A signed copy of my long out-of-print novel Ulterior has just showed up on eBay. It doesn’t happen often. Chion fans who weren’t around for my first book might like to take this rare opportunity to own a copy …
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My first novel, Ulterior, was published in 2002 and sold over 1,000 copies. It has been out of print for about four years, and the vast majorty of readers who have enjoyed Chion never had an opportunity to read its forerunner. Today, for the first time, I’m releasing Ulterior as a free ebook in PDF format. Grab it from the link below.
I’ve always had vague plans to re-release Ulterior in paperback. I’m likely to do this the next time Lightning Source do a “free title set-up” promotion. I won’t be ordering a large quantity, as I’ve been doing with my other books; it will just be pleasant to have all three of my books in print, for whoever wishes to own them. The picture on the right shows the intended new cover, featuring a brilliant creature design by Irish Eyes Creations.
Ulterior is the story of a boy who breaks into his school at night, with criminal intent, and finds more than he bargained for. He is not alone in the building. And there’s something very strange about the elevator.
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Jerry’s excellent design for the Ulterior creature has proved to be a tricky beast to incorporate into other elements of a book cover composition. I’ve done a number of experiments, but not been entirely satisfied. This one came close, but the two images didn’t quite gel the way I had hoped.
I got a fresh visual in my head this morning for a different sort of cover, and managed to create it pretty accurately in Photoshop. Voila. Make sure you click through to the larger version to see all the detail. The tag line is tacky, but it was all I could think of at the time, since the existing one (“An ordinary school hides an unearthly secret”) doesn’t suit this picture’s theme.
If anyone out there is interested in picking up a copy of my out-of-print novel Ulterior, it has shown up on eBay as a Buy It Now auction priced £3.00. It’s one of a limited first (and only) edition of 1070 copies, and it hardly ever shows up for resale. Auction ends on 14 August.
[ Link ]
Jerry from Irish Eyes Creations created this wonderful looking beast for a new edition Ulterior that I hope to publish soon. Yes, my first novel will hopefully be back in print again; the fact that I ran out of books before I ran out of demand is reason enough to publish a second edition. But not with that same old cover, oh no. If there’s any weak spot on the original design, it’s the creature’s head. I haven’t got the artistic skills to put together a convincingly professional monster. But Jerry has, as you can see. I think it looks fabulous. Jerry is putting together a full cover design of his own, but he has been kind enough to let me play with the creature, in case I opt for one of my own overall designs. This is a first attempt, based on an early mock-up from last year. There’s a lot of detail here, so make sure you click through to the large picture for the full impact. I intend to do a lot more experimenting (as I did with Chion) before settling on a final design. Hope you’ll share your opinions, as we go through the process.
I’m aware that some of those reading Chion haven’t read my first novel Ulterior, so I thought it was worth mentioning that the last ever copies of Ulterior are those still in stock at the American online bookstore Shocklines.com. When I say “last ever,” I mean that I have no firm plans to bring the book back for a second edition. The first edition sold over 1,000 copies before going out of print. The fact that it hardly ever shows up on eBay (despite numerous copies being sold by that means) is testament to how well liked it was.
So, if you’re in the USA and you’re enjoying Chion, there’s an opportunity to purchase Ulterior at Shocklines.com for $11.99, while stocks last.
Appended 1 Feb 2007:
UK fans needn’t despair. I forgot all about the fact that there are a few copies of Ulterior listed on Amazon UK’s Used & New section.
Yesterday I sold the last copy of Ulterior. Aside from a handful of books which are still in stock at Shocklines and the few remaining on bookshop shelves, it’s all done and dusted. 1070 copies were printed (weird number due to the printing firm accidentally exceeding the target, but I’m grateful in retrospect). All I’ve got left are six books, which I’m hanging on to for special occasions …
… Like yesterday, when a friend I haven’t seen in over fifteen years suddenly got in touch with me over email (he found me by searching Google). Andrew Campbell was the only one of my friends who shared my hobby of writing fiction, so it was a real loss when he emigrated to Australia. It turns out he has been every bit as passionate about the craft as I’ve been in the years between. Check out his website, Pheonix Station. I’m looking forward to sharing ideas and swapping stories again – maybe even collaborating.
After the stressful weekend I’ve had due to an eBay gangster, Andrew getting in touch after all these years really made my day.
Are there any Ulterior fans out there who are also into old sci-fi TV shows? Keep your eyes peeled the next time you get a chance to see Buck Rogers season two (the Glen A. Larson 1980s version). I’ve just finished watching an episode called Mark of the Saurian, and the similarities with Ulterior are unbelievable: lizard-like beings with the very same means of hiding their identities and exactly the same drawbacks for being flushing out. It’s uncanny. Of course, maybe I drew on a childhood memory when I wrote my novel, but I don’t think so; I have plenty of memories of Buck Rogers, but they’re all from its very different first season. Oh well. I can always blame it on media saturation. :-)