Friday, 28 November 2014

The Return!

Wow! Sorry everyone, I didn't realise how much time the HSC chews through... it's a lot.
However, I haven't stopped! The second edition of WWIII is in production, along with the sequel, but obviously you want something to do until then, yes?
Well, if you joined the mailing list you would have received the unreleased prologue to WWIII a few months back.
But for those of you who have too many junk emails (or don;t check them) or haven't signed up (I recommend it!), here it is... and remember this, because I am planning to include it in one of my future books... but not one that starts with Stories Of Earth...
Until next time,
DC out!
P.S. Not long until Christmas, and I like Christmas-do you?

“Alrighty boys, time to clear this place out,” commanded the chief construction worker.
“Don’t they wanna keep this stuff?” asked one man.
“They can’t—the technology is too dangerous or something. Come on, clear it out!”
The men pushed through the Biolocked doors, and into the sterilised cancer treatment room. Dressed in protective clothing, and armed with special boxes and bags to transport the material safely, they began to dismantle the interior.
Despite the government shutting down this section of the uni once it was discovered what had been happening there, accusing the employees as assisting with espionage, Tri-Claw was still working. Even after the truth came out, the operation, in fear of it becoming like the failed UN project, was forcibly decommissioned, as so the building was being cleaned out and turned into a new neuroscience and materials technology building.
“Can I help you?” asked Tri-Claw in his mechanical voice, “I have been waiting for new commands for some time.”
“What is this?” asked a worker.
“It was the assistant designed to test the cancer drugs, as it is impervious to disease. However, it too is to be decommissioned,” explained the chief.
“Decommissioned is not a valid request. Would you like me to do a web search for it?” asked Tri-Claw
“Someone pull him out,” commanded the chief, as one of the men followed Tri-Claw various cables to his power supply, and pulled it out.
Tri-Claw’s lights went out, and his hands loosened, meaning he dropped a small vial he had been carrying. It smashed to the ground, splashing its miniscule amount of contents across the floor.
“I thought this place cleared of biohazards!” cried the chief into his radio.
“Well, we assumed the robot-” replied the voice at the other end.
“-Assume nothing!” he snapped into the radio, before returning to his belt, “Everyone, don’t breathe in, and get out of here—we don’t know what that stuff is!”
The workers quickly filed out of the room, leaving it empty and without its robot guardian.
Despite best efforts, some of the contents of the vial made their way onto the boots of one of the men, and as they stepped outside, the liquid ran into the grass, and slowly seeped into the ecosystem, spreading through generations of wild animals and plants, until the materials shortage during the real WWIII lead to the harvesting of a certain Australia Pine, in which the chemical from the vial had waited hundreds of years, inactive. But exposure to the air reactivated the virus, and, unbeknownst to any of the teenagers, or Tri-Claws creators, the virus would eventually evolve into the largest threat to the human population.
The Peel Skin Disease.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Write What You Know Part 3

The game is up. I drive a Prius. Yes, you can laugh all you want, but who wins at the fuel pump? (Haha!)
If you've read the book, you'd know that there are 2 Prii (yes, that is the plural) used in the book. Originally, this was simply because I thought they were interesting, unique cars, and they gave Mitch something to bounce off in terms of character development. However, in the original draft, something was off-in 2011/12, and until September 2013, I had never stepped inside a Prius, let a lone driven one.
So, the first draft was still happening when we bought the car (the first draft wasn't done until November 2013), and I'd forgotten (consciously at least) that I had written about a Prius. But for some reason, I wanted to buy one (how cool-I am such a nerd). And, during the second draft...
Yikes. I did not know how a Prius drove (for one thing, I made a comment about how loud the engine was... what was I thinking?) or how they worked! So some sections needed extensive reworking to make them a little more realistic! But now at least it's accurate.
All that was an accident. But it just shows, that sometimes, writing what you know can stop embarrassing illogical moments in your story, even if people accuse you of  being 'afraid' of trying something different.
Do you write from experience?
Until next time,

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Doge and Newspaper #2

Well well! First off, is the sign for the creek Ryan sees the children, who are suspicious of the house, playing in... though someone has decided it wasn't 'Doge' enough!
Secondly, here is an image of the article in the Illawarra Mercury. I want to include a link, but as of yet, it has not been uploaded on their website!

What do you think?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Write What You Know Part 2

In the last post, I was talking about characters. This time, I'll give an insight into the locations used in the book.

If you've read the message from me at the back of the book, you'll know that I live in Cambewarra, which happens to be one of the locations mentioned in the story (and is where the haunted house that has been rigged up is). Now, I had someone say to me, before I published the book, "If it's not set in the US, nobody will read it. You have to set it there."

