Pre-launch promo deals, updates and news


The Shattering Waves“, book 7 of the Year of the Dragon, is now available for pre-order – and to help you prepare for it, I’ve reduced the prices of all the prior books, starting with the bundle of all first four volumes:

The Year of the Dragon, 1-4 $9.99 > $0.99

The Chrysanthemum Seal – $3.49 > $2.99

The Withering Flame – $3.99 > $2.99

The Shattering Waves (pre-order) – $3.99 > $2.99

This promotion lasts only until Thursday, so hurry up!


Part of a promotional push before the launch of “The Shattering Waves” is a little interview I did with the ManyBooks site – I’m the author of the day there.


As always, there’s a new map coming for your enjoyment in the new volume – this time it’s the Kanto Plain, a region around Edo.

Map of Kanto Plain
Kanto Plain

A finally, a bit of fun – I made a “What’s your attunement?” quiz based on the elemental magic system as described in the books.


That’s all for now – see you again on May 15th, when “The Shattering Waves” is released on Nook, Kobo and Smashwords!

熊本 がんばって !Stay strong, Kumamoto!


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At the foot of Kumamoto Castle, reportedly damaged by yesterday’s tremors

Devastated to hear the news from Kumamoto Prefecture.

The few days we spent there in 2012 – especially around Aso – was some of the best time we’ve ever had in Japan. The people there are disarmingly friendly and helpful, the landscapes overwhelm in scale and beauty, and the food – strawberries and milk from Aso! Kumamoto fish! – haunts my tastebuds to these days. And of course, as my readers will know, it’s the land that inspired Chinzei, the main setting of The Year of the Dragon.

So the news of the series of earthquakes that brought so much sorrow to the area is heart-breaking. My thoughts go out to the people of Kumamoto Prefecture. Hopefully yesterday’s shock was the last one of such strength, and the casualty count will stay relatively low. I know people of Kyushu will recover in no time, and I hope we can visit them again in a not too distant future.

You can find information of donating to the earthquake relief here.

 

BREAKING: Book 7 Preorders are Go!


Big News time!

The Shattering Waves, Book Seven of the Year of the Dragon, is now ready for pre-order on Amazon Kindle!

It is the time of Darkness, as prophesied by the priests and soothsayers. Armies clash, cities burn. The sparks of hope are few and scattered.

The Kiheitai, leaderless and purposeless after the disastrous Battle of Heian, flee to the harbour city of Naniwa. Hiding among them, Bran and Nagomi plot to release Sato from the clutches of the Serpent. In the South, Dylan, Gwen and Edern assist the rebel army marching against the Taikun, just as the Gorllewin dragon riders begin to have second thoughts about their alliance with the Fanged. 


The release date is set for May 15th. It will be available on Nook and Kobo around that time as well. Click these links to pre-order your digital copy from Amazon:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | JP | CA | BR | AU

This is the penultimate book in the Year of the Dragon saga, with the last volume planned for end of this year.

The great cover for this volume, showing Gwenllian ferch Harri in full battle mode, is by Olga Kolesnikova, or IcedWingsArt.

Plotting the Finale -Volume 8


Yes, you’re right, Volume 7 of The Year of the Dragon is not quite out yet – it’s in final redrafts now, hoping for a May release if all works well. But I’m already writing Volume 8 – the grand finale.

Since this is the last volume of the series, the plot structure departs from my usual “trees with many roots and branches” jumble. I have to wrap things up. Threads are joining together, number of POVs is being reduced as characters fall out of the plot one way or another, all leading to a climactic (hopefully) conclusion.

It’s not going to be too much of a spoiler to say that it looks like I’ll have a distinct three-act structure to this volume, with a pivotal moment in the middle. At least, that’s the plan. How it’s going to pan out in the months to come, remains to be seen.

My ambition is to release Volume 8 before the end of this year, together with a bundle of volumes 5-8. We’re at the end of March now. I have about 20k words of the first draft done, I’m going to need probably a hundred thousand more to fit everything in one book.

This could be an interesting year.

plot8.jpg

5 lessons in being an artist from David Bowie’s career


A Bowie post from three years ago, when “Next Day” was released.

James Calbraith

music-david-bowie-the-next-day-album-coverToday is The Next Day. Today is the premiere of David Bowie’s first record in 10 years – and, some say, his best in twice as long.

In preparation for the launch, I’ve been reading Bowie’s biography – David Buckley’s “Strange Fascination”. It’s a great book regardless of whether you’re a fan or not. Half-way through reading I realized that DB’s life and career hold vital clues to achieving an artistic and commercial success for all of us.

Of course, it helps that Bowie is an unparalleled genius and the most beautiful creature to ever walk the Earth; but there are lessons to be learned from what he had done with his life that apply to anyone trying to make a living from their creativity.

David-Bowie_Early[1]5. Make fast, make plenty.

The way Bowie created his records throughout the 70s was legendary. Come into the studio, play once, leave. Write a new…

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The Year That Passed


Well, 2015 happened.

Farewell, Orca I

It was very much the year of two halves. By the time the calendar struck June, we’ve been to Poland, Japan, Germany, Luxembourg and France. We’ve sold the van, ended the journey (for now!), moved back to London, returned to regular office work…

Oh, and I published “Withering Flame”.

The Withering Flame

The second half was very much six months of winding down, settling down and slowing down. Not much happened as we returned to a settled, “normal” life. I put this blog on more or less of a hiatus, and I hadn’t picked up on “Shattering Waves” almost until NaNoWriMo. It was the first time I voted in national elections in UK, and the first time I didn’t vote in said elections in Poland. I joined the Lib-Dems out of pity… Plus, we helped some friends move to London – and got rid of an old sofa🙂 Oh! And, we went to the States in October, for the first time ever.

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Times Square! No Photoshop!

As the year comes to an end, I’m starting to pick up the pace again. “Shattering Waves” manuscript is finished – a couple of months of editing from now, it will be ready for a Spring release. What’s more, for the first time since finishing Volumes 1-4, I’m working on two books at the same time – I’ve started drafting Volume 8, albeit at the stately pace of 500 words per day.

That means that even if nothing else happens in 2016, at least this will be the year I finally end The Year of the Dragon saga. Now THAT is certainly something to look forward to!

Happy New Year 2016 everyone!

 

 

2015 in review


I’ll be the first to admit I have severely neglected this blog in the past year. I’m not one for resolutions, but if I had one, it would be to post a little more often than once every two months😉 I’ll post a more personal summary of 2015 tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 28,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.