Try Kira For Free!

Kira, my steampunk novella will be free on Smashwords for the rest of the week.

It is available there for any e-reader, in a variety of formats. Even if you don’t particularly like steampunk, you won’t lose anything by trying it! And you might find you like my writing enough to get my sci fi novels…

As a New Year’s gift to help fill up your new Kindle, Nook, Sony reader, iPad or whatever e-reader you have, click through to Smashwords and give Kira a download! It’s rude not to accept a gift, remember.

Kira Cover

Kira…again

Kira is now available on Amazon and Smashwords, for just 99c/75p!

Kira's Cover

Kira is a steampunk short story/novella of just over 13,000 words.

Kira’s town has so far survived the destruction wrought by the Government on so many others. But for how much longer? In the middle of a blistering desert, her people are out of fuel, out of clean water, and out of options. The Government will destroy them sooner or later, and they won’t survive relocation. Their only chance is to attack first. But Kira knows that’s no chance at all.

I already have one review, from Zigzag Timeline review blog:

‘Kira is a trophy case displaying all his strengths as a writer: heart-pounding action, detailed world-building, characters that don’t just spring from the page, they leap out and yell, “‘ello there!” in your face.’

‘The story is a perfectly angled snapshot of a vast, multi-faceted world, a wonderfully packaged stand-alone tale that leaves room for much, much more.’

Kira

Kira is the 23-year-old title character who takes us through twenty four hours of her life in my new steampunk short story. She lost her home and her family fifteen years ago to a brutal organisation known as the Government, and now etches out a meagre existence in another small town of Wastelanders in the middle of a barren desert.

But the Government’s city of New Haven is expanding, swallowing up or destroying the outlying Wastelander towns. Kira and her people must act soon in order to stay alive, but every option seems like suicide.

Steampunk girl

A steampunk photo-manipulation from deviantArt. Almost exactly how I imagined Kira to look.

I have completed the final edit of Kira, and will be publishing soon. How soon depends on the artist doing the cover, but hopefully on the 1st October. It is a 13,000 (and a bit) short story and will be available in e-book format only on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Sony, Apple, etc.

I know I said it would be part of an anthology, but it turns out I was a little hasty in saying that, and I will be publishing it myself.

Paperback

I decided ages ago that I was going to bring out a paperback version of Shadow of the Wraith, but I decided I’d wait and bring it out at the same time as book two. Then, a month ago I decided I might as well just do it straight away. So I went to Createspace, where it would be put up for sale on Amazon, without the price going through the roof.

After I’d put it all together (it had to be done quite differently to the way I did the hardback on Lulu), I had to order my proof copy. I was somewhat dismayed that, unlike Lulu, I had to pay full price for my proof copy, plus a stuipid amount for postage. Then I’d have to wait nearly a month for it.

So I ordered the proof and waited. It was meant to arrive on 3rd September. Come 10th, I emailed them to say it hadn’t arrived, and ask what they would do about it. They emailed back to tell me if it hadn’t arrived by 3rd October, to email again.

Nice.

While I was fuming and trying to decide if I’d bother with them even when it did come, it arrived. A week late, but still, it’s here. It is very good quality, and so I decided I’d ignore the horrendous customer service and still publish it with them.

So, in short, the paperback is now available on the Createspace store, and will be up on Amazon very soon!

UPDATE! The paper back is now also available on Amazon.

Steampunk

I’ve finally thought of something else to blog about!

I was asked a while ago to write a short steampunk story, with a 10,000 word limit, for an anthology. It was very nice to be asked – especially when I saw some of the other writers who’d be doing it. But I’d never read steampunk before in my life.

When I said that to a friend, he wisely said ‘How hard can it be?’ and told me it’s the same as sci fi, but with more steam. Unfortunately he was serious. Anyway, it’s a little more than that, so I scoured the internet and found (or rather was linked to by someone else after complaining that I could find nothing) a website with lots of steampunk shorts.

I gave some of them a read and decided that it was probably something I could do. I have the other writers and the editor and so on to tell me if I’ve insulted the name of steampunk, after all. So I got started.

I should say, that last sentence rather alluded to this being an interesting anecdote. It isn’t.

It turned out to be quite a lot easier to get into than I expected. As someone pointed out, I did manage to mention just about every item of steampunk clothing within the first few paragraphs; but then the character was taking in her own appearance after a fight. Would anyone pick up on that in any other genre? If she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt would anyone complain about me describing that? There’s not really a way to describe her appearance without mentioning the leather corset, the top hat, the goggles, etc, because that’s what she’s wearing! So I’ll have to see what the consensus is I suppose.

Anyway, this was not the first time I’d written a short story. It was, however, the first time I’ve managed to finish a short story. Usually, I can’t write them – I just keep going and going until it’s not short any more. I once tried to write one for a mock exam at school, and ended up not answering any other part of the exam, AND not finishing the story. This one I finished with 27 words to spare.

As usual, it pretty much wrote itself. I had several ideas that simply wouldn’t fit into a short story, so there’s a good chance I’ll someday write a full-length version. For now, I just need to do my final edit on it, and then send it off to be ripped apart by the other writers and the editor.

At the moment, the title is ‘After The Last War’, and tells of a day and a bit in the life of Kira, a Wastelander trying to stop her town from launching an attack which will get them all killed. Fun. I’m not sure what I’m allowed to say, but the plan is to publish the anthology within – let’s keep it vague – the next 6 months. I’m looking forward to reading what everyone else has written!