In keeping with previous months, I did another batch of daily Twitter questions. This time around it was . Here are my answers in full.

NB. This one is a bit more image intensive than previous months.



  1. Still working those out, expect a blog post about it tomorrow… And this was it.
  2. This is what I ended up choosing to represent Ash Valerian – πŸ™πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŒ–πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ’‰πŸ‘ΉπŸ’€πŸ₯‹πŸ”«πŸ—‘⚰️
  3. Coffee. Hot, black, coffee flavoured coffee. I’m a traditionalist.giphy (1)
  4. I can totally see Ash using the Jedi mind trick on people.giphy
  5. Ash wouldn’t normally celebrate Cinco de Mayo but he is currently in the US so anything’s possible I suppose…
  6. Something that only blooms at night, a moonflower perhaps.
  7. Ash keeps some family secrets within a core group of people. One secret blew up in his face in the latter half of A House Divided, leading into the events of House In Exile.
  8. We’ve met two members of De Vries’ family so far. Carina, his lover, who is devoted to him but psychotic. The other is his son, Mbejane, who has nothing to do with him and is actually helping Ash against him.
  9. Ash identifies with his father, Matthias. While he might not admit it, he desperately wants to live up to his example. I think part of that is due to his mother dying in a car accident when he was a teenager.
  10. Ash’s older brother committed suicide, years before Ash was even born. All Ash knows about him is from an old diary. But he did grow up alongside his cousin, Elizabeth, who is the same age. He thinks of her as a sister.
  11. The Valerians have always been a close family for several reasons. But Ash sometimes has problems with their expectations.
  12. Their relationship was good but sadly Ash’s mother, Miranda, died in a car accident ten years ago.
  13. He did, back when she was still with them. And since they lived in the U.K., they celebrated it in March, not May.
  14. I’m not sure I could pick just one. I have a deep love for folk-tales and fairy stories.
  15. I generally enjoys re-tellings.
  16. I’m not sure what would happen but I’m pretty sure Lady Mallory would be the Red Queen…
  17. If he was allowed a purely selfish wish, Ash might ask for his face to be healed. But I think he’d be more likely to ask to have some of the friends he’s lost back again.
  18. If the Red Queen was the antagonist, I think there would be more hand to hand & sword fighting and less gunfights…
  19. Darker versions for me, I think. Just because I’m like that.
  20. I’m going to say Scheherazade, mainly because she’s a smart storyteller.
  21. I don’t have any weird writing habits. *talks to hand-puppet* I don’t, do I? *Puppet shakes its head* I didn’t think so
  22. Mainly home-schooling initially, for obvious reasons. Then night classes for further education if warranted.
  23. In happier times, Ash enjoyed the odd party. Although since it was mainly family oriented, he couldn’t get too wild.
  24. Inside my head. I’m way more productive in there…
  25. Ok, this was all too easy…giphy
  26. What kind of beverage would Ash be? Hmm… red wine, perhaps?
  27. Since it would have to be after dark, Ash would bring lanterns. The boy can be practical.
  28. Ash does have a weakness for salted caramel so that would be a safe bet.
  29. My re-writing process goes as such: Read over the original, deepen & clarify character & plot points, re-read again, get rid of the unnecessary bits.
  30. I have been guilty of using (sort of) cliff-hanger endings on the books. Not full cliff-hangers, there is a semblance of closure, but you know there’s more to come.
  31. #SparkleOn and share the love: Well, I have shared all the links here and on Twitter. As for sparkling…cfdc6bb03f9895a26074746a9e625603



