Silent Harbinger Out Now for Free

One of my short stories that was originally written for a competition has now been published. If you are looking for a quick suspenseful hit of dark fantasy check it out and download the story completely FREE here.

The brief blurb for the story is here:

In mere moments they will arrive. His neck is strapped to the altar. His hands and feet chained. The villagers can only watch on in fear as the devils draw closer. Even if he wanted to scream for help, he couldn’t. But his haunted fate has led him to this moment. He just doesn’t know it.

These savage creatures have reduced the village to a blackened, broken shell. But a catalyst is coming.The Silent Harbinger will reveal all to the people of Avelline. 

Happy Reading!! And spread the word.


Are you editing too much?

Writers love to write. Who would have thought? Then they finish their story and have to edit. Gasps, grabs chest in panic! There are some crazy people out there who enjoy editing; some who go so far as to love it! I am convinced they are delusional.

Most of us rely on others to fix our work for us, but before that can happen we need to do the initial editing ourselves. I’ve just finished the first edit of my second book and am finding myself changing sentences as I usually do, only to change them back on the second read. I have come to realise that there are really two types of editing;

(Type 1) The Necessary: This is the editing that removes grammatical mistakes. Wrong words, bad spelling, incorrect punctuation and other things that are just plain wrong by language standards.

(Type 2) The Superficial: This is the editing that moves a word around or changes a phrase slightly to change the narrative itself. Often this will improve your work, but it is ultimately a matter of taste.

Getting your manuscript ready for submission/publication is a process of doing the Necessary editing first and fully, and then knowing when to stop with the Superficial. Most people have heard of overcooking your manuscript. And I firmly believe there is such a thing. In fact, without care, one can easily set the house of fire by leaving the editing in the oven unchecked.

This also applies to the situation where you have multiple editors/beta readers. Everyone’s tastes differ and sometimes as the author you need to take creative control and stick with what makes you happiest. I have had 6 different people read a single chapter and all want to change the same sentence to 6 different things.

Excess Superficial editing takes up a lot of precious time. Time that could be spent marketing your book or writing your next book. So the key is to know when to say enough is enough and finalise your manuscript.

If I have learnt anything it is that no matter how many times you change things, you will always look back at your own work and want to fix it. Writing is a skill that continues to grow, so it is only natural that you will feel you can write that sentence better. At some point you need to bite the bullet and give your work to your audience.

Just like buying a new TV, in 6 months there will be a better version for the same price. Six months from now your writing will have improved and you could rewrite your story to improve it. You need to eventually draw the line and finalise your story.

Watch out for the Superficial editing trap. Have confidence in your work and just get it out there. Don’t leave the oven on, nobody likes an overcooked manuscript.

Book Depository – A blessing for your Australian readers.

Deutsch: Logo von

Deutsch: Logo von (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently invested in Amazon’s Createspace expanded distribution service. For the one off price of $25 my paperback was made available through a group of new retailers. Under normal circumstances this would not have made an awful lot of difference for me in terms of sales. The majority of my hard copy sales come through the Amazon website.


However being an Australian writer and having the bulk of my readers down under I have found the one off payment well worth it for one reason, the Book Depository. For Australians the Amazon website can prove costly when adding postage costs. Unless ordering in bulk, a single book can often prove too expensive and deter your customers from buying your book.


By having my novel on the Book Depository my Australian readers can now purchase in Australian dollars, avoiding currency fluctuations and costs and are able to get free postage. So when publishing think about your Australian fans and spend the $25 to make your book available on the Book Depository.  


Excitement for the book launch


Business Card

So it’s only a few days until I hold my official launch for The Valerious Chronicles. The paperbacks are in boxes, ready to be taken to the venue, business card is ready. The invites have been sent and the champagne is in the chiller. It is finally time to put the pen down for a day and look back on what I have accomplished.

Coming up to the launch I have been asked by so many people, how do you find the time and energy to write a book and work full time as well. I think I will allow Neil Gaiman to answer.

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
― Neil Gaiman



Snatch and Grab…Why not, it’s free!

The fluoro coloured promoter shoves the bottle in your face! It’s bright, with a flashy title like ‘Koji Water” that jumps out from the ergonomic, environmentally friendly, space aged container. (Which when you look closely is just a great way to hide the fact that it only holds 50ml of liquid.)

“Would you like a free sample, its 100% organic,” the uni student, looking for some quick cash, cries out in her high pitched voice. Hell, you think to yourself, why not, it’s free. I’ll take one. I might even go back for another. Or do you walk on by?

I’ve had this debate with my better half for a while now. I think it goes back to a time long past, a simpler time, when I was a wee lad, travelling to the Melbourne Show with my mother, entering the food hall where hundreds of stalls line the floor, trying to elicit a purchase by offering a sample. “A free sample!” I think to myself. “I better make the most of this.”

I’m a sucker, I have to say. When I walk through the city and there is a stall or a bunch of promoters handing out samples of the latest ‘must have’ product, I always make sure my path veers towards them. If it’s something I can eat I will probably go back. If in going back I can take more than one sample, I definitely will. (It’s for my friend over there, that’s right, the old lady who is scowling at me as though I am about to steal her handbag.) In doing this I believe I have often embarrassed my wife.

“Oh look free sample,” I say, already grabbing her hand and heading for the girl handing out fabric softener. I feel the resistance in my wife’s steps, the look on her face which is bordering on manic. I just don’t seem to understand why she doesn’t want her clothes to be silky smooth for free!

But we aren’t all the same. There are those of us, who like me, love to take advantage of the monetary windfall that is a free packet of eggplant crisps (Fried in 100% Sunflower oil from the sundrenched shores of Swaziland). There are others who feel embarrassed to take the free goods. They have done nothing to earn that free crisp. I guess the crisps could go to better use, to people who so desperately need those delicious eggplant delights. Will I understand this frame of mind? Maybe one day I will, until then there are more crisps for me!

The good news is that we seem to have come to an understanding. I won’t force her to take a free sample if she doesn’t feel comfortable doing it. And in return I’ll drink her free sample of ‘Koji Water’.