Thursday, 24 December 2015

Chris's Christmas Message

Chris’s Christmas Message

It’s that time of the year once again where I decide to risk the wrath of the internet and say something about the state of the world as I see it. Firstly, Merry Christmas. To all my family and friends, to all the positive, good-doing people of the world, I love you all dearly. To all the haters, the assholes, the murderers, abusers, manipulators, fuck off. Have a shit, lonely Christmas, you worthless pricks.

I think it’s worth looking back over 2015 to try to make 2016 better. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Think back over the last year to those times when you were an asshole for no particular reason (and we all had them), when you pushed someone who didn’t deserve it, or were rude to someone just because you were having a bad day, or didn’t help someone when you could have, etc., etc., etc., and in 2016 try to even it out by doing something positive. In fact, if everyone did two positive things for each negative thing, it would be pretty much problem solved.

Humanity is a pretty odd species. We search endlessly for new life in space while relentlessly destroying life on Earth; we big up war heroes and honour our war dead then commit the ultimate disrespect to those people who died for our freedom by starting new wars and taking the freedom away from someone else; we respond to someone killing our children by bombing theirs; we create an entire industry of building weapons that can kill other people then complain when people use them to do what they're designed for …. doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

The same as charity starts at home, so does creating a better world. Not all of us can rush off to Cambodia to build a school for impoverished children, but we can offer a smile to someone who might be having a bad day, share a donut with a stranger, give food to a stray cat, pick up litter off the street, be nice to that guy at work who always blanks you, slow down just enough to let someone who might be in a hurry cross the street.

Just think how much better life could be if we spent all that money, time, and effort on building and creating rather than destroying and taking away. Perhaps if everyone tried just a little harder to do good things (beyond sharing posts on Facebook…) then we might not have to watch miserable shit on the news every single day.

Think about it.

Merry Christmas and a great 2016 to you all!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Head of Words audiobook is now live!

Narrated by the fantastic Tim Bick, you can now get Head of Words in audio. Head of Words is my highest rated novel, with an average rating of 4.8 on Amazon.com.

Check it out by clicking the cover below.

http://www.amazon.com/Head-of-Words/dp/B019CW3HJM/ref=sr_1_1_twi_audd_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1450420080&sr=8-1&keywords=head+of+words

Friday, 16 October 2015

The Circus is coming ....

In between writing the new Tube Riders book, I've been doing some editing on Crow 4: The Circus of Machinations, which I'm still hoping to have out by the end of the year. In this episode we find Kurou in vastly alien conditions, hiding out in a backwater town in Siberia as the threat of an unseen invasion army slowly chokes the town. We also meet a brand new protagonist, the softly spoken but put-upon inventor, Victor Mishin.

Here's the beginning of the prologue. Look out for more excerpts coming soon.


Prologue
The robot and the inventor

A cold wind was whipping in from the south, bringing with it flurries of hard ice ripped off the top of seasons-long snow drifts standing like dirt-streaked grey sentinels by the side of the road. Victor Mishin stopped one more time to tie up his hood, but the string was frozen stiff. He scowled, cursing under his breath. Dipping his face away from the wind instead, he turned back to make sure the cart was still following.
From both sides of the road, the dead eyes of Brevik’s abandoned houses watched him with their broken door grins. From inside flickered torchlight, accompanied by the faint peal of nervous laughter. Many became temporary crack houses and brothels after dark, living crypts filled with the skeletal remnants of men and women put out of work by the closing mines and factories.
The first rock to clang off the outside of the cart’s casing made Victor jump. The echo of laughter from a shadowy alley that followed made him shiver.
‘We see you, old man.’
It was the voice of a kid, throat dry from too many cigarettes and cheap local homebrew. Brevik started its youngsters early, and only a kid would ever call him old. Victor wasn’t yet thirty.
‘Come on,’ he told the cart. ‘We have to hurry.’
The machine’s head snapped up, a vaguely humanoid oval. Twin lights at the front gave a wild flicker. ‘Rolling, rolling.’
Another stone landed in the snow at Victor’s feet. He grimaced. Even the prepubescent kids were built out of wire passed down through generations of miners with playful fists, and Victor was no fighter.
‘Level up,’ he said to the cart. ‘We have to move. Now.’
‘Roger that, partner.’
The cart, a silver rectangle, rocked back on its caterpillar treads and lurched into an upright position. Smaller central treads unfolded from the ends of its main propulsion system. It was activating its sprint mode, but in the snow and ice its motors would only last a couple of hundred metres. It would have to be enough.
‘Move it,’ Victor said, as another stone clanged off the cart’s casing.
Shadows shifted behind him as he started into a run, morphing into the shapes of four, five, six kids as they bolted from the alleyway. Victor squeezed his eyes shut as the cart’s accelerator runners spun in the snow, then clunked as they caught on something buried under the surface.
He didn’t want to turn around to see his most treasured invention pitch forward onto its robotic face as the group of laughing urchins descended on it, thrown stones rattling off the metal like machine gun fire, but he had no choice. The cart was dear to him; he owed it a single icy tear frozen against his face by the chilling wind.

