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Judith Rook  (with Alison Dere)

Writer, Reader and general Book Fan

My very first MS ready for Publication

Towards the end of 2015 I set myself a major task and gave myself a specific goal.  I decided to re-work the first two sci-fi stories that I wrote and prepare them for print publication.

Both are inspired by contemporary cosmology and deal with the idea of the multiverse and the possibility of parallel worlds.

The revision of the first MS is completed, and I feel more than happy with the result. It has taken me three full months of very hard work but now I’m ready to roll.
I have not quite decided whether to publish it online or, as I first intended, send it into the print market and hope that it is accepted by a publisher or agent.  I will let a couple of weeks go by before I decide finally.

City (2)

Here is the first chapter.

CONNECTION POINT

by   Judith Rook  ©  2014

 CHAPTER 1

Peter Williams swore.  It helped.  There were no children or women around, and if any men heard him, it was their bad luck.  It was either swearing or kicking something, and a man in his sixties should not be seen laying into a baggage carousel.  What was the point of business class if you had to wait for your luggage?  It had upset the airline people.  It had upset him!  How could travelling cases just disappear?  Two of the airline staff had gone off to enquire.  That was twenty minutes ago, and nothing had happened since.  At this hour of the morning, the international arrivals lounge was just about empty.

But what else could he expect?  A trouble-free journey from Western Australia to Leeds/Bradford in the UK?  Not bloody likely!   Grayne, the alien leader, wanted Peter back, to become his helper again.  Once more the other dimension was pushing its way into his life, stirring things up.  He thought he had forgotten – no, he had forgotten – Grayne’s headquarters, the Place of Connection; he did not believe in it now, thank you very much! Whatever had happened there, if it had happened, had been a fantasy, a twist of the mind, although thirty years ago it had got him out of England and across to the other side of the world for the rest of his life.

Here came his luggage, on a trolley pushed by an apologetic airport official, and a Customs window was still open.  But he could put the bags into overnight storage and go back to Australia tomorrow.  Why was he here?  Just because he remembered making a promise?  But at the time he had been desperate and when Grayne, his master, had asked, Peter had given his word willingly.

He would spend the night in a city hotel.  It didn’t commit him to anything.

The intense golden radiance dimmed. Paramax, First of the Governing Council, took shape briefly and addressed the most mature and complex of his offspring.

“Your helper has moved. He is making for the controller’s portal. He will be available to you again.”

The custom was that subordinates remained silent, but the scion’s energy surged.

“You have called him back. You may speak.”

“I have.”

“You know the danger. He will be hunted.”

“I am prepared for the adversary; I wait only for the controller.  She will return soon.”

“Your helper is not prepared. He must be protected until the maker joins you.”

“I will protect him. I will not meet him.”

 At his time of life, Peter could adjust to change, but the new face of the city centre was startling. Sixty years ago, when the Clean Air Act had come in, the buildings, blackened with the soot of a hundred years, had been blasted to their original golden sandstone. That had been good enough but now those buildings were reflected in a wide sheet of water. A mirror pool? In Bradford? Good grief! Peter turned from the hotel window.  No distractions.  He needed to think, he needed to decide.

 Terror was always sweet, and so much fear could be extracted from the human mind. The makers who served him did not enjoy the taste. They found the vibrations of despair too disturbing, too rich for their capacity, but he forced the absorption on them, anyway. It was amusing to watch and bound the makers to him even more firmly.

It was unfortunate that lately one or two of the weaker ones had returned to chaos.

“Great lord, there is a message.”

He dropped the half-drained material body. “Take this for distribution. What is the message?”

“Master Grayne’s human helper has emerged again. Its pattern has been detected. It may be moving towards the Place of Connection.”

“Is its location exactly known?”

“No, great lord, only the pattern has been sensed.”

At last! The proto-master heaved his vast power out of its resting field, preparing to enter the flux which would take him into the human world.

“Instruct the Madon to join me.” 

In this matter, his lieutenant would be needed.  He would find this human helper and through it he would destroy his enemy.

