Remember that short film I was in where I read Day Watch on set? Well, here it is. Made by Vico Films. Blink and you'll miss me.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
2.Doctor Who: Ghosts of India by Mark Morris
Pinky very kindly gave me this book last Saturday. It is a Dr Who novel set during the days of the Dr as played by David Tennant with Donna as his companion. I have read a few Dr Who novels and adaptations before and found them to vary in quality. So far, Ghosts of India is good.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
This week I went to Brittas Bay, a beautiful sandy beach in Co. Wicklow, about 45 minutes drive down the motorway from where I am staying in Dublin at the moment. It was such a warm, sunny day I decided to get out into the fresh air and get some inspiration. Also, I miss the sound of the sea and the smell of the salt air. I'm used to living between the sea and the mountains, and while I still have the mountains, I do miss the water a lot. I think I am part water sprite (don't know which part, however).
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Anon also challenged me to write a limerick about blood. Here it is Anon.
Finally, SSQuo challenged me to write a poem set in the future, contained alliteration with the letter Z, included my name Murphy and had a metaphor for my Iphone. Thanks for going easy on me SSQuo. :) I decided to write in the lyric form because it is my favourite type of poem to recite (I have been told I have a very lyrical voice). Here it is, I hope you like.
Zealous zombie zealots
The redness of their broken veins
My love nestles warm within my palm,
The ship is waiting in the square,
The spaceship scorches a blazing trail through the clouds,
Any ideas for my next Inkpot Challenge? Let me know.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Spencer L Casey lives in Northern California and has been writing since he was in Primary School. ‘Dalia’s Fire’, his first full length work of fiction, combines his love of horror and thriller in a fast paced supernatural page turner reminiscent of Dean Koontz.
The book centres on Dalia, a young woman, and her estranged father Jay. Dalia is pregnant, but can’t remember who the father is until he comes calling for his offspring. She disappears and Jay’s home in the mountains burns in a raging fire impossible to put out. Suspected of murder, and plagued by visions, Jay has to find his daughter - and soon to be granddaughter - before it is too late. Can this curmudgeon recluse get anyone to help him?
‘Dalia’s Fire’ starts strong and hooked my interest from the first page. The pace, apart from the occasional blip, rolls forward with gathering intensity, making it very hard to put the book down. The characters are likeable and well written and I cared about them, often shouting at the book to egg Jay on to action or worrying for Dalia in her hardship. I found the character of Dalia particularly appealing. She is a young woman who lost herself in drink, drugs and debauchery to escape the pain of life but, during the course of the novel, slowly wakes up to her behaviour and matures. The antagonist (who I won’t name here for fear of spoilers) was also one of my favourite characters. The pages sizzle every time he appears and he is evil, tempered with enough depth to make him human.
The supernatural elements, hinted at from the beginning, come into their own in the middle and latter parts of the book. As a fan of the paranormal, this extra string to the story line increased my interest in the novel. Spencer weaves the supernatural story into the plot well, without damaging the believability of the realistic modern day setting or reducing the story line to fantasy. The supernatural element itself is new and refreshing and while I did not agree with some of the rules of its universe, they were complete and well told.
By the end of the book it becomes obvious that the central theme is love – something that Spencer is quite open about in his books. Love a parent has for a child, love a man has for a woman, love we all have for our environment. This made the story stronger for me, and the ending is fantastic, wrapping up the threads with a satisfying, and emotional climax, leaving just enough of a hint about things that may or may not come in the future that you are left wanting more.
This was the first book of Spencer L Casey that I’ve read and he is an author I will look out for in the future. His fast paced writing, strong characters and emotionally satisfying plot are exactly what I look for in a book and once you find an author who delivers, it is good to hang on to them.
