For most of the last half-year I’ve been mostly working on patiently carving out the main draft of the Crown of the Iutes – which has already grown into the longest and most complex book I’ve ever written, as befits the conclusion of Ash and Octa’s long stories. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have other important news coming up.
This is the first time ever I released a professional audio version of any of my books, thanks to ACX and British actor/comedian/voice over artist David Lane Pusey. It’s super exciting, and a little bit eerie, to hear my characters actually speak, and he’s done such a great job on the book! (wait till you hear Eirik!)
The audiobook is for the Saxon Spears only for now. Obviously, it’s a lot of work and effort on everyone’s part, so I will probably be releasing these not more often than once a year, assuming the first one pays off, that is. The entire first book is over 13 hours long!
I have some promo codes for free downloads, if anyone wants to review it – just send me a note.
Also, here are the affiliated links to Audible versions if you want to buy/download/use a credit on my and David’s audiobook:
Amazon KDP now allows indie publishers to produce hardcovers! And it’s fairly easy if you’ve already done a paerback. For now, you can buy a hardcover version of the Saxon Spears, but more will be coming over the next few week, and by the time the Crown comes out, all six books should have hardcover versions for your library. I haven’t seen the hardcover copy myself yet – it’s in the post – hope it’s as well printed as the paperback!
Incidentally, this means the Saxon Spears is now my first ever book to be released in all four formats!
3. IN OTHER NEWS…
“The Shadow of Black Wings” has been translated into Spanish by Sebastian Esparza. For now it’s available on Nook, Kobo and iTunes, Kindle version is coming soon, I’m told. I’ll keep you posted. EDIT: It’s on Amazon NOW.
“The Crown of the Iutes” is chugging along nicely, but it’s grown so big I may not manage to release it in time. At worst, it will be delayed by a month, though I’ll try my best to avoid it!
Have you seen the cool new graphics on Amazon pages for Song of Britain? That’s another new promo tool available to writers that I’ve taken full advantage of. Looks very professional now, don’t you think?
That’s all for now – time for me to go back to the word mines!
A simple map this time, for a simple, short story – this is Armorica – today’s Brittany – at the end of the 5th century, just as the old, classic Imperial city names from Tabula Peutingeriana change to common tongue ones, as used in Notitia Dignitatum and later texts.
Today’s the day of another release in the Song of Britain saga – Book 5, “The Wrath of the Iutes” !
The long way back just got longer….
They were supposed to return home as heroes, basking in the glory and plunder of the victory at Trever… But fate decided otherwise for Octa and his band of Iutes. Chasing after Ursula’s captor, the renegade Haesta, they venture deep into the unfamiliar land of Armorica, where they unexpectedly discover an old ally seeking their help against a threat of invasion…
On their quest to help defend Britannia Prima, a province still ruled by the remnants of the old Roman power, Octa and his warriors will meet new friends, face new enemies and discover ancient mysteries, in this long-awaited second chapter of the Song of Octa: The Wrath of the Iutes.
“The Wrath…” takes place in Armorica, Isles of Scilly and what is now known as Wales. It’s in Wales that most military action happens, with armies moving from fort to fort and ships going from port to port, so the one new map drawn for this book is one of Wales – or Western Britannia Prima.
Incidentally, this is my second novel that is partly set in Wales – so did my first book, the Shadow of Black Wings, and even the map was somewhat similar, if a fantasy version. I can’t tell myself if it’s just a curious coincidence or is there something special about Wales that makes me go back to it time and time again?
It’s an unusual publishing move, so I decided instead of the usual press blurb, I’ll do a short FAQ post explaining why you should preorder this if you’ve also preordered The Wrath of the Iutes – or read (and enjoyed) any of my books in the series.
Is it a standalone novella?
Not really – it’s best read after the Wrath, as it concerns the fates of characters we first meet in this volume. I tried my best to make it a standalone if somebody insists on reading it out of order, but at best you’ll have spoilers for the previous book – and at worst, you won’t have a clue what’s going on.
Why novella, rather than part of the novel?
Because it’s not quite a part of Octa’s story, at least not as I want to tell it. Though told through Octa’s eyes, and though he and Ursula play active parts in the plot, it’s the conclusion of the stories of the characters he meets in the Wrath, and attaching it at either the end of Book 2 or the beginning of Book 3 would feel out of place. It also serves as a chronological stepping stone between the two volumes – the gap between the Wrath and the Crown is almost eight years, and there’s a story within that gap that needed to be told.
Isn’t it just a money-grabbing ploy?
Quite the opposite. The novella is 40,000 words long – a third of my usual novel length. Editing, proofreading and formatting of a text this long costs money. Adding it to one of the other books would increase their price accordingly. But because I don’t feel this is an essential part of Octa’s story, I wouldn’t feel right forcing the reader to pay for it. This way, everyone gets a choice.
What’s it really about?
At the most basic level, it’s a retelling of the ancient Breton legend of the Sunken City of Ys – though it’s as distant from that tale as the Song of Ash was from the real legends of Vortigern, Hengist and Horsa. It’s set in the years 461-462 AD, takes place almost entirely in Armorica, and introduces the new enemy who will become a much greater threat in “The Crown of Iutes” – the Goths of Tolosa. That’s as much as I can say without spoilers.
Should I buy it?
Yes! Not only is it as fun and exciting as my full length novels, it also features a certain important event in Octa’s and Ursula’s lives – you may want to read it just for this. And it’s only 99p!
Here’s a little bit of unexpected news about my old steampunk fantasy series, The Year of the Dragon.
I gathered all 8 books into one bundle – what they call on Kindle a “boxed set”, though there is no box, since it’s all virtual… And updated the previous 4-book bundles – or boxed sets – into the new Kindle format.
Everything else stays the same as previously, but if you’ve ever wondered what my first series of books was all about, and why it sometimes reached the tops of bestseller lists in US (a feat I’m still to repeat with Song of Ash!) you now have a chance to get into it. The Complete 1-8 Books Set costs £9.99, which I hope is a fair price for 8 full novels. All bundles are now in Kindle Unlimited, too, so they’re free if you’re a member.
There might be a promo or two in the pipeline over the summer, so stay tuned, and sign up to that newsletter for alerts!
All is lost. The Gods decided to reward Wortimer and punish Ash, and the future of Britannia hangs in the balance.
In the darkness of a prison cell, through pain of torture, Ash tries to remember how everything has gone so terribly wrong. Wortimer defeated his father and conquered Londin. He took Rhedwyn into his chamber, and threw Ash into the deepest dungeon. His armies are rampaging throughout the province, killing Iutes and Saxons wherever they can find them. It seems nothing and nobody can stop the new Dux of Britons from fulfiling his mission to destroying the Iutes and cast all barbarians out of the island forever.
The Saxon Might is the concluding volume of the Song of Ash, a fast-paced, gripping historical fiction trilogy, perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell’s “The Last Kingdom” series, Simon Scarrow, Matthew Harffy and Conn Iggulden.
The Finnis Britanniae saga will continue in the next trilogy, the Song of Octa.