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Crescendo! Kickstarter Update

Well we did it. With 13 hours to go, we hit the target of £1500. A big thankyou to all my backers, a wee smile to myself and then back to the grindstone tomorrow to get all the rewards, and indeed the book, ready. There’s a really generous bunch of people backing me up in my writing which is so encouraging. Here’s hoping they enjoy the book!

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Support of friends

In times of stress and worry about a project you need friends around you. Running a Kickstarter is no different and I have been delighted with the support friends have given me, some very unexpected. Here’s to friends!

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My Kickstarter for Crescendo!, my new novel running right here!

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Crowdfund fund for Crescendo! is underway

Just a quick note to let everyone know my crowdfund for my first novel is off and running at Kickstarter. Check it out at the following link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/grjordan/crescendo-do-you-embrace-the-dark-or-run-from-it

I’ll be posting about it on my blog but get ahead by having a quick look. It’s my first kickstarter soo finding it well exciting!

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Location, Location, Location (Part 1 – Foreign Places)

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One of the funnier things I find in my writing is the lengths I will go to to find a suitable location for my books. By that I mean each scene within my books. Every place mentioned usually has within it the building blocks of several real places if indeed it is not a real place itself. Because of this I am always on the lookout for different backdrops, whether it be from books, online searches, travel programs or anything else. My mind is constantly “location hunting”.

In my new book, “Crescendo!”, my intrepid duo Austerley and Kirkgordon, race around the world and I thought it would be interesting to see where the locations in the book come from in reality. The first location is Arkham, and more specifically the asylum there.

Due to the book’s tie-ins with Lovecraft mythology, Arkham was an obvious start point, the central town in the whole area of Lovecraft’s nightmares. I consulted fictional books and maps, checking the rivers and bridges and location of the asylum. But the building itself, or rather the scene, reminded me of a scene in “Porridge”, the classic British sitcom where Fletcher is let loose for a time. The sheer drabness and loneliness of a walk out of captivity with fanfares. The start of the Blues Brothers film has the same feel.

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A trip to Russia then ensues and here was a major problem. At the current point in my writing career, ad hoc visits to far off countries are still beyond the budget. So thank goodness for the internet and those wonderful map programs where you can even place yourself in streets. I walked Russia’s alleyways, virtually, trying to see how my characters would perceive this place. Unfortunately the net doesn’t provide the smells and sounds and I had to think these into being (but I am meant to be a writer!). Pictures of a rather famous Russian café helped me in a little restaurant scene that occurs, giving me the feel of a past grandeur and a perfect backdrop to introduce Calandra, my Russian vamp.

It is funny how I have never been to any of these “foreign” places but felt able to find myself in their surroundings simply by a little application. I’m not here today to ponder on the finer pints of place description but rather as an encouragement to not limit yourself to places that you know when writing. With a little research, plenty of pictures, writings and a wee bit of imagination, you can make anywhere come alive. But yes, I would like the bigger budget, the private jet (now I am dreaming) to go and visit these places. But remember, places in the past or future, or those invisible except in the mythos of a person, cannot be reached. Well, except on the train of the mind and is that not our standard mode of transport as a writer anyway?

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Back in the USSR

On the hunt for a mysterious manuscript of music Austerley and Kirkgordon find themselves in Russia and delving into its stranger secrets. A street that’s there and yet isn’t, a seriously ice cold vamp and former lover, the infamous FSB and a former painter of hellish creatures. So how would they say they found their trip to Russia? Well I think Austerley would quote Winston Churchill.

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In the meantime you can grab the prelude to Crescendo! entitled “Footsteps” at Smashwords or email me (carpetlessleprechaun@hotmail.com) to join my mailing list and receive a free copy. All email addresses will only be used to deliver exciting news about Carpetless publications and will not be passed onto any other party. Please indicate whether you prefer a mobi, epub or pdf copy of “Footsteps”.

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Russia!

