Category Archives: Fun

The Past and the Future

2014 has officially buggered off and we’re left with a sparkling new 2015. I figured I’d write down my aims for the coming year, but first, the highlights of last year. I’m going to stick to the good stuff, because I figured it would be best to start the new year on a positive.


I learned to drive. At the ripe age of 35.

I purchased my first house.

I published my 3rd book and got into the Amazon top 100 in 4 different countries.

I got myself a wonderful agent, Paul Lucas from Janklow and Nesbit.

I got a 2 book deal for books 4 and 5 in the Hellquin chronicles.

My first book was launched in Waterstones. And I had a fantastic book launch there.

My oldest daughter turned 10 (this makes me feel older than anything else on the list).

I’ve met some wonderful people, both writers and otherwise, who I’m happy to call my friends.



And now my plans for 2015.


Get a dog (My wife always said we can get one when we own our house).

I have 2 books coming out this year, Book 4 (Prison of Hope) in April and book 5 (Lies Ripped Open) in Aug.

I’m currently writing the first book in a sci-fi adventure series. It’s good fun to do something different.

I hope to get 2 more books written this year. Best laid plans and all that.

It’s my 10th wedding anniversary this year. The time has flown by.

I’m looking forward to going to Eastercon in April.


I think that’s it. So, no matter how good or bad your 2014 was, I hope your 2015 is better in every way.



10 Most Memorable Books

I friend of mine on Facebook tagged me in a challenge to name 10 books that have stayed with me. Not necessarily the best 10, or anything like that, but the ones that affected me. Also there’s no comics here, although I’m considering doing one of those separate. These are in no particular order.

1. Men at Arms – Terry Pratchett. My first Pratchett book. Not even close to being my last.

Men at Arms
2. It – Stephen King. My first King, and probably my favourite of his work.

3. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck. I read it at school and it has stayed with me ever since.

4. Altered Carbon – Richard Morgan. After a long time of not reading Sci-Fi, this was what made me come back.

Altered Carbon
5. Legend – David Gemmell. This was one of the books that made me want to write. It taught me a lot about pacing and character and action.

6. Study in Scarlet – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was 9 or 10 and it started a love of reading the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

7. The Girl with all the Gifts – Mike Carey. The newest book on the list, but the only book I’ve read this year that I had to take a break from reading for a few days, just to let it all sink in. I think this will stay with me for a long time.

8. The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch. A fantasy heist novel, that’s easily as cool as anything I’ve ever read.

9. Red Dragon – Thomas Harris. It would be here for the setting on fire scene alone.

10. Dead Beat – Jim Butcher. I’ve loved all of the Dresden books, but Dresden riding a reanimated T-rex? You’ve got to believe that’s the kind of thing you’ll remember.



Road Warrior

This post has nothing to do with writing. Well, at the moment it doesn’t, maybe toward the end I’ll throw in an anecdote and it’ll be witty and clever, and I’ll look back on this opening and wonder why I didn’t think of it earlier. Or I’ll mention I’m an author and feel good about dropping it in. But at the moment no writing.


It’s about driving.


I’m 34 years old (35 in a few weeks) and a few months ago I took the steps to start driving for the first time. Being 34 and being unable to drive never really felt that weird, I live near a big city, there’s lots of public transport, so I wasn’t too concerned.


But I have 3 kids, and a new career as an author…




Anyway, it’s become evident that I need to learn to drive. So I’ve set about having lessons. I passed my theory a few weeks ago and today I set my practical test for a few months time. It was a nervous moment, knowing I have this test in a few months, but I feel okay. I’m going to to suggest that I’m some sort of genius when I get behind the wheel. Unless you count stalling it, I’m damn fine at that, but for 14 hours of driving time, I feel fairly confident I’m not going to mount the pavement and squash someone who annoyed me. Yet, anyway. We’ll see how much pedestrians keep annoying me.


