Monthly Archives: February 2012

Dragon Night by Stephanie Campbell

Stephanie Campbell is one of many authors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my internship at Musa. After I interviewed her, I decided I’d really like to check out her book. Armed with a brand new Kindle and a gift certificate, I made my way to Musa’s site and bought Stephanie’s book.

I wasn’t disappointed.

According to the website:

The only thing more shocking than discovering that dragons really exist is finding out that you are one.

Ever since he could remember, Ford was treated cruelly by his parents, Liddy and Wicker Forks. He cannot figure out why they hate him so much. It is only when he discovers that his father isn’t really Wicker Forks but instead is a mysterious, red-eyed stranger that he goes on a quest to find his true identity—and much, much more.

As he heads forward down the path of danger and illusion, he uncovers a world that he had never imagined, a world of dragons. Ford must decide who he is—a dragon or a boy—and whichever path he chooses will be his future for forever. After all, once you are a dragon, there is no going back.

The Review Part

In Dragon Night, Stephanie Campbell manages to introduce us to a huge new concept–the idea that dragons and half dragons exist–while managing to ground the story in reality with a very mundane beginning and a familiar power struggle: the struggle between pure blood and half blood. We learn with Ford that the half dragons or draconics are pretty much slaves to the bigger, tougher dragons. As Ford is put under the pressure of leading a rebellion against the dragons, the leader of whom might just be his real father, he is faced with one shocking revelation after another.

The best part? He gets angry, he gets upset, he suffers a lot, and he doesn’t whine. Maybe I’m just bitter about Twilight, but it seems to me that too many YA protagonists like to whine. Ford isn’t one of those whiney YA protagonists. He’s a boy who’s just trying to do the right thing–and he’s figuring out exactly what that is as he goes along.

Of course it isn’t perfect. The one thing I wish is that the draconic culture was explored more fully. I would love to know, other than the power struggle between them and the dragons and their shape shifting abilities and all that, what makes them different from ordinary humans. What rituals do they have? Do they have religion? What sorts of gods do they believe in? Other than the struggles they face in the minds and the sadness forced upon them by the dragons, I feel not very much of draconic culture is shown. Maybe I’m just a culture geek, but I really would have loved it if Stephanie explored their culture more fully.

Even without the extra culture building Dragon Night is a great book that kept me turning proverbial pages well into the night. Over the last few years I’ve found myself getting pickier and pickier about books, critiquing them in my head as I read, nit-picking little errors or stylistic things I would have done differently, and I didn’t find myself stopping very often during Dragon Night. I’m happy I read this book and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA and dragons–and the chance to explore another culture, however limited that exploration may be.

You can buy Dragon Night for $4.99 here.

Exploring Character and Setting at the Same Time

Sometimes, either before you begin a novel or between edits of a novel, you realize you need to learn more about your characters or your world before you can dive into the main story. Although it might be tempting to rush into the story, it pays to do this work so that creating the next draft is less painful. In order to maximize efficiency, I’ve found a way to explore character and setting at the same time.

This doesn’t include research. While learning about your setting always informs what your characters are like and how they react to things based on where they’re from, research rarely leads directly to new realizations about characters.

What does lead to new realizations about characters is free writing. But how do you use free writing to learn about your setting at the same time?

It’s easy. All you have to do is ask your character a simple question about the world, country or city they’re in. Ask them about their neighbourhood. Ask them about their favourite type of food–is it rare where they are or common? Where is it from? Ask them any kind of question you want that has to do with the world around them, and start writing out their answer. Let them inform you about their world. My best scenes have been written when I felt like I was channelling a character and that is your goal here: to channel the character.

This exercise works well to reveal both character and setting because, frankly, the best way to learn about a world–especially one you’re created yourself–is by putting yourself in the shoes of someone who lives there. So, if you’re trying to explore your characters while getting a better understanding your world, try asking your characters one of these questions:

1. What is the biggest festival of the year in your town/city/kingdom?

2. What grows best on the farms near your house?

3. How do you celebrate your gods?

4. What are naming ceremonies like in your town/city/village?

5. Who is the nicest person in town?

6. Who is the meanest person in town?

7. Do any of the local lords have bastard children?

8. How does your town/city/village draw tourists?

9. Who is in charge of your town/city/village?

10. Do you like the person in charge of your town/city/village?

These questions are just a small sample of the hundreds of questions you can ask your characters to find out more about the world you’re writing in and to get used to listening to them and channelling them. Think of it sort of like journalling for your character. As you might use a prompt to work with in your journal–say, ‘my favourite childhood book’–use these questions to work with your characters. You’re bound to make new discoveries along the way and soon you’ll be used to writing in each character’s voice. Best of all, you get to see your world from the eyes of someone who actually lives there.

