Welcome to my blog page.

 19th May 2016: SO...nearly a year since and update and a LOT has happened. Ha ha. I am very much still working on board games and will be attending The UK Games Expo in a couple of weeks time where I will be selling copies of Orctions which is set in the world of Umiat & Kenai. Hopefully I will raise enough cash in order to be able to publish 'Campbell & A'Lastor.' It is all been proof read and re-edited. There probably needs to be an additional chapter and chorus added to extend a bit of questing through the Ashdar Desert as well...but the third book will be made.

 

31st July 2015: SO...nearly a year since an update and a LOT has happened. Been working mainly on board games and am now the proud credited inventor, designer and full owner of Orctions which was nominated for Strategic Card or Dice Game of the Year 2015 at The UK Games Expo...but with that little adventure completed at the beginning of June I returned HARD to focussing on completing 'Campbell & A'Lastor'. As we stand, today, it has had a third edit and is currently being proof read. Cover ideas are coming together and I would full expect to be published before Christmas 2015.

 

22nd September 2014: SO...it has been a LONG while since I typed anything here. Just thought I'd share part of an email from someone who read my first book, Tumbletick & Company and was kind enough to send me an email about how they felt.

Just wanted to let you know that I did indeed read Tumbletick and Company whilst on holiday and have to tell you that I bloody loved it! I was so enthused by it that I ended up giving my 9 year old daughter a review of all that I had read each day - and she loved it too!

I look forward to reading about Seton Rax next as I really did enjoy your writing.

Interesting, exciting, funny and insightful - I spent as much time thinking about it as I did reading it!

I think that it should be made into a film and that you should definitely be in the suit for Is-Is!

I tried to attach people we knew to the characters of the book whilst I retold it to my daughter and for some reason I always ended up thinking of myself as Tumbletick!

 

13th June 2013: SO...it has been a LONG while since I have typed anything here. This is the situation. I have been living back home with my parents for the past 6 and a bit months, all in an effort to be able to buy a Hovel for myself one day. I miss the Hovel I had at Willis Street and want one again. Divorce with children in the mix is a damaging thing kids and can knock you back years SO DON'T DO IT. Currently, as we speak, the fourth novel in the Chronicles of Umiat & Kenai is being proofread. I fully intend to blend three and four together basically into one book and have the traditional trilogy. One day that will exist. Currently though a LOT of my creative juices have been focussed towards Quirkative and Vickrey! in particular. Google those terms for me will you?

26th September 2012: I am SO motivated now to lock myself away for two weeks from the 8th October to edit. Cannot wait. Suspect, quite strongly that I may start working on my next novel as well which will be a major shift away from the genre I have been working in for so long. More of that later. 

17th September 2012: Well I had a weekend to myself and it turned into a big writing one. Often the way. Yes I might be suffering from a cracked rib, dislocated jaw and broken finger from a very hard Muay Thai session but I still cracked on with the writing. The big news being that I finished the major part of the task and finished the novel. There is tonnes of work ahead in terms of editing and wordweaving, but fundamentally the biggest part of the task is done. Celebrated with a Cohiba cigar and a smile.

28th August 2012: So...I have spent the long weekend in some interesting pursuits. I did have some time with Ed and Bill, we went to a Trade Show at an Electrical Wholesaler, I know how to show my sons as good time....and it was a good time, burgers, arcade games, electric cars (I drove one) and it turns out Ed had a real interest in gadgets that give instant feedback on heat and an uncanny knowledge of composite materials within LED lights. On the Saturday night I attended a party where I proved my fame further by knowing a Rastafarian Policeman and a homosexual couple of 20 years acquaintance. I then, that night, did what I needed to do in order to be able to lock myself away in The Hovel for all of Sunday and Monday. I spent extremely large portions of the two days, fasting, smoking St. Bruno, playing Batman: Arkham Asylum and writing the 'Hunt' scene. Nearly 7,000 words of vampire denouement, comic violence and orgiastic tendencies of the Undead all in a deserted farmstead in the middle of the Ashdar Desert. I tell you....by the end of it I was extremely unhinged.  

