Allen Donnelly

Artist, Author, Whimsy Merchant

This is the official website of the artist and science-fiction/fantasy novelist, Allen Donnelly.

Life, The Universe And Everything

Hello dear, dear friends! And you as well.
I hope that you are all having a fantastic day, or at least a day that is better than the recent average.
In a couple of short weeks, I shall discover the secret to life, the universe and everything. This is my roundabout way of saying that it will shortly be my birthday, my 42nd birthday, to be exact, hence all the Hitchhiker's references...
God, I feel old.
Anyway, in celebration of this most auspicious of occasions, I'm making all of my books FREE for the weekend of my birthday, which is the first weekend of March (my birthday being on the 4th).
So that's all 4 of my books, for free, for anyone who wants to download them over that weekend!
They're quite good as well, and don't just take my word for it, positive reviews all round!
And if you'd like to give me a birthday present, I wouldn't object to some more positive reviews and it wouldn't cost you a penny/dime - just saying!
American Author's page
UK Author's page
Goodreads page

I'm currently writing the sequel to Heroes Wanted, which should be released later this year barring unforeseen catastrophe.

I've done a few more paintings, visible in my gallery, and I've opened up an Etsy store where you can buy prints and originals directly from me - check it out here!
If you fancy a commission, just get in touch through the Contact Me page or email ADonnellyArt@gmail.com

black panther - etsy print.jpg

There are time-lapse vids of some of the paintings up on my YouTube channel, including my latest effort, a portrait of Chadwick Boseman from the just released Black Panther film, which I'm very excited about (and which I won't get to watch for several months at least).

All of that aside, I've spent altogether too much time watching the Overwatch League on twitch (ESports!), playing Overwatch, and breaking my nose (not an interesting story, I just slipped and face-planted like the clumsy dumbass I am).
Currently also watching Altered Carbon on Netflix - fine bit of cyberpunk sci-fi business, if you like that kind of thing. And don't mind nudity. So much nudity.

That's all for now.
Be excellent to one another, and happy birthday to me!
Al

Art, Dahling!

It's all about the arts today!
I have found myself increasingly attracted to paint and the application thereof to bits of canvas (not news to you if you happen to follow me on Instagram).

I've even just built up the confidence to try selling prints (and assorted other bits and bobs. Even duvet covers and shower curtains!) of some of my scrawlings on Society6 and RedBubble, which you can check out with these links - https://society6.com/bigalien and https://www.redbubble.com/people/bigalien
This isn't to say I've stopped writing, far from it, but I do enjoy the immediacy of painting and the satisfaction of creating something physical. And if it should generate some money that would be most welcome - I know the starving artist is a time-honoured cliche but it's not one I particularly want to perpetuate.
Truthfully, I'd be lying if I claimed that I hadn't become a little discouraged with writing of late. As much as I write for myself, it's hard to maintain the motivation to devote months of effort to crafting a book when you release them to a collective "Meh" from the world, perhaps accompanied by a vague shrug. 
The arcane arts of successful marketing have continued to remain a mystery. Twitter remains the main avenue of communication but I've largely stopped tweeting out book adverts - it wasn't something I ever enjoyed doing and my tweets have virtually no impact at all. That being said, when I have tweeted about my books, or my art, I have appreciated every retweet more than I can properly express.
I'm still in the middle of editing my next novel, which I would like to release this year but it's proving to be an unruly beast that refuses to do what I want, so I paint stuff instead.
Like this, my latest effort, entitled Red and Wolf! This bad boy's a full metre across, biggest painting I've ever attempted (and the latest addition to my Society6 gallery, as it happens).

I was even thinking about live-streaming some painting on Twitch, but that requires a level of confidence I'm still working up to. Maybe someday soon.
Oh, and if you should want something specific painted then I am quite willing to accept money in exchange for such a service.
Right, I suppose I should get back to trying to edit this bloody book...or I could clean the wall...
Now, where did I put those cloths?
Who am I kidding, it's almost 10 o clock at night and all I'm doing is playing Warcraft.

Be excellent to each other, love art in all its forms (even mine) and try to pretend, at least for a moment, that everything's fine, it's all fine.
Al.

I remember...

...when all of this was fields, as far as the eye can see!
Well, technically it is all still fields, and open moorland, because I live in the middle of nowhere. Nonetheless, my point remains...

I'M GETTING OLD!

