Serenity Falling available on Amazon #SCIFI #Bookboost

This time last year, I was on holiday, and finishing the draft of the 2nd and 3rd books in my Divided World Series.

At the time, I had yet to publish any of the series.

It’s been an eventful year, with Book 1 published in December, Book 2 now on pre-order, and Book 3 in the final stages of review before it is ready to go, too.

I often reflect on how much time I spent writing prior to publishing a book…over twenty years. And how easy it would have been to continue dabbling with out direction for another twenty. While I know not all reviews will be positive, I still need to pinch myself when a positive one pops up on Amazon. As a writer your greatest satisfaction comes from the knowledge that someone enjoyed your work.

I am grateful to all the people who offered encouragement (and the occasional threat) to ensure I took that final nervous step with publishing. Both the direct  encouragement from friends and family, and the indirect encouragement from the already published authors whose blogs and articles I read.

If you are yet to publish, I would like to offer you the same encouragement…just do it 🙂

Happy reading and writing everyone 🙂


About Book One – Divided Serenity

 

Long ago, when the ancients colonized the planet named Serenity, they displaced an indigenous population and constructed a dividing force-field wall. But when an earthquake destroys the power to the protective wall, only three people have the skills to repair it—until the first two disappear en route. Now Hannah, as the last expert, must go.  Her journey will take her into a native land engulfed by war between ancient enemies. Along the way, her own perceptions will be changed and she will find herself playing a part in a new rivalry between powerful forces in Shadowland determined at bringing down Aterra and that threaten to rip Shadowland apart.

Available to buy on all Amazon stores [Amazon US] [Amazon UK]

About Book Two – Serenity Falling 

With the power back and The Wall operational, the land of Aterra is once more safe from the savage armies that dwell in Shadowland. There is just one problem…the people of Aterra have no way of knowing that their protective wall is repaired, and their President, Bill Bremmer, is determined to exploit their ignorance and fear to pursue an agenda all his own, even if it means war. Once again finding herself in the middle of forces beyond her control, and with enemies and deception on all sides, Hannah tries desperately to save her home, and to discern the truth about those around her.

Available on all Amazon stores, from 21st August [Amazon US] [Amazon UK]

AMAZON REVIEW
“Game of Thrones + High Tech = The Best of Both!”

For the latest news on Book Two, you can subscribe to my newsletter [HERE] or follow my author site G.L.Cromarty [www.GLCromarty.com]

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For those who like a little #Fantasy with their #SCIFI …Divided Serenity #FREE Today! #SFF

For those who like a little Fantasy with their Sci-fi…

Divided Serenity (Divided World Book One)

Ten years have passed since John Tanis tried to kill his best friend. Not finishing the job is his only regret.

Where the primitive meets technology, the past meets the present, and former friends become enemies, a quest for revenge will tear a world apart.

FREE on Amazon 8th June!

[US Amazon]

[UK Amazon]

[AUS Amazon]

Serenity Falling (Divided World Book 2) Coming Soon! #Scifi

So, book 2 is now imminent. I am hoping it might be out at the end of the month, but will see.

My publisher is providing the official cover, which I am excited to see when it’s ready! But in the interim, I have been playing about on pixelmator. While I claim no particular prowess with this graphics tool, I can manage the basics, and I am pretty happy with the way my temporary banner has come out. I use free images from Pixabay.com and then add the text in pixelmator.

Might have a play with a few more ideas! Let me know what you think of the banner. Would love your feedback.

Here is a cover I knocked-up in pixelmator using the same image. This is my temporary kindle cover for my beta readers for book 3, Revealing Serenity, which I am about to send out for feedback.

I know I should be writing, but sometimes a writer has to play 🙂

Author Interview – M.L. Williams

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author M.L. Williams who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his book, SEERS OF VERDE.

M.L. Williams On Writing

When I start working on a project, many times the characters come to me in my dreams and either demand their story be told or provide me with ideas for future chapters.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Be true to your ideas and put in the time. Writing can be lonely. Find mentors or other writers who can be a support group or sounding board. Don’t let anyone else’s opinions influence you during the writing process.

Best thing about writing?

Seeing these characters unfold and tell their stories is fascinating.

Least favourite thing about writing?

Rewriting and editing.

What is your favourite genre(s)?

Science fiction and that curious oxymoron, historical fiction.

Both genres appeal to my imagination. With science fiction, the themes and characters can be endless, only limited by the imagination. I guess historical fiction appeals to my sense of romance for another period of time.