Market Listing February 24th

Today’s markets all offer token payment–averaging about $10/per story, varying from magazine to magazine, these payments certainly will never pay the bills but they are nice. They let you know that somebody really appreciates what you’re doing. Always aim for the higher paying markets first, but don’t be afraid to send your stories to these places once they’ve been rejected elsewhere. After all, it’s better to get paid a little bit for your work than nothing at all, right?

Tales of the Talisman This magazine pays $10 per story and they accept science fiction, fantasy and horror of up to 6000 words.

Witches and Pagans Publishes stories with neo-Pagan elements and protagonists only. I’m not sure the length of stories they accept because it isn’t too clear, but they pay $0.025/words. (For those of you who hate numbers as much as I do, that’s two and a half cents per word.) Read the guidelines thoroughly first and query if you think your story’s too long or too short for them.

Nine: A Journal of Imaginative Fiction This is an ezine with a cool concept: writers are paid 9% of the royalties for the issue which their work is published in, with a minimum payout of $40. They accept stories of up to 10, 000 words.

As always, don’t forget to read the guidelines thoroughly and follow instructions. By putting your best foot forward and showing that you’re going out of your way to give them what you want, you give the editors a better impression right away.

Good luck on your adventure towards publication!

Author Interview: Sara Daniels

Today I am pleased to introduce Sara Daniels, one of Musa’s army of authors. She writes romance, whether that be contemporary, paranormal, or any other brand of romance you can imagine, and currently has one book out with Musa and another one on the way. It’s a joy to have her here and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing the perspective of an author who works in such a different genre from my own.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, Mr. Forever?

I loved the idea of a marriage therapist who was so sure of his theories coming face-to-face with the woman who believed those theories destroyed her dreams of happily ever after. It was so much fun to watch him try to convert her while she’s trying to bring down his empire. Here’s the blurb:

Marriage therapist Caleb Paden has just found out he has a son from a one-night stand, making a mockery of his core belief of stable relationships–“friendship above all physical encounters.” On his way to take the child for a paternity test, a snowstorm leaves him stranded with single mom Olivia Wells, who blames his advice for breaking up her marriage. Caleb finds himself fighting the urge for the most basic of physical encounters. Olivia would like nothing more than to destroy the career he spent a lifetime building, but her maternal instincts draw her to help Caleb bond with his child. Soon, she finds herself falling for both of them. Nowhere in any of his advice does Caleb have an answer for how to make a relationship work if he loses his heart to love.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?

I’d been writing romance as a hobby since I was in middle school. Ten years ago, I realized it was silly to spend all my free time writing and show the finished product to no one. Doing what I love with the flexibility to set my own hours based on my family’s needs is a dream job that I am so lucky to be able to pursue.

3. Who are some of the authors that inspired you to continue on your own writing journey?

Nora Roberts was an inspiration to me when I was starting out. I had no idea she was an icon in the romance industry. At the time, I thought I could be just like her! After I joined RWA, the authors in my local chapter guided me through the craft of writing and the business of publishing. Blythe Gifford, Jennifer Stevenson, Pat White, Simone Elkeles, and Marilyn Brant are some of the authors I am particularly grateful to for sharing their knowledge and advice.

4. Your next story, A Man Worth Fighting For, is part of Musa’s Wiccan Haus series. How is writing a story intended to be part of a multi-author series different from writing one that’s entirely your own?

I am so excited to write for the Wiccan Haus series. This is my first foray into a paranormal world, and I am loving it. All the world building has been figured out for me. The cast of continuing characters are quirky and well-loved, and I get to re-visit them when I read Wiccan Haus books by other authors. Writing a multi-author series has been the best of both worlds for me. I have a great author community that’s as invested in this world as much as I am, and I get to focus on what I do best–writing romance and emotion and bringing my characters to the happily ever after they so desperately need.

