel’

Been a bit of a break since my last post, due to entirely pleasant reasons like holidays and birthdays, but now my head is back (at least partially) in Reverie. The revisit is mainly due to a question someone asked about one of the minor characters from the books, specifically “whatever happened to…”

Although I obviously had a pretty good idea (after all, what responsible author wouldn’t… cough… cough…) I decided to write up their story as a short ‘sidequel’ to the main books. At the moment their tale is somewhere a bit over 5,000 words, but it turns out they had a more interesting back story than I realised, so I will see where things go from here.

PS. I was very disappointed to find out that ‘sidequel’ already existed as a term, having almost convinced myself that I had invented it.

Bella (Clockwork Cyborg, Sea Captain and Explorer)

“I thought that the Deep Sleeper was a myth,” Lucid said, eyebrows raised about as far as they could go on his high forehead.

“She is,” replied Bella, not in the least perturbed. “She is a myth… a legend… a monster to scare children, telling them tales of the big bad creature that swims deep in the Dwam.” She leant forward, resting her elbows on the table. “And she is also the single most real thing in the whole of Reverie. The greatest adventure of my life has been searching for her. I have caught up with her twice in all those years.” She paused, flexing the brass fingers of her right hand. “One of those times cost me my arm, the other my leg.”

“And also your eye I suppose?” Grimble cut in tersely.

“No,” Bella smiled back at him, apparently quite used to her comments being met with disbelief. “That was the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding with a bar full of rather rowdy Sornette traders, who seemed to think I owed them money… which I did as it happens. Their mistake was thinking that I was going to pay them back.”

“Why do you keep looking?” Adam asked her. “Sooner or later you’re going to run out of bits you can spare.”

“Sadly, I can’t really help myself.” Bella turned her attention back to Adam as she spoke. “I have always looked for adventure, generally on my own. No offence to you and your friends but most of the time I can’t really be doing with other people. They are always so… disappointing.”

(Excerpt from ‘Where Dreams End’)

Lucid (loyal friend with a shady past)

“What was it… what happened when you came to Nocturne?” he asked, the words tripping over themselves in his hurry to get them all out before he lost his nerve. “Whatever it was Tremello and the others miss you… Tremello especially I think.”

Lucid’s hat was still over his eyes, so it was impossible to read his emotions, but Adam thought he could see a slight flush of colour on his cheeks. When he spoke again it wasn’t a direct answer to Adam’s question.

“I have heard about a creature in your world,” he began, “that lives in a shell all of its life, deep in your oceans. Occasionally something small and painful, like a piece of grit, gets inside that shell and the creature protects itself by wrapping that painful little intruder in layer after layer until that piece of grit is completely covered.”

Adam nodded, although Lucid couldn’t see him. He was pretty sure he could remember a biology lesson where they had been taught about how pearls were formed, something beautiful and valuable created from a fragment of unwanted dirt.

“It takes a long time, or so I am told,” Lucid continued, “until eventually there is nothing to see but a smooth, shining treasure. But somewhere, deep and unseen within it, that original little piece of grit, the irritant that caused it all, is still there right in the centre… and it always will be.”

Adam waited to see if Lucid was going to explain any further, but it seemed that was all he was willing to share, leaving Adam to interpret the meaning of his words as well as he was able.

(Excerpt from ‘Where Dreams End’)

Nora (and the ‘friendly’ nightmare)

Adam found himself dragged along in Nora’s wake as she strode past him and straight up the stairs to Adam’s room. “Right,” she said purposefully as soon as they were both in his room.

“Right what?” Adam asked, still feeling unbalanced by the combination of Nora’s sudden arrival and Mittens’ rather forceful approach to things.

“Do you trust me?” she asked, darkness coiling from the edge of her pupils. “Would you be insulted if I said… not completely?” Adam managed, backing away slightly as he watched the oily blackness cover her eyes completely and start to spill out from her fingertips. He was feeling increasingly nervous about the way things were going, but as it turned out he didn’t have the chance to say anything further before the coils of darkness sprang out from her hands, lightning fast, and hit him squarely in the face.

(Excerpt from ‘Welcome to Moonshine’)

Grimble (the eternal pessimist)

“It’s her, the Deep Sleeper!” Bella shouted back, “she must have passed near the ship.” As she spoke the deck tipped violently once again, although this time Adam had the foresight to grab tight to the ship’s rails and he managed to stay standing.

Bella was almost erupting with obvious excitement. “I can’t believe that we have run across her, the chances are tiny.”

“Honestly, from experience, I am amazed that it’s taken this long,” Grimble growled as he got back to his feet, brushing himself down. “Every time I go anywhere with these two idiots if there is anything big or dangerous… or most often both anywhere nearby, that’s where we end up.”

“That’s not completely true,” Lucid said, giving Bella an apologetic grin.

“And if there isn’t anything big and dangerous nearby,” Grimble added, “then we just keep moving around until we do manage to find something… and then we prod it.”

(Excerpt from ‘Where Dreams End’)

Adam (the Daydreamer…)

“Bit late for breakfast mate,” Charlie said, briefly pausing his determined munching of his eighth (or possibly even ninth) slice of post-breakfast toast, when Adam finally made it into the kitchen. “To be honest you’re nearly too late for dinner as well. Mum was starting to worry that you were ill, but I set her straight and said you were fine… just really lazy.”

“Thanks,” Adam grunted, letting his head slump down onto the breakfast table. “Still… so… tired… this is ridiculous.”

“Literally zero sympathy. If you will spend all the time when you should be sleeping whooshing around a dream world and fighting evil or whatever it is you keep doing, then you only have yourself to blame.” Charlie walked across to the radio and clicked it on, filling the room with a particularly loud and catchy pop song that grated on Adam’s exhausted brain like a cat scratching a blackboard.

“I hate you,” Adam managed, wiggling his fingers in the direction of the radio and wishing that he could use his Daydreaming in the Waking World. He wasn’t sure if it was considered an acceptable use of his powers to destroy radios, but at the moment he didn’t care. It didn’t make any difference anyway, with the tiny speaker continuing to pump out its agonizingly chirpy tune.

Taking pity on his friend, Charlie turned the radio back off. “Fine, I’ll be nice this time. You do look pretty rough, perhaps you need a day… or night off. You won’t be any good to anyone if your brain implodes from lack of sleep.”

“Can that happen?” Adam asked. “At the moment I kind of hope it could, at least it would get rid of my headache.” He grimaced and smacked his lips a couple of times, “plus my mouth tastes like I’ve tried to chew a camel to death… a really, really ill camel.”

(Excerpt from ‘Where Dreams End’)