Seriously people, watch the road, not your damn phone. Also to the people who beep me because I’m not going fast enough. Firstly, I’m obeying the speed limit. Secondly, I’m in a car with a big bloody great ‘L’ on top of it, give me a break. And lastly, you see that gear stick right next to you. Well, you can just shove it up your ass.


Anyway…to be honest, I’m quite enjoying driving (apart from a few other ‘drivers’), something that whenever I mention it to people who have driven for a while their response is either, “it’s awesome, you’ll love it” or “that won’t last.” Apparently the act of driving is incredibly polarising. Who knew?


So, that’s what I’ve been up do. Learning to drive being all grown up and stuff. I guess it took longer than usual, but it’s actually okay.


Oh, yeah, I’ve been editing book 4 too. I promise I’ll have a release date soonish for everyone. Book 5 should have one too. Just to drop that in at the end there.


Have a good week, all. I’ll be back soon.

Pick a Winner

Right, I figure it’s been too long since my last competition and it’s time for another one.

Joined all 4

So, here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to send the MP3 of all 3 Hellequin books (Crimes Against Magic, Born of Hatred and With Silent Screams), to 2 lucky people. I’ll sign the boxes of both and the winners will probably get some other stuff put in the bag too.


This is going to be a little different, because to enter I want you to nominate 1 person who you’d like these to go to and tell me why.

That’s right, we’re going to be all altruistic about this and give these to someone you think will enjoy them. It could be your other-half, your parent, child, friend, neighbour or even random dude in the street. That last one is probably a little weird. Just tell me who and why.


Next Friday I’ll get one of my daughters to randomly pick names out of a hat and those two people will get MP3 copies of my books sent to them.


Good luck

I Caved for Infamous

I’ve been an avid gamer for many years. I got my first console, a Megadrive (or Genesis to some) for my 13th birthday nearly 22 years ago and fell in love with the weird blue hedgehog that came with it. I must have played that game a dozen times, and hated that damn water level ever single time.

Over the years, I picked up a Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Dreamcast, Gamecube and PS3. When the new consoles were released I was initially hesitant. It took me a while to go from Xbox/PS2 to their counterparts too, and I was determined to wait a year for the PS4 to release games I wanted before looking into getting one.

Well I managed nearly 4 mths.

My PS4 and copy of Infamous: Second Son arrived on Friday and I’ve spent the last weekend getting to grips with my new shiny toy. Here are my thoughts.


This picture doesn’t really do it justice. Nor does it let you know just how much dust it attracts. Answer: all of it.


I quite like it. It looks nice and sleek and it nowhere near as heavy as I’d expected. Also no powerbrick, which considering the power this thing can chuck out is nothing short of amazing.

The controller is lovely. Like, really lovely. It’s a huge leap from the PS3 one and up there with the 360 controller in terms of comfort and use. The touch pad is a bit of an odd inclusion, but it works pretty well on the games I’ve used it for. Also the light bar is pretty cool and I like how it changes colour depending on what game you’re playing/doing with the PS4.

The OS is lovely. It’s very streamlined and looks great. It’s basically one long bar where all of your games go. You can drop down on any game and look at more information about it or change settings, and there are also the same thing for your TV apps and the like. Your PS profile and trophies are all on the same level too, and it’s all very easy to navigate. Although I do have a few concerns about how it’s going to be in a few years time when you’ve got loads of games. Also some of the menus aren’t as logical to find things as you may expect.

Frankly it’s an amazing system and I’m glad I picked on up, but systems are nothing without games, so here are the few I have.


I don’t know the person this profile belongs to. The magic of Google.


I got his for free because I already own it. I love Flower, it’s relaxing, fun and beautiful to watch. Even more so on the PS4. Also, I can sit there with my kids and play it, something I don’t really get to do with most of the games I pick up. Well worth the time to play.


It’s just a wonderful experience to play.

Zen Pinball 2

I’m awful at pinball games, but I continue to play them. Maybe in the hope that one day I won’t suck quite so badly. Again it’s free for people who have it already. It’s also bloody good fun and looks great.



