Not a Sunday Blog: Sorry for the Unexpected Hiatus

November 5th, 2016  |  Published in News

Yeah, I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks. Sorry about that.

2016 continues to be a very rough year and I’m between jobs again. This is really sapping my energy and with how downhearted I feel I needed a break.

On the upside I have still been writing and building up some buffer so posting for Caredale will resume on Monday.

Buffer is also what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo this year. Instead of aiming for writing a 50k novel I’m aiming for 50k of buffer shared among my projects as follows.

16000 words on Shattered (4065 so far)
15000 words on Tales of the First  (0 so far)
8000 words on Lord of The Wolves (o so far)
8000 words on The Sundered Light (7500 so far – should complete by bedtime tonight)
3000 words on Whisper (o so far – next on the list)

If I’m successful with hitting these targets around my job hunt I’ll be able to restart posting LoTW and Whisper in early December.


Sunday Blog Post: Bad News and Good

October 2nd, 2016  |  Published in News

Please bear with me while I moan for a couple of paragraphs before I get to the good stuff. If you want skip the next two paragraphs and go straight to the good stuff. :-p

The truth is I’m a bit downhearted at the moment. I’m in the process of preparing episode five of Shattered to go up on Gumroad. It’s a little late but I don’t think it matters since I only have two subscribers. I need to think about marketing strategies or a different delivery method but I have nowhere to turn to for advice. I don’t mind not having paying readers but not having readers at all makes it hard to keep momentum. I’m going to continue posting at Gumroad for the subscribers there but from here on in I’ll also be posting the files in an open Patreon posts so people don’t have to subscribe to a site to download them. Would people prefer that? Would you want me to do catch up posts or would you be happy for Patreon to run 4 months behind Gumroad?

But worse is the fact the website is currently a mess and I have no idea how to fix it. If you don’t know what I mean go and look at the title page for Dragon Wars. It’s not just that page (in fact that’s not even the worst page) it’s everything posted before wordpress last updated. I found some simple fixes online but they didn’t work and my only other options are apparently to mess with the database (I’d break things worse if I tried) or manually correct every post by hand (that’s a lot of posts). I really don’t know what to do. (Except as @tlavely just suggested on Twitter maybe I should raise a ticket with my webhost and see what they can do. So now I do know what to do).

This is why I needed to moan – it helps me think things through.

I don’t want this post to be a complete downer, so on the upside Tales of the First isn’t doing too badly for such a young story and being off site it isn’t affected by the coding glitch. It’s also October’s Serial Bookclub serial which is part of #webfictionchat on Twitter. You can read about it on the founders site. I hope some of you will come along to the chat.

And, saving the best new until last, it’s October, which means Halloween is coming! It’s the perfect time to read about Vampires and Werewolves and such like. In my writing world that means Haventon. So to celebrate I’m doing a Halloween special offer on the ebook version of Haventon Born.

From now until Halloween you can get £1 (currently around $1.30 US) off the ebook version of Haventon Born on Gumroad (usual price £2.99). It’s the fully edited version and also doesn’t have any weird encoding errors, so if you were thinking of rereading it to celebrate the season it’s absolutely a better choice than the website. (If you’re wondering – at current exchange rates £1.99 is approximately $2.58 in US money).

How do you claim this offer? Simply go to the Gumroad page via this link, or enter the code Halloween16 at check out if you get there via the books page.

So that’s a big writing update. More soon.





Not a Sunday Blog: Those Messy Characters in posts

September 14th, 2016  |  Published in News

Yeah, so you may have noticed some weird character encoding on the site recently. This appears to be a known wordpress 4.6.1 issue and I am looking into fixing it but the simple fixes don’t work and the alternative is… daunting. They appear to be going to patch the issue in 4.6.2 – if that doesn’t happen soon I will try and find another solution but this is turning into the year of website stress.

On the upside I have a job again.

Not a Sunday Blog: Don’t do that again, Becka

August 16th, 2016  |  Published in News


If you’re noticing that the site looks a little different (most obviously the little vote boxes at the end of posts are missing) then it’s entirely my fault.

Last night I was googling something and discovered that my site had some sort of hack that meant in google some pages were redirecting to spam sites. This didn’t affect things on the site (I checked) just coming in from outside and possibly just google as I couldn’t make it happen in Bing.

