Category: On Dark Shores


Hello everyone,

I trust you’re all getting into the festive spirit and happily ploughing your way through ladles of eggnog and oodles of books.  Just wanted to introduce myself as the newest member of the Weasel Green Press team.  I’ll be helping JA with sundry admin-y type things, a little bit of proofreading and sprucing up our online presence during the early part of 2017 so that she can concentrate on what she does best, doting on hubby and lurcher writing stories that entertain, whisk us off to imaginary lands and generally keep us on the edges of our seats.

This Christmas season we’ve been working on her short story, The Locket, which is available for pre-order with an arrival date of Christmas Eve. So far we have not done a cover reveal so here it is:

img_1890

I hope a few of you at least find it in your virtual stockings come Christmas morning.  In the new year it will be all systems go with Sprig of Holly sequel, The Holly & the Ivy which we hope to release early in January so do look out for those.

A little bit about me – my reading habits tend towards the classics, modern American literature, anything that rips the old heart out and the giants of fantasy and sci-fi such as Tolkien and Asimov.  I’m also oddly well read in WWII novels on account of stealing most of my reading matter from my big brother who is a bit of a WWII boffin.  But enough about me.

I hope you all receive the books you’re pining for this Christmas and get enough down time to breathe a sigh of relief at the close of this rather singular year whilst indulging in a new work or returning to an old favourite.

Have a good one folks and I wish you all an enlightening and peaceful new year.

Mary

(the funniest and indeed funnest member of the WGP team)

img_1971

Advertisements

Hi all: 

Once again the weekend beckons, and this week is the last of #NaNoWriMo.This year, I am chuffed to say, I have written my 50k words already, rah! Trying to keep the momentum up till the end of the month but I am getting pretty tired. 

 Fox in the Snare is now at about 50k words and it’s about to all get busy in the Valley again, though I am sad as one of my characters who was supposed to have a happy ending has messed up and now is having a premature one instead. Sadly, it makes a lot more sense to the general narrative arc this way, but there is a certain amount of snivelling into the keyboard happening in his scenes. Damned awkward characters! I liked this one too. But sometimes there is an inexorable pull in a certain direction and if you resist it, it shows, and jolts the reader out of the moment. Besides, usually when there is that tidal movement going on, it’s a kind of balanced evolution towards a goal which will ultimately work better than anything I had in mind. Which is all quite irritating (don’t look at me, I just hold the pen!) (all right, tap the keyboard!). 

So come the end of November I will drop tools on Fox and get on with the Christmas shorts which are in the works. The first is The Locket, which is a short story from the world of On Dark Shores, but set some twenty years before that story, when Nereia was a child living in luxury with her parents. The second is The Holly & the Ivy, which is a standalone sequel to A Sprig of Holly. Hoping to have Wesley Souza do another of his beautiful covers for that one! 

And in the meantime, Christmas Lites 6 is due out any minute, and there will be a cover reveal for that due with the breakdown of how the picture was made again (because I love that bit of the process best). Wesley has done another fabulous job on there, so I can’t wait to show it to you!

So, busy busy, eh?

In the meantime Flight from Shantar is currently pinned under the scalpel of editor #1, fellow novelist and talented playwright Julia Lee Dean. I asked her to tell us a little bit about what she’s up to at the minute (though not too much about all the bacon sarnies she’s had to cut out of the book… again…!)

=*=*=*= 


Julia Lee Dean

writer – editor – teacher

A quick glance at the kitchen clock tells me it is nearly 12:40pm, German time. I am at home, in Bad Godesberg, a suburb of Bonn and, so far it’s been a good day. I was awake at 6am this morning which was useful because it means I did my 15 pages of editing for J.A Clement before I launched into my main task of the day; 20 university exam papers to mark. You see, I am not only a novelist and editor, since my move to Germany in 2014 I have been working as an English teacher in and around Bonn. The trick with exam marking is rather similar to that of proof-editing; don’t try and do it all at once. A little bit at a time guarantees a closer attention to detail and avoids tunnel-vision. I must admit, exam marking isn’t my favourite thing but it does allow me to work from home which means I can sit, as I am now, with curlers in my hair and look forward to a meal that I have not been carrying in my bag since before dawn.

