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New serial news…

What’s Up?

Getting the newsletter off today, I had to fill in some background on the Among the Stars books. It’s five years since ‘A Name Among the Stars’ was written! Some of you may remember that it was written here on WordPress, a chapter or two every weekend. And I often left you on a cliffhanger, because I’m mean like that.

Okay, so that may be the way I progress on my side projects, as I said earlier this year.

My number 1 priority is Bite Back 8, which is proving very difficult to progress. I have written a lot, but it doesn’t hang together yet.

My side projects will be split between Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy. I’ll be going back to writing a chapter or two at a time, rather than complete episodes as I have done up to now on The Long Way Home. These will appear here. I’ll also do ‘catch-ups’/’story so far’ on BookFunnel. All of that, but slower. I can’t put out the equivalent of a short story in a side project every month.

I’ll flit between one story and another.

First up…
Most of you will have read my Among the Stars series. There are only two books at the moment, ‘A Name Among the Stars’ and ‘A Threat Among the Stars’, both of which were written as serials. Book number 3, ‘A Ship Among the Stars’, will be next. It will have mutiple points of view, like book 2, and you can only get the first full episode in an anthology which is due out on Monday 19th.

The anthology is called The Expanding Universe #8, and my story in it is called ‘To Catch a Thief’.

“Stranded on an icy moon in the remote and lawless Frontier, merchanter Sam must sup with the devil to get her spaceship repaired, and she’s all out of long spoons.”

Here are the links
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9SW1X7S/
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B9SW1X7S/

As in ‘A Threat Among the Stars’, the opening chapters are seen from alternate points of view, not the main character Zara’s PoV. In ‘To Catch a Thief’, you’ll meet Sam, solo merchanter and sometime conwoman, in a deadly dangerous situation. This is the serial I’ll be releasing a chapter at a time, starting next month. It will concentrate on Sam and will only make sense if you read the first episode from the anthology.

In the same way, although ‘To Catch a Thief’ stands alone, book 3 as a whole will only make sense if you’ve read books 1 and 2. If you haven’t read the Among the Stars series, and want to see if you’d like it, I’m dropping the price of ‘A Name Among the Stars’ to 99p this week only (19th-25th September).

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ/
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ/

Second up…
I’ll be producing book 4 for The Long Way Home in the same chapter by chapter format. For those of you that find this is torture, all I can say is that I’ll probably finish the book and release it well before the completion of the serial installments! If you want to read it in sections, sign up for the newsletter and watch out for the link to BookFunnel.

Book 4 should get Jan and Bjorn to Earth.

Third up…
I will return to Stand Up. It needs a thorough rework, and again will be released a chapter or so at a time. For those who didn’t catch the earlier version, this is an Athanate romance set in New York shortly after the events of ‘Change of Regime’. It’s stand alone, but it would undoubtedly help if you read ‘Change of Regime’ first.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ML84S/
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0711ML84S/

What do I have in my to-do list?

Bite Back 8 & 9 (and possibly 10)
Bian’s Tale 2-6
Among the Stars 3 & 4
The Long Way Home 4, 5 & 6.

And a host of others! Some of the other projects I’ve mentioned before, like a Steampunk Fantasy set in South Africa, the dragon rider after the age of dragons has passed, the space marine recruit escaping ‘justice’ on her terrible homeworld, the monster that walks the Canadian highways, the college wizard just trying to get his degree, the rogue detective and the serial killer, an Amber novella of a daring rescue, Heartbeat (SF), Marionette (thriller set in France)…

What dictates the priorities?

Success, basically. A book in the Bite Back series is pretty much guaranteed to make twice what a book in the Among The Stars series makes. It’s too early to tell where The Long Way Home will come in overall. I can say the launch of books 1-3 was successful, without it being the sort of response that would change my priorities.

Other news

I’m having the Bite Back series translated into Spanish. I’ll report how that goes. It’s a bit of a gamble, but the Spanish-speaking market is growing, and I feel lucky.

Update, Quiz and Teaser

TWO CHAPTERS today. These chapters are just teasers. Their real purpose is to keep me focused on writing progress.

Beta readers will be up to the half way point of Book 6, Inside Straight, later today. I’ve hit a bit of a difficult section and I’m interested to see what they make of it…

Other stuff

Among the Stars – I have broken Amazon support. They finally acknowledge that they allow other series to have the series title as part of the book names, but that mine has still been disallowed. They don’t know why. They have transferred me to ‘Tech Support’, which, from the way they refer to it, is situated on another planet entirely. Tech Support have failed to communicate with me at all. At this point, it’s sheer bloody-mindedness that keeps me going. The lack of a series name makes it extremely difficult to promote the second book. This has gone on so long that A Threat Among the Stars has basically failed – sales are very poor. I may try to revive it, but at this point, it’s all wasted effort.

Okay QUIZ TIME…

This will be very easy for some, especially those who live in Denver, or who’ve followed my posts for three years…
Winners of previous quizzes can of course send me a message, but are not allowed to take part publicly 🙂

What’s the building in the picture and what special significance does it have?

Prize: In Book 7: Either name a new character, or demand the return of a previous character to a significant role…

 

Due to Amazon rules, the teasers have to be removed once the book is up.
Inside Straight is available on https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZJK9H4B/

 

 

Bite Back 6 teaser chapter 2

Here’s chapter 2 of Inside Straight.

