Well... Holy shit it's been a while.
Sorry about that.
Life catches you up sometimes and just about kicks your ass.
Before you know it, a few weeks turns into a few months - a house move, three job changes and a near nervous break.
But don't worry... S'all good.
In my conspicuous absence i have been busy, pottering away in fits and starts on HYBRID MACKENZIE, the story that will eventually become my second novel, despite the fact that other ideas are popping up all over and the muse has suddenly returned with a ticklish fury... Trying to tempt me into different avenues.
I persist, because i honestly think i have a HELL of a story here percolating into reality - and - recently, I stumbled into a conversation with a very dear friend that has changed things primal and to the very core of my story.
ENTER, from stage left, Jon David Llewellyn Hughes.
Jon is one of my very best friends and confidantes. There is a character in HYBRID that is based on him. He gave me one of the titles in 10 SHORT OF 31, and has inspired me creatively in so many ways throughout our friendship it is kind of embarrassing.
He is an encyclopedic fountain of knowledge when it comes to medieval text and folklore. He could teach Norse mythology his obsession with the prose edda is so great. He is a hell of a father, and a hell of a friend... and.... Motherfucker can write as well.
So, when we got into a conversation as we often do via Facebook, with him asking me to read something he had recently been working on, an astoundingly lyrically and poetic weird fiction piece, it became apparent that - as a valued and high ranking member of my so-called BRAINTRUST, he was perfectly suited to help me in a way with Hybrid that would not only push my storytelling, but challenge me as well as fundamentally bolster and support the narrative of the story.
So, i asked him a question...
ME: Hey... I have an idea.
ME: Write the mythology of the land i am basing my story in... I give you the characters, the history from day one of when my story starts, and you reverse engineer and create my country, and its tribal inhabitants mythology and history.
JON: are you serious?
ME: yeah, of course.
JON: FUCK YES.
(for full disclosure, this conversation is paraphrased within an inch of its life, me and an Jon talking in ANY situation is more akin to an episode of Bottom where Rik has really upset Eddie...
So... Jon will be stepping in to create a thousand generations of backstory for a country that is as much character in the novel as the characters themselves...
His unique vision, his intense knowledge of folk tales, lore and myths, and his wicked sense of humour will be a huge part of the new novel - and i will be building upon his foundation, as much as he will be tunneling under my first 25,000 words...
I hope this is going to be a collaboration that makes this book i am creating something really special indeed.
We are also hoping to record some live vlogs as we meet up and discuss our process, and also, some readings as well of sample parts of the story...
It's looking increasingly unlikely i will hit the September deadline i set myself (i mean, its dead, not gonna happen...) So instead, i may be launching a second Short Story collection instead via Amazon... As well as a possible novella i had been working on previously.
Keep posted for updates.
It's an interesting and inspiring time... More new short stories are on the periphery, (a fair few of them, i have been noting and scribbling passages like a man possessed...) and further updates on HYBRID as i get them...
For now... Thank you again for continued support, and for the amazing people who have helped me to SELL OUT of all my personal copies of ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA... i cannot tell you how elated i am that there are that many people with copies...
its still on sale on Amazon, so click the link and buy more copies. yeah?? :)
You are all heroes!
Speak soon, in the meantime, take care and stay happy.
13.07.2017 - 20:27pm
Howdy Ladies and Gentlemen,
Been awhile, eh?
Sorry about that. Had a fair few things happening. Life has been a cavalcade of distractions and bumps and bruises recently, sometimes it happens, woods can't be seen for all the trees, minds get cloudy and fogged with real world problems - and you struggle to find time for the passions and the joys.
But, it's getting better, and though it may have been a bit radio silence - lots of things have been happening.
Not least of which work is continuing slowly - but surely - on the second novel HYBRID MACKENZIE, and i had some amazing news that an actor and voice over artist had been interested in working on a personal project using ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA for his online audio resume, and this has spiralled now into a full blown project where ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA is being turned into a full Audio book that will be available before you know it on Audible.
I am beyond happy that this has become a reality, and the individual i am working with is a mentor and good friend and hero of mine, and to be given this opportunity is absolutely beguiling and stunning, i am over the moon.
Edward Pinner was a former tutor and mentor of mine whilst at college, and has since turned his hand to professional acting and voice over work, and his sample chapter for his audio CV was just great, stunning work and an amazing bringing to life of words. So for him to jump in and record the full book is a huge project, a massive commitment and an amazing collaborative project i am so happy to be part of.
I cannot wait for you to hear it.
For now, i have added the link to the sample chapter, and wanted to take the time to say a public hello and thank you to Ed for his amazing work and his brilliant talent. We hope to soon record and share a Vlog with you where we both talk about the book and the story and the project. Keep it peeled.
HYBRID MACKENZIE is turning into a big project for me, the novel is a big three act story told over a 76 year timeframe, chronicling one family dynasty through a war-torn, fantasy tinted landscape - telling the story of the Mackenzie clan, and the latest son Alexandr "Hybrid" Mackenzie - a child who should never have been born, and who is prophesied to be the catalyst of a great tidal shift of power across the broken land of Gamaliel.
