here’s the video from the Ten Little Astronauts launch party, very kindly recorded by Alex Carter (Lexica Films). It all went smoothly in the end, and it was great to see so many people who supported the book while it was crowdfunding, as well as so many who’d only discovered it since!
I had quite a lot of help getting this together, primarily from Crispin and the staff at P & G Wells, but also from Lynda Robertson and (again) Alex Carter who were kind enough to lend a hand on the evening. A huge thanks to everyone who helped make this happen, even if it was just by being there!
Another brilliant review of Ten Little Astronauts, this one by Michael J. Ritchie. Here’s a sample:
Trapped in interstellar space, trillions of miles from home and with no chance of rescue, the ten astronauts must deal with the fact that one among them is a murderer. With no way of being sure who it is, they agree that they can’t go back to sleep until they’ve worked it out. But then more of them die, and as the bodies pile up, so does the tension. They just have to hope that the little grey cells work just as well in space…
As a premise, it works wonderfully. The original novel is of course one of the finest examples of mystery writing in history, with ten people isolated on an island and killed off one by one. The “closed circle” plot is common in the murder mystery genre, and here it’s dialled up to eleven, with the characters entirely isolated from everything and everyone else. Although occasionally erratically paced, the tension ramps up perfectly and you begin to question your own thoughts, because as soon as you think you’ve worked out what’s going on, the rug is pulled from under you and things prove to not be as they seem. A stellar retelling.
Find the rest on Fell From Fiction: “Ten Little Astronauts” by Damon L. Wakes (2018)
If you don’t yet have a copy of Ten Little Astronauts, you might be interested in this competition by Julie Warren, author of Glarnies, Green Berets & Goons: The Life and Legacy of Larry Stephens.
The book tells the story of a little-known figure, Larry Stephens, who nonetheless had a significant impact on British comedy. Like Ten Little Astronauts, it’s already been successfully funded at Unbound, but unlike Ten Little Astronauts it’s not yet in print, so there’s still time to get your name in the back as a patron.
The competition – closing on March 18th – is only open to supporters of Glarnies, Green Berets & Goons and involves unscrambling the annagramatised names of six sitcom characters. If you manage that, you’ll be in with a chance to win a paperback copy of Ten Little Astronauts for your very own!
You can find all the details of the competition here – and good luck!
On Saturday the 2nd of March, I’ll be appearing as part of a panel of self-published authors led by Debbie Young of the Alliance of Independent Authors. This in turn is part of the 2019 Writing and Publishing Weekend, organised as part of Portsmouth BookFest.
The Publishing Weekend sounds like an absolutely fantastic event, and I’ll be sticking around for the whole thing even though I only have to be there for an hour on Saturday afternoon. There seem to be a lot of great people involved, most notably:
- Prominent local author Wendy Metcalfe.
- Fellow Unbound author Suzie Wilde.
- Guardian Masterclass tutor Scott Pack.
Scott Pack is also the Unbound editor who initially took an interest in Ten Little Astronauts and, more recently, provided the structural edit.
If you’d like to attend the Publishing Weekend, tickets are £30 for either day or £50 for both. This compares very favourably with the Winchester Writers’ Festival (which runs to hundreds of pounds but admittedly is a larger three-day event). You can order online here, though do make sure that you’re booking for the Writing and Publishing Weekend specifically – that page offers tickets for everything going as part of BookFest 2019. More details about the Publishing Weekend can be found on this page in particular, including directions to the venue and the full programme for both days.
I hope to see you there! If you are planning to go, please do let me know in the comments below – you can leave one without having an account or even providing an email address. I’m just that chill.
Ten Little Astronauts has now been published and is available for sale – no pledging, no pre-ordering – anywhere you might reasonably expect to buy books! Readers who supported Unbound’s crowdfunding campaign started getting their copies yesterday.
If you’ve got one yourself, please do share a photo – I’m putting together a Twitter moment featuring as many as I can find:
The book is available in a whole bunch of places I’ll be adding to its page on this site as I discover them, but for now your main options are:
Alternatively you should be able to quite simply walk into a bookshop and ask for it. I’m not sure how many places will stock it right off the bat like this, but any of them should be able to get a copy if you request it. This is actually one of the things that will help persuade booksellers there’s a market for the book in the first place, so seriously do consider it instead of flinging money at Jeff Bezos.
