Archive for the ‘General Thoughts’ Category

Well it’s been a few days since the new Avengers has hit theatre screens and as there are many comic book and movie fans amongst our number, it is no surprise that we’ve all seen – some of us more than once.

What has been most interesting about the movie isn’t how brilliantly Joss Whedon and his Avengers cast did in putting together the film, (which they did, and if you haven’t read Kevin Smith’s comments about it on twitter – you should!) but what the end of the movie has meant in terms of the Avengers moving forward.

We won’t give the game away to any one who hasn’t seen the film yet, but it has sparked a debate in the office about how we feel about a book series with a staple cast of characters. With books like the Game of Thrones series and Raymond E. Feist’s books, it is clear that there are some authors have no problem in killing off their characters at the drop of a hat – no matter how attached their readers might be to them. Then there are others who keep the same characters, book after book, which creates a comfortable retreat for readers to hide in. But which works best for books, or is there no magic formula as long as the author can keep the story from going stale?

We couldn’t come up with a hard and fast rule, the Secret Seven and Famous Five books for example were wonderful and had the same characters and fairly similar plots that are enjoyable, even now, especially with the nostalgia factor. The Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome walked a different line, with the same characters in different combinations and moving on with time so that they changed as the characters got older and there were even some books that some of the characters were missing from. Then there are all those books out there where no one is safe, not even the narrator. But, for the most part, there seems to be a pattern that authors employ in their books and that is to create a central core, a safe set of characters that you can be almost certain that, no matter what happens to them, they will manage to survive.

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We had a rather sedate but quite enjoyable New Year here at Mightier Than the Sword UK. We spent the evening watching Criminal Minds with tea, chocolate and chicken nuggets whilst a certain studious author sat on her laptop and wrote until 5am. If anything that is certainly dedication.

We’re very happy to unveil the first of the maps of Celadmore. The maps section will be developed over the next few months but as a word of warning the maps contain massive spoilers so be really careful which links you click on. Yes the maps do reveal massive plot points as the series goes on and they do change from different sections of the Chronicles of Celadmore to the next. The Rising Empire maps will be unveiled in March along with the publishing date for Rising Empire: Part 2.

The maps of Celadmore, cities, battlefields, palaces and other will all be live by the end of February and we’ll also be announcing the publishing date for End of Days shortly along with the official publishing date for Beginnings – though you can get the first part of Beginnings (in the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren series) for free on Smashwords and if downloaded before the publishing date for the rest of the book, you’ll be able to download the whole book for free from Smashwords upon publication. It will be priced at $2.99 so take the opportunity to get it for free whilst you can!

Our January Sale continues of Smashwords too with the following four titles on offer at $1.01 down from $2.99 – that’s a discount of 66% with the codes listed below.

Shroud of Darkness – SL76B

Lady of Fire – TN84S

Kevin Metis Saga – BK85T

Derek Long Saga – MP97T

The offices here are not officially open until Monday but we’re spending the day watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and enjoying Jane Eyre as brought to life by Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Darcy has just proposed for the first time and there has been much shouting at Darcy and the infamous Mr. Wickham.

All that is left is to wish everyone a Happy New Year and to thank all our family, friends and our author’s fans for their support in 2014. We look forward to all the exciting things we have to announce in 2015 and hope you’ll join us on this journey.

Well all the activity that comes with Christmas approaching has kept everyone here at Mightier Than the Sword UK really busy so we’ve had no chance to update the site, blog and to make things worse our email has been down for a couple of days. But everything is under control now so here is a quick update on the goings on inside our little world.

We’re all currently trading our favourite books between one another and finding that Raymond E. Feist is one author that causes an awful lot of debate on character deaths and who the best character in his books is.

We held our annual Christmas party which was filled with food and drink and ended in Halo matchmaking which is, of course, the most appropriate way to end any social gathering. Though we don’t have any embarrassing stories to share from the party, we will say that you should never judge how good someone is at Halo from their gamer profile – it leads to lots of death.

The filming for the Raven Siren shorts is underway! We’ve got some amazing content that we will be sharing – some on the Raven Siren Facebook page, some on the Mightier Than the Sword UK Facebook page and some of it on this site. We’ll keep you posted with release days for each of the shorts and any other Siren related news. It is worth mentioning that these shorts were only possible thanks to all those who have donated to the different crowdfunding projects that have been run in order to get the shorts off the ground and with another six still to go you can still donate to the GoFundMe campaign. The more money raised, the better the shorts will be and there are rewards being offered to everyone that donates.

