Saturday, 7 June 2014

Watcher (war world #2) - opening chapter - Mike Philbin

new cover
here's a link to the OPENING CHAPTER of Watcher (war world #2) by Mike Philbin, hosted on Goodreads.
Millions of people (like me) go missing every year. We just seem to be able to drop off the map. We just seem to be able to erase ourselves from the historical record. We're never found again. We don't exist any more. We are no longer part of what normal folk call Society. We are the walked by, the ignored, the abandoned. Nobody sees us, we go unnoticed. Never to return. And sometimes, people (like me) decide to go looking for those lost souls.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Angie's Diary reviews Watcher by Mike Philbin - now with exclusive excerpt

The follow-up to last year’s Tandem (G3-whistleblower #1) novel, Watcher further expands on the surrealistic confessions of a covert-operations super-soldier.
Super Soldier: someone who can dream harder than you.
Covert Operative: your mum, your dad, your sister, your brother, your son, your daughter.
War World: the place where you live right now, at war for PROFIT.
Dream Space: ah, come on, you know what I’m going to say, “Your dreams are not what you think they are.”
So, where are we going with this press release for Mike Philbin’s latest fictional novel?
In Tandem, released in 2013, Lorien Howell, an estate manager at Oxford law firm Convo & Convo, is seduced by her G3 whistleblowing client ‘Actor Arrenay’ to join him in liberating mankind from The Global Gambling Game or War World. Of course, she doesn’t believe him, in fact she despises his lunatic ramblings, until the evidence starts to mount in his favour and she finally sees what kind of a sick and manipulative (and wasted) world she inhabits.
WEEKS LATER UPDATE: Angie's Diary just published an official exclusive excerpt from a couple chapters into Watcher, the corporate assassination scene.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Watcher (a G3 Whistleblower novel) by Mike Philbin published by Chimericana Books

  Having lived on the streets of the city for seven years, ex G3-agent Vagrant Millgate starts to receive messages from a cube inside his head. He had lost his job. He had lost his daughter. He had lost his wife. Suddenly, he has a new mission, his life has new meaning. But how will he be able to cope when the G3-world of psychic-attack dogs and transforming super-soldiers has changed so much in his absence?
  Vagrant Millgate finally chases down his first target by listening to the Shirley Bassey song, “I who have nothing,” that's been playing in this person's head all morning. His mission is to save this guy from a fate worse than death. Very soon, it all starts to go wrong and Vagrant Millgate finds himself in a struggle for power that may encapsulate the whole of modern human experience.
  “One down, seven to go,” says his new friend and ally Lady Grey but where will her charitable patronage take our hero? And what is his role in a world rampant with these surrealistic and seemingly unbeatable foes?
Here's the book trailer:

Friday, 9 May 2014

Watcher, second draft complete!

Watcher (book two in the G3 Whistleblower Series), second draft complete.
Came to 65,000 words, which is comparable in length with its 2013 predecessor Tandem (book one in the G3 Whistleblower Series).
And by 'second draft complete' I mean, "It's done," there's not much I'll add to it at this point, apart from a more refined word selection or turn of phrase, I've already taken out a lot of swear words that weren't necessary. I have one final thing to do before I send it through the Chimericana Books publishing process.
I played this excellent CD, when I first got it, for almost every Tandem writing session. It really set the mood and the atmos of what became a character-written piece. No concern for story or narrative cleverness. Just the joy of writing the central characters, Lorien Howell and Actor Arrenay aka...
I'm gonna go through Watcher with this CD playing and see if Tandem's atmos, mood, freeformness can't be evoked again in the final tidy of this second G3 Whistleblower book. In fact, I'm going to read/tidy the chapters backwards because it's the back end of the book that's supposed to tie in with the start of Tandem. You'll understand when you read it.
Watcher will be available through Amazon and all other online distributors by early in the week; ebook, kindle, kobo, itunes, paperback, all the formats.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

James Rink - DARPA - the Bluebeam potential of MiLabs and G3-operatives.

