Difficult second novel – the quest continues

I don’t usually go in for the ‘writing process’ stuff on this website – it’s done so well by so many other writers that there doesn’t seem to be much point. But I’ve heard the same thing from a number of novelists recently, ranging from the huge-selling HarperCollins published superstar to the dewy eyed newbie,…

My Writing Process – blog hop

Thanks to Alaric Bond for inviting me to take part in this ‘blog hop’. Alaric’s ‘Fighting Sail’ novels are among my favourites in the genre, so I am delighted Alaric thought of me – it’s a tough act to follow, of course. See Alaric’s blog here 1) What am I working on? Typically for me,…

The frigate in literature

A little while ago someone asked me what kind of ship a frigate was. When you’re as immersed in naval culture and terminology as you become when writing a novel on the subject, it’s easy to lose track of terms that many people might not be familiar with. These aren’t necessarily things you need to…

Two reviews of Daedalus and the Deep

Two reviews of Daedalus and the Deep have now been published. The Founding Fields, a site dedicated to SF and fantasy fiction published its review in January 2014 and concludes that the novel ‘masterfully merges historical accuracy with exciting fantasy’. ‘For those already wondering from that brief description, no it’s not a Moby Dick story……

A genuine ‘sea serpent’

Three days ago, in California, a sea-serpent was found. (Catalina Island Marine Institute) The 18ft creature found dead near the Catalina coast is an example of that which most closely resembles the traditional sea serpent of myth and literature – the Oarfish. Their size, serpent-like form and bizarre facial features, not to mention the fact…

Seymour Hamilton interviews Matthew Willis

Seymour Hamilton, author of the ‘Astreya’ series of nautical fantasy novels, interviews Matthew Willis about Daedalus and the Deep, writing in general, and naval history. Access the interview on the Sound Cloud here

Daedalus and the Deep – the real sea serpent mystery

Daedalus and the Deep has its roots in real events. HMS Daedalus was a real ship, a Leda-class frigate built in 1820 and later re-rated to corvette. HMS Daedalus was best known in Victorian Britain, for the sighting of a sea-serpent between the Cape of Good Hope and St Helena in 1848 – 165 years…

Daedalus and the Deep pictorial Guide 1 – Sailing

Frigates and corvettes – HMS Daedalus was originally a frigate, and under sail in the 1840s would have looked very much like HMS Raleigh as pictured here. A frigate has a single gun deck (shown here by the single row of gunports along the white band running the length of the hull). In 1844 she…

Daedalus and the Deep pictorial Guide 2 – Fighting

Weaponry of one form or another is quite important in Daedalus and the Deep, as with much historic naval fiction. HMS Daedalus had a broadside battery of twenty heavy 32-pounder cannon, as well as carronades (a short-range, lightweight cannon) and smaller weapons. The following images of the gundecks on HMS Warrior (5), built 1860 and…

Daedalus and the Deep pictorial Guide 3 – Living

Even on a small vessel such as HMS Daedalus, the living space occupied by officers and men was strictly divided. Officers (and senior warrant officers) had small, hutch-like cabins in the wardroom, which was the general space where they lived and dined. Wardroom – the wardroom was for commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers such…