To trope or not to trope…when writing become a cliché! #writing #amwriting

Today I want to talk about tropes. When to use them, when not to use them, and the vast gray quagmire that exists between.

What is a literary trope?

In the literary sense, a trope is a common theme, plot point, event or motif within a story.

What is the problem with using a trope?

There is nothing wrong with using a common trope, there are oodles of them out there and we love them, which I will explore in more detail below. The problem is only when they are overused…badly.

They make us groan, switch off, or even reach for the nearest trashcan to dispense of the literary waste.

Overused tropes and writing clichés are boring, disappointing, and leave the reader feeling cheated.

So, we should never use a trope?

Here is where it starts to get a little gray and fuzzy. It’s pretty difficult to think of something completely original and new. Humans take comfort in a story that triggers a familiar spark in our imaginations. Fairy tales and fables are the ultimate tropes, and even as adults we are happy to read them again and again.

Tropes become tropes, well, because fundamentally they are appealing:

  • They present us with the ultimate challenge > zombies hunger for human flesh or aliens experimenting on humans
  • They appeal to our sense of good and happiness > boy meets girl and lives happily ever after 
  • They identify stereotypes > grumpy boss, evil drug kingpin, nerdy IT student

The good the bad and the ugly…😱

“I can’t believe they did that. It was sooooo obvious!

Avoid overused character tropes like the plague!

Many bad tropes relate to characters, not all, but certainly many do. Not every character has to break the stereotypeI used to work in IT and I can definitely confirm that some stereotypes have a foundation in reality! But deviating from cliché characters can deliver amazing results when done right.

Look what happened when a desperate school teacher dying of cancer became a drug kingpin? Walter White is the ultimate anti-trope character and Breaking Bad was a huge success for exactly this reason.

Tropes we still love…Zombies want to eat us

The flesh-eating zombie trope has been, well, done to death if you’ll excuse the pun. But we still love this trope…there are books and books of this trope and I don’t think our enthusiasm for zombies has yet to show signs of decline. Sure, we can mix it up but fundamentally zombies love eating human flesh and we are still reading about it.

Tropes we love to hate…UFO abductions

Unlike the zombie trope, which might still have a little life left, excuse the pun! Aliens abductions has tipped over the other side. A couple of decades ago this might have been more common, but the basic alien abduction is definitely in decline.

Conclusions

A trope, in itself, isn’t a bad thing, avoiding any familiarity in a book or story is near impossible, and the occasional deviation towards trope-land isn’t going to kill your creation…but too much of it will. The subtle ways in which we explore our writing and challenge ourselves when it comes to tropes and clichés can make an average story, great. Not every character has to break the mould, not every plot point has to be unique (nor can it be!), but within those bounds we should strive to remain vigilant for clichés, and enrich our writing with events, people and circumstance that reflect the diverse and surprising nature of real life.

What are your favorite tropes?

What tropes do you love to hate?

Some great articles on tropes…

Six Unrealistic Tropes and How to Avoid Them

5 Clichés To Avoid In Your Fantasy Novel

Ten tropes you’ll find in science fiction – over and over again

Why feedback is so important… #writing #amwriting #writerslife

I was recently reading On Writing by Stephen King. It’s one of those books you dip in and out of and even re-read. While I love his candid style, it is something else within this book that I want to reflect on.

The importance of nurturing young minds

I have always been a reader; my earliest memories are of sitting with my head buried in a book. People would buy me books, my mum in particular bought me a huge number as gifts. I would read my favorites over and over again. I was never much of a writer when young though, and it wasn’t until I left university that I started to dabble in writing myself.

Whenever we come to the writing life, whether as a child, a young adult, or an older adult, we come to it with a measure of vulnerability.


“She (his mother) said it was good enough to be in a book. Nothing anyone has said to me since has made me feel any happier.”

~Stephen King, On Writing.

We all need someone to believe in us.

One someone is usually enough.

Just someone.

