Inspirational ...

I don't write with any particular music playing in the background, because it can be distracting. But when running and working on ideas I will often listen to a limited series of songs or albums to feed the tone required for the story.

Here are some:

Beyond Belief: Oasis, (Definitely Maybe).

Desert Heart: Skunk Anansie, (Smashes and Trashes).

Lucid: A selection of dub-step songs from Zomboy, Seven Lions, AU5, Knife Party (of course), Porter Robinson and Skrillex. (And me!)

Sucker: Gare du Nord (Rendez Vous 8:02).

Faraday:  Within Temptation (the Unforgiving), Meat Loaf (Bat 3), Skunk Anansie, (Smashes and Trashes).

Fusion: VNV Nation (Automatic), Within Temptation (Hydra), 3OH!3 (Omens).

//m

No one kills our idols...

... other than us.

I write this (well after a few drinks) reflecting upon the suicide of Robin Williams. Someone we beamed into our senses either weekly (Mork and Mindy) or yearly, on the silver screen, has passed on.

I'm sad that he has gone. But not for the usual reasons. He was a man plagued with drugs and depression - a condition that hurts many people. I don't know him. He doesn't know me. But he represents what we all could be. And with this, he represents what could happen to all to us.

There will be tributes and reflections and analysis on many things. But the most important thing of all is this: crying for help is one of the most important skills you can learn. Be vocal. Don't be afraid

Stay healthy people in body and, most of all, in mind. When everything is gone, until your last breath, hold on to the important things in your heart.

//m

Tesla - the Graphic Novel

I can finally announce that there will be a graphic novel adaptation of Tesla. This is exceptionally exciting news to me as it will give real texture to the Tesla universe.

It is being created by the amazing and awesome talents of Nathan Massengill and Kevin Stokes. 

Here is a teaser of the main characters: Sebastian and Melanie. 

Two (too) cool people.



The Writing Process Blog Tour

Leti Del Mar from wordswithletidelmar asked me to be a part of the Writing Process Blog 'tag' Tour. I am using the opportunity to celebrate the release of my latest book: Decay (Tesla 2). Leti asked me these four questions.  I hope it lends some insight into my process.

1) What am I working on?

I have dedicated this year to steampunk. As such, I am writing my third book in my Tesla saga (Faraday) and a steampunk retelling of Cinderella (Cinderbox). There is also collaborative work going on with some comics artists with involvement with two graphic novels (one based on Tesla).

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not one for sticking to a solitary genre. I bounce around a fair bit within one book. I’ve been called genre-busting. I feel I follow the story that needs to be told rather than getting bogged down in genre-rules. I’m hoping at one point I’ll be able to focus on one style, but I haven’t found it yet.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I think life is better if I have some creative outlet, be it music or writing. I happen to be in writing mode now. And when writing I am usually inspired by a grand motif that I want to examine. In my latest (Decay) I’m looking at bullying. I believe you need a reason to write, you have to have something to say. Yes, there is a big market for the soap opera style novels where people bounce around between each other, but I need to feel I’m offering something more. At the moment I’m in steampunk, next year I’d like to write some contemporary fiction novels about some things in the news that annoy me. Unfortunately, the ideas are piling up a bit faster than I can write, but mainly the foreseeable future is taken up with expansions on current series (that is my Ellen Martin Disasters, Lucid world, Tesla saga).

4) How does my writing process work?

I am a recycler. I plan then I write until I get stuck, then I go back and rewrite what I have. I am now getting into sentences, so as I write I am analysing the sentence and determining if it is good enough. Sometimes I’ll write down a reminder if I can’t get it right then come back to it later. But this generally means I stagger through the first draft, then do an edit for a second, then it’s off to the editor.

Next up on the tag are a couple of great writers. They will be up on May 4.

