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!

Sunday, 14 November 2021

A Coup Interrupted My Writing (and other news)

Well, this hasn't happened before.

I was planning a trip to research my next book, and now I can't go because there's been a coup.

I wantd Book Six in my Masked Man of Cairo series to be The Case of the Disappearing Dervish. This would have seen Moustafa returning to his village in the Sudan to solve a mystery, with Sir Augustus and Faisal coming along to help.

Sadly, last month while I was in Alexandria and planning a trip to Khartoum in December, the military in the Sudan overthrew the transitional council set up after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir and have arrested the civilian prime minister. Now the army is shooting peaceful protestors in the streets.

It's a horrible situation and I feel bad for the Sudanese people. When I plan to visit a new country, I often think of the people I will meet there, future friends I don't know yet. Now those friends are in serious danger and their economy is collapsing. I hope Sudan gets through this crisis and gets the democratic government it has so long deserved.

In happier news, the print edition of The Case of the Asphyxiated Alexandrian: The Masked Man of Cairo Book 5 has just been released. You can get it on Amazon, Amazon UK, and all the other Amazon outlets as well as several other online vendors.

I'm working on several projects right now, including a ghostwritten series for a client, a trio of prequel novellas for the Cairo series detailing the adventures of all three protagonists before they met, a science fiction series, and another historical mystery series.

If you want to keep up to date with my travels and writing projects, subscribe to my newsletter. An issue comes out once every other month and contains a travel article, updates on my work, and a coupon for a free or discounted ebook. Issue 17 comes out later this week!

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Now Available: The Case of the Asphyxiated Alexandrian!

 

Book Five of my Masked Man of Cairo historical mystery series is now available. The Case of the Asphyxiated Alexandrian takes our heroes to Egypt's fabled port.

So what's Book Six going to be? We'll see. I'm thinking of heading either to the isolated Coptic monasteries of Wadi Natrun or heading south all the way to the Sudan. I'll keep you posted.

A mysterious murder. A lost pharaoh.
Sir Augustus Wall came to Egypt to escape his old life, but when a comrade from the trenches is found murdered in a Cairo hotel, Augustus realizes his past has finally caught up.
Now he must discover the reason for the baffling murder, leading him and his friends Moustafa and Faisal on a dangerous hunt for the most sought-after treasure in Egypt.
The long-awaited fifth book in the Masked Man of Cairo series sees the trio on their greatest adventure yet!


Sunday, 22 August 2021

Book Five of The Masked Man of Cairo Available for Preorder!


Book Five of my Masked Man of Cairo historical mystery series is now available for preorder and will be released September 10. The Case of the Asphyxiated Alexandrian was written in Cairo and Alexandria and edited in Madrid and Oxford. Only the first two locations show up in the book, though. A blurb is below.


A mysterious murder. A lost pharaoh.
Sir Augustus Wall came to Egypt to escape his old life, but when a comrade from the trenches is found murdered in a Cairo hotel, Augustus realizes his past has finally caught up.
Now he must discover the reason for the baffling murder, leading him and his friends Moustafa and Faisal on a dangerous hunt for the most sought-after treasure in Egypt.
The long-awaited fifth book in the Masked Man of Cairo series sees the trio on their greatest adventure yet!

 

I'm back in Cairo later this year and will be working on the further adventures of Sir Augustus, Moustafa, and Faisal.

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.