I played this for half hour, had no idea what the hell I was doing, but loved every second. It’s mad and beautiful and really does show off some pretty impressive graphics. I get the feeling it’s also a bit of a time sink to get any good at it.


Not sure what’s happening, but I’m not sure it matters.

I did get a couple of other PS+ games (which is probably the best thing to happen to any console ever), but I haven’t played any of them yet. I did however get a few full-priced games to go along with it.



Being a fan of comics, and also of the last Mortal Kombat game, anything made by the same developer in the DC universe was always going to get a look. It doesn’t exactly show off the power of the PS4, but it doesn’t look awful by any means. It’s a decent fighting game with a huge amount of single-player content, something the likes of Capcom could take note off. So far I’ve played a bit of the story mode, which is madness, but a lot of fun and with some great character moments, and Star Labs, which are sort of mini missions for you to complete. Well worth the money.


I really have no idea what The Flash is trying to do, but I don’t think The Matrix is a valid form of defense against Deathstroke.


Okay, first of all a confession to make. I love the old Thief games. Thief 2 is one of my favourite games of all time and Deadly Shadows has Shalebride Cradle, one of the scariest and best levels of any game ever. What I’m saying is that this game had high expectations. And while the reviews certainly don’t show this as being a great game, there are very good parts to it. Removing all of the player hand-holding crap and playing it like the old Thief games, staying in shadows, watching guards and waiting for the right moment; it feels a lot like the games of old. This is not a game for people who have no patience, and it certainly isn’t a game for everyone, but for those of you who like to hide in the shadows and watch as you plot your next move, this might just be for you. Personally, I really enjoyed the few hours I’ve played.


Water arrows are the lifeblood of this game. You’ll learn to love them.


Infamous: Second Son

The game that came with the PS4. I enjoyed the previous Infamous games quite a bit and was looking forward to this one, and it didn’t disappoint. To start with, it is stunning. In places it’s drop-dead gorgeous, especially when after a few hours you unlock new powers to go alongside your Smoke abilities, as combat starts to get more intense.

It plays great too, the combat and exploration side of things work brilliantly.

Story wise, it’s okay. Some of the characters are more interesting than others, but on the whole it’s not going to worry The Last of Us or anything like that. To be fair, I think in future Sucker Punch need to re-think the morality system, which is just a bit dull. Maybe they should go a more Mass Effect style of being either a full-on good-guy or a bad-ass. The evil route doesn’t really seem to fit with Delsin’s personality, but then I haven’t played that much being the badguy so maybe it gets better.

Also, and this goes for nearly every game developer, stop putting shitty bosses in games. If you have to whittle away a health bar or have some massive difficulty spike, it’s not good game design. In fact I can’t remember the last good boss I played against. Bosses are not meant to be dull or frustrating when the rest of the game is so much fun. Stop doing it.

Over all, it’s great fun, it’s not going to change your mind if you don’t already like the games as a lot of the improvements are small ones (the shards are now fun to find), but if you’re a fan of the franchise or genre, then you’ll love it. Also… pretty.


However pretty this looks, it’s nothing compared to seeing the game running.

So, while I wasn’t going to get a PS4 for a while, I’m glad I did. It’s a great console with some good games and the potential to do some amazing things. The next few years should be a very interesting time indeed.

Blog Tour Post – Top 10 Heroes and Villains

And I’m back, twice in one day. This time I’ve got a top 10 heroes and villains over on A TiffyFit’s Reading Corner.
It was hard figuring out only 5 heroes and 5 villains, so I’m going to post the other half on my blog in a week or so. In the meantime, go check it out. As per usual, click the cover.


With Silent Screams small



Writing Process Blog Tour




I’m taking part in a blog tour about writing processes. It’s a series of blogs where a writer (that would be me) gives a description of what they’re working on at how their process goes and then they pass the torch to three more writers.

Last week I was invited to take part by awesome writer, and all-round good-guy, Richard E Preston, the Author of the wonderful Romulus Buckle Steampunk novels. You can find the first of which, The City of Founders, here.

So here are the four questions and answers.