According to Super Soldier afficianado James Rink,

DARPA is the one that hold’s onto the MILAB projects. Most of the abductions and injections are given via out side doctors well away from the main operations employed by the organisations (and) torture is used by these doctors as a way of control.

the following video from James Rink, who's been investigating the G3-operatives (or Super Soldiers as they're called) for years, shows how the MiLab/UFO Satanic indoctrination process works. You can look into Project Bluebeam if you want, it's alter'd slightly since its inception after the 2nd World War when Operation Paperclip brought dozens of Nazi war scientists to work at NASA. Excuse the jolly music track, as Powerstation might be some sort of kinky activation phrase for those in the Global Gambling Game.


Monday, 28 April 2014

Watcher, second draft begins

First draft 50,000 words, done.
Second draft has just begun.
It's going to be between 15 and twenty chapters, and I've given myself the task of writing about 4,000 words per chapter. So far, so good.
I'm about to start chapter three and the first two chapters feel about right being 4,100 and 4,500 words respectively. This gives a good MEATY feel to the novel, even if it's at the 15-chapter end of the scale. By this I mean, "Each chapter is a good length," to draw the reader into Millgate's world.
I'll do a couple more second-draft chapters this afternoon.
And I'll keep doing that until the book's finished.
Right now, it's time for my run. Back in an hour ... made it round my usual six mile route in 55mins, which for me is a sign that getting old is really going to hurt.
DAYS LATER UPDATE: seven chapters completed to second-draft standard, 28,000 words; so, expected wordage-wise, I'm bang on schedule. I've gone through and looked at the structure and have decided that sixteen chapters will tell the tale, that'll make (roughly) 64,000 words for the finished novel.
Today's 90 minute i.e. 9 miles, jog in the midday sun was very tiring.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

LEAPS AND BOUNDS - Spanish Eyes - adjusted cover

it sometimes takes me a few months of intense thinkage before embarking on a book project, but once I get going I don't fuck about.
Houston, "We've just breached the FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS mark," that's over ten thousand words since the most recent update on this blog and I'm kinda starting to understand how this book might end, and more importantly WHY. Even with that utterly-Earth-shattering narrative-twist surprise ending I wrote a few weeks back and didn't wanna put in the book in case it just seemed like a cop-out. Seems though I'm loathe to follow some sort of organised plan, my mind wants to drag this G3-whistleblower narrative back to the OPPENHEIMER WAR WORLD scenario of book 1, Tandem.
Watcher is really book 2 in a trilogy; well, technically, book one. But it works better having been brought out in this order. Tandem first, then Watcher, then Kumiko (book three) which is going to be TOTALLY MENTAL because of all the radical ground work already laid by these preceding WAR WORLD novels.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Watcher novel - major narrative upheavals - now links with Tandem novel

so I had some plans for the Watcher narrative, and what happened? The book took over. This has happened several times in my writing career. The book (or the characters) dictating where the story should go.
Same just happened.
I had a stack of ideas and a stack of narrative turning points (including two amazing twists in the tale) and recent developments suggest these were Red Herrings, which is kinda good because the novel looks more authentic i.e. less contrived, when I (the writer) believe it to be one thing when it's conspiring behind me to be something else. I've gone back in and edited the start a little but not to any grotesque extent, I mean it's not corny; just tidied.
It's still about G3 or the Global Gambling Game, but it's got teeth now, skin and bones and a brain, not just pretty face paint.
I love it when this happens, when I'm forced to realise what it is I'm actually writing, and that makes the process of Discovering A Novel really interesting - never a dull moment. Writing novels (for me) is, and should be, an organic process; the fact that the story is being dictated by the characters' actions tells me I'm on the right track. This is certainly not 'writing by numbers'. This is dangerous. This is on the edge. This is scary. And Watcher now it ties in to Tandem (G3 Whistleblower novel #1) more intimately; we even discover how The Market began... who Lorien Howell really is.
As I pass the 33,000 words mark, I realise I'm probably about half way through my projected storyline for this book - just depends how the new narrative content folds itself into the mix. How the book climaxes. How much patience I have not to involve any Kumiko (G3 Whistleblower novel #3) material at this early stage.
37,000 words mark UPDATE: so, I've had a couple of good writing days, really intense stuff, some wild and wonderful content ... and I'm wondering how much of it I'll retain. It's alright, there's nothing wrong with the writing, it's just that it might have gone a little too 'off piste'. I can't really tell yet, but I've got a lot of material to work with at least. A lot more crafting'll be necessary, before the emerging stoyline properly reveals itself.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Watcher - return of the giants - crowd action and foreign lands

