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

THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK

In any given situation, do you believe the best of people?

If someone tells you something, do you accept what they say without question? Do you expect them to lie? How do you assess what you’re told so you have the best chance to weed out the lies in the pot?

Every day we all have to make these assessments when we read, hear or watch anything but one story, despite it’s truth or otherwise, is only as good in the first instance, as the mind of the person who’s hearing it.

Do you know someone, or are you that person, who will just treat everything they’re told as something to be suspicious of?

Each and every one of us is the product of all of our experiences with all of the days of our lives adding up to create a way to look at things. We build opinions based on things we’re told but things we experience as well. If we have a continuous outcome every time we experience any given event, that’s going to colour how we behave the next time we have that same event. We all have that one friend who is distrustful of new relationships after having been the one to be dumped every time any of their previous couplings came to an end. Over time they’ve come to the conclusion that every time they enter a relationship it’s going to fail.

I get told all manner of stories when I’m at my non-authoring work. I deal with a large number of people on a daily basis and I have to admit that after the years of doing what I do, I have become more and more sceptical when I’m told all of the reasons why people can’t come to work. Granted there are several examples which are only one very small step above the dog ate my homework, but that doesn’t mean that each and every person who is explaining the reasons for their absence is automatically lying. I try my best to remain optimistic that the people I speak to aren’t just full of it and that I’ll be able to help those who need it but there will always be those who want to push the boundaries. Indeed, I’ve been told by someone that they’d had keyhole surgery on their knee, removing cartilage, the day before, explaining their absence, but said they were fine to get back to work, walking about, now. They seemed shocked when I pointed out that I’d had that op myself and asked to compare scars as it took me weeks to get back to work, and eventually admitted that they’d just overslept.

In all stories, the characters have been shaped by their own experiences. When I started to write The Circle of Fire I was keen to make sure that there would be reasoning why the characters do what they do. There would always need to be a build up of detail behind the mind set of those involved rather than just having them as being two dimensional cut outs. How do these people view the world but then how would they then interact with each other? I wanted there to be conflict but to have a constant physical battle is impractical, and if everyone is pulling in different directions then the story can’t get anywhere. The result is the smaller alterations of view. The disagreements are what make things interesting but we can’t had everyone at loggerheads all of the time.

Cynicism or optimism create a flavour to the thoughts of all concerned. We all have our own way of reviewing things and we can’t ever forget that those things are uniquely ours. Very often, people can get caught up in the opinions of others and it’s conceivable that the political landscape of this past year has been shaped by just that fact. We all have to be open to the opinions of others but that doesn’t mean forgetting where we came from.

But maybe don’t always think the worst. Maybe the dog did eat the homework after 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/

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.

 

PERSONA

Who are you?

Who are any of us?

I’ve spoken before on here about the masks that we wear out there in the world but now I’m going to have a little look at the mask from the other side.

Why do you portray the image of yourself that you do? You know that you subtly alter the face you show the world depending on which part of that world is before you but how do you define yourself?

The reason I ask came from a thought which in turn came from a few details of experiences I had recently. How was I looking at myself and why was I looking at myself?

When I was at Em-Con recently, I set the table up and readied myself for the crowds to begin passing by. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and didn’t think anything more of it. But. My wife, in an act of the most amazing understanding, had bought me a new tweed jacket, and that was hung over the back of my chair. When the temperature in the centre dropped slightly (we were in front of a window and the full glare of the sun first thing in the morning so throwing on a jacket was the last thing on anyone’s mind), I slipped into the jacket and all of a sudden, changed.

Without even being aware of what I’d been doing over time, I’d had in mind an image of what I wanted my author self to look like. I’d bought a dragon headed cane last year and Jo had bought me a pocket watch for Christmas but adding the jacket to the mix was the key stone piece.

My posture changed. My ‘style’ changed. I became a subtly different person and I felt tremendous doing it, like I was becoming the correct interpretation of who I should be.

Last week saw something similar.

I bought a new car. Well, new to me anyway.

We all know that feeling when we just recognise that an object is ‘right’ and that car was just ‘right’. I’d done the research of the model etc. but this was beyond the facts. In the same way that the jacket became the catalyst to a change in me, the car added to that change as well. The feeling of growth in me was facilitated by an object as a part of my self. Not that I was drawing validation from the car I drove or clothes I wore, rather that I was enhancing myself by taking on the garb of who I feel I am. I am me regardless of what I wear or drive but these things have just been the perfect pieces to the puzzle of being me.

