Rounding the Last Bend – The Journey to a Contract Concludes


Photo courtesy of xedos4/

I walked back to my desk to be surprised by the new email that had just arrived in my Inbox. Ten minutes earlier I sent the email that I hoped would release me into a new life. With nervous anticipation I clicked on the email to open it.

Good morning Ian

This sounds interesting.  I was the UK publisher for THIS PRESENT DARKNESS and PIERCING THE DARKNESS.

Can you send me the text?

Are you serious?

Hallelujah. I’m bouncing around the room with excitement. It’s end of day Friday and the weekend beckons.

As a write this post, it’s almost two years to the day since that email arrived. If you recall from my previous post in this series I mentioned I had been provided with an introduction to the acquisitions editor of a UK publishing house. In my proposal I made reference to Frank Peretti’s “Darkness” books playing an important part in my writing journey.

This is another one of those moments that some would call coincidence or luck, but I term a “God-thing”.

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Be Prepared

Image courtesy of 89studio/

Image courtesy of 89studio/

Two years ago I decided to reduce my sugar intake. Not so much because of the chocolate and lollies that I had a reasonable control over but it was all the fruit and juice I consumed.

May I stress I’m not saying either are bad but I simply ate and drank too much. So I chose to cut back.

I’d been consuming too much for over 20 years so my body was used to getting a lot of fructose each day. And it (my body) wasn’t going to easily give up reminding me.

I needed to prepare myself. I knew I was going to be tempted.

What did I do?

Three things:

  1. Stopped buying a lot of fruit each week and having Fiona make me a week’s long supply of fruit salad.
  2. Changed my breakfast routine from a highly fruit/cereal based one to more protein and grains.
  3. Stocked up on nuts and extra vegetables so I could ward off the temptation when it inevitably struck.

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The First Offer – The Journey to Publication continues…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

It took me three months to shake up the manuscript. Remember I hadn’t touched it for five years and the world had changed. If you’re catching up with my story please have a look at these two earlier posts: here and here.

I was surprised how quickly the writing bug came back. I hadn’t written much on anything non-business during my writing hiatus. I quickly settled into a groove and found modifying the story and characters relatively painless. My struggles with the craft continued. Of course it would until I developed a healthy routine of regular writing and studying of the craft.

The new completed manuscript was reduced to 450 pages and 155,000 words. I had managed to reduce the volume by almost 25% from the previous draft.

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Suit up


Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/

The four of us were strolling along the beach esplanade. Even though we were in Far North Queensland, it was almost winter, so the mid-morning temperature was relatively mild.

“Have a look at this guy.” My friend nudged me and indicated with his head whom he was referring to. The shirtless disheveled young man was 50 feet ahead walking haphazardly towards us. A shiver crept up my spine, as an overriding sensation to flee struck me.

A quick glance at the intense expressions on my colleagues’ faces revealed a similar foreboding. Our previous casual saunter now became tight and upright.

As he drew closer, his hands were talon-like, his mouth moving as if he was muttering to himself. I was sure he was going to walk straight through us.

Ten feet away his eyes met ours. I gulped.

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The Angelguard Journey to Publication

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

I rushed out of the company’s lobby and hopped into a vacant taxi, a bevy of emotions bursting within me: shock, anger, hurt, disappointment and confusion. But surprisingly, genuine peace. I called Fiona and shared the news. Her response was also mixed. Could see the positives but the immediate financial impact wasn’t ideal.

“Hey Bill, you know how I asked you to pray so that I could attend Presence? Well, God listened and answered.” My friend Bill, was my second call.

A few weeks earlier, my client and I had agreed a launch strategy for the new business. It was to be in Melbourne, the week of my church’s Annual Conference, titled “Presence”. It’s a four-day event where all of our churches around Australia attend. My heart had sunk as I had sensed a strong nudge from the Lord the previous Sunday at church when the “Presence” trailer ran.

