Friday, 29 July 2016

Announcing My New Novel 'Redfern' To Be Released September 1st 2016 -Cover Reveal and Description-

Yes, I'm finally putting the finishing touches on a new science fiction novel, 'Redfern', out on September 1st and available for pre-order on amazon now.

It's my own unique mix of action, adventure, mystery and a little philosophy, which I'm hoping my readers will like. I also went for a different take on the cover to my previous efforts in an attempt to come up with something a little more abstract and thoughtful.

Anyway, without further ado...

“Humans don’t project past their own frequency. It’s why you’re so isolated as a species. The beings of other frequencies can only witness what you build and feel what you destroy.”

Earth – Tomorrow – The Singularity:-

The machines have taken over and mankind is cast out.

Millennia later, the inhospitable planet of Redfern is in the process of being made habitable for the proposed rebirth of the entire human race. All is going well until Enforcer, Ted Holloway, witnesses the unexpected appearance of a long dead and former friend - A man who can become invisible and immaterial, a man that can penetrate any and all security.

A man whose very existence should be impossible.

As Ted and his superior, Lisa Carmichael, investigate further, they face dangers and creatures that challenge their very concept of reality and along the way meet the colony’s caretaker Machine Mind and the human Security Commissioner, both of whom have opposing and intricate agendas of their own.

For the true nature of Redfern is stranger and more deadly than anything Holloway or Carmichael can possibly imagine.

And it could change or destroy humanity forever...

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Musing About Sequels

The question – to write or not to write a sequel? For me, that’s a difficult question. I can definitely see that there may be more mileage in the characters and situations I’ve written about in my novels. But then, if I really wanted to write more about them, why not just write a longer novel in the first place and use up all the situations I can?

Well, if I wrote a longer novel then I’m messing up the novel dynamics of a beginning, middle and an end. I can’t just keep having multiple beginnings, middle’s and ends, I have to settle on the one, keep the structure tight and create a story that satisfies myself and the reader.

Another reason for not writing a sequel, the best reason from my point of view, is that I don’t want to write sequels. Yes it would be easy to slip back behind the wheel of the same characters but doing that is not particularly satisfying since I’ve only got a limited time on this Earth and I don’t want to keep extending the same story. I want to write new stories.

There’s something amazing about creating new unique worlds and characters, and about saying something different every time. I try to do this although I must admit I am aware of repetitions, of thematic similarity. I suppose because with each book I’m approaching the same problem – Me - I’m writing about what I’m interested in – and I’m trying to approach it from a different angle each time. I’m trying to find something new, uncover some truth, pose the same question but find a different answer. I’m not writing a sequel, I’m not extending a story, but I am extending the exploration of the different worlds I’m interested in uncovering.

You might say – write a sequel then – but it just wouldn’t work for me, and I’ve tried. For me the characters journey is complete in the one story and it feels like I’m somehow betraying them if I send them on another. They’ve found their answers - they’ve experienced their tragedy and triumph and one way or another the world I’ve created is left in their hands. I can imagine how they will continue but I don’t need to say it and at the end of the day, the reader imagines it too.

Forgetting the writing angle, as a reader, do I like sequels and has that informed my writing? It’s true to say that I’ve read a lot more books than the three I’ve written so far and I’ve read many a series among them. What I hated reading a series when I was younger was that I would read book one and then find myself waiting two years for book 2, three years for book 3, etc, etc. I started reading ‘The Wheel Of Time’ in the 90s. I think I read the first three books thinking it was a trilogy and then discovered to my horror that it wasn’t. Starting a series without being able to finish it is reader torture. There are some series I’ve read in one go, ‘The Belgariad’ ‘The Dark is Rising Sequence’ and generally speaking if I could finish a series in a few weeks or months I was on cloud nine. When I started Game of Thrones, I wasn’t happy. Give me George R.R. Martin’s standalone novels every time. ‘Fevre Dream’ is a masterpiece, and it doesn’t have a sequel.

But as I’ve got older, even the ability to finish a series has paled. I start a series and then book 2 just seems too familiar. You read enough books and you see patterns, even in your favourite author, so I can’t even read two standalone books by the same author without detecting the author’s fingerprint. I find the best thing I can do is leave a gap between an author’s books, standalone and series alike, because that way I just enjoy them more. I forget how they write and I discover them all over again. A case in point, I’m reading book 2 of the mistborn series at the moment, three years after I read book 1. I am enjoying it. So I suppose as I’ve got older the publication gaps actually help me out, although I still like that solid feeling of knowing a series is finished before I start it. Maybe that’s just me, but if the destination doesn’t exist yet, I don’t want to start the journey.

Some books have sequels that you don’t need to read. I don’t need to read the fifteen sequels to Raymond E. Feist’s ‘Magician’ to enjoy it as a standalone book nor do I need to read the fifteen sequels to ‘Ender’s Game’. They work by themselves. Equally, John Scalzi’s ‘Old Man’s War’ doesn’t need a sequel but it has many with more to come. I enjoy book 1’s that don’t need their book 2’s and when I see that I suspect that the author’s in question never intended to write a sequel but later on thought they had to. I don’t mind that so much.

Anyway, musing over. Who likes sequels anyway, unless it’s Empire Strikes Back?