Sunday, 29 July 2012

Weekly Drudgery

Okay, so long time no post.

We know, we know! But this has been an incredibly busy week for both of us, not to mention categorically insane.

First up, Brighton- He's been working on a Kickstarter campaign for his upcoming film- American Dreamsicle, details of which have been graciously posted by Kela McCleland right here. Show some love and contribute!

Next, Utsav -  He's had a freaking partial request. So he's been understandably fretting, biting nails, sweating and crying about how to revise without getting much done. But what the heck, it's his first partial. Also, he's managed to snag at interview with the aforementioned awesome Kela. Check out his loony two-bit answers.

And lastly, in case you lived under a rock or have been hit by a giant tusnami which has knocked out your TV and Internet, the OLYMPICS are on.

Yes, our favourite moment of the Opening Ceremony. The Queen proved to be the best Bond girl ever!

So here's, concluding the post wishing good luck to the US and Indian contingents (and all other contingents as long as they don't get in the path of the above two).

Signing off,
Boys of Summer

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Pineapple Explosion

Apologies for the delay in getting this post up. 
Today the Capt’uns have ordered us to interview a character from our novels. Since we both have a finished WiP and we are too lazy (aka too awesome and creative) to hold two interviews, we decided to do a cross-over scene.

This is an imagined scenario and does not have anything to do with either of the stories.
Jimmy, the protagonist of Utsav’s novel – Averagely Extraordinary, is a fifteen year old boy from Earth who is called to Ulfitron to save it from an invader named Enshreto. He’s looking for an object which will lead him to the legendary Lost Land of Gorjons, trees with the knowledge to control the universe. In this search he is travelling across planets and ends up on the planet Ver.

Prince Anton, the protagonist of Brighton’s novel  –  What the Water Gave Us, is from the family that rules an empire that controls most of the planet using their immunity to the Kappa Violenti virus. In this scene he is abroad in the rural nation of Levant trying to eradicate the virus there. If you want to see on the map where this scene here takes place find Westport on this map:


Jimmy teleported to the surface of Ver, having the mixed fortunes of arriving smack in the middle of the runway at the Unity Defense Forces base at Westport. Soldiers quickly decended on him, and he was led to Prince Anton’s field office in the main building of the compound. Not wanting to hurt or kill random people Jimmy lets the soldiers take him without incident. 

Inside Lt. Farr briefed Anton on the situation. “Your Highness he just appeared out of thin air, I saw it myself. He’s unarmed and just a boy, but I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Lieutenant have you never seen a magic show?” Anton said, then motioned for Jimmy to be brought in. He looked Jimmy over. ”So it's obviously beyond the rebels to just appear out of thin air. So a new low for Elias sending a child. Impressive trick though. What does he have you coming here for?”
Jimmy jolted forward at the word child, and was held back by the soldiers on either side of him. “Who in the world is Elias? And what desolate army camp is this? Seems like Earth but isn't.” 

“You've got the desolate right. Welcome to Levant.” Anton looked out the window, the view was beautiful, a lake stretched out before them backdropped by jagged green mountains as far as could be seen along the horizon. Other than the military base they were on the only other sign of civilization was the small spec of a house across the lake. Anton then turned his attention to Jimmy who was dressed in wooly brown trousers and a green tunic that to Anton looked like silk. “You're not from Turin are you?” Anton asked, thinking of the mysterious people of the neighboring planet, who no one on Ver had ever actually seen.

Jimmy’s expression turned to one of disgust. “Turin? You mean that dusty planet with nomadic tribes? Hell no. I am from Earth. Well I was, till I was taken to Ulfitron.”

Anton had never heard of Ulfitron, and only vaguely remembered any mention of Earth. He pulled out his tri-key and pulled up a holographic projection of the known universe. “Illuminate Earth and Ulfitron.” Anton commanded. The projection zoomed in on a small planet from a distant star system. Earth. Ulfitron didn’t show up, it wasn’t known to the people of Ver. Anton looked up at Jimmy with suspicion. The chances of a visitor from another planet were low. “Scan him.” Anton ordered. The guards ran a ray of blue light over Jimmy from his dark hair to his feet, then pricked his finger for a blood sample. 

