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I’ve just got back from the cinema to watch X-men Apocalypse.
Now, I’ve enjoyed all of the X-men movies bar X-men 3, which was awful, and Wolverine: Origins, which is a crime against film goers that Deadpool managed to make me forget about.
I loved X-men First Class, and really enjoyed the sequel Days of Future Past. Unfortunately, Apocalypse doesn’t live up to either of them.
I’ll go through what I liked first, and then say what I didn’t. There might be a few spoilers, but I’ll keep them light, if you just want to read my thoughts go to the end.
What I Liked:
1. The cast is brilliant. Everyone is very good in their role. Special mentions go to Sophie Turner as Jean Grey and Evan Peters as Quicksilver, but everyone was good.
2. It looks very good. Seriously, some of it is incredible to watch.
3. Quicksilver’s action parts are incredible.
4. The end battle is really quite cool.
6. Wolverine. In fact his whole bit probably steals the film. Again.
What I Didn’t Like:
1. The story jumped around all over the place.
2. It had a massive cast and didn’t build up people it wanted you to care about: Storm, Psylock, Angel, and several others were given cursory background information and then cast into the melee to sink or swim.
3. Apocalypse’s power is basically; whatever the plot needs him to do. I know he’s been absorbing powers for ages, but every time the plot needs him to do something, he suddenly has a power that can do it.
4. Apocalypse is boring. Like, really, really boring.
5. It’s another Magneto vs Xavier with Mystique flittering between them film. This was getting old in the last film, here it’s just tired and dull.
I didn’t hate the film. In fact I found it quite enjoyable, but it tried to do too much with too many characters, and didn’t really manage it. It’s worth a watch, but it made me think, “I wonder what Marvel would do with all of these characters.”
Maybe they should have just done an Age of Apocalypse film, but this feels like it’s the middle part of something larger. Still, I’m glad I saw it, and the 2 and a bit hours flew by. I just wish they’d done so much less to achieve so much more.
There are probably some of you out there who haven’t picked up the Hellequin books as of yet. I’m here to help with that.
At the moment, the Hellequin Chronicles ebooks are on sale in 3 different countries. I’ll supply links and info below about each of them, primarily because I’m nice like that, but also because I want people to actually buy the books.
So, first up is the USA.
All 5 books are currently on offer for under $10. That’s a whole lot of reading for $10.
Now to my homeland, the UK.
All 5 books are only £0.99 each.
Last, but by no means least, is Australia.
Each Hellequin book is only $1.49 there.
So, that’s it. Lots of sales, and all of them only lasting until the end of the month, so get them while you can. And if you do decide to take the plunge, I hope you enjoy them.
This post is probably not going to be of an interest to everyone. There is some writing stuff, as book 6 went off to my publisher today, but this is more to do to do with photos of the puppy we just brought home.
Her name is Korra, she’s 8 weeks old, and she’s a German Shepherd. Bask in her cuteness.
Essentially her job is to make a mess, look cute, bite my feet and sleep.
I’m off to start a new book, which is very exciting, but I may have to leave my office on occasion to play with the new puppy. Just occasionally.
This is going to be a brief post as I just want to bring to everyone’s attention the sale going on right now in the USA.
All 5 Hellequin books are only $1.99, and with book 6 out this year, this is the perfect time to get stuck into an action-packed, urban fantasy.
Here’s the link:
I figured today is probably the time to tell everyone about what I’ll be doing now that my entire working life will centre around writing. That and drinking.
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me over the years, who have purchased and enjoyed my books, who tell their friends and family, who e-mail or message me to say how much the enjoy the books and Nate’s adventures. You’re all awesome and I wouldn’t be able to write full-time without your support. Thank you.
Now, on to what I have coming up. I have several projects I plan to get to in the next 12 months, but as I have a contract for 2 of them, I’ll get to them first.
Hellequin Chronicles Book 6 has a title: Promise of Wrath
And the second book I’ll be writing next year is the first in a new series (it’s set in the Hellequin Universe, but has nothing to do with those books). The book is called: Divided.
I also got a few other things to work on. Basically I’m going to be very busy. Which means I won’t be able to say, “sod it,” and go play Fallout 4. At least not too often.
So, this is it. This is my last day of full-time employment. As of 3pm this evening, I am a full-time author. To be fair, it’s about time, trying to write full-time and working full-time isn’t good long-term.
I’ve worked at Siemens, doing Data Analysis, for 11 ½ years. During that time, I’ve met some incredible people who made coming to work worthwhile. I’ve also met some of the worst people I’ve ever had the displeasure to encounter. But they can fuck off, as I’ll never have to see them ever again.
