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!

Progress Update: December 2019

It’s getting there. It’s getting there!

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The Difficult Second Novel: 193,000 dead words

I would love to have a new book out in 2020, but as 2019 begins to draw to a close, it’s looking very unlikely. Never say never, but if I do get to release another one, it will probably be 2021, and the reason: The Difficult Second Novel.

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The difficult second trilogy: escaping the Misery

Writing a book is a big endeavour. Writing a trilogy even vaster, and it has its own special new complications: will people feel satisfied? Will the ending pay off? Have I wrapped up all the important threads? But trying to write a second trilogy carries its own special considerations.

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Book Review: The Black Hawks, by David Wragg

I was sent an advance copy of this book by Harper Voyager. I never manage to get through all the books that I’m sent, and I duck out on a lot somewhere around the 20% mark if they aren’t grabbing me. But hey, I like things that are dark and feathered, right? So how did debut novelist Wragg do with this outing?
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Book Review: A Little Hatred, Joe Abercrombie

Sometimes you get sent a book written by one of the people whose work you do your best not to rip off. I was sent an advanced reader copy by Gollancz. Here’s what I thought.

Zero spoilers.

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ECM Creative Ltd Editing Services

ECM Creative Ltd, the company that owns the rights to BLACKWING, RAVENCRY and CROWFALL, is now offering manuscript structural editing services to fantasy writers.

Details on how to get in touch are given at the bottom of the page. Please read the contents of the page carefully before requesting a manuscript critique.

What types of editing are available?

  • Package 1: Cover letter and synopsis review
  • Package 2: Cover letter, synopsis and first 50 pages critique
  • Package 3: Full manuscript structural edit

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The concept of success & writing

It is a strange thing to think about success, and what it means. In this blog I will attempt to explain a little about how I’ve come to think about the concept and what it really means to me now, at the end of my debut year. This is long, introspective, and full of pop-psychology.

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Writing Compelling Fight Scenes – Analysis of Hector vs. Achilles, Troy

What epic fantasy fan doesn’t look forward to the big confrontational moments? I know, right? But one of the biggest mistakes I used to make as an aspiring author was getting confused about what it is that I was really enjoying in a fight or battle scene. In this blog, I’m going to use the fight between Hector and Achilles in the 2004 movie Troy to illustrate what it is that makes a story-fight work so well for the audience.

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Grinding Ideas

Writing processes: everyone’s is different. What works for one may not work for others. It’s always best to be ultra-cautious when giving out ‘writing advice,’ since you don’t know whether what you suggest might actually be damaging to someone’s own methods, or might be taken as gospel when it’s only a suggestion. So rather than advise, this is just what I do, and what seems to work for me.

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