Thursday, October 30, 2008

About to be published....

Hi there,

well, it is actually about to happen, I am about to become a published author - I had every belief it would happen and now it is, and it's all thanks to the Arts Council for England, their website and their partnership with Legend Press.

It has been a mad 4 weeks as I have edited and proof read my first 'Space Ace' novel over and over again, and no mater how many times I read it through I found an error, or some part that didn't quite read properly etc.

And then there was the title. In its first incarnation the book was called 'I hate baked beans' which I thought was a catchy title, but didn't really tell you what the book was about, so now it's called 'Space Ace and The Flying Shed' which I thought was a pretty good title for and adventure story aimed at the 7 + market.

All I have to do now is come up with an affective marketing strategy.

Anyway, it should be available for purchase through all good on like booksellers such as Amazon and Waterstones by Christmas - so look out for it and go and buy it for a young person near you.



Sunday, September 21, 2008

FantasyCon 2008

Wow, just been blown away by a most fantastic time at FantasyCon 2008 in Nottingham run by the British Fantasy Society.

I have never attended one of these types of events before and it was both enlightening and entertaining. I met a whole new bunch of people, some like Simon R Green, who I didn't know from Adam until I started talking to him and found out that he is really big in the USA and has just made it onto the New York Times best seller list. Simon is such a friendly guy and gave me some brilliant, down to earth advice.

I attended some earth shattering seminars given by some of the Big Cheeses in the publishing world, a couple of book launches and a reading by James Barclay of his newest work.

Altogether attendance is to be highly recommended if like me you are interested in the SF&F genres and a MUST if you are writing on the subject. I will certainly be having my name down for next years event.

Now, back to my writing and finishing off the prologue for Spellcaster's Apprentice.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Struggling with the plot plan

Hi there,

I am working hard on the plot plan for my latest work, Spellcaster's Apprentice , the first in the Children of Aurora saga, and it's a real struggle to get the plan just so. In the past I have just written from the heart and seen where the story takes me, but as I have gone on and been helped to learn my craft I have found that working hard in the early stages on a plot plan has paid dividends when moving into the main writing of the story.

With my new project, where I am writing six books simultaneously, then getting the plot plans right is crucial. How the main characters of each book interact with each other has to be plotted now, at the outset, as when the first book is finally written and sent out to the big world then it will be almost set in stone.

I am also working on a prologue that will be the cornerstone of each book, as each book will be a stand alone, as well as an interaction with the others, then the same prologue will be used in each book to give the reader the background knowledge needed to then move straight into the book.

And all this has to be set against the background of my work life which is in a little bit of a tumultuous situation as the college that I work for is merging with 2 other colleges and none of us know how safe our jobs are, or what the future holds for us - given the best case scenario, I can get the first of the saga taken on by a publisher, who gives me a big wad of cash to write the rest pf the books and I can take a redundancy package and get on with what I like doing best, which is writing - but life doesn't actually work like that, does it?

Monday, July 14, 2008

New projects - new hope

Hi there,

well I haven't blogged for a bit - well, April I think, but time just flies by. I am spending every spare moment working on my new projects - I am attempting to write six books simultaneously!

That's right six! All set in the same time line, all written from a different point of view about six different characters.

It is a Fantasy saga, aimed mainly at young adults, but I think (hope?) there is quite a bit of crossover into the adult market, they are certainly books I would like to read if I was browsing the books shelf, and I think that is what makes it so much fun for me - writing a book I would like to read, and frankly, a set of books which I think are missing from the bookshelves.

The first book that I want to complete is called - Spellcaster's Apprentice and charts the apprenticeship of Kevan, his hopes, his dreams, his loves and his adventures as he frustratingly tries to learn enough magic from an aging spellcaster to enable him to save his mother and sister from the slavers that raided his village.

Of course, there is a bit more to it than that and I'll keep a more regular posting on this news blog as the saga progresses, but needless to say, I don't want to say too much now as the plot is pretty fluid at the moment.

I will start to add chapters to the web site as I begin to carve them out the paper, please feel free to comment on them, e mails via the link on the website.

I have still to send them off to Anne, my editor, who suggested that I plot them all out in the first place before writing anymore of Spellcaster - I have also written the characterisations for the six main characters (one for each book)

The thing is, although writing and editing the book will be hard, it will also be fun - it is the selling it to agents and publishers that is where the hard work starts. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spellcaster's Apprentice is shaping up

I am really pleased with the way Spellcaster's Apprentice is going.

It is a project I have been working on for about twenty years and have visited it off and on over that time. I completed the first draft about 1o years ago, (then called Dragon's Apprentice, but there have been a few too many dragon books since then, so I have changed the title) but have moved on in my writing so much since then that the work that I am doing now is just leaps and bounds better than it was the last time I opened the book to look inside the pages.

I am trying not to rush it, but I am just dying to see what sort of reaction I get when I go live with it on the YWO website. You see they have just announced that the publisher Random House is going to be reading through the Top Ten books on the site each month for the next 6 months, so I want to get it posted, but I want to get it right first, to stand the best chance with the work.