However, while the exams I mark are only mildly annotated, the novel I am editing is bristling with comments; observations about descriptions and characters designed to give the author something to think about with a view to development or amendment rather than direct instructions (I can only suggest, I cannot be not the authority on someone else’s novel). Occasionally I edit the text itself; typos of course and grammar when I think another tense works better. Since setting up shop as an English-language teacher, I seem to have become rather more sensitive to grammar. Again, it’s all using the “this is my opinion, feel free to ignore” approach that J. A. Clement and I agreed when we were at university, editing each other’s poems. Online editing (tracked changes) makes that so much easier! As I write that, I am rather aware that when I had my novel edited, I chose hardcopy and really loved it. I prefer to work from hardcopy but I must admit that online is much more environmentally friendly.

I have just taken up my current novel after rather a long break. Well, not a break exactly, more a prolonged period of not-getting-very-much done. Over the last two years, I have worked very hard to establish myself as an English teacher and make enough money to be able to pay rent without sacrificing my social life. So far so good. However, my own novel writing has suffered quite a bit. It’s just taken off again over the last few weeks – I do find NaNoWriMo a helpful motivator – but it’s still caught in between the need for gainful employment and the rather demanding (three times a week with homework each time!) German course I finally managed to squeeze into my schedule in August this year. Still, I must admit I do consider myself pretty lucky. Nowadays I enter an office only to teach English and, considering how much I used to hate being in an office, this is an incredible boon.

I am, however, very excited about my new novel. It is the sequel to my first novel, And I Shall Be Healed. That book followed the experiences of a young Army Chaplain on the Western Front during the First World War. The sequel, Lost & Won picks up the story five years later and takes Leo and his wife through the 1920s and 1930s, an era of incredible – and sometimes harrowing – change. Up until a few weeks ago, my writing was sporadic to say the least. However, joining NaNoWriMo gave me the impetus to finally type up the novel so far (I write longhand in the first instance) and, since then, the new material has been flowing fairly steadily from my pen. I must admit I do find the research task ahead a little daunting but right now I’m just enjoying feeling my way around my characters. Some already familiar but growing older and adapting to experience, and others quite new. I do not consider myself to suffer from writers’ block. When the words won’t come I go and do something else, grateful for what I know will be a temporary release. So far this year I have taken three exams in music theory, set up The Bonn Writers’ Club to give myself and others pure, unadulterated time to write (we meet in a café once – two times a month and just work on whatever we’re working on) and I even managed to acquire a certificate in Foundation Journalism from the NCTJ so, hopefully, I will be able to ease off some of the teaching in favour of more editing and writing work.

If the writing goes on at the current rate, I shall have a good bit done by Christmas. For those who are looking for an editor, I am taking bookings from January 2017. An average novel (c 86k words) should take a month at most. Articles and academic stuff is usually a lot quicker. If you’re interested and want more information, have a look at my website. On the “Novelist” you’ll be able to have a look at the reviews my novel attracted and, if there’s anything else you want to know, just contact me through the site or at julialeedean@gmail.com

For now, keep writing. If the writing’s not happening, read something!

Julia 

=*=*=*= 
Thanks for that, Julia.

Having read her first book I Shall Be Healed, I gave copies to my Mum, Dad and mother-in-law, all of whom loved it (and in my Dad’s case you have to bear in mind that he didn’t read much). It is a quietly melancholic book, very understated and consequently very effective – if you like the slow development of characters, I can heartily recommend it.

She has edited all of my stories (I think all?) and I can tell you she’s pretty easy to work with. If you’re after a thoughtful and perceptive editor who suggests rather than demands, look no further! Moreover, she has a great grasp of characters and plot holes – certainly she’s saved me from a couple of howlers (and we’re even still on speaking terms…) Heheheheh.

So that’s it for me this week, peeps. Hoping to bring you a cover reveal next week, so watch this space. If you’re still working on Wrimo, keep at it! You’re on the home stretch now. If you need harassment of an encouraging nature, add me and I will cheer you on from the sidelines… 

In the meantime, don’t forget there’s still time to get your freebie copies of The Last Dragon and The Scarred Artisan from Instafreebie – and watch this space as there may be an amusing Christmas short going up there too, under the name of Trial by Christmas Pudding, no less. A comic historical cowboy romance? Don’t mind if I do….

Have a good weekend, all, and catch you on the upside.

Take care:

JAC

 

Oh! Hello.

Let me just shift these tumbleweeds out of the way, I’m sure there used to be a blog here somewhere.

Aha! Here we go… Lord, it’s a bit dusty isn’t it? Pass me that duster will you?

There, that’s better.

