I have spent the past few months re-editing this book and I am proud to say that it is available to purchase today. For the next week it is on sale for just $0.99 in Ebook format and I hope you will take a look
When darkness descends, who will survive the unthinkable?
In the brooding shadows of Odamere’s vicarage, Peter Gatgewood seeks refuge from the haunting specters of his past. What he and his family discover is a malevolence far beyond the ghosts of memory. As they settle into their new home, they quickly realize that the vicarage holds secrets darker and more sinister than they could have ever imagined.
Innocent fears turn to bone-chilling dread as Zoe, Peter’s daughter, begins to exhibit erratic and unsettling behavior. Convinced that something otherworldly lurks within the ancient walls, Peter is thrust into a terrifying race against time. His daughter’s revelation defies the laws of reality and forces him to confront the unthinkable: the existence of an abhorrent monster.
As the line between the tangible and the eldritch blurs, Peter Gatgewood must grapple with a choice that will haunt him for eternity. Will he save his cherished family from the encroaching darkness, or will he protect the sanctity of his beloved church?
In a Lovecraftian tale of cosmic horror, Unhallowed Ground, invites readers to venture beyond the realm of reason and into a nightmarish abyss of unspeakable terror.
There are a lot of moving parts at the moment and it’s feeling hectic, but there has been a lot of progress on things as well. If you’ve been following my social media, then you might have seen the book cover for the remastered edition of Unhallowed Ground (formerly Abomination) and the pile of pages which represent about a quarter of the first draft of The Ladies Adventure Society.
The Ladies Adventure Society Book 1
Status: First Draft WIP
As of this morning, the first draft is now 30,000 words. It’s picking up steam (pardon the steampunk pun) and is a fun project to work on. It’s still on track (there’s another one) for release early next year.
Unhallowed Ground: Remastered
Most of the publishing work on this is done now, and the updated edition is being loaded into all the bookstores. If you go on Amazon, or wherever, now, you could buy a copy and read it immediately, but if you wait a couple of days, I am planning to do a sale for the first week of October. I’m very pleased with how it has come out, and I think the new title and cover are great.
The Vampire Next Door: Remastered
Status: Editing WIP
After finishing the remaster of City in the Fire this morning, I moved straight onto this one. So far, only the first chapter is finished.
Status: New Accounts everywhere
This week, in addition to the Instagram account that I already had, I have created and started using a Twitter account and a Facebook account. So far, I am still enjoying Instagram most, but you can reach out and talk to me on Twitter or Facebook as well now.
The Ghouls: Remastered
The remaster is complete from my side of things. Once I have finished all the publishing work related to Unhallowed Ground, I will pick this back up and get the new cover done.
City in the Fire: Remastered
I finished the remastered edit on Friday morning. It is now in the queue to be published after The Ghouls.
The Shadow Walker
No updates on this one. The first draft is complete. I am not sure that I will publish it because the way I originally planned it to interact with The Ladies Adventure Society is no longer possible. I likely won’t look at it again until there is some breathing room next year.
And that’s a wrap. A few more bits of work to do here, then I am off to the theater to watch Miriam Margolyes’ new show Oh Miriam!
I like to print out the first draft of my manuscripts as I am going, so that I can see the progress that I am making. It gives me a better feeling of achievement than seeing the word count on a computer screen does.
Today I finished the seventh chapter of The Ladies Adventure Society, which is about a quarter of the way through the story. At 25,000 words, that means I’m looking at a first draft of 100,000 words, which seems about right.
For the last few months, I have been working on ‘remastering’ some of my old titles and as part of that I have been re-considering the titles and book covers. The first remaster that I am launching is called Unhallowed Ground. I originally launched the book with the title Abomination.
The cover for the new edition came back over the weekend. Here it is:
This was the second version of the cover for this book. I made a mistake with the first one and chose an image that wasn’t suitable. I am thrilled with this one.
A weekly update on the projects I am currently working on.
The Ladies Adventure Society Book 1
Status: First Draft WIP
I started working on this book in August under the series title Twilight of the Angels. A few thousand words into that draft and something didn’t feel right. Rather than force my way through, which I could have done, I took some time away from it to come up with a solution. The Ladies Adventure Society had always been another title for the series, but the title didn’t quite fit with the book. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that was the series I wanted to write. So a bit of reworking later, that’s where I am. The new draft started last Friday and as of today it currently stands at 18,000 words. Or about a fifth of the way through the first draft. Best guess is that I will publish the book sometime next year.
