Recommended Reads: Rogue Genesis by Ceri London

Rogue Genesis

The Blurb

 

Major Niall Kearey is split between two worlds.

He lives on Earth, but his mind can visit Astereal, an alien world across the universe.

He’s just discovered his fantasy planet is real. To the telepathic race on Astereal, Niall is a legend and military leader. Now the dueling forces of the dark stars are tearing Astereal apart and prophecy says he can save them from an apocalypse. On Earth, Niall’s growing psychic abilities attract unwanted attention putting his family in danger, but his attempt to rescue them has horrific consequences. With alien invasion a real threat, the US government designates him a security risk while a secret political conspiracy seeks to control him and this first contact with extra-terrestrials. Now Niall is torn between protecting his loved ones, saving an alien race, and his duty to Earth. As history opens his eyes to the full potential of his psychic powers, he finally confronts the disturbing scale of his dilemma. Will his attempts to save one world end up destroying two?

One man. Two worlds. Psychic powers and an alternate world view that rewrites history.

The Review

Major Niall Kearey is an all action hero with an edge, he can sense danger before it happens. By allowing his subconscious to escape into an imaginary world he’s known since he was a child, Kearey is able to identify a way out of danger and then act. But then he discovers a shocking truth. The world he’s known for so long isn’t imaginary but real, and they need his help to save their population before the planet’s consumed by a black hole.

If you like your science fiction big, full of action and ideas, then this is the book for you. In Rogue Genesis, Ceri London successfully combines the raw excitement of a military conspiracy thriller with the ideas and scope of a space opera, taking the two separate storylines, one on earth, the other on Astereal, and intelligently drawing them together to a satisfying conclusion.

The two worlds, the dystopian conspiracy on Earth and the collapsing civilisation on Asetreal are very well put together. You cannot help but be pulled along by Kearey as he tries to do what’s best for his family, his country, and his friends on another planet. The action scenes are tough and visceral, and there are enough twists and turns to keep

This is a big book and it’s unsurprising there are the occasional missteps. At points the action slows as each of the elements are brought into alignment. Sometimes there is too much reliance on the science behind what’s happening, making the story more, rather than less confusing. There is also an issue that Major Kearey reaches the peaks of desperation quite early in the story, meaning emotionally he has nowhere else to go, which can be a little draining. However, for the quality of the writing, the scale and ambition of the story, and the sheer breadth of ideas make this a book worth reading. I can’t wait to read the next. Recommended.

To buy Rogue Genesis from Amazon.co.uk click here

To buy Rogue Genesis from Amazon.com click here

 

Recommended reads are either independently published books – or those that are published via a small press – that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.

Advertisements

My top 10 blogging tips on building an audience

blogging wordcloud

image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barnett/ licensed under creative commons

 

It’s been a week of milestones for my little blog. Firstly, I passed the 30,000 views mark. For a blog that’s been going less than two years, where I post on average once a week, I’m both thrilled and humbled by this achievement.

The second milestone is that this is my 200th post. It has been quite a ride since I first posted about a cat that defecates in my garden and I’ve learnt an awful lot along the way. My blog has changed from being a platform for me to play around with writing to a blog about writing, and specifically self-publishing. During my blogging time I’ve published two books, met many wonderful people, been introduced to the wonderfully supportive writing community, as well as discovered some fantastic books by new and exciting authors.

Thank you to all of you who read, comment and share my posts. You are a wonderful group of people and it’s a pleasure knowing you.

In order to celebrate these milestones, I thought I’d pass on my top 10 tips on building a blogging audience. Of course, if your blog is very personal, building an audience may not be your goal, so many of these won’t apply, but if you are looking to increase your readership then these tips are a good place to start.

1. Post regularly

The more regularly you post, the more likely people will find you and follow you. I see a significant drop in my weekly visitor averages if I post less than once a week. If I post more than once a week those averages not only rise, but grow week on week. It’s hard work (which is why I usually write just one post per week) but the response is worth it.

2. Have a purpose

When I first started blogging it was purely as a medium to play around with writing. I wrote about all sorts of things, some of which people found interesting, others that were barely read at all. However, as my blogging became more about one subject – writing and self-publishing – I found an audience – you! That doesn’t mean I post solely about writing and self-publishing, but the majority of my posts are in this area.

3. Keep posts to under 1000 words

This is a great rule of thumb. It doesn’t mean every post should be under this limit, but the shorter the post, the more likely it will be read to the end.

4. Don’t think what you would like to write but what you would like to read

This is based on a lesson I learnt while writing fiction. During the first draft, an author will often include lots of back story and explanation. It’s an important part of the writing process and enjoyable to write, but it’s as dull as hell to read and often gets culled during the editing process. Just because something is fun to write, doesn’t make it interesting to read. Make sure your posts offer your readers something, whether it’s knowledge, insight or a different perspective.

5. Interact with your readership

Except for my Recommended Reads, I always end my posts with a question (there’ll be one at the end of this post too). Sometimes this can be ignored but often it starts a debate which generates further interest in the subject. If somebody is kind enough to comment on your blog, answer them, promptly if possible. I’ve met many of my favourite bloggers and writers this way, as we discuss the topics raised, but even if it’s just a plain ‘thank you,’ it will mean a lot and encourage them to visit again.

6. Be yourself

The best blogs develop a little community of regular readers, based on a shared view, love or experience. The only way you can do this is by being yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t exaggerate or suppress aspects of your personality as you write, but to be effective there has to be a core part of you within your blogging.

7. Don’t be afraid to be opinionated

I’m not suggesting that every post should be deliberately provocative, but people like a good argument. If you have an opinion on a subject, give it. You will never be able to please everybody with what you write so don’t try to. Rather than avoid subjects or opinions you feel could be controversial, embrace them. Sure, this may turn off some readers but at the same time you will get to find your audience.

8. Be gracious when people disagree with you

If you are going to give your opinion, expect people to disagree with you. When this happens, read what they have to say and see if it makes sense to you. If it does, then don’t be afraid to concede the point. If it doesn’t, be gracious in your reply. Some of my favourite readers disagree with me often. Occasionally they have a point. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

9. Use social media to promote your blog

The WordPress reader is a lovely tool to discover new blogs but it has a limited audience. It was only when I started to actively promote my blog via twitter that my numbers began to grow. WordPress have a great system called Publicize, where you can link your blog to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) and each time you post it is shared on the social media platform of your choice. Using the right tags and hashtags also helps to promote your blog outside your existing audience.

10. When in doubt, use a list

Can you see what I did there? There’s nothing better than a large block of text to turn readers off. Instead, structure it into a way that’s easy to digest. By far my most popular posts are structured around lists. This is no coincidence. With lists, people are able to quickly discover the gist of the post and decide whether to read further or not.

So, these are my top 10 tips, but what are yours? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Do you like intelligent thrillers? If so, join my mailing list and get one of my 5-star rated near-future dystopian thrillers absolutely free. The mailing list is guaranteed spam free and I will only contact you if I have a new book launch or an exclusive short story to share. To sign up, please click here.