by Paul Summerhayes | Aug 13, 2018 | Gaming Industry, Novel, Review, Short Story, Uncategorised, Weird Western, Writing
I have decided to do my bit for the weird western genre by listing and reviewing weird western books, comics, games, TV, movies etc.. Why? I hear you ask. Because I love the genre and I would like to do my bit to promote this cool genre.
How will I review a product and what will it contain? The reviews will be short and may contain things like:
- A book cover, picture or screenshot of the product
- A brief description or book blurb
- A link to the product (Goodreads, Homepage etc., but not an online seller if it can be helped)
- My personal opinion of the product
- My personal scores for each aspect of the product as defined by me (well it is MY review)
- My personal overall rating out of five stars
- 5 Stars: Awesome! I couldn’t put it down
- 4 Stars: Fantastic. A real page-turner
- 3 Stars: Enjoyable. A good read
- 2 Stars: Not fun. A struggle to read
- 1 Star: Not recommended (no hate)
If you are interested in the weird western genre and most intelligent, good-looking people are, then check back with my blog regularly.
The reviews will be title; Review 1, Review 2 etc.. Yeah, I know. It’s a brilliant naming convention and I should patent it…
by Paul Summerhayes | Mar 26, 2017 | Gaming Industry, Novel, Short Story, Writing
The talented author, Danni Line recently interviewed me and reviewed The Warden and the Shadow Queen (book 3) for her blog. It can be found here: DDLine Author Blog
Below is a copy of the transcript from her site:
The Warden and the Shadow Queen – Book 3 of the Warden Saga.
Anna slips further away from Finn, and looks doomed to fall into darkness. Her fate is in his hands. To save her, he must travel across the sea, storm a castle, battle an insane enemy, and a horde of undead soldiers.
All the while, the ancient order of mages scheme in the background. Their ambition for power threatens to cover the land in death and darkness. Can Finn stop the horrors their magic unleashes in time?
Will he finally discover the secrets of the Black Sword? And why does it thirst for blood?
Imprisoned, half-starved, and despairing, Anna’s hopes of rescue are fading fast. Finn and his promise to save her seems a lifetime ago. Instead, her enemies are gaining ground and weaving their dark magic. Not even the promise of death can give her salvation from the horrors to come.
Desperate, and half mad with the thought of failing not only his love, but also his entire Eldon race, Finn feels the pressure to rescue Anna from her fate. The black sword leads him ever onwards, but not even Finn truly understands how he, Anna, and the wicked-sharp blade’s futures are entwined.
Mr Summerhayes excels at fight scenes and book three was no different when it came to sword fights, demon wrangling, utilising his characters’ thirst for revenge and their desire to prevail over great odds. The growing inner strength, maturity, and self-discovery of main characters, Finn and Anna, was evident in the way they handled adversity. Villainy abounded, curses flew, and dark magic, well, dark magic did what it does best – left the reader wanting more. 🙂
Mr Summerhayes also kindly agreed to answer a few ‘intense’ writing questions. 😉
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Like most writers, I wrote or told stories from an early age. It was always my dream to be an author and create worlds.
In 2015, I wrote freelance for a gaming company, and saw my name in a printed book – it was then I started thinking that I may just be a writer, and that’s when I decided to take my hobby more serious. I now have five stories in print.
Do you have support from family and friends?
My family and friends have always given me encouragement – which initially surprised me. Writing is a lonely pursuit, and if your family gives you the time and space to write, that is often all the support a writer needs. Thankfully, nobody has told me to forget writing and get a real job.
Do you have a particular writing style?
That’s a hard question as writing styles are subjective to the individual reader. We all interpret stories slightly differently, based on our own likes or dislikes.
My aim is to write adventure stories, with protagonists who develop and grow as the story unfolds. Most of my stories contain a young protagonist, and would be classified as YA (but not all). I like YA as the young protagonist has room to grow and learn who they are as the story unfolds.
What are your favourite story writing genres and authors and what draws you to them?
I like many genres; Sci-fi, Mysteries, Horror, Westerns, but Fantasy, and Sword and Sorcery have always been my favourites.
I grew up reading JRR Tolkien (he taught me to day dream), Gene Wolf, Frank Herbert, Edger Rice Borroughs, Dragonlance, and Robert E Howard’s Conan novels. I prefer stories with a fast-paced storyline with heaps of action – I am currently enjoying Joe Abercrombie’s style of writing.
What inspired you to write the Warden Saga?
I was inspired to write about Finn and his friends because of my love of the Fantasy genre. Growing up, I always day-dreamed stories of wizard and dragons, and now as an adult (I use that term loosely), I get to write about them! We write stories that we love to read.
Can you tell us what are you working on at the minute?
I don’t like talking about a book before it’s finished – I guess I’m secretive. All I will say is that it’s a Fantasy story with a dystopian twist. It’s over half written and I’m excited to see it published soon. I am aiming for a May-June release date and it’s the start of a new series.
