Cover Reveal! Chronicles of Marsh

As always (maybe) followers of the Princelings series get the first view of the cover of a new book.

So here it is… another wonderful illustration by Dani English

Chronicles of Marsh draft cover

The book is currently on schedule for release on November 14th. Pre-order at  iTunes , Kobo, and B&N right now. Amazon link now available.

If you’re in Eastbourne, England on the weekend of 28th September, you can meet Dani at the Wyntercon at the Eastbourne Sports Park 28-29 September.

Read more about the Chronicles of Marsh here.

A tribute to one of our fans

terrence Dolan

Talking to someone about book 9, Chronicles of Marsh, the other day, I commented that it would probably only really appeal to the dedicated fans.

Since each book up to and including Bravo Victor sold about 73 copies in its first month, I reckon there are about 73 people who are dedicated fans, and on the alert for new books. Willoughby’s and Dylan’s were slower sellers, but even I get that way with long series.

I only know a handful of those people. Some I know in person; some I’ve linked up with through social media as a result of the books.

Surprisingly, one of my brother’s friends asked him to pass on a specific message to me one Christmas – namely than he loved my books.

Given that my brother is about 8 years older than me, and he and Terry were at school together, I was surprised he’d read them. I think I only met Terry a couple of times, since we lived a fair way from the school. I always remembered him–the only one of my brother’s friends I knew! He was one of the thoughtful, friendly guys, with a warmth about him, and a little Irish charm.

Terry Dolan (photograph: Frank Miller/Irish Times)

Messages of encouragement continued to come from Terry via my brother, although we were sad to learn of his stroke several years ago, which led to him stepping back from his prestigious and high profile job at one of Ireland’s best educational establishments. Just lately my brother has been worried that he hadn’t heard from him, not like he usually did, and he knew he hadn’t been well.

It turned out that Terry had died in April, after an illness. We are sad, but I don’t think we are surprised. We wish we’d known sooner, of course. But if you would like to read more about my mystery admirer, you can read his obituary in the Irish Times, here. I can hear his voice in the quotes they use.

So Chronicles of Marsh will be dedicated to the memory of Terence Dolan. I thought you’d like to know why, and who he was.

Chronicles v2 is with the editors!

Book 9 draft cover

It’s the same old story, really. Chronicles went to the editors, came back with a general comment about its structure, and I spent July rewriting it.

It seems to be a pattern, these days, rewriting the first half (well, third) of my books. I think with the first draft I was too complicated with my approach. Certainly one editor couldn’t work out what was going on at all.

So after a good long week or so of thinking, I got back into the swing of rewriting it, and editing it, and so on. My last edit this time was to read it through out loud. I think the guinea pigs quite enjoyed it, save for the occasional stops, mutterings, and typings before starting again with a different phrase.

Meanwhile, my lovely cover illustrator has been working away. Each time she sent me her ideas I gasped. They were all super, but I settled on this idea. This is not the finished version! But I thought you’d like to see it.

Book 9 draft cover; a dark flying boat in the foreground, and sailing ships in the background, with a castle we haven't seen before on the land to the right. All surrounded by blue cloudy swirls

Chronicles with the editors

Chronicles by the fire

I’ve finished editing Chronicles of Marsh, well until the copies come back from the editors with all the crossings out and suggestions!

Obviously I fixed all the problems I found that I mentioned in the last update. The issue with the thing happening in the wrong time was relatively easy to sort out. I had to rewrite what they’d been talking about in the retrospective, and just convince myself that it couldn’t be fitted in any earlier.

Unusually for me, I sent out two passages to people who aren’t usually involved with my books. Both dealt with situations I thought my readers could have witnessed themselves, and I hadn’t experienced first-hand. You’ll know I’m a bit sniffy about authors getting details wrong when they could check with someone who might have that experience. So for once I listened to my own advice and found a couple of friends (non-writing friends, as it happened), to read these passages. I only had to tweak the paragraphs a little, but I can now face criticism of them if there is any!

I thought you might be interested in the Chapter titles, just to pique your interest! They are of course subject to change.

Princelings 9: The Chronicles of Marsh (provisional)
Chapter 1: Overdue
Chapter 2: Fred’s Yuletide Escape
Chapter 3: A Reality Check
Chapter 4: Pirates Ahoy!
Chapter 5: Time for a breather
Chapter 6: Zephyrs
Chapter 7: A Yuletide Interview with Queen Kira of Marsh
Chapter 8: How to Uncover a Vampire
Chapter 9: Revelations
Chapter 10: A Pirate Yule
Chapter 11: Comings and Goings
Chapter 12: The Darkest Hour
Chapter 13: A Laird in training
Chapter 14: Meeting of Minds
Chapter 15: A Legend in a Lifetime
Chapter 16: Flying today
Chapter 17: Fuel Cells for sale
Chapter 18: When the going gets tough
Chapter 19: Fire at the Granary
Chapter 20: The end of the beginning

So, the editors are at work, Dani is starting some initial sketches for the cover, and I must get around to doing 20 new chapter illustrations. Well, I might be able to recycle one or two!

The book is now on pre-order at iTunes, B&N and Kobo, at a special early-bird price. You can see the blurb at Smashwords, as they only sell on the launch day. The early date, if it all comes together, is 14th November. If not, I’ll move it to late January. I can’t list it for pre-order at Amazon without a cover, but I can put up a draft cover, so watch this space!

Chronicles by the fire
Fred’s fire