New Stuff!

ldposter

Hello!
I’ve been very lapse with this blog, I know. And I’ve been even more lapse with my writing, I know that too. Mostly this is because I have a number of things on the go at the moment, and finding the time to juggle them all is often hard. It’s not for a want of wanting to, it’s just that life often gets in the way of living – as someone very wise once told me.

Coming very soon is “Lexi Drake: TEMPUS FUGITIVE”, a very exciting time-travel comdy adventure story starring Lexi Drake (the title is a bit of a giveaway, I admit.) Lexi is fresh and fun and the first time that I’ve used a female main character in one of my books. So for that alone, it’s special.

Coming soon after that is “The Argonaut’s Almanac Vol 2: EARTHBOUND”, a book that I know several folk have been eagerly anticipating. This is a tricky book to get right as so much needs to happen if I am to pull of the final part in the trilogy, “WARBOUND” which will hopefully be finished in time for Christmas 2015.

Hot on the heels of “WARBOUND” will probably be another Lexi Drake book if the first one is well received, before seeing Lexi teaming up with Eddie Sparks for the gloriously titled “The MYTHS of TIME”, and that’s going to be SO much fun to write I can hardly wait!!! It’s nearly as exciting as watching the new STAR WARS trailer…

But before then will see Book 6 in “The Cornelius Quaint Chronicles”, titled “The IMMORTAL COIL”, and this one is a big of a gamechanger, stuff I’ve hinted at in the past. It’s a risk because it’s different to all the other Quaint books – but not quite as different as Book 7, tentatively called “The GENESIS TOMB”. Now THAT is going to be a tough book to write, in more ways than one.

And I’m also missing the Station Guard and the rat…so they might come back at some point too.

And that’s just the stuff that’s in my HEAD!!!
Of course, anything could happen between now and then, but let’s stay positive here, people!

Much love.
x

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It’s about Time…

Hello.

I don’t usually do this sort of thing, but I’m breaking tradition because I think this is going to be something special.

I’d like to present the first chapter to my new book, out in the Summer 2014, The DAYS of LEXI DRAKE: TEMPUS FUGITIVE.

It tells the story of 14 year-old Lexi Drake, who discovers that she can manipulate the flow of Time whenever she feels angry or threatened, allowing her to revisit any point in her own personal time-line, using her memories as markers. But her memories are both good and bad in equal measure, and she cannot control where her future may take her.

Identified as a threat to the integrity of the mother time-line, agents from the TIC (that’s the Temporal Irregularities Commission, to you and me) are dispatched into the time-line to contain Lexi. But there are other forces at play, such as Lord Cyrus Rexor, who would much rather that Lexi was eliminated, thanks all the same.

Lexi Drake is about to discover that having an awesome power to travel up and down her time-line comes with consequences…and it’s about Time.

I’ll be posting again a bit nearer to the release date in August 2014 so do pop back!

Enjoy!

 

 The DAYS of LEXI DRAKE:

TEMPUS

FUGITIVE

 Darren Craske

 

Stuff You Need To Know

by

 Professor Albert K. Ross

Technical Solutions Advisor for the Temporal Irregularities Commission

  If you travelled to the ends of the Earth, took an abrupt 73 degree turn to the left and then looked directly up, you might see a star shining a little bit brighter than all the rest. And if you were to map this star’s celestial coordinates in relation to your postcode and then cross-reference it against last week’s winning Lottery numbers, factoring in your shoe size and date of birth, you might be able to decipher the longitude and latitude of an unassuming wooden shack in the middle of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Inside the shack there are three rooms, not including the bathroom (which, incidentally, does not contain a bath, but it does have a rather nice washbasin). Fixed to the wall above the washbasin there is a mirror with a gilded frame, and if you were to walk at pace past this mirror without looking directly at it, you might just catch a glimpse of a white-painted door in the corner of your eye. Beyond that door lies the dimension of Elsewhen; a place where Time has no meaning yet is the meaning of everything.

With me so far? Excellent. I do so hate dumbing down.

