Monday, 15 January 2018

The Who's Behind Bootstrap's Journey

My recently-published novella Bootstrap's Journey is a fun romp through time, travelling from the 2040's to 2017. I'm happy to say it's receiving a great response from readers.

One of them asked where I come up with the names. It's not a new question either as a friend asked me the same question, along with "Where do you get your ideas?" - but that's a tale for another time.

Knowing the story's main theme was around a fish-out-of-water, the fish being a 20-something-year-old's invention of a time machine, I thought of so many other stories with similar themes. But I wanted it to be something different again to stand out. That part I sorted, but the names eluded me.

So I thought of all the names of books on the subject, make it a fun thing for my readers to look at.

I'll give you some clues. One of the characters is named Claire Hilyer. The Christian name comes from Time Traveller's Wife and the surname comes from HG Wells' The Time Machine. Hilyer is the name of the book's narrator, a name often missed and forgotten.

See if you can guess where Tony Nowlan's name comes from. I'll give you a clue. You will have to look towards the 25th Century...

I'll give you the answer next week!

Bootstrap's Journey can be purchased at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play and other great digital bookstores online.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

A Town Called Rockhampton

Many years have passed since I left my hometown of Rockhampton. There was a time when I could see myself living there until my dying day. But life happened.
One of my high school friends once called it a hole. Another friend said: there's no life there, only existence.
But it suited my purposes while I lived there. I enjoyed growing up a car trip away from the beach at Yeppoon; visiting my maternal grandparents at Zilzie (a suburb in Emu Park) and fishing with my Granddad in his boat. There I had my education in school and Central Queensland University. Rockhampton is where I cut my teeth as an entertainer, and that was when I realised Rocky's shortcomings and lack of opportunities.
So I left as soon as I found a job in Brisbane. I'd nearly left two years before that, but ... Well, that doesn't matter now.
Rockhampton, despite my thoughts on it, still possesses a rich historical past. It was once the Beef Capital, was almost Queensland's capital, nearly became the border for the Japanese in WW2, and much more. As I said, it provided for me in the first twenty-five years of my life. My early stories were based in a town based upon it (Banksia Grove) and I wanted to give it a nod.
A touch of romance, science-fiction, and thrilling adventure with time travel.
That nod is in my novella, Bootstrap's Journey, which is available at Amazon, Kobo, Apple iBooks, and Google Play.
What would you do if you received a letter from your high school crush, written before you were born?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Resting Time & Bootstrap's Journey (Pre-Order Now)

Sometimes, it's important to take a rest or break, and recharge the batteries. At least one person will show surprise to see me write this.

When I finished writing Dead Cell last year, my head brimmed to overflowing with ideas for Books 2 and 3 of the series.

Craig Ramsey's character intrigued me, and I must have hit a winner because my readers enjoy him too. They also like Brianna Cogan. She's a strong female co-lead whose sceptical personality contrasts with Craig's beliefs in psychic phenomena. Brianna even doubts Craig's psychic abilities at first and tries explaining them away with logic. Then there's Emma Fraser, the cheeky Scottish lady who appears in ghost form to Craig. She loves burbling like a two-year-old to Craig and distracts him when he's conversing with other people so they think he's a freak.

So I loved my characters enough I wanted to write more. But time was running out.

 Christmas came. I met an interesting couple. One of them inspired me enough to create even more material, a backstory for Emma. My muse worked overtime in my head.

Writing these ideas proved difficult. So many of them, so little time. My wife and I were expecting our first child soon. Priorities would soon change.

 April came. So did our daughter Harper. Book Two, Demon Blade, was put aside. Harper needed attention from both Mum and Dad. I love our little girl so much, despite sleep deprivation from the two-hourly feeds we gave her - taking turns.

I'm not sure what inspired the new idea. It came from nowhere.

I was either coaxing Harper back to sleep while sitting in the recliner at 2am, or I was sitting on the toilet. But when the inspiration hit, I listened.

The thought of time travel came to mind. Stephen Hawking doesn't believe it possible to travel into the past. Why? Because we'd see those people from the future. Arguing is my strength. So I challenged Hawking in my thoughts. What if they do discover time travel and they don't want us to see them? What if they keep it secret among themselves?

Then something shot through my head. Mark Twain. A song called I Am My Grandpa. The Grandfather paradox; what happens if you travel back in time, meet your granddad as a young man, and kill him before your father is born? What if you ... Oh, that thought was plain nasty. Sleep deprivation is a sick, twisted and terrible beast. But I wondered. How can it happen without wrecking the time-space continuum?

