Category Archives: Mark Lord’s Writing

Dragons Rising – Progress Update

I am going to post regular updates on how work is progressing on my new novel Dragons Rising. Partly to give you, dear reader, an update, but also partly to keep myself motivated to progress the project.

So far I have written about 8,000 words and moved onto the fourth chapter. Currently I have paused in actual writing to double back and do some more planning. This is something that I have found is a good way of making sure I’m on track and integrating what I have learnt from writing the first few chapters.

I have been tracking how much I am writing each day, with the intention of trying to stay on a target of words written per week – with the idea that I should then be able to finish it before the end of the year. I have been doing that – slightly behind at the moment, but I’m not stressed about that. One extra thing I decided to do was to also track how much time I was spending on writing each time – it tends to be about half an hour a day – not much, but it tends to be the only time I have available for writing each day, but I can still get in 500-800 words in that time, which is quite good I think. So by tracking time I can also see how much time in total I have spent on the book – including planning time now! So this week I haven’t added any new words to the draft, but I have done two hours of solid planning.

Until next time!

Dragons Rising – a New Novel Project

I have started writing a new novel – Dragons Rising. It’s a fantasy novel set in my Neriador/Ladmas setting – the same place where Return of the Free is set. It involves suprisingly and wizards, and plots! The idea is that it’s a bit of a thriller/fantasy book.

I thought I would make some regular blog posts to track progress, motivate myself and keep you all informed about how I am getting on.

The plan at the moment is to do about 4,000 words a week and finish a first draft before the end of the year. So far over the last couple of weeks I have done 6,500 words – so a bit behind schedule already! I’m not going to worry too much about that, but will still aim to do 800 words a day Monday to Friday if I can – maybe if I go over a bit each day I will catch-up a bit. But the main thing is to keep writing.

I might mention some of the characters and themes as I go along as well. Also I’ll aim to start proper blogging soon as well – with a specific subject once a week – probably writing or history related.

More updates soon!

For a Heart Made of Stone – now available for Pre-Order

If you have read the three previous volumes of Stonehearted you are sure to want to pick up the concluding part! And it’s only 99c or 99p!

For a Heart Made of Stone Cover“Rich characters and an engaging story”

When the cut from the blade runs deep – You need a heart of Stone

The quest across France comes to a thrilling end for both Richard Stone and Eolande d’Aubray. Will Eolande find her father? Will Richard and his companion Wulf find the resolution they seek? And what Marie, the secret heiress of St. Pol? What scheme is she plotting? All will be revealed in this final concluding volume of Stonehearted.

Set in 1370 during the Hundred Years War with France, For a Heart Made of Stone is the fourth and final volume of the Stonehearted serialised novel.
Readers who like action and adventure in the Middle Ages will enjoy this book.

You can Pre-Order as an eBook at the following sites:

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk – also available at other Amazon sites

Smashwords | iBooks | Barnes & Noble

What I’m Writing at the Moment – December 2018

For those of you who follow my writing and publishing, here’s what I am working on at the moment:

Just finished editing a short story called Helix Intercalculator. This short story is set on the planet Ladmas. It has a fantasy style setting, but in the strictest sense this is a science fiction story – the world was created by scientists as an experiment. I am currently sending this story out to magazines in the hope of it getting it published. If none of them take it up I will self-publish it. I wrote about fixing his story in a previous blog post. 

Also I am editing another short story – Broken Lance, which like The Dragon of Borvoli, is set in a Dark Ages setting. This one is inspired by Arthurian literature. Once finished, I will be sending this one out as well.

After that I will focus on finishing the editing of the fourth volume of Stonehearted. Would like to complete that before the end of the year, and publish it early 2019.

By the Sword’s Edge (Stonehearted 1) Free eBook

As the Stonehearted series nears completion I have decided to make the first book in the series free to download as an eBook.

If you haven’t read it yet, you can now get this in Kindle or ePub format from most of the normal eBook retailers. More details below.

Other books in the series will now by 99c or 99p or equivalent in other currencies, so if you like the first book in the series it will be really easy and affordable to read the others.

By The Sword's Edge CoverBy The Sword’s Edge, Volume 1 of Stonehearted

Words: c. 17,000
Pages: 74 (print)

Get a free eBook at: Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

And other Amazon stores!

Get a free eBook at: Google PlaySmashwords | Kobo | Nook | iBooks

By The Sword’s Edge is the first volume of Stonehearted, a serialized novel.

