Wandering On Wednesday

The Delight of Unexpected Reviews

I was thrilled to discover that two of my books were reviewed and given 5 stars! Shade of Evil and Evil Under The Circle, Parts 1 and 2 of G1: The Guardians, were reviewed by Chris The Story Reading Ape and the reviews can be found on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  You can find all of Chris’ reviews on Goodreads.  Of course, you can also find Chris’ reviews on his own blog.  I would like to express my sincere thanks to Chris for his kindness and honesty.  Having friends who understand fully that you only wish to receive absolutely genuine reviews of your works is beyond valuable.

I was further delighted to find a 5 star review of Intruder from the Thief series of free short stories!  The review, posted on Barnes & Noble is so heartening!  I quote it below:

This book kept me on the edge of my seat until the last word was read.

There is a serious threat that exudes evil and wants to claim the land in this sci-fi fantasy.  Mages, which this author describes as magicians of a sort, are sought to help go up against the evil.

Characters are richly described and likable and fascinating.  This is a novella which is a quick read but this reader did not want the story to end.  The author is a very talented and creative storyteller. I will be reading many more of his stories. This is an excellent choice of reading for YA.

Review by jesNH, 6th August, 2013.  5 stars awarded.

I would like to thank jesNH for such a glowing review!

Going for a New Look – Again!

Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to be tinkering again!  The main page of posts can be rather overwhelming, especially when the posts are long!  I’ve decided to try to improve things by making use of a WordPress post facility.  This will involve adding the codeword More to all long posts, which will mean that only part of the post will appear on the main page and you will need to click on the More… link in the post to read all of it.  One advantage of this is that it will give easier access to other facilities, such as commenting, sharing, rating and liking.  In respect of special days (Book Promo Day and Blog Browser Day), I will endeavour to place the codeword in such a place that the link has to be clicked or some of the detail information will be lost to the reader.  Obviously, this will be subject to any feedback – positive or negative – as to whether I continue to use the codeword.  Also, I will not be going back to posts already displayed.  I simply don’t have the time to edit all those posts (around 270 of them)!

If you wish to provide any feedback on this change, at any time, please  contact me using the contact form on the blog, or via email if you have my address.  I would suggest not using Facebook or Twitter, as messages are too easily lost unless the direct message system is used.

Uncovered: The Naked Manuscript

If by any remote chance you’re waiting for Part 4 of G1: The Guardians, which will also be the first novel I will have released, I’m afraid the waiting must continue.  It still lacks a cover.  My son is extraordinarily busy now, with negligible time for such extra projects.  My own attempts have been woeful, to say the least, and I simply can’t afford to pay anybody to provide a more professional cover.  I can assure you all that I am more frustrated than anybody else.  I even considered abandoning my original vision for the cover, even if only for the first edition, and going with an extremely simple cover.  So desperate have I become!  There has been a consequence to this situation, too, in that the work on Part 5 is crawling along.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

No – they dream of having more storage space  built into their main circuitry!  How do I know?  Well, I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830i and it is forever complaining that its built-in memory is almost or actually full!  The kind folk of Samsung allow the use of micro SD cards to obtain more space.  Unfortunately, that really doesn’t help because they have been so miserly as far as the built-in space is concerned!  Don’t misunderstand me.  This isn’t a problem unique to Samsung,  I had, for a short while, an Android tablet, and that suffered from exactly the same problem!  Sure, most apps are installed to the SD card, along with things that they handle – such as the Kindle app and the ebooks that you download for it.   I was amazed, having watched TV adverts talking about the vast number of available apps, that this ‘phone has so very little actual capacity.  Every app installed contributes to the space consumed in the ‘phone itself, regardless of where the app itself is installed to!  And even more annoying is the fact that there are pre-installed apps which you can’t uninstall!  Some of these are massive (‘bloatware’) and I know that I’ll never use them, but Samsung have decided that they should be locked in, untouchable.  I find it increasingly difficult to understand how Samsung, and most other Android device manufacturers, expect to compete with Apple’s devices!  For example, the internal, built-in storage of the iPod Touch is impressive.  Sure, you can’t expand it, but at least most of the storage is available without all the nonsense problems of the Android competition.  Yes, there are locked apps with Apple too, and yes, it would be hugely beneficial if we could remove them, but even then I can get loads more apps on the standard, basic iPod Touch than I can on the Android smartphone!

