January Games

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


  1. I really want to get the first draft of book 3 done, if I can.
  2. I got a few books on how to outline and building story structure. I plan to work my way through those this month, in the hopes that it will serve me well for the rest of the year.
  3. I want to learn what happens to the characters.
  4. Stop De Vries doing any more damage. Clear his name and get his people out from under their death sentences.
  5. Not especially. Maybe Ash’s great-Aunt Eve, although she’s never specifically said anything as far as I can recall.
  6. Late 20’s, enjoys the nightlife. Not looking to be pinned down and prefers seclusion but willing to travel. (best I could come up with right now).
  7. Anything that would involve Ash being outside, during the day. It wouldn’t end well for him.
  8. From Ash’s perspective: Ash & his friends are lawful good. Lords Feodorenko & Takeda and Lady Conrad are neutral good. Anja and Lady Borglund are true neutral. Lady Mallory and Lords Von Radu & Pavlovitch are lawful evil. De Vries is chaotic evil.
  9. I’m not sure it ever will be published.
  10. It would depend on which character and their circumstances. Of the ones that do have secrets, Jodie would try to keep hers for as long as possible, even to death. Ash would surrender his if he thought it might gain a reprieve for someone he cares about.
  11. Actually, my favourite scene is one that I’ve already decided to cut. I like it, but it doesn’t add anything to the story other than some character history. If you really want to, you can read it here.
  12. For today, 264 so far.
  13. Although he uses a few different weapons throughout the series, Ash’s weapons of choice are either a handgun or his (now missing) katana.
  14. Whenever they rebuild an old building, they must first of all destroy the old one. – Rumi.
  15. Carina Bulat. De Vries might be the planner but he can also be reasoned with.
  16. Exiled & exhausted. Hunted & alone. Ready to fight back.
  17. Not as such. You could say Mitsuko since they had an encounter during book 2 but, as of the opening of book 3, he has no reason to believe it was anything more.
  18. I refuse to learn the rules.
  19. Ash has had training in kendo, does that count?Quote Tweet
  20. Don’t really have a current scene at the moment.
  21. I think so, although I do wonder if we’d too similar and end up seeing the worst about each other.
  22. There’s a possibility that a character that apparently died at the end of book 2, isn’t dead after all.
  23. The easiest way to get to De Vries is to make some implication that he might be unstable or insane.
  24. Book 3 begins in January 2004.
  25. The deaths of people he cares about.
  26. The deaths of people he cares about.
  27. That guy that’s supposed to be telling us what’s happening next…
  28. Yeah, he’d give things a try. Might take a bit of a push if it involved bugs but after having to drink blood, new cuisine doesn’t seem like much of an issue.
  29. Ash’s great-aunt Eve. I’ve never specified her age but she’s over 1000.
  30. Normally, I’d say yes but as of the beginning of book 3, Ash has not been taking the best care of himself.
  31. Better than last month, but still room for improvement. Ah well, new game starts tomorrow morning.


