June’s games were #AuthorConfession#Espressoyourself#TweepWriter and the truth section of #WIPTruthorDare.


#AuthorConfession - June 1

  1. No secret projects for me, I think I’ve been pretty open about what I’m doing (or not doing, as the case may be). Unless they’re a secret from me as well. If I find myself working on something unexpected, I’ll let you know.
  2. For the first book, I went more with pages since I was writing by hand. Nowadays, I go for word count but I don’t have a specific one for House In Exile at the moment.
  3. I can’t think of any books with alternative endings, enjoyed or otherwise. Well, except the Choose Your Own Adventure and other gamebooks but that was the point of those. I don’t mind ambiguous endings but that’s another matter.
  4. Book 1 is dedicated to my wife Britt, and a few other people who supported me when I first started. There are no specific dedications on books 2 or 3 at this time.
  5. I could have a few answers to this one but since some of them would be spoilery, I’ll take the safe answer and say De Vries.
  6. I think you’re probably getting into problem territory if you have more than half a dozen of either.
  7. For book 1 and most of book 2 there are both chapter numbers & titles. The titles were more for me as a shortcut to remember what happened in each one. Whether or not they’ll stay in future versions is open to debate.
  8. Well, it did kind of start the whole thing…20180624_210648883_iOS
  9. A writing struggle? How about I’m supposed to have been working on House In Exile for months and I don’t think I have a single complete chapter yet.
  10. I don’t think using a shortened version of my first name counts as a pseudonym, does it?
  11. If I had to pick just one, I’d probably say Dyrk Ashton. But I’d feel bad about not mentioning T.A. Uner, Paul Lavender, David Humphrey, Joshua Robertson and Alex Micati.
  12. This is the last review I did, The Secret Name by Kendra Temples. I don’t put scores on my own page by I gave it 4/5 on Goodreads & Amazon.
  13. Like the 11th if I had to pick just one, I’d probably say M.L. Spencer. But again, I’d feel bad about not mentioning C.M. Turner, D.M. Newlun, Aaron-Michael Hall and Lexi Lefevre.
  14. I suspect I’d favour self-publishing but, to be honest, I don’t think I’m anywhere near ready for that sort of thing…
  15. For this one, I’d like to recommend M.L. Spencer, C.M. Turner, D.M. Newlun, Elizabeth Mays, Catherine Mesick and Alex Micati. They’ve been very supportive to me lately, so thanks, guys. Oh, and Alex just put a book out.
  16. I just finished Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J Hayes this morning so I’m currently between books. I’ll pick a new one later this evening.
  17. I probably shouldn’t attempt taking pictures of myself so early on… Or, y’know, ever…20180617_144311617_iOS
  18. Ash does enjoy reading and would often spend quiet time in Shadowcroft’s library. As for what he would read, just about anything, although mysteries were his favourite.
  19. So far, I haven’t written either a prologue or an epilogue. The epilogue; because I’m still going with the story. The prologue, I have short stories that do that better.
  20. Daily struggle to get words out.
  21. Since a good many of my major characters have ended up either beaten, shot, tortured or dead, I’m not sure I fancy taking any of their places. So far, nothing too bad’s happened to MacReady though.
  22. I try to give a couple of hours per day during the week, a bit more at weekends. Life permitting.
  23. The main place is here at The Scribblings or on Facebook.
  24. I haven’t given too much thought to plagiarism lately, mainly because I have a hard time believing someone would want to steal my work. Despite that, when I do post something, it’s either a fragment of a larger work or something I wrote specifically to be shared.
  25. Since House In Exile is in a version of our world, I didn’t think a map was necessary. Although I did draw fantasy maps for a while to amuse myself.
  26. None are directly based on anyone. Instead, I tend to put words I’ve heard people say into my character’s mouths. I think it makes them sound more real.
  27. This is my most recent temp cover (made with WordSwag) for book 3.20180522_031234144_iOS
  28. I do all the ones here on a regular basis.
  29. I think I’d probably have to rate this as one of the tougher years in some time. Mostly thanks to health issues, both physical & mental. 3 out of 10 I think.
  30. Goals for the rest of the year: get a better handle on my mental health and get the first draft of House In Exile.


