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Cover and Sale

This is it, the road to publishing Born of Hatred has begun. Once I get the edits back from my wonderful editor, we’ll be ready to go.

To celebrate the fact that we’re almost there, I thought I’d do a little sale of Crimes Against Magic. So, from now until the end of the weekend, the Crimes Against Magic is only $3.99 (£2.59). You can go here to get a copy.

In the meantime, I’m happy to share the incredible cover to Born of Hatred.

Once again, the cover was done by the wonderfully talented Eamon O’Donoghue. And no, that isn’t Nate on the cover.

I hope you all like it as much as I do, and have a good weekend.


On 30th April I launched Crimes Against Magic to the world, with no idea how it would be taken. I didn’t know if it would sell, get good reviews or vanish quietly into the realms of Indie-publishing, never to be spoken of again.

Turns out it did okay. So after having April to September’s complete sales figures, I thought I’d share them with you all. 6 months of sales figures (if not 6 months in actual complete months) is a pretty good selection of data.

Now, I’m not showing this to everyone to show off, I’m fully aware that I’m nowhere near the upper echelon of sales, but maybe someone will read this and they’ll see that if I can do it, then they’ll have some hope that they can too.

So, to do this I’m going to break the figures down into three categories.  We’ll do UK sales first, then EU and we’ll save the American sales until last because that’s where most of my sales have come from.






As you can see, the figure for sales in the US is astronomically larger than the UK or EU. And I haven’t changed the price (except for 1 week at the end of Sept), so nearly every one of these sales is based on the $4.99 (£3.11) price tag.

So, there’s probably a few questions that you might have from this.


Where did these sales come from?

Well, I blogged like a crazy person in May and June, doing spotlights, interviews and anything else I could to get the book out there, so that probably helped. And I’ve gotten some incredible reviews. But the thing that I believe helped the most is the cover. Everyone who has seen the book has told me how good the cover is, and I believe that my sales are certainly helped by having a good cover.

Does this mean I have agents asking for my hand in partnership?

Ummm… no. Not even slightly. In fact, I haven’t heard from any agents, at all. Not that I was expecting to.


Where does Crimes Against Magic sit now?

 As of writing (10am UK time), it sits about the 47,000k mark in the UK Kindle store.


In the US, it sits here:


Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,474 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)


Despite the fact that sales have really dropped off, it’s still pretty damn good. Especially for a first-time, unknown writer.

And to answer a question that I’ve been asked a lot recently.


Where are you with Born of Hatred?

Editing. I’m about half way through the editing process and hope to have that done within a week. Then a few people need to read it and we’ll go from there. Basically, it won’t be too long.



And that’s it for another week. I hope someone found the figures I’ve posted interesting or helpful. Have a good weekend.

I’m Back. And a Chance to Win.

It’s been a long time since I last wrote my own blog posts. So, it’s been a little difficult to figure out what I’m actually going to talk about. Instead of imparting whatever pearls of wisdom I happen to think of, I thought I’d just talk about what I’ve done in those last 5 weeks.

First of all, thanks to every single person who gave their time to be interviewed or write blog posts for me. I have a few more coming up in the next few week, and if anyone wants to take part in an interview or guest blog post on my blog then you’re more than welcome to contact me. And bribes work great. Just saying.

So, what have I been doing for the last 5 weeks? Mostly I’ve been taking care of my new baby daughter, Harley. She was born on 16th Aug and the time since has flown by. Her two older sisters, Keira and Faith, have both been very good with her, although that interest vanishes the second she needs a nappy change.

My beautiful daughter. She has quite the set of lungs on her.

So, my family has taken up the majority of my time. My 7th wedding anniversary was a few days ago, for which my lovely wife got me The Avengers on Blu-Ray and an impressive canvass with some old comic book art on it. She came to terms with being married to a geek a long time ago. Although I think my comic book collection is starting to take up a little more space than she’s always happy with.

My eldest daughter, Keira also started Junior School (I don’t know what the equivalent is elsewhere), which depresses me greatly as the past years appear to have flown by. It’s her birthday tomorrow, so she’ll be 8 going on 16 (at least in terms of attitude).

I saw Dredd the other day and it’s excellent. They’ve captured the character very well, along with the brutal world he lives in. It’s a very violent film and certainly doesn’t shy away from some very graphic scenes. It’s definitely not one you want your kids to watch. Unless you like the idea of screwing them up for a few weeks.

The film also has a great poster. Which is somewhat of a lost art these days.

