A Busy November

Set yourself goals. That’s what I’ve always been told.

This month I have set myself a few.

November is an important month for writers. It is National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. The goal is to hit 50,000 words in a month and help writers to settle into a routine that will allow then to write more. 19 days in, I have already written 42,000 words so it is going well!

As you may be aware, I’m well into the sequel of Flames of Rebellion. Paths of Chaos continues The Broken Gods Trilogy and I have to say, I have loved writing it so far. I’m 107,000 words in, another 20 or 30,000 and the first draft should be done. It feels more mature and I feel that my writing has improved since FoR was released. I was proud of the short story collection A Long Way From Home and I have also been longlisted for a Fantasy writing competition for a separate short story. All in all, writing is going well and the most recent chapters have been some of the best ones that I have written so far. Hopefully readers will agree!

I also set myself a challenge of running 5km every day. 19 days in and I’m on track to achieve my target. It’s tiring but I’m stubborn!

I’ve also been querying another secret fantasy novel in the hope of landing an agent. It is a difficult process but fingers crossed it will all work out.

Finally, the chaos of trying to get a PS5 has drained me! The UK is in lockdown at the moment and a PS5 would have smoothed things a bit but alas, I have not been one of the fortunate ones. Thankfully, there has been good news regarding a vaccine and hopefully we are taking steps towards the end of these crazy times.

The audio book for A Long Way Home should be out soon, Audible is taking its sweet time but hopefully the sounds of Takaara will be available for those of you who love audio books.

Finally, I’m so proud of Marcus Rashford and his campaign to help children get into reading. As a teacher and an author I know how important reading is. He is a role model for the UK to be proud of. That’s it for this month! Stay safe and keep reading.

Paths of Chaos

Sequels – known for being awkward as hell.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on my first ever sequel. The second book in The Broken Gods Trilogy and the follow up to Flames of Rebellion. It started off as an awkward task but since breaking the 20,000 word barrier, the story has started to flow a bit easier and I’ve recently smashed the 80,000 word barrier! I’m loving the writing process and it’s great to hear that people are loving Flames of Rebellion and falling in love with the characters.

Writing a book about Chaos seems apt at the moment with the chaos of life in the UK and the US election going on. I just hope that everyone is staying safe and doing what they can to look after those around them.

The next time I write, hopefully the UK will be out of lockdown and I’ll be able to see friends and family again. If not, I’ll continue working, writing, and reading as much as I can. The PS5 is out this month and I’m still praying that I can get my hands on a console before Xmas but we’ll see what happens! I’ve been playing through Ghost of Tsushima recently and definitely recommend it as the last great game of this generation of consoles before the PS5 and Xbox Series X hit stores.

I’ve loved hearing of readers who have screamed in anguish at an unexpected death of a character they have fallen in love with. Know that each death felt like a stab through my own heart!

Stay safe and keep reading! If you’ve enjoyed my book, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Aaron S. Jones

Flames of Rebellion

It’s out.

Finally, readers have copies of Flames of Rebellion on their devices and in their hands.

First of all – I love the cover designed by Mars Dorian and I’m already excited to see what he will be able to do with the rest of the books in the trilogy. The colours really pop and it’s worth buying the paperback for the cover alone!

Secondly, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of the book. It shot up into the top 200 on Amazon for Epic Fantasy novels and that just blows my mind! Hopefully the good sales will continue once the reviews start to come in through drips and drabs. Self-published authors survive on reviews and I’d appreciate it so much is readers take the time to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’m still busy with the marketing side of things. Books don’t sell themselves no matter how good they may be. I’m finalising the printing stage of the hardback edition of Flames of Rebellion and the audiobook for the short stories collection A Long Way From Home should be ready by the end of the month! I’m also finding the time to write the sequel to FoR which I’m really getting into now as the characters drag me in directions and down chaotic paths I didn’t expect. The sequel is pencilled in for publication next August as long as I can finish it in time and have it edited. Hopefully I can avoid the lengthy delays that hamper George R R Martin and Patrick Rothfuss’ amazing work.