He glared for one long moment at the feral children as they engulfed the cart in a flurry of thumping hands and kicking feet, then turned and hurried for home, feeling at least some scant relief that its sacrifice had allowed him to get away.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Coming soon - Crow books 1-3 bundle

The first three books in the Tales of Crow series are now available for purchase so within the next few weeks I'll be bundling them as a boxed set in anticipation for the fourth book in the series, hopefully by the end of the year.

Watch this space for a release date (most likely early November). In the meantime, here's the cover:



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 www.elizabethmackeygraphics.com.







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...

Autumn/Winter

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.


None.

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 Amazon.com (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 ...!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Clones

Every time I have an "am I a good writer or not?" moment, I pull out this very short story I wrote in one inspired hour back in 2012. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it, as far as I'm concerned this is as close as I've ever come to writing something perfect. It was heavily inspired by Ray Bradbury's The Lake, the tone of which I was shamelessly trying to emulate. Bradbury's story is world famous, my little imitation has been read by about eight people. If you have a chance, spare me five minutes of your time to have a read.




Clones

by Chris Ward

The news often fills air time with talk of cloning. It is possible, they say, to replicate a human body, a human mind. To make two of one, four of one, fifty million of one.

In the schoolyard I was nothing. Pushed into a corner, backed up against a wall, shoved down against the ground. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Bombarded by a battering ram of words.
I didn’t know it then, but I wished I was a clone. I liked me. No one else did. I wanted to be me, but somewhere else. Somewhere kinder.

I remember that summer, in that field along the coast a little ways from Fowey. The caravan, the endless games of UNO in the rain, the swimming pool on the warm August days. The little “play” area where the kids hung out, with the jukebox and the pinball machines, the table tennis table. The beach, across the road from the summer camp, where I saw her for the first time.

This is all about a girl, you see.

I had stupid hair. Pulled through one of those hair nets and bleached, we left the peroxide on too long, my buddy and me. His hair, darker, could take it. Mine, fairer, went as bright as the summer sun. Straw-bright, the kids at school said. Wursel Gummage, they called me, after the John Pertwee character. I’m sure none of them had ever seen the old TV show, but kids have a way of knowing. Ways of hurting seem to float through the air like balloons, drifting from one generation to the next, waiting to be plucked and popped.

They put gum in it. Gave me dead arms, just because. Laughed. Joked. And I wished I could be someone else, still me but not me. A clone.

Amy was a year younger than me, she said. Fifteen. Scrawny but cute, her hair pulled back into a neat ponytail, held tight with a little green scrunchie.

I like your hair,’ she told me. She actually used those words. It’s been years, and many of the details have faded, but I remember those words exactly. She may or may not have said, ‘You’re cool’, but that first line was enough.

I met her in that room at the holiday park, the play room. Next to the pinball table. She saw me standing there, as they say. We talked awhile about nothing, about the songs on the jukebox neither of us liked. The sun went down, and we took a walk down to the beach.

I was cloned.

Nothing much happened, just a bit of fooling around. We were young, she was cute, I was a deadbeat in another world a million miles away. But we kissed, we held hands, we lay down on the warm sand for a while.

Behind us, on the road, local chav kids revved their souped-up cars and tore along the seafront, but in our little bubble we were safe.

Next year?’ she begged me. ‘Ask them.’ Meaning my parents. ‘The same week of August. We’ll see each other again.’ And she placed a hand over mine.

Cloned, I returned to school. Got a basketball thrown in my face which flattened my nose. Shaved my head, watched it grow back, light brown, like before. The seasons turned, and the holiday park - and Amy - rode back around.

We were a week late. Dad’s work, Mum’s appointments. Our holidays overlapped by a day. That day, our first, Amy’s last, I dashed down to the beach. There I found sirens, an ambulance, someone sewn up inside a bag. A souped-up car on its side, a dark stain I couldn’t look at a couple of feet out from the pavement, as if someone had dropped a bag of copper-coloured ink on the road.

