I’ve been so busy I haven’t had much of a chance to post some more Q and As, but here we go. I put them in a logical order and also must say I want to avoid giving too much away from the series, so apologies if I haven’t answered your question. It’ll be more fun for you to read the stories and find out.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing HT #6 right now, and am a few chapters in but have a rough outline of the book. Aside from writing I’ve built a bedside table for one of my children and a leather dice holder for my solo MPSE adventure.
What inspired you to write Haldan Thane?
There were a few inspirations that compelled me to write the HT series; that I’ve made up stories for myself since I was a little boy, wanted to tell a ‘smashing good yarn’1 like Tolkien, am distantly related to a famous author with the same family name who beat me to writing a book first, wanted to immortalise some of my old friends and family and that I like robots2.
Will there be any more books?
Definitely, but I write in my spare time, so it may be awhile. There’s a draft opening of my new HT book in my blog. Search older entries for ‘Haldan Thane, Book Six early draft’.
What are you calling the next book?
I have a naming convention of using one-word titles that relate to the primary setting for each story, so you can expect the same for the sixth book. It hasn’t been decided just yet.
Are you still writing other books? I can’t wait to read Ruzscom!!! What is that unpublished one in the photo?
Yes, I’m working on three new books at the moment, primarily HT#6, but also Ruzscom and a fantasy novel.
We took a trip in Australia and it’s so beautiful. We loved it! Your so lucky to live there. Is it good for writing?
Australia is lovely, most of the time. I enjoy the mild winters, but do miss snow sometimes. But I think that while it’s true that I do my best writing sitting outside in gorgeous weather, if I’m immersed in the story that’s taking shape, all I need is some quiet time and something to write it on, paper or computer. I could be just about anywhere.
OMG! Luv Vyalla she’s sophie
I had to look that one up. Sophie- a clever, smart and beautiful girl. Vyalla is all that and more, and has been an interesting character to write. She’s become quite a determined and assertive young lady since she first appeared, jumping right out of the Koleos story to watch me to make sure I got her part just right, but being gracious enough to allow me to take credit for all of it afterwards.
Where did you get Vyalla from?
I remember thinking that someone like Haldan, especially after what happened to him on Crilum, would probably never find love, and thought it would be a remarkable coincidence that not only does he find it, but it’s with the most beautiful girl in the universe. But for Vyalla to really feel human she had to have her own difficulties, which she does; from unwanted attention and objectification to something ever more desolating she experiences in the Koleos story.
What are your favorite books?
The Hobbit and other books by Tolkien
The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith (would make a fantastic Indy Jones-type film!)
The Book of Everything by Guus Kuyjer (beautiful, lyrical writing, such as when Thomas’ mother is hit, he sees angels outside the window cover their eyes and weep)
The Ruum by Arthur Porges (short story; vintage ‘mathematical’ sci-fi)
The Harry Potter series, especially the Half-Blood Prince
MAZE by Christopher Manson (filled with delicious lines like, ‘they failed to notice my crown and my pain’)
What books are on your bedside table?
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), The Witches by Dahl, and Here Lies Arthur by Phillip Reeve. I’ve just finished The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm by Galbraith and Disgrace (Department Q) by Jussi Adler-Olsen before that.
I’m reading Dahl to one of my children and think it’s important doing that, listening to them read, reading together and talking about stories.
Here Lies Arthur is surprisingly well-written, and I’m enjoying Reeves’ evocative descriptions, told through the voice of Gwyna. I’ve heard the book is an interesting take on the Arthurian legend and it has me intrigued, e.g. Arthur is more of a desperate bandit and ‘Merlin’ spins his skirmishes into glorious-sounding victories. I am fan of Egyptian / archaeological mysteries, with The Seventh Scroll, all the Indy Jones books (even the cheesy ones) and Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly being some of my favourites.
1 – Praise for Tolkien from an old Oxford electrician
2 – Response from a fictional character, the writer Albert Macklin, on why he chooses to continually write stories with robots in them.