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My one and only novel, ELVENE, has been published as an e-book by IP (Interactive Publications) and also POD at Glasshouse Books, a Queensland based company. The cover is by Aaron Pocock, so it’s an all-Aussie affair, though I believe Dr. David Reiter, who founded IP, is an ex-pat American.
I haven’t met David or Aaron, or even spoken to them, such is the facility of the internet. Even though IP engaged Aaron (I paid for the artwork), we corresponded via an intermediary, and I’m very pleased with the results. I believe he captured both the atmosphere and the right degree of sensuality that is reflected in the text itself. I’ve always been a strong believer that the cover should reflect the content of the book, both contextually and emotionally.
If you read the blurb on the web site (written by me) you may be mistaken in the belief that this is a variation on James Cameron’s Avatar. Nothing against Avatar, but I need to point out that ELVENE was written in 2001/2, about 8 years before Avatar was released, but I suspect we have been influenced by the same predecessors, in particular, Frank Herbert’s 1965 classic, DUNE. If any of you have seen Miyazaki’s anime, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (refer my recent post, 5 Oct.10) you may also see some similarities. I did when I saw it in 2006, even though it was first released in 1984. Obviously I can’t be influenced by something I didn’t even know existed, but I’m happy to be compared with Miyazaki anytime.
The book contains oblique references to Clarke, Kubrick, Coleridge, Kipling and even Barbarella (her ship was called Alfie for you train-spotters). So, whilst Avatar could be best described as Dune meets Dances with Wolves, Elvene is Dune meets Dances with Wolves, meets Ursula Le Guin, meets Ian Fleming, meets Barbarella, meets Edgar Rice Burroughs. So my influences began with the comic books I read in the 1950’s, not to mention the radio serials I listened to before TV (yes, I’m that old). At the age of 9, I started writing my own Tarzan scripts, and I started drawing my own superheroes about the same time, possibly a bit older.
I once described ELVENE as a graphic novel without the graphics, and more than one person has told me that it’s ‘a very visual story’. An interesting achievement, considering I believe description to be the most boring form of prose (refer my August post on Creative Writing).
Most people who’ve read it ask: where’s the next one? Well, the truth is that I have started a sequel but I find it hard to believe I will ever write anything as good as ELVENE again. It really feels like an aberration to me. I’m not a writer as a profession, more a hobbyist, nevertheless I’m proud of my achievement. It’s not for everyone, but I’ve found that women like it in particular, including those who have never read a Sci-Fi book before. Maybe it’s a Sci-Fi book for people who don’t read Sci-Fi. I can only let others be the judge.
Two unsolicited reviews can be found at YABooksCentral: one by a teenager and one by a retired schoolteacher (both women).
More reviews can be found here.
Also available on Amazon, iBookstore, Lightning Source (Ingram) and ContentReserve.com.