Welcome to the Darkside...

...join me, Akasha Savage, as I brave the deepest dungeons and scale the misty mountains to achieve my dream: to see my novel Bathory in print. I will take you by the hand and keep you beside me as I cross this uncharted territory...

...let us step into the moonlit darkness together...

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sexy Wolf Guy.

Last Wednesday evening me and my daughter went to see Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins. I had read a few reviews about the film - none of them very favorable - but I wanted to see it for myself.

It tells the story (don't worry I won't give away the ending!) of Lawrence Talbot, who returns to the family home after his brother is found in a ditch mauled to death by, what can only be, some sort of awful monster.

Lawrance (Del Toro) sets out to track down the beast and very soon finds himself attacked and 'infected'. Then the true horror really begins as Lawrance relises he now is a werewolf.

Beware the full moon and the silver bullet!

The rest of the film is Del Toro trying to find a way to break the curse, in between running through the night, howling, snarling and ripping people, quite literally, to pieces, and getting chased by the local villagers and Detective Aberline from London (Hugo Weaving).

Anthony Hopkins plays the widowed father of the two brothers, and himself hides a dark and ancient secret.

I will admit the film holds no surprises. There is no long complicated storyline running through the plot. But if you are a fan of a good ole traditional werewolf movie - as I am - you will love it.

There is plenty of gothic moonlight action, old creepy buildings, blood and gore splattering all over the place...so be warned...and lots of squirming in your seat moments: especially during the transformation scenes where Lawrence mutates into the beast.

The ending holds no really surprises either, and I did find it a little bit of an anti-climax.

The down sides. Well, there seemed to be a full moon every night - and I mean every night. No waxing and waning in sight! And a couple of times, in true horror movie tradition, Lawrence's clothes came through the change unscathed.

But I still loved it. So much so that I going with my son this coming Wednesday!

Plus me and my daughter both agree that Benicio Del Toro made for one hell of a sexy Wolfman. Claws, fangs, hair and all!!


Friday, 12 February 2010

The Exquisite Corpse #2

In an earlier blog I mentioned an exercise I took part in at the writers group I attend. The exercise was entitled The Exquisite Corpse. At the end of that exercise I ended up with this sentence: The delicate carpet grumpily meandered the black underpass. I had to make-up a story based on that sentence.

This is what I came up with ~

Long, long ago, in a time and land now forgotten, there lived a maker of carpets. He was a pale weak individual with a delicate disposition. If he had ever possessed a birth name that too had been erased by the mists of time. He was simply known as Carpetta.

Carpetta had forged for himself throughout the years a healthy reputation. He may not have been strong in mind, body or spirit, but his moral up-standing and the pride he bestowed on his work shone through. All who knew him, loved him.

All except one.

Zachariah Tognetti.

Zachariah was a necromancer, an evil enchanter who spent his days trying to conjure up the souls of the dead. It was not uncommon for blood-curdling screams and flashes of light from yet undiscovered worlds, to burst forth from Castle Tognetti.

The castle stood on the northernmost point of Carpetta's village, brooding at the bottom of the Ochre Mountains. None who had ever entered the castle had come out alive.

All except one.


Many years before, when the earth was young, and the sun shone bright and true, a pedlar wandered into the village. He had for sale many wondrous items of magic and mystery. Zachariah purchased a flying carpet: a carpet ~ the pedlar proclaimed ~ that would take the enchanter to the edge of the world and beyond.

But how gullible can be even the most sharp-minded.

It did not take Zachariah many hours to discover he had been deceived. The carpet could fly, but only round and round in ever increasing circles; giving the evil necromancer giddy head-rush and nauseous stomach cramps.

Zachariah Tognetti was furious. He mounted his mighty steed and galloped after the departed pedlar, bound him in chains and dragged him back to the castle. Once there the poor pedlar was thrown in the deepest, darkest dungeon and Zachariah cast a spell over him. A spell that turned the seller of magic goods into a walking, talking carpet. A shoddy carpet. Thin and threadbare. Delicate and fragile.

Zachariah laughed at the pedlar's misfortune. Declared the only way to reverse the enchantment was for the carpet to escape from Castle Tognetti. He nicknamed the living carpet: Carpetta.

Carpetta paced the dungeon night and day. Plotting his escape. But all to no avail.

Fifteen years passed by.

Each year Carpetta grew ever more threadbare, ever more delicate, ever more grumpy hearted: thinking he would never leave the confines of Castle Tognetti.

But fifteen years of pacing had worn the dungeon floor thin. One day it caved in beneath Carpetta's endlessly pacing feet. Carpetta fell through to a narrow dark tunnel.

The delicate carpet grumpily meandered the black underpass. Second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, the tunnel beneath the castle began to grow lighter, as it did, so did Carpetta's mood.

After two hours of walking, the carpet stepped out into bright dazzling sunlight. Zachariah's spell slippedfrom his shoulders. Carpetta was a man once more. He made his way to the village and told his tale to all who would listen. The villagers recieved Carpetta with welcoming arms, rejoicing in the fact that he'd escaped from the evil clutches of Zachariah Tognetti.

But some of the enchantment remained. Carpetta was ever pale and delicate, a fragile shell of the man he'd once been. He also found he now had a skill, a skill that out shone any other, the skill of carpet-making.

Carpetta was declared the best carpet-maker of the land. People travelled from far and wide to purchase his wares.

In his dark castle at the foot of the Ochre Mountains, the evil necromancer rants and raves, plots and schemes, awaiting his chance to re-capture the travelling pedlar: Carpetta.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Bathory wins an award!

My novel Bathory has won me an award.
I entered the first two chapters into a local Bursary Award run by the Swale Arts Forum, and yesterday I was invited along to the presentation evening where I was presented with one of the runner-up prizes for my work-in-progress.
I was well chuffed!
My prize was a book voucher to spend in Waterstones bookstore...very welcome.
I found the evening an immensely enjoyable one; as an entrant I appeared briefly on stage to read out some of my work (that was a bit nerve-racking: there was the local newspaper, radio & TV there!), but it was also a chance to meet other authors in my area and exchange details, all good social networking. I had a very lengthy conversation with a lovely lady who is in the throes of writing her third crime novel. She gave me lots of advice and tips on how to approach agents and publishers.
It has really given me a boost. As you all know, writing can be a lonely occupation, so it's nice to get a Well Done and a pat on the back at times.
It has made me all the more determined to get Bathory in print and out there.