Wednesday, 28 May 2014

New Cover Art for Called To Battle

Why bother changing a perfectly good cover, is perhaps the question to be asked. I kept looking at the last version, with the central figure who's one of the enemies of Valin and the Tellarine Squadron, and I thought: why should she be the main image in kids' minds when they think of my story? Why hold a female up on display as evil?

It's true that there are several female characters in the story who are further up the moral spectrum towards the 'good' end, so the story itself is balanced. But I felt much more comfortable having the main character of the story pictured on the front cover. So there he is.

Thanks again to Victor Habbick for accomodating my request at short notice.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Another Cover

I now have an alternate cover image for Called To Battle. Victor Habbick agreed to put Valin central to the picture, rather than one of the enemies. I will get it out on the blog when I'm back from a short trip.
Meanwhile, over on my other writing blog, I'm writing about Mars and what it would be like to live there. Can you omagine being stuck in a small vehicle with 3 other people? And knowing that you will never return to Earth? What sort of people would do that?

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Called To Battle - cover art

Graphic artist Victor Habbick designed this cover image for the book, and I've added the rest to make it ready for printing.

What do you think?
The central figure is one of the dark enemies of the People of Elha. She isn't the central figure of the story, but Victor has done such a great job including several themes from Called To Battle.

The book is now available as a print book at Createspace and as an ebook on Amazon Kindle.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Preview, anybody?

Finished the story. 'Called To Battle' is now complete and edited once. I need to read through it thoroughly and then format it before it can be published. Anybody want a sneak preview? I can send you a pdf copy. In return, you can review it for me.
 
Oh yes, I also need a good cover picture for the new book. Time to get back in touch with my friend Victor Habbick, sc-fi-artist extraordinaire.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Zac Manchester Blasts Off!

Here's a guy who had a great idea and wouldn't give up until he had got the thing working. Zac is a graduate student at Cornell University in New York. His vision: Design and fly a spacecraft that anyone can afford.

Intrigued? Disbelieving? Have a look. It's called KickSat.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space/posts

With thanks to the BBC News for the pic

The BBC News page where I saw KickSat first is here.

For my blog posting about other home-made space projects and commercial space, see this link.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Now That's What I'm Calling Progress!

Despite the Arctic Vortex's best efforts to freeze the life out of us all here in northwest Ontario, the sequel to The Calling has reached the astounding length of about 70,000 words. This is roughly the length of The Calling. So I finally decided it was time to wrap it up and call it a book. The rest of the story I had planned to tell will become Book Three, then what was going to be Book Three will become Book Four. Or, at this rate, Four and Five!

Don't expect the new book to appear in the next few days: I have now set off on an editing campaign. I have to track down and exterminate all those little errors which have slipped in, and to make sure the whole story makes sense.

I also need to find or create a cover picture and some publicity.

So far, I've settled on a title for this book: Called To Battle. I like the way it's coming out: it continues the script of The Calling, but on a much broader stage. Some characters who barely got a mention in The Calling have plenty of room to explain who they are, and some new faces pop up too. For example, we get to know the tree-like alien known as Ynerog Jau as Valin has a hair-raising conversation with her. There is another new recruit to the Telarine Squadron, whom you'll already have met if you have been reading these posts. And the enemy side of things? Yes, they push their way into the story too, and I had to try my hardest to stop them taking over and wrecking the plot!

Watch this blog for news of the book's release sometime this spring.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Man Who Works On Mars




Seriously! This man's job involves driving cars on the surface of the planet Mars. He was born in Italy, and his father was a school teacher who loved carpentry. Take a look! He says the reasons that most of the other drivers have left the job is that:
1) Google pays more
2) Driving cars on Mars can get boring!

Here's some advice from this driver, Paolo Bellutta :
"What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the same career path as you?
You never know what can help you, so learn everything you can! I often used knowledge I gathered while pursuing my hobbies, or talking to friends or reading non-work-related books."