Now here comes the important part (needless to say that a bit of applied concentration on your part would be greatly appreciated). Without the universal constant that is Time, things would get terribly confusing, let’s be honest. You’d be constantly late for appointments (except you wouldn’t, as the concept of being late, or indeed early, wouldn’t really exist). You’d miss all your favourite TV programmes (except you wouldn’t, as the television companies would have no way of working out their broadcasting schedules so they would probably show nothing but repeats). You’d miss your best friend’s birthday party (except you wouldn’t, because with Time out of the picture, none of your friends would have a clue when their birthdays were, so there would be very little point in having a party to celebrate it). Without Time, the Universe would be a very confusing place to live, which is why it’s such a useful thing to have around.

But just as with anything in life, you have your good eggs and you have your bad eggs, and what if one of these bad eggs decided to muck about with Time for their own needs? Maybe they’ve done something idiotic like rob a bank, or maybe they’ve just missed the bus to work and it’s tipping down with rain, I don’t know. The point is, whatever the thing was, whether it was Earth-shatteringly big or insignificantly trivial, what would happen if the bad eggs began to manipulate the time-stream whenever they felt like it?

Top marks if you said: “Probably something bad.

Back when time-travel was first discovered, everyone thought it was a bit of a laugh. It was used to great effect at dinner parties, family gatherings and various other social functions where you’re forced to spend time with very distant relatives that you’ve probably met literally, like three times in your whole life. When it first came out, time-travel was voted “The Most Fun Thing To Do…Ever!” by those with an opinion about such things, knocking Twister off the top spot and relegating naked knife-throwing to third place.

And soon it was all: “Oh, no, I’ve just locked myself out! I know, I’ll just go back in time five minutes and remember to pick my keys up from the kitchen table. Sweet.

or

I just remembered that dear Auntie Mabel is coming for tea and I’ve got nothing in the larder. I’ll just pop back to last Thursday when I was in ASDA to put an extra tin of corned beef in the trolley.”

and

I’ve had a fabulous night tonight, Janet. I wish we could do it all again.”

We can, Brad, haven’t you heard? Some bright spark has invented time-travel.”

So we can do over any moment of our lives whenever we want?

Why not? It’s a Bank Holiday weekend so I’m not back at work until Tuesday.

 And so things go.

And so things went.

 Things got so bad that the population of the Earth wasn’t getting up to much because everyone was too busy doing stuff they’d already done before. People became addicted to things they’d already done, and “re-living” was soon more popular than “actual-living”. Birthdays and Christenings, weddings and receptions, bar mitzvahs, the birth of their first child, the day they passed their driving test, the day they lost their you-know-what. The most popular one was “First Love”, until some husbands and wives got a bit upset that their other-halves were spending more time with their past-partners than their present ones. And you know when old people say, “Ooo, it wasn’t like this in my day”- well, the good news is they didn’t bother saying that anymore, because all the kids were like: “Go on then, Granddad! Fire up the time-pod and let’s prove it!”

On the whole, “a flipping mess” would be an extremely appropriate description of how things had got, and if any non-specific denominational deity-type figure had been looking down from above or up from below they would probably have thought that the world had gone crackers. And who can blame them? They would have seen that because so many people were constantly rewinding moments of established events, the time-line was being put under ever-increasing strain – a bit like when you used to watch VHS tapes (Google it) too many times and it would go all warped (ask your parents). And if these beings looking upon the Earth had seen how adept mankind had become at side-stepping its evolutionary destiny, they would probably have recommended that time-travel was something to be strictly regulated by an objective and independent, self-governing body. But such an organisation did not yet exist (which is why no one got sued for copyright infringement when the Temporal Irregularities Commission was formed).

Wait,” the people cried, “Who could be trusted with such a responsibility? Wouldn’t staffing this organisation with human beings create a conflict of interest?” but then someone in senior management said, “We’ll staff the TIC (such as the Temporal Irregularities Commission became known for the benefit of lazy people) with quirks!” to which most people (quite understandably) went: “What’s a quirk when it’s at home?

The answer to that was a relatively simple one, as it goes. Even so, the bloke from senior management insisted on drawing a flowchart on a whiteboard, and then his department drafted several policies that were immediately deployed into general working practices just to spell it out for the benefit of anyone who wasn’t invited to the initial meeting (or stupid people).

