Free on Kindle 19th-21 January 2023
A Peace Series Novella
Behind The Scenes
Free on Kindle 19th-21 January 2023
A Peace Series Novella
Behind The Scenes
19th January has a special place in my diary, on calendar. It is the date whereby Devan Coultrie was released into the universe in Retreating to Peace: A Peace Series Novella.
My second piece of non-fiction, but my first foray into the world of writing romance. There was a bit of romance in Fragments, but not a great deal.
I joined the Peace Novella Series group. Our task was to write stories based upon the fictional town of Peace, Montana. The town, a brain child of fellow author S.H. Pratt. The idea of romance appealed. Especially having written Fragments. I felt as though I had something left in the tank; I fancied writing something different. There were rules, a contract; not a problem. A novella, sweet, fade to black etc. All sensible stuff.
I inked up my fountains pens, I cobbled together a plan. I was literally making it up as I went along.
Who was this fella? Devan Raaj Coultrie, a former hedge fund manager who was born and raised in Rugby, Warwickhire. He was heart broken, a bit of a rebel and wanted to start again.
On the other side of the universe. He would be the centre of his 100 acres in Peace; he was going to a big hitter and perhaps wear a tux. There’d be a bit of South Asian Culture in there. No way, no how. Was this fella going to hit all the boxes on a Romance Writers trope bingo card.
He wasn’t going to be the average male romance book character.
And man alive. I read a few by of preparation. I worked my way through a fair few Mills and Boon’s. I looked at the data. There were very few male characters of South Asian origin. Many were feckless playboys, who were fly-by-nights, who left broken hearts, and sometimes babies in their wake. Oh, and would drop their kit at the sight of a heaving bosom to rip bodices. There was some aristocrats, royalty, you get the idea.
We didn’t yet have Hooch Baron.
Plus, as a therapist, I tutted, rolled my eyes at the traits that these fellas had. There are far too many for me to critically evaluate and assess with the application of therapeutic modalities and theories in this post. Alas, this made me think.
Devan Coultrie, was not going to be a door handle. He would also keep his kit on. Mostly.
The women in his world. They’d be different too. They too, wouldn’t be the conquests, the trembling bottom lip….tokens of characteristics. There’s Aditi, Avni, Aida…that’s a lot of A’s. Oh,and his sister-in-law, Libby. They would be present, realistic and of value. They’d have an authenticity to them, and not the typical ‘brittle’ quality that is so common.
Funny thing though. Aditi gets some interesting reader reactions.
Remember, how I mentioned the Peace Novella Series. Well. I did something. I met them, a few of them. In….drumroll….MONTANA. Now this is the stuff of romance. Who, because of a fella, books an adventure, takes a flight….erm. Me.
S.H. Pratt, or Stef! Created, hosted the inaugural Big Sky Book Event in Billings, Montana.
Let’s have a bit of flashback right here
“Why write books sat in Montana?”
“Have you been, do you plan to go there?”
“Sure, maybe. Why not? I mean, never say never. This is me. I got to Reykjavík and back.”
And, back to the present. I went. Because of Devan Coultrie.
I met Stef, Ariel, Jenn and Susan. In 3D. And we were the Peace Novella Series Authors. I heard the radio jingle that mentioned the international contingent. Jenn, bless her, looked at me. “That’s you!” she said. I nearly fell to the floor.
I’ve done a fair few interesting things, because of Devan Coulrie.
There was the book launch in the Gunmaker’s Arms, as Storm Dennis raged.
Storm, bloody, Dennis.
I will never forgive the British Weather and because of that one night.
The Gunmakers and Devan, have history. Way back when, I stood near a pillar during a reading event. I read Costume Drama. That is where Britain met the hooch Baron.
I was petrified that day. I even had Lee Benson and Martin Tracey roped in to read. JA Media had the mic’s, the PA. I read from all three Devan books. Yeah, by 2020, there were three.
This was proper, Vive Le Hooch Baron.
It gets better. JA Media is a big part of the Devan Coultrie Journey.
Somewhere in between the two 2020 lockdowns. I volunteered to make a film. JA Media planned to work with local authors, to make films. Only, it would need a script. Human beings too. I taught myself how to write a script. We then needed a cast.
