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A Threat Among the Stars – Episode 7

The weekly episodes of A Threat Among the Stars have been removed in preparation for the release of the book on Amazon in January 2019.

My Amazon page:

US https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
DE https://www.amazon.de/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
FR https://www.amazon.fr/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/

A Threat Among the Stars – Episode 6

The weekly episodes of A Threat Among the Stars have been removed in preparation for the release of the book on Amazon in January 2019.

My Amazon page:

US https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
DE https://www.amazon.de/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
FR https://www.amazon.fr/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/

A Threat Among the Stars – Episode 4

The weekly episodes of A Threat Among the Stars have been removed in preparation for the release of the book on Amazon in January 2019.

My Amazon page:

US https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
DE https://www.amazon.de/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/
FR https://www.amazon.fr/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/

What’s up – new serials – writing progress

New Serial Books

It’s been too quiet, too long here. I’ve been busy, as explained below, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. So this post is firstly to warn you that a direct sequel to A Name Among the Stars will commence here on Friday 27th April.

ANAtS has been a great success, and so many reviews have gently nudged me for another story featuring ‘Zara and the gang’, that I have outlined book 2 (project name A Threat Among the Stars). It follows on shortly after the closing scene of book 1. Zara has returned to Kernow and is trying to get her head around the role and responsibilities of being Duchess Aguirre-Tremayne, thankfully leaving the resolution of the Hajnal Conspiracy to the Terran authorities. But a Terran warship en route to her old home planet of Newyan stops on a ‘courtesy call’ at Kernow, and Zara finds that the anticipated resolution is far from accomplished. She must visit Newyan, where the conspirators are still in power, and where she has serious charges laid against her. To survive, she will have to beg more assistance from Shohwa, putting the Xian Self Actuated Entity’s great secret at risk, which could in turn threaten the peace between the Xian Hegemony and the rest of humanity. Then, even before she has a chance to leave Kernow, an unexpected summons arrives. She can’t afford the diversion, but she owes her life to the mysterious beings that live in the oceans of Kernow, and she must honor their request for a meeting with her and Hwa, out in the deeps, where the Great Old Ones dream their strange and terrifying dreams…

Here. Weekly episodes. Cliffhangers. Starting Friday 27th April. Fasten your seatbelts.

 

Matoka

Serial books, plural – this is the other one. This ‘sequel’ (project name Matoka) I have outlined is in the same universe, at the same time, but a different cast of characters. I anticipate the two will meet up in another book’s time. Matoka will be released on one or more of the specialist serial novel platforms such as Wattpad and Royal Road. I have no schedule for this as yet.

Sam’s a solo merchanter, stranded in a dystopian city run by criminal gangs, on a marginally habitable moon, out in the depths of the Frontier; the realm of space where the laws and morals of Inner World society have all the substance of dreams and fairy tales. She has a dangerous plan to steal from one of the criminal gangs, repair her ship Matoka and get the hell away, but out here in the Frontier, plans seldom survive contact with harsh reality.

Because Slick Eddie can’t keep it in his pants, even on his wedding day, it turns out Sam has to save the girl, only to find that she’s a sex slave belonging to a senior member of the bride’s criminal gang. There’s no chance for Sam to carry out her quiet electronic heist in the middle of what may be a war between gangs instead of an alliance by marriage, let alone repair her ship and escape a system quarantined by a pirate fleet hunting for a piece of Xian battle tech so valuable they’ll kill everyone to retrieve it.

Can Sam, an escaped sex slave, an obsolete cyborg soldier and a old freighter held together by duct tape and prayers, defeat the criminal gangs and evade the pirate fleet?

 

I’ve been busy…

I have completed editing The Harvest of Lies and the text is now done. I had a lot of feedback, partly because I used two beta reader groups and this forum to gather it. The second beta reader group my daughter recruited for me from young, Asian females. Given that Bian is a young, Asian female and my standard beta group has only one person matching that description, I thought I wanted more, and I have to say, it was an interesting project!

I’ll talk more about The Harvest of Lies in a post at another time. Suffice to say, it’s not the book I thought I was going to write and it’s not particularly ‘written to market’.

I am still working on the cover. No one has ever done anything like this, so standard covers just seem to miss the message.

I’ve also nearly completed editing my late mother’s unpublished book, So Many Doors. All that remains is some foreshadowing, a final polish and a read-through from people in the anticipated demographic. It’s a cosy British mystery set in 1950s colonial Africa.

