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...

Friday, 12 August 2011

I'm still having real problems with my blog, which is one of the reasons I've not updated for ages. I seriously think I will have to start again from scratch. Bugger!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Something really weird's happened.
I can't seem to add comments to my own blog!

Monday, 23 May 2011

18 sales of my kindle book so far...
7 of those in the USA!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A Dark Interlude

The two birds came with the dusk.
Big and black, the colour of night. Bringing with them the chill of mid-winter and the scent of freshly fallen snow.
They flew in a straight north-west line, heavy wings disturbing the air with a breathy whup whup of sound. They stopped just once to feed: on the Slovakian Austrian border. Here they swooped down and gorged on a half-rotted carcass, picking the bones clean.
While they fed the ground temperature plummeted. People shivered, stared in disbelief at the unexpected flurry of snow. By the time the birds reached their destination they'd been on the wing for almost twenty-four hours.
For a while they followed the course of the A249, mirroring the dual carriageway as it wound its way towards and then over The Swale, the grey ribbon of water that separated the small Isle of Sheppey from mainland Kent.
Then they cut across country. Losing height as they flew over boggy marshland; scattering the sheep that grazed there, startling lesser birds from their nests. As they sighted the lone house on the cliff edge they put down their legs, sharp talons extended.
The ravens landed on the roof with the barest whisper of sound.

Monday, 9 May 2011

War of The Word!

The world of books is gathering together its forces to declare war on ebooks, and their chosen weapon of mass destruction is the 'flipback book'.

The 'flipback book' was introduced in Holland in 2009, and is due to be released in the UK this summer. These books are pocket-sized, printed on wafer-thin paper and designed with a distinctive spine which enables the books to lie open on a table without support (sheer genius for those of us who like to read at the meal table!). Sales in Holland have already hit 1 million.

To quote: It would prove one of the most compelling ironies of the digital age if the winner of the Kindle-killer crown was an actual book.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Akasha Savage is papped!

My Saturday morning has got off to a funny start.

At 9.45am precisely ~ which is never a good time for me at the weekend ~ the local press were in my kitchen interviewing and taking photos of my alter ego, Akasha Savage. Bearing in mind I always do 'night duty' for my six week old grandson every Friday so his parents get a full night's kip...and I have to drive my daughter to her Saturday job for a 9am start, 9.45 is not a good hour to have my house invaded by a big tall bearlike man with a camera!

The photograper was supposed to turn up at 10.00am ~ I had been rushing around like a blue arsed fly to be ready for this time, was still doing my make-up when there came a knock at the door.

I was so not relaxed.

I dread to think what my pictures are going to look like in our local rag this week!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Proud to be British!

I have just spent an enjoyable few hours watching the TV coverage of Prince William & Kate Middleton's wedding. It was such a wonderful event to watch. She looked like a fairy tale princess and I wish them all the happiness in the world.

Congrats Wills & Kate xx

No one does it like the British!!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Slight Technical Hitch!

Somehow, when I transfered my word document to kindle publishing, it buggered up the formatting! I have sorted out the problem now, but it does mean that the handful of you who have already purchased Calling 666 (thank you) will have to read it in a dodgy lay out. Sorry!

If you don't own a kindle I've just discovered at amazon/kindleforPC you can download software for free that will allow you to purchase ebooks and read them on your computer/laptop. Cool.

Friday, 22 April 2011

WARNING: Akasha Savage has stepped out from The Darkside!

I've done it!

As from now, my ebook of short stories ~ 'Calling 666: Tales of Dark Horror & The Supernatural' is available to purchase for your kindle at amazon.co.uk

Later the same day....

Typical. I've just been sent an email from kindle publishing on how to tweak the layout of my ebook.

Er...bit late now!!

Ah well, hope Calling 666 reads okay. Not much I can do if it doesn't; a learning curve me thinks!


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

For the last couple of weeks I have been slogging my little guts out trying to get my collection of short stories ready for kindle consumption. I am not finding it easy; I am a writer...not an IT expert!
The first bit was plain sailing: I chose the stories - eleven in all - that I wanted in my anthology; they were all stories I'd written over the past five or six years and just needed a quick spit and polish. I printed out a couple of copies and gave them to 'willing' friends and family members to proof read.
So far so good.I even came up with a title that I was happy with: CALLING 666~Tales of Dark Horror and the Supernatural.
Then came the hard part.
I had saved my MS as a word document, but before I could upload it to the kindle publishing site I had to convert it into a HTML.
HTML? What the devil was that? (Although 'devil' wasn't actually the word I used!) One quick phone call to my sister (she's a graphic designer for James Villa Holidays and does all their digital layouts etc) and I sort of knew!!! She told me how to save my document in the correct way...and I think I've done it...
Okay. Cracked it? No. Now there was the book cover to contend with.
It has to be so many pixels this and so many pixels that. Humph! Another call to sis.
I think I know what I have to do....