#espressoyourself - June 1

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever quantified my productiveness by season before. What I can say is I really hope I’ll be more productive this summer than I have been this past winter.
  2. I won’t say it never happens but it is rare that the weather has an effect on my writing motivation. At most, it might influence what I decide to work on.
  3. There’s a number of things that could contribute to an ideal vacation; seeing new places, having new experiences, etc. But I think the main thing is just being able to escape from it all for a while.20180617_024714288_iOS
  4. Too many, and for longer than I would have liked.
  5. To be honest, there isn’t an actual book on my nightstand, they’re on the bookcase next to it. I do keep my Nook at my beside and while there are a lot of ebooks on there, the one I’m currently reading is Where Loyalties Lie.
  6. Although I have plenty of books on (and I’m always adding to it) I rarely plan which specific book I’m going to read until I finish the previous one.
  7. Well, if you believe Mick Jagger & David Bowie, dancing in the streets. Myself, I’ll say cooking outdoors.
  8. I tend to take more pictures now, although having a wife who has her own photography business means mine tend to be lacklustre in comparison.
  9. I can be both. I’m usually quite pleased with my handwriting but if things aren’t going smoothly, you’ll see a lot of crossing out and arrows moving sentences around.Books5
  10. I always enjoyed writing but it wasn’t until I was in my teens that I started actually thinking about it. Then the need for a day job kicked in…
  11. I has not published in any way, shape or form.
  12. If I have to pick one or the other I’d say endings, but it’s more often the middle that gives me trouble. I can have a decent idea of the beginning and the end but struggle to find my way between the two…
  13. On Twitter, I’m part of the ATHENA group and a contributor to #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. I’m also a member of some groups on FB but I’m not as active there as I am elsewhere.
  14. While I know some phrases and words in a few languages, the only ones I speak with any degree of fluency are English and gibberish. And since I live in New Mexico, Spanish would probably be handy.
  15. Not since high school. The closest thing has been attending some writing workshops at Bubonicon over past 2-3 years.#espressoyourself - June 2
  16. Generally, I write more in the evening. During the day, there are usually other demands but I try to grab some time if I can.
  17. I think I’d be more likely to choose the woods. More atmospheric and less chance of me burning…
  18. It’s been a couple years but I have been camping. We’ve talked about another trip but it’s a matter of making the time.
  19. My favourite thing about summer? Air conditioning.
  20. I’m going to cheat and ask for Neopolitan, please.
  21. I’m much more likely to burn.
  22. Yes, they are. In more than one sense.
  23. I think it would be safe to say that Mitsuko has Ash ‘hot and bothered’ during House In Exile.
  24. I generally look better in a one-piece.
  25. Swimming and messing around in the local rivers as a youngling.
  26. Ok, so it’s been years since I went to school but this is still a classic.
  27. I always liked ice-pops when I was a youngling…
  28. If it’s just the two of us, then Britt & I are more likely to do a jigsaw than a board game. Although, when we’re visiting her mother & grandmother, the Scrabble board usually comes out.
  29. I’ve been star-gazing couple of times, sure.
  30. I want to say Rizzo. Although it’s been some years, I seem to remember her being the snarky one.