When the cut from the blade runs deep – You need a heart of Stone

In 1370 two families are thrust together by the harsh realities of war. Lady d’Aubray holds Sarbrook castle, but has sold nearly everything to pay the ransom of her husband, who was captured in France over a decade ago. Eolande d’Aubray, the missing lord’s daughter, is desperate for her father to return. She remembers little of him, but she does know that he is the only man who can rescue her from an unwanted marriage.

William Stone has bought much of the d’Aubray estate having made a fortune as a cloth merchant, and is looking forward to seeing his two sons move up in the world. For his eldest, Richard, he hopes to make squire to Sir Robert Knolles, commander of the English army set to invade France this summer, as long as he can pay the consideration demanded by Knolles. But when Knolles and his ambitious captain, Minsterworth, visit the Stone’s to agree their terms, a tragic series of events destroys the Stone’s world forever.

For Richard Stone there is only one place to find peace.

In war.

For a Heart Made of Stone Cover Image Reveal

I am really looking forward to publishing the fourth and final volume of the Stonehearted series – always great to finish something off and will be nice to have a complete series of books to promote as well. For those of you who have been following the story, I hope that you like the ending.

I will be posting a few bits and pieces about volume 4, For a Heart Made of Stone, over the next few weeks. But for now here’s the cover image I am planning to use. A different character from the story this time – can you guess who it is?

Time’s Arrow – Now Published!

Sorry for the delay in getting this out – there was a bit of a delay with some of the distribution channels, but Time’s Arrow is now available as an eBook globally!

In the far future Time Travel is a reality. A researcher uses it to go back in time to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. William Chan finds much that he would expect—English archers raining arrows on the heads of heavily armed French knights, mood and blood. But there is an unexpected turn of events that have far-reaching consequences.

Time’s Arrow is a time-travelling short story with a historical fantasy theme.

Available to Purchase at:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Other Amazon Stores
Smashwords | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Time’s Arrow – Free Excerpt

Following on from my posts about Time’s Arrow and the cover reveal, here’s a free excerpt from my new short story.

I hope you enjoy the read and if you do stay tuned for details about how you can buy a copy of the story.

Times’s Arrow by Mark Lord

William Chan punched the number 1415 into the time machine. And followed it with the month of October and the day was 25. St. Crispin’s Day, 1415. The Battle of Agincourt. He breathed deeply, feeling the blood pump through his veins. He looked down at what he wore. A leather jerkin with a white badge and a red cross sown above his heart, green legged-hose, leather boots, a buckler shield, arrows stuffed into his belt and held together by a piece of rope on his right hip and a sword in a scabbard on his left. He stepped forward onto the central plate in the chamber of the machine. He adjusted the helmet strap under his chin and pealed back the woolen sleeve covering his wrist. He kept his finger pressed on a small button on the small black device strapped there and waited until the L.E.D. showed the time he wanted. Nine o’clock. Just half an hour, he hoped, before the first French attack. That should give him enough time to get a good vantage of the battle from the cover of the woods.  

A green light flashed on the device, waiting for him. He pressed another button and held it down until the green light stopped flashing and was a solid green. 

# 

The G.P.S. should have placed him perfectly into the woods where he could watch undisturbed. But it didn’t. He was standing in a ploughed field behind a large mass of men. They were archers like him, like he was pretending to be. They were all facing away from him and most were busy with large stakes of wood, driving them with mallets or pushing them, getting their whole weight behind them so that they sank into the earth. They were building an impenetrable fence between themselves and the French mounted knights. A single line of stakes, William noted, not stakes in front of each man reaching in every ranks. That was one question answered. 

“Archer! Where’s your bow? Find it and get into the ranks.” 

William turned. Behind him was a grey-bearded man-at-arms riding a huge horse. He waved a rod at William and pointed towards the archers in front of them. 

“Deserters will be hung.” The man nudged the flanks of his horse with his plate armored heals and the beast moved threateningly towards William. Just then there was a blast of a trumpet and the man looked towards his right, towards the centre of the English army. 

