October’s games were #AuthorConfession, #Espressoyourself, #TweepWriter, #WIPJoy, #WIPoween and #WIPTruthorDare.

It was an awkward month for hashtag games. I started off well then, despite my intentions of planning my answers and scheduling them ahead of time, we went on vacation and there ended up being a break in my posting. Unfortunately, by the time we got back, I had a week or more of inactivity and I didn’t get around to catching up on what I’d missed until the month was nearly over.


#AuthorConfession - Oct 2017

  1.  20171003_023339162_iOS
  2. Mixed feelings, to be honest. While I’m happy to still be going, I’ve been struggling more than I thought I would.
  3. Ash Valerian, former heir to House Valerius. Discredited by De Vries & the Cabal, he’s trying to cope with being hunted.
  4. There are some I’d be more reluctant to lose than others but I think I’d sacrifice anyone, if necessary. Of course, since the main series has all been 1st person from Ash’s POV so far, losing him would require some major changes.
  5. I don’t think a cape would really work, not for Ash anyways.giphy (7)
  6. Ash’s superhero name? I can’t think of anything that doesn’t sound cheesy.
  7. When he’s moving about, like now, Ash is fairly organised. Just in case he needs to make a quick getaway.
  8. Quinn insists on calling Ash ‘kid’ or MacReady & Jodie have been known to call him ‘boss’ but no proper nickname as such
  9. De Vries hasn’t shown much indications of wanting trophies but he might use Ash’s katana if he got his hands on it.
  10. Swapping De Vries for Voldemort would cause Ash a lot more headaches, but I could create some great havoc with magic…
  11. I’m not saying. That’s why it’s a SECRET weapon. Honestly, though, I haven’t worked that bit out yet.
  12. He’d use it to take out De Vries. And probably Lady Mallory too. Maybe even Lords Pavlovitch & Raines while he’s at it.
  13. Ash has quite a few scars now; inside and out.
  14. Harry, I think. He’s not as smart as Hermione and he’s a bit more central than Ron so…
  15. I’m not even sure where I am with book 3 anymore.
  16. At this point, I don’t think anyone’s going to be happy come the end of the book.
  17. “I’m going to see this through, one way or the other,” I told her. “That’s how it has to be.”
  18. Fave author peoples: , for putting up with megiphy (12)
  19. If Ash was to ask for help, Quinn would probably be the first person he’d call.
  20. After a childhood playmate accidentally punched through a window, Ash lost control and began drinking his blood. The boy nearly died and Elizabeth wouldn’t speak to him for months after she found them.
  21. Much like myself, Ash is baffled by the whole pumpkin spice thing…
  22. Not the best image but…20171020_035545473_iOS
  23. Sure. Scary movies can be fun.
  24. Yes and no. Ash has plenty of ghosts but just in the psychological sense.
  25. This year, I think It was a carrot cake.
  26. Ash doesn’t drink too much for health reasons so he doesn’t have a hangover cure. He’ll probably just suffer through it.
  27. Ash did like playing pranks so probably – trick.
  28. There are a couple of torture/interrogation scenes in the series.
  29. Something with jagged teeth like giphy (21)
  30. Who doesn’t love dressing up for Halloween?
  31. I don’t think Ash is dressing up this year. He’s mainly trying to stay out of sight.