Nate Fleming:  Nate loves the life of the expat, having spent the last fifteen years living in Kazakhstan and China. In Kazakhstan, he founded the Kazakhstan English Language Theater, the first English language theater in Central Asia. Nate is also an educator, and has taught upper Elementary and theater in some pretty far-out international situations. He's the proud papa of three brilliant and beautiful children, and the husband of the lovely Koolyash

Nate Fleming: 

Nate loves the life of the expat, having spent the last fifteen years living in Kazakhstan and China. In Kazakhstan, he founded the Kazakhstan English Language Theater, the first English language theater in Central Asia. Nate is also an educator, and has taught upper Elementary and theater in some pretty far-out international situations. He's the proud papa of three brilliant and beautiful children, and the husband of the lovely Koolyash

Check out Nate's debut novel and his blog at: http://thimblerigsark.wordpress.com

Steve Turnbull: When he's not sitting at his computer building websites for national institutions and international companies, Steve Turnbull can be found sitting at his computer building new worlds of steampunk, science fiction and fantasy.  Technically Steve was born a cockney but after five years he was moved out from London to the suburbs where he grew up and he talks posh now. He's been a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy since his early years, but it was poet Laurie Lee's autobiography "Cider with Rosie" (picked up because he was bored in Maths) that taught him the beauty of language and spurred him into becoming a writer, aged 15. He spent twenty years editing and writing for computer magazines while writing poetry on the side. Nowadays he writes screenplays (TV and features), prose and computer programs

Steve Turnbull:

When he's not sitting at his computer building websites for national institutions and international companies, Steve Turnbull can be found sitting at his computer building new worlds of steampunk, science fiction and fantasy.

 Technically Steve was born a cockney but after five years he was moved out from London to the suburbs where he grew up and he talks posh now. He's been a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy since his early years, but it was poet Laurie Lee's autobiography "Cider with Rosie" (picked up because he was bored in Maths) that taught him the beauty of language and spurred him into becoming a writer, aged 15. He spent twenty years editing and writing for computer magazines while writing poetry on the side.

Nowadays he writes screenplays (TV and features), prose and computer programs

Check out Steve's great work at: http://steveturnbull.me

Movie Adaptation Update

Movie adaptation update

Just thought I would drop a note about progress on the Beyond Belief adaptation. Nothing at the moment. Progress is very slow. The fantastic and highly talented producers have been wrapping up another film, and are now in full PR mode. So all of that needs to conclude before there are any further discussions.

In all honesty, I'd be surprised if it got the green light. It's far from my best book, written 20 years ago this year. It was great to be asked, but I need to be realistic about it. If it happens it will be amazing, and it would allow me to rewrite it.

But there is some other news, which I am dying to talk about, but until I get the official 'yes' I have to keep quiet. But it revolves around Tesla, which I feel far more confident in championing. It's not as epic as a film, but it is something close to my heart. Fingers crossed.

M

Update March 2014

As Decay nears completion, I thought it would be a good moment to list what is up coming. At this stage I am planning 2014 to be a Steampunk year. I have the second half of the Tesla Saga planned, book 3: Faraday and book 4: Release (it may change). 

The ideas for book 3 are coming, but I am still missing my big motif, other than resolution and redemption. I have written the ending, which was highly emotional but needed to be done so I had a direction. I also didn't want to wimp out on it. It is done. There is no avoiding it.

Book 4 is in pre-ideas stage. I have some names of characters that join the party, and a rough sense of how I want it to end.

Then I was inspired to devise a re-imaging of Cinderella in the steampunk world. Set in about 1855ish, history is rich and exciting, and I will totally subvert it. It will be my first proper YA novel and deal with all sorts of disturbing issues, but have guns, royal assassinations and stuff. Tentatively, it is titled Stoker. Or possibly Cinderbox.

For anyone in the area, I will have a table down at the Gold Coast Supanova on April 04-06, selling books and generally shouting at people.

m

I Love Lucid

This week sees the final installment of the Lucid saga. Episode 5 should be live on Sunday. 

Also I have approved the print version of the book (and it looks great), which will be available in a couple of days.

I will also be posting the full ebook version of Lucid in the next week as well. So if you read Episode 1 then have been waiting so you can read it all in one go, then you won't have long to wait.

I get a good feeling when I look at Lucid. It is my best work to date. One reviewer has said it is a book of ideas. To me, that's what science fiction is meant to be about.

Review is here:

http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=I_Love_Lucid_by_Mark_Lingane

Planning for the sequel is underway.

August Update

The sun is setting later meaning I don't go home in the dark. Other good news (everybody) Desert Heart was released. Again my marketing was minimal. I ran a KDP promo for three days on the release weekend, which went ok. The book hit #1 in Canada and German, #3 in the US and #5 in the UK. Ellen-Phase 1 has concluded and I can move on to other bits.  

