Tag Archive: Published

Publication – Update & Link

As a follow-up to my post this morning, now I have confirmation my book is live on Kindle and here’s the link.


Please have a look and leave a review.




Final cover for websiteThe day has finally arrived, after a couple of false starts due to moving house, then having no internet for nearly a month, finally I’ve hit the PUBLISH button on Kindle Direct Publishing. My novella Brave New World which is the first part of the Life In The Fastlane series should be available later today (UK) and tomorrow (rest of the world).

Brave New World is set in the late 1940s and is an alternate history tale centered around the declining British Empire, a fractured United States locked in a decades old war between east and west, and the efforts of Professor Horatio Sykes to improve on his fathers invention in the hope of shortening the distance between countries and so bring them closer together.

Sykes is a dreamer, and idealist, and unfortunately for him whilst he dreams of a world where his fathers improved invention heals the wounds between nations, there are others who see his upgrades as just another tool to be used to impose their will on others.

Priced at £1.99 this novella is short and fast paced taking you from one side of the Atlantic to the other as the action alternates between the characters.

Hoping to have some reviews soon, but please take a look and if you feel the inspiration to write a few words about it then please do.

The end of April races ever closer and the final edit of my novella Life In The Fastlane: Brave New World is nearing its end. Initially tallying in at just over 16,500 ish words this final edit – due in part to Beta guidance from The Life Of Spike author Jodie Portugal  jvoportugal.wordpress.com – has already gained just over 2,000 extra and I still have halfway to go.

As well as the final edit I’ve also been preparing for actual P-Day, and part of that preparation – along with all the work in the Kindle direct publishing back room (so to speak) – has been the cover. Now I’ve always had an idea or two of how I wanted the cover to look, what I wanted it to say about the story. But the problem is I’m no artist. So after putting a shout out on Twitter for guidance I was given the contact details of Susan Omand – www.omandoriginal.com – and contacted her about doing a proper job of my ideas.

Susan is very professional, she listened to what I wanted and set to work giving me a first draft with a week of initial contact.

Book cover first draft

I liked this from the off, I like that she has used the same sort of font used during the Next Generation years of Star Trek for the main series title and my name – something she did with no input from me. My idea for the cover was to show the two main forms of technology featured in the story, I also wanted to depict a scene that I enjoyed writing and introduces the ship on the cover. But after seeing the first draft I realized my idea to have both forms of technology present on the cover didn’t really work, the effect in the top right above the title drew my eyes away from the main image. An image I felt needed total attention. So I asked Susan for some changes.

Book cover second draft

I feel this second draft better captures the image I want, along with removing the effect above the title I also corrected an error in the ships designation, moved it more to the front. I feel these changes made the image I wanted on the cover clearer, more defined. This is not a war story but a story set during a war, that’s what I feel the cover tells any prospective reader. So with what I wanted locked in Susan did the tweaks needed to clean the image up and re-size for the Kindle.

Final cover for website

So there we have it, the cover to my book and a damned fine cover if I say so. Susan has done a sterling job in doing this and if anyone ever wants someone to do a book, CD cover or any sort of artwork I recommend you contact her.


Publication Day Is Coming

After a lot of faffing, re-reads, re-writes, abandoning, resurrecting and general wasting time dicking around on the internet, I’ve finally picked a date to publish my novella. It’s been an ongoing project for some time – in one form or another about 2 and a bit years – but I’m biting the proverbial bullet and going for it. Had the final beta readers feedback and am now editing based on their suggestions. Once that’s done its one more read through and I’m good to go.

I’ve also gone with a professional designer to do the cover – the wonderful Susan Omand over at Omand Original  http://www.omandoriginal.com/ – who is working on the design based on my very rough sketched idea. I’ve gone for a retro looking cover a bit like the old 1950s movie posters, and chosen a couple of scenes from the story to highlight the technology present in the world I’ve created.

Once I have the finished cover I’ll do a post about the process and include my rough attempt and the proper version that will be uploaded to Kindle when done. I’ve already been on Amazon and created my account and put most of the details in I need to, all that remains is the novella.

At present it stands at just shy of 17,000 words, but I have the feeling it could be gaining  some with this final beta readers input. I already have the 2nd draft of the second novella done – and is already longer than the first – I’ll be looking to get that out to beta readers once part one is published.

I’ll be doing updates from now to P-Day, and there will be some serious pimping as well.

Oh yeah, what’s it called? Ha, ha, see not as organised as I thought. The overall series title is Life in the Fastlane and part one is called Brave New World.

Great news in my inbox yesterday, after the sad demise of Pill Hill Press earlier this year the newly formed Embry Press have now released Use Enough Gun: Legend Of The Monster Hunter III


use enough gun


Originally due for publication late 2012 by Pill Hill, the Monster Hunter series is now under the Embry Press umbrella. Miles Boothe – who runs Embry – also plans to release another anthology – Both Barrels – later in 2014 that will feature stories from parts I and II of the Monster Hunter series. This collection will feature my first published short story Groundhog Day. As and when I have publication news I’ll share.

