Sophie Duncan

Sophie Duncan – Author

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Bio

I am an author and I’ve been writing since I was a wee thing, and publishing since I discovered the internet in 1994 or so.

Half of my week, I am a project manager developing IT solutions. For the rest of the week, weekends, and every waking hour outside work, you can find me scribbling away at many a story that just won’t leave me alone.

So what do I write? Contemporary and urban fantasy have mainly been my playground, but I have done some real world settings as well. I do like mystery and have been reading (and watching) Agatha Christie since I was a child. I’ve also been known to do a bit of poetry.

Style: I have been told I do angst well, so if you want your heartstrings twanged, or your tummy to tie in knots until the end, then I’m your gal. I am, however, a happy ending junkie, although I do throw a hint of realism in there sometimes as well. I like a few twists and turns on the way in some of my plots, although I have written my share of PWPs as well. I have to admit a small obsession with eyes: I believe they are the seat of beauty in a person, so I play with them in creature fic and use them for expression in others – personal hang up, sorry. Also, I have never met a cliché I didn’t like and I am a firm believer that cliché is fine if you do it right.

Writing is a passion and there’s nothing better than writing for an audience. Any writer who says they don’t care about feedback must have had an ego amputation 🙂 If you like my scribbles, I’d be very glad to hear from you.

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Sophie’s Latest Personal Blog Posts

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Sophie's Thoughts and Fumbles

Hi, my name is Sophie Duncan. I'm an author of fantasy, paranormal, horror and erotica. Welcome to my blog. Here I'll ramble on about the books I'm reading and writing, ebooks, publishing and anything else I happen to think of.

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my reflections on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


Each day, I'm told you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I didn't look up the derivation of any of these names, I just ran with how they made me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I told you all about my Dragon of the Day, and shared some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - I hope folks were surprised and entertained by my dragonly inspirations :). And now I want so share a few thoughts about this year's A to Z Challenge, and honorary mentions of blogs I enjoyed.

~
Previous Posts



~

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So, it was a big change this year, in that we did not have one list to sign up to, we, instead, were signing up each day to a post on the A to Z blog. This was designed to make the A to Z more sociable and ensure everyone on the list was taking part. Well, I suppose it achieved its second aim, because, logically speaking, if you had given up on the challenge, then you wouldn't be joining each day, but, I would say I don't think this new sign up method increased the social aspect of the challenge - not for me, anyway. I actually found a lot of the blogs I wanted to read during the challenge during the theme reveal posts and I had already made my own list of places I wanted to remember to visit. This really helped me during the challenge, because, since the daily sign ups were not in the same order every day, I wasn't always sure if I'd visited the blogs on the list. I did add a few people to my list throughout the challenge in one of two ways:

  1. When someone visited my blog who I hadn't visited and I then hopped on over to them.
  2. The people just above me on the sign up days.
I'm not sure what the key to making the A to Z more sociable is, maybe being a lot clearer on subject categories, so people can find the kind of things they are interested in - although I have to say, I did find myself reading the odd random blog (type 2 above) on subjects I would not have picked from a category list. What could be interesting might be a 'take me to a random blog' option, but, unhelpfully, I know of nothing that would offer that kind of functionality for a signup list :(.

Having said all that, thanks to all of you who work hard and run A to Z and make it possible, and you were brave to try something different. Thank you also to everyone who visited and commented on my blog, because it was great to get the feedback on my dragons and great to talk to you.

And, of course, I did enjoy visiting the blogs I found this year and there were quite a few I went back to regularly (though none everyday, I have to admit, because some days I struggled to get my post up, let alone visit anyone else, which was just down to mad things happening in real life). So. below are a few honourable mentions in no particular order :).  


