Light In My Dark book launch

October 15, 2016 in Uncategorized



Award Winning Authors Unite For A New YA Fantasy Series 

Authors Jean Gilbert and William Dresden, have joined forces to craft an epic YA fantasy adventure entitled Light In My Dark

Publication Date: October 21 2016, Rouge House Publishing.

Paperback Original Price: NZD $25.00

July 25, 2016 –limd-epup-cover Author Jean Gilbert, the renowned speculative writer who brought avid science fiction readers The Vault Agency Series, and her cowriter William Dresden, a screenwriter and comic book author, have launched their latest novel, Light In My Dark.

Light In My Dark begins a thousand years ago, when a Viking boy conquered a parallel world called Nön. Guided by a dark presence, he instilled himself as king, enslaving the populace, leaving them without light or hope. However, when his power had grown weak, the Darkness insisted on new blood to aid in the conquest of its next target – Earth.

In the present, a humble, small-town girl named Harper struggles to find meaning after the death of her mother. She longs for adventure, but she is stuck in Glen Eden, a sleepy mountain town that does little to aid her big dreams.

Harper’s saving grace is her best friend Jack. He does everything he can to make her happy, yet he cannot find the nerve to ask her to the upcoming school dance. Everything changes when a new student arrives, a boy who could have been a Viking in another life. Strange things begin to happen in Glen Eden, both for Harper and Jack. Little do they know that the world of night is calling to them, and the boy has come to show them the way.

Light In My Dark is an enthralling read for anyone. Young adults who enjoyed Throne of Glass, or The Grisha Trilogy are sure to find the same gripping quality in Light In My Dark. The plot is packed with adventure, self-discovery, and love. The novel will be debuting at the 2016 Armageddon Expo in Auckland, New Zealand.

About the Authors

Jean Gilbert was born in the USA and moved to New Zealand in 2005 to follow her passions. Now she is an acclaimed speculative writer and an essential member to the Speculative Writers of New Zealand. Jean has written several hit works including The Vault Agency Series and Blonde Obsession. The second piece to Light In My Dark, William Dresden, is an award-winning screenwriter and author also from the USA. Among his works are the novella Dead Reckoning and a comic book series Aurora.

For more information on Light In My Dark

Visit Jean’s website:

Visit William’s website:

Visit the Publisher’s website:

Email the Publisher:



Au Contraire III in Wellington

May 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

Once a year science fiction and fantasy fandom get together for a fun convention. This year in New Zealand it will be held in Wellington June 3-5 2016.  The details can be found at the link below:

Au Contraire III

Not only will there be discussions about the latest Star Wars movie, and an update on Dr. Who, there will be plenty of other geeky topics to fill the hearts of all the science fiction and fantasy lovers out there, including me.  And yes, you can dress up in costume if you so wish. You will not be frowned upon, but admired for your cleverness.  I have mine all picked out.

On Sunday evening will be the Sir Julius Vogel Awards ceremony, New Zealand awards for science fiction and fantasy writing and fandom. This year I am excited to tell you that I am a finalist in four categories:

Best Novel 2016: Ardus

Best Short Story 2016: Pride

Best New Talent 2016: Jean Gilbert

Best Collected Work 2016: Write Off Line 2015 – The Earth We Knew

If you would like to see all the nominations, please click on the link:

Sir Julius Vogel Awards

If you would like to see my other work, please click onto the ‘book’ page to see the list and links.  Keep posted. New work is on the way and will be appearing soon on the website.

Star WarsI just had to add this in…

NZ Independent Book Festival October 3-4 2015

September 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hello everyone!

If you would like to catch up with me, I will be at the NZ Independent Book Festival on Saturday and Sunday October 3-4. Come find me at booth #5. I will have both SHIFTERS and ARDUS available of purchase in paperback and on collectors Star Wars 2g usb sticks.

And yes… I will be in costume.

Why? Because I can.

Click on the link below for more information on the event.

I hope to see you there.



NZ Independent Book Festival 2015
North Shore Events Centre
Argus Place, North Shore, Auckland

Saturday, 3 October 2015:  12 pm – 4 pm
Sunday,   4 October 2015:  10 am – 4 pm

New Zealand’s biggest book festival showcasing Kiwi authors, their books,
and businesses helping to bring dreams of book publishing to life.

Nerds: The Real Definition

March 24, 2014 in Stuff that's just plain fun

images-1No, not that kind.

The people kind.

Did you know that we are all nerds?

You heard me. Nerds. All of us.

