Haldan Thane, Book 6 early draft

Hi all, it’s been such as busy year as we’ve done a lot of building and still have much painting to do.  I’ve been dreaming of writing, but have been so busy, I haven’t been able to do much more than jot down a few ideas here and there.  But now I’m on Christmas holiday, and I’m sitting outside in my favourite spot under the wisteria, with a breeze blowing and a sleepy dog lying nearby.  And so, without further ado, I present an early draft of a new adventure for my Haldan Thane readers:

‘What are you reading?’  Vyalla sat next to Haldan, leisurely stretching out her legs on the extended chair in the visitor’s room.

‘The Record’, Haldan replied.  ‘Some grublifters tried to make off with one of the androids at Gearmid Lanta.  They’re saying that there hasn’t been this much excitement in Iqium since the former mayor was arrested’.

‘Hey, that was your friends and I’.  Vyalla smiled.

‘I still can’t believe you melted Wort’.  Haldan grinned at her.  ‘We’ll have to keep you away from Rylomos for awhile’.

Vyalla slipped her arm around Haldan.  ‘I was trying to rescue you’, she whispered in his ear, before kissing it.

Haldan scrunched his neck and shoulder, laughing.

‘Didn’t you want me to save you?’  Vyalla poked at his belly, making him spasm with laughter.

‘Look you’, Haldan said, grabbing her hand and leaning close to her face.  ‘Now who’s teasing who?’  He kissed her sweet lips.

After a minute, she lay her head on his shoulder, then raised it again when a clacking sound came from outside the door.

‘Sir!  Sir!’  Reginald squawked as the door swished open.  ‘Sir!  Oh, and Lady Vyalla’.  The skinny robot stood there looking at them with his green lens, wearing a new yellow chest plate.

‘The cargo ship’s ahead of schedule?’ Haldan guessed, raising his face to the robot.

‘No, Sir and Lady’, Reginald corrected.  ‘Tutherin said it was a starfighter of unknown ownership.  It’s on it’s way here!’

‘What?’  Haldan and Vyalla leapt to their feet, with Haldan dropping the newspad onto the chair cushion.

‘It’ll be here by the time we return to Mine Control’, the robot reported.  ‘In fact, there it is now’.  He raised one of his scrawny arms and pointed to the viewport.

A black ship, red lights streaming down its sides, was slowing and hovering over the landing platform just outside.

Rushing to the little control room, they found the communications panel chiming insistently.  Haldan and Vyalla pushed a few buttons, then a voice speaking Standard came through.

‘Calling mine station.  This is the Orpethic.  Do you copy?’  The voice sounded human.

Haldan leant to the communications microphone, hesitating.

‘This is the mine station, Crilum.  We copy, Orpethic’.  He glanced at Vyalla.

‘We copy that, Crilum.  Permission to land and enter.  Repeat, may we have your permission to land and enter?’

‘Orpethic, permission granted.  I’m unlocking the airlock now’.

‘Oh, visitors!’  Reginald fretted.  ‘And I’m not wearing my best shirt plate’.

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I’d love to see a new category for the WA Premier’s Book Awards

Today the State Library announced the 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards shortlist, the books from which the category winners will be selected.  Crilum didn’t make the shortlist unfortunately, but I am pleased that the judges accepted it for review and a few people know about it now.

I think that my book may have had a better chance had there been a category of independently published works.  All of the books that did make the shortlist were backed by big publishers and I have to think that carried a lot of weight with the judges.  Another thing is that I’m disappointed that a ‘longlist’ wasn’t released.

 

 

 

2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards

I’m excited that Crilum has been entered in the Fiction category for the awards.  The great thing is that even if the book doesn’t win, there should be sCrilum_cover SMALLome exposure for my relatively unknown series.  And who knows, maybe the judges enjoy science fiction.

I think it’s a good pick, as it was the first one I wrote and stands alone better
than the others.

Proof copy of Koleos

It was pretty cool to get the proof copy of Koleos in the post and here it is with the proofs of the earlier books, along with my favourite writing app and notes the old-fashioned way.  You can barely see two of my ‘inspiration pics’ of Vyalla and the mystery villain.  Pictures, drawings and music are a big part of my writing process.

Koleos should be available to order in print for $10 USD by the end of the week. I had to include a pic of Lucy, who lets me to read to her for snacks.

Koleos, Haldan Thane Book 5, has been published is now available on ebook at

Amazon.com – Koleos by Mark Grisham

From the site description (and future back cover):

‘With their asteroid mine operational, Haldan and Vyalla set out to organise their marrying ceremony, but unfortunately run into an old enemy and get caught up in his power-mad plan. Even the help of friends may not be enough to save them from the terrible fate they have planned for Haldan on the broken moon, Koleos’.

I’m hoping to make it available in print very soon.  It’s nearly 33000 words long, about 7000 longer than Perseid.  That makes it almost novel-length for its genre (40000+ in Sci-Fi).  I feel like it contains some of my finest writing and am excited to continue the story.

*UPDATE A proof of the print format is on its way and should arrive mid-December.  If everything’s okay, it’ll be available straight away.  

 

 

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.