Use Enough Gun features stories about hunts that have gone wrong, hunts where the hunter has to visit dark places within themselves to survive. My short story titled Jack features with its pages.

Really pleased to be published again.

Bits Of News

I read a lot of blogs by other writers, and I’ve noticed that at one time or another all of them have been visited by the Not Worthy Monkey. That devious little bastard that sits on your shoulder, whispering in your ear about how bad a writer you are, how no-one will ever be interested in what you’re doing. He always comes visiting when you’re at your lowest and so more open to his bogus “advice”. The little bugger turned up on my doorstep about a week or so ago, totally unannounced he plonked himself into by chair, pulled my laptop over and started reading, giggling as he went.

My current WiP had been going well, part one wrote and with beta readers, and part two progressing better than I’d thought. But he was doing his utmost to put paid to that feeling of wellbeing that has been with me for the most part of this year. That feeling that finally I’d hit on something that might just do it, might just get people interested in what I had to say. In the space of a couple of days I hit snag after snag. Characters wouldn’t behave and the flow stalled. Since he came calling my writing has been hit and miss, going from everyday to every other day, and then every other other day. I was despondent, finding excuses not to open the file up and start writing, the Not Worthy Monkey was winning.

Then last night that all changed. It’s amazing how effective two emails can be to lifting the spirit.

use enough gun

I submitted a short story to the third in Pill Hill Press’ Monster Hunter anthology collection – Use Enough Gun – close to a year ago. I’d already had my story Groundhog Day published in the second volume and was over the moon to be accepted again. Then things went a bit awry at Pill Hill, the result being the site closed and all the authors were told the rights to their stories had reverted back to them. But then came Miles Boothe like a veritable knight in shinning armour, he took up the challenge and created Embry Press, a new publication house that would be specializing in stories about monster hunters. Whilst he was sorting things out he told all authors accepted by Pill Hill that he would be carrying on with publication of the third volume.

Last night I had an email from him, it had attached the edits for my story Jack, he’d indicated some changes that helped the pace and tone of one of the action scenes. He also put a note on the email saying he felt that this story was the best work I’d done. Four little words, best work I’d done, that’s all it took and the Monkey was riled, his grip on me weakened and he was starting to become dislodged. But I wasn’t out of the woods yet, he was still in my head, his case still unpacked.

Then I had a second email, this one was from Douglas Strider – author of the brilliant Space Danger: The Deadly Planet of Death -, Doug is someone I’ve know for about a year on Twitter, his a fellow budding authour, and he kindly accepted my request to beta read the first part of my current WiP. He’d done a great job, he’d given me lots of comments, ideas and a huge barrel of encouragement. He liked what I’d done and how I’d done it, and what’s more he wanted to find out what happens next. I was high on praise and my back sore from all the clapping. The Monkey, he was on the doorstep his case in hand, a dejected look on his face as he went on his way.

Now I have my laptop back, now I have my mojo back, the Monkey banished – for now – but I’m not complacent cos I know if I’m not mindful he’ll be back.

To Miles and Doug I’d like to say’s thanks, you’ve lifted a flagging writers spirits a thousandfold.

I’m Reviewing The Situation

As Fagin sang “I’m reviewing, the situation…” then so have I been. A few days ago I asked the question How Do Writers Do It, regarding managing workloads alongside family and the day job. Since then I have been looking at what I have on the go so to speak, and seeing my way to rationalize it into a more workable state. It has meant I’ve had to be brutal, somethings have had to give, but I think I at a place now where, hopefully, forward motion can be made.

I follow George RR Martin’s Not A Blog, and he occasionally posts about the monkeys on his back. I suppose that was my problem, I’d got in a situation where I had too many projects open. Now this may be fine for the great and powerful GRRM, writing is his work, his life, and he can devote as much – or as little – time to it as he see’s fit. For me, I don’t have that luxury, I have to fit my writing around work and life. So some of the monkeys I’ve been carrying around have been put into a zoo, until I have time to free them again.

To this end I’ve made myself a priority list, projects that will get my full attention until finished. The hope is this way I will actually finish something before the year is out. The list is as follows.

1. I’m five chapters into a novella, this has been taking up more and more of my time as it is, and was part of the reason other projects were not getting a look in. I’ve prioritized this because it is the one that excites me the most, I think about it all the time, ideas, characters, plot twists. I already have the rest of the novella plotted out, so I’m a step ahead of myself in already knowing where I’m going with this one. I’ll be making a separate post about it in the coming days, the novella has a title, and is part of a series, but more of that later.

2. Tales From Beyond The Event Horizon is semi-put on hold. I’ve had feedback from beta readers, and have started the 2nd draft edit. But the novella takes priority and so this has to wait.

3. Screenplay – I’ve been working on this for 18 months or more now. The intention was to get it finished for the Autumn slot for the BBC Writers Room, but looks like it maybe next year now.

4. Fantasy novella – Like the script above this has been gestating for at least 18 months, its the least developed project I have, so I feel safe in letting it sit for a while longer.