 22nd August 2012: So....I have updated the BLOG page a few times with bits and pieces. Fundamentally I am deviating from my life time desire to create an epic trilogy of fantasy literature and am growing increasingly annoyed with myself for doing so. I leave notes for myself that are dated and say things like "When are you going to effing finish this you twat!" but they seem to be less inspirational than the call of the sirens that inhabit my life. I really, really am feeling some interesting potential abandonment issues about completing the work. I know there is still lots to do. Two and a half planned chapters in the schedule is only the beginning. There will be tonnes of word weaving, editing, re-editing, proof reading and pain. For those who don't know, I have my Hovel now in the centre of Norwich, well rent it. I have a wonderful little writer's den in the third bedroom, closeted down a couple of steps but I am not being ruthless enough with myself to get in there, get sat down and churn out the final words. It is ALL planned. Some good ideas have been planted and developed in the sub-concious but I am not getting in there to actually embrace the labour which is the fundamental writing. I know it will happen. I know it will. One day there will be the opportunity for people to peruse my mighty tome. It will be a trilogy that becomes the benchmark for anthropomorphic madness, vengeful demons, morals and pocket-watch purchasing.

 5th March 2012: I have now set up a BLOGGER BLOG called Tumbletick and may well use that more than this page here. 

6th February 2012: Again...interesting times. Fully divorced. House just sold. I shall be leaving a 12 year marriage with absolutely nothing. The sale of the house just enables me to clear some of the debts raised by court and having to support Angela and the boys still. However, clean break and while she gets a huge chunk of equity I have my dream. Little terrace house and a writers garrick at the back where I started to create again last night. I know the world deserves my visions and I apologise that 'life' got in the way for a couple of years. All of it, all of it, is grist, fuel, imagination juice to spark into literary manga and bring heavy rock gut cutting gore to the fantasy genre.

9th September 2011: WOW...what a year! Awaiting divorce, close now, still living at home with my parents. Divorce? Don't do it kids! Takes ages, very expensive and you will lose a lot...but LOTS to gain. The writing bug is growing again and I look forward to buying my own little hovel where I can lock myself away and write during the cold winter months ahead.

22nd December 2010: FAR TOO MUCH has gone on in the last 15 months to have a discussion here. Suffice to say I am in the process of being serious about my fourth book which I have not worked hard on since August 2009. Redundancy, Uni, Divorce and new job have all got in the way. However, I look forward to being in my own home soon and not living at home with my parents !!!! Where I can focus on writing again.

14th August 2009: Well I have been writing a lot recently, every day in fact and the fourth novel which has been planned precisely is taking shape. As ever it is always surprising what happens when you do start writing and scenes and characters develop. Extremely happy with a female Drow elf assassin I have created. I have heard from the Literary Agent and the news is they still have not made a decision. No news is as they say good news. I am having a library day next Thursday where local children can win a prize for drawing characters from my books.  Other news is that I start a teaching diploma in September. A new life awaits which will hopefully compliment my natural talents.

10th July 2009: It seems like my blog is down to a monthly entry. The news at the moment is that I have an advert in this months edition of SFX magazine. A major hello to anyone who has visited the site because of that ad. Also we are still waiting on any response from the London Literary Agent. Beginning to think that no news must be good news.

6th June 2009: Wow, again ages since I have updated my blog. What have I been doing? Well Caroline Noller, Goddess and Mother-To-Be, has been working on my submission to a top London Literary Agent. We have worked hard on making this an impressive piece and will not send it until it has been completely scrutinised, assessed and printed on the best quality paper. Fingers crossed this will be another step in my writing career.

P.S. Did anyone see the advert on Facebook? I will be advertising in SFX in their July issue a well in an attempt to generate more sales.

