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

 

 

Enough about me – tell me about YOU!

Hello fans of D.M. Cain! 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.So-how-can-I-help-you

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)


RELATED LINKS:

About D.M. Cain

Contact

How I boosted my mailing list subscribers from 96 to 973 in a few days

Dos and Don’ts of running a book stall

On Saturday March 10th 2018 I held a stall at the Coalville Writes literary festival. It was my first author event of this kind and therefore, a steep learning curve!

Here’s what I learned about running a book stall:

DO:

  • Prop up your books with little stands so that they are clearly visible. If your books are just lying down flat then people will only see them when they come right up to the table. You need people to see the books from far away. A fellow stall holder and author, Matt Beighton, did a particularly good job of this with his large foamex boards of his book covers:

Matt Beighton Coalville Writes author book stall

  • Have eye-catching banners – My banner for The Phoenix Project was the best tool I had for drawing people towards the stall. Lots of people commented on it or stopped to read it (and I could then pounce on them and engage in a chat!)

The Phoenix Project D.M. Cain book stall

  • Smile – Even though we just see ourselves as struggling authors desperate for  readers, some people may be intimidated by our title as a ‘professional writer’. Make sure you smile and are as friendly as possible.
  • Talk to people – As with the previous point, get out there and talk to people. Don’t stand behind the stall as it puts a barrier between you and your readers. Strip that barrier away and engage with people by standing out at the front.
  • Use this as an opportunity to get mailing list signups – even if people don’t buy a book on that day they might later if you keep in touch with them.
  • Offer free stuff/competitions – I did a competition to win a £20 Amazon giftcard in exchange for people signing up for mailing list and buying books. I also handed out free bookmarks and chocolates  – people love free stuff!

DON’T:

  • Sit down – It makes you look unapproachable and it would turn away many a customer who just want to chat to you. Do everything you can to strip down the walls between author and reader.
  • Forget to take change – I initially planned to sell all my books for £10 but then changed to include a deal where people could buy two books from the series for £17 – but I forget to bring any change! So when somebody bought the pair I had to run around trying to find some change for them!
  • Come unprepared – I not only forgot change but I also had to run to the local shop to buy sellotape, string, post-it notes and all the other little things I had forgotten!
  • Be intimidated by people – Yes, they’re your customers. Yes, you have to do everything you can to get them reading your work, but at the end of the day they’re just people. Don’t be afraid, don’t panic – just get out there and talk to them. Don’t ‘sell’, just chat!
  • Use untrackable competition entries – As part of my Amazon giftcard giveaway I allowed people to earn multiple entries into my competition by doing different things. People earned 10 entries for buying a paperback, 5 for an ebook, 1 for following on social media and 1 for signing up to the mailing list. Of these options, only the paperback sales and the mailing list signups worked. And that’s because they were were things people could do easily, there and then. It would be too hard to track who signed up on which social media platform. And why would people stand at my stall and buy an ebook and then have to show me an email as proof? Too hard! Make sure all entries are as easy as possible and can be done there and then.

Amazon gift voucher competition poster

As my first author event of this type, I think it went well and I learned a lot. Next time, I’ll be following my own advice and hopefully will get even more sales!

What tips do you have for holding a stall? Tell me in the comments below.

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!

Instagram poster 1.jpg

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:

brcpromo (4)

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

Epic-immersive-fantasy-The-Shield-of-Soren

The Shield of Soren – cover reveal!

COVER REVEAL

I’m so excited to share with you the cover for my upcoming release! This next installment in The Light and Shadow Chronicles is called The Shield of Soren. Set thirty years before the events of A Chronicle of Chaos, this novel covers the story of mischievous trouble maker, ten-year-old Soren Nitaya and the events that change the way he will see the world forever.

The Shield of Soren full cover.jpg

BLURB

Ten-year-old Soren Nitaya’s marked talent makes him the youngest soldier ever to become an apprentice to the legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. As a prince of Alcherys, he will be expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow when he reaches sixteen.

But is the young prince up to the task when he’s more interested in causing mischief than in mastering weapons?

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he unwittingly unleashes a deadly threat. It appears that an age-old prophecy is finally coming to pass, and Soren and his family must take a perilous journey deep into their enemy’s land. Does Soren have what it takes to save his country before the Brotherhood destroys everyone and everything he loves?

SorenandChaossidebyside3D

The Shield of Soren EXCERPT

With a loud clang of metal slamming into metal, the final bolt was undone. Reign slowly pulled the door open, and Vincent found his breath catching in his throat.

High-pitched whimpering came from the tiny bundle of rags cowering at the back of the cage. Her long silver hair parted for a moment and Vincent could see her wide, silver eyes, terrified and innocent. Vincent’s skin prickled with discomfort. He hoped that Reign had a damned good reason for capturing a small child like this.

Beside the glass cage were two oil lamps, both resting unlit. Reign reached up and took one down. Then, in a single savage moment, he slammed the lamp onto the floor of her cage. The girl screamed in terror and covered her head with her hands, but he hadn’t been aiming for her.

The shattered glass gave way to a stream of oil that spread out in a pool across the floor. This seemed to scare the girl even more, and she began to cry quietly, sobbing into her clenched hands.

Reign looked back at Vincent. Excitement flashed in his eyes as he drew a match from a box in his pocket. A small flare of light, a flicker of sulphur and a small flame danced on top of the match. With another laugh, Reign tossed the match into the glass cage.

Vincent gasped as the oil ignited in a rush of intense heat. The entire floor of the cage burst into flames. Vincent tried to rush forwards to save the girl from a fiery death, but the heat was too intense. A hand tapped incessantly at his shoulder, and he tried to brush it away, but Reign grabbed hold of his hand.

“Look! Look!” Reign shouted excitedly, pointing at the cage.

When his eyes fell upon the cage, Vincent froze to the spot, his eyes nearly popping from their sockets. “But…how?”

The girl, who Vincent had assumed would be burning in agony, was somehow floating above the flames, hovering at the top of her cage. From her back sprouted two enormous wings of the purest white feathers Vincent had ever seen. The two beautiful white fans could only just fit within the confines of the cage, and as she beat them to stay afloat they fanned the flames beneath her.

It wasn’t just her wings that dazzled Vincent with their purity. Her whole body had adopted an ethereal, almost ghostly, silver aura, her hair shimmering with radiance. She didn’t seem too frightened any more, but there was a definite hint of sadness in her gentle eyes.

Vincent studied her carefully, struggling to catch his breath, which he hadn’t realised he had been holding. “What is she?” he managed to croak.

Reign grinned and draped an arm across Vincent’s shoulder. “She, my friend, is an angel.”

 

D.M. CAIN BIO

D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for Creativia Publishing. The Light and Shadow Chronicles series features a range of books which can be read in any order. The first of these to be written was A Chronicle of Chaos. The Shield of Soren will be released in March 2017. She is currently working on the next novel in the Light and Shadow Chronicles series, The Sins of Silas, as well as two complementary novellas entitled Genesis of Light and Origin of Shadow.

Cain has released one stand-alone novel: The Phoenix Project, a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future. The Phoenix Project was the winner of the 2016 Kindle Book Review Best Sci-Fi novel Award.

D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story The End was published in Awethology Dark: an anthology by the #Awethors.

Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal.

 

LINKS

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/DMCainauthor

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dmcain84/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DMCain84

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/dmcain

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/XevZH

Website: www.dmcain84.com

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DMCain/posts

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