I have finally managed to get my short story The Honour of Rome distributed through a wide range of eBook retailers – previously it was just on Amazon. So if you like reading books on the Nook, iPad or any other device – see Smashwords – then you now have no excuse not to read The Honour of Rome!
It’s probably about 25 years since I have done one of these models, but I picked up the Airfix Red Arrow Gnat starter kit at the RAF Museum a while ago and painted it up for my son. I must say the quality of the parts and the paints provided aren’t that good – the paint finsish looks a bit gloppy and glossy for my liking, but with the decals added it looks just about OK I think!
In October Paradox Interactive (the makers of Mount and Blade, Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron) launch War of the Roses, a medieval combat game set during the Wars of the Roses. Essentially this looks like a historically set version of Mount and Blade, but with better graphics. Mount and Blade features simple but fun combat, which is actually quite hard to master – all seems to be about timing, especially when you’re mounted.
From the look of the videos War of the Roses promises more of the same:
The list of features promises options to choose different fighting styles – so maybe there will be some more sophistication than currently allowed in Mount and Blade – it will be something to watch this autumn, and hopefully there will be a demo to try out when the game is launched.
What also intrigues me about the game is whether there will be any story-line or campaign? Most Paradox games tend to be pretty open-ended, which is great sometimes, but I think a game like War of the Roses would benefit from a story-driven campaign that would take you through part of the historical reality of the Wars of the Roses. No mention of that though in the game features at the moment. Nor is there mention of an open-ended campaign like Mount and Blade. At present it seems that its more about outfitting a single character and fighting with it.
I was inspired to write a one year plan of writing goals after skimming through Jeff Vandermeer‘s Booklife. Booklife is a guide to for authors keeping your sanity in today’s world! It gives you tips on how to cope with social media, blogging and generally building your public persona as an author, as well as how to build strategies for developing your career, finding time to write etc. I haven’t read the whole thing, just glanced at it in the library so far, but it looks like it has some good tips for any author.
The section on goals caught my eye as I realized that I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do in the future, but no concrete lists or targets to measure success against. Like any business, an author’s career I think could benefit from having targets – not sales targets in the case of an author, but targets on what you produce or where you are published. Jeff recommends having a shorter-term one year plan and a longer term five year plan. Here’s my one year plan (I’m keeping my five year plan private for now):
- Have 40+ short stories finished and available for purchase (eBooks or printed collections) – in various pen-names. I currently have 11 available, so that means publishing another 29 in the next twelve months.
- Finish editing the two novels I have completed in draft format: Hell has its Demons and Return of the Free. Approach agents/publishers about these novels.
- Complete one non-fiction title and self-publish it.
- Gain one sale at a fiction magazine with professional rates (over 5 cents a word and recognized as a professional market by SFWA).
For me I think these goals are challenging, but achievable at a stretch. I’ll keep readers of this blog updated on how I get on.