Wednesday 12 December 2012

FREE for one day only: OUTSIDE - a post-apocalyptic novel

A post-apocalyptic romance thriller

The world of the future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky, if you’re outside life expectancy takes a nose dive.

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through the Perimeter and murders her sister. She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable than she ever expected.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor's world is falling apart. This time next year, civilisation won't be quite so civilised . . .

Praise For OUTSIDE:

I was completely shocked at how all the events unfolded at the end. I really did not see it coming ... If you like post-apocalyptic books, this story is for you. Cynthia Shepp Book Reviews.

Outside is written in a way that kept me flipping through the pages, biting my fingernails and that good old 'one more chapter' feeling was ever-present.

Friday 30 November 2012

The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw - Guest Post & Giveaway!

 Welcome to stop number 18 on The Morgan Sisters Virtual Tour!
Today, one of my favourite Young Adult authors, Suzy Turner, has stopped by to tell us a little about the first book in her new series, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw.

She is also generously donating a fantastic array of goodies in the giveaway
at the bottom of the page, including: a paperback of the novel, ebooks,
an Amazon gift certificate and some gorgeous jewellery!
'I love ghosts. I mean I love reading about them almost as much as I love writing about them. One of my favourite characters in my other series, The Raven Saga, is a ghost called Ruby Madison and she is such fun. So it was only natural that my newest book should contain at least one.
Josiah Grimshaw starts off as quite an elusive character, an old man with few friends and no family but when something remarkably sad happens, Josiah is thrust into a whole new 'life', making some unusual friends along the way. Although my latest book, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw isn't entirely about this character alone, he is clearly a crucial aspect of the story (hence the title, of course!).

There are other ghosts in the story, although ghosts of lesser importance, they were enormous fun to create and I love the way they would just appear to me while I was writing, particularly during the scenes at Abney Park, a huge old derelict cemetery in London. Granville Houston was one such character. A man who died 200 years ago, stuck in the cemetery with a group of other ghosts just left to exist in a ghostly manner with no way of passing over (but that's a story for another time).
Ghosts have always intrigued me, probably because of my own experiences as a child... yes, I do believe I was visited on several occasions by my late mother who died when I was young. Although terrified to begin with, when I realised who it was, I began to relax whenever it occurred again. It hasn't though for quite some time so I am content to believe she has crossed over and is finally at peace, something that Josiah Grimshaw would so like to happen to him...'
Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange 'tattoo' suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realize there's more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined.

Sent off to London for two weeks of 'work experience', the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural.

At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won't leave them alone.

To find out more about Suzy, visit her at the following places:
Suzy's website:

Tuesday 27 November 2012

THE CLEARING (Outside Series #2) Cover Reveal and Release Date

In the ravaged future, children are disappearing.
Riley lives safely behind her Perimeter Fence,
but soon she’ll have to confront the terrible truth of
what’s happening outside. An old enemy is approaching.
Threatening to extinguish her way of life.
To save herself, Riley must fight to save another.
She must put herself in the last place she ever wanted to be.
This is the terrifying sequel to OUTSIDE
(Outside Series #2)
Coming January 15th 2013

