Sunday, 14 September 2014

Introducing .... Chris Ward's World of Words Volume 1

It's compilation time!

The recent publication of Finding My World was my seventh full length novel to be published.

Just to be nice, and because my standalones are terribly under appreciated, I've put five of those books together into one compilation for you.

Introducing ....


And how much is this delightful boxed set that contains 1300 pages of awesome writing?


Get it while you can, because I might come to my senses soon... 

Chris Ward
September 15th 2014


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Introducing ... They Came Out After Dark (Tales of Crow #1)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MP58Z64

The first book in the Tales of Crow series, They Came Out After Dark, will be released on August 20th, 2014.


For Jun Matsumoto, a school trip to the remote study camp of British Heights is hardly his idea of a good time. Akane, the love of his life, hates him, and he’s rooming with Ogiwara, the school bully.

Things get even worse when a dose of bad Christmas turkey makes most of the students sick, and suddenly Jun and a handful of others are left cut off from civilization as the snow closes in. Pretty soon the power has gone off, and a strange, birdlike creature begins terrorizing the guests.

If Jun thought the school trip could get no worse, he’d be wrong. As the students group together with the other remaining guests, suddenly their understanding of danger turns on its head.

There are creatures out in the woods, and they’re hungry for human flesh…


Available NOW

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Busy days ...

As usual, it's been a while since my last post, so here's a short update on what I've been doing.

My forthcoming horror/sci-fi thriller, They Came out After Dark, is currently with the editor. The cover is also under commission. Fingers crossed it'll be out in July. I've started work on a sequel that promises so far to be better than the first book. It's currently rattling along, and hopefully it'll be done within a few weeks.

I also recently finished writing a kind of romance/mystery set in Japan, which should be out over the next couple of months. I've decided against using a pen name, but people will be able to guess the genre from the cover. It's my first attempt at such a story, so it's kind of an experiment, but I'm pretty proud of it none-the-less. The cover is almost done, and it'll be being revised shortly.

I have two audiobooks in production, the first Tube Riders book and also my collection of cricket-themed short stories under the pen name of Michael White. Working with narrators has been a great thrill so far, and I'm very excited about opening up a new product line. Both should be available over the next couple of months.

The Tube Riders: The Rise of the Governor #1 - Genesis (as I'm calling it now) is dragging its heels but still ticking over. I'm finding that some books are a lot harder to write than others, but it'll get done. Eventually. It might be be as quick as I'd like, but there will be no George RR Martin-esque time frames.

That's all for now. Stay tuned! Remember to sign up to the newsletter for more frequent updates, and loads of free stuff and offers. I'm still sending them out regularly but I'm cutting back the blogging time a lot simply to give myself more time to get the books done. I barely sleep as it is, haha.

Until next time ...

Chris Ward
June 9th 2014

Friday, 25 April 2014

News and updates

It's been a while since my last post so I thought I'd give a few updates on what has been going on in the writing world of me. The short answer is lots, as usual.

First up, I'm still progressing slowly on Rise of the Governor part 1, although I've stepped off the accellerator and I'm letting it come as and when it's ready. The current draft is only up to about 23,000 words, but in total I've written over 70k for it so far, and a lot of the currently discarded work will end up back in. Kind of like the first Tube Riders book, I'm setting up a world over again, so I have to let this one take its time. Fingers crossed I'll at least have a draft done by early summer.

The other book I'm working on as my kind of escape has now passed 31,000 words, and while a completely different genre is turning into a bit of a coming of age mystery story. I'm really enjoying writing it and when I'm feeling inspiration I like to just let it flow. So far so good.

In other book news, I've finished the first edit pass of an older novel called My Perfect Life, and after a few more tweaks I hope to have it with the editor within a month or so. Following closely on its heels is the horror/thriller I wrote in January, currently titled They Came Out After Dark, although I don't actually like that title much so I'll probably change it.

Moving on to the business stuff, I've updated the covers on four of my collections/short stories, and published a new one. While I commission my novel covers from the wonderful Su at novelprevue.com, my shorts and collections have always been kind of homemade, and I've wanted to update them for ages but not spend too much money, so I bought a job lot of premades from a site called goonwrite.com, and these are the first five. I have another five already paid for, but I haven't decided which ones I want yet.

And then there's the audiobooks...

I've begun the very first tenative attempt to get my novels made into audiobooks. I don't know how long this will take, but I'm hoping to start auditioning narrators soon.

Anyway, that's all for now. Remember to sign up for the mailing list. It's awesome, and I give you free stuff.

And while you're here, take a look at those new covers below. Aren't they nice?