  1. Maintaining focus, I think. That and making the most effective use of the time I have available.
  2. If I get blocked on something, I usually try moving to something else for a while. Sometimes it even works.
  3. Elizabeth would be trying to find a way out of being held hostage and forced to work for someone just because of her family.
  4. One of my earliest memories is watching A New Hope and pretending to be an X-Wing pilot.
  5. If I’m allowed to use the now defunct Legends timeline, maybe working with Talon Karrde. Or part of Rogue Squadron.
  6. I’ve read a lot of comics books over the years but if I had to pick…giphy (3)
  7. Hmm, a good question. David Fincher would be a good one, I think. Guillermo Del Toro would be amazing as well, so long as I’m dreaming…
  8. I think I’ve answered this before elsewhere. Current front runner to play Ash is Iwan Rheon.                                                                           4163ddc1d82816eea6ed62fc9f6312fa
  9. Supposedly I had a poem published years ago. Never did find a copy of it though….
  10. Well, he’s not overly neat but he does like to have some things organized. Probably somewhere in the middle.
  11. Unless you want to count the Tower of Terror at Disneyworld, I’m afraid not…giphy (2)
  12. Top 3 choices: Trent Reznor, Hans Zimmer, Bear McCreary. Or can I have each do one book?
  13. There are a number of artists whose work I like but my thinking is Darick Robertson…
  14. Anywhere I can, pretty much.
  15. Mostly real. Or that’s what I’m trying for anyways
  16. I don’t need much in the way of a set-up. Notebook and some pens should do it. And some coffee, if you’re making any…
  17. Quinn does tend to hoard weapons, does that count? Not that I’m complaining, it’s come in handy lately…
  18. 2 snippets from a longer comment: “awed at how you brought me right into that room with what was happening…” & “whatever you write about, you get right to the heart of it and the reader is left both stunned and mesmerized…” Many thanks to the kind lady for those words and for making me sound better than I am…
  19. The biggest lesson for Ash to learn? To have faith in himself.
  20. I don’t think the time of year makes much of a difference in my productivity. Except as it affects my mood, I suppose.
  21. From the early days, The Ceteri knew if they were discovered to be blood-drinkers; they would be hunted, tortured & killed. They created the Watchmen to act as guards against both discovery & attack. Each House now has their own group of Watchmen. There are also some Huntsmen, who specialise in tracking down rogue Ceteri who might draw unwanted human attention.
  22. Depends on how you define patriotism. Nationality means a lot less to Ceteri than House affiliation. Ash is loyal to his House. As for being rebellious, well; he’s had some run-ins with members of the Cabal who don’t take him seriously
  23. If Ash found a lucky coin, he’d get hit by a car while trying to pick it up. It’s the way things have been going lately…
  24. Lately, Ash has been relying on whatever Quinn or Casey have stashed away. As Watchmen, they have stored IDs, cash, weapons etc.
  25. Well, if you’re in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area, I’ve got some good out of attending each year. And I signed up for the newsletter so I can find out about author events and talks etc..
  26. I’m not qualified to give anyone advice. I’m barely qualified to advise myself….
  27. Ash is currently fighting for his life, his reputation (such as it is) and the lives of those closest to him. And, of course, he had a choice. Not sure he could have lived with himself if he’d made the other choice but it was there.
  28. Well, he is planning a guerrilla war against De Vries. It won’t be too far a step for the Cabal to label him a terrorist.
  29. I suppose it could be considered the end of one era and the beginning of another. A lot of things are changing for the Ceteri.
  30. Not a plot hole, as such, but I could probably stand to be a bit more consistent about Ceteri biology. The basics are straight forward but the amount of damage they can take may need some revising…
  31. I’m recommending Whispers in the Alders by H.A. Callum



This one has additional images for each word/day, giving a few more suggestions.

  1. FictMAYhem Day 1Ash Valerian, heir to House Valerius. POV character of the main House Valerius series. Currently in hiding. And a spring memory? Spring didn’t really mean much more than days getting longer, nights shorter & more spent time indoors.
  2. FictMAYhem Day 2Ash: Chaotic is a way to describe the last few weeks. It’ll get worse before it gets better. The insanity is looking for me now.If I’m get blocked on something, I usually try moving to something else for a while. Sometimes it even works.
  3. FictMAYhem Day 3Ash: De Vries had some strange notions about mercy. He’d spared my life, asked me to join him, then scarred my face when I refused.
  4. FictMAYhem Day 4Ash: Which is more monstrous, the person who does the torturing or the person who orders it done? The memory of Carina and her “games” gives me nightmares but everything was done at De Vries instruction.
  5. FictMAYhem Day 5Ash: I’m not a big fan of mirrors lately…  “I studied my reflection, examining the damage. The ragged scars were healing but I’d have the V carved into my face for life.”
  6. FictMAYhem Day 6Ash has qualities that some would call supernatural but they’re mostly commonplace for him. He doesn’t really believe in magic.
  7. FictMAYhem Day 7Ash grew up with stories about Valerius & the beginnings of their House. And about the Keeper of the Dead…  “He’d found himself looking about warily. Childhood tales of the Keeper of the Dead persisted and he felt foolish for his caution.”
  8. FictMAYhem Day 8Ash: It was going to be an uphill battle trying to convince the Cabal of my innocence. A K2 level of a climb with some of them…
  9. FictMAYhem Day 9Ash: I’m trying to remain missing, at least as far as the Cabal is concerned. I need to stay out of sight for a while & plan.
  10. FictMAYhem Day 10Ash has lost a few people close to him over the past two books. It’s making him determined not to lose any others.
  11. FictMAYhem Day 11“My round, what’ll you have?” MacReady said.                                                              Quinn grinned. “Beer fer me, an’ milk fer the kid.”                                                                I threw some peanuts at him.
  12. FictMAYhem Day 12Some characters are religious, some aren’t, but it’s never been a major focus for anyone. Except maybe De Vries & his mission.
  13. FictMAYhem Day 13Ash: For reasons I’m not aware of, Lady Mallory has always been fairly malicious towards my father. Unfortunately, she seems to have extended that toward me as well, the few times I’ve met her.
  14. FictMAYhem Day 14Ash: My mother died several years ago in a car accident. I lost her before I really got to know her as a person. I still remember her, I visit her marker in our necropolis. I wish I could have known her better.
  15. FictMAYhem Day 15Ash: I can think of 2 people who qualify as having changed my life. The first is De Vries, for obvious and unfortunate reasons. The other is Lord Pyotr Feodorenko of House Grozny. He was the first member of the Cabal to treat me as an adult.
  16. FictMAYhem Day 16Ash: Primary mission is to stay alive. Secondary mission is to stop De Vries.
  17. FictMAYhem Day 17Ash: Casey’s been the one that’s helped me keep going lately. We just focus on what we need to do to stay alive and safe.
  18. FictMAYhem Day 18Ash: You know, I don’t recall being at a wedding before. Maybe when I was very young but not lately. Since my father and my Uncle Marcus are now widowers, the only married couple I know is my Uncle Lukas & my Aunt Sara. They bicker & grumble at each other but they love each other more than I can imagine. And with a youngling on the way too.
  19. FictMAYhem Day 19Ash: The need to stay hidden. The need for blood. The Cabal wanting me dead or captured. Just some of things I have to deal with..
  20. FictMAYhem Day 20One of the main mysteries plaguing Ash just now is who took his personal katana after he had to flee from House Takeda…
  21. FictMAYhem Day 21Ash: The main thoughts occupying me just now, beyond staying alive, is how to undo the damage De Vries has created…
  22. FictMAYhem Day 22Ash: My father has 2 favourite sayings. “Family & loyalty above all except honor.” & “This is who we are & we will do what we must.”
  23. FictMAYhem Day 23Ash: Music is a pretty strong memory catalyst for me. Memories of people & places, some of which I may never see again.
  24. FictMAYhem Day 24Ash: It’s a bit hard to feel mighty when you’re running for your life…
  25. FictMAYhem Day 25Ash: I’ve made a couple of big mistakes recently. Which I suppose is why I’m in the position I’m in now.
  26. FictMAYhem Day 26Ash: What do millions mean to me? The money that De Vries has at his disposal, to keep me running and to facilitate his plans.
  27. FictMAYhem Day 27Ash: I think it’s better to be mentally strong than physically strong. Not that physical strength hurts when it’s needed.
  28. FictMAYhem Day 28Ash: I’ve seen people killed and I’ve killed people myself. Mostly in self-defense.
  29. FictMAYhem Day 29Ash: There’s a necropolis in the caverns beneath our home. I visit my mother and brother’s markers down there sometimes.
  30. FictMAYhem Day 30Ash: I’m not wavering on the decision, I know De Vries has to be stopped. I just don’t know if I can do it…
  31. FictMAYhem Day 31Ash: I can think of a couple. My mother’s death would be one. The Cabal naming me persona non grata would be another one.



