MEGA Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Sale

Let’s be honest, Patty Jansen’s monthly science fiction and fantasy books sales have become pretty awesome over the past few months. With a different theme every four weeks, it’s the perfect chance to grab a bargain and happen upon a great new author. This weekend only (July 2nd – 3rd) there are over 100 books for 99c from science fiction like my own RENOVO, to fantasy, humorous reads and boxed sets. It’s not exclusive to Amazon either, so if you want Kobo books or dozens of new reads for your Nook, then there’s lots on offer.




So if you want some great new reads, have a look at the promo. Simply click the icon for the book format you’d like, and you’ll be taken to the correct page.

Happy browsing; enjoy your adventures into these new exciting fantasy and sci-fi lands.😀

Science Fiction Thriller RENOVO Grounded Has (Crash) Landed

Renovo_2_FinalI’m thrilled to announce that RENOVO Grounded is now here. Dr. Rachel Galliance’s story is a joy to write, even if she does like to tread in dangerous places. Sometimes I wonder how she’s even still alive; and we’re only two books into this series! Her sidekick Dendrick is up to his usual tricks, the mystery of the RENOVO’s journey is still unknown, Rachel’s quest to find Silver continues AND there are some new additions to the crew. There’s A LOT happening.

For the first three days, RENOVO Grounded is only 99c, and then on Sunday it’ll go up to its regular price of $3.99. Meanwhile, RENOVO is at 99c for the foreseeable future so you can jump into the series without paying out much. If you’d like to read the first chapter of Grounded you can do so here, on this website. Alternatively, just head across to Amazon and grab it on the US or UK site.

Thanks for all your support. I can’t wait to find out what Rachel and the RENOVO crew get up to next!

Space Thriller RENOVO Grounded Arrives April 15th

renovoadvertHurrah! I’ve finally got a date for the launch of RENOVO Grounded…and it’s THIS Friday (April 15th!)

For the indefinite future I’m going to keep RENOVO at 99c so you can jump into this series without paying any great expense. The series is also in Amazon Prime so, if you’re a member, you can read for free.

In addition, I’ve also got the FIRST FULL CHAPTER up on the website too, so hop on over and have a read what Dr. Rachel Galliance and her best friend Dendrick are up to.

It’s been a blast to write this second outing aboard the RENOVO (albeit no longer IN space) and I can’t wait to see what you think. In the meantime, I’m diving straight back in to see what Rachel and the crew are up to now.

RENOVO; Grounded – The New Science Fiction Thriller is Almost Here

I’m so ecstatic so announce that the follow-up to RENOVO is almost here. I’ve been busy behind the scenes getting Dr. Rachel Galliance and her crew back on track. The last thing their ship was headed into a downwards spiral towards an alien planet. Now…well, RENOVO Grounded certainly gives you a hint of what’s to come.

The book is currently with my editor, and we’re looking at a mid-April release date. I know, I know – I planned to get it out in March, but you can’t rush these things and it took me a little longer than I’d thought to go through the first draft and do the initial edit.

So, what can you expect? More claustrophobic situations for Rachel, that’s for sure. There’ll probably be some drinking, a few arguments, maybe some romance and so surprising new characters too (not all of them may be human, hint, hint).

For now I’ll leave you with the fabulous cover by Yoly!


Where Do Stories Come From?

Inspiration can strike at the most inconvenient of times. For anyone who’s ever sat down and thought ‘I want to write a story’, they’ll know that finding that first spark can be hard. Often, a lot of time is needed for that glistening of a story to emerge, yet more time for it to heat to an ember and once you start writing, and only then, are the story threads brought to life. Luckily, I’ve never been a situation where I’m sat at a blank screen with no idea what to write. I may not know how to start or, indeed, where’ll I’ll finish, but there’s normally a thread of an idea somewhere that’s been jotted down on a scrap piece of paper or stowed away in my iPhone’s ‘Notes’ app.

Having finished To Kill A Curse, I’m starting to think about what’s next. Actually, I know what’s next; a couple of freebie short prequel stories about the CRYO podmates and then the next CRYO – title TBC. But, if my mind wasn’t already filled with too many thoughts, I had another idea the other day.

I was reading THIS article and listening to the music below. The article talked about Boeing and SpaceX had teamed with NASA so that America can once again send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from the US instead of having to rely on other nations.