Status: Cover and Formatting WIP
The re-edited edition is finished, and my designer is working on the new cover. The new-edition contains a lot of updates and corrections that should bring it in line with my original intention. Over the course of the next year, I am going to be doing remasters of all my old work. This one is the first and should be available from the first week of October, all things going well.
The Ghouls: Remastered
Status: Editing WIP
I started the re-edit of this on Thursday. It’s a more recent book than Abomination, and I’m finding there is a lot less to fix. So work is going quickly, and it looks as if it will also be available in October.
Status: New Instagram Account
One thing that I have never done a good job at is social media. I am going to be using it a lot more this week and have set up a new Instagram account you can find by clicking here.
The Shadow Walker
Status: On Hold
The first draft is finished. While I work on the remastered editions, this will remain on hold. Hoping that I will release it in the next twelve months.
I have been writing stories since I was a kid. I can still remember lying on the floor in front of the TV with my new Ghostbusters notebook and pencil and writing a story about how Slimer became a Ghostbuster. That would have been when I was around seven years old.
It was all just for fun, but that was all it needed to be.
Many years later, I was still writing, although school and socializing meant I didn’t have as much time for it as I used to. I wasn’t reading so much either. Honestly, if things had carried on the way they were, I probably would have given up on the whole writing business.
Then I read The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition.
If you’ve read it, you know it’s a big book. Certainly the biggest I’d read up to that point. I went through the whole thing in a single weekend, and I was hooked.
From that point on, I read every Stephen King book I could get my hands on. There were a lot. I raced through them all. Some I loved more than others, but every one of them had something special about it. I started reading interviews, and then tracking down the books that he loved, and reading them as well.
And a funny thing happened along the way. It wasn’t just a love of reading that returned; it was writing as well. Suddenly, I was taking the idea of becoming a professional writer seriously.
After that I was buying the writers digest, submitting stories to magazines and following King’s advice from On Writing. I was on the journey that would lead me to where I am today and wherever I will be in the future. None of it would have happened if it wasn’t for Stephen King.
My son Oscar is seven years old and just starting his reading career. Until now, most of the books he has read have been single-sitting stories. He’s an excellent reader though and at school they are getting him started on longer books with fewer pictures. However, since he went back to school at the start of the month, he has been carrying the same school book around with him and doesn’t make any progress on it.
This morning I asked him if he was enjoying the book and he admitted he wasn’t. So I told him to stop reading it and ask his teacher for another one.
When we are young, there are too many people who tell us we should finish every book that we start. I used to think that way as well. But it makes little sense. There are far more books in the world than anyone could read in a lifetime. You couldn’t even hope to read a fraction of the books that you might love in your life. So why waste time on stories that you don’t like?
I should really start keeping a list of all the books that I start and abandon. At a guess, it’s probably as long as the list of books that I finish.
As Oscar grows up, there are going to be books he has to read for school, which he won’t like very much. I remember brute-forcing my way through Tess of the d’Urbervilles at secondary school. If I never read another description of rolling fields, I will be happy. I then studied for an English Literature degree and there were plenty of books there that I didn’t enjoy, but read because I needed to for my course.
The school book Oscar is reading isn’t because he is going to have to write an essay about it. The book he is reading is not high literature, and it’s not because he finds it difficult that he’s not enjoying it. He is reading it for pleasure and for that purpose, there are plenty of other books he could read and enjoy.
So really, what I’m saying is give up on the books you don’t enjoy reading. Every book we read which we don’t enjoy, is one less book that we would enjoy.
I was born in 1983 and for more than half my life, reading books has meant paper. The first ebook reader I ever saw was in Waterstones book shop. It was one of the old Sony Reader ones, which means it can’t have been earlier than 2006 when they were released. Probably more like 2007. This was the first time I had seen an e-ink screen, and I was immediately interested. Unfortunately, I was a student at the time and the £500 that it would have cost to buy put it well outside of my price range.
The first ebook reader I owned was the Kindle Keyboard, which was the third-generation device, and the first at a price I could justify. Amazon released it in 2010, which means I would have been 27 years old when I started buying eBooks.
In the 13 years since I bought my first digital book, I have never not owned an eBook reader. Most of the time, that has been a Kindle, but I have also owned a Kobo and an Onyx Boox. They have always been e-ink devices.
I have bought paper books as well during that time, but reading that way no longer feels right. Although I love the aesthetics of a paper book, and I enjoy seeing them on my shelves, nothing can really beat the ease and convenience of reading an eBook.
Regardless of how many pages the book is, when it’s the eBook edition, it is comfortable to hold and read. I can carry around an epic fantasy novel with the same ease of a novella.
