This is What Civilisation Looks Like

Constantinople Grand Palais Sacre

I am currently writing Vampire Khan. An early scene takes place in Constantinople, and so I have had to research what it was like in the 13th century. As you would expect, there is an enormous amount of information available, from long and detailed descriptions to art work.

This video is a slideshow of some really quite beautiful architectural-style drawings reconstructing many of the principle monuments and buildings. What a truly stunning city it once was, epitomising classical architecture. The order and harmony of the design stands in opposition to the chaos and disorder of the world beyond the empire. This is what civilisation looks like.

Please check out the artist’s website and appreciate these truly wonderful images individually.

 



 

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Vampire Khan – why are you writing so slowly?

dan davis working hard

Vampire Outlaw, the second book in the Immortal Knight Chronicles was released way back in March 2016. I get messages every week asking me a fair question: Where is the third book in the series?

What is taking so long?!

When I set out to become an indie author back in 2014, I knew it would a long, hard road and so I had a plan. In my notebook of story ideas, I had over fifty concepts, ranging from a single sentence to structured plots. I picked out four ideas that I thought would each make a good, commercial series. And I ranked them in order of which ones I thought would be the most commercial; the ones that would sell the best.  The plan was to start with the least commercial and work my way through to the most commercial.

If that sounds like the wrong way round to you, then you might be right. But I knew enough about independent publishing to know that I didn’t know very much and I wanted to learn the ropes with low-stakes ideas. Saving the best for last. By the time I got to the fourth series*, I knew my writing would be that much better, and I would understand the marketing and everything else.

I made a lot of mistakes. An awful lot. But I learned from them and kept going. I put a lot of work into each book and into all the other stuff I had to do, from cover design to advertising. And to do all of that, I have had to give up a lot.

When do I write?

With a full-time job, and a family, I can only write in the evening. Specifically, after dinner and before bed. I started publishing these books when my first daughter was a year old. By then, I had already long given up drinking but I also had to stop playing video games and watching so many movies.

People talk about needing inspiration, and motivation but getting anything worthwhile done is about self-discipline, and dedication. Other than illness and vacations, I haven’t had a night off from writing or publishing in almost three years. I even write on Christmas Day and New Years Eve (which is only possible because I don’t drink…).

It’s not easy. In fact, I find it difficult to stay alert enough to write with any efficiency, and to help me out on that front I developed an energy drinks and skittles habit. I have also sacrificed an hour or two of sleep a night (or more) for years. But I have worked consistently, putting in the hours and not giving myself a break.

In less than three years, I have published nine novels, totalling 750,000 words. That’s about 250,000 words published a year.

My pace has slowed in 2017. Why is that? 

We had another baby this year. I’m not sure I need to expand on why that impacted my spare time and energy level but perhaps I should say that my family is the most important thing to me, and I work hard to ensure I spend as much time with my daughters as possible, morning and evenings and weekends.

Also, the energy drinks, sugar and lack of sleep made me fat and unhealthy. So I gave up the energy drinks and skittles, which meant I could not stay awake for as long, or write as much. A few times this year I have fallen asleep in front of my computer, in the middle of writing. More than a few times. So that means fewer words per day on average. On the plus side, I am exercising again and so I hope I will live longer…

I also spent a long time this summer changing the covers for all my series, and getting the paperback versions for half of my books done. Paperback formatting took over my life for weeks and weeks.

Advertising and marketing has also taken up a lot more of my time this year. Many a night, all I can do is adjust ads, or organise a promotion.

Why has there been such a gap since the last Immortal Knight Chronicles? 

Yes, Vampire Outlaw came out in March 2016. It is now October 2017. What’s going on? Well, I had this series in mind for years and wrote the first book very quickly, and I loved it and was very pleased with it and proud of it. The second book was twice as long, and far more complicated and it was – and still is – the best thing I have ever written.

I put my heart and soul into that book.

But no one bought it. Hardly anyone bought either book, and I couldn’t even give it away. I ran free promos and tried ads and everything I could think of and no one wanted to know. I knew potential fans were out there, I just could not break through the mass of Twilight, and the Vampire Diaries and so on. There were not many books like mine that I could emulate. I thought the Casca series and Necroscope fans would like it but how to reach them? Nothing seemed to work. I don’t know if I even sold 100 books. Just couldn’t crack it.

