J C Steel, author

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

Character Interviews – Anst an Nabat

A Cortiian and an author sit on the side of a large fountain... (not the start of a bad joke) J C Steel: Nice touch of paranoia. Anst an Nabat: It's a nice fountain. Care to tell me why I'm here?...

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 3

Immortality doesn't mean you'll live forever...(Get Inspired, week 3) The peaches of immortality ripen only once in every three thousand years. If you find and eat one, you're guaranteed...

Etymology excavation: “when push comes to shove”

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 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,...

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,...

Cortiian word of the week: Faran

Faran Spend more than five minutes with a group of Cortiians, and one of them will probably find themselves a cup of faran. It's as ubiquitous as coffee on Earth, but probably tastes...

Etymology excavation: “coming down the pike”

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...

‘The End’ smells good

The End smell The End. I'm so close to writing those words on the rough edit of Elemental Conflict that I'm pretty sure I can smell them. And dat smell is good. On the other hand, I...

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...

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...

Death is for the Living: Prologue

Prologue Everything was dark, but this time, she was sure she was awake. There was a damp breeze on her cheek, and a soft surface under her. By contrast, her body was burning. The air...

The Sisyphean task of editing

Editing Elemental Affinity My current ‘big push’ is to get the third in the Cortii series, Elemental Affinity, beta-read ready by the end of April. This is currently showcasing the Sisyphean ‘one...

Neven Carr, Galaxy of Authors

Neven Carr Author website Twitter Facebook Amazon author page Get the books! A twisty, complex...

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...

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...

Cruising for vampires

Sun, sails...and vampires Incongruous trio of concepts. When I first floated (aha) the idea of a team of vampire hunters based on a yacht in the Caribbean, I frankly expected to get shot...

Get inspired: week 1

I'm going to bite off more than I can chew, but I'm going to try and add a blog post each week in 2017. (Yeah, yeah...thanks for the cynicism, folks...). I figured I would sit down each week and try...

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,...

Cruising for vampires

Sun, sails...and vampires Incongruous trio of concepts. When I first floated (aha) the idea of a team of vampire hunters based on a yacht in the Caribbean, I frankly expected to get shot...

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...

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...

Self-publishing 101 – eBook publishing part 1: Amazon KDP

So, how do I do it?? Hello authors. (I don't call 'em 'aspiring authors', because as far as I'm concerned if you write and you're researching self-publishing, you already are the real Slim Shady...

World-building in the Cortii series

OK, so here’s the big, dirty secret when it comes to world-building in the Cortii series: I didn’t ‘plan’ the Cortii. The society evolved naturally as I went through the drafts of the first few...

The Sisyphean task of editing

Editing Elemental Affinity My current ‘big push’ is to get the third in the Cortii series, Elemental Affinity, beta-read ready by the end of April. This is currently showcasing the Sisyphean ‘one...

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...

Get inspired: week 11

Designated Dumbass (Get Inspired, week 11) Sometimes, alone and in the dark, you get a reminder that your instincts got on the crazy train a while before civilisation was really a thing. Right now,...

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...