PersonThemeURL
ShaliniA to Z Indian Dishes to Die Forhttp://somethingiscooking.com/
AJ VosseMusic & Memorieshttps://ouchmybackhurts.wordpress.com
Patricia LynneStrange Feelingshttp://www.patricialynne.com/
Hilary Melton-ButcherRare Breedshttp://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/
J Lenni DornerTelepathy and Misused Wordshttp://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com/
Sarah Zama40's Film Noirhttp://theoldshelter.com/
Josie Two ShoesFull Circle (FF)http://www.josie2shoes.com/
Jean D DavisEditinghttps://jeanddavis.blogspot.co.uk
Pamela WrightThe Scottish Highlandshttps://thewrightsdaysoffun.blogspot.co.uk
Sara SniderMagical & Medicinal Herbshttp://saracsnider.com/
Rae SquigglesAbbeys and Cathedrals of UKhttps://thequietwriter.com
Tamara NarayanConspiracies and Controversieshttp://www.tamaranarayan.com/
Zalka Csenge VirágWTF - Weird Things in Folktaleshttp://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.co.uk/
Mary BurrisBillboard Hits of 70'shttp://www.jinglejanglejungle.net/
CD Gallant-KingWeird Canandian Facts & Historyhttp://www.cdgallantking.ca/
Melissa AnnBook Reviewshttps://mycreativelyrandomlife.blogspot.co.uk
Roland ClarkAlternative History of Kanatahttps://rolandclarke.com
Nick WilfordSnippets from Black and Whitehttp://nickwilford.blogspot.co.uk/
Laura ClipsonStorytellinghttp://mybafflingbrain.blogspot.co.uk
C R G GalvinLife on a farm in 50's and 60'shttps://earlieryears.blogspot.co.uk
Books before the bloghttps://1001armchairadventures.wordpress.com
David JessonMaterials Science in Fantasy and Sci FIhttps://abackoftheenvelopecalculation.wordpress.com
JodieFairytale Charactershttp://believeinfairystories.blogspot.co.uk
DjinniaAnime Charactershttp://djinniaandtheenglishlanguage.blogspot.co.uk/
Yolanda ReneeAlaskahttp://yolandarenee.blogspot.co.uk/
Anna TanThe Princess and ...http://blog.annatsp.com


~

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Author: Sophie Duncan
Posted: May 7, 2017, 11:00 pm
Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts



~
Dragon of the Day

Z is for Zlata

Zlata had known the gods of Olympus when the world was young and she knows she will see the stars blink out one by one: she is immortal. She was formed from the death of a supernova and the magic of the gods themselves, a creature whose scales are made of stardust itself, a tool to fight their battles, to keep man under the gods’ control.

But she rebelled.

Now the gods are forgotten. Myths told to children.

But they all remain.
~
And So It Goes

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The gentle bleating of sheep as they settled down for the night drifted up the mountain and told Zlata all was well with her flock. She scanned the reddening rocks on the opposite side of the valley, checking for any wolves, or bears, but any predators would be foolish to attempt to steal a sheep when the scent of dragon was in the air. All was clear, so she settled down, wrapping her wings around her to protect from the chill night air, and prepared for sleep.

That is when she sensed the movement off to her right. The pits just below her eyes told her there was a body close by and, simultaneously, she swung round, spread out her wings and snarled at the idiot who threatened her flock.

The sound of slow clapping was not what she expected to hear, but Zlata maintained her stance and watched as a human stepped out from behind a pile of boulders. She was right not to relax, because the smiling face that greeted her was an old master: Ares, dark hair long and clothing slit-denim chic, walked towards her, still applauding.

“Stand,” she warned, puffing smoke out of her nose.

Ares, for once being sensible, came to a halt and dropped his hands to his sides.

“Guarding farm animals, really Zlata?” he tried to taunt, but, as usual, he didn’t understand.

Zlata lowered her wings, but kept her attention firmly on the ex-god of war.

“I am content,” she replied simply.

Ares shook his head and chuckled. “You must miss it, though.”

“What, the death, the killing? Not one moment.”

“But you were made for it.” Ares would not take her answer and he stepped forward again.

This time, Zlata sent a jet of fire to his feet. Ares stepped back rapidly, raising his palms in supposed supplication.

“That is what you and your family believed I was made for,” Zlata countered as calmly as she could. “You know nothing.”

“We are gods,” Ares snapped back, his frown giving away the arrogance that was something else Zlata did not miss.

“You had your day. Go and drink yourself into oblivion for the sake of the old days,” Zlata dismissed and turned.

