What the Walrus said.

The time has come. It’s been seven years since my first two YA Fantasy, Parallel and The Immortal Darkness were released. Book two has floundered though book one did well. I have received some great reviews. My favourite, mostly because I don’t know the person, was from someone called S Newton.

5.0 out of 5 starsOut of this world

December 16, 2012

I’ve read hundreds of free books through my kindle and found many terrible books. This is not one of those books. I was surprised and pleased with how well this book is written. The characters are well developed and the story is excellent. I don’t write reviews often, but this book deserves my time to sing its praises. A lot of writers are afraid to show teenagers that have real, believable romance between them. It’s usually a lot of unromantic crap. When I was a teen, my relationships were very mature and I’m glad to see someone write some feeling into a novel that doesn’t seem like kindergarten trash. Fantastic read, the second one is just as good if not better. I can’t wait to see Mark get serious with his power in the third book.”

I’ve made almost enough from Amazon to receive a check for a hundred dollars and the Smashwords version has added another fifty. That’s the reality of a writers life.

In those seven years, I’ve attended seminars, joined a writing group, *Waves at Vision Writers, read much, and written thousands and thousands of words. I have learned so much from the writing community, particularly over the last couple of years as I worked on a different project, Harmony. I’ve seen more of Australia than ever before and fallen in love with the country more and more. (The country, not the politicians.)

But like all good things when they get old, a good freshen up and relaunch will remind people I’m still around. I never completed the last book, too busy working, worrying and learning how to carve words into beautiful stories. Now, to quote Gough, It’s time.

Soon I will be relaunching the Kasdtien Cycle series as Novella’s, with refreshed content, taking account of seven years of feedback and learning, with brand new artwork, and some spit and polish.

There will be five novellas, because novellas are more popular for Young Adult right now. Each book will be approximately 40000 words, the last to be published December 9th 2018 is the as yet unreleased conclusion. It will be named One, (Because that’s how I roll.) The old books will be pulled down before hand, so if you want a copy of the old form get in quick here. The new set is called the Parallel Cycle, Book one Parallel will be relaunched among much fanfare, on Amazon, and there’ll be giveaways and fun stuff all along the way.

I am planning to release each one monthly, beginning with Parallel, 9th August 2018, mark it in your calendar.

Over the next couple of month’s I’m heading to a writers retreat, writing every chance I get, all while travelling the countryside and blogging about weird shit I see, and generally keeping my head above water. So if you’ve read Parallel before, help support a poor struggling author and download the new version in August to see what’s new, help get the word out, review it when released and give me a hug when the black dog bites..

I feel my writing gives an Australian voice to the Spec Fiction scene and the occasional, “I like it,” is always appreciated.

Release dates are as follows.

  1. Parallel                                         9th of August 2018

  2. Kasdt,                                            9th of September 2018

  3. The Immortal Darkness            9th of October 2018

  4. Kasdtien                                       9th of November 2018

  5. One                                                9th of December 2018, (Happy birthday to me.)

Stay tuned people, more info will come in the lead up to launch. Including cover reveals and prizes.

I’m in the Web-o-sphere, on Facebook, Twitter and My travel blog, (Travels With An Old Fart.), Subscribe for updates, and always up for a chat about anything writerly.

Chris K

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Black dogs, rejection and getting back on the publishing horse.

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Hi all, it’s been a while. This blog has suffered from a bit of neglect, as engaging with people can be tiring for an introvert with depression issues. When I’m not dancing with the black dog, I’ll be writing, editing or blogging on my travel adventure site Travels with an old fart. I’m currently searching for a publisher for my novel, Harmony. The beta readers loved it so, come on Publishers and Agents, where are you? Finding publishers for a novel in Australia is no easy feat. It has been rejected by an English publisher, Angry Robot, which was a long shot as it was up against hundreds of other manuscripts.

The characters are very Australian,  the Main character, Key, is a kickass female cop in a sleazy Kings Cross. Other players include an 18 year old Asperger tech whiz, a cross dressing leader of a bike gang, a pot smoking telepathic woman, and a young Koori man of the Guringai people from where I grew up.  I’ve crammed its pages with drama, intrigue, comedy, everything a reader could want. Set in Australia in a climate ravaged 2099 Sydney, it has a whole new lexicon of slang. I have high hopes for it, when I’m not dancing with the black dog.

I’ve begun work on the followup novel, tentatively called Destiny. Stay tuned for that.

IMG_2228.JPGAs for what else I’ve been doing since last year, taking a life changing and life affirming trip through the middle of the country. I’ve watched my daytime job’s hours dwindle away to nothing, and we battle on with the day to day struggles that I’m sure everyone goes through. Mostly my life is good.