Friday 16 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 - My Review

I wouldn’t class myself as a Twihard, but I loved the books and I loved the movies. So maybe I am. Okay I definitely am. I’m a Twihard. My birthday also happens to be in November, so it’s a no-brainer that my husband would buy me tickets to see  Breaking Dawn for my birthday treat this year (and last year).
I didn’t read any of the reviews before I went. Firstly, I don’t like spoilers and secondly, what would be the point? I knew most of the press would pan it. Liking Twilight would ruin their coolness. Me, I like a bit of heart-on-the-sleeve paranormal romance. I also like the classics, zombie horror and the X-Factor. I’m not ashamed of my tastes. I embrace them ;)
So anyway, back to the movie. We’d left BD Part 1 with Bella having given birth to Renesmee and finally she had transformed into a beautiful red-eyed vampire. Now, in BDP2, we see a shift in Bella’s attitude. She is finally who she wants to be and she looks good on it. I loved watching Edward’s reaction to her as she masters her vamp skills. Robert Pattinson’s proud/amused smile is perfection as Stewart kicks ass. I bet she absolutely loved playing ‘Bella the vampire’.
The only ‘off’ bit in the whole film for me was the baby Renesmee - They did that annoying thing where they put CGI adult expressions onto a baby face which only ever results in creepy babyness. Don’t do it, Hollywood people. Do not do it. Step away from the CGI machine and leave the baby alone.
I thought Taylor Lautner portrayed Jacob really tastefully, considering the whole ‘imprinting’  scenario. I wouldn’t have wanted that role – it’s a bit icky. Funnily enough, I didn’t find it at all questionable in the books, but when faced with the adult Jacob and the child Renesmee on the big screen I did curl my toes a little.
The Volturi were their usual terrifying selves: Jane always makes me shudder with her ‘pain’ thing and Caius and Alec are the archetypal baddies. But it was Michael Sheen as Aro who truly shone. He outdid himself. I think he was the star of the whole movie. I loved how delectably evil he was. I almost wanted him to do a proper wicked laugh like the Count in Sesame Street (okay, that would’ve ruined the movie, but it would’ve been fun!).
Now I was worried that this second part of BD might fall a bit flat as a movie. I couldn’t see how they would make an ending deserving of such a great series, but boy was I wrong. I did not see that one coming. I’m not going to ‘spoil’ a thing, but as I watched the climax, I was thinking ‘what the…!!’ and ‘they can’t do that!’ But they did do that and they did it brilliantly. Yes. Yes they did.
All in all, Breaking Dawn Part 2 was the perfect combination of visual spectacle, action, love and humour. Sure there were a few clunky moments and the CGI wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve liked, but in the overall context of the Twilight Saga novels and movies, it was the perfect ending to a cracking series.
And now I’m sad it’s over.

Thursday 8 November 2012

The 'Look' Challenge


I’ve been tagged in the Look Challenge, by The Lazuli Portals
This challenge is designed to help writers recognise where common words are over-used while showcasing some of your work. 'Look' is one of the most over-used words in writing, along with other favourites such as 'just' and 'suddenly'. The following exercise might help you find and change the offending words. and is a real eye-opener (I found 187 'look's in my manuscript. Looks like I'll be digging out the thesaurus tonight).

For this challenge, here's what you need to do:
  • Search your manuscript for the word “look” and then copy a couple of the surrounding paragraphs into a post.
  • Give a little background on the scene if you’d like.
  • Tag 5 other writers who’re working on, or who’ve completed, a manuscript.
Here's an excerpt from my work in progress, The Clearing, Book 2 in The Outside Series. It's a YA thriller set in the near future after a social and economic collapse. I was hoping to publish before Christmas, but my characters keep refusing to stick to the plot, so I'll be releasing it in the new year. I don't want to post any spoilers, so it's short and no names are mentioned ;-)

    She was held tight by the man as he walked, her arms pinned to her side. But because she faced away from him, she couldn’t even see what he looked like. Maybe that was a good thing. She didn’t think she wanted to see his face. What if he was a monster?
    Why oh why had they come out here alone? She’d known it was dangerous, but she had stupidly let herself be talked into it. Were they going to die now? Were they going to be shot? Hot tears slipped out of her eyes and she tried to sniff them back. It was so hard to breathe with this thing over her mouth.
    That Mr Carter man had disappeared too. If only she didn’t have her mouth taped she would scream and scream and shout for her mum and dad to come. They would surely hear her from here. And then dad would come running out with his shotgun and rescue them. She tried to free one of her arms, but the wriggling only made her captor squeeze her even tighter. It was hopeless.
    The man grunted and set her down on the ground. He twisted her arms painfully behind her back and tied them up with something sharp that dug into her skin. She gave a soundless whimper. Her hair fell over her eyes, but through the mousy strands she saw that she was standing in front of a vehicle. An army truck.
    The man moved around in front of her. He was ordinary looking. Brown hair, not fat, not thin, not a monster. Just a man.  
    ‘Sit down,’ he said softly.
If anyone’s unable or unwilling to participate - for any reason at all - then no problem. At least your name and website get a mention ;-)

