Monday, May 22, 2017

The Magic of Sound

In my novel Occultus the practitioners of magic all access it's power in different ways and have varying abilities.  One group use the magic of sound to create.  I was fascinated by the use of harmonics and vibration to create sound as well as the use of various ancient instrument to perform magical ceremonies.

Cymatics is a subset of modal vibration phenomena.  This term was coined by Swiss man Hans Jenny.  Fascinatingly Jenny was a follower of anthroposophy which is a school of thought that believes in the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world that is accessible through direct experience.  The Chinese singing bowl is an example of cymatics.  The singing Bowl is used to promote well being and relaxation. 
(Photo from Google Images)

The Ocarina ( if you are a gamer like me you are likely familiar with the instrument via the Zelda saga) is an ancient instrument made most often of clay or bone.  It can be shaped in many forms including animals, humans and gods. The Ocarina is said to be used to speak to the gods, charm birds and animals.  It's magical sounds are said to have the ability to put humans in a trance. 
(Photo from Wikipedia) 

The Tanbur is a stringed wooden instrument with a body that resonates.  It's earliest uses were to heal the sick, create inner equilibrium and calm.  It was said a Tanbur could be used to cleanse spirits. 
(Photo from google images-Bloomington University) 

The Didgeridoo used by the indigenous Australians was believed to create a link between the Earth and its people through the sounds it emits. 
(Photo from Google Images)

The sound of the Gong is said to bring good luck and happiness while healing.  
(Photo from Google Images)

With the use of sound in various cultures it made sense that in Occultus there should be characters that use sound to manipulate, create and perform magic.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Penny Dreadfuls

As a fun little project I have decided to create a series of four Penny Dreadfuls centred around four character from one of my books, Elixir.  Please enjoy the series and perhaps have a look at Elixir which is available at the links below for 0.99c ! 

PS: if you would like a signed copy of one of the four Penny Dreadfuls they will be available for a limited time on the Lily Night or Seren Inspired websites :)

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a digital copy to read !  Feel free to share this post with family and friends. 

The Penny Dreadful, or, as it was originally called, the Penny Blood, was a nineteenth-century publishing sensation.  Originally printed on cheap paper, the books were released weekly, usually with eight pages but on occasion with sixteen.  The text was arranged within the booklet in double columns, and the cover always featured an elaborate black-and-white picture.  The illustrations created for the covers were used to advertise and to hook the reader. 

The Victorian era saw a rise in industrialisation and social changes that brought with them an increase in literacy.  Technological advances resulted in better, more efficient and widespread printing techniques, and the rise in transport methods created a faster means of circulation for printed matter.  The cheap price of the Penny Blood and Penny Dreadful allowed the working class to buy the publications.  Those who could not afford to purchase the serialised books regularly joined groups or rented the text from entrepreneurial people who bought a whole series. 

The first Penny Blood was released in around 1836, and was a tale centred on the notorious lives of the Highway Men.  Most often the stories were sensational, and regaled in tales of adventure, crime and the reprinting and rewriting of gothic tales.  The wide popularity of the Penny Bloods and Penny Dreadfuls helped increase widespread literacy.  I, personally, think that this creative synthesis of story and illustration, created for the masses, is very fascinating and should be treasured.

Elixir $ 0.99

"Blood from its earlier feast congealed in rivulets down its neck, caked around its mouth, the bloodied maw revealing sharp teeth as it tilted its face skyward, arms spread in triumph as the sun began to rise, heralding the dawn of a new era for its kind."

Also available on I-Tunes