For the last 3 ½ years I’ve been working at Siemens and being also being a published author, and being able to write full-time is something I’ve dreamed of since I was about 12 years old.
After 3pm this evening, I’m done. I’ve brought in enough cake that I think it quantifies as a ‘shit load’, and I’m going to see Star Wars this evening with my wife and daughter. Then I have a weekend off, before I’m going to be getting on with the business of writing.
So, thank you to all of those people who made coming to work worthwhile and entertaining. To everyone who was a pleasure to work with, who was a friend, thank you for the support you gave me when I started writing, and continue to give me now.
I’m not going to miss my job. I’m going to be doing something most people never get to do. I’m going to be doing my dream job. I’m going to be writing stories. Personally I can’t think of anything better to do for a living.
Because I’m a terrible person, I completely forgot about a question I was asked on Twitter over a month ago. So, to Jack, I’m very sorry.
I figured there’s no time like the present. Jack’s question was about starting to write. Now the following tips will work for me, and they might work for you, but don’t take them as gospel. Each person needs to find their own way of writing, and what works for me might not work for you.
With that said, here are my tips for getting started (for this list, I’m going to assume people already have their story idea and characters, because that’s a whole separate list).
Have An Outline
I know some people don’t like to have a plot worked out before they start writing, they like to wing it. These people are crazy. I’ve done it myself, I’ve sat down with only a barebones idea and started writing, and for me it just means everything takes five times longer to finish.
From about book 3, I realised I need to have an idea of where I’m going. I like to know what I’m going to be doing that particular session of writing. So, I have an outline of the chapter, or chapters, that I’ll be working on.
The outline isn’t overly deep, mostly because I tend to add or remove things as needed, but it gives me something to get started with. I see it sort of like a sandbox Videogame. If someone hands me a game and says, “This is a sandbox game. You can do anything you like.” I’m more likely to just run around and see what I can break, or if I can get that car to jump off that ramp I saw twenty minutes ago. I’m unfocused. But if someone hands me the same game and says, “This is a sandbox game. But here are the story missions.” I’m more likely to at least have a plan what I’m going to do. I might run around blowing stuff up for half hour, but I have an end goal.
I find it similar with writing. My outline for work gives me enough to get on with (usually how the chapter will end, start and anything major that needs to happen), but how I get from the beginning to the end is entirely up to my own imagination.
I know it sounds obvious, but wherever it is you’re going to be writing, make sure you’re comfortable. Make sure you have a drink or some snacks (if needed), because you don’t want to have to get up and leave to get a drink when you’re in the middle of something important.
Personally, I can’t listen to music with words while I’m writing. So, I use soundtracks. I have a collection of movie and videogame soundtracks that I put on when starting, something to get me into the mood of what I’m working on. So, for action scenes, I use the Dredd soundtrack, or Mass Effect. Something like that. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes I just want quiet, but I find music can help set the scene.
Let Yourself Start
At some point, you just have to get on with it. The hardest bit of starting is the start. Yes, I know that isn’t helpful, but it’s true. Get over that first sentence, or paragraph and you’ll have a much easier time of it. And you’re never going to get over it, if you don’t sit down and actually start writing. It might be awful, it might be the shittiest writing ever committed to page, it doesn’t matter, because it’s something. It’s something to get those creative thoughts flowing, and it’s something to build on.
STAY AWAY FROM THE INTERNET
Seriously, if you’re going to try writing, going online, “just to check something,” is not going to help you. There are programmes that will remove all connection to anything not the page you’re writing on. If you need them, then go right ahead. I find it helps to have a ten minute break every hour to check FB, Twitter, my email, or whatever. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out, but it all depends how deeply in the moment of writing I am.
So, there are some ideas. Hopefully some of them will help. And if they don’t, hopefully some of them will lead you to those that do.
In other news, all 5 Hellequin Chronicles books are on sale in the UK for the month of December.
At only £1 each, that’s a lot of reading for not a lot of money.
Here’s the link if you want to go pick yourself up a little something:
So, I handed in my notice today. I’ve worked at my job for 11 1/2 years, and been a published writer for 3 1/2 alongside it. It’s become more and more obvious that doing both is a recipe for a lack of sleep and a general disinterest in my full-time work.
My last day here will be the 18th December, after which, I’ll be a full-time writer. I’ll have news of future books in the next few weeks, I hope, but for now, I just wanted to share that I get to do something I’ve been hoping and dreaming about since I was 14.
It’s both incredibly exciting, and utterly terrifying. But a good kind of terrifying.