Starships and Crumpets – Book Signing at the Novel Cafe, Lancaster tomorrow, 23.8.14!

'Zero' - out now for SciFi Fans everywhere!

‘Zero’ – out now for SciFi Fans everywhere!

Greetings all!

I am still on a huge high from the amazing event that was Fantasticon last weekend. I had a table at this great Elite: Dangerous fiction event from which I launched Zero into the stratosphere!

See my last post for pics and more details of this great day!

But, as anyone who has been following me for any time will know, laurels are not something I choose to rest on. Tomorrow, Sat 23rd Aug, I have another booksigning session in my home town, Lancaster in the Novel Cafe on New Street!

Facebook Event Here!

I’ll be there from 10am until the supply of paperbacks (or cakes!) run out. If you’re in the area, do stop by and say hello! The Novel Cafe is a great little second hand book shop/cafe that supports local and national talent and a great lunch menu as well as a counter groaning under a myriad of homemade cakes.

They will frankly be lucky if I ever leave.

Stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for updates and pics from the event, as well as reports on brownies and toasties.

Zero is now available on Amazon in paperback (£8.99) and Kindle ebook (£2.99), so if you can’t make the signing, you can still make space pirates a part of your life!

Will check in tomorrow, folks! Pleasant evenings to all!

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW: J.S. Collyer

J. S. Collyer:

An interview with yours truly by the delightful Kelly Smith! I talk Zero, influences, future projects and…trousers!

Originally posted on Kelly Smith Reviews:

J.S. Collyer recently released her debut science fiction novel, Zero (published by Dagda Publishing), the first in the Orbit series. (Read my review of that HERE.) Read on as she talks about her influences, future works and who’d play her characters in a movie.

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1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been writing stories since I was a child. We had some RE homework once in secondary school which was to write our own short story version of the Tale of The Good Samaritan. Mine went on for about 18 pages! So storytelling has always been a great love of mine and once I get going it’s hard to stop me. 
I think I first decided I wanted to write novels when I started University and my first Creative Writing course. The more I learned, the more I loved it and the more I believed I…

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WE HAVE BLAST OFF – Fantasticon launches ‘Zero’ into orbit!

 

I employed my 'come and buy my book' hypo-stare to good effect at Fantasticon!

I employed my ‘come and buy my book’ hypo-stare to good effect at Fantasticon!

Zero has taken off with a blast! Not only is my first novel (mainly about the adventures of space pirates) now available on Amazon, but I also attended Fantasticon, Hull, for my very own launch and had an absolutely amazing time.

Not only was I sat alongside other Fantastic Books Publishing SciFi & Fantasy authors like Stuart Aken and Linda Acaster, but also authors that had written books set in the universe of the massively popular (as well as epic) computer game Elite: Dangerous. This whole event was a testament to what people can achieve when they care. These authors & publisher all raised money to buy licenses in order to write novels set in the universe of the game that so inspired them, as well as to pay for publishing and putting on this event to promote them.

First 12 buyers got a 'Zero' cupcake! These blasted off, I can tell you!

First 12 buyers got a ‘Zero’ cupcake! These rocketed off the plate, I can tell you

Every single person was friendly, encouraging, passionate and welcoming. I knew very little about Elite: Dangerous, but was welcomed with open arms by all the fans as well as organisers and other authors and no one hesitated to answer my questions or further my understanding. In turn, everyone was curious about me as well as Zero and I almost entirely sold out of copies!

The cupcakes all went too!

There was a Darlek and full-immersive 3D Occulus Rift games sets to play Elite on, or to just sit through the amazing fantasy-style demo, as well as an indie cinema, cosplay prizes, Dr Who actors and much, much more.

It was wonderful learning about this world of SciFi I was previously unaware of, as well as meeting so many SciFi fans that were not only generous in spirit but keen to discover new things. Many people not only bought my paperbacks but downloaded the e-book as well.

Fantasticon, in short, was fantastic and a massive shout out to the organisers for pulling such a great event together. This was their first one, but I’m certain there will be many more.

Dom and Becky cheering my on!

Dom and Becky cheering me on!

I also have to give a massive shout of thanks to my wonderful friends, Becky Hill, Dom Hayward and Liz Crewe, as well as my partner and glamorous assistant Andy McBain, for not only travelling across the Pennines to come and support me, but who all bought the book, supplied me with hotel-priced pints, cheered me on during my (rather nervous!) reading and waved Zero flags during my panel interview!

