No, this isn't what you were expecting.

Nothing about the fictional history of Nuome, this is a very brief outline of how it got written.

Way back in the Dark Ages, long before the internet, when computers were very young (the best on the market was the BBC 'B', with 32KB of memory, and only two-thirds of that was ever user-accessible) - OK, about 1982 - Graham had a bit of spare time and a surplus of Creative Energy, and an Amstrad 64 (remember them? The "64" was Kilobytes!) and a fair supply of Grolsch . . . so he wrote a book.

It had quite a lot wrong with it, but on the other hand it showed promise. He showed it to Alan, but wouldn't allow him to put the details right, so Alan went off and decided that if Graham could write a book it couldn't be all that difficult, so he tried . . . and it was awful. One standard mediaeval/fantasy world scene, one stereotype thief, one stereotype Assassin, a stereotype "Strong in t'arm and thick in t' head", one partly stereotyped but slightly promising magician, and a reasonable story outline. Alan was forced to admit that writing is actually quite difficult.

Alan's story was only about 15 pages, but he showed it to Graham mostly for the sake of grudging acknowledgement that there was something that Graham was rather better at.

Graham siezed it with both hands and went off for a couple of weeks, then sent it back to Alan.

By now it was nearly twice as long, had a solid science-fiction background, and had two more characters (an irritating heroine, and a semi-stereotype swordsman/thief) and had developed a bit more humour . . . . .

You will meet them, very briefly, in "Shades of Smoke".

And get to know them far better in "Shades of Gold".

And they also crop up occasionallly in "Shades of Magic".

All this was back in the early nineteen-eighties, remember.
The stories were often hand-written for a first draft, then typed up on a computer that could only handle files up to about 20KB - maybe 15 pages? and finally printed out on fanfold paper running though a dot matrix printer that sounded like a small power drill with dodgy bearings . . .
Then sent backwards and forwards between us using the Royal Mail. (Remember that? Snail Mail?)

A few more stories got written, developing the world, and the 'magic', and giving the characters some interesting experiences.

Life went on - jobs and families got in the way - we occassionally dreamed of getting published, but knew it wasn't there yet . . . Life, jobs, family got even more in the way, and virtually nothing was done for over 15 years.

Then things changed. We have now reached roughly 2005. Both of us found more time on our hands, some outlines that had existed since the early 1990s got fleshed out, the world scene got argued over - sometimes quite vehemently. And we realised it might just be worth sending off to a publisher or agent.

Disaster! The world of publishing has moved on, it is near impossible to get a publisher even to take a look unless you have got an agent - and to get to some of the top agents . . . well, you need a sort of sub-agent who will put you in touch with a real agent!

So we considered the problem. One day, strolling down to the pub with a dog, Alan said to Graham "You know - what we need to try is writing a short, getting it into a magazine, and then talking to some agents". Funny how you can be both right and wrong in such a small sentence. There are very few SF/Fantasy magazines left, that is still a hard world to break into - but by the end of the second pint we had fairly detailed outlines for three short stories - one of which introduced a new character and a new story thread, in the same world as all our earlier efforts, running parallel with them and occasionally overlapping and swapping characters (as mentioned above) and major world events.

That story (as they do!) grew into the book we first published on Kindle.

If you haven't read it yet, go here.

Or if you prefer to read stuff more in the order we wrote it, start here..

Time passed, and sales were slow, but the reviews were good, so in autumn 2013 we decided it was time to publish some more (we had two more books almost finished, and a few more part written) and also to extend our marketing reach - so "Shades of Magic" (a collection of short stories, interconnecting with the rest of our world) and "Clissa's Lay" were put Up on Amazon and all four were also released through Smashwords.

There is still more in draft form . . . but you will have to wait for it! Look here