So I moved on to my next planned series – my scifi series. Orb Station Zero sold really well, with the Kindle Unlimited borrows included, it was about 5,000 copies. My first success, by a long way. So I committed to that by writing the two planned prequels and then the first sequel.

I have published 338,000 words over those 4 scifi novels since Vampire Outlaw was released.

And it was only since my scifi series took off (relatively, of course), that the Immortal Knight Chronicles also started to find an audience. I ran a lot of successful Facebook ads which kickstarted the process. It was no.1 in the Vampire category in the UK Kindle charts for weeks, and I have sold thousands in the UK and US, and the reviews have been fantastic and I get emails, Facebook messages, and comments from readers every week. Reviewers often mention they need the next book, immediately.

This has made me very happy.

I love this series. I love writing it. I never gave up on it but now I have even more reason to be excited about writing the rest of the books.

I am writing Vampire Khan now. To prepare, I have had to research mid-13th century Constantinople, Karakorum, Alamut, and Baghdad. I have read books on the Mongols, the Assassins, and the Abbasid Caliphate. That has taken time.

People have asked me why I bother doing so much research for a vampire novel. I am sure it might seem absurd to aim for accuracy and authenticity in a fantasy / horror / action novel but I hope that readers who have enjoyed the series so far understand what I am trying to do with it.

Likewise, it would be easier if I made the books shorter and simpler. And it would be a reasonable thing to be less ambitious, at least until I can write full-time. But I want to be ambitious, with this series at least. The whole series is ambitious – I am writing a story spanning 800 years of real history, inserting an immortal knight  – and a lot more – into actual historical events. And history is my biggest passion, so I want to do it justice and give it the respect it deserves – even if it is for a vampire book with a silly title.

I write quickly.

I plot the books quickly, I write the first draft quickly. I do not hesitate and don’t believe in writers’ block. Revising and rewriting comes easily and I do not agonise over decisions and am not precious over beta reader and editor feedback. Writing is easy for me, and enjoyable. Thrilling, even.

A few times, I have taken a week of leave from work in order to write. Other times my wife takes the kids out for a day at the weekend. It is different to writing at night, when I am fighting to keep my eyes open. On those daytime writing days, when I can write for hours at a time without interruption and so get into the zone, into a flow state, I will write around 5,000 words a day, and have done more than that – over 8,000 once.

My goal is to write full-time.

I therefore know I can write a first draft in one month, and then take another month to rewrite and publish. So, when I can transition to full-time writer, I will release a book every two months, or six a year. Doing that, and paying all my bills and supporting my family,  I will be living my perfect life.

Until I reach my goal, I will have to keep on writing every night, for an hour or three, peering at the screen with one eye open so I’m not seeing double.

Everyone who buys my books helps me to reach my goal. Every single review on Amazon helps me. All the comments on my Facebook posts – especially the adverts that I run (it helps the algorithms) – help me, too. All the people who recommend my books to their friends and family help me enormously. Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far and continues to support me. I will, of course, only get to where I want to be only with your help. And when I get there, I will provide you with many, many books for you to enjoy…

I am really enjoying writing Vampire Khan. And I hope that you will enjoy reading it.

Writing this post has been on my mind for weeks now but I did not want to give up a night of writing the story in order to write a blog post. I do intend to keep you updated as best I can with progress and I hope you understand now why it has taken so long to get here.

Thanks again.

***

My release schedule to date:

  • White Wind Rising – Dec 2014 – 65,000 words
  • Dark Water Breaking – June 2015  – 80,000 words
  • Vampire Crusader – Sept 2015 – 62,000 words
  • Green Earth Shaking – Dec 2015 – 65,000 words
  • Vampire Outlaw – March 2016 – 135,000 words
  • Orb Station Zero – Aug 2016 – 115,000 words
  • Inhuman Contact – Oct 2016 – 47,000 words
  • Onca’s Duty – Jan 2017 – 54,000 words
  • Earth Colony Sentinel – July 2017 – 122,000 words
  • Vampire Khan – December?? 2017 – over 100k words… almost certainly. 

*I mentioned my fourth planned series in this post but never mentioned what it was. My idea is for a straight up historical fiction, set in the ancient world. It is a full on Bernard Cornwell style adventure. I have a cracking protagonist. I have a 9-book structure set out. It is going to be brilliant.

