An exciting announcement…

I’m excited to announce I have a story coming out in a new Science Fiction anthology titled No Way Home.

Sci-fi is a bit of a departure from my usual genre, although I read plenty of it. I loved the challenge, and I’m really happy with how my story has turned out.  I hope you’ll like it too.

The anthology features some of the greatest up-and-coming speculative fiction authors on the indie scene. You’ll find stories from Lucas Bale, Harry Manners, Alex Roddie (writing as A.S. Sinclair), S.Elliot Brandis, Michael Patrick Hicks, J.S. Collyer, Nadine Matheson, and me, of course. I’ve had a sneak peek at some of the other stories in the collection, and trust me when I say you don’t want to miss them.

Expected Release date: 2 March 2015.

No Way Home Kindle

Stories From Which There is No Escape.

Nothing terrifies us more than being stranded. Helpless, forsaken, cut-off. Locked in a place from which there is no escape, no way to get home.

A soldier trapped in an endless war dies over and over, only to be awakened each time to fight again – one of the last remaining few seeking to save mankind from extinction.

In rural 70s England, an RAF radio engineer returns to an abandoned military installation, but begins to suffer hallucinations, shifts in time and memories that are not his own.

A widower, one of ten thousand civilian space explorers, is sent alone to determine his assigned planet’s suitability for human colonisation, but stumbles across a woman who is part of the same programme and shouldn’t be there at all.

A depressed woman in a poverty-stricken near-future America, where political apathy has allowed special interests to gain control of the country, takes part in a particularly unpleasant crowd-funding platform, established by the nation’s moneyed elite to engage the masses.

An assassin from the future, sent back in time to murder a woman, is left stranded when he fails in his mission and knows he will soon cease to exist.

These sometimes dark, sometimes heart-warming, but always insightful stories and more are to be found in No Way Home, where eight of the most exciting new voices in speculative fiction explore the mental, physical and even meta-physical boundaries that imprison us when we are lost.

And now…taking fan requests

I’ve had a few people tell me that while they enjoyed A Murder of Crones, it did take quite a different tack to what they were expecting: no zombies, not much of the police procedural etc.

This was done on purpose. I wanted to get Vivia’s backstory out of the way so I could get on with exploring the London Bones universe.

The next book is going to focus on a problem within Zee’s hive and I’m very excited about it.

That said, other than Zee (she seems to be a fan favourite), things  readers have said they’d like to see more of are: the history of zombie London, Vivia’s relationship with Charon the Boatman,  Shaun Little and his relationship with his neighbours …

I’ve been invited to contribute a longish (10,000 words) short story for an anthology that will be published in October. I’ve got some great ideas for it, but one of the wonderful things about publishing independently is that I can be really flexible about what I put out there. I thought I might take requests and give you what you want to read.  So tell me, what do you want to know? Any particular character you’d like to see shoved into the spotlight?

The mystery of Dr X

So, I have a character in the new book who is a doctor and I haven’t figured out his name yet,  so for now he’s just Dr X in my notes and the first draft.

And of course, that means I’ve had the line ‘Dr X will build a creature‘ from Rocky Horror stuck in my head for days. [insert earworm and manical laughter here. Mwah ha ha]

And then, because I was procrastinating (as you do), I googled Dr X and by god, there are a lot of them in fantasy/sci fi.

Doctorx

The first one gets away with it, but after that? I can’t help wondering how many writers did what I’ve done because they haven’t decided on a name, and then just think:  ‘Actually, just Dr X sounds pretty cool,’ and leave it at that.

I’m so tempted to give him a name starting with an X just because, but I can only think of Xavier.  And we all know there aren’t any  fantasy/scifi doctory types out there with that name…

Or maybe it counts as homage. Who knows? Decisions. Decisions. Watch this space.

 

 

 

 

And….Book Two is out!

It’s been a wibbly sort of week. It’s been really cold for one thing which makes me grumpy, and then all sorts of things went wrong with the physical copy of The Secret Dead. (All fixed now. Thank you, Createspace. Your support team are wonderful.)

In addition, my four year old is sick, and is about as miserable as a small boy can be, and it’s made for a tricky week on the work front.

And so, finally, I’ve managed to get A Murder of Crones up onto Amazon.  (US, UK)

I’m going to be sending out review copies later today (small boy dependent) so watch your inbox if you’ve asked for one. And if you haven’t, go ahead. I’m happy to hand out to anyone who wants one.

