Weird Stuff About Me

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No, believe it or not, this isn’t a continuation of my comedic “About Me” post from a few days back, but instead something true but possibly just as bizarre. Not exactly sure why I’m sharing this, but I promised a new post, so here you go.

Despite how it might seem with my ‘impeccable’ posting regularity (note the sarcasm there), I am not in actual fact perfect. There are odd imperfections, albeit ones 99.99% of the world’s population will ever witnessed, because they all take place at night.

There are two things which I’ll discuss, the first of which I don’t know the name to. So hopefully someone reading this might be a more medically/scientifically knowledgeable, in which case please do my curiosity a huge favour and leave a message explaining what it is so I know it exists and I’m not mad. You’ll have my eternal thanks.

Basically, I have these times where I’ll dream I’m flying or floating and then I wake up and actually slam into the bed, almost as if I had been levitating and crashed back to earth with my consciousness. Now, unless I’m an unknowing mutant, I’m guessing it’s a muscle problem? Something about the chemicals administered during the sleep cycles to treat them or whatever, I’m not Isaac Newton. Again, if this sounds familiar to anyone by all means, please enlighten me.

The second oddity about my sleep is known to me, however that doesn’t make it any less strange. Or, for that matter, sinister. It’s called Sleep Paralysis, and it’s slightly disturbing…

Very rarely, I will wake up suddenly and violently in the middle of the night to see shadowy figures standing over me whilst I’m pinned (crushingly, I might add) to the bed,  a demonic roar flooding my ears. This lasts for what seems like a terrifying eternity until I actually hear myself praying and begging for it to end, although I never have any will over what I say. Everything ends as suddenly as it had begun, and I fall heavily to sleep. I awake naturally in the morning, slightly disturbed and a bit ashamed – I like to think myself a rational person, for the most part, and I know none of it’s real, even when it’s happening. But that doesn’t still the terror. Fortunately, apart from those awkward feelings in the morning, there are no lasting effects.

Now, as I said before, this I know about: sleep paralysis dates back to the medieval days (at least, in theory, as although current medical knowledge at the time was thin on the ground, experts today find instances that match the symptoms). At the time, it was commonly mistaken for demonic possession, and for obvious reasons, having suffered from it for several years. But now we know that it’s to do with the chemicals released by the brain when asleep, chemicals that relax the muscles to a state of semi-paralysis (hence why most people don’t toss and turn, or roll out of bed)… Not only does sleep paralysis deliver an overdose on rare occasions, but on these occassions the brain will snap on when the rest of the body is still asleep and it gets confused as all hell. Hallucinations and panic attacks seem to be its way to deal with the impossibilities it’s witnessing, much to our distress. Sadly, being armed with knowledge doesn’t do squat to rectify the predicament, and I don’t know if I’ll ever recover, or if any night now could be my next attack. Like I said, there’s no lasting trauma when I wake up and can rationally tell myself what happened, but that doesn’t mean I dont dread the next attack.

What about you, fair readers? I’m sure I’m not alone with weird, wonderful and lesser known conditions; if you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear from you. And if you know what my first condition is, I’d love to hear from you? Is it tied to the sleep paralysis? Let me know what you thought of this, and I may well make a regular thing of exploring off conditions…

Until next time!

Dave

Guess Who’s Online?

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So, I finally have an internet connection at home. What does that mean as far as this blog is concerned? Well, for one thing I won’t be updating on my phone any more, so don’t worry about odd formatting errors.

Also, it’s far easier for me to type on a keyboard than on a small touchscreen. I’ll set myself a goal to post a new blog at least once every two days. Oh, and I’ll see if I can throw together some sort of cool lookout. Failing cool, something not so plain and boring.

That’s all for now – I’m off to teach myself how to make ebooks. Stay tuned for more news on that, as the first handful of short stories published will be completely free!

 

Dave

Blog Revival Plans & Novel Update!

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Hello, my little tiddlywinks! It is I, the Blogmaster General, here to inform all and sundry that I fully intend to return to this blog with a vengeance!

I’ll be posting reviews of not just the rest of the INVISIBLE FIENDS series, but the complete SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT and DEPARTMENT 19 series, too.

Why those two particular series, I hear you ask?

Because they’re awesome.

That is all.

No, really.

Oh, alright, here’s the secret: the good and kind people at HarperCollins Children’s Books have sent me copies of both the latest DEPT 19 book (BATTLE LINES) and the SKULDUGGERY spin-off, THE MALEFICENT SEVEN. Expect a rollercoaster of reviews to come!

Now, for the novel news: I submitted the first thirty pages of THE ENIGMA FILES to Brooks Sherman back in the middle of December, 2012 (as opposed to, erm, December 2013…? Eh, you know what I meant).

He finally had the chance to read it, liked what he read, and wants to read the entire thing! I sent it off this afternoon – fingers crossed!!

That is all.

No, really this time. You’re dismissed.

Dave

PS: Are you still here? Hmm, okay then, here’s some Super Saiyan French Fries:

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Happy? You may leave now.

My PitchWars Rollercoaster

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So, January 23rd is quickly approaching like a ravenous jaguar that’s just realised its prey got stuck in a bear-trap (this happens more often than you’d think. Seriously, watch Discovery once in a while), and I’ve finally finished the line-edits from all my betas, finishing with my mentor’s. It was a hard and informing journey, but now we’ve come to the biggest monster of them all: addition revision!