The one thing I will say a night feed allows me to do is catch up on my TV watching. I finished the first series of Newsroom, which is excellent and caught up with the latest seasons of Castle  (about bloody time with that ending) and Leverage. I also finally got round to making my way through Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Soul Eater. I’d seen about half of them, but am now near the end for both shows and they’re equally good to watch, although Soul Eater is more than a little weird and offbeat in places.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is probably one of the best Anime TV shows ever made.

See the girl with the Witch outfit on? She’s actually a cat and likes to walk around naked. And that’s not the oddest thing that happens in the show.

And on to the writing side of things. Crimes Against Magic is currently doing quite well, although sales have dropped from July. I’ll do a full post about the sales side of things in a few weeks. Hopefully someone out there might find it interesting. has 36 reviews, 33 of which are 4 or 5 stars. has 17 reviews, 16 of which are 4 or 5 stars. It’s an incredible reception and I’m glad so many people have enjoyed the book.

Speaking of books, Born of Hatred is back from my wonderful crit partners, Michelle Muto and D.B. Reynolds and they both liked it. In fact they both said it’s much better than Crimes Against Magic, with better writing and a tighter story. Which is just about the best news I could have received.

I’m currently making lots of edits and then it’ll go to some other wonderful people to have a read. I’m aiming for a Halloween launch, but best laid plans and all that. Which means that if I can’t manage Halloween, it’ll be launched sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving (not that we celebrate it over here), but at least that gives you an idea of the timeframe.

My talented friend, Eamon, is currently getting the cover to Born of Hatred ready, which I’ll show as soon as he’s done.

I have tried to get some writing done on book 3, With Silent Screams, but have managed about 5k. Which isn’t great, but I’m hoping that I’ll get more done once my edits to Born of Hatred are finished.


Lastly, it’s competition time. 

If you’d like to win a signed copy of Crimes Against Magic, then read on:

There are four things you can do to get an entry:

1. Like my Facebook Author page

2. Follow my blog (click on the ‘follow’ button on the top right of this page).

3. Tweet about this competition or RT my tweets (if you tweet, you’re going to have to include me so I can keep track – there’s a widget at the bottom of this page with a link to my Twitter account).

4. Share my posts on Facebook (Look for contest posts on my Facebook page).

Every time you do one of the above, your name goes into a hat. Each additional action, means an extra entry. So in theory, if you do all the above and then share and re-tweet every day, you’ll get loads of entries.

In one week’s time, on the 27th September, my daughter will draw one name out of the hat, and I’ll announce the winner on my blog. They then have one week to contact me with their address.

If you already follow me or like my author page and don’t want to take part (maybe you don’t like free stuff) then let me know and I’ll make sure to remove your name from the hat.

So, until next week. Good luck and have a good weekend.

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.

Today I am a Professional Author (and a piece of advice)

On April 29th, I wrote a piece titled ‘Today I am a Published Author‘, it was to signify the day that my first ever book was published.

That was two months ago, and since that day, it’s been a roller-coster ride of highs and lows. If there’s one thing I can say about being an Indie author, it’s never dull. It’s depressing,  heart-breaking and incredible, but never dull.

So, two months after that book went live, I got my first ever payment. My first one. Okay, it was for £22 (about $35), but I don’t care, it was for 1 day’s worth of book sales in the UK and I got paid. So today I move from being an author, to being a professional author. I now get paid for something I love doing (I promise not to go around calling myself a professional author, that’s just being a bit of a tit).

I think I’ll have to buy my first boat on an instalment plan.

That was not the only thing that happened this week that I felt a need to share with you all. If you’re a UK writer and you’re an Indie, you have to get a Tax number from the IRS otherwise Amazon send the lovely fellows over there 30% of your earnings. This is something I learnt a few days ago and immediately set about trying to get hold of the IRS.

My only real problem (apart from being on hold for an hour) was the awful music. You make enough money, get a bit of something interesting on there.

As it turns out it was quite easy. There’s a number to call on the Amazon FAQ’s about tax. You call it, ask for an EIN (if your a company) and there you go. Unfortunately it takes about an hour to get through to them, and about 5 minutes to complete the call. And the number is in the US. Which means your phone bill is going to take a kicking. So, here’s my advice. Get Skype. It cost me about 85p to use it to call them. I can’t believe how much easier it was.