Older, anyway. Forty one, to be precise, for I was born on March the 4th, 1976 and this Saturday will mark the 41st anniversary of this momentous event.
In celebration, I have initiated the Birthday Protocol!
Which basically means I'm using it as an excuse to have a sale on my books and eat cake.
Since I can't offer you some of the cake (and I absolutely would if I could, honest), instead I have chosen to give (*adopts Bane voice*) the gift of literature to you, the people.
Ahem.
Anyway. This weekend, from the 3rd to the 5th of March, my first two books - Crystal Eyes and Heroes Wanted - will both be completely FREE to download from Amazon.
In addition, Sorrows Herald (the sequel to Crystal Eyes) and my latest, The Salvager, will both be on offer at significantly reduced prices from midnight on Friday to 11 pm on Sunday. I think. The time picking thing on Amazon's author dashboard was a little wonky.
Unfortunately, the discounts can only be offered in the UK and US Amazon stores although the free books are, I believe, universal. Why this is the case, I don't know. You'd have to ask Amazon about that.
So there you are, cake and awesome books! YAY!
You know what would be a great birthday present, to make me feel better about the slow trickle of sand through the hourglass of my life? 
REVIEWS! Please review them. Pretty please with a cherry on top.

What else is happening in the world?
(*looks at world*)
You know what? Never mind. Let's leave that horror show for another time.

That's it for now.
Until next time, be excellent to one another
Al
P.S. Here's a pic I took yesterday from my back door, just in case you didn't believe me about the fields. Usually there are just sheep and the occasional rabbit in there, this time it was a red squirrel...

Happy New Year!

What do you mean, I'm a week late? Well, yeah, okay. It wasn't meant to be like this...
New Years Eve: I had plans, man, plans. I was gonna say a heartfelt goodbye to 2016 in fine style, or at least as much style as a man living alone can manage.
And for half an hour, it was fabulous, everything was shiny and bright, I made a coffee and Irish cream. But then, about half way through my coffee, things started feeling a little too bright. And why were my shoulders suddenly cold? I mean, I wasn't wearing a jumper, but the shivering seemed excessive. Was the room spinning a bit? There was definite spinnage going on.
Fabulousness was swapped for a thick jumper, comfy slippers and a thick blanket (a present from my friend Karen that turned out to be invaluable), shininess swapped for heavy fleece.
I spent the next four-five days with a fever, curled up underneath the blanket, feeling like death its very self. So, basically, I cancelled New Year. It's not happened yet. I'm going to have another one once I finally shake off the lingering traces of whatever it was I caught.
So, on the negative side, 2017 got off to a fairly crappy start (not that it's officially started yet, not in this house). On the positive side, I got to catch up on a lot of shows on Netflix from within my blanket cocoon. Here's a run down!

  • Brooklyn 99 - binge-watched the 3rd series on New Years Eve. As wonderful as ever, the perfect antidote to a burgeoning fever.
  • The Expanse - that's some damn good sci-fi. Highly recommended. Thomas Jane's hair is quite distressing though.
  • Shadowhunters - cheesy garbage. Just needed something trashy as a brain cleanser after the next show on the list
  • The OA - Flatliners with interpretative dance and a lot of WTF. Well made, beautifully acted, but I have no idea what the point was
  • Van Helsing - not great, not terrible. Quite enjoyable in a post-apocalyptic kind of way
  • Troll Hunters - animated thing from Del Toro. Only a few episodes in but enjoying it so far

No writing happened. In fact, this is the longest I've stared at a computer screen in ages and my head is definitely starting to protest. I still have to finish the story I was writing for NaNoWriMo but it's not going to get back to that for at least a couple more days.
So anyway, Happy New Year, I hope it's a decent one for all of us who aren't bigots or fascists.
I'm not going to say anything more about last year - let's just pretend it never happened.
I got some more nice reviews on The Salvager and Heroes Wanted, so thank you to whoever left those. It's impossible to overstate how much those reviews matter, especially to a small-time author like me. I'm just saying, I wouldn't object to a few more...
Right, the world's getting a bit fuzzy again so I'm vanishing back inside my blanket cocoon to watch some more Troll Hunters.

Later, lovely people,
Al

And that's November done!

What a month, eh? I know, I know, let's not talk about it.
Let's be positive - I've done NaNoWriMo! 
Are those straws clutched in my hand? I rather think they might be.
Anyway, I've just gone past the 50,000 word mark on a novel despite the crushing, existential angst that is the default emotion of 2016. I consider that an achievement in itself, although to be honest, this year, just finding the will to get out of bed in the morning should earn you a medal.

This novel, which I've called The Beating of an Iron Heart, is actually the same novel I did for the 2014 NaNoWriMo (then called simply Ironheart - see, I came up with that name first, Marvel! You know, in the unlikely event that it ever gets popular enough to warrant attention from anyone who would care).
And there was another attempt at it earlier this year. Basically, this is my third try at getting this damned story to do what I want. It remains to be seen if this one will work out.
Hope springs eternal, right? Man, that phrase sounds hollow this year.

I don't have much else to offer, it's cold (except in the Arctic, but let's not talk about that either because Jesus Christ it's all just too much), and I'm going to pretend that everything isn't going to hell and have a coffee and Irish Cream to celebrate. I might even have a second chocolate biscuit.

Finally, congratulations to everyone who took part in NaNoWriMo this year!
Let's do it all again in 2017. Hopefully I'll actually have finished this story by then and the world won't have ended. Fingers crossed!

Al