This month’s games were #AuthorConfession#AuthorWouldYou,  #TweepWriter plus all of the Truth questions and two-thirds of the Dares from #WIPTruthorDare.
(Hopefully, I’ll come back and finish those off at some point.)


#AuthorConfession - Sept

  1. I’m mostly Drew.
    I stared at my reflection, forcing myself to look at the vivid red lines marring the left side of my face. Denying the reality of them would do no good. I had to accept they were part of me now & not let them influence the person I was to be.
  2. This is more for the series as a whole rather than just this particular instalment but I’d say:
    The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
    Children of the Night by Dan Simmons
    Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
  3. Severe weather warning – part of House In Exile takes place in Canada in the middle of January so there’s a good chance.20180916_211841650_iOS
  4. Is there another writer’s book I wish I’d written? Aside from the possible financial advantage, I’ll say not as such. Mostly I just wish I’d done more with the ideas that I’ve set aside.
  5. I’ve never liked the pantser/plotter description. Maybe it’s a U.K. thing.
    I prefer the version attributed (as far as I know) to George R.R. Martin, which is the gardener vs the architect.
    Using that, I’m mostly a gardener.
  6. Current feelings about WIP:😡🤬🤯🤨😫😤😬🤔
  7. Not sure what it says about me but the first character that came to mind was Harry Dresden. Sure I’d be a wizard (and taller) but he does get put through the ringer on a regular basis…
  8. I don’t recall specifically changing that gender of a character. Not unless I just had a very vague notion of them like “I need a character to do such and such here”.
  9. Well, I don’t really have a finished piece but here’s a link to my blog page.
  10. Probably the one I haven’t noticed yet.
  11. I wrote short stories as a teenager, in a mixture of styles and genres. Plus some attempts at poetry,
  12. I tend to avoid romances more often than not. In terms of reading, unless there’s some other element that hooks me, I struggle to retain interest. And I doubt I could write one to save my life which is making some parts of House In Exile tough going.
  13. I usually prefer to have some kind of background noise. It might be music, it might be rain (when it happens here), it might just be the hounds dozing…
  14. Well, his name is Ash…
  15. According to Scrivener: 26,170.
  16. I don’t think he would have much trouble with it. He’s already having to cope with a lot of double-dealing and espionage
  17. Not yet. I’m not ruling it out though.
  18. Mainly just the one, although he does attempt some Japanese in A House Divided.
  19. Ash wouldn’t have a problem with urban fantasy.
  20. If it wasn’t for the plot, Ash would want to be back at Shadowcroft.
  21. 3 ticks to a tock. 5 tocks to a chime. 4 chimes to a binglety bong.
  22. One of my favourite quotes…20180924_190523825_iOS
  23. Hmm, if De Vries became the main character then it would switch the whole reading dynamic. At present, the reader learns things at the same time Ash does. With De Vries, they’d know his plans ahead of any of the characters.
  24. I’m sure Ash must have watched something recently, either at House Takeda or when hiding out, especially since there are plenty of films on TV during the holiday season. But the last one I have him specifically mentioning is Kill Bill Vol. 1.
  25. My first instinct is to say Quinn, since he probably has the most field & survival experience out of my characters.
  26. Well, I could go generic and say “The Mac & Quinn Show” since I can’t imagine one doing a podcast without the other. But I think something along the lines of “Shut up, Ah’m Talkin’” also seems appropriate.
  27. Technically, Ash doesn’t have a day job, unless you want to count learning how to run House Valerius and planning how to stop De Vries.
  28. I don’t keep it a secret but I don’t advertise it either (Well, except on here).
  29. I can’t really see De Vries creating a dating profile but, if he did, he’d probably choose something pretty innocuous like reading or maybe painting.
  30. Not the best photo I’ve taken, but at least you can see some of my favourites in the background.