A woman was screaming, over by the ambulance. I guess they could have been related, Amy and her. I didn’t see, I couldn’t ask.

Perhaps she had hoped to find me down there on the beach beyond that hazardous road, in amongst the sand dunes. Perhaps her parents had stopped the car for her to take one last look.

Maybe it wasn’t her, but I’ll never know.

I didn’t read about it in the newspapers or see it on the television. I didn’t want to look. I returned to school a week later, cloned.

The years drove slowly past like a commuter train overtaking a car, stretching me up towards the sky and stacking meat on my bones. I grew bigger, stronger, the line of my jaw grew tighter and no one any longer bothered this clone. I sailed through university with a gentle following breeze, tore down the rapids of my twenties and drifted out into the lake of my thirties, peaceful and placid.

I married, divorced, had a kid, lost a kid, got a kid back. I cloned myself through so many jobs I lost count of them.

Around my fortieth birthday I wanted Amy back. I joined that social networking site – you know the one, I’m sure – and I trawled through Amys for hours. Blonde hair, black hair, brown hair, red hair, blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, snake eyes (!), and there she was filled out, thicker round the neck but still the Amy I remembered, cloned.

I emailed her: I’d like to see you again.

She had never heard of me before. Never set foot in Cornwall, let alone that holiday camp in Fowey. She was seven years older than me.

I searched, and there she was again. A little thinner than I remembered, her hair prematurely grey, but those same eyes.

She agreed to meet me.

Over coffee we talked. She agreed with everything I said. ‘Oh, we had great times, didn’t we? On that quiet little beach? Listen, are you free this weekend? How about we go away?’

Do you remember how many times you beat me at pool in that play room?’ I asked her. ‘Dozens,’ she said, and I told her goodbye. She had won at pinball, I remember, but never on a pool table that didn’t exist. Amy’s clone, so lonely, so lost, so desperate for a companion, cried off into the night.
I continued to meet Amy’s clones. Some of them were pleasant, friendly, and as attractive in their mid-forties as she had been at a tender fifteen. I dated a few, even, one for as much as six months. The spectre of Amy waited at the shoulder of every one of her clones though, and that always drew me away.

Eventually I had to shed my clones and return, have them bend before me to form a tunnel back to my youth and that day on the treacherous stretch of road that separated the beach from the holiday camp.

I found the holiday camp gone, replaced by a shopping mall. The beach, now developed with a wooden promenade where the dunes had rolled, was emptier than ever. I walked there for a while, calling her name softly under my breath, humming it like the forgotten lyrics to a song.

I wondered where I was going. I walked down to the shoreline, let my toes make trails in the wet sand. Then, back to the edge of the promenade, to that place where our clones had once sat, kissed, held hands and talked about stupid things. I sat down, wondering if I was still a clone or whether this was the real me.

I lay back, looking up at the sky. For a moment part of the fluffy cloud above me seemed to shift, and briefly it formed Amy’s face.

Another clone. Nature made them too.

I closed my eyes, and again I was back there on the beach as the sun went down, the hands of a girl I would never see again held gently in mine. Silently I wept, for what had been, what was, what might have been, and what would never be.

I was sure I could hear clones everywhere crying.

End.

Clones is available along with several other similarly themed short stories in my collection, Five Tales of Loss.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Exit 2014, enter 2015

So another year has ended, and my three-year indie publishing anniversary on January 24th comes swiftly around.

2014 was, as a whole, a great year. Of course there were disappointments, and my dream to be doing this full time will have to wait a little longer, but it was still pretty damn good.

First up, here's the stats. A small disclaimer - some of these are vague, because I don't know / can't remember / don't want to give the accurate figures. They're pretty close though.

The production stats

Words written - 506,000
Complete novels written - 4
Ebooks published - 16 (including 3 novels, 2 boxed sets, and 2 short story collections. The rest were short stories / novellas, some under pen names).
Multi-author publications contributed to - 4 (1 boxed set, three anthologies)
Paperbacks published - 6
Audiobooks published - 2


The sales stats

Ebooks sold - roughly 4500
Audiobooks sold - 136
Paperbacks sold 86


The finances

Production costs - $1500 (covers, editing, proofreading, promotions, website costs)
Income - low 5 figures (that's all you're getting, I'm afraid haha)


The vast, vast majority of my sales were my two Tube Riders sequels and the Trilogy boxed set, probably more than 90%, reaffirming that series are the only way to make real money. Case in point, my biggest seller is Tube Riders: Exile, with roughly 1800 sales, while Finding My World, my little romance book published in September, has sold 7 copies. Head of Words, which most of my core readers think is my best book, has sold less than 100. Even Man Who Built the World, which was heavily promoted, has only sold about 500, most of those at 99 cents.

