Reading, Reading and More Reading

My blog has sadly seen little activity over the last months. But thankfully this has allowed me to get the final book of the Valerious Chronicles ready for publishing. At this stage we are looking at a June release so stay tuned for more information very soon.

In the meantime if you haven’t read ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss, get onto it. Just finished it and can’t praise it highly enough.

Autumn

The last weeks I have had the rare opportunity to set my sights on something other than the Valerious Chronicles. I’ve rekindled my love of comics, found much more time to read books, caught up on a few shows I’ve been meaning to watch and even gotten back into video games.

But I have finally gotten my manuscript for ‘The Fleet of Sinsai’ back and am going to be putting my head down to perform the final edit and read through. I am excited to be on the cusp of releasing the final book, and so far the feedback from my Beta Readers has been outstanding. I hope you are all looking forward to seeing how the story ends, as much as I am looking forward to seeing the journey of my first Trilogy come to a close.

In the meantime if you are looking for some insights into how I am spending my free time you will find that I am busily flipping through the following comics and can’t recommend them enough.

– Locke & Key

– Star Wars 2015

– Batman (The new 52)

– Ms Marvel

– Saga (OMG Stop everything you are doing and go get this!)

– Guardians of the Galaxy

– Lumberjanes

– Darth Vader 2015

One of the next updates should hold the release date for the final book! So stay tuned.

The Fleet of Sinsai draws near

Over the last few months my posting has been less frequent than usual. In that time I have been receiving a wealth of great feedback on books one and two of the Valerious Chronicles. I stand humbled by the response I have had for my first books and can only hope that the last book in the trilogy will live up to the hopes of my fans.

The good news is that there is not long to go. Some of my beta-readers have already finished reading and I will be compiling their feedback soon. The others will be completing their work over March and then the final round of editing begins. I am hoping to have the Fleet of Sinsai released late May early June and can’t wait to celebrate once the trilogy is complete.

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks and thank you for reading!

The End of an Era

Today marked the final day of writing for the Valerious Chronicles. Once I typed the last words for the epilogue of book three, I sat back and couldn’t move for a few minutes. How do you sum up an undertaking which has been such an enormous part of your life?

I am mostly happy. But a part of me is sad, knowing that my time with this saga is at an end. Sure, there is plenty of editing to come, but the main part, the writing, the part of this which is my true passion, is over.

I can’t begin to imagine what it must have felt like for someone like J.K Rowling, when she finished the last line of the Harry Potter series. A sense of achievement yes. But also a sense of loss.

By pure coincidence, as I finished the very last line of book three, my music playlist began to belt out “The Last Goodbye” by Billy Boyd (The final song for the Hobbit Trilogy). It was a fitting moment to mark the last day of an era.

I move now to preparing the book for its release in a few months. But before I begin I’ll make sure to take the time to really appreciate this moment. The Valerious Chronicles have come to an end.

Why Reviews Matter

 

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I had a discussion with a fellow artist not that long ago about why we do what we do. This person was not a writer, but their particular medium of art was also one where reviews are an important part of success. Our lengthy discussion revolved heavily on gaining enjoyment from seeing others appreciating our work.

Afterwards, on the train, I was looking through some of the reviews I have been lucky enough to receive and found myself feeling exhilarated. The profound truth is that though you may make a sale, or have someone download your work for free, you will never truly know whether they liked it or not unless they write you a review.

What is it that drives people to write reviews? I still don’t really know the answer. I know that I have only recently taken to writing reviews and much of that is driven by my own desire to receive reviews. I like to think of it as good fortune. If I give a little out into the world, perhaps I will gain a little back.

A review to an artist is a confirmation that what they are pursuing is worthwhile. That it means something to someone. Even if it is a bad review, we at the very least know that someone read or listened to our work. And we can learn from the criticism. This is the only way we will know as artists, what people like, and what they do not like.

So I encourage you all to take five minutes when you read a good book, listen to a great song, or watch a great film, to write a review. Or even just click a box to give that piece of art a star rating. The artists appreciate it more than you could know.

My Top Picks – Part Three

What are my biggest influences? There are too many to cover in one post. This is part three of my series of posts to show the key books, movies, music and shows that have influenced me, not only as a writer, but as a person.