Okay, firstly that's not true (and if it is, people an just deal with it). Secondly, I have never been to the US. Ever. How on Earth would I be able to write a realistic story set in the US? For one thing, I have no idea about how feet/inches/miles work, so straight away I'd sound like an idiot.

So I soon realised that I need somewhere I knew (as I already explained, it's much easier for me to write when I have a base for things. By using real places, I don't need to worry about building my own worlds and being consistent with it, as all I need to do is look at a map to double check myself) really well.
That's why the Shoalhaven is features so heavily (Maybe the council should sponsor me to promote the region?). The Haunted House can be seen (sort of) on Google here. In the 3rd trailer, that's the haunted house again! So that's where that idea came from.
The railway line into Canberra was a little trickier to get right, but using some extensive Google Maps again, I figured out where the sidings were and attempted to establish a realistic distance and even a creek that Josh could jump into!

The best part of it all is that to people that know the areas mentioned, they're interested as it's a place they can relate to. To anyone else, for all they know, Nowra is a made up town, like the one used in Tomorrow When The War Began.

So, my message again is-write what you know! If I was going to do the book again, the locations certainly wouldn't be something I'd change. Not only are they unique, but as one reviewer said, they really are a nice representation for the entire globe.
Do you like writing about things you know? Or are you one of those who can make up crazy worlds in their heads?
Don't forget to join the mailing list (Epilogue mailing out this month!)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Write What You Know Part 1

Hi all!

I thought it'd be interesting to give you an insight into where my characters came from.
To be honest, sometimes I really don't know, which is a touch embarrassing. I think that's because 3 of the main characters were based of people I never really got along with, more than just acquaintances. In fact, I actually though for a long time that Josh, Joel and Mitch hated me.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mitch still does, which is a ironic seeing he is my favourite of the 5.Yes, I was that unoriginal I didn't change the first names (This explains my two names starting with "J" thing, but anyone who's read the book know that is resolved...)
Ryan was based of one of the only people I still talk to from primary school (13 years is a long time to know someone), but as we don't attend the same school I could use my powers of creative license without feeling weird (reshaping your BFF is harder than you think).
Alex's name comes from someone at my work. The character's a bit of a conglomerate-sometimes there's a bit of me in there, and other times it's not even close. I always love the 'nerdy' kind of characters so that's his job. Originally he was meant to be the main character (I think his name is still said the most by word count... Ryan's is the least, sorry), but in the end I wanted it to be Joel.
Ryan, as a matter of fact, was going to be cut. Managing 5 main characters is hard (notice how most other author do less than 3. Think Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Divergent...), and in the first draft Ryan was there just 'because he was at the start'. I thought about killing him off permanently in the lab scene, but realised that he does have a purpose, and actually the most developed character by the end (I think). Having 5 mains also means lots and lots of 'he said', which I don't like, hence the massive amounts of scenes where there are only 2 of them at once.
Now, I suppose you're thinking 'Why did you use people you knew'?
Well, I find it hard to make things up. As in, I need a base of some kind (note how on YouTube my story series use already established themes like Thomas and Doctor Who, but often are very different to the original source) from real life. By using people I knew, I could focus less on building these characters, but instead of building their stories. It also gave me more room to think about the plot, without worrying about what character X looked like, because I had a clear character in my mind.
Saying that, much of the basic characteristics of the 4 that aren't Alex (looks, first impressions... from what I remember, Mitch ate a lot, and Josh still is a very good soccer football player... but we'll leave that for the sequel!).
Now, most of the characters have the names of people I know well. But these are all the fringe characters-Mellissa was made up also as it was too hard for me to use the name of someone I knew really well or saw often as I always thought of the real person, not the character. Eileesha and Thea, on the other hand, are very close to me, hence their secondary character status.
Does that impact on the story?
I don't think so. In fact, I think it gave me more room to add to the extremely complex plot line! I can assure you that there is nobody who could sit down and read it and say 'So that's this person' because I'm the only one who knows, so there's no fear on my part of someone being like 'OMG look what you did to x'.
My message to you is-don't be afraid to use what you know. In fact, exploit it. Authors don't create new things, we retell what has already been told in a fresh way. So, if you need a basis for a surfer character, and you know that your second cousin is one, why not?
Anyway, let me know whether you agree.

P.S. Don't forget to join the mailing list to get the epilogue that was cut from the book, which I'll be mailing out soon!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

South Coast Register!

Newspaper Article
Woo! If you have read the book, you'll know how important the South Coast Register is to the boys' (in the book) attempt to discover the group behind the explosion. So, here is the article the paper wrote about me (and the book)!
If you want to find out more, now's the time!

Sunday, 4 May 2014


YouTube Giveaway Winners
Did you win? Find out here!
Also, stay tuned to The South Coast Register for more info about the book-I've been interviewed, and on Wednesday (14/5/14... Yay Palindromes!) there will be the exclusive scoop for more!
Until next time...