Archive for the ‘about’ category

FREE STUFF!

13 April, 2016
Do you like FREEREADS? I love them! So here are the updated links to my current stories and poems that are free to read and download. Feedback is always welcome!
My Newsletter, Dragonscale Clippings, is released quarterly and each issue contains a new episode of a short story. All you have to do to receive it is send an email to dragonscaleclippings (at) gmail (dot) com with Clippings Request in the subject line. Your email address will never be passed on to anyone else and will only be used to send you the links to my Newsletter.
Click here to find out more about the Current StoryThe Oil of Sage
Comments on previous issues are available to browse at Freya’s Newsletter
FREE READS
Short Stories
A Mercenary’s Tale
Turning Point
Lie-In
Poetry
Potential
Transformed
Emerging
Wolf Wind
Wolf Mist
Dark with secrets
Matter
Palomino Grass scroll down to untitled
Earth Cry
Purple Textures

About Freya Pickard

6 April, 2016

Freya doesn’t write about imaginary worlds; she writes about imaginative ones. These are worlds that could be real in a parallel universe or another time dimension. She does not promote escapism; instead she takes her readers into a refreshing place so that they return to their normal lives feeling strengthened and renewed.

A cancer survivor, Freya is inspired by her garden, a variety of music and beautifully written books. Her first novel is Dragonscale Leggings and her quarterly newsletter features serialised short stories about her heroine, Dracomagan.

Freya likes to hear from people who have bought her book and want to buy her forthcoming novels and collections. She likes to hear that people have enjoyed her work so much that they’ve bought her books for all their family members and friends. She also loves to hear from people who sign up to her newsletter to get a sneak preview of as yet unpublished stories.

Freya dislikes people who constantly ask her when her next book will appear or want to know what she’s working on right now. She finds that kills her creativity dead. Freya loathes people who offer her an “honest review” in exchange for a free copy of one of her books. Freya hates agents, editors and publishers who don’t even bother acknowledging they’ve received her work, let alone actually get back to her with a result. All the aforementioned people are blacklisted…

To read more of Freya’s work please visit FREE STUFF!

About Dragonscale Clippings

30 March, 2016

Welcome to my blog, Dragonscale Clippings. I had intended to post some more Freyan Verse here on a Wednesday, but unfortunately my immediate family situation is extremely fraught, and time really is an issue. So, instead, as I’ve been getting some new followers recently, I thought I would introduce myself as my pages have recently been updated.

I am Freya Pickard, the author of Dragonscale Leggings. I blog three times a week, posting "clippings" (small observations, also known as fragments or small stones), and on a Wednesday I tend to present a pile of clippings in Wednesday Words. When I’m not blogging here, I’m over at PureHaiku. Although I appreciate that many blogs use pictures and words together, I am a wordsmith and believe my words should stand by themselves to create vivid pictures in my readers’ minds.

I love feedback, so if you have time to Like or Comment, I will return the compliment. I produce a Newsletter four times a year. A new short story, The Oil of Sage, starts this month…

You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Please note that I am a writer first and a blogger second. I moderate all comments and sometimes they can take a week or so to appear. Due to time constraints, I am no longer able to accept blog awards. Thank you for taking the time to read my work.

Day 4 – More about Elizabeth Leaper…

22 March, 2012

If you could spend a day with anyone, living or dead, real or fictitious, who would it be?

While I can think of many real people, both dead and alive who it would be interesting to meet – such as Martin Luther King, Lawrence of Arabia, Ghandi, Sir David Attenborough to name but a few – I think that if I did meet them my brain would turn to jelly and I would be unable to think of anything sensible to say to them. I would probably also find them to be very different in person from what I would expect. Far safer to spend a day with a fictitious character, you know where you are then and they would be exactly as you expect. If I must choose someone I think I would choose Ellis Peters’ Cadfael. He seems a most likeable character, worldly wise for a monk, dependable and trust-worthy, knowledgeable with a great sense of justice and attention to detail and not easily swayed by others’ prejudices. I would ask him about his time in the crusades and his knowledge of herbal remedies. I think it would be a most rewarding day.
What are the worst/best jobs you’ve ever had?
I don’t think I have ever had a bad job but I have had jobs where I have felt slightly inadequate. When I left school I first trained as a Secretary before going on to Teacher Training College. While at college I worked as a ‘Temp’. I had learnt to type on old-fashioned typewriters where you really had to press the keys quite hard. One of my first temping jobs was at an electrical appliance factory and I had to walk the length of the shop floor to get to my office. For a shy, self-conscious young girl this was quite an ordeal with the inevitable wolf-whistles, then, when I got into the office I found that I had to use an electric typewriter for the first time in my life. I touched the keys and got a long line all of the same letter. I had to learn very quickly to lighten my touch. Other temping jobs required me to use things like Fax machines that I had never been taught to use. Most of these jobs required me to learn new skills pretty quickly.
My best job is one I really don’t think of as a job at all, and this is the many years that I spent with the day-to-day responsibility for our small-holding where at various times we kept goats and chickens, pigs, sheep, horses and ponies and also grew organic vegetables to Soil Association standards. There is nothing to compare with sitting on a bale of straw in the lambing shed in the middle of a cold winter’s night watching the new born lambs with their mothers, listening to the chewing of hay, the gentle bleats of lambs, the ewes nickering replies, with the warmth of their breath and the steam rising from their woolly coats. Most of our lambing was done out in the open but, especially on very cold nights, the new family were immediately brought into a pen in the barn to make sure all was well.
What’s your favourite music?
Oh dear, a hard question as I don’t really have a favourite type of music. Depending on my mood I listen to most things. I enjoy the pop music I grew up with; The Beatles, Abba, Simon and Garfunkel, The Carpenters, The Beach Boys and so on.  I also enjoy the music my children introduced me to as they grew up, even including some heavy metal, but I also enjoy real oldies. My mother sang in a choir, my sister is a music teacher and I play around on the flute and piano so music has always been a part of my life. I tend to like specific songs and tunes rather than particular acts and I am fond of classical music and easy listening, especially in the evening and I like folk and country and western now and again as well as the rhythms of jazz, rap and drumming.  To sum up I prefer a recognisable tune that is well performed, I can’t stand unmusical noise posing as music.

