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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ben's Laboratory

For those of you who are interested, at the point I have just gotten to in New Light, Ben and his friends have had to return to the Laboratory for reasons that will become clear if you read it!

While they were looking for anything of use, they came across this floor plan on the wall of the Mess Hall, so I thought I would share it with you.  Now you all have an idea what the Laboratory looks like, at least in part.  The mainframe and maintenance levels (i.e. fusion reactor) are both security clearance Alpha 9, so no floor plans for them I'm afraid.

Anyway, here it is!

Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Was it how you imagined?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Chapter 8 is done!

Another milestone met, another reason to celebrate!

Chapter 8 of New Light is finished!  By my calculations, I have another four chapters to go (and an epilogue, but it's very short), until the entire novel is done and dusted!  Chapter 8 is of particular note as it is the chapter in which Ben works out where he is and what is going on!

I took three stabs at the first draft of that scene, so I hope people like it.  If not, let me know why!  Still eager for the feedback here, people, just so you know.

In other news, I have also been preparing an experiment which I will be discussing at a later date, once I have some results.  It's a literary experiment (sort of), as you would expect from my blog about writing and such, so stay tuned!

Oh, also, I passed an English and Maths exam last week, proving that I am not a total dunce.  I scored lowest on my grammar, as I'm sure my editor can attest to!  That's one more step on my road to teacher training, so here's hoping I get called for an interview.

If only my novels would pay my bills....

Monday, 13 January 2014

Character death

So, I've just killed one of the main characters in my Benjamin Knight series.  I didn't know he was going to die, he just sort of did.  There was no way out, and I couldn't save him.

Sorry, spoilers and all that.  Yes it was a he, but I won't be saying who.  If you're like me, it probably wouldn't matter, I'd miss any of them at this point.  After all this time writing about these people, it's hard to let one go, especially when it was so unexpected.  I thought I had an idea about how the scene was going to go, and then it completely threw me.

So much for all my plans.

I keep looking at the chart on my wall and the piles of paper on my desk, and wondering who else I am going to lose before this is done.  I am just about done with chapter 7, which leaves 5 or 6 chapters left to write in New Light (depending on how it finally pans out).  That's a lot of words to get through.  Who else won't make it to the epilogue?

I know what you're thinking - "Shut up, I'm bored already."

No?  Okay, maybe you were thinking - "You're the one writing the story, just change it so he doesn't die!"

I could, but part of me would feel like I'm cheating.  I've established these characters, their motivations and personalities.  I've set up the rules for how the world works.  If I go back and add something now, is that really fair?  As the reader, you have a certain expectation by now, almost 300 thousand words into the story (I am 65k words into New Light).  If I pull a metaphorical rabbit out of the hat, won't you feel cheated too?

I don't know, I think I'm going to sleep on it, and see what tomorrow brings.

Not that I think I'll be getting much sleep....

Friday, 3 January 2014

Antagonize cover reveal!

Today I am in the lucky position to reveal the cover for the second Daniel Quinn novel - Antagonize.  You may remember that I read and reviewed the fist book in the series, Energize, in 2013 and awarded it 4 stars.  Well worth a read if you haven't gotten to it yet!

Now, onto Antagonize:-

Two worlds are at war, their destruction close to reality. Only one man can stop the bloodshed, but only if he survives the deadly game he’s been forced to play with a ruthless mercenary. Captain Daniel Quinn returns in Antagonize: From the Logs of Daniel Quinn by Thomas R. Manning.

Welcome to the official cover reveal and release announcement of Antagonize! Last June, Thomas made his debut in the literary world with the first Daniel Quinn novel, Energize! Since that time, there have been some amazing reviews of the book, calling it “electric, sorrowful, inventive, astonishing, and ultimately totally unpredictable and original”, and “superb and leaves you waiting to find out what other adventures are in store”.

Thomas is hard at work making sure that Antagonize rises above its predecessor in every way, and that includes the cover art! Without further delay, here is the cover of Antagonize, designed by the talented Megan Kennedy!

The official synopsis:

The planets Terra and Gaia have been at war for generations. Now in a last ditch effort, a council is formed to usher in an era of peace. But when members are ruthlessly killed, lines are drawn, sides grow hostile, and mutual destruction seems inevitable.

Far away on a desolate planet, Captain Daniel Quinn of the Kestrel Belle is summoned in the hopes that he can help stop the bloodshed. With armies of soldiers around every corner, and a deadly mercenary determined to stop him, Daniel is the only man who can help unite the two worlds.

It's a war that he didn't start, but one he will have to stop in order to save lives, including his own.

Thomas has also confirmed the release date for Antagonize: From the Logs of Daniel Quinn.

March 28th 2014!!! Available on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and more!

Check it out on Goodreads at, and to stay up to date with all of Thomas’s latest updates regarding Antagonize and future projects through his blog, and his website,

It looks good, doesn't it, and I'm here to tell you that it is even better than it looks!  Thomas has granted me the special privilege of being one of his beta readers, and I have read the first 2 chapters.  It's a great read, and I can't wait for more, believe me.  Energize was good, but I can already see that Antagonize is going to be even better.

Make sure to check back around the 28th March for the full review.