Someone whose opinion holds weight, whose opinion matters.

That doesn’t mean feedback should be sugar coated. It must be genuine, and better if it comes from someone who is circumspect with their praise. Most people, young or old, have an inbuilt detector for the disingenuous. False praise will fall flat, but the praise we have worked for will lift us up to a special place.

It’s also about timing. We are all vulnerable at times in our life, and that maybe when we are young like Stephen was when his mother read his first story, and it might equally be when we are older.

So, I am going to amend my above quote and say that there is an importance to nurturing all minds.

All writers are equal and different

I realize everyone is different, and that some writers might need greater nurturing than others. Some might even be comfortable with their own magnificence and need very little nurturing at all.

I think most writers are imperfect perfectionists who are never really satisfied with what they produce and are always seeking to do better.

And I think all writers need someone to believe in them. I know if someone offered me an option to have a hundred dollars or a hundred reviews from people who enjoyed my work,  I would pick the reviews every time.

It doesn’t matter how many books you have written or how successful you are as a writer. Success is subjective, after all. But I love that Stephen Kings greatest source of writerly pride was getting a quarter for his first book from his mother.

Fahrenheit 451 – Book review #books #classicbooks #bookreivew

About Fahrenheit 451: Set in a dystopian future, it follows the story of Guy Montag, a fireman. But in this future, firemen don’t put out fires, they create fires…of banned books.

Guy doesn’t question his existence, or the way things are…until he meets his neighbor Clarisse.

What will follow is a slow unfurling of every truth Guy has held dear.

My Review: So, this isn’t the easiest book to read. There are times when you get lost in the beautiful prose and the haunting flow of the story. And times when you are so lost in the beautiful prose that you don’t know where you are in the story…Fahrenheit 451 isn’t the kind of book you dip into while waiting for the train on a busy platform!

Trust me on this, I tried it.

There are times in life when you just want to sit down and watch a brain off action movie, and times when you want to stretch your cognitive muscles watching something that makes you think…and reflect on after it is done.

There are reasons why books become classics and why it is generally worth pushing through.

I expect to find myself reflecting on this book.

My rating: 5 Stars

See my review on Goodreads

…and I will leave you with a quote.

“‘Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.” from Fahrenheit 451

BOOK Review – Feral by P. J. Post #dystopian #scifi #post-apocolyptic

I often browse what’s in the Amazon freebie sci-fi bestseller lists, and I picked this book up under post-apocalyptic.
There is nothing particularly unusual about the storyline, something bad has happened, we don’t really know what, but society has broken down, and it follows our protagonists travels as they try to keep out of trouble while they scavenge for food.
One of the reasons I find myself drawn to dystopian and post-apocalyptic is the great character studies you often get. So, while the story line is nothing unusual, I loved the main characters and they made this book a standout for me. The two MC’s are both teenagers, and both gloriously unhinged, and while it is classed as YA, the situations / accounts are often gritty and graphic. They do develop obvious feelings toward one another, it doesn’t deviate into romance (at least not in this book).
If you are looking for a joyful read, this definitely isn’t for you.
Nor is it the kind of book that delivers a breadth of emotions. There are the odd moments of almost light-hearted banter…almost…But it does definitely have a gritty, sombre, and at times desperate mood that is pervasive to the book. And in a sea of HEA books this makes a refreshing change.

My rating: 5 stars

See my review on Goodreads

Building conflict – the dastardly life of a writer 😈 #amwriting #writerslife

I’m with Bugs Bunny every time. Well, maybe not necessarily the swift part, I’m okay with revenge of all kinds in a book.

And so should every writer be

Building conflict is a natural part of writing. Take every opportunity to drive a little more drama for our heroes and heroines. Explore every option to pile on the pressure, take away safety nets, and keep your readers guessing at motives and intent.

It isn’t always easy to provide surprises, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for the reader. As the saying goes the first draft is you telling yourself the book. Once you know the way the story will play out, walk through again and generously sprinkle red-herrings, weave subterfuge, and turn up the heat.

