Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Guest Blog: Andrew P Weston Letting the Magic Flow

I was born in 1960 into a middle-class family from a small town called Bearwood, not far from the city of Birmingham in the UK.
By that time, my father, Peter, had left the military – (he was 5th generation Royal Navy) – and my mother, Rosemary, was a very creative full-time mother.

Dad was an excellent artist and story teller, and used to make up all sorts of tales to entertain me. You could also give him a subject/theme/topic, etc, and he would make up an instant song of rhyme for you.
Mom was very creative with her hands, and was able to make anything out of nothing. She was also uncannily skilled in the garden, and everything used to thrive at her touch. I loved assisting her, and remember how she used to help me learn how to plant/transplant flowers/saplings etc and develop an affinity for the other things that grew and lived in the garden, (Bee’s, ants, frogs, spiders)
I ended up having absolutely no fear of them, and would entertain my school friends by allowing just about anything to crawl over my hand…(only rarely getting bitten or stung).

I inherited my creativity from them – but in a topsy-turvy way.
For example – I could draw very well. Be it a very intricate and detailed rendition of, eg, still life or a book cover, but couldn’t paint to save my life. (Unless it’s a basic water color). I would murder any song you gave me, but loved to dance. I couldn’t play an instrument unless it involved hitting it, but would be able to remember a fair amount of the score, note for note. I loved sculpting and building things, but later – as I grew up – hated DIY. (If anyone ever invents a way of building a shelf unit by using a hand grenade – I’ll be a world champion
J) I hate building things, but love gardening – especially if anything has been damaged, as I love coaxing things back to life. (My best success story being an old oak tree at the bottom of the family garden that was struck by lightning).
I also loved poetry and storytelling. But for years, could never do anything about it.

From the age of 5, I was already training in sports before and after school, (swimming), and, as a got older, other sports were gradually added that really ate into the day. (Especially as I also had my studies to complete).

I was only 10 when my parents split up.
I lived with my father, and ended up being alone for many hours of the day while he worked three jobs. That’s when my creativity really bloomed.
To help me relax, I’d draw and make up ideas for stories. Lots of them. The flat we lived in for a few years backed onto an old church that had an abandoned garden. I’d spend hours in there turning it into a little pocket of paradise that I could escape to, to read, draw, write poetry or ideas down. I started to keep a journal, in which I’d formulate the framework of stories.

It was there I developed the idea for “Willy Whiskers”, (a story I entertained my own children with when they were babies), as a feral cat would bring me her kittens to play with. I ended up feeding them, along with the resident squirrels, birds and an owl who would sit outside my window at night tapping the glass. (In fact, one of the squirrels would also do that when it was feeling hungry. It would just keep tapping and tapping until I caved in and gave him some monkey nuts). Mercenary or what?

Although I did well academically, and was accepted into the Royal Navy under an electronics graduate entry articifership, I strangled my creativity by joining the military. Especially when I then transferred from the Navy into the Royal Marines only a few months before enlistment.

My time in the military was…interesting.
I suppose you could say it was in my blood. I took to that way of life like the proverbial duck to water, and thoroughly enjoyed SOME of my experiences. Especially those where I went back to nature among some of the finest jungles mother earth has to offer J
However, I always felt something was lacking.

Leaving the military – I joined the police service.
Although I served on many diverse units. I still felt something was missing. The only time I felt like ‘myself’, was when I was being creative. But it was a struggle to find the time to complete the “Willy Whiskers” stories, or draw or help make a garden thrive.

Then providence smiled in a most unusual way. I was injured on duty!
During the more than two years it took, enduring the various surgeries and repeated treatments and procedures, I spent many, many hours of every day formulating several of my favorite themes into full blown stories/concepts in my head.

One was the “Guardian” concept. Another was a semi-biographical adventure “The Rainbow assassin” / perhaps “Red Hand” after my nickname in the military – based on some of my escapades in the military, and the other – although not as fully – was what became the “Cambion Journals”.

I went over them again and again in my mind. Especially the “Guardian Series”. Introducing them, training them, refining them. Unleashing them on a world in need. I can honestly say, it helped me keep my sanity.

I was medically retired from the police force on a full pension after two and a half years.

Once we had moved to one of the Greek islands – where the warmth has assisted to speed up my recovery – my wife, Annette got sick and tired of me going on and on about my stories.
“Do something about it!” she said…
So I did.

