Allen Donnelly

Artist, Author, Whimsy Merchant

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

Filtering by Tag: Crystal Eyes

World Book Day (oh, and some other day. Let's not dwell on that)

It's the 3rd of March, 2016, and it's World Book Day according to the hashtag on twitter. So happy World Book Day, everyone! Buy a book, read it, love it, leave a nice review, hug the author and tell them everything's going to be okay - don't worry about lying to us, we're very gullible.
You could even get one of my 3! Hell, you can even get the first one - Crystal Eyes - for free from Smashwords, iTunes and Barnes & Noble!

It is also, as I write this on the 3rd of March, 2016, less than 24 hours away from me, Allen Donnelly, exiting my 30s.
Tomorrow will mark the fortieth anniversary of my birth, way back in 1976.
God that sounds like a long time ago...
I remember thinking that forty seemed so far away, so oooold, as to be almost inconceivable. And yet here we are. Or rather, there I will be tomorrow.
Here's a pic of me at about age 4 or 5 I think. With some rhubarb. Not sure why...
I don't actually care about turning forty, it's just another number and, hopefully, we'll all get there eventually, but I do tend to get a bit maudlin around birthdays - I enjoy wallowing in existential angst too much not to indulge when give such an opportunity.
If nothing else, it offers an opportunity to look back at what you've accomplished over the last decade...

Moving on.
Let us save the wallowing for tomorrow, when I intend to do nothing but play video games, eat unhealthy food and probably drink some wine, and today focus on the here and now.
I'm still working on the sequel to Heroes Wanted. Some books, Heroes Wanted included, flow like water, the words all but tumbling out of me. With other books, like the sequel for example, every sentence is a battle, every word has to be dragged out as if it were blood from a stone. Every time you think you've got a hold on it, it twists in your grasp and you need to shift directions.
This one's been a battle and I'm still not done.

I've still not heard anything back about The Salvager from the Angry Robot open submissions thing. I desperately want to get that book out there because I think it's awesome but it's going to have to wait; tough for an impatient old man like myself.

Away from literature, I'm trying to get better at the arting and the drawing (which I tend to post on my Tumblr and DeviantArt pages). This drawing is supposed to be Furiosa from Mad Max, by the way. Just in case you were wondering.
I might try sticking some of the less crappy efforts on Etsy or something. Can't make any less money from it than I do from the book sales...

Well, I've managed to avoid doing a morning's work by writing this blog post so I guess it's lunchtime and I'm a couple of hours closer to being 40.

Have a great day!

It's Crystal time...

...and there's no need to be afraid!
Reference from 1985 there - that's how up to the minute I am with modern culture. Last blog post it was Olivia Newton John, this post it's Band Aid. 
Zeitgeist, I am in you!

Back to the point, SORROW'S HERALD is out on the 10th of July! That's less than a month away! And you can pre-order it now! Exclamation mark!
EXCITE! A bit, anyway.

If you're looking at it and thinking "But Allen, that's a sequel and I've not read CRYSTAL EYES yet, how will I know what's happening?"
Well, first of all, shame on you! But I hold no grudges so allow me to help you rectify this egregious mistake:
If you go to Smashwords, buy CRYSTAL EYES and check out with the code LA48J, you will get it for FREE!
Look at all those capital letters, that's how you know it's exciting.

Aside from all this book-based nonsense, I'm still decorating. Slowly. Because I'm terrible at it. Also it transpires that the garden is essentially a weed-jungle and now I'm lowering the tone of the whole neighbourhood because I haven't got round to starting on it yet. I sprayed some weed-killer around but they all seem to be immune to it. 
I did stop the back door from creaking. The fact that something so trivial registers as a DIY success for me should give you some indication as to my level of competency with such things. To be fair, the creaking was really getting on my wick.

That's all for now!

