June 2019 – Roderick Donald

Archive Monthly Archives: June 2019

What you can you expect from me moving into 2020

In Cait’s latest adventure, being written as I write this blog, she finds herself almost out of her depth when she hesitantly teams up once again with fractured ex-SAS operative, Tony ‘Ice’ O’Donnell. The two of them find themselves on a roller coaster ride as they pursue a highly organized, secretive and inter-connected criminal organization that has tentacles that stretch not only around the world, but into our daily lives. These dangerous, corrupt and cold-blooded criminals operate at the highest level under a guise of respectability and altruism. They control and manipulate world events and have the power and influence to bring down nations and destroy public figures.

Cait finds herself recruited by the top secret and covert Australian law enforcement agency, ASIO. She enters the world of spooks and spies, terrorism and international crime syndication as an undercover operative. Cait is like a satellite orbiting around a difficult and convoluted international scenario, without any official sanctioned power to engage, but at the same time front and center to everything that is going on around her.

Assassination, kidnapping, blatant disregard for international law or national boundaries, arms dealing, people smuggling, billions of illegal dollars lining the accounts of those who don’t need the money, but will do everything possible to make it . . . this is the world that Cait and Ice find themselves thrown into.

Cait finds herself wandering through a dangerous and sinister dark underworld. She has Ice’s back, but does he have hers?

And I’m about to bring all this together in book #4 in the gripping femme fatale series. With luck you will be able to read about Cait’s exciting adventures sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

And, apart from finishing the next book, what else is on the horizon?

Well, heaps actually.

I made a list of my goals for the next 12-months and right up the top was the USA Today Best Seller list. With your help, we need to get my books up there! It’s a dream, but it’s possible, and will keep me writing. But the kicker here are the words “with your help”.  So if Cait’s adventures excite you, keep reading, and most importantly please, please, add a review on Amazon. Just a few words is fine. Reviews really help push a book up the rankings with lightning speed.

And just to keep the books flowing, I also have an idea for a stand-alone espionage thriller that is running around inside my head. Somehow I hope I’ll find the time to start penning this novel as well. I’m currently searching around for a title. Once I have crystallised the story I may reach out to you guys for some suggestions.

But first I have to be able to shelve my day job working contract as a pen for hire in cyber security and counter terrorism to free me up enough to write full time. And guess what? You can help me do this by purchasing all the books in the Cait Lennox: femme fatale series and spreading the word, and then writing a review for each book. Then I can keep the books flowing, and you can keep reading about Cait and her cohorts.

BTW, to stay in touch with what’s going on check into my website every now if the mood takes you, or you may find a new post on Facebook if you go there. Additionally, make sure you’re a member of Team Cait and you’ll receive a personal update from me from time to time, plus I’ll send you other snippets from my writing life, and maybe even a competition or a give-away to keep you interested.

Who knows, there will even be the occasional signed hard copy edition on one of my books that may come your way, so if you haven’t yet done so, why don’t you join my list to be in the running? So you might say that it will be a busy year! I hope you’re as excited as I am. Strap yourself in and get your ticket to adventure by joining my list now.

How long ago? That’s impossible!

Following on from my last blog, I’m back to that dust covered box of tricks that I discovered hidden in a corner of my garage. You know, that box of whatever that keeps being pushed to the back as more “I just may need that again at some time in the future” stuff keeps being stacked on top of it or in front of it.

Or both.

It seems the longer keepsakes are stored the more we forget about them, and the more irrelevant and useless they become.

Well, that’s what usually happens. Except this time I opened up a Pandora’s box and a whole bunch of “I vaguely remember that” goodies miraculously appeared, like long-lost friends from another time. So not only did I find the yellowing pages of my first not-so-interesting ventures into creative writing that I’ve already talked about in another blog, that had an age stamp that had to be at least twenty years ago, but I also stumbled across my equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Except they weren’t etched in stone or recorded on crumbling papyrus. Nope, they were written in a diary that had a gold date stamp on the front of a dark blue cover that took me back to when I was thirteen!

Now that’s prehistoric. Certainly it was way back in the last century. And did it make me feel my current years? Yep, it was like a voice from the past that suddenly was front and center in my consciousness. My mind was dragged back through too many decades to mention here, but rest assured it was pre-computers. Rather, it was a time when the hand written word was king, and the typed word was done on a manual typewriter. Printers had yet to be invented!

So what, you may say. Get with the twenty first century!

Yes, I totally agree. But inside the pages of this museum piece were tomes of wisdom from a thirteen-year-old. It was my first venture into writing. A hidden diary recording what was then life in the pre-adolescent fast lane. And it certainly made riveting reading. LOL. Such entries as “today I conned onto a girl called Melice” and “I did judo, sailing and all that stuff today” dominated the pages.

I was actually travelling overseas for eight months with my parents for some of the time when I compiled my daily record of event around me. And no, I didn’t skip school; rather, I completed a correspondence distant learning year whilst my parents travelled the world as ship’s doctors on a cargo trader. So I had plenty of stimulus to fire my imagination, and lots of out of the way foreign ports to write about.

My diary – 13 years old! Ugggh.