From the outside, those people I spoke with at Em-Con saw a certain version of me but I think they saw the image of me with the most clarity, the version that I wish to project as being as clearly ‘me’ as I can.

I realised that by putting on that jacket I took off all the other masks I’ve shown the world. And it felt great.

THE WORM

Last week  spoke about the wonderful way the people involved in the repairs of our electricity supply all pulled together to be able to do the job, the pieces of the whole being the vital parts rather than the whole itself. Today though, I look at the underside of what took place.

Day after day, the workmen fought against the ever changing beast which was the faulty power supply, putting in all manner of fixes as they chased the damage down. Talking to them, they were always perplexed at just how far reaching this problem was getting. Eventually, they opened up a larger and larger hole in the road, which became a trench which eventually stretched about one hundred yards down the road. As you can imagine, the disruption to the traffic was not inconsiderable, with buses having to be very careful of hitting the barriers the workmen put up and on the road parking being practically halved.

And there was the problem.

The power cut was big enough but the teams of men there were doing everything they could and a temporary fix got the lights on after only a day without power. That left the parking problem. Inside the house, all sorted but outside, finding somewhere to park became a tougher prospect. Rather than on the road where you lived, now you could find yourself a few roads away. Not that it really added miles to the walk. Rather another hundred yards or so.

The rumblings of discontent began after a week.

“I wish they’d hurry up and get the road filled in.” “How long does it take to sort this out?”

Tuts and mumbled moans were just bubbling along all of the time, the previous gratitude forgotten. It took another couple of weeks but everything is back to normal now but the speed that the mood changed was surprising.

I watched the public as they lauded, then derided the job which was going on. The speed of the fix came about by the need to give materials the chance to harden, to make sure the fix was holding but so quickly, all anyone saw was “I’ve got to drive about looking for a parking space, I shouldn’t have to do that.” The feeling of ‘ME’ climbed to the top in a shockingly short period of time.

So why are we, as a species, now so fast to forget the good and replace it with suspicion and anger? Why do we hail a saviour only to turn on them in a heartbeat?

Are we impatient? Are we just unwilling to be put out for any longer than what we see as the barest minimum?

One of the toughest parts, I find, of writing is the motivations of the people within the story. It’s very simple to be happy with the ‘white hat’ / ‘black hat’ dichotomy but it’s never that simple really. We’re all more grey than at either of the poles on the colour spectrum but the more I watch humanity, it would appear that so many, so very many people, appear to be more at the darker end than around the centre.

I suppose it will mean that storytelling could be darker in the future as it mirrors the reality around it, but also means that the acts of kindness, the acts of shared humanity at the lightest part of our spectrum will just shine out even brighter.

Every cloud ………..

WITHOUT

A quickie this week.

Last week, we had a power cut. Not the most amazing point but important none the less. There I was , set ready to do a great chunk of work on the next book in the Circle series when ‘click’, the power to all of the devices and objects winked out. In that single instance, we were plunged into the past and suddenly, all of the plans I’d made of being creative were gone.

It’s remarkable how we expand to fit the comforts and necessities of the world we inhabit. As advancement continues in every facet of our lives, we just seem to get dragged along in its wake. The latest gadgets, objects or anything appear and we chase after them, altering our routines and lives to fit with the peculiarities of whatever trumpeted thing is latest on the altar of advancement. Whereas before, I’d used my laptop and just saved the work I was doing onto there, with the upgrade to a new computer, I now only have Word Online so when the power went out, so did the chance for me to do any work.

So instead, I sat down in the garden, thankfully the weather was fine, and started to read a book. On my Kindle. Which I couldn’t see the screen of because the sun glared off the screen. Eventually we went inside and the Kindle came into its own. Night fell so the Kindle made reading possible where relying on the old print version would have just had me sat in the dark feeling stupid.

Today, the power’s back and everything is returned to the here and now. I’ve been getting stuck into the writing and things seem to be going very well. Not the most amazing insights from the power cut but I did find that without electricity I was suddenly stuck for so many things. I couldn’t write because I couldn’t access the file and I couldn’t even have a cuppa. All I could think of was, was I really a writer if all I was doing was typing?