Archive for February, 2017

What’s in a difference?

Posted in Writing with tags , , on February 19, 2017 by Kate Jack

being-different-8

As an author of YA urban fantasy, I use some of the criteria that applies to fantasy overall. For example, my characters have a goal or quest they must fulfil in order to achieve their destiny. They have certain powers that help them in their journey. They fight mythical creatures and they combat weird and horrifying enemies who get in their way.

midnight 2

But of course thousands of writers do the same, no matter what genre they write in. So what did I do to make my work different? Well, the lead protagonist in The Silver Flute Trilogy is mute. How did I make him communicate, not only with his fellow characters, but with the readers too? Obviously it was neither practical or desirable to use swathes of description of sign language, apart from the odd gesture. I overcame this by simply not putting inverted comments around his dialogue, but instead made sure any speaking he did was in its own space, so readers weren’t forced to try and separate dialogue from narrative. Furthermore, when he had a flashback, or needed to use his powers to find anyone or communicate with someone who wasn’t actually with him, I used short passages of italics. This indicated to the reader what was going on and kept them in the story, without the need for a huge info-dump, thus bogging the story down. Instead, they would see through his eyes and “witness” what he was witnessing. By making him mute, I found a vehicle to make life more difficult for him and as he was also mixed race, a “reason” for society to make him an outcast.

gloaming 1

In the second book, one of the main protagonists was a monk. So what? Well the difference in this character is that he’s not only a monk, but a former demon warrior. He finds an unlikely affinity with one of the female characters, who possesses a singing voice so pure, it can bring enemies to their knees.

dawn horizon

In the final story, the heroes find themselves trapped in a world filled with demons and monsters. Using their combined powers, they bring about the downfall of this place, after having fought off a human/dragon hybrid. Although this may sound a typical fantasy device to propel the tale to its conclusion, I tried to make the main antagonist, who’s a demon, somewhat different. He is concerned with status in a world where only the most ambitious and ruthless survive. He is full of doubts and terrors, hardly the normal emotions of a demon, and although he chose to be what he is and be where he is, he gradually comes to realise he’s made a huge mistake.

silver flute trilogy

As you can see I’ve endeavoured to make my books stand out from the crowd. Have I succeeded? Well that’s for the reader to decide 🙂

https://goo.gl/IdfXVD AMZN UK 

https://goo.gl/MweUOt AMZN US

kj

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… political poker games …

Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2017 by Kate Jack

Course of Mirrors

reflections-moving-copy

Ideas spook the night

Hardly the will of people

Who were told lies & fed

Bizarre facts or fake events

By those who contrived

This fear that rocks the cradle

And will have it swing

In brittle boughs of nothing

Rock-a-by baby

They sing while fanning the wind

Of your discontent

I’m flabbergasted by the sheer absurdity of the present political poker games. No use imagining I’m a stranger that landed on this planet by mistake. I’m here – feeling overwhelmed when watching clips that show the hardship refugees endure with slim hopes for building a life, and the helpless helpers who offer support without solutions in sight?

I dream of patches of land or purpose-build islands/ships, where migrants are allowed to build fresh communities and gain self-respect. Where are the pragmatic deals to alleviate this suffering, and the help for countries unable to cope with the influx of people?

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Delicate Soul

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2017 by Kate Jack

Tricia Drammeh

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I wrote this haiku on a whim yesterday. Thinking about the current state of the world, I thought about other people, like me, who seem to be crushed under the weight of their own empathy. News stories that talk about war-weary refuges, children suffering from disease, hateful attacks by humans against other humans… it’s depressing and disheartening. But here’s the great thing about humanity: In the midst of all this war and sadness and pain, there are extraordinary stories of people who reach out, in big ways and small, and they change lives every day with their love and kindness. Sometimes it feels like I’m a sponge, soaking up the pain and unhappiness around me, but I refuse to close my eyes to what is happening in the world. I will fight on.

this delicate soul
won’t shatter, it expands to
soak up the world’s pain

*

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