Sequel Achievement Unlocked: Two Books Further Down the Road

achievement.goal_.mountainWell, spin me round and call me Frank. I’ve written another book.

I kid ye not!

Last year I released my first novel, Zero: a space-pirate-packed romp following the exploits of the crew of an undercover privateer ship that uncovers Orbit-wide revolutionary conspiracies. It is book one in my Orbit Series and has done very well so far, I am very pleased to say, received enthusiastically by fans science fiction and general fiction alike.

See synopsis & reviews on Amazon (and pick up a copy for yourself if you so please!) here

See synopsis & reviews on Goodreads here

I have now finished my final edit of the sequel, Haven. Haven revisits the characters of Kaleb Hugo, former captain of the Zero and his one-time commander Ezekiel Webb, to see how they have moved on (or not) from the tumultuous events at the end of Book 1. They are now that they are faced with a whole new challenge. And this time it’s personal.

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

I’m super-pleased with how Haven has come together. It’s a different flavour to Zero, no question, lower-key in some ways, more ambitous in others. But is still full of action and intrigue with buckets of character-driven plot twists and turns. I really hope readers of Zero will find it a worthy follow-on.

It has now gone to a very lovely person for a beta-read and then it shall wing its way back to Dagda Publishing to be checked over and finalised ahead of its release this October.

The only thing that pleases me more is looking at the position I’m in now. If you told me at the beginning of 2013 that in two years’ time I would have written two books, one released, one due for release and have the deadline for a third looming, I would have put down my cup of tea, patted you on the shoulder in a pitying manner and said, ‘if you say so’ in an unconvinced sort of way.

What a wondrous drive a deadline can install in you!

Stay tuned for news of the upcoming release of Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit series including its official launch date (and possibly event), more appearences and merchandise as well as details of Dagda’s next planned crowdfunding/pre-order campaign. I’ve been promised there will be lots of exclusive perks potentially up for grabs in order to raise money for the Haven marketing budget. We’re going to make it blast off into the stratosphere!

Now to settle down and try not to bite nails whilst I wait for the beta reader’s verdict.

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Event Announcement – Talk Nerdy 2 Me

Hi everyone! I have confirmed my place at another event, this time one for my fellow Lancashire dwellers.

This great FREE event is perfect for the nerd in everyone. Fri 8th May, Harris Library, Preston from 4pm - 9pm! See you there!

This great FREE event is perfect for the nerd in everyone. Fri 8th May, Harris Library, Preston from 4pm – 9pm! See you there!

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be attending Talk Nerdy 2 Me in Preston on Fri 8th May. This looks to be a great event, held at the Harris Library with lots of stalls for all that is nerdy & geeky (heaven!) as well as a cosplay competition, an open mic event (which I’m going to be brave and participate in) and an Authors’ Corner. I will be there selling & signing copies of my SciFi novel Zero and EXCLUSIVE limited edition goodies.

I know fellow Lancaster author A. S. Chambers, who is the man to read for all your paranormal fantasy needs, will also be in attendance.

Everything SciFi/Fantasy/Fiction fans will enjoy!

If you are in the North West I hope to see you there.

Oh yes and, did I mention, this event is FREE ENTRY? Even more reason to come along for a great afternoon/evening of treats and fun.

There is a Facebook Event and a Facebook Page and a Twitter Account with lots of details so do check it out! I haven’t linked to any website for ticket sales because, yes, it is FREE!

Awesome sauce :)

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Author Interview with Spectrum Books

Greetings everyone!

Hannah made an amazing Marylin Harvey! She is a true spacer!

Hannah made an amazing Marylin Harvey! She is a true spacer!

For those of you that had one, I hope you thoroughly enjoyable Easter Bank Holiday weekend and that much chocolate was consumed. I spent most of mine in Sheffield at Yorkshire Cosplay Con, selling & signing copies of Zero and had a great time! As predicted, there were some truly astounding cosplays and my own glamorous assistant, Hannah, work cosplayed my character Marilyn Harvey from Zero itself!

I want to thank the organisers who had 5000 + Cosplayers turn up and all the wonderful fiction and SciFi fans that came over to say hi and looked at Zero. Hoping to see you all again in the near future.

I can’t wait for my next event which will be Blackpool Comic Con on Sat 12th September. This gives me summer to get the last few edits of Haven wrapped up and get started on my next Project With a Deadline. Yes, I have another!

More for the SciFi fans. More details to follow.

In the mean time, I wanted to share this interview I did with the great Spectrum Books. Nadine of Spectrum was good enough to ask me some questions about writing, my experience and opinion of different methods of publishing (including the old chestnut of self v traditional) and my top tips for writing fiction.

