News, Fiction Updates & General Musings

Dead Days Season Seven Now Available

dead days season 7Hi folks,

The seventh season of Dead Days has just gone live, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

The gap of three months between IZ5 and this release might not seem long, but it’s a pretty meaty break for me. Rest assured, I’ve been working really hard on Dead Days and other projects, all of which I can’t wait to share with you over the rest of the year.

I’m really impressed with how Dead Days Season Seven turned out. The whole thing was intentionally paced so that the dread and discomfort builds with every single page. It’s full of post-apocalyptic action, character drama, and a hell of a lot of twists and turns. Rest assured, I’m particularly proud of this season. I think it’s the best yet. I guess I’m supposed to say that, but I really, really believe it is.

Here’s your buy links. If you’re still on the fence, I’ve shared a link to download the full first episode a little further below.

Kindle –

iBooks –

Nook –

Kobo –

Google Play –

Free first episode –

Infection Z 5 Now Available

Infection Z 5Hi everyone,

A quick note to say Infection Z 5, the final book in the Infection Z series, is now available at Amazon.

You can grab your copy at the following links:

Amazon US

Amazon (Non-US)

You can also read the book as a part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Seeing as I haven’t posted in a while, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share what I’m working on right now.

Firstly, Dead Days Season Seven! Yes, the seventh series is well in production. I’m taking a bit longer with this one as there’s some intricate plot elements I need to craft to perfection, so I’m sure you’ll understand. It’ll be out this summer, and I’ll have more info nearer the time and over the coming weeks.

I’m so excited about the next three seasons of Dead Days. I’ve been working at putting together a riveting new arc that I think you’re going to absolutely love. One of the scenes gave me goosebumps… and I made the damned thing up! I suppose that says something. Hopefully something good.

I’ve also got the sixth and final McDone novel to finish, too. This one was due back in January, so I apologise for the delay. Again, I’ve been taking a little more time to make sure it’s as good as I can make it. There’s a really intriguing mystery at the core of this one, as well as the fallout from the explosive ending to book five. Expect twists, turns, and even more McDone grumbling. All the classics.

Cheers for the support. I really appreciate it.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the latest book!


New Year’s Resolutions 2016

So, it’s that time of year again.

Firstly, I’ve been a little silent on the blog in 2015. I suppose I should apologise. That said, I’ve not exactly been neglecting my career. Quite the opposite, in fact. The very fact that I haven’t posted much all comes down to the sheer amount of new novels I’ve been working on. When it comes to fiction vs non fiction, fiction is my primary love. I enjoy writing non fiction, but it’s the fiction that pays the bills, so I’m sure it’s pretty understandable that it’s where my priorities lie.

Plus, in fiction you get to set zombies loose on people. Wouldn’t be quite as moral in non fiction.

Anyway, I figured I’d do a little end/start of year thing here. The bulk of my non fiction posts these days go through my newsletter, so be sure to check that out if you want an insight into my life (for whatever reason, preferably one that doesn’t require a restraining order). But in the spirit of the new year, what better time to get down a few resolutions and publish them to the world to be mocked when I don’t stick to them?

Some people have one New Year’s Resolution. I’ve gone with five. Over-ambitious/Deluded. YOU DECIDE.

1.) I will be vegetarian for the whole of the year, cooking something fresh every week. This will make me healthy and happy.

Vegetarianism is something I’ve been dabbling with for about six months now. I won’t go into the morals and ethical baggage that comes with it, but for several reasons I pretty much cut all pig and lamb out of my life last year, and have been making moves to transition away from beef and chicken too. I’ve been tempted by the smells of bacon cooking, almost put off by lacklustre veggie alternatives to sausages. But I’m trying new things, broadening my palette, and genuinely enjoying exploring new foods — all that make me feel a lot healthier after eating, too.

I’ve never been overweight (lucky me, I know). I’ve never even been that unhealthy an eater (let’s forget about university cooking for a moment). But the realisation that healthier = happier a few years back has galvanised me to give this vegetarian thing a full go. It didn’t start for health reasons, but that’s a nice little bonus that comes with it.

I’m looking forward to seeing how a year of healthy, meat-free eating goes.