Anyway I set out to fix it and managed to get the wordpress whitescreen of death. While I was tearing my hair out a friend suggested I do a clean install and reupload the database backup (thank goodness I had a database backup) and the media files (which I rescued via cpanel). It worked but I’m having to reinstall the plugins manually so things may not be entirely normal for a few days. Also today’s Caredale episode will be up tomorrow as I spent last night’s writing time fixing this.

Anyway, while we’re here let’s have a few more updates.


Personal news: Due to the pound crashing after the referendum my job went away. I’m currently searching for a new one and already a wreck because JSA is not going to cover my bills.


Story News:

Tales of the First now has its own website. It’s a superhero tale and if you like my writing you might want to check it out. It updates daily by between 250 and 300 words.

I am working on the Shattered August update. This would be a good time to jump aboard. Remember you don’t have to pay anything unless you want to.


Help Request

I’m on a publicity drive. Obviously I can’t really afford any advertising once the current credit on Project Wonderful runs out so I’m hoping people will help with the things below. There’s a couple of things you can do if you’re willing.

  1. TVTropes Updates: Various are needed but troper etiquette prevents me doing it myself.

Dragon Wars has a TV Tropes page but someone seems to have deleted the original and current one is very sparse. If people could add tropes and also add the serial to the appropriate trope pages so people can wikiwalk the to the serial that would be awesome.

Caredale doesn’t have a page yet but as a spinoff it can probably go on the Dragon Wars page.

The Haventon Chronicles needs a page and links from the tropes pages (I suggest starting with the various our monsters are different subtropes).

Whisper also needs a page.

Tales and Shattered will need pages but it maybe a little soon.

2. Word of Mouth is awesome.

Ratings and Reviews on the Webfiction Guide would really help.  Dragon Wars, Whisper and Haventon.

Once the TVTropes pages are up to speed you can post reviews on there too.

And there is a Webfiction subreddit where you can post reviews.

If you have a Facebook account or blog why not post a review on there where your friends will see it?

Last but not least for the books there is Amazon and Lulu could do with reviews.

Or tweet a link to your followers on Twitter (do it on Wednesday – I’m resurrecting #webficwed – a hashtag for tweeting webserials you like on a Wednesday).

#Webfictionchat and the bookclub

And speaking of Twitter there is now a webfiction chat taking place every Sunday at 7pm EST (or EDT currently). If you have a Twitter come along and join us – you might find more great webfiction to read.

One of the things we’re going to be doing is a bookclub each month from September. You can see more information here. The discussion’s for the bookclub will be on the third Sunday of the month and September’s webfiction is Antlers, Colorado – an excellent Urban Fantasy serial, which I highly recommend.

Wow, that ended up longer than I expected. See you tomorrow with a Caredale update.


Sunday Blog: Bits and Bobs

July 3rd, 2016  |  Published in News


Not much to report here – life goes on.  I have a holiday in Scotland coming up at the start of August which I’m looking forward to.

Story Updates:

Dragon Wars – I’m still working on getting Arc 3 ready for its book version. I’m hoping to be able to release it this autumn but I need to find the money for the edit and I’m hesitant to run another Indiegogo campaign. Meanwhile the rewrite of Arc 4 is going slowly. It’s too long for one arc really so I need to find one or two natural break points then I can start untangling the plot lines. If you’d like to help with this so it can be done faster drop me a line.

Caredale – The first really big turn of the story is coming up in the next few installments.

Haventon and Whisper – I’m still working on building up buffer. I promise these will be back before Autumn but I don’t have a timescale yet.

Shattered – Episode 2 of Shattered went live on Gumroad late last week. Remember it’s Pay what you will and £0 is an acceptable subscription amount. I’ll pop the discussion link up soon.

Indigo – a while back I started working on a superhero fantasy and it’s been sitting on my hard disc gathering dust. So I’ve started posting it on my Patreon at a rate of 250-300 words a day. It’s public so you don’t need to be a Patron. (I haven’t posted for a couple of days because certain real world political developments have setting implications I’m thinking through but I’ve decided to play it by ear). I am considering moving it from Patreon (Patreon is not great for serial content) either to the site or a more likely a separate blog for design reasons. (Why a separate blog? Partly because the navigation bar of the website is getting a bit crowded and I don’t have the time or money to do a redesign and partly as an experiment to see if multi-story sites like this or single story sites do better at attracting readers). I’d be fascinated to hear your thoughts on the matter.



