The Next Stage; 100! (Bonus Entry)

It’s been a little under two months since The Next Stage released in Kindle and paperback form. Today it an amazing milestone.

It now has over 100 ratings on Goodreads, and every single damn one of them is ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It has now overtaken Creatures with number of reviews and rating average.

This, to me, is a huge thing to happen and something that I never even thought would happen. When it 50 reviews and they were all ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I thought that was amazing, but hitting 100 is phenomenal.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I had started work on the second book in the series. I’ve done an outline, and I’ve already started writing -so far I’m up to just over 4000 words, so it’s slowly getting up steam. I think I’ve for a pretty solid story so I’m hoping it’ll follow in the footsteps of the first one and be something that readers enjoy.

Below are all the places you can pick up a copy for yourself along with the Goodreads page.


Google Books

Apple Books




Thank you to all who have bought it so far, especially those that have reviewed it. I hope many more people will enjoy it.

5 Stars! (Bonus Blog)

I just wanted to thank everyone who has so far read The Next Stage. Especially those that have rated it on Goodreads. It now stands at an average of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ with 50 ratings. I can’t believe that it has gone down this well with people and you’re actually enjoying it.

If you haven’t yet read it, you can find everywhere where it’s available over on the books page of this blog.

By way of celebration of this I’m making it available for free on Kindle on Friday 11th December. If you would like it sooner on Google or Apple Books, let me know, and I’ll send you a promo code.

Thank you again. It gives me more motivation to continue with writing.

Welcome to Another Week

I’ll start the week with some good news that made me happy this morning.

I woke up to my first review for The Next Stage on Goodreads, and what made it even better was that it was a 5-star review. It means so much that even just one person has read and enjoyed what I’ve written and to get that rating is just…wow.

Since then I’ve had another 2 reviews, both 5-stars. So at the moment, it stands at the highest average it can get.

I am honestly beyond chuffed with these reactions to a book I put so much into.

Today, I’m continuing to work on It’s All in the Eyes. So far I’m at a total of just over 20,000 words and the story is really coming along.

While I write, I do bits and pieces of research on various things when the plot requires it. I can’t do any before because I just write and see where my brain takes it, and so far it’s taking it to some interesting places.

I have no idea when this book will be finished and out, but as I’m getting more confident in what I’m doing I feel like it won’t take as long as The Next Stage.

I’ll continue my updates and maybe even give out a few teasers when I feel like I’m ready to.

In the meantime grab a copy of The Next Stage and let me know what you think.

It’s All in the Eyes

It’s been a long week in an exceptionally long year.

Writing has this week saved my brain from having a meltdown.

My new project-and hopefully next book-is called It’s All in the Eyes. I don’t want to give away too much at this stage, but it’s turning out to be a sci-fi/horror story. It’s set in England, mainly around Manchester, and it follows a pair of mycologists discovered a new fungus that’s spores have an-I’ll say-adverse effect-on those that breath them in.

Like Creatures before it, this story is based off a dream. One that I had probably nearly 20 years ago, which has stuck with me ever since. On multiple occasions, I’ve tried to write it, but it just never worked. But now, with two books under my belt, I feel a lot more confident that I can do this story justice.

I’m so far just over 16000 words in, and it’s flowing really well. At this point, I’m not sure how long it will be, I’m just going to see where it goes. Hopefully, it will turn out alright, and if I do release it, people will enjoy it.

As I carry on with this here is a friendly reminder that my new book, The Next Stage is now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback format.

The Aftermath

On Monday, I finally released The Next Stage into the world.

The Next Stage is now available on Amazon to buy and on Kindle Unlimited. (Click image to go there now)

Since then I’ve been taking this week to play some games, watch some stuff and generally relax. I’ve tried not to think about writing for a few days, but I’ve failed and have had ideas continually bouncing around my head. I’m taking this as a sign that writing is something that I should keep doing.

