Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Tale

In my last post I mentioned that my novel What Lies Beneath had inexplicably dropped off the face of the earth (or, more specifically, Lulu's website).  Well, I'm happy to report that the problem has been quickly resolved and the book is not only accessible from this link http://www.lulu.com/content/2796543 but it is also available now through search at Lulu.com.

I'll just use this post to add my thanks for all the interest and support I have received from people as I have bumbled my way through this project.  Merry Christmas.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Paul,

    I wanted to let you know about my positive experience recently in purchasing copies of your novel, What Lies Beneath.

    The purchasing process was very quick and easy via lulu.com, especially for international orders, which can sometimes be a very tricky task! I received a prompt follow-up email confirming my order.

    On Monday 22nd December, I arrived home to find a card from Australian Air Express in my letterbox. Unfortunately, I wasn't home when they called :(
    However, the next day I called in to the freight depot to pick up my books. (In my town we are very fortunate, everything is "five minutes away"!)

    It was very exciting to get home and open the parcel! The books were well-packed and in perfect condition. I proudly showed them to my family and explained the concept of self-publishing. My husband wants to do the same thing with his English students in 2009 so was keen to hear about the process.

    Thanks Paul for sharing your incredible journey with us. It is exciting on so many levels - as an incredible novel that you have written and to illustrate to others how the internet can turn works of writers of all ages into something very special.

    We look forward to the sequel!

    Lucy :)

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  2. Lucy,

    I am so pleased that the experience was a positive one for you. Ideally, I would like to have had a publisher like Random House or Allen & Unwin to sweep me up in their ink-stained arms and do everything for me, as I have stumbled frequently on the meandering path of self-publishing, but when I read comments like yours, it makes it all worthwhile.

    I really do hope you enjoy the book. I'm certainly pleased with the story and the style of writing, but structurally 'What Lies Beneath' can be a little taxing. Also at times events in the narrative are quite brutal, but hopefully this makes moments of tenderness and compassion all the more potent.

    A friend of mine said she was reluctant to allow herself to become attached to characters in 'What Lies Beneath' as a number of early chapters suggest that no-one is safe in the novel. Whilst that is true to an extent, the book is not so bleak that all good people meet undeserving ends.

    Please feel free to email or DM me with any questions or observations you may have - or even drop a comment on the blog. There are things dwelling amongst the pages of the book that I can't wait to discuss with my readers.

    It might be worth checking in on the wiki http://calibansend.pbwiki.com/ from time to time as you read to discover more about the characters, places and events of 'Caliban's End'.

    Thank-you so much for purchasing the book. The delivery costs stunned me at first - it's much cheaper for multiple copies - but hopefully by having the entire book available for free (by PDF download and on the wiki) at least buyers get a sense of what lies beneath the cover (cringe - terrible pun).

    Looking forward to hearing from you as you make your way across the Myr.

    Best wishes to you and yours.

    Paul

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  3. Anonymous9:21 pm

    What Lies Beneath -Review By Jack Emery



    What Lies Beneath, is a most suitable name for Paul. Francis. Stewart’s exceptional first book in the Caliban’s End tale.

    From the very beginning, we are drawn into a truly astonishing and intricate world; a home to countless strange and bizarre creatures who are amidst an age of darkness and evil.

    But beneath the skin and bone of all on the planet lie myriad mysteries ready to be released.

    Twin brothers Remiel and Caliban Grayson stand to inherit great power from their dying father, but only one of whom may be granted the sort after gift.

    Premonitions of terror compel Remiel to send his brother to the secluded lands of a leper colony - thereby having no access to the outside world.

    Yet, as in many adventures, something goes horribly wrong which in turn impacts upon those across the world – so called the Myr. The story then starts to bear characteristics somewhat similar to The Lord of the Rings, with numerous characters both good and bad, and an abundance of violence.

    As we venture through the lands of this boundless realm we start to realize that long lost secrets are coming to life, as innocents across the Myr rapidly dwindle in number. Something is back. And with revenge.

    Stewart delves into the lives of different creatures across the globe; building characters with detail seldom found in other novels. We slither through the Bregon Woods and live amongst the famed witches, trudge through the uliginous swamps of Mag Mel meeting the apothecaries that hide beneath its mist, and enter the barracks of the potent Helyan warriors who are prepared to fight whatever comes their way.

    Flashbacks here and there add to the profound puzzle, always leaving half finished stories which slowly answer themselves as we travel through the Myr.

