Lords of Midnight, revised publication date

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in Progress Report

Folks, I know that you’ve been eagerly awaiting the debut of my first fantasy novel, The Lords of Midnight. I’m afraid I’ve got to announce a further delay. We’re now looking at the beginning of September this year for release. We’ve been working hard on prepping the novel – it’s a chunky 150,000+ words. Editing, typesetting and all the other prep for publishing is well underway and in good shape – the book itself is done. We had some issues getting the cover ready in time and these have now been sorted, but unfortunately not in time for the publishing slot we were aiming for in May. Publishing slots are time-bound (each book is lined up and has its place in the queue), if you miss your slot you have to wait for the next available one. Unfortunately we’ve missed our assigned slot. It wouldn’t be fair to other authors to jeopardise their go live dates. The next available slot for us is September. We could have squeezed things for May, but that would result in a potential compromise of quality, something that we weren’t prepared to do. It’s never good to rush things unnecessarily. We’ve been waiting for this particular book since 1984 –  I hope 3-4 months further delay won’t be received too badly. We’ve only got one chance to relaunch this and we want to ensure it’s the best we can do. In the next few weeks we will be able to reveal the cover for the book, so stay tuned for that and we’ll be able to bring you some more concrete info about pre-release and formats. Apologies for this additional delay, but we’re confident the final product will be worthy of the wait! We’ll be able to launch at the Fantasticon convention, where (other than book launches) you’ll be able to avail yourself of traders, tabletop games, livestreaming, video games (modern and retro), virtual reality, musicians and special guests. Any questions, please tweet or ask below in the...

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Lords of Midnight is complete!

Posted by on Apr 14, 2018 in Progress Report

At 10:40 this morning I made the final tweaks to the final draft and sent the manuscript back to the publisher. It’s been a long and weary road since completing the first draft back in December last year, but the difference between the two documents is striking. The final draft is polished, sharp, better structured and (hopefully) devoid of typos. Editing isn’t my favourite activity – I don’t know many writers who actually ‘enjoy’ it, but it’s utterly essential to the art of crafting a good story. The editors scalpel can be painful to wield, but those cuts and incisions do make for a better book at the end of the day. I am very happy with the final draft of Lords of Midnight. Chris and I have been back and forth through the lore of the game and the sequels, through all of the manuals and gameplay, even through some of Mike Singleton’s notes. We have consolidated all the existing lore, worked through the discrepancies and tried to use our judgement to decide on what Mike’s vision would have been where it wasn’t clear from the game or existing material. We’ve created arcs which span beyond just a single book, mindful that we hope to be able to write more stories in Mike’s amazing worlds. We have tried to answer, where it makes sense, some of the open questions about Midnight itself and provide a bit of history of the world via the characters that have experienced it. We made special effort to flesh out and differentiate the characters of Midnight; the primary cast of Luxor, Morkin, Corleth and Rorthron and the eponymous ‘Lords’, along with the other characters fans will be expecting to see. Conscious that there is a next book in the series with additional characters, we have woven in backstory for them too, to allow them to segue into the events of the following stories without simply ‘appearing’ in the narrative. Next book, you say? Yes! It was (and is) our intention to continue on with what we are currently calling ‘The Midnight Chronicles’. Lords of Midnight the game goes straight into Doomdark’s Revenge, the story doesn’t end here by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve worked on the lore and the structure of this book to ensure we can continue into others. I’m very excited about writing Doomdark’s Revenge and then continuing further with the saga. I’ve enjoyed writing my first fantasy book. If it is well received and sells well then it is very likely that more books will come – the commercial success does dictate whether we’ll be able to continue. For now then, it’s back to the publisher. Cover art and typesetting is next on the list and with the book due to be available towards the end of May. Night is almost over and the eastern sky grows bright. Not...

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Spring Equinox

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Progress Report

It seems oddly appropriate that, having been working on the editing the Lords of Midnight for the last few weeks, there is still snow lying on the ground here at the official start of spring. It seems the Witchking’s power remains strong! I’m going to take that as a good omen for now. Lords of Midnight stands at a solid third draft (152,188 words) at present. I’m currently working with my editor to refine that draft into a final version which can be sent for typesetting and, ultimately, printing. Editing is a bit of a mystical dark art, but essentially it is tightening up the narrative, making the dialogue ‘zing’ and cutting out the unnecessary fat of the story, until you’re left with a lean, pacey story, free from typos with the right speed and energy to make the book absolutely compelling. Having been through this process a few times now (Lords of Midnight is my sixth full-length novel) I’m always amazed at the improvement a solid edit makes. I’m very blessed to have an superb editor who understands both the genres of fantasy and sci-fi, but also understands the way I write and how I go about it. Only rarely do we disagree on what to do about a phrase or a passage, and that’s usually down to some obscure piece of lore – I typically get a comment in the margin saying “Are you sure this is what you mean?” Editing is essential for a good book. Authors can procrastinate, fall in love with their world-building, over describe things, get carried away in the dialogue and forget to ground the reader in the scene, screw up points of view and slow the drama at the wrong times. A good editor doesn’t ‘read’ the book, they evaluate it critically, looking for these constructive errors and suggesting fixes. It’s the difference between having a story that ‘shows promise’ and a ‘great story’. My best claim to fame in this regard is that I occasionally get complaints from my editor that I pull her out of ‘editing mode’ and into ‘reading mode’ and she has to mentally reset and back up before continuing on. I think that’s editor speak for ‘this is good’. 🙂 This work will continue for a while, but we are very close to the end now, folks. Bear with us for a few more weeks and you’ll be able to start your adventure in the lands of Midnight all anew.  There’s a glimmer on the eastern horizon, dawn is not far...

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Revised date for Lord of Midnight availability

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in Progress Report

Folks, A quick update on the arrival of the Lords of Midnight novel. Been in conversations with my publisher (FBP) this week on the timing of editing, cover production, typesetting etc. Unfortunately, we have a further short delay. Editing, in particular, can’t be rushed and needs to be done properly. Apologies for this, but it’s a combination of workload and a few other events beyond our control. The birth of books is never a straightforward thing! We are now expecting the book to be available at the end of May this year (rather than March) about an additional 8 weeks. On a more positive note, my wife is reading the draft at the moment (she’s particularly good at spotting plot-holes) and so far we have a thumbs up. She likes it more than my previous book, Elite Dangerous:...

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