hereReviewMy new novel has been out for just over a week, and there are already two positive reviews posted online. What’s more, they’re from complete strangers, so I know they’re genuine. This is a much more enthusiastic response to the novel than I had been expecting, and I am hoping it could be a sign that Ranidir’s Heir is going to do well.

The reviews can be found here and here, and there’s a snapshot of my favourite one above.

What does it mean to receive positive feedback? The absolute world. I’ve poured an awful lot of myself into all of my books, but none more so than the latest one. All the time I was writing it I was excited, I barely faltered at any stage, that enthusiasm remaining with me through the entire process. It somehow felt like I was producing something to be proud of, and to have such quick affirmation of that after its release is both a pleasure and such a major relief! It doesn’t matter how many friends and family tell you they think your work is good, you’ll never believe it, not really, until someone completely non-biased weighs in and gives you their own completely neutral opinion.

The human brain is funny like that. “I love you, I trust you, but when it comes to evaluating my work I’d much rather hear from Joe Bloggs over there”. It’s one of the few occasions when a stranger’s opinion is worth so much more than a friend’s, along with “does my bum look big in this”, “how did I sound at karaoke” and “is the spot on my nose noticeable”…

The other thing these two reviews have given me is the drive to crack on and get writing my fifth novel, which will be the third book in the Realm series. The prologue is done, the first chapter is underway, and the broad strokes of the storyline are in place, so if I follow my usual process I will finish this chapter, then make notes on the next few, write another one, make some more notes, and then repeat that process until the notes reach the end of the story and I can simply flesh them out into prose. I don’t know if this is a correct way to write a novel (is there a correct way?) but it works for me. If Ranidir’s Heir is anything to go by, the next one should take me somewhere between 6 and 8 months. It would be amazing if I can get a sequel out in 2017, it would mean I’ve written my first trilogy!

Of course, this latest book could go the way of Novels 2 and 3, and go on to receive a response that could best be described as “tepid”. “Lukewarm” would be stretching it a bit. And if that happens, well, I’ll just roll with it. It would delay the next book because I’d have to stop being a bohemian hippy author and get a proper job (and yes, I realise that looking after my infant son is a proper job, but it pays extremely well in smiles and pride while paying abysmally in actual cash money), but the next book would still get written and released. Because it’s in my brain now and has to come out, and besides, I now know that at least two people in the world would like to read more adventures in the Realm, and that is more than enough incentive for me.

I’ll never stop writing. Being able to do it full time would be a dream come true, but no matter what happens I’ll keep telling my stories and hoping that people like them.

Anyway, enough burbling from me, don’t forget you can get the ebook version of my novels for less than the price of a pint, and the paperback version of Ranidir’s Heir is now available to buy as well. If you do give them a go, I really hope you enjoy them. I’m proud of them, but then I am pretty biased…unlike Debi and Colin from the internet, my two current favourite strangers!

I hope everyone is well and life is treating you gently, thanks as ever for reading…and Stay Frosty, People.


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