April Games

This month I took part in four daily Twitter games; . So, as per previous months, here are my answers in full. 

  1. Ash is more of a smart-mouth than a prankster I think. Although I wouldn’t put it past him.
  2. No, I’m not doing CampNaNo. I think I need to re-assess and find some balance before I try attempting something that.
  3. Depends on who you ask. Quinn: kid, tough, boss. Casey: foolhardy, young, brother. De Vries: misguided, naive, scapegoat.
  4. Ash was home-schooled, for obvious reasons. I expect the sword lessons were his favourite although history would be second.
  5. Usually, I don’t mind swearing. I swear a fair bit myself so my characters tend to as well. But usually within limits…
  6. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸŒƒπŸ›£πŸ›€πŸ†˜πŸ€πŸ›«βš°οΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ›£β›°πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ›£πŸŽ‰πŸ€›πŸ»πŸ›£πŸœβœπŸ»πŸ”«βœπŸ»πŸ›«πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ”«πŸ’€πŸ‘«πŸ’‹– That’s all I’m saying without spoilers.
  7. I haven’t had occasion to mention this yet (I can think of somewhere It might go) but Ash’s favourite color is burgundy.
  8. When I write… I get to live pieces of other lives.
  9. One of the first things I wrote for House In Exile was the last page. Now I just have to get there.
  10. Not a specific date exactly but the annual winter solstice doubles as the Ascension night for the Ceteri. That’s the night when any member of the Cabal can challenge for the leadership in a duel to the death. Since Ash’s father has been leading the Cabal most of Ash’s life it’s a bit of a nerve-wracking evening for him.
  11. Probably water, since Ash is having to adapt constantly.
  12. Romantically? Not yet but he’s probably overdue. Non-romantically? I’d say when he thought Elizabeth would hate him, blaming him for De Vries’ actions against her.
  13. Twenty years isn’t much in Ceteri time. The fighting between him and De Vries could still be going on….
  14. Ash isn’t religious. He did wear a Celtic cross but that was more because it was a gift from his grandmother.
  15. Shadowcroft had some elaborate Halloween parties, enough to make up for Ash not being allowed to go out guising.
  16. Either in the woods surrounding Shadowcroft or, if someone was feeling tricky, in the necropolis beneath the manor.
  17. Ash’s deadly sin? Well, for this book at least, it has to be wrath.
  18. A book isn’t complete without a reader’s investment in it.
  19. Ash’s favourite song is Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones.
  20. “Oh well, let’s just kill each other then…”    giphy
  21. Ash wouldn’t be caught dead… …without a fight.
  22. Not a secret exactly but most people don’t know it since it’s not something I talk about. I have a B.Sc and an M.Sc.
  23. Actually, De Vries already has the upper hand and I’m afraid how he got it is a spoiler for A House Divided.
  24. Do you really need to ask this one?                                
  25. I’d say the most common reason would be if the book in question just isn’t holding my interest.
  26. It would probably depend on the situation but mostly, yes.
  27. Ash does enjoy reading. β€ͺNot that he’s had much of a chance to lately. ‬
  28. 21,552.
  29. Biggest regret? Sorry, here be spoilers…
  30. Ash Valerian has lost his home & any standing he had in Ceteri society. Now hunted by enemies, he has to fight back.