New book announcement (and also parrots)

Hello, beautiful people (yes, even you), I hope you're doing well out there in internet land.
First of all, I am getting settled into my house in Kirkby Stephen. Still got a lot of decorating to do, not least because I bought some truly crappy paint that I tried out on one of the windows and I'm now going to have to remove. Seriously, it was like treacle. Some nice walking around here for the dog to look at while I'm carrying her because her poor old legs are tired.
Also, there are parrots. It's a truly surreal sight, seeing such a bright flash of colour go flying past against the backdrop of a cold, grey, wintry Cumbrian town (this place is a long way from resembling the Caribbean). They make a hell of a noise as well - get four of them in the same area and it's like a dozen cats trying to kill one another.
Here you go, in case you think I'm imagining things

They were on the chimney on my neighbours house. Very weird.
Also, I'm now officially announcing the forthcoming release of the sequel to Crystal Eyes - Sorrow's Herald, due out on the 10th of July!
The journey continues for Crystal and friends, trying to stay one step ahead of the Solanist preachers who are following their trail. With shooting, running, angst, more shooting, jumping, stabbing, fire, and even more shooting!
If you feel inclined to travel along with them, it's available for pre-order! At least it's available from Amazon now, it's not quite filtered through to the other retailers yet but it shouldn't be long.
Here's a peek at the cover!

I'm also in the process of setting up the hard copy versions of both Sorrow's Herald and Heroes Wanted, soon to be available from Amazon!

Other stuff...I've been playing a load of Heroes of the Storm (Sylvanas for the win), and quite a lot of Elder Scrolls Online as well - definitely worth a look since it dropped its monthly sub fee.
Also, Star Wars trailer! WOO HOO! And that little droid thing was awesome, I badly want one.
Been watching Daredevil as well. Got a couple of episodes left I think. Man, it's good but it's not one for the kiddies - the whimsical, pithy Marvel of Joss Whedon it is not.

That'll do for now.

2015, eh?

So far...could be better, could be worse. Kind of meh. Is it 2016 yet? No? Bugger.
I was holding off doing much promotion for Heroes Wanted (available at all good eBook retailers) after Christmas but I'll probably start again soon. I meant to start last week but, well, started out on Monday morning thinking "Huh, I must have been sitting funny, got a bit of an ache on the left side of my lower-back". By Monday afternoon I was lying flat on the floor gasping at the painful spasms - huzzah for kidney stones!
Middle-aged ailment - Achievement Unlocked!
Incidentally, if you hear a terrible screaming then it may be because the stone has finally worked its way through to the, er, "exit point", as it were. An experience that someone on twitter said was second only to his spine shattering in terms of pain.

On top of all that, I just dropped the last bit of my cheese pasty on the floor. Truly, this has become the year of horror.

My ageing carcass aside, I've been editing Sorrow's Herald, the sequel to Crystal Eyes, and what I'm tentatively calling Once Upon A Mech In The Desert, an entirely new sci-fi story. I might change the title though. It's a cool story but still needs some tweaking. Here's a slight spoiler: there are mechs in it. Also a desert. No desserts though.
Suddenly I want cake.

Who am I kidding, I always want cake.

I'm gonna have some cake.



Halfway to NaNoWriMo!

Except not quite cos I'm several thousand words behind!
Hey all!
It's the 15th of November, the halfway point of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so I thought I'd do a progress report. 
There is progress. Slow, painful progress. I'm at a point in Ironheart that I didn't plan out beyond a vague "put some stuff here" type of description and I'm having a bit of a hard time finding the words. I'm also, as mentioned above, quite a long way behind. It should be noted that this is absolutely not my fault - a friend came to visit and, when faced with the choice between writing or drinking and playing computer games... I was weak, internet, and I lacked the willpower to resist.
You can spot the days this occurred quite easily in this NaNoWriMo widget from their site:

Hint: red = bad
Anyway, I'm trying to play catch up now. The mathematicians amongst you will have realised that I really ought to be at 25,000 words at the halfway point, as opposed to the 19,000 I currently have.
You know, you can actually read what I'm writing if you want. The first chapter of Ironheart is here. It is only the first draft though, please bear that in mind!
The reason for this is that it's also Movember so, as well as producing some fine facial hair, I've made my novel available in the hope that you'll find it enjoyable enough to make you want to donate via the links on the pages. So far...not the most successful strategy. At all. In any way.
Still, hope springs eternal and I'm sure I'll get a donation any day now (hint hint).
I mean, look at this magnificent moustache. How can you not be tempted?

And yes, if you're wondering, that is a stuffed Paddington Bear teddy behind me.

Leaving aside books I've not finished writing yet, it's only just over a month until Heroes Wanted comes out - guaranteed (though not in any legally binding way) hilarity with swords and dragons and irate innkeepers! You should totally pre-order it! And then tell your friends about it!