Huge announcement! My two paranormal romance books 'Cursed' and 'Far from Home: Book One' are now featured on the popular website, Webnovel.
Thank you to that special reader that recommended me to post my novel on Webnovel, and putting me into contact with the amazing staff members that have been so exceptionally supportive throughout this process.
If you are a member of Webnovel, please check out my books online and be sure to rate it.
There is lots more still to come, so keep an eye out on my social media or follow me on the Webnovel site.
Happy reading everyone!
A lot of my readers have described my writing as exceptionally visual, almost to the point that it feels like they are watching a scene play out before their very eyes. A lot of my success comes to practice, but it also stems from visual inspirations that help me sharpen a scenery or visual characteristics of the main characters. So without further ado, here are the top five television shows that have inspired my writings for the books published so far (and upcoming ones in the near future).
1. The Alienist
The corona-virus pandemic in the year 2020 meant that a lot more people were binge watching shows on Netflix, myself included. Although most of my time was spent watching historical and philosophical documentaries, it also meant that I could find time to watch some period dramas as well.
Although I did not make it through the first season of this show, I was still able to appreciate the visual aspects of it. A lover of films and television shows set during the nineteenth century, The Alienist, was no exception to the media that normally peaked my interest.
A long time fan of the actor Luke Evans, it was to my delight that he played a deeply sensitive and emphatic visual artist that depicted crime scenes for the local police. I was struck by the vulnerability of the character, the sheer emotion expressed by his eyes and subtle facial expressions. Luke Evans character, John Moore, became the main inspiration for me when I was writing my historical novel 'Awakening.' Visually speaking, I tried to closely align the character Elliot Summers to the one depicted in the Netflix television show The Alienist. There is also an attempt to capture the empathy and good, noble-like nature that John Moore possess in the show. Although I eventually lost interest in the The Alienist by the end of season one, it still made a major impact on my writing style and the manner of me approaching the reserved banker, Mr. Elliot Summer.
Netflix also blessed me with the crime drama, Broadchurch, a couple of years back. Always a fan of David Tennant (I blame Doctor Who) there was no hesitation to check out this show online. Let me tell you that it is well worth a watch! You will not expect the plot-twist at the end of season one. Needless to say, I managed to binge watch the entire season to my delight.
The main inspiration I took from this crime drama is the scenery. Against the back drop of the crime scene and awful litigation we get to see golden sand, the sky-blue sea and towering cliffs. When crafting 'The Tragic Tale of Teddy Woven' I took a lot of inspiration from this television show. The predominant location for this show is in Dorset, England. The idealistic scenery has persuaded me to visit the sea-side town one day with my own eyes. Ideally, Teddy Woven's home would be at the top of the cliff to overlook the changing tide and to breathe in the freshness of the air at any given moment. Such a romantic back-drop can hide the true terrors that lurk inside his home, but that is for the audience and poor Sela to figure out.
3. Peaky Blinders
Another Netflix series listed as one of my inspirations for writing is the classic television show, Peaky Blinders. Set in the 1920's, Birmingham is run by gangsters that desire to run the city with drugs, violence and sex. The leader of the gang is a Mr. Thomas Shelby, and he will stop at nothing to obtain power and wealth.
A lot of the book reviews so far have referenced this television show, citing there is a strong resemblance between the two. Personally, I don't see such resemblance in 'Awakening' but I do see it in the 'Far from Home' series. I believe you will see some ties to the television show in 'Far from Home: Book Two' when the readers are introduced to travelling Gypsies in Ireland and the powerful forces Mr. Aodhan McVeigh wields in his home country as he sinks his teeth into the drug wars and criminal violence. McVeigh goes by the nickname the "Bloody Hand" for a reason, and no one can expect the great lengths of violence and intimidation he will do to get what his heart truly desires.
Two characters from the Peaky Blinders inspired my writing for the 'Far from Home' series. The first is Mr. Thomas Shelby, a prominent leader of a gang with ruthless ambitious and need for control. The second is Mr. Aberama Gold, a traveller that wants to hold onto his traditional ways as a traveller, but also see's an advantage in aligning himself with powerful men to receive monetary gain and a better way of life. Undoubtedly, you will see some inspiration in the later adaptions of 'Far from Home' when they debut in the year 2022 and 2023.
4. Sherlock Holmes
Anyone a Sherlockian? If so, I highly recommend this classic rendition of Sherlock Holmes tales, which is starred by the loveable Jeremy Brett and David Burke. I read the books during my undergrad, and about a year later stumbled upon this television series on YouTube. It was an easy addiction, and a show I still refer to when writing mysteries.
'Far from Home: Book One' was strongly influenced by the character Sherlock Holmes and his mysterious. Although, the main character, Detective Jessie Varon, is not as clever as Sherlock Holmes, readers can still see a likeness to famous detective that resides in 221B Baker Street.
Detective Varon is an outsider, not belonging to the other English detectives that are at the top of the game. As an immigrant born into poverty and slowly making his way up the ranks, it is clear that he has to prove himself to his superiors. Detective Varon is faced with a difficult task to uncover the mystery surrounding Victoria Reeds in book one of 'Far from Home." His sidekick, Wells, adds some comedic effect as they work through this mystery together, showcasing their ardent affection for one another as they tackle the difficult task of locating the illusive 'Bloody Hand' otherwise known as Mr. McVeigh in the slums of London.
If you are a fan of a good old fashioned mystery, or a lover of Sherlock Holmes, I can assure you that you will fall in love with the 'Far from Home' book series.
