This is the first of the ‘update’ posts which I’ll put up on the website from time to time. Though they’ll appear in the Blogs area, these will just be smaller posts keeping you abreast of my progress so far with the books I’m writing.

So, here goes.

Editing proceeds apace on Book 1 ‘Hunters‘.

With the help of Nikki (@Nikki_Twisted on Twitter ) who is going through doing a line edit on the current draft. We’re slowly knocking it into the final (or pretty much final!) shape.

Hunters‘ is currently sitting at Edit 21, so this would be Edit 22.

After that, it’ll be a final read through to make sure it all hangs together coherently. That would be Edit 23, which I’d hope would be the last one.

Up until now, the book has been through my wife’s first edits, and my friends Sarah, Chell, and Andy. It’s rounding into really good shape, so I’m very much hoping they enjoy it!

P.S. If you’re reading this and fancy being a beta-reader too, then let me know. 🙂 The more the merrier!

Meanwhile, the writing of ‘Blood to Earth (Book 2 in the series) is going well.

Tonight I hit 86,442 words and have now completed the rough draft for 40 of the 92 chapters. A further 10 chapters are in an incomplete state.

In other words…I’m over halfway! YAY!

I’m excited about Book 2 because it builds off the first book in interesting ways that hopefully the reader won’t see coming.

In other News…

I’ve been pulling together the flashback chapters that I originally wrote in Book 1 and am putting them into a separate little short story.

These are going to be entitled ‘The 137th Hunters Mission Logs.’

Originally, every tenth chapter or so in ‘Hunters’, I had these flashback chapters that told the tale of some of the missions that Gayle’s original team went on.

They were supposed to provide you, the reader, with a kind of backstory. A look at the person Gayle used to be and a reference into the team she talks about and grieves, hopefully so that you, the reader, was more empathic to her feelings.

When push came to shove, however, there were about 24,000 words that I didn’t need. They didn’t move the story along, or provide anything useful other than back story. So I yanked them out.

I’m in the process of doing a quick and dirty edit on them, and then I’ll throw them up on the website so you can all get a taster of what is to come in the Songbird series.

I’ll keep you posted as to when I put them up here for your reading pleasure!

On a Personal Note…


It’s been a REALLY rough week personally speaking.

We’ve had some medical drama in the family (which has taken me a while to wrap my head around with Wifey’s support), my bank account was defrauded (due to someone hacking my Blizzard game account), my Facebook and Instagram hacked, a tyre blew out on my car, someone bought a new car and registered it at our address, and our central heating boiler has sprung a leak!

So… I’m sorry I haven’t been on top of my game with the Blog this week.

I do have one prepped for next week, but this week the adorably wonderful Nikki has stepped in to do another guest blog!

Thanks SOOOOOO much, Nik! I don’t know what I’d do without you. x

Normal service will resume shortly – I hope!

Love & Books

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  1. Flashyf

    Hi Jon, I have just been reading the first books of “Songbird” here on your website.
    I like the way you include a summary of the characters, and even artwork. I think the reader gets to know them better this way. Would you include this in an actual paperback/hardback, or is it just for website purposes?

    • Jon Ford

      Thanks Flashy! 😀

      I always wanted to have a place to share all my background bits and bobs. I feel like I’m on a journey and I want to share everything about that journey. From my ups and downs, to the things that inspired me, and the people that helped along the way.

      If Songbird ever becamse a big thing, I’d LOVE to be able to publish a sort of coffee-table book with all the source stuff in it. That would be amazing! Or maybe I could put some of this stuff in as an addendum to the books themselves. Who knows? The world is my oyster in that respect. 🙂

  2. Suese

    What a tough time you’ve been having! I hope things get better and stay that way.

    So I’m confused, I love the idea of the flashback chapters. Are you or aren’t you including them in the actual books? You state that you pulled them out.

    It sounds like you’ve got a great start to book #2. Here’s hoping that you’re almost done editing book 1!

    • Jon Ford

      Hi Suese,

      Here’s the story…

      When I first started writing Hunters, the prologue was a flashback scene that showed Gayle Knightley’s very first day at the Academy and how she met her future team. The first real chapter then had Gayle walking through London, a very different woman. Bitter and angry, mourning the loss of those characters that you met in the Prologue. It was originally there to give you, the reader, a little mystery (i.e. what happened to those characters?) and to provide some backstory.

      As the book went on, every tenth chapter or so was a flashback chapter which gave you a kind of parallel story about the Hunters as they were 10 years ago. I was going to carry this on into book 2, where you’d finally find out what happened to them.

      The problem was… The irst draft of Hunters came out at 240K words. To put that into context, that’s not far off the size of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! (which was 257k). Way too big for a first time author’s first book.

      And it was a bloated book too.

      When I came to edit it, I had a rough target of around 140k words to get down to. Realistically the onely way to get down to target was to cull out full chapters of the book. Those flashback chapters ALONE were about 30k words alone. They also didn’t really add anything of value to the story, except to flesh out Gayle’s past and why she was so broken, but I figured I could do that in other ways. So the Flashbacks got yanked.

      I wasn’t ready to consign them to the trash though. So I’ve been doing a little rewrite and a little edit here and there, with the plan of putting them up on the website. And then, further down the line, I think I’d like to get them published too as companion books.

      AND… that’s not all.

      The first couple of books at least, take place at the HFA Academy (that’s the Human Fae Alliance) where Gayle reluctantly takes a teaching role to mentor the new up and coming youngsters that will take the place of her team. These are kids in their teens, just learning their powers. I also have plans to spin these characters off into a YA series of books. Sort of like Harry Potter crossed with the X-Men.

      These books will go under the moniker of ‘Young Hunters’, and will also consist of some bits and bobs taken from the original Hunters manuscript.

      So there you go. 🙂

      Hope that answers your question!

      • Suese

        Thank you Jon! That did answer my question. I still love the thought of the flashbacks! It’s always great to read why someone or something is the way it is. I think the idea of publishing them after makes sense too. I also love the young hunters idea! It really sounds like you’ve got all your ideas together!

        • Jon Ford

          I certainly hope so!

          I have a grand scheme. Bringing that scheme to fruition… well that’s the REALLY tricky part!

  3. Flashyf

    Hi there! I have just read “The Femme Fatales” and in the chapter “The Dig” I read this –

    “Once the truck stopped, the Command Centre would activate the ICR’s which would gracefully off the flatbeds, move to the staging area and start re-stacking.”
    I just wondered if this was intentional. I know it is only a first draft.
    Anyway, I hope you do get to finish “The Femmes Fatales.” It is a the online equivalent to a page turner!

    • Jon Ford

      Well spotted! It was a deliberate mistake… 😉

      But honestly, yeah that’s a mistake, I’ll nip in and fix it. The Femme Fatales story was only ever fan fiction I wrote about 15 years ago, I’ve been kind of tidying it up a little to put up as website content.
      Glad you’re enjoying it. 😀

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