||'History will not remember them. I, President Lauren will rewrite all of Europa's history and all will fear my name.'
'Without question, your Excellency.'
The President nodded with satisfaction and scooped out the egg yolk to smear on his brioche. Inglund would be his blank canvas and it would be remade by Gaul. No one would remember Inglund at all. No one.
More from Girl with Cat (Blue)
Happy Christmas to my readers - have a great time
DECEMBER 2019 Update:
Almost two years on I can finally say I have finished writing my next book. We will let it stew a while before working on an edit. Right now embarking on adapting Girl with Cat (Blue) for TV. It isn't as easy as you think. If you have ideas let me know. This should keep me busy for a couple of months at least.
On Writing a novel about Pain:
I think I wrote the first chapter way back in December 2017 - so you will appreciate that this has been a work in progress for a long time now. It began as a high-concept novel about pain. Research was easy as I was in pain for around three-quarters of the period of writing it and getting treatment from osteopaths, dieticians, healers and well-meaning advice-givers. At all times I refused to take any painkillers. I did however have to give up teaching, as at one point I could hardly dress myself, the pain was so bad. I was diagnosed with either fibromyalgia, tendonitis, osteoporosis and various combinations of other problems I can no longer remember. Conveniently none of these health issues has a 'cure'. I was offered opiates by doctors as a 'solution'. I not only refused but also refused statins (for my heart) and any other drug they wanted to 'try' because, let's be honest, your average GP doesn't know what to do with pain except wish it away.
So I felt well qualified to write a novel on the subject. My cure, prescribed by yours truly, was to cash in my savings and go on vacation in warm places for as many months as I could afford. Cape Province (Knysna), Calpe (Spain) Miami Florida (USA). Walking, writing, swimming when warm enough (particularly in Florida) gradually made me fitter and after a few months, relatively pain free. When I returned I had to renovate my new old home and there is nothing like sawing wood, painting walls and ceilings to stretch every muscle and all the pain you feel is 'new' pain. Nothing is cured, the underlying causes are still there and I worry about the shape of my fingers daily but do my best to ignore it all.
Wherever I went I took my notebook and wrote. Some places worked better than others. I loved writing in Knysna in one particular cafe that served vegan food. Made a point of going there every day and I made great strides. Miami worked too and I found many people in pain there to discuss ideas and issues with. I took six months off the book when I had to deal with the house. I thought I'd percolate ideas whilst painting ceilings, but to be honest all you think about is paint. It was really tough to sit back down in Cafe Petit in my hometown and make a concerted effort to write again. You always hope for breakthroughs but they are few and far between. Minor characters start demanding screen time and at some point you can't remember what they hell you were going to write anyway.
I remember thinking at the start I wanted to aim for the spirit of a Chandler novel to get that hard-boiled dialogue going, but my central character was in pain, just like me and what is more he's a softy and sucker for needy people who need rescuing. The book was going badly off the rails. It wasn't remotely what I'd intended in style at least. I had problems with location. Where was it set? The City was a mix of Miami and Cape Town, absorbing all the places I had been staying in. I deliberately didn't want it to be in a particular place, but that presents it's own problems. At some point I realised it was becoming a little like Outlaw Josey Wales and picking up waifs and strays, not forgetting the dog. Then my sister read an early draft and wanted a new ending. I tried to point out that the last ten chapters were endings that never seemed to end, but she insisted. I mowed lawns, washed the car, went for walks, did everything possible to avoid writing another ending and then to hell with it, I went to Biarritz to see my friends Lionel and Catherine. I was walking by the beach and my brain instantly started to engage. and there it was. Ozone was the mising ingredient. Took no more than a few days and I got another 20,000 words done and a new ending. A ridiculous ending, but a definite ending that astonishingly left the main protagonists alive - ready to do battle again. The really strange thing, that one short week in France was so key - I managed to write the entire plot for my next book in one very long afternoon marathon fortified by pots of Earl Grey at seven euros a cup. I can now see a whole year ahead and with luck I'll get that started in the New Year. Everyone I have pitched it too likes the idea, so that's exciting.
In the end, it doesn't matter if anyone is reading you. It's getting it out of your head that matters. Sometimes it pours; sometimes it's like archeology and you just have to keep digging.
Now I have to see I can get anyone interested. The hardest part of writing.
About the writing of Girl With Cat (Blue)
Believing in a multiverse is one thing - actually crossing over into one is risks madness. Discover Lundein - at war with the French (Gauls) - meet Saska Chancellor and her Blue Lynx defending the city to the last, all the while seeking a tunnel to London buried somewhere under the rubble, never quite believing it is real.
