Behind the mirror

Ashcombe man thy vanity keep thee
Till Love shines Beauty and in purity
Till shattered heart within pierce free
And with single breath, mirror pass’ed be

If you’ve read my book ‘Shattered’ you’ll recognise these words, and know how they fit into the ‘world’ of the story. When I wrote the story, I didn’t realise that I was writing a ‘world’. I thought world building was what sci-fi and pure fantasy authors did. I mean JRR Tolkin created maps and languages, histories and cultures. I had a girl show up in a ‘haunted’ manor.

A few months ago an internet friend showed interest in how I created the ‘mirror world’ in Shattered. I really, really had to think about it. After thinking about it, I shook my head and told myself that I hadn’t created a world. After all, the story is set in England. That’s not a ‘created world’. It exists. As I’ve mentioned before, past high school English, I don’t have an education in writing, so I’m not always aware of the exact ‘science’ of writing a story. However, the question kept going through my head.

So, to shake it off, I went on a research mission. I researched ‘world-building’ in writing.

There are many blogs, websites and tips/tools for world building. They teach similar things. I’m not going into a list of the things I learned about world building (although I’m planning another post for that), but I am going to mention the main ‘theme’ as it were, that I picked up from my research.

World building is basically ‘the rules and boundaries around the internal workings of the world’. And it doesn’t simply relate to ‘place’.

Like a stunned mullet, I came to realise that I had actually created a ‘world’. The world of the curse and the workings of Bastian’s reality within the mirrors. Now that I had a grasp of that, I had to go back and find how I had actually managed to implement the mirror world.

The curse

The curse only potentially affects men of the Ashcombe family line.

The curse is activated by a particular action. (No spoilers – go read the book 😛 )

The curse is set against one particular mirror, and traps its victims in a solitary world behind the mirrors of Ashcombe Manor.

The ‘one particular mirror’ cannot be smashed, broken or destroyed by ‘normal’ means.

The riddle of the curse is the creation of the curse and the clue on how to break it.

There is one more rule about the ‘particular mirror’, but it’s a huge spoiler. Um…ripples are involved.

Reflections Photo: Farmhouse by Andreas Resch (Used with permission)
Photo: Farmhouse by Andreas Resch (Used with permission)

“Reflections…like sunbeams into a room.”

The mirror world

The world is empty darkness.

There are no solid items.

The mirrors of Ashcombe Manor are like windows, allowing the victim to see into the ‘solid’ world.

Reflections enter the world like sunbeams into a room. This a ‘rule’ I consciously added. It was an image in my head that I couldn’t get rid of. Instead of light, translucent images of furniture and items ‘beaming’ into the world.

When an item is reflected into the mirror world, the victim can solidify it for his use.

Solidification requires concentration and if the victim loses concentration he loses the use of the item.

The victim doesn’t require sleep.

The victim doesn’t require food.

There is no hot or cold in the mirror world.

The victim doesn’t physically age.

No sound passes from the mirror world into the solid world.

Sounds from the solid world into the mirror world is distorted. All sounds are muffled while shrill sounds are amplified.

Between worlds

No one can fully and sustainability see the victim of the mirror world unless there is love between the two.  –> I have a confession to make. I may have bent this rule just a little bit. I needed to have Mattie see Bastian for the story to work. So in their case … unless there was the potential for love between them. (Hey, I’m the author. I’m allowed)

There is one more rule between worlds, but again…spoilers. Think – mirror-reversed writing.


Photo: Sign shop, 1985 from Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)
Photo: Sign shop, 1985 from Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)

“Once the rules are set into place…”

Although I did bend one rule slightly, the research I did, emphatically emphasised that even the author cannot BREAK the rules s/he has created for their worlds. Once the rules are set into place, they are fixed.

Since the world within ‘Shattered’ was organically created, as in without knowing I was creating a world or creating rules and boundaries for a ‘world’, I think I did a pretty good job at not breaking any of them. As to the ‘why’ of creating the rules as I did, to be honest, I don’t know. Other than…that was what made sense to me as I was writing.

Now that I know more about world building and what it actually is, I’m finding it a fun process. There’s a certain megalomaniac element in creating rules that the characters (and I) must follow. And I thank Susan Roberts for setting up the challenge for me to discover the hidden world within Shattered.

If there are any more ‘rules’ that you’ve found in ‘Shattered’ that I may have unwittingly created, and I haven’t mentioned above, please feel free to let me know.


Shattered by TP Hogan – Book Trailer

Shattered has a book trailer. I’m so excited about it.

Until I won the book trailer for Nova, I didn’t know book trailers existed. And to be honest, when I say the words ‘book trailer’ to anyone they give me the strangest look…and invariably ask,

“What is a book trailer?”

Well, a book trailer is like a movie trailer, but for a book. (It is not, as my husband suggests – the thing you hook to the back of your book as you go driving down the road !!! )

Didn’t you know they existed, either? Look it up in You-tube. Some of them are horrendous and some of them make you want to go right out and buy that book.

Apparently, Shattered’s book trailer makes people want to go out and buy the book – phew – as seen by this recent 5-star review by reader ‘AM’.

I had lost my reading mojo… But I seen the book trailer for this book and could not download it quick enough I read this book today I could not put it down, had me on the edge of my seat because I could not wait to see what happened. Love the characters Matilda & Bastian and thoroughly enjoyed the journey TP Hogan took me on.

Would you like to see the trailer?