Wait. Just hear me out first before you click that  button. Don’t you want to know? If I’m wrong, you can all breath a sigh of relief. But if I”m right…well…you just might have to rethink the whole universe thing, and come to terms with the fact that you are what you are- a NERD.

First, let’s look at the old definition as found in the Merrian-Webster Dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary, and in Wikipedia(which interestingly, gave a much deeper definition, plus some stuff about being fascinated with such topics as fiction(science, that is) and fantasy. I wonder if they were referring to good all D&D , or maybe Trekkies. Hmmm…).

Here is their definition.

1) Nerd: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits. images-3

I’m sure we all can picture this type of person who is readily stereotyped in the movies and  in television, even in school. For those who don’t know, they’re the ones that wore thick glasses, pocket protectors, and terrible haircuts.


But things have changed. With a new generation comes a new look on what it means to be a nerd. Here are some examples I found in an very interesting dictionary.

Urban Dictionary:

1) One whose IQ exceeds his weight.(Well, I think we can rule this one out. You’ll see what I mean later on.)

2) An individual persecuted for his superior skills or intellect, most often by people who fear and envy him.(This can apply to anyone. Just watch kids at play, and you’ll see what I mean. The boy who controls the sandbox syndrome.)

3) A person who gains pleasure from amassing large quantities of knowledge about subjects often too detailed or complicated for most other people to be bothered with. (Here we go… This is the category that I’m talking about!)

To put it in layman’s terms: a nerd is someone who is passionate about something… anything.

For example:

Let’s talk sports.

You know who I’m referring to, those guys that know every member of their favorite team, every good play that went down that season, and the season before, and yes, for every season as far as it has been recorded and then some. And not just their team, but the whole industry.

Yeah! Go Jets!





Or how about the bird watcher who knows every bird in the sky and on the ground, all their habits, migration patterns, and mating rituals.hawk Or tattooed onto someone’s back.

Or how about the one that knows everything about:

carssports car

or fishingfishing

or fashionfashion

or online shopping sites images


You get my drift. We all have at least one thing that we nerd out about.

Nerds are everywhere , no longer restricted to the privacy of their homes. Just get them talking long enough, and what they nerd out about will eventually come out.

So, all you nerds out there, rejoice! WE are a force to contend with. Here is the formula to prove this.

the force

The Force…  =mc^2(Nerd)

Star Wars rules!

                                                                              I’m such a nerd.(sigh)

Star Wars and Cellos

October 1, 2013 in movie fun, music of all sorts, Stuff that's just plain fun

Star WarsStar Wars and Cellos. Why, you ask? The two seem to have nothing in common. But, what if… and I’m stretching the use of your imagination in this… what if you put the two together.(Who would actually do this? You’d be surprised.)

Is it possible?

Let’s examine the facts.

Star War charactersStar Wars: A classic science fiction space adventure movie.

Cello: A classical stringed instrument. Cello painting-4





Star Wars: As a movie, you can’t make a classic space adventure any better, though they’ve tried to replicate it in 1, 2, and 3.(No comment on those movies.) Yes, I know… they’re planning on making more. Some people just don’t know when to leave a good story alone. Anyway, back to the subject: Star Wars. What is it made up of?

Millenium Falcon Space ships  C3PO:r2d2Robots Star wars lasers Lasers. (Have you noticed how they can’t seem to hit their targets with those things? Maybe they should write in a gun scope. I’ll suggest it for movies 8, 9, and 10.)

You have a typical hero: a shaggy no good scoundrel, who is full of himself. And then you have the heroine: beautiful, intelligent, and vulnerable. Put them together with the meanest, darkest, and deadliest villain in all of sci/fi movie history, and you have a story that will mark you forever, maybe to the point where you name one of your children after a main characters. Me? Would I do that? No comment.

Cello: cello x4-3Okay, cellos don’t have a hero, heroine, or a bad guy in the true sense of the meaning. But some of the great composers have used this instrument to depict those moods in the music they write.  Here are a few examples:

Rachmaninov cello Sonata

Antonin Dvorak cello Concerto

Beethoven- Sonatas for Cello and Piano- Rostropovich & Richter  (watch at:



An amazing thing happened one day… a day when two opposite worlds collided. That’s right. It was the day when Star Wars collided with a cello, or should I say, two cellos. Is this possible? Who would dream to do such a thing? Well, I will tell you. It is The Piano Guys. Have a look. I dare you. You will not believe me until you do.

