At last I’ve got the historical characters almost sorted.


As I’m now on the home stretch when it comes to the historical side of my current WIP Autumn 1066, I now have nearly all of the actual historical characters sorted. There may be one or two minor ones I’ve missed. Only further research on my part will determine that.

The whole story has led to one specific date in the history of my homeland, England. That date is October the fourteenth 1066, and the battle that determined our fate as a nation for many centuries afterwards. As I’ve mentioned previously (that’s if you have been bothering to read my past updates) it actually occurred seven miles northwest of the coastal town. Even so it is still referred to quite incorrectly by historians as the Battle of Hastings.

When I downed tools yesterday morning I had begun to assemble the players on both sides, led by Harold and William respectively, on the site in Sussex where it took place nine hundred and fifty-one years ago. This morning I begin writing about the battle itself, after I’ve posted this for you to read that is…

But what about your fictional characters, I hear the more inquisitive among you ask? You’ll just have to be patient won’t you. In other words wait until you get to read it for yourselves, when I publish it as a paperback.

Am I having fun with this one? Duh – what do you think? Of course I am. I can’t wait to begin the fictional side of the story. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

More later


The Third Edition


My old friend Globular Van der Graff


For those of you who have been reading, and hopefully enjoying, the timeless tales I have been selecting from Glob’s anthology I have some welcome news.

For a long time now I have been meaning to create a paperback version of Goblin Tales for the few stick in the muds who still prefer a physical book, particularly those of you living here in the UK where the preference for paper still persists more so than anywhere else.

Well, you’re in luck. I’ve temporarily put aside my current book research project to begin preparing the tales to do just that.

Will the 3rd edition exclude ‘Goblin Speak‘ for those who place it in the too hard basket? Absolutely not! I promised Glob that I would leave any and all conversations involving him, Bejuss, Neo, Byz, Make and Mous in their own vernacular. Neither will I dumb it down from British English. This is an anthology set in ancient Britain, not North America. Nor will I change the way the lads behave simply to conform to the commonly held misconception that all goblins are bad!


To remind all of you, here is the description of all five goblin brothers and Bejuss. The more observant among you will see slight differences from the original:

All southern wood goblins have green leathery skin of differing hues to blend in with their surroundings and are very short in stature – normally no more than three feet tall. Their ears are pointed and broad. Their mouths contain sharp pointed teeth. They all wear felt jerkins, and willow bark boots stuffed with dry grass for warmth. In winter they wear squirrel fur mittens to keep their bony hands warm. Their eyes are normally chestnut brown. But when enraged, they turn blood red. None of them look old, despite their great age.

Glob is the oldest of the goblin brothers and their leader. He is slim, long suffering, dependable and worldly wise. His favourite pastime is fishing.

Byz is the youngest at barely five hundred summers, and the skinniest. Put simply he is a gentle idiot. His face has that look all simpletons have. He is apt to wander off if not tethered to his bed or to one or other of his brothers. Easily distracted, Byz plays beautiful music on his reed pipes and loves playing with spiders and all other kinds of creepy crawlies under his bed.

Mous is the accident prone member of the household and plump due to his love of honeycomb. His speech impediment forces him to substitute z for s when he speaks. Prone to sulking, he is the unofficial cook in the household. He often has bitter arguments with his best friend Make.

Make is the pipe smoking, laid back, fat and jolly member of the household. Normally content with his lot, not much fazes him. Make loves honeysuckle flavoured tobacco. His most prized possession is his briar pipe, or as he refers to it, his bestest briar pipe. Often, despite Mous being his best friend in the whole world, and often the butt of his jokes, from time to time he does accuse poor Mous of stealing his possessions when he mislays them.

Neo is the upright, no nonsense member of the household with a tendency to explode when angered, who does not tolerate foolish behaviour. Severely cross eyed, extremely bad tempered, and wiry, he makes an excellent mead and is responsible for manufacturing their willow bark boots, neatly sewing them together using a bodkin, and thread made from the best spider silk, despite his crossed eyes. When the chips are down, Neo is the one who will always guard your back. While he barely tolerates most kinds, he absolutely loves the old mare Miranda and the humin child Ylesse.

Bejuss is a one eyed, battle scarred, old lisping raven with a twisted beak and tatty feathers, who is absolutely devoted to Glob. His favourite pastime is pecking simple minded Byz who he can barely tolerate. His beak is partially twisted, resembling an old piece of rope. It happened when his mother accidentally stood on him just after he hatched from his egg. He later lost one eye on a twig sticking out of the inside of the nest, during a scrap for food with his brothers and sisters when he was a chick.