1. What am I working on

Currently I’m working on a few things. I’m finishing up the edits for a Hellequin novella, Infamous Reign, which should be out very soon. I’m also writing Hellequin Chronicles book 4: Prison of Hope, which is the first time we see a lot of characters from mythology all in the same book.

When the draft of book 4 is finished, I’ll be writing both book 5, which I’m currently plotting out alongside the first book in the Chimera series. After that I may have some time to sleep. Probably not.


2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Well it’s certainly quite dark in places and the main character, Nate Garrett, isn’t adverse to going to a place that morally most people wouldn’t, if it means getting the job done. He’s a good guy who’s more than willing to do bad things to protect people.

I don’t know of too many other books that have such a varied group of mythology; Greek, Norse, Avalon and others are all real, although none of them are actually god or goddesses.


3. Why do I write what I do?  

Because I love doing it. That’s the basic answer. I wanted to write stories that I would like to read, so I did and will continue to do so until I run out of them. Hopefully that’s no time soon.


4. How does your writing process work?

In terms of how I start writing, I usually just sit down and start. There’s no big process to it, I plant my butt in my chair and get started. Getting onto my chair is sometimes a process of procrastination and trying not to find something shiny to do, but I usually make it there eventually.

The process for coming up with the story is a little different.

Usually, I have a spark, something that ignites creativity in my brain. It can be anything from an idea for a fight scene or a use of magic, up to a full character or scene. Whatever it is, it’ll usually ferment in my brain for a few days, bugging me until I write something down to try and get it out.

Then I mull over the idea for a while, usually as I write something separate. When I’m finished with whatever I’m working on, I start on the new idea. It doesn’t usually take long for the story to flesh out, although the minor details sometimes do. I make notes, try to figure out what needs to be done where and do research as needed.

Once all of that is done, I write the story down on cards, each plot point or scene being a different card. I stick these onto a whiteboard I have in my office and that’s the basis for the story. Things change as I start writing, they always do, but by that point I’m pretty much aware of how the story will go and what’ll happen to which character.

I know most people will say not to go back and change things as you write, but it would annoy me to leave it, so I tend to do corrections and changes as I go. It takes longer to do the first draft, but it usually means not having to do another 2 or 3 straight after to get everything as you want it.

By this point, I’m usually left with a functioning first draft, although certainly not a readable one. I go through the story, making changes I need to and editing bits here and there that I think don’t work or need expanding.

This appears to be the point when the deadline looms and I need to get things finished, so I make sure everything is done and send it off to my editor, who sends it back with lots of red bits. I make corrections that I agree with (a very important point) and then send it back to her. If  there’s anything she still doesn’t like we talk about it and I make any final changes before she sends it off to her boss.

After that comes copy edits, line edits and a bunch of very exciting things, but they’re much less about creativity.

When the book isn’t with me, I work on the next one, going through the opening process to get the story together. That way I’m always working on something and never have the, “what do I do next?” mindset.


That’s it for me. I hope you enjoyed the read. And now, I get to tell you about the three fantastic writers that I pass on the preverbal baton to. You should go check them out.

First up is my crit partner and friend, Michelle Muto

Michelle has always loved storytelling. When she was a child, her favorite stories were of monsters and things that lurked in the dark. Telling stories often frightened her classmates and got her into a lot of trouble with her teachers. They had no sense of humor.

As an adult, Michelle traded her love of writing for the corporate life where she was an IT professional. Today, she’s doing what she loves best – writing and storytelling.

Michelle grew up in Chicago, but currently lives in NE Georgia with her husband and their two dogs. She loves scary books, funny movies, sports cars, chocolate, dogs, and changes of season.


Second is fellow 47North writer, the incredibly talented Charlie Holmberg.

Fantasy author, freelance editor, and Trekkie. Someday I will own a dog. My YA-crossover series, beginning with THE PAPER MAGICIAN, is coming soon from 47North.


Finally we have the amazing writer, Natalie Westgate.