That meant she saw the glint of metal in the sunset that was coming towards her, and she reared. It caught her round the front leg and she felt its magic try to take hold, but it had missed its target, her neck, so the magic had to fight. Zlata roared and pulled backwards. The owner of the chain fell forward with a grunt: Hephaestus lay at Zlata’s feet. Now that was a shock, the master craftsman had been a friend, but then, Zlata quickly concluded that no one else could have made such a magical chain. A chain that was trying to control her.

Zlata cried out as the power cut into her, making her dizzy, stopping her using her wings, but she would not give in. She sensed Ares closing in to her right and she rounded on him, striking at him head down with her crest that was harder than any metal. He went sailing away, but her heat sensing pits told her there were others approaching in the twilight. Roaring, Zlata reared once more and spread fire in an arc before her. She heard the cries, she saw men, mortals, catch the flames and she heard them scream, and then she smelt their burning flesh. It sickened her.

She rounded on the fallen Hephaestus and begged, “Call them off.”

Dragon and god stared at each other. Zlata saw pain, she saw regret, she saw the death of their friendship. Whatever Hephaestus saw, he released the other end of the chain. Without its master, the chain loosened and, the magic retreating, Zlata took off. Tiny projectiles followed her into the sky, but they bounced of her crystal-hard scales. Zlata did not look back.

*

After a long night hidden in a cave, Zlata risked returning to her flock. They had wandered in the night without her to guide them, but she called to them and their bleated replies soothed some of the ire in her blood. She was half expecting the tall, quiet figure who appeared an hour of so later, walking up the mountain, clearly unarmed. She waited for him to reach her, she owed their old friendship that much. Hephaestus stopped in front of her.

“I am sorry,” he began.

She said nothing.

“Be careful. Ares means to regain his power by calling mankind to war for him once more, and he wants you by his side.”

Zlata snorted and stamped her foot.

“But why did you help him?”

“Aphrodite persuaded me.”

This time Zlata laughed, but she was not amused.

“It is time you realised that creature uses you.”

“I love her.”

Zlata sat down: this was an old, old conversation and she knew she could not win it. Hephaestus sat down beside her and they both looked out over the mountain in the sunshine.

Eventually, Hephaestus spoke. “I think I understand why you are content here. I will not aid Ares again.”

“Go and tell that son of a donkey if I so much as smell him near my sheep again I will send him back to your wife as a pile of carbon.”

Hephaestus nodded and stood up.

“Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”


~

For information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
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We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required

Author: Sophie Duncan
Posted: April 29, 2017, 11:00 pm
Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts



~
Dragon of the Day

Y is for Yuri

Cousin Yuri is a mystery. He left a long time ago and he lives a long way away. No one has heard from him in years.
~
Meeting

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“This is it, kits,” the carter announced, turning to Kate and Leo, who were huddled down among the vegetables.

“Thank you, Sir,” Kate replied, nodding up to the kindly human, before guiding Leo with her wing towards the open end of the cart.

She climbed down first and lowered her wings so that Leo could shuffle down onto her back and then down onto the ground. He groaned a little, holding his broken wing close against his body and she turned and nuzzled him gently before she reached up and took the handle of their carpet bag in her mouth. Hauling it down, she then nodded her thanks again to the man who had picked them up from the side of the road as they had waited for a coach that he had told them had ceased to run several years ago.

“Take care, little ones,” he smiled back and winked and then yahed at his oxen, who just started to plod on once more with no more incentive.

“Where are we, Katie?” Leo asked, his voice small and tired.

“Not far now,” Kate reassured, moving them to the side of the crossroads under the hedge. “Cousin Yuri will meet us here, Hangfire Crossroads, Mrs Gibbons said so.”

Kate took Leo under her wing and hunkered down against the wind that was whistling through the hedge. It was a grey day and she looked up to the sky to check for their cousin, although she did not even know what he looked like.

Suddenly, there was a loud snort and a cough from behind the hedge. Kate and Leo both skittered back into the road and stared as a head appeared above the leaves. It was a male dragon, and, as she shook his crest, scales scattered over Kate’s head. He then stood up properly shrugged, scratched behind his ear with his foreclaw, at which point more scales sailed at the children, and only then did he seem to notice Kate and Leo.