These other-worldly types would have seen that whenever someone altered things to prevent stuff from happening, tiny fractures began to form in the structure of Time. The fact was, after so much mucking about with the time-line, each “hop” created a divergent strain of umpteen possible futures. Billions upon billions of brand new time-lines were birthed every second of every minute of every single hour; each one disconnected from the original Mother-line. Strange anomalies began occurring throughout history. Evolutionary hiccups, if you will (you will, won’t you?). Most were genetic oddities that should not exist (and in many cases, could not exist); species that represented a significant deviation from the natural order of things. And so to make sure that the Earth was kept clean and tidy, Father Time and Mother Nature had a bit of a chinwag and came up with a solution.

These anomalies, or “quirks” as it was deemed politically correct to label them, represented a totally unbiased species, yet one with a vested interest in Earth’s survival. And so, whenever a quirk was detected, the TIC leapt into the time-line and took them off to the parallel dimension of Elsewhen where they wouldn’t be any bother. And so things went, with the TIC effectively policing the time-line.

Most effectively, in fact.

There are actual graphs to prove this, if you’re in any doubt. Just ask that bloke from senior management and he’ll bore the pants off you with all sorts of metrics. But as Time went on it became clear that there were still a few bad eggs trying to spoil things for others, and soon the staff at the TIC found themselves swamped with paperwork. It became impossible to get all the work done in time (or should that be “Time”). And so, to help ease the burden, the Temporal Order Corps was born.

The TIC was the brains of the outfit and the TOC was the brawn, held in reserve only for the really big jobs; when someone – or something – had ruptured the time-line to such a degree that it was in danger of collapsing. If Time was the casualty, the TIC would isolate the cause of the injury and treat it with dignified medical care until it was back on its feet again – whereas the TOC would just charge in chopping off limbs all over the place in the hope they got lucky. No finesse, no skill.

The TIC and TOC were sanctioned by the big guns in Elsewhen’s Temporal Citadel to ensure that Time was always protected, even if some agents in the TIC often felt that the TOC did more harm than good, but that’s a digression (or potential plot point, take your pick).

But then came a day unlike any other that had come before (or even after) it – a day when the structure of Time was in danger of disintegrating, a day when a temporal anomaly was detected with the potential to destroy all of history.

 

For the sake of argument, let’s just say that day is today…

Hornet in a pint glass

Image

Hello.

That pic doesn’t have anything to do with this post, but I just thought that I would share it as the wasp/hornet was so huge. And no, it didn’t drink the contents of the glass. That might have explained why it was trying to pick a fight.

So i thought I would just pop on to explain my absence.

Due to some changes in my life of late, I don’t seem to find myself with as much free time as I was used to. This means that I don’t have anywhere near as much time to write. And this also means that I might not be writing any more books for a while. I do have some responsibilities as a writer, and I certainly wouldn’t just drop everything and never return. I have still got 2 volumes of THE ARGONAUT’S ALMANAC left to release, and I do also have an obligation to continue Cornelius Quaint’s quest to find his long-lost daughter Constance. I will get to them, I just can’t say when. 🙂  I can say though that it will be some time in 2014.

I also have a few other projects bubbling away, and I do find myself in a weird position, like the total opposite of writer’s block. I am being bombarded with ideas for books, but it feels a bit like they are running away from me. There’s no way that I can grab them all and hold onto them long enough to produce anything of note. Not with so many other things vying for my attention.

So this is probably a long-winded way of saying that things might be quiet on the Craske front for a while.

Sorry about that !

 

Turn the THE MONARCH KEY and see what it unlocks…

ImageHello you.

Up there you will see the cover to the 5th (!) book in The Cornelius Quaint Chronicles (not including The Quaint Christmas and The Enthusiastic Amateur) which is available to download for a very reasonable sum RIGHT HERE!

THE MONARCH KEY is not only the conclusion to the epic cliffhanger from the end of THE ROMULUS EQUATION, but it’s also the seeds for where I am taking the series next. Whereas the first 4 books covered different chapters within the same arc, this book begins a brand new ongoing theme – which makes it the perfect jumping-on point for new readers!!!

