22 Nov 2014

A guest post by Jean Shorney

Progeny of a Killer by Jean Shorney
Genre: Irish Political Thriller

Aidan McRaney is forced to confront a past he never knew existed
Undercover agent and assassin, Aidan McRaney is sent to infiltrate the lair of fellow Irishman, Daniel Corrigan, by his boss, wheelchair -bound Sir George Treveleyan. Only Corrigan and Treveleyan know of McRaney's secret past. Aidan has no idea of his mother's affair with wanted I.R.A man, Connor McMartland, who was also Corrigan's father. It is this which triggers a chain of unprecedented events.
Aidan's orders are to obtain proof that Corrigan is involved in paedophilia and white slave trafficking, before he delivers the final coup de grace. Corrigan's elimination.
But all things go awry when Corrigan asks Aidan to bring Treveleyan to him. His intention, to make an example for those executed in the 1916 Uprising. However much he loathes the idea, Aidan cannot possibly refuse Corrigan's request, when Aidan's 11 year old son is kidnapped,and held by an unscrupulous paedophile.Amazon

Art and inspiration.
Writing. Painting. Acting. Music. Our love of all things artistic successfully manages to inspire us.
For me, as a writer, all the above are ultimately conducive. Music sets my scenes, but the music has to be of a particular kind. The waltz themes of old country music does the business every time.
The singers are barely known outside of this world in which I lose myself. Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Marty Robbins and Kitty Wells are amongst the artists who inspire my work. From the moment I sit down to write the music draws me in and the words flow as fluently as a river.
The kind of creativity that punctuates certain scenes issue from my love of both classical music and country. While writing a particular scene, I often play the same song innumerable times in order to maintain the scene’s development. Certainly for love or sex scenes, the dreamy country waltzes do it every time. It is my music that prevents the dreaded writer's block from creeping in. From a blank page flows the music of my words so fast, I am no longer in this base world of normalcy, but in the lives of my creations. Sometimes the characters are so real, it’s as if I could reach out and touch them.
But it isn't simply music that inspires, and envelops, me, or from where I create my characters. After all, where do our characters come from? From real life? A photo in a catalogue perhaps? A certain bone structure. A model. Will she make a suitable heroine?
For my own inspiration, tho is the one I've often used in my books. In fact this has actually been remarked on.
There is the beautiful heroine, her hair flowing as pennants of molten lava to her waist. Or the black haired woman, whom I described in one of my books, has being in possession of striking green eyes, muddied with brownish flecks. In the novel I'm in the process of writing, our heroine, Freya, is described by her husband as Venus rising from the sea (from the painting by Apelles). Her luxuriant auburn hair is entwined and plaited, cascading to the alabaster purity of her unfettered breasts.
So who inspired the artists? Who were their muses? For Dante Gabriel Rossetti it was Miss Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal. Once a lowly hat-shop girl, she became the painter's muse, and later his wife. The woman who improved his art to such a degree, he was soon to become as famous as John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt, both members of the elite Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of mid-Victorian times. Other women came into Rossetti's life of course. They too became his inspirations for some rather wonderful paintings, such as Jane Burden, later to marry the poet and artist William Morris.
Art can be inspiring to the writer too. The Rossetti beauties often punctuate my stories, but art and life isn't all about beauty of course. The other, darker side, the ugliness of life is perhaps even more inspiring. I visited London recently, and the East End where the new happily unites with the old. We walked our own Jack the Ripper tour, which took us into those fascinating darker realms. The inspiration of ugliness was represented by a collection of murals on a dingy, dilapidated wall. A young woman, her features concealed by a black cloth, or wrapped in tape, I had yet to decide. The tape or cloth was pulled so tightly across her face, it barely left a small section of flesh exposed. For me the inspiration fuelled by the mural was so intense that I planned to use it my book.
In fact, for most readers, the inspiration evoked by the ugliness of life is the stuff we can't get enough of.
If anyone has seen the amazing ‘DeviantArt’, what wonderful book covers this particular art form would make. The horror scenes are particularly provocative. While writing this article, I have been browsing this amazing art. So many stories emerging. Beauty and Ugliness merging together in a kind of cataclysmic plethora of wonder.
There is inspiration all around us. All we have to do is not merely to open our eyes, but our minds also.
As a fan of the Old West, I'm inspired by the captivating art of my favourite painter of those times, Charles Russell. Russell depicted everything that encompassed the Old West, from outlaws holding up a stage to the fierce gun battles with Native Americans.
In art as in life there is both a mixture of beauty and ugliness. Each one an inspiration in their own way. A picture paints a thousand words. A picture can also be transformed into a thousand words.

About Jean
I live in Thatcham in Berkshire, and work part time in a local care home. I spend the rest of my day writing, and have published five books online. The inspiration for my novels comes largely from the movies I watch, and from writers such as Jack Higgins and Gerald Seymour. I love all things Irish. I listen to old country and Irish country music while I write. Also old Methodist hymns. The music is conducive to scene setting, in which I often lose myself.
The novel 'Progeny of a Killer' was actually inspired by the movie 'The Ressurection Man' starring Stuart Townsend,whom I envisage would play Corrigan perfectly, with Aidan Turner as Aidan McRaney. I also love to read Elliott o'Donnell, M.R. James and H.P Lovecraft.
I'm currently working on two other novels featuring Aidan McRaney. 'Dangerous to Know.'
and 'Power to Kill.'
Jean's website

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