When I have tried going back to paper books (from time to time I get nostalgic for them) I have found I read much less. It’s difficult to hold a paper book open in one hand while stroking a cat. Paper books close themselves when putting them on the table to read while eating.
With a digital book, I can also read on my phone if I have forgotten to bring my eBook reader with me, or if I have been delayed unexpectedly somewhere. If I want to, I can buy the audiobook version as well and split my reading between audio and visual.
I have never been one to take notes in actual books. Something about writing in a book has always felt wrong to me. But I can do that with a digital book and not feel any sense of guilt. When I sync those notes and highlights up with a digital service like Obsidian, I can carry my book notes around wherever I am. As well as back them up, so I don’t have to worry about losing the book.
Last year I started wearing glasses for reading. With a digital book reader, I can adjust the size of the text so that I can still read myself to sleep without needing to wear them. That’s a convenience for me, but there are millions of people who need larger text books to read at all. With paper they are reliant on publishers putting out a large print edition, but with a digital reader they can make any book large print.
Digital books are not without their shortcomings. I have bought paper editions that feature illustrations, for example. But advances in color e-ink and increasing screen sizes of digital book readers are likely to eliminate those limitations in the next few years.
I also owe my career to digital books. While it’s now possible for independent creators to publish both paperback and hardback editions, it’s hard to imagine print-on-demand existing without the independent author movement being fueled by digital books.
I have nothing against paper books and expect to continue buying them from time to time. I will certainly continue publishing my own books on paper, because I love having a physical copy of them. But I love digital books most of all, and cannot foresee a time when they won’t be my primary reading method.
The period of time between the Roman Empire leaving Britain and the Norman invasion isn’t something that is written about a lot. It was a time when Britain had multiple kingdoms and has always fascinated me. I’ve read a few books on the subject, but this is one of the best. Well written and captivating. I ended up buying it for the Kindle, as an audiobook and also as a paper book so I could see the pictures clearly.
I’ll be honest, it took me a while to get into this. I think I started it last year and then put it down for a few months before returning to it in April. I’m glad that I did. Enough has been written about these books that if you’re interested then you’ve probably read them already. But, if like me, you gave up on this one, maybe it’s worth another try? As soon as I finished this I read the next three books in the series.
The book I am currently writing is set in a steampunk world, so I thought it was a good idea to go back and read one of the first to be released. Very glad that I did because not only is it steampunk, but there is some travel to alternative realities, which is something I really enjoy. A very quick read.
I picked this up in a charity shop purely because I liked the cover and have enjoyed some of Leonard’s books in the past. It’s another quick read and an enjoyable change of scenery from the fantasy and sci-fi books that I had been reading up to this point in the year. Although there are some parts of it that are almost as unbelievable as magic swords.
Another book that has been highly influential. The Time Traveller’s Guide books are excellent and I have enjoyed the whole series. This one is going to be particularly interesting if you have enjoyed Bridgerton. There are some really interesting insights into that world.
Not the first time I have read this, but somehow I enjoyed it a lot more this time. Possibly because I came to it off the back of watching the excellent Starship Troopers film, so I was more primed to see the satire of the story. I am currently reading my way through the other books in the series and enjoying them.
So there you go, six books that won’t be a waste of your time if you decide to check them out. Let me know what you think if you do read them, or if there are others that you would recommend I read.
Cara works in the wealthy Wiley City but she grew up in the wasteland beyond the city walls. Her job is travelling to different worlds where other versions of her have been killed, because no one can survive in a world where their counterpart is still alive.
The premise caught my attention. I’m a sucker for alternative reality stories. There is something different about this one though. Although there are likely an infinite number of alternative realities, people are only able to travel to those within a range of similarity to the base reality, which in this case is 380. So the realities they visit aren’t very different to the original.
The differences are more about the people, which means the main character is able to learn more about the people on Earth-Zero (the base reality) by talking to their counterparts. Which is a much more subtle thing than I’m used to seeing in this type of story.
Earth-Zero, by the way, isn’t our Earth. It is metaphorically similar in the differences between the wealthy and the poor, but is not the same.
The characters are interesting and feel fully-realised. The differences between them and their counterparts are situational. Something different happened to them in their history, but in most cases they are essentially the same person.
The story itself takes a little while to get going, but that time allows the reader to learn more about the characters and start caring about them. Which, given how complex Cara is, probably couldn’t be done any quicker. At first she isn’t an easy person to like, but by the end I really wanted her to succeed.
Along the way there are a lot of twists and turns. More than one chapter ends with a revelation that changes how you view the characters.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a story with alternative realities, but isn’t really about alternate realities.