Monday, 24 August 2020

Bebbanburg 2020: the lessons I learned from a 7th-century siege

Read the article I wrote for Historia, to find out the unexpected similarities I discovered between the 7th-century siege of Bebbanburg and my life in 2020, whether it’s coping with lockdown or making a television trailer.

http://www.historiamag.com/bebbanburg-2020/

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Publication day: FORTRESS OF FURY (and WOLF OF WESSEX paperback)

It is finally publication day for, FORTRESS OF FURY, the seventh book in the Bernicia Chronicles!



Beobrand is besieged in the action-packed instalment in the Bernicia Chronicles set in AD 647 Anglo-Saxon Britain.

War hangs heavy in the hot summer air as Penda of Mercia and his allies march into the north. Caught unawares, the Bernician forces are besieged within the great fortress of Bebbanburg.

It falls to Beobrand to mount the defence of the stronghold, but even while the battle rages, old and powerful enemies have mobilised against him, seeking vengeance for past events.

As the Mercian forces tighten their grip and unknown killers close in, Beobrand finds himself in a struggle with conflicting oaths and the dreadful pull of a forbidden love that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear.

With the future of Northumbria in jeopardy, will Beobrand be able to withstand the powers that beset him and find a path to victory against all the odds?


The audiobook will be released on 20th August.

The hardback is out in October 2020.

Also out today is the paperback of WOLF OF WESSEX. You can find that in all good bookshops, some supermarkets(!) and online.


Thank you to everyone who has already bought these books. If you enjoyed them, please take a moment to leave a review somewhere online and let your friends and family know! 

Happy reading!

Thursday, 23 July 2020

The Serpent Sword Proof-of-Concept Trailer is here!

After months of work, the Proof-of-Concept Trailer is finally live!


Trailer Link: The Serpent Sword Proof-of-Concept Trailer

We hope you love the trailer and that it gives you a flavour of what we would achieve if we had a full budget at our disposal.

We are now pitching the series to producers and distributors, and one of the things that will help us is for this trailer to really get some traction. So, if you would like the full series to become a reality, please share the trailer with all your friends and contacts. The more views, likes and comments, the better.

And make sure you follow The Serpent Sword on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, and keep spreading the word by sharing our posts.

If you want to get something extra back for your support, perhaps Patreon could be for you. On Patreon, you will find lots of exclusive and advance behind-the-scenes photos, videos and info, as well as advance snippets of Matthew Harffy's writing, and insights into what he is currently working on.

Thank you for all your support and we hope you enjoy the trailer!

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Author of the Day on Manybooks.net

I was recently featured as Author of the Day on manybooks.net. I talked about the inspiration behind Wolf of Wessex, research, my not-so-secret talents, The Serpent Sword TV series project, and my dog, Blue.

Matthew Harffy - Action-Packed Thriller Set in the Forests of Wessex

wolf1v

Please give us a short introduction to what Wolf of Wessex is about.

Wolf of Wessex, is my first departure from the seventh century, which is the period in which my series, The Bernicia Chronicles, is set. Wolf of Wessex takes place a couple of centuries later in the early years of the Viking Age and follows the tale of an aging warrior, Dunston, as he tries to find a man’s vicious murderers, keep the victim’s orphaned daughter alive and uncover the dark secret that threatens to plunge the kingdom into war. The book has been very well received, with The Times calling it “a treat of a book”.

What inspired you to write about the forests of Wessex AD 838?

I love the outdoors and have been interested for a long time in survival and bushcraft, such as is taught by the likes of Ray Mears, who has presented many successful documentaries and written lots of fabulous books on the subject of how people from different cultures live as one with the land, harmoniously harnessing nature to support them. I live in Wiltshire, England, which in the ninth century was part of Wessex, and near my house is one of the remaining parts of the ancient woodland that was known as Selwudu (Selwood, or Sallow Wood). Walking among the trees there, I found my mind transported back to a time when much of the land was covered in woodland, and I began to think what it would have been like to live alone deep in the forest away from the noise and concerns of the world. And so, Dunston was born.

Read the full interview on Manybooks.net


Tuesday, 26 May 2020

REVIEW: A Burning Sea by Theodore Brun

A Burning Sea (The Wanderer Chronicles, #3)A Burning Sea by Theodore Brun
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In A Burning Sea, Theodore Brun, effortlessly takes us back to the eighth century, where his richly detailed and believable characters travel from the snow-wrapped mountains of Scandinavia all the way to the greatest city in the world: Byzantium.

Erlan, the single-minded warrior, is in search of redemption, while Lilla, Queen of Svealand, is looking for the man she loves and also a means to reclaim her kingdom from a treacherous usurper. Byzantium is a teeming hive of intrigue and betrayal and both Erlan and Lilla quickly find themselves embroiled in plots and treachery as the city is besieged by an implacable enemy that threatens not only the city, but the future of the very continent. Theodore Brun's writing is filled with nuance and humanity, jeopardy and violence. A Burning Sea is a dark and twisted journey into a distant time, where the only commodity that could not be bought was honour. This is epic historical adventure at its very best.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 29 March 2020

March update - filming, signing and editing!

