30 Dec 2016

A New Year’s Eve...

Hello readers! A Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year as well.

You may wondering what Alex has been up to. He did, after all, promise he would write on Christmas day here on the Magical Realm—a promise he has, alas, been unable to fulfill. This is entirely because of Alex’s lack of access to a reliable Internet connection. My parents here in Glasgow have been waiting weeks for BT to activate their connection; and for weeks they have heard excuses that wear thinner every day.

Anyway, renationalising BT—while a tempting proposition for Alex—is of course not the subject of today. Rather, it will concern something else entirely: his writing. A little will touch on the Necromancer (including the Kindle Countdown deal that is still running!) but most will be about what has happened to the Ark. Read on!

The Necromancer

As part of his commitment to review four books in exchange for four reviews, Alex has now finished reading and reviewing the books allotted to him; if you’re interested, you can see his reviews on Goodreads (the ‘Reviews’ tab on top has the links). Two of the books Alex awarded 3 and 2.5 stars; to the other two, Alex gave 4 and 4.5*.

Although somewhat time-consuming, this process does have two advantages: it gives Alex free books, which he reads carefully, reviews in depth, and thus learns more about the art of writing a book. And of course, Alex gets reviews in return.

Alex has received his 3rd review of the lot. The reviewer spoke fondly, calling it ‘a well developed tale with lots of interesting battles and events to keep readers interested and rooting for Linaera and her comrades’. The fourth review Alex is expecting soon.

Anyway, the Necromancer has been written. Alex has fond memories—of the many days he spent laboriously working, of the many nights he dreamed and the many others in which he despaired. (If he sounds a little melodramatic while saying this, do excuse him.) But, as beautiful as that tale was, a writer must move on. And this leads us to...

The Ark... Now Know as Fallen Love

This is more than a title change. I have a shocking confession to make to you: I’ve changed the course of the story formerly known as the Ark. I’ve changed it so much, in fact, that I’ve decided to re-invent it as a new book.

Before you rip my head off, allow me to explain. Conall and Casey (as well as Kaylin) remain the main characters; it is, in that sense, the same story at its heart. But Fallen Love is also very different from the Ark. For one, there is no ship—the conflict is entirely different.

Perhaps the new (work in progress) blurb can do some of the explaining...

I’m Fallen. That’s what they call us—the members of the underclass. We’re the cleaner you look down on. We’re the grunts of the army; the cannon fodder for the Party’s wars.

I’m not allowed to love a man. I’m certainly not allowed to love an Upperclassman. But I love him all the same—and I know it’ll doom me.

Maybe I don’t care. After all: when you’ve already Fallen, there’s nowhere left to fall...

Of course, this being an Alex Stargazer novel, there’s more to it than just forbidden love or class warfare. Kaylin is here, seeing the future, plotting nefarious schemes—overthrowing the government being the chief among them—and concocting various other wonderful plot ideas. And behind it all, there’s the same antagonist as in the Ark. It’s called the Entity; it’s mysterious, malignant, and Casey has a connection to it...

Since I am writing a new book, I have of course had to start from scratch. But, I am over 10,000 words into it; I am writing as fast as I am able. The date of completion will be set back, inevitably, but if progress continues I hope to finish the book by around Easter.

If you have any advice to give, I am looking for more beta reading. My work email (work DOT alexstargazer AT gmail DOT com) is always open to interested beta readers; please do consider it. Writing a book is tough work.

This leads me onto one more thing I should clarify: I did not take this decision lightly. I spent a significant amount of money on my editor. I made a significant number of revisions to the Ark. But in the end, my editors’ advice rang true: there wasn’t enough conflict. If one thing is clear about Fallen Love, it’s that there’s plenty of conflict.

I will write more on this quest of mine. For now, allow me to wrap things up...

Parting Thoughts

Alex has been busy this Christmas, especially with reading and writing. On top of that, his family have desired his attentions: we have gone to visit some of the surrounding Scottish countryside, which I’ve taken pains to photograph ((link)[https://goo.gl/photos/dAdZWuU6b4MwGx656]).

Christmas has also seen Alex escape the clutches of the university teachers, and all their assignments, papers, and tests. The resulting free time Alex has tried to make use of wisely—hence his frantic writing.

Soon, however, Alex will be back in Amsterdam (this time learning Dutch). Until then, do keep following the Magical Realm! On top of my many essays, humorous anecdotes, and writing-related remarks, I also have a substantial collection of poetry available.

Finally, below is the blurb and link to the Necromancer. Give Alex a New Year present!

In the frozen heartlands of the north, a dark force is reborn; his power is great, and his army swells with every monstrous recruit. In the Arachadian capital, Dresh, a string of mysterious kidnappings leaves the Great Mage puzzled. And in the mage academy of small town Renas, an unwitting apprentice is plunged into a quest: it will prove a fight for her life, a fight for the man she loves, and – ultimately – a fight for the future of the land.

Delve into this dark world of mystery and magic; of beings that walk the great forests and haunt the alcoves of the night. The necromancer awaits you...

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancer-New-Alex-Stargazer-ebook/dp/B01N3UGDEQ/ref=sr11?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483110548&sr=1-1&keywords=the+necromancer+alex+stargazer

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