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Showing posts from April, 2013

An interview with Prince Elphin of Avalon

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Today the unicorn interviews Prince Elphin of Avalon, who wrote the ballads for the Pendragon Legacy series.
U: Why did you decide to write verses to go in the chapter headings of these books?
E: In Avalon, we don’t write down stories - we sing them instead. And if our magic is strong enough, then our stories show up as moving pictures in the enchanted crystal walls of my father’s palace, which is a much better way of letting people know exactly what happened.
U: Ah yes, we have movies! But normally we employ actors to play the characters, so I suppose your magic is stronger. You make Rhianna sound very romantic in the ballads with your use of “damsel” and “maiden” though – what does she think of that?

A maiden lives in Avalon’s hall
Her spirit purest of them all.
Brave of heart and hair aflame,
Mortal damsel with secret name.

E: It embarrassed her when she first heard me singing about her, but then she laughed so that was all right. She’s famous now whether she likes it or not, and her fa…

Seven Fabulous ebook covers

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If covers are tricky things, series covers are even trickier. Not only do you need a cover that attracts the right sort of readers for your book, but it needs to be similar enough to the other covers in the series so that it's obvious at first glance the book is part of something bigger... though not so similar that it looks like the same book.

This is where print books have a distinct advantage over ebooks. If you turn to the back cover of a paperback, you'll often find small images of other books in the series. For example, this is the back cover of HarperCollins's original paperback version of "The Cleopatra Curse", showing the other six covers in a colourful row as they might look in an author's fantasy bookshop:


In fact, what you'll probably find on the shelf of a bookshop is more like this (without Anubis standing guard):


Or, more likely (without the unicorns):


(And I bet you wanted one of the missing ones...!)

Well, the unicorn is never fazed by a …

I am the Great Horse - FREE this week!

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Since today is the Grand National, which was partly responsible for inspiring my Alexander the Great novel "I am the Great Horse", I thought I would re-run one of the posts from my blog series about this book:

"Where did you get the idea from?"

This is a question every author gets asked eventually. But it’s never an easy one to answer. We don’t just sit down one day in front of a blank page or computer screen, pluck an idea out of the air and start writing… at least it never works like that for me!

I don’t lack ideas for stories. They come to me all the time, at the rate of three or four a day if my mind is not too busy working on something else. They spring out of everything. Books I’m reading, newspaper articles, magazines, radio and TV, billboards in town, overheard conversations, peculiar things I see while out shopping or travelling, occasionally a dream. I write them all down – just a sentence or two – in a hardback notebook. It’s a bit messy. Here's a p…