And a Happy Impending New Year! It’s the holiday season, so you’ve either been able to find some serious time for credit grabbing and universe re-righting or terrestrial considerations have earthed your spaceboots. Either way, I hope you’ve been enjoying yourselves and aren’t shortening your jump ranges by eating too much. Thank you, again, to everyone who made Out of the Darkness possible and to those who have bought either the ebook or paperback. Please, let me know what you think, on Amazon, Twitter, or in the comments below. With our words lost in the void, we writers feel bereft and lonely and it’s great to hear voices over the comm. The book continues to sell steadily (apart from a Christmas dip), which isn’t bad at all considering it came out in August. Knowing the community are enjoying my work increases the chance of a sequel, but I can’t give … Continue reading →
This will be a short post as I’m still sorting out the tail end of the project, but after eighteen months the book is finally out in the wild! (Overuse of exclamation marks is allowed when a writer is happy.) Apologies for missing the deadline; my excuse is that—being an indie writer—I’m author, editor, proofreader, project coordinator, publisher, agent, and promoter (with a little help from my friends). That’s quite a few hats. Fear not though space-munchkins, the writing and editing have taken up 90% of my time and I’m pleased with the result, both in terms of the story and the presentation. Until reality tells me otherwise, I shall maintain my grin even as I start work on the backers’ Epub version. I’ve thanked everyone, everywhere, it feels like, but you’ve been a great community to be part of. The book’s now yours and I hope you feel it … Continue reading →
Elite: Out of the Darkness is nearly ready for launch: pre-flight checks are well under way and final countdown will commence mid-September, 2014, at the latest. BACKERS: ENSURE YOUR LANDING PAD IS READY… Distribution details and links to the eBook files will be sent out via Kickstarter message, so PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR KICKSTARTER ACCOUNT DETAILS ARE UP TO DATE. Initial release will be single-format (although readable on pretty much any mainstream device), and I want to make other formats available as soon as possible. In order to do this, I can’t email files to everyone individually. (If you’re really stuck, I’ll do what I can, but you’re Elite: Dangerous fans for hyperspace’s sake! The process won’t be that complicated and I expect your tech skills will be easily up to the job. ) Some help tips will be provided on the download page.
After much consulting of experts (many, many thanks to Colin Barnes, Alex Bowden from Frontier, and Liam ‘Mobius’ Rafferty for their input), and the community (my thanks to all those who expressed their opinions in the poll and on the thread) we finally have a cover! It’s what you asked for: different, distinctive, yet still ‘Elite’. I hope you like it… ‘Elite: Out of the Darkness’ is undergoing the final stages of editing and will be out ‘soon’. (For a definition of ‘soon’, please contact Michael Brookes of Frontier Developments. .) Aside: I’m still on holiday; more news and details of the book to follow…
Things may have appeared static since the last post but, like watching a burrowing badger, none of the effort shows on the surface… Feedback Feedback is now coming in from final-stage gamma readers—the news is good; two have already said they’ve had to go back and re-read chapters for mistakes because they were gripped. When they did re-enter crit mode, the worst they found (so far) were typos and a couple of basic continuity issues that were easily fixed. There is still a significant amount of feedback to come, but if it keeps errors in the released book to a minimum it’s worth the wait. Cover After six concepts and over twenty rough drafts, the cover design has been finalised. I received some immensely helpful pointers from Colin Barnes, a friend of mine who is trained in graphic design and has been releasing his thriller/SF books with custom covers for … Continue reading →
Good news this week: Out of the Darkness has been approved by Frontier. That means it stands alongside the contents of the game and the other fiction as part of the official canon, the Elite universe as envisaged by David Braben and brought to life by the Frontier Developments team. After a year and a half, this feels incredible—to have contributed something to the ever-growing epic that is Elite: Dangerous. But how ‘Elite’ is Out of the Darkness? I know what I think, but you’re going to want evidence, aren’t you? Tweeted questions (not mine) about whether David Braben has read any of the fiction go unanswered. Emailed hints, submitted alongside legitimate scene content queries, about whether Michael likes what you’ve written are studiously not acknowledged. (Yes, mine. Sad? Maybe, but writers want to know what any reader thinks, and doubly so when that reader has the power to require a re-write!) Does … Continue reading →
What’s the Novel About? If you’ve been wondering, here’s the current blurb: Moira Dolan, an investigator for The Proteus Collective, is forced to take on a dead-end case. How did an elite pilot, his family and their ship disappear in a well-policed star system? With so few leads, it seems her boss wants her to fail. And where is her loser brother, Keagan? Torn between her only family and last chance for a career, her journey between the stars reveals more of herself than she ever wanted to know. As the pieces fall into place, Moira and some new-found allies uncover a conspiracy: mankind is no longer the galaxy’s apex predator, and a plot to destabilise human space could cost of millions of lives… Approval How much of the blurb will remain relevant depends on the the approval process, which is ongoing. I’m hoping to hear something back later … Continue reading →
The Good News Out of the Darkness lives! It’s a real book; Elite settings, characters, plot, themes—it’s all in there. The first gamma draft is complete, and pretty polished. The Scary News It’s very existence in in great peril. The book is currently with Frontier for approval. Death can come in many forms… can Out of the Darkness survive? If so, will its soul remain intact, or will it be torn asunder, rendered a mere shadow of its former self? Only one man knows… which side of Michael Brookes’ personality will the novel draw out? This? Or this?! We should know in a little while… So, backers and would-be readers, as we wait, let us focus on the positive, make optimism our banner, and raise our heads and sniff the roses… the Roses of Success! More Good News We have a proof-reader—qualified, experted an’ everfink! I want to thank the awesome … Continue reading →
Why does a later edit, where you attempt to finesse and polish a story, take so long? Because a sentence isn’t just a brick. In school, aged four and up, we start the process of building. Bricks are functional; they carry information:
Submit! Quotation rumoured to be from an internal Frontier draft memo, ‘Maintaining Correct Relations with the Minions’, Chapter Two, ‘How the Writers MUST See Us’: ‘Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic… regarded this earth us with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.’ H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds. As other Elite: Dangerous writers finish with editing and prepare to face Frontier’s vast and cool and unsympathetic intellects, the forums echo with the sounds of rejoicing. Yet, the reverberations are falsely hearty, covering the drip, drip, drip of insidious fear and slight loss of bladder control.
'Elite: Out of the Darkness is available now to buy - just click on the picture. :)
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23/08/14, Editing finished and the book was released to backers and made available for purchase (Kindle compatible apps and eReaders). YET TO BE COMPLETED: Epub files for backers; other formats released to alternate outlets; paperback formatted and released.
1st Draft Progress in Pictures
23-09-2013 The first draft was finished today. MOOD: BIG CHESSY GRIN.