It got me thinking, once again, about going into space. You know; Virgin Galactic is only around the corner. I got excited and enthused, before painfully realising that it was going to be vastly expensive and I’ll have to save like crazy if I ever want to experience a low Earth orbit. Then I began to think about what would happen if a married couple were faced with a decision; they have to leave Earth for some reason, but they only have enough money for ONE ticket. Who would go? What if it was someone like me, who’s always craved going to space but is desperately in love with their partner? What if they decided that one of them had to go; that they couldn’t both die in peril…how would the guilt of the survivor play out?

With all these questions spinning around in my head, I’ve now got another science fiction novel webbing its way together; just what I didn’t want! I’ve finally concluded Inside Evil so I can work on one series, and now it seems I might have two again.

Still, it’s interesting how the slightest thing can create that flicker of inspiration and set off a line of thought that, ultimately, creates the stories we now and love so well.

How do you navigate the translations of alien language?

If you write sci-fi, then at some time or another, you’re sure to come across the issue of language. It’s a problem area for realists like myself- and a universal translator simply doesn’t cut it. I understand the notion of such a device in well established series (Star Trek, for example) where common races from the same region of space regularly communicate with one another. It’s not inconceivable to think that one day, a computer program will automatically translate the words from those around you into a language you can recognise. But what about when you come into contact with a brand new species?


Voyager’s universal translator seemed rather handy, if unrealistic

I’ve recently been watching back-to-back ST: Voyager on SyFy (yes, I think Janeway rocks)! However, here they are, stranded in the Delta Quadrant and as soon as they come across another race never before seen by humandkind – wham, instant English translation. There’s not even a few hours or day delay whilst the software analyses the phonetics. There was one episode of ST:DS9 that highlighted the issue and I, for one, was glad to see a little realism. Meanwhile, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy used the ‘Babel fish’; a small organism that’s placed in the auditory canal, and whilst universal translation was largely used in Star Wars, I’m always glad to see some use of interpretors; with Jabba, for example.

But here we’re talking about film. What about books?


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had a fun idea; the Babel fish, which is inserted into the ear.

It’s not easy, but having an actor developing a few lines of gibberish for an alternate language on film is a lot easier than having pages of utter undecipherable words in a novel. And there’s the vision of it too; I mean, who wants to flip the page and work their way through entire paragraphs of nonsense? That would almost certainly see me giving up on the book entirely. Still, I’m not keen on automatic translation – especially if characters are a) dealing with a brand new alien race or b) nowhere near a spaceship or other technology that could be automatically translating. So, we back to translators.

For those who’ve read the CRYO series, you’ll know that when John first stumbles across Earth’s new residents, he cannot understand a word they say. Nor, apparently, do they have any idea to what these strange humans are talking about either. I managed to get by the lengthy language issues by having a small group of scientists and archaeologists having learned English to help them with their own research – having no idea that they’d actually encounter humans one day. There are a very few bio-translators that are programmed with set language skills, but these are rudimentary compared with the universal translators often seen. And, as the series progresses, I expect to continue the use of translators, not only for realism but also because it gives a sense of diversity. And, of course, it allows the odd alien word to be thrown in – useful when you need to use obscene language without being too obvious.

Thoughts? When you’re reading, do you care about the intricacies of language, or are you just happy everyone can understand one another? And, when writing, do you plump for a translation software, or have fun with some alien language?

A New CRYO Cover

CRYOI find the whole book marketing thing pretty hard. I’m creative when it comes to writing; not so much when it comes to trying to strategise advertising. I’ve never been one to toot my own horn. Time and time again, we hear there’s three magic ingredients to selling a book; Contents, Cover, Blurb. Well, there’s not a huge amount I can do about the CRYO contents because it’s written. And, from the feedback and reviews I’ve gathered, people like it. I’ve swapped the blurb around a few times, but I’m trying out a new cover, once again. I’ve had a few comments that the cover’s scary and implies horror. Also, that it’s too cartoony. I’ve looked down the current top lists for science fiction and dystopian and yes, there’s nothing like my cover out there. But perhaps this is where uniqueness is a flaw; perhaps I need to gel with the crowd more and give people something they’re used to.

With that in mind, I’ve created a new and VERY simple cover. Literally, it’s a slightly altered photostock image with clear text added utilising canva. It’s not yet appeared on Amazon, but if you use the ‘Look Inside‘ feature, you’ll see it’s now inside the book.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, if something isn’t working, change it. It can be hard to let go of covers, text etc you’ve worked hard on, but if it’s not actually bringing in sales, you just can’t hold on it. For now, this is a test run – I’ve only applied it to Amazon to see if it’ll have any effect. What do you think? More sci-fi than the previous cover? More eye-catching? Or, perhaps you don’t like it as much?