This is a recording of the presentation that I gave at CoinFest UK back in April. Thanks to all those attendees who turned up to listen, despite the early starting time, and a particular thank you to those who asked all the great questions at the end.
A couple of people have contacted me today about an issue with my electronic store. If PayPal is selected as the means of payment, when the "Continue to PayPal" button is clicked the web page hangs, endlessly displaying a "Please Wait" message.
I investigated the issue this evening and think that I've found the cause of the problem - it was the way that the chronosthenovel.com domain was being forwarded. Fingers crossed, everything should now work.
So, if you have been having problems using the store, please try again now - you should find that you're now able to complete your order. If you're still running into difficulties, get in touch and I'll do some more investigation.
Thanks for your patience with this matter and apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Just a quick note to say that "CHRONOS" is now available as a hardback book. You can purchase an autographed copy through my electronic store.
As a thank you to those who buy the physical version of my book, I've added an appendix to the book with exclusive content that is not available in any of the ebook versions. See what my original design for the front cover looked like! Take a look at the diagrams that I drew to help explain Cube's operation!
About a third of the way into CHRONOS, there's an important scene set in the Computer History Museum, located about half an hour's drive away from San Francisco. More than a few readers had visited the real museum but had never heard of the Visual Storage room. Was this an invention of my imagination, they wondered?
My answer is that the room not only most definitely exists, but it's the highlight of the whole museum! I visited in 2009 and spent far more time in there, perusing through the rows upon rows of historical computers, than I did in the rest of the place!
The doorway to it used to be rather tucked away but I'm told that it is better signposted since the museum's new entrance was opened. As you enter the museum, look to your left and you'll see the corridor that leads to it.
You can get a sense of the wide range of computers on display in the room via the Museum's website.
It's been great fun interacting with CHRONOS readers over the past six weeks. I'm delighted that so many have taken the time to write to me and let me know how much they enjoyed reading my story.
A question that I get asked time and time again is whether or not there will be a sequel. Some readers interpreted the epilogue in Chapter 50 as creating the opportunity for a follow-up novel.
The short answer is no.
The slightly longer answer is, well of course if someone were to offer me a million pounds for a sequel, I would sit down and do my best to come up with one. But, aside from that unlikely scenario, I have no plans to revisit the CHRONOS world or its characters.
I'm not a big fan of long, drawn-out multi-volume sagas and so, right from its inception, I wanted CHRONOS to be a self-contained, stand-alone story. I feel that I have told the story that I set out to tell in this universe, with these characters, and have no plans to return.
Last Saturday's Guardian newspaper featured an interesting article on the rise in the use of the present tense in novels.
CHRONOS is predominantly written in the present tense but it wasn't always thus. The first draft, written back in November 2013, used the past tense exclusively.
By the time I started work on my second draft, in April 2014, I had decided to switch to using the present tense. I had experimented with the use of it since wrapping up the work on the first draft and I liked the way it sped up the movement of action scenes, always useful when writing a thriller.
For me, the use of the present tense complemented the choice of first person narrative. Using the present tense for the narration pulls the reader into the story, making them feel that they are standing alongside the hero as the action unfurls around them.
The use of the present tense also helped to distinguish between the scenes set in the "present" (i.e. the near future) and the historical scenes. Although only two historical scenes are in the final version of the book (the first time that Max and Tom meet and Max's catastrophic data loss), there were originally far more of these scenes. Indeed, my original plans for the whole first third of the book to be given over to having alternating chapters, one set in the present and one in the past.
As the novel progressed, I gradually cut the number of historical scenes down. Some were cut due to pacing concerns and others were ditched because I couldn't get the tone right (I struggled for several weeks with a flashback scene to Tom's fourth birthday, where he got lost by himself in the maze at Hampton Court Palace, never being satisfied that my "voice" for the four-year old Tom was sufficiently authentic).
Although switching the tense of fifty-thousand-plus words was a major pain in the neck, I'm pleased with the outcome. The resulting text feels zippier and the characters sound more immediate and alive. It was a big change to make but I think that it paid off.
Starting on Wednesday January 20th 2016, printed copies of "CHRONOS" will be available to order from this website.
I had originally hoped to make the physical book available before Christmas but, despite the best efforts of me and the printers, we weren't able to get the design refined to my satisfaction in time. It's just about there now but we're now heading into the holidays. Rather than take people's money now and risk copies getting caught up in the Christmas post, I'd prefer to push availability back until mid-January.
There is one silver lining to this delay - it provides me the opportunity to recognise readers who help me correct typos in the novel. So, if you spot a mistake, let me know via the "Contact" option on this website. If you're the first to have spotted it, I will give you a mention in the "Acknowledgements" section of the printed book.
So, get hunting for them pesky typos! The deadline for submitting mistakes to me is 11.59 PM GMT on January 1st 2016.
It's been a week since I made "CHRONOS" available for download and I've been delighted by the sheer number of downloads of the book. This popularity does come at a cost however - I know that some people have experienced slow download speeds at certain times. If you continue to experience problems downloading, drop me a note via the website and I will point you to alternative download links.
In order to give me some basic metrics, I configured the download links as bit.ly links. This means that I can count the number of downloads of each format of the book, helping me understand which are the ones that people find best. I also get metrics on the country that the downloader is located in. I collect no other information on who is downloading my book or where they are located.
Format-wise, the PDF version is the most popular choice for downloading, although Mobi (Kindle) isn't far behind. HTML and ePub are tied for third place. Supporting a broad range of book formats is really only possible by going down a non-DRM path, so I'm very glad that I made the decision to release my book under a CC licence.
Canadians have made the most downloads, followed by people in the UK, Germany and the US. The book has also been popular in France.
Downloads have come from far and wide. "CHRONOS" has readers as far afield as Hong Kong, Venezuela, Israel, Argentina and India.
A number of readers have already finished the book and have written to me. I'm delighted that people seem to be enjoying reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it!
There are less than twenty-four hours to go until "CHRONOS" is published. It will be released in a variety of ebook formats, including PDF, ePub, Mobi, TXT and Open Office. There'll also be an HTML version that will be viewable directly from this website.
"CHRONOS" is being released under a Creative Commons licence. That means that none of the electronic formats published will be encumbered with DRM (Digital Rights Management) software. If you read my novel and enjoy it, I hope that you'll pass the story on to your friends and colleagues to enjoy too. DRM would get in the way of that.
I'm releasing the novel in a range of popular ebook formats but there are many others. If I've missed your favourite format, then feel free to go ahead and generate it - the terms of the CC licence allow this.Send it to me and I'll put it up on the website (with an appropriate acknowledgement, of course).
So you have the freedom to copy, distribute and remix my novel as you see fit. All I ask in return is that a) you retain my name in all copies, b) you make only non-commercial use of my work and c) any remixes or transformations are released under the same CC licence.
I'm releasing the ebooks free of charge with the aim of getting them distributed as far and wide as possible. However if you do want to pay me something for the time and effort I've invested into this book then there will be a couple of ways to do this: