Yes, it’s been a while alright. Time seems to fly faster than a dragon at the moment.

Anyone who has visited my blog before (thank you so much if you have!) will know that being an author is not my full time profession, more’s the pity. Stresses of work and general life have meant that writing has had to take a back seat this year, but I cannot keep making the same excuses.

Excuses don’t help, and they certainly don’t write novels.

Again, this is not an excuse, but I have suffered from a severe lack of motivation this year. It has been very demoralising seeing the hard work I have put in to my two Kindle-published novels over the last four years come to basically nothing. Writing a novel is hard work – far harder than I could ever have imagined when I first put pen to paper (or rather fingers to laptop). It takes time and dedication, and I am the first to admit that I lack any natural talent for writing. But when you spend so long, get so excited and thrilled to finally finish, just to see absolutely nothing happen except rejections and zero returns, there comes a point when you just feel like jacking it all in. This has been the story of my last 12 months.

But anyway, I have not written this post to moan and complain and ask for everyone to feel sorry for me. Fuck that. That’s not me. I’m grateful for what I have, and I know that I am far better off than most at the moment. (My thoughts and sympathies go out to the families affected by the Ukraine crisis, and all those still suffering from the Covid pandemic).

I have been better of late, if not better at keeping my blog updated. I have now hit 60k words on my current work-in-progress, and it is this project that I want to share some news about.

The WIP

It must be two years since I started working on this new project, and wow, has it been a challenge. The first thing to mention is that it is a planned trilogy at the moment, but the more I get into it, the larger it seems to grow. It has made The Kiss From a Dragon and Nine Lives seem like a walk in the park so far. (Apologies for the deliberate attempt at a publicity stunt – can’t blame me for trying, eh?)

So, what is it all about?

This is the novel I have always wanted to write, but been afraid to do so. It is an epic fantasy story, set in a world created by me. Yes, I have probably bitten off more than I can chew, but I have a deep fear that if nothing come of this novel or series, it may well be my last as an author.

And if it is to be my last, I want to go out with a bang. Or a damp fizzle, more like. But I want to feel proud of my work, even if no-one else does.

So everything I have been working on over the years – all the unused ideas, all the “one day I might use that,” all the “no, it’s to early for that,” – everything is going into this series.

And why not?

So here goes. Watch this space. I have more detailed updates planned, so check back here regularly. And thank you for reading this. It does mean a lot, and gives me more incentive to keep on writing.

Here is a snippet of the draft version of the first chapter:

Deepening mists surrounded the small boat like a veil, slowly closing in with each soft stroke of the oars. The two occupants of the rowing boat grew increasingly uneasy as the fog descended; their visibility so low they were unable to use familiar landmarks to determine their precise location. It was this uncertainty that made their already dangerous mission even more hazardous.

The two elves had not long since passed between a cluster of uninhabited, snow-laden islands off the north coast of Andurvia, but now the mists had descended, they had no idea even which direction they travelled. Their voyage had been a long one since departing from their homeland, and the elves grew tired and more anxious by the minute.

“You know what to do if we get caught,” Argor growled, more of a statement than a question.

“Yes,” replied Ennan. “I have it in my pocket. They will get nothing out of me.” Ennan patted his tunic, in which the vial of colourless liquid concealed itself.

“Good.” Argor’s stern features regarded the younger elf coldly, before returning his gaze to the mists, which had now wholly encircled them.

Even with the heightened senses of the elven race, Argor could not detect anything in the mists except the lapping of water as Ennan cut the oars through the sea. This told him they were far from land, which troubled him. By now, they should have been able to hear the crashing of the waves against the two-hundred-foot-high cliffs that signified the northern tip of Andurvia, and the kingdom of Arthelas, ruled by the humans.

“Stop rowing,” he commanded. “I fear we are drifting off course.”

“As you wish.” Ennan did as instructed.

Next time – I will be introducing the Keswick family – the rulers of Lightcrest, principle city of the humans occupying my fantasy kingdom of Andurvia.