September 19

September is over and autumn is upon us. Sales in September amounted to 1 copy of Condition Zero sold and 20 copies of Minus Epsilon given away along with 5 copies of Love in a Time of War. Clearly my current marketing/advertising system sucks. No other way to put it. Bad. Grim. Dire.

But hey, at least things are looking positive when it comes to Project 9, the still untitled novella based in the Earth Saga universe. This is the cross between Alien and Event Horizon and Pandorum, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. We’ve got pages back from 2 beta-testers, and edits are going to start soon.

Project X, the 7th book in the Earth Saga series is coming along nicely, and should launch late 19. I’m pumped, and expecting this to be the longest Earth Saga novel to date. I’m still pitching Standish to agents, but have yet to have any bites. I’m thinking that if I don’t get a whiff of anything by New Years, it’s going live, damn the consequences.

On the film front in September, there were some winners, and some losers. The two most prominent being Ad Astra and In the Shadow of the Moon.

Ad Astra was very pretty with some excellent set-piece action sequences, but the story dragged, and overall, it was perhaps aiming too high, or trying to be too clever. Either way, it reminded me of The Thin Red Line and had all the same problems of Blade Runner 2049 and Mad Max Fury Road, very well shot, stylish, but the plot was lacking.

In the Shadow of the Moon, on the other hand, was fun, interesting, attempting some bold ideas. By far one of Netflix’s best sci-fi projects to date, and one of Boyd Holbrook’s best performances yet.

On the music front, we added some more synth to the library with Trevor Something, who is excellent. I’m finding synth to have a lot of sticking power with me. I also added the new State of Trace from AVB, but it just doesn’t work for work. Synth seems to be the perfect background tunes to get words on the page.

Literature wise, I read a rather dull, research paper-esque book on US military folly since the end of the Second World War, called Why America Loses War. Interesting material, and rather heavy, but it all comes down to political stupidity, surprise, surprise.

September all gave me the chance to celebrate my friend James Sherwood’s latest book launch in partnership with Henry Poole of Savile Row at Coutts. A lovely affair in a bank that I’ll never have the funds to join with a koi fish pond in the lobby.

The mission objectives for October are quite clear: get Project 9 live. Shouldn’t be an impossible task. I’ve got the material back from the beta-testers, and now it’s just a question of taking their corrections and input and applying it to the novella. I think this story, which takes place in the ‘past’ will raise lots of new exciting questions about the Earth Saga universe that will be answered in a trilogy that is planned for down the road. I like the idea of having the ability to creative stories that take place in the present, as well as the past that give me the chance to build a universe that has as much depth as possible.

Of course, I’ll keep applying to agents, and trying to figure out how to get more people to read my books, never an easy task. We shall see.