Whereas it’s always been part of the CQ books to feature a “What Happened Previously” bit, I am always aware that some readers that are new to the series might find coming in at volume 3 or 4 a bit daunting. That’s why I’ve been itching to get to this point, which will allow me to tell more self-contained stories, and shape the USP of the series a bit more.

All this will come in time, and things will be a lot clearer come book 6, THE IMMORTAL COIL, in 2014 – followed closely by the 7th book (I’m undecided yet which one it will be, as I’ve got a ton of plots all bubbling away).  But for now, I’d like people to warm to THE MONARCH KEY, and give me their honest (but constructive please!) feedback. This book is very important to me in the grand scheme of things, as it’s the first one that I have done all by my lonesome.

This one is completely my own baby 100%. The plot, the edits, the cover – the whole shebang is down to me…of course, this means that I am totally to blame if no one likes it – but I hope it won’t come to that 🙂

So if you know someone who likes a bit of mystery, who likes adventure and black comedy and bursts of sporadic violence, then please point them my way!!!!

Cornelius Quaint Timeline

Hello you.

Just a quickie today; I’m currently working hard on BEYOND HIS YEARS, the 3rd part in the trilogy after ABOVE HIS STATION and BEFORE HIS TIME, but I wanted to just do this little post as I have had a couple of queries about the order that the Cornelius Quaint Chronicles run in of late, so I wanted to share this.

This is the reference list that I use when I write the books, mostly because I’m crap at remembering stuff, but also because it helps me to map out the series.

SO here you go:

Quaint’s Timeline

  • 1798 – Cornelius Quaint born
  • 1805 – Madame Destine Renard becomes his governess (CQ aged 8)
  • 1808 – Augustus and Elizabeth Quaint die (CQ aged 10)
  • 1817 – CQ working as ledger keeper in Whitehall, London (aged 16)
  • 1820 – CQ marries Margarite Newsome CQ (aged 19)
  • 1822 – CQ meets Antoine Renard (aged 24)
  • 1824 – Renard kills Margarite Quaint (CQ aged 26)
  • 1825 – CQ embarks upon his hunt for Renard (aged 27)
  • 1833 – CQ meets Oliver and Sir George Dray in Peru
  • 1838 – CQ shoots Renard in Paris (CQ aged 40)
  • 1838 – CQ wins ownership of Dr Marvello’s Travelling Circus (aged 40)
  • 1839 – CQ meets Prince Albert (1819 – 1861) a year before his marriage to Queen Victoria (aged 41)
  • 1842 – CQ saves Butter’s life in Greenland (aged 44)
  • 1843 – Aiden Miller (Prometheus) joins circus
  • 1849 – CQ meets Prince Albert again and is introduced to Victoria (aged 51)
  • 1851 – CQ attends Great Exhibition in Hyde Park (aged 53)
  • 1852 – THE QUAINT CHRISTMAS (aged 54)
  • 1853 – THE EQUIVOQUE PRINCIPLE (aged 55)
  • 1853 – THE ENTHUSIASTIC AMATEUR
  • 1853/54 – THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE
  • 1854 – THE LAZARUS CURSE
  • 1854 – THE ROMULUS EQUATION
  • 1854 – The Crimean War. France and Britain (with Turkish Ottoman Empire) declare war on Russia – continues until March 1856
  • 1854 – THE MONARCH KEY (Released late 2013/early 2014)

FREE GIVEAWAY!!! SIGNED POSTERS!!!

Hello. The title is a bit of a giveaway, which – coincidentally – is also the reason for this post! Image

My very generous publishers, The Friday Project, have given me 5 (Yes! FIVE!) A3 sized posters of the cover to The Romulus Equation (above) to give away and each one is signed by yours truly. I have one on my wall (not a signed one – that would be a bit immodest) and I can confirm that they look ace.

So, if anyone would like to chuck their name into the hat to try to win one of those 5 signed posters then all you have to do is something very simple. No questions, no complicated conundrums, I’m not even going to test you on your knowledge of the Quaint Chronicles.

Nope. All you gotta do is tweet me @DarrenCraske using the hashtag #corneliusquaint and your name will automatically be entered into a draw later this week. I only have 5 signed posters to give away, but please spread the word…