Servant of the Crown Audiobook

Servant of the Crown Audio Cover

I’ve been listening to the audio of Servant of the Crown during writing breaks on my new project, and I wanted to share my thoughts on audio. Aside from the practicalities of the format for commutes or exercise time, I particularly love the audio versions of my books as they allow me to enjoy the stories in a way that I really can’t when I read them. I think the performance of them gives me enough distance to be a little more objective about them, rather than simply seeing all the little things I’d change if I had another pass at it.

I’ve been lucky enough to have Simon Vance as narrator for six of my books now, and once again he does a truly exceptional job on Servant of the Crown. If you want to get a taste of that mellifluous voice, you can check out an audio sample of the book here:

Don’t forget, Servant of the Crown is now on general release. You can pick up a copy of the audiobook at Amazon or Audible!

Dragonslayer 3 Out Today!

Today is release day for Servant of the Crown, the third and final part of The Dragonslayer trilogy! How will things turn out for Gill, and the world in general now that magic, dragons, and other magical creatures have awakened?

You can pick up a copy in paperback, ebook, and audiobook, and start reading it now at the following links!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Audible.com

So, that wraps up another trilogy, and my first that’s been traditionally published, with Tor. I’ve already got my next project well underway, so stay tuned to find out about that, which I hope to start talking about in the next couple of months!

I hope you all enjoy Servant of the Crown, and want to thank you for following and supporting my work!

Duncan

Space Marines 6 – White Scar

Today’s Space Marine, a White Scar, tackles a particularly tricky colour to get right – white! I used an old white paint set for this, that to be honest, I really didn’t get along with. The shades go from cream to a sort of dirty grey for the shadows. I couldn’t get the hang of the set, so the end result is a bit muddy looking.

I want to have another go at white, perhaps using grey scale shading, or blue as a shade, which seems to work pretty well. Going for warm, brownish shades just hasn’t worked all that well for me here. In places it looks ok, in others, not so much!

So, to the pictures!

White Scar 1
White Scar 2
White Scar 3
White Scar 4

I think this is a really nice looking chapter with a great colour scheme when painted well, so I’ll most likely revisit it at a later stage. My original plan was to paint 2-3 in each of the chapters I chose so I could apply the lessons I learned with each one, although I expanded the number of chapters I decided to paint, so 2 is probably more likely!

If you’ve any hints or tips for painting white, please feel free to share them, and likewise any other mini painting tips or experiences!

You can find the other parts of this series here: Part 1 – Ultramarine, Part 2 – Blood Angel, Part 3 – Imperial Fist, Part 4 – Salamander, Part 5 – Dark Angels.

Giveaway Reminder!

I just wanted to remind everyone that in anticipation of the release of Servant of the Crown, the final part of The Dragonslayer trilogy, on 10 March, I’m giving away 5 signed copies of Book 1 over on Goodreads. It ends on 10 March, same as release day, so not much longer left to go! Sadly, it is only open to residents of the US and Canada, which is beyong my control. You can enter the contest at the below link:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/303936-dragonslayer

Servant of the Crown Audio Sample!

Servant of the Crown - The Dragonslayer 3 - Coming on 10 March 2020

I’ve got the audio sample for Servant of the Crown – once again narrated by Simon Vance – to whet your appetite in anticipation of release day, which is now only 11 sleeps away, on 10 March! You can listen to the sample below, or over at SoundCloud by clicking through the embedded link:

I think Simon has done a wonderful job once again, and I love having him narrate my books. I hope you enjoy the sample, and also the full work when it comes out on 10 March!

Don’t forget, you can preorder you copy right now over at Audible or Amazon:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Servant-of-the-Crown-Audiobook/1250264049

Space Marines 3 – Imperial Fists

In the third instalment of my Space Marine painting adventure, I’ve painted an Imperial Fist. Yellow is the colour of the day with this guy, which presented its own set of challenges, some down to the nature of the colour, and some self-inflicted.

I’ve a few initial comments to make on this one. The first thing is that I usually undercoat my models with a black rattle can spray. I think I’m going to pick up a can of mid grey and a can of white, and experiment with these a bit when I’m painting models of a mainly bright colour. I’ve read that once you get to 3-4 coats (which I do anyway), any effect of the undercoat is minimal, but I think I’ll try it anyway to see if it makes life any easier.

