The Zanari Inheritance

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The new book is out. The Zanari Inheritance is available on Smashwords now and Amazon soon. Apple iBooks, B&N, etc will follow when they’ve done their vetting thing.

Sorry to have been a bit silent about this one coming, but the last few weeks have been… interesting, and busy. I’ll post some more about this book and series in the near future, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy it.

Valentine’s Day 2017

Well, in a couple of hours it will be that day beloved of sweethearts, lovers, florists, greeting-card manufacturers, and chocolate companies. That time of the year which takes being single and turns it from mildly depressing to a full on atomic wedgie.

Yes, Valentine’s Day!

I felt like making my general opinion of the event known.

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Progress, or the Lack Thereof

Okay, I’ve finally had to admit to myself that I’m totally blocked on the Thaumatology book. With my house a building site and my concentration shot, I shouldn’t be expecting miracles, but I’m grinding in ever decreasing circles here and it’s time I stepped back and came at this from another angle at a later date. Basically, I’m delaying that book and trying something else to get myself back in the right frame of mind. Apologies to those hanging there waiting for more Ceri and Lily. I am, however, planning to do a full reissue of the Thaumatology series with the typos taken out and new covers, plus (assuming I can manage it) an omnibus collection which won’t be much use to most of you guys, but may bring in some new people who’ll press me for more.

So, I’ve started working on something else which I’m not going to say much about right now. I’m trying to put it out in the slot I was going to use for the Thaumatology book, likely in March. All I will give you is the render below. Make of that what you will.

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New Thaumatology Models

I think I mentioned some new character models for the Thaumatology characters. I’ve posted them up on ArtStation and since we’re dealing with nudity and adult content and all that jazz, I’ll just provide a link here. NSFW, folks. You have been warned. 🙂

What Comes Next: Science Fiction

Over in another thread, Mark Delagasse brought up something which is worth making more of and I need to start thinking about this ahead of time, so here we go in my usual rambling style…

Aneka Jansen. The first Aneka book, The Steel Beneath The Skin, holds a place in my heart for the very simple reason that it was my first really successful novel. Seven books later, however, Aneka is getting hard to write for and her story is going to come to an end (at least as far as me being able to write for her) in the foreseeable future. I need something to take her place.

I originally thought that Fox Meridian was going to be the new Aneka, and for some people I suspect she fits the bill. However, I’m guessing she’s not for everyone. Mark, for example, likes Aneka, but would prefer a bit less ‘skin,’ so I’d have thought Fox would work, but he didn’t mention her. Fox is pretty much a near-future setting while Aneka pushes more into space opera. Fox is kind of low-key while Aneka is based around the big stuff. Lots to consider and not so much idea what people are looking for.

So, if I’m looking for a new universe to take up the torch when Aneka is sent off to a pleasant retirement, what should I be aiming at? What is it that attracted people to Aneka in the first place? Let’s see if I can structure this a little…

  • Subgenre. More or less ultra-tech (scientifically implausible stuff like force fields, anti-gravity, artificial gravity, FTL), bigger or smaller themes. More space opera or more hard SF?
  • The kick-ass heroine. I have had comments that it was nice to see a guy on the protagonist list in Vampire’s Kiss, so while I am likely to have a female lead, I am not averse to developing a strong male character too. What about Aneka and her friends did people like?
  • Did people like the specific setting? If so, what about it?
  • This has to be mentioned: sex. There’s a lot of sex in the Aneka books. I’ve been reducing it in more recent stuff (not entirely intentionally, it just works that way sometimes). Tone it down? Keep it the same? All-out porn?
  • The last element I can think of here is the connectivity to our world. Aneka’s story starts off with no one even knowing where Earth is. There’s no sense of connected history from us, here, now, to the world of the stories. Stuff gets filled in later, but this is an entirely new universe when we start (like Dune or Star Wars rather than Star Trek). Is that good, bad, or really not an issue? Is the ‘discovering a new universe’ a factor in the enjoyment of the books?

Okay… Well, your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. The more the merrier and I’ll try to coalesce the undoubtedly huge range of answers into something I can work with. This should be interesting… (Just like the curse.)

Happy 2017

It just turned midnight here in Manchester, UK. So, Happy New Year. May it be a good one for you all.

More Recover!

Okay, let’s get some opinions. I’ve got two options here which work with the lettering (I think) and add more light. The first has more general environment lighting, and some clouds to darken the sky. The second has a direct light on the foreground character, but has the original, dark background (which results in more contrast on the figure, but she isn’t quite as brightly lit…). Both look fairly good on my monitors. How do they look on yours? Which do you prefer?

I’ll add that I don’t have a solid preference. Both version have features I like and features I don’t.