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  • Writer's pictureJames Varma

An Update

Well it's been a while...

It's been a little while since the last update here. The last thing we spoke about was how I write, and before that it was all about Day Bringer. Well lot's has happened since then and as Nanowrimo has drawn to a close, this seems like an excelent opportunity to catch you all up!

Starlling Press Update

There are a lot of things to talk about, so lets jump rightin!

The Last Blade

The Last Blade is the first in a new series of fantasy books. The story is a dnd style story with notes of anime action about a low level adventurer named Cal who is a down on his luck and dealing with emotional trauma while also trying to keep his party together. The story has swords, magic, depression, undead and a talking fox.

The Last Blade is part of a universe that I created for my D&D campaigns and will collectively be called 'Starsong'. This series, following Cal and the trouble he and his friends get into will be called 'The Blade Song'.

It has completed it's first edit pass and is currently with Alpha readers. All going well it will reach publication around may-august 2024, but don't quote me on that.

I'm really excited to see it go out there and if you like seeing swordsmen who can set things on fire working with a group of allies to defeat zombies then keep an eye here for more information!

Wild Card Book Six

The Wild Card series, my fantasy western series, has been a labour of love for six years now and I am currently, even now, writing the last book in the series. It's a real emotional moment for me because it's been such a big part of my life for the last six years. Always in the back of my mind has been thoughts of 'what does the next book looke like' and 'I know it needs to end with X, but what's the story overall and how do we get there.'

My goal with Wild Card is to put it out through traditional publishing. I genuinely believe that it has value and is the most complete story I've ever written. I think it deserves to be read by as many people as possible which is why it hasn't been self published yet. Once I finish the last book I will be shopping around for an agent and a publisher, but if that fails then I will eventually self publish, though I want to give it every chance first.

Day Bringer

Day Bringer has now been out for exactly 6 months. I've earned more from this book than anything else I've ever published by myself. It is, of course, not an overnight sensation that everyone's heard of and I can't suddenly retire, but honestly that's not what I made it for anyway. Nor is that why I write. If I were to get an overnight sensation I would still go to work every day regardless.

The reason I write is because I enjoy it, and now I want to share my enjoyment. All of the responses I've had from Day Bringer have been incredibly positive, even with the criticism it's been a wonderful and warm reception from those who read it.

There has been one review of it, which can be found here and it's currently sitting at a 4.5 on Amazon which I can hardly scoff at.

So thank you everyone who read it, thank you everyone who said nice things, and I hope you read the next one!

Life in Games

I've been at Roll 7 for over 2 years now, which is straight up crazy to me. It's a wonderful place to work and I feel like I'm growing every day. In skill, in confidence, in my quality as a leader. Once upon a time, when I left my previous studio I had intended to work here for a project and then move on, not stick around too long and try to get as much information as possible, learn as much as I could. I'd do this at a few stuios one after the next so that by the time I'm turning forty I could be looking at creative director jobs, or looking at founding my own studio.

But whether because I still feel like there's a lot to learn at Roll 7, or because I love the 'place' so much, I currently have no intention to leave. Sure there are bad days along with the good, but... I don't know. I just can't see myself going anywhere. My one concession to that old James is that every year around appraisals, and every time I change project I look at what I'm doing, look at where I am and ask myself three questions: Am I interested in the project?

Am I going to learn anything new from the project?

Do I still care about the company?

If my answer to all of these is no then I leave. If the answer to any is yes then I stay.

So far all the answers have led to me staying.

Outside of Roll7... well things in the games industry have been a little distressing.

Studios closing left and right, restructuring, massive layoffs.

The studio I came from before Roll 7, Future Games of London, is one of them. Today in fact was it's last day standing. It had it's faults, it's leadership had problems and they hadn't released a game in a long time, but the people who worked there were great. I had great friends there and made some amazing memories, so despite leaving two years ago I'm still sad that it's gone.

Just like finishing Wild Card, its a real emotional moment for me.

Dungeons and Dragons

Speaking of emotional moments... a few months ago my five and a half year campaign came to an end. I feel incredibly fortunate that it was one of the few that finished because it ended and not because people drifted apart, and yet it's still quite sad. most likely those characters will never again be played, but that just means that we have room for new stories.

And new stories meands new content. The plan moving forward is to play one shots and mini-campaigns, which means that soon enough we should start seeing more D&D content on DMs Guild.

If you're looking for more info on that keep an eye out here.


And that's all the news I have for you. As I said, a lot going on, and Day Bringer is still up for sale!

If you're interested in reading Day Bringer you can find it on Amazon, both in kindle and Paper Back formats. (US) (UK)

If you want to keep up to date with the latest news then your best bet is to follow Starling Press on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Thanks for reading


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