“He’s human,” the guard announced.

“Wow, cool technology! We don't have such things on Earth,” Jimmy exclaimed, genuinely interested in the technology, a gadget like that surely would have won him first place at the school science fair back on Earth.

Anton, unable to determine Jimmy’s sincerity, continued on in a disaffected tone. "We find it valuable to determine what people might not tell us themselves." Anton then turned to the guards. "Can you trace his blood to any families within the empire?" 

The guard looked down at the readings before him “No. he's not a match to anyone. His DNA doesn’t even come close to a match for projected samples from anywhere on the planet."

Anton turned back to Jimmy. "I guess I’ll have to trust you are what you say you are, and then trust you even further regarding why are you're here.”

“I am looking for a very powerful object. I need it to save Ulfitron. And I strongly suspect it's hidden in one of the 17 planets with organic life,” Jimmy replied. “But I sense something different about you. The others in this camp are normal. You have something special.” 

Anton was tempted to take Jimmy’s comment as a jab at Anton’s immunity. Anyone from Ver would know that Anton was different, something special. But if Jimmy was who he claimed, and had the power to sense things, Anton wondered if it was his immunity that Jimmy was sensing, or something else. The thought of being special for something other than his immunity was appealing, but Anton wasn’t about to let himself get sucked into mind games with someone who looked to be a child. 
"Jimmy, saving a planet? How old are you?" Anton asked.

Jimmy’s posture changed, Anton had hit a nerve. “Differs on different planets. How does it matter to you how old I am?”

Anton grinned in response and ordered the guards out of the room, then turned back to Jimmy. “You're right about me, and you look young, when I was young I had a lot of responsibility people who's lives depended on me. Maybe not a whole planet, but enough."

Jimmy visibly relaxed once the guards had left the room, not because he had been afraid, in fact he could have taken them out if he wanted, but because he took it as a sign of trust from Anton. “You're not the only one who can detect things.” Jimmy then read Anton’s thoughts. “Wow, Prince of the entire planet eh? Too bad your planet’s dying.”

Anton’s tenor changed starkly the moment Jimmy said the planet was dying. He took it as an affront to the work he’d spent his life on. “If I were my uncle I'd order you killed right now. But I imagine someone who can appear out of thin air is more powerful than I am."

Jimmy laughed. “You think your uncle could've killed me? I am much more powerful than I was and I dare you to think of me as an ordinary kid.” Jimmy’s anger built and the building began to shake. 

Anton sat back and watched as objects fell from his desk. He stared at Jimmy trying to decide how much of the young man’s story to believe. Ultimately Anton decided to take a chance with it because he sensed they had something in common. Never before had Anton met anyone else who had the burden of so many lives relying on his actions. "Ordinary? I think that's the last word I'd use to describe you. How about you calm down for a moment, put all this aside, see if we can find any common ground?"

Jimmy looked Anton over with suspicion, but he sensed respect for his power. "All right. I am here merely to search for the object. Once I have it, I'll be able to track the lost land of Gorjons and become the most powerful man in the universe. I can probably save your people as well then.”

Anton’s reaction surprised Jimmy, he was suddenly very happy. "You have no idea how relaxing it is to not be the most powerful person in the room without having to worry about being held underwater for saying the wrong thing. Power is always such a burden, you either have it or someones using it against you. i have soldiers who could help you find your object, but my question for you is, why would you ever want to be the most powerful being in the universe?" 

Jimmy was visibly confused. “Thanks for the help, Lord Anton. But why wouldn't anyone want that much power? Imagine having the power to beat Enshreto. I'll be able to control life itself. And moreover nobody will ever call me average ever again. You could cure your people in one go and remodel your planet with no wars, no hunger and no disease.”