 


dan davis working hard



 

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Vampire Outlaw now in paperback!

Immortal Knight paperback covers

Vampire Outlaw: the Immortal Knight Chronicles Book 2 is now available in paperback!

Get it now from:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AUS
Amazon CA

I apologise for the delay, I know it has been a long time coming but the new artwork delayed the release. And then the original paperback size was over 600 pages and so to keep the cost down we have got it down to 500 but this change also delayed things. Still, it’s here now and I think it looks great!

A post shared by Dan Davis (@dandavisauthor) on

 

A post shared by Dan Davis (@dandavisauthor) on

What do you think?

Get it now from:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AUS
Amazon CA

 


Immortal Knight paperback covers

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99c Sale Now – Orb Station Zero #scifi #action

ORB STATION ZERO – Galactic Arena Book 1 on sale for just 99c now!

To save Earth, Rama Seti must travel to the outer solar system and battle a monstrous alien warrior in the Orb Arena.

Get it now on:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AUS
Amazon CA

Best scifi novels 2017

Rama Seti’s head is grafted onto a giant, genetically engineered super soldier. Now, he’s on his way to defeat an alien warrior on a vast and ancient space station at the edge of the Solar System.

Every thirty years, humanity sends a single champion to fight for our future. Until now, every one of our finest heroes has been torn to shreds.

This is the final chance. Win humanity’s future. Or lose the Earth itself.

Ram never volunteered. He’s no soldier. He was a professional VR gamer. Why do they want him?

Before he can discover the truth, Ram must survive four billion miles in a colossal starship, the UNOPS Victory, training with the deadliest space marines, soldiers, fighters and killers the world has ever known. And each of them will stop at nothing to be the savior of the world.

If you enjoyed Ender’s Game, Starship Troopers and Old Man’s War, you’ll love Orb Station Zero, the first in a new military science fiction series, Galactic Arena.

Get it now on:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AUS
Amazon CA


The Galactic Arena Series

Galactic Arena New scifi covers 2017

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Earth Colony Sentinel (Galactic Arena Book 2) is out now!

Rama Seti and pilot Kat Xenakis race to save Earth’s extrasolar colony before an alien battleship destroys humanity’s first step into the stars. 

Get it now on:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Australia
Amazon Canada

Top new scifi books

Humanity is gifted a new star system, light years from Earth. Ours to colonize and control. But our enemies will not give up this great prize without a fight.

As the starship Victory attempts to establish humanity’s first extrasolar colony, a wheelhunter battleship is detected, approaching at high speed. On the surface of the planet Arcadia, alien forces rise up to swarm and attack the colony.

Reinforcements are coming. The UNOPS Stalwart Sentinel is Earth’s greatest battleship. Leading a powerful war fleet, the Sentinel must protect mankind’s expansion into the galaxy. Until then, the Victory must stand alone.

The wheelhunters will not rest until the last human in the system is dead. Rama Seti and the UNOP Marines must defeat them. Or mankind’s first step into a galactic empire will be their last.

If you enjoyed Ender’s Game, Starship Troopers and Old Man’s War, you’ll love Earth Colony Sentinel, the first sequel in a new military science fiction series, Galactic Arena.

The Galactic Arena Series
Inhuman Contact (Prequel 1) – FREE (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
Onca’s Duty (Prequel 2) – FREE when you sign up to my email list (or 99c from Amazon US /Amazon UK)
Orb Station Zero (Book 1) – On SALE now for 99c (Amazon US /Amazon UK)
Earth Colony Sentinel (Book 2) – Out now! (Amazon US / Amazon UK)


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Earth Colony Sentinel: Galactic Arena Book 2 release day 17th July 2017 #scifi

Top new scifi books

Humanity is gifted a new star system, light years from Earth. Ours to colonize and control. But our enemies will not give up this great prize without a fight.

As the starship Victory attempts to establish humanity’s first extrasolar colony, a wheelhunter battleship is detected. It is approaching at high speed. On the surface of the planet Arcadia, alien forces rise up to swarm and attack the colony.

Reinforcements are coming. The UNOPS Stalwart Sentinel is Earth’s greatest battleship. Leading a powerful war fleet, the Sentinel must protect humanity’s expansion into the galaxy. Until then, the Victory must stand alone.

