Category Archives: Publishing

Fatal Shadow, Book 1 in the Champions of Fate Epic Fantasy Series

It is three years and seven months since I began work on this series. For all those years, on the rare occasions I posted about this series, I’ve spoken about it in code, not even referring to the books by name. (To be fair, many of those names changed multiple times.) There’s a long road ahead for me, mountains of story to climb. But the first milestone in this journey is very close and I’m more excited by this book than anything I’ve written in the past.

Finally, I’m in a postion to share with you some of the details. This book follows on almost nineteen years after the events of the short story No Escape. If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest you do. You can download it for free at the moment.

Long ago, magic cracked apart the world and suspended great continents between two suns. But the ebb and flow of human history continues. Trade and war cross the void on dragon wings. Great empires rise and topple

As the rightful heir to one such fallen state, Drinith has known only exile, dashed hope, and constant threat. She has so far eluded the murderous intentions of the tyrant Magian the Infinite thanks to the prophetic visions of the oracle, Quiescat, but his power is failing. All he can glimpse in the future now is his own death.

An assassin’s blade forces her into a desperate gamble. She takes her one final chance to secure the ally she so desperately needs. But at the end of her journey, she’ll find deceit, betrayal, and murder. And she’ll learn Magian isn’t the only threat to her people.

Fatal Shadow is the first of six books in the Champions of Fate epic fantasy series for those readers who enjoy fast-paced action, intriguing characters, and imaginative world-building.

The ebook is available on Amazon for preorder HERE. It will be published on 22nd February 2021.

Last Chance to get Old Version of Paperbacks for A Bright Power Rising & The Unconquered Sun

I’m sending this as a warning for those who have the paperbacks of A Bright Power Rising and maybe want to complete the set or like the old covers but never got around to buying them.

Those covers will be changing (I like to think for the better). I’ll reveal them soon, but in the meantime, you have only have until 23rd October to buy paperbacks with the old covers guaranteed. After that, the paperbacks won’t be available at all on Amazon for several days while the new covers go through the review process for the new versions.

Buy A Bright Power Rising

Buy The Unconquered Sun

A Friendly PSA to Kobo Buyers of My Books

Edit: This issue has since been resolved, thankfully.

Hi all. Just a quick warning that some of my books appear to be currently duplicated on the site. I priced them the same as all the other stores. Three of them are free (No Escape, The Fate Healer and The Parting Gift) while one of them (The Murder Seat) is at €0.99. The duplicates are at €5.33.

While I certainly think they might be worth that :), I have never charged that much for them. I’ve sent a query to Kobo about this and hopefully, this situation will be resolved soon. In the meantime, here are the correct links:

September Update: So Close

Last week a lot later than I had intended, I finally sent Book 1 to my editors. I had planned to send it just before my holidays in august but some valuable comments arrived just too late for me to process properly and I decided to finalise the fifth draft after I came back. I hate delays. It makes me feel like I’m swimming in molasses. However, there was no point rushing these things and making snap decisions I’d regret later. After this last draft, I’m satisfied that it’s ready to go. I found myself quibbling over smaller and smaller details.

All in all, it’s about six months since I started the 2nd draft. Hopefully, Book 2 will go faster. Things with respect to Covid restrictions have eased here somewhat. My daughter has gone back to school which pretty much gives me the mornings to work. My office moved upstairs out of the kitchen just in time for our puppy to figure out how to get on the kitchen table if the chairs are left a little out from it. She’s a good dog but she would have seen my computer set up as an exciting range of chew toys.

I had already gone about halfway through the 2nd draft of Book 2 in between revisions of Book 1. However, I need to refamiliarise myself with what I’ve done. Plus, I may have a surprise traitor on my hands from Book 1 (It was certainly a surprise when I thought of it) so I need to work that into the story.

May Update: Still Writing

book shelf in form of head on white backgrounds

So, we’ve been in lockdown since mid-March. My wife works from home from my old desk so I’m working on one half of the kitchen table. I get up early before my wife and daughter to fit in a few quiet hours to get some writing done and fit in what I can throughout the rest of the day.

I finished that alien short story the end of March. It came in at 45k words so I guess it’s not a short story any longer. I wrote a fourth story which I initially thought might be as an epilogue but is probably a separate story.