Yes, we need the balance of the good, the empathetic, and the kind, but they will shine so much brighter if you dump a little darkness on the other end of the scale.

Surprise yourself with just how dastardly you can be.

Cultivate a ‘What if’ mentality.

  • What if I pull this leaver?
  • What if I break that?
  • What if he is lying?
  • What if she is telling the truth?
  • What if I take away this?
  • What if this happens?
  • What if this doesn’t happen?

You’re a writer,  you need to give your inner bastard some air time.

Be mean. Be cruel. Be utterly wicked.

Think of the worst possible thing that could happen. The thing you would dread. The thing that would make you yell ‘NO’ if it happened to you.

And then do it.

And then do it again.

Happy writing conflict 😈

Somewhere new! #writing #amwriting

I don’t normally work in the dining area, but it has started to turn chilly in the evenings so I cranked up the log burner. The table just happens to be in comfortable proximity, and I can make the most of the toasty warmth while I write.

Toasty warm!

I also happen to live in a house with walls that look like a castle (and they are about as thick), which creates a good writerly atmosphere. My office doesn’t have the mighty walls so it feels interesting sitting down here for a change.

I’m doing a little rework on my new book this week. Added about 5k to the start after some feedback, and I’m pleased with the way it is going. I love getting beta feedback and I have plenty to work on at the moment before I move on to my next book in the series.

I’ve been playing about with section breaks. I usually write quite small chapters, but this time I’m going larger, and trying POV swopping where the scenes flow into one another. I never realized this was so complex! If you are looking for some information on chapters and section breaks, here are a couple of great articles I found.

7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

The Secret to Section Breaks

Happy writing 🙂

Holidays, books and being a writer! #writing #amwriting #writerslife

“I’m a writer. My hobbies include not writing.”

I have a bit of a fixation with writing memes, and the above was my favourite from this week. I’ve been on holiday in Brisbane for the last 10 days, and even though I’m on holiday I’ve found it hard to tear myself away from my story. I was sitting in a coffee shop, doing the final read of book 3 from my trilogy before hitting publish, when this meme popped up. Needless to say, it made me chuckle.

I dabbled in writing for so many years before I published, and the moment I did publish it was like BOOM I’m addicted. I really don’t have any other hobbies now…except walking or maybe gardening, because walking and gardening mean you can still think about writing!

Win, win!

Some pictures from my Brisbane trip…

Enoggera, QLD…yes, that is me and not the back of a random person!
South Brisbane Foreshore
South Brisbane Foreshore
Cute Koala at the Lonepine Koala sanctuary
Botanical Gardens, Brisbane
Toowoomba, QLD

The end of the Divided World…not quite so divided anymore…more of a…well, you’ll have to read it to find out 😉

It’s taken me nearly 18 months, but I’m finally at the end of the trilogy with the 3rd book out on Amazon in print, and ebook on pre-order!
There will definitely be more adventures for Tanis and perhaps even spin-offs, but for now I’m starting a new series.
Such a great feeling to get to the end. And super excited about the next chapter…pun intended

For those who love sci-fi with a touch of fantasy and a lot of conflict!

Divided Serenity (Divided World Book One)
http://hyperurl.co/yfi7m2

 

 

Serenity Falling (Divided World Book Two)
https://hyperurl.co/1j9tol

 

 

Revealing Serenity (Divided World Book Three)
Available on pre-order
https://hyperurl.co/ja0qrt

A simple guide to planning a novel – Part 1

I am going to confess something right off—I hate planning. I hate it with a passion. I find it boring. So, if I want to plan a novel I need to make it super easy, and when I say super easy, I mean idiot proof.