Over the years, I’ve tried many creative pursuits. From my ill-fated t-shirt shop, to Todd the Zombie, and now my writing. But I find writing easier to stick with and easier to come up with ideas for. I feel like if I stick at it, I will only improve.

My main challenge at the moment is getting my books out there and visible to people. At the moment my primary advertising is done through my Twitter (GaxTZ), but I’m hoping that this blog will also serve to show people what I’m doing and how to find my books when they become available. Along with these two things, I’m looking into other resources I can use. At the moment I don’t have much free money, so I can’t really pay for advertising on Amazon to a scale that it would be helpful to sales.

This week I’ve done a free promotion on Creatures hoping that people will take a look at The Next Stage while or after they read that. So I guess we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, that’s enough of a ramble for now. As of next week, I’ll post further updates with what I’m working on, but I’ll also keep doing the games blogs. We’ve just ordered Crash Bandicoot 4, so be prepared for a ranty post about how it’s impossible to play and how it’s a stupid game anyway that I never liked.

The Next Stage is Now Available

After two years of work, my new book The Next Stage is now out.

The Kindle version is available on Amazon, and if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited, you can also read it as part of your subscription.

The Next Stage is a cyberpunk thriller set in future Washington D.C. as a group of AI have taken it upon themselves to murder those humans that they foresee committing a crime. The AI Homicide of the Washington D.C. Police Department has been set up with the sole purpose of catching these killers. But now a bigger threat looms over the city. Lieutenant William Kell, must investigate the murders and put a stop to them before the city implodes into violence and human and AI groups clash in the streets.

As a bonus, Creatures will be free on Kindle for the next few days.

Writing and Learning

More editing. I’ve so far gone through the first third or so of the proof of The Next Stage. I’d say it’s going reasonably well so far. I’ve come across a number of things that I’d missed when going through the various other edits I’ve done. There’s definitely something about having it physically in my hands that helps me find errors or things that need to be tweaked.

I’m doing more edits with The Next Stage than I did with Creatures. Creatures was my first attempt at writing a story that I wanted to try to publish, and saying that, I hadn’t written anything since school, really.

Together Alex and I must have gone through Creatures at least ten times, yet we still missed some things. Things that people are more than willing to point out in reviews. I self publish and haven’t got the money to spend on getting anything I do professionally edited, so it relies on a few people going through it and hopefully picking things up.

Having done Creatures gave me more confidence in what I’m doing and a little more knowledge of how to go about things. So I’m hoping that The Next Stage will be a superior book in every sense of the word. There may still be issues, but I’m not going to beat myself up about them. It’s all just a learning experience for me, and I can’t be expected to get everything right straight off the bat.

The more I write, the more I learn. But I also learn from reading. I’ve not really read anything for a while, I started the year so well by reading quite a few books, but after one thing or another, I’ve not picked anything up for a while. So it’s been the former I’ve been relying on recently.

Writing for me, now I’m doing it more regularly, also helps me with those days where things get on top of me, or the depression side is creeping back in. Focusing on something creative and escaping to a new world of my creation helps me get my mind away from the dark feelings and into something else. After a few hours of writing, I’m usually in a better place, mental health wise.

Once I’m done editing The Next Stage, I will continue working on one of my other works in progress. I did a quick poll on Twitter the other day, and more people wanted me to work on something else in the sci-fi realm. I’ve got at least 2 stories that fit this bill, so I hope to expand on those. If I don’t feel either of those is coming together, I’ll work on others. I’ve already had quite a few new ideas for my Dreams (title not fixed) story, which is a mix of sci-fi and horror. More updates will come about that when The Next Stage is out.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has so far read, liked, and commented on this blog. When I started it, I had no idea what I was going to write on a regular basis but I find things just come to me, and the fact that people like it just make me want to do more. So thank you, and I hope you continue to like my little rambles.

Proof Copy Editing

This week I’m spending my time armed with highlighters and post-its reading through the proof copy of The Next Stage and doing some final editing before release.

