Hi there, I’m Andrew, an author from the UK who currently lives on a small Greek island in the middle of the Aegean Sea. I’ve been writing for about ten years, and now I have a number of successful series and anthologies under my proverbial belt, thought I might share a little something about what I’ve learned in that time . . . especially when it comes to trusting in yourself and developing your own voice.
I call it – A Leap of Faith
A Leap of Faith
To be honest, being a writer is all about taking chances, isn’t it? It’s an integral part of developing our craft. But how do you know if you’re ready to take a leap of faith and progress to the next level?
I mean, think about the things we already do. We come up with a new idea or concept. We do all that research to give ourselves a good base to work from. And then we’re faced with a whole host of choices. What genre do I choose? Will I include scenes of a more intimate nature? What POV would be best? Will I stick to the ‘same old – same old’ or try to present my story in a new and refreshing way?
Then, of course, there’s our individuality to consider. What one writer might consider a gamble will be humdrum routine to another. And vice versa.
Past experiences made me realize we can’t develop our craft without taking a leap of faith. And taking risks often entails facing your own fears. Fear of failure; fear of rejection; fear of looking like an idiot. But hey, if you’re truly dedicated to improving your craft, you owe it to yourself – and your readers – to grow.
I faced this decision when it came to my new series, The Cambion Journals. The thrust of the entire series hinges on the reader being able to connect with the bitter and very personal experiences of the main character, Augustus Thorne. The reader has to be able to feel his anguish; taste his pain; endure his suffering every step of the way as he evolves from one state into another. To do this, his story obviously needs to be expressed in the first person, so that you’re there with him as he undergoes those trials that will determine his fate.
However, The Cambion Journals are incredibly complex and involve other main characters who have their own parts to play in the unfolding drama. They have their own histories and narrative to tell that are also vital to the plot. You might think the solution a simple one. Just write it in third person.
Ah, but here’s the thing. If I’d done that, I would have lost the special relationship – the connection – with Augustus that is so vital to making this story really work, because unless the reader can actually put themselves in his shoes, then the whole essence of the Cambion Journals will be lost.
So I took a chance!
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t just stumble blindly into an experiment that could wreck the credibility I’ve built as a writer. But I did my homework; researched experienced writers who had successfully managed to mix POV in their novels, and I studied how they did it. (Because believe me, there are some essential rules to follow). To cut a long story short, having decided to stretch my boundaries, I stuck with it.
Those who know my background realize I’m a very private person who hides behind a jokey exterior. I rarely let my guard down. But to get this concept right, I had to let go! I had to use Augustus’s trials and tribulations as a means to express what’s on the inside. So I did just that.
His hopes and fears, the hard truths he had to contend with, the daily battle to control his true nature . . . each and every one of them became my struggles. How would I face them? How would I react to those rare moments that lifted his heart from the abyss and brought a ray of sunshine into his life? How would I respond if those treasures were snatched from me? How would I deal with those responsible for ruining my life?
Yes, I had to do something very difficult for me. I had to take the risk to stand on the edge...and jump!
So was it worth it?
Well, it's early days, but so far, the reaction has been very encouraging. The team I have around me at Raven Tale Publishing has wholeheartedly supported the concept, and beta readers and early reviewers absolutely love the way Augustus Thorne’s story is told. And perhaps best of all, playing with POV has made me a better writer.
But please, don’t take my word for it.
Why don’t you get a copy of A Hybrid’s Tale – the very first novel in the Cambion Journals Series, and find out for yourselves. And when you have, spread Augustus’ story by telling others about him J
Title: A Hybrid’s Tale
Author: Andrew P. Weston
Genre: Dark Fantasy/horror
Publisher: Raven Tale Publishing
Born a Cambion – a half-demon, half-human hybrid – and cursed by a terrible hunger he can barely control, Augustus Thorne spends his long and lonely life hunting and exterminating any Incubi and Succubae he can find. But no matter how many he destroys, he can always make room for one more. Especially if it’s the foul scum who raped his mother; Augustus’ own spawn-father, Fanon.
