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...

Monday, 29 March 2010

I would just like to say.....

"So? What did you think of the book?"
"The book. The one I got you for your birthday? What did you think of it?"
"Mmmmm...it was okay I suppose."
"Okay? That's it? Okay?"
"To be honest, I didn't actually finish it."
"You didn't?"
"Why on earth not?"
"Well, the dialogue put me off if you must know. All the time nobody was speaking it was fine, but as soon as the charcters started talking it fell flat on its face. The people came across really stilted...not a bit natural."
"Duh. It's a book...not a movie. They're not real people."
"But that's just it, they should be real people...in your head. But these didn't feel like that. It really spoilt the book for me; the storyline was fantastic, the characters believable, but the dialogue...diabolical."
"Does it really matter that much?"
"God yes! The characters bring the story alive, without good dialogue they just come across flat and, quite frankly, unreal."
"So you're saying, that one little thing, can murder a story."
"Completely. Dialogue has to be realistic or it lets the whole thing down."
"Suffocates it dead in its bed."

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Separating the wheat from the chaff!

A couple of evenings ago I was invited to attend a local writers group: The Sheppey Scribblers, and I was amazed by how talented some of the members work was. It made me question - not for the first time in my life - just how much undiscovered talent there is 'out there' in the big blue yonder...and whenever I start to think along these lines, I start to wonder how publishers actually decide what they publish and what they toss aside.

Many a time I have bought a book on the strength of its eye-catching front cover, its enticing blurb, and even its gripping hook of a first line, only to get it home and discover that the writer can't write for toffee! The plot is wafer thin, the characters unformed, the dialogue stilted and the prose uninspiring. And I'm not talking just the self-published novels, but also the ones taken on by mainstream publishing houses.

It is so disheartening. There seems to be no rhyme or reason.

I've lost count of the times I have sent off my short stories to this magazine or that one, only to have them rejected with no explanation, then the next month to read a weak tale with no proper plot or satisfying storyline in these selfsame publications.

It's enough to make a saint swear!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

I am here my love. I am here.
I have made this journey unhindered.
What pleasure I take from this darkness, enriching.
What grief I can lift from your soul, tormented.
I am here my love.
Let me in.
Come to me my sweet. Come to me.
Come sit by my side at this stream.
Hold me tight, let us bide here together.
Hold me close in these flowery fields of cruel pleasure.
Come to me my sweet.
Let me in.
Let me kiss you my pet. Let me kiss you.
Let my lips pulse with lust on your throat.
I'll remove all the hurt you are feeling.
I'll replace all the sadness with joy.
Let me kiss you my pet.
Let me in.

At last we are joined here together.
At last I draw blood from your skin.
Our union so dark and fulfilling.
Our pleasure so deep core and true.
At last we are joined here together.

I thank you for letting me in.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

All is revealed....

1 ~ Sadly, I have not one single tattoo on my body. I would love to have one done
...I'm just not quite brave enough. They hurt, don't they?

2 ~ I would love to be able to fly aeroplanes...but can't. The nearest I got was a
two hour flying lesson for my 40th birthday.

3 ~ I hate boiled eggs. I wouldn't put one in my mouth, let alone five!

4 ~ As I have never tried to trim down my waistline with a corset, I have no idea
what inches I could squeeze my figure down to. One day though.....

5 ~ When I was younger I had horses and was rather a reckless rider; I was always
pushing the animals to their limits and many a time they got their own back by
throwing me to the ground.I broke two toes, my nose, a finger, a thumb and my
left arm all in horsey related incidents.
For a few years in my twenties I had a motorbike - which I also took risks on: I
had a 'fight' with a BMW car and came away with a broken right arm and
right leg!

6 ~ One day, when I am a rich and famous writer I WILL own a metallic purple TVR
Griffiths. They are my dream cars.

7 ~ Also, one day when I am a rich and famous writer I WILL meet my hero, Stephen
King. I will invite him round for tea and we can discuss books and writing all
afternoon long.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth....

Jaramara Falconer over at So You Wannabe a Writer challenged me to the following:

I have to tell up to six outrageous lies about myself and one outrageous truth.

Here goes....

1 ~ I have a tattoo of a snake winding itself around my left leg.

2 ~ I hold a license for flying small aircraft.

3 ~ I can stuff five boiled eggs into my mouth all at the same time.

4 ~ I can trim by waist down to sixteen inches when wearing a corset.

5 ~ In total I have broken eight different bones in my body.

6 ~ I am the proud owner of a metallic purple TVR Griffiths.

7 ~ I have met and spoken to my hero, Stephen King.

So...over to you...which are the lies and which is the truth?

Monday, 1 March 2010

I name this book....er.....mmmm...ah....

Firstly, I must apologise for my lack of posts these last couple of weeks, but I am a bit of a Winter Olympics fan. I'm not really into sport in a heavy way (apart from motorbike racing and show jumping and World Cup Football), but I LOVE the Winter Olympics: I think it's because I would really love to participate in the sports themselves. I really regret not being able to skate or ski...or snowboard come to that...and from a very early age I always wanted to be part of a bob-sleigh team!
Anyway, as exciting as it's been, the Olympics is over for another four years and I can concentrate on my writing once more.

A few blog posts ago I was bemoaning how difficult I thought it was, deciding whereabouts in the timeline my novel should begin; it took me three or four attempts before I settled on a first chapter I was happy with.

The other thorn in my side is the title.

I think finding the right title is so important.When I'm shopping around for a new book, it is, nine times out of ten, the title that draws me in. But how do you know if the title you choose for your work-in-progress is the right one? What defines a good title?

When I first started writing Bathory I simply christened my wip Vampire; I hadn't given the title much real thought. As I worked more and more on the novel I began to think more and more about a name for my creation. In the story Erzsebet Bathory and her side kick can transform themselves into ravens. A flock of ravens is known as an 'unkindness', so for a while The Unkindness became my working title.

A few weeks later I read an article about James Herbert. In the article the author explained the reasoning behind some of the titles he'd given his novels. Mr Herbert said how people (readers) always like to feel included in some sort of secret: books with the word 'secret' in their titles, always sold well.
Mmmmm. My book became Dark Secrets at Ravens' End.

I still wasn't thoroughly convinced. I still wasn't completely happy with the title of my novel. I'm still not.

I have finally settled on Bathory. It is the title I feel most comfortable with.

At the moment.

And of course, it still has to go through the hands of an agent and a publisher...

...they will most probably have ideas of their own......