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

Haven, Book 2 in the Orbit Series, contiues the adventures of the Zero crew and is out Oct 2015

You can find the interview here. Do leave some comments for Nadine to let her know what you think! And check out the rest of the site – she regularly posts author interviews and book reviews. Right up the street of any reader/fiction fan.

Great to touch base with you all! Now I need to get my head down and finish editing Haven so it’s all shiny and ready for its release in October.

Remember to sign up to Dagda Publishing’s Newsletter for further updates on my Orbit Series as well as news about all the other fiction and poetry they release. Again, a must for fiction fans!

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Easter Weekend at Yorkshire Cosplay Con

Yorkshire Cosplay Con is a must for all fans of anime, cosplay, computer games and more! Family-friendly, a great day out for all!

Yorkshire Cosplay Con is a must for all fans of anime, cosplay, computer games and more! Family-friendly, a great day out for all!

Easter holidays are approaching! I can’t wait, not just for the holiday feeling but because I’ll be catching a train tomorrow to Sheffield for Yorkshire Cosplay Con on Saturday!

I can’t wait for this event. Hundreds and hundreds of people are promised to attend to celebrate all things costume and cosplay. I’m so excited to see what everyone is coming as. In my past experience, cosplayers have the most amazing dedication and talent and some of the outfits they put together are show-stopping.

I will be in attendance (dressed as nothing more exciting than myself I’m sorry to say…but I am taking my big boots!) selling and signing copies of my SciFi novel Zero. After my success at Scarborough SciFi Festival I’m very excited to be reaching more potential fans of SciFi and fiction. I’m finding more and more

Signed Zero paperbacks and exclusive goodies will be available from my table!

Signed Zero paperbacks and exclusive goodies will be available from my table!

that events are great things to do – I recommend writers or artisans of any kind getting involved with conventions and events. It’s great being there with your product and getting a chance to meet new potential fans and to actually talk to them. One event feels far more gratifying, and successful, than a month of online advertising campaigns.

If you’re going along to Cosplay Con yourself and are a fan of character-driven SciFi with action, intrigue and drama in the ilk of Joss Whedon, do drop by and say hi and check Zero out, it might well be just your thing! Even if that’s not your bag, come and say hi anyway! I’d really like to see your outfits.

I also have a glamorous cosplay assistant attending with me. My friend Hannah is dressing as the spunky space-pirate captain Marilyn Harvey, complete with red flight suit and spacer boots! She’s going to look mint and I can’t wait to see the final result.

Be prepared for lots and lots of pictures on both my Twitter and Facebook Page!

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Event confirmation: Blackpool Comic Con, 12th Sep 2015

As I discussed in my last post, Scarborough SciFi Festival was an absolute blast! It was a great event all round: wonderful location, epic venue and an atmosphere that was buzzing with excitement! I signed plenty of copies of Zero too, which was very exciting.

Next on the list is Yorkshire Cosplay Con at the Magna Science Centre in Sheffield. A slightly different event, this all revolves around Cosplay, so it will be all things film, book, computer game and more! The possibilities are endless! I can’t wait to see what people are coming as. The effort and skill that goes into this hobby is often astounding.

I’ll have to think hard about what to wear! Any suggestions?

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook because there’s bound to be some amazing pictures! Did I mention I have a glamorous assistant accompanying me, dressing up as Marilyn Harvey, the spunky smuggler captain from Zero? She will be a vision in a red flightsuit and spacer boots! This is definitely going to be worth seeing, so if you’re not going to make the event, be sure to check out the pictures I post :D

A great event for people int the North West!

A great event for people int the North West!

And, also, I can also now confirm for everyone in the North West that I have confirmed my table at Blackpool Comic Con! This is set to blast off Sat 12th Sep at the epic Winter Gardens in Blackpool. There are all sorts of amazing guests already announced with more to come. I will be there with my SciFi novel Zero, selling and signing paperback copies of the book as well as exclusive goodies and, because they went down so well at Scarborough, FREE GLOWSTICKS.

Hope to see you all there!

For details of all my other events for 2015, see my Events Page.

If you have an event that you think I would be good for, please contact me through any of the methods on my Contact Page.

Do find out more, read reviews or pick up your own copy of Zero, it is available on Amazon for Kindle or as paperback!

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Oh I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside! A Review of Scarborough SciFi Festival 2015

Set up an ready for blast off on day 1!

Set up an ready for blast off on day 1!

I spent last weekend at the two-day Scarborough Science Fiction Festival and it was laser-blasting AWESOME. There were special guests like Virginia Hey of Farscape, Danny John Jules of Red Dwarf and Darth Vader himself, David Prowse. There were also rows upon rows of independent creative traders: authors, comic book artists, crafty types, collectors and podcasters all gathered in the Artists’ Alley to meet fellow fans and promote their creations. There were also amazing collections, like the puppets and models used in Gerry Anderson’s productions such as Thunderbirds and Stingray as well award-winning collections to see and official traders with everything from Star Wars vinyl to figurines for sale.