Give me a moment and I’ll crank up the generator… See the lights flicker – orange, yellow, white and we’re on! 
Wow. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? We’ve been in the Great Blog Void and fingers crossed, we may be just getting across to the other side. Let’s see, when was the last time I put something up on here…? About a year back I think. Rude!

But it’s been a hell of a year.

So. I won’t go through the list of joys and woes which have made the last 12 months what they have been but the main points (in chronological order) include: adopting an elderly lurcher in October 2015, who has been a constant source of joy, irritation and laughter, and whose arrival was accompanied by that of a small colony of (empty!) poo bags which have invaded the pockets of every garment I possess. Said lurcher is very beautiful and has his own fanclub in the village, so we are now known as the dog’s owners in much the same way as members of a star’s entourage; basically, we just hold the lead. Bless him. He’s thirteen in April, which is quite old for a lurcher, but thinks he is a puppy still. Given how beautiful he is now, I suspect he was unbearably cute as a pup. My lovely dog….

On a much less happy note, cancer. There was already a family member undergoing treatment (with a good outcome, fortunately) when my Dad who had Parkinsons was diagnosed with terminal cancer. That was at Christmas; it took him very suddenly at Easter. So that called a stop to pretty much everything for a while, and it really wasn’t kind that two weeks after he died, my mum lost her little cat, which slept on her bed every night, or that shortly after my sister’s much beloved dog had to be put down, both due to malign growths. (I don’t know why there is so much cancer about this year; other friends have also been lost to cancer, including the lovely Katy Sozaeva, whose encouragement right at the beginning of my writing career kept me going in a time of doubt.)

But, by necessity, once the funeral was over we had to get going again, as our wedding was at the end of July, which kept my mum and the rest of us busy just at that weird point where everything’s done and the madness is over and all that is left is the empty chair and the quiet.

The wedding had been designed with the idea of not stressing my Dad out, so it was just the two immediate families in a pub on the moors, followed by roast beef sarnies in a yurt outside the house, and live music by a very talented friend (as well as my sister, a kazoo, the lurcher who apparently knows how to bark in time, etc). I came in to “Bring me Sunshine” by Morecambe and Wise, wearing black jeans, a black and silver corset and a purple coat my mum made from a pattern called “Pirate Queen”, which will tickle anyone who knows about my lifelong penchant for pirates (and I may use that phrase as a title at some point now I’ve invented it). She even put pockets in it. My wedding dress had pockets!! I was very pleased about that. I hate not having pockets.

My mum also made some tremendous glimmering blue brocade waistcoats for the blokes, and my new husband looked splendid; channelling his inner pirate, clearly, though that was just incidental. In a surprise move, my mum even made a waistcoat for the dog who, when we put it on for a photo, seemed completely content and wandered off to steal (another) beef sarnie without waiting for us to take it off him again. My sister did the flowers, which were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. 

The bridesmaids, who had chosen their own dresses, all chose white in different styles, and all looked very stylish and very much themselves. The yurt was magical! We loved the yurt. The weather was mizzlish, but this is Yorkshire, and it does mizzle with style – besides which a dull sky actually suits the photos better – it makes all the people look really vivid and there are so many smiles that each photo is pretty sunny in any case.  I don’t tend to put up pics of friends or family for reasons of privacy but here’s one of me having been persuaded to channel my inner Mary Poppins. Spit spot!

 (The photographer was Richard Edwards who is extremely good, btw)


Apart from the missing family members, it was two shades better than I had hoped in pretty much every aspect you could think of. We sang “The Wild Rover” for my Dad, laughed and cried, often at the same time, had splendid local food and drink (ok, mostly, the wine was from Hampshire and the bubbly came from Cornwall), sang and chattered. All the olds got caught up in a vicious competition to see who could blow the biggest bubble (there were bubbles instead of confetti) and in most of the photos, someone appears to be laughing their head off. In any case, I enjoyed every moment of it. It was *such* fun – and about perfect.

Then, after that, newlywed life kicked in which as far as I can tell is very much like normal life but when absolutely nothing has got done in the house for about five months. The washing was tremendous and the garden had gone mad. The bathroom doorhandle fell off, the kitchen light stopped working and the downpipe for the rainbarrel was hanging in place apparently only because of the spiderwebs around it, though the same spiders had seen fit to make a massive web of the entire inside of the lean-to where I keep flowerpots and gardening gloves, so I had to fight my way in in with a crystal containing the light of Earendil in order to retrieve the trowel, which Shelob had taken a fancy to.  I went back to work and discovered my inbox, which usually holds about 85 items, had hit 1600 in my absence, and started to wonder whether I shouldn’t go back and have another chat with Shelob about that there gardening fork…! And then we ran out of teabags at a critical point (nooooooo!). 