That said, though the book has been collecting reviews on Goodreads ever since it was serialised by The Pigeonhole, it wasn’t possible to leave a review on Amazon until today. If you’re one of those lucky people who got an early look – either through the Pigeonhole serial or me sending you a review copy – please do rate it on either Amazon UK or Amazon US (or whatever Amazon is local to you). I know Amazon sucks and has a terrible habit of feeding what you write directly into a digital shredder for any number of poorly defined reasons, but reviews there are one of the things that really helps an author out.
Finally, because I just can’t say it enough, thanks to everyone who helped get Ten Little Astronauts to where it is today. Whether you supported the crowdfunding campaign directly or just shared it around, this is the moment it was all leading up to. I’m looking ahead to a launch event after Christmas, and I hope to see lots of you there!
Ten Little Astronauts is now in print, just in time for its trade publication date: December 13th. The copies I’ll be taking to book fairs – including the Hampshire Writers’ Society Members’ Book Fair on the 11th – arrived just today!
This seems like as good a time as any to share the cover with everyone, especially because it’s already showing up on Amazon, where (among other places) you can now pre-order copies. Naturally supporters of the book got a look at the cover as soon as it went to print. Continue reading
I promise that the title of this post isn’t pure gibberish: Ten Little Astronauts is being serialised by a company called The Pigeonhole. The story will be sent out as ten “staves” at a rate of one a day, meaning that if you subscribe before Thursday October 11th you should be able to read the whole thing along with everyone else who’s signed up: it’s a bit like a book club. And it’s free!
There is one catch, though: there are only a limited number of slots available and they’ve been going quickly. I’ll be following the serial myself to respond to readers, and I’m working on a Q&A sent by The Pigeonhole right now. That won’t be available anywhere else, so by all means grab a slot even if you’re due to get a copy of the book!
Setting up an account involves only an email and password, and once you’ve done that it’s not just my book that’s on there. You can also read titles by lesser-known authors such as Jodi Picoult and Jeffrey Archer (whoever they are). So that’s something.
If you’d like to support Ten Little Astronauts but haven’t already, this is your absolute last chance. The supporter list will close at midnight on September 17th, UK time. If you’ve never even heard of this book before, here’s a video – filmed on board a submarine – to tell you what it’s all about:
Everybody who supports a book at Unbound gets their name listed in the back to record their contribution. But with Ten Little Astronauts set to launch next month, the thing has to be typeset and printed which means – inevitably – they have to call time on adding new supporters.
If you’re reading this before the deadline, please do consider spreading the news however you can. Post it on Facebook. Send out a tweet. Print out this blog post, fold it into a dainty origami swan and foist it on somebody while shouting “HONK! HONK!” I promise I won’t judge you (though can’t speak for anyone else).
Remember: if your name’s not on the list by midnight on the 17th, it won’t be in the book!
We did it! Ten Little Astronauts has all the funding it needs to make it into print (and then some!). Unbound has just moved it over to the paperback list, which means it now has 131% of its target. That’s pretty incredible, and it’s all down to the people who pledged or just generally helped to get it in front of enough readers to make this happen. Continue reading
The Christmas deadline for funding Ten Little Astronauts has now passed, but since nobody’s in the Unbound office over the holidays there’s technically nothing stopping people from contributing. If you meant to pledge before Christmas and are currently kicking yourself for missing your chance, don’t do that. There’s still time, and your support can still make a difference.
It’s pretty much certain that there are still people out there who’d pledge if they simply knew about the book – so if there’s a friend you’ve been meaning to tell about it, it would be absolutely great if you could do that – but personally I’ll be focusing on other things for the next little while. Once Unbound opens up again in the New Year I expect to hear from Scott Pack about what the options are for Ten Little Astronauts – at 72% funded and with 245 people already lined up to get a copy, I think it’s in a pretty good position right now – but until that happens there won’t be much news.
In the meantime, I’m hoping to get this year’s flash fiction anthology – We All Saw It Coming – wrapped up while it still is actually this year. Ideally I’d like to get the ebook out before 2018, but the paperback may be a little longer. I might also do a little work on the interactive sci-fi story I offered as a reward for the first 150 supporters of Ten Little Astronauts. I’ve been looking forward to working on that for a long time!
As always, thanks to everyone who’s put in a pledge for Ten Little Astronauts, or even just passed it on to somebody else. The response to this book has been just mind-boggling, and everyone who’s done anything to help it out has had a hand in that. Thanks!