Tuesday, 23 February 2010

India Part One

videoI'm back! I know, I know. Your days have felt rather lonely and empty without me, haven't they? Well, put down that e-book and listen, I will enthrall you with my adventures in the far and exotic lands of Hindustan.

It was great. Very great. Even though I was there for about nine days I did get to see a lot of the things on my list and hopefully it'll all give the next book an authentic 'Indian' flavour. Amongst the highlights were:

1. The sheer BEDLAM. Varanasi especially is a city where the cacaphony is inescapable. The city's filled with thousands of temples, mosques, barking dogs, and the endless chatter of life. People in the old city live cheek by jowl and they all shout.

2. Monkeys. There were a surprising number of monkeys in Varanasi. No breakfast is safe. Bizzarely, they were going to be a feature before I got out there but their going to be crucial to the plot now. THERE WILL BE MONKEYS might be the new title.

3. The burning ghats. Unbelievable. Publis cremations on the steps of the river with people just milling around, cows and dogs sniffing around the remains and all under the shadow of the temple of Shiva. Never experienced anything quite like it.

4. The trains. Never experienced anything quite like these either. No wonder India invented Yoga. You need to be triple-jointed to get in the top bunk, that's for sure.

5. The food. I so stuffed my face. Embarrassing really.

6. The poverty and the mad drive towards modernity. You've children working on building sites, stirring the cement that'll be some new towering hotel for the coming Commonwealth games. But there are no easy answers to any of it.

7. The gods. Vishnu and Shiva. Hanuman, Kali, Rama and many more. Shrines tucked away in the corner of alleys, all garlanded and small plates of offerings at their feet. People pause automatically to offer prayers almost while they're still taking calls on their mobiles. It all blends into one.

Friday, 5 February 2010

The Knights Templar


It's a game ALL authors play, 'who would you cast as X if your book got turned into a movie?'.
Well, as some of you may know I have a, ahem, man-crush on two particularly fine British actors: Christian Bale and James Purefoy.
This picture is James Purefoy as Templar Master, Arthur SanGreal.
Okay, not really, BUT SERIOUSLY, IT SHOULD BE!
Don't you think?
We've got Wolfman due out next week, Percy Jackson, James Purefoy again as Solomon Kane, Clash of the Titans, Robin Hood and the Templar movie Ironclad (which I know nothing about apart form this poster but that'll do me very nicely, thank you) OMG, 2010 is turning out to be one promising year, film-wise. I could almost forgive Avatar.
This time next week I should be jet-lagged in India, which will be nice. Rather looking forward to a spot of sun. It'll be a bit of a mad dash to Varanasi, lots of wondering around a visiting temples and ruins and such, then mad dash home to start work on new book, that's been constantly put on hold as I carry out another rewrite on Dark Goddess. I must admit, I've written my first credible romantic scene recently. I'm not sure it's quite up there in the Bella love Edward sphere, because, hey, I'm writing it and my default mode is violence. There's kissing involved, and I tell you, writing a kissing scene from the point of view of a fifteen year old girl is probably the hardest thing I've even done.
So, see you all in a fortnight. Enjoy!!