What’s your favourite TV programme?
Another hard question. There seems to be so much rubbish on the television I don’t actually watch a great deal – it seems so dumbed down. I enjoy a good costume drama, adaptations of classic novels and so on. I like detective programmes as long as there is not too much blood and gore – a good Agatha Christie tale for example or things like Morse, Lewis, Frost, Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War etc. I also enjoy a good documentary, especially to do with science, history or the natural world, though even these seem exceptionally dumbed down at times, extending the programme unnecessarily by repeating the same information over and over. The commercial channels are the worst as after each Ad break they seem to think it necessary to give you a resume of the previous section as if you couldn’t possibly have retained the information in that five-minute break. I can’t stand soaps or so-called ‘reality TV’ and can’t understand how people get so gripped by them. I abhor the cult of celebrity and the way people can become famous simply for appearing on ‘Big Brother’ (which, along with ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’, I have never watched). I don’t watch things like ‘The X Factor’ though I will admit to enjoying ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Dancing On Ice’ for their relaxing entertainment value.

What’s your favourite food?
Oh dear, favourites again, I just don’t have favourites. Food is something I eat to stay alive. I prefer good plain English food although the occasional Chinese or Italian meal is nice. Neither my husband nor I are very fond of spicy foods and he won’t eat anything with peppers in, I also have to go easy on the garlic or not let on that I have used it. Nothing can better a nice salad on a hot summer’s day, followed by fresh fruit and cream.

Five words to describe yourself.
Truthfully? How about – private, disorganised, procrastinating, day-dreaming, perfectionist – I think that about sums it up! (Or is that six?)

Tomorrow Libby will be giving away a copy of Collecting Cobwebs. If you would like to read more of her work, please visit Libby To buy her book please visit Silverburn Publishing

Day One – About "Better Off Dead" by Matt Rowe

5 March, 2012
Today I would like to introduce the first of my guest authors on their blog tour here at Clippings. I take it you’ve all heard of Mad Max? I’d like to introduce Mad Matt…

Why is there a picture of a guy holding a cat by the scruff of its neck in a dragon’s eye?

The “guy”, as you call him, is Ramses Niblet 3rd, and he would probably object to being called a guy and then realise it is better than being called a girl, which is pretty much the only other option. He’s a vampire and the world’s first genuine cat burglar, in that he sneaks into people’s homes and steals their cats, because he hates them. I won’t go into why… that’s for you to work out. He’s holding the cat because he was probably about to see if it works as a frisbee, from a high building. He’s curious like that. Yet, oh no! He’s been interrupted by a hungry dragon! 
I wanted the cover of the book to convey as much about the story as I possibly could. An early idea was to do a huge complicated scene like Josh Kirby’s Discworld covers, but that wasn’t to be. We went through many ideas, me and Marisa Livingston (a talented artist I searched out and hired on deviantart, http://conniiption.deviantart.com/) and late in the process, after many awesome roughs and concepts, in other words, after she had already worked too hard, I had this idea. I decided I wanted a very simple image on a black background, with, if possible, gold writing.  The very simple image was a dragon’s eye, on the black background. Then I put Ramses in the middle because it made the scene interesting and hints at cool things just out of the veiwer’s field of vision.
I picked Marisa because she had a picture in her gallery that reminded me of Ramses and P-Head (his blood brother and rival). It looked a little bit like them, and I loved the style. So I asked and she said yes! Oh so happy! She’s still with me and working on some other stuff. I hope she’ll stick around, which will probably be as long as I have money, which is why people need to buy my books. Writers have overheads too people, and I’m not just talking about rampaging dragons!

