• All about starlight! #kickassgirlsofYA Blog Hop

    Starlight Hodgens, the young protagonist of the novel Starlight, has been a popular young adult female character among my SF readers for a long time now. Since she burst into the books, breaking hearts as a very young girl watching her mother die at the start of “Starlight,” this girl has fought every challenge to come her way with the tenacity and determination she learned from her parents. As she grows, Starlight overcomes enormous adversity to become a strong and respected pilot in her own right, continuing her mother’s legacy with dignity and a powerful sense of justice.

    Having grown into a proud young woman, Starlight leads her team into adventure again in her second novel, Armada’s Disciple, narrowly averting a certain war between humanity and the remaining members of the FSC. Her tenacious attitude and undying confidence bely the humble roots of the orphanages she once lived in, and this girl spreads her reputation across the galaxy with her actions.

    And now, we await the eventual release of “Blues of Deception,” the third book in what will become the Starlight Trilogy. Now taking her team back to the refurbished colony vessel which was discovered in Armada’s Disciple, Starlight and her team must solve the mystery surrounding a strange illness sweeping through the population, before it is too late and humanity loses it’s one chance to stand on the junction of human space and a wild new frontier. Though each book is a standalone, Starlight ties them together, bringing a solidarity to the team as she faces every trial with all she has.


  • The Cinder Chronicles continues

    Ice Rangers, the second book in my new fantasy series, is now available in ebook and paperback. See links from page in the fantasy books drop down, or at the top of the right hand side bar of this site. Alternatively, you can find the links and other information at the official page, thecinderchronciels.com.

    Book three, Sand Rangers, is already under way, and will complete this first trilogy, The Ranger Trilogy. The Cinder Chronicles will continue with The Merchant Trilogy at a later time, however before that I will be returning to some of my SF works in progress.

    For now, I hope you all enjoy Ice Rangers as much as so many of you have said you enjoyed Flame Rangers, and I look forward to revealing more of this world of flame wielders when you read the thrilling conclusion to the trilogy.


  • Author’s Choice

    I have seen a few articles by trade published authors about making the decision to “go indie” or self publish. Some of these are interesting for a multitude of reasons. I am not posting this as any kind of “Trad pub is bad” stuff, or “Indie is too hard” or whatever – both worlds are valuable and both have the promise of success and the risk of failure. That being said, this article gives an interesting break down of the paradigm shift in publishing: Why Authors Walk Away From Good, Big 5 Publishers

    In it, Harry Bingham says “On the contrary, from my own point of view, the ability to say, “Thank you, but no” to a massive publisher is an utterly revolutionary and liberating shift.”

    That pretty much sums it up. I have read many articles by authors abandoning the trade publishing treadmill for the freedom of “going indie” aka self publishing. But the freedom of choice, and I mean real choice, between a viable trade deal where you gain and lose some things dependent on your skin in the game, and an equally viable self published route in which you win and lose some things depending on your skin in the game, is a massive thing. Nobody has an author over the barrel when it comes to the treatment of their property any more.

    Sure, it is hard (damn hard) to make any money in the indie game, but the indie game exists and there is no question that a lot of people are making a living at it. Many thousands of writers who would never make it in the old world.

    Yes it is true, a lot of us don’t make much at all at this point from our books. We may work a menial day job which barely covers the bills. But I write and I control what I write and I have the freedom to say no to any offer which doesn’t add up. I’m not desperate to “publish at any cost.” Before the ebook and POD systems of today, many authors potentially lost out big time in their early careers because of just such desperation. That need never happen again, and publishing in both worlds, the trade and the indie, will only grow stronger now that those worlds have finally managed to adapt somewhat to the new paradigm.

    For those who are curious, yes, I have already said “thanks, but no thanks,” to offers. I have not been querying agents or publishers. I have had approaches from shysters, small fry, and wannabes, we all get that, but also some more legitimate mobs as well, and so far none were the right offer at the right time in a world where I have real choice. I may well have been forced into a horrible contract twenty some years ago, but not today.

    Some argue that the money earned from an advance and the backing of a big publisher would be worth it, but the reality is what advance? what backing? Not all offers come with such things, and in this world, we have the opportunity to say “no, come back with a real offer when you are ready,” and I feel that is what is going to happen – the real choice paradigm will correct the shift caused by the initial fear and revenue loss felt by trade publishers, and as the dust settles, it is authors and readers who are the biggest winners at the end of the day.