Chris Ward
April 25th 2014
 




Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A little teaser from a forthcoming release

Hello, this is Chris. It's been a while since I posted but I've been busy as usual. As well as currently working hard daily on two very different novels I'm also editing a couple of first drafts and getting them queued for the editor. One of them is an older book that I wrote a few years ago, and the second is the book I wrote between the end of December and the beginning of February this year. I thought you might like to have a read of a few paragraphs, so here's part of the prologue. This is a kind of horror/technological thriller, and hopefully should be out later in the year. I had a blast writing this book, and I hope you'll enjoy reading it at some point in the future.

Chris Ward
April 17th 2014


Prologue
Wooden Knees takes a Walk

The clacking branches of the leafless trees beat out the kind of tune that the old man the local kids called Wooden Knees might have made if, before he followed his father inevitably into rice farming, he had decided to take up tap-dancing instead. As it was, Masanori Kobayashi paused, put his hands on the accursed parts of his body and looked up at the grey sky with something like trepidation.
It was a little late in the year, but he knew a stand of red pine deep in the woods where he’d been claiming the sparse crop of matsutake mushrooms as his own since he was barely more than a sapling himself. None of the other farmers knew its location, but the fungi he could sell for as much as twenty thousand yen apiece came late in the year because of the orientation of the hill. No one ever thought to search this deep into the autumn, when snow was lying on the ground just over the hill, but while he despised the taste of the nasty, musty little things himself, the profits from his secret crop would keep old Wooden Knees drunk for the rest of the winter.
But the weather was turning. It was December sixth, as the calendar read, but closer to New Year by the look of the sky, almost groaning above him as it ached to dump its load of accumulated moisture down upon his head. Masanori glanced upslope towards the last crest before he reached his secret spot, wondering whether it might be better to cut his losses and run. Getting caught out here in heavy snow didn’t bear thinking about.
For a few minutes he stood in contemplation, glancing upslope for a while, then looking back the way he had come, through a skeletal glade of leafless trees, the brown curls of their shed skin heaping up on either side of the trail he had made with his heavy boots and heavier bag. He could be home and stretched out under his heated table in a couple of hours, a glass of sake in front of him and some quiz show playing on the television. But if he soldiered on for just another hour there could be a basket of money sitting inside the front door.
In the end it came down to simple economics. This was almost certainly his last foraging trip of the year. A good crop now and he could rest easy for the winter. His mouth curled up in a thin, wrinkly sneer as he considered the other uses for the money.
‘A reward,’ he muttered, in that reedy whine that ended conversations quickly. ‘A little reward for my efforts.’
He’d make this one count, put in an extra half an hour to really go over the ground, then splash out on one of the younger girls who hung around at the end of the shopping arcade late on Saturday nights. The younger ones wouldn’t touch an old bag of bones like him unless he could pay way over the going rate, but even the prettiest girls had their price, and perhaps if he took a trip to the pharmacy beforehand he could get something that would make him able to do a little more than just leer as they took their clothes on and off. Yes, he thought, it’s time for old Wooden Knees to do some proper knocking.
Feeling a little bulb of arousal bouncing around down in his pants, he slung his bag back over his shoulder and started up towards the rise.
His legs started to shake and his knees to knock together long before he reached the crest of the hill, but huffing and puffing like a old steam locomotive he finally made it, leaning against a tall sapling to catch his breath. The stand of pine was just ahead, and hopefully with it several dozen litres of sake and a couple of lustful nights reliving his youth.
He started off again, stumping through the trees towards a large boulder poking out of the ground on his left that marked the edge of the red pines. Just beyond it, also benefiting from the prolonged warmth of the hillside’s westward-facing orientation, was a thicket of bamboo. It stretched around the area of pine, a natural barricade, making this the only way in.
Spotting a small hump in the undergrowth at the foot of the nearest pine, Masanori grunted in satisfaction, dropped his bag down on the rock and got down on his knees to brush away the pine needles and humus beneath.
The flat head of a matsutake mushroom peered up at him. ‘Huh,’ old Wooden Knees muttered. ‘A hand job and a litre of sake to wash it down with. Good start.’
As he cupped a hand underneath it to work it out of the ground, something moved in the undergrowth to his left. He caught a little blur of movement out of the corner of his eye.
Masanori froze. A bear, maybe? It was rare that Japanese brown bears attacked hikers unless they were suckling young, but breeding season came in the spring and the summer had been plentiful, so unless it had some kind of disease…
Behind him came the crunch of a footfall, lighter than a bear but too heavy for a deer. Masanori let out a long, slow breath. Could someone have followed him? He cursed under his breath. ‘If that’s one of you, you fuckers, after my crop…’
A sudden zipping sound, like a jacket being undone in a hurry, came from just beyond his shoulder. His head jerked around, his vision blurring as his old eyes took a moment to catch up, then something heavy and black was swinging towards him out of a background of bare forest. Like wings it seemed to open out to fill his whole world, and then something was closing over his head, drawing in around his neck. Masanori scrabbled at his face and tried to roll backwards, but strong hands on his back shoved him forward, his knees knocking together with that familiar wooden clump.
He pushed his hands down on the cool, grainy turf and started to rise.

