New Release! (Warning, contains adult content!)

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Humanity is considered immature by our alien neighbors.

But space is more adult than we can possibly imagine.

Announcing a bit of a departure for me.

I’m pleased to finally release the first of a new series of novels in the science-fiction genre, but with a couple of twists.

(WARNING: contains contain adult material.)

Plucked In Space features adventure amongst the stars, comedy, and a snarky AI system that delivers laugh-out-loud one-liners.

So, thrills, romance and naughtiness and fun under the sun(s), all for a low, low price!

This novel has been published under a new name, a (sort of) reversal of my original author name Andrew Toynbee.

The reason? This series is markedly different from the taking-itself-seriously Angels of York trilogy.

Anyone who’s read those books (someone’s read them… there’s at least two people I know about) will find that this has a totally different feel, so I made the decision to separate the two genres completely.

Please take advantage of Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature. You may like what you see! 🙂

Excerpt:

Amanda faced the talking ship squarely, and folded her arms. She planned to radiate authority, but the steaming mug of coffee sloshed drops onto her hand, making her whimper.

“Okay, you’re fast, but how fast, exactly?” she demanded.

“I am capable of speeds nearing zero point seven five.”

“As in seventy-five percent of light speed?”

“Approximately. External factors can vary my velocity.”

“What factors?”

“Local gravity flux, density of debris, variations in the solar wind…”

“Okay. I guess I have to trust you.”

“Your trust is not misplaced. I am a competent pilot.”

“Glad to hear it.” She sipped tentatively at the hot coffee-approximation. “Hey, this isn’t bad.”

“Meaning it is good?”

“Yes, sorry. I’m being colloquial. For a first attempt, it’s good. Well done.”

“My pleasure to serve you, Captain.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

See you in space, lifeforms!


UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07C9X52J2
US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C9X52J2

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An unexpected leap back to my past…

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ivanferrer executivo

Today I was passed a short piece of work (fiction) that had been written by an eleven year-old boy…the son of a friend of my wife.

I’d been asked for my opinion of the writing and I was happy to help. The lad who wrote it is currently enjoying ‘A Construct of Angels’ and is thrilled that his mother works with the wife of an author.

That’s me…in case you didn’t follow. 😀

I was happy to read it, but as I picked it up, I found myself wishing that I’d known an author when I was eleven. True, I’d had a lot of encouragement from my English teacher when I was at senior school, but an author? They were unreachable, weren’t they? My only experience of authors at the time were the books of Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. No, I had to set my sights just a little bit lower. I still remember being thrilled back in 1978 when a BBC Open University lecturer replied to my letter containing an astronomical query.

So I sat back, put on some distraction-cancelling music and read through the two pages that had been printed for me. I recognised the style instantly. Quick, hurried prose that showed an excitability; a joy at having the freedom and passion to write. It was an end-of-the-world scene, something that I had cut my junior teeth on back in the 1970’s. Almost everything I wrote in those days was end-of-the-world where the crowded and less-than-friendly society had been washed away, leaving only a few familiar comforts for my fledgling characters. Looking back, I think it was my mind’s way of reshaping the misery around me into something I could control better. I wasn’t having a happy time of it. An overbearing and abusive father coupled with bullying peers made for a pretty miserable life. However, I still hold the legacy of those embittered days in the form of ‘Homeworld’, my sci-fi saga (as yet unfinished, but that will change) where alien beings battle to survive war and the harsh conditions of their slow-turning world.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the submitted piece; The scene didn’t take long to read. It was only two pages long, but I had to admit that it was better than the lines that I had been turning out at the same age. We’re living in a different era now, it’s true. Eleven year-olds are wiser now than they were when I was a pre-teen. But regardless of that, it was a very good start to a potential life of writing fiction.

If I was able to pass on any advice to the young writer, I would simply say this; Never stop writing. If you love it, keep practising it. Read much – and not just your favourite genre. Follow others who have trodden this path before you, for there are many…and learn from their experiences, because their errors can only serve to smooth your path.

Oh, and make sure you know how your story will end – so you have something to aim your story towards. Don’t repeat my decades-long mistake of creating never-ending stories.

The best of luck in your endeavours.

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Read outside your genre

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Strange how things work out.

Many of us tend to stick to the genre we know and appreciate (dare I say love?) during the early part of our lives, but this could be a grave mistake for the aspiring writer.

As a hardened sci-fi reader (I was a big fan of E.E.’Doc’ Smith, Heinlein and Clarke), being passed the complete ‘Sharpe’ series (British soldiers fighting in the Napoleonic era) made me shudder, but I quickly learned to appreciate the works – eventually going on to buy the entire televised series on DVD.

The fortunes – and misfortunes – of Richard Sharpe came to have a subtle influence upon the Marines in ‘Homeworld‘ – the WIP at the time  (Yes, it was hard sci-fi).

And when I shelved ‘Homeworld‘ and embarked upon the (Stephen Donaldson-inspired) fantasy saga that was to become ‘Elementals‘, the same benefactor who had introduced me to Richard Sharpe then revealed to me the wacky (Disc)world of Terry Pratchett.  Traces of those wandering wyrd-oes can be found within ‘Elementals‘, despite its serious nature.

Genre blindness can be a very sad thing.  Think of it as akin to literary inbreeding.  If an author restricts their reading solely to their pet genre,  that genre can only expand so far before it implodes for lack of new material.  A good writer (and I’m not counting myself among them) should look beyond his own works and read voraciously of other genres, to bring back new material and further the diversity of their own.

What I’m saying (without the pseudo-19th century english) is basically read, read, read and don’t restrict it to fantasy if you’re a fantasist, or sci-fi if you’re a futurist.  As I mentioned in my last post (Extra-genre readers), I was passed a book (Run for Home) that revolved around a 13 year-old girl who was kidnapped for the purposes of white slavery.  It’s a subject I would never, ever have chosen to read, but I read the book out of politeness, never realising that the feelings it invoked would stay with me for life (ok, 12 years to date).

These feelings, served me well they have, as I attempt my first (supernatural) romance novel.

Read well, my friends, and go on to write…um…weller?

Ahem.

So, what have you taken from books outside your genre?  What unlikely story has had an influence on your writing? 

Write on.

P.S. I make no apologies for the scattering of links within this post.  Not to everyone’s taste, they may yet stir your curiosity enough to explore them…

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