Last but not at all least, I have to thank Dagda Publishing for making this all happen. From supplying beautiful paperbacks for the launch to putting up with my endless stream of edits, they have been instrumental in making my first novel a reality. I hope they get as much out of it as I do!

(If you want to support this amazing independent publisher, check out their sales page for all their releases, including Zero. There is lots to choose from!)

Andy doing his bit!

Andy doing his bit!

Fantasticon was all one could ever hope for in a book launch and I now have set myself the target of getting Zero‘s sequel, Haven, completed for next year’s con so that I may be invited back again!

Next on my events list is my book signing at the Novel Cafe, New Street, Lancaster this Saturday 23rd Aug from 10am, but if you can’t make it there and want to get hold of a copy, Zero is now available to order on Amazon.

Thanks so much EVERYONE who has helped me get this far. There is no way I’d’ve got here on me todd!

May the force be with you :)

 

 

I was more than a little nervous during my first reading. Everyone was very kind and attentive!

I was more than a little nervous during my first reading, but everyone was very kind and attentive

The Zero stall at Fantasticon had cupcakes, lasers and a banner!

The Zero stall at Fantasticon had cupcakes, lasers and a banner! It was all in all a fantastic day and I hope I get to go back next year!

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Congratulations Jex!

J. S. Collyer:

Eeeeeee!!!

Originally posted on D. JAMES FORTESCUE:

The day has finally arrived!  ‘Zero’ has been officially released!  Super stoked! Congrats Jex =D

Zero

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The wait is over — Dagda Publishing launches J.S. Collyer’s “Zero!”

J. S. Collyer:

Thanks Eric and Dagda!!

Originally posted on Eric Robert Nolan, Author:

From Dagda Publishing:  “For all you fans of space opera in the vein of Star Wars and Fire­fly, Zero, the debut novel by J.S. Col­lyer and the first in the Orbit cycle has today been released on Ama­zon for both Kin­dle and Paper­back. We are very, very proud to be bring­ing this book to you. Head on over to Ama­zon to grab your copy today!”

See Dagda’s website for more information and links to Amazon:

http://dagdapublishing.co.uk/2014/08/16/publication-notice-zero-j-s-collyer-launches/

And congratulations, J.S.!!!

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BOOK REVIEW: “Zero” by J.S. Collyer

J. S. Collyer:

Another brilliant review!!! Thanks so much for your wonderful words on my launch day :)

Originally posted on Kelly Smith Reviews:

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Kaleb Hugo is every­thing an offi­cer of the Ser­vice should be: loyal, expertly trained, unques­tion­ing. He has done every­thing ever ordered of him and has done so with a pride that comes from know­ing you are fight­ing for the good of humankind…until the day that he made a decision to go against orders to obtain victory and save lives.
The bat­tle was won, but Hugo was con­demned and dis­hon­ourably dis­charged by Ser­vice com­man­ders for defying regulations. There is no place in the Service for heroes. Their soldiers serve and obey.
Officially, anyway.
Unof­fi­cially, Hugo is re-​​assigned to cap­tain the crew of the Zero, an eight-​​man craft clas­si­fied as, at best, a pri­va­teer ship and at worst a smug­gling and crim­i­nal enter­prise vessel. But what very few know is that the Zero, and her crew, are con­tracted by the Ser­vice. Their role is to inves­ti­gate and infil­trate the less savoury lev­els…

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I Gone And Done An Actual Book!

Zero will be available in paperback and ebook through Amazon from 16.8.14

Zero will be available in paperback and ebook through Amazon from 16.8.14

The paperbacks for my first ever novel, Zero, arrived this week from the publisher. I couldn’t get the boxes open fast enough. The book looks beautiful. I mean, I know I’m biased and have a certain amount of emotional investment in this little baby, but, seriously, the publisher, cover artist and printers have done the most amazing job.

This was the most amazing feeling. This time last year I was half way through drafting the thing with no clue as to what the end result would be, and yet here we are!

Zero is an epic SciFi romp set in the not-too-distant future, a story of people forced together by circumstance faced with everything the unforgiving future has to throw at them. Read a full synopsis here. I’ve loved every second of writing this book. My biggest hope is that it brings enjoyment to others.

