What Next?

So, the release of The King is Dead ran relatively smoothly, with the minor hiccough of the paperpack release being delayed a couple of days. Apparently this is typical of our friends at Amazon. Also typical is the separation of e-book and paperback into two different entities. This should be fixed soon enough, but it skews the sales a little. Not that I’m all about the sales (don’t mention that to my wife). The big question now is “What next?” Do I rest on my laurels and say “Hey, scratched that one off my bucket list,” or write something else?

Well, here’s the answer. Right now I’m working on three separate projects, any of which could be released next. The most likely candidate for next up is a collection of short stories, roughly fitting into the horror genre, but based on Irish folklore. Some of these tales will be a retelling of stories I heard when I was a kid. Also on the list is a novel loosely based on the Second Battle of Moytura (or Cath Maighe Tuireadh for Gaelic speakers), a famous Irish legend. The third is a novel which veers more into traditional fantasy. Well, it has ogres in it.

When any of these may be released is another matter. Bear in mind it took two years to write the relatively short The King is Dead. I’ve started all three to some degree, so that’s something. I’m planning on getting one out by this summer, so watch this space. I’ll post some insider info on the various different factions in the BoM just for fun.


Two Days to Go

THE KING IS DEAD - AL BURKEIn case you haven’t been paying attention, my debut novel The King is Dead, will be released on December 20th. The e-book has been available for pre-order for some time now, but the paper copy can be purchased on launch day. Here’s the blurb:

“Etruvia has known peace for twenty years. But this time of peace has brought corruption and greed. The nobility has taken control, and the memories of great victories of old have faded. Crime is rife and the once proud people are little more than peasants. As a great evil rises in the desolate north, can a forgotten king and an embittered former war hero wake a nation from its stupor and build an army strong enough to give it a fighting chance?”

You can find the order links below:

Amazon: hyperurl.co/quma8x

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2glbxIb

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2fQSgzR

iBooks: http://apple.co/2gjRDgN

Hope y’all enjoy it!!

An Interview with…Me?


Part of the deal with writing in this new world of online publishing is doing the blog circuit and taking part in interviews etc. So with great pleasure, I would like to interview…myself (questions stolen from here).

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

Good question. I think I always was one. When I was a kid, I used to type out little stories on my father’s typewriter. In school, my essays always got the best grades. I’ve had a couple of articles published in local newspapers, and I had a decent reputation covering American Collegiate Football for some of the bigger websites like SBNation and Fansided. Not impressed? Couldn’t blame you, but writing is in my blood, I just don’t know how it got there.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Ah! How long is a piece of string? I’ve written one book. I’ve been nurturing it in my mind for five years or so, and started writing it two years ago. To be honest, it took me the equivalent of a couple of weeks, but the secret is trying to find distraction-free time. I work four (sometimes five) days a week and, I look after my kids the other days, so it can be hard to find a time to get in the zone.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Schedule? What is this schedule of which you speak? Perhaps I should have one…

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I get up and walk around talking to myself while mulling over key plot points. I bet nearly every writer does that though.

How do books get published?

In this day and age, there are many ways. Self-publishing is relatively easy, and with the competition for traditional publishing spots, is a solid option for many. I was lucky to sign on with a new publisher Bella Tulip Publishing, but I can also see the lure of independent publishing. It’s hard work though.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I research relevant topics. In fantasy for example, the traditional setting is similar to Medieval Europe (thanks Tolkien), so reading up on the era is helpful. I’m in the (slow) process of writing a collection of horror short stories based on Irish folklore, so I’m reading up on that now (and adding my own knowledge).

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Over the last two years. And 44.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Play with my family, watch TV/movies, read. The stock interview answers.

What does your family think of your writing?

They love it, and they are very proud and supportive.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I could do it, and that I want to keep doing it.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve written one. It’s called The King is Dead, and it’s my current favourite. I have another in the pipeline that I really like the whole concept of though.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Stick with it. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. Don’t be too proud to accept help/advice, and don’t give up your day job. At least not at first.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I have two five star reviews on Goodreads. The book hasn’t officially been released yet, so one is from my editor, and one from an advance reader. If you think your editor would be biased, you’ve probably never had one…

Do you like to create books for adults?

Absolutely. My kids want me to write some books for them, which I will attempt, but I do prefer adult themes.

What do you think makes a good story?

A strong plot, believable characters and a kick-ass ending.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

When I was really young, I wanted to be Jack the Leopard (who breathes fire), or a petrol-pump attendant (as we call them in the old country), but I never had a desired career (still don’t). To be honest, the one thing I was sure I wanted to be from my teen years on was a father. Mission currently being accomplished.