Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Dreams of the Machines (Time Rats Book 2) published!

And it's that rare occasion when I release a new book! Woop woop! (For once I feel entitled to scatter exclamation marks. There may be more to come. You have been warned.)

Dreams of the Machines is the second in my Time Rats series, with several new characters. I'm particularly fond of Angel, an on-the-run pleasure droid with a bit of an obsession with the Terminator T-800. Floss, Jace and Ryker are there too, along with scheming Quinn, still lusting after Floss, and a likeable rogue called Liam Roth.

Like TR1, Dreams of the Machines is published by Amazon's Kindle Press. It's been on pre-order for a couple of weeks, and risen quite high in the US charts, around 25,000. I'm pleased about this, because without a Look Inside on pre-order, it means some readers trust me to have written a good book.

I've done the paperback with Createspace. I enjoy formatting, and each of the paperbacks I've designed has been a little better than the last. When it went on sale yesterday, 280 out of 283 pages were on display in the US Look Inside. Panic! I emailed Amazon, and a nice representative called Ann A sorted it out, emailed me and left a message on my phone too.

I'm raising a virtual glass to TR2, and all its readers!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Tigers, real, robotic and quirky

I came across this beguiling video from the World Wildlife Fund...

...and it occurred to me that tigers have been on my mind lately. In The Trouble with Time, Floss is stalked by a tiger in a deserted London in 2180; one of the last actions of the last keeper at Regent's Park Zoo was to release the big cats into the depopulated city. In soon-to-be-published Dreams of the Machines, the man who invented time travel has also made a robotic tiger. In one timeline in the novel, by 2145 they are extinct. I do hope this will never happen in real life - after all, if humanity lacks the will to save the tiger, we are not likely to manage to save anything else, including ourselves.

On another tack, I've been branching out into costume jewellery lately. Inspired by Mortal Engines, where one character has a necklace made from CDs, I've been making jewellery from CDs. I've launched a shop on Etsy, and it seemed only reasonable to call it Quirky Tiger.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Imagining the alternative

I took this photo early Sunday morning on my bike ride into the workshop. It's a particularly nice street in Hackney, bollarded off so the only through traffic is bicycles. In 2135, Liam Roth, a rogue with redeeming features in Dreams of the Machines (Time Rats Book 2) will have a house here. It's either number 32 or 34, depending on whether you read the ebook or the paperback.

And I realized while biking along the deserted street that there were moments when I could hear no traffic or planes and see no cars or people. There was just the rustle of autumn leaves blowing along the ground, and the crisp sound as my bike wheels went over them. It was possible to imagine I was the only person in London after some apocalypse had removed everyone else.

And then I realized that if ever I were in that situation, when not gripped by grief, loss and panic, I'd be imagining that I was in a populated London and someone would stroll round the corner at any moment.

Is it just writers who do this?