#TweepWriter - June 1

  1. Good evening, good Tweeples. I’m Drew, unless I’m having to sign something official. I’ve gone from SW Scotland to SW US but I still sound like me. Oh and I swear a lot.
  2. My main WIP is House In Exile, third in my House Valerius series. It’s an urban fantasy where a family of genetic vampires has spread throughout the world since Roman times and what happens when the Houses they’ve formed are in conflict.
  3. In a word, slowly. I have a lot of fragments but I seem to be having some kind of inability to tie them together or get a proper flow going.20180617_024826749_iOS
  4. Ash Valerian is, or was, the heir to House Valerius. As of House In Exile, he’s been accused of various crimes, disinherited and is on the run from the Cabal with a few loyal friends. He’s 27, which means he’s still a child by most Ceteri standards.
  5. A lot of my personality goes into Ash, and we tend to look at things in similar ways. I’m not sure if that’s why I chose to write in the 1st person or because I chose to write in the 1st person.
  6. De Vries is an opportunistic sociopath. He’s willing to use just about anything for his own benefit (one previous scheme involved taking advantage of the Chernobyl disaster). He has plans to destabilize the Cabal and re-order Ceteri society.
  7. Do I have anything in common with De Vries? *Tries to think of something that doesn’t make me sound like a psychopath* Erm, we both tend to favour dark colours?
  8. Skip forward 100 years & I suspect the Ceteri are still dealing with the fallout of De Vries’ plans.#TweepWriter - June 2
  9. Since I really dislike one of those terms, I prefer the gardener/architect simile. I’m a gardener.
  10. *slightly hysterical laughter* No….20180624_210048260_iOS
  11. I quite often listen to music when writing. Sometimes it sparks something, sometimes it doesn’t.
  12. I can and have on occasion. Sometimes the break room at work, more often a coffee place. And, I have to admit, I usually have to pull headphones on.
  13. Given that our house has 2 dogs & 3 cats, too much silence could is a rare beast. But I suppose it is possible.#TweepWriter - June 3
  14. I’ve written short stories in fantasy, sci-fi, possibly grimdark, horror but the majority, my House Valerius series, is urban fantasy
  15. I think I’d probably have the hardest time trying to write a romance.
  16. Since I’ve already done this for #authorconfession, let’s give some other folks a mention: R.B. McConnell, H.A. Callum, Regan O’Leary, Charles Phipps, Stephanie Simpson, Mori Kaithor, Erin Grey & Kiho Graham.
  17. I just finished Where Loyalties Lie yesterday. And the review is here.
  18. Oh, there are a few. Enough that I’ve been doing a series on them.
  19. I’m not sure that I have one. It’s more like I tend to go through cycles where I read a lot of fantasy, then science fiction then mysteries and so on.#TweepWriter - June 4
  20. I don’t really have anything to promote except myself and my blog. And you’re already here so…
  21. The only one I can think to promote is our hostess’ Nicola Noble‘s 5 Boroughs series.
  22. Sharing, hearing people’s opinions, thinking it’s not good enough, not being able to write. Need I go on?#TweepWriter - June 5
  23. Stick with it. Guard your writing time carefully.
  24. How to be a better planner. Although, to be honest, I still wish I knew that.
  25. The writing looked disjointed, my great-aunt’s hand unaccustomed to holding a pen. ‘Remember that while you live…’ I read slowly. ‘…there will always be hope for our House. My prayers are with you, as is my love.’ Her faith was both balm and burden to me.
  26. Aside from writing projects for school, the first proper piece was a semi-memoir about me trying to cope with my father’s death.
  27. I usually share writing via The Scribblings. And as I said for Q20, I also have a Wattpad but it’s in sore need of updating…*makes a mental note to look into that this weekend*#TweepWriter - June 6
  28. I gripped the bottle by the neck, its glass cool against my palm. Somewhere in the back of my mind, a voice was telling me this was a bad idea. I pushed that aside; wanting to be numb, anesthetised against the world. I put it to my lips and drank.
  29. Quinn is probably my favourite, mainly because he’s the one with the least filters. He’s more likely to say what’s on his mind, often in a fairly blunt manner.
  30. Ash is trying to cope with the loss of his title & reputation and being separated from his friends. He has to find a way to take back his life, and stop whatever De Vries has planned next.


