Felice 2014!

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Adam Biggs: the interview

What is your novel ‘The Heart of Sitnatia’ about?

Well it’s a fantasy about a group of characters, all unrelated, on a journey for different reasons: some for greed, some for love, others for intrigue… all from different directions, finally realizing that they need each other to survive a treacherous island.
We meet the Vendra, who are a lost civilization trying to reclaim their home, and it sets up the following two books, and yet each is an independent story.

What inspired you to write this story?

I have always enjoyed fantasy and I wanted to write a story which I could make as unpredictable as possible, and that adults would enjoy reading to their children, as much as the children would enjoy themselves just on a different level, also using characters who were all the different aspects of my own personality.

Who are the primary readers of your book?

Mainly teenagers, but I have had wonderful reviews from people in their forties, which is just what I was going for.

How long did it take to write it?

This book is the first in a series and although it took about nine months to write. I had to go back and make changes right up to publishing, as I wanted it to cross-pollinate with the other two books which I am currently in the middle of.

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted the title to be as mysterious as possible, and as the fictitious island which my characters are trying to get to is called Sitnatia, I felt that this would have to be part of the title, and the Heart was in reference to the temple at the Heart of the volcano towering the island.

Why did you choose this cover?

I have great respect for the beautiful illustration Art work of Carla Lastoria, and was flattered when she offered to work with me to bring some of the characters to life, especially the eight-legged Gibberic, for which the editor thought her Guinea pig Crinotte would be the perfect model. As the poor thing had just died a few weeks earlier of a heart failure, she submitted Carla a photograph of Crinotte, which from now on will be remembered as the Gibberic on the cover of my novel. With four more legs, she will climb even faster up the rainbow…

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Trying not to run away with my thoughts. Staying in the moment is very difficult, as when you enter your own fantasy world you want to tell the story and your thoughts run off in all directions. It is a journey I want to share with my reader as if we were both there for the first time.

Did you do research for your book? What did that involve?

Since I was creating my own world I have a room in my apartment which is dedicated to ‘The Heart of Sitnatia’, with globes of the world showing where it is and scraps of paper with my thoughts about the characters stuck with blue-tac all over the wall. I’m so pleased I did this as it helps me reference and there is no need to re-decorate…

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Yes, I learnt that you are never done learning and you get better with every re-write; I value other people’s opinions and will always make changes to please readers before publishing, as after all it is about them and me making a connection through words.

What do you want to say to your readers?

I would love to say thank you for allowing me to share my world with you all, and I hope that you will travel with me again: there is a lot more I want to show you, we are going to go deeper into ‘The Heart of Sitnatia’ and meet some strange and exciting characters together.

That would be great… thank you, Adam!

 

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Cross Currents on Goodkindles

Barbara Masterton is now on Goodkindles with Cross Currents: “A novel with a refined and elegant style of narration, coupled with a sharp introspective portrait of its characters”.

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The Heart of Sitnatia on Goodkindles

The Heart of Sitnatia, a fantasy novel by Adam Biggs, is now on Goodkindles: where writers meet readers…

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Adam Biggs è su MyBook

Il romanzo fantasy per ragazzi di Adam Biggs The Heart of Sitnatia viene presentato sul sito di MyBook.

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La pagina di Adam Biggs

La pagina personale di Adam Biggs è ora disponibile su Amazon.

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Reginald Catchpole reclined in a bath full of bubbles…

Reginald Catchpole reclined in a bath full of bubbles in his lavish flat above his antique shop. The walls were covered in red-flock wallpaper not unlike that which you would find in any tacky restaurant. The only light in the room was from a candle chandelier hanging over his head. He held a pink hippo-shaped nailbrush in his right hand while his left hand drifted in the air, conducting the soft music that gently flowed from the horn of his wind-up gramophone which stood on an occasional table just behind him. He wore nothing but a plastic shower cap and, covered in white bubbles, he looked as if nothing short of a herd of elephants in the bathroom with him (he chuckled at the very thought) could disturb his ecstasy. Suddenly, climbing the stairs at great speed, as if riding a thundering herd of elephants wearing hobnailed boots, Sid burst his way into the bathroom. Reginald hurled his hippo-shaped nailbrush five feet into the air, where it landed on the chandelier between two lit candles.
“How many times must I tell you, man? Not when I am taking my ablutions”.
Sid stood there, yellow duster in hand, shaking like a leaf, a droplet of sweat trickling down his cheek.
“But, Mr Catchpole,” he burbled, spitting as he spoke in his strong cockney accent and hardly remembering to take a breath between sentences, “something’s happening downstairs. Something amazing!” he said with a note of urgency in his voice.
‘Urgent’ was not generally a word that best described Sid Slug, a man who had been knocked down three times in the last year for not getting out of the way of a speeding granny on her mobility scooter. The fact that the same granny had managed to knock him down each time, all in the same month but on very separate occasions, was suspicious in itself. However, Reginald knew better than to ask deep questions of Sid unless he wanted a long, drawn-out tale that would not necessarily come with a start, middle or an end, let alone an interesting point.
“Don’t tell me you got that blasted woman’s pillbox unlocked.”
“Yes Mr Catchpole, this was inside,” Sid held up a rectangular crystal, “but it wasn’t alone.”
Sid was ordered out of the bathroom to allow Reginald to get out of the bath and cover his pride. Sid ran off back down the stairs, closely followed by Reginald, now with a towel wrapped round his bird-like body. The shower cap was still on his head and bubbles floated off him as he ran. They both stopped short of the door at the bottom of the staircase. Bright lights of every colour shone through the keyhole and through the gap around the door that had been left ajar.

