Have I got News for you? May 2016

So, it turns out that the plan that I had has been somewhat thrown out of the window.  The book I was going to release later this year (after another edit and after the novella has been around for a bit) has gone live already.  Whoops!

That’s right – Fear’s Union is now available for sale (though only currently on Kindle).  Other formats will be available later this year.

Very exciting.  And as you’ll see, I’ve also had a proper book coverFear's-Union sorted out, as-well as for Mandestroy.  I used 99Designs, and I am very happy with both results.  I shall blog about my experiences later this month.

So – why have I suddenly decided to publish Fear’s Union?  Well the answer is simple really.  I wanted to enter the fantastic self-published fantasy blog-off hosted by Mark Lawrence, and to enter, I needed to be published by the 1st May.  It’s a great opportunity for some exposure (assuming I get anywhere in the competition that is!) and given that the book was largely ready, it seemed a shame not to dive in.  And so I’m officially self-published.  Very exciting.

But other than getting my book over the line in KDP, I have been mostly writing the novella Mandestroy; a prequel to Fear’s Union.  I’m still on track, and by all accounts, I actually quite like where it’s going.  As a bit of a spoiler, this novella focusses on a character who is a bit of a bad guy in the main series, and it’s been great fun expanding his back-story.  In fact, I may now like him so much that he has written himself a bigger role in the later series.  The second draft is here, and it’s looking good – though there’s still plenty of hacking round to do if you don’t want to spoil it.

And even more than that!  I’ve also been up to this:

  • Some stag dos and other general partying;
  • Early starts with my son and lots of nappies (just to balance out the fun I’ve been having above);
  • Writing about my recent activity reviewing the very first attempts at pen to paper of a friend – a really rewarding activity;
  • A book review of Robert J Crane’s second book in the Sanctuary series – Avenger;
  • Lots of activity sorting out book covers;
  • And Beagle completed the fourth part of his jaunt around the World of Ku.  He may only now be starting to realise what he’s let himself in for!
Now, more on the upcoming novella.

Writing Mandestroy

Great progress this month (though perhaps not as great as I was Mandestroy_Book_Coverhoping!)  I’ve gone through and re-written according to my new plan, and as I write this, I have just started reviewing my rewrite.  Overall I’m happy, though a lot of polish is still needed before it is entirely up to scratch.  Oh, and I had the first chapter reviewed by a good friend, and he very much liked it – which is excellent news.  Now let’s hope the rest of the book is up to scratch.

In addition to this, I have also started to get this book onto Wattpad and Inkitt, though my efforts are rather haphazard and random at the moment.  Once it’s nearer completion, I’ll make a more concerted effort to get that done properly.  I have no idea how they will work as platforms, but it’s got to be worth a go.

And now that I’ve been going three months, I’ve done a bit of analysis of where my time has gone.  This really is key, because with a family and a full-time job, and a mantra that I don’t want to work too much at weekends, there isn’t a huge amount of time – so I have to make it count!  This is my analysis of the first three months:

Activity_FebtoAprWhat surprised me about this was how much time an ‘online’ presence takes up [mostly website admin; blogging; and social media].  And I’m not even very good at it!  It does take up quite a bit of time, but ultimately I believe it will be worth it.  Such is the way the modern world works.

But equally, I do seem to be managing, which is excellent, and I think I am achieving this mostly by avoiding television – even sport has had to take a back seat!  But I’m also getting very good at using pockets of time – my lunch break at work; my walk into work; other random periods of unused time.  So long as I have ideas sloshing through my head, and so long as I have access to a way to get stuff down (who doesn’t in this day and age), it is possible to wring every last bit of time out of the day.

Which is quite rewarding in a way.  Though I do miss watching sport.

Anyway, this is the detail of what I’ve been up to on Mandestroy this month:

  1. Established a re-plan (v2.0) based on my review;
  2. Complete a version 2.0 rewrite;
  3. Get a book cover sorted (see above).  Do you like it?

This, and the calendar of all my activities, are included on the Writing Mandestroy page, so come and take a look.  It’s been great fun documenting all this and laying it bare for all to see.

What’s the plan for the next month?

Mandestroy will continue to remain my focus – Fear’s Union will have to take a back-seat while I get the novella up and running.  Then I am faced with the problem of how to tell the story to the world!  Immensely daunting, but we shall tackle that when it comes along.  But before that, this is what I have on my agenda:

  • Review v2.0 of Mandestroy and hopefully generate a v3;
  • Conduct the interview with General Kantal that I have failed to do the last two months;
  • And also interview Xen (from Fear’s Union) which I have also failed to do;
  • I intend to blog on my experiences with 99Designs;
  • And I am reading more fantasy indie novels and reviewing them when I’m finished.

And I also have some ideas popping up for a second novella, and not being one to let burgeoning ideas lie, I may well sketch out the skeleton for that.

And in the meantime?

As ever, for a more immediate fix, this is what else is available on the website:

More material will appear over time, and I will send out alerts via twitter if you want to be notified.  Or alternatively, get the inside track by signing up for my monthly newsletter (see below).

And please get in contact if you have any questions.  Thanks for reading!

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