Isle of Dogs. Again.

There can be no doubt that I have been ruthlessly lacking in my quest to post regularly, but January has been a frustratingly frustrating month with regards to my writing. Isle of Dogs has trundled along like the little engine that could, then couldn’t, then could again, and now at last the top of the hill is beneath my feet. The end is in sight, I think, though it turned out to be quite different from what I had planned and expected, but it does tie in quite well, I think, with a certain character I intend to introduce in my next novel, whenever I get there.

The point is; perseverance is paramount. It took me a while, but no longer than I had allowed for. I should still finish in time to get started on LMMHV within the week. 🙂 So there’s that.

I’ll be moving to Scotland next week, which will be a pleasant change long overdue. 2013 will be a good, strong year, you wait and see.


Time’s up. Almost.


It’s nearly time, it seems. At 5am, the ABNA opens up for submissions. (12:00:01am EST) (I think that’s right.) When I wake up tomorrow morning, I will already be running out of time. They have a cap of 10,000 submissions, so I should be safe. I can’t for the life of me imagine that by 11amGMT, all those entries will have flooded in, so the moment will fast begin approaching tomorrow.

By the end of June, I should know whether or not I have made it to the final round. If I have, I may well be posting a link in this blog, asking anyone and all who stumble across this blog to go and check out an excerpt online at and vote for me, if you like my story best, or if you just like the others less, if you have a personal vendetta against any/all of my competitors, if you just feel like flexing those muscles in your fingers and don’t really care which way the vote goes, please make a concerted effort to swing it my way. Assuming I get there. But, most important, I do truly hope I get there, and that if I do, you all like my writing/story/characters enough to want to see more. It’s a story I want to tell, they are characters I want you to meet and places I want you to visit.

The world of Taldain is just around the corner, it’s a wondrous place, I think. At least, I have some rather grand designs.


At first, I was reluctant to enter this Breakthrough Novel Award for a number of reasons, not least of which was the initial need to reduce the word count by 12%, but now, having so far brought it down to 152,800ish, I find that it is becoming an increasingly likely outcome. I will do as much polishing as I can before the deadline arrives, but I think, in its current condition, it should be a good testament to what I believe to be a good level of ability.

I don’t know whether I will win, but I don’t stand a chance if I don’t enter. If I do meet the deadline, which I grow increasingly more confident about, I’ll have about 3 weeks to finish Isle of Dogs before I need to seriously commit to a second draft. I am beginning to feel like a writer now though, it’s really, thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve spent the last 2 days religiously editing this manuscript, everything else has become secondary. I’m already becoming one of those writers that can’t do anything else until he has, at least, finished that sentence, which I like rather a lot.

I have to say I was not at all confident that I could reduce the word count by so much, in so little time. I’ve had to be quite ruthless indeed, but I don’t think the story has lost any of its substance, nor the characters any of their depth, so it should all be groovy. There are still 2600 pesky words to be cut though. Should be easy enough…