That’s pretty much it really. Exciting times! Thanks again for all the support and I hope you enjoy reading about the strange characters and story as much as I have when writing them.

Speak to you all soon.

Embrace the Chaos.

Coming Soon…

So close to publication! Book cover is very close to being ready and the blurb has been written. I’m currently going through the last few chapters to ensure there are no small mistakes that have escaped my eye over the last year. Having a physical copy in my hands is amazing right now and it looks incredible. I can’t wait to get it out into the world. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to manage it next month- the latest date will be October 9th.

While waiting for the final stages of the book to be completed, I’ve subscribed to a company with a wonderfully unique idea. The Spirit of Reading is a company run by three friends with a love of good books and even better booze. Take a look at their website and help them out with the crowdfunder if you can.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-spirit-of-reading

The next time I write on this blog, everything will be ready. Just in time for Self-Publishing September!

Exciting News

It’s been a manic month! My debut fantasy novel – Flames of Rebellion – is almost ready to go. The book cover is currently in the designing phase and I should be ready to unveil it at the end of the month if all goes well. I’ve managed to write my first children’s novel which is in the editing phase right now and then I’ll be moving onto editing my longest piece of writing yet: another fantasy novel which I hope to begin to unveil by the end of the year.

I’m currently playing through Last of Us Part II and I love the story. I prefer the first one so far but it is still incredible. Looking forward to picking up Ghosts of Tsushima later this month.

My mailing list has been set up which will help me reach fans each month with snippets of my writing or pieces of history and backstory to my novels that won’t be available elsewhere. To sign up – head to Aaronsjones.com

Bittersweet

The past few months have flown by. I’ve managed to complete my third novel which is currently sitting at 175,000 words before I start editing. It’s the first book that I’ve written without having to pull out any of my hair. The characters and scenes came to me with ease, something which shocked me. Writing an epic fantasy novel with one POV would have intimidated me before, but now I can say that it is the novel that has given me the most pride and I can’t wait for people to read it. Finishing it felt like saying goodbye to a loved one (or should that be see you later?). It is the first novel in one I hope is one of two trilogies I have outlined.

Lockdown and the chaos of the world currently has been detrimental in so many ways but it is good to see people coming together to stand up for some important issues. There is a vital conversation currently taking place with the publishing industry, along with so many others, regarding the way POC are treated compared to white people. I hope that the light shining upon these wrongs will soon be righted and that we can all be treated equally. It was good to see the black lives matter movement take centre stage as football returned in England last night and I hope this focus continues instead of fading away as the pandemic continues.

I’ve recently returned to work full-time which has been amazing. Seeing the big smiles on the faces of the children able to return to school has reminded me of why I am a teacher. For a long time, I’ve wanted to use the knowledge gained in my job to write a children’s book and that is what I shall start doing this evening. My pace and volume of writing has increased massively during lockdown as I have tried to keep busy: 125,000 words in 2 months is something I am proud of but it is an anount that seems impossible for me to reach again whilst working full time. Nevertheless, I should be able to blast through my next novel in a month or so and hopefully my nieces and nephews can start reading my work at last!

I have two novels still out with agents so fingers crossed that there will be more movement over the next couple of months – it would be a dream to take the traditional publishing route though self-publishing has never been easier.

Another likely distraction from writing arrives tomorrow: Last of Us Part II is released and if it is in any way as engaging and emotional as the first, then it will be a masterpiece in storytelling and gameplay and it will swallow many hours of my life over the next few weeks!

As lockdown rules continue to ease, stay safe and keep reading! I’m currently reading The City of Brass and Gideon the Ninth. The Grey Bastards and Malice are on my list next so I should be good for the next month or so!

Keeping Busy

What to do during isolation in a pandemic?

First of all, the main aim is to stay safe and that means staying inside and not taking any risks that may harm yourself or anyone else.

The good part of staying indoors is that I’ve had time to play games, watch films, listen to music, and write my new book!

My second book is currently with agents and my third one is around a third complete, currently sitting at 52,000 words. It’s keeping me busy and I love it!