The authors I'm tagging in this challenge are:

Suzy Turner - Supernatural YA
B. Lloyd - Gothic Ghosts
Sarah Dalton - YA Dystopia
Amanda Leigh Cowley Urban Fantasy
AuthorPoppet - Supernatural and Horror

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Teen Read Week WINNER...

... is deejay23 !!
Congratulations! You've won an awesome bundle of YA ebooks.

If you use the 'contact me' form, I can send you your prizes :-)

Thanks so much to everyone who entered.
I'll be having more giveaways in the future, so keep an eye out.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Teen Read Week GIVEAWAY!

The third week in October is Teen Read Week™, celebrating all books that are Young Adult. Hooray! To mark this wondrous event, we'll be giving away a whole heap of teen ebooks to one lucky winner:

Congratulations to deejay23!

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment 
in the box below telling us your favourite ever YA read.
The winner will be randomly selected at the end of the week.
On October 17, help YALSA celebrate Teen Read Week™ by joining the conversation about teen reading and young adult literature! They’re encouraging people of all ages to Tweet their YA lit reading recommendations, thoughts and ideas on YA lit and more via the hashtag #TRW12 any time on Oct. 17.

Don't forget to leave a comment below telling us your fave YA read
to be in with a chance of winning all those lovely ebooks.

Good luck!!

Monday 17 September 2012


I'm happy to be Hosting the Haunted House Virtual Tour today with the stupendously talented B. Lloyd and V.R. Christensen. Check out their spooky guest post below:
As part of the Haunted House Virtual Tour promoting our ghost novellas Blind and Ungentle Sleep, here is a quick peek into one of the famous houses in ‘mock’ gothic literature (we’re not saying which one it is – you can either guess from reading, or from working out the anagram at the end!)
‘I wonder what it will be like – I have heard so much about it,’ murmured Catherine, as she re-adjusted her fascinator for the umpteenth time.

‘My dear, try not to fidget so,’ her aunt sighed, ‘you quite put my turban out, I do declare.’

She fanned herself with her mighty ostrich-feathered fan and gazed out from their phaeton across the great wide expanse of forest land, that stretched out before them, and over which stormy clouds were already collecting. ‘Should we not have come dressed for more inclement weather?’ she said, as raindrops began to fall; she patiently unfurled and held up her parasol. A bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree, scorching and splitting it in two.

‘Why, aunt – is that not like the scene from Macbeth?’

‘Very possibly, child, but hurry or we shall be late and try not to see any ghosts in the shadows, my nerves won’t stand it ...’

‘Oh, but aunt – see that rock over there – does it not remind you of the promontory from the Mysteries of Udolpho ?  

‘It may well be, but there is no time for it now – if we reach our destination without severely wetting our fascinators, I shall be grateful indeed. . .’
Finally they drew up before a long, high roofed building, to all intents and purposes a palace made up of bits of ancient masonry both Medieval and Renascent, and most fitting, decided Catherine, for the seat of a reputed Gothic Hero.
A hunched, spindly-legged figure with nutcracker jaw stood on the steps to welcome them, and limped down to assist them from their phaeton.
‘Eh, welcome then – best get ye indoors ...’
‘Oh aunt,’ murmured Catherine, as the creature turn his back and pushed the great creaking door open, ‘are you sure it is safe? Might he not be some Caliban held prisoner here by a great magician, waiting to draw us in so he may slaughter us and feed upon our cadavers?’
‘My dear, it is the steward and he sustained a fall as a child which caused him so to limp – speak no louder and pray he has not hear you or you’ll hurt his feelings . .’
At this the steward turned and chuckled, much to both the ladies’ discomfort.
‘Nay, now don’t you fret – I ain’t bothered,’ he said.
To Catherine this offered an air most sinister – surely there was something untoward about the ready way he locked the door behind them?
‘Foolish girl, it is to stop it bangin’ in this gale,’ was her aunt’s admonishment when she shared her thoughts.
‘Ay, the wind be summat fearful this evenin’,’ said he, still cheerful.
‘And now – where are the others ? In the ball room already, I suppose?’ continued he aunt.
‘Well, …’ he scratched his head,’ they might be … or else they still be in ‘t living room keeping warm by ‘t fire ...’

