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I thought I’d better write about why I haven’t been posting much here or on social media of late. Don’t panic, nothing’s amiss – I’ve just been somewhat distracted by major goings-on at my day job. I don’t normally post about personal stuff on here, but as it’s been impacting my writing and internet presence, I wanted to reassure people I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth :) Read more

Smells Like Tudor Spirit

16th century Italian gilt pomander
16th century Italian gilt pomander

Ever wanted to smell like an Elizabethan? OK, maybe not literally (eww!), but it was in the sixteenth century that perfume and scented items became popular with the wealthy. If you’ve read The Alchemist of Souls, you may recall Mal’s encounter with Jos Percy – and the loss of an expensive silver pomander!

When my friend and fellow writer Naomi Clark set up an Etsy store for her homemade fragrances and began tweeting about all the lovely essential oils she was buying, that got me wondering what scents my characters would like. Long story short, I met up with Naomi and we collaborated on two fragrances, one for Mal and one for Coby – and they’re now available to buy! Read more

The Prince of Lies – Christmas giveaway

My author copies of The Prince of Lies turned up the other day, so I thought it was about time I did a giveaway!

I have three paperbacks (UK edition) to give away, open to entries anywhere in the world. All you have to do to be in with a chance is to leave a comment on this post – please note that comments are moderated to reduce spam, so don’t panic if yours doesn’t appear right away.


  1. One comment per entrant, please – multiple commenters will be disqualified (unless you’re replying to a question on the post or similar).
  2. For security reasons, please don’t leave contact details in your comment – there’s a space in the comment form for your email address, I’ll use that to get hold of you.
  3. Closing date for entries is noon UK time on Tuesday 10th December. Any comments posted after that deadline will be deleted.
  4. I will be picking three separate winners (using a random number generator), to receive one copy each.
  5. I will aim to get the books out promptly, but given how close it is to Christmas, I can’t guarantee delivery times.
  6. If a winner does not respond by Christmas Eve (24th December) or doesn’t provide a valid email address, I reserve the right to select a replacement.

Good luck!


NaNoWriMo 2013: Week 4

This week was the week I had to finally admit to myself that I wasn’t going to make it to 50k in November. No way. No how. And that’s OK, because

a) I have some solid reasons (mainly a nasty virus that’s been dogging me since late October), but more importantly

b) I haven’t stopped writing Read more

NaNoWriMo 2013: Week 3

So, I’m even later posting this week than I was last week, mostly because of my day-job. Turns out our team is being relocated to the institute with which we’ve collaborating for over a decade, and whilst physically that’s barely 100 yards, psychologically it’s a big deal because it means reapplying for my current position plus overseeing my team’s transfer. I’m pretty confident of staying in my job, but it requires lots of meetings & discussions and has thus been taking my focus away from my writing. So…

Right now I’m behind and struggling. I’ve gone back and filled in a couple of scenes I skipped, which helped keep the words flowing, but I’m rapidly reaching the point where I’m trying to make up new plot without any idea of what’s going on. I have this annoying feeling that a plot breakthrough could be right around the corner if only I press on, so that’s my current strategy. Keep on keeping on – because that’s the only way a book gets written.

Target word count: 36,667

Actual word count: 30,483

Prince of Lies – the official wallpaper

So far I’ve produced desktop wallpaper based on cover art for the first two volumes of Night’s Masque and they proved rather popular, so I’m completing the set with The Prince of Lies.

As with previous versions, it includes a quotation from the novel that I hope sums it up without being spoilery :)

I’ve created two versions, one widescreen (8:5) and one standard proportion (4:3), both in sizes large enough for all but the biggest monitors.

1600 x 1000 | 1280 x 960


Full credits

Cover art © Larry Rostant at Artist Partners

Background texture & lettering by Marc Gascoigne

Angry Robot logo © Angry Robot Books

Design and novel excerpt © 2013 Anne Lyle

NaNoWriMo 2013: Week 2 and the halfway point

I’m posting this a bit later than planned, because my cold has worsened since I went back to work and I’ve not been getting much sleep. Still, a pro soldiers on even when they don’t feel like writing!

This week’s been one of ups and downs, kind of like last week: I had a great weekend and even a great Monday, clocking up nearly 7k in 3 days, but then the lack of sleep turned that lead into a deficit. On the plus side, on my low/zero writing days I had some interesting epiphanies about my characters, plot and worldbuilding, which I hope will translate into more outline when I’m feeling slightly less crap.

I took a sick day today and, thanks to an important conversation between my two lead characters that I’d been looking forward to writing since I planned out the backstory, I racked up almost 2k without really trying, bringing me close to being back on track to hit 50k by the end of the month. I won’t say “finish” because I won’t have reached the end of the book by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ll have a substantial chunk of it.

Target word count: 25,000

Actual word count: 23,985


A look back at WFC 2013

The World Fantasy Convention came to the UK this year for the first time in a couple of decades, and expectations were high, especially since US authors were coming over to meet fans, promote their latest books or just see a bit of the UK alongside their convention schedule. Given that I registered back in 2011 when tickets first went on sale, you can imagine I was pretty excited by the time November came around! Read more