Scarborough was beautiful, even in March. The wind was brisk, the air fresh and the fish and chips plentiful!

Scarborough was beautiful, even in March. The wind was brisk, the air fresh and the fish and chips plentiful!

The venue, the Scarborough Spa, was a truly an inspired choice too. The Victorian theatre and entertainment centre is beautifully maintained, with soaring ceilings, well-stocked bars and a number of great rooms, including the Grand Hall where the Artists’ Alley was station which had a balcony and a stage on which the celebrity panels were held.

There was also the wonderful setting with the beach right outside, a great seaside front with amusements and cafes and the best fish and chips I’ve had in a long time.

All this was fantastic, but the best thing was the atmosphere. The people that attended were, to a one, friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and also keen, passionate and curious to discover new things. I had a table in the Artists’ Alley and took copies of my first SciFi novel, Zero, to sell. Lots and lots of people bought signed copies, as well as some of my exclusive badges and bookmarks. But the best part was getting to meet face-to-face fellow SciFi fanatics and discuss my book and find out what they thought from their first impressions. I’m very much looking forward to finding out what they make of the story as a whole, but some I know have started reading already and are so far enjoying, which is great!

What also excited me immensely was that a few people actually sought me out as they had heard of Zero! They’d either had Amazon recommend it to them, or friends or fans. This gave me such a buzz I grinned all weekend. It really showed me that I’m doing it right and that I’, slowly getting out there.

Craig Hallam is a Gothic/SpecFi/SteamPunk writer with many titles to his name. I highly recommend checking out Greaveburn & The Adventures of Alan Shaw

Craig Hallam is a Gothic/SpecFi/SteamPunk writer with many titles to his name. I highly recommend checking out Greaveburn & The Adventures of Alan Shaw

Another thing that was great was the chance to meet other writers that are further along their journey than me and are doing so well. I met Craig Hallam, steampunk and gothic author of several titles including The Adventures of Alan Shaw and Greaveburn. I picked up a copy of Graeveburn for myself and devoured half of it on the train journey home. It has the flavour of Gormenghast, but with more action and a much sleeker narrative style. The characters are engaging, the pace is great and the beautifully visualised setting is enough to draw in fantasy, SpecFic, steampunk and even SciFi fans alike. I highly recommend.

I also me C. G. Hatton, author of the SciFi Thriller Thieves Guild Series. I picked up her first book, Residual Belligerence for Kindle and have started already and this, too, is brilliant so far. Great pace and great characters, and a wonderful tone

C. G. Hatton was truly lovely to meet and her Thieves' Guild Series is enormously successful. I've very much enjoyed what I've read of book 1 so far.

C. G. Hatton was truly lovely to meet and her Thieves’ Guild Series is enormously successful. I’ve very much enjoyed what I’ve read of book 1 so far.

and humour. That and the action has sucked me right in and I can’t wait to get to the rest of the story.

I will definitely back to Scarborough SciFi Festival for 2016. A huge thank you to the amazing organisers, Andy and Steve, for having me and for putting on such a great event. But above all thank you to all the festival goers that flocked out in their hundreds with their masks, lightsabers, cloaks and enthusiasm and really made the event come alive.

I’m now looking toward my next event, Yorkshire Cosplay Con, but also to the SciFi Festival in Scarborough next year!

Zero is endorsed by the best! You can grab a copy at any of me 2015 Events (see my Events page!) or click here for Amazon!

Zero is endorsed by the best! You can grab a copy at any of me 2015 Events (see my Events page!) or click here for Amazon!

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SciFi By The Sea – Off To Scarborough SciFi Festival!

Look how beautiful! This Yorkshire seaside town looks like an absolute treat for a weekend of Scifi by the sea! The festival itself is in the amazing Victorian Spa which is pictured here

Look how beautiful! This Yorkshire seaside town looks like an absolute treat for a weekend of Scifi by the sea! The festival itself is in the amazing Victorian Spa which is pictured here

I’m all at once giddy and nervous! I am off to catch a train this afteroon across the country to the Victorian Seaside town of Scarborough. This is exciting enough in itself – with it’s promenade, award-winning fish and chips and sea and sand, this is a trip I’ve wanted to make for years anyway. But also, this weekend, it is host to the Scarborough Science Fiction Festival!

Signed Zero paperbacks and exclusive goodies will be available from my table in the Artists' Alley!

Signed Zero paperbacks and exclusive goodies will be available from my table in the Artists’ Alley!