The Time Before Map

Here is the introduction:

For far too long in my humble opinion, your average southern wood goblin, or any goblin come to that, has been much maligned. Far from being the loathsome evil creatures portrayed in fairy tales by human authors like the Grimm brothers to frighten children in centuries past, with one or two exceptions they are entirely friendly. I have got to know the author of these tales – Globular Van der Graff, or Glob as he likes to be called, really well. I am of the firm belief that on the whole they are entirely misunderstood creatures.

In a time long past before humans began inhabiting the world; there was a magical land hidden away from prying eyes in the northern hemisphere. It was called Goblindom. It remained hidden behind a magical barrier when humanity first appeared. In those early times Goblindom fought the humans and won. But as the ranks of humans inevitably increased in number, and began to destroy every living thing they deemed inferior, Goblindom’s inhabitants retreated behind their magical barrier to prevent any further contact.

One of Goblindom’s kinds, the humins, who were the predecessors of humanity, treated all goblins abominably when they first discovered each other, two thousand summers before this anthology begins. But after that unfortunate meeting, both lived side by side in peace ever afterwards, keeping a weather eye on the warlike cousins of the humins living beyond the barrier.

The five wood goblins I met one day several years ago in a glade not far from here in the English county of Suffolk, when I was having a snooze in the afternoon sunshine, have existed till now, hidden away from humanity since those days thousands of years ago. They are Globular Van der Graff (Glob), Makepeace Terranova (Make), Byzantine Du Lac (Byz), Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous) and finally, curmudgeonly old Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo). They continue to inhabit the most remote forests living side by side with all other woodland inhabitants, hiding away from my kind humanity.

These friendly little beings seem to have taken over my life in one way or another. At their insistence I began to write down what Glob dictated to me. He would often wake me in the dead of night by standing on my chest, raring to tell me of yet another adventure or some mishap or other that had befallen him or one of his brothers. Why he chose me for the task of translating and recording his tales, I still don’t know. Needless to say I am honoured to do so. It is not every day that a lowly human is given such an opportunity.

I have created for you an eyewitness history of their world which they shared with our forebears the humins, along with wizards of both black and white persuasions, griffins, wyverns, mountain gremlins, ogre’s, elves, trolls, dragons, the odd witch or two and an assorted collection of animals and birds. Among the many you will meet as you read Glob’s tales, is a singularly engaging character, a one eyed lisping raven named Bejuss.

At Glob’s insistence I have also left the conversations between the characters in their own peculiar ancient vernacular rather than modern day English. When Goblindom existed all the many kinds who lived within its borders spoke the same language.

This anthology is a snapshot of their lives, adventures and misadventures. I hope that when you read it, you will look kindly on these tiny woodland individuals in the future, should they choose to visit you.


PS – while there will be no individual illustrations for each tale, there will be a family portrait, thanks to my good friend Duncan Niall Boswell pictured below agreeing to give it a go after I had suggested it to him. Duncan is the one responsible for the fantastic Goblindom map above.


PPS – currently the word count stands at 84,782. It should pass 85,000 and beyond before much longer…

More later…


Well, Its Hyperlink Time

CELESTE cover 8,5 x 11

As I draw nearer to completing Céleste, now is the time to begin inserting the hyperlinks necessary for the e-book version. What do I mean by that? As it will be in preorder mode for maybe a week or ten days prior to its publishing date, you will still be able to take a look at the first few pages using Amazon’s Look Inside feature. The first hyperlinks you will come across are on the second page. They consist of two pre-publication reviews by two fellow science fiction writers. I will also be adding them to Céleste’s blurb on Amazon, minus the hyperlinks. After you have read what they have to say, by clicking on their hyperlinked names in the e-book, you will be taken directly to books by them I deem to be their best. I’ve done this in grateful thanks for their involvement in Céleste’s journey from idea to end product.

The other hyperlinks you will find are on page three, consisting of chapter headings. By simply clicking on the relevant chapter you can go straight to it, once you have bought your copy.

As for Céleste’s e-book price, I’m still thinking about that. One thing is certain, it won’t be any more than my usual US$2.99. Both of my fellow authors, Nicholas Rossis and Derek Haines, agree that I’ve cracked it once again with this science fiction romance. Its success or failure all depends on whether or not the reading public agrees with what they had to say in their pre-publication reviews…

More later folks,



A New Science Fiction Story Begins


Well, I’ve started thinking about my next Scifi WIP. At the moment it has no title. That will occur to me much later as the story gradually unfolds. So far all I have is the vague preamble below.