Jessica and I are also working on a booster re-launch for A Name Among the Stars. This will include a video trailer being made by her, and a social media promotion of the printed book. All the sort of stuff we should have done for the initial launch, but schedules didn’t allow.

 

Writing progress

I’ve been writing Bite Back 6 – Inside Straight. Putting this at the bottom of the list of tasks I’ve been working on does not mean it’s the lowest priority. Quite the reverse. It has been going well, and I guess I’m about 1/5 of the way through. The whole book gives Amber’s world a twist, and writing it is giving me chills. I hope for release at the end of summer, but you all know how hopeless I am at estimations this early in a project.

Writing Inside Straight is my main weekday 9-5 priority. The serials remain weekend entertainment and writing exercises for me, as it was for A Name Among the Stars.

Bian’s Tale – The Right Path – first half

Here is the fourth episode of Bian’s Tale; the first half of Section 3 – The Right Path.

I think it’s fairly clear that Bian’s Tale is not really suitable for episodes, but I’m keeping it going to keep pressure on me to finish this first novel of the companion series.

In this episode, Ophélie/Bian see-saws between optimism and realizing how much the structure of Saigon works against her. It almost ends on a cliffhanger.  🙂

I’m going on a writer’s retreat at the end of this week, for a week. I will be on my own in an apartment in Madrid (the daughter arranged for a £35 return flight ticket!). My posting of the next couple of episodes may be a bit early or late.

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.

 

Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 2

Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 2 – second half

Here is the third episode of Bian’s Tale, and the remainder of Section 2 (Awakening).

It’s not a cliffhanger, but it does end with a twist as Bian starts to realize how much that has happened has not been what it appeared.

I’m way ahead, writing Section 5, where the dark underbelly of Saigon starts to show. Where friends seem not to be friends and progress may depend on others…

I still don’t know whether this is really for new readers or existing readers, and I’m not sure of the style. The amount of detail suggests this should be an epic. I started off trying to write something shorter than a Bite Back novel. Lol.

Blog post read volumes are interesting and strange. Bian’s Tale is gathering as many reads as I got during A Name Among The Stars, but almost no one (in comparison) is saying anything. Hint, hint. Are you enjoying it? Is it too slow? Do you like the glimpse of the different cultures? What have you liked/hated so far? Do you miss the precipitous cliffhangers? Ask me questions. Tell me what you feel.

Anyway… here is Episode 3, the second half of Section 2, Awakening.

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.

 

Bian’s Tale – Awakening – Part 1

Here is the second episode of Bian’s Tale. I will put episodes up at least until the 75% point, or where ever the episodes overtake the writing. Having the feeling that the episodes are catching me up should provide some necessary incentive for me to write faster. Bian’s Tale is supposed to be with my editor by Christmas.

The book is clearly not written to be issued in episodes, so you will find no major cliffhanger at the end. It’s merely about the right length (9k words or approximately half of Section 2). Episode 1 was an entire section (Section 1 – Innocence) dealing with Bian as a young child. We meet her again in Section 2 (Awakening) about 5 years later, a young woman caught between two worlds, trapped by the lies told when she was adopted and torn in loyalties between her Annamese birth family and her French adopting family. (I use the name Annamese instead of the more correct Annamite that the French of the time would have used – one of many decisions about language I’ve taken and will list in the novel).

Apart from the opening chapters, this part has changed a lot in the re-writes.

I also promised to explain in a bit more depth why I said that I’m not crystal clear who I’m writing this for. There are two obvious targets – readers who have not read anything of mine and readers who have read Bite Back and would enjoy the background tale of one of the major characters.

New readers need the complete introduction into the world of Athanate, Were and Adept. Existing readers could find that tedious. Concentrating on new readers would allow me to try to appeal to a younger demographic, but make it ‘Young Adult’ could turn existing readers off. A whole companion series simply to fill in Bian’s background would be excessive, and yet there’s such potential to tell a story that begins in a very different age.

And so on. Almost every aspect of the story should/could be different depending on which way I decided to write it. So I decided to write it for both and make everything much harder, and basically a compromise.

New readers attracted into a story about vampires, witches and werewolves are going to have to wait for them to turn up. Existing readers can entertain themselves by knowing that the paranormal is there, and wondering exactly how it’s going to manifest. Younger readers will be frustrated by Bian’s lack of power at this stage in her life, existing readers will know how she ends up and (I hope) enjoy the slow ratchet of abilities over several books until Bian emerges as the snarking, katana-wielding, predatory woman we enjoy in Bite Back.