14th April 2009: Parted company with my agent today. Darin at The Inspira Group was not particularly inspiring. His main contribution was to recommend Author House as a way of entering the publishing world and for that I am thankful. Two books published, ISBN numbers, available on the internet and all that. However, I am now looking for truly professional and respected representation in the literary world and have undertaken my first steps at finding a new agent.

10th April 2009: Well it has been a long while since I updated my blog. So I was made redundant from my role as Business Development Manager at May Gurney on the 6th Feb. 5 glorious months of selling large scale engineering projects and then the recession means I'm on the scrap heap again. BUT you know me and my quest. It gave me a load of time to concentrate on my third novel provisionally called Campbell & A'Lastor but likely to be Campbell & Company to fit in with the series names. This third novel has been finished, proof read properly by the glorious Emily Cripps, Librarian extraordinaire. So what now? Do I attempt to get it published by a real top 5 publisher or carry on down the self publishing route? Well I have the fourth novel planned, which was always the long term aim and I may feel confident enough then to approach my agent with 4 novels, a website, speeches made and appearances at schools and libraries done. PLEASE buy Seton Rax & Company or Tumbletick & Company to help with the all important sold numbers as this too will help me in dialogue with the real publishers of Britain.

11th October 2008: Well finally the final cover has been done. Quite quick really by the publishers, got that final niggle sorted ut in a couple of days. So it is all systems go now. 11th October, means it will be ready by Christmas and I will officially be the author of TWO novels. Who would have believed it. Number three on the way by the way.

9th October 2008: Well the text is now all sorted out but when the designers changed the book cover to have capitals for my name, on the spine the final S of SYMONDS was covered by their own logo. Ridiculous mistake for a so called professional design team to make. BUT we are close. So very close to getting the first very rare copy of Seton Rax & Company made and delivered to me. Hello to Chirs Remer who drank a gallon of Adnams with me last night in the Mill and made me feel like a real author with his praise of the first part of the book which he saw in draft form.

By the way price will be £8.99 plus P&P from this site and the publishers, £13.99 from the bookshops and online boys. Simple really, buy it from me or authorhouse direct.

4th October 2008: So authorhouse have come through quickly with the design as promised, a couple of tweaks needed which may take time. I wanted the cover to be a similar look and feel to Tumbletick so they just need to change lower case elements to upper case and in the actual book itself they have decided to call Seton Rax, Sexton Rax on the first page and on all the headers. This is not right and needs to be changed obviously. How long it will delay us all heaven knows but I will keep my eager fans inform. Pricing looks like it will be a bit cheaper than Tumbletick as well, which is fair enough at half the length but at double the quality and excitement I am giving the book away.

30th September 2008, 19:00 hrs:  Got the conference call from the American design team "Seton Rax & Company". I was on the M25 driving back from a meeting in Weymouth about the Sailing Venue for the Olympics. Sitting in the Touareg having a conversation on bluetooth about design layouts for covers and the text was most enjoyable. I am on a fast track programme and it should all be ready for approval very soon. The second book is easier than the first.

18th September 2008: Thanks to Jim King for some feedback on the layout of the news and blog page. I have now turned them upside down so the most recent entry is at the top. Easier access for all my loyal fans. Today the final recommendation for art work went to the publishers. With Tumbletick and the Hungarian debacle it meant that AuthorHouse no longer use Shutterstock for their artwork so we have had to use jupiter unlimited instead. Hooray, today they got the image I want to use that was on Shutterstock of the night demon, nabassu type creature with the moon behind it, so the vision will come true again. Three weeks nearly completed of working for May Gurney and I really enjoy it. Will probably start writing creatively again when I get the first peice of feedback on "Seton Rax & Company". BUT I do genuinelly feel it is better than Tumbletick. P.S. Congratulations to Jim on his news. You'll be a great dad.

7th September 2008: Well the target was hit. All materials were with the publisher by close of play of the 6th September. I am extremely happy with the work. Fast paced, punchy, bloody, exciting and yet still intellectual enough to allow delving into ancient Greek myths by anyone who does want to use the internet or old books to research who Pallomedes really was.

