Welcome to gillianandrews.com!
I am the author of a Sci-fi adventure series called the Ammonite Galaxy series, written for young and not-so-young adults.
I have been lucky enough to have the series downloaded in audiobook format over 300,000 times from Podiobooks, and all the books are now available in trade paperback and Kindle formats too. One of my New Year resolutions this year is to diversify that a little, and I hope to get a presence on Kobo and iTunes in 2014. The Nook is not possible for me at the moment, as I live in Spain, but I gather they are shortly to beta test us Europeans too, so I hope to take advantage of that!
Book Six in the series, The Namura Stone, has just been published and the first draft of Book Seven, The Trimorphs, is ready. All in all the series is keeping me pret-ty busy!
The two omnibus Kindle editions, Ammonite Planets and Ammonite Stars, are also new releases. If you click the covers you will be taken to the amazon.com page in the USA. If you are buying from outside the USA, just search the kindle store for either title.
I would like to thank all those of you who have written to me about the series - it means a huge amount to me. Please keep the comments and the reviews coming - both on the Podiobooks site (where you can now thumbs up or thumbs down the books as well as leave a comment) and on Amazon. For someone like me, your comments are the best marketing possible.
If you are looking for the books, here are some quick links to Amazon and to the individual websites. This is really the author site, so it is more about Gillian Andrews than about the books!
The Namura Stone (just released) - website The Namura Stone
It feels strange to be writing about myself, I feel a bit like leaving a big blank space, and leaving it all to your imagination. So you will have to excuse me if I just talk about whatever comes to mind.
I've just finished a masters in astronomy and astrophysics (International University of Valencia . . . great course . . . www.viu.es). I originally went to university to study astronomy (many years ago, as you will have guessed from the photo). I gave it up after a week having got into an argument with the Tutor. For our first practical, which lasted all night long, he told us to go out to the park, lie on our backs and count the stars. Durr . . . I pointed out that a) that was impossible, b) that it was very cold outside and that the grass would be wet, and c) that I thought it was a stupid thing to ask. He told me to leave. So I pushed off to another university to study maths and economics. Riveting. And only now have found a course to pick up where I left off. It was great to be back, although I found struggling with IRAF pretty discouraging at first.
I can't really say that the above is much help in writing science fiction. I researched everything in Valhai way before I began the course. So any faults in the book have nothing whatsoever to do with Valencia! I do research all the books pretty thoroughly, because I want the science behind them to be a continuation of things readers can Google easily on their own if they are interested enough to want to. That said, there is a world of difference between what is possible in the binary system, and what is currently possible or known here! But I am fascinated by cosmology, which is why these books are what they are. Funny, exciting, and hopefully slightly mind-boggling. At least, that was the intention.
The semi-sabbatical meant that the follow-up novel, Kwaide, the second in The Ammonite Galaxy series, only came out a year after the first. I took a short break before starting the third book in the series, Xiantha, but then went straight on to Pictoria, which came out on 1st December 2012. The following book, The Lost Animas, took a year to write and was published in September 2013.
Book Six, The Namura Stone, is written, but will not be published until mid-September 2014, and the final book in the series (if all goes according to plan) should be out sometime around late summer or early autumn in 2015. Then I shall be able to sit back and, hopefully, breathe a sigh of relief!
I'm a fan of Star Trek, Dr. Who, and Janet Evanovich. Incidentally Janet Evanovich has written a great book of advice on writing. The most important thing I got out of it was that when she is writing a book she stops reading. Nothing. Zilch. I tried to do that with Valhai, and it worked really well. Though old habits die hard . . . I love reading and I don't think I could give it up for very long. My office has three Star Trek posters and one miniature Dr. Who police box! I hope that if you are a Trekkie or a Dr. Who fan you will like my books too. My favourite series is Deep Space Nine, with Quark and Odo, and the wormhole Aliens. That was a long time ago - about time they began a new Star Trek series. Liked the first film though, especially with two Spocks! (Not so keen on the second film, I thought they weren't very true to the Star Trek ethos).
There are a few pages on this site about various things I know a bit about, self-publishing, typesetting, having a bad back. Not that I know much about anything really, but maybe some of my experiences will serve to help somebody else out there . . . I finally found some things that work for me and you never know . . .
The contact button is up and working, thanks to thesitewizard.com instructions about how to set them up correctly. If there any hangups, please email me direct to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer, you can post on the Wordpress blog which is now working well at kwaide.com. You can find it at www.kwaide.com/blog
The Ammonite Galaxy series has taken me nearly five years so far, although I must have been thinking about it for another two years before I started to get down to the actual writing. At first it was just one book, then it expanded to a 4-book series, but it kept getting bigger and bigger, so I am now at a possible seven-book series. I am well into year 5, which was supposed to see the end of the series, and the fifth book, The Lost Animas, came out last year(October 2013). There is still a bit of confusion, as book five was intended to be the last book, and was written under the working title of "The Ammonite Galaxy", but the book turned out to be three different books, and so I decided on three different titles. Number 6 in the series is called "The Namura Stone". This is written, but needs work still. I now have a title for the final book. "The Trimorphs". Intriguing?? I hope so!! The series seems to change as it progresses. However, I don't think it will be any longer than this seven-book total, as it is so very, very labour intensive. Whatever happens, it will have taken up at least six years of my life, full-time, so I hope that some of you enjoy reading it, and find yourselves being transported into this world which means so much to me!
I don't have very good people skills (as my family would be the first to tell you) so you aren't likely to find me signing copies of my books at bookshops, or giving talks. (Not that I get asked to give many) I really ... REALLY ... like writing. I wish I had been able to do it all my life, but other things got in the way. In any case I feel so good to be able to spend a few years doing something I have always loved so much now. It is a continual learning curve, in so many ways, but worth every single minute! If there is anybody out there, reading this, and wondering how he/she could ever get the book they have inside them out, then my advice is ... JUST LEAP IN! Make mistakes, get some things right, get some wrong, keep learning, keep writing. There are the odd moments of mortification when you see some terrible mistake in a brand-new book, and realize you will have to upload the whole thing all over again, but there are some memorable moments too, when perhaps somebody writes to you to say that they really love your book. That has no price! Good luck. I will always be grateful that I was able to take advantage of the system changing. Before self-publishing I would probably have given up after Valhai, but with the ease of putting the books up on Amazon (and later Kobo etc.) I was able to glean just enough support from the few readers who found the books, or listened to the audio versions on Podiobooks to get enough confidence to continue with the story of Six and Diva, Grace and Ledin, Arcan and the rest. I would never have written The Ammonite Galaxy series otherwise.
So - to other writers who are just beginning - keep writing. But sometimes you can't do what you want when you want. If that is your case, then just relax. Enjoy your life. Your time will come. Writing is one of the few things that will wait for you. And just maybe all those things that you experienced on the way will make your books richer ...
MAKE IT SO!!