Blog Archives

3 Ways to Cope with the Ending of PALADERO Book 3

We’re coming up to the third month of release for Paladero: The Edge of the World, the third book in the Paladero series, and without wanting to spoil anything I think it’s safe to say there may be some readers out there who could be feeling a little vexed by the book’s climax and impatiently awaiting the release of Book 4.

The good news is that I’m hard at work writing the fourth book, titled The Champions of the Blade. The bad news is that we’re still some time away from it being published. So in the meantime, for those particularly frustrated readers, I humbly suggest the following:

1 – Plan a Return Trip to Thunder Realm.

If The Edge of the World left you feeling a bit blindsided, you may want to go back to the beginning and read the series through again to see what you might have missed. You could be surprised by some of the clues that were hiding in plain sight.

2 – A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved.

Know somebody who might enjoy reading Paladero? You can lure them into a trap by recommending it to them. Then, when they get to the end of Book 3, bam! Just like that you have someone you can share your frustration with and turn to for mutual support, not to mention discussion about where the story may go from here. Remember: this doesn’t need to be isolated to IRL. You can always take to Goodreads to articulate your thoughts, feelings or howls of consternation. Those who provide a 5-star rating have free rein to express themselves however they see fit (though make sure to use those spoiler tags, of course!)

3 – Read, Watch (or Play) These Other Amazing Stories.

Finally, the best way to wait for a new entry in a series you’re enjoying is by finding other things to enjoy in the meantime. To help with that, may I heartily recommend the following:

Books That Inspired PALADERO –

Emily Rodda’s Rowan of Rin series.

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle.

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series.

James Gurney’s Dinotopia.

JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and CS Lewis’s Narnia series.

And (only for older readers) John Marsden’s Tomorrow series and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.

 

Books For Those Who Enjoyed PALADERO –

Jeremy Lachlan’s Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds.

Rhiannon Williams’s Ottilie Colter and the Narroway Hunt.

Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone.

Richard Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Magnum Chase series.

 

Film & TV –

I think Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings more or less goes without saying, but some of the other cinematic influences on Paladero include:

Hayao Miyzaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle.

The Legend of Korra, one of my favourite TV shows (particularly due to the worldbuilding and character development).

 

Video Games –

Never let anyone tell you that playing video games is a waste of time – they certainly provided me with a lot of inspiration. The Final Fantasy series in particular was a big influence on Paladero, which I think will become apparent with the release of Book 4. Skyrim was likewise fundamental in the development of the series, though again I can only recommend it for older readers. Other games to try would be Shadow of the Colossus and Journey.

*

And there you have it. Hopefully some of these suggestions will help in the wait for Paladero Book 4. That said, please feel free to get in touch with me either through Twitter or via the Contact page above if you have any questions, comments or theories you’d like to share. Admonishments will also be accepted, though less readily replied to. I have a book to write, after all.

Advertisements

Of Cowboy-Knights and Long Delays

I try to avoid writing “Where I’ve been and why I haven’t been blogging” posts as I feel they’d be woefully repetitive at this point. To describe my blogging as “sporadic” these days would be more than generous. But! There’s a very good reason for that…

Without having made much fanfare about it – self-sabotaging modest as I am – I signed a four-book deal with Hardie Grant Egmont at the end of last year. Retrospective huzzah!

Since then, I’ve been buried in a cycle of writing, editing, proofreading, writing some more, editing some more, procrastinating, writing, sneaking off to watch Youtube, writing, editing…oh, and also working full-time and trying to maintain some semblance of a life. After all, dem bills don’t pay themselves, and that lawn don’t keep itself mowed.

God. Mowing the lawn. Is that really the most exciting example of living life that I could come up with? Heavens to Murgatroyd.

Anyway.

What’s the new series about, you might ask? And even if you didn’t ask and don’t care, I’m going to tell you anyway. That’s just the kind of guy I am.

It’s a Middle-Grade Fantasy series called Paladero, with the first book subtitled The Riders of Thunder Realm. The next natural question is ‘What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is a pala-whateveryousaid?’

“Paladero” is a term I came up with all the way back in the hazy days of 2007. First I took the word paladin (another term for ‘knight’), and then I took the word vaquero (the Spanish term for ‘cowboy’) and I smooshed ‘em together and came up with ‘paladero’.

Which is exactly what these characters are; they’re cowboy-knights. Or cowperson-knights, to be more specific.

Cowperson-knights who ride dinosaurs, to be even more specific than that.

Awwwww yeah.

This is an idea I’ve been working on for nearly a decade now in one form or another, and it’s so tantalisingly close to being out there in the world yet still so far away. The tentative release date for The Riders of Thunder Realm is currently July 2016, though this may shift depending on how I go with that whole writing-editing-watchingYouTube-writing-editing-working-living thing.

One way or another, I’ll make sure to update you as things progress. As it stands right now, I’ve seen some early cover designs that look so immensely exciting that I can’t wait to share them, but unfortunately I have to demonstrate some of that “patience” stuff your parents always warned you about. Blah.

But! Again! In the meantime I’ll be hosting another Writers Victoria workshop. This time it’ll be taking place over two days, which means we can get into even more detail about the writing and publishing process. It’s YA for Beginners, it’s Saturday 24 October to Sunday 25 October, it’s going to be awesome, and you can find more details on the WV website.