21st August 2008: It is finally finished. The complete second editing took most of the day and evening but it is complete. A bit over 80,000 words in the end. Good length, very happy indeed.

20th August 2008: Signed on for the last time today, a good feeling. Really looking forward to working for May Gurney, start on 1st September. I have been in ultra editing mode for a couple of evenings and also a big chunk of today. Then out in the garage from 20:00 to 22:15 making yet more changes to the final text of Seton Rax & Company and STILL finding spelling mistakes and errors. It really is very good, same tone of voice, exciting, descriptive and the end two major scenes are just superbly violent.

17th August 2008: Had a chat with the publishers in the week and amazingly funny news. They will not use Shutterstock.com any more because of me and the Hungarian debacle with the first edition of Tumbletick. Apparently I am quite famous within their business, with 50,000 pieces of work done it had never happened before. Anyway, I have been put on a fast track so Seton Rax & Company should be ready by the end of September.

11th August 2008: Well it was a day late but I finished typing up the changes that needed editing today. Excellent. I also got offered a job that I had worked hard to get and really wanted. Goodbye FMCG and the drinks industry, hello May Gurney. Gives me a few days now to really relax, chose a book cover, take a holiday and spend some more time with my boys and wonderful wife.

9th August 2008: Late in the evening I finished editing the hardcopy printed off. 732 changes to make at this stage. From errors in spelling, to gramma, to typos to paragraphs added and lines taken out. ANother big piece of work sits in front of me now to type in all the changes and then check it all again. I am very pleased with it after reading again. Maybe it moves too fast and needs another couple of scenes that I had removed from my original plans. If any one wants to be first  to read it as a tester then let me know. elliotsymonds71@aol.com, facebook or through the site is a good way of getting me

7th August 2008: After a brief holiday to celebrate the completion of 'Seton Rax & Company' and Angela's 35th Birthday I have been editing the book for the last 3 days. Hard work and I know I probably am not spotting every error in the first typed draft. Lots taken out, more added and the odd word changed if it has been repeated in a lazy fashion. I really must get that part of the process completed by end of play on Sunday and then get a real job to earn some money as writing, while emotionally rewarding, is not paying for the mortgage at this stage of my creative career.

30th July 2008: Ten minutes ago I finished typing up the first draft of "Seton Rax & Company". 75,001 words long. Burned it straight on to CD and it is printing out above me now so I can take it away, spot the thousands of mistakes and edit the phucker brilliantly this time before publication. I have spent a mammoth twenty hours over the last two days typing in the sauna that is my office at this time of year. Feeling really good after that difficult part of the task. More awaits. Emma, if you want to proof read then drop us a line. Everyone else will have to wait until the launch. I'm getting drunk tonight! (Surprise surprise. He needs an excuse every night and always finds one. This time it just happens to be that he's written another book. YAWN.) "WHO WROTE THAT LAST BIT" EAS 7th August. Does my wife have access to my passwords??????

28th July 2008: 20:54. Fourteen minutes ago I finished writing the long hand version of 'Seton Rax & Company'. I was sitting in the mondeo in a layby on a little known track near my house. The last few days have been very busy with writing but after several hours today and then three this evening all my notes are written up and the story is complete. I am extremely happy and can't wait until it is all typed and editted and had extra words woven into to it and all checked for mistakes and silly continuity errors etc. The real hard work is still ahead of me. Creating it is really the easy part. Some Dragon Stout awaits! CHEERS.

Midnight 25th/26th July 2008: Went back out to my writing den and got another 3,000 words written. The muse was definitely with me tonight. I am so pleased with the way things are shaping up and when fully crafted it should be great. Still hope for a 90,000 word novel. Hung up on length rather than the quality perhaps but then numbers of words sells as well. Good good stuff done, scary and intimidating and twisted gothic fantasy. Very very pleased. I have also just drunk 10 bottles of 7.5% Dragon Stout from Jamaica. Beevis you are a god!

