The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman: Yeah, he’s alright.

Had you asked me what I thought of Neil Gaiman a few weeks ago, that would have been my response. I’ve read American Gods and Neverwhere and other novels he has penned, and they are good (don’t get me wrong), but they never stirred in me such excitement and fervour that he seems to illicit from many thousands of people across the globe.

One author who does stir such in me is Patrick Rothfuss, and if you know anything about Patrick, is that he idolises Mr. Gaiman. I’ve never understood it.

Until now, maybe.

I picked up ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ more out of a need for something new to read rather than it being the next Neil Gaiman novel, and I had to have it. To say I was pleasantly surprised is somewhat of an understatement. In fact, that I’m here writing this post at this moment shows just how impressed and blown over by this novel I am.

It is a masterpiece. And I don’t say that lightly.

Sure, it has all the odd surreal qualities that I never quite understood from his other books, but it is wrapped up in the absolute beauty, innocence, confusion and frustration that it is to be seven years old.

In essence, this book is a fairytale about a boy, written for adults. Let me say that again, this is not a book for children. I think only those of us old enough to look back at being seven years old as a lifetime ago will truly get the majesty of the prose. I could be wrong, but for me, it is the narrators recollections of being seven that is the true beauty of this tale and not the other-wordly magic and adventure that our protagonist gets caught up in.

It is a short read. Easily a book that can be devoured in a day, and might I suggest you read this book in one sitting for I think it will resonate all the better for doing so.

I read constantly. And in my many years as an avid reader I have read thousands of books. Of them, some are good, some are okay and a few have been downright terrible. Some have been great and a tiny fraction have been immense. The Lord of the Rings, The Name of the Wind, The Stand, The Long Walk, To Kill a Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights, Huckleberry Finn, The Faraway Tree, The Chronicles of Narnia, Conversations with God: All of these are in my all time favourite books that have had an affect on me (at various stages of life and for various different reasons) that goes beyond just reading a good story.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane has made it onto that list. I’m sorry for underestimating you Mr. Gaiman.

Fastian, Free Chapters!!

Firstly, my apologies for the lengthy absence of updates on here. I know, I know. I should be making more of an effort to post a few times a week, but I find when I’m writing (that is, working on my novel) that it’s quite difficult to separate myself from my fiction brain to bring you something of the witty and non-fiction. Continue reading

Maria Savva, Far Away in Time

My friend Maria Savva has a new book of short stories out. Please take the time to check out this talented author.

Maria

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

Author bio:

Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. Far Away In Time is her sixth collection of short stories. You can find out more about her work at her official website: http://www.mariasavva.com

Far Away In Timehttp://www.amazon.com/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Far-Away-Time-Maria-Savva-ebook/dp/B00J0G11S0/

Kindle or ‘real-life-in-your-hands-book’

Yes, kindle and e-readers of all kinds have been nothing short of a Reading Revolution. Yes, I heard what I just said. A REVOLUTION!

Hundreds of books on one little digital tablet! Surely this is one of the greatest inventions for all you book lovers out there.

Except, in a lot of cases, it’s not.

The feel of a book in your hands (especially those 700+ page epics); the smell of the new pages; the perfect smoothness and matte finish of a straight-off-the-shelf book. I don’t think there is anything better.

And so, in saying that, I am coming close to having all of my hard copies of ‘Fastian’ gone. I have roughly twenty of them left and they need a good home! I will post them to anyone wishing to purchase one. And why wouldn’t you want one? Only 250 were printed and if (when) one day, global success comes my way, you will be in the possession of something very rare indeed.

My email is coshure96@gmail.com or you can tweet me @jayfinn32 for any details or questions. Go on, what’s the worst that could happen?unnamed

Fastian Reviews

Finally, some reviews for Fastian have started to come in. I know it’s a slow process, getting your work out there without any real advertising other than word of mouth. So, I want to thank the people who took the time out to leave a review. It genuinely helps me out and I really appreciate it.

You can see them here and here

Why choose me?

Fastian

In the world of independent publishing, we, the reader, are confronted with a barrage of short stories, novellas and novels of every genre imaginable (and even some that aren’t). So how do we choose what to buy and what not to buy? Continue reading

3 tips for writing watertight fantasy, science fiction and time travel stories

A really good piece on fantasy and sci-fi writing.

Nail Your Novel

The Hills Are AliveYou could argue that fantasy and science fiction are the genres where we can be most imaginative and inventive. But this very freedom brings responsibility. I see a lot of science fiction and fantasy authors who confuse the reader because they don’t cover a few very important bases. And I’ve had to address a few of these issues myself in my sci-fi fable Lifeform Three.

1 The logic of the world must be established – and stuck to

You need to establish, early on, what can be done and what can’t. If you have robots, for instance, what can and can’t they do? Are they benevolent? Of course, you don’t have to explain this if your story is a mystery, where the characters have to puzzle out the logic of the world, but otherwise you need to cover those bases as part of the setting description.

This particularly applies…

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And we start again!

It’s been a while since I’ve dragged myself to the blog, but I’ve been neglecting it more than I should. I suppose I’ve been relaxing slightly after all the hard work I have put into Fastian over the past year or so.

But now … Continue reading

Fastian: An Edgeweir Tale (The Weaver Saga) by Jay Finn

Helle Gade

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Blurb for Fastian.
The Nation: A sadistic and cruel empire that has ruled Edgeweir since time beyond memory. But under the tutelage of Alabaster Shanks, a group of disparate rebels have come together to fight back and stand up to the Nation’s rule.

Amongst them is Fastian; dark, dangerous and with an eye for vengeance; and Jacob, a boy and the newest recruit, who possesses a skill craved by the rebels.

Now they come together to undertake a mission that could be the beginning of the end for the Nation. But with Fastian’s mind ever on the past and Jacob’s eye firmly on his future, will they be capable enough to ever see it through?

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Bio: Jay Finn is an Irish author who has just released his debut fantasy novel ‘Fastian.’

He has also penned two short story collections ‘Looking Back’ and ‘Beneath the Darkness.’

Links:

Purchase at Amazon here: 

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Free Books Giveaway

To help promote ‘Fastian,’ or more rightly stated, to help promote myself, I’m making my two mini short story collections Looking Back and Beneath the Darkness
So feel free (pun intended) to go download them and fill a short patch of your day immersed in my words.