The next thing is that I’ve started to use a wet palette, and an acrylic thinner medium instead of plain tap water to thin my paints. The issue I had here was that I didn’t mix the thinner through the yellow well enough, meaning I got the nice saturated sunburst yellow colour in places (see the pauldrons), and a milky, chalky yellow in others (see the gun and leg plates).

Now, on to the photos!

The yellow colour represented less of a challenge with the photography, rather than me doing anything different, and getting things right!

Another painting mistake I made with this one is that after the initial 4 layers of thinned yellow base coat, I washed the entire model in a sepia ink. That’s given the flat panels a bit of a muddy effect in places. In future, I’m going to try and keep this application as precisely to the seams and recesses as I can, which I should have done from the start…

As always, if anyone has any comments, tips, or painting experiences they’d like to share, feel free to drop them in the comments box below. If you want to take a look at my previous efforts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2!

Giveaway Time!

Available on Tuesday 10 March!

To celebrate the upcoming release of Servant of the Crown, the final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy which will be out on Tuesday 10 March, I’m running a giveaway over on Goodreads for 5 signed paperback copies of the first book in the trilogy, Dragonslayer.

I’m afraid the giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. Once again, apologies to everyone else for this, but it’s completely beyond my control.

You can enter the giveaway over here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/303936-dragonslayer

Good luck to everyone who has entered!

Look what arrived in the morning post…

With release day for the final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy now less than a month away, on Tuesday 10 March, the nearness of it all hit me today when these two beauties arrived all the way from Tor in the US.

The covers always look a little different in the flesh than they do on the screen, and the green background is a bit darker than I was expecting, but looks even better than I’d hoped for. I’m really pleased with how the covers have turned out for all three books in the series, and it feels hard to believe that I’m almost at the end of the road with this trilogy. The last couple of years have gone by so quickly!

Space Marines 1 – Ultramarine

I had a little painting time over Christmas, so I decided to paint up a box of Space Marines. With so many chapters to choose from, I decided to paint each in a different chapter colour. The idea was that they’d be a good opportunity to practise shading and highlighting different colours! To the photos:

I decided to go with an Ultramarine for my first attempt. I don’t use the official paints, as I already have the full range of Vallejo paints still left from when I used to paint a lot. I’m afraid I didn’t take WIP photos for these, so only have the finished results.

I don’t like metallic metal paints on small fantasy models (I do use them on historicals, though), so this guy gave me the chance to try gold non metallic metal. The NMM steel on the gun ended up looking more like some kind of polymer/resin, but I quite like this look.

I painted each major part separately before assembly, which was a mistake, as the highlights don’t match up. This is most noticeable on the shoulder pads. I still do that a bit now, but pay more attention to this issue.

Overall, I’m happy with how he turned out. The shades and highlights are still a little clunky, but I’ll only improve on that with practice. My brush skills are slowly improving, and I think my colour choices got pretty close to what I was looking for in the end result.

I’m still finding photography to be an issue, and I’m struggling to get a decently exposed image. I’ve boosted the brightness a bit in post-processing to help, but that’s the only alteration I’ve made. Any suggestions on that are more than welcome, as are any on how to improve in the paintwork!

Dragonslayer Christmas Sale!

Dragonslayer

A little news first! Dragonslayer in ebook is on sale for a few days over Christmas, reduced to only $2.99 and the equivalent in other currencies. The sale runs until 29 December. If you haven’t already got one, you can pick up a copy at the following links!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Snowman

Finally, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, or whatever you do or don’t celebrate! Thank you all for your support and encouragement over the past year – it’s always very much appreciated. I hope you all have a relaxing few days, and the opportunity to spend them with people who matter to you!

Over the holiday, I’m planning to paint my way through a box of space marines I bought a recently, while working my way through the nice bottle of whiskey I’m hoping my brother’s going to give me for Christmas! Hopefully I’ll have some photos to post of my efforts in the New Year!

There’ll also be plenty to look forward to in the New Year on the writing side of things. The final part of the Dragonslayer trilogy – Servant of the Crown – comes out in March, and I have a few new projects on the production line that I’m very excited about, and am looking forward to telling you more about soon!

Duncan