My Simple guide to planning a novel will be a series coming out every Wednesday. Today we are looking at the tools needed, pre-work, and Stage 1 – Brainstorming. I will be using Star Wars to provide plot point explanations, and these examples will be obvious even for those who haven’t seen the movie. If you haven’t seen Star Wars (why haven’t you seen it?), I will also be using examples from Toy Story.

My advice in using this guide is not to over-think every stage. For example, if you don’t have a complete character profile you can move forward anyway. You do need some of the character profile, though.

You will find that as you develop each stage you gain insights into previous stages and previous ideas. It’s okay to dive back and add extra details to any stage at any point. The more passes you make, and the more you progress, the greater detail you will see. And it doesn’t have to be perfect before you can start writing, I go for the 80/20 rule. If it’s mostly complete just jump on in and the last few missing pieces will pop up as you write.

Q: What are the planning stages?

A: Pre-work + 5 stages

We will follow the series of steps shown below. The Key plot points will take the most time and effort, but these are also the most important parts so it is worth investing this time. Today we are covering pre-work and brainstorming.

Planning a novel - Part 1

Q: How long does it take?

A: About a day

I have just planned my third book using this technique, which is based on a number of blog posts, articles, pod-casts, books, and planning guides I have read over the years, along with the experience gained in planning my first two books. It took me about a day in total excluding the pre-work and character profiles. Since it was the third book in a series I already had a good idea about what I wanted to achieve, and of course knew most of the characters. However, my original outline was still extremely sketchy, but with about 6 hours effort I had a great set of chapter summaries, was comfortable that I had not backed myself into any plot corners, and had all my key plot points covered.

Q: What tools do I need?

A: This is a generic planning approach and can use anything from a dedicated writing tool such as Scrivener, word, excel or good old pen and paper.

If you are using the manual approach then coloured pens and post-it notes can be a great help, but otherwise plain old paper and pen will do.

Now, without further ado, here is my Simple guide to planning a novel.

Pre-work

As with most things, you need to do a little pre-work before you leap into planning a book. The pre-work involves developing your story concept, along with a rough idea of what the story is about. A summary will do. Then we can move onto brainstorming our plot. Things to identify in the pre-work stage include:

  • What sort of dramatic situation is your story about? You may be surprised to discover there are only so many types of plot. Want some ideas, check out this great post with examples. 36 Plots and Mad Max
  • Who is your story about? When we get an idea for a story we usually have a character in mind for our protagonist, and we usually have back story ideas about them too.
  • Who is your story antagonist, or antagonistic force? Whether it is a person, a force of nature, an animal, a disease or something else doesn’t matter, there just needs to be something or someone who provides the counterbalance to our protagonist and delivers a source of conflict.
  • Our characters never live in a vacuum, so you also need an idea for the setting or location, and ideas for supporting characters as well.

Phew, that is quite a lot of pre-work! But, all of this will help you when you come to start the real planning and we begin to explore our character timelines.

Step 1 – Character timelines via brainstorming.

To explore character timelines, you need a book start and the book end…even if you change these as part of the planning and /or writing process. You have to start somewhere, and you have to put a boundary around your story.

This boundary will be used now when we explore our character timelines.

  1. First, list all the main characters, and all your supporting characters. If something other than a person is acting as an antagonist then list this as well.

2. For each write up a little bio. Here is a great list of questions you can use to explore your characters. How to create a character profile. You don’t necessarily need to fill in everything, especially for minor characters, but everything you do note down will increase your character depth.

3. Naming characters in my humble opinion is a nightmare, and I change the names constantly!  Some people use a generic name to start with such as ‘Best friend’, ‘guy in bar’, ‘Mr X’ and then let the name pop up later. Personally I just get on with naming them and change them later if need be. For more help see. Character names – decisions, decisions!

4. For each character now jot down any and all plot points or events that happen to them in between your story start and your story end. The main character(s) are easiest so start with these first. Don’t worry if you think there may be gaps, it will all get filled in later. And you often find that bullet-pointing one character generates ideas against another, which is great!

