I launched this website a few weeks ago and then found myself busy with a hundred other things. Since then this little corner of t’internet has been sitting there, staring balefully at me like a dog with a ball he really wants me to throw…

So I’ve finally got myself in gear, inspired in no small part by this blog post, and thought that the best way to start was with a bit of a summary of who I am, what I’m up to, and what’s next.

My Fiction Writing

For those who don’t know me, I’ve been a fiction writer for quite a few years, posting stuff on forums like Wattpad, mywriterscircle and youwriteon, to name just three. However, things really started to get interesting when I hooked up with a fellow Wattpadder called D L Mackenzie and agreed to let him coach and chivvy me on towards pulling a load of my ideas into a coherent, full-length story.

Infernal Aether coverLong story short, what started off as a load of short stories about an itinerant Victorian demon called “Mister D” ended up (via a lot of blood, sweat and tears, plus an Indiegogo campaign) as a published novel: The Infernal Aether. This tells the story of an itinerant writer-cum-adventurer in the late nineteenth century, who finds himself drawn into a battle between good and evil in the streets of Victorian London – a gothic fantasy with steampunk elements, which people have been really nice about on Wattpad (where the first draft was born) and on Amazon (where it now lives in its final, fully edited glory!).

A_Christmas_AetherThe Infernal Aether was the start of everything, with a follow-up novella (A Christmas Aether) out now for free to members of my readers group. I’m currently in the midst of writing (nearly 50,000 words done as of 11 Feb!) the second full-length novel in the series – provisionally titled The Bornless Ones (a prize to anyone who can guess why!) – and have the third book planned and itching to be written…!

I’m pretty diverse in my reading tastes, and that comes across in my writing. I’m currently devouring George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series (so I can say I’ve read it as well as watched it 🙂 – I’m on Storm of Swords Book 2 if you’re interested!) but I’m also partial to a bit of Brandon Sanderson and David Eddings, to name but two. I also love Sci-Fi (I grew up on Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Harry Harrison…), and lots that fall in between, like Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series and Chris Wooding’s Tales of the Ketty Jay series. Plus I fell in love with Clive Barker’s writing when I first read Imajica and Stephen King when I read Christine, and then there’s Bernard Cornwell, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Mario Puzo, and of course the amazing Douglas Adams, and……..

There’s probably another 20 blog posts on this, including why I’ve chosen gothic fantasy / steampunk as a genre for my first series of novels – so watch this space, but do feel free to leave a comment or message me in the meantime – I’d love to hear from you if we share tastes, or indeed if you violently disagree with me!

My Non-Fiction Writing and Other Stuff…

ebook-version-the-wedding-speech-manualAlongside all that, I’ve written non-fiction in the form of my how-to book The Wedding Speech Manual: The Complete Guide to Planning, Writing and Performing Your Wedding Speech. This book provides a step-by-step, practical guide to the whole wedding speech process for any type of speaker – from the groom, father of bride and best man, to the bride, bridesmaids and anyone else who wants or is being ordered to stand up and say a few words…!

The Wedding Speech Manual came about when I was planning my own groom speech (with a best man speech hot on its heels!) and got frustrated at not finding a book which did what I wanted it to do – namely something practical yet full of everything I needed and yet also readable. I’d taught public speaking to professionals for a few years and suddenly had a lightbulb moment of…what not write my own book…? It was published in 2012 and still going strong, with lots of people giving me nice reviews and feedback over the years.

I blog on the subject of public speaking in general and wedding speeches in particular on my website perfectweddingspeech.com, as well as providing coaching and training to those who need it. So if you have a speech coming up and would like some friendly and helpful advice and assistance – do check it out!

I’m planning other books around this subject, particularly targeted at people like the poor old Best Man to start with, so keep an eye on perfectweddingspeech.com if you’re interested!

What’s Next?

As I mentioned above, there’s plenty more to come in The Infernal Aether series – I’m hoping to get the second novel out some time in late 2016, and the third novel in 2017. Hot on the heels of that will be other books which are currently percolating in my brain, but include at least three prequels to The Infernal Aether

I am going to be pulling together a podcast which will be audio versions of my books – and if I’m brave enough I may even narrate (eek…) – these will appear on this website first.

There is also loads to come on the non-fiction side, with other public speaking books, plus I’m going to stretch into multimedia there too, with some audiobooks and YouTube… But perfectweddingspeech.com is the place for those – this blog will focus on all the lovely fiction stuff!

That’s all for now. I’d love to hear from you and really do value all and any feedback, comments, questions, or just general random thoughts – so feel free to comment below, message me, post on my Facebook page, or Tweet me, and let’s chat!

I also promise to come back here regularly and blog (there, I’ve put it in writing now – there’s no excuse…).

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