Thursday, 3 August 2017

An Unnoticed Year Off

Without intending it, I've had around a year off from being an indie author, or maybe even more. 

Don't get me wrong, I have been writing (a novel, a few short stories and an extensive novel plan), and a couple of stories have been published ('Worm' in A Haunting of Words, 'Little Boy' in This Twisted Earth) but I haven't been promoting anything, or pushing anything. Part of this apathy was down to other aspects of my life taking over, and part of it was due to the fact that I enjoy the process of writing far more than trying to sell it.

The bottom has well and truly fallen out of the kindle market for indie authors. The market is flooded, and eBooks seem to have had their moment in the sun. Hipsters are buying proper small-batch books on vellum to peruse on floating tea-houses while puffing on their artisan vape pipes*. With that in mind I partially threw in the towel, and consequently enjoyed the writing far more. I felt no need to sell, as there was no money to be had. I could just try and write a good story. I did feel one regret though. One of the joys of trying to get a solid career in writing is getting to know all the other suckers in the same boat. I've got to know some truly lovely people over the last five years since I published The Binary Man, and that stalled recently. So I'm going to get back on the networking, and post a lot more, but not in the vein of "BUY MY BOOK!" but rather commenting on books I've read, or other bits and bobbins that relate to my tastes of dystopia, sci fi, fantasy, horror, and coffee. It's an easy trap to fall into when you really want your books out there, but it's hollow and hackneyed and jive.

So onwards and upwards! Here's to a great 2017. (Yes, I know it's more than half way over but I've been tired). Also here's a picture my daughter drew because I love it.

*may be an exaggeration 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Hidden Productivity

I know I haven't posted anything for a VERY long time, but believe me, I have definitely been working.

Since the last post I have finished my first fantasy novel, delved about a quarter of a way into its sequel, worked on another long term Lovecraftian sci-fi project (which will take some years to sort out), done some very in depth planning on another more classic horror novel (the details of which I may or may not reveal one day), had two short stories accepted into anthologies (A Town Called Hell and A Haunting Of Words), and am working on finishing another short story to submit to the sequel to This Twisted Earth. 

The reason I haven't posted any updates is mainly due to finding my feet through a bit of a rocky time personally, but the worst seems behind me and the storm has turned into occasionally rainy weather with long bright spells prevailing.

The reason I haven't published the finished fantasy novel (despite having all the layout and editing done) is because I think that it is definitely solid enough for trad publishing, so I'm going to work on the rest in the series (potentially five books) while submitting the first and hoping that someone will give it a shot. It's a bit different to the normal fantasy fare in many ways, but hopefully that will be seen as a positive.

I'll try and post something before another eight months goes by...

Much love.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

This Twisted Earth

I'm not quite sure how to start this post so I'm just going to dive in. 


Today sees the launch of This Twisted Earth at FantasyCon-by-the-sea. The book is a shared-concept anthology devised and edited by Dion Winton-Polak and featuring stories by (among others) myself, Mike Chinn, Jess Nevins, and Adrian Tchaikovsky. Yes, that Adrian Tchaikovsky, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for his novel Children Of Time. Now, I know that I should be using this blog and site to promote myself, but this guy is solid gold. Find his books, buy them and read them. You won't regret it. I'm just happy to be crammed into a book with him! 

I had a blast writing my story for the anthology (titled Little Boy) and I hope the book does as well as it deserves to. I've only read a couple of the other stories so far but they were fantastic, and I can't wait to read the rest when I receive my paperback (and hardback) editions.

You can pick up a copy from here:


To celebrate the launch (as I sadly can't be there) I'm giving away The Binary Man, former UK #1 cyberpunk bestseller for free on Kindle for the next five days (24/9 - 28/9). Pick up a copy at:


Friday, 15 April 2016

A New Career In A New Town

Well not quite a new career, but a new aspect to my career.

My first two books for children are now available on Amazon - The Wonderful Tale of Giraffe the Giraffe (who was also a superhero), and The Wonderful Tale of Billy the Lion (who was a little bit afraid of the dark). Whilst not officially being a series yet (can you have a series of two? Isn't that a diptych?) I am hoping that I can add to the Wonderful Tales series in the future, to attract some lucrative benevolent publisher to my wares.