5. How do you usually plan your novels?

I’m a “what-if” girl. What if an uptight marriage therapist is told on live TV that he has a child from a one-night stand? What if the heroine, who loves and cares for this child, had followed his theories and divorced because of it? What if they are stranded together and are forced to depend on each other?

This brainstorming is where my characters really come alive for me. I then make a spreadsheet highlighting the turning points for the story and the characters and try to write from that. But it never goes as a planned, so I have to go back and reassess where the book is going and imagine some more “what-ifs.” After a few more back-and-forths, it come eventually comes together.

6. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you, and how do you make it easier for yourself?

The hardest part for me is getting all the logical points lined up to make the plot believable. Again, I go back to my what-if scenarios and make sure my characters have good motivations to make their actions believable. Working in a continuing world, like the Wiccan Haus, made this part of the process easier because I was able to play off elements that were already established.

7. Have you ever considered writing outside the romance genre? Why or why not?

I have. I had an idea for a children’s series starring a cast of brave squirrels, which I’ve begun self-publishing under the pen name Sara Shafer I also have a couple middle grade manuscripts centered around boys and auto racing. It’s been a fun diversion for me. My kids love to read these manuscripts and give me feedback. When I return to the romance genre, I look at my manuscripts with fresh ideas and new excitement.

8. What do you think is the most important piece of advice for aspiring writers to remember?

Write, write, write. Before you can have a best-selling novel, you have to finish writing it. And don’t forget to keep reading while you’re writing.

9. What are you reading right now?

I’ve read several category romances this month. Helen Hardt’s Ivy League Cowboy is on my Kindle. I’ve devoured Dominique Eastwick’s Shifting Hearts and Sherman Series. I dropped everything to read Loretta Ellsworth’s YA novel In a Heartbeat, and it was so worth it! Bobbie Pyron’s middle grade novel A Dog’s Way Home is on my to-be-read pile, and I can’t wait to get started.

10. What are you working on right now?

I just turned in A Man Worth Fighting For (Wiccan Haus series). This story of a wounded hero and the woman determined to fight for him will be released by Musa Publishing on March 23, 2012. I have several more contemporary romance novels and short stories that I’m itching to write, so I’m looking forward to an exciting year with more books to entertain my readers. For future releases, please check my website

Bio: Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read — irresistible romance and captivating family drama. She strives to go beyond entertaining, to give people hope and a belief that everything can and will turn out happily ever after. On the personal side, she’s a frazzled maid, chef, chauffeur, tutor, and personal assistant (aka mom). She tried a stint as a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. She’s crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. And she’s delighted to have her very own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Mr. Forever, you can do so here.

Writing for Blogs Not Your Own

I dream of someday making a living from my fiction. This blog is about that dream and how I’m going to reach it. Unfortunately, there are a hundred writers for every fiction market, and so far, my fiction hasn’t seen the light of day. Instead, I’ve found my early successes in the realm of non-fiction: from September to December I worked as a youth blogger for Now Hear This, I’ve written articles and interviewed authors for Penumbra during my internship, and just this Friday I had my first real guest post(as in the first one I queried myself) published at My Name is Not Bob.

All of these non-fiction experiences have been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned something from each of them. Most importantly, I’ve learned that I do have what it takes to write for other people. I might not have found someone who loves my fiction yet, but each non-fiction sale boosts my confidence. Each non-fiction sale tells me that I write well, that I have a place in the writing world, and that someday, people will read my fiction, too.

So how do you find these same opportunities? Well, think of the places where you like to get your information from. Who are your favourite bloggers? Do they accept guest posts? Do you have something to contribute to their conversation?

My Name is Not Bob is the blog of Robert Brewer, editor of Writer’s Market and a fiction writer on the side. His blog includes inspiring life stories, personal anecdotes and advice for writers. I enjoy his conversational tone and easy-to-read blog layout. So when I discovered that he was accepting guest posts, I decided I’d love to work with him.

But what did I have to contribute to the conversation? I had some pretty awesome advice for writers: How Writers Can Benefit from Publishing Internships, and how writers can get–and keep–those internships.

So, while my Now Hear This job sort of fell into my lap and my articles for Penumbra are all a part of the internship, I decided to query Robert with my ideas. Familiarity with the blog and with Robert’s tone helped a lot. From his posts he seemed friendly, so I wasn’t too nervous sending him a polite email asking if he would be interested in a couple guest posts about internships.

