Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Madness Within by Steve Lyons – Advanced Review [Bane of Kings]

Madness-Within

Bane of Kings Reviews The Madness Within by Steve Lyons, an Audio Drama published by Black Library and read by John Banks.

“A Truly bitchin’ audio drama, awesome!” ~The Founding Fields

Black Library News – July 2011

Hey gang, CP here to bring you the comprehensive news on BL for this past month of July 2011.

Black Library News – July 2011

Sarah Cawkwell – Guest Article – "Time Management"

Hey folks, CP here to give you a new segment that will be occuring every once-and-a-while. I’ve politely asked some of my author friends to write some guest articles for TFF. Articles that specifically apply to their personal situations as authors. The first of these articles has been done by my dear friend Sarah Cawkwell, the “newest” to-be-published author for BL Publishing. Her book The Gildar Rift is sure to be a hum-dinger! I’ll provide a link at the bottom of the page where you can preorder it. without further adieu, Sarah Cawkwell on managing writing and still having a full-time 40hr a week job!

*****

The twenty-seven hour day isn’t a thing of mythology. It’s real. It’s here and it’s very much now. At least, when you work full time in a 40 hour a week job and also write part-time, it feels like it is. Every day is an action packed adventure in juggling deadlines and…
Who am I kidding? I am the best procrastinator I know. I’m so good at it, that I’m going to write the definitive guide. When I can be bothered.
As an author still so new to the writing world that my labels are still attached, there are frequently times when I actually take a step back and start to wonder exactly how it is that I can keep myself going. What we shall loosely call ‘the day job’ is pretty busy and there’s not a lot of room for taking a few minutes for navel contemplating. OK, there’s some room, but it’s rare. And when those lulls in the work aspect come up, you’re too grateful to get to the kitchen and make coffee to think of anything else.
So, people have started asking me: ‘how on earth did you manage to write a novel whilst working full time and having a full time family to boot’?
 
Well, here’s the core piece of evidence.
I am great at Time Management.
Actually, this is a lie. I’m shocking at Time Management. I used to train courses in the thing, so I have a great grasp of the principles. But I’m essentially lazy and so I make lists of lists. At the top of every list I’ve ever started is ‘make a to-do list’. I suspect that I have trapped myself in a recursive list loop. I am going to keep going round and round until the universe implodes with a sad little ‘pop’ sound.
In essence, it’s pretty straightforward. Here is a typical weekday in Sarah-land. When I break it down like this, it’s alarming just how much of a routine I generally have.
6.30am – Alarm clock goes off.
Between 6.30 and 7.30am – get up, washed, dressed, breakfasted and out the door.
7.35am – generally remember I’ve forgotten something, like my purse, phone or pass for the security lock and turn round to fetch it.
7.40am – leave for a second time.
8.00am – arrive at work, where I remain until between 3.30 and 4pm on a good day. On a Thursday, due to the fact I have the MEGA MEETING OF DOOM, this can sometimes see me staying at work until gone 6pm. But for the sake of this article, let’s assume I finish at 4pm.
4.30pm – Get home with great intentions of getting started on some writing. Turn on PC. Make cup of tea, get changed, sit down and go through the forum round up.
7.00pm – Realise that the Internet has sucked my soul dry and stolen nearly three hours of my day. Curse self roundly and shut down the Internet.
7.10pm – Actually do some writing. I set myself a sort of daily target, which is usually between 1,000 – 2,000 words (depending on the project), but I’ve learned very swiftly not to stress out if I don’t hit target. Some days I can write anything up to 3,000 words plus… whilst others, I struggle to get 500 out. I am blessed with the Sixth Sense that is Touch Typing and so I can type very, very fast. This article by this point, for example, is 544 words and I wrote that in less than ten minutes. You get the picture.
9.00pm – Assuming I have made above target, or have given up, I allow the resuming of the soul-sucking, almost invariably by World of Warcraft. I’ll just pop on for an hour, I will say to my family, who just about remember what I look like.
12.00am – Swear.
12.05am – Shut down PC and go to bed for it all to start over again the next day. 
 
