How it all began.

We’re coming up on a special anniversary.

Nine years ago, I was just about to press the publish button on my first novel, Freefall. I was really excited as I had actually managed to write a whole story that made sense. Freefall was based on dreams that I had experienced continuously over a long period of time. Once I started to write them down, I realised that they all joined together.

I wrote it in breaks at work, whenever I had a moment to spare, until I was happy that I had got it all in order. I read it so many times that I could almost recite it from memory.

It was, I realised, semi-autobiographical, mixing people, places and events from my seafaring days, adding a bit, changing the names and moving them out into space. My hero, Dave Travise was a trader, flying cargo around the galaxy and having adventures that were far more exciting than the ones I had ever had.

Little did I know, as I wrote it, that it was really part two of the story, the prequel, Myra, would come four years later. The sequel would be another three years after that. And I still get more ideas, for parts of Dave’s life that haven’t been told yet, who knows when they will ever see the light of day?

Back to what happened in 2013.

I got an artist on Fiverr to do me a cover, checked the manuscript for errors and uploaded it all. I set a release date and crossed my fingers that it would sell. I had no concept of marketing it, I told everyone I knew on social media and that was about it.

The original cover.

There was just one final test.

My daughter’s boyfriend was a Sci-fi fan and had expressed a desire to read the book, what would he think? He actually read it while sitting in my car, on the way from Devon to Kent, which made it even more nerve-wracking. I nervously waited for his reaction.

After reading about fifty pages, he announced, “I was worried that I’d have to pretend that I was enjoying it, to avoid being rude. But I don’t have to pretend because I think it’s great.”

That meant a lot to me.

More than this review from Amazon,

Here’s an extract.

Dave has got himself in trouble, by unwittingly taking a fugitive off-planet. She has her own agenda. Little does he know it but his life is about to get very complicated.

Now read on.

“Stop your vessel immediately, this is the Border Patrol, stop and prepare for soft docking.” I looked across at the gyrl, but once again she had melted away. I acknowledged the signal and Myra engaged reverse thrust. Freefall shuddered to a halt.

Two agents entered the lock; both carried sidearms and had full body armour. The largest held out his hand. “Clearance please.” At least I got a please, that made me feel better. I hoped it was a random check; probably Griff had fouled up the clearance. I handed them the fax-tape.

“What are you doing? This says Silver Moons via Tauro, but you just altered course, now you appear to be headed towards the core.”

There was a swish of silks in the entrance.

“He’s taking me back to Callo, I needed to travel at short notice, I hope that’s not going to be a problem.” She had changed into one of Myra’s dresses, fortunately it was one of the more respectable ones, and let her hair down, it made her look a lot older. And her voice sounded different, very assured.

“This is the amended clearance,” she handed him a small disc.

He put the disc in his scanner, his mood changed as he looked at the readout, “Thank you, Senator, that’s all in order, we are looking for a dangerous fugitive, we believe they are headed off-world.”

Both agents saluted the gyrl and then they turned back to me, still suspicious. “Why did you tell customs you were on the way to Tauro?”

“I was trying to avoid a complicated explanation, officer,” I grovelled, thinking that they had me there, when she broke into the conversation, with an air of command.

“That was my idea, officer, I apologize for the confusion, but the Captain was doing what I had told him. The fewer people that know I’m here the better.” I didn’t know if that was a good idea or not, she might be digging herself a hole. She had some guts, I’d give her that.

There was a brief silence; the agents looked at each other, then at her. She carried on, “Well, officer, you can see that it’s not us. Now, is there anything else?”

“No Ma’am, err Senator, have a good trip, and sorry to have bothered you.” With a nod to me, they saluted her again, then turned and went back to their ship. Twenty seconds later, they were detached and heading away.

“Well,” she said; “let’s get on with it then.” But I had had enough.

“Not one inch more until I know what’s going on, who you are and what’s so important about the bag. And you can drop the phoney posh bitch attitude with me as well.”

You can start Dave’s adventures with Myra, read on with Freefall and find out what happens next in Promise Me. And just take a look at these fancy new covers, especially done for me when I finished the trilogy.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

What do you think?

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