Friday, 19 June 2020
Team Darwin! I hope you’re all doing well and been making the most of the lockdown? Some new skills learnt maybe, like playing the ukulele, improving your flying karate kicks… or how to bounce a ping-pong ball off a set of upturned pans into a paper cup? Life skills.
During the lockdown, the editors have cracked on with the Darwin’s Soldiers sequel – Survival Machines – which will soon have its…
Friday, 29 November 2019
Happy Birthday and farewell
Thursday, 19 September 2019
Darwin’s Soldiers was published a year ago today! Woo-hoo!
Happy Birthday to the little fella who doesn’t seem a day over… well, I probably came up with the idea in 2004, so the book a moody teenager by now!
And, as promised, this will be my final Darwin’s Soldiers update. Sad times.
My first post was made 932 days ago - or two and a half years in planetary time – and what travels we’ve had…
The Final Countdown
Thursday, 12 September 2019
We’re fast approaching Darwin’s Soldiers’ first birthday!
Yes, since the book landed on your doorsteps the Earth has charted another full circuit around the Sun, which, in turn, has lit up reading rooms, pages and happy faces across the globe. If you haven’t read the book yet, I hope you’ve had a good year of reading! :)
With the anniversary in mind, this will be my penultimate Darwin’s Soldiers…
Friday, 23 August 2019
What a scorcher! I hope you’re all having a great summer and have spent many an hour utilising nature’s greatest reading lamp to reduce your reading pile down a notch or two? Nothing beats reading on the beach!
Hopefully 'Darwin’s Soldiers' was amongst your recent reads and you enjoyed the adventure? Please leave a review for future readers or recommend it to anyone who'd be interested. Let’s spread…
Paperback vs e-book
Thursday, 1 August 2019
A few years ago many people predicted the death of the paperback.
It was the seventh prediction since Gutenburg’s press, but this time it was different - the machines were rising and everyone would be reading their books on e-readers from now on. Shelves would be cleared, leaving plenty of space for photo frames or tiny statues of prancing horses, and holiday luggage weight would halve!
Thursday, 18 July 2019
In a major new development, Darwin’s Soldiers is hoping to make one giant leap off the page and onto the screen!
I’ve just signed with the TV and Film agent Emma Topping, who is incredibly keen to promote the characters and world of Darwin’s Soldiers to TV and Movie companies who are looking to create gripping shows full of twists, historic back-stories and character-driven adventure.
Monday, 24 June 2019
There’s been quite a bit of activity around Darwin’s Soldiers recently – some I can’t talk about yet, but could lead to a very exciting step forward!
This weekend, I signed copies of Darwin’s Soldiers in WHSmith, Sudbury, where I spoke to many readers of great taste, who are being introduced to the world of The Origin Trilogy right now. Many badges were pinned on t-shirts and many books signed…
What did you think?
Friday, 31 May 2019
Hey, Team Darwin! I hope you’re all well and enjoying what feels like the start of an amazing summer in the northern hemisphere?!
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read Darwin’s Soldiers? If so, what did you think? Reviews are an author’s lifeblood, so please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads – or check out the reviews already posted. Lots of great feedback from a variety of readers.
Review, review, review
Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Team Darwin, there has been a good deal of reviewing going on recently!
Thank you for your reviews of Darwin’s Soldiers. Truck-loads of 5-stars have been popping up everywhere, so it sounds like you guys have been enjoying reading John’s adventures! Whether it be on Good Reads, or Euryleia’s favourite website, they have been insightful and sure to entice more readers into The Origin Trilogy. Cheers…
In these times of change...
Thursday, 4 April 2019
Team Darwin, as we fight to make sense of the world crumbling around us, we all need a little escape to take our minds off current events. Game of Thrones will finish after this series and Ipswich Town will be relegated. We have to accept these changes and, when the glow has faded from our day-trips to Margate or Felixstowe, fiction will be there for you.
Some changes have already taken place …
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Hopefully you’re reading this on March 20th, in which case it’s a huge Happy Birthday Darwin’s Soldiers!