    A couple more articles about authors moving from trade to indie:
    http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/blog/why-a-best-selling-traditional-author-chose-to-self-publish-on-the-amazon-kindle/
    https://janefriedman.com/i-left-my-agent/


  • The Ranger Trilogy

    While Ice Rangers, book two of The Cinder Chronicles, undergoes the final throws of the production cycle, and my editor is hard at work ironing the MS out with all their best efforts, I have commenced writing for the third book in this series, Sand Rangers.

    Sand Rangers will conclude a trilogy of Rangers books, but will not be the end of things for The Cinder Chronicles. Sand Rangers brings to a clsoe the trilogy, but not the story of the people of Cinder. As Sand Rangers reveals the final truth behind the rangers and their flames, as well as the truth of Cinder, the knowledge of how Cinder was created seven hundred years earlier spurs a new interest in what is “out there.”

    This brings us to books four, five and six of The Cinder Chronicles, The Merchant Trilogy. Our heroes will be joining merchant caravans as they try to break through the ancient barriers which have for seven centuries kept the nation of Cinder isolated from the rest of the world. What will they find out there? Well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves!

    Ice rangers will be out soon, and Sand Rangers is underway. The truth of things, to be revealed in this third book, will I hope have fans of the series asking for more, and so, more will come!

    Watch out for Ice Rangers, coming to Amazon, KOBO, paperback etc soon!


  • Here comes Cinder!

    Hi everybody!

    I know it’s unusual for me to have two blog entries so close together, but hey, I’m firing along with Ice Rangers, and wanted to share my excitement! This is of course the second installment in The Cinder Chronicles, part two of the first trilogy of the series.

    My hope was to have it out by Christmas, but that of course depends on my editors’ (plural) timetables at this point, and may be delayed into the new year, but not far if it is. I will let you know soon a projected release date. The book itself has progressed nicely. I am very much enjoying this journey through a new area of the nation of Cinder, and I have enjoyed seeing Marni grow into a strong and major character in her own right as the final arc of this chapter in the story of Cinder unfolds.

    The various talents the characters are learning, the growth in their abilities, and their experiences in exploring more of their world have all come together to create an experience I hope you all enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing. Of course, it doesn’t stop there, with Sand Rangers to follow sometime in 2017. I know exactly where that book will take us, and I am sure you will all get a kick out of what is yet to come.

    And then, in the longer term, of course I still have the Merchant Trilogy to come, with the skills and powers learned throughout the Rangers Trilogy becoming crucial and valuable aspects of the lives of our heroes. They will grow still further as they journey with the merchants into the perils of a world from which Cinder has remained isolated for seven centuries. With the truth behind that isolation which will finally be revealed in Sand Rangers, I hope they will discover many things about their world, and themselves, which will have you all turning pages for many books to come.

    At any rate, I should end this post before I ramble away my writing time for the afternoon, and get back to polishing off Ice Rangers.

    Take care!


  • Goodbye Kobo?

    ADDED 2nd November: I have received a thoughtful and informative reply from Kobo, addressing my concerns quite satisfactorily. I thank them. At this stage, kobo remains in my list of sales venues.

    It is with regret that I must inform you all that I may soon be removing all my content from the Kobo platform, and removing my support for their products and service, due to changes to the service agreement they are trying to force authors to agree to by refusing them even access to their accounts to modify profiles, close accounts, view sales data etc, until they agree to a raft of new modifications to the terms, some of which are deeply concerning, as much so as this tactic, which I have no doubt will net a large number of less thorough people who simply click the agree button to gain access.

    I have contacted kobo requesting that access without agreeing to the terms, while I consider my position, and depending on the response, may or may not be soon removing all content from their service. Among the most concerning terms, is a gagging item, which effectively stops any author from having access to advice from other authors relating to the terms, advice we all rely on when considering adding any new services to our publishing portfolio. There are vaguenesses in the agreement which i find concerning, and other items less vague and equally worrying. While I hope this is an innocent matter, the fact I must agree with such things to simply view my own account is unacceptable and unforgivably poor business practice.

    I apologise to my fans who rely on the kobo service for any inconvenience this may cause, however as the sales on that service are frankly too low to warrant continued support anyway, this matter is more a final nail in the coffin than anything else. Therefore, given the service has taken such a move as this, unless I receive correspondence sufficient to satisfy my concerns, I will have to simply cut my losses and abandon the platform. In that instance, all links for kobo related sites, products and services will be removed from this website in the near future.

    I thank you all for understanding.


  • The august update

    Hi everybody!