Other bits will mainly be Lucid over the next several months. I hope to get it out by the end of the year, actually by November. But we shall see. I am toying with the idea of having it as a serial. I sent the overview to KindleSerials to see if they were interested. Not sure how long I should wait, but after three weeks there has been no response. Meanwhile writing continues and Lucid balloons further, now over 105,000. That's a bit depressing as it never seems to end. However, the team says it's my best writing to date. So a positive there.

Lucid has been twisting aplenty. Major and minor characters have met unfortunate ends, and some more detail has been added here and there. I still have about two scenes to go but everything else it pretty much done. Cover has been commissioned and I should see that in the next week or so.

I have added Chapter 1 to the Freebies section. 

m

 

July update

It seems to have taken ages to get Desert Heart out the door, meaning it still isn’t. However, it is due back from the proof reader first week in August. That will push back release until mid-August. I am taking it as a positive sign that I am *not* so totally over it like have been with the other books at a similar stage. There are still bit I like reading.

But, unlike all the others, I feel  very excited about Lucid. I’m excited by the concept of periodic installments. I’m excited by the various new elements in it. I am excited by the amazingly complex plot. I have no idea who will like it. Who is the market for cyber-techno-thriller-alternate reality-procedural-pseudo philosophical-dark comedy? Latest projection puts it up at 96,210 words. My longest by 17k, and it may not be long enough.

I write a few words here and there on The ‘Natrix and Mourning Reign, nothing substantial, figuring out which to do next. I might go with Mourning Reign, mainly because I can finish it quickly, but also it is the last of the ‘old’ ideas. With that done, all the books that have been sitting there for years will be complete. Finished. Closed.

Maybe then I can work out what style I want to write.

 

June Update

Plenty happened during June. Desert Heart revision was completed. I will have a last read through then will go off to proof reading. Still hoping for a July release. 

I finished the draft for Lucid. I found some of the earlier stuff, which I wrote about ten years ago, is not very good when stacked next to the new stuff. I have printed it out and will have another look through it. I have renamed some characters as well. Making it a bit of a roaring 20s parable. I am toying with the idea of serializing the book. I have broken it into days, which might work well as weekly story.

Did a tiny bit on the 'Natrix. 

Started Tesla. The first shaky words went down in Chapter 1.

Latest idea: I'm thinking of having a Christmas special. I have an idea for a Xmas short story that involves the main characters from my 2013 books. It'll be a freebie, and about 10,000 words, and tie them all together in one fun adventure.

 

Writing Update

I thought I would give a quick update on upcoming books. Desert Heart (sequel to Chasing Heart) is currently off at the plot doctor, under final examination before heading off to my editor. I should have the review back by the end of April. Rewrites to be done in May then off to the editor in June. Hopefully all should be done by the end of June for an early July release.

On Lucid I have just hit the 25k word mark. Five people dead. I have incorporated references to Zork, LotR, HP, WoW. I may offer a prize for those who can recognize them. There has been lots of illegal activity, not that much of it by the criminals. The main victim has been found, and investigations have commenced. The target is to have the book out by November, which would allow me to charge into something new for NaNoWriMo. I’ll put up the first chapter (rough as it is) shortly.

I've written a couple of thousand words for 'Natrix plus the complete plot, and exactly zero for Tesla other than the name of the main character.

Ideas have started to come for the next Ellen Martin disaster (#3) but nothing too solid yet other than she is in the UK, and can’t understand anyone. It will be set in 2006.

New idea for story

I've had an inspirational moment and conjured up a new story. I've put it in the Romance section. It's about two or three books down the track but I am really looking forward to it. Should be lots of fun. Very silly and saucy.

Writing: What’s the point of it?

Writing: What’s the point of it? Yes, there is a certain aspect that must be entertaining, but I don’t think that is enough. It is a well-known adage that Science Fiction is about ideas. What appears on the surface is masking a complex idea underneath. You can contemplate the author’s thesis and their reflections on life, or you can simply enjoy the story. I believe all writing should be like this, and I believe great writers actually do this without us noticing. If writing has any kind of artistic value then it must reflect some kind of truth and make some kind of point. Whether it is about the evils of advertising or the complexities of the human condition, writing has to make a comment, your comment, the truth that you have seen. Much like observational comedy, truth and insight draws us together and bonds us into a fan base.

Ultimately, great work makes us question what we know, and possibly even changes us.