Monday, January 19, 2015

Have one of these five characters named after you in my next book

The Last Quarrrel Episode 1 is out on January 22, with each of the four subsequent episodes released a fortnight after the first.
Meanwhile I have almost finished the first draft of book two of the series, The Bloody Quarrel.
I have five characters who are currently nameless in this book.
Now, I could go online and grab some random names for them - or you could have your name given to one of them.
All you have to do is review one or more episodes of The Last Quarrel on one of the many sites available - or review it on all of them!
Send me the link, either through my website or via the email address on my blog and let me know which of the following characters you might be interested in having named after yourself.
I'm not looking for the most suck-worthy review but instead the more intelligent ones.
So, if you like the idea of playing a pivotal part in the next book in the series, get reading, get reviewing and let me know!
Here's the list:

1) Secret agent of the crown (female/male)
2) A Boluk-bashi (captain) of the Kotterman army (male)
3) A Courbaci (Colonel) of the Kottermna army (male)
4) A harbour lookout (male/female)
5) An angry mother (female)

You can also let me know if you're interested in having them die (pleasantly or unpleasantly) in the third book, The Poisoned Quarrel!
Over to you now...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The maps for the lands of The Last Quarrel

A passing resemblance to some Irish names is more than a coincidence! The people of this land are the Gaelish and their use of the shillelagh will be one of the many aspects explored in The Last Quarrel

Gaelland is a relatively small island nation, which finds itself uncomfortably close to the huge Kotterman Empire, which provides all sorts of interesting trade, even introduces potatoes to the Gaelish - but perhaps is also interested in more than just the Gaelish wool, coal and tin...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Why The Hobbit Battle Of Five Armies does great fights but bad battles

I've just seen The Hobbit BOTFA and there are some truly extraordinary fight scenes. Inventive, jaw-dropping, eye-watering and pure brilliant.
Without giving too much away, what Legolas does is stunning, while the use of Battle Boars, Moose, carts, trolls and the rest is amazing.
But, and here's the but, the battle tactics are so dumb!
I nearly hurled popcorn at the screen at one point.
The dwarves form the perfect shield wall, bristling with spears. Perfect, I thought. Stick elven bowmen behind that and the orcs would be slaughtered.
But nooooooo.
The elves jump OVER the shieldwall to fight man-to-man! Or elf-to-orc, actually.
It drove me crazy!
They are outnumbered but have the best bowmen in the world. Why not pile up the orcs with your bowmen and then use the dwarves as a perfect bulwark for the human pikemen?
If they had fought with an ounce of brains, they wouldn't have needed the eagles, they would have formed a barricade of the dead orcs and then the orcs could not use their numbers and would have been compressed and slaughtered.
Obviously it would not have made for visually compelling viewing, and there would have been less need for death or glory charges.
But that's the point of battles. You don't have to look good to win. You just have to win.
Still, at least it was better than having Bilbo hit his head and miss the whole bloody thing!
So, go ahead and enjoy the individual fights but remember, they could have won the battle so much easier, with so much less loss of extras!

The Last Quarrel episode 1 out on January 22

As I write this, it is less than three weeks until the release of The Last Quarrel Episode 1!
As you can imagine, I'm very excited about this new release.
The book has been split into five episodes and each new one will be released a fortnight after the first.
The omnibus edition and the Print On Demand editions will be released after Episode 5.
Find out how you can pre-order Episode 1 here ...

And remember, review one or more of the episodes and you could have a character named after you in the next book, The Bloody Quarrel!