I will also post the first draft on my website to see if I get any feedback from that too. If you get time to look at it please do and e mail me with your thoughts - the address is on the website.



Monday, February 18, 2008

Car crash Sunday

Hi There,

well I have pulled my latest version of Roaming Romans - I really wasn't happy with it after reading it through. For a start there is not enough about the wild child of the Iceni - Boudicca, and too much wafle without really getting anywhere.

So, after a hard weeks re plotting (I was off for 3 days last week as it was half term) then I have come up with somehthing I am a lot happier with. All I have to do now is write it...

My friend Erich Orser has just mailed me back after completing a read through of Space Ace and the Mysterious Black Craw and has given me some great feedback - so thank's Erich. His book, Young and Evil, is also a good read, but totally different from anything I have a mind to write.

And as for the car crash - well that was number one daughter, some stupid burk pulled out across the oncoming traffic and she could do nothing but side swipe him. Luckily she only suffered minor injuries - whiplash and the like - but it does put things into perspective a bit.

So, with our (my) mortality in mind, it has made me even more determined to publish in 2008 - either some very lucky publisher will have the wisdom to see how much potential there is in my work to make us both a tidy income and will write me an amazing e mail telling me just that.... or, I will set up my own publishing company, publish my own work, put together an rocket fuelled marketing strategy and, well let's just say that if I do, it will cost them a lot more toget me to come qnd work with tem the 2nd time fo asking. So... see you at the launch party.


Friday, February 1, 2008

A Writer's woes

Hi There,

well another month has come and gone, and what was an enormous high (a No: 1 slot on YouWriteOn Top 10) has dribbled out to a lamentous low as afer a single poor review I got knocked down to 14th at the end of the month. So, so crtique from an agent or professional this month then.

Ho, hum - there is still next month to try again.

On the other hand.... ok, so now up to 10 out of 18 rejection letters from my fumble with US agents, but hey; some have them have come back unopened with 'gone away' all platsered all over them - was it something I said?

You know you keep reading that getting noticed and getting published is hard at the moment - and you thought, like me, pah! A load of bunkem. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but I'm begining to think they're right.

But, you know what they say; every cloud, and all that. I have been reading the yet unpublished work of a friend of mine, his name is Erich Orser from Tucson, Arizona. It is called 'Young & Evil' and is about a group of kids trying to survive after a plague wiped out all the adults - and it's fab. I am really hooked.

I hope you get chance to read it - if you want to have a look go to and search for 'Squid' or 'Erich Orser' and then click onto his book and take a look.

Weel, I am off to try - yet again - to have a go at finishing Roaming Romans, this weekend. Ok, so it's after plumbing in my mate John's bathroom, and avoiding the snow - is it me, or do all writers get side tracked when all they really want to do is write?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Got to number one in the charts !!

Wow, can't believe it - I got straight into number one on the Youwriteon web site top ten chart with my new book - 'Space Ace and the Roaming Romans' I just hope I can stay in the top 5 for the next 11 days and then I get a review by an agent or some other professional - here's hoping.

I have got close in the past and then someone has come alaong and posted a poor review and bad marks and I have gone crashing out the top 5 - it's all a game - I thought at first people were just being honest with their marks and reviews and trying to help each other improve - and to be fair, most are, but then I got to thinking that there might just be others who think if they mark low, then it might help promote their own work forwards - but that might just be me being paranoid.

I get to the stage that the cynic in me just doesn't believe what I'm told anymore and I start looking for the hidden agendas - once burnt, three times shy, hey.....

But that's enough of the depressive - Think lucky, enjoy the journey, celebrate the winning !!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Keep plodding along

Hi there

Well I know I have to keep working to pay the bills, but it does tend to interfere with the writing - I try to get up early and write when I'm fresh, but when it's dark outside and the warm bed beckons, that plan goes out the window. So then I try to write at night, but by the time I have made the tea, fed the women in my life and then washed up etc I'm creamed, so I am not writing at my best - so I wait until the weekend and promise myself some quality time at the PC, but there are always so many jobs to do around the house.

Eeeeek !! I just want to write - but I am destined to write little and often and try to remember where the heck I was in the plot. Ho hum - keep plodding along.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I made the best seller chart !!

Hi folks - Happy and prosperous New Year to you all.

Brilliant news for my new year - I made the best seller chart for 'I hate baked beans' which of course has now changed title to 'Space Ace and the mysterious Black Craw' - so that's a great bonus.

I am still waiting to hear if I have won the Times/Chicken House competition, not long to go now until there is some news.

I have also sent the ms off to 18 US agents - just because I love to wait for the postman to see what he brings.

Then, I launched 'Space Ace and the Roaming Romans,' onto the YWO website and have been having some amazing reviews for that - so fingers crossed it will get me out there and some lucky publisher will pick it and realise they can make a fortune out of selling my books.

So, I had better get it finished, hadn't I. I am about four fifths done, I am just trying to ties all the loose plot lines together at the end - its great fun, it's just time I am short of, the day job keeps getting in the way!

I'll let you know when it's done.