EXTRAS

I suspect that I’m not the first person to experience this but when I started writing, there was never even the slightest thought about the reality of what would have to happen after.

You know what happens when you try to spread the word about a book?

Loads is what.

I was never that up on the delights of social media before I started working on the book. My wife is much more adept with all things of that kind. She’d been active on Facebook and Twitter for years and add to that her amazing ability to talk to anyone and everyone and she is very much at home in the world of social media.

I am not quite so comfortable.

I love to see what my friends and family are up to and connecting with like minded individuals is something which can never be underestimated but maintaining the push of advertising of my work is a huge chunk of what needs to go into this being an author malarkey.

I had a few goes before the blog settled into some kind of routine, my writing schedule can best be described as up and down and the need to go to events and spread the word is always eating into the time available to be creative. Add to this Instagram, Goodreads, trying to create a website and everything else that you need to keep on the boil, and pretty soon, there’s seemingly no time left for anything else at all.

Maybe I would have gone about things differently if I’d actually thought about the realities of what was going to be required but I just wanted to write the book and get it out there. The thought that I’d be out hawking the book didn’t enter my mind because it was always about just the story. The only thing I can kind of cling to is that that shows I wasn’t solely motivated by being published, rather it was the story which was the focus with the wider thoughts not coming until later.

This weekend coming we’ll be in North Wales at this years Sci-Fi Weekender and I can’t wait. I love this convention and the chance to meet up with friends and have a blast is one that just can’t be overlooked. We’ve been attending the convention since it started in 2010 but this will be the first time I will have attended as more than just another member of the public. I have a table and I’ll be doing my very best to entice people to explore the land of Dragons I’m creating. This will be the first time I will have attended a residential event as a vendor where I’ve previously been a member of the public. I can remember going to talks on writing at the first event and thought it would be amazing to one day find myself at an event as more than just a ‘punter’ but again, what that would actually entail didn’t even cross my mind.

So everyone out there reading these words. Remember that there is always so very much more going on than we first give credit. To get to the best results always seems to mean spreading that net of experience just that little bit wider than first thought.

By the way.

Have you bought my books yet?

The Circle of Fire

The Circle of Duty

Tall Tales for Dark Nights

COMPETITION TIME

I know it’s not too long since I released The Circle of Duty but I’ve been kicking about loads of ideas for short stories over the years which, you know what, I’m going to release later this year in an anthology.

Stories about the supernatural, horror and lots of other juicy topics will be stitched together to be presented at the end of October, just in time for the excitement of Halloween.

I’ve almost finished the final story for the book, I’ve got a few creepy ideas for the cover design but there’s, as always, one thing I don’t yet have.

The title.

So I turn to you brave followers.

I’m asking for suggestions for the upcoming collection of short stories but it’s more than just a call for help.

If you are the creative mind who is responsible for the selected title, not only will you receive a signed copy of the book but you’ll also become one of the characters in one of the stories.

You’ll become a vital part of the world of my short stories and surely the bragging rights for that are worth a suggestion.

To enter your suggestions (you can make more than one you know) either leave a comment with your ideas on here or visit my Facebook page and comment on there. If you haven’t ‘Liked’ the page yet, don’t be shy, I don’t bite. Honest.

The winning suggestion will be announced on here next week at 9pm GMT.

Good luck all.

PRESS

Outside of the usual Monday slot but I want to show everyone this press release which has been freed onto the world for The Circle of Duty.

If you haven’t already, why not pick up a copy and join me on Facebook and Twitter.

South Wales based author Owen Elgie releases second novel in The Circle Series

It’s time to return to the world of The Circle. The dragons are waiting.
Following on from the 2015 release, The Circle of Fire, Owen Elgie sets about ramping up the action and intrigue in The Circle of Duty. Turning long held ideas regarding dragons and magic on their heads, fans of fast paced, engaging urban fantasy are sure to love this book.

Neath, South Wales – 11 July, 2016 – Having always felt that there was something missing from every book he ever read featuring dragons, Owen Elgie set about rectifying this oversight by writing the story which had never been told. The Circle of Duty is the second book of The Circle series, following on from last year’s The Circle of Fire. Combining a passion for storytelling with an eye to look at things from a different angle, Owen Elgie makes you think as he makes you marvel. Instantly accessible to all, The Circle of Duty shows you something new.