Have you ever skipped something important to stay at home and read a book? 

Interesting question. I have not gone to parties or social events sometimes, preferring to stay home and read. I also put off chores when in the middle of a good book and read well into the night when I should have gone to bed.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) What book would it be?

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I read this in a college literature class and was immediately enraptured by his imagination and sarcastic tone. It sparked my love of other fiction, especially science fiction.

Tell us what you are currently reading and your verdict so far?

I am reading Raptor by Gary Jennings. I have had this book on my shelf for years and just needed time to get to it. His writing and knowledge of history and ancient languages is impressive, but he keeps using different languages throughout the story. I was curious about this author since reviewers have raved about his novel, Aztec. I do not like it when authors flaunt their expertise and vocabulary in ways that detract from the story. It’s difficult to stay with the story when the reader keeps stumbling over arcane references and unfamiliar words.

About your book…

You are living in the your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

In Return of the Earthers, I would be living on the planet Verde Grande, an abandoned and almost forgotten Earth colony. The planet has one huge land mass. A treacherous mountain range divides the lone continent into two tracts.

The largest one is a huge verdant valley that stretches for hundreds of miles. One group of colonists live there and developed a relatively peaceful society ruled by a ever watchful clan of psychic women — the Seers.

The smaller area is a narrow valley strewn with huge boulders but plentiful with wildlife. A second group of colonists escaped to here during an attack and have developed into a hunter society.

The planet was covered by a thick blanket of moss. Most of the moss has been replaced by Earth plants brought by the bioformers and cultivated by the colonists, who have been living there for almost three centuries. However, the mountain range has retained its much of its native moss so the planet looks like a giant emerald as seen by an orbiting space ship.

 You are your most recent protagonist, What do you like doing for fun?

I am Aron Nels, an orchard keeper. Even though maintaining, pruning and harvesting fruit from the trees is my livelihood, I would not trade this lifestyle for another. Being outside in nature and seeing the benefits of my hard work is extremely gratifying. My family has been doing this for generations. It’s in my blood.

After being imprisoned during a misunderstanding, I am told I am one of the last members of a secret warrior sect that has been fighting to protect its people from attackers sent by the Seers. Due to a forced hypnosis, in which my memories have been suppressed, I refuse to believe I am one of the last surviving warriors.

Seers of Verde by M.L. Williams

Marauders from a renegade planet attack an Earth colony ship forcing landing parties to split into two groups in a desperate attempt to escape. Their vessels are destroyed stranding them without their technology on either side of an imposing mountain range on the planet Verde Grande.

Descendants of a mysterious Seer now protect their people but become the bane of the hunter society on the other side of the mountain.

You can also follow M.L. Williams on his blog! https://mlwilliamsbooks.com

If you have recently published a book and would like to feature in an author interview,  please email me at TheWritingChimp@gmail.com

Progress on Book 2 – Divided World Series #amwriting

It has been a busy few months since the release of book 1 in my Divided World Series. I have been busy editing book 2, which takes me an awful long time, and I went through many rounds before I felt ready to send it out to my beta readers.

I have received some excellent feedback so far (my beta readers are awesome btw), and I have made a few tweaks to address points they raised. Now, I am just waiting for the final batch of feedback, after which I will make any further necessary adjustments. Then it will be onto the last editing checks to make sure I have not stuffed anything up while I was tweaking! Which does happen 😉

While waiting on the beta feedback, I have got straight onto editing book 3, which I finished drafting in June last year…Feels like a long time ago now. Book 3 needed a little more detail on a particular story thread, so a couple more chapters have been added. Once I re-read it, I will get a feel as to whether this is sufficient. I may need to add one more chapter…will have to see. The 3rd book is already pretty chunky at 110k so I am hoping I can chop it back during editing.

Book 3 concludes all the major plot points, and provides a nice container for a significant section of the storyline. However, it will definitely carry on, and I have already started incorporating some new players for book 4 in book 3. So much fun!

One of the things I love about writing, is the delight of sitting on the humongous secrets that your book reveals along the way. I love leaving surprises along the way.

One of my other loves about writing is getting into my characters. I love how they unravel before my eyes and how the personality flaws and nuances emerge the more I think about them. I am really enjoying some of the new characters introduced in book 3 who will become the new players in book 4. I can see that they will nicely take up the slack left from those characters who will be exiting. 