Silliness aside, it’s actually not too hard to work writing into a full time job. I don’t want to have to do that, but at the moment, it’s a necessity rather than a choice. In what we shall joyfully refer to as ‘the ideal world’, I give up full time work and become a full time writer; sitting in a garret somewhere and staring out of the window in a pensive brood, contemplating the mysteries of life. Probably sipping on a chocamochafrappacinospresso or some other frothy poncy coffee or other.
As it is, all I do is prioritise. What’s really important in this is that I continue to enjoy myself. The moment the writing becomes a chore, I go and torment my family for a while until they’re begging me to go and write. (Note: I find it helps to maintain order if they can actually recall my face when I’m being cross at them).
It also helps that my PC does not have a room of its own and I’m around people whilst writing. This isn’t always a good thing, because it does lend itself to distractions – but at least I’m not isolated.
Yes, it’s a tough thing working full time and writing as well, but let’s look at another bit of evidence.
I want to do it.
Sounds simple and you know what? It really is that simple. I love my writing and I want to move to a place where I can make it the main source of income. I have too many responsibilities and financial commitments to make that leap at the moment, so I have to grin and bear it. See me grinning? Oh, wait, that’s my grimace.
It is hard to do. I won’t lie about it and there have been days when I’ve thought about giving up everything, selling my house, buying a giant mushroom and walking around underneath it like an umbrella until someone locks me up.
It is, however, easy to commit yourself to doing it. If you want to succeed, you will find a way to fit everything into the hours of your working day. But don’t let it rule your life. Never forget what’s important. Make time in your non-existent remaining time for the people you love. Otherwise, you may come home one day to find a child sat in your living room and politely ask them who they are.
‘I’m your son,’ he’ll reply, a little sadly.
‘Oops,’ you’ll respond and then go off to deal with the cats who, in the absence of being fed/loved have grown opposable thumbs and are building nuclear warheads in the back yard.
And that is how you fit writing around a full time job. Dedication, commitment, good time management and a healthy capacity to lie about it when people ask you how you manage it…
*****

And there we have it folks! Thanks again to my friend Sarah for putting this together for us. It has provided a nice insight into the daily life of a hard-working author! Thanks again Sarah. :o)

And to those of you who are interested in preordering her upcoming Space Marine Battle Novel from the Black Library, have a click on the cover picture below to be directed to where you can purchase it:

Robopocalyse by Daniel H. Wilson – Review [Bane of Kings]

Robopocalypse
Bane of Kings has written a short review of Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson, published by Simon and Schauster.

“An awesome, page-turning, edge-of-your-seat apocalyptic novel. Fantastic stuff, one of the best novels that I’ve read this year.”~The Founding Fields

Colin Hagreen wins The Overlords fiction competition

Our friends over at The Overlords Podcast held a fiction competition a little ways back. The winner has been chosen, and Colin Hagreen with his story “Discomfort” won. He did a wonderful job! You can read the winning entry over at his blog: http://thewulfweb.blogspot.com/2011/05/feeling-chuffed.html

Dagmire, from the podcast also recorded it and read it as an audio book sort of thing. It sounds really good! You can find the recording played on one of their latest podcasts. :)

CP

Battle of the Fang by Chris Wraight – Review by Lord of the Night

Lord of the Night reviews the latest addition to the Space Marines Battles series, the epic Battle of the Fang by Chris Wraight.

“Bjorn may be the hero of old, but he’s hardly the only hero here. When the Sons of Tizca lay siege to Fenris, heroes will be made and legends will be born.”
~The Founding Fields

It took me a while to finish reading the latest instalment of the Space Marines Battles series, which has to be one of the best ideas Black Library have ever had. Battle of the Fang is one of the best of the series, easily surpassing Hunt for Voldorius and Rynn’s World, whether it trumps Helsreach is another matter entirely but its definitely close. The Vlka Fenryka are quite fun to read, and even if I still don’t like them for Prospero I still enjoyed the novel.


Taunted by dreams of his rival, Great Wolf Harek “Ironhelm” draws the entire Rout together when Magnus the Red and the Thousand Sons are discovered on Gangava Prime. Leaving behind the 12th Great Company and its Jarl, the White Wolf Vaer Greyloc, the Rout makes its way towards Gangava with vengeance in their hearts. But when Fenris itself is sacked by the Thousand Sons Legion reborn Greyloc must utilize every weapon in their arsenal to defend against the hordes of sorcerous horrors that assault their walls. But something far more momentous is happening deep inside the Aett, and it will change the face of the galaxy forever.