Natalie Westgate was born and raised in England. Her love of writing is matched only by her love of shoes.

At age 6, Natalie wrote her first “book”: a children’s story titled The Dog That Went Meow. She got bitten by the literary bug and has been writing stories and poems ever since.

She has an enjoyment and intrigue of all things unusual – as a child, when others would run away from haunted houses, Natalie would ask her Mom if they could go and stay in one. Luckily, her Mom was just as keen and Natalie’s love of the paranormal grew.

Currently, Natalie is writing book one of an Urban Fantasy series. With the hope to get it polished and ready to send out to agents by the end of 2013. Watch this space!

She enjoys reading dark and urban fantasy, supernatural romance, horror, sci-fi and paranormal young adult genres. As well as getting immersed in the worlds of fictional supernatural TV series and movies – to Natalie, good writing isn’t limited to books.

Natalie is married to Brian, the love of her life who, being American, just loves to point out her English spelling “mistakes”. They have two cats – Spike (of the Buffy variety) and Indiana (after the famous Jones) – and a goofball dog.

A conversation with Anne Charnock

To end this week, I’ve got something a bit special. Please welcome author Anne Charnock, who also self-published her work, A Calculated Life, and was picked up by 47North.  We had a chat about writing, publishing and who we’d like to see play our lead characters in TV/movies. 


Anne: You’re currently working on two books, Steve, and I wondered how you organize your writing schedule – do you flit from one book to the other? And how do you avoid getting confused?


Steve: I write one and do the plot stuff for the other. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing so I work on the book’s plot. So, I’m writing my novella and plotting out book 4. When the novella is done, I’ll write book 4 and plot out either book 5 or my new shiny idea.

I used to use a notebook for each book, but I’ve started (as of yesterday) using index cards and a white board, so we’ll see how that goes for making things easier.

So, how do you juggle ideas for new books while writing?


Anne: I’m juggling lots of ideas for short stories at the moment. I’m writing two – jumping between them on roughly alternate days. They’re quite short so it’s not really a problem. But one thing I find helpful is to write each story in a different font – it instantly shifts my mindset. Last night, when I was dropping off to sleep, I imagined a conversation that would slot into one my short stories so I typed that up before breakfast today and I’ll try to polish the whole story this evening. A second novel is starting to take shape but I’m not forcing it just yet. I’m hoping the short stories will help to crystallize things. My first novel started out as a short story.

I’ve had to do quite a bit of research for these stories, which I’ve loved doing. How about you? What kind of research do you need for your novels?


Steve: A different font? That’s a great idea, I should try that.

I love research, it’s one of the most fun parts of being a writer. I’ve had to research a lot of mythology and monsters/characters that are contained within them. Then there’s weaponry, cars, historical details for cities and countries, clothes and far too many things to remember. I once had to phone the fire department in the UK and ask how to start a fire without making it look like it’s been deliberate. Once I explained to the very nice man that I wasn’t a crazy person, he was quite happy to explain. I did something similar with BMW and how to steal a Z4. Sometimes I think I’m trying to make myself into a master criminal.

So, what’s your favourite piece of research that you’ve done so far? Do you spend a lot of time researching before you get to the book, or do you do it as you go along?


Anne: I can’t tell you my best bit of research, which involved a trip to San Diego, because it would act as a spoiler for the novel!


Steve: Yeah, don’t spoil anything.


Anne: I do love the research element. I launched into writing A Calculated Life on the back of several conversations with neuroscientists. I allowed other research to feed into the story along the way and I’m now an expert (ahem) on stick insects, bee-keeping, growing citrus, even Medieval sculpture. Not as exciting as your research, Steve. But when a bit of research steers my story in a new direction or adds depth, that’s when I jump up and down, alone in my little study.  So sad.


Steve: My research wasn’t so much exciting as it was lucky no one decided to send a few coppers round to have a chat.


Anne: Well, at least you’d get some writing done in your quiet police cell.

One thing we have in common, Steve, is that we both self-published our work before we signed contracts with 47North. It was an easy decision for me but I wondered if it was more difficult for you. What difference does it make to you now that you have a publisher?