So, a bit of elbow grease and we’re coming up to date on all of the above… but in the meantime, what of the damn books, which is why we’re here?

Weeelllllllll. Now it gets complex.

Last time you looked I was writing Mother, right? Well, my editor said it would be better if I cut the backstory. So I did, but it was about 15k words I was cutting, so I figured I’d release it as a short. So I rounded it off, but that meant doing a few explanatory bits. So when it hit 45k words I sent it back to the editor in question, who came back and said “How does Suze come in?” 

Damndamndamn. That little 5 word question would then require about a 45k word answer. So in it went, but then the chronology was all wrong, so I changed it, but then it was all wrong the other way, and this isn’t even the right damned book!! But it made sense to get the prequel right before going onto the sequel in case something significant went in that would cause repercussions later. I kid you not, that damn book (now called Flight from Shantar) has been over a year in the editing, and it got to the point where I couldn’t even see it any more. The one bright spot was when I got a bit click-happy with spellcheck and changed every instance of the word “Shantar” in the novel Flight from Shantar to “SHATNER”!!!… Thank goodness for the Undo button! (Though I still haven’t given up entirely on Flight from SHATNER!! – you *know* it would sell and sell…..!) 

Anyhow, it was all a bit irrelevant in any case, as I was too burnt out for anything in the first half of the year, and too busy sorting out Dad’s paperwork for my Mum. Once I’d got a bit of mojo back after that I went on a reading binge instead, which is always salutary… and then, come the beginning of July, just as the wedding stuff was really hotting up, I dreamed this great character, and it was a bit compulsive. I couldn’t get him and his heroine out of my head and there was stuff to be done, so I figured it was time to make some notes and just download the bugger. 

BUT these characters are arsey and not inclined to play nicely. 

Some notes! Yeah right, in the same sense as a map with a scale of 1:1. 

So by the end of August, these “notes” had taken the form of a 110k word book. At the time of writing, I’m 120k into book 2 and books 3 & 4 are all mapped out. As soon as I get to a sensible stopping place, I’m putting Flight back together and sending it to the editors (with the hope that fresh eyes will be able to sort out the chronology more easily than I can), so with a bit of luck that won’t need too much in the way of rewrites and might be out in early 2017. The new Christmas Lites anthology is due in December. I have a short story (currently 10k) in editing which is a sequel to Sprig of Holly, and when all that is put to bed, Mother of the Shantar is already 85k done, (Shatner, heheheheh) and ready to start culling characters!

Man, if I didn’t already have a fulltime job I would be adequately provided with writing hours just from this lot!!

So yes, as far as you lot are concerned, I’ve been off the radar for a rather long time with little enough to show on the actual publications page but a short story in last year’s Christmas Lites anthology (though I did help design the cover, which I totally love). But I haven’t let the writing drop – ohhhh nooooo – and I’m hoping the next 18 months or so should bring you the occasional release to remind you who I am.

We’ll see, eh?

Anyhow, there may be a couple of cover reveals and other interesting news brewing in the meantime, but that all very much tbc…

The new lot though, the new lot is looking interesting and this time I’m playing with the somewhat random idea of writing the entire thing before I release any of it, so that in theory you’ll be able to read the entire story arc from start to finish with only a couple of weeks’ wait from one book to the next. If anyone has any thoughts about that, I’d be really interested to hear them. Might be a good plan, might be stupid – no idea at the moment.

Just wait till you meet the Wolf and Lyse, though!!

I think you’re going to like them…. 

Till later:

JAC

….half….

Just a short update:

Song of the Ice Lord
Cover is done and rather splendid – reveal should be in a couple of days, and hopefully some time in the next week or so pre-orders should be available. Files for the paperback are uploaded and assuming they pass review, the first proof should be ordered later on today, and is likely to arrive in the UK this time next week. Excited!!

Flight from Shantar:
Currently just short of 110k words (I’m getting on with finishing that while waiting for Song to be processed). The story is nearly finished but will need a bit of rearranging and then some pretty hardcore editing for tone and consistency. It needs a deal more work, but hopefully it will make a good, taut story by the end of it. A couple more bits of tidy-up and then I’ll print it out and start scribbling on it!

