Things don’t always go to plan and this plan has gone a little bit awry… Originally there were supposed to be four Dark Legend volumes. Volume three was due out next and it was going to include two shorter stories (In The Ghetto & Stop The Cavalry) plus three longer ones seperated into three chapters each (Two as yet unnamed and No Angel Born In Hell). Now In The Ghetto worked fine and it served as a nice little re-introduction to what was going on and acted as the perfect lead-in to the volume. The problem instead lay with the story that follows, Stop The Cavalry. It was supposed to be about ten thousand words long… But it’s ended up being longer… Much longer. So I figured I could include it with volume 3 and make the book a long one as I did with Volume 2 or I could cut the two shorter stories and release them in their own special volume. I went for the latter option and so now, around christmas time, you can look forwards to the release of STOP THE CAVALRY! Being only two stories it will probably be somewhat cheaper than the usual volumes but it will still contain just as much action, adventure and twisted black humour as before. A quick summary of the two stories is below but spoilerphobes who haven’t yet read Volume 2 may want to avoid them as they contain an important plot detail or two. Anyway… This will be out sometime towards Christmas but if you can’t wait that long I’ll also be releasing a set of (non dark legend related) short stories through soundcloud at some point soon (there are at least three of them!).
In The Ghetto
Britain is at war. The country is divided between the Graffe (and their supporters) and those who would fight against them. Somewhere behind Graffe lines, trapped in the crumbling remains of Worton’s Crest district, a group of desperate refugees live a hand to mouth existence scavenging what food they can and hiding from the Graffe and their numerous human kill squads. That is until one day when Dast Sayeff and his young friend Miles ‘Jazz’ Singer find themselves face to face with the last person they ever suspected… But ‘the legend’ is in the Ghetto for a reason. He’s tracking down something that shouldn’t exist, something that he thought was destroyed forever: A MAGNA GRAFFE.
Stop The Cavalry
Military command have come up with a plan to advance the progress of the war and it can’t possibly fail… because it already has. The plan is to secrete elite groups of soldiers behind enemy lines and have them take eighteen bridges across the length of the Mersey, Irwell and Manchester Ship Canal. Meanwhile a spearhead of tanks will cut a corridor along the entire length of the river so that a larger army may then use it to push deep into enemy territory; a deluded, ridiculous and shortsighted rehash of Operation Market Garden that seems as destined to fail as the first time around. But after finding himself and his team at the worst possible end of the Mersey and a mile behind their drop zone, Will and his friends soon discovers there are larger forces at work, forcing playing humanity against one another for the benefit of the Graffe. With no communications and no way of knowing when (or if) backup will arrive they must fight for their lives in order to survive the perils of Graffe infested Runcorn and unmask the truth behind mysterious arms company TOSHI LTD. But if any bridge was ever going to be too far, it would have to be this one…
I got a message the other day, one that said it’s been three since I started this here thing of mine. And that’s quite nice to know… But it also means it’s been three years since I left my home in Wales behind, three years since I ended my days with Storm FM and three whole flucking years of sitting here at my desk and becoming the man I was born to be. When I began all those moons ago things looked bleak. I had no job, no prospects and what, at the time, looked like very little of a future. I was looking for my place in the world and at the same time searching for somewhere I could continue with my radio work. I wanted to be a DJ and bring music to the masses and I wanted to spend my live surfing the far side of the airwaves. I didn’t know it then but that life was never to be. I loved doing radio and if someone offered me a show on a station somewhere I’d take it in a heartbeat… But three years on and I’ve put that behind me. I’ve done more radio yeah; I did the community thing in Bolton and I did on an online continuation of my old show for a while, but that’s all gone now. I never intended for it all to end but it just did… It did because other things happened…And I think it’s because of all this that they did happen. When I started three years ago I started this as a place where I could write about my travels, a place where I could write about the places I was seeing and visiting… But it soon became so much more than that.
“We went to Bristol and Bolton and Manchester and Liverpool; The history articles and the essays began… And very slowly everything began to spiral into a career. And then one day, a year in, that is what it all became, my job.”