I present to you: Cello Wars

See. Anything is possible. All it takes is inspiration and the guts to pull it off. The same goes for any form of art, whether it’s music, paint, acting(Yes, it is classified as an art form.), and writing.

Now, weren’t you inspired?

Let’s do our share and support our local artists. Here is one from my area: Darcy Perry- a guitarist. Please check Darcy out.



San Diego Comic Con 2013

August 4, 2013 in Geek galore, movie fun, Stuff that's just plain fun


256x256_fit_one_bestfit_316Comic Con… (Pausing for effect) Yes, let it sink in… the crowds, the costumes, and comic books galore: it was all there, plus so much more. I am still buzzing from the aftereffects, driving everyone around me mad with all my excitement.  They just don’t understand, because they are missing one important ingredient: geekiness.




That’s right. Comic Com encompasses what it means to be a geek.


Where else can you go and dress up in tight yellow(or red) spandex and walk the halls with your head held high?1024x768_bestfit_162


256x256_fit_one_bestfit_317Or be your favorite character from a video game, movie, or comic book, and everyone thinks you’re cool?




Where else can you wear a Brown Coat t-shirt and get nods of approval? Comic Con is a magnet that draws us geeks out from around the world. We can’t help it. It’s in the blood.


As a writer, I like to observe people. What better place to take notes than at this auspicious occasion.  Sitting back against a wall in the front hallway, I observed that there are two types of people who came to Comic Con: those that want to be seen, and those that want to see.


Those that want to be seen:  These are the geek-goers that dress in full costume. They spare no expense, going all out in elaborate details. These are the ones that parade up and down the very long hallway of the convention center, stopping and poising for the cameras every few steps. They truly do look amazing, and deserve to be admired, especially for all the effort that had gone into their costume. But they are not there to browse through the many stalls of artist, writers, comics, or paraphernalia.  They are there only to be admired.

256x256_fit_one_bestfit_292  Game of Thrones

Dr. Who256x256_fit_one_bestfit_290


Battle Star Galactica     256x256_fit_one_bestfit_217

(and they bleeped, too.)


Those that want to see:  (this is the category I put myself into) These are fellow geeks who want to see what’s going on in the world of Comic Con, whether it be what new movies or video games are coming up, or who is attending the panels and waiting in line to get in. I waited six hours to get into the Dr. Who 50th Anniversary Panel and still didn’t make it. Many more fans lined up the night before and slept on the ground to make sure they got in. That is true geekdom at its highest level. (Why didn’t I think of that? Next time…) Others come to make contacts, such as viewing the many styles of artwork and talking with the artists for future projects.                                             This is my favorite piece of artwork done by Jason Palmer.(Can you guess why?)256x256_fit_one_bestfit_312

Or buying a book directly from the author, and getting it signed. Or some come to get a new comic book, movie trinket, or t-shirt they want to add to their collection.  Yes… I did buy some t-shirts… Firefly.  Well, where else am I going to find them!

Whether from group A or group B, we all had one thing in common: we were all at home among our kind, and proud of it. A costume is a must. It is the mark of our clan. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Some of the best costumes were the goofy ones pieced together from this and that.


San Diego Comic-Con 2014 will come up fast. Will you go? Try. I promise, you will not be disappointed. You must experience it to understand.

Me with a fellow Steam Punker.(I’m on the right.) 256x256_fit_one_bestfit_246

A Drink at the Green Dragon

June 16, 2013 in movie fun, New Zealand sites

Green Dragon

I am a big Lord of the Rings fan. When I say big… I mean BIG. I hate to admit it, but I got a little carried away by the time the third movie came out, seeing it a total of 15 times in the theater. The movie stubs are still tucked away in a safe place along with other souvenirs I’ve gathered through the years. And don’t get me started on the many hours spent watching the bonus material on the extended DVDs to the embarrassment of my children.

Sad to say, the obsession didn’t stop there.

When the opportunity came up to move to Peter Jackson’s world, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t… right?! To walk out and have the Shire right in your backyard…(sigh). There is no denying that New Zealand is Middle Earth as Tolkien saw it.Nazgul wide shot I keep waiting for a Nazgûl  to ride out of the thick morning fog of the Waikato valley winter, or catch a glimpse of a Lothlorien elf slipping away into the dense prehistoric woods surrounding the mountain trails.

4 hobbits and horseBut what I really wanted to see was a hobbit, you know, one of those small robust creatures with the innocent round faces and the hairiest feet ever. With the Hobbiton movie set only thirty-minutes away, I figured my chances would be pretty high. If they were to be found anywhere, they would be there. So when the set opened up to the public, I was first in line with camera ready.

