Karla Mouncey-Jaggers

Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

A Writer’s Plea

In Writing on September 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm

So, this year I have decided to do National Novel
Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for those who don’t know it is a writing festival in which lots of writers from all over the world attempt to complete a fifty thousand word novel in 30 days.

I would really like to use this time to write Olivia Everett book two. I will only be able to do this when I have completed the first draft of book one. Although the book is completed in handwritten format I am still struggling to get it typed up in quickly. I find the whole process incredibly tedious.

I sit down to start typing it up and become bored easily, I have too many ideas that I want to explore but I have promised myself I would get it done by November.

I am writing this as a plea to any writers. How do I get through the handwritten stuff quickly? Any advice about self motivation? Anything?

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Vane, Vampire With a Grudge

In Book 1 on September 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

““You are aware that I am Arch vampire of London yes?” I nodded again “ This means that all the vampire community owe allegiance to me and those with allegiance are required to live only on donated blood or leave London” I nodded for a third time “ you are also aware that you kill at least two vampires a night who are feeding on unwilling victims”

“I know all this Ben put the puzzle together” I snapped

“Tell me Liv. If your body count is racking up and my vampires aren’t hunting who are you dusting every evening?” The puzzle clicked and it showed on my face “Yes Livy we have been fighting a revolt for the last three hundred years” I shook off my curiosity

“I don’t really care about you vampire politics Ben what does this have to do with what happened tonight?” he was visually pissed at me and the jaw muscle was jumping again.

“I do not have time to explain to a child” he spat at me.

“Then do it fast!” I retorted.

What he said next was incredibly fast and my ears worked overtime to make sense of it.

“When a vampire is made their first drink is directly related to their strength in the first few years. Virgin’s blood is the strongest and the more innocent the more potent” It dawned on me what he was getting at and what Trista had recalled in her mimicked voice “The blood will make you stronger”

“Someone is killing kids” I said more to myself that to him

“It would appear so” Ben straightened it was clear that this bothered him

“Who is this bastard?”

“His name is Vane. He is ruthless and inconspicuous only a few of us have ever seen him in the flesh” His lips curled into a grimace as he said the name like he’s tasted something bad. “We know very little about him except his want for power is all consuming. It is said that he killed his own maker because he couldn’t stand someone having control over him” Ben wasn’t looking at me anymore he was somewhere else, somewhere dark with Vane. It was severely unnerving to see him like this. Vane sounded like the thing that goes bump in the night.

He suddenly snapped back from his revere and fixed his eyes on me. “That is all I can tell you.” he moved closer “Unless you have had a change of heart and want to join our little army?” he smiled full and genuine I went to step back

“Thanks for the info Ben I like to be informed” I was babbling because he was too close to me. His hand was suddenly cupping my face and his thumb caressed my cheek and his fingers deep in my hair. I lost my words and my heart was in my mouth. I could feel all the blood rushing to my face making me blush. He was so near to me that he whispered barely audible “I wait for the day you will come running into my arms Olivia” and then he was gone. The door moved slightly and I knew he had gone back into the office. I stood for a moment regaining my composure. My breath was hurried like I’d just ran up a flight of stairs and my heart was racing. Fuck why did he have to smell so good shouldn’t he smell of dead things?” “

Three Characters, Lots of Questions

In Book 1, Writing on September 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I got this great character exercise from

http://maasmith7.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/three-character-meme/

Pick 3 characters, and have them answer the following questions accordingly. (They may be original characters or not):
1. Olivia Everett
2.Benidict
3. Anthony Bray

1. Number one, what was your childhood like? My childhood felt like I was counting the minutes until I could move out. Nothing bad but nothing good

2. Character number three, if you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? (It can be something regarding your personal history, or something that is in the history books.)
Nothing, I don’t live with regret

3. Number two, would you rather be immortal and eternally miserable, or live a mortal, blissfully peaceful life?
I am an immortal with a blissfully interesting life, an interesting question but rather irrelevant to me.

4. Say, character number three, how much do you weigh?

12st 3

5. Have you ever loved and lost, number one? I’ll bet it was your fault, wasn’t it? Tsk tsk…

How wonderfully astute you are, next question?