Something heavy struck the back of his head and his senses switched off like the last electric bulb in a dark hallway.

###

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Restarting on Rise of the Governor

This might surprise some of you (sadden, even...? :-) ) but I've aborted my first attempt at the Tube Riders prequel, The Rise of the Governor, and start more or less over.

Why?, I hear you screaming in your millions ....

Basically, while I was writing the story I wanted to write, I wasn't writing it in the way I wanted to write it. I had decided to get all arty, with a weird title, strange flashbacks, and a gradual build up of emotional turmoil, but I had an epiphany a couple of days ago and realised I wasn't writing a Tube Riders book.

And since the whole point of writing a Tube Riders prequel is to write a Tube Riders book, then I need to ditch the art project and write that instead.

Yes, so most of the characters will be different, but this is the entire history of why Mega Britain is Mega Britain and because only Tube Riders fans care about that I have to write a book for them - for YOU - not for me.

Of course, there will be some crossover, haha. I don't think I could do anything else. But all the elements that made Tube Riders awesome will be in there, in place of all the internal dialogues and emotional turmoil that was starting to take over the manuscript.

It's not all bad news. No words are every wasted and while many of the 30,000 I've written so far won't make it into the final book, I feel like I've been hanging out with the characters a while and I know them a lot better. It's always easier to write a book when you know your setting. And there's lots of kick ass stuff that will move over to the new version - crashed spaceships and gulags and mutant killer hounds and crazy Russian superhumans - I'll just be setting it out in a slightly different way.

Onwards and upwards. I'll keep you posted on progress.

Chris Ward
March 16th 2014

Monday, 10 March 2014

Tube Riders perma-free update and other news

Tube Riders has been perma-free in the US since January 30th and the UK since February 5th. The results so far have been really quite wonderful.

In the US, downloads stand at roughly 17,000. Thanks to a promotion on the mighty Bookbub on March 5th, Tube Riders peaked at #9 in the whole free store, as well as #1 in numerous subcategories, including Teen & Young Adult (yeah, I was a little surprised too...), Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian and Genetic Engineering.

In the UK, it's success has been more organic, and even now, almost five weeks on, it is still #1 in the Dystopian category. It has slipped to #4 in Science Fiction, although it was #1 for most of February. Total total downloads stand at just over 7000. In fact, I had more in February (6181) than I had in total in the UK in 2012 and 2013 combined, across all my books. Quite a surprise, that.

Sequels sales have been decent if unspectacular, but in general sell-through rates from frees to sequels are usually in the single digit percentages. I'm not going to blag about how much money I've made because I haven't made all that much. I have, however, beat the $15.61 I made in October 2013. So that was nice! :-)

I'd like to thank everyone who has supported Tube Riders on its high speed journey so far. At one point in my life I never thought I'd have a single reader, so to have people downloading it (and hopefully reading it!) in their thousands has exceeded my wildest expectations. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You guys rock.

In other news, I've recently had some sad personal news which I won't share right now, and also some bad news concerning a friend of mine, Brandon Hale. A very fine author (I've read his Day Soldiers book, and it made me both laugh and cry), he has sadly been diagnosed with cancer. He's a great guy and a real fighter, so I have no doubt that he'll win his battle, however, as anyone who knows anything about the screwed up American heathcare system will understand, it's going to near-ruin him to pay for treatment. Therefore some of his friends have set up a charity fund so if anyone is feeling generous please go and donate here. This is a terrible thing to happen to Brandon, just as his career was beginning to take off. And if you have time, please check out Day Soldiers. It's free on Amazon and its a great read.

Back to the writing, progress on the new book is slow and steady. I've passed 26,000 words, which is a good start, but as often happens in my first drafts, I'm struggling to get over a hump, so words aren't flowing as I'd like. However, hills are there to be climbed, and I like climbing hills. I'm sure the pace will pick up soon. I've had to do my share of procrastinating, though, and my way of procrastinating is to write short stories. So far I have two new ones for March. More details on releases when I know them.

Anyway, better get back to the book.

Thanks as always for your support,

Chris Ward
March 10th 2014