Technically it’s a half birthday, so today we celebrate six months since the novel was published.
More importantly, today is also my son’s birthday (Happy 7th Birthday Harry!) and the Spring Equinox. From now until September the days will be longer than the nights as the northern hemisphere…
Let's be havin' you!
Friday, 1 March 2019
Drastic measures I know, but now is the time to enlist the powers of thine enemy: the Iceni warrior queen of the evil Norwich City – Delia Smith.
As she said on that fateful day with such clarity, “Where are ya?”
I’m repeating that call now to you, Team Darwin, as we near the six month mark since Darwin’s Soldier came out.
A massive thanks to the supporters of the sequel, Survival Machines…
Thursday, 7 February 2019
It’s been a strange few months since Darwin’s Soldiers was published… I’ve signed many books, grown a beard a Viking would be proud of and discussed characters and events (with you and other readers) that only used to exist in my head! I’ve loved it and I’m humbled by all the reviews the book has received. Thank you.
If you have started reading the book but taken a break, here’s the latest review…
Happy New Year
Friday, 4 January 2019
Happy New Year, Team Darwin!
I hope you all had fun festivities and some cosy family time?
A big THANKS to everyone who has reviewed Darwin’s Soldiers on Amazon (ten 5-star reviews!) and on Goodreads, and to everyone who has pledged for the sequel, Survival. You will be immortalised with your name in the new book when it comes out. I’m glad you’re enjoying the adventure!
If you haven…
Equinox to Solstice
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Can you believe it’s been three swift months since Darwin’s Soldiers was published? By chance, those three months also coincided with the entire season of Autumn. So watch out - Winter is coming!
During that time we’ve had signings, sightings on the high street and ten 5-star reviews on the website named after a major South American river (thank you!). Less than half the stock of the paperbacks…
Video killed the radio star...
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Now try getting that song out of your head! (Oh-a oh-a!)
Yes, a new Origin Trilogy video has emerged from its cocoon, but first - e-book issues!
I've spoken to a number of you plucky, beautiful Team Darwin members and many have confessed to not having read Darwin's Soldiers yet! (Shocked face!) Those who have finished the book tell me they have had a string of constant luck since reading the…
Tuesday, 6 November 2018
If you have read Darwin’s Soldiers and if you want to know what happens next to John and the survivors, you can pre-order your copy of the sequel - Survival - now!
Here's the funding page, where I will be posting lots of new excerpts over the coming months:
Darwin’s Soldiers has received many 5-star reviews - thank you! If you haven’t left a review…
Join me and together we can rule the galaxy
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Traditionally, a sequel is supposed to be difficult to write (like a band’s second album?).
Which means the second book of a trilogy should be even harder to create. It’s like a middle child trying to be independent from its mature sibling whilst staying fresh when the brilliant younger sibling arrives to steal the limelight.
The middle book has to be different.
It has to have something special…
Survival of the fittest
Tuesday, 9 October 2018
Thank you everyone for your pictures of Darwin’s Soldiers!
It’s been great seeing the book in the wild, hearing everyone’s comments and reading your reviews. A few of you have finished the book already (fast reading!) and Darwin’s Soldiers currently has 6 five-star reviews on Amazon, which is amazing. Feel free to add your review if you want to! Speaking of which, here's a great review of Darwin…
Over the top
Thursday, 20 September 2018
Team Darwin - we did it! Darwin’s Soldiers is published today! Woo-hoo!
A big thank you everyone and especially to the three authors whose short stories can be found at the back of Darwin’s Soldiers:
Kerensa Jennings - The Rage Machine
Andrew Checker - Follow the Light
Michael Hunt - Thirteen Sevens
Today is exactly…
Here it comes
Tuesday, 18 September 2018
It was great to see so many of you at the Darwin’s Soldiers launch event on Saturday!
Landguard Fort turned out to be a perfect place for the gathering (I’m not sure we could have crammed over 40 people into a bookshop?) and the fort volunteer, Martin, did a great job dressed in his WW1 gear.