  1. House In Exile is the 3rd book in the House Valerius urban fantasy series. Ash is now being hunted by De Vries & the other Houses.
  2. Sans spoilers – Ash Valerian is the heir to House Valerius, oldest of the Ceteri Houses. He’s 28, very young by Ceteri standards. He’s a bit impetuous, frequently smart-mouthed and desperately wants to live up to his father’s example.
  3. I think this sums up the opening of House In Exile for me.
  4. Push The Sky Away by seems to fit the mood of House In Exile.
  5. I was struggling with my meal. I was hungry but the rapidly cooling puddle of grease it was sitting in was hardly appetizing.
  6. The senses: Sight – Starlight. Sound – Airplane engines. Taste – Greasy diner food. Touch – Scar Tissue. Smell – Jasmine.
  7. A katana. Maybe not representative of the whole book but definitely a major plot line in it.
  8. If you like urban fantasy and different take on vampire mythology, then there’s a chance you’ll like my book.
  9. “Awkward as in difficult or awkward as in embarrassing? Since you asked nicely, I’ll tell you both. The most difficult was trying to talk with my cousin, Elizabeth, after the first time she saw me drinking blood from someone. The most embarrassing would be having Casey & Quinn discuss the idea of me marrying Lady Di Bonaventura as a political move.”
  10. De Vries: “The day I became free from the constraints of my previous life & I realized I had to offer that freedom to others.”
  11. Elizabeth: “De Vries managed to scare the man I was hoping would propose into leaving me, then put me under house arrest.”
  12. If I’d been reading ahead, I’d have saved the line I used on day 5 for today instead.   I opened the cooler. There were some sandwiches, some fruit, a few bottles of water and, hidden near the bottom, a blood bag.
  13. De Vries: “That Ash refuses to see the sense of what I’m doing. I’m trying to make a better world.”
  14. MacReady: “There’s nothing quite like getting up among the clouds and flying. Never has been. Has to be the best damn feeling in the world.”                           🚁
  15. Ash: “All sorts really but if you’re going to make me pick something, probably classic rock.”
  16. It’s the real world pretty much, just with this under layer to it…
  17. I knew Ash would be starting off on his own, hiding out from the Cabal.
  18. Probably Shadowcroft Manor. Or House Takeda’s island. And hope I don’t get sent to Arkhangelsk Prison.
  19. The name has been changed to protect the innocent. And avoid spoilers. Text
  20. Three unique elements? 1) The genetics 2) The Ceteri society 3) Erm, it has my name on it?
  21. I have a timeline in my notes but only small pieces have been explored so far.
  22. I wouldn’t mind having one of the swords, I suppose.
  23. There’s been a lot of advice, a lot of blog articles, a lot of help. But what comes to mind right now is simply “Finish things”.
  24. I’ve tried planning. Either I’m not doing it properly or I get drawn away from it too easily. I usually know where I want to go but how I get there is subject to change at any time.
  25. I can be found here.
  26. Used this already this month but it still makes me smile. “Turns out Miss Thing was actually Mrs. Deputy Sheriff.”
  27. You can do this and your story/book is worth being told.
  28. I’d like to think that if you read , or , then you might see me as a worth a look.
  29. The majority of what I post is nonsense. And the majority of it is here.
  30. House In Exile in 10 words or less: 3rd in urban fantasy series with modern genetic vampires.

Since House In Exile is set in the (mostly) real world so I wasn’t sure how fitting my answers for this would be but I decided I’d try anyways.

  1. The world within the real world is the various Ceteri families, organized into Houses. House Valerius is the oldest of them.
  2. House In Exile mostly takes place in the UK and the US. I don’t think I’m going anywhere else bit a detour could happen.
  3. House In Exile takes place during the first few months of 2004.
  4. When not in cities in the UK or US, the settings in the House Valerius series tend to be remote. Secluded areas of the countryside, private islands, etc. Anywhere the Houses can avoid too much human observation.
  5. First thing I’d do is make sure I kept my mouth shut. The Ceteri aren’t too keen on people who aren’t part of their Houses.
  6. Since it’s a contemporary setting, from the plumbing. Although one place has it’s own mountain spring.
  7. I think most of the Houses have various corporate holdings and the like. It takes money to stay anonymous.
  8. The Ceteri are governed by the Cabal, made up of the rulers of the seven most powerful Houses.
  9. Secluded area. Handy abandoned mining tunnels. Has its own armoury.
  10. There’s not a lot to do for fun. It’s several hours drive to many other places in the series. Can’t think of a 3rd offhand.
  11. Planes, trains, and automobiles.
  12. The main obstacle for Ash is getting around while also staying off the grid.
  13. He loved that the people he cares about had been safe there.
  14. The language is mostly English although there are some Latin remnants.
  15. It is the real world. For most intents and purposes. Just with some additions.
  16. De Vries’ world is pretty black and white. If you aren’t with him, you’re an enemy to be destroyed.
  17. Mostly the same as no. 9. Secluded, plenty of space to train his troops and now has extra resources he didn’t have before.
  18. De Vries is now a lot more stationary while Ash is mobile and hoping to take advantage of that. Plus there is still a certain amount of repair work going on and some members of the Cabal are keeping an eye on things.
  19. Besides it being only slightly sideways from the real world; I think people can relate to the things Ash goes through. Coping with other people’s expectations of you, taking responsibility for your actions; universal experiences like that
  20. I don’t think I did much in the way of cultural research, maybe just one or two details.
  21. Not a holiday as such but the annual winter solstice doubles as the Ascension night for the Ceteri. That’s the night when any member of the Cabal can challenge for the leadership in a duel to the death.
  22. A bit cliche perhaps but can’t people treat each other better?
  23. Valerius & Sennaara. When Valerius brought Sennaara back to Rome that led to the creation of the 1st Ceteri House.
  24. There’s a fair bit of going back and forth in this one, mainly between the US and the UK.
  25. I suppose you could say Ash is who I would like to be like.
  26. The weather is earth normal. No specific weather challenges unless you count the whole no going out in the daylight thing.
  27. Stay hidden. Don’t let the regular humans know about us.
  28. Each House has its own cadre of Watchmen, devoted to its security & defense.
  29. I don’t think I’ve changed any geography so it looks like Earth.
  30. I have two homes. New Mexico where I live and Scotland, where I grew up.

