Artwork Finished on ‘The Heart Which Makes Us’

I am extremely happy to report that after keeping him trapped on a hellish island, much like Oliver Queen, that Aaron Moran, artist on ‘The Heart Which Makes Us’ has been allowed to take his first breath as a free man.

The reason for Aaron’s freedom is that he has finished all 102 pages of art on our first Unseen Shadows graphic novel. Aaron has exceeded my expectations and blown me away not only with his work ethic but his artwork which speaks for itself. This, along with, Lizzie Boyle’s stellar script has made for a great combo.

For those who loved Kathryn in the novel, you will not be disappointed.

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Now the story is in the capable hands of Paul Mclaren to put the words on the comic page.

You will be able to judge for yourself when’The Heart Which Makes Us’ is released later this year.

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The Lament of Lady Mary is Complete

I am currently working hard trying to get Forgotten Warriors, the elusive sequel to Fallen Heroes, finished  before we are all driving around in flying cars. However one thing I can say that is finished is ‘The Lament of Lady Mary’ which is the comic written by Pete Rogers with art and lettering by Conor Boyle. I’m very proud of the work the guys have done on this story, which focuses on Lady Mary Cademus, who is the mother of Sir Oliver Cademus. Fans of the novel will know that it was Sir Oliver who founded the Book of Cademus.

The comic will join ‘The Knights of Cademus‘  a story by Virgil Yendell and James Evans which, once the other stories, are complete will become the third Unseen Shadows anthology comic

Although we’ve not added the titles onto it here is a first look at the cover. Look out for a five page preview coming soon.

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Behind the Shadows – Lady Mary in the Shadows

With work on the one shot ‘The Lament of Lady Mary’ nearly complete writer Pete Roger looks back on his involvement with the project.  Over to Pete…

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Having read and loved the first novel, Fallen Heroes, I was honoured to become part of the wider creative team that Barry assembled. My first contribution to Unseen Shadows was a one shot called Fragments of Fate, centering on occult expert and adventurer Professor Napoleon Stone.

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Napoleon Stone

When I was asked which other character I’d like to focus on for my next story, I knew it had to be cult leader Sir Oliver Cademus.

A knight of the first crusade and founder of the Book of Cademus, a cult it is said that continues to exert its influence today, long after Oliver’s supposed death. His return has been prophesied for several centuries by his followers.

The story I came up with was entitled The Lament of Lady Mary, and it focuses on Oliver’s relationship with his parents and in particular his Mother, the Mary of the title.  Working on this one-shot meant I was able to read sections of the as yet unpublished second novel Forgotten Warriors, and it also meant I had the chance to work with artist Conor Boyle, who I’d been wanting to collaborate with since I first saw his work.  It also meant I got to write a period piece, with the story being set around the time of the first crusade, which scratched a major writerly itch for me.  I did lots of online research into the period, watched plenty of Game of Thrones episodes, sat in Cardiff Castle grounds making notes and listened to the Kingdom of Heaven and Robin of Sherwood soundtracks as I pulled the story together.

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Cardiff Castle

I worked very closely with Barry, who edited the story, and it was great to be working with the person who created the characters and universe I was playing with, a bit like writing Spider-Man under Stan Lee’s watchful eye. Barry pushed me to ditch my initial quite obvious idea that skirted around some of the plot points raised in Fallen Heroes, giving me the confidence to dig deeper to find a more personal, and far more potent narrative that felt like an integral part of the Cademus legend.  I proof read a PDF of the one-shot earlier this week, and I’m extremely proud of the story, it’s quite possibly the happiest I’ve ever been with my own writing.  I feel I got the balance right here, offering a first time reader an interesting story, while also having  the potential to have a real impact on someone who is already firmly immersed  in the world that Barry and the other associated creators have developed.  I can’t wait for it to be released, so people can see a different side of my writing and feast their eyes on Conor’s truly stellar work.

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Cy Dethan Finishes Script for ‘Whatever the Cost’

I’m pleased to announce that Cy Dethan, who has already penned four comic scripts for Unseen Shadows, has not only agreed to tackle a fifth but the script is already complete.

