So it’s my 32nd birthday today. Time for the quick blog post so many writers do when celebrating another year.

If anyone asked me what my best birthday ever was, I’d probably have to pick 16. Now officially half my life ago.

I spent the day in Bath, Somerset ( that’s where the photo of my in my ‘About the author’ was taken last year, now that I think of it) where my sister was doing some swimming training. Of course I didn’t sit on the poolside all day, I was far too busy spending cash from relatives, and the purchase I remember was two CD’s from MVC (anyone in England remember that chain?): Seventh Son of a Seventh Son by Iron Maiden and  Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Greatest Hits Volume 2. Listening to them in the car on the way home changed how I thought about music A LOT. I’ve got ‘Moonchild’ from 7th Son on right now, and every time I hear it I still think ‘THIS is how an album should open!’ If you’ve never heard it before, get a copy. You really need to. As for SRV…what a loss. That guy played the blues like nobody else….if only because nobody else could play a guitar with gauge 13-virtuallypianowire strings without getting tendinitis.

Oh yeah, and the lunch my mum took me out to that day was amazing. I had no idea duck and plum sauce could possibly go together until that afternoon.

I found out two days later that the same day I’d been celebrating, someone had nearly killed Stephen King that day by running him over with a van. 19th of June is undoubtedly not a day celebrated much by my favourite writer.

On my favourite day of the year, I like to do something good by someone else too. So let’s have a quick spotlight moment for another self-published author I’m reading at the moment. While I waited for lunch today I had  Lucas Bale’s The Heretic open on my e-reader and had this odd moment where I thought I ought to be reminiscing about how life goes so fast, but instead was wondering what it was about this book that made its pages turn as fast as life.

The Heretic is a engaging story, that’s probably the start of it. Except that when I find sci-fi that feels as fast paced and stripped down to a more bare, narrative driven style as this book, I often find myself taking a pass because of underdeveloped characters, thin plot and often repeated conventions. Not so here. This book had me from the word go. Figuring out why isn’t easy (I’ll save that for the review once I’m done). Perhaps subconsciously my brain was dying to read an author who does shorter books with less weighty paragraphs, light exposition and very short chapters, after worshipping at the alter of King, Martin, Hamilton etc for a little too long.

Oh yeah, and I’m still working on Ghost of the Navigator and it’s wordcount is currently 188,023. Reading an author who keeps things concise reminds me of all the good ways there are to cut shit down! A bit like when I’ve done tree pruning with a good sharp chainsaw….

There…that’s a blog post of under 1000 words for a change. I’m getting somewhere.