J C Steel, author

 Knives, spaceships, and dirty fighting – who says a mercenary cult can’t be fun?

Get Inspired: Week 4

I'll take Death over the Tower any day (Get Inspired, week 4) My living room windows blew in, less than a second after I hit the deck under my table. Sadly, this kind of thing happens often enough...

Writing myths: slay the dragon

Writing Myths that need slaying I must write something other people will like and approve of. No. A thousand times no. As Oscar Wilde put it “You can always judge a man by the quality of his...

Self-publishing 101 – print-on-demand

Print-on-demand Hello authors. So, print-on-demand. Well, it's finally That Time - after months or years, you've written, revised, gathered your alpha and beta readers' input together, revised a bit...

What do they look like?

What do they look like? It's a basic question. What do your characters look like? You describe them often enough, but as the uproar that erupted when an actress of colour was cast to play Hermione...

The innermost circle…the author’s desk

The Author's Desk The centre of the madness, the eye of the storm ... where the Cortii series is written, edited, and not infrequently sworn about. Almost out of shot to the right, there is a cat...

Where do you come from? Nationality and confusion

Nationality and confusion Oh, and I almost missed the only possible theme tune for this post: Rednex 'Cotton Eyed Joe', aka 'Where do you come from, where do you go?' I had an innocuous conversation...

Get inspired: week 6

Commuting. Always a problem (Get Inspired, week 6) Ever had to queue for a bus while the Wild Hunt rides through? Not a metaphor. They say that if you can't see the Hunt, the Hunt will ignore you,...

Rabia Gale, Galaxy of Authors

Rabia Gale 'Creator of weird worlds, melder of magic and technology, consumer of chocolate.' Author website Facebook Twitter Amazon author page Get the books! [tweetthis hidden_hashtags="#fantasy...

Background to the Cortii – history, structure, and recruitment

The Cortii are mercenaries. As we meet them in the Cortii series, they’re the descendants of a mercenary cult that has existed for more than eight millennia, since the pre-spaceflight era. As far as...

Get inspired: week 12

Robot Immigration (Get Inspired, week 12) I hate robot immigration. Especially robots with 'My name is Floki. Tell me how I can help you!' written on their fronts in ten languages I recognise and...

Elemental Conflict – cover art!

Cover Art! It's here! ...well, of course it's here. You clicked on the book to get here. Cover art is, for me, one of the major rewards after months spent pounding sand editing. If I've...

Get inspired: week 7

Valentine's colours (Get Inspired, week 7) I hate those pink and white balloons in the stores around Valentine's Day. They always remind me of blood on the snow. I was trying to run, but the snow...

Get inspired: week 8

Invocation error (Get Inspired, week 8) Error: you have cast an undefined invocation. "Told you the pentagram was too wiggly," Toluk muttered. I glared in his general direction. The damned neon...

Rabia Gale, Galaxy of Authors

Rabia Gale 'Creator of weird worlds, melder of magic and technology, consumer of chocolate.' Author website Facebook Twitter Amazon author page Get the books! [tweetthis hidden_hashtags="#fantasy...

Who’d become a vampire hunter?

The ones who don't stand by and do nothing The crew of the Artemis are an eclectic bunch, but they have exactly one thing in common; they fight to save your ass from something you don't...

Define ‘mercenary’

Can the Cortii be called 'mercenaries'? Well, I had an interesting contention a couple of weeks back that no, they couldn't, because they undergo intensive training and have a command structure, so...

Get inspired: week 12

Robot Immigration (Get Inspired, week 12) I hate robot immigration. Especially robots with 'My name is Floki. Tell me how I can help you!' written on their fronts in ten languages I recognise and...

Etymology Excavation: “at full tilt”

What is etymology, and why are you excavating it? Etymology is like the archeology of a language (definition: the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed...

Get inspired: week 2

Shakespeare's Bargain (Get Inspired, week 2) What if Shakespeare had written the most definitive guides to demonology in existence, in iambic pentameter? In our timeline, Shakespeare was one of the...

Weird happenings and a new genre

First off, to quote one of my favourite Terry Pratchett characters, 'I Aten't Dead.' But I promised weird happenings, and indeed there have been some, starting with Facebook deciding...

Character Interviews – Irin Seviki

West stable block, Seviki Equines and Exotics - a ranch master and an author meet Irin Seviki: ...Ilan? J C Steel: Not exactly. She said she was going to visit your horses. IS: You're Ilan's...

Writing, on Twitter (note the comma)

Twitter (and commas) 'Cause, yeah, commas do useful shit. So do asterisks, or as one of the people I've worked with unfortunately terms them: 'Those weird star things over the 8 key?' I could've...

Elemental Conflict: Prologue

Prologue Nightmares meant you’d survived. It was one of the first things they taught, in basic training; so early that it was one of the very few memories she’d kept from the months before...

UK International Novel Writing Competition

The news of the year to date: both Through the Hostage and Fighting Shadows made it through the initial cut to get into Round 2 of the UKNWC. This is particularly awesome, not just because from...

Get Inspired: Week 4

I'll take Death over the Tower any day (Get Inspired, week 4) My living room windows blew in, less than a second after I hit the deck under my table. Sadly, this kind of thing happens often enough...

Rabia Gale, Galaxy of Authors

Rabia Gale 'Creator of weird worlds, melder of magic and technology, consumer of chocolate.' Author website Facebook Twitter Amazon author page Get the books! [tweetthis hidden_hashtags="#fantasy...

Highlights of 2016

2016 round-up I thought that rather than making  a list of things to do next year that I know I'm not going to get to, I'd make a list, instead, of the things I actually did in 2016. (Da-da-da-done,...

Where do you come from? Nationality and confusion

Nationality and confusion Oh, and I almost missed the only possible theme tune for this post: Rednex 'Cotton Eyed Joe', aka 'Where do you come from, where do you go?' I had an innocuous conversation...

Get inspired: week 7

Valentine's colours (Get Inspired, week 7) I hate those pink and white balloons in the stores around Valentine's Day. They always remind me of blood on the snow. I was trying to run, but the snow...

Background to the Cortii – history, structure, and recruitment

The Cortii are mercenaries. As we meet them in the Cortii series, they’re the descendants of a mercenary cult that has existed for more than eight millennia, since the pre-spaceflight era. As far as...