Steve: Actually it wasn’t a difficult decision at all. Speaking to the people who worked at 47North and seeing their enthusiasm for my work, sort of decided for me. The fact that they were willing to back my writing and help promote it, allowing me more time to actually write, was a pretty big factor too. That’s the big difference between being an Indie or self-published writer and not – you have that backing of something big behind you. There are people who bat for you, who want you to do well. Now, yes, if you do well, they do well, but their desire to see you succeed is a great thing. That said, I can still self-publish or publish other work with someone else, so not much has changed in that respect.

I currently write Urban Fantasy, but I have plans for a steampunk series and I’d like to do some SF and historical stuff. Do you have any plans to change your genre? Do you have a hankering to sink your teeth into something new and shiny?


Anne: Interesting question! How much should I reveal? I’m certainly going to use the short stories to stick my elbows out. My novel is a near-future dystopia set in the corporate world in England. So I’m now playing around with far-future and other-world scenarios. But I’m also looking at how to site historical stories alongside these futurist excursions, and I have a few ideas about that.

In addition… I’m messing about with the form of my stories. Some are very short. I’ve just this morning completed the first draft of a short story that’s written solely as dialogue: a conversation between two sisters walking along a beach. I’m writing several of these ‘conversations’ set in different places, different eras. I like that idea of continuity. In fact, my outline for these short stories is often very simple – a single sentence about the scenario/setting plus a single sentence of dialogue.

Do you have a particular way of bringing an idea into the open, of getting started?


Steve: I couldn’t do that with the short stories and conversations, my brain would just force me to keep going.

I don’t really have one set way. What tends to happen is something will come to me and then my brain will be like a dog with a bone. For example, I had an idea last week for a fantasy/SF/steampunk story. The entity of my idea was humanoid-animals. Within a few days I’d fleshed out the world, a few characters and had a rough idea of the beginning of the story. Once I start, I don’t seem to be able to stop until I’ve done something with it. Which is great when I’m working on what I’m meant to be working on, but when that new shiny idea pops up, it can put a spanner in the works as it demands to be thought about.

It’s probably why when I get round to writing the stories, I have a pretty good idea of characters/world and story. I know how it’ll end and will have a good idea of what I want to happen during the book, although it’s not set in stone.

Do you know what happens in your books before you start writing? Or are you a ‘as you go’ kind of writer?


Anne: Like you, nothing is set in stone. I’m definitely an ‘as you go’ writer. I knew my main character pretty well before I started my novel and I wrote, for my own background purposes, a description of what was going on in the world. Straight away I had an opening scene, and I set off. That opening scene is no longer at the beginning! I knew fairly early how I wanted to end the story but I didn’t map the book, chapter by chapter. I started another short story today – thought I knew where I was heading, and after two paragraphs I found myself veering off. I reckon each sentence is dictated by the previous one.

On another subject… while I was jogging at the weekend I envisaged a complete opening sequence for a movie, based on my novel. I was so excited I actually ran faster than humanly possible. So, to bring this conversation to a close… have you considered who might play the lead role in the movie of your book? Have you seen a movie and thought “That’s the perfect actor?”


Steve: Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever pictured one person as Nate. It changes quite often. Anthony Starr from Banshee is quite Nate-esque, as is Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy. Also, he’s British, which helps. I think both of those men have done excellent fight scenes and are quite capable of acting as a badass, but can also do the witty/more down-to-earth side of Nate too.

Who would you pick for yours then?


Anne: I can see it – Starr and Hunnam fighting for the role of Nate!

As for my main character Jayna… Hmm, I know the actor needs to portray Jayna’s slow transition from being ‘unknowing’, almost innocent, to a more animated character, without going totally overboard (so maybe we should chose our directors, too). From past films, I liked Audrey Tautou in Amelie (but she’s French) and the cool look of Uma Thurman in Gattaca. But among today’s rising stars, I think Carey Mulligan, if available, could make a good stab at the role (see An Education). And I’m intrigued by a Canadian actor coming to BBC3 soon – Tatiana Maslany in the SF series Orphan Black ( She plays multiple roles in each episode so she’d cope with anything.

