Happy Hallowe’en, all!

I won’t write a great Hallowe’en spiel now as this is just a quickie while I have a moment.

Firstly, tomorrow being November, we are getting a little nearer to the release date for this year’s Christmas Lites, the charity anthology which features short stories from major indies such as Lizzy Ford, Addison Moore and others including me. (Shhh, if I keep very quiet in the corner they might let me stay!) The “Christmas Lites” anthologies are a really special undertaking. A group of authors, editors, formatters and artists donate their work freely to put together this anthology and all monies earned go straight into the bank account of NCADV, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This year’s edition is particularly poignant as it commemorates the wonderful writer and friend C.S. Splitter, who died earlier this year, and who was one of the founding culprits of the anthology. We’d like to give it a really big send-off in his memory, so as soon as I have release and cover reveal dates for you, I’ll be posting them here. (I can tell you, I’ve seen a mock-up of the cover and it’s going to be FABULOUS!)

Secondly, an update.
“Mother of the Shantar” (aka Book 3) has been playing up in a major fashion, and earlier in the year I realised that of the 85k words I then had, fully 75k were backstory and should be cut out. (OUCH!) It was quite a good bit though, and as Book 3 is still resolutely refusing to fit together, I set that aside for a bit to polish up the backstory. The result of that is “Flight from Shantar”, which chronologically speaking, is the preamble to Vansel and Jack’s arrival in Scarlock, and tells of Alaric’s efforts to bring the Mother over the Shantar border. This is nearing completion.

The second bit of backstory that has been cut and expanded is “Song of the Ice Lord” which tells of the events nearly three thousand years before ODS, when the Ice Lord first came into Nereia’s world, and the terrible war he unleashed. I have just finished writing it into a more rounded tale, and have started on the edits. I will be surprised if we manage to get it on the shelves before Christmas, and I shan’t hurry it in order to make that deadline, but it shouldn’t be so very many months before it is available, so watch this space.

In the meantime, November is dedicated to shaking Book 3 into submission, as you’ve all been waiting far too long for it, and frankly, so have I! This year has been madness, but I am hoping, just faintly, that next year there might be a little more free time. If there is, watch out – I can tell you that for Nereia, the chase has only just begun, and as Dr Seuss would say, “Oh, the places she’ll go!” It’s going to take about six more books to get there, at this rate, so I hope you like long, intricate tales as much as I do….

But enough chattering, more writing, I hear you say – this book isn’t going to write itself! And of course you’re quite correct, so it’s back to the batcave for me.

In the meantime, enjoy your Hallowe’en / Bonfire Night / Thanksgiving / Samhain / other!
Back soon, I hope, with all sorts to report!
JAC

PS: While you’re waiting, if you’ve ever wondered what Nereia’s childhood was like, have a look in “Christmas Lites 2” – least year I contributed a tale from when she was six years old, and the wonderful Yule party at which she first met her Godmother. Besides, the rest of the book is so entertaining, I challenge you not to laugh / cry / love it!

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