In the background, I have been mulling over the idea of tackling the story of the planet’s inception. I drop hints and details along the way, but it would make a great story in itself. Also the prequel about how John Tanis and Bill Bremmer come to conflict, which I think would also make a great addition at some point…again I am deciding whether to let certain revelations out in book 3 or save it for the prequel book…ah the power you have when crafting a book! So many choices!

Wishing everyone happy reading and / or writing 🙂

About Book One – Divided Serenity

Serenity Divided, a science fiction novel, is set on a colonised planet, where a force-field wall separates the technologically advanced settlers from the planet’s native inhabitants. When an earthquake destroys the power to maintain their protective wall, a repair team will need to travel through native lands on the precipice of war, and their unlikely offer of aid will come from John Tanis—the sworn enemy of the colony leader—who was exiled ten years ago.

[Divided Serenity US]

[Divided Serenity UK]

For the latest news on Book Two, you can subscribe to my newsletter [HERE] or follow my author site G.L.Cromarty [www.GLCromarty.com]

If you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s Free!

Divided Serenity #Bookrelease

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . I started writing a novel. Today I finally published it.

If you happen to have Kindle Unlimited it’s Free! 

Divided Serenity, a Science Fiction Novel, is available to buy on all Amazon stores, including…

Divided Serenity on Amazon.com

Divided Serenity on Amazon.com.au

Divided Serenity on Amazon.co.uk

And if you have Kindle Unlimited it’s FREE!

 

About the book

He had waited ten years to seek his revenge.

They had waited eons. 

Serenity had been divided as far back as the histories tell.

The Aterran settlers live inside the wall with technology. While the native Shadowlanders and the Jaru live outside the wall with none.

Welcome to Serenity.

Ten years have passed since John Tanis tried to kill his best friend Bill Bremmer. Not finishing the job is his only regret. Exiled from Aterra, Tanis has fought for survival and acceptance in the uncivilized Shadowland.

The Shadowlanders and the Jaru live in a perpetual state of war, but when the scattered tribes of the Jaru begin to unite the delicate balance is tipped. Aterra is also suffering, as a native sympathizer uprising decimates cities in a spate of bombing attacks.

Finding technology outside the wall, Tanis is suspicious that his former friend may have a hand in the troubles engulfing his land. He would relish any opportunity to settle that old score, an opportunity that could never happen . . .

Until the day Aterra lost the wall.

 

Divided Serenity Banner

 

For the latest news on Book Two  you can subscribe to my newsletter [HERE] or follow my author site G.L.Cromarty [www.GLCromarty.com]

Cover reveal – Divided Serenity #SciFi

Divided Serenity Book CoverWell, it is finally here, and I am delighted with the final cover design for my book. I have also created a new book website [GLCromarty.com] which will focus on just book news.

I have been extremely impressed with the designer who has been incredibly patient with me during the process and very willing to try out the ideas until we got to the final version.

Now, I am just in the process of finalising the contents and getting ready to publish. My main dilemma at the moment is whether to use KDP or select. I have read a lot of articles and can see a lot of pros and cons of both. Would to love to hear your experiences if you have any advice or tips.

So, just a little more research and then…Launch time!

For the news on the book release you can also sign up for my newsletter [HERE]

Post apocalyptic writing – The rise of dystopian sci-fi #amwriting #scifi

As readers we seem to have developed a fixation with dark future worlds. Are we purposely casting a sinister slant onto human destiny? Is it a desire for sensationalism, or simply realism that colours our apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic science fiction trends? Are we heading rapidly towards disaster? Or is it a slow unfurling of all that we hold dear? Love it or loath it, dark future sci-fi is here to stay. Here is my pick of common themes in the post-apocalyptic / dark future world.

There are always survivors

No matter how bad, no matter how much decimation, no matter what we do to our world, there is always the residual hope of the survivors the book is based around.

apocolypse survivor

They don’t always tell you how it happens

Often there is just an indication that life changed, but no one actually knows the cause. Much of the book may be dedicated to understanding the trigger event, fitting the pieces of the puzzle together in an attempt to rectify or resolve the damage done.

Sometimes they just move on to dealing with the consequence. It all comes down to whether the trigger to change life in this new dark direction was fast or slow.

A slow trigger such as climate change could provide people with plenty of warning.

A fast trigger such as a natural disaster could keep people in the dark.

And many triggers can be applied in different ways depending on how you pitch the book. For example a war could be swift or take decades to tear society down. The same with diseases, and even an alien invasion could be pitched from multiple directions.

