In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Saturday, 30 July 2016


 Hi guys.

 Well, Angry Robot turned down Death of Ghosts. They sent me an email explaining that I'd broken a rule by entering more than one novel, and quoted the rule - which was in the FAQs section. I read the rules, and the limit of one submission wasn't mentioned there. So I feel a bit hard done by.

 Still, the novel is obviously good enough. It took the Robots six months to decide against it, and then they only did so on a technicality. So, onwards and upwards. If you can't suffer these blows and rebound then you're never going to make it as a writer anyway.

 I may have indulged in some frustrated cursing, mind.

 At any rate, my next published novel will now be Black Lord of Eagles, due out at the end of this year or early next. It's volume one of a story about a people called the Ashir, who've always believed they're alone in the world, the only civilisation on earth - and then strangers come. The novel is about their struggle to hold onto their land, and also to keep some sense of themselves when all their old certainties are being destroyed.

 One of the stars of the book is the setting. It's an ancient land, covered with ruined temples to gods no one remembers anymore, filled with peoples of different tribes, made of jungles and plateaux and deep valleys. By night pumas cough and by day spider monkeys scream in the trees. It's ruled by a king, but the spiritual power rests with a man called the Servant, who bears a birthmark which names him as the chosen one of the main god. This is one of the central characters, a man called Kai, who usually opens festivals and takes part in ceremonies. Now he finds himself in the middle of a struggle he never dreamed of.

 I'll be talking about Ghosts on The Voice radio on Monday night, in the Book Club slot at 7pm. I'll also speak about Sol Bookshop, at the end of the Strand in Barnstaple on the Square. Sol now runs a stand for local authors, and there are several on the shelves; Jody Medland, Olli Tooley, Michelle Woollacott, and my good self (hehe), plus others. If you fancy a good read by a local writer, pop down, there's something to suit most tastes. And if you're sitting about on Monday with nothing much to do, tune into The Voice. With an hour of mixed music and chat to fill, I might even say something useful now and then.

 Well, you never know.