We’re just a couple of days away from the publication date (Thursday 20th September) which…
Cover reveal, pub date and launch event
Friday, 24 August 2018
Team Darwin, the time has come to reveal… the Darwin’s Soldiers cover!
What do you think? If I saw this in a bookshop I would definitely pick it up!
The designer, Mark Ecob, has captured the feel of the novel perfectly (the green will make sense when you read the book) and I like to think someone who pledged for the poster has matching wallpaper.
And there’s more…
The publication date…
This is the end
Friday, 20 July 2018
My beautiful friends. The Unbound bouncers will be closing the doors to chez Darwin this Sunday (22nd July) and locking the door, so now is your last chance to log in and:
- Check your name is spelt correctly (this is how it will be printed in the book!)
- Check your pledge level (did you pledge for an e-book or paperback? Are you sure you don’t want a poster of the cover art on your wall…
Wednesday, 4 July 2018
Milestones are there to remind us we’re on a journey.
They remind us to pause, take stock, look around and make sure we aren’t lost. With that in mind…
‘The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is… 42.’
Today (assuming you're reading this on July 5th) I hit a new milestone – forty-two years old! Yes, yes, I know, I don't look a day over forty-one.
Wednesday, 30 May 2018
I’m not sure how many analogies I can create for publishing Darwin’s Soldiers?
We’ve had walking the length of Britain, giving birth and a growing a bush in the shape of a spaceship… now I’m imagining a Spitfire taxiing out of a hanger. The engine’s ready to kick into action and the machine guns are loaded. Meanwhile, I’m on my deckchair, pipe in hand and catching some rays while the team give…
Wednesday, 2 May 2018
Darwin’s Soldiers has hit another milestone!
Unbound Books have drafted the finest minds to work on the novel: whittling, clipping and trimming it like a topiary Millenium Falcon. Names have changed, poems have been deleted and many words have been hyphenated. The copy-edit is complete and it looks ready to fly!
But before we punch the hyperdrive and head off exploring, we have the type-setting…
Check your pledge
Thursday, 29 March 2018
Team Darwin, today we’ve taken another step closer to seeing Darwin’s Soldiers evolving (get it?) into a real book:
The Structural Edit is complete!
130,000 words of adrenalin-fueled adventure and discovery, told from the point of view of twelve historical characters, will be in your hands in a just few months.
Characters have been renamed and chapters shunted, new scenes written and…
One circle around the sun
Thursday, 1 March 2018
Happy World Book Day everyone! I imagine you are all dressed as hobbits, Victorian gentlewomen or the BFG today? If not, you can borrow one of my costumes when I've finished with them. :)
Can you believe it's been one whole year since the campaign for bringing Darwin's Soldiers started? The Earth is currently in the same point around the Sun as it was when Unbound pushed the button and launched…
The Editor Strikes Back
Friday, 9 February 2018
In a week when we saw a car blasting through space with the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy guiding it towards the asteroid belt, Darwin’s Soldiers has re-entered the atmosphere and landed on my desk.
(I can hear the cheering across the globe – yeah! Woo-hoo!)
We’re a step closer to seeing the book in paper (or electronic) format, but hold your horses – we’re not there yet! The Editor (Hal…
The code is being edited
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
After our exhilarating trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats, it’s fitting that the Darwin’s Soldiers manuscript finds itself in the hands of one of Scotland’s finest SFF writers and editors, Hal Duncan. As you can see by one of his books below, he is more than welcome in our clan! Fingers crossed he doesn’t cut some of my favourite scenes from Darwin’s Soldiers, including the one with the giant armadillo…
Thursday, 4 January 2018
We did it! Darwin’s Soldiers is officially funded!!
Ten months after setting out from Land’s End with our backpacks full off dreams and a spring in our step we have finally arrived in John O’Groats! Let’s pop in the local pub, grab a whiskey and then we can go home for a well-earned rest.