And even if I’m not blogging, you can still find me online. I have links all over this page to my Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr accounts. Please check ‘em out, give ‘em a follow, and stroke my fragile artiste ego. Tis much appreciated.

Til next time.

Making It Up As I Go Along

Last year, I was asked if I’d be interested in being a guest blogger for Writing Teen Novels. I was flattered to be asked and of course said yes. The aim was to write 12 posts that would run once a month through 2014.

The first has just been posted.

If you’re interested in writing, and writing for young people in particular, I highly recommend checking out the blog. It’s packed full of insightful commentary from published authors, all hoping to share their expertise. And me too, making it up as I go along…which, really, is the definition of storytelling, isn’t it?

Hopefully this will go a little way towards explaining why I’ve been so quiet with the blog lately. The other explanation is this…

map-draft1

This won’t make any sense now, but with some luck it should with time. Hopefully I’m not jinxing myself by talking about it too soon.

I’m planning on writing up both a playlist for War Zone and another entry in the Making of a Superhero series of posts. With some luck that’ll happen before another New Year’s Eve rolls around. But in the meantime, make sure to keep an eye on Writing Teen Novels and please feel welcome to leave some feedback. I’d love to answer any questions anyone might have.

…or at least make up an answer.

Learning As We Go: New Adult & The Digital Revolution

I’ve been thinking about the difference between New Adult and Young Adult fiction this week. For a few years now I’ve been kicking around a story idea that, when I first heard about this blossoming genre called “New Adult”, seemed to fit the idea like a….can I say “glove” and not have my writer’s licence revoked for dabbling in blatant clichés? Yes? Okay. It fit like a glove.

Or at least I thought it did. The longer the New Adult genre has had to gestate, the more it’s been reduced to “Young Adult with sex scenes”. Worse, booksellers seem to be struggling to work out where to shelve New Adult titles, which can’t be placed with the kids books but get lost in the General Fiction section.

The suggestion would be to create a separate sub-section on the Young Adult shelves marked New Adult, but this creates extra work for the store for a genre that hasn’t yet proven that it has a dedicated market and warrants the effort.

It’s a shame, because I think there’s a great deal of potential for New Adult. As buzzwordy and marketing-driven as that term sounds at first, I think it correctly captures the mindset of the high school graduate/first year undergrad who’s out there looking for stories to read that reflect all the pressures and challenges they’re facing as they make that transition into adulthood.

But perhaps I’m being too Old World in my thinking about this. Shelving isn’t as much of an issue for e-books, and if the readership for a title is from the Millenial generation, who’s to say a bricks-and-mortar store would be their first destination in searching out a New Adult book?

As with everything in the Digital Revolution, we’re learning as we go. My sincere hope would be that this genre is used for more than Romance + Naughty Bits and actually takes advantage of its potential for looser boundaries and richer thematic material.

Not that I’m opposed to Romance + Naughty Bits. In fact, I may go copyright that as a book title right now…

*

In case you haven’t checked the Events page in a while (and really, why would you?), I’ll be at Eltham Library on October 20 (aka THIS Sunday) with George Ivanoff. We’ll be discussing Vanguard Prime: War Zone, taking questions from the audience, and then leading a workshop on Where Ideas Come From, which will cover genre, story structure, and creating characters. Bookings can be made through Eltham Bookshop. I’ll be bringing lollies with me, so expect plenty of sugary bribes to be made from the front of the room.

*

Listening: Champagne Supernova by Oasis

Reading: Gamers’ Quest by George Ivanoff, The Tournament by Matthew Reilly

Watching: ER Season 3, Adventure Time

*

EDITED TO ADD: I meant to mention that I’m actually using my Tumblr account now. I continue on in my cluelessness, however, by basically running it like it’s a Pinterest account, but if you’re curious to see what material I’m drawing on for my writing, then check it out; http://stevenlochran.tumblr.com/

Rampant Self-Promotion

If you go to the Australian iBookstore right now, you may see something that looks a little familiar…

apple-banner

Yep, that’s Vanguard Prime on the main page. No idea how long it’s going to be there, but it’s amazing nevertheless. Of course, this is to promote the free eBook novella Vanguard Prime: Red Alert, as well as the fact that the first two books in the series are available for digital download at $4.99. (Have I mentioned that yet? Oh. Yeah. I have. A lot. Sorry).

One thing I haven’t mentioned is the fact that Vanguard Prime: War Zone (which is officially set for release on August 29) has shipped early, so there’s a good chance your local bookseller may already have it in stock!

…What do you mean I already mentioned that on Twitter?

Okay, okay. Here’s something I’ve never, ever mentioned before. Penguin South Africa is publishing Vanguard Prime: Goldrush! Their website has the release date set as November 2012, but I’ve been told that’s a typo and it’ll actually be available in January 2014. So…yeah…hope you enjoyed that piece of previously unrelated news.

Oh! And here’s something else! War Zone now has its own page on Goodreads.  I’m mentioning that just in case, y’know, you happen to read the book and, I dunno, want to rate it and maybe a little somethin’ somethin’ review. Is all I’m saying.

Alright. I think that’s enough rampant self-promotion.

….for now, at least.