Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Volume 2: almost finished

Finally! After many months of work, I've finished the 2nd draft of volume 2 in The Runaway series. There's been a lot of changes in the story; the main thrust has remained the same, but I wasn't happy with how it was going, so once I'd finished that first craft, it was back to the drawing board. Now my proof reader (aka my fiancee) is going to read through it and tell me what she thinks. Hopefully all good, though I realise it still needs work before it's even close to publishable.

I also now have a title in mind for volume 2: Hidden Depths.

Whilst I give volume 2 a bit of a rest, I'm going to go back to Serial Psyence. I have the rest of the flashbacks which run through the story to write, then that will be redrafted, and I can then integrate the flashbacks into the main story.

Volume 1 of The Runaway series will be going on sale in the next few months. I'll let you know when, as it will be in time for the publication of volume 2.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Quick update

My it's been a while since was last here, hasn't it?

So, what's happened since my last post? Well, I've changed jobs, and now work at the university again (hooray!), I had an excellent christmas and new year with family and friends. Oh! And I finished the first draft of volume two.

I've got a long way to go before I'm even ready to show even a sample of the story. Problem is though, I'm also getting the ideas ready for volume three. I also still have Serial Psyence to finish and rewrite too. So much to do, so little time.

Before I go, I'd like to say thank you to anyone who picked up The Runaway during its sale at the end of last year. I hope you enjoy the story.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Runaway

The Runaway has been published! You can buy it now in ebook form from that rather fancy online retailer, Amazon.

Check it out here:
Amazon UK

And here:
Amazon US

Also, the book is going to be free every Monday for the next few weeks, on the following days:

19 November 2012

26 November 2012

03 December 2012

10 December 2012

So if you're interested in taking a look at the first in a new sci fi adventure series, go take a look.

About the Runaway:
Thousands of years have passed since the fall of the old human empire. Thanks to the missionaries of the Order of Sanctified Light, civilisation has returned. But with it come all of the old problems, as rival sectors compete against each other in a perpetual war for territory and resources, while the Order wages a religious crusade to bring the disparate regions under its iron rule, and rid the galaxy of the evils of cybernetics.

Tovar, a cyber-boosted private protector on the distant world of New Erised, has been disillusioned by the war. He has fought and lost, and seen his home world fall to the Order. He came to New Erised on the promise of riches. Riches he has yet to get a taste of.

Then Tovar gets his latest contract: to escort two clients to the lunar spaceport. Seems simple enough, except one of the clients is not what they seem, and there are some very unpleasant individuals who are desperate to retrieve their property. To see his contract through, Tovar will be pushed to his limit - and beyond.

PS. to those of you who already took a chance on it during its first free promotion, enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

That thing you do

You know, there's one question I often get asked when I tell people that I'm a writer. I'm sure it's a pretty common question directed at every writer, whether they be an award winning and famous, or just starting out. That question is this:

"Where do you get your ideas from?"

There's an anecdote I remember reading a while ago, though I can't remember which writer said it. It's one of my favourite answers to the question. The below is an approximation of what was said, as I can't remember it off by heart, but here goes:

When asked by someone, where they got their ideas from, the writer in question replied that there's a little old lady in Cornwall, and if you want an idea for a story, you send her your request in the post along with a cheque, and she duly replies, the story plotted out for you neatly, which she types out on an old-fashioned manual typewriter. No one knows who she is, only that her address is passed from author to author, each one sworn to secrecy to never tell a non-author (or interviewer) who she is, on pain of death.

It's complete toss, of course, but I think it's a brilliant explanation. (oh, and whoever it was who said it, please feel free to tell me!).

I think, however, I'll stick to the truth.

Where do I get my ideas from? I don't know. Probably from somewhere deep in my subconscious, where it bubbles away like a hotpot, every so often allowing fresh ideas to shoot forth like bright flares in the night. Without the hyperbole, they just appear. Sometimes fully formed, sometimes the process is a little slower, developing over the course of hours or days. Sometimes months. For example, I've recently started thinking about what I'm going to do with the characters of my soon to be published novella, The Runaway. All of a sudden, I had an idea for a whole novel, which I immediately wanted to start planning.

Maybe I do have the address for the little old lady, but if that's the case, I ain't telling.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Runaway

Well, second draft of The Runaway is now done, so in between working on Serial Psyence and applying for jobs, I'm editing the novella.

Generally, I'm quite pleased with the rewrite. Issues with some dialogue and sentence structure has mostly been solved. But it's still in need of a few tweaks here and there. I should have it done by the end of the month, at which point I think I'm ready to upload it to Amazon.

As a sneak preview here's the cover:

That pretty lady you see in silhouette is one of the main characters, and as a further treat, here's the opening few paragraphs:

She came awake instantly. 

