June 2018

I‘m not going to lie, this past month has been a bit disappointing on the writing front really.  In fact, one could almost say it’s been a bit of a write-off, if you will!


Firstly, May’s report was a bit late, so I’m pretty sure there’s been some crossover when tallying up the word counts.  So let’s just say May wasn’t as good as the count suggests, nor June as bad.  Can we please say that?

june words

There we are… a paltry 10%.  That means I managed 51.5 words a day, just 448.5 short of the target.  It was almost too embarrassing to share, but I’d only be lying to myself.  Besides, it’s still better than nothing.

Where I’ve fallen short with the new words this month, I’ve hopefully more than made up with a revisit to the old ones.  As you’ve hopefully all heard by now, I submitted The Ember Child into SPFBO 2018.

spfbo 2017

The competition seems to be going from strength to strength, and it feels like a great time to get involved.  There’s even a Wikipedia page for it now, so things must be getting serious!

So far I’ve learnt that my book is in the group of 30 handed to booknest.eu for judgement, and that it’s up against some tough competition.  You can see the list here on Goodreads (which people are currently voting on for the book they believe will be put forward as Booknest’s finalist).  When you consider some of those books have ratings into the hundreds and thousands, and The Ember Child has two, it goes to show you what it’s up against.

That said, I really have no expectations about how far the book will go.  I just hope it leads to a few extra readers discovering my work, and a few more reviews on Amazon to prove it.  Anything beyond that will be a welcome bonus!

The competition kicks off officially in August, so keep an eye out for news around then.  In the meantime, the Cover Contest has kicked off over on Mark Lawrence’s site.  Sadly, The Ember Child didn’t make the cut for Booknest’s selections.  That’s ok though.  Considering I made the cover myself, with limited design experience and a free piece of software using stock images, I can take that one on the chin.  Especially when you see the covers it lost out to:


If nothing else, it’s certainly been an eye opener on the quality of covers in the self-published arena, and that’s probably why it’s been so difficult to catch the eye of would-be readers.  I think my next publishing effort will definitely involve a cover artist to do the work justice… and I may even give The Ember Child a facelift when funds allow.  Still, I think it’s pretty…

Let me know what you think.  Would you be tempted by the current cover for The Ember Child, or would you definitely recommend some cosmetic surgery?  What about artists?  Any recommendations?  I’d love to work with someone whose style might offer a nod to the current design, while enhancing it with their own special talents and personal vision.

Leave a comment below.  Any suggestions and thoughts are most welcome!

As ever, before I sign off here are a few words from this month’s work:

To sleep is to die.

Radok could not remember who told him that, but the words were true enough.  The cold was a difficult beast to master out here, one that only grew stronger the closer you got to the Whitelands.  If you closed your eyes, he knew, even for a moment, there was a good chance the beast would gore you.

Better to embrace the habits of survival now, he thought, than to wait for when they’re truly needed.  Get up you fool!

To sleep is to die.

2nd July 2018

4 thoughts on “June 2018

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  1. The color is too muted. The sky should be a stark contrast to the rock and water. Also, one simple thing you could do is add a person at the top of the rock. Then it goes from, neat waterfall to who is that? Why are they up there? Now the cover isn’t just a picture. It’s a story.

    1. Thanks Matt, some good feedback there. I’m just starting to dip my toe in with Photoshop, so I may have a play with things to see if I can improve things as you suggest 🙂

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