"Wouldn't it be nice if everyone with power were so altruistic?" Anton commented wistfully. 

“Altruistic? What does that mean?” Jimmy asked. He may have been more powerful than Anton, but he was still only 15 back on Earth.

"It means you want to do good for others now, but wait, once you get a taste of it, your own wants will creep in, and even worse, even with all that power what if helping some would mean hurting others? What would you do then? And there are worse things to be called than average, especially if the worse things become true, when average seemingly never was."

Jimmy was still confused by how cynical Anton was, he tried reading Anton’s mind again to understand, but Anton’s mind was a deluge of complicated and conflicting thoughts and emotions, many too painful to go near. ”You think too much, Lord Anton. I'll always help those in need. And when you have the power to change the universe, you will always make it a better place. Don't worry, Lord Anton. I promise I will return and help your planet when I have that power.”

 Anton smiled again, this time with a hint of hopeful sadness. ”Well, Jimmy I hope that proves true for you, I don't think it would be the same for most of us. I'll send Lt. Farr and his squad to help you find your object, and I suppose we'll see if you can make change or if power will simply change you."

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

New Words for a New Story

I wondered and wondered about what to post here. Critiques on my current completed manuscript have been plenty and although, there is nothing like enough critiques, I am satisfied where it stands for now.

The WiP I am concentrating on currently is a High Fantasy spanning three continents. And the words I post below are the first ever written for it. Critique it definitely, but do let me know if it engages you.

“How did you make it here in two days? Did you run through daylight?” 

The boy looked confused. “No sire, just the night as usual.”

“Then you must be the fastest runner in the whole of Nordan,” said the noble rising from his chair. “A round of applause for this young lad, please.  And bring him a purse of gold.”

The boy looked as befuddled as he had been when all the court stood up for him and clapped, when he was given a purse full of seven gold pieces.

“Sire, do you wish to deliver this payment to Lord Melvin?”

“Heavens, no! It’s for you. What is your name?”

“Thom, sire.”

“Be off, young Thom. May your fleet feet aid you forever.”

Thom bowed and retreated from the hall, clutching the purse of gold. He was used to earning the crooked tin petals. With this, he could free his house and buy his father’s freedom twice over.

He waited patiently while he was escorted outside the keep’s gates. Then, he took off. He did not know how he had covered a hundred and seventy leagues in two days. But he knew, he wanted to make it back faster.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Juicy Shockers #4

This is actually part of the Buccaneer Blogfest but we have decided to keep our pirate hats off for this one and return to our normal crazy routine for this author interview. 

Today we have the gorgeous Devin Berglund, who lives in the sunny land of Australia. She has a penchant for multi-tasking and being good at everything. A small non-exclusive list is writing, editing and photography. Sheesh, and we mortals have to pass our lives trying to be good at one tiny thing.

You can follow her blog at, at Twitter and Facebook. She has a number of WiPs at the moment all listed here.

Oh and before we forget, the unbelievable Clare Dugmore has interviewed us and survived! We tried dialing down the crazy but it’s impossible. Read the sane questions and insane answers here.

And now on to our today’s guest. As usual Pineapple is Brighton and Lightning is Utsav and DivineDevin is well...DivineDevin.

Pineapple: Australia....mmmm. Both Utsav and I love the thought of Australia. So how does Down Under bring your writing Up Above?

DivineDevin: Well I am from Minnesota and I actually came to Australia in 2010 to study abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast on the Sunshine Coast. While there I ended up meeting Johan and we started dating. But of course after studying abroad for a semester I had to go home to Minnesota to finish my studies. Then in 2011 I graduated at Minnesota State University of Moorhead with a degree in English/Mass Communications and a certificate in Publishing. After graduating I decided to take a year in Australia and work and write there while my boyfriend is in University. I like Australia a lot! It's been a great adventure and everyday I find new things that add to inspiration for stories. I'd have to say being surrounded by different people, places, cultures, and history can really make you see things differently! So, I think that being down under has helped me see people at a different level and when dealing with all sorts of people you have a chance to have different inspiration for stories.

