Wednesday 7 July 2021

IWSG July 2021

 It's the first Wednesday of the month and of course that means it's time for another round of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Hosted as ever by the erstwhile Alex J. Cavanaugh, and co-hosted this month by Pat GarciaVictoria Marie LeesChemist Ken and Louise - Fundy Blue, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers of all kinds can air fears and insecurities without fear of being judged.

Let's have a look at this month's optional IWSG question, quite a dramatic one: 

What would make you quit writing?

I could only think of three circumstances under which this eventuality would come about: 1) if I died, 2) if I suffered from an extremely debilitating condition such as dementia, or 3) if I found myself in the position of providing 24/7 care to a loved one with such a condition. Otherwise, I can't think of a good reason to stop. It's the only thing in life I can really control and is something I can always rely on to sustain me, no matter how insane the world gets - and that's been thrown into sharp relief over the last 18 months or so. So no, not planning to stop unless I run into one of the dire outcomes mentioned above. I accept the first one will have to happen at some point, but hopefully the other two don't.

While I'm here, I probably should provide an update on what I've been up to. I'm at a completion phase on two WIPs, tying up loose ends - which is great, and exciting in lots of ways, but of course always comes with looming insecurity with the idea of how they might be received as I start to nudge them out into the daylight. The first of these is a standalone YA story that has already been out with CPs. At that point it came in at a slim 50k, but based on their suggestions, I have greatly expanded the denouement and added much-needed worldbuilding details to bring it up to a much more healthy 70k. It'll be going back out to them soon. The other book is the final part of my trilogy, which has taken a bit longer than I planned - the second part came out back in 2019 - but here again the ending took quite a bit of work to get it right. This is also still at first-draft stage, so I don't see it coming out before early 2022. A bit of work still to do there, but it'll be nice to get this series done and dusted.

All told, I can't ever see myself without a project or two on the go. I'm interested to see how others answer this question. Check out other IWSG entries here.

Tuesday 6 July 2021

Blood Red Sand release day

Today I'm helping celebrate the release of what looks like a really exciting book by Damien Larkin. Check it out...

Blood Red Sand

By Damien Larkin


Mars will run red with Nazi blood…


After World War Two, Sergeant McCabe knew the British army could send him anywhere. He never imagined facing down another Nazi threat on Mars.


In New Berlin colony, rivalry between Generalfeldmarschall Seidel’s Wehrmacht and Reichsführer Wagner’s SS threatens bloodshed. The Reichsführer will sacrifice everything to initiate the secretive Hollow Programme and realise his nightmarish future for humanity.


McCabe, Private Jenkins, and the Mars Expeditionary Force must overcome bullet, bomb, and bayonet to destroy the Third Reich. While Jenkins fights to stay alive, McCabe forms an uneasy alliance with MAJESTIC-12 operatives known as the Black Visors. Will this be the final battle of World War Two or the first confrontation in an interstellar war?


Release date – July 6, 2021

$17.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 252 pages

Science Fiction - Military/Alternative History/War & Military

Print ISBN 9781939844781 / EBook ISBN 9781939844798

$4.99 EBook available in all formats


“Brilliant follow up to Big Red.” – Tripp Ainsworth, author


“I’m awed by Damien Larkin’s imagination… So truly Heinlein.” – Phil Parker, author


“Blood Red Sand is top class military sci-fi with plenty of heart pounding action sequences, excellent characterisation and a growing sense of mystery that readers will crave to uncover.” – Book Nest


Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was longlisted for the BSFA award for Best Novel. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland.