Inside Vasini 3: The Government

Vasini is ruled by seven elected officials: a comte – the city’s leader – and six seigneurs who each have responsibility for a specific portfolio, such as sanitation and public waterways, referred to as a baronnie. This government is scrutinised by seven elected médiateurs.

The elections are hard fought between Vasini’s two political factions – the Kingfishers and the Scarlets – with each side trying to muster the support of the city’s elite. It’s not unheard of the elections to lead to violence between the two sides.

A letter to M. Renard final.png

Popping my cork


Back when I was working in community regeneration, I was given a bottle of champagne as a Christmas present by my line manager at the time. It was a generous gesture and gratefully received. However, I’m not a fan of champagne, so it ended up in a cupboard with the thought that I’d open it when I sold my first book.

It’s ended up living in four different cupboards in four different houses over the years. But, last night, it was finally drunk. Surprisingly, it hadn’t gone off.

I actually sold my first book a week ago now. I have no idea who bought it. It seems like it may have been someone living in Europe. But, whoever it was, thank you. I hope the gamble of trying a new author is paying off.

And thank you to everyone else who has taken that gamble over the past week. I hope you’re enjoying The Silver Mask.

Inside Vasini 2: The Founding Laws

Vasini existed for centuries prior to the fall of the deities. However, ‘modern’ Vasini is considered to have been founded 68 years after the Fall as a result of two key events: the beginning of the construction of a wall around both the city and the nearby farmland; and the signing of the Founding Laws by the leaders of the city at that time, most notably Thomas Everett.

The Founding Laws Page 1 Final.png

The Founding Laws Page 2 Final

Almost there

The Silver Mask proof copyI received the proof of The Silver Mask paperback today.

It’s an apt description ‘proof’.

For something that has been, until now, thoughts in my head and text on a screen (or, at most, a print out) – and, therefore, infinitely changeable, malleable – it is now a very real, solid thing. The proof copy is evidence that The Silver Mask actually exists in a permanent and real form now. And, oddly, I don’t seem to be too scared of that.

Let’s see what happens when it’s out in the world and other people can touch it though. Maybe the fear will kick in then.

Until then, I’m just going to enjoy the fact that, to quote the end of every X-Files episode, “I made this”.

What’s behind the cover?

Last week was the front cover. This week is the text from the back of the book (with some revelations of what The Silver Mask is actually about).


The Silver Mask
Book One of
The Vasini Chronicles

The gods and goddesses are dead, killed two hundred years ago. With their destruction the moon split apart, the sun dwindled and the land was devastated. Civilisation has re-emerged from the carnage, but twisted creatures still prowl the savage Wildlands between the city-states.

In the skies above the city of Vasini, a falling star, a fragment of the dead moon goddess Serindra, heads to earth. In the Palace district, Dame Vittoria Emerson, darling of the city, has been found dead, lying amongst her own vomit.

As Captain Marcus Fox of the Inspectorate hunts the killer, Dr. Elizabeth Reid searches for the remnants of Serindra determined to make sure the poisonous quicksilver it contains is not used. With Vittoria’s death threatening to draw the city’s political elite into a war of assassins, Fox and Reid must rush to expose the secrets that lie within Vasini before they tear the city-state apart.

The Silver Mask is the opening part of The Vasini Chronicles, a series of flintlock-and-alchemy fantasy novels set in the city-state of Vasini.

And here’s how it should look on the physical copy:

The Silver Mask paperback cover