  1. I’ve used a few names out in the world, for safety’s sake, but my true name is Ash Valerian. I’d prefer it if you didn’t mention me to anyone, since there are a bunch of people looking for me right now.
  2. The first thing you’ll notice about me is the ragged-shaped scar on the left side of my face. It starts just above my eyebrow & goes down almost to my jaw and is still healing. It stands out even more because of my natural paleness.
  3. Right now, I don’t live anywhere. I’ve been on the move a lot, switching cities & hotels every day or two. It’s the best way to avoid the people looking for me. I do miss my old home, Shadowcroft Manor. I lived there all my life up, until a month ago.
  4. My cousin, Elizabeth. She’s only a few months older than me and we more or less grew up together so really, I think of her more like a sister.
  5. What scares me is the thought of losing my mind and becoming a danger to myself & others. It happened to my older brother, until it eventually drove him to take his own life.
  6. Depends on my mood. If I want to be alone, then reading’s always good. For fun, playing video games with Casey. Even when she cheats.
  7. I suppose I would have to say beef stroganoff. I can’t remember the last time I had it though…
  8. The winter solstice is a big thing in our society. Rulers of many, if not all, Houses gather at the home of whoever is currently leading the Curia for a feast, networking, and possibly, a leadership challenge.
  9. BREAK
  10. BREAK.
  11. I don’t think so. I mean, I wouldn’t object to seeing Mitsuko again but I’m not exactly welcome at House Takeda any more.
  12. Hah, let’s just say the relations between myself and the Curia are not their best right now. Some of them are decent enough but Lady Mallory, Pavlovitch, Raines, Von Radu; they’re all self-serving opportunists who wouldn’t mind seeing me dead.
  13. I’d like to think so. Maybe not so much my uncle Lukas and aunt Sara but that’s more because they haven’t lived at Shadowcroft in years.
  14. I’m always awake at night and sleep during the day. It’s the way we all are.
  15. Never did. And it really wouldn’t be appropriate now.
  16. BREAK.
  17. BREAK.
  18. To stop De Vries and maybe undo some of the damage he’s done.
  19. “The first thing we need to do is reunite with your people.” She paused. “What you have to understand; my employer wishes to help you but only in an indirect manner. Information; maybe funds providing it’s untraceable, but nothing overt. That means no people.”
  20. It’s always nice to see new places. And in the past month, I’ve been to Moscow, an island off the coast of Japan, and somewhere near Vladivostok. Didn’t see much of the last one though, we were hiding out at the time.
  21. See below.
  22. I chose: Dyrk Ashton, M.L. Spencer, C.T. Phipps, A.M. Justice, Jesse Teller, Rebekah Teller, Ben Galley, J.M. Sullivan, Rob J. Hayes, Lexi LeFevre, Jed Herne, Timy Takács, William Gwynne, Sarah Chorn, Edward Gwynne, Esme Weatherwax & Jordan Loyal Short.
  23. BREAK.
  24. BREAK.
  25. Short-term? To stop De Vries plans to keep destabilizing our society, especially since I’m being blamed for it. Long-term? *hesitates* To live up to the example my father sets as leader of House Valerius.
  26. I’ve mostly been using public transport; the subway when possible, a cab when it isn’t. It might be a bit awkward at times but it makes me harder to track.
  27. Threats against me, or my people.
  28. I don’t know now. I’ve done things in the past few weeks; threatened someone, had someone tortured, killed people; that I thought would make hesitate more but…
  29. My mother died in a car accident when I was 17.
  30. Snowflakes glimmered in the the air, caught by the truck’s headlights before smearing themselves against the windscreen. They stuck there for a moment, before melting away in tiny rivulets. The truck rocked and juddered as we made our way up the trail. I heard Quinn mutter some curse under his breath as an unforeseen pothole bounced us particularly hard. I wondered how much further we had to go.
  31. My katana. A silver ring my father gave me. A blood pack. A false passport. A disposable cell phone.


  1. I’m Drew. Allegedly.
  2. I really want to get the first draft of book 3 done, if I can.
  3. “Hey, boss,” Jodie said cheerily as I stumbled into the kitchen. “You look like you didn’t get much sleep.” She pressed a plain white mug into my hand. “Maybe that’ll help, it’s fresh.” I took a healthy gulp, feeling the coffee warm me from the inside.
  4. Trying to get back some sense of progress with my writing.
  5. Supposably, my 3rd House Valerius novel, House in Exile.
  6. The bulk of what I’ve written is urban fantasy although I’ve tried my hand at fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary crime…
  7. See below.
  8. Essentially, our world circa 2004. With one or two tweaks of course. The addition of a race of genetic vampires that have lived alongside humanity since the days of the roman empire for one.
  9. See here.
  10. I glanced about the kitchen, taking in my surroundings for the first time. “I would have thought the air force or whoever it was owned this place would have been a bit more utilitarian.” “Quinn’s idea, he wanted to have all the modern conveniences after he took over.
  11. Mainly that it takes me so long to do anything.
  12. Erm… I occasionally think I do good dialogue.
  13. See below.
  14. See below.
  15. Well, today has probably been the best so far this month.
  16. Gardner.
  17. “Yeah, well, there was a non-disclosure agreement an’ they was payed plenty inta the bargain.” Quinn’s voice came from the hall. “Sides, it ain’t like 1991 was that recent. Anyone wanted ta poke about round here, chances are they’d have done so by now.”
  18. Anywhere I can.
  19. For Ash, as of the start of book 3 – Sleep on and off during the day (always checking for enemies), leave the hotel after sunset, take a circuitous route to the train station, pick a new town at random, once there find a new hotel to hide out another day.
  20. A productive writing day, walk/play with the dogs, a nice dinner and spend some time Britt.
  21. See below.
  22. Some family time, with Britt or the doggos or both. Maybe put a film on.
  23. I would have to say the late Sir Terry.
  24. “Ah jus’ hope this meal ya promised’s gonna be worth it,” Quinn said, putting his batch of groceries on the counter. “Don’t worry about that,” Jodie said, already up & going through the bags. “Next time it’s my turn to cook, I’ll create something special.”
  25. I like to think I do decent dialogue.
  26. You mean, my writing?
  27. In general – my wife, Britt. In the writing community – probably M.L. Spencer.
  28. See below.
  29. So far, neither. If it happens, self-publishing is probably the more likely of the two.
  30. The requirements for transporting a corpse overseas.
  31. The outdoor lights glistened on the freshly fallen snow, everything beyond the wooden deck a pristine field of white. Quinn stuck a hand out, watching as flakes gathered in his palm, before melting away into nothingness. “Reckon we’ll git ‘nother foot.”