Everyone needs to be swept along by the story while it happens. If the reader thinks about the story being slow or confusing, I’ve failed.

Anyway… here is Episode 2, the first half of Section 2, Awakening.

 

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.

 

Bian’s Tale – Innocence

There has to be a slight interlude, before I get back onto writing the serial I recently promised.

However… I see many readers have visited the site, so I need to post something. I took the old first version of the first section of Bian’s Tale off the blog recently. It’s a bit of a cheat to post it again, but this book has been three years in the writing, and there may be readers who didn’t see this the first time around. It has also changed and some may be interested to see what it looks like now. This is the 4th version / major revision, and this section the least affected by rewrites.

Here’s the link to the original post, if you’re interested in the comments that were made when I first posted it: Comments from original posting

I’ve no single reason why this book has taken me so long. There are sub-reasons – the language, the research about Saigon in 1890, the growth of Bian’s character (including a gap ‘off-screen’ where she assimilates 19th C French culture), the difficulty of building a character in an Urban Fantasy book before the paranormal shows up, and so on. It does also get quite dark in the middle sections. One of the most fundamental problems has been that I’m not crystal clear who I’m writing this for. I think that sounds like crazy writer stuff, but if you want me to elaborate, ask and I will.

This section is 6k words long. If people want it, I will post the second and third sections (in parts – they are a bit long for single posts). I am approaching the end of the 5th, out of 6 sections in all. The sections are called Innocence, Awakening, The Right Path, Unraveling, Darkness Falls (or Shadowfall), and Revenge (tbc). Each section is represented by a Chinese ideogram, hence the uncertainty as I discuss the possible section names with a lady who can actually write the old-school, formal ideograms.

It will be published in full in 2018.

Enough…

This episode from Bian’s Tale 1 – The Harvest of Lies has been removed.
The book will be available shortly on Amazon.

 

A Name Among The Stars

Well here it is. FINALLY.

{EDIT: some early problems with purchase link appear to have been fixed}

(FANFARE) A Name Among The Stars (FANFARE)

The weekend project! The little baby. All 107k words. The whole kaboodle on Amazon.

I’ve been ‘polishing’ this week, and could keep that up for another month or two, but the thought of all you folk clinging on by your fingertips has finally melted my heart. It was that, or I was starting to cry with laughter. Not quite sure which, but it was damp.

‘Polishing’ includes changing some names, making a little bit more foreshadowing etc.

Some polishing I was intending to do and didn’t. The style of the novel is quite stripped down compared to my usual work. Readers have commented on a lack of description of characters for instance. I had a look at putting those sort of descriptions in, and it just didn’t feel right. The weekend restriction (remember, apart from the last couple of weeks, nearly everything was written at the weekend) made for more ‘hurried’, sparse prose and descriptions felt out of place.

I haven’t had time to do all the clever marketing things like load a couple of episodes on Wattpad & Radish (serial-novels-R-us websites), so I’m relying on a big splash from my readers to draw the attention of the Sci Fi community. Needs to be a big splash, ‘cos it’s a big community.

Enough of me. Go and enjoy.

Then, please, review. 🙂

This link has refused to function 3 times so far!!!

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

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

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

Zara – A Name Among The Stars – SciFi Adv/Rom – Episode 23

Zara! Oh, my goodness, you’re just carrying on like this just to scare us. BUCKLE UP!

Good News… I have ‘finished’. Okay, not quite such good news, I have to go back and fill in bits and fix bits and correct bits and submit it to the demon editor.

Some of the fixes are small, but crop up in lots of places. For instance, name changes:

I always hated ‘Amethys‘ as a name for the planet. It is now Kernow.
Director ‘Rhom‘ is too close to ‘Rhos’. He’s now Director Zabo.
The ‘conspiracy’ needs a name, it is now the Hajnal political movement. (It means ‘Dawn’ in Hungarian)
Welarvon is actually Welarvor.

You may start to see these as we progress. They will definitely be in the final version.

I think the only way to fit to my originally proposed schedule is to publish on the 28th October. (That happens to be when the German version of Angel Stakes is published as well). That means it is very likely that the full editing job will not have been done, and there may be some embarassing grammatical or punctuation errors. Ah well. If this is the way we go, then we have this episode and *maybe* next Friday, but also maybe you open the episode on Friday 27th and it says ‘ha ha, go buy it on Amazon for $2.99’. In any event, the weekly episodes will stop and it will be available on Amazon (and Kobo, if I can get back in there).

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.