Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

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 inspirations.

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:

D.M. Cain profile picture - Raven 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.

The decline of religion: Religion plays an important role in my life, which is unusual, as I am agnostic. I feel that faith is beautiful and special. I, sadly, am not lucky enough to have it myself, but I don’t understand why people blame religion for the world’s problems. I wanted to portray a world which was clearly worse for the decline of religion in an attempt to show the benefits of faith.

Salverford prison: I travelled a lot whilst I was writing The Phoenix Project and many of the places that I visited helped to fuel my imagination and give depth to my work. On a trip to Rome, I visited the Colosseum and was inspired by the ancient building. The exhibits on gladiators gave me a deeper understanding of the life of a person forced to fight to the death. I was able to pick out certain details and use them in The Phoenix Project – such as the type of food gladiators were given to eat.

I also spent some time in Krakow, Poland, and visited Aushwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. I’ll never forget the horror of the place, particularly Block 11, the torture and incarceration block. The long, thin cell which Raven passes in the Ruby Tower dungeons comes directly from a cell I saw at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The descriptions of smoke billowing from small chimneys also come from things I saw at Auschwitz.Terror Haza Budapest underground prison cells

 

The place which gave me the most inspiration for Salverford, especially the underground cellars of Ruby Tower and the dark room, was the Terror Haza Museum in Budapest. This museum is the old offices of the Soviet Union Stasi and, later, The Nazi party’s Gestapo. Underneath the building, in the cold, dark cellars, is a grim and depressing dungeon of tiny, damp cells and a crushing sense of futility. I crept inside one of the waist-high cells and sat in pitch darkness and felt despair crowding in on me. This is where the ‘dark room’ was born.

 

The Colosseum:

I love the city of Rome. I’ve visited three times and have loved it more every time! Setting the finale in Rome fitted in well with the religion theme and gave the novel a focus, but I also enjoyed writing about a place I loved so dearly. The Colosseum was a great place for Raven to end up as an ironic safe place.

As I was coming close to finishing ‘The Phoenix Project’, I was preparing myself to write the epilogue about Rome. My incredibly thoughtful husband surprised and delighted me by treating me to a holiday in Rome for Valentine’s day in 2010. It meant that I was able to write that final chapter in Rome itself.

Rome Colosseum

 

Get your copy of The Phoenix Project here


RELATED LINKS:

The Phoenix Project

THE PHOENIX PROJECT by DM Cain – my review no.51

My editing process

 

 

ALL ABOUT THE #RRBC SPONSORS BLOG HOP!​ @BornforMidwife​

Rave Reviews Book Club Sponsors Blog Hop!

Welcome to the first ever ALL ABOUT THE SPONSORS BLOG HOP!  These kind members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC) donated their support during the 2017 conference, in the way of gift card and Kindle e-book donations for our Gift Basket Raffle. To reward them for their support they are being featured on a variety of blogs to showcase their work.
 
There are several books on tour today, so please visit the HOP’S main page to follow along. See what you like the look of, grab a book or two, have a read and leave a review – that’s the best ‘thank you’ any author can ever receive.
 
Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the HOP’S main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!

BORN FOR LIFE​ by Julie Watson

Born for Life by Julie Watson RRBC

Blurb: 

A nurse aide position in the local maternity annexe at the age of sixteen gave Julie a love for being with women during labour and birth and caring for mothers and their babies.

Life could not have been happier until the tragic death of her own baby in the first hour of life led to depression, loneliness and despair.

This true story tells of Julie’s struggle to triumph over adversity and follows her journey to fulfil her dream and become the midwife she was born to be.

Grab your copy on Amazon here


This blog hop has been sponsored by:  4WillsPublishing

Review of Soldier Son: The Terralin Sword by D.K. Holmberg

A run-of-the-mill fantasy story with some interesting ideas

The Teralin Sword was an interesting story with some great plot points. I was particularly gripped by the concept of the mineral Teralin itself. The author developed a really cool concept with the nature of this metal and its ability to be forged into fascinating weapons. I also enjoyed the dark monks and their evil ways – they lent a brutal gravitas to the book and gave the protagonist a believable and sympathetic motive for his part in the story.

The plot itself, though dotted with some interesting ideas, was a pretty standard fantasy story. It was quite predictable and a lot of the characters and plot points fit a little too neatly into typical fantasy tropes.  The characters were a little weak and forgettable. In fact, now that I am a week past the end of the book I can’t clearly remember many of the characters at all! (There was also only one female character and she served merely as a faint romantic interest to the protagonist. This grated on me somewhat.)

The writing was generally good and Holmberg has a good style which is accessible and easy to read.

Grab a copy on Amazon here

epic fantasy novel sword and sorcery

urban fantasy shapeshifting CL Schneider

A gritty urban fantasy reminiscent of Jessica Jones

As this blog focuses on world-building, I want to share with you my review of a great urban fantasy book I read recently that has excellent world-building – Nite Fire: Flash Point by C.L. Schneider – Enjoy!

A dark, gritty urban fantasy that is reminiscent of Jessica Jones

 

This book took me a long time to finish, not because I wasn’t enjoying it but because every inch of the world is so rich and loaded with fantastic details which all come together to build an image of this heavy, dark city plagued by crime and a nasty underworld of creature attacks. I was strongly reminded of the Jessica Jones TV show. This book has the same film-noir feel to it – sour, embittered detectives and dark underworld goings-on. The protagonist, Dahlia Nite is also very Jessica Jones – strong, independent and won’t take any nonsense from anybody!

