Monday, 18 March 2013

Ancient Greek drama

I used to study classics (specialising in ancient Greek culture and language) and English literature as an undergraduate. I felt that the two subjects were complementary, especially since Greek drama, philosophy, art, politics, myth and so on have had such enduring effects on our culture. I don’t do so much with my classics knowledge nowadays. It has been some time since I translated a passage of ancient Greek, despite my intentions to do it every day when I left university! However, I’m in the mood for classics today. I thought I would type up some of my memories of Greek drama and mention related topics in passing. The contents of this post aren't comprehensive - if you want to get an overview them check Wikipedia. Still, the notes might be of use to story writers; or people interested in drama, or ancient culture; or maybe even just of interest... because.

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Monday, 11 March 2013

Development of the CF2K cover

Normally when I finish a book I come up with a temporary cover myself, then work with Derek Murphy at Creativindie on a more professional design. When I did this with Turner I followed it up with blog posts showing the evolution, from early drafts, to later revisions, to the final version. (For comparison, there is an image of the original cover here). I'm fascinated with how the ideas take form so thought I'd follow the same process for Cold Fusion 2000.

The original cover I made, based on Marek Bernat's image

I liked my own cover because it captured a modern starkness that fits the surreality of Jane's story, yet the face image isn't tied to an individual character and could represent Jane or Natalie. It also ties in to the descriptions of faces and art within the novel (it resembles a line drawing). The washed-out nature could be because of bright sunlight, which fit the plot. The cover was pretty, it generated desire, but was also otherworldly and cold and lonely. I still like it but it lacked warmth.

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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A list of books... set on islands

There are a few lists of novels set on those most special of isolated places: islands. However, I wanted to task my friends with coming up with a list which meant something to them, as a kind of crowdsourcing game. This would inevitably be something quite eclectic compared to the usual list, and it was really interesting for me to see what people recommend. Like a psychology experiment with no hypothesis.

For this list books only count if most of the novel, or at least the important scenes, are set on an isolated island. As such I won't include things like The Life of Pi (a novel I hated - the only bit I enjoyed was the floating island!) I also did not count islands which are also countries themselves e.g. Cyprus.

When I did my English lit A level in the dim and distant past I chose to do an extended essay on 'island fiction', examining what it told us about human nature. I used Robinson Crusoe, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Golding's Lord of the Flies. Therefore they all appear in this list, along with my first novel (which wouldn't have worked if it wasn't set on an island).

I've added the list to Goodreads ListopiaShelfari, and Amazon's Listmania. Many thanks to my friends and helpers for contributing: Johanna, Sarah, Bec, Emma, Justin, Sam x2, Regina, Heidi, Helen, Rob, Alyson, Andrew, Neal, Elizabeth, Meg, Michele, Michael, Trish, and Joe. I originally got the idea for this blog post from reading fellow writer Helen J. Beal's blog.

Let the listage commence! Oh, and it is in no particular order.

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Friday, 1 March 2013

Cambrian News

Cambrian News, Thursday 28th February 2013

Yep, that's me gesticulating passionately while talking about the creative process and the portrayal of love in fiction.
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