Don’t worry about the order of the events. If you have a order that’s a bonus and certainly use it, but otherwise just let the thoughts and ideas pour out.

Don’t allow any subconscious constraints to influence the brainstorming. Don’t worry if it will be an actual plot point or a sub-point. Your ideas here may become chapters, a few sentences or even multiple chapters, the most important part is simply to write them all down.

A simple guide to planning a novel part 2 – Word count and creating a framework 

A simple guide to planning a novel part 3 – The beginning and the end

A simple guide to planning a novel part 4 – The inciting incident

A simple guide to planning a novel part 5 – The key events in a book

A simple guide to planning a novel part 6 – Filling in the chapter notes

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Author interview – Paul Cude #Authors @paul_cude

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Paul Cude who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his Book, Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Threat From The Past (Book 1)

Paul on Writing

Where do you get your ideas?

From my dreams and life experiences more than anything. Oddly the whole thing started with a dream. Sounds a bit crazy really, but one night, when my elder daughter was just a baby (she’s not far off 16 now) I had the single most realistic dream I’ve ever had. I didn’t remember it until the following day, but when I did, I swear it was just like watching a movie in my head…..so graphic, so intense, so…..mesmerising. Anyhow, I told my wife, who was gobsmacked to say the least. And so was what she said to me, “You have to write it, you just have to.” At the time I just laughed off her idea, bearing in mind that at the time I could only type with two fingers. But over a period of I suppose months, I kept getting more dreams, flashbacks into the story…….sometimes little details, sometimes insights into the characters, sometimes twists and turns to do with the plot. In the end I suppose it was inevitable that I would write it. First I taught myself to type properly…..3 months, and then, well………..I began. At first I needed complete silence to be able to write, something there wasn’t a lot of bearing in mind I was taking care of one young child, with another on the way. But over time I’ve learned to filter it all out and can now write with the kids playing around me if I need to, but I still think I do work more efficiently in total silence. It has taken a long time, and I was surprised how hard and crucial the editing  process was. But in the end it was most definitely worth it. The life experiences part is more about the human sport mentioned in the book. I’ve played field hockey for well over three decades now, and it’s changed my life beyond recognition. I have a great affection and admiration for the other sports mentioned as well, hence the reason they’re included.

What motivates you to write?

Earning a living wage, being a success, but above all, bringing just a little pleasure to the readers. I know how it feels to be lost in a fictional world, staying up all night to finish a book, or “just one more chapter”. To provide others with a story that will get them hooked and give them the pleasure of getting lost for a few minutes or a few hours certainly keeps me focused.

How many hours a week do you spend writing?

It’s so difficult to say. One of the things I love about doing what I do is the freedom it gives me. That said, I do end up on the computer at all times, sometimes starting at 5.30am and most nights not finishing until closer to 11pm and that’s seven days a week. Of course it’s not constant, and a lot of that is the devil that is social media. But writing goes on in between and anytime when I have more than a few minutes. If I had to guess I’d say closer to 20 hours of writing a week, but as so often happens, life can get in the way and as I’m a house husband and look after both of my kids, regularly I have to ditch the writing to look after either one or both of them. The writing is always the first thing that suffers.

Best thing about writing?

The freedom. Not only in the sense that I can write when I like, perhaps in the evening, thus freeing up some time during the day. But freedom to explore my dreams, other worlds, the crazy fiction that regularly plays out in my head, mainly when I’m asleep, but quite often during the day. I’m sure my family must regularly look at me, see my vacant stare and think….. ‘he’s off amongst the dragons again.’

Your biggest writing distractions?