6. Oh, no character two! You’ve just strolled into a department store to admire the lovely washing machines when a guy with a nylon stocking over his head runs in and holds the whole store at gunpoint! How will you save the day? (If you are a coward and do not wish to save the day, what do you do upon Stocking Head’s arrival?)
I would watch the scene play out and only act if it became boring

7. Number Three, tell your best “Yo Momma” joke.
*chuckles* I’ve only ever heard one that made me laugh. Yo Momma is so dumb she got locked in a supermarket and starved to death

8. Who is the one person you cannot live without, character number one? Why? (Please don’t say Oprah, please don’t say Oprah…)
That’s a bit personal, I prefer to depend on myself, if I let myself down I have someone to punish. God that’s dire isn’t it. Can I ask the audience?

9. Hey, number two, tell me one of your deepest, darkest secrets. To make you feel better, I’ll tell one of mine: I don’t have any deep, dark secrets.

I have never killed anyone innocent

10. All characters: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you play any instruments? If so, which ones? (Yes…the kazoo counts. Your nose, however, does not.)

Olivia: anything I can dance too and no
Ben: I am a big fan of anything Heavy Metal, I particularly enjoy Iron Maiden. I sing and play the piano. I am fairly sure I could pick anything up quickly.
Anthony: I like disco

11. What is the most annoying thing in the world, character one?
Drunk people on public transport

12. Finish the statement, number three: Art is…subjective

13. Finish the statement, number two: People are…fascinating

14. Finish the statement, number one: Imagination…is a luxury

15. All characters: Out of the three of you, who is the most outgoing? Reserved? Humorous? Stinky?

Ant: Stinky
Benidict: Humourous
Olivia: I guess i’m stuck, what happened to ladies first?

16. Quick, Number three! Write a poem!
When magick comes you will stop, you will listen and you will be in awe of yourself.

17. What is your favorite word, number one? Fuck

18. Character number three, what is one weird thing that you can do? (i.e. wiggle your ears, fold your tongue, play ‘amazing grace’ with your armpit…)
I can always tell when someone is lying, I’m good at reading faces

19. Speak any other languages, Number Two? Many

20. What is your nationality, character number one? English

21. Pick, number two: asparagus or canned peas? Please elaborate.

Neither, I prefer my food more alive

22. What scares you the most, character three?
Dying alone

23. All characters: What is one thing you would like the world to know about you?

Olivia: absolutely nothing
Ben: my pub is always open, first drink on me
Anthony: I’m a closet Doctor Who fan! Wow that’s a weight off!

Reality and Fiction : One and The Same?

In Book 1 on September 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

Anyone who writes, have you ever noticed how people from your life creep into your writing?

When I told my husband that Olivia’s husband had died he was annoyed. “you killed me off?” he asked. Of course I hadn’t written it that way but when I thought back Olivia’s husband had a lot of the qualities of mine!

James Everett had my husbands eyes, his loving heart and his fondness of children. I was shocked that I had done this and it played on my mind quite a bit.

A few days later whilst playing poker I looked across the table to my husband and he wiggled his eyebrows at me . I was blown away, a few hours earlier I had written a scene with Ben (the arch vampire of London) in which he did the exact same expression to Olivia. I realised what I had done!

I split my husband in two, his kind and soft side made up James Everett, his sexy and cocky side made up Ben. I guess it’s impossible to separate your own experiences from your writing. I just never thought I would add them in such a literal way!

Introducing Nicky Bray…

In Book 1 on September 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm

After a long day Liv starts a long night…

“I pressed three to delete it and waited for the next message.

“Liv, it’s Nicky”

Nicky was an acquaintance of mine. He owned an Italian restaurant on the Southbank near the aquarium. We’d gotten to know each other last year when I saved him being chomped on by a nasty red-headed vamp. He got his life and I got free Italian whenever I was hungry. The message continued.

“I wasn’t expecting a machine. Erm. Look I need a favour. I’ve got a real problem down here”

Spit it out Nicky I thought to myself

“There’s someone, well something. Look Liv please I need your help. Just get here fast ok? Please. I promise there’s a lasagne in it for you”

I hung up. Great, nice and vague, the sun had only just gone down and I was already confused. It was going to be one of those nights.

