Posts Tagged ‘The Kingdom of Four Rivers’

From the Avon Advocate – 3/6/09

Looks like I’m famous…again. I like this photo better than the last one. I’ve been gratified by the response to the novel, and sales have reached or exceeded expectations. Avon Valley residents can still get a copy of The Kingdom of Four Rivers from Monopolies Toys & Books in Northam, or direct from the author (me). Leave a comment hereabouts if you desire…


The Kingdom of Four Rivers – officially launched

Yesterday I had my book launch for The Kingdom of Four Rivers in the Northam Boulevard. It was a nerve-wracking experience for me, but I was mightily relieved at the end to discover I had sold all but five copies of my stock. The event had been well supported by the Avon Advocate, Monopolies Toys & Books, the Avon Valley Arts Society and Northam Senior High School – all of which helped to make the day a success. My heartfelt thanks go out to anyone who has helped in any way with this project, and especially to those of you who came and bought a book yesterday! I even got a ticking off from one astute gentleman over a grammatical issue on the book’s blurb. I won’t point it out here, but I wish someone had pointed this out before it was too late! Extra points will be awarded for those who can discover any proofreading issues in the book itself. I counted four (very) minor issues in total, which seems reasonable.

So where to now? Those still interested in obtaining a signed copy of The Kingdom of Four Rivers have a couple of options. Firstly, you can make your way into Monopolies Toys & Books in Northam, which has plenty of stock. Secondly, you can order direct from the publisher at Equilibrium Books . Thirdly, you can leave a comment hereabouts and I’ll see what I can do for you.

I am hoping to expand the retail availability of the novel somewhat, but I’m under no illusions as to how grinding this process is likely to be. If you can help in any way with this, let me know.

From the Avon Advocate 29/4/09

April 29, 2009 Leave a comment


The Method to My Madness Part Two, or Yellowcake Springs: 40 in 40

January 27, 2009 1 comment

I did it – I completed 40,000 words of my new novel Yellowcake Springs in 40 days, leaving me one more day of my summer holiday to bask in glory. I’ll get to basking in a minute. It was a struggle for much of this time and there were a dozen reasons why I could have given up, but I didn’t, so now I’m the proud owner of 138 double spaced pages of print. Yippee.

The madness is  in thinking that all of this means something, that I am (or at least might be) on the road to success, even if I can’t write an entire novel in 28 days or less – not without the relevant CD anyway 😉 The madness is in attempting to write a novel when you’ve got six weeks of freedom only, and by freedom I mean about two hours in the morning when my wife frees me from the need to look after my 3 and 1 year-old children. That’s the mad part.

The method is in having adapted my writing to fit around the strictures of my workaday existence.  I am now in the habit of writing novels over the course of two very distinct six week blocks, over the period of two years. I wrote The Kingdom of Four Rivers in Dec 06/Jan 07 and Dec 07/Jan 08 (with revision taking me up to April 08), and now it looks like I might be able to write Yellowcake Springs in Dec 08/Jan 09 (done) and Dec 09/Jan 10. I’m actually starting to like this method, as it gives me several months to chew over what I’ve done already with a view to preparing for the second stint. I’m relieved NOT to have the time to continue now, for I’m very definitely out of steam (and out of planning). So now I’ll turn my attention to my job for a while, and leave the subconscious to do the work I know it can.

Map of The Kingdom of Four Rivers

March 16, 2008 Leave a comment


Here is the map my wife Georgie drew for The Kingdom of Four Rivers. I am a little ambivalent about having a map for my novel, as it probably makes KoFR seem more like a fantasy novel, which it certainly isn’t. However, I liked the map Georgie drew so I decided to include it. It makes the story of the novel seem a little more real somehow.

Anyway, I have almost finished line-by-line revision on my manuscript now. The ms. is currently down to around 87,000 words, down from 91,000 in the second draft and 97,000 in the first draft. I have new scenes to write, however, which will hopefully bring the final word count up to around 90,000 words. Interestingly, I have found that I haven’t needed to cut as much out of this manuscript as I did with previous novel attempts. I used to routinely write manuscripts of perhaps 75,000 words, which would be cut down to 55,000 in the second draft. This time, I am finding that there is less need for deletions. I am hoping this means that the book is good…

The entry form for the 2008 TAG Hungerford Award has been released now. I’m hoping to finish working on KoFR and enter it by the end of April. Fingers crossed!

Line-by-line revision on my novel


Well, here it is: my prologue in all its edited glory. I read somewhere recently that you should read your manuscript aloud to yourself to in order to improve the flow of writing. I knew this already, but I thought that I didn’t need to go through this process on The Kingdom of Four Rivers. I was wrong. I’m about 1/3 of the way through editing by ms. by reading it aloud and making changes on the page, and I’ve been making 5-10 alterations per page. So it’s definitely a useful editing strategy.

Hum, I suppose I’d better get back to it then…

The Kingdom of Four Rivers

February 16, 2008 Leave a comment

My novel “The Kingdom of Four Rivers” (henceforth KoFR) is a work of science fiction, but for the most part it doesn’t look much like a work of SF. I don’t want to give too much away at the moment, as this is an unpublished novel. KoFR is set several hundred years in the future, during the years of “Everlasting Peace.” The basic premise is that climate change has rendered much of the planet uninhabitable, leaving small pockets of civilisation living beneath great shields. The novel is set in the fictional country of Four Rivers, which is loosely based on a Chinese province. The story begins with a trading journey made by the Chen family from one shielded settlement to another, and then the discovery of an important artefact. KoFR has three sections, each told by a different narrator: Chen Ji Tao, Kai Sen, and Chen Liang.

KoFR was written, for the most part, in the summers of 06/07 and 07/08. However, KoFR is based on a novel I used to call “Shield” which I first started writing in 2000. I wrote three separate versions between 2000 and 2004, so in a way it has taken me around 8 years to get the damn thing finished. It is my intention to submit my novel into the TAG Hungerford Award, which is for a first novel by a West Australian author. A friend of mine, Nathan Hobby, won this award in 2002 for his novel “The Fur.”