(Apologies to Philip K Dick, author of the book whose title I have stolen for this section!)

Thanks, Changes & Marketing Musings

First, and most important of all:

I would  like to express my sincere appreciation for the numerous messages of support for myself and my family in what is a very difficult time!  In all honesty, your response has overwhelmed me and all of us.  I didn’t post looking for such a reaction, but to inform you all as to why my posting might be rather unpredictable, but I do genuinely THANK YOU ALL!  I’m unable to bring any fresh news on the situation, unfortunately, and, as is the way with medical matters, it may be some considerable time before we learn more.  In many respects, the uncertainties, coupled with guesses, cause the greatest stress.

Changes to a book

My novella, The Sigil of Ahriman, is currently being rereleased, with some minor revisions to the content, including the correction of a few typographical errors that managed to slip through.  If you are unable to download it from Amazon, please try again in a day or two.  The novella is also being processed for release in other formats than the current Kindle and paperback versions, so that it’s available to all.  More information on that will follow in due course.

The Truth About Book Marketing

I was looking at all the avenues I, and most others, pursue in seeking to achieve effective marketing.  i thought long and hard at what I was finding, and a certain truth that seems to have become somewhat elusive in the quest to be read, and maybe even to make a little money.  Given the efforts I’ve made for months now, the conclusion was rather disheartening.

In case you’re wondering, I was provoked into these considerations by an apparently unrelated matter.  That, however, caused me to identify with one part of it, sending my (alleged) mind into new paths of pondering.

We’ve all said similar things.  Get your book a good, attractive cover – covers sell books.  Utilise every possible avenue you can find in the mind-boggling array of  paths offered by the internet.  Social networks.  Blogs.  Facebook Fan pages.  Create you the brand!  Thrust the fruits of your writer’s labours before everybody you can reach.  Surely, such things, coupled with special events like blog tours, competitions and general giveaways, must see you ascend to the heady heights of success!  You are just a matter of a few mouse clicks away from having a bestseller on your hands.  But wait!  If that was al true, we’d all be enjoying such notoriety.  Why aren’t we?

The answer’s simple.  You can devote vast amounts of time and effort to every online marketing principle you ever encounter.  It may even result in some very minor success.  Ultimately, however, the most effective tool for selling books lies not in such things.  The best advertising is good old word of mouth.  Of course, that means you have to write something that somebody not only enjoys reading, you need for them to tell others about it!  It has a strange effect that other means lack.  There’s this peculiar facet of word of mouth – trust.  You can have hundreds of superb reviews but potential readers are cannier than might be thought by some.  They realise that some lists of reviews, and excerpts of reviews, are only part of it.  They know that reviews may be deliberately left out because they’re unfavourable.  Excerpts which appear to show how much the reviewer enjoyed a book may actually prove no such thing – because they are the ‘gentle’ parts taken in isolation and out of context from generally less than 5 star reviews!  It’s the simple fact that we, as authors, are expected to cheat by glossing over the feedback we dislike.  So, while a great cover and enticing blurb might initiate some mild interest, and a welter of positive reviews may hint at worthiness, the potential reader will still give all of this far less credence than the excited assurances of a friend or family member they trust!  Just as the low opinion of the same can torpedo all that beautiful, carefully presented advertising!

Maybe I’m being too negative, given current circumstances, but I do actually think that this has some considerable, thought-provoking, validity.

~ Steve

G1: Background Information #1

G1-1

Introduction

With the continuing growth of the G1: The Guardians series, I thought it might be fun, and of some potential interest to readers, if I gave little looks into the world as it is in that future time, and perhaps to offer an occasional potted history of some of the characters and events.  These will appear as ordinary posts but will be linked to elsewhere, so that they can be read at any time you may desire.  This will, I hope, be of some value to anybody who enjoys the books.  Every post will carry the same title with (naturally) an incrementally ascending number.