I then did another draft of a fantasy short story which I’ve been working on for several years. I’m still not happy with it, but the current draft is a big improvement on the last one. I’ll tinker at again at another time.

I also started editing the first book of my six book fantasy. Draft 2 took until the end of April. Draft 3 took about two weeks. I enjoyed Draft 2. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the first draft. Draft 3 was less fun. It was staring at the individual strokes of an impressionist painting. Stare close enough and the structure disappears, the dots lose their meaning. I was glad to get to the end and send it off to my beta readers.

Anyway, on to Book 2. I have a feeling that parts of this one will take a lot more work, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. *crosses fingers*

2019 In Review

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I finished Book 6 which is now *cough* Book 5. I’m very happy with the ending of the book, but after already experiencing the high of writing the series finale, it felt a little anticlimactic. Nonetheless, the first draft of the full series (6 books) is in now complete. It’s kind of luxurious to see the story from start to finish. I plan to start work on the 2nd Drafts early this year.

I was kind of at a loss what to do immediately after I finished so I toyed about with a short story about alien invasion. This has turned into three stories and more will possibly be added. I have no outline for them. I find that if I know the ending it’s relatively easy to put the rest together. But sometimes, I don’t know the ending or rather I have two diametrically opposite endings that both will fit the story. I don’t know which one until I finish. This sort of story is the most exciting for me to write. It’s like I am reading the story for the first time as I write it.

Overall, in 2019, I wrote 209k words, comprising mostly of the first drafts of three novels. That beats the previous year by about 25k words. I missed writing only ten days in the year. My philosophy is to be honest with myself and not to overly worry about streaks and so on. I write whenever I can but sometimes life intrudes and I have to accept I can’t. On the other hand, there are days when I have the time but not the inclination. On those days, I grit my teeth and write; I write my quota clinging onto every squeezed out word for dear life. It’s amazing what can be achieved in little steps. I have to say having Scrivener on my phone made a huge difference to my productivity.

I plan to achieve the same rough word count this year (ca 183k words or roughly 500 words per day for the entire year). I also plan to start overhauling those first drafts. I am approaching the first book of the series with excitement. I’ll probably end up changing every word I wrote, but, as I remember it, the backbone of the story should hold up pretty well.

I also published Alienity this year, finishing out four short stories. I plan to publish more as I finish them.

September Progress Update

Stack Of Books

I published Alienity back at the end of July. The process of publishing went very smoothly as did the preparation of the paperback using Vellum. I’m not going to publish the paperback for a while until I have more paperbacks ready for publishing. In Ireland, copies have to be sent to the British Library, three other Libraries in the UK if they request them within a year, to Trinity College and several other university libraries across Ireland so the exercise can get pretty expensive.

I am very happy with the stories themselves, particularly The Chosen One. I wrote it from scratch three times from different perspectives, but it clicked together over the summer. I wrote my favorite line ever as part of the edit. I had an ending in my mind from the start, came to dislike it, sought something different, but in the end I gave the story the honest ending it deserved. The tension really adds to the story.

For me, publishing can be a type of release. These stories no longer flutter about the inside of my head, distracting me, demanding my attention, taunting me with their ephemerality. Now that they are released into the wild, my debt to them has been paid and I am finally free of them.

The other bit of news is I finished the first draft of Book Five of my five book fantasy series following on from my short story No Escape. It was really exciting to write those last couple of chapters. They had played out in my mind for so long. It’s the (first draft) culmination of a long writing journey (eighteen months). There was only one small problem. There were several threads left dangling that didn’t fit into the  main arc but demanded on being brought to a proper conclusion. I think a reader will might feel cheated if I don’t resolve them so I am working a sixth book. This will actually be the fifth book in the series. The full first draft of this should be done by Christmas and then work on the second draft of the whole series will begin.

Introducing Alienity

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Here’s the blurb of my new collection of short stories.

H.G. Wells faces judgment by one of his creations. The Earth’s first tour guide for aliens encounters the planet’s worst ever tourist. The fate of Humanity lies in the hands of the most isolated man in its history. The Kefloins, having secured membership to the Galactic Congress for the Earth, now turn to the planet’s ambassador with their most terrible secret in the hope she can find a solution.

Four short stories about aliens ranging from humorous to deadly somber.

Currently available on Amazon.