Monday, 19 February 2018

Get in touch...

For more information about BONE SURFERS please contact or follow and @DavidRMassey

200th Anniversary of Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)

“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I
should first break through, and pour a torrent of light
into our dark world.”
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)

The inspiration behind my third novel BONE SURFERS! 

My third YA novel BONE SURFERS is almost ready for launch!

‘That first, impossible leap with me clinging to Remy’s shoulders takes my breath away. He has a short run up and I am convinced that we are going to die but he lands running on the parapet opposite…’

Well, like Remy, my third novel, BONE SURFERS, is finally ready to launch! After winning Lancashire Book of the Year 2013 with my debut YA novel TORN and Dudley Teen Book Awards 2015 with TAKEN I have had a short hiatus whilst taking on the role of Senior TV Film and Radio Engineer at Birmingham City University.

But thanks to everyone who has continued to encourage me along the way. Your messages really mean a lot and it has been great to meet so many of you on our travels around the country.

I won't have to travel too far though for the launch of BONE SURFERS as Pedmore Technology College, Stourbridge, have asked me to visit on 27th, 28th February and 1st and 2nd March 2018.

The novel itself is set several hundred miles away and twenty metres below the heart of Paris in a chilling labyrinth of catacombs lined with the bones of six million dead people...

...It isn’t what 16-year old Fellin Hunter signed up for on a school trip to France – and she didn’t think she would be bleaching her hair blonde, sneaking into underground cosplay parties or discovering traces of a lost community. But that was before she met the super cool Blaise Duval - and Remy Magritte, a parkour runner who flies across Parisian buildings like he’s from another world.

When Fellin is wrongfully arrested for a string of murders the punishment is unthinkable. There is only one person who can save her - but what if he is the killer?

Download it FREE on Amazon on Thursday 1st March - World Book Day 2018 - to find out more!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

How to write - Part 2

Here's the thing - once you are lucky enough to get published lots of stuff changes and for me, that included the way I did my planning..

For one thing I realised was that people are actually reading my work! Anything I do now has to live
up to a lot of people's expectations and I want to write well and get better at it. My editor Imogen asked me to use a book map for my next novel and I did - there's an example here. This is just a part of it there are character outlines and a synopsis too.

As you can see in the example above, every chapter is outlined in some detail and you think about what you are going to reveal/hide from your reader and how your characters will behave.

The great thing about outlining your story, characters and motivations in such detail right from the start is that it frees you to WRITE. I know where I'm going and how to get there and if I change things along the way then that's fine - I'll eventually return to the road map or just ditch it and change my route.

Again Scrivener is a great tool if you want to take this approach.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

How to write - Part 1

Lots of people ask me how to start writing so I'm going to put together a little guide. It's not theory. This is how I do it, and I got published this way. Whenever I do a school event I talk about this because I think it is important. My approach is simple - I tend to think of my story as if I am viewing a film and I use tried and trusted film techniques to help me get started. Interested? Read on!

First I get out my A3 pad and draw a line representing how my character will change from start to finish.

Near the start of my story I plan an opening scene - an inciting incident. Film writers do this a lot. A good example is Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happyness. His character is poor. He sees someone park a Ferrari and asks what the guy does for a living. The driver tells Will he is a stockbroker - Will spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out how to become one himself.

Towards the end of my story I make sure that I plan a 'Turnaround'. This is where you make things impossible for your character or change tack so that your reader can't predict where the story will go next.

And that is it - literally. I fill out the details of my story along the line and sometimes I'll use this approach to plan important chapters. As you can see it gets a lot more detailed...

Monday, 13 July 2015

Planning Your Writing

I have just been given the honour of becoming Patron Of Reading for The Wordsley School near my home town of Stourbridge.  My first visit was all about playing God - creating characters and introducing dilemmas to see how they react. I also talked a lot about how to plan a story, beginning with an Inciting Incident and using turnarounds...

My own planning has changed a lot over the years - from my own ad-hoc scribbling to using Book Maps. Both of which work well, by the way.

Recently however, I've been trialling Scrivener and it's perfect for generating and arranging your story ideas - like I have done here for one of my own ideas, a story called INCARNATE. For me, the cork-board is really useful for sketching out your ideas because you can move them around freely just like cue cards and you can really get to grips with your characters and storyline.

Normally, I'm not a great fan of planning using software and I still like to map things out on a huge piece of A3 but this one really seems to work well. You can keep all your research and sketches in one place and really get to grips with creating your masterpiece.

I recommend giving it a try.

Monday, 9 March 2015

My Next Blockbuster...

So - I've just completed my latest novel - THE BONE SURFERS - and my agent is going to start sending it to publishers. Exciting!

Some of you who have been on GoodReads for a number of years may remember it as STEAMPUNK, a gothic murder mystery that was posted there for a few weeks and which got excellent ratings. This is a story that has done the rounds for too many years...

It all began as a re-working of Shelley's Frankenstein and mutated into a supernatural murder mystery set at a Manga Expo in Paris and in the miles of catacombs that honeycomb the limestone bedrock beneath the city. My novel was written before novels like Revolution by Jennifer Donnelley and before the upsurge in interest in the catacombs.

Now that I have a couple of novels under my belt the time seemed right to haul THE BONE SURFERS out of storage and into the light, to dust it off and to get tweaking. The cosplay party is still there - protagonists Fellin and Blaise still go dressed as Misa from Deathnote and chaos ensues.

As I have re-worked it, the novel has become more rooted in the real world of the Paris souterrainers and the enigmatic Remy is now a cool street runner or Parkours.

I can't wait until this novel is in print and people start reading it. I loved writing it and still love to inhabit the streets of Paris whenever I sit down to re-read or re-work it. This is why writing is cool.

I'll keep you posted.