Super Fast Update: ebooks and other sexy things

A blink and you’ll miss it post, this one, mainly because despite spending most of Christmas asleep I seem to have a case of the mega-tireds again, BUT… cool things to tell you.

Firstly, part 2 of the serialised ebook of The Copper Promise is now available to buy – Children of the Fog contains some of my favourite bits of the book (I know I’m not really allowed to have favourite bits, but I do) and it also gives you some answers to the absolute bitch of a cliffhanger that comes at the end of Ghosts of the Citadel (to the people who have been waiting two years for that – I have awarded you all psychic medals for awesomeness).

Secondly, The Copper Promise got a mention on Fantasy Faction’s Best Books of 2013 – at number six, no less! Now, The Copper Promise did have a slightly confusing genesis, what with the very first part being self published in 2011, the ebook serialisation starting in December, and the actual physical book being out in February 2014, but… the long and the short of it is that I’m dead chuffed that the lovely reviewing peeps at Fantasy Faction enjoyed the book so much they wanted to include it, and I’m over the moon to be on a list that contains a whole bunch of tremendous writers. It is an amazing thing.

Anyway. While I’m here I shall wish you another Happy New Year, because you can’t get enough of those.

The Copper Promise – Coming at you early in four ebook parts!


When I first wrote The Copper Promise, it was supposed to have been a serial gradually released in novella-sized chunks – I wanted to capture that fast-paced atmosphere of old school pulp fantasy.

Now, of course, it’s being published by Headline in gorgeous-giant-book-format (*snoopy dance*) but I’m pleased to say that we’re also doing a serialized release of the ebook, starting next Friday! The full details (and all the gorgeous covers) are over at the Headline blog, but part 1, Ghosts of the Citadel, is available for preorder for the sexy little price of 99p, with part 2 coming along on the 2nd of January. Exciting!


Important Copper Promise Update/Unusually Serious Title for Blog


I expect it’s about time I gave you an update on The Copper Promise. Well, the main piece of new is: I have made An Important and Serious Decision. *cue ominous music*


Actually, it’s not quite that bad. Recently I have been editing Part 2 whilst planning and writing Part 3, and I have noticed that events in Part 3 have been influencing the previous part. In other words, decisions and events happening in Part 3 (and even, sometimes, part 4) have changed some aspects of Masks of Ruin. Writing is odd like that. It exists in a weird timey-wimey non-chronological mush, so that you are continually adjusting and updating your own timeline. Confusing, but also fun, in a cheerfully manic sort of way.


My decision is this: I won’t be releasing Masks of Ruin until I have finished Parts 3 and 4. Obviously, this wasn’t my original plan, but while The Copper Promise started out as a quick little dungeon-romp, it has actually grown into something else – something that I want to get absolutely right, because I think I love it a bit. Maybe a lot.


So, please bear with me, lovely people. I will be working my bums off for the next few months so that Wydrin and the gang can be back with us as soon as possible. Keelah se’lai!*


*obscure Mass Effect 3 reference (which was amazing, by the way)


The Copper Promise: Some Post Publication Thoughts


The Copper Promise started, in my mind at least, as My Small Self Publishing Experiment. The idea was to produce something longer than a short story that I could pop up on Amazon as an ebook – it would be written, edited, re-drafted, edited, edited some more, and then it would go out into the world and I would see how it would do. Originally this was going to be a horror novella, but that idea became The Snake House instead and was much too long in the end.


Well, in my usual tradition of making everything more complicated than it needs to be, My Small Self Publishing Experiment turned into a serial, and then a series of novellas, and then a series of fantasy novellas that will be, once they are all finished, as long as your average fantasy book. So the project wasn’t so Small anymore; in fact, it had become The Self Publishing Experiment That’s Going to Take Up About Six Months of my Life, Crikey, How Did That Happen?


And so, the first part has been out in the world for about a month, and part 2 is busy being poked into readiness for a release date hopefully at the end of February. And so far, it has been an almost entirely positive experience. Mostly the people who have read it seemed to have enjoyed Ghosts of the Citadel, and I’ve had some overwhelmingly lovely feedback, including blog posts and reviews that have made me very happy indeed. I’ve also received a tremendous amount of support from people (through buying it, spreading the word and general encouragement) which has been genuinely touching and confirms that the writing/reading community online is one of the best around.


One of my favourite parts of having a novella length work out there to read rather than a short story has been watching how people react to my characters – what sticks in their minds about them, which ones are popular with readers and why, and what they hope happens to Wydrin, Sebastian and Frith in the future. It’s exciting, and scary too, because beforehand these characters only really existed in my head and on tattered bits of paper, and now they exist in other people’s heads too, which is a strange and marvellous thing. And it is nice to know that I am no longer the only one who cares what happens to them.


Yeah, it’s been good. So thank you everyone. J And I’m looking forward to sending part two out into the world very soon.

Fantasy Characters I Would Like to get Drunk With

I was talking to the lovely Ren Warom the other day about the potential mead-soaked mess that would be a night out with Wydrin – of all the characters I’ve written, she is the one I would most like a night on the town with. It would be dangerous, that’s for certain, and everyone would likely come home with a certain amount of memory loss, a pounding headache and several more tattoos than they had at the beginning of the evening, but it would be fun. So that got me thinking: which fantasy characters would I most like to share a tasty beverage with?