He said he’d be thrilled to have them, so I wrote up my two guest posts, edited them a little here and there, and sent them off. Of course, even with him already showing interest, I was still a little nervous when I sent them off. Thanks to Penumbra, I’ve sat on both ends of this thing–and I’ve had to tell authors who I invited to post on the blog that their post wasn’t approved. Let me tell you, it really does feel bad on both sides.

If you’re working on a guest post for somebody, make sure you’re familiar with their tone. Your voice should still stand out as different, but you want a similar tone. If the blog is PG-13, even if you’re an erotica writer by trade, follow that PG-13 guideline. If the blog tends to use very simple or sophisticated language, alter your own style to be just a little closer to theirs. Generally, the better your post fits with everything else on the site, the more likely it is to actually get posted.

Remember to be polite when dealing with anyone you want to work with and to follow their guidelines. Some bloggers have very loose guidelines for guest posts and others are very specific. If they want you to query, query first. If they just want you to send them a post, send them a post. Send it in the format they want it in. If you know what kind of coding they use, try to code it so it’s already formatted for maximum convenience.

Basically, when you’re sending another blogger your work, you want to make sure that it’s something they’ll find interesting and actually want to put on their blog, that you give them your best work, that it fits with their blogging topic, and that you’re polite. It may sound like a lot, but really, it’s easy–and I’m saying this from the perspective of someone who used to be afraid to query blogs I liked.

Odds are–and this is the best part–that if you really like a blogger and their work, and you present yourself well, they’ll really like you too. I mean, you already know you have one thing in common, right?

If you’d like to see the guest post that inspired this post, click here.

Have you tried writing for somebody else’s blog before?

Prompt Time Friday February 17th

Lately I’ve been working on a lot of background stuff for Moonshadow’s Guardian, also known as my Novel of a Thousand Drafts. I’ve had a lot of fun exploring characters’ pasts and writing pieces in side characters’ point of view. Really, it’s all just procrastination because I’m sick of editing this darn novel. But I have enjoyed it, and I’ve worked with a lot of interesting themes. In particular, I’ve been developing the relationship between one of my main characters and his bastard son–who I only found out existed fairly recently.

Working on their relationship has taught me quite a bit about the character in question. I’ve learned that he spent almost two years with Calder’s mother before she left him because he couldn’t marry her. It wasn’t really his decision, it was the king’s–his brothers’–decision, but she left him for it anyway and turned to the bottle for comfort. He’s got a bit of a guilt complex about it, and in the set of stories I’m working on now, he’s finally convinced Jacob to let him recognize his son.

The best part? I’m writing short stories that I might be able to sell while fleshing out my characters for the novel. This way, I’m able to work towards two goals at once: my goal to write–and submit–more short fiction, and my goal to have MG ready for submission by the end of the year.

Today’s prompt came from the story I started yesterday:

Write a scene in which a young boy is reunited with his father after a tragedy only to discover that his father is blind.

The tragedy can be anything you choose–a war, an earth quake, a hurricane–just have some fun with it. If you can use characters from one of your novels for this story, do so. If not, make up some new ones and have fun getting acquainted.

Please post the first sentence of your response in the comments.

Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff

I was lucky enough to win this book from a Nanowrimo first line competition hosted by Jurgen Wolff. As you might suspect, this competition asked for the first line of a Nanowrimo novel. I won an honorary mention in this contest with the sentence below:

‘”Then General Allen Cairn struck down the mighty King Logan Baran and his brothers.” Nanny whispered in the candle lit nursery.’

Of course I was pretty excited to dive into this book. Jurgen Wolff has worked in numerous fields of writing, particularly in writing for TV. Among other shows, he wrote for Relic Hunter, which was one of my personal favourites growing up. He now offers coaching services to writers at his website, Your Writing Coach.

Your Writing Coach is an extensive motivational guide to writing. It covers topics interesting to writers at every stage, from figuring out what you want to write to sustaining a long term writing career. Each chapter includes solid advice, quotes, exercises and passwords for bonus material on the website.