This, then, is the first such post…

==0==

Some of the Political Features of the World: The USNA

With the economic collapse of the West, or ‘First World’, looming, nations reacted in different ways.  Many, like Canada, became more insular and attempted to sever ties with the international community, in an effort to seize control of their own destinies.  Europe attempted to strengthen itself by formalising the union of the nations, in the form of the Confederation of Europe (CE), and abolishing national sovereignty in member nations.  The United States of America (US/USA) took a more aggressive approach, using their position as the sole remaining ‘superpower’ to pursue an expansionist policy, which was claimed to be a ‘necessary policy for the protection of the nation’ with the advent of the Second Korean War.

The US, following the defeat of North Korea, took power in the whole of the Korean Peninsula, excusing the act as being no different to the process applied to Japan at the end of the Second World War.  Shortly after the victory in Korea, Canada finally suffered complete economic collapse.  A bloody civil war commenced as different groups vied to seize power and establish a ‘new’ Canada.  On the grounds that the US couldn’t have such an unstable situation in their northern (and largest) neighbour, Washington sent ‘negotiators’ to Canada (more than adequately protected by US military forces).  Of course, there were violent repercussions and the Chief Negotiator, Doctor Solomon Thursday, used special powers to declare martial law throughout Canada, and the imposition of a strict curfew.  US troops also proceeded to disarm all Canadians and to forcibly relocate individuals and small communities from outlying dwellings to major towns and cities, using camps to house them where necessary.  An attempt to assassinate Doctor Thursday was met with an even more robust policy of suppression.  At the same time, the negotiators successfully drew more and more Canadian leaders under their influence.  After seven years of unrest, a new Canadian Government was formed and established, with US forces now backing off and even withdrawing.  Less than a year later, a vote in the Canadian Parliament saw the first move in the USA’s long-term plan, with Canada suing for unification with the US.  Within three months the Act of Union was signed by both nations, creating the United States of North America (USNA).

With the establishment of the USNA, efforts already underway to expand American power were given renewed vigour.  Mexico and Panama ‘voluntarily’ became new states within the USNA.  The West Indies followed and Cuba was finally taken and the pseudo-communist Castran Government was deposed in an American sponsored coup, with some 25,000 Cuban expatriates leading the very brief civil war.  Fidel V was imprisoned and then quietly tried and executed by the new regime.  Immediately afterwards, an application to become a state within the USNA was accepted and confirmed by Washington.

Within fifteen years of the end of the Second Korean War, the USNA was in complete control of Central America.  With Washington feeling more secure, and with vastly larger numbers available to the Pentagon, the USNA seized island nations throughout much of the Pacific Ocean and also took control of a bankrupt Japan.  Essentially, the USNA now held an empire that embraced the vast majority of the ‘Pacific Rim’.

With member nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) becoming more hostile towards the USNA, the US President, Theodore Franklin Ostermann, issued an Extraordinary Executive Order, with the full support of Congress and the Senate.  This Order authorised the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon to use ‘any and all means necessary to secure the interests of the United States of North America throughout the world’.  Within hours of the Order being issued, American forces hit virtually every significant oil-producing nation around the globe, almost simultaneously.  Using Air forces, airborne insertion tactics and new electronic warfare systems, the USNA seized power within a very short space of time.  Resistance after these events was met ruthlessly and vast numbers of refugees fled to non-oil producing countries.  As the world watched, helplessly, tens of thousands died or were severely mutilated with the USNA suffering only negligible losses.