#AuthorWouldYou Sept 1

  1. Hmm. Either would be a challenge but I think De Vries would probably choose Batman as his enemy, I see a bit of similarity between him and Ra’s al Ghul.giphy
  2. De Vries would do the same thing to Batman that he’s currently doing with Ash; turn people against him, strip away his support and keep wearing him down.
  3. De Vries is a century or so older than Ash so I doubt they’d be best friends. And technically, all Ceteri are related to each other at some remove.
  4. I’m certain De Vries would sooner have to stay silent rather than be blurting out everything. He could work around silence.
  5. De Vries generally appears as a businessman in the regular world but really he wants to be king of the Ceteri.
  6. Of course, De Vries has a secret identity, probably more than one. It’s how he managed to accomplish most of the things he’s done.
  7. De Vries would want to be known for his intelligence, without a doubt. He’s had enough surgeries to change his appearance to not place too much emphasis on current looks.
  8. De Vries would happily ally himself with anyone if he thought it would help him achieve his goals. Of course, he’d be equally happy to turn on them if that was to his advantage later.#AuthorWouldYou Sept 2
  9. First thing, De Vries did when he captured Ash towards the end of A House Divided was interrogate him. Then, he let Carina and her knives have some fun…
  10. De Vries is older than Ash and I think he prefers that. Not only has it allowed him to have more world experience, but it also means he’s had more time to think about what he wants to do.
  11. Ok, now I’m trying to think of a side story where De Vries does have to escape the Tower of London.
  12. I suspect De Vries would consider the enhanced hearing more useful in the long term.
  13. De Vries doesn’t put much stock in curses. He’d sooner trap an enemy.
  14. Definitely a private jet.
  15. At least for now, I’d put De Vries into the bluff camp. He’s not ready to be open about his agenda yet.#AuthorWouldYou Sept 3
  16. De Vries mostly travels by car.
  17. A secret lair. Possibly more than one. It wouldn’t surprise me if he set up several as contingencies.
  18. De Vries will keep working towards his goal until he either succeeds or dies trying. He’s not going to retire.
  19. Gadgets. They’re more predictable and easier to control than an army. Mind you, he does want troops too.
  20. While the genie would certainly make things easier, De Vries would rather take the time and master a wand.
  21. De Vries would probably prefer to be in a virtual world. He’d think he could manipulate things in there.
  22. De Vries would prefer Arkham. Security there has been known to fail occasionally…20180924_192619456_iOS#AuthorWouldYou Sept 4
  23. Probably by bribing some guards to let him out of his cell. Then he’d release everyone else and use to confusion to slip away…
  24. While De Vries would probably be good at retail (see previous notes about how persuasive he can be) I don’t think it could support his ambitions. So, to help make that work, he’d volunteer for anger management. I’m assuming he wouldn’t just kill the counsellor.
  25. I’m going to have to say a suit, purely because I just can’t picture De Vries in pyjamas.
  26. De Vries would opt for the island. There are some Ceteri Houses, House Takeda for one, that are based on their own islands so I think he’dd do that if he could.
  27. I’m leaning toward Star Wars but I think De Vries would happily watch either series. Both feature things he could identify with, such as how a smaller force managed to take on a major one. He’d find that useful.
  28. Tricky one since there are aspects of both in the people who follow De Vries. I think I’d say cult since, to his mind, they’d be more loyal and less inclined to question things.
  29. Actually, I can believe De Vries would appreciate the competition a clone would provide him.
  30. A secret De Vries would never reveal? Some of his real reasons for his attacks on the Ceteri Cabal.


#TweepWriter Sept 1

  1. I’m still Drew, most of the time. Attempted writer, blogger & reviewer. Occasional gentleman, collector & general nuisance.
  2. My WIP is House In Exile, the third in my House Valerius urban fantasy series. It concerns the Ceteri, genetic vampires who have been around since Roman times (or earlier) and have their own society apart from the rest of humanity.
  3. My MC is Ash Valerian, formerly the heir to House Valerius, the oldest of the Ceteri Houses. Thanks to the schemes of Piter De Vries and some mistakes on Ash’s part, he’s now considered an enemy of the ruling Cabal and being hunted by several of the other Houses.
  4. I’d like to think so although anyone who knows both of us will tell you we’re pretty similar so that might cause friction.
  5. Ash’s best friend is his cousin, Elizabeth. As for a sidekick, he might consider Quinn that way but don’t tell Quinn he said that.
  6. I’ve never liked the pantser/plotter description. Maybe it’s a U.K. thing.
    I prefer the version attributed (as far as I know) to George R.R. Martin, which is the gardener vs the architect.
    Using those definitions, I’m mostly a gardener.
  7. Hmm, somewhere with trees. And the sound of water nearby, I think.
  8. Writing proceeds slowly, I’m sad to say. But it has picked up a little the past couple of days so here’s hoping that continues.
  9. I’ve been better, to be honest.
  10. What do I need? More sleep, more confidence, more perseverance, more coffee.
  11. A purpose.
  12. When you boil it all down, I think this is as good a motto as any…20180914_193337946_iOS
  13. Right now, I’m not sure I could say I’m loving any of my lines…tenor
  14. Coffee. Or really anything with the caffeine.
  15. Light, I suppose. I can and have written in a number of places but I still need to see.#TweepWriter Sept 2
  16. My antagonist is Piter De Vries. Seemingly a disreputable businessman, he was once believed executed for swindling the Russian government after the Chernobyl disaster. Now he’s trying to destabilise the Ceteri society so he can take charge.
  17. Hmm, if De Vries became the main character then it would switch the whole reading dynamic. At present, the reader learns things at the same time Ash does. With De Vries, they’d know his plans ahead of any of the characters.
  18. It is sometimes difficult to write for De Vries. It’s often a balancing act between being charming & persuasive and being sociopathic.
  19. The writing part mainly. I struggle with spending too long trying to perfect the 1st draft and not just getting the words down.
  20. Your story deserves to be told.
  21. I’ve been known to forget to drink my coffee or water.
  22. Africa by Toto usually cheers me up.
  23. The room, the whole building, was quiet. The only sound coming to me was the occasional gurgle or groan as water worked its way along the outdated pipes.
    And yes, I have had some water today. About 80oz if my measurements are correct.
  24. There are many places where I can get a spark of an idea but, for a real source of inspiration…IMG_3125
  25. That it’s bloody hard work, frequently frustrating as hell and occasionally magical.20181001_005710546_iOS
  26. One of the first tracks to come to mind is Breathe You In.
  27. Am I allowed to say reading? No? Then probably watching films. Or playing with the dogs.
  28. The answer to this one is yes, I am SOMEWHERE in the process of this WIP. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I could be any more accurate than that.
  29. I can enjoy it although more than once I’ve found myself disappearing down an internet rabbit hole…
  30. Well, this is how it seems right now.20180929_005736635_iOS


