July Games

This month’s games were #AuthorConfession, #TheMerryWriter, #WriterChronicles and #WriterlyWIPChat.


  1. I was never very good with poetry, even when I was trying to write it back in my student days. Can I get back to you if I get a sudden inspiration?
  2. Hmm, I could say red for the blood on his hands. But then De Vries has caused a lot more death and Ash is directly opposed to him so maybe blue?
  3. I’m treating this month as a reset so, as of now, 247.
  4. Usually by talking back to anyone in authority. And once by essentially challenging them to a duel.
  5. Probably the high wire/trapeze act. He would admire the timing and precision of it.
  6. Shapeshifting. Or something else that might let him have some time in the sunshine.
  7. If it’s my core cast, after they get over their surprise, I think they might take the night off and enjoy the spectacle. They’d still be keeping an eye open in case of ambush though.
  8. De Vries, naturally.
  9. I’m averaging about 1 per book so far.
  10. Based on a quick reading of the Wikipedia page, I’ll say De Vries is INTP.
  11. Last chapter of book 2 / first chapter of book 3.
  12. Martial arts mainly.
  13. I usually don’t decide ahead of time, I just go with whatever occurs to me as I write.
  14. It can be anywhere; the shower, driving to work, etc.
  15. It hasn’t come up in the story so far but I expect he is.
  16. De Vries would want a steak. And some blood.
  17. The first people to come to mind are Alex Micati and Dyrk Ashton.
  18. I know it’s 3 but I have no rational reason for knowing that.
  19. Depends on who I switched it to. For a while, I did think about doing some 3rd person chapters in book 2 so that I could get different views on the world, instead of seeing everything through Ash’s eyes.
  20. Ash knows the importance of eating properly but at the start of book 3, when he’s in hiding and hopping from town to town, he’s more or less living off junk food.
  21. Pocky.
  22. He needs to find a purpose for him to keep going.
  23. It might actually be better for Ash in some ways. As scary as Pennywise can be, I can’t quite see him going for the slow manipulative takeover that De Vries is planning.
  24. I think so.
  25. Probably something like a BMV Z4. Fast, precise but still capable of being relatively anonymous.
  26. On rare occasions.
  27. The two comparisons I can remember getting are Frank Miller (original Batman era) and Patrick Rothfuss. If I was to pick someone I think I’d have to say Jim Butcher. Not sure where all of that leaves me.
  28. Home was Shadowcroft Manor but that changed when De Vries attacked and they were forced to flee. Right now, Ash doesn’t have anywhere.
  29. Right now I’d say Ash wants to avoid anywhere a Curia member is based who wants to see him dead or captured. Which lets out the UK, most of Europe, Russia, Northern Africa, and Japan.
  30. Finish Paternus: War of Gods by Dyrk Ashton, then I’ve got Peace Talks by Jim Butcher. I haven’t planned beyond that.
  31. Well, we made it through another month. Cheers.


  1. I’m Drew, unsure of just about everything.
  2. Usually looking tired and/or grumpy.
  3. Being able to swear freely, which is just fucking great.
  4. BREAK.
  5. BREAK.
  6. Self-sabotaging and lack of confidence.
  7. Some days I don’t think there’s anything to be proud of. Some days I like to think I do pretty good dialogue.
  8. Reading. And playing by the stream at the bottom of the garden.
  9. The most interesting place I’ve visited? The first place that comes to mind is Skara Brae on the Orkney Islands. It’s the remains of a neolithic village from approx 3,000 BC.
  10. I’ve frequently thought that one way to confront my fear of heights would be to go sky-diving. Hasn’t happened yet.
  11. BREAK.
  12. BREAK.
  13. Getting Britt to marry me.
  14. The Hobbit (no bonus points, I’m afraid).
  15. If you’re asking from when I was a youngling, that’s so long ago, I don’t even remember. But, in my teens, I wanted to be a scientist.
  16. To make my wife happy.
  17. Second guessing everything.
  18. BREAK.
  19. BREAK.
  20. Forgiveness.
  21. “What makes you think you can do this?”
  22. Probably people who are incapable of admitting they made a mistake/are in the wrong.
  23. Well, it would be more than a moment but I think I’d choose my wedding day. It’s a bit of a blur right now since I was swept up in everything. I’d like a chance to savour it some more.
  24. My family – my wife Britt, our two dogs Callie & Rocket, and our two cats, Clyde & Oliver.
  25. BREAK.
  26. BREAK.
  27. Don’t forget to take time for yourself.
  28. I don’t think I completely ignore anything. But then, I don’t completely ascribe to anything either.
  29. It’s more that I haven’t found a proper balance.
  30. Read. Write. Get some exercise.
  31. December 2008. I moved from Scotland to the US and got married.


