Blowing my Own Trumpet

Hello everybody!

I am publishing a Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy novel later this year entitled CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT. The setting is Western Australia (where I am from); I hope the novel is interesting to you. Here is the blurb:

Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and either emerge with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.

In the great forest of south-western Australia, thirteen year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia. If they can reach it before time runs out.

I have hired a star American support team to create a product that will bear comparison with those of the big publishers:

  • artist Eric Nyquist (Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, among others)
  • copyeditor Richard Shealy (Kameron Hurley, Jennifer Fallon and many others)
  • formatter Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications
  • the audiobook will be produced and narrated by professionals
  • the beta readers were well-known science fiction and fantasy bloggers

I really hope you will want to follow me right till the end of the process – and well beyond!

I have always been a voracious reader and I became really serious about writing fiction a long time ago. CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT is the most recent novel I have completed and the first I am planning on publishing. Before I hired the pros to help me put it together in final form, I had worked on CHILDREN for more than three years through many drafts.

In  20+ years of developing my fiction craft (including six other fantasy novels of various types), I have had two different British professional agents for extended periods of time, but neither was able to sell my work, leaving me feeling blocked. Perhaps I was unlucky. But the choice I faced seemed to be the following: either give up on my writing dream, invest more years in the traditional publishing grind, or take charge of the situation myself.

I have chosen the last of those options. I would not have made that decision if I were not certain that CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT will be an original novel produced to the highest standards. That level of production is now possible for two principal reasons. Firstly, technology. Secondly, many of the best creative people no longer work exclusively for the big publishers. Out of all people in the world, I thought Eric Nyquist would be the ideal artist for this project and Richard Shealy the ideal editor, and so on. So I went out and hired them.

For a long time, I could not afford to. The Financial Crisis that started in 2008 left me broke for many dark years. My dream had to wait until I could put some money together. Now, although I am really tired  because of my day job and a lot of hard work, I can start making CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT live again. I believe I can say that I am in the category of experienced, organized and determined writers who can make this kind of project work.

My model for the high-class production idea was Michael J. Sullivan, who took a similar approach many years ago to get his own writing dream back on track. Mark Lawrence has inspired me with his approach to maintaining an active blogging profile combined with an interest in independent publishing. Kameron Hurley has set new levels as regards blog tours and work ethic. I have found a really lively and interesting community of bloggers, podcasters and booktubers, who have contributed friendship and enthusiasm.

So what’s next? This post is an initial announcement. Over the next months:

  • There will be advance review copies.
  • I will be blogging on topics of interest connected with CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT.
  • There will be a cover reveal. The Eric Nyquist artwork should really be something worth seeing!
  • There will be a blog tour built around the launch date. I hope this will involve guest posts and interviews, as well as reviews.


Eric Nyquist’s artwork really creates a buzz!

I really want to get a buzz happening about the novel and about the process of trying to create a top class project. A buzz is appropriate – insects are fairly important in the novel. So what I need is a buzzing hive to spread the word. Yes, a hive. The Hive. I like it.

So, what can you do as part of the Hive? Spread the word on social media, online groups, forums, Goodreads and others sites. I really want to avoid excessive self-publicity and spamming. As we all know, it’s annoying and ineffective. Besides, what you say about yourself is worth a lot less than what others say… .

My social media presence will continue much as before: sharing and commenting on other people’s posts, attempts at humour, etc. Among all that, from now on there will be some posts about CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT.

I have created a new Facebook page for my novelist identity. Please follow, share and invite any of your friends who you think might be interested.

I am starting to build an email list to send occasional newsletters (no spam). Again, please sign up, share and spread the word.

Thanks for reading this far. I am pleased to finally be announcing this project and very enthusiastic about taking it forward. The team and I will be doing everything we can to make CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT a unique reading and listening experience.

So, Hivers, let the Buzz begin!

36 thoughts on “Blowing my Own Trumpet

  1. Congratulations, Stuart! Clearly it’s a labor of love and you didn’t give up. SF from “NWA” is an exciting event worth trumpeting about.


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