I am hard at work formulating the legacy and history of the land and the cast of characters, busily building bloodlines and timelines, and making the world as real as possible, and as drenched in history and mythology as possible.
One eye on the worlds of authors like CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Stephen King (specifically his magnificent DARK TOWER world) as well as JK Rowling's Potterverse.
Its fun to build in a world of my own creating - but when its an analogy of a real world location or two - its also hard to keep so respectful to the place you are analyzing.
I hope i walk the tightrope well.
I will have updates and a sample chapter for you all soon, so keep watching.
For now, thanks for you continuing support and love, and please listen to the sample chapter below, we'll share more details and news as it becomes available.
Thank you all,
So this week i was accepted as a verified author on the wonderful GOODREADS website.
It would be amazing if you could spare a moment to go and rate ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA and THE BRAILLIST on the site if you have a few seconds to spare.
Helps boost my profile and push me up the Goodread leagues, and would make me smile as well.
And goodness knows, i need smiles right now as the 10 SHORT OF 31 wait continues!
Speaking of which - i spoke to the printers today, and its in production, hoping to be shipped my 23rd latest.
I'm sitting here with no nails left from chewing them all down, but we are moving slowly (really slowly) but surely.
The proof copy looks amazing.
Here's the Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/AndiJamesChamberlain - any rating would be amazing.
Hey Guys and Gals!
So, 10 SHORT OF 31 is now with printers and i am just awaiting a final proof to press GO! on the print itself, we are looking at 2-3 weeks max now til they are back and the first pre-orders are to be issued.
Then a release party and a general release on Amazon and in my store.
To celebrate its completion the wonderful guys over in SELF PUBLISHERS SHOWCASE have hosted an exclusive preview with one of the stories - a personal favourite - called WHAT IS DEAD MAY NEVER DIE.
To read it just click HERE!
I have also been busy with some more short stories for the people who pledged for the ONE MAN AND HIS DOGMA campaign. Here is the first one - available over in the stories section - CLICK HERE!
Called MECHROMANCER - it is a speculative SF with a mildly erotic twist.
I hope you enjoy.
To get myself pumped back up for the next stage of the HYBRID MACKENZIE manuscript session i will be doing a series of short stories for some friends and pledgers, and hopefully then hit HYBRID again to complete this one chapter and try and get head way into the next.
I'm keeping busy, and i thank you all for your continued support and brilliance.
Enjoy the stories. And keep an eye peeled for the general release - i'll keep you posted on details.
Well... It's been a while hasn't it?
Sorry about that.
Been a ridiculously tumultuous and busy time... Moving house, employment coming to an end, relationships coming to an end...
Life has a way sometimes of bringing everything to your doorstep - be it good or bad - all at once.
"Here you go dude..." it says, dropping the carcass of what was your life, stripped bare and bloody.
"Oh, and this..." a bag full of flesh and feathers.
"Good luck fixing it."
But fix it we do.
So, here we are - typing this from my new house, in my second week of "unemployment" - as I have decided to take some time to solely dedicate to writing and working on novel number two.
Which - after some blank stares at my computer screen, and a dazed look of confusion, writers block teetering to the surface - I have finally started.
10 thousand words into it as well... Give or take.
So thank you for your patience, and I want to say I am not going to disappoint any of you, nor myself, as I smash this novel into shape and start the process of world building for HYRBID MACKENZIE, my sophomore novel...
The difficult second album.
I will be live broadcasting some days from my studio as I write, or before I settle down to an afternoon or day of work.
I'm hoping in the next two months too have hit 50+ thousand words, and be well on the way to halfway - if not further - into the story.
It's a frontier fable, a western fairytale... The bare bones are there, some muscle is forming, meat is on the way, sinew and skin not far behind. I'm enjoying it, even if I am terrified of it right now...
The nerves will abate, the calm will wash over and soon the words will write themselves as I disappear into some mad trance like coma state and the brain runs the show.
The body its vehicle.
I can't wait.
For now, have the first of my live blogs, and listen to the process from my own mouth - in my own words, as gabled and scattergun as they may be.
Thanks for tuning in, i'm looking forward to taking this ride with you.
To celebrate my appearance today at the STRATFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL i have now launched the pre-order for my new book
10 SHORT OF 31 which will be available in paperback signed and numbered from here in August, with an illustration linking to one of the stories... and digitally in June.
It is in edit right now, and we are on track to have completed by end of May and ready to send straight away.
Print is going to take a slight while longer, but August is our deadline, and we hope to have them ready and sent before if production is hitch free...
If you want to purchase please go to the shop page and follow the link.
Every penny goes straight into the development and production of the second novel HYBRID MacKENZIE AND THE PEOPLE ON THE HILL - which you can read the prelude for in the STORIES section of the site.
It's been a bit quiet on here recently due to all the work that's been happening, but we will have more news soon.
Thank you all for your continued support!
