Friday, 13 January 2017

Self-improvement challenge 2017

Never one to rest on my laurels, particularly as I get older and older (38 later this month), I've decided to set some goals for this year to generally improve my life and gain some new skills.

Obviously, as I'm a writer, here are the writing goals first:

Writing Goals

Publish four full length novels (likelihood: easy)
Write 400,000 new words (got 500k in 2016 so should be a breeze)
Make $10,000 in book profit (near impossible; despite my best efforts, I only made about $3k in 2016, of which barely $500 was profit, probably less, but you've gotta dream big, right?)

Outside writing

I'm a new father (eight-month-old daughter) and a teacher in Japan by day, so my free time is limited. However, I still want to make some other small gains to improve myself. Here's what I'm planning to do in 2017:

Jog 200 times

I'm constantly told I'm overweight and have high cholesterol, so its time to do something about it. I actually used to run a lot - seven years ago this April I ran my first and only marathon - so its not so hard to get back into it. To count as a run, it has to be more than 10 minutes. I've actually done seven so far, and we're only two weeks into January. The longest was 32min, although I did a few shorter ones which were hill climbs or sprints. A sub goal is to get my weight under 90kg. It's currently at 94kg or thereabouts.

Learn to play a song on the piano

I have a keyboard that I can't play, but I've always wanted to try. I've decided to choose just one song and learn it well. I've already decided the song, so I'll post a video if I actually succeed.

Learn to draw anime characters 

Okay, this is one to impress my students (I work in Junior High Schools). I love the idea of learning something completely random, so this is it. As with the piano above, Youtube tutorials are my friend on this.

Pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test 1 kanji section

I live in Japan, but my Japanese is rubbish. However, my favorite section is the characters (kanji), and I can actually read Japanese quite well. The JLPT Level 1 test is rock hard, and is considered native fluency. However, its only multiple choice, so I have a chance with the kanji. I have already passed the 3rd level test, but the first is a massive step up. Note that I'm not expecting to pass the whole test - I have no chance! - just the kanji section. And it will be informal - I'm going to download a practice test and try it, not pay a bunch of money to take the full test.

How am I going to do all these things? Writing is obviously my priority, and jogging is something I'll do at random, but for the others I'm planning to devote roughly an hour per week on each. I would like it to be more, but I get a couple of hours free time per day at best. It will be a challenge to see how much I can cram in.

So, that's me. If you're also doing some kind of self-improvement challenge this year, feel free to let me know in the comments. Good luck!

Chris Ward
January 13th 2017

Saturday, 12 November 2016

New boxed set available featuring me!

Introducing Visions of the Fall, a monstrous book of dark and dystopian fiction from some of the best authors around. More than one million words of fiction to keep you entertained, including my book, The Tube Riders: Underground.

Get in there now because the introductory price of $1.99 won't last forever. Click the picture to view the boxed set on Amazon.

Friday, 21 October 2016

New release October 25th - Stolen (Tokyo Lost Series 2)

New book out this Tuesday, the second in my romantic suspense series set in Tokyo. Go check it out. I'm running a small giveaway - one winner will receive an Amazon Gift Card worth $25. To enter, you have to buy the book and tweet me a copy of your receipt to @chriswardwriter, or send me a pic of it on your kindle.

Good luck!

Chiaki Hasegawa is a multi-million selling singer songwriter, but her career peak is a decade behind her. Now she lives like a caged bird, fighting to escape the violent and oppressive grip of her manager, Masaaki Iida, who is desperate to resurrect her career, no matter what the cost.

Then one day she meets Ben Wilson, a traveller and train blogger struggling with his heartbreak and obligation to the family he wronged.

Chiaki's life is turned on its head, and for the first time she sees the possibility of a life beyond music.

But Masaaki Iida will never allow it.....

Saturday, 1 October 2016

General updates Sept/Oct

September was a long month. It was also, due to busting all kinds of ass, my most financially successful month of the year.

But that's not saying much.

I won't talk figures, but let's just say that I've already written off 2016 as a slump year and am building towards greater success in 2017.

So what did I get done in September?

I focused mainly on building my mailing list(s) and setting up lots of welcome emails with all kinds of freebies, bells and whistles. Across all my lists I now have a little over 2500 people, and I'm working hard to at least double this by the end of the year. It's been fun, that's for sure, but because of the focus on it my other work has suffered.

I wrote just over 30,000 new words. That might sound pretty good but it's my lowest month of the year. Still, I passed 400,000 words for 2016 during Sept so I'm game on for getting 500k plus by the end of the year. Easy.