#WIPTruthOrDare Sept


  1. The opening of House In Exile takes place in winter, mid-January.20180905_034958814_iOS
  2. I don’t particularly enjoy hurting my characters, although it does happen a fair bit. And it’s been painful when I’ve had to write somebody out…
  3. If a day off meant that he wouldn’t have to worry about being ambushed, not run from city to city and could relax properly, then Ash could do with a day off.
  4. Mostly Ash has been reactive to the events of the books so far but now he’s trying to develop his own plans.
  5. Ash tries to be on time, or early, whenever possible.
  6. Ash is fairly literate. Benefits of having a library in Shadowcroft and having to stay indoors a lot of the time.
  7. Aside from De Vries’ machinations, Ash’s biggest struggle is probably going to be believing in himself.
  8. Despite all De Vries has done, I’d say it’s Lady Mallory that tends to bully Ash the most.
  9. I haven’t specifically identified any of my characters as having pets but I’m sure some do. Maybe not some of the people in the field but I can see Elizabeth having a cat.
  10. I’m not actively doing any editing at the moment but at some point, I am going to have to tackle books 1 and 2.
  11. Well, he’s waiting on news of Quinn and the others, to find out if they’re still okay.
  12. Over the course of the series, Ash has been shot, had a broken collarbone, been electrocuted, received a sword slash to the face, been drugged and had his face scarred even further…
  13. I think the only thing that comes close is MacReady carries a lucky rabbit’s foot.
  14. Ash doesn’t really have any free time lately.
  15. I’ve enjoyed most of them, I’m not sure I could pick.
  16. The Ceteri, and everyone associated with them, tend to be a close-knit group so they all tend to know everyone else. Of course, how close they are varies.
  17. At the beginning of House In Exile, Ash prepares for the next day by making
  18. I’m going to limit what I say here for spoilers but his name was inspired by a minor villain in Dune, one of my favourite books and part of it came from my idea of the genetic basis for being Ceteri.
  19. See my answer for 12 regarding physical pain. Plus, at the beginning of House In Exile, he’s pretty much lost everything; home, name, seen his father captured and friends killed so he’s dealing with a lot.
  20. Ash isn’t a big drinker, for medical reasons. Punch would probably be okay, though.
  21. De Vries isn’t purposely avoiding anyone. On the contrary, he’s come out of hiding a bit.
  22. Ash’s schedule at the beginning of House In Exile: Sleep/hide in a hotel room until dark, pack up, get to the nearest train station, pick a random destination (possibly switching trains/destinations without warning), find a new hotel in a new city. Repeat.
  23. Not so much the equinox but the Ceteri do celebrate the winter solstice. It’s a combination of New Years and Election Day.
  24. On the majority of the previous occasions they’ve met, De Vries has had everything planned out and known exactly what he’s going to do & say. It’s usually served him well except one time when they actually fought and De Vries lost a couple of fingers.
  25. I don’t think I have a character that I haven’t put through some kind of pain but the one that I feel bad about and would prefer to spare is Elizabeth. She’s the closest to an innocent bystander the series has.
  26. Quinn and Casey are the best prepared. Quinn’s had the greater experience to learn from but Casey is the better planner.
  27. Favourite settings:
    Book 1 – Shadowcroft
    Book 2 – House Takeda / Hashima Island
    Book 3 – Quinn’s retreat / bunker
  28. Ash’s great-Aunt Eve is the most likely to ask a seemingly stupid question. It wouldn’t really be stupid though, she’s just been in seclusion for years & isn’t quite up to speed by how much the world has changed in the past century. If not her, then Ash.
  29. Quinn could be a fun one to try. So would Ash’s father Matthias, at least until his imprisonment. Casey could be challenging. But then, they each have their own short stories to star in.
  30. He would want to but it would depend on the circumstances. Provided doing so didn’t create a risk to himself or any of his people, then sure.