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The search for a better place

The book can often be themed around a journey or search. Always seeking to find a safe zone or utopia homeland that is just around the corner, over the hill, or a hidden message away.

apocolyptic journey

It brings out the best and worst in people

Even a localised natural disaster can bring out the hero…and the criminal who wants to prey on the weak. An apocalyptic event just does this exponentially more. Dark, lawless futures, likewise set a grim backdrop that provides plenty of scope for the scourge of society to step into. There is a big difference between an opportunist criminal that knows he has a few days or hours to take advantage of his fellow men, and the far more profound knowledge that the law and order we have come to rely on is never coming back.

apocalyptic world

Awesome character arcs

Dark places and events can change people, but perhaps more dramatically it can leave them the same. I love the way this genre is often centred around the character arc. Some characters change significantly as their survival instinct kicks in and they adapt. They become something more, or worse, or better, than they were. My favourite is when they stay exactly the same, for example the person who doggedly retains their innocent, hopeful, and caring ways, no matter what hardship or horror comes their way.

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Best bad guys

It’s not just about surviving against the evil humans in these dark future worlds. Zombies, mutations, diseases, out of control robots, rabid dogs, and alien attack! So much creative scope when it comes to the bad guys.

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Divided Serenity out now on all Amazon stores, and free with Kindle Unlimited.

Divided Serenity Book Cover

9 Writing Rules Science Fiction & Fantasy Authors Should Break #amwriting #scifi

In the sci-fi / fantasy genre, there are many spoken and unspoken rules of what makes a great book. I have picked my favourite 9 rules from the article:  10 Writing “Rules” We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break. I love that every example where they have broken the rule has produced a fantastic book. So, be brave writers!

1. No third-person omniscient. Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is a classic example of how to get this right.

2. No prologues. My own book as a prologue and I only added it in later. Both my husband and my editor agreed it was a great addition, but it still makes me a little nervous as I know it can put many readers off. George R.R. Martin starts all the Song of Ice and Fire books with a prologue. They set the scene for later book conflicts via a throw away character.

3. Avoid info-dumps. It can be hard to avoid a little info dump in this genre without going to elaborate lengths to explain the world in a round-about way. But if a few concise sentences can do the job better, why not? See A collection of 20 well-done info infodumps.

4. Fantasy novels have to be a series. While many of them are a series, some absolute classics have been completely stand-alone. Here is a great list of examples. Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels.

5. No portal fantasy. The big questions seems to be – has this been done to death? A bit of an old one now, but Raymond E. Feist’s, Daughter of the Empire: An Epic Saga of the World on the Other Side of the Riftwar is a great example. There have been tons more before and after. See also: Walk through this portal with me into another world. So, do you think there is  still a place for portal sci-fi and fantasy?

6. No FTL. There are the purists out there who want their sci-fi as realistic as possible. Every fact has to be verified as plausible to the latest know physics theories, and there are those that totally throw the book away… Each to their own 😉

7. Women can’t write ‘hard’ science fiction. I guess it all comes down to what your definition of ‘hard’ sci-fi is (what is hard science fiction?). Unfortunately  I have to agree, there are a lot of great male writers in the sci-fi genre, and they have dominated for quite a while. In the fantasy category there are oodles of great women writers, and even someone like Ursula K. Le Guin, who I think is an  awesome writer, is probably leaning more towards fantasy. See the Best Hard Science Fiction.

8. Magic has to be a minor part of fantasy fiction. What? Who decided this? I think George R. R. Martin has probably caused this one to come about because he has effectively written The War of the Roses (PS don’t read this if you don’t want to know how the series ends – he has followed it closely so far!) in a fantasy setting with only a light smattering of magic to mix things up, and this has become so hugely popular. “Long live the magic writers” – I say.

9. No present tense. This rule seems to apply more to the traditional or high fantasy genre, whereas a lot of the more modern sub-genre such as urban fantasy or YA fantasy have embraced the present tense. Science fiction similarly, the more traditional sci-fi avoids present tense, while some of the YA sci-fi, and cross-genre takes, do. So is it time for the first epic fantasy in present tense? Or will it just turn out to be a mess? I would love to hear if you have read any good examples of more traditional science fiction or fantasy that has been written in present tense.

In conclusion, rules of writing are always open to be broken, and I would even argue that some of these should be taken with a pinch of salt. And while breaking rule can lead you to a literary mess, it can also produce something uniquely new and fresh.

 

Love Sci-fi and fantasy fiction?

Get Divided Serenity out now on all Amazon stores, and free with Kindle Unlimited.