All the news that’s fit to print! 

So, sorry it’s been a while. I’ve been battling a number of health issues lately that have sort of sidelined me.

First up, was a kidney infection which knocked me sideways for a couple of weeks, but that was just the pre-cursor. It was swiftly followed up by a nasty kidney stone that took its sweet time moving through my system and left me feeling dreadful!

Once that was gone, I thought I was free and clear…until I ended up with a nasty case of gout in my right foot. And now, on top of that, I’m suffering from this weird insomnia bug that’s got me waking up at 4am every morning and leading to evenings where I’m ready to hit the hay at about 8pm.

So yeah, it’s been a hellish ride lately. Suffice to say my writing has suffered horribly.

Still, there is news to report so here goes!

Okay, so let’s get this out of the way first.

In September I celebrated my 50th birthday. Yup.  The big Five-Oh!

I don’t do big events or anything, I’m not that kind of person, but Wifey did organize a wonderful afternoon for me and my friends to do an escape room, and then we had food and games in the evening. I loved it. It was the perfect low-key birthday for me.

Right then, on with the actual news!

So, Hunters has been out since March and sales have slowed. Which is only natural I guess. I’m hoping I’ll see an uptick again when I release Blood to Earth as some people might be inspired to buy both books.

It’s also probably due to the fact that with my health problems lately I’ve been FAR less active on social media and promoting the book. I really need to get back to it, but what little energy I’ve had lately has been devoted elsewhere.

Not much more to report on Hunters… but a little more going on with its sequel…

Okay, so Blood to Earth is finished.

It’s currently just completing its final edit phase. Nikki has been running through it with a fine-tooth comb and then all I need to do is fix the issues she finds and then we’re pretty much good to go.

I got a couple or proof copies so I could see how it reads and look at how the covers set up looks, and I’m loving it. There’s a couple of tweaks to make to the cover art and to the logo placement, but on the whole it’s looking great. I should have a release date to announce shortly.

I’ve added a few more bits in.

At the behest of a couple of the Beta Readers, I’ve now included a brief ‘catch-up’ at the start of the book to bring people up to speed on what happened in Hunters. Just as a reminder as it’s quite a complex book.

I’ve also added in a list of the main characters and a little about them. I’ve seen this in other books, and thought it was a good idea, so in it goes.

AND the wonderful Marlena (my fantastic artist on the books!) has provided for me a map of the world, which I can put in the front of the books to help people understand the geography of my new world.
It is a work of art!

Here’s a little sample of it, but if you head on over to the Songbird > The New World area of this website, then you’ll find the full EMBIGGENED version in all its glory.

If it looks a bit weird to you, then that’s because it’s an AUTHAGRAPH map rather than the MERCATOR projection that everyone’s used to.

Why did I pick AuthaGraph? Well because it’s more accurate than the Mercator map we’re used to. The Mercator projection is an inherently flawed design. It exaggerates the size of countries closest to the poles while depicting size most faithfully at the equator. The AuthaGraph, despite its unusual and frankly unfamiliar look, avoids this issue and may just be the most accurate world map ever created…so far at least. It was created by Japanese artist and architect Hajime Narukawa. He won the Good Design Grand award in 2016 for it.
Basically, the AuthaGraph is made by equally dividing the spherical surface of the Earth into 96 triangles, transferring it to a tetrahedron while maintaining area proportions better than the Mercator projection. The tetrahedron is then unfolded into a rectangle.

(If you want to know more, click on this link: Find out more about AuthaGraphs )

Anyway, as the Songbird timeline is set in the year 2045, I figured a more accurate map would be the go-to by then.

As for the rest of Blood to Earth, Marlena is also making a couple of tweaks to the book covers to bring the color-schemes more in line. i.e. adhere to the rainbow theme more cleanly. I’ve also done the preliminary formatting and I ordered a couple of proof copies…

By the way, don’t put too much stock into the pictures above. As I mentioned, the art is being tweaked and the logos are changing a little, and the blurb has yet to be put on the back…

…But it gives an idea of how it’s going to look! And it’s VERY exciting!!

A release date should be coming imminently!! Stay tuned!


I haven’t done a whole lot on Tooth & Claw lately.

