Barista bear

Shock update! New website for my old fics.

Showing my face here briefly in case anyone from the old old days is still following this journal. Just letting you know I have a new website for my fanfic and others stuff I wrote back before I turned pro. The old one was meant to disappear by the end of April. At time of writing it's still up, but assume it will vanish at any moment.

The new site is as

There you'll find all the A-Team fanfics, the Madari Spin Off series, and some other fandom fics. There's also a page with links to the ebooks of Shoot the Humans First and The Battle of Hollow Jimmy.

Everything I'm putting up is there now.

I'd assume it won't be updated any more now it's all up, but who knows when the urge to write a fic might strike me!
Barista bear

Bye bye, Live Journal

I think it's time to admit I'm not going to update LJ any more. Most of my Live Journal friends aren't active on here any more. Live Journal is not really cutting edge these days and while big stars like George R R Martin can get away with sticking on here because people will come to him, the rest of us, not so much.

The monthly books post I've been doing I'm going to take across to my author blog. That blog is getting a bit of a shake up too. Less in the way of formal "articles", more casual and fun. Until I've built up a new store of advice and opinion to dispense anyway.

Not saying I won't ever come visit and comment on anything on LJ. My account remains active - just no longer a paid account after September. I've backed everything up onto Dreamwidth in case of a future major existence failure by Live Journal.

It's been great, LJ. I think this platform is still unrivalled for interaction and conversation. Tumblr and Facebook and their ilk are not nearly so easy to engage in coherent discussions and conversations on.

I've made good friends here on LJ and some of the communities I've participated in have been enormously important to me and my development as a writer. Reading back over my entries over the years brings back great memories of my writing journey.

Love you always, Live Journal. I'll come back and visit sometime soon.
Barista bear

Monthly books post

My books read total is now 48 for the year. It was a bit of a funny month in that a couple of not especially long books seemed to take me ages and ended up making me push a couple back to June. I suppose I was pretty busy too.

4 down for the Sherlock Holmes Canon Reread.


Oh and this one! :D Because I'm about to start writing the sequel. So it's research.


That last one is still in progress.

On the list for next month
A couple of new ones, eagerly awaited! And book number 5 for the Sherlock Holmes reread - The Hound of the Baskervilles. I have an audiobook of that too, so it might end up read twice in June. A couple of non-fiction titles mixing things up a bit.

Patient Z

Hit the magic 30!

That's 30 ideas for scenes or events in a story I'm planning. Once I have 30 I know that once I start really outlining it seriously I'll have enough material for a novel. This one in a story set in the same post-zombie apocalypse world as Patient Z. It's not a sequel, though Cal and Mitch and possibly a couple of the others from that will make guest appearances. I have more than just a rnandom bunch of scenes. I do have a basic shape for the story too. And I've had a couple of zombie dreams lately too, so my mind is definitely ready to start working on this one more seriously.

I need a name for it soon. I could call it The Rule, because a central plot point revolves around my rule that however much the writer is trying to make you believe a character is dead, then until you the reader, or a character you trust, sees someone definitely dead, they are not dead. Right now after reading A Feast for Crows I'm hanging on tight to that rule about a certain character reported dead. LOL, anyway, I'm not calling it that. :D

Of course before I can write that one I have to finish the current draft, so am cracking on with that. I revisited the outline and tightned it up and now I know exactly where I'm going, it's just a matter of making it happen.

Had a nice day on Friday at a writing retreat with local writer group friends. Which provided some much needed cheering up after the horror of the general election result. OMG, a majority Tory government. I'm getting flashbacks...

Oh and check out this months recommended links post. Loads of good stuff.
Barista bear

When Tuesday is just Monday on steroids

It was a bank holiday weekend in the UK this weekend just gone - which means Monday off work - yay! But the trouble with that is that it just allows the "Monday morning back to work" feeling to build up more a head of steam to let off on Tuesday.

For one thing it was pouring with rain. And my back went bad yesterday and this morning I could barely bend down to put my socks and shoes on. Ouch! Struggled out of the house, moving slow, umbrella in hand. Then after popping into Starbucks for my morning perk I dropped my carry out cup on the way to the station, which smashed, so it was goodbye to that and to the tall latte inside it that I hadn't had so much of a sip of. Grr. Got on the Metro, already running late, got to the stop before mine and "This train is being withdrawn from service due to a fault". AAARGH! So out we all get to wait on the platform in the still-teeming rain.

