Ed McDonald

Blackwing. Swords. Ravens.



I am a fantasy fiction writer and historical European martial arts enthusiast. I spend my days reading about swords, writing about people swinging swords and swinging swords at people. Find me at ! Like my page at Follow me on Twitter!

Associate Editor Interview: Craig Leyenaar @ Gollancz


Through the process of moving Blackwing from unedited pile of words to publishable manuscript, the Gollancz team have been brilliant and supportive every step of the way. In this month’s guest interview, I talk to my brilliant associate editor Craig Leyenaar, one of three editors to work with me on the book.

Continue reading “Associate Editor Interview: Craig Leyenaar @ Gollancz”

Mashup Giveaway – BLACKWING Advanced Reader Copy (closed)

Who wouldn’t like to read Mary Poppins vs. Predator?

Continue reading “Mashup Giveaway – BLACKWING Advanced Reader Copy (closed)”

One Rule to Ring them all


As usual, this blog is based on my own experience and your mileage may vary. This blog is intended for unpublished writers who are seeking traditional publication in the modern fantasy market.
So, what’s your fantasy about?

  • It’s about a war
  • It’s about a guy learning magic
  • A farmboy is the chosen one…?

It might be. But also, it’s not. Or at least, that’s only the tool you’re using to craft the thing that does matter.

Continue reading “One Rule to Ring them all”

Editor Interview: Gillian Redfearn, Publishing Director at Gollancz

As part of my series based around getting published in the modern fantasy market, some of the lovely people at Gollancz have kindly agreed to allow me to interview them to talk about publishing. This will be the first of three, all of which are aimed towards writers who aspire towards publication. Continue reading “Editor Interview: Gillian Redfearn, Publishing Director at Gollancz”

What’s the best weapon for orc slaying?


What do you take into battle?

DISCLAIMER: Realism in fiction is not a requirement and I’m not suggesting that it is! For writers who want to write non-historical combat, or who want to write Lightsabres or Shardblades, this stuff just doesn’t matter. Write what you enjoy, write what you think is fun first and foremost.

A man stands facing the legion of dirty orcs as they slobber and growl, marching out of step as they approach the gates of the last free city. The man’s squire appears and offers you what’s probably the last weapon he’s ever going to hold.


What is your squire offering you?

Continue reading “What’s the best weapon for orc slaying?”

You Are Not George RR Martin: how to get published in the grimdark era of fantasy

Before last year, I used to want to hear what authors had to say about how they managed to get published, and when I attended events or asked them online, they generally didn’t have much to tell me. To some authors, it seems that getting a publishing deal almost happens by chance – or at least that’s what they’d like you to think. The truth is much different. Continue reading “You Are Not George RR Martin: how to get published in the grimdark era of fantasy”

That is not a broadsword!


In recent days, there appears to be a growing interest in presenting historical realism into fantasy writing. If that’s not your bag then that’s absolutely cool. This blog is aimed at those who want the swords in the hands of their characters to function like historical swords. Continue reading “That is not a broadsword!”

Unpronounceables, Apostrophes and Foreign Accents are neck tattoos.

All of my blog entries are written from my own experience and perspective, and your own experience may vary. This blog assumes that its readers are fantasy writers at the beginning of their fantasy writing career, looking for advice on how to get published.

A blog about writing for publication.

Tkl’ept-íkãr reached for the Dać’summ Æth Vlkdrrn with trembling hands…

Ah, the mid-name apostrophe. That special little flick over the letter “A” that tells you that this is not just an ordinary A. This is a fantasy A. It tells us sure, I’ve used an A but you can’t pronounce it like an A. Continue reading “Unpronounceables, Apostrophes and Foreign Accents are neck tattoos.”

Here, it begins.


It has been a strange year. I’ve spent more than the last 15 years working on anonymously writing fantasy, and suddenly within the space of 2 months I’ve gone from tapping away at my keyboard with nobody around to hear or read anything I’ve written, to meeting with my agent, publishers, discussing book tours, cover designs, promotion.

Whilst Blackwing will not be out until summer 2017, I have always been an enthusiast for critiquing other people’s writing, and this website is initially going to focus on just that.

Thanks for climbing on board, and I hope that my posts will be of interest to you and help you on your own fantasy journey.

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