Book 3:
Still lurking around 100k words but though not much writing is happening till I finish with the others, plotting and sense-checking is ongoing, which means all the various plot-strands and motivations are starting to fall into place in a more sensible manner. Again, lots of work to be done, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the wordcount gets split between two books eventually – the 100k is missing a lot of character’s storylines – but the frame is in place and the bodywork is starting to take shape. So even that’s progressing, albeit slowly.

Lastly there are three short stories embedded into the text of Song and I’m thinking of releasing them as free shorts, provisionally titled “The Last Dragon”, “The Scarred Artisan” and “The Widow’s Son” (though the last is a rubbish title and hopefully likely to morph into something snappier).

Get me with the progress!! I have a good feeling about this year though… Fingers crossed!
Right. Back to it.

Cover reveal for Song should be in the next week or so, and release date before the end of the month so as always, watch this space for progress.
All the best:
JAC
*****

Dear all:

Developments, and it’s getting exciting.

Flight from Shantar and book 3 set aside for the moment while I’m working to release Song of the Ice Lord. Clocking in at somewhere around 95k words, I’ve had it back from both editors and there is only one small rewrite still to finish, which should be done in the next few days I hope, after which it will be off to Trish for formatting.

I’m currently in discussion about the cover – it will feature the bird Tiris, and possibly the stone circle which plays an important part in the proceedings. I would quite like to have the protagonist, Lodden, on the cover, but many stock photos look really modern, even the ones in old-fashioned clothes, and that would spoil it entirely. I shall investigate but probably going with the simplest image possible, and then maybe something a bit more ornate in terms of the font. Getting there though(rah! I love that bit!)

So, it will be three or four weeks before I get my slot for the cover, and I should imagine something similar for queuing for formatting, but if all goes well I might be set for a July release… If I can push it forward I’ll try for midsummer though. That would be pleasing, but it doesn’t usually slide earlier so much as later!

We’ll see. Depends on the queues and how well the paperback file works though, (not to mention posting times for the proof. I WISH they’d do that from the UK – it adds a week on quite unnecessarily, and that’s when you pay three times for the postage what you pay for the proof itself!)

And then… well, then onto Flight and Book 3, but it will be good all the same!
More as I know it:
JAC

Onwards & Upwards!

Dear all:

It’s been a while since I last gave you an update, I know, but it’s not that I’ve forgotten you. I’m ensconced deep in the writing cave, doing my best to actually finish some stuff for you – and it’s starting to move a bit at last. Very exciting! So let me tell you a little about what’s been going on…

Book 3: This is now at 80 thousand words or so, and there is still much work to be done. I’m aiming to make this a proper fantasy-sized book but it all depends where the story breaks. Of course the larger story arc is hardly begun yet, but currently I’m thinking this should be a three-paperback story arc and come in nicely as a kind-of trilogy.
The flipside to that is that it’s just too messy having two novellas in one as a starter, so there may be a re-branding along the line to clarify this. This would involve the loss of many of the reviews that are currently up though, and I really value your reviews, so I need to think about how best to manage that. Watch this space.

Flight from Shantar: This is a prequel to events in the On Dark Shores series, and tells of the journey to bring the Mother of the Shantar from the heartlands of her country and smuggle her into Mardon, the country which has only recently been at war with her own. It links in with the arrival of Jack and Vansel in On Dark Shores, and introduces you to characters who will play a large part in Book 3.
This is now at 80k words and nearly at the end of the first draft…. Another ten thousand words (ish) should join up the gaps, then there’ll be a bit of rearrangement before I send it off to the editors to be attacked with scalpels… The second half has had a bit of work already (ie it came back with the comment “How did Suze get involved?” – a small question requiring a 40k word answer!), so it’ll be structural stuff on the first half, and word-polishing on the second. Baby steps, people!
But in the meantime…

Song of the Ice Lord: This is a story from the ancient history of the world of On Dark Shores, set millennia before the current storyline. A dark and terrifying being known as the Ice Lord precipitates the world into a devastating war. Country after country falls before him, until only a few survivors are left, gathered on the Skral islands, and having finished with the rest, the Ice Lord is coming for them. Only the determination of a one-handed craftsman, a young Skral bard and a half-blind Shantara will stand between the Ice Lord and the death of a world…
This is now in its second edit (ie structural stuff done, word-polishing attempted) and currently at about 90k words, though this may be subject to further scalpelling. Hopefully not much though… I’m getting it back from one editor tomorrow, but the other probably won’t finish with it till partway through April, so in the hiatus I’ll be inputting any edits from Julia and working on the other stories. Updates will follow….