This book addresses pretty much every issue a writer has to face: finding ideas, facing rejection, marketing your work, dealing with family members and friends who aren’t supportive of your writing, time management, and a few things I haven’t mentioned. A lot of the advice is similar to other advice that’s out there, but there are new ideas in every chapter, too. Based on the wide range of topics covered in this book, odds are that you’ll find at least one piece of advice in Your Writing Coach Useful.

I read Your Writing Coach mostly on the train to and from school because I’ve been overwhelmingly busy lately, so I haven’t checked out any of the bonus content yet or done most of the exercises. I’m really glad I own this book, because it means next time I’m stuck on something or about to start a new project, I can run through and do some of the exercises. Most of the bonus content is interviews on the website, and I’m looking forward to checking them out when I have the time.

You can buy Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff here.

Preparing to Edit a Novel

It’s that time of year again. All the mistletoe has rotted and half of everyone’s New Year resolutions have already been thrown out the window. That first draft of your Nano–or whatever other project you’ve been ignoring for the last several months–has been sitting in its corner quietly collecting dust for long enough.

It’s time to pull that tome out and edit. It will be painful, it might be bloody–though I suspect you’ll go through more ink than actual blood–but it’s necessary. Trust me, your novel will look better without all those tangents and ten page character descriptions. They are extra limbs just getting in the way–I mean, spiders have eight legs but if a human had eight arms that would just be awkward, right? Think of limbs as sub-plots and character descriptions and then decide whether your book should be a human or a spider and act accordingly.

Anyway. Before you go into your word file and start messing around, there are a few things you really should do. These steps should help get you organized so that when you get to the novel to start messing around, you know exactly what you need to do and you don’t get discouraged.

1. Print it out. You’ll do all your actual tinkering inside word, of course, because that’s where you wrote it and that’s where the file is, but you have to print it out. First off, you tend to–and I do it too, it’s okay–skim when you’re reading on a computer. Printing it out slows down the reading process, which means you catch more errors. There’s also something about that black font on that crisp white paper that makes errors stand out.

2. Read it and take notes. Don’t go back into your word file until you’ve read THE WHOLE THING and taken notes on it. Some people suggest to read it really quickly and only to note how you felt about it overall the first time. I’ve never been able to do that. I’m anal enough to proofread my math tests and published books. I can’t imagine NOT crossing out words and fixing typos. But really, if you’re in one of your first few edits, those little things aren’t important–I’m not going to stop you from writing them down, but focus on the story.

One thing I’ve done, just as a quick example, is to write chapter notes at the end of each chapter. I write these on the back of the page where the chapter ends, and these are my story notes. Those are the notes I look at when going to the next step.

3. Make a To-Do List. Your to-do list starts with world building. Do you have any new questions about your world? Will you have to develop the world further to get a feel for a new subplot? I decided in this draft of Moonshadow’s Guardian to make politics more important to the story, which means I need to build the family trees of the politicians. That’s just one example of a number of small world building things I’ll be doing before I start my next draft.

Your to-do list obviously also includes any new scenes or subplots you need to add, characters you’d like to develop, writing exercises you’d like to do to master PoV, and any scenes or subplots you need to delete. Basically, even if it’s a separate short story that’s another exploration of your world or characters, include it on the list because it will in some way make your next draft more awesome. If in doubt, put it on the list. You can always change your mind later.

4. Do some writing exercises. Even if you didn’t put it on your list, do some writing exercises. Stay in the world you’ve already been working on and write about something in it or someone. Pick a famous object from your world and describe it. Write about the first time someone meets your main character–from that other person’s point of view. Put yourself into the head space of your novel by working inside its world for a little while before you actually dive into editing. That way you won’t have to spend time getting back into the flow when you’re actually in your novel file. Of course, this is also when you do any exercises you put on your to-do list and any world building.

These steps will prepare you to edit that monster first draft. Editing can feel overwhelming, but taking the time to read through and make a list of everything you have to do will make it a little less terrifying. At least now you know not just where you’re going, but–if only vaguely–how you’re going to get there, too.

Next week I’m probably going to talk about something totally random while the guilt about not doing anything on my MG to-do list eats away at me, but sometime soon we’re going to talk about first chapters.

How do you prepare to edit?

Market Listing February 10th

Once upon a time, short stories were the most popular form of fiction. Novelists became famous writing serial stories, short stories that if read together connected into a longer piece.