‘But of course – I can hear them – let us proceed –’ replied the aunt, but Catherine held back.

‘What is it now, child?’

‘Oh aunt – does it not sound like so many ghouls and goblins, waiting to pounce on us and drain us of our blood’

‘Nonsense child! ‘tis merely the other guests chatting and making merry – a little loudly, admittedly ...’

The steward opened the door wide for them, and sweeping a great bow, did announce them thus:

‘Mrs Fortesque and her niece, Miss Morland.’

‘Ah, there you are, and fresh as roses the pair of you!’ was the hearty welcome extended them by their host; he led them to a party near the fireplace and helped them to most comfy chairs.

Catherine observed several of the guests holding glasses filled with liquid and was anxious lest it be blood and they, vampyrs in disguise after all ...

But if so, they were very lively ones, and chatted and joked and teased in a most aimiable manner; in particular by a Mr Jenkins, a distant cousin of the host’s. This young gentleman gave her no peace as to her fascinator, her costume, her reading habits until she was rescued by her aunt and moved towards the other end of the room. The rain continued to bucket down which musicians and guests combined were almost enough to drown out the din: it lashed against the windows; the occasional bolt of lightning lit up the shadows flirting between the candles – and illuminated the portrait over the fireplace. And nearby, a little apart from the present company, a lady in white and a little cap in a chair, looking up at the portrait, it seemed. Who was she?

‘Come, Miss Morland, have you tried the junket?’ A cheerful voice broke in on her thoughts and she was led to the table by the host, and thence to the dance. ‘My son will join us tomorrow - until then, I fear you must make do with me.’
It was not until much later on that she thought to ask who the lady by the fireplace was – but nobody knew, despite her description. There was some gentle teasing and a suggestion she had seen a ghost – which was immediately laughed at and pshawed by the company.
Catherine remained curious and quite certain as to what she had seen. What if, under all the laughter, there was a sinister secret, waiting to be let out? What if the lady had indeed been the ghost of an unhappy resident – perhaps even their host’s wife, deceased these many long years?
Once the party had dispersed, Catherine and her aunt were shown to their respective chambers and Catherine was left to her own devices – which resulted in her puzzling more and more on the question of the lady in white until, unable to sleep, she took candle and stole downstairs to examine the room once more. The rain by now had desisted, yet still the wind blew through casement and crevice and made a pleasingly gothic sound – added to which the room, now dark save for some glowing ember and her sole candle, acquired a truly gloomy and foreboding aspect.
Slowly, fearfully Catherine approached the fireplace – and saw … nothing save a white cape flung over a chair, with hat on top.
She remained much put out by the lack of phantoms generally and all of the window were far too new. When the next morning she met Mr Jenkins, he inquired immediately if she had slept well and how she was enjoying her visit. She described her experience and resulting disappointing find.
‘Indeed, an untidy household this, and totally bereft of anything so interesting as a ghost,’ he commented wryly, and grinned – with an almost wicked, toothy smile – this time, Catherine failed to notice quite how wolverine his grimace had suddenly become, how very much more pointy his teeth were …