But Dave!” I hear you cry. “The agents will be reading your opening in just two days! Aren’t you worried that they’ll be reading one version and unknowingly making requests (hopefully) for an entirely different one?

Not at all, dear friends, and allow me to tell you why:

1) I’m smarter than I look, believe it or not: I’ve already edited the opening that the agents will be reading so it won’t be different.

2) There’s not exactly a mountain of changes to make, and seeing as how I’m practically snowed under, I’ve got all the time between now and the 23rd to slip in the additions. And seeing as how they’re not entirely game-changers, it won’t wreck the narrative one bit.

3) Don’t call me Dave. Only friends call me Dave.

4) … What’s that? I said you were my friends when I started this list?

5) Okay, then. Call me Dave.

Where was I…?

Oh, yes! The additions.

Well, they range from bit-parts to major character motives, scene changes or alternative versions, and the addition of new ‘casefiles’ pulled from the Enigma Files website itself.

That’s right; not only has this last month given me a huge, unique insight into both the agent-hunting life (my mentor chose mine from hundreds of other entrants submitted to her within a week), and the author-agent dynamic, but it’s also shown me how someone who shares the same passion for the future of your book – agent or beta – can only be a Good Thing, and will often lead to the improvement of the book.

In this case, the improvement came from my mentor Jennifer. Not only has she jumped at the sight of my ‘X-Files for kids‘ tagline, but she’s done everything in her power to eke out every last possible drop of X-Filesness… Which led to the casefiles.

These are the sort of ingenious suggestion that make you slap your face in disbelief; I mean, I’d always considered adding casefiles, but was worried that the inclusion of non-fictional segments would never work. Then along comes Awesome Malone, the Master Mentor, with the same desire to see more files explaining the paranormal and that, as they say, was that.

Now, whenever Karl Breslin – protagonist and administrator of the Enigma Files website – mentions paranormal phenomena, the reader can expect to see more information on the subject in a casefile at the end of the chapter.

It’s working out great so far, and I can’t wait for Wednesday.

Until then!

Dave

Do you have any special methods of revision? What about special features in your books? Lemme know in the comments!

PitchWars Update – It’s Good News!

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Update on the PitchWars contest:

*drumroll*

“THE ENIGMA FILES: PHANTOM THIEF” got picked by a mentor!

Woohoo!

This means the lovely Jennifer
Malone, my new writing mentor, will read over the book throughout December. Then she’ll send me the most masterful, in-depth critiqueI’m sure I’ll have ever seen.

But the fun doesn’t end there! I’ll then revise the book in answer to all her feedback, and re-present it for the final stage of the contest: so 15+ agents can read it, and request more.

I’m so excited.

Dave

New Facebook Page

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Following the steps and advice of published authors, I’ve decided to set-up an author page on Facebook. You can view it here. Please Like it and tell your friends about it – when the page gets 50+ Likes, I’ll celebrate with you all by posting an excerpt from my current draft of the first Enigma Files, so you can all have a taste of what to expect when the full book finally gets accepted and published.

Thanks,
Dave

PS: Blog, Twitter, Facebook… Are there any other social platforms I should consider adding to the list? Let me know in the comments!

What ARE The Enigma Files…?

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So, some of you may know that I’m working on the second Enigma Files book, working title ‘Cursed’. You may also recall that I’m about to send out the MS for EF 1, ‘Phantom Thief’ to several agents who expressed interest in my short twitter-pitch on such contests as #PitchMadness. Well! Another such contest, #PitchWars, is now looming on the literary horizon, I’m which mentors hook up with aspiring writers to help rhythm polish their novels ready to unleash upon the pack of slavering agents. I’m entering, with the first EF book in mind… And prospective queries were almost immediately answered by two such mentors, one of which pointed out there was no in-depth description of the book anywhere in sight. So, for Fiona McLaren, Brenda Drake and any other curious mentors/agents, allow me to give you a glimpse inside… The Enigma Files. When Mason Scott was uprooted from his home and friends in New York to join his mother in Nowhere, England (also known as Hetherby), he expected life to be boring. What he didn’t expect was that he’d soon make friends with a silver-haired, emerald-eyed super genius with a penchant for seizures, or the strange new world that the same boy would introduce him to. Because, in case you hadn’t realised it, Karl Breslin is no ordinary boy; whilst most his age are playing football and chasing after girls, Karl lives his life through the Enigma Files, an online wiki he’s created and runs to document and investigate the paranormal. There’s a thief about the school, but one unlike anyone’s ever seen – because they can’t be seen. But are they using elaborate tricks, or something more supernatural? Were they dealing with a psychokinetic mind, a poltergeist, or something else…? Karl seems to think so, and before he knows it Mason is dragged along on his investigation. Mason is happy to oblige – it gets him out of lessons for the rest of the day – but is soon targeted by the thief, who threatens his life if he doesn’t leave Karl alone. Unshaken, Mason and Karl continue the case to its startling conclusion, and a revelation neither expected. ~***~ That’s the best I can come up with on the spot. Hope it’s done its job, and piqued your curiosity! Until next time, Dave

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