July Update – And Exciting GOD OF GNOMES News!


So my resolution to post more regular updates here fizzled out spectacularly (oops). In my defence, I’ve had a lot on my plate; the first half of 2019 has been a busy one, and I’m excited to finally be able to share details of the projects I’ve got lined up for you.

Heroes Wanted

Last month, I finished a short story for a new fantasy anthology I’m helping organise. Just like the Lost Lore collection we released last year, Heroes Wanted will feature a wide range of stories from some of the ‘Terrible Ten’ – a group of self-published authors who are neither terrible, nor ten – including Will Wight, K.S. Villoso, Timandra Whitecastle, Dyrk Ashton, David Benem, Quenby Olson, Phil Tucker, Jeramy Goble, Mike Shel, Andy Peloquin, Joe Jackson, Matt Moss, Ben Galley, Michael J. Sullivan, Jeffrey Hall, M.D. Presley, Derek Siddoway, J.C. Kang, and Dan Potter.

Lost Lore: A Fantasy Anthology

The Heroes Wanted anthology will be released sometime in late autumn. I’ll be responsible for proofreading and arranging the stories, and the cover art is currently being worked on by the excellent and talented Shane Cook (Slaine_69), whose work I’ve admired for a long time. He’s already produced some stunning concepts for us, and I can’t wait to see (and reveal) the final cover! (And the stories, of course!)

I have the best job in the world

What else have I been up to? Well, editing-wise, I’ve proofread some INCREDIBLE books over the last few months, including several LitRPG titles for Portal Books. Bone Dungeon (Elemental Dungeon #1) by Jonathan Smidt is out now, while Mastermind (Titan Online #1) by Steven Kelliher and Renegade (Nova Online #2) by Alex Knight will both be released within the next few weeks.

More recently, I had the pleasure and the privilege of working on Sin Eater (Iconoclasts #2), the sequel to Aching God by Mike Shel. Aching God was one of my favourite reads of 2018, yet Sin Eater somehow managed to top it in every way. You can read my review here, and buy the book here!

I’ve also just finished work on Benedict Patrick’s first non-Yarnsworld novel, Flight of the Darkstar Dragon, which is phenomenal. It won’t be released for another month or two, but you should definitely check out Benedict’s other books in the meantime!

And finally…

God of Gnomes

For those who’ve heard me harp on about my LitRPG debut novel and are wondering when the hell it’s going to make an appearance, I have some VERY exciting news to announce: God of Gnomes has been picked up by Audible (the world’s largest audiobook producer), and is currently in the early stages of production!

The book will be narrated by Adam Sims (2017 Audiobook Narrator of the Year for Flowers for Algernon), who has also narrated books by Steve Cavanagh, Haruki Murakami, Louise Penny, Tim Powers, and Max Brooks.

According to my publisher, Portal Books, God of Gnomes‘ official launch date is 26th September 2019. It will be simultaneously released in all formats (ebook, paperback, and audiobook).

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, wait until you see the stellar job done on the cover by artist Alberto Besi! The full cover reveal is coming soon on The Fantasy Hive, but for now here’s a cheeky taster:

One more thing: God of Gnomes will be published under my new pen name Demi Harper. There are a few reasons for this, but foremost among them is the fact that this book marks a somewhat drastic change in both tone and subject matter from my existing (and ongoing) body of fantasy work. I decided it made sense to put out God of Gnomes – and all future LitRPG novels, of which I’m sure there will be many! – as an entirely new ‘brand’. Don’t worry, though – it’s still me! And it’s no secret, so please don’t hesitate to  continue to spread the word. 🙂

Until next time!

Hey, June!


Back in March, Fantasy-Faction’s head honchos (Marc Aplin and Jennie Ivins) asked me to step up and help out with editing duties. Having written regularly for the site since July 2016, I’m familiar with the contributing team and was excited to have an opportunity to assist with acquiring, organising and editing new content. Marc’s day job has kept him away from FF throughout the past few months; when I agreed to step in, Jennie was finally able to take a well-earned break to deal with some important personal issues.

On April 9 – just one year after my grandad’s passing – my grandma died. Those who know me well are aware that this preceded my Annual Mental Breakdown. During the AMB (’17 edition), I threw myself into my new role on FF, despite Jennie’s compassionate offer to let me step away again. I buried myself in my FF editing responsibilities, and did the same with other projects and interactions in an attempt to escape from the fact that I was completely and utterly failing at Real Life.

The usual counselling, medication, GP visits and back-to-work interviews came after, and while I’m still a bit fragile I’m happy to say that the worst has passed.

However, continual involvement in online projects (such as FF) has left me somewhat burned out. Running a site that large is hard, guys – especially when you’re doing it alone. This is why I intend to stay on as assistant editor while handing the main reins back to Jennie. It’s been a challenging and eye-opening three months, but it’s also been a lot of fun. I’d like to say a brief but heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone involved in making my editorial stint such a rewarding experience. You’re amazing.

After sitting down and having a serious think about what I want to do with my life, I’ve realised several things.

  1. My own writing has been suffering for a long time
  2. I enjoy (and am good at) editing, and would like to do more of it
  3. I need to work harder and make big changes in order to fix both of these things

As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve made the decision to step back from my role at Fantasy-Faction for the foreseeable future. While I’m no longer running the show over there, I intend to continue as an active part of the team and of the SFF community whilst focusing more closely on my own writing and editing.

Here are some of the things I will still be doing:

  • Co-ordinating the SPFBO effort on Fantasy-Faction
  • Building a client base for my freelance editing/proofreading business
  • Reading, critiquing and/or reviewing the few beta projects & ARCs I’ve already committed myself to
  • Writing my own book!

Mr Hughes and I are also moving house in a couple of weeks. While this is currently making everyday life even more stressful, we’re both looking forward to it, and I intend to do whatever I can to make the most of our fresh start. With that in mind, I’ve set up a Patreon page (which you can check out here) which will hopefully enable me to realise my own goals while continuing to support self-published fantasy authors.

Thanks again to the amazing friends and family who’ve put up with me during the last few months. <3

NEW: Editing Services


It’s official: my editing services are now available for hire! I’m offering high-quality line editing, copy editing and proofreading at competitive rates, with a focus on self-published fantasy fiction. I’m even offering a 20% discount to participants (past and present!) in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off! Check out this page for details, rates, and testimonials.

Head over to the page for full details. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to see my CV – and please don’t hesitate to spread the word about my new venture!

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