Friday, 27 September 2013

SFFS 28-9-2013

This is my snippet this week for SFFSat. SFFSat is a place where a number of authors post snippets from their written works, and give the opportunity for comments, support and encouragement. Please also explore the other blogs that are part of this set - you can find the information here.

I've not taken part in SFFS for some time - blame real life for getting in the way. This week my snippet is from Sorrel Snowbound, which is the recently-released sequel to Sorrel in Scarlet. Sorrel, my pilot heroine, is climbing the edge of the Chasm to reach the surface. 

The climb was going pretty well.

I'd come across a dozen chunks that I decided not to trust my weight to, but the vast majority of the rock-face felt as solid as the stuff between my ears.

Until now. A large outcrop of grey-green granite, a perfect handhold at the top – how was I supposed to know it was only attached to the cliff by a couple of blobs of fungi? I gripped it firmly, hauled myself up... and I felt it lurch, folding out from the cliff and carrying me out into the void, to begin a half-mile fall to destruction.

I was screaming - the rock was perhaps eight feet high, twelve feet wide, and I was clutching it with both hands. Not a chance of grabbing any other piece of the cliff-face. I can fly most things, but boulders aren't in my repertoire. 

 Comments gratefully received!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Who is Wrack?

Wrack is a dragon. No, the picture isn't wrong. Wrack can transform into a human shape – it is by no means clear whether the dragons are humans who can take draconic form or vice versa. Wrack's response is to say that he is a dragon, which means he can be either form.

Wrack is one of the dragonlords who rule Sendaal. There are very few dragons in the land – they breed rarely, despite their efforts – but each one is a powerful figure. Wrack is one of the most significant of their number.

Wrack oversaw Sorrel when she was training to be a sorceress. There is no doubt that he found the young woman very attractive. Her views of the dragonlord were a different matter. When the humans rebelled against draconic rule, Sorrel was a major figure in the human air force, and she blew one dragonlord, Kabal, out of the sky. She had a number of aerial duels with Wrack, and he eventually brought her plane down. He snatched her from the wreckage and enslaved her. Despite eventually escaping his clutches, Sorrel never forgave Wrack for his treatment of her. Which is why, at the beginning of Sorrel in Scarlet, it was Wrack's mansion that Sorrel had raided.

Wrack is a laconic, sometimes grim figure, typically never speaking a full sentence. He is a strong and vigorous figure, and even Sorrel would have to admit that he is attractive in a dark, saturnine way. He also has a dangerously short temper and, like Sorrel, has a tendency to resort to physical action when he grows angry.

He is probably the most important person in the books aside from Sorrel herself – and Sorrel will tell you regularly and frequently how much she hates him.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Who is Sorrel?

Aside from being the protagonist of the novels that bear her name, Sorrel Cheldaniss is a pilot and a sorceress. In Sorrel's world the two were (until recently) synonymous – pilots needed sorcery to power the engines that enabled them to fly. Sorrel learned to fly in the year before her people began a revolt against the dragons who ruled her lands; during the struggle, she flew a fighter plane in aerial battles against the dragons, and downed Kabal, one of the most powerful (and nastiest) of the dragonlords. Sorrel is hot-tempered and has strong feelings – she knew how badly the humans were treated by some of the dragons, and strove to do everything she could do to defeat them.

Wrack, another of the dragonlords (who will get his own blog entry in a week or so) finally blew her out of the sky. She survived the crash, and he took her prisoner.

The revolt was crushed. The dragons decreed that humans could no longer have magic, and set about ensuring the humans could not rise up again.

Sorrel was released from Wrack's clutches, but her fire had not been quenched – she again set about trying to fight the dragons, albeit more circumspectly.

This is where the novel Sorrel in Scarlet begins.

Sorrel is in her mid-twenties. She's attractive, intelligent and in good physical shape. She can handle a sword (another skill she had to learn during the revolt) and she is an excellent pilot. On the other hand, she is also hot-headed and unwise, and tends to jump in where wiser heads would fear to tread. She is also prone to opening her mouth and saying things she might later regret. She is not averse to romantic dalliances, but is unattached when the novel opens.

She is the narrator for the books. Don't assume that she is always right about what she says...

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Launch party!

The launch party for Sorrel Snowbound will be at Niche Comics in Huntingdon from 3pm to 9pm on Saturday 14th September, to tie in with Books are my Bag day. Everyone is very welcome to come along - wine is available after 6pm. Come and get a signed copy of either or both of my books! 

(Many thanks to Niche for hosting me then!)

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sorrel Snowbound takes flight!

Sorrel Snowbound has launched! It is finally on Amazon in paperback, here (for the UK) and here (for the US).

The kindle version is here (if you're in the UK) or here (in the USA).

There will be versions at Lulu and DriveThruFiction, but they haven't appeared yet - I'll post when they appear.

It seems to have been a long haul to get Sorrel to this stage in her adventures, but I think it's been worth the wait (of course, I would say that, wouldn't I? ;-))

Sorrel Snowbound starts shortly after the end of Sorrel in Scarlet.  The city of Daryan is under attack by the lloruk, and Sorrel and Wrack have travelled there from Tolgrail to offer support and aid. In the midst of the struggle Wrack is captured and transported to Luthvara, a lloruk city. Sorrel is determined to get him out of there - but fears the sophisticated sorcery of the lloruk. She needs an edge  - something that the lloruk have not faced before. Her best chance is to return to the surface and gather knowledge and hardware the lloruk will not expect.

But the lands of the surface are (in their own way) even more dangerous than the scarlet depths of the Chasm...