'Saska is awesome' Amazon.co.uk
||If someone came up to you and said they were from a parallel world - in fact came from the same city you were living in but with a different name and history - a city that was at war with the French (The Gauls) you'd back away right? Find an excuse and run. It's uncomfortable talking to someone who probably believes aliens are controlling their mind or at least Trump's mind (oh shoot - that bit's true, sorry). Anyway you get my point. So that's how Girl With Cat (Blue) began. No, not aliens - but standing in a Vancouver Gallery before a beautiful painting of a girl from another planet, her loyal Blue Cat at her feet. I talked to the artist and he claimed he'd dreamt this girl was real and spoke to him and she insisted he had to paint her. Crazy? Possibly. But as I walked back to my Kitsilano apartment I was intrigued.
About a year later - I too was visited by the girl in my dreams, who crouched in my window and berated me for not writing her story. The image was so real I can still see her there with an extremely a cross expression on her face. I was then in an apartment six floors up and it was impossible for her to be there or real, but nevertheless it was inexplicably detailed right down to her cracked leather boots and blood-stained scarf. I began to think about her a lot and once I discovered her name - Saska - I began to write. But if Saska existed in a parallel world then it was likely that she would have a doppelganger in this world! Once I found Jules and then Merry and the geek McReady I had everything I needed to get started. But then everyone knows that if you meet your doppelganger one of you dies ....
Creating two worlds is hard. Saska's London required mapping and discussions on architecture, rules and politics.
Our present day London might be oblivious to other dimension possibilities, but if they exist, where do they exist? All these things needed to be planned and it involved much walking over London where histories intersect all the time.
If two worlds exist in the same space - how does that work? Is everything the same just with a different names or does it have different geography? It would certainly have different wars and causes. Explaining all that and keeping a story going is a lot like building a house. It needs walls and stairs and support structures. Is a chair in this world the same in another? Is there electricity in both or something else? How do they treat diseases or religion? It is endless. Read it for yourself and discover Saska and Cat's world.
I can't say more of course, but I hope you too will be haunted by the Girl with Cat (Blue).
*It was great to discover that Girl with Cat (Blue) was shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award July 2018. It's a very tough panel and to get near the top prize against entries from all across the world is pretty special.
Excellent to get good reviews on SFCrowsnest.info too and then an Honorable Mention from Writer's Digest 26th Annual Self-Publishing Awards. *Oh yes and here's a nice review for J&K 4Ever from the USA recently posted.
Thanks too to all those who have been buying The Heaviness recently. It's the last call for Genie Magee and Rian.
Keep the faith that their relationship will endure - no matter what.
You can download Girl with Cat (Blue) or order the print version here
||Girl with Cat (Blue) Shortlisted for the International Rubery Book Award - review
'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
26th Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards
|If you have read this far, download the Kindle or buy the print version of Girl with Cat (Blue) personally I think it's my best book and I can't believe how many years it took to complete. I await for Saska to come back to my dreams and tell me what happens next. One day, who knows, the story will continue. We shall see.
GIRL WITH CAT (Blue) available on Kindle and in Print from Hammer & Tong on Amazon
More about Sam Hawksmoor and his writing background here
*We celebrated the publications of Ruya (The Heaviness in Turkish) and VoLontaires (The Repossession) in French 2017
Crafting the YA Novel
Sam Hawksmoor 2019 - The Sam Hawksmoor Books List
Hammer &Tong (UK) is a small indie publisher of Sam Hawksmoor's book
Based in Lincolnshire - all messages via Sam Hawksmoor contact page
||The Repossession was published in Turkey as TOZ. Toz means dust and that's quite apt. It's in hardback. The 2nd part is called GOLGE and part three The Heaviness (Rüya) was published June 2017 - My thanks to Gamze Tuncel Demir at Marti Yayincilik for the cover designs
* Background research on anti-gravity here -
**Thinkpiece: What if you read a book you loved and never told anyone, especially the writer? more
What did you want to be when you were a child?.... more
One question I used to dislike the most when a kid was ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’
You’re like 12 years old and you have no idea what you might like to do at 20, let alone 40 .... more
Kindle ebook for The Heaviness - Sam in Canada
More Background to Genie Magee's world. Search and you'll find some extra stories about the main characters.
* If you write me on old fashioned email, I do check and will write back as soon as I can. see Contact
'Terrifying alternative outcome to WW2 - the Blitz brought vividly to life.'
of Tomas D
Tomas accidentally goes back in time to London in the Blitz. Captured and tortured for what he knows about the war... WW11 abruptly ends in 1941.
The day after Tomas disappears, his girlfriend Gabriella wakes up to realise she's the only one who remembers that Germany was supposed to have lost the war... Sample Chapter here
of Genie Magee
Someone with a grudge wants Genie dead. Rian is kidnapped and forced to do experiments. Genie and Renée have just 36 hours to find Rian or he dies - but the one person who can help is aleady dead. Gravity isn't the only thing that can pull you down...
'The best Genie Magee story left till last. It might just break your heart.'