Almost immediately, before even the first travelogue, I was introducing the Morfaverse (that name is growing on me) and I was introducing one part in particular, Dark Legend. Back then it had just been released as a hit radio drama and I was preparing to send it off to be produced as a TV series… And then, almost as as a sideline, I started novelizing it and releasing the chapters on here. Then the TV version got rejected but I still carried on with the serialization in the hope that someone, anyone, would come across it and one day make it fly. And for a whole year this went on- And all that time I began to stoke the flames into a raging inferno; We did the British History Challenge and The UK Number 1 Challenge (which is now in that great internet trashbag in the sky) We went to Bristol and Bolton and Manchester and Liverpool; The history articles and the essays began… And very slowly everything began to spiral into a career. And then one day, a year in, that is what it all became, my job. Dark Legend hit the shelves and before I knew it I was a full time writer, actually making money from the worded masses that fall from my fingertips.
Then came Malvolio and The Rebels and a second volume of Dark Legend… And then something unexpected, an autobiography. If you have told me about it three years ago I would have probably laughed- Youtube was something I had wanted to try my hand at for a while but I never really had a good enough reason to (not one that lasted anyway- My previous ideas were as part of other things that came crashing down around my ears soon afterwards) And I never thought in a million years that I would take the plunge in the way that I did, as part of an experiment to create the most groundbreaking and complete autobiography known to man. It’s an experiment that seems to be working and whilst progress is slow what there is so far looks good. The thing is building… Recently phase 1 (the video bit) has moved from looking mostly at the past to being a mix of the past and the present. And today, for instance, I scanned in a load of old notebook pages detailing all sorts of interesting, early writing ideas and sketches that will form the basis of phase 3 (which will include anything related to my books.) And when I get a few more photographs I’ll throw phase 2 up and the future for this thing is looking quite bright. And it was this site, this blog, which made all of it possible, the books and the autobiography There were other things that contributed as well (like the fact that the Morfaverse actually began life ten and a half years ago) but without this place I don’t think any of it would have got very far. Would there have ever been a Dark Legend book series? Would I have started the autobiography? It’s probable that neither would exist without this place.
So here I am, three years on- A writer, blogger and storyteller. A man of words. A man with the rather ambitious goal of becoming the greatest writer of the twenty first century (and maybe, if it turns out to be possible, ever.) It’s a far cry from when this all started. Back in my first post I lamented the lack of new friends, new places and new adventures… I lamented that my university friends would move on and forget about me. But I needn’t have worried about any of that. My friends didn’t forget about me, a few have moved on for sure but they’re all still there. And some of them, those with whom I share a student radio past, I now consider to be my true family. And why not? There is nothing that says I can’t. And the new places and new adventures? Sure, they came… Just look at my newly installed Travelogue page (there have been plenty more than there are there but I just haven’t written about them.) And who knows where the next three years will take me?
I started out here thinking I was alone. But very soon I wasn’t… I wasn’t because you were soon there, you the readers, staring back at me through your screen and sharing my adventures, immersing yourself in my world and sticking a friendly arm over my shoulder and saying ‘good on ya mate… You’re alright.’ And I want to say thank you… Because without you none of this would have ever been possible. We are no more than the people who stand behind us and with all of you behind me I couldn’t have been in a better place these last three years. Thank you… I appreciate each and every one of you and if I could repay you all I would… Although maybe I can do that- Maybe I can do it in the simplest way possible- Perhaps I could just repay you with more of what brought you here in the first place- More essays, stories and adventures; more of what I’ve been doing and more of what you love. I don’t know what you think but that sounds good to me 😉
There’s one more thing… In my first post I claimed that I was ‘stuck in hell’ but I think, now, looking back, that I was wrong. I was never stuck. I could have left any time I wanted but for some reason I stayed. Yes, I’ve near continuously waxed on about how I’ll soon be out of here (hopefully forever when the time comes) but the truth is I probably could have gone any time I wanted… I could have packed my things, found a bedsit somewhere and started a whole new life. I could have rang up a friend and asked to borrow their couch for a couple of weeks… But I didn’t do any of that. I stayed… And looking back, if I had gone elsewhere, I would have been required to find some sort of conventional job and I would have had to put the writing aside. Like the radio thing it would have probably gone the way of the dodo and the Morfaverse would just end up as another forgotten place cluttering up the fictional realms. The truth is I ended up staying because I needed to stay. I needed my time here to find myself, I needed the time to find my career and my destiny. I wouldn’t have had that time with a conventional job… So instead I used the time to become a writer and that, partly thanks to all of this, is what I now do… It’s my job. Three years is a long time and these last three have brought me a long way forward into becoming the greatest writer of the twenty first century… But even so, we’ve still got a long way to go!