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Not long now to lift off – Angelguard launches February

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

I’m excited. Angelguard, my debut novel, releases in the US and Canada in February. The UK launch follows in late March and finally, it hits Australian shores sometime in early May.

It’s been a long journey as it is for most authors.

Over the next few weeks I thought I’d share my experience, warts and all, of writing the novel and getting published.  Further, I’ll talk more about the novel, giving you some behind the scenes access to the characters, the story, and the future story lines.

Today, I wanted to start with an overview of the ten years from its inception to this point of imminent release. It’s useful for you to read this post that features on the slider on my home page (“What Inspired Angelguard“) and the “About Me” page as they provide some initial background.

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What Readers Are Saying….

“Fast-paced, intriguing, thrill-ride of a read”

Mike Dellosso, author of Scream


“Not to be missed.”

Ronie Kendig, author of Nightshade


“Powerhouse story”

Dineen Miller, author of The Soul Saver


Endorsements for Angelguard


“Debut novelist Ian Acheson storms into the publishing world with Angelguard, the first in a supernatural trilogy that pits angels against demons, terrorists against civilians and a University professor against a Machiavellian businessman.  With shades of Peretti’s early novels, Acheson delves into the heavenly realm with both angelic and demonic characters taking centre stage in battles unseen by the humans they both pursue. The demons are grotesque, spiteful and exude evil in contrast to members of the Angelguard, stunning creatures, devoted to the Lord and ferocious warriors. As each supernatural being is unique in this tale, so too, the characters that inhabit the earth below. As tragedy strikes in each city, Acheson introduces the reader to a pivotal character, wounded by their losses yet imbued with a desire to fight against the fear that has infiltrated the world. Readers will identify with Thierry, Jack and Loren as survivors of each attack and be swept along as their paths merge in a way only God could have designed. Angelguard is a fast paced, arresting novel from the explosive beginning until the climactic conclusion, packed with frantic pursuits, intriguing suspense, witty dialogue and spiritual challenges. Ian Acheson is a writer not just worth watching but one well worth reading!”

Rel Mollet, Family Fiction correspondent,


“Fans of Frank Peretti’s Darkness novels will love Angelguard. Ian Acheson does a masterful job of weaving the seen with the unseen. Fast-paced, intriguing, this book is a thrill-ride if I ever read one!”

Mike Dellosso, author of Frantic, Scream, and Fearless


Adventure and the supernatural collide for an intriguing read in Ian Acheson’s ANGELGUARD! Witty angels, foul demons, and compelling humans all make for a read that is enjoyable and exciting. With Acheson’s unique writing style and a compelling plot, ANGELGUARD is not to be missed!

Ronie Kendig, author of Nightshade, Trinity and Talon


“Almost eerie in its realistic portrayal of today’s terrorist-riddled headlines, Angelguard is a powerhouse story that compels you to consider the supernatural battle waging around us every day. I for one will never again read about today’s events without thinking of them in light of God’s angel armies battling evil.”

Dineen Miller, author of The Soul Saver and Winning Him Without Words


“This book grabbed me from page one and wouldn’t let go. It kept me up past midnight, and then left me with fantastical dreams. Although it reads like a first novel, its fast-paced dialogue and intense action make this book unputdownable.

Angelguard refers to the angelic figures who guard those who pray. The story pulls back the curtains that separate the physical and the spiritual and imagines a realm inhabited with White Knights (the angels) wielding swords of brilliant light and murderous dark assassins (the demons) battling for the power to influence humankind.

First time author – Ian Acheson – has obviously been reading Frank Peretti! It’s very action heavy and lacking in character development. Saying that, the dialogue was sleek and smooth and the plot was never dull. Perhaps the book’s greatest achievement is how Ian portrays the prayers of the faithful tipping the balance, feeding the White Knights with supernatural strength – it’s powerful stuff.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed Angelguard, but greater things are to come from Ian Acheson. I’ll be keeping my ear to ground for the next book in the supernatural trilogy.”

James Warwood, Writer