Lords of Midnight Ebook Launches!

Posted by on Jun 21, 2018 in Progress Report

It is dawn and the Solstice has arrived. With it comes the Cup of Dreams which brings new welcome, and the ebook version of the Lords of Midnight! The ebook is now available for general release. Folks who have pre-ordered should be getting their copies imminently. I hope you all enjoy it – certainly Chris, Dan and I had a lot of fun putting it all together. We hope we’ve done Mike Singleton proud. Arise, Midnight! Arise the Free! Peril and doom lie at our gates. Waken your valour, arm yourselves with courage! We ride to conquer Doomdark forever! Arise Midnight, arise! See you at the Tower of the Moon! Amazon Kindle – http://getbook.at/TheLordsOfMidnight Non DRM formats (Epub, Mobi and PDF)...

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Twitch Streaming

Posted by on Jun 16, 2018 in Announcements

I’ve been thinking quite a bit recently about a couple of things; fan interaction and giving something back to the community of folks who’ve followed me on and off through the years. I’ve had quite a bit of email and twitter interactions with folks regarding my books, about the stories, the background lore, characters and so on. There have also been quite a few queries on the ‘art’ of writing, or basically ‘how do you go about it?’ It seems there are plenty of folks out there interested in what it takes to write a book. I can’t claim to be an expert, but I have “been there and done that” to an extent. Emails are slow and ponderous, twitter is quick and fun, but rather limiting and it’s also hard to ‘store’ for reference in any meaningful way. Facebook is somewhere in between. Youtube is full of guides of course, but there’s not much opportunity to interact with an offline video. A few people have suggested Twitch. Twitch has, up until recently, been almost 100% about gaming. Streamers will play a game and folks will watch, comment and interact. I’ve avoided this up until now because: a) I’ve never had the time to play games to the degree that some folks can and b) there are so many streamers already talking about the games I do play that I didn’t really think I could add much. However, Twitch themselves are in the process of opening up their environment beyond games. They have a new ‘Creative’ category where people ‘make stuff’. That could be anything from Origami to Welding, as long as you have a webcam, a microphone and a topic of interest, you’re set. So… I’m going to start my own Twitch stream and focus on writing. I’ll be recording the streams and making them available via Twitch, YouTube and, hopefully, a podcast too. So how’s this going to work then? I’m going to try to keep it short and sweet, and hour at a time, once a week on Monday evening (8-9 pm UK time). I’m working on the topics, but here’s an early list of things I’m likely to cover: So you want to be writer? (What does it take? How much time do you need? What tools, equipment?  How do I start?) World Building (How do I construct something from scratch? What do I need? How much is enough?) Writing Clichés debunked/explained (“Write what you know”, “Show don’t tell”, “Why most of what you were taught at school was wrong”) Fatal flaws (The things everyone does at the start which you need to not do) Characters (How do you make an interesting character, what must you avoid, Points of View (How to ensure you don’t confuse the reader and make a mess of your story) Description (How do you bring the environment to life, how...

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Dawn breaks!

Posted by on Jun 9, 2018 in Announcements

It gives me enormous pleasure to bring you some great news about the official Lords of Midnight novel, now two years in the making! Whilst paperbacks are still scheduled for September, Fantastic Books Publishing have been able to bring the publication of the ebook version forward. The ebook is going to be available from the 21st June. The eagle-eyed amongst will immediately spot the significance of the date. This is the Summer Solstice itself, furthest point from the Witchking’s height of power in the depths of Winter, an auspicious moment upon which to launch the book and also the two year anniversary of the moment when the book was announced. Paperbacks will follow in September as previously mentioned, hopefully with a pre-order option in August. The ebook is now available to pre-order via Amazon, so you can be first in the queue when it is released. With all that happening there is one more thing to reveal. We’ve been working very hard on the cover design for the book in the last month. The artwork is by Jurij Rogelj, the same artist who created the graphics for Chris’ remade version of Mike Singleton’s original 1984 ZX Spectrum game. We’ve worked hard to capture the essential ‘Midnight-ness’ in the design, introducing bits and pieces from the game that should be instantly recognisable to existing fans, but in such a way that newcomers to Midnight will be enticed in as well. The bloody sword of battle hangs poised across the lands of Midnight, night fell and the Foul were abroad. But now, dawn breaks! Here is the cover of the official Lords of Midnight novel, the first of the “Midnight Chronicles” Yes, that’s right – the first of the “Midnight Chronicles.” Chris and I very much hope to continue on to Doomdark’s Revenge, the Citadel and the Eye of the Moon too given a positive reception to how we’ve treated Mike Singleton’s legacy in this first book. Everyone has worked very hard to get this book to this point and we’re confident we’ve done a great job, combining writing, lore, research, editing, typesetting, cover design and promotion. Now it’s heading your way wonderful readers. We all hope you love it! The ice-bound landscape of Midnight is waiting for you to explore it once...

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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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A year to the day, remembering Salomé

Posted by on Apr 29, 2018 in Lore

A year ago today one of the characters I created in my book Elite: Reclamation was ‘killed’. Kahina Tijani Loren, or Salomé, the erstwhile Senator of the Prism system, was assassinated when trying to reach the Tionisla system. Either a spoilt brat, an explorer, a war criminal, a heroine, a terrorist, a freedom fighter or a mad woman with a fondness for oratory – depending on your outlook – her story came to an end on the 29th April, 3303 (2017). She aimed to expose the actions of and incite a revolt against shadowy powers that she claimed were manipulating humanity. At least, that was the narrative. I’m grateful for those who have catalogued her life and put it all together on the Elite Dangerous Wiki for folks to review. Authors have always killed favoured characters off, either as part of the plot, or even vindictively, citing the “kill your darlings” advice (sometimes attributed to G.K. Chesterton). This can generate shock, upset and outrage in the reader. It depends very much on what the author intended. Others might ask why the ‘death’ of a fictional character matters anyway. But Salomé’s death was different. It wasn’t the author who killed her, but a player of the game the novel was based upon during an in-game event. That in-game event, and the notoriety that surrounds it, remains a moment of note in the history of the Elite Dangerous game. Some say it was a triumph, that it showed the possibilities of community generated content, player group interaction and involvement. Others consider it a disaster, a foregone conclusion, a confused mess, an event that should have never taken place, a publicity stunt or shameless self-promotion. Many will subscribe to aspects of both views. I’m grateful to Frontier Developments for covering the event on their livestream, newsletter and the in-game aspects. Also to Obsidian Ant, who interviewed me beforehand, the streamers who attempted to cover the event live, to Lave Radio, who covered the aftermath of the event, those who worked so hard with me on the event and those who took part. There are many many articles online about it. This one from Polygon is by far the most accurate, as Charlie Hall was the only journalist who had the courtesy to check facts with me. Other online material ranges from the poorly researched or one-sided, through to the credulity straining (but of course, oh so compelling!) conspiracy theories. What you consider to be the ‘truth’ of the matter is entirely up to you. What actually surprises me is how many people are still talking about it, even after all this time – but here is my reflection on it, a year to the day. First, I’ll try to explain what I intended. The original objective, looking at it now, seems quite pedestrian. All I really wanted was for players to determine the...

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