The Art of War: Anthology for Charity won the best fantasy anthology for the Reddit r/fantasy Stabby Awards, and I couldn't be happier. Excellent news for the other winners, (check out the announcement for the winners), but, well done to me, and the other 39 authors for producing work worthy of the award. And I must not forget Petros Triantafyllou for putting it all together, (still raising) money for Doctors Without Borders.
I was super proud to be asked to be a part of the anthology, helping those perilous people after such devastating situations from country conflict and earthly catastrophes. Now it seems the 40 authors including myself, have been recognised for their stories by winning the Stabby Award for best anthology 2018.
If you read, enjoyed and voted, I thank you. If you simply read and enjoyed, I'm still happy.
So, it's about time I put something up here, didn't realise till now I haven't blogged at all this year, in what was looking to be a fintastic year of writing. Did this work out? I think you can guess the answer.
No, no, and no. I tried, I really did, but the position I landed at the start of the year fell through. And so it was that I strived to scrape money together to pay the bills. You have to, don't you. There was a lot of worry over this, it cannot be helped, and so I didn't feel much like writing, worrying whether you can afford to pay the rent, the electric, and so forth, will do this to you.
Now, after shifting around a bit with jobs, I am hopefully in a better position to write. Do you know what, as I write this I feel like a parrot. Yes, I do, and I am getting tired of it. I am a writer, it is in me to tell stories. And you know what else, I'm sick of talking the talk, not being able, for one reason or another, to walk the walk. To heck with it, I am doing this, and you'll read no more from me till my next release day which will be an underwater adventure about Ealor, who was hinted at in Beyond Endless Tides. I just hope you guys will like the new books, and that I can make merfolk as a real for you in your lives as they are for me.
On the biking front, still LOVING IT, haven't looked back. I went for my big bike test earlier in the year in March, and passed with no advisories. GO me. And though I played around with the Kowasaki I found the slumped down position uncomfortable on my arthritic arms and when leaning forward to relieve the aches, my back would get sore. I therefore got rid and got a Yamaha 600 Diversion, a slower bike sure, but with winter coming it's a practical ride for the wetter conditions.
Take care, ride safe.
-Charles F. Bond.
It's the beginning of a new year, and I just wanted to give you all a round up of what 2017 was for me, and what you can expect for 2018.
2017 wasn't my finest year as far as writing is concerned. Though I have every adoration for the brothers Mark and Paul Hayward for their support and opportunity to gain what I thought was a good work/write lifestyle, it just didn't work out. So it was that in Feb/March I gave up my position with them and made the solid decision to give up life on piggeries in favour of my writing. I realised, though knew much sooner but wasn't ready to admit it, that working with the animals I adore left me too shattered to really get into the zone of working with fictional characters. And so with the help of a friend I've known a very long time, I jumped ship and moved close to the southern coastal town of Portsmouth.
Back in March I landed myself a job, but this didn't cover my total outgoings for the month, and the stress of worry of not having enough meant I didn't write. I then took on another job, but this meant I was working 15 hours a day with one of these jobs losing me 2 hours for travel, in essence these were 18 hour days. I wasn't getting enough time to sleep let alone write, so I abandoned the one paying less, but again found I wasn't getting enough. Though I stuck it out a few further months, I finally found a job I could work, paying good money for a few days of hard graft. Alas, this gives me the time I need to work the craft I love.
I don't tell you this to feel sorry for me, it's just life. We make our choices and sometimes they pay off, other times they do not. But if we want something badly enough; a new house, a new car, a way of life, we must strive to face whatever obstacles are in our way and move forward, always moving to make dreams a reality.
I read a quote a few months back, "We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are." - Tobias Wolfe. It is very true. Believe in your dreams, believe in your ability to make them realities and never give up.