The wheelhunters will not rest until the last human in the system is dead. Rama Seti and the UNOP Marines must defeat them. Or mankind’s first step into a galactic empire will be their last.

COMING MONDAY 17th JULY !

Get Orb Station Zero Galactic Arena Book 1  now:

Buy now on Amazon US 
Buy now on Amazon UK

Best scifi novels 2017




 

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Reviewers Wanted! Galactic Arena Book 2 – thrilling #scifi action

Galactic Arena Book 2

This week, I’ll be sending out Advance Reader Copies of Earth Colony Sentinel (Galactic Arena book 2). This will give you two weeks to read the novel and write your review before publication. If you haven’t joined my Advanced Reviewer Group yet, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bJ5S_P

Galactic Arena Book 2

What in the world is my Advanced Reviewer Group? Find out more on this page.

Top new scifi books

The ARCs will go out asap next week. Cheers guys!



 

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New covers for the Galactic Arena #scifi series

Galactic Arena New scifi covers 2017

While we wait for the release of EARTH COLONY SENTINEL Book 2 of Galactic Arena, feast your AugHuds on the new series covers.

Galactic Arena New scifi covers 2017

What do you think? Let me know with a comment!

If you haven’t read it yet, get ORB STATION ZERO Galactic Arena Book 1 now for just 99c!

Best scifi novels 2017

Rama Seti thought he was just another ordinary guy. Until the day he woke up to find his head grafted onto a giant, genetically engineered super soldier on his way to defeat an alien champion on a vast and mysterious space station out beyond Neptune.

Buy now on Amazon US 
Buy now on Amazon UK

Get your copy for a mere 99c / p right now.

 



 

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Earth Colony Sentinel is almost here #scifi #sequel

Galactic Arena Book 2

Galactic Arena Book 2

EARTH COLONY SENTINEL features Rama Seti and the war for Arcadia, the extrasolar planet where humans and aliens will  do battle for the first time. A wheelhunter battleship is decelerating toward the planet from across the system while the most powerful human vessel ever devised races to intercept. The ground forces must hold out against the alien onslaught while the space duel rages above.

I am sorry the book is taking so long to be released. Where are we at now? I have had lots of great feedback from beta readers, rewritten elements based on that feedback and the first proof read has been completed.

I will send out ARC copies in the next few days and release date will be in a couple of weeks, assuming the next two rounds of proofing can be done by then.

If you’re waiting for VAMPIRE KHAN, I have been working on that for the last few weeks as well, during all the times I couldn’t work on the scifi series because the book was being proofread and so on. I am looking forward to getting my teeth into it now…

In the meantime, if you haven’t read it yet, get ORB STATION ZERO Galactic Arena Book 1 now for just 99c!

Best scifi novels 2017

Rama Seti thought he was just another ordinary guy. Until the day he woke up to find his head grafted onto a giant, genetically engineered super soldier on his way to defeat an alien champion on a vast and mysterious space station out beyond Neptune.

Buy now on Amazon US 

Buy now on Amazon UK

 



 

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Get Inhuman Contact for FREE everywhere now #Scifi #Free

Free scifi novel

In the near future, an alien space station appears beyond the orbit of Neptune. A pioneering mission of first contact is launched. But the genetically engineered backup crew was never meant to do it alone…

Free scifi novel

 

Download for free now on Amazon US
Download for free now on Amazon UK

When disaster strikes the spaceship UNOPS Ascension, the genetically engineered reserve crew are all that remain. To survive the mission they must overcome their conditioning, unlock their potential… and become truly human.

Max (Medical Assistant XIII) was designed, grown and conditioned for Mission Zero. He is capable of performing complex medical tasks, administering drugs, running blood tests and even assisting in minor surgeries. But Max knows nothing more. Nothing about the mission, the Ascension, the other Artificial Persons on board or even himself. Only, there is something wrong with Max.

He is beginning to learn.

The first prequel in the Galactic Arena Series, Inhuman Contact explores the story of Mission Zero and humanity’s first encounter with Orb Station Zero. It examines the origins of the Artificial Persons Program and why there is pro- and anti-AP terrorism on Earth in the main series. It can be read before or after Book 1 Orb Station Zero, or as a stand-alone story.

Download for free now on Amazon US
Download for free now on Amazon UK



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