Monday, 15 April 2019

Where have you been?


Ah yeah, it’s been a while hasn’t it?  I’ve a good excuse though.

Boyle and Dalton sent through a developmental edit of my book ‘Alyssa’ back in November 2018. They did an exceptional job of diving deep into the style, characters, narrative and flow of the book. Brad, my editor, sent through extensive notes and since November 2018 I had been working my way through those notes.

Alyssa was my first book, written in 2011 and self-published in 2012. At that time, I was still developing my style and Alyssa was very much the test bed for future books. Returning to the book, I found Brad's comments to be right on the button.

Just over a month ago, I finished my editing and rewriting of the novel, and resubmitted to the publishers.

I will now wait and see if my edits are what they need. 

Strange as it may seem, I enjoyed the experience.  I had expected the process of rewriting my novel to be more painful, but instead I knew already that it was badly needed.  Looking at the writing style I used in ‘Anna’ (my fourth book) and looking at the style in ‘Alyssa’ before the edits, the books were very different.  I took the experience as an opportunity to bring the earlier book into line.  It also gave me the opportunity to develop the characters and world a little more, adding much-needed detail.

With the latest draft submitted, I have now found time for other writing and non-writing activates.  My sister-in-law and family got me a Writing Magazine writing course for Christmas, and I have been slowly working my way through the course material.  This has been a very interesting experience, as I’m learning a lot about aspects of the craft I may have neglected, such as keeping a writer’s notebook and Commonplace book.

I’ve also taken the time to write a little fan fiction, writing some stories for some tabletop wargames that I play.  Whether these stories ever see the light of day or if they ever remain just an exercise to keep my writing skills sharp, I don’t know.  We’ll see.

My Instagram account has seen much more posts around painting models and wargaming than it has writing but this has been a good distraction.  Rest and recovery from an intense period of editing.  As enjoyable as I found the experience, it was intense.  I feel I may have put myself under more pressure than I should have to get it finished.  I have learnt from the mistake and will be pacing myself better next time!

The next stage will come after the latest edit comes back from my publishers.  I don’t know when that will be but I’m looking forward to moving the story along a little further upon the publishing path.
Until next time.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Other Interests: Table Top Roleplay

A new blog post, just not within a month of the last one as originally planned.  Ah well, next time!
This one, is on a very different topic.
Whilst I love writing, it is not my first love.  I’ve found myself involved in a variety of weird and wonderful interests over the years and I’d like to tell you about some of them in some of my blog updates.

The first was what partly inspired me to write in the first place; tabletop role play, or pen and paper role play.  Basically, it involves a bunch of people sitting around a table and effectively acting out the lives of a variety of characters created by themselves according to the rules of the game they are playing.  Depending on those rules, they might be a group of adventurers exploring a dungeon, a spaceship’s crew, or even a group of vampires.

I started tabletop role play with an old classic by the name of ‘Vampire; the Masquerade’ by White Wolf publishing.  This game casts the players as a variety of different kinds of vampire, all attempting to survive in the World of Darkness; the game's setting a world much like our own, only worse.  It was an easy introduction, as the game rules were easy to follow, particularly the rules for creating my character.  I favoured assassins and combat centred characters.  It was a good introduction.

After this, I got into another game by the same company; ‘Mage the Ascension’.  This was when things became interesting.  Mage was as deep background-wise as Vampire, except the magic rules in it were wonderfully free-form.  It was also the game that encouraged me to ‘GM’ my own games.  GMing stands for ‘Games Mastering’.  It’s always left to one person in a roleplaying game to keep things going; to introduce the players to the background, story, notable non-player characters and objectives.  I took to this and started crafting my own stories, writing them within the games background and allowing the players to run free within the narrative I created.

With the experience of Mage under my belt, I took a chance on a new roleplay game that had just come out.  A tactical RPG, which involved models as well as the player's imagination.  This game was called Cadwallon; it was amazing.

True, the edition my friends and I picked up was a direct translation from the original French.  As such, the English was a little ‘unusual ‘ and it required my good friend Gavin to go through the book and re-translate the rules to our liking.  Despite this, we loved the setting and the opportunities.

Over one year, we played 28 separate sessions of Cadwallon, all from stories I had created.  Over a dozen players were involved, sometimes all at once!  One night, I had three separate sessions going with three separate groups.  One in my kitchen, one in the living room and one briefly in my hallway!  It was a mammoth undertaking and I was immensely proud of the stories and situations we created from the game.

So much so, that it formed the nucleus of my own fantasy world that, in turn, would lead to writing my first Haldred Chronicles book ‘Alyssa’.

After Cadwallon I continued to play RPGs.  Rogue Trader, from Fantasy Flight, was particularly good fun and was played on a scale like Cadwallon.  It encouraged me to apply my writing style to several short stories that I subsequently submitted to Black Library, albeit without success.

Today I don’t get to play the games as much, but I still find myself collecting the rule books and background.  These still very much interest me.

Next, I’ll let you in on another passion.  Wargaming…

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Exciting news!

And when I say exciting news, I really mean it.

For the last year, I have been contacting agents and publishers, hoping that one of them would pick up Haldred Chronicles.  It has always been my ambition to become a fully published author.  Sadly, whilst many have praised the writing and style, none have been interested in taking on the series.

Until now.

