Over Halfway

I get a little excited when I reach the halfway mark in a first draft of a new story. I’m beyond that point now with my next story, which has a working title of Petroff’s Progrom. I won’t call it that when I publish. I fancy Pharma. I haven’t yet decided.

Right now, Thomas Irwin and his friend, Mark Stafford, are in the thick of some brutal fighting along the cold, dark tunnels of the Gobi mines; Sebastian Scatkiewicz, Andrew ‘Birdie’ Goosen and Day are busy expanding their rebel fleet by ambushing smugglers; and Jack Petroff is committing mass murder as he attempts to protect his personal business interests against Cohen and Cotton’s snooping. These threads will come together as I write this episode’s final scenes a little later this month. Hopefully, I’ll have the second Rebellion story ready to upload–after a serious edit and a new book cover–sometime in April. Tell a friend;)

After that, it’s back to the third story in the Scat’s Universe series (working title, Destiny), which is 20% done. I have yet to decide whether Scat gets to rule Purgatory or simply saves Mankind from it. Maybe neither: Haraani politics is complicating things.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, book-lovers

I know that success, fortune and peace of mind rarely coexist, but I hope you get it all, and in spades, this 2014.

Please remember Scat and his small, rag-tag band of refugees this holiday season. They don’t get a Christmas this year and no booze on new year’s eve. (I’m working them harder this year than ever before.)

Best

Jim

BIRDIE DOWN – still flying …

So consumed was I in writing and publishing ARMY of SOULS, and finding the time to hunker down and make in-roads into the third story in the SCAT’S UNIVERSE space opera saga, I had almost completely forgotten to promote my REBELLION story. As a result it was feeling a little neglected, but a recent review has just perked it up a little.

For those of you who didn’t see a tweet on the topic,  BIRDIE DOWN is a shoot ‘em up space opera side story that fits into the bigger novel SCAT at around chapter 100.

Here’s the review: Goodreads

It’s a free story. Grab it from Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords or click onto the BIRDIE DOWN website page to find your preferred retailer.

Image

 

 

Dream on, Destiny

Aside

Early reader comments for ARMY of SOULS are in. They range from: “could be your break out novel”, “Really great book” and “addicted to the concept” to “what were you using when you dreamt this stuff up”. All of which is very encouraging: The concept is meant to be intriguing, and the story aims to be a little “out there”.

Right now I’m ingesting copious amounts of coffee just before bedtime so as to dream up the third Scat’s Universe story, currently entitled, “Destiny”. (I have found that Starbuck’s Guatemala and Antigua beans generate the best dreams, so I’m sticking with them.)

Which reminds me to pop down to the Circle K. My coffee needs milk.

Destiny – Working Title – Book 3 of Scat’s Universe

I’m 10% into the first draft of the follow-on story to Army of Souls. I’m calling it Destiny for now. It aims to be as complicated and as ‘addictive’ as AoS and leave the reader feeling just as ‘spellbound’ as they were after reading Scat. (I just love Twitter–tweeps tweet the nicest of things when they are in the middle of a story).

It’s a Scat’s Universe novel, so you’d be right in thinking that Scatkiewicz will have his work cut out for him, again. There’s new stuff, new characters and new places. I also hope to introduce a new concept or two to brush the cobwebs from the brain (mine if not yours) and to edge a little closer to a victory for the Virtues. Or not. I have several endings in mind.

If you are reading Army of Souls, or have finished it, please let me know what you think of it. Feedback is essential to my growth as an author. Sadly, my publisher/publicist/agent resides in the left side of my brain and rarely, if ever, speaks to the writer who lives mostly in the right;-) Up till now I’ve been told that AoS, ‘…could be your break-out novel’ and was asked, ‘What were you using when you dreamt this stuff up?’ My thanks to the coffee.

The Curious Appearance of Kilometre-wide Methane Flumes

In my first novel, Scat, I mention that Earth in 2203 is a resource-depleted and climatically challenged place and that Man had to push out into space to bring back the minerals it needed to repair its climate and keep its factories open. It’s a backstory that allows for the discovery of an artefact, the New World’s rebellion, the opening of Earth-replica planets across the galaxy and the rediscovery of something we lost hundreds of years before.

I chose 2203 as the starting date because the impact of climate change and Man’s achievements in space exploration technology (flux-drive, far dark light fuel etc) had to coincide, but maybe I was being too optimistic about Earth’s ability to sustain us up to that point.

Image

A recent email from AVAAZ.org indicates that methane release from under the oceans has grown dramatically over a relatively shot period and that we could be on the cusp of a near-term catastrophe. Science has yet to prove this, but there are signs that methane is 20-30 times more harmful than carbon dioxide when released into the atmosphere. And whereas methane releases are commonplace and have occurred for hundreds of years, in recent years the acceleration of these releases and the scale of them has grown exponentially. Some flumes are now one kilometre wide. There are hundreds of these flumes. Here’s a link to AVAAZ.org‘s campaign to get that fixed, and to a couple of others that explain the discoveries. Here and here.

I won’t be going back to revise Scat until the jury is in, but the unintended consequences of Man’s activities on our planet might require me to change Scat from a scifi thriller to a near-future horror story. I’d rather not, of course. Revising and editing a novel and then uploading a new document to Amazon can be a bitch. More so than wearing a gas mask.

Image

Scat is currently free to download to your preferred ereader from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony Reader Store, Diesel and Apple.

Clean air is also free. Long may it last.