New characters and new journeys: upcoming posts

Come with me now on a journey through time and space, and Chunky Peanut Butter Kit-Kats…


space be cray

Over the next year (and indeed, years) I intend to do a series of blog posts charting the creation of a fantasy trilogy – from the ideas to the planning, to the first draft, to the inevitable scrapping of that first bit, to the 60K point where I traditionally pause to panic, to the revision and the eventual editing. I won’t be going into super specific details about the trilogy for obvious reasons, but I hope that seeing the birth* of The Ninth Rain, to some extent, might be useful or at least interesting in some way.

Anyway, this isn’t one of those posts, more a warning of what might be popping up over the next few months, but it occurs to me as I plunge myself into this new world, that the weird thing is the characters. Or specifically, the lack of them.

Now, I do have lots of characters. Four main ones already, and they are already a treasure and a joy and a pain in my bum. But it’s like the beginning of The Copper Promise. When I started the first Copper Cat book, I had Wydrin, Lord Frith, and Sebastian, but I didn’t yet have Ephemeral, Ip, Crowleo, Xinian, Selsye, Tamlyn and Nuava Nox, Toast, Gwiddion, O’rin, Dreyda, Bezcavar, Enri and Roki, Mendrick, or any of the other characters that were to make themselves known to me over the years. They all emerged from the story, stomping up with big leather boots, or on sinister bare feet, unknown to me until they appeared, sliding in at the edges or appearing in a fanfare of violence; they grew naturally from the story, causing trouble for my beloved Black Feather Three, or just occasionally, offering help. And that’s what I look forward to the most I think – all the new characters I’ve yet to meet. It’s going to be a lot of fun.


*seeing the birth – I know this sounds gross. I am sorry.

Awesome Things: The Copper Promise is nearly here!

posting cover


Why yes, my cover is here. Did I mention it? I might have… I’m not sure, actually, that I can reliably sum up how much I love this*, or what it means to me to see my name on the front of such an amazing cover. I know that five-year-old me, making books out of glitter and crayons (hey, books about unicorns require a certain amount of glitter), and ten-year-old me, who chose LOTR because it was the fattest book she’d ever seen, and twenty-year-old me, studying illustration and enjoying the writing more than the drawing, and thirty-year-old me, who idly started writing a sword and sorcery novella one day…. we’re all over the fuckin’ moon. Dream come true. Nuff said. 😀

The Copper Promise already has an ISBN (as an ex-bookseller, I was nerdily excited about that too) and you can already pre-order it. And amazingly, terrifyingly, it’s only four months away. I hope you’ll join me for the adventure, peril, and several glasses of questionable mead.

There are some far-fetched rumours about the caverns beneath the Citadel…

Some say the mages left their most dangerous secrets hidden there; others, that great riches are hidden there; even that gods have been imprisoned in its darkest depths.

For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay. For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Caverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.

But sometimes there is truth in rumour.

Soon this reckless trio will be the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.


*huge thanks to Patrick Insole and the team at Headline, who have done a straight-up amazing job.

A Guest Post for Adam Christopher & A Small Explanation

I’m still recovering from yesterday’s news – well, yesterday’s news and the cocktail I invented last night, anyway (The Copper Cat – cava with a generous measure of mead). While I gather the pieces of my tired head, there’s a guest post from me over at my great friend Adam Christopher‘s blog (he of the fabulous Empire State and The Age Atomic). I talk a little bit about how The Copper Promise came to be, and the inevitable strangeness of writing careers.

This morning, through a haze of Copper Cats, it occurred to me that there might be some confusion over what is actually being published next year. So, to clarify, in case you’re wondering:

The novella that was published on Amazon in 2011, The Copper Promise: Ghosts of the Citadel, was the first part of book 1. All in all, book 1 (The Copper Promise) was four parts – the rest were never put up on Amazon.

So next year, The Copper Promise will be published in it’s entirety. It’s much bigger than a novella. And then after that will come books 2 and 3.

I’m fairly sure I’ve confused myself writing that. But yes! Any questions, give me a shout.