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.



Shattered Episode 1 Discussion Post

May 24th, 2016  |  Published in Shattered

SHATTERED(2) Hey, everyone! The first episode of Shattered just went live on Gumroad. You can read more about it and decide if you want to subscribe on the Shattered Landing Page. It’s PWYW so you don’t have to pay unless you want to.

This month you get around 10k words and a map and that’s before any bonus content is added.

This post is the first discussion post. You can comment on the installment here or use thee voting buttons to tell me what you think.

So there you are. I hope you enjoy Shattered. See you Friday on the website for more Caredale!

Sunday Blog: Updates and more about Shattered

March 20th, 2016  |  Published in Shattered

Firstly, sorry for skipping Whisper again. I’ll be posting it next Wednesday as it’s nearly written and the eext installment of Haventon isn’t. Next weekend is Easter so I have four days and am going to do lots of writing (if I don’t get distracted by blowing up the moon – see below).

Secondly, this should be the last week before hiatus for Dragon Wars. I am really looking forward to sharing the Caredale Stories with you all.

And now on to Shattered.

The map is developing slowly. I’ve swapped out the ugly mountain brush for my attempt at hand drawn mountains and added in some rivers, forests and hills. I so don’t like those hills but the terrain where the Saleika live is hilly but  not mountainous and I have to show that somehow since the vast majority of the characters are Saleika.

The Saleika are the immediate southern neighbors of the Arissi and thus bear the majority of their tribute demands. Just before the story opens they have been through a long, hard winter where they barely survived food shortages caused solely by the Arissi stealing so much in the Autumn. It may well have led to war but events are about to intercede and  make things much worse.

shattered map 8


And finally if you’re wondering what all that was about blowing up the moon. I’ve been working on an idea for a trailer for Shattered and ended up animating the first 10 seconds. No sound yet, but yes the moon goes boom in it. It’s a bit jerky but not bad considering I’d never animated anything I my life before last night. (Software used Synfig, Gimp and

Sunday Blog: A bit about Worldbuilding and Maps.

March 13th, 2016  |  Published in Shattered

I am not a cartographer but I’m trying to learn the skill because lets be honest a traditional fantasy needs a map. I mean who doesn’t love a map in a fantasy novel.

So I’ve started by attempting to draw a map of the region where Shattered is set.

My first attempt was… hum….



Well the coastline is okay but I kind of went a tad overboard with the mountains.

Okay, a lot overboard with the mountains. So now I’m trying again. (And I’m cheating because I downloaded a set of map brushes for Gimp but the mountains look better then my by hand attempts. I’ve also re-orientated it so North is now at the top. One thing to bear in mind is that this is a Southern Hemisphere landmass.

shattered map 2

In an ideal world I’d hire one of the excellent fantasy cartographers out there for to do a professional job but that requires money I don’t have, so I’ll do my best for you all so we don’t get lost.

Some  key points on the map to hopefully whet your appetite.

  1. Those square dots in the north are the Arissi City States. As you may gather from the name this is a group of generally politically separate but culturally united cities. They are around the bronze age technologically but this is because they lack a reliable source of iron ore rather than lack of knowledge of iron working. They are aware of iron and import some iron. While generally politically independent they have made a military which means they share a standing army, one of the first professional armies in their world, to which each state contributes a proportion of the troops. The Arissi are currently over populated and in order to feed their population the army is sent out to gather tribute from their neighbors. As you can imagine their neighbors aren’t too impressed by this behavior.
  2. In the south of the map you will see a lagoon and plain surrounded by mountains. That is Cursed Anvalei. According to legend the Anvaleika were the chosen children of the Anvrin, the eldest of the gods. He blessed them with magic and longevity beyond normal humans and they prospered in their temperate and fertile home. Unfortunately, say the same legends, he fell, and when he fell they fell with him becoming tyrants and monsters and conquering a vast empire at his behest. The other gods made war upon him and eventually he was stripped of his power and imprisoned. His name is no longer spoken and he is referred to only by titles such as the Empty One. The Anvaleika for the most part refused to repent of the evil they had committed in his nae and the gods destroyed them. Most died – only those who were too young to bear guilt and the few adults who repented were spared and even they were driven from their home. No one has been there since. Anvalei is forbidden to all humans by the gods. Ghosts haunt the mountain passes and tear apart any who dare them and a malestrom destroys any vessel that risk the narrow passage to the lagoon.

There we go, a bit of stuff about Shattered. I hope you like it.