So, like it or not, unless you have some insider knowledge that I don't have, writing series is the only way to really succeed in this game. The books don't have to necessarily be sequential or even an ongoing story, but they have to have some kind of linear theme.

I came into self-publishing as a writer not sold on churning out the same book over and over again. Most of the people I know who have great success have 5 - 10-book series. Because becoming a full-time writer is my ultimate goal, it's been necessary for me to adjust my own aims a little. For example, if I want to make money out of Finding My World, I would probably have to write a follow-up with the same characters, and then have Amazon price-match the first book to free. It's not something that is on the current agenda, but is definitely something that might happen in the future.

There is some potential in niche markets. My cricket short stories, under the name of Michael White, were collectively my second best seller in 2014, shifting around 150 copies. While most of these were at 99 cents, it was clear that there is some market for the genre, mainly because there are almost no books out there at all with stories about the sport of cricket. There are a couple, but I'm practically the only one doing it. And another thing about that - they only really sell during the summer months, when the English summer season is on, while my collection paperback, Tales from the Village Green Volume 1, actually outsells my Tube Riders paperbacks. As a result, one of my early projects in 2015 is a cricket novel.

My novella series, Beat Down!, under the name of Michael S. Hunter, continues to be a dismal failure. The perma-free book 1 shifts perhaps one copy a day, and I can go months on end without a single sequel sale. I have hope that it might one day take off, but the couple of douchebag one star reviews from people who quit reading within a page, plus it being partly comedy, which doesn't sell well, continue to drag it down. My cover designer has also gone AWOL, so its unlikely there will be any more Beat Down! books anytime soon. A shame, as they're actually pretty good.

So, on to 2015. What's on the horizon?

This is the bit where I get to write a list of all the things I plan to write and publish, most of which won't be done by the end of the year, but its fun anyway. I've decided to make categories this time, of what is most likely, and what might or might not ever come to pass.

 Most likely.

Publish Crow #2: The Castle of All Nightmares. I'm currently editing it, so hopefully by Feb or so.

Publish Crow #3: The Puppeteer King. Again, very likely, as its finished.

Write Crow #4. Writing now.

Write Crow #5. Thinking....

Write the cricket novel. Working on it.

Publish a textbook based on my job, English teaching in Japan. Very likely as I actually wrote it in 2008 while I was bored at work, shopped it to a couple of publishers, never heard anything and then forgot about it. I'm currently updating it to make it relevant for 2014. It will be of no interest whatsoever to my fiction fans, but it will definitely fit into a niche market.

Possible ...

Get back into the Rise of the Governor Trilogy. I have 80,000 words across three attempts at book one, so it's likely it'll get done at some point. As for the sequels that continue the story of Maxim Cale and later Halo, I have no idea. There is, however, some overlap with the Crow books, as the central character, Professor Kurou, forms part of the backstory to the Tube Riders world. You don't really see it until book 3, but it starts to build in from then.

Write the Tube Riders interlude novel set between Exile and Revenge. Part of it is done, I occasionally pull it out and tinker with it. This will be a very Tube Riders novel, full of trains and Huntsmen, except with mostly different characters as its set in London while the main group are over in France.

Finish my horror novel Dark Days, and start a series of detective supernatural books based on the central character, akin to James Herbert's Ash novels. Dark Days is a brilliant but unfinished story, but if I want to actually sell it I have to think about it as part of a wider series, and in order to concentrate on it I'll need to clear most of the Crow and TR books out of the way first. Far more likely to show its head in 2016.

Very maybe ...!

The Concept. This is still in the planning / I tell people when I'm drunk phrase. A multi-media project combining a novel, music, and art. Not sure I can pull it off, particularly not the art bit, but we'll see.


Sales targets for 2015

10,000 ebooks. After the first half of 2014, I would have probably estimated more, but then Amazon brought in its horrible Kindle Unlimited program, which ruined the sales of those of us who don't use it, so I'm being conservative. Whether I get close will depend very much on whether I can get the Crow series finished and out and whether it gets anywhere near the amount of attention of the Tube Riders series. If it bombs, so will my sales. We'll see.