Not the 9 O’clock News?

You may have noticed that I am going through popular television related news titles – don’t worry, they will run out pretty soon.  Sorry.

So – what have I been up to?  Well, I’m happy to say that I think thatMandestroy_Book_Cover the upcoming novella is in a pretty good place, and you may have noticed that I’ve started to blog the whole book.  I intend to do this with the main novel later on too, but just the novella for now.  More on that later.

And the novel has now been out for a month, and the sales have been stellar!  And what I mean by that of course, is that the sales tracker has largely been a void with the occasional blip of space debris (i.e. a sale).  But hey – this is a learning curve.  And I have learnt a great deal in the last month, so let’s look on the bright side.  I’ll give more details later.

And on the light side of the moon (I appear to have adopted a space themed style today for absolutely no reason, and for which I apologise), I was not voted out of the SPFBO#2 at the first hurdle: see here.  Though on the dark side of the moon (oh dear once more), the cover wasn’t a favourite.  So we’ll probably revisit that at some point then.

But to return to the matter at hand – on with the news.

What’s with the blog?

Right – so I’ve now been blogging for almost six months, and I also have some evidence to suggest that some people have actually been reading them!  Time to take stock.

I’ve decided to restructure the categories to make it easier for people to access what they’re interested in.  It was a bit haphazard before, and not entirely reliable, so these are the categories I’ve gone with:

  • Newsletter: what this is!  Just a note to say what I’ve been up to, where I’m going, and other relevant info.  I intend to get these out once a month, on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • Book Review: does what it says on the tin.  I’ve been ramping these up lately as you’ll see below.
  • Writing Experience: some thoughts on my experiences of writing and publishing books.  As an infant in this space, I doubt that many will find wise words here (there are plenty of other more experienced guiding hands out there), but it is nice to share nonetheless.
  • Beagle’s Blot: our guide takes us on a tour of the World of Ku in his regular monthly blog.  This has actually been immense fun to write, and it has been informative to me on the world I have created.  Hopefully you enjoy his travels as much as I do!
  • Book in a Blog: currently I’m blogging Mandestroy which is already available (in a previous draft) on Inkitt and Wattpad.  Keep your eyes peeled for the blog of Fear’s Union next year in what I’m calling “52 weeks of Dusk“!


So, how’s the novella coming along?  Well, I like where it’s gone.  There’s still a bit of fine tuning to do, but I believe that it has hit the place where I want it to.  I’m looking forward to publishing it on Amazon (and other retailers in fact!)

For those that have been following, I’ve been recording all my activities with respect Mandestroy over the last few months – a diary of a writer, of sorts.  All the detail (including many drafts of the story) can be found here.

And this is an hour by hour tally of where all the time goes:


As can be seen, rather a lot goes on the online presence (this blog and the like) but it feels worth it.  What else is staggering is the pure number of hours that go into it – almost 70 hours in April which is two full working weeks!  On top of a full time job!  Ouch.  But such is the price of passion.

And the charts above don’t even allow for the time spent reading books for the book review piece.  This writing (and even the reviewing) game is not approached lightly.

Anyway – useful information.  As mentioned earlier, I have also started blogging version 3.2 of Mandestroy, and this is what you can read so far:

I hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think!

Fear’s Union

So, Fear’s Union has been live for a whole month now.  Here’s the sales stats:

  • 12 copies “sold” – mostly to friends & family;
  • 64 copies shifted for free – the book was free every Sunday in May for the eagle eyed of you;
  • 1 person read it on Kindle Unlimited – finishing a majority of the book in one day!

Now, in many ways this is irrelevant – I was actually planning onFear's-Union-Medium releasing the book in October but ended up releasing early so that I could enter the SFBO#2 – see the previous newsletter.  But the problem with releasing a book is that you suddenly become a bit obsessed with it.  So I have ended up spending a lot of time on Goodreads this month trying to find places to get book reviews.

Because this is the worst part – I have no reviews so far, and I’m dreading the first one being a killer!  Gulp.

Anyway – I’ve embarked on a rather ambitious schedule of book review exchanges, so expect to see lots of book reviews coming out and not a lot of writing (at least for the next month or so).  But hopefully this will translate into reviews of Fear’s Union, and it will be really exciting (or devastating) to see what people think.  Fingers crossed.

And if you would like to get involved and would be interested in receiving a free copy of Fear’s Union in exchange for an honest review (on Amazon / Goodreads etc) then please get in touch.

What else has been going on?

Well, here’s the other blogs that have been coming your way:

  • Book review of Shades of Smoke by Alan Denham and Graham Buckby – a long read, but ultimately satisfying;
  • Book review of Half a World by Joe Abercrombie – a bloody brilliant smack in the teeth;
  • Beagle escapes the elemental and social torture of Namcalla and is finally on his way to northern Mandaria (travelling by sea); and
  • I talk about my experiences with 99Designs for book cover design work.

And next month?

This is what you can expect:

  • Book review of the Midnight Land #1 by E.P. Clark coming tomorrow;
  • A book review of AZ – Fall of an Archangel by A.A. Bavar;
  • Book review of Deity’s Soulmate by Angelina Kerner;
  • Possibly some other book reviews (including Robin Hobb and Brent Weeks);
  • An interview with Xen: the second victim from Fear’s Union (and a more willing interviewee);
  • More book in a blog action from Mandestroy;
  • Hopefully some book reviews of Fear’s Union!

In the meantime, if you would like to be kept abreast of what’s going on in the world of James Hockley, then please consider signing up for the monthly newsletter (see below).

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

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