Every few weeks I draw a couple of names from a digital hat and send those lucky folk a signed copy of my novel. (If you're not in the draw - why not? - you can enter here)
Every person in the draw gets a lucky number, and for this draw I've changed things around and put the winning numbers in this blog post.
Before I get to the winners I'd just like to mention that it's only five weeks until the launch of Hal Spacejock Just Desserts, which will be hitting bookstores across Australia and New Zealand right after Christmas.
I do have ONE copy of the book in my possession, and you can see pretty pictures of that rare beast right here. Unfortunately that's a pre-release advance copy, and I can't let it go.
By the way, if you're looking to score a copy of Hal 3 via more conventional means, I'd drop hints about book vouchers when the subject of xmas presents comes up.
In other news, I'm currently the guest author on the ASif forums, and you're more than welcome to drop by and ask questions.
I'm also up to my neck in NanoWrimo, and am 40,000 words or more into Hal 4.
Okay, enough spam and onto the lucky winning numbers. If your number appears below, just reply to the email you received and include your postal address. You'll receive a signed copy of Hal 1 or 2 (mention which you want) and a set of six Hal Spacejock bookmarks:
The winning numbers for draw 1126:
If you missed out, relax! There will be other draws in future. If I get my author copies of Hal 3 before Xmas I'll be sure to give some of those away too, and that means you could be one of the very first to read the book.
If you know you're in the draw but haven't received your email, check your spam folder. Words like 'Free' and 'Winner' are red flags to most ISPs. If you're not sure, just enter again. My software filters duplicates anyway.
There are several special moments in a writer's life: your first story sale, finishing a first draft, getting an agent or securing a publishing contract, handing in a final manuscript and many others.
One of them is receiving an advance copy of your novel in the mail.
Today I opened the door and found a small parcel on the mat. Inside I found not just an advance copy of Hal 3, but also the reprinted edition of Hal 1. Two new books! Bargain!
So, off to the scanner I went:
Hal 3 front and back
Hal 3 spine
Hal 3 reviews pages
Hal 3 dedication
Now, onto Hal Spacejock:
Hal 1 front and back
Hal 1 spine
Hal 1 reviews pages
Can I just say that Fremantle Arts Centre Press have done a stunning job? They're an amazing, dedicated bunch of people and I'd love the Hal Spacejock books to do really well just to reward them for taking a risk on me. They deserve no less than a worldwide bestselling series followed by a string of blockbuster movies.
Edit: I just checked the last few pages of Hal 1 and the publisher has inserted ads for Hal 2 and 3. The Hal 2 page starts with 'But wait, there's more ...' and Hal 3 says 'And that's not all ...' Lovely ;-)
Well, my car anyway. The white sedan in the green circle (bottom right) is my car parked outside my old work place. I'm 95% certain the white vehicle in the red circle (top left) is my wife's station wagon turning into the road.
The discussion will most likely include publicising your work without alienating readers, the care and feeding of literary agents, surviving the editing process with all limbs intact, why self publishing is a good idea - sometimes, the ups and downs of small press, invisible short fiction markets and a whole range of other topics, so feel free to jump in. The more people participate, the more useful the result will be.
I'm your typical internet junky and will therefore be visiting regularly. My goal is to leave no question unanswered - your goal should be to ask the questions ;-)
This is my reward for hitting 20k words during Nanowrimo. (Okay, so it's actually my birthday present. I can still use it as motivation.)
Fuji Finepix S9500
This is my reward if I finish Nanowrimo:
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
You probably think they're the wrong way round, given the camera is worth ten times the Flight Sim, but I need the camera for the Red Bull air race this coming weekend. Organisers have laid out a grass strip on Langley Park (Perth, Western Australia), and this is the exact view I'll be enjoying:
Yesterday (the 11th) was my birthday, but I still managed 2000 words for the day. The graphic above is one of the handy little Nano widgets, and it should keep updating without me having to do anything. Just as well, because I've written 1100 words today and it's nearly 3pm.
Still, that's just over 20,000 words in 12 days, and if I kept this up year-round I'd be able to bash out seven or eight first draft Hal novels a year.
(Okay, so 3 reviews isn't really hype. Work with me on this one.)
They're not fake reviews, and I like the way some reviewers mention how they got their copies - ordered from Australia, sent over by a relative, picked up on a trip to Antartica ... in fact, every which way except via Amazon, who still don't have the books in stock.
It's been a rough start to the month, writing wise, but the whole point of NanoWrimo is that you churn out the daily words whether you feel like it or not.
For the past couple of weeks I've been building an ambitious shelving unit for DVDs, although that's just something I do in rare moments of spare time. (I design and build my own bookcases, each more elaborate than the last. I start with lengths of pine from the local timber supplier and and up with exactly what I want, most of the time. I've been doing this for years, and most of the accessible walls in our house are now covered with bookcases.)
Apart from tinkering with the DVD shelf I also squeeze in 42 minutes on the exercise bike every day. Why so exact? Because I built a laptop shelf for the bike, and 42 mins is the length of most TV shows once they hit DVD. Yes, that's 18 minutes less than watching them on TV, which is the subject of one of my very first blog posts. I can cycle 11km in 42 mins, which is plenty when you're doing it every day.
Anyway, enough of the ancilliary stuff and back to the writing. Last Thursday night I was up until 1:40am and had to get up at 7 the next day, which left me zombie-like from lack of sleep for the whole of Friday. I can scrape by with 7 hours for a couple of nights running, but 4 1/2 is nowhere near enough. I still managed 1500 words on that day, but I daren't re-read them. You need to be fresh to write well, which is rule #1.
On Saturday we took the kids to a local agricultural fair at 11am, got home at 2:30pm zonked out after rides, sideshows and various sugary treats, and then had to rush the eldest daughter to a birthday party for 3pm. Picked her up again at 6pm, and rushed her home just before the inlaws arrived for dinner. Had a good meal and chatted & played games until 10:30pm or so. Kids to bed, and I managed about 1000 words afterwards. It was a good family day and the kids had an absolute riot but it's not one you'd highlight as an example of getting words on paper. Got to bed around 12:30. You need to be single and living in a monastery to write lots, which is rule #2.
Today I pulled out all the stops and wrote 2239 words, which got me back on track. My running total is 8317 words and that's just 183 behind my self-imposed target of 8500. Sometimes you just have to shut the door and get to work, which is rule #3.
Apart from the writing I also applied the last coat of varnish to my DVD shelves and scavenged a full length mirror the neighbours threw out, took it apart, stripped the old paint and helped my eldest daughter apply three coats of navy blue acrylic to the bare timber. It was dry in no time so I gave the glass a good cleaning before putting the whole thing back together. I fitted it to her cupboard door, and while she's not the fairy princess type, is she happy with that mirror or what? Sure, we could have gone out and bought one but it was a whole lot more satisfying to do the job ourselves - and that's rule #4.
Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)