  1. “I wish you could come outside with me,” Mitsuko said softly. “Step out of the shadows and into the summer sun.”
    I lifted her hand and kissed her fingertips. I could picture us, lying together in the grass on a lazy afternoon. “You know I can’t.”
  2. “Not if you wanted to keep me looking as good as I currently do.” My hand went involuntarily to my cheek, the scar tissue rough beneath my fingers.
    Mitsuko sat up. “Don’t do that.” She put her hand over mine, turning me to face her as she leaned into me.
  3. Quinn was stretched out on his bed, on top of the covers, propped up a little to watch a basketball game on the small TV.
    “Hey, Jodie want to go downtown. You want to come?”
    “Hell no.” He said, eyes not leaving the game. “Ah’ve bin on a road enough lately.”
  4. The funeral suit I’d been given was coarse & irritating. That, plus the slit at the back rubbing against the coffin was making me wish I’d been foresighted enough to put a t-shirt on underneath. Worse, there wasn’t room for me to scratch any of the itches.
  5. I glanced at my watch. 11:15 and the GPS unit said we still had just over a hundred miles to go. We weren’t going to make it. Quinn’s message had said to be there by midnight and I knew he wasn’t going to wait around for us and risk a trap.
  6. True, this isn’t quite solving a problem but…
    Anja paused in the doorway, then turned back to me, rummaging in her bag. She pulled free the slim leather book I’d seen her making notes in from time to time. She flipped through it quickly, tearing a handful of pages free, stuffing them into her pocket before handing the book to me.
    “There’s a number at the front for my call forwarding service. If you need to get in touch, leave a message for me there.”
  7. “We got a real chance here.” MacReady said. “We know what that fuck is planning; all we gotta do is find a way to counter his attack before he realizes it’s compromised.”
    I looked at the map I’d recovered. “This shows too many for us to take on at once.”
  8. I faced Lady Mallory. “So nice to see you again, Milady.”
    “Don’t bandy words with me, boy.” She snapped, raising her hand as if to slap me. “I’ll see you skinned alive for this. I told the others we should have had you killed in Japan.”
    I let her rant.
  9. De Vries crossed to the tank, pushed the lid aside & tapped some flakes from a small tub into the water. He watched as the fish streaked towards the surface & began nibbling at the food.
    “They’re supposed to help relieve stress.” He said conversationally.
  10. I’ll pass on this one.
  11. I opened my phone. Still nothing; no missed calls, no voicemails.
    I tried not to worry about the lack of response from Quinn or any of them. I told myself they’d probably switched to new numbers & only checked the old ones occasionally but it didn’t help.
  12. There was a sound like a whipcrack, then a burning line of pain creased my side. I barely had time to warn Jodie before a hammer blow struck me in the chest, knocking me off my feet & sending me crashing to the ground. Distantly, I heard her call my name.
  13. The thin bedraggled looking cat meowed piteously and I dropped a small piece of chicken for it. The cat jumped on it, making amusing little growls as she gnawed on the meat. I reached a hand down to stroke her mud-streaked black fur.
  14. I had no idea how long I would be alone in here. I had my watch, but there was no room for me to see the display, no way for me to measure the passage of time except in heartbeats. 
  15. I think I missed the cut off on this one, maybe some other time.
  16. “I never liked her,” Jodie said, eyes down, fixed on the contents of her glass. “But, she was the best of us, and she deserves to be remembered that way.” She raised her drink and we all followed her.
  17. I gathered up my possessions. It didn’t take long, they were still few enough to fit into the holdall. The last thing I did was grab the remaining blood bags from the fridge, stuffing them into the cooler. 
  18. He removed his glasses for a moment, huffing onto each lens in turn before looping them back over his ears. 
  19. The punch hit me when I least expected it. the quick jab caught me on the point of my chin, snapping my head back. My teeth clacked together and I tasted blood. 
  20. I ducked the follow-up punch, aiming a blow of my own in return. My fist thudded into my attacker’s chest, knocking them back and giving me a second to clear my head.
  21. Carina lounged in the doorway. “Have you been avoiding me, Piter?” She purred; half playful, half threatening.
    “Of course not.” De Vries replied smoothly, but I caught a brief flicker of annoyance cross his face.


As Always, Thanks to the hosts:

#AuthorConfession – J.M. Sullivan & Jessica Julien

#AuthorWouldYou – Haley Ringer & Rebecca R. Cahill

#TweepWriter – Nicola Noble

#WIPTruthorDare – Heather Hayden & Allie May

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