At last I can unveil the stunning new covers for Timesplash and its sequel, True Path.
You can click on each of the covers to see a larger version. Momentum says there will be higher-res versions to see soon – but I just wanted to get these images out there asap. As you can probably tell, I’m very pleased with what the Momentum cover artist has done. The images and fonts are simple and the concept is very literal – especially in the case of Timesplash. Even the colours are minimal. Yet the overall effect is just great. The feeling of movement and drama is what I really like about the covers. Timesplash and True Path are fast paced, action-oriented stories and I think these covers really do tell the reader exactly what they can expect.
Click to enlarge
My thanks to the team at Momentum for putting together two great covers.
So, don’t be shy, tell me what you think. Would these look good on your Kindle Fire (or iProduct, or Kobo…)?
Drum roll, please. The second Timesplash novel will be called…
Now, I was going to call the second book “Backwash” but the good folk at Momentum gently pointed out that, in certain circles, the word has unpleasant connotations. Then they went away and thought about it and came back with True Path, which is just brilliant in all kinds of ways. (I hope you’ll read the book one day to discover how clever they were in choosing this name.) I really do love it.
As the action moves to post-Adjustment America, Jay and Sandra are once more caught up in the madness of timesplashing. This time, sixteen years after the close of book one, America’s most-wanted domestic terrorist, a driven man, working to free his country from religious oppression, kidnaps Sandra to help him create the biggest timesplash ever, to unleash an orgy of destruction that will kickstart a new American revolution. But Jay’s attempts to rescue Sandra only make matters worse, while Sandra’s resolve not to help kill millions of people is undermined when the would-be revolutionary gets his hands on Cara, Sandra’s teenage daughter.
With the re-launch of Timesplash just six weeks away, and True Path due for release one month after that (July 1), things are starting to get exciting for me. I will be talking about Timesplash and its tortuous journey to publication at the Australian Conflux 9 convention in Canberra on 28th April. I’ll be on a panel of other newly-published writers, talking about our work. According to the format, I’ll get a couple of minutes to talk about how Timesplash came to be published by Momentum/Pan Macmillan and then five minutes to read an extract. Anyone who has followed the twists and turns of this novel’s “journey” to publication will know that a couple of hours, not a couple of minutes, is what I’ll need to do it justice.
Timesplash is a book that has been commercially published once already, then self-published, and now, commercially published again. In between, it has come close to publication by three other publishers – twice reaching the point where a contract was under negotiation, one of those being stopped by the publisher going out of business, and once falling down just two weeks from the acquisition meeting that would have agreed it’s purchase by a Big 6 publishing house because the publisher championing it resigned! And yet it’s a fascinating story that many unpublished writers might like to hear – a story that could only have happened in these days of publishing turmoil.
Needless to say, I’m glad that Timesplash and, of course, True Path, have found a home in the Pan Macmillan universe. I’m hoping they stay there a long time.
No covers yet but they’re on their way. Keep watching this space.
All with added exclamation marks!!!!
A writer’s exclamation mark count really is like any normal person’s heart beat rate. There is a direct relationship between the total count per page and how excited he or she is feeling. So, you guessed it, I’ve got some exciting news! Momentum has announced release dates for Timesplash and its sequel. Timesplash will be available on 1st June and the sequel (which still doesn’t have a name!) will be out on 1st July.
In fact, you can go to the Timesplash Amazon page or its iTunes page right now and pre-order a copy. Is that not great? I was expecting release dates in Q4 this year but I’ve been bumped up the schedule it seems. The only trouble is (and you can see this on the pre-order pages) the books don’t have covers yet. An artist has been appointed and he or she is “working on concepts” at the moment so I guess we’ll just have to wait to see what they come up with.
Meanwhile, if you’re hungry for a Timesplash fix and can’t wait until June or July, a new anthology is out called Sidekicks! that contains some terrific short stories on the theme of heroes and their sidekicks and I have a story in there called “After the Party” about a teknik and his brick. You can get your copy of Sidekicks! by clicking this link! And no, it isn’t me doing it, that exclamation mark in the name of the anthology was put there by the publisher. I guess he was excited too!
As ever, I’ll let you know as soon as there is more news.
I came across this wonderful website today and started playing around. It’s called PULP-O-MIZER and it lets you design the covers of imaginary pulp sci-fi magazines. Within a few minutes I had knocked up a few excellent magazines that really should have existed. Then I started thinking, would it work for designing a book cover?