    I just wanted to post a quick update for you all, since some people have made contact wondering about a few things.

    Well, I realise I have not posted a blog entry in a while. I’ve been a little preoccupied, what with getting married and a variety of other things I won’t bore you with right now. I am still focusing my energies on The Cinder Chronicles, after a great launch for book one, Flame Rangers, a few months back. It sold reasonably, in fact having the strongest launch week so far. It has had steady sales since the customary “cliff” so many people talk about with new releases, each week bringing a number of new fans to the series.

    To each and every one of those fans, I say a heartfelt thank you, and assure you that book two, Ice Rangers, is progressing well and should be with you before Christmas this year. This series is already reaching into new markets, or as I prefer to say when not around any accountants, countries, where my science fiction has not broken, and doing quite well there. All those new readers are showing wonderful support. I have had a great deal of wonderful praise in feedback from around the world, which I am always thankful for. My plan at this stage is to complete Ice Rangers, and then Sand Rangers, before moving back to a couple of my long term SF projects, tidying up things with a third book in what will become “The Starlight Trilogy” (Starlight, Armada’s Disciple, The Blues of Deception,) completing the second Nevermind book, Children of Nevermind, and looking at breathing some life into “The Naradhan Trilogy,” which was showing a lot of promise a while ago and hopefully will finally see the light of day in 2018.

    Following all that (unless my plans shift again, which based on past experience is a distinct possibility,) I will return to the tiny nation of Cinder, with a second trilogy following the Ranger Trilogy, which will be called “The Merchant Trilogy,” in which the rangers join traveling merchant caravans as they attempt to break the seven centuries of isolation, to leave Cinder and venture out into the rest of the world.

    So yes, I have a lot of work to do. I hope you decide to follow along, because we certainly do have a great many adventures still to share!

    So once again, thank you for reading. I hope you continue to do so. Don’t forget to check out the official site for The Cinder Chronicles at The Cinder Chronicles Dot Com.


  • Moving along

    Here we are then. The temperatures are finally dropping, and in about a week, the first book of The Cinder Chronicles goes to market. Flame Rangers will hopefully warm things up a bit! This will be the first book in a trilogy, with books two and three (Ice Rangers and Sand Rangers) to follow. The plan at this time is for that to be followed by a second trilogy, currently in mind as “the merchant trilogy”. So it looks like The Cinder Chronicles is going to be on my desk for a while.

    Not that I mind, I’m enjoying it a lot. This little nation of Cinder is capturing my imagination in a good way. But don’t worry if you are waiting on some Science Fiction, I will not be abandoning it. There is too much to be written yet for that to happen!

    As the world on this side of the keyboard launches all its nuisances, like water heaters giving up the ghost, and cars doing stupid things, rest assured we are still full steam ahead on a may first release of Flame Rangers. Not only that, but the next installment is already underway.

    So I should get away from this post and back to work, so you can all enjoy the tiny nation of Cinder with me in a week or so!


  • The Cinder Chronicles coming 1/may/16

    Like the title of this post says, on the first of may, 2016, the first book in my new YA Fantasy series, The Cinder Chronicles will be released!

    The official website is now live at thecinderchronicles.com

    The first book is titled Flame Rangers, and is a good read for adult and young adult readers alike. I hope you all give it a try! Check out the website for more information! Official Cinder Chronicles Site


  • Cinder Chronicles – Book 1 – coming soon

    Well, this has been a long while coming, but finally I am preparing a Fantasy novel for release soon! For that reason, you will notice the site has been modified slightly, to now include an SF books menu, and a Fantasy books menu. Of course, Heroes, having short stories of both genres in its collection, now appears in both menus.

    This will be the first in a series, titled “The Cinder Chronicles“.

    You can find more information through the menus above, or at the official Cinder page.

    FRcomingsoon

    I hope you are as excited as I am, and will enjoy this adventure with me.

    From the official page:

    This is a series set in a world where individuals known as flame wielders are born with the ability to create and control fire. Some flames are strong and dangerous, others are subtle and controllable, all are mighty in trained hands.

    Cinder is a small country, isolated from the world by its geography, with a mysterious past that one day may explain the peculiar nature of the land.

    The Ranger Academy, an organisation dedicated to the training and recruitment of flame wielders, rules over Cinder with a mild hand, allowing much of the population to govern themselves. That is, until a despot rises and threatens the peace of the nation. At such a time, the Rangers are swift, and without mercy.

    The first novel in this series, titled Flame Rangers, is set for release in 2016, with two sequels in planning so far.