I’m NOT intending to publish this book all on the blog, and it’s structured as a novel rather than episode-ending-on-cliffhanger, so you should regard these chapters as teasers. It’s just intended to keep the blog ticking over with a chapter a month, and I sincerely hope to be publishing before we even get to the quarter point.

You will note in these chapters that there are references to what happened in the novellas: The Biting Cold, Winter’s Kiss and also Change of Regime. These novellas are part of the overall Bite Back story from different viewpoints and take place chronologically at the end of Angel Stakes and beginning of Inside Straight. TBC and WK are set in Michigan, CoR is set in New York.

What else?

As I’ve posted on Facebook, the publication of A Threat Among the Stars has been a disaster, for whatever reason. I’ve relied too much on word of mouth perhaps, and I need to get much more serious about advertising on Amazon, Facebook, Bookbub etc.

Anyway, first priority is to get Inside Straight completed.

Chapter 1 is at

https://henwick.wordpress.com/2018/12/24/christmas-wishes-and-bite-back-6-teaser-chapter/

Due to Amazon rules, the teasers have to be removed once the book is up.
Inside Straight is available on https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZJK9H4B/

 

 

 

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 11

3k words in this episode + lots of feels.

47k words in total so far.

I’m having a sketch made of Zara, which I hope to post next week, but in terms of progress, I am singularly failing to get ahead of the story, despite planning to be ready to publish when I reach the 3/4 point.

On minor notes, I’ve seen that having ‘standardized’ on metric measurements, I’ve broken the rule and used imperial for the height of people. I could argue it either way I guess. Zara is 172cm, but I’m old-fashioned enough to feel much more comfortable saying five-eight. I also have used Welarvor and Welarvon as the name of the coast.

Where did we leave it last time? Zara feeling neither ‘on’ the team, not exactly dismissed from it. What will she do? What will the conspirators on Newyan do? Is Esterhauze too good to be true? Did the Duchess really commit suicide? What will Rhoswyn think about having Dancing Mistresses around for the summer? Can the young lady be ‘civilized’ in time for the Summer Ball? And what will Zara wear?

Feedback welcome. The beginning of summer has seen a dip in vistors to the blog site, but there are loads of readers who haven’t said anything yet…

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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:

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B076WZBFVJ

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

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 10

Gosh, that week rushed by and another episode is due…

This episode feels as if it will need more polishing. What do you think?

 

Thanks! Enjoy!

+++++++++++++++++

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:

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B076WZBFVJ

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

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 9

I’m away this weekend, so this episode is early and on the short side (3k words).

A couple of you have mentioned that the descriptions aren’t quite enough to give you a good picture in your heads of the characters. This is something that I will fix in the ‘polishing’ before I publish the book.

In the meantime, at least for Zara, the best images I can come up with need a bit of work. Google some images of Alejandro Alonso. Her hair colour varies, but you’ll see some with black. Zara’s ethnicity is Spanish (Basque) and Chinese. Her face is quite similar to Alejandro. Her eyes are green like Alejandro’s but tilt slightly more. Zara’s lips aren’t quite as full. Her hair is thick, black and straight. At the time of this novel, it’s cut short as a boy’s.

 

Comments & questions welcome as ever.

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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:

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B076WZBFVJ

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

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 8

Episode 8

There is no Dancing Mistress job, and what’s worse is the Shohwa’s AI has left behind a copy of itself on the local servers. The Shohwa thinks Duke Tremayne and his family face the same attacks as Zara’s in Newyan.

Short epsiode this week (3k words). We’re at about 37k words total.

I’ve had to rush to get onto the new schedule, which will be an episode every Friday (late evening here in the UK, during the day in the US). An episode seems to be about 2 chapters. That said, tonight’s *should* have been 3.

Thank you for the comments and questions generated last time. All very welcome. More please. 🙂

I will post the discussion about the Cornish names as a comment.

 

+++++++++++++

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:

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B076WZBFVJ

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

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 7

We left Zara having a stand-up, screaming argument with Gaude, the manager of Duke Tremayne’s estate. Gaude’s just told her that there is no job for her as Dancing Mistress at the estate, and then goes on to accuse her of carrying fake ID!

What’s she to do? Is there another job she might apply for? Will she be able to get the charges against her dropped? What if they find out her real history? (Dramatic music)

Long epsiode this week (7k words). We’re at about 32k words total, so around 1/3 of the way through!

Thank you for the comments and questions generated last time. All very welcome. Comments and questions and speculation will be welcome again this time. 🙂

I too have question: what frequency and amount would you prefer? What you’re getting at the moment is a weekly episode which gets written basically on Friday evening & Saturday morning. I could make episodes twice as long, but then they’d be every other weekend…
Also, which day is best? (Friday seems very popular! I would need to get an episode ahead.)

Thanks! Enjoy!

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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:

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B076WZBFVJ

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

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adventure Romance – Episode 5

The roads have been damaged, so Zara sets out to walk to Stormhaven along the coast path and claim her job as Dancing Mistress. Easy…

*****

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:

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B076WZBFVJ

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

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adventure Romance – Episode 4

Okay, okay, y’all giving me such trouble over the cliffhanger endings. This is a little quieter. 🙂

Comments, please. 🙂 Everyone! I really love to hear feedback on how it’s coming from a readers point of view. And yes, we’re getting to the romance. Not long now.

++++++

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:

USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076WZBFVJ

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076WZBFVJ

Germany https://www.amazon.de/dp/B076WZBFVJ

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