Tag Archives: supernatural

Visiting Hannibal House Country

The idea for Hannibal House was born out of seeing this particular house in New Quay, Ceridigion on the West Wales coast.

The Real Hannibal House
(c) David Nicol 2012

When I saw the house I had a similar reaction to it that Troy in the story had: “Now that’s a nice house”. The people I was with all agreed that the real house we were looking at was ‘nice’, but they didn’t seem to be as enthusiastic about it as I was. From there I got to thinking about the nature of why we find some spaces attractive, and others not. I thought of the tales of Sirens from mythology luring sailors to their doom, and via a fairly random set of processes to the Angler Fish (or Monkfish) Melanocetus johnsonii which lures prey to its mouth by the promise of a free meal.

Although the name ‘Hannibal House’ may conjure up images of a noble warrior, determined to battle against the odds (or a Carthaginian elephant abuser, depending on your perspective), the first name that came to me was ‘Cannibal House’. The concept that houses being human in origin, and this one wanting humans to consume in some way would make it technically a cannibal. But without literal cannibals, the title was a fanciful reach and so it became ‘Hannibal House’ (presenting an impressive edifice).

Within the story, Troy’s journey is documented across Wales and one section is particularly entrenched in reality. Troy sits and eats his lunch on Cefn Bryn, at a place called Arthur’s Stone. He sits on the flat portion of the ancient megalith. And here it is:

Arthur's Stone from Hannibal House by David Nicol
(c) David Nicol 1995

I took that photograph in 1995. It’s facing East. If you sat on the flat stone, like Troy in the story you look North over the Loughour Estuary towards Burry Port and Llanelli. At that point he meets a man called Ivor the Caravan…

Ivor James the Caravan from Hannibal House by David Nicol
(c) David Nicol 1995

I haven’t actually met Ivor James the Caravan. I’m sure that he is/was (it’s 17 years since I took the photo) a wonderful fellow, a well meaning character like his namesake in Hannibal House.

When I wrote the story I based the majority of the settings on places that I had actually been to, and that comes across in the story. However, as Donncha pointed out, it’s unlikely that the Welsh Tourist Board will be asking me to write a review for them any time soon.

Should you be in the mood to visit Hannibal House, or the places mentioned in the story then here is where you’ll find them by clicking here to view them via Google Maps (Opens link in a new window).

Available now:

The Deluge of Elias by David Nicol

Long after a cataclysm that destroyed humanity had been forgotten, the descendants of the original survivors live in a protected Dome governed by a set of rules known as ‘The Orders’.

The rigid enforcement of The Orders now threatens the people they were designed to protect. Elias has a solution, except it puts him on a course of action that is at odds with the rules that he has been charged to rigorously uphold. On top of every thing else, the solution came to him in the form of a dream; in a time and place where no one dreams.

Can he save the last vestiges of humanity, or even himself?

The Deluge of Elias from Amazon US

The Deluge of Elias from Amazon UK

Hannibal House by David Nicol

‘Sometimes you don’t choose the house, the house chooses you’.

The supernatural story of a house that attracts lost souls. Set in South West Wales, Hannibal House tells the story of Troy who leaves Seattle in search of his roots.

Unsure of what he’s really looking for, Troy comes across Hannibal House. Immediately infatuated with the building he sets out to possess it, or is the house aiming to possess him…

Hannibal House from Amazon US

Hannibal House from Amazon UK

Catch me on twitter: @davidxnicol
Check me out on Amazon: David Nicol Author Page
See what I’m up to on GoodReads.com: David Nicol on GoodReads

Self-publishing Ponderings

David Nicol I’ve read many posts by authors defending their decision to self publish.  This isn’t one of those posts.  I don’t see the need to defend that decision, rather I think people should consider why they would want to go down the traditional publishing route.

I’m proud to stand up and say “Yes, I’m an independent author, yes, I self publish.”  Why wouldn’t I be?

Historically there’s been a stigma attached to self publishing due to vanity presses.  If you’re not familiar with the term, in a nutshell, vanity publishing allowed people to publish their books, for a fee.  However, the costs involved meant that a book published via a vanity press had a higher unit cost than a traditionally published book.  If an author wanted to make any money, or break even after using a vanity press, they would need to charge more for their tome than a mainstream, established book (plus they also had to source their own outlets for their books).