25 July 2008: After the excitement of discovering that I have a complete collection of late 19th century first edition works of Shakespeare in 40 seperate leather bound volumes (5 inches by 4 inches) I got down to some serious writing today. A good 8,000 words written in long hand in a surpise burst of energy and pace. It is so rewarding when the images just flow straight to the pen. A pivotal scene written today which my readers will hopefully love when Seton Rax & Company is finally released. I feel the need to get away for a few days without any disturbance to really crack on and get the book finished in long hand. Cheers to Richey Cawood who bought a copy of Tumbletick today.

24th July 2008: I have got a good three hours of writing done today. The pace of the text flowing from notes and mind into the long hand version. I really do not know why I insist on writing the book into volumes of copious scrawlings but I know that I value the finished things as items, with their corrections and mistakes and my diary like comments alongside. The major battle scene is nearly reached now and then I will slow the pace to the climax, delay the torture, the final scene. A breather for the reader who will have been whisked along to savour the end.

23rd July 2008: Oh the pleasures of visiting the Job Centre, had to sign on today, listening to some moron argue that he wouldn't look at the EDP job section because there were not any jobs stacking shelves advertised in that paper despite the fact he had signed up to an agreement to look at at once a week.. Still final interview for me on Friday for a job I really want. Got some decent writing done over the last couple of days. Really really happy with the way it is shaping up. Major thanks to Emma Roberts for giving me feedback on Facebook about the opening chapter from Seton Rax & Company that I have downloaded to this website. Cheers Emma.

21st July 2008: Well it's nearly 14:00 and I now have 52,594 words typed up. I tried to save it to CD on the computer I have in my writing den and it seems to have failed or I pressed NO or something. But it did have an old version of Seton Rax & Company on it so I am going to put the first few paragraphs on Seton Rax tab of the website for anyone to read. There may be some changes when the actual book comes out. Anyone out there got any views on how long a fantasy novel should be?

20th July 2008: 17:35: I have been labouring away at the computer typing up my longhand scrawls and have now got 50,017 words done. If anyone out there hasn't written a book then let me tell you how physically difficult it is as well as mentally. Especially after a 5km walk carrying a small boy most of the time as well as an extra 6 to 7 stone in fat. Anyway, feel really positive about the next novel and would love to know if anyone would like to proof read it for me and give initial feedback. Chris Remer has got the first 20,000 words or so but as I have always said, it just gets better and better.

20th July 2008: Well I have had a good few days of writing up my detailed notes from last weekend and have powered on through to close to the denouement. A couple of twists and turns have surfaced as new ideas as I have been writing too, which is pleasing. I hope to find some time today to type up some of what I have written and I estimate that I now have a good 55,000 words. After the closing scenes, which will be a chunky old piece, plus editting and then word weaving, I'd still like to see the work at a finished 90,000. I think that is a good length for a fantasy novel. Any feedback on length would be appreciated.

15th July 2008: A good five hours of creative writing today as my notes helped me to write freely. Also, the boys were at school and Angie gave me some peace and quiet to really charge on. Good stuff too which will form a good base to type and edit from.

14th July 2008: Back from a long weekend and extremely pleased that I got some time to do some intense preparation work for the second half of the book. Some very detailed notes and other ideas to finish it off now. The really hard work still lies ahead, creative writing, typing, editting and then weaving in some more magic.

11th July 2008: Well hit the 40,000 word target typed up on 9th July and as of 08:45 today the site has broke the 600 barrier of visitors. So if you are reading this now I really appreciate you helping me get to the 1,000. We are off on a short break today and I hope to be able to find some solitude in the evening to do some more writing. Hopefully before we set off I will be able to get some more typed up as well.

