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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!


Why I love... The Belgariad, by David Eddings


When I first started reading fantasy (and to a lesser extent sci-fi), I loved it, of course: the wonderful sense of being transported to another realm, the heroic challenges and the sense that anything was possible. But the initial books I read were very serious.



Why I love... The Drawing of the Dark, by Tim Powers


The first time we experience something, the more powerful it's effect on us. This is true of many things: new love, broken hearts, deaths, the first time we achieve something special for ourselves. I think it's also that way with books, or a piece of music or art.



The Joys of Research, (or, Dipping into Serendipity Land)


I always seem to start these blogs with an apology for tardiness, so let's skip that. Take it as written and read. These past few weeks I've been knee deep in the muck of the trenches, Western Front, 1916. I've spent so much time reading about the ghastly conditions the soldiers endured that my body went out in sympathy; I got ulcers, a sty in my right eye and a head cold. Fortunately no trench-foot, or lice, and no-one is laying artillery barrages on my house.


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