Powering a Planet!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of creating Eshla was deciding what was going to make the world tick! This type of creative writing is quite unique to fantasy/sci-fi writing and I wanted to take full advantage of it.

Firstly, it was important that Eshla was sustainable. I didn’t see it as a smoky industrial world, but I didn’t want something that felt medieval either. The challenge was; how can I create a technologically advanced civilisation without destroying its natural resources? The answer was to create a kingdom where the humans worked alongside the flora, utilising their natural resources in a way that didn’t destroy or over-use them. Here are some of the special plants that Eric came across:

Ignis – The leaves of the Ignis plant, when pulverised, create a tremendous heat which is carried around rooms by pipes under the floor and blasted out into the air via the trumpet. The crushing process releases pollen which is pushed up and out of the castle via the main duct. The wind catches it and carries it back to Jarmuthe where it takes seed and grows more Ignis.

Goleuni flowers – They give off a strong golden glow that can be used in the same way as an electric light

Hedfan – Little blue flowers that are always trying to fly away, unless cold air is blasted on them, in which case they close. These were used by the inventor Drake Owren to power flying ships

Buwun – Legend has it the Buwun tree was the first plant on Eshla. They grow mainly in Cedwigod and supply light and energy throughout the forest region, via luminous green tendrils which stretch out for miles.

Cufithum – A plant with pollen that has a direct impact on a person’s auditory senses, enabling them to hear whatever language is being spoken, translated into their own tongue.

Gats stones – Possibly the most important natural resource on Eshla, thanks to the Bradwar family. Gats is used to stop evil tyrants from controlling people’s minds with Bel-Arayba stones.  It is created when you smelt down Bel-Arayba and mix it with Meddul soil. This scrambles the mind-controlling Mennif rays and makes them completely useless.

Kussgull – A flower which grows in Jarmuthe. In powder form, it sends people to sleep almost instantly for at least eight hours. Great for sneak attacks!

A Busgot – A large see through leaf used in fishing. You hold it in the water and when you see a fish swim under the leaf, pull hard on the stem. The Busgot curls up and traps the fish which you can then pull out.

Gwella – A fantastic healing plant, which sends the patient to sleep while their wounds heal.

There are a lot more plants and natural resources on Eshla to discover – you’ll have to read the books to learn about them all!

Jarmuthe

What is Eshla?

The short answer: the world Eric Grayson finds himself in, after being pulled through the Jarmuthe Chasm.

In a bit more detail – Eshla is divided into roughly four regions: The Jarmuthe region is mainly meadows, moors, hills and dales with some forest. A large proportion of the plants used to power Eshla come from here.

Jarmuthe

The Cedwigod region, is mainly forest with cities and houses built into the trees. A green, energetic light flows around these beautiful homes. Anna lives here in the lively city of Pren.

Cedwigod

The Caregon region, is the hardest land – mainly rocks and stone but the mysterious Bel-Arayba cave lays at the heart of it.

Bel Arayba Caregon

Finally, the Elgion region, is made up of salt water and numerous water-islands with elegant canals.

Elgion

At the center of all this is Hendref, the royal city, with its unusual skyline of distinctly shaped buildings, in a warm butter coloured stone, and flying machines which weave in between them. Hendref is covered in copper and brass pipes and mysterious humming machines.  This is where the Arwain family have their home: Hendref Castle.

To explore further, purchase ‘The Lost Heirs’, the first Eshlan adventure.

Cress in Waterbee

Another fantastic book by an independent author – those agents and publishers are really missing out! Here’s my review for Amazon and Goodreads:

It’s quite hard not to go over the top when reviewing ‘Cress in Waterbee’ by Joye Johnson. As an English teacher with a literature degree I’ve read a lot of the classics, and this felt from the start like it was in the same category.
Born in America in the days of segregation, Cress – with her dark skin and pale eyes – was never going to have an easy time. It falls to her equally unconventional guardian to carve out a life for them both in the small town of Waterbee. They settle there with a supporting cast of terrible people, terribly kind people and some who are a bit of both. The plot carries you through the seasons of Cress’ life till you almost feel responsible for her yourself!
This story is original and stirring – I can’t remember the last time I was so desperate for two fictional characters to thrive and succeed.
Well written with clever twists and heartfelt descriptions, this is a novel to laugh and cry with and should certainly be around for generations to come.
Now, I have to return to a far more mundane world and wait patiently for the sequel, ‘Cress on the Bay’.

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If you are an indie author and would like to read and review my book in exchange for me doing the same, please get in touch!

Buy ‘Cress in Waterbee’ here.

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Goodreads

Today I have discovered Goodreads- yet another promotional tool available to independent authors! Thanks to Reece Evhans (author of The Seeker Series) who first mentioned it.
It took me a while to figure out how to get my book on there, and it threw me when they asked me to review it! But I eventually realised that you link yourself to the book when you join their author program. I’ve just applied now and am awaiting approval.
Has anyone else used the Goodreads promotional tools to market their work? And if so, did any have particularly good results?

What a year!

When I pause and think about it 2014 has been fairly epic. It’s been a year of adventures and new starts: marriage, new job, a second book almost complete and the leap into self publishing!
I say leap; it was more of a trip and a stumble followed by a huge learning curve! I naively imagined that I could proof read 65,000 words myself, draw a quick cover, slap it out through Amazon, get some friends to read and review and the thing would sell itself!
The reality is: the cover looks clumsy and has held me back from marketing ‘The Lost Heirs’ (I’m having a professional one done right now); I’m on my sixth reprint of the text and people are still pointing out errors! (As soon as I’m paid next month I’ll be employing a proof reader); and whilst lots of friends have happily bought the book (bless them!) few have reviewed it (one to be exact), people are just busy, that’s all. I’ve found the best way to get honest reviews is to approach other authors on WordPress who are in a similar position to me and offer to buy, read and review their books if they’ll do the same. It’s a slow process but it’s honest and it’s opened me up to some genres that I wouldn’t normally bother with; improving my own writing to boot.
So for 2015 I’ll be focusing on professionalism; investing in the project I’ve poured my heart and soul into these last few years. By Easter the second book should be available (proofread and with a proper cover!); and I’ll be experimenting with various different promotional methods whilst completing the third book in the series. I’ll let you know which ones work!
Have a wonderful 2015 – may it be full of dreams come true.

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