Thursday, 18 December 2014

Biosphere 2

There's a rather interesting pair of podcasts on Biosphere 2 from the people at 'Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

If you're not familiar with the project, Biosphere 2, built on three (and a bit) acres, was a self-contained environment in which volunteers lived, grew their own food and struggled for survival (and this was back in early days of the 1990s before reality-TV had been invented.)

The show is in two parts and covers the failures and successes of the experiment and how the lessons learnt can and are being used in the development of the upcoming Mars missions.

They've also got a great photo gallery, and I've just spent a rather fun half hour flicking through, imagining the students from the university which now operates the site fleeing there after the outbreak, struggling to keep the crops growing whilst the undead bang on the windows outside...

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Warning! Looking at the Meteor Shower may cause blindness!

Tonight, if you look up, you’ll see the Geminids Meteor Shower.

It’ll be visible in both Hemispheres and is being touted by some as a ‘must-see’ event. But in case you haven’t read The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, you may be unaware that this may cause blindness.

This book, the pre-cursor to most Apocalyptic Fiction, begins when a similar meteor shower causes all those to see it to loose their sight. This provides the opening for the Triffids - genetically modified plants, bred for their oil as a cheaper, greener alternative - to take over the Earth.

It truly is a great book. It begins in a hospital, and is the very reason that, when writing 28 Days Later, Alex Garland set the opening scene in a hospital.

(Book 1 shares that opening setting, but in my story our hero has everything that happened explained to them. I make no secret of the fact my book wouldn’t have been written without Mr Wyndham’s inspiration). So, tonight, if you are like me and in reading apocalyptic fiction have become superstitious to the point of paranoid, then don’t at the skies. Otherwise, do make sure and look up.

Friday, 12 December 2014

No Mummies were harmed in the printing of this book.

There was an urban legend about Mummies (you know, the Egyptian kind) being used as fuel during a snowstorm somewhere in upstate New York back in... gosh... eighteen-something-or-other. As you can tell, I can't remember the details. In my search for them I've found this rather fascinating article on Mummies as fuel and in the manufacture of paper:

I thought I'd share.

(Book 5 update - Half way through first draft, current word count = 35,000 words.)

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Book 4: Unsafe Haven on Itunes & Drive Thru Fiction

Book 4: On Kobo

Book 4 is now out on Kobo. Happy reading!

epub's available from Libiro & Smashwords

For readers who want an epub version, Book 4 is now available from Libiro at $0.99 and Smashwords at $2.99 (other sites will follow during the day) Due to Smashwords distribution system, I'm afraid it's not possible to offer the book at a discounted rate during the first few days.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

It's (a)Live!!! Book 4: Unsafe Haven - Out now!

Surviving The Evacuation, Book 4: Unsafe Haven is now available to purchase on Amazon (only £0.77 until Wednesday)

Click here for Amazon UK

Click here for Amazon Everywhere else. 

I've submitted it to the other sites, and expect it to be up on Kobo, Itunes, Nook and others soon. The paperback should be available from tomorrow.

Happy reading!

Brrr, it's cold!

The first proper frost of the winter hit last night. Everything is covered in a thick coating of ice, and the street is filled with the sound of frustrated scrapping, as drivers try and clear their windshields.

I write outside. I find, surrounded by the coughing of birds and predatory snickering of spiders (I've been breeding them for size), that I get more done. So, it's a good thing that I've just hit publish on Book 4. If I had to do any actual writing today, even wrapped up in scarf and gloves (and have you tried to type in gloves? It's not easy), I'm not sure I'd get much done.

It can take up to forty-eight hours for the books to be reviewed and approved for distribution. I'll post up the links just as soon as I have them.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Work Rest Repeat - Free Until Sunday

Work Rest Repeat - A Post Apocalyptic Detective Story is free until Sunday.

Over the last twelve months I've been promoting the books I've written quite heavily. Whilst at least something that I've done must have worked, having run two or more promotions per week it's rather tricky working out exactly what. Following a thoroughly disastrous marketing campaign in September/November, I thought I'd see how effective it would be to give a book away for free without any promotion whatsoever (I don't count social media as this doesn't cost me anything but time).
So this is the first stage of the plan, justing putting the book up for free on Amazon for a few days and seeing how many (if any) downloads it gets by virtue of being free. The next stage (Launching Book 4 without any promotion) should follow in a couple of days. And speaking of which I should really get on with some work.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Book 5: Reunion

Book 5: Reunion, the conclusion to the story begun in Book 4: Unsafe Haven will be out early in 2014. It currently stands at 23,000 words, beginning just outside of Penrith a few months before the end of Book 4, then following the journey south. The story then switches point of view, and follows a journey to Hull.

The above will make more sense when you've read Book 4. So will my choice of a working title  for Book 6, I've been calling the draft document Svalbard.

I've a title for the US spin off, but I'm keeping that one under my hat for now.

Book 4 - Update

I've had the book back from the final proof-reader. All that's left now is to go through it one last time. This should only take a few days, so the book will be released next week at the latest.

In the meantime, Work Rest Repeat will be free on Amazon from tomorrow until Sunday.

Click here to grab a copy in the UK

Or here for everywhere else