Thursday, 1 October 2015

My Childhood Dream

Obviously I have a day job and generally am a badass sci-fi writer by night. Sometimes I have to write stuff for work too though. I'm an assistant English teacher in a Japanese junior high school, and a teacher asked me to write a speech about my childhood dream. This is what I came up with. It's kind of true and a little poignant haha. I can still remember asking my mother to buy me a power sword. I think I was about five, but who knows haha.

My Childhood Dream
By Chris

When I was a small child, I wanted to be a superhero. I watched the news on TV, and saw that there were a lot of bad things in the world. I wanted to stop these bad things. So one day I asked my mother to buy me a power sword from the supermarket. She said okay, but that night she told me that the supermarket had sold out of power swords, so I couldn’t become a superhero. At that time I felt very sad.

Now that I am older, I understand more about the world. There are still a lot of bad things in the world but we can all help to stop them. Not everyone can change the world in a big way, but we can all change the world in a small way. For example, we can pick up trash or care for cats and dogs that don’t have a family. Or we can say nice things to people even when we don’t feel happy.

I learned that to be a superhero you don’t need to have a power sword, because the power to change the world comes from your heart.

Thank you.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

I wrote a poem today

I wrote a poem today. It's an allegory for the European migrant crisis and the fear of the unknown. It also suggests that it's better to act sooner rather than later.

I found the devil
I found the devil’s body, washed up on the shore
I heard him faintly whisper; “I have fled a distant war.”
A dilemma swift upon me, asked whatever should I do?
Repel him to the water, or offer up some food?
An arm rose from the sand and beckoned me to listen
“To tell your people of our plight became my final mission.
Minding our own business, we lived as devils do
But Heaven took offense at our blasé attitude.
With fire from the sky, and poison in the water
They led us blindly down the track to poverty and slaughter.”
Stunned silent as I looked on him I considered what to do.
Said, “Devil, wait here by the waves, I’ll soon return for you.”
I consulted with my people on a forward way to act,
Passed days and nights with nothing done as we assessed the facts.
A conflict between sun and moon, who were we to intervene?
Resolved we were to tell the devil what we had decreed.
“Head further south, and there you’ll find a safer place than here,
Another town will welcome you and hush away your fears.”
But when I reached that bleakest shore, my words already said,
I found I was too late: the devil, alas, was dead.

Copyright 2015 by Chris Ward

Sunday, 13 September 2015

New covers!

Recently I had new covers down for the three books in the Tube Riders series. These were done by the very talented Elizabeth Mackey at

Friday, 14 August 2015

Upcoming schedule

It's been a while since I wrote a long rambling update about what's coming up soon, so here goes. As regular readers will know, I recently finished writing a book that forms part one of a new dystopian series. I'm hoping to have that available for you to read by the end of the year. It could be a year or two before a follow up, though, as I have unfinished business with other stories first.

So, here's the plan...


Publication of The Puppeteer King (Crow #3)
Publication of Circus of Machinations (Crow #4)

Begin the audio books for Crow 1 and (hopefully) Tube Riders: Exile.

Write Crow #5: The Tower at the World's End and The Tube Riders: In the Shadow of London (side novel set between Exile and Revenge).

Do the paperbacks for the first four Crow books.

Winter 2015 / Spring 2016

Get back to the Rise of the Governor (Tube Riders prequels). Part One will possibly be called Genesis.

At some point there will be a short stories omnibus and possibly a Crow boxed set.

Some of the more beady eyed of you might have noticed the disappearance of a few of my short stories from my Amazon page. This is because I've been thinking long and hard about branding and organisation. Last year was pretty successful, but due in part to market forces and my own lower output due to personal goings on, this year has been a massive let down so far. The simple truth is that the ebook world is growing so quickly that it's very easy to get lost in the mire. Free books don't equate to paid sales as much as they used to and you're constantly fighting a million other authors for visibility. Therefore, my Amazon author page will be getting a streamlining over the next few weeks. All my shorts and stuff will still be available on iTunes and elsewhere, but on Amazon I'll be concentrating on novels.

Also, there is a little Tube Riders news on the horizon. The series will be a getting a bit of a revamp over the next couple of months. There will be no changes to the stories, but one or two elsewhere. No details for now. I'll let you know when I do.

Okay, that's all for now.

Chris Ward
August 15th 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Work in progress snippet

Wrote this yesterday. Part of a new story I'm working on, in first person no less! Closing in on 50,000 words, so hopefully I can get it done in August. I still have a 5th Crow book to write, but after doing three in a row I needed a break. This is actually based on an old short story, but it's deviated somewhat into a completely different beast. Not sure of a title yet.

"The damp, algae-coated wooden slats that passed for seats in the bottom of the boat were like a strong hand to a falling man. I hugged them, crying into them, trying to ignore the pain in my torn-open wounds as the brutal reality of the words I had screamed as I leapt from the harbour side into the water rang in my mind like a giant, diseased bell.


