Ammonite Planets by Gillian Andrews
This omnibus edition exclusive to the Kindle bookstore brings you the first three books of the award-winning Ammonite Galaxy series - a thousand pages in one volume!
Meet Six and Diva for the first time in this special omnibus edition of the first three books in this series, starting with Valhai, which is a Readers Favorite award-winning book and a Parsec Awards finalist.
EXTRACT:The two occupants were staring at each other in disbelief.
“You’re a no-name!” said Diva, and took a step back.
“And?” said Six, and took a step forward.
“Don’t come near me!”
“I was only going to offer you my hand!” Six said, plaintively.
“I wouldn’t touch your grubby hand if I were drowning in a sea of Xianthan crocodiles!” snapped Diva.
“Oh, So sorry, your mulchiness. If I could I would instantly remove my presence, but you may have noticed this cabin is for two, and we happen to be locked in.”
“There must be some mistake. Kindly stay on your own side of the cabin!”
Author Q & A
#1. Has living in Spain had a positive or negative impact on your writing?
Both! Positive, because I live a rather more isolated life, which means that I can spend more time writing. But very negative in two ways: Firstly that my husband doesn’t speak English, which means he can’t read my books and give me feedback, something I miss. Secondly, it is extremely hard to market books in countries you don’t live in. I wish I could go to conventions, organize book signing tours, and do all the things that other authors do – but I can’t.
#2. What advice would you give to a writer just starting?
The best advice I ever received came from Janet Evanovich. In her book “How I write” she recommends not reading while you are writing, and that is the single best piece of advice I ever came across. Once I stopped reading it became much easier to write. Now I never read when I am writing, because if I do I find bits of other authors seeping into my own books. So, for most of the year now, I do sudokus and read only newspapers. Then, when each book is finally out, I blitz on a book binge for a month or so.
#3 Your books are set in a unique and exciting universe. How much is based on actual science?
I wanted them to be as far-reaching as possible, but with a scientific background people could look into if they wanted. I have always found quantum non-locality absolutely fascinating, and it seems to me that the best way to travel through the universe would be by quantum decoherence. Those two concepts run through the whole series, and have a solid scientific foundation – which I may have extrapolated quite a lot.
I also try to put one solid ‘new’ scientific element in each book. Researching that is a lot of fun. It is amazing how many real scientific concepts sound like science fiction. Stopped light, for example. Dr. Lene Hau’s research which managed to slow light down allows so many things to become possible.
#4. How do you combine family life and writing?
Not very well! Most of the time my head is somewhere in the Ammonite Galaxy, light years away, and I think the family can find that pretty irritating. I only go shopping once a week when I’m writing and I tend to just cook two or three things over and over again because that’s the easiest and quickest thing to do. I am told this can be annoying, too 😉 I find I get very protective of my writing schedule and don’t like other things to get in the way.
In fact, I realized the other day that I hadn’t even been out of the house for five days! So I think you could safely say I get a bit obsessed about it. I’m trying to improve, but luckily I have a great family who are very supportive and don’t complain too much.
#5. What are the downsides to being a writer?
The insecurity and the continual, nagging, dragging longing for reassurance. It’s a lonely profession because it is very hard for other people to join you inside your world and share it with you. The insecurity comes from that, I think. It may have taken you years to write your recent book, which you secretly think is the best thing since Tolkien. Then someone might say: “Never read Science Fiction. Hate the stuff.” Even a comment like that can be devastating, because you actually expect everybody else to be just as enthusiastic as you are.
It is difficult to understand that people aren’t going to immediately rocket you to superstar status, even if there is a tiny voice inside you telling you that you deserve it. When you finish a book you are drained inside. It’s a cold place to be, and the only answer I have found is to start another book.
#6. What is your average day like? Do you have time for hobbies?
Hobbies? What are those? 😉 Since I started The Ammonite Galaxy series I haven’t had any hobbies; I‘ve barely had time to get anything done at all. For anyone thinking of starting to write a series: it’s a long haul. It has taken me five years so far, and that is working full-time, day in, day out.
Usually I exercise for half-an-hour, quickly do my husband’s accounts, write from about 09.00 to 12.30, juggle the washer and dryer at least 5 times (because my husband has a restaurant). Then I make lunch for me and whoever else may be in that day, do the dishes and fold the tablecloths I washed in the morning. Then I write or work again until about 17.00, followed by another half-hour exercising in my makeshift gym. And that’s it! The evening meal, some television and I’m done. You might notice that there is not a lot of room for housekeeping in there. That has been on emergency service only for the last few years.
I used to have hobbies: horse-riding, walking, boats, reading. Now I’m lucky if I find time to put ONE post up on Google plus!
It might seem like a boring life to lots of people – but then I travel further in my mind than most everybody else. I’m not complaining; I love what I’m doing.
#7. Facebook or Google+?
Oh, that’s very easy: Google+. Facebook is more for social and sociable people, I think. I live an isolated life which simply doesn’t seem to work so well on Facebook. I also got inundated with suggestions to friend all my children’s cronies, and if I slipped up and did I used to get horrified ‘Oh my God, you haven’t!’ type looks. I learned pretty fast not to do that, which means that my Facebook profile has been orphaned for the last few years. I’m afraid I gave up.
Google + suits me. It’s much more impersonal and you can build up a lot of followers just by posting and reading posts. I check in at least once a day and try to post for or five times a week. I like the way it can be completely separate from friends and family.
#8. Sci-fi: Dystopia v. Alien Worlds?
No question in my mind: Alien worlds! I want to be transported across the universe, and I want to meet aliens that make my jaw drop.
Recently there seems to have been a tendency to do Earth Dystopian series. That’s fine, but I still prefer the ‘Outer Space’ type of thing. I like strange new worlds and even stranger new aliens. But I also like a good back story for the aliens, if possible, and lots of good people trying to do the right thing. Pretty basic classical sci-fi, really. But I prefer my aliens not to eat humans. I like them to have rational minds and not be just monsters.
In Star Trek, for example, I liked the Ferengi, the Klingons ,species 8472, the wormhole aliens and even the Borg. Anything which takes me somewhere so far away that it is a struggle to come back to earth again. For me, that is the definition of science fiction. Fantasy worlds are fine too … I loved the Harry Potter series.
But I read any and every genre. Sometimes I like fantasy and sci-fi, sometimes crime, sometimes romance, sometimes mystery. I’m pretty much a book junkie.
I am English, although I live in Spain now. I’ve worked at all sorts of things, but have been writing too, on and off, since I was little. I have always been passionate about cosmology and astrophysics, so it was exciting to be able to bring that aspect into the series. I recently finished a masters in astronomy and astrophysics.
Valhai is the book I always wanted to write, but I got so involved with the characters myself that I simply had to go on writing about them, which turned a one-off novel into a series. I hope readers will identify with them and enjoy them too. I myself have been practically living in The Ammonite Galaxy for the last five years. It has become so real to me that I can almost touch it!
The books out so far in the series are:
Book One: Valhai
Book Two: Kwaide
Book Three: Xiantha
Book Four: Pictoria
Book Five: The Lost Animas
Book Six: The Namura Stone (published September2014)
Book Seven: The Trimorphs (to be published 2015)
Ammonite Planets is the omnibus edition of Books #1-3 and is exclusive to the Kindle store, and Ammonite Stars is the omnibus edition of Books #4-5, also exclusive to the Kindle store.
Website: | www.valhai.com | www.kwaide.com |www.xiantha.com | Google plus: