Cover Release: Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind

Since I returned from my month’s research trip to China in May last year, I’ve worked flat-out to write my second novel, Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind. So this is a special week for me—to see the fabulous cover art, by designer MS Corley. I love the strong emphasis on typography.

Publication date: 1 December 2015, in Kindle eBook, paperback and audiobook editions.

It’s been immense fun to write this novel but a huge challenge, too, because of the complexity of the three-storyline structure. But I have the perfect editor in Jason Kirk at 47North. He gives me invaluable advice and has the knack of suggesting subtle changes that have a big impact.

And with two novels under my belt, I felt it opportune to redesign my website. Many thanks to my son, Adam, who guided me through the revamp!

So here’s the cover and the back cover blurb: Read more

A Conversation With Speculative Fiction Author E.J. Swift

ejswift_author photo_bw smallI met E.J. Swift last summer when we shared a panel at LonCon 3, with David Hebblethwaite and Adam Roberts, discussing writers who cross the boundary between mainstream fiction and science fiction. Since then, I’ve finished my second novel, Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind, and E.J. has completed her trilogy The Osiris Project. Not only that…E.J.’s short story “The Spiders of Stockholm” has been long-listed for The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Competition.

We felt it was time for a catch-up chat—about past writing and future plans. Read more

And The Title For My Novel Is…

SLEEPING EMBERS OF AN ORDINARY MIND

I’m absolutely thrilled with this title and I’m now excited about the next stage in the publishing process—cover concepts by 47North’s designers.

The publication date will be sometime this year and as soon as it’s firmly decided I’ll announce it here.

It was a tough challenge to find a title because this novel has three intertwining storylines set 600 years apart—in fifteenth century Italy, present-day China and twenty-second century London.

So when, and how, did I arrive at Sleeping Embers Of An Ordinary Mind? And how did I even choose a working title? Read more

Worlds Collide: Space Station Call to Tribal Chief in Papua

Two very differing world views were evident in an intriguing exhibition I came across recently during a mini-break to Prague. The exhibition—Everything Is Different—at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art brings together art, science and folklore, and takes the form of wall drawings, video, photography and sculpture.

dox4For me, the exhibition pivots on a brief conversation between a Papua New Guinea tribal chief and a NASA astronaut on the International Space Station. The conversation, via satellite phone, is presented as a split-screen video (see right).

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Beyond The Cave: Meeting Readers at BSFA and SF Book Club

I’ve had a lovely start to 2015! I actually left my writing cave to meet readers.

Author and literary critic Adam Roberts interviewed me at the January meeting of the British Science Fiction Association. He pitched some challenging questions, which led to a lively and wide-ranging conversation. If you couldn’t make it to the meeting, this blogpost by Andrew Wallace gives a good impression of the subjects that Adam and I discussed. Thank you, Andrew, for this detailed commentary. Here’s a brief extract from his blogpost: Read more

47North Signs Up My Second Novel For 2015 Release

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve signed a book deal for my second novel with Jason Kirk, editorial director of 47North, Amazon Publishing’s science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint. As you know, 47North published my debut novel, A Calculated Life, and I’ve had a great experience working with the lovely 47North team in Seattle. I’m excited to be working with Jason who is the ideal editor for my current writing project as we share an interest in science fiction and history.

The manuscript is now close to completion and we’re working towards a release date later this year. And, I’ll let you know as soon as I have a title for this novel!

47North LogoSo what’s it all about?

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Endings For Novels: Is The End Always In Sight?

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked over the past 12 months has been, ‘When you start writing a novel do you know how it’s going to end?’

For me, there isn’t a simple Yes or No answer because so much depends on the individual writing project. In effect, pinning down the ending is less important in some projects than others. It’s an aspect of the writing process that I, too, find fascinating.

So in this blogpost I’ll explain a little further using my own experience of writing (a) A Calculated Life and (b) my current work-in-progress, which has the working title, The Academy. Read more

One Year Since Release Day: My Bookiversary Progress Report

Philip K Dick Nominees

Finalists and their representatives for the Philip K Dick Award, Seattle, April 2014.

It’s my first Bookiversary today! I can’t believe it’s a year since the release of A Calculated Life by 47North. And, since release day, I’ve made a bunch of new friends within the SF community and enjoyed the continuing support of friends who read my novel when it was self-published.

So thanks to everyone! It’s been so exciting to find new readers and receive positive feedback from reviewers. Here’s a review by literary critic Adam Roberts on Sibilant Fricative, which I particularly appreciated. Full review here.

Charnock’s Manchester is quite unlike Blade Runner’s hyperreal city, and her prose creates a much more rounded sense of actual life than the deliberately flattened paranoidal patterns of Phil Dick’s writing. What she shares with Dick is the ability to write unease.

Extract from Sibilant Fricative review.

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Author Charlie N. Holmberg: My Long Journey to Publication

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Charlie N. Holmberg

Welcome to Charlie N. Holmberg, the most tenacious of writers, who never gave up hope of seeing her work in print. I’m delighted to host Charlie in the week that her novel The Paper Magician is published.

Everyone knows it—the road to publication is a long and bumpy one, with few bus stops along the way. Mine wasn’t much different; it took me seven years before I reached any landmarks! But the advice that’s passed around the most is also the best: stick with it. Or, in the words of Jason Nesmith, “Never give up, never surrender!”

I’ve been writing since age thirteen, but I didn’t take it seriously until I started my undergrad at Brigham Young University. I was nineteen when I finished my first, way-too-long, truly awful RPG-style epic-fantasy novel. That burned up in a wild dumpster fire and was never heard from again.

I started a second book, one that I thought had a more original premise and interesting characters. Another epic fantasy. At this time Read more