Even more good news – the first of the digital maps for the Chronicles of Celadmore series will be online in January with others to follow over the course of 2015.

As we head into the evening with the promise of playing through Dragon Age: Inquisition we shall leave you with these photos and crafted into these amazing collages by assistant director for the Siren & Blade short, Abigail Lundie.

Abby Watermark 1 Abby Watermark 2 Abby Watermark 3 Abby Watermark 4

Well it’s Sunday and sad to say that most of us here at Mightier Than the Sword UK haven’t had much time off at all this weekend and already Monday is looming.

There was a leak on Friday and a problem with the electrics so it’s been so we’ve had to spend ours moving things out of harms way and waiting for tradespeople to appear to help us in our time of need. Not all the problems are fixed, but we are getting there.

We’ve also lost Goldie, one of the tropical fish in the office, a golden gourami (yes we were highly imaginative in naming her) who died after what appeared to be a fit that sent her crashing around the fish tank.

So really we haven’t had the best weekend.

But we do have some good news. We’ve got a new book review up on the site Social Wealth: How to Build Extraordinary Relationships By Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Lead and Network by Jason Treu one of the non-fiction books we’ve been asked to review. If you haven’t seen the other books we’ve had the pleasure of reading then you should check out our book reviews section which has a full list of the title.

We’re also going to be launching our very own goodreads page in the not too distant future so please feel free to connect with us there. We’ll post a link when we are happy with the profile and have got it all up and running.

Those who are still doing NaNoWriMo are cross as they have lost valuable writing time with all the drama of the weekend as well as losing valuable working time on Friday. We’re hoping that next week is going to be a quiet one but who knows what tomorrow will bring – except for probably rain.

As the Christmas advert for Sainsbury’s has caused quite a stir amongst the population of Great Britain – some loving the sentiment, others thinking it is disrespectful, it has led to those of us in the office discussing who are heroes are this week.

Of course when someone mentions that they have a hero, it is a very personal choice and what each person means when they use the word ‘hero’ is different again.

The word ‘hero’ is thrown about quite a lot, well there are many powerful words that are careless thrown about but it is on heroes we are focusing. The charity, Help for Heroes, works to help those who have served in the UK’s armed forces and been injured in recent conflicts around the globe. The classic heroes in Greek mythology – Achilles, Jason, Hercules, Theseus, Perseus, Odysseus (as Phil says in Disney’s Hercules – there’s a lot of euses) – all had adventures, brushes with the Gods and accomplished great things. Then there are superheroes who are always there in the nick of time to save the day but most have powers that allow them to defend the weak and the helpless from the forces of evil.

In our discussions about heroes we have set aside the superheros and classic mythological figures and we asked everyone to name one hero from the real world and one hero from literature – here is what we all came up with:

The Real World

William Shakespeare

Winston Churchill

John Wayne

Elizabeth Fry

William Wilberforce

Nichelle Nichols

The Duke of Wellington

Admiral Horatio Nelson

Sir Patrick Stewart

Cleopatra

Joan D’Arc

Queen Elizabeth I

As you can see there is quite a range of men and women from different time periods that the office dogs consider their heroes, there were some other names mentioned but when it came down to picking just one this is what was decided. Others that were mentioned included Queen Elizabeth II, William the Conqueror, Queen Isabella, Pocahontas, Columbus, Mulan, Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Issac Newton, Marie Curie, William of Orange and Boudica.

In Literature

Ivanhoe

Boudica (Boudica: Dreaming the…)

Beowulf

Aragorn (Lord of the Rings)

Thorin (The Hobbit)

Mr Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)

Robin Hood

Sherlock Holmes

James Bond

Edmund (The Chronicles of Narnia)

Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice)

Sara Crewe (A Little Princess)

This one was far more interesting than the real world as it led to hot debate with those that chose Thorin and Aragorn coming under particularly heavy fire for casting aside the hobbits in favour of the race of Dwarves and Men. But when it comes to books we seem to invest more in our heroes and are far more vocal in our praising and their defense when people disagree. There were lots of other names that were thrown out during the discussion including Richard Sharpe (though we have a sneaking suspicion that was down to Sean Bean more than the books), Timmy the dog (from the Famous Five), Jimmy the Hand, Katniss and pretty much all the characters in Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit (yes including the villains).

But from both these lists there are some qualities that these people and characters all share – but we’ll leave finding the connections and identifying these qualities for another day.

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