Yes, another new cover

I know Key of Ornoss has had a couple of cover updates already but as I can’t afford a cover artist and have to use my own meagre skills, it was never going to be perfect first time (or second time… third time, oh well). Anyway, I was drifting off to sleep the other night and a new cover image popped into my head, fully formed. I knew immediately it was the one and the next day set to work creating it on my old version of Photoshop.

I think it’s a big improvement and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in my hands but what do you think?

It’s finally here!

Not going to say a lot, because frankly I’m tired. I’ve just got over Covid (thankfully) and I’ve been working like stink to get book two of the Tome of Báirseach out this year, and, well, I’ve done it!

The Rod of Xerus, sequel to last year’s Key of Ornoss is now out and available to buy on Amazon. I have to say, it’s been such great fun to write but I hardly slept last night as the plot and details for book three in the trilogy kept pouring in and whirling round my brain.

Anyway, I hope you like it and if you do, please leave a review as that really helps me out. Thanks!

Editing… meh!

We’re not quite on the home straight but we are on the final lap. My editor has sent back the first section of The Rod of Xerus complete with her usual insightful comments, helpful suggestions and many, many corrections. Lots of work for me but it’s happy work. Where would I be without her!

I don’t generally plan things but my intention is to get the anticipated sequel to The Key of Ornoss out by Christmas. It’s a big ask but having published my first book earlier this year my (slightly unrealistic) hope is that I won’t have forgotten absolutely everything about how to do that.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of The Key of Ornoss yet, you might want to wait, I’m planning a sale to celebrate the launch of the sequel. No dates for that yet, as usual I’m just enjoying things, taking it easy and letting the creative juices flow. Maybe some of that comes down to attitude, being Irish and living in England, I’ve never really bought into the whole ‘hurry and worry’ thing. Life’s too short, isn’t it? So why not just take it one day at time, get through the challenges and enjoy the good bits. For me those are the simple things. Suits me, I’m a simple sort of a person.

(In case you’re wondering, the chap in the picture might feature on the front cover in some way. The first lucky person to guess who he is will get a free copy of the new book in the format of your choice.)

New cover!

I feel very lucky to have had the chance to spend some time back at home in Northern Ireland, reconnecting with the people and places of my childhood. It also gave me the chance to take some new pictures that I’ve combined to create a new cover for The Key of Ornoss.

I didn’t hate the original cover but I wasn’t entirely happy with it either. I think this new one looks a little more atmospheric but those are just my thoughts; it’s your opinion that counts, so do please let me know what you think.

Mapping Sanquous

When I started writing The Key of Ornoss it became clear early on that much of the story was set in this amazing other world, Sanquous, the eternal plain. As the tale unfolded and Cal began her journey across this strange and wonderful land, I could picture the scenes and landscapes that she encountered. Picking up a pencil I started to sketch a map for the six kingdoms, their borders and features, and hints of what might lie beyond.

Sanquous is certainly nothing like Earth (or Tarquis as the Sanquouns call it). Apart from it being flat rather than a globe, the energy and life cycles, the ecology and climate are tied up with the vast and mysterious phenomenon known as the Vorshaan.

Providing a fixed point of orientation, the Vorshaan is the basis for all directions across Sanquous, and Cal quickly begins to associate this feature with North on Earth. Not that you can quite tell that from the map itself. It’s a poor copy of Phelia’s precious map in the book, which she in turn copied under to skilful direction of Pogrol.

Printed copies of the map may turn up as a competition prize or giveaway at some point but for now the detail included here will give you some idea of the country Cal travels across in the first part of her journey. If you want to know what happens to her along the way, well, it’s all in the book!