 

Almost done…

Some good news:
I’ve just got A Murder of Crones back from the proofreader. All that remains is to finish off the cover (almost done), and get it formatted.
I expect this will only take me a day or two. Once Amazon approves it (usually within a day), it’ll be available for sale. Yay!

If anyone wants a free review copy,  just let me know.

New Cover and physical copies

Hooray! Not only is the new cover now out, but you can now also buy physical copies of The Secret Dead.

At the moment, it’s only available through Createspace, but that should filter through to Amazon in the next few days.

To keep the price as low as possible, I choose not to make it available for expanded distribution.  This means that, for now at least, it won’t be available elsewhere or in book shops. This will probably change in the future, but for now if you want a physical copy and don’t want to go through Amazon for whatever reason, please contact me.

The_Secret_Dead_Cover_for_Kindle

A Murder of Crones

The next book in the Vivia Brisk series, A Murder of Crones, is on its way. It’s undergoing a final proofread, and once that comes back, all that’s left will be the formatting.

The cover will be revealed soon!

My best guesstimate is that it’ll be out in around 3-4 weeks. Watch this space.

A Murder of Crones.

Being dead is nothing new for Vivia Brisk. She’s been doing it all her life. It’s staying dead that’s the problem.

When Vivia finds herself stuck in the Underworld, she turns to another hag for help. It comes with a deadline and a price tag. Sixty years ago, Tilde was murdered and she wants Vivia to extract vengeance.

At first, Vivia thinks there’s nothing behind the claim except a good dose of paranoia, but as she digs deeper she finds it might not be so crazy after all. Someone has been methodically exterminating hags for centuries, and if Vivia doesn’t figure it out quickly, she’s going to be next…

And some more updates…

For anyone eagerly awaiting the next Vivia Brisk book, it’s coming. I promise. It’s been written, beta-read, and is currently undergoing editing.  We’re on the last leg.

When I published The Secret Dead, no one cared much about it, other than me. This book is different. I’ve actually got people excited to read it. I’m definitely feeling the pressure to put out a good one, and not let anyone down.

So…no release date yet. It’ll be out as soon as it’s in a healthy enough state to release into the wild. Watch this space.

 

The Alliance of Independent Authors launches the Ethical Author Code of Conduct

 

I'm an Ethical Author

I’ve blogged before about my concerns around ethics and authors behaving badly.  I was really pleased to get an email from The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) this afternoon detailing the launch of their latest initiative – an Ethical Author Code of Conduct.

Jane Steen has blogged about it here, so I won’t repeat the message, but this is overdue and much needed in the writing community. Go ALLi! I’m behind you all the way.

For the record, I officially agree to abide by the below Code of Conduct.

For some reason the Code of Conduct jpeg is horribly unclear on my site, but this is it:

Ethical Author Code

Guiding principle: Putting the reader first

When I market my books, I put my readers first. This means that I don’t engage in any practices that have the effect of misleading the readers/buyers of my books. I behave professionally online and offline when it comes to the following practices in my writing life:

Courtesy

I behave with courtesy and respect toward readers, other authors, reviewers and industry professionals such as agents and publishers. If I find myself in disagreement, I focus on issues rather than airing grievances or complaints in the press or online, or engaging in personal attacks of any kind.

Aliases

I do not hide behind an alias to boost my own sales or damage the sales or reputation of another person. If I adopt a pen name for legitimate reasons, I use it consistently and carefully.

Reviewing and Rating books

I do not review or rate my own or another author’s books in any way that misleads or deceives the reader. I am transparent about my relationships with other authors when reviewing their books.

I am transparent about any reciprocal reviewing arrangements, and avoid any practices that result in the reader being deceived.

Reacting to reviews

I do not react to any book review by harassing the reviewer, getting a third party to harass the reviewer, or making any form of intrusive contact with the reviewer. If I’ve been the subject of a personal attack in a review, I respond in a way that is consistent with professional behaviour.

Book Promotions

I do not promote my books by making false statements about, for example, their position on bestseller lists, or consent to anyone else promoting them for me in a misleading manner.

Plagiarism

I know that plagiarism is a serious matter, and I don’t intentionally try to pass off another writer’s words as my own.

Financial ethics

In my business dealings as an author, I make every effort to be accurate and prompt with payments and financial calculations. If I make a financial error, I remedy it as soon as it’s brought to my notice.

Responsibility

I take responsibility for how my books are sold and marketed. If I realise anyone is acting against the spirit or letter of this Code on my behalf, I will refer them to this Code and ask them to modify their behaviour.