Category Archives: Writing

Auran Chronicles #3 – 1st draft done!

At last! At long last, Weave Born, the third and final part of the Auran Chronicles trilogy, has now reached that critical milestone of having the first draft completed.

And there was much rejoicing.

It’s been a tough slog getting there. There was so much to do in ensuring all the various plot strands resolved as planned that it became a long and arduous process in reaching “The End”. I’ve put Seb and co though the ringers on this one, and it’s probably the darkest of the three, but hopefully I’ve done the characters justice and served up a fitting ending for a story that’s been bubbling away for many years.

There’ll be a little break now — perhaps even ten minutes — before I crack on with the final draft. This will be a one pass edit before passing on for external editing and beta readers. The aim is still for a Winter release, but I won’t be committing to a month just yet.

Right – time for a well earned beer.

 

Auran Chronicles #3, interview and new cover

So, Auran Chronicles #3, “Weave Born”, is in the last 20,000 words of the first draft. The end is in sight, all the characters (those still standing) are in their right places on stage to see this thing out.

And there was much rejoicing…

It’s a strange feeling now. Although it’s taken only (only!) a year to write the three books of the Auran Chronicles, the actual story has been sat in my head for years. So it’s with a mixture of excitement and sadness that I near the end. I’m still planning on sticking to the ending I’ve had in mind all along, but may apply a slight tweak or two after receiving some stern instructions from Mrs D as to who I’m allowed to kill off (and who not, more specifically!)! In the end, though, I’ll stay true to the characters and their journey. Seb has gone from the “every man” to the potential saviour of the whole universe, Sylph has perhaps gone through the most severest tests of all after losing everything she’d ever known, and Cade, well, if you read Consensus Breaking you know Cade isn’t in the best of places right now…

Weave Born contains the same mix of swords, sorcery, mythology and horror you will have come to expect from the Auran Chronicles, all ramped up to the max for this final instalment. Keep an eye out for it November/December time!

In other news, I’ve taken part in an author interview with the delightful folks at Outlet Publishing. You can find the interview here. Thanks Caitlin!

And finally, you will have noticed the new image on this post. I’ve actually gone and changed the cover of Consensus Breaking! I didn’t really like the previous cover. I didn’t like the way Seb was facing away from the viewer, and it didn’t scream “urban fantasy” enough for me, compared to others in my genre. I’ve amended now, courtesy of Novak Illustration. Hope you like it!

Oh, one final thing. A couple of folks have asked what’s next after Auran Chronicles is done. Well, without giving much away, I’m going to have a change from the urban fantasy genre, and have a couple of books lined up in the techno/thriller/horror genre. Thing Michael Crichton meets Stephen King, and you’ll get the picture. I’m going to write a series in the same universe, keeping the same protagonist. The stories will be stand alone, but there will be an underlying mythology underneath that will link them all together. Watch this space!

Not read Message Bearer, the first in the Auran Chronicles? Get it HERE now, only $0.99 (or equivalent) and #free on Kindle Unlimited.

Auran Chronicles #3 Update

“It’s all our fault. Nazgath. The Sharding. This. It’s all our fault.”

And so continues the Auran Chronicles. In the final part (yes, it’s going to be 3 parts) of the trilogy, a war that has spanned thousands of years and destroyed countless universes finally comes to an end over seven nights, here on Earth.

Book 3 sees Seb trapped on a world far from ours, seeking to finally understand where he came from, who he really is, and who the hell is the red serpentine warrior that referred to him as brother at the end of Consensus Breaking? Cade is now a balsheol, a terrifying daemon warrior under the control of Nazgath, and Sylph and the rest of the survivors from Sanctuary continue to fight a losing battle against the ever growing sheol threat.

And through it all, a strange malaise has fallen upon humanity. Known as the Fugue, it is slowly draining the Unaware of their connection to reality. No one understands why, or how, this is happening, but all are agreed that the final outcome will not be a good one.

As Nazgath’s forces gather for the final assault that will rid Earth of its last defenders against the sheol, Seb battles across terrifying and alien worlds in order to find his way back. The only question is, will there be anything left when he returns?

That’s book 3 in a nutshell. I’m 40,000 words in now, with another 50,000 to go. I know how it ends. I’ve always known how it ends. This story has been 15 years in the making and I’m glad I finally managed to get it down on (virtual) paper and do it justice.

Now all I need to do is finish it 🙂

The Simulation Argument

One of the themes of the Auran Chronicles is regarding the nature of reality. It postulates the question – “what if everything we knew about reality was a lie?”