Thankfully the day didn't get any worse after that. In fact my back is slowly getting better and my stomach is being quite well-behaved lately, so by the end of the day I was feeling a lot better and came home in sunshine, the rain long gone. Fake Monday had done its worst but faded and gave up in the end.
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Barista bear

April Books Post

I've had a super-busy month, between edits and a release day for The Champion's Secret. So I didn't get a lot of books read. But I kept the total up with several audios. Four Jordans! Two by Jordan L Hawk and two by Jordan Castillo Price.

Still reading that last one! It's a beast.


A hint of what's on the menu for next month...

The Champion's Secret


Since I kept getting interrupted with edits and stuff for THREE different things under contract right now, I put the Into the Sunrise draft I was working on aside and I've taken the opportunity to chill a bit after an intense start to the year. Now I'm feeling ready to crack on with it.

I reread the 23k words I have so far - in which I managed to change one supporting character's name and jump from late summer to spring in two days of story time without the aid of a time machine. Nice. But other than first draft issues like that, I was pleasantly surprised. Today I reviewed and refined the outline. I think I'm around halfway now. It's not going to be an especially long story. So I'm ready to get back to it. Planning on starting on Wednesday, once release day of The Champion's Secret is out of the way and I have less busywork on my plate.

So I should finish it by mid May. Then have to decide do I crack on with another draft? Or do the edit of this one first? Well I'll decide then. It is kind of nice having a draft in hand so you can let one have a nice long rest before starting the edit.

Blog post yesterday was all about how The Champion's Secret came to be written because a supporting character just wouldn't leave me alone...

When supporting characters want their own show.
Barista bear

More cover goodness and a great guest blog

So after last week's Immutable cover I can also now show off the cover for The Champion's Secret, which is out on the 28th of April. Sci-fi! Sport! Kilts!

The art is by Scott Carpenter. If you click on the picture you'll go to the high resolution version where you can see the highlights in the guy's eye, for goodness sake! :D I love looking at the hi-res versions of my covers. They make me want to lick the screen... (Did I say that out loud?)

That's James on the cover, looking big and mean and ticked off. Which is pretty much what James is like in the books. Guy needs to chill. Most important factor - he's wearing a kilt! I don't know if Scott Carpenter 'shopped that on there or what, but he's wearing a kilt as per the book and that's good enough for me. :D

And if you're over at my website, check out the guest post with Jordan L Hawk, where she talks about her new books Hoarfrost - number 6 in the Whyborne and Griffin series. That's out tomorrow. Squee!!!
Barista bear

The best laid plans for men and men and writers...

So after an intense week of edits for Immutable from Dreamspinner I worked out how I could still get to my CampNaNoWriMo target for Into the Sunrise. It meant working hard but it was still doable. I got a couple of good days in. And then the first round of Mapping the Shadows edits arrived from Loose Id. Hah! It seems this draft is kind of doomed not to get very far this month.

So giving up on CampNaNoWriMo and just aim to get more of the draft done as and when I can, once this round of edits is done and before the next lot show up.

This writing thing you see, once you get a contract you lose some control over your schedule. Edits arrive and take over your life for a week. Deadlines decide what you'll do next, not your own fancy. You have to learn to be so flexible. Especially when as I currently have, you've got three things contracted and not yet out. Gotta learn to hop between projects like a mountain goat hops around crags.
Barista bear

The best way to cheer me up - cover art!

Okay, there are probably better ways - like a lottery win, or Tom Hiddleston coming round my house to take me out on a date. But cover art is pretty high up there, and at least in the realms of "things that have a reasonably likelihood of actually happening."

I needed cheering up because I had a bit of a rubbish week. Work was crap. I was kind of ill for a couple of days. (You know when you feel like the giant flaming eye of Sauron has taken up residence inside you and cranberry juice is more welcome than champagne? That.)

But by today things had all calmed down a bit. And to finish the week on a good note I got the final version of the cover art for Immutable, the short novella I have coming out in the summer from Dreamspinner Press and saw the very nearly final version of the cover for The Champion's Secret, which is out later this month from Loose Id.

I don't have the go to share that last one yet, but I can show the one for Immutable. If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen it earlier. It's by Maria Fanning and it's so gorgeous I just can't, as they say on Tumblr. That back! The colours! The lettering of the title. Oh my god, that lettering! It's inspired me to do a future blog post about covers and how blessed I've been with mine from all three publishers I've worked with. Cover artists are an author's best friend. :-)

Here's a smallish version. Click on it for the full size one in all its green and gold glory.