Kingdom’s Fall, and self-promotion.

When you create anything yourself and put it online, you have the option to simply leave it, and see what happens, or you can promote it. And…well…self promotion is something of a challenge to the British. We tend to face it like this:

Bravely ran away, away...

Really, I hate doing it. I’m proud of the things I’ve made, and yet telling people about them goes against every instinct that has been drilled into me about being polite, letting people go first, not making a big fuss: the triumvirate of British thinking. It goes against the grain of my general feeling that social media should be a place to connect and less to advertise.

HZGVDn7So British.

But it’s something I need to get a handle on. I don’t expect Kingdom’s Fall to do immediate, earth-shattering, fantastic business. That’s ridiculous. It has done quite well on Wattpad – far better than I expected – and yet it hasn’t seen the kind of traffic that makes people sit up and notice it. It’s still a good book. I still want to tell the story that I started when I made it, to have that world unfold around the characters as every decision comes back round and shows them how much bigger everything is.

As it stands, it might do okay as a loss leader onto the second and third book. Which…is where we run into a problem. Books two and three aren’t written yet. I was very busy having surgery, and recovering from surgery, and becoming a dad, so all I managed to do was to write two other books.* So I have this small audience, I have this book, and I have to somehow maintain their attention until book 2 is done.

Which I think I have the solution to. A lot of Kingdom’s Fall didn’t make it to the page. A lot of the sequels doesn’t really fit into the shape of the book. There is an excess of stuff. So what I’ve been doing is turning it into a series of short stories, each about 2000 words long, and I’ll be posting them up on Wattpad. Some will feature the main characters; some will feature new characters; and some will just serve to add some more texture to the world. And, by the time I have exhausted them in 2017, I should have a draft of book 2 to work with (at least, that’s the idea).

This is your expression right now:


And so that’s why you’ll keep seeing the Kingdom’s Fall cover on my feeds, in spite of the fact the novel is done and I am so very, very British. Because I’m trying to keep it alive, and to overcome my own hesitations about it, I’m giving something away with it.

I really hope you enjoy it.

Kingdom’s Fall is now available on Kindle



All of the Kingdom’s Fall short stories will be appearing on Wattpad through 2016.


*One of which didn’t sell because Weird Western, it turns out, isn’t a real “debut” genre. But you never know. If there’s someone out there looking for a Weird Western that follows a teenage girl genius, a trans opera singer, and a mercenary gunslinger as they flee East from the girl’s mother and her empire built on mad, radioactive** science then…drop them my name, you hear?

**and genuine. It might not have happened in the order and places that it does in the book, but all the science is stone cold 19th Century REAL.***

***I still want this book to sell. I love it so much.


Birthday Haul

So, I turned 31 yesterday. Was it as climactic as you anticipated, as all 31st birthdays should be?, I hear you all ask and in return I answer:

Yes, yes it was.

Lisa bought me a Kindle, one of the 3G-enabled ones that allows you to buy books as long as you have a signal, and before I’d had breakfast I had already spent £15 on books for it.  It’s disgustingly easy to shop with.  Having played with a Sony PRS-505 before, I already know what it’s like reading an e-ink book – the only issue I still have with it is the formatting issues files have – some books are better set on the Kindle than others, and clumsily laid-out text is a big no-no for me.

While we’re on the topic, BIT-101 takes a nice microscopic look at text on the Kindle versus the ipad, versus various types of print.

My brother chipped in on the purchase of a new Xbox 360, one of the 250 Gb models.  It’s exactly what the Xbox 360 should have been on original release: a lot quieter (still noisy compared to my PC and PS3 though), a lot smaller, and generally just more attractive.  It comes with wireless connectivity built in, but for some confusing reason there’s no HDMI cable – and after a trial with the SCART cable out of sheer morbid curiosity I can tell you quite firmly that 480p looks like shit on a 1080p television.

I transferred my HD contents using the needlessly expensive cable I also had to buy (simply because I can’t bear the thought of losing my Mass Effect saves) and started downloading the Shadow Broker content for ME2.  I hooked up with Liara in the first game and stayed true through the second, so I reckoned it worth the 800 MS point purchase to keep that story going.

While unable to play, I bought one of the Mass Effect books to see what it was like, because I thought the fact that the lead writer from the game was also the author was an encouraging fact.

How wrong I was.  It made the HALO books seem refreshing and lively.  someday there’s going to be a post about novelisations of films and why The Abyss is an important exception to the general rule, but I can’t bring myself to read enough dire books to make my point robust enough.

I also picked up a set of Rock Band drums new for £10. Bonus.

Lisa’s parents bought me a lovely t-shirt, which includes both books *and* owls and is therefore perfect for me (the logic is undeniable), and have put aside some money for me to buy a nice watch.  I have a nice watch already (Lisa bought it for me a few years back, and it alternately tells me how fast my heart is beating and exhorts me to exercise more) but it’s not “dressy” and apparently responsible adults need “dressy” watches.

Finally, I got some flowers and chocolates.  well, I was going to get flowers and chocolates but they got delivered to the place that I wasn’t.  Two weeks ago.  Lisa was understandably upset over the cock-up, so the florist gave her a refund, and we got a free bunch of flowers and a box of Terry’s All Gold out of it.  The flowers are a half-dozen red Naomi roses, which are now esconced in our Kosta Boda crystal vase on the living room table.