Well, as you know, TimeSplash and its sequel, Backwash, are on my mind at the moment and, now that I’ve delivered the MS to Momentum, I’m already wondering what the covers will look like. (All right, I’m a shallow and trivial person. Deal with it.) Of course, I probably won’t see either of them until about the time of the next Australian General Election, and I don’t expect (or want!) a retro rendition, but, if they were going to look like Golden Age pulp novels, the two PULP-O-MIZER mock-ups below would be very cool.
It took me four months to write the first draft and another month to revise and edit it, and now Backwash, the sequel to TimeSplash is finished. I just sent the Final Draft manuscript off to the publisher and my agent and now I’m about to sit in a daze, staring at the trees, while I come to terms with the fact that this phase of the book’s production is finally over.
I’ve never had to write a book to a deadline before and I probably pushed myself a bit harder than I needed to, leading to me completely amazing myself by finishing it a whole month early. It was slightly fraught, but I’m sure I’ll get used to this kind of thing. That is, I hope I’ll have the opportunity to get used to it! Of course, I’ve yet to hear what the publisher thinks about the result of this effort, but I’m very pleased with it myself and reader feedback from earlier drafts is very encouraging (“gripping” was one of the words used to describe it).
I’m now in for many months of editing and further revision – by the end of which I expect to be sick of the sight of my own words. However, that’s the price one pays for publication. The part I’m really looking forward to is having it out there in the hands of readers – especially those readers who have been waiting for a TimeSplash sequel for three years now! That’s what will make the editing all worthwhile and put that smile back on my face.
As ever, I’ll let you know how things progress.
Meanwhile, I signed a contract today with Alliteration Ink for my short story “After the Party” to appear in their upcoming anthology “Sidekicks!”. I mention this because “After the Party” is set in the TimeSplash universe and is the story of a teknik – the ultimate in underappreciated sidekicks – back in the good old days of the splashparty scene.
Regular readers will be aware that a TimeSplash sequel is on the way. In fact, I finished the very first draft of the book (lots of work still to do) on Sunday and have already begun the revisions. What you may not know yet is that TimeSplash 2 (it doesn’t have a title yet) will be published by Momentum. Ever heard of Momentum? Possibly not. It is the new(ish) digital-only imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. Pan Macmillan, you have definitely heard of, I assume, as it is the fourth largest of the collection of publishers formerly known as The Big Six.
In fact, the deal I’ve just signed with Momentum means they will publish both TimeSplash and the sequel some time around Q3 this year. Tens of thousands of people have read and enjoyed TimeSplash, so I’m hoping that news of the sequel will be good news to them. I am very excited that my agent hooked me up with Momentum – it’s a very energetic and dynamic new imprint – and that TimeSplash has found a home with one of the biggest publishing houses in the world.
I really can’t wait for people to read the new novel. I really feel the second book is a worthy successor, which is personally satisfying but also makes me squee inside at the thought that the people who enjoyed the first book, a great many of whom have asked for this sequel, might not actually be disappointed with the second one. Because that would suck big time.
Set sixteen years after the action in TimeSplash, the new novel sees Sandra and Jay reluctantly dragged back into another crisis and to post-apocalyptic America where they struggle to save themselves and a whole city from what is likely to be the biggest timesplash ever while dealing with their own complex relationship.
I will keep you informed of how the books progress as they go through the mill at Momentum, acquiring edits, covers, blurbs, release dates, titles, and so on, and I hope you will stick with me for the next few months until TimeSplash and TimeSplash 2 are launched. Meanwhile, TimeSplash has been withdrawn from the market and won’t be available again until Momentum releases it. So, if you haven’t read it yet, I’m sorry but you’ll have to wait. (However, the audiobook version, read by Emma Newman, is still on sale at Iambik Audiobooks and through Amazon’s Audible.)
When I wrote TimeSplash, I never really considered doing a sequel. I put a hook in, just in case, but it definitely was not my plan. But over the past couple of years, so many people have asked when “the next one” is coming out, I started thinking that maybe I should.