I’m so excited to be going. I have a table there in the Artists’ Alley and will be selling & signing copies of my first novel Zero, my space-pirate-ridden, laser-blasting debut that continues to receive good feedback on Amazon and Goodreads and which was listed in Northern Soul Magazine’s Best Reads of 2014. I also have exclusive goodies, badges and bookmarks, and am going to try and tempt people in with flee glow wrist bands with every purchase!

Danny John Jules, AKA The Cat from Red Dwarf will be at Scarborough! 'Don't look baby, it'll drive you crazy!'

Danny John Jules, AKA The Cat from Red Dwarf will be at Scarborough! ‘Don’t look baby, it’ll drive you crazy!’

Everyone likes stuff the glows, yes?

But NOT ONLY THIS, I am dizzy like a child on lemonade to be at an event alongside the likes of David Prowse, Viginia Hey and Danny John Julies.

PREPARE FOR MANY AN INCOMING PIC ON TWITTER!

The wonderful Viriginia Hey, known for her role as Zhaan in Farscape, will also be in attendance

The wonderful Viriginia Hey, known for her role as Zhaan in Farscape, will also be in attendance

(Follow me @JexShinigami. Follow the festival @scifiscarbs)

Yes, I’m sorry, I will be all over Twitter with the fan pics. This is all very exciting for me. I have been fans of these people and films for a very, very long time. Getting to actually see and meet them as well as raid all the amazing merch and take part in the talks and panels is a dream come true. The fact that I am attending with my own little contribution to the genre is the icing on teh cake. Not to forget, of course, the famous fish and chips.

I can’t wait, wish I was there now!

You can see what other events I’m confirmed to attend on my Events page. If you would like me at your event or have any event suggestions for any other reason, feel free to Contact Me.

And what SciFi event would be complete without DARTH VADER! David Prowse will also be in attendance!

And what SciFi event would be complete without DARTH VADER! David Prowse will also be in attendance!

Hope to see you in Scarborough, folks!!

May the Force be with you and live long and prosper!

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Striking the Balance – Editing as Art rather than Science

J. S. Collyer:

Today’s Throwback Thursday post was great fun to revisit. It was when I was editing my first novel Zero, and now that I’m on to editing the sequel, Haven, it’s good to refresh these ideas and remind myself of why I do things the way I do!

Originally posted on The Path - J. S. Collyer's Writing Blog:

Here’s a general update before I get on to my latest revelation about editing:

Some writers I know like to focus on one project at a time, but I find it beneficial to have a few irons in the fire. It means you have a way to refresh your creativity if you hit a mental cul-de-sac on your main project. A short break from something big to write a short story or flash fiction or blog post is often all you need to feel the fire again. It also means that you’re keeping your connections/networks/online presence fresh, which is not only good for expanding your audience but can be a great boost for motivation and commitment. There’s nothing quite like people reading and enjoying your writing on a regular basis to give you the confidence to motor on with the novel draft, for example. 

So I have been keeping my hand in…

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No Way Home Launch Success! News! And Convergence Sale!

J. S. Collyer:

What Michael said :D

Originally posted on Michael Patrick Hicks:

Our first week of release for No Way Home has been a terrific success, with our anthology landing in the Top 10 (currently Top 5!) Science Fiction anthologies and #1 in Hot New Releases for the sci-fi anthologies in the Amazon US store. It’s done exceedingly well in the UK, too, where it is currently the #2 best-seller in sci-fi anthologies! To say we’re happy with the book’s success is a bit of an understatement.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 3.56.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-07 at 3.55.51 PM

I think this is a pretty huge deal and I am incredibly honored to have been included in this epic endeavor. I’m sharing page space with a lot of awesome authors, and I’m looking forward to working with all of them again.

That’s right – I said again. We’re putting the band back together. Talks are currently underway for a second anthology release this autumn. I can’t tell you the uniting theme yet, but I…

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Theme It

J. S. Collyer:

Throwback Thursday: here’s a post from before the release of Zero, exploring the way a theme can enhance the flavour of your book. I still believe all I’ve said here, and haev enjoyed revisiting this place before Zero’s release and reminding myself of the forces that lead to the creation of my next book, Haven. Enjoy!

Originally posted on The Path - J. S. Collyer's Writing Blog:

There’s a hell of a lot to be got out of considering theme when you’re writing fiction. I’d argue that it’s hard to write something and it not have some sort of identifiable theme. A lot of the time, themes form without even having to be thought about. They’re tied to what the story is about so you can have anything and everything in even the simplest narratives: friendship, love, relationships, doubt, hope, understanding, exploration, redemption and, that guaranteed go-to concept that almost everything we do is themed by whether we mean it to or not, the delightfully ever-present Human Condition.

So, if theme can run through your narrative without you even having to try, why is it important to consider it?

Well that’s because, if you commit to taking your themes to the next level, they will escalate your writing up there to join them. Theme will give your…

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