Fantasycon

I survived Fantasycon, didn’t win the award I was shortlisted for but hey, it is still a huge honour to have been nominated.  My hotel (the Park Inn) comfortable enough but the bar prices were high (£5.10 for a 330ml bottle of beer!). It was also about 10 mins walk to the con so not ideal for the evenings when my knees and ankles were reminding me of their distress.

I managed OK in the panels if I sat at the front but conversations around the bar were definitely difficult. If you spoke to me at the bar and got an odd answer (or none at all) it is probably because I didn’t hear you clearly.

I met in the flesh a bunch of new Facebook friends, 2 people came to my reading (but did seem to enjoy it)  and I had useful conversations with several editors about my unpublished contemporary fantasy novel – so job done.

If my health holds up, I should be able to do more cons so maybe see you in Chester and Harrogate next year.

 

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September update

We were in southern Spain last week for a bit of late summer sun and had a very lazy time. Sat around the pool, drank cold beer and read Mark Lawrence’s ‘Red Sister’ and pretty good it was; Mark Lawrence does Harry Potter – well almost. A young girl with prodigous gifts is trained as a warrior nun, and being a Lawrence novel the story is several shades darker than HP.

Saw the haematology consultant today and she is happy with my condition. The joint pain associated with my medication is slowly improving and I feel well. So I’m off to Fantasycon this weekend. I just had to be there on the off-chance that I win the ‘Best Newcomer’ award for which I’m shortlisted. Looking forward to catching up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for a couple of years. Just bear with me if we’re in a noisy environment – it might overload my implant and I’ll struggle to hear you.

Cover art for ‘Nandor’

Nandor cover.jpg

Less than a year ago, Aron of Darien risked his life to deliver Nandor from its enemies. Now a new peril threatens; Lady Celaine is abducted and the bonds of friendship and honour demand Aron returns once again serve the Earl of Nandor. The road to rescue leads them to the infamous city of Keshan and, beyond to a war zone where they face a barbarian horde. For Aron the stakes are higher than ever as he faces demons and traitors and a decision that will change his life.

Due out in November.

Health update: I saw the Haematologist last week and my blood results are stable. No further treatment is planned. I have an appointment on Friday to be assessed for cochlear implants. I very much hope I’m accepted as these offer the prospect of some functional hearing again.

 

Videos

Two videos have just gone live featuring a short interview with me discussing my novel ‘Exile’  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJdG1rkY-Qc  and longer one with me reading chapter 1  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcvasKnJlV8

These were made by my brother-in-law and I think he’s done a fine job.

Book 2 is currently scheduled for release in November and, in keeping with the naming protocol of the series, may well be called ‘Nandor’. Cover art should be available soon.

The Importance of the Committed Reader

I had an old friend visit yesterday, someone who is listed in the acknowledgements of ‘Exile’ for their very considerable contribution. She was one of my first readers back when there was less than half the story written. She read what there was and liked it a lot. Up until then ‘Exile’ was just a project I did a bit on in between writing short stories; under the circumstances there was no reason to expect that it was any good. Her response was among the first to indicate that the story worked and was really worth pushing forward with.

After that she became a valued muse. She would nag me about progress, each new chapter would be sent, discussed with her and reworked, further directions storyboarded. Her enthusiasm for the story kept me writing because I was writing for someone.

I liked writing that way. I know some authors hate the idea of showing anyone their work while it is in progress, but I’m the opposite. I loved being able to storyboard the next chapter with someone invested in the story. There are chapters in ‘Exile’ that would not have been written if not for her input. I’m sure it is a better book for her involvement.

My other books were not written this way, I was on my own. Career, marriage and children have all conspired to take my muse from me. But I still miss having someone to brainstorm the next chapter with.

 

More reviews of ‘Exile’ have come in and they are still strong but I need more. I can’t get enough. It’s not a problem. Really, I can handle it; but please if you’ve read it write it up.

A narrator for the audiobook of ‘Exile’ has been chosen and the result should be out in November. All the tweaks and edits for ‘Return to Nandor’ have been done and I’m awaiting first sight of the cover art.

 

My last trip to the Haematology consultant was satisfactory; my blood results are stable so no further treatment is scheduled. I have an appointment with the implant clinic for early October to assess me for cochlear implants.

I’m off to Ireland for a holiday shortly and my chosen reading is ‘The House of Shattered Wings’ by former T-Partyer Aliette de Bodard.

Return to Nandor

The edits are done and the manuscript of ‘Return to Nandor’, the sequel to Exile, has been returned to my publisher. Likely publication date: ‘later this year’. When I have a more solid date I’ll post it.

The reviews for ‘Exile’ are starting to come in on Amazon and Goodreads; so far so good with one 5 * and an equal mix of 3* and 4*. Keep ’em coming please, reviews make a diference to sales.

 

Healthwise I’ve less to say. Last week’s appointment with the consultant was reassuring in that he has ruled out a couple of nasty complications that I could have had. However, they need further tests to decide the way forward. Hence I had a colonoscopy yesterday (not too bad, but the day and a half spent fasting and drinking the laxative solution was literally pretty sh#tty) will have another PET scan (tolerable) and possibly another bone marrow biopsy (not to be looked forward to).

I’m still deaf – though with the new hearing aid I can hear impact sounds (doors shutting etc) and can tell when people are speaking. This is more than before, if it continues to improve, I may restore some functionality.