And that is where things now stand.  The USNA deal with other small nations with aggressive tactics.  They have become global bullies.  However, their expansionist policies have stalled to a large degree with the establishment of a variety of alliances by wiser nations, including some who had been traditional enemies.  As is the way of such things, the economies of many nations, especially those protected by umbrella pacts, are recovering rapidly.  One consequence of this is increasing arms industries, forcing the USNA to be more cautious in their international activities.   While they may remain the most technologically advanced nation on Earth,some of the other allied nations are now able to inflict significant damage if a conflict occurs.  At the same time,while the Extraordinary Executive Order remains in force, a change of leadership, following the death of President Ostermann, pursues a more moderate line in international affairs, led by President Ruth Imogen Jackson.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of this shift in American behaviour is the interest that Washington is showing in England’s efforts to establish a new organisation: the Union of Atlantic Nations (UAN).  While they have been responsible for causing some delays in the creation of the UAN, and some suspect them of having undeclared motives, they continue to support the concept of the Union.

Slightly Excited: Saturday Supplemental Post

TheSigilofAhriman.jpgPaperback Launch!

Yes!  It’s for real!  There’s a new paperback in town and am I excited?  You bet!  The Sigil of Ahriman has been released in paperback and it looks so good!

I confess to a certain special delight in this particular paperback release.  With my son Reuben’s artwork on the cover, in full colour, and inside, in black and white, and being a novella rather than a novelette, this is my proudest achievement to date.  If you think the ebook looks good, it’s nothing compared to the print version!  I can honestly say that it is far ahead of any cover of any of my other books, with a real sense of style!  I can say with all honesty that, if you buy books based on their covers, I seriously believe that this would be one that would definitely attract you.

This release also excites me for other reasons.  If my novel, the fourth story in the G1: The Guardians series, looks anywhere near as good, I’ll be in Seventh Heaven!  With the upcoming rerelease of the first in the series, Shade of Evil, with a new cover by Reuben, I think that the series is looking really good as a collection.  I honestly believe that most people would be happy to have the books on their shelf.

I hope you forgive my wildly enthusiastic blathering!

G1: The Guardians and Beyond

Against All Evils

The Sigil of AhrimanThe Sigil of Ahriman is now available as a paperback!  So you have the option of reading the Amazon Kindle ebook version, which is available from all Amazon stores, or a very smart paperback.  I admit that the paperback version is the more expensive, but I’m afraid there’s no way around that.   I wish there were!

The novella is the third in the G1: The Guardians series.  There is a sense, I hope,  of the backgrounds of the members of G1, and certain essential other characters, being revealed, in a kind of jigsaw form.  I think that this reflects how things work in real life – you learn about new friends, colleagues or whatever a little at a time, you don’t sit down and exchange detailed life histories!  And so it should, I believe, work in fiction that is spread over a series.   Even in single volume works, I believe the characters should be given backgrounds over time, not all at once.  Bur I begin to digress!  Suffice to say, the histories of main characters will continue to grow over the course of the series.  The lives of the Guardians in a more general sense will be uncovered over time, too.  This novella begins that process, as well as being a great adventure for G1.

I’m also pleased to announce that I have finished part four in the series.  This new part is a full novel!  It takes G1 to an exotic location and into an unusual situation.  I won’t say too much.  I think it’s enough to state that it is an adventure unlike those which have already been related, with an exotic location, things that challenge scientific knowledge and more.

A Restructuring

I have encountered a problem when asked for links to information about my books.  Quite simply, there’s no simple answer to the question.  I have pages with more information, but which don’t give all the primary links for buyers.  So, to get around this problem, I’ll be changing how the Published Works page functions.  It will be a gateway for more detailed information, but the purchase links will be removed from it.  Each book will have its own page, some of those grouped under a ‘series header page’ or link (I haven’t decided yet).  I hope that this will be an improvement all around.

News and Questioning

Double Hit Saturday!

Today sees me being doubly honoured!  First up is an interview by Amanda Keeney author of A Whisper of Hope (to be released 1st October).  Next, and a total surprise to me, is a feature thanks to Chris, of The Story Reading Ape blog.  I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the kindness of these good people, and their generous support!  It is such things that demonstrate, over and over again just what a wonderful community authors enjoy online.

