Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Queen's Blade series

So, still no news from the UK publishers - about a month to go, apparently, until I can expect a response. Right now I'm editing the Broken World series, which I haven't looked at for a couple of years, and boy, does it need a lot of editing. Every time I look at one of my books, it needs more editing. It's never ending. Demon Lord, which was published in 2006, needs a stack of editing, and, since I want to publish it as an ebook soon, along with the sequel, Dark God, I have to get it right. A writer's work is never done - no rest for the wicked and all that.

So, The Queen's Blade is about an assassin, whose tragic past has moulded him into, essentially, a drunken, lying, hard-nosed sociopath - well, I expect most killers have to be sociopaths, I think it comes with the territory. Blade, however, is a loveable sociopath, not only because he's kind of handsome, but he has this way about him... hard to describe, but he's an interesting person, and, while he tries very hard to be obnoxious, somehow it never works for him. He's also inclined to help people, although he'll never admit to doing it. He's also a eunuch, sadly for him, which is part of the reason for his bitterness.

When I started The Queen's Blade, it was supposed to be about Queen Minna-Satu of Jashimari, and her tragic story of sacrifice to save her people from the cruel and savage King Shandor of the Cotti. In the second chapter, however, guess who made his entrance? I was intrigued. Blade certainly didn't fit my idea of a hero, but he was fascinating, and, as it turned out, the key to the whole series, to say nothing of the fact that his actions - killing people - affected how everything turned out. So I followed his story, and learnt all the details of his life. Amazing stuff. He's now my favourite hero, although I love all my heroes and heroines, Blade takes first prize. Strange for someone like him to be so endearing, but there it is.

To quote Blade in a comment he made to his wife Chiana in Lord Protector, the last book of the series: "How proud you must be, to have a lying, drunken killer for a husband." Well, that about sums him up, and yet, there's so much more to him. There are currently 6 books in the series, including the prequel God Touched. The first book is The Queen's Blade, followed by The Invisible Assassin, then Knight of the Veil, Master of the Dance, and Lord Protector. There may be more, too. So, that's The Queen's Blade series.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

About the author

I was born in Sri Lanka, a long time ago, when it was still Ceylon. My parents moved to the Seychelles when I was a baby, and I lived on Cerf Island and spent my formative years exploring the islands – mostly alone. Naturally, my imagination flourished and I developed a keen love of other worlds - mostly to escape the one I was in. Living on a tropical island isn't all it's cracked up to be, trust me. My family travelled through Europe and Africa and, after the death of my father, settled in South Africa.

I have written over twenty novels and five screenplays. My hobbies include motorcycling, horse riding and art, andI try to earn a living in the IT industry, as well as doing copywriting, editing and proofreading, amongst other things. Basically anything that will bring in a bit of cash and uses some of my dubious skills.

I started writing fantasy stories in school, where I was often guilty of daydreaming in class, and chastised for not paying attention. I wrote my first full length book when I was twenty-six, a science fiction novel. After a number of publishers resoundingly rejected it, I gave up for a while. I went back to being an avid reader, devouring libraries of books in my hunger for other worlds and fantastic adventures. After reading a truly atrocious fantasy book, I decided to have another bash at the writing lark, thinking that if that guy could get published, why not me? I wasn't that bad.

During a fantastic six-year period when I was unemployed and lived with my mom, I wrote over twenty books, indulging my passion with the aid of a borrowed PC and loads of free time. I enjoyed writing them almost as much as I enjoyed reading them afterwards, since the stories came to me effortlessly, as if I was plugged into some sort of cosmic video feed that played all these marvelous stories in my head.

I still didn't have the courage to send anything to the publishers though, afraid of more rejections. I don't handle rejection all that well, although it's par for the course in the book-writing world. Every author is rejected many many times. I wrote them for the pure enjoyment of it, and the pleasure of reading them again. I became my own most ardent - and only - fan. Still, that didn't dampen my enthusiasm. Then in about 2002, I moved to Cape Town and, miraculously, a local publisher accepted Demon Lord, the first in a five - probably more, but five so far - book series. The sales were dismal, however, due to the bias in the local press that decided - without bothering to read it - that if it was local it had to be rubbish. They also, apparently, thought it must be a 'devil's handbook', because of the title. Nothing could be further from the truth, but anyway, they're entitled to their opinion, even if it has no basis in reality and if they'd bothered to read the book they'd have seen that it's just the opposite. Enought about that.

I have now sent off the first book of another series of five - six if you count the prequel - to a few UK publishers, and await their verdict. Two rejections so far, but I'm hanging in there. The series is called The Queen's Blade, and I shall post more details about it here when I have a bit of time. I also have two other series awaiting the day when they will visit the publishers, which are Cyber Warrior and The Broken World. My original science fiction series, which I have now rewritten and made fairly good - it was rubbish when I sent it to the publishers, so they weren't wrong to reject it - still languishes on my PC's hard drive, and I don't think that one will ever be published, simply because I don't want to publish it. So there you have it. That's me.

To read more about the only book of mine that's been published, visit the blogspot. I plan to have a website one day, but finances are grim right now. If anyone's interested, I'm looking for a patron of the arts to sponsor me. That would be nice. Who knows? Miracles do happen.