I'll keep you updated - just don't hold your breath while you're waiting!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Pirates of The Caribbean 4 Official Trailer

The bit at the end of the trailer where the wagon is on fire is the bit I saw being filmed!! Yay!!!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

“Are you ready?”
“Are you scared?”
“Yeah. You?”
“Fucking Shitless.”
“One more drink?”
“No. We need to get moving. If we put it off any longer we’ll be too late, it’s almost dusk now. Have you got the stake?”
“Right here.”
“Where’s the holy water?”
“In my pocket. Stop fussing.”
“I’m not fucking fussing. I just want to make sure we’ve got everything.”
“We’ve got everything. Get in the car and drive…and kill the headlights as we approach the house. We don’t want to announce our arrival. And go slow, don’t want too much engine noise.”
“Do you wanna drive?”
“Just go.”
* * *
“Park here, we’ll walk the rest of the way.”
“Are you fucking kidding? There’s still a way to go yet.”
“I just don’t want to announce our arrival. It’s all in the element of surprise.”
“Fuck the fucking element of surprise, have you seen how dark it is out there? All those trees?”
“Just stop fussing and get out the car.”
“Jesus. I don’t know why I let you talk me into this.”
“Yes you do. You were freaking out as much as me…wondering if it was your window she’d come scratching at next.”
“Humph. Come on then, let’s get this horror movie on the road.”
* * *
“I can’t help it, the window’s stuck. I’ll have to try and break the glass.”
“There goes our element of fucking surprise then. If that’s not an announcement I don’t know what is.”
“Quit griping. Pass the stake through. And the mallet. Watch your hands on the broken glass.”
“Yes boss. Ouch! Help me through, I’m bigger than you.”
“Watch the broken glass I said. If you cut yourself she’ll smell the blood a mile off.”
“Jesus in a fucking side car!”
“And keep your voice low. Here you carry the mallet, I’ll take the stake. Now come on, the moon’s almost up. I knew we shouldn’t have spent so much time in the frigging pub.”
“Hey! Wait for me! This is freaking my nerves out, I can’t see fuck all in the dark. Slow down!”
“Stop fucking shhing me. I’m shitting my pants!”
“What was that?”
“I heard something?
“This is really freaking me out.”
“Ssssh. There it is again. Did you hear it?”
“Pete. Stop arsing about, you’re giving me the heebie jeebies.”


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Happy Birth Day Freddie!

In the aftermath of the Japanese disaster a little ray of sunshine has broken through; my japanese daughter-in-law has given birth to my first grandchild. Freddie Jyo arrived in the world yesterday at noon, weighing in at 7lbs 6oz, and what a little cutie he is - although I may be a tad bias. Little Freddie has thick black hair, beautiful almond-shaped eyes and my son's nose and mouth. A real anglo-oriental mixture!

Well done Bill & Nao!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Spare a thought for Japan.

Having a Japanese daughter-in-law I felt real shock and disbelief at the footage of the disaster in Japan.

Nao's parents live in Tokyo - 200 miles from the region the earthquake hit - but even so strong tremors shook their city and their house suffered slight damage. How frightening must it have been. I am amazed by how calm the Japanese are, taking this catastrophe in their stride; they are a stronger race than we English.

Watching the TV coverage it made me realise how fragile the human race is, no more significant than ants upon this earth, as easy to wash away as insects after a heavy rainfall. When mother nature wants to hit us, she hits us hard.

My thoughts and prayers are with those in Japan.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Books, Books, Books......

Here in the UK we've been celebrating the wonder of books.

March 3rd was World Book Day, at school I organised a Hogwart's dressing-up day: staff and children could come dressed as their favourite Harry Potter character for the day. I chose to be Rita Skeeter, the journalist for The Daily Prophet.

Friday was National Book Night. A million books comprising of 25 different titles by best-selling authors were given away for free. I managed to get my hands on a copy of CJ Sansom's Dissolution, which I've yet to read. Couldn't miss out on the offer of a free book!

For the past couple of weeks there has been a daily programme running each evening. Presenter Anne Robinson has been asking various celebrities to name their favourite five books, including one from their childhood, one they think everyone should read, and a guilty pleasure.

Here are my five:

Childhood favourite ~ Now We Are Six by A A Milne. This is a collection of wonderful poems that appeal to children of all ages. My mum read it to me, I read it to my children. And now I read it to the children at the school where I teach. I know most of the poems by heart.

Everyone should read ~ Shantaram by Gregory Davis Roberts. I have mentioned this book before on my blog, and I really do urge you to read it if you haven't already. It's based on the true story of a criminal who escapes from an Australian prison and ends up in India. During his eight years there he lives in the Indian slums of Mombai, sets up a free health clinic for the homeless,and joins the Indian mafia. It is a fantastic, well-written, read, and is one of those books that really does make you look at life with different eyes. Read it!!