So, progress! I am talking to a designer about covers for Song, and as soon as the final edits are back and input, that will be going off to the formatters. Hopefully sometime over the summer there might even be a release! Hurrah! I make no promises though, given my appalling record to date…

I know you are probably a bit cross as the one you really want to read is Book 3, but bear with me – at the moment I’m juggling 3 stories which is a silly idea… Soon to be 2 though, and with a bit of luck, in a couple of months’ time you’ll have something to be getting on with while I’m concentrating on untangling the events back in Scarlock where, let me tell you, it’s getting dangerous to leave the house at night. And WAIT till you find out a bit more about Copeland! Can’t wait tell you all the gossip I’ve discovered!

Right. Enough squeeing, more writing. I will be interested to see what you think, though, of all of them. Hopefully you will enjoy them even if they are sequentially challenged…. Also, if you haven’t signed up to the email list on Amazon.com (not UK, the one on the .com author page) please do as that way they’ll definitely tell you when the next one hits cyberspace. Which might not be so very long now, rah!

Well, that’s my fifteen mins of fresh air. Back to the writing cave!
Have a good one, all:
JAC

Rolling…

Hey peeps;

Book 3 now stands at sixty thousand words, up from 35k. Lots more to come but the story progresses!

Not much to report with Flight at the moment, but Song is going through a self-edit post-rewrites, slowly at the moment as it’s being fitted round Wrimo writing time, but creeping on. Quite excited about Song, actually.

Sprig of Holly is flying off the shelves! Over 450 downloads so far this month in the US alone! In celebration, I’m getting a new cover done, so watch this space for details of the reveal.

Lastly, a note from Dulcie Feenan, who tells me that readers considering taking a look at “Christmas comes to Oddleton” might like to know that it will be on sale at reduced price on Kindle around the weekend of 6th December.

Have a good evening, all!
JAC

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!

Hey all:

Here is the news at ten from the WGP. The headlines:

BONG!

Book 3 of ODS is currently at 30k words and moving on slowly. Currently aiming to make it somewhere between 100k-150k depending on where the nearest stopping place is in order to allow for 10% attrition in editing and still leave you with the tome you’ve been requesting.

BONG!

Parallels novella “Flight from Shantar” is currently at the editor and awaiting his scalpel. Expect exclamations of “Ouch” and “Oooyah!” over the next couple of weeks when I get it back! Parallels alleged-novella “Song of the Ice Lord” is currently mostly on hold while I get on with Book3, but is currently approaching 70k in length and does good duty when I’ve hit a stumbling block on Book 3! Ultimate length will be (as long as it takes) minus (editing scalpellage). And yes that is a word because I just made it up.

BONG!

Job: utterly manic for the next two months. Hoping to have a little more free time after that. Houses: now shortlisting. Hoping to put in an offer in the next couple of weeks and move August / September time (expect a writing hiatus again while that’s happening; hopefully timing will be right to be editing “Song” then).

And indeed

BONG!

EXCITING NEWS – WGP author Jo Edwards of “Work-Wife Balance” fame is putting the final touches to her sequel, “Potbound”. Watch out for this, which should be hitting cyberspace any time soon!

And finally – insert your favourite picture of a funny cat here.

This is the news from the WGP!

Another step on the way…

Hey peeps;

Another check-in, briefly, because I’m saving all my word-time for writing!

As you know, I’m currently working on two novellas at once as well as Book 3… well, the first edit (the one I do) is now done on “Flight from Shantar” and it’s ready to go off to my editor. Why am I working on this before Book 3, you ask (and a few of you have done)?

Flight was originally written to be one of the ODS series, and the events in it happen concurrently with the first books; but to put it in the main series brings the timeline to a juddering halt. This is why this section was cut from Book 3 – but at the same time it’s a story which readers might like to hear; and so it’s going into the Parallels series.

It tells of the flight of the Mother of the Shantar from her homeland, across the border with the country of Mardon with Vansel’s crew, headed by disgraced Skral warrior Alaric. On the way, her trail is  picked up by the Mardonese army, who are still chasing her ten years after the war between the Shantar and the Mardonese. Alaric has to get the Mother across to Scarlock to pick up Jack and Vansel – but the mysterious Jonas has other ideas…

Anyhow; that one is a step further on, and I’m now putting the finishing touches to Song of the Ice Lord, of which more anon…

That’s it for now, but just an update so you know I haven’t forgotten you all!

Take care;

JAC