I had fun with this one!
It’s okay, I’m almost done with the whole fanboy episode. But, if you’re not done, and you’d like to see how I celebrated the release of Top Gun: Maverick, then the following blurbs and links might be of interest.
If not, just hit the brakes, and let this post fly right by.
Yeah, couldn’t resist that one! 😉
I wrote two short stories inspired by Top Gun, but wholly different in a Greenlandic kind of way.
I’m always playing around with new characters and new ideas, so starting with some art, I created Lieutenant Ukaliina Nakinngi, call sign Sled Dog.
She’s a bit of a character, to say the least.
Here are the first two short stories. The first one is free.
A bet is a bet and for Lieutenant Ukaliina “Sled Dog” Nakinngi, even the worst odds are preferable to losing. But the creative and intuitive fighter pilot from Greenland has yet to lose a bet, and doesn’t intend to start anytime soon.
There’s a little more art and description on the page for Broken Arrow.
I had fun writing this one, feverishly writing before racing in to Sønderborg to see the movie, and then finishing it when I got home. I crawled into bed around 4 a.m. just as the birds decided it was time to get up.
When terrorists threaten an adventure cruise ship with a missile from a hacked drone, the passengers’ only hope is a mothballed jump jet and a daredevil pilot with the call sign Sled Dog.
And once again, you’ll find a little more on the Call Sign “Sled Dog” page.
I got a bit worried when I read a review saying there were drones in the new Top Gun film, but fortunately there were none. At least, no more than a mention.
That’s it for now. I’ll leave you alone and move swiftly back to Greenland stories, or “other stuff” as I release it.
I hope you have fun with Ukaliina!
Like ’em or loathe ’em, there are more Havoc stories on the way.
The series in chronological publishing order includes:
Nothing more to see here. This is just a reminder to myself to keep moving! Get ’em out there!
Shortly after Christmas last year, still dealing with the fact that we cancelled Jane’s family Christmas due to COVID-19, I discovered that the writer Dean Wesley Smith was running a sale on his courses to help writers during the pandemic, among them was The Great Challenge.
The challenge was to write a short story every week for a year.
Now, I write a lot – not as much as some, but tonnes compared to the majority of traditionally published authors. But the thought of taking on the challenge appealed to me, especially after a weird year.
At this point, I might add that I found 2020 to be a fascinating year – difficult, yes, but fascinating – largely because I read David Quammen’s excellent nonfiction book Spillover in November and December 2019, and then suddenly, damn me if it didn’t come true! I honestly think that book helped me get through the year, just like watching the film Contagion did – an earlier favourite of mine, pre-pandemic and also frighteningly prescient. I should add that I’m not blind to the horror of COVID-19, but reading that book allowed me to take a step to one side and to think of the virus as a living thing, and the challenges of stopping it.
But I digress.
I was looking for a different kind of challenge, and I found one.
I started in the first week of January this year, and have hit the short story a week every week alongside my other projects. Sometimes I wished I didn’t have to write another short story but I did, every week.
Some of the stories have been Christoffer Petersen stories, others by other pen names such as Bran Nicholls. In addition to the fun of writing stories, I’ve had a blast making the covers for them too.
This week will be number 46.
A new story, a new cover, and a new pen name – this one’s secret, the second of my secret pen names. 😉
I’m getting there.
I never intended to write crime books or thrillers. Personally, I prefer fantasy and science fiction stories. Which might explain why there’s a hint of shamanism and spirits in my Greenland Missing Persons series, and some of the Maratse novellas, and, come to think of it, in Narkotika … and then there’s The Ice Circus, and of course, the new character introduced in North Star Bay has a touch of the shaman about him.
Maybe there’s quite a bit of fantasy in my writing.
However, before Christoffer Petersen there was Chris Paton, i.e. me.
He was supposed to forge a writing career with Steampunk novels. But it just didn’t turn out that way.
When I was done with my degree I was also really done with The Ice Star. I had written the whole book three times, changed so many things due to feedback from critique groups and lecturers – cue reason why I don’t use beta readers – it just wasn’t my book anymore. I chucked it to one side after graduation, and thought I would never pick it up again.
That’s when I wrote the first Steampunk book: Metal Emissary.
I loved it. It was so different, so fresh. I loved it so much I wrote three more books, and they got longer and longer. I bought covers, paid for marketing (can’t remember where), and posted about them all over Social Media. And I sold a whopping total of one book a month, sometimes two.
Unfortunately, it cost more to receive the payment in my bank account (don’t get me started on banks) than the royalties I earned from the book. I think every Steampunk book I have sold has cost me money, and they have not paid for their covers. Sigh.
Undeterred, I wrote more Steampunk books. I mean, it was going to happen? Right? It was just a matter of time.
Then, as I may have mentioned before, I quit my teaching job to go on an adventure. Jane and I joined our friends and their two kids for two months on the Yukon River, paddling from Whitehorse, Canada to Tanana, Alaska, USA. I was following in Jack London’s footsteps!
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that on my return I launched a revamped version of The Ice Star, made my own cover, and chucked it onto Amazon while I returned to the serious business of finding another teaching job.
At this point I could tell you what happened next, but I’ll save that for later.
What I really want to say is the success of The Ice Star, and the books that followed, combined with a change in author attitude (okay, and genre) have allowed me to come full circle. While I’m not going to stop writing crime books and thrillers, I am carving out time for a side hustle – in other words, writing fantasy, science fiction, and yes, Steampunk!
In my latest newsletter to subscribers I mentioned I was making a shift to my blog, and the reason for that is to write posts like this one which are less crime book oriented, but more me. I don’t “me oriented”, although I’m sure it sounds like that. 🙂 And it is a blog about me, so I guess it is. But what I mean to say is the blog is for anything I want to write, whereas readers who signed up for the newsletter did so for more crime and Greenland stuff.
There will be plenty of that here, but today is about me thinking about how I started, and sharing a free* short story with you.
The Impossible Floret is a cute and perilous(ish) Steampunk story I wrote earlier this year, and it takes me back to the beginning.
*You will need to add an email address to grab the free story. Your email address is used to record the download only. I will not add you to a mailing list.