just back from a lovely five-day holiday in Seville, Spain, temperature 30-35 degrees, 35% humidity, glorious sights and sounds (and tapas) here are a couple new WATCHER ideas:
  1. in the original 'watcher' 3D game concept (upon which this novel is based) I had a mechanism that used the crowds as a 'surfing media', and I've tried to at least 'homage' this mechanism within the novel. It translates into the book in a 'slightly different way' where I regurgitate 'the G3 giants' from my other G3-whistleblower novel TANDEM. The Giants in that book were real nasty, corporate combat models, but these ones are more 'gentele' or 'domesticated', at least as cunning, and have weirder abilities than just 'ratchet-lengthening bones' and fury, such as the ability to 'go where no man has gone before'.
  2. I want to incorporate some 'foreign travel' into this sprawling urban concrete+towerblocks landmass narrative. Sure, cities are a great thing to write within, but 'making it through security' and 'having to deal with tourists spots' that have high concentrations of human refuse is also a great writing challenge, certainly with Watcher's (stalking) context.
  3. Something to do with the 'wearer of the watch' (and what happens when it's stolen) will also reveal itself to be of 'utmost importance'.
EVENING UPDATE: Oh, my giddy aunt, Watcher just took the most massive U-turn of my writing career. And I love it. It's  a corker of a twist. A corker. One of several that are 'incoming', but this one took me particularly by surprise. I haven't written it in yet, as it's a later-stage development turn-around, but once it's in you'll go, "Oh, my giddy aunt!" Yes, my precious..... yes.
As of April 17th 2014, this first draft is about 27,000 words... and growing steadily more and more bizarre and insane each day.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Freemasonic Triangular Watch spotted on the BBC UK auction programme Flog It.

I saw this little Freemasonic Triangular Watch on Flog It (an antique's auction programme here in UK) and I just love it.
Not for me, I'm polychronic meaning: someone who doesn't need a watch. As opposed to monochronic meaning: one who is ruled by time.
Let me put it this way, elements of this symbollically decorated silver trinket have already found their way into my current novel Watcher.
No word of a lie.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Stalker's Guide To... novel renamed to WATCHER novel.

I've written about five chapters i.e. 15,000 words, of the Stalker's Guide To... novel, and I'm wondering if the title is even relevant any more.
I'll do this, I'll start a project with a 'concept' in mind. Then, as the project finds its way, its feet, its own writing style, concerns, narrative, character that title sometimes falls by the wayside.
It happened with the Free Planet novel ... it was only ever meant to be One Novel. It was first called One Of Us then You The People then Free Planet then I structurally went in and did a bit of split-narrative cleverness where both You The People and The Custodians shared the honour; ended up realising it was Book One of a series and called this first part Custodian.
Stalker's Guide To... first started out as a conceptualised or parody of the Lonely Planet Guide To... (BBC travelogue series from the 1990s) that showed you how to survive on a holiday budget at so-called holiday destinations like New York, Paris, Guatemala. The idea was to lay it all out, in fact play out the narrative, like the BBC TV series, using the same language and style to fold these budget holiday locations into the story.
Didn't work.
Almost as soon as the first chapter got written/re-written it became obvious (to me) that there was a better story here about just one crammed city. The unnamed (possibly Japanese) urban city sprawl the novel became set in. It's like I wanted to revisit the missed opportunity I tried to give myself when I brought back a couple of empty notebooks from my 15-years-ago trip to Kyoto/Nara.
City sprawl, and time manipulation, I'm going to revert to an early title I had for the 3D game (I prototyped up but never made) called WATCHER.
WATCHER's also got some structural connection to 'what the central character uses', not just what he is, on his quest to save eight VIPs.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Stalker's Guide To - rewrite stations - alert alert!