The key concept in Auran Chronicles is that reality is basically the sum of our collective minds, controlled by a mysterious force known as the Consensus. Everyday folks like you and me have no conscious control over the Consensus (and hence, reality) but our subconscious minds serve to enforce the rules about the world we live in. That is why the magi in the series cannot do crazy things such as turning a building to sand or a person into a frog. We know this can’t happen, and so the magi are forced to use more subtle ways of affecting reality.

This question about the nature of reality is not new, and is something I’ve had a layman’s interest in for many years. There are many schools of thought out there about quantum physics, the role of the observer and so on (see Schrodinger’s Cat), but today I wanted to mention The Simulation Argument.

Specifically, the Simulation Argument has a simple hypothesis (my own words) –

“If you can assume that at some point our technology will advance to the stage that we can create simulated realities that are indistinguishable from our own reality, then it’s easy to assume that  this simulated reality could create its own simulated reality, and so forth and so forth. The end result being a series of nested simulated realities with no one knowing which is the “real” one.”

There’re several documents on this on the web, many of them very deep and detailed, but the one shown here is a good summary, courtesy of Nick Bostrom.

It’s a mind-boggling concept, and books and movies have touched upon this idea over the years, the Matrix being one of the most obvious, but with many others out there too.

The scary thing is we could be in one right now, and not even know about it. How would we differentiate the real world from the virtual world? Even looking at our own reality, and the way it does not like to be observed directly at the subatomic level, makes me wonder if we are in fact in a simulation so advanced that we have no way of telling.

What do you think? It’s a metaphysical head-scratcher, but in theory it is one that could be tested by science in the future, and has been looked at already. Could people traverse between realities? Could we have people here, right now, who come from a reality above ours? Perhaps there’s some kind of organisation(s) from high above ours that can visit at will?

I fully intend to write a full length novel covering such a concept in the future. It’s a fascinating idea, and one that lends itself to some really mind-bending tales. But in the meantime, if you fancy a short version of a piece of fiction covering such a concept, sign up for my newsletter here, and receive a free copy of the Shattered Realms compilation. Cogito Ergo Sum is  a story within that which speculates on the idea of what if the Large Hadron Collider found something it wasn’t mean to find…

 

 

 

 

 

 

It lives! Auran Chronicles #2, out now!

It took six months, some frustrating twists and turns during a very tricky second draft, and a bit of a scare with a way-too-optimistic pre-order date, but I’m finally glad (and relieved) to say that Consensus Breaking, the second of the Auran Chronicles series, is out now.

Following immediately on from the end of Message Bearer, Consensus Breaking follows Seb, Cade and Sylph as they deal with the fallout of their actions. Without spoiling anything for anyone who hasn’t read Message Bearer, it’s fair to say that what transpires is far beyond what any of them realised.

Book three is under way now, and I’m really looking forward to bringing the Auran Chronicles saga to a fitting end for all concerned. It’s been a story lodged in my head for years, and it’s been a challenging and thrilling experience putting it to (virtual) paper, thanks to the wonders of Kindle publishing.

Consensus Breaking is available to buy now from Amazon. Hopefully you’ll drop by and pick up a copy, and if you like it, I’d be most grateful if you could drop a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.  If you don’t like it, please feel free to let me know why, so I can improve in future works.

The Consensus is broken. Magic is returning to the world…

When Seb and his friends are found by the very mage Families that they’d been seeking, he begins to think that his luck is turning at last, that he’s finally found somewhere to continue the journey he began with the Magistry.

Unfortunately, returning to this secret world is not the homecoming he thought it would be, and when rumors of another faction surface, one that is welcoming the newly awoken without prejudice, Seb is torn between his loyalty to his friends and to those of his fellow magi. He must make a choice. One that will have repercussions far beyond the internal struggles of the Aware.

And across the Shards, a new force is rising, a shadow from before the Weave itself. Long thought defeated, it soon becomes clear that the sheol were just the vanguard of a much greater terror, one that threatens the very foundations of reality.

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Auran Chronicles #2 Cover and Title Reveal

So, book 2 of the Auran Chronicles is officially called…

*drum roll*

Consensus Breaking

For those of you who’ve read Message Bearer you’ll know what this refers to, but in summary, the Consensus is basically the Observer-based reality that forms the core of the magic system of the Auran Chronicles, and if it’s breaking, well, that can’t be so good, can it? 🙂

For a more detailed overview of the Consensus, see my earlier post on the Auran Chronicles magic system.

Anyway, on to the exciting bit. My new cover is ready, courtesy of Novak Illustration, and you can find it below, hope you like it.

Consensus Breaking is currently penciled in for release for May 2016.

Message Bearer is still available on its current $0.99 promo here.

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Auran Chronicles #2 First Draft – Done!

