Indie Author Ring

Friday, 30 December 2016

Blog Hijack! An Apology From Santa

   Now I know why I didn't receive my Stretch Armstrong all those years ago! Sorry guys, he just appeared on my blog. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Eventide: The trouble with writing large novels...

    For me there is an inherent problem with writing a novel that's so damn large it keeps you enclosed in your own secluded head space and away from everybody.  The result? People believe you're no longer writing at all, and this problem is made worse when it's someone like me writing it; you see, I like to take my time. I began writing Eventide about three years ago and, as a result, lost contact with many of the people I used to converse with on a daily or weekly basis.  This is my fault.  I've never really been the type of person to 'keep in touch', as they say, and I've never really considered myself a person of interest for people to seek out online. I'm just some guy who makes up stuff. Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely bursting with charisma and I have enough confidence to land a boot in Captain America's nuts any day of the week. I suppose I'm just simply more of a private person... unless Captain America criticises anything I write.
   Eventide was simply going to be a brief side project before I continued with the writing/editing phase of my Gothic saga, 'Words to the Wise', but things haven't turned out the way I planned.  Eventide was once called 'Chainstorm'.  It was a novella I originally wrote several years ago and it was my intention to re-edit it  before releasing it.  I did so in my own inimitable style, of course, by rewriting the entire wretched thing, changing the story completely, adding new characters, subplots and everything else that rendered it completely unrecognisable in relation to the original.  What, therefore, began as a novella soon turned into a really large novel, and then what became a really large novel turned into a really really large novel that's now close to 290,000 words... and I'm still not done.  Consequently I will be releasing it in three parts, most probably a week or month apart so as to at least give people a chance to digest each book individually. 
   With Eventide I decided to go for a modern day approach as oppose to the eighteenth/nineteenth century tongue I employed in the saga.  This means Eventide comprises modern  day vernacular and also a little modern day swearing accompanied by a few explosions and misdemeanors here and there.  Eventide isn't merely about the possibility of the world ending, though.  It's about people, normal people doing normal things before being thrust into this dark and dire reality, which also has a touch  of ancient myth and some rather startlingly unearthly discoveries that I hope will raise the hairs on the nape of every reader.   
   Anyway, I decided to post this just to let people know I'm still out there hammering away and that I intend to post updates a little more regularly than I have been.  In other words I shall now be posting updates. 
Harker out

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Suicide Squad Review: A film about buggers

   This is a film primarily about buggers, absolute buggers.  The plot's as thin as an undernourished man who's seriously let himself go. Set in the aftermath of Superman's death after he took an enormous one in the chest, the world is apparently lacking any military defences and/or world leaders; at least that's how it seems.  No good bugger can do bugger all against any ruthless bugger.  It's because of this somewhat lack of skills from any military leader type buggers that an intelligence officer, who is herself a completely callous bugger devoid of smiles, deems it a great idea to form Team X - an expendable band of misfits - to undertake high risk missions for the United States government.  Of course this said band of misfits aren't too happy since they're forced into their new unwanted roles with the assistance of explosive charges injected into their necks, which can be activated remotely by another bugger, namely a stone-faced guy with a bad attitude who takes charge of the Suicide Squad.  Now, it seems that one of these would-be recruits happens to be possessed by a right bugger of a witch.  When this witch suddenly decides to take over her host's body completely and, in turn, tries to take over the world with her recently resurrected ancient superpowered bugger brother, bad stuff happens.  The Squad is brought in and, well, etc etc...
   So how does it all play out? It isn't terrible and it isn't great.  It could've been a lot better.  The majority of the characters are unfortunately thinly sketched.  One appears too late in the day to make any impact at all and hardly owns a line in the film, while another is dispatched so early on it makes your teeth ache.  Numerous, menacing and varied they might be, but the characters' sometimes brief back-stories unfortunately amount to an abundance of interrupting scenes that kill the flow rather than accentuate the narrative. Will Smith's 'Deadshot' and Margot Robbie's 'Harley Quinn' definitely steal the show here adding both empathy and humour to progress their characters, and yet they still seem to edge things forward only mere inches rather than help catapulting us through what should've been a barrage of character driven fun amidst impressive set pieces; and what about those set pieces? Well, I shan't bore you into bleeding from every orifice with talk of special effects.  In this day and age the majority of AAA movies have great effects, and quite why people still go on about them in regards to major releases is beyond me.  They should look good; these films cost millions! There are some exceptions to the rule, of course, but I'm not reviewing those exceptions at this time, not yet anyway.  That aside, set pieces are scattered throughout and they're well directed with quick fire camera work and two second shots that fuel the action, and yet still I couldn't help but think I've seen it all before somewhere, or rather everywhere. This was a film that I believe should've been based more on character interaction than on action.  The writers had everything at their disposal and nearly every box was ticked, actually too many boxes were ticked.  A band of misfits that don't get along? Check. A band of misfits coming together for the greater good? Check.  A band of misfits whose exploits will most probably lead to a film franchise? Check. But there was a box that should've been left empty, an impervious and utterly tickless box.  Actually the box shouldn't have existed at all. This is the point where I may come under fire from some when I state that The Joker shouldn't have been in the damn film until the end.  This was a story revolving around lesser known characters in the DC universe and, for me, The Joker really didn't have a place in it.  His reputation alone precedes him and yet here he takes a back seat in order to flesh out Harley Quinn's back(love/obsession)story.  I say thrust the big wisecracking painted profligate into the next film when all the characters are firmly established. 
   This review has gone on for longer than expected and I can't say I'm entirely pleased about that, and I've even left stuff out namely because I didn't want it to become longwinded, which unfortunately it has become.  I'll work on that.  So, in short, did I enjoy it? You'd think: "NO!" Oddly enough the answer is yes, but it could've been so much more by giving us so much less.  Less joker, more judiciously placed back stories, a villain that actually speaks a hell of a lot more, a villainess who can actually stand still without appearing as though she's recently soiled herself, oh and not so much walking around.  There seemed to be far too much of the latter without much occurring both in plot progression or character development.  For a city that was supposedly under siege by powerful entities there was an innumerable amount of quiet moments in which more reflection and character building should've been at the forefront.  My advice there would've been to use that time to flesh out the characters a little more beyond mere flashbacks and do it while blowing stuff up in the background! Blowing stuff up, or indeed buggers, in the background always adds to the ambience; it's a tried and tested formula that been generously passed down from one generation of film maker buggers to the next.  Damn those quiet moments without any major character development and their arresting flashbacks at inconvenient times.  Damn them, I say! Bugger this, I'm off.
Harker out

Monday, 12 December 2016

Forthcoming Content

   Ladies and gentleman, it's about time I began actually using the blog instead of leaving it to fester.  There must and shall be content, and content must and shall arrive in the form of, well, other stuff.  Aside from updates and excerpts from whatever it is I'm working on at the moment (in this case Eventide) I will also be covering extra 'fun' related content, and I'm not necessarily being sarcastic when I highlight the word 'fun'.  I do fun.  I watch films! I'm a PC gamer! So, I thought why not occasionally pop in and review something that I've seen or enjoyed playing? Why not indeed? That's the intention... let's see how it pans out.  What I won't be doing is venturing beyond the shallow depths of critique.  I shall write a no-bullshit approach when reviewing these things and tell you how it is, since that's really all that most of us care about.  Anyway... things to do.  I watched 'Suicide Squad' recently, so I'll soon tell you 'How It Is'.