 Across the square was the railway station where thirty years ago, early in the morning and with no-one to see him leave, Peter had taken the train south, cutting himself off completely from the incredible events which he had experienced. Events which, buried deeply in his memory, had lately been wrenched back to the surface of his mind. He did not want them there. He wanted them to retreat, to subside, and that could happen if he returned to Australia immediately. Would it matter if everyone thought he was in the first stages of some mental problem? He could bear that. What he might not be able to bear was to see Grayne again.

Five weeks ago he had received the press cutting from Alexander, and the carefully suppressed memories had welled up and flooded his mind, taken him over, dominated him. Peter’s comfortable semi-retired life in a leafy Perth suburb became shadowy and unsatisfactory, and three weeks later he booked a flight to England.

“Why are you suddenly going to England?” asked his sister, Madeleine.  “There’s nothing there for you now; you’ve always said that.”

“I think I need a break from here, that’s all.”

“Will you contact Alexander?”

Peter did not say that Alexander had already contacted him.

“Are you coming back?”

“I should think so, but there may be a couple of things I have to do first.”

And that was as close as he came to telling Madeleine that he was not going to England for a holiday but to act on the promise made years ago; the promise which meant that, when he saw his sister again, he could have lived thirty . . . fifty more years, although Madeleine would never know it.

It would happen, because now Peter grimly accepted that he could not run back to Australia.  He admitted finally that he needed to see Grayne again, wanted to speak to him, wanted to join him in following the strange plans that his alien mentor believed in, whatever they might lead to.

The controller had returned to her ingathering for renewal. Grayne could do nothing until she emerged, refreshed and powerful again. The years spent in the human world had wearied her, although she had learned so much more about the troublesome and recalcitrant race. She had made no human friends, as he had, but she had watched and thought.

“The controller will assist you in this matter?” His genitor’s query was bland but it hid knowledge. “If a confrontation with the enemy becomes inevitable, will you face him, joined with her once again?”

“She would never agree. She gave up too much in our first bonding.”

“Ah, then, the risk will be great. I do not wish to lose my scion. Is the human so important to you?”

“Nothing could be more important than Peter.”

“I remember the helper; he has courage. Do you also remember; he will be pursued.”

 Soon after breakfast, Alexander rang. Coming down the line were half-distant noises of animals and machinery.  Alexander owned High Leylands, a substantial farm holding given over mainly to the rearing of sheep and cattle, and Alexander was preparing to hand the farm on to his son, Michael, who had been to agricultural college and had modern ideas about diversification and the possibility of producing bio-fuel mass.

Now, by telephone between farm and hotel room, preliminary arrangements were made. Alexander would collect his cousin around six-thirty that evening; they would be back at High Leylands by eight, and Peter would settle in before a late supper.

On the subject of where Peter would sleep, Alexander was a little surprising.  “We thought you may like to stay in the old cottage at the top of the field behind the main buildings,” he said.  “You’ll probably remember it as a bit of a ruin but over the years we’ve renovated it.  It was where Michael lived before he got married but it’s too small for a young family and Michael and his wife have gone to live in Oldwick, still convenient for the farm, but nearer to his wife’s people.

“Everyone’s happy but the cottage stands empty.  It would warm it up a bit to have someone living there again, even if only for three or four weeks.  The place isn’t what I’d call stylish, but it’s comfortable enough and you can be completely self-contained, if it would suit.”

It would suit very well indeed.   Could it be that Alexander realised that his cousin had things to do, and he was offering a base where Peter could be independent and come and go without much remark?

“It’s an excellent idea, Alexander, and thank you both for the offer.  I hope we’ll be able to come to some financial arrangement, but I deeply appreciate your hospitality.  After all, I’m practically a stranger.”

“Well, in the sense that I haven’t seen you for sixteen years and I’ve about forgotten what you look like, yes, you’re a stranger.  On the other hand, you’re family and I remember that we got on very well when you lived with us and we were young fellows in our early thirties, before you disappeared to Australia.”

Alexander paused as though he might be gathering his thoughts for something further but then continued: “Well, we can talk about all that once you’re settled in, but there’s something else.  I haven’t told Fiona that you’re here because of that piece from The Advertiser.  She seems to have the idea that you’re thinking of coming back permanently and this visit is in the way of a preliminary survey.”

“There could be some truth in that,” replied Peter.  “I’ll have a good look round the district while I’m here, and if I find a house that I really like I might decide to stay.”

