- Eden began when I was a teen. I had a dream of being abandoned on the moon (that bastard Neil Armstrong and Buzz!) but I didn't do anything about it until much, much later. Eden took many, many rewrites before I was happy. From that dream you could say it took ten years to write, but the first draft is very different from how it is today. Romance prevails over the sci-fi element.
- I didn't do well at school and was always told I'd never amount to anything, and when I left and joined a creative writing group I was told the old favorite 'write what you know'. I didn't know anything (or so I was told)! But I wanted to write, so I thought the easiest genre would be science fiction, my thought process was that I could make everything up and not have to 'know everything'. Of course, I soon found out I was wrong, every genre needs research and sci-fi has to be based on fact. I discovered a love of astronomy during my research.
- Eden was accepted by Darley Anderson but dropped at the last hurdle because publishers thought it was too niche.
- Eden is in a 'trademark' battle with another book of the same name. There are many Eden books out there and we've all existed without problem for many years, but then a new indie author decided to bombard us with letters from his attorney to 'cease and decease' from using the title Eden.
- I had a 'what if' moment while on holiday and wrote the sequel, Hunted, (in my head) whilst on the beach in sunny Spain. Once I was home I typed out the first draft (50,000 words) in three weeks! I should have entered NaNoWriMo!
How would you cope being abandoned on a planet you and your crew set out to explore?
You're from the 23rd century where everything you want and need is there at the end of a button, but now you're back where civilization began.
There is no chance of escape or rescue.
There is no chance of escape or rescue.
But then you discover you aren't alone, and you realise your nightmare has only just began.
Welcome to Jenny's world on Eden.
Snippet from Eden
Jenny was hurled to the floor. Winded, but managing to crawl out of the spaceship, she glimpsed Bodie turning to look and calling for her to run. Matt picked up a rock and threw it at the alien as it ran towards them.
She began to stand, but dizziness swamped her. Trying to ignore the sensation, she staggered away from the spacecraft, but the ground shifted under her feet. Time was measured for Jenny, yet around her things were moving fast.
‘Jen! Move!’ yelled Bodie. The alien was in between her and the two men who, by now, were at the top of the crater. She couldn’t see them anymore, but only heard Bodie yelling for her.
‘Go! Go! GO!’ she yelled, the movement making her eyesight pixilate. She gritted her teeth against the dizziness. ‘I’m coming!’
‘She’s behind us,’ yelled Matt from somewhere in the distance. ‘Get in your buggy, Bo. Get the fuck in!’
Then, the ground rose up and her head struck a lump of metal debris protruding from the ground.
There was no more shouting. All was quiet and peaceful. Jenny opened her eyes and, in a sudden moment of realisation, she flipped to her side and looked to the top of the hill. With a sick feeling of dread, she rose and scrambled to the top of the crater. It felt like a mountain, and she slipped several times. Expecting to find Bodie and Matt dead; their bodies torn in frenzy under the clawed hands of the alien, she was relieved to find the men and the buggies were gone.
A glint of sunlight reflecting on something in the sky caught her eye. The buggies, now small space shuttles, were on their journey back to Taurus as if being hauled back up by an invisible string.
Jenny climbed into the buggy. With shaking hands, she pressed the controls; nothing happened. She spoke into the transmitter, but remembered that Kate was malfunctioning. Her buggy was immobilised.
‘No, no, no,’ she said. She pressed more buttons on the screen display. She pumped the accelerator, but nothing happened. She couldn’t even close the buggy up; instead, it remained open-topped.
She climbed back out, her hands in her hair as panic momentary claimed her.
‘It’s OK,’ she repeated to herself. ‘It’s OK. It’s OK. Breathe.’
Her forehead hurt; she touched it, expecting her fingers to come away bloody, but they were dry. A lump was beginning to protrude, though, and she suspected she had alien finger-marks around her throat.
She glanced around her, as if afraid the alien was close by. Might it be possible that it had gained access to one of the buggies and was inside Taurus? Kate was programmed to destroy an intruder immediately, but…
She closed her eyes briefly. She couldn’t think that way. She climbed back inside the buggy. She’d be OK. Bodie would realise she’d been left behind. He’d override Kate to get her buggy operational. She’d wait.
She looked upward at the now empty blue sky.
Won’t be long, she thought. Around her, all she could hear was the pounding of her heart. It was a lonely sound. She sat for a long time with her head tilted back, looking up at the vastness, the emptiness, of the sky.
As one of the suns set, she finally acknowledged that she may have to spend a night alone on a strange planet. Feeling vulnerable and highly visible in the buggy, she climbed out and slipped beneath it. With the protection of its thick tracks either side of her, she felt safer, plus she was sheltered from the icy wind that had sprung up.
She huddled in a ball, trying to get comfortable and remain optimistic; however, as the eerie silence stretched and played on her imagination, it was difficult to keep hold of her positivity. As the shadows lengthened and faded, and the remaining seven moons rose and twilight fell, her confidence had all but gone.
Shock and the long voyage through space had exhausted her body. She slept, unaware, and, for a sweet moment, her nightmare of being left on a desolate planet did not present itself in her dreams.
Introducing the sequel...
Jenny found happiness from her extraordinary circumstances after being abandoned on stone-age Eden. With clans of wolf-like people, Neanderthals and a savage tribe of Owains roaming the planet, she and Fly retreat to a protected corner of the world.
But things evolve to remind Jenny that the man she's in love with is an alien, and the world they live on isn't Earth.
This time, it's Jenny's turn to fight for what she wants! It's that, or die.
Snippet from Hunted
Now that her eyes were accustomed to the gloom, Jenny could see a whole array of holes. She heard voices, childlike, and a baby crying. Another face peered out of the wall. Larger, older, than the others, but still a child. Jenny caught herself thinking the word. Child. Early and primitive but children all the same. All were bare of hair, had a small button nose and a wide mouth. But it was their eyes that enchanted Jenny the most. They were blue and humanlike.
There was strange chirping laughter as faces played peek-a-boo with her. It was surreal.
Jenny caught herself. Of course it was surreal. This was Eden, not Earth. She was living with an alien man, having his alien baby, running from giant birds and other alien men and now living with primitive creatures that’d probably rival both Jelvia and Human when they fully evolved.
The pregnant female was looking at her. Jenny stared back as Mum fussed around her with her maracas. The early pain-relief had a lot of catching up to do, Jenny thought, as a contraction made her gasp. As it passed she looked back at the others. They were so unlike wolves. She had only called them that because of the howling. It had been fitting, she thought. ‘But not now,’ she said aloud.
She’d finally seen it with Bo—up close up there was nothing wolf-like about them at all. The pregnant female was lying on her side and the other was rubbing her back as she whimpered and made small chep-chep-chep sounds. Mum made soft noises in return and bustled around her—patting the foliage and furs around her form as if making her comfortable.
Jenny watched them until a wave of pain descended on her so hard she threw back her head and screamed. The pain had no respite now, it was continuous and she no longer noticed her surroundings. Gentle, hairy hands moved around her and pulled off her lower clothes. Then she was lifted beneath the armpits into a half squatting, half-standing pose.
‘Fly-yyyyyyyyyyyy!’ Jenny yelled. A howl outside the cave answered her shout. ‘Oh, Fly,’ she said on a half cry.
There came the soft chep-chep-chep voices in her ear. She smells, was Jenny’s last coherent thought as her body took over from her brain, and the urge to push became so overwhelming it couldn’t be ignored.
Then the agony was forgotten as her baby fell into the soft nest below.