By the time I arrived at Nicky’s it was 5.30. In November that meant it was officially night-time. I’d brought my gear with me. Bow, Arrows, stakes and a few syringes of garlic essence. Garlic won’t kill a vampire but it can really slow them down when used properly. Nicky’s restaurant stood in the middle of a row of shops. It wasn’t much to look at but Timeout had given it four stars so it was usually packed. Tonight was no exception even this early in the evening. I pushed open the door and was hit with a strong smell of cheese. It permeated the place after years of cooking the walls secreted the stuff. The restaurant was set up like a living room. Four round tables filed the small intimate space. Each table held twelve people so you either brought your whole family or you made friends. To the right of the place there was a small bar with a few bar flies. I guess everywhere had there regulars. I located Nicky quickly. He stood out in most crowds because of his hair. Nicky was a natural brunette but liked to change his hair colour as often as his underwear. Tonight it was cherry red, he was young for a restaurateur thirty fiveish, and I never got specifics. He was lean and tall but had recently developed a little pot belly. Carbs had caught up with him.

I called his name. When he turned to me I knew something was wrong. His usually bubbly blue eyes were pinched and tense, he motioned with his hand to the back. I followed eagerly as he led me to his office and asked me to sit. The office was immaculately kept, piles of neatly stacked paper work were ordered into in trays. The walls were lined with alphabetised cookbooks and his radio was talking mutely in the corner. He opened a window and lit a cigarette. He inhaled three times before he finally said

“Thanks for coming Liv”

“That’s no problem Nick”

I emphasised his name and waited for him to continue. He carried on smoking.

“Nicky” I said “What’s going on? You look like wound tighter than a dogs arse”

I’d never cared for subtlety.

“I’m in a bit of a pickle Liv” he began “I’ve got a serious problem in the kitchen and I feel awful asking you for help but I didn’t know what else to do”

“Spit it out Nicky, I’m loosing dark” he was starting to bug me

“Sorry” He breathed “I’ve caught a vampire Liv, A fucking vampire in my kitchen”

My heart sank, this had to be a joke, what did he mean in his kitchen? I took a moment then fixed him with a full on glare

“Ok Nick, Start from the top.”

He finished his cigarette and stubbed it out in an ashtray then chucked it out of the window.

“This morning I came in alone to open up. I have my routines. I go to the kitchen, I check everything is clean from the night before. I get out all the fresh ingredients and prep.” He hesitated “Then I get all the frozen meat out for defrosting. I went to the walk in freezer and it was already open. It didn’t make any sense because I knew I’d locked it. I’m a bit OCD when it comes to the restaurant. I walked up to inspect the hinge and that was when I heard it”

“It?” I asked

“The sucking” he paused “A quiet sucking noise, like a baby sucking on a bottle. I wasn’t sure what I was hearing so I bent into the freezer and I saw her. She was turned away from me, she was wearing a child’s play dress, yellow and pink and she had no shoes on. I didn’t know what she was, I only thought this child, this little girl must be cold so I called out to her. She turned and that’s when I realised. Her eyes were black holes in her face and she looked right through me. She was holding a raw T-bone steak to her mouth and sucking it. Like a fucking meat lollypop! She paused and looked up at me bearing her fangs. I slammed the door shut and haven’t been in there since”.

I was flabbergasted, this had to be a joke. None of it made any sense. Why was a vampire left alone after sunrise? Where had she come from? And the obvious question why has she chose to suck on Nicky’s stock instead of Nicky himself? I said the only thing I could

“Take me to her.” ”

(c) Karla Mouncey-Jaggers 2011

Richmond Writer’s Circle

In Book 1, Writing on September 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Recently I read an article on Ideas Tap that listed the ten things a writer wanting to be published should be doing. I was doing them all except for one point in the middle. Share your work with other writers.

I googled writers groups in my area and found Richmond Writer’s Circle. They were having a meeting the following night and I jumped at the chance to contact the organiser.

On Wednesday night I was ready to leave and I was so nervous! I had enlisted a friend to come with me for moral support. My exact words to convince her were “what if there all weirdos?” I spent an agonising half hour trying to choose the right extract to bring with me. I even went as far to time them so that it wasn’t too long!

We arrived too early nipped to the pub for a bit of Dutch courage. I don’t know why I was so nervous. I speak and perform in front of people every day but there was something about this. It was the fact that I was reading my own work. It wasn’t a monologue I had learned it wasn’t a practiced class it was my creation and a piece of soul given form.