This was one ‘visit’ to a gothic place from literature – if you hadn’t already guessed the place referred to, the place name or book from which it is derived is below – as an anagram; have fun ! And think about your favourite gothic place in literature: what would it be like to visit …
The anagram is: A Baby Green Thorn
Two new places on the gothic lit scene waiting for you to explore here:
Ungentle Sleep by B.Lloyd and Blind by V.R. Christensen



Monday 10 September 2012

Awkward Moment

My five-year-old son has this awful Bratz doll that he loves to play with. She has long red hair, pert boobs and a great bottom. Oh, and somewhere along the line she lost all her clothes. As an added bonus, she has blue pen all over her face which makes her look like she has some kind of terrrible disease.
Yesterday, my son insisted on bringing her to the beach. He had a great time covering her with sand, using her as a kind of car to drive around, submerging her in the sea and swinging her around by her hair. Normally, I wouldn't bat an eyelid at these antics - he's five, he's playing, using his imagination etc etc. BUT... But we were sitting next to a Muslim family.
The women and girls were covered from head to toe and they swam in the sea fully clothed. I got rather annoyed with myself because I couldn't help wondering what they thought of my son playing with a naked doll. I shouldn't have cared what they thought, but I did. I mean, we're all naked under our clothes, the doll is just a piece of plastic and we live in a free country, so why should I care?
And then I wondered if I'd have felt any easier if it was my five-year-old daughter playing with the doll rather than my son.
Probably not.
Here she is in all her glory :-)

Monday 13 August 2012

Waterstones Book Signing


I have my first proper book signing on wednesday.
August 15th 10am-2pm

Waterstones, Bournemouth Arcade, Dorset, England


If you're in the area, I'd love you to come in and say hi.

There will be cake...

...and I'll be signing copies of all my books.

Hope to see you there!

Friday 10 August 2012

Ungentle Sleep, a ghost tale by B. Lloyd

A few years ago I had the good fortune to stumble across Greenwood Tree a wonderfully spooky novel written by B. Lloyd which was posted on the Harper Collins site, Authonomy. Now, B has finally published one of her stories:

A crowded house party – with more guests on the way.
Despite instructions to the contrary, the older part of the house is opened up . . . and something is inadvertently let out, to wreak mild havoc and insanity on the Maydews
and their guests. That nasty incident involving Eleanor, followed by unpleasantness over Penny’s dress, and what is it Aubrey can hear, on the outer edge of his dreams?
Hysteria, missed cocktails, and something nasty in the attic.

Snrrip, snrrip. Snip, snap.

Even the rats run away

A ghost tale, almost not quite long enough to qualify as a novelette,
created in celebration of M.R.James’s 150th anniversary.
~ ~ ~

You can get your paws on a copy here:

About the author:
A Bustle attached to a keyboard, occasionally to be seen floating on a canal …

After studying Early Music followed by a brief career in concert performance, the Bustle exchanged vocal parts for less vocal arts i.e. a Diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.

Her inky mess, both graphic and verbal, can be found in various regions of the Web and appendaged to good people’s works (for no visible reason that she can understand).

More here:
& here :
For those who enjoy Twittery drop by @AuthorsAnon as she enjoys a chat (Warning: Please expect occasional bouts of nonsense).

Friday 20 July 2012

Fractured Light Tour - Giveaway & Guest Post

Fractured Light
Author: Rachel McClellan
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

I’m dying, I thought. This was unexpected and not at all how I envisioned my death. I was supposed to die gardening in a flowerbed as a hundred-year-old woman, not as a seventeen-year-old trapped in a lake beneath inches of ice.

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After a Vyken killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake. 

As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.

Congratulations to Abby Flores!

For your chance to win an ecopy of Fractured Light,
just leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
Good luck!

The Power of a Critique Group
Rachel McClellan

If you want to be a writer, then you must join a writers group. This is essential. You need a place where you can go to have your work reviewed. If you can't go to a local writers group, then join one online. Just Google "online writers group" and you'll find plenty. It doesn't matter how many books you've read on writing, there is nothing like reading your work out loud to strangers for review.

