Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 20

Okay…I’m finally getting ahead of the story. In order to do that I’ve actually had to put Bian’s Tale to one side. Read on for the strategy.

My plan is to finish writing the first draft of A Name Among The Stars in the next 2-3 weeks. The book will go off to the editor and I will keep releasing an episode (2-3 chapters) per week. Hopefully, Lauren and I will finish the polishing & editing at the same time that the cover is ready and the episodes reach a major cliffhanger. Then you’ll get the blackmail message: ‘to finish this book, you need to buy it’ 🙂 It’ll cost $2.99 initially.

Immediately A Name Among The Stars is out I will start releasing Bian’s Tale on the blog. This will be in much bigger episodes, and I hope to repeat the same process – get to a critical point at about 3/4 on the blog and then release the book. I’m aiming for that to be before Christmas.

While I’m finishing Bian’s Tale, I will also be working on Bite Back 6.

That’s the plan…

So, what sort of things are looking like they’ll be included in the polishing? Here are some examples:

Technical equipment names. For example, an infopad is a desktop or laptop, and a commspad is a smart cellphone equivalent, which has been referred to as ‘comms’ so far. There’s a mixture of comms or commset for military communications and commspad for civilians. Infopad and commspad both get shortened to pad.

The big conspiracy. I have to give this a name instead of talking about ‘the conspirators’ all the time – which feels clumsy.

Rhoswyn refers to Talan as ‘Sandy’, a play on her surname, Sandrey. It’s fine that Rhoswyn has a nickname for Talan, but I’ll probably change it to ‘Tally’ so readers don’t have to wonder who Sandy is.

One of the usual things that writers do when they polish a murder mystery is to work on the hints that point to the murderer. I seem to have got the clues past all the readers. They’re there. It’s not that they’re so subtle, I think it’s that I’ve successfully distracted you while dropping the hints. I hope anyway. There will be one massive, twisty red herring toward the end and then a twist with the reveal and explanation. (If you think you know who it is, please message me on the contact email, giving your reasons, and just say that you’ve done that in the comments below).

So this episode 20 sets up the crazy Sci Fi elements that will dominate the next episode 21, before we enter the section where the adventure thread start to explode – epsiodes 22 – 23.

As always – feedback, criticism, cheers or raspberries in the comments all welcome. There are readers out there I haven’t heard from yet… hint, hint  🙂

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I have had to remove the episodes I posted here to fall into line with Amazon’s policies on Kindle Unlimited books.

The full novel is available on Amazon:




When I post stories on my blog, they will remain for at least a month after completion.

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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

10 responses to “Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 20”

  1. Shana Pare says :




    Great cliffhanger. I do love the way Talan lays out her bullet points. Sharp, concise and tactically sound. Sure she is just your average trooper! Riiiigggghhhtttt.

    I have a theory about who the murderer is, but I am not quite ready to divulge it. Perhaps in a couple of days.

  2. janine orlando says :

    I bet it’s that snooty security guy.

  3. wiggiemomsi says :

    Gaaah! Another evil cliffhanger! You’re SO good at doing them, too. 😠 😠

  4. amper5andrew says :

    Typo: “next to use” next to us. Still reading.

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