I wrote a short story prequel once (“Party Time”) and a fifty-years-later short story (“Out of Time”) which I have never shown anyone – I did it just for ‘closure’, so Jay and Sandra would stop rattling around in my head. But the second novel has always been something I didn’t really want to do. The thing is this, the events that overtook and overwhelmed Jay and Sandra in TimeSplash were the kind of thing that happens to someone once in a lifetime (if you’re unlucky enough). To have them caught up in the mayhem again just wouldn’t seem realistic (if you can use such a word in this context!) Of course, I could set another book in the same “world” but with different characters – but who would want to read a TimeSplash novel without our two heroes? Who would want to write it?
Yet there were things in TimeSplash that really needed revisiting. I left the relationship between Jay and Sandra hanging. I left the world in serious jeopardy. There were dark hints about dangerous forces behind the scenes. There was also the problem of America.
In TimeSplash, the global depression that followed peak oil was a catastrophe for most countries. The USA in particular suffered very badly and right-wing religious forces – already strong there – saw their chance to seize power and to consolidate it ruthlessly. If you haven’t read TimeSplash, imagine the world of The Handmaid’s Tale. Some American readers didn’t like this. “It could never happen here!” they cried. Many others said they thought it was already happening and it was their worst nightmare. One Christian soul gave me a 1-star “punitive” review on Amazon because he or she thought it meant I hate Christians! (I shudder to imagine the hate mail Margaret Atwood must have received.)
It all left me with the feeling I should do something about it.
A few weeks ago, I was just finishing another novel (tentatively titled “Heaven is a Place on Earth”) and thinking about my next project. “Heaven” had been a hard book to write – full of heavy themes and deeply character-driven – so I wanted a new project that would be a lot more fun. Naturally, TimeSplash came to mind because it was one of the most fun novels I’ve ever written. I thought again, more seriously, about how I could make it work. And I had a Eureka moment. I would move the whole thing over to the States. I needed good reasons to get Jay and Sandra over there (and found them). I needed new villains and heroes (always fun to invent) and a dastardly plot that centres around timesplashing.
And there we have it. The time is fifteen years on from the action in TimeSplash. Sandra has built a new life for herself while Jay’s is crumbling away. The book opens in Boston with the line, “Leaving Boston in the Spring of 2066 without the proper papers was no easy matter, but Zadrach Polanski had many friends who would give their lives to help him.”
About ten thousand words are already written. I don’t even have a working title yet. Watch this space. I’ll keep you posted.
Not for a few days, anyway. A giveaway is about to start on Amazon and the book will be free for three days starting in about six hours from now (23rd, 24th and 25th July, US West Coast time). Feel free to grab your free copy though and, if you like it, make sure you write a review, and tell all your friends. Cos that’s why it’s free, see?
I don’t know what makes a good website for a book. I’ve looked at lots and I’m hugely impressed by the skill and effort some authors and publishers have lavished on them but, no matter how exciting the graphics, they all leave me thinking there ought to be a better way of doing it.
That’s probably why I keep revising the TimeSplash book site so often. Even my own book site leaves me rocking my hand and pouting dubiously. Well, there is another iteration up. This is less minimalist than the last two (read: more cluttered) but I was trying to get everything important onto a single page. True, the page is a little wide and it’s a little long, but everything is there.
So, please, take a minute to pop over to www.timesplash.co.uk and take a look. I’d love to know whether you think it’s an improvement over the last one. I’d also love to know what you think makes a good book page on the Web – and if you know any examples, good or bad, please copy the URL into the comments so we can all have a gander.
If you have a quick squiz down the left hand column, you’ll see a yeucky greenish-yellow book cover with the title “The Earth Ship”. It’s nothing to do with TimeSplash. It’s just a longish short story I put up for sale on Amazon recently (at 99c). My only excuse for advertising it here is that I have fond belief that people who liked TimeSplash might like my other stuff too. I also realise that people who liked TimeSplash and are waiting for the next novel from me are having to be exceptionally patient. (Some big-name publishers are seriously considering my other manuscripts right now, but the wheels of publishing grind exceeding slow.) So “The Earth Ship” is just a little snack to keep you all going in between meals, as it were.
Anyhoo, here is the link to “The Earth Ship” on Kindle, for those who think a story about a lost colony and its rediscovery by Earth’s brutal Empire might be fun. (Or you can click on the yeucky greenish-yellow book cover.) You might even want to pop over to my writing blog to hear more about the process of putting this story on Kindle.