 

Star Trek:

We are at a point in time where the amount of Star Trek available for consumption is mind blowing. Not only are there five shows and twelve movies, there are comics, video games, board games, card games and books. I began watching Star Trek because of my mum, who was a big fan. It was almost routine for us to sit down and watch the latest episode of Next-Gen or Deep Space Nine and Voyager in later years. As I child I can recall watching Star Trek IV; The Voyage Home, on a monthly basis.

What is it about Star Trek that captivated me so? Firstly it was the individual characters who became a second family. Every new voyage was like going on an adventure with a band of best friends. But the truth of it is that Star Trek appeals to something in human nature. The desire for discovery, and for betterment. The federation is an almost utopian idea. A world where we have shed all of the prejudices and vices of the past. We have rid the world of poverty, of greed, of war. All that is left is a unified civilisation which strives to spread peace throughout the galaxy and learn all that can be learnt.

Despite this we see the crew of the enterprise go through all of the very same drama’s which are present in the world today. However, they are presented to us in conflicts with alien species or new space oddities. Even though the Earth has managed to find lasting peace, we still find war and avarice in the far reaches of space. Star Trek showed me that no matter what, peace is not eternal.

 

Magician by Raymond E. Feist:

Arguably this is the single most influential piece of art in my life. When coming up with a list of things for this series of posts, the first thing to spring to mind was Magician. It is the one book that changed my life. It was one of the first epic fantasy novels I read front to back and I still recall the feelings I felt when turning those pages.

The story of Pug and his journey to become a magician captivated me like no other story ever has. When reading it I recall the sensation that this was what had been missing from my life. It had everything you could ever want. There were battles, an invading alien army, magic, dragons, dwarves and elves, but most of all it had amazing world building and characters.

There is no doubt that my writing in most influenced by the many books set in Midkemia. There is no doubt my characters are influenced by the characters I grew to love from Magician. I have not recommended a book more than this one. I would never hesitate to recommend it. It is, in my opinion, a perfect example of the emotion, excitement and enjoyment that the fantasy genre is capable of. If I were deserted on an island, it is the one book I would want to have with me.

 

To see my other posts in this series click below.

My Top Picks – Part One

My Top Picks – Part Two

Recharging

It’s been a little while since I have posted. I have been taking a few long breaths following the crazy weeks that were the launch of The Tyrant’s Onslaught. As much as it was a terrific experience. I needed some time to relax.

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I was lucky enough to spend some time in the Yarra Valley and switch my mind off for a few days. Today I started writing again, chapter 14 of the final novel in the Valerious Chronicles, and it felt great. It reminded me that to create great art your mind needs to be at its best.

I feel that I am back in that space, where I can focus on getting the final book done. I have been taking the time to read some different things, a few comics (Saga is amazing!!) and some horror, which I haven’t read a lot of. It has been a refreshing change.

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Visiting the Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary also rekindled my love of animals and reminded me to make sure I get out of the study/office more often to seek inspiration from our furry, slithery and feathered friends.

2014-09-19 12.39.59For now, back to it. Unlike the wombats I can’t sleep all the time. I have a third book to finish!

The Tyrant’s Onslaught Pre-Orders available

I am excited to announce that The Tyrant’s Onslaught, Book Two in the Valerious Chronicles is available for pre-order prior to its release on the 31st of August.

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Imprisoned. Christill now faces the wrath of his King and Council. They will demand his blood, but his destiny is yet to be fulfilled. He must uncover the terrible source of the Tyrant King’s power if the world is to be saved. The guardian gods have given him strength, however, he will be forced to travel to the most dangerous part of Kovi, hunted by those he is fighting to save.

Thibalt always believed in his Scorpions, but it is a dark path the Maloreichar have set them on. He will question his actions at every turn. The war will paint his hands red. As their enemies close in around them, he will be forced to make the hardest choice of his life.

Throughout their journey they will face familiar enemies, treachery and above all the malevolence of Zephra. The truth will be revealed and sacrifices made, for the Tyrant King’s onslaught is unwavering. Hope is all that remains. Hope and two brothers.

 

The Tyrant’s Onslaught is now available to Pre-Order at the following retailers:

iTunes

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

And for those who are very eager to secure a copy the paperback version is already available for sale early on Amazon and my own store.

 

Tyrant’s Onslaught set for release August 31st

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To all those eagerly awaiting the release of book two in the Valerious Chronicles, I have finally set the official release date.

The Tyrant’s Onslaught is set to be released across all formats on the 31st of August 2014. I am hoping to have preorders available at the end of July.

Hang in there. Not too long left.