Year: 2022

Post 5: Thoughts on maps

Post 5: Thoughts on maps

My cunning plan to reread all nine of the published Brightmoon books got bogged down in the pesky business of releasing a new Regency romance, so I’m a little behind schedule with the reading, but in the meantime, I’ve been thinking a little bit about maps. Every self-respecting fantasy has maps, right? Well, mine didn’t, partly because the early books were fairly localised, so there wasn’t really much need for one, so it was quite a long time before I started doodling on bits of paper to try to pull together the various places. But largely, I confess, it was because I didn’t know anyone who would make one for me and I didn’t have the skills to do it. Not an insuperable problem, probably, but somehow I never got round to making a full map of the Brightmoon world, beyond those doodles. But then along came The Second God, […]


Post 4: Brightmoon origins

Post 4: Brightmoon origins

‘The hour bells sounded, reverberating through the tower, then faded to silence. Mia and both her husbands were on time. Tella, her co-wife and sister, was late. ‘Hands folded in her lap, Mia sat perfectly still. ‘Across the table, Hurst tapped his fingers on the polished wood. Jonnor rose, paced twice round the room, pausing to look through the tower window at the everyday life of the Karning below, then took his seat again. Although they were cousins, the two men were not alike. Hurst’s rough features and plain brown jacket made him look like an ordinary Skirmisher, rather than a Karningholder. Beside him, Jonnor looked like a prince from the old stories, his blue woollen coat enhancing his figure. Mia forced herself to take her eyes off him. She smoothed away a crease in her russet tunic, then stilled her hands.’ So begins the first chapter of the first […]


Post 3: reread of The Mages of Bennamore

Post 3: reread of The Mages of Bennamore

Well, hello Tella. My most enduring character, who dies in chapter 1 of book 1 and then pops up repeatedly throughout the series. She has a relatively small part in this book, but henchman Kestimar has a more significant role. Another book I tore through in a couple of days, and with one of my favourite heroes, Mal, the flirtatious Bennamorian mage guard who lightens up my tightly-wound heroine, Fen. I’m a sucker for warrior types (see also Garrett of The Dragon’s Egg, and Arran of The Fire Mages’ Daughter). I’d forgotten that this book follows on more or less directly from The Fire Mages. In that book, the over-powered mage Drei used his magic to subdue Bennamore’s peaceful allies, the coastal Port Holdings, before getting himself killed. Now the Bennamorians don’t quite know what to do with their new dominion, but they’re following through on the promise to send […]


Post 2: Reread of The Fire Mages

Post 2: Reread of The Fire Mages

Part of the job of compiling my series bible is to reread all the existing books, to get all the multitude of details straight in my mind and documented, and to avoid conflicts with the new book. The Plains of Kallanash, the first book, is a mammoth tome of 220K words (which any half-sensible person would have turned into a trilogy), inspired by the idea of multi-couple marriages. That led me into some very strange places, and things got extremely complicated. I decided to start my reread with something simpler, The Fire Mages, a more traditional fantasy trope of the humble no-account person who turns out to have amazing powers. Not quite the farmboy turned heir to the kingdom, but something along those lines. As with all my books, I had no clue initially where the story would end up. All I had was the first line (‘I was fourteen […]


Post 1: Getting started

So here’s my first report on progress, a little earlier than scheduled. In future, I’m going to try to post something every Sunday, so we’ll see how that works out. First task was to go public with my intentions, as part of the accountability thing. That meant an explanatory post on this website, followed by an email to those on my mailing list. Well… if you leave these things to languish untouched for years, there are bound to be a few cobwebs in dusty corners and technological weirdness. It’s almost three years since I last posted here, or even looked at the site. Everything was out of date, so I set out to update a few plugins. Three mouseclicks later, the site vanished. Poof. Gone. No error message, just a blank screen. Oh boy. It took me about an hour to find a way to get it back (by renaming […]


So whatever happened to The Return of the Mages?

So whatever happened to The Return of the Mages?

Good question! The 9th book in the Brightmoon series, The Dragon Caller, was published on 13th December 2017. And the 10th book, The Return of the Mages, is… still in my head. I always intended to write it. I even had the cover made for it, as you can see. Pretty, isn’t it? Yes, that is a volcano erupting. So now you know what chapter 1 is about. But books 7, 8 and 9 in the series didn’t sell very well, and in the meantime, I’d got distracted by a shiny new genre – Regency romance – which DID sell, and so gradually the impetus died away. Book 10 was always going to be the difficult, pulling-everything-together book, and it meant rereading all the previous 9 and somehow, I never quite worked up the energy. So here we are, several years later and still no book 10. But every once […]