Thirty-seven hobbit holes later and still with no hobbits in sight, I made my way to the Green Dragon for one last attempt to catch them at one of their favorite past times.(No, not the weed kind.) Green Dragon aleThey must have known I was coming for the inn was empty save for the large human types who were helping themselves to a refreshing mug of Southfarthing ale. Disappointed, I grabbed a help-pint and joined my fellow hobbit-watchers in a grand discussion on the merits of a cold glass of beer on a hot day. No one seemed bothered that the wee folk of Hobbiton were absent… but me. I’m sure they were there, somewhere grumbling as they watched us drink up their supply of ale.

The Hobbiton set is amazing! Words cannot do it justice. To see the place of my childhood fantasy in the flesh… what can I say. You know the feeling I’m talking about when a dream finally comes true? That’s how I felt that day.

Each hobbit hole was unique, and full of personal charm.

hobbit hole 1

hobbit hole 6

hobbit hole 5

hobbit hole 4






hobbit hole 2Bag EndThere are five full-time gardeners who are in charge of the beautiful landscape and the many flower gardens that surround each hole with color. The Green Dragon was just like in the movies, from thatched roofing to the thick round wooden doorways that lead from taproom to taproom.



The Shire does exist. This a a ‘must see’ place if you plan on visiting New Zealand, along with the Tongariro Crossing that passes right by Mt. Doom.(That’s a story for another time.)Tongariro



If I ever do happen to catch a glimpse of the shy folk of the Shire, I promise I will let you know.

Green Dragon sign post

Zombies… Again

April 27, 2013 in Books, movie fun

Yes, I know… I don’t like zombies.  So why am I writing about the subject for a second time?  It seems that zombies are on the minds of readers, and not just me.  For instance, you have probably heard that there is a new movie out called “World War Z“.

World War Z copyYes, it is a full-blown zombie movie with all the things one would expect from the genre.  No… I won’t be seeing it.  The picture says enough.




Wolrd War ZI did read the book.

Shocking, I know.  But what makes this book different than the typical zombie feast is the way it was written.  It was all done as a journalistic report full of different interview from people from around the world.  It didn’t dwell on blood and guts, and ‘dead’ people walking around like the movie does. In fact, the book is nothing like the movie.

You may be asking yourself- how can a book full of interviews be interesting? I don’t know how the author, Max Brooks did it, but it works.  You have to read it for yourself to see what I mean. You will be in for a surprise.

I did find something(besides the whole zombie dead thing) disturbing in the book…

I’ve always thought that zombies were fiction, make believe, a mad idea made up by some grave digger one night, until it was brought to my attention that the United States Armed Forces had undergone specific zombie apocalypse training.

Now, I’m not so sure…

Maybe Max Brooks knows something.  Maybe we should be listening.  Read the book, and you will understand what I mean.

On a lighter note:  “Warm Bodies” is out in theaters, a comedic love story about a zombie boy and a human girl.

Warm Bodies

I don’t know… sounds tempting.

Three Most Popular Forms of Time Travel

April 26, 2013 in Books, movie fun, On writing...

Before I begin this article I’d like to clarify one thing: Time travel is not an exact science at this point in man’s history. The only form that is scientifically possible is that of Time Dilation. Don’t believe me? Look it up, you skeptics. You know who you are.

Because the subject of time travel is not based on fact, writers have the license to make up their own rules.  Even then the rules they make up must hold true throughout their story as much as the complexities of time travel will allow.

For this exercise, I have chosen to focus on the three of the most common forms of time travel used by writers; otherwise, we will be here all day and I’m sure you have better things to do… like eating… or sleeping… or watching an episode of “Firefly”.

1) The Loop

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.38.39 PMLike the word depicts, this is a closed circuit of time where the character is connected to a point in the past, either in his own lifespan, or further back in history. This timeline is fixed. Any action by the time traveler will not change it. In fact, his actions may have caused the ‘event’ to happen that led to ‘the loop’. Paradoxes are usually at a minimum since the problem is fixed by the action of the character. An example of this scenario can be found in Michael Crichton’s Timeline.


Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.50.06 PMOr the loop can remain continuous as in Robert A. Heinlein’s Farnham’s Freehold.

Sometimes the loop is intertwined with a Predestination Paradox (or causal loop) such as found in “By His Bootstraps”, a short story also written by Heinlein where the main character interferes with his past self in a twist of loops to create the person he is to become in the future. Complicated? You bet.