So, yes, this week was a bit of a learning experience. But the fact that I can now state that I get paid to write, is one of those things I’d always dreamt of. Yeah, I’m not making Stephen King money. But right now, right here, all that matters is that people have bought my book and enjoyed it enough to keep it. I won’t go into sales figures (I want a few months of data before I do), but this is where Crimes Against Magic is currently sitting (as of 20:30 on 27/June/12).

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,981 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

And you know what, that looks damn good to me. And, touch wood, long may it continue.

This much wood.

And the Winner is?

As you may know, last week I had a competition to win a signed paperback copy of Crimes Against Magic.

Before we get to the winner, I’d just like to thank everyone who took part. There were a lot of entries, so either people really wanted a copy of my book or they just really wanted something for free. Either way thank you for taking the time to follow, re-tweet and take an interest.

The names of everyone who took part were put into a bag for the independent judge to pick the lucky winner.

My eldest daughter, Keira, looking as scruffy as only a 7 year old can.

And the winner is: Tammy Stevens

Tammy you now have 7 days to send me your address and any message you’d like me to sign. I hope you enjoy your prize.

For everyone who didn’t win, I’m sure my daughter can be bribed for future competitions. She likes Super Heroes (Batman and Spider-man especially), Studio Ghibli films and chocolate. Any of those things pretty much guaranteed you a win.

While I have your attention, I can recommend you to go read my most recent interview with Dianne Waye, here.

Paperbacks and Competitions

As some of you know, I’ve been getting a paperback copy of Crimes Against Magic ready.

I wanted it ready for the end of May, but circumstances outside of my control meant that wasn’t possible. So now I’m ready to announce the date that the paperback of my book will be ready to purchase.

Today. Now. This second.

In fact you can find it here: – –

It’s also available in France/Spain/Germany and Italy, as are the kindle versions for anyone in those countries (although, everything is in English.). I’ll put links for these here.

To celebrate this, quite frankly, excellent event, we’re going to have a competition where one of you, dear readers can win a signed copy of Crimes Against Magic.

So, how do I win? I hear you ask.


Well, it’s very simple. There are four things you can do to get an entry:

1. Like my Facebook Author page

2. Follow my blog (click on the ‘follow’ button on the top right of this page).

3. Tweet about this competition or RT my tweets (if you tweet, you’re going to have to include me so I can keep track – there’s a widget at the bottom of the page with a link to my Twitter account).

4. Share my posts on Facebook (Look for contest posts on my Facebook page).

Every time you do one of the above, your name goes into a hat. Each additional action, means an extra entry. So in theory, if you do all the above and then share and re-tweet every day, you’ll get loads of entries.

In one week’s time, on the 21st June, my daughter will draw one name out of the hat, and I’ll announce the winner on my blog. They then have one week to contact me with their address.

If you already follow me or like my author page and don’t want to take part (maybe you don’t like free stuff) then let me know and I’ll make sure to remove your name from the hat.

And that’s it for this week. Thanks to everyone who supported me and to everyone who has already purchased a copy of the book.

We’re Going to Talk About Fight Club Part 1

Over the last few weeks I’ve been asked a few times about how I get my ideas for the fights that occur in my books. I’ve also seen a few blogs that deal with the subject, leading me to believe that there are a lot of unsuspecting characters that some writers are about to have assaulted in the name of literary endeavour.

People all have their own ways of thinking about new fights or action scenes, but for this post we’ll assume anyone else is wrong and go with how I do it.

Before you write a fight scene there is one thing that you need to be aware of. Real fights suck. I’m sorry to all of you who think that real fights are somehow a cross between Jackie Chan and a UFC fight, but they’re not. They’re normally fought by people who have no idea what they’re doing and they’re normally dull, insanely stupid and not worth bothering with. Normally alcohol is involved. This does not make you a good fighter.

If you really need to see a real fight just go to Youtube and type in ‘Man punches…’, then the noun of your choice and then sit back and wonder how human life has actually managed to not implode with stupidity yet.

From every fight I’ve ever been in or seen, there’s one prevailing truth. They’re over quickly. Either because someone gets a lucky punch, or because after a few punches, the participants are far too tired to continue. I’ve seen two grown men, clearly very angry at one another, start slapping each other like a Three Stooges sketch, because they’re too tired to actually continue fighting.

Every Saturday night in Southampton is another unnecessary pie fight.

There’s one other thing about real fights. In your mind you may have the idea that someone gets a kicking and at some point they bounce back to life and dish out a thrashing to the thug in question. This doesn’t happen. Life is not the end of the Transformers cartoon movie.

