Michael Bray is my author guest this week! A fellow Brit and an obvious lover of books, I just couldn't resist having him on the blog to promote his book 'Whisper'.
I hope you enjoy getting to know the author and also take the chance to read the excerpt from 'Whisper'. Maybe you will even go and buy the book!
Just Do It! by Michael Bray
For the budding author, the idea of taking the plunge into tackling writing a book can be a daunting task. I should know, it took me 14+ years of indecision before I convinced myself that it was something I wanted to try. In hindsight, I hate that I wasted so many years chewing over it, because as I write this now on an icy March morning in the UK, I can hand on heart say it was the best decision I ever made.
Is it hard work? Of course it is. But that only makes the rewards for completing the book all the sweeter. A few people have said to me recently that they don’t think they could ever write a book for their own, and have even offered me their ideas to turn into stories.
Universally and without exception, I decline, and advise the person to at least give it a go for themselves. If they need assistance, I’m happy to share what I know (even though as writers we never stop learning), but that they should at least try. Make no mistake, it won’t be easy. Completing a novel is an exercise in discipline, commitment and patience. But when that time comes, be it months or years down the line when you look at your work and can proudly say to yourself that it’s finished, it is a feeling unlike anything else.
A few years ago, I could never imagine being able to write a book, and yet here I am now with Three already released (including my first feature length novel WHISPER) and another two in the pipeline. Yes it takes dedication, and yes its hard work, but when you reach that place where the story is writing itself, and you become something of a passenger as the story unfolds, is the greatest feeling in the world.
In closing, to anyone reading who thinks they have an idea but not the confidence to write it, I say: YES YOU CAN! Turn off the TV, ignore the phone, lock yourself away and start writing. You never know, you might surprise yourself.
THE SMELL OF DEATH hung heavy in the morning air. The child ran through the forest, snatching quick glances over her shoulder as the Gogoku elder followed, crashing through the undergrowth in pursuit. She veered to the left, ducking under a gnarled, overhanging branch, and hopped over a protruding root as she tried to put some distance between herself and the elder. Her bare feet were bleeding, but in her fear, the child barely noticed. Her only concern was her pursuer, and ensuring that he didn’t catch her. She angled back towards the village, her instincts driving her back toward her home, even though she knew it was now a place for the dead. The elder was closer now; she could hear him grunting as he drew closer. She snatched another quick look over her shoulder, and as she did, her foot twisted under her, sending her sprawling to the ground. The pain from her twisted ankle was explosive, and although the child tried to scramble to her feet, it was too late.
The Gogoku elder stood above her, breathing heavily, and streaked with the blood of his fellow people. His eyes glared with fury from behind his painted face. The frightened child scrambled backwards, for the time being, the agonising pain in her ankle forgotten, her eyes were instead fixated on the spiked club held in the muscular Elder’s hand, which was matted with sinewy clumps of flesh and slick with blood.
He followed her gaze and unleashed a bloody grin, his yellowed teeth filed to points as was customary for Gogoku elders. They were supposed to be the village protectors, guardians and hunters, but something had gone horribly, horribly wrong. A shallow breeze pushed through the trees and the elder blinked, casting his eyes to the dense canopy, his brow furrowed as he listened.
The child also looked, the fear within her for the time being replaced with curiosity at the absolute silence which had fallen over the forest. She glanced back to the elder, her brown eyes full of fear, horror and betrayal. The elder looked back, and smiled.
He had done as they had asked of him, and now all apart from this one child were now dead.
Another breeze moved the trees, and this time, both child and Elder heard it. The trembling child closed her eyes and waited, as the elder reared back and brought the club down hard with a guttural roar of rage.