Lightning: You were also in the UK in 2010. I know I got a kick out of seeing the famous Harry Potter Cafe. Tell us more about the British Literary Tour.

DivineDevin: Yes! I find that I really enjoy visiting places of literary significance where famous writers grew up and lived. I went on the British Literary tour for a class with other English Writing students! I had an amazing inspiring time on this trip! It inspired me so much when I got to see where the Beatles wrote and where Shakespeare grew up. I also really enjoyed experiencing the history and the oldness of the country. As a writer, traveling really helps by giving you a 'scope for imagination' as Anne of Green Gables said.

Pineapple: The road to getting published is arduous and bumpy. We’ve lost a lot of hair and teeth already. Okay, maybe not teeth. What options are you considering when you finish?

DivineDevin: I am going to start by searching for agents and sending queries in to them. Besides that, I will just keep writing and sending work in. I will keep persevering! :)

Lightning: You should see the amount of baked stuff Brighton puts in his novel. It’ll make the readers hungry. Any hobbies which filter into your writing and how you manage to keep them in a sane proportion?

DivineDevin: I really enjoy nature and details. So I would say that is something that is very important in my writing! If my character is at the ocean walking on the sandy beach, I want my readers to be there and feel the sand under their feet and the salt on their skin.

Pineapple: What is the New Branch of the Journey? How did that come about?

DivineDevin: The New Branch of the Journey is a literary arts book that I designed/compiled/and edited with an Indie book publishing company that I started. It started out as a big project for one of my university classes. It was really a great experience to see how a publishing company works and also how much goes into putting a book together! The New Branch of the Journey is a compilation of writing, drawing, and photography focused on the theme of "adventures and journeys in life"!

Lightning: You are writing a novel with your boyfriend. I know if I wrote one with my girlfriend, she would rap my knuckles for every typo I made. (And I claim to be the perfectionist.) How easy or hard is it co-authoring? 

DivineDevin: So far being a co-author has been pretty good because we have different characters that we write their perspective. I have found though that I am the type of writer who writes and writes and then edits after I'm done writing and he is the type that edits as he goes. 

Lightning: Quite a few WiPs you have on at the same time. And we couldn’t help but notice they have a Godly theme in common. How does that flow and how do you plan to bewitch atheists to read your books? Not us, we will buy them because we are interviewing you.

DivineDevin: Yes, I have a list of WIPs although I am currently only really working one at the moment. Its working title is The Created Ones. I write fantasy/paranormal fictional novels. One thing I really enjoy is writing in metaphor. My stories are more so adventures where the characters are thrown into unlikely but exciting adventures where they must bring light out of the dark!  I believe that everyone can relate to good overcoming bad and light conquering evil! :)

Pineapple: The usual number 8. Who would you cast as your lead characters and why?

DivineDevin: Ahh.. I love this question! Actually, one of my main characters Rider would be played by Jim Sturgis because he looks just like the character in my mind. Rider is a mysterious character who is thrown into the adventure because his village is burnt to the ground by rebels. That is where he sets out on the adventure. Another of my characters named Brimey would be perfectly played by my sister. The character was actually kind of created from my sister's personality.

Lightning: So much experience in the world of publishing and literary magazines already.  We need to know what you learnt from that experience. <Tries reading Devin’s mind>.

DivineDevin: One thing that I've found to be so true is that to be a writer you must write. And if you dream to be a writer - write. I am the type of person who loves reading books on how to be a writer and blogs with tips and ideas but in the end that doesn't help get the daily word count in. The only way to get your word count in is to write. 

That’s it for this week’s interview. Do hop by the other blogs for some fantastic interviews with other authors by other awesome authors. 

Thank you for staying for another edition of Juicy Shockers.

Signing off,
Pineapple and Lightning.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

We sail on rum!

Welcome aboard the Pineapple Lightning Galley.

