Blog Archives

A Brief Interlude

Normally when I write a post, I have a set aim in mind and write the blog about that idea. This week I have no idea, so I thought I’d just wing it and talk about stuff that has interested me recently, along with some awards I’ve received and how my writing is going.

Firstly videogames. I’m a big fan of videogames and anime, and when someone merges those things together I get all giddy.

So when someone takes the developer Level-5 (Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Jeanne d’Arc) and put them together with Studio Ghibli (Princess MononokeMy Neighbor TotoroThe Secret World of Arrietty), well there’s a good possibility that I may be purchasing whatever it is they’re doing.

As it turns out, what they’re doing is called Ni no Kuni for the PS3 and it looks like this:

And this week they announced what the Special Edition of this game was going to be:

I’m not a big fan of special editions, they’re usually a bit crap. But the above one has a 300 page hardcover of Studio Ghibli art. There is only one way in which to describe how I feel about that.

Yep, that about says it all.

I have no doubt that this game is going to be sensational and next January can’t come soon enough.

To move on from my geeky pass times, Crimes Against Magic won the Indie Book of the Day Award on Monday, and they gave me a nice certificate and a badge. You can find the website here, and I recommend going and taking a look, they have a lot of great books getting some much needed promotion.

And here’s my winners badge.

If it were an actual badge, I’m pretty certain it would be polished to within an inch of its life by now.

Speaking of Crimes Against Magic, it’s now sitting at number 18 in the top 100 Fantasy Magic charts on Amazon, which is just incredible. I also now have 18, 5 star reviews and 5, 4 star reviews across both and It’s achieved more than I’d ever dreamed it would. So thank you to everyone who purchased a copy.

Now onto the sequel, Born of Hatred. It’s moving along nicely. The draft is nearly done and then it’ll fly off to my crit partners, D.B. Reynolds and Michelle Muto, who will go through it with a big red pen. I’m hoping for an October launch, but I’ll post more details about it closer to the time.

And finally for this week, the very talented K.L. Schwengel gave me a Beautiful Blogger award. Which, after you clicked on the link to go see Kathi’s fantastic blog, you can see below.

I like awards. I wish for more.

After thanking Kathi for the superb award, it’s my turn to nominate 7 blogs which I love to read. So here they are.

D.B. Reynolds       Michelle Muto      

Angela Addams      T.James      Tom Harris

Susan Mann     Keri Lake

All 7 of them deserve your time and attention.

And that’s it for the week. I’m off to do some more writing and get that draft finished before I go to watch Spider-man tomorrow. In the meantime, have a great weekend and I’ll see you all again next week.

We’re Going to Talk About Fight Club part 2

Last week I spoke about writing fights and the need to balance the realistic while making it something that isn’t incredibly dull to read.

This week I thought I’d take a look at the things I’ve used to help inspire the various fights scenes that I’ve written.

Asian Cinema

This is the big one. I could do a whole blog post about what Asian cinema people should watch. Asian cinema is overflowing with incredible fight scenes. I’m not just talking about the stuff from the 70s and 80s, like Project A or Police Story. There’s also a lot of incredible new stuff, Ip man, Chocolate, Kung Fu Hussle, 13 Assassins and a host of other films that are full of incredible feats of fighting process. I’m not such a big fan of the wire work films, like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but there’s some impressive stuff to watch.

One of the best films ever, made by a master. You know, before he went crazy and made Rush Hour 3.

Some of it is also exceptionally brutal. The violence portrayed feels almost real, it’s usually quick, breathless and unrelenting. Man from nowhere, Oldboy, and a host of others are amazing films, but not for the faint of heart.

As you can tell from the poster, it’s a lovely film about carpentry.


There’s a lot less good fight scenes in Hollywood. The heroes were usually near invincible (which is fine if the fights are interesting, and dull as hell if they’re not) and it was rare that a fight ever lasted beyond one punch or kick. Don’t get me wrong, they’re finally catching up with Asian cinema, but for a long time a lot of fights in American films were fairly dull to watch. The Bourne Films, Matrix and most recently Drive all give three very different types of fights. Drive in particular, like the Asian Cinema I described above, has a very vicious side to it.

It takes 45 minutes for the action to kick in. But when it does, it’s unrelenting.


Anime is fantastic for getting ideas for the most incredible parts of fighting, especially where your characters aren’t human or use magic. If you’re writing fights, or even action scenes, where something unhuman happens, amine is a great tool to give you some inspiration you might not have thought of before. Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ninja Scroll, Hellsing, Bleach, Soul Eater, Kaze no Stigma, there are far too many to mention here. In fact I’ll probably do a blog post at a later date about Anime.

Best. Anime. Film. Ever.

Probably the best anime TV show ever. Miles better than almost everything else on TV.


David Gemmell. Seriously, if you’re writing a fight scene, this is a man you should be reading. Even more so if you’re writing scenes where weapons are used. The pacing and violence are perfectly pitched, and the writing for them is fantastic.

Whether you like fantasy books or not, David Gemmell should be one of those writers that you read at some point in your life.

Richard Morgan. His fight scenes are raw and feel like they would be dangerous, they also fit in tone with the rest of the book.

If you haven’t read Altered Carbon, you really should.
Unless you don’t like to read well-written stories.

Now, I’m not saying you should watch or read all of these, or copy what they do exactly, but it’s certainly a good place to do a little research and hopefully crack a few ideas loose at the same time. And if I leave you with one thing you should all watch, it’s this fight from Flashpoint.  There’s a reason that Donnie Yen is awesome.

Donnie Yen. Also known as ‘Holy Crap, That Was Insane!” He probably prefers Donnie though.

Here’s a link for anyone who would like to see it (and yes, I know the pic isn’t for Flashpoint. The Ip Man picture is just much cooler):

Don’t say I never give you anything.


I took over Angela Addams’ blog and wrote about writing sex scenes.

Joce Adams asked what I’d do if I had a time machine.

Over at Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Reviews, there’s an excellent interview where I answer the hardest question I’d been asked about my book. Who would I like to play the main Characters.