2017 has kicked off with a bang!

Artwork progresses for the book trailer for the Well of Youth, my wonderful artist Nushie also working on the book cover in conjuncture with Octagon Labs.

The beta readers have nothing but great and funny things to say about the Well thus far which is encouraging, and the editor has their claws into it already.

There have been more reviews of both the Hidden Monastery and the Last Prophecy over the holidays (*hugs reviewers* I love you best of all!), and they can’t wait for the Well of Youth.

I’ve been feeling pretty on top of the world.

And then John Hurt died.

My favourite author has always been Sir Terry Pratchett, whom I have no doubt is debating with Death still, and I can’t decide if they’d be playing chess or cards… Granny Weatherwax after all, couldn’t stand chess, but she had a knack for cards.

But when I found out John Hurt had passed away a part of me died inside, the same as when Pratchett passed away, and I’ve found myself rewatching the Storyteller and crying. It hadn’t occurred to me how much it would affect me to see him gone.

See, I had this vague plan that when I published the Well of Youth I was going to have a tattoo. I’d always wanted to get one, but I couldn’t until I’d found something meaningful. It had been drifting across my thoughts for years and didn’t come to fruition again until people started to ask me when I’d consider myself a successful author.

Stephen King says if you got a check in the mail and used it to pay bills he thinks you’re talented.

It wasn’t a bad place to start but it was more than that. I’ve done that already you see, I paid an artist to work on the images for the book trailer with the profits from the first book.

I wanted to do something to prove it to myself, and having “Storyteller” tattooed down my spine had the simplistic and beautiful analogy; I was a book of stories still yet to be told.

It was fanciful and I hadn’t planned it very thoroughly, but when John Hurt died something inside me snapped. I’d wanted to be a Storyteller since I first watched the Jim Henson series. I loved every episode; the dark magical mystery of them all.

I wanted to be a storyteller.

It isn’t simply a reminder to me, what I consistently forget during the harder parts of this process. I didn’t just get this far, I have begun to accomplish what I set out to do.

I am a storyteller.