  1. I’m supposed to be Drew and I’m meant to be working on my 3rd House Valerius novel.
  2. Something in between. It depends on who he’s with. He’s a little more introverted with people he doesn’t know or some people who he thinks are of a higher status but he’s fairly extroverted with those close to him.
  3. The next day is the most likely.
  4. Without getting too far into spoiler territory; that he had been able to save some of the friends that have been killed since the series started.
  5. There are a few answers I could give here but, for spoilers sake, I’ll just say lying to the Curia.
  6. I really, really want it to be more.
  7. Well, there’s Ash, of course; his father Matthias, his uncle Marcus and his partner Casey Preston, his uncle Lukas and aunt Sara, his cousin Elizabeth and his as yet unborn cousin whose name Lukas and Sara haven’t decided yet.
  8. That I’m as dependent on it as I am and that I get as annoyed as I do when it doesn’t work.
  9. The theme from Ghostbusters, Ash loves that film.
  10. Could be same day, could be a week later. There usually isn’t much rhyme or reason to it.
  11. From the beginning of book 3, there’s about a week’s worth of depression and self-recrimination before Ash gets himself together. Credit where credit’s due, Anja’s intervention helped a lot.
  12. Actually, that’s what makes up the first part of book 3.
  13. Needs improvement.
  14. “De Vries has systematically set out to attack & undermine House Valerius, to force a change in the Curia’s position regarding him,” I said, not telling Anja anything she didn’t already know. “And to have you declared rogue.” She interrupted. “That has to be a bitter pill for you to swallow.”
  15. At least a month.
  16. Anja Misirka
  17. eBook – Agent G: Assassin by C.T. Phipps. Audiobook – Paternus: War of Gods by Dyrk Ashton.
  18. Usually I don’t have a set pattern, it’s just as and when I feel I need to.
  19. Well, I wouldn’t mind seeing a parallel universe/multi-verse instead of the hidden society trope. Yes, I know I’m working on a hidden society series.
  20. Hmm, the way he’s moving around right now, there’s a good chance if he had library books out, then he’d be late returning them.
  21. Quinn is probably my favourite to write for.
  22. Books 1 & 2 were written sequentially. Book 3 has had a lot more hopping back and forth.
  23. Not a lot different from my real one (see below).
  24. How to deal (or not) with failure.
  25. As of the start of book 3 – drifting from city to city, trying to stay out of sight & feeling sorry for himself.
  26. The few people that have read any of the series haven’t pointed anything like that out so, hopefully, I dodged that one.
  27. I think probably the best thing I’ve done lately is send Anja to him. She shakes him out of his funk, gets him moving again and has promised other assistance in the future.
  28. Well, I’ve already had him tortured in book 1 and his face heavily scarred in book 2. I think the second is the one he’s having more trouble dealing with.
  29. Besides this, the ones that I frequently take part in are: #AuthorConfession, #TheMerryWriter, #WriterChronicles and #JustAddTea.
  30. The only link I has is my site here.
  31. The first three that come to mind (1 out now, 2 later this year, I think) are: Pawn’s Gambit by Rob J. Hayes, The Free Bastards by Jonathan French, and The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch.

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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