2) The One Way Trip (The Scoot)

This form is pretty much self-explanatory and the easiest to write. Once the trip is made, there is no going back. (Pun intended) Paradoxes and other complications don’t come into play.  You can find the one-way trip in romance novels where the beautiful heroine gets transported back in time, falls in love with the Scottish Laird, and decides to stay. The end.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.48.48 PMIn Science fiction the Scoot happens mostly in a forward motion. One example of this is found in John Varley’s Millennium.Although the female protagonist travels back and forth through time (after all that is her job), the male protagonist, and those that are rescued travel in one direction- to the future.



3) The Alternative Timeline (The Boogie)

The Boogie is the most common form of time travel used in writing, and the most complicated. Here the time traveler, by his actions or even by his appearance in the past, can alter the future and create a whole new scenario for himself and the world he lives in.

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.51.42 PMA good example of this is the “Back to the Future” series where the main character interferes with his parents past and returns to find an alternate future, a better one, only to destroy it by going back a second time and altering the past again. Does this mean his former timeline has been erased?  Or did he create a parallel universe, and both are  running side-by-side? Don’t think too hard. There are no real answers.


Also worth mentioning are the following: The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein, Thrice Upon a Time by James P. Hogan, and Replay by Ken Grimwood. There are many more great novels out there. I’m sure you have your favorites, but time and space do not allow me to list them all here. I apologize for this.

4)  Stand Alone

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.53.09 PMI’ve added a fourth category because in my research for this article, I came across a few novels that fit no particular form or rule of time travel. It took me by surprise, for anyone who is a science fiction buff knows that there are certain rules that need to be followed. Well, no more. We have a few rule-breakers out there who have shown us that anything can work if it is well written. One of these is The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. She dared to write with no rules and no consequences, achieving this with great success.


Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.54.04 PMSlaughterhouse-Five also deserves a spot in this category.  In this 1969 novel, Kurt Vonnegut wrote a strong cocktail mix of time travel, aliens, and the fourth dimension. He served it on a platter of controversy that is still felt forty-four years later.  Odd as it sounds, Varley’s mix worked.  This again proves that writers can break the rules as long as we are careful to stay within the framework we create for our time traveler characters.

Now that you have learned the steps to the Loop, Scoot and Boogie of time travel, go out and practice the dance on the pages of your mind. Mix them up together, or just concentrate on one form. Or better yet, throw them out the window and create your own set of rules. Whatever the case, have fun with it, and let your imagination take the lead on a merry dance through time.

Remember, anything is possible in the world of science fiction.






Zombies… Really?

April 25, 2013 in Books, movie fun, New Zealand sites

I admit it.  I am not into zombies.  The thought of someone (live or dead) eating my flesh gives me the willies.  I’m a science fiction fan of the the first order.  Zombies have never been part of my repertoire.  Vampires?  Yes, if the story doesn’t dwell on the bloody part. Classy, or sexy… that’s what I like, not blood and guts.

The Walking DeadWhy, then, am I talking about the subject of zombies?  You have to understand; my family is big into movies and TV series.  Recently “The Walking Dead” had entered our conversation as these things do.  The show has received good reviews throughout all three seasons.  Never having seen it, I had asked the stupid question of how much flesh eating went on in the show.  The response I got back was that it wasn’t about the ‘flesh eating’, but about the relationship of the survivors, and how they changed to cope with the situation.  This is where I made the mistake of declaring my aversion of the genre.


Slither (I will admit here that I did see “Slither“, but it’s not technically classified as a zombie movie even with its b rating.)




From there they made a trip to the local video store to rent ‘Shaun of the Dead” insisting that I needed to be educated. “It’s a comedy,” they said.  “Hardly any of the zombie stuff at all.  You’ll be fine.”

Shaun of the DeadAnd I believed them.

Let’s just say, I didn’t sleep well that night.  Dreams of zombies filled my head, and not the comedic kind either.  When I told them the next morning about my bad night, they all laughed.  I wasn’t impressed at all, but I brushed it off as a learning experience.  After all, we had a great day planned ahead.  No more thoughts of zombies entered my head as we headed over the mountian pass to the beach.

All was good.  After a lunch of battered gurnard and chips, we perused the surf shops and artsy stores before heading back to the car to go to the local black sand beach.

And then… I saw it.

2013-01-03 15.34.50

I’m not making this up.  I had to read the logo on the side of the van twice!  Was this a coincidence?  I think not.

Zombies aren’t real… right?