“Choose your words carefully. Words have power”
The future is about to change. But who for?
Salin has always wanted an adventure and, when the opportunity presents itself, he grabs it with both hands, taking his friends along for the ride – whether they want to or not.
With strange lands come strange creatures that stand between them and their goal. And that goal is the same for someone else, a man who believes the prize is worth every sacrifice – especially when the sacrifices are made by others.
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Graeme tells the story behind the story
When my children were little, I used to read them bedtime stories. A lot of parents do. Some will even make stories up for their children, and there came a time when I did just that. It wasn’t a brilliant story, more an excuse to provide cliff-hangers that’d need resolving the following night.
What also helped in keeping them interested was that this story included some characters they were already familiar with: their cats.
In fairness, I didn’t tell them a tale about the cats, as such. I came up with a group of friends who happened to have the same names as the cats. So we had Mush, Beeble, Tipsy and Nicky, and these were the support act to a character I created called Salin. Together, these five friends set off on a quest to find or retrieve (I can’t remember which) some McGuffin, and the adventures they had along the way.
Because of its episodic nature, I’m not sure I ever really got to the end of the story with my children, but the essence of it stuck with me, and I eventually started to write it – or a version of it – down.
Since I completed the first draft (which took over five years), there have been a lot of changes. Although the first draft retained the cats’ names, it soon became clear they didn’t work for the story. They might have had some sentimental value – we all loved those cats – but sentiment won’t sell books. So they evolved and gained new names.
When I finally felt I had a draft I could send to an editor, I was told to lose one of the friends because he added little to the story and took up too much space. Which was a shame, because Nicky (or whatever I’d changed his name to) had been my cat since I was twenty. Again, sentiment doesn’t sell books.
From the same edit, I learnt there was too much focus on the good guys, and the bad guy needed more depth. Sadly, he didn’t also need a cat. More than that, though, it was felt the tone wasn’t dark enough. I did still want my kids to be able to read it. But, at the rate things were going, they were already edging into adulthood, so maybe it didn’t need toning down so much.
It took a few further drafts to get it right and I’m really excited about the end result. That said, I definitely wouldn’t read it to small children. Even so, I know where it all started. Which is why Carrion is dedicated to my children – and the cats.
A selection of reviews of Carrion
There is plenty of action to keep you occupied… I found the book really gripping from the off, and it only got more and more so as it went along. By the end, the strain on my nerves was almost too much to bear.
I loved that the message to Salin was to “Choose your words carefully. Words have power”. This is true on so many levels. In the case of Carrion these words have the power to transport you to another place and time where you can experience the action, adventure, suspense and intrigue of a story full of magic and mystery.
His writing is amazing, atmospheric and mesmerising at times. I was absolutely gripped by the story.
Graeme Cumming has no doubt a wonderful way with words and an amazingly vivid imagination. His talent shines throughout with a great sense of creativity and planning. If you fancy going on a unique journey filled with some awesome descriptive and gripping scenes, why not give it a go?
When Graeme Cumming writes a villain, he really writes a villain.
“You can’t hide anything from me. Remember that.” There was a certain gratification in the dread he sensed in them. “But you’re right, I do like to leave something behind for the birds.” He could never explain to anyone else the surge of energy he got from that simple act, and he had no intention of trying now. He didn’t need to.
“It was time to let the ravens loose…”
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