Chances are, if you’re an aspiring author, when you see the likes of Twilight, The Hunger Games, or *shudder* Fifty Shades of Grey getting the top spots, and featured everywhere you think “that could be me”.  It could be, and why shouldn’t it be?  After all, your work is probably more original, less cliched and better written than those titles that languish in the popular consciousness.

The traditional wisdom is that to be successful you can’t be a good author, you have to be a great author.  You have to live and breathe your passion and then, once you’ve emotionally exhausted yourself you have to lie prostrate at the feet of a publisher/agent and beg for a chance to be heard.

What a load of crap.

Excuse my French, but Fifty Shades of Grey has shown that any old shit can be a best seller.  Reading parts of that book makes me feel like a Nobel Laureate.  And maybe that’s the problem that many new authors have.  They create works of literature rather than pulp fiction.

Publishers want to sell units.  Publishing houses are businesses, they want authors who write profit making commodities, not literature.  Publishing is going the way of the music and film industries where it’s the smaller indie providers who produce the majority of the works of value, the works that touch you, that live with you, that make you think.  At the same time, the large powerhouses try to beat down and pour scorn on the indies while pushing their own watered down insipid rubbish to the masses.

Now this seems like I’m being a big fat Negative Nancy about publishing.  That’s not where I’m going with this.  To be honest, if a publisher offered me a deal that was agreeable then I’d probably take it.  Publishers allow a minority of authors to break in to the mainstream, and if that’s your goal, then good luck to you.

What I’m saying is that if you choose to be an independent author, to self publish, then you shouldn’t spend your time justifying your decision. Instead, spend your time writing, honing your craft.  Build your following, create the best work you can and be a success on your own terms.

In the event that a publisher does come knocking, remember that you’re doing them a favour by allowing them to exploit your work.  It’s not the other way around, and YOU should be the one benefiting from YOUR work.

My indie writer manifesto

I will –

  1. Produce the most professional work I can
  2. Fully develop my characters and plot
  3. Ensure that my work is proofread, spellchecked and edited
  4. Not compromise my vision to please a specific market

Available now:

The Deluge of Elias by David Nicol

Long after a cataclysm that destroyed humanity had been forgotten, the descendants of the original survivors live in a protected Dome governed by a set of rules known as ‘The Orders’.

The rigid enforcement of The Orders now threatens the people they were designed to protect. Elias has a solution, except it puts him on a course of action that is at odds with the rules that he has been charged to rigorously uphold. On top of every thing else, the solution came to him in the form of a dream; in a time and place where no one dreams.

Can he save the last vestiges of humanity, or even himself?

The Deluge of Elias from Amazon US

The Deluge of Elias from Amazon UK

Hannibal House by David Nicol

‘Sometimes you don’t choose the house, the house chooses you’.

The supernatural story of a house that attracts lost souls. Set in South West Wales, Hannibal House tells the story of Troy who leaves Seattle in search of his roots.

Unsure of what he’s really looking for, Troy comes across Hannibal House. Immediately infatuated with the building he sets out to possess it, or is the house aiming to possess him…

Hannibal House from Amazon US

Hannibal House from Amazon UK
 
 
 
 
Catch me on twitter: @davidxnicol
Check me out on Amazon: David Nicol Author Page
See what I’m up to on GoodReads.com: David Nicol on GoodReads

‘Hannibal House’ is now available

Today, ‘Hannibal House’ launched on Amazon. Before we launch in to the blurb that goes with it I’d like to thank those who have been involved in helping tweak the story to the finished version. I received some fantastic feedback from those involved in the beta so thank you to all involved.

Those who provided feedback will be receiving a personalised copy of ‘Hannibal House’ via email.

And now, on to the main event:

Hannibal House by David Nicol

‘Sometimes you don’t choose the house, the house chooses you’.

The supernatural story of a house that attracts lost souls. Set in South West Wales, Hannibal House tells the story of Troy who leaves Seattle in search of his roots.

