Beyond Beginnings: Sequels

A Good Year End

In November 2016 I became a published novel author, building on my years as a short story writer. 51i8civxul-_ac_us240_ql65_51vykdagqhl-_ac_us240_ql65_

Where do you go from there?

You write the sequel.

Actually, I started writing the sequel long before I published “Faces of Janus“. It’s already gone out to beta readers, for publication in Spring 2017.

My Janus Paradisi novels run in parallel to Cheri Lasota’s Paradisi Exodus series. Our protagonists occupy the same place and time. Our characters come together and cooperate while pursuing their own objectives within a five book arc, so all planning had to be cooperative.

I had to understand her characters–their motivation, strengths, and weaknesses, abilities and relationships… We had to compare where she wanted her plot to go and where I wanted mine to go.

519bvtemdxl-_ac_us240_ql65_Underlying the whole exercise were the canon requirements of writing in a wider open-source universe, where many other writers establish circumstances or technology or characters that impinge on our stories. It’s a fascinating experience. Together we overcame all the obstacles.

So how did that work?

I’m not a plotter. I know who my characters are, where they are and what they want. I know where I want them to end up on the last page. I mark down a few “key” events for them to encounter on their journey. Then I sit back and let them control my fingers hitting the keyboard. It’s their story, after all, so I let them tell it. Often, the story they make me tell is different to the one I had in mind. (That really screws up plotting.)

So I’m a Pantser, writing by the seat of my pants. (Personally, I prefer the term “Organic” to “Pantser”. It51yudiocoel-_ac_us240_ql65_ sounds more professional.)

Cheri is a plotter. The events in every chapter are planned out well before she starts writing. Her characters go where she tells them, or else.

Naturally, my “Organic” gave way to her “Plotting”. There was no way we could share adventures without strict plotting. Together, we outlined the storylines covering the next two or three novels in our series.

Hectic Days Ahead in 2017

  • A print version of “Faces of Janus” is in the works
  • Janus Challenge” is with beta readers
  • Work progresses on the third in the series, targetted for publication in late Summer, 2017

I wish you all happy reading during the remaining bleak midwinter. Here are some suggestions: other novels set in the Paradisi Chronicles universe…

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December Treats!

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An early Merry Christmas treat for you all. (Or a treat for whatever you celebrate at this time of year.)

I have joined together with a group of brilliant authors to bring to your attention some excellent, sky-high Sci-fi & Fantasy novels at low, low prices. For more info, click here!

You can painlessly squeeze the whole set into your kindle-stocking as each novel costs 99-cents or less.

Better still, treat a few friends! Make someone merry this December.

(If you don’t have a few friends to treat, well… Merry Christmas, anyway, and I hope Santa brings you some in 2017.)

 

Paradisi Chronicles Anthology

The latest in a long line of Chronicle Worlds Anthology best sellers just hit the Amazon electronic shelves!

paradisiAnother world. Another chance…

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, seeking to escape a devastated Earth, ten families focus on constructing spaceships to colonize the world they call New Eden, in the Paradisi System. But the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaerans, although human in appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their descendants do not…

In this latest title in the acclaimed ‘Future Chronicles’ series of speculative fiction anthologies, twelve authors take us on that incredible journey with adventurers, scientists and colonists, as they push the boundaries against the unknown, against alien civilization, and themselves.

Discover Chronicle Worlds. Discover Paradisi.

Discover Paradisi here.

Contributing Authors: Samuel Peralta, Cheri Lasota, Louisa Locke, Ashley Angelly, Claire Davon, Lindsay Edmunds, SJ Mayeski, Andy McKell, Bill Patterson, Joseph Robert Lewis

Continue reading

Janus and June

graduation_cap_and_diplomaCELEBRATION !

Another hectic month.

June started with a week in the UK, celebrating my middle daughter’s graduation (huge congrats!).

It ended with a week at a German spa!

In between, I managed to start work on my beta-readers’ responses to my novel, “FACES OF JANUS”. Continue reading

Plot Sketch #4635

So Many Ideas, So Little Time…

(I have too short a lifespan to produce a full story from every idea I get, so will occasionally throw up out a plot sketch so you can see what you are missing…)

Plot Sketch #4635

Earth is the only planet in the galaxy where Continue reading

So Where Have I Been?

