Update – 19th June

So that’s the first round of edits on BIP2 done and out of the way. The manuscript’s gone back to the editor for a second pass, then I’ve got a few more things to tweak before it’ll basically be done. 

BIP4 progresses nicely. I’ve been working on both the first few chapters and the overall outline, tightening the final act to – hopefully – pull everything together in an exciting climax.

RMSC7 is also coming along well. Jon and I are pounding out the words and editing each others text as we go. 

Over the next fortnight, I aim to complete BIP2 and get BIP3 to the editors so that, by the end of July, all three books should be ready to go. Paperbacks, ebooks, and, for the first time, a hardback collection of all three. Really looking forward to getting this work into the market.

Update – 7th June

It’s been a busy few weeks.

BIP2 came back from my excellent editor with over 4,800 changes, including around a hundred comments. I’m still working through this, but the finished product will be better for the extra work.

RMSC7 progresses nicely. Lots more work to do on this manuscript, but it’s shaping up really well.

The covers for BIP2 and BIP3 are basically done, and I’ve also ordered a hardback cover for the trilogy.

I’m also now writing BIP4. The first four chapters are complete, but the plan calls for twenty-six chapters, so there’s some way to go yet.

The work for the next few weeks will be: finish the first-pass on BIP2 and return it to the editor (hopefully this week); final revisions of BIP3 to get it off to the editor; more work on RMSC7 to keep that moving along, and then drafting BIP4. Fun times.

Update – 23rd May

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update and things have moved on nicely. All the things I’d wanted to progress have moved forward. The first draft of BIP3 is done and ready to go to the editor once BIP2 comes back, and I’ve completed the outlining and chapter planning – no small job – for BIP4. Next week, more work on RMSC7 and BIP4.

Update – 7th May

I write every day. The word count varies hugely, but the rule is that I write something every single day. This is the only way I can keep all my projects moving along, and there’s something elegant about the rule’s simplicity

This week, as well as slapping down new words for RMSC7 (chapter 14 drafted, chapter 16 in progress, lots of tweaks and updates to previous chapters), I’ve been ploughing on with Black Iron Prophecies 3 – The Last Portal. It’s shaping up nicely.

Alongside that, I’ve had the first edited version of BIP1 – The Cold Iron War – back from the editor. Lots of solid feedback to review, so I have a busy weekend ahead of me.

And the outline for BIP4 is also coming together. I have my plot threads, my antagonists, and ideas for some of my confrontations. 

Next week – the last before the UK’s hospitality business goes back indoors and we can have a meal out without fear of the weather – will be more of the same; RMSC7, BIP3, and editing BIP1.


I have a bit of a soft spot for bees. I’m a fan, you might say. That’s partly because of their vital role as pollinators, but also because I’m really partial to a spot of honey on toast.

So we do what we can to help? We’ve tried to choose for our (very small) garden a range of flowering plants that support our local bees. This sort of works, but the garden really is very small, and there’s a limit to what we can achieve.

But there is a bit more we can do. A few more pots along our north-facing wall, more flowers in the bed alongside the drive, and a bee home that’ll go up on a south-facing wall at some point. Advice on all this can be found here, and if you’re like to know more about the B-Line charity, which is building green corridors for pollinators across the UK, their website is packed with info.

Update – 30th April

Here’s a quick update on the week’s work. It’s been busy.

In the Royal Marine Space Commandos universe, RMSC7 is moving along nicely. Chapter 12 is drafted, chapter 14 is half finished, and we’ve worked through a ton of comments and ideas.

In my new project, Black Iron Prophecies, the last two chapters of BIP3 have been drafted, as well as the prologue and half the epilogue. I’ve also addressed a load of ‘Todo’ notes (I leave these in the text as reminders of things to check, revise, or add) and tweaked things across the manuscript. There’s still a load of work to do but the end is in sight. A few more scenes to draft, a full read-through with targeted re-drafting, and it’ll be ready for editing.

And I made progress on the main plot elements for BIP4. This looks like it might be a fun book to write, but outlining will take another week or two.

Next week brings more work on RMSC7, and I hope to complete the first draft of BIP3.

Thanks for reading!

Update – 23rd April

Another week draws to a close. What have we achieved?

The first draft of book 7 of the Royal Marine Space Commandos series (aka RMSC7) is well underway. We are – I guess – about halfway through the text and making good progress. Time to order the cover…

And the broad outline for RMSC8 is basically done. This stage involves a lot of discussion with Jon, my co-author (and brother). The next step in our process is to break the story into chapters and scenes, sketch the new characters and locations, and prepare a large chart that tracks the whole story from beginning to end. We’ll probably work on this next week between sessions writing book 7.

In other news, my new series – The Black Iron Prophecies – is coming along nicely. The first book – The Cold Iron War – is with our editor for review and I have a draft cover. BIP2 is ready for editing, and BIP3 is nearing completion. I’m really excited to launch these books – I have a good feeling about them.

What’s the outlook for next week? More of the same, really; drafting RMSC7, outlining RMSC8, and completing the first draft of BIP3, then working through the editor’s comments on BIP1.

And now I’m going to press on with RMSC7. Somehow, I have to get our protagonists out of a really bad *static* and then *static* before finally *static*. Did you get that?

Finally, a Day Out

Last weekend, for the first time in months, we ate out in a restaurant. Not indoors, of course – that’s still not allowed – but on a day with clear skies, bright sunshine, and almost no wind, who’d want to sit indoors anyway?

Covent Garden is usually busy with tourists, but with international travel still heavily restricted, the crowds were much smaller, the queues shorter, and the atmosphere a little less frantic. We strolled around Soho and Covent Garden, doing a little light shopping before wandering along the south bank to catch the bus home.

London is nowhere near back to normal, but at least we can imagine that the end might be in sight and all our previous freedoms will, hopefully, be restored soon.

And when that happens, one of the first things I’m hoping to do is meet up with friends at the London Craft Beer Festival in August. I’m still deeply sceptical that the UK will still to the published schedule for reopening, but if it does, this event will be at the top of my list. Fingers crossed.

A Cooperative Game from the Maker of Pandemic

The board game, Pandemic, has been one of our favourites (me and the wife) during the, er, pandemic. Good news, then, that the creator of Pandemic, Matt Leacock, is working on a follow-up tackling an even bigger problem – climate change.

When game developer Matt Leacock released his best-selling board game Pandemic, he didn’t expect that twelve years later people would be using it to help them process an actual pandemic sweeping the world. But with his new game, Leacock is hoping that it will be extremely relevant to one of the biggest challenges facing the world today: the climate crisis.


I guess – I hope – the pandemic is likely to end before Climate Crisis is released, but I’ll be searching out a copy as soon as it sees the light of day.

20Books – Vegas 2021

Las Vegas. Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.

Well, you can, of course. But where’s the fun in that?

I have mixed feelings about Vegas. It’s a long way from home, it’s strangely tasteless, and it’s expensive in ways you might not expect. On the other hand, the city is definitely a spectacle. If you like shows, shopping, or gambling, then Vegas might be your home from home.

I don’t go to Vegas except to attend trade shows of one kind or another. I’ve been to CES a couple of times, Atlassian’s conference in 2019, and now I’m thinking of returning for the 20Books conference in November.

I love 20Books. I’ve been to events in Vegas, London, and Edinburgh and enjoyed them all even though my normal social routine is “none whatsoever, thanks”.

So if we’re allowed to travel by November, and if my finances allow, then maybe – just maybe – I’ll venture out from my den in South London and make one more pilgrimage to Sin City, Nevada. Fingers crossed.