Sunday, 18 August 2013

Anna Nigma, sayin' Hi!

Hi, folks out there in internet land, this is your ever-lovin' teen ghost with the most, Anna Nigma, coming your way. For those of you who don't know me (What's wrong with you?), I'm the star of his book series...

Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles

Yeah, okay, so that's not my name on the title. But trust me... I'm the star.

J.B.'s too preoccupied these days with writing his next grand tale of adventure to think about this blog, so I'm taking over. While he toils away on new, and even more perilous ways to ruin the lives of yours truly and my friends, I'm gonna mess with him.

I know he's keeping a lot of secrets under wraps throughout the series. Stuff that people really want to know. Like, what's the deal with me? How can I possibly be so "cool" (Don't get that? Read the book!)? Who was I before I died, and was I always this fabulous? Will Sarah ever figure this stuff out, so I can skip my way into that shining light? That kinda stuff.

Oh, yeah... and some other stuff, I suppose. Like who killed Sarah's mom, what's the deal with her cryptic prophecy, yadda yadda yadda. 

Well, fret no more! While J.B.'s away, it's your happy day! I'm here to answer all of these questions and more!

Right! Let's get down to it!

First off: my true identity when I was alive... can I have a drum roll, please?

And my name was......

Mud. What do you think you're doing?

Oh, uh. Hey, J.B. Just hanging out. How's the writing going?

Not so well. I was in the middle of writing a scene when I noticed my "star" was missing.

It's my time again? Sorry, folks. Duty calls. That's the price for being popular.

Psst... don't go too far. I'll be back with those answers...

You do realize that I know everything you're saying, don't you?

Yeah. Sure. Of course. Now I do...

Come along. 

Sorry, everyone. You're just going to have to wait until the books come out. On the plus side, look for book two, "Fidelis In Aeternum," and a special companion book...


...featuring the adventures of Anna Nigma to be released in 2014. Book three, "Street Savior," is currently in the works now and will come out in 2016. 

Assuming I can wrangle my wayward characters long enough to finish it.

I'll be good...


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

It's raining stars! 4 and 5 star review today

A four star review for Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles has hit the web from Goodreads reader, Paula. You'll find her kind words here:

At the same time, another five star review has come in from Jonathan Harrell. His review is here:

Thank you both. I'm so pleased that the book has provided hours of enjoyment for you.

Monday, 5 August 2013

4 star review

A new four star review today from Goodreads reviewer, Beth, for Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles. You'll find it on Amazon and at Goodreads at the link provided:

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Writing What You Don't Know

I've grown lax in updating my blog with real content lately, and it's all because of this new book I'm writing. Here's why...

There's a misunderstood perception that writers should "write what they know." This isn't to say that that a writer should turn every one of their books into an autobiography. If you're churning out a romance novel and have never experienced love and loss in your own life, it's going to be hard to express authentic emotion to captivate your reader. Actors depend on their emotional history to perform their roles, and so does a writer.

Setting can be just as important as the characters in a book. A failure to adequately portray the atmosphere of your setting, or the mannerisms of its people can be just as glaring a mistake as having a character speaking with the wrong dialect. That's why Stephen King bases the greater portion of his stories in Maine, because he knows the land and its people.

I don't do that. Which means, I need to do my homework before I can even begin to write. 

Like my character from Reading The Dead, Sarah Milton, I grew up on the east coast, but the Pacific always caught my imagination. There's just something about the sight of the rolling coastlines of California, crashing against a tropical-looking land bordered by hillsides and deserts, that appeals to me. When I started writing my book, the setting never once came into question. Since I never set foot on the west coast in my life, I knew I had my work cut out for me to get the feeling just right, particularly since this would be my figurative home throughout the series.

However, since my story is largely focused on the LAPD (with equivalent artistic license, of course), it really was only a matter of time before I needed to delve into one of the uglier aspects of California living that I had heretofore glanced over. Urban street gangs. 

Book three of Reading The Dead is tentatively titled "Street Savior," and focuses heavily on South and East side gangs. Everything, from tweeting to blogging to writing, is taking a back door to absorbing as much as I can about this strange, dangerous, unfamiliar world of theirs. Their sense of honor and propriety, their customs and beliefs, their slang... it's a daunting task to pick it all up, and I'm sure that I'll probably not do it full justice in the end. My California may not measure up to the real thing, but I'm determined to make it the best that I can pull off from my chair on the Atlantic coast.

In the end, it's all about the atmosphere. Taking the time to make sure you nail it is worth the effort. Especially when you're writing about what you don't know.

5 star review

A fabulous new five star review for Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles has just hit the internet, from UK short story horror author, Sam Austin. Perhaps now that she's finished, she might be able to get caught up with those pesky distractions of life. You know, things like sleeping...

It's also on the Amazon UK website at along with several other fantastic reviews!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

4 1/2 star review

Patricia Reding has provided a wonderful new 4 1/2 star review of Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles. Thank you for the kind words, Patricia! 

You can check it out on Goodreads at:

or on Patricia's website at: