Latest News

Alpha Protocol Now Out in Audio!

Hey folks,

Just a quick post to announce that The Alpha Protocol is now out in Audiobook. It’s narrated by Scott Aiello. He’s done a really wonderful job, and even if you’ve already read the book, I think you’ll enjoy the new dimension his performance brings to the story. I sat down to listen to a sample chapter a few weeks ago, and ended up listening to the whole thing!

You can pick up a copy at Amazon here:

Alpha Protocol Amazon

Or at Audible here:

Alpha Protocol Audible

The Squire is Out Today!

Hey everyone,

Today is launch day for The Squire – Blood of Kings Book 1!

The Squire is a coming of age tale about an ordinary boy whose life is completely changed on one horrible night. He’s rescued by a motley band of mercenaries who become his new family as he sets out to make sure when he once again has to face the evil that changed his life, he’s ready. Along the way, he discovers he’s not quite so ordinary as he thought!

It’s set in the same world as my other fantasy novels, so although there’s a new cast of characters, there’ll be some familiar faces and places for those who’ve read my previous books!

You can get your copy now at the following links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Amazon DE

The audiobook, narrated by John Lee, is also now available!

Here’s the back cover copy to give you an idea of what it’s all about:

When creatures that lurk in the dark dare to venture out into the world, lives are changed forever.

Conrad lives a quiet rural life with his parents in the Northlands. During one fated night, his world is turned on its head, as nightmares become reality. While his Northlands blood cries out for revenge, his head tells him surviving is the best he can do.

Rescued by a motley band of mercenaries, Conrad embarks on a new life—squire to the men who saved him.

As challenges, friends, and enemies cross his path, Conrad knows that one day he will have to face the evil that so altered his life. When that day comes, he will have to be ready.

I hope you all enjoy my new story, and will stay with me for the next year or so to see Conrad’s adventure to its conclusion!

Thanks again for your interest in my work! If you enjoy The Squire, please tell your friends, and if you have the time leave a review or rating over on Amazon – it really helps me out!

To keep my occupied on release day, I’m running an Ask Me Anything on the r/fantasy Reddit, so please stop by and ask some questions! You can find it here: Duncan’s Reddit AMA


Win a Signed Proof Copy of The Squire!

The Squire Paperback Copies

As part of the launch for The Squire – coming out next Tuesday 27 April! – I’m running a giveaway over on Goodreads for signed proof copies of The Squire.

You can enter the competition here:

As usual, I’m afraid it’s only open to residents of the US and Canada. There’s nothing I can do about that unfortunately. As soon as I work out how, I’ll try to run some giveaways available to everyone!

Best of luck to everyone who enters, and don’t forget, next Tuesday is the big release day!

The Squire – Blood of Kings Book 1 Cover Reveal

With the release of the first part of my new fantasy trilogy on the horizon, I thought it was beyond time I made some announcements!

The first of those is, The Squire, the first book of my new Blood of Kings trilogy, will be coming out on 27 April. We return to the Northlands to meet a host of new characters against the backdrop of a new and deadly threat to the good people of the Middle Sea world. If you’ve read my Dragonslayer trilogy, you may have a sneaking suspicion of where I’m heading with this trilogy, but that’s all I’m giving away for now!

The second item for this post is the cover reveal. I wanted to do something a little different with my cover this time, and spent hours researching artists before settling on one whose images I bookmarked over and over before realising they were by the same person. We worked together on the image for a couple of months (my involvement in the process was largely limited to saying ‘wow, that looks great!’). Below is the result of that work, a beautiful piece of art, and an awesome book cover that I’m utterly delighted with.

The painting was done by the incredibly talented Andreas Rocha. You can check out more of his beautiful work here: . Every single one of his paintings makes me want to make up a story about them, and I think this cover beautifully gives a sense of the energy and peril contained within The Squire.

I hope you like the cover! I’ll be posting some more details about The Squire in coming days, so stay tuned!

The Alpha Protocol out in Paperback!

Hey folks, just a quick post to let you all know that The Alpha Protocol is now available in paperback! Apologies for the delay, but getting proof copies has been a lot slower than normal recently, as they are quite correctly not considered high priority items for postage.

I hope you’ll think it’s been worth the wait! You can pick up a copy at the following links: (US)
Amazon UK/Ireland
Amazon Canada
Amazon Germany

There’s still a bit more of a wait for the audio edition, I’m afraid. I really wanted to get Scott Aiello on this project, and as he’s one of the most talented narrators in this genre, that meant waiting my turn to get him. The audio will be out in July!