It wasn't until September I secured the job I'm currently doing, and for the next two months I got right into my writing working in the land of Evania. I hadn't seen any of the stuff I'd previously written, and so a lot of re-reading was done before I set to. It didn't go well. Though I loved where the story was, the back of my mind kept telling me the aspect I'd created didn't fit the world, certainly the reasons behind why my magicians found themselves in their cave dwelling, secluded from all others, failed to tick any boxes for me as a reader. A new storyline came to me for one of my characters, but to write this I need to scrub the whole concept of the cave dwelling. I've spent many, many hours writing about this cave, bringing it to life on the screen, so I really don't want to throw it all away. I was becoming agitated and frustrated with the whole thing and feeling like I wasn't a writer and that I didn't want to be at my desk at all. It was at this time Petros Triantafyllou came to my aid. I worked with him in 2016 by donating The White Queen into the Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser to raise money for Doctors Without Borders, we gained $4400 for the charity, so when he invited those 100 authors who'd contributed books the previous year to do it all again in the form of putting together an anthology, I jumped at it. The theme was war, and a story jumped at me almost from the offset. I fell straight into it and wove some magic with words, re-instilling my passion for the craft, and invigorating the need to create story.
Art of War is out 13th February 2018. All proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. Pre-orders for e-books available via Amazon. (Paperbacks to follow.)
Writing the story for Art of War had reminded me how much I love the short story, so after I had sent the final draft to Petros I looked around and found a ghost story publishers open for submissions. In essence they run competitions, and the winners are then put together in a yearly anthology. While waiting for their latest anthology, which I bought, to arrive, I had a choice. Go back and try and make something of Evania, or do something else. My mind answered almost instantly throwing up the continuation of what I had started with Beyond Endless Tides, I was always going to come back to this in time, but the story came to me so vividly, I had to do something with it. It took me two days to write a rough outline, all the while throwing me the beginning scene, and I was in, I was hooked. The ghost story has turned out to be a bit of a horror, and I loved writing every word of it. It shall receive one more final look over before I throw enter it into the competition.
To end this part of the blog, I'm back on it people. I'm waking and sitting down to write, with coffee by my side.and loving it. Long may it continue.
The other thing I wanted to share with you guys is that on making the move to the south coast, I have got into biking. This came about when I applied for the second job I mentioned above. It was to be a moped delivery rider delivering car parts. The application was a success when I told them I had a 125 moped (my mate said I could use the one he had hanging around) and a relevant CBT. Err, what was I saying. I had no CBT, but with a quick call from my mate to the good folks of Kickstart Rider Training, who he did all his training with, I was set to complete my CBT the following Saturday. The day went well while I was in their forecourt, and I really enjoyed my time going around and learning how to control a two wheeled beast. The nerves grabbed me when we got on the road, however. I had one of the tutors behind me, and anytime I am watched I get agitated, and always mess up. The instructor saw this in me and periodically told me to calm down, and though I tried, I was unable. I didn't knock anyone down, nor damage their bike, but I did feel I wasn't going to get my certificate, so it was a great surprise when they handed it over at the end of the day. All I needed, the instructor said, was to get out there a get some miles under the wheels. And using the bike every day I soon clocked up plenty, on this: a Pulse Firenze.
This bike ran into a few problems with carrying such heavy burdens in its big box we managed to attach to the back; I'm sure you've seen them around, and so I upgraded after I think it was 2 months, to this: a Skyjet sj125-23. (The rear box in this pic is a fairly standard box for carrying your lid, lunch, and what-nots, the one I had was the cube for carrying many small items such as filters, discs, pads and assortments.)
Having spent the year on 125 bikes from March/April, I've found an absolute love for being on a bike and am ready and determined, as we enter the new year, to up the anti and go for my big bike license. My first big bike is ready and waiting for me, I found it going cheap and an opportunity to good to miss, so went ahead and purchased a Kowasaki ZZR 600 D, which gives me a few months to get it up to scratch as far as getting it through its MOT is concerned. I don't have a picture of it at the moment, but will make a fuss about it when I'm riding her, which I plan to by the end of March, if not sooner.
In finishing, I'm starting the year as I mean to go on. It has taken a while, but now I'm in a position to better push for that, what at times feels an illustrious ambition, becoming a full time writer, I'm writing every day, I'm happy and life is good. Follow your dreams and make them your purpose, and if it is something you truly desire, you will love the doing of it and an amazing sense of fulfillment will ensue within and you will flourish.
Don't forget, Art of War, out 13th February. Proceeds going to a good cause.
-Charles F. Bond
On 13th February 2018, look out for the anthology to beat all anthologies, Art of War. The wonderful Petros Triantafyllou of Booknest.eu has organized another Fabulous Fantasy Fundraiser for the charity Doctors Without Borders, inviting 40 authors to write short stories in the theme of war.
