Bonus Chapters of Empire Road!!

Gosh it’s been such an extraordinary experience, both writing and then publishing Empire Road in daily instalments as I did. The process of allowing myself to spend my idle moments engulfed thinking about a topic that I find truly interesting was so luxurious for me, but then to have so many people also tell meContinue reading “Bonus Chapters of Empire Road!!”

Empire Road – Part 37

Chapter 37Thronecoming The wind was starting to pick up and a light drizzle was beginning to fall.  We’d been trotting along the road for about five minutes and Boss turned around to look at me. “Mate, can you please come up here?” I got beside him on the drive seat and he gave me theContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 37”

Empire Road – Part 36

Leaving Roman Roads As we ventured out into the wilderness, we were surprised to see no dead at all. Although we have a fair idea of how many there might be out there based on the one or two we see each journey on the other side of the fence, we are raised in everyContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 36”

Empire Road – Part 35

Hole in the Wall After a brief discussion, it was agreed that the only option was to go south and turn off the Empire Road to Pan and warn them of New Rome’s plans to attack from the south. I was still quite tired, so I found a place to curl up on the backContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 35”

Empire Road – Part 34

The Caravan We got our swords and ran out of the hotel. Ben and Alexis were hitching up the Clydesdale to the pole cart and we walked alongside the home cart toward the gates of Upper Market. Alexis had removed all signs of circus from the wagons. The bunting was gone and so were theContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 34”

Empire Road – Part 33

Upper Market The Upper Market stinks. When we got inside they had everything we could possibly want and Boss bought us all hot meat pies and wine. It felt amazing to eat and drink when we were so hungry. Alexis stayed with the pole cart the whole time to make sure no one went pokingContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 33”

Empire Road – Part 32

The Hanging Tree The horses walked slowly toward the ramshackled remains of the two large buildings. The road had heaped piles of wood, bricks and debris stacked about waist high all along it, but the structure in front of us was clearly once a part of the city walls. After seeing what the Jessop battering-ramsContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 32”

Empire Road – Part 29

Into the Wind The sun broke through when we hit the open fields. The earth was a strange sight because I’d never seen anything quite like it before. It had a grey colour, like the dirt that’s always underfoot, but it wasn’t compacted like it usually is out in the forests or beside the empireContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 29”

Empire Road – Side Note # 3

As I’ve been uploading the chapters of Empire Road I’ve also been trying to create and upload as many illustrations as possible, to help explain the story and how I see it. One of the messages I get the most of is about uniforms and militaries that are discussed in the story. I keep gettingContinue reading “Empire Road – Side Note # 3”

Empire Road – Part 28

Wilderness Trail I woke with a fright when the brothers began their watch. The sky had just begun to soften from pitch black to a gentle glow and I heard them getting out of their cots. They probably didn’t realise I was slung in my cot under the axle of the pole cart because theyContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 28”

Empire Road – Part 27

Outward Into the Wilds The soldiers circled around the back of us, and we followed the Haji officer out of the Su-Chai arena. We walked out the main entrance past the area where a couple of local food vendors had set up to sell locally grown and produced weeds that they call food in Pan,Continue reading “Empire Road – Part 27”

Empire Road – Part 26

The Test May grabbed Boss’ arm. She squeezed it really tight and she looked like she was not balancing properly. But Alexis wasn’t any the wiser yet. As far as he was concerned there were just three dead coming toward him. Once they got into the light, the female began moving faster than the bigContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 26”

Empire Road – Part 25

The Twists of The Blade We were all quiet for a moment. None of us knew what to say. Boss tells Alexis pretty well everything; or at least everything he needs to know. So I knew that he knew most of this already, but he still looked legitimately surprised. I knew it because I wasContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 25”

Empire Road – Side Notes

Today’s Side Note is in response to some of the comments and messages that I’ve had from my American readers. When I began writing Empire Road I was touring circus shows to regional Australia and spending up to thirty weeks a year in the regions. Anyone who’s driven across the countryside in Australia will beContinue reading “Empire Road – Side Notes”

Empire Road – Part 24

The Test Subjects With Ben sobering up on top of the planks on the pole cart we made our way back into Pan. The town was now completely under the guard of a combination of Pan Patrio, a scattering of the remaining Schmidt soldiers and the Haji army. It was totally clear that the HajiContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 24”

Empire Road – Part 23

Invisible Ben Over the fence he went and landed clumsily. He steadied himself against the fence and we could see his shape in the gaps of it. “Ya need to lose some pounds, old bloke.” Alexis yelled out then smiled to himself. Boss and Alexis began discussing the strategy for our return to Pan. IContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 23”