Without a doubt…..social media. A necessity in this day and age, but one that proves time consuming and a huge distraction from writing. I love helping other authors and sharing their work….who wouldn’t? As a reader I don’t just read one book, or one series of books. I read lots of different books in lots of different genres. So sharing the work of others always seems like the right thing to do, so that people who follow me have the chance to find new authors and brilliant new books. You also hope that those authors that you’re sharing feel exactly the same way. Unfortunately though, it is massively time consuming and on any one day can pull you away from your main goal of writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Generally I would say about a year, but it depends what life throws at us as a family. Over the past few years we’ve had more than our fair share of ups and downs with health issues, etc, and as I’ve stated already, the very first thing to suffer for me is the writing. I would say if things go well, a year is a reasonable target to get the writing, editing and everything else in place.

Least favourite thing about writing?

It would be hard to choose between social media and editing. I love interacting with all the other people on twitter, facebook and google+ etc, but it’s so time consuming, and I know my writing suffers because of it. And so while I love doing that side of things, I would get so much more done if I just ignored social media all together. As for editing…..I absolutely loathe it. I get to the end of writing a book and the elation on writing that very last sentence is beyond belief. And then it hits you. You’ve still got all the editing to do. Ahhhhh!!! But it is a necessary evil and one that pays off the more time you spend on it. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read each of my books during the editing process.

How do you measure your success as a writer?

Certainly not money, that’s for sure. I think for me it has to be a combination of reviews and messages from people who’ve bought and read your book. Opening your emails up early in the morning to find a positive message from a reader puts the biggest smile of all on your face. And not just for the rest of the day.

What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting the writing journey again?

Spend as much money as you can to get the right covers. For my first book I’ve had three different covers, and it’s only now that I feel I have the right one, the one I should have had in the first place. At the time it was difficult to know exactly what it was I wanted, and where to find the right person to design it. As well, I was restricted by a rather tight budget. But in the long term, it’s worked out much more expensive. There are so many more great places to have your cover designed now, and they are not too expensive either. Lessons learned.

Paul on Reading

What is your favorite genre(s)? Tell us more about why you love them?

When in my late teens, I mistakenly ordered a Tom Clancy book…..Debt of Honour. I was too lazy to return it, so it sat on my bedside table for weeks, until one evening, when I picked it up and started to read it. Many hours later I put it down, only because I needed a few hours’ sleep before I went to work. I was hooked. After finishing that, I went out and bought all the other Tom Clancy books I could find. It was also about that time that the Star Wars expanded universe books started to appear. I caught sight of the first one while working in a book shop in my role of service engineer. I can remember it clearly: Star Wars Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. It had a striking blue cover with some of the Star Wars characters on it, and I had to buy it there and then, in the middle of doing my job, much to the amusement of the owner of the bookshop. My love of the expanded universe has continued ever since, and as soon as the next book comes out…….I have to have it.

It seems my love of books goes in phases. If I have nothing to read, I wander around a bookshop until I find something I like the look of and then read it. If I get hooked, I go back and find other books by that author. Examples of this for me are Terry Goodkind and Christopher Paolini…..I love all of their books. The detail, the plot……the characters….are just all amazing. I can only dream of writing as well as they do. Other authors I’ve found and loved this way include Robin Hobb, J.V. Jones, David Gemmell and Trudi Canavan, to name but a few. I love the way they use their imaginations and the worlds that they create on the pages of the book. They’re all very easy to visualise.

My favorite author of all though, is the wonderful Terry Pratchett. If you haven’t read one of his books you really should. While I love pretty much all the books he’s written, the ones about the guards of Ankh-Morpork, Captain Carrot, Sam Vimes, Corporal Nobbs, Angua and of course the Lord Vetinari, are easily my favourites. The characters themselves are described in magnificent detail, all with their own funny little ways. The plots twist and turn like a raging river, and the humour…….well, let’s just say that is exactly on my wavelength. I’ve cried with laughter on many occasions reading some of Terry Pratchett’s books, and I can’t recall doing that for any other author I’ve read. If you’re a reading fan, you really must try one of his books.

So my favourite genres would have to be fantasy, science fiction followed by thrillers, in that order.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay at home and read a book? Details please!