Often read book ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I first read this novel when studying English at school. I loved it then, I love it still. I must have read it at least five times and see something new in it each time.

Favourite book ~ It by Stephen King. King is my favourite genre writer, and this still by far my favourite of his books.

My Guilty Pleasure ~ Burlesque/Fetish by Dita Von Teese. 'nuff said!

...so yours?

Thursday, 3 March 2011


Those of you that visit my blog on a regular basis will know just how illiterate I am when it comes to modern technology ~ so I've surprised even myself by making my blog available to be viewed on a Kindle. I read an article in the Writers Forum magazine on just how to set it all up and I followed this guideline to the letter; I couldn't believe just how easy it was.

So if you own a Kindle (I don't), take a look and tell me what it's like.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Support the Little Theatre!

Here on the Isle of Sheppey - in our tiny seaside town of Sheerness - we have a small local theatre: The Little Theatre. It is a quaint building that started off life as a Sunday School. Back in the 1960's it was converted - over a period of eight years and with the funding from many local business' - into a theatre for the local community to use. I have watched many performances there: from shows put on by the island's school children to noisy christmas pantomimes to singing and dancing extravaganzas, all perfomed by local talent. Over the last few years I have myself performed readings of my writing on the small wooden stage (it was there that I received the award for my wip last year).

I have just taken part in yet another showcase at the theatre, this time to raise money for refurbishing and extending the building. Various local business' were once again invited to come along for an evening of local entertainment; an evening to show just what goes on at the Little Theatre in the hope that people will put their hands into their pockets and help out with the necessary funding.

Although I always say yes to these performances I secretly dread them. I'm a writer not a performer and hate standing up in front of an audience and reading my work out to strangers (and family and friends!) - especially as I write on the dark side and am aware that this genre does not appeal to everyone.Yet I know this is a way not only to support the community, but also to get myself noticed as a writer.

This time there was an added bonus: the actor son of Michael Palin (he of The Monty Python fame) attended. This tall, dark, handsome man appears in the british television series: The Inbetweeners, and has decided to help support our theatre - which I thought jolly nice of him.

...and somehow I was talked into another reading in October!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Introducing Countess Erzsebet Bathory...

The girl sat huddled in a corner of the room, naked and shivering on the damp mildewed carpet that smelt of mouse droppings and earthworms. Her arms were wrapped around her bent legs, hugging her knees tight to her chest: partly to try and keep warm, mainly to conceal her nakedness. Her green eyes were glassy with fear. A deep line of concentration creased her brow as she fought to keep her gaze lowered, keep it focused on the faded pink roses that patterned the carpet, keep it from straying to the body of the dead girl.
The dead girl that was her best friend.
The dead girl that was hanging upside-down, tied by her ankles to the wooden beam overhead.
The dead girl who's throat had been cut.
Dark blood was seeping from the wound, running down the sides of the girl's upside-down cheeks, through the short blonde hair, before soaking into the carpet with a moist splat; turning the roses from pink to red.
A man was standing to one side. A short-limbed, thick-bodied dwarf. His dark hair was long and greasy, streaked at one side with a startling flash of white. In one hand he held a knife, it's blade smeared with blood. In the other hand he held an ornate golden goblet tarnished to a greenish hue. Extending his arm he placed the goblet beneath the head of the dead girl. Catching the drips.
A rustle of movement from the shadows caused the naked girl to look up.
A woman had stepped into view. Even through her fear the girl was stunned by the woman's beauty, for one fleeting second hope bubbled up within her; surely no-one who possessed such beauty was capable of harm. The bubble burst as the woman took the goblet from the dwarf, wrapped her slender pale fingers around the golden vessel and lifted it to her lips. She drank down the contents in one long thirsty gulp. Thin rivulets of blood trickled down her chin.
The woman handed the goblet back to the dwarf. She turned to look at the girl at her feet. When she spoke her words were stilted, thick with an unfamiliar east European accent.
"This one," she said. "This one I will save for later."

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy 2011 xx

Looking back over the past twelve months the highlight of my year has to be meeting Johnny Depp at Greenwich (Did I mention that?...he spoke to me and held my hand!...ahhh sigh).

But already the year ahead is looking good.

My daughter - with a bit of luck and a fair wind - will be starting drama school in September 2011, her first step along the long winding uphill climb towards her acting career. She has her first audition on 7 January, this is to try for a place at one of the country's leading drama schools: Guildhall. I wish her well.

My son & daughter-in-law are expecting the birth of my first grandchild (it's a boy!) in March. I am so excited. Not long to go now...

And my book...ah yes my book...this year I MUST finish it...