So today the Capt’uns have assigned us to write another blog post. And today the theme is ‘Why did ya blooming cockroaches rough up this blaaawg?’

We scratched our heads, sniffed our hats and shot the monkey. No answer! Then we peeled some taters, washed the decks and swung on some ropes. Nope, still no answer. Then we stole some rum from the Capt’uns’ personal stock....hick...don’t tell them. And we have our answer!
Because we are the authors sailing the charted and sailed waters of publishing. And we are trying to net one shark each, an agent as some dare call them! And we hope that these sharks will lead us to remote islands, possibly with treasure chests filled with ... well, let’s just call them publishers, eh?

Besides this selfish goal of populating the world with our mindless drivel written down in neat little scrolls and then thrown away in bottles, we also had...hic...a smaller unselfish motive- Spread the anarchy!

You shee...we mean not the big body of water you baboons, see as in look! Sheesh, we drink the rum and you guys are drunk...hic. Too many blogs try to better the writer by providing them helpful advice, interview authors and agents with ramblings on their path to success. In short, they help us pirates so much, that we become honest sailors fishing for agents with a lure of a well written book.

Scuttle-fish we say! Where is the fun in taming the seas? The agents become weary of polished query letters and manuscripts. Nay, we must sow some chaos. We add fun and craziness in an all new drink. It’s better than rum. Wait, nothings better than rum!

Anyways, we intend to enlighten you fellow pirates by means of this blaaawg. To the perils of drudgery of editing and revising and the haunted paths of the successful publishing by taking you to the other side of the world where we examine the fun side of books and authors. No more mindless hacking of the poor adverbs and more of telling than showing!

What say you, mateys?

P.S.- If any of you tried making sense of the above, we’d suggest reading it after drinking the rum below.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Pirates Ahoy!

Rarrrr!! This week we abandon our usual schedule and dive into an awesome blog-hop. It’s appropriately named Buccaneer Blogfest hosted by the mighty Capt’uns Sharon Bayliss and Court Young. You can sign up too. And you should or we will make you walk the plank.

This week we are supposed to introduce ourselves. Seeing that we already did that less than a month back (and due to the fact we are massively lazy), please read up our first post. Our current works are up at Pineapple Works and Lightning Works.

Our following links are all up and around on the blog and sadly, not hidden by any magical mists (We are trying hard but online mists are terribly difficult to maintain).

This short blog post is courtesy a busy weekend for both Pineapple (it was his birthday) and Lightning (his girlfriend came to visit after three months). We promise to come back with a big bang (stars, planets and black holes et al.) very soon. We will be hopping over to all the wonderful blogs on the right side panel, so do keep a weather eye out for our crazy comments.

Till then, keep pondering this mind-boggling ever-pertinent question. Why is the rum always gone?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Juicy Shockers #3

And this week we have our first male author. Is it just us or are we becoming rare? Female authors left, right and centre. Oh and most agents! Talk about female power. They truly are leading the world these days.
Anyways back to our esteemed guest – J. Joseph Wright. Smart and floral print wearing. Brighton is jealous. Well, so is Utsav – he’s just too shy to admit it.

His latest book Tribe of the Teddy Bear has just come out. Who knew Teddy Bears have tribes? And supernatural abilities to boot! We wish we had those when we were young. Aimed at the MG audience, we are sure no age group is safe from the enchantment of the teddies.

You can follow JJ @windwhisperwood and on Tumblr at Also follow his blog at  Plus there is a Facebook page on the Tribe of the Teddy Bear at

Now on to the questions! As usual Pineapple is Brighton and Lightning is Utsav and JJtheRockstar is well... JJtheRockstar.

Lightning: Twenty years of videography. How similar or different does it feel than writing? And does your experience influence your writing?

JJtheRockstar: Yep. Twenty years. Videography is much the same as writing. In fact there's a lot of writing involved--scripts and storyboards. They're both highly right-brained activities and a lot of the time, they can be very solitary activities. Video lets you work with more people--casts and crews and other production types--but can get lonely during long editing sessions. They both involve hours and hours staring at a screen.