We entered the meeting as one of the first people there and took our seats quietly. I was asked if I would like to read and requested to go last. As the seats around me started to fill up I felt more relaxed. Everyone was the same, all writers, all creatives.

I sat through an hour and forty-five of wonderfully eclectic work. There were some short poems reminiscent of Blake and Dickinson. Some light hearted rhetorics and some passionate shorts. I was most intrigued by the novel extracts seeing as I was reading from the same medium.

There were three novels read, two science fiction and one thriller. They were all very original and tangible. I found myself closing my eyes and floating away to 1930’s Paris. Then almost falling off my seat on a far away planet gasping to know what happened next. I was then enthralled by descriptive and inventive narrative which sent me to the future!

Then came my turn. My hands were shaking and my paper was turning wet under my fingers. I began reading, trying very hard to relax and breath. After the first few lines they laughed, they actually laughed. My writing was reaching them and they were actually enjoying it.

I gained more confidence as I went on and sunk into the reading. When I finished I looked up expectantly I was met with smiling faces. Their feedback was great, I mentioned that I was having some trouble with the beginning and they suggested I use this scene as the beginning. A great suggestion!

They also really liked the mixture of humour and comedy. Some one called it a great cocktail, another said that vampires had been done to death but the humour was a new twist.

It was a wonderful experience and I will absolutely return next week. I felt honoured to be included in this fabulously eccentric and talented group of people.

Vampire Nest

In Book 1 on September 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

After a rather intense conversation with Ben, Liv follows her instincts and gets caught in a dangerous situation…

“It was dark in there almost pitch black. I looked for the couple and my eyes were drawn to a small sliver of light to my left. I walked forward slowly and readied my bow. I peeked through the gap and saw the girl on the floor. Her skirt had ridden up and her legs were covered in patches of dirt. Her hair was tousled like he had used it to throw her to the floor. She had thick lines of mascara running down he pale cheeks. She was terrified and she looked like a cow waiting for slaughter. Her huge brown eyes darted around the room looking for an escape. He was above her cackling

“What’s wrong Eva?” he laughed “You were so keen a moment ago” he was crazed with his head thrown back and eyes bulging wildly.

My foot was almost in the room when something made me stop. Another vampire was entering the square of light he was more composed than the other. His hands were at his side and he moved gracefully and cat-like.

“What have you brought us Tom?”

Us. Was he talking in the third person or had I just walked into a nest? My question was answered when two female vampires stepped out of the shadows. They looked loonier than Tom and they moved together like sister tornados. Moving through each other like snakes in a pit, I couldn’t figure out who moved first it was as if they were fluid.

“She’s a bit skinny Tom” the women hissed. Again, I couldn’t tell who’d spoken first or if they both had. It was very unsettling

“We told you we like butch girls” they laughed and the sound raised the hairs on my arms. Walk away Liv, walk away, she’s dead anyway don’t give them another body. I couldn’t I was riveted to the spot, my heart controlling my head. I knew I couldn’t save her but I also couldn’t watch her die.

“Shut up Matilda” Tom snapped “I don’t see you volunteering to hunt” one name for both girls. Matilda pouted and then they were both on the floor at the girls face. A hand from each vampire on either side of the victim, he had called her Eva. She tried to flinch away but Matilda had her gripped too tight and she yelped in pain. Gaze her I willed them Gaze her away from all this.

“What’s wrong Angel” Matilda asked Eva “You should be thrilled, you should feel blessed, you have been chosen to die for your gods” the voice rose manically, god, this bird was messed up. Eva screamed.

“Please, I don’t want to die, I have a daughter she’s waiting for me at home” She was trying to humanise herself this is the advise they give you in self defence lessons. Make your attacker see you as human but this wasn’t a good option when vampires see you as cattle. Matilda laughed again “I can smell that your lying darling” she kissed the girl and during the kiss bit hard into her lower lip and jerked backwards taking the lip with her. Eva screamed again and I held back bile. The blood poured freely from Eva’s lip and she scrabbled around holding her face. The blood made the vampires noticeably excited and tension filled the room like a lion’s den”

(c) Karla Mouncey-Jaggers 2011