Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pronoun is closing

Well, well. Pronoun is closing. <sigh> Yet again I have to revamp all my books and take them elsewhere for distribution. I'm guessing that Draft 2 Digital offered Amazon a better deal than Macmillan, and Macmillan now no longer has any use for the very excellent Pronoun. I suppose one good outcome was that D2D was sufficiently shaken by Pronoun's presence to cause it to lift its game in formatting.For those interested, I'll return to D2D for distribution to B&N, Inktera, Kobo, and iBooks. I'll publish via Amazon myself - so two different versions of the books files have to be created and submitted. Then all the links have to be fixed everywhere. And if Amazon doesn't automatically pick up the previous version and link reviews, I have to ask them to do it. I frankly don't bother with other sites - I don't have many reviews anywhere else.

I've got a lot of work to do.

I'll be re-introducing my SF to Spacefreighter readers, starting with the Dryden Universe books. So stick with me. You might come across something you didn't know about.

I’ve written stories based in a number of different universes/worlds, but the most recent is the Dryden Universe. This was an idea floated by Katie Papilio and Tracy Vincent – create a universe where authors agree to share their settings and characters with anyone who wants to, based on Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA. You could say it’s a franchise open for anyone to write a new story. Note that the author still retains copyright to any story he or she writes, and the franchise has no rights to any earnings.

It seemed like a good idea to me, worth dipping in a toe. I had an old fan fic lying around in a virtual bottom drawer. Back in the day I thought it was a pretty good effort, so I dragged it out with the idea of doing a bit of tweaking so it wasn’t fan fic anymore, dusted it off, and took a look.

Oh dear.

Dear reader, it was truly awful, with every writing 101 mistake you’ve ever seen on a Rules of Writing list. But… after a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth, I read it again with a minimum of wincing and realized the story was okay, just the execution was (sadly) lacking.

I set to work changing the characters, changing the setting, and ended up doubling the length of the story at the behest of my wonderful editor. It’s called A Matter of Trust.

Princess Amira is ready to start a new life after the death of her husband, but that doesn't include marrying the man her father picks out for her. Pursued by his agents, she races across the galaxy in a desperate search for a safe haven.

Amid simmering tensions at the edge of the Empire, Amira renews her acquaintance with Imperial Admiral Ul-Mellor. Although his detractors call him the Demon Admiral, Amira finds him intelligent, articulate, and very attractive.

But Ul-Mellor is not human and Amira is a princess – far above Ul-Mellor's status on his home world. He and Amira will have to overcome a gulf of cultural and class differences if they're to turn their mutual attraction into a relationship. And what will Ul-Mellor do when faced with a choice – Amira or his hard-won commission?

Here’s a short excerpt, set after the dinner party they both attended has ended.

"You're not returning to your ship?" Amira asked Ul-Mellor.
"Lord Brom has been kind enough to offer us accommodation for the night so we can discuss our efforts with his pirates in the morning. The garden here is beautiful, and it's a mild night. Perhaps you and I can discuss archaeology on the terrace?"
Amira's heart sang. "That would be wonderful." Perhaps she could talk to him about what was happening to her? But then, why would an Imperial admiral be interested?
Leaving the remaining guests in conversation with Lord and Lady Brom, Ul-Mellor ushered her outside into warm darkness. Some of the larger trees were lit with spotlights at the base, creating pools of brightness fading into shadow. The waterfall gurgled next to the tea house.
"Shall we go to the tea house?"
"Best not." Ul-Mellor took her arm and guided her to a bench, where he sat. "I want this to be a private conversation."
Amira sat beside him and stared. "There's surveillance?"
"In a few places, yes. The passages, the guest rooms. I wouldn't trust the tea house. Too easy to plant a listening device."
"The guest rooms? Really?"
He nodded.
"I hadn't thought of that," Amira said softly. "I thought I would be safe here, but now I'm not so sure."
"You're not." The words were sharp, decisive.
Her pulse pounding, she stared at him. "Why do you think I'm not safe?"

A Matter of Trust is a novella. Some of the people, and the aliens, in this first story appear in later stories, as I moved further into this setting.

The book is available at  Amazon B&N Kobo iBooks Inktera


  1. I read A Matter of Trust and loved it. What is the next one?

    1. That's wonderful - this is why we write :)

      The Dryden stories are mainly stand-alone. You'll find the whole lot here (The links work to Amazon and iTunes - I'll update the others as they come)

  2. I saw something about this on FB but didn't really understand what it meant. I'm so sorry about the hassle, argh!

    1. Yes, it's a pain. I have 21 books to rehome twice - and the links...

  3. Gosh, Pronoun didn't last very long, did they?! Another here-we-go-again indie book publishing saga. Let me know if you need help for Goodreads if required.

    I really enjoyed A Matter of Time and the other Dryden books :-).

    1. As usual, I forgot about Goodreads (I never go there). I'll be in touch.


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