This may be just a stand-alone novel but its definitely one of the better ones. I particularly enjoyed the chapters that focused on Wyrmblade and Blackwing, the Blood Claws Helfist and Redpelt were quite good too. I enjoyed the element of the last stand that is prevalent though this novel, a small force fighting against overwhelming odds and the potential that is still present in the 31st millennium. I enjoyed every moment with Magnus the Red enormously, especially his speech to the statue of Leman Russ and what he said to him, and the hints to where the Wolf King is now.

The novel features many characters in important roles like Vaer Greyloc, the White Wolf and 12th Jarl who believes in a future not rooted in tradition for the Rout. Wyrmblade, the chief Wolf Priest and master geneticist who is working on something that will forever alter the destiny of the Vlka Fenryka, and the galaxy at large. Redpelt and Helfist, two new Blood Claws in competition with each other as only the irreverent younglings can be. And Blackwing, the pilot and lone wolf of the chapter whose adventure was the most fun to read, at least for me.

And the Thousand Sons are not neglected either. The revenge seeking Aphael was a very interesting story, I was quite surprised at how it ended but I suppose it was necessary. Temehk was a much wiser character, one who cared little for revenge but rather looking to the future, but of course he’s a Corvidae. But Magnus the Red stole the show as he took his revenge on those who destroyed his home, Chris Wraight did a marvellous job writing about the Red Cyclops.

The action of the novel is breathtaking in its scale. The Rout face an enemy that outnumber them more than 100 to 1 and the battles show that very clearly, against constantly overwhelming odds the Wolves fight relentlessly and make the Sons pay for every inch in blood and lost souls. The differing battle styles of the Blood Claws, Grey Hunters and Wolf Guard make for very fun reading, roaring and howling Space Marines hacking off heads and taunting the enemy is just awesome after all.

The pacing was very good, I never felt rushed or slowed and the book moves along at a good speed, picking its moments to bring up the tension and action or to show the importance of what happens during this historic battle.

The ending was at the same time, inspiring and saddening. The Vlka Fenryka still have a future but the real question of this battle is which side lost more? The Thousand Sons or The Rout? But its inspiring to see the Wolves survive and know that they will keep surviving against the darkness and all its slaves.

I give Battle of the Fang an 8.5/10 for a grand story, characters whom I actually liked despite being the Space Wolves, and for a battle to rival Prospero in its sheer awesomeness. This is definitely one of the best Space Marines Battles novels, perhaps not as good as Helsreach but its definitely close to it.

Should you buy this book? The answer is yes. This is a must-read battle and contains a great story that will leave you amazed at how different the galaxy could have been if just a few things were different.

You can buy this book here, just click the picture below:


Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth – Review [Bane of Kings]

Blood Oath

Bane of Kings reviews Blood Oath, a novel in The President’s Vampire series, written by Christopher Farnsworth and published by Jove Publishers.

“Forget Twilight. This is how Vampires are meant to be portrayed.” ~The Founding Fields

Minor Spoiler Alert for the Following Review!

Warrior Priest Wins! (and) B&N.com Book Hosting

Hey there Black Library fans! Just an update for those of you who didn’t know, Darius Hinks has won the David Gemmel Morningstar Award for Best New Fantasy Author! Glory to Sigmar! His novel Sigvald was the one that pulled in the win. :) Congratulations Mr. Hinks!

Wait There’s MORE!!!

We’re also hosting our books through Barnes&Noble.com now, as opposed to Amazon.com.

This is an attempt to bring you better prices on your favorite Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and Angry Robot books. (as well as many others.) So without further ado, i’ll give you three links. So you can pick up The works of Darius Hinks and get one book free!!!

I’ll be there. Oh yes, i’ll be there…

Well folks, CP here to mention that i will be in attendance at the Games Workshop US Games Day. Here in Chicago in the waning days of July.  I shall be in attendance in my Founding Fields swag, so you wont miss me.  Most of my time will be spent at the Black Library booth (They’re the ones who’ve been kind enough to set a ticket aside for me, nice of them, isn’t it? I think so!) where i’ll be chatting with the authors and other heads of state. So please! Stop by and say hi, i always love to see fans and readers from the site! And get some books signed, of course. lol

Sigvald by Darius Hinks – Advanced Review [Bane of Kings]

Sigvald

Bane of Kings reviews Sigvald, a novel in the multi-author Warhammer Heroes series, written by Darius Hinks and published by Black Library.

“Another amazingly well-written instalment in the Warhammer Heroes Series.” ~The Founding Fields

 Note: This is an advanced review for Black Library. This novel will not be available until July 2011.