Getting To Know Me, Getting To Know All About Me…

Hi all you Quaint folks,
I tend to keep my news on this site Cornelius-Quaint centric, because – well, let’s be honest, that’s the only news I can offer. But no longer, my faithful chums!

When I started this blog it was kind of a reaction to some other excellent booky/authory type sites that I look at. Also, I wanted to have a forum to share my thoughts and ideas, views and reviews, and the odd random article about my two specialised subjects –  superheroes and Star Wars. So whenever I have any real news to tell, it sometimes gets lost in the mire. But this news is a little different, and it’s something that might surprise anyone who has been kind enough to subsidise several of my family holidays by buying one or more of my books. I love every one of you, and I am perfectly willing to say it openly.

This news is different for roundabout 3 reasons.

1) I am collaborating for the first time with 2 excellent authors in their own right.
2) I am not writing a single word.
3) I am illustrating the book.

There. I said it. Illustrating and not writing, you say? Where has that come from?
To those that don’t know me this might come as a surprise, unless you read all the teeny tiny copyright stuff on the covers of The Equivoque Principle and The Eleventh Plague and noticed that I  (half) illustrated them – in  conjunction with a fab designer-type bloke who made me look far more talented than I really am.

Well, illustrating has always been in my blood dating back to gifts inherited from my grandfather, and I have dabbled in comic strips and things over the years before I got my break doing the words instead of the pictures.

To anyone that hasn’t read any of my books yet, it will actually HELP you to know that I am a massive comics fan, just so you know what to expect going into The Equivoque Principle. 
I feel a rant coming on….

Someone once said my books were like Marmite, you either love them or you hate them.  I’d like to think that no one actually hates them, but you get the idea. Personally, I quite like Marmite and have done for years, but judging by some of the reviews on Amazon (not that I am, by the way, as just as there are some bloody prolific and excellent bloggers/reviiewers out there that do a fantastic job of spreading word of mouth – there is also a lot of showboating primadonnas leaving crap reviews and generally being far too picky for their own good in sometimes brutally-worded attacks that they have left many an author’s confidence (nay, career perhaps) in tatters)  My readership on the whole is a lot like Marmite too. I’ve had some people flouncing about giving me the old ‘Oh, it’s not true Victorian because of this….’ or ‘They never had XXX back in the olden times!’. But I have also had tons (not metric) of people who have been nice enough to drop me an email to say how much they enjoyed my books, or left a nice, honest well-rounded review on many a book site…you know the ones, where a reviewer goes to the trouble to explain why they liked something, or perhaps why they did not, but in a constructive way as opposed to a negative one. 
In fact, I have made changes to future books, or my style of writing, or the plot of something in particular, based purely on feedback that I received from a loyal reader. That is what it is for ladies and gentlemen. Two way communication. I am a reader and I have spoken. Thank you, reader, I am an author and I am listening…

Depending on which review you read, you might be utterly confused about this Darren Craske bloke and his adventuring conjuror creation Cornelius Quaint – and I wouldn’t blame you.

In short, my books are kind of Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes type things. Lots of bang for your buck. Thrills and spills, escapes and derring do. Pantomime villains and square-jawed heroes, set against the backdrop of Victorian London (in Equivoque), Egypt in the 1850’s (Eleventh Plague) and the sea-faring trade routes of the Orient (Lazarus Curse – book 3 to be released!). Each book is written in the style of the Victorian penny dreadful, and is meant as a light-hearted and exciting adventure book.

They are NOT supposed to be:

a) Studies on Victorian culture
b) A dull and boring history lesson

c) A poor imitation of Mr Whicher/ Sherlock Holmes/ Erast Fandorin/ Dream Eaters and/or any other fictional Victoriana tome
d) A waste of paper

So for god sake, lighten up, will you? Okay, so you paid £7 or whatever for a book that you didn’t like. Snap! I’ve done it shitloads of times and do you know what I’ve done?
If I really disliked it that much I have stopped reading it, chalked it up to the odds of picking a wrong-un out of the thousands of books that I buy that live up to my expectations, and I give it to a bloody charity shop – at least that way someone can make some money out of it.

Oh dear.
It seems my rant has eclipsed the real reason why I went to all the effort of logging into my blog page today in the first place and now I fear that the important announcement bit might be lost in the message.
Sod it, I’ll write about that next time, readers!!!

Oh!!! And I hope you don’t mind me blowing my own trumpet, (that reminds me, I must get my back seen to) but I thought I might share with you a direct quote from Prince William’s bride-to-be Kate Middleton, when asked what she thought of my work:

KM: “Who?”

Peace in the valley.


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