So far they've been very well received (at least I hope so, I'm still waiting for the reviews to come in). They were great fun to write and draw, and the writing process didn't carry the lingering sense of unease that often sits at the back of my skull as I'm writing horror.

I have a few ideas for future books, including a longer story for slightly older children that can incorporate black and white ink illustrations, but for the moment I have another project that I'm trying to nail down within the next six to eight weeks.

You can pick up a copy or five of my children's books below!

The Wonderful Tale of Giraffe the Giraffe (who was also a superhero)


The Wonderful Tale of Billy the Lion (who was a little bit afraid of the dark)


Enjoy your April!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Giraffe Lives!

It's alive!

My first book for children, The wonderful tale of Giraffe the giraffe (who was also a superhero) is now available from Amazon! It's only available in paperback because, you know, why Kindle?


I'm also at the painting stage of my second book for children, The wonderful tale of Billy the lion (who was a little bit afraid of the dark) before I get to the juice of writing it. As kiddy books are new to me it would be interesting to know if others write the story first or do the illustrations, but I found that I came up with ideas whilst drawing that then added to the story, so I enjoyed working that way around. It's just a working title at the moment as I haven't decided if I want to continue after this second book, creating a 'Wonderful Tales' series. It would be a good way to sub-divide my children's books from my other novels as I could do a standalone site. This will be mulled over.

So until the second book is done I will leave this here, separate but not separate, a ghost of a giraffe haunting my other books...

In other news, the writing is good right now and I'm making big steps towards my set of goals for 2016, stopping only to get a short story done for a particularly interesting anthology. Whether it's accepted or not is a different matter but it's a fun exercise.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Looking forward

I had thought about looking back at 2015, but for one reason or other it wasn't my best in writing. I got a lot done, but I didn't get a lot finished, with A Fresh Start as my only release. I hope that the reason for the low production rate was that I became more discerning - as opposed to becoming paralysed by self-criticim - but only time (and eventual reviews) will tell. At the start of 2015 I created a list of 10 - 15 projects that I wanted to finish, and it was far too many. I did some on all of them, and even finished 90% of a novel only to decide that the premise was flawed and... well... a bit dull. It lacked humanity, and believable motive. If I'd written it a few years ago I might have put it out, and it might have done ok (I've read worse stuff, and I'm happy with the setting and some of the characters) but I have to be better now, otherwise there really isn't any point. 

It's all about progress!

This year I have set myself a goal of six projects, one of which is days away from being finished - The Wonderful Tale Of Giraffe The Giraffe (Who Was Also A Superhero).

It isn't horror or sci fi, sorry.

I wrote and illustrated it as a gift for my four year old daughter, and will do the same for my six year old in the next few weeks. I may have to create a sub-section in this site for it if it's worth selling. We'll see. It was definitely great fun to do!

I'll try to become a bit more regular with the blog posts too. I'll take some word fibre, or something.


Friday, 25 September 2015

The morning after the promo before.

So did it work?

After running my first paid promo of my writing career, the results are bittersweet (well, mostly sweet but I'm a natural pessimist).

I made my cash back after the first day, and had my highest day of paid sales. The downside? Sales dropped off significantly in the second day (showing that Amazon rankings do a lot less for sales than they used to). I also remember the Binary Man getting a lot higher in the bestseller lists three years ago with significantly less sales. This tells me that it's getting a lot harder to stand out in the over-saturated Kindle market. I'm at least hoping to get a few more reviews from my sales (freebie book readers don't tend to review from my experience). 

Would I do it again? Yes, maybe with another book to see the results in a different genre.

On the writing side (far more interesting to me than promotion) I am very close to completing my first draft of The Devil Has Dry Feet, and have finally reached the stage where the characters are fleshed out enough in my mind to drive the story on by themselves, which is the best part of the writing process. Every session at the keyboard throws up scenes that I hadn't planned and creates a much richer narrative. After it's done I'm going to try and let it sit for a couple of weeks so I can draft it with less familiar eyes, whilst working on a couple of other things

And finally, if you've read one of my stories, please review it on Amazon (my selling platform of choice). I can't stress enough how helpful each and every bit of criticism and praise is, not just for sales but also for nudging me in the right direction.

Have a nice day!