Unsure of what he’s really looking for, he comes across Hannibal House. Immediately infatuated with the building he sets out to possess it, or is the house aiming to possess him…

Available on Amazon:

(UK) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hannibal-House-ebook/dp/B008LDK2PG

(US) http://www.amazon.com/Hannibal-House-ebook/dp/B008LDK2PG

 

And the futuristic dystopian short story ‘The Deluge of Elias’ is also available:

The Deluge of Elias by David Nicol

(US) http://www.amazon.com/The-Deluge-of-Elias-ebook/dp/B0082FRKNU

(UK) http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Deluge-of-Elias-ebook/dp/B0082FRKNU

Hannibal House: Release Date 14th July

The beta reading event for ‘Hannibal House’ is under way. Feedback received so far has confirmed that the story holds up and has the desired effect. Other than a handful of minor edits ‘Hannibal House’ only requires formatting to ebook.

The release date for the final commercial version will be July 14th 2012.

Hannibal House is the tale of a young American who heads to Wales after the death of his father to get in touch with his heritage. He doesn’t quite find what he’s looking for until he heads off the beaten track and comes across Hannibal House, a place that attracts lost souls.

Look out for it on the Amazon Kindle Market.

Hannibal House by David Nicol

Sometimes you don’t choose the house,

the house chooses you

Catch me on twitter: @davidxnicol
Check me out on Amazon: David Nicol Author Page
See what I’m up to on GoodReads.com: David Nicol on GoodReads

Sci-Fi short story ‘The Deluge of Elias’ is available now on Kindle:

Available from Amazon.com

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Adventures in Writing: A Strange Occurrence at Hannibal House

Life imitating art. I’ve been writing a short story (that’s turned out not to be that short) called ‘Hannibal House’ that is a diversion from my usual Sci-Fi slant and in to the realms of the supernatural.

I am a very logical person, I adhere to probability and in everything I write I attempt to ensure that the scenarios are believable.  Throughout the writing of ‘Hannibal House’ I’ve considered the actions of the protagonist and whether his choices are realistic, and at the same time made it so that the reader shouldn’t be tempted to throw down the story while yelling “Why is he SO STUPID?!”  which is the way that I feel when reading many works of supernatural fiction.

That’s all very well, but what’s the point of this post?  Well, I had a strange occurrence last night while writing.  It was late (I tend to write late) and due to having a full time job too I was very tired.  I regularly fall asleep in the middle of doing things late at night.  Playing video games I’d nod off while navigating my character only to wake up to falling off the map, or being attacked by beasts.  On more than one occasion I’ve nodded off mid sentence and woken to pages of “gggggggggggggggggg” for example.

So last night I was incredibly tired and I knew that I was going to nod off (again), but I really wanted to finish the section I was writing.  I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so decided that I would just close my eyes to type the last bit (I am a touch typist so that’s not an issue).

Mid typing I fell asleep.  I couldn’t have been asleep for more than a couple of minutes.  When I opened my eyes I hazily remembered what I had done and that I had dropped off pretty much as soon as I closed my eyes – it’s a gift.  I expected to see on the screen a load of nonsense.  But it wasn’t.  There was a single, perfectly formed sentence.

It wasn’t the sentence that I intended to write.  In fact, I had to read it a couple of times to understand its context.  Then I realised that what I had written was actually a much better scenario than the one that I had planned.

Spooky huh?  Well, no, and yes.  It’s spooky in the context of me writing while asleep.  It’s also odd that I would write something completely different to what I had ‘queued’ in my brain to write.  But looking at it objectively, the brevity of the amount written (about fifteen words) indicates that I was writing for a very short amount of time.  It’s not like I woke up to an extra thousand words (I wish).

The notion of ‘automatic writing’ crossed my mind.  A phenomenon where people in sleep or a trance like state have imparted seemingly valuable information.  Then there is the power of dreaming itself; Albert Einstein apparently achieved his theories via the medium of dreaming about flying through space and time.

Obviously the issue of me writing a different scenario is significant and the logical explanation is that my subconscious thought my original idea was a stinker and seized the opportunity to over-ride me.

*shakes fist at subconscious*  Cheers pal.

Hannibal House is now available on Amazon

Hannibal House by David Nicol

Sometimes you don’t choose the house,
the house chooses you

(US) Hannibal House on Amazon.com

(UK) Hannibal House on Amazon.co.uk

Catch me on twitter: @davidxnicol
Check me out on Amazon: David Nicol Author Page
See what I’m up to on GoodReads.com: David Nicol on GoodReads

Sci-Fi short story ‘The Deluge of Elias’ is available now on Kindle:

Available from Amazon.com

Available from Amazon.co.uk