Thank you every single one of you. You made this happen. Thank you for your pledges (and for upgrading…
So this is Christmas
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
Merry Christmas you guys!
We’ve reached the heady heights of 95%, which means we only need a handful of supporters to reach our target. With this in mind, I have dusted off the sacred manuscript and I’m currently reading it one last time before handing it over to the Editor… and I must admit *blows own trumpet* it’s a damn good read! I can’t wait to see it in print and for you all to get stuck…
I love the 90's
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
We’ve made it past 90%!
As I type this we are just £2 shy of 92% and only a few hundred pounds from reaching our target. Such a great achievement – thank you one and all!
Seeing as we’ve taken another step closer to publication, here’s another Darwin’s Soldiers excerpt, this time from when we first meet the Tocka.
A group of soldiers have stumbled on a fossil-rich cliff face where Gal-qadan…
It’s been nine months… time to start pushing
Friday, 1 December 2017
Can you believe it’s been nine full months since Darwin’s Soldiers started its intrepid journey of transformation? Like Pinocchio longing to turn into a real boy, my creation is getting ever so closer to becoming a real book and it’s all been down to you. Thanks, you’re all magic!
The plan is to hit 100% before Christmas, so, my army of followers, I call upon you to help once more!
What is in a name?
Friday, 17 November 2017
After much deliberation and head scratching, I have finally come up with a suitable name for the group of books which Darwin’s Soldiers will kick off:
The Origin Trilogy
I’m keeping it simple and true to the over-arching plot which binds the three books together. It’s also in keeping with the Darwin and evolution theme, which is developed further in the titles of the following two books:…
Friday, 10 November 2017
We’ve come a long, long way together…
Using my favourite Land’s End to John O’Groats analogy, we’re now at Inverness! Seriously, Scotland is a lot bigger than I had first thought, but we’re nearly there. Just a hop, skip and a jump along the coast and we’ve made it.
Thank you to our newest members! Our crowd has grown in number and there are over 100 of us now. Without your support, Darwin…
First canvas finished
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
If you selected an original acrylic canvas as part of your pledge, you’ll be pleased to know the first canvas has been completed - woo-hoo!
It’s a close up of General Panzicosta, which is view very few people get to experience in Darwin’s Soldiers and those who do tend to come off badly.
You’ll have to be quick if you want to upgrade your pledge as there are only a couple of canvas pledges…
Tuesday, 3 October 2017
We’ve made steady progress bringing Darwin’s Soldiers to publication so I just wanted to thank each and every one of you. Your generosity (and patience) is greatly appreciated. Next year will mark twenty years since I started writing my first novel so, with your help, we’re nearing the end of a long journey – or is it just the beginning?
As the nights have been drawing in I’ve been busy with…
Wednesday, 20 September 2017
We’re getting so close to 70% I can almost taste it. And it tastes of tatties and neeps. I’m not sure where we are in Scotland now (it’s far bigger than I thought) but we’d better hurry up before the winter sets in and the natives get hungry.
So we need to keep moving. This is a call to arms - Darwin’s Soldiers need you!
To get to 100% we need to get the last few pledgers on board, so please…
Friday, 1 September 2017
Wow. How time flies… it’s been six whole months since Darwin’s Soldiers flickered into life on the Unbound Books website and we started the journey to publication. In that time, during Earth’s half orbit around the sun, Brian Aldiss and Colin Dexter have passed away, the UK voted blue and North Korea made numerous attempts to start fireworks night early. Someone needs to teach them the rhyme:…
I am but a fish…
Wednesday, 23 August 2017
As we venture further north and we avoid the thought that winter is coming, I thought I’d share a song from Darwin’s Soldiers. While the Day Watch rest in a cave behind an immense waterfall, John sees ghostly images of long dead soldiers flickering to life around a Scottish warrior as he sings a lament for home:
I am but a fish spent spawning in this stream,
That carries me, nay, lifts…
Thursday, 3 August 2017
Would you believe it? We’ve made it to Scotland! After several months walking across England and straight past Wales because it’s far too hilly, we have crossed the border into Scotland.