  1. House In Exile is an urban fantasy (well, that’s the best fit). Mainly geared toward adults.
  2. Ash in 3 words? Wary. Stressed. Determined.
  3. Since House In Exile is the third book, I’ll answer for the series. It was a question that came to me watching Underworld. I was watching the scenes set in the vampire’s mansion and I wondered what it would be like to grow up in a place like that.
  4. Probably Quinn. He’s laid-back (most of the time), doesn’t take things too seriously but always has his friends backs.
  5. I don’t think I have a writing ritual. Maybe I should start.
  6. We passed uncounted miles, listening to one radio station until it dissolved into static, then searching for another.
  7. The Leopard Apocalypse by @LeopardKingSaga, Darklands by @MLSpencer1, Burning Sky by @BunnyDarkness, Horror at Midnight by @AndryDayana1, Tegan by @ExoticInkBooks, Bane Shaw book 3 by @Regan_OLeary There’s plenty of others I would cheer on but misfortunately I don’t know the titles they’re working on. Bad Drew.
  8. I does not have an inspiration board. Is this something peoples would recommend?
  9. It’s almost certainly the identity of Petra’s boss. I started that off in the previous book and it’s still going strong.
  10. “Committee scenes are death.” – Courtesy of . Although she did say the Council of Elrond gets a pass.
  11. Set some in the U.K., some in the U.S. and in the early months of 2004.
  12. My current favourite line: “Turns out Miss Thing was actually Mrs. Deputy Sheriff.” MacReady said, to our amusement.
  13. You’d think he’d learn, since the last secret he kept from people blew up in his face, but Ash does have a secret. You’d think he’d learn, since the last secret he kept from people blew up in his face, but Ash does have a secret.
  14. So far, no scene has been any more difficult than any other. Not in the current book anyways. But I haven’t got to much of the romantic stuff yet. Not my usual so I suspect that will be tricksy.
  15. Just shy of 20k last time I checked.
  16. I think I’d be over the moon if any author I read and admire even read my books, let alone wrote me a cover review.
  17. What did I do in the planning stages? Possibly not enough but still more than I did for the previous two.
  18. Crucial to House In Exile: a coffin, a sword and bandages.
  19. This is more or less how Ash feels throughout House In Exile.tumblr_nlaaseW0So1rwjpnyo1_500
  20. De Vries in three words? Insane, ruthless & opportunistic.
  21. Children of the Night by Dan Simmons & The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
  22. When The Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin.
  23. I haven’t got to the stage where I’m deleting scenes yet but there is one that I have to re-do if I want to keep it. It’s a nice little anecdote but it’s unnecessary & probably will get cut. You can read it here.
  24. I’m sticking with my previous answer – Iwan Rheon giphy (3)
  25. The best thing about my WIP? – That I’m still going πŸ™‚
  26. I’d say either Elizabeth, Ash’s cousin, or MacReady, the pilot. Elizabeth has a different view of the Ceteri and MacReady is just fun to write.
  27. I kept moving, a different hotel every night. Decent ones at first, then as cheap as possible.
  28. What can I say, I’m a big Bruce Campbell fan…giphy (4)
  29. *takes a deep breath* @InPrint_Comic @Regan_OLeary @authorlmnelson @authorCM_Turner @dmnewlun @pat_sherard @MLSpencer1 @LeopardKingSaga @HA_Callum @annieperception @RamblingRiter @BunnyDarkness @UnDyrk @LexiIsAWriter @jgrounds007 @ExoticInkBooks @solscript @tenofswordsbook @PennilessScribe @AndryDayana1 @paullavender6 and lastly, but most importantly, my wife, Britt.
  30. Ash Valerian has lost his home & any standing he had in Ceteri society. Now hunted by enemies, he has to fight back.

As always much thanks to @_JM_Sullivan, @simmeringmind, @MythmakerWrites@RtheW_Writers for organizing these.

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