New Covers for the Sundered Crown Saga

Hi all, I’m delighted to reveal the new covers for the Sundered Crown Saga!

For a long time I’ve not been happy with the book covers for the Sundered Crown Saga. They looked a bit boring and didn’t convey the action and adventure that lay within. 

So, back in August I went on the search for a new cover artist who could breathe new life into the books ahead of the release of book 4 in November. (If you’ve not pre-ordered Voyage for the Sundered Crown go and do it!) 

The artist I discovered is a very talented chap from Vietnam who has an incredible back catalogue of work and has been a joy to work with. Below you can see the various stages of the process, the final cover for Book 1 and the other new covers in the series. 

The paperback editions will have the new covers too! Do you like them? Let me know!

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Pre-order Voyage for the Sundered Crown

Big news! Book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga is now available to pre-order and for the first time I’ll be launching a book on all major retailers.

Here’s the blurb (Likely to change closer to release) and you can read a sneak peek here.

The Kingdom of Delfinnia has fallen, but hope remains.

Sent on a daring voyage to seek out allies from across the sea the wizard, Luxon Edioz and his companions rediscover the continent of Tulin. A land that is full of dangers, magic, and adventure.

There they will find new allies, new wonders, and new enemies. As Danon’s conquest draws closer to completion, Luxon must use all of his wits and powers to unite the peoples of Tulin and convince them to help him save his homeland. 

It will be a voyage that will test him to his limits and one that will decide the fate of all.  

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The New Cover for The Nightblade

Hi all, I’ve got a lot on at the moment and some big plans for the Sundered Crown Saga titles. I’ve recruited a new proof reader and editor to go through all the books to ensure that they’re as good as they can be and will soon hopefully commissioning some new more eye catching covers.

I’ve been wanting to update the cover for the Nightblade too and you can see the result below. If you’d like a free copy of the book simply subscribe to my newsletter here. Alternatively you can buy it from – mybook.to/Nightbladenx

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Fantasy map making – The most detailed map of Delfinnia

One of the most fun parts of creating fantasy stories is the worldbuilding. Maps in particular are always a lot of fun and allow the imagination to run free and are a huge assistance to an author. I use maps to know the locations of places, the distances characters will have to traverse and the terrain that will be used for battle and action scenes.

The map below was made with Wonderdraft and is the most detailed map of Delfinnia, the main landmass in the Sundered Crown Saga.

Now, the map below is something special as it finally puts into one image my plans for my fantasy series. If you look closely you may notice that there quite a few lands that have yet to be mentioned and one that is the setting for the Empowered Ones series. Yep, all my stories are set on the same magical planet of Esperia, or the Esperverse as I’ve come to call it.

The world map. Not to scale as the oceans are far larger than depicted here. (I ran out of space!)

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The Bard of the Isles Magazine Launches September 1st!

So, you may have seen the new logo up on the website’s banner and you may be wondering what it’s all about, well, dear reader let me tell you!

For the past few months a bunch of us on the British and Irish Writing Community Facebook page have come together to create something brand new and what we hope will give you the reader some insight onto the best writing talent in the UK.

Writing can be a lonely business. The British & Irish Writing Community offers support and inspiration to ensure we are not alone, there are others just like us, struggling to find the right words and summon the ideas that elude us.

It’s a great community and if you’re interested in learning more about it or perhaps joining visit here.

The group is very inclusive (as in, if you’re a Brit living overseas etc you’re more than welcome to join in the fun. We also welcome any non-Brits living in the UK as well as those with close ties to the Indy author community. Everyone is welcome!

It’s a great group to meet fellow authors and share tips and keep each other going, especially with the Motivational Mondays. By creating this network, we hope to help spread the word of our works and help readers find some excellent reads in the process.

What’s Bard of the Isles?

The Bard of the Isles is a new online magazine designed to showcase the talent of the best Indy authors (and maybe a few traditionally published ones) in the British Isles.

The first edition is being launched September 1st so check it out! The mag includes –

  • Writer’s Wisdom – articles by authors based on their own experiences
  • Links to writer’s social media and their websites so you can find out more about them
  • The magazine promotes the members of the community in different ways, by: Showcasing their stories and promoting their work with offers and interviews

​​Oh, and there’s a new exclusive short story set in my Sundered Crown Universe to boot!

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Get the First Fear for just 0.99p/c until June 8th

The Supreme rules the world.

For centuries the Supreme has reigned with an iron fist. The people are slaves to her whim and at the mercy of her followers who revere her as their goddess. Using a supernatural ability, known as the ‘Power’ she is able to channel emotions and convert them into superhuman abilities. Some Resist.Not all live their lives in servitude.

