Project Updates

Lots of stuff going on at the moment. Here’s a quick update:

  • A Gathering of Arms, Book 3 of the Vensille Saga, is going through stage 2. That means taking the initial text and pulling it into some sort of readable format. There’s quite a long way to go but we’re looking good for January. Probably.
  • Gunboat, the fourth book in the RMSC series, is underway. We’ve done a lot of planning for this book and the next two in the series, so they should all hit Amazon before the end of the year. That’s the plan, anyway, and it would be a great Christmas present.
  • My as-yet untitled urban fantasy series progresses. Two and a half books in, I still haven’t settled on a project name but I’m working under the banner ‘Elves of London’. Portals, other worlds, magic and London. Should be a laugh, if I can get the rest of the books finished. I’m quite pleased with the way the first two have turned out.
  • Trant’s Tale was fun to write but it’s short. I’ve got some other short stories, all set in the same world, and I’ll pull them together into some sort of anthology. That’ll probably be out before the end of the year.

That’s a lot of words and a lot of work. Should all be possible but I’ve got to get on with it. 

And then there are the other projects, the ones we’re not yet ready to talk about. Maybe next month…

A Writer’s Milestone

Today is a bit of a personal milestone. On 21st August 2014, I wrote the first words of A Gathering Of Fools. 180k words later and numerous rounds of redrafting, the book hit Amazon in January. Sales have been a little slow.

But this post is about words written rather than books sold. And since deciding to write every day, I have:

  • Published two books in the Vensille Saga – 385k words
  • Written the third book in the Vensille Saga – 200k
  • written half the fourth (and final) book in the Vensille Saga – 100k
  • Two short stories – 17k
  • Published three RMSC novels, co-written with my brother – 150k words
  • Written two and a half novels in an urban fantasy series – 80k words

All in, that’s getting on for a million words typed. Plus six books published. And two more planned. And maybe another ten or twelve next year. I’m comfortably pleased with this, although it’s a lot less prolific than many authors.

Everyone always says that the most important advice for a new author is “write”. That’s true, as far as it goes, but if you want to finish a book and see it sell, I advise “write every day”. More on this topic later. 

Trant’s Tale, coming soon

Trant’s Tale is a short story, a novelette really (about 12,000 words) covering the back story for Trant, the river barge master that Marrinek meets when he sails from Riverbridge to Vensille. It came about because I wanted to explore some of the history behind the character and understand (or explain) how he came to empathise with Marrinek’s plight. On the face of it, their situations seem very different but, buffeted by forces beyond their control, they’re both victims, to some degree.

Trant’s Tale will be on Amazon soon at £0.99, and I hope you’ll pick it up and enjoy a short dive into the background of one of the saga’s minor characters.

Update – Ascendant

The third book in the Royal Marine Space Commandos sequence, Ascendant, draws ever closer. We have a cover (see below) and almost a complete text. It should be out at the weekend with the low introductory price of $0.99 (or local equivalent). Get it while it’s hot…

A Gathering of Princes – Cover Reveal

Is the text ever really finished? Probably not, especially when it stretches past 200k words. But the cover is definitely finished and release draws near. If you want the latest news on A Gathering of Princes, please sign-up to my mailing list.

Update – A Gathering of Princes

Almost a week since the last update and progress has been good. The editing work on the text is complete, the Todo notes sprinkled throughout the text and the huge number of tasks in Asana have all be done. I’ve sent the brief for the cover to Charlie at Sapphire Designs and I’ve drafted the copy for the Amazon listing. Overall, a good week. The text has gone to my beta readers and, depending on feedback, we’re looking at release in early July. Can’t wait.

Update – A Gathering of Princes

It’s still early, but I’ve sent the brief for the cover for ‘A Gathering of Princes’ to Charlie at Sapphire Designs. That brings Princes one step closer to publication. Now all I have to do is finish the text. I’m about 92% of the way through the editing, after which I’ve got about 40 tasks logged in Asana to clear before it goes to beta readers. It’s going to be a busy weekend, and this is just one of the projects I’m working on.

Weekend Working – Update

Another weekend, another stack of work on Ascendant (Royal Marines Space Commandos Book 3). After a lot of chat and no small amount of scribbling, we have a solid arc for the whole book and a little over half the text drafted. That puts us on target for publishing toward the end of June, with any luck.

So how do we manage a weekend of writing when I live in London and Jon lives in Cardiff? Mostly, we write separately to a plan we’ve already thrashed out. This weekend, Jon came to London and we wrote together, either in my living room (as my wife was away for the weekend) or in a pub, in this case The Crown & Greyhound in Dulwich Village and The Fox on the Hill in Denmark Hill. When we’re writing, we work on different chapters or different scenes within a single chapter, each at our own machine. We hack away at our chapter until we’re happy that it works, then we push the text into the shared document that forms the basis of our book and move on to the next one.

It’s hard work. To make it worthwhile, we try to write two to three thousand words each on each day, which isn’t a great deal in the grand scheme of things (some authors regularly write 8-10k words a day) but is still a lot more intense than either of our normal daily writing habits. It’s hard work, especially when the weather is good, but at the end of the weekend, having consumed far too much Coke Zero and moved around rather less than we probably should have done, we’ve plugged in about 17k words (on top of the 10k we already had) and we’ve basically broken the back of the book. From here, as we know where we’re going and how to get there, it should be a relatively straight run to the finished draft.

And then, editing, but that’s a topic for another post.

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