The Phoenix Project is a story that is very close to my heart. I had the original idea in 2002 and it has slowly grown with the input of a variety of influences and inspiration.
Inspiration #1: Raven Kennedy:
Raven began as the villain, Vincent, in my first novel “Dead End” (an idea which never came to fruition). The plot didn’t work, but I adored his character so I kept him and developed him as the antagonist in the fantasy world of ‘The Light and Shadow Chronicles’ (You may have met him in A Chronicle of Chaos or The Shield of Soren).
I loved the character so much that I took the idea of him and developed it in another direction—into the dark and depressed Raven in my next novel, The Phoenix Project.
Having worked with Raven for so long, I am very emotionally attached to him. Even though he is fictional, I feel that he is a part of my heart and soul. Hence this tattoo:
Raven also features as a major character in The Light and Shadow Chronicles. I don’t think I will ever write a book that doesn’t have Raven in it in some way. He is my muse and my access to my creativity.
How was The Phoenix Project inspired by my love of games, film and books?
Science fiction, fantasy and general geek culture have always been a huge part of my life. Growing up it was Star Wars, Marvel, anime, and a fixation with the Final Fantasy game series. As an adult, I am working my way through the great sci-fi and dystopian films and books of our time. Also, I am discovering an immense love of all things fantasy (especially those which include immersive world-building such as Game of Thrones).
When my debut novel, The Phoenix Project, was released I decided to delve into the themes and ideas within the book to see which of these geek culture influences made their mark upon my writing.
Tell me about YOU! I’m writing to you today to ask you a few questions. I don’t want this to be a blog where I just talk at you – I want a two-way dialogue! So, tell me a bit about yourself.
Who are you? What are you interested in? What are your favourite books, movies, TV shows? (This isn’t a trick or a ploy of some sort – I genuinely want to get to know you!)
Is there anything I can do to help you? Would you like recommendations of other books similar to mine? Want to know how I got my books published? Would you like writing or editing tips? Want to discuss worldbuilding and extended universes? Or maybe you just want to know who I think would win in a fight between Deadpool and Black Panther.
Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, drop me a line. Ask a question, tell me a fact, let me know about you, ask for help – anything!
I look forward to hearing from you! (simply reply to this post, fill in a contact form, or drop me a message on Facebook or Twitter)
My editing process is a long and tiring one, but strangely I wholeheartedly enjoy parts of it (especially the early stages.)
I initially write my books using two methods. I spend a few hours a week sitting in cafes or restaurants with my trusty notebook, where I will hand-write sections of my story. It’s a bit old-school, I know, but there’s something special about cutting off from technology and getting back to basics with good old pen and paper. I often find that this is when my creativity truly blossoms.
This Saturday I will be appearing alongside Stewart Bint at the Pop-Up book fair as part of the Coalville Writes literary festival in Leicestershire (10.30am – 4.30pm) Why not pop along and see us? You can buy signed books, get some free goodies and enter a competition to win something cool (prize yet to be decided!)
Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to be interviewed on Radio Leicester by the wonderful Emma Boydell. Having heard my recent segment about Marvel’s latest movie, Black Panther, I was invited onto the show to talk about my writing.
My immersive fantasy novels A Chronicle of Chaosand The Shield of Soren are part of a dark, epic series called The Light and Shadow Chronicles. This series features warriors, epic battles, angels, demons, magic and people with incredible powers.
So what makes it any different from countless other fantasy series? Read on to find out…