Saturday, September 14, 2013

Aboard the 'Notorious'... research for Adrift: In Search of Memory.

Part of writing any novel is doing research to bring reality into your story. Even in a fantasy novel, there has to be research. Getting first hand experience of a wooden vessel is incredible. 
For Adrift: In Search of Memory, a sea faring adventure complete with pirates, this visit from the replica caravel is perfect.
In Adrift the pirate Black Betty is one of the challenges faced. The Notorious is a perfect vessel to provide hands on detail not only for Black Betty's ship, but for the Wayward Spirit and the Golden Dragon. Just a few of the wooden ships you will meet in Adrift.

These photos show some of the heavy woodwork, carvings, handrails, hatch, cabin, and construction of the hull.

Amazing space below deck. Sturdy construction, low ceiling and cramped spaces transport us back in time to around 1480. This is the type of vessel Vasco De Gama and Columbus sailed across the ocean. They aren't very big.

The base of the mast showing an old wooden pulley.
Here is an enthusiastic author getting hands on experience. :)

Thanks to Trisha for taking these great shots.
Stay tuned for extracts from Adrift... complete with photos to illustrate the story. :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Aboard the Notorious... or "when a pirate ship docks in our harbour'

I have to say it is an exciting event when a vessel like this docks in our harbour.
 How often can you climb on and experience 15 century sea worthiness first hand?
 The incredible workmanship, the way the boat bobs on the water, despite 12 ton of blue stone ballast. The carved wooden door, the mast, the sails, everything looks as though it has time travelled.

 Some of the ropes look new... okay.. it's moored to a modern wharf. Still...
 How cool is the door?
 And the decorative rope carving?
It really looks like the 'Black Pearl' has arrived!
If only Jack Sparrow was aboard. :) Still...
Tomorrow we can climb aboard.

Thanks to Trisha and her camera for these shots!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Talking about ADRIFT: In Search of Memory

 on PAM KELT's Blog
Drop in to find out more about this 'soon to be released' sea faring adventure.
The next step in Caleath's adventure.

Pam Kelt has recently released ICE TREKKER a YA fantasy adventure, sea faring, thrilling...
See the previous post on this blog.

Today I am thrilled to be her guest on her stunning blog.
See you there!

Two 'stand alone' ebooks that conclude the Chronicles of Caleath.

Coming soon from Museitup.

Friday, September 6, 2013

ICE TREKKER... a Young Adult Fantasy... for all ages.

It is with great pleasure I can finally introduce this wonderful story.
  ICE TREKKER by Pam Kelt

I am thrilled to have her latest book featured on my blog.


“Hide!” hissed the old sailor, eyes white with fear. He slithered across the icy decking and burrowed into a tangle of fishing nets lying on the dock.

Midge turned his face upward. The navy night sky turned green, laced with purple and orange like oil in water. “What is it?” he asked, ducking into the doorway of a battered wooden boathouse. A rippling movement swept over his head in a giant tidal wave of light. He held his breath as though he were being sucked under water.

“Skythons!” came the terrified reply. “You gets them in Krønagar. But never seen ’em so big before. Horrible things. Horrible!”

Midge stared upward to watch a shimmering snake-like pattern weave and twist across the sky. The effect of long, rippling muscles struck him as so strange and beautiful that he forgot to feel afraid as he gazed at the shifting colours. 

“They mean bad luck,” howled the sailor, arm over his eyes. 

Up in the cold sky, colours still shimmered. “Surely it’s just superstitious nonsense?” Midge said, still staring. “They can’t be real. Just a trick of the light.” He couldn’t drag his eyes away from the sight as the shape swooped toward the dark line of mountains, arched up, over, and back toward where he stood on the little jetty. He jolted as he realised a giant violet eye, bloodshot and terrible, was staring right at him. 

It was so close he could see it gleam.
I know you will want to read more, but for now that's it.
Never fear, now we have an insight to the inspiration behind this amazing adventure...

Some years ago, I was lucky enough to wangle a trip to Tromsø in Norway, just north of the Arctic Circle. It took three flights to get there and I’d never felt quite so intrepid. The place is stunning, with its colourful harbour and huge mountains, already covered in snow by October. On our last day, we visited Polaria, a striking museum itself shaped in the form of ice floes thrust up on land by the rough seas of the Arctic. A key theme of the place is that despite the powerful, rugged beauty of Polar regions, they are fragile.
The flora and fauna, indeed the whole landscape is at risk from global warming. At first, man just wanted to explore the poles out of a sense of adventure, but now, it is teeming with scientists, some working to improve bio-diversity, others looking for fuel. I’d already been thinking about a story about an icy trek, but I found myself resisting the ‘high fantasy’-style objectives such as talismans, treasure, mystic dragon’s eggs and so on. I hit on the idea of making the story an ‘eco-adventure’, so the Grells are desperately trying to find an alternative - and sustainable - fuel source to Blackfrost. Why else would you trek north through the frozen wilderness, after all? I received invaluable scientific insights on the matter from my husband, Rob, a chemistry professor (and co-author of Half Life). The nature of their mission led to other technological additions, and it was great fun coming up with new gizmos and gadgets that would fit the time and place. Truthfully, though, I’ve no idea where the concept of ‘abominaballs’ came from!

Obviously, the environmental lesson isn’t spelled out in the story, but I’m hoping the nature of this more modern ‘quest’, albeit in a fantasy world, will strike a chord with young readers. 

For those of you who don't remember Pam from our previous guest is her 
With a background in journalism, languages and educational publishing, it was inevitable that I would eventually say to heck with a career and try writing for myself. After a few years of trying out different styles, I landed six book deals in as many months and declared myself reinvented. Just as well, as it’s the ideal way to combat empty nest syndrome now that my daughter is at the University of Edinburgh doing History of Art. 

Three titles are for adults (Dark Interlude and Half Life with MuseItUp and Tomorrow’s Anecdote with Crooked Cat). Botanical mystery The Lost Orchid (YA/NA) is scheduled for an autumn release at Bluewood Publishing, along with two teen fantasy adventures, Ice Trekker and The Cloud Pearl, part one of Legends of Liria (both with MuseItUp). I now write full-time. I live in leafy Warwickshire, England, with my academic husband Robert (with whom I collaborated on Half Life, a ‘noir’ thriller set in 1936) and our two daft dogs. My favourite pastimes, apart from writing, are watching movies, trying not to overwater my windowsill orchids and keeping up with best teen fantasy fiction around.

Follow Pam's ICE TREKKER blog...
Thanks for returning to my blog Pam with this new novel. I have been looking forward to ICE TREKKER's release since I had the honour of editing the manuscript.