Planting a tree (while getting carried away)

It’s often funny how interests can bleed over into one another, to the point where one almost becomes indistinguishable from the other.

Outside of writing, one of my hobbies is genealogy. Having done my own research, and built on that of other family members, I now have a tree of over 4,000 people linked to myself. It became a bit of an obsession, really. I love to see how the generations all interconnect.

With families being central to a lot of plot threads in The Ap’Lydin Chronicles, I started to build a rough family tree to keep track of who so-and-so’s father, daughter, cousin, etc. As the writing for The Slaves of the Horned God developed, a lot of these connections became important, and so the tree developed further.


So now the fictional tree is at over 400 individuals (a small snippet to the right). Perhaps I went a bit overboard?

Nah! Pay no attention to those who tell you it’s probably irrelevant how Haakon de Morcor and Wulfric Highcrown are related to each other*.  It’s all useful knowledge, I absolutely assure you…

*(First cousins once removed. Now you know.)



Lessons Learned


A good few rounds of editing is intended to turn a turd of a first draft into a polished manuscript for publishing. Sometimes, however, you don’t catch everything. Sometimes you don’t find them until you release your work into the wide world.

So here, in no particular order, are some things I’ve learned from my current works after their releases:

Why are you so irritating?

Sometimes a character you hope people will find charming and amusing, they instead will find annoying. Really annoying.  Even after you think you’d already ‘fixed’ him. So, best to tone him down for the next instalment. (I’ll protect the fictional character’s identity by leaving him nameless)

Let’s get going already!

First entries in series often suffer from the dreaded pacing disease that is called the slow start.  Let’s get moving quicker, next time, sans the infodumping.

Why is everyone shouting at me?!

This one is simple. Too! Many! Exclamation! Marks! In! Dialogue! Hopefully everyone cools off a bit next time.

Um…shouldn’t you be dead?

Sometimes people get injured. Sometimes they get injured badly. Sometimes they don’t get any treatment. Mysteriously, they live anyway. (Just…no)

Happily The Slaves of the Horned God won’t have any of these issues. (Now let’s make sure it doesn’t have a whole bunch of new issues…)