To say that life hasn’t always been kind to me would be an understatement. At the risk of sounding like someone suffering from a persecution complex, my life has been tormenting me mercilessly for the past quarter of a century. What kept me going through all the tribulations was convincing myself there was nothing I could do about the crap life throws my way, and that these things happened to test me. Inevitably, this coping mechanism couldn’t continue to work forever. Sadly, I am only human; I can only endure so much before I eventually break, and by the end of last November I had reached my breaking point. I struggled on as best as I could into early December, because I had commitments I needed to honour. But once I’d done so, I had to admit defeat; life had finally got the better of me and I couldn’t cope with things as they were.

To cut a long story short, I have stopped writing for the time being (not because I don’t want to write; I just can’t do it), so all the writing goals and publication plans I had for 2018 are up in the air. If my present situation proves to be a short-term blip (as I hope it will be) I will, in all likelihood, be able to salvage my plans as though nothing had happened. However, in the event there isn’t an improvement in my circumstances by the end of March I’ll be forced to delay some or all of these plans, though I won’t abandon them completely.

The next matter people should be aware of is that as of today, anyone who tries to purchase The Exercise Of Vital Powers will discover it is no longer available. The first edition has been withdrawn from sale to make way for a revised second edition I was planning to release to mark the one year anniversary of the original publication. At present I’m not able to guarantee this will happen, though I am still committed to the project. But my life never allows me to keep promises which is why I never make any. Either the second edition will come out on time, as planned, or it won’t.

By the same token, the sequel which I had tentatively scheduled for a late summer release almost certainly won’t be published during that time frame. An autumn or winter release is much more likely at this point, though it’s obviously too early to say anything definitive. I’ll keep readers updated as and when I have a better idea of where I’m at with it.

On a happier note, I was shocked to discover, recently, that the protagonist of my novel made it onto someone’s end of year “Best Of” list in December. Kaitlin Gray (aka Kitty G), one of the judges of the current SPFBO competition, uploaded a video on Youtube highlighting her best female fantasy characters of 2017, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Kayden was one of the eight characters included. Kaitlin had some very complimentary things to say about Kayden, and I felt very honoured and flattered that a character I had written made enough of an impression to be mentioned alongside the creations of better, more established fantasy authors than myself.

I’ve posted Kaitlin’s video below for your viewing pleasure; it’s definitely well worth watching.

And finally, a big thank you to everybody who supported me during 2017. I can’t begin to tell you how much it has meant to me that you would give me the time of day. I hope one day I’ll be in a position to reward that support.


Thanks for reading,