      There was a time when mankind’s only means of exploring the Universe meant either sending unmanned probes to various locations across our solar system, or exploring beyond its borders by using powerful telescopes, parked in stationary orbit above the Earth and dotted across the planet. That all changed in the twenty-second century when fusion propulsion became a reality, and a way of keeping a human being alive for the duration of any flight, further than the inner limits of our solar system, was finally worked out.


Out of those few words will come the story itself. How it starts, where it goes, who and how many characters are involved, only time will tell. But one thing I can definitely say is that one of them will have a hidden agenda, which means that the story will, in all likelihood, be dark. Developing he/she or it and their reasoning is the fun part for me.

When will I publish? Next year.

Will it be an eBook or a paperback? Both.

Will it be published using Amazon exclusively? Definitely not! With this one I’ll be publishing the eBook version via Smashwords, and the paperback version via CreateSpace. But all of that is many, many months away.

Will I be asking Chris The Story Reading Ape to come up with an eye catching cover? Yes, but much later on.

Well that’s all for now. From time to time I’ll be publishing progress reports here on my blog.

Spot you later,

Jack  😀

Another Teaser For You


As many of my faithful blog followers and readers already know, I’m currently writing my latest work in progress, a science fiction novella, entitled The Guardian. While I am thinking about what will happen next in the story, I’m constantly doing rewrites, polishing what I’ve come up with so far. While many writers, especially those new ones hoping to break into this tough game we all play, don’t do it, this technique is by far my preferred way of working these days, as slow as it undoubtedly is.

At long last I can say that I’m satisfied with two parts of the future package, the cover shown above, and the hook to entice potential readers. So, here for your delectation is the hook that will appear along with the novella once I’ve published it (eBook only) on Amazon, later this year. Let me know what you think.


Combine the mysterious disappearance of not one, but two groups of technicians in a remote Olivine mine situated in the Ganges Chasma on Mars, during the twenty-second century, together with two illusive sinister characters, plus a scorching love affair between the hero and a member of his team, and what have you got? I’ll tell you – a tale you know you must read.


More later


Of Goblins and Other Things

What's next on the agenda?

Obadiah Fingletook, the Grand High Goblin

This is the second progress report on the state of play with the new version of Glob’s Tales. I have just finished re-doing the eighteenth tale “I Want To Go Home”. That leaves just twelve more to go. Producing an up to date version of any book, means a lot of re-editing and some sentence reconstruction.

Since I brought Glob’s tales to everyone’s attention in my recent blog post on the thirteenth of this month,,  I can now announce that its sales have improved immensely. Thank you to all who have bought a copy, via Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon Canada.

As for my latest novella Cataclysm, apart from the number given away during the three day promotion, its sales are also climbing via Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Once again, thank you to one and all.

PS – At long last CreateSpace has stopped bickering over the technicalities of setting up Cataclysm to become a paperback. I am now waiting for the proof copy. If it meets my standards, it will soon be available for purchase alongside its eBook cousin.

😀 😀 😀

Update Progress Report

I’m happy to report that the Glob’s Tales update is progressing very nicely. So far I’ve worked my way through the first twelve of the thirty interelated short stories. That leaves eighteen more to go. Thirty short stories may not sound like much, but the word count is 84,374 making the anthology novel length. No pressure then. I’d better get back to it. LOL. 😉

Since I found out the other day that Amazon will not be automatically updating all of the existing eBook copies out there, due to their never having considered introducing the service, once this new edition is ready, what I propose to do instead is to make it available either as a totally free .pdf file, or a free Kindle .mobi file via this blog. Whether or not I can add it to a post like this I don’t know. I’ll have to experiment. Maybe Chris The Story Reading Ape knows how to go about it? Here’s hoping he does. So Goblindom fans, if you want your free copy of the adventures of Glob, Bejuss, Neo, Byz, Make and Mous, watch this space over the next week or two.

There is another reason why I’m doing this. It’s to reaquaint myself with the gang and Goblindom itself. This may give you a clue as to why:

The Time Before Cover

It is the cover featuring the Goblin Queen – Persephone Witchclaw, that Chris made for the prequal to Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (click on it to see it properly). So you see I’m not merely updating Glob’s tales, I’m also doing my homework in order to write The Time Before at sometime in the near future.

PS – I’ll upload the update to KDP later, much later…

😀 😀