It’s coming on for April, the skies of England are once again full of sunshine, but my writing life is full of rain.

I have all but had to rip up the first draft of Sky of Souls (follow up to Deliverance at Van Demon’s Deep) and go back to the drawing board. Having received all my Beta feedback now, it’s clear the story was not firing properly, so with a new grittier and more focused outline I’ll be rewriting it over this next month.

On a more positive note, my standalone, Rage of Dark Desire (which apparently is a terrible title, so expect that to change) has gone to Beta readers. It’s a very early version they are looking at, so I have to suck up my embarrassment.

I have also been reworking the first couple of chapters of my Epic, Bindcrafter (Blood’s Warm Curse).

Where am I left? With three very different books all crying out to be written at once. Am I lacking focus? Maybe, but juggling multiple projects seems the only way to go at the moment

Reddit Fantasy Writer of the Day
It was fun to be named Reddit Fantasy Writer of the Day this month, where I answered some reader questions and generally hung out with Fantasy nerds – my favourite type of nerd!
Check it out here

Personal Update
We are now on season 11 of South Park, and for my fantasy reading I have been enjoying Sarah J Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses, and am about to start Blood Song by Anthony Ryan, then I have some R Scott Bakker lined up. I will be heading to Salisbury for a few days over Easter (visiting Stone Henge) so will get some reading done then

Winners
I ran a couple of fun comps this month, one was for Reddit and the chance to win a free Audible audiobook code. The lucky winner was Terren. I also offered the chance for a free piece of commissioned original artwork on Twitter, the lucky winner of that being @iamltr. Well done people

In lieu of my horrible writing progress, I’ll leave you with this Flash Fiction I wrote.

The Beast of Dale Wood

Third Hour Past Midnight
She was at her loudest now, a red wall of fire and heat testing the cottage to destruction. Another chunk of masonry fell and the walls sighed, charms failing. I sheathed my sword. That was no good to me right now.

A branch crashed through the pantry window, showering me with vials and the oddments I kept on the sill. Flame blazed through the opening. Staggering backwards into the hallway, unable to believe the old gal’s fury, I turned for the creaking front door. As I lifted the latch, the door bulleted inwards as her vast reptilian tail smashed the jamb. I tasted blood, but pulled myself up in the opening, bracing myself.

I hesitated. Then, a tearing sound ripped the air as she decapitated the building, tearing roof from walls like some demonic executioner swiping head from torso. Inside now outside, a torrent of wood and plaster rained down. I had no choice, I ran for the trees.

The forest was flattened in streaks and stripes. Behind me, I heard her turn, and she roared, a thousand lions vibrating every sinew within me. My legs gave way and I stumbled, rolling forwards head over arse.

She stood behind me. I dared not look as the smell of sulphur came to me from her snorting breaths. I played dead, and in that moment of serenity made myself ready for the next life.

She inhaled, great lungs sucking in air like a giant’s bellows. I braced myself for the inferno. Instead, a clap of air buffeted me as she extended her leathery wings and took off into the night. Looking up, her dark silhouette grew smaller against the moon’s bright face, then with a single blast of crimson fire, she disappeared beyond the trees.

Why she spared me that day, I would not know until some years later.

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