“Right, then; expect me around half past six,” said Alexander, and rang off.

The proto-master stared out into the human world.

 “It is not to my liking.  There are many troubled energies, but not enough.  There is too much strength of self; too much hope for goodness.  I can change that. But what does Grayne of the Gold seek here?  He cares nothing for goodness.”

He turned to his lieutenant.  “What does the maker desire?”

“This one desires revenge on the human.  This one desires to find the Peter and torment him.”

The dark lord showed him a place, high-lying, earth-fast and strong, a group of human buildings with one standing apart.

“Watch here.  When you see the master’s helper, inform me with no delay.  If you wish, you may contact him, but do not reveal yourself.  You will enjoy his fear.”

 

 

 

End of 2015 Greeting

Well, tomorrow is Christmas Day and we’re looking for slightly cooler temperatures in my part of Western Australia, although they are destined to soar towards New Year.

Already I am looking ahead, into my 2016 writing future. I know that many people feel that having more than one work in progress is perhaps not a good thing, but I have begun three new projects and I am writing them simultaneously with no particular stress building up.

One of them is a short story on the theme of the emergence of a hero from unlikely material and his first victory over an enemy. This is already directed towards an anthology of hero stories; that is, if the editor gives it the thumbs up.

The other two projects are: first, the ongoing third novel in the “Circe” series where the evil force which has attached itself to the pirate planet Lantora begins to move towards Circe and First Home. In this book the arch-enemies Lewis Brock (my main male character) and Darland Courvenier (my charismatic villain) are forced into a reluctant alliance for the sake of survival, while Tethyn (my main female character) grows in power.

Then there is a novella which is building itself nicely around the idea of alien interest in the planet earth and its humans. This is what some people would call a ‘trope’ but what I call an almost archetypal theme and one which may offer some lines for humans to follow into a possible future. At least I hope the finished book will give people some grounds for thought. Sherri S.Tepper dealt with the same idea in her masterful and humorous 2000 novel “The Fresco”.

I began writing on this theme in 2012, in my first two sci-fi books. Because they were my first novels, and because they brought nothing but agents’ rejections, I decided not to epublish them but to rewrite them, and one day they will be published on line – perhaps in 2016. Meanwhile, the novella will carry the theme a little further.

One further project in 2016 is to arrange for print on demand versions of my three books. I would like to hold them in my hands; I would like to see them as real books, and I would like to take photographs of them to use in my marketing.

We’re entering the phase of the great story which involves the three visitors and here they are, from down-under. Then here are my favourite teasers for each of my on line books. I’ll include their links : http://geni.us/p1w2   http://geni.us/m1o2p    http:/geni.us/T1T2WoD.

The final thing is for me to wish everyone all the very best for the Festive Season and warmest wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Judith Rook Books's photo.Judith Rook Books's photo.Judith Rook Books's photo.Judith Rook Books's photo.

SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGY

Hellsgrannies1_edited-3

This week I was really pleased  to receive the cover for “Hell’s Grannies”, an anthology of stories about aging women, some of whom are ladies, some of whom are not, but all of whom are in their own way determined that getting old will not get them down.  The editor, April Grey writes:

“Aging is not for the faint-hearted, yet there is little choice in the matter. You can take good care of your health, your finances, your loved ones and still life will throw a curve ball.

“In this anthology you will find tales of courage, of women who rise to the challenges of time in many different ways.

“Some stories are of women aging gracefully but their tales are still kickass because they have a lot to overcome. Other stories are humorous, because if you can’t age gracefully, then by all means age disgracefully.

“And there are a couple of very dark tales as well. I think you will delight in them as much as I do.”

I have a story in the anthology.  Called “Watchers of Old” it was inspired by the idea of the three Fates of classical Roman and Greek mythology.  I wondered how such strange, archetypal figures would appear in a simple contemporary social setting and wrote the story in answer.   I had been working on this theme earlier in the year – in September – but nothing really came fully together until late in October.   The release date is December 23rd this year and it will be out as an ebook and also a paperback.

 

 

Very Helpful Science Bloggers

 It is very strange, but within the last two days I have come across the work of two bloggers, who I believe will help me bring as much authenticity as possible into my science fiction novels.