My heroic fantasy--my current main WIP--is sitting at 122k, with no end in sight. I've slacked off a little with it due to the other things I've got going on, but I'm hoping to finish it in Oct/Nov.

I did some rebranding back along, and turned my completely-ignored romance, Finding my World into Broken (Tokyo Lost Series 1) complete with a stunning new cover. The second in the series (these are standalones but they share locations and styles), which had a working title of Tokyo Sonata, will be released under the name of Stolen (Tokyo Lost Series 2) on Oct 25. The book is available for pre-order right now on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

I actually just finished the final proofreading of Stolen tonight and sent it out to my advanced reviewers group, so if you're on that list you should be receiving your free copy soon. It always feels great to complete a task, but it just means that I'm straight on to the next one. And that is the second draft of my YA fantasy, The School at the End of the World. I'm about halfway through it, and I'm hoping to get that book out (and ideally the second too, because its finished) by the end of the year. Fingers crossed.

In addition, I'm working on the paperbacks for Broken and Stolen (and once I'm done with those it'll be the turn of In the Shadow of London), plus Broken is now taking auditions on Audible, so if you're a narrator, why don't you have a go?

So, September was mostly admin type stuff. More than anything I'm really just looking forward to getting back to writing. I have at least the next three books I want to write lined up in my head, so hopefully 2017 will be a bumper year.

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Ward
Oct 1st 2016

Friday, 2 September 2016

Exile is now available in audio!

Great news! The audiobook for Tube Riders: Exile is now available, read by the awesome Gary Furlong.

Click on the picture below to go and listen to a sample.

Happy listening!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Updates - July / August

I realised it's been a while since I posted any updates to this page. Purely an oversight! The good news is that I haven't been as idle as this news page might suggest. I've been pretty slack on the marketing and publishing front, but I've been writing like a beast, stacking up manuscripts while the creative juices have been flowing.

Back in May, I published The Tube Riders: In the Shadow of London. The book was actually finished last October. In the period since that book was finished, I've written nearly five more books, all of which will be published soon.

I can't give you a set schedule, but here goes my best effort ...

The dystopian book (title unconfirmed) - this badass beast should hopefully be out by the end of the year.
The dystopian book 2 - currently at 51k. I've paused for a bit because I got stuck, but I'll be getting back to it soon. I'm hoping to have the manuscript finished by the end of the year.

The School at the End of the World (Benjamin Forrest 1) - written under my kind of pen name, Christopher P. Ward (actually my real name) this will likely be the next book published. It's a YA fantasy, so no swearing or ultra violence. Cover is done, reveal soon!

The Bay of Paper Dragons (Benjamin Forrest 2) - the second book in the above series. Also finished. Again, the cover is done (reveal soon). Hopefully out by the end of the year.

Tokyo Sonata - a romance I wrote over Dec/Jan. Finished in first draft. This is going to join Finding My World in a Japan-set romantic suspence/mystery trilogy. The stories are not connected, but they're similar in tone and style. I'm already thinking about a third book. This won't sell much until the third book is done, so publishing it is low priority right now. Probably early next year.

Warrior - my heroic fantasy! I originally started writing this because I wanted to write a novel dedicated to my beautiful daughter, who was born in May. However, what should have been a simple story has grown and grown. It's now at 70k, and I'm probably not halfway through. Hopefully the first draft will be finished in the next month, with publication around the end of the year.

In addition to the above, I have a bunch of short stories on the go. Get on the mailing list if you want to get them for free!

That's all for now, more updates coming soon.

Chris Ward
August 10th 2016

Friday, 29 April 2016

The Tube Riders: In the Shadow of London - AVAILABLE MAY 10th 2016

In the Shadow of London will be released on May 10th, 2016. The book is available for pre-order now.


Barnes & Noble




In the Shadow of London

There's gone and then there's London-gone ...

Marta Banks and her Tube Riders may have fled, but they've left behind a city on the brink of collapse. In the violent wasteland of London Greater Urban Area, former Tube Rider David Silverwood tries to reunited old members of the gang. In his way stand Dreggo, once a member of a rival gang but now the Governor's right hand, and Lindon, a member of the criminal stronghold known as the Tank, who is struggling with issues of loyalty towards revolution, the people protected by his organisation, and his dying girlfriend, Cah.

Revisting London in the period between The Tube Riders: Exile and The Tube Riders: Revenge, In the Shadow of London is a stunning addition to Chris Ward's Tube Riders series.