Order of Play, Version 3

Given that the final installment of the Elkie Bernstein trilogy / series has been published, here’s the latest version of the Fur-Skins Order of Play posts.


  • There is essentially just a write up of my world-building notes with respect to what I would like to do here if I get back to it – while hopefully avoiding spoilers of what already exists and what could exist.
  • As well as the page linked above … Continue reading
  • Wednesday 1st February, 2017

    Today’s update is basically an Elkie run down but, before we get into that, just to let you know that the current Greenwood WIP continues to crawl along – well, aside from this week’s crawl was 4,000 words so that’s practically a sprint by my standards.

    Anyway. Here’s your Elkie round-up.

    Fool If You Think It’s Over is officially published and has been available as a paperback from Amazon since Sunday. We’re still waiting for the Kindle version but it’s usually a week or so after the paperback.

    If you would like to know what this Elkie thing I keep mentioning is all about, I have an outline of the Fur-Skins world. However, the basic run-down is that Fool If You Think It’s Over is the third in a trilogy / series of three books about a young girl growing up in rural Wales fighting werewolves and doing her best to escape toxic relationships. You can see the covers, along with blurbs and some basic links for the whole series here.

    There is some more in-depth background material released with the first book, 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf, along with the opening prologue and chapter, so here are their links:

    For those of you who’ve read the books, you may like this short story, Second Date, which features a significantly younger Conn.

    And, to finish off, if you have any question’s about Elkie’s world, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer in a way that makes sense to someone other than me!

    Elkie Bernstein: The Collected Covers

    So here you go, the reveal of the Fool If You Think It’s Over cover alongside the covers for 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and A Pack Of Lies, marking the official completion of the Elkie Bernstein trilogy.

    Fool If You Think It’s Over is out now from Fox Spirit Books [External Link] as of 29th January 2017. Here’s a quick run down of the trilogy, including links to various background pages:

    Continue reading

    Monday 28th December, 2015

    We’re almost at the end of the year and I managed to miss a whole bunch of posts since I sort of moved. I’m still in the process of moving things from one location to another, so blogging and such will pick up eventually in the New Year but not straight away. Anyway, “Happy New Year!” for Thursday night / Friday morning.

    What I Learnt About Writing in 2015

    Well, time again for that annual tradition that was first inspired by Foxie [External Link]. Here’s my stats for this year with last year for comparison:

    • Submissions = 6 (20, 2014)
    • Total pieces in circulation = 6 (8, 2014)
    • New pieces in circulation = 1 (2, 2014)
    • Rewrites = 0 (1, 2014)
    • Acceptances = 3 (2, 2014)
    • Published = 4 (4, 2014)

    NOTE: These numbers are a combination of Duotrope figures and some notes for submissions to non-listed destinations but do not include stories written for the website or published here. Attempts to rehome stories published here and elsewhere have been included.

    So, I’ve been much less productive in terms of wordage this year. On the positive side, the publishing numbers include my second Elkie novel, A Pack of Lies, they don’t include completing the first draft on a novel, two novellas and a short story that have yet to go through more redrafting – and the Elkie novel I hope to have out in 2016 is still in draft form where I’d managed to get everything ready for my editor by the end of 2014 last year. And, as with European Monsters, I haven’t included editing African Monsters in this year’s figures.

    It’s been another year where life got in the way of any plans I might have had, with writing (and editing) slowed down by commitments from January to June in my previous job. In November, I started a new job that also required relocation. It has interrupted in some ways but has got me back on track in others in that I’ve been writing more in the available evenings. However, I had to take a step back with editing Africa Monsters – and my co-editor (Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link]) has done an excellent job of piloting things solo since October.

    Writer, Editor, General Dogsbody

    So, here are the plans are for the immediate future of my writing and editing career:

    My act of trilogy following Elkie Bernstein through the Fur-Skins world is almost complete. 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf came out in 2014 and the follow up, A Pack of Lies came out in 2015. The third book, currently known as Fool If You Think It’s Over, should be getting redrafted in January. With a bit of luck, we should have everything in place for a Summer 2016 release.

    Although Fox Spirit Books has given the go ahead for a third book in the monster series (to be Asian Monsters) I’m stepping down for this year. The heavy lifting of contacting people comes around this time and I can’t commit time to it until I’m through my probationary period at the new job and have some familiarity with how much of my brain space it takes up. (Which only goes to show how awesome Margrét Helgadóttir is as she relocated with work last year and it barely impacted for her). I hope to come back into the Monsters project for 2017 but we shall see how things go.

    I’ve been working on my first non-Fur-Skins project for a while in 2015 and the first draft is (just about) complete. It’s highly likely that I will spend 2016 (and probably longer) getting it polished up and sending it out to possible new homes. The adventure, as they say, continues.

    The Ink Plan

    With moving, the Ink Plan has been changed – if nothing else, it’s unlikely to be the intended designer and I haven’t put any alternative plans in place as yet. However, I will be looking at my book numbers soon and making a donation to the NAS [External Link].

    What I Learnt About The Rest of Life

    Dora’s first year with the Hellhounds has been eventful, at least from her point of view. She’s managed a number of explorations and adventures that have involved climbing over walls (yes, really), forcing her way through fences and generally not coming when she’s called. However, she’s settled in with the other two just fine and she’s here to stay. Provided I walk her on a lead.

    As already mentioned, this year I relocated for a new job. I’m having to relearn a bunch of stuff I didn’t realise I’d forgotten in order to become a systems administrator (Linux-based, naturally). I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I may end up in Lancashire for the foreseeable future rather than Yorkshire. This may take some mental adjustment.