“Wh’be-yeer then?” he seemed to be muttering more to himself than them as he bent a big, thick neck over the hedge; his head was wobbling.

“C-cousin?” Kate checked, shocked by the state of the dragon, who was, at least to her, clearly drunk.

The big grey laughed, eyes rolling, and Kate was not sure she had been heard. Discretely, she guided Leo behind her.

“Please, are you our cousin?”

“And why wo’I be?” he sniffed, sitting back down and scratching again.

“Please, Mrs Gibbons from the orphanage, she said Cousin Yuri would meet us here,” Kate explain. “We had to come by coach because Leo had broken his wing.”

“Ah,” the dragon raised his eyebrows and nodded like he agreed and Kate’s heart fell as it became even more likely that this creature was Cousin Yuri.

“Please, Sir, you’re our only relative, we have no-one else,” Kate tried to reason with the inebriated dragon before Leo caught cold in the damp, windy place.

Yuri chuckled to himself, eyes half closing and shook his head this time. Kate was tired, she was angry at such dismissal and she stamped her foot and puffed a small flame.

“Oo, Missy,” the dragon laughed even harder, tipping his head back and roaring his amusement.

Kate turned away, shielding Leo with her wings as she felt him tremble. Another roar came from the air and a shadow fell across them. Leo squeaked and Kate ducked over her brother as a large body descended over their heads and landed on the road.

“Curlew!” the big, silver and black dragon growled, “are you scaring my cousins?”

The effect was immediate, the drunk dragon sobered and stood up, bowing  his brow respectfully to the impressive sight who had revealed himself to be Yuri. Kate wasn’t sure she was any less scared as the huge male flapped his wings and drew, “Sorry, Master Yuri.”

Kate watched as those great wings were folded and Yuri lowered himself gracefully into proud stance, his head held high, looking down his snout at Curlew.

“Get you home, dragon, your mate will be waiting.”

The he turned to Kate. She kept in front of Leo again. Raised brows relaxed and Kate saw Yuri’s eyes soften.

“Hello, you are Kate and Leo?” Yuri greeted, voice suddenly much friendlier.

Kate nodded.

“I am sorry you have been left here alone. I expected you to be escorted,” Yuri explained and sounded genuinely remorseful.

“Mrs Gibbons couldn’t spare anyone, she gave me all the coach details,” Kate replied.

“And I told her the coach no longer runs,” Yuri sighed and looked up at the heavens as his tone hardened for a moment. When he looked down again, though, his expression was friendly again, “But no more of that. You are with me now, and we can forget Mrs Gibbons.”

Leo stuck his head out from under Kate’s wing and Yuri’s mouth opened a little. His eyes were smiling as he told them, “My goodness, you look so much like your mother, young man.”

Leo nodded: everyone had always said that.

“How do you know my mother?” Kate asked, more to stop the breaking feeling in her heart at the mention of her beloved parent.

“Your mother was my friend, she encouraged me when no-one else did,” Yuri explained. “I would never have had the courage to move here and write my music if it had not been for her. I should have kept in touch.”

“Music,” Kate repeated, because the large dragon before her and music did not immediately go together.

Yuri chuckled, deep and gentle. “That is what the rest of our family thought. My father wanted me to be a soldier. He cut me off when I followed my heart.”

“They’re all gone, in the fire,” Leo spoke, voice wavering, “and I hurt my wing.”

“You poor children,” Yuri looked forlorn for a second, but then recovered himself and lowered himself and his wing to the ground. “Climb onto my back and we shall go home. I have my mate, Evangie, waiting for us all with a good supper. You are with family again now, young ones.”

Kate helped Leo up onto the broad shoulders between Yuri’s wings and settled down beside him and their carpet bag. She didn’t know what the future held, but, as Yuri spread his wings and took off, she looked up to the back of his spread crest and hoped it was going to be better.


~

For information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

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We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required

Author: Sophie Duncan
Posted: April 28, 2017, 11:00 pm

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