One of the writers presents an overview of recent science discoveries and trends, and the other discusses concepts such as dark matter. They both seem to possess a very well-developed sense of humour and both are extremely accomplished writers.

The name of the overview presenter has disappeared from my inbox, but I have subscribed to his blog and newsletter and I will post his name when contact is established. The other writer, T.E. Mark, https://temarkauthor.wordpress.com/discusses concepts in a highly amusing style, and both will help me keep reasonably close to the straight and narrow of physics, even if they may not be physics as they relate exactly to this particular universe.

What these two writers do is a generous and nice thing. Blogs of this quality are not put together in five minutes – not even in five hours – and I can only hope that they will continue with their very interesting and definitely helpful posts for some time to come

Author
TEMARKAUTHOR.WORDPRESS.COM

Prize Draw on Facebook

 This is a Prize Draw which is running on my Facebook Fan Page:   https://www.facebook.com/JudithRookBooks.  (Highlight the link, then right click, then left click on the “Go To” tab.)   I am sorry that the draw only extends to the US and Canada, but postage to other countries is very high.
Judith Rook Books's photo.
Judith Rook Books's photo.Judith Rook Books's photo.

PRIZE DRAW (USA & CAN ONLY)

GRAND PRIZE

Notebook & Pen
Trinket tin
Chocolate spoon and bookmark
Page Peeper
Mint tin
$5 AGC

Second Prize
$5 AGC
___________________________________________________________-
To be in for a chance to win all these goodies, read on.

(REQUIRED) Buy one of Judith’s books and then post the invoice on this thread. (see below) All books are $2.99

(Extra 1x entry) Tag two friends onto this post.

(Extra 2x entries) Write and post a review of one of Judith’s books on Amazon.

PLANET WOMAN
Sci-fi/romance/mystery
A head-strong female from the planet Circe and a powerful man from planet First Home are the only two that can save the intellectual planet.
myBook.to/PW

MAN OF TWO PLANETS
Sci-fi/romance/thriller
A man from Circe travels to First Home to train as a solider. But he carries a dark side with him.
myBook.to/MAN2

THE THREE WAYS OF DESIRE
Fantasy, erotica mixed with danger and thrills.
To save Yolande from being sold, two powerful men agree to share her.
myBook.to/3ways

This contest has nothing to do with Facebook
All books are $2.99

Describe, in One Paragraph!

 Judith Rook Books   (Taken from my Facebook Fan Page)

I was scrolling down the timeline in the “Science Fiction and Fantasy” Group. I came across a post by Isaac Aubrey Law:

“Fairytales in Outer Space”, I’ll need to remember if I want to stay in a friendly mood, especially if Star Wars is considered that. Anyway, it is rather Fun to create entire worlds and populate them with imaginary species. I’ve been working so hard to define myself as a storyteller, but in a single paragraph, how would you describe your particular stories?

This is my response to the post:
My stories open portals into other universes. Not windows to look out of, but doors to walk through. They are stargates and meta-light travel; they activate the imagination and sense of wonder that such things can be. My stories exist because the human mind will always look beyond what can be known.

Judith Rook Books's photo.

Publicising Books

Here is a publicity photo for “Planet Woman” and another for “The Three Ways of Desire”. They are going the rounds of Twitter and Facebook.  The one with the legs should generate some interest, I would think.

To use the http: links from this site, highlight the link for a picture and right click on it.  You will see a “Go to . . .” instruction.  Left click on that, and you will be at the book’s page.

Judith Rook Books's photo.

http://geni.us/p1w2

Two powerful men have to share a woman to save her.

http://geni.us/T1T2WoD

Judith Rook Books's photo.

Advanced Help for Authors

“Writing Deep Point of View” is the latest in Rayne Hall’s 13-book “Writer’s Craft” series, and it is out on Amazon Kindle. If authors think they know everything about PoV, this book will probably tell them something different.   Posted here are the introduction and first chapter to give readers an idea of the attractive way this interesting and particularly useful material is presented.      I will be writing a review of the book.

Judith Rook Books's photo.

INTRODUCTION

Do you want to give the readers such a vivid experience that they feel the events of the story are real and they’re right there? Do you want them to forget their own world and worries, and live in the main character’s head and heart.

