Happy New Year! Is it too late now to wish you that? After all, it is (at the time of writing) the 6th January and we’ve all now returned to work and school runs and the Christmas / New Year thing is just a distant memory and four extra pounds on the weighing-scales. Well, I’ve done it now, so the sentiment will have to stay. And it is a genuine one; I am very happy to see 2015 finally arrive and I’m sure it’ll be an exciting one. After all, it’s the year of my debut novel, and things don’t get much more exciting than that! Shortly after New Year, as the last residues of New Year’s Eve’s debauchery were leaving my system, I put a big fat dot on the final page of the final part of the final line edit of THE DAMNED, packaged it up and sent it back to the publishers for them to try and pick their way through my comments and dreadful handwriting. My work, fingers crossed, is now done on it. It’s been an epic project, started back in October 2012 and destined to see the light in May 2015. It is very nearly finished. And I am very proud of it too. But there’s been no time to sit back and enjoy the moment. I’ve also been putting the final touches to the short 10,000 word prequel, THE DARKEST HAND, which will be available to download for FREE from various online outlets in February. This introduces the main character, inquisitor Poldek Tacit, as we follow him on the eve of World War One trying to infiltrate the shadowy world of a planned political assassination which, if successful, might trigger dire consequences across the region and, perhaps even, Europe. It’s like a short sharp punch in the kidneys for the reader, whereas THE DAMNED is more like going 15 rounds with a heavyweight. But I hope you enjoy it when it’s available. We’re still agreeing on when exactly it’ll be available in February, the date as difficult to agree upon as a night out with a member of the Black Hand. But watch this space for details. I’m also waist deep in book two of the trilogy, THE FALLEN. I won’t say too much about it at the moment, as I don’t want to give away any plot (otherwise I might vanish at the hands of my publisher like soldiers do crossing No Man’s Land in THE DAMNED), but suffice to say it’s action packed, packs a punch and has shocks and surprises a plenty. I’m halfway through the first draft and very pleased with how it is evolving, despite the odd moment of despair. Last, but by no means least, I am finding myself popping up in all manner of unusual (and not so unusual) places in the press and at various events. So if you spot me, please do come up and say hello. It’s a strange and at times scary world I’m finding myself wandering into and it would be good to know my friends are still joining me on this exciting journey! Happy New Year! Hope to see you in February when Tacit stamps his large size fourteen boots down onto your life.