My first time terrified me. I'd just completed a novel and really thought it was something special, but I had yet to share it with anyone. I drove thirty miles away, arriving a few minutes early, and thought, "This isn't so bad." There were only three of us. The other two were an elderly couple who could've been my grandparents.
I settled into a floral sofa fully expecting positive feedback. But ten minutes later, eleven more people arrived, all carrying fancy writing satchels, lap tops, and one guy even set up a miniature desk including a fancy pen he removed from a wooden box. Each of them looked at me like I was fresh meat, and all I wanted to do was scurry beneath the old couch cushion among the crumbs of oatmeal raisin cookies and fruit cake.

But I couldn't hide, and my turn came. I shakily held up my paper and began to read. I was so nervous that I became a motor mouth and was asked to slow down several times. It's a good thing I was sitting down. When I finished the room became a coffin: silent and suffocating. It took a couple of minutes for anyone to speak as they were too busy marking up my story.

And then the critiques came.

"Your writing in the passive voice", "Too many echo's", "Your telling not showing". I had no idea what they were talking about, but I just nodded and smiled, while tears flowed backwards down my throat. This was my first "rejection". It stung but was very much needed. I researched all that I could and really started to study others books. In fact it's still hard for me to just read a book and not study the writing style or plot structure.

I learned all of this because I joined a writers group. I'd read plenty of books on writing, but somehow seeing those skills in action made all the difference. Feel the power of a critique group and grow.

Congratulations to Abby Flores!
Don't forget to leave a comment below if you'd like to win an ecopy of Rachel's novel.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Giveaway for Dystopian Coming of Age Novel - Project Hope by Sean Joyce

This relentless monsoon summer we're having is the perfect weather to get all cosy by the fire (in July!!) with a good escapist read. And I've just heard about a great dystopian book by debut novelist Sean Joyce which could fit the bill nicely.

Sean is a 31-year-old British writer currently living in Toronto. In addition to obsessing over his next novel, he's usually hopping around the planet teaching English. His new novel Project Hope sounds like it has all the makings of a fantastic read. . .

In the Zones, a troubled society walled off from the outside world, nineteen-year-old Dylan lives in the crossfire between rampaging gangs known as hoods, and tyrannical government guards.

Trapped in a brutal reality, he confronts the helplessness of his situation the only way he can—through his art. By day, he takes on the role of protector, caring for his little sister, Lil. By night, he lives a secret life, breaking the curfew and braving the dangerous Zones to paint the perimeter wall with his subversive images. But with the eye of the warden upon him, and the hoods tightening their grip on the Zones, inaction is no longer an option. He must do the one thing no one else has dared to—unite the downtrodden residents and reawaken their hope.
Congratulations to Malvina!

If you'd like to get your mitts on a copy of Project Hope, all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this blog post and one lucky winner will receive an ebook, courtesy of the author!

But if you're the impatient type like me and want to buy a copy straight away,
here are the links:

Sean can be found in these places:

Thursday 5 July 2012

Are Ereaders Teaching Us to Read Again?

Kaitlyn from contacted me with some interesting statistics.  She's part of the design and research team and they created a graphic illustrating how ereaders have taught us to start reading again.

I'm a British author/reader and the following statistics relate mainly to Americans but I found it really interesting nonetheless. Maybe you will too:

Teaching to Read Again
Created by:

Monday 2 July 2012

The Inspiration Games - $15 Amazon Card Giveaway & Guest Post by Laxmi Hariharan

Laxmi Hariharan is on the blog today
with a fantastic guest post that I'm sure you'll love.
There's also a chance to win either a $15 Amazon Gift Card
or an Autographed Paperback of The Destiny of Shaitan!!!
So don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

The Inspiration Games
—Laxmi Hariharan

“It was India which invented the bow & arrow” my Dad blustered over the phone from Bombay, “remember Arjuna’s skill at archery? How he could concentrate till he saw nothing else but the target and shoot it with unerring precision time after time….”  He had just returned from seeing the Hunger Games at his local multiplex, when my weekly Sunday phone call had sparked off this conversation; with him insisting that the cross-bow was an Indian invention.  “Uh! Dad,”  I protested, “not everything in science fiction comes from Indian mythology….” I was, as usual, embarrassed by his well known theme of India shining and claiming ownership of emerging trends. Yet his comment gave me pause for thought. I began to wonder if he had a point?

