science fiction


Planning for the Remains of the Year

Mobile Word ProcessorLike many, many authors out there, my writer income doesn’t cover the bills so I have to work a full-time job on the side. Between work, family, chores, school runs and more, it’s hard to muster any time for any actual writing. Mobile writing technology has proved invaluable, allowing me to write in those small windows when I’m waiting or travelling, but it’s still hard to make any significant progress.

To coin a phrase, I’m not getting any younger, and with time in short supply, I feel much better if I make maximum use of it. The best way to do that is to have a plan and to stick to it.

 

The Plan

I usually find the best way to plan is simply to create a To Do list, sorted by priority. What I’m going to show here isn’t the fully-detailed list, but I’ve tried to include everything that my readers (and other authors too) might find interesting:

  • Finish writing Deadline.
    As this is novel with my best chance of publication, seems wise to get this one completed first. The story came together well and I am very happy with the characters but finding a good ending has been troublesome.
  • Finish writing Sceptic.
    This novel is already complete but could use a final edit and proofread. In case you are wondering, it’s not part of the Astronomicon universe but, even though I could not make it fit, it was far too good a story idea to skip.
  • Rewrite Astronomicon: The Beginning.
    This one is LONG overdue and by far the biggest task. As it forms the introduction to the Astronomicon universe, it’s important that it’s up to my recent standard and representative of later novels. I’m expecting this to take 2-3 months, then I’ll publish it on Wattpad before relaunching it on Amazon.
  • If there’s any time left, I also hope to complete the ongoing project Behemoth too.

 

During all the above, I’ll be developing ideas for a range of other books I have in the planning stages. These include a historical fantasy, a magical contemporary fantasy and a psychological horror (I’m branching out from scifi!). I’m also looking to find a literary agent this year and encourage a few readers to support me on Patreon. If I can earn a little money from writing, I may be able to cut my working hours a little and get more writing done.

Seven months left to get ALL of this done. Wish me luck!


Astronomicon Book 1 news

Astronomicon: The Beginning cover 3DAs you are probably already aware, the first novel in the Astronomicon series has been unpublished and is no longer available to download from Amazon etc. This is a temporary measure as I have started work on the new version. It will be a complete rewrite from scratch and will even gain a new name. I plan to keep that new title secret until I am ready to do a cover reveal at a date later this year.

The first book of any series most definitely must be indicative of the quality of the rest of the novels in the series and the current version, written more than two decades ago, is simply not a good representation of my current writing ability and is, almost certainly, cost me book sales.

Planning is underway and will continue while I finish writing Behemoth. If all goes well, I hope to finish the planning stage before Behemoth is complete. That will allow me to plough straight into the plough directly into writing the first draft of Astronomicon 1.

You can expect the new version to feature a design for the Elysian spacecraft which accurately matches that used for the Arcadian (her sister ship) from Behemoth. There will be a few changes of characters, more accurate technologies, better pacing and a much better structure to the story.

In the meantime, sorry about the wait for this one but I want it to be the best entry into the Astronomicon story and a great advert for the whole series.

One more thing – as the story of the new book will still fit with the second novel in exactly the same way, you are under no obligation to read it if you have already read book 1. I’d recommend it (obviously!) but if you won’t be missing any critical story elements if you have only read the original.


New #SciFi #Comedy

Free scifi novel DeadlineMake a great start to the new year with a fun, light-hearted science fiction novel, available for free on LitNet for a limited time only.

Being made redundant almost a billion kilometres from Earth was a bad way to start the week, and Blake Horton did not expect it to get any better.

This light-hearted sci-fi novel covers the misadventures of an out-of-work life support systems engineer on his way back to Earth and a reporter desperately in need of a scoop to save her career. He needs to get back before the reading of a will. She needs a breakthrough in her story before her time limit is up. With each other’s help getting back to Earth in time should be possible but life certainly isn’t about to make it that simple for them. An alien intruder, a rogue robot, space pirates and government agents are just some of the obstacles conspiring against them.

It will be moving to Amazon later on this year (where it will no longer be free), so read it now while you don’t have to pay for it and please leave a comment to let me know what you think!

Click here to see more.


Reviews are SO hard to get!

Astronomicon: The Beginning cover 3DI don’t have any figures comparing the rate of reader reviews between genres, but I can report from personal experience that getting readers to write a brief review of science fiction novels isn’t easy. My readers are more than happy to send me an e-mail, write a PM on Wattpad or Twitter etc., but persuading them to write a review (even a few words would do) on Amazon is another matter.

I’ve been preaching the line of “don’t tell me, tell everyone else” for months now, but it’s still not making much headway. I am extremely pleased to be able to report that Astronomicon: The Beginning has received nothing lower than 5-star reviews on Amazon.co.uk since the latter end of 2016 and the same on Amazon.com since July 2017. It looks like that last revamp of the novel really paid off – and it’s still FREE on both sites!

These consistently higher reviews have pushed my rating up to 4.3 stars out of 5. I’m very pleased with that.

My quest for the rest of 2018 is to find new and better ways to encourage my readers to post more reviews on Amazon. If I could just get 5% to post reviews I would more than double my total reviews in a month.

Maybe, when Behemoth is released on Amazon in a couple of month’s time, I should offer free copies to anyone who reviews one of my novels on any of the Amazon sites?