And yes. I did eat turkey on Christmas. But that’s why they’re called “new year’s resolutions” right?

2.) I will get up at 7am every weekday and 9am every weekend. This will make me energised and motivated.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m a terrible early-riser. Actually, that’s not even true. I’m not a terrible early-riser because I’m not an early-riser at all. I like the idea of getting up early. I like the notion of rolling out of bed full of energy, taking my dog out for a walk in the early morning fresh air, then getting back to my desk for 9am.

Truth is, I’m the snooze button’s prisoner.

I’m probably exaggerating a little. I always tend to get up before 9:30. But I still get frustrated with myself if I get out of bed past eight. I feel like I’ve wasted precious morning hours.

The resolution? Get up a whole lot earlier. Make 7am my target instead of 8. That way, even if I can’t physically (read: mentally) get out of bed at 7, I’ll still be up with enough time to get all my daily tasks done.

Just don’t speak to me at 7am. Please.

3.) I will write x words a day 5 days a week without fail, sticking to the tried and tested methods I know work. This will keep on making me a living doing what I love, and keep me productive.

No, I didn’t make a typo. I really did just write “x words.”

I dabbled with publicising daily word goals in the past. Truth is, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. It sets a level of immense pressure for myself to live up, as well as baffling (and sometimes upsetting) people who can’t quite write as much a day.

I know not sharing my goal is a bit of a cop out. After all, what’s the point of me putting this out in the public sphere anyway? But just know I’ve got a very tight schedule to stick to through 2016, which means a rather massive number of words per day.

I love writing, fortunately. I love spending eight hours a day getting the words down. It’s my job. It’s what I do. So I need a goal to make the most of this opportunity.

How will you know if I’ve stuck to this goal? By the number of releases to my name by the end of the year, and the quality of those releases. That’s how.

Until then, you’ll just have to take my word for it…

4.) I will switch my phone off at 10 every night, and only turn it on after walking my dog the following morning. This will make me more present and less distracted.

The idea of “present living” is another thing that I’ve been very interested in for a long time. To cut a long story short, I’ve seen for myself that a less cluttered, less connected life is beneficial to me. Don’t get me wrong–being able to access a constant stream of information is absolutely fantastic. But it’s also draining, even if we don’t sometimes recognise it.

I’ve made a vow to switch my phone off at ten every night. I go to bed an hour or two after that, so it’ll allow me to wind down and hit that 7am wake-up target. Staring at a screen before bed is bad for you anyway, so I have to do what I have to in order to hit the targets I’ve set for myself.

The delayed switch-on is another interesting element to this. Usually, when we wake up, the first thing we do is rush to read our news feeds, scan our emails, browse the news, get distracted by Instagram, send a Snapchat… We connect to the stream before actually taking a moment to live life.

I’d like to stay present over breakfast. I’d like to stay present while walking my dog. Then, I can get back and see to my notifications quickly, allowing myself to clear my mind before starting my day at work.

Seriously, give this one a try. I’ve done it on and off over the last two years, and it’s been a life-changer. Now just to stick to it…

5.) I will read for one hour and watch one hour of television every day. This will broaden my mind and build my storytelling skills.

Okay, this is a bit of a treat/cheat resolution. But there’s plenty to it.

I love watching television. Not mundane stuff. I mean good, well-written series. I’m currently on Bloodline, which I love. I have Netflix, Amazon and NowTV accounts. It’s a wonder I ever get any work done, I know. But serialised television is my vice, and it’s in a damned good moment of form right now, too.

And because it is in a damned good moment, that means that us writers can pick things up as we’re watching. Sometimes subconsciously, other times consciously, through post-watch analysis and study. Same goes for books–we can learn what we enjoy, what we didn’t enjoy, and use those lessons to broaden our skills.

Dead_Days_6_FinalThe result of this? 365 hours of reading in a year. Say it takes 5 hours to read an average size book, that’s 73 books a year. And assuming a standard TV series has ten episodes on average, that’s around 36 series. If that isn’t a crash course in storytelling and pop culture education, with only two hours of time investment* per day, then I don’t know what is.

