published by Swimming Kangaroo Books
What is your book about? British Special Forces Agent Josh Cassidy is used to being sent on strange missions under various guises, but he is unprepared for his latest venture; sent to Afghanistan to accompany a hastily assembled and ill-prepared team of reservists delegated to investigate a series of heat sources shown in a politically sensitive area by a satellite fly-by.
In fact, the Thals have considerably developed psi-powers which allow them to cross between alternate realities, and allowed their ancestors to escape the extinction that overtook their equivalents in our universe.
However, their powers are inadequate against an even more distant evolutionary branch of humanity, who view the existence of these alternate realities as anathema, and have decided on a war of extinction.
Cassidy’s men and a group of Americans sent to check on the events must team up with the forces and venture deep into enemy territory in what turns out to be a race against time, even as Cassidy must overcome his own personal demons if any of them are to survive.
Why did you write the book? I have long had a love of pre-history and a fascination with what might have been, and writing Lightning Days allowed me to explore both.
Where did you get your inspiration from? Various works by Paul Levinson and Michael Moorcock, as well as a little tribute to the legendary Alfred Bester, and lots and lots and lots of research on subjects as diverse as the Everglades, super-volcanic eruptions in Indonesia, and the Spanish Inquisition!
How does your book differ from others that are similar? I’ve blended – successfully according to Interzone magazine -- several genres that are normally kept apart because publishers know better than readers. Not!
Why did you choose POD? My publisher is a POD publisher. I chose them because like me, they wanted work that crossed genres.
What do you see as the advantages and disadvantges of this method? The author has much more influence over how the book is published and promoted, and minimizes the risk of carrying large stocks. But it is difficult to get the books into physical bookstores, and to get reviewed by the most prestigious publications, although not impossible.
How did you market your book? I send out many review copies, and have been successful in receiving some fine reviews from prestigious publications. I also –with my publisher – took out adverts in key magazines.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? The entrenched prejudice in the industry against POD books, and small publishers.
What would you say to others considering POD? POD allows you greater control over your work, but it is difficult – make no mistake about it. Half of your work will be educating your peers in ‘proper’ publishers who tell you why you should get a real deal.