Category Archives: Novel

Help Moss Swear in Irish

Jen feathers cropA major character in The Raven’s Wing (hi, Moss!) occasionally lapses into her native Irish. From a variety of sources I’ve put together the following phrases, but I could do with someone fluent to check them out for me. Please do let me know if you can see any errors, and give me a good translation? There’s a credit in the book for you if you do.

And yes, The Raven’s Wing is set in 1322, but for the sake of readability and my own sanity I won’t be trying to replicate how people really spoke back then, save for the occasional word for ‘flavour’.

Mo thóin, fear an cheoil. My arse, music man.
Dia trócaire. God’s mercy.
Anraith finéal. Fennel soup.
Gabh transna ort fhéin. Go fuck yourself sideways.
Téigh trasna ort féin, agus an t-asal marcaíocht tú ar. Go fuck yourself, and the donkey you rode in on.
Go raibh maith agat. Thank you.
Dia dhuit ar maidin. Good morning.
Cailleach. Old hag, witch.
Dia a thabhairt duit lá maith. God give you good day.
Bí láidir. Be strong.
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A conversation from The Raven’s Wing

1KWWhZs8.jpg large“A mistress of manipulation, eh?” said Moss. “I’ve met a few of those in the past. Come to think of it, according to Muireann I sodding well am one.”

“Oh, you’re not so bad once a person gets to know your odd ways,” John told her.

“I have ways?”

“More than I could shake a stick at. It’s a wonder I can keep up sometimes. Still, there are compensations.”

“Tell me a compensation, Blondie. Note the subtle way in which I’m asking you to compliment me. That’s one of my ways, isn’t it?”

“Subtlety? Yes, that’s definitely a way. Let’s see, a compensation … well, you have learned to shape both fire and your dancing self into pleasing shapes. The grace with which you move when not dancing is a pleasing side benefit.”

“Are you suggesting that I’m graceful?”

“No, I am declaring it to be so. It is not a subject for debate.”

“I’m not used to being flattered without there being an ulterior motive. It feels odd. I keep expecting you to—”

“Well, I won’t. I can admire you without wanting to touch. Actually, that’s not true. It would be more honest to say that I can want to touch without touching. The admiration is unconditional, the desire suppressible. Were I not married, and were you partial to quail, I would woo you enthusiastically. As it is, I am simply and only delighted to have you as friend.”

“Woo?”

“Yes, woo. Shut up.”

“You are an unusual man, Blondie. You’ll do. Did the cunning woman satisfy your curiosity?”

“She said that she could improve my hand. She told me to go back tomorrow, early.”

“And will you?”

“I doubt it. I have better things to do with my time. You and I should rehearse, for one thing. But enough introspection! How was your day, aside from the rabbit hunt?”

International Cat Day

On #InternationalCatDay, here are three of the feline heroes from Warren Peace.

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For those keeping track. Well, OK, me.

just the booksYes, yes, I know you could go check the “Buy my books” page, but to be honest can any of you be arsed to do that? I doubt I’d bother. With that thought in mind, here’s a list of my published books so far (of course there’s much more Wombie out there in Kindle standalones, stories in magazines & the like, but it would take YONKS to list them). If you fancy reading any of these books, find them on Lulu or Amazon. If you already HAVE read any, thank you and I love you and please leave a review somewhere.

WARREN PEACE: Novel. The Magnificent 7 with fur. “Warren Peace got me through the day”.

FOG: Novel. Sexy, funny, violent – Best Mystery, 2016 #Siba Book Awards. “Had me gripped from page one”.

CUBIC SCATS: Essays. A smorgasbord of Northcentric nonsense & recipes. “Where did you put the bread knife?”

MOTH GIRL v THE BATS: Novella. Steampunky sci-fi fun. “There’s a real excitement to this work”.

BLOOD ON THE GROUND: Short stories. A dozen dollops of wicked whimsy. “Good reading even for a scary cat like myself”.

SOUL OF THE UNIVERSE (editor): Stories inspired by music. “This collection will captivate you, pervade your senses and absolutely enchant you”.

CUTTHROATS AND CURSES (editor): An anthology of pirates. “The greatest assortment of pirate stories anywhere”.

MURDER AT WOMBAT TOWERS: Private novel with a limited print run.

HUMAN 76 (editor): Collaborativer. Fourteen authors take you on an unprecedented post-apocalyptic journey. “Thought-provoking, layered: a real gem”.

THE MUSEUM OF WHITE WALLS: Forty-one monkeybonkers tales & three poems. “The only book for you if you want to see this quote on the back cover”.

Happy Birthday Warren Peace

Warren PeaceFour years ago today, encouraged by Alex Brightsmith, I published my inoffensive little “Magnificent Seven with fur” tale about rabbits and cats working together against seemingly insurmountable odds. I doubt Alex knew what she was unleashing back then, but I’ll be eternally grateful that she did.