So I hope to be more active again, now the fog has lifted. I’ve had a good think, and sorted out some of my shit, and now it’s time to get back into it.

PS. Any publishing suggestions or put in the good word with an Agent you know, feel free.

 

Future Swears

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Okay, this is my game face. The feedback has come  back, mostly positive,  yay, and so the next round of edits and rewrites begins. A full rewrite of the Prologue, a few hours of edits and sifting through the feedback, (sincere thanks to Meg, Talitha and Russell.)

One thing that’s come out is how the first couple of chapters has been polished to within an inch of it’s life, only needing a few minor things, but it’s been pointed out that the use of 2099CE slang is strong at the beginning but tapers off. The upshot is a bunch more slang is needed to season this world  of words.

Now I have always been fascinated by the evolution of common language. Some words come into use and never leave, for example the ubiquitous F-Bomb, whilst others fall by the wayside like Groovy, Ace and Choice. (What you still say that?!) So with this novel it’s been fun inventing new ways to call someone an Arsehole. (Yes Arsehole not Asshole.)

So come on a little journey to where someone might call you a Sphinct, Triangle or Whack, where something can be completely Fracked Up, and only Westies say  Wuks.

When creating a language, any language, whether it be for Sci-Fi or Fantasy, you should bind the vocabulary with rules, give a sense of logic to what your characters say. Every word should have a reason for coming into that particular use.

In Harmony, I’ve attempted to weave the words into the dialogue, to have the characters speak  in the tongue of 2099 Australia, and Sydney specifically. One thing you realise as you study how languages grow and change, is the more isolated the place, the more the local lingo becomes unique.

In the present day, mobile phone/internet obsessed  world, the language is slowly homogenising to an extent. What I’ve done with the story is created a logical timeline of language (much of it swearing or insult). I’ve thought long and hard on what would happen if there was a major catastrophe in 2048 and that inter-connectivity we take for granted today was lost for the next 40 or fifty years. Every word or expression needs a reason.

Fracking for fuel through the 2020-30’s caused major toxic problems, ie things can be really, really,  really fracked up.

This is the letter A, note the hole in the middle is a triangle,  therefore an A_Hole is a triangle. Sphinct should need no explanation.

Drug users,  like the small packets of Happy available from a licensed Spence, have their own labels. A good Spence will have a wide variety of merchandise, servicing the pharmacological needs and desires of those who partake in such pleasures. Skank to ease the pain, Scream to touch the sky,   Kick to keep you going and Bluies ‘fore you party. Pay the Spence and it’s yours.

And the people of Sydney and Kings Cross, they all have their labels, Head-Kickers and Night Walkers, Ragers and Ravers and Toolies, all are welcome if they’ve got  the Creds to blow.  The Trogs and the Roaches, inhabitants of the desolate old business end of Sydney, barely ever come to the Cross. It’s no place for the poor.

As you can see, language tells a lot about the world of Harmony. I look forward to you all getting to read the finished book.

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 Chris K

A Break From The Silence.

 

IMG_5867It’s been a while. I’ve spent the last year and a half getting my collective shit together. I’ve written a new novel, a couple of short stories and got two thirds of the way through the Final book in the Kasdtien Cycle trilogy. You’ll be hearing a lot more about that later. While health issues in house have made life challenging, overall it’s been a pretty bloody good year. Oh the stories I could tell!
But the upshot is that I’m ready to face a busy 2016. This is the fourth year of my five-year plan to become a full-time author. So far things are more or less on track but could very quickly go pear-shaped if I’m not on top of everything.This year I have a to-do list that requires several pages tasks to do to be ready by next December.
My hope is that I might gain the services of an agent like Curtis Brown UK For the new novel which is currently in the edit stage.With the help of my writers group, Vision Writers, and with thanks for their collective wisdom, I am ready to cast my words out to the world again.
What started as a NaNoWriMo in November 2014, (thanks guys,) is now a fully fledged novel of about 80,000 words.
So what’s it about? I’m glad you asked.
The novel is called Harmony the title referring to a drug that gives people the ability to not only read minds, but share the emotions others.
But this isn’t the story about the drug, this is the story of Key, Kiara Black, a cop for hire in a corrupt Australian city, Kings cross, in 2099. She’s come up the hard way from a very different world to today.
In 2048 there was a massive disaster In the Pacific Rim, a tsunami hit the entire coast of Australia and wiped out millions of people. More would have been lost, had the government not been moving people away from the coast to avoid the already rising seas of 2048. The details are sketchy but we lost contact with most of the rest of the world and will be revealed in the next book, (Yes, there will  be another book, good lord willing and the seas don’t rise. (Sea levels have risen about 15 metres from today’s high tide, in case you’re interested.)