Even though I’ve led an action packed and full life – doing things that most people only ever read about or watch at the movies – I can honestly say that, for the first time in my life, I felt like I was doing what I should have been doing all along.
All that creativity had been suppressed for far too long. I’d always wanted ‘something more – something different’. And now I had it!

I was letting the magic flow…

After I had completed “Guardian Angels” – the first in what I hope will be a six book series, I spent quite a while altering and adapting it, and ensuring there were enough twists and turns to mislead the reader all the way through until the final book. (THAT took 6 months of planning, before I actually began to write)! But it brought me alive and helped me cope with the adjustments I’ve had to make in coming to terms with my injuries!
No, I can’t run 10 miles every day and bench-press small mountains like I used to.
But I CAN create imaginary worlds that people can lose themselves in!
I love it.

Thankfully, I found a publisher with the vision to see value in that concept, (although I’m very new), and the rest – as they say – is (brief) history! J
“Guardian Angels” has now been published – (Courtesy of Pagan Writers Press) – and the wonderful family there. The sequel, “Guardians” is completed – (although it requires editing) – and the third installment, “Fallen Angels”, is about one-third finished.

The Cambion Journals have also sprung to life.
Book one, “The Rage of Augustus” is completed (unedited as yet) and the second of the three books, “Kiss of the Succubus” is almost half way through.

Additionally, Pagan Writers Press encouraged me to let my magic flow into a few short stories.

“Fairy Tail” – a very gritty ‘noir’ paranormal/erotic thriller details what happens to a hard-as-nails cop who is hunting for a serial killer who strikes in the week leading up to Halloween every year.

“Blood-Moon” – is a paranormal action/thriller. Everyone has seen ‘AvP’. Think of this as ‘SFvSW’. (Special Forces v ???)
What happens when the world’s most highly trained soldiers meet the stuff of myth and legend in the deepest darkest jungles known to man?
You’ll see  J

That’s about it for now.
Looking back, I’m very grateful for the change in circumstances that has – at last – allowed me to ‘find myself’ and let the captive juices flow! Now I’m concentrating on working as closely as I can with my Publisher and Editors to improve my craft, and I hope to be entertaining everyone for many years to come.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get back into poetry and drawing too? (But don’t – NOT EVER – ask me to sing…unless vodka is involved!)…It is a truly painful experience J

Andrew P. Weston
If you had the power to make a difference…would you?

Andrew P Weston was born in the city of Birmingham, UK and grew up in the towns of Bearwood and Edgbaston, eventually attending Holly Lodge Grammar School for Boy’s where he was School Captain and Head Boy.

He was an active sportsperson for the school, college and a variety of rugby, martial art, swimming and athletics teams throughout the city.

On graduation in 1977 he joined the Royal Marines fulfilling a number of roles both in the UK and abroad.

In 1985 he became a police officer with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, and served in a variety of uniformed and plain clothed departments until his retirement in 2008.

Over those years, he wrote and illustrated a selection of private books for his children regarding the life of a tiny kitten, called, “The Adventures of Willy Whiskers”, gained further qualifications in Law and Religious Studies, was an active member of Mensa and continued to be an active sportsperson, providing lessons free of charge to local communities.

An unfortunate accident received on duty meant Andrew had to retire early from the police force, but after moving to the sunny Greek island of Kos to speed up his recuperation, he was at last able to devote time to the “Guardian Concept” he had developed over his years in the military and police.

When not writing, Andrew enjoys Greek dancing and language lessons, being told what to do by his wife, Annette, and hunting shadows in the dark.

Andrew is now contracted to Pagan Writers Press for two books.

“Fairy Tail”, is a dark and gritty paranormal thriller with a twist.

The second book, “Guardian Angels” is the introductory book to the “Guardian Series”, a sci-fi/fantasy epic set in the near future.

Further work on the Guardian Series and a new paranormal series has been completed and will hopefully be presented soon.

Author Links

 Guardian angels
Andrew P. Weston
Guardian Angels, book 1
Science Fiction/fantasy
August 31, 2012

In a series of terrifying events, otherworldly beings intervene to save innocent lives. The world community reacts with relief as they realize that angels may in fact exist, and they are diligently protecting us.

But there are those who would seek to stop what they feel is a threat against their livelihoods. How far will some go to battle the Guardians? Is the fairy tale over before it even begins?

Guardian Angels is a powerful and compelling story about the catalyst that has the power to unite society in the hope for a better future. The spark of hope is fragile—can it last?

Buy Link
Pagan Writers Press 

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