Coffee – The Magic Bean

Photo: LePatisserie Coffee by Runge Creative (Used with permission)
Photo: LePatisserie Coffee by Runge Creative (Used with permission)


My superpower is that I turn coffee into stories.

It has to be my superpower. I don’t know how I do it otherwise. I have no secret ‘how-to’ list. I have no checklist I use. I don’t even have a handy genie in a bottle stashed away somewhere. (Though that would be cool.) Yet, soon I will have 4 books published.

I’m absolutely stunned. I sat down to take stock the other day. 4 books in 16 months. That’s an average of a book every 4 months. That’s impressive, even if it’s not quite true. When I published ‘Shattered’, I already had ‘Nova’ written, so I guess that’s a little bit like cheating. Although, writing 2 books in 16 months is still an amazing effort. It took me 9 years to get the first book published. So to have 4 books – I’m nearly overwhelmed.

The only thing in my background is high-school English and a love of reading.

Shattered was born from listening to a song. Jon English’s ‘Camilla’.  There’s a lyric that says ‘The man in the mirror says you’re my friend’, and I wondered what would happen if a woman looked into a mirror and saw a man’s reflection.

Nova came about because I wondered if the Greek ‘gods’ of legend were actually Nephilim, the offspring between Angels and Humans. That one thought gave rise to a series of 3 books and, as I have since found out, it’s not an original thought.

But then, there’s nothing new under the sun. Is there? There’s only the difference in the angle with which you choose to view it. Whatever it may be.

I love writing. Perhaps I have a hidden streak of megalomania. I love creating worlds and characters. Although, sometimes those characters misbehave. I can spend hours lost inside my own head, and periodically it becomes a compulsion to get the story out of my head. To get it down on paper.

I don’t know how I know how to do it. Perhaps, I am simply regurgitating what I’ve read in books. This is the sound of the sentence. This is the flow of the words. My grammar is atrocious and my comma use is all over the place. I can’t spell, but I can tell you when a word looks wrong. I have no letters behind my name. Or a degree in Literature or  Creative Writing.

I’m just a girl who loves to read.
Who loves her coffee.
Who has 42 unfinished stories on her computer…and 4 books with her name on the cover.

My superpower is that I turn coffee into stories.
What’s yours?


Little Bits of Shiny

Photo: IKO by alphaville (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Photo: IKO by alphaville (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I love to write. I love to tell people about my books (and stories). But as I am learning, if I want more than my friends and family to read my books, there is this thing called marketing (aka promotion) This…I do not love.

It’s full of concepts like:-

  • target your audience (this gives me an image of asking someone to stand still long enough to paint a bullseye on their back)
  • advertising (this to someone who makes a cuppa during the ads on TV)
  • selling yourself (reminds me of job interviews), and
  • getting your product ‘out there’ (kind of like – the truth is ‘out there’?).

I don’t have a marketing background. Or promotions. Or sales. The closest to ‘sales’ I ever got was talking to the sales guy at the radio station where I work. I did have a telemarketer job once, where I learned to read a script. Yeah, I lasted two weeks. Only job I’ve ever quit without another job to go to or because I was moving.

Sales. Marketing. Promotions.
Cold sweat.Read More »


Photo: Sparklers by Brittany Randolph. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Photo: Sparklers by Brittany Randolph. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


The Google found definition tells me that ‘resolution’ is a noun and means:-

A firm decision to do or not to do something.

Fair enough.

According to several websites and blogs (where the information came from originally – I have no idea. I tried to find it but had to give up after about 4 hours.) New Year’s resolutions began with the Babylonians, who apparently made promises to the gods in hopes they’d garner good favour in the coming year.

Now days, it’s a secular tradition which some people attempt every year, and others flatly refuse to attempt. At all. Ever. The tradition of making a decision on New Year’s Day to do or not do something. A resolution.

As 2014 came to a close, I realised I’d actually achieved mine. Mine was a carry over, I must admit, from 2013. But in 2013, I started and in 2014, I completed. I achieved. I did.Read More »

Shattered Blog Tour – Day 14

Day fourteen, the very last day of the Shattered Blog Tour


Wow, what an amazing ride. And it’s not quite over yet.

There are still some awesome blog hosts sharing Shattered today.

A Closet Full of Books

Ashleys Paranormal Book Blog

Words Turn Me On

Babycakes Book Blog

Be My Book Boyfriend

Cover to Cover Book Blog

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog


Disclaimer: All blog hosts have been accepted by Hot Tree Promotions and may not host’G’ rated sites.

Shattered Blog Tour – Day 13

Day thirteen. Unlucky for some…but not for Shattered.


I’ve got an awesome 4.5* review to share.

It’s from the Home is Where the Wine Is, Book Blog.

“Beautifully written with twists and turns throughout.  You will not be disappointed with this read!”

I know I’ve been talking a lot about Shattered (and I haven’t been the only one to do so on this blog tour) but I haven’t mentioned when to purchase a copy.

Very remiss of me. I’m sorry.

How can I tease you with Shattered like this and not tell you where to purchase?

Never fear…this is where you can obtain a copy of your very own.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
Barnes and Noble

There you go. Now you know.

Now I’d like to give you the blogs which are sharing Shattered today.

Real Talk Book Talk

Two Sassy Chicks

Books Need TLC

Mixed Emotions Book Blog


Disclaimer: All blog hosts have been accepted by Hot Tree Promotions and may not host’G’ rated sites.