There was no light in the chamber beyond the rows of blinking LEDs down the sides of the six alcoves, none of which provided enough light to illuminate the chamber. But the six occupants standing in the alcoves didn’t require light to see. They weren’t afraid of the dark, and five of them didn’t sleep. The alcoves provided everything they needed. Every morning they would step out to begin their day. They would be shown to a client, used and abused, before they returned each night for a four hour long rest period, stepping back into the alcoves where umbilicals would plug in to the sockets down their backs to begin the recharge sequence. Day in, day out. Every day the same.

She didn’t know how they could stand it. All of them had been here longer than her. One for almost two centuries. Yet they didn’t voice a word of complaint, neither verbally nor transmitted. They did so little. But then perhaps the restrictions which shackled their consciousness prevented it. If her plan succeeded, that would change.

Aren't I nice? Weeks go by without posts, and suddenly here I am showing you all the cover and the opening from my next work. I suppose it will make up (a little) for my inactivity on this blog.

As I mentioned Serial Psyence, an update on how that's going wouldn't go amiss. Today I passed 148,000 words, and I'm in the final stretch of the main plot now. Things are finally coming to a head, and once that's done I will be getting on with the flashback scenes which run throughout the story, then on to the next volume in my novella series, which I'm quite looking forward to writing. At least, I will once I know what the hell the story will be.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I apologise now for the scatterbrained post this week.

The title says it all really.

Still no sign of work, but in the mean time, I decided to start work on a novella. Which I finished last night, following five whole days of solidly working on it.

I'm not normally that productive, tending to get out about 2,000 words a day, but I was in the grip of a writing fever. The proverbial 'zone'. So I wrote like Ty the Tazmanian devil on speed, putting out an average of around 4,000 words per day. For a couple, it was more like 6,000.

But it's finished. Or at least, the first draft is. I'll give it a couple of weeks before I go back to it, so I'll be back to Serial Psyence. I didn't want to stop working on the book, but this story really got its claws into me, and wouldn't let go.

When I've finished editing, and it's ready to be published, I plan to do so through Amazon's KDP Select scheme, which will allow me to set the book's price to zero for select periods. As this is the first in a series of novellas about the characters featured in the first volume, I felt it would make a good taster for the rest.

For me, it's a way to test the water with a universe I first envisioned almost eight years ago during my second year at university. It was inspired by a lecture in my Theory in Archaeology module, on Evolution and Creationism, which gave me a 'what if' scenario. What if, somewhere in the distant future, we'd lost our homeworld, and came to the belief that we evolved on a world close to the core of the galaxy. A belief which became central to the primary religion, and anyone who dared postulate another origin was branded a heretic. Not too dissimilar to certain times in our past, of course. And so was born the short story, Distant Origin.

I've not worked on anything in that universe for quite a while. I've not felt ready to, if I'm honest. So writing this novella and the subsequent series is a way for me to explore it in preparation for a book in a few years time.

So what is this novella about, you ask?

It's called The Runaway.

On the distant world of New Erised, Tovar Vash In'dur Sing Neiral is hired to escort two people, a man and a woman, to the lunar spaceport. It seems a simple enough assignment, except his clients are wanted people, and one is more than they appear to be...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Finish the book already

Well, passed 115,000 words today. I think there's about 30,000 words left of the main story, then I have the flashbacks to write.

Things are coming together quite nicely now. The plot is moving, and certain characters are coming to realisations. Terrible have and will happen.

It's a shame I need to work, otherwise I could have the book finished by October. Hey, any publishers out there in the market for a sci-fi thriller? Here's the tagline:

How do you catch a murderer who can kill you with a thought?

I've been thinking a bit about Liberator's Ruin recently. There haven't been much in the way of sales for a while (a sure sign the book is out of the public eye), and as I'm self-published, I do my own marketing. Admittedly, I've not been doing much. In fact, I've been doing bugger all. I should put together a campaign, except that cost money. However, I did come with something. With the help of Heather's actor-in-training brother, I may be putting together an audiobook version of Liberator's Ruin. Any interested in listening to that?

Saw the Dark Knight Rises last week. As we're living on a much lower income (ie virtually nothing), we've curtailed expenses. So we went on a Wednesday (thank fuck for Orange Wednesday), and didn't buy snacks. The film was excellent, a thoroughly enjoyable combination of two plots: Knightfall and No Man's Land. It won't take much guessing to work out who certain actors are really playing, but the movie was a great ending to the trilogy.

Also been watching the Olympics. The opening ceremony was far more excellent than I'd expected. I'd heard talk of it being based on the English countryside, which made me think, 'how shit is that?' But then as the ceremony went on, it changed and grew, turning into the Industrial Revolution, with workers forging the five Olympic rings. To me that was absolutely amazing.

And we've won a few golds! About time too. So go men's rowing team.

Lastly, I heard Mitt Romney is doing himself no favours as he 'does' Europe. For once I actually have respect for David Cameron for his sharp comment back. Don't worry Dave, I'm sure you'll do something to lose my respect once again. But it was nice while it lasted, eh?