Fifty-one years after that disaster Australia has got itself more or less back on its feet . Government is a strange mixture of rampant bureaucracy and background noise to a cop chasing rumours of a new drug. When a drug bust goes wrong Key’s partner is exposed to a massive dose of Harmony. She’s also exposed but to a lesser dose absorbed through the skin more slowly.

Drugs are tricky things, affecting different people different ways but this one is instantly addictive, unpredictable and It’s really easy to lose yourself in other people’s heads. Add to that withdrawal brings on an uncontrollable Desire to top yourself, to end the emptiness of being just yourself.

Key’s problems get serious when she defies the Mayor, her boss and goes chasing answers, despite being ordered to drop it. But as she chases the source of Harmony the question remains, what will she do when she finds the source? What will she do now she’s hooked.Sydney flooded by Chris Kneipp small

The clues take her from the subterranean world beneath Sydney’s derelict and streets,  to the other side of the Great Dividing Range. Meeting some (hopefully) interesting people along the way, including a hot doctor, the richest man in the world and a guy I kind of love called Roan. Roan is something special. I won’t spoil it.

Continuing to defy the Mayor of the Cross, Key follows the clues, to the source and finds a conspiracy three generations in the making.
After that the shit really hits the fan, but you’ll have to read it to find out what happens next.
I’m looking forward to everyone reading it, and if you leave a comment I might even let you be one of the beta readers. 🙂

So thank you all for seeing me through this quiet period on the blog, and now that I am out of the dark shadows of beating out an 80,000 word book, I can write more about the things that interest me and hopefully that interest you as well.
Remember, sometimes there’s a lot going on in the silence.

I’ll just leave this here.

Chris K

 

18

18 small18 is the new Anthology released today as an E book on Amazon. Celebrating the great writers group in Brisbane, Vision Writers’ 18th year since it began. With many published members, including founders Marian De Pierres and Rowena Corey Daniels, the group is a fantastic cauldron to throw down your current work in progress and hear honest and invaluable advice. My writing would not be anything were it not from the lessons I have learned from this fabulous mix of Sci fi, Fantasy and Horror Authors.
And so I’m excited to announce that our anthology 18 is available. Showing off the talents of some of the current crop of authors, thirteen stories of other worlds, other places, other times. From Tales of Dragon’s to Gangsters and wizards, the stories will take you to places of wonder and horror. My own story is the last, appropriately closing out this excellent collection. Thanks to all who had a hand in making it happen, Trahern, Belinda, Talitha, Meghann, and all the other writers involved.
On the 9th of May it will be free to download, from Amazon

So go get it, read it, tell me what you think.

Review Of Serious Sas and Messy Magda

Serious Sas and Messy MagdaSerious Sas and Messy Magda by Marianne de Pierres
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Serious Sas and Messy Magda is a picture book for kids that works on so many levels. Without preaching, or feeling like a lecture, the fun tale of Sas and her messy mother Magda helps to teach kids it’s okay to be different, whether you’re a clean freak or a messy mum. Along the way we learn lessons about accepting others, accepting ourselves and loving those in our lives, even if they’re different.
I thoroughly recommend this book for all children. A lovely, enjoyable book with great art by Rachel Annie Bridgen.

View all my reviews

My next great adventure.

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Well I still haven’t made my fortune so my day job has been keeping me busy, I’ve managed to squeeze out a flash fiction for a competition  and polish up my story for an anthology coming out mid year. (More news to follow closer to the date.) I’ve been blogging for Marianne De Pierres’ web site and updated my political/conscience blog Not All Men Are Bastards with my opinion of the state of Australian Government. (I’m taking part in the March in March, my first ever protest rally. Something everyone should do at least once in their life.)

Cover Woo BookOneMediumAs for Parallel, my YA Paranormal Fantasy novel is fast approaching 5000 downloads. Amazon is still outperforming Smashwords, despite Amazon’s continued stuffup of pricing. (It’s free, really.) but Smashwords has paid me my first royalties. (Yay, I can finally buy that cappuccino.) I think I’m about ready to start charging a nominal price for it soon but for now it’s still free.

Book Two, The Immortal Darkness has been an interesting exercise and I see now it was released too soon.It is in revision now and the newer betterer version will be out soon. I’m planning a big relaunch promo sort of thing. We’ll see how that goes.

Oh well, you live and learn and in the last two years I have learned so much  from so many people. The members of my writing group Vision Writers have been an invaluable brains trust, as have my Facebook friends and of course my long suffering family.

mapcompositeBook three is coming along, but I have spent far less time on Quell than I would have liked. The aim at this stage is to have it ready for the end of the year.

So that’s where I’m at at the moment. Competition, anthology, book two relaunch, book three.

I’m expecting big things this year, all part of the five year plan. (The good Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise.)

 Chris K