A few rare people also possess the Power and try to fight. These Empowered Ones are hunted mercilessly by the Supreme and her servants, for she knows the threat they pose to her will. None has dared to challenge her outright. That is until now, Elian, a young boy living at the edge of the Imperium discovers he too possesses the Power with devastating consequences for both himself and the girl he loves.

On the run, they encounter a ragtag band of resistance fighters called the Liberators. Among their ranks are others with the gift and their leader Vavius who believes that the key to overthrowing the Supreme lies in the ruins of the ravaged lands of the once mighty Kingdom of Aeranyth.

Pursued and hunted for their gifts by the sinister First Fear and the Hollowed, the world’s fate rests in the hands of the Empowered Ones.

Get your copy here

 

War for the Sundered Crown for just 0.99p/c

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Tips for Indy Authors part 1: Planning

Hi everyone, I was working on my latest book and being distracted by social media (Damn you Facebook!) when I realised that there are so many writers out there that don’t have a clue how about getting their work out there. In this new series of blog posts, I’ll be covering some of the basics.

Now you may be thinking that it might be a bad idea to help other writers. After all the competition out there is fierce and I myself would be classed as a struggling author. In reality, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt over the years is that helping one another is really important.

One of the most common questions I see on social media is about how authors go about getting started and planning their books.

It all starts with an idea

A muse, creativity, imagination call it what you like but there has to be something that creates that initial spark. Not everyone possesses such a thing whereas others can be consumed by it. In my case, I get inspiration from the world around me. The news, hobbies such as gaming, people watching (not in a creepy way) and history are great sources of inspiration. It’s hard to describe the feeling when an idea takes root but you know it’s a good one when your mind constantly goes back to it. This where the idea of a muse comes in, a little voice in your head that nags you to look into it more. Sometimes an idea can be tenacious, other times it can hit like a lightning bolt or a Eureka moment.

In fantasy especially, I often start out by creating the world the story will be set in. I’ve written about world building before so check those posts out here. At this phase, you can get lost in creating a history or lore of the world and its during this phase that planning rises to the fore. I have notebooks and word documents filled with timelines, character and place names. I find it helps to write them down by hand first and then compile them onto a computer later.

Once this initial burst of creativity has occurred the actual story is the next step. Now, this is where being an author gets a little weird. In effect, you become something like a god. You create characters that in your mind might be as real as you or I and then you plop these ‘people’ into the world you created. I myself have experienced and been told by other writers that once they do this their characters often do unexpected things that shift a story into an entirely unexpected direction.

I’ve been experiencing this in my current project and while interesting such detours can put a spanner in the works of the story you’re trying to tell. This is why planning is so important.

Pantsing vs Plotting

I am what would be considered a pantser writer which means aside from having a broad outline of how I want a story to go I just let my mind run free and make it up as I go along. Others really struggle with this method and instead intricately plan out every page of a story. No method is better than other as a pantser can often write themselves into a corner thanks to troublesome characters not behaving and a strict planner can become stifled and trapped by their plan to the point of feeling trapped. The perfect method would be to incorporate the two, which is something that I myself am trying more and more.

raybradburyplot

In my current project, I still have a beginning and an endpoint that the story has to reach but whereas before I would wing it and see what happens to reach that end, I am now creating strict plot points that each chapter has to hit. How they are hit however is left to my imagination and it can be tricky reigning in a plot that is trying to go off on a different tangent.

There is software that provides plenty of planning functions and options but for me, a good old-fashioned notepad works best.

Writing is a learning experience and we all develop our own ways of planning out our projects. I’d love to hear what techniques you use. Are you a pantser or a strict planner? Let me know in the comments.

In part 2 I’ll be covering the common question of ‘How do you find the time to write?’.

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I’m in SPFBO 2018

Hi everyone, just an update on how things are going.

This week sees the release of my new book The First Fear. I hope you enjoy it as much I did writing it. If you’ve not pre-ordered then don’t worry you will be able to pick it up for the special launch price of just 99p/c until the 25th of June.

I received the final version of the paperback edition and it is looking very swish. The cover looks excellent and the interior is looking good. Here’s some pictures –

 

 

The First Fear releases on June 22nd!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s SPFBO?

In other news I’ve submitted The First Fear into this years SPFBO contest. Last year I entered with Heir to the Sundered Crown but unfortunately didn’t progress too far. This year I have the same judge, so I’m hoping I’ve improved enough to warrant a good score!

You can read more about SPFBO at – https://mark—lawrence.blogspot.com/2018/06/spfbo-2018-call-to-authors.html

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