Yes, I’m dragging out the Land’s End to John O’Groats metaphor for as long as I can because it’s one of the few things keeping me sane while I promote Darwin’s Soldiers! One step at a time… and we’re getting there…
Thursday, 13 July 2017
How is everyone? Enjoying the summer so far?
I thought I would push your excitement levels to the max with a book competition!
I’m offering my personal copies of the four books which influenced Darwin’s Soldiers to anyone who upgrades their pledge during July – or to any new pledgers joining our crew.
The influential books are:
The Art of War – any new pledges for the e-book
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
The Sun caresses the horizon, swinging low like a fiery kite
Tied to the neck of the Moon as she howls at the lack of night
Spring’s promise are fulfilled, the fruit ripen and swell
The good old days are here again and all is well
Darwin’s Soldiers is over half way to being funded but it feels like the rest of the journey will be uphill!
Keep on the lookout for new pledgers…
New Author Interview
Friday, 9 June 2017
I’ve just had an interview posted on the Zealot Script website. It was great fun answering some thought-provoking questions.
Check out the below link and have a browse if you’re interested in all things Sci-fi – lots of interesting stuff on there!
Tuesday, 6 June 2017
We made it - halfway there!
Going by the Land’s End to John O’Groats analogy we’re about to enter the Lake District, so let’s hope for good weather. Can someone pick up some mint cake along the way?
In the meantime, I’ve been busy finding new members for the journey and drumming up some interesting discussions on Facebook… how about the idea of individuals being able to mutate (and therefore…
Can we reach 50% before deadline day?
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Where has the time gone? It’s been almost three months since the gates were opened and the first pledges streamed in for Darwin’s Soldiers. How our band of merry readers has grown since! Warm thanks to all our newest pledgers and generous patrons!
Deadline day approaches and I hope if we reach 50% we will be granted an extension – Darwin’s Soldiers will be published!
In the meantime, and with…
Our Clan Grows Strong!
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
We’re growing in numbers! Hello to all the new members and welcome to the Darwin’s Soldiers clan. Thank you all - I am constantly surprised and humbled by your support and generosity.
It’s been a couple of months since I left John and the surviving characters from Darwin’s Soldiers in their bizarre world and I miss them (spoiler – quite a few die!). I can’t wait to get back in there and work with…
Looking for the 50th member of the Darwin clan
Friday, 21 April 2017
Darwin’s Soldiers is 30% funded! Time to let off some fireworks, drink some ale and dance like a loon! A big thanks to Lynette and the Weekes posse and everyone else who has pledged this month!
Our clan is growing stronger - from Shanghai to Copenhagen, Frating to Felixstowe - support for Darwin’s Soldiers is growing and we’re looking for the 50th pledger to join us on the journey.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Thanks to you all, Darwin’s Soldiers is a quarter of the way to publication!
Going by the Land’s End to John O’Groats analogy we’re in the Midlands now – ancient Mercia. Did anyone bring a metal-detector? Let’s find a hoard! Or maybe we’ll dig up Utred’s sword?
It’s been an interesting journey so far. Like the hobbits leaving Hobbiton, I’m down to one breakfast a day and have nearly run out…
One small step from you...
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Darwin’s Soldiers is 20% funded! Thank you!
We’re one-fifth of the way along the journey, which means if we’re running from Land’s End to John O’Groats, we’ve just made it to Bath. So, bring on the Midlands!
Please share this page with anyone who would love to have their name in the book, or any writers who would love to see their short story published. (Andy C. I’m looking forward to reading…
Day One in the Big Darwin Shed
Thursday, 2 March 2017
Thank you for pledging your support and for your help in bringing Darwin’s Soldiers to publication!
My shed at home has a brass ‘Captain’ plaque on the door and is full of rusty implements, but this shed is a more relaxed affair. Here we have a thick carpet on the floor and well-worn leather chairs to sink into while we chat and I answer your questions. Take your shoes off and relax.