One Dream Achieved.

One Dream Achieved.

Five to go!

Finally, I am in print! The Darkness Rising launched 25th June 2021. Despite a plethora of excuses, one dream of a child finally satisfied. Now just the others to complete – earn billions, rule the world, fly into space and lift the World Cup for England and captain the cricket team to success in the Ashes. Something tells me that the book might have been the easiest. Though, to an anxious, self-conscious, confidence lacking youngster, all would have been as unlikely as Tottenham Hotspur FC winning a title. So thanks to all who gave the support and encouragement over the last few years.

So what next?

Book 2: The Demons Within is in pre-production, and should be launched by the end of the year. Final amendments needed, along with a couple of edits, the cover and all the blurb and extras needed.

Book 3: The As Yet Untitled One – I know that doesn’t seem very catchy, so it might be changed! – has about 60% of the first draft complete. All sounds easy but quite a lot of work left, especially when trying to fit it around the day job. Top Tip for Budding Authors Number 1; don’t expect an hourly rate high enough to keep you well stocked in the required amounts of caffeine or alcohol.

Darkness Rising covers
Maingard Chronicles Book 1 : The Darkness Rising

On top of that I have gone back a step to add some character development for some of the main characters. Why didn’t I do that from the start, I hear you ask? Because I didn’t find my writing coach until two thirds through Book 1, that’s why!

Top Tip Number 2: Remember ‘The 6 Ps’. Perfect Planning Prevents P*ss Poor Planning. Sound advice, especially for characters (and multi POV stories!). I know it sounds a given, but make notes on your character’s description. Their eye colour, which hand is that tattoo on?

It’s not just a case of what they look like, but also what they like and how they act. That little nervous tic they repeatedly do, what drink they order, etc. Build up a catalogue of these notes and if possible, collect pictures and photos of people they are like and add them to a folder or pinterest board. Here’s a basic pinterest board for Bex, thief, adventurer and sword for hire.

Black Desert by Pearl Abyss

Sketching or drawing your character is one way to get the perfect representation of how Damian the Dragonslayer looks, but we can’t all draw, can we? Or is that just me? But there are options!

For avid gamers, many games allow you to customize the appearance of your characters – from height and build, down to facial appearance and markings. Some will allow you to alter and include armour, clothing and gear etc. Other games, you might have to spend several years playing just to find that perfect looking sword. . . .

I have been dabbling with Hero Forge recently. It’s a website that allows you to create your own Fantasy RPG figures, at first n the screen – and then (for the bartering of coins) the opportunity to download the 3D print file or have it made and dispatched to you. This would have saved many a D&D afternoon degenerating into chaos as to why Johnny’s Barbarian is carrying a sword when he lost that four sessions ago and is now using a club. The amount of customization is amazing, though still not perfect for those stalwart perfectionists.

Bex – Thief, adventurer and sword for hire. She carries her two curved swords and the mystic weirdsword Caladmorr is strapped across her back. Completely impractical for skulking about and burgling places.

Ishtara, Bex’s symbiotic companion.

Right – Flame Atronach from Elder Scrolls Online, inspiration for the Qoi warrior Ishtara, when fully transformed.

It was the creature that sat; head bowed forward that made Bex
gasp. It was her size, female in shape yet not human. Her skin
was a patch work of black and a dull red and it smouldered.
She was naked and hairless, but two twisted horns sat on her
head just above the temples. As she lifted her head to see the
intruder, Bex could see the colours on her skin move and shift
and the creature’s eyes stared lifelessly and dark at her.

Whatever you do, something is better than nothing. Creating a reference bible for your characters will improve the story as a whole (if you use it!) and will save you time when you have to scroll back through pages and pages to find out what colour eyes you gave the love interest!

Coming soon . . .

A change of genre (for pedants) for some new characters and a new world. 1862, a world brimming with invention and discovery. A steampunk era with weird and magical entities needs not just a hero, but two! Meet Abelard Grey, previously of Her Britannic Majesty’s Airship Corps, now a privateer and Boo, short for Boudicca, enigma and mystery.

Plunged into a world rife with villains plotting to gain world domination, contraptions the like that has never been seen and with a weird and fantastical undertone, they will travel the skies righting (and probably doing) wrongs, and saving the world.

Airships, Victorian James Bond style villains, Mechanical men, Aliens and Demons, Warlocks and more. What could anyone else want in an all-action adventure?

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Photo Credits:

  1. Darkness Rising covers – generated by
  2. Original article by Andres Oliver on
  3. Figures created by me using

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