Comments On Lost Solace


I recently ran a Hidden Gems promo for Lost Solace (as I had done for They Move Below). At the end of it Hidden Gems passed on the comments they'd received from their readers. It was all good, but here are my favourites, because they tied the novel into gaming (and my novels normally have flavours of many different sources):

"This book was very good had a hint of Halo to it with interesting concepts about the AI. Would like to read a second instalment."

Ha, it will be with us so very soon ... :-) I did play the first Halo game. I was always disappointed that the series wasn't available on Windows (and, now that they are coming, they will require a crappy Microsoft account to play - which means I won't be buying them!)

"Solid book. Well written. I enjoyed it. Liked the Wing Commander take down of the heavy cruiser."

And I love the detail of this one, especially as I spent many years playing role-playing games with friends, and Turner was partly born from a role-playing game I devised and ran for friends:

"You know the beginning of your story reminded me of a roleplaying game session, using the Stars without Numbers game, I ran several years ago. A salvage crew having to board a starship that was in the decaying orbit of a star. In that though the prize was a briefcase containing life extending drugs. The group found the briefcase and successfully left the ship... They could have saved the ship...
Your story goes well beyond all that of course. I really liked the idea of the lure-ship. I'm just letting you know I am going to borrow your idea if I ever run another science fiction session. Good book, nice story. Believable characters."

A few other quotes:

"Outstanding writing"

"The book was a fun read. I like that the main character is a female. You don't see that in a lot of science fiction books. This was definitely a well-written space adventure with plenty of action and a lot of creepy mystery. I loved the friendship between Opal and her AI companion Clarissa. It's a very satisfying story and I enjoyed it very much!"

Finally, unrelated to Hidden Gems, a fan shared this with me today - they had posted it on Facebook, and it adds up to an excellent summary of why people seem to find Lost Solace so appealing:

"Lost Solace has been described as a "Haunted house story set in space", which I've found to be an accurate description. The premise is that our protagonist, "Opal", has absconded with a secret, advanced military spacecraft with an experimental A.I. on board, named "Clarissa". She is searching for what is known in the fictional universe, as a "Lost Ship", as she believes her sister went missing on one. Without giving anything away, a Lost Ship is basically a Mary Celeste type of deal, a mysterious ghost ship. The book shares some similarities with the film "Event Horizon", which is all I'll give away.
What follows is a great story, equal parts creepy, funny, riveting, and action-packed. One of the real highlights here is the relationship between Opal and Clarissa, as Clarissa is such an advanced A.I., she makes a fantastic partner to Opal, and their banter, joking around, and genuine affection for each other is really quite touching.
As well as that, I find that male authors usually really struggle to write female characters. That is not the case here at all. It's a very genuine sounding story, with genuine characters, despite all the eldritch horrors contained within it."

I always appreciate the lengths fans go to in order to spread the word about their love for my books - it really does mean a lot, and help my career. If, of some mad reason, you want to see what else people have said about Lost Solace, check out the review quotes on the book's page.

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!
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Say Hello To Chasing Solace


People have been asking me questions for a long time.

"What happened next?"
"When's book 2 coming out?"
"Does Opal find what she's looking for?"
"How's Athene/Clarissa?"
"Do you actually do any writing, or just spend all day on social media?"
"Where's my biscuits?"

(Actually, that last one was just my cat, Dolly.)

Well, the lot of you can shut up. I've done it. I've written words. I've rewritten words. I've re-re-written words. And again, just to be sure. I've polished. I've tidied. I've cut. I've remixed. Then, when my beta readers suggested new scenes, I went off and wrote those. And now, my fine people, it's time. Time to announce:

Chasing Solace! [Dum dum dum brakkabrakkabrakka etc]

Book 2. The sequel to the much-loved Lost Solace.

And it was time to turn the dial up to eleven.

Lost Solace is 58,500 words. Chasing Solace is 95,500 words.
Lost Solace had one setting. Chasing Solace has more.
Lost Solace featured a big and creepy spaceship. Chasing Solace features [redacted, but it's an eleven, for sure].
Lost Solace forced Opal to face numerous threats. Chasing Solace has smarter threats.
And so on.

Publication day (yay yay yay) for the e-book version is 15th April 2019. The paperback release will come at a later date. You can even pre-order the e-book. It's $1 cheaper to buy it now than it will be on release day. I'm probably going to do a discount deal on Lost Solace so that people who have never experienced this world can get both books at a cheaper price. I'll announce that at a later date.

I also have a newsletter you can sign up to: the next issue will include a free preview of the opening of Chasing Solace for my newsletters subscribers, so sign up if you want that preview. Or wait. Up to you. I don't care. I already know what happens. I've read it twenty times (though it is still good).

Remember: 15th April 2019 is Publication Party Day!

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!
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My Books Are Now On Google Play


As of today, my e-books are also available on Google Play (you'll find a full list of distributors here).

I want to make things as easy as possible for my fans, which is why my books are available from every store (including bricks and mortar), rather than being exclusive to Amazon.

Also note that Google Play often reduces the prices of books, as they have done on all my titles immediately after publication there!

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!
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Comments On They Move Below


I recently ran a Hidden Gems promo for my creepy story collection They Move Below. At the end of it Hidden Gems passed on the comments they'd received from their readers. It was all good, but here were my favourites:

"The stories and the way they were written reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe. Very good, will recommend it to my friends and family."


"Loved this book!!!"


"Short, Scary, Snacks...With Bite"


"This is a book of short stories, each seemingly so short that it's hard to account for how disturbing they are. The title story really got me, but they all left me with deliciously dreadful images that will be hard to forget. I loved it!"


Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!
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Things To Think About While Rewriting A Novel


Here's a checklist of useful things for authors to consider when it's time to do some editing and rewriting. No, it's not exhaustive: it will still be useful though. It's just a few of the things I look out for as I read work for clients.
  • Factual errors; breaks in continuity.
  • Showing not telling.
  • Dialogue: is it natural/believable?
  • Descriptions: are all the senses engaged?
  • Cliches.
  • Repetition of words, phrases, gestures, settings etc.
  • Unnecessary words.
  • Do subplots break up the main plot and improve the story?
  • Are all the characters needed? Can any be merged? Are they three-dimensional?
  • Does the end tie in to the beginning? Does the climax have enough impact and emotional payoff?
  • Are there surprises/reversals/turning points? (Escalating gaps between expectation and result.)
  • Do the stakes get higher throughout the novel?
  • Is every scene necessary? If one is removed, will it destroy the plot? If it only serves one purpose, such as characterisation, then is it really earning its keep? Does it end with a reason to keep reading? Does every scene propel the main characters deeper into the story?
Good luck!

Where next? You might want to follow me and my work, or even buy my books. Many thanks!
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