From the novel The Heart of Sitnatia, by Adam Biggs – Il Moscardino

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Adam Biggs su ShowBooks

The Heart of Sitnatia di Adam Biggs viene inserito nella vetrina di ShowBooks.

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Travelling by Thumblator

On closer inspection, Reginald could see that it was not a cloud at all but a bicycle-type contraption with little seats. There was no floor beneath them, but rather three sets of pedals which were attached by long chains to two paddles that moved up and down the same way ducks’ feet work under the water. On the back, just behind Reggie’s seat, was an old rattling motor that blew out dry ice which encircled the Thumblator to give it the illusion of being a cloud, but how it floated was, on first glimpse, not evident.

“Quick, pass me the jar,” said Seamus with an element of urgency in his voice. Reginald grabbed the small jar from the inside of his jacket pocket and passed it forward. With Sid’s head still lolloping about on his shoulder, out cold, Seamus opened a hatch on the front of the control panel of the Thumblator and, taking the cork out of the jar, grabbed the wuddlepup and squeezed it tightly with both hands, twisting it to get out all of its pink juice. Reggie leant over the side of the Thumblator, heaving at the sight of such a barbaric act. Totally unmoved by his own actions, Seamus began messing around with the controls as they lifted up into the air. “Pedal like a banshee,” he cried, and, as they sped off at knee height up the ramp and dodged the burning struts with no sign of Rookinda, and out through the opening of the lair, the purple slug that Reginald had left on the floor of the giant birdhouse exploded, sending a jet of flames out through the opening behind them. (…)

Sid slowly came to. He lifted his head from Reginald’s shoulder and rubbed his eyes. Looking about himself, there seemed to be nothing but a swirling mass of mist. Reginald sat next to him, wiping down his shoulder with a white hanky.

“Thank you for dribbling all over my tweed,” groaned Reggie in an affronted manner.

“Where are we?” Sid’s voice had an air of poorly hidden desperation in it.

“Would you mind just popping your feet on those pedals there,” interjected Reggie. “It’s just that I’ve been pedalling for thirty minutes carrying your lump of a body around. I nearly threw you over the side twice, and had your belt taken your weight and not snapped while I was trying to heave you out, I’d have succeeded,” Reginald said as he handed Sid half of a leather belt.

“What? Seamus would never have let you.” Sid looked at the pair agog.

“On the contrary, he helped me,” scoffed Reginald as Seamus turned in his seat and handed Sid the other half of the belt.

“Sorry there about that, but he’s very persuasive don’t ya know,” winked Seamus.

“We’re in my Thumblator, by the way. It’s how we little people have been travelling about for hundreds of years without you giants noticing us. Why do you think we always turn up at the end of a rainbow! We can only travel when there are lots of clouds so as not to be noticed.”

“So we’re in the air? And those?” Sid pointed at the swirling mists around him. “Those are clouds?”

“Oh yes,” nodded Reginald, “you’d have seen them close up if that cheap belt had held together.”

“Right, we’re going down,” screamed Seamus as he pushed a big red button in the centre of the control panel and grabbed the sides of the Thumblator as it took a nose dive down through the clouds. Bursting out through the base and leaving a trail of dry ice like a comet hurtling towards a very unsuspecting earth, Reggie and Sid held each other tight, screaming in panic with their eyes shut firmly.

“We’re gonna die!” screamed Sid.

Seamus just sat at the front, laughing like a schoolboy on a roller coaster. The Thumblator, gaining speed, rocketed towards a ring of cloud circling an island, which was surrounded by a harsh looking sea. As they got closer to the island, the craft did not seem to slow down. Seamus appeared to be steering it towards a hole in the side of a mountain by leaning to the left and then to the right. It looked like the biggest of the mountains, and yet the hole seemed just big enough to take the little craft. Reginald and Sid lifted their feet away from the pedals which were now spinning so fast that they were unable to keep up with them, and the two paddles at the rear of the Thumblator were wagging up and down like the back end of a demented duck.

“Hold this,” shouted Seamus as he passed back his top hat. “Hold it tight!” They did as he said and, as they shot through the opening in the mountain into a huge empty shell of a volcano, the top hat filled with air and trebled in size. The three of them held on to it as it doubled as a crude parachute. The Thumblator, however, continued on its collision course with the opposite side of the interior wall of the volcano, exploding in a burst of red flames and blue lightning.

From the novel The Heart of Sitnatia by Adam Biggs, Il Moscardino 2012

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Buone Feste!

Il Moscardino augura ai suoi scrittori e a tutti i suoi affezionati lettori un sereno Natale e un felicissimo 2013 ricco di belle sorprese…

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