‘Dalia’s Fire’ is a highly enjoyable, entertaining piece of fiction. If you enjoy thrillers, and especially ones with a different edge such as the works of Dean Koontz or Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, then I think this book is for you. It is currently available from Lulu and Amazon. Its ISBN is 0557033470 and is 298 pages long. $1 from every book sold goes to fire relief or fire prevention in California. To learn more about Spencer L Casey, read my interview of him here.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I took with me
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Now, onto the important matter of the day. My challenge. I was challenged to write a poem by Malice Blackheart last week. The form - sonnet. The theme - favourite fictional character. Words to be included - entirely, lonesome and caricature. The deadline - today, Friday 13th February 2009.
Shadowthorne decided to further challenge me to approach a random stranger while on my travels out and about and ask them how they would like the poem written. It was a brilliant challenge, Shadowthorne, but I am afraid I failed. SSQuo told me not to leave the house - ordered me! - how could I disobey? :)
As for the sonnet? Well, Malice has already posted his excellent poem titled 'The Crow'. You should read it, it is fab. How did I fare? I am pleased to say I wrote a sonnet. It was tough, but I got it done on time. Here it is:-
When burdened with the problems life does bring
And earth bound all the sky is denied me,
I let the darkness inside reign as king -
Shades and caricatures are all I see.
Freedom-less with clay feet I cannot fly,
Wildly I reach for dreams beyond my scope,
Wishing for a different path where I
Forego my lonesome ways for ones of hope.
In this malaise serenity I seek,
To fill my vision entirely with you.
Watching you shoot your gun and hear you speak,
My spirits your adventures doth renew.
For thoughts on you gives me such sweet delights;
Sustains me through the hardest days and nights.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Hello Spencer, it is very exciting interviewing you for my blog. I really enjoyed ‘Dalia’s Fire’. I’m interested to know how long you have been writing?
My first poem came out in the fourth grade. It's a funny story, actually. We had a writing contest to get into a book published by educators in our county. Probably 30 schools and 15,000 kids. So our teacher had everyone write a poem. I wrote mine and threw it away. She retrieved it - love this woman forever - submitted it and it was chosen for the book along with maybe a hundred other pieces.
More than twenty-five years later, after I had been married to my love for several years, we were digging through some old boxes and discovered that we were both in that same book. The poem she "wrote" at five years old from a school sixty miles away, two decades before we would meet was published on the page just before mine. Weird, eh?
My first short story was in my late teens and my first novel was about nine years ago.
How you describe your writing style?
When I wrote for the county's Scripps Howard paper I was told I had a friendly writing style. I think I write in the moment. If you know horror, Dean Koontz would be in the moment and Anne Rice would be in a more abstract state. I'm closer to Mr. Koontz. I write mostly complex, difficult, emotional, sometimes horrific stories in a very straightforward way.
Is 'Dalia’s Fire' your first published novel?
I've written six books. Two are short-story compilations published under a different name. The other three are, well, practice novels. They will never be seen by any eyes but my own. So, yes, this is my first published novel. I have three more in various states of composition and plan on releasing one a year.
Can you tell me a little about your inspiration for the book?
I grew up and live in the area where the book takes place. In my early 20's a blaze called Fountain Fire swept through the hills and trees I had known like friends since I was old enough to know, much the way Jack Bastion knows and loves the wilderness near his home. The fire was a devastating time. My grandparents lost their home of twenty years or so in Round Mountain, Rounders Mountain in the book. The story grew from there, fueled by my fascination with the power of the human mind to create beyond the boundaries of thought.
I notice that a percentage from each copy of your book sold goes to help people who have suffered from the recent fires in California, which is a lovely idea. How often do real life events influence your work?
Real life events almost always influence what I write, whether it's for a setting, a character, an emotion or an idea. Even the most fantastical creations are filled with pieces of my own life. Real life is the fuel that burns during the writing process and the resulting flames are the story.
I heard you say once that you find writing in different genres helps you keep your writing fresh. You likened writing in one genre all the time to being like only eating one type of food. With that in mind, which genre do you consider the staple of your literary diet?