As with all of C.L. Schneider’s work, the plot is complex and well-developed, the characters grey and layered. Nothing is as it seems, and there is always layer upon layer of mystery, intrigue, snappy comebacks and downright brutal violence. Schneider is one of few authors I read who can make my jaw physically drop. She is a master of the epic reveal!

A cracking read – I can’t wait for the next in the series!

Grab it on Amazon here!

More from C.L. Schneider:

clschneider

Cover reveal for an outstanding urban fantasy book

 Nite Fire: Chain Reaction

One of my favourite authors, C.L. Schneider, is on the countdown to releasing her latest novel – Chain Reaction: Book 2 of Nite Fire (an epic urban fantasy series). I’m super excited to share the cover with you. Inspired by a compilation of several scenes within the book, the cover features empathic shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, in her (mostly) human form. The artwork was created by the amazing cover artist, Alan Dingman.

C.L.Schneider Nite Fie: Chain Reaction cover reveal urban fantasy

Blurb

If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds—creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.

Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have is questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?

Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire Series.

Nite Fire: Chain Reaction - epic urban fantasy dragon shapeshifters

Curious about the series?

Read excerpts at clschneiderauthor.com

Check out the trailer for Flash Point (bk#1)  https://youtu.be/C041ClBpihI

Catch up with book #1 before book #2 comes out! http://mybook.to/NF1

Chain Reaction will be available for paperback and up for pre-order soon. Subscribe to the newsletter for information on the official release date http://bit.ly/2EgLFfr

C.L.Schneider Nite Fie: Chain Reaction cover reveal urban fantasy

About the Author

C. L. Schneider

Award-winning epic and urban fantasy author C.L. SchneiderC.L. Schneider is an award-winning independent author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she currently resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley Region with her husband and two sons. Her published works include the epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, and Flash Point, the first book in her urban fantasy series, Nite Fire. Book two, Chain Reaction, will be released in early 2018.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the worlds she creates, at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, join her Street Team, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on social media, where she is often found chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

Published Works

All titles available in paperback or for Kindle. Read free with Kindle Unlimited.

Nite Fire: Flash Point (Bk 1)

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price (also available on Audible)

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Borne

Epic and urban fantasy novels by C.L. Schneider

Connect

Twitter  https://twitter.com/cl_schneider

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/CLS.Author

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/clschneiderauthor/

Google+  https://www.google.com/+CLSchneider

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCLSchneider


 

Related Posts:

Cover reveal for C.L Schneider’s new fantasy book!

 

 

Coalville Writes literary festival

Coalville Writes Literary Festival

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!)

authors writers Coalville Writes

Related Links:

My first radio interview!

D.M. Cain’s Books

 

New fantasy titles coming this year!

So, I’ve been out of the loop for a while now (thanks to my gorgeous new arrival <3) but I am pleased to say that this year I am back with two new titles in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series!

Two novellas – ‘Genesis of Light’ and ‘Origin of Shadow’ will be released in 2018 and I will begin edits on the recently completed full length novel ‘The Sins of Silas’. How exciting!

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The Black River Chronicles

Today I am delighted to hand my blog over to the wonderful L.G. Surgeson who has just relaunched her stunning Black River Chronicles series. She’s here to tell us a bit about it:

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About the Chronicles

The Black River Chronicles is a series of the tales that follows the exploits of The Aberddu Guild of Adventurers – a rag-gag collection of mercenaries, thieves, priests and misguided hero-types that seem to wonder into the path of fate with worrying frequency. It’s an odd life as an adventurer,  particularly when you joined up for fame and fortune but find yourself up to your knees in the middens of history.  In the first three stories, the adventurers take on ancient evils,  wicked demon-worshippers and a maniacal God in the full knowledge that unless they rob someone on the way home they won’t get paid.  Some of them will live, some will die and some will last forever. Join the adventure and follow the Black River to see where it leads.

SOFpromo

Praise for the Chronicles

The Summer of Fire:

“… the characters carry the day. I loved the characters and there are plenty of them.”

“This was a good book, very captivating”

The Winter That Follows:

“The characters are rich and deep, and give the feeling of having lived. I look forward to the next in the series.”

The Freetown Bridge:

“The story moves on quickly and brought me to genuine laughter and even a heartfelt tear. I am surprised that this is the first book by Surgeson; with a start like this I expect great things to come!!”

“An excellent first edition of a novel to rival the current fantasy fiction favourites.”

About the Author

author profile 3LG Surgeson is a writer and teacher who lives in a cottage by a river in a little Welsh village with her long-suffering partner and their two cats. She writes novels and articles in the spare time she creates by avoiding the housework and pretending to be a hermit. She likes to write fantasy adventure stories and quasi-autobiographical tales about teaching, which are equally fantastical and no less adventurous but have fewer elves. She also writes articles and blog posts about subjects close to her heart, normally education and mental health. When she’s not writing, she likes to poke about in her garden, pretending to grow things and disturbing the fairies. Her cats like to help. They aren’t good at it.

 

Social Media Links

Blog

https://aberdduadventures.wordpress.com/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/LGSurgeson/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/LGSurgeson

Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/lgsurgeson/

Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-Surgeson/e/B006K18OTM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6093663.L_G_Surgeson

Brand new fast-paced fantasy

My brand new epic fantasy novel The Shield of Soren has just gone live on Amazon!

Grab your copy here

What an amazing journey the author leads you on! With remarkable characters, a sensational and catchy story line, and a captivating ending, you won’t want the story to end.  Amazon reader

The characters are superbly written. Amazon reader.

This is a great fast-paced fantasy with very memorable characters. Amazon reader.

Soren postcard front 2