A friend pointed out to me this week we are living in a generation of dying icons. He added immediately after stating this;
“I don’t like it. Not one bit.”
It is a bold, but devastatingly true sentiment.
We are living in world where attention spans are getting shorter, where millions of people are vying for their snapshot of fame – no longer fifteen minutes – but 6 seconds (VINE) or ten seconds (instagram) will do…
Anything for that fleeting moment of “love” from an audience always looking for the next big thing, the next fad and trend, the next step on the devolution of mankind. Stepping stones to our inevitable backwards dance to the primordial goo we will no doubt one day all turn into, if we continue this lazy, lackadaisical waltz to irrelevance.
Then… From nowhere – BOOM.
We lose two absolutely irreplaceable and incomparable legends in the space of two weeks. And collectively, planet-wide, we shake off the malaise and the cobwebs of reality TV, of 140 Character addiction, of plastic Popstars performing forgettable advertisements for un-needed products we will never truly have use for and shall forget in two years time, and we hold our mouths in shock and we wonder how this can happen…
How can these men be dead?
How is it possible? And more terrifyingly, if they are gone, then – Jesus – they could all go.
All of them.
All of the Legends.
The Waits, and the Pops, the Richards and the Jaggers.
No one is immortal. Not in flesh and blood anyway. No matter how invincible we have built these heroes and icons to be in our lives. No matter how towering or significant or immeasurably important they may be in our hearts and minds…
If Lemmy can die. If Bowie can die…
We can all die.
No one can live forever.
This is not a new notion. Lets not kid ourselves.
When Freddie Mercury died we threw the biggest party on Earth to try and remember his memory. But, in the back of all our minds we were still dazed and confused how this timeless, unique voice could be gone.
It will happen again. We know it will, but… For now, right now – at this exact moment, we are allowed to forget this and simply dwell in memoriam for two of the most incredible humans to ever walk the Rockstar road.
Gone way before we were ready for them to board the train and start their next journey… Or, in Bowie’s case, get on his spaceship and return to his Home planet.
David Bowie was a man who I had an incredible affinity too.
A quiet hero worship went on behind closed doors between myself and my perception of the man. His many guises, his “chameleonic” nature (to use the well coined phrased.) His boundary bursting bravery, his spirit of adventure and his seemingly absolute lack of ego in interviews.
A man who seemed genuinely born to be “everything to everyone” – every single person on this green Earth could find something to love about Bowie and his life. A character or song, a smile or a nod, a wink or a whispered secret to Tina Turner (that’s my abiding memory… That Cheeky video of the two sharing a stage and a flirt, oblivious of the thousands of souls watching.)
The man was iconic in fashion, life, love, gender and identity.
An absolute trailblazer of human nature, music and art – and he lived amongst us – we shared time and oxygen and a world with this monolith of humanity??
How lucky we all are.
His death, like his life, was enigmatic and played by his own rules and his own tune. Riddles hidden amongst the lyrics or his last two albums – THE NEXT DAY and BLACKSTAR will be poured over and analysed for years.
I believe he knew around the time of the former that he was unwell – and he used every ounce of whatever he had left to create, release and enjoy the more than deserved success of the latter.
Then... he lay down, with his family and nearest and dearest around him, and he…
Went about his way.
Two-shoe shuffling into the great beyond, his white jacket with arms rolled up and his blonde hair now grey with his 69 years on the planet catching the moonlight…
As he danced his dance into the ether, recreating the end of “Dancing In The Street.” Laughing all the way into the forever after. …
Or maybe Ziggy finally boarded his ship, and left for his own world, a tearful look back on Earth.
This time not to fall, but to soar into the unknown and the great beyond…
Just maybe, he allowed the human side to take him quietly, poignantly and gently. Holding the hand of his son, staring lovingly into his wife’s eyes, smiling as he slipped gently into the shadow of eternity. His mind and body gone. Not immortal, after all.
But his songs, his legacy and his name – here forever.
A burning beacon of unstoppable, unquenchable, eternal light for every artist, creator, musician and human to follow. That’s what I would like to believe.
I am so very sad he is gone. We took him for granted whilst he was here. We never thought, not for a second, he would go.
He couldn’t – he was Stardust. And stardust will fade, and it will dim, but soon it will coalesce into some new form, and shine as bright as it ever once did.
His songs played on the radio and on TV, he smiled that smile, and those two beautiful eyes shone from posters and billboards.
He was as much a part of our day as breathing and blinking…
Somewhere in the world, one of his songs was always playing – some how or someway.
So we never once thought or dared to think he would go. And now he has.
But – he left an album of some magnificent beauty and poignancy only days before his passing – an album that, even with the inevitable rose-tinted glasses on after his death – was a powerhouse of creativity and fire, of hunger and of genuine, total brilliance.
He gave the fans and lovers a video that can be unlocked as his eulogy to himself and them in LAZARUS – and his legacy and catalogue and body of work is a treasure trove of some of the greatest songs ever written and performed, recorded or released.
The Thin White Duke.
The Man Who Fell to Earth…
A great, great man.
My god he will be missed.