Vengeance Will Come, First Review

Today I discovered that I had a review for my novel, Vengeance Will Come on Amazon. Further more, I’ve had the review since November and didn’t even know!

For some strange – and surely nonsensical – reason, it appears Amazon displays comments only on the Amazon site where the novel is purchased. I would have thought it’d make more sense to display all of the same-language reviews on every Amazon site that caters for that language… i.e. give your customers more feedback about a product (and not to mention, potentially help your authors).

The review is very generous:

An engaging story with a surprising twist at the end. The characters are very well developed and vivid. The story is told masterfully and I wish to congratulate the writer on such a well written book. I only wish that they make it into a movie! I look forward to Book 2.

Thanks so much “Amazon Customer” 🙂 Such a review is encouraging, and encouragement is a big help. You too can buy my novel at the Amazon US, UK, AU or other site of your choosing 🙂

I have heard before that every author (regardless of previous successes) doubts themselves and their writing ability. It’s nice not to be alone in that feeling. It just so happens Francine Rivers who is an incredible writer, recently wrote about her continuing doubts and how she overcomes the immensity of the goal.

Now Published: Vengeance Will Come

Earlier this week, I published Vengeance Will Come on Amazon. You can read it now for the low price of $1.50 (US) or $2.12 (AU).


After oscillating more than a conviction-less politician with contradictory poll information on if I should publish and how I should publish I finally just did it. I wrote Vengeance Will Come hoping that others would find it an entertaining read – and that wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t put it out into the public sphere.

At the moment it is just an e-book, though I’ve had a few requests for a print book – so I will look into the implications of that in the future.

This is the description on the Amazon page to whet the reading appetite.

‘A man in a fight for survival will grasp at anything to use as a weapon.’

A shadowy cult with arcane powers foments hostilities between two Regents, locking them in a bitter struggle that traverses planets.

Regent Menas Senay has been promised the long-awaited revenge that will free him from the demons of his past. He’s willing to pay anything to achieve it, even if it costs him everything.

When Menas attacks the Tador capital he unleashes a series of events that rock Regent Danyel Abudra’s life to its foundations. Danyel soon discovers that even rulers are slaves in adverse circumstances, and that to prevail will be harder than he can conceive.

But they’d both better hope the cult doesn’t get what it wants from the deal.

Vengeance costs more than anyone expects, and it’s coming…

At just over 100,000 words and 297 pages this book is approximately 20% longer since my last revision cycle, and 15% shorter than the original draft. (I’ll talk more about the revision process in future posts).

Thanks and credit for the background image on the cover must go to the talented user Gellinger who uploaded and made it available for use at pixabay.


Seeing Vengeance Will Come finally available for others to read is a great encouragement to keep writing!


No, not me. But the surprise and wonder was awesome for that split second, wasn’t it? (I haven’t heard anything yet…).

thom-sullivan-poet-poetry-copy2Instead I write about Thom Sullivan (who blogs here). Thom has won the 2017 Noel Rowe Poetry Award, winning publication of his own poetry book in 2018 (Vagabond Press). A hearty congratulations, Thom!

I had the pleasure and benefit of having Thom do some editing work on my first novel, Vengeance Will Come. I am deeply thankful for the time that he invested. It was also immense fun as he challenged me, sharpening the inference of words and de-cluttering sentences. He was painstakingly wonderful in analysing word choice and placement; a skill, he possesses in abundance.

For me, the skills of a poet (especially the winner) are best summarised by this excerpt from the Award’s Judges’ Report:

…the language was sharp, the images immediate and vivid, with a certain rhythmic alertness, and where the sense of human experience and its significance was heightened. … [used] good illustration, with their deft economy, of how less can be more…

Though they are talking about poetry, the same is true with all writing.

Aside from being a great poet Thom is also incredibly humble. (So I apologise for this post, and what I’m about to say…). He is easily among the top 10 nicest people I have ever met. He is as softly spoken as a grief counsellor, with the sharp intellect of a neurosurgeon. And he can nail poetry too. (Is that the right word, Thom? 🙂 )

Today I have a highly anticipated coffee catchup with my Dad. We are visiting a bakery, which seems ideal on numerous levels.

Around that, for the rest of the day I plan to be writing. Time to regain some traction with revising The Rebel Queen.

Writing a Synopsis

I’ve written before about the amateur author’s pendulum, and the indecisiveness of which route to choose. The spectrum is vast, with traditional publisher at one end and self-publish, release-for-free at the other end.

I’ve decided that I’m going to submit Vengeance Will Come to a traditional publisher. First and foremost, I want the gatekeeper to say I’m allowed through. I don’t want to self publish and (accidentally) add to the slush pile. I know I’m not experienced enough to judge my own quality objectively.

I also know myself. I don’t want to have to worry about things like cover art, promotion and marketing. (I realise there could be elements of this, but I don’t want to ‘go it alone’. I’d rather leave it to the experts).

So now I’m trying to write my very first synopsis. Trying being the operative word.

Writing Technique: Know Your Genre

(These are my notes and thoughts in relation to the second part of WritingExcuses podcast Season 1, episode 2 (first part) and content from Fiona McIntosh’s How to Write Your Blockbuster. I will also disseminate this information to the topical sections of my resource section).

Tips by the experts:

Decide who you are writing for and how you are going to market it. This is informed by the question we must ask ourselves first “Why are we writing?” Are we writing as a hobby or a cathartic release, to document a family history or are we writing in the hope of being the next Stephen King? Are we interested in selling popular novels or do we want to add a significant contribution to literature?

Who you are writing for is probably a project-by-project question, unless you tend to stick like glue to your favourite genre. Escape from Hell was obviously written to express my beliefs. Vengeance Will Come was conceived out of inspiration from other stories; but without a firm idea of who I was writing for.

I’d like to think that in future projects I might consider the question of audience more before I begin. It is a discipline and a process that I didn’t think about until recently.

Read extensively in your genre. Know what is currently being written by the leading authors of the genre, and what is selling well.

At the moment I don’t know my genre. I am more at the experimental stage where I want to try a plethora of genres in order to see what I like, and as a challenge for myself.

Fiona McIntosh says,

Give your audience your full respect by reading their favourite works. Analyse them, work out how the writer’s structure their tales, learn about pacing and dialogue, plots and popular themes.

This raises another question: how to find the time to write and “read extensively”. The WritingExcuses guys say that they don’t find much time for reading these days… and yet I remember also reading an article that said Stephen King used to read 70 novels a year! I think what that means is that you need to be very targeted with your reading. When you can’t be writing; read. The Stephen King article talked about him reading a book while waiting in a grocery line: every minute counts. I consider it to mean:

  • be selective: read the top authors in the genre (not random authors)
  • be intentional: learn from the books you read (don’t just enjoy the story)
  • maximise effective reading: abort bad books quickly (instead of I-must-complete-what-I-start)

Write to be ahead of the curve. Follow what is happening in the market and learn to anticipate what will happen. If you’re writing with the intention of selling, don’t write what is big now because you’ll probably miss the trend. Understand the stereotypes involved with the genre and play with them.Try to be at the front of the writing pack, not tailing along behind.