Laxmi with his bow from centuries ago!

Katniss in The Hunger Games

Cut to a few years back, when, on one of my annual trips to Bombay, the extended family had trooped off en masse to see Avatar in 3D at the brand new IMAX theatre in Bombay. I sat next to my father enjoying his excitement as he leaned forward to perch precariously close to the edge of the seat, fascinated by the incredible images flashing across the cinema screen.

And as the scene with the Tree of Souls which has a neural link to the Na’vi uniting them all as one, unfolded, he gasped in surprise shaking his head; explaining to me later that Ayurveda the Indian system of traditional medicine had a very similar concept of unity.  That, all living creatures are linked to this planet and are one with Earth. The concept of blue people itself was familiar as many Indian Gods are depicted in similar fashion.

Flying chariots, Gods teleporting at will across dimensions, powerful weapons of war that could destroy entire armies, revolving discs & guided swords spewing fiery sparks which would return to their owners after hitting its target, illusions which could frighten without hurting, and the massive bow which only Rama could string to win the heart of the beautiful Sita… Hmmm! I had seen these scenes countless times over the years.

Amar Chitra Katha (Indian comic books) took over where my grandmother left off, yet what chance did a teenager’s raging hormones stand against tight bodysuits, plunging necklines, fanatical crime fighting and passionate love stories. With the first Superman movie I was in love with caped crusaders – Spiderman, Legion of Superheroes (my personal favourite) Green Lantern, Wonder Woman not to mention Tarzan &Phantom and much later Conan the Barbarian – I lived happily with them for a very long time. And then I stumbled across the gaming world which is proud to borrow from Indian mythology. Take for example Asura’s Wrath an action video game released February 2012. According to the game’s producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, “Asura’s Wrath takes elements from Hindu mythology and blends them with science fiction. In the game, Asura is a demigod fighting to reclaim his daughter from the deities who kidnapped her and banished him from earth."

Or for that matter Xena the Warrior Princess’ trademark chakram which looks and acts very similar to the famed sudarshan chakra (Lord Vishnu’s deadly weapon of choice – a golden discus which cuts through the target and returns to owner.)

Xena's Chakra VS Lord Vishnu's Chakra

  Over the years I realised that Hollywood and the West have looked to Indian mythology for inspiration. But time has come full circle, with a brave new breed of Indian fantasy writers seeking to carry on the tradition of the ancient epics. Check out the brilliant Ramayana 3392 AD from New York based Liquid comics and the seductive Devi.

Do you have more examples of western science fiction drawing from Indian mythology? Do let me know.

You can leave a comment below, or contact Laxmi at the following places:

Laxmi Hariharan was born in India. She lived in Singapore and Hong Kong and is now based in London. She is inspired by Indian mythology.
When not writing, this chai-swigging, technophile enjoys long walks in the woods and growing eye-catching flowers.

Her debut novel The Destiny of Shaitan is available on Amazon

Partially set in a dystopian Bombay of the future, The Destiny of Shaitan is a coming of age story, painted against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world.

Yudi, Tiina & Rai embark on a mission to save the universe. Sent to retrieve the Isthmus from the ruthless Shaitan, Tiina seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Shaitan is determined to stop them at any cost. The three friends must learn to trust each other and overcome their fears as they fight towards the ultimate showdown. The universe is at stake and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?

 Now here's your chance to win that $15 Amazon gift card or a signed copy of The Destiny of Shaitan:

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway