Monday, 23 January 2017

Back in the saddle...?

Not quite, but I've run out of excuses today. The new line editing software has spruced up the manuscript, such as it is, and I've done a thorough review and re-familiarisation with the one and a bit chapters of Storm Shadow I wrote two years ago, give or take.

My life has changed irrevocably, all for the better and I'm more than ready to move on to the next phase of building up my chosen lifestyle, and renovating my personal environment. In the past, I may have gone on a diet as well, but that's a retrograde thing these days. Health is what it's all about now, and this includes the writing projects I undertake.

So, back to my Havenworld, where I can weave, thieve and believe in tales and characters that are clamouring to tell their stories. This place will become a little busier I hope as I progress with the content and come in here to update, or store pieces of tales that are are still forming, or, perhaps materialising out of nowhere and needing to wait in the wings until I find a proper place for them.

Welcome back to my world. Maybe I'll see you here again, soon. :-D

Friday, 12 February 2016


Re-blogged from the Shirley Harris-Slaughter blog who is my gracious and too kind host on Day 6 of my Spotlight Author Tour with RRBC -

Posted on 

Spotlight author logo2
Today I would like to welcome Jan Hawke. She is the newest Spotlight Author and is gracing my site with her presence. I cannot think of a more supportive person to receive this honor.  And now Jan take it away!!
jan hawke bio pic my download
Turning words into worlds
For fantasy writers, words are ultra-important as you need to use them carefully to ‘paint’ a world that may be totally different in form and function than planet Earth. World-building is the usual term for this process, but there are many aspects you need to take into account, as you put on the shades and hues of your brave new world.
For my author heroes, Tolkien and Pratchett, maps of where their action was taking place were essential in picturing how landscapes looked, and even the cultural demands of the people encountered. Pratchett’s Discworld is the most extreme example of needing a firm hand with geography and astral-physics, and even the seasons, on a ‘flat’ world that is held up by four gigantic elephants, standing atop a Star Turtle. He got the idea from Hindu mythology of course, but it illustrates the point that a good map, or at the very least, a vague visual, works wonders when it comes to describing fantasy terrains.
One of the physical consequences of having your world disc-shaped are very specific climate specifications. The central point or hub of the disc revolves much more slowly than the rim, and so Pratchett has his single pole as a very cold place where the gods reside on a spectacular, 30 mile high mountain named Cori Celesti, in a large mansion named ‘Dunmanifestin’. On Discworld the gods are numerous and testy and often appear on various parts of the disc. Broadcasting your atheism is pointless, particularly in high places prone to lightning strikes, whilst wearing metal body armour…
Tolkien on the other hand, although originally opting for a flat Middle Earth, eventually decided to go global because his tales were based on an alternative reality of good old planet Earth. This supported the ‘marring’ of Arda, with the deified Ainur whisking the chosen Elves out of Middle Earth and into the West, where the mortal races could not follow.
My new fantasy series, Tomes of the HavenLands, will take place literally at the other end of our Milky Way galaxy (in both time and position), so I’m sticking with a practical globular model, but it’s a younger, colder climate world, although it has arid areas, much like the Gobi Desert. For the opening book, the action will take place in the largest central land mass to the north and, because there are links to Old Earth, the points of the compass remain the same to avoid too much tinkering with people’s preconceptions. Culturally however, there is a strong archaic Latin and ancient Celtic connection for linguistics, that provides the hook for place names and the lifestyle of the mainly human sentient population. Having this visual (there’s also a topographical version as well) helps me out a lot with how my characters move about in different landscapes, depending on their respective clan’s territories. And I know roughly what my new world looks like, so I can mould the people and fauna that live there accordingly, with just enough logic to know when I need to introduce some magic into the equation – like dragons living only in the volcanic eastern island chain, for the time being at least…
If you’d like to know a little more about the HavenLands then please visit the book blog
Jan Hawke is the author of
Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey 
Available on Amazon
jan hawke Milele Safari
Follow Jan Hawke on Social Media
Twitter handle: @JanHawke

As a member of Rave Reviews Book Club I get the opportunity to host guest like Jan Hawke on my blog. This give us double exposure…a Pay It Forward Affect. We learn to propel, support and promote each other and support is equally rewarded. If you want a little spotlight or want to market your work head on over to the “Join/Renew” tab and sign up. Just tell them that reading this post or viewing her entire tour was the motivating factor.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Reason to begin...

... it's already begun of course - well over a year ago now, but as I'm returning to the Havenworlds now (after a lot of publishing activity in other places) with the 'origin myth' nearing completion, I've given the project it's own blog so audience participation and feedback can begin!

This is all sounding dangerously professional isn't it, but never fear - it'll go down my usual route of 'fits and starts' documenting soon enough. However, just to show you that work has gotten underway in earnest, here's a few visuals to whet yer whistles...

I love maps - even before I became an LotR geek so of course when I decided to write about a world far, far away I really needed to map it. Those of you familiar with the titchier British Isles may recognise some of the land masses shown below. They're grossly fiddled-with adaptations of the Orknies - or Orcades as I'm thinking of them more, as the overall feel for the Shadow Series is heavily influenced by Graeco-Roman classical and Celtic/Norse cultural mythologies and language

1st or 2nd pass of the basic world map (the main land masses anyway as the Outer Ocean is a wrap around and not really populated). Copyright - Jan  Hawke


and the coloured version

fuller relief of the main land mass where most of the action will take place around the Cloudwoods and Baywood regions

And - because it helps to have a visual proto-type for characters -

copyright - Len Brook Photography

this is Ruarghan, a skilled telepath and 'borrower' (in the Granny Weatherwax style) and a fledgling shape-shifter! He's one of three primary characters who'll form a kind of demi-god triumvirate and the only one who's scheduled to survive into the anticipated third cycle of the series, which will focus on his and the other 2 characters' children. I'll lose the cap and guitar of course....

Well that's enough to kick off for now. I'll probably post the origin myth in here once it's out of beta reading on the forum as a teaser - hopefully in a few weeks. Feel free to comment as you like ;-)