A Growth Into Uncertainty (WIP)

The latest book for the G1: The Guardians series has entered that mysterious borderland between being a novella and being a novel!  Currently a touch over 41,500 words long, the story is caught in a grey area, which may result in my not knowing how to classify it.  According to the guidelines on Wikipedia that I’ve been using, 40,000 words is the lower limit of novel length.  But the Wikipedia article also points out that some publishers consider the minimum to be 50,000 words!  I feel no desire to keep writing to simply pad out the story and thereby cross the 50,000 word boundary.  If it happens naturally, then there’ll be no problem, of course, but I have no idea, at this moment, where, or when, the story will conclude.  I’ll admit that the size of the story surprised me quite considerably.  When I started writing it, I never expected it to be so long!  There’s definitely a part of me that would be very happy, and satisfied, if the story does breach the 50,000 words.  It would, after all, be my first novel in the period since returning to serious writing.  To me, that’s huge!

Facebook(?) Fan Pages

Knowing just how limited the impact of Facebook is on bringing people to the blog, I’m unsure of whether to do more there.  I was, a few days ago, contemplating following the lead of other others and creating fan pages specific to individual books and/or series.  It’s very difficult to decide, though.  I think it would just be very sad if I created the page(s) and it/they received no traffic!  There is an alternative, of course.  I could create pages here, on the blog.  They would appear under the Works by Steve K Smy – Published Works menu options, with a page to each series, at least, and featuring some background, a list of the books available, and interactivity via the comments.  If you have any thoughts on the two options, I’d love to hear from you!

Do any of you use Facebook fan pages that are specific to works rather than general to yourself?  I only have the general flavour page at the moment and traffic fluctuates wildly from day to day and week to week.

~ Steve

Book Promo Day – 19th June, 2013

Charlene from Barnes & Noble Charlene the Star by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlene the Star comes from a family of famous racehorses. But what if Charlene doesn’t like racing? Will she become a model instead?

Charlene goes to great lengths to show her trainers she’s not happy racing. Your child will love this funny, entertaining and educational story, told from Charlene’s point of view.

Purchase from:

Available on www.amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com

Reviews:

Review on www.jemsbooks.wordpress.com

More information:

Author’s blog


Beyond the Camera by Joanne Jacquard

(Note that this book is for Adult readers!)

Bored with her elderly husband, Elise Harper leads a steamy life of sexual encounters through her legitimate photographic business. An erstwhile darkroom technician takes umbrage when she fires him for misuse of her equipment and his ensuing stalking behaviour leads Elise into many dangers from which she is eventually rescued though traumatized by an old flame with help from a new love. The plot examines the psychological impact of various normal events that also overtake Elise during these traumatic few years. There is a set of books in preparation that fleshes out many of the characters involved in this tale, all of whom had complicated personal tales to tell.

Purchase from:

Amazon.com

More information:

Author’s website
Author’s blog


The Sigil of Ahriman The Sigil of Ahriman by Steve K Smy

An artefact, which can be used to unlock great evil from antiquity, is in the hands of a madman, and only the Guardians can oppose his insane schemes – whatever they may prove to be!

Against all precedent, a stranger is allowed into the inner sanctum of the Guardians.  This man brings news of something that threatens the human race with eternal slavery.  An artefact has been stolen, the Sigil of Ahriman.  Now, it is in the possession of an unknown person, and there can few reasons for that – to tap its power, risking freeing Ahriman, or to deliberately bring the ancient god of Darkness into the world again.

The Guardians’ elite team, G1, despite having been decimated by their last mission, must face this new challenge and win. Defeat is unthinkable.

A novella, being Part 3 of G1: The Guardians.

More information:

Purchase links


I Would Never Have Believed It

Steve K SmyIf somebody had told me, just a few short months ago, that most of my writing efforts would be pointed anywhere near the horror genre, I would likely have dropped dead from a fatal episode of hysterical laughter!  Fair enough, as a kid, and even as a youth, I dabbled with reading the genre, but they were true horror classics.  Well, maybe not classics, except my one reading of Dracula, but classic in the sense of content.  There was lots of carefully constructed tension and very little, if any, actual gore.  They were, I suppose, what could be termed ‘psycho-emotional horror’, working on the shadowy corners and dark places of our primitive mind.  Those authors didn’t, then, feel the need to compete with the gory, in-your-face, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination bloodbaths churned out by Hollywood (and others).  Many were writing when there were still directors, producers and screenplay writers who saw the value in creeping you out – not trying to gross you out!  Subtle horror movies are now very rare, and the same is also true with books.

