Reader Questions

It’s been some time since I’ve answered questions, so here is a selection of the best and most difficult questions that have been asked:

I just read Crilum and loo-oooved the names Tutherin, Stenstrum, the robots and especially Haldan.  Asteroid mine chickens o_O  (Elli)

Thanks!  I really want the books to feel fun but realistic, so I put in a lot of thought about characters’ names.

Are these for teens? (MSSAM)

In Ferandan, Haldan is an older teen, but the majority of the stories take place as he enters adulthood, so not really, although I think they are accessible to teens.  They are for readers who like fun, sci-fi adventures that aren’t too long.

What’s your favorite book you wrote? (Ben)

They are all important to me, and I love scenes in different ones, sometimes ones that just happened without being planned.  Some of my favourite scenes are Haldan meeting the Piercers in Ferandan, his interactions with Stagnus in Rylomos, the robot rescue in Crilum and from Perseid, when he first meets Vyalla and exploring the Draug ship.  From the about-to-be-published Book Five, I like Vyalla’s encounter with one of the most popular villains of the previous books.

Will there be a Haldan Thane movie?  I want to see the Draug and the pirates.  (oablu12)

I would love for a movie to be made, live-action or even animated.

How many more adventures will there be?  What will they be about? (Ingrid)

Crilum was the first book I wrote in the series and never intended to go any further, but Perseid just flowed out.  Then I wanted to write a short intro-style one which is how Ferandan came about.  When I realised the gap that still existed between Ferandan and Crilum would make an interesting adventure, I wrote Rylomos.  So you can see how Haldan’s adventures take place in tight chronological order, which is why Book Five takes place just after Perseid.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but I have already been working on a sixth book.  As long as there is a story to be told, I will keep coming back to the series, but I do have a couple of novels that I have been working on for a while, one an action story and the other a fantasy story.

Did you write stories as a child?  What were they about? (CJ)

No, but I have had a vivid imagination for as long as I can remember and would have stories going on in my head, mostly battles, sometimes with robots.  I enjoyed creative writing in school where I was influenced by westerns, Indiana Jones-type adventures and science fiction.  Check out the Freebies section of this site for more information.

Do you do school visits? (T. Thierson)

I haven’t yet, as I’m quite a busy person, but I might sometime.

Do you plan out your books or do you just write and see where it takes you?  Is it easy to write a book?  (villi)

Interesting questions!  I do start out with an outline of the plot, but often find when I am writing that scenes go in an unexpected direction or characters do something I didn’t anticipate, almost as if they’ve taken on a life of their own.  I wouldn’t say it’s ‘easy’ to write a book, but it’s definitely easier if you have a story to tell.  I’d encourage a budding writer to keep a journal with them at all times, to record their ideas when they happen.  An author I met a few years ago, Nathan Jarvis, advised me to ‘write a little every day’ and that before I knew it, I’d have a manuscript written.

When is your new book coming out? (LtTommy)

I hope to have it published by the end of November, so that it’ll be ready for Christmas.  My goal is to have the next one ready at about the same time next year too.

What actors would you get to play the characters if the Haldan Thane books were movies?

Wow, that’s a really good question.  I remember one of my readers asking a similar question, ‘Are any of the characters of Haldan Thane based on real people?’, which is a similar question.  The answer is yes, they most definitely are.

Haldan is very loosely based on myself, and I only did that because as the protagonist, I needed to have a strong sense of what he would do in different situations.  Of course, Haldan is not me, so there are some important differences.

Vyalla is based on the lovely Morena Baccarin who I believe is currently appearing in Gotham, Alice Eve inspired Anata, and Dr Fnord is based on an actual actor and performer, but most of the others are not based on real people.  Some of Haldan’s friends are based on my old school friends (Andrew, Ross, Mark, Mark, Wayne and Mike) and they were really fun to write.  I’d want the professionals I mentioned to portray the characters they inspired, but I don’t know about the rest.  I think Haldan would be particularly difficult to cast.

FREE! The Adventures of Haldan Thane, Books 1 – 4, for 5 days only

From 24th to the 28th of July; Ferandan, Rylomos, Crilum and Perseid will all be available completely FREE on ebook.  I want to take this opportunity to make the books better known around the world, so if you know anyone who likes short, fun science fiction, please let them know.

UPDATE:- Exciting to see hundreds of Haldan Thane ebooks going out.  Hoping these readers enjoy my stories and leave fair comments.

Teasers from Book Five inspired by the new Star Wars trailer

I was thrilled to watch the latest trailer for Star Wars The Force Awakens, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clLYRvtsoZ0, and was inspired to share some teasers from the upcoming Book Five in The Adventures of Haldan Thane series.