Everything else, a second script that only has initial outline & characters, the re-write/edit of my Pratchett Prize entry from a couple of years ago, the couple of Future Shock scripts I have ideas for, have all been put on hold for the duration.

Unlike before I’m not going to be trying to do bits to each as I go along. I am going to concentrate on one project and get it finished.

That’s the plan anyway, but as the saying goes, best laid plans and all that.

Adventures In Writing

Been a busy couple of weeks writingwise. First some updates…

My short story Jack has been accepted for the forthcoming last part in the Pill Hill Press Monster Hunter anthology. The last instalment is entitled Use Enough Gun and yesterday Miles Boothe posted the final table of contents.

One Less by Steven Gepp
Shame of the Huntress by Gregory Casey
Viral by Dev Jarrett
The Demon and the Manuscript by Marc Sorondo
Red December, 1879 by Brian Panowich
In the Dark and Quiet by Joshua Reynolds
Vermin by Blaise Torrance
Jack by Philip Norris
The Shape of a Cage by J.W.Whalen
Victims by Mike Phillips
Blood Devil by Eric Scott de Bie
Night of the Wolf by Nathan J.D.L. Rowark
Cautionary Tales by Jennifer Barnes
The Bear Trap by Daniel Durrant
Arrival by Christopher Nadeau
The End of Things by T.W. Garland
Hell Knight by Angel Propps
The Longest Night by Helen Yates
Weapon of Choice by Paul Starkey
House Hunters by William Wood
Second Chances by H.J. Hill
Soot by Jireh Smith
The Predators of Winter by E. Dagforth
Skin and Bone by Jonathan Templar
Hell’s Ambush by Derek Anderson
Fail and Cry by Miles Boothe

See me near the top. This is not the final line up for publication but the order in which they were accepted.

Next up is something I have known about for a few weeks now but was asked to keep under wraps whilst other writers were contacted. I recently submitted a short script – about 7 minutes – for the Twisted Showcase second season, I’m pleased to announce that my script has been picked up and filming will commence over the summer.

I’m really pleased about this as this is my first attempt at writing a script and has come out well. As yet there is no title, the original title didn’t really fit with the theme so the producers are considering other options.

So this leaves me in a good position, in the coming months I’ll have two short stories in print and a script filmed. Still in hand is the fantasy short I have in with The Fantasy Faction anthology.

As soon as I have publication/release dates for the above I’ll post.

Short Story Acceptance

Had an email today from Pill Hill Press telling me they had accepted my short story Jack for the third in their monster hunter series called Use Enough Gun: Legend’s Of The Monster Hunter III.

This is my second story for them, my first is Groundhog Day which appeared in the previous anthology called The Trigger Reflex.

Very chuffed about this, this makes my third short story in print – the third is Death Rides A Pale Horse due to appear in the  Dead Rush anthology being put out by Wicked East Press.

As soon as I get publication dates for both these anthologies I’ll put them up.


Adventures In Writing

Seems like ages since I did any sort of update on the various projects I have boiling, simmering and just gathering ingredients for. So please excuse the lack of information on my part.

So, did I tell you I’d had another short story accepted? No? Well I have, its called Death Rides A Pale Horse and is in the forthcoming anthology called Dead Rush being put out by Wicked East Press. Its a collection of stories with the theme of the Old West. I’ve had the galley proofs so am guessing publication should be pretty soon.

There are still two months to go until the deadline for the Fantasy Writing Contest being run by Fantasy Faction. I got my submission called You Can’t Avoid A Little Blood submitted soon after subs opened, I also opted for the Entry Plus service where I’ll get a detailed critique from one of the judges. Not sure if I get this if accepted or not? Doubtful I’ll hear anything from this until after the closing date, there was a post on their forum saying Entry Plus subs wouldn’t be going out till then so that people couldn’t revise their entry and get it back in.

I’m waiting on an email from Pill Hill Press for my submission to the last in the Monster Hunter trilogy anthology they are putting together. According to their forum they have read all stories submitted so far and acceptance/rejection emails are going out as we speak. One person has posted saying they’ve had their’s so its a waiting game now.

I submitted a short script – about 7 minutes – for the second season of Twisted Showcase. The first season is up on line with a great selection of weird, creepy and scary stories. Not sure when I’ll get any news on that but from Twitter I know they’ve filmed the first episode already and are still considering other submitted stories.

I’ve only just (yesterday) submitted a short story to 2000AD for a Judge Dredd competition. Only 2,000 words, short and sharp with blood and guts. Deadline is May 23rd so nit sure when will hear anything.

I’ve finished the polish on the stories I’ve collected together that I aim to self publish on Kindle. I’ve settled on three stories that cover horror and steampunk. I’m sending them out to a couple of readers next week and am at present working on a cover design.

That’s it, all up to date now. I’m now project free for the first time in ages, but I have begun research and note making for a planned novel set in the same universe as one of the stories in my anthology. Its early stages at present so doubt I’ll even have the first draft ready until later in the year.