JA Media and I, had to find them. The human beings that would be Devan, Aditi, Mike the Barman….we needed locations.
We found Devan. There was a lot of stress. I mean, who wants to work on something that’s a huge leap, and for free? There was no budget for this. Then, with the magic of social media and also A.A.Abbott sending out a re-tweet.
Habemus Une Devan.
A certain Vimal Korpal, was cast. He’d be donning the Dr.Martens.
The Dr.Martens. The minute he put those on. I didn’t keel over; I was leaning against a wall, clutching my director’s folder. There it was again.
Habemus Une Devan.
Vive le hooch baron
I will never forget Vimal uttering Devan’s lines. I was only just able to stay say on my chair-I didn’t have my bond villan chair at that time. Oh, and the grin! He had Devan Coultrie’s grin.
The Hooch Baron. That was him, the other side of zoom.
That’s hard to wrap your imagination around. The fella who for years has been inside of a book, inky squiggles. Was all very real. Then came the rest of cast, the crew. Through the magic of the Universe. We had a cast/crew. Make Up Artists, Production assistants.
Even Ruby the dog was part of this experience.
We shot the movie. Over three days, during the highs and lows of the pandemic. Through, around everyone’s real life, real job commitments. There was rain, snow, heat waves…..samosa chaats, pizza and of course, biryani.
I had to conquer my fear of motorways to edit the movie with JA Media.
I’ve danced around the Bond Villain chair to the Devan Coultrie Theme tune. That’s a nice feeling.
There was the big, whoop do moment of releasing the poster. I knitted that hat….
As I write this, I am days away from the fifth anniversary of Devan Coultrie going live. It’s been an interesting five years.
Without Devan, his saga and the Peace Novella Series, a lot might not have happened. I’d probably still be avoiding motorways, to be honest.
Not sure yet when the movie comes out. It will. I promise. In the mean time, go read the books.
And once more. For everyone.
Habemus Une Devan.
Vive le hooch baron
Since last Christmas Eve, I have published three books.
The Battle of Gravelly Hill, DragonRealm and also Koby Anand. Three different books, with some overlap between them in some fashion.
Koby Anand comes from the Fragments Universe. The same place from whence came Gorbind Phalla and with zombie caper The Battle of Gravelly Hill. He himself had his own story, in Kangana.
I have to say, I think I do, anyway. Gorbind is one of my favourite characters. I feel rather bad, when say he is my absolute favourite. But I daresay he is.
If you do you find yourself looking for a new read, a different read perhaps, over the coming festive season, then why not try these?
Kangana happened because of Devan Coultrie. Devan was my first foray into writing contemporary romance. He gave me the courage to write Kangana.
I would date Devan, Marry Gorbind and probably adopt and parent Koby. That is how those three go together.
Battle of Gravelly Hill and Dragon Realm are also short reads. Short bursts and bubbles of escapism that will while away a couple of hours each.
The Fragments Universe first came into being in 2017.
It started with Fragments. A book with sixth inter-linked stories based upon loss and bereavement.
Then came Kangana, with Gorbind Phalla in a contemporary romance.
(He also has his own spin-off The Battle For Gravelly Hill Interchange)
Now, we have a third.
Koby Anand was also a character in Fragments. A young boy, we read about how his family cope with the lost of his mother.
Now, he is older, mature, and arguably even more dramatic. The latest addition is a contemporary romance.
And it’s not all that fluffy!
Available on kindle 7th July 2022
At last. Koby Anand appears to have it all. A good job, a beautiful wife. A family that would do anything for him. They have been with through thick and thin. They help him stay standing.
Koby has been broken, bruised and in both physical and emotional pieces. His road to recovery, hasn’t been easy. The road he travels, is about to get bumpier and then some.
But his life isn’t all that it seems.
Koby has his secrets, as does his wife Arya.
They both have a story. A story with two sides.
Whilst Tolkien was inspired by Sarehole Mill, I’m at a loss to identify other pieces of fantasy, apocalypse or such drama to be set in the West Midlands.
I mean, why do aliens, zombies and creatures otherwise unspecified go to other geographic locations?
