Shadeward: Enervation, Pre-release availability

Posted by on Jun 26, 2019 in Announcements

Today I’m delighted to announce the early availability and pre-release of Shadeward Enervation, book 3 in the Shadeward Saga! Book 3 follows directly on from Book 2 where Meru, Zoella, Coran and the crew of the Mobilis were en-route to Amar, having frustrated the priestesses of Drayden. But the priestesses have discovered the location of Amar and are making their plans to invade. Kiri’s own powers are growing too and she has her own designs. Meanwhile, Lacaille itself is stirring once more, threatening to unleash more woe upon Esurio… Available now in Paperback and Pre-Order Ebook From today you can order the paperback version of Enervation direct from Amazon for £9.99 (US $15.99). The E-book is currently on pre-order only, but will automatically appear on your Kindle on August 16th, price £3.50 (US $4.46). For those of you ordering the paperback, I’d really appreciate your reviews prior to the official launch on the 16th of August. These really help boost the book up the charts when it first appears. Also – please feel free to bring them along to Fantasticon and I’ll sign them for you. 🙂 So looking forward to what you make of this latest instalment. Unlike this book there won’t be a long delay for book 4 as it is planned to be written by the end of the year. It’s currently sat at 54, 000 words. Shadeward Enervation – Book 3 of the Shadeward Saga. Buy Shadeward Enervation Paperback or Pre-order the Ebook...

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Cover reveal, Shadeward Enervation

Posted by on May 2, 2019 in Announcements

It always an exciting moment when you get to reveal the cover of a book. Whilst we’re always exhorted not to judge a book by its cover, if we’re honest, many of us do. There’s a balance to be found in advertising what kind of book it is, following the tone of the times and coming up with something eye-catching that will work at different levels, both as a cover, but also as a thumbnail for the inevitable listings online. The 3rd book in a series is also a bit… tricky. You’re not at the point where you are tying things up, but nor are you introducing too many new things to be resolved. You still have to keep the story moving along at pace, in order to ensure that the overall plot doesn’t ‘sag’ in the middle. Despite all this, there’s still plenty going on! I’ve also had the challenge that the characters are growing up, and (in most cases) maturing a bit. This implies various things about their relationships and where they go. It’s been a challenge to balance that and move the characters on in a realistic fashion. Enervation is now being finalised, and with no further ado, here is the cover. I hope you like it! There are various elements of the series included here, which fans of the series should be able to pick out. Let me know what you think. Book 3 is coming soon....

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Doomdark’s Revenge: The Official Novel

Posted by on Dec 21, 2018 in Announcements

“From the ruins of blasted Ushgarak, she pledged that the Moonprince’s triumph would be short lived!” Here, in the depths of the cold, at the Winter Solstice itself, it gives me great pleasure to announce another book! I will be writing an official book based on the second of Mike Singleton’s epic games – “Doomdark’s Revenge.” Once again, Chris Wild and I will be collaborating on the story. Cover design will be by the same artist as before (the hugely talented Jurij Rogelj) with the book being published by Fantastic Books Publishing, initially in ebook and paperback, with an audible conversion following on afterwards. The current plan is to have the draft completed by the end of July 2019, with the book available in early autumn of the same year. To introduce it, here is the trailer. This is a direct sequel to “Lords of Midnight” and, just like as in the original game, will pick up the story immediately after the point at which Lords of Midnight finishes. Doomdark has indeed been defeated, but his daughter, Shareth the Heartstealer, vows a terrible revenge… Back in 1985, Doomdark’s Revenge swiftly followed the success of Lords of Midnight on the ZX Spectrum, introducing new innovations such as multiple races and characters who had their own agendas and wandered about the map. Despite all this, the map of the ‘Icemark’ (the land in which the adventure takes place) was even bigger than before. Doomdark’s Revenge is quite a different proposition to Lords of Midnight. Firstly, there are even more characters than before – a total of 128 compared with the 32 in Lords of Midnight! Now, each character has traits, behaviours, loyalties and hatreds, meaning politics will play a huge role in this story. Both Luxor and Shareth vie to recruit armies to their banner. Figuring out how to portray all this in a book will be one of the early challenges. Next, Lords of Midnight (the game) was entirely a male domain. We reviewed this as part of constructing the novel and introduced Shareth into Lords of Midnight from the second game (so readers would be aware she was there). Shareth is the daughter of Doomdark himself and is the main antagonist of this second story. Tarithel (who wasn’t mentioned in the original game either, but would have been around at the time) is the daughter of the Lord of Dreams. We gave her a bigger role in Lords of Midnight, but she has a central role in the second book and becomes one of the major protagonists. Morkin and Rorthron also reprise their roles, though Corleth is a noticeable absentee from the second game. The book will, once again, be faithful to a play through of the game itself. I’ll admit, right now, I’m not as familiar with the game as I was with Lords of Midnight, so I’ll...

