J C Steel, author

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Writing Playlist

Do I have a writing playlist for the Cortii series? ... oh hell yes. My Muse works best with music, and can probably be visualised with her Dockers up on the table, a joint in one hand, and scars...

Top summer books

Top summer books Seemed to me that there was a lot on this blog about writing, and since I just completed the 2017 Goodreads challenge, it seemed like a good point to write a bit about...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

Spatial Politics and the Cortii

Spatial politics and the Cortii ...because you really can't call it geo-politics when it concerns a sizeable chunk of the galaxy. Setting borders Borders in space are tricky bastards,...

The Virtual Book Fair 2016

The Virtual Book Fair 2016   Through the Hostage (Cortii series #1) by J C Steel Khyria Ilan is a commander in the Cortii, the most elite mercenary organisation in known space. With a past she...

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?...

Elemental Affinity Launch

Elemental Affinity Launch 3, 2, 1 ... Yes, Elemental Affinity, the third in the Cortii series, has finally launched!!! [tweetthis hidden_hashtags="#scifi"...

Get Inspired: week 5

What they don't tell you about biometrics (Get Inspired, week 5) My boss was lying on the floor. Not a problem in and of itself; given the layers of security on this station, it should be reasonably...

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...

Author website transition

… boldly going where no reader has gone before. Today officially marks the day when I change over all my various links and redirects to the cool, new, jcsteelauthor.com author website. Well, that's...

Elemental Affinity Launch

Elemental Affinity Launch 3, 2, 1 ... Yes, Elemental Affinity, the third in the Cortii series, has finally launched!!! [tweetthis hidden_hashtags="#scifi"...

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 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 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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Urban Fantasy

 When ‘Here be monsters’ doesn’t only mark the unknown…