Thursday, 12 December 2013

PROMOTION, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY - THE SPIRAL ARM EPISODES BY PETER BOLAND

THE SPIRAL ARM SERIES PROMOTION
ASIN:  B00CX39E72
Series:  The Spiral Arm
Genre:  Dystopian science fiction
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages/File Size:  75pages/267KB
Formats Available: E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads
This is the first novella-length episode in the series.

Wren Harper lives on an overcrowded Earth on the brink of apocalypse. There are just too many people. The answer lies 600 light-years away on Kepler; a planet more than double the size of Earth. For decades humans have been fighting another race for its control. Earth’s armies are depleted, so now 15-year-old cadets are sent to fight, trained along the way in vast combat ships. But why has Wren been chosen? She's small and geeky and not a fighter. Will she survive Kepler? Or will the training kill her first?

Praise for Episode 1 . . . .
“It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.”
“Everything about this story is intriguing.”

“… the beginning of a great space opera.”


ASIN:  TBC
Series: The Spiral Arm
Genre: Dystopian science fiction
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages/File Size: TBC
Formats Available: E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads
This is the second novella length episode.


Wren is in the most dangerous place imaginable. A training ship full of fledgling killers, heading to a war-torn planet. She’s struggling to keep up - the other cadets aren't impressed. But Wren’s not done for yet. She’s a survivor and uses the one thing she’s got to even the odds. Her super-smart brain. 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Peter Boland lives in Dorset, in the UK with his lovely wife Shalini Boland (who some of you may have heard of, I highly recommend her books! ) who is also an Author and their two boys.

Where did the idea for The Spiral Arm come from?
It started off as a TV script about seven teenagers floating across the universe in an escape pod, a kind of Big Brother in space. Getting TV made is notoriously difficult, so I tried adapting it into a book. It didn’t work. So I rewound the story. Where did this escape pod come from? Why were they all teenagers? The idea of a vast training ship full of teenagers popped into my head, a kind of Hogwarts in space. That’s when the Spiral Arm took shape.

Would you say Wren Harper is an intriguing character?
Yes, she’s shy and a bit of a loner. She thinks she’s weak but there’s a thread of steel running through her. She’s a fish out of water, surrounded by elite super fit, aggressive teenagers who are all ultra-competitive. But Wren’s smart and uses her brain to get her out of some pretty nasty situations.  

What made you decide to write in episodes?
It suits my writing style. I like the plot to move along quite quickly rather than stretching it out.

How many seasons of The Spiral Arm will there be?
Well, it takes four years for the training ship to get to its destination, the planet Kepler. The cadets will be trained along the way. When they finally get to Kepler, the cadets on board will be young adults and expected to fight, so there’ll be at least four seasons, maybe five.

When do you do your writing?
Mostly in the evenings after work. I’m a writer for my day job as well, so sometimes I can spend up to 10 hours a day writing. Sadly only a small part of that is novel-writing.

So your day job is writing too what sort of writing is that?
Yes, I’m a copywriter by trade, which means I come up with ideas for ads and write the words for brochures and websites.

Does being a copywriter help with the writing?
It’s the complete opposite of novel-writing. In a book you could spend ten pages describing a scene. Whereas, in advertising if you can’t say something in three or four words, no-one will read it.

Could you please describe your writing process to us?
Initially I don’t write anything. I walk around with an idea in my head for weeks, mulling and chewing it over. I found this is the best way to slot everything into place. Then I jot ideas down in a notebook. When I’m happy I’ve got enough raw material, I write down key moments on post-it notes. I stick these to a wall and take a step back and rearrange them until the plot makes sense. Once I start writing properly I’ll still give myself enough room to modify things. 

What advice would you give to first-time writers?
Get a good idea, one that can be summed up in a few words. Strong ideas are usually the shortest. Once you start writing don’t stop. Even if you don’t feel like writing. Your initial enthusiasm will wane after a week or two, that’s when you’ve got to get your head down and carry on.

What’s your favourite book?
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. It’s an awesome read. It’s like Game of Thrones but without the supernatural element. Game of Thrones is my favourite TV series by the way.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
We live by the beach so I surf and mountain bike. I’m also a green tag in Taekwondo which is great for blowing off steam. In between I usually build outrageous things out of Lego with my two boys. 

***GIVEAWAY***
So now you've read about the episodes and have learnt some of the writing process of them how would you like to win Episodes 1 and 2?
Please enter below using the Rafflecopter Form


a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW
ASIN:  B00CX39E72
Series:  The Spiral Arm
Genre:  Dystopian science fiction
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages/File Size:  75pages/267KB
Formats Available: E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads
This is the first novella-length episode in the series.

Wren Harper lives on an overcrowded Earth on the brink of apocalypse. There are just too many people. The answer lies 600 light-years away on Kepler; a planet more than double the size of Earth. For decades humans have been fighting another race for its control. Earth’s armies are depleted, so now 15-year-old cadets are sent to fight, trained along the way in vast combat ships. But why has Wren been chosen? She's small and geeky and not a fighter. Will she survive Kepler? Or will the training kill her first?


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I don't read a lot of sci-fi so I'm not sure what I am going to think to this one. I just hope its not a Star Trekky Alien/Starship type of book. Also this book is done in novella length episodes so how will that be?

MY REVIEW
I purchased an e-copy of this book from Amazon.co.uk for just 77p. The cover is attractive enough and I think after reading Episode 1 that the person on the cover is Wren when she is sat looking or meditating in the observatory with the stars. Would the cover make me pick up the book in a store and purchase it? It would definitely draw me to take a look at it, so yes I think the cover works. Would I purchase it? Well I did from Amazon.co.uk!
So the world is over populated, yet discovered another planet called Keplar that would be perfect to inhabit. So that begins and then some other species comes along and wipes the original settler out.  So a war ensues. The was has been going on many years. So as the armies are obviously depleted by the fight. The way the armies are replenished is at the age of just 15 new recruits are given the "Call Up" they are put on training ships and trained for the 4 years it takes to get to Keplar. 
It's usually the big strong guys that are picked. Wren is a small rather weak looking female who is always being picked on by her fellow students, so she "knows" she won't be in the Call Up ceremony, but attends to watch who is picked to go. At least she'll get rid of some of her biggest tormentors. Wren goes home after the ceremony only to be met by her Uncle with the news that she is in fact being included in this years Call Up.
I won't say any more about the story or I'll end up telling you it all! The main character is Wren, who is an un-confident but "normal" person in every other way. so she's small and looks incredibly weak compared to the other gym muscled cadets.
I liked the writing style and pace of the book and as Episode One ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger I really do want to read Episode 2 when its available.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes I did really enjoy it. Usually the being on a space craft kind of puts me off but I really liked this. Its about the people and the characters primarily.           Would I recommend the book? Yes I would if you liked Beth Revis, Across The Universe and Amy Kathleen Ryan's Skychasers I think you'll love this too.
Would I read another in this series?  Definitely! Would I read other books by this author? Yes.

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