Monday, 27 November 2017

Regarding Market Garden

I've posted this on Twitter and Facebook, but not on the blog (yet):

As people keep asking about the Market Garden series (got quite a few messages and emails recently), unfortunately, the whole series (and some other books) is currently in limbo. Despite our best efforts, my lawyer and I couldn’t secure a deal that would work for all parties. 
This means, broadly, that there won’t be any more MG and no sequels to some other books. I did have about 4 more MG books planned, and I’ve told people about them at cons. I hate to break my word like that – but with the books in limbo, I can’t write or publish them. I can't even use some of the characters. The way it looks right now, there won’t be any more of those books – and even if we manage to get a deal, the earliest I can see more of them happening is 2022, as my schedule fills up with other projects.

It's quite painful, but it does have upside. I have a dozen more urgent projects and that should tide me over, though I’m not holding my breath. In addition, I’ve moved on creatively and emotionally – there really is no point crying over spilled milk. There's no use pondering “what ifs” and “I wish I coulds”, I rather focus my energy and time on the Witches, fantasy and historical novels. They should be awesome and I'm greatly looking forward to finishing Julian's book. 

In news NOT related to this, I expect to no longer engage in co-writes unless it's Rhi Etzweiler or Jordan Taylor (or one project outside of that). You'll get me solo and pure (and slower) from now on.

Most people know but this is just in case you didn't. Of course this is very good news for people who didn't like the “quick and easy" co-writes and felt they diluted my style/voice and lacked the in-depth character exploration as well as refinement. You guys win. It’s also great news for those who prefer my historicals and fantasy novels and more Witches books. They might be slow, but they’re coming. The future (and present) is awesome.

Halfway to my coaching qualification

For the past 8 days I've been studying for the NLP Master Practitioner course with Performance Partnership here in London (with David Shephard and Sally Davies), as well as eight fellow travellers on the path. And I couldn't overstate just how life-changing the journey has been so far - I've had high hopes and expectations anyway, having done the Practitioner with him two years ago, and that was already mind-bending, but this now is material that blows pretty much everything off its hinges - things you thought weren't "possible" as well as things you thought were "normal" - and obliterates them all. And all that while being very entertained and laughing a lot, and bonding with the other students, who're all brilliant.

It takes quite the wizard to show you the tricks and spells in a way that you can use them immediately - not a demo or exercise that doesn't go well and all of it leads to further understanding. I know I'm not the same person I was two years ago and the amount of growth I've done is huge, with tremendous effort to clear all my negative emotions after being betrayed by two very close friends  and finding my personal centre and equilibrium. This stuff now takes me at least a few steps further - after dealing with all the negative stuff of the past two years, and clearing out what those events have shaken loose, I'm now clearing what remains of the rubble - some Lego bricks strewn across the carpet I didn't see before and sometimes step on. I thought I was doing pretty well already, but it's nice to be able to cross your carpet at night without encountering one of those little bastards. It did take getting down on my hands and knees and looking for them everywhere with a nice strong torch/flashlight.

The biggest discovery, I guess, is that of choice. A lot of my emotions were purely reflexive - hit me, I rage. Break agreements, I rage. Betray me, and I rage. That's over now. I can contain the emotions and turn them into a whole range of choices. Hit me, and I can hit back. I can smile and laugh. I can walk away. I can sue you. I can decide it's not worth the effort. Everything I do is 100% my choice and I own every single one I make. I've gained freedom and flexibility. It doesn't mean letting people get away with hitting me; it means I have choice ranging from whole-hearted forgiveness to fucking their shit up. And that's pretty new - having it rationally and intellectually is different from having it emotionally in every fibre of your being.

In minor news, during the course, I found the key to resolving my emotional eating (and already losing weight due to that), and developed a theory how to kill writer's block, which I'm about 90% sure will work, though I haven't tested it yet. Just that last part could be a business model, and I'm pondering how to do that too.

The idea is to move out of corporate and into coaching over the next few years (I see the early 2020s), and that goal is now so close I can taste, smell, hear, see and feel it. It's within reach. And I still have one week to go on the training which will be about trance and therapy and massive breakthroughs, so I need to do a bit of homework for tomorrow. Writing five metaphors for trance induction should be easy, I'm a writer, metaphor is what I do, and I love trancing myself and others.

On the writing front, I'm going to work on an non-fiction book about all of this, and I'll be involved with editing NLP books to roll this out to more people and empower them on a vast scale. I'd expect to be able to finish the writing of Witches of London - Julian before the year is over and I might tinker with two German translations as well and get everything ready for 2018.

