A New Year, A New Style

This month’s reading for basics. Other books in the TBR pile!

Those who have kept up with my recent blogs will know that I have tried a number of different approaches in recent months.

First I had the brilliant idea of going to first principles and writing long hand with my fountain pens (thanks, Dante del Vecchio and Visconti), but although I was very keen on the idea, there is no doubt that it was a much slower method than my old one of simply typing things straight to computer, and I have to admit, I find that my thoughts and writing flow much better with a keyboard. Ideas and planning is better with a pen and paper, but actual writing, for me, is best on screen.

My new approach involves using my Astrohaus Freewrite. It will be much faster to type, and with luck the fact that I can take it with me everywhere will help. Not that I mean to take it to cafes or restaurants (that’s not time- or cost-effective), but the fact that I can sit here in my kitchen with the pup means I can do more writing, and that in itself is a big improvement.

If you’ve read my reviews, you’ll know that I absolutely adore my Freewrite. However, one thing that is not good about the Freewrite is the lack of a cover. The box it comes in is good, but the unit cost of a moulded plastic lid would be so tiny compared with the cost of the machine itself that I really do not understand why the clever chaps at Astrohaus don’t do it as a standard. Be that as it may, I’ll make a leather case when I get some time.

But before I can do that, I have a book to write. This one will be using the Freewrite as the main input device, my iMac as the editing machine using the latest version of Scrivener, and then Nisus Writer Pro to track changes and amendments coming back from the editor, copy editor and proof readers.

It’s going to be an interesting project. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I have a new series starting shortly. PILGRIM’S WAR is the first in a gritty tale about the First Crusade. This first story tells the tale of the long march of the followers of Peter the Hermit. The next book will take us to the capture of Jerusalem, and subsequent stories will tell of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from the point of view of a Knight Templar. I hardly need say that I’m really looking forward to getting back into medieval mode!

PILGRIM’S WAR will be available from February 8th, but you can order your copy now. It’s in hardback first of all, so if you want a copy, put in your order soon. There’s only a limited print run, and I don’t want you disappointed!

After PILGRIM’S WAR, I have another book out in May/June, which will be the third in my BLOODY MARY series. As my readers know, this is my holiday series. Not for you to take on holiday, no. It’s for me. I haven’t had a holiday for a couple of years, and the nearest I get to it is writing a fun tale.

This series is more of a humorous romp, and for me, it’s a little relaxation after the harder effort of the Templar, Vintener and Pilgrim stories. Why? Well, the characterisation, plotting and research take as much effort, but the lead character is fun to write. It’s a bit like the difference between going to work and going to the pub. Jack Blackjack doesn’t feel like work (yet). He’s just a rather confused, slightly foolish man who’s been thrown into a nasty set of situations, and who is desperately trying to extricate himself at every turn.

The latest one is my first writing under the new regime. I have already written the main themes and planned the flow. Now all I have to do is write it! The past stories have been a blast to write, and have had me laughing out loud while writing. Hopefully this will be the same – and it’ll have the same impact on readers!

And that is about it for now. I have a lot of work to get on with, and two hounds who appear to be desperate for a walk now. So I’d best get on with things!

Happy New Year!

10 Responses to “A New Year, A New Style”
  1. jashrader says:

    Looking forward to all the excitement! Love the pups! Happy New Year from South Georgia, All the best! -James Shrader (Kleaspop)


  2. Jack Eason says:

    I wish you the very best of luck mate. Not only with the new books but also the Freewrite. I agree with you. Why its makers don’t include a cover to protect it from dust and other pests/nuisances (pups and other family members) simply boggles the mind. ;)


  3. Lindsey Russell says:

    And a happy New Year to you, Michael.
    You’ve told us about your pens and note books but when walking the dogs I imagine ideas flow – do you stop and take notes or do you use a dictaphone or the record mode on your mobile? If yes perhaps another subject for your videos?


    • Hi, Lindsey – I tend to use anything to hand, really. Most of my thinking and writing ideas down happens in the house (especially just now while I watch the puppy from hell), but my mobile phone has Google’s note taking app, “Keep”, which is good for short voice memos, written notes and notes appended to pictures. Then again, I always have my Midori Traveller’s Notebook, so when I get a chance to sit or stand by something to rest on, I use that too. And yes, thanks for another idea for a video!


  4. Hans says:

    Absolutely thrilled with a new series set in the time of the Crusades. You are so good at that late medieval stuff it’s probably daunting for any other writer who wants to try their hand at it! And we also may expect a new Last Templar adventure and on top of that we already have a second installment in the Bloody Mary series! You know how to make your fans happy! Now I know you are into work up to your ears (as we Dutch say) but don’t forget you more or less promised to have one or more short stories of a certain very funny character from the Last Templar books… It may take you a few years but I will keep reminding you and if nobody wants to publish them, do so yourself as an ebook only! It could be your take on (medieval) comedy! ;)


    • Hi, Hans, and thanks! I’ll certainly be writing more about Sir Richard, but you do need to keep on reminding me! Hope you have a great year, and thanks again for reading my books!


  5. Old Trooper says:

    Continuing to wish you all the best in your writing endeavours! You are a credit to the writing art especially when it comes to the need for good research, historical and other. I pray that you have good health to march on. Dealing with poor health, one of the things that keeps me going is the thought of another title from you.


  6. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Wish Michael every success…


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