Writing updates 30 May 2013

A quick update on my various writing projects.

Planetfall book 2

I written around 100,000 words in the sequel to Planetfall: All Fall Down, which is called Children of Fall. Writing has gone very well, and I know from feedback from my writing group and from my own sense of my writing that it’s a more mature and better written work. This is good, and I’m happy.

Despite being at the 100,000 word mark, the novel is only halfway through.  Full length books are supposed to weigh in between 70,000-100,000 words. This means I’ve written a full length novel in word length alone, and I guess it equates to having finished my 3rd novel. Except.

Except this book really is only halfway through. It’s a concept double album of a book. It will eventually be somewhere between 170,000 and 200,000 words. And this leads me to consider something: do I release it in two parts? I won’t go to agents with this book, as the first book is self-published, which pretty much means the rest of the series won’t get picked up.

I’ve got a while to think about this, though, as I’ve put the book on ice for 6 months.

Book 1, by the way, has now been downloaded or sold in physical paperback about 310 copies. I get good feedback for it from complete strangers.


Backpackers has been available as an ebook and in paperback for just over a month now. It is selling terribly – I think I’ve shifted about 8 copies. This is a shame, because it’s a much more commercial book, and the writing is better than Planetfall: All Fall Down. Backpackers was almost picked up by a couple of agents.

I’ve been trying to have Backpackers reviewed by book review sites run by bloggers. One recently got back to me and said after consideration, having received the book, they’ve decided not to review it. Obviously I’m disappointed, though I understand their editorial policy is to only review books they really feel passionate about, and road journey books aren’t for everybody.

I will continue to seek out book reviewers and blogs to review this. I really believe in the book, and I think it has a readership out there. If I was better at marketing I’d figure out how to bridge that gap. More news as and when.

Secret project

The past 6 weeks I’ve been working on another novel. It’s a sort of horror-comedy-steampunk-political satire affair. I’m not releasing any details until the book is finished. I can say that my writing group have said it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, which is exceptionally gratifying.

The writing is coming very easily for it. I’m at 28,000 words at the moment, and I’m aiming for about 75,000 words, so it’ll be a short book.

Those 28,000 words are currently with two trusted reviewers (outside my writing group). It’s essential that writing is shown to people and feedback is received.

As with all my writing projects, this is a real test and it’s taking me outside my comfort zone. I’ve never written comedy (except for an attempt at a sitcom script last year, which resulted in one and a half pretty good episodes), I’ve never written horror, I’ve never written political satire (though I have done dystopian political writing) and I’ve never tackled steampunk.

This book will also be the first of my books that I will send for professional editing. That’s simply because I’ve saved up £500 for it, whereas Planetfall and Backpackers were finished when I was unemployed.

Other writing

I recently wrote two synopses for other books. One was a political/crime thriller, and the other a Young Adult adventure. Both way outside my comfort zone. Both synopses were intended to be my secret project, but I chose not to progress them. I may publish the synopsis to the Young Adult book in the spirit of sharing and being transparent with my approach to writing.

Buying my work

Well, a plug. If you wish to buy either Planetfall or Backpackers, they’re available in ebook and paperback, from both Amazon and Lulu. Links to both are below, and you’ll find that Lulu is the cheaper option, where ebooks are 90p each. The paperbacks are more expensive than I’d like, but they’re print on demand, and most of the cost goes to the printer.

astrotomato on Amazon

astrotomato on Lulu

That’s it for the moment. As ever, I’d love to hear what others are up to. Until the next blog,




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