Yes, it's June the 2nd, 2008, and Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch hits bookstores across Australia and NZ. Book four in a series I never really believed would be published.
I remember the first time I saw a copy of Hal Spacejock 1 (the Fremantle Press edition) in a bookstore. We'd gone away for a week to recharge our batteries before the book launch, and on the last day I dropped by Dymocks Busselton to browse. There they were ... two shiny new copies of Hal Spacejock, sitting on the shelf!
They were spine out, like all the others on the shelf, and I'd heard about this trick where authors turn their books face out whenever they visited a store, to make them more prominent. I circled the shelves until nobody was looking, then took my books and tried to turn them. Unfortunately the shelf was packed tight, and there was nowhere near enough room.
I scanned the shelf and my gaze fell on this thick Peter Hamilton book at the end. Without that one there, mine would have plenty of space to be turned face out. But what could I do with the thick book? All the other shelves were crammed too!
Then ... inspiration! I grabbed the big fat book, shuffled the rest of the shelf along, and turned the two copies of Hal Spacejock face out.
Then I went to cough up $22 for my new Peter Hamilton book.
And people wonder where I get the inspiration for some of Hal's daft antics ...
Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)