Let’s get the Summer Sale pitch over with: Shadow’s Talent is now $0.99 / £0.99 in all ebook stores I sell in. I’m running this until the beginning of September. Grab your holiday reading now! This book is now cheaper than the average ice cream, and barely more than the bottle of water you buy in the corner shop when the heat is killing you. Once you’ve cooled off, get that Kindle out and put something cool on it!

I’m also working with Dane at ebooklaunch on the new cover. Say goodbye to the ‘dog’ edition, there’s a new one right around the corner.

Okay, done. So what else is new? Oh yeah, the sequel Ghost of the Navigator now has a completed first draft. AT LAST!

So what does that feel like? It really is a case of ‘There’s a world outside? Damn, I’d forgotten!’ Even when you get out as much as I do, it’s easy to get that feeling after months of rescues and anguish and wondering if my series was on the rocks yet again, here is something finally resembling a second novel, at a not immodest wordcount of 248,850.

I am truly knackered. Think sitting at a computer all day can’t do that? Guess again. I’m a ranger by training, and I know there’s working-all-day-with-a-chainsaw knackered and there’s writing knackered. One does your muscles, the other does your brain. Like coming down from mainlining electricity. I wrote 11,010 in six hours today out of sheer drive to finish. I loved every minute. That’s also record. I’ve never belted out that kind of wordcount in one day before, even if I’ve gotten close. I had to refuse to compromise and skip parts of what was in my head, because that story had to come in the way I wanted it to.

I’m also really, REALLY sick of Shadow’s voice. He’s that favourite character I just wish would just get the fuck out of my head. I don’t want to hear from him again until at least September. I’m not even looking at that draft again until the end of the summer. Having it out of the way is not a weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s like getting out of an industrial compactor that’s been broken down for months with me trapped inside it with barely enough room to move.

Funny isn’t it, how even we love doing something, having it finally done gives us that liberating freedom, to feel like we can do other things without getting that nagging guilt that we’re doing enough on our biggest priority. Surely my biggest priority should be getting another ranger job. I sometimes wonder which I want more: my countryside career or to write and sell books. Then I wake up and think ‘Well hell, I want BOTH. I’m having both.’ Just like Shadow wants (oops, nearly spoilt it!)

So what now until September? I’d rather like to finish Welcome to Sentago, my side project – shorter and perhaps even an easier book to sell than any of my Talent Show stuff. I liked writing as Screft – good old shape shifting, street fighting illegal ‘alien’ with something resembling a human conscience. There’s also a loose link to the Talent show plot, as WtS is set on Carnathia? Could Screft and Shadow ever meet, even if just in passing? I haven’t ruled it out…

I’ve got a couple of non sci-fi short story ideas floating around. I’d like to do some more workshopping on Litreactor, and some more reading in general.

Whatever I do, I feel free to do it at last!