  • A squadron of shiny ships flying in formation towards a swarm of tiny, much-repaired ships attacking a large shuttlecraft.
  • Vyalla standing away from Haldan saying, ‘She wants me to come stay with her for a while’.
  • In a darkened room, a group of people studying a computer map illuminated on a console that shows a tangled path of mine tunnels; some highlighted in red and green.
  • A gaunt, four-armed alien pointing at himself with three of his pipe-like arms, announcing, ‘I am Vorf’.
  • Reginald bleating, ‘But Sir, you’re going to blow up the ship’.  Haldan, wild-eyed and tear-streaked, yelling, ‘Then I’ll blow it up!’
  • Floomchuk sitting down, his face lit up.  With a grin, he leans forward and growls, ‘I have you now you slimy…’
  • Vyalla, blood smeared on her cheek, holding a draug rifle and walking slowly down a corridor, towards flickering lights coming from a room at the end of the corridor.
  • On a barren street bathed in red light, a gloved fist smashing Haldan in the stomach.
  • Cold steam swirling around a face encased in armour, a red light blinking.  The eyes pop open.

Characters staying in character

After finally having some time to work on Book Five, I am nearing completion of the draft.  Yesterday I sat in my favourite spot outside and wrote a climactic scene for Vyalla.  With her having so much to do in this story, and being female whereas I’m not, I want to honour her by making sure she feels real.  I keep asking myself;  what would Vyalla (a woman) do?  Of course, every woman is different but I do think she requires special consideration and it’s important to me that every character stays in character throughout the story, they might grow and change somewhat but what makes them who they are should be there somewhere.

Haldan Thane, Book 5 sneak peak!

Here’s a little excerpt from the draft, inspired by the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z062015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible:

A row of odd, old little ships, some battered, filled the 370s, so Haldan thought Snid’s ship must be like them.  But Bay 374 held a long-nosed ship, sleek and shiny.  It looked as if it was newly-made, but what really drew their attention was the massive, over-powered engines for its size.  Its bonnet raked back at an outrageous angle, capped by tinted, arched bridge windows.  It was a corvette.

‘Is this the right one?’ Vyalla asked.

‘Erm… uh, yeah’.  Haldan checked the bay number again.  He pulled out the key.  It was the same colour as the blue of the ship and even looked a bit like it.  Memory flooded back to him.

‘Oh, this is the Overseer’s corvette!  Tutherin said his personal ship was a corvette but I didn’t think much of it at the time.  It is a corvette.  I don’t believe it’.

Vyalla looked from Haldan to the corvette and back again.  ‘I like it!’

Announcing The Adventures of Haldan Thane, Book Five!

It’s still being written, but the draft is already over four thousand words.  It’s shaping up to be the longest Haldan Thane yet.  Like the others in the series, the story takes place just after the events of the last book (Perseid) and features the return of one of the most popular villains in the series.

Update (2 March 2015)

For those of you who’ve been asking, I thought I’d let you know my progress.  The draft is over fifteen thousand words so far, but it’s only about 70% finished and I expect it to be twice that length when complete.  Thanks for your patience as I want to get it right, especially as Vyalla plays a major role in this one and as a man writing a female character, I want to honour her and get her just right.  Interestingly, I’ve just read a post from another author who has had similar feelings.  See I Read Only Books by Women For a Year:  Here’s What Happened by Dallas Taylor. 

Print versions

HT1-4showingspines IMG_0294 IMG_0298 IMG_0297 IMG_0295 IMG_0299

I was happy to receive a big order of The Adventures of Haldan Thane book series (Ferandan, Rylomos, Crilum and Perseid).  The spine info is now centred and maximised, the back blurbs look good and the interiors look great.  The interior examples above are Ferandan’s Chapter 5 Dr Fnord, Rylomos’s Chapter 4 Dead Core, Crilum’s Chapter 8 Mine Control and Perseid’s Chapter 7 Unknown Transmission.

A classmate suggested that I donate one set to Greenbrier High School where we went, but I’ve decided instead to donate that set to the Greenbrier Public Library (one of the Faulkner & Van Buren County libraries) in Arkansas.  The reason for this is that all will be able to borrow them, as opposed to only school students.  This is somewhat of a compromise, as I had thought about donating to the Faulkner County Library, as it was known then; now I suppose it’s called the Conway Public Library.  Next time I visit Greenbrier, I will have to stop by the library.

It may be awhile before I make another post, as I am working on Haldan Thane, Book 5 and other projects.

 

 

Reader question about the Six Weeks song answered

Mr Grisham, you wrote in your post about a song that you liked.  Is Haldan Thane inspired from that song?
Thanks everyone for the interest you’ve shown in The Adventures of Haldan Thane and for the questions you’ve asked.  I’ll eventually get around to answering some more, especially the ones about Perseid, but wanted to focus on this one for now.
While Haldan isn’t inspired by this song, his adventures with the Piercers and dregs was.  I listened to the song many times to get into what I thought Haldan would be feeling and how he comes through it.

There’s something about that Six Weeks song that stirs up my imagination;

Alone, I fight these animals,
alone, I fight these animals,
alone, until I get home
I imagine a ragged man, surrounded by vicious, half-minded beasts intent on killing him, but he fights, against all odds and refuses to give up.  This is how I imagined Haldan in his anger and desperation when he takes revenge on the dregs.  But there’s a promise that he’s going to make it back home.
Coming back, coming back,
coming back, coming back
She follows me, into the woods,
She follows me, into the woods
She takes me home