 

“I’d always felt that dragons as a character in so much of literature, film and TV were woefully under used,” said Owen Elgie. “They were so often mindless animals, beasts of burden or just the bad guy. I needed to show that they could be so very much more.”

“Setting the action in the here and now also allows us all to believe that we could one day come face to face with one of these majestic creatures.”

Drawing you in from the very first page, The Circle of Duty roars along at high speed and doesn’t let up until the very last word.

It can be purchased in print and on Kindle from Amazon.

For more information please contact Owen Elgie – owenelgie@yahoo.co.uk

About the author:

Owen Elgie has been drawn to storytelling within the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres for years. A keen sportsman in his youth and still a dedicated follower of many sports now, he grew up in Kent before moving to South Wales in 2003.

Son of an English father and a Welsh mother, he finally put pen to paper on a story he’d had running through his head for years which eventually became The Circle of Fire.

Originally planned as a stand-alone novel, it has since become the opening salvo in a series of five.

He is still living in the same house his grandparents lived in and is doing his best to stay creative.

See regular updates from Owen Elgie by following him on TwitterFacebook or his blog: https://owenelgie.wordpress.com/

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

I’ve posted on here before that I’ve tried to make sure I use enough truth in what I write. Not that I believe that there are huge magical armies out there but that I take well known, and indeed not so well known, tales of mythology from all kinds of places around the world just to give what I write a place to start, if you will.

When you read any kind of story you automatically look around for elements that you recognise to hold onto. Characteristics in people that you have a strong feeling for, parts of a story that you recognise. It’s those things that allow you to then believe all the other bits of fiction that come rushing along out of the blue.

So all you have to do to create any form of engagement from the reader is chuck in a load of references to all kinds of religions, mythology and folklore and you’re sorted, right?

I’ve just been watching a TV show recently which deals in magic and monsters and I’ve noticed that, whereas previously it used the details of already established stories quite sparingly, it had eventually begun throwing all kinds of things together as a whole with an almost insane abandon. As each episode passed and more and more elements were piled upon the altar of story telling, the central narrative began to creak and sway under the accumulating weight.

By adding in nuggets of other stories, sprinkling just a hint of these details throughout any piece of work, you can allow for improvements to the experience but, as every chef will attest, if you add too much of a particular ingredient the overall flavour can be destroyed. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

I’ll bet that you’ve read all kinds of stories that have taken some kind of well known mythology as a basis but it’s the ones that either stay honest to the source materials (the Percy Jackson novels I feel fit here) or only use the stories as a starting point which do the business. Mixing too much together often ends up with the baggage which comes with each of the myths getting in the way. You find it hard to believe that elements could link because of the wider histories of each tale.

I need to have fragments of ‘fact’, as it were, in everything I write. It allows me the foundations to build on. But you have to always make sure that you’re using information in the correct way. Less really is more.

I WONDER. DON’T YOU?

Having got back from our holiday in New York, I felt the need to take my first steps into the planning of my next novel in the Circle series. The third book in the series is going to be having some more local flavour to it so with that in mind, I dragged my wife off to The National Show Caves of Wales, Dan-Yr-Ogof.

If you ever get the chance to visit the site I’d strongly recommend giving it a go. Millions of years worth of existence are laid out for all to see. There are stacks of dinosaur models all over the place, a depiction of a bronze age village and all manner of information being piped through hidden speaker systems. As you walk around, you’re greeted by the usual collection of polished public attraction bits and bobs but it’s when you actually find your way into the caves proper that you are treated to the main event.

The three caves all hold different treasures which show contrasting images of the history of the area.

The smallest of the three has bone samples from all manner of people and animals dating back thousands of years, and was by far the most modern of the three, but it was the other two which gave me the most help for my writing.

Those caves were bare of dressing, free of the staged Roman soldiers and Bronze age peoples but they held more majesty because of it. The first system we travelled through was a winding mass of veins through the mountainside it sat within. At over six feet tall, I found myself having to duck and contort myself to avoid cracking into any number of ragged stone outcroppings as the pathway we were on snaked deeply beneath the earth. Step by step we could casually review millions of years worth of the planet just being. Colours and textures of rock waved back at us as we made our way and my mind began to open.