It's horror, definitely, although I'm afraid that turns many people off. I've tried dressing it up with words like suspense and thriller. I believe when many people think of horror they picture "Friday the 13th" movies where everyone must die, save that one final victim. That is miles from what I do. But horror is the accepted term for what I write most often.
Do you have a writing routine that you would mind sharing with us?
It varies, certainly. With four kids, a full-time job and seemingly endless obligations, I have to find writing time where I can. I think it's that way with many writers these days. But I carry with me either my MacBook or AlphaSmart NEO almost all the time, so I can take advantage of unexpected bits of time.
They say every writer should first be a reader. Which authors are your favourites and why?
I read a lot. I think that's as important as writing to an author. Favorites are hard, but I think my top five right now would be Koontz and King for their style and fantastical stories, Terry Brooks for nostalgic reasons, Orson Scott Card for his pure brilliance and Christopher Moore for his blending of horror and comedy.
I really enjoyed 'Dalia’s Fire'. It gripped me from start to finish and I would like to find out more about the characters introduced in the book. Have you plans for a sequel?
There are five element novels. The second is called "Twin Waters" and I expect to complete it in 2010. Right now I have two others in process, a wonderful futuristic fantasy I conceived many years ago and am finally capable of writing and a pure fantasy which may or may not take precedence.
And finally Spencer, if you only had one paragraph to describe 'Dalia’s Fire' to potential readers, what would you say?
Well, that standard blurb is : In the beautiful mountains of Northern California, a young women is abducted and thought murdered by her estranged father. Now she must fight for her life and the life of her unborn daughter, a child who holds the key to the greatest power the world has ever known.
If I was just talking to someone I might say, "This book is a ride. It's about sacrifice and courage and the power of the mind. But in the end, as with nearly everything I write, this novel is about love, and what a human being can accomplish and endure simply because love exists. That theme is what I write and why I write it."
If you would like to find out more about Spencer L Casey and ‘Dalia’s Fire’, check out his blog, which he writes under the name George Coddard, a character in a D.H. Lawrence book, his Facebook Fan Page for Dalia’s Fire and Dalia’s Fire is also for sale on Lulu.com and Amazon.com.
Next week I will post a review of ‘Dalia’s Fire.’
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
Your assignment this week, oh dear blog readers, is to write a short story in the comment section based upon the picture above. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! Oh, and thanks to Valinora Troy for providing the photo.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
If you were to call my mobile phone (or cell, for those of you who know it as such) and I didn't want to talk to you, this is what you would hear. What you might not know is what the creature who takes my phone messages looks like. Now you do. This is my message minder.
I know, not quite the Sunday Toon, but it has sound and vision. What more do you expect? :)
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
This is my final morning in Anam Cara and what a beautiful morning it is too. I was going to work on my novel this morning but I think I'll work on a short story instead. I read my prologue to the group last night. I got plenty of constructive criticism which has given me food for thought on where I am going with the novel and I've decided to take a couple of days away from writing it to really think about its future. The drive back to Dublin this afternoon will be a good time for doing that.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
I can't believe January is over for another year. It was a good month for me, starting with my story appearing in Necrotic Tissue on the very first day of the New Year, then getting three stories accepted and ending the month writing my novel in the lovely surroundings of Anan Cara (which means soul friend in Irish, I don't know if I mentioned it before).
Thank you to everyone who gave me such good advice yesterday. I should have taken advantage of the sun but being a) slightly nervous of the flesh eating fairies and b) the dark queen of laziness, I had a nap instead. I feel a lot better today for it and my writing is benefitting to.
I am unconciously preparing to return to the real world tomorrow. I'm trying not to let it spoil my last day here and making sure I get lots of notes written and chapters polished so I am set up for continuing with the novel when I get back home.
There was a lovely golden crescent moon over the ocean last night. It shone with the intensity of a child's night light, softly cushioned by the clouds. For those who know the book I'm writing, it reminded me of two special characters who started the whole thing in motion.