With all proceeds going to the charity none of us are getting paid for our contributions, and I am more than happy to help fund the cause.
The dream team of authors are:
Sebastien De Castell
Rob J. Hayes
Michael R. Fletcher
Anna Smith Spark
Michael R. Miller
Laura M Hughes
D. Thourson Palmer
Thomas R. Gaskin
With the help of:
Editorial Assistance by Tim Marquitz
Interior Art by Jason Deem
Cover/Interior Print Design by Shawn T. King
Cover Art by John Anthony Di Giovanni
Art of War is available for pre-order via amazon.
Add it to your 'Want To Read' shelf on Goodreads.com
It has been some time since I last posted on my site. In my defence I've been busy moving from Suffolk to Hampshire and trying to settle into a routine of work and writing. It hasn't been going as well as it could, but having changed careers thrice since my move I think I may have a good work/write lifestyle now, and am getting on with a new story.
In the last month or so, however, I've come to realise why many authors don't talk about what they're currently working on. I say this because, though Evania's characters are plying for my attention, I can't quite seem to grasp the thing as a whole. Everytime I sit down to write there, it seems I get overwhelmed with many plotlines wanting to be heard at once, too many I feel, to the extent I've been dreading sitting at my desk.
What does this mean? Simply it means I'm working on something else. Having written two shorts, I'm getting on with writing the next installment to the story I started with Morg and Ethos in Beyond Endless Tides. I'm not going to talk about where that is going, but I am excited to write again, and wake in the morning thinking about that next passage, that next scene, and after a quick break of fast, I get straight in the chair of enchantment (where all the magic happens).
I hope this year has been kind to you all, and you have grown in some way in your chosen field of expertise. If you are doing what you want in life, you are a star, keep going. If you dream of doing something other than what you are doing, make it a reality. There's no finer way to live life than being who you truly desire to be.
Being less than a fortnight from Christmas, I wish you all a fintastic day. Shroud it with loved ones, and make it an extra magical day for the wee ones in your life.
Look after yourselves, and may next year be joyous and prosperous to you all.
-Charles F. Bond
Good evening all. I have the pleasure in revealing to you the map of Evania. I have to say I got a thrill at seeing the world in my head laid out in this form. The wonderful artist Jamie Noble Frier, @thenobleartist, (check out his website at thenobleartist.com), created this artwork for my forthcoming books from the world. The first series, THE DRAGON'S EYE QUEST is currently being worked on and its first book should be ready later this year, if I can get my head and fingers into gear. You may have read posts by me indicating that the first book should have been out long before now, but I want to get this right and being a winger, not an outliner, I write a lot of a story only to go back and make many changes. What can I say, it'll be done when its done.
If you want to get a feel for the world, check out my short story THE LITTLE MIRACLE. (There is a story brewing from this, a second novelette perhaps).
1987 was the year I received terrible news, and learned at the tender age of 7 and three-quarters, the harsh reality of life: we don’t live forever. My best friend back then was Andrew Dockrill and he along with his mother and sister went on holiday in Europe. I don’t know where they went, I was too young to remember, but none of them returned. They were among the 193 that perished in the disaster when the Herald of Free Enterprise collapsed just off the coast of Zeebrugge.
I remember during break-time, Andrew and me would sit on a bench in front of the bike sheds in the playground, and chat about our favourite cartoon, The Chuckle Hounds. On that day, 6th March, I remember looking around the room while the class was told of the tragedy and how Andrew wouldn’t be coming home. Some of my class mates cried. I couldn’t I told myself, ‘I must be strong for them.’ Most looked my way, knowing how close we were, and I was true to my word. It wasn’t until I got home did my cheeks run with sorrow.
For many, swimming classes were a lot of fun. I would get into the pool, swim to the other side and when I turned to come back, found Andrew not with me but sitting on the side, crying. I never knew what was wrong exactly, but he was my best friend and I wasn’t going to let him sit up there alone. I swam back to where I had started, climbed out of the pool and sat next to him. I’m not sure what we talked about, but soon tears were forgotten and we’d giggle and laugh, most likely about the Chuckle Hounds, or some cartoon or other we’d seen.
What I still wonder, and what harrowed me for many nights after, was whether Andrew had an inner sense, a foreboding of what was to come.
