Letters from the Editor…


So, a few days ago my (professional) editor got back to me.

I sat on the email for about an hour before I had the courage to even open it up. You know that feeling when you get a reply from someone you have a crush on? When your insides are flipping over because you don’t know if they are going to agree with everything that you wrote, or if they’re going to laugh at you? Or, worse, go full bad-ending-Hanako on you?

Yeah, that’s the feel when you get the response back from an editor, only there is an even lower chance of getting laid.


I’ve been piecemeal-reading the notes over the past week, all 14 pages in all, and overall the response wasn’t too bad.

First thing that struck me was that they thought that it was a good story. That was a relief. Straight after that, I realised that many of the points that came up from many of the other proof readers, like character and world-building (which I thought I had addressed before sending the copy to the editor) came back up. So I guess my first point is to listen to the people that you trust. I know that some of the readers prefer not to be mentioned, but on the top level the feedback from the editor was the same as the feedback from Aura.

However, the great part about an editor is that they then say “…here are some ways to fix it…”

Which is what I was missing. Instead of saying “this is missing” or “put this bit in,”  most of the feedback I received was in the form of questions.

“What are the motivations here?”

“Why did she react like this?”

“Do you really need to do that?”

…and a number of other such examples. I won’t go into details but I certainly have to say that the process has helped. In previous editing sessions at 4LS and also in the last 6 months, I’ve always felt like I’ve gone as far as I care to go. I can also admit that I feared getting the response back from the editor, as it would mean that I would need to spend more time on the script. But, now that I have the feedback, I am already charged with ideas that I will start putting into the story.

Hopefully by the end of May I’ll have done all of those changes, and my errant artist will have completed the cover.


I’d like to send out a “thank you” to the team at For Pity Sake publishing for their services. I won’t say that it was cheap, but getting the overview edit service was worth it, and I hope that you guys all think so when you read the final result.


I’m going to set a “script completion” date of the 1st of June. This will be tough as May is a really busy month for me, but if I do this it will twist me into action. After that, it will be a matter of formatting for Amazon, waiting for the cover, and then finally hitting the “go” button after about 9 months of saying “it’s finished!”



Ok, so once a year I have to head out to Vegas for a conference and exhibition. This time, my parents in law agreed to look after our kids, so my wife was able to join. So, we went all in.

I’ve been here about 5 times already and I’ve usually just had a few drinks on the strip, seen a show and then gone home as fast as I could. But this time we’ve seen “Le Reve” and “O” (both are fantastic and you should check them out). We also took a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. Instead of sweating on a bus for multiple hours, it’s a quick hop into the canyon, a quick snack and glass of champagne, and then back home in time for dinner and some shopping.


Anyway, enough with the prattling, on with the photos… I’l also write a new piece after dinner which should publish in a few days.











Arctic Gale – Soundtrack edition

So, I’m writing this on a cold spring night in 2016. The kids are asleep and the wife is out with friends, so for the first time in a few weeks I’ve managed to don the Grados and rock out a little bit.

I’ve always had BGM in my life. From the early days of my parent’s shitty Hi-Fi system and dusty vinyl collection to my 1-bit DSD headphone amp there’s always some kind of noise going on. I’m also a bit conservative in collecting music. I still buy CDs or SACDs and rip them to FLAC, so I’m probably not even at the 10,000 track level yet.

Anyway, I digress.

I wrote a post some time ago talking about my man-crush on Porter Robinson, but in the last few weeks as I read and re-read Arctic Gale, I’ve started thinking of certain tracks to link up with the various chapters/scenes in the story. Yes, I know I should actually be spending that time actually working on the script, but, hey, what can you do. When I write I usually have the “movie” version of the story running in my head. I scrub it back and forth to capture the details that I want, but there is almost always a visual. So adding a soundtrack seems like a totally natural thing to do as part of that process. This post, then, is basically the soundtrack that I have playing in my head when I was doing my last read-through.

Screenshot 2016-03-11 22.31.04

You can see by my various versions that there is something going on, but I’m not sure what. I blame OneDrive not syncing properly when you are offline.

I’m not sure if I’ll post this straight away, or if I’ll hold onto it for a bit, but in either case I’ll warn that there are spoilers ahead. If you don’t want to read them, then I guess you’ll have to wait until you’re already spoiled or something. There should be a “Click here” link or something below. If you want to see the tracklist but don’t want the spoilers, then please check out the Youtube Playlist. Again; sorry if you get Geo-blocked.

One thing I know for sure is that this post will take forever to write – every time I think of a new song I have to find that track and listen to it…

Continue reading

Off to see the wizard…

So, stuck in the Tokyo licence office for 6 hours (no joke) I managed to finish another read-through of Arctic Gale.

There was a post a couple of days ago where I Shared a YouTube playlist which has the songs that I have linked to some scenes. I haven’t finished the list, but I have a post ready for when I do. It’s full of spoilers so I’m saving it until after the release. The problem is that most of the music gets me excited, and last night I nearly sent the book to the e-book stores as-is…

But I’ve resisted the urges for two reasons. One is the art, and the other editing. Sending the script to a professional editor feels kind of like putting a love letter in someone’s locker. It’s very emotionally charged, and as soon as you’ve posted it you kind of want to take it back out of embarrassment. What if they don’t like it? Or, worse, what if they do like it?
I’ll admit it’s a little terrifying; especially when I think that I am effectively spending my bonus on a total wild shot…

Anyway, what’s done is done, and in three weeks I’ll have professional comments on my work. Until then, no more fiddling!

For Blog’s Sake


I think I have contracted Aura’s professionalism.


I’ve made an agreement with a professional editor and I’ll be going through that process soon. But I thought that I should do one more read-through before I hit send, and that has meant that I am again finding bits that I’d like to change… which makes me want to do another read-through. I’m so far away from the PDF draft that you can download that I’m considering removing it from the site (it’s just that embarrassing).

At some point the whole thing starts blending in on itself and you get this annoying feeling of deja-vu (I’m sure I wrote that earlier… scans 200 pages… Nope, this is the only time I’ve said that).

The process will be expensive, but I keep telling myself that I should make sure that I have the best possible product available if I’m going to ask you to part with your hard-earned money for it. That being said, I’m now at the point with art and editing that I’ll have to get to about 5,000 sales before I break even. It’s not impossible but it still does make me gulp.

On the other hand, I’ve spent more than that on a camera lens before without batting an eye lid, so….


On the good side of things, work is picking up. I’ve finally got a team that I’m mostly happy with, and the results are now starting to show up. That means that I’m spending more time away from my desk, which is great, but it does also mean more catch-up time at home (hence the lack of blog posts).


Once I get the manuscript off to the editors I’ll let you know. There will be a 3-week delay before getting their comments, and then some time to actually turn their comments into results. On the upside, the artist is being a typical artist and isn’t delivering squat. So there is that delay as well. I suppose I should really contact him more often and poke him, but I also know that sometimes you just need to leave artists alone to do their thing…


I don’t suppose anyone has any questions at this point? That could force me to actually post here more often…


A work in Progress…

Ok, without wanting to spoil anyone, here is something that I’m working on.

I was going to save it for later, and there is a much more detailed post in the works, but here is a playlist that I would call the “Soundtrack” to Arctic Gale:

The Official AG Soundtrack Playlist


The official post will have more information in it…

Keep checking that list as I’ll be adding more tracks to is as I go along.

Screenshot 2016-03-11 22.31.04

You can see by my various versions that there is something going on, but I’m not sure what. I blame OneDrive not syncing properly when you are offline.