2018 – a year of didn’ts

I hoped to have two books out in 2018.

Didn’t happen.

The Beauty of our Weapons, the fourth in the Anna and Zenni series, is still due to be published by ProSe Press, but has been delayed. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; StarChild, the third in the series, came out in the final days of 2017 and I think its sales suffered because it slipped under the radar. Beauty should be out soon, I hope.

Warbird has also been delayed. Various household expenses meant that I couldn’t buy the ISBNs I need to self-publish print titles, but I hope to get them soon. Once I have them I’ll probably also bring out the e-books, No Earthly Shore and The Dragon, Fly in print.

Not having any books out in 2018 means that I don’t have anything that can be nominated for any awards. Ah, who am I kidding? I don’t write the kind of stuff that wins awards. I’ll never be a well-known or bestselling author. I have a few dedicated fans and I’m very glad of them, but I ain’t gonna be famous any time soon.

I went to two cons this year – Follycon, the SF Eastercon in Harrogate and Novacon in Nottingham. Both were enjoyable, but I didn’t do any panels or readings, or take a dealers table. I also did a signing event, The Darker Side of Fiction in Peterborough, which was a limited success. Nothing planned this year so far.

I didn’t write much in 2018. The news is so depressing that I’ve had to stop reading it – the world is in such a terrible state. It’s hard to maintain any level of creativity in the face of that, but I’ve started to dabble in prose again. There are several things I need to finish, notably Anna and Zenni volume five.

I’m sorry that this has been such a negative post. I did make one cheerful New Year’s resolution this year, that I’d go out for tea and a cake at least once a month, just to try and lift my spirits. Mmm, cake – think I might be able to keep that one.

Happy New Year to all of you.

Advertisements

A New Year and A New Book

Happy 2018!

I have a new book. It crept out in the last days of 2017, in that lost, liminal space between Xmas and the New Year. It’s published by Pro Se Press, has another gorgeous cover by Adam Shaw, and is the third volume in the Zenith Alpha 4013 series.

Meet StarChild.

Anna and Zenni are now working for Earth Intelligence and need to prove themselves to their masters. Ile Garoque is a world that closed its borders two decades ago, so when StarChild, a vastly successful group, are invited to play there, EI plan to place an agent in their entourage. Then the lead singer, Taheera, refuses to go and Anna gets to impersonate a rock star. It’s not a great time for Anna to leave Earth as her father, Lewis, is ill. He wants to include her in his will; as Anna-Marie Delany is officially missing, presumed dead, his lawyers need to bring her back to life.

Add in another attempt to kill her, a pair of dragon-storms (weird disturbances in hyperspace that can destroy a spacecraft) and a kidnapping by a group of predatory aliens with four arms and venomed claws – Anna and Zenni have to struggle to stay alive to complete their mission.

Available in print and e-book from Amazon UK and US. The fourth volume in the series, The Beauty of Our Weapons, should appear in May/June 2018.

To promote the new book, I’ve done an interview with the wonderful Derrick Ferguson, a fellow New Pulp author, writer of the Dillon Adventures. Thank you, Derrick, for taking the time to do this.

I haz a new book!

Well, sort of, as it’s a new version of one of my self-published e-books.

Pro Se Press have just brought out the first print edition of The Spook and the Spirit in the Stone, the prequel to Dead Men Rise Up Never. It has a lovely new cover by Adam Shaw, the artist who did the cover for Dead Men, plus an extra short story, the URLking. It’s available from Amazon UK and US. I’m waiting for my copies to arrive and will be doing a reading from it at Fiction Fix on August 6th.

Spring Newsletter

Had a good evening at Fiction Fix last night. We had two new readers, Will Stebbings and Gary Francis-Williams. Will read from his novel, Off the Mark, a coming of age story set in the 1960s, and Gary read from The Mysterious 1 & 27, a tale of unpleasant relatives scrambling to solve clues and get their hands on a huge fortune left in the Colonel’s incomplete will. Gary said it was his first reading, but he gave an accomplished and most amusing performance. Morgan Fitzsimons treated us to the start of the tale of Betsy Butterfingers, an accident-prone witch – hopefully we’ll hear more about Betsy in the future.  Ron Graves did a spooky mood piece and Helen read some more from her unpublished SF novel, the Zarduth Inperative.

For a laugh, I did a bit from my Poltergeist: the Legacy fanfic, The Harrowing of Hell (you can find all of it here on my blog). It went down pretty well, and Gary told me he’d enjoyed it even though he didn’t usually like horror. I must admit that I’d never thought of it as horror before. These genre categories are very blurred and slippery to pin down and I’m always interested when readers find something in my work that I didn’t realise was there.

Pro Se have announced that three of my books will be coming out this year – no firm dates yet. The first will be The Spook and the Spirit in the Stone, which will be in print for the first time along with a bonus Afton & Jerome story. I’ve seen the sketches for the cover, once again by Adam Shaw, and it looks very good. The other two 2017 book will be three and four in the Anna & Zenni series, StarChild and The Beauty of our Weapons. I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Dave and I are going to Eastercon for the first time, Innominate at Birmingham. I’ll be doing a reading and also appearing on a panel about Biohacking. Should be interesting!

Three… two… one… we have lift-off!

To Die A Stranger is now officially out – here’s its page on the Pro Se website. It’s available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon, US and UK, and from other outlets including Smashwords.

I ordered two copies from Amazon UK and got them within a couple of days. In my opinion (and I admit that I’m very biased!) it’s a good-looking book, with a lovely cover and nice formatting on the inside. Pro Se have done a great job.

Pro Se's To Die A Stranger cover