Friday, 10 June 2022

I'm on Tiktok!

If you follow my Facebook page (you do, don't you?) you'll know I recently attended the 20booksto50k conference for indie writers here in Madrid. It was heaps of fun and I learned a ton. One of the things I picked up was that Tiktok is getting hot for writers right now.

"Tiktok?" I said. "Isn't that for thirteen-year-old girls?"

Not anymore! Writers have invaded under the hashtag Booktok and are staking a claim to the platform. So now I've started my own Tiktok account, where I'm posting short videos of my writing retreats in North Africa and samples of some of the vintage paperbacks and magazines in my collection. Feel free to follow me over there!

(Unless you're a thirteen-year-old girl. That would be weird)


Thursday, 12 May 2022

The Masked Man of Cairo Gets a Sequel!

 

The next book of my Masked Man of Cairo historic mystery/adventure series is out, and it's a prequel! The Case of the Dastardly Djinn is set in 1917, two years before The Case of the Purloined Pyramid. Faisal has to solve a mystery without the help of Sir Augustus and Moustafa, but he doesn't have to face danger alone. A blurb is below.

 

A homeless boy. A hunted girl.

Cairo, 1917. In a city plagued by poverty and war, ten-year-old Faisal begs and steals to survive, hiding at night from the things that prowl after dark. The nimblest and most clever of the street boys, he’s terrified of the unseen spirits he’s convinced haunt the ancient city.

But when he discovers a girl his age left homeless by a terrible tragedy, Faisal decides to do what no one ever did for him—help. With no shelter and facing the many dangers of Cairo’s darkened streets, Faisal’s loyalties are tested when together they uncover a criminal ring more sinister than his worst superstitions. 

This prequel to the Masked Man of Cairo mystery adventure series will thrill new readers and long-time fans alike!

A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to help Egyptian street children.    

Available now in ebook. Print edition coming soon!

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Radio Hope is now Free!

Radio Hope, the first volume in my Toxic World post-apocalyptic series, is now free on all platforms. That's right. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and all other vendors have it listed as free. So if you like gritty, realistic science fiction, give it a try! A blurb is below.

In a world shattered by war, pollution and disease. . .

A gunslinging mother longs to find a safe refuge for her son.

A frustrated revolutionary delivers water to villagers living on a toxic waste dump.

The assistant mayor of humanity's last city hopes he will never have to take command.

One thing gives them the promise of a better future--Radio Hope, a mysterious station that broadcasts vital information about surviving in a blighted world. But when a mad prophet and his army of fanatics march out of the wildlands on a crusade to purify the land with blood and fire, all three will find their lives intertwining, and changing forever.

Monday, 17 January 2022

My Travel Year: A Look Back and a Look Forward

Cat and cat, Cairo
 

This past year wasn't the best for travel, as you all know. Despite all the restrictions, I did manage to make it to Egypt twice. I have a private flat where I can safely stay in the center of Cairo, and the travel restrictions are light to get into the country. You just need to show a negative PCR test and proof of vaccination.

The main destinations for these trips have been the northern parts of the country, taking in the early medieval monasteries at Wadi Natrun, the famous port of Alexandria, and the battlefield at El Alamein. I also briefly went south to Asyut to arrange a donation for someone to the Lilian Trasher orphanage, which briefly appeared in The Case of the Karnak Killer.

I also went to Oxford for my usual summer working vacation. English beer, country walks, and work in a medieval library. Not a bad life!

The South African variant put the spanner in the works of a couple of planned trips. I wanted to go to Berlin to research my Weimar mystery series, but they were going into partial shutdown so I cancelled those plans. I also had to cancel a trip to Essaouira in Morocco. The country decided to close its borders again to avoid the latest wave. I haven't been back to Morocco since this whole thing began and I'm missing it!

Tomb of a Mamluk ruler, Cairo
 

As I write this I'm recovering from a mild case of covid. Did I get it on one of my trips? Nope, I got it while supposedly staying safe at home in Madrid. Oh well!

Here's hoping 2022 will be better than 2021. If the latest variant subsides, and isn't replaced with another one, then I will go to Berlin and Essaouira this year. I also will be returning to Egypt sometime in the first half of the year. No set plans yet. I'm adopting a wait and see attitude.

If you want to hear more about my travels, you might enjoy my newsletter.


Commonwealth cemetery, El Alamein

Fancy turn-of-the-century buildings like this are a common sight in Alexandria


Monday, 3 January 2022

My Writing Year: A Look Back And A Look Forward

This past year has been an interesting one for me, being both productive and unproductive.

How so? Well, I wrote the least amount I ever have under my own name in a long time, coming out with just two books in 2021. This is due to getting a lot of ghostwriting work. While remunerative, it kept me from doing as much as I would have liked under my own byline.

I still wrote a lot. Although I once again missed my goal of writing a million words in a year, I did get well past 900,000 and made the most money I ever have in this career or my previous one, so that was nice.

I did come out with two books under my own name. The first was Flight to Fez, the third book in my Interzone Mystery series. The second was The Case of the Asphyxiated Alexandrian, book five in my The Masked Man of Cairo historical mystery series. So a good year for mysteries!


What's coming up in 2022? My ghostwriting work is still going strong, and I have managed to get on a saner publishing schedule that will allow me to build up my own career a bit more. My new year's resolution is to write 1,000 words a day of my own stuff. A trio of short prequel novels for The Masked Man of Cairo series are in the works, as are two new series. These are Tech Scavengers, a space opera series, and an as-yet-untitled mystery series set in Weimar Berlin. I'd also like to squeeze in book 5 of Toxic World, titled Election Day. If you have any preferences about what you'd like to read next, tell me in the comments section!

You can follow my progress with the word count bars to the right and also by signing up to my newsletter.

It's going to be a fun year!


Monday, 27 December 2021

Faisal is Growing!

Everyone's favorite street urchin has been slowly growing up through the Masked Man of Cairo historical mystery series. Now he's growing in a different way. As I mentioned in a previous post, my plans for book 6 were put on hold thanks to a coup in the Sudan, so I'm working on a set of prequel novellas about each character before they met.

The Case of the Dastardly Djinn, in which a younger Faisal has to solve a case without the help of Moustafa or Sir Augustus, was supposed to be a 30,000 word novella, but now it looks like it will be a short novel coming in at about 40,000 words. I figured that since the average Masked Man of Cairo book comes out to about 90,000 words and each of the three characters gets an equal share, that 30,000 words would do. Now I realize that since they are in lots of the chapters starring one of the other characters, that their page time is much greater.

Live and learn!

The Case of the Dastardly Djinn will come out some time in the first quarter of 2022.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

A Free Book, A New Look, and New Markets for the Toxic World Series!

As you can see from the photo, my cover designer has switched out the cover for Radio Hope, Book One of my post-apocalyptic Toxic World series. The old cover was a bit flat and this one has more pop. I hope you like it.

I've also taken the series out of Kindle Select and published it wide. You can now find the series on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Scribd, and many other outlets. Click on the title to find a list of links for Radio Hope. Hitting on your favorite store will take you to that title and the rest of the series.

Also, I'm giving away The Scavenger, a novella set in the Toxic World, for free on all those venues. Click on the link to grab your copy today!

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.