‘Whatever the Cost’ is a story centred around Luther Washington, who is an agent of T.O.R.C.H. Luther will be no stranger to those who have read the novel as he is one of the major players in the story. In Cy’s script we see Luther on a mission which goes somewhat awry and forces him to take a long hard look at the choices he has made.

Nic Wilkinson, Cy’s partner in crime will be handling the lettering duties and Sara Westrop will be over seeing the project as its editor. We are however still looking for an artist and colourist for the project. If you’re interested in getting involved then please check the submission pages for further details.

 

 

Behind the Shadows: The Crusader and the Soldier

So here we are again with another peek behind the shadowy curtain of the our little transmedia project. This week Richmond Clements, writer of the Unseen Shadows comics Historia and Operation Solomon talks about the two lead characters from those stories – Steph Connisbee and Kathryn Monroe.

Over to you Richmond.

As I have written for both Steph Connisbee and Kathryn Monroe (with a little Victoria Sullivan thrown in), Barry has asked me to write a bit about them.

When I first came on board and was reading the novel and looking for a character to pitch for Kathryn and Steph were two who stood out for me. .

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Kathryn Monroe

Kathryn’s nightmares were inspired by the real terrors of her former work; murder, rape, mutilation, they were not just headlines in the morning paper. Each headline brought with it past images that were burned into her subconscious.  The faces of those she could not save.  Kathryn saw them all, felt their pain, their frustration. Why? Why them? Each time the answer was different. A different craving that could only be satisfied with blood.  – Fallen Heroes

I loved Kathryn’s entire attitude to life. The constant, vague level of disappointment she feels about humanity is something I can appreciate. But she also has a streak of hope in there that we can do better.  And her willingness to do what is right, and not just what the law demands is something a writer can enjoy playing with.

Kathryn  works as an investigator for a special section of the United Nations called T.O.R.C.H (Tactical, Operational Response and Control Headquarters ).  Her greatest tools are her intelligence and her imagination. The way she sees a crime scene is something her colleagues cannot fully comprehend but neither can they argue with the results from her work.  Kathryn has a quick mind, and a barbed tongue to match, and god help anyone who gets on the wrong side of either of them.

Whenever I went to the pub with my old karate teacher he would always sit so he could see all the exits, never allowed friends or students to come up behind him. In any given situation he was the most prepared and most dangerous person in the room (even though he never looked it) and that is how I see Kathryn. I think readers of Fallen Heroes saw about twenty percent of what Kathryn is capable of  but in the next novel you will see just how dangerous she really is. – Barry Nugent

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The Soldier

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Steph Connisbee

“I’m still not happy about this.”

Ben remembered the last time he had seen Steph unhappy. It was six months ago. She had broken her ex-boyfriend’s arm in three places after he had made the mistake of stealing from her. – Fallen Heroes

On my first read of Fallen Heroes, it was Steph who really made an impact. Strong physically and mentally and also very funny, brave, loyal and capable. And apart from that, she had a big hole in her back story that I was able to exploit for Operation Solomon! When we first meet her in the book, Steph is working as a criminal, but her life before (and indeed, what comes next) is equally exciting.

Steph used to be a pilot in the US Navy. She flew her helicopter on deadly night missions in some of the deadliest warzones in the world. She has coaxed it into manoeuvres that almost defy physics, and are well beyond courageous. She is not just a good pilot, she is a great one. Her skill and innate, instinctive ability are without question.

Steph is my Chewbecca…loyal to a fault but will rip your arms out of your sockets if you cross her. She is one of the most moral of all the characters in the book, despite her criminal profession. Hopefully readers who enjoyed her in Fallen heroes will enjoy her even more in Forgotten Warriors as she very much takes the centre stage when it comes to the plot. – Barry Nugent

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You’ll notice when I listed the strengths/ character traits of both Kathryn and Steph ‘female’ is not among them. While it is very important  that they are both highly capable female characters who work in the male dominated areas of law enforcement and the military, being female is not their character. It does not define them.

Barry knew this – he wrote people, not just men and women. It seems like a simple and obvious thing to say, but it really isn’t. Far too many writers seem to think being male or female is a character trait (Gone Girl, I’m looking at you). But people are first and foremost just people.

And Kathryn and Steph are two of the coolest people I know.