Sunday Blog – Feedback Request

June 12th, 2016  |  Published in News, Shattered

Heyup readers,

Rather than a report on where I’m at or an attempt to wring money out of you I want to get some feedback from you.

Firstly are you reading Caredale? If so are you enjoying it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Secondly I’d like your feelings on the Shattered Landing Page. Not many people are clicking through to the Gumroad page and I’m trying to ascertain if it’s a problem with the page or the story is just not what people want to read (because the first can be sorted but the second is a real problem and I may have to find something else to offer).

So questions:

  1. Does the Shattered Landing Page appeal to you and make you want to click through? If not is this because it’s not the sort of Fantasy you read or does the page or blurb just not pique your interest?
  2. Is it obvious that you don’t have to pay to subscribe unless you want to. Should I move that part a bit higher up the page?
  3. Is it obvious where to click through?
  4. There is a sample chapter on my Facebook Page so people can have a look before they commit to subscribing? Have you read it there or would you prefer to see the sample chapter on the website?

I know I’m being a bit of a pain but I hope you will take a moment to help me figure out how to make people’s initial interaction with my work more appealing so they want to stick around.



Not a Sunday Blog

May 17th, 2016  |  Published in News

Hi folks,

I haven’t written a blog post for a while so even though it’s not Sunday I thought I’d do a short post to say where we’re at.

Personal life: New job is going okay I think, but gosh am I tired.

Caredale: I’m enjoying posting Caredale. I hope you peeps are enjoying it too.

Haventon: When George RR Martin was writing A Dance With Dragons one of the reasons it was delayed was because of what he referred to as the Meereenese knot which was a problem he had getting various characters to Meereen who needed to be there. Right now I have my own Meereenese knot in Haventon which is why it hasn’t updated for a while. I’ve nearly finished chapter 17 but I will try to write 18 and 19 before I start posting again.

Whisper: Has fallen foul of the Haventon tangle as well. I alternate writing chapters of it and Haventon so while I’ve been fighting with chapter seventeen nothing has been written on Whisper. I think I may move to writing alternating days on them so this doesn’t happen again.

Dragon Wars: I hope to get Arc 3 out as a book by the end of the year. I don’t currently have any sort of ETA on posting arc 5. The rewrite of arc 4 may well be so intensive that I have to repost it first.

Shattered: I’m nearly ready to launch Shattered as PWYW serial on Gumroad. Watch out for the announcement! For now here’s the current cover (I’ll get a professional one once I have the pennies for now you get my okay but no pro quality art) and the blurb to whet your appetite.


Conflict shakes the heavens as an injured goddess heals among her people. The War for Heaven has begun.

The Moon shatters in the sky. The Moon Goddess Enled collapses in front of her priest, Ranet. Not just duty but love compels him and his people, the Saleika, to care for her even as they struggle to flee the ruin of their lands.

The disaster that has befallen them is no accident. Someone plots to supplant the gods, someone who doesn’t care how much suffering they cause as long as they prevail. This was just the first blow and their loyalty to the gods puts the Saleika in danger.

But their stories hold secrets that put them in even greater danger. Unravelling these secrets may reveal the enemy’s identity, but that will force them to return the ancient homeland they have tried to forget.

That’s all for now.

Sunday Blog – Short and Sweet

March 6th, 2016  |  Published in News

Not much news this week so I thought I’d try something different.

Name one of my settings or characters in comments and I’ll reply with five factoids about them.

Sunday Blog: Dragon Wars Decisions, Whisper Status and More About Shattered

February 28th, 2016  |  Published in News

Thank you for all the comments on the first of these, peeps. I love talking with my readers. 🙂

So here’s where we’re at:

Dragon Wars:

Having listened to everyone’s advice I’ve come to a decision. Once I’ve finished Arc Four Dragon Wars will go on a hiatus (hopefully no more than a few months) and I will start serialising the spinoff instead. The Caredale Tales book one is  titled The Sundered Light and should stand Whisper alone (though DW readers may well figure  certain things out very quickly if they’ve been paying attention). The current arc has one more chapter (so several installments) to go before the pause so we’re talking at least a month before the changeover. Caredale will release on the Dragon Wars rss feed so those of you who use that will see it automatically.