I've never in my life been so excited about the future. 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Die Hexen von London - Lars (auf Deutsch)

One of my big goals for 2017 was to publish more in German, so I'm rather pleased that I could hit "publish" on the Witches of London - Lars book. The translation is by me, with lots and lots (and lots) of input from German friends. Considering how slow that kind of work is, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to translate everything next year, but over time, and with the help of translator friends, I'm hoping to put everything out in German. So that goal stays in place.

With only two months left in the year, I have to admit defeat on a couple of my productivity goals; I could probably finish another novel if I focused really hard, but I'll be spending next month studying for my coaching qualification, which is an integral part of my long-term plan of becoming self-employed and moving towards coaching/therapy. In astrology terms, Jupiter has just moved into my 12th house, so this is a great time to study what amounts to magick/therapy and clear out the remaining dirt and nasties from my subconsciousness, all of which I'll be getting some big-calibre help with - the best anybody could ever hope for. So a lot of work over the next 12 months will be about setting myself up for the future I've planned for myself, which means growth and lots of self-exploration. After Saturn has torn down everything fake and nasty in my 12th (and 1st) house, and revealed my hidden enemies and false friends, Jupiter in 12th shouldn't be nearly as tough.

In mundane terms, I'm still working on Witches of London - Julian (half written, solid length all in all), and hope to finish the actual writing in December, after the course, and then edits and formatting and all that, so we're looking at January. After that, I'll finish Dark Heart, and after that, I'll be working on some fantasy novels. I'll get some books back from various publishers and have a few written stories in the drawer that came back years ago, so that should set up 2018 rather nicely in terms of number of releases. There's 3-4 co-written books in the offing as well, but I know Jordan Taylor is waiting for me to wrap up Julian first.

Regarding translations, I'm also going through and editing the translations of Gold Digger and Incursion (both German), and I hope to release those as soon as possible.

And completely randomly, I'm looking at making candles as a semi-serious hobby/side business. Candles make me happy, candles make other people happy, and it's a lovely thing to do something with your hands after a long hard day of brainwork. For starters, I'll make themed candles to go with my new releases. Keep your eyes peeled for that.

Wishing you all a lovely Samhain.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A new cover for a little bird

Most of you know that Nightingale has a very special place in my heart, and I'm not even going to repeat why, like the sheer amount of time, energy, workshopping and love that went into that book.

It was also the canary in the coal mine - I didn't feel comfortable with it going to a publisher, for example (any publisher, really), so in many ways it started me off on my self-publishing journey, and I'm not regretting a minute of that. The book showed up in my life as a kind of omen. I listened. It changed everything, and eventually I realised it was all for the better.

It's gone through more versions of covers than almost all my books (except Deliverance), but now I have a cover I actually love, and it's from the usual suspect, Tif. I find historical covers fantastically difficult (clothing, people, colours?), but Tif nailed it all in her glorious, clear, understated way. I love this cover very much. And to celebrate the equinox and this bird's "new life", I've also dropped the price everywhere (to $2.99, £2.49, and €2.99) for a while.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Long, long overdue update

Apologies, I seem to have been using mostly Twitter and my newsletter to update people. And Twitter possibly a bit much to talk about Brexit, which is a real concern in this household.

In any case, day job proceeds to be busy and take the largest part of my focus and energy, but it all has led to an interesting re-balancing of my priorities. I'd say where I used to be 80% focused on writing and all the drama that goes on in the industry, I have to admit I've largely de-tached from all that.

I still talk to some writer friends, of course, I'm still friends with a few reviewers, but just not attending any conventions (for several reasons, one of them was simply lack of energy/time, the other clear avoidance of some people), and stopping to engage or even follow what's going on in my tiny niche of an industry was a major relief.

I had a good hard look at myself, my "friends" and collaborators and realised that a great many people and habits weren't good for me. Those might have been writing habits, thought habits, or simple beliefs. I also had the amazing opportunity to see how "friends" would behave when I needed their support. People I was convinced would be there for me evaporated like morning dew in the desert.

It took this as a great opportunity to make new connections, re-invigorate old relationships (much less danger to be "used and spat out").

And that's pretty much where I'm standing now.

My aim remains to write 3-4 novels a year, but I'm pretty much only uploading them (no endless marketing campaigns). Marketing and "selling" the books is something I simply don't have the time or energy for. All I have to say about the book is in the book. After the day job, I have so little free time that I rather play a game, hang out with my partner or spend time with a new hobby or a paper book than try to be in the middle of things.

Another aim is to publish more books in German - right now, that means some of my writing time goes into translating and editing my own books. As that takes at least as much time as writing a new book, I'm thinking a German novel translation counts towards that 3-4 books/year goal. I'm also pushing more Italian and French translations. And I'll continue with audiobooks if/when the money allows.