Empire Road – Side Note

I want to begin this by again thanking all the people who have gotten behind this book, and are sharing it and inviting friends to enjoy it too. I’ve had lots of messages from readers so I thought it would be fun to include the answers to the questions in a side note or two.Continue reading “Empire Road – Side Note”

Empire Road – Part 22

Begin the Band Back down the stairs we went. It was good not to be up high any more. When we came out into the open again the streets were deserted. Boss gave a single glance, and he knew what was happening. My natural reaction was to say things like, “where is everyone”, but BossContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 22”


The Defences of Panerets My head hurt something dreadful. As I stood up my blood pressure rose and it made a cracking sound behind my ears. May steadied me a bit by holding me under my arm. I hadn’t been in Panerets properly before. Their arena is beautiful, with carved wood and stone everywhere youContinue reading “EMPIRE ROAD – Part 21”

Empire Road – Part 20

The Wasteland Monarch I walked for three hours. I was as quiet as I could be. The sun was falling behind trees and the light was fading. I was tired. I hadn’t eaten and I was thirsty. I should have drunk more of the river. I looked for somewhere to sleep as I jogged untilContinue reading “Empire Road – Part 20”

Empire Road – Part 19

Face Blood and Running When morning came I was finally dozing off and I heard movement. Boss, Jeremy and Alexis were heading out. They were being as quiet as they could and closed the door behind them. Bo and Ben were asleep on the floor, sprawled out as though there was a mattress under them,Continue reading “Empire Road – Part 19”


Basin We all just stood there. Staring at the dead. Then May’s weeping broke through the sounds of murmuring and splashing that the dead were still making down in the moat below. Boss stood in front of May with his hands on her shoulders. Then he drew her in and hugged her tightly. She letContinue reading “EMPIRE ROAD – Part 18”

Empire Road – Parts 16 & 17

EMPIRE ROAD Part 16 Basin Bound The road to Basin was extremely dark and quiet. The clouds had covered the moon and a wind was picking up. It was 14 km from the turn-off to the moat that surrounded it, and we let the horses fall back to walking pace shortly after we turned. instancesContinue reading “Empire Road – Parts 16 & 17”

Empire Road – Parts 14 & 15

EMPIRE ROAD Part 12 The Mysteries We set up our coliseum in the open square where we’d camped that afternoon. The area was paved with large, round, flat, heavy stones. They sit one next to another but we can still find places to hammer in our wooden stakes into the earth between them. We wereContinue reading “Empire Road – Parts 14 & 15”

Empire Road – Parts 12 & 13

EMPIRE ROAD Part 12 The Mysteries We set up our coliseum in the open square where we’d camped that afternoon. The area was paved with large, round, flat, heavy stones. They sit one next to another but we can still find places to hammer in our wooden stakes into the earth between them. We wereContinue reading “Empire Road – Parts 12 & 13”

Empire Road Part 11

EMPIRE ROAD Part 11 New Rome After the show in New Haven at the Arena we moved our camp into the town, just inside the walls. Boss was worried that the dead would come down from the hills to see what all the cheering was about. Outer wall people are a great way of knowingContinue reading “Empire Road Part 11”

Empire Road Parts 9 & 10

EMPIRE ROAD  Part 9Protecting the King “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Now, we have for your entertainment a final bonus performance on tonight’s program. A feature that is sure to thrill, amaze and entertain you all. Please put your hands together for the one and only Acrobatico!” That was our cue to start playing.Continue reading “Empire Road Parts 9 & 10”

Empire Road – Parts 7 & 8

Part 7Fight to the Dead A trumpet blew from inside the doorway that led underground to the tunnels under the rise next to the Arena. It was time for the fights to begin. I liked the look of his trumpet. It was shiny and would be great to have for our show. There are differentContinue reading “Empire Road – Parts 7 & 8”

Empire Road – Parts 5 & 6

Chapter 3Fight Night Raf is a great Juggler. He’s teaching me to juggle four balls. The trick wasn’t being able to catch the balls, it was because I wasn’t strong enough to move my arms fast enough to catch them all and throw them all. I wasn’t throwing them high enough in the first place.Continue reading “Empire Road – Parts 5 & 6”

Empire Road – Parts 3 & 4

EMPIRE ROAD  Part 3 Into New Haven No one questions what Boss does. He’s the boss. Bo and Ben don’t think twice when he tells them to do things. They’re idiots though. The sun was starting to head back down by the time we stopped to eat. May doesn’t like everyone expecting her to cookContinue reading “Empire Road – Parts 3 & 4”

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