Anyone who’s been on this journey will tell you that breaking into professional writing is very much akin to trying to break through brick wall with your forehead. Good fortune or destiny aside, it’s a long, painful experience, with no real way to judge how much progress you’re making. People offer sage advice on technique from the sidelines – some good, some less so – but the truth is the only measure of success is whether or not you’ve broken through the wall. With a few notable (and valued) exceptions, publishers and agents tend to offer a stony silence any brick wall would envy. A few are downright discourteous (not filling out the dotted sections on their stock rejection cards, for example – seriously guys, that’s just plain rude).
So what do I do? I learn from the feedback my beta readers offer. I remind myself of the long, tortuous journeys of now-famous authors. And I write. I write a lot.
Legendary comics and genre writer Peter David once said that you get better at writing by writing, and it’s true. I’ve learnt far more in the last two years than in the preceding ten, and I think it shows. Though it goes against every introverted, oh-my-God-they’re-looking-at-me instinct to say as much aloud, I’m damn proud of my work, and I want people to see it.
Those of you who’ve followed my ramblings for the last couple of years have probably noticed I haven’t put much out into the public domain. That’s about to change. Over the course of the coming year, I”ll be making a lot of my completed work available – everything from short stories to full length novels. Some will materialise for free (initially, at least) on this website. Others, I’ll be punting through a variety of paid channels (the cats have to eat). I’ll be experimenting with a variety of formats and distributors, on the principle that I should probably try everything once, but the goal will be to make it as easy as possible for both of the people who read this blog (and hopefully a wider audience) to pick up copies of my works in digital and physical formats.
That begins this week, with the release of Queen of Eventide in paperback via Amazon’s Createspace program.
“How can you possibly prevail, when even your friends are your enemies?”
Maddie Lincoln returns home to Nottingham, struggling to get to grips with a life that’s falling apart. However, her workaday problems quickly fade when she’s caught up in a war between the malevolent Dark Lady and her enemies. As the Dark Lady’s influence grows, Maddie is pursued across the city and the mysterious realm of Eventide by a sinister Huntsman and his monstrous pack of hollows. Aided by her friend Inga, eccentric fortune teller Charles King, and the enigmatic William, she manages to stay one step ahead of her pursuers.
Even with their help, neither world is safe for her; Eventide is full of hidden dangers, and vicious riots are breaking out in Nottingham as the Dark Lady’s power rises. Worse, none of Maddie’s companions are exactly as they appear, and nor, Maddie learns, is she. Can Maddie discover the truth about the Queen of Eventide before it’s too late…?
Previously available via Smashwords and the Kindle store, this marks Queen of Eventide’s first physical release. It’s the definitive edition, embracing all those pesky writing lessons I alluded to earlier. A new Kindle version will follow in due course (if you’ve already purchased Queen of Eventide through the Kindle store, your existing file should update when the changes go live).
I’ll be announcing on Facebook and Twitter when Queen of Eventide orders go live, so keep an eye open.
As for the rest… As I said earlier, this is only the beginning. Convergence will continue emerging on this website, as will several more Coldharbour-related short stories. And I’ve plans to release at least one entirely new novel later this year.
Stay tuned for more details.