Don’t worry Warden Saga readers, I will return to the wardens soon.
How much research do you do?
I do as much research as a story requires. For example, many of the languages in the Warden Saga are modified present day languages (German, Nordic etc.) and the same with the food – mostly traditional German food.
When I wrote the background stories for The Devil’s Run board game, I researched bikie gang structures, military and civilian weapons, nuclear fallout, and studied maps of western USA, where the game takes place. Looking back now, a lot of research went into those stories.
Do you have a writing routine?
Yes. Finishing a story is all about routine, and I try to write every day. Unfortunately, I’m not productive at night, so that’s when I do marketing or social media.
Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you get through it?
I haven’t had writer’s block (I personally don’t believe it’s a real thing). I have been stuck, deciding which way to take a story, but the more I plan a story prior to starting the less I have this issue. When you are ‘stuck’, stop writing and plot out your next few scenes or chapters. You’ll find in a few hours (or days) you’ll have the creative juices flowing again.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I’m currently reading Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Before They Are Hanged’, the second book of The First Law series. I really enjoy his writing style and how he weaves a story with both intrigue and action – it’s highly recommended.
Do you edit as you go or finish the story first?
I write the story first and then go over it several times. The story changes slightly during each draft, as I add in new information or tweak a plot line. After I’ve written a few drafts and I’m happy with the story flow, I send it to my editor for the final polish.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write every day. There is no other secret to completing a story.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I spend time with my family; going to the kids’ sports and school activities. I like to unwind by reading or watching movies or TV series. I am also restoring an old car in my shed, which I hope to finish by the end of the year.
What do you think makes a good story?
For me, a good book either contains interesting characters that I want to know more about, or the story is just fun. As I read for entertainment, if it’s not interesting I will stop and read something else.
If you write more than one genre, how do you balance them?
I don’t have a problem writing in different genres and I find it’s actually fun. It gives you a break from your main genre. I wouldn’t want to write two different genre stories at the same time though – that would be too hard.
Last year, while I edited one of my fantasy novels, I also wrote a post-apocalyptic novella for a board game with no issues.
Are you a plotter, panster or a combination of both?
I do both. I plan out all of the main characters and all the key plot points for the whole story and then start writing. I often change things as I write with only the start and end of the story normally remaining unchanged. If I get stuck, it means I need to do more planning.
What question do you wish someone would ask, but no one ever has?
I wish someone would ask me to write an official Conan the Barbarian novel! That’s one of my childhood dreams.
Any writing rituals / superstitions?
Yes! I always write wearing my lucky hat!
Actually, no superstitions or rituals. I know that’s boring. Sorry.
How did you deal with rejection letters (if you had any?)
I’ve not had a rejection letter from a publisher before as I am an indie author. Be your own boss!
I have written in IP’s which were not mine, and I also have a story in a paranormal anthology. If you’re writing for another person, get all the information you can. It’s a great experience to work outside your comfort zone. Give it a go. You might just learn something about yourself.
Thank you so much for your time, Paul. 🙂
by Paul Summerhayes | Jul 26, 2016 | Freelance, Gaming Industry, Novel, Short Story, Writing
I have finished the first draft of The Warden Saga book 2. Yay!
But before I start the edits I have another book project! No, you say, get back to the editing… I have been asked by Word Forge Games to write a novella for their popular board game Devil’s Run: Route 666 – I wrote some of the background fluff for the original game. The novella will be set in their game world and will feature adventure and car combat in a futuristic post-nuclear world.
When the book is finished it will be sold as part of their next Kickstarter and on their website. I will let you know when it is available for sale. Stay tuned.
by Paul Summerhayes | Jun 28, 2016 | Gaming Industry, Novel, Short Story
Hi, guys. I am almost finished the first draft of the second book of The Warden Saga, A Warden’s Duty. I hope to be finished in the next few weeks. I like to do three or four drafts before I send it to the editor and beta readers so there is still more work to be done!
On other news, I have been asked to write a novella (about 80 pages) for a new up and coming gaming supplement (it may be a stand alone – I don’t have the full details yet) to the popular Devil’s Run: Route 666 board game. I will start writing it after A Warden’s Duty is finished and it must be completed before December. Don’t panic! It will not delay A Warden’s Duty’s release in November.
Thanks for reading my blog. I will tell you more about my writing soon.
by Paul Summerhayes | Oct 24, 2015 | Freelance, Gaming Industry, Writing
Hello. A week ago, I finished writing 23,000 words of background fluff for a great looking board game called Devil’s Run, by Word Forge Games. There is several factions in the game and I wrote the background for the two main factions that come in the main game box. The game is due to be released Feb 2016.
Here is an interview with the Word Forge Games owner, Mark Rapson: Mark Rapson Interview
Here is a blog post from one of the other background writers, Marc Langworthy: kplangers
I am currently writing my first fantasy novel, which I hope to finish in the new year. I will keep you posted on its progress.