There’s something about having the physical book in my hands and reading it as it’s supposed to be read that’s helping me find any issues there may be as well as tweaking some of the language to read better.

It seems like an odd thing for it to help in this process, but if anyone else is doing the same kind of thing, I’d definitely recommend it.

I’m hoping that after this readthrough I’ll be happy with it. I feel like if I read it more, I’ll just keep changing stuff for the sake of it. But at the same time, even though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I don’t want to rush things.

Doing this it reminds me of the times in school where you’d read a book and have to make notes on it so you could write about it with quotes and whatnot.

I’m trying not to worry about the amount I’m finding to tweak, after all, I’m doing this mostly myself with some help from Alex, and this is only my second book so I’m still relatively new at this whole thing. But one thing I will say is that I read through some of Creatures again the other day and I can already tell that my writing has changed since then and I feel more confident in what I’m doing.

When I’ve not been editing this book for release, I’ve been thinking on which of the 5 or 6 stories I’ve started writing I want to develop into my next. There’s a mix of genres, I’ve got a couple of horrors and another couple of sci-fi and one that kind of straddles both, the last is a very basic idea that I have no idea where to go with…yet.

I kind of want to see how The Next Stage does and maybe do something different, but I really don’t know. I guess I’ll take a look at them all and see how I feel about them. I do know though that for now Creatures 2 is on hold. I’m about halfway through writing it, but I’m struggling to get any further, and I see no point in pushing it because then I’ll just completely fall out with it, but we’ll see.

For now, I’ll continue highlighting, post-it noting and scribbling.

The Next Stage is Coming Soon

I’ve not only been playing games over the past few weeks, but I’ve also been working on my next book, which if you didn’t already know, is called The Next Stage.

I’ve been going over my fifth draft to iron any issues and tidy things up a bit, and now I’m happy enough with that I’m getting ready for release.

I ordered the proof copies the other day, and they should be here by the 15th October, which is good because I’m hoping for a release date of the 26th October (for reasons) so I’ll have a couple of weeks to double-check everything and make sure it’s all good.

I’ve made some changes to the cover art as what I was trying to do didn’t really work, so I’ve gone with a more simplistic cover hoping that when it’s printed, it will look better.

Once I’m happy with it all, I’ll give another update on the release (hopefully it won’t change from the 26th) and probably reveal the simplified cover art.

The Next Stage of The Next Stage

Over the past few weeks I’ve been slowly going through and editing my final revision of The Next Stage. This morning I finally finished and I think I’m almost ready to release the book into the wild.

Before I do though, I’ve got a few more things that I need to do; mainly formatting the text (this is almost done) and finishing the cover design.

I did a previous post where I showed you the various different looks I tried for the main image on the cover, the one I’ve selected just seems right to me, I’ve jazzed it up with some fancy text and now I just need to get it printed in the right size as a PDF.

As I self-publish using Amazon there are some very specific things that you need to do in order to get the cover right – to be honest it’s a bit of a pain in the ass…

I was going to do a cover reveal very soon, but I think I’m going to wait until I’ve got a proof copy in my hands so that I can make sure it all looks okay printed, that way I can be sure I’m happy with it before showing you all.

The Next Stage has been a work in progress for at least 2 years, and it feels good to finally be at the stage where I can look at uploading and releasing. I hope that those that read it will enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed crafting the characters and the world they live in.

At the moment, unlike Creatures, The Next Stage is a standalone novel and there are no plans for any kind of follow-up but I guess you never know what the future can bring.

I’ll leave you with a brief synopsis of The Next Stage;

“26th October 2138, Lieutenant William Kell is at the scene of another murder committed by a rogue group of AIs. What has now become a routine investigation will soon explode into a deeper conspiracy, one that threatens all of humankind. Now it’s a race against time to stop the group’s devious plot before it’s too late, and the city of Washington DC implodes into violence.”

More updates will come soon.