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Leaving the Rat Race

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in Announcements

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve always written my books and stories around, and often in spite of, my day job. I took the advice I was given at school… study, work hard and get a ‘proper’ job. So I studied Computer Science at university and my career has exclusively been within the IT domain since – that’s 26 years of a quite traditional ‘career’ revolving around a 9-5 job Monday through Friday, though it was more like 7-7 with some weekends thrown in! I’ve worked out that unpaid overtime was probably something like an extra year or so over that period – so I’ve certainly ‘done my bit’. This constricted the amount of time available to me for writing, and whilst I’ve managed to crank out quite a bit of work (6 full length novels and a few short stories) since I properly started back in 2011, time has always been the issue I couldn’t do a great deal about. Any of you who work in corporate life will be very much aware of the soulless desks, office politics, downsizing/rightsizing/outsourcing, endless (and often pointless) meetings and paperwork, death-by-powerpoint, checkbox mentality and sheer stress involved. Add to that the increasingly heavy burden of compliance and regulation and the constant yearly mantra of “Do more with less!” (wouldn’t it be nice one year for top brass to say “You know what? This year how about we do less with more?” 😉 ). The higher in an organisation you go, the more all this compounds. Responsibility and accountability is a heavy burden. I’m good at my job, and I have worked with some amazing people throughout my career. But it was sapping my strength, leaving me with less and less to offer to family, friends and fans. It’s not my passion – that lies elsewhere. My passion, as you probably know, is writing. If I’m honest, it always has been – I was writing stories from childhood. So it’s with the full support of my family, with great excitement, and a little trepidation, that today I’m announcing that I’m stepping out of the rat race. I’m working my notice at my current employer, and from January 2019 will be writing full-time. There is clearly some risk involved in this, not least the finances – there’s still a mortgage and bills to pay. However, we’ve decided that life is simply too short not to chase your dreams. For a while now I’ve been asking myself “If not now, then when?” My books clearly have a readership and I don’t think it’s too self-aggrandising to claim I have a fan-base out there waiting for my next book. Around me I have seen work colleagues, old friends and famous people in the media dropping dead at ages not far from (or in some cases younger than) mine. My life...

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Lords of Midnight Paperback available!

Posted by on Aug 14, 2018 in Announcements

With the imminent official launch of “The Lords of Midnight” just a few weeks away at Fantasticon 2018, it gives me great pleasure to let you all know that you can now get your paperback copies of the book from Amazon. It’s quite a different experience from the ebook! The paperback version is 533 pages long, so quite a tome, even for a fantasy novel. You get the same front cover as the ebook, but you also gain the rear and spine covers too. Inside there is a map of Midnight across two pages. There certainly is something very satisfying about holding the finished work in your hands after all this time. If you’ve been holding out for a physical copy, now is your chance. 🙂 I’ll be signing copies of the book at Fantasticon if you planning on attending, there’ll also be another opportunity, in Kent, for a book signing later in September. If neither of those work for you, please reference my ‘Signed Copies‘ page for details of how you can get your copy signed by me.   You can order your copy direct from Amazon UK or from Amazon...

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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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