Reviews so far on Goodreads from advance reviewers are encouraging! One that which keeps getting mentioned that pleases me the most is the fact that the story is accessible to all: you don’t need to be a hardcore SciFi addict to enjoy it. Though hopefully the hardcore folk out there will enjoy it too. I’m just so pleased to have created a story that people can enjoy across the board and fingers crossed this feeling continues as its audience widens.

The spine is beautiful! (Sorry about the cat toys in the background)

The spine is beautiful! (Sorry about the cat toys in the background)

And just look at the things! So lovely!

I cannot wait to wheel these out at the launch this Saturday (16th) at SciFi, Fantasy & Gaming Convention Fantasticon. (Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for pics and updates from the event!) I’ll also be in The Novel Cafe, Lancaster on Sat 23rd August with copies to sell & sign too. This event has the added bonus of The Novel Cafe’s excellent selection of cakes, teas and coffees on hand.

It’s all starting to feel real. The event organisers at Fantasticon are emailing me with time slots for my reading and my stall details. Masses of people are letting me know how and when they’re coming for their copy. It’s…amazing.

But it definitely feels like the beginning. Definitely a great beginning, but a beginning none the less. This is certainly just the start.

Where will it go from here? Let’s find out, shall we? :D

Chuffed doesn’t begin to cover it. See you at Fantasticon!

 

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Get Ready For the Launch…

It’s coming folks. Engines ready. Rockets fuelled. Pre-launch checks complete.

Zero gets released Saturday 16th August, a week on Saturday. Oh yes. The Zero and her crew will be sent forth to chart their own course. I could sit here and tell you everything this makes me think and feel but I don’t think there’s enough data allowance on WordPress.

In short, I’m super excited and super terrified. But overall, excited. My story of Captain Kaleb Hugo and his crew will be out there for the world to enjoy and this is everything I have ever dreamed of since I first wrote ‘Once upon a time’ in the beginning of an exercise book in primary school.

There’s already been positive feedback, which has really made me glow. It’s so wonderful finding out people enjoy your work after you’ve worked so hard on it. Hopefully more people will feel the same once it’s loose on Amazon.

I’m bracing myself for the first bad review. It will come, I know it will. You can’t please everyone, after all. I’m prepared and hopefully I’ll learn from it too. But this is the ‘terrifying’ part.

But, whatever happens, I hope Zero finds its audience and then who’s to say what will happen next.

(To see the reviews so far as well as synopsis etc, check out the Goodreads!)

So, first things first: the launch! Zero gets its very own launch at Fantasticon – a SciFi, Fantasy and Gaming convention in Hull, Yorkshire, Sat 16th August 2014, at which I have a table of my very own. I have commissioned cupcakes for the first twelve purchasers of the book and my other half has said I can take his LASERS.

This is going to be quite an event! I was never going to do my first book launch by half.

This will be followed by a more local booksigning at the Novel Cafe in Lancaster on Sat 23rd. If you’re in the area, do swing by and say hello! Come for the space pirates, stay for the cake!

Wish me luck, everyone! And follow me on Facebook and Twitter for all the pictorial and literary fun!

I’ll leave you with a suitably apt, as well as completely awesome summertime track.

Later, dudes! See you in orbit!

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Summer Readin’

I think, even if we can’t agree on everything, most writers would agree that to continue to grow and develop as a writer you have to make sure you read. A lot.

This has never been a problem for me. I am the perpetual bookworm and always have a pile at my bedside of reading or to-reads as tall as the bed itself. Ask my partner, he’s had it landslide round his ankles often enough. He finds it cluttered and sometimes painful. I find it…comforting.

I also go through phases of re-visiting old favourites (titles and authors) and branching out into unexplored territory. So I’m never short of inspiration when it comes to reading.

Right now is summer time, which is peak time for reading in my calendar. When the weather’s good outside, the first thing I want to do is seek out a patch of grass and settle down with some music and a book. The only thing more enjoyable is being away on holiday and doing this same thing. The first reason it’s better is because the weather is almost guaranteed to be better than here in Lancashire and another is because of that wonderful headspace you get into when holiday: away from jobs, cares, chores and all that boring real-life stuff. It’s somehow easier to drift away.

I have a trip to Spain at the end of August which involves a villa and a poolside so I had the diverting, if tricky, task of narrowing down what titles I’m going to take.

After some serious deliberation, (you can’t taking holiday reading to lightly!) the ones that made the final three are Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier Longbourn by Jo Baker and Convergence by Michael Patrick Hicks.