Finally, I’m still on track to release my new fantasy novel, The Squire, in early April. Keep an eye out for updates on that over the next couple of weeks!


David Gemmell is my favourite Fantasy author. A few others have come close with individual books, but fallen behind with others. Gemmell is perhaps the only Fantasy author who has kept me up into the wee small hours with every single one of his books. I can remember a number of late nights of reading where I turned the lights out when it was brighter outside than it had been in my room.

At some point along the way, I seem to have lost a few of my paperback copies of his books, and I just realised they were absent from my shelf. Off I went to Amazon to rectify that situation. This is what I discovered:

I sprayed an overly-ambitious mouthful of tea over my monitor when I saw that. To see my name there is, well, I don’t really know what it is. Exciting, satisfying, affirming, that warm, cozy feeling you sometimes get when incredibly happy…

Being able to make a living from writing always seemed like an impossible dream when I was younger. More than that – I was utterly convinced it was impossible. The end result of that is now that I am making a living from writing, I have to remind myself everyday that it is actually happening, because I still can’t believe it. Seeing my name up there makes it just that little bit more real.

Anyway, as it’s a new release week for me, I am obliged to plug my new release, and new genre venture into Sci-Fi, The Alpha Protocol. It’s a fun book that I really enjoyed writing. Even if you don’t read Sci-Fi, but have liked my Fantasy stuff, I like to think there’s plenty for you to enjoy in The Alpha Protocol!

To those who have already taken a chance on it, thank you so much! The book is doing much better than I hoped for with a new series in a new genre, so I really appreciate you following me on this adventure! None of this would have been possible without your support!

You can pick up a copy here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

The first part of my next Fantasy trilogy will be coming out in April. We’re back to the Middle Sea world with some new faces, and some old ones! More on that soon!

Now, I’ve got to go clean up some spilled tea!

The Alpha Protocol is out today!

I’m delighted to announce that my new book, The Alpha Protocol, is out today. It’s a science fiction novel in the space opera style and is the first book in a new series. It’s set a few hundred years in the future, when mankind has spread out into the galaxy. In all the time we’ve been out there, humanity hasn’t encountered any trace of aliens. Until now.

The story follows a young naval officer called Jack Samson, as he and his crew make some breath-taking discoveries that will change everything, and definitively answer the ages old question – ‘are we alone out here?’

The eBook is out today! You can get your copy of The Alpha Protocol now at these links: (US)

Amazon UK/Ireland

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Amazon Germany

While this is a new genre for me, it is one I’ve always loved to read, and has been described by one of my early readers as just like my fantasy novels, but set in space! My ARC group readers – many of whom are new to sci-fi – have really been enjoying it, which bodes well for my masterplan to turn you all into sci-fi fans! The Alpha Protocol was a lot of fun to write, so I hope you’ll take a chance on it, and if you do, that you really enjoy it.

I’m particularly pleased with the wonderful cover art created by Fred Gambino, which far exceeds what I was hoping for:

Alpha Protocol 1 Cover eBook

Here’s the back cover copy to give you a little more flavour on what The Alpha Protocol’s about:

Naval Officer Jack Samson thought a posting to the frontier of human inhabited space was the death blow to his career. He couldn’t have been more wrong. A routine inspection of a small merchant vessel leads to devastating loss and the discovery of strange, fascinating objects.

As astonishing discoveries unfold, a mysterious and hostile ship proves that Samson has a competitor in unlocking the secrets of an ancient alien civilisation, and that humanity might not be alone in the galaxy after all.

Due to covid postage delays, I’ve only just received paperback proofs so the paperback will be available in a couple of weeks, once I’ve had the chance to go through them. The audio will be following in June, narrated by the excellent Scott Aiello, whose performance will bring a great additional dimension to the story. I’ll be sure to let you know when they are available.

If you enjoy The Alpha Protocol, and have the time, please consider leaving a review for it over on Amazon – it really helps me out.

As a final note, I have a new fantasy novel on the way, which I’m planning to release this coming April. It takes us back to the Middle Sea with some new characters (and old), and a terrifying new enemy. I’ll let you know all about that closer to the time. Until then, I hope you’ll give The Alpha Protocol a chance!

The Alpha Protocol out on 23 Feb!

With the arrival of my paperback proofs for The Alpha Protocol, I thought it was long past time to announce the release date! The Alpha Protocol will be out on 23 Feb! Just 2 weeks away now!

I’m really happy with how the final book has turned out. The cover art by Fred Gambino is truly breathtaking, and I find myself staring at it for way longer than I should. It definitely helps to fire up my imagination for book 2, and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Fred again for the cover art on the next book.