Why shouldn’t Birmingham not be a backdrop?
Please don’t get me wrong. I love Birmingham; Brummie Born and Bred. I am not tempting fate, being disparaging. Not in the least.
Working with Author city for the book event anthology, I picked the theme of a city of a thousand trades.
And chose to marry that with Dragons.
Here we have ten short stories that see Birmingham become home to some rather interesting creatures.
Writing assorted characters is rather fun, to be honest.
Imagine though, what they might get up to when I’m not trying to write them.
Behind the scenes contains three different things.
First, an insight into the lives of the characters that I write, beyond my ink pens and my imagination.
Second, there are short stories inspired by the City of Birmingham. We have some historical romance with Lady Eleanor. A counsellor-there’s a surprise-romance in Digbeth. There’s even a space ship!!!
And what might happen, if Hades Lord of the Underworld came to The Women’s Hospital.
Second, GORBIND!!! Gorbind and zombies. But hold on. I’ll tell you about that in abit.
This was a book-of a few- that I wrote as the world started to get to grips with global pandemic. As such, it’s got a little bit of everything in there,
What started with Devan Coultrie moves on with Gorbind Phalla
(Gorbind is my favourite. Please don’t tell Devan)
I’ve not come across many romance books with characters of South Asian Origin. I felt that there was something missing. In all the mills and boon’s that I would walk past in the library, there was something missing.
As with Devan. I decided to do something about it.
This is a sweet romance between Gorbind Phalla and Padmi. A romance that integrates family dynamics and cultural experiences.
Yes, Gorbind is my favourite.
I might date a Devan-get my heart broken in the process-but I’d marry a Gorbind. Or try to, at least.
He is also my attempt to broaden out books, add characters from diverse backgrounds. Tell stories that might not otherwise get told. He like Devan is a slightly different male lead for a romance.
He started off a bit-part character in Fragments, and he continues to grow.
You’ll see how, in the rest of the book breakdown.
Well! This is a book adventure and a half!
Who is, this Devan Coultrie?
There are three books, and a movie currently in editing that help us understand who he is.
A former hedge fund manager from Rugby, UK who flies off to Montana, USA to start a new life.
He sticks a pin a map, and off he goes.
Devan Coultrie was my first foray into Contemporary Romance. I grew frustrated with the lack of South Asian Characters in books that I was reading. There were also so many not so savoury tropes in these books. So I decided, with the help of the Peace Novella Series Authors to create one.
Start with Retreating to Peace, where we meet Devan. He’s about settle in the fictional town of Peace in Montana. He’s all for a new beginning, and has a bruised heart.
He then settles, his life get busy with Postcards from Peace. It all seems okay, with the odd bit of drama thrown in,
Then, things take a turn, and we have Peace Betrayed. Devan does things that might stretch our love for him.
Now, I mentioned a movie!!
Yes, a short film is in the works. Devan Coultrie is Unwell is currently in Editing. The exact mid-point of the Devan Coultrie Saga was shot and developed last summer/autumn.
WE HAVE A VERY REAL DEVAN COULTRIE!
There is also a real Aditi Rao.
More news on that later. In the mean time, go read the books!
Having made a foray onto non-fiction, I took a turn and into fiction. I was going through my Counselling Training and also had experienced bereavements. This was part of that interesting journey.
Loosely using Worden’s tasks of grief, Fragments is six inter-linked stories about grief and bereavement.
As a society, we don’t tend to talk about such thing. Very often, we sweep such experiences and the emotions associated with them under the carpet.
This is a book about the human condition, about human stories. There is love in there, loss but also the human ability to change, develop and grow.
Counselling for Courage and Change
Slipstream Romance with a Dark Twist
Confessions of A Musing Freak
Making the most of your time in sixth form
Daily Discussions of craft and the writing life
A fine WordPress.com site
Writing and Editing by Ekta R. Garg
The Cricket Pages
“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Growing Your Own Produce and Remedies
A Whimsical Food and Travel Blog
Allotment, garden and other stuff
Recipes from my Kitchen and Cookery School at Number 4
sow and scoff: allotmenteer meets baker