#WIPTruthOrDare - June

  1. Since my series is set in a variation of our world, the currency is the same as it is here and it just depends where in the world things are at the time.
  2. I like to think it’s the genetic basis for the Ceteri that makes my series unique. Because of that no-one becomes a Ceteri, they’re born that way. And the way it’s set up there’s a 1:4 chance 2 Ceteri parents can have either a ‘normal’ or a ‘feral’ child.
  3. Well, to be fair, I can think of a number of urban fantasy series where you have vampires having hidden among humanity for centuries…
  4. Cats exist on every dimensional plane of the multiverse and can actually see into other levels of reality. That’s why they always seem to be staring into space. Which is a long way of saying; yes, there are cats.20180617_025639978_iOS
  5. Well, there are a few separate settings in House In Exile but most of them are cities. The major ones not in a city is a forested mountain area.20180617_052640692_iOS
  6. Sort of. One of the main plot threads is a guerrila war being waged by De Vries against the Cabal in general & House Valerius in particular. That gets flipped in House In Exile, with Ash working to take down De Vries. Then the next book is Houses at War.
  7. At least in terms of being Ceteri-specific, the landmarks are the physical House buildings. Most are in isolated areas, sometimes private islands.
  8. There aren’t any poisons that are specific only to the Ceteri so it’s pretty much just the ones present here in our world.
  9. The village of St Buryan inspired the location for Shadowcroft Manor. Hashima Island inspired the location for House Takeda. My father-in-law’s hunting lodge inspired the location for Quinn’s hideaway. Plus a few other random locations in Glasgow, etc
  10. Same as the poisons, it’s pretty much the same as what’s available here.
  11. Just the usual ones. And the Ceteri do avoid garlic but there is actually a scientific basis for that.
  12. Not exactly. The Ceteri are responsible for the vampire legends and ‘feral’ Ceteri, who tend to more psychotic & bloodthirsty were mistaken for werewolves
  13. Ash doesn’t have a garden as such but it would probably have tripwires & mines in the event of De Vries (or anyone else) attacking.
  14. There are no Ceteri specific flags, except maybe in House vaults from centuries ago. Nowadays, the only flags they might pay attention to are those of the countries where each individual House is located.
  15. Yes, Ash likes nature. Which is handy, since he’ll be spending some time living in the mountains.
  16. The same ones that are normally available. Although right now (in book time), it is the middle of January so some aren’t necessarily in season.
  17. A father’s (or mother’s for that matter) duties & responsibilities are pretty much the same as here although the Houses are a bit more communal so if there’s a less individual attention the child is taken care of.
  18. Same fishes that are available here.
  19. Probably the most interesting historical person is Sennaara. All of the Ceteri are descended from her (as far as we know), but little is known about her personally.
  20. House In Exile is split between the UK and the US, with a little bit of time in Canada. So that would be a robin and a bald eagle, respectively.
  21. Since it’s January/February in book time, it’s fairly cold and gloomy.
  22. 50 Cent, Evanescence & the Black Eyed Peas were having their first major hits, Beyonce was Crazy in Love and Matchbox Twenty were feeling Unwell.
  23. If there are cats, there have to be dogs, right?
  24. Prickly pear cactus. For at least one of the locations anyway.
  25. Apples, pears, melons.
  26. I’m sure there’s somewhere around Quinn’s hideaway where Ash could go kayaking.
  27. Each House has it’s own ruler, Lord or Lady whichever, but the overall governance of the Ceteri world is handled by the Cabal, the seven most powerful/influential rulers.
  28. Yes, there are ruins. Some Houses have been abandoned or destroyed throughout the years. The most cautionary one usually mentioned is House Lazar from Romania.
  29. The majority of the Houses use guns. House Valerius, due to the influence of Ash’s father & uncle, supplement that with a lot of martial arts weaponry training. Ash was trained in the katana, Casey & Jodie both use sai. They still carry guns most of the time though.
  30. Books & newspapers are still the more common medium but the digital side of things is growing.

As Always, Thanks to the hosts:

#authorconfession – J.M. Sullivan & Jessica Julien

#espressoyourself – Chelsea DeVries & Jessica Matteliano

#TweepWriter – Nicola Noble

#WIPTruthorDare – Heather Hayden & Allie May

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