Well, that’s an upbeat note to end on!



Anne Charnock’s writing career began in journalism and her articles appeared in The Guardian and New Scientist. Anne reviews fiction for the online magazine Strange Horizons and contributes book recommendations to The Huffington Post. She splits her time between London and Chester and, whenever possible, she and her husband Garry take off in their little campervan (unless one of their two sons has borrowed it), travelling as far as the Anti-Atlas Mountains in southern Morocco.

A Calculated Life




100th Post – Blog Stop Post 2 and Competition Results

Yep you read the title right, I’ve now done 100 posts since I started this blog 18 months ago. Now, I know why most of you are here, to find out who got to win the competition, but we’ll get to that in a minute.


First, I want to give you all the details of the many blogs I’ve been lucky enough to post on in the last week. There’s quite a bit, but hopefully some of them will be of use to someone out there.


First up is Kelsey’s Book Corner, who not only has a guest post about Beta readers, but also a competition where you can win a signed copy of both books.


I have a guest post on John Jackson Miller’s blog, titled Han Shot First. It’s about Star Wars and my love of the less moral characters.


Bea’s Book Nook has a post from me about never giving up on that dream to be published, or indeed to be successful at it.


I’m on Natalie Westgate‘s blog talking about how I always wanted to be an author. There’s also a chance to win a signed copy of the book there too.


In The Pages of a Good Book, has a guest post about my love of research.


A guest post on K.L Schwengel‘s blog is all about going from Indie writer to Traditional writer.


Angela Addams has me on her blog talking about whether you should start your writing career trying to go for a traditional contract or not.


R. Mac Wheeler has a spotlight on both Hellequin Books.




And now for the competition results.


The three winners, all of which will get a signed copy of either book, and the chance to name a character in book 4, Prison of Hope, are:


Kyle Felis Key

Zoe Mountain

Scott Hollander


Each of those 3 have 10 days to let me know what their 2 names will be, and I will pick the one I like the best. I’ll announce the winner in a fortnight. As I said before: No real people, no funny names and I reserve the right to tell all 3 of them to pick again if I don’t like any. I’m mean like that.


I’m excited to see what you guys choose.


The Hellequin Re-launch Competition

As I’m sure some of you know, my first 2 books, Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred will be re-released with new covers and content on 17th September.

When I published Crimes Against Magic last April, I didn’t really have anything to give away, so when I published Born of Hatred last December, I had a competition to win a Lego Nate.

Everyone loved Lego Nate.

Well, I was trying to figure out what would be the best thing to give away for the relaunch of the first 2 books by 47North, and I think I came up with something

So, we’re going to have a competition where 1 lucky winner, will get something cool.

Over the next few weeks (the competition will run for 2 weeks), I will post status’s about the books and this competition, for every person who re-tweets or shares these messages, their name will go into hat.


You can share and re-tweet as often as you like, and each time you do, you get a new name in the hat, meaning your chances of winning increase.

So, what’s the prize?


You will get to name a character for use in book 4, Prison of Hope.

In fact, I will draw 3 names from the hat and each person gives me 2 names. The one I like the best wins the competition and also gets their own name in the book’s acknowledgements.

However, all 3 people I pick will win signed copies of either Crimes Against Magic or Born of Hatred (your choice).

Now before we start there are some rules:

  1. It can’t be a real person. So no George Clooney or Eva Green.
  2. It has to be a real name. While I’m sure you can come up with some very funny names, none of them are ones I’m going to fit in the book.
  3. I reserve the right to say I don’t like anyone’s name and ask everyone to re-do them.

So, there you go, the chance to name your very own character just for sharing or re-tweeting my posts about my blog or books on Facebook and Twitter.

One last thing, if you click on the link below to re-tweet or share this, please make a comment on the blog so I can track you. Cheers.

Good luck.