  1. My main character is Ash Valerian. He’s part of the Ceteri, a race of people with a hereditary mutation that makes them the basis of all vampire legends, and heir to the oldest family, House Valerius. He’s young, often snarky but trying his best.
  2. See below.
  3. Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.
  4. In book 1, there is the Winter Solstice, during which the Ceteri gather at the House of the current head of the Curia for a celebration and possible transfer of leadership. In book 2, there is New Years. Nothing in book 3 yet except some reunions.
  5. Jodie & I took the steps in unison and the three of us clustered around while Quinn fought to get the door open. The lock released at the same moment the truck’s headlights shut off and we nearly tripped over each other in the sudden dark as we went inside.
  6. When Ash was almost nine, he was responsible for the death of a friend. It made him realize the necessity for self-control.
  7. Well, that’s pretty much book 3 in a nutshell…
  8. I hope so. There’s a lot of upheaval in book 3.
  9. See below.
  10. Ash’s mother died in a car accident when he was 17.
  11. He’d do it, or at least try to. The question is whether or not the people who are supposed to be protecting him would let it happen.
  12. “Look, kid. Ah know she’s cute an’ yer bangin’ her an’ all but we don’t know shit ‘bout her.” His voice was quiet, confidential and totally condescending. I spoke without thinking. “Quinn, mind your own fucking business.” There was real heat in it which surprised us both.
  13. Depending on the circumstances, either a semi-automatic pistol or his katana.
  14. Potential spoiler alert – The provisional title for book 4 (when I get there) is Houses at War.
  15. Not great.
  16. See below.
  17. Is Ash alive or dead? If he’s still alive, any of my core group of side characters be making plans to try and rescue him. If dead, they’d most likely scatter, some might try for revenge, others might just go into hiding.
  18. The main stigma in my series is about being a ‘feral’. They‘re people who have 2 copies of the Ceteri mutant gene which means significantly higher blood lust and greater incidence of psychosis. Which means most Ceteri view them as dangerous liabilities.
  19. I dreamt of the cave again; the ancient altar & the whispering darkness that surrounded it. There were still fewer candles this time, the circle of light smaller & the darkness was… eager. I reached for my sword, only to find the sheath at my hip empty.
  20. 1st thought – Is it the prelude to an attack? 2nd thought – Preserve the stored blood.
  21. “Keep low, kid.” Quinn gasped harshly, bright pink froth showing at the edges of his mouth. “Shut up.” I told him, fighting back a sense of panic. I crouched down beside him. Trying not to move him any more than I had to, I carefully peeled his shirt up, inspecting the exit wounds. They were smaller than I’d expected, but still large enough, and bleeding freely. I ripped at my shirt, trying to tear it loose. I pressed what I’d managed to get free against Quinn’s back, a make-shift pressure bandage. Even bunched up, it was quickly soaked with blood; but I kept it as tight against the wounds as I could. With my free hand, I tore more of my shirt free and tried to stem the bleeding from his chest.
  22. Ash can be a bit conniving but probably not enough as he needs to be to take on De Vries.
  23. I’m sorry, but I’m drawing a complete blank on this one…
  24. It’s a bigger part of book 3 than it has been in previous installments.
  25. I try to roll with it and see how things play out.
  26. When I opened my eyes again, it was to find Anja and a second, younger, woman looking down at me. “Welcome back to the land of the living.” The younger one said, a trace of a smile about her lips. I struggled to sit up. I wanted out of the damned coffin.
  27. Ash second-guesses everything trying to see where things went wrong. Casey resolves to be better the next time. Quinn shrugs and moves on.
  28. The core group; Ash, Casey, Quinn, MacReady, Jodie, will.
  29. Similar to losing, Ash starts second-guessing things, trying to work out how things could have gone better.
  30. See below.
  31. Not as well as I would have liked but still better than last month so that’s something, at least.