Well of course there’s sleep. Definitely skipped a lot of sleep to read a lot of books. Most of the Star Wars expanded universe, not to mention most of the Harry Potter series and a lot of Terry Pratchett’s books. I do recall feigning illness to stay off work and read when I was a service engineer once. I can’t remember what book it was (I think one of the Star Wars expanded universe volumes) but that was a total one off.

Favorite book hero and / or villain and why?

Hero has to be Han Solo. What’s not to like? Serious attitude, courage, selfless despite outwards appearances, better than good with a gun and of course there’s the flying. A scoundrel for sure, but what a scoundrel.

As for villains…..it would have to be (sorry, spoilers for those who haven’t read the books) Jacen Solo, Han’s son from the Star Wars expanded universe. Reading about his journey, from sweet adolescent to tough but fair, no-nonsense jedi, to Sith lord was just heartbreaking, particularly because of some of the things he did once he’d attained Sith lord status. Good turned bad never felt so despicable.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) what book would it be and why?

It would have to be the Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett. My favourite book ever. The story is magnificent and the way he paints the characters with words is just outstanding. I must have read the book about ten times in all and it never gets boring. And there’s one part in there, that even as I’m writing this is making me laugh. I won’t go into details, but it’s when Gaspode the talking dog has to tell Carrot the name of the wolf. Makes me cry with laughter every time. What’s ironic about this is that I used to see the late Terry Pratchett in Salisbury (the city where I live) but never had the courage to go up to him. I’m a very shy person and wouldn’t dream of going up to anyone in the street that I didn’t know, especially a famous author like him. If I could go back in time, I most certainly would pluck up the courage to approach him, but only to tell him just how much pleasure his books have given me.

About your Books…

You are living in your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

I’m living underground in the dragon domain and it’s…..HOT! Unbelievably so. Rivers of brilliant molten magma roll across the landscape, twisting their way between houses, crisscrossing the different dragon metropolises. Crackling lava waterfalls drop hundreds of metres, throwing off steam and heat in abundance, keeping the secret underground world the kind of temperature its dragon inhabitants like. As well as HOT, it’s absolutely bonkers. Dragons stroll down oversized walkways, live in giant houses, work in monstrous office buildings, all going about their daily business, most of which in some way shape or form is related to the running of the planet, and the guidance and protection of the human population on the surface. Realistically a human being down here would be unlikely. Not only is it forbidden by the ruling dragon council, but they would struggle to survive given the heat, the diet, and in particular the jaw dropping monorail that can almost exceed the speed of sound.


Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Threat From The Past (Book 1)

Can you be heroic and naive?

For Peter Bentwhistle, the answer would most certainly have to be YES!

Blissfully unaware of what’s going on around him, for the most part he remains fully focused on blending in and keeping a low profile.

But fate and just plain bad luck have other designs on him.

Not so bad, you might think. Until you discover the TRUTH!

Just like his friends, Tank and Richie, he is a…..DRAGON!

Thrust into a life away from the underground dragon domain, disguised in an awkward human form in an effort to guide and protect humanity, all he has to do is stay out of trouble, learn how to play hockey and piece together all the parts of the puzzle continually playing out around him.

With the help of his two young friends, a master mantra maker and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, will Peter manage to thwart the dark, devious scheme long in the planning?

Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound?

Want to know how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?

Learn the true story of George and the Dragon, get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and gain insight into what to do if you encounter a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile.

Lose yourself in this unputdownable fantasy adventure NOW


About Paul Cude

Paul Cude is a husband, father, field hockey player and aspiring photographer. Lost without his hockey stick, he can often be found in between writing and chauffeuring children, reading anything from comics to sci-fi, fantasy to thrillers. Too often found chained to his computer, it would be little surprise to find him, in his free time, somewhere on the Dorset coastline, chasing over rocks and sand in an effort to capture his wonderful wife and lovely kids with his camera. Paul Cude is also the author of the Bentwhistle the Dragon series of books.

You can also follow Paul on his social media sites!