What gave you the idea for Better Off Dead?
The original idea was just the characters. When I was a spotty teenager I played a roleplaying game – a proper paper, dice and storytelling one – in which I invented a cat burglar who actually stole cats, simply because I found it funny, that twist upon a familiar description. My friends invented and played as the other characters. After it was all over and we got lives, I still loved them so much (the characters, not my friends) I wanted to keep them going. So I wrote a story for them. The idea for the story was based on key scenes from their original adventures and on my desire to change peoples’ expectations of the horror characters. Vampires were, at the time, either lonely, lost souls (a la Anne Rice) moping about how their lives are so pathetic or they were mindless monsters — and now it’s even worse because vampires sparkle! I wanted to write a story in which vampires enjoyed having super powers (and weren’t complete Broadway dancing fairy nancy boys in glitter make up).

How long did it take to write it?
I had some rough notes from the roleplaying game. Then it took me 2 years to write the full novel. It was my first novel so it was difficult and I had some long periods of inactivity, when I got writer’s block. I’ve edited it a few times since then. All in all, the process probably would have taken 2 years or so if I had worked constantly. I’ve learned a lot though and the next novel came much quicker. I think many other writers are the same there. During the writing, I shared it with a lot of people, such as friends, family, a small writers circle and an online writer’s forum and I got some great feedback, even as rough as it was, and I got some great help in becoming a better writer.
Will there be a sequel?
Yes, I was stupid enough to announce the sequel in a teaser at the end of ‘Better Off Dead’. I wanted people to know this wasn’t the end for these characters and that I’m not a smelly and gigantic flash in the pan. I have a trilogy planned, and things are going to get a lot more interesting in this already crazy world. I’ve written about a third of the sequel. If the first book is about Ramses discovering responsibility and accepting it, the second book is about his problems adjusting to his new life and the things which try to stop him moving forward. What will he have to sacrifice? What will he have to adopt? This sounds kind of serious, but like a pill hidden in a chocolate cream doughnut, I’m hoping the adventure is such fun that people don’t even see the message consciously. In fact, I probably think I did this too well. People will think the first book is trash. As long as they laugh I don’t care. Ramses will get their cat. The sequel should be available next year. I have at least one more novel to release before then.
What kind of people have you aimed your book at and why?

Me. I wrote the story for me and my characters. Screw everyone else. Other people will like it. I know that because everyone who has read it has liked it. Maybe they lied but if so they will burn in hell, right? So that’s their problem for being underwear pyromaniacs. I’m not being arrogant, it’s just the truth and this is evidenced from an audience of young and old people. It’s good for many people. Any people who like crazy random humour, anyone who is fed up of sparkling vampires or stereotypes but I think the Young Adult audience will benefit from it the most and that’s who I started honing it for when I started thinking about markets. It has a message aimed at them and it has just an inkling of sex and healthy gloops of comic book style violence to tantalise their taboo hunting souls. At its heart it’s just a fun, fresh adventure. Try it or not, I don’t care. I’m just glad I could write it. Ramses is too. He told me over twitter.

Tell me about your road to publication

I started on Enthusiasm alley, somewhere near the wilderness of Confusion. I took a bus to Exposure park and there I found a huge picnic party. All the people were very friendly and tried to stab me with their swords. However, I learned how to absorb most of their attacks and turn them into my own power as a literary warrior. We helped each other grow and then, one by one we left. I walked down Confidence Road and ended up on Completed Street. I went knocking on the doors of agents and publishers, but no one answered. Well, I got a few mutters, but they were dismissals. So I trundled on down the road to Hermit Grove and ignored the art for a while because I was hungry and needed money to buy food. I was lost in this for a while, but I collected some of my stories and took them to Lulu at Self-Publishing Junction. The reviews I got for that were all excellent but I sold very little. Still, I hoped to use the evidence in another visit to the agents and publishers, but again nothing happened. Disheartened, I considered wandering back to the wilderness for a while, but instead I decide to visit Self-Publishing Junction again. I really didn’t want to do this for every book, because I wanted to be successful if I got published, not a struggling self-published writer frowned upon like dog poop on a shoe, yet I felt I needed to move forward in my career. It was while releasing ‘Better Off Dead; that I finally stopped looking down at my feet while I travelled and I saw out there in the world, that ebooks and kindles were everywhere and people were making money from them. I didn’t have to be a hermit. So now I’m setting up shop at E-book towers and I’m going to publish independently from now on. I have control and easy access from here so even if only a few people ever read me, I can do things how I want to do them. It feels like a real revolution, but I’m not going to churn out rubbish just because I can. I’ll always charge a little more for my books than the cheapest price, but they will be unique stories of quality, I can assure you. I can assure you of that.


Tomorrow you can find out how Matt develops his ideas into novels…
 If you can’t wait and need to read more of his work and buy his book, click on the links below: –
Matt’s Website
Amazon
Lulu


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