Moving on to the final cave, The Cathedral Cave, I was blasted with such an awe filled view of a gigantic space under the ground that all manner of possibilities and stories swirled and bucked before my eyes. I was witness to a giant room under the ground with rock pools and waterfalls tumbling into ponds. Colours and light draped themselves over each and every surface and all fought for the attention of any and all who happened to walk past, languidly drawing the eye as they unfurled their ancient plumage and showed that which had been hidden for so very long.

I could imagine myself being held within the cave as time rushed past me. I was privy to the vast mass of time which passed by and could see how the very body of the stone became alive as it grew in some places but dwindled in others. I pictured fantastical creatures exploring the darkness in both the distant past and the distant future and I felt an almost primal sensation of life coming from the lifeless stone beneath my feet.

I was reminded, in those underground vaults, that there are so many sensations that the human race can comprehend, so many feelings and delights that we can all share. As an author, I get the greatest job in the world. Through all of the ‘reality’ of the world we see every day, our words are what we can use to let the mind explode. We need the words, all the oddly shaped ones which tickle and scratch as we speak them, the lumpy ones which take more effort to employ and everything in between. Our words are what can become the most mundane of grey and bolt us into the drudgery of a flat existence but they should always be that which sprays bright hues of experience and wonder to ourselves and to everyone we meet.

I witnessed my own wonder in those caves and I could see everything in brighter and deeper shades. I could feel exactly how my words could link together to share what I’ve seen and let another join the fun. Never forget the power of words and just how much delight can be spread because it can be far too easy for all the greatness to be washed out to give us the most dull.

NOT AGAIN?

As I write this I’m laying in my bed in a hotel a little off Wall Street and a couple of blocks from the 9/11 Memorial in New York. I’ve spent the days of my holiday taking in so many details of what this incredible city has to offer and the nights recovering from the miles of walking in up to thirty degree heat. Jo and I have never been here before, though had planned to at some point, and so many people have said that New York is a place not to be missed, so we went for it.

New York feels very much like a twin to London. The pace of life, the diverse mix of cultures, the array of architecture and even the traffic all make you have a very familiar sensation of knowing despite never having been there before.

But the biggest sensation of knowing came from the multitude of film references littering the city. Without there being any kind of effort of hunting the places out, I was able to find any number of places which I’d seen before in any number of films. Ghostbusters, Godzilla (the Matthew Broderick one), King Kong to name three all have action which takes place in The Big Apple. All of the locations that people all over the world are familiar with but some will never get the chance to see them ‘in the flesh’.

But everyone knows what the Statue of Liberty looks like. Everybody knows what the Empire State building looks like. The population of the planet can picture in their minds what all kinds of places and things in this city looks like because they always turn up on our screens. Without trying, just the mere mention of New York in a story will be all that’s needed for people reading the story to understand so very much as to mean that chunks of narrative could be avoided just down to familiarity.

So should all future stories based in or around New York have the location changed because it’s been done before so very many times? Of course not. Familiarity allows a storyteller to create a kind of mood in the reader. When we’re familiar with a place or a type of character, so much of the heavy lifting has already been done in the development. We just have to read along.

And this brings me to the point of this post.

Cliches are so often held up as being the tools of the lazy but in truth, they can be a vitally important part of a story. A character can fit a cliché perfectly just to have the importance of growth from that point highlighted but they can also be used as a tool of misdirection. If we see a character who fits into a set box, we’re made to think a certain way about them, but the rug can then be pulled from under our feet at a later point. It’s all down to the timing of delivery.

We all want to read new and exciting stories and a cliché can be a very dangerous thing to the believability of a story but they also have their uses. The cliché characters are only cliches because we see them all of the time. Surely the characters are just a view of what we all see in the real world?

I’M BACK

Here we are everyone. The second book in my dragon series, The Circle of Duty, was released at the back end of last week on Kindle on Amazon and in print from Lulu.com.

cover circle of duty 2 (1)

After I finished the first book, The Circle of Fire, my mind swung towards a follow up but immediately cracked into the reality which was starting from scratch. I’d been playing about with the original for years before I actually started work but now I needed to build something beyond just the origin story.

After years of work and a much tougher journey, I finally give it all to you.

Spread the word.