ha ha ha ha ha,
I knew it wouldn't be THAT EASY.
I knew it wouldn't ALLOW ME just to come up with some guiding, over-riding narrative elements and let me string them together into a story. It's like my story-writing mind stepped in and said, "No, no, no, we can't be having that." I knew it would. And this has proven true.
Chapter Two.
But before getting there, this dilemma started last night. I had Chapter One 'in the can' as we all know. It was the kind of chapter write-up I'd had in my head for this project for the last few years - a man has to save eight people's lives. This is how the book would start, it was pre-visioned; anticipated for years that this would be the mission. I'd set this up as the basis for the book. I'd (probably) betray it later on with a TWIST or three. It's how I work, self-delusional narrator/narrative. Revelation fiction, in its purest sense. Mind games, on myself and the reader. Bless him.
But it started right away. I sat there, last night, appraising that first chapter, and realised (for the story to begin) that first chapter would have to go. This book had to start in a different place than the one I had prepared for, even with the filth overlay information I'd already added to the basic Stalker concept. The one based on a computer game idea that never was.
I'm enjoying it. I'm enjoying the NOVEL COMING ALIVE again like this feeling. This always happens, it's happened with all the books that I've written. I give myself over to 'the world of the book' and eventually it's auto-piloting itself to its own narrative conclusions. Its own story. Don't ask me how this works. I have no idea. I suspect 'osmosis' but NOT channeling. My writing mind starts to 'live within the limited framework of the invented world', and that's all it needs. To start creating. To start defying me, its father. To start 'growing up', developing on its own.
And that first chapter. It was (literally) empty. Empty of all the good stuff a novel needs. I totally rewrote it. 2,500 words later, I'm happier. And chapter two, started this morning, is racing by. And yes, I kept my bargain with myself to co-write REAPER at the same time. That's on chapter two also, though my first chapter there is 'sketchier' than I'd like, it's an opening chapter of a three-book series so it's a little summarisy. And more than a little down-beat. Remember, we're in Return of the Jedi territory where 'all seems lost'.
But it's not. It's found. And that's what happened with STALKER last night, "It found its voice." 
MARCH 1st UPDATE: (not counting notes, structure and 'inspirational texts'): I kinda cheated a bit in that I've just finished the fourth chapter, and I've written 'the final scene'. 13,500 words written already. It seems like I may have to physically force myself to get back onto the Reaper novel, currently languishing on chapter three of twenty. But fear not, the biggest development on Reader is the planned inclusion of my Water Planet, Memory Planet, Dream Planet material. Both novels are going quite smoothly, in fact.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Stalker's Guide To - a G3 whistleblower novel - new cover concept, narrative

I did it, I bit the fucking bullet, again, and it was so obvious.
Started to write STALKER'S GUIDE TO and realised (almost instantly, having partially written up chapter one) that this novel was going to be 'really fucking weird' and 'really fucking different' from the one I started to write. And it tied in wonderfully with where my writing mind has been alighting for the last few months, namely the G3 or Global Gambling Game operatives and their cellular ilk.
I found 7,000 words of inspirational text that I wanted to flavour the novel with, work that I'd done 'some years ago' and then the secondary motivational narrative thread just kinda suggested itself without my help. Layers...
I mean, I've had the idea for this 3d-game-becomes-novel for so long I was missing the obvious. Narrative twist, or as I like to think of it 'page-turnery flagellating'. I kinda caught myself by surprise. Pondering it now, this new INTENSE-EMOTIONAL narrative direction and having to integrate such an Apocalyptic Agency into my Good Samaritan story...
Genius, I tells ya, "Pure genius."
DAY LATER UPDATE: well, you guessed it, "First chapter completely rewritten to accommodate this new 'layer'."

