The Song of Octa, Book One: Cover Reveal

I’m all but done with the first draft of the new book – should be another week or so. The Blood of Iutes is the first volume in the new Song of Octa trilogy, and the fourth in the overall saga of post-roman Britannia (I haven’t decided on the name yet!).

The story picks up some five years after the end of The Saxon Might, and focuses on a certain young man called Octa – no spoilers for those who haven’t read the previous books! (although if you know your early history of the Kingdom of Kent, you may have had some spoilers already…)

Soon, the preorder should go up on Amazon, but before then, here’s a peak at the cover: 

Power

There are two types of people in power.

Those who are there because they want to use power to help people without it; and those who want to use it to help only themselves.

The first kind are not afraid of protests. Sometimes they will even join them themselves. They know the truly powerful protests come from true grievances, grievances that need to be heard, and, if possible, addressed. They know that if the grievance happened on their watch, they screwed something up, and it’s up to them to fix whatever it is, not be angry or disappointed at those who feel their only resort is to turn to violence.

The second kind also know the protests come from true grievances, but they’re not interested in ever solving them. They’re only interested in keeping the power, and quashing any resistance. There is no effort of understanding, of hearing, of helping; the only effort is in subduing and pacifying.

The violence they use makes them seem strong and decisive – but in truth, they are terrified. They are afraid, because they know history is not on their side. Because they know you can’t keep the people subdued by fear alone forever, no matter how many tanks and guns you send against them.

Grudzień 1970 – Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia

[1st image: Ferguson police officers take the knee in memory of George Floyd/AP]

[2nd image: 1970 riots in Gdansk]

5 resources for history of the Dark Ages Britain

1. CPNRB – Celtic Personal Names of Roman Britain.


https://www.asnc.cam.ac.uk/personalnames/category.php 

The database of all Briton names confirmed in sources and found in inscriptions in the Roman period, from 1st to 5th century AD. Divided by period, location, tribe. Invaluable for coming up with real-sounding secondary characters.


2. DARMC – Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations.


https://darmc.harvard.edu/maps 

This one has everything. Roman roads, settlements – named and unnamed, bridges, passes, temples, fortresses, villas… the most comprehensive map of Ancient Rome on the internet.


3. ORBIS – Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World.


http://orbis.stanford.edu/

Calculator of distances and travel times for the Roman Empire. Google Maps for Ancient Rome, using main roads and sea routes.


4. PASE – Prosopograhy of Anglo-Saxon England.


http://pase.ac.uk/jsp/index.jsp

Similar to 1., a database of names but this time for the Anglo-Saxons. Covers all of Middle Ages, divided by locations, periods, occupations and more.


5. Rural Settlement of Roman Britain. Another detailed map of every archaeological find from Roman Britain.


https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/romangl/map.html

An even more detailed map of Roman archaelogy than 2., but dedicated solely to Britain, rather than all of Empire. Down to single coin finds.


The Saxon Spears – The Song of Ash, Book 1

NOW AVAILABLE  – ONLY ON AMAZON!

Thirty years have passed since Britannia voted to throw off the Roman yoke. Now, the old world crumbles. Pirates roam the seas, bandits threaten the highways, and barbarian refugees land at Britannia’s shores, uninvited. The rich profit from the chaos, while the poor suffer. A new Dark Age is approaching – but all is not lost.

Ash is a Seaborn, a Saxon child found on the beach with nothing but a precious stone at his neck and a memory of a distant war from which his people have fled. Raised on the estate of a Briton nobleman, trained in warfare and ancient knowledge, he soon becomes embroiled in the machinations and intrigues at the court of Wortigern, the Dux of Londinium, a struggle that is about to determine the future of all Britannia.

A child of Saxon blood, an heir to Roman family, his is a destiny like no other: to forge a new world from the ruins of the old.

The Saxon Spears is the first volume of the Song of Ash saga, perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell’s “The Last Kingdom” series, Simon Scarrow and Conn Iggulden.

TheSaxonSpears_V6

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Life gets in the way – back to writing!

久しぶりですね …

94981232-176-k350955It’s been a while… Not only have I not updated this blog, I also, I’m afraid, haven’t been working as hard on the novel as I should have. Life and day job got in the way rather seriously… But now it looks like everything’s settling down at last, and I can go back to my proper job.

And what better way to get back into the whirlwind of writing in the middle of the summer than by joining Camp Nanowrimo! You can follow my progress starting (fingers crossed!) tomorrow, here. I don’t know if I will reach any sort of goal – the book is 2/3rd written as it is, so it’s mostly about finishing the project and tidying up the first draft, but, we’ll see where we get from here!

Ten new Doctors better than Kris Marshall

I refuse to believe for one second the rumour about Kris Marshall. He’s a nice guy and a good enough actor, but come on – this would be the most bland and vanilla choice for the Doctor in the history of Doctors. It would be just silly. Might as well recast Peter Davison.

That said, everyone’s posting their own Doctors lists, as is the custom whenever the regeneration is mentioned, so without further ado, here’s mine.

1. Tamsin Greig

At the moment, she’s my definite favourite for the role. She does funny, she does sad, she does drama and she looks good in suits.

2. Joanna Scanlan

A Thick of It alumni, she’s proven her acting chops definitely in No Offence. In that leather outfit, she’d give Eccleston a run for his money as the best Northern Doctor.

 

3 & 4. Nina Wadia OR Sanjeev Bhaskar

We really need an Asian Doctor, like RIGHT NOW. Either of those would do perfect. “TARDIS? I can make TARDIS at home! All I need is a black hole and a small aubergine.”

5. Sacha Dhawan

He wants the role. He played in the anniversary special. He’s got sci-fi experience. Make it happen.

 

6. Daniel Kaluuya

Probably too big now for BBC, after the breakout success of Get Out… But I thought that of Peter Capaldi, so I’ve been wrong before.

7. Reece Shearsmith

We’re in the white dudes territory now, but Reece Shearsmith could play as literally anyone – imagine the Doctor in a different costume every episode… Reece would probably make a better Master, though.

8. Julian Barratt

Noel Fielding is always bandied about in these lists, but Julian Barratt is the better actor of the two, and does “alien” far more effortlessly.

9. Michaela Coel

Was the casting call for Bill Potts “somebody like Michaela Coel”? Plus, she’s already played an alien.

10. Benedict Wong

He’s just about the right age now, and the right face… and he’s got the Hollywood clout now.