Hey there! I know what you’re thinking… it’s been a while, right? Close to three years since I last typed up a blog post. It’s something as a writer I know I need to get better at. The challenge for me is stepping away from a writing project and typing up a few hundred words on what I’ve been up to. I’d rather write eight thousand words in my WIP than eight hundred talking about it! But anyways… here goes…
If you’ve been keeping tabs of my adventures via social media (links below if you’re not), the last few years have been hectic, to say the least. Following the release of Blood Red Sand, I switched focus to two projects that had been rolling around in my brain for quite a while.
The first one was The Truceless War, a sci-fi retelling of the First Punic War between the Romans and Carthaginians. This is where my love of history took a hold, as I read history books for fun. The First Punic War isn’t as widely recorded as the much more well known second one (Hannibal Barca crossing the Alps with elephants etc). There were only four recorded pitched battles in twenty-three years.
Most of the action took place as skirmishes, ambushes, sieges, and naval battles which I adhered to for The Truceless War (excluding some creative licence). Imagine the above with high-powered lasers, energy shields, massive war machines, artillery, jet bombers, and my trademark blood and guts style of writing.
Split between four POV characters, The Truceless War explores a galaxy colonised by humans on the verge of war. The newly united Romaii Republic casts its envious gaze on the riches of the Punic Trade Empire and gears up for an invasion of the planet Sicilia. Caught up in the ensuing battle, young Amilcara Barca witnesses her mother’s brutal murder. For the next two decades, she forges herself into a warrior and political leader, determined to seek revenge and make the Romaii invaders pay.
My next project was Lizard Skin and Sharpened Steel. This one is a sword and shields fantasy set in a medieval world where dinosaurs exist on an isolated continent known as ‘the landmass.’ The Dead Mudder mercenary legion are dispatched by the Hipernian king to locate and retrieve the eggs of one of the most feared native beasts the kingjaws.
Aided by a young native woman named Boy and her surrogate father known only as Sir, mercenary leader Dustn must lead his soldiers into uncharted jungles. Despite their battlefield experience, the Dead Mudders suffer horrendous casualties facing the killer beasts that stalk the landmass and risk everything to satisfy a king’s whim.
Both projects are edited, polished, and good to go, so I’m aiming to self-publish them either later this year or early 2024. For the most part, it’s just a matter of time, something I don’t have in abundance between a full-time job, a full-time family and of course, my non-stop writing projects. If I can force myself to stay committed to blog updates, hopefully I’ll have more news on these over the coming weeks/months as I’m eager to get them out there.
Next up, we have Sky Breaker: Tales of the Wanderer. This was an anthology crafted between me and some of the rising stars of the Irish and UK indie writing scene. I had a lot of fun sitting down and chatting with so many talented writers. Together, we built a shared fantasy world across different eras and technology levels. Every story is bound together by strange rifts and tears in the fabric of reality and a mysterious copper-eyed character called the Wanderer.
My short story for this was The Righteous Old Guard, a brutal military fantasy which centred on a bunch of elderly religious zealots who massacre their own young people they believe to have fallen under the Wanderer’s spell. In a bid to exterminate the rift, they battle into the heart of the Wanderer’s camp and attempt to destroy it with a large quantity of explosives. There’s something for everyone in this anthology, so if you’re into a variety of fantasy sub-genre short stories, check it out.
Blood Red Steel (the third book in my Big Red series) is due out on 3rd October of this year and I’m looking forward to sharing it. Set two years after the events of Blood Red Sand, we’re once again reunited with the beleaguered Second Battalion who are faced with one final mission. Defend Forward Base Zulu at all costs. So far, I’ve gotten some great feedback from ARC readers, so I can’t wait to see what fans of the series think!
Last of all, I’ve finally finished work on the long-awaited Born Red, fourth book in the series and direct sequel to Big Red. If you’ve caught any of my interviews, panels, or podcasts over the last three years, I’ve been teasing this one for a while. I’ve gone through six different drafts, constantly tweaking the story until I was one hundred percent satisfied. I’m glad to say, I’ve reached that point, so now it’s off to my publisher!
Overall, it’s been a productive few years and I’ve no plans to stop anytime soon. If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with me. More updates to follow!
Stay up-to-date on my writing adventure by following me on the below sites.
Twitter : https://twitter.com/Damo_Dangerman?
Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction and fantasy author. His military sci-fi novels Big Red and Blood Red Sand were longlisted for BSFA awards. He served for seven years in the Irish Reserve Defence Forces and lives in Dublin, Ireland.