Lightning: Writing is the best profession. We can vouch for that, although I want to be an astronaut and Brighton wants to be a benevolent Hitler. Since when have you been writing?

JJtheRockstar: At first I wanted to be a rock and roll star. It was the mid-seventies and rock had just vanquished disco. I was in first grade. Old Mrs. Putnam asked us to write a story and draw a picture, explaining what we wanted to be when we grew up. While the other kids drew policemen and nurses, I drew myself standing on stage in front of a packed house, crooning like no tomorrow. I guess that might tell you a little something about my oversized ego?

Pineapple: Tribe of the Teddy Bear isn’t your first book. We saw a novelette named Fugue. From horror to fantasy- what are the differences you faced writing them?

JJtheRockstar: Writing Tribe of the Teddy Bear wasn't a huge departure from horror, really. It has some of the same pacing as I use in horror in places, and the bad guy, Davos Mann, is very scary. He gives Medusa a run for her money.

Pineapple: Tell us something in the Tribe of the Teddy Bear where you have inserted a mad bit of yourself. We know you have!

JJtheRockstar: The whole book is a mad part of myself! But if I had to pick the maddest, it would be Pud. He's one of the teddy bear creatures I call Tanakee. He's the scruffiest and strangest-looking of the bunch. Pud just loves to be happy, a total hedonist, has no inhibitions, and eats anything he can get his hands on.

Lightning: Your wife Krystle is the illustrator of the Tribe of the Teddy Bear. How awesome is that! Does she help with the writing as well? Or do you guys intend to swap roles when she writes?

JJtheRockstar: It's amazing to work with my wife. Many married couples cannot stand being together so much, but we love it. Office romance is definitely smiled upon! She does help with writing in so far as she offers suggestions and proofreads, but she's not a writer.

Pineapple: How did you decide on what publishing route to take? It’s the eternal question of the spotless mind, we mean, an author’s mind.

JJtheRockstar: I think I got back into writing at the best time, now that we have a means as writers to connect directly with readers. I've read about so many horror stories where writers have been mistreated by the industry in the past. For me it was a no-brainer to be Indie. I control my titles, my brand. It's a great time to be a writer!

Lightning: How goes the propagation of the Tribe of the Teddy Bear? Are you getting special teddies ordered in the gift shops? I am sure people would want them.

JJtheRockstar: You guys are reading our minds with this one!! That's the ultimate plan. In our grand, delusional scheme (refer to my answer to the second question) we envision the Tribe of the Teddy Bear series will become movies, and from there every kid, and kid at heart, in the world will want one (or all) of the Tanakee dolls. Is that too much to ask?

Pineapple: Our weekly permanent question. Who would you cast as your lead characters and why? Given your MC’s are kids, maybe cast their parents?

JJtheRockstar: It's funny, because we all do this, don't we? Who would play our characters in the movie? Interesting you mention casting the parents, because both Jack's (MC) mom and dad play pretty big roles. Anyway, we like the idea of casting unknown actors, with only a few actors having actual Hollywood resumes. That seems to be the formula for success with this type of story made into movie.

Lightning: Any pearls of wisdom for us budding writers? Some inside secrets would be better though!

JJtheRockstar: Really, since my success can be carried in a thimble right now, I can't be too pretentious about doling out advice. All I can tell people is the same thing I cling onto, and that's to never give up. I've gotten a lot of comfort from learning writers like Stephen King and even JK Rowling had to put up with a ton of rejection before they actually tasted success. And non-writers. Henry Ford filed for bankruptcy seven times before his car company became profitable. You gotta be dogged. You gotta be stubborn. You gotta write--everyday.

Do buy The Tribe of Teddy Bear at There is a free sample available which we are sure is enough to hook the millions.

So, that concludes the interview. We wish JJ all the luck with this and all other books and may the Tanakees take over the gift shops!

Signing off,
Pineapple and Lightning.