Don’t get me wrong!  Horror isn’t the only victim of ‘bloodbath fixation’.  Thrillers, crime stories, and other genres have suffered, too.  One thing I enjoyed about reading Chris Allen’s excellent novel Hunter was the fact that action sequences didn’t devolve into mass shootouts with bodies dropping every few microseconds and people being torn asunder, graphically, by a variety of explosive devices.  The action was real, sometimes brutal (violence can’t, after all, be anything else!), but never excessive and most certainly not the reason for the book!  The action was a fundamental necessity of an excellent story, but only because such violence is a natural part of the world portrayed.  The world wasn’t reinvented to allow violence to be the dominant characteristic.

Shade of Evil

Anyway, back to the fact that I seem to have become hooked on what is, essentially, the horror genre.  The appearance of a character interview with one of the ‘stars’ of the books is evidence of that fact.  It actually started as an experiment, and one that I deliberately wanted to keep as far away from the flood of Vampire tales as possible.  That first tale, Shade of Evil, reached an unexpected conclusion and introduced a group I didn’t even know existed when I started!  In fact, after that first tale, I initially had no plans to pursue it.  Then a tiny idea popped into my head.  This time, though it still wasn’t to be immediately obvious, the mysterious group would be a key element, and one or two of the characters in their number started to take on real personalities.  I didn’t know their histories, but I knew more EvilUnderTheCircle.jpgabout them, as people.  So, Evil Under The Circle came trotting out into the light of day and the mystery group took on a real identity that had the power to survive, and to go on.  Even so, I was fairly ruthless towards them and made their loves hard and grim.  Grief, it was now clear, was to be a familiar part of their lives.  Grief and change.  But, that needed a balance.  Nobody would last long in that kind of existence!  It was necessary, as well as desirable, to bring in a new character.  One who would provide an anchor, a sort of paternal figure, only more.  Yet the second book wasn’t the right time or place for this new person to TheSigilofAhrimancoversmall_thumb.jpgappear.  It was only to be in the new book, The Sigil of Ahriman, that the gentle, kindly figure of the Director would make his entrance.  There are hints that he is able to be ruthless himself, of course.  An entirely benevolent leader couldn’t function in the world of the Guardians!  He had to have the strength to send teams out against Evil, even if everything indicated that they would fail, and perish in the failing.  Yet, he has a pacific nature, on the surface, that can stabilise even the most volatile of the people under his command.  He loves his people, as a parent loves their children, and he feels their grief with them, but he has a personal balance far beyond anything his people possess, or can understand.  And with the introduction of the Director, so the personalities of the others began to become more apparent.

Like most people, I’ve subjected myself, during a lengthy period of semi-vegetative existence, to the Soap Opera!  I can’t say, now, that it was entirely wasted time.  Like the vast majority of authors, I’m a people-watcher.  I never just see a person.  I analyse them, digging into their minds, their emotions.  In fact, ‘digging’ is a good word.  It’s like people are mines, containing precious elements,and the author is a miner, delving deep down to extract those treasures.  What’s that got to do with writing horror?  Well, in truth, it relates to all writing!  Yet I have never before used the treasures I mined quite as wholeheartedly as I am now.  Some genres of fiction let you get away with superficial characters, to some degree.  Placing them in situations which elicit strong emotional and psychological reactions, however, as in horror, you have to have stronger, more real characters, with the correct human responses.  And you can’t have everything pleasant outside of the danger periods.  You have to admit the friction always found between those who exist in a tight knit group.  In essence, a horror-based Soap Opera.