Last week saw the release of Final Fantasy 7: Remake. The original game is the one game that pulls at my heartstrings no matter how many times I play it and even a few notes from the music in the game can hit me like a sledgehammer. Needless to say, I loved the remake. Took the story in a new direction whilst remaining as faithful as it needed to. I can’t wait to discover the rest of the world as the game continues!

On Friday, my favourite band, Enter Shikari, released their latest album: Nothing is True and Everything is Possible. The album is perfection and crosses the boundaries of genre in ways that I’ve not heard since peak Prodigy. Hopefully the album will achieve the success is truly deserves!

The coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of things into perspective. I hope people have been able to realise the importance of those working in the health sector as well as education and other critical or ‘essential’ areas. Also, I think everyone truly understands the need for those working in creative industries and how these people help with the mental health of the nation.

Stay safe and keep busy as best you can. Watch films, listen to music and play games. There’ll never be a time like this again.

Isolation

Feels as though we’re living through a strange apocalyptic film right now in the UK: many people aren’t taking advice and it’s only a matter of time before stricter measures are put in place to safeguard the vulnerable people most at risk with this horrible virus.

Working as a teacher means I’ll carry on as normal next week; less kids but same hours – maybe less days. In my spare time I’ll continue writing my third book and I have three more weeks left as part of my creative writing course with Cambridge University which has been incredible for the development of my fantasy writing. Disney+ is out on Tuesday and the remake of Final Fantasy 7 will keep me going from the start of April – anything to keep busy!

It really is an odd time to be living in the UK at the moment but if we all do what we can and follow the advice of social distancing, then I’m sure we will come out of this must more appreciative of the things we have and the people around us.

Stay safe and where possible, support local people and businesses who are crying out for support at the moment.

Finally…

Today is a good day.

I started writing my first proper story around seven or eight years ago. It was just for fun – a tale of warriors fighting to defend their home from an evil empire: not original but I loved it.

Over the years I found it difficult to find time to finish the story. When living in Qatar, I finally finished it but it was a mess. As you change over the years, so does your writing style. It was a Frankenstein’s monster of a novel.

So, around 5 months ago, I scrapped it. All of it.

Big decision, but today (finally!) I finished that story.

The editing process begins now and then hopefully I’ll be able to find an agent that has as much passion for this story as I do. If not – it’ll be the self publishing route. Either way, my fantasy story will soon be out there for everyone to read!

It’s been a tough journey to get to this point but I feel that my writing has come on leaps and bounds.

Suppose I better start writing the next one…

Start as you mean to go on

A new year. A new decade.

Last year was incredible on so many levels. From a writing perspective, i finally managed to publish a book – The Favourite Son – available on Amazon. I’ve started the new decade in a positive frame of mind; still working on my fantasy novel but things are speeding up as I pull all of the scenes together.

Obviously I can’t spend all of my time at work and writing; everyone needs down time. Thankfully, there’s been some great tv shows and games released recently. The Witcher was a delight, started slow but really came together and the ending left me wanting more. Henry Cavill really is perfectly cast as the cynical, brooding Geralt and though it wasn’t as polished as Game of Thrones, it was a fun and easy watch that was able to fill the fantasy hole in my life! It even made me pick up The Witcher 3 on the Switch; after 50 hours on the PS4, it’s still a joy to head back into that world and its many interesting characters and stories.

The final Star Wars film of the Skywalker Saga was released! Did exactly what I expected. An easy film that hit all the beats the audience looks for in a Star Wars film without pushing any boundaries. Bit disappointed with how it made The Last Jedi seem irrelevant but it was enjoyable and kids should love it. The next show I’m waiting to see is Picard. Continuing the adventures of Patrick Stewart’s iconic captain is going to be incredible after all these years. I remember coming home from school and watching The Next Generation with my Dad so it’ll be a joy to see new adventures involving Star Trek legend.

Hopefully next time I post I’ll be able to give the good news about my untitled fantasy novel being finished. Writing this year has started well so let’s hope that continues! Fingers crossed anyway…

Hope everyone reading has a wonderful start to the decade. See you all next month!

Aaron