Slightly ahead of schedule, and slightly lesser on the word count (85,000 – no doubt rising once I’ve added some meat to the bones!), but I’m pleased to say that the first draft of Auran Chronicles #2, provisionally titled “Consensus Breaking”, is now complete. This definitely calls for several of these:

beer-cocktails

I’m going to take a few days off to begin plotting #3 before finally reopening the drawer and editing this thing into something fit to share. There’s a lot to do, and a lot of referencing book 1 to ensure all the relevant plot lines sync up nicely and other related dependencies, but the core story is there with all the key scenes I’d planned in advance, so it’s in a lot better shape than Message Bearer’s first draft was!

Have a good weekend! 🙂

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Message Bearer On Sale

As it’s (Saint) Valentine’s Day, and nothing says “I love you” more than buying yourself an action-packed urban fantasy adventure filled with magic, demons and shattered universes, Message Bearer is now on sale for the remainder of February at the unbelievable price of $0.99 (or your local equivalent!).

Forget saying it with love, say it with…

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How to Get your books into the right Categories and Sub-categories: Readers to Books/Books to Readers—Part Three

A couple of years old this article but it’s still one of the best guides to KDP keywords and subcategory placement out there.

M. Louisa Locke

Introduction:

Two years ago, I wrote a blog piece about the importance of using categories, keywords, and tags (which no longer exist) to make your books visible in the Kindle Store. A year later I wrote an update that expanded on this and discussed how having your book in the right categories could make free and discount promotions more effective. The basic argument I made hasn’t changed––that an author needs to understand how categories work in order to use them to improve the chance their books will be found by readers who are browsing in the Kindle store.

If you aren’t convinced of the importance of categories in improving discoverability—you might want to go back and skim through those two posts or just google “discoverability and categories” to see the multiple posts on this topic. However, for most of you, it isn’t the importance of categories but how to get…

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Message Bearer Reviews

We’re approaching 3 months since Message Bearer was let loose amongst the world and I’m pleased to say it’s managed to obtain some decent reviews as well. In the interests of sharing the love, it only seems fair that I share this good feedback now, before anyone sneaks a one star review on to Amazon 🙂

Review from Paranormal Bookworms Unite (5 Stars)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Yep that’s right! This is a five star book easily!

Seb is introduced into a world he never thought existed when he is drawn to a place. He seems to be drawn to many places. The most recent place he was drawn to changed his life forever. He never thought that he would find this much out about the world, let alone himself. He doesn’t know how to handle it at first, but then things take a huge change when he learns to control an unexpected power that he can channel.

I was caught up in this book. This book has so much action, that I found myself fighting sleep night after night as I read on. When I gave in to going to bed I found myself thinking about the book, and wondering what would happen next. I fell asleep thinking about the book, and woke up thinking that I couldn’t wait till the time came when I could pick up the book again, after other life issues were taken care of course. It is not often that this happens with a book. Only a book that I am so thrilled to read could cause this reaction out of me. I also found myself talking to my boyfriend about the book. He is not a reader, but still humored me, because he knows that reading makes me happy. I happy to declare this book as a favorite of mine.

If you are looking for an action packed book that is high fantasy, and has a good load of paranormal excitement thrown in then give this book a shot, because chances are you will not regret reading this one. That is how thrilling this book is. Do not miss out!

Review from Ingenius Cat (4 Stars)

Boy meets girl, girl is killed by demon, boy discovers he’s a wizard and is trained by secret demon hunters.

The protagonist, Seb, is nearly killed when he tries to save a woman from a demonic creature from another dimension. She dies but inserts what could be a highly important message in his brain. Naturally, the bad guys now want to capture Seb. Luckily for him, he’s picked up by the other side instead, and they decide to train him in magic so they can retrieve the message.

What could be a thoroughly cliche plot is lifted by a good dose of skulduggery: the bad guys are bad, but there aren’t any straightforwardly ‘good’ guys. From an engaging opening, the story romps along with plenty of action. Possibly too much action, because I was getting a bit bored of fight scenes and was glad of the break when magic training started. Indeed, I would have been happy to have more of that, since the magic system is quite original and interesting.

What others are saying about Message Bearer:

“It was immediately obvious that the author had a fully realized mythology for the reader to uncover through the plot. The real-world setting is northern England, which is wonderful because most UK-set urban fantasy takes place in London and this was a refreshing change. But there is an entire universe behind this one, and in fact there are multiple universes with a rich history and the vast scope and ambition is pretty astonishing. The impressive thing is that everything fits together perfectly.”  (Amazon.com)

“What a fabulous read. The first chapter draws you in with action and mystery, and its a wild ride from there. Great world building, look forward to reading more!

Not only a well thought out story, but the prose is careful and endearing.” (Amazon.com)

If anyone is interested in being a reviewer for the Message Bearer in exchange for a free review copy please drop me a mail at mike@msdobing.com

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