*We’ll ignore the ridiculous costs all my subscriptions add up to, though. Not really. It’s education. Education costs, education pays. At least, that’s my excuse for all the episodes of Fargo I’ve watched and re-watched.
Have a very happy new year. And cheers for checking out my books. I had a new one out at the end of December. You’ve probably heard about it via my newsletter/Facebook page. Dead Days Season Six is available. You can check it out here.


Infection Z 4 Now Available

After what seems like forever, the fourth (and penultimate) book in the Infection Z series is now available to purchase/KU read over at Amazon.

In the latest book, we jump in on Hayden’s life a while after the conclusion of IZ3. He’s beaten, battered, and doesn’t have much hope in the world. He’s not keen on the dead (naturally), and he isn’t so keen on the living either.

But, naturally, shit happens, and Hayden is forced to respond.

This instalment is perhaps different to the prior books in that I wrote it with a solid theme in mind. I wanted to explore some of the problems of the world we live in today and re-imagine it on a post-apocalyptic canvas. I found the experience very rewarding and a lot of fun. Hopefully I’ve balanced the two sides of the spectrum, too.

Here’s the cover. You can pick the book up below for just $4.99. So treat yourself to a cheery, uplifting… nah. Sorry. That’s just not the way it is.

But treat yourself anyway.

Infection Z 4

CLICK HERE to purchase.

Don’t get so busy making a life that you forget to make a living

Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

And so the quote goes. Nice advice, I’ve always found. Life should have a balance to it. At least, that’s what I always took from the quote.

But I feel the quote is much mis-used. Especially when directed at the self-employed, or at someone in traditional employment who clearly has a love and passion for their work, for what they do.

It’s a quote I often hear when I’ve spent the week pretty much in solitude battling to get the latest manuscript turned in for edits, or knee-deep in revisions. “You want to be careful,” X person says. “You’re doing so much work that you’re forgetting about your life.”

In the early days, I found it strange. After all, what I’m doing — a career in writing — is something many people do in their spare time. Something many people do as a hobby. So, something they do in their… yes, you guessed it. Lives.

But now, I kind of shrug and smile as I think I understand the reasons this quote is so oft-used, and so badly interpreted.

Take myself for example. Cause why the hell not? I work full time as a writer. When I’m not writing, I’m doing business related writing tasks. Or I’m editing. Or I’m networking. I wake up at 8 in the morning and I finish at 4 or 5 in the afternoon. In the evening, I chill out, or see a friend, or go to a football match, or whatever. I don’t work weekends. I hang out with friends, family, etc.

So basically… I do the exact same thing someone in a “normal job” does. Only I do it in the comfort of my home. Or a cafe. Or a library.

Oh. And I happen to love what I’m doing.

So how the hell is that not “making a life”? How is chasing dreams, following passions, albeit in an unconventional approach, not living?

Another reason I find this quote is so often misused is because of the habits many of us self-employed freelancers form. I’m a single guy (that’s not a cry for attention, I swear). My bills aren’t sky high. I don’t spend a lot. I don’t see myself married or with kids in the next decade…

…And I’m completely okay with that. Means I get more time to spend with my passion. More time to spend living my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a hermit. Many of us self-employed, work-from-home types are just as social as the rest of the world. I get ratty if I don’t do something social for a day or two. Just the nature of the game.

But that rattiness is a small price to pay to be able to do something I enjoy. Every day. In my room. Wearing noth… I jest. I wear something. Apologies in hindsight for the mental image that may or may not have formed in your mind just then, but definitely has formed right now.

The reason the “don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” quote is so often used–incorrectly, in my eyes?

Because there’s different lives to live. We all have different things that make us tick. We don’t all want to follow the same life path. We don’t all want to be carbon copies of one another. We don’t all have to fit into that narrow window of expectation.

So the next time somebody tells you “don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life,” think about what they’re saying at first. Do you need to get a life? Do you need to start doing more things that make you happy? Are you giving up on the things that make you tick at the expense of a job that you also enjoy? Then go find some balance.

If you’re already completely happy with your life–whether it’s happily married with kids, or single-as-hell and totally satisfied with your life, both from a work and a social perspective–then just brush off those comments. Because you are living your life.

You’re just not living the life the rest of the world wants you to live.

And usually, that’s a ridiculously good thing.

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