The Collected Works of Daphne Du Maurier made the cut

The Collected Works of Daphne Du Maurier made the cut

Du Maurier’s Rebecca is one of my favourite books. It was one of the successes to come out of my sporadic and sometimes onerous attempts to familiarise myself with the classical cannon. You can read a full report on my adventures into this sometimes fascinating, sometimes sinfully dull realm in this previous blog post, but, in short, Rebecca was one of the reasons I was glad I did and continue to try new things.

Having not heard much about her other titles, I asked around for recommendations for what to try next. I’ve heard mixed things: some people tell me all of her works are worth reading. Some say Rebecca is her best effort. But Jamaica Inn did come up a couple times as a recommendation, so I got my hands on a collected works and this is in the poolside pile.

Longbourn by Jo Baker has won acclaim since its release. This is my signed copy. Oh yes.

Longbourn by Jo Baker has won acclaim since its release. This is my signed copy. Oh yes.

Second is Longbourn by Jo Baker. I have had the hardback on my shelf since it was released (signed by the author too, thank you very much!). It is the tale of the servants of Longbourne, the house in which Pride and Prejudice is set. A sort of Downton Abbey take on this classic romance. Now this was a classic that did not speak to me all that much, but I know Jo’s writing and also know from reports that this is a book in its own class, something that fans of Austen will enjoy but that also appeals to those of us who put Jane back on the shelf. Since its release, it has taken the world by storm, earning rave reviews in the Times and the Telegraph and Jo places at international literary festivals and signings. There has been mutterings of a film also.

Jo also happens to be one of my tutors from university. She was a fantastic tutor, as you can imagine. She taught me a lot, not least about keeping at it and never being afraid to strike for the stars. I am very much looking forward to settling down in a deck chair with a glass of wine and Longbourn because, even though it is not the sort of book I would normally read (no space pirates?), as I say I know her writing, know she will pull me into this world with effortless ease and because every single person I have spoken to who has read it has told me what a beautiful and gripping book it is.

Abduction? Murder for Hire? Memory thieves? Yes please!

Abduction? Murder for Hire? Memory thieves? Yes please!

Last, but by no means least in my poolside pile is Convergence by Michael Patrick Hicks. This is action-packed science fiction at its very best, set in a world rife with political intrigue, criminality and memory thieves. Oh yes.

This is the sort of book make a beeline for in the shop and totter off to the counter with it gripped in my sweaty little mits after reading the blurb and grinning to myself in anticipation. I can’t wait to get my teeth into this little gem and since Michael was kind enough to do an advance review of Zero, my own SciFi novel (with space pirates) due for release Aug 16th, I’m very happy to have a chance at returning the favour.

Of course, since narrowing down my choices to these three, I made the mistake of popping into my local Waterstones and have since added Ash by James Herbert, Half a King by Joe Abercrombie and The Telling, also by Jo Baker (this time a ghost story, ooooo!) to this list…but I think suitcase weight limit will have to be a factor to consider when payday comes on Wednesday…

What are your reading habits? Do you save reading as a treat for a holiday or down time, or is it something find yourself doing it as your go-to pastime?

How do you chose your holiday reading and, most interestingly, what’s on your list for Summer 2014?

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Book Review: “Zero” by J.S. Collyer

J. S. Collyer:

Another review in for ‘Zero’ and it’s another stonker :D Go and see what M C Dulac has to say and, whilst you’re there, be sure and check out her Flash Fiction. It is some of the best I’ve read!

Originally posted on M. C. Dulac:

Zero cover

It takes a lot to stop someone in their tracks on the blogosphere, but that’s what happened to me when I came across J.S. Collyer’s creative writing blog “The Path” last year. Her short and flash fiction pieces jumped out to be read. In each piece there was a masterful control of plot, scenery and sensations, and a depth and humanity that made even the tiniest flash fiction memorable.

Then I heard that J.S’s first novel, “Zero” is being released this August by Dagda Publishing!
I put my hand up for an Advance Review Copy and settled down to read.

So is “Zero” a good story?

IT SURE IS!!!!!!!!

Kaleb Hugo is the perfect officer for the Service, an organisation that keeps order in a not so distant future. But after disobeying his superiors in a spacefight with rebels, he is demoted and becomes Captain of the ramshackle spacecraft Zero

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