But it seems all I could come up with was “it was raining all day and the sky was overcast.” Not all that creative, eh? In fact, I’ve included a copy of one of the pages.

Boy, maybe I should have this published.

NOT!!!

So it seems that I can actually say I have been putting pen to paper since I was thirteen. It’s just that at that tender age I couldn’t write, and then there was a bit of a hiatus in the middle whilst I was married, had kids, settled into suburbia . . . and basically got on with life.

And travelled. Then my wife and I travelled some more. The wanderlust was in our blood.

In fact, as at today I have travelled to, lived in and worked in 67 countries around the world, and I’m still adding more places to the list. There’s always somewhere to visit, another experience to live, and a waiting plane to catch to some destination that draws me in like a magnet.

And another book to write!

You’ll quickly see this in the Cait Lennox: femme fatale series. She’s always off on another adventure to a world hot spot, where more often than not I’ve actually been to and experienced, so there’s a realism there that simply can’t be achieved by Googling the destination. I hope that I take you there and you live the moment like you’re a bystander looking in.

So if you, my loyal audience keep reading my books, I’ll keep travelling to far flung destinations to research where Cait ends up around the world, and then drop her in the deep end and make her fight her way out.

Why Cait, and not a different lead character?

This is probably the most common question I am asked, after of course, “where do you get the inspiration from to come up with all those out-there storylines.”

Well, if truth be known, Cait is very loosely based on my daughter—and I emphasize the word “loosely”!!! I initially wrote The Awakening after several half-finished novels that I had been toying with about twenty years ago. I actually came across the first draft of several of these manuscripts when I was tidying up those usual piles of boxes that we all seem to end up with that are shoved in the corner of our garages, or in our attics or basements, gathering dust. You know the ones—we say to ourselves that we can’t really throw the contents out, however just in case . . . and then we never look inside them again.

Except this time I did.

And there was Cait—a.k.a. my daughter—yelling at me from the yellowing pages of one of the manuscripts. I started reading then and there, page after fading page until I finished what I had written. From memory it was about fifty or sixty pages, then the story finished as abruptly as it started. I was left sitting on a precipice, with the beginnings of story in hand, but not much more. In fact, it was so long ago that the manuscript had been printed on a dot matrix printer.

Remember them? The ones with the whirring bar that used to run noisily back and forth, spitting ink onto paper that had tear off perforated edges? Assuming your memory goes back that far. Almost to the dinosaur age.

Anyway, the story was crap! But Cait was there, calling me, so I threw her a lifeline and dragged her to safety, dusting her off and sat her avatar on the shelf until I could figure out what to do with her.

Move forward another ten years, and Cait was still sitting on that virtual shelf, waiting for her ten minutes of fame. Not may daughter, mind you. Her avatar. My daughter had moved on and by now had a psychology degree (now maybe the penny drops for you; see the resemblance?), and was studying for a Master of Nursing Science, as a life at the cutting edge of medicine was now calling her.

See the resemblance once again?

But that was only part of the story. I now had a lead character, but then I had to figure out what to do with her, or she would continue to gather more dust as she waited in the wings for her time in the sun. What I had previously written was, between you and I, not all that good. Certainly not good enough to launch Cait onto the world stage, so her persona had to be put on hold until a story that was big enough for her gelled in my head.

By then I was travelling constantly offshore for my work as a pen for hire—a Technical Writer—flying up to 15,500 kilometers per fortnight on a two week on, two week off shift. I became very friendly with those lovely airline attendants who greet you at the door of whatever lounge I was spending time in waiting for my next plane: “Hello Mr Donald, it’s nice to see you again.” Then the barman would ask, “Would you like the usual?”

Really, travel is great when you’re on holidays, but when you do it as part of your job it becomes just so b-o-r-i-n-g!!!

Now what has this got to do with Cait you may well ask? Just get on with it .

Well, having so much time on my hands waiting for planes and sitting alone at night in yet another basic room for weeks on end, I started to hear a call from that heroine-to-be who was still on the shelf at home in Melbourne.

“Let me loose! I’ve got a story I need to be part of,” she screamed to me at the top of her voice. It was so loud that I could hear her four thousand kilometers away.

So I listened. And I wrote. Then I wrote some more. Then suddenly a story was gushing forth from my head with such force and power that I was finding it difficult to get it all down. But I did, and in my spare time I wrote the first draft of The Awakening. Except it wasn’t called that then; the story was titled With the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wing.

You may recognize the title. Those very words are in the second last paragraph of The Awakening today.

But wait, there’s more. Cait was just a minor character in the first draft, and the story was way too slow, so I rewrote it.

Twice.

And that’s when Cait was offered the lead role. But she had to earn her stripes first, so she didn’t take prominence until book number two, The Mind Controller. And then at last she finally became the lead actor in the play that was soon to launch her to stardom.

And the rest is history!

So, follow Cait in her adventures, because she ends up powerful and ruthless, with amazing paranormal Otherworld powers of insight and perception. And a few more talents that she discovers along the way.

Like she’s particularly good at killing those who cross her.

And that’s as much as I’m going to tell you about Cait’s role as a femme fatale. The rest of her story is in Cait Lennox: femme fatale series. It’s on Amazon.

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