Debt Collector in Storm in the Stars

Andy as Debt Collector in A Storm in the Stars

I took a long break between posts this year. I’m sure you noticed.

So where have I been? Continue reading

Paradisi Chronicles

Paradisi-Banner_website-banner

I mentioned the Paradisi Chronicles “co-operative” project in an earlier post.

I’ve worked before in loose-knit shared-world projects, such as the  “No Revolution Is Too Big” anthology, but Paradisi Chronicles is different. Let me explain how… Continue reading

Writing in Groups

 

teachers-23820_1280I kept reading about them in the blogosphere. Everyone recommends them: Writers’ Groups!

So how do you find one? Especially if you live in the small, non-English-speaking country of Luxembourg. So I filed it away as yet more writerly advice I couldn’t take, like nationwide bookshop signings, getting into libraries… Perhaps I could find a critique group online, someday… I really had to get searching… When I had time…

But then I found one. Or rather, it found me. Continue reading

Dysprosium : SciFi Convention

dysprosiumDysprosium was the 66th annual UK SciFi Convention, held at Easter 2015.

(Yes, I’m still playing “catch-up”.)

Overview

Weird and wacky, thoughtful and intelligent, and a Real Ale bar permanently packed-out with hobbits. Well, not real hobbits, but hairy folk wearing homespun and sandals. (For my non-UK readers, Real Ales are traditional beers produced by smaller breweries with love and care and no artificial additives.) The Bar seems to be a popular recurring feature of these conventions.

Differences

This was my first “big” scifi convention. I’d attended Luxcon a week earlier (see post): the difference was remarkable. Most Luxembourg attendees lived locally and needed no hotel accommodation. UK attendees were from a wider catchment area so most needed hotel rooms. As a result, the age profiles were radically different. LuxCon folk were predominantly young adults, with a greater cosplay tendency: the UK folk were generally older, more likely to have spreading waistlines, receding hairlines and greater disposable income (to afford the travel and hotels).

I’d say there was more pop-scifi in Luxembourg, and more fantasy in the UK.

Workshops and Beyond

I submitted different pieces of writing to three writing workshops. Due to the number of attendees, time constraints prevented full analysis of the submissions, but each presenter team provided follow-up:-

  • Elsewhen Press – critique session
    • submitted : a short story, “Homo sapiens inferior
    • follow-up : Elsewhen invited attendees to submit a story after the convention for a full critique
  • Terry Edge and Kim Horwood – improving writing and achieving goals
    • submitted : the first chapter of my far future novel-in-progress, “Succession!
    • follow-up : Terry and Kim sat with me between other sessions for valuable informal chats
  • Donna Scott (editor and chair of the British Science Fiction Association) – critique session
    • submitted : the first page of my noir novel-in-progress, “Private Vices
    • follow-up : Donna edited the entire submission after the convention and sent me her comments

Thank you to them all.

Conclusions

Between the Real Ale and the wonderful attendees I met, the excellent session presenters and the great folk running the workshops, I had a great time and learned so much. Already looking forward to next Easter’s Convention, “Mancunicon” (in Manchester, UK).

Afternote : Only a few people ignored the “No Bare Feet” notices. I do hope they enjoyed their pedal fungal infection transfers.

 

Press Release: The Future Is Short Vol 2

A new anthology that contains two of my own stories…

THE FUTURE IS SHORT: SCIENCE FICTION IN A FLASH, Volume 2 Now Published
ISBN: 9 781514 151518 (trade paperback) Published June 3, 2015
E-book published June 11, 2015

TFIS 2 - 100x150Thirty-six authors took a leap of faith in January 2015 to contribute their stories to The Future Is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 2. Twenty-two of them, published in the inaugural volume in June 2014, returned to present new ideas, tales and imaginative spins on specific topics in this latest edition; over a dozen of Volume 2’s contributors are new writers, many being published for the first time in this anthology. The Future Is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 2 includes seventy-six glimpses at what the future might hold, arranged under 14 themes: among these are Apocalypse, It’s a Wonderful Life, Distance, First Contact, Unwanted Gift, Adolescence and Espionage. Continue reading