    Giveaway: The House-Moving Giveaway Winners

    So, moving, lightening my load, etc.

    I ran a small giveaway of a number of copies of my own books (apparently there’s enough of them to have a bibliography [External Link]). First, the plug:

    European Monsters Details

    European Monsters came out in paperback in 2014 from Fox Spirit Books [External Link]. If you didn’t win the giveaway copy, please do consider looking it up on your local version of … Continue reading

    Giveaway: The House-Moving Giveaway

    As you may or may not know, I’m in the process of moving. And I have a number of books. In order to make life a little bit easier, I’m having a cull of books I probably won’t read again. This may bite me in the butt if / when I change my mind, but so be it.

    However, on to the giveaway!

    In order to make a little bit more room, I have a … Continue reading

    Monday 10th August, 2015

    I have been to Nine Worlds [External Link] and it was good. I wasn’t quite so impressed with the service at the hosting hotel, but the event itself was great. Big, noisy and challenging but it was overall an enjoyable experience. I would like to think that Sarah, Kit and I also helped make it so for others with our HEMA for Writers: Swashbucklers and Bravoes presentation – although, to be fair, we spent a lot of time having our own mini-HEMA event within the con. And thereby hangs a thread of an idea that we might put some work into for next year…

    There was a bit of running around and meeting people – for example the talented Sally Jane Thompson [External Link] was my roomy for the weekend, Miltos Yerolemou [External Link] came and watched some of our (non-panel) sword-y fun, Joanne Harris [External Link] was kind enough to speak to me as if my randomly striking up a conversation wasn’t creepy at all – but the event was so big and busy that I’m pretty sure I ended up effectively ignoring an awfully large number of people I should have or could have talked to.

    I even remembered to take Mousie with me and she bagged five postcards, some of them without my help at all:

    The next convention stop will be FantasyCon in Nottingham but there will be a slight diversion around the Rugby Union World Cup before then.

    And, yet again, a reminder that I have a couple of my own books out: 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and A Pack of Lies. If you’ve read them, feedback and/or reviews would be gratefully received, thank you. You can find some background information to the world on this site (titles, genre, location, characters), along with the opening prologue and first chapter of 25 Ways if you want to get a feel for what they’re all about.

    Sunday 2nd August, 2015

    Well, I blinked and the next thing I knew, it was August. Time moves quickly, whether you’re enjoying yourself or not…

    Although I’m not sure whether that’s a valid reason to start planning two years in advance. A former school friend of mine, Katie John (who also writes), has been setting up a new YA convention for the UK and I’ve agreed to be involved, so: mark Chapter.Con [External Link] in your diaries for August 24th – 27th, 2017!

    While I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be doing, yet, I’ve been invited due to the Elkie Bernstein part of my Fur-Skins world. I’ve previously stated why I don’t consider 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and A Pack Of Lies to be Young Adult in genre. However, as it does deal with coming of age and learning how to cope with life, there’s a significant overlap and so Katie considers me a Person Of Interest for her convention. Of course, by the time the convention actually arrives, Elkie Bernstein’s story (or my act of trilogy) should be complete with the last book hopefully seeing print sometime next year. Fingers crossed that the currently entitled “Fool If You Think It’s Over” behaves itself…

    So, please don’t forget that 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and A Pack of Lies exist in the wild. If you’ve read them, feedback and/or reviews would be gratefully received, thank you. You can find some background information to the world on this site (titles, location, characters), along with the opening prologue and first chapter of 25 Ways if you want to get a feel for what they’re all about.

    Finally, next week’s post may be delayed or cancelled all together as I shall be at Nine Worlds in London. If you’re there, I’m part of a small team presenting HEMA for Writers: Swashbucklers and Bravoes on the Creative Writing Track – we’re up on Sunday afternoon but we will be wandering about all week and you may even see us sparring on occasion.

    Sunday 19th July, 2015

    Just a quiet week, this week. Mainly down to the fact that I had three out of four wisdom teeth removed on Thursday (yes, I am still moaning about it) and am still slightly out of it. I may or may not pull myself together for next week.

    So, just reminders that A Pack of Lies is out. It’s the follow up to 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf, so a lot of the background information I posted about the original (titles, genre, location, characters) may be of interest, along with the opening prologue and first chapter of 25 Ways if you want to get a feel for what they’re all about.

    Sunday 12th July, 2015

    So, Edge Lit #4 was attended, and I managed to make it through a reading of A Pack of Lies without anyone seriously objecting to my stumbling delivery, my lack of North Walian or Norwegian accent (where appropriate), or the stench of fear I no doubt carried around with me. It was a lot of fun meeting up with everyone again and my thanks to Alex Davis and hs team for organising it.

    In other news for this week, I’ve had a rather lovely review of 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf from E P Beaumont – someone who lives in a different country, on a different continent, who I barely know on Twitter, and who I did not put up to it. Beaumont read and reviewed my book alongside that of Skulk-mate Joyce Chng / J Damask’s Heart of Fire, which has a different sort of werewolf. The review post, which draws some interesting conclusions, is called Love in the Time of Starships: One Ordinary Day, with Werewolves [External Link]

    If you want a feel for what 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and A Pack of Lies are like I have the opening prologue and first chapter of 25 Ways on this site (which Beaumont links back to).

    That’s everything aside from mentioning this week’s updates at the Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link], which were about Unatural Resources and the Ranger service (it may make more sense if you link through). I know world building information isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but is my fake wiki working out or do you have any comments, changes or requests?