#espressoyourself - Oct 2017

  1.  20171003_023339162_iOS
  2. Can’t I be both?
  3. I have to admit, I don’t really understand the whole pumpkin spice thing…
  4. There are a few but I’d have to say the original (and best) Halloween is probably a good bet.giphy (6)
  5. I’ll let this post from last year answer this one….
  6. Both Britt and I like horror movies. We watched both the new IT and Lights Out just recently.
  7. Putting myself between a maniac with a chainsaw and my wife & mother-in-law. at Universal Studios is fun.
  8. It would be more likely to be a film than a book but I don’t have a single specific go-to.
  9. Scariest movie? I do love the constant paranoia of The Thing…giphy-downsized-large (1)
  10. It’s been known to happen. This year there might even be photographic evidence. No promises though…
  11. I don’t recall ever being afraid of the dark. I usually find it quite comfortable.
  12. Do dragons count as supernatural? If not, I’ll be a werewolf.
  13. No phobias as such but I’m not very good with heights.
  14. I haven’t dedicated books 2 or 3 yet but book 1 is dedicated to my wife, Britt.
  15. Good question. I’m going to say a wolf.
  16. I’m not sure I’ve written much while intoxicated. If I have, it probably wasn’t worth much.
  17. I did once do a little bit of fan fiction. I might even still have it somewhere…
  18. I do try to read every day, even if it’s thanks to an audiobook.
  19. It varies. Some have taken me a week or two, some have taken just a day or two.
  20. Maybe not the scariest book overall but the virus transmission chapters in The Stand spooked me.
  21. Last book – Ready, Player One by . Last audiobook – Red Seas Under Red Skies by . Enjoyed both.
  22. If I thought I could pull it off, I’d go as Pinhead…giphy (1)
  23. My best one was probably as John Doe from Se7en. The hardest part was finding the right size of box…
  24. Did two this year. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party at Disneyland & at Universal.
  25. The original Halloween is hard to beat.giphy (15)
  26. My wife, Britt.
  27. Sweet potato casserole.
  28. I do like pecan pie.
  29. Large black coffee. The season doesn’t change that.
  30. Well, we’re only into season 2 but we’re good so far…
  31. I’ll take the rollercoaster. Even if it’s that spinning Batman one….


#Tweepwiter - Oct 2017

  1.  20171003_023339162_iOS
  2. There’s a good bit of my own personality in Ash. Truth be told, he’s sort of the version of me I’d like to be.
  3. Nothing specifically inspired this one; although I am using some personal experiences, such as my move to New Mexico.
  4. It’s been a bit of a struggle lately. Hoping to turn that around soon…
  5. Some parts are in the UK, some are in the US. My characters jump back and forth.
  6. Does Ash have any regrets? More every day it seems.
  7. Still at work on my first draft & hoping that will help me move that along.
  8. Well, that does make up a major plot line in House in Exile.
  9. I think I’d probably be a pretty poor romance writer. Which might make House in Exile’s sub-plot tricky…
  10. I generally enjoy research although sometimes it does turn into a rabbit hole…giphy-downsized-large (2)
  11. Not as of yet. But I have been a beta so I appreciate the benefit of them.
  12. Twitter. Thanks to this I’ve been encouraged by other writers, got some feedback and taken part in games & prompts.
  13. Not that I’m aware of but I can’t rule out anything subconscious.
  14. It’s definitely easier to write Ash than it is De Vries.
  15. I’d like to think I do decent dialogue.
  16. If Quinn counts as a side character, then I’ll say him. But if I need to pick someone who’s even more to the side, Petra.
  17. Not sure if he can be called a side character but Death from the Discworld novels…giphy (11)
  18. The desire not to fail & let his people down.
  19. I’ve really enjoyed the Rhenwars books by and Paternus by .
  20. Hmm, how about old book in new car smell?
  21. Hannibal Lector. The man knows good food. Although I think I’d have to specify a restaurant and not let him cook.
  22. Mouse from The Dresden Files.
  23. I’ll probably get flak for this but Holden Caulfield annoyed the hell out of me.
  24. At the time, Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbons. I have a greater appreciation of it now but back then it wasn’t my thing…
  25. Probably 1984. I’m not sure I’d make it 24 hrs without committing some kind of thought crime.
  26. This seems accurate…giphy (17)
  27. I’m between actual books but I’m listening to Republic of Thieves by on audio.
  28. Hey, just because I look like Charlie Brown doesn’t mean I share his beliefs…
  29. I do like sour gummies.
  30. Horror films, you say? I’m game.
  31. I don’t think Ash is dressing up this year. He’s mainly trying to stay out of sight.