5. Penny Dreadful
Are you a fan of Gothic horror? Do you love haunted castles? Eerie ghosts, vampires, or other ghoulish creatures that stalk the night? I have the perfect television show for you called "Penny Dreadful" that will wet your appetite for all things dark and disastrous.
I recently discovered this show after a dear friend's recommendation. She knew that I had a thing for Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray," and kindly recommended this show that had a spin-off for this elusive character. So, not only was I exposed to electrifying charms of Dorian Gray, I also was able to witness Bram Stoker's "Dracula" come to life and Shelly's "Frankenstein."
When writing the short fantasy novella "Far from Home: Book Three" you can see a major inspiration from this television show. The third part to this series veers away from mystery and instead focuses on the orgins of Aodhan McVeigh. The readers are able to uncover the secrets of his past, and more importantly the new desire that drills away into his heart. The life of a vampire is never easy, not easy for McVeigh. As he ventures through the dark parts of London City in the early years of World War One, the audience gets to see the gradual transformation of this character as he has lived long beyond his time. A man of centuries ago, it will be difficult for him to fit into modern society, especially since the lifestyle of men and women are dramatically changing as the English wage war against the Germans. The third part to this story still retains its natural darkness, many unsuspecting victims are taken by McVeigh as he feasts on their blood, but he is also in the process of recruiting another to be just like him, and that can spell danger for mankind as a whole.
,McVeigh is the first character that I have created where the origin story is kept from the reader. What do we know about him? Not much. "Far from Home: Book One" reveals some tiny antidotes about the character but not enough to shed light on this elusive man. He is like a shadow that stalks the night, which makes it harder for the main narrator of this story, Detective Varon, to locate him in the seedy districts of London.
The reader is informed that McVeigh encountered Victoria Reeds on a rainy day, and that they spoke to each other for the first time at Brownhurst Park. We know that he was exceptionally polite to Victoria, enough for her to lower her guard around him. Victoria found his manners pleasing, and even though he was not part of London's high society, he was the necessary break that she needed to get away from all the drama and lavish lifestyle that she never truly loved- only inherited. Victoria was destined to marry a man that she did not care for, and then suddenly this stranger appears before her with a pleasant looking face and an Irish brogue that allures her from the start. The reader knows through Victoria's diary entries that the pair of them met in secret after that fateful day, and that her heart grew attached to a man that she hardly knew. Was it witchcraft or true love? Was her affections sincere for him, or did she see McVeigh as a way out? A chance to finally run away from home? And what happens now to this young woman that is entirely ignorant of the real world, or the great horrors that lie beyond the edges of her own imagination?
When I wrote the character of Aodhan McVeigh, I did two things consistently. I replayed a recording of "Annabelle Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe in the background whenever it was time to write "Far from Home,", and I would binge watch the BBC television show "Penny Dreadful" after completing a few chapters.
For those of you that don't know the show, it centers around the main character, Vanessa Ives, as she battles with her darkest demons. The demon being herself, since she knows that the Devil desires her, and she must do everything in her power to fight the dark forces that are unleashed to obtain her soul. This show has vampires, werewolves, and other haunting creatures. A lover of classic Gothic literature and other dark tales, it was an easy sale for me.
Anyways, back to the central character of the "Far from Home" book series; it is Aodhan McVeigh that brings out the monster that lies inside of Victoria. He is the corrupted influence, the dark force that tempts her to her doom. Sometimes a person can be attracted to the darkness, just as much as the light. I sincerely believe that is the case for Victoria Reeds. Whatever power he has over the poor girl, she willingly steps into it, but what will happen to her now that she is disarmed and easily influenced by the seductive power of Aodhan McVeigh?
"Far from Home" is a trilogy of a marginally short stories, since each of them is considered to be a novella. When I hold the physical book in my hand I can feel the lightness of the novella, but the shortness of this text does not detract the true elements of mystery or danger that lies between the text. Victoria Reeds life is in danger! She is unaware of the true nature of McVeigh, and even more so when it comes to his reputation. Will she be able to escape such horrors or will it be too late?
To uncover these secrets you can grab a copy of "Far from Home: Book One" on Amazon by clicking the link here. Interested in a free copy? Why not try out a different format by downloading it straight from the Google Play store by clicking on this link.
Happy reading everyone!
Victoria is the eldest daughter of a powerful politician with a blind ambitions to marry off his daughter to the former Prime Minister's son.
Fearful of an impending marriage, it creates an even greater friction in the Reeds household. One day when walking home, Victoria meets a stranger at Brownhurt's Park, a short distance from her estate, and it is there that she speaks for the first time to a mysterious man with a strong Irish brogue. She knows that speaking to him is beneath her, especially if he is not a part of London's high society, but there is something alluring about this stranger with his dazzling "azure blue" eyes.
Returning to the main point of this blog post, the inspiration behind this story was based off a few Gothic novels that I have read and loved. To name a few popular reads that inspired me were: The Vampyre, Dracula, and Arthur Conan Doyle's detective series "Sherlock Holmes." Gothic literature is my favourite genre to date, mostly because it combines suspense, horror, and dark romance. A rather apt description for "Far from Home" series, if I may say so myself. Victoria Reeds at the beginning of the novel resembles the stereotypical naive character that is regularly featured in Gothic literature, but suddenly her personality shifts, it is a dark, twisted form, barely recognizable to the one that was once worshipped in London high society. What influence does McVeigh have on this young girl? Why was she so desperate to run away from home, and where could she possibly go next?
*A copy for "Far from Home: Book One" is free on Google Play. You can purchase a copy for 99 cents on Kindle, if you prefer Amazon Kindle.