Pre-match Nerves

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Tomorrow my story The Path Of Swords will be for sale on Amazon and I’m a little nervous. There are all kinds of thoughts that occur at a time like this. Will it look ok on the page? Is the cover right? Is the blurb interesting enough? Have I checked carefully enough for typos etc? WILL PEOPLE LIKE IT?

But I’m ignoring all these thoughts. My goal has never been to publish a book, have zillions of sales and retire to the Caribbean. I mean, that would be nice but it’s never been the plan. The plan is to write a series that people will read and enjoy. This is the first step, and as such it’s an important one but there is a long way to go. It’s a journey that I’m enjoying so far and I’m in no rush. Too often the first time you do something slips by without you realising it. I intend to savour the moment.

Remember that you have until lunchtime today (12th May) to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

Maps and Legends

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I love books with maps so I was very happy to sit down and start mapping out the world of the Second Son series which I did fairly soon after I started writing. At first I had it all straight in my head but I got to the point where I needed to actually see it. I drew this as a working document, it’s not meant to be the sort of map that you stick in the front of a book. Having said that it’s something I want to do and I will probably draw/paint one for the omnibus that will come out after the first three books of the series. Not going to worry about it just yet though!

And if you’re wondering why I’ve added legends to maps in the title then you need to listen to more REM.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

The Song of Amhar

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The Song of Amhar

Five great ships from out of the night

Riding the waves to the land of light

Amhar the strong, with foresight blessed

Follows his destiny into the west

 

Considering I’m the sort of person who a) likes poetry, b) used to write songs and c) read the Lord of the Rings every year for about 15 years, its not surprising that bits of song and poetry crop up in The Path Of Swords. Obviously not too much, you don’t want to slow the narrative down too much, but there a times when adding something different really helps set the scene. This especially true when you consider the type of civilisation that the characters inhabit. Poetry, song and story are the way history is recorded, and knowledge passed on. Also one of the main characters is Mack, an aged minstrel, a wandering bard that befriends Luan and helps him along his way.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

How do you build a world?

 

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There is a certain amount of world building required every time you start a story, but in a fantasy book it’s a fundamental part of the process. In my case the process was based on a series of questions which I had to answer before I could start writing.

What would Britain have been like if it had never been invaded, whether that was by Romans, Saxons, Vikings or Normans. How would our Celtic culture have developed over time?

What if no one had seen horses before?

What if Iron technologies were scarce, but you had the secret while your enemies still used Bronze?

What if the Faerie world of Celtic legend existed, and you could use it to influence events in the real world?

What if you were a man, who saw beyond the petty squabbles of your local tribes, and glimpsed a whole land?

What if you then braved the journey to the spirit world and brought back Iron weapons and horse soldiers and used them to forge a Kingdom?

The answers to these questions led to the creation of the legend of Amhar the Strong, founder of the Kingdom of the young, but The Path Of Swords isn’t his story

That story is set 500 years later.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

Amazon here we go!

 

The Path of Swords will be appearing on a famous book selling website near you this Saturday! That’s right, after a feverish week or so going through the mechanics of getting the book onto Amazon we’re ready to roll, and guess what? There’s a new cover!

So Saturday 13th May is the date. The cost will be 99p or 99 cents, depending where you are, although there will be a giveaway coming up fairly soon.

Meanwhile you have until Friday, that’s just four days, to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

After that it will be exclusively available on Amazon. The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

New Cover Design

So here we are, a new look and a slightly new title as well.

This isn’t necessarily the finished cover. It’s more in the way of a sketch. I was never completely happy with the previous design and so I spent some time thinking about which themes in the book I wanted to portray on the cover. In the end I felt the sword needed to be there, and I wanted to bring out the Celtic element as well, hence the idea of the sword entwined in a Celtic knot. The design is hand drawn, as you can probably tell, and is my own work. I’m going to try a painted version as well as a neater line version and see which looks best.

As for the name change, in an ironic twist following my post The Fellowship Of The Bling , I discovered that there are already two books on Amazon called The Path Of The Sword. This made me feel a bit of an idiot! Having said that, I like the new name better, as it hints at the other boy warriors whose fates are entwined with that of Luan.

So that’s where we are for now.Remember that for a limited time only you can get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

Introducing Gable Press

As I’m about to launch my independent publishing career, I thought it made sense to have a name for the business. I wanted something that wasn’t genre specific and also had some personal link.

Coming up with names can be tricky so I went to see my friend Al and after a lively discussion fuelled by red wine and  interspersed with furious googling we came up with Gable Press. If your wondering where that came from, well the house I grew up in was called The Gables and it seemed a nice link back to the past. I’ve added a page to my blog which gives a brief introduction (see below) and over time will have details of the books I  publish.

imageThe point of this is that it will make the books look more professional, and I’m aiming to produce the most professional product I can.

As for Martin Swinford, I’ll be introducing him in a future blog post. Let’s just say he’s an old friend and distant relative who, by a remarkable coincidence, has some books that need publishing.