The magic wand for achieving this is Deep Point of View.  Point of View is a recent development. Victorian authors didn’t know its power. They wrote stories from a god-like perspective, knowing everything, seeing into everyone’s mind and soul. 20th century writers discovered that when they let the reader into just one person’s head, stories became more exciting and real.

If we take this one step further, and delve so deeply into one person’s mind that the reader’s awareness merges with that character’s, we have Deep Point of View.

Readers love it, because it gives them the thrill of becoming a different person. The reader doesn’t just read a story about a gladiator in the arena, an heiress in a Scottish castle, an explorer in the jungle, a courtesan in Renaissance Venice—she becomes that gladiator, heiress, explorer, courtesan.

Deep Point of View hooks readers from the start. After perusing the sample, he’ll click ‘buy now’ because he simply must read on, and when he’s reached the last page, he’s grown addicted to the character, doesn’t want the story to end, and buys the next book in the series at once.

A reader who has been in the grip of Deep Point of View may find other books dull and shallow. Who wants to read about a pirate, when you can be a pirate yourself? Immersed in Deep PoV, the reader enjoys the full thrills of the adventure from the safety of her armchair.

In this book, I’ll reveal the powerful techniques employed by bestselling authors, and I’ll show you how to apply them to rivet your readers. I’ll start with the basics of Point of View—if you’re already familiar with the concept, you can treat them as a refresher—and then guide you to advanced strategies for taking your reader deep.

This is not a beginners’ book. It assumes that you have mastered the basics of the writer’s craft and know how to create compelling fictional characters. If you like, you can use this book as a self-study class, approaching each chapter as a lesson and completing the assignments at the end of each session.

To avoid clunky constructions like ‘he or she did this to him or her’ I use sometimes ‘he’ and sometimes ‘she’. With the exception of Chapter 6, everything I write applies to either gender. I use British English, so my grammar, punctuation, spellings and word choices may differ from what you’re used to in American.

Now let’s explore how you can lead your readers deep into your story.

Rayne Hall

 

CHAPTER 1: FRESH PERSPECTIVES

Instead of explaining Point of View, I’ll let you experience it. Let’s do a quick practical exercise.

Wherever you are right now, look out of the window (or step out into the open, or do whatever comes closest). If possible, open the window and stick your head out. What do you notice?

Return to your desk or notebook, and jot down two sentences about your spontaneous observations.

You can jot down anything—the cars rushing by, the rain-heavy clouds drawing up on the horizon, the scent of lilacs, the wasps buzzing around the dumpster, the aeroplane scratching the sky, the empty beer cans in the gutter, the rain-glistening road, whatever. Don’t bother writing beautiful prose—only the content matters. And only two sentences.

When you’ve done this—but not before—read on.

*

*

*

Have you written two sentences about what you observed outside the window? Good. Now we’ll have fun.

Imagine that you’re a different person. Pick one of these:

  1. A 19-year-old female student, art major, currently planning to create a series of paintings of townscapes, keenly aware of colours and shapes.2. A professional musician with sharp ears and a keen sense of rhythm.3. An eighty-year-old man with painful arthritic knees which get worse in cold weather. He’s visiting his daughter and disapproves of the place where she’s living these days.4. A retired health and safety inspector.

    5. An architect whose hobby is local history.

    6. A hobby gardener with a keen sense of smell.

  1. A security consultant assessing the place where a foreign royal princess is going to walk among the people next week.Once again, stick your head out of the window. What do you notice this time? Return to your desk and jot down two sentences.

I bet the observations are very different! Each time, you saw, heard and smelled the same place—but the first time you experienced it as yourself (from your Point of View) and the second time, as a fictional character (from that character’s PoV).

You may want to repeat this exercise with another character from the list, to deepen your insight and practice the skill. If you’re an eager learner, do all seven. This will give you a powerful understanding of how PoV works.

Now let’s take it one step further: Imagine you’re the main character from the story you’re currently writing (or have recently finished). How would he experience this place? What would he notice above all else? Again, write two sentences.

Now you’ve experienced the power of PoV, this is how you will write all your fiction.

ASSIGNMENT

Repeat this exercise in a different place—perhaps when you have time to kill during a train journey or in the dentist’s waiting room.

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