Guided by his mother’s diaries, Augustus pursues Fanon down through the centuries and around the world, until fate seems to point him toward his heart’s desire. Yet, things are not as they appear, and the revelations Augustus uncovers are mind boggling. For if he wishes to face his father, he must first learn more about his own unique heritage, and the awful circumstances that led to his creation.
The trouble is, doing so might just cost him his humanity.
It was hard to believe I was looking at someone who was only thirty-seven. Once again, I saw my mother reflected in those empty, soulless eyes and swore with all my heart, One day, I will kill you, Father, and your death throes will resound from one end of time to the other as a warning to the whole of demondim!
“Isabelle?” I whispered, “How do you feel now?”
Slowly, her trembling hands inched away from her face. Her demeanor was still wild, but at least a spark of recognition now flickered in the background. Playing to it, I crooned, “I’m not here to hurt you in any way. I promise. If I can, I’ll help you get out of this mess, but you’ll have to play your part. Do you understand?”
Shaking her head and clutching her knees to her chest, she hissed, “No one can help me, no one. I am owned by a demon!”
Gently releasing the stricture of her grasp, I held her hands in mine and began infusing her with my own essence. Her eyes widened slightly, showing she recognized what was happening. Staring into thin air, she chattered, “He said you would come, you know. Oh yes, he said so earlier. He knew you’d kill me too, if I didn’t do what he ordered quick enough.”
“What did he tell you to do Isabelle? What did he threaten? I promise I won’t hurt you.” As emphasis, I continued to pour my vitality into her, fudging her mind with gentle insinuations of peace, safety and security.
She jutted her chin toward the fireplace where the remnants of a large quantity of books and other bound volumes were quietly being consumed by hungry flames.
No! I flew to the hearth and commenced scooping out whatever seared offerings were still salvageable.
Isabelle continued, “You see? He said you’d be angry with me for doing as I was told.”
I turned to find her gaze boring into mine. Laced with hidden meaning, she pleaded for understanding, “But I wanted to. Do you understand? I hate him but can’t bear to disobey. I feel . . . I feel as if my heart will burst if I do not love him enough, if I don’t show my devotion.” She sighed. “Will you punish me now? Make me scream for more?”
Ducking her head as if attempting to avoid a blow, she whispered, “I didn’t want to, but I had to. I love him. You can’t possibly understand how I despise the swine I adore.”
Jesus, he’s really screwed her over. Witnessing such degradation made my own heart constricted painfully within my chest. My throat bulged. I had to clench my teeth to stop the curses from spilling forth. Isn’t there anything my father can do except cause misery?
Heroically I fought down the pent-up bitterness threatening to erupt from my core and made haste to speak consolingly. “I’m not angry with you, sweet Isabelle. No sane person could ever be angry with you. I know exactly how you feel and precisely what it is you’re trying to explain, believe me. So no, I will never punish you.” For emphasis, I let the warmth flood from my aura.
Turning to the ashen scraps in my hands, I offered further solace. “See, you did well. Everything was destroyed except for a few scraps at the center of each document.”
Inwardly, I was thankful Isabelle hadn’t thought to open the tomes wide before placing them in the hearth. Because of that oversight, a number of the inner pages of several of those texts had only been lightly scorched and were still readable.
Isabelle had withdrawn inside herself and sobbed quietly in the corner. I decided to let her alone for a while in her own private grief and, taking the remaining pieces across to an antique bureau, eagerly began to peruse the scant treasure I’d retrieved.
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09WF4MKLB
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09WF4MKLB
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09WF4MKLB
Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.
As creator of the critically acclaimed IX Series, the Cambion Journals, along with Hell Bound, Hell Hounds, and Hell Gate, (novels forming part of the Heroes in Hell universe), Andrew has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, and the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.
When not working, he also devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.
Social Media Links:
Cambion Journals Blog: https://thecambionjournals.blogspot.com/
Cambion Journals Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Cambion-Journals-103202992239752