It is 3am.
There is lots going on in the head, despite the tiredness.
It is far too warm, despite the windows being open.
And the birds are tweeting outside, despite it being middle of the night.
Why do they do that??
Mild insomnia takes my mind back to the summer of 2016, lounging around a villa in Orlando. Here, I wrote a scene set in an elevator. It introduced me to a strong female character who, ironically, would not become the lead, although at the time I thought she would. The woman in the lift was called Roan, and she was an assassin.
At the end of the that holiday, life kicked back in quickly and the ten thousand or so words I had penned were just put to one side. There was a determination to pick them back up at some point, and follow the story through to a conclusion, but that point never came and Roan went into hibernation.
Cuba, a year later. In contrast to Orlando, Cuba has pretty much sod all to do except sun loungers and swimming pools. It is the perfect place to relax and write. Roan, though, was 4,500 miles away at home in the UK and having not lived with in her head for over a year, she was not in mine either. So as my biro hit the pad, she was usurped by a new female lead. Kayla McGann was born, with her dreadful back story and stuck in the terrible predicament we find her in at the start of Episode One: The Cairo Accord. But Roan did not need to fear for her future, as she was soon revived, and the two stories would weave together through the dreadful events at Three Zero. I was left with two fantastic female leads that the reader can enjoy for the price of one!
Back to the warm bed and that inability to sleep. We have all been there. Middle of the night, tossing and turning, and the longer it goes on the more frustrated we become. The birds, though, I do understand, thanks to the power of google. Robins, and I know one nests in the garden, are remarkably territorial. Apparently, they continue to stake their claims all the year round and when that is combined with street lights, their zealous chirps can continue through the night. Now I know that, the Robin does not add to insomnia, and has actually become relaxing. It is everything else, all those other things in my head, all of life’s little worries, that do the damage. And just like my garden friend, these little worries come out in the early hours to make sure they retain their territory, to make sure you do not forget they are there…
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Three years after I released Episode One: The Cairo Accord, I have a good number of positive reviews. Recent news stories surrounding the eliciting of reviews on Amazon surprise no one. Mostly, those dodgy reviews are claimed to be on electrical and high value goods, but undoubtedly this extends to books too. I’ve had several… Continue Reading →
The question of whether extra-terrestrial civilizations exist has long since been the debate of scientists, and the premise of many science fiction stories. In a galaxy with billions of planets, we might find it extraordinary that, if such life exists, we have not yet met it. Surely, if advanced life is out there, we would… Continue Reading →
How do you personally combat these night spirits?
There are all sorts of relaxation techniques I have tried, from counting sheep to getting up and having a cup of black tea. Sometimes these work, but, depending on the depth of the stress, sometimes they do not. In the summers of 2016 and 2017 though, I inadvertently fell upon a new solution and it was not dissimilar to feelings left back in my teenage years. Do you remember being crazy in love, the kind you only experience as an adolescent? That obsessive, every-breathing-minute compulsion? That person you just cannot shift from your thoughts, the one who is on your mind from the minute you wake up right through to the minute you fall asleep…
And then comes the realisation, that yes, I am in love! I have got it bad! So in the middle of the night, when those stresses bite, I can now cuddle my pillow and think of my obsession. Everything else fades, all the worries become insignificant, and I soon fall back to sleep.
Who is he, you ask?
Ah, well, invariably, it is not a ‘he’. Invariably it is a ‘she’. Invariable it is Kayla McGann, sometimes it is Roan Siyankova. Recently, it has been Andrea Pedros. Once upon a time, it was Ana Cholewinska. Rarely, do I let the boys in, Messiah or Jed staying out of my sleepy head. With this host of female obsessions to keep my thoughts entertained, gone are the sheep and gone are the cups of black tea. Now, when I need to sleep, I simply lose myself and do what my promotions on Twitter suggest others do, I travel beyond Hadrian’s Gate!
So there you have the great reveal – many of the plot twists and turns are conjured up in those moments just before sleep! These are the times I best embrace those favourite characters and they take me away from this reality and into another. Hopefully, you are enjoying the adventure as much as I do!
I am deeply grateful to each and every reader who has been with me on this journey so far.
Enjoy you day / evening and hope you sleep well!
4th December 2020 (updated)
Photo by Kaitlyn Jade from Pexels Why not take the opportunity to read the first few passages of Episode 1 : The Cairo Accord? Click on the “Free Preview” tab below. If you enjoy the opening, take the plunge and download the rest to your Kindle! Hadrian’s Gate is an epic, expansive sci-fi drama. It’s rich mix of… Continue Reading →
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Many light years away, a worried mother woke from a nightmare. She stared into the darkness, calming her thoughts, hoping it was only a dream. Under the covers, she sought comfort from her partner’s warmth, reassuringly pushing her leg against his. He stirred but did not wake. It would be okay, this mother told herself,… Continue Reading →