East of England: crowdfunding/subscription is closed!

That’s it. After 315 days (thought the book reached its funding target back in July), the opportunities to be part of the crowdfunding of East of England have now closed, so that the publishing elves can get on with the business of completing the printing and distribution of the book.

East of England is out on 24th January 2019. It’’ll be available from all of the places that sell books, both offline and online, and can be pre-ordered here (a selection of links for you).

Out 24th January.

Out 24th January.

A massive set of thanks to all of you who’ve contributed to the book’s funding. That list of glory is here if you want to peruse it; just click on the tab marked “Supporters”. Each and every one of you is a patron of the arts, and may use the letters POTA after your name.

The rest of you? You pay retail (see the links above).

Thanks again!



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My book in three books ... I'm interviewed by Mark Bowsher

I’ve been interviewed by the excellent Mark Bowsher of Rabbit Island Productions about East of England. Specifically, about three books which have been - in some way - an influence on the novel.

Here’s the interview.

Mark’s own recently-published novel The Boy Who Stole Time is out now from all good, reasonable, and slightly shabby retailers. You can find out more about his book here.

There’s still time to find more out more about (and to pre-order) East of England here.


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East of England - funding update Easter Sunday

Hi all, and a happy Easter to you if you're having a break, be it a religious festival, a few days off, a handful of chocolate eggs, or any blend of the preceding. 

In terms of project progress for the funding of East of England, we're at the 37% mark, which means there's £1500 banked with the publishers and £2500 to go. There's 88 supporters for the book already - which is fantastic - so that means attracting about another 180 to hit the funding target. At the present rate of progress, that's about 5-6 months' work. These things take time, it seems! So, if there's anything you feel inclined to do in terms of nursing the book into life (shares/comments/retweets on social media, telling family and friends and the like) then that'd be very much appreciated As you might imagine, getting people interested in a book that's not available yet (even though it's written) isn't altogether straightforward.

The money raised through the pre-ordering process goes to meet the production and distribution costs of the book - I don't see a penny until a) the book's over 100% funded and b) it's on sale and folk buy some. 

Most of the higher-level pledges have been taken (I've got one "name a character after yourself/a friend") place left, so big thanks to those who've bought those packages. I've got a nicely roguish pair of characters selected that'll be slightly rewritten to accommodate the names/appearance of these fine folk. I've also got a couple of pledges available for me to go anywhere in the UK and give a creative writing class/talk/event of some sort (you can decide the content). Got a plan for one of those slots though...

I've written the first draft of a short story set in the same fictional universe, and this may yet get bundled into the book as an additional extra. More free stuff! I spoil you, I really do. Also, I'm cooking up ideas for a sequel, and I'd hope to include the first chapter of this at the back of the published book to lead folks towards another reading adventure. 

Finally, another project for you to consider. Some of you may know my brother Maxim; well, he's been approached by Unbound to produce a book for them, and crowdfunding for that started this week. You can find more details about the book - Field Notes - here. Have a look and consider backing his project too! 

Thanks for reading (and for being patient during the funding process!)




Cover artwork concepts for East of England

Here's a series of six cover art concepts prepared by my brother, the talented Maxim Peter Griffin, to give a flavour of East of England in visual form. 

They're in no way official, so I wouldn't necessarily expect any of them to end up as a cover to the book when it gets published, but they are - I admit - pretty cool. 

East of England is being crowdfunded via Unbound Publishing; this means pre-orders of the book are necessary to raise its preproduction costs (editing, proofreading, design, printing, the cover, advertising, promotion and distribution and so on). So, don't wait till it hits the bookshelves! As you'll see from the book's details, there are a handful of different pledge levels with escalating rewards; plus, everyone gets their name in the book as thanks. Plus, you get to be a patron of the arts, which isn't too bad, is it?

EoE cover concept 1.jpg
EoE cover concept 2.jpg
EoE cover concept 3.jpg
EoE cover concept 4.jpg
EoE cover concept 5.JPG
EoE cover concept 6.JPG

Which one's your favourite? And how do they relate to your own visual sense of the book? Again, details  - including how to support East of England - are here

East of England: crowdfunding and me

Hi all. First up, here's the call to action: my new novel East of England is crowdfunding now via the fine folks at Unbound, who are experts in this kind of thing, and I'd love for you to help make East of England a reality. You can do so by following the link to Unbound's site, where you can find out more about the book (there's a video, a synopsis, and a sample from the beginning of the novel) and about how you can support it. 

If you don't know much about crowdfunding, here's how it works.

First, the book's written. Don't worry about that bit. I've taken care of that for you. 

Second, fine people taste and distinction  - very much like you, dear reader - decide if they want to support the project. As the Unbound site shows, there are different levels of what they call 'pledges' - essentially, pre-orders - (ebook, paperback, special editions with mentions in the book, even the chance to have a character renamed after you, and so on) - at different price points.

When the funding target is reached - the amount of cash needed to edit, proofread, and copyedit the book by salty professionals, plus marketing and promotion to get it into bookshops and so on, as well as printing, cover artwork and all the behind-the-scenes stuff - then the book becomes live, gets finished off and sent out to you. 

Johnny-Come-Lately can, of course, then buy East of England from Amazon / Waterstones / HIve / your friendly neighbourhood independent bookshop / the supermarket / WH Smiths, but what he and his similarly tardy chums won't get is a) to be the first and to have an active hand in bringing the project to life, and b) the chance to brag that you are now a patron of the arts.

Remember, if the book doesn't reach its funding total - progress can be checked on Unbound's website - then the book doesn't get published, and everyone who's pledged to support it gets their pledge money back. So there's no risk to you from that point of view.  

How long all of this takes is up to the public. Some projects get funded in days, some take a few months. Some, it has to be said, never reach that point. And I don't want to be in that category. And you don't want that either. Do you? 

Here's how the book came to life. 

I've had the idea for the opening - it's the scene used as the sample which you can find on the Unbound site - for years. I tried writing it as the beginning of a screenplay, but never quite had a story to go with it.

Early last summer (2017), I was struggling with a different piece of writing - my long-gestating novel about Francis Walsingham which will get finished one day, oh yes - and I went back to this scene. Sat down. Wrote. Got to about 15,000 words, and took a break. It didn't read too badly, and it was quick in comparison because I was working with elements that I had in my head - a more-or-less contemporary setting, locations familiar to me - rather than cross-checking everything in history books. I took a break, because of moving house. 

At about this time I saw a tweet. A call for submissions from a chap called Simon Spanton at Unbound. Send us a sample of your work etc. So I tidied up the first 10K words and sent it through. Nothing ventured, and so on. I carried on boxing up stuff. I heard back a few weeks later. Simon said he liked the sample. Is there more? 

Nothing engages the sweet spot between creative endeavour and harnessing a bum to a chair than someone saying they'd like to see a full manuscript that you haven't got yet. So, that was October and November taken care of.

And here we are. The book's written, though in its raw state pending the full quantity of pledges being received. I really like it, and I really enjoyed writing it. The folks at Unbound have been both incredibly supportive and professional in ways that makes you realise there's more to this publishing lark than tall afternoon drinks in swish hotel bars over industry gossip about so-and-so at such-and-such.

The next bit is over to you. Have a look at the details about East of England. Hopefully, you'll see - like Simon and his colleagues - that there's something worth supporting, and a book that's worth reading, and you'll make a pledge. 

Thanks for reading. And for reading.