Blade of Glass: The Prisoner

They came to kill a sinner. The cage’s iron presence rode at Geneve’s back. It was made of good Tresward Smithsteel; cold metal fingers waited to clutch their prize as it rode their creaky wagon. It knew how to carry prisoners better than she did. Two oxen pulled it with a trudging step. She rode her blue roan beside them as the cart made its trundling way toward Calterburry. She’d named the roan Tristan. He was young and eager for the road ahead, just like her. Vertiline said he prances too much, but that’s how Geneve liked it. Unaware of their grim duty, Tristan tossed his mane, harness jingling like silver bells. The noise made Israel turn. He led from the front atop a massive charger that looked like it could eat a man whole. Road dirt dusted his honey-brown skin Read More …

Blade of Glass for Free: No Strings, No Gotchas

Here’s the deal: We’re in the middle of a cashflow drought, and people are feeling the pinch. That’s why I’m offering you my bestselling novel Blade of Glass to read for free. Why? Because I want to share my work and (hopefully!) get some traffic to my site. Win-win, right? Now, I have no idea if this will work, but hey, what’s life without a bit of mystery? 🤣 Here’s what you can expect: All posts are pre-scheduled and ready to roll, so even if I get abducted by aliens or struck by lightning, you’ll still get your fix. Mark your calendar for the first instalment on Thursday, 20 June 2024. To make sure you don’t miss out, sign up for updates below (or at the bottom of the page – you do you). I hope you enjoy the book Read More …

Why You Don’t Like Rebel Moon

Dan Brown published his The Da Vinci Code in 2003. Many people found it a thrilling page-turner. Fast-paced plot? Yep. Code-breaking puzzles? You bet. Art, religion, and conspiracy? In there too. It became a best-seller, spawning a Hollywood adaptation starring Tom Hanks. In 1965, Frank Herbert published Dune. It was arguably both groundbreaking and intricate, with McMassive world-building, political intrigue, and (well before we woke up to the need) eco-warrior themes. It’s regarded as a classic, also cranking out a (fucken superb) Hollywood adaptation (in three parts, two of which we’re still waiting for, Denis!). Blade Runner, one of my all-time favourite cyberpunk movies, and arguably what started me on the path to write Chromed: Upgrade, hit the streets in 1982. It’s a Ridley Scott masterpiece, with deeply thought-provoking and often disturbing themes, dystopian atmosphere, and (lest we forget) Harrison Read More …

ProWritingAid: Much Awesome

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned how much I dig ProWritingAid. It’s a service like Grammarly, but has the opportunity to get it as a subscription or perpetual license (and we know my love for perpetual licensing). Mary let me know they’ve upgraded the perpetual license to include AI critiques, so I ran it over a chunk of The Copper Bard. What’s kind of useful about these tools is the “I don’t care about your ego” style of response. The machine on the other side of the analysis isn’t concerned with how I feel; it just helps make the story to be better. Points 1 & 3 of Potential Improvements components are addressed elsewhere in the book. Point 2 is difficult in the selected chapter because Tarragon is alone, in an underground dungeon, and all the people she might have dialogue Read More …

Ochre vs Gold

The Splintered Land stories started with Geneve’s quest to save the world, which (spoilers!) she managed with great success! There was a cost, which sucked, but we’re now re-visiting the same world sixteen years later to see whether it was worth it. The bedrock of the Splintered Land are its people. We met four main races in the original trilogy. Part of my exploration with the story is persecution and xenophobia. The long-lived People, for example, are better at just about everything, which put them on the firing line from, well, just about everyone. You’d think a species on the sharp end of discrimination would understand it well enough to not practice that bullshit, but no. I explore some of this in the upcoming trilogy (starting with The Copper Bard). A returning character from The Splintered Land is Sight of Read More …

The Triumph of Uniqueness

Geneve’s original trilogy (starting with Blade of Glass) was built on the idea that we are better when we work together. I’d penned the series when I noticed the dark trend of social and regular media megacorps juicing us together just to get the clicks. Her story was set in a world much like ours, and not too far in the future. We couldn’t stop hating each other, and so everyone died. Why she and her fellow Tresward Knights survived was because they are absolute badasses. The whole trilogy is a collection of badassery, where people can summon the power of the gods through perfect sword strikes, or a broken-down illusionist can change reality if he’s willing to put it all on the line (yes, Meriwether, I’m looking at you). My upcoming trilogy (starting with The Copper Bard) is still Read More …

The Things Editing Teaches You, version 274

I’ve got a new trilogy coming out soon*, which means I’ve been in the editing house of horror. My friend Cassie and I used to have divergent views on editing, where her position was, “Editing makes the book better!” and my position was, “I’d rather sand my hands than edit.” She is, as it happens, correct 🤣 My normal editing process involves a read-through, then a read-aloud. I’m looking to extend the read-aloud into the audiobook edition of the book, but the base minimum is to get the machine to read the manuscript for me. After this it gets farmed out to beta readers, then the editor. Here’s what I’ve learned this time: If this post amused you, consider hopping on my mailing list, where you’ll no doubt here hear more about my failings as a writer in the weeks Read More …

FIGHT: Vellum vs. Atticus vs. Scrivener

There’s been a little bit of disruption in the “writer’s tools” market recently. I see a lot of questions online about which tool is the best, and having spent my time in the various saddles, I thought I’d break down which I think is best. TL;DR: Wait, I thought this was about Vellum, Atticus, and Scrivener… WTAF are the other tools for? Good catch. Let’s consider writing as workflow. For example, your workflow might start with an idea, then an outline or timeline, a draft, editing, and finally production. I’ll focus on Vellum, Atticus, and Scrivener here, but my workflow relies on a good notes app, and a great timeline tool. Unless you can keep a word bible in your skull, you’ll need a notes app. If you’re an outline (rather than discovery) writer, you will benefit from a timeline/plot Read More …