Periscope Up!

Okay, so I’ve been busy doing stuff – quite a lot of it family things and such, but I’ve been writing too. This, in fact:

Text saying Angels of Caliban, Emperors and Slaves

Note, that is not the confirmed tagline, but I like it.

It’s very tempting to get dragged away in all directions; blogging, promoting, generally procrastinating. I find it very difficult to concentrate on writing the thing at hand if part of me is wondering if I have emails to answer, whether anyone has posted a question on Goodreads, if there’s an amusing picture of a cat I need to retweet.

I can get away with some of this, being a full-time writer, but for those that have evenings and weekends to ply their craft it’s vital that you create a space and time where the writing comes first. I’ve been using Freedom for a while, which is a useful way to make sure I’m not tempted to go Wiki-surfing at an inopportune time. It does have the downside that occasionally I genuinely have to look up something or do some research mid-write, but in such times I can still use the iPad or my phone. (Worth noting that turning off your phone can be a very useful thing too.)

It’s equally important that others know when it’s time for ‘periscope down’ and that you are not to be disturbed, except with the odd cup of coffee or snifter of your favourite liquor (assuming it’s after five, naturally). The onus is then on you to make the most of this bubble to be as productive as possible, be it writing or editing or (and this is quite important) thinking about what you are about to write.

And that last one can’t be overlooked. If you have limited access to time at a keyboard, make sure you create times during your daily routine to engage your brain (or disengage it, depending on your process and day job!) so that when you have those periods of typing you already have a good idea what you want to write. I find that manual, semi-conscious tasks like housework and cooking help my mind achieve that nice state between thinking about a thing and not-quite-thinking-about-a-thing. For you it might be the bus ride, walking the dog, bungee-jumping over the Rio Grande.

To put it another way, make sure you give your writing the respect it deserves, with a place and time for your stories, but don’t confine your creativity to just those allotted times at the computer.

As well as working on my latest Horus heresy book, work is progressing on the shiny new Gav Thorpe website. I’ve also been kept on my toes with a healthy dose of releases recently , so much so that I want to make sure I’ve properly mentioned them all. I could try to be fancy and do the soft sell and all that but, you know, busy and everything, so here’s what you should be looking out for!

June 2015 – Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan available for reminder, and you can read an extract on the BL page (  (This is fifty thousand words long, so about half the length of Malekith, but nearly twice as long as Catechism of Hate.)
May 2015 – All of the Horus Heresy books released to date are now available in eBook collections (five novels for the price of four in each collection).  Deliverance Lost is available in Volume 4, along with Age of Darkness (contains The Face of Treachery), The Outcast Dead, Know No Fear, and The Primarchs (including The Lion). (
April 2015 – The Shadowmasters available as an mp3, and you can listen to an extract on the BL page (
April 2015 – Corax: Soulforge available as a hardback, eBook, and mp3 and you can read and listen to extracts on the BL page (
April 2015 – Raptor available as CD and mp3, and you can listen to an extract on the BL page (
Published in: on May 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve never really had the discipline to assign fixed writing time, but thankfully that’s offbalanced by a slightly manic need to get work done the moment I wake up, at least while a project is nice and fresh.


    • “at least while a project is nice and fresh.”

      That’s the catch, isn’t it? When an idea is new the words come easily, but it’s putting in the hours and remaining motivated that presents the difficulty.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good advice I used similar programs when writing my thesis, essentially 1000 words per day for 6 months…you need that isolation


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