Blurry map

Yes that’s right, it’s a blurry map.  Not much detail here, just the positioning of Hrtan, plus the other three major Empires, which don’t come into the Anna’s timeline all that much. Additionally, the Southing Islands are just off the coast of Wetrossa, which is the bottom left dotted area. For continuity reasons the Islands had to be moved, and are just out of frame on this map. No actual people on the Islands noticed.





Halling doing what he does best. Getting drunk and fighty. For context, Pelt and Halling are on the run from their former employer, joined by one of their fans and a noblewoman. I may post the second half of this scene next week.


Once the meat was dressed they roasted a joist over a fire in the middle of the barn’s floor, and spent the night wreathed in gloom, eating their fill, listening to the wind whistle through the gaps in the stone and dreading to hear other, more ominous noises beyond it. Pelt most often stood in the doorway, hunched against (more…)


(Warning: the following contains scenes and content that some may find offensive. Readers are advised to stop being pussies.)

Probably necessary to provide a slight intro as to what this one’s all about before launching face-first into an excerpt straight from the middle of the book.

Two Blades bubbled up from the deepest reaches of my darkside as a way of purging it from my system, lest it start to intrude on the other books which have lighter, more PG-rated themes and tone. Rather than fill them with battles and gore and blood and moral ambiguity and so forth, I penned all of that in (more…)


Yes, I know this has nothing to do with The Adventurer’s Daughter, or any of my other books, but hey, it’s my blog, so clam up. Clammy.

If you know me, then you’ll know I’m a massive DBZ fan. Have been since way back in 2000 when it first began to air on NZ’s TV3. Don’t believe me? Here’s my ludicrously awesome figure collection to prove it:


If you’re of the same generation, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Racing home after school to guzzle three litres of ice-cream (or the sugary treat of your choice) while drinking in the pure hedonistic, (more…)


It’s been a mighty long time since A) anything has been posted on this site, and B) there have been any updates to report. Well, first I’m going to hit you with a post, and then I’ll turn around and report an update. That’s like hitting two stones with one bird.

So, the more cunning of you may have noticed my clever hiding of the word ‘cover’ in the title. Of course it could also refer to being over raged, with a C on the front, or it could mean something beginning with C is over age. Possibly to enter a very (more…)

RR #3

Tinkering, tinkering… That’s all I seem to be doing at present, taking things out, changing things around, putting things in. The amount of time it takes makes it feel like I’m not getting anywhere at all, however the book is slowly coming to a point where any further tinkering is just ridiculous.

I had the thought the other day that the sequence at the end could be extended to add a bit more jeopardy, and was on the cusp of doing it until I thought, Hold the horse, is that actually necessary? I knew if I went down that road, I’d still (more…)

Rogues’ Redemption #2

A little tardy this week, but we get there all the same. Here’s the second stanza of chapter one. It was originally only going to be two stanzas, but for the purposes of posting it on line I cut it into three to make the reading shorter. The following is all action, which is no place for character descriptions, so the idea is to convey the general idea with speech. How a character talks can often conjure up an image of what they look like without the author saying a single word about their appearance. It’s a way of showing, rather (more…)

Pro Log

If you’re super organised and plan your story down to the last letter, then you’ll probably write your prologue before anything else. As I’m super UNorganised in my planning, the prologue usually comes right at the end. That way, I have the entire thing to look back on as a resource to plunder. You’ll see a lot of prologues in books that are actually scenes for way down the track, re-tooled to misdirect your expectations.

A good example of this is the prologue in Scott Lynch’s second Gentlemen Bastards book, ‘Red Seas Under Red Skies.’ He’s already had the space of one (more…)

Beef and Backstory

The great thing about developing a world in which to write stories is the fact that you can time travel. And who doesn’t like time travel?

World building is an involved process that goes beyond the creation of mere backstory to give your book beef. It’s also a sliding scale. You can develop just enough of a world if it’s the characters and plot you want to focus on, or you can go full Martin/Tolkien and delve into deep history, theology and language. Your world building can vastly eclipse the scope of your actual story, to the point where a paltry fifth (more…)

Progress Report: October

Completion is imminent! Well, as complete as any work of this type can be, that is. Like any novel, or piece of music, or art, it’s only ever in varying degrees of imperfection. I could sit on the manuscript for another twenty years and it still wouldn’t be what I’d class as ‘finished’, so I must live with it in all its flawed glory and send it upon its merry way. Rather like a doting parent would to a fat, waddling, wheezing child on his first tentative, anticipatory day at school. And to continue the metaphor, no doubt he’ll get pushed (more…)