It’s about halfway done, but after all the time I’ve spent on Blood to Earth lately, I’m really in need of a bit of a palate cleanser. I need a little time away from the Songbird universe to refresh my head about it.

Which brings me to…

Okay, so I’m not going to update you here…I’ll do a proper post for it soon. But in brief…

In some ways this is where it all started. Writing stories based on the ‘City of Heroes’ game that I used to play, was my way into writing. It also formed something of a basis for the Songbird universe.

It’s very close to being done in it’s first draft form. Only a few thousand more words to write!

It’s a shorter and snappier book that any of the Songbird books, weighing in at – hopefully – around 75k words. Like the Songbird books, it is a multicharacter narrative where we will meet a bunch of heroes brought together in Chicago to fight off an alien invasion, Independence Day style! 

I’ve got Marlena on the hook for the logos, creature design, and the cover art. She’s excelling herself as usual.

Anyway, I’m tentatively hoping to get this one ready for release around Christmas/New Year (though Nikki will probably kick my ass for trying for that!) and then I’ll get stuck back into Tooth and Claw.

In other news…

Some of my time has been spent over the past month or so, doing some line edits on Nikki’s new book.

For those of you who don’t know, Nikki writes books under the name NT Anderson. Her first book is part one of a three part romance arc called the ‘Acts of’ series.

The first book is called ‘Acts of Closure’ and was out in February of this year. Now I don’t usually read erotic-romance, but – as I was helping out with the story development/flow and edits, I had to read it. LOL – I did read it all and I really enjoyed it.

It’s the story of a woman called Nat, who had an online dalliance with a man called J a decade earlier. It was a kind of anonymous email/messaging thing, but they never met face to face. Ten years on, Nat wonders about what could have been and decides to look him up.

Well, the book did really well and now Book 2 of the series is almost done. It’s called ‘Acts of Confession’ and is shaping up to be just as awesome as book 1.

I’m not sure about the release date just yet, but it’s not far away.  In the meantime, go and buy ‘Closure’. You won’t regret it.  

Also, in case you missed them (and I know I’ve been rubbish in updating lately!) here’s the last few updates for you to go read…

A funny look at crime in Los Santos

An interview with the fantastic EG Radcliff as we do a deep dive on her book ‘The Hidden King’

An interview with the amazing Emmy R Bennett as we dove deeply into her book ‘Eyes of Wynter’

An interview with my the sublimely talented artist who paints my covers, Marlena Mozgawa


That’s all for this week. Until next time folks…

Love & Books

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7 Comments

  1. Huxley

    Reply

    I wish you a belated happy birthday, Jon! I’m sorry to hear that you were ill, but it’s good you’re on the mend. I’m looking forward to reading Songbirds and can’t wait to see what awaits your colorful cast of characters.

  2. Jim Hall

    Reply

    I believe your choice of a map depicting the world 25 years from now was a brilliant choice. That new map looks vastly different than what we are all used to. A quick look at it conjures up an image of a “new” world, and fits in well with a slightly futuristic story.

    I looked at the map myself, and it presents the world in a totally different way.

    Great job!

    • Jon Ford

      Reply

      Well, the geography is the same, but the national breakdowns are different.
      When I read the article about the creation of a new MORE ACCURATE world map, the AuthaGraph, I knew that I had to have it in the book. If I’m 25 years into the future, then surely the world WOULD use a more accurate representation of our globe.
      So that’s what I went with.
      Marlena KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK! Again! 😀

  3. Jim Hall

    Reply

    Well, whoever decided it was a good idea was right. I’m a bit of a map nerd so this is pretty interesting to me. I might have spent more time reading the maps in The Lord Of The Rings than the story itself. LOL

    • Jon Ford

      Reply

      I’d been considering it for a while, even drew my own version (which looked awful! LOL), but when one of my beta-readers asked about it, I decided to get one done. Marlena did a wonderful job.

  4. Sean

    Reply

    I love the map, but I’m a map need too. Congrats on finishing the second book. I hope that people will be interested and buy both books at once.

    • Jon Ford

      Reply

      Here’s hoping! I just want people to buy, read, and love the whole series! That’s the dream!

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