By Crom!

Today’s news is brought to you, gentle reader, by the powers of coffee and over-excitement. I should apologize in advance.

As of 5am, my first fantasy ebook Hand of the Storm went live over on Amazon. To say that I was nervous, biting nails and knocking on wood would be an understatement. Just checking in later, then – to see that we’re #1 in our category!


Admittedly; it is a very niche category, for lovers of fantasy pirates, but still. That is what the book is all about, and a victory that I am happy to take. Or a good omen, at least. I’m sure it won’t last long on the top shelf, so at least that will keep my blood pressure down! I am super-humbled by this, as it has been a labor of love for me, and some of those other books in the category are truly great, with some outrageously good covers.

So thank you once again, dear reader.

In Other News:

This blog is to be hosting guest posts! I have tentatively called it an ‘Indy Fantasy Writer’s Guild’ although that might be subject to change over the coming weeks and months. Thanks to the generosity of some great indy authors, I will be showcasing a series of other fantasy worlds and works by my online friends. Every ‘season’ we will feature guest posts on particular aspects of their work – Characters, Inspiration, Covers, Setting etc., and you, dear reader, will be able to see some of the different approaches and techniques that us strange breed of authors have!

To kick us off we will first be discussing Covers, and in no particular order, we have:

Many thanks to the above authors getting involved. If you would like to take part in this series (all free, of course) then please send me a carrier pigeon.

A Fortuitous Find

As a small way of me saying thank you for my present good omen, I want to share with you one of my image-finds that helped inspire The Airship Wars. This amazing bit of artwork by the talented Elsa Kroese is close in feel to Breaker’s Reach, the Air Docks where all of the world’s airships go to die. But Breaker’s Reach is much, much bigger – a wooden fortress rearing over hot plains, with multiple dock-platforms and jetties, rather than just the one we have here.

Landing Dock by Elsa Kroese

Landing Dock by Elsa Kroese

Hand over hand on the rope, Tal climbed the hull of the half-demolished clipper, and as he did so the platforms and buildings of the Eastern Docks came into view, and beyond them, the rest of the wooden fastness that made up Breaker’s Reach.

It was a collection of wooden towers, of sorts, if someone had decided to mount them onto the sides of sheer cliffs, and still wasn’t happy with how low it was. The levels, platforms, jetties and walkways soared hundreds of feet into the air above the cliffs and scrubby plains, constantly keening with the hot winds, and at which the dotted shapes of half-dismantled hulls were shackled.

That’s all for now peeps – more updates and ramblings from me to follow; and stay tuned for some excellent chat with other indy fantasy authors!



Updates: Number-Crunching & News

I was never one of those kids good at maths, hardly surprising, perhaps. It was humanities all the way for me. English Literature and Language, History and Art. Those were the subjects that kept me coming back for more. Not that I don’t like science, mind; I follow the science columns and feeds with the hungry wonder of a specfic writer; time-travelling particles, interconnected, micro-rhizomatic plants that can communicate with each other, the 5-year mission to Mars… But; I was just never very good at the sciency-bit.

Nonetheless, since self-publishing I have discovered the glory of spreadsheets. Or the necessity of spreadsheets. On this crazy adventure I need a method to track contacts, friendly souls, reviewers, and the like. Here’s my simplified process:


 – I like to have a preferred-name column so I can add in their personal name, “Rich” or “Alice” for example, otherwise it seems a bit rude to just have an address!

– A space for their email – even if I have already saved it into an email contact group, because we all know how easily it is for computers and mail servers to crash!

– Website address if they have one, or want to share it with me.

– Date contacted so I can tell if I’m being lax in my responses.

– The Extra columns are for whatever personal group/list I am running. If it’s a reviewer group I might have headings like “ARC Sent?” with a Yes or No in each. Or maybe if it’s a more friendly group I could put in notes like “doesn’t want PDFs!”

And that’s it! Only time will tell if it’s a system that can work in the long term, but for my small starting-out process it’s all golden.

In other news, I decided to opt for TinyLetter for my newsletter service, purely for aesthetic reasons. I know that MailChimp is much bigger, and integrates directly into WordPress – but I like TinyLetter’s philosophy of free + simple. No costs; I doubt I will get over 2000 subscribers, and I like the minimal, text-centred approach. The only bugbear that I have with TinyLetter is that is DOESN’T send out an automatic “Welcome to the List” email, from what I gather :/

(Of course, I need more than 1 subscriber – otherwise I might just go back to sending personal emails from the author! 🙂 )

Other things, in no particular order that I’ve been up to:

Trying to get my Author Central profile up and running.

Organizing the pre-order for Hand of the Storm.

Contacting other indy fantasy writers to become a part of a guest-blog-post writing effort. (If you’re interested, then I would love to hear from you).

All of that leaves not a lot of time for actual writing, which I am very sore about. I’ve left the Quartermaster Gulbrand and Captain Tremaine in dire straits while I get on with some of the backroom work!


Call-Out for Pre-Release Fantasy Readers!

Fantasy pre-release readers

I’m sure you’re not as difficult to find as hobbits – so here goes. Do you read indie fantasy? Would you like to? My first epic fantasy novel, Hand of the Storm, is winging it’s way to the marketplace and I am on the look-out for readers and reviewers to give it a whirl.

It features:

  • airship pirates!
  • dark sorceries
  • a coming-of-age tale
  • a new fantasy setting with different races and lore

It’s an 80,000+ word novel, the start of a new saga The Airship Wars depicting the trials, travels (and travails) of one crew of a fantasy skyship as the whole world goes to pot.

What Do You Get?

  • The book, sent as .mobi, .epub, .pdf or whatever combination thereof 🙂
  • My eternal comradeship.
  • Sign-up to my newsletter featuring behind-the-scenes blabber, world lore, super-secret updates on the forthcoming books, and discounts when they come out.

What Do I Get?

Nothing. I’d love you to review the book on your blog or social media of course – but it’s okay if you don’t, and I won’t be hassling you either. 🙂

If you’re interested, then Contact me!

Welcome to the Blog!

Here’s a fun fact from your’s truly: I used to run a wordpress many years ago. Like, many years ago, in a previous incarnation when I was doing some very different things with myself. I wrote about my strange daily life, a bit of philosophy, doggerels of poetry, and lots and lots of geekery. Most of it was embarrasing (the younger writer that was me was only fledging, “like kittens chasing dandelion fluff” as the Fool says in Fool’s Errand), but I’m glad to be back here in the reader community once again.

A thanks to my first inaugural likes Maxxesbooktopia and Cristian Mihai – looking covetously I realize that I really need to up my blogging game! 😀

It’s probably going to take me awhile to get up and running, as I’m deep in the formatting/editing and promotions stage of getting my first book Hand of the Storm out there – but a few short updates nonetheless. There is an overview of the Airship books over here, and I’m adding to the Characters section so you can take a look at what sort of heroes, heroines, and villains populate my world. You can also see some of the series Maps, and keep a track of my progress (prod me to get on with it!) in the progress bar at the side.I really need to set up some kind of newsletter (sporadic, monthly/seasonally) and I’m uhmming and ahhing about whether to use either Tinyletter or Mailchimp? :/

Anything you want to know – please feel free to tag, ask, or prod, and thank you for coming on this adventure with me.

Oh, and PS. I’m still writing terrible Vogon poetry!

The author and human