Here’s the back cover copy for the book:

Naval Officer Jack Samson thought a posting to the frontier of human inhabited space was the death blow to his career. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

A routine inspection of a small merchant vessel leads to devastating loss and the discovery of strange, fascinating objects.

As astonishing discoveries unfold, a mysterious and hostile ship proves that Samson has a competitor in unlocking the secrets of an ancient alien civilisation, and that humanity might not be alone in the galaxy after all.

I’ll try to remember to put up an excerpt over the next few days. Until then, I hope you’re all keeping well!


My New Writing Setup

I’ve been searching for a way to reduce distraction during my working day. I’ve always been someone to shoot off on tangents, particularly when ‘quickly’ looking up some research. This often involves crawling out of the wikipedia rabbit hole knowing a lot of things that I really didn’t need to know. I console myself with the fact that these little details might come in useful at some time in the future when I’m brainstorming out a new story, but…

That brings me on to my quest for distraction free writing. My requirements aren’t entirely straight forward. The main one is that I absolutely insist on writing on a mechanical keyboard. I prefer mechanical keyswitches so much more than the modern membrane style keys. Without wanting it to sound like a whinge, I used to get really sore fingertips after long writing days with these old keyboards, and I find them really unsatisfying to use for anything more than day to day tasks.

Blue switches – ones with an audible click and a firm ‘click’ when pressed are my favourite, although I’ve recently discovered their low profile version, which I think I like even more! The slightly lower amoung of key travel before the keystroke is registered seems to have really sped up my typing (which was already a reasonably speed – about 65 wpm on my regular blue switch keyboard).

Blue switches do make quite a lot of noise, so an alternative is needed for public spaces. I’ve not yet settled on this, but am investigating brown and red switches for the occasions when I might find myself writing in a cafe and don’t want to annoy the people around me. Death by teaspoon is not the way I want to go out!

I also use Macs, so there is a slight difference with some of the utility keys (option and command keys instead of win and alt keys). That’s not a deal breaker, but it’s definitely nice to have.

I decided that a full service computer was always going to provide an easy route to distraction, and that an isolated writing workstation might be the way forward. I quickly found some old tech that looked great – the Alphasmart Neo. However, it is old tech, and I just couldn’t get excited about it. The system offers broadly what I want, but not quite everything!

I found some more modern iterations, but they weren’t quite the right fit for me either. That brought me to the idea of making my own! I think you can see where this is going regarding moving away from distractions…

A Raspberry Pie in a 3d printed enclosure with an eInk screen (easy on the eyes and low power demand) and a mechanical keyboard of my choice built in seemed like it might be a good solution. However, what was intended to be an answer to my search for distraction free writing quickly turned into a very distracting project (albeit one that looked like it might be a lot of fun)! I moved on!

Finally it occurred to me that I was over-complicating things (as I often do), and that the solution was alrady easily available. An iPad, and a bluetooth keyboard. So we come to the elements in the picture above.

I’ve stripped away all the software on the iPad, so there is only a couple of writing apps on it (Scrivener and iA Writer). I’ve deleted email, messages, and bunged any apps I can’t delete in a folder that I have off the main screen. Habit and mindset is important here too. If I want to do something else like mailing or messaging, I force myself to move over to my desktop.

The keyboard is Cooler Master SK622 60% with low profile blue switches. I absolutely love typing on it, and the size is great, although the entire package is not quite perfect for my needs – although it’s pretty close – so I’m still searching for one that is.

When connected by bluetooth, I can’t get the software keyboard to drop off screen, which is not an issue I have with any of my other bluetooth keyboards. It seems the iPad doesn’t identify it as a hardware keyboard. If anyone knows how to solve this, please let me know! This a shame as I far prefer this one to type on this keyboard. I’ve found a workaround (having another bluetooth keyboard connected removes the software keyboard, while allowing me to type with this one).

Also, the small small shift key which you can just see in the right of the picture, and its proximity to the arrow up key has been causing me some problems. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but I don’t think it’s a longterm runner for me, as I use several different keyboards, and prefer the larger right shift key. I may try their larger ten keyless version, which isn’t too much bigger but has the full size shift key, assuming it addresses the software keyboard issue I’ve been having.

Overall, I’m pretty happy. In the ten days I’ve been using this setup, I’ve put out the highest daily wordcounts I’ve had since all the lockdowns started nearly a year ago. The setup – the keyboard in particular – still needs tweaking, but this for me is pretty close to perfection!