The commemorative tree at Abbott’s Hall School planted for Andrew and his sister Emma, plus Mark Lenox (whom I did not know). I played my part and helped dig a portion of the ground, along with any of my classmates who wanted to be a part of the momentous occasion. It still stands there today.
Yes I'm a few weeks late with this, but they say it's fashionable don't they.
So what to expect from me this year. Well, in a previous post you may have read a little about my dedicating my Beyond Endless Tides series to Andrew Dockrill. I can hardly believe it but this year marks the thirtieth, THIRTIETH anniversary of the ferry disaster that shook so many lives. (I'll be writing a full post about Andrew and the Zebrugge Ferry Disaster nearer the time.) I am currently putting together an omnibus edition of the Beyond Endless Tides trilogy and this will, or should, I think, be out in Hardback for release on 6th March. I will also be creating a leather bound edition, possibly two copies only. One will be available to win in a competition (to be announced later), the other, and the reason for creating a leather bound book will be going to author Patrick Rothfuss to be auctioned off to raise money for his charitable work with Heifers, a charity who give the less fortunate a heifer, which they take milk from, and produce more heifers for neighbours. They help with other bits and pieces too, and you can find out more at Heifers International. To find out more about Patrick Rothfuss and donate to win books and other assortments, check out Worldbuilders
I am planning to be very busy on writing over the next few months. Not only finishing the first manuscript from Evania, Dragon's Eye Quest series, but I also have another project in mind. I won't give too much away, but it is a thriller set in the modernish world. A girl in her early twenties receives a suspicious and horrifying email, from which sparks her to become her own investigator. I can't for the life of me think where the idea came from so can't give a valid answer. Saying that many of the happenings are from moments in my own life that got me thinking, 'What a way to die'. I'm hoping to have the full manuscript finished by the end of April, first draft anyway, and it is something I will look to publish next year.
The rest of the year I'm sure I'll write the second book in Dragon's Eye Quest, find a few short stories to write, which I find come to me as and when, and probably start thinking of Book 3 in Dragon's Eye Quest.
That's all from me for now.
Be good to those who are good to you. Piss on those who aren't, especially if they're on fire and you've had a good dose of wine. (OK, I've recently rallied through Game of Thrones in readiness for series 7.)
So the next installment of Beyond Endless Tides comes out in 6 days on the 3rd October. The Gradonzaras is the third novella in the trilogy series, and the last for a while. It wraps up the story, but leaves it very open for me to return to the undersea world in the near future, after I've written a few novels from Evania.
Before I go into that, I'd just like to say a few words about the debut series. My original idea for a merfolk story was an amalgamation of fantasy with sci fi. I sent this to John Jarrold, and he told me a few things that I was doing wrong with my writing, but more importantly he thought the concept in that story, odd. It got me thinking and the idea of merfolk needing to live on land came to mind, but I wanted to start from the beginning, ergo Morg's story. (Though, some may argue, this isn't the beginning, and I'd have to go farther back to when the very first mating took place. Which may be another novella at some stage.)) I've been fascinated with the ocean my whole life, and when I lost my best friend at 8 years old in the Zebrugge Ferry Disaster, I found a little comfort, on some distorted level in the back of my conscience, in believing in merfolk, and thinking he was rescued by one, changed into a merboy and has lived ever since in the depths. This is to a degree why I dedicate these books to Andrew.
Evania is what I'm about now, and what I'm scribbling notes on, well, I've been doing that a whole lotta years, but now I'm concentrating my attention on the world, where magic is drawn on from your Source in the body, with various ways to 'power up', dragons are in this world, but since the Great Purge, no more than two exist, though most only know about one. One must find the other for them to rise again. Will this happen? You'll have to wait and see, but Daykkor plays a pivotal role in their story. Daykkor is a rare breed himself for he is a natural, a very powerful magician. Having been kept apart from the world, like so many others when non-magicians became scared of magicians and started killing them, he knows nothing of his parents, and wants only the truth. Harried by nightmares of the large flying dragons in his dreams, if he should ever leave Ardonia, he will first find his true identity, then resign to discover more about why he's been having the nightmares.
More will follow as I write the first novel, and if you sign up to my newsletter you'll get the news first. Plus a free copy of The Little Miracle which is set in Evania. See right pane.
Charles F Bond is writer of fantasy and paranormal fiction. He wishes you much merriment in the pursuit of good reading.
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