You got the the touch, you got the power…

So, when writing fights you’re going to want to make them sound interesting. No one wants to read every fight if it’s “I punched him once, he fell over, I moved on.” You can only really use that once, maybe twice before it gets dull. So, you’ve gotta mix it up a bit. Lee Child is excellent a this, his fights are normally short, sharp yet still exciting. But his main character, Jack Reacher, can hit people once and move on as he’s the size of a small car.

So writing fights in a realistic manner is something I don’t usually do. I usually tweek that realism until it gets to a point I’m happy with, and for that there’s a multitude of places you can go to get inspiration. Asian cinema is fantastic for this, and there are a few american films that have some great fights in. Anime is also a great place to find interesting ways to fight, especially is you’re using non-human characters. But as for telling you what I recommend you watch, well, that will have to wait until next week.

If you’re writing about vampires (not so much the sparkly kind), Blood the Last Vampire is a film you should watch. Not the live action thought. No one should do that.

In the mean time, here’s some links that you should be checking out.

Bea’s Book Nook has a Spotlight on Crimes Against Magic.

Ciara Ballintyne has a great interview with me on her blog.

Both of which are worthy of your time to go and have a read.

This week I plan on getting more of Born of Hatred done, and I have a new story, a Steampunk Fantasy, something I’ve never written before. I”m currently at that exciting point where I’m making notes. I’m quite excited about writing it, and one day I may actually tell people what it’s about. That it’s for now, so until next week, have a good weekend.

Small Time Vengeance

A few weeks ago, I wrote a prequel of sorts to Crimes Against Magic, by the name of Small Time Vengeance. It was a flashfriday piece, my first ever, and since I spoke about it, I’ve been asked by a few people if I plan on posting it on my blog. Well, as I’ve been very busy this week, and haven’t had time to write anything interesting. I figured now was as good a time as any.

So, I present you to you. Small Time Vengeance.

Near Soissons, France 1414.

The only reason the man wasn’t dead was because he hadn’t taken part in the raid. He swung gently from the rope I’d wrapped around his chest and under his arms, before I’d hoisted him off the ground. After gaining the information I’d needed about his friends, a cloth gag ensured he would make no sound, and if he woke up and thought about making problems, the four corpses of his comrades, lying clearly visible below him, would prove I wasn’t someone he wanted pissed off.

The four had died while they slept, their throats cut without a sound by the light of their campfire. They’d deserved no less, but my anger would be saved for the man who truly deserved it, the chief of the bandits I’d decimated.

I sat on the thick branch of the old oak tree, high above the ground, watching the man swing slowly back and forth beneath me.

My patience was rewarded as the moon reached its fullest and the sound of laughter came through the forest. The newcomers called to their friends in the camp, their laughter dying when there was no reply. Weapons were drawn and their leader barked orders, as he realised that there would be no answer from his erstwhile followers.

I stepped off the branch and white glyphs erupted over the backs of my hands and up my arms, as my air magic slowed my descent. When I was just over head height with the bandits, I forced the magic down toward my feet, so that I smashed into the ground with a roar. Leaves and dirt were thrown into the air, causing enough confusion and panic that the two closest bandits died before the leaves had drifted back to the earth. A blade of white-hot fire cut through their throats as I moved past them, out of the clearing and into the darkness of the forest, where the blade vanished from my hand.

Four were left in the circle of their camp, their eyes flickering frantically at the merest hint of movement.

The chief grabbed the nearest minion and pushed him. “Get in their and find him,” he barked.

I used my fire magic to see in the dark, turning my vision into a mixture of reds and oranges without casting any visible light from me.

Two large men crept into the forest, their daggers drawn. I moved behind them and took the first one with a blade of air into the base of his skull, almost decapitating him. He fell forward, alerting his companion who turned toward the noise, only to have a gust of air lift him off his feet and crash him into a nearby tree. The angle of his neck suggested he wouldn’t get back up.

“What are you fucking idiots doing in there?” the chief shouted from the tree line, his voice full of barely concealed anxiety.

I charged out of the forest and caught him in the jaw with a blast of air that threw him onto the ground.

I sprinted to the final bandit and he swiped at me with his sword, but I dodged aside and broke his knee with a swift kick. He screamed in pain and fell back, but I caught him and snapped his neck before he hit the ground.

The chief had gotten back to his feet and drawn a dagger, waving it in my direction. A gust of hardened air removed the danger and a second shattered his arm. He howled in pain and I punched him in the stomach, doubling him up, and then pushed him onto the ground.

“Who are you?” The chief’s voice was raspy with pain.

