I realise that after such a busy year on the blog last year, I’ve been very quiet this year. Some have
asked me whether things are OK, and what’s happening with the Anarchy Books thing so I’ve tried to
round everything up.
The tl;dr is that everything is fine. Everything is more than fine, in fact. We’re just in the calm
before the storm (quite literally in one respect)
But for the longer version… a bit of a mega-update
The Year Of Staying Hungry
2015 was a whirlwind year. In many ways it sent me for a bit of a flip and whilst I powered through, I
ended the year still a bit shellshocked. The first lot of rewrites for Black as Knight came back, and
were all incredibly positive but progress on the second rewrites has been a bit slower because I kept
doubting myself. On one hand, I want to push harder than I ever have before but on the other hand
I kept worrying and second-guessing myself.
As a result I took a bit of time to address all those minor little issues that were the source of my
As you can imagine, swordfighting twice a week or doing twenty plus mile long geocaching walks
means that my health wasn’t too bad. I mean, as far as fantasy authors go, I’d probably rank in the
top 10%. But Leggedon left me with a number of complications – nothing major, stuff that could be
maintained – but complications none-the- less.
Couple that with the unease I’ve been feeling, I decided to give myself an overhaul both mentally
and physically – not because it was a problem, but I felt it could be years down the line unless I
nipped it in the bud. I’ve seen too many of my author friends suffer physical and mental illness from
long hours at the keyboard and I’m determined not to join them.
I started with a nutritionist to deal with the problems with diet that the tablets for Leggedeon
caused me. I found out that I’d been vastly undereating and got put on a new strict diet (which
after what I’ve been eating the last 3 years is, by comparison, a lot less strict)
I’ve also been hitting the gym in addition to my regular sword fighting training and already seen
massive amounts of progress.
Mentally, I just gave myself time to take stock of the last year, take things in and think a few things
through. I have a much better idea of my aims and focus going forward and feel so much better for
it. I would liken it to the difference between waking up after 4 hours sleep versus getting a really
solid night’s sleep.
Whilst the rewrites were slow at the beginning of the year, things have picked up and I think they
should progress rapidly once I get back from the US.
To aid me, I’ve been doing a few short stories. I’ve always found short stories a little hard so they’re
always a challenge. But I’ve been able to use them to really push myself without the weight of
consequence that a novel has. They’ve allowed me to feel a little more at ease with my writing and
help solidify my focus.
The nutrition and gym work have seen massive improvements to my health which have in turn aided
my swordfighting. I run at over twice the speed I ran a few months ago, and whereas I was always
the one huffing and puffing at the back during the warm up, now I’m lapping everyone. It’s carrying
through to my fighting, where my fellow students have seen massive growth in recent weeks,
I recently competed in my first international tournament and finished in a very respectable position
in my pool which also contained the person who went on to win the entire event. I have a few more
tournaments this year with the view of possibly going to the world championships in Sweden later in
And I’ve also started to help instruct students. This is both fun and a little nerve-wracking, as it really
helps shine a light on gaps of your knowledge.
The Four Realms
As you may be aware, but Andy Remic has decided to close Anarchy Books down. As a result, The
Four Realms is now out of print. Seeing as I have a solid draft of book 2 sitting on my hard drive and
book 3 already plotted out right down to chapter plans, I’m sure we’ll see it re-emerge sometime in
the future. But it may be some time. What happens will depend very much on what happens with
Black as Knight.
Andy and I had talked about me taking the rights back last year so whilst it is a shame to see another
small press close down, I have no ill-will to Andy and it could now make it easier contractually to sell
Black As Knight.
2016 Storm Chasing Tour
I’ll be back out in the Mid-West later this week chasing tornadoes. So expect to see my social media
feeds filled with Instagram posts. This will be my third year of duty and I am so looking forward to
seeing the old gang again. It’s always a crazy time chasing storms and I look forward to it every year.
The Plan Forward
The primary focus going forward is (as it has been) the rewrites. The writing always comes first… but
whilst it might not have always felt it at the time, I am really feeling like everything that is there to
support the writing is coming together nicely. I’ve spent the first part of the year sowing long term
seeds of which I’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
Life is busy, hectic and occasionally stressful but I’m feeling much more centred than I have for the
past 12 months. It really does feel like everything is coming together in perhaps a way I didn’t feel
was there last year. As a result I feel happier, hungrier and even more focused.