    In practically every chapter we hear a new story. A new tale of one of many races as grief strikes upon their lands. We learn the history of each race, their lifestyle, and their personalities. As the novel progresses these threads intertwine with one another, weaving a complex tapestry that is still only half complete.



    Stewart is a fascinating person to speak to, always expressing himself clearly and gripping you with his gift for explaining things. His lucid writing style is no different, trapping you in a truly imaginative world, making it hard to stop reading.

    Written in third person perspective with passages of discourse, the writing is detailed and rich, bearing a sense of authority with a broad vocabulary. Epitomizing this is a race called the Sprigans who have a love of language, using continually bombastic speech. At times this becomes annoying as you find yourself scouring through the dictionary for answers, but you’ll also find yourself glued to their somewhat comical presence.

    Here is a caption from What Lies Beneath which exemplifies Stewart’s meticulous writing style maintained throughout the story:

    “Kali heard a tiny growling sound at his feet. In the dirt before him, a twin-headed flummox sat with a round kor-kor nut in its small, pudgy hands. Although diminutive in size, being no larger than Kali's foot, the flummox was as irascible and pugnacious a beast as one could find on Terra.”

    Being a school English teacher for a number of years and working in the technology department Paul. F. Stewart has an expansive knowledge in both writing and technology. His knowledge has enabled him not only to write a magnificent novel, but to display aspects of it in ways that many would struggle to do. His blog and wiki pages are excellent for tracking his progress and allow him to express his thoughts on the book. Excerpts and character images enhance and bring to life the characters in ways I have never seen before.

    All in all Stewart has succeeded in creating a surreal world in which we can let our imagination fly as we journey across the Myr and visit the vast and varied races he has so brilliantly designed. But again beware. Arcane wonders will be resurrected and will threaten the existence of every creature on the planet. So look out for What Lies Beneath!

    I recommend this novel to be read by those who enjoy such books or movies as The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. But nonetheless I’m sure many, irrespective of what genres they like, will find a passion for Stewart’s exceptional world.

    On the site: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3109/2654208470_9c26c2de88_b.jpg
    is a photo I found of Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand – which in my imagination strongly resembles Lake Eras in What Lies Beneath, and is the same lake featured on the front cover. Lake Eras plays a central role in the book and is home to a stupendous whirlpool known as the World Pool. Lake Wakatipu is the ideal setting for the novel with its beautiful scenery and mystical essence

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  4. Jack,

    Not sure I deserve such praise, but after spending so much time writing the book, I'll take it all the same.

    I must say how impressed I am with your commentary. Believe me, I was a long way from being so articulate when I was your age. Thank-you for taking such a thoughtful interest in my first book. I can't wait to see how you respond to Akin to Pity (due out April).

    I am so grateful that you have conveyed your impressions so comprehensively. If anything, your comments highlight that writers should never speak down to an audience, especially teenagers who are capable of great insight and clarity of perspective.

    Hopefully your peers will feel similarly positive about my writing.

    Thanks so much for your comments.

    Cheers, Paul

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  5. Anonymous10:36 am

    Congratulations Paul!

    It was a great read and I was impressed with the vivid details of each character. Your love for language brings a richness to the book that makes it unique. It is a roller coaster ride as I found myself trying to predict the next sequence of events, only to read another twist that would pose more questions. You are not afraid to kill one of the most appealing characters, especially near the end of the book. I look forward to the sequel as I want to know why?

    There was many layers and I look forward to seeing how all these treads will come together in the second book. I will need to read it again with a dictionary by my side as the Srigans introduce me to vocabulary that was unfamiliar to me. Maybe a need to read more genres!

    The passage of the book which was most confronting was Lucetious's lack of empathy when breaking the fingers of any individual that would dare speak out. (Remind me not to make you angry!) Parts of the book are quite brutal and disturbing. We are introduced to some of the darker side of various personality traits. In the darkness, when all seems lost, we are given a glimmer of hope as someone will step forward against the tide and perform a heroic act. Agaist the odds someone may push back the dark forces. There are some characters that have virtues that makes them easily admired while others display behaviours that are repulsive. It poses the question - Are we a product of our environment or our genes? Would the races of Myr ever have reason to fear Caliban if his brother Remiel chose another course of action?

    Paul, I am sure many people will appreciate your writing style. I am impressed that you have a young family and full time job and manage to write such terrific book.
    I think it will inspire others to follow their dreams.

    Michael

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