The next step…

I guess I should warn you all – I’m going to keep pushing the Zemlya barrow until it gets popular. So I’ll likely embed questions etc into each post until I get more than a sale a day…


But, I also know that I need to think about the future. At the moment, my life feels a little like a 24-hour carousel. Shortly after I wake up at 0600 it’s already midnight and I’m trying to go back to sleep. Such is life in an international company and with kids.


I’ve been basking in the glory of finishing Zemyla for some time now. I mean, I finished my first editing pass over a year ago (I wrote a note in there to myself to remind me of the occasion), but I kind of thought that I would want to have a follow-up novel as a partner to the Conspiracy. I’m thinking “Confederacy” would be a good angle.

Then I think about the mountain of work that goes into it, especially because this time, like the re-writes of KS, I have a much better idea of what I’m doing and how to do it, and it doesn’t start by randomly bashing out works and then changing character’s genders half-way through the editing process.


Also, I’m thinking about what to do here. I’m thinking that I should stop moping here (as I’m not actually a mopey person) and start to post interesting things that I see around the world. I mean, I have the good luck to have a packed travel schedule (it feels weird to be home for more than 2 weeks) so I should share that luck with y’all.


I can’t have nice things


For a long time, I’ve craved things that are usually beyond my ability to purchase them. Yet, whenever I really wanted something, I would somehow find a way (this would usually involve eating nothing but rice for weeks on end, taking on extra work where possible and shunning all sense of a social life).

Since the things that I “want” are usually damned expensive, it takes a while to save for them and then even longer to commit to buying them. For example, my headphones were about UD$800; that’s not the kind of thing you buy on a whim (I did also once fall into some kind of insanity spiral and buy a $1800 set of headphones, but sold them to buy my current camera).

And in that time, I research the crap out of what it is that I want. Before I buy something I can pretty much recite the spec sheet and also the opinions of the relevant authorities on whatever thing it is that I want to buy.

It’s also kind of what I used to do for work when designing big systems, and in that sense it worked out well for me.


However, there is a downside to this.

There are a couple of sales fundamentals that are being broken here. The first is exciting the customer, the other is under promising and over delivering. If you’re in sales, these are golden rules, no matter the industry.

But, by knowing everything about a product before you buy it: when you get it, it’s just not that exciting. And this always happens to me. I get so wound up about buying something, and then when the stars align and I make my purchase, I am happy for about 30 seconds and then I go back to wanting one of the other things on my list. It’s actually enough to make me not want to buy things, even though I kind of have the means to do so now…

Either that, or I just start buying stuff randomly.


Anyway, another point here is reviews for Zemlya. Where do you guys get your information about books? I’m a terrible example as I’m only really getting books through word of mouth. So if you’ve read Zemlya and think it’s all right, please jump on the various message boards around the world and let people know.

But if you know of a good review site or something, please let me know and I’ll post it there.



Selling is hard…

Ok, so I should know better. It’s the internet, asking people to pay for stuff is a stretch. And I do thank all of you that have supported me by purchasing the digital or the paperback copy of Zemlya.

For any of you that, for some crazy reason, want me to write something in a paperback, please contact me. I have a few copies that I ordered for print checking that I can sign and ship for about the same price as ordering a paperback.

Otherwise, do yourself a favour and get the paperback! Doom’s cover looks great. Or jump over to one of the other subreddits like /r/cyberpunk (for upvoting) or /r/books (for posting a new thread – self promotion is banned there). Reddit has the greatest pull-through to this blog of all of the other channels that I frequent, so that always helps.



But I wanted to ask a slightly more serious question here. Of the people that found this blog due to various posts, about half will then click the Amazon link. But after that… nothing.

So, I’m curious. What’s stopping you guys? Is it the blurb? The format (e.g. would you prefer Kobo?)? Or, please no, the price?

