Location of the most recent breach into Malifaux, Latest area to be occupied by the forces of Cryx, Stronghold of the Dark Legion, Homeworld of the 'Night Reapers' Space Marine Chapter, Council of Seven allocated Deadzone and the lair of some opinionated git called GMort who they let hang out with them...when he's not distracted by Steampunk, Gothic culture or Cosplay...
Hard Drive Hot List (or, What I'm Currently Writing)
I’ll keep it brief, because I’ll be doing the obligatory year in review / looking forward to 2017 post in January (and because this is a bit of a bumper edition of my newsletter).
This Christmas was a really fun one - the first where Sammy understood what was happening (presents, sweets, and lots of attention from grandparents). In an effort of restraint that my 12 year-old self would have balked at, I still haven't opened most of my presents. Having visited family over the last two weeks, we're celebrating another Christmas at home tomorrow, so will open presents then - it's just an excuse to have another turkey dinner with all the trimmings really. I’ve asked Santa for a few gaming goodies and graphic novels, and it’s always exciting to find out what type of novelty socks my mum has bought me.
So let me thank you all for your readership and support over the last twelve months, and I hope you continue to enjoy my stories and games for many more to come.
The swanky limited edition of my Space Marine Legends novel, Azrael, was released this month (along with the eBook). In case you haven't seen them, I've published a few blog posts about the book, including:
"I had a particular challenge facing me when it came to writing Azrael. Frankly, I’ve written a lot of Dark Angels recently, with the Legacy of Caliban trilogy and Horus Heresy, and I was struggling to find an angle. The Hunt for the Fallen? Kinda important, but really the backbone of Legacy of Caliban and thoroughly explored already. Also, there was a whole bunch of stuff involving Azrael and the Dark Angels in the ‘current timeline’ of 40K, with them feuding with the Space Wolves in Warzone Fenris and all kinds of hi-jinks that I didn’t have the time or inclination to do all that reading.
So rather than the present I looked to the past for some inspiration."
I've mentioned a few times on my blog, social media, and interviews, that I'm working on some rules for a new game involving big stompy robots.
Having committed to run a demo table at the new wargaming show ROBIN in February, I've now had to *actually* work on some rules, instead of just having the ideas swirl round in my head.
I've got vague plans to keep a developer diary, probably as blogs on the website and maybe some videos, and if there's enough interest I'll also send out the odd newsletter specifically about the game. If you would like to receive (very sporadic) updates on the progress of my new game, click the button below.
I've been very remiss at publishing writing advice posts recently, but have good intentions to do more in 2017. To get me back in the habit, this month I published a blog about how much you should adhere to the rules and army lists from Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, when writing fiction for Black Library. Here's a bit from the blog:
"Writing for the Black Library comes with a simple, undeniable truth: one is working on a world and stories primarily created so that people can collect, paint and fight miniature battles with toy soldiers. The contents of the rulebooks, supplements and White Dwarf magazine underpin everything else. Players of the games view it as a defining feature of the setting but as an author you must be aware of the game but not beholden to it."
This year I had two entries in the Black Library Advent Calendar. Day seven saw the release of my Horus Heresy short story The Grey Raven; which continues the story of Librarian Balsar Kurthuri as he returns to Terra (a follow on from my recent novella Weregeld).
On day sixteen it was my Horus Heresy audio short story, Valerius, Guided by visions from the God-Emperor, can Marcus Valerius lead the Therion Cohort back to victory?
The Grey Raven
"Balsar Kurthuri of the Raven Guard has always followed his primarch’s orders. When the Edict of Nikaea forbade psykers within the Legions, he returned to the line squads without a second thought. When the Warmaster’s treachery became known, he gave freely of his powers. Now, as the war appears to be entering its final, grim stages, at Lord Corax’s command he must return to Terra to face judgement for the apparent crime of unswerving loyalty…"
"Though he knows such beliefs are forbidden, Vice-Caesari Marcus Valerius of the Therion Cohort is willing to lay down his life in service to the immortal God-Emperor, for the good of all mankind. Sent by Corax to the great slaughter at Beta-Garmon, every last one of the Imperial Army soldiers under his command knows that the end is nigh - but can Valerius' holy visions guide them to one final victory over the hordes of the hated Arch-traitor?"
Maria asked on the blog: Hi! I’m currently reading Angels of Caliban and I noticed something, I wanted to ask you about. Luther thinks of himself as a “son to knights” – does this mean that his male ancestors were knights, or that both of his parents were knights?
Yes, it was my intent that the Order had both male and female knights – which gives rise to the idea that the non-space marine ‘augmented’ Dark Angels like Luther might include women (in fact Angels of Caliban contains the line, ‘On the other side of the Chapter Master the chair was occupied by Saulus Maegon, Mistress of the Angelicasta’).
If you want to ask a question, just reply to the newsletter and I'll get back to you as soon as my schedule allows. I'll pick a question to go in the next newsletter, and combine them all into a blog post for the website. Click the button below for the full Q&A round-up for December.
Copper Pen Press and their imprint La Llorna Road are great places to keep an eye on, as they seem to have a continually open submissions window.
At the moment La Llorna Road is looking for novel-length horror, and Copper Pen Press are seeking submissions of novel-length mystery / suspense / crime stories.
There is no advance, but they pay 10% on RRP for hardcover, 8% for paperbacks, and 25% for eBooks. These sorts of submissions are a risk, as you may earn nothing for your hard-penned work, but Copper Pen Press do not charge for reading, editing, or publication fees (beware of any 'publishers' who expect you to pay for these services as part of their contract with you).
If you need help with your submission, have a look at the writing advice section on my website, which gives lots of top-tips, as well as in-depth blogs on topics such as narrative, action, and pacing.
All subscribers to my mailing list are entered into the bi-monthly draw to win a personalised, signed copy of one of my books. The next winner, to be picked in January, will receive a copy of Asurmen: The Darker Road - my companion audio drama to Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan.