Updates!

It’s crazy to think that it’s a full month since I posted my last Space Marine photo – that was already 2 weeks into lockdown for us here, and was all the stored up photos I had to rely on! I’m looking forward to getting back to my painting table and sharing some more of my efforts with you all, but that looks like it’s still some way off, so I wanted to post some updates to let you all know what I’ve been up to!

I usually have a few projects on the go at any one time, all at different stages of completion, one with my editors, while the other is on my desk. The whole lockdown thing has upset my schedules a little but I’ve a couple of different stories at an advanced stage right now.

The first of these projects is the one that you’ll probably be most interested in. It’s a new fantasy story with new characters set in my Middle Sea world, and picks up some of the concepts I raised in my previous trilogies. As I usually like to do, it’ll be a self contained story that you can read on its own, but with some cameos from old characters and references to events from the past books. I’ve not got a title for this one yet, but it’s what I’m working on right now, and the first draft is almost complete. I’m hopeful that I’ll still be able to hit my original target of releasing it before the end of the year!

The other project is a bit of a new area for me, and quite an exciting prospect as a result! I’ve often talked about how I love to write the genres I like to read – fantasy, sci-fi, and action/adventure. I’ve been working on a couple of sci-fi ideas for a while now, and have completed the first book in a military sci-fi/space opera style series, entitled ‘The Alpha Protocol’.

It’s a similar style of story telling to my fantasy work, just set in space! It was a lot of fun to write, those who’ve read it so far tell me it was a lot of fun to read (and they don’t always say that!), so I’m hoping you guys will enjoy it too! I’m hoping to get this book out in the coming Autumn.

We’ve been surviving the lockdown here with lots of cooking, and also some chocolate making, which has been surprisingly successful. Sadly, few, if any, of these creations last long enough to be photographed, so it would seem I’m not destined to become a foodie instagramer!

I hope everyone else is doing well, staying healthy, and surviving the lockdown. If you’re looking for something to read, I believe Knight of the Silver Circle is on sale at the moment. I might be a bit biased in saying I think it’s a great book, and well worth checking out if you haven’t already, but hey, everyone’s got their favourite!

Take care!

Now available on Pinterest!

UnknownIn my continued efforts to keep up with social media, I’ve set up a Pinterest account. I thought it’d be a useful way to share with you some of the images of places, weapons, armour, and clothing that I draw inspiration from to add flavour to the Middle Sea World.

You can find me here: Pinterest

I’m slowly populating a few boards with images as they cross my path, but there’s a selection of everything, from some buildings that are pretty representative of what you might find in Ostenheim, to the swords they carry, the clothes they wear, and the armour that keeps them safe!

I’m completely new to Pinterest, so if anyone has any tips or suggestions, feel free to drop me a line! When I’ve a bit more time, I’ll try to split the pinned photos up into categories that are more specific to the individual regions, but for the time being, there should be enough to give a general sense of how I see the world my characters inhabit!

The long awaited Ostenheim City Guide…

Ok, I had an email recently reminding me about the Ostenheim City Guide that I was planning to do a while back. I have to admit, with all the work that's been going into getting the entire Wolf of the North trilogy put together, I completely forgot about it! I've dug out the old file, and instead of putting it up as a complete booklet - at least initially - I'm going to post instalments of it here on the blog. I'll be getting on to that over the next week or so.

In other news, the first part of The Wolf of the North trilogy will be going off for line edit shortly, as soon as I've made a few slight changes, so things are well on track with that.

I hope everyone's well!

End of year report!

Ok, first off, apologies for posting here so infrequently. It's not down to laziness on my part (well, ok, maybe a bit) but because I've been hard at work on my next trilogy, The Wolf of the North. I wanted to have at least a first draft of all three books completed before I move forward with the first one, and I'm almost at that point now, so hopefully not too much longer to wait! It's really hard to believe that over a year has passed since I released The First Blade of Ostia. Time really flies when you spend most of your day in a made up world!

By way of teaser, The Wolf of the North is set in the Middle Sea world, but with new characters and new locations that I haven't had the chance to explore before. It's also allowed me to look at the world from a different cultural perspective, and as small a thing as that might sound, it's been a lot of fun to take these ideas and play around with them from a different viewpoint. It's the story of a young man from the Barbarian North who, from an inauspicious start, becomes a legend in his own time.

Next year will be all about The Wolf of the North, but the fact that I've got a lot of the hard work done on it already means I'll have a little time for another character who's been simmering away in the back of my mind for quite a long time now!

That's about all I've got for now, so I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! Thanks again for your support and interest in my work!

Best wishes,

Duncan

Black Sails

I’ve just finished watching the second season of Black Sails, and enjoyed it enough to be motivated to write a post about it! I thought the first season was excellent, and this one was a solid step up, both in terms of the story and the characters.

The storyline is developing nicely and expanding to give the viewer a broader appreciation of the characters and the world they inhabit. A new character was brilliantly sinister, while others were developed to a much deeper level, Charles Vane in particular, who is threatening to knock Jack Rackham from his perch as my favourite character. Vane has been brought from a comparatively two dimensional psycho to a man with much more interesting dynamics, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where they take him in the next season. The sets are incredible, and the ship scenes brilliant. It captures the atmosphere of the period brilliantly, and shows the pirates as far more than plundering, rum swigging savages.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s well worth a look. A word of warning however – it’s definitely for a grown up audience. Lots of nudity, violence, and bad language. It’s certainly not Pirates of the Caribbean!

Updates and an announcement of sorts…

Ok,  time for an update I think!

First off, there’ve been a few minor visible changes to the website, but a fair bit more going on under the bonnet (hood!). There’s still a little more to come, so please bear with me! Between renovating my apartment, minor knee surgery, and finishing off drafts for the first part of my next trilogy, finding time for everything over the past little while has been a challenge!

There’ll be a couple of more interesting things coming down the pipeline pretty soon, one of which is a new novella, called The Marcher Lord. It’s the story of a young, rural swordsman making his first journey to his capital city. It explores a region in the west of the Middle Sea world, called Mirabaya, so it’s been a fun opportunity to roll back the covers from another little bit of the world and explore it. I’ll be posting more about The Marcher Lord over the next few days. Expect plenty of intrigue and swashbuckling!

That’s all for now, so I hope everyone is doing well!

Changes afoot…

Fairly significant changes on the way as I’ve just moved host with my website to increase the functionality. It’ll be a bit of a work in progress for the next few days, so I apologise for the mess!

There will be writing related updates in a few days. I hope everyone had a good Easter!

Duncan