The Blog

Echidna, the Mother of Monsters

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I finished the second edit of Son of Zeus on Tuesday. A couple of days later than I’d promised, but I did lose nearly a week to the flu, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Here’s a tiny taster from a scene where one of the characters encounters Echidna, the Mother of Monsters:

“A pale shape was emerging from the gloom. Bloated and hideous, it pulled itself forward on its fat limbs until it was fully exposed to the torchlight. Its arms flailed blindly for a moment, searching for something. The claw-like hands seized onto a boulder, and the monster pulled itself up to rest against it, as if supporting itself on the arm of a couch.

Charis stared at it with appalled fascination. Its lower body was a mass of black, scaly tentacles, ceaselessly twisting and curling, like the fronds of a river plant caught in a gentle current. From the waist upwards, its skin was almost white, but not in any way that suggested purity. Rather, it seemed to have the quality of drowned body caught up on a seashore, distended and drained of blood. That it was female was testified by the eight breasts that hung down from its torso, the long teats like blackened fingers reaching for the ground. Despite their number, there was a human quality to them that revolted Charis, if only because of the notion there could be anything human about such a creature.”

I’ve also received a draft of the cover, which is looking good. It’s along the same lines as the relaunch covers for my Odysseus series, with a beefed-up Heracles facing off with the Nemean Lion. Talking of the Odysseus novels, the first two e-books in the series are currently being promoted at 99p each – grab them while they’re cheap. Or have pity on a destitute author and wait until they’re full price again!

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/King-Ithaca-Adventures-Odysseus-Book-ebook/dp/B01MZFO25O/ref=la_B0034OB6ZC_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1518212958&sr=1-3

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gates-Troy-Adventures-Odysseus-Book-ebook/dp/B01MYE3PWJ/ref=la_B0034OB6ZC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1518212958&sr=1-1

I’ve noticed that the Amazon feedback totals on my books sometimes reduces. Return to Ithaca had 71 pieces of feedback last week, and now has 69. Can anybody explain this to me? Do some reviews fall down cracks? Is there any way I can push the 1 and 2 star reviews down the same cracks? Fortunately, they were all 5 star reviews this week, so very many thanks to those who left the following comments:

  • Very enjoyable, affected my sleep as I couldn’t put it down
  • Excellent, all action and adventure
  • If you like Greek mythology then this is for you
  • Fantastic author for thriller like books. I read this book and immediately read all other books by Glyn. Fantastic adaptation of Greek mythology in a superbly told and gripping story. I love a gruesome battle scene and stoic characters, this book filled that throughout. His portrayal of Odysseus is how I’d imagine him to be

I volunteered at my daughter’s primary school again last Wednesday. After helping the Foundation stage kids (4 to 5 year olds) describe scenes from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, I spent an hour and a half with small groups of 4th years (8 to 9 year olds) reading and discussing chapters from The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. It’s a great story with an exciting plotline, good characters and rich prose, so excellent for teaching a few of the principal points of writing. One of the scenes was set in a barrow, so I got the kids describing the sights, sounds and smells they’d expect to encounter in an underground tomb. Another was mostly dialogue, so rather than talk about how to write speech I asked them to discuss what an author uses speech for – such as demonstrating the character of the person speaking, giving personal perspectives on other characters, providing back story, and so on. I’m pleased to say they didn’t need too many hints to come up with the right conclusions – and a lesson is always more effective when the kids find the answers for themselves.

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No books finished or new books started this week. Despite being an author, I’ve always been a slow reader. I watched Avatar this week – visually stunning, with good characterisation and told on an epic scale. Loved it. I also watched The Battle for Moscow, a crowd-funded film made in Russia and with English subtitles. A bit slow in places, but enjoyable. Unfortunately, I also caught most of Knowing, starring Nicholas Cage. It’s one of those films that starts well and promises lots, but has a ridiculous ending that just makes you regret wasting two hours of your life. I’ve never been much of a Cage fan, though I did enjoy Kick Ass, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and The Rock (I’ve visited Alcatraz twice and like the way this film gives you a thorough behind-the-scenes tour of the place).

Fortunately, the ManchesterArtGallery are putting Hylas and the Nymphs back on display tomorrow (see last week’s blog). Their decision to remove it had all the maturity of an A-level Art project, but all’s well that ends well. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42917974

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