At the moment when I had needed them most, I had forgotten my children’s names.

I felt like the world was folding in on me, squashing me flat, and there was nothing I could do to stop it."

Chris Ward
July 31st 2015

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Tales of Crow, and tales of Mega Britain

It's been a while since I posted anything over here so I figured it was time for an update. This year has been far slower than I would have liked due to real life issues (in short, day work!), but things are starting to pick up speed as the second half of the year comes around.

Most of this year has been dedicated to the Tales of Crow series. Two volumes in what will be a five-book series are now published, with The Castle of All Nightmares appearing last month. The third book in the series, The Puppeteer King, just went off to the editor last weekend. Number 4, The Circus of Machinations, is finished and is currently sitting in my to-edit pile along with a couple of trunk novels, a textbook(!), and a handful of short stories. The fifth and final volume, which is set to be the most epic of the lot, is tentatively underway. Okay, so I've written half the prologue, but I have a feeling this one is going to be awesome.

Do you want to know why?

Because the Tales of Crow series blends into the background of the Tube Riders series, ending just as the Governor takes power in Britain. Those of you who have been reading the Tales of Crow series so far will have noticed that each book is set in a different international location. They Came Out After Dark was set in Japan, while The Castle of All Nightmares was set in Romania. (Don't worry, no spoilers!) The Puppeteer King is set in Barcelona, and The Circus of Machinations in Siberia.

The fifth and final volume of the series will be set in Britain. More specifically, in Mega Britain. What you'll get is a view of the dystopianisation (my god, did I just make that word up??!) of Britain from the sidelines, as the decay sets in and the gates start to close. You'll see the perimeter walls going up and the cities closing off, and into it all I'm going to throw a scarred madman intent on causing as much trouble as possible before his own light fades for good.

The tone of the first two books (and even the third) of the Tales of Crow series were noticeably different to the Tube Riders books, more offbeat and unusual, but over books four and five things start to darken as the world around them dims into the twilight that the Governor has pulled over Europe. It's going to be awesome for me to go back to that world, and I hope that you'll come along for the ride.

And now a little more good news: the first book in the Tales of Crow series is now free. You get get a free copy on (with more Amazons to follow), iTunes or Barnes & Noble. I hope you enjoy it, and if it's your first experience of my books, welcome to my world.

Chris Ward
July 2nd 2015

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Musings over school lunch today

So I had one of those epiphanic moments today over lunch. How many writers do you know of that have actual good day jobs, or had them before they became professional writers? Sure, you always get those ones who used to be a diplomat or a paratrooper or an assassin, but so many more seem to have been secretaries or laundromat workers or department store clerks. The reason that us lowly writers are not bank managers or CEOs or sports stars is because we can’t fake an interest in a profession that means nothing to us; instead we linger on the fringes of acceptable employment, harbouring a dream that we pursue in our free time.

I had a day job. Then I lost it and then I got another day job. I’m an ALT, an Assistant Language Teacher, in an Japanese Junior High School. Today I went off to lunch, and as I entered my allocated lunch room, second grade class seven, the homeroom teacher barked at some kid to show ALT-teacher to his alloted desk (I don’t have an actual name). Usually the desks are arranged into blocks of six, but today they were all facing the front like in a regular class. I asked a nearby kid why, and he told me that apparently it was the latest way to combat the spread of influenza.

So I sat down to eat my cold lunch (why is it always cold??), sitting next to a solemn kid who refused to speak to me, instead preferring to read a bus timetable than answer a couple of basic questions. The incredible absurdity of the situation suddenly struck me. Here I was, identified by an acronym, not even deemed important enough to sit at the front of the class with the other teachers, and I wanted to jump up and shout, ‘Doesn’t anyone realize who I am?? I wrote THE TUBE RIDERS, goddamnit! I have 134 reviews (at the time of writing) on Amazon, and while I might not be world famous I am famous enough that a fan of my books (thanks, Vicky!!) once knitted and posted me a pair of gloves after I mentioned on my Twitter feed that my hands were cold … I’m a demi-god in this room!!! Get on your knees and PRAISE ME!!!’

Instead, I just kept quiet, but it got me wondering. How many times have you walked into a convenience store and bought some fried chicken and a bottle of toilet cleaner off some spotty kid called Chuck without giving him a second glance? How do you know that in his spare time Chuck isn’t building spy planes in his garage or inventing a way to clone dinosaurs? Geniuses like myself ;-) and Chuck are hidden away in society, but to find us, all you have to do is look closely into our eyes and see if there’s a glint of something special there…

Now go and buy my books.

That is all. ;-)

By the way, the second book in the Tales of Crow series, The Castle of All Nightmares, should be out in the next couple of months. It's dragging its feet but its getting there ...!