9th July 2008: I probably should use the blog page more than the Seton Rax page but as of 17:34 I have 39,000 words typed up and will get 40,000 typed by bedtime. Extremely happy with the way it is shaping up and some very powerful scenes. A lovely new idea with Mr. Battfin came to me which I hope everyone will like. I am unemployed at the moment and attending a lot of interviews which I am preparing for fully and has meant a bit of a break again. I do dream of being paid £30k a year just to sit in my windowless office and write but recognise that is not the way it will work at the current time. 592 visitors to the site as of today which is quite encouraging and I sold a book yesterday to Mr Mike South who was interviewing me in Charlotte Street, near to Soho. Felt like a real author at that moment.

23rd June 2008: Have had a decent spell of three days where I have had the urge and time to do some creative writing on Seton Rax & Company. Some good scenes with Vixen leading her revenge and the response of some favourite old characters. Still want it to be fast paced, punchy and strong on imagery but with a fair amount of well crafted poetical pieces as well. Although NO pieces of poetry and/or songs that you find in some fantasy novels.

19th June 2008: Reflecting very strongly on something the great man Farrel C. Anthony said to me. Have I really given writing a strong enough go? No is the answer. An agent and a piece of self publishing counts for little compared to the actual effort and labour needed to write fully fledged novels. Then to hope to ake enough money from it to live, well, extremely difficult, made harder if you do not put the effort in.

2nd June 2008: Have 30,000 words of Seton Rax & Company typed up now and the rest of the book very neatly planned. After a meal with Graeme and Choltte Shanks on Saturday night I feel very enthused to push on with some hardcore creative writing. Cheers Shanksy for the feedback and fanning the flames again when I was feeling a little low.

22nd May 2008: Well, feeling a little more inspired last night and wrote for a good 90 minutes. A pivotal scene between Vixen and a new character. Intended to get up this morning at 06:00 to type it up but the bed looked too inviting when I stood up. Weakness. I will never be a professional writer if I can't suffer some hardship.

20th May 2008: A week has gone by and I have done nothing towards writing more of Seton Rax and Company. Just been so busy with general nonsense of life that it seems hard to negotiate the time to do something which brings me joy. Still a nice moment this morning when Chris Remer, who is reading my first novel, said how he had figured out the little mystery with Is-Is. I want to be able to write full time and it is an extremely difficult thing to do when chores get in the way. That is probably what defines me most as a failure. I am not making it happen quick enough when there was an opportunity to throw myself into the creative life again.

13th May 2008: Finished typing up 28,000 words of Seton Rax & Company today. SO about a third of the way through. Having the supposed 'time off' recently has not meant I have had as much time to write as I would have liked. Looking after two boys aged 5 and 3 is very time demanding. Right now, Bilbo is crying beside me, demanding that I kill a difficult end level boss in Mario Sunshine.

7th May 2008: Nothing is New! Woe is me. I was reading an 1894 version of "The White Company" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and as the adventurers are setting off along the road they meet a messenger of the King who is carring a hewn off leg of a criminal to be hung in a nearby city. I had thought my idea of Longhurst in an adventure story was a new one but at least I am in good company.

23rd April 2008: Feeling quite nervous at 16:10 as tonight I attend a local author event in Wymondham. Other authors and the general public will be there but I relish the opportunity to get out there and spread the word about "Tumbletick & Company." One day when the fame of "The Chronicles of Umiat and Kenai" have spread around the world there will be a select few who will say "I was there upon St Georges Day!"

22nd April 2008: Made 201 changes I wanted to make to the first 18,000 words of "Seton Rax & Company." It is unbelievable that a combination of spelling mistakes, changes in words, additional sentances and correcting typos can add up to that much. An example would be how I wanted to talk about the "water closet" but word had changed it to "water closed". My favourite though was when Pavor had made some "fired eggs" which if it had got through the editting process unspotted would probably have been seen as quite poetic.

21st April 2008: Extremely happy about a particularly violent death scene written today for "Seton Rax & Company". Combined with the Chorus containing Phineas Bunch as an old and malignant lookout I believe I am creating some memorable scenes for the follow up to "Tumbletick & Company"