Mind’s eye minding the way it looks!

Mind’s eye minding the way it looks!

Busy! Busy! Busy! That’s probably the best way to describe the past few weeks. Work has been very much overwhelming to the point I have not kept my usual barriers intact and there has been some seepage across the divides of my mind. Alas though I think I’ve managed to sort it all out and we are back on track (just in time for tests etc at work).

Well, the good news is I have managed to complete the first draft of my next full-length novel. Now to find a genre it fits in and a bloody new title seeing as the world already has enough “Legend” titled films and books.

As I have said before the editing process is something I dread but this time I have a work-based process to keep everything in order. I’ve created check-sheets and spreadsheets to keep a track of quantifiable changes and edits along the way. Working on paper for the actual edits then processing it all into the pages before we go for any additions I need to the story itself.

What I have also tried to do is come up with the visual representations of people in the book. By that I mean I have tried drawing (and believe me after ten or so snapped pencils and a dozen piles of screwed up paper) I will admit I have resorted to tracing the main features then adding what I want in terms of features and details.

I have managed to get some bits down which help me to share what I want some of the characters to look like and most importantly I have created the first visual representation of the Nivag monster.

It’s quite strange in reality bringing the Magdon story to a new level. I have accepted the criticism of shortness for the novelette series but that was justified by me the reason of wanting to keep the stories accessible to a younger audience. This story, however, is a new beast, bringing my love for action and adventure in the story that will seriously entertain an older audience. Looking into different categories it sits somewhere between YOUNG and NEW ADULT books.

I have come to realise that my books are so in the past. The cry in readers doesn;t seem to be for good old adventure romps but instead about sex, realism or crime. None of these are what I intend on writing (at the moment).

Don;t get me wrong, I have tried my hand at “sexy stuff” and I honestly use my writing to escape so I don’t want it to be ultra-realistic. Crime, well we will avoid that because I cannot go there for many reasons. So, vicariously, my stories are my British therapy, my not talking to anybody and hinting all the way through.

After all who doesn;t want to go on a made adventure, have chases and sword fights and all that stuff (without real consequences like getting arrested or spending copious amounts of money – hence the realism constraints don’t sit too well).

My head is a messed up place. My way of coping with the things I do, the lives I lead, is to segment myself. I have Tobey Alexander my author personality, I have Gavin the husband and father personality, I have mad gym personality and serious work personality. That way I can keep things ticking over quite nicely…….maybe that’s why I enjoy writing because it gives me an acceptable excuse for being as quirky/strange/odd/random as I am!

I think my segregation started when work/home life became a battle and it had repercussions on both sides. It was learning my coping mechanisms when facing a time of turmoil that I remembered I used to write. I have always been visual in my imagination and mind (which I learned more when I sought help when I was struggling from a person I now have a lot of respect for) which I think feeds well into the writing I put together.

People don’t believe me when I say that I see my scenes in my head so being able to finally add them onto a page helps me see that what is up in this noggin isn’t entirely mad. I think that is why I have enjoyed writing a more visceral story with some (hopefully) good action scenes. I’ve played them out in my head and watched them as if they were a film and made sure as the audience I would enjoy them. That way I can put the best version onto the page in a hope it connects and entertains.

Of course that all helps if I can get it seen, get it read and get it OUT THERE.

Marketing again! We get to my nemesis, no matter how good the story is there is one thing in the way….my (in)ability to market properly.

I’m trying to build an email list of potential readers but have no idea where to start. I want to build an intrigue into the release but don’t know when is the right time to start…..too early and it gets forgotten, too late and I miss the boat.



Anwyay, before I implode, I’ll leave you with my character sketches to tease you about what is to come in the next novel…..currently looking towards being called:




It seems I am only able to ever steal enough time to either write the book or write about writing the books…I’m not able to do both (less through skill and more through not wanting to get told off too much by my wife – a very very scary thing).

As it stands though, progress through (WT) LEGEND is going really well. I have, as expected, returned to a more linear approach to the story. Having written odd chapters out of sync I have returned pretty much to a more natural flow of the story. Especially as I am now nearing the end part of the story I want to make sure I get everything tied in and ensure I don’t waste anyone’s time with underdeveloped characters or plotlines.

This time around I have been working on my feedback from reader’s reviews, conversations and opinions.

I realise (and have justified) the shortness of the ORIGINS OF THE MAGDON part of the series. They are short because they were originally aimed at children 9 and over. I admit I have marketed them differently but it was always about a story that could be accessible to as many people as possible. Thrilling for children, entertaining for adults and enjoyable for everyoneBut yes, I will hold my hands up and say marketing is not my strong suit.

The big thing that I have had though is a request for more. Not so much that the stories were too short but the fact that people wanted more. In the same vein though I am aware that some people disliked the depth of my description and wordiness of FOOTPRINTS ON THE OTHER SIDE thriller. So for (WT) LEGEND, I have tried to create a succinct story that will sit clearly within the Young Adult length but again be aimed at an older audience.

To that, I am fighting the urge to go to much over old ground. Yes, Archy is set to be part of the developing and over-arching story but he is mentioned not explored too much. I don’t want it to feel a rehash of the originals in any way shape or form (as I sit here watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens which is essentially A New Hope in a new form). (WT) LEGEND will be its own entity with a lot of independent growth and story but with firm roots in the mythology of The Magdon. I have, to that end, purposefully cut the word Magdon from the title. This isn’t about her (yes The Magdon is female) but it is about the world surrounding it.

I have for that reason focussed on character and other aspects and explored parts of the world that I didn’t give enough time to in the Origins Books.

Another piece of feedback from one reader for FOOTPRINTS ON THE OTHER SIDE was the fact some characters didn’t have enough development and felt incomplete. Again, this time around with (WT) LEGEND I have done/am doing my bloody best to give enough development to each of the characters that are integral to the story so nobody feels incomplete or hollow.

If nothing else this is a book for readers as opposed to me “proving a point” that I can write, primarily to myself but other people too. This book will come from a desire to produce something that I know people want which gives the project a whole new level to me and I’m quite enjoying it.

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As for characters, I can name the main ones for you and in the coming months (between releases of Book IV and Book V in the ORIGINS OF THE MAGDON series) I will try and give some exposure to each character. What I really would like is someone to draw my characters but again I’m not flushed with money so need to learn to draw!

Here are five names you will all come to know in 2018:

Gabriel aka Gabe – main character

Logan – son and growing character

Claudia – daughter and growing character

Viktor – main villain and Veks leader

Tuilika – secondary villain and part of the Veks “trident” the main command structure

I aim to spend time giving some HISTORY to the myth of the world surrounding The Magdon and also focus on Veks as opposed to Nivags or The Magdon (but rest assured they come to play too).

I do hope that this story fills a gap and lives up to the high expectations I am putting on it. I am sure the world will no doubt cast it aside as “another attempt by a non-real-author to publish somethings” as I have read quite a few scornful attacks towards Indie/Self-Published authors byt Big House Published AUthors but I will not sit back. I’ll plug on in the hope that someone, somewhere enjoys what I have to offer.

I’ll stop talking now!