The wonderful people over at the hybrid publisher Boyle and Dalton have very kindly agreed to publish my first book ‘Alyssa’.  I had contacted them a while back and after a few emails, the exchange of manuscripts and the official signatures, they have agreed to take me on.

This is fantastic news, and both my family and I are overjoyed.  We hope to publish in 2019.

With this news, planning has gone into overdrive. 

I’m researching extensively how to market the series anew, as well as looking into fresh methods of getting the word out.  I’ve set myself a number of goals, such as more regular blogging (I know, you’ll believe it when you see it) and blogging about more than just the books (expect wargaming, sword fighting, airsofting and more to start appearing on the blog).

All the while, I will continue to work on book 5 of the series.  I hope to use the next few months to really get my teeth into the book, and then concentrate on getting the word out about ‘Alyssa.’


So exciting times are ahead, and 2019 will be the year of Haldred Chronicles!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Seeking publishers and writing book 5

It’s been a few months since I released the 4th book, ‘Haldred Chronicles: Anna’, so I thought it was about time I let you all know how things have been going since then. 

Glad to report, I’ve been busy.

After many years of meaning to but never getting around to it, I have at last started submitting the book series to publishers and agents.  I have spent the last few months submitting to about 8 separate publishers and agents, and I’ve a few more on the cards. 

I have had 3 rejections so far, but I’ll see what happens with the rest.  Can’t say I’ve not been trying.

I have been meaning to do this for a long time, but what was standing in my way was a lack of a covering letter and a synopsis.  I knuckled down and wrote both of them, checked them over, and have sent them on their merry way.  I choose ‘Shade’ as my main signature book, as I consider it my best work.  It’s mid-way through the series so hopefully will be an advertisement to publishers and agents interested in seeing the rest of the books.

As well as this, work is now well on the way on book 5.

I’ve written 4000 words already and progress is good.  Originally, book 5 was going to explore the Courier-Fey of the series, with one of the primary characters being one of the said Courier-Fey.  However, after a trip to Scotland that involved walking through a beautiful forest park up near Stirling, I changed my mind.

Book 5 will instead feature the people of the northern kingdom of Trima (strongly Scottish and Irish influence) and their efforts to defeat a monster that threatens the peace.  Victoria and team will travel to this new land and lend them aid.

I’m already enjoying new characters and the chance to create a new culture for the series.

Anyways, I’m off today so I’m going to take advantage and get more writing done.  Till next time! 

Monday, 9 April 2018

What next?

Haldred Chronicles: Anna is out.  2 years of work and book 4 has at last been released.  I am happy with the result and it seems so are my readers!  So, after more than a month of resting, what now?

I’ve already completed one big task, and that was to submit a short story to sci-fi and fantasy publishers Black Library as part of their call for submissions.  With the able help of my wife Deborah, who proofread the submission, I sent off the 500-word extract and summary a couple of days ago.

The second big task now sitting on my to-do list is, of course, book 5.  I have taken some time to look through my various story ideas and have decided to go with ‘Haldred Chronicles: Twig’.  This story will concentrate on the Courier-fey, message passing creatures that have been a staple of Haldred Chronicles since the first book.  Now, with book 5, readers will learn a little more about these creatures.

I have a few other plans as well that I’ll work on when I have time.

 I hope to go over my first 3 books and reformat the look of them.  Each of them featured slightly different font and paragraph design so I now want to re-edit them so that they are all the same.  In addition, I hope to use the re-formatted work to create better-printed copies of the books via Kindle Direct Publishing.

I’ve also been working on a synopsis of book 3, ‘Shade’.  Together with a recently completed introduction letter and the first 3 chapters, I hope to use this package as my way to advertise the series to potential publishers and agents.

There is plenty planned for the next few months.  I feel like the Easter holidays have allowed me to get back into writing and make my plans for the future of the series.


Till next time.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Haldred Chronicles: Anna released

I am a man of my word

Ladies and gentlemen, Haldred Chronicles: Anna, is now available for download on Amazon Kindle.  Find the links below 😊

United Kingdom =Haldred Chronicles: Anna

United States = Haldred Chronicles: Anna

And as a special bonus, all 3 of the previous Haldred Chronicles books are free on Amazon Kindle from today until the 5th February.  So if you want to start a new series, or know someone looking to, now is the time.

United Kingdom = The whole series

United States = The whole series


I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Book 4 release date

At long last, after 2 years of work, Haldred Chronicles: Anna is finally being released!

My 4th book will be available from the 1st February 2018.  The final proof is being checked over, the cover is ready, and all I have to do is the technical stuff and it will be available on Amazon Kindle.

As a bit of history, the beginnings of this book were in 2012, as it was originally going to be the 2nd book in the series after 'Alyssa'. However, the story didn't quite fit with what I had planned at the time so it was shelved.

Now, after extensive updating to bring it in line with everything that's happened in the previous books, it fits with the series just right.

Without giving too much away, the new book takes the characters to a foreign land and will introduce the reader to several more nations of the Haldred Chronicles world.

I hope all of you will enjoy reading this latest book, just as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Expect another blog update on the 1st February, announcing the official release and providing a link to purchase :).

One more thing.

I'm making all 3 of the previous books in the series (Alyssa, Kalla and Shade) available free on Amazon Kindle from the 1st February to the 5th February. So if you know anyone who might fancy getting into a new book series, please let them know!


Until the 1st my friends!