One week in

One week into the new treatment.

Last week was tough, particularly Thursday and Friday. My ankles got sore and swelled up, my knees got sore so that I could barely walk. I was prescribed a hefty dose of steroids which I started Saturday and which worked pretty quickly, by Sunday I was walking freely again. I have had no other side effects and the swollen glands in my neck have gone right down. Had bloods today and the key indicators are all heading the right way.

So far so good!

New Year – new sh#t

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This post will come as no surprise to those who caught my Facebook updates over Christmas and New Year. For those who did not let me summarise: things went very badly wrong!

My white blood cell levels crashed and I was twice admitted to Frimley Park Hospital with infections my immune system could not cope with. I have now been prescribed a new regime of chemotherapy with a single agent, Ibrutinib which I will start on Monday. This is a new treatment but everything I have read about it sounds very positive.

This inevitably meant that my cochlear implant surgery, which should have been yesterday, has been postponed until my white blood cell count improves. This may be several months, so I’m not going to be getting out to Cons, writing group meetings etc until the summer.

In other news: physical copies of Nandor, book 2 of the Nandor Tales, are now available. The e-book version has been out for a month or so, but there are as yet no reviews (hint!). The audiobook of Exile has been delayed due to the illness of the narrator, but I’m told it should be available in Feb.

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.