I’m happy to make some changes. The Paperback is about as low as it can get (due to the print on demand nature), and the digital edition has to stay at the same price for 6 weeks (Amazon does some kind of auto-promotion thing). But it would be really great to know why the trail runs cold at the Amazon page…




Ok, I’ll make more of a splash about this closer to the weekend (when people seem to be paying attention), but if you go onto the Amazon site of your choice, you should now be able to see The Zemlya Conspiracy in paperback. I will admit, it feels a little emotional to hold a paperback in your hands.

American Amazon link with both formats

For those of you people that actually want to have something written in a copy with my terrible handwriting, then please let me know. I have a few copies coming my way, I:’m happy to write a message in them and send them to you. Just hit me up on Twitter DM or email or whatever. The only issue is that the shipping might end up being a little more expensive as I will have to post them to myself first and then to you.

Please, if you’re a fan of my work, spread this around. I don’t mind being a whore and flooding my twitter stream with self-promotion, but that only has a limited reach. A couple of posts on Reddit or 4chan or whatever will always help. And if you know of any good websites/people that do reviews, please let me know so that I can get in contact with them and send them a copy to look at.1474980846492

And thanks to those of you that have already written reviews! Feels good, man.

The Zemlya Conspiracy – Released


So, it’s done. 10 years after getting the idea for the story of a city at the edge of the world, inhabited by people that never age beyond 30, and protected by cybernetically enhanced warriors, The Zemlya Conspiracy is finally done.

I won’t bore you with the details of the making of the book; that has already been covered.

For those of you that read Zemlya under its working title, Arctic Gale, you don’t need any more introduction, so here is the link to the digital download:

Digital Editions:

US Amazon

Aus Amazon

UK Amazon

JP Amazon

The Zemlya Conspiracy is the tale of Agent Kate Thorsten, an E-type agent that is recalled from patrolling the tundra that surrounds Zemlya to go undercover. Her orders are to infiltrate the rebellion that has taken root in the city and is wreaking havoc within the city walls.

But, as she dives deeper into the underbelly of the City, she finds herself cut off from her superiors, and must challenge the web of conspiracy on her own.

The action sequences are fast-paced, and the plot will keep drawing you forward as you get as lost as Kate and her companions in the world of Zemlya.


So that’s the blurb out of the way. What else can I say to make you click the link and buy it? Here’s a couple of reasons.

Médecins Sans Frontières

Those of you that are familiar with Katawa Shoujo will know that 4Leaf Studios (of which I was a part) released the game for free. A lot of people still wanted to pay us in some way, so we suggested that they donated to charity. If someone didn’t have a “charity” of their own, we suggested Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a default alternative. There are a number of reasons for this, but I digress.

One thing that I never did during the 4Leaf experience was actually contribute my own donation to that organisation (I give to other groups). However, since Katawa Shoujo was a big motivator for my writing, I’ve decided that half of what I get from the sale of Zemlya will be donated to MSF. It’s just one of those benefits of self-publishing.

So, if you ever wanted to give to MSF, then now is your chance, and you get a book in return!

Stretch Goals

I realise that a lot of people will be reading this and thinking “I don’t care about this unless it is a continuation of Katawa Shoujo.” And that’s a fair call. Unfortunately, Zemlya is a very, very far cry from Katawa Shoujo. So to placate those of you that might have accidentally clicked on this link thinking that I was making KS2, here are some promises for you:

  • I have a paperback version in the works. It will be one of those Amazon deals where you can pay a little extra to get both the digital and paperback. I’m expecting it will be ready in October.
  • If I get to 5,000 copies sold in 2016, I’ll write A Runner’s Afternoon 3. A lot of people have requested it, so now is you chance to find out what happens to adult Hanako and Hisao
  • If I get more than 10,000 copies sold, I’ll write another mini-series, like Final Finale based on the KS universe.


If these get surpassed then I’ll start adding more, like a million for trying to talk everyone into a sequel… if that were even possible.


There are a huge number of people that I have to thank for getting this far, and they are all mentioned in the acknowledgements page of the book. But the people I want to thank the most are you guys, on this blog. I know that there aren’t many of you, and that whatever I’m posting isn’t enough to get most of you back daily, but I’m going to start working on that from now.