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The First Draft Blues (or, getting some suffering into your art…)


Just finished the first draft of The Sunsurge Quartet, Book Three – with a working title of Hearts of Ice. Technically its actually first draft version 4.2, having survived a couple of substantial revisions and downsizing. At times it got very big (300,000 words +) but ended up slimmed down to 220,000, which is standard for the series. But the real landmark is that I met my deadline of 31 July, to get it to my test readers.


Finding Inspiration (the origins of The Sunsurge Quartet)


All books in my first epic fantasy series, The Moontide Quartet, have now been released, and I’m at work on the sequel series, The Sunsurge Quartet. It’s set in the same world of Urte, and the first book, Empress of the Fall, came out on 9th March – yesterday as I write this. While I’m pretty excited by that, I’m actually so deeply immersed in Books 2 and 3 that I’ve not had time to even raise a glass to Empress and her launch.





The toughest book so far (or, Going off half-cocked)


Midnight on 31st January 2016 has been on my mind since the middle of last year. That’s because, after my wife Kerry accepted a posting to Bangkok, Thailand, I approached my publisher and asked for my 30th November 2015 deadline to be extended by a couple of months. I knew that the shift to Thailand (effective 16th November) would make meeting my 30th November deadline impossible. My editor Jo Fletcher agreed (bless her!); so 31st January 2016 became the new red-circle date on my calendar.


It’s Always Really About Ourselves


Hi All - this was actually written some time ago, for the Jo Fletcher Books website, and I agreed not to publish it online until they had done so - it then got caught up with Christmas/New Year so only just got posted last week. So apologies if it feels slightly dated...



Quest Creep (or; how characters evolve, change or just wander off)


So, you start a series of books, and you’ve got a plan. Your pivotal events have been envisaged, and then carefully plotted to happen in a logical way. Revelations and twists all get sequenced in, and you try and imagine each scene from everyone’s point of view, so they work naturally.


Ends are Beginnings


Ascendant’s Rite is about to hit the bookshelves, completing The Moontide Quartet. As you can probably imagine I’m pretty excited by that, as well as lots of other emotions. Relief, to finally complete the series to the satisfaction of my publisher and editor, Jo Fletcher. And to meet my own very high expectations of what it should be. There were a hell of a lot of open threads by the end of Book Three, and I don’t think I was alone in wondering how I’d get them all tied up and resolved. Well, we got there, and did them justice too!


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