But with all that ongoing, I still managed to get a good amount of work done, such as Eagle's Shadow in the Witches of London series (with Jordan Taylor).

Then I finally finished Exile, the sequel to Incursion. That one was a bit of a struggle to write - it ended up far moodier and "existential" than I'd anticipated. Still really rather pleased with it.

And then also the German version of Return on Investment ("Risikokapital"). I'm actually now working on the translation for Risk Return.

And the most recent book, Shadows Watching - a direct sequel to Eagle's Shadow (again, with Jordan Taylor).

The very next thing is a French translation (28 September).

Oh, and I've put a new cover on Risk Return, which is a hell of a lot more in keeping with the Return on Investment cover.

And a short audiobook (narrated by Gomez Pugh).

And with only 4.5 months left in the year, I have quite a few plans that I'm hoping to cram into the year. In November, I'll attend a coaching/therapy course and learn some more cool stuff (as I said, new hobbies and interests), but before that happens, I'll hopefully manage to finish Julian's book in the Witches of London series, Risk Return in German, and Franco's novel (I've sat on the latter long enough). 2018 should see several fantasy novels and a few historicals, but I'll talk about those once they're about 95% done and I know I can deliver.

Also, obviously, all those amazing covers are by Tiferet Design.

Here's hoping I'll manage to update the blog more often, or at least whenever there's a new book out. 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Triple release weekend

Due to a mix of circumstances, I released THREE books yesterday: Dark Soul III (last part), Risikokapital (Return on Investment in German) and Witches of London - Eagle's Shadow.

I didn't want to make people wait too long for Dark Soul III after publishing I and II in November and December (though In January I released two German short stories); and Risikokapital was finished in January, and I'm bad at sitting on a finished book for longer than practically necessary; and lastly, WoL - Eagle's Shadow was also finished in January. With the stars aligning and the correct moon phase (yep, I'm studying astrology), 4 February was the best time. But it did mean that I had three releases on the same day, which might be something of a record.

While things can’t seemingly get any worse, Stefano finally faces up to his desires. He is not a single step further to understanding Silvio, but he understands his own desires well enough now, even though they hold the key to his destruction.

Soon, the game is up. When an FBI mole dies in the gang war, US Attorney Beccaria sets out on his own hunt. Beccaria is seeking nothing less than the total annihilation of the Marino clan in the hopes of purging his own dark past. When the US Attorney confronts Stefano with evidence that will undermine his power and put his life at risk, Stefano faces a bitter choice: fight and risk it all, or flee and protect himself and those he loves.

Martin David, ein fleißiger aber unerfahrener Finanzanalyst, ist das neue Mitglied des Investment-Teams von Skeiron Capital Partners in London. Sein Boss ist ein erklärtes Finanzgenie, aber er ist auch anmaßend und anstrengend. Trotz dessen sprunghaften Verhaltens kann Martin nicht anders, als sich beruflich und persönlich von ihm angezogen zu fühlen.

Zu schade, dass sein Boss das offenbar nicht erwidert. In einer Firma, wo Herkunft und Verbindungen viel mehr wert sind als Martins nagelneuer Wirtschaftsabschluss, fühlt er sich extrem unzulänglich – zumindest, bis er den rätselhaften Investmentmanager Alec Berger trifft, der ihm verspricht, ihm dabei zu helfen, sich in der Finanzwelt zu etablieren. Martin ist von Alecs Kultiviertheit und Esprit so bezaubert, dass er ihm Informationen gibt, die besser vertraulich geblieben wären.

Dann schlägt die Finanzkrise zu – Banken brennen, Unternehmen befinden sich am Rande einer Katastrophe. Martin gerät mitten in den Kampf um Skeiron – gegen die abrutschende Wirtschaft und einen rücksichtslosen Feind, der aus dem Schatten getreten ist, um die Beute zu kassieren.

What if the new love of your life also holds the keys to your past?

When Chicago journalist Tom Welsh meets British banker Sanders Templeton at a conference, Sanders insists they have a connection, though he does not know what it is. They’ve never met before—but the strangest thing is, Tom can also feel it.

Sanders Templeton is a highflier who has it all—the money, the lifestyle and a rare intellect. Only a few chosen people know that he also suffers excruciating pain since childhood, with no cure, a mystery to western medicine.

Sanders knows that meeting Tom may be the most significant event of his life. As their relationship deepens, they learn that this is not the first lifetime in which they’ve fallen for each other. This time, true love can be theirs if they find the courage to forgive.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

New Return on Investment cover

I've refreshed my first self-published book, Return on Investment, with a great new cover by Tif. I hope you enjoy.