Rebecca Hirst-Roberts (Bex R)

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Writer newbie (Speculative Fiction), working full time in FE/HE Education. Married, Mum of one two-legged and six four-legged of the catcat persuasion.

I've been a member since the start of March 2021, and am both excited/delighted I joined, and also devastated as now I know I should have joined well before starting my Fantasy book!!! (then I wouldn't have been tempted by the multiple !!!'s LOL). I'm learning so much, attending virtually every webinar and excited to learn from all of you. Particularly interested to connect if you are writing speculative fiction.

I did self-publish a rather unusual blend of self-help (alcohol & mental health) and chic lit novel several years back, as a way to help women reflect on their alcohol use. As a former counsellor and substance misuse specialist I spent a long time working with women who had developed issues around alcohol dependency without any awareness this was happening, and how/why, so I decided to see if I could produce something they might read and get information/support from that would demystify the process of going into rehab and working with counsellors. 

The result was 'In Your Eyes' (Ally's Journey). Anyway, it was a passion thing, and whilst I got it up on KDP, it had only been proof read/edited by the stereotypical best friend, so EEEK! 

If finally remembered my KDP log on and I have taken it down to actually engage in a proper edit process. I'm actually excited to go back to it, now I know so much more about what I should have done. New version will be called 'Surviving Sam' and will be more appropriately branded re. cover art. More chic lit, less psychedelic goth wierding party (well I loved it...). 

I still believe the premise was good, and a number of counsellor/mental health practitioners said it really helped their clients understand their situation better (I distributed free to professionals as it was never a money making project), where their clients were happy to read a novel/discuss chapters in group therapy like a book club, but wouldn't have picked up a self-help manual. I learnt so much from the 4-year process.

Also, I didn't check my PoD specs and just went with what KDP suggested, so when my author's copies arrived I ended up with a coffee table textbook of a novel ... Argh! Apparently you can't change publication size once set in KDP without unpublishing and republishing, so I really need to get round to that.

Loving the enthusiasm of the Jericho community, and all the practical, positive support the groups offer. And who couldn't love the amazing webinar content. So relevant and inspiring. 

Now, I just need to actually do the writing/editing "stuff" (technical term I use... a lot. Lol) 

Great to meet you guys. 😊


Hi Robert. 

As a nearly there these are looking good. I would agree with Rick Yagodich comments in the main, re. Moon/Sun word cover issues, and the Aegis cover looking more SF (though I do love this one - perhaps the best). 

I would personally prefer your name in lower case as it stands out more. Our brain looks for word shape and apparently you are more likely to become more recognised if people can learn to recognise your name shape - at least that is what is taught regarding conference speaking etc. And personally I just think it looks better and contrasts with the ALL CAPS otherwise. The cooler blue/grey stands out as a contrast to your title chosen colour palette.

I also do find volume numbers helpful for read order - especially on Kindle - though you can obviously build in X of Y into your online blurb. 

Overall I think these are definitely going in the right direction, and have impact.

Hope that helps


That is brilliant news - always great to hear of Jericho successes. Amazing. Well Done!!! (and no Harry I didn't use ! - or 3 - my keyboard must have gotten itself a bit excited.)

Thanks guys, and I know you are right ... I just have a horror of thinking I have come up with something new and realising that someone, who I know nothing about and have never even heard of, let alone read, has already done it, and brilliantly. Take your point Glyn, and thanks, I will post a bit more about where I am at the moment.

Added a comment to Bad adverbs 

I find that my first drafts are often drowning wildly in adverbs, and I have just come to a place where i ignore it, finish the chapter and then do some serious conversion/stripping. I do think it can be a style 'thing' though, as Jon has said, and if we have to conform to all the 'rules' out there I worry that writing can becomes bland/generic. I think if the word feels right then trust your gut.

Hi Rebecca. It's your book so anything is possible, I think the important thing is you apply whatever 'laws' of physics/whatever across your book. 

Thanks loads guys. I have found this the single hardest thing to do as I'm constantly wanting to say... 'a but she's a dragon, or and the war is because...'  so your feedback is really helpful. Happy to reciprocate. 

Hi Helen. Good to meet you. I'm writing my first Fantasy (olgy) at the moment so would love to connect. Happy Saturday!

The website is GREAT. Really clear and user friendly. Loving it. Great layout and visuals, and clear as to what is free/discounted etc. Good job guys. And really looking forward to the Summer Festival - my first time. When can we book?

Hi Harry

Here is my offering, and my first attempt at speculative fiction.

From the Prologue of a Fantasy 'olgy' (not quite sure how long yet!). Multiple races, religions and (even in the background) multiple worlds. Working title - Union: The Concordance Cycle (though I'm sure that will be thrown out the window if I ever find an agent/publisher).

Premise - Is Equality a Universal Right?

Set against a backdrop of a world where certain cultures have access to divine energies The Godstream/The Ordaë (maijic) to help them survive/thrive, where some don't, it explores equality and diversity as intrinsic rights, and how people respond and act when faced with disparity - with the usual cast of human/non human races etc. - dealing with equality & inclusivity across ethnicity/gender & sexuality/ability & disability/mental health & mental functioning.

This section is a dream/vision sequence forewarning a key protagonist of what is coming. 

Would love to get feedback on how far off-the-mark/derivative/wonky (technical term) this is :)

Thanks loads


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They screamed!

One voice made many, or myriad made one. It was unknowable.

She was in blackness. The inky void alive with emotion and pain. Each new moment bringing waves of agony lancing her like shards. Pain, not hers, referred, but no less piecing and excruciating for the fact. Wave upon wave, upon wave it drowned her in its torment. Her mind accepting each onslaught without volition. She could do nothing else.

Of why she was here and whose suffering she lived she had no understanding, but, without question, she knew that her ordeal was true. She was living that which had been experienced, or would be.

The pitch of the scream rose, yet more voices joining, the crescendo beyond bearing. When she felt she could take no more, the darkness shrank and into the grey came depictions of horror. She prayed for blindness, to no effect. Battlefield strewn with hacked and torn bodies. Dismembered beings of many races and forms. The dead and dying innumerable. Past? Or a vision of the yet to come?

And unbidden and unspoken came to her the words “The Godstream Wars”.

The vista stretched panoramic, immersive. Around her the visceral smells and sights of wanton carnage. Rich metallic blood cut through the sweet smell of cooked flesh. The sharp stink of weapons fired jousted with the scent of putrefaction, the energy signature of killing maijics. Bouquets of death. The land, many tens of miles of low flat land, had become the definition of slaughter.

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Rebecca Hirst-Roberts (Bex R)
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