William looked too. There he could see what he knew was a pitifully small number of dismounted men-at-arms. He couldn’t make them out properly across the flat field, but he knew that arrayed in the centre of the English army there would be three units, or battles, of men-at-arms; a mix of belted knights, squires and common soldiers, anyone with enough money to afford proper armor and the horses that were required. But the English men-at-arms hardly ever fought on horseback these days. Their usual strategy was to dismount and wait for their French enemies to attack. The English archers positioned on the flanks would pepper the approaching French hordes with arrows, breaking up their formations and then the English, hopefully fighting with the advantage of a hill or from behind some prepared defenses would break the enemy with their pole-axes, their cut-down lances and their swords. And here, near the small chateau of Agincourt, would occur the epitome of the English victory against the odds. Only a thousand English men-at-arms, with perhaps four thousand archers arrayed in support on the flanks, all hungry and tired from a desperate march across northern France and many suffering from the rigors of dysentery, their bowels opening without any self-control. This rag-tag of an army against the pride of French chivalry, over ten thousand men-at-arms on foot, drawn up in three great lines of attack with a thousand mounted men-at-arms on the flanks ready to disperse the English archers. But what should have been forlorn hope for the English was to be their greatest victory, with only 112 dead they would leave seven thousand French dead on the field and within five years Henry V, the English King, would have forced them into a peace that would hand him the crown of France upon the death of King Charles VI of France. 

William licked his lips. It was an amazing prospect, and no-one from the 22nd century had ever seen it before. 

The trumpet blared again and the man on horseback turned his horse to watch. William looked across at the banners. He could see one massive banner of cloth bearing Henry’s arms, the leopards of England quartered with the fleur-de-lis of France. He watched as the banner was raised up in the air and pointed forward. Battlefield signaling in action. Something else to add to his research paper. Another first for him. 

“For flip’s sake,” growled the horseman. “We’ve only just got the bloomin’ stakes in.” William’s universal translator earpiece not only parsed Middle English, Old French and Latin into modern English, but it also, annoyingly, took most of the fun out of the swearing. 

William was no longer important to the man on the horse. William watched him ride away, taking another mental note of the man’s arms that he could now more clearly on the back of his surcoat as he rode away from him towards the unit of archers. A green shield with a number of white blobs inside it –probably representing birds. Most likely, this was Sir Thomas Erpingham, charged with commanding both wings of archers. He would be a busy man that day. 

William had nearly been caught out. But now he could make his way towards the woods and a safe place to watch the action. It had never been his intention to stand with either of the armies (especially not the French)—much too dangerous! And besides, from in the middle of the melee, would he really see much of what was going on? But a soldier’s disguise would help him get near enough. Even if he was to pose as an archer in the ranks (perhaps the least dangerous role on the English side), he would soon be shown up—there were no yew trees left in the 22nd century and his upper body muscles were certainly not strong enough to use one of the great English war-bows. 

In front of him the archers were pulling their stakes out of the ground. They would march forward several hundred yards until they were in bow range of the French and plant their stakes again and then goad the French into attacking. And the rest would be history. William walked towards the woods on the western side of the field directly to the left of the formation of archers which faced the French army in the north. He didn’t run to get his position. There was too much to take in. It was not a simple task for the archers to pull-up the stakes they had just hammered into the ground and he noticed that many were giving up. He watched one man slip in the mud as the stake he was pulling came free. The archer landed on his backside. The men around him laughed and William couldn’t help but smile. 

But the man didn’t seem to notice his comrades laughing. As he regained his feet he was staring straight at William. 

“Oi! What are you looking at?” 

William looked away and started walking quickly towards the woods. 

“You, come here!” 

TO BE CONTINUED

Time’s Arrow – Cover Reveal

As recently announced, I am working on the publication of a new short story – Time’s Arrow.

I have now done a first draft of the cover. It may need some tidying up – but here it is!
In the far future Time Travel is a reality. A researcher uses it to go back in time to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. William Chan finds much that he would expect—English archers raining arrows on the heads of heavily armed French knights, mood and blood. But there is an unexpected turn of events that have far-reaching consequences.

Time’s Arrow is a time-travelling short story with a historical fantasy theme. It’s about five and a half thousand words long, so should take about twenty minutes to read.

To follow soon will be an excerpt from the story.

Time’s Arrow – New Short Story Coming Soon

I am putting the finishing touches to a new short story – Time’s Arrow.

Here’s some more information about it. I’ll post an excerpt and the cover of the story during the next week.

In the far future Time Travel is a reality. A researcher uses it to go back in time to the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. William Chan finds much that he would expect—English archers raining arrows on the heads of heavily armed French knights, mood and blood. But there is an unexpected turn of events that have far-reaching consequences.  

Time’s Arrow is a time-travelling short story with a historical fantasy theme. It’s about five and a half thousand words long, so should take about twenty minutes to read.