It’s been a while so I thought I would touch base with a quick update. So what have I been up to? Well, apart from the day job designing book covers for other authors, I’ve been busy having fun. Took the brood to Latitude music festival in the UK, forgot about bathing and internet for a while, which was nice.

Ghent
Lovely Ghent – it’s almost a fairytale..

We visited Belgium for our hols, Ghent was amazing (like a mini Bruges). Apart from the waffles, it boasts a nifty medieval castle, complete with a variety of grizzly weapons (food and drink for a fantasy author). Amazingly, we bagsied a free stay at the Marriott thanks to a complete stranger on Trip Advisor, who passed on his booking to us when he couldn’t go. Needless to stay, we would have been staying somewhere rather less luxurious otherwise.

Unfortunately, when we returned home we found the cat sitters with worried looks on their faces. Neo the cat was attacked by a fox in our absence. It wasn’t too bad, although he had a nasty open wound for a few weeks. Happy to say he’s in fine health now, so the daily nursing routine of dabbing him with ointment (yes, I use an apothecary) is over.

Writing Update

People often say writing is a marathon not a sprint. For me it’s more like a mission to Mars with several lost crews and failed launches behind it. But now Earth looks like a tiny blue dot in the rear-view mirror and I shall soon be activating manoeuvring thrusters. The Hope Makers, working title of my epic dark fantasy, is really zinging and I can’t wait to share it. I’m about halfway through my final edit pass, honing the prose and ironing out any little inconsistencies.

The Hope Makers - Fantasy Epic coming soon!

This story is up to about 750 pages now. It’s taking far longer to finish than I ever envisaged (3 years and counting), a lot of which is down to the multi-layered magic system – there are a lot of threads to tie together. There’s another reality to contend with, three strands of physical magic, loads of steampunk science, and a plague of alternate selves, amongst other intrigue. The scope of the book is huge, the themes deep, the characters complex, the plot action packed and, I hope, heart wrenching. And it will be coming soon. Watch this space.

In other writing news, the Spanish edition of Deliverance at Van Demon’s Deep is now available. You can find that here: books2read.com/DAVDDes. Also, in my ongoing pursuit of confusing author decisions I’ve decided to publish in future under my full name, Shaun Paul Stevens. Aside from that I’ve got some more interviews coming and am busy working on a couple of exciting collaborations – more on those at a later time.

Wow, I found this amazing book…

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

I’ll leave you with a personal Fantasy recommendation from my summer reading efforts. This book is a classic, in fact if you Google ‘best ever fantasy books’ you’ll see it in the list. I’m talking about Perdido Street Station by China Miéville. I’ve read a lot of fantasy in my time, but nothing like this. It’s set in the fictional world of Bas-Lag, a place where both magic (referred to as ‘thaumaturgy’) and steampunk exist. The prose is gorgeous, and the characters, like the insectoid girlfriend of the protagonist, an artist who secretes her own ‘paint’, are very colourful. If you like Terry Pratchett, and dark fantasy, search it out.

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