#WIPjoy - Oct 2017

  1.  20171003_023339162_iOS
  2. This has a short history about me and this is me interviewing myself.
  3. I share some lines on Twitter, long pieces on Wattpad or here on my blog page.
  4. Even knowing the Cabal had brought it on themselves, it felt like cowardice to step aside & do nothing to stop De Vries’ plans.
  5. What’s your best method for planning scenes?
  6. Awesome WIPJoy-ers: and of course
  7. “Finish things.” –
  8. Ash Valerian, former heir to House Valerius; now Ceteri public enemy no. 1. In hiding at the beginning of House in Exile.
  9. Ash wouldn’t be on Twitter. Besides the fact it didn’t exist in 2004, it goes against his desire not to draw attention to himself.
  10. Sight: scarred reflection. Sound: friend choking on their own blood. Smell: mountain air. Touch: Mitsuko’s hair. Taste: coppery blood.
  11. I looked at my reflection & almost didn’t recognize myself. It wasn’t just the still healing scars or the other changes to my appearance that Casey had suggested. De Vries had taken more than he might have realized. Not just friends, not just title, not just my home. He’d shaken my sense of self.
  12. Classic rock mostly. Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, Hendrix…
  13. Probably take away what little he has left.
  14. Ash’s best friend is his cousin Elizabeth. They grew up together.
  15. I don’t think I could lose the bantering between characters. For me, those are some of the best bits.
  16. I tend to think the dialogue is the best part so I’d hope any reviews mentioned it.
  17. If some of the people I respect as writers liked my book, I’d die happy.
  18. Shame I won’t get to use it: – “Turns out Miss Thing was actually Mrs. Deputy Sheriff,” Mac said. “Never did get the whole story.”
  19. Biggest daydream at the moment is just keeping going and seeing the series through.
  20. I’m thinking either something surreal and jumpy like Se7en or maybe something showing the history of the world like Watchmen.
  21. I dreamt of the cave again; the ancient altar and the whispering darkness surrounding it. There were still fewer candles this time, the circle of light smaller and the darkness was… eager.
  22. De Vries – “O Positive. It doesn’t really taste any different but still…”
  23. Ash – “It was about the death of a friend. I’d rather not relive that again, if you don’t mind.”
  24. Quinn – “That guy? He’s not too tightly wrapped but he ain’t evil.”
  25. De Vries – “Surely you mean up at days? But to answer you; careful planning doesn’t just happen, you know.”
  26. Ash – “Just a meal with close friends and family. We might not get a chance to do that this year though…”
  27. Quinn – “Ain’t no point in keepin’ secrets. A warm bed, a strong drink an’ an eager woman, that’ll keep me happy. “
  28. Ash – “Alone.”
  29. There are a couple of torture/interrogation scenes in the series.
  30. Although I’ve never written it, I think a masked ball at Shadowcroft would have been fun.
  31. It’s a bit hard to cosplay my stuff, everyone just wears normal clothes. I think there are some Napoleonic uniforms in book 1…


#WIPoween- Oct 2017

  1. I’m Drew, my WIP is my House Valerius series about genetic vampires (the Ceteri). Not sure what the scariest thing I’ve read is.
  2. The purpose of horror? It acts as a release valve, giving us a chance to experience fear, but in a safe environment.
  3. Steadily building tension is very effective. I also like creeping paranoia and unreliable narrators.
  4. With reading, some parts of American Psycho were a bit much. With writing, violence against children is tough.
  5. He woke up with no memory of the night before. He was covered in blood and there were severed fingers in his pocket.
  6. If it adds to the tension, then I’m all for them
  7. I don’t see why not. In fact, some of my favourites are a mix of horror and sci-fi; Alien, The Thing.giphy (10)
  8. Somewhere isolated and/or contained often seems to work well.
  9. Every time I was outside, I could feel eyes on me. Real or imagined, I couldn’t shake the twin sensations of panic & paranoia.
  10. Aside from the vampiric aspects of the Ceteri, the only paranormal element is Ash’s dreams which may or may not be precognitive.
  11. No magic, I’m afraid. Most of it is pretty close to the real world, circa 2004.
  12. People’s beliefs and superstitions change according to the time period when then changes what they find horrific. Still, there are some fears that never change…
  13. Yes, it does. And it’s observed pretty much the same way.
  14. Sort of. In a back-stabbing, shifting allegiances, people screwing each other over kind of way.
  15. My biggest fear? Not being able to trust my own mind.
  16. Werewolf, I think. For whatever reason, I find the notion of shape changing like that strangely freeing.
  17. Not a phobia as such, but I’m not good with heights.
  18. Sometimes the office dresses up, and we give out treats at home.
  19. I’d like to think I’d do fairly well. Maybe the last third, if not all the way.
  20. I don’t have a specific autumn treat, maybe I should work on that.
  21. Being 200ft in the air, with just a plastic seat under me and my feet dangling….
  22. From The Thing…  giphy (13)
  23. Ash & De Vries…Face Off
  24. This would be a good example. giphy (14)
  25. He doesn’t want to disappear.giphy (16)
  26. I think you get the idea…giphy (19)
  27. Not that I’ve been known to get hopped up on sugar or anything like that…giphy (18)
  28. I think it would look like this…giphy (21)
  29. Chupacabras, without a doubt.
  30. Like I’m qualified to give advice….
  31. I don’t think Ash is dressing up this year. He’s mainly trying to stay out of sight.