This week’s installment is written, so I’ll be sending it to Torvawk later today and there will be an update on Wednesday (yay!).


No one commented yay or nay so as things stand I’m going to do the thing. The worst that happens is no one buys in, which would be sad but meh.

I’ve been looking at two friends who do a for money serial for examples and they both handle it in different ways.

(BTW both these serials are excellent and come recommended by me).

The first is Hen and Chick by Tristan J. Tarwater. A fun swashbuckling fantasy adventure which she’s serialising monthly on Gumroad. She is charging pay as you feel with a minimum of $2 month and subscribers also get a monthly worldbuilding post about the setting. I asked her some questions and she’s really enthusiastic about the model.

The second is Curveball by Christopher Wright. He describes this as a superhero prose comic. His serialisation is somewhat different  and not entirely for pay as he is serialising it for free on his site. Each issue is between 8-10k words and is simultaneously available free on his site or as a 99 cent ebook on Amazon etc.

I have considered both these options and come up with the following:

  • Starting in mid-April I will serialise Shattered in installments of 8-10k words using Gumroad (I’ll open subscriptions in early April in preparation).
  • It will also  be made available for Patreon Patrons so nobody will have to pay twice (though Tristan reckons that Gumroad is more secure than Patreon and she may have a point so if people don’t mind migrating I’ll probably leave Patreon sooner rather than later as it has been over a year now and it’s still very quiet). (Plus Patreon doesn’t deal with VAT meaning I’ll have to hand email the ebooks to avoid the VATMOSS debacle so I think I’d prefer people to migrate). Expect a Sunday blog on this subject once I make up my mind.
  • I’m currently intending to charge a minimum of $0.99/month. I may up it to $1.99 if I decide to do the monthly world building content. (If I do this and I haven’t left Patreon then the content will only release to Patreon Patrons at the $2 or above level). (Note for European readers: These prices are excluding VAT. Gumroad adds the correct VAT to the prices I set).
  • I will only release on Amazon once the serial is completed and all readers will get the full ebook (and a steep discount on the paperback if they want it).
  • There will be a post on the site for subscribers to discuss each month’s release because comments are one of the joys of serial fiction.
  • Once the serialisation of each book is fully completed on Gumroad I will release it for free on the website in a Serial+ format (There will be a link to the ebook at the end of each chapter).
  • And in case you missed it last week this is the first draft of Chapter One of Shattered. Once ready for release I will have the final version of the chapter (approx 2k words) available as a taster to try and draw people in.

The other possibility is to release it as a pure PAYF serial.

That is people will be able to subscribe for nothing but there will a suggested price.

I actually rather like this idea. Apparently PAYF has worked well for a great many creators so it might be a nice thing to try (and it would solve the Patreon VAT problem). If I did it this way only paying subscribers would get the final ebook and the paperback discount. Also if I do it this way it will never release on the site as it will already be available free.

And finally here is a preliminary graphic for the header. It needs better art because I can’t paint well enough for commercial work (Enled’s mouth and eyes shouldn’t be crooked) but it gives you the idea. Not sure  about the font either.


So there we go. I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on pricing model and everything else. 🙂





Sunday Blog: State of the Becka

February 21st, 2016  |  Published in News

This is a new thing that I’m going to try and do at least most weeks. Some will keep you up  to date on where I’m at and similar. Others will talk about my writing process and stories I’m working on or developing.

So let’s do this.

Where am I at?

Let’s start with the really good news. I have a new permanent job starting tomorrow. I’m nervous as heck but hopefully it will go well. I hope that being free of the constant anxiety of job hunting will make it easier for me to write more. You would think that not working would give you more writing time but my head has been in a very bad place this last couple of months which has interfered.

So let’s go through the stories and see where we’re at:

The Dragon Wars Saga

We’re coming towards the end of Arc Four and some things have become apparent to me.

Firstly, I am not entirely happy with Arc Four. It’s too busy and the plot is not as coherent as in previous arcs. Unlike the previous arcs it’s going to need more than cosmetic editing. I’ll try to get the ebook of Arc Three out ASAP but don’t expect the Arc Four ebook any time soon as I am going to rewrite it and possibly split it in two. I will give regular updates on where we’re at in these posts. So stay tuned.

