It’s perfectly normal not to post anything beyond a poor bird pun for seven months. Shut up.
In all seriousness, I’ve not had much to post; I’ve fallen off the reading wagon, partly as a result of starting a bunch of things that didn’t grab like I’d hoped, partly as a result of time and editing workload. It’s harder to read for fun when you’re reading a lot for work. But I’m embarking on clearing some of the backlog of completed-and-unused output gathering dust on my hard drive, and my workload has eased off for the moment (so if you’re looking for an editor then now’s the time…), so here’s a thing! A thing that is, in fact, the first of several things!
Portal of the Gods 1: Shadow
In the foothills of the Andes there’s a relic of a pre-human civilization, the gateway through which the gods themselves supposedly first walked the Earth. A door to other worlds, other times. A portal through which you can take back everything you’ve ever lost, or ever had taken from you, if you can master it.
Jack Harker’s a washed-up adventure junkie with a knack for languages and getting himself in trouble. But when armed strangers break into his house looking for his parents’ old notes on the legendary lost city of Huayacapo, they inadvertently draw him into a secret war that’s been raging for a century and a half, a shadow conflict to unearth the past, and to control the future.
It’s going to be a long, strange road, and it starts here.
Portal of the Gods is an episodic secret history conspiracy thriller of which SHADOW is the first, shortest, instalment.
The two of you (hi, mom!) reading this who also know my Tragic Backstory may know that my agent quit on me while I was midway through a book in a genre he’d encouraged me to try in the first place, without telling me. This is the book. (I’ve since busied myself writing something else and I’m now finally getting my shit together to get a fresh agent.)
It was planned and written in four discreet sections (aside from a prologue and epilogue, split by geography; this is a pulp-ish adventure story and I’d be damned if I was going to write one of those without an element of line-crosses-map-with-accompanying-plane-footage to it), and so I’m releasing it in episodes, cleaning and tidying as I go. (Badly, as it turns out; I managed to use the UK-spelling version of the draft for SHADOW because I’m a fucking idiot, but it’s such a hoop-jumping process getting price-matched on Amazon that I’m buggered if I’m changing it now. Americans will have to live with “favour” etc. until the second episode.)
This, the first, is free (or will be, once the various branches of Amazon catch up with the US), with the other three, novella-length entries costing a pittance. I’m a fan of try-before-you-buy and this seemed like the best way of doing it.
Lost cities! Secret histories! A conspiracy that has absolutely nothing to do for once with either big business or the Catholic Church! And so on. In truth, while I took a pulp sensibility to the general story, and as much as I enjoy a spot of Lester Dent/DOC SAVAGE, I’ve not used it in the prose, and I’ve been careful to try to make everything grounded. No screaming dames, no thousand-year-old deathtraps that mysteriously still work with perfect mechanical precision, no action without a real sense of threat here. But there may be monsters and exotic locations and undead horrors as the series progresses…