It has been a very strange few weeks and I am sure, that like me, you have found it hard to get on with life without constantly turning to the news and/or social media. I hope you and yours are safe and well in these difficult times. This last week has seen my usually quiet house, filled with my family, as my wife has been told to work from home and our youngest daughter's school has closed. It is lovely to have them around and to know they are safe at home, but it is not the most conducive to being able to focus on writing. I am quite flexible with my routine and I'm able to write in quite short bursts pretty much anywhere. But I do need some periods of uninterrupted concentration to get the words down, and at the moment that just hasn't seemed possible. However, we are finding a routine and hopefully next week I'll be able to get back into it.

In the meantime, let me tell you a little bit about what I've been up to in the last month. The first weekend of March found me driving hundreds of miles to multiple locations in south Wales and Oxfordshire for the filming of The Serpent Sword TV project.


I got to work with some of the most talented and enthusiastic people I have ever met. As you know, at this stage the series has not been funded and apart from Patreon subscriptions and one very generous contribution from a friend of the project, to help cover some of our ongoing costs, all of the cast and crew are giving their time, experience, expertise, talent, not to mention props, armour, weapons, costumes, jewelry, and the list goes on, for nothing. It is truly humbling for me to see so many people be so passionate about something that sprang from my imagination years ago and which has frankly taken over a large portion of my daily life.

The teaser has already been watched by more than 20,000 people, which is fantastic!


The next step is for the Proof-of-Concept Trailer to be edited by the amazing guys at Cinemerse. An incredibly talented composer, Josh Evans, is composing original music for it, and we have even been offered the services of a top notch post-production studio to create the sound design (more about that in the future!). Everything about this project feels amazing and the footage I've seen so far is going to blow your minds. I can't wait to be able to share the Proof-of-Concept Trailer with the world, but till then, I have been busy with other stuff, like my day job of writing!


Early in the month saw the release of Wolf of Wessex in hardback and audio. I went to Goldsboro Books in London and signed some copies, which was a first for me (not signing books, but getting invited to London to do it!). I also got to meet my editor for lunch and have a good chat about all things book-related, which is always nice.

Wolf of Wessex has been really well-received, and thank you to everyone who has left a review online or spread the word to others about the book. March also saw another first for me. My first review in a national newspaper, The Times, no less!


So after the excitement of being reviewed in The Times, signing books in London and spending four days on set with actors and crew making my imagination come to life, it was time to get back to work!

I completed the edits of my latest book, A TIME FOR SWORDS


A TIME FOR SWORDS is now out with beta readers and it is also up for pre-order, were you can read the blurb of what it is about. I also got the copy-edits back for FORTRESS OF FURY, which took me a couple of days to go through and send back to my editor. Book seven of the Bernicia Chronicles is out in July.

If you would like to read the first pages of A TIME FOR SWORDS, and the opening pages of FORTRESS OF FURY, you can do so (and see lots more behind the scenes, exclusive and advance content) on Patreon.

Next up I am going to start planning book eight of the Bernicia Chronicles and I can't wait to get back to writing about Beobrand and his friends (and enemies!)!

Before I go, just a quick heads up that both planned events I had lined up have been cancelled or postponed. The Wrexham Carnival of Words has been cancelled, but there might be some online live events in order to allow readers to connect with some of the writers involved. I will probably be doing something for that, so watch this space.

The other event in June in Gillingham Library has now been postponed till December 10th. Hopefully, we will be allowed out of our houses and able to congregate by then!

I think that's it for the time being. Stay safe and healthy and keep reading.

Matthew

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

I now have a Patreon page!

I now have a Patreon page.


For those that don't know what that is, it is a subscription service where fans can become patrons and be rewarded with all manner of exclusive and advance material. It is not for everyone, but if you are a massive fan of Beobrand and his cohort, or have recently discovered Dunston and friends, or just love the early medieval (aka Dark Ages) era and epic tales, then you might find it something of interest.

Become a Patron!

I've only just launched, but will be adding more content frequently.

So far, any tier subscriber has access to the following:
  • The opening pages of FORTRESS OF FURY (Bernicia Chronicles VII), that is not due for publication until June!
  • The opening section of my new work in progress, working title A TIME FOR SWORDS. This is a totally new set of characters and the book is not due to be published until December 2020!
  • The agent submission letter I used to secure agent representation way back in 2014. This is the first of many posts from the vaults of my hard drive, that will show some of the behind the scenes workings of getting books ready for publication and give some insights into the publishing industry.
Soon, I will also be releasing a very special limited signed edition of Wolf of Wessex, and patrons will have first access to the pre-order and a 10% discount.



There will be lots more exciting stuff over the coming weeks and months, so pop on over to my Patreon and see if there is a tier that provides rewards you are interested in.

Thanks!