‘I found myself imagining a valley filled with dinosaurs, millions of years ago, who had died in battle, or of disease,’…
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
A new year has begun – so let’s tweak the Friday quotes – to spice it up in 2016 let’s play the old game of consequences, or whatever you call it over the Ocean?!
Each Friday quote should link…and off we go – I’ll begin!
(If you want to join in, just add one in a comment, and I will pick it up and carry on from there…)
‘…all that happens leaves its traces upon the earth by nightfall…’
Isabel Burt, TOXICS
Thunderclouds gather, and the fields glare back.
Sun has curled the leaves of the abandoned raspberry canes, and three broody hens stick their noses out to sniff the approaching storm,
before returning to their empty nest.
In the middle of a small country, all is verdant, hushed, still.
Then a passing lorry roars at the crows in the treetop, and they clatter their wings.
And on the wind comes a song of ancient time –
It travels across the land, and calls to me as I sink,
It speaks of wind, and wave, and open sky,
Blue-glass walls spitting their salty spray –
I inhale deeply,
Soon, I think. Soon I shall be with you.
August, to me, has always been the month to head for the sea! Oceans – the sequel to Toxics– arrives as the summer fades. I will post the date it is published for digital or print purchase – here and on my FB page: www.facebook.com/IsabelBurtNovels
Meanwhile, here’s a lovely description of Oceans, in an early review to help you decide…
“Following on from ‘Toxics’, Isabel Burt offers in ‘Oceans’ another rich and absorbing world that quickly draws you in – great for young fantasy lovers!
In ‘Oceans’ we see 18-year-old Felicity return to the Old World after three years back with her family and friends in the modern world. During that time she has yearned to find her way back to her love, Reuben, from whom she was separated underwater at the end of Toxics.
Given the modern setting and introduction to Felicity’s best friend, Al, in the early chapters I was a little unsure as to whether I would be convinced by the Old World again – but Isabel Burt doesn’t disappoint. Once Felicity finds her way back, we are quickly drawn back into a new part of her fantastical and colourful world whose rich character cast is this time dominated by ocean dwelling creatures incuding Thessalons (giant turtles), The Draar-sil (an army of protective sea lions) and the Humb (ill-meaning giant squids) — as well as the dying-out race of the ‘Meshi’ ocean people whose existence had been hidden from Reuben’s Old World.
Makia, the withering and scheming Meshi medicine woman, is portrayed brilliantly as she scuttles and schemes from her sunken sea cave where she holds not only Reuben, but also a lost Meshi princess captive – playing with potions and allowing for some clever tension at the start of the book between Reuben and Felicity. Makia has a pivotal role as the plot develops and is a joy to encounter on the page (if not for real!).
An ever-present threat comes in the form of the lurking GRAI whose menacing soliloquies from the ocean deep open many of the early chapters, foreshadowing the inevitable climax of the book in which darkness descends (literally) on the Old World. Gradually it becomes clear that Reuben, Felicity and their immediate team have been thrown together to try to understand and save the Old World from this dark force.
Whether they succeed is for you to find out!” Karen Inglis, author of The Secret Lake
Adventure – Alternative worlds – Life – Lovers of mystical worlds – Nature – Fantasy for children – Ecofiction – Felicity and Reuben – Conservation –
I joined the PDSA at a very young age – illicitly using my pocket money – and my bemused mother would pass me my membership envelopes from the small animal care organisation, trying to understand her strange child!
I have continued, by adopting animals, and educating my children. We have supported a variety of wildlife. Adopted through three conservation establishments, and adored by my children. Although my human children have all but left the nest, their sister, Sonje, is still protected, and learning to survive in the wild, a step at a time.
Wildlife conservation, and therefore the protection of their habitat, and then by definition our ecosystems, is, I accept, an incredibly difficult balance, but the survival of humans must share itself with the survival of animals, and our global habitat! How can we not care to support that aim, in whatever way we can?
Only a very stupid creature would destroy its very life-source, wouldn’t it?
In Toxics and Oceans, the Old World is threatened by ignorance.
I have a magnet on my fridge that says to me ‘ Relax – all the worries of the world are not yours to bear.’ No, we can’t solve the world, only something greater than us could do that. But one man or woman with a dream can change many things. For us, and for our wildlife.
If you want to know more about the wonderful people who strive for a better world for our friends, please click on the links below, and warm your heart. Maybe you will be moved to help, in a way that you feel is right for you.
Have a lovely July.
Oh, OCEANS is so close, now. I can smell the sea-salt and hear those pebbles!
It’s been a long spring, tidying it up, but to all who await the return of Felicity and Reuben – fear not!
It’s going off to the editor this week, for its spit and polish – do you see those tiny extra gaps between words that are invisible? They do!
Then the cover will commence! Something to echo the glorious colours of TOXICS, and yet the feel of the Ocean must be strong.
This adventure is set far in the Western Isle, and in the hidden territories of the Meshi – a sea-folk as yet undiscovered.
I had so many horrors wanting to outdo each other in vileness – to increase tension, a writer must increase obstacles. In OCEANS, Reuben and Felicity meet plenty !
Will they succeed, again? Or will this be the end of their love? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see!
Writing the sequel, OCEANS, to my first fantasy novel has been a challenge.
Life planted itself firmly in the way – and would not budge.
The sequel shunted up like the folds on a walrus’ neck!
Layer upon layer of plot, geography, woven world, and enticing characters all clamouring in my head, and tripping up on the page as the gaps to expound them lengthened with the increasingly suffocating grip of life.
What a horrible sequel to the smooth and happy experience of Toxics, which calmly flowed as time stood still to allow me the space to write.
But as the pressure increased, so did my resolve.
I couldn’t leave Felicity and Reuben as they were last seen, could I?
Tell us your experiences of writing a sequel, and meanwhile here are some others’ thoughts on the subject: