The Secret War continues . . .
Prepare to confront the incarnation of evil. It is 1820 and the world is on the brink.
A fearless cohort of soldier-monks, led by Lieutenant William Saxon, has been dispatched to Egypt on the most important mission in history. For thousands of years a great secret has been kept: a stockpile of appalling malevolence, which, if let loose, will plunge the world into eternal damnation. This is the Hoard of Mhorrer. The soldiers must find and destroy the Hoard before the daemonic agents of the evil Count Ordrane of Draak locate it.
In a heart-stopping race against time, ranging from Papal Rome to the desolate heart of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, the soldiers must battle murderous militiamen and pitiless daemons, and finally, terrifyingly, the bloodthirsty Guardians of the Horde.
If William and his men succeed, the clandestine war between Heaven and Hell will at last begin to favour the forces of light. But if they fail, and the agents of Hell claim the Hoard, then they will unleash an army of invincible daemons, and humankind – what is left of it – will come to know the true meaning of evil.
1)Tell us a little about your novel, The Hoard of Mhorrer.
The Hoard of Mhorrer kicks off several years after the events of The Secret War. It starts in familiar territory with a daemon-hunt through the streets of 19th century Prague, and the adventures progress to the Sinai after the main character, Captain William Saxon, is despatched there on a perilous mission to find the greatest threat to mankind: a hoard of artefacts capable of unleashing an army of daemons upon an unsuspecting world. It's a bloody, exciting adventure story of treachery, revelation and heroism.
(The plan was to write something that surpassed The Secret War in many ways, and judging by the feedback I've had from readers and the publisher, I've achieved that - I just hope everyone else agrees!)
2) The Hoard of Mhorrer is your second book published by Macmillan New Writing. How has your life changed since they published The Secret War in 2007?
My life hasn't changed that much - not in a world breaking-way. I still have a day job, I'm not stopped in the streets or mobbed by fans. And you know, I'm happy about that. I just want to get on with the writing, and that hasn't changed either - my writing-energy feels boundless. I suppose the 'little things' have changed, for example the money I've got from rights and royalties have cleared a few household debts so we're quite comfortable at the moment. It also means I can go part time (which I will be doing in January) to concentrate on the writing. So I suppose if anything has changed, my writing has become more serious because there is a bit of cash rolling in from it.
Oh, and I've fallen in with an amazing group of authors who have been a guidance and an inspiration. You might know them...
3)What is your typical writing day?
I used to be a fiend for writing during my lunch breaks at work, but now I spend most of my writing-time in the evenings or weekends. On a typical weekend of writing (if Sarah's working) I'll get up about 8am and be at the PC by 9am. I'll then write my way through to lunch, go for a walk, and come back to do "bonus writing" - the writing that's over and above anything I aimed to do in the morning. Weekdays it's a bit different. I'll be on the PC for about 7pm and write through to 9pm. On average, I tend to write about 2-3000 words in two hours, so I'm quite prolific during the first couple of drafts.
4) Four random facts:
- Do you have a writing mantra?:
I have two. The first is "write for yourself". The second is the spark itself: "what if..?"
- By pen or by keyboard, and why?:
Keyboard. I can't read my own handwriting. It's appalling. And I can type quick than I can write illegibly.
- Greatest influences on your writing:
Clive Barker, Lovercraft, Steven Pressfield, my dad, a childhood love for the Napoleonic era and too many films to mention.
- Most ludicrous moment in your life:
Being struck by lightning. Twice. So don't stand near me during a storm. Perhaps someone up there is a critic.