In my new novel Crescendo! (due for release next month) my dynamic duo of Austerley and Kirkgordon find themselves in Russia and I was wondering how to describe what they found there. The Old Bear produces some dark secrets and a bizarre street but I thought this quote hit the right note.

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In the meantime you can grab the prelude to Crescendo! entitled “Footsteps” at Smashwords or email me (carpetlessleprechaun@hotmail.com) to join my mailing list and receive a free copy. All email addresses will only be used to deliver exciting news about Carpetless publications and will not be passed onto any other party. Please indicate whether you prefer a mobi, epub or pdf copy of “Footsteps”.

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Crescendo Update!

Hi everyone. Unfortunately the book launch has been moved back due to ill health and Kickstarter issues. On the bright side I’ll be letting the book loose mid-November so you can attack your friends and family with it for Christmas. Hold on everyone, it’s coming!

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Footsteps – Chapter 5 Battling Blind

Next month I will be releasing the first novel in my Austerley and Kirkgordon adventure series about a pair of investigators into the paranormal. In order for readers to get a feel for my characters I will be releasing a short story prelude before launch day and as I am especially good to my blog readers, I am going to serialise it here. So take a trip into the depths of a lost graveyard in search of Eldar things with Messers Austerley & Kirkgordon and find out how this diverse pair became entangled in horrors from the past.

Battling Blind

My pack was distributed all over the floor and as I scrabbled in the dark, I managed to pick up various items. Finding a pistol and a spare magazine, I was able to fire off rounds for about fifteen seconds which kept whatever was out there from me. Warren’s face was imprinted on my mind but the infra-red goggles meant I had some idea where the attacks were coming from. At this time they were tentacles that whipped towards me from the dark and I rolled and fired with moderate success.

Then I was struck behind the head which pitched me forward but also knocked my goggles from my face. I heard them hit the floor in a despairing crunch and was completely blind. Fortunately, I was able to find a knife on the floor and began wildly slashing all around me. Austerley’s screams could still be heard, bizarre chants and wails interspersing full-on shrieks.

The next few moments were a mad slash and hack for survival. Several times I was caught on my torso by a whipping action, I assumed a tentacle, and was hurtled across the open space. Thankfully I never collided with the wall. Thoughts of Austerley were gone as I couldn’t locate him and I was wondering how I would get out of this hell-hole. Suffice to say, I was purely on time until I was hit by something massive.

I was tense when it hit me from scouring the dark for the next attack but I wasn’t expecting to be gorged on my back. I don’t know what it was but it felt like an articulated, sorry you’re American, a juggernaut smashed into my back. Sailing through the air I thought I was a goner. My right ankle collided with the wall first and I reckon I pivoted it slightly so that my elbow connected hardest. It was smashed, as you can see here, and my ankle broke too. I had good quality boots on which probably saved my ankle to a degree.

Normally I would react by getting clear in any direction but I now knew the wall was near me and it was my only escape route. With my right hand I searched the floor around me and found a flash-bang. The pin wasn’t easy to pull but a combination of my knees and and right hand extracted it. I quickly tossed the device into the dark, shutting my eyes.

Howls, wild howls in voices I have never heard before, followed its detonation. I’ve been in many bad situations and seen some horrors but I have never felt like I did then yet it was only an audible terror. Getting to my feet I tested my ankle which screamed at me. Dropping down again, I felt for my laces, pulling them clear down to the ankle before wrapping them tightly around it. Standing again, it was still painful, but usable.

I leant against the wall and began to half-run, half-stagger along it hoping to avoid the creatures, praying they wouldn’t react from the blinding light of the flash-bang before I was able to put some distance between us. But there was something on the floor, I don’t know what, which I tripped over. I was able to break my fall with my right arm and a half-roll. Reaching down with my good hand to stand again, it happened upon a small device. A quick feel alerted me to the fact it was the activation device for the beacons I had dropped.