Secondly, I need to figure out how I’m handling the Caredale Stories as we’re now at the point in the world timeline where they start. The relationship  between these stories and Dragon Wars is similar to that between, for example, The Flash and Arrow. That is they take place in the same universe and some characters even crossover (Caredale being where Sophie Ashbourne and Darylyan both live it’s fair to say they are major characters). On the upside Caredale does pretty much stand alone as well so new readers won’t have to wade through DW if they don’t want to (I did initially envision Arc 5 and Caredale 1 being more linked than they are which is one of the reasons DW 4 needs more editing). I don’t know if I should:

  1. Take Dragon Wars down to one installment a week and post Caredale book one on the other day (say DW on Monday and Caredale on Friday).
  2. Post Caredale on a separate day (say Saturday) and keep DW as two days a week.
  3. Pause DW while I sort out and repost Arc Four and post Caredale book 1 on Monday and Fridays for the foreseeable future instead. I’m leaning towards this as I’m feeling a bit blocked on Arc 5 at the moment. Part of me feels bad about this. Part of me is all “it’s been six years, you’re allowed to take a break”.

If you, as my readers, have any input on this I’d be grateful. I won’t necessarily do what most people prefer as I have to sort out what’s best for me and my writing. I can promise that it will be a large factor in my considerations.



Conversely Haventon 2 is going well. I know where I am and what the end is. There are a couple of plot points I really need pin down to sort out how we get between here and the end but it’s not going badly. I am rewriting the earlier chapters and will repost fairly soon but I’m also on track to get chapter 14 out this week. It’s half done and I intend to finish it and send it to Torvawk to beta tonight or tomorrow. This will mean that the first draft is half written. Yay!

And don’t forget the paperback of Book One: Haventon Born is now available and on offer at £7.99 until 8th March 2016.



I’m sure you’ve noticed Whisper’s unscheduled hiatus. Sorry about that. With the stress something had to give and Whisper was it. The latest installment is about a quarter done and I’ll try to get it done for next week.

On the upside Whisper has received a great review. Which is definitely encouraging.


Shattered is a  more traditional fantasy story (secondary world, magic, gods, and monsters) that is the next of my creations that I’d like to share you all. You can read the first draft of the first chapter here.

Unfortunately as things currently stand unless my Patreon gets more love it won’t be seen on the site in the foreseeable future. Shattered will post monthly to Patreon (for Patrons only) once total pledges hit $50/month and on the site once we reach $100/month. We’re currently at  $17.96/month so that’s a way off. I don’t like this. I feel like I’m holding it hostage.

There is another possibility. I could make Shattered available now as a monthly serial on Gumroad. This would mean that for 99 cents a month you would get a digital file (probably pdf) containing at least 10000 words of the story until it was finished (at which point the money would stop being taken). And to keep my promise to never 100% paywall any of my serials I would still eventually post it on the site but only once it had concluded on Gumroad. The free release would probably be simultaneous with the complete ebook release with a note at the end of each installment that you can read ahead by buying the ebook. I would do this once the book was finished posting via Gumroad  even if nobody subscribed.

Some things jump out at me about  this model:

  1. You’d be paying for early rather than exclusive access. Likely at least 7 or 8 months early (depending on final length) if you are with me from the start. To incentivize this I would also give access to the ebook only bonus content I create for it.
  2. It’s going to work out more expensive to subscribe than the final ebook but that’s standard (think about the price of collecting a comic as single issues versus multiple issue collections). To incentivize this all subscribers would get a copy of the ebook at the end.
  3. How would we handle comments?  Thoughts – either a forum or simply a post on the site for readers to comment and review (who knows it might draw in new subscribers).

If I do try this then I will also simultaneously make the content available for Patreon Patrons so they don’t have to pay twice and will rejig the Patreon targets accordingly. All Patrons will also get the incentives mentioned above

Given that there is no cost to me in this model I am perfectly willing to try it  out if even a few people express an interest.


Do people want them? I’d like to do one for Haventon Born and I’m thinking that much like Shattered it would make a good test for Gumtree subscriptions but given that audiobooks do have a setup cost (and not an insubstantial one) due to VA costs I wouldn’t want to risk this without either running a crowdfunding campaign or at least knowing I could get enough subscriptions to cover my behind.

Facebook and Twitter

I do have social media accounts for my writing and I’m trying to use them more. So why not like the facebook page or follow the Twitter?

That’s it for now. If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.