Nowadays, the market for short stories, especially serials, is shrinking. Ebooks have made it possible to sell your short story to the whole world anyway, but for those of us seeking validation by exclusive magazines, the markets are dwindling. I’m noticing this as I look for markets, both for my own stories and for this feature of my blog. A few of the markets sitting in my bookmarks have died. In the four years since I’ve started paying attention to magazines that publish fiction, many have come and gone.

There will always be a need for good writing. It might turn out that by the end of this year I’ve run out of paying magazines and ezines to mention to you. But don’t give up hope. There are always ebook publishers–and the number of those is probably going to grow sporadically–and of course, your next story might find a home if this one doesn’t.

With that said, on to today’s markets:

Scapezine takes Young Adult fiction, poetry and artwork. They pay one cent per word and they take submissions by email. Don’t forget to read the guidelines thoroughly and maybe a couple of stories on the main site to get a feel for what they publish.

Encounters seems to take stories of the length I seem to write–3, 500 to 10, 000–in the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. Make sure you read their guidelines thoroughly. They offer token payment.

Freefall is a Canadian magazine which publishes fiction and pays $10.00/printed page. They accept submissions from all over the world, but they try to keep their content 85% Canadian. Yay Canada.

Hopefully these markets will help you along your writing journey. If you get a bunch of rejections, that’s okay–I’ve got a big stack too.

Guest Post: Martin Bolton on Co-Writing a Novel

Today I’d like to welcome Martin Bolton, my second guest poster here at Dianna’s Writing Den. I hope you’ll find this post as interesting as I did.

On Co-Writing a Novel

When my good friend, David Pilling, and I decided to write a novel together we had no idea where to start. We had both written plenty of stuff individually, but how do you coordinate a dual effort?

Before we could think of the actual story, we had to decide how we would both contribute to a book without it being disjointed and difficult to read. After a few decent ales and a good chat, we came up with the idea of a story with two main protagonists who are born on opposite sides of a world, have never met, but are inexorably drawn to each other, for reasons we were yet to think of!

The plan seemed perfect because it meant we had two main characters, each with a life, enemies, friends, culture, religion, who didn’t meet until the end of the book. I would write about one character and David would write about the other. And so The Best Weapon flickered into life.

Our plan of action turned out to be the first step towards a story line and, over a few more ales, we thrashed out a rough outline of the synopsis. Then, feeling rather excited and eager to get started, we both went home to start work on our first chapter. A few days later we were reading each other’s first efforts. It was good to see the characters we had ranted about in the pub come to.

The great thing about co-writing is that you have instant feedback on everything you write, but to take full advantage of this you absolutely have to be completely honest with each other. It is really important that you point something out which you don’t think works and are equally happy to take criticism. If you’re working with the right person, it’ll work well.

We are both influenced by the same authors, Bernard Cornwall, Robert E Howard, Joe Abercrombie and Rafael Sabatini to name a few, and our writing styles are similar. We found that what we had written fitted together fairly seamlessly and those few close friends and family who read the first couple of chapters couldn’t tell who had written what or where I stopped and he started. We took that as a good sign.

Over the following six months, we would meet around twice a week and talk about the story. We would discuss ideas for plot-changes and developments, often getting quite heated in our debates. These discussions were really important. Being able to bounce ideas off one another meant that we could develop them into some thing which we felt was really exciting.

On a personal note, I have learned a lot from working with someone who has a bit more writing experience and a much better education (he spent a lot of time correcting me spelling!) and now I have more confidence to write on my own.

If I had any advice for anyone thinking of co-writing a book, it would be to be completely honest with each other from the start. Don’t be afraid to criticise or suggest improvements about your co-writer’s work, it is all about the two of you coming up with the best story you can by using the best of both your skills. Most of all, you should really enjoy writing together because the more you enjoy writing it, the more someone else will enjoy reading it…

Martin Bolton was born in Cornwall in 1979 and now lives and works in Bristol.

Previously he concentrated on his artwork and writing small pieces of nonsense for the

amusement of his friends, before deciding to do some serious creative writing. His first published

work, a full length novel co-written with David Pilling, is The Best Weapon, is due to be released

by Musa Publishing on 02 March 2012..

His work is inspired by authors such as Joe Abercrombie, Robert E Howard, Bernard

Cornwell and Iain M. Banks.