The noise had woken the hanging man, and he watched wide-eyed as I picked up the dagger and crouched beside his boss.

“You terrorised that village. You went there time and time again to steal and have your fun. And when a boy of twelve stood up to you, you murdered him in front of his parents and maimed the man who tried to stop you.”

I smiled down at the chief as fear oozed out of him. “You did everything in your power to break them. But you know what? When I arrived there two days ago, the first thing they did was offer me hospitality.

“They warned me of you and your bandits. They made sure I was going the other way. They wanted to keep me safe from you. Even though you tortured those people, you couldn’t break them.”

“So?” he groaned as I placed the tip of the dagger against his stomach, drawing blood.

“So, clearly you’re very bad at your job. And someone that terrible needs to be shown how to do it properly. So allow me to educate you on the fine art of breaking someone.”

The chief’s screams and pleas lasted only a short time. I gained no enjoyment from what I did, but it needed doing.

The surviving bandit begged me to spare him as I cut him down and removed his gag.

I nodded. “But you’re going to do something for me in return for your life.”

“Anything,” he said immediately.

“You’re going to gather up every last coin and item of worth from your fellow bandits here, and you’re going to take it back to the village you stole it from. You will do this tonight. You will beg for forgiveness. And if you fail to do any of these things, I will find you.” I dragged him over to the body of his chief.

“And I will make what I did to him appear as a tap on the wrist, are we clear?”

The man nodded repeatedly.

“One more question,” I said. “Have you heard about Soissons?”

“You don’t want to go there. The French army murdered everyone. I’ve heard stories of monsters and demons roaming the city.”

“Monsters and demons?” I smiled. “Sounds like my kind of city.”


I hope you enjoyed it.

There are a few links this week, that I suggest you all go and check out.

The first is actually on my blog. An interview with the very talented Colin F. Barnes. My first ever in fact, although not my last by any stretch of the imagination.

Colin also repaid the favour and interviewed me, which was a lot of fun.

Speaking of fun, Tom Harris had be take the Badger, which I assure you is not some weird euphemism. It has to be read to be believed.

Debra L. Martin also did an interview with me this week.

The fantastic Keri Lake conducted the last interview of the week with me.

And last, but by no means least, Kendall Grey allowed me to steal her blog for the day to talk about the day before I published my book. Something I hope you find both fun and interesting.

As for Crimes Against Magic, well it’s doing okay. A sixth, 5 star review was superb, and i’ve had a few people e-mailing me to tell me how much they loved it. Thanks to all of you who took the time.

That’s it for this week.

And as he proved so popular last time, I’ll leave you with one image.

All Glory to the Hypnotoad.

One Hell of a Week

Well, here we are. On Monday I published my first novel, Crimes Against Magic, and to be honest, it’s done better than I could have ever imagined. Including getting two 5 star reviews on and entering the top 100 for fantasy in both the US and UK on monday.

Thanks to everyone who purchased a copy, and if you haven’t yet, you can go to (link) or (link) to get one. It’s okay, everyone else will wait until you’ve come back.

I’ve spent the last week being incredibly busy and taking over several blogs:

My first stop was for the quite frankly awesome, T.James, in an interview described by one reader as the best they’d ever read. Here

My wonderful crit partner,  Michelle Muto also did an interview with me. Here

The talented J.A Belfield did my third interview this week. Here

D.B. Reynolds has been singing my books praises for a few weeks now. And seeing how she’s also my crit partner and one of the best writers I know, I think it’s only fair that you go over there and read about it. Here

The wondrous, JDwaye has done a superb interview with me. Here

My last interview of the week was done by the incredible Krista Walsh. Here

The prequel to Crimes Against Magic, Small Time Vengeance, is hosted by the delightful, Danielle La Paglia on her flashfriday post. Here

My good friend and fantastic writer, Ken (Bulletwisdom), has been very kind and plugged my book for me. Here

And lastly the great author, L.E. White will be hosting a post of mine tonight. Stop by and give it a read. Here

Before I forget, I’ve been asked a lot this week about the possibility of a paperback copy of Crimes Against Magic. My answer is watch this space. I originally wasn’t going to bother, but as the idea seems very popular I’m going to look into it. A word of warning through, it will be much more expensive than the ebook version. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about that.

So that’s it for this week. Please take the time to look through the posts above, each of them have helped me a lot this week and their posts are all excellent.

And in the mean time, as far as Crimes Against Magic is concerned.

Buy it, buy it, buy it.

All Glory to the Hypnotoad.