I know that I’ve gone on, rather, in this post, but I’m nearly done now.  I want to close this post out by saying that I would never have discovered the deeper characterisations and the often mixed and confusing interplay of characters if I had continued to plod along writing those things I was most comfortable with!  By risking the experiment, I have discovered something not only about characters, but about myself, and some of my deficiencies as a writer in those more comfortable genres.  That’s why I’m hooked on the G1: The Guardians series.  It’s a Soap Opera I control (sort of), but it’s also much more.  I owe G1 a great debt.  I only hope that I can repay it in the tales to come.

~ Steve

Book Trailer and News in General

Book Trailer Released!

You may have seen already, if you follow me via Twitter or Facebook.  I have released a book trailer, for The Sigil of Ahriman.  I announced it yesterday, but there was a slight hiccough with the video.  As it seems to be impossible to upload a revision to an existing video, I’ve had to lock out the one from yesterday and I’ve now uploaded the corrected version.  I had fun with this video, using special effects.  I deliberately selected an enhancement that makes it look like an old film, as I think that fits with the book’s character.  I was even more delighted to find the soundtrack, which is Anxiety by Kevin MacLeod, (incompetech.com) [Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0, creativecommons.org/licenses…].  Here’s the trailer:

The paperback edition of the book is getting closer all the time.  Watch for an announcement in a future post!

Revisions

In addition to writing the next book in the series, I’m working on revisions of the first book, Shade of Evil.  This will include some significant changes, so it will appear as a ‘second edition’.  I’ve been considering changing the cover, too, but haven’t made a decision on that as yet.  It isn’t a case of not liking the thinking behind the existing cover, but more a matter of making the two editions obviously different.

I’m also still working on the new story for the Thief series.

Eyesight Problems

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been experiencing some eyesight problems.  This has significantly reduced the amount of time I can spend dealing with things online.  Naturally, I have devoted as much time as I can to actual writing, as I can no longer devote late hours to that.  If I seem to have overlooked emails from anybody, I sincerely apologise!  Obviously, I deal with things as best I can, handling the most urgent emails, keeping the blog up to date, and writing.  I’m afraid that other things have to be fitted in as and when I can manage to do so.  Nobody is more frustrated by the situation than I.

~ Steve

Cover Reveal & Book Launch

Mystery Book Cover Well, it’s here!  The latest tale in the G1: The Guardians series, and my first novella.  After a considerable amount more work than the two novelettes, and the editing and proofreading consequent to having written the story, the new child is born.

It is my pleasure to announce the birth of The Sigil of Ahriman (Being Part 3 of G1: The Guardians).  The ebook is available (or will be in the next few hours) to buy from all Amazon stores.  The paperback will be available soon.  Part 1 (Shade of Evil) and Part 2 (Evil Under The Circle) are both available from most major online book stores.  The first is also available as a paperback from FeedARead.com and the second will be available as a paperback very soon, from skoobebooks.

The Blurb:

An artefact of evil from antiquity is in the hands of a madman, and only the Guardians can oppose his insane schemes!

Against all precedent, a stranger is allowed into the inner sanctum of the Guardians.  This man brings news of something that threatens the human race with eternal slavery.  An artefact has been stolen, the Sigil of Ahriman.  Now, it is in the possession of an unknown person, and there can few reasons for that – to tap its power, risking freeing Ahriman, or to deliberately bring the ancient god of Darkness into the world again.

G1, devastated by their last mission, must face this new challenge and win.  Defeat is unthinkable.

The Sigil of Ahriman cover - small The Cover:

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the image used on this cover was created by my son, Reuben.  The cover in its entirety is a combination of his artistic talent and my own efforts.  I had a vague notion of what I wanted, in terms of the image, but, in all honesty, the brief I gave Reuben was very imprecise.  It’s all the more amazing, therefore, that he somehow succeeded in capturing exactly what I wanted.  I hope it doesn’t sound wrong but I am very proud of the result!  I am particularly looking forward to seeing it in paperback.

The Future:

I have started work on the fourth tale in this series.  I have the concept for what may be involved in the challenges meeting G1, but exactly where the story will take them is yet to be seen.  Rest assured, though, that they will be facing considerable danger and survival is never guaranteed in their business.