There are now nine substantial books out there with my name on the cover as either author or editor, along with a couple of other small things. These days you can buy some of my stories translated into Russian, and even get yourself a Wombie audiobook to listen to while driving. You can buy Wombie jewellery and stationery, and you can employ me to edit your manuscript and format it correctly for publishing (yeah, I’ve not made that page yet – I ought to get my finger out). The tenth book and fourth full-length novel***, The Raven’s Wing, is well on its way to completion now that I’ve fallen back in love with it again.

I’ve met numerous authors, attended signings and book fairs, and made a lot of new friends. I’ve had “Oi, Wombat!” shouted at me in a busy town centre. Cover imagePerhaps my favourite meeting, though, was in Michigan when I was introduced to a stranger whose first words to me were “You asshole, how could you end Fog like that?”. In short, I’ve had the BEST bloody time, and it’s down to you lovely buggers who read all my blather. Thank you *snogs your faces off*. And if you don’t like my writing (a) what are you doing here? and (b) blame Alex.

***if you can’t actually count four, that’s probably because you’re not aware of the privately published novel called ‘Murder at Wombat Towers’ which was written about and for a dozen Americans to thank them all for their remarkable hospitality and friendship over the years.

REVIEW: The Voice of Reason by Edward Ian Kendrick

The VoiceThe Game is a futuristic bloody killfest put on for the entertainment of the masses in the late 21st century. An Exhibition Match is mounted to decide the greatest fighters of all time, and the book is written from the viewpoint of the commentator known as The Voice.

Unlike some reviewers on Amazon, I found the opening slow. I had to force myself through the first few chapters before the style of writing – a combination of interviews, flashbacks and autobiographical rantings from The Voice (not a character I ever really warmed to) – began to weave its spell on me.

I’m pleased that I persevered, for the novel grows into a “beautiful kaleidoscope of blood, violence, gore and vengeance”. Not kidding, these pages are soaked with red, but the action is so well-written, so well paced that I never felt like I was reading some schlock-horror pulp. This is superbly-crafted book for adults. Take it on the bus with you and you’ll miss your stop.

4-star rating4/5 wombats for Ed Kendrick’s The Voice of Reason.

Why’d I have to go and make things so complicated?

The Raven's WingSo, I get back from the gym and I’m ready to start writing. The problem is that I can’t think of a sub-plot to delay my protagonist by a day underground while parallel plotlines 11B (Moss) and 11C (raven/reeve) reach plotpoint GAMMA. Were I less of a stickler for continuity I could just write the strands and sod whether they match temporally, but no. I’m a stickler for stuff like that, me. I stickle.

Or, you know, why can’t I ever just write a novel-length story that just goes in a straight line? Warren Peace had two parallel plots, chuntering on together in alternate chapters. In Fog I kind of folded Finn’s tale of mystery, weirdness and showers back on itself and plaited the strands (that was fun!). In The Raven’s Wing there are, let me see, at least four things going on at once in different places, all important to the tale.

Herein, though, lies the beauty of Scrivener. First of all it makes stickling easy by allowing me to look at parallel timelines by judicious use of keywords. In addition, I can actually leave John festering underground not caring what he’s doing while I write future chapters, secure in the knowledge I can come back to him at that moment later when a light bulb hits me about what he might actually be doing there.

Looks like I’m writing after all. Well played, Scriv.

Moss

Character sketch from The Raven’s Wing, coming this summer. Drawn for me by the talented @TheRogueHeart.

Moss

A taster

Here’s a little taster for those of you who’ve been patiently waiting since 2014 for The Raven’s Wing to take flight (looks at @ericafairs). You’ll find clues, but no spoilers, I hope. Click to see a larger version, if you’re lucky and WordPress doesn’t play silly buggers with resolutions again.

TRW Scrivener

Works in progress

Jen wordsI have once more started moving on the latest novel, The Raven’s Wing, aka 1322. Finally. I began writing it last year, but was tempted away (as you probably noticed) by the delicious allure of anthologies and short stories. Releasing ‘Blood on the Ground’ as a collection has acted as a way marker on that road, however, and I am now eager to step back 700 years and once again sink myself into the mire, mayhem and magic of the 14th century. I have 40k words already written, which at a rough guess is about a quarter of the number that I will need to fully tell the story in my head. I’ll wager that you’ve stopped reading this paragraph now, so it’s probably safe to mention that I’m writing in my jimjams, eating salty porridge with dried cherries. A little word painting of the author at work for you there.

I have also had a sudden revelation, after looking at ‘Warren Peace’, about how to improve the start of ‘Fog to make it more attractive to those who make quick decisions, such as agents and publishers. I shall therefore be doing a small rewrite of that over the next few weeks, prior to sending it out to a few more agents. And no, I won’t be changing that ending.

I have not forsaken the short form altogether, as I am working up a three thousand word tale for submission to a paying magazine. When I get around to submitting that, I shall ask you once again to cross everything of which you possess a pair.

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