Saturday, May 28, 2005

I love the smell of panic in the morning

I just realised my revisions for book two amount to 40 new scenes. I dropped this little fact into a casual email to my editor, and I should get a reaction early next week. Right after the paramedics have finished with her ;-)

It's not as bad as it sounds. A lot of these new scenes are nothing but a quick cut away for another angle on the action. Shorties with 3 or 4 sentences. Promise.

Others are single scenes split in two, leaving the reader on a cliff hanger while I insert a brief unrelated scene to heighten the tension. Or to drive them mad. Or both.

Anyway, writing 40 new scenes is a fair slab of work. It's not in the 'let's tweak this a bit' category, it's more along the lines of 'let's write half the book again' I'm sure the Press would rather I stuck to tweaking, but I went through a similar crazed author process with the first book and that was ready two months early.

I wrote one scene yesterday and another three today. At this rate I'll have them all done in two weeks.

Who needs sleep anyway?

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I've updated the Hal Spacejock site, adding a bunch of my raytraced images. (Raytracing involves creating a 3D scene in a modeller and assigning textures to all the objects. When it's done you render the scene using a program which simulates how light would react with the surfaces. The classic raytracing example is a couple of glass balls on a chequerboard background, but you can do just about anything with it.) If you're interested, look up the Moray modeller (shareware) and the PovRay renderer (free). Here's a scene I just put together for an example:

Clicking the image will take you to my raytracing page, where you can grab a couple of images for use as desktop wallpaper.

I'm still working on Hal 2, tweaking a shorter version of the summary. It's nearly ready now.

Lots of interaction with my publisher - last week there was a flurry of activity with the cover designer, the sales rep (bookstore sales) and the promotions manager (press releases, etc). There's a Penguin sales conference in June where the sales rep will be presenting upcoming Fremantle Arts books. (Penguin distributes FACP titles outside of Western Australia.) So, last week I worked on a kind of cheat sheet for my book, something to show the 200 or so Penguin reps who will be in attendance. Because humorous SF is a bit of a departure for FACP they're getting me a bit more involved with this kind of thing, which is great. They're also working with Penguin, who DO publish this kind of thing. (e.g. Red Dwarf)
Earlier this week I paid a visit to Westbooks in Burswood, a book store catering to kids and young adults (they sell to the public, but their main business would seem to be with schools around Western Australia). Anyway, I met one of the buyers and introduced myself, and she promised to look out for the book when it comes out. Just think, if they get Hal into schools I could single-handedly put hundreds of kids off reading serious books. As if they need MY help with that ;-)

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)