 And, that is how I came to think of Bootstrap's Journey, which is available for pre-order now (at your favourite digital bookstore) before its release on Boxing Day 2017. It's only 99c US for early bird orders. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

What's the point of this, you ask? It's not just a shameless plug. My point is: after resting by taking time away from the keyboard (for a little bit) and allowing other ideas to flow, I found my next Craig Ramsey book is falling into place again.

More to come next time soon...

Monday, 25 September 2017

So close...

Sooooo close to the end of writing my novella: a tale of time travel, finding love and its paradoxes. It's presented a rollicking ride to write, and just like reading a great book, I feel frustrated when I have to fold down the laptop at a really exciting point. I'm looking forward to writing more tomorrow and I'm wondering what will happen next! To be continued ...

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Coming Soon in April

We're coming up to April, which is when I'm expecting my first baby to be born. I'd like to celebrate that with you.

Now I'm not saying when Baby's due date is, nor am I revealing the gender at this time. But I am making an offer with my ebook "Dead Cell" for you.

From now until my baby is born, "Dead Cell" will be available at Amazon and Smashwords for only USD$1.99! That's a savings of USD$5.99!

For those who came in late:

DEAD CELL is an action-packed paranormal thriller with suspense dripping from every page. The Queensland city of Statton's road toll has spiked to 85% of the state's average in just over a fortnight. People are dying at the wheel of their car in unexplainable ways: brain haemorrhage's, heart attacks, broken necks. But that is BEFORE the moment of impact. The authorities put it down to misadventure or accidental death, but what do they know?

When psychic investigator Craig Ramsey's adopted teenage daughter dies in one of these accidents, he learns something more sinister has hit the sleepy city of Statton. He has to find a way to work with sceptical Detective-Sergeant Brianna Cogan to investigate this serial killer from beyond the grave. Will he find the killer in time before he ends up a victim himself?

Please hurry! When my baby is born, this special offer will stop. Grab the saving while you can.

This special offer is available only through: Amazon and Smashwords.

Amazon US:
Amazon AUS:
Amazon UK:


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Where is Statton?

Could this be Statton?
"Where is Statton?" Simon's steady gaze demanded an answer.

He's not the first to ask, and he's probably not the last either. The answer started in the 1980's when I first decided to write novels and stories, for fun and profit.

I created three fictional cities and towns, make that four, which I feature in my writing. Banksia Grove, Statton, Dingo Ridge, and Errabunga. There are others I remember now too, but I'll talk about them another time.

Banksia Grove was originally based upon my hometown of Rockhampton. It has the same schools, buildings, and streets as Rocky, only with different names. You see, when I started writing, I used to write myself into the stories. I would be the guy wearing the superhero cape, alter-ego of the nerdy guy - which wasn't far from the truth. Two of my favourite characters I used to write about back then were people I wanted to be. As I wrote more and more, and re-read my work, I realised how dorky it seemed. So, I created a new name for the town.

I think I picked the Grove part from Little House On The Prairie (we used to call it Dunny In The Desert). Banksia came from an Australian plant. It seemed to fit well for a country town that desperately wanted recognition as a city.

Later, I realised that Banksia Grove was too small to cater for all these adventurous stories. It must have been like Smallville, Superman's hometown as a boy, attracting all this trouble. Plus it seemed stupid for a little place to have so much property-destroying action.

So, in 1988, I created the city of Statton - originally based upon Brisbane, only closer to Banksia Grove than Brisbane was to Rockhampton. For those who have read Dead Cell, the name will strike a few memory cells. Since the 1990's, Statton has developed to be a hybrid of Brisbane's CBD and Ipswich.

Errabunga was a beach town, sort of like Maroochydore on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. I named that after my high school sports team; the name was an aboriginal word for fish, I think.

Then I created Dingo Ridge. I never based it on any particular bush town, although that's what it is. You will see it mentioned in one of the "Easter Eggs" I included in Twelve Strokes of Midnight.

Now, the only problem I can see is, what happened to Brisbane and the Gold Coast? I have mentioned them both in Dead Cell, so now I have to figure out exactly WHERE in Queensland they are!

You can find copies of Dead Cell and Twelve Strokes of Midnight on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and Apple iBooks.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My Ebook Library

My wife convinced me to get an e-reader. I had so many books, crammed in a large bookshelf and overflowing from numerous storage boxes. We didn't have enough room for them all, and I couldn't bare to part with them.

So, I acquired a Kobo E-reader from a friend; she had won it and gifted it to me. I'm grateful for it as, using the funds from selling most of my paperbacks, I converted to an electronic reader.

It's hard to believe I am carrying 2000 books on this device, which is lighter than a newspaper!

But do you know what I love about it most?

I can increase its font size, making it easier to read the books!

Do you use an electronic reader at all? What kind? And what do you love about it?