Patrick G Cox

Exploring Audio

Very excited to be exploring creating Audio Book versions of the Harry Heron series. This is a project I have wanted to explore for some time now, and think I have finally got something that will make it possible. I am very pleased with this sample clip from Harry Heron: Into the Unknown is produced by Abbey Sound in the UK, and voiced by Lee Beddow, the owner and producer. I am looking forward now to getting this project started and working with Lee and my Publisher, IndieGo Publishing to get it done.

Fiction Driving Innovation?

I read some time ago an article which suggested that science fiction was an essential driver in moving science forward in practical ways. The writer of that pointed to the "communicators" envisioned in Star Trek as a prime example, suggesting that the original concept provided the kernel of the idea that grew into mobile phones. I suspect that can be argued several ways, but it is certainly true that as one looks back at some of the classic scifi, there is a lot to suggest there is something in the idea. I can think of several references in the writing of Heinlein or Asimov that have real examples in everyday use today. Some, of course, like Heilein's "Thorsen Tubes" - programmable "tubes" which provided the memory for his automated machines - have their equivalent in today's solid state hard drives and USB Sticks. Artificial Intelligence, a dream twnety years ago, still very basic in application ten years ago, is now used in quite a large number of applications, though it still isn't quite up to the level of HAL 9000 in the classic scifi movie 2001: A Space Odessey.

Very Encouraging

A very nice response to the release of Harry Heron: Savage Fugitive!

Sales in the week since it was released have been very good, and best of all, I am starting to see revived sales in the earlier books thanks to readers who have enjoyed this one and gone looking for the others. As an author it is a really good feeling to know that people are reading and enjoying your books. For those that haven't encountered the Harry Heron series, they are:

Harry Heron: Savage Fugitive Released!

Book 4 of the Harry Heron Adventure series is now on sale. Harry Heron: Savage Fugitive is available from Kindle and as a paperback through most bookstores via the Ingram/Bowker networks. As the author it is naturally exciting to see sales gathering pace and I think my readers will not be disappointed. Getting a book published is a complex, sometimes trying, project. As the author I produce what I hope is a good story and a reasonable manuscript, which then goes to the Publisher. In my case, INDIEGO PUBLISHING LLC, and the editor, Janet Angelo.

Good Feedback

Authors need good feedback if they are to sharpen their storytelling skills. You can't do it if all you hear is your own voice, or that of someone close who will tell you what you want to hear. My latest book has proved this to me several times. As you would expect, when an author sends the finished manuscript of a book to the publisher, he/she thinks it is just about perfect. The story makes sense to you, you think you've covered all the plot holes, you think you've picked up and tied off all the loose threads. Then your editor gets hold of it ...

Dystopian Stories - Self-fulfilling Prophecies?

Reading an article on one of the several 'feeds' I follow for interesting news, ideas and so on, I came across one that certainly got me thinking. Entitled "What Teen Dystopian Novels Can Tell Us about the Future" it discusses how the genre projects a very bleak image of any future society. It hit a number of points I regularly consider, and reminded me that in my early 'teens and twenties I was also an avid reader of some of the authors and novels she mentions. The scary thing is that, like Orwell's famous "1984" they project futures which are all too plausible. Worse, the ideas within them have slowly entered our lives and our societies.

Step by Step ...

I think that many readers have the impression that an author "writes" the book, the editor checks the grammar, typos and so on, and the publisher does the layouts, conversions (for eBooks) and so on, an artist perhaps creates the cover, and that's it, the book goes to the printing and ... I'm afraid it doesn't quite work like that. 

Beta Readers and their feedback

I have just received the feedback from some of my Beta Readers on Harry Heron; Savage Fugitive and I must say I am pleased with their responses. As you would expect there is some criticism, but there is a lot more that is positive, so now the book can move forward. I have to make a few small adjustments to the story to take on board the criticisms, but in the main, the consensus is they enjoyed it, and loved the characters. As an author you really can't ask for much more!

SciFi; A Challenging Genre

Writers of science fiction face a number of challenges in the genre, not least because our scientific knowledge is expanding so rapidly. However, I think there are a number of other things a ScIFi author has to face as well. First is the possibly most basic aspect of the story; what sort of world is it set within? Here you have a wide range of possibles, from a completely alien world, through a fantasy one, into a 'future Earth', an 'Alternate Earth' and even a 'Past Earth' are all possibles. So are massive space station 'worlds' and even 'Space Ship Arks'. Having selected the type of world, one then faces the choice of what sort of society one is looking to build. A popular 'default' it seems is a sort of dystopia following a war, collapse of society due to a natural event or a pandemic. My choice is usually an extension (I'm an optimist!) of current political and cultural 'norms', often with an undercurrent of dissent and subversive activity.

An important aspect of creating a 'future' is 

Inspiration!

Inspiration is not always straightforward. Sometimes you get a really great idea, and .... it leads nowhere once you start developing it. At others, the idea simply takes on a life of its own and grows into a great story. There really is no way that I have been able to discover, which produces a winner each time. I'm not sure everyone has that problem, perhaps they do, and perhaps, they simply plough ahead and keep hammering at the idea until it does work.

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