#WIPTruthorDare - Oct 2017

  1. Truth- If he was feeling particularly bastardish, De Vries would send poisoned cookies to Ash’s cousin, Elizabeth.
  2. Truth- Ash’s enemies list has been growing with each book, so there’s currently no shortage of people that he wouldn’t mind suddenly disappearing without a trace. Dare – I looked at the body. “Do I want to know why there’s suddenly a dead man falling out of the wardrobe?”                                                                                               “Ah recognised the guy. Free-lance hitter fer some a’ the European Houses. Could be Martel, could be Kurgan.”
  3. Dare – “Ash, Ash, Ash…” De Vries murmured, fingers tracing the scars on my face. “Are you still determined to fight me?”
  4. Truth- Well, just now, De Vries has taken over Ash’s former home, Shadowcroft.  Dare – The trees were bare, skeletal; but they clustered together closely enough that the moonlight barely filtered through.
  5. Truth- De Vries has been known to use both a large calibre revolver and a sword but I would say that his favourite weapon is his lover, Carina.                                 Dare – De Vries held the gun almost negligently, the barrel yawning before my face. At this range, it would take my head off.
  6. Truth- Like all Ceteri, De Vries mainly sleeps during the day and is active at night.
  7. Truth- He’s already been considered dead once but due to his actions, it was all kept quiet. No epitaph, no gravestone.
  8. Truth- De Vries isn’t afraid of much anymore. Maybe being imprisoned. Another reason why he destroyed Arkhangelsk..
  9. Truth- I think De Vries is too pragmatic to believe in magic. I’m sure he’d try to use it if he did.
  10. Truth- De Vries would pick the original Nightmare on Elm Street. I suspect he relates to it a bit.giphy
  11. Truth- He’d rather be a ghost. He’d appreciate being able to walk through walls and the like.
  12. Truth- De Vries would probably be surprised, then maybe relieved.
  13. Truth- I don’t think De Vries is superstitious so it would be business as normal.
  14. Truth- He would. And he wouldn’t swerve either. He has that kind of rock-solid certainty about his survival.
  15. Truth- I’m not even sure where I am with book 3 anymore.
  16. Truth- De Vries favourite word? Righteous.
  17. Truth- De Vries welcomes the dark.
  18. Truth- Actually, both; assuming he actually sees Carina as a partner, and not just a means to an end.
  19. Truth- I’m sure he does.
  20. Truth- Since it’s set in 2003-2004, the harvest wasn’t too much of an issue.
  21. Truth- I don’t think it would bother him in the slightest.
  22. Truth- He’s started using a karambit just recently.04_9f00cc13-d10b-4839-b302-15a7b9c9043e
  23. Truth- Hmm, might have to go back a ways to find a harmless one but there is a playfulness about him at times.
  24. Truth- A very disruptive poltergeist probably.
  25. Truth- Yes, although maybe only in small groups.
  26. Truth- Bloody.
  27. Truth- De Vries doesn’t give up his secrets easily.
  28. Truth- De Vries favors deep, dark reds.
  29. Truth- De Vries would say being dismissed by everyone as damaged.
  30. Truth- Coats. Most of the time he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself.
  31. Truth- I could see De Vries dressing up as the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula. That would probably amuse him…

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