Tyrion Lannister


Charming, witty, and the cleverest character in a book series full of clever characters, Tyrion would be an excellent dinner companion (and it would have to be dinner as well – I could hardly resist the chance to try out one of the endless medieval banquets continually happening in A Song of Ice and Fire); not only is he funny and shrewd, he’d happily talk books all evening, and you know the wine would be the finest vintage imaginable. Just don’t mention his sister.



Nanny Ogg


Really, who wouldn’t want a drink with Nanny Ogg? (apart from her many daughters-in-law, perhaps). A woman of rude wisdom and deep earthy intelligence, you would certainly go home knowing a few more things than you did previously – mainly about who is doing what to whom, and whether her husband knows about it yet. I imagine drinking scrumpy with Nanny by the fireside, slowly getting sozzled and learning the words to various rude songs, before passing out in a rocking chair just before the sun comes up. A perfect evening.




If you haven’t played Dragon Age: Origins you probably won’t be familiar with Oghren, which, believe me, is a shame. Think of him as a cross between Yosemite Sam, Gimli, and a vat of ale. When you first meet Oghren he is wandering Orzammar as an occasional angry drunk, although once convinced to join your quest and seek out darkspawn to destroy, he fully commits to the cause of drinking and shouting, and quickly becomes one of the more amusing companions to spend time with. In one memorable scene, you can talk to Oghren at the camp site while he apparently ingests alcohol through his skin until he finally shouts “ASSLESS CHAPS!” at you and falls over. I love him.


So tell me what characters you would most like to share an ale with? All genres welcome.


Wishing You a Fabulous Yule! With Optional Sprouts


It’s that time – the first box of Matchmakers is already half finished, there’s a giant piece of meat defrosting in the kitchen and the cat is trying to open the presents with the power of her mind. 

I hope you’re all having a most excellent and joyous Christmas holiday, with the teeniest of hangovers and no sprouts (unless you like sprouts, in which case I hope everyone around the dinner table donates theirs to you).

And if you happen to be getting a Kindle for Christmas, I hope you might consider entering the universe of The Copper Promise for a bit of pulp fantasy action – it’s here, and it wants to give your Kindle an xmas smooch.*

*apologies for the blatant plug, but the novelty of hearing people say “I’ve bought your book!” has yet to wear off. I doubt it will.  

The Copper Promise: Ghosts of the Citadel is here!


Well, technically it was here yesterday, but Amazon were a little faster out of the block than I expected, and my book was all suddenly available and I had no time to write a blog post! Goodness me. So, you can buy it here. I hope you do, and I hope you like it. J

But yes! Very exciting. It was a strange feeling, seeing my cover up there on that big proper website, next to other books with proper covers, and now anyone can read it. Excitement! Terror! Snoopy dancing! I went through the whole range of writerly emotions (snoopy dancing is an emotion, shhhh).

So, what do I think you should know about The Copper Promise: Ghosts of the Citadel? 

It’s a novella, and it’s the first of a series of four. I wanted to write a sword and sorcery serial, one that would be a quick and fun read, full of adventure, peril and occasional scary bits. 

You can download it straight on to your kindle if you have one, or you can download various bits of kindle software from Amazon that will let you read it on your computer like a kindle. It’s also possible, I am told, to get an “app” on your “super-intelligent awesome-phone”, although that level of technology is a bit beyond me, to be honest.

I have been lucky enough to get a few good reviews already. There is this rather spectacular one over at Colin F. Barnes‘ website, which I am well chuffed about, Adam Christopher has done a marvellous blog post about it,  and there are a few great write-ups on Amazon now too. The reviews that are up are especially lovely for me as they all (so far) seem to really get what I was trying to do with this series; the novellas are, in their own small way, a love letter to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, as well as the reams of adventurous fantasy they inspired, and it seems there is a great deal of love out there for this kind of “pulp” fiction.

And so, I must say a huge thank you to everyone who has bought a copy so far, and all those fabulous people leaving reviews and spreading the word; you are aces, and I owe you all some sort of fancy drink with an umbrella in. 

The Copper Promise: An Early Review


Part one of The Copper Promise will be with us tomorrow (probably around lunchtime, by my estimates) but until then here is a lovely review by Colin F. Barnes, a writer and editor responsible for many cool and scary things, such as The City of Hell anthology (a beautiful looking thing which is currently lurking on my kindle).

Now, I shall go back to staring anxiously at the amazon page, hoping I don’t experience some sort of technical cock-uppery…

Beware, Here Be Covers: The Copper Promise has its face on


Here it is! Partly to stop myself from getting overexcited and plonking The Copper Promise up before everything is quite ready, and partly because it is so pretty… a little look at the cover. The Copper Promise Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel will be available as an ebook on the 22nd of December, which is to say Thursday, which is to say the winter solstice, which is to say… soon.

 If you would like to receive exclusive news, stories and general blatherings about the series, drop me a line at

Extract of The Copper Promise at GeekPlanetOnline! Snoopy Dance Ahoy!


A bit of late night news! The lovely people at GeekPlanetOnline are hosting an exclusive extract of The Copper Promise, giving you a sneaky peek at the world of the haunted Citadel. 

Choosing the extract was a tricky process: what can I put up without spoilerfication? How long should it be and what do I want to reveal? In the end I chose a sequence that I hope is fun but also poses a number of questions. I’d love to know what you all think!