Blood of the Wolf is nearly ready!

Sorry, I’ve been quiet recently and it’s down to the fact we’ve been having building work done on our house. So I’ve been painting and using a caulk gun for the first time in years and it’s meant work on the new book has been put on hold, just a little.
It IS almost finished though – I’m literally about to write the final scenes. Once that’s done I’ll just need to go back and add in any little bits that needed researched (Stephen’s history will be in this one for example) and then it’ll be off to the editor in mid-July.
It should be ready for publication sometime in August which isn’t that long to wait, right? I need to make sure I get everything spot-on for this, since it’s the very last book in the series and I want it to be memorable.
I do plan on writing a Will Scarlet novella which will be set AFTER Blood of the Wolf so that’ll be a stop-gap until the brand new series can get started…..
Other than that, the German version of Knight of the Cross was in a free promo on Amazon.de and hit the overall top 20 which was amazing. I hopefully gained hundreds of new, German-speaking, readers with that one. I also reached a real milestone with over 5,000 audiobook sales in the past two years. Having listened to each of them myself I can honestly say Nick Ellsworth does an amazing job of reading them. Check them out if you haven’t already – anyone owning the Kindle version gets the audio at a reduced rate!

In general, all the books continue to do well in the UK but PLEASE,  leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads if you haven’t already. It really does help buyers. In fact, I tell you what – if you leave a new review today on ANY worldwide Amazon site, email me at stormwatch1977@hotmail.com or use the CONTACT button on here to let me know and I’ll put your name in the hat for a signed book! Particularly looking for reviews in places like India, Spain, Germany, Canada and Australia but I’m overjoyed with every good review I get no matter where it is.

Phew, that was a long one, I hope I didn’t lose anyone halfway through!

Have a great summer everyone, forget the EU referendum, Trump/Clinton or whatever political woes face your country, and just chill out in the sunshine with a cool drink, a good book, and remember – we’re only here for a short time so make the most of it!

PS This post is a copy of one I just sent out to the people on my Email List but they had another chance to win a signed book! If you haven’t signed up you’re missing out so get on it and don’t miss out in future:  JOIN THE EMAIL LIST

 

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Musicians in literature and life

I’ve recently been listening to Patrick Rothfuss’s fantastic audiobook The Name of the Wind  and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Despite the odd slow, meandering section and a distinct Harry Potter-ish feel in places, it’s the kind of book an author reads (or listens to) and thinks, “Man, I wish I could come up with sentences like that!”

patrick rothfuss name of the wind

Rothfuss’s writing is very immersive and, in particular, the sections where his main character Kvothe plays his lute really struck me, being a guitarist myself.

At one point, Kvothe asks to hold someone else’s lute and there’s then talk of how that’s akin to asking a man if you can sleep with his wife or some similar analogy. I forget exactly what it is the writer says, it was probably much more subtle and interesting than that, but the point is: asking a musician to let you hold their instrument (no innuendos here please!) is a huge no-no.

spinal tap

“You’ve never played…?” “Don’t touch it!”

It took me back 25+ years or so, to a time when I was just learning to play the likes of AC/DC and Motorhead on a crappy old acoustic guitar. My friend’s older brother had a nice Yamaha axe and a big 100 watt Marshall amplifier and I yearned to try them out, but it was made very clear to me I’d be killed if I ever touched either of them. Some musicians really DO covet their prized instruments as much as the characters in novels!

It’s not even a question of money. Someone like Jimmy Page had his legendary Gibson Les Paul which he almost always played with Led Zeppelin even though he had enough cash to buy as many guitars as he wanted. Hell, Gibson even gave them to him for free, but that one guitar was like a lover to him.

jimmy page number 1 les paul theremin

Personally, though, I have a few guitars which I love but I leave them out on their stands and if my two year old son wanders in and starts whacking the strings and pulling on the whammy bar I don’t really care. I can just imagine what my teenage friend’s brother would have made of that.

To me, an instrument is just a tool. I have a few guitars, a bass, a mandolin and an Artley flute that was born in the same year as me. They’re just tools. To someone like Kvothe, or Pagey, or my friend’s big brother, it’s something more than that and I love how a fantasy novel got me thinking about this whole topic!

Jackson PC-1

My prized Jackson PC-1 that Riley loves to mess about with.

What about you? Do you play guitar or bass or mandolin or piano or whatever? What does your favourite instrument mean to you? How would you describe it in a novel? Do you let anyone else play it? Let’s hear your thoughts and show us your photos (if you can’t post the pics here, post them on my Facebook page or email them to me at stormwatch1977@hotmail.com and I’ll put them up for you).

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My Jackson Soloist in action. Kvothe’s lute would have been no good at this gig.