There were scraping sounds in the dark and howls and grunts but I ignored them and pressed the beacons into life. Surprised to see only some eighty percent of the beacons ahead, I glanced back to find the rest behind me. In their light I could see Austerley being held by a creature. It seemed bulky, even in the poor light and possibly had others congregated around it. Austerley was in pain but was making no sound. His eyes were wide open and showed such a profound horror. There was no need for a cry to express it.

I should have left him. Yes Officer, I repeat that a lot. Trust me, I think it often. They seemed more interested in him anyway. Nothing was chasing me at that point, as far as I could tell. I could have sneaked away, just left the insane fool to a well deserved fate. But like I said before, I’m a professional like yourself Officer. I might not have a badge but there’s an internal code.

Searching the floor, I recognised the shape of my grenades despite the poor light. There was the shape of a gun close by as well, I prayed with a clip that wasn’t empty. I’d say there was a plan forming but really, it was a gung-ho moment. Three grenades. One after another. In a direction that was away from the wall and would cause most damage I hoped to the creatures holding Austerley. I turned my head from each blast, shielding my eyes.

Following the last explosion, I ran towards where Austerley had been and found him lying on his back. His eyes were wide open, the whites reflecting the beacon’s light but there was no motion in them. I slapped him hard and he responded. Grabbing his hair, I pulled him up and told him to run. But he shrieked in one of those languages and so I pointed him and booted him in the arse. What? Yes, ass as you say. It was then I threw up. Man, the stink. I realised I was treading on the insides of creatures and was thankful of the poor light. But we couldn’t wait so I drove myself after Austerley.

A good job that I did for I heard other creatures stirring and coming after us. Whenever I saw shadows behind us I fired into the dark. As we reached the last beacon, I dove to the ground seeking the twine. My fingers found the blessed cord and shouting at Austerley to follow I started along the string’s path. But the stupid fool didn’t follow. He was wild and hysterical. I hadn’t got this far to leave him behind. So, in the little light the beacons gave at this distance, I managed to run around Austerley, catching him in a loop of twine, and began the string’s path again, pulling the crazed professor behind me.

Hanging by a thread! Will our heroes emerge from the depths? Join us in two days time, or if you can’t wait, read it all on Wattpad now.

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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The Mill – A Writer’s Greatest Tool

I see dozens of blog posts explaining the virtues of various tools in aiding a writer. Different programs for your computer or apps for your tablet. Keeping files of characters, mapping out stories and completing various assessment exercises about your characters. These things can certainly have their place, depending on your method of work and time available. But there is one tool we all need whatever the genre and whatever the age range of our readers.

millI call it the Mill. It costs nothing except having an unkind mind to those creations we love. Brutal and effect, it transforms stories and ideas and is never exhausted. And all you have to do is place your prized, highly honed, precious character into it. And then crank the handle. And then crank it some more.

In my forthcoming novel, I have two main characters, Kirkgordon (ex-bodyguard, bored now with civilian life) and Austerley (pathological seeker of all things dark and disturbing). My first action was to threw them into the Mill and to work out what they really hated about each other. Faith, looks, success, knowledge, women all emerged as the rough edges on the mill stones.Then I cranked thewpid-crescendo_3_mock_up.jpg handle again and the Mill threw up a woman into the mix. One they both hungered for. Although this caused a friction between the characters, it had to be augmented and so by cranking the handle again, another woman, a family, a lack of looks and a desire to control appeared.

By this stage we didn’t even have a nemesis. So the handle turns. Each character placed in the Mill to find out which millstones best ground them down. And the whole cavalcade becomes quite dark. That’s when the sifting begins. The traits that raise these characters above the situations come by sieving off their husk and finding the good flour underneath. It takes time. Sometimes it takes paper and pen. Other times a walk and a clear mind. But the result is a novel full of life and dynamic interaction that smells real to the reader.

So by all means take whatever tools that you may need but don’t forget this one. Use the Mill, produce stories that shows you have no regard for the characters’ welfare and watch them struggle. And your reader will identify and commit to these wonderful characters you hold precious deep within.wpid-logo-horizontal.jpg.jpeg

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!