  1. First book I wrote I didn’t finish so there’s no photo for that. I did finish House Valerius though…IMG_2523.PNG
  2. I was watching Underworld & it just popped into my head, “What would it be like growing up in a place like this?”Selenemansion
  3. “Absorb what is useful. Reject what is useless. Add what is essentially your own.”  – Bruce LeeBrea37hCYAIob6D
  4. I just started Dead by Morning by Kayla Kranz.Dead By Morning
  5. This seems to be pretty accurate… And I listens to him more than I shoulds…C_HywyHVwAAuHAX
  6. My biggest distraction? Probably….C_MJldjUwAApnDI
  7. I’m not really a selfie person. But if you insist, here’s one from New Years…C_RbZtWUQAEHmn2
  8. Most days, I’m happy with my handwriting… books4
  9. Oh, there are so many ways, especially with the interwebs… giphy (5)
  10. Terry Pratchett. Not just for all the books he wrote but for the way he dealt with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis & its effects. He will be missed.Terry-Pratchett
  11. I don’t have a specific workspace, But the living room couch or my desk at work are the most commonly used.giphy (4)
  12.  -“How was I to know that your mother was a witch?” giphy (6)
  13. My current work in progress is House In Exile, 3rd book in the House Valerius series. IMG_2513.PNG
  14. Coffee mainly. And water. But mainly coffee.giphy (2)
  15. Monday Motivation (for this Monday anyways), ‘s flash fiction challenge on .C__2Q5zU0AA3rrg
  16. If I’m reading, its generally either on the couch or in bed…giphy (3)
  17. This has come up a few times since we started Fit Body Boot Camp earlier this week.
  18. This is the closest I have to a lucky charm. A gift from my wife (before she was my wife) before we were apart for a year…
  19. Since I re-read it lately… From Redshirts, to
  20. I just got a new notebook yesterday as it happens.
  21. Best I can offer…
  22. Two bookshelves for the price of one.
  23. I do try and cull them out when I’m going back over stuff, honest…
  24. Well, if I’m supposed to write a poem, you asked for it….DAuY5MMUAAAfMpZ
  25. Well, if we’re doing and I’ve already inflicted one poem on you, I may as well double down with another one. This is years old, mind.Capture
  26. I doubt I could do an all-time favourite (too many to choose from) but I will do my favourites of 2016 and 2017 (so far…). Favourite of 2016: Paternus by . Favourite of 2017 (so far): Whispers in the Alders by
  27. My author photo… (as taken by )Headshot8
  28. I’ve had some kind words and comments but no actual reviews as of yet.
  29. This is as close as I have to a promo:
  30. Does this count as advice?
  31. Sorry, I couldn’t help it. You did say it was a free day.giphy (4)


As always, many and more thanks to the organisers: JM Sullivan, Steven Springsteel, Faith Rivens & Chevoque.

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