The Dragon Girl

A fairy tale that came to me when I was supposed to be writing something else… 

Once there were two dragons. They lived in a cave quite close to a village. This was lucky for them because they were both getting old and could no longer fly long distances to find food. Every now and then one of them would float down the mountain on the evening breeze and pick up a cow, or a sheep, or a villager for their supper.

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A bad memory for bollards

So I just wrote a scene in which one of my characters drives his car up onto the pavement there at the end of Adderley street and some way up Government Avenue (for those of you not from Cape Town, this is the pedestrian walkway that runs through the Gardens in central Cape Town).  Then I happened to walk near there and noticed a small problem:

The Ruined Mill

One of the things I’m enjoying most about writing fiction is finding real places to include in my story.  On Monday I visited the Ruined Mill in Newlands forest, where I’m going to place some of the most exciting scenes in the book I’m writing at the moment.  It is a really evocative place – for photographers as well as writers.

It is some way into Newlands Forest, and next to a mill stream that diverts off a small river.  Several years ago a tree fell on it – in fact, several trees:

It’s covered in graffiti – “Keep Out” as well as tags and images:

Here  is a close up of the back wall, showing some of the rocks that smashed their way through the wall.  Some of them are still balanced rather precariously:

The mill-stones are gone, and so is the roof:

Cant’s wait to write these scenes 🙂

The best way to spend a Monday morning

I took advantage of the fact that I dont have a 9 – 5 job today and spent my Monday morning in Newlands forest.  Research, you see, for my new book 🙂

Casing the joint at the museum

I spent the morning at the Natural History Museum in town doing research for my new book.  It’s a strange place.  Part of it is brand spanking new: glossy displays with beautifully lit objects, enhanced by multi-media sound and video shows .  And part of it is a sort of time warp, with the stuffed animals crammed together into huge glass cases backed with hessian.  I was relieved because this is just what I needed for the scene that is supposed to play out here:

 

Also happy to see that there are no security cameras in this older area, and the locks on the display cases look very pick-able.   No, I dont intend to break into the museum, but one of my characters might need to!

Some of the older parts are lovely, though.  Particularly the bird displays and the dioramas.

“The Story Trap” is launched!

I pushed the final button and my book, The Story Trap, is published at last.  What a rush! This is the e-book version.  The print version should be ready some time in late May, if all goes according to plan.

What is this book about?  Here is the low down:

The Story Trap is an illustrated contemporary fantasy novel set in Cape Town, South Africa.

Book description
Rebecca stared out of the train window. How could it be dark already? She had been on the train home, reading in the familiar crush of the rush hour commute. Now the carriage was empty and outside impossibly tall buildings stretched up towards the night sky.
She was alone in a strange world.–Somewhere close by, an old woman watched, and waited. The trap had worked and her quarry was caught. Now all she had to do was keep Rebecca dreaming.

Now all I have to do is write the sequel…

If you are not already on my e-mail list and want to be notified when the print version  is published, please sign up using this formI will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.

The Story Trap cover finally finished

I’ve finally finished the cover for my book “The Story Trap”.  I changed her eyebrows and ears, added more chains and leaves, and changed the background to the lettering as well as some changes to the colours used.  I’m done now.  What a process!

There is going to be a print edition this time so I had to do the spine and back cover as well 🙂

If you would like to be notified when this book is launched, you can join my “new release” mailing list at this link.

I will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like 🙂

Grey roses, shadows and chains

This might be it: the cover for my new book The Story Trap.  Is it finished?  Not sure. I’ve been working on it all day and can no longer see it.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll look at it and start changing things again…

The big change from previous version is the pattern in the mirror, the roses are completely redone and no longer pink, and I’ve inserted more shadows.

The Story Trap will be available as a  print – as well as e-book. If you would like a notification when it gets launched, please leave me your name and e-mail address in the form below.  Would love to hear from you!

To be notified when I release a new book please sign up using this form.

I will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.

 

 

Pippa gets a digital haircut

I trimmed Pippa’s hair.

She used to look like this:

In the story, this is the moment when she’s just climbed over a gate into somebody’s backyard and is about to try and break into their house.  She’s wondering why they have no burglar bars…

Pippa with lavender

OK – so this is a drawing of a character in my story called Pippa.  Except that I imagined her with short hair when I wrote her. Whoops.  Will probably have to give her a digital haircut.

Mirror in hand

This is an important moment in my story: The main character looks at a small mirror.

Strangled in plastic

One of the more difficult things to research for my book was plastic pollution in the sea.  So grim.  The images of birds, fish and seals strangling in plastic are so unbearably sad.

Here are some illustrations.  If you go down to the Waterfront here in Cape Town, you can see seals with plastic bags cutting into their necks just like this one:

 

Sun branches moon roots

This is a bit of an experiment – not sure if it works.  Another image from the book I’ve almost finished writing.

Locket and rose

Some more drawings for my book.  The chain was quite tricky – had to redraw it many times.

 

Teapot with dragon.

There’s something satisfying in drawing a teapot 🙂  Another illustration for my book: done.

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