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

STALKER'S GUIDE TO relaunch - new writing month, new writing regime - distraction rules

of course there was a false start.
There always is, even with the 'best laid plans' and all that. Things never go the way we plan them, or 'dream them'.
Last month's nightmarish setback notwithstanding, I decided to 'leave it alone' for a few weeks, get over my failure at remember the full dream transcript of a novel I'd yet to write, achieve some sort of zenlike distance from my dreamy over-closeness to the material. That wasn't even how the book would have gone, it's never the way my writing process works. I just wanted it done, is all, and my dreaming mind delivered a product that had no soul, yet.
Reassess. Re-distract. Re-focus on the important things in life, well, in writing, namely - getting busy. When I get busy, I want to be doing something else.
So, I decided to start the REAPER novel, free planet #3, the third part of the trilogy. Decided all the action must take place on one day, eight months after the events of book #2, Liberator. Now that Reaper's in the writing stage, I want to start writing this book, this STALKER'S GUIDE TO... and it'll work, I tell you. With this new direction and these new ideas, I'm likely to bang right into it all fingers blazing like little Victorian pistons.
Damn, this is gonna rock!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Horrible night of intense STALKER dreams

I know that many of my books are flavoured, if not directly inspired, by dreams but last night was amazing.
Amazing in a totally depressing fashion.
Cards, symbols, codes.
Then I had DREAM AFTER DREAM about how the new novel should go. And stupid twat that I am I didn't wanna get out of bed and write all this nonsense down. But I knew it was about the book, this book, STALKER'S GUIDE TO.
My dreaming mind was writing the book for me. I didn't even need to pick up a pen, or fire up the computer. I was dreaming it. In vast amounts of narrative detail, country by country. It was almost ALL there, all done last night, in one vast dreaming binge.
I couldn't believe it. Maybe I knew I'd never get out of bed in the middle of the night to write it down. I mean, the betrayal. What's the point of all that. I woke up several times in the last few hours of sleep. Again and again, I had another chapter laid out for me.
Of course, I don't remember a singl thing about it.
That would be too easy.
Though I do have a reason WHY those eight people need saving...  but I had this idea BEFORE I went to bed, so it doesn't really count. How DARE my sleeping mind fully write out something for me that I've yet to write out myelf. I had locations, characters, dialogue. Everything. Grrrrrrrrr.......

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Stalker's Guide To - Mike Philbin - 2014 novel begins.

cover photo © 2013 Maurice120
STALKER'S GUIDE TO... is a potentially massive novel that's been playing in the back of my mind for 'more than a few years' now.
It started out as an idea for a Video Game, but I didn't 'go through with it' in any constructive sense beyond the initial prototype a friend and I put together. It's just been there, on the hard drive, as a series of game features, doing nothing since 2005; maybe earlier.
I've explored certain aspects of the SGT concept already in books since then, in recent novels Bukkakeworld (2008) and Tandem (2013) for example, but that's all they are; snippets of, referential to, jarring visuals from. Nothing more.
Here's how STALKER'S GUIDE TO begins:
If I fuck up tonight, eight people will die. Yeah, but eight people, right? Think about it. More people than that will die on the New York subway tonight. What’s so important about these eight people? I knew you’d ask that, and I had an answer all worked out. But it’s better if I don’t tell you why just yet. That will become apparent soon enough...
With my second Free Planet novel #2 LIBERATOR now in its first-draft (69,000 words, spell checked, being read by the Custodian FP #1 novel editor) state this is where Stalker's REAL STORY about time and space and really weird Travelogue-derived City-crammed high-octane narrative gets a chance for a proper airing.
Locations: Paris, Los Angeles, Cologne, Grenada, Oxford, Los Angeles (to fix an earlier mission failure).
Wish me luck...