  1. I’m Drew. Beyond that, I’m still trying to work the rest out…
  2. Officially, my WIP is House in Exile, the 3rd House Valerius book. Unofficially, I’m just working on rebuilding good habits after not doing much writing for the past few months…
  3. Nothing too fancy; a dinner out, a bottle of wine, etc.
  4. Probably just a burger.
  5. In book 1, there is the Winter Solstice, during which the Ceteri gathers at the House of the current head of the Curia for a party & possible transfer of leadership. In book 2, there is New Years 2004. None in book 3 yet.
  6. I think pie would be the general consensus. Both Ash and Quinn favor pecan, Jodie likes blueberry, Casey likes cherry and MacReady prefers apple.
  7. It has to be enough to make the characters unique and interesting. If I’m worried it’s too much, I ask does it figure into the main plot somehow, or am I just including it for the sake of it. The latter means it’s too much.
  8. I doubt there ‘s an opinion about my characters, popular or otherwise. But I like that while the Ceteri are the basis of vampire legends & it’s a core part of their lives, it’s almost incidental to who they are as people.
  9. I’ll type it up sooner or later…
  10. If I’m honest, it’s maybe only a step or two above hunt and peck.
  11. Since the world of my series is a slightly different version of the real world, most of the locations are based on real places.
  12. Ash hasn’t had much chance to unwind lately. But, in the past, he might go to the library to read or play video games with Casey.
  13. Ash will be 28.
  14. The safety of his friends and family.
  15. “Okay,” Jodie said. “It’s one-fifteen. I want to be in & out of here, back in the car by one-thirty. This place is going to be a shock but don’t stop and definitely don’t talk to anyone.” I looked out at the blue sign. “What’s a Wal-Mart?”
  16. Book 1 House Valerius *** Book 2 A House Divided ** Book 3 House in Exile * (at best)
  17. Pass.
  18. The month of starting over.
  19. Well, the winter solstice in an event in Ceteri society. There is a mass gathering & banquet at the home of the current head of the Curia but the highlight is when they invite any of the Curia to challenge for leadership.
  20. Maybe once every 2-3 years, if that.
  21. On ebook, Paternus: War of Gods by Dyrk Ashton. On audio, the 1st Audible adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics. Very much enjoying both. And my copy of Peace Talks, the new Dresden Files book, just arrived so that’s next.
  22. I do a bit of editing as I go, especially if I’m typing up handwritten work, but for the most part, I just carry on.
  23. Not that I’m aware of.
  24. Depends on whose wedding it was. The one he’d take the most seriously and spare no effort on would be Elizabeth’s.
  25. The Rhenwars Saga & The Chaos Cycle by M.L. Spencer, The Paternus trilogy by Dyrk Ashton, The Supervillainy Saga by C.T. Phipps, A Wizard’s Forge by A.M. Justice, Implanted by Lauren C. Teffeau, Whispers in the Alders by H.A. Callum.
  26. Well, my shoulder is in there…
  27. I don’t think I specifically say so but it is set in 2003-2004 and there are references to real-world events supporting that.
  28. Err… Erm… Uhh… Look over there, a giant hummingbird! *runs away*
  29. Well, due to the whole ‘avoid sunlight’ thing, Ash sleeps during the day and is up and about by night. Right now, the thing that gets him out of bed is worry about staying in one place too long and being ready to move on.
  30. Half an hour, maybe.
  31. Not a Scooby, sorry.

As Always, Thanks to the hosts:

#AuthorConfession – J.M. Sullivan & Jessica Julien

#TheMerryWriter – Ari Meghlen & Rachel Poli

#WriterChronicles – Amber Elzinga

#WriterlyWIPChat – Kerri Davidson & Mark Gelinas, Sr.

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